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November 30, 2004

News 11/30/04 - Intense Talks On Power Sharing

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 11/30/04 Intense Talks On NI Power-Sharing
BT 11/30/04 Deal Could Depend On Gun Photos
BT 11/30/04 Paisley & Adams On The Brink Of Deal To End All Deals?
GU 11/30/04 A Rejuvenated Paisley Eyes His Ultimate Goal
GU 11/30/04 Adams Breaks New Ground In Talks With Police Chief
BT 11/30/04 Parties Concern Over Controversial Inquiries Bill
SF 11/30/04 Sinn Féin Raise Finucane Case With Blair And Ahern
OD 11/30/04 British Policy Of Collusion With Terrorists Condemned
BT 11/30/04 Bureaucrats 'Hiding Behind' Data Act
BT 11/30/04 Orde To Unveil The First Patten Police Station
UT 11/30/04 Bertie Ahern Wins Statesman Of Year Vote


Intense Talks On NI Power-Sharing

DUP leader Ian Paisley has met the prime minister to discuss his
party's response to British-Irish proposals designed to restore
power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

Afterwards, Mr Paisley said that they were moving in the right
direction but that the issue of IRA arms decommissioning remained a
stumbling block.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams is also due to meet Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern in Dublin.

Tuesday's meetings 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

All negotiations are being conducted through a series of British
and Irish government intermediaries because the DUP refuses to hold
face-to-face talks with Sinn Fein.

Mr Paisley arrived in Downing Street just before 1000 GMT to meet
Mr Blair in a bid to resolve concerns about future IRA disarmament.

After the meeting Mr Paisley said: "It`s now or never. You must
have done with your arms. You must put them away.

"Everyone must be convinced that the completion is a real act."

"We are moving, I believe, in the right direction but there are
some very important matters that still have to be dealt with and
the most important matter is decommissioning.

"Until the people of Northern Ireland see that the arms of the IRA
are put away ... we can`t really look any further."

Dr Paisley repeated his call for the IRA to wear "sackcloth and
ashes", saying they should do so "until the sackcloth and ashes
wear out".

"There is no excuse for what they did," the DUP leader said.

"Every day the security forces have to wear sackcloth and ashes,
have pulled down their defences.

"They have to do that - that is all right for the security forces.

"But as for us, we are immune to it - that is their attitude."

Mr Blair`s official spokesman appeared to hint good progress was
being made in the series of talks.

He told reporters: "Last week I said sometimes you measure the
progress in inverse proportion to how much we say.

This morning I`m saying nothing."

On Monday, Mr Adams described his groundbreaking first meeting with
the head of Northern Ireland's police force as "useful".

Mr Blair 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

Mr Orde said the meeting was "very significant" and a "step

The meeting came as Mr Paisley met the head of the decommissioning
body to discuss any possible IRA disarmament. Leaving the meeting
on Monday, Mr Paisley said negotiations remained at a "very
delicate stage".

The British and Irish Governments had said they wanted Sinn Fein
and the DUP to have decided by Tuesday whether to sign up to a new
power-sharing deal.

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said: "It is
now almost a fortnight since Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern handed
their proposals to the DUP and Sinn Fein.

"Last week, the DUP put more than 40 questions to the government
about the British-Irish blueprint. Having examined the answers to
those questions, Ian Paisley is still insisting he won't be bounced
into a deal.

"It is understood the DUP leader is still not satisfied about
whether any future IRA decommissioning will be photographed. There
are also concerns over period the DUP will have to assess the IRA's

"Moreover, the party wants to make sure any paper they sign up to
doesn't include moves on demilitarisation which they criticised the
Ulster Unionists over last year."

Meanwhile, SDLP leader Mark Durkan and deputy leader Alasdair
McDonnell will lead a delegation to meet Mr Blair on Tuesday.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/11/30 11:04:23 GMT


Deal Could Depend On Gun Photos

By Chris Thornton
30 November 2004

Photographs of IRA decommissioning could be "a maker or breaker" in
the pursuit of a deal to revive Stormont, DUP leader Ian Paisley
said today on his way to a crucial meeting with Prime Minister Tony
Blair at Downing St.

Mr Paisley said he is ready and willing to complete the deal to
bring back power-sharing to Stormont if the Government can address
his party's concerns, which include photographic evidence that IRA
weapons have been destroyed.

The DUP leader's visit to Downing Street was scheduled to be one of
the central meetings in a day of continued political activity
centred around completing the package proposed by London and

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, who met Mr Blair yesterday, was
due to have talks with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin, while SDLP
leader Mark Durkan was also visiting Downing Street.

Mr Blair was expected to push Mr Paisley for a commitment to the
proposed package, but the DUP leader repeated that he will not be
rushed into a decision.

"If they want to rush it, the way to rush it is to say yes," he
said. "Do it the way you said you'd do it."

Mr Paisley said he was ready to tell the Prime Minister "some very
solemn things".

"The main thing is decommissioning," he said. "If that is not done
right, nothing is right. I expect him to fulfil his pledge on

He said he wants to see photographs of decommissioning "not away in
March, but immediately after it's done".

And he added: "That's a maker or breaker. We're not there as yet,
but there is movement which has to be made into action."

The DUP leader also emphasised that there would be "a cooling off
period" before his party would be prepared to enter government, to
ensure that criminality and other activity is truly ended.

"People don't want another charade," Mr Paisley said. "There's no
use in a half-baked cake. This is the time to do it. We've got the
goodwill of the people.

"I'm perfectly open and trying to do my best."


Are Paisley And Adams On The Brink Of The Deal To End All Deals?

By David McKittrick
30 November 2004

Old enemies in Northern Ireland were edging towards a deal last
night that could break the year-long stalemate in the peace process
and pave the way for a lasting settlement.

Months of poring over scores of differences have brought the two
sides ­ the republican movement led by Gerry Adams and the Rev Ian
Paisley's Democratic Unionists ­ within sight of a deal that a year
ago seemed impossible.

With a blizzard of meetings under way, it should become clear this
week whether the breakthrough can be made and whether the remaining
gaps can be filled.

But so many apparently done deals have crumbled at the last moment
that no one is taking anything for granted.

Tony Blair voiced this yesterday when he said: "I think probably
the best thing is for me to say very little. So many times before,
hopes have been raised and then dashed that I'm almost fearful of
raising them. It's obvious that people would like to get a deal
done ­ whether that is possible or not, the next few days will tell

Many marvel that two sides with such a reservoir of mutual loathing
could even have reached this point, yet almost everyone engaged in
this lengthy negotiation has come to accept that both are sincerely
seeking agreement. A deal would not be based on trust or on common
policies, resting instead on the fact that the two parties want to
get into government, but cannot do so without each other.

Each side blames the other for causing the Troubles, with all the
decades of murder and mayhem. But each pragmatically recognises
that as the dominant parties on the political landscape there is
little alternative to doing business together. Mr Paisley is
seeking the complete decommissioning of IRA weaponry and a
guarantee the IRA will essentially shut up shop. Republicans want
assurances that the DUP will go into government with Sinn Fein.

Success would represent breathtaking advances. Such an IRA
initiative would go a long way to removing the gun from Irish
politics, while Mr Paisley would be dropping his decades-long
opposition to power sharing. A breakthrough now would begin months
of sequencing. In one scenario the IRA would agree to putting its
arms beyond use by early next year, paving the way for a new
devolved government by March or April.

The Belfast Assembly has been in suspension for a year since
Unionists walked out complaining of republican misbehaviour. Its
restoration could mean an administration with Mr Paisley as First
Minister and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as his deputy. But the
road to such an outcome is littered with obstacles and
difficulties. The IRA has in recent years decommissioned weapons on
three occasions, but the lack of visual evidence meant the events
had little impact.

This time republicans seem prepared to allow decommissioning to be
witnessed not only by the Canadian general John de Chastelain, who
has been there in the past, but also by a priest and a Protestant
minister. Mr Paisley is pressing in addition for photographic
evidence, which republicans have yet to agree to. A major
republican concern is that IRA decommissioning, which would have to
happen up front, might be followed by DUP stalling.

Many other elements are in play, including the question of how soon
responsibility for policing and justice might be transferred to a
revived Assembly.

Sinn Fein's keenness to accelerate the gradual reduction in
security force activity led yesterday to the first meeting between
Gerry Adams and the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, Hugh Orde.
It was held at Downing Street and was seen as yet another small but
significant step in the peace process.

The republicans are pressing in particular for the removal of
military watchtowers in the south Armagh area, which local people
complain are obtrusive.

Any political agreement will have to be festooned with safeguards,
assurances and guarantees to make up for the almost complete lack
of trust between the two sides. All negotiations between them, in
fact, are being conducted at one remove since the DUP will not
speak to Sinn Fein directly.

But the British and Irish governments take heart from the fact that
the two parties have conscientiously engaged with difficult issues
and seem to have reached outline agreement on many of them.

The arms issue remains central. Mr Paisley declared yesterday: "If
this decommissioning problem can be solved, then we are on our way.
But it is not solved at the present time."

The critical moment will come if and when the IRA declares its
hand, signalling how it will conduct decommissioning and how it
will provide visual confirmation of it. At that point, all involved
should know whether to prepare for breakthrough or breakdown.


A Rejuvenated Paisley Eyes His Ultimate Goal

Ted Oliver
Tuesday November 30, 2004
The Guardian

Just three months ago many people in Northern Ireland were
beginning to plan the funeral of the Rev Ian Richard Kyle Paisley.

Rumours that had persisted for years about the state of his health
resurfaced and gained credence. A mysterious absence from the
political scene during the summer months added to them. When he
travelled to the talks at Leeds Castle in Kent by road rather than
air, some said he was nearing the end.

He looked frail and when, uncharacteristically for him, he labelled
two journalists "Romanists" - Paisley-speak for Roman Catholics -
for speculating about his health, his judgment was called into

His party had just won their greatest election triumph and he had
achieved one of his own main personal ambitions, the humiliation at
the polls of the Ulster Unionists. Just when he appeared to be
reaching his political zenith, his body seemed to be letting him

Suddenly everything has changed. The old Paisley has returned with
a renewed spring in his step, and that famous voice is back with
some of the vigour that has harangued a pope, prime ministers,
Sunday gamblers and bishops for so many years.

Paisley-watchers see the rejuvenation - however temporary - as a
sign that he believes he is close to achieving another of his
lifetime aims: what he regards privately as the "defeat" of the
Provisional IRA.

Ian Paisley burst on to the Northern Ireland political scene 40
years ago, leading a mob that demanded the removal of an Irish
tricolour from a shop window near Belfast city centre. The police
duly removed the offending item, sparking off riots in west
Belfast, but the incident triggered off a chain of events that
would change the face of the province for ever.

A young Gerry Adams witnessed the violence and was prompted to join
the IRA, going on to become its chief of staff and later the
president of Sinn Féin.

Now both men are pivotal to the negotiations that seem likely to
see Mr Paisley's Democratic Unionists sitting down in government
with the republicans of Sinn Féin.

It seems certain now that the IRA will have decommissioned all its
weapons by the end of this year and issued a declaration that its
war is over and it is no longer a fighting force.

At that stage, Mr Paisley's own success in securing such a united
unionist majority against the Good Friday agreement will force him
to compromise his own deeply held convictions.

Those who know him well say that he would have liked to have seen
every IRA volunteer dead or led off in chains. His political
success has forced the IRA and Sinn Féin to move quicker and
further than they would have wanted in order to achieve their next
big aim - to develop their political presence in the Irish Republic
with a sizeable bloc of seats in the parliament.

In the euphoria that followed the signing of the Good Friday
agreement, Ian Paisley and a few others spotted the glaring flaw in
the agreement: the failure to nail down decommissioning.

That final act is imminent, and Mr Paisley's renewed energy shows
that he is confident of it.

He will almost certainly bluster, asking how we know for certain
that no more arms or explosives are hidden, but he knows and the
younger members of his party are insisting that this is their best,
possibly their only, chance to claim victory over the IRA.

Almost as importantly, they will be able to say that they have
achieved something David Trimble's UUP never managed. In fact they
are already saying it and claim that the UUP, like the SDLP, is
dead in the water.

Mr Paisley may decide to leave the post of first minister to his
long-time deputy, Peter Robinson. Actually to sit in a new Northern
Ireland executive with Sinn Féin might prove a pill too bitter for
him to swallow, but there seems to be no doubt that Ian Paisley
will remain the driving force within his party until age or death
finally overtakes him.


Adams Breaks New Ground In Talks With Police Chief

:: Sinn Féin president holds first meeting with chief constable

:: DUP leader says negotiations on IRA decommissioning at delicate

Ted Oliver
Tuesday November 30, 2004
The Guardian

A week of frantic activity aimed at reaching a deal over power
sharing in Northern Ireland reached a climax yesterday with
unprecedented talks between the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams,
and Hugh Orde, the Northern Ireland chief constable.

More than 270 police officers have been murdered by republicans
during the course of the Northern Ireland troubles and Sinn Féin
has seen policing as one of the main barriers to a permanent peace
in the province.

Yesterday's two-hour talks at Downing Street were the first time
that a senior republican figure had formally met the head of
policing in the province.

Afterwards Mr Adams insisted he had concentrated on the issue of
demilitarisation, including the withdrawal of troops and the
dismantling of army watch-towers in republican strongholds.

These are all mainstream issues for Sinn Féin - but despite this,
such talks would have been seen as impossible not long ago.

They came as the Democratic Unionist party leader, Ian Paisley, met
the head of the international decommissioning body, General John de
Chastelain, in Belfast to discuss the details of what is expected
to be the imminent destruction of the IRA's remaining guns and

After his meeting, Mr Adams said it had been "useful" and added:
"The issue of demilitarisation is a hugely important one for anyone
who wants peace and because the militarisation is of republican
heartlands it is a particular issue for nationalist Ireland."

Mr Orde said that the meeting was "very significant and a big step
forward", adding that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
could provide better services if it had the support of all sections
of the community, highlighting the fact that Sinn Féin is the only
major party refusing to participate in policing boards.

There was no signal that Sinn Féin is about to join the boards but
Mr Adams hinted for the first time that the party might accept some
role for the PSNI, saying that Mr Orde could have an operational
role in the province's policing.

Mr Adams said: "We want all these matters sorted out. We want this
to work. We are stretching ourselves and our constituency. It is a
comprehensive holistic agreement that is required. It is about
putting the Good Friday agreement in place. We can't do it on our

After his meeting Mr Paisley indicated that the final details of
the IRA's decommissioning act had still to be settled to his
satisfaction and hinted that the IRA had not yet agreed to his
demands for independent church witnesses and photographs.

He said: "The general appeared in the dark about the IRA's
intentions, as he was waiting for the politicians to make an

He said that negotiations remained at a very delicate stage. "It
really depends on the British government as I have said over and
over again to carry out the promises that Mr Blair has made.

"If this decommissioning problem can be solved then we are on our
way. But it is not solved at the present time. There are a host of
things that need to be settled. We have to wait and see what is
going to happen."

Tony Blair had hoped that the two parties would have resolved all
their problems by today, but that deadline now seems certain to be

The prime minister was careful not to repeat his "hand of history
on my shoulder" remark made at the time of the Good Friday

"I think possibly the best thing is for me to say very little. So
many times before hopes have been raised and then dashed and I am
almost fearful of raising them.

"It's obvious that people would like to get a deal done. Whether
that is possible or not, the next few days will tell us."


Parties Voice Concern Over Controversial Inquiries Bill

By Chris Thornton
30 November 2004

Government plans for limiting public aspects of the inquiry into
Pat Finucane's murder were due to be raised in Downing Street and
Dublin today.

Sinn Fein described the proposed new rules, which will make it
easier for Ministers to suppress information, as "unacceptable".

And SDLP leader Mark Durkan said he will tell Prime Minister Tony
Blair today that the new legislation would lead to "Government-
controlled and Government-censored charades".

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said his party also raised the
controversial Inquiries Bill with Mr Blair during a meeting in
Downing Street yesterday and will raise it again today in talks
with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

The bill, published last Friday, will give Ministers the power to
suppress information that could come before inquiries, including
the planned hearings into the collusion around Mr Finucane's

After the bill was published, Mr Finucane's family said they will
not support the inquiry.

Mr Kelly said: "It is simply not acceptable for British Ministers
to be able to suppress vital evidence from a proposed inquiry."

Mr Durkan said he would tell the PM of his concerns.

"This new legislation on inquiries allows government at any moment
to make any proceedings in an inquiry confidential.

"They then cannot be disclosed for 30 years. In short, the people
who have been covering up the Finucane scandal for the last 15
years will be given the power to cover it up for the next 30.

"The SDLP accepts that not everything can be heard in public. But
the decision on this must rest with the inquiry, not the


Sinn Féin Raise Finucane Case With Blair And Ahern

Published: 30 November, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing and Justice issues Gerry Kelly
said that the issue of the inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane
was once again raised this morning by Sinn Féin with the British
Prime Minister Tony Blair and would be raised tomorrow in talks
with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin.

Mr Kelly said:

"Sinn Féin have supported the Finucane family in their campaign for
a public independent judicial inquiry into the murder of Pat
Finucane. The British government gave a commitment to set up such
an inquiry if recommended to do so by Judge Cory.

"The Finucane family have always made it clear that they would only
engage with an inquiry if it had the capacity and the powers to get
to the truth. The Finucane family have expressed deep concerns that
the terms of reference published by the British government relating
to the proposed inquiry into Pat Finucanes killing will not reach
the truth.

"Successive British government's have been involved in covering up
the circumstances surrounding this and other killings. It is long
since past the time for this culture of cover-up to end. It is
simply not acceptable for British Ministers to be able to suppress
vital evidence from a proposed inquiry.

"Sinn Féin will continue to support the Finucanes and indeed other
families seeking the truth. We raised the Finucane case today with
the British Prime Minister in London and we will again raise the
matter in talks tomorrow with the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in
Dublin." ENDS


British Policy Of Collusion With Terrorists Condemned

Oread Daily

At a press conference in Belfast today Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de
Brún and Mary Lou McDonald and relatives of those killed by the
British state highlighted the policy of collusion between British
Intelligence agents and loyalist death squads. This policy remains
one of the most damning indictments of the British presence in
Ireland. In the mid-1980s, the British government adopted a policy
which gave them greater control of these death squads. The unionist
paramilitaries were re-organized, resourced and directed by the
British intelligence services to ensure that their targeting, to
quote a British intelligence report, was 'more professional'.
Bairbre de Brún said: "The loyalists were armed with modern
weapons. In December 1987 over 300 weapons were brought into the
north of Ireland, with the full participation and knowledge of
British Intelligence. British Intelligence updated and organized
loyalist intelligence documents to ensure that the Unionist death
squads would be more efficient. Hundreds of people were killed, and
many more injured and maimed, in a campaign of state-sponsored
murder. The policy of collusion has never been reversed. The
British agencies which executed this policy remain in place today.
"The policy of employing the loyalist death squads was endorsed at
the highest political level. The British government has never
accepted its responsibility for the deaths which resulted from this

"Tuesday 7 December, over 50 relatives of those killed as a result
of collusion will travel to Brussels to raise the issue of state
murder in Ireland at the European parliament. Sinn Féin, as part of
the EUL/NGL group, are facilitating this visit and we support the
families absolutely in their demand for the truth and for justice."
Mary Lou McDonald added: "Over the last 30 years collusion between
British state forces and unionist death squads was a daily reality.
This resulted in some of the worst incidents of violence including
the Dublin/Monaghan bombings. The British government continues to
hide the truth about these terrible events. They refused to assist
the Barron inquiry. They continue to resist the Pat Finucane
Inquiry. The British are afraid of the truth. We are hosting this
first ever visit to the European Parliament by the families of the
victims of British state terror."

In September anti-collusion protesters blocked the gates of
Strabane Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) barracks
demanding that the British government comes clean on its policy of
collusion with loyalists. Speaking after the protest Sinn Féin
Councilor Brian McMahon said: "Following the British government's
blocking of the independent judicial inquiry into the murder of Pat
Finucane, it is no coincidence that people like Hugh Orde and Denis
Bradley have been wheeled out to tell us that we must draw a line
in the sand and stop looking for retrospective inquiries. Collusion
with loyalists was controlled and directed from the highest levels
within the British government and given practical effect from RUC
stations like this one. Many of those Special Branch and RUC
members who were up to their necks in collusion have not only moved
en-masse from the RUC into the PSNI, but now hold more senior
positions within this so-called new policing service."

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission also called recently
on the British government to more fully and openly investigate
allegations of collusion. Chief Commissioner, Professor Brice
Dickson, said: "We believe the British Government should do more to
fully investigate allegations of collusion and to ensure that law
enforcement agencies do not assist the activities of terrorist

The Commission report warns, "There is nothing which more seriously
undermines the rule of law than the active involvement by law
enforcement bodies in the activities of terrorist and/or criminal
organizations." Blaming "most serious and systematic violations of
human rights" on terrorist organizations, there was also a warning
that "there appears to be a growing acceptance that so-called
'punishment attacks' are a fact of life". "There is some evidence,
moreover, that paramilitary organizations have been partly
responsible for the rise in racially motivated attacks in Northern
Ireland over the past 12 months. These incidents, too, are to be
deeply deplored." The commission also said it was "disappointed"
that the government has not yet put in place a system for
preventing and investigating deaths which is fully compliant with
international standards. Sources: An Phoblacht, Sinn Fein News,

To view the Oread Daily go to
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Bureaucrats 'Hiding Behind' Data Act

30 November 2004

Top public servants in Northern Ireland are refusing to reveal
their salaries by "hiding behind" the data protection act, leading
a Sinn Fein councillor to accuse them of thumbing their noses at
any notion of open and transparent government.

Cushendall councillor Oliver McMullan said top executives in health
bodies are failing to disclose their pay and the amount of their

Mr McMullan raised the matter at Ballycastle-based Moyle District
Council and has now received a response from Stormont Health
Minister Angela Smith in which she said she was "disappointed at
the number of individuals" deciding to exercise their right under
the data protection procedures not to outline their salaries to the

The Sinn Fein man welcomed the minister's comments and said: "These
people are working for public bodies and working with public funds
and the public should have a right to know what they are earning.

"People are worried about the lack of money being spent in the
health service t yet here we have people hiding behind data


Orde To Unveil The First Patten Police Station

Moyle upgrade is given 'softer' look

30 November 2004

Ulster's first existing district police headquarters to have
Troubles-style fortifications softened was due to be officially
opened today by Chief Constable Hugh Orde.

The £600,000 refurbishment at Ballycastle Police Station - command
unit for the Moyle District Council area - took a year to complete
and has been carried out in line with the Patten recommendation
that stations should have a more normal, softer, look and be more
easily accessible to the community.

The front of the building has been completely re-landscaped and has
had open fencing installed. The front entrances for both vehicles
and pedestrians have been redesigned and relocated and disabled
access and parking has been factored in.

All public areas, such as the inquiry office and interview rooms
have been made more open and 'user friendly'.

The Chief Constable said: "Moyle may be the smallest of Northern
Ireland's District Command Units but that does not mean that there
is any less determination by police to work with local people to
make the area safer.

"For example, in the period from April to September there has been
a drop in overall crime of 22% on the same period last year. That
means 131 fewer victims. Theft and fraud is down by more than half
(53%) and offences against the person by 9.4%.

"Domestic burglary, which always causes a lot of concern, has
fallen by 22% and vehicle crime by 35%. That is a positive picture
but I know that the local police are not complacent and are
determined to explore new initiatives for preventing and detecting
crime by working closely with local people."

Moyle commander Chief Inspector David Wallace said: "This is the
first existing District Command Unit headquarters which has been
redesigned and developed under Patten requirements that police
stations should be less forbidding, more accessible to local people
and more congenial for the officers and civilian staff to work in.

"But the work is about more than just a building. It is about a
confidence in, and commitment to, the policing of Moyle and of
ensuring that we deliver to the people of Ballycastle, Bushmills,
Rathlin and the Glens the best possible policing service."

Northern Ireland Policing Board chairman Professor Desmond Rea
said: "I welcome the fact that this is the first District Command
Unit headquarters to be upgraded in line with the Patten
recommendation to make police stations more accessible to the
community and I look forward to this work programme being rolled
out across Northern Ireland.

"Policing is a vital community service and I trust that the
improved station facilities will contribute to the delivery of the
policing service to the Ballycastle community."


Bertie Ahern Wins Statesman Of Year Vote

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been voted Statesman of the Year by a
European newspaper.

Readers of the Brussels-based European Voice newspaper voted for
Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern in the position of statesman of the
year for resurrecting then resolving

the negotiations on the EU Constitution.

Another Irishman, Ryanair chief executive Michael O`Leary, was
voted businessman of the year.

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