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November 29, 2004

News 11/29/04 - Adams Says Meeting With Orde Was Useful

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 11/29/04 Adams Says Meeting With Orde Was Useful
GU 11/29/04 Ulster Close To Power Deal, Says Adams
BT 11/29/04 Guns Gone In A Month If Paisley And Adams Agree
BB 11/29/04 Q&A: N Ireland Political Meetings
BT 11/29/04 We Will Get An Accord Which Makes IRA Pay, Says Wilson
BT 11/29/04 SDLP Pledge To Press Murphy On Finucane 'Secrecy'
BT 11/29/04 Police Have No Plans To Bin CS Sprays
BT 11/29/04 Churchgoers' Cars Vandalised 'In Bid To Raise Tensions'
BT 11/29/04 Republic's President Wins Backing From Church Paper
EX 11/29/04 Kilmichael: Author Challenged To Name Sources
BT 11/29/04 Ireland's My Favourite Place, Says Bill Clinton


Adams Says Meeting With Orde Was Useful

Critical stage for NI process

Gerry Adams met the police chief for the first time

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said that his first meeting
with the head of Northern Ireland's police force was "useful".

The prime minister also attended the discussions between Mr Adams
and Hugh Orde in Downing Street.

Mr Adams said that he had agreed to meet Mr Orde on the "hugely
important" issue of the "demilitarisation of republican

He said that a further meeting was planned for later in the week.

Mr Adams said Mr Orde had an "operational" responsibility for
policing in Northern Ireland.

The meeting came as DUP leader Ian Paisley meets the head of the
decommissioning body to discuss any possible IRA disarmament.

The moves form part of intense talks aimed at reviving devolved
government in Northern Ireland.

Its political institutions have been suspended since October 2002
amid claims of IRA intelligence-gathering at the Northern Ireland

The British and Irish Governments want Sinn Fein and the DUP to
have decided by Tuesday whether to sign up to a new power-sharing

Ian Paisley says his party will walk away if a deal is not right

The Sinn Fein president's groundbreaking meeting with Mr Orde
signalled a significant departure in his party's policy.

Mr Adams said the discussions focused solely on demilitarisation,
which he said was a vital part of the Good Friday Agreement.

The talks included issues such as scaling back security
fortifications and cutting back on the Army's presence.

PSNI chief Hugh Orde was meeting Mr Adams

SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood said that he believed there
could be significant demilitarisation within a short time.

He said: "I have no doubt that people can expect radical thinking
on the time-frame for normalisation."

Early movement on the removal of watchtowers and the restoration of
normal security arrangements could be completed in less than 18
months, he said.

"The police would want that to happen," Mr Attwood said.

"The IRA must now create the maximum space to allow that to

Meanwhile, the DUP leader arrived on Monday morning for a meeting
with General John de Chastelain, who has been overseeing the
decommissioning process.


Ulster Close To Power Deal, Says Adams

Paisley to meet arms body in search for pact with Sinn Fein

Ted Oliver
Monday November 29, 2004
The Guardian

A Sinn Fein delegation will today hold groundbreaking talks with
Northern Ireland's most senior policeman, Hugh Orde, to discuss
plans to scale back security as part of talks to restore

The Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, will lead a party delegation for
a meeting in London with the PSNI chief constable and the prime
minister. The Democratic Unionist party leader, the Reverend Ian
Paisley, is also due to meet the head of Northern Ireland's
independent disarmament body, General John de Chastelain.

Mr Paisley is expected to verify that independent witnesses - two
churchmen selected by the DUP and Sinn Fein - will be present when
the IRA hands over their arsenal within the next few weeks and that
pictures will be taken.

He warned that the destruction of IRA weapons had to be
"transparent and conclusive" but refused to say if he was prepared
to sign up to a final deal which would see the re-establishment of
the Northern Ireland power sharing executive.

The DUP is close to reaching an historic deal to restore
devolution, Mr Adams said yesterday. He told the Breakfast with
Frost show that "we can get an agreement despite the refusal of Ian
Paisley to talk directly to us. I think he will do a deal but there
is a responsibility on the British government to press ahead with
the Irish government on all the outstanding aspects of the

He said Sinn Fein had two objectives: "One is to do a deal with the
DUP and two is to ensure that it is bedded and that the governments
put their propositions firmly in the fundamentals of the Good
Friday agreement."

Sinn Fein's chairman, Mitchel McLaughlin, would not say whether or
not the IRA had agreed to allow photographic evidence, or if they
had even been asked.

"We have no influence on that," he said. "Ian Paisley will come to
understand that he has no influence over that. The two governments
have no influence over that."

He added: "We are on the verge of establishing trust between Sinn
Fein and the DUP."

The DUP leader has refused to spell out publicly what demands have
to be satisfied before he signs any new deal but his executive has
given him unanimous backing for whatever decision he makes.

He has warned he would walk away from any deal that he does not
consider fair although party sources say decommissioning is the
main issue and it is close to resolution.

Both governments are anxious to get firm replies from the DUP and
Sinn Fein by tomorrow but it seems likely there will be a further
delay until later this week.

There are still fears in government circles the entire process
could collapse at the last minute, as it did last year when David
Trimble's Ulster Unionists reneged after a carefully choreographed
sequence of statements and events.

To make sure everything runs to plan it emerged US President Bush
called Mr Adams and urged him to advance the peace process, said a
White House spokesman.

Scott McClellan confirmed that the President "expressed his support
for the peace process and the agreement" proposed by Tony Blair and
his Irish counterpart, Bertie Ahern. Mr Bush also "called on Mr
Adams to help provide leadership to move the process forward".

An anonymous statement to newspapers purportedly from IRA members
threatening a split if more arms are handed over increased the

The "disgruntled Provos", apparently from the East Tyrone, South
Down and Co Antrim battalions say that IRA leaders have promised no


Guns Gone In A Month If Paisley And Adams Agree

By Gene McKenna and Dominic Cunningham
29 November 2004

All IRA arms will be decommissioned within a month and a new power-
sharing Executive will be up and running by March.

That's the enticing prospect for the North under the terms of an
historic deal which could be concluded within days.

Sinn Fein leaders last night said they believed the parties were
"on the verge" of agreement. But much will hinge on a crucial
meeting today, when DUP leader Ian Paisley will have talks with the
head of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning
(IICD) General John de Chastelain, about verification procedures
for IRA arms disposal.

If Mr Paisley comes away convinced the general's commission can
provide certainty on the arms issue, he could be ready to say Yes
to an unprecedented governing alliance with Sinn Fein. This would
see Mr Paisley as First Minister and his hitherto arch enemy,
Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, as Deputy First Minister at

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said he believed the DUP would sign
up to an agreement that would bring back the 108-seat Assembly and
the power-sharing Executive. Mr Adams said his party wanted to be
"agents of change" and shared the demand by Mr Paisley for a fair

It is understood that under the deal for the restoration of the
Northern institutions which collapsed amid political turmoil two
years ago:

• All IRA weapons will be decommissioned by the end of the year
under the supervision of General John de Chastelain.

• The General will confirm the arms disposal through a verification
procedure which will also see two prominent churchmen acting as

• Photographs of the act will be taken but, as an important
compromise to allay Sinn Fein fears about their use to "humiliate"
republicans, these will not be published at this time.

• Once the new power-sharing Executive is put in place by March and
the DUP is shown to be operating it fully and in good faith,
General de Chastelain will then publish the arms decommissioning

One source close to the talks set out the planned sequence of
events last night. Unlike previous occasions, a statement from the
IRA would this time begin the choreography, followed by a statement
from Sinn Fein. There would then be a statement from both
governments, a statement from the DUP, and then General de
Chastelain and the IICD will report. The assembly would go into
"shadow" mode, with the power sharing executive and devolution
returning, probably in March.

But Dr Paisley has again insisted that any move by the IRA on the
arms issue has to be "transparent and conclusive - I will not be
bounced into any quick deal that is wrong."

There were two further significant developments last night.
Firstly, US President George W Bush telephoned Gerry Adams in a bid
to advance the negotiations. This followed a similar call to Mr
Paisley on Friday.

It also emerged that Mr Adams and Martin McGuinness will meet PSNI
chief constable Hugh Orde along with Prime Minister Tony Blair in
London today. Their first ever face-to-face meeting was hailed by
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern last night as an "another important step".


Q&A: N Ireland Political Meetings

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are meeting the head
of the police service in Northern Ireland, Hugh Orde, at Downing

Meanwhile, in Belfast, Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley
will meet the man overseeing decommissioning, General John de

Northern Ireland correspondent Kevin Connolly explains the
importance of the meetings.

Q: Why is Sinn Fein's meeting significant?

Sinn Fein's meeting would have been inconceivable 10 years ago.
During the troubles, the IRA murdered around 270 police officers.

Now the top political representatives of the Republican movement
are talking about the future with Northern Ireland's most senior
police officer.

There is a centuries-old tradition of violent Republicanism in
Ireland and the fact the meeting is taking place is a sign of how
much things are changing.

Q: Does Sinn Fein's meeting with the police make a deal more

Probably. One of the things people have always said needed to
happen for a lasting settlement to work was for the Republicans to
talk to the police.

Because as long as the Republicans stand outside the policing
arrangements created by the Patten reforms reform is not really

The meeting is a step forward. However difficult Sinn Fein's
relationship with the police stays, they are now talking.

Q: What about DUP leader Ian Paisley's talks with General John de

The meeting in Belfast is important because the DUP is the largest
Unionist party and will be the Unionist party in power sharing if a
deal is done.

Mr Paisley has said he will not sign a deal unless there is
photographic proof of the IRA decommissioning weapons.

He is going to see General de Chastelain to talk about how that
might work - really whether his demands in terms of decommissioning
can be met.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/29 11:34:11 GMT


We Will Get An Accord Which Makes IRA Pay, Says Wilson

By Noel McAdam
29 November 2004

The DUP's "fair deal" must make the IRA "pay the price it should
have paid" for concessions between 1998 to last year, a senior
party figure has insisted.

Assembly member Sammy Wilson said: "Arms must go. Criminality must
end. The IRA must cease its activities. Only then will the doors of
Stormont open to IRA/Sinn Fein again."

Speaking at an Orange Order dinner in Keady, he also said that his
party had withstood republican pressure on policing, with Special
Branch now stronger than ever and police still having baton rounds.

His comments came after Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams warned the
party against the use of "intemperate" language as negotiations
aimed at the restoration of devolution continue.

Mr Wilson said: "We are committed to getting a new deal, a fair
deal, a deal which makes the IRA pay the price it should have paid
for all the concessions given in 1998 right up to those given in
(David) Trimble's last failed foray into the field of negotiations
at Hillsborough in 2003.

"I repeat again.

"There will be no deal to restore devolution which includes
IRA/Sinn Fein unless there is the total and verifiable destruction
of IRA guns."

Mr Wilson also defended his party's attempts to secure a £1bn
economic boost from security savings as part of the price tag for a
devolution deal.

The East Antrim Assemblyman said it must rankle with Ulster
Unionist Party members than the DUP had not caved in under pressure
and had proved by working on the Policing Board that some of the
worst aspects of the Good Friday Agreement could be dismantled or

"Republicans wanted Special Branch destroyed: today it is stronger
than ever and reorganised to deal with terrorists who engage in
criminal activity as well," Mr Wilson added.

Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin also warned at the weekend
there were many issues still to be resolved including the election
of First and Deputy First Minister.

He told BBC Radio 4's World This Weekend: "This has been a
successful peace process - perhaps one that didn't develop as
quickly as people on the ground would have hoped, but nonetheless
it has been moving steadily in the right direction, despite all the
hiccups and frustrations and disappointments."

Mr McLaughlin added: "The final piece in bringing all-party
dialogue about is this discourse between the DUP and Sinn Fein and
I think we are on the verge of achieving that."


SDLP Pledge To Press Murphy On Finucane 'Secrecy'

By Chris Thornton
29 November 2004

The SDLP said it will push Secretary of State Paul Murphy today on
legislation that could keep details about the murder of Pat
Finucane secret for 30 years, even if they are aired in front of
the inquiry into his murder.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan was due to meet Mr Murphy about the peace
process today, but said he would raise concerns about the
legislation used to frame the Finucane Inquiry.

The family of the murdered solicitor have already rejected the
inquiry because of legislation that was published on Friday.

If made law, the Inquiries Bill will allow ministers to determine
what should be kept secret during an inquiry.

"It allows a minister at any time before or during an inquiry to
force the inquiry to hold hearings in private or treat information
as confidential," SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood said.

"If the minister does this, the information must be blacked out for
30 years."

Mr Durkan added that the new inquiry legislation "undermines
democratic principles of openness".


Police Have No Plans To Bin CS Sprays

By Brian Hutton
29 November 2004

The PSNI is not contemplating the withdrawal of CS sprays, a
spokesperson said today.

Although the force is examining alternatives it has rejected
reports that it is considering an end to its use of the
controversial chemical.

The irritant, sprayed onto a person's face to disable them, has
been used by police officers around 10 times a month in Northern
Ireland since August.

"The Police Service of Northern Ireland are not actively
considering the withdrawal of CS spray," a spokesperson said today.

"Police monitor the wider alternatives to CS incapacitant spray as
a matter of best practice, as they do with all police equipment."

One officer is currently suspended while police carry out an
internal investigation into an incident involving CS in Londonderry
city centre recently.

The Police Ombudsman has been asked to probe all cases of police
use of the chemical spray until the end of this year, when the
practice is to be reviewed.

There are 38 ongoing investigations relating to police use of CS
since August 5 of this year.

Speaking to BBC Radio Foyle on Friday, Superintendent Richard
Russell said that there are a number of alternatives to CS sprays.

"We are looking at these very carefully," he said.


Churchgoers' Cars Vandalised 'In Bid To Raise Tensions'

By Maureen Coleman
29 November 2004

A paint attack on churchgoers' cars in east Belfast was carried out
to raise tensions in the area, unionist councillors claimed today.

In the incident yesterday a number of cars parked in Templemore
Avenue were painted and republican slogans daubed on murals at
Thorndyke Street.

Slamming the vandalism, East Belfast DUP Assembly member Robin
Newton described the culprits as "absolute head bangers with evil
intent in their minds".

"This attack on the cars of people attending church and the
painting of republican slogans on gable walls is an act calculated
to raise tensions in the district," he said.

"Those who are working to such an agenda will be condemned and
ostracised by all decent people.

"The vast majority of east Belfast people want to live in peace and
some stupid thugs are intent on raising tensions to create violent

Mr Newton appealed for calm and said anyone with information about
the paint attacks should contact the police.

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers also condemned the attack.

"To think that these people were in church worshipping God then
they came out to find their cars had been vandalised is
disgusting," he said.

"At this stage it is too early to say who was behind it, but the
finger of blame does seem to be pointing at youths from Short

"A lot of time and effort was put into those murals, which depict
the good and positive things about east Belfast, so to vandalise
them is sickening."

A police spokeswoman confirmed they were investigating a paint
attack on cars in Thorndyke Street yesterday.


Republic's President Wins Backing From Church Paper

By Alf McCreary
29 November 2004

The Church of Ireland Gazette has welcomed President Mary McAleese
to her second term of office and has praised her support for" the
pluralism and diversity of modern Irish society."

In its latest edition, the newspaper noted that the former
President Mary Robinson was also at President McAleese's recent
inauguration ceremony and stated that both women had much in

It added: "They are both good friends of the Church of Ireland and
other minority traditions, they are both well-qualified lawyers
with strong academic credentials and both are sensitive to minority
interests, with a caring and genuine empathy for emigrants and

The Gazette also praises the current President's husband Dr Martin

It states that he has played a vital role as a reconciler "enabling
and facilitating dialogue and reconciliation in a way that would be
unimaginable for the spouses of many other heads of state".


Kilmichael: Author Challenged To Name Sources For Ambush Claims

By Eoin English

AN AUTHOR was challenged yesterday to name his sources and end
decades of controversy surrounding an IRA ambush in West Cork.

Historian and author Meda Ryan called on Peter Hart to name two men
he says he interviewed which led to his claims that Tom Barry's
account of the 1920 Kilmichael ambush was "riddled with lies and

Ms Ryan was speaking in Kilmichael during ceremonies to mark the
84th anniversary of the ambush.

"While Peter Hart fails to reveal the identity of his anonymous
sources, the story of the Kilmichael ambush will remain clouded in

"This is extremely important for history and for the men who fought
with the third West Cork Brigade. "If he revealed the names, then
the credibility of these two witnesses who claim to give a first-
hand account could be examined," she said.

Barry, commanding officer of the third West Cork Brigade, led the
IRA unit in an ambush against Macroom Castle-based Auxiliaries on
November 28, 1920.

It was the first major ambush against British forces in Ireland.

Eye witnesses said some Auxiliaries shouted "surrender" and dropped
their guns soon after the ambush began.

As Barry's men stood thinking the exchange was over, some
Auxiliaries picked up their guns and began to fire again, killing
three volunteers.

Realising the "false surrender", Barry then issued an order to his
men to open fire, killing all but two of the Auxiliaries.

He accepted full responsibility for the action, Ms Ryan said. Peter
Hart, who was attached to Queens University Belfast but who now
lives in Newfoundland, claimed in 1998 that Barry and his men
killed prisoners, and that he refused to accept the false

But Ms Ryan, whose uncle Pat O'Donovan was involved in the ambush,
reiterated the widely-held view that the Auxiliaries engaged in a
false surrender.


Ireland's My Favourite Place, Says Bill Clinton

Rumours of Irish summer home plan

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
29 November 2004

Former US President Bill Clinton has said that he would rather live
in Ireland than any other country in the world outside of the US.

His comments are likely to start renewed speculation that he is to
buy a house in Ireland.

He made his comments on ABC television during a questionnaire
interview with journalist Peter Jennings for a feature on the new
Clinton library.

There was been ongoing speculation that President Clinton is
considering buying a summer house on either side of the Irish

A rumour two years ago that he was to buy an apartment at the K
Club golf course in the Republic turned out to be false.

His new Clinton Library in Little Rock, Arkansas shows his ongoing
interest in Northern Ireland.

A gift he received of an orange and green chess set with
nationalist and unionist politicians as the key pieces, and the RUC
and paramilitaries as the pawns, is prominently displayed.

The caricatures of the board include John Hume, Gerry Adams, Ian
Paisley and the Queen.

There is also a large quote displayed from one of his speeches in
Belfast: "You Protestants and Catholics alike must not allow the
ship of peace to sink on the rocks of old habits and hard grudges.

"You must stand firm against terror."

There is also a sign taken from Bessbrook community centre stating:
Sniper: Job Seeking, a post-ceasefire take on signs in south Armagh
that used to read Caution: Sniper At Work.

Other artefacts include an exhibition on his St Patrick's Day
parties, which were held "to help ease the process of peace-making
in Northern Ireland."

Another notation in the exhibition states that President Clinton
stayed up all night urging the Northern Ireland party leaders the
night before the Good Friday Agreement was signed.

Large screens throughout the library show various happy scenes from
his Presidency, including cheering crowds in Belfast.

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