- 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)
November 13, 2004
News 11/13/04 - UDA Ceasefire: Show Us How
News about Ireland and the Irish
IO 11/12/04 UDA Ceasefire: Show Us How, Say Critics
SM 11/12/04 UDA's Ceasefire Scarred By Killings And Gangsterism
BT 11/12/04 Row Erupts Over Secret Society Rule Relaxation
GU 11/12/04 Pardon Plea For Irish Volunteers Shot In Trenches
DJ 11/12/04 Scourge Of Racism Must Be Addressed - Mitchel McLaughlin MLA
BT 11/12/04 Cautious Welcome For City Conflict Service
BB 11/12/04 Arms Move Must Be Visible – DUP
BT 11/12/04 The Folly That Has Lost Us Power At Stormont
BT 11/12/04 Police Search Link To Dissident 'Rebel' Threats
DJ 11/12/04 Campbell Attacks Jobs Discrimination 'Myth'
BT 11/12/04 Sinn Fein In Call For Smoke Ban
IT 11/13/04 Ahern Celebrates His 10th Anniversary
RT 11/12/04 Garda Admits Excessive Force -VO
Garda Admits Excessive Force - Vivienne Traynor reports on a garda who is
on trial for assault during the Reclaim the Streets Protest on May Day
UDA Ceasefire: Show Us How, Say Critics
The Ulster Defence Association was challenged tonight to guarantee their
guns have fallen silent forever.
Even though the loyalists have killed several people, including some of
their own, since the first truce was declared 10 years ago, the British
government has given them a new chance to prove their war is over.
Doubting nationalist politicians also called on them to show their
assurances to the Secretary of State Paul Murphy were genuine.
With security chiefs aware that Northern Ireland's biggest loyalist
paramilitary organisation is running a multi- million pound drugs and
racketeering industry, Mr Murphy knows he is taking a chance.
But he said: "I am persuaded that UDA is now prepared to go down a
different road, moving away from its paramilitary past."
The Independent Monitoring Commission terrorist watchdog's latest report
blamed the UDA for running organised crime rackets and paramilitary
But even though the organisation is regarded as nakedly sectarian by
Catholics, its representatives claim they want to end all violence.
With loyalists desperate to become more involved in the political
process, contacts with the Government have been intensified.
Earlier this month Mr Murphy held talks with members of the UDA's inner
council, including Andre Shoukri and Jackie McDonald.
That meeting gave the Northern Secretary enough confidence to make his
bold move and give the UDA another opportunity, three years after his
predecessor John Reid declared its ceasefire obsolete.
A major announcement from the paramilitary group is expected in return
for the British government recognition, which takes effect from midnight
"My decision, reached only after the most careful consideration, is based
on a number of factors, in line with the legislation," Mr Murphy said.
"They include the UDA's reaffirmation in February this year of its Gregg
Initiative, when it re-stated its commitment to its ceasefire; the
organisation's generally constructive approach during this year's
marching season; and some diminution in paramilitary activity by its
members over the past six months, as reflected in the IMC's recent
"But as that report also makes clear, the UDA continues to be involved in
a range of unacceptable activities which must be brought to an end."
He also paid tribute to the "positive political engagement" by the UDA's
advisers in the Ulster Political Research Group.
Fearing UDA victims' relatives may be dismayed by the move, Mr Murphy
stressed their suffering had not been forgotten.
He warned that his decision to de-specify the organisation would not stop
the authorities from hunting down any criminals.
Mr Murphy added: "I will continue to judge them not just by their words
but by their deeds. The onus is now on the UDA/UFF to continue to show
its good faith."
The IMC report also noted the organisation's leadership, like the
Provisional IRA, had been trying to keep peace on the streets during the
tense summer Protestant marching season this year.
Yet its pedigree of murder and violence, even in the years since its
ceasefire was first declared in 1994, has left many sceptical.
In February 2003, the organisation drove supporters of notorious loyalist
Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair from their lower Shankill power base following a
bitter feud within the organisation.
During the feud, UDA brigadier John Gregg was shot dead at Belfast docks
in February 2003 after he returned from a Glasgow Rangers match.
Sinn Féin's policing and justice spokesman, North Belfast MLA Gerry
Kelly, remained suspicious of the terror group's intentions.
He said: "The only test that the UDA will be judged against is a genuine
end to its campaign of attack and intimidation against the ethnic and
nationalist sections of our community."
Mark Durkan, leader of the SDLP, also expressed scepticism and deep
caution about the decision to recognise the UDA ceasefire.
He said: "The Secretary of State may recognise the UDA ceasefire but
nationalists and ethnic minorities on the ground certainly don't. Nor
will a lot of unionists either.
"People will therefore judge the UDA not on what the Secretary of State
says, but on what the UDA does - and stops doing - in our communities."
UDA's Ceasefire Scarred By Killings And Gangsterism
By Alan Erwin, PA
It was supposed to herald an end to the mayhem, but a decade of murders
have battered the UDA's ceasefire.
Instead of calling off the gunmen for good, the last 10 years were
scarred by sectarian killings and deadly feuding.
As well as the shootings, Northern Ireland's biggest loyalist
paramilitary organisation has become increasingly steeped in organised
The continued violence provoked huge scepticism and frustration. At one
stage the Government even called an end to what it believed to be a
But with its political representatives insisting the UDA seriously wants
to reach a peaceful settlement, Secretary of State Paul Murphy has put
the terrorists to the test.
Here is a timetable of the UDA's strained attempts to hold its ceasefire:
October 1994 – The Combined Loyalist Military Command, including the UDA
and UVF, calls a halt to "operational hostilities" in response to the
first IRA ceasefire.
January 1998 – the UDA's political wing, the Ulster Democratic Party is
expelled from talks leading up to the Good Friday Agreement due to
terrorist violence. Representatives are later readmitted following a
renewed pledge to halt the shootings.
June 1998 – The UDP fails to win any seats to the new Northern Ireland
Assembly. The result will eventually spell the end for the party and
deals a severe blow to attempts to lock the UDA into the peace process.
August 2000 – Notorious West Belfast UDA commander Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair
starts a vicious feud with the rival UVF that leaves seven men dead. He
is returned to prison in a bid to end the bloodshed.
July 2001 – Teenager Gavin Brett is shot dead by UDA gunmen near his home
on the outskirts of north Belfast in a killing that causes outrage.
October 2001 – As the sectarian murders continue, the Government
specifies the UDA. The move announced by former Northern Ireland
Secretary John Reid means its ceasefire is no longer recognised.
November 2001 – the UDP is finally dissolved amid claims that UDA chiefs
no longer support the Good Friday Agreement.
January 2002 – Daniel McColgan, a 20-year-old Catholic postman, is gunned
down as he arrives for work in the UDA- controlled Rathcoole estate near
July 2002 – Another Catholic, Gerard Lawlor, is murdered by the UDA in a
drive-by shooting as he walks home from a north Belfast pub.
September 2002 – Freed again from jail but ousted from the UDA, Adair
wages a power-struggle against rival commanders that eventually leads to
five murders, including hard-line terror chief John Gregg.
January 2003 – As Adair languished once more behind bars, his supporters
are routed and flee to Scotland.
February 2003 – The UDA announces a 12-month period of military
inactivity in an attempt to get its house in order. Its advisers in the
Ulster Political Research Group urge the Government to help steer the UDA
away from violence.
February 2004 – The ceasefire is extended as loyalists press for
November 2004 – Secretary of State Paul Murphy meets with UDA chiefs at
Stormont. Weeks later he announces the UDA ceasefire is recognised once
Row Erupts Over Secret Society Rule Relaxation
Nationalist politicians angry at court move.
By Mary Fitzgerald
12 November 2004
Nationalist politicians have reacted angrily to the easing of a
stipulation that police officers must register their membership of secret
organisations following a High Court challenge by the Masonic Order and
two members of the PSNI.
The Order and the officers had applied for a judicial review of an order
to comply with the Registration of Notifiable Memberships as recommended
in the Patten Report.
Chief Constable Hugh Orde had drawn up a list of organisations to be
included in the order, among them the Masons, Ancient Order of
Hibernians, Orange Order, Apprentice Boys and Knights of St Columbanus.
In court yesterday, Mr Justice Girvan was told that the legal challenges
to the order were not going ahead as agreement had been reached between
Eric Waller, the head of the Masonic Grand Lodge, welcomed the move.
"It confirms our view that such a requirement was unreasonable and went
far beyond the recommendations of the Patten Report, as well as being a
form of discrimination, a breach of civil rights and an infringement of
human rights as established by a ruling of the European Court of Human
Rights," he said.
"We are not in a position - nor do we wish to be - to exert undue
influence in any area that would discriminate against any members of the
The decision, however, drew criticism from Sinn Fein and the SDLP.
Sinn Féin policing spokesman Gerry Kelly said the provision was a key
component of the Patten reforms and should not be shelved.
" People are rightly asking the question: what have these PSNI members to
hide? Why are they so desperate to conceal their membership of secret
societies from public view? Which secret societies are involved?," he
SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood said his party believed the case
should not have been settled and that the law required clarification.
"Patten was explicit that those in the Masons, Orange Order and other
secret societies have to register their membership with the police. The
police - with the full backing of the Policing Board - put in place a
system for ensuring this," he said.
"Membership of organisations must be registered if it might reasonably be
regarded as affecting the officer's ability to discharge his duties
effectively and impartially."
Pardon Plea For Irish Volunteers Shot In Trenches
Relatives appeal to Blair over soldiers who suffered rough justice in
first world war
Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Saturday November 13, 2004
The last words of James Templeton, a 20-year- old mill apprentice from
Belfast, are written neatly in his own hand. Before he was executed by
his own battalion in the trenches of northern France in 1916, Templeton
wrote: "I'm sorry for what I have done." This was his only defence before
he was taken out, blindfolded and shot by a firing squad made up of the
soldiers he served with.
Templeton had volunteered with the Royal Irish Riflemen in the first
world war because he wanted to join Britain's glorious cause. Then, in
the trenches, he failed to turn up to a parade. He had missed parades
before but it was deemed a minor offence. This time, he was executed for
desertion, in the words of his commanding officer, as a "deterrent" to
Also shot that March morning was the Ulsterman James McCracken. A
volunteer aged 19, McCracken had reacted badly to the news that his
mother had died. He had just returned to the frontline from hospital when
he stepped out of the trenches. He was shot for desertion. "I had just
come out of hospital and was not feeling fit," he wrote before his
Today, the relatives of Irish volunteers who were shot by their own
British battalions during the first world war will arrive at Downing
Street with a petition of 11,000 signatures demanding that Tony Blair
issues a pardon. Last month, the Irish government submitted its own case
to Mr Blair for the public pardon of 26 Irish soldiers executed for
alleged cowardice, desertion or disobedience while serving in the great
war. Campaigners and military historians claim the reasons for execution
were trivial - one soldier from Limerick who survived the horrific
Gallipoli campaign was court-martialled and executed after failing to
pick up his cap.
The Irish foreign affairs minister, Dermot Ahern, complained that Irish
soldiers received "markedly harsher" treatment than any other
nationality. A total of 306 soldiers on the British side were ordered to
be executed during the war, including British, New Zealand and Canadian
The Irish numbers were disproportionately high, according to the Irish
government. The Irish made up 2% of the army but accounted for 8% of
those executed by their commanders. They have been omitted from war
memorials and will not be mentioned at the official Armistice
celebrations tomorrow. Their papers were shut away for 75 years by the
government, and Peter Mulvany, who heads the Shot at Dawn campaign for a
pardon, said the soldiers had been wiped from official history.
Relatives have asked why Mr Blair, who famously apologised for Britain's
role in the Irish potato famine of the 1840s, has not pardoned those
The campaign has united Protestants and Catholics from both sides of the
Irish border. In 1999, the leader of the moderate nationalist SDLP, John
Hume, and the hardline Democratic Unionist leader, Ian Paisley, jointly
supported a bill for a pardon in the House of Commons. It was defeated.
Sadie Malin, 80, James Templeton's niece, is one of the oldest surviving
relatives of the executed soldiers. She will travel from her home in east
London to knock on the door of No 10 with the petition. Mrs Malin said
her Belfast-born father, who served in the Royal Navy, never accepted his
younger brother's execution and never spoke of it. He carried a black and
white photograph of his brother and on the back wrote "killed".
Mrs Malin's daughter, Eileen Hinken, a teacher, said: "They were a
respectable family. James's father was a policeman and had served in the
Boer war. James was happy-go-lucky and popular with the ladies. He
volunteered for the glorious cause. But the idea of glory in the trenches
was not what they expected.
"We want pardons and their names added to the war memorials. In Britain
we are very self-righteous about what our army is and how humane we are
but when you look at these court martial papers, this was clearly not
humane." Some executed Irish soldiers had suffered the field punishment
of being strapped by the ankles and wrists to a cartwheel. Others were
traumatised or bereaved.
Bernard McGeehan, 30, from Derry, was shot for walking out of the
trenches in November 1916. He wrote in his defence: "Ever since I joined,
all the men have made fun of me, and I didn't know what I was doing when
I went away. Every time I go into the trenches they throw stones at me
and pretend it's shrapnel, and they call me all sorts of names. I have
been here 18 months and had no leave."
His commanding officer said he was afraid, could not understand commands
and was "worthless as a soldier". He was executed to set an example.
Scourge Of Racism Must Be Effectively Addressed - Mitchel Mclaughlin MLA
Friday 12th November 2004
Sinn Fein national chairperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA has urged people
to stand with ethnic minority communities against the scourge of racism.
The Foyle MLA said: "Sinn Fein is committed to tackling all forms of
racism and building an inclusive and multicultural Ireland." Mr.
McLaughlin was speaking after racist attacks in Belfast and Co Armagh
earlier this week, and follows the publication of a report which shows
that the last six months have seen the single largest number of racist
attacks since records were kept in 2001.
The Sinn FÈin chairperson said: "The recent report by the National
Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI), has
clearly shown that within the past six months there has been a worrying
upsurge in the reported incidents of racist attacks in Ireland.
"These statistics are borne out by the attacks on our streets. Only
yesterday there were two reported racist attacks in both Belfast and
Calling for the racists to be "faced down", Mr. McLaughlin said recent
attacks were only the tip of the iceberg, as many incidents were not
"Racist attacks are now happening at such an alarming rate that sections
of society are becoming blase to the plight of ethnic minority
"Condemning racist attacks is not enough. We need to actively work for
the removal of racism from our society. This requires action as much as
He continued: "It requires adequate resourcing and support for ethnic
minority communities and their support groups.
"And it requires meaningful partnerships between all sections of society.
Sinn Fein is committed to tackling all forms of racism and building a
multicultural Ireland. We must stand with ethnic communities throughout
Ireland in solidarity with them and against the narrowminded racists."
Cautious Welcome For City Conflict Service
By Sarah Brett
12 November 2004
The Derry Trades Council today gave a cautious welcome to the
controversial new remembrance service proposed by the city's Sinn Fein
On December 10 in Guildhall Square, an inclusive civil service will be
held in memory of people who died in conflict, regardless of context.
Derry Mayor Gerry O'hEara is behind the idea, which has angered many
Earlier this week Derry's top policeman, Superintendent Richard Russell,
revealed he had seriously considered attending the service in a personal
capacity but he had decided against it in recognition of the hurt it may
cause the families of murdered RUC officers.
Spokesman for the Derry Trades Council, (DTC), Liam Gallagher said there
were mixed feelings about the service amongst the council's
"Some expressed concern that the time was not right for the mayor's
initiative and are sceptical about the motives behind it, others agree
with the idea", he said.
Speaking about the Troubles he added: "Only those who suffered loss can
fully understand the devastating effect that it had on their lives and
the lives of their families.
"Many of those who died were workers and trade union members.
"The trade union movement DTC played an important role in pulling our two
communities back from the brink of sectarian slaughter by mobilising
workers in a stand against sectarianism.
Mr Gallagher continued: "We welcome any genuine attempt at reconciling
the deep divisions within our city.
"We also support the right of any worker to participate in any of the
events that will be remembering the dead of war and conflict.
"We also accept and understand the view of workers who feel that the time
is not right to participate in the December 10th event and hope that we
can all reach a point in time when the nightmare of our past can give way
to a new beginning.
"We are particularly concerned at the recent sectarian incidents that
have occurred in the city and would ask everyone to do what they can to
move our communities away from sectarian hatred," he added.
Arms Move Must Be Visible - DUP
DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson has said there must be visible
decommissioning if confidence is to be built in the political process.
He made the remarks in a speech marking his reselection as the party's
Westminster candidate in East Belfast.
Mr Robinson rejected claims that the IRA had made a definite offer at the
Leeds Castle talks in September.
He said his party had only been given vague terms, verbally, about what
the IRA might be prepared to do.
'Hazy and incomplete'
The deputy leader said that the DUP had raised a series of questions with
the government but no clarification had been available at Leeds Castle.
He said: "The DUP is not in the business of signing up to hazy and
Mr Robinson accused the Irish government of selectively leaking some of
what had been discussed and of acting in bad faith in recent days.
He also disputed Sinn Fein's version of events.
The DUP would not make do with a quick fix agreement like David Trimble's
Ulster Unionists had in the past, Mr Robinson said.
He said: "If people have a fixation with the clock it will damage the
People need weapons to be dealt with in a manner that is conclusive,
verifiable and transparent. Certainty is the key
Voters would recognise his party was right to take its time and hold out
for the best deal, he said.
Mr Robinson said that the DUP's objective was to have "all illegal
weapons destroyed in a way that builds confidence in a community that has
suffered so much from violence".
"People need weapons to be dealt with in a manner that is conclusive,
verifiable and transparent. Certainty is the key," he said.
"The day after decommissioning has occurred we want everyone to be
completely satisfied that the guns have gone and a new brighter chapter
in the life of our country is about to begin."
Mr Robinson also used his speech to repeat that the DUP was united.
He rejected media speculation that MP Nigel Dodds had been a deal blocker
during intensive talks in Downing Street recently.
He said: "My recollection, supported by our detailed minutes of each
session, shows that Nigel did not make a single negative comment over the
Mr Robinson also rejected the notion of "sinister backwoodsmen" in the
party opposing a deal.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/12 20:40:27 GMT
© BBC MMIV
The Folly That Has Lost Us Power At Stormont
by David Burnside MP for South Antrim
12 November 2004
At our conference tomorrow we will be planning to celebrate the centenary
of the Ulster Unionist Council in 2005. Regrettably that celebration will
be overshadowed by the reality that we are in the worst electoral state
in our history and that the inconceivable has happened where we have been
superseded as the leading voice of unionism at Westminster and Stormont
by the Paisleyite party of protest.
Many traditional unionists have deserted us after two fundamental
mistakes were made which lost their trust.
The first, giving up the principle of "no guns no government", was
tactical folly and let the republican movement off the hook rather than
maintaining pressure on them.
The second was the refusal of our leadership to make the retention of the
proud name and operational integrity of the Royal Ulster Constabulary an
immovable bottom line conditional upon our participation in the
institutions of the Agreement.
In our centenary year Ulster Unionism needs to rediscover its roots.
British rule from Westminster strengthened with reformed local government
is the answer. Hanging on to the failed Belfast Agreement will not win
votes. Sinn Fein contaminates the body politic and an inclusive Executive
cannot, and should not, be cobbled together again.
My advice to my own party leadership, and to the DUP, is that the farce
at Stormont must be brought to an end. The DUP and UUP should jointly say
to the SDLP and Alliance parties that we will form a voluntary coalition
Executive immediately allowing Stormont to be up and working.
If the SDLP, who seem determined to self- destruct, refuse to accept the
offer and separate themselves from the republican movement, the two
unionist parties should then go to our Sovereign British Government, not
the two governments, to seek a new way forward.
My party and the DUP should not have participated in the flawed
negotiations trap at Leeds Castle, nor should we have been at Weston
Park. We must break out of the two governments syndrome. If we cannot
produce a cross community coalition of democrats then Stormont should be
A limited tier of administration between Westminster and local councils
devolved to Stormont is desirable but there should be no more than 54-72
members (three or four from each of the 18 Westminster constituencies)
following the original Welsh model of administrative devolution.
The Assembly election should take place in parallel with the reformed
district councils election which could be held by 2006.
Under no circumstances should unionists be campaigning for policing and
justice to be transferred from Westminster to Stormont. We do not want
the corrupt agenda of Sinn Fein anywhere near these two departments of
Sinn Fein and the SDLP want Stormont more than unionists on the ground.
The Stormont on offer under the Belfast Agreement gives them
unaccountable executive powers, which does not make for good government -
transferring policing and justice to Stormont is a nightmare.
UNIONISTS are strongest at Westminster. Sinn Fein does not take the oath
and does not participate although, disgracefully, it receives all its
allowances and facilities. The SDLP are almost always absent at
Westminster with bad attendance and poor participation; an old and
We must campaign next year for a strong team at Westminster, reformed
local government taking over the powers from the non-elected quango
health and education boards, and an accountable administrative tier at
After the election the UUP and DUP should put past differences aside and
unite the two parties in a Westminster coalition. Combined we should have
11 to 12 MPs - a considerable block - and, rather than competing with
each other, we should work as a United Unionist team.
Only a united coalition can regain traditional unionist support, which
has fallen by the wayside, turned off by bickering and in-fighting.
The inclusive Executive was tried by Ulster Unionists. It has failed. The
vast majority of DUP voters do not want to touch with a bargepole a
DUP/Sinn Fein First and Deputy First Minister and inclusive Executive.
I hope the DUP leadership will not repeat the mistakes made, sadly, by my
own party in the last five years. Furthermore, if they think they can
hold out for a deal with Sinn Fein immediately after the election the
unionist electorate will see through such 'too clever by half' tactics.
If the good people of South Antrim Ulster Unionist Association endorse me
as their candidate for the next election, I will be campaigning for a
strong new united team at Westminster and local government level. I will
be consistent with the fundamental principles of unionism.
The party of Carson, Craigavon, Brookborough and Molyneaux should be
dismayed at the present state of the UUP, its frayed links with the Loyal
Orders and the self-inflicted damage caused by hanging on to the failed
A new United Unionist leadership, post Paisley, post Trimble, could be
brought together after the Westminster election and this would be a cause
for celebration worthy of the founding fathers of the Ulster Unionist
The rates debate:
The Northern Ireland Office proposals to introduce a new water charge and
to change the domestic rates will affect every household in the province.
But what do YOU think?
:: Are you worried that you won't be able to pay?
:: Do you think that we pay enough already?
:: Do you think a new water charge is fair?
This is your chance to air your views. Write to Rates Debate, c/o
Features Department, Belfast Telegraph 124 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1EB.
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org marking "Rates Debate" in
the subject line.
Police Search Link To Dissident 'Rebel' Threats
By Nevin Farrell
12 November 2004
A major police operation in Ballymena today which involved a security
alert was connected to recent dissident republican threats against PSNI
officers in the town.
A series of searches took place from early morning and upwards of 15 Land
Rovers were involved in the operation which centred on homes in the
Fisherwick, Dunclug and Dunfane areas.
A security alert was sparked at one of the houses searched this morning
at Fisherwick Crescent and Army bomb disposal experts were called in to
deal with a suspicious object which police said later turned out to be a
A PSNI spokesman said: "Police have been carrying out a number of
searches in Ballymena today in connection with serious crime. Search
activity will be continuing throughout the day. So far there have been no
arrests and nothing has been found."
Sinn Fein claimed it was "harassment" and said that by early morning at
least six homes of republicans were searched.
The party's Ballymena representative Michael Agnew said his home was one
of those searched and said police said they were looking for explosives,
guns, ammunition and scanning gear.
He said: "This is harassment against young nationalists. I have been
calling for calm in Ballymena in recent times and spoke out against
graffiti for example and this is the way I'm repaid."
For weeks police had thrown a ring of steel round Ballymena as they
mounted road checks and helicopters often flew overhead at night and the
wearing of body armour was reintroduced for officers.
Campbell Attacks Jobs Discrimination 'Myth'
Friday 12th November 2004
The DUP's Gregory Campbell this week again attacked the 'myth' of jobs
discrimination against Catholics.
Speaking at a fair employment seminar in Belfast, the Derry politician
insisted fair employment laws were failing and had to be changed.
He said: "If we are to have a 'shared future', then the unionist
community is saying there has to be a fair share in employment. At the
moment there isn't. There cannot be a shared future in regard to this
important area if Protestants, rather than getting a fair share, are
getting a smaller piece of the cake."
He went on: "The key issue is not to look at the overall figures in
companies, neither is it to look at the greater propensity of Catholics
to be unemployed than Protestants - as this would be equally the case in
the Republic of Ireland. "Let me be absolutely clear: Catholics are
getting most of the jobs now - Catholic men being twice as likely to be
unemployed notwithstanding." "The key is to look at where jobs are going
now. These are the statistics that tell us what employment practices are
delivering now and what workforce composition will be like in future
years if present practices continue."
To support his argument that Protestants are now "the disadvantaged", Mr.
Campbell noted that, between 1992 and 2002, when monitoring began for all
companies with more than 11 people, there were 4,500 fewer Protestants in
employment and 21,500 more Catholics in employment at the end of the
"A policy that allows a differential of 26,000 to occur in a 10-year
period is wrong and must be changed," he said.
In response, Sinn Fein's Mitchel McLaughlin pointed to new figures
published by the National Statistics Office which reveal that both
Catholic men and women are twice as likely to be unemployed than their
Protestant counterparts. "In addition to this the figures showing
indications of poverty and ill-health show the structural problems which
exist in the main within the Catholic community.
"There is, of course, unemployment within the Protestant community but
the truth is that the differences in the unemployment differential stems
from structural patterns of discrimination. This is the reality.
"Is the DUP now going to call for an inquiry into this indisputable fact?
Is the DUP now going to call for pro-active programmes to tackle the
employment differential that clearly exists."
SDLP leader Mark Durkan, meanwhile, says that, while progress has been
made as regards fair employment, more needs to be done to build a "fair
He said: "Thanks to strong fair employment laws, the labour market is
working more fairly now than at any time in the past. That is a huge
achievement. But we still have a way to go to achieve a fair society.
"While Catholics and Protestants are treated fairly when they apply for
jobs, we still have the problem of the larger numbers of Catholics who
are effectively locked out of the labour market through long term
unemployment." "In fact, it is still the case that a Catholic is far more
likely to be unemployed or economically inactive than a Protestant. That
needs to be sorted if we are to bring about true equality for everybody.
It is totally unacceptable, therefore, that far from doing more to tackle
higher Catholic unemployment, the direct rulers are slowing this work
down and diluting programmes like New TSN."
Turning to the wider problem of a segregated society, Mr. Durkan
remarked: "Because employers have to ensure a neutral working
environment, our workforces throughout the North are generally mixed. A
huge challenge for us now is to create a neutral living environment free
of flags and sectarianism.
"That way people can be free to live how they want and where they want
free of intimidation and fear. Ensuring this requires the same resolute
action against bigotry in society as we have had at work."
Sinn Fein In Call For Smoke Ban
By Brendan McDaid
12 November 2004
Sinn Fein in Londonderry today urged Health Minister Angela Smith to
legislate for an immediate smoking ban in public places across Ulster.
Councillor Billy Page called on the Minister to follow the example of the
Councillor Page said: "Scotland has now followed the example set by the
Dublin Government and banned smoking in public places. I would call on
Angela Smith to follow suit and introduce a similar ban in the North of
Ahern Celebrates His 10th Anniversary
Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent
Modern Ireland needs young people to "engage in their communities and to
"give a voice" to their generation, the Taoiseach said in Galway last
Marking his 10th anniversary as leader of Fianna Fáil and the 50th
birthday of the party's cumann at NUI Galway, Mr Ahern claimed his
party's credit for Ireland's economic success. The "ethos and policies of
Fianna Fáil down through the years" had recently "paid dividends beyond
our wildest dreams".
"In the past decade Ireland has thankfully moved away from being a
country that suffered economic stagnation, and a country that for too
many years exported our greatest asset, our young people.
"Tonight, I am glad that I can say that we have truly turned the tide on
the gloomier days of the past. We have moved from being the basket case
of European economies to the role model of economic success, not just in
Europe, but also throughout the world," the Taoiseach said.
Members of Cumann de Barra and the wider western region could take pride
in the success story which Fianna Fáil had built, Mr Ahern told invited
guests in Galway's Great Southern Hotel. The political party was still
committed to the ideals of constitutional and socially progressive
republicanism, he said.
The first chair of Cumann de Barra, Mr Paddy "Liver" McDermott, its
current chair, Ms Aoife Golden, and former student members who continued
in politics, including Minister of State, Mr Tom Kitt, his brother and
fellow TD, Michael, Senator Terry Leyden and Senator Don Lydon were among
Also invited were the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht
Affairs, Mr Ó Cuív, Minister of State for Equality issues, Mr Frank
Fahey, and Minister of State for European Affairs, Mr Noel Treacy.
Apologies were received from Labour Party president, Mr Michael D
Higgins, chair of the cumann in 1966, the Minister for Social and Family
Affairs, Mr Brennan, and former PD and Fianna Fáil minister, Mr Bobby
The Taoiseach said it was a great honour to speak at this "celebration of
political activism" spanning half a century, and paid tribute to the
immense contribution the cumann had made to life in Galway, Ireland and
abroad. Mr Ahern paid special tribute to former FF councillor, Micheál Ó
hUiginn, who retired at the last local elections.
© The Irish Times