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 17, 2005

UVF Plan To Wipe-Out LVF

News about Ireland & the Irish

SL 07/17/05 UVF Plan To Wipe-Out LVF
SL 07/17/05 Murder Victim's Family Shocked By 'Bribe' Claim
SL 07/17/05 Family Is Pulling Down Shutters On The Shankill
SL 07/17/05 Miami Massacre 30th Anniv Celebration Of Band
SL 07/17/05 Milestone To Infamy On Road Of Atrocity
SL 07/17/05 The Spy Left Out In The Cold
UT 07/17/05 Carrickfergus Blast Bomb
SB 07/17/05 Clashes Hamper IRA Statement
SB 07/17/05 Riots Fuel Fears Of IRA Breakaway
SL 07/17/05 Ardoyne Riot Blast-Bomber Is Known Robber
SL 07/17/05 Dissidents In Drive For New Recruits
SL 07/17/05 Sean Kelly: Locked Up!
SL 07/17/05 'How Did RUC Not Know?'
SL 07/17/05 Views Sought On Victims' Fund
SL 07/17/05 Cards Flag Up Our Identity Dilemma
SB 07/17/05 Garda Probe Into Islamic Militants Here
BB 07/17/05 McCullough Must Now Call A Halt
MC 07/17/05 Spirit Of The Mollies


UVF Plan To Wipe-Out LVF

By Alan Murray
17 July 2005

UVF chiefs are eager to wipe-out LVF rivals within weeks -
but the bloody feud between the loyalist terror groups
could drag on for months.

Informed loyalist sources say the UVF wants to deliver
rapid "knock-out blows" to end the deadly spat before

The aim is to get the feud over, so that the PUP, its
political wing, can become involved in any political
developments arising out of another IRA decommissioning

The UVF is on 'high alert' to target top members of the

But, a heavy security force presence, in key areas, is
restricting movements by both groups.

A UVF source said: "The big problem is that we need to get
this over as soon as possible, and give the LVF the pasting
that will mean they will never come back at us again, and
that it is finished.

"We don't want this to drag on and on because, by this time
next year, we could be proposing or preparing to dump arms,
and wind up the military end.

"If we were to do that, we wouldn't want to be looking over
our shoulders or under our cars every morning fearing an
LVF attack, so it has to be sorted now."

Two men have died in the latest feud.

The UVF shot dead Craig McCausland (20), in north Belfast
last Monday, 10 days after gunning down Jameson Lockhart in
the east of the city.

But, while Mr Lockhart had connections to LVF members, Mr
McCausland's family is adamant that he had no involvement
in paramilitarism.

The feud is putting huge demands on police resources, with
cops tied up in 'standby' operations in loyalist areas
across Belfast, North Down and Mid-Ulster.


Murder Victim's Family Shocked By 'Bribe' Claim

By Stephen Breen
17 July 2005

A STAR witness received a £10,000 bribe to withdraw
statements linking top UDA men to a brutal murder.

Senior security sources have told Sunday Life, that an
unnamed woman was initially offered £6,000 to keep her
mouth shut about the circumstances surrounding the 2003
killing of Alan 'Bucky' McCullough.

But, when she rejected the bribe, sources claim loyalist
terror bosses went back to the woman with a higher offer.

She then withdrew a statement she had given police,
allegedly linking Ihab Shoukri and William 'Mo' Courtney to
McCullough's disappearance.

McCullough - who was one of Johnny Adair's 'Bolton
Wanderers', but later turned against the exiled loyalists -
was taken from his mother's north Belfast home.

He was later shot, and his body buried in a shallow grave
on the outskirts of Belfast.

Both Shoukri and Courtney were arrested and charged with
his murder - although the murder charge against Shoukri was
later dropped.

The development comes after the authors of the 'UDA -
Inside The Heart of Loyalist Terror' claimed in the book's
new edition, that an unnamed man had received a bribe.

Mr McCullough's brother, Kenny, hit out at the UDA offer.

He also requested a meeting with Chief Constable, Hugh
Orde, and Security Minister, Shaun Woodward, to discuss the

Said Mr McCullough: "This is the first I have heard about
any bribes being offered to potential witnesses in my
brother's case.

"But, if this allegation is true, it is a very serious
matter indeed, and I will be raising it with the police.

"No member of my family, who has made a statement to the
police regarding Alan's murder, will be intimidated by any

"It was our family's decision to make statements, and no
one influenced us in any shape or form."

Since the murder, McCullough's family and friends have
suffered a campaign of intimidation from loyalist thugs.
Among those who have been targeted is Presbyterian
minister, the Rev Ruth Pettigrew.

Courtney was recently granted bail but remains accused of
the murder of 'Bucky' McCullough.


Why This Family Is Pulling Down The Shutters On The

Exclusive by Stephen Breen
17 July 2005

A GRIEVING relative of UVF murder victim Craig McCausland
has closed her Shankill Road business, saying she can no
longer bear to work in the loyalist heartland.

Hairdresser Cathy McIlvenney says she can't stomach the
thought of Craig's killers or their partners coming into
her salon.

She intends placing a message on the shutters: "Closed
because of Craig McCausland's killing".

The 20-year-old died after he was hit by at least five
bullets, when masked men opened fire at a house in the Dhu
Varren area of Woodvale last week.

He became the second victim of the UVF and LVF feud, but
his family have denied claims that he was a paramilitary.

Cathy McIlvenney's decision to close her business comes
after her daughter, Nichola, told Sunday Life that she
fears her family could be subjected to intimidation because
of their outspoken opposition to the UVF.

She also hit out at the DUP and UUP for failing to contact
their family after the murder.

The only political representative who has met the family is
the SDLP's Pat Convrey.

The heartbroken family are also seeking a meeting with
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde and Secretary of State Peter

Graffiti was also daubed on walls in the Shankill on Friday
night branding the UVF "babykillers" and "scumbags".

Said Nichola: "My mum just can't stomach the thought of
Craig's killers coming into the shop, or even walking past

"She also can't imagine cutting the hair of the wives or
girlfriends of the people who murdered Craig.

"She closed the salon because she thought it was the only
thing she could do to express her disgust at the killing.

"We support the people who left messages on the walls in
the Shankill, because they are simply telling the truth.

"Every time we get intimidated, we will just go to the
press and we will not rest until we get justice for Craig."

This is the second time the family have suffered at the
hands of loyalist terrorists.

His mother Lorraine was just 23 when she was battered to
death by a gang of UDA men, outside a community centre in
the Tynedale area of north Belfast, in 1987.

Craig was just two-years-old when she was killed -
ironically, his only son, Dean, is the same age.

His funeral is due to be held on Tuesday.


Thank you for the music

Miami Massacre Survivor Wants The 30th Anniversary To Be
Celebration Of Band

By John McGurk
17 July 2005

A SURVIVOR of the Miami Showband massacre is determined to
replace grim memories of murder and mayhem with music and
laughter - 30 years on.

Like Omagh, Greysteel or The Abercorn, the name of the
Miami Showband is trapped in time as one of those horrific
milestones in the history of the Troubles.

But, as the 30th anniversary of the UVF slaughter of three
home-bred pop stars approaches, atrocity survivor Steve
Travers is aiming to make it an occasion for celebration,
not mourning.

A galaxy of Irish stars, including Las Vegas-based Brendan
Bowyer, Red Hurley, Tony Kenny and Horslips' Johnny Fean,
will appear at a special anniversary show in Dublin's Vicar
Street Theatre.

Giving the night an added poignancy will be two Miami
members who miraculously survived the loyalist terror
attack on July 31, 1974 - Travers and Belfast man Des 'Lee'

Steve told Sunday Life: "Des will be coming back specially
from South Africa, where he has a very strong career. He
will probably lead the finale, doing our hit songs like
Clap Your Hands, Stomp Your Feet and Love Is."

Added Steve: "References to the lads who died - Fran
O'Toole, Tony Geraghty and Brian McCoy - are very sombre.
Their names and the Miami name seem to be connected to that
one terrible thing.

"But I remember them as incredibly outgoing lads who spread
happiness in abundance with their music and talent. Their
lives were about making people happy.

"So, one of the things I would like to come out of the
concert is a really good vibe, and for this night to be a
celebration of their lives, rather than a commemoration of
their deaths.

"Memories of what happened are never far away from me, and
not a day goes by that I don't pray for them. But the good
and happy memories of them far, far outweigh the bad in my

A special inter-denominational service will also be held at
the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin on July 30, with Dana leading
the choir.

Said Steve: "I would particularly love to hear some
Northern Ireland accents down here on the night of the
show, as I still remember how so much kindness was shown to
us there immediately afterwards.

• The Miami Showband inter-denominational service will be
held on Saturday, July 30 at 2pm.

The star-studded concert will take place at Vicar Street,
Dublin, on Monday, August 1. Tickets (27.50 euro) are
available from Ticketmaster. Proceeds from the concert will
go towards a planned memorial to the three members of the
band who died in the massacre.


Another Milestone To Infamy On Long Road Of Atrocity...

By John McGurk
17 July 2005

IT'S been called 'the night the music died', the night
three of the brightest lights on the Irish pop scene were
cruelly snuffed out on a dark Ulster roadside.

Miami members Fran O'Toole (lead singer), Tony Geraghty
(guitarist) and Brian McCoy (trumpet) were mown down in a
bloody hail of UVF machine-gun fire in the early hours of
July 31, 1975.

The mixed, Dublin-based band were targeted by loyalist
terrorists after playing a gig at the Castle Ballroom in

The group's multi-coloured VW van was waved down at an
apparent UDR checkpoint for a supposed routine search.

However, only two of the 'soldiers' were UDR men, and they
were part of a UVF gang intent on framing the band as IRA
bomb runners by planting a device in their van while
searching it, a device it was intended would blow up
further down the road.

But the terror mob's plan went horrifically wrong as their
15lb bomb exploded prematurely, blowing up two of the

The rest of the gang then sprayed the musicians with
gunfire, killing three of the five Miami members. Such was
the sickeningly merciless nature of the attack, dad-of-two
O'Toole, viewed as the heart-throb of the band, was shot 22
times in the face.

Tyrone man McCoy sustained nine gunshot wounds and Dubliner
Geraghty was hit eight times.

Saxophonist McAlea only escaped the carnage because he was
blown into a hedge by the blast, while bassist Travers was
labelled a miracle man by doctors after surviving serious
bullet wounds to his chest, hip and shoulder.

Funeral prayer services for the two UVF terrorists who blew
themselves up - Harris Boyle and Wesley Somerville - were
conducted by Rev William McCrea.

Two serving UDR men - Thomas Crozier and Rodney McDowell,
both from Lurgan - were given the longest life sentences in
Northern Ireland legal history.

A third UVF man, James Somerville - brother of the dead
terrorist - was sentenced to 35 years.


The Spy Left Out In The Cold

'STUART' is one of around 300 undercover agents who have
been axed by the police since last summer. The agents or
informers were receiving an average retainer of £350 per
month, plus bonuses for information on terrorist groups. He
tells CHRIS ANDERSON of his secret life 'spying' on
loyalist hoods like Jim 'Doris Day' Gray.

By Chris Anderson
17 July 2005

FOR almost a decade 'Stuart' led a double-life.

The dad-of-the-two looks like your typical middle-aged,
conservatively dressed businessman.

But, until a few months ago, he was also a CHIS - a Covert
Human Intelligence Source - supplying his Special Branch
handlers with information on loyalist paramilitaries.

He had grown up with some senior loyalists in Belfast, and
knew others, like east Belfast 'brigadier' Jim Gray,
through his business.

He was able move easily in those circles.

Now, he's missing the money. He's falling behind with his
mortgage, and the stress is putting his marriage under

Feeling abandoned by the police, he met up with a Sunday
Life reporter to talk about his former life collecting
information on loyalist hoodlums, like Gray and Johnny
Adair, and his shock at being suddenly dumped.

'Stuart' says his secret life as a 'spy' began when he met
an off-duty RUC officer, at a family wedding reception, in
a Co Down hotel.

They chatted about work, family and friends, before the cop
asked him for a contact telephone number, saying there was
someone he would like him to meet.

A few days later he got a call asking him to meet the
officer and his 'friend' at a bar, in the Carryduff area.

"The friend turned out to be a Special Branch officer, and
he said he wanted me to work for them.

"He said I had access to places and people they were
interested in. He said I would be well rewarded for my
work, and before I left, he slipped three £20 notes into my
hand, saying these were to cover my 'expenses' that day."

Looking back, 'Stuart' says: "Once I took that first £60 I
was hooked - there was no going back."

He met up with the SB officer, near Lisburn, a week later.

Stuart was asked to find out as much as he could about
loyalist paramilitaries he came into contact with through
his work.

"I was told to keep it simple. To listen and not ask
questions. My handlers told me asking too many questions
would arouse suspicion," he said.

"They told me I would be paid £50 a week, but then they
changed that to a single monthly payment of £200.

"I was given a phone number to ring if I wanted to talk to
my handlers, or to set up a meeting with them. I was also
told to use a certain name when I called."

During the next decade his handlers changed on many
occasions. But, the basic operational procedures remained
the same.

'Stuart' would regularly receive a phone call telling him
to meet at a particular place and time.

"We had different places for our meetings. Crawfordsburn
Country Park, Hillsborough Forest, Craigantlet, places like

"On one occasion, I met my handlers in the car park of a
local cemetery. They just said when and where, and I'd be

He would park his car and wait.

Before his handlers arrival, another SB car would scout the
area and park close by.

During his involvement with Special Branch, Stuart gathered
intelligence on loyalist involvement in the Drumcree Orange
protest, the Holycross School dispute, and the UDA feud
involving Johnny Adair and the UDA inner council.

"Drumcree was a big thing for them. They needed to know if
loyalist paramilitaries were involved in the protests at
the church, and in other areas," he said.

"Holycross was important as well.

"But, Adair was a prime target. They wanted to know
everything they could about him. His rackets, his links to
the LVF, what level of support he had inside the UDA, and
whether he was planning a first strike against the inner

'Stuart' admits it was the money which won him over, and he
quickly became accustomed to the extra cash in his pocket.

"I didn't have to work as hard with this money coming in,
so I turned jobs down that I would have normally taken on,"
he said.

"I never ever thought it would stop, or that I would be
dumped without warning. Now it has, I am behind with my
mortgage and car payments."

He says he may even lose his home soon, and feels hard done
by having put his life on the line as an agent.

His work with Special Branch ended abruptly earlier this
year, when he got a phone call asking to meet his handlers
the following day.

"They said policy had changed, and there was nothing they
could do about it. They promised me a lump sum payment
within a few weeks but it never materialised," he claimed.


Carrickfergus Blast Bomb

Blast bombers attacked another home in Northern Ireland,
police said today.

A device exploded after being thrown through a living room
window in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, last night.

No one was in the house on Schomberg Court at the time, but
it is understood shrapnel was blasted across the room.

Sources said it would have caused serious injury had anyone
been nearby.

Two masked men seen running from the scene just after 11pm
are thought to have got into a small dark car and driven

Police have not revealed a reason for the attack, but it
came less than 24 hours after a Catholic woman`s home was
hit by a blast bomb in north Belfast.

Detectives are examining a possible sectarian motive for
the strike on Sharon O`Shea`s house on Mountainview
Gardens, off the Crumlin Road.

The mother of two was slightly cut when windows were
shattered and a car parked outside was also damaged.

Ms O`Shea was showered with glass but claimed it could have
been so much worse.

She said: "If it actually had come into the house I
wouldn`t be here. I would have been dead.

"They obviously meant business throwing it at the bedroom.
There was no way for me to get out."

Days earlier rioting nationalists had thrown blast bombs at
police during a flashpoint Orange Order parade in north


Clashes Hamper IRA Statement

17 July 2005

Republicans have sought to play down the prospects of an
IRA statement this week and have suggested that any move by
the republican movement into a "new mode" will not now
happen until late July at the earliest, writes Paul T

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern met with Sinn Féin president Gerry
Adams last Friday for informal discussions about the peace
process. Sources described the meeting as "productive'',
but said it was merely part of continuing "work in

The government had been hoping that an IRA statement,
declaring a definitive move away from armed struggle
towards purely democratic and political methods, would be
forthcoming before next Saturday.

Events on the ground in North Belfast last week, where
hundreds of nationalists clashed with the PSNI following a
contentious Orange march through the Ardoyne, are thought
to have delayed any immediate plans by the IRA.

Adams said he had raised the issue with Ahern and warned
that work needed to be done to ensure that similar scenes
do not take place at next month's Apprentice Boys' March in

He would not be drawn on whether the violence would have
any impact on the expected IRA statement.

The Sinn Féin leader also raised the recent re-arrest of
Shankill bomber Sean Kelly with the Taoiseach.

Sinn Féin sources expressed surprise that the meeting
between Ahern and Adams had been publicised in advance.

They said it was simply a private meeting to enable both
sides to discuss the prospect of further unrest throughout
the unionist marching season.

They denied that it was a precursor to any dramatic move in
the coming days.

Concern has meanwhile been voiced by some Belfast
republicans who believe the events in the Ardoyne may have
allowed dissident republicans, such as the Continuity IRA,
to get their "foot in the door''.


Riots Fuel Fears Of IRA Breakaway

17 July 2005 By Paul T Colgan

The appearance of dissident republicans armed with blast-
bombs on the streets of Ardoyne last Tuesday, coupled with
the seeming inability of senior republicans such as Gerry
Adams and Gerry Kelly to control nationalist rioters, has
emphasised the difficulties that lie ahead in winding up
the IRA.

Nationalist youths, incensed by the taunts of Orangemen who
marched through the area - many of them laced with alcohol
– took out their anger on the PSNI.

For the second year in succession, rioters ended up
fighting with the North's security forces after Orange
revellers were ushered through the north Belfast enclave.

While mainstream republicans seek to play down the
potential for further violence in the coming weeks, the
spectre of a reinvigorated dissident threat is nonetheless
troubling them.

One seasoned Belfast republican said that he feared that
the Continuity IRA, which admitted that its members had
thrown up to nine blast-bombs at PSNI officers, viewed
Tuesday's events as a "foot in the door''.

He said that the recent decision by the Northern Ireland
Office to return Shankill bomber Sean Kelly to prison had
fed into last week's troubles, as some republicans who had
previously stewarded protesters decided to stay away from
the Ardoyne.

Republicans said Kelly had been prominent in last year's
attempts to maintain calm at the interface, and claim that
he was arrested as a sop to unionists who objected to his
presence on the front line.

"Many of my friends who are 'lifers' act as stewards at
these things, but my advice to them was not to go near it,"
said the republican. "When you go into a situation where a
riot is possible, you just can't control what is going to
happen. You run the risk of being arrested and having your
licence revoked.

"By returning Kelly to prison, the British government
created this kind of knock-on effect. It created a vacuum,
which other people chose to exploit."

He said that contrary to recent reports, north Belfast
remained largely supportive of the political strategy being
pursued by Sinn Féin, but the patience of many republicans
in the area was being severely tested.

"The British government tailored a situation for the
dissidents," he said. "North Belfast has been on the
receiving end of most of the sectarian violence down
through the years.

"It has always been a testing ground for theories about the
peace process - things are always tested more quickly there
than, say, west Belfast. But the desire by people there for
peace has always been as strong as anywhere else.

"Support for the dissidents is weak there, but people,
having gone through what they have, are not going to
condemn them for throwing blast-bombs in such a situation,"
he said.

Republicans always knew that their discussions about the
future of the IRA would coincide with the difficult
marching season.

With an IRA statement still considered imminent by the
Irish government, any move by republicans in the coming
days will be fraught with difficulties. The consultation
period within the IRA is understood to have come to an end
in the past two weeks.

However, republicans say that more time is required to
brief IRA members about what the organisation is to say

In the past, the first the average IRA member knew about
the two ceasefire declarations or the three acts of
decommissioning was what they heard from the media.

Republicans claim that this type of approach irked many
members and fed into latent doubts about the credibility of
the political strategy. They insist that this mistake will
not happen again.

There is concern that the angry scenes in Ardoyne are
likely to have had some impact on the IRA rank and file.
Opposition in some quarters - most notably in Tyrone and
Armagh - to plans to move into a "new mode'' may have been
strengthened by the Parades Commission's decision to usher
Orangemen through the predominantly nationalist area.

However, most republicans are understood to back plans by
the IRA leadership to embrace "democratic and political

According to sources, the IRA leadership had not sought to
argue the case for effective disbandment. Instead,
substantive decommissioning, accompanied by a clear
statement of its intent not to resort to violence, is the
route that is believed to have earned grassroots

The senior republican scotched speculation that dissidents
were in a position to scupper the IRA's plans. "I'm
concerned but not seriously worried about what might
develop out of Ardoyne," he said.

"The dissidents are weak and without support, but it
depends on everyone to ensure that conditions are not
created that they can exploit."


Ardoyne Riot Blast-Bomber Is Known Robber

Exclusive by Ciaran McGuigan
17 July 2005

THE dissident republican who hurled blast bombs at cops and
journalists during the Ardoyne riots is a well-known armed

The man, who has served jail time for his involvement in
armed raids, was the ringleader of a heavily-armed
Continuity IRA gang that was drafted into the Ardoyne area
from the Lower Falls.

And he was clearly visible on TV footage of the parade and
protest a short time before pulling on surgical gloves to
carry out the blast bomb attack that left two journalists
and a police officer needing treatment.

The man's brother - who is currently on bail awaiting trial
on armed robbery charges - also took part in the CIRA

The brothers' easily-distinguishable features marked them
out from the rest of the rioters.

Said one republican source: "The CIRA were on the ground,
but they were on standby.

"They were not supposed to open fire or throw the blast
bombs, but that all went out the window when the police
opened fire with the water cannon.

"They then threw the blast bombs at cops, but held back
from opening fire, because they were worried that the
situation could have turned into a bloodbath."

The CIRA claimed responsibility for the attacks, after
contacting a daily newspaper last week.

Sunday Life is aware of the identity of the gang's leader,
but is unable to disclose it for legal reasons.

But we can reveal that he is a well-known republican from
the lower Falls.

He was also the victim of an Official IRA punishment squad
a number of years ago, after falling out with a senior
member of the organisation.

The gang forced their way into a house in the Markets area,
where the man was staying.


Dissidents In Drive For New Recruits

Exclusive by Stephen Breen
17 July 2005

RENEGADE republican godfathers last night embarked on a
major recruitment drive in riot-torn Ardoyne.

Senior security sources told Sunday Life that Continuity
IRA godfathers have been urging young people in the
district to join their ranks.

Fears are growing in Ardoyne that dissident republicans -
along with the INLA - have been getting stronger in recent

Renegade republicans have also been re-grouping in other
parts of Northern Ireland - including north Armagh, where
the Real IRA have been blamed for gun attacks on cops.

Sources claim support for dissidents has been growing
because of the troubled peace process.

Sunday Life spoke to one top CIRA member last week, who
vowed to unleash a new wave of terror in north Belfast if
nationalists came under attack from loyalists.

But a senior mainstream republican source dismissed the

Said the CIRA figure: "Make no mistake about it - we will
not stand idly by while the PSNI forces Orange parades
through this district.

"We have the men and we have the weapons to protect this
community. If the community comes under attack, we will hit

"Ardoyne could have been a lot worse, but our members were
restrained because we didn't want innocent nationalists to

"People underestimate our support in this community, but we
will continue to grow and grow.

"We will not give up and will continue to use the means of
armed struggle to achieve our objectives and to help our

However, a senior Provisional IRA source said: "These
people have threatened to do all sorts in the past, but
what have they done - nothing.

"They have no support in places like Ardoyne and have no
coherent strategy. They are nothing but a collection of
hoods and thugs.

"People seem to forget that it wasn't that long ago that
members of the Continuity IRA were exchanging weapons with
Johnny Adair's old 'C' company.

"When the Army's radio transmitter was stolen in Ardoyne
last year, it wasn't the dissidents who the people went to.
They are a small group of people who care more about
committing armed robberies that uniting Ireland."


Locked Up!

Mass killer caged because he was 'Officer Commanding' New
Lodge IRA

Exclusive by Joe Oliver
17 July 2005

MASS-KILLER Sean Kelly was returned to prison after being
identified as OC of the IRA in the New Lodge district of
north Belfast.

Undercover security forces - assisted by MI5 - spent months
monitoring the movements of the notorious Shankill bomber.

And they were able to establish that Kelly (33) was "up to
his neck" in criminality and extortion rackets.

Sinn Fein has mounted a number of high-profile protests
over Kelly's detention, claiming he played a key role in
helping to prevent violence at interface flashpoints.

But one intelligence source revealed: "Anything happening
in the New Lodge had to have his say-so.

"He was the leading IRA figure in the district, although he
was living in Ardoyne and was outwardly associated with
that area.

"Kelly can be linked to a range of criminal activities, and
was handing down orders to others to deal with so-called
'anti-social elements' and those who fell short or failed
to cough up protection money.

"In one sense, he was living a double life - on one hand,
the calming influence at civil disturbance scenes, on the
other, a man whom many in his own community were in fear

Kelly was given nine life sentences for one of Ulster's
worst terrorist atrocities.

The bomber, whose accomplice, Thomas Begley, was killed in
the attack on the Shankill fish shop in 1993, lost the
sight of his left eye and power in his left arm in the

He was released under the terms of the Good Friday
Agreement after serving just six-and-a-half years.

If he fails to persuade the Independent Sentence Review
Commission not to revoke his licence, he would revert to
the status of a life sentence prisoner.

He would then go before the Lord Chief Justice to set a
tariff on how long he should serve behind bars.

Kelly was planning to attend the wedding of top republican
Eddie Copeland last month when police swooped.

One loyalist inmate has already threatened him since his
return to Maghaberry Prison.

According to loyalist sources, there is a £10,000 price on
his head.


'How Did RUC Not Know?'

Slain soldier's family learn of two jailed in Republic in
connection with killing 30 years ago

By Alan Murray
17 July 2005

A VICTIM'S group has slammed the police investigation into
the murder of a UDR soldier 30 years ago after discovering
that two IRA men were jailed in the Republic in connection
with the killing.

A letter from the Department of Justice in Dublin -
received by the family of Corporal James Elliott just a
month ago - has revealed that two IRA men were jailed for
nine months and 15 months, after being arrested by Garda
near a command wire leading to a booby-trap bomb.

The device had been concealed close to the body of Mr
Elliott (36) and was designed to kill police or soldiers
who attended the scene.

The father-of-three, from Rathfriland in Co Down, was found
shot dead on the border near Newtownhamilton in April 1972,
after he was kidnapped by the IRA.

Six Claymore mines and a huge 500lb landmine had been
concealed underneath and around the soldier's body.

No one has been charged with Mr Elliott's murder - and the
police have said that they were unaware of his killers'
identity, according to local people.

But, in a letter to the soldier's family last month, the
Dublin Department of Justice revealed that two men received
prison sentences in the Republic for being in possession of
explosives in Monaghan "at the time of the incident".

Families Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR) spokesman
Willie Frazer said the revelation was "astonishing".

"For 30 years, we have been told that the police didn't
know who was involved in this murder and now the Department
of Justice reveals that two IRA men received prison
sentences for their connection to the landmine hidden near
Corporal Elliott's body.

"How did the RUC not know that - and why didn't they seek
to extradite, question or arrest these men who were clearly
connected with the whole incident?

"It makes you wonder whether the victims of terrorism are
just being fobbed off with any statement to get rid of

FAIR says it is hopeful that the recently-created
Historical Crimes Review Team - set up to probe unsolved
killings in Ulster - will be able to throw some light on
the Elliott murder.

Frazer added: "We have spoken to the head of the team, Dave
Cox, and mentioned several murders in the south Armagh area
- including the Elliott murder - which we believe were
organised and carried out by a small core of IRA men.

"The names of these men come up again and again in
investigations and we hope that Dave Cox can pinpoint their
involvement in many of the murders and go after them.

"But for the RUC to tell us they had no suspects in the
Elliott case and then to discover from Dublin, 30 years
later, that two men were convicted and sentenced in
connection with it, is a shock."

A police spokesman said yesterday: "We have made it clear
that all unsolved murders over the last 30 years are to be

"The PSNI has set up a special team to do that work and
seek some form of resolution for the bereaved families who
have suffered. That remains our commitment."


Views Sought On Victims' Fund

Exclusive by Stephen Breen
17 July 2005

VICTIMS of the Troubles were last night urged to outline
their views on the work of a leading Ulster charity.

People affected by loyalist and republican violence have
been asked by the Government to provide their opinions on
the role of the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund (NIMF).

The NIO has commissioned Belfast-based company Deloitte to
undertake research and produce a report on the work of the
NIMF since 2001.

The NIMF was set up in 1999, after recommendations by Sir
Kenneth Bloomfield, to provide help and support to victims,
survivors and their families.

Senior NIO sources told Sunday Life the report was
authorised after a number of victims claimed they had been
"snubbed" by the charity.

One of the victims is Joe Holbeach, who was standing just
30ft away from the Enniskillen War Memorial in 1987 when a
massive IRA bomb exploded.

He hit out after he failed to get the NIMF's discretionary
hardship fund.

The report will detail the effectiveness of the NIMF in
providing practical help to victims and assess the impact
of the charity.

Victims' opinions will be gathered through group
discussions and a series of private interviews.

A questionnaire has also been sent out to victims.

Said an NIO spokesman: The NIO can confirm that it will be
writing to people to ask for their views on the NIMF.

"The NIO has commissioned a market research company to
compile a report and this will cover a wide range of areas
relating to the charity.

"It is hoped recommendations in the report will help the
charity in its long-term future plans."

NIMF spokesman, Colin Corbett, urged people to contribute.
"This report will make recommendations about the charity's
long-term future and this has to be welcomed," he said.

"We help people from both sections of the political divide
and we are an independent charity, which helps people in
practical ways with a range of various schemes."


Cards Flag Up Our Identity Dilemma

Choice of Union flag or harp symbols

By John Hunter
17 July 2005

NORTHERN Ireland residents may be able to choose between a
British identity card with a Union flag or a harp-emblemed
Irish equivalent.

The Dublin government is consulting on whether cross-border
ID cards should be introduced for Irish citizens, at home
and abroad, on a reciprocal basis with the UK.

The move follows backing in the House of Commons for UK ID

Although there is still strong opposition to compulsory ID
cards, the London terror attacks by Islamic extremists will
undoubtedly have increased the government's and the Home
Secretary Charles Clarke's determination to have the law
passed, and the hi-tech cards phased in over the next

That could raise potentially serious problems for Irish
nationals in Britain, and Irish passport holders in
Northern Ireland.

British identity cards have already been attacked as
breaching the Good Friday Agreement, which permits Ulster
locals to identify themselves as Irish or British, holding
either passport.

The new British ID card may carry a Union flag emblem.

The local implications of the UK identity-cards were due to
be discussed at the talks between local political parties
and the government, until they collapsed, last December.

But, if Northern Ireland was allowed to opt out completely
from the compulsory British scheme, the only alternative
might be to require production of a passport, either
British or Irish, on entry to England. This would raise
major human rights legal issues.

One alternative, would be the introduction of similar
identity cards, issued in the Republic and recognised in
the UK.

The Republic's Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, has said
he is opposed to ID cards, but admitted their introduction
in Britain would raise "very significant issues".

However, Dublin sources say that the implications of Irish
identity-cards are actively being considered.

As well as Northern Ireland residents, who reject a British
passport and say no to British identity, thousands cross
the border from the Republic daily, with free movement
guaranteed under Euro Union laws.

But, for Irish and British identity cards to work
effectively in both jurisdictions, a confidential data-
base, with details on all British and Irish citizens would
have to be shared by London and Dublin.

This has already been opposed by the DUP on the grounds
that a "foreign country" should not have access to such
confidential details.

Ironically, Sinn Fein takes a similar view although, of
course, they differ on the name of the "foreign country".


Garda Probe Into Strength Of Islamic Militants Here

17 July 2005 By Barry O'Kelly

Gardai have launched a wide-ranging investigation into the
operational strength of Islamic militant groups in Ireland
on behalf of international intelligence services, The
Sunday Business Post can reveal.

In a report marked 'strictly confidential', the
intelligence services last week requested the Garda to
provide a detailed audit of the membership, leadership
structure, beliefs and finances of more than 20 militant

The report, received by the Garda Special Detective Unit
(SDU) in recent days, requests a 'grading' on the potential
capability of each group, according to Garda sources.

Five groups, including the al-Qaeda-linked Egyptian Islamic
Jihad, have a presence in Ireland, the sources revealed.

The investigation - the biggest of its kind carried out in
Ireland - aims to collate a detailed account of the
movements and associations of militants here in the months
leading up to the London bombings.

Sources denied any knowledge of a link between activists in
Ireland and the suicide bombings ten days ago.

The audit asks the gardai for a detailed account of the
success and failure of each militant group and the names of
anyone who has been arrested or charged with any offence.

More than 80 garda detectives, drawn from the Middle East
Section, the National Surveillance Unit and other units,
are believed to be working full-time on the case.
Surveillance on all known activists, including the former
leader of an al-Qaeda cell in Europe, has been stepped up

The Sunday Business Post understands that gardai have
identified 'legitimate' sources of money, notably from
remortgaging houses, car loans, bank overdrafts and
contributions to non-profit organisations, as the means by
which militant groups are financed here. Some people have
contributed "five figure sums'', according to detectives.

Gardai are believed to be investigating more than 30 people
suspected of helping to raise money for the groups here. It
is suspected that money is being moved abroad through
'layered' money laundering schemes in which regular
payments are channelled through a series of apparently
legitimate entities. Bogus credit card transactions are
also under investigation.

While Ireland is seen as having some of the toughest laws
in Europe to combat fundamentalist groups, detectives said
last week that much of the evidence gleaned to date on
known activists would not lead to prosecutions.

Gardai are believed to be liaising closely with the British
and American intelligence services as part of their
investigation into the suicide attacks in London. "It's
very hush-hush," said one detective.


McCullough Must Now Call A Halt

By John Haughey
BBC Sport

Wayne McCullough is a hugely popular man in Irish sport but
his fans throughout the Emerald Isle will now be begging
him to hang up his gloves.

Saturday night's 10th round stoppage by Mexico's Oscar
Larios means the 35-year-old Belfastman has lost his last
six world title fights.

McCullough was already past his best when he was beaten on
points by Daniel Zaragoza in January 1997.

Eight years and five more world title defeats later, it is
time to retire.

McCullough's all-action style, with its premium on fitness
and taking shots from opponents, meant that he should have
followed his own vow early in his professional career that
he would retire at the age of 29.

The Belfastman had his first professional bout in 1993 -
seven months after winning an Olympic silver medal in

His Olympic medal had been won on a memorable day for Irish
sport with Michael Carruth claiming gold on the same

McCullough may have been a protestant from the loyalist
Shankill area in Belfast but after that day, he was
guaranteed a place in the affections of sports fans
throughout Ireland.

McCullough put up a creditable show against Naseem Hamed

The Belfastman based himself in the US from the outset of
his professional career and, unsurprisingly, developed a
huge following among Irish-Americans.

His relentless style proved too much for his first 12
opponents but he then was presented with his first real
test came in June 1994 when he measured up against Victor
Rabanales, who had held the WBC bantamweight title in the
early 1990s.

The two men produced a thrilling bout but the younger
Irishman edged the decision to take a huge step forward in
his career.

After three more wins, McCullough was given a world title
shot but most observers gave him little chance as he had to
travel to Japan to face WBC bantamweight champion Yasuei

However with his trainer the legendary Eddie Futch
travelling to the Orient to guide him, McCullough claimed a
deserved split points verdict to take the world title.

In truth, McCullough reached his peak that night and with a
couple of wars already behind him, he was never really the
same fighter again.

He was able to defend the WBC bantamweight crown on two
occasions in his native Ireland with Johnny Bredahl
comfortably beaten in Belfast but Jose Luis Bueno proving
an altogether tougher proposition in Dublin in March 1996.

Bueno burst McCullough's ear drum early in the bout but
McCullough somehow battled back to edge a tight points

The Belfastman then relinquished the WBC bantamweight title
because of weight difficulties and looked to have landed a
handy world title fight when he was matched with veteran
Daniel Zaragoza for the WBC super bantamweight title in

However, thirty-nine-year-old Zaragoza got the verdict
although there were inevitable complaints from McCullough
that he had been robbed.

Twenty months later, McCullough put up a creditable show
against Naseem Hamed but came up well short on points and
it was the same scenario in October 1999 against Erik

A year later, on the eve of a scheduled non-title bout in
Belfast, McCullough's career appeared over after a British
Boxing Board of Control scan had found a two inch cyst on
his brain.

McCullough refused to accept the medical verdict and after
a two-year battle was back in the ring again in London in
September 2002.

A couple of low-key wins earned McCullough a bout with WBO
featherweight champion Scott Harrison but it proved a
distressing night as the Irishman took an unmerciful

McCullough was now a clearly a spent force but amazingly
the vagueries of boxing politics were to earn him two more
no-hope world title bouts against Oscar Larios.

The Irishman deluded himself after the first Larios bout in
February by claiming that he had deserved the verdict.

After Saturday's defeat, one hopes McCullough will now
finally comes to terms with the fact that his powers have
long waned.

Story from BBC SPORT:
Published: 2005/07/17 12:14:47 GMT


Spirit Of The Mollies

Original 'Rope' dance tells tragic story of coal-region

By Frank Whelan
Of The Morning Call

Kathy Cowan calls her discovery a complete fluke. It
happened one afternoon while the Northeastern Illinois
University professor/songwriter was gathering music for
''The Day of the Rope,'' a contemporary dance production
that tells the story of the legendary Irish immigrant
Pennsylvania coal-region miners the Molly Maguires.
''Rope'' will premiere Saturday at the Mauch Chunk Opera
House in Jim Thorpe.

''I was at an Irish bookstore in Chicago going through a
box of music tapes. At the bottom of the box was a tape
from the 1970s, 'Lament for the Molly Maguires' by the
Irish Rovers'' she says. ''It was exactly what we had been
looking for to tie the piece together musically.''

Perhaps it was the spirit of the Mollies that guided Cowan.
''Lament'' is one of eight songs Cowan and choreographer
Venetia Stifler selected to help tell the tragic story of
the Mollies, 10 of whom were executed.


What: Premiere of a dance based on the story of the Molly
Maguires, Irish immigrant activist mine workers executed in
the coal-mining region of Pennsylvania in the 1870s.
Chicago's Concert Dance Inc. and Irish-American singer
Kathy Cowan interpret their struggle.

When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Mauch Chunk Opera House, 14 W. Broadway, Jim Thorpe

Tickets: $15, includes light reception. Diners at the
Emerald Restaurant in the Inn of Jim Thorpe, 24 Broadway,
can submit their receipts for a free ticket. Call 570-325-
8995 for reservations.

Info: 570-325-0249

From the late 1860s to the mid 1870s the coal miners,
members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians fraternal
organization were accused of running a secret criminal
society called the Molly Maguires. The term comes from
Irish cattle rustlers and rebels who sometimes dressed as
women as a form of disguise.

The Mollies engaged in a violent confrontation with
Pennsylvania mining companies. Some saw them as Robin Hoods
defending the rights of the hapless Irish coal miners.
Others looked at them as little better than thugs. James
McParlen, a Pinkerton detective hired by the mining
interests, joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians and later
testified against the Mollies at their trial.

Nine Mollies were executed on June 21, 1877, three in
Carbon County, nine in Schuylkill County. Jack Kehoe,
accused of being the ringleader of the Mollies, was hanged
in Schuylkill County Prison on Dec. 18, 1878.

Stifler, who also teaches at Northeastern Illinois
University, knew nothing of the Mollies when she brought
her dance company, Concert Dance Inc., to Jim Thorpe last
July to perform at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. She had
come to the historic town at the urging of her brother-in-
law, Dan Hugos, who owns the Dakota Ridge photography
gallery across the street from the opera house and who
produces the venue's shows with Vince DeGiosio and his
wife, Christie McGorry.

Stifler was impressed with the reaction to her dance and
the dancers. ''The next morning I was going out to get
coffee and along the way I met many people who had seen the
production the night before and commented about it to me,''
Stifler says. ''It is not something we see in Chicago. It
was a wonderful experience.''

During a tour of the region, Stifler got the idea to create
''The Day of the Rope'' from Hugos and other residents.
''They took me to Eckley Village, the site of a mining
coal-patch town that had been used in the 1970 film 'The
Molly Maguires' with Sean Connery. It just struck me that
the place seemed haunted,'' says Stifller.

Stifler's imagination was also stimulated by conversations
with McGorry. McGorry is a native of the region and her
cousin, the late Bernie Coleman of Tuscarora, was the
great-grandnephew of John ''Yellow Jack'' Donahue, one of
the Mollies who was hanged.

Returning to Chicago with Mollies on her mind, Stifler
decided they would make an excellent subject for a dance.
''I sent Dan an e-mail and asked what he thought of the
idea,'' Stifler recalls. ''He sent me back an e-mail with
the words 'WE WANT IT' repeated across the screen.''

Stifler asked Cowan, whose specialty is Irish music, to
collaborate. They started by choosing songs from among the
thousands Stifler says were written about the Molly
Maguries. The songs, says Stifler, needed to both tell the
story and be ''musically entertaining.''

''This is somewhat unusual for contemporary dance,'' says
Cowan. ''Normally, the dance shapes the image rather than
letting music also tell the story.''

The songs they gathered, described by Stifler as
''beautiful and evocative,'' are a mix of American history,
Irish history and labor history. Among the songs: 'Which
Side Are You On?' an American union song; 'Schoolday's
Over,' about child labor, and 'When The Breaker Starts Up
Full Time,' an 1870s music-hall song. Cowan, whose father
was born in Ireland, is particularly partial to the Irish
songs. ''Like the Irish, they are laughing and weeping at
the same time,'' she says.

The performance will begin with Cowan leading the audience
in group singing, followed by two ''warm-up'' pieces by the
six dancers. After a 40-minute intermission comes ''The Day
of the Rope.''

Stifler describes it as ''the story of the Mollies in
narrative, song and movement.'' Cowan provides the
narrative and song; the dancers provide the movement.

The first scene is of a family in Ireland saying goodbye to
a member leaving for America. Once in America, he gets a
job in coal mine, which is ''dark as a dungeon,'' says

The story continues with children being sent into the coal
mine to reach places too small for the men. Everyone is in
misery as Cowan sings about miners owing their souls to the
coal mines. Then comes a scene to the lyrics of ''Which
Side Are You On?'' in which the miners are forced to make a
choice — join the Mollies or side with the mine owners.

The dance ends with a farewell to life that includes an
abstract hanging and with a scene evoking the memories of
the Molly Maguires.

Stifler is aware that even today, 127 years after the
executions, the Mollies stir strong emotions. But she says
that the dance has no political purpose. ''Some of these
men were innocent of crimes and some were not,'' she says.

But Stifler's and Cowan's sympathies are with the plight of
the miners.

''We are all human and we can all understand human
emotions,'' says Stifler. ''They left Ireland fleeing the
potato famine or whatever, hoping for a different life in
America and they ended up in virtual slavery in coal mines
under horrible working conditions for the rest of their
lives. We need to remember that the good old days that
everybody talks about were not so good after all. We need
to remember the stories.''

Stilfer believes ''Day of the Rope'' is significant even
beyond the historical events.

''I am telling a universal story about humans and how they
can misunderstand each other. What people gather from it is
up to them.''

Lyrics to 'Lament for the Molly Maguires' collected by C.


Sucking up the coal dust into your lungs
Underneath the hills where there is no sun
Trying to make a living on a dollar a day
Digging coal in Pennsylvan-i-a

We left old Ireland, we left our homes
Across the ocean we had to roam
With five (can't get this word-gusoons?)and a scrawny wife
Trying to make some kind of a life


But the Welsh and the English, the Germans, the Dutch
Controlled the mines and they didn't leave much
A tar paper shanty no Irish apply
The Mollys started blowing all the mines sky-high


A straw boss shot and an owner disappears
Many's the Welshman's lost his ears
A company store burned to the ground
The Molly Maguires were spreading all around


Black Jack Kehoe looked after his pack
Even honest Irish that wouldn't fight back
Jack and his boys put fear in their souls
The Molly Maguires were controlling the coals


But terror ends as it had begun
Jack McFarland, he ended the run
He (left?) as a Molly and he brought their fate
After many years he ended the hate


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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