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November 02, 2004

News 11/02/04 - Threats To Hand Hassan to Al-Zarqawi

News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 11/03/04 Militants Threaten To Hand Hassan To Al- Zarqawi –V
IO 11/02/04 Adams Calls For Elections If Deal Cannot Be Reached
IO 11/02/04 Finucane Family Threaten Inquiry Boycott –V
SM 11/02/04 Oppose New Laws Over Finucane Probe, MPs Urged
IT 11/03/04 Trimble Envisages IRA Members Joining PSNI
BT 11/02/04 Ulster Is Backing President, Claim On US Radio
BT 11/02/04 Sinn Fein Warns Over Quangos
UT 11/02/04 DUP List Power-Sharing Essentials
BT 11/02/04 DUP Firm On Demand For Full & Visible Decommissioning
BT 11/02/04 Trimble Hits Out At DUP Deal 'Failure'
CN 11/02/04 Loyalists Told To Scrap Arsenal –V
BT 11/02/04 Opin: Murphy: Raising Morale Among Loyalists
SF 11/03/04 Murphy Needs To Be Firm With UDA
BB 11/02/04 Loyalists Fear Being Left Behind
BT 11/02/04 Did He Do Enough About Drumcree?
IT 11/03/04 Michael Flatley & Charlie Bird Honoured By UCD
RT 11/02/04 Council Votes To Erect Luke Kelly Statue


Margaret Hassan's Family meets Taoiseach - Ahern concerned by new
Hassan video (21:49) The Taoiseach has warned that 'dangerous and
serious timescales' have been mentioned in a disturbing new video
released by the kidnappers of aid worker Margaret Hassan in Iraq.

Militants Threaten To Hand Hassan To Al-Zarqawi -V

Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent

A new videotape of the kidnapped aid worker Mrs Margaret Hassan,
who was seized in Baghdad two weeks ago, shows her kidnappers
threatening to turn her over to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group within
48 hours if British troops do not leave Iraq.

al-Zarqawi's group, al-Qaeda Organisation of Holy War in Iraq, is
blamed for the bloodiest suicide attacks and hostage beheadings in
Iraq. It beheaded British engineer Ken Bigley last month.

The latest video was sent to the Arabic television station Al
Jazeera, which declined to broadcast the images of Mrs Hassan on
humanitarian grounds. But it aired the second part of the video
showing a hooded man demanding that British troops be withdrawn
from Iraq.

Al Jazeera said it had received the video tape from the group
saying it would hand over Mrs Hassan to al-Zarqawi's group within
48 hours "if Britain does not meet its demands, mainly for the
withdrawal of British troops from Iraq".

The Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, told the Dáil about the video yesterday
but news of the threat to hand Ms Hassam over to Zarqawi only
emerged later.

The initial part of the video showed 59-year-old Mrs Hassan
pleading for her life directly to camera before fainting. A bucket
of water was then believed to have been thrown over her head and
she was filmed lying wet and helpless on the ground before getting
up and crying.

Mrs Hassan, who holds joint British, Irish and Iraqi citizenship,
was seized outside her Baghdad home two weeks ago by unknown

Speaking following a meeting in Dublin yesterday with Mrs Hassan's
three sisters and brother, Mr Ahern made a renewed plea for the
release of Ms Hassan. He said: "Margaret is an Irish- born woman who
has spent the last 30 years in Iraq. She has made her home there,
marrying an Iraqi man and becoming a proud Iraqi citizen herself.

"During her time there, Margaret has devoted herself to the welfare
and support of all the Iraqi people. Through her humanitarian work
she has helped countless numbers of Iraqis.

"She has worked tirelessly and selflessly on their behalf. Since
Margaret was abducted some two weeks ago her husband and her family
have endured enormous distress. I cannot imagine the trauma that
Margaret herself has experienced. Margaret has no political
associations. She represents no one except the vulnerable and the

"Your quarrel is not with Margaret. Nor is it with the Irish people
who have been a firm friend of the Arab nation," said Mr Ahern,
surrounded by Ms Hassan's siblings. "So, I appeal to you on behalf
of the Irish people, on behalf of her Irish family, to release
Margaret and to allow her to return to her husband."

© The Irish Times


Adams Calls For Fresh Elections If Deal Cannot Be Reached
2004-11-02 14:20:04+00

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has called on the British
government to call fresh Assembly elections in the North if the
impasse on restoring devolved government continues until the end of
this month.

Speaking in Belfast today, Mr Adams said Sinn Féin was prepared to
reach a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, but it appeared
the DUP did not want to reciprocate.

He said there was no sign that unionists were "prepared to accept
reality and people on both sides of the border could not wait
forever for the DUP to come into the fold".

Mr Adams said the people of the North deserved elections to express
their views on the situation if no deal could be reached in the
coming weeks.


See video at

Finucane Family Threaten Inquiry Boycott -V
2004-11-02 19:20:04+00

The family of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane today
threatened to boycott an inquiry into his death after meeting Tony

Mr Finucane's relatives have long campaigned for an inquiry into
possible security service involvement in his death.

However, his widow Geraldine and son Michael insist it must be a
full public investigation with international panel members.

The British Prime Minister has said an inquiry would be as open as
possible given national security consideration.

After meeting Mr Blair in Downing Street today, Michael Finucane
said that while the Prime Minister was sympathetic he had not put
their concerns to rest.

"Ultimately if the inquiry is not satisfactory even after all the
hard work we have had to put in then we may have to withdraw and we
may have to refuse to co-operate," he said.

"I think that would be an extremely unfortunate decision to have to
make and very much hope that we do not have to take that decision.
But we had to leave the Prime Minister in no doubt that if we are
put to the sword we will walk away."

The family will wait to see what is in legislation on public
inquiries which the British government will publish shortly, he

Mrs Finucane said Mr Blair realised ''this has been a very
difficult road for us''.

"But the disturbing thing was that he did not give us very many
answers to the questions we had to ask him," she continued.

"We think we are entitled to a public inquiry with an international
aspect to it, an inquiry that will get to the truth of this matter
and which will bring closure for us. Closure is something that we
want but we will not accept it at any price."

Mrs Finucane added: "If we are given something substandard of
course we will walk away."

Her husband was gunned down in front of the family in his north
Belfast home by the Ulster Freedom Fighters in February 1989.

His relatives, human rights groups and nationalist politicians have
long believed he was the victim of a policy of collusion between
members of the security forces in Northern Ireland and the loyalist
gang that killed him.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens concluded in an
investigation that Mr Finucane and student Adam Lambert were
victims of collusion.

The case for an inquiry was further strengthened when retired
Canadian judge Peter Cory recommended to the Government that there
should be one.

Judge Cory was appointed by the British and Irish governments after
the 2001 Weston Park talks to examine the cases for inquiries into
six controversial killings.

In September loyalist Ken Barrett, 41, receive a life sentence
after admitting his role in Mr Finucane's murder.

He is expected to be released early under the terms of the Good
Friday Agreement.

After his conviction, Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy
announced that an inquiry would be held.

Tony Blair's official spokesman said today: "We have set out that
we want the inquiry in keeping with the recommendations that it
should be as public as is possible, but there are national security
considerations and we must consider those."

The SDLP's Alex Attwood, who will brief MPs in London tomorrow
about the need for a public inquiry, said the meeting had only
confirmed his party's worst fears.

He said: "It shows that the government is trying to weaken any
inquiry by forcing it to take much of its evidence in private. That
means undermining the inquiry's independence and it means taking
away the public's chance to hear the whole truth.

"The government proposal to bring forward new legislation on
inquiries is not just worrying for the Finucane case, but for all
cases. In fact, it is about ending public inquiries as we know

"Had these powers been in place, we would probably never have seen
all the Downing Street correspondence on Iraq in the Hutton

"This attempt by the government to muzzle the truth shows New
Labour control freakery at its worst. Indeed, the government's
approach is almost Stalinist in trying to stop the truth coming to


Oppose New Laws Over Finucane Probe, MPs Urged

By Dan McGinn, Ireland Political Editor, PA News

MPs will be urged in Westminster today to oppose legislation
affecting an inquiry into the controversial murder of Belfast
solicitor Pat Finucane.

Nationalist SDLP Assembly member Alex Attwood is due to meet MPs
from all parties at Westminster as part of a series of briefings
about government plans for an inquiry into the 1989 murder.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday, the
family of Pat Finucane threatened to boycott an inquiry into
allegations that members of British army intelligence and the Royal
Ulster Constabulary colluded with loyalist paramilitary in his

Mr Finucane's widow, Geraldine and son Michael, have been pressing
for an independent public inquiry.

However, Mr Blair was only able to say that the inquiry would be as
open as possible, with some evidence possibly being taken behind
closed doors in the interest of national security.

Pat Finucane was gunned down in front of his family in North
Belfast in February 1989 by the Ulster freedom fighters.

In September loyalist, Ken Barrett, 41, received life imprisonment
after he admitted having a role in the murder.

He is expected to be released early under the terms of the Good
Friday Agreement.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens has already
concluded in his investigation into the killing that Mr Finucane
was a victim of collusion between rogue members of the security
services and loyalists.

Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory has also recommended an inquiry
following a probe into the case.

Following the conviction of Barrett, the Government announced an
inquiry would take place but said new legislation was required to
enable the tribunal to deal with sensitive issues of national

The Finucane family have raised concerns about whether the
legislation is necessary.

After their meeting with Mr Blair, Michael Finucane said that while
the Prime Minister was sympathetic, he had not allayed their

"Ultimately the inquiry is not satisfactory, even after all the
hard work he has had to put in, then we may have to withdraw and
may have to refuse to co-operate," he warned.

"I think that would be an extremely unfortunate decision to have to
make and very much hope that we do not have to take that decision.

"But we had to leave the Prime Minister in no doubt that if we are
put to the sword we will walk away."

The SDLPs Alex Attwood claimed ahead of today's meeting the
Government was trying to muzzle the truth through the legislation.

The West Belfast MLA said: "The Government proposal to bring
forward new legislation on inquiries is not just worrying for the
Finucane case but for all cases.

"In fact it is about ending public inquiries as we know them.

"Had these powers been in place, we would probably never have seen
all the Downing Street correspondence on Iraq in the Hutton

"This attempt by the British Government to muzzle the truth shows
New Labour's control freakery at its worst."

Mr Attwood described the legislation as a Stalinist measure, aimed
at suppressing the truth.

He continued: "It is wide open to abuse and will allow Governments
to cover up issues which are not about real national security, just
to avoid public embarrassment.

"We hope that MPs from all parties will act to stop this new


Trimble Envisages IRA Members Joining PSNI

Gerry Moriarty

The Ulster Unionist leader, Mr David Trimble, has accepted that
former members of the IRA could join the PSNI if Sinn Féin endorses
the current policing arrangements.

In a new book, David Trimble - The Price of Peace, the Ulster
Unionist leader holds to the line that people with criminal
convictions must not be allowed join the PSNI, but effectively
acknowledges those IRA members who were never convicted could join.

The book, written by the London editor of The Irish Times, Frank
Millar, focuses on the career of Mr Trimble from his election as
UUP leader in 1995 through the period of the Belfast Agreement
three years later, the formation of the Northern Assembly and
Executive and the subsequent upheavals within unionism.

In a chapter on policing, "Losing the RUC", Mr Trimble accepts that
if all strands of Provisional republicanism endorse non- violence,
there would be no basis for objecting to IRA members, who have no
convictions, joining the PSNI. He did not see a problem if
republicans pursued a united Ireland "lawfully", he said.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Ahern, is launching the book
in Dublin today.

© The Irish Times


Ulster Is Backing President, Claim On US Radio

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
02 November 2004

A mystery Northern Ireland man has become a hero of right wing
Americans after claiming on national TV and radio that 95% of
Northern Ireland wants to see President Bush re-elected today.

The man, who identified himself as "Christopher", phoned in to a TV
and radio show hosted by Rush Limbaugh, American's most popular
right-wing talk show host, to claim that Northern Ireland was
backing President Bush because of his stand on terrorism.

His comments have since been posted on internet sites, including
the popular 'Free Republic' site, where at least a thousand people
have listened to an audiotape of the conversation.

The Rush Limbaugh Show also went big on the story, with a large
headline on its website claiming "landslide" support for Bush in
Northern Ireland.

Limbaugh hailed the caller as an example of right wing Europeans
whose voices were not being heard.

He took the call from Belfast, an extremely rare event on a show
that takes few calls outside the US.

The caller, who said that he is to watch the election results at
the US consulate in Belfast today, said that John Kerry was not
liked because he wanted the IRA in government.

"We are very much worried here that John Kerry could get elected,
because John Kerry is soft on terror, and we have suffered very
much in Northern Ireland because of terror, because of the terror
of the IRA?But John Kerry has advocated that we should be throwing
our lot in with those people, with those terrorists informing a
government with them," he said.

Limbaugh replied: "Christopher, I appreciate the call. I'm glad
that you're listening and I really appreciate the fact that you
tried to get through and you succeeded. I appreciate that very

Do you know Christopher? email:


Sinn Fein Warns Over Quangos

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
02 November 2004

Sinn Fein has warned that the focus of the potential revamp of
public administration in Northern Ireland must switch from councils
to the unelected quangos.

Accusing civil servants heading up the review of a "big mistake,"
the party argued that since the review began more than two years
ago the level of non-elected quasi-governmental bodies has

Sinn Fein Assemblyman Alex Maskey said the total was significantly
higher than the 150 quangos in existence when the review got

"There are also about 3,000 appointees on these quangos who will
remain in place unless there is a radical shake up," the former
Belfast Lord Mayor added.

Mr Maskey said he accepted there are many very good and hard
working people who bring their experience, expertise and time to
the quangos, but the fact remained that various organisations and
bodies are fundamentally undemocratic.

Amid speculation that the current 26 local councils could be pruned
back to seven, Mr Maskey argued the focus should instead be on the
ability of any new system to tackle the "very serious areas of
inequality and discrimination that are still very much alive and
well across all facets of governance.

"This means that there must be statutory equality safeguards and
protections. It also means that the d'Hondt mechanism for power
sharing given statutory recognition," the South Belfast Assembly
member argued.

"The success of the review of public administration will be in its
ability to remove the huge layers of bureaucracy and unaccountable
quangoism that have flourished as a result of previous direct rule

"It is becoming clear that the civil servants running the review
are failing to look at the broad issue of public administration in
favour of a narrow focus on local government. This is a big

Mr Maskey said his party was concerned that there should be no
changes "that reinforce or indeed exasperate the democratic deficit
that already exists.

"This will not be achieved unless we look at quangos and their
considerable areas of influence and power," he said.

His attack came as details of the shape of the review, expected to
include health and education bodies, were expected to emerge later
this month.


DUP List Power-Sharing Essentials

The Democratic Unionist Party will refuse to sign up to any quick-
fix deal to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland, a senior
member warned tonight.

By:Press Association

As Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern set a 20-day deadline for
progress in talks to restore the Stormont Assembly and executive,
Democratic Unionist MEP Jim Allister said his party was seeking a
lasting settlement which rectified fatal flaws in the Good Friday

"With multiple collapses to its name only a fool or a knave would
insist no change is necessary," he said.

"The essentials for stable institutions are the following:
"Executive office only for those demonstrably and irreversibly
detached from armed paramilitary organisations and criminal

"An effective mechanism to exclude any who subsequently breach the
practice of exclusively peaceful and democratic means.

"The Assembly as the elected forum must have the capacity to call
executive members to account, both in the exercise of executive
functions and cross-border responsibilities.

"There can be no wild cat ministerial action which defies the wish
of the elected Assembly."

The British and Irish governments` bid to restore devolution has
been frustrated in recent weeks by a row between unionists and
nationalists over power sharing.

Despite claims from British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the IRA
is poised to undertake groundbreaking moves on its future and on
disarmament, the DUP has clashed with Sinn Fein and the nationalist
SDLP over power-sharing models.

Nationalists have accused the DUP of seeking a veto over other
parties` ministers in a future executive by insisting devolved
ministers should be made accountable to their cabinet colleagues
and to the Assembly.

They have criticised moves to change the joint election of First
and Deputy First Ministers in the Assembly.

The SDLP and Sinn Fein have also claimed the DUP is trying to water
down and limit the extent of cross-border co-operation between the
Stormont Executive and Irish government.

Mr Allister insisted tonight none of his party`s demands were

"Devolution which does not meet these tests is not worth having,"
the MEP said.

"If all are to be equal before and within the Assembly, then all
must be equally subject to the Assembly.

"That is the essence of equality and mutual recognition of mandate
which some have long demanded. These are the circumstances in which
recognition of mandate can occur.

"This is a two-way process. For unionists to accept republicans
into government is a big ask in any circumstances, but it can only
happen on terms which transparently remove the illegal arsenals and
gives the people through their elected Assembly unfettered control.

"The question of the moment is whether republicans are up to the
challenge. This time there is no wriggle room."

Earlier today, Mr Ahern told the Irish Parliament there were
concerns that some political parties were purposefully dragging out
peace process talks.

The Taoiseach told TDs that he had concerns there would be no
agreement on by November 23 the date when any legislative changes
to the Good Friday Agreement could be included in the Queen`s

"We are working to that timeframe," he said.

"But I hope it`s not the intention of any party to play this long
tactically and play it out the other side of the British election.

"We have 20 days, otherwise it will drift out and long. If we go
past November 26, the two governments will have to consider the
best way of progressing."

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is due to travel to the US tomorrow
for meetings with key Irish American figures on the back of the
Presidential Election.

He has also pencilled in talks with US President George W Bush`s
special envoy to Northern Ireland, Ambassador Mitchell Reiss.

During his visit, the second report of the Independent Monitoring
Commission on republican and loyalist paramilitary activity is
expected to be released.

It is anticipated the report will show the IRA is still functioning
but its activity has been scaled back.


DUP Stands Firm On Demand For Full And Visible Decommissioning

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
02 November 2004

The DUP is sticking to its demand for visible and full IRA
decommissioning amid speculation today over a fresh injection of
impetus into the increasingly deadlocked devolution talks.

DUP leader Ian Paisley insisted there would be no compromise over
the issue of disarmament - and argued Tony Blair has only days left
to prove his bonafides.

But Sinn Fein continued to argue that a minority of "rejectionists"
could not continue to hold up the implementation of the Good Friday

Vice-President Pat Doherty said that if the DUP could not accept
reality then the process of change had to proceed.

"A rejectionist minority cannot be allowed to veto or paralyse a
process which is supported by everyone else," he added.

But Mr Paisley said: "The DUP is not in the business of accepting a
fudge on the issue of decommissioning.

"It is now over to Mr Blair - he can keep his word and rid us of
the IRA murder gangs or he can produce yet another fudge thus
giving the IRA the victory they are demanding."

The anti-Agreement party chief poured scorn on the republican view
of up front and visible decommissioning as a humiliation.

"It matters not that families whose loved ones have been murdered
by the IRA have their bodies still held by the IRA in graves
prepared by the IRA," he said.

"This is not evidently humiliating, but the murdering thugs who did
these dastardly deeds are to be excused by acts of decommissioning
in darkness from public gaze."

Mr Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern are likely to discuss the state
of the discussions during a European Commission meeting in

Mr Ahern has signalled a new 'target date' of November 25, which
will be a full year on from the last Assembly elections.

An anticipated paper from the Governments offering their 'best
guess' proposals on how the remaining gaps between the parties
could be addressed, has so far failed to materialise.

Six weeks after the progress made at the Leeds Castle summit,
officials in London, Belfast and Dublin continue to work towards a
formula which could form the basis of a deal to be worked out over
forthcoming months. Renewed pace could come after Thursday's
publication of the latest International Monitoring Commission
report on paramilitary ceasefires.


Trimble Hits Out At DUP Deal 'Failure'

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
02 November 2004

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble today accused his DUP
counterpart of allowing republicans to "escape in the smoke" in the
current devolution talks.

Mr Trimble told Ian Paisley he could not negotiate a deal "by press

The former First Minister said it was a desperate tactic designed
to disguise the DUP's failure to nail down the details of the offer
made by the IRA at Leeds Castle.

The two parties' senior negotiating teams are not believed to have
held further talks since their meeting on the final day of the
Leeds Castle summit.

As he prepared to face a selection meeting to retain his
Westsminster nomination, Mr Trimble said: "During the Leeds
negotiations and since, the DUP have let republicans away in the

"In the run-up to Leeds, the spotlight was very firmly fixed on
Sinn Fein and the IRA. The two governments and the other parties
were very clear about what needed to happen."

The Upper Bann MP said the outstanding issue remained, as it had
been for the past six years, the removal of paramilitarism in all
its forms.'

"Look at the situation now. No-one has the faintest clue what the
IRA is offering to do. Not only have the DUP not probed this
alleged offer but by raising a host of secondary issues they have
created a smokescreen for the IRA to hide behind.

"Is it any wonder the public doubts the DUP's sincerity about
negotiations when they have passed up a golden opportunity to put
republicans to the test?


See BBC video at:
40&headline=loyalists-told-to-scrap-arsenal- name_page.html

Loyalists Told To Scrap Arsenal -V

Nov 2 2004

The Government has told loyalist paramilitaries that they have to
get rid of their weapons - the same demand being made of the IRA.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy spent more than three hours
in discussion with loyalist leaders, some of them members of the
Ulster Defence Association, in Belfast.

After the talks at Stormont, Mr Murphy described the meeting as

He said the face to face talks - and those with the Progressive
Unionist Party - had involved a serious discussion on a wide range
of issues of concern to the loyalist community and of the process
by which they could be addressed.

Mr Murphy said: "It was also made clear that paramilitary activity
had to end and that the issue of decommissioning must be dealt

An agreement was made to retain contact and continue dialogue, said
Mr Murphy.


Viewpoint: Raising Morale Among Loyalists

Murphy meeting: Paramilitarism must give way to politics and to

02 November 2004

Although it is always risky for the government to meet the
representatives of paramilitaries, the present logjam justifies
extreme measures. As long as it is clear that the government's
interest is in seeing paramilitarism finally give way to politics,
every encouragement should be given to genuine peacemakers.

That must be the thinking behind Paul Murphy's meetings with the
PUP and the Ulster Political Research Group, representing the
UVF/Red Hand Commando and the UDA/UFF. Both groups of
paramilitaries are still active, but there is a new acceptance that
if the IRA delivers on the acts of completion promised at Leeds
Castle in September, the loyalists must respond, as they did to the
1994 ceasefire.

Sinn Fein have always used the IRA as a bargaining chip, to gain
political advantage, and the PUP seem to be going down the same
road. They need help, they say, to win around the militants and
raise the morale of the loyalist communities, and they have a long
shopping list of initiatives which the government could introduce.

The familiar argument is that whereas, from a unionist point of
view, republicans have gained heavily from the peace process - from
demilitarisation to job creation - loyalists have been left out in
the cold. Their heartlands are in decline, while on the other side
of the peacelines, republican communities are thriving.

This picture is exaggerated, but certainly Sinn Fein have delivered
more for their people than any of the unionist parties have for
theirs. There is a community spirit and take-up of European peace
money in the Falls that has never been matched on the Shankill - at
least partly because of the political divisions on the loyalist

Now the PUP is calling for "task forces" to tackle problems in the
primary schools, health provision, sex education and drug
awareness. There is an admission that local politicians have failed
to make a difference and that only direct government intervention
will work.

The message from the UPRG is likely to be along similar lines,
making a plea for government assistance in return for unspecified
action by the paramilitaries. A bargaining process may have begun,
which the authorities will want to explore.

Whatever may be agreed - and nothing will happen without movement
by the IRA - it must lead, in reasonable time, to the ending of all
loyalist paramilitary activity, including racketeering, sectarian
or racist intimidation and drug peddling. The irony of the PUP
asking the government to help with the drugs problem, while
paramilitary fortunes are being made on them, will not be lost on a
sceptical public.


Murphy Needs To Be Firm With UDA

Published: 2 November, 2004

Commenting on today's meeting between the British Secretary of
state Paul Murphy and the representatives of the UDA, Sinn Féin
Assembly member Alex Maskey said that it had to be made clear to
the UDA that its campaign against Catholics and ethnic minorities
had to end along with its drug dealing operations in working class
loyalist areas.

Mr Maskey said:

" Sinn Féin welcome any dialogue between the various strands
involved in this process. However at today's meeting Paul Murphy
needs to make it very clear to the UDA that the attacks on
Catholics and ethnic minorities have to end, that the agitation on
the interfaces has to end and that the massive drug pushing
operations in working class loyalist areas have to end.

" Many people are also getting tired of the constant moaning in
advance of these discussions about the supposed raw deal loyalist
communities have got since the cessation's. Deprivation and poverty
exist not just in the loyalist community. However the reality is
that these issues can only be tackled on the basis of need not
perception as the loyalist representatives seem to suggest. That is
what was decided by the last Assembly and that is what the British
government are required to do. Sinn Féin will not accept the
British government deviating from this path for some political or
other reason.

" Working class loyalist areas have been let down. They have been
let down by the woeful political leadership which has been provided
by the unionist parties over the years. They have also been let
down by organisations like the UDA who will today demand
regeneration while at the same time continuing to pedal drugs
within those very same communities. The very obvious social and
economic problems which exist within some loyalist communities will
not end until these communities are given real political leadership
and they will not simply be cured by throwing money at the
problem." ENDS

****************************************** /2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/3974671.stm

Loyalists Fear Being Left Behind

Loyalists in working class areas claim they have lost more than
they have gained in the six years since the Good Friday Agreement.

Poor quality housing, unemployment and lack of access to services
make some areas feel like they have been left out in the cold, they

Michael Briggs, from the East Belfast Community Development Agency,
said that the area had "suffered in silence" as thousands of jobs
had been lost in the shipyards.

He said: "That unemployment has just existed. There has been no
packages in place to retrain people."

'Suffering deprivation'

Members of the majority loyalist grouping, the Ulster Defence
Association (UDA), have met Secretary of State Paul Murphy to
express their concerns about what they regard as a lack of
investment and community initiatives in their areas.

On Monday, a Progressive Unionist Party delegation urged the
secretary of state to set up a series of task forces in loyalist
areas dealing with education, health, social welfare and housing.

Mr Briggs said that community leaders were fighting hard to revive
the communities but support was needed.

He said: "We can't do it on our own. We as community people have
got ideas but we need the government behind us and we need money to
make it happen."

The Reverend Colin Hall-Thompson, who represents the Church of
Ireland in the Ballymacarrett area of east Belfast, said that much
had been done to redress the historical imbalance between the
Protestant and Catholic communities.

"But it has swung the other way and people have forgotten that
there are inner city areas with Protestant people living in them
who are suffering deprivation," he said.

Duncan Morrow, chief executive of the Community Relations Council,
said that there were big changes affecting both the economy and the
demography of Northern Ireland.

He said: "For example, Protestants in general have moved out of
Belfast over the past 30 years while the Catholic population has
remained resident.

Often in loyalist areas you get huge disputes between different
parties and there are problems between different paramilitary
groups fighting over it

Duncan Morrow

Community Relations Council

"So there are a lot of houses empty in what were Protestant areas
and a lot of demand in Catholic areas."

Mr Morrow said the Protestant working class traditionally got jobs
in heavy industry which had disappeared in recent years.

"Catholic working classes historically invested in education and in
this generation, education has proved to be the better bet," he

"There is some evidence that among young Protestant males, school
achievement is very low and that will have long-term effects on the

"The skills required to work in the shipyard are not the skills
required to work in the Hilton hotel."

Mr Morrow said that there was not a huge imbalance between loyalist
and republican areas.

However, he said: "The same money invested in different places does
not lead to the same results.

'Territorial control'

"Often in loyalist areas you get huge disputes between different
parties and there are problems between different paramilitary
groups fighting over it. This causes all sorts of problems."

He said that to a degree, it was an issue of ending territorial
control by individuals and making sure people got access to the
services they needed.

"I think that is why it is not just about doling out to individual
groups here.

"It is about creating conditions under which a vision can be
created under which the communities can actually work together and
everyone gets a share rather than some godfathers dividing it out -
that has to be finished.

"The government's agenda is also to ensure that paramilitarism is
no longer the defining factor of who gets what."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/02 16:14:00 GMT


Did He Do Enough About Drumcree?

Author Alf McCreary tells for the first time how stress over
Drumcree led to Dr Eames being hospitalised, how he was given a
police guard after death threats, and how he answers criticism of
his handling of Drumcree

By Alf McCreary
02 November 2004

Patsy McGarry, the respected religious affairs correspondent of The
Irish Times, who covered the Drumcree crisis every year, has clear
views on the issues involved.

Though McGarry has a high regard for Robin Eames' leadership of the
Church in many other spheres he remains critical of his handling of

He says: "I like and respect the man a lot. We have clashed and I
have written and said very harsh things about him, but he has
always come back to me.

"There has been no personal animosity on my part, as I hope there
has been none on his. However, I feel that he failed to give
leadership on Drumcree which had the potential to be disastrous,
not only for the Church of Ireland but for the island as a whole.
Robin has said that Drumcree was his 'Calvary', and he is right".

Eames was well aware of such criticisms and regarded these as part
of the price he had to pay for embarking on the course that he had
chosen. He says: "Everything is possible, in theory. In the earlier
stages of the crisis it crossed my mind to try to close the church
(on Drumcree hill). It was not a constant thought, but it was
there. "

At one point he sought legal advice.

"I was told that by closing the church and preventing the service,
I would be moving into a particularly dangerous legal position".

Eames was also aware of other realities.

"The Chief Constable had said to me, 'Please do not stop the
service. If you do that, Portadown will erupt, and we will be
unable to contain the situation.'"

"Successive Secretaries of State said to me, 'Our problems will
only really begin if the service is stopped and the Orange Order
marches to another location.'"

Eames also considered very briefly the possibility of offering
another parish church for the service, thus avoiding the Garvaghy
Road dilemma. On reflection he felt this would have been
unacceptable to the Orange Order and he believed that,
understandably, other clergy in his diocese did not want the
problem passed on to them.

In his own mind, Eames never considered closing the church as a
serious option.

He says: "If I had closed the church - always supposing that it was
possible to do so - the Orangemen would have come to Drumcree in
their tens of thousands and they would not have stopped coming to
Drumcree. They would have held their service outside the church, or
they would have gone into it. There would have been increased civil
conflict and widespread rioting across Northern Ireland".

He also had to consider the likely effect on the Church of Ireland

"There would have been 'rejoicing' from those who stood far from
Drumcree and who did not really understand what was going on, but
it would have split the Church in the North.

"This is my raw nerve I am now talking about - if the church had
been closed there would have been congratulations from 'middle'
Ulster, and the 'middle' Church of Ireland, the people who never
wanted to get their hands dirty; but you would also have had
rectors put to the stake all across the North. If that happened I
don't think that I could have held the Church of Ireland together".

Eames was also faced with another stark choice.

"If it had been decided to close the church and if the service had
continued anyway, would that have been a better position where the
Church of Ireland had mud on its face and was being seen as
powerless to do anything in real terms; or was it better to do what
I did, which was to condemn them, to tell them constantly that what
they were doing was wrong, to seek another way and to redouble my
efforts to find a solution?"

His overriding decision was to seek consensus the slow, hard way.

"On balance the road I took was more likely to hold the Church of
Ireland together better than if I had done the spontaneous 'solve
it for the moment thing' like closing the church, even if it had
been possible. I might have solved something there, but it would
have built up the problem a hundred-fold in other ways".

Notwithstanding the views of other people, from whatever quarter,
Robin Eames himself believes that he made mistakes during the
Drumcree crisis. He says: "I was not able to explain the depth of
the problems to my fellow bishops in the Republic, or to explain to
them what they could not have possibly understood. The Northern
media was sympathetic to what I was facing and recognised what I
could not do, but I did not succeed in convincing the Southern
media of the difficulties".

As time went on Eames felt that there were so many obstacles and so
many agendas being played out at Drumcree that he doubted if it
could ever be solved.

He reflects: "As a Churchman I discovered through the years that
there were sinister angles to Drumcree which I would never be able
to explain. I sometimes wondered if there were elements at a high
level who felt that it would be of help to the overall situation
vis-a-vis America, the Irish-American lobby and everyone else if it
was proved that Drumcree was not necessarily solveable.

"It is totally foreign to me to say it, but if Drumcree had been
solveable, we would have solved it. Somewhere along the line we
would have found a solution before now. I don't know who to blame
but it seemed growingly incredible to me that, given all the
intellect, all the facilities of governments and all the world
power that was focused on Northern Ireland, that no one could solve

Robin Eames remains sensitive to the accusation that he allowed the
situation to drift. He says: "Too many people wrote off my action
as 'inaction'. My so-called 'inaction' was only reached after
agonising after prayer, thought and consultation.

"There was nothing I did through the entire situation that was
simply letting something run. I may be judged right or wrong in the
light of history, but I did what I thought was right. None of it
was inaction - every single step was part of my engagement and my
attempts to find a solution, which I have continued to do".

He says: "I still find it very hard to accept that people at a
great distance from Drumcree were able to make critical comments
through a total lack of appreciation of what others were going
through, and the fact that we were taking decisions to try to
defuse a situation that could have been a hundred times worse.
Those who thought that there was a simplistic answer did not
realise what the temperature was like in those days".

Though Eames has been blessed with a robust constitution, the long
Drumcree saga at one stage affected his health.

During one period of stand-off he was hospitalised for tests
because of stress, though he kept up communication with the outside
world with the help of his office staff. His condemnation of the
violence led to loyalist threats, abuse and condemnation. The
police warned him of a paramilitary threat to his life and for a
period they mounted a protection of his home.

He received critical letters from people on both sides of the

He says: "Some of my closest colleagues and friends admit now that
they did not know what I was going through. I greatly appreciate
their acknowledgement of this and I understand totally why they
reacted in the way they did. They could not have felt otherwise
without having been there and having been involved with it".

Despite all the setbacks on all sides, Eames believes that progress
on Drumcree has been made, but at a personal cost to very many
people - himself included. He says: "The pressure and tension
surrounding Drumcree was greater than I ever felt in any single
episode of my life. All the suffering of the Troubles, and all the
Drumcree situation - all of that will never leave me. I was born
here, I have loved this place, I have been loved in this place, I
will die in this place and I will take all the pain and the
suffering of this place with me to my grave".

Dr Eames on Ian Paisley

Robin Eames, who like many other Church leaders has observed Ian
Paisley closely, points to two different dimensions. "On the one
hand there is the image of the Rev Ian Paisley, the man in the
light raincoat, the tall, physically imposing figure who proclaims
'Ulster Says No!'

"This is the figurehead of the apprehensive and reactionary right
wing of unionism, but what has been more significant for me has
been 'Paisleyism' as a thought process."

Eames believes that, in religious terms, the main Protestant
denominations have always viewed the religious-political face of
Paisleyism as a threat.

"Disaffected parishioners, for any reason, have viewed Paisley's
fundamentalism as a home for their disaffection but, in my
experience, many of them eventually returned to their parish.
Paisleyism in my time has become the catchword for an attitude of
mind among many who would not be necessarily members of his
political party or denomination."

In that sense Paisleyism has been a focus for anti- ecumenism, and
for opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Eames says: "Paisley's
protests against any ecumenical stance or development are
predictable, and I remember attending the first Ballymascanlon
Inter-Church Conference and running the gauntlet of his protests.
However, Roman Catholics speak of him highly as a fair- minded MP,
and he has been an excellent constituency representative."

Historically Northern Ireland has always had strong advocates of
religious fundamentalism.

"Paisleyism has stemmed from a bedrock of protest, and has remained
so ever since. Fundamentalism in various guises is a living reality
in Northern Ireland for all denominations. The Church of Ireland in
the province has its own dimension of this, and often the advocates
of 'Biblical truth' are only a short step away from

Ian Paisley has criticised Eames in public on a number of

"When I was Bishop of Down and Dromore he attacked my advocacy of
greater understanding between Northern Ireland and the Irish
Republic and he has referred to me as 'that ecumenical Eames.'
However, when he attended funeral services of the victims of
violence at which I preached, he caused no problems and on one
occasion he congratulated me on 'preaching the gospel in such

Though a formidable opponent in public, there is another side to

"My contacts with him in private have also given me the opportunity
to appreciate a warm, generous and thoughtful man. On occasions we
have exchanged books. He is greatly interested in religious
history, and he appreciated a book I gave him on Archbishop Agar.
In return he sent me a book on the Reformation.

"He is one of the most widely read people I have met and, if he had
confined his activities to religion, I believe that he would have
made a profound contribution to evangelical thought."

This 'private' Paisley is transformed, however, when given a
platform and an audience. "The rhetoric is pure Bible- belt, and the
anti-ecumenism abounds. His anti-Rome stance lies at the foundation
of the enigma. Among Roman Catholic clergy I have found genuine
curiosity about Dr Paisley rather than outright opposition, but
among Roman Catholic laity I have encountered fear and suspicion.

"It is interesting that of all the Roman Catholic leaders I have
known, Cardinal Cahal Daly has understood Paisleyism best."


Michael Flatley And Charlie Bird Among Those Honoured By UCD

John Downes

Honorary degrees are to be conferred today upon 19 well-known
personalities from the worlds of politics, business, journalism,
sport and the arts to mark the start of the celebrations of the
150th anniversary of University College Dublin.

Among those listed are charity campaigner Ms Christina Noble,
former footballer Kevin Moran, entertainer Michael Flatley and RTÉ
journalist Charlie Bird.

Citing their "exceptional contribution to Irish society and their
impact on the world stage", UCD said the list aimed to reflect the
university's ethos.

This placed a strong value not just on academic achievement, it

Also included are businessman and philanthropist Mr Lochlainn
Quinn, former European Commissioner Mr David Byrne, journalist
Niall O'Dowd and former US congressman Mr Bruce Morrison. In the
sporting world, Mr Moran is joined by the former Kerry footballer
Mick O'Dwyer, former Dublin footballer Kevin Heffernan and retired
Irish rugby international Willie John McBride.

The "academic and learning excellence" category includes Father
John Dardis, provincial of the Jesuit order.

Those being recognised for their contribution to the arts include
Mr Flatley, as well as sculptor Imogen Stuart, chairwoman of the
Abbey Theatre Ms Eithne Healy, and artist Anne Madden.

The conferring ceremony will take place in the O'Reilly Hall on
UCD's Belfield campus at 11 a.m. today.

© The Irish Times


Council Votes To Erect Luke Kelly Statue

02 November 2004 17:12

Dublin City Council has voted to erect a statue to singer-
songwriter Luke Kelly in Dublin.

Sinn Féin councillors put forward a motion to erect a statue of Mr
Kelly in the Docklands or the north inner city to mark the 20th
anniversary of his death.

Councillor Christy Burke said he was delighted the motion had been
backed unanimously and the council had agreed to commission the
statue and find a suitable location for its erection.

Jay Dooling (
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