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January 24, 2005

01/24/05 – Disband Orange Order Says Ex-Loyalist

Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents - Jan 2005

BT 01/24/05 Disband The Order, Says Ex-Terrorist
BT 01/24/05 Ex-British Soldier To Speak On Bloody Sunday
BT 01/24/05 Opin: Truth An Early Victim Of The Dublin Summit
BB 01/24/05 Doctor Contests Pat Doherty’s Westminster Seat


 David ‘Packie’ Hamilton
David ‘Packie’ Hamilton

Disband The Order, Says Ex-Terrorist

No place for secret societies, claims pastor

By Heather Simpson
24 January 2005

A former loyalist paramilitary turned Christian pastor has called for the disbandment of the Orange Order.

David 'Packie' Hamilton, who served three jail terms for UVF activity, now describes himself as a nationalist.

He became a Christian 25 years ago this month and will commemorate the anniversary at a special service in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast on January 31.

The 49-year-old said: "There is no place for secret organisations such as the Orange Order in Northern Ireland. I wouldn't care if I never heard another drum again."

Mr Hamilton was imprisoned in both Long Kesh and Crumlin Road jails during the 1970s.

He said: "As a young man I joined the UVF in Rathcoole because I thought it was a cause worth dying for."

But the minister readily acknowledges that that period of his life was a "waste" and claims he was a "victim of the Troubles".

The father-of-five admits his life and his political views have drastically changed since his period in prison. He now views himself as Irish and a nationalist.

He works as an evangelical preacher in the Heaton Chapel in Manchester and helps victims of drug abuse.

Mr Hamilton said that he was friends with former republican prisoners and once got into trouble for praying for hunger striker Bobby Sands.

He said: "During the hunger strike I prayed that Bobby would eat some food. But an inmate heard me praying for him and I was refused tea and sandwiches for a week as a result."

The pastor stressed that Northern Ireland will never progress politically until all parties engage in dialogue.

He also said: "The Provisional IRA's involvement in the Northern Bank raid has left a sour taste in people's mouths and did not help the peace process."

His former prison chaplain, Brother David Jardine, director of Divine Healing Ministries, will also take part in the service on January 31.

Mr Jardine said: "He is a remarkable Ulsterman. Often people are cynical of prison conversions as a way of impressing the judge, but David finished the course."

He added that David was saved by the prayers of an old lady named Annie Beggs.

"After David was given an 11-year sentence Annie started to pray for him. And a year to the day after she began those prayers, he was converted. I believe she saved him," he said.

David's St Anne's Cathedral sermon will centre around his faith and conversion.


Ex-Soldier To Speak On Bloody Sunday

Speakers look at conflicts worldwide.

By Brendan McDaid

24 January 2005

A former soldier who served in Londonderry is to return to the city to speak at this week's Bloody Sunday commemorations, it emerged today.

Eddie Cherry, who served in the Army in Derry for two years, will be one of the keynote speakers at an event looking at conflicts, From Bogside to Basra.

Mr Cherry, co-founder of the Veterans and Military Families for Peace in the UK, will share a platform with Iraqi scientist Dr Adbdul Al-Jabouri and Paul O'Connor, co-ordinator of the Pat Finucane Centre.

The three speakers will discuss Bloody Sunday and the parallels with the US/British-led occupation of Iraq.

Mr Cherry has been an outspoken critic of the Armed Forces' recruitment process and has previously spoken of the need to establish a counselling service for the military.

He will speak at the Gasyard Centre in the Bogside this Thursday evening.

The wife of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane, meanwhile, will deliver the annual Bloody Sunday lecture in the Guildhall this Friday from 8.15pm.

The Bloody Sunday commemorative programme of events will be launched tonight by Mayor Gearoid O'hEara.

Mr O'hEara will attend An Fhirinne, an exhibition examining the human cost of collusion, at Pilot's Row this evening.

Mayor O'hEara will be joined by Pauline Davey Kennedy from An Fhirinne, daughter of Sinn Fein councillor John Davey, who was murdered by loyalists, and Robbie McVeigh, of the Pat Finucane Centre, at the opening.

Speaking prior to the launch today, a spokesman for the organisers said: "This exhibition reinforces the price that ordinary people paid for decisions taken by the British Government, and the determination of their friends and families to uncover the truth of these terrible events."

Other events being staged this week in the run up to Sunday's 33rd anniversary march include screenings of Death In Gaza, Divine Intervention and News From the Holyland, all focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A Palestinian MP, Dr Jamal Zahalka, will also speak this Saturday at the Gasyard Centre alongside Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin on the road maps and road blocks to peace in Ireland and Palestine.

Dr Zahalka currently sits on the Israeli Knesset and has been involved in a fact-finding mission over an incident in which 13 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli security forces in 2000.

Free Derry Corner has now been painted in the colours of the Palestinian flag in a show of solidarity.


Opin: Truth An Early Victim Of The Dublin Summit

24 January 2005

However the meeting between Gerry Adams and Bertie Ahern goes tomorrow, some things will be clear at the end of it.

The first is that one of them is a liar.

The second is that, one of them being a liar, it is inconceivable that they can be partners in the peace process again.

Fianna Fail entered that process in 1993 to underwrite nationalist concerns, on the understanding that the Republic's Government might be a patron of the nationalist cause, as the British Government was a patron of the unionist cause.

That idea went back to the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 but it never worked in a straightforward way.

No, nationalists got the patronage they wanted but unionists did not.

Unionism saw itself up against a pan-nationalist front. Some are at least privately satisfied that that front, or consensus, is now in tatters.

The quickest way to heal it would be to gloat, of course.

Albert Reynolds accepted from John Hume the job of writing character references for Gerry Adams and endorsing his good intentions.

Sinn Fein would never say explicitly that it intended to call off the IRA campaign for good and all, so it was up to Hume and Reynolds to say it for them, to the British and the Americans.

How can Ahern play that role now, after saying that the IRA is a gang of bank robbers and that the Sinn Fein leaders provide cover for them?

Even should he want to write a little note to George Bush, urging that it would still be good for peace making to have Gerry at the St Pat's night party, why should Bush believe him?

"You've been wrong about this boy before, Bertie."

If the rumours are true that a hot campaign is on to protect Gerry's party invitation, then those behind it are taking the risk that Bush will think they are prepared to make a fool of him to help the leader of a minority political party on an island he probably couldn't find on the map.

Could this be Irish America squandering its credit in one pitch?

It would be such a treat to sit in the corner and watch when Bertie meets Gerry tomorrow.

We'll just have to wait for Bertie's memoirs or the third volume of Gerry's. Will they acknowledge the truth to each other? Who knows? They will come out afterwards and say they had a frank exchange.

Can they move beyond deadlock if one of them doesn't change his story on the robbery?

Bertie can hardly say, "Well, Mr Adams and I don't see eye to eye on whether he is a lying, cheating, thieving, dissembling gang boss, who made a complete fool of me last time, but I still think we can do business." Can he?

But Gerry still has a hand to play. He can hold fast to his denial until somebody cracks and gives him some credibility, just for the sake of moving on.

He can split the consensus against him if he continues to be tenacious in his denials, and waits for someone to succumb to the temptation of an easy life. And when the consensus breaks heads will roll, perhaps even Hugh Orde's. I doubt it, but if I was Adams I would regard it as a target worth going for.

Perhaps a big moment in the redemption of Gerry will be when he meets the press after the St Patrick's Day bash in Washington.

Can't you see him? "Well now, you don't think Mr Bush would have had me here today if he thought I was a bank robber, do you?"


 Dr Kieran Deeny
Dr Kieran Deeny polled more than 6,000 votes in West Tyrone

Doctor Contests Westminster Seat

A Tyrone doctor who won an assembly seat over a campaign for better health services is to stand in the general election.

Dr Kieran Deeny declared his intention in Omagh on Monday, saying he wanted to fight for better health services.

In the 5 May election, Dr Deeny is hoping to take the seat from the current MP for Tyrone West, Sinn Fein's Pat Doherty.

However, Dr Deeny called on all other political parties to stand aside.

He wants them to allow him to represent the constituency.

The doctor topped the poll in the Northern Ireland Assembly election of November 2003, when he stood as an independent assembly member for West Tyrone.

He was the surprise package when he won a seat on a single issue ticket to save hospital services in Omagh.

In February 2004, he talked about setting up his own party.

"If I simply am seen as a protest vote, I will get nowhere," he said at that time.

"We are trying to achieve an objective and do it politically. Already we are a party, a coalition, working towards a just objective. There is a danger in being single issue, being limited and excluded.

"If becoming a political party is what it takes to be recognised and to be respected and to have some weight in an assembly, then we will do that."

Since his election, Dr Deeny has been at the centre of a stalwart campaign to reverse the decision of former Health Minister Des Browne to remove acute hospital services from Tyrone.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/01/24 12:48:54 GMT

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