- Name: Jay Dooling
- Irish Aires Home Page
- IA Houston Links
- IA Links Page
- IA News Links
- Irish Aires Archived
- IA Email Lists
- Irish Aires Blog
- October 2004
- November 2004
- December 2004
- January 2005
- February 2005
- March 2005
- April 2005
- May 2005
- June 2005
- July 2005
- August 2005
- September 2005
- October 2005
- November 2005
- December 2005
- January 2006
- February 2006
- March 2006
- April 2006
- May 2006
- June 2006
- July 2006
- August 2006
- September 2006
- October 2006
- November 2006
- December 2006
- January 2007
- February 2007
- March 2007
- April 2007
- May 2007
- June 2007
- August 2007
- September 2007
- October 2007
- November 2007
- December 2007
- January 2008
- February 2008
- March 2008
- April 2008
- May 2008
- June 2008
- July 2008
- November 2008
- December 2008
- February 2009
- April 2009
- May 2009
- January 2010
- April 2011
- May 2011
- June 2011
- July 2011
- August 2011
- February 2012
News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)
October 27, 2004
News 10/27/04 - Adams: Let's End Suicides
News about Ireland & the Irish
BT 10/27/04 Gerry Adams: Let's End The Suicides
BT 10/27/04 de Chastelain: Back But No Sign Of Move
IO 10/27/04 British Govt Backs General Over IRA Disarmament
SF 10/27/04 SF Urges Murphy To Demand End To UDA Attacks
IE 10/27/04 Irish American Advocates Head To Battleground
IE 10/27/04 Irish Top 10 In U.S. House
BT 10/27/04 Campaign Over Bias In Council Posts Row
SM 10/27/04 Let's See IRA Disarming, Demands Paisley
BT 10/27/04 Arms Decommissioning A Must
UT 10/27/04 NI Home Protection Refusal Overturned
IO 10/27/04 Loyalist Wins Case For Official Protection
IE 10/27/04 Bradley Comment Stresses Burden On Police Board
BT 10/27/04 Eric Waugh: Bradley Comments Far From Helpful
BT 10/27/04 Steven King: Differing Impressions Of Ulster Scene
ES 10/27/04 Derry Line Up Linfield Friendlies
RT 10/27/04 Priests Want Celibacy Rule Removed -VO
RT 10/27/04 Dunphy Witness In Dublin Trial -VO
RT 10/27/04 Flights And Ferries Disrupted Amid Major Storm -VO
NW 10/27/04 Haunted House In Ulster -VO
NW 10/27/04 New Ferry Service In Donegal -VO
Priests Want Celibacy Rule Removed - survey (19:39) Most diocesan
Catholic priests want the Vatican to drop its ban on them marrying,
according to a survey by the 'Irish Catholic' newspaper.
Dunphy Witness In Dublin Trial - (19:27) A 25-year-old Dublin
bouncer who claims he was groped by broadcaster Eamon Dunphy
is on trial accused of making a false statement to gardaí.
Flights And Ferries Disrupted Amid Major Storm - Jennie
O'Sullivan reports on widespread flooding, power disruptions
and flight diversions in the south of the country as a major
storm begins to take hold
Haunted House In Ulster - Rowan Hand meets a Belfast priest
who was called to perform a exorcism on a home believed to be
New Ferry Service In Donegal - Stella Carroll reports on new
ferry between Rathmullen and Buncrana
Gerry Adams: Let's End The Suicides
By Gerry Adams, MP, West Belfast
27 October 2004
Ireland has the second highest incidence of suicide in Europe. That
is a startling and depressing statistic, which disguises the human
cost in lives lost and of families bereaved and left grieving.
Within one week of a recent meeting I held with the British Health
Minister, Angela Smyth, on this issue, three more people had taken
their own lives in west Belfast.
Among them was Emmanuel McCann, the brother of my friend and
colleague, Councillor Fra McCann. Fra has been very active on this
issue for some time and was part of the delegation which met with
the Health Minister.
The incidence of suicide in west and north Belfast is
disproportionately high. During 2002, there were 79 suicides in the
Eastern Health and Social Services Board area and 28 (35%) of these
were in West and North Belfast.
The rate of suicide in west and north Belfast is 50% higher than
comparable reported rates for Britain. The suicide rate for west
and north Belfast is 19 per 100,000 compared to 13 per 100,000 in
There are an anticipated 30-35 suicides per year, mostly young
people, with the biggest increase amongst young men aged between
15-25 years old. There is also some evidence of an increase amongst
In the United States it is estimated that, for every person who
takes their own life, there are six survivors. That would mean
there are hundreds of people in west and north Belfast who have
tried to take their own lives and who have survived. This is a lot
of trauma, much of which remains hidden.
There are many factors responsible for the high numbers of
suicides, for example, higher than average levels of deprivation
resulting from decades of institutionalised discrimination, the
resulting poverty, significantly higher numbers of lone parents, a
death within the family or peer group circle, broken relationships,
poor health, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as the consequences of
Many of those who try or succeed in taking their own lives feel
isolated, neglected, are withdrawn and have feelings of
powerlessness. They need help.
But the reality is that there has also been substantially less
funding invested in health care, health education, and resourcing
health professionals working in west and north Belfast.
The Eastern Health and Social Services Board spending in north and
west Belfast, based on existing capitation formula, means that
these areas are under-funded in mental health provision by almost
£3m. By comparison, south and east Belfast receives £5m more than
needed. According to the Eastern Board's own figures, this is an
I have asked the Minister to tackle this matter urgently by
levelling up the allocation of funding for mental health services
in west and north Belfast.
The tragic case of Roseanne Irvine from Turf Lodge, who took her
own life in Maghaberry Prison in March of this year, also
highlights the lack of adequate mental health care in west Belfast.
In addition, however, it identifies a serious and significant gap
in the provision of mental health services for women who find
themselves in court facing serious charges. Because of a flaw in
the legislation allowing for mentally ill people to be placed in
care, people like Roseanne Irvine, who suffered from a personality
disorder, are sent to prison instead.
The report by the Human Rights Commission into conditions for women
at Maghaberry Prison is a damning indictment of a system which
clearly cares little for those it holds.
Consequently, I have asked the Health Minister to hold an urgent
review into how the health service failed Roseanne Irvine, and to
move speedily to close the gap in mental health legislation for
those suffering from personality disorder.
It isn't that health professionals and carers working in this field
don't have any ideas about how to tackle this problem. They do. But
there needs to be a strategic, joined up approach taken by the
Health Service, with proper funding made available.
The proposal of a one-stop-shop for suicide prevention and crisis
intervention is an idea which was first raised six years ago by the
West Belfast Suicide Task Force. The concept is one of a community
crisis centre, community-driven and community-based which works in
conjunction with the necessary statutory agencies to provide care
and treatment within the community to prevent self-harm and suicide
and respond immediately tragedy strikes.
Linked with this idea is the need for a Community Child and
Adolescent Mental Health Team for west and north Belfast.
Investment in community-based care and treatment and emergency
response is required in the communities of west and north Belfast
as a matter of urgency. But these proposals need resourced.
A regional suicide prevention strategy also needs to be developed,
beginning with west and north Belfast, based on the promotion of
mental health which will reach those most at risk before they take
their own lives.
Arguably, one implication of any effective strategy will be that
cross-departmental involvement and resources are needed to
implement a suicide prevention strategy.
That is why I asked the Minister to take the lead on this through
the Ministerial Group for Public Health. Collaboration between the
Department of Health and those with responsibility for young
people, such as the Department of Education / the Department of
Employment and Learning will be important to the successful
implementation of any effective suicide prevention strategy.
As part of the process of devising and implementing an effective,
properly resourced suicide prevention strategy, the Minister agreed
with a Sinn Féin proposal to appoint officials who would meet in a
roundtable discussion with statutory, community and political
representatives. I have since then been told that she will be
meeting her officials within days to prepare for such a discussion.
Concern about suicide is greatest in local communities. Alongside
the anguish of bereavement, there is a growing sense of burn-out.
Families are not receiving the support they need to cope with the
strain of someone who is feeling suicidal, or with the aftermath of
someone who takes his or her own life. Many other parents carry a
sense of dread, worrying about the fate of their own children.
Through pastoral care or community support, the will to help those
in most need is not in doubt. However, goodwill and compassion will
not be enough on their own to prevent suicide. Our youth leaders,
community activists, GAA and sports clubs, school teachers, clerics
and health workers must be mobilised together and resourced to be
effective. Leadership, co-ordination, action and resources are
And parents need to be given the skills and confidence to know that
they are not on their own.
Finally, the Dublin government established a National Suicide Task
Force some years ago. There has been a lot of learning acquired
since then which could assist us.
I have therefore suggested that suicide prevention be prioritised
as an area for inter-departmental co-operation through the health
sector of the North-South Ministerial Council.
Part of this should include structured engagement and exchange of
best practice between statutory and community representatives in
north and west Belfast and elsewhere in Ireland.
Weapons Supremo Back But No Sign Of Move
By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
27 October 2004
Decommissioning supremo General John de Chastelain has returned to
Northern Ireland as attempts go on to secure a deal to restore
His arrival back in Belfast did not appear to have boosted
expectations of further disarmament, however.
Instead increasing uncertainty appears to have clouded the
likelihood of a comprehensive resolution in the near future.
DUP sources are playing down the prospect of any imminent IRA
decommissioning 'event' despite a flurry of speculation.
"They won't do anything this side of a deal being arrived at. Why
Meanwhile, the Government was today studying the detail of the
latest report from the International Monitoring Commission, as Sinn
Fein again called the body's credibility into question.
The four commissioners - Lord Alderdice, John Grieve, Joe Brosnan
and Richard Kerr - delivered their latest tome to the Government
today and are due to travel to Dublin tomorrow.
Government officials are likely to spend a few days studying the
report which will then be made public.
Sinn Fein today criticised the Commission as an "echo- chamber" for
the "securocrats" and said it had no credibility among
West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty said: "The information contained in
these reports comes solely from the Special Branch, British
Military Intelligence and MI5. We all know the anti- peace process
and anti-republican agenda that these faceless organisations
pursue. The IMC operates completely outside the terms of the Good
The criticism comes after the Commission admitted its last report
wrongly identified a Bangor man, Michael O'Hare, as a UDA murder
victim. The Commission is to explain the error following
publication of the new report.
Meanwhile, DUP leader Ian Paisley and deputy Peter Robinson and
Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have met officials in
London for separate talks.
British Govt Backs General Over IRA Disarmament
The British government has total confidence in disarmament body
chief General John de Chastelain's role in verifying any future
move on IRA weapons, a junior minister insisted today.
Northern Ireland Office Security Minister Ian Pearson told MPs that
the British government had total confidence in the integrity of the
However, he acknowledged the concerns that unionists had about the
transparency of any move by the IRA in the future to empty its arms
Mr Pearson was asked by Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon: "How
exactly is the (British) government going to address the problem of
the deficit of confidence in the unionist community?"
She also asked if General de Chastelain was the best person to
verify any weapons move by the Provisionals.
Mr Pearson responded: "As a government we have total confidence in
the integrity of General de Chastelain."
But he added that there needed to be greater transparency in future
"That is something that is under discussion," he said.
With Northern Ireland politicians deadlocked over how to restore
power sharing in the North, the quality of an IRA arms initiative
and statement on its future intentions are seen as being crucial to
the revival of the Assembly.
The British government was today also due to receive a report from
the Independent Monitoring Commission on paramilitary activity
which was also seen as being important in creating the right mood
music for any deal.
The four member Commission, which monitors paramilitary activity
and the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, was expected
to highlight continued loyalist and republican activity.
However, unionists and nationalists were eager to see the level of
IRA activity as well as the extent of loyalist activity.
Conservative MP Michael Mates asked Northern Ireland Secretary Paul
Murphy about the minimum requirement of the British government for
any visible act of weapons decommissioning by the IRA.
However Mr Murphy wasn't willing to be drawn into defining what was
required but insisted that there had to be sufficient transparency
to guarantee unionist and nationalist confidence in the disarmament
SF Urges Murphy To Demand End To UDA Attacks
Published: 27 October, 2004
Commenting on reports that the British Secretary of State Paul
Murphy is to meet with the UDA early next week, Sinn Féin National
Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin said that he 'must make it clear to
the loyalists that ongoing attacks on Catholics and ethnic
minorities have to end'.
Mr McLaughlin said: "Dialogue between political opponents has
characterised the development of the peace process over the past
ten years. These engagements are crucial if we are to make further
political progress. Sinn Féin has always been willing to engage
with representatives of unionism unfortunately many of the
political representatives of unionism continue to shy away from
"Next weeks meeting between Paul Murphy and the UDA leaders is not
the first such meeting between a British Secretary of State and the
UDA in recent years. Both Mo Mowlam and John Reid engaged in such
" It is important that during this meeting Mr Murphy makes it clear
to the loyalist representatives that ongoing attacks on Catholics
and ethnic minorities have to end as well as continuing drug
dealing and agitation along the interfaces." ENDS
News Briefs: Irish American Advocates Head To Battleground
By Ray O'Hanlon
Irish-American Republicans and Democrats are heading for the so-
called battleground states this week.
A statement from the lobby group Irish-American Republicans said it
had "hundreds of volunteers" scattered throughout the states,
including Florida, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.
The volunteers were working as part of the Republican Party's
volunteer effort to get out the vote in states that would prove
crucial in electing the next president, IAR said.
IAR executive committee members including Grant Lally, Justin
Driscoll, Jeff Cleary and Brian McCarthy were heading for Ohio,
considered one of the closest calls on Nov. 2.
IAR said it was concerned by the disclosure of a Democrat National
Committee memo that directed Democrat poll watchers to claim that
voter disenfranchisement existed, even where there was no evidence
to support such claims.
"We know that all fair-minded Americans join the Irish- American
Republicans in calling for an honest and fair presidential
election," the IAR said.
Meanwhile, the lobby group Irish American Democrats has also sent
members to work specific states including Ohio.
IAD said in a statement that it had specifically "adopted"
Youngstown, Ohio, in an effort to spur Irish Americans in the area
to vote for the Kerry/Edwards ticket.
And IAD's Connecticut branch has thrown its efforts behind Jim
Sullivan, who is challenging the GOP's Rob Simmons in the state's
second congressional district.
Regardless of which candidate wins the White House, 2004 will mark
the first presidential election year since 1980 that there has been
no Irish-American presidential forum held in New York City.
The forum has attracted either presidential or vice presidential
candidates every general election since 1984.
The chief organizer of the event, former New York assemblyman John
Dearie, has blamed geography for the forum's absence this year.
All four presidential ticket candidates have been scarce on the
ground in the solidly Democratic Big Apple in recent months, drawn
as they have been to states that are seen as too close to call in
the presidential campaign.
Irish To Back Clinton?
Ireland has not made its preferences known with regard to who
should succeed Kofi Annan as United Nations secretary general.
But Ireland has been mentioned in reports in recent days that
former President Clinton is interested in taking over the top UN
job when Annan's term expires in 2006.
A TV news report in New York last week stated that Clinton had the
backing of Ireland as well as a number of other countries in any
bid for the high profile U.N. post.
But a spokeswoman for Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said
it was far too early for the country to make its preferences known
in the matter of the secretary general's job and that support for
any individual had not been stated, or revealed, by the Irish
The secretary general's job is traditionally rotated by continent,
but there has never been a North American in the position.
Ferry Go Round
A habeas corpus hearing in the case of jailed Belfast man Ciaran
Ferry is set for this week after being postponed last week.
Ferry, a former IRA man, is to appear in Denver District Court this
Thursday, Oct. 28. Ferry has been confined to a Colorado prison for
The hearing will be before Judge Edward Nottingham.
Separate to the habeas corpus issue, the former IRA man is also
appealing against a decision by the Virginia-based Board of
Immigration Appeals to deport him to Ireland.
Ferry has been jailed since Jan. 30, 2003. He was detained when he
turned up for a green card interview accompanied by his wife,
Heaven, who is a U.S. citizen.
IAUC Is Belfast Bound
The Irish American Unity Conference is crossing the Atlantic for
its upcoming annual convention.
The group is meeting in Belfast Nov. 11-14 for what will be its
22nd annual gathering.
The convention will include a two-day conference, with the theme of
"Communities: Democracy on the Ground."
"The conference will bring together both nationalist and unionist
community groups to discuss their activities toward creating social
and economic stability and a just and equitable peace in keeping
with the Good Friday agreement," IAUC president Andy Somers said.
This story appeared in the issue of October 27-November 2, 2004
Irish Top 10 In U.S. House
By Ray O'Hanlon
What and where are the top 10 most Irish congressional districts in
the nation? Here's a clue. Only one of them boasts a co- chair of
the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs as a
And the upstate New York home district of Friends of Ireland
chairman Jim Walsh isn't to be found in the big Irish 10.
The 10 are located in four states: Massachusetts, New York, New
Jersey and Pennsylvania. The honor of being the most Irish district
goes to one in Massachusetts. It is the state's 10th district,
where Democrat Bill Delahunt represents a population that is 23.9
percent Irish American in terms of ethnic origin.
The measurement is derived from census returns and is highlighted -
- as are the other nine top Irish districts -- in the 2004 edition
of the Almanac Of American Politics.
The 10th district, which stretches along the South Shore outside
Boston, encompasses Plymouth of Mayflower fame and was once a
However, the Irish character of the district has been well
entrenched for some years now.
The No. 2 district in the top 10 is also in Massachusetts. It is
the state's 9th district and is represented by another Democrat,
Stephen Lynch. The Irish proportion of the district's population is
A swing to the south is required in order to find the third most
Irish district. It is Pennsylvania's 7th, represented by Curt
Weldon, a Republican. The district covers almost all of Delaware
County and boasts an Irish population totaling 21.8 percent.
The fourth most Irish congressional district is also in
Pennsylvania. It is the state's 13th and is represented by Democrat
Joe Hoeffel. The Irish percentage here is 19.5.
It's back up to Massachusetts for the fifth most Irish district. It
is the 6th congressional district. with Democrat John Tierney
representing its voters in the nation's capital. The Irish
percentage total here is 18.6.
There's not too far to travel to find the sixth most Irish district
in the top 10. The 7th congressional district in Massachusetts lays
claim to the title. Democrat Ed Markey is the representative and
the Irish share of population is 18.5 percent.
It's back to Pennsylvania for No. 7 out of the 10. Pennsylvania's
8th district is represented in Congress by the GOP's Jim Greenwood.
The Irish tally here is 18.1 percent.
No. 8 out of the top 10 is New York's 3rd. Republican Peter King
speaks for this Long Island district in Washington. 17.7 percent of
King's constituents claim Irish ancestry.
No. 9 in the table is New York's 1st district, also on Long Island.
Democrat Tim Bishop is the representative and his Irish
constituents make up 17.5 percent of the district's population.
The caboose in the top 10 is to be found in the Garden State. New
Jersey's 10th district is the bailiwick of Democrat Rob Andrews who
represents an Irish population that is 16.8 percent of the
This story appeared in the issue of October 27-November 2, 2004
Campaign Over Bias In Council Posts Row
By Brendan McDaid
27 October 2004
Derry City councillors were today preparing to do battle with
unionist dominated councils across Northern Ireland over alleged
discrimination against nationalists.
In an unprecedented step, letters are to be sent to Lisburn,
Ballymena, Castlereagh and Coleraine councils, demanding fair
distribution of committee chairs and vice-chairs roles.
In a motion drawn up by Sinn Fein and the SDLP in Derry, the
unionist-led councils will be urged to adopt power- sharing
arrangements as stipulated in the Good Friday Agreement.
The motion was put forward last night after it emerged that none of
the 16 posts on Lisburn Council committees have been awarded to
Sinn Fein or SDLP members.
The nationalist parties claimed there were similar situations in
the other unionist controlled councils.
The motion sparked a heated debate in council chambers, with the
DUP accusing nationalists of forcing Protestants out of Derry and
Sinn Fein branding the DUP "fascists who live in cloud cuckooland".
Proposing the motion, Sinn Fein councillor Peter Anderson said:
"There is either no, or very little equality in these councils.
"In Lisburn, for example, all nationalists, which is 23% of the
total council, were excluded from holding positions as chairs and
vice-chairs of the eight committees.
"Every one of these unionists on our council have been mayor or
deputy mayor at least once.
"The situation in these unionist dominated councils is not
replicated in nationalist dominated councils such as Derry, Belfast
and Newry, where unionists are allowed to hold positions and
offices," he added.
DUP councillor William Hay said the motion would "cut no ice" with
any unionist representative in the province.
"Most unionist people see this council as a nationalist controlled
and bigoted council," Mr Hay claimed.
"This council has driven Protestants out of this city and you
couldn't care less.
"Their Britishness and their views have not been taken on board.
"It seems if you give the role of mayor or deputy mayor to a
unionist here they think it will resolve all ills but it doesn't."
Let's See IRA Disarming, Demands Paisley
By Dan McGinn, Ireland's Political Editor, PA News
The Government faced demands tonight to ensure any future IRA
disarmament move is visual.
Democratic Unionist leader the Rev Ian Paisley insisted that
further weapons decommissioning by the Provisionals was carried out
in a way which satisfied everyone.
The North Antrim MP added: "Previous decommissioning stunts gave
no-one in the community any confidence.
"If decommissioning does not include the visual aspect, then it
will not satisfy anyone."
The DUP leader's demands came as efforts to revive Northern
Ireland's power-sharing government and Assembly continued.
Unionists and nationalists remain deadlocked over future power-
sharing arrangements at Stormont, but British and Irish government
officials are working to try to bridge the gap between parties on
the future shape of the province's political institution.
The DUP wants ministers in the power-sharing executive to be made
more accountable to their Cabinet colleagues and to the Assembly,
with MLAs able to overturn an unpopular decision.
Sinn Fein and the nationalist SDLP believe that the Democratic
Unionists are trying to come up with a mechanism which would enable
them to veto the work of other parties' ministers and have accused
Mr Paisley's party of trying to rewrite significantly the Good
The failure to agree a future power-sharing model has held up by
the IRA on its arms dumps and a statement addressing its future.
Last month, during Leeds Castle talks in Kent, Prime Minister Tony
Blair, said he believed the IRA was prepared to address concerns
about its weapons and its future activities.
However, during Northern Ireland Questions at Westminster, concerns
were expressed by unionists about the transparency of any IRA move.
Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon questioned the role of the
head of the Independent International Commission on
Decommissioning, General John de Chastelain, in any future
Northern Ireland Office Security Minister Ian Pearson insisted the
Government had total confidence in the general. But he acknowledged
that there needed to be greater transparency in future arms moves.
"That is something that is under discussion," he told MPs.
Nationalists today also expressed concerns that the Good Friday
Agreement could be significantly altered in any formula produced to
break the political deadlock in Northern Ireland
Former SDLP leader John Hume raised his concerns with Northern
Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy in the House of Commons.
Sinn Fein Assembly member Caitriona Ruane also today expressed the
view that any deal to restore power sharing must fall within the
framework of the Good Friday Agreement.
The South Down MLA said: "Sinn Fein will not settle for anything
less than the Agreement.
"The fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement are not up for
negotiation. These include power sharing, equality, all- Ireland
institutions, human rights, and, crucially, the checks and balances
designed to prevent unions abuse of power.
"They were agreed by all of the parties to the talks, including the
two governments, and it must be defended in the face of attempts to
see them diluted."
Mr Murphy today also confirmed that he would be meeting the
political representatives of loyalist paramilitaries in the next
Meetings have been arranged with Progressive Unionist leader David
Ervine, whose party is linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force, and
also with the Ulster Political Research Group, which has links to
the Ulster Defence Association.
Earlier this month, Mr Ervine urged the Government at his party's
annual conference to help loyalists out of the jungle of
Arms Decommissioning A Must
Commons told of need for transparency
By Brian Walker, London Editor
27 October 2004
The IRA and loyalist paramilitaries must give up their weapons and
activities in a way that satisfies everyone and according to a
definite timescale, security minister Ian Pearson has confirmed at
Northern Ireland questions in the Commons.
Ian Paisley led a chorus from all sides of the House asking for a
renewed commitment to transparent arms decommissioning if a new
deal is to be reached.
The Secretary of State Paul Murphy said transparency was "a vital
component" of a new deal and of the Agreement, but he declined to
go into detail about what was required because that was the subject
of continuing private talks with Sinn Fein and the other parties.
Holding to a firm line in the talks, Mr Murphy confirmed to his
Tory opposite number David Lidington that further moves towards
Army " normalisation " and concessions to on-the-run former
prisoners, were not only dependent on arms decommissioning but on "
the cessation of all paramilitary activity and the effective end of
the IRA as an active organisation."
Mr Murphy said that was all part of paragraph 13 of the joint
On progress in the talks since Leeds Castle, Downing St said this
morning that: "the perception of a clear timetable for a deal was
getting clearer while the room for manoeuvre was getting less. We
will give it time for another few weeks."
Mr Murphy deflected a call from DUP MP Nigel Dodds for the
resignation of the Policing Board deputy chairman Denis Bradley,
for comments forecasting a withdrawal of nationalist consent for
policing if there is not a new political agreement. Mr Dodds said
Mr Bradley should resign or be sacked because he was " unfit for
Mr Murphy said Mr Bradley was entitled to his opinion as he had
suffered " quite a lot of intimidation" in recent weeks. Mr Murphy
also confirmed to Mr Lidington that he would meet the Ulster
Political Research group and David Ervine next week.
NI Home Protection Refusal Overturned
A former Sinn Fein mayor who was refused home protection measures
despite loyalist death threats had the decision overturned in the
High Court today.
Mrs Anne Brolly, who was Mayor of Limavady until last June, and her
husband Francis, who is also a Sinn Fein member of the council,
will now be entitled to government funding to secure their home.
Mrs Brolly, a vice-principal, and her husband, a retired teacher,
were told by police in April 2002, of death threats by the outlawed
Red Hand Defenders, which had claimed responsibility for a number
The Secretary of State, following advice from the Chief Constable,
informed the couple in March 2003, that they were not considered to
be under a serious or significant threat and therefore protection
of their isolated home was not warranted.
They applied for a judicial review of the decision and it was
upheld by Mr Justice Weatherup.
He said police had assessed the risk to the Brollys as "moderate"
but as that indicated a potential for them to be singled out for
attack the State was required to take reasonable steps in response.
The judge added: "The approach adopted by the official`s submission
leaves out of account a relevant consideration, namely that the
applicants face a real and immediate risk to life.
"Accordingly, I am satisfied that the decision of the Secretary of
State in relation to the Scheme must be quashed."
The Secretary of State was ordered to pay the costs of the hearing.
Loyalist Wins Case For Official Protection
The spokesman for a controversial group campaigning on behalf of
Protestant victims of republican violence has won a court battle
for official protection.
Willie Frazer of "Families Acting for Innocent Relatives" brought
the case after being turned down last year.
Mr Frazer is a prominent loyalist campaigner against the Good
Friday agreement and claims he has been threatened many times by
Republicans in South Armagh.
Despite this the British government had refused him funding to
secure his home.
A judge ruled today that the government's approach was flawed and
there was a significant risk to his life.
However he refused permission on Mr Frazer's application for a
firearms licence on the basis of police intelligence he associated
In a separate case, the high court also overturned a decision not
to provide County Derry Sinn Féin councillors Anne and Francie
Brolly, with home protection.
Bradley Comment Stresses Burden On Police Board
By Paul Colgan
DUBLIN -- Policing Board vice-chairman Denis Bradley is well
trained in the ways of political intrigue. It was he who helped
facilitate the back-channel talks between republicans and the
British government in Derry in the run-up to the first IRA
The former priest has stuck his neck on the line on more than one
occasion through the years and his decision to help head up
Northern Ireland's Policing Board is not least among a career
characterized by courageous moves.
He has endured attacks on his home from dissident republicans
designed to drive him, and like-minded nationalists, from the
North's new policing bodies. Yet he remains prepared to work the
institution against a backdrop of continued violence and
So when he speaks his mind about the PSNI and policing reform,
Bradley, writing in a newspaper column Monday, said that
nationalists may have to consider their future involvement in
policing if the political parties are unable to strike a deal that
restores devolved government.
Bradley has incurred the wrath of the DUP, which has called for his
resignation. Ian Paisley Jr., a member of the Policing Board, has
accused the Derry man of "going native" with republicans and making
continued nationalist endorsement of policing contingent on Sinn
Fein "getting its way" in the current political negotiations.
The DUP MP for North Belfast, Nigel Dodds, said: "It is not Denis
Bradley's job to be making any comment whatsoever on the status of
the political process".
While the party's MP for East Derry, Gregory Campbell, said: "We
had a mandate 12 months ago and that mandate was to get a fair
deal. We are not going to be rolled over by anyone, be they a vice-
chairman of the Policing Board or anyone else. We have got to work
until we get this deal right."
Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, however, welcomed Bradley's
comments, saying they were a "vindication" of the republican
position on policing.
Bradley's comments are reflective of a growing concern within
nationalist circles about how the policing board would operate if
direct rule from London continueds. Events over the summer
exacerbated these concerns.
The controversial July 12 Orange Order march in the Ardoyne again
pitted nationalists against the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
PSNI, in apparent breach of a Parades Commission ruling that barred
Orange supporters from walking through the area, pushed coat
trailers past the Ardoyne shops behind police barricades. The
ensuing riot was beamed around the world. Nationalists laid into
PSNI officers and British soldiers.
The Policing Board, as far as nationalists were concerned, could do
little to prevent the incident or make amends later.
North Belfast SDLP man Martin Morgan said that his party would have
to reconsider its support for PSNI in light of its handling of the
march. Morgan was attacked by the Ulster Unionist Party about his
Former SDLP vice-chairman and Policing Board member Tom Kelly also
criticized Morgan, saying that nationalists could not possibly hope
to influence policing change from the outside and that they needed
to remain on the board in order to ensure that their concerns were
properly addressed. Kelly branded suggestions of resignation
While Bradley's comments may be open to a similar analysis, it
cannot be said that they are wide of the mark in the problems they
highlight. He points out that policing reform, a central part of
the Good Friday agreement, cannot be expected to survive a long
"Effective policing within a vacuum is not possible, and we have
had a vacuum here for two years," Bradley said Tuesday.
"As long as that exists, there is still great danger and we need to
get rid of it as soon as possible. I would expect all politicians
to agree that a vacuum is dangerous, and we have had one for two
He claims that were that vacuum to continue indefinitely it would
encourage dissident republicans, who have been involved in a low-
level campaign of intimidation against members of the District
Policing Partnerships and the PSNI, to up the ante.
"Policing is no substitute for politics and should not be asked to
take the strain," he said. "The politicians and the two governments
need to take their responsibilities very seriously."
This is not the first time that Bradley has voiced his concerns
about the failure to implement the agreement.
"The only visible institution of the Good Friday agreement that is
up and running is the policing board," he told the Sunday Business
Post last year, following the British government's decision to
suspend the political institutions and postpone the Assembly
"We're having a very difficult time, as all of the spotlight is on
the board and on the board alone," he said.
Bradley said that the political machinations going on outside the
policing board could not be separated from its own work and that
the strains were beginning to show between members of the UUP, DUP
and the SDLP.
Bradley cannot be said to be a Sinn Fein cheerleader. His decision
to adopt the vice-chairmanship of the Policing Board flew in the
face of republican policy. He angered many republicans last year by
suggesting that the Provisional IRA and the various dissident
groupings could be on the verge of a "civil war."
Whatever motivated his most recent comments, it cannot be denied
that continued political stalemate will prompt difficult decisions
Having signed up wholesale to the political process and invested
all their political capital in significant Northern reform, how far
do Sinn Fein and the SDLP go in operating political structures in
the absence of power sharing?
This story appeared in the issue of October 27-November 2, 2004
Eric Waugh: Bradley Comments Far From Helpful
27 October 2004
It was a nice car, a sporty Italian vehicle of the sort young
thieves cannot resist. So they hot-wired it one night in a car park
in north Down and off they went. It was found later in west
It was the second time it had been stolen. The distraught woman who
owned it got a call from the police. She asked when they could
Well, actually they would rather not, if she did not mind. Why not?
"If we went up there we'd be pelted," said one.
Another night, after hours, there was such a row coming out of a
pub on the fringes of west Belfast that the neighbours telephoned
the police to complain.
A patrol car arrived some time later. Its crew observed what was
going on. Then, without doing anything about the illegal drinking,
One of the complainants later sought an explanation. He was told
that, having seen the number of drinkers present in the rowdy pub,
the police elected to do nothing - on grounds of public order. An
arrest would have caused a riot.
"You wouldn't go near the centre late at night," a friend said to
me recently, "particularly if you're a woman."
He was referring to the small town on the edge of which he lives.
"They close the police station at six and want to close it
All this is not the fault of the police. But much of it is the
fault of those who take decisions on policing.
Faced with the sort of incidents I mention, they blame shortage of
resources. Are they justified?
In the Republic there are just over 300 police per 100,000
population. Scotland has fewer than 300, England and Wales only
240, France about 360. We have nearly 550. So what is wrong?
That is a question with a complex answer. Part of it stems from the
Patten recommended cutting numbers in half. The difficulty was that
he prescribed for a normal society - which patently did not exist.
In the process his proposals knocked the stuffing out of the old
RUC to the extent that the Northern Ireland Office privately was
dismayed at the number of experienced officers who grabbed the
early retirement package and bought homes in the sun.
It was an attempt at social engineering which worked; but it worked
The PSNI, faced with statistics revealing that it was clearing up
less than 10% of the revolting and violent robberies of the
elderly, was obliged to start searching for 200 detectives in Great
Britain to fill the shortfall in the CID.
The problem is that the social engineering tended to conflict with
the effectiveness of policing.
New brooms have brought with them a great deal of politically
correct jargon - and paper work. But filling in forms keeps
officers off the beat.
Finally, there is the politicking.
It is no help at all when the deputy chairman of the policing board
makes heavily-loaded political comments of the sort which should
have no place in the mouth of the holder of that office.
The function of the police is to uphold the laws of the State, not
to pronounce upon how it is governed.
To say what Denis Bradley said this week - that the Government
should consider instituting joint authority with Dublin if there
was no early settlement between the parties at Stormont - was to be
both divisive and guilty of misjudgment.
Effectively, of course, we already have joint authority and Dublin
would be ill-advised to consent to its being formalised. Once that
were agreed, the argument for balancing power with shared
responsibility, financial and otherwise, would be reinforced. The
current harlots' bargain would be no more.
As it is, Mr Bradley has struck a new blow at morale by calling in
question nationalists' support for the police.
To what purpose? The vice-chairman would still reject Sinn Fein's
stance of non-co-operation; but Gerry Adams claims Bradley has
vindicated their position.
Steven King: Differing Impressions Of The Ulster Political Scene,
Chapter And Verse
27 October 2004
Most of us will never be the subject of a biography - and, thank
heaven for that, I hear you say. To co-operate or not to co-
operate, that is the question. Recently, though, those two great
unionist rivals, David Trimble and Jeffrey Donaldson, have been
letting it all hang out for the sake of posterity.
Hardly a newspaper in Northern Ireland or in Great Britain didn't
pick up on Dean Godson's monumental, 1,000-page Himself Alone:
David Trimble and The Ordeal of Unionism.
"Fascinating," said The Observer. "Compelling," and "addictive
reading" was The Yorkshire Post's take. The Sunday Times called it
"a remarkable piece of work". The Sunday Business Post - no friend
of unionism - agreed it was "nothing less than riveting, and quite
simply one of the most important books about the north ever
"A formidable work of industry and scholarship" wrote Bruce
Anderson in The Financial Times. Other reviews are littered with
words such as acute, scrupulous, meticulous, indispensable and
superlative. Even the Andersonstown News agreed it "shows the
skills of a master craftsman at work".
What then are we to make of Donaldson's very much "authorised"
biography? Let's just say "authorised version" would be more
accurate. Not By Might is little more than one of those tracts
that's pressed into your hand by an evangelist on a Saturday
afternoon, stretched to breaking point over 300 pages.
How this book escaped from Christian bookshops into the likes of
Easons and Waterstones should be the subject of a police inquiry. I
mean, how many serious biographies have you read that end with the
line: "Would you like to pray more effectively for Parliament and
the nation? Email firstname.lastname@example.org "?
Truth to tell, not since Kim Il-Sung and Nicolae Ceaucescu were
alive has such hagiography made it into print. The nearest we ever
come to criticism is one reference to Jeffrey being a "mischievous"
teenager. How this mischievousness manifested itself, we are not
allowed to know. A drag on a B&H behind the church hall, perhaps?
Hiding teacher's pen? Or genuinely terrorising the pensioners of
Kilkeel in the middle of the night?
What Not By Might lacks in analysis it more than makes up for in
pace. In fact, at times, you will imagine you are reading an Enid
Blyton novel. There is a reason for that: it is full of make-
But there is humour too. Take the fascinating anecdote about the
day when Jeffrey's parents took him, no, not to the temple but to
Newcastle, Co Down: "Jim Donaldson parked on the Main Street. He
had a reason for that. His favourite ice-cream parlour was less
than a 100 yards from where they had pulled in and he had secretly
planned to make this an extra special day out for his family. He
was going to buy them all an ice-cream. This was sheer bliss for
the children. A sunny day. A trip out to Newcastle in daddy's car.
And now an ice-cream for everyone. What could be better?"
But, as you will have guessed by now, tragedy lay in wait for the
Donaldson clan. Jeffrey's sister Elaine had dropped a blob of ice-
cream tinged with raspberry topping down the front of her best
Sunday dress. But luck was in hand: Donaldson Senior had a clean
handkerchief on him.
Gadzooks, that was a close one, Daddy!
Jeffrey and his siblings "could hardly wait to reach the Promenade.
Maybe mum and dad would even allow them down for a run on the
The Donaldsons' perfect day was truly ruined, though, when they
chanced upon... a civil rights march.
It is the book's funniest moment - unwittingly, of course.
On a more serious note, this is where the Donaldson book falls down
hardest of all. How and why a civil rights movement emerged is
simply glossed over.
The existence of another community in Northern Ireland and any
attempt to understand their historic grievances, real and imagined,
does not seem to cross Jeffrey Donaldson's mind - on the basis of
the evidence presented in Not By Might at least.
Moreover, even unionists will find it hard to accept that
absolutely nothing whatsoever motivated the Provisional IRA other
than a ghoulish bloodlust. If only things were just quite so
If Not By Might is a genuine insight into Jeffrey Donaldson's
political outlook - and it is an "authorised" biography, never
forget - it is a truly disturbing one.
It does underscore, though, again no doubt unintentionally, his
limitations and explains why he has such difficulty understanding
how relative peace has been brought about through the political
Dean Godson's book and Not By Might do have something in common:
they are both 300 pages too long. It is appropriate then that into
the unusually crowded market for unionist biography steps, next
week, another (slimmer) biography of Trimble, this time by The
Irish Times' London Editor, Frank Millar.
One criticism of Himself Alone was that "the wealth of detail makes
it difficult to see the Trimble for the trees".
It will be interesting to see whether in David Trimble: The Price
of Peace, the man, rather than the politician, comes any clearer
Derry Line Up Linfield Friendlies
October 27, 2004
Irish League big guns Linfield have agreed to take on Premier
Division outfit Derry City in two friendlies in the coming months -
bringing to an end a break of more than 30 years since the last
meeting between the sides at Derry's Brandywell ground.
Linfield last visited the Brandywell in 1970, two years before
Derry felt compelled to quit the Irish League due to sectarian
The Blues have long been regarded as having a minority Loyalist
following, but tensions have been eased somewhat in recent years as
a result of the ongoing peace process and the decision of the club
to finally take on Catholic players.
The recently-established cross-border Setanta Cup, which will take
place for the first time next April, will pit three sides each from
the Irish League and eircom League against each other, and the new-
found feeling of goodwill between the various communities has been
grasped by officials from old rivals Derry and Linfield.
Two games are provisionally scheduled, one each at the Brandywell
and Windsor Park, with dates yet to be decided. The sides last met
in a testimonial for John Easton in Belfast in 1998.