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

August 12, 2005

Get Tough on Loyalists, Orde Urged

To Index of Monthly Archives
To August 2005 Index
To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.

News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 08/12/05 Get Tough Over Loyalist Violence, Orde Urged
LA 08/12/05 3 Who Fled Colombia For Ireland Prompt Dispute
BT 08/12/05 Opin: Extradition -A Dirty Word South Of Border
UT 08/12/05 Hume's Brother Is Lotto Winner


Get Tough Over Loyalist Violence, Orde Urged
2005-08-12 12:40:02+01

The North's most senior policeman was today urged to adopt
a get-tough attitude to loyalist paramilitary leaders
following a recent wave of sectarian attacks.

The call to Hugh Orde came as members of several Protestant
churches in Ballymena joined in a clean-up operation at a
Catholic church targeted by loyalist paint-bombers, and
continued to express their outrage.

Meanwhile, the SDLP confirmed, ahead of a meeting with the
PSNI's Chief Constable, that it was also seeking a meeting
with the British government about concerted action against
loyalist gangs.

North Antrim Assembly member Sean Farren said: "We have had
a wave of attacks from Lisburn to the north of the county
and as far as Coleraine and it has got to be stopped and
stopped now.

"The church in Harryville (in Ballymena) has been paint-
bombed three times in as many weeks and the situation in
Ahoghill has been particularly alarming.

"While the so-called republican parade didn't help and has
certainly made the situation worse, the problem of
sectarianism and loyalist violence in north and mid- Antrim
runs much deeper.

"I welcome the forthright condemnations by Protestant
churchmen and some unionist politicians, but the immediate
situation requires much stronger cross-community action.
This violence is organised and orchestrated and it is
spreading and I fear that lives are at risk. It is time for
dialogue explicitly aimed at stopping it."

Following a recent spate of threats and arson attacks in
the Co Antrim village of Ahoghill, police have issued fire
blankets to Catholic families.

Sinn Féin councillor Dessie Ward's home in Banbridge, Co
Down, was also targeted by petrol-bombers.

The Ulster Volunteer Force has been engaged in a bloody
feud in Belfast with the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force,
which has claimed the lives of three people.

SDLP deputy leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell said the British
government, police and society needed to face down loyalist

"Violent loyalism can be defeated by stern police action,
by removing their criminally acquired assets which fund the
lavish lifestyles of the brigadiers, and by denying them
the cover of spurious ceasefires," the South Belfast MP

"In the absence of the Secretary of State, I have sought a
meeting with Lord Rooker to ensure the government is fully
aware of the scale and extent of threat to Catholic homes,
churches and lives in Antrim and elsewhere."

Hugh Orde was also due today to meet a delegation from the
Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists to discuss their
security concerns in the wake of the IRA's declaration that
it is ending its armed campaign and the subsequent moves by
the British government to scale down the British Army


Three Who Fled Colombia For Ireland Prompt Dispute

The South American nation asserts that they aided rebels.
Extradition is unlikely, experts say.

By Ron DePasquale, Special to The Times

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — The three men linked to the
Irish Republican Army who recently went into hiding in
Ireland helped advance the weaponry and bombing techniques
of leftist rebels in Colombia and should be extradited to
the South American nation, Colombia's vice president
declared Thursday.

The three Irishmen fled Colombia and recently arrived in
Ireland. One of the men announced their return on national
television last week.

"These improvements in explosives by the FARC did not come
from an Al Qaeda or anarchist website," Vice President
Francisco Santos wrote in the Irish Times, referring to the
leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. "They came
from the direct training of people like James Monaghan,
Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley.

"Hundreds of Colombians have met their deaths at the hands
of the FARC and their new, 'improved' unconventional
explosives and tactics," he wrote in an editorial.

Monaghan, Connolly and McCauley were arrested in Colombia
in 2001 and served three years in prison for traveling with
falsified passports. A court later acquitted them of
additional charges that they had trained FARC rebels, but
last December the men were convicted following a government
appeal of that decision, as allowed under Colombian law.
The men had been on the run in Latin America ever since.

Ireland's international standing has been tarnished by the
return of the "Colombia Three," Irish opposition leaders
have said. The government and Sinn Fein, the IRA's
political ally, have denied suspicions that the trio's
return was allowed in exchange for the IRA's vow last month
to disarm. The White House said it expected the IRA to end
its contacts with terrorists around the world after that

Protestant and moderate Catholic politicians in Northern
Ireland say the three men's decision to return and hide in
Ireland, possibly with the help of republican allies, has
harmed the Northern Ireland peace process.

"They were clearly up to no good and not for the first time
their reckless actions and Sinn Fein's coverup have damaged
the peace process and made it harder to get the Good Friday
agreement up and running again," said Pat Ramsey of the
Social Democratic and Labor Party, Northern Ireland's
moderate Roman Catholic party, referring to the now-
disrupted peace accord signed in 1998.

Enraged pro-British unionists have called for the men to be
extradited to Colombia. Legal experts, however, said that
was unlikely for several reasons: The legal maneuver used
to convict the trio does not exist under Irish or British
law, Colombia's human rights record is widely criticized,
and there is no extradition treaty between Ireland and the
South American country.

Relations between the two nations have steadily worsened
since the trio returned. Colombia announced this week that
all Irish visitors now must apply for visas, making them
the only European Union citizens required to do so.

Irish officials, hoping to ease diplomatic tensions, have
said the men could serve their prison sentence in Ireland.
Colombia might accept that resolution, Vice President
Santos has said. A bill working its way through the Irish
Parliament would allow citizens convicted abroad to serve
their sentences in Ireland.

Irish Deputy Prime Minister Mary Harney on Thursday called
on Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams to aid the search for the

Harney has said she is "extraordinarily concerned" about
how the men had returned because there are no direct
flights between Colombia and Ireland and an international
warrant for their arrest had been issued. The men would
have broken Irish law if they traveled with fraudulent
documents, she said.

Adams made a public statement last week welcoming the men

"It will be a great relief to the three men's families and
friends, and I would hope that they can now get on with
their lives," Adams said.

The men, who have denied aiding the FARC rebels, have said
they went to Colombia to observe the peace process there
and go bird-watching.

Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), chairman of the House
International Relations Committee, has called for the
trio's extradition, saying they are connected to the U.S.
fight against drug trafficking. Hyde's committee is to
examine the matter when it holds hearings this year on


Opin: Extradition Is A Dirty Word South Of The Border

Eric Waugh
12 August 2005

I am a great believer in the maxim that, if you do not want
to do something, the reason you give is immaterial. In
fact, I wonder did I coin it.

Bertie Ahern and lots of other people do not want to see
the Colombia Three arrested, but the reasons they give may
be immaterial.

If the Three are arrested and brought to court - as they
should be - the whole dismal saga will take another lurch
into acrimony. Ancient wounds will be reopened. New and
inconvenient international enmities will be created if they
were to be acquitted, as they well might be - for witnesses
willing to testify will be as scarce as vines of sauvignon
in the Sahara.

So Mr Ahern hopes the three "tourists" from Bogota will
just go away; or that the gardai will declare that they
have failed to find them. Never mind the devices employed
by the extortionist, kidnapping, drug-running Farc
terrorists in Colombia, in the months after the Three had
paid them a visit, notably the home-made mortars previously
unique to the IRA.

Eighteen months ago 119 civilians, including children and
elderly people, died in such a Farc mortar attack in the
province of Choco in the north-west on the border with
Panama, when the church in which they were sheltering from
these barbarians was hit.

Never mind that they were peculiar tourists who stepped off
the plane at Bogota with their bags in 2001, James Monaghan
bearing a passport which represented him as Edward Joseph
Campbell of Belfast, a loyal citizen of Her Britannic
Majesty; Martin McCauley, similarly claiming the due
protection of Her Majesty, presented himself as John Joseph
Kelly from Dungannon; and Niall Connolly, apparently
accredited as the Sinn Fein delegate in Havana, arrived at
Colombian immigration as David Bracken of Dublin, a citizen
of the Republic of Ireland.

Now we all know that none of the Three was anything of the
kind. But to date they have offered no credible explanation
for their deceit. But we think we know what that
explanation is; for we think they were on yet another of
their undercover visits to the Farc in their mountainous
jungle fastness of Cundinamarca west of Bogota to train
them in terrorist techniques.

All this is a problem for Ahern for subtle and devious
reasons. These begin with the ethos of the state over whose
government he presides. That state fundamentally has a
negative ethos: that is, its belief in itself depends
largely upon what it is not. It is not British.

For more than 80 years it has striven to prove its cultural
independence of the more powerful neighbour. In that
endeavour, the spearhead has been the same movement to
which the Colombian Three subscribe, Irish republicanism.
Ahern knows that very many of his citizens would not go
along with its physical-force wing, but that many silently
consent to its objectives.

Accordingly, over the years, the Governments of the
fledgling Republic felt obliged to give a liberal amount of
rope to this republican movement, most notably in resisting
the extradition of its activists when they have offended
under the law. First the specious principle was established
that if such an offence, be it murder or anything else, was
held to be politically motivated, there could be no
question of extradition.

This was refined subsequently, in a further lurch into
absurdity, by adding the doctrine that such a murder, if
committed with a hand-gun, was automatically not
extraditable. In other words, Smith and Wesson shoots okay.

The well-known reluctance to extradite to the United
Kingdom, on the ground that Irish republicans could not
expect a fair trial, had further consequences.

When Sean Hughes, an INLA activist charged with the murder
of Garda Patrick Reynolds in a Dublin flat in 1982, fled to
France, he was arrested in Paris but his extradition was
not sought. It was, two years later, but was then bungled
by the Irish Government, whether by accident or design, to
the extent that none took place.

Some judges were more courageous than others. In that same
year, 1984, the late Thomas O'Higgins, presiding over the
Supreme Court, ordered the extradition to Northern Ireland
on a murder charge of the INLA leader, Dominic McGlinchy,
rejecting his counsel's claim that his offence was
political. It was some sort of a landmark; but it did not
make extradition any more popular; nor did it render it any
more politically attractive to governments.

Now Ahern's Government once again faces the tortured test.
Washington and London have seldom been more touchy on
terrorism than they are at this moment. They want to see
Dublin pulling its weight. Ahern says it is up to the
courts to act. But the law may say its hands are tied. If
so, that may mean the law needs to be changed. That is a
matter for his Government.


Hume's Brother Is Lotto Winner

The brother of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate John Hume has
scooped 1.25 million euros (£859,364) in the Irish Lottery,
it has emerged.

By:Press Association

Jim Hume let out a roar at his wife Brenda when he realised
he had matched all six numbers in the midweek draw.

Mr Hume, 60, from Strabane, Co Tyrone bought his ticket
while on holiday in Co Donegal in the Irish republic.

The store from which he purchased it, O`Neill`s in
Bridgend, Lifford, has now sold six winning jackpot

The sales manager collected his bumper cheque in Dublin
with his wife, son Liam, daughters Sharon and Grainne and
five grandchildren.

Recalling the magical moment, Mr Hume said: "I discovered I
had won at 11.45pm on Wednesday when I checked my numbers
at the kitchen table.

"I let out a roar at my wife and I won`t repeat what she
said to me when I said I had won.

"I got five numbers a few years ago and that was one of the
few things I have ever won."

Mr Hume matched 1, 6, 11, 26, 30 and 39 to collect a cheque
for 1,254,049 euros (£862,191).

His brother, politician John Hume, played a pivotal role in
the Northern Ireland peace process.

He was a major figure in the Catholic civil rights campaign
and a founder member of the Social Democratic and Labour
Party, which he led between 1979 and 2001.

In the 1990s the ex-Foyle MP held a series of meetings with
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams which paved the way for the
Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Hume was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1998 along
with former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, four
years after he helped secure an IRA ceasefire.

In 2001, he also received the Mahatma Gandhi Prize from the
Indian Government and the Martin Luther King Peace Prize in
1999 in the United States.

Mr Hume retired from active politics in 2005.

To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.
To August 2005 Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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