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July 27, 2005

Feud Link to Overnight Attacks

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 07/27/05 'Feud' Link To Overnight Attacks
BT 07/27/05 Feud Fears Rise After Attack
UT 07/27/05 UDA May Step Into Loyalist Paramilitary Feud
BT 07/27/05 Searches In Bid To Catch GAA Killers
BT 07/27/05 Blair To Help In Hunt For Lisa's Body
BT 07/27/05 Cleric Condemns 'Tragic' Situation
BT 07/27/05 Garnerville: The Police Must Uphold The Law
BT 07/27/05 Viewpoint: This Mafia Culture Must Be Checked
UT 07/27/05 McGuinness: Peace 'Facing Challenging Time'
BT 07/27/05 Sinn Fein Now Calling The Tune Before IRA
BT 07/27/05 IRA Statement 'In The Next 48 Hours'
BT 07/27/05 We'll Still Search For IRA's €200m, McDowell
BT 07/27/05 Blair Attacked On Terror Commentsv
BT 07/27/05 Sinn Fein Calls For GM Debate
BT 07/27/05 SF Denies Planning To Scupper Town Parade
BT 07/27/05 Remember The McCartney Sisters?
UT 07/27/05 Adams: Cross-Border Suicide Prevention Plan
BG 07/27/05 Irish Tragedy 'Skull' Stays In Your Head


'Feud' Link To Overnight Attacks

A number of overnight petrol bomb and gun attacks are
linked to the loyalist feud, according to the police.

A family of four escaped injury after 10 shots were fired
into their house at Station Road, Newtownabbey.

Two adults and two children were at home. Some of the shots
hit the front of the house but a number of bullets went
through a window at 2300 BST.

In a separate incident, a woman and two children escaped
injury in a petrol bomb attack in north Belfast.

They were wakened by the device hitting a window of their
house in the Silverstream area at about 0330 BST on

Shots were also reported to have been fired.

A short distance away, three petrol bombs were thrown at
another house. Two failed to ignite, but a window was

The third did catch fire and caused scorch damage to the
front door.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/27 10:35:07 GMT


Feud Fears Rise After Attack

UVF is blamed for murder bid on loyalist

By Jonathan McCambridge and David Gordon

27 July 2005

The UVF was today being blamed for a gun attack which
targeted a senior loyalist in Newtownabbey - raising fears
of a further escalation of violence within the Protestant

It is understood that Lawrence 'Duffer' Kincaid was the
intended victim of the overnight murder bid - the most
senior loyalist targeted so far in tensions which have
already claimed two lives.

Kincaid, originally from north Belfast, was the former
boyfriend of the stepsister of feud victim Jameson Lockhart
- shot dead by the UVF in east Belfast earlier this month.

Lockhart's teenage stepsister Denise Larkin died of a drugs
overdose last year.

A senior loyalist source today accused the UVF of "acting
like Nazis" following the shooting.

He said: "They think they have the right to decide where
other people can live and what they can think."

Detectives, meanwhile, were investigating the circumstances
of the gun attack in Newtownabbey.

Searches were being conducted at the back of the house in
Ypres Park off Station Road in Newtownabbey.

Undergrowth, gardens and the green at the back of the
targeted home were all searched after bullets were fired
into the home, smashing a window.

The male occupant of the house was not at home earlier
today and a woman refused to comment on last night's

It is understood two children were in the house when it was
raked with bullets at about 11pm.

One neighbour stood at his front wall watching the police

Shaking his head he said: "It's desperate. There were
children in that house and somebody could have been

There were also overnight petrol bomb attacks on two houses
in the Ballysillan area although police were not
immediately linking this attack to the feud.

Meanwhile, the Alliance Party is to meet the PSNI's
district commander in east Belfast amid concerns the police
have lost control of the situation in the Garnerville
estate where a UVF mob took over the estate.

The police have been criticised for not dispersing the

A number of families have been forced out of Garnerville.

Alliance Assembly member, Naomi Long, said police appeared
to be losing control of some parts of east Belfast.

"The UVF have been able to erect banners on local lampposts
heralding themselves as an 'undefeated army' while we have
had shows of strength at Pitt Park, and numerous crimes,
including murder and bombings," she said.

"Now the UVF are able to intimidate people out of their
houses in front of the police, with one bunch of drug
dealing thugs simply replacing another.

"It is simply not good enough and it is no surprise that
ordinary people are asking exactly who is running the

She said it is time for a crackdown on all paramilitaries
and the Alliance delegation will ask Chief Superintendent
Henry Irvine for "real action to be taken against the


UDA May Step Into Loyalist Paramilitary Feud

Ulster Defence Association chiefs will order their men to
intervene in a feud between rival loyalist paramilitaries
if deposed terrorist Johnny Adair returns to Northern
Ireland, it was claimed today.

By:Press Association

The organisation`s leaders have met in Belfast to discuss
becoming involved in an underworld dispute that has already
claimed two lives, sources disclosed.

A decision was taken to keep out of the shooting war
between the Ulster Volunteer Force and the splinter
Loyalist Volunteer Force for now.

But that will change should Adair end his exile in

The shaven-headed ex-UDA commander set up home in Bolton
after being released from jail in January.

He has since been spotted back in Northern Ireland, with
some suggesting the visit was to develop links to the LVF,
a smaller grouping steeped in murder, drugs and

Adair has never been forgiven for his involvement in an
earlier power struggle that led to UDA commander John
Gregg`s assassination in February 2003.

"If he came back and aligned himself with the LVF that
would bring the UDA into it," one of those close to the
situation said.

The UVF-LVF feud shows no sign of relenting.

Police believe a new series of gun and petrol bomb attacks
on homes in north Belfast and Newtownabbey may be linked to
escalating tensions within loyalism.

Earlier hundreds of masked UVF men also laid siege to a
housing estate in east Belfast as they forced up to six
families associated with the LVF to flee their homes.

Two men, Craig McCausland and Jameson Lockhart, have been
shot dead in the city in attacks blamed on the UVF.

Several homes and a taxi depot have also been targeted by
gunmen and blast bombers.

All attempts to call a truce have failed, with UVF chiefs
demanding their rivals disband before agreeing to silence
their guns.

"The threat of the LVF starting this up again in six months
time is one of the reasons stopping them going forward into
peaceful mode," an informed source said.

"They want to deal with them once and for all."

Any intervention by Adair would only intensify the mutual

The LVF is understood to be split between those who realise
he would draw UDA men bent on revenge and others searching
for an iconic figure to rally round.

The organisation has failed to identify anyone with enough
public notoriety since its former leader Billy "King Rat"
Wright was gunned down inside the Maze Prison in 1997.

UDA sources insisted Adair would be foolish to come back to
Northern Ireland regardless of his intentions.

"He`s outside any agreement, whether he aligns himself to
the LVF or not," one said.

"It would be madness. Where can he go, what can he do, or
who could he trust ?"


Detectives Launch Searches In Bid To Catch GAA Killers

Murder hunt spreads over three counties

By Jonathan McCambridge
27 July 2005

Detectives investigating the murder of GAA official Sean
Brown today launched a series of searches across the
province in a new bid to catch the killers.

It is understood that more than 20 searches were taking
place in counties Antrim, Armagh and Tyrone as part of a
major PSNI Crime Operations investigation.

Father-of-six Sean Brown (61), was abducted as he locked-up
the Wolfe Tone Gaelic Athletic Club on May 12, 1997.

He was shot several times and his body was discovered
beside his burnt out car in Randalstown.

Police have previously questioned a number of senior LVF
figures over the murder but nobody has been charged.

The searches today come only a month after the Crimewatch
UK programme broadcast a major reconstruction of the last
moments of Mr Brown's life.

A police spokeswoman said: "Detectives investigating the
murder of Sean Brown are conducting a series of search
operations across Northern Ireland today.

"The searches are being conducted in counties Antrim,
Armagh and Tyrone.

"Detectives in the Sean Brown investigation are being
supported by an Organised Crime branch operation against a
number of suspected money laundering offences connected to
wider loyalist criminality which is unconnected to the

In 2003 a damning Police Ombudsman investigation into the
RUC probe into Mr Brown's murder said police officers had
made "no earnest effort" to catch the killers.

The Ombudsman said detectives had carried out an
"incomplete and inadequate" inquiry.

After that the PSNI set up a special team of detectives to
reinvestigate the murder but relatives of Mr Brown said a
police force from outside Northern Ireland should be put in
charge of the probe.

However, last year the Brown family reached agreement with
the Chief Constable over a new PSNI investigation - that a
new team of investigators would not include any officer
involved in the original inquiry and would include
detectives from other forces in the UK.

Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and Church of Ireland Primate
Archbishop Robin Eames took part in the recent television
appeal to catch the killers.


Blair To Help In Hunt For Lisa's Body

Family is overjoyed at the Prime Minister's pledge

By Debra Douglas
27 July 2005

Prime Minister Tony Blair has vowed to do everything he can
to help with the search for Lisa Dorrian's body.

Responding to a request from North Down MP Lady Hermon to
have the remit of a special forensic expert being brought
in to investigate the cases of the "Disappeared" extended
to include Lisa, Mr Blair said he would look into the issue
and see what could be done to help.

His pledge of support has been welcomed by Lisa's
heartbroken family.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, her sister
Joanne said: "This is very positive news and the family are
overjoyed by it.

"We think it is great that Tony Blair has come on board and
is supporting us, it is something we have wanted since the
start of all of this.

"I know we have the support of some of the families of the
Disappeared - they have even said that because this is the
most recent case, it might be the most easily solved - so I
think they would be happy to have Lisa included.

"This is the most positive thing that has happened in
months and has lifted us all.

"It will be 21 weeks this Sunday since Lisa disappeared and
we hope we won't come to the six-month anniversary without
her body, this is a step in the right direction. We would
just like to thank Lady Hermon for all her hard work on
this, she has been really supportive."

Lady Hermon said: "I was very disappointed when I recently
asked Angela Smith if the remit of the forensic expert
could be extended to include searches for Lisa Dorrian and
she said it would not be possible because of the

"But at 10 Downing Street, I was given a very good hearing
and Mr Blair asked his officials to specifically look into
what could be done.

"Since both governments are paying considerable money for
this, I believe the remit should be extended."

In June, the British and Irish governments and the
commissioners for the recovery of victims' remains agreed
that an expert in recovering human remains should be
appointed to review the work of the commission to date and
to assess what further progress could be made. The
appointment is expected to be announced shortly but it is
not yet known when any decision to include Lisa would be

The shop assistant vanished from a party at a caravan site
in Ballyhalbert, along the Ards Peninsula, on February 28.

Her body has never been found despite an air, land and sea
search and a £10,000 reward offer for information.

Loyalist paramilitaries have been blamed for her killing.


Cleric Condemns 'Tragic' Situation

By Alf McCreary
27 July 2005

A senior Church of Ireland cleric has described the
deteriorating situation in east Belfast resulting from the
loyalist feud as a "tragedy".

The Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Rt Rev Harold Miller,
visited the Garnerville area last night and, in a
statement, said that forcing people out of their homes was
"not acceptable in a civilised society".

He said: "This has left residents in east Belfast fearful
for their communities and for their personal safety.

"The idea that the community has given to any paramilitary
group the right to be judge, jury and executioner cannot
co-exist with democracy and Christian values."

He added that if it was felt that police were not
adequately dealing with criminality, then that must be
dealt with through proper channels.

"It's certainly no excuse for any group to engage in
further criminality as a way of supposedly resolving the

"Disputes between different groups can only be dealt with
by honest, open and sometimes difficult negotiations -
words, not weapons."

The Bishop asked all those involved to use channels
available to them for mediation.


Garnerville: The Police Must Uphold The Law

Lindy McDowell
27 July 2005

The UDA, it is said, recently held a meeting to discuss
their image problems. UDA leaders are concerned that people
regard them as drug dealing scum, gangsters, thugs and

Goodness me. However did people get that impression?

This would be funny if it wasn't so sick.

But on Planet Delusion, where our local neighbourhood
paramilitaries hang out, they genuinely appear to think
that people might see them as they want to be seen - as
sound defenders of their respective communities.

We sometimes forget how very precious our local terrorist
gangs, on all sides, are about their public image.

Presumably they assume that the rest of us are so dumb that
we're going to overlook the reality - the bling, the tans,
the multiple holidays, the second homes, the flash cars,
the gambling habits, the drug habits and the lavish
lifestyles all sustained by boys who never did an honest
day's work in their lives.

Which is why anything which they feel threatens their rosy
view of themselves - whether it's from media or local
community sources - becomes an object of their attempted

It speaks volumes that yesterday in Garnerville the UVF
yobs who invaded that estate were seen poring over
newspaper reports and pictures of the previous day's circus
in which police and Army stood by "monitoring" as
terrorists evicted a number of families from the estate.

There is no other part of the British Isles in which this
would have been allowed to happen. So why is it allowed to
happen here? Why is there within Government and the higher
echelons of the PSNI a seeming total disregard for the
image of the police - and, let's face it, for the rule of

The official line - that police were "working hard to
relieve tensions" sounds like something off the back of a
pack of Paracetemol.

"Relieving tensions" is not what the police are meant to be
doing. They're meant to uphold the rule of law.

But police say they can't act because "no complaints have
been made." No complaints! The entire country's
complaining. If somebody gets murdered do the police have
to wait until somebody "complains" before they take action?

We're also told that police "hadn't seen any offences being

Yet the 40-odd hoods who poured into Garnerville are all
suspected of being members of an illegal terrorist
organisation. Surely that's grounds enough for scooping the
lot of them - or at the very least for bringing out the
PSNI's politically correct, temperature controlled water

The whole thing is nonsense. But just why are police
officers being placed in this farcical situation? Who
exactly is calling the shots? What exactly is going on?

In a way the Garnerville fiasco has its positive side.

For it highlights one of the horrifying truths about
Northern Ireland, one that everybody knows about, but
nobody officially will admit - that large swathes of this
country are now "run" by terrorist groups on both sides.

And that these, almost exclusively working class fiefdoms
are brutalised and degraded by paramilitaries whose
overriding aim is to line their own pockets and to enhance
their own prestige.

To these estates our image-conscious terrorist gangsters
bring the standard ghastly cast - the moneylender who
charges astronomical interest rates which the poor never
stand a hope of repaying.

They bring the goons who break the limbs of those who
default on payment and the local gang bosses, often middle-
aged, who extract from desperate young mothers payment in

They bring the drug dealers and the extortionists and the
intimidating savages who "punish" anyone who falls foul of

Above all they bring the untouchable thugs who having
seized hard earned cash from decent people use this to fund
their obscenely flamboyant lifestyles - a holiday here, a
BMW there, a few thousand on the gee-gees any old time.

That this happens is bad enough.

But more appalling still is the fact that the Government
which allows this to happen, which has institutionalised
this systematic, terrorist rape of working class
communities, calls itself socialist.

Let me spell it out for you, Mr Hain. Nobody complains
about paramilitary action in places like Garnerville
because they're too bloody scared. As you yourself would be
in the same terrifying situation.

Pussyfooting around these gangsters, thugs and terrorists
only allows them to consolidate their power - a point
underlined by the Police Federation which represents 10,000
PSNI officers who deal with the reality on the ground.

"The public perception is that they (the paramilitaries)
are beyond the law."

Beyond the law?

As this week's street theatre at Garnerville proved, it's
far worse than that.

In many places, both loyalist and republican, they now ARE
the law.


Viewpoint: This Mafia Culture Must Be Checked

ESTATE STAND-OFF: criminal gangs cannot be allowed to
enforce the law

27 July 2005

Events at Garnerville, in east Belfast, present one of the
most difficult challenges which the police have ever faced.
They could only look on as hooded paramilitaries made sure
that people who had been intimidated out of their houses
could not return.

It is wrong that anyone should be ousted from their home in
this way, by people who have no authority to do so. It is
also wrong that nothing was being done about these victims,
who themselves were making life misery for the people they
lived among.

Two wrongs, one following from the other, do not make a
right, so neither the police nor the public can afford to
ignore the problem. If they do, they will be accepting that
in some parts of Northern Ireland, the paramilitaries rule
- and that there is, in effect, nothing that can be done
about it.

The Garnerville residents may now rejoice that the grip of
the infamous LVF - a drug-dealing gang - has been broken.
By some accounts, they were prisoners of the LVF in their
own homes, unable to order taxis, bring in visitors or
protest about all-night parties.

Complaints were made to the police, but without success.
Police need witnesses to come forward, with evidence, or
their hands are tied.

The combined forces of the UVF and UDA have achieved what
the police could not, but the matter is far from over. One
set of unaccountable paramilitaries has been replaced by
another and the image of the police as upholders of the law
has been severely damaged.

It is easy to say that the police should have taken
punitive action against all the paramilitaries, but here
and in many similar estates, such an approach would be
counter-productive. They have to calculate whether a bad
situation would be made worse and when to hold a watching

Are the police responsible for the breakdown in society
that has led to such confrontations, between organisations
that ultimately depend on the use of violence? Would their
intervention help or hinder?

The root problem is that the worst elements in society have
attained positions of power at street level, because of 30
years of civil unrest and the inability of politicians to
agree. They carve up territory, on both sides, and
occasionally fall out, with consequences like the UVF's two
recent murders.

Communities must stand up to these criminals, difficult as
this may be, and all political parties -and government -
must back them up, by making politics work. Otherwise, the
Mafia culture will spread unchecked.


Peace Process 'Facing Challenging Time'

The Northern Ireland peace process is facing a time of
great challenge and opportunity, Sinn Fein chief negotiator
Martin McGuinness said today.

By:Press Association

As speculation intensified that the IRA will issue a
statement on its future in the coming days or hours, the
Mid Ulster MP insisted republicans were up for the
challenges ahead.

But he also stressed that he hoped all parties involved in
the process would grab the opportunity.

"This is a time of great challenge but it also a time of
great opportunity. So, are we up for it? Yes, we are," he

Mr McGuinness resisted saying whether the IRA would commit
to embracing democracy but he insisted he wanted all sides
to help move the peace process forward.

"I hope it is in everybody`s interests," he said.

Mr McGuinness was preparing to leave for the United States
to brief President George Bush`s advisers on Northern

He and his colleague, Sinn Fein`s representative to the US,
Rita O`Hare, will hold meetings in Washington and New York.

Observers have billed the trip as significant, as in the
past senior Sinn Fein figures have travelled to the US
ahead of key moves by the provisional IRA such as the 1994
ceasefire and acts of decommissioning.

Mr McGuinness said he would be briefing US officials and
key figures in Irish-America.

He said Sinn Fein`s focus had been on achieving a positive
result from the IRA after party president Gerry Adams
called on the terror group to consider pursuing its goals
by peaceful and democratic needs.

But Mr McGuinness resisted speculating on when the IRA
would respond.

"I think as the Taoiseach (Irish Premier Bertie Ahern) has
said, we should all be patient," he said.

He also said he was not interested in the significance of
his trip to the US or whether it would herald a ground-
breaking response from the IRA.

"I`m not interested in that sort of a discussion. I`m more
interested in successfully ensuring that the work we are
engaged in brings about the full and faithful
implementation of the Good Friday Agreement," he said.

Mr McGuinness refused to comment on warnings issued by
Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell, who said the IRA
had to put every gun and every bullet beyond use.

Mr McDowell also claimed there had been changes to the
make-up of the terror group`s eight-man ruling army council
in recent weeks.

Mr McGuinness said: "The only thing I have to say about
Michael McDowell is the less said about Michael McDowell
the better."

The IRA is expected to respond possibly within the next 36
hours to Mr Adams`s call for it to abandon its armed

An internal debate has taken place within the organisation
since April on whether or not it will commit to ending
paramilitary and criminal activity.


Sinn Fein Now Calling The Tune Before IRA

27 July 2005

Even one of his fiercest critics is saying Gerry Adams has
left the IRA leadership. Political correspondent Chris
Thornton asks if this means the IRA doesn't matter much

SINCE he was the man who spent much of the past year naming
Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Kerry North TD Martin
Ferris as members of the IRA's Army Council, there is a
certain significance in Irish Justice Minister Michael
McDowell now saying those three men have left the IRA

Mind you, Mr McDowell was not speaking in terms of the Road
to Damascus when he talked about whether gatherings of IRA
and Sinn Fein leaders remain homogenous affairs. "I don't
think that by itself amounts to a severance between the two
organisations," he said in Belfast yesterday. "It's an
acknowledgement, in my view, that there was a very
structured link between them in the past."

This development, first mentioned in last weekend's
newspapers, was clearly the overture to the IRA's statement
about opting for - in Mr Adams' words - a "purely
political" future.

It was perhaps a necessary precursor: after all, it
wouldn't do to have Mr McDowell ruining the party by
standing up in the Dail to say the new and improved IRA was
run by the same old faces who approved the Northern Bank

But the significance goes well beyond disarming a vocal
critic, however. Since Mr Adams has already invested so
much of his time denying that he's in the IRA, this doesn't
work well as a gesture to the outside world.

Rather it seems meant to underline to the slow learners in
the republican movement that the IRA is now the junior
partner in proceedings.

With extra free time on their hands this week, Mr Adams and
Mr McGuinness were able to go to the launch of a book
looking at the 100-year history of their party. It follows
the first significant history of Sinn Fein, Brian Feeney's
"A Hundred Turbulent Years", published in 2002.

What's remarkable is that before Feeney's book, very few
historians were concerned with Sinn Fein. That's not just
because of the marketing hook of the party's centenary,
it's also because nobody really cared much about Sinn Fein
before ? it was the IRA that did all the running in the
republican family.

Arthritic readers may remember The Show, BBC Northern
Ireland's turgid satire programme of nearly 20 years ago.
It used to do a regular sketch in which a nervous Shinner
would make proposals and would be casually and brutally
overruled by a member of the IRA. That sketch might only
work in reverse these days: an IRA man's cordite dreams
interrupted by the need to fill out postal votes.

No one would suggest that Mr Adams - on the Army Council or
off - is not the centre of power in the republican
movement. In that sense it could be argued that the Army
Council could be filled with any number of puppets or

But what his apparent departure from the IRA leadership
signifies is that his command does not depend anymore on
controlling the armed wing of the republican movement.

There is also the matter of talking to the DUP sometime in
the aftermath of the IRA's statement. While Mr McDowell
talked about the Sinn Fein leadership and the IRA
leadership being one and the same, the DUP were among his
most enthusiastic listeners. They can't now very well say
he's a crock.


IRA Statement 'In The Next 48 Hours'

Governments await reply to call by Adams

By Noel McAdam
27 July 2005

The IRA's potentially historic statement over its future
appeared to be imminent today, with the eventual
restoration of power sharing devolution at stake.

The long-anticipated statement - which could set out the
Provisionals' intentions to carry out a series of actions -
is expected in the next 48 hours.

But no early definitive response from the DUP seemed on the
cards. Serious political negotiations on an Assembly and
Executive could still be as far away as next year.

Any actions by the IRA on moving towards a new status and
ending all paramilitary activity will have to be verified
by the next Independent Monitoring Commission report,
scheduled for October.

The two governments may then attempt to kick start a
renewed attempt to revive a Stormont administration - which
by then will have been in suspension for three years.

Expectations over the statement heightened today as chief
Sinn Fein negotiator, Martin McGuinness, flew out to the
United States - his second visit in less than two months.

A senior Sinn Fein source said it was regarded as important
a senior party figure is in the US to brief republican
supporters on developments.

It is almost four months since Gerry Adams' appeal to the
membership of the IRA to 'embrace pure politics' because an
alternative to armed struggle now existed.

The Sinn Fein President insisted his initiative was aimed
at rescuing the political process which he said had become
"poisonous" in recent months.

But his appeal came in the context of the republican
movement facing unprecedented pressure following the
Northern Bank raid last December and the murder of Robert
McCartney in January.

Irish Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, who has
repeatedly named Mr Adams, Mr McGuinness and TD Martin
Ferris as members of the IRA army council - allegations
they firmly deny - has confirmed his belief they have been

"What that signifies is that they were on it despite their
repeated denials (and) it's up to the entire Provisional
movement now to recast itself in an entirely peaceful
mode," he said.

Unionists continued to insist they would await IRA actions
rather than words, and voiced concern that the governments
might attempt to "spin" the significance of the statement.

DUP MP, Gregory Campbell, said his party had consistently
demanded the IRA must be "out of guns and out of business"
and there would have to be a new political framework giving
unionists and nationalists the same privileges.

"That was why the sequence of negotiations last December
(when the so-called Comprehensive Package collapsed) was so
important - the total destruction of the IRA's arsenal of
weapons, a complete end to all of the IRA's criminal and
paramilitary activity, followed by a period of time to
allow us to assess its veracity, and the new institutions
capable of commanding unionist as well as nationalist
support," he said.

Ulster Unionist Assembly member, Norman Hillis, said the
unionist community had had enough of "Sinn Fein/IRA stunts,
con jobs and half-baked measures since assurances and
commitments given in the past had not been honoured."


We'll Still Search For IRA's €200m, McDowell Pledges

By Sam Smyth
27 July 2005

Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell has pledged that
the Republic's government will continue to seek the €200m-
plus which he says the IRA has stashed away - even if the
organisation signs up to abandoning paramilitary violence
and ending criminality.

Dismissing rumours of a secret deal that would draw a line
under past IRA crimes, Mr McDowell said the Government was
legally obliged to continue the search for the
Provisionals' treasury.

"They have £20m from the Northern Bank robbery and about
€200m stashed away," he said.

"The 1939 Offences Against the State Act says IRA monies
are forfeit to the State."

Mr McDowell added: "There are no deals, secret or
otherwise, about the IRA keeping it."

The minister said that the IRA statement, which is expected
tomorrow, must promise to give up "every single bullet" and
that "partial disarmament" was not an option.

The minister confirmed a report in the Irish
Independentlast Saturday that Gerry Adams, Martin
McGuinness and Martin Ferris have quit the IRA's ruling
army council.

On Tuesday, Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness met British Prime
Minister Tony Blair in London but declined to say when the
long-awaited IRA statement would be released or what it
would contain.

Mr Blair told reporters yesterday that the IRA could not be
compared to al-Qa'ida terrorists because he did not think
that "the IRA would ever have set about trying to kill
3,000 people".

The prime minister said that the scale of al-Qa'ida's
slaughter of innocents was "without limit" and set it and
the IRA apart.

Unionists, however, were quick to point out that about
3,600 people died during 30 years of violence in the North,
nearly half of them killed by the Provisional IRA.


Blair Attacked On Terror Comments

By Noel McAdam
27 July 2005

Tony Blair has come under fire from unionists after
appearing to suggest IRA terrorism could not be compared
with al-Qaida inspired attacks.

The DUP and Ulster Unionists both condemned Mr Blair's
remarks, which came as expectations heightened over the
IRA's long-anticipated statement on its future.

Mr Blair was asked at his monthly Downing Street Press
conference if there were comparisons between the IRA
bombing campaign and the current al-Qaida style attacks in

Mr Blair said he condemned IRA terrorism over the past
decades and urged that his remarks should not be
misrepresented because "all terrorism is wrong".

And he added: "But I don't think you can compare the
political demands of republicanism with the political
demands of this terrorist ideology we're facing now."

Al-Qaida would have preferred to kill 500 people rather
than 50 in London and 30,000 rather than 3,000 in the
September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, Mr Blair

But DUP MP Sammy Wilson said Mr Blair's remarks were an
"insult" and asked how the Prime Minister could presume to
know the IRA's intentions.

And UUP leader Sir Reg Empey said: "There is no point in
using the numbers killed to distinguish between terror
groups as the Prime Minister seems to be implying."


Sinn Fein Calls For GM Debate

But farmers claim public demand will decide crops

By Michael Drake
27 July 2005

Sinn Fein last night called for a serious debate before any
genetically modified crops are grown in Ireland.

But farmers' leaders in Northern Ireland, however, don't
believe GM crops will be grown here unless consumers want
such products.

Sinn Fein environment spokesman MLA Philip McGuigan said
recent scientific evidence of cross fertilisation between
genetically modified oilseed rape and a distantly related
plant, charlock was a "wake up call" for the British and
Irish governments.

The new form of charlock was discovered by scientists from
the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the government
research station at Winfrith in Dorset.

Ulster Farmers Union spokesman Joe McDonald said: "There
are two sides to the GM debate.

"On one side there are the obvious benefits the production
of these crops could bring to countries in need of food.

"From the UK standpoint we would not move GM forward in the
face of consumer resistance.

"In essence, the production of GM foods here would have to
be consumer-led. So you see it is a broad debate."

Mr McGuigan expressed his party's concern about the new
research findings.

"This should be a wake-up call, particularly for the
British and Irish governments who have been trying to force
through the case for GM crops and foodstuff despite
mounting opposition and scientific evidence.

"Cross fertilisation and the creation of new hybrid plants
is a huge concern, particularly for farmers if this leads
to new superweeds that are difficult and expensive to

"The likelihood of this type of cross fertilisation may be
low, yet the fact we have this new hybrid is further
evidence of the need for British and Irish governments to
rethink the current enthusiasm for GM crops.

"Sinn Féin believe both the British and Irish governments
need to have an honest debate about their intentions to
introduce GM crops," added Mr McGuigan.

A Department of Agriculture spokesman said: "There never
have been any GM experiments conducted in Northern Ireland
and we are not considering any."


SF Denies Planning To Scupper Town Parade

By Brian Hutton
27 July 2005

Sinn Fein has dismissed claims that it is working to
scupper a planned republican parade in Ballymena.

Organisers of the contentious march, to commemorate the
introduction of internment 34 years ago, said that bands
have been warned to stay away.

Sinn Fein North Antrim MLA, Philip McGuigan, described the
reports as "lies" but conceded there were concerns about
the August 9 event.

Parade organiser Paddy Murray is known to have had a
fractious relationship with Sinn Fein after he left the
party some time ago following a fall-out with its

The ex-IRA prisoner said bands have been told they will be
barred from future republican events if they take part in
the proposed Ballymena parade.

"So we're staying clear of naming the bands at this stage.
We don't want them being intimidated out of coming," he

Mr McGuigan said: "A lot of the people assume that this
parade is going through the centre of a loyalist town.

"It's actually going through the north of the town, where
the majority of the people are nationalists.

"But that said, we want to find out if it has the agreement
of the local community.

"We certainly don't want something in Ballymena that is
going to increase the already volatile tensions.

"While there is an issue of young nationalists being able
to express their culture, and that should be accepted by
the unionist community, we don't want to see a situation
that brings nothing to Ballymena and adds to an already
volatile situation," he said.

Sinn Fein representatives last night began knocking doors
and meeting with community groups in the north of the town
to gauge the public mood.

A formal party decision on whether it supports the parade
or not is expected in the next few days.

The SDLP and unionist parties have all called for it to be
cancelled while the Parades Commission is to give its
ruling tomorrow.


Remember The McCartney Sisters?

27 July 2005

Despite the worldwide sympathy and support after the murder
of their brother, these brave women can no longer bear to
live in Short Strand because of the brutal daily reminders
of the killing. Chris Thornton reports

Their father left them his name, and that will go with
them. After almost a century in the little streets and
tight terraced houses of Belfast's Short Strand, two-year-
old Brandon and his big brother Conlaed, who is about to
turn five, will be the last of the McCartneys to leave.

The sons of Robert McCartney understand little about the
murder that shook up the Northern Ireland peace process and
cost them their father. By the time the reverberations die,
probably by the time the only man thus far accused of
murdering their father goes to trial, it will also have
cost them their home.

Most of the McCartneys had already left by the time Robert
was murdered at the end of January. He had stayed rooted,
buying his parents' house, the home where he was raised,
four years ago. But now those roots will be cut. Bridgeen
Hagans, Robert's fiancee and the mother of the boys, was
already tired of seeing those believed to have killed
Robert and protected by a conspiracy of silence walking the
same streets. An attack on their home earlier this month
made up her mind.

A short distance away Robert's older sister, Paula, is
already looking for a new home. Her house is at the edge of
the Short Strand, looking across to the Markets, the
district where many of those linked to the killing still
live. Paula and her family may be gone before Bridgeen and
the boys.

"It isn't down to intimidation that I'm moving, because I
refuse to be intimidated," says Paula. "It's simply because
the people involved in Robert's murder are still walking
freely around. I personally am not out to see them -
Bridgeen has had to suffer these people like I haven't,
actually strutting up and down outside her house. That's
one of the reasons I'm not out - the possibility of running
into one of them is too big. And they're the type of people
who are never off the street.

"That's it, the end of an era," she sighs. "It feels like
one injustice heaped upon another."

Nearly six months have passed since the Sunday night when
Robert McCartney and his friend Brendan Devine were pursued
from a crowded bar in Belfast, attacked in a side street,
beaten, butchered and left for dead against a wall. Devine
beat the odds, surviving the attack in spite of massive
knife wounds that left thick scars across his body.
McCartney did not. The powerfully built 33-year-old clung
to life until the next morning, but left too much blood on
the sodden pavement below the city's Victorian Market.

The escalation of drink and a barroom dispute into murder
is not rare, but almost everything about this case since
then has proved to be. The passing months and the gradual
exposition of the IRA's role in the killing have wrought
enormous changes in Northern Ireland, from the expectations
of what a victim's relatives can achieve against a
paramilitary monolith, to the very shape of the peace

Before the McCartney murder and the Northern Bank robbery
exploded underneath it, the process had largely been about
the gradual - some would say very gradual - deterioration
of the IRA in response to reform and relative autonomy from
Britain in Northern Ireland. Now that has been reversed:
the retirement of the IRA as an armed force is the
prerequisite for further progress.

This has come about in large part because of the
reverberations of the McCartney murder among northern
nationalists. The £38m Northern Bank robbery was clothed
too much in bandito chic to carry much of an impact, but
Robert McCartney's death was different. While their long
familiarity with the IRA let them distinguish between a
killing sanctioned by that organisation and one that was
the product of a fight, it also led many nationalists to
recognise the aftermath of the killing - destroying
evidence, threatening witnesses and organising riots to
hamper the police investigation - was an abuse of whatever
power they had invested in the Provos.

The effect that has had on Sinn Fein's electoral machine is
open to debate. It lost them few, if any, votes in May's
elections, but may have curbed their growth. However, what
is certain is that the republican movement saw the killing
as a significant problem. P O'Neill, the IRA's mythical
spokesman, felt obliged to issue no less than six
statements in a matter of weeks explaining away the murder.
And Gerry Adams made a monumental shift when he advocated
that republicans should co-operate with the investigation
that could ultimately put former IRA volunteers in prison.

The McCartney killing also brought about a discernible
shift in the way people respond to the paramilitaries.
Other victims - relatives of those lost long ago, the more
recently bereaved or those still under threat - keep
finding their way to Paula McCartney's door to ask for
advice and guidance on how to fight back.

The attention that the Northern Bank had put on the
ceasefire activities of the IRA gave the McCartney sisters
an opening few had before. They seized the chance, laying
the responsibility for action firmly with the republican
movement. Rallies, hundreds of interviews - many of them
powerfully eloquent - meetings with the British and Irish
governments, and a visit to the White House followed.

The sisters became such a media presence that they began to
grate on many people in Belfast. But their persistence
appears to have been decisive: it is doubtful that the PSNI
investigation alone would have convinced reluctant
witnesses to give the statements that led to one man being
charged with murdering Robert and another with attacking

The attention on the McCartneys has dissipated since those
charges were brought last month. Sinn Fein seemed ready to
draw a line under the affair, reinstating six party members
it had suspended. But the McCartneys say it's not over yet.

With 15 suspected of involvement in the attack - nine
directly, according to a witness statement - they say their
campaign and the police investigation are far from over.
They recently had separate meetings with the Taoiseach,
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain and Sinn Fein
president Gerry Adams. They are asking awkward questions
about why the accused men have been allowed to share
accommodation with republican prisoners in Maghaberry jail.
Next month they are due to share a platform with Rev Jesse
Jackson in Birmingham. They may return to Washington in the

"The crucial thing for us goes back to the start again,"
says Catherine McCartney. "Witnesses need to feel free to
speak. We're confident there's going to be more arrests.
Important witnesses haven't come forward just because
they're afraid. Although the IRA are saying that these
people are no longer in their movement and no longer belong
to them, the evidence they see in the streets is quite the

The sisters say they are anxious about the court case,
thought to be many months off. They know the saga over
witnesses is far from over and that the evidence of Brendan
Devine will not go unchallenged.

The recent attack on Robert and Bridgeen's home is evidence
of how much is up in the air, the sisters say. Sinn Fein
blamed loyalists for smashing a window in the house - which
is not unusual during a Belfast summer - but the McCartneys
say the PSNI told them CCTV showed no strangers entering
the street at the time.

"Some people around there are very willing to believe it
was loyalists," says Catherine McCartney. "Maybe it's
easier for them. I don't know."

"I'm very, very sad, not so much about leaving," says
Paula, "but under the circumstances that we are leaving. We
have plenty of good memories, memories of Robert in this
area. We lived here all our lives, as did Robert. But I
don't think I'll be able to properly start grieving until
I'm not living here. Because we simply cannot move on while
we're in this area."


Adams In Plea Over Cross-Border Suicide Prevention Plan

Irish Health Minister Mary Harney today faced a fresh call
from Gerry Adams to meet him about a cross-border strategy
to prevent suicide.

By:Press Association

The Sinn Fein leader renewed his appeal for a meeting with
the Tanaiste after his Assembly colleague Kathy Stanton
received a letter from Northern Ireland`s Chief Medical
Officer Dr Henrietta Campbell confirming the British
Government`s plan for a suicide strategy north of the

The Sinn Fein leader said: "The approval given to develop a
regional strategy for the prevention of suicide in the Six
Counties (Northern Ireland) has been long awaited.

"It wasn`t so long ago that families bereaved through
suicide were being told that a strategy already existed or
that a strategy wasn`t needed.

"It is vital now that the opportunity for the creation of
an all-Ireland approach to suicide prevention is not lost.

That is why I am writing to the Minister for Health to
raise further concerns about the way forward.

"I am still awaiting the meeting I requested with his
counterpart the Tanaiste and Minister for Health, Mary
Harney in Dublin, to discuss suicide prevention."

Northern Ireland Office Health Minister Shaun Woodward is
planning to have a strategy for suicide prevention in place
in the province by later this year.

He has asked a suicide taskforce to produce an interim
report in October and a full report by the end of November
on a strategy.

Mr Woodard is also planning a conference in Belfast in
August to discuss the strategy.

The move comes amid concerns about the level of suicides
among young people in the province, particularly in north
and west Belfast.

There were at least 15 suicides in the west of the city
over a three-month period this year with seven deaths
occurring during the course of a week in April.

However there have also been concerns in the Irish Republic
about suicide rates, with research revealing this month
that there were 457 last year.

Mr Adams said while he would like the production of the
regional strategy and costed action plan in Northern
Ireland to be speedy, it must not be done superficially.

But he also stressed the need for an integrated strategy on
both sides of the border.

"The development of a strategic response to suicide
prevention across the north must be part of an integrated
strategy for preventing suicide and self-harm throughout
Ireland," he said.

"I hope that the Minister for Health in Belfast and his
counterpart in Dublin will agree to do just that."


Irish Tragedy 'Skull' Stays In Your Head

By Louise Kennedy, Globe Staff July 27, 2005

STOCKBRIDGE -- Two Irishmen walk into a jail cell. One
comes out bloody.

This could be the beginning of a very bad joke or an even
worse play, but in fact it's the setup for a genuinely
astonishing night of theater. Passionate, heartbreaking,
and funny as only Irish tragedy can be, Ron Hutchinson's
''Rat in the Skull" puts us right in the cell with those
guys -- one a suspected IRA bomber, the other a detective -
- and breaks open not only their heads but their hearts.
And ours, too.

The Berkshire Theatre Festival's production combines all
the elements required to make a strong play stronger --
skillful direction, expert design, and above all a set of
intensely committed, intelligent, and vividly real
performances -- to create a truly rare experience. The word
gets thrown around too much, but there are times when
nothing less will do. BTF's ''Rat in the Skull" is great.

At the center of its greatness stand the two actors whose
powerful connection with each other and with the audience
gives the production its force. For more than two hours,
Jonathan Epstein and Phil Burke imbue every word, every
gesture, every glance and shrug and sigh, with life.
Together, they are utterly engaged in the play's slow and
deadly dance of fury and fatigue. Burke plays the young IRA
radical, Michael Patrick de Valera Demon Bomber Roche, and
Epstein the aging cop, Detective Inspector Nelson of the
Royal Ulster Constabulary. They hate each other; they
exhaust each other; they understand each other. By the end,
it feels like a strange kind of love.

What makes the evolution of their relationship remarkable
is that Hutchinson's language, dense and lyrical and true,
holds the love and the hate and the weariness all together,
entwined but separate. His story, too, is complex but never
muddled. Roche, arrested with bomb-making materials, is
being held in a London cell, watched by a young constable
(fiercely played by Michael Crane) and then interrogated by
Nelson, a seasoned RUC man, in hopes of ''converting" him
(the word's religious implications are not accidental) into
an informant. Somehow, the constable is persuaded to leave
the two men alone, and that's when Nelson, as he freely
admits, beats Roche bloody.

But it may not be that simple, as Hutchinson skillfully
reveals through a series of narratives that interweave past
action with present reflection. Under questioning from a
senior British officer, Malcolm Ingram's cynical Detective
Superintendent Harris, each man in turn tells a part of the
tale. Dennis Garnhum's direction keeps the shifts between
past and present razor-sharp, as the men move from the
raised metal platform of the remembered cell to set
designer Alexander Dodge's gritty, debris-strewn stage. The
movement, like the language, clarifies and deepens the
tensions not just between Roche and Nelson, but between
them and the English cops who despise them both.

Devotees of recent Irish history will note that Nelson's
affiliation with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, which in
1991 was renamed the Police Service of Northern Ireland,
dates the play to an earlier, more troubled time. And,
indeed, it was written and is set in 1984, when the
''troubles" were boiling over. But its insights are
anything but dated. In its thoughtful, searing analysis of
sectarian hatred and missed opportunities for healing,
''Rat in the Skull" feels universal. It's a story of
Ireland, but more than that it's a story of human beings,
wounded and wounding through all time.

It's hard to take, yes, and even harder to forget. But
Hutchinson knows how to spin a fine Irish joke out of
horror, and Garnhum has pushed his cast to a finely tuned
balance of laughter and tears. Like the fluorescent tubes
buzzing under the cell's grated floor, ''Rat in the Skull"
nags brilliantly at the mind. It irritates. It illuminates.
It glows.

© Copyright 2005 Globe Newspaper Company.
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