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August 06, 2005

Govt Will Consider Extradition

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News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 08/06/05 Govt Will Consider Extradition Request –V(7)
BB 08/06/05 Six Held Over Loyalist Feud Freed
IO 08/06/05 PSNI Hits Out At Riot Mobs
SF 08/06/05 Time For The DUP To Show Political Leadership
BB 08/06/05 Paisley Vows To Block Devolution
BT 08/06/05 Twelfth Tourist Tonic
BT 08/06/05 Institution Lambasts Blair
WP 08/06/05 Opin: The IRA's Role In An Irish Peace
BT 08/06/05 Opin: Hit-List Of Anger For The Unionists
BT 08/06/05 Opin: NIO - Wool Over Loyalists' Eyes
PB 08/06/05 Opin: No More Rebellion Songs For Happy Irish


Six One News: Charlie Bird, Chief News Correspondent,
speaks to Jim Monaghan who denies that deals have been done
with either British or Irish governments

Nine News: Charlie Bird and Tommie Gorman speak about the
political implications of the men's return to Ireland

Nine News: Caitríona Ruane, Bring Them Home Campaign,
welcomes the news and criticises the Colombian legal system

Nine News: Political reaction to the men's return

Nine News: Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor, reports on a DUP
call for the men to be extradited

Nine News: John Kilraine on the arrest and subsequent trial
of the three Irishmen in Colombia

Six One News: Charlie Bird reports on the meaning of latest

Govt Will Consider Extradition Request

The Irish Government says it still has not received any
official request from the Colombian authorities to send the
three men, jailed there for training FARC rebels, back to
the South American country.

In a statement, Colombia`s vice-President Francisco Santos
said the Taoiseach has a legal and moral obligation to
return the men, known as the Colombia Three.

It emerged yesterday that Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley
and James Monaghan, who were sentenced to 17 years in jail
in Colombia last December, are now back in Ireland.

Opposition parties in the Republic are questioning how that
was allowed to happen.

This afternoon, a spokesperson for the Irish Department of
Justice said any request from the Colombian Government will
be considered.


Six Held Over Loyalist Feud Freed

Six men arrested in Belfast on Thursday in connection with
the loyalist feud have been released without charge.

It is understood the arrests were linked to the murder of
Stephen Paul, 28, who was shot last Saturday.

Loyalist paramilitaries were blamed for rioting in the
north of the city which followed Thursday's arrests, during
which 40 police officers were injured.

Three people have so far been killed as a result of the
feud between the LVF and the UVF.

Petrol bombs were thrown and a bus and 10 cars hijacked and
set on fire in disturbances on the Crumlin Road following
the men's arrests.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/06 10:41:10 GMT


PSNI Hits Out At Riot Mobs

06/08/2005 - 09:34:06

Police chiefs today hit out at the mob behind a new wave of
rioting on the streets of Belfast.

Officers were pelted by 15 petrol bombs, paint bombs and
other missiles as they tried to deal with disturbances in
the north of the city.

Trouble flared on Cambria Street and the Crumlin Road last
night, just 24 hours after 40 police men and woman were
injured in rioting blamed on loyalist paramilitaries.

In the latest burst of violence, youths began throwing
stones at passing cars.

But when a 19-year-old man was arrested for public order
offences, police said the crowd turned on them.

Superintendent Gary White said: "Police worked hard all
evening with community representatives to try to resolve
the situation and restore order.

"However, it's clear that a small number of youths were
intent on provoking violence and attacking the police. This
type of behaviour is unacceptable. Both police and the
local community want to see an end to these type of
disturbances and we will continue to work to achieve that

No injuries were reported, and the man arrested is due to
appear at Belfast Magistrates Court today on rioting


Time For The DUP To Show Political Leadership

Published: 6 August, 2005

Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty MP speaking during a
meeting of the party's Ard Chomhairle in Dublin this
afternoon said:

"This is the first meeting of the Ard Chomhairle since the
IRA decision to end its armed campaign and is being
attended by party representatives from around the country.
The critical thing at this time is that momentum is
maintained, and the people who can best do this are the
Irish and British governments. They need to continue with
the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

"The IRA decision to end its armed campaign has opened up a
huge opportunity. I believe that many in the unionist
community recognise the potential that exists and want the
situation to move forward. That section of unionism
requires political leadership."

Responding to questions about the return of the Colombia 3
Mr. Doherty said:

"I want to welcome the fact that the three men have
returned to Ireland and are now safely back with their
families. I hope that this will continue to be the case.
It is a nonsense to suggest, as some people did last night,
that the peace process is somehow in crisis as a result of
their return. That is patently not the case. There was no
deal to bring them home, it was not part of any


Paisley Vows To Block Devolution

Devolution for Northern Ireland is at least two years away,
DUP leader Ian Paisley has told the BBC.

Speaking on Inside Politics, Mr Paisley said he would be
meeting the secretary of defence to ensure the Royal Irish
Regiment is not disbanded.

He admitted that the British and Irish governments want
movement in the political process next January.

However, he insisted he would be using his veto until he
"was sure all IRA activity and criminality had ended".

"I would think that we would need to have a very
considerable time, at least two years to see if there has
been proper decommissioning, and it's real, to see if the
IRA has ceased and as far as Sinn Fein is concerned, it is
ceased," the DUP leader said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/05 21:26:12 GMT


Twelfth Tourist Tonic

Visitors not re-routing over Orange fortnight

By Deborah McAleese and Linda McKee
06 August 2005

Belfast has finally shaken off its image as a no-go area
over the Twelfth fortnight and transformed itself into a
destination hotspot for both local and international

The tourist and entertainment industries declared a major
upturn in business throughout July and some hotel chains
claim last month was the busiest time of the year so far.

The days when the volume of incoming visitors was far
outweighed by the number of local people leaving Northern
Ireland, to escape the tension, may be coming to a close.

This year tourists from as far away as Hong Kong joined the
Eleventh Night festivities at some of Belfast's towering

According to Dr Billy Hastings, chairman of Hastings Hotel
Group, the Asian visitors had been staying in the Culloden
Hotel as part of an upmarket tour of Northern Ireland.

Dr Hastings said the agencies charged with promoting
tourism had got their acts together and this was borne out
by the number of tour buses passing through Northern
Ireland this year.

The Belfast Welcome Centre reported a large increase in the
number of tourists visiting the area throughout July
compared to previous years.

It also claimed that some hotels even had higher occupancy
in July than in March, April, May or June.

A spokeswoman for the Welcome Centre said: "Things really
seem to be changing. Long gone are the days when July
closed down. Every day in July was busy this year and no
less busy than any other months.

"Business in July is definitely very healthy and tourist
numbers increasing."

And the city's largest bar and restaurant chain, Botanic
Inns, has witnessed a major upturn in business during the
holiday period over the past few years.

Marketing manager for Botanic Inns, Helen Mulholland, said:
"Over the past few years there has been a positive upturn
in business for us throughout the July holiday period.

"This year was slightly different though - the first and
last weeks for us in July were good but due to the good
weather over the two weeks of the 12th more people seemed
to stay at home."

A representative of Mooney Hotel Group said the Twelfth had
not kept people out of Belfast, in contrast to previous

"We have had a very good July and certainly better than
last year or any other," she said.

"Overall, Belfast has improved in terms of things to do and
places to eat.

"It's not perceived any more as somewhere dark in terms of
politics. It's not been forgotten but it doesn't prevent
people from coming here."


Institution Lambasts Blair

06 August 2005

The Royal Black Institution last night accused Tony Blair
of "insensitivity" over remarks he made recently about

The organisation has written to Downing Street demanding
answers to a number of questions regarding the Government's
reaction to last week's historic statement from the
Provisional IRA.

In a letter, Sovereign Grand Master William J Logan said
Blackmen felt a sense of betrayal and anger at the Prime
Minister's responses to a question about terrorism given at
a recent Press conference.

"To state the tragic events in New York on 11th September
2001 was a wake-up call for you, and required a definitive
change of policy towards terrorism, stands as a clear
admission you were not fully awake to or aware of the years
of suffering from terrorism which all the people of
Northern Ireland (were)," Mr Logan wrote in the letter.

He went on: "To compound this admission, and omission, you
went on to insult us by saying, not merely suggesting, that
IRA terrorism was in some way different and of a lesser
degree than that currently being perpetrated against the
people of England, and in particular London."

The Prime Minister was also accused of "double dealing and
underhanded machinations" over the issue of Shankill bomber
Sean Kelly.

Mr Logan called on Mr Blair to make available all the
details surrounding Kelly's arrest and re-release.

"The Royal Black Institution abhors all violence, is not
political and repeatedly demonstrates its desire to
peacefully co-habit with their neighbours, although in many
cases this has not been reciprocated," said Mr Logan.


Opin: The IRA's Role In An Irish Peace

Saturday, August 6, 2005; Page A18

We welcomed the call for the United States to preserve and
promote the Irish peace ["An End to Armed Struggle,"
editorial, July 30], but contrary to the editorial's
assertion, the IRA has decommissioned arms twice pursuant
to the Good Friday agreement and under the watchful eye of
the British government's monitor.

The editorial said, "The IRA has carried out a major bank
robbery." If The Post has evidence of this, it might share
it with the director of public prosecutions for Northern
Ireland. The British government has proclaimed IRA guilt,
of course, but seven months after the robbery, not one
arrest has been made.

The editorial also said that the IRA carried out a
prominent murder. If this was a reference to the death of
Robert McCartney in a bar fight in Belfast, not even the
British government makes such a claim.

Further, the editorial said that the IRA has not "expressed
regret for its past actions." In fact, it has done so with
regularity. Not so the British government. Despite
obligations in the Good Friday Agreement to conduct public
inquiries into, for example, the Dublin-Monaghan bombings
and the murders of solicitors Patrick Finucane and Rosemary
Nelson, Prime Minister Tony Blair has continued the work of
his predecessors in delaying and obstructing such
investigations and by failing to accept responsibility for
the lawlessness of its security services.

National President
Irish American Unity Conference


Opin: Hit-List Of Anger For The Unionists

By Lindy McDowell
06 August 2005

Unionist politicians are regularly portrayed as the angry
voices of Ulster politics. Call me demanding, but I just
wish they'd get a whole lot angrier.

Here are a few of the things I'd like to see them get
angrier about...

Loyalist paramilitaries. There are no votes to be lost in
speaking out against loyalist paramilitaries.

That in itself will tell you all you need to know about the
esteem in which ordinary people in the areas the
paramilitary gangs dominate hold these yobbos, thugs, drugs
dealers, extortionists, intimidatory brutes, murderers and
thieves who, having wrapped the Ulster flag around
themselves, style themselves "loyal."

They're loyal only to their own hip pockets and their own
egos. Some of these boys could give the entire cast of Big
Brother a run for their money on self-obsession. So why
don't unionist politicians speak out more forcibly to
defend their community against these "defenders of the

Are they scared of them? Scared of losing votes? Don't they
realise that if they demonstrated a more robust attitude
towards the scumbags who leach off the backs and
livelihoods of decent people in the large tracts of
Northern Ireland they run, this just might translate into
more support for their parties?

And why don't they get angry about the police? In riots in
north Belfast in just one evening this week, over 40
officers were hurt. Why aren't we hearing more anger about
that from unionist politicians?

They're angry about Tony Blair dumping on the RIR. But will
they sustain that anger to ensure that the men and women
who may lose their jobs, both in the regiment and in the
MoD, are looked after with proper redundancy payments?

And if they're angry about the RIR, why aren't they more
angry about the UDR widows? These women and their families
have been shamefully treated by the Government. If unionist
politicians had been more angry earlier, many of these
families may not have had to endure the hardship that they

But it's not too late. If unionist politicians let the
Government see their anger about the issue, even at this
stage they may be able to secure a proper package of

They say they're angry about the victims - but again what
practical steps have they channelled that anger into? The
impression often given from the Northern Ireland Troubles
is that nobody from the unionist side actually suffered.

Unionist voices are very rarely heard speaking out about
their experiences. Why is this? Where is the leadership
within the unionist community which has provided the
support to help victims organise, tell their stories and
highlight their grievances?

And why aren't unionist politicians more angry about the
deprivation and lack of opportunity in so many of the areas
from which they garner the votes that put them in power?
True, we occasionally hear them call for more funding, a
fairer slice of the cake. But what are they actually doing
on the ground?

What support are they giving to decent people in those
areas to organise, to find out how to go about getting
funding or at the very least to highlight the massive
problems their particular area suffers?

Unionist politicians are angry in a headline hitting sort
of way. They don't get angry in detail. They rant and shout
about life in general. They rarely get angry about specific

Above all they seem incapable of helping to foster within
their community the sort of support network that would
allow people to find real and practical help for themselves
- and to give the outside world a more balanced picture of
what really happened here during the Troubles.

For all the anger of unionist politicians, too little is
heard of the voice, the concerns and the experience of the
ordinary people they represent.

And that's what makes me angry.


Opin: NIO Spinning The Wool To Pull Over Loyalists' Eyes

By Barry White
06 August 2005

Sometimes you wonder what goes on in the heads of our lords
and masters in the NIO. After 35 years of deception and
hate, how could they be so trusting of the IRA and so
ignorant of the anger of loyalists?

They're new to the game, every year or two, so maybe their
calculations go something like this?

"Let's see, we've finally got this statement of intent to
dump arms from the IRA. We don't want them to have second
thoughts, so freeing Sean Kelly should please them, even if
unionists wonder how a terrorist could be let out before
the IRA prove anything.

The watchtowers have to come down, so send the TV people up
in a helicopter to film the demolition. They'll be so
thrilled they won't ask - and we certainly won't tell -
what purpose they served, or how they were used to watch
the smugglers ply their trade.

Then there's the disbandment of the home battalions of the
RIR. Won't be popular, but everyone should know that a
state-sponsored home guard couldn't survive in the brave
new Ulster. A lot of jobs will go with them, but think of a
good severance package and double it, like we did with the

Oh, and leave the Policing Board alone. It's a bit out of
date but we must make room for the Shinners next year.

Bertie Ahern has to help out, giving Sinn Fein a good
reason for staying on the straight and narrow. He may not
like giving Westminster MPs speaking rights in the Dail,
but it will provide the Sinn Feiners with something to do,
even if no one listens to them telling the Republic how
their money should be spent and what Irish unity would do
for the Celtic Tiger.

Pictures of Gerry and Ian inside Downing Street should help
them realise how much they have to gain by pulling the
strings at Stormont. We've got over the mortar attack on
John Major, so why shouldn't they forget about Gerry's and
Martin's past - and learn to love the photo-call
specialists, Mary Lou McDonald and Colombia Ruane?

Maybe we should have a word with Gerry, to make sure he
realises how sensitive the unionists are, and that he
shouldn't try to sound too pushy too soon. If he puts
pressure on the DUP to start talking, or else, we may never
get devolution going again. That's what everyone wants,
isn't it?"

Well, is it? The local politicians certainly want to stop
or slow down moves on rates, water charges and
comprehensive education, but do they think they can? If
they can't, are jobs in government worth the agony or
ecstasy of having a Sinn Fein Minister of Justice and
unstoppable cross-border institutions?

The government must believe that they can make us a
devolution offer we can't refuse but, unless the
paramilitaries on both sides leave their rackets behind
them, there may be few takers. There's a good argument for
saying that the new republican strategy is to use the new
influence that their peace declaration gives them to keep
the political destabilisation of Northern Ireland going.

If Sinn Fein know the conditions for power-sharing are
never going to be right, thanks to IRA foot-dragging, then
calling on the government to pressurise the unionists
generates continuing instability. It certainly won't build

The real hope, against a bleak political background, is
that as pictures of demilitarisation are seen around the
world, there will be a new belief that Northern Ireland is
finally at peace. A momentum will be created that even the
most dissident loyalists and republicans cannot disrupt -
and investment and tourism will flourish. Keep hoping.


Opin: No More Rebellion Songs For Happy Irish

By George McEvoy
Palm Beach Post Columnist
Saturday, August 06, 2005

More than 20 years ago, Ireland's premier folk-singing
group — the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem — announced
that they no longer would sing their very popular songs of
rebellion. There had been too much bloodshed, said the
Ulster-born Mr. Makem.

So, instead of rousing revolutionary songs such as The
West's Awake and Legion of the Rear Guard, they would offer
hearty "come-all-yes" like Whiskey in the Jar and anti-war
tunes such as The Patriot Game.

The shift didn't dim the group's popularity to any great
degree. About the only criticism heard was not from Irish
fans in Dublin or Cork City but from older audiences in the
Bronx and Manhattan. That was, according to an Irish-born
cousin of mine, because the elderly Irish-Americans still
were living in the 1920s, the time of Michael Collins and
Eamon DeValera.

"Time stopped for them when they got off the boat in New
York," my cousin said.

At the same time, America, primarily New York and Boston,
was the main source of financing for the Irish Republican
Army. People who hadn't walked the green fields of Erin in
half a century continued to contribute to such IRA front
groups as Noraid, which claimed to be donating money only
for medical supplies but winked when saying so.

But in the past few years, I saw signs that the Clancy
Brothers' pacifistic decision had been an omen. Friends of
mine in Cork and Limerick didn't even want to mention the
Ulster situation. They made it clear that they were sick of
the whole mess. And when my wife and I traveled to the
Irish Republic nine years ago, nobody wanted to even
mention the situation in the north.

At the same time, contributions to Noraid and the other
front groups fell off noticeably. Then came the 9/11
attacks on the twin towers of Manhattan and the Pentagon by
Arabian terrorists. Suddenly, it was as if many Irish-
Americans saw the IRA in a new light. The "boyos" weren't
the direct descendants of the warrior poets who led the
Easter Monday rising of 1916 but terrorist thugs more akin
to the suicide bombers of the desert than the Irish martyrs
who mounted the gallows in times long past.

Irish-Americans in New York did not want to be associated
in any way with people who planted bombs and turned
airliners into deadly missiles. This was true especially
when the roll call of the dead in Manhattan showed that the
vast majority of the cops and firefighters killed in the
twin towers attacks had Irish names.

So, the IRA lost the support of the Irish and Irish-
American people. And when a guerrilla force loses the
people, it loses the war.

I think that was the main reason the IRA agreed to turn in
its arms and try again to reach some sort of an agreement
with Protestant loyalists to form an Ulster governing body
that would be fair to both sides. At the same time, Britain
began dismantling its military posts along the border with
the Irish Republic and announced that the 12,000 British
troops still patrolling the streets of Ulster's cities
would begin moving out.

There are other reasons behind the decision to end the
fighting. One reason is former President Clinton.

When I was last in Ireland, and in letters and phone calls
since, the Irish talked of Mr. Clinton in terms even his
public relations staffers didn't attempt. They consider him
virtually an icon of peace.

Another reason for the shift may be a simple matter of
economics. The Irish Republic is on a roll right now. For
the first time in 1,000 years, more people are moving to
Ireland than are leaving it. Young English men and women
come to Ireland now to seek jobs, a reversal of the past.

Also, Ireland has played a leading role in the formation of
the European Union. That not only has enriched the isle but
has diminished the nationalism of its sad history.

Englishman G.K. Chesterton said all Ireland's wars were
merry and all its songs were sad. The Irish no longer
consider "a good fight" to be a joy, and the songs it sings
are happy.

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