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October 27, 2004

News 10/27/04 - IMC to Present Report to Brits Today

News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 10/27/04 Ceasefire Monitors To Present Report To Brits Today
SF 10/27/04 IMC - Echo Chamber For The Securocrats
BB 10/27/04 Eu Commission Vote Postponed
BB 10/27/04 Hate Crime Attacks Revealed
SF 10/27/04 Action Needed On Hate Attacks
BT 10/27/04 MP Stalls On Plan To Name DUP Politician
BT 10/27/04 Renegade Terror Group Planning Raids
BT 10/27/04 Thatcher At Court In Bid To Block Coup-Plot Questions
BT 10/27/04 US Gave Date Of War To Brits In Advance - Court Reveals
RT 10/27/04 Woman Rescued From Galway Mountain
IO 10/27/04 Heavy Wind And Rain Predicted As Storm Approaches
TO 10/27/04 From Boston College: Celebration Of Patrick Kavanagh

PT 10/27/04 Why Have We Had To Wait So Long For Broadband? –VO
PT 10/27/04 Govt Would Not Now Decide To Privatise Telecom Éireann -VO

Why Have We Had To Wait So Long For Broadband? –
Donagh Diamond reports on how Ireland is lagging behind in the
provision of broadband internet access

Minister for Communications Noel Dempsey says that in retrospect
the Government Would Not Now Decide To Privatise Telecom Éireann


Ceasefire Monitors To Present Report To British Govt Today
2004-10-27 08:00:14+01

The body set up to monitor paramilitary ceasefires in the North is
due to give its latest assessment to the British government later

The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) is expected to report a
significant reduction in IRA activity, including paramilitary
shootings and assaults.

However, it is unclear if this will have any effect on continuing
efforts to secure a deal to restore devolved government in the

The IRA has apparently offered to decommission all its weapons and
end all paramilitary activity, but negotiations have stalled
because of the DUP's demands for changes to the workings of the
Northern Assembly.

Sinn Féin and the SDLP believe the changes would lead to a return
to unionist majority rule.

The IMC report is due to be presented to the Irish Government
tomorrow, but both Dublin and London are expected to take some time
to consider its findings before making them public.


IMC - Echo Chamber For The Securocrats

Published: 27 October, 2004

Commenting as the IMC are about to deliver to the British
government their latest Report, Sinn Féin Vice President Pat
Doherty said his party 'will continue to defend the Good Friday
Agreement in the face of attempts to subvert it by securocrats
through the vehicle of the IMC'.

Mr Doherty said:

"The IMC in their activities to date have proven the Sinn Féin
argument that they are little more than the echo chamber for the
securocrats and spooks who wish to see this process derailed. 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 operate completely outside the terms of the Good Friday
Agreement and they have no credibility within the broad nationalist
and republican community. Those pro-Agreement parties, including
the SDLP, who pander to the IMC call into question their commitment
to the terms and principles of that Agreement.

" Sinn Féin will continue to defend the Good Friday Agreement from
attack by anti-Agreement unionism and also attempts to subvert it
by the securocrats through the vehicle of the IMC." ENDS

            ****************************************** /2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/3956927.stm

Eu Commission Vote Postponed

A vote to ratify the new line-up of the European Commission has
been delayed by a month at the request of incoming president Jose
Manuel Barroso.

The move comes after MEPs threatened to reject the new commission
team after a row over comments made by Italy's nominee for justice
commissioner, Rocco Buttiglione.

Mr Buttiglione recently said he regarded homosexuality as a sin and
he suggested unmarried women made bad mothers.

This caused a storm because his new portfolio covers human rights
and discrimination.

The DUP's Jim Allister, Sinn Fein's Bairbre de Brun and the UUP's
Jim Nicholson were due to have voted in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

Mr Allister had said that Mr Buttiglione was "perfectly entitled to
his views", but he intended to vote against the commission's
ratification because it is not directly elected.

"The issue in this vote is whether or not it is right and proper
that this commission should govern over us," he said.

"I take a principled stand that I do not wish to be governed by the
unelected - these are nominated representatives not elected by

Speaking before the decision to delay the vote, Ms de Brun said
that Mr Barroso had made it clear that he had no intention of
altering his initial proposals.

"He has made clear his lack of regard for the majority view of MEPs
and clearly has no intention of making any significant changes to
the personnel or policies of the European Commission.

She said that Sinn Fein MEPs would vote against the European

Bad moment

"We need a European Commission that will work to tackle inequality,
discrimination, and human rights abuses," she said.

"Unfortunately Mr Barroso's proposed European Commission does not
reflect these priorities."

MEPs cannot choose to reject Mr Buttiglione alone - they must
accept or reject the new commission as a whole.

However, Mr Barroso refused to withdraw Mr Buttiglione's
nomination, telling the 732 MEPs that a No vote would be "a bad
moment for the whole of Europe".

The BBC's Tim Franks said Mr Barroso had two choices: to reshuffle
his Commission line-up and put Mr Buttiglione in a less contentious
portfolio or ask Italy to propose another candidate.

The new commission was due to start its five-year term in less than
a week's time.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/10/27 09:41:49 GMT

            ****************************************** /2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/3957381.stm

Hate Crime Attacks Revealed

More than five racist or homophobic attacks take place in Belfast
every week, according to figures.

Attacks in north Belfast doubled between April and September this
year, the city's District Policing Partnership has been told.

Over the 183-day period there were 129 so-called hate crimes
recorded throughout the city.

Belfast DPP member Naomi Long described the statistics as
"disturbing" and said more could be done.

"I think the police are doing something," she said.

"I think there are things that can be done, for example, in terms
of some of the attacks which are repeat attacks on property and

"I do think the police need to consider the issue of surveillance,
for example, to try and apprehend the people that are involved
because one of the disappointing things is how few people are

The statistics were given to the Belfast DPP on Monday after the
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee met in the city to probe hate
crime legislation.

'Rapidly growing'

Representatives of gay and ethnic minority groups told MPs that
greater support was needed from the police to deal with attacks.

MPs heard the police could benefit from training, while Anna Lo of
the Chinese Welfare Association said officers can be dismissive of

The number of racist attacks has doubled in the past year and the
gay community has also been targeted.

An anti-homophobic week is to be held in Belfast in December.

In May, a report by the committee found hate crime was a "rapidly
growing problem" in the province.

It said current police figures for race-related and homophobic
incidents underestimated the problem.

It also called for the government to change the proposed
legislation on hate crime to give better protection to disabled
people. This change came into effect in June.

The committee said the government needed to include attacks on the
disabled in the draft Criminal Justice (NI) Order, to be introduced
later this year.

The planned legislation would require judges to take into account
any racial, religious or sexual orientation factors when

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/10/27 06:51:25 GMT


Action Needed On Hate Attacks

Published: 27 October, 2004

Commenting on the release of figures on racist attacks in Belfast
over the past six months Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey said
that 'we need to see more action on the issue and less talking'.

Mr Maskey said:

"These statistics showing on average five racist attacks each week
and a majority taking place in South Belfast only prove what we all
already know that racism in the city is now an urgent and very real

"However what many people and particularly those from the ethnic
minority communities would like to see is less taking and more
action. The attitude of the PSNI to the rise in racist attacks has
been rightly criticised with clear up rates being virtually nil.

"We also need to see action from political leaders and particularly
unionist political leaders. Their response to date has been at best
apathy and in some cases we have had to witness unionist elected
representatives providing political cover for those engaged in
these attacks. The most notable example of this has been the DUP
Councillor Ruth Patterson who has in recent months defended both
racist and sectarian attacks in Donegal Pass and Sandy Row. As a
first step towards ending hate attacks this sort of approach has to
be abandoned." ENDS


MP Stalls On Plan To Name DUP Politician

By David Gordon

26 October 2004

A Labour MP has stalled on plans to use parliamentary privilege to
accuse a DUP politician of passing information to loyalist

Harry Barnes had intended to table a Commons Early Day Motion
condemning an intimidation campaign against former UDP talks
delegate David Adams.

The motion was to have alleged that a named DUP member passed
details of Mr Adams' application to join the Lisburn Policing
Partnership to a UDA commander.

The parliamentary resolution was to have been submitted yesterday
afternoon, but Mr Barnes today confirmed a change of plan.

He said: "I am holding fire on the Commons motion for now to enable
the disgusting campaign of intimidation against Davy Adams and his
family to be resolved by other means."

Mr Adams had been a leading delegate for the UDP, the UDA's
political wing, in the talks that led up to the Belfast Agreement.

But the party was subsequently wound up by the UDA, as the
paramilitary grouping became increasingly anti- agreement.

The UDA has been blamed for a campaign of intimidation against Mr
Adams and his family over the past 18 months.

Incidents included repeated attacks on his Lisburn home, the
beating to death of the family dog and a severed pig's head left in
his wife's car.

Mr Adams last week stated that the chimney of his home was also
blocked with a rug on one occasion, putting his family at risk.


Renegade Terror Group Planning Raids

By Tom Brady
26 October 2004

A group of Dublin-based 'young guns' linked to the Continuity IRA
is planning to embark on a series of armed robberies and other
paramilitary fund raisers.

Senior Garda officers are concerned that the group could be built
up into a new dissident republican force and are planning to crack
down on the fledgling units.

Their emergence coincides with the sidelining of the former
Continuity leadership in the South. These have been mainly drawn
from the Limerick area and under their command the renegade
organisation has been badly hit by garda infiltration and
intelligence gathering.

Several members of the new group have already come to the attention
of the Garda Special Branch, whose detectives have stepped up
monitoring of their movements and have built up a dossier on their
known haunts.

According to anti-terrorist officers, the power base within the
CIRA has switched significantly again to the far side of the Border
and is heavily influenced by a number of key figures operating in
counties Fermanagh and Armagh.


Thatcher Turns Up At Court In Bid To Block Coup-Plot Questions

By Cahal Milmo
27 October 2004

Dressed in a blue blazer and tapping a pen on his knee, a defiant
Sir Mark Thatcher appeared in court yesterday to fight an attempt
to force him to answer questions about his alleged role in a coup

The son of Baroness Thatcher made notes and listened intently as
his legal team presented an 80-page argument to the High Court in
South Africa in an effort to overturn a subpoena obtained on behalf
of the government of Equatorial Guinea. Prosecutors in the oil-rich
west African state want to ask Sir Mark about a coup attempt he is
alleged to have helped fund by buying aircraft to carry mercenaries
seeking to overthrow President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

Barristers acting for Sir Mark claimed that the demand would
prejudice his forthcoming trial in South Africa on charges of
breaking a law banning residents from aiding foreign military
action. Alan Bruce-Brand, for Sir Mark, said he was defending his
client's "right to remain silent". The lawyer told the court: "It
is contended by our legal team that this questioning is an
inappropriate and improper procedure."

The appearance of Sir Mark at the beginning of the two- day hearing
to decide the validity of the subpoena issued by the South African
justice ministry, had not been expected at the start of what will
be a long and expensive legal saga.

But the presence of television cameras in the court - the first
time that a case has been televised live in South Africa - is
likely to have been deemed an unmissable chance for the defendant
to protest his innocence. The smartly dressed businessman made no
comment as he left court, besieged by cameras and reporters.

Equatorial Guinea has said it may seek to extradite Sir Mark. South
African officials have already said they believe Sir Mark would
receive a fair trial in Equatorial Guinea, despite claims that some
of the 19 defendants on trial there accused of complicity in the
plot have made confessions under torture. No request for the
extradition of the former prime minister's son has yet been made,
but his lawyers claimed that any trial in Equatorial Guinea would
be unfair.

Peter Hodes, a member of the defence team, said: "What we are
dealing with in Equatorial Guinea is a military tribunal, or there
is a good possibility that it is."

Sir Mark was arrested at his luxury home in Cape Town in August by
South African police investigating foreign involvement in the plot
to replace President Nguema, an ageing despot, with Severo Moto, an
exiled opposition leader.

The main allegation likely to be faced by Sir Mark is understood to
be that he provided £145,000 towards the cost of the coup attempt,
led by Simon Mann, a former SAS officer.

The money is alleged to have been used to lease an aircraft to fly
Mr Moto to Equatorial Guinea and pay for transport for Mann and 67

Last month a Zimbabwean court sentenced Mann, a friend of Sir Mark,
to seven years in jail on charges of illegally obtaining weapons,
allegedly for the coup.

Sir Mark, who faces 15 years in prison if convicted in South
Africa, maintains that although he did make a payment to a business
partner subsequently implicated in the plot, he believed he was
making an investment in an air ambulance service. The two-day
hearing in Cape Town will decide whether the Briton, who has lived
in South Africa for nine years, should face the Guinean
government's questions through a South African magistrate.

The lawyers for Sir Mark said they did not know when a judgment in
the "very difficult case" could be expected.


US Gave Date Of War To Britain In Advance, Court Papers Reveal

By Colin Brown
27 October 2004

Secret plans for the war in Iraq were passed to British Army chiefs
by US defence planners five months before the invasion was
launched, a court martial heard yesterday.

The revelation strengthened suspicions that Tony Blair gave his
agreement to President George Bush to go to war while the
diplomatic efforts to force Saddam Hussein to comply with UN
resolutions were continuing.

Alan Simpson, the leader of Labour Against the War, said the
documents were "dynamite", if genuine, and showed that Clare Short
was right to assert in her book, serialised in The Independent,
that Mr Blair had "knowingly misled" Parliament.

The plans were revealed during the court martial of L/Cpl Ian
Blaymire, 23, from Leeds, who is charged with the manslaughter of a
comrade while serving in Iraq. Sgt John Nightingale, 32, a
reservist from Guiseley, West Yorkshire, died after being shot in
the chest on 23 September last year.

The court, at Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, heard that
contingency plans were drawn up by Lt Col Christopher Warren, staff
officer at Land Command, Salisbury, Wiltshire, who was responsible
for operational training.

Lt Col Warren said US planners had passed on dates for which the
invasion was planned. The hearing was told Army chiefs wanted the
training for the Army to start at the beginning of December 2002.
However, due to "sensitivities" the training was delayed.

The court heard the training for the TA began two months late and
for the regular Army one month late. Lt Col Warren was asked what
the sensitivities were. He replied: "Because in December there was
a world interest. If the UK had mobilised while all this was going
on that would have shown an intent before the political process had
been allowed to run its course."

The hearing was adjourned.


Woman Rescued From Galway Mountain

27 October 2004 09:46

Galway Mountain Rescue team has confirmed that a woman was rescued
from Ben Choona mountain in north Connemara.

She was finally stretchered down around 7am and was taken to
hospital in Galway.

The woman sustained a suspected broken leg yesterday evening.

An attempt to remove her to hospital by helicopter last night had
to be abandoned due to strong winds.


Heavy Wind And Rain Predicted As Storm Approaches

27/10/2004 - 08:48:45

Ireland is today bracing itself for high winds, heavy rains and the
possibility of flooding as a gale force storm begins to lash the
south of the country.

Met Eireann has predicted that the storm will have reached Dublin
and Galway by lunchtime, before spreading to northern counties as
the day progresses.

The south and east of the country are expected to be worst-hit, but
forecasters have issued flood alerts in all areas due to high tides
and the existence of a low-pressure weather system.

Farmers, construction workers and motorists have also been warned
to take extra care, with winds of up to 80mph and as much as 80mm
of rain predicted for some areas.

The storm is expected to continue overnight before easing off



From Boston College: Celebration Of Patrick Kavanagh

     BC's Center for Irish Programs presents the Patrick Kavanagh
Centenary Conference and Celebration in honor of the 100-year
anniversary of the poet's birth. Features two events: "Nobel
Laureate Seamus Heaney" will speak about Kavanagh, a pivotal figure
in modern Irish literature, on Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., in Gasson 100.
"The Glee-Men Sing: The Stories and Songs of Yeats, Joyce, O'Casey,
Behan and Kavanagh" will be Oct. 30, 4 p.m., in Gasson 100, when
Irish balladeer Danny Doyle performs songs about some of Ireland's
greatest writers and poets. For more information, call 617-552-8690
or visit .

--- News

Jay Dooling (
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