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December 27, 2004

12/27/04 - LVF Cocaine Coup

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04

SL 12/27/04 Blizzard Of 'Snow' Is Forecast After LVF Cocaine Coup
SL 12/27/04 Cop Sting Deals Blow To Loyalist Ecstasy Gang
BT 12/27/04 Adams Slams Police Raids On Homes
BT 12/27/04 Hunt For Gun Stolen In Searches
SL 12/27/04 'I Didn't Rob The Bank'- Republican
BT 12/27/04 DUP Accused Of Political Cowardice By UUP
SL 12/27/04 Real IRA To Step Up Attacks
SL 12/27/04 Army Spy Sues Andytown News
SL 12/27/04 Unionists Off Lord Mayor's Xmas Card List?
BT 12/27/04 Boy (3) Killed By Hit-And-Run Driver
BT 12/27/04 Olympic Cash To Help Needs Of Disabled
IO 12/27/04 Abbey Theatre Celebrates Centenary


Blizzard Of 'Snow' Is Forecast After LVF Cocaine Coup

By Joe Oliver
27 December 2004

THE LVF is behind a plot to flood Ulster with cocaine, Sunday Life
can reveal.

The terror gang plans to make a killing, after telling their
network of evil peddlers - Get ready for a mountain of snow.

The party drug - nicknamed snow or coke - was once the preserve of
the rich and famous.

But it is now almost as cheap as cannabis.

According to reliable sources, drug barons linked to the terror
group recently took possession of a huge consignment of cocaine.

The drugs, which originated in the Netherlands, are understood to
have been ferried in by container from Scotland.

One source told us: "The people who bankrolled the deal reckon
they'll make a fortune.

"They've already put the word out to dealers that something special
is on the way.

"They have also said it's dead easy to get their hands on more.

"Price has always been a problem with cocaine, but if they're
selling it to dealers at £25 a gramme, then a bag will probably
cost no more than £8 or £10 on the streets.

"It's a way of driving the price down to create a demand."

One of the main men behind the sickening trade is a well-known LVF
figure in Lurgan, who has been questioned by police on a number of
occasions about serious crime, including murder, in the Co Armagh

He and his cousin, who until recently was living in Lisburn, have
long been involved in drugs and extortion.

According to sources, the LVF even supply 'back-up' to the pair
when they collect money from pushers.

One senior detective said: "This is very worrying, and is further
evidence that harder drugs - like cocaine - are becoming more
readily available.

"Its increase in such a short time is of real concern."

Police have recovered drugs valued at more than £10m so far this

Cannabis and Ecstasy remain the most commonly seized drugs.

But official figures reveal that the overall haul included 16,684
grammes of cocaine, which would have fetched £1.3m on the streets.

The LVF - formed in mid-Ulster by Billy Wright, in 1996, after
breaking with the UVF - has long been linked to drug-trafficking.

Other paramilitary groups, including the UDA, have shown increasing
concern at the amount of drugs swamping loyalist districts.

And there were rumblings of a backlash recently, when 17-year-old
Denise Larkin died after swallowing what is believed to have been a
lethal cocktail of a cocaine-based drug.


Cop Sting Deals Blow To Co Down Ecstasy Gang

By Stephen Breen
27 December 2004

COPS have smashed a notorious drug-dealing operation, in

Senior security sources told Sunday Life that police used chainsaws
to remove trees, which dealers had been using as cover to sell
cannabis and Ecstasy.

Cops also destroyed a disused mobile building, which was being used
by the gang to peddle drugs.

According to security sources, the dealers - who have close links
to loyalist terror gangs - are the main suppliers of illegal
substances in the town.

The police operation against them took place last month - and
senior cops believe they have scored a major success against the

But it is believed some of the gang members are still plying their
trade, in other areas of the town.

It's also understood that the gang has started selling drugs in the
tiny fishing village of Ardglass, on the Co Down coast.

This latest development comes after the peddlers were also blamed
for attempting to attack terrified customers in a local bar.

The vicious assault prompted a number of bar owners to pull their
shutters down earlier than usual, in fear that the thugs would

Senior security sources warned the gang would attempt to step up
its drug-dealing enterprises in 2005.

Said a source: "These boys won't be too happy with the police
operation against them, because it put a big dent in their profits.

"A number of them left the town for a while after the raid, but you
can only keep these guys down for a short time, and it wasn't long
before they were back again.

"They always try to stay one step ahead of the police, and they
will be determined to continue with their activities in 2005.

"The police spent months preparing for this operation, and they
will continue to keep a close eye on the gang, over the coming

But local Sinn Fein councillor, Eamonn Mac Con Midhe, believes the
gang will continue to sell drugs in the town.

Said Mr Mac Con Midhe: "The police have taken numerous steps in the
past against these drug-dealers, but there never seems to be very
many arrests, and we have to ask why.

"I know of this most recent police action, but from what people are
telling me, these dealers have just moved to another part of town.

"I've also heard they have been selling drugs in Ardglass, and they
just don't seem to care who gets in their way."


Adams Slams Police Raids On Homes

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
27 December 2004

Sinn Fein has lodged a complaint with the Government over searches
of the homes of senior republicans by police investigating the
Northern Bank robbery.

Party president Gerry Adams contacted Secretary of State Paul
Murphy to formally register his anger, but there was no Northern
Ireland Office response.

It is also understood at least one republican whose house was
searched is lodging a complaint with the Police Ombudsman.

Amid continuing speculation that the IRA may have been responsible
for the raid, a week ago today, Mr Adams said: "This is a clearly
orchestrated effort by securocrats within the British system intent
on wrecking the peace process. Journalists were tipped off in
advance of the raids to maximise the negative media spin
surrounding them," he said.

"The objective of those who ordered these raids, and the aggressive
manner in which they were carried out, is deliberately intended to
further destabilise the political situation."

His attack came after a one-line statement, which did not carry the
official Provisionals imprimatur of P O'Neill, denied IRA
involvement in the massive theft.

The DUP, meanwhile, has voiced growing suspicion that the IRA was
involved in the robbery and warned of massive consequences for
attempts to restore devolution if a link is shown.

Five police officers were injured during part of the searches in


Hunt For Gun Stolen In Searches

By Ben Lowry
27 December 2004

Police were still hunting for a handgun and ammunition today stolen
from a police Land Rover on Christmas Eve during searches of homes
of republicans in relation to the Northern Bank heist.

A PSNI spokesman has confirmed reports that the weaponry was taken
from the vehicle during an operation in the Cavendish Street area
off the Falls Road.

The loss of the gun is a fresh embarrassment to the police, who
have been in the spotlight over their response to a traffic
warden's report of suspicious behaviour while £22m in cash was
being shipped out of the bank.

A probe has been launched into the weapon theft that happened
during raids on homes in west Belfast that were met with violent
opposition. The Ardoyne home of the leading republican Eddie
Copeland (34), was among those searched.

During one of the searches, five officers were injured when their
Land Rovers were attacked by a crowd of up to 100 throwing stones,
bottles and other missiles when moving in to search a house in

The Northern Bank may still considering withdrawing all its
banknotes in a desperate attempt to foil the heist gang.

Meanwhile, the latest list of serial numbers of Northern Bank notes
believed to have been stolen is below. The numbers cover £17.5m
worth of cash, only £12m of which is stolen, but the bank says it
cannot be more specific. If someone is in possession of a note with
a serial number below, there is only a two-thirds chance it has
been stolen.

£20 notes:

CD 0500001 to CD 0550000;
CD 0700001 to CD 0750000;
CD 0750001 to CD 0800000;
CD 0800001 to CD 0850000;
CD 0950001 to CD 1000000;
CD 1000001 to CD 1050000;
CD 1100001 to CD 1150000;
CD 1150001 to CD 120000;
CD 1300001 to CD 1350000;
CD 1450001 to CD 1500000.

The serial numbers of the £10 notes are:

BC 8550001 to BC 8600000;
BC 8600001 to BC 8650000;
BC 8700001 to BC 8750000;
BC 8750001 to BC 8800000;
BC 8800001 to BC 8850000;
BC 8850001 to BC 8900000;
BC 8900001 to BC 8950000;
BC 9000001 to BC 9050000;
BC 9150001 to BC 9200000;
BC 9400001 to BC 9450000;
BC 9450001 to BC 9500000;
BC 9600001 to BC 9650000.

Last week the following serial numbers for £10 notes released were:
BC 850001 to BC 8550000; BC 9100001 to BC 9150000; and BC 9350001
to BC 9400000.


'I Didn't Rob The Bank'- Republican

By Ciaran McGuigan
27 December 2004

A CONVICTED IRA bomb-maker is among the chief suspects in the
Northern Bank raid.

The 34-year-old terrorist from Belfast was confirmed, as a major
suspect in the £22m heist, by senior security sources, last week.

The man was part of a bomb-making 'school', that was busted by cops
in the early 1990s.

He went on to serve a seven-year jail term for explosives offences,
and finally walked free from the Maze, in 1997.

Cops are now understood to be following the theory, that the
robbery was carried out by members of republican paramilitary

Their hunt for the cash was stepped up with a series of searches of
homes and business premises, on Christmas Eve.

Among them was the Ardoyne home of prominent republican, Eddie

Copeland was in bed with his partner, when forensic officers
arrived to comb his home for clues.

A number of items, including mobile phones, chips from a digital
camera, and a number of pairs of shoes were removed.

Copeland has denied any involvement in the robbery, and said that
he would be making an official complaint about the raid on his

"They had no reason to come here, because I have nothing to fear,
and this to me looks like a politically-motivated operation. I had
nothing to do with any robbery."

Cops are likely to visit known associates of Copeland as well.

Among them is the INLA leader, in the Ardyone area - nicknamed
'Dark Cloud' - who is believed to have been behind a number of
recent hostage robberies at Post Office premises.

Dark Cloud recently flew to Spain, under the cover of a Celtic
football match, with 10 of his ruthless gang.

It is believed that the proceeds from an earlier robbery, at
Deerpark Post Office, were used to fund the robbers' Spanish
getaway to Barcelona, last month.

Also among Dark Cloud's gang is a suspected killer that Sunday Life
confronted, earlier this year.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is believed to have
been one of the hostage-takers in the gang's Deerpark robbery.


DUP Accused Of Political Cowardice

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
27 December 2004

The Ulster Unionist Party has maintained its assault on the DUP
over the stalled devolution deal.

As the anti-Agreement party defended its talks tactics, Ulster
Unionists accused it of a "pass-the-buck" strategy and "political

Senior UU negotiator Sir Reg Empey said the DUP had failed to live
up to its pledge to "bin" the Good Friday Agreement.

His attack came after the DUP released a letter from Prime Minister
Tony Blair confirming it had not been involved in discussions on
the possible release of the killers of Garda Jerry McCabe or
speaking rights for Northern Ireland MPs in Dublin.

But Sir Reg charged the DUP with "acquiescence" to the proposal
which he said could lead to an "embryonic united Ireland."

The former acting First Minister said he believed that the DUP had
known about the McCabe deal and the Dail committee speaking rights
issues since early November.

Mr Blair had also said constitutional elements, including security
normalisation and the issue of the 'on the runs' had been concluded
in 2003.

Sir Reg argued: "The Joint Declaration is more difficult because
agreement had been reached but if there are issues that the DUP
does not agree to, they do not have to accept them."

However, DUP leader Ian Paisley rebuffed the criticism as the
"usual pre-election rhetoric".

"The UUP predicted victory before the Assembly elections in
November 2003; they lost. They predicted victory in the European
elections last June; they got half as many votes as the DUP did.

"Now they suggest our air of invincibility has cracked! When on
earth did Reg Empey ever suggest the DUP were invincible?"

And Mr Paisley added: "We take no voters for granted but we believe
we can go to the people of Northern Ireland with a record of
achievement that is the envy of the UUP."

However a UU spokesman said: "The DUP cannot have it both ways.
They can raise any issue they want in the negotiations.

"But to wash their hands in the way they are doing is just pass the
buck politics. It is the worst form of political cowardice."


Real IRA To Step Up Attacks

27 December 2004

THE Real IRA claims it is "braced as never before" to unleash a New
Year campaign of terror.

The dissident republican group has attempted to justify its current
firebombing campaign, with a warning that it is ready to step up
the violence.

The group has been busily re-grouping and re-organising in south
Down, Londonderry and Belfast - leading to firebomb attacks in the
past week in Newry, Londonderry, Newtownabbey, Lisburn and

A spokesman for one of the most active Real IRA cells, based in
south Down, said the attacks on shops are not intended to be
attacks on the community "but on the North's false economy and
normalisation process".

He said: "You can be sure of one thing - these attacks will

"There appears to be a deliberate police policy of playing down our
involvement in these attacks on the stores - despite the fact we
have clearly claimed them using a codeword recognised by the media.

"Everyone should be aware that we are braced as never before to
prevent the sell-out of our republican ideals of a united Ireland."

The terror group claims its ranks are being swollen by mainstream
republicans, disaffected by the terms of the deal, which the
British and Irish governments were brokering with the DUP and Sinn

The Real IRA has refused to confirm it actively targeted a police
officer in the mid-Down area who, according to security sources,
was forced to leave his home, when the plot to kill him was


Army Spy Sues Andytown News

Row over published picture which identified agent

By Alan Murray
27 December 2004

A BELFAST newspaper - which sought a Government handout of £3m - is
being sued by an ex-Army spy.

The former IRA double-agent - who uses the pseudonym 'Kevin Fulton'
- has also asked the Metropolitan Police to investigate how the
Andersonstown News obtained a photograph belonging to him.

Fulton, who now lives in London, claims that the picture of him was
taken 10 years ago from a flat on Belfast's Antrim Road, which was
being used as an IRA safe-house.

He says two other IRA men, whom he has named in a statement, were
the only other people who had access to the flat.

The Andersonstown News recently published a photograph of Fulton -
whose identity is protected by a Government 'D' notice, which
forbids the publication of his real name and image.

Fulton told Met officers, that the picture belongs to him, and
claims its publication has exposed him to IRA revenge attacks for
spying on the terrorists.

Fulton had to flee the province, after he was interrogated by
Freddie 'Stakeknife' Scappaticci - another Army double-agent, who
worked in the IRA's internal security section.

Fulton and his wife were summoned to meet Scappaticci, after a
number of IRA men - including Gerry Adams' cousin - were arrested,
as they plotted to murder an RUC detective chief superintendent, in
east Belfast.

Fulton is also claiming breach of copyright, because he says he is
the sole owner of the photograph, and the newspaper had no right to
use it without permission.

It emerged, in July, that the Andersonstown News was refused a £3m
Government grant to launch a morning newspaper, in Belfast,
following a commercial appraisal of the project by financial

Two senior Ulster Unionists - Lady Hermon and Lord Laird - were
furious when they learned, in October, that the NIO had misled them
on how much taxpayers' cash had been given to the paper.

In a Parliamentary reply, in June, Lady Hermon was told the
newspaper had received £550,000 in grants.

But, later, NIO minister, Barry Gardiner, had to apologise to the
North Down MP, and admit his officials had overlooked a further
£453,713 in grants made since 1999.

The Met has now passed Fulton's complaint to the Police Service for

A Police Service spokesman said yesterday, that officers at
Woodbourne, in west Belfast had received a complaint and were
preparing a criminal investigation.

Andersonstown News managing director, Mairtin O'Muilleoir, was
unavailable for comment.


Unionists Off Lord Mayor's Xmas Card List?

27 December 2004

BELFAST Lord Mayor Tom Ekin (pictured above) is at the centre of a
shock snub storm - over his Christmas card list!

For unionist councillors have complained that few - if any - of
them received the traditional festive card from the first citizen's

And they claim the snub was intentional - because they boycotted Mr
Ekin's installation dinner in, September.

At the time, unionists were furious at Mr Ekin and the Alliance
Party for doing a deal with Sinn Fein, that ensured Joe O'Donnell
would get the deputy Lord Mayor post.

They were also angered at Mr Ekin's decision to remove the Union
flag from the Lord Mayor's parlour.

Apart from the High Sheriff, no other unionist councillor turned up
at the bow-tie function.

David Browne, leader of the UUP grouping on the council, said
yesterday: "I did get quite a few Christmas cards, but there didn't
appear to be one from the Lord Mayor.

"I'm surprised Tom would be so petty, because I have no problem in
admitting that I sent him one."

Normally, the Lord Mayor would send out between 600-800 cards at

But a spokeswoman for Mr Ekin said last night: "The Lord Mayor
reduced the usual Christmas card list in line with his desire not
to waste ratepayers' money.

"He sent cards to those individuals and organisations with whom he
has developed a close working relationship during his time in


Boy (3) Killed By Hit-And-Run Driver

Body of man is discovered later in quarry.

By Sarah Brett
27 December 2004

A Tyrone village was today reeling from a Christmas tragedy after a
three-year-old Strabane boy was killed in a hit-and-run accident
which left his mother in a serious condition in hospital.

Police in Strabane, who had been searching for a 22-year-old driver
in connection with the incident in Donemana, called off their
search after the body of a man was found in a nearby quarry.

Detectives said they do not believe his death was suspicious.

The hit-and-run happened in the Allen Park housing estate in
Donemana shortly before 3.15pm yesterday.

A mother in her 40s and her three-year-old son, named locally as
Queenie and Adam Mullan, were walking on the pavement when a white
Peugeot car struck them.

The two were taken to Altnagelvin Hospital where Adam later died
from his injuries. His mother today remained in a serious but
stable condition.

It is believed Adam and his mother were visiting his grandparents,
Tommy and Sadie Laird, when the tragedy occurred.

Mr and Mrs Laird today said they were too distressed to speak about
the tragedy.

Adam, from Carlton Drive in Strabane, is survived by his father
Aaron and Queenie. He had four siblings; Aaron, Andrew, Arelene,
and Adrian.

Allen Park resident Robert McGonagle today said the community was

"Nobody can quite believe it has happened," said Mr McGonagle. "It
really is a total tragedy. People here were lining the streets for
hours yesterday talking, trying to make sense of it."

The scene of the accident was still cordoned off today. Police
forensic teams examined the scene for almost ten hours after the
horrific incident. A small number of police officers were guarding
the scene today.

Strabane SDLP assembly member Eugene McMenamin today said he was
shocked at the tragedy.

The MLA offered his condolences to the family.

He said: "This is a terrible tragedy, especially at this time of
year when families are meant to come together in celebration.

"Any life to be lost at Christmas is a devastating blow. The
prayers of the people of Strabane are with the family today."

Meanwhile, police in Londonderry were today appealing for
information following a hit-and-run accident in the city centre.

At 2.45am a man was walking along Strand Road near the junction
with Patrick Street when he was struck by a silver or white Ford
Fiesta car, which may have carried an OIW registration.

The man was taken to hospital with a head injury which is not
thought to be life-threatening.

Police were attacked by bottle throwers as they were attempting to
investigate this incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact officers on 028

And in Donegal, a 45-year-old man died after he was hit by a car as
he walked along a road in Ballynagran, Gleneely.

Two other pedestrians were injured in the accident, which happened
at about 4.30am this morning, and have been taken to Altnagelvin
Hospital, where their injuries are not thought to be life
threatening. The victim has not yet been identified.

Gardai at Carndonagh are investigating.


Olympic Cash To Help Needs Of Disabled

By Gary Grattan
27 December 2004

The Special Olympics World Games has donated 100,000 euro to the
University of Ulster to help fund research into healthcare needs of
people with disabilities.

The money will be used to purchase equipment in the new state-of-
the-art Centre for Rehabilitation Research - the first of its kind
in the UK or Ireland - which is currently being built on the
university's Jordanstown campus.

The centre is being established under the joint leadership of
Professors Deirdre Walsh, Dave Baxter and Suzanne McDonough, and Dr
Alison Porter-Armstrong.

Handing over the generous donation, Evelyn Greer, a member of the
Special Olympics World Board, said: "It is fitting that there
should be a lasting legacy from the Games in Northern Ireland and
it is most appropriate that the Special Olympics World Games assist
with this new unit."

She also congratulated the Northern Ireland Committee of the
Special Olympics for raising £1.6m within the province.

Professor Richard Barnett, acting Vice-Chancellor, said that the
donation is a sign of confidence in the university's rehabilitation
sciences research and teaching activities which are highly regarded
nationally and internationally.


Abbey Theatre Celebrates Centenary

27/12/2004 - 07:48:02

Ireland's National Theatre celebrates 100 years in existence today.

The Abbey Theatre came to life on December 27, 1904.

Street performers, children's story tellers and a special
performance of the play "Sound of the Gong" will mark the centenary

A party for all the family has been promised today at the theatre
on Abbey Street in Dublin.

Set up by Home Rule sympathisers before the birth of modern
Ireland, the Abbey's Ali Curran talked about the theatre's rich

She said that when it was set up it was quite a radical institution
and it has continued that radical approach right up to the current
day with the production of plays that have audiences second-
guessing themselves and questioning what Irish culture means to us.

Monthly Table of Contents 12/04
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