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August 14, 2005

IAUC Lobby For C3

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News about Ireland & the Irish

DI 08/14/05 Irish-Americans Lobby For Three
DI 08/14/05 Gun Attack Linked To Feud
SL 08/14/05 Schoolboy Murder Quizzed Released
DI 08/14/05 Killing 'Sectarian'
SL 08/14/05 Shot Loyalist Grilled Over Murder Of Reporter
SL 08/14/05 Face-To-Face With A Killer
SL 08/14/05 Millimetres From Death
SL 08/14/05 Why IRA Killer Wasn't On SF Wish-List
SL 08/14/05 Recruitment Bid By Dissidents
SL 08/14/05 Last Orders At Magennis's Bar
BB 08/14/05 Police Come Under Petrol Attack
SA 08/14/05 Opin: IRA's Call To End War: Milestone Or Dream
GL 08/14/05 Northern Ireland: Republicanism at a crossroads
DI 08/14/05 Call For Murder Inquiry
BB 08/14/05 Omagh Bombing To Be Commemorated
BB 08/14/05 Residents Angry At Algae In Water

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Irish-Americans Lobby For Three

by Ciarán Barnes

An Irish-American lobby group has called on the Irish
government not to extradite the Colombia Three.

In a statement released yesterday, the Irish American Unity
Conference urged Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to "refuse to
entertain any extradition requests or demands that the
Colombia Three be returned".

The organisation's message of support for Niall Connolly,
James Monaghan and Martin McCauley came in the same week in
which a Progressive Democrat TD called for the men to be
extradited and the SDLP demanded the men appear before the
Irish courts.

News of the Colombia Three's unexpected arrival back in
Ireland broke last Friday.

They had been on the run from Colombian authorities for
eight months after an appeal court reversed an earlier
acquittal and imposed 17-year sentences on the three for
alleging training rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces
of Colombia (Farc).

The trio have always maintained their innocence. They say
they were in Colombia to monitor the peace process.

The Irish American Unity Conference is convinced that the
men's human rights will be abused if they are returned to

The organisation cites reports from bodies such as Amnesty
International that give compelling arguments linking the
Colombian government to human-rights abuses.

The Irish-American group's statement adds: "An Irish
national must not be returned to a country where he or she
faces torture at the hands of paramilitary groups and where
it has been demonstrated that the government is likely to
acquiesce or turn a blind eye to any torturous acts.

"These three men were incarcerated in La Modelo prison in
Bogotá, which ranks as one of the most dangerous prison
regimes in the world.

"According to Human Rights Watch, some 1,200 Colombian
inmates were killed in the decade leading up to 2001, a
disproportionate number of them in La Modelo prison.

"In light of this, the IAUC urges the government of Ireland
to adhere to its international obligations and to refuse to
entertain any extradition requests or demands that the
Colombia Three be returned to face torture at the hands of
paramilitaries with whom the Colombian military has
demonstrably colluded."

Colombia insists the men were treated well.


Gun Attack Linked To Feud

The shooting of a man in County Armagh yesterday is
believed to be linked to the ongoing loyalist feud.

Convicted loyalist and drug dealer Gordon Hutchinson was
shot in the leg and stomach as he walked at playing fields
close to Glenavon Lane, Lurgan, County Armagh, yesterday

It is understood the loyalist, who was taken to Craigavon
Area Hospital, was saved by a bullet-proof vest.

The Ulster Volunteer Force is believed to have been behind
the murder bid.

In December last year, Mr Hutchinson received a three-year
suspended jail term after he admitted gathering and
possessing details of suspected republicans.

The attempt on Hutchinson's life comes after a Dungannon
Loyalist Volunteer Force chief narrowly escaped a UVF hit
squad at a motorway roundabout outside the County Tyrone
town two weeks ago.

The LVF boss has recently developed close links with exiled
Shankill Road loyalist Johnny Adair who has visited the
town in recent weeks.

To date, three people have been killed by the UVF as part
of a bitter feud with their hated LVF rivals with all the
murders taking place in Belfast.

Although tensions are known to be high in Ballymena, Antrim
and Mid-Ulster, yesterday's shooting was the first serious
incident to take place outside Belfast since the feud
ignited with the murder of Jameson Lockhart in Belfast at
the end of June.

In July Craig McCausland, whose family claim had no LVF
connections, and Stephen Paul have both been gunned down in
Belfast by the UVF.

Evidence that the feud is spreading into the LVF's Mid-
Ulster heartland is set to present a headache for security
chiefs struggling to contain rising tensions in loyalist
parts of Belfast.

In July the PSNI and British Army stood by as hundreds of
UVF men took over a loyalist housing estate in County Down
in a show of strength designed to force LVF members to
leave the area.

A number of families later left the district.

Since then loyalist housing estates in Belfast have been
swamped by the PSNI and British Army desperate to keep the
lid on tensions as they threaten to reach boiling point.

So far the UVF have suffered no serious casualties in the
latest round of loyalist in-fighting.

SDLP MLA for Upper Bann Dolores Kelly said she was
concerned by yesterday's shooting.

"It is very worrying to see that the feud is spreading
throughout the North. Urgent action needs to be taken to
prevent deaths and injury, particularly to innocent people
like Craig McCausland."

Upper Bann UUP man Sam Gardiner said he was shocked by the

"I am saddened this has come to our area.


Schoolboy Murder Quizzed Released

14 August 2005

TWO men and a juvenile - being quizzed by cops about the
frenzied knife-murder of schoolboy Thomas Devlin - were
released without charge last night.

But one of the men was immediately re-arrested by police on
an unrelated matter following a search connected to the
teenager's brutal murder.

Sunday Life has learned that one of the freed suspects was
involved in handing out a brutal so-called 'punishment'
beating three weeks ago on behalf of the Mount Vernon UVF
in north Belfast.

The trio had been detained just 12 hours after Belfast
Royal Academy pupil Thomas was stabbed five times in the
back, as he walked with two pals near his home, on the
Somerton Road.

The murder - believed to have been sectarian - sent a wave
of revulsion across the province.

Fifteen-year-old Thomas and his friends had stocked up on
crisps and sweets at a garage on the Antrim Road on
Wednesday night, and were returning when the killers

Detective Superintendent Colin Sturgeon, who is leading the
murder hunt, said: "Thomas was attacked and callously
murdered and I'm appealing to the public to help me catch
those responsible."

Detectives particularly want to hear from two male youths,
who were in the vicinity of Fortwilliam Service Station and
Somerton Park around 11pm last Wednesday, the person who
treated Thomas at the scene and accompanied him to the
Mater Hospital, and anyone driving, or walking their pets,
along Somerton Road late on Wednesday evening.

Last night, the UVF - already embroiled in a bloody feud
with the LVF - sought to distance itself from the savage

A loyalist source in north Belfast said: "Such an act would
never, I repeat never, have been sanctioned by the UVF.

"Anyone involved is on their own and the view is that,
whenever police catch up with those responsible, they
should be put away for the rest of their lives."

But another source revealed there had been growing concerns
that the UVF gang plaguing the Mount Vernon estate, was out
of control.

He said: "You have a situation where these people are using
the UVF name to carry out every criminal act imaginable.
From drug-dealing, blackmail, hijackings, robberies - you
name it and they're involved.

"Even those at UVF headquarters on the Shankill appear
powerless to do anything about them."

He added: "In one incident three weeks ago, a woman was
badly beaten up by UVF thugs, in a Shore Road pub.

"Yet, when approaches were made to the Shankill command,
nothing was done."

The UVF commander in the estate was jailed for four years
in 1999 following an undercover police operation into a
blackmail and extortion racket.

William 'Willie' Young took over from Mark Haddock, who is
currently behind bars awaiting trial on attempted murder

A 22-year-old man is due before a Belfast court
tomorrow(correct) accused of possession of ammunition in
suspicious circumstances.

The charge is understood to follow planned searches in
north Belfast last Thursday.


Killing 'Sectarian'

by Ciarán Barnes

The PSNI was coming under increased pressure last night to
state whether it believes the murder of a 15-year-old
Catholic schoolboy in Belfast was sectarian.

Thomas Devlin died on Wednesday night after being stabbed
five times in the back as he walked along the Somerton Road
with two friends.

So far the PSNI has insisted there is nothing to indicate
that his killing was sectarian.

The PSNI has also refused to comment on reports that a
passing patrol may have stopped the murder gang prior to
the killing taking place. Detectives are currently
questioning two men and a juvenile about the incident.

However, a number of loyalist sources in north Belfast have
told Daily Ireland that the savage attack on the schoolboy
was sectarian.

It is believed that loyalists from the nearby Mount Vernon
district were involved in the murder. The names of those
involved are known throughout the area.

Sinn Féin North Belfast Assemblyman Gerry Kelly called on
the PSNI to state whether the murder was sectarian.

He said: "This attack bears all the hallmarks of a
sectarian one. The area has witnessed a number of attacks
over past months which are similar to this."

Former SDLP mayor of Belfast, Martin Morgan, believes there
was a sectarian motive for the schoolboy's murder.

He said: "The PSNI should call this like it is, a random
and nakedly sectarian murder.

"What reason would a gang of loyalists have for walking
around the Somerton Road with knives, other than to carry
out a killing?

"The police has a duty to keep the community informed. By
not describing Thomas Devlin's murder as sectarian they are
keeping information from the public which people have a
right to know."

However a spokesman for the PSNI insisted that at this
stage there is nothing to suggest a sectarian motive for
the Devlin murder.

He explained that there were no sectarian phrases used
during the attack on the schoolboy and two of his friends.

"This is very much a live and proactive investigation,"
said the spokesman.

"All lines of enquiry are being fully explored and

The spokesman also confirmed that detectives were examining
closed-circuit television footage from a nearby service
station to try to determine the identity of the teenager's

His mother, Penny Holloway, yesterday described her son as
a "shining beacon" in her family's life who would never
come back.

She said: "'Devastated' is just too light a word for how we
all feel.

"I saw him lying there with the doctors working on him and
he's just my beautiful boy, who's gone. I just really don't
understand that."

Thomas' father, Jim Devlin, described what the family was
going through as a "living hell".

"We're just totally gutted. We haven't got him home yet but
we are doing our best to keep going.

"Thomas was the next generation coming up. He was across
all the divides and taken away by someone who sought
otherwise," he said.

Secretary of state Peter Hain said he was horrified by the
"brutal and appalling" murder.


Shot Loyalist Was Grilled Over Murder Of Reporter

By Ciaran McGuigan
14 August 2005

THE victim of a loyalist murder bid in mid-Ulster last week
is a drug-dealer who was once quizzed about the murder of
journalist Martin O'Hagan.

Gordon Hutchinson (28) was shot in the groin and stomach at
playing fields in Lurgan on Friday afternoon.

It's not thought that his injuries are life-threatening.

Hutchinson is a convicted drug dealer - closely linked with
the LVF - who last year escaped with a suspended sentence
for possessing details of republicans.

And he was one of a number of loyalists from the Lurgan
area who was questioned by cops after the LVF gunned down
Sunday World journalist Martin O'Hagan near his home, in
September 2001.

He was later released without charge.

It is unclear if last week's attack was related to the
ongoing feud - centred around Belfast - between the LVF and
rival UVF.

Hutchinson, who was a close pal of both dead LVF leaders
Billy Wright and Mark 'Swinger' Fulton, has had a number of
run-ins with the UVF.

He has also been threatened by republicans.

Last December, Hutchinson was freed on a suspended three-
year jail term after admitting making a record of, and
holding information on, suspected republicans.

It's believed leading republican Colin Duffy was one of
those on whom Hutchinson had been keeping tabs.


Face-To-Face With A Killer

By Stephen Breen
14 August 2005

THIS is the moment Joan Feenan has been waiting for, for
the past two decades.

The Ardglass woman didn't think she would have the
opportunity to come face-to-face with the man she believes
holds the key to the brutal murders of her elderly aunt and
cousin - graveyard killer Michael Stone.

Joan (53) last month challenged Stone to a meeting to
discuss the murders of Kathleen and Terence Mullan.

Mrs Mullan (79) and her son, Terence (32), were gunned down
at their isolated Ballynahinch home by UFF gunmen in 1986.

Joan requested the meeting, because she believes the gun
used in the double-killing was one of the weapons later
used by Michael Stone, to kill three people at Milltown
Cemetery in 1988.

And, as Sunday Life's exclusive pictures show, Stone
accepted the Co Down woman's invitation, after considering
the idea for a fortnight.

This is the first time the Milltown murderer has met
relatives who lost loved-ones through loyalist violence.

Joan, who also admitted during the meeting with Stone that
she was a Sinn Fein supporter, described her encounter with
the notorious killer as "enlightening".

She said: "I always wanted to ask him if he was responsible
for murdering my relatives and, after meeting him, I
believe him when he says he didn't do it.

"He told me that he read my cousin's file and considered
him a legitimate target, but I just wanted to tell him that
my relatives were totally innocent."

Joan added: "He also told me that it wasn't the same gun
used by him at Milltown that murdered my relatives.

"But I think the fact the Stone admitted to me that he read
detailed security information on my cousin raises more
questions about the murders, and I intend to raise these
with my solicitor.

"He wouldn't tell me where the file came from. It was also
hard for me to sit there while he said he would have had no
hesitation in targeting my cousin, because he believed that
he was an intelligence officer for the IRA.

"I think he might know a little more than he is letting on,
but I'm pleased the meeting took place."

Stone claimed that he had been left "humbled" by his first
meeting with a relative of victims of loyalist violence.

Said Stone: "I don't have a problem with Joan, or what she
believes in.

"I agreed to this meeting to tell her that I was not
responsible for killing her aunt or her cousin.

"I did, however, read the file on her cousin and this was
supplied to me by another paramilitary group.

"At the time, I would have killed her cousin, because I was
a soldier then.

"According to the file, which was very professional and
detailed in its presentation, he was an active member of
the IRA. I don't know who supplied this file.

"I do feel as responsible for the guys that pulled the
trigger in this case, because I was the same as them.

"I did some terrible things as a loyalist soldier and I
have lost some of my humanity.

"Joan was a very nice woman and I would have reacted
differently if someone had told me that they had read files
on one of my loved-ones.

"This was a very worthwhile exercise and something I would
do again."

Murderer quizzed over prison plot

CEMETERY killer Michael Stone has been quizzed by cops over
alleged plots to murder leading republicans in the 1990s.

Sunday Life can reveal that the Milltown murderer - who was
also questioned about a plot to kill Alex Maskey and
Bernadette McAliskey - was interviewed about a plan to kill
top Provos, Padraig Wilson and Harry Maguire, at The Maze
in 1998.

It is understood Stone was quizzed about plans to kill the
west Belfast republicans in the former jail's gym, after
the 1997 murder of LVF chief Billy Wright.

It is believed the prison's governor at the time, Martin
Mogg, was told of the plot by loyalists to booby-trap
apparatus at the gym in H-Block 8 - once loyalist jailbirds
had left the facility and before republican inmates had
arrived to use it.

The development comes after Stone was interviewed about a
plot to kill Jack Kielty - father of Ulster comedian Paddy
Kielty - that pre-dated the Co Down businessman's 1988
murder by UFF gunmen.

Stone now believes he will be returned to prison, after
police sent a new file on his terrorist exploits in the
1980s and his Maze plan to the Director of Public

Stone has refused to comment on his latest questioning by

But the graveyard killer also believes that he still tops
an IRA hit-list - in spite of the terror group's promise to
give-up violence.

Said Stone: "I have no comment to make about what I was
questioned about.

"But it's fair to say I could end up in jail.

"What I am more concerned with is the IRA statement, and if
that now means that I am no longer a target.

"I remember Terence 'Cleeky' Clarke telling me that, peace
or no peace, I would still be an IRA target because of the
operation at Milltown cemetery.

"I would love to go into Belfast with my family, but I
won't be able to until the IRA or Gerry Adams tells me I
won't be targeted.

"I'm willing to go meet Adams in the Falls, but I don't
think that is going to happen - but I have no problem in
debating with him about the conflict."

But a senior republican source dismissed Stone's claims as
a "publicity stunt".

Said the source: "Republicans have made a commitment to end
the armed struggle and are not concerned with Stone's
latest bid to get his name in the media.

"The question that we now need answered is how Michael
Stone was able to use RUC weapons at Milltown."


Millimetres From Death

By Stephen Breen
14 August 2005

THE top surgeon who saved the life of an innocent victim of
the loyalist feud last night, revealed that David Hanley
had been just MILLIMETRES from death.

Kishor Choudhari - a consultant neurosurgeon at the Royal
Victoria Hospital - told Sunday Life that David's case was
one of the worst he'd dealt with.

David, who was blinded in the LVF murder bid, was riddled
with bullets in the mistaken identity attack.

The young man - shot just three days before his 21st
birthday - was blasted once in the head and five times in
the stomach, on July 10.

David, whom police say has no links to any paramilitary
organisation, was on his way home when a lone LVF gunman
jumped from an alleyway in Glenbank Place, off the Upper
Crumlin Road, and shot him in the head.

The evil terrorist then stood over the young man and
proceeded to pump more bullets into his body.

The bullet fired into David's head went in one side and
emerged out the other side, rupturing his optic nerves and
shattering part of his brain.

Mr Choudhari, who has worked at the RVH for 11 years, told
Sunday Life David was "very lucky" to be alive.

And the neurosurgeon, who hopes to have a case study on
David's injuries published in a medical journal, has vowed
to keep in contact with his patient and his family during
his long road to recovery.

Said Mr Choudhari: "In normal circumstances, I would expect
someone who received the same injuries as David to die.

"But he went through a marathon operation and this is what
saved his life.

"If the bullet in his head had been a few millimetres to
the left or right, he would have died - he is very lucky."

Mr Choudhari added: "David is depressed at the moment,
because he knows he has lost his sight. But he is also
still recovering from his brain surgery.

"As his optic nerves were unfortunately damaged, there was
nothing we could do about his sight. The few millimetres
made the difference about him being alive or dead.

"I will do my best to give him hope that, in time, he might
be able to cope with the terrible injuries."

The neurosurgeon also refused to take credit for saving the
David's life.

"The fact that David is alive is down to everyone who has
helped care for him at the Royal.

"I co-ordinated the management of his care, but everyone,
the team of surgeons, the nurses and staff in intensive
care, radiology and physiotherapy, have all played a part.
The teamwork was excellent.

"The family have been very grateful to the hospital, but
everyone was just doing their job."


The unforgiven

Why IRA Triple Killer Wasn't On Shinners On-The-Run Wish-

By Joe Oliver
14 August 2005

HE was one of the IRA's most ruthless killers, and
responsible for the cold-blooded murders of three RUC

But Sean Meehan - a brother of veteran republican Martin
Meehan - does not feature on Sinn Fein's 'wish-list' of men
and women the organisation wants to see granted an amnesty.

The question of 'On-The-Runs' - including Charlie Caufield,
the man responsible for the 1987 Enniskillen bombing, which
claimed 12 lives - has been a key priority in the peace
process for Sinn Fein.

The Government has promised to act on the issue when the
IRA moves to decommissioning.

But the list of around 56 fugitive terrorists handed to the
British and Irish governments does not bear Meehan's name -
because, as well as being a schooled Provo killer, he was
also one of the Garda's top informers.

Meehan (54) lives in the US, and works in a haulage company
under an assumed name.

He is considered 'untouchable' and, in spite of his blood-
soaked past, he has no fear of extradition or Ulster cops'
new historical inquiries branch - established earlier this
year to look into unsolved murders.

The savage double-murder of two RUC officers at an off-
licence close to Oldpark police station in north Belfast,
in November 1971, is one of those unsolved cases.

Former police officers are in no doubt that Meehan and an
accomplice gunned down Sergeant Dermot Hurley (50) and
Constable Walter Moore (37) during a robbery.

The two officers had called into the Oldpark Wine and
Spirit Store in Lower Lodge Terrace, where they were well-
known to the owner, Ann Gray.

But, at that point, a car drew up outside and two men, both
armed, walked into the off-licence and held the three
inside at gunpoint.

Within minutes, the gunmen opened fire and both officers
were fatally hit. A priest gave Sergeant Hurley, a native
of Wicklow and a father-of-five, the last rites.

Constable Moore, a bachelor, had 17 years service with the

Less than two months later, in January 1972, Meehan led a
four-man IRA gang who murdered a rookie cop in north

Constable Raymond Carroll (22) was riddled with bullets, at
a petrol station on the Oldpark Road.

Belfast City Commission was later told that the man who
fired nine bullets into Constable Carroll was Meehan, then

At the time of the trial of one his accomplices, Meehan was
behind bars in the Republic for robbery.

A Crown lawyer revealed that Brendan Mailey (17), William
Bates (23), and Joseph Lynch (33) drove with Meehan to the
service station in a hijacked car, after Bates had spotted
the young policemen there.

They plotted the murder at a house at Northwich Drive, and
Bates was later to admit that Meehan, armed with an M1
carbine, laughed after the killing saying: "I got the

Bates and Lynch were later jailed for life for their part
in Constable Carroll's murder, while Mailey was detained at
the Secretary of State's pleasure, because he was under age
at the time of the killing.

One republican source in Belfast said yesterday: "Seanie
Meehan's name is dirt.

"He became intelligence officer in the Dublin Brigade when
he went over the border, but was turned by the Garda
Special Branch.

"It was one hell of a shock at the time, and the damage he
did to the organisation was enormous.

"The cops got him out just as he was rumbled, and he was
lucky. No one here wants to see or hear of him again."

And a former RUC officer told Sunday Life: "There was, if I
remember right, an attempt in the 1970s to have Sean Meehan
extradited for the murder of Constable Carroll.

"But in those days, few, if any, such warrants were
successful. By the time we learned of his involvement in
the murders of Dermot Hurley and Walter Moore, Meehan was

"Our hands were tied and we were told at the highest level
to lay off." The Special Branch in Dublin got him out to
the States and MI5 was also involved.

"He was a psychopath, but he got away with murdering three
good men."

A police spokeswoman said yesterday in relation to
Constable Carroll's murder: "This is one of the cases the
PSNI has agreed to review under the recently-established
historical inquiries team."


Recruitment Bid By Dissidents

By Stephen Breen
14 August 2005

RENEGADE republican godfathers last night embarked on a
fresh recruitment drive in south Down.

Senior security sources told Sunday Life Real IRA leaders
are attempting to bolster their ranks, in Castlewellan and
nearby villages.

It is understood the dissident republican initiative was
launched, after the IRA leadership ordered its members to
dump their weapons and pursue their aims through democratic
and non-violent means.

But there are now fears that renegade republicans in other
areas will attempt to recruit new members.

It is also believed they approached a number of former
Provos, who refused to join the terror groups.

Since the second IRA ceasefire in 1997, south Down has been
a hot-bed of dissident republican activity.

There have been a number of gun and bomb attacks on police
officers, paramilitary-style shootings and armed robberies,
by both the Real and Continuity IRA.

Sources claim the terror groups could attempt to launch a
fresh campaign of violence, because of the stance taken by
the Provos.

Said a source: "There are still a few republican die-hards
in Castlewellan who are intent on stepping up attacks
against the security forces.

"They were quite active for a while, but they lost a lot of
support and also had the police scoring a number of
successes against them.

"The dissident leaders have been trying to persuade a
number of ex-Provos to join them, but they have been
consistently knocked back, and that's why they are going
after younger people.

"Dissidents have been recruiting in other areas of Northern
Ireland, and it will be interesting to see what happens in
places like Castlewellan over the coming months.

"These boys think they can continue the war, but the
security forces always seem to be one step ahead of them.
Most of them are just seen as criminals."

Local Sinn Fein councillor Eamonn Mac Con Midhe hit out at
the dissident threat.

Said Mr Mac Con Midhe: ""I have heard about the dissidents'
recruitment drive in Castlewellan but I don't think they
will have much success."


Last Orders At Magennis's Bar

By Stephen Breen
14 August 2005

THE Belfast pub at the centre of the Robert McCartney
murder is set to go on the market, Sunday Life can reveal.

Our exclusive pictures - from inside Magennis's Bar - were
taken on Friday night before the shutters came down for the
last time.

It is the first time a picture of the bar's interior has
been taken since Mr McCartney's murder in January - in
spite of the bar being at the centre of worldwide media

It is understood the bar was purchased for £1.1m - but the
recent offer fell well below the original asking price.

The bar's employees pulled pints for the last time on
Friday, and will now have to find new jobs.

The pub was due to have its application for an
entertainment's licence heard by Belfast City Council, next

Sunday Life understands that no objections will be made by
police to the request.

But the bar's new owner may have to wait before the licence
gets the green light.

We revealed in June how the bar's owner - businessman
Martin O'Neill - had initially planned to revamp and re-
name the city-centre pub.

Mr O'Neill has so far refused to speak publicly about the
row inside the bar, which led to Mr McCartney's murder.

He also refused to comment on the reasons for the decision
to sell-up.

But it's understood Magennis's has been losing cash - and
customers - since dad-of-two Mr McCartney was slain.

Before the killing, the pub was popular with local office
workers and solicitors from nearby courts.

Mr McCartney's sisters have also staged a vigil outside the

Said a source: "It was never Martin's intention to sell the
bar as a result of the McCartney killing.

"But recent minor skirmishes involving locals may have been
the straw that broke the camel's back.

"Staff and regulars had no idea the bar was going to close,
because they were looking forward to the revamp of the bar
- they were completely taken aback at the decision to

"Robert was murdered outside the bar, and people have been
just looking forward to Magennis's getting back to the way
it was.

"The closure of Magennis's means that there will be no more
public houses in the Markets area and bar staff hope they
will be reinstated, if it re-opens under another owner."

Robert McCartney's sister, Catherine, said the decision to
close Magennis's made no difference to her family's
campaign for justice.

Said Catherine: "Even if the bar is bought by someone else
or renamed, it doesn't take away from what happened to my

"The bar is still going to be a reminder to my family about
what happened to Robert.

"I, for one, will never be able to have a drink in it."


Police Come Under Petrol Attack

Three people arrested after 30 petrol bombs were thrown
during overnight incidents in Londonderry have been

Police came under attack in Nailors Row when 18 petrol
bombs were thrown.

Six petrol bombs were thrown in two separate incidents at a
house in the Fountain area. They were all thrown from
Nailors Row, said police.

Four devices hit the house, causing damage to the wall,
windowsill and back door.

A window frame was damaged in the second attack, said

Meanwhile, a device thrown at a bar in the Gobnascale area
of the city turned out to be hoax pipe bomb.

It was thrown at the bar on the Old Strabane Road at about
0215 BST on Sunday.

The police said they want to speak to a taxi driver who was
in the area at the time.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/14 13:04:28 GMT


Editorial: IRA's Call To End War: Milestone Or Dream?

Web Posted: 08/14/2005 12:00 AM CDT
San Antonio Express-News

When a second wave of bomb attacks hit London recently, the
mayor said the citizens were prepared for terror -
preparation that had nothing to do with homeland security.

He was referring to the Irish Republican Army, a force
Britons have been battling for decades.

"We got through that, and we will get through this," Mayor
Ken Livingstone said.

His words were prescient. The people not only survived the
thuggish tactics of the IRA. They may have seen the end to
the violence.

The IRA has formally ordered an end to its "armed
campaign." Britons, relieved but skeptical, know the words
must be followed by actions. The organization launched its
violent reign in the 1960s, killing hundreds of people in
what it termed a noble cause. Their Islamic counterparts in
the current war on terror now echo that sentiment.

In its call to pursue change through political means, the
IRA succumbed to global pressure. On St. Patrick's Day, for
example, U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., refused to meet
with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. It was a simple gesture,
but the rebuke was part of a broader condemnation of the

Leaders must maintain that pressure to make sure the IRA
keeps its word. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the
IRA announcement could represent the day when "politics
replaced terror on the island of Ireland." While terror
rages throughout the Middle East, the end of one bloody
campaign fosters hope that peace is possible elsewhere.


Northern Ireland: Republicanism at a crossroads

Alexander Billet

Gerry Adams used to represent high hopes for the people of
Northern Ireland. In the 1980s, he was the most outspoken
and charismatic leader calling for a free and unified
Ireland, a constant thorn in the side of Margaret Thatcher
and other defenders of the British empire. In the 1990s,
his willingness to back the peace process made him a
mainstream hero as well.

Now, seven years since the signing of the Good Friday
Agreement, the Sinn Fein president is coming under
increasing pressure to separate from the Irish Republican
Army after the killing of Robert McCartney, a Catholic
father of two from Derry, which involved senior members of
the IRA. [On July 27, the IRA announced that it was
abanoning ''armed struggle''. The previous day, Irish
justice minister Michael McDowell claimed that Adams had
resigned from the IRA's Army Council.]

Sinn Fein has long been considered the political wing of
the IRA, with both organisations working together in order
to free Northern Ireland from British rule and join the
rest of Ireland in a unified republic. The slaying of
McCartney, along with the robbery of the Northern Bank in
December attributed to the IRA, has meant that both
branches are coming under huge public scrutiny among Irish
citizens - north and south, Catholic and Protestant.

Catholic and Protestant both celebrated the 1998 Good
Friday Agreement. With over 30 years of brutal violence
during "the Troubles" behind them, Catholics and
Protestants were both eager to grasp any sign of peace.

The agreement, along with its accompanying cease-fire
between pro- British ("loyalist" or "Unionist") and
Republican forces, was to formally end sectarian violence,
and provide a way to relax Britain's rule with a Northern
Ireland Assembly. It was also supposed to end the laws used
by the British government to persecute Catholics and deny
them political and civil rights, supposedly on behalf of
the Protestant majority.

Blair's empty promises

It proved to be an empty promise. British PM Tony Blair
caved almost any time there was Unionist opposition, such
as from David Trimble's Ulster Unionist Party. For example,
when Unionists argued that Northern Ireland secretary Mo
Mowlam was too "pro-Catholic", Blair quickly sidelined her,
then removed her from that position in 2000. Any time there
was opposition from the Republican side, they were ignored.

The loyalists were allowed time and again to derail the
peace process, and the British government dragged its feet
implementing many of the civil rights laws. Though the
language seemed truly progressive on paper, the Blair
government failed to translate any of it into practical
measures to protect the rights of Catholics.

Sectarianism was not only not put down by the agreement,
one might say it was almost encouraged. The agreement
allowed for the continuation of Catholic- or Protestant-
only institutions such as schools.

Meanwhile, Blair's spinelessness toward the unionists meant
that he was unable to present the agreement as a viable
alternative to Unionism and loyalism, and he failed to win
significant sections of Protestants away from sectarian

Catholics have suffered the brunt of a vast majority of
attacks since the beginning of the cease-fire. Though there
has been sporadic internal fights between separate
Republican groups, the IRA has for the most part obeyed the
conditions of the cease-fire. But loyalist groups such as
the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) or Ulster Freedom
Fighters (UFF), despite their official recognition of the
cease-fire, have carried out several attacks with the
intention of provoking Republicans back into violence since
the agreement.

During the three months to July 2002, for example, 363 non-
lethal attacks were carried out by loyalist forces against
Catholics, including 144 bombings, 25 shootings, and 43
personal assaults. It is worth pointing out that there was
violence coming from Republican groups during this period -
but mostly from dissident, non-IRA splinter groups, not the
Provisional IRA, and not from groups that were observing
the cease-fire. The UDA and UFF were, at least officially,
observing the cease-fire.

It is also worth pointing out that while Adams now faces
public pressure to formally break with the IRA in light of
the McCartney murder, this kind of pressure was never hiked
up on the likes of Trimble, who throughout all this simply
screamed that the IRA wasn't decommissioning its arms
quickly enough, or demanded that Sinn Fein be kept out of
the executive of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Living standards in Northern Ireland are relatively low for
both sides. While there is a strong tradition of
"Protestant privilege" that runs through Northern Irish
society, the budget cuts and privatisations that were
carried out directly following the Good Friday Agreement
have affected all workers, Catholic and Protestant.

Sinn Fein's rightward drift

The discrimination against Catholics can only be seen as a
divide-and-rule strategy, and Republicanism, because it
seeks to improve Catholics second-class status, presents a
threat to that order. Though how much of a threat is up for
debate. Those same budget cuts weren't fought at all by
Sinn Fein.

The party's website still extols the need for "a 32-county
workers' republic". Indeed, its rhetoric has been quite
radical over the years. But its role as "the political
wing" of the struggle for a unified Ireland has meant it
has been forced to make concessions time and again so as to
not risk its chances of getting into and retaining office.

Over the past several years, while participating in
Northern Ireland's Assembly, Sinn Fein has retreated on a
woman's right to choose, and led the way for privatising
hospitals and schools.

Adams has been increasingly critical of militant action
over the past decade, and most governments and mainstream
media have heaped praise on him for this. But the time has
never quite been right for Adams to completely break with
the IRA. McCartney's murder has provided that golden

This is hardly Adams' effort to turn to a more effective
strategy, such as mobilising the Irish workers around key
demands, but another concession in order to further
legitimise Sinn Fein as a business-friendly party. In other
words, Sinn Fein has backed itself into a corner by trying
to play both sides. It has two choices - either abandon the
IRA and continue swinging to the right, or defiantly scrap
any hopes of entering into the government in favour of
resuming guerrilla warfare (which would be an unpopular and
laughable move seeing as how it has the past seven years
praising the benefits of the Good Friday Agreement).

This represents a fundamental contradiction in the
philosophy of Irish Republicanism. Its inherent elitism
leaves it unable to organise the majority of people around
its demands. According to Irish writer and activist Kieran
Allen, the Republicans "share a fervent belief that the
mass of people are fundamentally passive and that it
requires a committed minority to achieve gains. This heroic
myth of 1916 is drummed into every republican. The mass of
Dublin workers were 'corrupted' by empire and only 'woken
up' by the brave action of the martyrs."

Ever since before the 1916 Easter Uprising, Republicans
have rejected the idea of mass struggle. This is the
backbone of Sinn Fein's electoral strategy and the IRA's
militarism. After all, if they are two sides of the same
coin, it makes sense that their tactics reflect each other.

The IRA, from its inception, has sought to foment struggle
through conspiratorial means. Individual assassinations and
car bombings (intended to carry the struggle forward)
require intense secrecy. For that reason, it has never been
accountable to the Catholic communities it is fighting on
behalf of.

"When there is no real struggle, paramilitary organisations
become self serving", says Allen. "They have huge
organisational resources - but little to fight for beyond
periodic elections."

This can result in tactics as varied as having interests in
small capitalism such as taxi businesses or pubs, to
engaging in bank robberies in Belfast. For these reasons,
the IRA finds its support waning to its lowest level in 35

Whither Norther Ireland?

Robert McCartney's sister put her finger on the problem
when she contrasted the "Old IRA" with the "New IRA", but
she doesn't see the connection between the elitism of both.
What she does, however, speak to, is the need for a real
solution in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein's neoliberal agenda eliminates it as any kind of
viable alternative for the people of Ireland. The IRA's
guerrilla-turned-vigilante police squad tactics provide no
way forward either.

The present crisis in Irish Republicanism presents
questions for all people who seek liberation for Northern
Ireland. That liberation will come not from elitism, be
that the elitism of electoral opportunists or heavy-handed
guerrilla tactics. Rather, it lies in defining the struggle
along class lines, not religious ones.

The Protestants may constitute a majority, but that
majority is slim. The 2001 census found that 46% of
Northern Irish are Catholic, and suggested that they may
soon be the majority. The solution lies in the
contradictions of an increasingly globalised society, where
the bottom line is the only line that matters. Capitalism
doesn't care whether a worker is Catholic or Protestant, it
only cares about squeezing both to get the most out of
them. Right now that squeeze has taken its toll on both

Since the beginning of the agreement, living standards and
wages have fallen for both Catholic and Protestant, and
this makes the potential for workers to see each other as
allies even greater.

The liberation of Northern Ireland is in the streets, but
until those streets see every worker, both Catholic and
Protestant, marching arm-in-arm for self-determination and
against British control, both will remain in chains.

[Abridged from . Alexander
Billet is an actor, writer and socialist living in
Syracuse, New York State.]

From Green Left Weekly, August 17, 2005.

Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.


Call For Murder Inquiry

By Conor McMorrow

Explosives charges against a Sinn Féin councillor in Co
Monaghan, which were later dropped, may have led to the
murder of a Sinn Féin councillor in Co Donegal, it was
claimed yesterday.

Owen Smyth called for a public inquiry into his arrest for
the abduction of Fermanagh man Peter North in 1990 and the
claims made by gardai at that time that he had confessed to
the abduction and explosives charges.

Mr Smyth was charged on five counts of possessing
explosives and firearms and falsely imprisoning Mr North.
The charges were later dropped in circumstances that
suggested the Garda evidence had been unreliable.

On November 22, 1990, armed men broke into Mr North's home
in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh. He was forced to drive a
van loaded with more than 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms) of
explosives to a British army checkpoint at Roslea on the
Border between counties Fermanagh and Monaghan.

The IRA claimed responsibility for the bomb, which failed
to detonate.

The following month, Mr North, along with gardaí in
Monaghan town, identified Mr Smyth as one of the bombers.
Mr North said he had seen Mr Smyth's face on the night of
the abduction because Mr Smyth had pulled up his face mask
while loading the truck with explosives.

Mr Smyth was arrested and spent two days in custody, during
which gardaí interviewed him on a number of occasions.

Garda detectives wrote in statements that Mr Smyth had
admitted to involvement in the failed bomb attack. The
Roslea attack came on the same day that Margaret Thatcher
resigned as British prime minister.

While on bail, Mr Smyth and local journalist Paddy Turley
collected 28 written statements from witnesses testifying
that Mr Smyth had been in his bar that night celebrating
Thatcher's resignation

Just days after these alibis were made available, five of
the six charges against Mr Smyth were dropped. He was later
tried and acquitted on a charge of membership of an illegal

In the wake of his arrest, loyalists tried to attack Mr
Smyth and current Cavan and Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó
Caoláin in Co Monaghan.

Mr Smyth told Daily Ireland last night: "The only time in
the 35 years of the Troubles that loyalists shot dead a
Sinn Féin councillor was Eddie Fullerton in 1991.

"After these false charges were brought against me,
loyalists from the North went after me and Caoimhghín to
kill us."

Mr Smyth said he believed there was a direct link between
his false arrest by gardaí in 1991, the attempts made on
his and Mr O'Caoláin's life, and the murder of Donegal Sinn
Féin councillor Eddie Fullerton later that year.

"Gardaí charged a Sinn Féin councillor in the South for
explosive offences and then the first ever Sinn Féin
councillor to be killed in 35 years of the Troubles was
shot dead. There is linkage between the two events.

"Corruption in the gardaí is endemic and this is the
clearest example of that corruption to emerge outside

"As a result of causality, I believe that the gardaí
created the scenario whereby Eddie was killed. I owe this
to Eddie and his family to highlight what happened to me
and that it is linked to his murder," he said.

Mr Smyth added: "I have approached all TDs in the
Cavan/Monaghan area about this and asked them to lobby for
a public inquiry. I want an inquiry to be held to seek
truth and justice."

Greg O'Neill, the Fullerton family's legal representative,
said yesterday: "This case is an extraordinarily worrying
case that requires an independent investigation. The issues
surrounding Mr Smyth's case are profoundly disturbing." A
spokeswoman for the gardaí said it was not Garda policy to
comment on individual cases.


Omagh Bombing To Be Commemorated

The seventh anniversary of the Omagh bomb will be
commemorated in the town's Remembrance Garden later.

Families of the victims together with Lord Rooker and Irish
Education Minister Mary Hanafin will take part in the

Twenty-nine men, women and children died and hundreds were
injured in the car bomb attack in the County Tyrone town on
15 August 1998.

It was the single worst atrocity in 30 years of violence in
Northern Ireland.

Michael McKevitt, 54, from Blackrock, County Louth, is
serving a 20-year sentence in Portlaoise for running the
Real IRA, the organisation which carried out the 1998 Omagh
bombing, which killed 29 people and unborn twins.

He and four other people in the Republic of Ireland -
Seamus Daly, Seamus McKenna, Liam Campbell and Colm Murphy
- are being sued by some of the Omagh relatives.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/14 09:15:01 GMT


Residents Angry At Algae In Water

Politicians in south Armagh have called for the Water
Service to deal with algae in the water supply.

Local people have complained that they are having to buy
bottled water to drink and cook with.

The Water Service has said the problem is caused by a high
level of algae from Lough Ross, which supplies the area.

It says the problem has been caused by warm weather.
However, Sinn Fein councillor Terry Hearty said the problem
has gone on for too long.

"The situation has been very bad now for going on two
weeks," he said.

"The water is impossible to drink, you can't cook with it.
It only gets worse when you boil the water and people can't
afford to keep buying bottled water."

The Water Service has said the water is given full
treatment at the water treatment works and, based on water
samples taken and analysed, is safe to drink.

It said recent tests have also indicated that the situation
appears to be improving.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/14 08:31:47 GMT

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