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December 05, 2004

News 12/05/04 - Paisley Pressed For Deadline

News about Ireland & the Irish

SL 12/05/04 Paisley Pressed To Give Deadline
AN 12/05/04 For Paisley & Sinn Fein, Peace At Last
UT 12/05/04 Garda's Widow Calls For Justice
BB 12/05/04 DUP 'Impatient' Over IRA Weapons
SL 12/05/04 Provide Pics Says Attwood
SL 12/05/04 Sunday Life Comment: Peace - It's All About Guns
IO 12/05/04 Adams Wants Dáil Representation For NI Parties
SL 12/05/04 The UDA Ceasefire?
SL 12/05/04 Loyalist Info Requested
SL 12/05/04 Loyalist Killer 'Confessed Role'
SL 12/05/04 Loyalist Feud Fears Follow Shooting
SL 12/05/04 Ulster Alert Over Real IRA Threat
SL 12/05/04 Dissident Drive To Lure Provos
SL 12/05/04 Semtex Fears At Jail
IC 12/05/04 Finucanes' Search For Justice Continues
IO 12/05/04 Students Cause Havoc In Sligo
DP 12/05/04 Review: Doyle's Smart Follow-Up


Paisley Pressed To Give Deadline

By Alan Murray
05 December 2004

IAN Paisley is coming under increasing pressure from DUP hardliners
to set a deadline for reaching a historic deal with Sinn Fein.

Influential party figures say a deal is still possible, but want
their leader to be ready to walk away from the talks with the Irish
and British governments.

They are pressing him to tell Tony Blair this week that he will
quit the talks unless the Prime Minister is able to convey
definitive answers from the IRA about the verification of weapons

One of those senior DUP figures, who didn't want to be identified,
said it was time to tell the IRA to put up or shut up.

"This process of clarification has to come to an end soon.

"We have conducted several meetings and been given several papers,
but we have yet to receive a definitive indication that the IRA
will deliver the circumstances that both governments assure us are
on offer.

"We really have to reach a point in the coming days where we say it
is a deal done, or, it is a deal that can't be done.

"We have no intention of being 'Trimbled' and tricked into signing
up to something that will not be delivered by the Provisional IRA",
the senior DUP policymaker warned.

Despite an angry outburst from Dr Paisley on Friday evening on the
subject of Army demilitarisation in republican areas, party sources
said they were still on course for concluding a "good deal".

In two days time, the 80-year-old firebrand preacher is expected to
tell Tony Blair that he is not yet assured that the expectations of
decommissioning in the latest Government proposals will be

If he does agree to the 'deal of all deals', he is expected to
become Northern Ireland's First Minister, with IRA Army Council
member, Martin McGuinness, as his deputy.

In the aftermath of the IRA's 1994 ceasefire, Paisley said the
organisation should be punished, not rewarded with concessions and
he said he wouldn't sit down with Gerry Adams.

But despite his own personal misgivings, Mr Paisley, who has been
on medication since July when he took ill on holiday, is thought to
be in favour, in principle, of reversing that stance and concluding
a deal with Sinn Fein.

Last week, he proved that he was back to his old waspish self when
he outraged Gerry Adams by saying the IRA would have to wear
"sackcloth and ashes" for a period before they would be accepted by

Paisley wants the IRA to decommission weapons before the end of
this month, but wait until March before Sinn Fein can get the
Stormont Assembly functioning again.

Tony Blair is expected to announce on Wednesday whether Ian Paisley
and Gerry Adams have agreed to share power in Northern Ireland in
an historic accommodation.


For Paisley And Sinn Fein, Peace At Last

Liam Clarke
December 06, 2004

THE ballot is finally to lay the bullet to rest in Northern
Ireland. British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Irish
counterpart, Bertie Ahern, will travel to Belfast this week to
formalise a historic agreement between Ian Paisley's hardline
Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein, political wing of the
Irish Republican Party.

Under the deal, all IRA weapons would be put out of use in two
large-scale acts of decommissioning by the new year, and the two
parties would share power before the end of March.

As a signal of the new start, the two prime ministers intend to
celebrate the agreement in the futuristic entertainment centre
built as part of Belfast's millennium celebrations rather than in
the traditional surroundings of Hillsborough Castle.

Senior British and Irish government sources were optimistic
yesterday about the chances of agreement on Wednesday. Sinn Fein
and the hardline DUP are preparing their followers for what could
be the most momentous week in Northern Ireland politics since the
signing of the Good Friday agreement in 1998.

The pact is based on a plan by the two governments that provides
for a financial package of up to pound stg. 1billion ($2.5
billion), which they have been negotiating with Sinn Fein and the
DUP for more than a month.

If the final draft is accepted, the Provisional IRA, which killed
more than 1700 people in its guerilla campaign, would become, in
the words of Mr Paisley, "an old boys' club".

A last-minute agreement by republicans that decommissioning can be
photographed has contributed to the optimism. The pictures can be
shown to the DUP immediately but cannot be published until the
power-sharing agreement is restored.

Under the proposals, the destruction of the weapons will be
witnessed by two clergy, one nominated by Sinn Fein and one by the
DUP. When the process is complete, an inventory of all the weapons
destroyed will be provided by John de Chastelain, the Canadian
general in charge of the decommissioning.

The IRA arsenal was partly donated by Libya's Colonel Muammar
Gaddafi in three clandestine shipments totalling 100 tonnes that
were delivered to Ireland in the 1980s and has been added to with
weapons smuggled from the US.

The total is estimated at 588 Kalashnikov assault rifles, 400 other
rifles, including Armalites, and one or two Barret Light .50 long-
range sniping weapons, 12 general purpose machine guns and 17 DShK
heavy-duty machine guns capable of bringing down helicopters, eight
rocket-launchers, six surface-to-air missiles, 100 pistols, 60
revolvers, two or three flame-throwers and an unknown quantity -
perhaps a tonne - of Semtex explosives.

Mr Paisley will travel to Downing Street today to present a list of
last-minute questions about the government plan.

The issues are said to be about the implementation of a series of
steps culminating in a power-sharing executive in which Mr Paisley
will be first minister with a Sinn Fein deputy, probably Martin

The sequence would start with a statement by the IRA and an
announcement of the broad outline of the agreement by Mr Blair and
Mr Ahern this week. This would include pledges of rapid withdrawal
of British troops and the closure of bases.

The DUP would then pledge to enter government with Sinn Fein, and
would appeal to loyalist terror groups to dispose of their weapons.

Within weeks, Sinn Fein would call a conference to approve support
for the Northern Ireland police for the first time in its history,
opening the way for normal police patrolling unaccompanied by

The Times


Garda's Widow Calls For Justice

The Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams says he's sorry that Garda
Jerry McCabe was killed and has apologised for the anguish caused
to his widow, Anne.

However, Mr Adams said a recent court ruling showed the four men
convicted of Garda McCabe`s killing did come under the terms of the
early release scheme set down in the Good Friday Agreement.

He added that nothing would bring back those killed on both sides
during the Troubles.

Earlier today, Mrs Anne McCabe said it was not enough that the
Irish government sympathised with her position over the possible
release of the four men responsible for the killing.

In an interview for RTÉ radio, Mrs McCabe said all she wanted from
the government was "justice".

Last week, the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern indicated that he would
recommend the release of her husband`s killers as part of the deal
to restore devolution to Northern Ireland.


DUP 'Impatient' Over IRA Weapons

The DUP has said that it is getting impatient with the IRA over the
issue of decommissioning.

Deputy leader, Peter Robinson, said the IRA must make contact with
General John de Chastelain to discuss putting its weapons beyond

The DUP has met the general twice in less than a week and Mr
Robinson said the onus was on the IRA to provide details of
decommissioning plans.

Mr Robinson said the IRA had to "catch up" with the process.

Restoring power-sharing

On Saturday, the DUP met General de Chastelain, head of the IICD
(Independent International Commission on Decommissioning) for the
second time.

It came after weeks of intensive negotiations between the British
and Irish governments and the political parties Sinn Fein and the

They have centred on the responses from the parties to the
proposals put forward aimed at restoring power-sharing in Northern

The DUP has demanded photographic evidence of decommissioning as an
essential part of any deal to restore devolution.

After Saturday's meeting, the DUP said it was unrealistic to set
deadlines for a political deal when the IRA has still not met
General de Chastelain.

Party leader Ian Paisley said it was "amazing" Prime Minister Tony
Blair was setting deadlines for a deal when putting weapons beyond
use had not been discussed with the IRA.

Mr Robinson told BBC Northern Ireland: "There has been a
significant clearing of the table with other issues but the core
and most important issue that is outstanding is decommissioning and
that has to be resolved.

"It can't be resolved until the IRA catch up with the process and
are prepared to get down to doing some work with General de
Chastelain and his team to ensure that all the details of what is
going to happen are known."

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has urged Mr Paisley to accept the
proposals put forward by the British and Irish governments.

Mr Adams said both governments were very clear about Sinn Fein's

He needs to come up to the plate and he needs to say 'yes'

Gerry Adams

Mr Adams also appealed to republicans not to be provoked by the
"unacceptable language" used by Mr Paisley.

Mr Adams said that comments by Mr Paisley, in which he said he
would have to "swallow hard" to do business with republicans, were
an acknowledgement of the prospect of Sinn Fein in government.

He said: "It is also the first begrudging, mixed-up, convoluted,
angry acknowledgment by Ian Paisley of the Sinn Fein mandate. We
shouldn't dismiss that.

"He also said in terms of getting a deal , it was 'now or never'.
As far as we are concerned, it is now.

"He needs to come up to the plate and he needs to say 'yes'."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/12/05 09:40:40 GMT


Provide Pics Says Attwood

05 December 2004

A SENIOR SDLP man has urged the IRA to provide photographs of
disarmament if they are needed to secure a deal.

West Belfast assemblyman, Alex Attwood, said the paramilitary group
owed it to the people of Ireland.

The DUP has demanded photographic evidence of decommissioning as an
essential part of any deal to restore devolution in Northern

"The IRA should go as far as they possibly can to respond to the
requirements of the Irish people," Mr Attwood said in a BBC's
Inside Politics programme yesterday.

"For that reason the Irish people, I think, require them - if
necessary - to accept the issue of photographs."

On Friday, DUP leader, Ian Paisley, said that if the IRA gave up
its weapons and abandoned its criminal activity he would have to
"swallow hard" to do business with republicans.

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adam, has declined to comment on the
details of decommissioning and photographic evidence, saying it was
a matter for General de Chastelain's arms commission.

The current 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.


Sunday Life Comment: Peace - It's All About Guns

05 December 2004

DEADLINE n. a time limit for any activity (Collins English

NEWSPAPERS know all about deadlines - we wouldn't appear without

Usually, though, you, the reader, only realises they exist once
they've been missed.

Then, suddenly, there they are all over the front pages - 'Paisley:
"Talk of deadlines is silly"' being a case in point.

Now, however, it looks as if the Big Man is coming under pressure
to impose one of his own.

Senior DUP figures are urging Paisley to tell Tony Blair that,
unless the IRA gives definitive answers about decommissioning,
he'll walk away from the talks.

But, as this striptease of a peace process enters its second decade
- a coy glimpse of progress here; a come-hither look there - you
have to give Paisley credit for one thing.

For, like him or loathe him - and there are few who are agnostic on
the subject - the DUP leader correctly identified guns as the key
issue, while others were seduced by the lure of devolution, or the
charms of cross-border bodies.

An Assembly without decommissioning is always going to be a house
built on sand. If you're in any doubt, just ask David Trimble.

Unless the IRA can be persuaded, coaxed or cajoled into
acknowledging this simple truth, you may as well bulldoze Stormont
and rebuild it on Tyrella Beach for all the difference it'll make.


Adams Wants Dáil Representation For NI Parties

05/12/2004 - 10:21:46

It is expected that if a deal is done to rescue the peace process,
it will include the right of Sinn Féin MPs and MEPs to attend Dáil
debates at least twice a year.

Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams said that in the event of a deal
later this week, he is confident Dáil representation would be part
of the package.


The UDA Ceasefire?

By Stephen Breen
05 December 2004

OUSTED UFF godfather Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair last night branded the
UDA's two-week-old ceasefire a JOKE.

The infamous Shankill Road loyalist joined forces with republican
and nationalists to urge Secretary of State Paul Murphy to issue a
fresh statement on the status of the terror group's latest

The calls came after five loyalists appeared in court last week,
charged with attempting to kidnap and rob a First Trust bank

Adair said the appearance of the north Belfast loyalists in court
reaffirmed his belief that the UDA is not committed to peace.

The former 'C' company leader, who previously boasted "You can
shove your doves" - a reference to the IRA's first ceasefire in
1994, now claims to be a firm supporter of the peace process.

The ex-terror boss, who is due to be released in six weeks' time,
said his former comrades would continue to pose a death-threat
against him and his family.

Although he has previously vowed to return to his old stomping
grounds in the Shankill, Adair told us his main priority was to be
reunited with his cancer-stricken wife, Gina, in Bolton.

The caged terrorist pleaded with his former allies to commit to
peace - and to combat "criminality".

Said Adair: "The UDA ceasefire is already proving to be a joke -
the charges against five senior loyalists shows the leadership
cannot be taken seriously.

"People are crying out for peace, but how can we take the UDA
ceasefire serious when they are busy talking about politics, and
then planning criminal enterprizes at the same time?

"I'm sure they will also keep their death-threat against me,
because they know I'm not afraid to approach them and ask why my
family was attacked."

But north Belfast UPRG spokesman Sammy Duddy hit back at Adair,
branding him "pathetic".

Said Mr Duddy: "I won't even comment about Adair's views, because,
once again, we have him looking for the oxygen of publicity.

"The UPRG will continue to work for a peaceful and stable society.

"The men who appeared in court last Monday have not been charged
with UDA membership, so I think that speaks for itself.

"Adair is coming out with these views, because he has nothing to do
from one day to the next."



Arrested Claim Assault

By Stephen Breen
05 December 2004

ULSTER'S Police Ombudsman last night appealed for information about
the arrests of five loyalists.

Investigator's from Nuala O'Loan's office urged the public to
contact them with their views on the police operation in the
Loopland Crescent area of Belfast, on November 25.

The men, who appeared in court, last Wednesday, were charged with
conspiring with others between November 11 and 25 to imprison a
First Trust official, referred to as Witness A, and detaining him
against his will.

They were also charged with conspiring to rob Witness A, and having
a Bruni-type 8mm pistol to commit the offence.

Sunday Life understands two of the accused have alleged that they
were assaulted by police officers during the operation.

Said a senior source: "The Ombudsman was brought in, after two of
the gang said they were assaulted by officers, when they were

"The investigation into the men's claims are already underway, and
that's why they have appealed to anyone, who was in the area, to
come forward."

A Police Ombudsman spokesman said: "The Police Ombudsman's Office
has appealed for information about an incident in the Loopland
Crescent area of Belfast.

"Investigators would like to hear from anyone, who saw a number of
people being arrested by police officers."


Killer 'Confessed Role'

By Stephen Breen
05 December 2004

THE DAD of a UVF murder victim last night told how one of his son's
killers had confessed to his role in the brutal killing.

Raymond McCord claimed one of the loyalist gang members who
battered his son, Raymond jnr, to death had "broken ranks" from the
terror group, to confess about his part in the 1997 murder.

According to Mr McCord, the killer made the confession after the
UVF leadership 'sacked' the organisation's most senior figure in
north Belfast.

The brigadier - who lives in the Monkstown area - was stood down
last month, along with others in the area.

The killer member is believed to have told the terror group's new
leadership that the murder of the former RAF radio operator was a
so-called punishment beating "gone wrong".

But the claim has angered Mr McCord, who claims the terrorist is
just trying to remain in the new leadership's "good books".

Said Mr McCord: "I know this man, who is also a police informer,
has been telling the new UVF leadership that Raymond's murder was
meant to be punishment beating.

"But I'm not surprised by this and the only reason he is saying
this now is because he has broken ranks with the old UVF
leadership, in north Belfast.

"He is panicking now, because the new leadership know the truth
about my son's murder, and he is just looking out for himself.

"My advice to him is to give himself up to the police, because his
old mates will not be too happy about him talking to people about
young Raymond's murder."


Loyalist Feud Fears Follow Shooting

By Alan Murray
05 December 2004

TENSION is mounting again between the UVF and LVF after a shooting
incident last weekend.

The LVF is furious after two UVF men reportedly fired shots at a
car carrying young people - including the daughter of a senior LVF
figure - in north Belfast, last Saturday night.

The LVF has demanded that the UVF deals with the two gunmen - one
of whom, they claim, is the son of a former senior figure in the

But, last night, a UVF source said the incident followed the LVF
pistol-whipping of a UVF supporter the previous night.

So far, the LVF hasn't retaliated.

But the organisation has warned the UVF that it will "deal with"
the men if they aren't disciplined.

The LVF - which has strong support in north Belfast - claims the
two UVF men had guns and masks brought to a local club, where they
were drinking.

When the young people left the club to go to a party, they then
fired at the car they were getting into.

Said an LVF source: "We don't know what prompted this, but there
will be some response if the UVF doesn't discipline these two men.

"We severely disciplined a number of men who had associations with
our organisation earlier this year, following incidents in east
Belfast. We refused to go to war with the UVF over them, because
they were in the wrong.

"They were expelled from east Belfast and heavily fined for what
they did.

"Is the UVF going to do the same with these two men?"

The UVF has refused to negotiate with its smaller rival to resolve
disputes, since 'King Rat' Billy Wright broke away from the larger
group and formed his own organisation in 1996.

Since then, there have been numerous skirmishes in mid-Ulster,
north Belfast, east Belfast and north Down, with high-profile
casualties on both sides.

The LVF murdered the UVF's mid-Ulster brigadier, Richard Jameson,
in January 2000.

In May this year, the UVF killed Brian Stewart, the LVF leader in
east Belfast and north Down as he arrived at work in Castlereagh.

One senior loyalist source not connected to either organisation
said there was now serious tension between the two groups.

Added the source: "The LVF is going after the UVF over this and
they won't back down in this area (north Belfast) like they did in
east Belfast.

"Young people could have been killed here and the LVF is demanding
that the UVF deals with its own people soon - or else."


Ulster Alert Over Real IRA Threat

By Sunday Life Reporter
05 December 2004

THE security forces are on a heightened state of alert for a
possible Real IRA attack, aimed at shattering any prospects of a
peace deal.

Intelligence sources have pinpointed one of the dissident terrorist
groups hotbeds of South Down as posing one of the strongest

The fear is that the terror group will attempt to pull off a
"spectacular" aimed at derailing the tentative deal, being brokered
between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

The security forces flooded an isolated area, near Newcastle, on
Tuesday, for a day-long search operation, as part of the clampdown
aimed at stymieing an attack.

The fear was that the terror group was about to try a copycat
attack to one launched, near a hotel on the outskirts of the resort
town, earlier this year. On that occasion, an attempt was made to
explode a bomb, as an army patrol was lured into the area.

An anonymous tip-off was received that the Real IRA stashed
weapons, or an explosive device off the town's Tollymore Road area,
without the knowledge of the landowner. However, nothing was found.

The security forces are worried that the mastermind behind the Holy
Week massacre, in Downpatrick, in which four UDR soldiers were
killed in a landmine blast, in April, 1990, is back in command of
the dissident terror cell in South Down.


Dissident Drive To Lure Provos

By Stephen Breen
05 December 2004

RENEGADE republican godfathers are set to embark on a fresh
recruitment drive across Ulster, it was claimed, last night.

Senior security sources told us that Real and Continuity IRA
leaders have made approaches to disillusioned Provos - and invited
them to join their ranks.

And, it is also understood, that the Chief Constable, Hugh Orde,
raised ongoing dissident activity during his historic meeting with
Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, last week.

The dissident terror bosses believe they can secure the services of
experienced IRA members, who are opposed to their leaders
decommissioning more weapons.

The renegades have previously embarked on recruitment drives in
republican strongholds, but they have often ended in failure.

The Real and Continuity IRA are believed to be strong in Co
Londonderry and the border counties, but their support in Belfast
has been diminishing in recent months.

They lost support in areas, such as west Belfast, after a number of
their leading members were accused of orchestrating armed
robberies, issuing death-threats, and working closely with loyalist

But, they have also been hit hard after the arrest of some senior
members, and a number of their weapons being captured on both sides
of the border.

The Continuity IRA was recently blamed for leaving in a number of
fire-bombs, in Belfast city centre.

The dissident leaders are said to be "determined" to recruit more
members - if a deal is reached to reinstate the power-sharing
government at Stormont.

Said one security source: "The dissidents have very little support
in places like west Belfast, but they think they can use the
ongoing uncertainties over the peace process to their advantage.

"They have already made initial approaches to a number of Provos,
but it looks like they won't have any real luck, because the vast
majority of its members remain behind the leadership.

"Obviously, there is going to be concern from former Provos about
decommissioning. But, if they get what they want from a deal, then
it will make it easier for the Army Council to sell it."

Added the source: "The dissidents think they can make inroads, but
there's no way they will get their hands on IRA weapons and, if
they do manage to attract some Provos, they probably won't be
anyone of major significance.

"The renegades want to keep their 'war' going, because they have to
have something to justify their criminality."



Semtex Fears At Jail

By Alan Murray
05 December 2004

THERE are fears that dissident republicans may have smuggled deadly
Semtex explosives into Maghaberry Jail.

Prison staff say 11 Transit vans, carrying an Army search team,
descended on the high-security jail a fortnight ago, to conduct a
fingertip search for Semtex explosive in workshops and other areas
of the jail.

Staff working at the prison claim the search was requested by the
governor, following the discovery of traces of Semtex in the
troubled jail.

But, in a statement released on Friday, the Prison Service said "no
traces" of Semtex had been found in Maghaberry, but declined to
make any further comment.

However, normally reliable sources claim that repeated
identification of traces of Semtex by prison officer search teams
prompted the request for Army assistance.

Special gloves worn by prison officers during searches of cells and
workshops, over recent months, have indicated the presence of
Semtex in the prison, it is understood.

The specially treated gloves turn blue when they touch surfaces
which have been in contact with Semtex.

Minute chemical particles from the Semtex are transferred to the
hands of prisoners, and subsequently deposited on door handles,
tables and other surfaces around the prison, despite efforts by
paramilitaries to conceal the presence of the explosive.

Prisoners are thought to conceal the Semtex in body cavities when
moving about the prison, ensuring that cell searches don't uncover
the explosive.

Paramilitaries are also reportedly utilising empty Steradent tubes
to pack batteries for use in a bomb circuit, and take wiring from
electrical equipment to connect the various bomb components.

A Prison Service spokesman declined to comment on the possibility
that dissident republican prisoners have secreted Semtex in the

The spokesman would only say: "We don't comment on security

But one Prison Service source said last week: "The plastic gloves
have turned blue, indicating Semtex presence in a number of
instances in recent months.

"But, for whatever reason, it was decided to invite the Army to
mount a major search of the jail two weekends ago.

"No Semtex was found, but earlier this year, a Yugoslav military
detonator was recovered in the jail, and it's generally accepted
that the last part of a bomb circuit to be smuggled in is the

"The regular finding of traces of Semtex is causing alarm within
the jail's admin and at HQ, but unfortunately prisoners may be
carrying small quantities around in their bodies, and locating it
in those circumstances is a difficult and politically delicate

The IRA used Semtex explosive to kill loyalist prisoners at Crumlin
Road jail, before the 1994 ceasefires.


Finucanes' Search For Justice Continues

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Gerry Kelly has spoken of his
party's support for the Finucane family and their decision not to
take part in an inquiry into Pat Finucane's death.

The family announced last week that they could not participate in
any inquiry into his murder under the terms set out in legislation
published on Friday.

They said the Inquiries Bill did not comply with recommendations
set out by the Canadian Judge Peter Cory who investigated the case.

"Judge Cory identified the 'basic requirements' for a public
inquiry," said a statement from the Finucane family. One of these
requirements was stated to be that 'the tribunal should have full
power to subpoena witnesses and documents together with all the
powers usually exercised by a Commissioner in a public inquiry'.

"Clause 17 of the bill is a wholesale departure from the Weston
Park Agreement and the Cory Recommendation in that an inquiry
established under this draft legislation will not have all the
powers usually exercised by a Commissioner in a public inquiry
since it gives the minister the power to determine when the inquiry
sits in private and what material is to be withheld. These are
self-evidently amongst the most important powers exercised by

At the start of this week a Sinn Féin delegation raised the matter
with both the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the Irish
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said the family had 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 Finucane's killing will not reach the
truth," the Justice spokesman said.

"Successive British governments 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."

Journalist:: Staff Reporter


Students Cause Havoc In Sligo

05/12/2004 - 12:54:06

Unruly students have damaged cars, spat at staff and removed brick
walls with their bare hands at a third level apartment complex, it
emerged today.

The property management company Albanne has told parents of
students in the Yeats Village at the Institute of Technology in
Sligo that it had been its worst experience in 14 years.

"If we do not call a halt and try to stop this, we will not have a
village left by year's end," said managing director Albert Dawson.

In a strongly-worded letter, he cited examples of the behaviour of
some 'abusive and uncooperative' students in the village:

:: Staff were spat at and told to 'f*** off and leave us alone';

:: Property was pelted with eggs and beans on a regular basis 'not
to mention other matter';

:: Cars were driven up onto lawns and revvd up to spin the wheels,
destroying the buildings with mud;

:: Windows were smashed, while a freshly built redbrick wall was
removed overnight.

The Yeats Village was opened four years ago and houses 330 students
in a mixture of houses and apartments. It is located on the
Enniskillen Road beside IT Sligo.

The letter said a serious drink culture was to blame for many of
the problems.

"Many nights, the village has been more active at four in the
morning than four in the evening."

Students in the complex were handed two separate warnings about
anti-social behaviour before the letter was sent.

Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Dawson said only a small
minority were causing problems.

"This is the Rolls Royce of student accommodation and 99% of my
students are fantastic. It's just there's a half a dozen bad apples
in every barrel," he said.

He said students from other complexes were responsible from some of
the problems, including the individual who took apart the block
wall with his bare hands.

"He was caught and reprimanded by the college," said Mr Dawson.

He added that anti-social behaviour was not confined to the Yeats
student village.

"We are being upfront about this but it is not an isolated case. I
have talked to colleagues in Limerick, Cork and Dublin and they all
say exactly the same thing."

There was one parent who told him that as the student was now over
18, they had no responsibility for him or her.

But Mr Dawson said the vast majority had supported his decision to
highlight the problems.

"The phones have been hopping with parents who were delighted to
get the information. We're going to keep parents in the loop. We'll
tell them the good news and the bad," he said.


The Denver Post

Review: Doyle's Smart Follow-Up

Irish rogue flourishes in '20s America boom

By William Porter
Denver Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 05, 2004 -

Henry Smart isn't the first immigrant to disembark on Ellis Island,
but he's likely the first to toss his forged passport into the
Atlantic and bound into New York City with a leg up on 95 percent
of the natives.

Sheer Emerald Isle élan has already served the young man well,
albeit for dark purposes.

For Smart is just that, and fans of Roddy Doyle, his creator, will
remember him fondly - if cautiously - from 1999's "A Star Called
Henry." Now he's back in "Oh, Play That Thing," Ireland burned
behind him.

It's the second novel in "The Last Roundup," Doyle's planned
trilogy spanning Ireland and America. At 46, the Dublin author
aspires to deliver a chronicle of the American century's birth, as
seen through one Irish rounder's eyes.

It is also Doyle's grasp at grandeur, in subject and voice, and one
largely realized.

The book opens in the mid-1920s. Henry, a former Irish Republican
Army assassin, is on the lam.

As his ship steams into New York harbor, Henry, surrounded by the
teeming masses yet apart from them, stares at the great copper lady
and the growing wall of skyscrapers before him. "I was the only man
alone, the only man not afraid of what was growing up in front of
us," he says. "This was where a man could disappear, could die if
he wanted to, and come back to quick, big life. I had arrived."

Henry has need of disappearing. He's on the run from his former IRA
paymasters. He has killed for them; now they want him dead, his
folk-hero status notwithstanding.

By the time this boy-man arrives in America, he has been on the run
for two years.

Henry sets to work making money, using his wits, strapping good
looks and prodigious gift for gab. He works the docks, launches a
sandwich-board crew and finds a gift for marketing that Madison
Avenue would admire.

"I'd just sold a repackaged cake of soap to a hophead with no
money," he marvels. "I'd passed my own test."

Money finds its way into his pockets, and he falls in with a woman
whose skills at the grift exceed even his own. When his enemies get
wind of his new life, he hops a freight train to Chicago.

There he discovers jazz and a rising musician named Louis
Armstrong. The horn player takes to Henry. Armstrong pays the way,
and Henry serves as buffer between the jazzman and the white world.

But the job has its limits, the past is closing in again, and Henry
is soon off on the rails with Dust Bowl denizens.

Shot through all of this is a mix of Irish slang and Depression-era
vernacular. Henry just can't shut up, and his nonstop rap, even
when it's running solely in his head, weirdly anticipates Jack
Kerouac's Neal Cassady. The book, which at times recalls E.L.
Doctorow, might be kinetic to a fault.

Still, this takes nothing away from Doyle, a writer of muscular,
quicksilver prose. In both novels of this trilogy, Doyle has shown
an originality of vision and narrative that makes many of his
earlier novels ("The Commitments," "The Snapper") look like mere
amusements, warm-ups for the grand writing he has given us in the
past five years.

It's a bold statement - and no knock on Edna O'Brien or J.P.
Donleavy - but Doyle is arguably the finest fiction writer to
emerge from Ireland since World War II.

Here's hoping that with the coming capstone to the Henry series, he
delivers the trifecta.

Deputy Arts & Entertainment Editor William Porter can be reached at
303-820-1877 or .

Oh, Play That Thing!
Volume Two of "The Last Roundup"
By Roddy Doyle
Viking, 378 pages, $24.95

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