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August 02, 2005

Army Dismantles Divis Post

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 08/02/05 Army Begins To Dismantle Divis Post
BT 08/02/05 Sinn Fein Asks Republicans To Call Off Parade
BT 08/02/05 Diplock Court System To Be Ended
BT 08/02/05 UVF Murder Probe: McCord Death 'Tip Of Iceberg'
IO 08/02/05 IRA Must Act On Promises – US-Brit Ambassador
ST 08/02/05 Opin: IRA Spin Doctors May Be In For A Shock
BT 08/02/05 Opin: Robinson Warns Of No Surrender
PJ 08/02/05 O'Dowd: Key Players In Promotion For Peace
NH 08/02/05 Satire: War Is Over, So Go Home & Have Your Tea
BT 08/02/05 Irishman Stabbed To Death On London Bus


Army Begins To Dismantle Divis Post

By Chris Thornton
02 August 2005

Army engineers began dismantling the most prominent
surveillance post in west Belfast today, marking another
step in the Government's response to last week's IRA

The post on top of Divis Tower became the latest layer of
security to fall in the wake of the IRA announcement that
its armed campaign is over.

Divis is the eighth Army installation to undergo demolition
work since Thursday's announcement. The Government also
announced yesterday that three Royal Irish Regiment units,
comprising 3,000 soldiers, will be disbanded.

Overall troop levels will be halved, leaving no more than
5,000 soldiers in Northern Ireland by August 2007.

Work to take apart the Divis post, which occupies the top
two floors and roof of the tower block, will take several
months to complete, according to the Army.

Demolition began at three sites in Armagh on Friday, at two
other towers in the area yesterday, and at two watchtowers
at Masonic in Londonderry yesterday.

Other posts, including five remaining installations in
south Armagh, will be tackled in the coming months.

Sinn Fein welcomed the latest move. West Belfast MLA, Fra
McCann, who lives near Divis, said: "People will be glad to
see the back of it."

But DUP leader Ian Paisley, who has demanded a meeting with
the Prime Minister over the security cutbacks, has accused
the Government of caving in to the IRA.

"Here are people who are depending on the police and the
Army to give them protection and the Government is obeying
the IRA's orders to get police off the streets and get the
police stations closed down and to destroy another regiment
of the British Army."

IRA decommissioning is expected to be the next sequence in
the process that began with the IRA's pledge to adopt
"exclusively peaceful" means.


Sinn Fein Asks Republicans To Call Off Parade

Sectarian attacks in Ballymena prompt call

By Deborah McAleese
02 August 2005

Sinn Fein last night issued a shock call for a
controversial republican parade in Ballymena to be

The proposed anti-internment parade - due to be held on
August 9 - is believed to have sparked a number of
sectarian attacks on the Catholic community, including
recent firebomb attacks on Catholic pubs and churches in
the area.

Sinn Fein has now called on parade organisers - the William
Orr Commemoration Committee - to "choose the moral high
ground" and call off the parade.

Sinn Fein MLA Philip McGuigan said that the increased
tension in Ballymena has not been caused by the proposed
parade but by the "bigotry and sectarianism of a section of
violent unionism."

He said: "There can be no excuses for the sectarian attacks
on churches nor for the threat of violence.

"Over the past week Sinn Fein members have carried out
extensive consultation with the local community.

"As a result of this, it is our view that, in the interests
of the nationalist and republican population of the north
end of the town, the parade be called off."

He added: "This debate over the parade has also exposed the
inherent problem of sectarianism and domination which
exists in Ballymena. This needs addressed."

Last week the Parades Commission banned the parade from
marching along main routes in the town, restricting it to
the nationalist Fisherwick estate.

The Parades Commission said its decision was set against
the background of continuing local community tension.

The Parades Commission added: "It (this decision)
recognises the real possibility of damaging community
relations with a consequent effect on the likelihood of
public disorder should the parade proceed along the
entirety of its notified route."


Diplock Court System To Be Ended

By Chris Thornton, Political Correspondent
02 August 2005

The Government has confirmed that non-jury Diplock courts
will be scrapped as part of the response to the IRA's
announcement that its armed campaign is over.

But the move has not been accompanied by any indication of
what measures might be taken to protect the jurors who will
have to take over decisions of guilt or innocence.

According to Secretary of State Peter Hain's "normalisation
programme", the legislation allowing Diplock Courts will be
repealed by August 1, 2007.

The courts have been operating in Northern Ireland since
1973, after Lord Diplock recommended their introduction in
December 1972 to combat jury intimidation.

Thousands of people have been convicted by a judge sitting
without a jury. In each, however, the judge has to issue a
written decision explaining the conviction.

The end of the courts will mean that all terrorism offences
will now be tried before juries. It may also mean people
convicted of terrorism offences will lose the automatic
right of appeal that goes with Diplock convictions.

The impending repeal of the measures specific to Northern
Ireland has already been welcomed by human rights groups.

Most people currently awaiting trial on terrorism offences
would be expected to go through the Diplock system.

But the Government has not spelled out how it intends to
protect jurors who may have to try loyalist and republican
terrorism suspects after August 2007.


Report On UVF Murder Probe 'Will Be Damning'

McCord Death 'Tip Of Iceberg'

By David Gordon
02 August 2005

A Police Ombudsman's report on the investigation of a UVF
murder will be devastating and will lead to further
investigations, a human rights pressure group predicted

Nuala O'Loan's report on accusations surrounding the
killing of former RAF airman Raymond McCord is due to be
published later this year.

Mr McCord was beaten to death by a north Belfast UVF gang
in 1997, allegedly on the orders of an RUC informer within
the terror group.

The British Irish Rights Watch organisation has drawn up a
confidential dossier on the case which has been submitted
to the United Nations and US Congress.

The group has compiled a number of reports on Ulster
murders involving collusion claims, including the killing
of solicitor Pat Finucane.

Its director Jane Winter today said the McCord case is "as
bad as it gets".

She added: "Unfortunately, it's becoming an all too
familiar story, where somebody is brutally murdered, the
police investigation is going absolutely nowhere and
rumours abound that informers are involved and are being

"I do believe that Hugh Orde is attempting to clean up
policing's act in Northern Ireland, but there really is an
awful legacy there which is going to take an awful lot of
time to sort out."

The loyalist at the centre of the McCord case allegations
is a senior UVF figure from Mount Vernon in north Belfast.

The Mount Vernon UVF has been linked to a string of
killings over the past 10-15 years.

Looking ahead to the publication of the Ombudsman's report,
Ms Winter said: "I believe it will be devastating. I think
that Raymond McCord's murder, terrible though it is, is the
tip of an extremely nasty iceberg.

"I think it is extremely likely that the Police Ombudsman's
investigation will lead to the investigation of other cases
as well.

"We have already received, completely unsubstantiated,
information about another death said to have been carried
out by the same loyalist."

The British Irish Rights Watch organisation has asked for
meetings on the case with Secretary of State Peter Hain and
Mitchell Reiss, the US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.

The group's dossier has also been sent to the Prime
Minister and the Independent Monitoring Commission, the
Government- appointed ceasefire watchdog.

The PSNI has repeatedly refused to comment on the McCord
case, due to the ongoing Ombudsman investigation.


IRA Must Act On Promises - US Ambassador To Britain
2005-08-02 12:00:04+01

The newly appointed US ambassador to Britain today called
on the IRA to back up its historic statement with actions.

On his first official visit to Northern Ireland, Robert
Holmes Tuttle met local politicians and community leaders
at a regeneration project in West Belfast, which has
brought together both sides of the sectarian divide.

On the significance of the IRA's pledge to decommission its
arms, the Ambassador said: "I think the President (George
Bush) said it best.

"It is a great step forward and I am really proud of
everything that has been done but now we have got to see
the actions."

The Ambassador was heckled by half-a-dozen anti-war
protestors after his meeting with the Stewartstown Road
regeneration committee.

The cross community body was established to unite residents
from the unionist Suffolk and nationalist Lenadoon estates,
which are separated by a so-called peace-line.

The ambassador's visit to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams'
West Belfast constituency comes as work begins on
dismantling the infamous army watchtowers at Divis Towers.

For more than two decades, republicans claim the prominent
landmark on the city skyline has been used by the British
army, which is based on the 18th and 19th floors, to carry
out surveillance on hundreds of Catholic homes.


Opin: IRA Spin Doctors May Be In For A Shock

August 2, 2005

DUBLIN -- "Spin," stage-management and all the black arts
of politics attended the IRA's formal end to its terrorist
campaign even before it was announced last Thursday. Three
days before, Irish Justice Minister Michael MacDowell, a
fierce critic of Sinn Fein-IRA, announced that its two
leading figures, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, had
resigned from the IRA's supreme decision-making body, the
Army Council.

It seemed an odd way for Sinn Fein-IRA to make this known -
- through the mouth of one of its bitterest enemies. But
neither Adams nor McGuinness could announce their own
resignations since they had always denied being members of
the council in the first place.

A stately minuet of diplomatic approval followed the IRA
declaration. Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that it
was "a step of unparalleled magnitude." Irish premier
Bertie Ahern added that it was "historic." Adams gave a
historic press conference. And so on. Immediate media
reports treated the IRA statement favorably as the historic
end to the Northern Ireland "troubles." But a second wave
of commentary and reporting was more skeptical.

Critics pointed out that Blair and Ahern had hailed
previous IRA statements in similar terms -- using such
phrases as a "seismic shift" and "the hand of history." Yet
murder, maiming, intimidation, thuggery and racketeering --
albeit on a smaller scale and not directed at British
forces -- continued throughout.

When this latest IRA statement was examined in detail, it
contained loopholes you could drive a car bomb through. The
IRA will "dump arms," but it does not promise to hand over
all arms. It still refuses to cooperate with the reformed
police force. Above all, the IRA has not promised to
disband. It will maintain its paramilitary structure
(justifying its continued existence as necessary to protect
the Catholics) and merely suspend military operations. That
will hardly reassure those who remember it did exactly that
in 1962.

If the IRA statement does not really offer peace, then,
what is it meant to achieve? It enables Sinn Fein-IRA to
pursue two opposite courses simultaneously. The first
course is to demonstrate that they have finally given up
terrorism for democratic politics -- a demonstration more
or less forced on the IRA by a succession of dramatic

1. Sept. 11 brought home to Americans the reality of
terrorism. Former Irish-American supporters began to shun
Sinn Fein.

2. The international "war on terror" obliged the United
States to take action against terrorism in Ireland.
President Bush signified that he would crack down on Sinn
Fein fund-raising if it continued -- a determination
signaled by his decision not to invite Adams to celebrate
St. Patrick's Day in the White House.

3. The arrest of IRA advisers to the FARC terrorists in
Colombia exposed the IRA's links with anti-American
terrorists worldwide.

4. The murder of Robert MacCartney by IRA "volunteers" in a
Belfast pub -- and the silence of 70 witnesses -- focused
U.S. attention for the first time on the IRA's brutal
intimidation of Catholics.

5. Above all, the Northern Ireland elections shifted power
away from moderate unionists who had previously served
alongside Sinn Fein in a coalition government to Paisleyite
unionists who insisted on a full and final IRA disarmament
as a first condition of power-sharing.

Adams and McGuinness had to respond to these dramatic
events with something equally dramatic. Hence their deftly
spun promise to end the terror campaign yet again.

At the same time, they did not want to entirely abandon the
second course that had served them well in recent years --
keeping a private army in the wings, intimidating opponents
and implicitly threatening to resume terrorism unless
London and the unionists keep the concessions coming.
Hence, the IRA will not disband, not cooperate with the
police and not surrender all arms -- or at least it will
cultivate a sinister ambiguity on these questions.

In plain language, Adams and McGuinness will keep their
private army but confine it to barracks. They probably
calculate that such silky tactics will restore them to
government as ministers within the year. And given the
evident desire of London and Dublin to appease them, they
may well be correct.

But two obstacles are emerging in their path. No unionists
will serve with Sinn Fein until they are fully convinced
that IRA terrorism is irrevocably over. They will demand
irrefutable evidence that the IRA has destroyed or
surrendered all its weapons rather than merely "dumped"
some of them. Even then they may make Sinn Fein wait
several years in the cold.

And while Sinn Fein-IRA wait, a new kind of law may catch
up with them -- and with the "loyalist" paramilitaries in
the Protestant community. Throughout the world, in post-
conflict situations from Chile to South Africa, families of
terror victims are using civil and international law to
bring their murderers to justice. Legal action against the
breakaway "Real IRA" terrorists who carried out the
horrific 1998 Omagh bombing is winding its way through the
Northern Irish courts.

Omagh murdered 29 innocent people and maimed 220. But
literally thousands of innocent people died as a result of
the long terrorist campaign directed by the IRA Army
Council. And last week no less an authority than the Irish
Republic's justice minister confirmed that Adams and
McGuinness had served on that council until very recently.

They may find themselves in court long before they get
their official limousines back.


Opin: Robinson Warns Of No Surrender

'The string of payments made to Sinn Fein by the government
will have serious consequences for our future engagement in
the process'

By Peter Robinson MP, DUP

02 August 2005

For decades the IRA has murdered, maimed and mutilated, it
has been guilty of the most cowardly and heinous crimes.
Its reign of terror, which it seeks to sanitise by calling
it "an armed struggle", has involved not only terrorism but
gangsterism and unparalleled organised crime. For more than
a quarter of a century it has accumulated the most sinister
and deadly weapons imaginable and developed and tested a
variety of weapons of mass destruction.

The trademark of the IRA has been its total disregard for
humanity, truth or justice. Men, women and children have
been its victims. Young and old, Protestant and Roman
Catholic - blown up, shot, tortured - mass murders and
single murders they have done it all, with repetitive
regularity. Moreover they have consistently lied about
their activities - they told us all that they did not rob
the Northern Bank and Gerry Adams was never even a member
of the IRA.

Almost a decade ago the IRA announced it was all over but
within a few months the murders and criminality were back
on its agenda. Yet again they declared a ceasefire but they
failed to cease. They have peppered the recent years with
promises and carefully crafted statements. Each of their
statements was heralded as groundbreaking and historic by
governments and the media but after each the IRA always
reverted to what it does best.

A few days ago another statement made grand claims about
the IRA's intentions. Where it was imprecise or vague in
its language its friends in government and the press
provided a favourable interpretation permitting the IRA to
avoid clarifying for itself. Now, many of those same IRA
stooges demand that the DUP expeditiously embraces the new

The DUP is not disposed to espouse the folly of the UUP,
who under David Trimble and Reg Empey trusted every
republican promise and three times welcomed them into
government before the guns had gone and while they
continued their killings and crimes. The DUP has tens of
thousands of reasons not to trust republicans. They are in
the form of the victims the IRA has left in its path.

We will not be pressurised or cajoled into moving an inch
without certainty and benefit for our people. We are not
going to be bounced into either face-to-face negotiations
with Sinn Fein or being part of an inclusive executive. We
must be satisfied at every stage about the intentions of
others and we must be content that the conditions we face
are consistent with our electoral pledges.

The lack of transparency on arms decommissioning and the
absolute silence on criminality will significantly prolong
the assessment period the community will demand in order
that we can judge whether the IRA's war is over for ever
and its criminal empire is closed down.

The string of payments being made to Sinn Fein by the
government will have serious consequences for our future
engagement with the government in the process. The
government's excuse that these concessions were agreed
during negotiations which involved the UUP does not impress
unionists. The delivery to republicans of the concessions
made at Weston Park and Hillsborough during the watch of
Reg Empey and his colleagues is an outrage.

While the UUP clearly accepted the provision of places in
Dail structures for Northern Ireland representatives the
unionist community did not. The proposal was made back on
March 21, 2002 while the UUP were in negotiations with Sinn
Fein and when it was made public the UUP never raised one
word of objection to it.

Unionists regard the IRA's attempt to justify its murder
campaign and its praise for the murderers as a deliberately
provocative and insensitive act. Its failure to apologise
for its savagery shows there is no regret, no change of
heart and no repudiation of terrorism.

It is the unionist community as a collective group which
must be satisfied in all these matters.

The onus is on republicans to prove they have left violence
behind and the government must work to reduce and remove
the strong feeling of alienation within the unionist
community which has resulted from the government pandering
to republicans while demonstrating contempt for unionists.

Both the government and republicans will learn that there
are consequences for ignoring the unionist community or
treating it unfairly.


Niall O'Dowd: Key Players In The Irish Promotion For Peace

01:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, August 2, 2005

IF HISTORY is a nightmare from which we are trying to
awaken, as James Joyce said, then the people of Ireland
finally woke up from troubled slumber last week.

The announcement Thursday that the Irish Republican Army
was abandoning its more than 30 years of violence signaled
an epochal event unlike any other in modern Irish history.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair called it "a step of
unparalleled magnitude; Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern
called it "a momentous ... development."

But the IRA did not lay down its arms on the spur of the
moment. Rather, its statement was the result of decades of
painstaking work by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, the
leaders of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA. They
took on one of the immutable forces in Irish life and
changed it from within.

It's been a delicate, often dangerous walk for Adams and
McGuinness as they sought to win support for peace without
moving too far ahead of their core constituency. Many
people around the world distrust Adams and see him as an
unrepentant terrorist putting on a moderate front for the
IRA, while some partisans of the Republican cause believe
that he has gone soft.

Under the circumstances, it is remarkable that Adams and
McGuinness have accomplished as much as they have.

The name of the IRA has been writ large in Irish history
for more than a century. It fought a war of independence,
which was followed by the British partition of Ireland in
1921, which in turn was followed by another vicious civil
war after an IRA split. Then, successive IRA campaigns to
end the partition ensued.

In the latest burst of violence, which started in 1969,
more than 3,600 lives were sacrificed as the consequences
of partition came home to roost. The nightmare was in full

Now, the IRA's statement has changed everything. How Adams,
the president of Sinn Fein, and McGuinness, his chief
negotiator, succeeded in taking an armed revolutionary
movement and placing it on a road to peaceful political
activism is an extraordinary story.

Many times in the past, Irish leaders have tried and
failed. Michael Collins, who in many ways created the IRA's
revolutionary tradition, lost his life attempting to turn
it against violence during the civil war in 1922. Adams and
McGuinness came of age four decades later, as young
partisans of the Republican cause in the 1960s. But they
recognized very early on that the war was not winnable,
that the British army and the IRA had essentially fought
each other to a standstill.

Imperceptibly at first, the two men began to change the
fundamental premise on which the movement was based -- that
an armed campaign was the only solution. In 1972, shortly
after 23-year-old Adams was released from internment on a
British prison ship (where he'd been held as a suspected
IRA member), he and McGuinness convened a secret dialogue
with an influential Northern Ireland politician, John Hume,
then leader of the province's major Roman Catholic party.
They formulated what became the Hume-Adams document --
essentially a wish list for nationalists.

Adams and McGuinness approached the Irish and British
governments in discussions based on that document, which
argued for power-sharing and a greater involvement in
Northern Ireland by the Irish government. After initial
deep suspicion, both governments agreed to talk.

The first public indication that a new era was arriving
came during the most inflammatory episode of recent Irish
history, when 10 IRA men died during hunger strikes at the
Maze prison in the early 1980s. On his deathbed, hunger-
strike leader Bobby Sands was elected to the British
Parliament. The incredible groundswell of support showed
the political potential for the movement. The significance
was something that Adams and McGuinness immediately

In the 1990s, another factor emerged. Irish American
supporters of President Clinton convinced him that major
change was stirring in Ireland and that the United States
could help. Thus, a powerful outside force was brought to
bear on the peace process.

Most vital, however, was the internal debate within Sinn
Fein and the IRA. Adams worked slowly and deliberatively,
never moving too far in front of the rank and file.
Sometimes he had to perform tasks that won him harsh
international criticism, such as carrying the coffin of an
IRA bomber who had killed many innocent people. It was the
price he had to pay to retain leadership over a group
notoriously suspicious of politics.

By increments, the strategy began to work. The new peace
policy led to significant electoral support. Soon a party
that had started with less than 2 percent popular support
became the second-largest party in Northern Ireland.

It was within that framework that Adams and McGuinness
persuaded the IRA to carry out the 1994 cease-fire. A few
years later the Good Friday agreement, including many of
the original Hume-Adams proposals, was adopted. Adams now
had a fair wind behind him. His colleagues saw him working
the grass-roots, being welcomed at the White House, meeting
the British and Irish prime ministers.

In the end, he and McGuinness simply outworked, outthought
and outmaneuvered their opponents, both internal and
external. Sinn Fein's spectacular election success, and the
appointment of McGuinness as Northern Ireland's education
minister had a dramatic psychological effect on the
citizens who had been locked out of power for so long.

The IRA decision to abandon its armed campaign was an
inevitable outgrowth of the long-held plans of Adams and
McGuinness. They had replaced the nightmare with a dream.

Niall O'Dowd is publisher of the Irish Voice newspaper in
New York.


Satire: The War Is Over, So Go Home And Have Your Tea

(Tom Kelly, Irish News)

With apologies to P O'Neill. 'The war is finally over, so
go home and have your tea. We are apologising to no-one. We
were right all along. Murder; hunger strikes; harassment
and jail terms were all worth it. But we are done with all
of that now.

Apart from applying for planning permission for the various
monuments to our fallen comrades, you will be issued with a
commemorative medal and special service bars will be added
to volunteers who participated in the La Mon; Enniskillen;
Abercorn and Warrington campaigns.

The time has come to close down active operations as it has
become nearly impossible for our elected members to conduct
media interviews with a straight face. Some recent actions
have meant that the leadership has been unable to avail of
overseas travel and consequently have missed out on some
mighty fine parties in the USA. Having tasted the forbidden
fruits of the dining rooms at Stormont, Leinster House,
Strasbourg and Westminster, they are prepared to risk their
cholesterol for the country. The 'constitutional way' means
it is better to eat for Ireland than die for it and we now

It is time to go legitimate and we urge you to go to the
nearest labour exchange as there are various security jobs
available in banks throughout the north.

We strongly urge members to apply for ATM cards as it will
no longer be possible to directly access funds from

The leadership remains confident that soon you will be able
to don a uniform once again in the new-look PSNI. Your
experience in weapons handling; auto theft; intelligence
gathering; restorative justice and interrogation methods
will be invaluable to the service. It is hoped that lateral
entry can be achieved for those volunteers above the rank
of commandant.

Those volunteers too old to find alternative employment can
help further the careerist ambitions of the leadership.
However, past active service may prove a liability to some
volunteers seeking elected office as preference will be
given to volunteers who joined post 1994.

However, opportunities will exist in the constituency
offices and the international travel departments of all
elected members. Domestic support staff and chauffeurs will
also be needed. Unfortunately all private and freelance
work will have to stop everywhere including south Armagh.

To ease the burden of retirement, discounted fuel will be
available to all members for the next 12 months and friends
and family will have preferential rates on all counterfeit
goods including DVDs which must be purchased by Christmas

Clothes provided by the generosity of the SDLP veterans are
freely available to all volunteers. Respect must be shown
at all times to the venerable members of that party who did
so much to bring us to this historic moment where they have
been for more than 30 years.

Now is a challenging time for all republicans, nationalists
and provisionals and we must set aside our historical
differences and together build a regional, six-county,
socialist administration within the kingdom of her gracious
Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Volunteers ill at ease with
this approach are minded to read the proposals of our
former president, Arthur Griffith, in 1904 in The United
Irishman on proposals for the existence of a dual monarchy.
The Provisional movement still believes in the historical
legitimacy bestowed on Oglaigh na hEireann which allows us
to maintain consistency in our inconsistencies.

Bilingual rehabilitation seminars will be held throughout
the north and the 'Effective Camouflage' sessions will be
replaced with 'Colour me Beautiful' presentations offered
by retrained members of Cumann na mBan. Autographed copies
of Before the Dawn are being sent to all volunteers and the
collected speeches of Comrades Gerry and Martin are
available from all Sinn Féin offices.

When handing in weapons, please remember to return any
false passports as there will be no further ambassadorial
intervention available for any members travelling illegally
in tin-pot banana republics.

The nation is grateful for your services but its time to go
home. The Irish flora and fauna are there for your
enjoyment, not to lie on or under.

We look forward to building peace and as persuaders for new
era of unity among the Irish people and to securing your
support for candidacy of Dr Paisley as first minister of
any reconstituted Stormont regime.

Sorry this statement is longer than usual but we really
mean it is over this time. Once again; Go raibh míle maith
agaibh agus go dtuga Dia slán abhaile sibh!

August 2, 2005

This article appeared first in the August 1, 2005 edition
of the Irish News.


Irishman Stabbed To Death In Attack On London Bus

By Martha Kearns
02 August 2005

The 28-year-old only son of Irish parents was stabbed to
death as he tried to defend his girlfriend on a London bus.

Richard Whelan was murdered just weeks after one of his
best friends, Ciaran Cassidy, was killed in the King's
Cross suicide bombing.

His father, also Richard, is from Co Wexford and his
mother, who died when he was just 12-years-old, was from Co

Richard Jnr, an events organiser, and his girlfriend Dee,
were returning home on the 43 bus in Islington, north
London, shortly before 10pm last Friday night. A man, who
boarded with them, began pelting passengers with food.
Richard, from Kentish Town, ignored the man until his
girlfriend started getting hit with chips.

When he stood up to remonstrate, Richard was stabbed about
six times, including once in the chest as his girlfriend
frantically tried to pull the assailant off, shouting for

Although seriously injured, Richard and his girlfriend went
after the knifeman who ran downstairs and got off the bus.

Richard collapsed on the lower deck and died a short while
later at Whittington Hospital in Archway.

Yesterday, friends said his family - his father and his two
sisters, Dolores and Teresa - were "utterly devastated" as
were the Cassidy family who lost Ciaran so recently.

"We can't take much more," added Ciaran's mum Veronica.

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