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January 06, 2005

01/06/05 – Adams Full Statement

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

UT 01/06/05 Adams' Statement In Full
BB 01/06/05 Police 'To Blame IRA Over Raid' –V
SF 01/06/05 IRA Contribution Should Not Be Underestimated
BB 01/06/05 Police Warn Adair Over Move
IT 01/07/05 Omagh Trial May Be Delayed Over Document Access
BB 01/06/05 Former NI Minister Scott Dies
IO 01/06/05 Fáilte Announces Record Visitor Numbers In 2004 –V
IT 01/07/05 Harry, James & Anna Take Top Slots In Baby-Name Top 10


Adams' Statement In Full

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams today rejected claims that the IRA
was behind the £22 million pre-Christmas bank heist in Belfast.

By:Press Association

As Chief Constable Hugh Orde prepared to make his first public
statement on the robbery tomorrow, the West Belfast MP also claimed
raids on republican homes during the police investigation had
nothing to do with the heist.

Here is the Sinn Fein leader`s statement in full:

"Republicans made a huge effort last year to achieve a
comprehensive agreement which would resolve all the outstanding
issues in the peace process.

"When this failed the Sinn Fein leadership did not give up. We
continued to work right up to Christmas to plot a course forward
with the two governments.

"Now it looks like the ground is being laid to thwart these
efforts. The two governments need to think long and hard about
whose agenda is being served by accusations, mainly from the DUP,
attacking Sinn Fein and seeking to link our party to allegations of
IRA involvement in the Northern Bank robbery.

"From the beginning I held the view that the IRA was not involved
in that robbery. The IRA has said it wasn`t involved. I believe
that to be the case.

"In recent weeks we have witnessed a brazen attempt to undermine
the peace process by those elements of the British system, the
securocrats, who have opposed the peace process since its
inception, and in particular the republican contribution to it.

"It is obvious that the series of raids, house searches and
confiscation of property directed at republican activists, that
have taken place in recent weeks, have had nothing to do with
tracking down those responsible for the bank robbery. Instead this
has been a contrivance aimed at pointing the finger of guilt at
republicans even in the absence of any evidence.

"No one should doubt the significant damage done to all of this by
these raids, by the conduct of the PSNI, and by the political
opportunism of some.

"In this the enemies of the process have been aided by
irresponsible reporting by some sections of the media and
scurrilous and opportunistic attacks on Sinn Fein by political

"Peter Robinson`s accusation of duplicity by the Sinn Fein
negotiating team is outrageous and I reject it. Mr Robinson should
review the DUP`s conduct in the recent talks before making
unsubstantiated charges.

"I have spoken to the British and Irish governments. I told both
that Sinn Fein will not countenance any attempt by the DUP, or by
the governments or by anyone else, to demonise and criminalise this

"Sinn Fein has a political mandate achieved at the ballot box. We
will resist any attempt to marginalise, criminalise this party.

"The campaigns to smash Sinn Fein all failed. Sinn Fein represents
the majority of nationalists in the north. The DUP needs to come to
terms with this political reality."

Gerry Adams denies IRA involvement in bank robbery- news story


Orde due to comment on robbery at Northern Bank - Tommie Gorman,
Northern Editor, reports on the aftermath of the £22m heist. See
Gerry Kelly comment on robbery.

Police 'To Blame IRA Over Raid' -V

The IRA looks set to be blamed for the £22m bank raid in Belfast
when Chief Constable Hugh Orde meets Policing Board members, the
BBC has learned.

Mr Orde is due to brief senior members of the board about the raid
on Friday.

It comes amid growing calls for him to publicly state if the IRA
was involved in the robbery at the Northern Bank headquarters on 20

Homes in republican areas of Belfast have been searched, but
republicans have said the IRA was not involved.

'Political fallout'

BBC Northern Ireland Security Editor Brian Rowan said: "We have to
wait for the official line... but there is a growing sense that
when he puts a label on this robbery that he (Hugh Orde) will point
towards the IRA."

He added that if Mr Orde did this, there would not be a long wait
for the "political fallout".

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said he would not countenance any
attempt to "demonise and criminalise" his party.

He said: "The two governments need to think long and hard about
whose agenda is being served by accusations, mainly from the DUP,
attacking Sinn Fein and seeking to link our party to allegations of
IRA involvement in the Northern Bank robbery.

"From the beginning I held the view that the IRA was not involved
in that robbery. The IRA has said it wasn't involved. I believe
that to be the case."

Mr Adams said that British "securocrats" were behind a "contrivance
aimed at pointing the finger of guilt at republicans - even in the
absence of any evidence".

Earlier, Prime Minister Tony Blair said he would not prejudge the
result of police inquiries into the raid.

However, Mr Blair said groups linked to political parties must
renounce terrorism and cease criminal activity.

He made the comments during a news conference at 10 Downing Street,
after he was asked about suspected IRA involvement in the robbery.

"We have to wait for the authorities to make their judgement on
this," he said.

"But be under no misunderstanding at all, there can be absolutely
no place, not merely for terrorist activity, but for criminal
activity of any sort by people associated with a political party.

'Complete prohibition"

"There is no way that this thing is going to work or that other
political parties will accept such a thing, rightly.

"We will have to wait and see what happens, but the ban on
terrorist activity includes a complete prohibition on criminal
activity as well."

Mr Blair's comments come a day after DUP deputy leader Peter
Robinson called on the chief constable to "come clean" over
speculation about IRA involvement in the raid.

Mr Robinson said the consequences of mainstream IRA involvement
would be "far reaching".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/06 20:08:38 GMT


Significance Of IRA Contribution Should Not Be Underestimated

Published: 6 January, 2005

Commenting on the New Year message today released by the IRA, Sinn
Féin Assembly member Gerry Kelly said that the statement once again
outlined the hugely significant contribution which the IRA was
prepared to make and the anger felt at the rejection of this

Mr Kelly said:

"The IRA had already outlined publicly the massive contribution
which it was prepared to make to see a comprehensive agreement
achieved. The significance of this contribution should not be
underestimated and its rejection has caused obvious anger and

"The two governments in particular need to understand this anger
and frustration and move speedily in the time ahead to try and
build upon the progress which we have made. The IRA have made it
very clear that demands for humiliation are unachievable.

" We do still have an opportunity to move forward. However if it
becomes clear that the DUP are going to continue with their
opposition to equality and power sharing then the two governments
cannot allow this to paralyse the process of change." ENDS


Police Warn Adair Over Move

A senior police officer in Greater Manchester has warned loyalist
paramilitary Johnny Adair that criminal behaviour will not be

Chief Superintendent Dave Lea was speaking after reports that Adair
will be moving to Bolton after his release from prison next week.

Adair's wife Gina fled to the town after a loyalist feud two years

Ch Supt Lea said his force would act "robustly" to deal with any
criminal or anti-social behaviour.

'Criminal justice'

He said his officers had a "practised strategy" for dealing with
people released from long criminal sentences.

Ch Supt Lea said: "Bolton is a very diverse community.

"We welcome people into this community provided they wish to come
here and have a law-abiding life.

"If they choose to engage in criminal activity or anti-social
behaviour then we will bring the full force of criminal justice to

Adair is due for release from prison this month after serving two-
thirds of a 16 year sentence for directing terrorism by the Ulster
Freedom Fighters.

The exact date of his release is being kept secret but he is
expected to leave Maghaberry Jail next week.

It will be the third time Adair has been released since his
conviction in 1995.

He was previously returned to prison for breaching licence
conditions in August 2000 after being released from prison under
the terms of the Agreement a year earlier.

On 15 May, 2002, he was released having reached the 50% point of
his sentence.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy ordered Adair to be sent
back to prison in January 2003 at the height of a vicious power-
struggle between his C Company faction and the rest of the Ulster
Defence Association (UDA).

Forced to flee

Days later John Gregg, a member of the UDA inner council, was shot
dead near Belfast docks as he returned from a Glasgow Rangers
football match.

Members of Adair's brigade blamed for the killing were later routed
and forced to flee their Shankill Road powerbase.

They took a ferry out of Northern Ireland and later travelled from
Scotland to Bolton, where Gina Adair, who has been treated for
cancer, is now living.

The family's attempts to remain anonymous were disrupted when
Adair's teenage son Jonathan was sentenced last year for drug

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/06 16:53:51 GMT


Omagh Trial May Be Delayed Over Document Access

A multimillion pound compensation case arising out of the Omagh
bombing could be delayed by a legal battle over access to documents
in the Republic, it was revealed in the High Court in Belfast

Five men being sued for £14 million (€20 million) by victims'
relatives are no longer legally represented after lawyers pulled
out when legal aid was refused. But Mr Justice Morgan hinted
yesterday that they should get free legal advice to oppose an
application for discovery of documents produced at trials in

At one of the trials in 2003, Michael McKevitt was convicted of
running the "Real IRA" which carried out the 1998 atrocity killing
29 people, and was jailed for 20 years.

Barrister Mr Brett Lockhart, appearing for the Omagh families,
applied for discovery of the books of evidence and transcripts of
trials involving some of the five defendants.

Mr Justice Morgan said there appeared to be a prima facie case for
discovery but he was concerned about the defendants' rights to a
fair trial. For this reason he was "minded" to invite them to say
whether they wished to have legal advice regarding the application
for discovery.

He said one solicitor could be appointed to look after the
interests of all the defendants, and gave them until February 3rd
to indicate if they wished to take up the offer.

If they did, said the judge, it would then be for the Legal
Services Commission - formerly the Legal Aid department - to
appoint counsel to take instructions. "The appointment of one
senior counsel and one junior counsel would limit the extent of any
public expenditure," said the judge.

He added that if the defendants did not respond by February 3rd
then he would consider asking the Attorney General to become
involved to ensure that there was no contempt of court procedures
in the Republic.

"The papers indicate that there is a problem about disclosure of
this material," said the judge.

"Even though the defendants are not here there is an obligation on
this court to ensure they have legal representation if it is
required. If it subsequently turned out that they required legal
advice then the entire action might be in jeopardy."

© The Irish Times


Former NI Minister Scott Dies

Former Northern Ireland minister Sir Nicholas Scott has died at a
London hospice, his family has announced.

The former Conservative MP for Kensington and Chelsea, died after a
long illness diagnosed as Alzheimer's.

The 71-year-old served in Northern Ireland from 1981 to 1987 during
the premiership of Margaret Thatcher.

As a Northern Ireland minister he dealt with education and later
security where he rode out the mass IRA escape from the Maze in

'Minister of Discord'

In education, he encountered criticism over school closures and the
future of the Catholic training colleges.

He also merged the New University of Ulster and the Ulster
Polytechnic to create the University of Ulster.

Sir Nicholas was a strong defender of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and
was held in esteem in Dublin government and SDLP circles.

But he experienced hostility from unionists some of whom dubbed him
"Minister of Discord".

After leaving Northern Ireland in a reshuffle, he became a UK
disability minister.

Sir Nicholas was replaced as the member for Kensington and Chelsea
by the flamboyant Alan Clark, after being deselected by his
constituency in December 1996.

His deselection followed a series of scandals including being found
slumped in the street by police during the Tory Party conference in
Bournemouth and taken back to his hotel.

Wrecking tactics

Sir Nicholas claimed strong painkillers he was taking for a back
problem had reacted badly with a small amount of alcohol.

After his sacking, he bitterly said that despite the support of
Cabinet ministers and Tory backbenchers, the Eurosceptics in his
constituency were "absolutely determined to get rid of me".

His colourful career also included a very public disagreement with
daughter Victoria over civil rights for the disabled.

Sir Nicholas admitted he misled MPs when he denied his department
had been involved in wrecking tactics designed to kill the
Disability Bill in 1994.

Victoria, a lobbyist for disabled rights, denounced her father's
actions and heaped insult on injury when she joined the calls for
him to resign.

He joined the backbenches two months later.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/01/06 22:34:57 GMT



Irish tourism enjoys record year in 2004 - David Murphy, Business
Correspondent, reports on Fáilte Ireland's report on the
performance of the tourism industry

Fáilte Announces Record Visitor Numbers In 2004 -V

06/01/2005 - 13:28:00

A record 6.4 million people visited Ireland from abroad in 2004,
according to figures released today by Fáilte Ireland.

The tourism development authority said overseas visits resulted in
revenue of €4.2bn for the Irish economy.

Fáilte said revenue from domestic trips by Irish residents
increased by 10% during 2004, meaning total tourism earnings were
expected to be more than €5.2bn for the year.

Fáilte Ireland said its research had shown that 97% of visitors
would recommend a holiday in Ireland.

However, it said it remained concerned about the continuing
difference in the number of people visiting the east and west of
the country and has called for measures to ensure tourism benefits
the entire country.


Harry, James And Anna Take Top Slots In Baby-Name Top 10

Alison Healy

Harry, James and Anna were the most popular children's names for
parents who announced their babies' births in the columns of The
Irish Times last year.

James has been consistently popular in recent years, but the
success of the Harry Potter series of books may have inspired some
parents to put the young wizard's name in joint first position last

The Irish Times list of almost 1,100 names shows parents favoured
traditional English names last year, with only one Irish name -
Conor - appearing in the top 10 boys' names.

Michael, Charlie/Charles, Samuel and Robert were all more popular
than Conor.

No Irish names made it into the top 10 girls's names, a list
dominated by names such as Kate, Lucy, Sarah, Grace, Ella and Emma.

Amelia, Charlotte, Lauren, Holly and Zöe appeared before the first
Irish name - Róisín - was listed. Other popular Irish names
included Aoife, Ciara, Gráinne and Éabha.

Many unusual names appeared in The Irish Times birth columns last
year with parents of girls showing the most originality. Some of
those names included Fódhla, Anu, Beaux,Ayanna, Dasha, Perla,
Réidín and Saorla.

Some parents also opted for unusual boys' names, including Aneurin,
Irial, Magnus, Lucca, Orian, Izaak and Sander.

Every classroom once contained several Marys and Johns but just a
solitary Mary made it into the girl's list last year. John has
remained consistently popular and stayed in the top 10.

If the variations of Isabel were combined, it would be the most
popular girl's name, with Isabella, Isabelle, Isabel and Isobel all
appearing frequently.

Ava, Eva, Hannah, Laura and Amy are also popular.

The Irish Times list was not compiled last year, but the most
recent name poll in 2001 found James and Isabel were the most

The Central Statistics Office will not have national data on the
most popular baby names for some months, but in 2003, Seán and Emma
were the most popular choices.

Seán was edged out of The Irish Times top 10, together with names
such as Joseph, Patrick, Daniel and Hugh.

Names for boys:

James and Harry

Names for girls:


Source: The Irish Times birth announcements in 2004

© The Irish Times

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005
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