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July 30, 2005

Hain Will Not Influence IMC

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 07/30/05 Hain Will Not Influence IMC Paper
BB 07/30/05 St. Coleman's Primary School Fire 'Deliberate'
BT 07/30/05 Loyalists To Hold Internal Meetings
BT 07/30/05 Harryville: The Flowers Of Peace...
BT 07/30/05 Michael Stone's Sick Gun Gimmick
BT 07/30/05 News Analysis: Garnerville Five Days On
IO 07/30/05 Miami Showband Murders 30th Marked With Prayer
BT 07/30/05 Waterside: Sinn Fein Plans Talks Over Marches
JN 07/30/05 IRA's Action Applauded In Rockland
UT 07/30/05 Empey: Statement 'Leaves Questions Unanswered'
BT 07/30/05 Real IRA Is 'Still In Business'


Hain Will Not Influence IMC Paper

Secretary of State Peter Hain has said he will not seek to
influence the Independent Monitoring Commission to give the
IRA a clean bill of health.

Mr Hain denied being blackmailed into releasing Shankill
bomber Sean Kelly before the IRA released its statement.

Interviewed for the Inside Politics programme Mr Hain said
the prospect of devolution returning would not slow down
water charges and higher rates.

He challenged the Northern Ireland parties to take

It is crucial for the government's political blueprint that
the four-strong commission, which monitors the ceasefires
of Northern Ireland's paramilitary groups, endorses the
IRA's new peaceful mode in its January paper.

Mr Hain said the idea of legalising an inactive IRA was not
on his radar.

"My invitation to the elected representatives, would-be
ministers, is to get into power quickly," he said.

"If you don't like the decisions get into power quickly and
take them yourself.

"But meanwhile I'll be getting on with the job of governing
in the interests of the future of Northern Ireland."

'Push forward'

The secretary of state said he was prepared to consider a
shadow Assembly if its intended to prepare the ground for
full devolution, but not if he believes it is a substitute
for local politicians sharing power.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said there had been
widespread support in the United States for the IRA's
decision to ends its armed campaign.

Speaking after his return from the US on Saturday, Mr
McGuinness said the Irish and British governments "need to
push forward with the implementation of the Good Friday
Agreement and the restoration of the political

"It is time for the DUP to step up to the plate and
represent the interests of those who vote for them.

"It is time that they sit down face-to-face with Irish
republicans," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/30 13:26:08 GMT


Primary School Fire 'Deliberate'

A fire at a County Down school is thought to have been
started deliberately.

The blaze erupted at St Colman's Primary School in Kilkeel
at 0730 BST, and two classrooms were damaged.

Graham Crossitt from the Fire and Rescue service said a
number of tables had been set alight in the corridor.

"Two classrooms were smoke logged," he said. "We believe
the fire was started deliberately but this is being
investigated by police."

Local Sinn Fein councillor Martin Connolly condemned those
responsible for the arson attack.

"The people responsible for this despicable attack on St
Colman's Primary School have deprived the people of Kilkeel
of a vital amenity," he said.

"Effectively school children who would be entering their
final year of primary school in September will be the ones
who must suffer."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/30 11:24:13 GMT


Loyalists To Hold Internal Meetings

UDA may try to buy concessions

By Brian Hutton
30 July 2005

THE IRA statement that it is to end its 36-year campaign of
violence is being treated as a "watching brief" by the two
main loyalist paramilitary groups - the UDA and the UVF.

Both organisations will hold internal meetings in the
coming days to discuss strategy in light of the

The UVF has already begun discussions on its future -
similar to the internal IRA talks prior to its standing
down - but these are on hold because of its deepening feud
with the LVF.

A source close to the UVF told the Belfast Telegraph that
"a high-level round of consultations" between the
leadership and grass-roots members began 12 months ago.

The source said: "The UVF couldn't make a comprehensive
decision on its future due to the activities of the LVF.

"I'd say in a few months time that the LVF won't be there
anymore and once this problem has been dealt with the
consultations will begin again."

He added: "It was decided that if [the IRA] were going to
go away the UVF were going to deal with some people before
they went away too."

Some elements within the UVF are trying to nurture
community development and politics at a grass roots level.

Although discussions have yet to be concluded it is
believed that in the event of "active service units"
standing down the leadership would favour retaining some
sort of civilian organisation.

One thing that seems certain from the talks to date is that
verifiable decommissioning is a non-starter.

"It's immaterial to what the IRA do because there is still
a threat from other militant republicans.

"The arms would be put in the ground and would be left
there in the same way the Official IRA did."

The UDA is understood to be less steadfast on weapons but
movement would be unlikely in the absence of UVF
commitments. It may try to use decommissioning to 'buy'
concessions, as it believes the IRA has done.

"If there's a price to be had for those guns then it's time
for the government to take onboard loyalism's concerns,"
said Davy Nicholl, of the Ulster Political Research Group.

A senior loyalist, close to the LVF, said the group would
come together to evaluate and analyse the IRA statement.
"If there is no IRA then there is no need for loyalist
paramilitaries," he said. "But the problem is that people
are in the paramilitary world today because it is their

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Peter Hain has warned:
"Loyalism will be left behind if it doesn't step back from
the self-destruct mode that it is currently engaged in."


The Flowers Of Peace...

By Nevin Farrell
30 July 2005

PROTESTANT Church members handed out red roses to dozens of
Catholic parishioners as they left morning Mass in
Ballymena yesterday.

It was the second gesture of solidarity in less than 24
hours from members of the High Kirk Presbyterian Church in
Ballymena following a wave of graffiti and paint bomb
attacks on the Catholic churches in the town.

On Thursday the High Kirk members scrubbed sectarian
graffiti off the door and walls of much-attacked Church of
Our Lady in Ballymena's Harryville area.

Jeremy Gardiner, youth pastor at High Kirk Presbyterian
Church in Ballymena, took members of his congregation to
All Saints Church yesterday and beautifully packaged red
roses were handed out to parishioners.

All Saints priest Fr Paul Symonds said: "It was their way
of saying 'we are sorry for what has happened and the way
you have been targeted by these paint bomb attacks' and
they were disassociating themselves from that.

"It was an absolutely lovely gesture, one of sheer love. It
was a very gracious gesture and I felt it was a very much a
mirror of God's love."

Fr Symonds, who brought the High Kirk congregation members
for a cup of tea, said: "They told me that their gesture
was well received and that lots of people leaving Mass
hugged them spontaneously."

On Thursday afternoon, a High Kirk team of around six
people went to the paint-bombed Harryville Catholic Church.
They took paint thinner and brushes to the graffiti which
included offensive slogans about The Pope.

Mr Gardiner said his church is in the middle of Community
Service week where they carry out "random acts of
kindness". He added: "This is a show of solidarity."

Fr Symonds, who was present at Harryville during the
cleanup, said: "Harryville Church is a place where the
Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and those who did the
graffiti don't know Christ. I would like to be able to
reach out to them and I encourage parishioners to witness
to that compassion and forgiveness."

Also standing inside Harryville Church in support of the
clean-up on Thursday was leading Ballymena loyalist,
Progressive Unionist Party official Billy McCaughey.

He said that while he did not "in any way endorse Catholic
theology" and did not take part in the clean up, he
supported it. He said he was disappointed local councillors
had not sought to identify themselves with the act.


Stone's Sick Gun Gimmick

30 July 2005

MILLTOWN murderer Michael Stone was at the centre of a gun-
toting controversy today after posing for a series of
chilling photographs.

These exclusive pictures show the loyalist killer-turned
artist standing in a back yard holding a replica armalite.

In another photograph he is pictured with a SA 80 rifle.

One of the photographs shows him aiming the armalite as if
he is about to fire.

In a bizarre publicity stunt, Stone sent the photographs,
taken in 2004, to the Belfast Telegraph to "highlight the
plight of loyalist prisoners being pressurised to turn

He also claimed the pictures were part of an arts project
entitled "Presumed Guilty" and said he had been willing to
be arrested and interrogated by the PSNI to draw attention
to the alleged attempts to recruit loyalist informers.

Stone, who claims to have turned his back on paramilitary
activity, was convicted of six murders, including the three
at Milltown Cemetery on March 16, 1988.

But in July 2000 he was released on licence, 12 years into
his 800-year sentence.

The disturbing new photographs - the latest twist in the
Stone saga - have prompted calls from politicians and angry
relatives of his victims to review his licence.

Mark Thompson, spokesman for Relatives for Justice, branded
the photographs "distasteful and upsetting" and accused
Stone of "brazenness".

"Stone is drawn to publicity like a moth to the lightbulb
but each time something like this happens, it has terrible
consequences on the relatives of the people he killed and
those he tried to kill," he said. "These pictures are
distasteful and upsetting and will be very traumatic for
the families of those affected by his deeds.

"We are engaged in legal proceedings at the moment to stop
him from making profits from his book None Shall Divide Us.
He's never shown any remorse for what he did, he's just
tried to make money from his actions.

"While the photos of him posing like this are not
surprising, they are very upsetting."

Alex Attwood, the SDLP's Policing and Justice spokesman,
described the pictures as "shocking".

"If these pictures are genuine, and I must stress the word
if, then there needs to be an investigation and review of
his licence," he said.

"Anyone out on licence posing with a firearm, either real
or imitation, has serious questions to answer. Any
individual out on licence must be seen to be fully
complying with the law and to be on their best behaviour.

"These pictures, if genuine, are shocking and should be
passed onto the police and prison authorities."

Defending his actions Stone said he regretted upsetting the
relatives of victims but that his loyalties lay with the
former loyalist prisoners.

He admitted the pictures were shocking but said he felt
their publication was necessary to make a point.

"If I'd sent in pictures of me painting what attention
would that have got?" he said. "I wanted to highlight the
fact that former loyalist prisoners are being put under
pressure to become informers and are being told their
licences will be revoked if they don't.

"I would have been willing to be lifted and brought to
Antrim to be interrogated if it meant highlighting what's
going on."

Stone said that following the release of Shankill bomber
Sean Kelly, he did not believe he would be arrested.


News Analysis: Garnerville Five Days On

These bizarre scenes baffled everyone as police looked on.
today, locals are planning a celebration. but what really

By Mary Fitzgerald
30 July 2005

THEY'RE calling it a Freedom Party. Flyers advertising the
celebrations have been put through letterboxes in the
estate and neighbouring streets.

There will be four bouncy castles, face painting and
football for the kids, a street party later on for adults,
and it all kicks off at midday today.

"We're calling it a Freedom Party because we don't have the
LVF here any more to torture us," says Myrtle Neill, who
has lived in the Garnerville estate for 25 years. "We feel
as if we have been freed".

Last weekend the narrow streets of this estate in east
Belfast provided the backdrop to some extraordinary scenes.
Scenes that left politicians of all hues fuming, the PSNI
defensive and those watching it unfold on TV scratching
their heads and wondering how and why something like this
could happen.

It began on Saturday when UVF members went to a number of
houses on the estate, telling the occupants that their
links with certain individuals were known. The houses were
then searched. One family moved out of the estate that
evening. The next day hundreds of loyalists aligned to the
UVF and the UDA moved into the estate, concentrating on the
area around Glenlea Park. Many were hooded and hid their
faces with scarves, some were wearing bullet-proof vests,
others were believed to have been armed. Prominent in the
crowd, which ranged in age from late teens to 50s, was the
UVF's east Belfast commander, who also turned up the next
day. Several people accused of LVF links were driven from
their homes as police officers and the Army looked on. On
Monday the mob had trickled off to around a hundred. The
hooded men said they were there to prevent those who had
been forced out from moving back. Again police and soldiers
stood by, with Chief Superintendent Wesley Wilson arguing
that his officers were powerless to act unless there was a
complaint made and an offence committed.

That's not how politicians - from the DUP to the SDLP; the
UUP to Alliance - saw it. It was a 'bad day for policing',
they said. The whole episode made the PSNI look 'powerless'
and 'pathetic', leaving non-involved residents feeling
vulnerable, they argued.

The Police Federation said officers were concerned that
policing was being undermined by the scenes at Garnerville.
It was the law of the street and the fist triumphing over
the forces of law and order.

So how did it come to this?

To understand what happened in Garnerville estate this
week, say those residents in favour, you have to go back a
couple of years. Back to when certain individuals moved
into the estate, located, ironically, close to the PSNI
training college. Life on the estate soon became
intolerable, they say. Drugs were dealt and consumed openly
on the street and in a nearby field. Youths were pressured
to keep ammunition. Money-lending at extortionate rates
resulted in threats and intimidation. Loud, raucous parties
kept elderly residents awake and fearful. One empty house
was turned into a shebeen - the 'party house' as one
resident put it. Contractors and residents were threatened
if they dared to make noise during the day while certain
people were sleeping off the effects of too much partying.
Windows and street lights were smashed. Many parts of the
estate became no-go areas at night and taxi companies and
even takeaway delivery services were vetted before being
allowed to enter Garnerville.

One of the individuals forced out is related to murdered
LVF drug dealer Stephen Warnock, who was shot dead by rival
loyalists in Newtownards in 2002. This man's house was
fitted with bullet-proof windows over a year ago following
a pipe-bomb attack. It is understood he returned from
holiday last weekend to be told he had to leave and his
family moved out on Saturday night. Some sources claim,
however, he was driven out due to an internal row within
the LVF and not by the UVF. Graffiti referring to this
individual has since been daubed on walls throughout the
estate. The family home is now boarded up, with nothing
remaining except for a child's bicycle in the front garden.
One neighbour, who didn't want to be named, said: "I'm far
happier with the situation now. I'm definitely welcoming
what happened this week."

Another neighbour, a man who has lived in the estate for
six years, is more forceful. "That family was not liked and
people are glad to have them out," he says. "Hopefully this
means they're all gone for good."

What happened at Garnerville must be put in context with
the continuing internecine feud between the UVF and LVF,
which has already claimed two lives in recent weeks.

Asked whether the estate's residents and their grievances
were used merely as pawns to further inflame the situation,
Myrtle Neill, sitting in her kitchen putting together the
final arrangements for today's street party, is dismissive.

"That has nothing to do with it," she insists. "The people
of this estate asked them to come in and get rid of these
people. They have given us back our estate. Sunday was the
first decent night's sleep we've had in ages. I feel
totally secure now."

Hanging on the wall of Myrtle's hallway is a framed
commemorative plaque. 'UVF 1912-2000 - lest we forget', it
reads. Had any of her family been involved over the years?
She nods but won't go into detail.

Many residents bristle at comments made by politicians
during the week. They say they've been caught between a
rock and a hard place, feeling so helpless about problems
on the estate that there was no other option but to call in
the UVF.

"I don't agree with paramilitaries but it's the lesser of
two evils in this situation," explains one woman who
doesn't want to be named but says she's a local community

"The community called them in because no one else would

"We went to the police, we went to politicians but nothing
was done. The police came off badly here publicity-wise but
it's their own fault - they didn't do a thing before all
this happened.

"People are trying to make out we're just letting mob rule
take over but it's not like that".

Myrtle Neill agrees. "If we can't depend on the government
and the police to help, then we'll have to look elsewhere,"
she says. Not everyone on the estate is happy with the
events of the past week. One woman who contacted this paper
said: "I think it's disgusting what has happened. The
police have just sat back and twiddled their thumbs as one
set of scumbags was put out and another set put in. I feel
more uneasy now than I did before."

The woman, who said she is too frightened to make a
complaint to police, claimed that UVF-linked families are
now moving into the estate.

"I want the police to get every organisation out of the
estate. One lot is as bad as the other," she added.

A number of other residents were approached for this
article but refused to be interviewed, saying they were too
fearful to voice dissent.

On a rainy afternoon late this week the estate is quiet.

On one street, a group of about eight youths take shelter
from the rain under a black golfing umbrella. They are not
from the estate, they say. What are they doing there?
"We're taking shifts," one says. "Making sure they don't
come back," another chips in. "People are glad they're gone
and we're here. They were living in hell."

A police van is parked on a nearby street while an unmarked
car with two uniformed officers drives round. Myrtle Neill
says she's glad to see the youths standing there. "It's a
good thing because everyone is terrified the LVF will be
back to harass us. I would say 90% of the estate feels the
same, the rest are just supporters of the LVF, in my

Meanwhile, police and soldiers have been operating
checkpoints in Holywood's Loughview housing estate as
rumours swirl that what happened in Garnerville may be
repeated on other estates. It emerges that the cost of
policing the loyalist feud over the last six weeks has been
more than £1m.

But back to today's party. Who organised it? "Oh, the
residents," Myrtle answers. And who is funding the

"We've been getting donations from residents, people in the
surrounding area, and the PUP put some money towards it".
Is the UVF helping out?

"I don't know," she shrugs.


Miami Showband Murders 30th Anniversary Marked With Prayer

30/07/2005 - 12:24:34

A prayer service for the three men murdered in the Miami
Showband massacre 30 years ago is being held in Dublin city
centre today.

Fran O'Toole, Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty were killed by
a UVF gang after a performance at a dance in Banbridge this
day 30 years ago.

A number of showbiz celebrities are expected to attend
today's inter-denominational service in the Pro-Cathedral.

A concert to commemorate the anniversary of the tragedy
will take place at Vicar Street on August 1.


Waterside Parades Storm

Sinn Fein Plans Talks Over Marches

By Claire McNeilly and Clare Weir
30 July 2005

SINN Fein has denied that there are any plans to set up a
new "residents group" to oppose loyal order parades in the
Waterside area of Londonderry.

A meeting is being held this week to discuss trouble at
interfaces on the east bank.

Waterside Sinn Fein is organising the talks to "prevent
potential problems" when the Apprentice Boys march through
Derry on August 13.

Leaflets were recently delivered to homes in the wider Top
of the Hill area, asking residents to come together to find
a way forward.

The leaflet describes the "indignation and inconvenience"
associated with he Orange Order, Apprentice Boys and Black
Preceptory marches.

The leaflet also blames the "entirely Unionist RUC/PSNI"
for sealing off streets and roads, "denying freedom of
movement" and access to all local amenities, including the
shopping centres.

The leaflet continues: "Nationalist communities and
isolated families are living in fear, cooped up in their
home and districts, if they cannot afford to jet off to
foreign climates or mobile homes in Donegal."

"The growing tension and provocative behaviour of the
marchers and their military escorts can create serious
problems in our community, particularly in the greater Top
of the Hill area."

Stating that Sinn Fein is concerned about these problems,
the leaflet also outlines the party's desire to consult
with the community in order to ascertain how to best deal
with the situation.

The statement concludes: "We believe a start must be made
sooner rather than later with the August 12 parade coming
up, then we need to inject some urgency into the

However, Waterside Sinn Fein councillor Paul Fleming has
denied that the meeting will be a pre-cursor to the forming
of a residents group.

"There is no residents group and there are no plans to set
one up," he said.

"As the leaflet says, we just want to engage in discussion
with the community as a political party to see what we can
do to help resolve these issues."

The meeting will be held in the Top of the Hill area.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said: "No parade comes
anywhere close to the Top of the Hill area, including
Strabane Old Road and Irish Street itself."


IRA's Action Applauded In Rockland

(Original publication: July 29, 2005)

On a day when the Irish Republican Army ordered all of its
units to disarm, effectively calling for an end to violence
as a means of challenging British rule in Northern Ireland,
county residents involved in Irish causes called it a
historic day and an important step on the road to peace.

"We've been waiting for this for a long time," George
Leahy, president of Rockland County Ancient Order of
Hibernians, said yesterday. "This is a major step for the
IRA, this is a major step for Sinn Fein. It's a step in the
right direction for the people of Ireland."

Leahy praised the work of Gerry Adams and Martin
McGuinness, leaders of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political ally,
as being instrumental in brokering the move.

"The cement of freedom is not violence, it is the
willingness to negotiate," Leahy said.

In a statement, the IRA said it would pursue its goals
through politics and diplomacy and cease all armed activity
as of yesterday.

The statement read, "The leadership of (the IRA) has
formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. ... All IRA
units have been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have
been instructed to assist the development of purely
political and democratic programmes through exclusively
peaceful means."

Also in that statement, the IRA said it would have
independent witnesses, from the Protestant and Catholic
churches, to verify the decommissioning of its weapons.

Leahy said the local AOH has supported Sinn Fein and its
cause through speaking events and fundraisers over the
years. Last year, it organized Adams' visit to the area.

In 2002, Adams spoke at the Irish American Cultural Center
in Blauvelt and during one of his first trips to the U.S.
in 1995, marched in Pearl River's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Brian Pearson of Pearl River, a 54-year-old carpenter and
former member of the IRA, spent 12 years in a Northern
Ireland prison for his role in the 1975 bombing of a Royal
Ulster Constabulary police barracks. No one was injured in
the bombing and in 1997 he was granted political asylum by
the U.S., but that status is in limbo because it can be
reviewed every few years.

Pearson said yesterday's announcement shows the IRA is
interested in peace and the successful implementation of
the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which called for
disarmament, political reform, and stronger ties between
the north and the Irish Republic.

Pearson cautioned that the British government and
Democratic Unionist Party would have to take peaceful
initiatives as well. He said he hoped they would respect
the IRA's action.

"In order to get things right, we have to build a strong
foundation with peace and justice," he said.

Cy Hughes of Nanuet remembered the religious persecution
his family faced living in the north during the 1950s.
Hughes applauded the IRA's recent action and said the time
is right for peace to move forward through diplomatic

"It's probably one of the best moves made since the Good
Friday Agreement," Hughes said. "I believe the days of guns
are over. Now it's the time for the ballot box and

Despite praise from London's Prime Minister Tony Blair,
Reuters yesterday reported that Ian Paisley, leader of
Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which
supports a continued union with Britain, was skeptical of
the IRA's announcement.

Leahy and other local leaders found that skepticism

"That upset me," Leahy said. "I think the leaders of Sinn
Fein deserve the credit."

County Legislator Patrick Maroney, R-Pearl River, who is
active with Irish affairs in the county, said the IRA's
action showed they are willing to pursue their objective
through peaceful means and now it is up to the other
parties involved to do the same.

"The bottom line is that the Paisleys of the world don't
have any more excuses," he said. "Hopefully, they'll get
together and discuss this. It takes another obstacle out of
the way. They'll have to negotiate in good faith now."

Maroney said the reverberations reach the U.S. because so
many people have close ties.

"We all have family back there," he said.

Maroney said that despite Ireland's strong economy,
Northern Ireland still has the stigma as a dangerous and
unsafe place to visit largely due to the troubles. He was
hopeful that peace would change that.

Tim O'Neill, a sergeant with the Clarkstown Police
Department and a Stony Point councilman, said there will
likely be doubters, but he thought the IRA's move was a
bold one.

"Some people will be apprehensive, but the majority of
people want to move forward," O'Neill said. "It's going to
prove to be a historical announcement in the years to


IRA Statement 'Leaves Questions Unanswered'

The British and Irish Governments are throwing concessions
at Sinn Fein on the back of an IRA statement which has
failed to answer basic questions, it was claimed today.

By:Dan McGinn

Just two days after the Provisionals declared an end to
their armed campaign and vowed to complete their
disarmament programme, Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey
accused London and Dublin of fawning around republicans on
the back of a vague IRA statement.

The former Stormont Economy Minister argued: "The statement
should have been judged against basic criteria.

"Does this mean the IRA is finished and has gone away for

"Does this mean that all weapons will be given up?

"Does this mean that all the criminal activity is to be
ended forthwith and not privatised or outsourced to
criminal elements?

"Does this mean that republicans now support the police in
the execution of their duty and will remove the threats
against those nationalists who want to join the PSNI
(Police Service of Northern Ireland)?

"Does this mean that Sinn Fein will now urge young
nationalists to join the PSNI?

"As far as the Ulster Unionist Party is concerned, these
fundamental questions remain unanswered."

Prime Minister Tony Blair, Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and
the administration of US President George W Bush have all
welcomed the IRA`s statement, believing it could lead to a
restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland.

However unionists remain sceptical, with the Rev Ian
Paisley`s Democratic Unionists, the province`s largest
party, insisting the IRA will have to prove over time that
its words are for real.

Not only do the DUP and Ulster Unionists want the IRA to
end paramilitary activity like the recruitment of members,
training, targeting and shootings, but they are demanding
an end to criminality like bank robberies, tobacco, alcohol
and fuel smuggling, money laundering and the manufacture
and sale of pirated DVDs, music CDs and video games.

Unionists and the leader of the nationalist SDLP, Mark
Durkan have warned republicans they must not try to
privatise criminal activity by carrying on unlawful acts
without using the IRA`s name.

The governments, unionists and nationalists will also be
watching closely over the coming days for an announcement
from the Independent International Commission on
Decommissioning on a fourth act of IRA disarmament.

With Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain aiming to hold
talks on reviving devolution next spring, political
progress may depend on two reports by the four member
Independent Monitoring Commission in October and January.

The Commission scrutinises paramilitary ceasefires and will
be able to tell the Governments and other parties if the
IRA is honouring its statement.

Following the beginning yesterday of moves to dismantle
three Army watchtowers along the Irish border in south
Armagh, Sir Reg also claimed in an article in today`s
Belfast Newsletter that Northern Ireland`s 18 MPs and three
MEPs would soon be given speaking rights in the Irish

The plan, which would see the MPs and MEPs take part in
Dail debates affecting Northern Ireland, surfaced last year
during talks which failed to hammer out a deal between the
British and Irish Governments, Sinn Fein and the DUP.

Sir Reg said: "I warned the DUP at the time of the dangers
of this proposal but my concerns were dismissed.

"This, part of Sinn Fein`s all-Ireland agenda, is
effectively an embryonic all-Ireland Parliament.

"It must be opposed by unionists at all costs."


Real IRA Is 'Still In Business'

By Brian Hutton
30 July 2005

THE Provisionals' declaration that it is to stand down "had
absolutely no bearing" on the Real IRA, a source close to
the dissident group said last night.

The republican terror group, responsible for the Omagh
bombing in 1998 which killed 31 people, remains "fully
mobilised and it's business as usual", according to the

He said: "Some people may have breathed a sigh of relief
that the Provos might not be turning their guns on them,
although I'm sure they'll keep a few guns around them for
that purpose.

"But in terms of the future [of the RIRA] it wouldn't make
any difference."

The INLA was briefed by the IRA on its statement shortly
before it was released to the media on Thursday.

The INLA retains its military structure and insists it is
committed to its ceasefire, although in 2001 it murdered
30-year-old ex-UDA prisoner Charles Folliard, outside his
Catholic girlfriend's home in Strabane.

It has also been blamed for a number of "punishment
attacks" in the north west, where membership has soared by
around 50% since 1998, a source claims.

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