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February 25, 2005

02/25/02 – IRA Expel 3 Over McCartney Killing

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Overall Table of Contents
Table of Contents – Feb 2005

BB 02/25/05 IRA Expel Three Over City Killing
SM 02/25/05 Adair Visit To Belfast Denounced
IO 02/25/05 British Reaction To Dublin Bombings 'Deplorable'
UT 02/25/05 H-Block To Remain In £1 Billion Maze Makeover
CN 02/25/05 Paisley's Warning On Security
IO 02/25/05 Nine Jailed Over Firearms Training Camp
DJ 02/25/05 Orange Order Claims 'Hot Air'
WT 02/25/05 UPI Intelligence: Fallout From Spectacular Bank Raid
BT 02/25/05 Sinn Fein's Time For Comical Ali
KC 02/25/05 Derek Warfield: Irish Singer Is Ready To...Play

RT 02/25/05 Poll Shows Slump In Approval For Adams –VO
RT 02/25/05 Ahern Says No Release For Mccabe Killers -VO

Poll Shows Slump In Approval For Adams - Charlie Bird, Chief News Correspondent, looks at the findings, showing most people identify Sinn Féin with the IRA

Ahern Says No Release For Mccabe Killers


IRA Expel Three Over City Killing

The IRA has said it has expelled three members from its ranks over the death of Robert McCartney in Belfast, Irish state broadcaster RTE has said.

It comes after what they called "an investigation" into last month's killing.

The IRA said one of those expelled had made a statement to a solicitor and called on the other two to take responsibility for their actions.

Robert McCartney, 33, was stabbed in the city centre on 30 January.

The IRA statement comes 24 hours after Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams met the McCartney family.

The family had accused republicans of pressuring witnesses not to talk, although they welcomed an earlier IRA statement urging his killers to come forward.

Mr Adams described the meeting as "constructive". "There is an onus on us to do everything we can to bring closure to this family," he said.

He added that those responsible for Mr McCartney's death should be brought to justice.

Mr Adams said that he was told up to 70 people, and up to 21 this week, had already come forward with information about his death.

The meeting took place on Thursday.

Mr Adams was speaking in Dublin at the launch of a campaign to urge the Irish government to prepare a discussion document on Irish unity.

Earlier this week, the McCartney family met with Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny in a bid to win support for their campaign to find those responsible for his murder.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said that a test of Sinn Fein's stated opposition to criminality would be to turn in the killers.

No-one has been charged in connection with the killing, although it is believed there were up to 70 witnesses to the crime.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/02/25 21:46:45 GMT


Adair Visit To Belfast Denounced

By Dan McGinn, PA Ireland Political Editor

A flying visit by leading loyalist Johnny Adair to Belfast was tonight denounced as a “dangerous stunt” by a former Lord Mayor of the city.

Hugh Smyth, the president of the Progressive Unionist Party which is linked to the Ulster Volunteer Force, lambasted people who facilitated a visit yesterday to Belfast’s Shankill Road and Portadown.

Mr Adair posed for photographs in front of a mural of leaders of the Loyalist Volunteer Force in Portadown including Billy White, who was gunned down in the Maze prison in 1997.

But there were also reports that early yesterday morning he visited his former stronghold on the Shankill Road, where his supporters were driven out by former colleagues in the Ulster Defence Association when a bitter feud erupted in the organisation.

It is believed Mr Adair travelled to Belfast through Dublin.

He has been holed up with his family in Bolton since being released from Maghaberry prison in County Antrim over a month ago.

Mr Adair had to be helicoptered out of Northern Ireland by the Army when he was released because of fears that former colleagues in the UDA would gun him down.

In a hard-hitting statement tonight, Councillor Smyth said Mr Adair was simply not welcome in Northern Ireland.

“The people in my constituency, the Shankill Road, were glad to see the back of him when he left Northern Ireland following his recent spell in prison,” the PUP councillor said.

“I find it very worrying that at this time and in this fashion Mr Adair has been allowed, if not encouraged, to return.”

Mr Adair’s appearance in Portadown also alarmed nationalist SDLP Assembly member Dolores Kelly.

The Upper Bann MLA said: “Portadown has quietened down in recent years and Johnny Adair’s presence here can only be a worrying sign.”

Councillor Smyth tonight asked why the infamous loyalist, once jailed for directing UDA terrorism, had suddenly reappeared at a time when republicans in Northern Ireland were under intense pressure and loyalism appeared relatively calm.

Mr Adair’s visit, he claimed, had created instability and fear in the community on the Shankill Road.


British Reaction To Dublin Bombings 'Deplorable'

25/02/2005 - 19:03:34

The lack of British co-operation in the inquests of three men who died in the Sackville Place bombings in the 1970s was deplorable, campaigners said today.

Busmen Thomas Duffy, 24, and George Bradshaw, 30, were killed in a car bomb in Sackville Place, Dublin, on December 1, 1972.

Bus conductor Thomas Douglas, 21, was killed in another explosion in the same street on January 20, 1973.

Today a jury of three men and four women returned a verdict of unlawful killing by persons or persons unknown for all three men at Dublin Coroners’ Court.

They added a recommendation that the transcript of the inquest be sent to the Taoiseach and to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Speaking after the inquest Margaret Urwin, of support group Justice For The Forgotten, said the families were pleased that the inquest had finally been held.

But she said: “The lack of co-operation from the British authorities at all levels established by the state has to be greatly deplored.”

“We are also disappointed by the lack of information in the garda files, so that somebody looking at it today cannot have a clear understanding of what occurred.”

Earlier, the inquest had heard that two bombs went off in Dublin at Liberty Hall and Sackville Place on December 1, 1972, during a Dáil debate on the Amendment to the Offences Against the State Act.

Following a bomb warning called into the Newsletter offices in Belfast and the explosion at Liberty Hall, gardaí came into the CIE bus company canteen on Earl Place and told people there to evacuate the club.

Minutes later a bomb – planted in a silver Ford Escort which had been hired from a rental company in Belfast the day before – exploded in Sackville Place, killing the two men.

Today the inquest heard that Thomas Duffy died as a result of a lacerated aorta from a metal fragment and that father-of-two George Bradshaw died from severe head injuries.

More than 130 people were injured in the attacks on December 1.

On January 20, 1973, Thomas Douglas, who had moved from Scotland to Dublin to work, had just left his bus to buy a newspaper when an explosion occurred on Sackville Place.

The inquest was told that he died as a result of shock and haemorrhage due to multiple injuries.

The red Vauxhall Victor used in the second explosion was hijacked in Agnes Street, Belfast, a Protestant area where a number of cars were hijacked and used for subversive activities, the court heard.

Detective Superintendent John Maloney, who was not involved in the original investigation, said there was no evidence gathered that pointed to the involvement of any specific group or organisation.

No one has ever admitted, or been convicted in connection with, the attacks.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said the three men died in appalling circumstances and that he wished to apologise to the families that it had taken so long for inquests to be held.

He said he hoped the families would no longer feel isolated or forgotten.

“The lives of Thomas Duffy, George Bradshaw and Thomas Douglas are a paradigm for the condition of Irish society in the 1970s – striving to move forward to a brighter and better future.

"But their deaths emphasise the shadow of violence which has blighted that development.”

“I sincerely wish we never return to that situation,” he said.


H-Block To Remain In £1 Billion Maze Makeover

A new national sports stadium planned for the site of Northern Ireland's notorious Maze jail would be financed by a US-style naming rights deal, it emerged today.

By:Press Association

The 30,000-seater arena is the showpiece feature of a £1 billion blueprint for transforming a grim and controversial legacy of The Troubles.

But as an all-party panel revealed plans to establish a business and leisure Mecca on the sprawling 360-acre plot, prison officers were outraged that the whole structure will not be torn down.

One of the infamous H-Blocks, scene of era-defining IRA hunger strikes, would be included in an International Centre for Conflict Resolution on the estate.

Northern Ireland Prison Service chairman Finlay Spratt said: "It`s an insult to the 28 officers killed during 30 years of mayhem.

Finlay Spratt

"If they want this centre, remove all reference to the past and build a new one, but to keep an H-Block is political madness."

More than two years after British Chancellor Gordon Brown handed the site over free of charge to the now-defunct Northern Ireland administration, the Maze Consultation Panel announced its masterplan.

As well as a sports zone with a stadium hosting soccer, rugby and Gaelic games, a rural and equestrian sector would include an exhibition centre and showgrounds capable of staging major concerts.

An arts centre, office blocks, hotels and leisure village have also been mapped out on the site near Lisburn, Co Antrim.

David Campbell, chairman of the Maze Consultation Panel, insisted unionist and nationalist members had all compromised to achieve a remarkable package.

He said: "For 30 years the prison has been a symbol of conflict, division and the worst days of Northern Ireland`s history and troubles.

"We are now able to offer a vision that is a symbol of hope for the future."

Northern Ireland Office Minister Ian Pearson and his officials will now study the plans which could create up to 1,000 jobs.

The most eye-catching feature of the scheme, involving both private and public-sector funding, is the stadium, which will cost £60 million to build.

The panel, however, has already studied how American sports franchises and top football clubs in Britain are turning to naming rights for crucial revenue.

Several blue-chip firms have been approached about meeting a significant portion of arena costs.

One source disclosed: "A number of drinks companies know about the plans. We`re looking for up to £20 million for a 10-year association."

Given the long and controversial history of the Maze and the associated Long Kesh internment camp, many doubted the group`s chances of reaching agreement.

Vice-chairman Michael McKernan said the political significance of what had been achieved could not be overstated.

"We were told two years ago we had got the hot potato, the poisoned chalice," he recalled.

"There was talk of hell freezing over and pigs flying, yet here we have got an agreement and it`s an agreement without fudge.

"Political representatives on the panel have had to compromise a lot and taken on board things they didn`t like."

One of the most hotly-contested aspects surrounded republican demands for a museum to be built on the site where 10 men died in the 1981 hunger strike.

In the end a conflict transformation centre was put into the plans that would focus on the transition to peace in Northern Ireland and other troubled regions globally.

Links would be established with Northern Ireland`s two main universities as well as Harvard University and Boston College in the United States.

In addition to keeping an H-Block, the prison hospital, administration buildings, a section of the perimeter wall, a watch tower and a cage from the compound would also remain.

Raymond McCartney, a former hunger striker turned Sinn Fein Assemblyman, insisted it had huge historical significance.

He said: "Many prisoners died there and we are mindful of the great sacrifice made by the 10 hunger strikers and their families.

"Prison warders also died as a result of the British Government`s foolish and violent policy of trying to criminalise republicans.

"The chapter which can now open would be an entirely different one to that which has gone before."

But Edwin Poots, a Democratic Unionist panel member, played down the significance, claiming: "The portion listed makes up only five per cent of the overall site and 15% of the prison.

"At the outset Sinn Fein were looking for a museum, there`s no museum here.

"If they ever want to get one, they will have to ask unionists to support it, so we have a veto over that."

Nationalist SDLP Assembly member Patricia Lewsley warned that the centre should not become the "intellectual property of any faction".

She added: "We must be able to reassure victims it will not be a shrine to paramilitarism."


Paisley's Warning On Security

Feb 25 2005

The government was warned that it must maintain security in Northern Ireland in the face of threats from a fully armed IRA.

Democratic Unionist leader, the Rev Ian Paisley told party colleagues in Enniskillen that the government had to fulfil its duty to people living along the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic to provide proper security.

The North Antrim MP, who was speaking at an event endorsing Assembly member Arlene Foster and the DUP's Westminster candidate in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, said: "Our message is loud and clear.

"There will be no surrender to the republican agenda. There will be no rolling over to those whose hands are covered in the blood of our fellow men and women.

"The days of fudging the line between democracy and terror are over. The time has come for this government to set its own affairs in order and say there is no place in a democracy for armed terrorists for their campaign of crime and their campaign against the decent citizens of Northern Ireland.

"I again call on the government to fulfil its duty to the people of Northern Ireland and especially those living on the border to provide proper security. Security must be stepped up, not reduced, in the face of threats from a fully armed IRA."

The DUP leader told colleagues that republicans had failed to pass the test on ending their links to criminality and terrorism.

Sinn Fein, he claimed, was trying to convince people that it was a wholly separate organisation from the IRA. Mr Paisley insisted that no-one believed Sinn Fein and he claimed the party was not sincere about peace.

As the DUP headed into a General Election, he said there was growing confidence in unionism. The party, he claimed, had set the agenda for talks on the political process and had withstood all pressure until Sinn Fein cracked.

In a stark warning to republicans and to the British and Irish governments, he said: "There will be no Sinn Fein / IRA in the government of Northern Ireland so long as the DUP is leading unionism."


Nine Jailed Over Firearms Training Camp

24/02/2005 - 12:31:37

Nine men who were arrested after gardaí swooped on a suspected Continuity IRA training camp in the Comeragh mountains were jailed by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin today.

The court was told that gardaí discovered four guns, a makeshift firing range and targets when they raided a clearing in the Comeragh mountains. They found four men at a firing point being given instructions by two others and three men armed with shotguns acting as sentries, the court was told.

Gardaí who had been observing the training heard up to 60 shots being fired, including rifle and small-arms fire.

The men jailed today are Patrick Deery (aged 53), a native of Claudy, Co Derry, with an address at Woodhouse, Stradbally, Co Waterford; Joseph Mooney (aged 36), of Ozzier Court, Co Waterford; John O' Halloran (aged 34), of Ross Avenue, Mulgrave St, Limerick; Mark Mc Mahon (aged 36), of Commodore Barry Park, Wexford; Patrick J. Kelly (aged 37), of Belvedere Grove, Wexford; and Dean Coleman (aged 23), of Clarina Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, who pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a American model rifle in suspicious circumstances at Knocknaree, Knockatedaun, Ballmacarbry, Co Waterford, on August, 2003.

Thomas Barry (aged 21), of Larchville, Lisduggan, Co Waterford, and Brian Galvin (aged 38), of Ardmore Park, Ballybeg, Co Waterford, pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a Baikal under and over shotgun in suspicious circumstances at Ballymacarbry, Co Waterford, on the same date.

Michael Leahy (aged 23), of Mc Carthyville, Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a sawn-off single-barrel shotgun at Ballmacarbry, Co Waterford, on the same date.

Deery was jailed for six years to date from August, 2003. Mooney was also jailed for six years. O' Halloran, McMahon and Kelly, who were at the firing point, were each jailed for five years.

Barry and Coleman were each jailed for four years in view of their age and Galvin and Leahy were each jailed for five years.

Mr Justice Richard Johnson, presiding, said the court was satisfied that all nine accused came together at a well-organised training camp to train in the use of firearms for a subversive or unlawful purpose.


Orange Order Claims 'Hot Air'

Friday 25th February 2005

SDLP spokesperson on Finance John Dallat has described claims by the Grand Secretary of the Orange Order, Drew Nelson, that the organisation is generating at least £6 million pounds for the Northern Ireland economy as hot air.

He said: "To suggest that spending money on suits and bowler hats and pass that off as a boost for the beleaguered tourist industry is pure pantomime stuff and no way compensates for the loss of real tourist spending.

"Mr. Nelson is, of course, absolutely right when he acknowledges that the Drumcree standoffs have cost the local tourist industry dearly for many years but to suggest that the incidental spending on sandwiches and bus hire for Orange demonstrations is somehow compensating for the damage caused by disruption is pushing credulity to its limits."

Mr. Dallat went on: "The reality is that the Twelfth of July demonstrations has created a mass exodus out of the North to every corner of the world. "Those who choose not to go abroad go South and so the bed occupancy levels in our hotels, guesthouses and B & Bs is generally far below what it should be at the height of the summer season."

He continued: "The Northern Ireland Tourist Board would be far stretched to recognise the period leading up to and beyond the Twelfth as a bonanza when tourists would want to rush here to experience the warmth of the bonfires or soak up the glamour of the 'kick the Pope' bands that can't make up their minds whether they are celebrating a 300 year old battle or keeping alive the more recent history of the UDA and their fellow travellers.

"No, I am afraid the Twelfth is far from being Ulster's answer to the French Bastille Day.

"No-wants to deny Mr. Nelson or his organisation the right to celebrate his cultural diversity but he shouldn't confuse that with cultural tourism which is something quite different and well understood by all."


UPI Intelligence Watch: Fallout From The Spectacular Bank Raid

By John C.K. Daly
UPI International Correspondent

Fallout From The Spectacular Bank Raid on Dec. 20 - blamed on the Irish Republican Army -- of Belfast's Northern Bank is lapping up in the Balkans. Bulgarian Interior Minister Georgi Petkanov confirmed Irishmen with links to the IRA have several deposits in Bulgarian bank accounts, but denied alleged connections to a money-laundering operation. He added the sum involved was $76,700, not $76.7 million as reported earlier. On Feb. 24, Bulgarian officers from the Interior Ministry and diplomats left for Ireland to investigate media reports the IRA had been laundering money in Bulgaria. The scandal erupted a week after Irish security services spotted a Bulgarian arms dealer at a meeting in Ireland. The Irish Examiner newspaper reported that two Irish businessmen, who are being investigated for alleged money laundering for the IRA, have visited Bulgaria where they reportedly were planning to purchase a Bulgarian bank. Police believe the bank would have been used to launder an estimated $57.5 million the IRA receives annually from counterfeiting, robberies, extortion, racketeering and smuggling. The Irish Examiner reported a group of six people, including Cork businessman Ted Cunningham and former government aide Phil Flynn flew to Sofia in late January for a weeklong visit. One of the men is believed to be a speculator, another a Germany-based solicitor with business contacts in Bulgaria and Ireland, and a representative of an international consulting firm. Bulgaria's Local 24 Chasa reported the group registered three companies, Alexander Finance, Bulgarian Property & Development and Addison. The report said the group rented space in an office block in downtown Sofia. Bulgaria's Finance Ministry confirmed Flynn met with Deputy Finance Minister Ilia Lingorski, though it added it was normal practice for Lingorski to meet with potential investors and said any discussions concerned only the "general business environment."


Sinn Fein's Time For Comical Ali

Billy Simpson

25 February 2005

In an old column some years ago, I mentioned the glaringly obvious fact that tides ebb as well as flow. It is an easily observable phenomenon, but you don't have to watch the ocean all day to get the picture.

Tides of history can be like that, too. In my lifetime a lot of political, religious and sociological theories have claimed to be riding an irresistible tide of history - fascism, communism, nationalism, Thatcherism, Blairism - the theory being that, by sheer force of will, they would convert or drown all opposition.

Sadly, just when you imagine you are riding the crest of a wave, a shark can swim by and bite you. And, sometimes, the shark's fin can look deceptively like £26m.

There is a Comical Ali sense about Sinn Fein spokesmen in denial. It's all a plot. The cops did it. Somebody English did it. Maybe the bank robbed itself.

Ironically, the £26m taken in the Northern Bank raid is probably wee buns compared to what republican and loyalist protection racketeers have extorted in 'tax' from the business community over the last three decades.

And, unlike late payment to the Inland Revenue, falling behind on donations to the heavy mob often involved the defaulter getting a foretaste of hellfire and brimstone.

But it has been entertaining to observe the Provo Rent-a-Fog spinmeisters at work. Just as they call out the rent-a-mob to stone police whenever they come to arrest one of the boys, Rent-a-Fog are there to muddy the waters with counter-allegations and for-export-only explanations that only a Noraid fund raiser could swallow.


Irish Singer Is Ready To...Play


The Kansas City Star

Irish singer is ready to {hellip} play Irish singer is ready to {hellip} play

Patriotic Irish singer Derek Warfield, formerly of the Wolfe Tones, isn't one to shy away from a fight, especially when it comes to defending his musical birthright.

The Irish state airline Aer Lingus removed Warfield's recordings from its in-flight entertainment after Ulster Unionist politician Roy Beggs Jr. complained that it was too militant toward the British.

Warfield put up his dukes on his Web site: 'The facts are that many like Mr. Beggs are uncomfortable with Irish patriotic ballads because they tell honest truth about the English treatment of the Irish people and many like him do not wish to be reminded of this litany of horror.'

And now Warfield's politics will be on vocal display when he headlines an evening of rousing Irish music and dance to benefit the Kansas City chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Opening acts are local band Tullamore and the O'Riada Academy of Irish Dance.

The concert is at 6:30 tonight at the Kansas Army National Guard building, 100 S. 20th St. in Kansas City, Kan. Tickets cost $25 at Sheehan's Irish Imports, 1412 Westport Road; call (816) 561-4480.

The ticket price includes beverages, and the Hibernians will offer for sale a Lenten special of shrimp or cheese pizza at the show. Concertgoers may also bring their own food and drink.

To reach Brian McTavish, arts & entertainment writer, call (816) 234-4766 or send e-mail to

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