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December 18, 2004

12/18/04 - Fugitive IRA Man Aided Colombian Escape

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

GU 12/18/04 Fugitive IRA Man 'Aided Colombia Escape'
TO 12/18/04 IRA Trio Vanished Last June
TO 12/18/04 How IRA Trio Were Able To Disappear
SM 12/18/04 Wanted Trio: Sinn Fein Officials Arrive In Colombia –V
BB 12/18/04 Gunmen Fire Shots Into Taxi In Loyalist Belfast
GU 12/18/04 Mad Dog Will Be Bolton Bound After His Release
NY 12/18/04 Beloved Queens Pub Closes
BT 12/18/04 Christmas Books: Graphic Tale Of Warring Ulstermen

RT 12/18/04 Envoy Suggested Publishing Photo Of Decommissioning

Bush Envoy Suggested Publishing Photo Of Decommissioning - Tommie
Gorman, Northern Editor, reports on the latest developments in the
Northern Ireland peace process


Fugitive IRA Man 'Aided Colombia Escape'

Henry McDonald, Ireland Editor
Sunday December 19, 2004
The Observer

An IRA fugitive on the run for the killing of Garda Jerry McCabe
helped three Irish republicans escape from Colombia, it was
suggested last night.

Cork-born Paul Damery is one of two men still wanted in connection
with the McCabe killing in 1996. Now security forces on both sides
of the Irish border believe Damery aided the escape of James
Monaghan, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley, the trio sentenced to
17 years each by a Colombian judge on Thursday.

The three men left Colombia via Venezuela from a safe house they
were living in several weeks before the judge overturned an earlier
decision that they were not guilty of training narco-terrorist
group Farc.

Damery, whose wife is Venezuelan, is thought to have helped plan
the three republicans' escape and they are now believed to be in

Connolly was Sinn Fein's official representative in Castro's Cuba
before being arrested in Bogota airport three years ago, along with
Monaghan and McCauley.

All three were travelling on fake Irish and British passports and
were accused of training Farc guerrillas in bomb-and-rocket making
technology, a charge the trio have always denied.

Colombia's vast border with Venezuela is largely un-patrolled by
government troops. Much of it is controlled by Farc in the south or
illegal right-wing paramilitary groups in the north.

'These men, as soon as they were freed were supposed to present
themselves to immigration authorities to legalise their stay in
Colombian, and they never did,' said Interpol chief Victor Cruz.

The incident has been embarrassing for Colombian authorities since,
apart from cursory checks at addresses they had on file, no follow-
up was ever done to try to locate the men until they were convicted
on appeal last week.

Colombian authorities are determined to capture the three men and
see them serve their sentences in Colombian jails.

'They committed crimes in Colombia and they have to answer to the
Colombian justice system,' said Attorney general Luis Camilo

Interpol is expected to issue a formal arrest warrant for the three
men tomorrow.

Their defence attorneys, who have declined to comment on the
whereabouts of their clients, are expected to make a statement
tomorrow and confirm whether they will take an appeal to the
Supreme Court.

If the three turn up in Ireland it will be extremely difficult for
the authorities to hand them over to the Colombians. The Republic
does not have an extradition treaty with Colombia and according to
legal experts the men could challenge any attempt to deport them.

The US State Department refused yesterday to be drawn on whether or
not the Irish government should meet any request from Colombia for
their extradition.

Sinn Fein and the men's support group insist they did not get a
fair trial in Bogotá and should be allowed back to Ireland.
Unionists, however, warned that if the Dublin government refuses to
extradite them it will create a crisis in their relationship with
Bertie Ahern's administration.


IRA Trio Vanished Last June

Liam Clarke and Maria Ines Carrizosa, Bogota

THE Colombia Three may have gone on the run as soon as they were
released from prison almost six months ago.

Victor Cruz, director of Interpol in Colombia, said that the three
gave false addresses to the authorities and failed to sign on with
immigration the morning after their release, as they had promised.

"We started to search for them as soon as we realised that they had
not reported to the immigration authorities," Cruz said. "We went
to all the known addresses we had but could not find them. My
suspicions are that they left Colombia illegally."

The IRA trio are believed to have crossed the border into nearby
Venezuela as soon as they shook off a heavy police escort that
protected them on the journey from prison to the outskirts of

Luis Camilo Osorio, the prosecutor-general of Colombia, said that
the IRA trio's freedom had been granted under certain conditions,
and they had complied with none of them.

"They did not honour their commitment to Colombia by presenting
themselves," he said. "They have been preparing people to commit
terrorism in Colombia and for that they must pay."

Last week Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan were
sentenced on appeal to 17 years in jail for training Farc
guerillas. Farc is waging a civil war with the Colombian government
and has used mortar technology modelled on the IRA's.

Osorio lodged an appeal last April after the trio's initial
acquittal. Bertie Ahern, the taoiseach, then intervened with Alvaro
Uribe, the Colombian president, to ask that the men be allowed to
return to Ireland during the appeal.

Despite republican claims that the Colombian court system came
under political pressure to treat the men harshly, the evidence is
that Uribe responded favourably to Ahern's overtures but was
overruled by the courts.

Irish government sources say that if the men were serving their
sentences, Ireland would have asked Colombia for a bilateral
prisoner exchange arrangement to allow the trio do their time in
Irish prisons while they lodged further appeals or made a plea for
clemency to Uribe.

Ahern has appealed for the men to give themselves up to the
Colombian authorities. Sinn Fein's criticisms of the Colombian
judicial system as corrupt have further inflamed the situation and
made it more difficult to resolve diplomatically.

Yesterday Catriona Ruane, a Sinn Fein MLA who has championed the
case of the Colombia Three, and Gerry Kelly, Sinn Fein's policing
spokesman, travelled to Colombia. They plan to hold a press
conference in Bogota tomorrow.

There is evidence that the three planned from the outset to
dishonour the bail undertakings, which they made only after Irish
diplomatic pressure. There are also indications that some
supporters were aware of the escape plans.

Six weeks before they were released Sean Crowe, a Sinn Fein TD,
appealed for the Colombian government to give them police
protection. However, on their release the men turned down the
protection and accused the security forces of collaborating with
paramilitaries trying to kill them.


December 19, 2004

How IRA Trio Were Able To Disappear

Liam Clarke

LAST week Catriona Ruane, a Sinn Fein politician who has led a
"bring them home" campaign for the Colombia Three, complained that
none of the IRA trio had seen or spoken to their families in eight
months. But she seemed remarkably relaxed about their safety.

For a week before they were released from prison on bail, it had
been claimed that it was so dangerous for the republicans in
Colombia, they would prefer to stay in Bogota's notorious La Modelo
prison rather than venture outside. Ruane had warned that they
risked assassination by right-wing paramilitary groups if they left

In the eight months since their release, these fears have not been
mentioned. The three refused an offer of Colombian police
protection, then failed to report to immigration authorities, and
gave false addresses to the Colombian authorities.

Victor Cruz, the head of Interpol in Colombia, has no doubt about
what happened. "We started to search for them as soon as we
realised they had not reported to the immigration authorities," he
said. "We went to all the known addresses we had but could not find
them. My suspicions are that the left the country illegally."

The belief in Colombia is that they crossed into nearby Venezuela
as soon as they had dropped off their escort, and have not been
back since. Venezuela has no extradition arrangments with Colombia
and the long border between the two countries is sparsely inhabited
and poorly patrolled.

Last night Cristin McCauley, wife of one of the three, Martin
McCauley, refused to say whether or not she had concerns for her
husband's safety.

Niall Connolly's mother said: "We are of course devastated by this.
Everyone expected Niall and the others to be home after the
verdict. Now we can just wait."

Sinn Fein statements also concentrated on the need to get them home
for Christmas and the harshness of the 17-year sentence they
received. There was no mention of their safety or whereabouts.
There is no mention of concern about how the three men supported
themselves, with no contact with the outside world and living
illegally in Colombia.

As so often in the story of the Colombia Three, things do not quite
add up. At first they claimed to be entering the country as
journalists, then they were eco-tourists, and later they said they
had come to encourage Farc's peace process.

In fact Martin McCauley and James Monaghan had been tailed for
months as part of joint British, Spanish and Colombian intelligence
effort to prevent co-operation between Farc, IRA weapons experts
and Eta, the Basque separatist movement, which is believed to have
made the introductions.

When the three were arrested at Bogota's El Dorado airport in
August 2001, there was a flurry in London. Sir Stephen Lander, the
head of MI5, rung his station head in Belfast to tell him "the
timing is crap" while the cabinet office was in contact with Sir
Ronnie Flanagan, the chief constable of the RUC, with a similar

Then, just like now, the British and Irish governments were
struggling to restore the power sharing executive. On that occasion
David Trimble had resigned in a row over IRA decommissioning. Some
in the intelligence community leaked to unionists that the
Colombian adventure was run by Brian Keenan, an IRA hardliner, and
it was taken as tangible evidence of IRA attempts to re-arm,
develop their technology and raise money by providing training to
foreign terrorists.

"Mortar" Monaghan was believed to be the IRA head of engineering,
responsible for developing improvised explosive devices like the
barrack buster mortars. McCauley was his deputy and Connolly, who
was based in Havana with his girlfriend Odalys, was the Sinn Fein
representative in Latin America, though this was denied at the

It wasn't Monaghan's first visit to Latin America. He and had
previously been in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Costa Rica and Connolly
had also been to Panama, according to stamps on his false Irish
passport. Other republicans including Padraic Wilson, the former OC
of the Maze, and Keenan had visited Colombia too.

The authorities had waited to pounce because they believed,
wrongly, that they had caught the trio red-handed and that McCauley
would be carrying a computer with damning military training film on
its hard drive. The men's mission in Colombia was believed to have
been to use the vast wilderness of a Farc-controlled demilitarised
zone the size of Wales to test detonate "fuel air" bombs, powerful
home-made explosives device known as the "poor man's atom bomb ".

Fuel air devices depend on two closely linked and carefully timed
explosions and McCauley and Monaghan had acquired a specialist
camera to record the explosions for development purposes.

The arrests were a political hot potato but British intelligence
sources believe that the long term effects were positive. The
arrests, even without the computer, led to a diminution of Keenan's
influence within the republican movement and an end to the IRA's
overseas training plans.

After the plot was blown the fate of the Colombia Three became
something of an embarrassment and the Irish government made
representations to Alvaro Urribe, the Colombian president, to let
them come home. His security forces made no great effort to keep
them in the country.

Additional reporting: Scott Millar and Dearbhail McDonald


SF members travel to Colombia to meet Irishmen's lawyers - Watch
the report

Wanted Trio: Sinn Fein Officials Arrive In Colombia -V


Two members of Sinn Fein have arrived in Colombia to meet lawyers
for three fugitive Irishmen convicted of training Marxist rebels in
terror tactics.

Gerry Kelly, a senior party figure, and Caitriona Ruane, who leads
the Bring Them Home pressure group, said on their arrival in Bogota
that they were deeply concerned by the ruling that overturned an
earlier acquittal and sentenced them to 17 years in prison.

"The decision was made behind closed doors, without any hearings,"
Ruane told The Associated Press. "It's shocking."

She said they would meet lawyers for James Monaghan, Niall Connolly
and Martin McCauley to develop a response to the convictions.
Lawyers have still not decided whether to appeal.

Ruane said they planned to hold a news conference tomorrow.

But in an embarrassment for Colombia's justice system, authorities
say they have lost track of the trio since their release from
prison in June. Ruane said also she doesn't know where they are.

Interpol is drafting international arrest warrants for the three
men, who have all been linked to the Irish Republican Army.

The judge who cleared them of the terror-related charges in April,
but convicted them on lesser charges of passport fraud had ordered
them set free due to time served, provided they remained in the
country pending an appeal by the attorney general's office.

They were supposed to report to authorities every week, but it
later emerged that they never did.

The Irishmen were arrested at Bogota's airport in August 2001 after
leaving a stronghold of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia,
or FARC, deep in southern jungles.

Authorities accused them of teaching FARC rebels how to make bombs.
But Monaghan, McCauley and Connolly said they were innocent and in
Colombia to observe the government's peace talks with FARC, which
collapsed six months after their arrest.

FARC has been waging a 40-year-old struggle to topple the
government in a conflict that kills more than 3,000 people every


Gunmen Fire Shots Into Taxi In Loyalist Belfast

Gunmen have fired several shots into a taxi in west Belfast.

Two men got out of the taxi in the mainly loyalist Shankill area
and fired a number of shots back into the vehicle.

The incident took place in Lawnbrook Avenue off the Shankill Road
shortly before 1500 GMT on Saturday.

The gunmen then made off on foot towards Cupar Street.

Police said a motive for the shooting had yet to be established.
No-one was injured.

Detectives have appealed for witnesses.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/18 16:09:59 GMT


'Mad Dog' Will Be Bolton Bound After His Release From Prison

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday December 19, 2004
The Observer

Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair, once renowned as the face of violent
loyalism, is heading for Bolton in the new year and is hoping to
melt into relative obscurity in the Lancashire town.

The former Ulster Defence Association leader is due for release
from Maghaberry Prison, Co Antrim, in four weeks. There had been
fears in Belfast that he would seek revenge on those who expelled
him from the loyalist movement.

But Adair has indicated that he is preparing to be reunited with
his wife, Gina, and children in Bolton at the start of the year.
Gina Adair underwent successful surgery earlier this year for
ovarian cancer. She has been told her cancer is in remission.

The 40-year-old loyalist, chief of the routed 'C' company faction
of the UDA, said he was visited by detectives from the Police
Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) who asked him about his plans.

'The PSNI wanted to know what my plans were for when I get out. Was
I going back to the Shankill, or Scotland or Bolton,' he said.

'I told them that my first priority is to be with my wife and
children. But I said that I would be taking things one day at a
time. I haven't made any plans apart from that.'

However, those closest to him during his reign as terror boss on
Belfast's Lower Shankill estate said there was little doubt Adair
was planning to resettle in Bolton.

'All his "C" company allies are either in jail, on the side of the
UDA leadership now, or in exile themselves. He has no base back in
Belfast. If he walked up the Shankill Road on release there would
be a queue of people to take pot shots at him,' one leading
loyalist on the Shankill said. 'Johnny and the era he represented
is finished and over for good.'

Adair and his allies were routed just under two years ago in a feud
which had threatened to tear apart the UDA. His bid for supreme
power in the largest loyalist paramilitary movement backfired and
after his arrest in February 2003 the UDA expelled about a dozen of
his core supporters from Northern Ireland.

He was turned down for Christmas parole this year on advice from
the PSNI. It is the second Christmas in a row that Adair has been
refused seasonal parole.

'I didn't really hold out much hope. But I thought seeing that I
was down to the last few weeks of my sentence there might not be
too big a problem,' Adair said.

'But the No 1 governor came to see [me] this week and said my
parole had been refused, but the decision had been made above him.

'So I take it was probably somebody in the NIO [Northern Ireland
Office] or PSNI who has refused my parole.

'But I believe it is grossly unfair.'

The Greater Manchester Police have plans to question Adair once he
arrives in Bolton in late January. His son, Jonathan Junior, is
currently serving a prison sentence for drug dealing in north-west


Beloved Queens Pub Closes

By Robert Polner
Staff Writer
December 18, 2004

Patrick's Pub dates to the era of the last World's Fair in New
York, has served up draught and corned beef to the likes of Tug
McGraw and Joe Namath, and once employed former CIA Director George
Tenet. Now, as the winds of change have converged on a modern city,
bringing new lifestyles and food preferences, this well-loved
Queens pub is no more.

Frank Mockler, who owned the recently deceased Patrick's Pub and
Cafe on Northern Boulevard in Little Neck, has a few hard-won
thoughts on the demise of the turreted, two-story establishment
that he opened with his brother Patrick, in 1965. The pub closed
its doors after nearly four decades at the end of August, after a
night of tears and friends, and beers and corned beef, Frank
Mockler said.

"I feel like the captain of the Titanic," said Mockler, 76, pushing
back his white hair.

This Christmas, meanwhile, will be the last for Claddagh Shop next
door to the pub -- another commercial twist from the old country
and looked after by Mockler's three married daughters, Patricia,
Franceen and Bette, who also worked for the pub. The store, which
sells such gift items as rings, kilts, sweaters and china, will
close a week after the holiday, while continuing to prowl for a new

Sensing the end

The swatch of land where the two businesses stood have been
familiar landmarks just on the Queens side of the invisible border
with Nassau. It was sold to real estate investors who may rent it
to a "high-end" Greek restaurant or perhaps a franchise, said
Hantha Seo of HB Landmark Realty in Flushing, one of the investors.

Mockler, whose wife, Marge, died 12 years ago, said he'd sensed the
end of the establishment for quite a while, a demise bracketed by
an increase in the drinking age from 18 to 21 more than two decades
ago and the recent citywide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.
Neither development was exactly a boon to business, he said.

In between came other hits. There was the Jets' departure from
Flushing in 1984, crimping the Sunday post-game dinner crowd; the
changed Little Neck demographic profile, from Irish and Italian to
a pronounced Korean presence; the popularity of restaurant chains;
and the turn from public conviviality to stay-at home e-mailing and
TV watching, a shift Mockler said he finds most disconcerting.

"All those home cooking shows," he said. "Everyone's at home in the

When things were different, when the price of meat and dairy were
much more reasonable than the stratospheric heights to which he
said they have risen in the last 18 months, and when Scotch was
king and beer was cheap, Patrick's Pub offered a well-supervised,
tartan-and-wood watering hole for eastern Queens and western

"We were perfectionists about the food," he said, noting the menu
had such favorites as chicken blarney bleu, steak and kidney pie
and, of course, "world famous Irish coffee."

"It was our local pub," mused Carol Gresser, a former Board of
Education member who lives with her husband, an attorney, in
Douglaston. "I do miss it very much -- almost as if a family member
we loved just moved away."

Pols to sports legends

Mockler was born in New York, a "Depression baby." His mother would
return with her cherubic 1-year-old to Galway in the west of

He returned to live in the city in 1946 as a teenager. His mother
and two older brothers arrived in 1954.

Mockler, a one-time bartender at Downey's in the theater district,
recalled: "One day I was having lunch and there was an ad in the
World Telegram for the land that would one day become Patrick's
Pub, and it stated, as a selling point, that it was close to a
funeral parlor," Mockler said with a laugh.

"We ended up buying it for $9,000, with an option to buy the
building, which we eventually did. It was called Sweeney's in those

The sign-in book tells a long story, touching on politicians from
Peter King to Frank Padavan, district attorneys such as Nassau's
Denis Dillon, the recent espionage chief Tenet (who worked as a
summer bartender when he was in graduate school), and many local
sport legends.

Former Jets coach Weeb Eubank was the first man at the bar after
home games, and relief pitcher Tug McGraw had a party at Patrick's
Pub when he was traded by the Mets to the Phillies. Though a Giants
fan, Mockler, who lives in Manhattan and enjoys spending time with
his daughters, their husbands and four children, says he rues the
day Jets legend Namath showed up and he wasn't there to greet him.

"A little melancholy," Mockler said after a pause, when asked about
the end of his lately smoke-free business after so many years. "We
had a fabulous run."


Christmas Books: Graphic Tale Of Warring Ulstermen

By Noel McAdam
18 December 2004

"Don't forget yez are Ulstermen," shouts the sergeant-major.

"Every one've yez. Prod or Taig. It's as Ulstermen ye lived, as
Ulsterman ye fought and by God, if it comes to it, it's as
Ulstermen ye'll die."

The Antrim Rifles featured in Ulsterman Garth Ennis' new graphic
novel are an invention though the reality and detail of the Italian
campaign and the British Eighth Army from the Second World War are

If novels have to be graphic, war is an obvious pictorial topic.

Yet it has been left to the formerly Belfast-based Ennis to tap
into the rich vein of non-superhero conflict in War Stories: Volume
One (Vertigo) - along perhaps with Pat Mills' Charley's War, based
on World War One.

Old-style comics, among them Victor and the Hotspur, regularly
included yarns straight from the battlefield. But somehow graphic
novels have considered themselves too respectable for warfare.
Until now.

The Ulster-linked story, Ballad of the D-Day dodgers, deals, er,
graphically with the injustice of the charge, said to have been
made by Lady Astor, that soldiers in I-Tie were literally avoiding
the real stuff of war going on in Normandy.

Ennis, better known for his graphic novel series Preacher, which
just happen to feature an Irish vampire, inverts comic cuts
traditions, the titles coming at the end of his stories from
Russia, Germany - covering similar territory to the recent Band of
Brothers TV series - and the North Atlantic. And he works with a
number of renowned artists, including Dave Gibbons, who drew the
classic graphic novel Watchmen, David Lloyd and John Higgins.

The recent opening of yet another major store in Belfast, Forbidden
Planet, confirms that the novelty value of graphic novels has
passed and they have now a confirmed, if niche, market.


Sample the magic of Galway

By Clive Crickmer

There was something deliciously capricious - and so typically Irish
- about the sight of a pale autumnal sun rising over Galway Bay.

Language: English
Time zone: GMT from November to March, 1 hour ahead the rest of the
Flying time from London: 1 hour 30 minutes to Knock International
Miles from London: 289 to Dublin
Climate: Ireland has a temperate climate with warm summers and cool
winters. There is rain all year round, but mostly during winter and
Summer max: 21C, summer min: 10C
Winter max: 8C, winter min: 0C
Currency: Irish pound or Punt = 100 pence. Major credit cards and
travellers cheques are widely accepted
Passport/Visas: A passport is not required provided you were born
in Britain and are travelling direct from the UK
Healthcare: No special precautions necessary

For one of the most nostalgically evocative of songs, as the whole
world knows, inspires a wondrous vision of it going down beyond the

The Irish, of course, have an answer to that. I was told: "To be
sure, it's a very big bay, so you sometimes get the double helping.
Ah, but 'tis the setting of the sun which is the true delight."

Sadly, evening cloud cover during a much-too-brief visit robbed me
of that spectacle. But Galway - the city and the county - provided
bounteous helpings of so much else.

There is enduring quaintness about the colourful harbour and the
labyrinth of lively, centuries-old streets leading to it.

They're now filled with extra vitality fuelled by Eire's booming
wealth, a fair slice of which has spilt into the city where modern
boutiques sit happily cheek to jowl with craft shops and venerable
pubs. To go into Taffe's bar, for instance, is to venture back in
time. But it's no museum piece, ringing as it so often does with
laughter, good chat and traditional music.

And on the city's doorstep are the scenic delights of the Connemara
district with majestic mountains and seascapes, beguiling lakes and
forests and the compelling timelessness of boglands and boulder-
strewn plains.

It seems almost every turn in the road brings a dramatic change of
vista, so many adorned by an abundance of wild flowers.

All this can be embraced by a circular 140-mile car trip of sheer
delight, hugging the coast westward from Galway to the charming
town of Clifden and then returning inland via Oughterard.

Just over an hour's drive away is Knock International Airport
tucked amid the greenery of Co Mayo. International? A title perhaps
a tad grandiose.

There are once-a-week charter flights in summer from Frankfurt,
Munich, Dusseldorf and Zurich and a 2,500-metre runway on which
jumbo jets could land.

But its solitary terminal takes just minutes to explore and there
is normally nothing much to see from the modest observation

But it's a case of small being the be-all of stress-free air
travel, for which more and more visitors on all-year scheduled
flights from Stansted and Manchester will vouch.

You can forget about hustle and bustle, interminable walkways,
impatient check-ins and taxi queues, car parks a bus ride away and
traffic-choked journeys to and from the place.

Passengers - many of them pilgrims to the world-famous shrine at
nearby Knock village - are met with the informality and
friendliness which come so naturally to the Irish.

Where else would the car hire man shake your hand as he gives you
the ignition key and do the same when you return it without even
asking if you'd collected a scratch along the way?

The airport may be in the middle of nowhere, but it can
increasingly claim to be the gateway to Ireland's enchanting wild
west, from the haunting beauty of Donegal in the north down to
Galway in the south.

It spares visitors a three-hour journey from Dublin to reach a
region replete with opportunities for golf, walking, climbing,
sailing, horse riding, pony-trekking and angling.

I will certainly return, but it will be for its peace, scenic
splendour and welcoming warmth - and in the hope of watching the
sun go down on Galway Bay.

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04
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