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July 21, 2005

Irish Human Rights Group Probes CIA Agreement

News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 07/21/05 Human Rights Commission To Probe CIA Agreement
SF 07/21/05 McDowell Deal With US Alarming And Sinister
IO 07/21/05 Murder Attempt May Be Part Of Loyalist Feud
BT 07/21/05 Man Held Over Loyalist Charges
BB 07/21/05 Ceasefire Watchdog (IMC) To Probe Loyalist Feud
BT 07/21/05 Bomb Group In Legal Aid Funds Snub
BT 07/21/05 Call To Examine Evidence Against Kelly
IO 07/21/05 Unionists Condemn Republican Internment March
BT 07/21/05 Parades Chief Gets £55k In Expenses
IO 07/21/05 DUP Criticises Three Irish-Language Schools
BT 07/21/05 DUP Robinson Hits Out At Rise In Violence
BT 07/21/05 Spanish Fury At Twelfth Parade
BB 07/21/05 Army Watchdog Denied File Access
BT 07/21/05 Riot Accused Is Refused Bail
IO 07/21/05 Ireland Falling Behind In Broadband Race
IO 07/21/05 Galway Chamber Anger At Eyre Square Delay
BB 07/21/05 'Incidents' Spark Tube Evacuation

(Poster's Note: Breaking NEWS: See the final story in this
posting on the 'Incidents' in London. Jay)


Human Rights Commission To Probe CIA Agreement

21/07/2005 - 09:48:17

The Irish Human Rights Commission is to examine an
agreement which will allow CIA agents to secretly question
Irish citizens on Irish soil, it emerged today.

The bilateral instruments, signed by Minister for Justice
Michael McDowell and the US Ambassador to Ireland James C
Kenny last week, provide for sweeping powers to be given to
the US authorities on request, including the right to seize
documents, check bank accounts and carry out searches of

The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said it would be
examining the agreement, which was drawn up to assist the
US "war on terror" in the wake of September 11.

"When we establish the facts, we will be looking to see if
there are any implications for breaches of human rights,"
said president Dr Maurice Manning.

He said that one of the IHRC's functions was to examine any
proposed legislation for breaches of human rights.

Mr McDowell has said that legislation will be required to
give effect to some elements of the bilateral instruments
on "Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters".

The instruments, which were published on the Department of
Justice's website last week, clearly state that the
requested party (Ireland) shall allow American
representatives (such as CIA agents) to sit in on
interviews of suspects arrested on Irish soil and ask

The interrogations can be carried out in secret, and the
costs of carrying them out, along with other US requests,
will be borne by the Irish taxpayer under the agreement.

The person who will request co-operation from the Minister
for Justice is US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the
man who, as White House counsel, wrote a controversial memo
to US President George W Bush which advised how far CIA
agents could go in torturing prisoners.

The Department of Justice has said the instruments update
and supplement existing agreements in the case of
extradition and mutual legal assistance to bring them into
line with the EU-US agreements.

"Negotiations were conducted on the understanding that
there should be full protection of fundamental rights and
respect for constitutional principles," it said in a


McDowell Deal With US Alarming And Sinister

Published: 21 July, 2005

Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has described as 'alarming'
news that the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell has
signed an agreement with the US that allows for the
detention and interrogation of people in Ireland by US
secret service agents and that also allows agencies like
the CIA access to personal details including their bank
accounts. Deputy Crowe said it was a 'particularly
sinister development' in relation to civil liberties and
human rights in this State.

The Dublin South West TD said, "The signing of this
agreement is a particularly sinister and dangerous
development for civil liberties and human rights in this
State and indeed the sovereignty of the State itself.
It is absolutely unacceptable that an organisation like
the CIA, given the malevolent role it played in creating
the war in Iraq and given its absolutely appalling
record in relation to respect for international law
and human rights, should be allowed by the Irish
Government to conduct investigations and interrogations on
Irish soil.

"This is not an agreement of 'mutual assistance' – this
is all one way traffic. It is designed to aid the USA's
so-called war on terrorism – a war that has already
seen the deaths of at least 25,000 civilians in Iraq,
mostly at the hands of the US and British armed forces.

"The retrograde step that the US has taken in relation to
protecting the rights of its own citizens and the
erosion of fundamental freedoms following 9-11, which
had included the internment of people without charge or
access to a lawyer and the kidnapping of people from
other jurisdictions must not be allowed to become part of
the norm here. It doesn't matter if other EU countries
have signed up to this agreement –we should not – and
certainly not without a proper public debate on the issue.

"Michael McDowell has already claimed he is against a
rights based society. That claim takes on a much more
alarming significance in light of this latest agreement he
has signed." ENDS


Murder Attempt 'May Have Been Part Of Loyalist Feud'

21/07/2005 - 08:41:38

Police in Belfast were today investigating the possibility
that an overnight murder attempt at a house in the city may
have been part of a bitter loyalist paramilitary feud.

A number of shots were fired through a bathroom window at
the rear of the house in Avonorr Drive in east Belfast
shortly after midnight.

A man in his 30s was on his own in the house at the time of
the attack.

A dark-coloured Rover car was found burnt out in nearby
Bendigo Street one hour later.

Detectives were investigating a possible link between it
and the shooting.

While police said they were keeping an open mind on the
motive for the attack, they were looking at the possibility
that the shooting was part of a feud between the Ulster
Volunteer Force and the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force,
which has already claimed two lives in the city.

Last week Craig McCausland, 20, was shot dead at the house
he shared with his partner and two children in north

His family has denied he had any link to the LVF or any
other terror group.

It was the second tragedy to hit the family. Mr
McCausland's mother, Lorraine, was believed to have been
beaten to death by members of the loyalist Ulster Defence
Association in March 1987 near a drinking club.

Earlier this month 25-year-old Jameson Lockhart was gunned
down as part of the feud as he worked on a building site in
east Belfast.

The attack was also blamed on the UVF.

There have been a number of other incidents, including the
shooting several times of a man walking two dogs on the
Crumlin Road in north Belfast on the same night Mr
McCausland was murdered.

The UVF was also blamed for a gun attack on a house in east
Belfast on Monday.

The feud has once again put the links between the
Progressive Unionist Party, which has one Assembly member,
and the UVF and Red Hand Commando, under the spotlight.

Northern Secretary Peter Hain said yesterday he was
considering withholding the party's Assembly allowance for
another year following a report in May which indicated the
UVF and Red Hand Commando remain involved in organised
crime, violent and active.

Mr Hain gave the PUP a week to make a case to him for the
allowances to be given to them.

PUP leader David Ervine described the fine as unjust and
challenged the British government to have him arrested if
it believed his party had a say over what the UVF and Red
Hand Commando did.

The East Belfast Assembly member said no member of the
PUP's leadership had ever been accused of being on the
governing authority of the UVF or Red Hand Commando.

"That allegation has never been put in our direction," he
said. "So why should we punished?"

The PUP leader said he wanted to hear directly from Mr Hain
why exactly the British government was thinking about
taking further action against the party.

He was also dismissive of the four-member Independent
Monitoring Commission which monitors paramilitary activity
and which is made up of former Northern Ireland Assembly
Speaker Lord Alderdice, retired Irish civil servant Joe
Brosnan, ex-Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist squad chief
John Grieve and ex-CIA deputy director Richard Kerr.

"I want to hear what are his (Peter Hain's) intelligence
services telling the IMC?

"The IMC is an annoyance, a trial by four horsemen riding
Shetland ponies."


Man Held Over Loyalist Charges

21 July 2005

A MAN was charged over alleged involvement with loyalist
terrorism last night, police in England said.

Roy Barwise (46), from Cardigan Way in Anfield, Merseyside,
was charged with the commission, preparation and
instigation of acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act

He was found with firearms, ammunition and explosive

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: "The charges
follow ongoing investigations into loyalist terrorism and
are not linked to the explosions in London on July 7."

Barwise was arrested near his home on Tuesday.

He will appear at Manchester Magistrates Court


Ceasefire Watchdog To Probe Feud

The feud between the UVF and LVF is to be examined by the
body that oversees the ceasefires of Northern Ireland's
paramilitary groupings.

The Independent Monitoring Commission has told the two
governments the murders resulting from the feud will be a
particular focus of inquiry for it.

It comes as loyalist sources link the UVF to a gun attack
in east Belfast.

Shots were fired into a house at Avonorr Drive in the lower
Newtownards Road area.

A man, who is in his 30s, escaped injury when bullets came
through the bathroom window of his house.

Police said they are treating the shooting as attempted

A car was found burnt out nearby in Bendigo Street about an
hour later.

East Belfast assembly member Robin Newton said
paramilitaries "who pretend to represent the people,"
should be listening to what they are saying.

"They are saying, they don't want violence on their

"They are concerned about the welfare of the children, they
are concerned about the welfare of the elderly," he said.

A police spokesperson said they were keeping an open mind
about the motive for the attack, but it is understood one
line of inquiry is that it is linked to the loyalist feud.


The incident comes two days after shots were fired at a
house in the Sydenham area of east Belfast, in an attack
also linked to a row between the Ulster Volunteer Force and
Loyalist Volunteer Force.

Escalating tensions between the loyalist paramilitary
groupings has already claimed the lives of two men.

Craig McCausland, 20, was shot by the UVF at his
girlfriend's house in north Belfast last week - he later
died in hospital.

The UVF believed he was a member of the rival LVF, but his
family have strongly denied he had links to any
paramilitary group.

Earlier this month, Jameson Lockhart, also from north
Belfast, was shot as he sat in a lorry in east Belfast.

The UVF was also linked to that killing.

The Independent Monitoring Commission was set up by the
British and Irish Governments in 2004.

Its role is to report on activity by paramilitary groups;
the normalisation of security measures and on claims by
assembly parties that other parties, or ministers in a
devolved executive, are not living up to the standards
required of them.

It can recommend that the government impose sanctions on
those it feels are not fulfilling their role.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/21 11:33:23 GMT


Bomb Group In Legal Aid Funds Snub

Taoiseach's department turns down application

By Michael McHugh
21 July 2005

Relatives of those killed in the Dublin and Monaghan
bombings by loyalists allegedly working for British agents
have been snubbed in their campaign for funding for legal

Members of the Dublin-based Justice for the Forgotten
pressure group want to take legal advice on their
representations to Patrick McEntee QC, the chairman of a
new commission of inquiry into the bombings.

Questions remain regarding the Garda's investigation of a
string of loyalist-connected bombings between 1972 and
1974, which left 37 people dead and hundreds injured.

Mr McEntee is investigating why a number of sightings of
British soldiers and figures linked to the mid-Ulster UVF
in Dublin did not produce results for detectives, as well
as issues surrounding the disappearance of a number of key

Nobody was ever charged with the atrocities and Margaret
Urwin from the relatives' group said she was disappointed
that victims would not receive legal advice if making
representations to the inquiry.

"It is depressing, particularly in the light of the London
bombings, and yet here we are with an Irish government
which is not interested enough to find funding and a
British government refusing to co-operate," she said.

Relatives have sent the Taoiseach's office three letters
requesting legal aid within the last month, without

"We met with Mr McEntee recently and he was sympathetic to
our case, but we need funding from the Taoiseach's
department to make legal submissions and it does not appear
that we will get that," Ms Urwin added.

"This is a private inquiry, it is limited in its terms of
reference and we really do not know what is happening as we
do not have legal representation there."

The group submitted a separate complaint to the European
Court of Human Rights this week, asking for the 1972 and
1973 Dublin bombings to be examined and their legal costs
for that have not been paid.

Mr McEntee has been charged with reviewing three separate
lines of police inquiry, into sightings of loyalist
sympathisers and British soldiers in Dublin prior to the
1974 bombings.

The disappearance of a number of Garda and Department of
Justice files will also be probed.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach's Department said: "The
Commission of Investigation is independent from government
and decides on issues of costs."

The Commission's office said it could not comment on any
decision taken by the Taoiseach's Department.


Call To Examine Evidence Against Kelly

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
21 July 2005

THE SDLP today urged the Sentence Review Commission to
examine evidence against rearrested Shankill bomber Sean
Kelly "without delay".

As it emerged lawyers for Mr Kelly are still seeking
clarification over the specific grounds for his rearrest
last month, Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey said that if there was no
evidence against Mr Kelly he should be released.


Unionists Condemn Planned Republican Internment March
2005-07-21 10:30:02+01

Unionists in Ballymena have condemned republican plans to
stage a march to commemorate the 34th anniversary of
internment in the Co Antrim town.

The organisers have submitted an application to the Parades
Commission for a march on August 9.

Sinn Féin has insisted that the nationalist community just
wants a peaceful parade, but the DUP has claimed it will
lead to trouble if allowed to go ahead.

Party spokesman Ian Paisley Jr said: "This will turn into a
pro-IRA march which cause only resentment.

"That's just being stupid and it will cause problems and


Parades Chief Gets £55k In Expenses

By David Gordon
21 July 2005

THE Parades Commission was making no comment today
following the revelation that its chairman received around
£55,000 in tax payer- funded expenses during a four-year

The payments to Tony Holland included the cost of renting
an apartment for him in Belfast, as well as hefty taxi

A source close to the Commission today defended the
expenses and pointed to the importance of the body's work
in addressing marching disputes.

"The £55,000 covers four marching seasons. People need to
compare that figure to the massive savings for the public
purse through the de-escalation of the Drumcree dispute,"
the source said.

The expenses figures were reported by the Daily Ireland
newspaper today, and followed a Freedom of Information
request to the Commission by the paper.

The paper said the released figures showed that some
£51,000 was spent during the period on apartment rental

Mr Holland lives in the south of England and uses the
accommodation in Belfast while on official business here.

He is also chairman of the Northern Ireland Legal Services
Commission - the body responsible for legal aid payments.

It is understood the Commission also contributes to the
rental costs.

Daily Ireland said Mr Holland's taxi expenses from the
Parades Commission between March 2001 and June 2004 added
up to £3,326, and averaged £66 per journey.

A single trip in 2002 cost £230, while two return journeys
from unnamed airports in 2003 totalled £293, it stated.

A spokesman for the Parades Commission today said it had no
comment to make on the figures.

Mr Holland was appointed chairman of the Parades Commission
in February 2000.

He also heads the Local government Standards Board in


DUP Criticises Approval Of Three Irish-Language Schools
2005-07-21 07:50:02+01

The Democratic Unionist Party has criticised a decision by
the British government to approve three new Irish-language
schools in the North.

Party spokesman Sammy Wilson said there was no need to
create new primary schools when there were already 45,000
surplus school places.

He said the problem was part of the legacy of the Ulster
Unionist Party's time in government with Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin and the SDLP have both accused him of using the
Irish language as a political football and have insisted
that parents should have the right to choose the type of
education they want for their children.


Robinson Hits Out At Rise In Violence

21 July 2005

DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson yesterday highlighted in
the House of Commons the upsurge in violence in Northern
Ireland over recent weeks.

He also spoke of the absence of condemnation by Sinn Fein
of republican attacks on the security forces and loyalist
people and their property.

Speaking after raising the issue with Tony Blair during
Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Mr Robinson said: "In
recent weeks, Northern Ireland has unfortunately seen an
upsurge in violence.

"Republicans have repeatedly attacked both the police and
loyalist homes in north Belfast and in Cluan Place in my
own East Belfast constituency.

"In the last few days, we have also witnessed what looks
like a further escalation in what unfortunately appears to
be an inter-loyalist feud which has already seen two people

"The DUP condemns, without reservation, all of these acts
of violence and I welcome the Prime Minister joining with
us in these sentiments.

"It is, however, noticeable that Sinn Fein/IRA has not been
so quick to come forward and condemn the violence that
emanates from within its community.

"This reticence is not unsurprising given the role of
mainstream republicans in ratcheting up aggression against
the police, loyalists and loyal order parades."

Mr Robinson said attacks are blamed on so-called dissident
republican paramilitaries but many people seriously doubted
the differences between the likes of the Continuity IRA and
mainstream Provisional republicanism.


Spanish Fury At Twelfth Parade

Organisers fined €6,000 each

21 July 2005

AN illegal Orange march in Benidorm has infuriated local
residents and Spanish authorities.

The march took place on July 12 even though both Benidorm
town hall and the provincial government in Alicante
apparently banned it.

Now over a dozen organisers of the contentious event have
been fined €6,000 each.

It was the fourth such march organised by Bryan and
Catherine Sheeran, from Belfast, who have run the Ibrox Bar
in Benidorm for three-and-a-half years.

Benidorm police said 400 took part but Mrs Sheeran, who
said many participants had come from Belfast, claimed the
number was 2,000.

"It was disgusting to commemorate such an event, based on
religious intolerance, in Catholic Spain," said one long-
time British resident who declined to be named.

"We have enough problems with terrorism in the world, and
in Spain in particular, without these people using a
holiday resort for their antics."

Etelviná Andreu Sánchez, the Alicante government delegate
who imposed the €6,000 fines, said: "They defied the ban
and even went ahead after the London bombings, which shows
how insensitive they are."

Benidorm's municipal police chief, Juan Fuertes, insisted
the march hadn't been authorised this year.

"We stopped it after about 10 minutes when they started to
block the road. We took the names of the organisers and
they deserve to receive the maximum penalty for breaking
the law."

But Mrs Sheeran said: "Everyone enjoyed themselves and wore
the special t-shirts we sold. It was a brilliant day. No
one banned us. Lots of friends had come over for the
Twelfth holiday."


Army Watchdog Denied File Access

The Army complaints watchdog has said he has been refused
access to military papers on last year's 12 July violence
in north Belfast's Ardoyne area.

The revelation came in the annual report by Jim McDonald,
the independent assessor of military complaints procedures.

Mr McDonald said he was immensely disappointed by the
Army's refusal.

His report also reveals that there had been a 27% drop in
the number of complaints against the Army.

Mr McDonald wanted to know about planning and what orders
were given to troops caught up in rioting after an Orange
Order parade passed the flashpoint route.

Dozens of police and soldiers were injured during the

Mr McDonald said he was "dumbfounded and unhappy" he had
been denied access to the Army papers.

"This is the first time I have been refused and it begins
to eat away at the foundation of my independence," he said.

He said the police had been "totally open and helpful in
making their records available to me but unfortunately
these do not give the military perspective".


Mr McDonald also said he believed the Army had shown
"remarkable restraint" during the rioting.

The Army said an investigation into the riot had already
been completed through the Starmer and Gordon report to the
Policing Board.

"The MoD has declined a request from Mr McDonald for
certain papers relating to public order events in the
Ardoyne on July 12, 2004 because those events have already
been thoroughly and independently investigated by the
Starmer and Gordon report," an Army spokesman said.

"The MoD is of the opinion that the independent assessor's
functions do not embrace an investigation into the events
of that day and therefore there's no requirement to release
documents to support such an investigation."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/20 16:54:58 GMT


Riot Accused Is Refused Bail

21 July 2005

A HIGH Court judge yesterday refused to release a teenager
on bail after it was alleged he had been involved in
rioting in the Carlisle Circus area of Belfast twice in
three weeks.

The court heard that 18-year-old Michael Murray, from Wall
Street, Belfast, was in a group of about 100 who attacked
Orangemen on the Twelfth of July as they returned along
Clifton Street. Refusing a bail application, Mr Justice
Weir said he had "no confidence" that Murray would not do
the same thing again before the end of the marching season.


Ireland Falling Behind In Broadband Race

20/07/2005 - 15:45:29

Munster's dismal rate of hook-up to the internet via
broadband is posing a serious problem for exporters,
according to a new report published today by the Irish
Exporters Association (IEA).

New data contained in the IEA's Barriers to E-Business
Development in the Regions report, shows broadband
availability stands at just 29% in Munster compared with
near saturation — 98.5% — in Northern Ireland.

Dublin has 52% availability, followed by Leinster on 26%
with Connacht at 20%.

Michael Counahan, president of the IEA, said Ireland's
broadband take-up at the end of 2004 was the seventh lowest
in the 30 OECD countries.

"Business generally, but exporters in particular are
demanding broadband services, particularly the affordable,
reliable DSL broadband delivered over the fixed telephone
lines, to enable them to meet the ever increasing data
information demands of overseas customers," Mr Counahan.

The high 98.5% rate of connection north of the border is
helped in a major way by a fund provided by the NI
government to BT Northern Ireland to roll out networks.

"To reach the average of our key trading partners over the
next three years, we estimate that well over 700,000 new
DSL lines will have to be installed. At eircom's current
roll out rate of 6,000 DSL lines per month, it will take
over five years to reach the current OECD average."

Mr Counahan recommended three key options to ComReg and the
Department of Communications to speed up the roll out of

* eircom should maximise their dominant positions in the
Irish telecoms market by unbundling the local loop. This
should be done through enter incentives or through
enforcement of existing legislation.

* Restrictions should be lifted on cable operators to allow
them to address the wide market. They should be encouraged
to upgrade their networks to digital.

* Wireless systems offer a fastrack option for a rapid leap
forward into full broadband.

Articles courtesy of the Evening Echo


Galway Chamber Anger At Eyre Square Delay

21/07/2005 - 13:11:23

Galway Chamber of Commerce has expressed disappointment
with the news that the refurbishment of Eyre Square will
not be completed until March of next year.

The work has been ongoing for two years and was due to be
finished this autumn, but the company involved pulled out
of the project last month.

Galway City Council is reportedly having trouble finding a
new company to complete the scheme and is targeting work to
recommence in October and be completed by March.


'Incidents' Spark Tube Evacuation

Emergency services have been called to three Tube stations
after "incidents", Scotland Yard said.

Police confirmed they had been called to Warren Street,
Oval and Shepherd's Bush stations.

There have been reports of smoke coming from two of the
stations and all three have been evacuated.

The whole of the Northern Line has been suspended, along
with the Victoria Line and the Hammersmith and City. There
are no reports of any casualties.

Police also confirmed that emergency service personnel have
responded to reports of an incident on a route 26 bus in
Hackney Road.

A spokesman for London Underground said the nature of the
incidents was unknown.

One hospital, near Warren St station, has started its
emergency plan.

Sosiane Mohellavi, 35, was travelling from Oxford Circus to
Walthamstow when she was evacuated from a train at Warren

"I was in the carriage and we smelt smoke - it was like
something was burning.

"Everyone was panicked and people were screaming. We had to
pull the alarm. I am still shaking."

But a BBC reporter outside Warren St station said there was
no sign of smoke outside.

If you are in the areas concerned send us your comments
using the form below.

If you have any photos send them to

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/07/21 12:26:08 GMT

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