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July 20, 2005

Unionists Threaten Violence Over Nationalist March

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 07/20/05 Fears Of Violence At Republican March
SF 07/20/05 DUP's Attitude To Nationalists In Ballymena
BT 07/20/05 SF Calls On Order To Abandon Village March
UT 07/20/05 Concern Over IRA Statement
UT 07/20/05 PUP Given Week To Justify Allowances
SF 07/20/05 DUP Need To Stop Peddling The 'Big Lie'
SF 07/20/05 Investigation Of Brits Army Activities Required
BT 07/20/05 Please Turn In Craig's Killers
BT 07/20/05 Antrim Slams Intimidation Of Protestants
BT 07/20/05 Funeral For RUC Widows Crusader
BT 07/20/05 SDLP Tight-Lipped On Council's Kelly Motion
BT 07/20/05 London Bombers Stick A Spanner In Spin Machine
BT 07/20/05 Dealing With My Sexual Brokenness
BT 07/20/05 Horror As Shot Seal Is Found On Beachv
UT 07/20/05 Irish Guesthouses And B&Bs Struggling


Fears Of Violence At Republican March

By Deborah McAleese
20 July 2005

THE Parades Commission is set to make a ruling next week on
a controversial republican parade in Ballymena which has
sparked warnings of violence.

Unionists have warned that if the parade is given the go-
ahead there could be "open violence" on the streets.

Around 650 participants are expected to take part in the
parade, which has been organised by the William Orr
Commemoration Committee in memory of the United Irishman.

If given the go-ahead it would reportedly be the first ever
republican parade in the town.

The Parades Commission is expected to consider the
application for the August 9 parade next Wednesday.

PSNI chiefs were warned by a DUP delegation the peace in
the town will be "shattered" if republicans are allowed to
hold the parade.

Ian Paisley Jnr said the proposal is nothing more than an
attempt to "stoke up" tensions in the town.

He warned that if republicans attempt to provoke this
tension it will end in "calamity" for someone who will be
made a victim of a criminal attack.

Mr Paisley added: "Now we have a real concern that such a
parade will lead to open violence in our normally peaceful

Sinn Fein recently had its first ever representative
elected to Ballymena Borough Council.

Police patrolled Ballymena Town Hall when 51 year-old
Monica Digney attended her first council meeting.

Sectarian tensions in the mainly Protestant town were
heightened recently following an attack on the Catholic
Harryville Church, which has been the scene of loyalist
pickets in previous years.

In the 1990s protesters attempted to stop worshippers
getting to the church.


DUP Challenged Over Attitude To Nationalists In Ballymena

Published: 20 July, 2005

Responding to attacks by the DUP to plans to hold an anti-
internment march in the nationalist end of Ballymena next
month, North Antrim Sinn Féin Assembly member Philip
McGuigan said:

" This proposed march is not being organised by Sinn Féin
or on our behalf. It is being organised by a local flute
band. However what has been stark has been the reaction of
local unionist politicians to the plan and in particular
the DUP.

" The proposed route of this parade is in the nationalist
end of Ballymena. It does not, unlike Orange Order parades
in Ballymena and elsewhere seek to march through areas
where it would clearly cause offence. In the coming days I
will seek to meet with the residents who live along the
proposed route and also talk with the parade organisers to
ensure that consultation and dialogue have taken place
before any parade proceeds.

" However it is my belief and I have stated it for some
time that the attitude of unionists in Ballymena to the
nationalist community in the town has bred great resentment
and anger particularly amongst young nationalists.
Discrimination is rife. Attacks on Catholics and their
homes are routine The local catholic church is frequently
attacked. Senior members of the DUP took part in the
blockade of the church. Nationalist housing estates in the
town are neglected. The Council is seen as a cold house.
This reality needs to be tackled by the DUP as the lead
unionist party in the town.

" Ballymena can only move forward if everyone in the town
is treated with equality. The days of second class
citizenship which the unionist parties in Ballymena still
hark after have to be left behind. There can be no other
realistic solution to the towns many problems." ENDS


SF Calls On Order To Abandon Village March

20 July 2005

SINN Fein councillor Paul Butler has called on the Orange
Order not to march through Glenavy in future.

The call came after thousands of Orangemen from the South
Antrim combine held their Twelfth of July demonstration in
the village.

Mr Butler said the organisation was not welcome as Glenavy
was a village where the demography has changed dramatically
over the last number of years.

Pointing out he is to raise the matter with the Parades
Commission he said: "The Orange Order is insisting on
marching through a nationalist area where they are
unwelcome and exercising in sectarian coat trailing and

But a local Orange leader refuted Mr Butler's remarks,
pointing to a peaceful demonstration which was enjoyed by

He added that the Sinn Fein's councillor's remarks that
Glenavy was "predominantly Catholic" were untrue and he
said the village was still mostly Protestant.


Concern Over IRA Statement

Concern is mounting in Northern Ireland over the lack of
clarity and firmness from the British and Irish governments
over what they expect from the IRA's statement on its
future, it was claimed today.

By:Press Association

David Ford, leader of the cross community Alliance Party,
which has six Stormont Assembly members, said the
Provisionals` appeared to be procrastinating over their
response to Gerry Adams`s call on them to pursue their
goals only through peaceful and democratic means.

The South Antrim MLA said: "There seems to be increased
apprehension regarding what may be contained, or rather not
contained, in the long expected statement from the IRA.

"Certainly, the continued procrastination from that
organisation is not encouraging.

David Ford

"What is necessary from all paramilitary groups should be
pretty clear by now. The time for any transition should be
long since past.

"Indeed, the governments and those parties abiding to
commitments to peace and democracy should be setting the
agenda rather than the paramilitary groups and their

Speculation has been mounting in Belfast, London and Dublin
that the IRA will respond positively to Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams` call in April for a move away from armed

The statement has so far failed to materialise despite
expectations that it might surface around the Protestant
Orange Order`s Twelfth of July celebrations.

Unionists are adamant that an IRA statement committing
itself to winding down all paramilitary and criminal
activity will not be enough to persuade them to go back
into a power-sharing government at Stormont with Sinn Fein.

The Rev Ian Paisley`s DUP and Sir Reg Empey`s UUP insist
IRA actions will speak louder than words.

They want the Provisionals not only to decommission all
their weapons but to end the recruitment and training of
members, arms importation, intelligence gathering and
targeting and involvement in all violence and expulsions.

Unionists and others in the peace process on both sides of
the border have also demanded an end to IRA involvement in
robberies, money laundering, smuggling of cigarettes,
alcohol and petrol and the counterfeiting and sale of
pirate DVDs, music CDs and video games.

Mr Ford said his was the only party to produce 10
benchmarks by which the IRA`s statement would be judged.

These were:

:: The IRA must declare an end to all involvement in any
paramilitary and criminal activity, and through exclusively
lawful means ensure that its activists desist immediately;

:: Where individual Republicans are involved in
paramilitary or criminal activity, others must pass on any
information to the lawful authorities and urge others to do
so. The IRA must also accept that obstruction of justice is
a crime;

:: The Republican Movement must accept the full legitimacy
of both the Northern and Southern Irish states with respect
to policing and criminal justice, including definitions of
what constitutes a crime;

:: All front organisations and organised crime networks for
the IRA must be dismantled;

:: The Army Council must end all recruitment, training and
intelligence gathering, and stand down all its rank and
file members. Once this is carried out and weapons are
decommissioned, the organisation, including all command
structures, must disband;

:: The Republican Movement must renounce the right to
engage in community policing, or so-called "internal
housekeeping," ending all paramilitary beatings and

:: The practice of "exiling" - both inside and outside
Northern Ireland - must end, with assurances given and
honoured to those exiled that they can return to Northern
Ireland in safety;

:: All illegally held weapons and explosives must be
decommissioned under the aegis of the Decommissioning

:: Republicans must co-operate fully with the Commission
for the Disappeared, and both police services, in
recovering the remains of those missing;

:: Republicans must give a commitment not to export their
terrorist techniques and expertise to other organisations
internationally, either through direct training or other
consultancy services, in line with the Terrorism Act

Mr Ford also said it was important that the Republican
movement was not allowed to drag out the changes it would
undergo on the back of a positive IRA statement.

The Alliance leader said those changes would have to be
carried out over a short timeframe.

He added: "While the governments have acknowledged
Alliance`s points, it is disappointing that there is not a
degree of clarity and firmness coming from the governments
and, indeed, the other parties in Northern Ireland."


PUP Given Week To Justify Allowances

A party linked to the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force and
Red Hand Commando was given a week today to make a case to
the British government on why they should be given their
Northern Ireland Assembly allowances.

By:Press Association

In a written statement to MPs, Northern Ireland Secretary
Peter Hain said he was considering removing the party`s
entitlement to the allowances for another year.

The Progressive Unionist Party, whose leader David Ervine
is its sole Assembly member, and Sinn Fein, both had their
financial allowances withdrawn last year after a report by
the four-member Independent Monitoring Commission
highlighted paramilitary and criminal activity by the UVF,
Red Hand Commando and the Provisional IRA.

In May, another report submitted to the British and Irish
governments by the Commission, which assesses republican
and loyalist paramilitary ceasefires, said the UVF and Red
Hand Commando remained active and violent and was involved
in organised crime.

Mr Hain said the report had concluded that the PUP had not
done as much as it should to exert influence on the groups
to end such activities.

"The Commission recommended that I should continue the
financial measures against the Progressive Unionist Party,"
he said.

"I have considered carefully the IMC`s report and I have
today written to the Progressive Unionist Party to advise
them that I am minded to remove for a period of 12 months
the party`s entitlement to financial assistance payable to
political parties in Northern Ireland.

"I have provided the PUP with seven days from today to make
representations to me.

"At the end of that period I will take into account any
such representations made to me and will reach a final

The PUP was yesterday urged by nationalist SDLP Assembly
member Alban Maginness to sever its ties with the UVF,

following the group`s bitter feud with the rival Loyalist
Volunteer Force.

The feud claimed the life of 20-year-old Craig McCausland
in north Belfast last week, whose family has denied he had
any link to the LVF or any other terror group, and whose
mother, Lorraine, was believed to have been murdered by
loyalists in 1987 in a vicious beating near a drinking

Earlier this month, 25-year-old Jameson Lockhart was also
gunned down as he worked on a building site in east Belfast
in an attack also blamed on the UVF.

The UVF was also blamed for a gun attack on a house in the
east of the city on Monday night.


DUP Need To Stop Peddling The 'Big Lie'

Published: 20 July, 2005

Sinn Féin General Secretary, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin
has accused Gregory Campbell of peddling lies about the
nature of disadvantage, discrimination and unemployment in
the Six Counties.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"The DUP are obsessed with peddling lies and myths about
the true nature of disadvantage, discrimination and
unemployment in the Six Counties.

"There is no question that many in the protestant community
are disadvantaged but the reality is that on every single
indicator that Catholics face greater disadvantage.

"The facts speak for themselves. 70% of people living in
the 10% most deprived wards, as measured by the Noble
Index, are Catholic

"The multiple deprivation statistics published in May this
year show that West and North Belfast, Derry City,
Craigavon and West of the Bann continue to be the most
deprived parts of the Six Counties.

"People from the Catholic community are more likely to be
unemployed than Protestants. That is also an indisputable
fact. Action is required to tackle the unemployment
differential between the two communities not the lies
peddled by the DUP.

"If we are going to tackle the social and economic problems
created by the patterns of economic activity throughout the
Six Counties then we need to be honest about what is
happening. Ignoring the true extent of the problem will not
help us to put in place the long-term solutions required.
Telling lies and propagating myths is part of an attempt to
stop resources being targeted on the basis of objective
need and objective need alone.

"The attempt to rewrite the history of this state and to
misrepresent the current reality both feeds into the siege
mentality of unionism and undermines the ability of the
equality agenda to affect real change that can and should
benefit everyone in our society that lives with

"Historic and current patterns of policy and public
expenditure show discrimination against the West of the
Bann area, the border region and Catholic rural and urban
communities. All objective data on disadvantage, poverty
and particularly patterns of unemployment, housing and ill
health testifies to this reality." ENDS

Note to Editors

The unemployment rate for Catholic men is 9 per cent
compared with 5 per cent for Protestant men. Among women,
the unemployment rates are 6 per cent for Catholics and 3
per cent for Protestants. A higher proportion of Catholic
than Protestant working age men and women are classified as
economically inactive. 24 per cent of Catholic men are
economically inactive compared with 18 per cent of
Protestant men.

Indicators such as economically inactive rates, the
'official' unemployment figures and also at the levels of
long-term unemployment, long-term illness and incapacity,
and others such as the Noble index of deprivation and
indicators of poverty and ill health all correlate. The
statistics show that unemployment, ill health and poverty
are a bigger problem for the Catholic community.

The monitoring statistics released by the Equality
Commission in December show that the Catholic share of the
workforce is still below the Catholic proportion of the
economically active population. In the Public sector 55.1%
of the overall composition is Protestant and 39.8% Catholic
while in the Private sector the protestant share is 55.6%
protestant and 39.4% catholic.

The composition of the private sector with 26 plus
employees also show a pattern of Catholic under-
representation. Harland & Wolff employs 12 Catholics and
235 protestants and Shorts Brothers employs only 14.8%
Catholics as against some 85.2% Protestants.

The same pattern of under-representation is replicated
among government departments, particularly at senior civil
service grades. The 2nd Report of the Justice Oversight
Commissioner published June 2004 shows that that less than
1 in 4 senior civil servants is Catholic. Across the NIO as
a whole, Catholics make up only 28% of the workforce.

At senior civil service grades (5+ and 6/7) there is
systematic under representation with less than 25% of all
senior grade civil servants coming from a Catholic
background, ranging from 15% in the Employment, Trade and
Investment Department, 13% in Regional Development to 33%
in Education. Given recruitment trends over the last 30
years it would take until 2057 to achieve fair

The Health Department report on Health Inequalities
published in May last year show that people living deprived
area are a third more likely to die prematurely; 25% more
likely to die as an infant; 15% more likely to get cancer;
and 25% more likely to be admitted to hospital.

The Housing Executive figures for 2002-03, show that in
Belfast the percentage of Catholics on the Housing
Executive waiting list for a house was 44%, yet only 28% of
those actually allocated a house were Catholic - an 'under-
allocation' of 16%. Protestants represented 43% of those on
the waiting list, but 64% of those allocated a house - an
'over-allocation' of 21%.

For the same period (2002-2003) across the north as a whole
the percentage of Protestants on the waiting list was 47%,
with 54% actually being allocated a house - an over-
representation of 7%. For Catholics, the figures were 40%
on the waiting list, and 35% actually allocated a house -
an under-representation of 5%.


Iraq War Crime Charges Require Investigation Of British
Army Activities In North

Published: 20 July, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on demilitarisation, Newry Armagh
MLA Davy Hyland has said that confirmation that three
British Army soldiers charged with war crimes for
activities in Iraq were members of the Royal Lancashire
Regiment that served in South Armagh in 2001 require an
investigation into the behaviour of the British Army in the
Six Counties.

Mr Hyland said:

"Confirmation that the 3 British Army soldiers that stand
accused of war crimes in Iraq were members of the Royal
Lancashire Regiment that served in South Armagh in 2001
opens up a can of worms that requires wider investigation.

"There is ample evidence of widespread collusion between
the British Army and Loyalist paramilitaries, the
involvement of the British Army in the torture of
nationalists and the actions of British Army soldiers in
the murder of citizens throughout South Armagh.

"If the British government is prepared to charge its
soldiers with war crimes because of their actions in Iraq
then they must also be prepared to investigate the
behaviour of the British Army here. To date the British
Army has never been held to account for any of the crimes
it has committed here. From Bloody Sunday to the murders
of Aidan McAnespie, Ferghal Carragher and countless others
the British government has refused to take action. On the
few occasions where British soldiers have been brought
before the courts or convicted they have subsequently had
convictions overturned or even been admitted back into the
British Army and promoted." ENDS


Please Turn In Craig's Killers

Minister's funeral plea to end the cycle of death in
loyalist feud

By Claire Regan
20 July 2005

ANYONE with information on the murder of a young father who
was killed in connection with loyalist feuding in north
Belfast was under pressure to come forward last night after
an impassioned plea from a Presbyterian minister.

Mourners at the funeral of Craig McCausland (20), who was
gunned down by the UVF eight days ago, heard the Rev Ken
Doherty voice concerns that more lives will be lost and the
problem "perpetuated for many years" if the father-of-one's
killers are not brought to justice.

Speaking at a service held in Woodvale Presbyterian Church
in the north of the city yesterday afternoon, the clergy
man urged people to assist the police.

"While I do not want to major on the manner of Craig's
death, I cannot avoid it either. Craig's murder was a most
evil deed," he said.

"Let not those who carried it out - or those who were
behind it, or those who would condone it - imagine that
this is the end of the story. It isn't and it can't be. To
begin with there is the due process of law. I would appeal
to all of those who have the relevant information to pass
that information on to the PSNI.

"Otherwise, other lives will be taken and the problem will
be perpetuated for many years to come."

Earlier yesterday, a brief service was held in the young
man's family home at Woodvale Parade before the funeral
cortege proceeded to the church for a service at 1.30pm. He
was buried afterwards at Roselawn Cemetery.

The song White Flag by Dido, one of the victim's favourite
tracks, was being played as heartbroken family and friends
gathered at the church to say a final goodbye. Words of
appreciation were read by the victim's brother Stuart
McCausland and his friend Johnny Sloan. His cousin Nicola
McIlvenny also gave a reading.

Mr McCausland - who was due to celebrate his 21st birthday
next month - was hit by at least five bullets when masked
men burst into a house in the Woodvale area of north
Belfast in the early hours of last Monday morning. The UVF
carried out the attack in retaliation against the LVF,
although Mr McCausland's family is adamant that he had no
involvement in paramilitarism.


Antrim Nationalists Slam Intimidation Of Protestants

20 July 2005

NATIONALIST representatives in Antrim have condemned two
separate incidents of intimidation in Rathenraw, one of
which has led to a Protestant woman and her children being
forced to leave her home on the predominantly nationalist

It is believed that the woman was told that she had 48
hours to leave the estate following an argument near her
home in Kent Court last Wednesday, July 13.

It is thought that the woman, who has a number of children,
packed her bags and left almost immediately.

On Friday, another Protestant resident of Kent Court
reported to police that the rear window of his Renault
Laguna car had been broken during the night.

It is not yet known whether the two incidents are linked.
Police said last night that they are keeping an open mind
as to the motives behind the incidents.

But Antrim town Sinn Fein representative Gerard Magee says
that the feeling within the community is that the attacks
were sectarian.

"The history of Rathenraw over the last number of years
suggest that this has all the hallmarks of a sectarian
attack," he said. "The position of Sinn Fein is that we are
totally opposed to sectarianism of any nature."

Mr Magee added: "I've visited the family whose car was
attacked to show my support for them and to emphasise the
opposition of my party to these attacks.

"This is a hard working, decent family. They and the wider
population of Rathenraw have the right to live without this
kind of intimidation.

Local SDLP councillor Oran Keenan also condemned the
attacks. He said:

"No-one has the right to go around ordering people to leave
their homes.

"Rathenraw is a community that was in the doldrums for a
long time and over the last number of years a lot of work
has gone into improving its image.

"Unfortunately there are a number of bad eggs within the
estate who believe that they can take the law into their
own hands. There is no room for that in Antrim. It's a
cancer in our society and something which we should be
moving away from."

One local resident, who did not wish to be named, said that
the community in Rathenraw is "living in fear".

"This is the 23rd family that has been forced to leave
Rathenraw in the past few years as a result of blatant
sectarianism and thuggery," he claimed.

The PSNI confirmed that a woman had reported that two men
visited her home and ordered her to leave within 48 hours.
They have urged any victim of attempted intimidation to
immediately contact them. A spokesman said: "We would
encourage anyone who is approached by people purporting to
be from any organisation to contact us and let us deal with
the situation."


Funeral For RUC Widows Crusader

Murdered officer's wife expressed anger as killings

By Linda McKee
20 July 2005

THE FUNERAL took place yesterday of Mary Allen, who did
unstinting work for the RUC Widows Association after her
husband Wallace, a part-time officer, was abducted and
murdered by the IRA in 1980.

Friends and family said their goodbyes in a service at
Cladymore Presbyterian Church, followed by interment in the
adjoining churchyard where Wallace had been laid to rest 25
years previously.

Mary's story was outlined in a profile which appeared in
the Belfast Telegraph in 1997, several years after the IRA

At the time, the mother-of-two expressed her frustration
that policemen were still being murdered, 17 years after
her husband's murder.

Wallace Allen had joined the RUC despite already having a
good job as an inspector with the Department of the

He was targeted by the IRA when he was on a milk round that
he ran in south Armagh every third Sunday.

Police officers rang the house to say that Wallace was
missing, but Mary's worst fears were confirmed when the IRA
issued a statement that he had been taken away for

Almost two weeks later, his body was found in a dam.

Three weeks after Wallace went missing, Mary returned to
her post at nearby Mountnorris Primary School. She said the
first year was tough, but being at school helped.

As the weeks turned to months, Mary vented her anger over
her husband's death by writing to newspapers.

"I felt when Wallace was killed that it would make a
difference, but it didn't. We are still seeing the same
murders of policemen after all this time," she said.

She is survived by son Kenneth, daughter Rosemary, son-in-
law Paul, daughter


SDLP Stays Tight-Lipped On Council's Kelly Motion

By Sarah Brett
20 July 2005

THE SDLP yesterday refused to be drawn on whether they will
back a motion for Derry City Council to demand the
immediate release of Shankill bomber Sean Kelly from

Sinn Fein are due to propose the motion at today's council
meeting, prompting calls from other parties for clarity
over why Kelly continues to be detained by police without
being formally charged.

Kelly (33) was given a life sentence for murdering nine
people in the Shankill Road explosion in October 1993. He
was released early under the Good Friday Agreement but in
May this year was returned to prison on the order of Mr

The Secretary of State said he had received security
evidence that Kelly had once again become engaged in
terrorist activity.

On today's meeting, Derry Sinn Fein councillor Paul Fleming
said: "We're asking that the council demands the immediate
release from Maghaberry Prison of Belfast republican, Sean

"We note with concern that charges have not been brought
against Sean Kelly nor has evidence supporting the decision
to incarcerate him been made public.

"We contend that the circumstances surrounding Sean Kelly's
imprisonment effectively equate the failed policy of
interning Irish citizens without trial and we consequently
demand a complete end to the practice."

DUP MP Gregory Campbell said his party are unlikely to back
the motion but called for full details of the "serious
allegations" facing Kelly to be made public by the PSNI or
the NIO.

He added: "If they are genuinely serious accusations the we
will have to see how Sinn Fein reacts to that."

Setting out the SDLP position without revealing which way
they will jump, the SDLP's leader on Derry City Council,
Pat Ramsey, said Kelly should be treated just like any
other prisoner released under the Good Friday Agreement.

He said: "If there's no evidence against him, the Secretary
of State should release him but if there is evidence
against him, the case against him should be heard by the
Sentence Review Commissioners without delay.

"They can either confirm the Secretary of State's decision
or allow Sean Kelly to be released. That is what the law
requires and is what should happen in this case."


London Bombers Stick A Spanner In Spin Machine

By Lindy McDowell
20 July 2005

BOBBY SANDS was also a suicide bomber. The difference
between Sands and the London bombers was that he did the
bombing and the suicide things consecutively - as opposed
to simultaneously.

Does that make him any better or any worse than the London

And were the London bombers even suicide bombers at all?

According to one theory, the bombers were dupes who
actually believed they were coming back home again.

And according to this theory, they believed they'd have
time to plant and escape the bombs they were carrying -
while the godfathers who sent them out on their mission
knew full well they wouldn't.

Supporting evidence includes the fact that two of the men's
wives were pregnant and - possibly even more conclusive -
the fact that they bought a pay-and-display ticket for
their car at Luton station.

So they were just naive saps? Here again we can think of a
local parallel.

Thomas Begley, the Shankill bomber, also died in a blast
where, despite what he may have been told, the chances of
perpetrator survival were minimal. His fellow bomber, Sean
Kelly did survive and thanks to the shocking death toll in
that particular bombing has gone on, in recent years, to
assume icon status within republicanism.

All the same you have to wonder if Sean, comforted as he
surely is by the current outpouring of republican angst at
his re-imprisonment, is not in the wee small hours,
troubled just a little by the thought that his welfare was
obviously of much less concern to his comrades on that day
when they sent him out to plant the bomb.

Comparisons between London and Belfast don't begin and end
with Sands and Kelly. The parallels are everywhere.

In fact, since the London bombs exploded, hardly an article
has beenwritten about the bombers over there which has
failed to mention the bombers from over here.

London's experience of IRA violence is regularly cited in
these articles - as an example of how the city previously
endured terrorist attacks and as evidence of its
population's reputation for unyielding stiff upper lippery.

This constant comparison between our long-time terrorists
and their new ones has implications for two parties - for
both our local terrorists and for the Blair Government.

For Sinn Fein and the IRA, poised to deliver any day now
(so we are promised) a seismic announcement on possible
disbandment, this is tricky territory.

Shinner spin likes to associate the republican "struggle"
with trendy causes world-wide. Being associated with mad
bombers in London and having the past savagery of their own
mad bombers highlighted obviously is not helpful in image

And since every new terrorist outrage is likely to have an
IRA precedent, this isn't going to go away, you know.
Chilling comparisons will continue to be made giving a
whole new generation and a much, much wider audience a
clearer insight into what IRA violence truly did entail.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair also has a problem with precedent.

In his case the precedent of how he treated (and still
treats) terrorists in this part of the UK will have obvious
implications for how he deals with terrorists much, much
closer to Westminster.

As I've said before, these things have hitherto not gone
unnoticed by Mr Bin Laden himself who has in one speech
pointed up the disparity in approach to Irish and Arab

And it's not just in Mr Blair's treatment of republican
terrorists he may see this contrast.

Even as we speak, Osama may be penning a new speech on the
British Government's more robust attitude towards, say, an
Egyptian man suspected of links to al-Qaida terrorism and a
part-Egyptian man suspected of links to loyalist terrorism.

Osama may also be taking notes on the sort of "justice" mad
bombers may expect from the Blair Government.

Perhaps he is imagining a situation where, for example, an
accomplice of the Tavistock Road bus bomber who killed 13,
might have escaped.

Certainly Osama could assume that, were such an accomplice
bomber arrested, he would face the full rigour of the law.
Mr Blair has promised nothing less.

So what would that amount to?

Well, in the case of bomber Sean Kelly who murdered nine
people - including two little girls - that amounted to a
whole six and a half years behind bars.

Kelly was, of course, recently re-imprisoned because
security forces believed he had again become involved with
terrorist activity.

But a campaign to have him set free again is currently in
full swing. Once his release would have been a certainty.
Where the British Government has been concerned, what Sinn
Fein wants, Sinn Fein gets. And pressure from Irish America
is always inevitable, and extremely influential, in these
cases. Osama might wonder though, how anyone could possibly
sell to any section of American society - currently on
full-blown anti-terrorism alert - the concept of the mass
murdering mad bomber as victim of wrongful detention.

The answer is that Sean Kelly murdered nine Protestants
with his bomb - and that, in some people's eyes, elevates
his action to the genre of freedom fighting, if not
justifiable homicide.

But still...

There will be some in Irish America who, against the
backdrop of those attacks in London, may now pause to
ponder more closely the implications of the Kelly case.

Certainly you imagine there will be those within the
British Government who will pause to ponder the
implications of the Kelly case.

For in the convoluted whirl of global terrorism, the
precedents and parallels Northern Ireland throws up have
renewed significance.

And for our local terrorists the significance is not just
that the likes of Osama Bin Laden has been watching and
learning from their "achievements" both violent and

It's that their one time supporters in the US may be
finally wising up to what the likes of Bin Laden has been
watching and learning from.


Dealing With My Sexual Brokenness

Clifford Smyth, respected Orange historian and family man,
tells of the transvestite compulsions which have made his
life a struggle.

20 July 2005

There was one strange activity which added to my isolation;
I loved putting on make-up and wearing girl's clothes. I
knew this was weird, but my hobby gave intense pleasure
until, that is, La Dolce Vita, reached the silver screen. A
film review in the Scottish Sunday Express did the trick,
defining my infantile diversion as something dark and

Illustrating the nihilism of Fellini's masterpiece, the
critic described a scene of decadent abandon, in which
"transvestites" cavorted about in flouncey skirts. I
identified with their enthusiasm, only to realize that I
too must be a transvestite.

Though the word had registered, its implications eluded me.
I did not know how to respond. Anyway I had no need to
dress-up, had I? I could take it or leave it. More than
that, years before, I had asked Jesus into my heart, I
could pray and He would hear my cry.

Examinations soon imposed other priorities. .

Two years later I was re-establishing my roots in Belfast
where I would become a trainee quantity surveyor. I
conducted a private funeral before bidding farewell to
Rosyth. I purged myself of all that girlie stuff. My
frillies were consigned to a rusty incinerator. Pink
knickers, net petticoats and tiered skirts went up in
smoke. "That's, that!"

Weeks later, anxious and alone, finding it more difficult
to fit in to adult life than I had anticipated, I went in
search of a comfort zone in my landlady's attic. Squeezing
into one of her daughter's party frocks purloined from a
wardrobe, I panicked as the zip jammed.

This powerful resurgence of my freaky behaviour, persuaded
me to attempt some research. What I found in the textbooks
was deeply unnerving. Was I doomed? I fell on my knees.

Other compulsive excursions would follow; my prayers went
unanswered, yet I never lost hope.

Some years passed and help did arrive.

Now active in the Orange Order, I was introduced in the
mid-60s to a fervent Protestant. He jolted my puritan
reserve when he disclosed that he was an expert on sex.
Trusting, I confessed my frailty. He offered pastoral
counselling, but beneath the surface lurked monsters.

In despair I had opened my heart to one of the most
dangerous and enigmatic figures of the Ulster conflict. In
the near future, he would know that the IRA were coming
before they came, pen the 'birth certificate of the UDA',
successfully run guns, and meet the criteria for an agent

In my determination to exorcise my troubles I had only
compounded them.

Many years later I sat in the corner of the Session Room of
my Presbyterian Church. I was terrified, and felt that at
any moment I would wet myself. I knew what was coming.

Only weeks before one of the Orange Order's Committees had
held an irregular meeting in my own home. My personal life
was under scrutiny. Having some experience of the way
things are done in Ulster, I had taken the precaution of
asking my own minister to sit in on that meeting.

My life was under the spotlight because I had provided part
of the Christmas entertainment at a large unionist party
function in Portadown. While my wife Anne sang and played
the accordion, I had recited some of the poems of WF
Marshall, and then reappeared dressed as the 1930s film
star, Carmen Miranda.

This wasn't the first time I had appeared in drag.
Dressing-up as Marlene Dietrich, or Dame Edna Everage had
been a route mapped out by my marriage guidance counsellor
as we had tried to work out a strategy for managing my

Marriage counselling had been yet another attempt to find
help. And help was needed because the first person in whom
I confided my bizarre behaviour, all those years before,
was none other than William McGrath, founder of Tara which
served as a catalyst to loyalist paramilitarism.

McGrath had been exposed as a notorious sexual predator. I
found myself embroiled in the Kincora sex scandal.
Interviewed by the RUC, and the Intelligence Services, and
warned of the likelihood of my personal life being exposed
to public gaze at some impending inquiry, I had at last
taken Anne's advice and sought help.

I was extremely candid with my Orange brethren, but in my
heart I knew they were on a witchhunt. By this stage I had
learned how to read the signs.

In November 1976 I had been called to a meeting in Ian
Paisley's Parsonage where I would be accused of passing on
information to Merlyn Rees's office at Stormont and of
having compiled a document which made scandalous
allegations about leading loyalist politicians. Ian Paisley
was irate and the whole atmosphere was deeply hostile.
Nothing had prepared me for this. I didn't know what was
going on. I was mystified but some of the information that
I was aware of, had come from the lips of Ian Paisley's
paid employees. I felt there was little alternative but to
take whatever was coming to me however unfair the situation
might be.

I offered to resign from the DUP only to realise that this
had been the undeclared aim of the meeting all along!

My wife Anne was outraged at my decision, prevailing upon
me to put up some kind of fight in my own defence. Letters
were exchanged with Ian Paisley, but they made no
difference, I was out on my ear.

I was determined not to give up my commitment to unionist
politics despite having been thrown out of the DUP. A year
later I would begin doctoral research into the very party
that had exiled me.

Life moved on, and in due course I became chairman of a
pressure group which argued that the British Labour party
was morally obliged to field candidates for elections in
Northern Ireland. When the Campaign for Equal Citizenship
as it was called, attempted to stage-manage my removal, I
had learned enough to know I could sit the meeting out.

Numbers shrank as the night wore on. The next evening a
small delegation arrived at my home and asked for my
resignation. I still hadn't a clue as to what I had done to
upset them; but accepted the inevitable.

The imminent Session Room inquisition fitted this pattern.

I had pleaded with my minister, but to no avail. He
answered that, according to the code of the Presbyterian
Church he was entitled to tell the Kirk Session of my sin.
I knew I could take to my heels and run - instead I
followed him into the crowded meeting

I threw myself on God's mercy as the minister spoke, and
suddenly a wonderful peace enveloped me. When the minister
had finished his denunciation of my sexual brokenness
before all the elders present, I was given the strength to

This is what I said:

"I confess before you all that I am a failed human being.
There is not a single man in this room who would volunteer
to be in the situation in which I find myself. Others in my
circumstances have committed suicide, become alcoholics or
suffered marriage breakdown.

"I have a wonderful wife and I love her very dearly. I have
four children whom I love very much. I thank God for all he
has done in my life, and I praise his holy name. And now,
if you don't mind, I ask permission to leave the room."

I left in tears. I would cry non-stop for three days and
nights, much as my wife Anne tried to comfort me.

Anne reacted vehemently, which I found strangely
comforting. Anne said she would never darken another church
again, while I was more hopeful. Time passed and we found a
charismatic fellowship which specialised in taking in waifs
and strays.

In due course I became involved in a work of healing in
Belfast originally pioneered by the Charismatic Vineyard
Ministries in the United States. The Bible-based course
reached out to Christians struggling with issues associated
with sexual brokenness.

There God met me, and I was delivered from transvestism. My
masculine-self had finally been asserted. From now on
everything would be plain sailing . . or so I thought.

For tragedy on a scale I could not have imagined was to
shatter my life.

And, as I will explain tomorrow, in my grief and pain, the
compulsion to put on make-up and dress in women's clothes
would suddenly re-assert itself.


Horror As Shot Seal Is Found On Beach

By Brendan McDaid
20 July 2005

A DONEGAL animal lover today appealed for an end to marine
mammal cruelty after finding a seal shot on a beach near
his home.

Killian McLaughlin (19) from Buncrana was alerted by
neighbours to the harbour seal washed up and slowly dying
on the White Strand beach in Buncrana.

Mr McLaughlin, who has provided sanctuary for hundreds of
unwanted or injured animals from across the world, said the
discovery was particularly worrying following reports of
other culls along the west coast of Ireland in the past

"I am absolutely disgusted anyone could shoot such a
wonderful creature," he said, adding: "It is illegal to
kill marine mammals as they are a protected species.

"It is obvious somebody took a cheap shot from a boat or on
the shore and they set out to do it as they had a gun.

"I would love to see those who did this punished as it was
a cheap shot with no reasoning behind it.

"No doubt the shooter has bragged about the shot to others,
so someone knows who did it."

The attack comes eight months after 60 grey seals and pups
were bludgeoned and shot in a horrific attack on the west
coast Blasket Islands.

Suckling pups, some as young as three weeks, were among
those slaughtered.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary has described such killings as

There are currently just two breeds of seal in Ireland with
numbers dwindling in recent years.

Harbour seals are among a wealth of marine life seen off
the North West's Atlantic Coast in recent years.

Mr McLaughlin said: "Dolphins and killer whales have come
in as far as Fanad Head. There have also been bottle-nosed
dolphins and minke whales and it's an awful thing to think
somebody is out there with a gun."

Mr McLaughlin appealed for anyone with information to
contact the gardai in Buncrana on 00353 749361555.


Irish Guesthouses And B&Bs Struggling

Traditional Irish guesthouses and B&Bs are struggling to
keep up their share of the tourist trade despite a rise of
7% in overnight bookings for accommodation.

New figures for the first three months of the year show
revenue from overseas visitors, particularly those from
Europe, is up 5% on the same period last year.

But the US and other long-haul markets are down.

The Irish Tourism Minister says the figures are a `mixed
bag` and that the sector cannot afford to hide from
changing consumer demands.
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