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December 14, 2004

12/14/04 - SF: Paisley Should Meet Adams

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 12/14/04 Ian Paisley Should Meet Gerry Adams
IO 12/14/04 Ahern Will Not Give Dáil Apology To Paisley -V
BB 12/14/04 DUP Leader Insists On Photographs
WT 12/14/04 Sinn Fein Leader Fears IRA Dissent
BB 12/14/04 'No Release' For Finucane Killer
BT 12/14/04 Trimble Reveals Part Of 'Deal' With IRA
IT 12/15/04 SF Raises Cavan Bombing Of 1972
SF 12/14/04 British Army Challenged Over Sinn Féin Remarks
DJ 12/14/04 McGuinness Foyle Claims 'Utter Rubbish' – SF
SF 12/14/04 Black Listing Case Goes To Heart Of Policing Arguement
BT 12/14/04 SF Attacks 'Art'
SF 12/14/04 Govnt Must Ensure No Shelving Of EU Irish Language


Ian Paisley Should Meet Gerry Adams

Published: 14 December, 2004

Speaking to the media today in Stormont, Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator
Martin McGuinness MP said that 'Ian Paisley should agree to meet
Gerry Adams. The two should sit down together and find a way of
sorting this out'.

Mr McGuinness said: "Last week the culmination of months of
negotiations saw us collectively make significant progress. The
comprehensive agreement which is now on the table is a remarkable
achievement. It has stalled. Sinn Féin's focus is on finding a
solution to this.

"So, let us set to one side all of the diversions and
recriminations of recent days and concentrate on the substance of
what has been achieved. The opportunity to make a defining leap
forward exists. Let's not lose it.

"Ian Paisley should agree to meet Gerry Adams. The two should sit
down together and find a way of sorting this out.

"We have one effort left to see the enormous progress made in
recent discussions turned into reality. I believe that this can
still be done but it needs the DUP leader and the SF leader talking
directly to each other." ENDS


Paisley waits for Ahern Dáil statement - Charlie Bird, Chief News
Correspondent, reports that the row over decommissioning
transparency rumbles on

Ahern Will Not Give Dáil Apology To Paisley -V
2004-12-14 20:30:03+00

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will not apologise to DUP leader Rev Ian
Paisley in the Dáil tomorrow, it emerged tonight.

A Government spokeswoman said Mr Ahern would use the debate on the
Northern Ireland peace process to clarify the Government's position
but he would not be directly apologising to the hardline unionist

"He is not going read an apology into the record of the Dáil," she

"An apology is not expected or required."

Mr Paisley was infuriated by Mr Ahern's verbal gaffe in which he
suggested the Government's position on decommissioning was no
longer workable.

He had threatened to break off contact with the Irish Government
but after a late night phone call from the Taoiseach, appeared
satisfied that Mr Ahern had simply been projecting the views of
Sinn Féin.

Ian Paisley Jr said tonight he had heard differing accounts about
exactly what Mr Ahern would say publicly tomorrow.

"We are content to wait and see exactly what he says," the North
Antrim MLA said. "If he says what he said on the phone yesterday we
will be happy."

It is understood Mr Ahern had issued a full apology to Mr Paisley
during the nine minute call.

The Government spokesperson said the Taoiseach had taken "very
swift" action after being made aware of the offence caused by his

All parties will debate the issue in the Dail tomorrow and it Mr
Ahern will certainly make reference to the offending comments.

After a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing Street
today Mr Paisley said he was confident the British and Irish
governments remained committed to photographs as part of the deal
to restore power-sharing.

He urged the Governments to stand by its proposals for photographic

The DUP is expected to go ahead with its planned meeting with
Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern tomorrow, despite the blip in


DUP Leader Insists On Photographs

The DUP leader Ian Paisley has ruled himself out as a possible
witness to IRA decommissioning saying only photographic evidence
will do.

Speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair, he said
that the man in the street must be given visual evidence weapons
have been destroyed.

A deal on restoring power-sharing in Northern Ireland broke down
last week over the issue of photographic evidence.

The British and Irish governments are now looking for another way

However, Mr Paisley said that photographic evidence of
decommissioning was the only option.

The proposal for the IRA to allow photographs to be taken of
weapons being decommissioned in the presence of independent
witnesses was included in the blueprint published by the two
governments last week.

But Sinn Fein said the IRA would "not submit to a process of

After his meeting with Mr Blair on Tuesday, the DUP leader said he
had been assured that the UK government was still committed to the

He said: "I believe that the way forward is for the governments to
keep their obligation to us.

"They put in their paper that there would have to be photographs
and they have got to stand over that.

"On that there is no turning back," he said

Mr Paisley also said that the Irish government had told him it was
still committed to the photographic proposal.

The DUP had threatened to boycott future meetings with the Irish
government after the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern appeared to concede on
Monday that photographic evidence "was not workable".

Mr Ahern later clarified his remarks, saying he was outlining Sinn
Fein's position when he made the comments.

Power-sharing executive

However, the DUP has said that Wednesday's meeting at Hillsborough
Castle in County Down will only go ahead if Mr Ahern sets the
record straight in the Irish parliament.

The political institutions in Northern Ireland have been suspended
since October 2002 amid allegations of IRA intelligence gathering
at the Northern Ireland Office.

The DUP and Sinn Fein became the largest unionist and nationalist
parties after assembly elections in November 2003.

However, the two parties have not been able to reach a deal which
would allow a power-sharing executive to be formed, and Northern
Ireland continues to be governed by direct rule from Westminster.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/14 17:55:20 GMT


UPI Intelligence Watch
By John C.K. Daly and Martin Sieff
United Press International
Washington, DC, Dec. 13 (UPI)

Sinn Fein Leader Fears IRA Dissent

With the Northern Ireland peace process deadlocked yet again, Gerry
Adams -- president of Sinn Fein the political wing of the outlawed
Irish Republican Army -- fears a major exodus of disenchanted hard-
liners from the IRA's famously disciplined ranks could boost the
ranks of extremist dissidents who want to drown the peace process
in a wave of bombings.

Adams warned last Thursday that there was a "huge trauma" in the
Irish Republican movement following the IRA's latest offer to
decommission its weapons arsenal in order to create the conditions
for a new power-sharing agreement between Protestant and Catholic
political parties on Northern Ireland. The IRA also issued a
statement approved by its ruling Army Council pledging its
commitment to "to completely and verifiably put all our arms beyond
use." That statement stirred a serious new wave of unrest among the
IRA grassroots. Their anger at what they regard as Adams'
willingness to be humiliated by London and Dublin was only
intensified when the Rev. Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic
Unionist Party, the largest and most hard-line political grouping
of Ulster's Protestant majority, flatly refused to join Sinn Fein
in a new power-sharing agreement last Wednesday.

Adams has reason for his concerns. As UPI Intelligence Watch
reported last week, earlier this month the Irish republic's
security forces successfully cracked a plot by the dissident Real
IRA group to launch a Christmas season wave of terror bombings
across Northern Ireland. A wave of defections from the regular IRA
to the Real IRA could give the latter group the men and resources
it needs to unleash a new terror campaign.

However, the Real IRA over the past few years has remained an
extremely small and inefficient organization with its active hard
core numbered in the dozens at most by Northern Irish security
officials. Adams faces a far more serious potential challenge from
the tough, implacable veterans of the IRA's South Armagh Brigade
who were in the forefront of its long struggle against Britain's
Special Air Service commandos in the so-called "bandit country"
along the Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland border. British,
Irish and Northern Irish security officials believe the South
Armagh Brigade still numbers hundreds of potential activists. It
remains extremely difficult for security forces to penetrate, and
opposition to decommissioning the organization's arms caches is
believed to be particularly widespread and deeply felt among its

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Prime Minister Bertie
Ahern certainly want to protect Adams from any assassination
attempt from Republican zealots. Over the past decade he has been
the key figure in persuading IRA local commanders to honor the
cease-fire and enforce it on their supporters. But for all the
proven efficiency of British and Irish security, they cannot
guarantee safety. And Adams is said by republican insiders to be
particularly obsessed with the possibility that he may meet the
same fate as Michael Collins, key leader of the IRA in Ireland's
1920-21 War of Independence, who was shot dead in an ambush during
the Irish Civil War by fellow-republicans who believe he had sold
out in a compromise peace treaty with Britain.


'No Release' For Finucane Killer

The loyalist convicted of murdering Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane
has been told he does not qualify for early release under the Good
Friday Agreement.

Ken Barrett was sentenced to 22 years in September after pleading
guilty to the 1989 murder, but it was thought at the time he could
be freed by March.

But he has now been told he does not qualify because he is not
serving his sentence in Northern Ireland.

His solicitor says his client is appealing against the decision.

Behind bars

Mr Finucane was shot dead by the loyalist Ulster Defence

The killing was one of the most controversial of the 30 years of
the Troubles in Northern Ireland, mainly because of the allegations
of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and members of the
security forces.

After conviction, Barrett, 42, was transferred to London's Belmarsh
Prison because of threats against him.

The decision by the Sentence Review Commission which runs the
release programme means he may be forced to serve the minimum 22
years behind bars recommended when he pleaded guilty to murder.

His solicitor Joe Rice claimed that the body had made an error.

"They misdirected themselves in law and effectively didn't give him
an opportunity to have his application fully and properly
considered," he said.

"Ken Barrett continues to be a sentenced prisoner under the regime
applicable to Northern Ireland.

"He's still very much part and parcel of the Northern Ireland
criminal process.

"We now have instructions from him by telephone that he wishes to
appeal this decision."

It is expected that a three-member panel from the Commission will
be asked to review the decision.

Under the early release programme, terrorists convicted before the
April 1998 Good Friday Agreement who had served at least two years
in prison were considered for release.

The scheme, which saw some of Northern Ireland's most notorious
killers walk free, is one of the most controversial strands of the
peace process.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/14 19:11:49 GMT


Trimble Reveals Part Of 'Deal' With IRA

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
14 December 2004

David Trimble has made public part of the aborted deal with the IRA
last year in a row with the DUP over the devolution of policing and

The Ulster Unionist leader accused his rival party of going below
his party's 'bottom line' after a challenge from DUP deputy leader
Peter Robinson to "put up or shut up".

Mr Trimble took the unusual step of releasing part of the text he
had planned to issue on October 21 last year if there had been
"transparent" IRA decommissioning.

In the end the former First Minister put the deal 'on hold' but the
Assembly elections had already been announced and the DUP overtook
Ulster Unionists - and were then further bolstered by defections
including Jeffrey Donaldson and Arlene Foster.

Mr Trimble said the Comprehensive Agreement document released by
the British and Irish Governments last week showed the DUP had
conceded a Ministerial role for Sinn Fein on policing before the
Assembly would go 'live'.

His planned text from almost 14 months ago read: "Ulster Unionists
want to see the devolution of policing and justice on a basis that
is robust and workable and broadly supported by the parties.

"In the next Assembly we will seek agreement on the practicalities
of such devolution, including the necessary institutional
arrangements and legislation, with the objective of achieving
devolution towards the mid-point of the Assembly's lifetime."

Mr Trimble said: "That's all there was. And there were no secret
deals either."


SF Raises Cavan Bombing Of 1972

Michael O'Regan

The prime suspect for a bombing in Belturbet, Co Cavan, in
December 1972 had been identified, Mr Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin (SF,
Cavan-Monaghan) said.

He added that the second Barron report had made a significant
statement on the bombing, which claimed the lives of two young

"Is the Taoiseach aware the report names a Fermanagh loyalist as
the prime suspect and advises that in 1975, gardaí requested the
RUC to question the named individual about the bombing?" Mr Ó
Caoláin asked.

"Mr Justice Barron had to conclude in his report that he is not
aware of the result, if any, of that request."

The Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, said Mr Justice Barron's comments on the
1972 and 1973 bombings in the Republic had been raised with the
British Prime Minister, Mr Blair, some weeks ago.

"We also put our concerns in writing to the British on November
17th," he added.

"These matters are now in their system and I hope we will get some
responses to that, but not at this stage."

The Green Party leader, Mr Trevor Sargent, asked if Mr Ahern
intended to do anything about the apparent time-lag between
February 2003, when Mr Justice Barron wrote to the Northern
Secretary, Mr Paul Murphy, seeking information about the bombs, and
the reply a year later which appeared to state that the British
government had not yet been able to begin a further major and time-
consuming search.

Mr Ahern said the matter of the lack of British co-operation with
Mr Justice Barron's investigation had been raised with Mr Blair by
way of letter. The matter had also been raised with the British

© The Irish Times


British Army Challenged Over Sinn Féin Remarks

Published: 14 December, 2004

Responding to remarks from a faceless individual within the British
Army press office (in this mornings Irish News) after he questioned
Crown force figures concerning alleged accidents at checkpoints in
South Armagh, Sinn Féin Assembly member Conor Murphy said:

" It appears my remarks articulating local suspicions about the
alledged incidents at checkpoints in South Armagh has hit a raw
nerve with the British Army. I have to say however that they have a
cheek criticising the democratic mandate held by Sinn Féin. Sinn
Féin represent the majority of the nationalist community in the Six
Counties. We put our views to the people and seek endorsement. The
people of South Armagh are very clear that the British Army are not
welcome and not wanted.

" Neither the British Army nor their British political masters
represent anyone in Ireland. They are an occupying force who
continue to terrorise nationalist communities across the six
counties. British Army checkpoints in South Armagh are nothing to
do with the rule of law. Like their fortresses and helicopter
flights they are about domination, intimidation and terror.

" The British Army may have a desire to continue occupying South
Armagh and other republican heartland's, they may have a desire to
continue firing live rounds at local civilians but Sinn Féin will
continue to demand that the British government honour their
commitments and remove their war apparatus and their personnel from
our communities.

" Building peace works both ways. Republicans have time and again
proven themselves to be up for the challenge. Time and again the
Crown forces have shown themselves to be incapable of grasping the
challenges presented by this process. The people of South Armagh
will simply not stand for their phoney excuses to continue their
occupation any longer." ENDS


McGuinness Foyle Claims 'Utter Rubbish' - SF

Tuesday 14th December 2004

Sinn Fein has branded as "utter rubbish" newspaper claims that MP
Martin McGuinness will contest next year's Westminster general
election in the Foyle constituency.

Weekend reports in a tabloid newspaper claimed Mr. McGuinness,
sitting MP for Mid-Ulster, will be "used in an all out bid to
annihilate the SDLP in Foyle".

The newspaper reported that Sinn Fein plan to make best use of John
Hume's political exit by running Mr. McGuinness against current
SDLP leader Mark Durkan.

The newspaper also claimed that Sinn Fein was considering running a
well-known sportsman in the Mid-Ulster constituency.

The newspaper insisted such a move would come as a "huge setback"
for the SDLP.

However, last night a Sinn Fein source branded the reports
'complete and utter rubbish". "These reports are without a single
grain of truth," said the source. "It is nothing but malicious
newspaper gossip."

The source said he was confident that Sinn Fein chairman, Foyle MLA
Mitchel McLaughlin, would contest the Foyle constituency in the
Westminster poll.

It's believed the party will reveal their candidate in coming


Special Branch Black Listing Case Goes To Heart Of Policing

Published: 14 December, 2004

Commenting on a court case in Belfast today by a woman challenging
the Special Branch blacklisting her from working in certain areas,
Sinn Féin Assembly member Raymond McCartney has said that this sort
of uncontrolled power being exercised by faceless individuals went
to the core of the policing argument.

Mr McCartney said:

" From the evidence presented in this case this morning it is clear
that the Special Branch blacklisted this woman from participating
in her work for one of two reasons or indeed both. Either she
refused to spy on republicans or refused to enter into a
relationship with a Branch man.

" It is a disgrace that the faceless individuals of Special Branch
are able to exercise this sort of unaccountable and uncontrolled
power over citizens everyday lives. This case raises the issues
that go to the very heart of the current policing arguments.

" The vast majority of the nationalist community who continue to
hold out for a genuinely accountable policing service, despite
others who have settled for this sort of second class policing,
will simply not accept an unaccountable Special Branch cadre
continuing to operate in this fashion." ENDS


SF Attacks 'Art'

By Brendan McDaid
14 December 2004

The Housing Executive were today called upon to remove "unsightly"
graffiti from the Carnhill estate in Londonderry.

The issue has been flagged up by Shantallow Sinn Fein
representative Elisha McLaughlin after complaints from a number of
residents in the area.

Ms McLaughlin said: "Many of the residents have complained about
the unsightly appearance of the area due to graffiti being painted
on walls.

"This graffiti, which local vandals seem to believe is art, is not
in keeping with the rest of Shantallow and needs to be removed."

She added: "It is for this reason that I intend to take the matter
up with the Housing Executive in the hope that they can set about
removing the graffiti so the area can be restored to its proper


Irish Government Must Ensure There Is No Shelving Of EU Irish
Language Status - Bairbre De Brún

Published: 14 December, 2004

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today urged the Irish government
not to 'drop the ball' on the campaign for full working status for
the Irish language in the EU. Ms de Brún said that any slowing down
of the process would be regarded as 'a slap in the face to those
who have worked tirelessly to ensure equality for the language in
the EU'.

Ms de Brún was responding to weekend reports, which suggested the
Irish government would accede to delays in processing full working
status for the Irish language at EU level.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"Just a few short weeks ago, I commended Irish government efforts
to have the Irish language recognised as an official working
language of the European Union. Amidst great fanfare, the
government informed us they had set in train this process. However,
recent reports have suggested that the Government may accede to
delays in processing full working status for the Irish language at
EU level.

"I am calling upon the Irish government to pursue this issue
vigorously at the highest levels of the European Union. I am also
seeking a commitment from government that this remains a priority
issues for them.

"Sinn Féin has made the recognition of the Irish language at EU
level a party priority and has campaigned long and hard with other
Irish speakers and Irish language organisations to ensure that
Irish is recognised as an official working language of the EU. Any
slowing down of this process will be regarded as a slap in the face
to those who have worked tirelessly to ensure equality for the
language in the EU. The government must not drop the ball on this

"Sinn Féin is calling upon the Taoiseach to make the full
recognition and status for the Irish language in the EU a
government priority". ENDS

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