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January 08, 2005

01/08/05 – JFK’s Sister Dies Aged 86

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

UT 01/08/05 JFK's Sister Dies Aged 86
BT 01/08/05 Sinn Fein Summit As Bank Crisis Deepens –A
BT 01/08/05 Opin: Orde Verdict Puts Sinn Fein On Spot
BB 01/08/05 IRA Raid Claims: What Happens Now?
BT 01/08/05 DUP Stands Vindicated Over Heist, Says Paisley
NN 01/08/05 Queens Community Board Names Street For Soldier
UT 01/08/05 Save Tara Group In Protest


JFK's Sister Dies Aged 86

The eldest sister of President John F. Kennedy has died at the age
of 86.

Rosemary Kennedy was mentally disabled and lived most of her life
in an institution.

She inspired her younger sister Eunice Shriver to found the Special

A statement released by the Kennedy family describes Rosemary as "a
lifelong jewel to every member of our family."


Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy on whether Sinn Fein can
still be part of the peace process now that the IRA has been blamed
for robbing a bank.

Sinn Fein Summit As Bank Crisis Deepens -A

Calls to leave party out in political cold.

By Jonathan McCambridge
08 January 2005

Sinn Fein's leaders were holding an emergency meeting today to
discuss the deepening political crisis sparked by the Chief
Constable's assessment that the IRA was responsible for the
Northern Bank robbery.

Members of the party's national executive were meeting in Dublin
amid growing calls for the political process to proceed without

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson today said the Independent
Monitoring Commission (IMC) should produce an early report into
Hugh Orde's assessment that the Provisional IRA stole £26.5m from
the vaults of the Northern Bank cash centre.

He said if the IMC reached the same conclusion, then Sinn Fein
should be excluded from government for 12 months.

Mr Robinson added: "Why should the whole of democratic society be
held back because one party is so tied to criminality and terrorism
that it isn't prepared to move forward?"

However, Sinn Fein figures have insisted the IRA was not involved
in the robbery and have challenged the Chief Constable to produce
evidence to back up his claim.

Ministers in Dublin and London have now conceded there is virtually
no chance of a return to power-sharing in Northern Ireland for at
least six months.

Secretary of State Paul Murphy said it was "offensive" that the IRA
was planning the Northern Bank heist while political negotiations
were going on before Christmas.

But he said there would be no rush to meet unionist demands and
immediately exclude Sinn Fein from taking part in a power-sharing

"I believe all parties in Northern Ireland have mandates and we
have to respect them. But all of us have to respect the mandate of
the Good Friday Agreement which is a non-violent, peaceful Northern

Mr Murphy is due to meet his Irish counterpart, Foreign Minister
Dermot Ahern, next week to discuss London and Dublin's response to
the raid. A meeting between Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern will

The Secretary of State will address Parliament about the latest
crisis on Tuesday. Mr Murphy said the Chief Constable had
demonstrated there was "weighty evidence" that the IRA had carried
out the world's biggest cash bank robbery.

But Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness accused the police of making
"politically biased allegations".

He said: "He (Hugh Orde) has not produced one scrap of evidence.

"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."


Opin: Orde Verdict Puts Sinn Fein On Spot

Bank Heist: IRA link to robbery blows peace process out of the

08 January 2005

Although it was far from unexpected, the Chief Constable's
assertion that the Provisional IRA was responsible for the £26m
Northern Bank heist has major political ramifications.

With the IRA still apparently up to its neck in criminal activity,
how can any unionist be expected to share power with Sinn Fein? The
peace process seems to have been blown clean out of the water.

The implication of Mr Orde's statement is that while the political
parties were negotiating at Leeds Castle, Hillsborough and
Stormont, while Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern were toiling over the
framework for agreement and while the world was waiting for the IRA
to decommission, the terrorists were in fact planning the biggest
cash robbery in history.

Those who believed that the IRA was about to switch into a new mode
- even though the terms were unclear - are now entitled to feel
sorely let down. The republican movement has cocked a snoop at the
entire peace process.

With their usual gall, republicans are challenging Mr Orde to
produce his evidence, but few will now accept the IRA's claim that
it was not involved. What other group would have the organisational
skill and cold-blooded ruthlessness to pull off such an audacious
and violent robbery?

The fact that the Northern Bank has belatedly decided to recall all
its notes should reduce the potential gains for the robbers, but it
will do nothing to quell the political storm.

The Prime Minister has already made clear that there can be no
place for terrorist activity or for criminal activity by people
associated with a political party. Take that at face value, and
short of the IRA standing down, Sinn Fein cannot have a place in

The path to devolution looks rockier than ever today. Hopes of a
deal being agreed between the DUP and Sinn Fein before the General
Election, which had already been fading, now seem to have

If full-scale devolution is a non-starter, then the Government
needs to consider whether to continue with direct rule, perhaps on
a more accountable basis. Another option is to seek agreement on a
form of administration which will involve all those parties without
paramilitary links.

Democracy must not be stifled for all time simply because one party
finds it impossible to play by the rules. This is one storm that
republicans cannot be allowed to ride out.


IRA Raid Claims: What Happens Now?

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

Northern Ireland's chief constable had been accused by unionists of
staying silent because of political pressure.

Now that Hugh Orde has broken his silence, he stands accused by
republicans of politically biased policing.

The chief constable could not have been any clearer in pinning the
blame for last month's £26.5m Northern Bank raid on the Provisional

So far, the kind of hard evidence admissible in court is lacking.

As Mr Orde gave his opinion, his officers had no-one under arrest
and no charges pending.

This has enabled republicans to repeat the IRA's denials of
involvement and demand to see the police's proof.

However, almost every other part of the local political spectrum,
from the SDLP to the unionists, appears ready to concur with the
chief constable's judgement.

Given that there is no shadow assembly in existence and no
restoration of the executive in prospect, it is hard to know what
immediate consequences will follow.

If Sinn Fein were in government, they could be thrown out, but it
is hard to exclude someone from an institution which does not

The body which monitors paramilitary activity is due to produce its
next report in April.

Perhaps the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) will be asked
to make an early report concentrating on the bank raid.

Last April, the IMC fined Sinn Fein, removing £120,000 of the
party's annual allowances.

They would have to maintain those fines for 220 years to make up
the £26.5m shortfall.

So perhaps we can look forward to a restored executive in the year


Unionists have called on the government to move ahead without
republicans, but there are two immediate obstacles.

It is impossible to conceive London and Dublin supporting a
government without nationalist participation, and the SDLP have
shown no great appetite for becoming nationalist "Uncle Toms" in a
unionist-dominated executive.

Moreover, the government still seems fixated on a solution which
would include Sinn Fein and thereby deliver on the promises of
complete IRA disarmament and an end to IRA activity.

The likeliest scenario appears to be a period in which Sinn Fein
might - in relative terms - be cold shouldered, followed by some
desultory discussions before the Westminster election.

A new push might begin again in the autumn, but the prospects for
progress later this year or even next spring seem bleaker than they
did before Christmas.

The peace process has been derailed before by controversies over
Colombia, Castlereagh police station and the Stormont spying

However, this crisis is different as it will have a direct impact
on the shoppers and retailers, workers and employers, spenders and
savers who will have to exchange their old Northern Bank currency
for the new notes which are soon to be printed.

Will the people who have to change their notes in the spring change
their votes when it comes to the election expected in May?

I wouldn't bet on it - not unless, of course, you have £26.5m to

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/08 11:09:55 GMT


DUP Stands Vindicated Over Heist, Says Paisley

By Ashleigh Wallace
08 January 2005

The DUP has been vindicated in not trusting the words of the IRA
after Chief Constable Huge Orde linked the paramilitary
organisation to the £26.5m Northern Bank raid.

That is the view of party leader Ian Paisley, who today said the
"whole sorry episode" of the bank robbery illustrated the DUP's
right to fight for a "testing period" between IRA decommissioning
and Sinn Fein's entry into an Executive.

Mr Paisley spoke of the "significant political consequences" in
light of the Chief Constable linking the bank raid with the IRA -
an accusation which has been denied by the Sinn Fein leadership.

Saying his party has been vindicated for not trusting the IRA, Mr
Paisley said: "They must positively prove to everyone beyond a
shadow of a doubt that all of their arms have been decommissioned
and that all of its illegal activities have ended for good.

"Their words no longer have any currency."

However, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness accused Mr Orde of making
"politically biased allegations" and of not proving a "scrap of

Mr McGuinness said: "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."

Following Mr Orde's comments, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble
called for Sinn Fein to be excluded from any Assembly set up here.

Mr Trimble added: "Gerry Adams has betrayed the Prime Minister

Saying it was difficult to believe the IRA's denials about its
involvement in the bank raid, SDLP leader Mark Durkan said: "Those
who carried out this raid have shown no respect for working people,
no respect for families and no respect for the Good Friday

And Seamus Close of the Alliance Party calledo on Tony Blair to
inform the public of his plans in light of Mr Orde's comments.


Queens Community Board Names Street For Soldier

By William Murphy
January 7, 2005, 7:23 PM EST

The Community Board serving Woodside has reversed itself and is now
in favor of renaming a local street for a National Guard sergeant
killed in Iraq.

Some members of the board, including chairman Joseph Conley, had
objected to the renaming because Sgt. Frank Carvill, killed in a
roadside ambush in Iraq in June, lived in Carlstadt, N.J.

Carvill, 51, was the co-founder of Woodside's Emerald Isle
Immigration Center, which started out serving the Irish community
but now helps a multitude of immigrant groups.

City Councilman Eric Gioia, who represents part of Woodside,
disregarded the board's 12-11 negative vote on Dec. 2 and on Dec.
15 introduced a bill renaming the street in front of the center --
Woodside Avenue between 59th and 60th streets -- in honor of

The board voted 24-4 Thursday night in favor of the renaming.

Gioia thanked the Community Board on Friday.

"This is the very least that we can do for Frank, who dedicated his
life to helping thousands of Irish-Americans, new Americans and New
Yorkers," Gioia said Friday. "He was a true hero to Woodside, to
our city, and to our country and even if we named a thousand
streets after Frank Carvill, we would still fall short of
adequately honoring him," the councilman said.


Save Tara Group In Protest

The Save Tara Skryne Valley Group will be taking to the streets of
Navan and Dublin today.

It is hoped that the drive will assist the public in making
submissions to the Irish government regarding the proposed route
for the M3 motorway.

The closing date for submissions, before taking a position on the
possible re-routing of the motorway, is January 11th.

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005
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