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August 01, 2005

Collusion Murder File Sent to UN & US

News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 08/01/05 Police Collusion Murder File Sent To UN & US
BT 08/01/05 Grim Warning On Loyalist Feud
BT 08/01/05 Feud Shows No Signs Of Ending
BT 08/01/05 Arson Attack Mum 'Lucky To Be Alive'
BT 08/01/05 Family In Escape From Blast Bombing
IO 08/01/05 Orde Meets Sinn Féin MP Murphy
UT 08/01/05 Statement From Orde After Meeting SF Murphy
BB 08/01/05 Royal Irish Units To Be Disbanded
BT 08/01/05 A New Era Close At Hand
BT 08/01/05 Troop Levels Halved In New Plan
BT 08/01/05 Don't Let DUP Stall Progress: Durkan
BT 08/01/05 DUP Holds Fire Over IRA's Gun Timetable
BT 08/01/05 Blame For Armed Raid On Family Pointing To IRA
BT 08/01/05 SF Leaders Are Replaced On The IRA Army Council
BG 08/01/05 Requiem For The IRA
DN 08/01/05 Democracy Now: The End Of The Violence
LA 08/01/05 Some Fear Ira Fighters' Next Moves
BT 08/01/05 Hain: Last Mile Is The Most Difficult
BT 08/01/05 'Ulster Link' In Shoot-To-Kill Case
BT 08/01/05 Ex-Policemen Immersed In Controversy
EX 08/01/05 Wal-Mart Sues Former Vice-Chairman
LP 08/01/05 Is There Justice For Leoanrd Peltier?


'Police Collusion' Murder File Sent To UN And US

A dossier on a loyalist paramilitary murder at the centre
of allegations of police collusion has been sent to the
United Nations and US Congress, it emerged today.

By:Press Association

The confidential report compiled by campaigners into the
killing of former RAF man Raymond McCord, 22, names the men
suspected of beating him to death.

Copies have also been addressed to Prime Minister Tony
Blair, US President George Bush`s special envoy on Northern
Ireland, Police Ombudsman Nuala O`Loan, and a paramilitary
ceasefire watchdog.

Jane Winter, head of the British Irish Rights Watch
organisation, which prepared the file, insisted the case
for launching an inquiry into the murder in November 1997
was compelling.

She said: "It would appear that this is yet another case
where senior Ulster Volunteer Force informers have been
able to act with impunity over a long number of years,
literally getting away with murder, while the police have
colluded with their illegal activities."

Mr McCord was battered to death and his body was dumped in
a quarry on the outskirts of north Belfast.

Although the UVF is suspected of carrying out the attack,
no-one has been charged with the murder.

The victim`s father, Raymond Senior, has been an outspoken
critic of the loyalist terrorists, defying death threats to
allege security force informers within their ranks were

Police Special Branch has blocked the investigation into
his son`s killing, he claims.

Mrs O`Loan has been investigating the case and is expected
to report her findings later this year.

Ms Winter, whose organisation has been monitoring human
rights issues emerging from the violence in Northern
Ireland, said the victim`s family did not trust the
province`s police service enough for the report to be sent
to them.

She added: "Our report calls upon the United Kingdom
Government to put in place immediately an effective
investigation into the murder of Raymond McCord.

"Such an investigation must be completely independent of
the Police Service of Northern Ireland, given the serious
allegations of collusion which arise in this case."


Grim Warning On Loyalist Feud

By David Gordon
01 August 2005

The UVF-LVF shooting war is spiralling into the "feud to
end all feuds" with no prospect of mediation, a well-placed
loyalist source warned today.

The street battle between the terror groups claimed another
life on Saturday evening, when 28-year-old Stephen Paul was
gunned down in north Belfast.

His murder is being blamed on the UVF and is the third to
be attributed to the grouping since the beginning of July.

A source close to the umbrella Loyalist Commission today
said: "The UVF seems determined to take this to the wire
and have the feud to end all feuds.

"They argue that they are dealing with people they expelled
10 years ago and don't want it to go on for another 10
years with the same people."

The commission, which includes clergymen and community
workers, helped broker an uneasy truce between the LVF and
UVF factions in east Belfast last year.

The source expressed fears that the current feuding could
spread across Northern Ireland.

Members of the commission recently held separate
discussions with LVF and UVF figures but this did not
involve an offer of mediation.

"The way they look at it is you don't go where you are not
invited," the source added.

The family of latest murder victim Stephen Paul have denied
claims that he was connected to the LVF.

He was involved in drug dealing and gangsterism and also
served a jail sentence for wife-beating.

Paul, who was shot in a previous murder bid in 1999, was
fatally wounded in a gun attack at Wheatfield Crescent, off
the Crumlin Road.

He was targeted as he sat in a van with another man who was
also injured.

The murder victim's uncle, William "Wassy" Paul, was shot
dead in 1998 in Bangor.

Meanwhile, police came under attack in north Belfast last
night as they carried out searches in loyalist areas.

Four officers received minor injuries from stones thrown by
youths in Palmer Street in the Woodvale area.

During the searches, a man was arrested and a number of
items were removed in Ambleside Street. Two other arrests
were made.


Feud Shows No Signs Of Ending

Appeals for mediation had 'negative response'

By Lisa Smyth
01 August 2005

The Ulster Volunteer Force appears hell-bent on driving out
rival members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force, it was
claimed last night.

After the bitter feud between the two terror groups claimed
its third victim, 28-year-old Stephen Paul in north Belfast
on Saturday evening, Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey
said the UVF, which has carried out all the murders, was
not responding to requests to negotiate an end to the

"This was another appalling murder," the East Belfast
Assembly member said.

"I and others have appealed for mediation and I know there
have been attempts at that but those initial contacts have
had a negative response from the UVF."

Mr Paul, a notorious LVF-linked criminal and convicted wife
beater, was shot dead and another man wounded around 5.40pm
on Saturday as they sat in a van near a house in Wheatfield
Crescent, off north Belfast's Crumlin Road.

The area last night remained cordoned off to the public as
police continued searching for evidence in an attempt to
piece together enough evidence to catch Mr Paul's killers.

Detectives have asked members of the public to help them
trace the movements of a small blue car which was seen in
the Wheatfield area around the time of the murder.

The car had the registration REZ 5600 and was discovered
burnt out in the Forthriver estate a short time later.

The brutal slaying has been condemned by Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain, politicians and police, although PUP
leader David Ervine last night refused to comment.

Chief Superintendent Mike Little, the PSNI's commander in
North Belfast, described the murder as a senseless attack.
In an effort to allay fears over the increasingly bloody
feud, Mr Little said that police patrols have been stepped
up in an attempt to "stop the activities of those intent on
causing fear and intimidation in the community".

Democratic Unionist Assembly member Nelson McCausland and
nationalist SDLP MLA Alban Maginness also called for an end
to the violence.

Sir Reg said the days of masked gangs driving people out of
housing estates and gunmen on the streets had to end.

"The irony is, at a time when republicans are ostensibly
making moves towards disarmament, the loyalists are using
weapons in a feud," he said.

"They must realise the irony in that and how that must make
them look.

"We know after all these years that going around


Arson Attack Mum 'Lucky To Be Alive'

By Nevin Farrell
01 August 2005

A Catholic woman today spoke of her relief that she and her
son were not burned alive following an arson attack on her
Co Antrim home.

Oonagh Donaghy (46), was speaking outside her badly damaged
Laurel Park house in Ahoghill from which she and her 25-
year-old son Mark had to flee through a bedroom window to
escape smoke and flames.

The Donaghys clambered onto a porch after being driven back
from the stairs by smoke and fire. They were helped down by
a neighbour and the blaze was later brought under control
by the Fire Service.

As police carried out follow-up investigations the Donaghys
stayed with a relative. But Ms Donaghy feared her home was
badly damaged, judging by the blackened windows.

She said: "I'm angry at this because we could have been
burned alive. It is just lucky I was dozing over to go to
sleep and heard the letterbox opening or else I mightn't be
talking now.

"I also heard glass smashing and bounced out of bed and
started screaming for Mark to get up. We couldn't get
downstairs because of the smoke and had to get out the
bedroom window onto the porch."

Ms Donaghy thinks the attack was sectarian and said it was
likely that she will now move out.

Police said glass was smashed and flammable liquid poured
in and set alight, and that fire damage was caused to the
hall and stairs and smoke damage to the rest of the house.

Station fire officer, Gary Davison, said: "The people in
the property were extremely fortunately to get out with
their lives."

Also in Ballymena an explosive device went off at a house
at Knockeen Crescent, a mainly unionist area, before 4am
causing damage to the glass in the front door.


Family In Escape From Blast Bombing

Device explodes at front of home

By Jonathan McCambridge and Ashleigh Wallace
01 August 2005

A family of five escaped injury early today after a blast
bomb exploded on the front door of their Co Antrim home.

A motive for the 4am attack on the house at Knockeen
Crescent near the loyalist Ballykeel Estate in Ballymena,
was today unknown.

Hours earlier, shots were fired through the living room
window of a house in Randalstown, just outside Ballymena.

A man inside was not injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, the scene at the semi-detached house in Knockeen
Crescent, remained sealed off today as police forensic
experts carried out an examination.

The device which exploded shattered glass in the front
porch and door.

A man, his wife and their three children were asleep in the
house at the time and were not injured.

The couple could be seen sweeping up glass at the front of
their home this morning but declined to speak to the media.

Officers at the scene described the device as a crude blast

Some neighbours said they heard a loud bang in the middle
of the night which woke them from their sleep.

Scenes of crime officers in blue overalls were taking
photographs at the front of the house and dusting the front
door for fingerprints this morning. Officers also removed a
number of items in plastic bags.

Local people said it is a mainly Protestant estate and did
not know if the incident was sectarian.

Local DUP councillor Hubert Nicholl said he was concerned
someone would lose their life in Ballymena following a
recent escalation of attacks.

He said: "I condemn this action totally, we're lucky today
that a family is not seriously injured or killed.

"No matter what the reason or motive is behind it, it is
totally wrong.

"Tensions have been heightened in the town for some time
and this is something we do not need. I would appeal for
calm and for people to use their heads."

Police today appealed for anyone who was in the Knockeen
Crescent area at around 4am this morning to contact
detectives at Ballymena on 25653355 or the confidential
Crimestoppers line on 0800 555111.

Scenes of crime officers were also today examining the
scene of the shooting at a house in Randalstown.

Shots were fired at the house on the Moneynick Road around

According to police, a man escaped injury in the early
morning gun attack. It is understood his family may also
have been at home when the gunmen struck.

Police cordoned off the scene and carried out a detailed
search of the area.


Orde Meets Sinn Féin MP Murphy
2005-08-01 13:10:02

PSNI chief constable Hugh Orde and Northern Secretary Peter
Hain have met with Sinn Féin MP for Newry/Armagh Conor

The meeting was held to discuss the further scaling down of
British army watch towers and observation posts in South

It is believed to be only the second time a senior Sinn
Féin member has met the chief constable.


Statement From Orde After Meeting SF Murphy

A Police Service which works daily, as we do, to create a
safer Northern Ireland for everyone has to welcome an
announcement by any organisation that they intend to cease
all paramilitary and criminal activity.

A Police Service which works daily, as we do, to create a
safer Northern Ireland for everyone has to welcome an
announcement by any organisation that they intend to cease
all paramilitary and criminal activity.

While the words of the recent IRA statement are clearer
than anything we have seen from them previously, we are not
alone in our view that the actions which follow that
statement will be crucial and I believe that the
Independent Monitoring Commission will play an important
part in verifying those actions.

This moment in the history of Northern Ireland cannot pass
without us pausing to remember the loss of life, injury and
pain suffered by our colleagues and pay tribute to the men
and women who worked and sacrificed to police Northern
Ireland in difficult circumstances throughout the Troubles.

This morning the Secretary of State announced that the
Government is moving to begin the normalisation programme
outlined in the Joint Declaration in the context of an
enabling environment. In keeping with the details outlined
in Annex A, as published earlier, work will begin this week
on the removal of the observation post at Divis Tower in
Belfast. This work will take some time to complete.

For some time now the Police Service of Northern Ireland
has been increasingly delivering a more normal style of
policing. We have made substantial changes to the way in
which we police as well as the appearance of our police
stations and vehicles. This has been driven forward by
police at the front end who are keen to engage with the
community in order to facilitate better delivery of
policing right across Northern Ireland.

Every community in Northern Ireland has a right to be
policed. In a democratic society policing is at the heart
of the structures which facilitate respect for rights and
duties within that society. I do not believe therefore that
anybody who espouses the values of justice, equality and
human rights can continue to legitimately deny to their
community the right to remedy wrongs done to them by
seeking the protection of the police.

Policing is a public service which should be available to
all members of the public and public representatives have a
positive obligation to facilitate us in being available to
their public. We have a right to expect that Sinn Féin
politicians will now engage directly, openly and
constructively with District Commanders and all officers at
local level. In fact, if they don`t they run the risk of
being left behind because communities who witness the
commitment of my officers on the ground are learning that
we can and do protect them and that with increased
confidence, trust and co-operation comes enhanced
understanding, better relationships and better results.

We are determined to build on our success and achieve the
even greater potential which we know is possible through
greater engagement with the community. We will continue to
embrace those opportunities. It is for others to decide
whether they want to be part of that better future.


Royal Irish Units To Be Disbanded

The Northern Ireland-based battalions of the Royal Irish
Regiment are to be disbanded as part of the Army response
to the IRA ending its armed campaign.

The Army will end its support role to the police on 1
August 2007, the same day that the battalions will disband.

More than 3,000 soldiers serve in the battalions, many of
them part-time.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain set out a two-year
plan on demilitarisation which he said would be contingent
on the security situation.

Under the security normalisation plans, Army observation
posts will be closed and police stations will be

Mr Hain also announced on Monday that troop levels in the
province would fall from 10,500 to 5,000 in two years time.

The government also aims to repeal within two years counter
terrorist laws particular to Northern Ireland if everything
goes according to plan.

Mr Hain said: "The programme published today will see the
creation of an environment which will allow the return of
conventional policing across Northern Ireland."

The Royal Irish Regiment was formed in 1992, with the
merger of the Royal Irish Rangers and the Ulster Defence

The Army's general officer commanding, Lieutenant General
Sir Reddy Watt said: "The Royal Irish Regiment (Home
Service) and their predecessors, the Ulster Defence
Regiment, have played a crucial role in creating the
enabling environment for normalisation to begin.

"Once the Police Service of Northern Ireland no longer
needs routine military support, the three Home Service
battalions will have successfully completed the task for
which they were raised."

The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson condemned the decision.

"This decision has come as an absolute bombshell," Mr
Donaldson said. "I'm absolutely devastated by this news."

He said the government "underestimates entirely the anger
that this will create in the unionist community".


One serving RIR soldier said he first heard he was likely
to lose his job on the radio and had not been informed by
his superiors.

He described the decision and the way it was handled as

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey described the move as

"The decision to disband the home battalions of the Royal
Irish Regiment is reckless and premature," he added.

However, Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy called on unionists to
embrace demilitarisation.

"I have to ask who wants to live in a heavily militarised
society. It is for all our benefits, unionists as well as
nationalists and republicans, to see society here
demilitarised," he said.

The SDLP's Alex Attwood said the demilitarisation moves
were "sensible when it comes to creating a more normal
society" in Northern Ireland.

He said they would have happened a long time ago if the IRA
had done what it was supposed to have.

Meanwhile on Monday, Chief Constable Hugh Orde said the IRA
statement was clearer than anything previously, but "the
actions which follow that statement will be crucial".

He added: "We have a right to expect that Sinn Fein
politicians will now engage directly, openly and
constructively with District Commanders and all officers at
local level."

On Friday, the Army began the first steps of dismantling
security bases in south Armagh after the IRA's statement
saying it had ended its armed campaign.

It was announced that a base at Forkhill will close, while
a watchtower at Sugarloaf Mountain and an observation post
at Newtownhamilton police station will also be removed.

In a statement released on Thursday, the IRA said it would
pursue exclusively peaceful means.

Political talks last year failed to restore devolution,
which stalled amid claims of IRA intelligence gathering at
Parliament Buildings, Stormont, in 2002.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/01 12:24:14 GMT


A New Era Close At Hand

Religion correspondent Alf McCreary reports on last night's
keynote speech by Roman Catholic Primate, Archbishop Sean
Brady, at the West Belfast Festival, in which he assessed
the significance of the IRA's decision to stand down

01 August 2005

The Roman Catholic Primate Archbishop Sean Brady has said
that "things will never be the same", following the
Provisional IRA's announcement of an end to Republican

In a keynote speech last night at an inter-community
meeting in St Oliver Plunkett Church, Lenadoon, during the
West Belfast Festival, the Archbishop said: "The IRA
statement was potentially the most powerful, significant
and welcome move towards genuine freedom to have emerged
from any paramilitary organisation since the beginning of
the troubles."

He said that he hoped the words of the IRA would be
"followed through", and he added: "I hope others will
respond with the same level of constructive thinking.

"Then, I am convinced, the way will be, quite literally,
'freed up' for new and previously unthinkable relationships
to develop between people, parties and even religious
leaders across this island and between this island and

Speaking on the theme 'What Freedom in Ireland Means To
Me', the Archbishop said he believed that "Ireland today
has never been closer to the freedom for which she has
yearned for so long.

"A new era of peaceful and fruitful progress between her
diverse people and with her nearest neighbours is very
close at hand. I am utterly convinced of that."

The Archbishop added: "A genuinely free and confident
Ireland will only come about when we stop thinking of our
own rights and freedoms first, and take responsibility for
the freedom and rights of others, not least the other whom
we find it most difficult to accept or to tolerate."

Archbishop Brady said he was pleased to see so many
representatives of other Churches present at last night's
meeting in Lenadoon. He said: "One of the many things which
the Churches here share in common is a concern that the
promotion of a culture of rights, without any corresponding
emphasis on the duty of the individual toward society, will
further emphasise the false concept of freedom."

The Archbishop was following in the footsteps of the former
Presbyterian Moderator, the Very Reverend Dr Ken Newell,
who spoke in the same church at last year's West Belfast

What freedom in Ireland means to me is that the historic
threat from the Unionist tradition is also verifiably
removed from the debate about our future

During his speech to the West Belfast Festival, Archbishop
Brady challenged unionism to "manifestly and verifiably"
remove an historic threat from the debate about a shared

The Roman Catholic Primate said that the latest IRA
statement was "bound to spark debate about the issue of a
united Ireland".

He hoped that this would also allow the debate to occur "in
a freer and much more constructive, perhaps less emotive,

He added: "What is still unclear, however, is to what
extent elements of the unionist and loyalist tradition are
also willing to commit to take part in such a debate on
purely peaceful and democratic terms.

"Part of the moral complexity of the past was the part
played by the threat of violence from the unionist
community in the decision to create Northern Ireland as a
separate entity."

He added: "What freedom in Ireland means to me is that that
historic threat from the unionist tradition is also
manifestly and verifiably removed from the debate about our
shared future. Hopefully, in coming months, this issue will
be subjected to the same level of scrutiny, political
determination and media interest as has quite properly been
focused on the issue of the threat of republican violence
in the past."

I have no hesitation in calling on young Catholics to join
their Protestant counterparts and others in following the
noble vocation of policing

Archbishop Brady strongly backed the PSNI during his speech
last night and urged "young Catholics to join their
Protestant counterparts and others" in the police service.

The Roman Catholic Primate said that there were growing
fears that "constant criticism and demonisation of the
police service" was contributing to a general breakdown in
society and a lack of respect for law and order,
particularly among the young.

He said: "I have great confidence in the ability of young
nationalists and young unionists, along with others, to
play their part in constructing and maintaining a police
service which all sections of the community can support. I
have no hesitation in calling on young Catholics to join
their Protestant counterparts and others in following the
noble vocation of policing and serving the whole community
with courage and pride as members of the PSNI."


Troop Levels Halved In New Plan

Chopper flights cut and posts to be demolished

By Chris Thornton
01 August 2005

The Government has announced a two-year plan to halve troop
levels and remove all watchtowers from south Armagh.

Secretary of State Peter Hain indicated the steps to be
taken to help introduce "a normal life for everybody here"
in the wake of last week's IRA pledge to become
"exclusively peaceful".

The plan confirms that:

• the number of soldiers in Northern Ireland will fall
permanently to 5,000;
• those troops will only be based in 14 military posts;
• Army helicopter flights will virtually cease;
• more Army posts will be demolished and police bases will
become less fortified.

Sinn Fein and the SDLP welcomed the prospect, but the SDLP
said the plan was overdue because of the IRA's delay in
ending paramilitary activity.

Unionists were expected to object. UUP leader Sir Reg Empey
was taking a party delegation to discuss some details with
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde today.

The Army began dismantling military posts in South Armagh
within 24 hours of Thursday's IRA statement.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said those moves showed a
degree of trust between the British Army and the IRA.

Many of the measures outlined in the upcoming plan will
happen by early next year, although they will depend on
there being no indication of IRA activity and the
completion of decommissioning.

Most of the details contained in the plan were worked out
more than two years ago during negotiations that involved
Sinn Fein, the two governments and the UUP.

They would have also formed part of the failed deal worked
out with the DUP last year. One of the most important
elements of the plan is the reduction in troop levels.

The Government is expected to pledge that "the abnormal
army deployment needed over the past 30 years" will end.
Currently there are about 10,000 troops based in Northern
Ireland. Three years ago there were almost 14,000.

About 2,000 soldiers are expected to go during the next
year, ultimately leaving 5,000 - more than were based in
the province than when violence broke out in 1969.

The Army's main functions will be training for overseas
operations, bomb disposal and occasional riot support for
the police.

The plan will also detail reductions in security bases that
will be most noticeable in border areas. South Armagh,
Londonderry and Belfast will see particular changes.

Mr Hain indicated today that the plan should allow normal
policing to become more widespread.

"We have got to get acceptance by the Republican community
that the old days of the police being the enemy are over,"
he said. Mr McGuinness said he warmly welcomed "the fact
that the British army have begun to demilitarise".


Don't Let DUP Stall Progress: Durkan

By Noel McAdam
01 August 2005

The DUP must not be allowed to get away with a political
go-slow, the SDLP has warned.

And leader Mark Durkan also warned the criminality of the
Provisional IRA must not be "privatised" into ordinary
criminal gangs.

Following a meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in the
aftermath of the IRA's 'stand down' statement, Mr Durkan
warned: "It is vital that everything is not left to the New
Year. There is critical work to do now.

"We need to expand a positive North-South agenda and press
ahead with our work on policing, "Just because the Ulster
Unionist Party and the provisional movement have been able
to get away with go-slow for years shouldn't mean that the
DUP can hold up progress now."

The Foyle MP said all parties needed to recognise each
other's mandates and the even greater mandate of the Good
Friday Agreement.

And insisting the IRA must honour its statement in full,
the former Deputy First Minister added: "If crime is just
contracted out, all our efforts to get the agreement off
the ground will come unstuck."

Meanwhile, SDLP Assembly member Dominic Bradley today
welcomed the IRA statement which he argued had finally
removed obstacles to normalisation.

"We still face barriers in the area of community policing,"
he added.


DUP Holds Fire Over IRA's Gun Timetable

Party will not be rushed into sharing

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
01 August 2005

The DUP may seek to extend the period of assessment of the
IRA if the decommissioning of its weaponry fails to
convince the unionist community of its bona fides.

With the identities of the two independent witnesses from
the Protestant and Catholic churches still unknown, the DUP
has voiced concern over the lack of transparency which the
disarmament process could involve.

It could mean, some DUP members argue, that it will be two
years before the party is ready to go into a power-sharing
government with Sinn Fein.

In the interim, however, the current but still suspended
Assembly could take on a scrutinising role, monitoring
Direct Rule Ministers before full-blown devolution returns.

Serious negotiations are not expected to begin until early
next year, although following perhaps a number of
decommissioning 'events' in the weeks ahead, the DUP will
come under pressure when Secretary of State Peter Hain
begins his talks with the parties in September.

As he returned from the United States yesterday, senior
Sinn Fein negotiator Martin McGuinness said the DUP would
no longer prevent progress in the aftermath of the IRA

"It means that the Irish and British governments need to
push forward with the implementation of the Good Friday
Agreement and the restoration of the political
institutions. It also means that the days when the DUP were
allowed to prevent progress have come to an end," he said.

"It is time for the DUP to step up to the plate and
represent the interests of those who vote for them. It is
time that they sit down face-to-face with Irish

DUP Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said, however,
unionists would not be pushed into any premature decision
to share Executive power with republicans.

"The assessment period will have to be prolonged because of
the failure of the IRA to decommission in an open and
verifiable manner," he said.

"The publication of photographic evidence of the
decommissioning process would help to build confidence in
this move within the unionist community.

"Obviously the lack of such evidence will prolong the
period for people to assess what the IRA is saying and
doing represents a genuine end to all paramilitary and
criminal activity."


Blame For Armed Raid On Family Pointing To IRA

By Breda Heffernan
01 August 2005

A cross-border gang has been blamed for the armed raid on a
family in Co Monaghan after the getaway van used by the
robbers was found burned out at Forkhill, Co Armagh, on

The location of the van, in an area that has traditionally
been an IRA stronghold, has raised the possibility that it
was carried out by IRA volunteers - only days after the
release of an IRA statement ordering members to cease their

Gardai and members of the PSNI are now cooperating in the
hunt for the gang of five armed and masked raiders who made
off with €60,000 from a private house in Carrickmacross
late on Friday night.

The gang forced their way into the house at Drumcondrath
Road, Leonsbeg, and locked Leonie Martin (32), her five
children and another woman in the garage before removing a
safe. They also stole the family's blue Mercedes van which
later was found burned out at Forkhill.

Mrs Martin's husband, grocery wholesaler Peter Martin (35),
returned home but fell asleep in front of the television.
He raised the alarm at 6am when he realised his family were

Detectives had at first suspected a Dublin-based gang was
behind the raid but are now examining the possibility of a
cross-border link.

A senior detective said: "The fact that there is a cross-
border link as a result of the van being burned in the
North opens a new avenue to our investigation."

Yesterday, friends of the family said the raiders appeared
to act with "military precision" and were obviously
familiar with the movements of the family.


Sinn Fein Leaders Are Replaced On The IRA Army Council

By Jim Cusack
01 August 2005

A Dubliner, a Tyrone man and one of the leading IRA figures
in Belfast have replaced Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and
Martin Ferris on the IRA Army Council.

But the three Sinn Fein leaders remain members of the IRA
and are still highly influential in the "military" wing of
the republican movement.

The three new nominees are close supporters of Adams and
McGuinness. One man, in his mid-40s, is from Tyrone, an
area where there is said to have been considerable
opposition to the idea of "standing down" the organisation.

His elevation is seen as an attempt to stave off the
possibility of a split in the mid-Ulster area,
traditionally one of the most hardline sections of the IRA.

It is believed to have been a result of this opposition
from the IRA in Tyrone and places such as south
Londonderry, north Armagh and Antrim that Adams and
McGuinness decided not to hold an 'Army Convention' before
making Thursday's announcement about dumping arms and
ceasing "all activities".

They decided against holding a convention because they were
uncertain of winning a vote from a majority of delegates,
according to republican sources.

The last IRA convention in 1997 was only narrowly won by
the two and was followed by the split and the formation of
the Real IRA.

It is believed that the Adams/McGuinness leadership was
afraid that if they asked the rank-and-file membership to
disband they would have been defeated.

It is understood the proposition that the IRA be disbanded
was dropped at the behest of Adams and McGuinness during
talks with the Taoiseach and Prime Minister some weeks ago.


Requiem For The IRA

By Padraig O'Malley August 1, 2005

FOR THOSE with their ears to the ground in Belfast, the
news that the IRA decided to abandon its armed struggle
came as no great surprise. The end was a long time coming,
a reluctant inevitability since the Good Friday Agreement
opened the way to Northern Ireland's uneasy peace in 1998.

Whatever illusions the IRA might have harbored about
another generation of ''freedom fighters" stepping forward
to sacrifice in the name of a united Ireland were buried in
the rubble of the Twin Towers on 9/11, the day on which
Irish America put the business of guns for the cause behind
it once and for all.

Few, other than republican hardliners, will argue that the
IRA's prevarication for seven years added one iota to
furthering the peace process. On the contrary, its
intransigence strangled every effort at accommodation in a
power-sharing government, increasingly polarized Catholics
and Protestants, and today, as pundits talk of the
prospects of a lasting peace, the two communities are more
apart than ever, represented in elected bodies by their
political extremes that have yet to face each other across
a negotiating table.

The years of uneasy peace have not brought integration or
even a modicum of reconciliation, but bitterness and
increasing segregation of everything -- from housing, to
schools to sports -- and in the Protestant community the
assumption of a mantle of marginalization that will take
generations to erase.

And in these seven years, the IRA, perhaps slightly
discombobulated with the loss of one enemy (the Brits),
found another -- the people it purported to protect.
Assuming to police republican areas, especially in west
Belfast, it arrogated to itself the power to apprehend,
prosecute, and adjudicate for offenses defined by the IRA
itself, which, not surprisingly, mostly consisted of
offenses against the IRA.

Yes, all the old shibboleths will now be dusted off and
eulogies of the struggle of 100 years will fill columns of
print, paeans to the oldest ''liberation" movement in the
world calling it a day. But whatever terrible beauty there
was died with the hunger strikers. . And when one day some
historian writes the history of the IRA, he or she will
have to balance the competing dispositions that inhabit the
Irish psyche: the eternally renewing spirit of the
sacrifice of self for a facile and sentimental nationalism
with a disparagement of the same. ''Out of Ireland have we
come," wrote W.B. Yeats, ''Great hatred, little room/Maimed
us at the start."

The IRA does not stand for a united Ireland, freedom from
British oppression etc. It stands for the triumph of
fanaticism and the beliefthat landscapes of bloody violence
are holy pictures, because blood spilled for the holy cause
is a sacred thing. But the once-upon-a time holy Ireland
has lost her holiness and thus her need for holy martyrs.
In 1981 10 young men committed suicide in Long Kesh prison
to advance their cause. They died blessed by their priests
and the sacraments of their church. Did we dare call them
fanatics? Never! Rather, we praised them as idealist young
men, entrapped in their own sense of victimhood, their
reasonable demands thwarted by a vengeful woman, former
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

When the IRA subsequently nearly blew her and half her
Cabinet to smithereens in 1983, it issued a statement:
''Mrs. Thatcher, we have to be lucky only once; you have to
be lucky always" -- sentiments that find an eerie resonance
among passengers in the bowels of London's mass transit
system today as police frantically hunt for those who have
to be lucky only once.

Does fanaticism have a scale of balance? Should we weigh
the fanaticism that inspires the suicide of self of an
Irish republican nationalist with the fanaticism of a
jihadist suicide bomber in the name of holy Islam?

Like a virus, fanaticism has a life cycle. At some point it
peaks and its infectiousness declines. What is happening in
London today is simply a variation on the theme. One team
of fanatics (IRA) is calling it quits after a long time at
bat; another, more enthusiastic lot (jihadists) is stepping
up to the plate.

We fool ourselves with looking for the differences.
Fanaticism does not fight injustice, it creates injustice.
Accrued grievances or perceived oppression are used to
explain fanaticism, but they do not cause it. A fanatic
having no sense of self is incapable of having a sense of

And thus, when we look at the legacy of the IRA across a
span that touches three centuries and encompasses one, we
find a legacy of blood, not freedom.

But have we learned anything?

Padraig O'Malley is a senior fellow emeritus at the
McCormack Graduate School at UMass-Boston.


(Watch this report at:

The End Of The Violence

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. Posted August 1, 2005.

After 36 years, the Irish Republican Army lays down its
weapons. Now what?

Editor's Note: On Thursday, the Irish Republican Army
called for all of its volunteers to disarm, effectively
ending a 36-year guerilla campaign against the British
government. British military commanders are dismantling
some bases and security posts in Northern Ireland.

The IRA stated it remains fully committed to the goals of
Irish unity and independence, and that the armed struggle
was entirely legitimate. But the group said it would pursue
its goals through political, not violent means.

Amy Goodman spoke with IRA spokesperson Seanna Walsh and Ed
Moloney (author of "The Secret History of the IRA," and
former Northern Ireland editor for the Irish Times and
Sunday Tribune.

AMY GOODMAN: This is IRA spokesperson, Séanna Walsh.

SÉANNA WALSH: The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has
formally ordered an end to armed campaign. This will take
effect from 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. All I.R.A. units have
been ordered to dump arms. All volunteers have been
instructed to assist the development of purely political
and democratic programs through exclusively peaceful means.
Volunteers must not engage in any other activities
whatsoever. We reiterate our view that the armed struggle
was entirely legitimate. We are conscious that many people
suffered in the conflict. There is a compelling imperative
on all sides to build a just and lasting peace.

AMY GOODMAN: That was I.R.A. spokesperson Séanna Walsh.
While Unionist politicians in Northern Ireland expressed
skepticism about the sincerity of the announcement, many
other officials in Britain and Ireland praised the move as
a potential turning point. This is British Prime Minister,
Tony Blair.

TONY BLAIR: This may be the day when finally after all of
the false dawns and dashed hopes, peace replaced war,
politics replaces terror on the island of Ireland. I
welcome the statement of the I.R.A. that ends its campaign.
I welcome its clarity. I welcome the recognition that the
only route to political change lies in exclusively peaceful
and democratic means.

AMY GOODMAN: Meanwhile, Sinn Fein, the political arm of the
I.R.A., called on the British government to fulfill its end
of the Good Friday peace agreement that was signed in 1998.
This is Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams.

GERRY ADAMS: And there's now no possible excuse for the
British and Irish governments to not fully and faithfully
implement the Good Friday agreement. In particular, this
means an end to pandering to those Unionists who are
rejectionists. That means that the British government must
urgently address the issues of demilitarization, equality
and the human rights agendas.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams
speaking Thursday. British and Irish politicians are in
talks to determine how to restore power sharing in the
government of Northern Ireland. Initial measures will
include amnesty for paramilitary fugitives and other
measures enabling autonomous governance. In a minute, we're
going to be joined by Ed Moloney. He is author of A Secret
History of the I.R.A.

AMY GOODMAN: As we turn now to the story of the I.R.A.,
what some are talking about "a farewell to arms." We're
joined in our studio by Ed Moloney, author of A Secret
History of the I.R.A., and former Northern Ireland Editor
for the Sunday Times and Irish Tribune. Welcome. Thanks for
joining us. Your response to --

ED MOLONEY: Well, in some ways this is, you know, an
exceedingly important move by the I.R.A. because it
underlines what has been a gradual movement away from
revolutionary armed politics into constitutional politics.
And with that has, you know, come the entrance of Sinn Fein
into very much conventional, middle of the road politics.
They have discarded a lot of their earlier revolutionary
rhetoric and now are very much a sort of, I guess,
mainstream, centrist, slightly left of center party.

On the other hand, this is a move which is utterly
meaningless. The I.R.A. yesterday said that its campaign
against Britain was now formally over. Well, there was no
campaign against Britain, and there hasn't been a campaign
against Britain really since 1997, when they called a
cease-fire. And equally, the commitment from now on to use
exclusively peaceful methods is also meaningless, because
they signed up to that commitment when they joined the all-
party talks out of which came this power sharing agreement,
the Good Friday agreement of 1998. So they're really
formalizing the obvious, recognizing a reality which has
been there for eight years, and in that sense it's
absolutely cost-free for them.

What they have not done, though, has been to do two things.
First of all, give a commitment that the I.R.A. will end
another drift, which has been evident in the last few years
or so, which is a drift into criminality. The I.R.A. which
once, you know, fought the British and bombed British
cities and so on and so forth is now more intent on
smuggling petrol across the Irish border, peddling
counterfeit DVDs and CDs, a lot of them from China, selling
stolen cigarettes around the doorways in places like West
Belfast, running protection rackets and so on and so forth.

And if you look at the makeup of the current Army council,
it includes individuals who, from very poor working class
backgrounds, have become property moguls or millionaires.
How does that happen except through that? So there's no
specific commitment that that will happen, nor is there any
commitment that the I.R.A. will go away, will disband,
which is one of the demands that was made in the wake of
the big robbery which took place in Belfast earlier this
year and also the stabbing to death of Robert McCartney.
That was a demand that was made on this side of the
Atlantic and also over in Ireland and Britain. There's
nothing in this statement which would suggest that that
will happen, and the suspicion, therefore, is that the
I.R.A. leadership, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, will
keep the I.R.A. going as a sort of semi-criminal type
organization which has the potential to cause instability
to the peace process. And out of that instability, Sinn
Fein builds electoral support. So this has become a story
which is less about the achievement of Irish unity or Irish
independence and now is more really about, in my view, at
least, is more about how Sinn Fein grows into a major
political party, which is precisely what is happening.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what about the prospects for the
eventual success of the Republican movement in terms of
ending British control over Ireland?

ED MOLONEY: Well, my own view, and I think it's one that is
shared quite widely, is that there is absolutely nothing in
the power sharing deal which could guarantee or even
suggest that the goal of Irish unity is achievable. And
what Sinn Fein and the I.R.A. have done by signing up to
the Good Friday agreement is to accept the constitutional
status quo that Northern Ireland is part of the United
Kingdom and that it will remain so as long as the majority
of its population, in other words, the Protestants or
Unionists of Northern Ireland say so. And, of course, you
know, given the demographics of Northern Ireland, that's
going to be a reality for as far as one can see in the
future. And in return for accepting the status quo and in
return for accepting the so-called principal of consent,
Sinn Fein has been offered and presumably whenever this
deal is revived, they will take seats in a power sharing
government and become ministers. So, I mean, in the last
power sharing government that survived for a couple of
years, Martin McGuinness who is now over here selling this
deal was Minister of Education, and they had another
colleague who was Minister of Health. Those were cabinet
posts. If you had said 20 years ago that these people who
were out directing a bombing and shooting campaign to get
rid of the British presence in Northern Ireland would have
ended up as Ministers of the Crown in the government of
Northern Ireland, people would have thought you were mad.
But this is exactly what has happened and is likely to
happen again.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think there is any relation between the
timing of this announcement and what's going on in London
around the bombings?

ED MOLONEY: Probably not. Although this is very welcome
news for Tony Blair because he is under enormous pressure,
as you know. In Britain, the view that the Islamic bombings
in London for the last month or so are a direct response to
Blair's role as the so-called "pillion passenger" to George
Bush in Iraq is very strong. It's one that's very difficult
for Tony Blair to deny. But he has been trying to deny it.
He's under pressure. He needs some sort of success, given
the fact that the Scotland Yard operation up to now has
more resembled keystone cops in a very tragic way, as we
saw with the death of that poor Brazilian guy, than an
efficient anti-terrorist operation. He's desperate for a
success on the terrorism front, and here is one which he
can now tout around as a success and show the world that
terrorism can be ended, and he, Tony Blair, has done this.

"Pillion passenger," we have heard this a few times now.
What does it mean for an American audience?

ED MOLONEY: "Pillion passenger" is someone who sits behind
the rider of a motorcyclist.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what about the economic conditions in
Northern Ireland. Clearly Ireland has become a favorite for
offshore manufacturing facilities from the United States, a
tax haven in certain ways. What's been the economic
condition developing in Northern Ireland?

ED MOLONEY: Well, most of the so-called "Celtic tiger,"
which has been, as you say correctly, the result of
investment in things like high-tech and computer, has been
confined to the southern part of Ireland, the 26 counties
which have been independent from Britain since 1921. Very
little of that has spilled across the northern part of the
border. And really, conditions in areas where Sinn Fein,
for example, is the predominant party, have not changed
that much since the start of the cease-fire. There's still
a great deal of unemployment, a great deal of poverty.
Housing conditions are not great. So, there's a big gap to
be made up there, and the cease-fire and the peace process,
in terms of the economic condition of the ordinary people
who supported the provost during the 30 years of war, they
really haven't seen much of an economic peace dividend.

AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to Ed Moloney. He is author of A
Secret History of the I.R.A.. This book is also a chronicle
of the rise of Gerry Adams. I want to ask you about Gerry
Adams, the man, and what you think right now. But it's
interesting as we talk about sources being revealed, Juan
was one of those reporters in 1999 who signed a letter on
your behalf, Ed Moloney, when the British government
attempted to force you to surrender your notes on a story
you were -- you had written concerning allegations of state
collusion in the murder of a Belfast lawyer. Can you
explain what happened?

ED MOLONEY: Well, first of all, I'm glad I'm here this
morning, because it gives me the opportunity to thank Juan
in person for what he did for me, which was extremely
valuable, and there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that
if I hadn't got the support of people like Juan and indeed
yourself, Amy, and other American journalists who rallied
to my side at that time, I very possibly would have been in
a situation very similar to Judith Miller.

The story was quite simply about a loyalist paramilitary
activist who had also been a police informer, who had given
the police advance information about the planned murder of
a well-known Belfast attorney called Pat Finucane. The
police had failed to act on his intelligence, and indeed
afterwards when he also told the police about the movements
of the murder weapon, the police did nothing at all. And
these fed and fueled allegations and suggestions that the
state had actually colluded in the murder of this attorney.

Now, I interviewed this guy. He was very scared, very
worried. For the best part of nine or ten years, he did not
want his story published, quite understandably. But then
another inquiry was launched into that murder, and he was
arrested. And he was charged with the murder,
extraordinarily. The guy who had actually told the police
that this is going to happen was charged with the murder.

So, at that point, he gave me permission to use the story.
And we ran the story very heavily in the Sunday Tribune. It
caused great deal of publicity and the next thing that
happens is Scotland Yard is on my door with a writ
demanding that I hand over all my notes of conversations
and interviews with this man, presumably so that they could
be used, and I could be used as a witness in his trial for
murder. That I would not do and could not do. And we had a
lengthy court battle, but also a battle outside the court
in which both yourself and Juan joined in, thankfully, and
we won that successfully. And it demonstrated to me,
actually, one of the important things in a situation like
this is, yeah, fighting in the courtroom is important, but
fighting outside the courtroom is a damn sight more
important. And that's where you really win it. That's not
what is happening here, I'm afraid, with the Plamegate

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, the way things are going, the climate
in this country, we journalists here in the United States
may soon need letters of support and solidarity from those
of you in Europe and other countries.

ED MOLONEY: Well, indeed. That's the way it's going.

AMY GOODMAN: Very briefly, if you could chronicle for us
the journey of Gerry Adams.

ED MOLONEY: Well, there's absolutely no doubt that Gerry
Adams is up there in the pantheon of Irish Republican
leaders. He's up there with Collins and Eamon de Valera,
and when the history of the period is really written, you
know, I think that will be truly recognized. He is a man
who was a leader and recognized as a leader with enormous
potential from the very start of the troubles. He joined
the I.R.A. when he was 16. His father had been in the
I.R.A. When the troubles broke out in 1969, 1970, he rose
very quickly to the top of the I.R.A. in Belfast. And he
has been the at top of the I.R.A., either in the city
itself or nationally as a member of the Army Council, the
ruling council of the I.R.A., for the best part of 30

Very charismatic figure, very talented, a brilliant
military strategist, but also a brilliant political
strategist. This peace process, this peace strategy, which
was once described to me in terms of what it's achieved, as
the equivalent of turning the Titanic in a bathtub is down
to Gerry Adams. It was his plan, and it was his
determination that pushed this through. And it required an
enormous amount of skill, an enormous amount of
ruthlessness and an enormous amount of duplicity on his
part. The guy is no angel.

This peace process involved sacrificing a lot of the sacred
principles of Irish republicanism. And he did so in a way
which preserved (a) his own life, but also delivered the
bulk of his organization into this peace process. And that
is why I think you see him lauded in the White House, that
you see him praised by people like Tony Blair and the Irish
government. They recognize that this guy has done something
quite extraordinary for them, as much as for anyone else,
in the sense that he has brought these troubles in Northern
Ireland, which were seen for so long as one of the
intractable world conflicts on a par with the Middle East.
It's now over. It really is now over. And it's down to
Gerry Adams that this has happened. So, like him or love
him or loathe him, there's absolutely no doubt that Gerry
Adams, you know, is an extraordinarily important figure in
the story.

AMY GOODMAN:How did he betray the principles?

ED MOLONEY: The ways are beyond number, Amy. The story is
so complex and so dark and so deep in terms of the things
that he had to do, but for example, a book has just been
published in Ireland, written by a former I.R.A. prisoner
called Richard O'Rawe, who was the number two I.R.A. leader
in the jail during the 1981 hunger strikes. And to remind
your viewers, ten I.R.A. prisoners died on hunger strike
for political status.

AMY GOODMAN:Bobby Sands.

ED MOLONEY: Led by Bobby Sands, whose cellmate, Séanna
Walsh, read the I.R.A. statement that we just saw on the
screen. Now, according to Richard O'Rawe, at a key point in
the hunger strike after the death of four prisoners, the
British government made a secret deal or secret offer to
end the hunger strike, which would have given the prisoners
80% of their demands. And the prison leadership, including
himself, accepted it. And the message was sent out to Gerry
Adams as a representative of the I.R.A. leadership that the
prisoners wanted to accept this deal. And Adams overruled

And the reason why Richard thinks that he and his
colleagues in the jail were overruled was that if the
hunger strike continued and more people died, then this
would provide a platform from which Gerry Adams would be
able to launch an electoral strategy and to bring Sinn Fein
into electoral politics. Without that extra sacrifice, it
may not have been possible for that to have happened. And
as a result of going into electoral politics, we have the
peace process. The peace process was the direct child of
the hunger strike.

Now, if Richard is right, it means essentially that Mrs.
Thatcher killed 4 hunger strikers but Gerry Adams killed
six, and he killed six of his own colleagues, or he allowed
six of his own colleagues to die in order to advance his
political ambitions. Now, that's a pretty chilling
accusation and allegation to make. And it's well supported
by the evidence that Richard Marshall has in his book. And
if it's true, and I suspect very strongly it's true, it
gives an insight into a personality which is quite
extraordinary, I think.

Amy Goodman is the host of the nationally syndicated radio
news program, Democracy Now!


The World

Some Fear Ira Fighters' Next Moves

Victims groups worry that hard-liners may not accept the
end of the armed struggle.

By Ron DePasquale
Special to The Times
August 1, 2005

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — Die-hard members of the Irish
Republican Army might drift to fringe groups, threatening
Northern Ireland's emergence from more than three decades
of bloodshed, victims groups say.

The IRA announced last week that it was ending its armed
struggle against British rule and would use only peaceful
and democratic means to achieve its goal of a united

But Michael Gallagher, leader of a group representing
victims of the deadliest attack during Northern Ireland's
"Troubles," said Sunday that some militants could drift to
breakaway militias such as the Real IRA. Twenty-nine people
were killed in a bombing in the small town of the Omagh in
1998, an attack for which the Real IRA subsequently

The Real IRA broke away during negotiations that led to the
landmark Good Friday power-sharing agreement. Authorities
consider breakaway republican paramilitary groups small but

"We have to be very conscious of the danger of people who
feel disenfranchised by the move the IRA made," Gallagher
said. "Over the past 30 years, these people have known no
other way of life other than illegal activity. That's the
danger when a society like ours normalizes, that some
people will hanker back to the old ways."

A former leader of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political ally, who
has alleged ties to fringe paramilitaries said the IRA's
historic move "betrayed" republican principles.

Ruairi O'Bradaigh, ousted by Gerry Adams in 1983, told the
Belfast Telegraph newspaper that the IRA had been corrupted
by the British government and should disband.

"They are no longer republicans," said O'Bradaigh, who
heads the radical Republican Sinn Fein.

Although the Real IRA and other breakaway groups are a
menace, they have "no great political support," said Paul
Dixon, a professor of politics at the University of Ulster.
He said Adams, who still leads Sinn Fein, had taken the
threat into account.

"Adams is far too cautious to ignore that and has maximized
republican unity," he said. "In any case, the international
climate has shifted against terrorism in a big way."

Adams has appealed for republicans who disagreed to "keep
it in-house and stay united."

The British secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Peter
Hain, said a victims commission, partially modeled on South
Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, would be

"We will be looking at processes by which people can get at
the truth and have some acknowledgment for their pain and
suffering," Hain told the Observer, a British newspaper.

Some victims groups have opposed any South African-style
process, in which anyone who gave evidence received
immunity, saying it would weaken their efforts to seek

"The victims are the ones who suffered the most and cannot
be re-traumatized," said the Rev. David Clements, a
Methodist minister with a group representing victims of

Hopes for progress in Northern Ireland's stalled peace
process have increased after the IRA statement. But Peter
Robinson, deputy leader of the Democratic Unionist Party,
the dominant Protestant party, said over the weekend that
it could take years before a power-sharing agreement with
Sinn Fein.

Although initial negotiations could begin in September, Ian
Paisley, head of the Democratic Unionists, was expected to
demand a waiting period of at least six months before
starting serious talks. Paisley's party was frustrated that
the IRA statement did not mention providing photographic
evidence of weapons being destroyed, a demand he had made
during the talks that collapsed in December.

In a poll in the Republic of Ireland by Dublin's Sunday
Independent newspaper, only 51% said they believed the IRA
would disarm, and 87% said they did not believe criminal
activities such as smuggling and money laundering would
end. About 60% said the IRA should apologize to its

Adams said at a Friday news conference that the IRA had
already apologized.


Peter Hain: 'Last Mile Of Ending The Conflict Is The Most

Interview with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

By Colin Brown
01 August 2005

Peter Hain will go down in history as the Secretary of
State for Northern Ireland when the IRA delivered its
message that the war was over. But, he said: "I told the
Cabinet the last mile of ending the conflict is always the
most difficult to walk."

As a South African, whose parents were not allowed to speak
to each other under a banning order by the apartheid
regime, Mr Hain had first-hand experience of how difficult
it can be to finally settle a conflict.

He said he told the Cabinet: "Nelson Mandela came out of
prison in February 1990 and four years later in April 1994
he was President. People look back on that and think that
was a miracle, and it was, in its own way. What people
forget is that more people were killed in that four-year
period of South Africa's history than at any other time."

He added: "I make that point not to say I am expecting
violence and death in Northern Ireland. On the contrary I
think that is behind us. But I do think it illustrates the
point that when you are closest to a final agreement is
when it is hardest. You may be closer but it's terribly
difficult for people to take the final step. But I think we
will get there; I am optimistic. The march of history is
with a successful democratic conclusion to this process."

We were sitting in Mr Hain's office at Millbank in central
London as Tony Blair welcomed the IRA statement live on Sky
News. Mr Hain watched silently from his desk, showing no
sign of envy that Mr Blair was taking all the limelight.
Did he feel, in Mr Blair's words, the "hand of history" on
his shoulder, I wondered?

"No,'' he said. "There have been so many who have gone
before me, it would both be presumptuous and a bit
gratuitous to say that's the case.

"It goes back a long way, Tony Blair's courage and vision
in getting to the Good Friday Agreement which no
Conservative Prime Minister had been able to do in 20
years. He broke the mould over the way Northern Ireland had
been handled by previous Prime Ministers."

He says John Major negotiated the Downing Street
Declaration and Margaret Thatcher, however reluctantly,
secured the Anglo-Irish Agreement, but Mr Hain said: "Under
Tony it was a quantum leap in thinking and understanding
how to resolve this matter."

Jonathan Powell, Mr Blair's chief of staff, played a
"pivotal role: as a go-between," but Mr Hain added: "Paul
Murphy, my predecessor, is the unsung hero of this process
both as Mo Mowlam's deputy and then as Secretary of State.
I find everybody wherever I go people pay tribute to what
he did."

Mr Hain has not dealt directly with the IRA, he said. His
contacts since arriving in the job three months ago have
been Gerry Adams, Gerry Kelly and Martin McGuinness.
"That's been the basis on which I have negotiated this.
There have been almost daily meetings," he said.

The final pieces of the jigsaw fell into place after five
hours of talks with Mr Adams in Hillsborough Castle. He
would not say what they discussed, but he did not deny it
included the freeing of the IRA bomber, Sean Kelly, whom he
had put back into prison only six weeks before for
breaching his licence for release.

That decision outraged some Unionists and stuck in the craw
of some of his ministerial colleagues. In the autumn, Mr
Hain will introduce legislation which will, among other
things, provide an amnesty for the IRA men who have been on
the run for years, so they can returnwithout fear of
arrest. But, in the end, it will be for Ian Paisley and Mr
Adams to do the deal, and that is the hard part. Mr Hain
thinks the real finger of history is pointing at the
unlikely figure of the ageing firebrand of the DUP .

"I like him as a person because he's a man of destiny in
Northern Ireland terms," he said. "We have not agreed with
each other in the past and will still have disagreements
today. He is now the leading figure in Northern Ireland
politics and his role is going to be crucial. Ian Paisley
has it in his hands to become the first minister of a
reconstituted Northern Ireland executive and assembly in
the best circumstances for any unionist leader to do this,
which is with IRA activity shut down. There is a long way
to go to achieve that. We still have to get a political
settlement. There are going to be many months of heavy

It is one of the great ironies that peace may now be
secured when Ulster politics has become so polarised. Sinn
Fein and Mr Paisley's DUP gained seats and the more
moderate Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, with whom
Mr Blair did business, lost his seat and has been deposed.
But Mr Hain believes that may have helped to create the
conditions for a deal.

"My South African experience is relevant here," he said.
"First, in the end the deal there was done between the two
most polarised parties, the Afrikaaner ruling apartheid
elite and the ANC cadres of Nelson Mandela whom they'd
locked up, killed and smashed over many decades of
apartheid. They did the deal.

"Provided events sustain this, I think Ian Paisley and his
team have the leadership capabilities to negotiate the
ending with all the other parties, Sinn Fein included,
because there is nobody either side of them to really speak
of, a handful of dissident republicans that don't count for
anything, but nobody to really speak of. If you can get
them round the table, you are in the business of striking a

He does not rule out last week's announcement leading to a
united Ireland. "I don't see that changing for the
foreseeable future, but who knows after that? The great
virtue of the Good Friday Agreement and its endorsement by
referendums on both sides of the border is that the people
have spoken, and the politicians have to listen, whether
they are unionist or republican, nationalist or alliance."

Next door to the Northern Ireland Office on Millbank is the
MI5 headquarters. The lights have also been burning late
there recently in dealing with the new generation of home-
grown bombers who have replaced the IRA with a summer
campaign of terror in London. I asked Mr Hain whether the
lesson to be learned from reaching an end to IRA violence
meant you had to address the concerns of the terrorists
committing bombings in the name of Islam?

Mr Hain began with the stock ministerial answer, saying
there were no parallels between the IRA and the Islamic
fundamentalists. But he has a reputation for being free-
thinking, which has got him into trouble in the past with
Downing Street and, while stressing that terrorism had to
be ruthlessly blocked, he added: "You have to deal with any
of the conditions that produce it."

That included, he said, bringing peace to Iraq. "Nobody
suggests the conditions in Northern Ireland were optimal or
ideal for anybody. They are now completely different. That
has been part of the process of removing any of the
spurious justification for terrorism in Northern Ireland.
In the situation of Islamic terrorism, what we have to do
is pursue - as we are - a series of international agendas
for justice and human rights, a settlement of the dispute
between Palestinians and Israelis, a peaceful, democratic
Iraq, a peaceful, democratic Afghanistan, and conquering
world poverty, which is what the G8 was all about."

He quickly added: "But you are dealing here in the case of
Osama bin Laden and his derivatives with something that you
cannot negotiate with, because it has no clear political
agenda other than to impose a brand of fanatical
dictatorship which would roll the world back centuries,
oppress women, shackle and put human rights into a concrete
bunker and dispense with it. You can't negotiate with

I said I had read a piece by Jonathan Freedland saying Ken
Livingstone, the Labour London Mayor, was playing with fire
by suggesting Palestinian suicide bombers were different
because they could fight back only with their bodies.

"I don't agree with Ken," said Mr Hain. "Terrorism is
terrorism whether it was IRA terrorism in Belfast or
Islamic fundamentalists in London. The idea that
Palestinian terrorists are justified is just out of court."

He admits some IRA men will not give up the armed struggle,
and may join the Real or Continuity IRA, but he does not
think many will do that. He said: "The whole context in
which terrorism now operates has changed things

The CV

* BORN: Nairobi 1950, raised in South Africa
* EDUCATION: Queen Mary, London; Sussex University
* CAREER: 1969: Chaired the campaign to stop cricket tour
of South Africa

1971: Chair of Young Liberals
1976: Union of Communication Workers
1991: Elected MP for Neath
1997: Junior minister at Welsh Office
1999: Minister of state, Foreign Office
2001: Energy minister; minister for Europe
2002: Secretary of State for Wales
2003: Leader of the Commons
2005: Secretary of State for Northern Ireland


'Ulster Link' In Shoot-To-Kill Case

By Michael McHugh
01 August 2005

An Ulster-based Army unit may have been involved in the
shoot-to-kill death of an innocent Brazilian in London last
month, it has been reported.

The secretive 14 Int, a branch of the Special
Reconnaissance Regiment used during operations in Ulster,
has been in London since the July 7 bombings.

Soldiers from the undercover unit are believed to have
taken part in the surveillance operation on Jean Charles de
Menezes who was killed by a plain clothes police team as he
entered Stockwell tube station on July 22.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence told the Sunday
Times: "We would describe it as technical assistance as
part of a police-led operation under police control.

"It is a particular military capability that the police can
draw on if needed. It was a low-level involvement in
support of a police-controlled operation."

But when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph, an MoD
spokesman said yesterday: "It is not our normal procedure
to comment on special forces and this was an operational
matter for the Metropolitan police."

The Metropolitan Police has already accepted operational
responsibility for the operation and apologised to the dead
man's family.

14 Int was allegedly involved in breaking into homes in
Ulster to gather intelligence and plant listening devices
or hidden cameras, as well as monitoring suspects'

A Met spokeswoman said she "could not confirm" the Army's

Meanwhile, as the men suspected of being would-be suicide
bombers were held, the police investigation continued apace
with six fresh arrests following more anti-terror raids.

All four would-be July 21 suicide bomb suspects - Muktar
Said- Ibrahim, Ramzi Mohammed, Hussain Osman, Yasin Hassan
Omar - are now in custody.

And yesterday, six people were arrested in relation to the
failed suicide bombings at a raid in a Sussex town -
understood to be Brighton.

Also in custody in London are a man arrested in Stockwell,
south London, on Friday, July 22, and two men held in New
Southgate, London, on July 24 and 25. It emerged on
Saturday night that police also arrested another man in
Finchley, north London, on Tuesday.

A further man was seized in Kennington, south London, on

Two women seized at Liverpool Street station on Friday and
later let go are reportedly the girlfriends of Muktar Said-
Ibrahim and Ramzi Mohammed.


Ex-Policemen Immersed In Controversy

By Lisa Smyth and Heather Simpson
01 August 2005

At one time a sectarian killer, now he's cleaning up
graffiti on Catholic churches

A former policeman who carried out a sectarian murder in
1977, and later became a loyalist politician, has talked
about his involvement in efforts to clean up graffiti at
Catholic churches in Ballymena.

Billy McCaughey now appears to be distancing himself from
the bitter Harryville protests in the 1990s, and says he
was there to exert a calming influence over the loyalist

The controversial PUP man says he believed the area's
reputation has never recovered from events at the church
between 1996 and 1998, in which there were protests about a
ban on loyal order parades in the nearby nationalist
village of Dunloy.

The picketers said they were standing outside the Catholic
church in solidarity with Protestant marchers who were
unable to parade to their church.

McCaughey, who was linked with the lengthy protest
throughout its duration and once pictured in Harryville
wearing an Orange Order sash, said it was a "knee-jerk
reaction to circumstances at the time" and that he got
"tied in with" it as he was the "only known person about".

And he explained: "I was nearly jailed over the whole thing
but police couldn't make up their minds if I was an

"At one stage the crowd was going to petrol bomb a nurse's
car with her inside it but I managed to get her away so she
didn't get injured.

"Although I didn't really support the protest at
Harryville, I understood why it happened but then, as it
dragged and dragged on, it damaged the area and it has
never really recovered."

McCaughey was jailed for life for the 1977 murder of 39-
year-old Catholic shopkeeper William Strathearn in Ahoghill
and was also found guilty of the kidnap of village priest
the Rev Hugh Murphy in 1978, as well as the bombing of a
south Armagh pub in the same year, all when he was a
serving member of the RUC.

Speaking about his stance against the most recent attack
last week against the much-targeted Church of Our Lady in
Ballymena and the paint-bombed Harryville Catholic church,
McCaughey continued: "At one time I would have said it was
okay to attack people, but attacking property is stupid
because it cannot do you any harm."

McCaughey, who stood inside Harryville chapel last week
while a group of Presbyterian volunteers scrubbed out
slogans, added: "Martin Luther King made a career out of
sticking messages to church doors and, although this attack
might have had the same sentiment, it certainly wasn't as
polite - is this really how these people want themselves

At his trial for murdering Mr Strathearn, McCaughey
admitted he provided the weapon used in the attack and had
driven the killers to the scene.

Terrorists are victims as well, says the former RUC man who
joined Sinn Fein

A SINN Fein councillor who was a former RUC officer has
said terrorists are as much victims of the troubles as the
people they killed.

Speaking at the Feile an Phobail in West Belfast on
Saturday, when he received a warm welcome from the packed
audience, Billy Leonard spoke of his political journey from
RUC reservist to republican.

"In all conflicts there are victims on all sides," the
former Orangeman said.

When asked by the Belfast Telegraph if he considered the
IRA killing of his former RUC colleagues to have been
murder, Mr Leonard said he would not engage in the politics
of condemnation.

He said: "I don't want to home in on one type of victim
even if they are former colleagues. I want to look at all
victims and how we do handle all the people who are victims
as part of the process of reconciliation."

The Coleraine councillor added: "I do believe the
perpetrators can also be victims."

In the wake of the IRA statement, Mr Leonard said the
loyalist and unionist community has to examine itself.

In the audience for Mr Leonard's speech was Sinn Fein
European MP Bairbre de Bruin and ex-Presbyterian Moderator
Ken Newell.

Mr Leonard left the police in 1980 and later joined the
SDLP. Post 1998, Mr Leonard was a member of the SDLP
general council. But he defected to Sinn Fein in 2004. He
said it was a "massive decision" to leave the party.

He admitted he was concerned the SDLP needed to take stock
and re-focus their direction in the wake of the Good Friday
Agreement. But his main concern was the party's attitude to
the united Ireland agenda.

Speaking of his policing days, Mr Leonard said: "In terms
of membership of the reserve it was a learning curve. When
we talk about collusion I know about collusion. It is
ironic today is the 30th anniversary of the Miami murders.

"Some of the people charged with those murders were members
of the UDR, they were also members of the UVF."

He said: "In terms of the late 70s it is an irony, I saw
state violence, I saw quite a lot of sectarianism and I saw
maybe a policing that was a protector of the state, seeing
that combination of influences for real really did create
an impression."

In response to a question from the audience about
justification for the IRA's armed struggle, Mr Leonard said
he saw it in international terms and compared the troubles
with conflicts in the Basque region of Spain, Cyprus and
the Balkans.

He said: "In terms of justification you have got that self
rationale because of the belief in the ideology... Politics
didn't work in the 60s and 70s so of course there will be


Wal-Mart Sues Former Vice-Chairman

By Ian Guider

SUPERMARKET giant Wal-Mart is suing its former vice-
chairman Tom Coughlin, one of the leading Irish American
businessmen, for allegedly abusing his expense account.

Mr Coughlin, a second generation Irish American, is accused
of a five-year $500,000 spending spree, splashing out on
underwear, food for his pets and Celine Dion CDs. Wal-Mart,
the world's biggest company by turnover, is seeking $5
million in compensation from Mr Coughlin - who earned three
times that amount over two years.

A 124-page lawsuit filed in the US court said Mr Coughlin,
57, and "a group of carefully loyal subordinates"
misappropriated "hundreds of thousands of dollars and
property for his personal benefit."

The suit said he misused a Wal-Mart gift card to buy
watches, alcohol, a karaoke machine, underwear, airline
tickets, boots, a digital radio, three shotguns and a top-
of-the-range jeep.

Mr Coughlin left the company earlier this year after 27
years. In June, Wal-Mart demanded Mr Coughlin give up all
his retirement benefits, worth some $25 million, and it
froze some of the funds due to him under his contract
claiming he engaged in "gross misconduct."

Legal representatives for Mr Coughlin said he denies the
allegations and intends to defend the action. They claimed
the suit was "another step in its relentless campaign to
discredit a man who dedicated his life to the company and
its employees for 27 years".

"Wal-Mart has used its unlimited resources to mount an
attack on Mr Coughlin while denying him any meaningful
opportunity to defend himself."

It also emerged that for a number of years Mr Coughlin was
responsible for investigating employee theft and abuse at
Wal-Mart. In 2003, Mr Coughlin was honoured with the
Ireland-US Council Award for outstanding achievement in New


Is There Justice In America For Leoanrd Peltier?

by Geri Timmons
July 31, 2005

Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist has once again
been denied an appeal. The United States Bureau of Prisons
recently moved him from the maximum security prison in
Leavenworth, to a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. How much
more must this man endure by the hands of this government!

The US Prosecutor Lynn Crooks has clearly admitted we can't
prove who shot those agents. This does not sound like a man
who is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt on the guilt of
Leonard Peltier. So why Mr. Crooks do you still hold him

The 10th Circuit Court stated "much of the government
conduct on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and in the
prosecution of Mr. Peltier is to be condemned. The
government withheld evidence. It coerced witnesses. These
facts are undisputed."

This case is clear cut evidence to what lengths the FBI
will go to get their man. They manipulated the system to
meet their own agenda through the misuse and abuse of
power. They railroaded Peltier using false affidavits to
convince the Canadian government to extradite him. Agents
Price, Skelly and Woods, held and used a mentally ill
native woman. Under duress and severe mental torment she
submitted an affidavit stating she was at the Jumping Bull
ranch, also was the girlfriend of Peltier and she saw him
shoot the two agents. She has since recanted these
allegations, stating the FBI forced her into making the
statements. The damage had already been done; Peltier was
now in the United States. The Canadian government upon
learning the truth behind these false affidavits demanded
the return of Peltier. These demands fell on deaf ears.

The ballistics expert lied in Peltier;s trial, stating that
he had a clear match for the purported weapon Peltier had
shot the agents with, this stemmed from a shell casing
found at the crime scene. Later through the release of
documents it was learned that the expert lied and
fabricated the evidence to ensure a conviction, he was
verbally reprimanded by the federal court for his
professional misconduct. The U.S. Marshals used threats and
intimidation on the jury by sequestering them, implying the
American Indian Movement was trying to harm them. Periodic
sweeps were done in the court room and the judges chambers
once again to give the impression of implied threat. What
an horrific misuse of power! They placed fear in the hearts
and minds of all involved to ensure a guilty verdict.

Mr. Peltier has continuously denied the murder of the two
FBI agents. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals found that
Peltier may have been acquitted had the FBI not withheld
valuable evidence, a new trial however was denied due to a
legal technicality. Judge Heaney, presiding over the
appellant hearing, has expressed his support for Peltier's
release. Peltier has a long list of supporters that include
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Amnesty
International, Robert Redford, Ramsey Clark former U.S.
Attorney General, The late Mother Teresa, National Congress
of American Indians and many people from around the world.

It is time for the native community to heal from the crimes
committed to them by this country. Is it not time for
justice in the Peltier case? When will freedom ring? For
more information on Leonard Peltier, please contact:
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