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April 11, 2005

Adams: Economic Recovery & Prosperity

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Table of Contents - Overall
Table of Contents – Apr 2005

News about Ireland & the Irish

SF 04/11/05
Adams - Economic Recovery, Progress & Prosperity
BT 04/11/05 Evidence 'Updated' In UVF Murders
BT 04/11/05 Pope Tribute Ruined By Football Fans
SF 04/11/05 SF To Raise Eddie Fullerton Case In Dáil
BT 04/11/05 Jim Gray's Assets Targeted
BT 04/11/05 Dodds Has Winning Piece In City Jigsaw
UT 04/11/05 Coup For Paisley As UUP Figures Back DUP Candidate
IO 04/11/05 McCartney Sisters To Meet Taoiseach
TE 04/11/05 Great Act, Mr Adams But Haven't We Seen It Before?
BT 04/11/05 Police Fire At Car After Street Fight
BT 04/11/05 US Cash For Sinn Féin Revealed
IO 04/11/05 Clinton Backs Suicide Prevention Programme


Adams - Vision For Economic Recovery, Progress & Prosperity

Published: 11 April, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams in an address to the Derry Chamber of Commerce at
lunchtime today said "Last week I made an appeal to the IRA to commit itself to purely
political and democratic activity.

"My initiative means that there can be no possible excuse for the process to remain in
stagnation. The governments have to move it forward. It is also my opinion, not
withstanding their public scepticism, that the unionists understand that this is a serious
effort to create conditions to put the Good Friday Agreement back on the tracks again.

So I am looking for the widest possible support. And while the process of internal
consultation within the IRA is the crucial one, I am calling upon all republicans and
nationalists and others to debate the future direction of our struggle.

Not least, because in many ways this is about the future for the people of this island. I
believe the tasks facing us in the immediate short term are to get the peace process
bedded down and the Good Friday Agreement up and running, including and
particularly the all-Ireland agenda.

Sinn Féin wants to see a United Ireland with a national republic on this island and I
believe there is the ability, support and the potential to achieve this.

I, and others in the Sinn Féin leadership intend to use whatever influence we have to
bring other republicans along the road I have outlined.

Beyond this or perhaps parallel with it there is a need to ensure that the orange
marching season is peaceful.

I call upon unionist leaders to play a more constructive role than some have thus far."

Full Text of Mr. Adams speech

I want to thank the Derry Chamber of Commerce, especially your President Richard
Sterling for your kind invitation to speak here today.

I want also to thank Janice and Michelle who helped organise this event.

The next decade will, I believe, be pivotal in determining the economic and political
direction of Ireland and in turn, the future prospects of the entire NorthWest Region.

That does not mean we have to wait until then - of course not. But by considering trends
over this period it is possible to develop appropiate strategies.

In the past, while we have witnessed economic growth within the core metropolitan
areas of Dublin and Belfast this has not yet been successfully transmitted to the West
and NorthWest, to areas like Derry, Donegal, Sligo, Tyrone and Fermanagh.

The reasons for this unbalanced development are complex and rooted in partition but
undoubtedly, one of the key factors has also been the refusal of both governments to
invest sufficiently in the infrastructure necessary for this region of over 350,000 people
to compete on an equal basis.

Today‚s challenges are quite different from any that this society has faced before.
Industrial development within the Near and Far East is taking place at an
unprecedented rate and the European Union continues to expand taking in many of the
former Soviet Bloc countries.

International capital is following cheap labour markets, as it used to do here, in
countries such as China or Indonesia where it is now paying wage rates of $1 per day.

If the NorthWest is to progress and prosper, it needs the tools to be able to transform
itself from an area that was formerly heavily dependent on traditional industries such as
textiles, developed in the 18th and 19th centuries to one that possesses the attributes
necessary to move the NorthWest forward into the 21st Century. Achieving this means
developing a holistic strategic approach to economic development.

It means setting that strategic approach in the context of an evolving island wide
economy; and it requires political stability, underpinned by genuine equality

It also requires leadership from the governments, from politicians, from business, from
the Trade Unions and co-operation with communities.

In my view Œknowledge‚ will be the foundation and the key driver for economic
prosperity within the island as a whole for the foreseeable future.

Ireland as a nation has a unique culture and a love of language and learning.

Any city of 106,000, which produces and reads ten local weekly newspapers, must be
fond of learning. Derry‚s strong tradition of academic excellence can form the basis for
an economic renewal based on a resource in which we have a comparative advantage.

Intellectual property is recognised as being at the core of successful and sustainable
economic development throughout the world yet within these 32 counties the level of
spending by the governments and business on Research and Development lags far
behind that elsewhere in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and

I believe that those who put in place the building blocks for growth in the areas of
education and research will be those that will ultimately prosper. In this respect the
North West is fortunate is having a young growing population in which we can invest for
the future.

Of course, education and research are not the only elements required to offer hope for
the future.

The key to improving the competitive position of the local economy comprises three

1. Infrastructural Enhancement ˆ Telecommunications, Transport, Energy.

2. Investment in Human Capital ˆ Third Level Expansion, Retraining,

3. Entrepreneurship ˆ Risk Taking

The first two are the responsibility of the governments and I believe they have singularly
failed to invest sufficiently in the NorthWest to make up for the historic underinvestment
and discrimination that occurred throughout the last eighty years.

The fact that it can take over 4 ? hours to travel to Dublin and on occasion 2 hours to
reach Belfast constrains business development, and the promise of a full motorway link
in two decades time is similarly unacceptable.

The city‚s rail line does not provide adequate linkages with Dublin and a travel time of
almost two hours to Belfast 70 miles away is symptomatic of the neglect that this city
has endured.

The Chamber is to be commended for its leadership role in concert with Derry City
Council and your Mayor Gearóid O‚hÉara in bringing civil servants and Ministers to
account for the inadequacy of the road, rail and air links to this Region. It shows the
extent to which a common non-party political campaign can advance the economic
conditions of the city.

There is also the need for a more co-ordinated and coherent approach to agriculture
and fishing and the sustaining of rural communities.

This means an integrated and strategic approach.

In our view, the proper planning context for the economic revival of the region is to have
Derry at the heart of the regeneration process.

It is within this development model that we have proposed the cross-border
Technological Corridor, which would link the Magee Campus through Letterkenny
Institute of Technology, Sligo IT and Galway University. This Western Seaboard Virtual
University would allow a two-way sharing of knowledge not only in the field of
Communications Information Technology but also in the areas of Transport, Tourism
and Training.

The economic multiplier effects of this proposal should be rationale enough for such an
approach but the ability of education to act as a spur to general economic activity
provides an additional argument in its favour.

In common with many other countries economic policies here have favoured large
international corporations.

However, this strategy has failed this region.

In the future, much of the growth in intellectual property will come from small and
medium enterprises that are more likely to be indigenous.

Indigenous business must be given more support.

We must ensure that they have the proper resources made available to them in
preparation for the new challenges they face in this transition to an economy based on

To summarise our programme in this election and for the immediate future - we are
campaigning for:

· A NorthWest Regional Economic Development Strategy.

· The establishment of a NorthWest Regional Economic Authority which can put in place
the building blocks for the next stage in this region‚s development.

· Cross-Border Investment in Telecommunications and Energy

· Enhancement of Road, Rail and Port facilities

· Establishment of a Western Seaboard Virtual University

As an all-Ireland party Sinn Féin is well placed to advance these proposals and our two
MEP‚s, Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou Mc Donald, have committed to work along with
our elected representatives throughout the region to see that the NorthWest receives its
proper entitlements from European development programmes.

They will endeavour to ensure that we put in place a proper support framework upon
which this new knowledge based society can be constructed.

But to make this vision of a new future possible we need also to create the right political

The peace process has been in crisis for some time, the institutions are suspended and
many key aspects of the Good Friday Agreement have still not been implemented.

Last week I made an appeal to the IRA to commit itself to purely political and
democratic activity.

Before making those remarks I had thought long and hard about this initiative.

There has been adverse comment about the timing of my appeal. And some have
dismissed it as an election stunt. It is no such thing.

And for those who have been listening to what I have been saying I have been flagging
up the need for such a development for some long time now, including here in Derry at

The logic is straight-forward.

The IRA is being used as the excuse to delay the process of building peace with justice
on this island.

Furthermore, unless there is bold and decisive action the peace process is going
backwards. Who do we expect to take such bold and decisive action? Ian Paisley?
David Trimble? Paul Murphy? Michael McDowell?

The downward spiral of the peace process is not in the interests of the majority of
people on this island.

It is therefore not in the interests of republicans. It is not in the interests, in my opinion,
of the IRA.

My initiative is aimed directly at IRA Volunteers and the IRA support base.

But while my appeal is aimed at this particular group it affects everyone else as well.
Particularly those parties with a responsibility to implement the Good Friday Agreement.

It especially has huge implications for the two governments.

When I say that without a bold initiative the peace process was going backwards I
meant that.

The current election will see a hardening up of the DUP and the UUP positions as they
compete for votes.

After the election there may be some optical illusions of talks about talks sponsored by
whoever is the British Secretary of State at that time. By then the marching season will
be upon us and of course that is generally an annual absurd excuse to suspend any

Before we know it, it will be September and it‚s the autumn again.

Does anyone think that the situation would have improved by then given the stance of
the governments and the unionist parties? And given the mood within republicanism?

The downward spiral had to be broken.

That is what I am trying to do.

Will that mean that the unionists will queue up to get into power with Sinn Fein? Of
course not.

But it does mean that the two governments also have to embrace purely political and
democratic activity.

My initiative means that there can be no possible excuse for the process to remain in

The governments have to move it forward.

It is also my opinion, not withstanding their public scepticism, that the unionists
understand that this is a serious effort to create conditions to put the Good Friday
Agreement back on the tracks again.

So I am looking for the widest possible support. And while the process of internal
consultation within the IRA is the crucial one, I am calling upon all republicans and
nationalists and others to debate the future direction of our struggle.

Not least because in many ways this is about the future for the people of this island. I
believe the tasks facing us in the immediate short term are to get the peace process
bedded down and the Good Friday Agreement up and running, including and
particularly the all-Ireland agenda.

Sinn Féin wants to see a United Ireland with a national republic on this island and I
believe there is the ability, support and the potential to achieve this.

So what does all this mean in the immediate short-term?

It means getting the election out of the way, and Sinn Fein's endeavour naturally will be
to get the biggest possible vote.

It means the IRA engaging in a process of internal consultation.

It's entirely reasonable to ask how long it will take to complete this. In truth I don't know
at this point.

It is my firm intention to stay away from speculating or interpreting the IRA's position but
because others have said there must be an answer within weeks I have to say that in
my opinion it is not likely that the IRA's process can conclude as hastily as that.

Not if there is going to be a proper inclusive debate with the possibility of the response
that I am looking for.

I, and others in the Sinn Féin leadership intend to use whatever influence we have to
bring other republicans along the road I have outlined.

Beyond this or perhaps parallel with it there is a need to ensure that the orange
marching season is peaceful.

Derry has led by example on this issue. But there are difficulties elsewhere and there is
a particular responsibility for the march organisers and the British government and its

I fully expect republicans and nationalists to continue to play our positive role,
particularly within those communities, which are victimised by unwanted orange

I call upon unionist leaders to play a more constructive role than some have thus far.

So, there's lots of work to do.

The people of Derry have always played an important role on those national issues.
While my remarks today are about the economic recovery of this region we all know that
this is unlikely to be achieved except in the national context, including a stable and
enduring peace process.

Derry republicans have played a pivotal role in all of the great changes of recent times. I
am sure that that will continue into the future.

I thank them all for their leadership and I thank you all for your contribution and your
leadership. Good luck in all that you do.


Evidence 'Updated' In UVF Murders

By Chris Thornton
11 April 2005

New material about the murder of two teenagers near Portadown five years ago has
been submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A file on the stabbing murders of Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine has been
"updated" by detectives, according to security and legal sources.

The move follows a decision by police to undertake new DNA tests last year on clothing
and other material seized immediately after the murders in February 2000.

But the family of one of the murdered teens, David McIlwaine, say the authorities "don't
have the will" to bring a case to court because a UVF informer may have been involved
in the killings.

The two teenagers were butchered by UVF members after a night out in Tandragee, Co
Armagh. Both were subjected to frenzied stabbings and had their throats cut.

The killing happened during a UVF-LVF feud and it is believed the killers attacked the
boys after their original targets - two LVF members - failed to turn up in Tandragee.

David McIlwaine's family say they accept that the murders were not sanctioned by the
UVF leadership.

A Tandragee man was charged with the murders, but released after ten months on

There were no other charges brought, in spite of bloodstains being found on clothing
and cars linked to several suspects. Police ordered the new DNA tests last year, after
papers released to the families through a court case revealed the extent of evidence
against a number of suspects.

Alan Steele, an uncle of David McIlwaine, said: "Hugh Orde said recently that police
need two things to solve the murder of Robert McCartney - witnesses and evidence.

"This case has both, so why has there not been any progress."


Pope Tribute Ruined By Football Fans

Silence for pontiff halted after booing

By Lisa Smyth
11 April 2005

A CO Down Celtic fan last night branded supporters of Hearts "a disgrace" after they
failed to observe a tribute to Pope John Paul II before a match between the two Scottish
Premier League sides yesterday.

The Scottish Football Association had called for fans attending the Tennent's Scottish
Cup semi-finals between Hearts and Celtic and Dundee United and Hibernian to
observe a minute's silence for the late Pope.

However, referee of the Hearts and Celtic match Stuart Dougal was forced to end the
minute's silence after just 24 seconds as Hearts' supporters booed and jeered.

Downpatrick man and lifelong Celtic supporter Patrick Smyth, who travelled to
Hampden Park to watch the match, has slammed the Hearts fans who failed to remain

"It wasn't a minority of Hearts supporters - it was the whole lot of them and every Celtic
supporter expected it would happen," he said.

"The referee had no choice but to cut the minute's silence short to save the

"The Hearts players' behaviour was impeccable but their supporters are a disgrace."

His comments follow a condemnation of the booing by Hearts chief executive Phil
Anderton, who said: "The club could not and would not condone the actions of those
who chose to undermine the tribute to Pope John Paul II before the semi-final.

"Scottish football chose to join with people around the world to observe and respect the
minute of silence and it is disturbing that some Hearts fans failed to see the significance
of this occasion.

"We are trying to generate an atmosphere where families are happy to return to football
grounds around the country and the fact their actions will have been covered live by Sky
across the UK and beyond will have done those ambitions no favours at all.

"The club appealed on Friday for all fans travelling to the game to respect the minute of
silence and will write to both Celtic and the SFA to apologise on behalf of those who
failed to adhere to that request."


Sinn Féin TDs To Raise The Case Of Eddie Fullerton In The Dáil

Published: 11 April, 2005

The Sinn Féin team in Leinster House will use an opportunity in the Dáil tomorrow
afternoon, during questions to the Minister for Justice, to raise the case of Donegal Sinn
Féin County Councillor, Eddie Fullerton, who was shot dead by a loyalist death squad in
his Buncrana home in 1991. Serious questions still surround the circumstances of the

Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said, "A recent TG4
documentary raises serious concerns about the handling of the original investigation by
the Gardaí into the death of Eddie Fullerton.

"Tomorrow myself and my colleagues will use our opportunities during questions to the
Minister for Justice to raise these concerns and other questions which have arisen
surrounding the case. We will point to strong evidence of British security forces
collusion in the murder. We will highlight the family‚s concerns regarding the original
Garda investigation into the killing and, also, the lack of cooperation from the PSNI in
the reinvestigation.

"We will also ask the Minister if he agrees that the murder of an Irish elected
representative demands a full public inquiry similar to ones demanded in other cases.

"Mr. McDowell has been quick to point out that Sinn Féin "cannot clamour for justice
and truth‚ in other cases and not support the Breen and Buchanan inquiry, and he was
correct. Sinn Féin supports a fully inclusive process of truth recovery and we have
supported the inquiry in the Breen and Buchanan case. We now say the exact same
thing to Mr. McDowell. He cannot "clamour for justice and truth‚ regarding Breen and
Buchanan without supporting other inquiries where there is strong evidence of collusion,
especially when it concerns an elected representative of the Irish people." ENDS


Jim Gray's Assets Targeted

Ex-UDA chief on money laundering charges

By Jonathan McCambridge
11 April 2005

Police are set to apply for a High Court order to freeze the assets of deposed UDA
leader Jim Gray.

Detectives from the Crime Operations department are to apply for the civil order
following an investigation into an alleged money laundering operation.

This will involve applying for a restraining order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Gray (47), the former UDA brigadier for east Belfast, was stood down recently following
an internal revolt.

He appeared at Banbridge Magistrate's Court on Saturday where he was remanded in
custody on money laundering charges.

He appeared before the court charged with possession of criminal property and
concealment of criminal property, contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The court heard that when Gray was arrested outside Loughbrickland, he had in his
possession a Northern Bank banker's draft to the value of 10,000 euros.

He also had £2,270 in sterling notes and 270 euro notes.

The court heard that when charged on the first count, Gray said he could account for all
the possessions found on him.

Gray also told the court that he did not understand the charge.

However, a detective from Crime Operations said he believed he could connect Gray to
both charges.

Resident Magistrate Paul Copeland said he was not satisfied Gray was a worthy
candidate for bail and remanded him in custody.

He was ordered to reappear before the same court again by video link on Thursday.

However, it is anticipated that the High Court order will be heard before then.

Meanwhile, a 39-year-old man is due in Belfast Magistrate's Court charged with four
counts of money laundering.


Dodds Has Winning Piece In City Jigsaw

By Chris Thornton
11 April 2005

North Belfast's political landscape is a lot like Northern Ireland as a whole. Only more

Once the concentrated heart of the Troubles, the sectarian jigsaw of neighbourhoods in
the north of the city now reflects the political tides at work across the rest of the region.

For a start, there is the enormous shift within unionism.

One upon a time, the UUP held the keys to politics in North Belfast.

Cecil Walker held the seat for the party for 18 years and in spite of the turmoil in the
constituency, had the air of an old style unionist MP, guaranteed his seat by putting his
name on the ballot.

But as the UUP became consumed by internal divisions - probably even before then -
the party's machine in North Belfast started to crumble. There were disputes between
and within local branches of the party that coincided with the rise of the DUP.

At the last general election, the reversal became complete. Nigel Dodds, who spent
years toiling as a DUP councillor in the area, embarrassed Mr Walker into fourth place,
slicing more than 16,000 votes off his 1997 total.

The UUP's collapse was utter. From holding the Westminster seat in the first half of
2001, they could claim only 9% of the vote in the 2003 Assembly election.

This time around, Westminster candidate Fred Cobain has no realistic expectations of
unseating Mr Dodds. His sights are set on the rather lower ambition of winning a city
council seat in the Oldpark area.

The trends in nationalism have also been reflected in the constituency. Sinn Fein's
Gerry Kelly appears to have achieved dominance over perennial SDLP candidate Alban
Maginness. Mr Kelly finished 1,700 votes ahead of Mr Maginness in the last general
election, a lead Sinn Fein consolidated in the 2003 Assembly election, when they
finished 3,200 votes in front of the SDLP.

But North Belfast has also witnessed the general increase in the nationalist share of the
vote, especially as Protestant residents have abandoned the narrow terraces of
neighbourhoods like Tiger Bay for the suburbs.

In 1996, the two nationalist parties held 38% of the vote between them. By 2003, that
had hit 44%. The trend is towards a rising nationalist vote, but Mr Dodds is unlikely to
feel even remotely threatened: the UUP's weakness means he owns enough of the
unionist majority for this election.

And boundary changes for the next election will bring the giant loyalist estate of
Rathcoole into the constituency, cancelling out the nationalist rise at a stroke. And at
that stage, according to one political analyst in the area, Mr Dodds could practically
declare himself MP-for-life.


Coup For Paisley As UUP Figures Back DUP Candidate

Two senior figures in the Ulster Unionist Party have appeared in election literature for a
candidate from the rival DUP, it emerged today.

By:Press Association

In a stunning coup for the Rev Ian Paisley`s party, Lord Molyneaux of Killead, a former
leader of the UUP, and outgoing South Belfast MP the Rev Martin Smyth, feature in an
election leaflet for the DUP`s Jimmy Spratt.

In what is being interpreted by some in South Belfast as a tacit endorsement of the
former Police Federation chairman, Mr Smyth and Lord Killead consented to the use of
a photograph taken with the DUP candidate last Friday at Castlereagh Borough Council.

A quote from Mr Smyth on the leaflet claims Mr Spratt would "make an excellent
Member for Parliament".

Lord Killead is also quoted paying tribute to Mr Spratt`s service as a member of the
Royal Ulster Constabulary which, he says, was "treated disgracefully by unworthy
persons in high places."

The Ulster Unionist peer also appears in campaign literature for Lagan Valley MP
Jeffrey Donaldson, who defected to the Democratic Unionists in January 2004 after
almost six years feuding with UUP leader David Trimble.

While both Lord Killead and Mr Smyth were unable for comment, the DUP was pleased
both consented to the use of the photographs.

"We are pleased Lord Molyneaux and Martin agreed to be photographed with Jimmy
Spratt and have made the remarks they have," a DUP spokesman said.

Mr Spratt, who is hoping to wrestle South Belfast away from the UUP`s Michael
McGimpsey, also received the backing of two former Ulster Unionist councillors in
Belfast, Margaret and Jim Clarke at the weekend.

Many pundits believe the constituency is a three horse race between the Ulster
Unionists, the nationalist SDLP and the DUP.

The UUP is confident former Stormont Culture Minister Michael McGimspey will retain
the seat.

However the DUP believe Mr Spratt is capable of bridging a gap of 1,940 votes between
them and the Ulster Unionists in the Assembly election.

The SDLP is also convinced it can win the seat for the first time for nationalism, with
deputy leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell hoping to capitalise on a tight unionist battle.

His party was 1,293 votes behind the UUP in South Belfast at the 2003 Stormont

Sinn Fein`s Alex Maskey is contesting the seat along with the cross community Alliance
Party`s Geraldine Rice.

As nominations for the local government elections get underway today, Northern
Ireland`s party leaders will step up their campaign for votes in the General Election
which will also be held on May 5.

DUP leader Mr Paisley will canvass for votes in East Antrim.

Nationalist SDLP leader Mark Durkan, who is engaged in a do or die battle with Sinn
Fein`s Mitchel McLaughlin in Foyle, will launch his party`s billboard campaign in

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was also due in the city to address the chamber of
commerce and campaign alongside Mr McLaughlin.

Mr Spratt was thrilled that the pair had agreed to appear on his campaign leaflet.

He said: "I`m thankful that both of them have been photographed with me. I think the
photograph speaks for itself.

"Both gentlemen have made comments on the literature, I`m just delighted, absolutely
delighted at this development."

The DUP candidate, who declined to say why neither of the Ulster Unionists had
explicitly backed him, added: "The two gentlemen came to see me voluntarily.

"I didn`t have any contact with them myself before last Friday."


McCartney Sisters To Meet Taoiseach
2005-04-11 10:40:03+01

The sisters of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney are to meet Taoiseach Bertie
Ahern in Dublin today as part of their ongoing campaign to bring their brother's killers to

Mr McCartney, a 33-year-old father-of-two, was beaten and stabbed to death outside a
pub in Belfast on January 30, allegedly by senior IRA members.

His sisters have accused Sinn Féin and the IRA of mounting a cover-up to ensure
witnesses remain silent and that those responsible are not brought to justice.

Speaking ahead of today's meeting, Paula McCartney said the family wanted Mr Ahern
to ensure the killing was on the agenda during any future negotiations with Sinn Féin.

"We're very frustrated at the minute," she said. "[It's been] 10 weeks and these people
[the killers] are still walking around this area."


Great Act, Mr Adams But Haven't We Seen It Before?

By Jenny McCartney
(Filed: 10/04/2005)

The refreshing thing about very small children is that they can be entranced by the
same game of "peekaboo" a hundred times in succession. The equally refreshing thing
about adults is that they can't. That is why, being fully grown, I was unable to find Gerry
Adams's statement last week urging the IRA to pursue "purely political and democratic
activity" quite as diverting as his first one so long ago.

You've got to hand it to him, though: even though it's always the same routine, Gerry
still puts an effort into the show. First, he appears on stage dressed like a regular
politician, and announces that all the IRA's messing about with guns and bullying really
should stop. Then he and his closest Sinn Fein colleagues leave the public stage to
perform a quick change, and race back in matching balaclavas to deliver a stern
statement from "P. O'Neill". It usually says something like: "The IRA will respond in due
course." After the performance, the troupe invites the audience to show its appreciation
in the usual way, by voting for Sinn Fein in the next election.

I have seen this show innumerable times, however, and come to realise that it bears no
resemblance to reality. I suppose time must fly when you're having fun with your gun: it
can't be almost seven years ago - can it? - since Mr Adams endorsed the 1998 Belfast
Agreement, which committed Sinn Fein to "use any influence they might have to
achieve the decommissioning of all paramilitary arms within two years". True, that
particular paragraph was woolly and full of holes: I wouldn't have given whoever drafted
it the job of applying to the local council for permission to extend a dog kennel. But it
was a promise of "influence" nonetheless.

And did the Sinn Fein leadership, taken on trust in 1998 by the bulk of the Northern Irish
electorate, proceed to use its promised "influence" over the IRA - in effect, over itself -
to achieve decommissioning by 2000? Of course it didn't. The IRA is still structurally
intact, fully armed, and has busied itself ever since with the murder, assault or exiling of
young Catholic men, smuggling, money-laundering, extortion, robbery and a £26.5
million bank heist last December.

Now and then - when Sinn Fein's fortunes need a shot of adrenalin - Mr Adams has
judiciously dangled the prospect of IRA disarmament or disbandment in front of the
British and Irish governments, often to rapturous acclaim for this "historic breakthrough"
in the press. But the very fact that Mr Adams is now making another "plea" to the IRA to
give up violence, simply emphasises that all those other times - when he appeared to
insist that the IRA had already given up violence - he wasn't telling the truth.

The media applause for Adams's statement last week was unusually muted, since the
IRA's extravagant disregard for the law has left even the most die-hard devotee of the
"peace process" feeling like a chump. But as the election campaign gains momentum,
young Sinn Fein canvassers will be pounding the beat in Northern Ireland, exuding their
customary dynamism. They will be keen to gloss over the slaughter by IRA men of the
33-year-old Robert McCartney, whose protesting sisters have commanded the
headlines for the last two months.

That was an unfortunate matter, they will tell folk on the doorstep - if indeed it comes up
at all - but it is imperative to focus now on the bigger picture, such as the need to keep
up the momentum towards Irish unity, squash the moderate nationalist SDLP, and
deliver a poke in the eye to Unionists. And anyway, they will hint, don't you think those -
McCartney girls are getting a bit above themselves?

This time round, however, no voter can pretend they were misled about the true nature
of either Sinn Fein or the much smaller loyalist Progressive Unionist Party. What those
parties support has been spelled out in four unflinching and exhaustive reports from the
Independent Monitoring Commission, an impartial body set up by the two governments
to monitor the paramilitary ceasefires.

The small Progressive Unionist Party remains linked to the loyalist Ulster Volunteer
Force, which is involved in drug-dealing, extortion, intimidation and killing. Sinn Fein, a
much larger and more buoyant party, remains inextricably linked to the IRA, and a vast
international network of financial fraud, intimidation and killing.

Despite Gerry Adams's superficial condemnations for the IRA killers of Robert
McCartney, Sinn Fein is ruthlessly obstructing the process of bringing them to justice: of
all the Sinn Fein witnesses in Magennis's bar that night, no one saw a thing.

The electorate - in both the north and south of Ireland - has been encouraged for far too
long by the soothing pieties of the "peace process" to ignore systematic violence and
corruption. When I watch the Sinn Fein rank and file celebrating their gains at election
counts, it always brings to mind - unbidden - that chilling scene in the musical Cabaret
in which the invigorated young Nazis come together for a full-throated rendition of
Tomorrow Belongs to Me.

The Sinn Fein leaders really do believe that tomorrow belongs to them, and to their toxic
and successful combination of street violence and political double-speak. The grim truth
is that unless the voters can shake off their moral sedatives, one day Ireland could
belong to Sinn Fein/IRA too.


Police Fire At Car After Street Fight

By Lisa Smyth
11 April 2005

A man was stable in hospital last night after being seriously injured during a brawl in
west Belfast that led to police firing at a car.

He was one of three people injured after a fight at a house in nearby Moyard Parade at
around 8am.

Police investigating the incident fired at the car, claiming it hit two officers and rammed
a police vehicle.

The Police Ombudsman is now investigating the incident, as well as claims of police

A police spokeswoman said the shot was fired after police went to the area following
reports of gangs fighting.

It is understood when police arrived at the scene, they found three people with head
injuries, including a man in a serious condition. Last night his condition had improved.

The spokeswoman confirmed a hammer was used in the fight but said reports that
knives were involved are being investigated.

A police source said that although officers received minor injuries they were treating the
incident as attempted murder.

A Sinn Fein councillor accused police of being "heavy handed".

Councillor Marie Cush said: "Residents are saying the Land Rover rammed the car and
police dragged people from it and beat them with batons. We also had to ask for an
officer to be removed from the scene later in the day because he was laughing and
joking about what happened."

Four people were arrested following the incident.

A 17-year-old girl is due to appear at Lisburn Magistrates Court on May 3, charged with
criminal damage and assault on police. And on May 5 the same girl will face charges of
disorderly behaviour and assault on police at Belfast Magistrates Court.

A 23-year-old woman has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

And last night two men remained in police custody.


US Cash For Sinn Féin Revealed

$760,000 raised from donations

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
11 April 2005

The US fundraising group, Friends of Sinn Fein, spent nearly $$215,000 in the US last
year on transport and lodging for party leaders and officials, new figures have shown.

The figures, covering November 2003 to November 2004, show that the amount of
money the organisation spent in the US was nearly $$30,000 more than the amount it
sent back to the party in Ireland.

An analysis of combined expenditure figures for November 2003 to April 2004 and from
May 2004 to November 2004 shows that Friends of Sinn Fein raised nearly $$760,000
from US donors in that time.

It spent $$29,000 more in the US than in Ireland, with $$424,000 spent in the US, and
just over $$394,000 sent back to Ireland.

The US expenditure figures include $$50,000 on payroll, $$42,000 on advertising,
nearly $$14,000 in miscellaneous costs, $$11,000 on rent and $$17,000 on postage
and delivery.

The $$214,578.31 the party spent on lodging and transport for Sinn Fein leaders and
officials included a night at the Southgate Hotel in Manhattan for Martin Ferris last
September and Gerry Adams' trip to the US last November, when he addressed the
annual Friends of Sinn Fein annual dinner at the Sheraton Hotel before travelling to
fundraising events in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The travel and lodging figure does not include more than $$4,000 listed for
transportation in the US, or nearly $$24,000 sent back to Ireland to be used for travel

Of the $$394,000 sent back to Ireland, the party spent $$112,000 on construction and
$$111,000 on printing.

The figures are included in figures Sinn Fein and all other foreign political parties
operating in the US are obliged to lodge with the US Department under the Foreign
Agents Registration Act.


Clinton Backs Suicide Prevention Programme

11/04/2005 - 11:02:27

Former US President Bill Clinton will fly to Ireland next month to back RehabCare's
plans to develop a national suicide prevention programme.

The new service - the first of its kind in this country - is being developed at a time when
the number of deaths by suicide in Ireland continues to increase.

A total of 444 people died by suicide in Ireland during 2003 - the last year for which
figures are available. A further 58 died from undetermined causes, which have a high
probability of being suicide related.

More people die from suicide every year than are killed on our roads. RehabCare chief
executive Angela Kerins said: "These stark figures only go some way towards
conveying the devastation that is being caused by suicide in communities the length
and breadth of Ireland".

Mr Clinton will fly to Dublin to give his support and deliver a keynote address to a
fundraising gala dinner in the City West Hotel on Wednesday May 23 to help establish
the service.

He accepted the invitation to address the event following the intervention of Nobel John
Hume, who agreed to become patron of the event after learning about RehabCare's
work on suicide prevention.

"It is an extraordinary coup for RehabCare, in developing its suicide prevention service
to have the support of Bill Clinton, one of the world's truly iconic figures. He has already
done so much for this island through his work and support for the peace process, and
through his support for this new service he will again be directly helping to save the lives
of Irish people," said Mr Hume.

The RehabCare Suicide Prevention Programme will provide training, consultancy and
service development expertise to provide targeted support to people at risk of suicide.

RehabCare is the health and social care division of the Rehab Group.

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