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January 16, 2005

01/16/05 – McGuinness Warns of Omitting SF

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

SM 01/16/05 McGuinness Warns Of Omitting SF From Coalition -V -A
IT 01/17/05 Raid Could Have Been 'Crossroads With The IRA'
IT 01/17/05 Provo Claim To SF Legacy Based On Brazen Falsehood
IT 01/17/05 Griffith's Legacy: The Competing Claims
IT 01/17/05 Robert Is Brought Home To Be Buried
IT 01/17/05 Unplanned Killing Would Leave Clues
IT 01/17/05 Info Sought On Pick-Up Truck In Hunt For Killer –V
IT 01/17/05 Outlet Village Planned For Kildare

(Poster’s Note: As regards McDowell’s claim that SF is not the descendants of Arthur Griffin’s Sinn Fein party, I quote Vincent Browne: “ why should he care?” Is he the minister of justice, or is he the minister of ‘history’. I think he is just playing politics. He does that a lot! Jay)


Sinn Fein asked to commit to peace - Mícheál Lehane reports on the various developments of the day

Political fallout continues over NI bank raid - Seamus Mallon, SDLP MP, discusses the possibility of pushing ahead with power-sharing without Sinn Féin

McGuinness Warns Of Omitting Sinn Fein From Coalition -V -A

By Dan McGinn, Ireland Political Editor PA

Northern Ireland’s nationalist SDLP would be making a grave error if it signed up to a voluntary coalition without Sinn Fein, Martin McGuinness warned today.

Following SDLP MP Eddie McGrady’s argument that the party should consider a voluntary coalition with the Reverend Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists, Mr McGuinness told PA his nationalist rivals should think carefully about how their community would respond.

The Mid Ulster MP said: “If the SDLP in the form of Eddie McGrady or their deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell is thinking going down this road, they would be ill advised to move away from the Good Friday Agreement.

“Any such move would be rejected by the nationalist and republican electorate and they should think very carefully about doing the bidding of the Democratic Unionist Party.

“They should think carefully about doing the bidding of those opposed to power sharing, human rights and equality.”

Last month, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern felt they had come agonisingly close to securing a landmark deal with Sinn Fein and the DUP which could restore power sharing at Stormont and see republicans abandon paramilitarism and criminality forever.

However the deal stumbled over the IRA’s refusal to allow future acts of disarmament to be photographed – a key demand of the DUP.

Any lingering hopes that power sharing could be restored before the next General Election were shattered when Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh Orde said he believed the IRA carried out the £26.5 million raid on the Northern Bank in Belfast before Christmas.

Following Mr Orde’s comments, unionists have claimed republicans have failed to fully embrace democratic politics.

They have called for devolution to return but for Sinn Fein to be frozen out of government.

The DUP believes a voluntary coalition involving it, the SDLP and the cross community Alliance Party offers the best hope of stable devolved government, arguing such a system already operates successfully in Scotland.

However if that is not possible, the DUP has also proposed that the 11 government departments should be handed over to the Assembly to run, with Stormont committees, rather than ministers, taking key decisions.

In its proposals, the SDLP has suggested that a team of commissioners drawn from civic society should run the government departments under Assembly scrutiny until MLAs are able to become ministers.

Both plans have been rejected, however, by David Trimble’s Ulster Unionists.

Mr McGuinness said today the only way forward for Northern Ireland was inclusive power-sharing government.

The former Stormont Education Minister said Sinn Fein would also oppose any move to withhold House of Commons allowances from the party.

Last Thursday, Conservative leader Michael Howard signed up to a DUP early day motion at Westminster calling for the move.

“Any attempt to remove the entitlements of elected representatives will impact on their ability to represent the constituencies that elected them,” the Mid Ulster MP said.

“I would consider any such move against Sinn Fein’s four MPs as a direct attack on our democratic rights and entitlements. That would be unacceptable.”


Raid Could Have Been 'Crossroads With The IRA'

Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent

The Northern Bank robbery would have been a "crossroads" in the relationship between Sinn Féin's political leadership and the IRA if the IRA had said they carried it out, Sinn Féin leader Mr Gerry Adams has said.

In an interview in today's Village magazine, Mr Adams said he was "quite frankly beyond caring" whether people believed him or not when he said he did not know about the robbery in advance.

He said he had believed the declarations made to him by a senior IRA figure that the organisation was not involved in the pre-Christmas robbery, which netted the gang more than £26 million in new and used notes.

"If the IRA had told us that they did it then I think that that would have been a crossroads [ in our relationship with the IRA] for the likes of me and those of us who are in the political leadership," Mr Adams said.

The IRA, he said, had waited for days until after the robbery to deny involvement: "So presumably the persons who issued this [ denial] had plenty of time to check the facts," he told Village.

"Clearly this isn't an individual IRA volunteer or something happening in some local command. This is a big operation. For anybody to contemplate within the IRA doing such a job was just to kill off the peace process and one thing that can be said about the IRA leadership is that it is supportive of this peace process," said Mr Adams.

Following repeated questioning, Mr Adams said republicans holding information about the robbers should pass that "to a respected member of the community".

"If they make the judgment that that is a garda, that's fair enough." However, he refused to issue the same call to republicans to pass information to the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

"I do have a problem going to the PSNI but if people have information and they feel they should give it to the police, they should give it to a respected member of their community," he said.

Speaking in the Mansion House last night at the launch of a year of celebrations to mark Sinn Féin's 100th birthday, Mr Adams said the party was being attacked by its enemies once more.

"Predictably enough the year begins with Sinn Féin once again under attack. Can any one here remember a time - any time - when the usual suspects weren't lined up against us.

"The political establishment was at it 100 years ago. The media establishment was at it 100 years ago. If those who founded Sinn Féin were alive today and watching recent events they would conclude that the more things change the more some things remain the same.

"Well, those who vilified and excluded us need look no further than tonight as evidence of the failure of their strategy," he told up to 1,000 supporters who attended the gathering.

"We are back in the Mansion House bigger and stronger, and better than ever," said Mr Adams, who warned other political parties that "they have seen nothing yet".

Sinn Féin, he told the gathering which included former taoiseach, Mr Albert Reynolds, and foreign diplomats, must form a cumann in every electoral ward in the Republic, attract more women and promote them.

Gerry Moriarty Northern Editor writes The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Ahern, and Northern Secretary Mr Paul Murphy will meet in Dublin on Monday to begin charting a way around the current political shambles triggered by the alleged IRA £26.5 million robbery of the Northern Bank.

The issue of possible sanctions against Sinn Féin is likely to arise when the two ministers meet in Iveagh House but no definitive decision will be taken on this matter until after the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, and British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair meet at the end of this month or in February, sources said.

Mr Gerry Adams has stated that he expects Sinn Féin to be penalised by the British government over the Northern Bank robbery, and that he also expects the Government to support whatever action is taken by London.

While Mr Adams this week complained that he was being cold-shouldered by the British and Irish governments, Mr Ahern and Mr Blair nonetheless are prepared to meet him in the coming weeks. Mr Ahern's spokeswoman said that the Taoiseach would meet Mr Adams shortly after he returns tomorrow week from his visit to China.

© The Irish Times


Provo Claim To SF Legacy Based On Brazen Falsehood

The Provisionals are not Griffith's heirs, writes Michael McDowell, Minister for Justice.

Any claim by the Provisional movement to be the inheritors of the legacy of Sinn Féin founded by Arthur Griffith in November 1905 is as bogus and discredited as, say, their claim not to have been involved in the Enniskillen bombing or their president's claim never to have been in the IRA.

What we are witnessing this weekend is the start of an attempt to fool the gullible into accepting a brazen falsehood in terms of fact.

The Sinn Féin party founded by Arthur Griffith in 1905, as any historical study will show, developed and mutated and divided into the mainstream parties of the independent Irish State. Those who combined to build it into the representative party of Irish nationalism carrying mass support between 1917 and 1921 never abandoned the democratic principles on which it was founded.

As nationalists and republicans, they believed that legitimacy derived from popular support and not from ideological purity. Griffith, Collins, de Valera and Cosgrave all, in their own way, believed that the cornerstone of the independent Irish State which they brought about was the ongoing support of the people of that State and the democratic control of its institutions by the elected representative of that people. Each, in his own time, used representative democracy and the rule of law to progress the establishment firstly of independence and subsequently of a republican constitution for Ireland.

For the Provisionals to claim any right of succession to the actions of Arthur Griffith in 1905 is pure fantasy and sinister propaganda. The founders of independent Ireland would have been shocked to see the cynical rip-off of the name of their democratic movement by the Provos.

We have seen in the last 40 years the communist takeover of the bogus Sinn Féin party, creating in turn Sinn Féin (Gardiner Place), Sinn Féin the Workers' Party, and the Workers' Party. The process of subdivision went on in parallel, yielding Sinn Féin (Kevin Street), Republican Sinn Féin (RSF) and Provisional Sinn Féin.

Gerry Adams's claim to be president of the party founded by Arthur Griffith is as sham and as bogus as the same claim made by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh of RSF. Each of them is president of a party using the label. But nothing more. Neither of them is the political successor of Arthur Griffith.

Nor, for that matter, is Seán Garland the secretary-general of the party founded 100 years ago next November by Griffith.

The truth, of course, is that the attempt by the Provisionals to hijack the centenary of Griffith's Sinn Féin is nothing to do with any empathy with Griffith or what he stood for or stood against.

It is to do with popularising the delusion that the Provisionals, in the guise of the IRA, are the legitimate government of an all-Ireland republic founded in 1916 and betrayed by the vast majority of the Irish people.

Contrary to popular belief, the 1916 Rising was not a "Sinn Féin rebellion" (as the British and unionists described it). It was an IRB rebellion. And the IRB mainly went pro-Treaty some six years later.

The Provisionals believe that the Provisional IRA is the legal successor to the First and Second Dáils and that the actions of the IRA are the legitimate actions of the Irish people authorised by their lawful government.

That is why Gerry Adams maintains that the shooting of Jean McConville in the head and the shooting down of Jerry McCabe at Adare, among countless cowardly atrocities, are not crimes.

The Provisionals require their members to believe that the IRA will continue to be the lawful government of Ireland until it hands over its powers to the elected government of a 32-county socialist state.

Their internal documents reveal that this doctrine is the cornerstone of their movement - requiring acceptance as an "ethical fact" by all volunteers.

Sinn Féin, as part of the Provisional movement, silently but relentlessly acts on that "ethical fact" as justification for the IRA's actions. The party, as the Independent Monitoring Commission has pointed out, has a joint leading elite with the IRA and defers to the IRA, never criticising it.

The Marxist agenda of leading Provos is carefully concealed and only hinted at it in the use of the euphemistic term, "socialist republic".

Hints are to be found in Sinn Féin's close relationship with the FARC (the guerrilla wing of Colombia's communist party), the maintenance of a full-time party representative in Castro's communist Cuba, and the use of Marxist images by Ógra Sinn Féin. All of the leading ideologues of the Provos are classical Marxists.

Those views have nothing at all to do with pre-independence Sinn Féin.

In one sense, the Provos' attempts to celebrate the centenary of Arthur Griffith's foundation of Sinn Féin are a shabby, pathetic and threadbare charade, and should be treated as such. So much more Provo mendacity.

But at another level this attempt should serve as a warning to all democrats. Truth, lives, rights, and even history are expendable in pursuit of the Provos' goals.

They rob; they kill; they mutilate; they torture; they extort; they arm; they spy; they lie; they rewrite our history - all in our name.

They are seeking our benediction for their campaign by every propaganda means at their disposal.

The great majority of Irish people - North and South - do not want the Marxist socialist republic which they are planning. That majority voted overwhelmingly in simultaneous referendums to endorse the principle that a united Ireland will come about only by the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland freely given.

They put reconciliation of Orange and Green on this island in priority to paper unification. That decision is still not accepted by the Provos.

If the generation that built Arthur Griffith's Sinn Féin from modest beginnings into the vanguard of the Irish movement for independence and democracy were here to witness their legacy being hijacked by the Provos, they would warn the Irish people to turn their backs on the Provos.

© The Irish Times


Griffith's Legacy: The Competing Claims

Mark Hennessy

Sinn Féin is generally taken to have been established by Arthur Griffith in November 1905, following the publication of a document which argued that the 1801 Act of Union was illegal.

Before the year is out, most of the major political parties of today will have claimed some part of his legacy as their own. Last night, the Sinn Féin of today led by Gerry Adams was the first to do so.

Fianna Fáil said last night it would be commemorating the 100th anniversary of Sinn Féin with a series of events aimed at the party membership and general public. "The events will seek to emphasise the link between the principles of traditional republicanism and modern republicanism as espoused by the Fianna Fáil party," an FF spokeswoman said.

Because the Act of Union was illegal, Griffith argued that the dual monarchy which existed after Henry Grattan's 1782 triumph, when he refuted Westminster's claim to legislate for Ireland, was still in force. In the years before the War of Independence, the Sinn Féin tag was used to describe anyone who disagreed with the mainstream constitutional politics of the day.

The surviving leaders, led by Éamon de Valera, took over the party following the 1916 Rising, though the party nearly split the following year between its monarchist and republican factions.

In a last-minute deal, the party's ardfheis agreed to back the establishment of an independent republic, following which voters could decide whether they wanted a monarchy or republic. This was subject to the condition that if the public decided to choose a monarchy, no member of the British royal family would serve as head of state.

Boosted by popular revulsion at the 1916 executions, Sinn Féin won 70 per cent of the Irish seats in the December 1918 elections.

Sinn Féin split after the Treaty, with pro- Treatyites forming Cumann na nGaedheal.

In 1926, it fractured again when de Valera left to form Fianna Fáil after he failed to get Sinn Féin to agree to a motion recognising the Free State.

Following the outbreak of the Northern Troubles, the party broke apart in the early 1970s once more, with some leaving to form Provisional Sinn Féin and the IRA. The party rump, known first as Official Sinn Féin, became Sinn Féin the Workers' Party, then the Workers' Party, then Democratic Left, before its members finally joined the Labour Party.

© The Irish Times


Robert Is Brought Home To Be Buried

Barry Roche, Southern Correspondent, in Midleton

The town of Midleton is expected to come to a standstill today when businesses close for the funeral this afternoon of Robert Holohan.

Robert's body was released by the Garda authorities late yesterday morning following the completion of a post- mortem by the State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, at Cork University Hospital.

He was brought back to his family home at Ballyedmond yesterday afternoon.

A funeral Mass will take place this afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Church of the Holy Rosary in Midleton.

Robert - a fifth-class pupil at Midleton CBS primary school - will be buried in the adjacent cemetery following the Requiem Mass.

A local travel agent, Mr Brendan Barry, of East Cork Travel, was calling to businesses in the town yesterday afternoon informing them of the plan to close down for Robert's funeral.

"Virtually every business in the town is closing down from 1 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. as a mark of respect to Robert," Mr Barry said.

"Quite honestly, people don't have a mind for work. They're still in a state of shock and want to show their respect for Robert on his last journey.

"Over the past 12 days the town of Midleton united in the most extraordinary way, with over 1,000 people out searching for Robert on a number of days, and the business people of the town were no different.

"Supermarket-owners sent up flasks and sandwiches, restaurants sent up chips and soup and sandwiches, other businesses sent up changes of socks and gloves for the searchers. Literally everybody pitched in and they will all line the Main Street today for the cortege.

"Unfortunately, we didn't get the result that we wanted," Mr Barry said, "and Robert didn't come home alive, but it did show that beneath it all humanity is alive and kicking in Midleton and virtually all the businesses shutting down is just another expression of that."

Robert played hurling with Midleton GAA club's under-11 team. It and the Midleton rugby and soccer clubs have cancelled all activities for the weekend as a mark of respect.

Meanwhile, mourners have begun calling to Glanturkin near Inch Strand where Robert's body was found on Wednesday afternoon.

While the scene remained cordoned off yesterday, many people laid bouquets of flowers beneath a signpost for the beach.

"God must have needed another hurler for heaven. It's so unfair. Rest in Peace, Robert, the Horgan family, Rocklands, Carrigtwohill," read the message of sympathy on one of nearly two dozen bouquets of flowers left at the foot of the signpost.

Someone else had left a small white teddy bear on the puddled roadway, while beside the bear lay a small Dinky car.

Another person had left a furry mascot in the black-and-white colours of Robert's Midleton GAA team.

© The Irish Times


Unplanned Killing Would Leave Clues

Conor Lally

If the murder of Robert Holohan was a spur-of-the-moment act rather than a premeditated killing, gardaí are more likely to catch whoever is responsible.

Unlike premeditated killers, those who act spontaneously seldom make sure to leave as few clues as possible.

If they have not killed before, the act of murder can unexpectedly overwhelm them, often resulting in reckless behaviour that greatly assists forensic experts.

Dr Jim Donovan, former head of the national Forensic Science Laboratory, said that in his experience random or spur-of-the-moment murders were nearly always solved.

Garda forensic and technical experts investigating Robert's murder will have left nothing to chance in their examination of the scene where he was found and the location where his BMX was recovered, he said.

Attention to the smallest detail is vital, as was proven in the investigation into the deaths of Garda Henry Byrne (29) and Det Garda John Morley (37), who were shot while investigating a raid on the Bank of Ireland branch at Ballaghaderreen in July 1980.

"One of the raiders jumped over a wall and squatted down," said Dr Donovan.

"The seat of his pants left a mark in the soil on the ground. When he was caught he was wearing a pair of slacks and the weave in the cloth matched that in the pattern on the ground. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen."

In 1998 Siobhán Hynes (17), of Leitir Moir, was found dead on a beach at Carraroe. A Connemara man, John McDonagh, was jailed for life for the killing after fibres from his clothing were found on those of the dead girl.

Dr Donovan said investigators working on the current murder case would have gathered evidence from Robert's clothing by sticking adhesive tape to them and examining any particles on the tape under a microscope. Any soil or foreign fibres would be kept to match them with similar matter on a suspect's clothing.

Investigators would also have taken samples of vegetation from the scene in the hope of matching them to the clothing of a suspect identified later.

According to Dr Donovan, someone who planned to kill would also have planned the disposal of evidence. However, someone who did not would have acted frantically and clumsily, greatly increasing the risk of leaving clues.

Such a person would not have disposed of evidence - cloth fibres and DNA such as bodily fluid, hair and skin particles - in a measured fashion.

The black plastic in which Robert was wrapped may also prove vital, Dr Donovan said. Fingerprints could be taken from the plastic by putting it in a chamber and withdrawing all the air. A zinc and lead compound, which settles on the ridges of any prints left on the bag, could then be fed into the chamber.

The lividity patterns on Robert's body - bruise-type patterns left by the blood settled in his remains after death - would reveal the position he lay in after he was killed. Multiple blood patterns would reveal if he had been moved after he was killed and how often.

© The Irish Times


Focus of Hoolahan murder narrows - Sinéad Crowley reports from Midleton

Information Sought On Pick-Up Truck In Hunt For Killer -V

Barry Roche, in Midleton, Co Cork

Gardaí investigating the abduction and murder of Robert Holohan are seeking information on a white pick-up truck seen parked midway between where Robert was last seen and where his BMX bike was later found.

Supt Liam Hayes disclosed yesterday that follwing appeals made by the Garda at a press conference on Thursday night, they had received close to 100 new calls with information, including a report of a white pick-up truck in the area where Robert disappeared.

"This white pick-up truck was seen parked midway between Ballyedmond Hill where Robert was last seen alive and Carrigoghna where his bike was found. The pick-up was unoccupied at the time, but the passenger door was open," said Supt Hayes.

"It was seen there at around 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 4th, which was the time of the last confirmed sighting of Robert, so we'd be very anxious to talk to the driver of that pick-up truck to eliminate them from our inquiries or anyone else who may have seen it."

Supt Hayes said that two golfers who had paid green fees at nearby East Cork Golf Club, whom the Garda had been seeking, had come forward. However, they still wanted to speak to three men who went to hire clubs in the club's pro shop.

Gardaí are also still anxious to speak to the owner of a small red van seen at Curragh Wood at 5.15 p.m. and what they describe as "a well-dressed man aged between 30 and 50" who was seen at Egan's Field near Water Rock at 1.10 p.m. and again at 2.40 p.m.

Meanwhile, a team of 50 detectives were continuing with their inquiries following up close to 1,000 pieces of information supplied by the public following a series of appeals over the past 12 days.

Detectives from the Garda Technical Bureau in Dublin have completed their examination of the scene where Robert's body was found at Glanturkin near Inch Strand at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, but the area remained cordoned off last night.

A divisional search team comprising some 40 uniformed and plainclothes officers from Cork city joined 80 soldiers from Cork, Limerick and Kilkenny in an extensive search over a three-mile radius from where Robert's body was found.

An Army Southern Brigade spokesman, Comdt Dan Harvey of Collins Barracks, said that troops were assisting the Garda investigation by searching for "items of evidential value in an investigative area".

Gardaí and soldiers equipped with chainsaws, strimmers, slashhooks and machetes began clearing ditches on the roads and boreens approaching Inch Strand in the hope of finding something which Robert's killer may have discarded while dumping the body.

Meanwhile, a team of divers from the Garda water unit also searched the coastline around Inch Strand as well as a stream flowing into the sea near where Robert's body was discovered.

And small teams of gardaí and soldiers searched the ditches of the roadway from Inch Strand all the way back to Midleton town yesterday in continuing search for clues as to who abducted and murdered Robert.

Some 20 detectives and plainclothes officers spent the day carrying out door-to-door inquiries in the Inch area and along the main route between Midleton and Inch to find out if anyone might have noticed any suspicious activities.

According to one Garda source, the investigation is being very tightly run. "It's very tight. Everybody is given a job to do, you do it and report back, but you have no idea what others are doing, and only a small number of people know what way it's going," the source said.

© The Irish Times


Outlet Village Planned For Kildare

Niamh O'Donoghue

Kildare town is set for a major boost with two planned multimillion euro developments.

Work is due to start in April on a major tourist outlet village similar to centres in Barcelona, Oxfordshire, Milan and other European cities.

The 53-unit complex, which will be built on the outskirts of the town near the motorway interchange, aims to attract tourists visiting Ireland by offering top brands at discount prices.

Irish International Tourist Outlets Ltd hopes to have the project completed in time for the 2006 Ryder Cup which will be hosted by the K-Club in Straffan, Co Kildare. The event is expected to attract thousands of overseas visitors, giving a major boost to the local economy.

The retail outlet is expected to generate 250 construction jobs and 400 jobs when completed.

Meanwhile, local businessman Mr Tom Treacy has submitted plans for a 150-bed four-star hotel with leisure centre, spa and conference/wedding facilities, an industrial and business park, a motorway service station and a 22-acre residential development.

His company, Curtmount Properties, hopes to start construction on a 100-acre site next to the tourist outlet, subject to planning permission.

The proposed motorway service station would include a separate 108-bedroom hotel, filling station, retail outlet, drive-through restaurant and bar and restaurant.

"It will breathe new life into the town of Kildare, employing in excess of 2,000 people when the development is completed," said Mr Treacy.

"I have owned the land for some years now and we feel Kildare is ready for the development, now that the motorway is open.

"Kildare town was stifled by traffic for years but now the future looks bright for the town commercially."

Former councillor Mr Michael McWey has been acting as local consultant to International Tourist Outlets Ltd.

"Kildare town will change dramatically over the coming years. It will be very exciting, especially with the fact that the tourist retail outlet hopes to bring in a million visitors into the complex per annum," he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Kildare town Chamber of Commerce, Mr Thomas Heffernan said he was delighted with the influx of new business.

"We know it will benefit the town. It will bring in new jobs. There will be a huge number of visitors at the retail outlet and we hope to get them into the town centre to spend their money there as well," he said.

© The Irish Times

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