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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 23, 2004
News 11/23/04 - Annetta Says Thank You
News about Ireland & the Irish
UT 11/23/04 Annetta Flanigan Says Thank You V(3)
IO 11/23/04 Paisley Says Progress On Deal Being Made V
BB 11/23/04 Bloody Sunday: Families Mark Inquiry's End V
IT 11/24/04 BS: Possibility That 4 Bombs Found On Body Were Planted
IT 11/24/04 Bloody Sunday: Question Of Unknown Casualties
IT 11/24/04 Bloody Sunday: Counsel Thanks Victims' Families
TT 11/23/04 BS Inquiry Treated IRA Suspects Better Than Soldiers
TA 11/23/04 Facts 'Airbrushed' On Bloody Sunday
IN 11/23/04 Derry Out From The Long Shadow Cast By Bloody Sunday
UT 11/23/04 Police Seek Stress Damages
BB 11/23/04 Republican Gets 'Death Threat'
IO 11/23/04 Voter Registration Set For Change In NI
BT 11/23/04 Call To Close Barracks
PB 11/23/04 James F. Cawley III, Proud Of His Heritage
IT 11/24/04 Family And Faith The Focus Of New Catholic Paper
IT 11/24/04 Talks Offer On Closure Of Cafes Rejected
IT 11/24/04 Grandmother Avoids Jail After Family Pay Fine
Irish woman released by Afghan captors
Flor MacCarthy reports on the release of Annetta Flanigan who was
held captive in Afghanistan
Michael Fisher gauges reaction to Ms Flanigan's release in her home
town of Richhill, Co Armagh
Commander Mark Mellett, International Security Assistance Force,
has more details from Kabul on the release of the three UN workers
Annetta Flanigan Says Thank You V(3)
Freed UN worker Annetta Flanigan today thanked the people of
Afghanistan who took risks to secure her release.
As she recovered from her month-long ordeal with her Spanish
husband Jose in the Afghan capital Kabul she asked her family back
in Northern Ireland to express her gratitude.
In the County Armagh village of Richhill, Ms Flanigan`s mother, two
brothers and sister were celebrating the end of her 27-day ordeal.
Ms Flanigan`s mother Esther was looking forward to flinging her
arms around her daughter when she arrives home.
Brother Andrew said the family were "absolutely overjoyed" at the
news that Ms Flanigan and her two colleagues had been released.
Speaking on behalf of the family, he said: "After all the terrible
anxiety of the last 27 days it is an incredible relief to know that
Annetta is safe and well and now reunited with her husband Jose."
He said the family wished to express their sincere gratitude to all
those who had worked so hard to secure his sister`s freedom.
And after speaking to her he said: "Annetta and Jose have
particularly asked me to thank those Afghan people who risked so
much to bring about her release."
Speaking in the shadow of Armagh`s Church of Ireland cathedral a
few miles from the family home, he said they were very grateful for
everyone`s concern about Ms Flanigan and for all the messages they
had received from family, friends and people across the world.
"We have been supported by these messages and the great kindness
shown by the wider community.
"Knowing that we have been in so many people`s thoughts and prayers
has been a great source of comfort to us."
Mr Flanigan declined to say whether the champagne corks would be
popping today or when his sister returned home.
He said: "We rejoice today at the news of Annetta`s release and we
are now looking forward to seeing her with her husband Jose when
they come home to Northern Ireland in the near future."
In Richhill, news of her release lifted the mood of the village on
a grey November day.
Bells rang out in celebration from the Church of Ireland parish
church where many had gone in past weeks to pray for Ms Flanigan`s
And preparations were being made for bumper celebrations next week
when the Christmas tree lights and village decorations are turned
Parish priest the Reverend David Coe said: "We thank God our
prayers have been answered.
"We have been remembering Annetta every day and on Saturdays we
have had the church open for a few hours to let the people from the
village come in and sit quietly and pray for her.
"It is wonderful news to hear this morning she is safe and we thank
God that this ordeal is over for all three hostages."
Church of Ireland Primate Archbishop Robin Eames has visited the
Flanigan family regularly over the weeks of the ordeal and said
today he was "thrilled" Ms Flanigan was safe.
The family was nowhere to be seen at their village home or
neighbouring furniture business today, something Lady Eames
discovered when she called to express her relief to the family.
It was a relief felt throughout a village which had feared the
worst for days, particularly after the latest brutal murder of a
hostage in Iraq.
"I heard her name on the news this morning and thought the next
thing I would hear was that she had been killed. Thank God it`s
good news. We are all delighted," said one local pensioner.
And Allen Patten who used to serve Ms Flanigan in the local
butchers while she was growing up, said: "It`s brilliant that she`s
been released, it has lifted a burden from the whole village."
Mr Patten was one of those who went to the parish church to pray
after Ms Flanigan was captured.
He said her release would prompt bumper celebrations when the
Christmas decorations were turned on next Tuesday.
Mr Patten, a member of the Richhill Improvements Committee, said
the committee had debated long and hard whether the decorations
should be illuminated at all while Ms Flanigan was held hostage.
"It was a difficult decision but we decided last week to go ahead
with the turning on of the lights for the sake of the kids.
"It was to have been a low key affair but now our prayers have been
answered we can go ahead with a proper celebration in a much
happier mood," said Mr Patten.
See video at:
Paisley Says Progress On Deal Being Made -V
Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley tonight said more progress
was being made on a deal to resurrect devolution.
After what he described as a very intense meeting in London with
Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy on the future of the Royal
Irish Regiment's home battalion, he warned that if a deal could not
be struck soon, it could be lost forever.
"If Northern Ireland is going to get a fair deal, and it has not
got a fair deal so far, it'll get a fair deal now," he insisted.
"If we miss the opportunity, we'll never get this back again."
DUP sources tonight agreed the talks were now at their most
critical phase. "Tomorrow's meeting with the Prime Ministers are
crucial," a party source said.
"At this stage, it is too early to assume that the deal will be
done but certainly the gaps appear to be narrowing."
It emerged tonight the Ulster Unionists were due to travel to
Downing Street to discuss the proposals.
A senior Ulster Unionist source said the party wanted to pin down
the British government on what exactly had been offered to Sinn
Féin and the DUP in the package.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is due to meet Sinn Féin's negotiating team
of Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Mitchel McLaughlin and Michelle
Gildernew after his meeting with the DUP.
A meeting at the Irish embassy in London has also been arranged for
tomorrow morning with Mr Durkan's SDLP which has been critical of
the current talks process.
See Video at:
Families Mark Inquiry's End -V
Families of those who died on Bloody Sunday have held a candlelit
vigil in Londonderry.
It came after the Bloody Sunday Inquiry finally ended after seven
years and at a cost of about £150m.
The families said it would be money well spent if the truth emerges
about the deaths of 14 civilians shot by soldiers during a civil
rights march in Derry in January 1972.
The short vigil on Tuesday evening marked the end of the inquiry as
well as their campaign which started after the first tribunal by
Lord Widgery in 1972.
After hearing from more than 900 witnesses, Lord Saville and his
two colleagues have retired to write their final report.
Bloody Sunday inquiry facts
Lord Saville held his first hearing at Derry's Guildhall in April
The inquiry began to hold public hearings in March 2000
The tribunal has now sat for 433 days.
It has heard evidence from 921 witnesses.
There have been 1,555 written statements from witnesses.
The final bill will be around £150m.
The final report is expected next summer.
The families gathered in the Bogside near where the shootings
happened nearly 33 years ago.
Kay Duddy, whose brother Jackie was killed at the Rossville Flats,
said it was an emotional day.
"It's been an emotional rollercoaster all the way through," she
"Today being the final day of the actual hearings, I feel that even
Lord Saville and Christopher Clarke (counsel to the inquiry) were
"It's in the lap of the gods now."
The Bloody Sunday inquiry was established in 1998 by Prime Minister
Tony Blair after a campaign by families of those killed and
Lord Saville of Newdigate and the Commonwealth judges accompanying
him on the inquiry began hearing evidence in March 2000.
The inquiry has heard evidence from leading politicians, including
the prime minister at the time, Sir Edward Heath, civilians,
policemen, soldiers and IRA members.
Lord Saville's final report and conclusions are not expected to be
made public until next summer.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/23 22:40:58 GMT
© BBC MMIV
Possibility That Four Nail-Bombs Found On Body Planted
Reports by George Jackson
Day 434: On the final day of his closing statement to the Bloody
Sunday Inquiry, Mr Christopher Clarke QC, the inquiry's counsel,
raised the possibility that four nail-bombs found on the body of
one of the 13 people shot dead in Derry on January 30th, 1972, had
Mr Gerry Donaghy was shot dead alongside Mr Gerry McKinney in the
Abbey Park-Glenfada Park area of the Bogside. In that area four of
the 13 people killed on Bloody Sunday by army paratroopers were
shot dead and five others wounded.
Mr Clarke described the subsequent discovery of four nail-bombs on
Mr Donaghy's body as "the final area of controversy" relating to
the Abbey Park-Glenfada Park area.
He said there was evidence from military and civilian witnesses
that some people had weapons or nail-bombs in that area. After he'd
been shot, Mr Clarke said Mr Donaghy, who was a member of the
junior wing of the Provisional IRA, was carried into a nearby house
and examined by a doctor.
Neither the doctor nor other civilians who tended to the dying
teenager noticed nail-bombs on his person. Mr Clarke said the
fatally-wounded Mr Donaghy was driven towards Altnagelvin Hospital
by a civilian but the car was stopped at an army barrier in Barrack
Street, on the edge of the scene of the Bogside killings.
One of the soldiers, known as Soldier 150, got into the car. "It
appears that he, Soldier 135, Soldier 145 and RUC Sergeant Keyes
all looked to Mr Donaghy before the car left Barrack Street, but
none of these men noticed nail-bombs on his person," he told the
inquiry's three judges.
Mr Clarke said Soldier 150 then drove the car to his company
headquarters at Henrietta Street and then onto an army camp at
There he checked Mr Donaghy's body for a pulse before a medical
Again, he said, Soldier 150 did not see four nail-bombs, nor did
the medical officer who pronounced Mr Donaghy dead.
Mr Clarke said the sequence of events that followed was a matter of
"There are thus three broad possibilities that can explain how the
nail-bombs came to be, by this stage, upon his person. Each of them
has, as I indicated in opening, associated problems.
"The first is that the nail-bombs were at all material times on his
person and he had been in possession of them before he was shot.
"The second is that the bombs were planted on him at barrier 20 or
conceivably in Henrietta Street. The tribunal may think this is the
least likely scenario.
"Thirdly, that the nail bombs were planted on him at the regimental
aid post, either by RUC officers or members of the Royal Anglians
or a combination of the two," he said.
"Fourthly, the question arises as to why any planter would have
risked planting four nail-bombs when one would have had the same
effect," Mr Clarke added.
He said it was difficult to believe that all of the civilian
witnesses who had attended to Mr Donaghy after he'd been shot had
failed to see the nail-bombs.
"It seems difficult to believe that all of them either failed to
notice any of the bombs or, having noticed them, were content to
leave them on Mr Donaghy's body despite the risks, both physical
and penal, in doing so.
"It seems difficult to believe that the police or the army at
Barrack Street had four nail-bombs with them there, planted them on
Mr Donaghy during a short interval of time, and then sent Soldier
150 off with the body and the nail-bombs without telling him.
"Lastly, it seems difficult to believe that four bombs were planted
at the regimental aid post, although there would have been a
limited opportunity to do so," he said.
"But if everything that is difficult to credit is rejected, the end
result is that there were never any nail- bombs on Gerard Donaghy at
all, when there plainly were.
"It is for the tribunal to decide what conclusions it feels able to
reach as to what probably happened or, perhaps, as to what is least
unlikely to have happened," he said.
© The Irish Times
Question Of Unknown Casualties Considered
The suggestion that there were unknown casualties of Bloody
Sunday, including some who were buried in secret, was addressed by
Mr Christopher Clarke QC, counsel to the Saville inquiry, during
his closing statement yesterday.
Mr Clarke said the inquiry would have to determine if there were
additional casualties, among them armed men and nail bombers, to
the 27 people who were shot by British troops on Bloody Sunday.
He said many witnesses, both civilian and military, had reported
seeing casualties who did not match the description of Official or
Provisional IRA members who were acknowledged to have fired on the
"It will be for the tribunal to determine, as far as it can, how
many of these reported sightings are reliable and to form a view of
the number, if any, of unidentified gunmen and bombers who were
present on the day, and of the number of dead or wounded
individuals whose names are not known," he said.
Mr Clarke said the inquiry would also have to consider the evidence
of a British military intelligence officer, who asserted that some
of the soldiers had assumed the targets they'd shot were taken
across the Border.
"It is acknowledged by civilian and paramilitary witnesses that
medical treatment for wounded casualties, both civilian and
paramilitary, was available both within the no-go areas, and in the
Republic. The tribunal has not however discovered any evidence to
suggest that any unidentified casualties were treated in
Letterkenny or in Carndonagh hospitals in Donegal.
"The soldiers have submitted that the evidence obtained does not
enable the tribunal to exclude the possibility that unknown
individuals were treated in the Republic for gunshot wounds.
"It has been suggested on behalf of some of the soldiers that
secret burials may have taken place of casualties who died and
whose deaths have not been acknowledged.
"Of that, the tribunal has received a substantial amount of
civilian evidence, including that of Bishop [ Edward] Daly as well
as that from the republican movement, that such burials could not
"If the tribunal accepts that evidence, then a finding that no
unknown casualties were killed on Bloody Sunday would seem to
Mr Clarke also dealt with the co-operation by people who were
members of either the Provisional or Official IRA on Bloody Sunday.
He said 14 Provisional IRA witnesses gave evidence and the Official
IRA command staff made a statement.
"Some have alleged that members of both wings of the IRA co-
operated with the inquiry at a late stage and to a limited extent.
Their submission is that the IRA's conduct reveals an intention to
orchestrate the evidence of members and to prevent the tribunal
from discovering the full truth about IRA activities on the day,"
"Whilst it is undoubtedly true that many paramilitary witnesses did
not come forward of their own accord, the vast majority of those
who were approached by the inquiry co- operated once contact had
been made. The inquiry's resources are limited, and it took several
months for the statement-taking process to be completed.
"The tribunal might, therefore, consider the fact that many IRA
witnesses did not volunteer to give evidence at an early stage does
not necessarily indicate they had something to hide about their
activities on Bloody Sunday.
"It could reflect the fact their republican views made them
unwilling to co-operate with the tribunal established by the
British government and perceived to be British, despite its
international membership," Mr Clarke said.
© The Irish Times
Counsel Thanks Victims' Families
The counsel to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry yesterday paid tribute
to the families of the Bloody Sunday victims and to those who were
wounded, at the end of his closing statement yesterday.
Mr Christopher Clarke, QC also thanked "the people of Derry" for
accommodating and welcoming the inquiry to the city.
"Most importantly of all, I wish to pay tribute to the families of
those who died and to those who were wounded on that day. It is
they who more than all others endured the pain of what happened on
Bloody Sunday and its aftermath.
"It is to them to whom belongs the credit for pressing for this
inquiry and for bearing what must have been the anxieties, tensions
and, no doubt, frustrations inherent in an inquiry of this nature.
The process has been arduous, the journey long and unfinished.
"I hope and believe that the process itself has already played a
part in enabling people to come to terms with the events of that
day, in holding to account those whose decisions, actions or
inactions contributed to what happened and, whatever the difficulty
of determining the roles of individual soldiers, of advancing our
understanding of what happened on that day, as I doubt not will
become apparent in the tribunal's report."
The inquiry's chairman, Lord Saville, said he and his two
colleagues, Mr Justice Hoyt and Mr Justice Toohey, associated
themselves with Mr Clarke's remarks.
The three judges will now consider all the evidence they've heard
since the inquiry started on March 27th, 2002. They've retired to
write their report which will be submitted to the Northern Ireland
Secretary of State, probably next summer.
Meanwhile, to symbolically mark the formal closure of the inquiry's
hearings, the families of the 13 Bloody Sunday dead, as well as
several of the 14 people who were wounded on the day, held a
candlelight procession from the Guildhall, where the inquiry sat,
to the scene of the killings in the Bogside.
© The Irish Times
Bloody Sunday Inquiry Treated IRA Suspects Better Than Us, Say
By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor
The Bloody Sunday inquiry treated suspected terrorists more
leniently than military witnesses, in the view of three former
soldiers interviewed by The Telegraph.
The accusation that the inquiry was not "doing all that is required
to find out the truth about the activities of the IRA" was first
made by Edwin Glasgow, QC, counsel for most of the former soldiers,
in April last year.
In written submissions, Mr Glasgow noted that the inquiry had gone
to considerable lengths to trace "literally thousands of military
personnel" present on Bloody Sunday.
Journalists had also been tracked down and questioned. When The
Telegraph correspondent Toby Harnden refused to disclose his
sources, Lord Saville had initiated contempt of court proceedings
against him, although these were later dropped.
Mr Glasgow told the tribunal, which closed yesterday, that "it
should not now hesitate any longer before doing all that is
required to find out the truth about the activities of the IRA".
Although the inquiry was approaching the last stage of its
investigation at that time, there was still a significant gap in
the evidence available to the tribunal and to other interested
parties such as the military witnesses.
But in February this year, Lord Saville decided that it would not
be "appropriate to take any further steps" in relation to former
paramilitaries who had refused to answer questions.
"In the view of the tribunal," Lord Saville said, "it is unlikely
that any further action will produce new information of real value
to its investigation of the events of Bloody Sunday. Furthermore,
any attempt to pursue the matter is likely to cause substantial
delay in completing this inquiry."
An example of the frustration felt by the lawyers representing
nearly 500 ex-soldiers can be seen in a three-page letter to the
Bloody Sunday inquiry made public this week.
Written three months ago and signed by the head of their legal
team, Anthony Lawton, the letter said it was "quite astonishing and
frankly inexcusable" that effective steps were not taken to compel
the co-operation of "PIRA 23", an IRA member convicted of
possessing firearms at the time of Bloody Sunday.
The letter followed criticism last year from Mr Glasgow that no
evidence had ever been taken from Mickey Doherty, who was wounded
on Bloody Sunday. After Mr Doherty's death last year, it emerged
that he had been manning a market stall near where the inquiry was
sitting in Londonderry.
It was, according to the soldiers' QC, "a fairly graphic example of
what has already gone wrong; gone wrong irreparably and gone wrong,
in our submission, unjustifiably."
Addressing the inquiry in September 2003, Mr Glasgow said it was
"regrettable" that civilian witnesses who refused to give evidence
had not been compelled to do so. He warned Lord Saville that unless
he took steps to obtain evidence from suspected IRA members while
there was still time to do so, the inquiry chairman's customary
expression of thanks to individual soldiers as they completed their
oral evidence "will have sounded rather hollow".
Three of those soldiers have expressed their concerns to The
Telegraph. The first, a former officer, accused the Saville inquiry
of "unfair treatment". The retired senior officer said: "I cannot
understand how this tribunal can be considered to have conducted a
proper and fair investigation when, whilst obtaining information by
the most thorough questioning of the soldiers, they did not do the
same to some members of the IRA. Quite frankly, there has simply
not been a level playing field."
The second was a former paratrooper who took part in the events of
Bloody Sunday, though he never opened fire.
His name was inadvertently disclosed in a document published by the
inquiry and this put him at risk of retaliation, since he lives in
Northern Ireland. The police issued him with a handgun for personal
protection and he had to give up his job.
Now in his fifties and with debts mounting, the former member of 1
Para is suffering from depression and unlikely to work again.
But he has a clear view of the motives behind the inquiry. "To me,
this is all political," he said. "It's to appease Sinn Fein-IRA and
make sure the families get payouts. The Army guys are just being
used and flung to the side."
He questioned the estimated £155 million that the inquiry will have
cost, saying the money could have been better spent on schools and
A third soldier who gave evidence to the inquiry felt that Lord
Saville had allowed military witnesses to be cross-examined in a
way that would not be tolerated when people from Derry were being
"We were not given the support that a lot of the civilian witnesses
were given when they were being cross- examined," he told this
newspaper. "We were cross-examined as you would a guilty party."
The man, who, like the other two, was not willing to be named, also
questioned the commitment of the inquiry in obtaining evidence from
the other side.
"Less than one per cent of the terrorists seem to have been
followed up and cajoled into giving evidence, as we were," he said.
Noting that Johnny White who described himself in a statement as
the "officer commanding for the command staff of the Official IRA
in the north-west" on Bloody Sunday would not be giving oral
evidence before the inquiry closed because of ill-health, the
soldier accused Lord Saville's tribunal of pursuing military
witnesses with more vigour than former terrorists.
It is understood that the inquiry might reconvene to hear oral
evidence from Mr White.
"If that had been us, we would have been chased until we gave
evidence. That's not justice as far as I am concerned," the former
soldier said. In his view, the inquiry was slanted in favour of
"I'm not saying Lord Saville himself is trying to discredit the
military but it's the way the inquiry is slanted."
The "Lawton team", a group of lawyers representing the largest
group of soldiers, wrote to the tribunal at the end of August about
the handling of a former IRA member known as "PIRA 23" who gave
evidence in February.
At that time, the lawyers had not been told that he had convictions
for possessing two rifles and ammunition on an unknown date in
January 1972. The soldiers' lawyers complained that they had been
deprived of the chance of asking the witness whether he had been
carrying arms on Bloody Sunday.
Since the soldiers who fired live rounds on that day had claimed
they were firing at civilian gunmen or nail bombers, PIRA 23's
conviction was of "obvious relevance".
In their letter of Aug 27, the Lawton team complained that there
was "no hint of any expression of regret" from inquiry officials
about the fact that they did not disclose the record of PIRA 23's
convictions until after he had given evidence.
But in his closing written submission, Christopher Clarke, counsel
for the inquiry, said it was "overwhelmingly likely" that PIRA 23's
convictions derived from his admission that he had fired a shot at
an Army post on the Letterkenny Road one evening in January 1972.
"The tribunal may not regard the material relating to PIRA 23's
convictions as having the significance which the Lawton team appear
to attach to it."
It was "regrettable", he conceded, that PIRA 23's convictions were
overlooked by the inquiry at the time he gave evidence.
Facts 'Airbrushed' On Bloody Sunday
Michael Horsnell, Northern Ireland
November 24, 2004
THE Bloody Sunday inquiry drew to a perplexing close last night
with the statement that it remained unclear which soldiers shot
dead 13 civilians and seriously wounded 14 during the civil rights
march in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in 1972.
In his closing statement, Christopher Clarke QC, counsel to the
inquiry, told Lord Saville and his two fellow judges: "Even after
many days of evidence, the answer to even the first question -- who
shot them? -- is not, on the soldiers' evidence, in any way clear."
The inquiry might conclude, he said, that no justifiable
explanation could be given for the troops' 10 minutes of shooting
into the crowd or that the facts had been "airbrushed out of
Mr Clarke was speaking on the 433rd and penultimate day of the
inquiry, costing pound stg. 155million ($368million), amid the neo-
gothic splendour of the Guildhall in the then Londonderry, now
officially named Derry.
The inquiry, announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair on January 29,
1998, has heard evidence from 921 witnesses and considered written
statements from a further 1555, amounting to 16 million spoken
words plus another 30 million in written form, since it began work
Mr Clarke, who will conclude his final submission today, said the
central question was why and how civilians were shot on January 30,
1972. This led to two questions: who shot them? And was there any
justification for doing so?
Contrasting the evidence of civilians and soldiers, he said the
tribunal could take one of two views on why there were no clear
answers to these questions. "One view the tribunal might take is
this is not surprising if, as they say to be the case, soldiers
came under fire from unexpected quarters and had swiftly to
The second view was that the soldiers, while claiming they hit
gunmen and bombers, were unable to explain why they killed or
wounded 27 people who were not involved, including women and
"These considerations may have a cumulative effect. The tribunal
may attach some significance to the fact so much is unexplained,"
"It might conclude that so much is unexplained because no
justifiable explanation could be given. On the other hand, it might
take the view that uncomfortable facts have been airbrushed out of
history and that the situation the soldiers faced was radically
different to that of which the civilian evidence speaks."
Counsel for the inquiry have delivered final written submissions to
Lord Saville, amounting to 10 volumes. Another 32 have been
submitted by interested parties. The tribunal will now retire to
write its report, which is expected to be submitted to the British
Government next year.
Mr Clarke said allegations had been made of a shoot-to-kill policy
by the British army in Northern Ireland. There had also been claims
the march was used by troops to draw out IRA members and shoot
them, or punish or soften them up.
Lord Gifford, QC, counsel for the family of James Wray, one of the
victims, had criticised him for coming to the "facile" conclusion
that there was no evidence of a "sinister plan", Mr Clarke said.
One of the most important issues for the tribunal to decide is what
was discussed and planned by members of GEN 47, a Northern Ireland
sub-committee, at a meeting three days before Bloody Sunday.
The tribunal needed to evaluate submissions that those at the
meeting knew of the risk of violence and "deliberately approved the
dispositions for what they perceived to be a greater good: namely
the strict enforcement of the law and the need to avoid Protestant
Londonderry Steps Out From The Long Shadow Cast By Bloody Sunday
By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent
24 November 2004
The atmosphere in Londonderry's Guildhall has been grim for years,
echoing with the mounting evidence in the Bloody Sunday Inquiry
about that fateful day in 1972 when paratroopers killed 14 people.
But in the surrounding area party-going young people have given the
city a reputation as an exuberant centre of night-life. One
professional woman said: "I was 11 in 1972, and young people today
are not as political as I was. I knew all about politics, but now
my teenagers don't give it a moment's thought; they're too busy
having a good time. They know a bit about Bloody Sunday but that's
maybe because of the inquiry."
Pat McArt, editor of the Derry Journal for 20 years, said: "A lot
of Derry has moved on. We have a very young population, and young
people have a vaguely blank look when you talk about it; they're
aware of it but not of the details."
Derry has grown remarkably since Bloody Sunday. The multistorey
flats that were the backdrop to the shootings are long gone. "The
city is now far bigger and far younger," the professional woman
said. "In the 1970s, it was a very depressed place, and a very
depressing place. There was little to do. Now it's a vibrant city;
we get tourists."
Mr McArt called the difference phenomenal, citing the sweeping
waterfront development, with Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and other
major stores. "Derry on a Friday night [used to] close," he said.
"Now there's a lot of nightclubs, the kids are out and life has
come back to the city centre."
One observer said wryly that scope for development had come partly
from architects and designers and Martin McGuinness. When the Sinn
Fein leader headed the city's IRA, his units pulverised so many
premises it looked "as though it had been bombed from the air".
Eamonn McCann, the Derry journalist who coined that phrase, said
the city was now doing well commercially and had much new housing.
But he and others pointed at low wages and continued unemployment.
Mr McCann said: "There's an awful lot of job insecurity, shit jobs
and people being treated like shit."
Another negative feature, the deep-seated religious segregation,
has become almost as rigid as that of Belfast. Protestants have
migrated from the west bank of the Foyle river, which holds the big
Catholic housing estates and the city centre.
William Hay, a former Democratic Unionist mayor said: "Protestants
feel very isolated from the life of the city, and feel their
culture is under threat.
"There are fewer than 100 Protestant families on the whole of the
west bank. If we can't do something to stop the haemorrhaging it
will end up with a city that's going to be totally nationalist."
The young Catholics who know little about Bloody Sunday also know
little about the Protestants across the Foyle. The professional
woman said: "My kids don't mix, no more than I did. That lack of
social contact stunts the growth of society here."
But why the continuing concentration on Bloody Sunday? Mr McArt
said: "It was probably the only case in the Troubles where those
who died were actually blamed for their own deaths. In other words,
they were guilty, rather than the people who committed the crime.
"There was real hatred against the British state because not only
did they shoot them dead but then they smeared them."
The hatred, he said, "festered and festered" but setting up the
inquiry had helped. The nationalists hope the inquiry, which
reports next year, will bring an element of closure.
INQUIRY IN NUMBERS
* Cost: £155m
* Cost of moving the inquiry from Londonderry to London: £15m
* Witnesses: 921 (including 505 civilian, 245 military, 49 media
and seven priests)
* Written statements: 1,800
* The inquiry has sat for 434 days since 27 March 2000
* Inquiry runs for about five hours per day, four days a week
* The opening speech by counsel to the inquiry, Christopher Clarke
QC, lasted for 42 days of sittings (Days 1 to 42) over three months
and is the longest in British legal history
* Evidence considered: 35 bundles of evidence each comprising about
150 volumes. It has been estimated that these bundles contain 20 to
30 million words. In addition, about 16 million words have been
spoken and transcribed during the 434 days of hearings; 12 volumes
of photographs, 121 audiotapes and 109 videos circulated.
Police Seek Stress Damages
The British Government was under new pressure today to pay the huge
legal bill for 4,500 Northern Ireland police officers seeking
compensation for post-traumatic stress.
With the action already costing well over £1 million, union
representatives accused the authorities of trying to price them out
of the High Court.
Rank and file officers have already been asked to pay £25 a month
to fund a landmark case expected to be heard next year.
But Northern Ireland Police Federation chairman Irwin Montgomery
claimed a wider duty of care to men and women exposed to
unspeakable horrors over 30 years of violence had been abandoned.
He said: "We believe that they have been obstructive in this
litigation in every possible way.
"Our conclusion must therefore be that this is part of an ill-
intentioned strategy to make the costs of the action prohibitively
Mr Montgomery told the Joint Central Committee of UK Police
Federations that 70 officers had committed suicide because the
pressures of working at the height of the Troubles.
Another 302 policemen and women were murdered and 10,000 injured,
delegates at the conference in Edinburgh heard.
"The physical and mental damage was enormous either on officers who
barely survived attacks or on others, who went along afterwards to,
quite literally, pick up the dismembered pieces of colleagues," Mr
But in some cases post-traumatic stress has emerged only now, 10
years after the IRA and loyalist terrorists first announced their
Although officers realised they would face harrowing situations,
their case against the Chief Constable is that he was negligent in
preparing them to cope with the traumas or in helping them cope
The federation chief also claimed the Government denied it was
aware officers were exposed to trauma, or that its resources for
dealing with the aftermath were inadequate.
"Perhaps worst of all, they deny they knew that exposure to
traumatic incidents could lead to mental disorder; yet their own
doctor acknowledged this many years ago," he said.
With the stakes now so high, the union fears its own financial
resources could be on the line.
"To obtain help for our colleagues the federation has been forced
to go out on a perilous financial limb," Mr Montgomery warned.
"There is a wider public interest in this case. The obligation to
look after the welfare of members also extends to Government.
"Yet our experience is that when it comes to money Government turns
"It is time it did the decent thing and accepted that the debt owed
to the RUC was not paid by the award of the George Cross.
"The way forward is to recognise the legitimacy of our post-
traumatic stress disorder group action."
Republican Gets 'Death Threat'
A former Sinn Fein councillor has been told of a loyalist death
threat by the police, the party has said.
Sean Hayes was told that he and three other republicans had been
threatened by the paramilitary Red Hand Defenders, according to
South Belfast assemblyman Alex Maskey.
The Red Hand Defenders is a cover name used by the Ulster Defence
Association and the Loyalist Volunteer Force.
The police said they did not discuss personal security.
Mr Maskey said: "Sean Hayes was visited late last night by the PSNI
who informed him that his name, along with that of three other
republicans in Belfast, Dungannon and Warrenpoint, were issued with
"The PSNI informed Sean that the threat was from the Red Hand
Defenders and was accompanied by a recognised code word. He was
informed that he would be killed within 48 hours."
Last Monday, Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy said the UDA
ceasefire was "holding" and "genuine".
Mr Murphy made the comments as he explained his decision to give
recognition to the loyalist paramilitary group's cessation of
violence, which came into effect on 14 November.
Mr Maskey said: "It is deeply concerning that this UDA cover name
has once again resurfaced only a week after the British secretary
of state proclaimed that the UDA was on cessation once again."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/23 12:14:46 GMT
© BBC MMIV
Voter Registration Set For Change In NI
The British government is considering changes to the voter
registration system in Northern Ireland following talks with Sinn
Féin, it emerged tonight.
Sinn Féin sources said Whitehall had admitted that the system of
making people in Northern Ireland register each year to vote had
led to a shredding of the electoral register.
They believed that the registration would now take place either
every three years or four years.
"We expect as a result of the concerns we raised that the British
government will bring in changes to the legislation governing
electoral registration," a party source said.
"We have argued that the current arrangements have disenfranchised
large numbers of people. The electoral register is shrinking year
Nationalist and unionist parties have claimed the registration
process has at times been confusing, with voters thinking the forms
entitle them to vote in future elections and not realising that
they had to register every year.
Falling turnout at the polls during last November's Assembly
election and this year's European Parliament election have been
blamed on the registration process.
Politicians have also claimed that the areas which have seen the
most dramatic fall in eligible voters have been mostly working
Call To Close Barracks
23 November 2004
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney has called for the immediate
closure of Rosemount PSNI barracks.
The call comes as it emerged 12 people a year attend the station at
a cost of more than £275,000 to the tax payer.
Mr McCartney said: "This barracks has never served the people of
Rosemount or Creggan in the capacity of a policing facility but has
been a military installation used to spy on the nationalist people.
"The revelations by the PSNI to questions submitted by the Pat
Finucane Centre that only about 12 people per year use the barracks
is testament to the support that the PSNI have in this area.
"The cost of keeping this barracks open is nearly £26,000 per
person which at a time when the British Government is cutting
community schemes to save money is absolutely ridiculous."
He added: "I am calling for the immediate closure of the barracks
and the return of the land to be used for local community use."
James F. Cawley III, Proud Of His Heritage
By MILT KRUGMAN
Bucks County Courier Times
James F. Cawley III could steal your heart with his spirit for his
Irish heritage, and his hope, faith and love for family and
"He left a strong example of being proud of your heritage, and
being proud of his country that he served," said his son, James F.
Cawley IV of Langhorne, chief of staff for state Sen. Tommy
Tomlinson. "He was a fine example of being a loving, caring,
compassionate individual every day of his life."
Mr. Cawley died Nov. 15 of cancer at his home in Levittown, where
he had lived since 1968.
He was past president of the Philadelphia St. Patrick's Day Parade
for 20 years, building it into the fourth- largest parade in the
country. He also was the founding member, first director and vice
president of the Bucks County St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is
held in Levittown. He was that parade's grand marshal in 1995.
Mr. Cawley was past president of the Irish American Cultural
Society, Bucks chapter, and a life member of the National Ancient
Order of Hibernians. He served for 53 years with the Ancient Order
of Hibernians, Division No. 87, Port Richmond, where he was
president for 24 years.
He was a life member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick; a
lifetime and founding member of the Bucks County Irish Center; a
member of the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree, St. John Neumann
Assembly; a member of St. Joseph the Worker Council; and a founder
and president of the Philadelphia Irish Heritage Festival, held at
Penns Landing in Philadelphia.
Born in Philadelphia, he was a postmaster with the U.S. Postal
Service until he retired in 1990 after 35 years of service. Mr.
Cawley was in the Army as a demolition expert, serving in Germany
from 1954 to 1956.
"He would always tell me, 'I was blowing up bridges that they
didn't need anymore,' " his son said.
"One of my father's favorite things to do was to give somebody a
big bear hug," he added. "More times than not, a handshake wasn't
enough for him. As a father, he was everything you could hope a
parent would be. There was never a moment in my life that I
wondered if he loved me. He had an amazing well of love and
He said his father loved his heritage because he believed that if
you don't know where you've been, you can't know where you're
"I'm going to miss his counsel and advice," he said. "He was always
the first person I called when I was confronted with a tough
decision. He had great common sense that he brought to the most
Milt Krugman can be reached at 215-322-9702 or
November 23, 2004 4:58 AM
Family And Faith The Focus Of New Catholic Paper
A new Catholic family newspaper, the Voice Today, will arrive on
the news stands tomorrow and will be available in churches this
The weekly tabloid-format publication will cost Â1 and will
concentrate on "culture, faith and family" issues, according to its
editor, Mr Simon Rowe.
Mr Rowe (31) is the former editor of the Irish Catholic. The deputy
editor is Ms Rosemary Swords, a theology graduate and former
contributor to another Catholic newspaper Alive! Mr Pat Quinn,
former circulation manager with the Irish Catholic, has also joined
the Voice Today.
Asked if the newspapers were in direct competition, Mr Rowe said he
did not see it that way. "There's a gap in the market and we are
going for it." He had "huge respect" for the Irish Catholic but
there was plenty of room for the two publications. The Irish
Catholic had a mostly over-65 readership while the Voice Today
would be aimed at young parents and families in the 35-55 age
With 65 per cent of Catholics attending weekly Mass, Mr Rowe said
there was huge scope to tap into the younger market. The
publication hopes to sell about 10,000 copies a week while the
Irish Catholic sells 26,000. Columnists will include Mr John
Lonergan, the Mountjoy prison governor, Mr Ronan Mullen, Irish
Examiner columnist and former spokesman for Cardinal Desmond
Connell, and Mr George Weigel, Pope John Paul's biographer.
Mr Rowe said it would be bright and confident and would have an
ethos which would "support values which promote common-sense
building blocks on which family life can flourish". It would not be
a "goody-goody" publication but it would concentrate on positive
role models at local and national level and try to focus on the
positive, he said.
"People have lost faith with many institutions and organisations
and we are trying to restore some confidence in people and remind
people of the many good things out there," he said.
The first issue will have an interview with athlete Catherina
McKiernan. About a third of the paper will be news and analysis.
There will be parenting and entertainment and culture sections.
Voice Today has raised Â250,000 and has 15 investors including Mr
Seán Ascough of Catholic group Youth 2000 and an economic
consultant, Mr Leo Goodstadt.
Mr Rowe said it was not endorsed by the bishops but had their
"tacit approval" as they had allowed it to be sold in churches.
Meanwhile, the Irish Catholic has named Mr Rowe's replacement as
editor. Mr Gary O'Sullivan (33) will take up his appointment
shortly. He is currently communications manager for the Jesuits,
but has also worked as a journalist with the Irish Catholic.
© The Irish Times
Talks Offer On Closure Of Cafes Rejected
The owners of Bewley's cafés have rejected an offer from the Lord
Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Michael Conaghan, to discuss a survival
package for the Grafton Street café before its closure next week.
In a letter sent to Cllr Conaghan this week the Campbell Bewley
Group, owners of the Dublin cafés, said they would not be able to
meet the committee organised to save the cafés in the short term.
They said however, that they might be able to arrange a meeting at
a later date.
Cllr Conaghan had written to the company on behalf of the Save
Bewley's Cafés Committee, organised following the recent
announcement of the closure of the cafés on Grafton Street and
Westmoreland Street in Dublin's city centre.
Cllr Conaghan made a number of proposals aimed at keeping the cafés
These included the possibility of a public private partnership, and
he and the committee had asked the owners to hold discussions with
Speaking to The Irish Times last night, Cllr Conaghan said he had
not had time to fully digest the contents of the company's reply,
but it broadly outlined the financial reasons for the closures.
However, Cllr Conaghan said he believed it left some room for
"It would be inaccurate to say they were very dismissive of our
offer of talks, but they said they could not meet us right away."
The committee is to hold a public meeting outside the Grafton
Street café at 11 a.m. today to rally public support for the
© The Irish Times
Grandmother Avoids Jail After Family Pay Fine
A 77-year-old great-grandmother was prepared to go to jail
yesterday over a licence for a dead dog.
The pensioner, who is a mother of 15, a grandmother of 40 and a
great-grandmother, was due to present herself at Limerick Prison
yesterday for failure to pay a fine imposed earlier this year at
Limerick District Court.
Mrs Kitty Moloney, South Claughaun Road, Limerick, evaded prison at
the 11th hour after her family paid a Â200 fine for not having a
licence for a dog which she claims she didn't own.
Her family paid the fine yesterday just hours before Mrs Moloney
was due to go to jail for five days. They said she had kept details
of her troubles with the law a closely guarded secret until Monday
Mrs Moloney, who suffers from asthma, was said to be "too nervous"
to speak to journalists. However, her daughter, Ms Mary Moloney,
said the family were shocked when they discovered their elderly
mother was facing jail. "We were very annoyed with our mother
because she hadn't told us ... She's very sick at the moment but
she's a strong woman and very determined."
She said although the fine had been paid, the family were not happy
with the way things had developed. "My mother is quite disappointed
because of all this publicity that she's getting ... She's not
happy at the fine being paid because she doesn't think she should
have to pay a fine in the first place for a dog that she didn't
The Alsatian dog at the centre of the controversy had belonged to a
relative who passed away. The dog was put down earlier this year.
"My uncle, who lived next door, owned the dog, and when he passed
away my mother continued feeding the dog. Apparently she was told
that she owned the dog so she had to pay the licence. So she said
she wasn't paying the licence because she didn't own the dog and
was just feeding it. The dog has been put down - the dog has been
dead for a few months. Apparently, the pound came and took it away
- it was very old.
"In fairness, if you knock at any door in this part of Limerick and
ask anyone to produce a dog licence I'm sure you'd have a hard time
The Minister for Justice, Mr McDowell, expressed regret that the
77-year-old had been faced with a period of imprisonment, writes
When asked if the threat of jail had been fair, he said: "I think
that nobody in Ireland is threatened with jail, as we found out in
recent weeks, unless a court sends them to prison. And there's a
system of justice there with appeals and balancing mechanisms in
"It was a point of principle rather than a point of injustice. I
think that in the circumstances I'm very glad that common sense
© The Irish Times