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January 17, 2005

01/17/05 – Man Charged With Manslaughter of Robert Holohan

Robert Holohan Posted by Hello

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

IO 01/17/05 Man Charged With Manslaughter Of Robert Holohan –V
IT 01/18/05 SF Claims Orde Assertion Based On One Source
IO 01/17/05 'Professional Gang' Behind Dublin Post Office Raid –V
EX 01/17/05 IRA ‘Must Prove It Has Quit Criminality’
IT 01/18/05 Prisoners Injured As Rival Factions Clash

QA 01/17/05 Safety For Their Children & A Normal Childhood? –VO
QA 01/17/05 Is Robbery The Beginning Of A Meltdown –VO
QA 01/17/05 Is the Govt Now Radical or Redundant? -VO

Question & Answer Panel:
Olwyn Enright, Fine Gael Spokesperson on Education & Science
Dr Margaret O'Rourke, Director of Behavioural Science, School of Medicine, UCC
Mitchell McLaughlin, Chairperson, Sinn Féin
Michael McDowell, Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Richard Curran, Business Editor, Irish Independent

How can parents strike The Balance Between Safety For Their Children And A Normal Childhood?

Is the robbing of the bank for Sinn Féin the beginning of a meltdown in the peace process?

With Bertie's coversion to socialism, is the Govt now radical or redundant?


Midleton man charged with manslaughter - Jennie O'Sullivan details events at tonight's special sitting of Midleton District Court

Man Charged With Manslaughter Of Robert Holohan -V

17/01/2005 - 21:06:51

Student Wayne O’Donoghue has been charged with the manslaughter of Robert Holohan at a sitting of the Midleton District Court this evening.

The Ballyedmond man, a second year engineering student at Cork Institute of Technology, has been remanded into custody to Cork prison. He will appear again before the court on Thursday, January 20.

Dressed in a suit and tie, O’Donoghue said nothing when he appeared before District Court Judge Michael Patwell. No application for bail was made.

Around 100 local people gathered outside the courthouse as he was marched in by gardaí. Some members of the crowd hurled abuse at him.

Gardaí had spent 12 hours quizzing O’Donoghue before charging him.

O’Donoghue was arrested late last night and taken to the town’s station flanked by three detectives after answering questions on a voluntary basis at his home.

It is understood he was arrested after his family contacted local detectives on Sunday afternoon.

Forensic teams spent the day searching O’Donoghue’s home and a vehicle he owned, only five miles from the Holohan house. It is understood he knew Robert.

Robert Holohan vanished from his Ballyedmond home on 4 January after setting off on his BMX bike, which he was given as a Christmas present. The bike was found abandoned later that afternoon half a mile the house.


SF Claims Orde Assertion Based On One Source

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Sinn Féin again criticised the assessment by the PSNI chief constable, Mr Hugh Orde, concerning the £26.5 million robbery at the Northern Bank last month.

Speaking at Stormont, North Belfast Assembly member Mr Gerry Kelly questioned Mr Orde's assertion that the IRA was behind the raid, claiming he was basing it on a single intelligence source. Mr Kelly alleged that the intelligence service was "for 30 years working against the peace process".

"That's the type of people we are dealing with. We are dealing with people who were involved in the killing of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane," he said.

Mr Kelly also criticised the SDLP over comments made by deputy leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell and by South Down MP Mr Eddie McGrady, who said that if a party does not work to acceptable standards then "they exclude themselves" from the political process.

Mr Kelly said such comments were evidence of confusion at leadership level within the SDLP. "People expect that nationalists and republicans defend the Good Friday agreement and the power-sharing core of it," he said.

"There is obviously some sort of crisis or confusion at leadership level . . . What we are asking for is the [ SDLP] Assembly party to make its position clear." Mr Mark Durkan, the SDLP leader, later rejected Sinn Féin claims. Speaking with the majority of his Assembly group, including Dr McDonnell, Mr Durkan said his party was considering all current options.

"Some people make the mistake that in the current circumstances the SDLP can line up behind Sinn Féin or the DUP. We don't line up behind either." He said when those two parties were making "a bad deal" in December his party remained where it always had been - "behind the agreement".

He said that neither Sinn Féin nor the DUP could argue for inclusivity given their demands for the exclusion of each other.

Mr Durkan again called for a recall of the Assembly and the appointment of civil administrators pending the formation of a new executive. "That still offers the best way forward," he said.

Also speaking at Stormont, the DUP leader, the Rev Ian Paisley, said the British and Irish governments should not continue negotiations with republicans. "This is the time for the British government to give IRA/Sinn Féin an ultimatum," he said.

"That ultimatum must be clear as crystal, with no room for yet another campaign of lying and treachery. IRA/Sinn Féin must decommission all its terrorist weaponry in a manner that is totally transparent, and with immediate photographic evidence to back it up. This means that IRA/Sinn Féin as a terrorist army ceases to exist."

© The Irish Times


Gardaí probe Dublin post office robbery - John Kilraine reports on how two raiders got away with an estimated €250,000

'Professional Gang' Behind Dublin Post Office Raid -V

17/01/2005 - 18:34:33

An early morning raid at a Dublin post office was a well-planned operation mounted by a professional criminal gang, gardaí said tonight.

Masked raiders lay in wait overnight in Rathmines Post Office before surprising staff and snatching an estimated €250,000 from a cash delivery van.

Investigation head, Supt Frank Moore said it was too early to rule out a possible paramilitary link to the crime.

He said: “The gang claimed they were armed but didn’t produce any weapons.

“They roughed up the staff a bit but there were no physical injuries.”

It’s not known how the raiders made their getaway and gardaí have appealed for help from witnesses who were in the Upper Rathmines Road area between 7.30am and 9am this morning.

An Post described the amount of money taken as “a very substantial loss”.

Head of public relations, John Foley added: “Rathmines is one of the biggest offices in Dublin and covers a large population area.”

An Post is conducting its own inquiry in tandem with the Garda investigation.

Anybody with information is asked to contact the investigation’s incident room at Terenure Garda Station at (01) 666 6712 or (01) 666 67123.


IRA ‘Must Prove It Has Quit Criminality’

By Harry McGee, Political Editor

THE IRA must give unequivocal and independently verified commitments that it has severed all links with criminality, the Government insisted yesterday.

In a significant upping of the ante for any negotiations, two senior ministers, Dermot Ahern and Michael McDowell suggested that a verification by the International Monitoring Commission (IMC) that the IRA had ceased all criminal activities would now be necessary.

Mr Ahern and Mr McDowell held separate meetings with Northern Secretary Paul Murphy in Dublin yesterday to discuss the political implications of the robbery. It was the first face-to-face meetings between the two Governments since the €32 million raid.

Speaking after his meeting, the Foreign Affairs Minister contended the IRA needed to bring total closure to its “spectrum of paramilitary and criminal activity.”

Referring to the refusal of the IRA to state publicly that it would not engage in any activity that would endanger people’s lives, Mr Ahern said a statement would no longer be enough.

“I can safely say that in any further discussion the bar will be somewhat higher than it was heretofore in this respect.

“Before we can engage again in the type of engagement that we had, we need to be absolutely categorically clear that there’s a complete end to criminality,” he said.

“Obviously, we will have to have independent verification from a body like the IMC,” he added.

Mr McDowell said the fact that the IRA failed to sign up to a simple clause on ending criminal activity spoke volumes. He echoed Mr Ahern’s comments by saying there was no longer room for any ambiguity.

Sinn Féin objected furiously to the setting up of the IMC in 2003. Yesterday, Mr McDowell said the IMC was part of the political process and a body that functions objectively.

Mr McDowell rejected Martin McGuinness’ comments at the weekend that the two Government would be on “dangerous ground” if they discriminated against Sinn Féin.

“I assume there was no threat in it. If there was a threat of that kind, all I can say is that it was a threat that was foolishly made and a threat that will be met head on,” he warned.


Prisoners Injured As Rival Factions Clash

Conor Lally

Seven republican prisoners at Portlaoise Prison, Co Laois, were hospitalised yesterday after an early morning fight at the prison during which rival dissident republican factions clashed.

A fight between two inmates escalated, resulting in a much bigger group becoming involved in serious clashes for around 30 minutes.

The Irish Prison Service said around 12 to 14 inmates were involved in the incident.

However, other prison sources said there were up to 30 inmates involved and that some had used the legs of tables and chairs as weapons as well as brush handles.

The injured inmates were taken to Portlaoise Hospital at different times during the day

"It took the staff more than 30 minutes to regain control," said one prison source.

"Back-up was needed from other areas of the prison and the whole place was locked down for a number of hours."

The hospitalised prisoners all sustained head injuries, mainly heavy bruising and cuts to the face.

No staff were injured, according to a spokesman for the Irish Prison Service.

The inmates involved will each be called before the governor, Mr T. J. Walsh, to account for their role in the incident. They face the loss of privileges and remission.

The outbreak of violence at the jail comes at a time when tension between rival republican dissident factions remains high. Those involved in the ongoing dispute have divided into two camps.

One faction is loosely based around "Real" IRA leading figure Liam Campbell while the other prisoners have allied themselves to Michael McKevitt, another leading member of the same organisation. Neither McKevitt nor Campbell were involved in yesterday's fight.

Tension has mounted in the prison in recent times as one side has accused the other of being more interested in engaging in criminal activity rather than continuing to pursue their republican goals once released from prison.

In an effort to calm the situation, Campbell was transferred from the E2 landing to the E3 landing last year.

Yesterday's trouble began when cells were unlocked on the landings at 8.45 a.m.

There was a verbal exchange between two of the 40 republican inmates on the landings and the two men quickly became involved in a physical fight. Others then joined in as the incident rapidly escalated.

After the fight was brought under control, the two inmates who had sustained the worst injuries were taken to hospital immediately. All prisoners were then locked in their cells until early afternoon and restricted visiting arrangements were put in place.

Ambulances called to the prison at different times during the morning to bring the other five injured men to hospital.

The prison service said it did not want all of the injured prisoners at the hospital at the same time for fear they would become involved in a further confrontation. All seven prisoners were returned to the jail after undergoing treatment.

Mr Eugene Dennehy, deputy general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, said a meeting was being sought with prison authorities.

McKevitt (54), Beech Park, Blackrock, Co Louth, was jailed for 20 years in August 2003 for directing the activities of a terrorist organisation and for membership of an illegal organisation.

Campbell (41), Upper Faughart, Dundalk, Co Louth, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment last May for membership of the "Real" IRA on dates in 2000 and 2001.

© The Irish Times

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Table of Contents - Jan 2005
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