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January 07, 2005

01/07/05 - Bloodsy Sunday Contempt Man Jailed

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

BB 01/07/05 Bloody Sunday Contempt Man Jailed
DJ 01/07/05 BS Probe Was Unique - Inquiry Counsel Clarke
SF 01/07/05 Adams Warns Of Assault On Integrity Of SF Mandate
SF 01/07/05 Orde Produces No Evidence For Political Allegations -V
IO 01/07/05 IRA Bank Raid Claims A Setback For Peace: Ahern –V(5)
CS 01/07/05 Action Needed Against Sinn Fein
IO 01/07/05 Labour: Govts 'Hoodwinked' By IRA
TO 01/07/05 Analysis: Trust Gerry Adams? Hardly Likely Now
IO 01/07/05 GRA: Orde Comments Prove Nature Of McCabe Killers & IRA
GU 01/07/05 Interactive Guide To Robbery:
BB 01/07/05 Timeline: Northern Bank Robbery
BB 01/07/05 Birds Slaughtered In Town Park
DJ 01/07/05 Brits Vindictive: Helicopter Flights Cause Resentment
IC 01/07/05 Ardoyne July March Cost £255k

NW 01/07/05 Last Minute Work On Cork's Capital Of Culture Year –VO
NW 01/07/05 Leahy, Artistic Director Talks About River Monster -VO
NW 01/07/05 Carlow Guitar-Maker Producing World Class Instrmnts -VO
RT 01/07/05 Body Of Irishwoman Killed In Tsunami Returned

Last Minute Work On Cork's Capital Of Culture Year - Mary talks to
John Kennedy, Director of Cork 2005, about the preparations and the
public's interest in the year's events

Mike Leahy, Artistic Director of the Spraoi Arts Company in
Waterford, talks about the river monster they have created for the

Carlow Guitar-Maker Producing World Class Instruments - Michael
Ryan meets Michael O'Leary, whose craft is such that some of the
finest players in the world are taking notice

Body Of Irishwoman Killed In Tsunami Returned


Bloody Sunday Contempt Man Jailed

A man has been sentenced by the High Court to three months in jail
for failing to co-operate with the Bloody Sunday inquiry.

The 49-year-old man, known in court as PIRA 9, is the first person
to be jailed in connection with the tribunal.

After hearing his sentence, he shouted: "I am the only man to be
punished for Bloody Sunday. It's a disgrace."

After declining an opportunity to "reconsider his position" the man
was told to begin his sentence on Monday.

Covering fire

The application to punish the man for contempt of the tribunal was
brought on behalf of its chairman, Lord Saville.

The inquiry had received evidence from Paddy Ward that the man had
been actively involved in the events of Bloody Sunday on 31
January, 1972, when paratroopers shot dead 13 men.

Lord Saville's lawyer, Bernard McCloskey, said the evidence was
that the man had been seen firing at soldiers and that Mr Ward and
others gave him covering fire to enable him to make his escape.

Defence lawyer John Coyle referred to a letter written to the
inquiry by solicitor Denis Mullan quoting PIRA 9 as saying that Mr
Ward's evidence contained such a degree of inaccuracy that it did
not merit a response from him.

The Lord Chief Justice, Sir Brian Kerr, said the court was
concerned about having to send a person to jail with no previous
convictions and adjourned the hearing to allow PIRA 9 to reconsider
his position.

When the hearing resumed Mr Coyle said: "My client's attitude is

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/07 16:07:50 GMT


Bloody Sunday Probe Was 'Unique' - Says Inquiry Counsel Christopher

Friday 7th January 2005

Despite lasting almost seven years and costing in excess of £140
million, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry has been a "unique" and
"important" process, one of its central figures has told the
'Journal'. by Sean McLaughlin

In an exclusive interview with the 'Derry Journal', Christopher
Clarke QC, Counsel to the Inquiry, says that, while he has often
"regretted" the time the Inquiry has taken, he has been unable to
come up with an answer as to how it could have been shortened.

Mr. Clarke, who next week takes up his new job as a High Court
judge, believes the Inquiry - established in January 1998 by
British prime minister Tony Blair - has been a fundamental course
of action.

He tells the 'Journal': "Whatever may be said, and a lot has, about
the length and expense of the Inquiry, the process has been, in my
view, an important one.

"When people have to account for what they did or saw in a calm
setting, and to answer questions about their evidence by an Inquiry
that has, itself, no axe to grind, the truth, which is usually more
complex than many people think, tends to emerge.

"Those who take part in the process can see that it does and, as
the good book says, the truth can set you free. I like to think
that many people, whatever the degree of cynicism they usually
employ, recognise that."

He also acknowledges concerns surrounding the length of the

"He remarks: "I have regretted the time that it has taken, which,
for me, has been longer than the Second World War - and for the
Tribunal will have been even longer.

"I have asked myself from time to time what could have been done to
shorten that time without coming up with any particularly
serviceable answer.

"The circumstances of the Inquiry were unique; in essence a case in
which, at the start, almost everything was in dispute; there was a
background of, at worst, distrust and, at best doubt; the relevant
witnesses were very numerous and, in some cases, had given several
statements over the years, not all consistent with each other, and
the documentation was far greater than anyone imagined."


Gerry Adams Warns Of Assault On Integrity Of Sinn Féin Mandate

Published: 7 January, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has this afternoon warned that
"there could well be a full frontal assault on the Sinn Féin
political project and on the integrity of our mandate."

Mr. Adams said that the party "will give careful consideration as
to how it responds to this as the situation develops in the time

"This is a not a time to kneejerk against some of the more
outlandish claims being made, particularly by representatives of
the two governments.

"At the same time no one could expect Sinn Féin to desist from our
efforts to advance the agenda for change and particularly the
equality agenda. We will continue to relentlessly pursue these and
to seek to advance the peace process." ENDS


Sinn Féin's Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness gives his view on
the Chief Constable's comments on the robbery

Orde Produces No Evidence For Political Allegations -V

Published: 7 January, 2005

Responding to politically biased allegations made today by the PSNI
Chief Constable Hugh Orde linking the IRA to the recent robbery in
the Northern Bank in Belfast, Sinn Féin Chief negotiator Martin
McGuinness MP said:

"Hugh Orde's comments today are nothing more than politically
biased allegations. He has not produced one scrap of evidence.
Within days of the robbery at the Northern Bank, and following
media speculation and PSNI briefings, which suggested IRA
involvement, I asked the IRA about this and was assured that they
were not involved.

" We are witnessing a renewed attempt to undermine the peace
process. We need to think long and hard about who is setting this
agenda and why? This is more to do with halting the process of
change which Sinn Fein has been driving forward than with anything
that happened at the Northern Bank.

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

"We have told both the British and Irish governments that Sinn Féin
will not countenance any attempt by the DUP, or by the governments
or by any one else, to demonise this party.

" The campaigns to smash Sinn Féin, to criminalise and marginalise
the republican struggle all failed. Sinn Féin represents the
majority of nationalists in the north. The securocrats and the DUP
need to come to terms with this political reality." ENDS


The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, expresses his disappointment at
today's developments

Bank robbery allegation upsets political process - Michael Fisher
reports on the widely expected statement from Chief Constable Hugh
Orde on the IRA's involvement in the Northern Bank robbery

David McCullagh, Political Correspondent, looks at reaction to the
attribution of responsibility for the robbery to the IRA

Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor, and David McCullagh discuss the
implications of the statement

Jeffrey Donaldson of the DUP says he devastated by today's

IRA Bank Raid Claims A 'Setback' For Peace Process: Ahern –V(5)

07/01/2005 - 15:50:01

Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde's assertion that the IRA
was involved in the Northern Bank robbery in Belfast is a "serious
set-back" to the peace process, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said today.

Mr Ahern described the allegations as a "matter of deep concern"
and said it corroded the public confidence the Government had to
foster to obtain a comprehensive settlement in Northern Ireland.

"It underscores the need for compelling commitments both in word
and deed that the full spectrum of IRA paramilitary activities and
capability has been brought to a definitive closure," he said.

He added that this must include the necessary assurance regarding
all forms of criminal activity which, following the Northern Bank
robbery, clearly remains a major concern.

"Recent developments have validated the need for such demonstrable
commitments if the public confidence necessary to sustain inclusive
government is to be achieved."

The Gardaí are co-operating fully with the Police Service of
Northern Ireland in an effort to apprehend culprits of the crime,
he said.

He added that the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) will
offer a considered assessment of the matter in its next report.

Mr Ahern said the robbery will convince both governments that they
must "complete the unfinished business arising from the
comprehensive agreement".

He added: "If stable politics in Northern Ireland is to be secured,
there can be no doubt or ambiguity about the total commitment of
all concerned to exclusively peaceful and democratic engagement,
including desisting from involvement in criminality in all its

When he returns from his trip to the Asian tsunami zone, foreign
affairs minister Dermot Ahern will meet Northern Ireland Secretary
Paul Murphy to review matters.

The Taoiseach is due to meet Tony Blair in coming weeks for a "full
and comprehensive discussion on how both Governments now take
forward the process".


Action Needed Against Sinn Fein

Following today's comments by PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde,
linking the IRA to the recent £26.5m bank robbery in Belfast,
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, David Lidington,
has written to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In his
letter he says:

"Today's comments by the Chief Constable have grave implications
for the political process in Northern Ireland.

Ministers have repeatedly said that Sinn Fein and the Provisional
IRA are "inextricably linked", a verdict supported by the reports
of the Independent Monitoring Commission. If PIRA was responsible
for the bank robbery on 20 December, senior members of Sinn Fein
must have known about or even authorised the crime.

I hope that you agree with me that any political party
"inextricably linked" to an active and organised criminal gang is
unacceptable in government in Northern Ireland. Nor could I support
the devolution of policing or criminal justice to a devolved
Executive unless all parties in that Executive had committed
themselves unreservedly, in both word and deed, to support rather
than undermine the police and the rule of law.

There are four immediate actions that I would now ask you to take.

First, that you make a statement to Parliament early next week to
set out the Government's assessment of what the Chief Constable's
comments mean for the future of the political process.

Second, that you review urgently whether the information now
available to Ministers and the police about the bank robbery
justifies you recalling to prison any of the criminals who were
released on licence under the terms of the Northern Ireland
(Sentences) Act 1998.

Third, in view of the suspicion that the profits of crime are
helping to fund political parties with paramilitary links, that you
reconsider the Government's decision to continue the exemptions
that political parties in Northern Ireland have from the normal
rules on publishing their accounts and receiving foreign donations.

Fourth, that you and your Cabinet colleagues table a motion in the
House of Commons to suspend the privileges and parliamentary
allowances that were exceptionally given to Sinn Fein's four MPs
even though they refused to take their seats. It is just wrong for
taxpayers' money to be doled out in this way to party that is
"inextricably linked" to organised crime."

David Lidington MP


Labour: Govts 'Hoodwinked' By IRA
2005-01-07 17:00:08+00

Labour leader Pat Rabbitte has said the British and Irish
governments have been hoodwinked by the IRA and Sinn Féin.

The North's Chief Constable Hugh Orde has unambiguously blamed the
IRA for carrying out the massive pre-Christmas raid on the Northern
Bank in Belfast.

Deputy Rabbitte has said the latest development makes a mockery of
the IRA's commitment to the peace process.

Mr Rabbitt has said: "They can't agree to destroy armaments and
semtex but maintain an infrastructure for the purposes of criminal
activity either to fund their political activity or for whatever
other reason."

"It is that last step that has to be taken before we can say that
we are in a post-IRA Ireland, but you can't play down significance
of what has happened in the last couple of weeks."


Analysis: Trust Gerry Adams? Hardly Likely Now

By Kevin Toolis

THE Ulster police chief's denunciation of the Provisional IRA as
bank robbers is a catastrophe that leaves a decade of patient and
tedious peace negotiations in ruins.

We are back to square one in terms of building a peace deal in
Northern Ireland.

Over the next few weeks, opponents of the Ulster accord, such as
the DUP of Ian Paisley, will systematically try to tear up the
floorboards of the Good Friday agreement and shred every document
attesting to the IRA's so-called commitment to peace.

The blame obviously lies entirely with the IRA and its leadership
for failing to break from its old ways of the "armalite, the bank
robbery and the ballot box". But the key question is not whether
the Provisional IRA carried out the bank robbery, but whether Gerry
Adams and Martin McGuinness can ever be trusted again.

By so unequivocally asserting that the Provos were responsible,
Chief Constable Hugh Orde, with the explicit backing of Downing
Street, is telling us the answer.

And the answer is no. Not now, not tomorrow, never.

Picture the scene at some future historic peace deal summit. Tony
Blair, or his successor, is at the podium answering questions on
the political bona fides of his republican peace partners and their
"very real commitment" to a future peace process. "I have asked Mr
Adams and he has assured me today that the IRA has given up robbing
banks and will decommission all their arms," says the Prime

After yesterday, few in Northern Ireland, or the wider world, would
rate such future potential IRA assurances as more than verbal

And, put bluntly, if the IRA's promises are worthless, then there
is no peace deal worth having in Northern Ireland.

There are still lot of questions to be answered. How could the IRA
leadership, including Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness, be so stupid as
to endorse/allow/oversee/be unaware of the consequences of their
comrades'/subordinates' heist at the Northern Bank?

Who was the political dunderhead on the IRA Army Council, one of
seven men, who argued that the IRA could carry out such a robbery,
using textbook IRA tactics, and that the finger of suspicion would
never be directed at republicans? And where were every other IRA
Army Council member's brains when they agreed?

Whatever the exact answers, we can derive only two equally
depressing assessments about the current status of the Provisional

One, the IRA, despite decades of political posturing, remains a
malevolent, irreformable terrorist organisation incapable of
adhering to the rule of law. Two, the IRA is a stupid, malevolent,
irreformable terrorist organisation.

War is not likely to break out in Northern Ireland in the
foreseeable future. The deal will hold, but the Northern Bank
robbery places real question marks over where the future peace road

Like virginity, political trust, once lost can never be regained.

For upwards of a decade Gerry Adams has been assuring the world
that the IRA really has changed, and things are different now. But,
according to Hugh Orde and Tony Blair, those promises, like the
IRA's denials of involvement in the robbery, are just lies.

It is clearly going to take some time before future IRA promises on
decommissioning, or anything, are ever going to be believed at all.

Kevin Toolis is the author of Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the
IRA's Soul, Picador


GRA: Orde Comments Prove Nature Of Mccabe Killers And IRA

07/01/2005 - 16:01:45

The national executive of the Garda Representative Association
(GRA) has said Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde's
assertion that the IRA carried out the multi-million euro bank
heist in Belfast last month was further proof that the killers of
Det Garda Jerry McCabe should not be released under any

Members of the national executive met in Adare Co Limerick today
where their former colleague was killed in a botched IRA post
office raid in June 1996. His widow Ann and son John attended
today's meeting which marked the first time that 28 members of the
national executive met outside of Dublin.

The meeting was organised to discuss a date for a public
demonstration in oppposition to any possible early release of the
killers of Det Gda McCabe.

Local reports had suggested that the detective's widow might lead
the demonstration but Mrs McCabe made no comment after today's
meeting at the Woodlands Hotel in Adare.

In a statement issued after the meeting by the GRA, the group's
General Secretary PJ Stone said that Chief Constable of Northern
Ireland Hugh Orde's assertion that the IRA was behind last month's
£26.5m (€37.9m) bank heist indicates the true nature of the IRA,
and as a result the IRA should not be given special concessions in
respect of early release.

"We are still committed to the principle that these criminals and
murderers remain behind bars," said Mr Stone.

"Further to that, we believe the statement by the PSNI Chief
Constable, Hugh Orde, indicates the true nature of the IRA and its
cohorts and they should not be given any further special
concessions in respect of early release."

Mr Stone went on to say that the GRA received an assurance from the
government that they would be advised if the situation in respect
of the killers' release alters or changes.

"If that were to happen,we would then organise an appropriate
assembly and we would advise our members accordingly and then ask
the general public for their support, which they have been giving
us up to now and which we are very grateful for," said Mr Stone.

Meanwhile, GRA president Dermot O'Donnell said today that a public
protest against any early release of Det Garda McCabe's killers was
not an issue for the moment.

However, he added that the GRA had reached a "level of
preparedness" regarding a protest and that this level would be
maintained and that public support would be sought should the
situation change.

Mr O'Donnell went on to rule out any suggestion of a "blue flu"
sitatuion in the event of any early release of the killers as "not
even a remote possibilty".


Interactive Guide To Robbery:,5860,1378772,00.html

Timeline: Northern Bank Robbery

The gang which carried out one of the biggest cash robberies ever
appear to have planned every detail with great precision. They
escaped with £26.5m after a robbery on the Northern Bank's Belfast
headquarters. Here is a timetable of the raid:

Sunday 19 December 2200 GMT - Three masked men go to a house at
Colinmill in Poleglass, on the western outskirts of Belfast. A
mother, father, two sons and a girlfriend of one of the sons are in
the house.

One of the sons is Chris Ward, a bank official with the Northern
Bank in Donegall Square West.

He is taken away while at least two masked men hold the rest of the
family hostage for more than 24 hours.

Mr Ward is taken in a red car from Poleglass to a house in
Loughinisland Road, Downpatrick, County Down, where his supervisor

When he arrives, two masked men have already taken over that house
by pretending to be police officers.

His supervisor Kevin McMullan and his wife Karen have been tied up
at gunpoint.

Sunday 2330 GMT - Mrs McMullan is taken away from the house to an
undisclosed location where she is held blindfold for more than 24

Monday 20 December 0630 GMT - The masked men leave the house in
Loughinisland Road, leaving the bank officials with instructions
about what they must do.

Monday 1200 GMT - Mr McMullan and Mr Ward go into work and carry
out their normal duties.

They work in the cash centre in the basement of the bank, in
Donegall Square/Wellington Street.

Monday 1800 GMT - One of the workers leaves the bank carrying a
holdall containing about £1m.

He goes around the corner into Upper Queen Street where he hands
the bag to another man.

Police believe this was a trial run for the later robbery.

Monday 1900 GMT - Money which has loaded into crates is collected
up by a "distinctive" white box van.

Monday 2000 GMT - The van makes a second collection from the
Wellington Street entrance to the bank.

In excess of £26m is stolen in total before the van drives off
towards the Grosvenor Road roundabout.

Monday 2300 GMT - Mrs McMullan finds her way to a house after being
left in Drumkeeragh Forest Park, County Down, between Ballynahinch
and Castlewellan.

She is suffering from exposure as a result of her ordeal.

Her car is later found burnt out in the forest park.

Monday 2345 GMT - Police and senior officials at the bank are
alerted to the raid.

Sam Kinkaid, head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Crime
Operations branch, is briefed and immediately signals the start of
the hunt for the gang involved.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/07 13:51:07 GMT


Birds Slaughtered In Town Park

A peacock and 24 banty hens have been battered to death at an
aviary in a municipal park in Bangor, County Down.

A wire fence around a pen in Ward Park was cut and the birds were
attacked with a blunt instrument. A knife was also found at the

The USPCA has offered a £1,000 reward to anyone coming forward with
information about the attack on the birds.

North Down UUP councillor Diana Peacocke said the slaughter of the
birds was "beyond belief".

'Despicable and dreadful'

She said: "I find this latest attack of vandalism, in the form of a
sustained attack, extremely deplorable and particularly low.

"To actually break in and attack defenceless birds in the highly-
regarded Ward Park aviaries is beyond belief."

She said the birds had died as a direct result of "this despicable
and dreadful action".

Ian Beaney of North Down Council, which runs the park, said they
did not like to keep the birds caged or restricted.

He said: "The birds that are out and walking about, in 20 years I
am not aware of an incident such as this in the park."

'Act of cruelty'

"From an aviary point of view, mainly it is one full-time member of
staff who looks after that and he has pride in the work he does.

"He was distinctly distressed this morning when he came in to
witness this."

DUP councillor Alex Easton said: "This is the worst act of cruelty
that I have ever seen against defenceless animals and birds.

"It is just completely horrific. No words can describe the scenes."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/07 19:15:46 GMT


British Army Accused Of Vindictiveness - Helicopter Flights Cause

Friday 7th January 2005

Sinn Fein Councillor Billy Page has accused the British Army of
operating a policy of vindictiveness against the whole of the
Nationalist population after a heavy British Army helicopter buzzed
the roof tops of homes on the night before the majority of children
returned to school.

But the British army dismissed the charge and described Councillor
Page's claims as 'bizarre and ridiculous'.

The Sinn Fein councillor said: "At 11pm one night earlier this week
the British Army helicopter made several low level passes over the
homes of people living in the Nationalist West Bank area, wakening
up children in bed preparing for their return to school."

He added: "Instead of implementing the demilitarisation programme
agreed under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement the British
Army, as seen with the covert operations recently uncovered in
Belfast, are still at war with the Nationalist people. "While
members of the PSNI feel secure to patrol Nationalist areas on
bicycles the British Army uses the excuse of an increased threat to
carry out major military operations across the Six Counties".

The Sinn Fein Councillor went on: "The operation this week was
nothing more than an attack against the whole of the population
using huge helicopters to cause as much noise and disruption in
Nationalist homes."

However, the British army rejected the charges while confirming
that a Puma helicopter was flying in the area at 22.30hours.

A spokesperson said: "This was operationally unavoidable and any
inconvenience caused is sincerely regretted.

"Any suggestion by Mr. Page of vindictiveness is both bizarre and
ridiculous. Military activity has fallen by two thirds since the
Good Friday Agreement and the use of helicopters had fallen by 40
percent over the same period."


July March Cost £255k

Taxpayers' huge bill for PSNI operation at Ardoyne march that saw
UDA men escorted up Crumlin Road.........

The cost of the PSNI operation at Ardoyne that escorted UDA men up
the Crumlin Road on July 12 cost the taxpayer a whopping quarter of
million pounds.

And that doesn't include the cost of the British army operation.

The North Belfast News has learned that the bill for the massive
operation that hemmed in nationalists behind barriers of steel to
allow an Orange Order march was £255,000.

The PSNI claims it doesn't cost individual parades, but the
department of foreign affairs in Dublin confirmed the cost in a
letter to community groups in December.

Cops were criticised by nationalists after they allowed UDA
supporters to proceed up the Crumlin Road despite a Parades
Commission ruling that banned hangers on.

The decision led to a rift between the PSNI and the Parades
Commission and sparked some of the worst civil unrest seen in
Belfast for years.

Gerard McGuigan of the Ardoyne Parades Dialogue Group said the
damage to the area was not limited to the huge cost of the march.

"It would cost that much to bring in another viable route that
would take these marches away from Ardoyne. The damage caused is
also to community relations. How many millions have been spent to
try and improve community relations to then facilitate a sectarian
rabble who have refused to engage in dialogue," he said.

"Taxpayers are paying for a sectarian march to go past an area
where those representing these groups won't even sit down and talk
with the residents."

The NIO said the cost of policing operations was a matter for the
chief constable.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI said the cost of the marching season of
2004 for the whole of the North of Ireland was £5.5 million.

"The PSNI does not break down costings for individual parades," she

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005
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