News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

July 24, 2005

Labour Calls On Shell To Free Rossport 5

News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 07/24/05 Rabbitte Calls On Shell To Free 'Rossport Five'
SL 07/24/05 LVF Warn Pirate Taxi Drivers To Steer Clear
SL 07/24/05 Police Probe Sinister Race Hate Business Cards
SL 07/24/05 Probe Call Into Special Branch 'Murder Set-Up'
SL 07/24/05 Donaldson Fears Secret Deal With Bomber
SL 07/24/05 New Low Hits Nuala's Officers
SL 07/24/05 How Criminals Make A Killing On Fake DVDs
SL 07/24/05 Heist Pensioner Could Be Irish-American Mobster
SL 07/24/05 Ex-Ulster Unionist Rising Star Goes West


Rabbitte Calls On Shell To Free 'Rossport Five'

24/07/2005 - 19:26:41

Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte today called Shell on to
waive the injunction against the 'Rossport Five' by lifting
a High Court injunction against them.

The five Mayo men have spent a month in prison for blocking
the construction of an offshore pipeline near their home.

However, Communications Minister Noel Dempsey said
yesterday that Shell may have breached the terms laid down
by the Government when granting permission for the project.

"In light of yesterday's statement by the minister that the
energy giant may have breached the terms of the permission
given for developing the pipeline, things should be
resolved by Shell going to court next week to have the
injunction lifted," said Mr Rabbitte.

Mr Dempsey said on Saturday that he has written to the
company asking them to respond to his "very serious"

The breaches may relate to the welding of large sections of
pipeline on the Corrib Gas terminal site, according to

Up to 2,000 people staged a protest in Dublin on Saturday
at the jailing of the five landowners.

Meanwhile, the Green Party tonight called for Mr Dempsey
and his officials to appear before an emergency meeting of
the Oireachtas Communications Committee.

Energy spokesperson Eamon Ryan said: "It is clear that the
department has serious questions to answer concerning its
own failure to ensure that conditions stipulated as part of
its first initial consent to Shell were properly observed.

"It also needs to explain what appears to be the
obstructionist and secretive manner in which it has dealt
with issues raised by local residents in Rossport."


LVF Warn Pirate Taxi Drivers To Steer Clear

By Stephen Breen
24 July 2005

LVF warlords, in east Belfast, last night vowed to kill
pirate taxi drivers who work for the UVF.

Loyalist sources told us LVF leaders have warned a number
of men to keep out of Garneville, Knocknagoney and

The UVF controls a number of illegal taxis in the east of
the city.

The threat was issued, after we revealed, last week, how
the UVF had vowed to "wipe out" the LVF in their ongoing

Sources claim UVF godfathers have told their taxi drivers
to ignore the latest LVF threat.

Last week's UVF gun attack in the Sydenham area, of east
Belfast, is also believed to be in response to the latest
LVF threat.

Another gun attack in the area was also linked to the feud.

Taxi drivers were caught up in a feud between the LVF and
UVF in north Belfast, earlier this year, and many fear
similar attacks could be repeated in east Belfast.

The UVF has already murdered Jameson Lockhart and Craig
McCausland, the 20-year-old whose family say had no
paramilitary connections.

LVF gunmen have left one man fighting for his life.

As tensions between the two groups continue to rise, there
are fears that more lives will be lost over the coming

Said a loyalist source: "The LVF leader in east Belfast has
instructed his units to shoot at the UVF's taxi drivers.

"These drivers might not be paramilitaries, but that won't
stop the LVF targeting them, because they will be trying to
get at the UVF.

"The UVF has a number of illegal taxi drivers working for
them, and the LVF knows how much money they make from these

"Innocent people have been caught up in feuds in the past,
and you only have to look at the recent murder of Craig

"The LVF are desperate to hit back at the UVF, and if they
can't get near its leaders, then they will go for anyone
with tenuous links to the group."


Police Probe Sinister Race Hate 'Business Cards'

24 July 2005

POLICE were last night probing the distribution of sinister
racist 'business cards' in Ulster.

The card - entitled 'Help Your Country' - urges people in
Northern Ireland to respond to the London bombings on July
7, by burning down mosques.

One of the items was sent to the Belfast Telegraph last
week from Watford, north of London.

But security sources told us similar cards were also posted
in other parts of the capital following the London

Police fear that it may be the work of a racist who moved
from Northern Ireland, and is now trying to stir up race

Groups like Combat 18, which have links to loyalism, have
been responsible for producing racist literature in
Northern Ireland in the past.

Said a security source: "This could turn out to be the work
of someone who is just seeking publicity, but you never
know, and every threat must be checked out."

Dr Jamal Iweida, of the Belfast Islamic Centre, said: "We
also received threatening emails after the London bombings.
The people who distribute such hate mail should know our
position on the bombings - we are totally opposed to them.

"We were warned that we would be targeted and we passed
this information on to the police. I don't know what kind
of Muslims they think we are."

Cops have called on anyone who receives a card to contact
them immediately. A PSNI spokesman confirmed they were
investigating racist literature sent to a Belfast office
last week.


Probe Call Into Special Branch 'Murder Set-Up'

24 July 2005

THE victim of a brutal INLA murder-bid last week asked the
Police Ombudsman to investigate claims that a rogue RUC
Special Branch officer set him up to be killed.

Tommy Boswell (46) believes that he was targeted by an INLA
hit-squad after the former cop "handed him up on a plate"
to protect a high-ranking informer.

Boswell, then just 19, was sadistically tortured, blasted
six times and left for dead by his interrogators.

The Turf Lodge man - who now lives in Co Down -
miraculously survived.

However, he still bears the scars of bullet wounds in his
arms, legs, chest and jaw that he suffered as he tried to

He told Sunday Life that he believes that a Special Branch
officer identified him as an informer, in order to protect
a high-ranking mole within the republican terror-gang.

Last week he handed over the name of the top cop and asked
Nuala O'Loan's investigators to look into the case again.

Said Mr Boswell: "I contacted the Police Ombudsman again
and this time handed over the name of the Special Branch
officer who set me up to be murdered.

"He was happy to let me be tortured and then shot dead,
just so he could protect an informer.

"It's about time that myself and the other victims of the
Troubles started to get some justice."

Mr Boswell had previously made a complaint to the Ombudsman
in relation to the incident.

However, at the time of the initial complaint, Nuala
O'Loan's office did not have the powers to investigate
incidents more than 12 months old and the file was closed.

He is now set to ask the Ombudsman to reconsider the

A Police Ombudsman spokesman said: "We did receive a
complaint about the circumstances surrounding the murder

"It came in during the early days of the office and, at
that stage, we did not have retrospective powers and
therefore it fell outside our then remit."


Donaldson Fears Secret Deal With Banged Up Bomber

24 July 2005

SHANKILL bomber Sean Kelly could spend the next 11 years of
his life behind bars, it emerged last night.

Senior unionists believe the Sentence Review Commission is
set to revoke the Ardoyne Provo's licence, forcing him to
serve the remainder of the original sentence he received
for killing nine people in 1993.

But DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson fears the
Government could perform a U-turn by ignoring the
commission's ruling, because of pressure from republicans.

Kelly received a stipulated sentence of 18 years after his
conviction, but Mr Donaldson believes the Government may
strike a deal with republicans and allow the north Belfast
man to spend a shorter time in jail.

After spending seven years in the Maze, Kelly was one of
the paramilitary prisoners released early under the terms
of the Agreement.

Secretary of State Peter Hain sent him back to prison last
month after stating he had broken the conditions of his
early release by becoming involved in terrorism.

Since his return to prison, republicans have campaigned to
have Kelly released.

But Mr Donaldson said: "The Secretary of State would not
have sent Kelly back to jail if he did not think he was a
danger to society.

"I will be amazed if the Kelly is not forced to serve the
remainder of his sentence because the people of Northern
Ireland know that he is still a risk to society.

"But the Government has made deals with republicans in the
past. If they do come under pressure from republicans, we
might end up seeing Kelly serving only half of the 11

But Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly said: "Sean Kelly has done
nothing to warrant this harsh decision and should be
released without delay."


New Low Hits Nuala's Officers

By Alan Murray
24 July 2005

THE Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, is facing a morale
crisis within her own office, it has been claimed.

For an internal survey - leaked to the Sunday Life - has
revealed that a majority of the Ombudsman's key staff do
not see a "fair career path" for themselves within the

The survey, which covered 60 key staff, reveals that two-
thirds of them felt morale wasn't good.

Mrs O'Loan's office issued a statement to Sunday Life, on
Friday, admitting the report indicated there was "a morale
problem with a small number of staff".

But, the statement also said: "Overall, the survey showed
that our staff are very proud of their work, and very
committed to it."

However, sources within the office, which investigates
complaints against PSNI officers, believe the results of
the survey, underlines a growing divide between locally
recruited staff and London recruited investigators.

Sources claim that investigators recruited from within the
Metropolitan Police enjoy more favourable conditions, and
are allowed to benefit from special conditions, which cost
the taxpayer thousands of pounds each year.

The results of a survey conducted within the Office, which
Sunday Life has seen show:

• A majority do not see a "fair career path" for themselves
- 41 out of 61 asked.

• A majority of staff do not feel they can achieve their
"career development aspirations" within the office - 41 of
63 asked.

• 37 out of 62 asked said they do not feel that "morale is
generally good".

• Most do not feel that "good decisions are made quickly" -
35 out of 62 asked.

• Most do not feel that "people can try out new ideas" - 36
out of 61 asked.

• More than half do not feel that "new ideas are
encouraged" - 36 out of 63 asked.

In a statement on Friday, the Ombudsman said: "The survey
did suggest there was a morale problem with a small number
of staff. We are now looking at the areas they say they are
concerned about."

Sources who contacted Sunday Life had claimed two
investigators had been tasked to ferry senior members of
staff to dinner engagements, on one occasion when one
investigator was on an overtime rate payment.

The Ombudsman's office responded: "Never has any member of
Police Ombudsman staff been used to transport management on
private business. When necessary, proper and secure
arrangements are made for senior officials to be taken to
work-related events and functions."

In answer to other queries raised in response to claims by
sources, the statement stated: "All Police Ombudsman
recruitment is carried out having strict regard for
relevant employment legislation and guidance. All expenses
payments are subject to management approval, and are
audited both internally and externally".

The statement said overall there were 74 investigators
among the 128 staff employed at the Ombudsman office


Bigger than drugs

How Criminals Make A Killing On Fake DVDs

By Stephanie Bell
24 July 2005

PARAMILITARY godfathers and crime bosses are now making
more cash from pirate DVDs than drugs.

Loyalist and republican terrorists are raking in a fortune
selling copies of Hollywood's latest blockbusters - often
before their Northern Ireland releases.

The explosion in pirate movie sales in the province is
costing jobs on the ground, in the distribution and retail
sectors of the industry, while fat cat gangsters are living
it up on the massive illegal profits.

The past two years have seen such a massive increase in
bootleg DVDs on sale across Ireland, that the film
industry, PSNI and Customs have invested extra resources to
crackdown on it.

In the first six months of this year alone, the PSNI seized
more than twice as many pirate DVDs than they netted in the
whole of last year.

In the year 2003/2004, PSNI, HM Customs & Excise and
the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) seized a
total of 40,000 pirate DVDs, videos and VCDs in Northern
Ireland, with an estimated value of £1.8m.

Bigger profits and less risk is the reason why terrorists
in Ulster are turning to fake movies rather than cocaine or
esctasy, according to a top cop.

Detective Colin Cushley, of the PSNI's Intellectual
Property Crime Unit said: "We know that all of the
paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland are heavily
involved in organised crime, both as a means of raising
finance for their organisations and for personal gain.

"We work closely with Customs and Excise, the film industry
and the Garda Siochana, as this is very much a cross-border

"The profits are massive, far exceeding any made in the
drugs trade.

"A comparison is that 1kg of cocaine, which costs £30,000
to buy, will sell on the street for £60,000, hence a 100pc

"A pirate DVD can cost as little as 50p to produce, and
selling one for £5 makes a 1000pc profit.

"The latest DVDs cost pennies to produce, and can sell from
£5 plus each. Thousands of copies can be produced in

The bootleg DVD industry is now a global problem, and is
estimated to be worth a staggering £750m in Britain alone,
with the distribution as sophisticated as any legimate
multi-national company.

As 90pc of pirate movies are filmed from the back of
cinemas, security measures are currently being taken in
movie houses all over Northern Ireland to prevent it.

New releases like War of the Worlds, Madagascar and Mr and
Mrs Smith are already widely available in the province.

Former officer in the Organised Crime Branch of the PSNI,
Raymond Leinster is now director general of FACT - the
Federation of Copyright Theft.

He said: "It doesn't just harm the film and DVD industry,
but has helped fund paedophile rings, drug and gun dealing
and human trafficking.

"If we are carrying out surveillance or raids on DVD
pirates, we nearly always discover that these criminals are
involved in a multitude of other illegal and unsavoury
acitivities, of which the sale of DVDs is merely the most

The Organised Crime Task Force teamed up with the Industry
Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness last year to
launch a campaign highlighting the links between DVD piracy
and organised crime in Northern Ireland.

The campaign was themed 'Revealing the True Face of Piracy'
and has since been rolled out across the UK.

Northern Ireland Office Minister Ian Pearson said:
"Paramilitary gangs carry out 80pc of the intellectual
property crime in Northern Ireland, which serves to
emphasise the sinister nature of this particular form of

"I would challenge everyone to think where their money is
going before purchasing a pirated DVD - they are lining the
pockets of organised criminals, the vast majority of whom
have links to paramilitary organisations."


It's an old-up

Heist Pensioner Could Be Fugitive Irish-American Mobster

By Ciaran McGuigan
24 July 2005

AMERICAN cops are investigating claims that former IRA gun
runner James 'Whitey' Bulger may be behind a number of
stick-up robberies in the US.

Security camera footage of a man known as the "Senior
Citizen Bandit" is being studied to see if the gun-totting
pensioner is in fact the on-the-run former Mafia boss.

According to reports in the Los Angeles Times, there are
similarities between the Senior Citizen Bandit, who has
recently held up three banks in Orange County, and one-time
IRA gun runner Bulger.

Both men are of fairly similar build and stature, and both
share the snowy white hair that earned 'Whitey' Bulger his

And there have been previous reported sightings of Bulger
in the same area in the Orange County area, in recent

Bulger (75), one of the FBI's 10 Most Wanted, has been
believed to be holed up in Ireland for several years, as
the US authorities try to track him down in relation to at
least 19 murders.

He fled 10 years ago, and managed to go unnoticed for seven
years, before a chance meeting on a London street with a
former associate put the FBI back on his trial.

Their subsequent investigations took them to Dublin, where
they discovered cash deposit boxes and Bulger's Irish

There have been a number of alleged sightings of Bulger in
the west of Ireland since.

One of the most notorious Mafia figures in recent history,
Bulger controlled much of Boston's drug traffic.

In 1986, he was linked to a guns-for-drugs swap with the
IRA, but the plot was exposed, and weapons seized, when the
Marita Ann was captured off the west coast of Ireland.

Bulger's younger brother, William, is the former president
of the Massachusetts Senate and of the University of



Dallas heads to Las Vegas

Ex-Ulster Unionist Rising Star Goes West

By Joe Oliver
24 July 2005

A FORMER Ulster Unionist mayor, who made world headlines
when he and others blocked a bridge in his home city during
a Drumcree protest, has quit Northern Ireland.

Richard Dallas, who became Londonderry's youngest mayor
aged just 26, and who was once tipped as a future leader of
the party, left the province, last week, to take up a
teaching post in Las Vegas.

He hit the headlines in 1996 when, after being elected
mayor by the city council, he was involved in a Drumcree
protest that halted traffic on Craigavon Bridge.

It led to him being stripped of his mayoral privileges.

And, he was fined £175 at the city's magistrates' court,
and bound over to keep the peace for 12 months, after
admitting charges, including obstructing traffic on the
bridge, and taking part in an illegal parade.

He had been teaching at an integrated school, in Belfast,
after dropping out of politics two-and-a-half years ago.

But, he remained a member of the UUP and attended the
recent leadership contest.

Mr Dallas' mother Margaret (71), who is also a member of
the UUP, confirmed yesterday that her son had gone to the
US to pursue his teaching career.

"He only left on Sunday, although it was his original
intention to try for a post in Toronto, where we have

"But, the bridge-blocking incident was viewed as a criminal
offence and, at the same time, he had this offer to teach
in Nevada, in a school with around 1,750 pupils."

UUP officer, Jack Allen, said: "Richard was always torn
between his vocation and politics, although we tried to
persuade him to stand for the party in Belfast and also
East Londonderry.

"But, he had been talking for some time about teaching
abroad, and we wish him every success."

Two years after the bridge-blocking protest, Mr Dallas said
he had no regrets about his protest action.

But, he added: "While I still support the rights of the
Portadown Orangemen, I wouldn't block the bridge now. The
circumstances have changed since then."

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?