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August 19, 2005

Mo Mowlam Dies Following Fall

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IA 08/19/05 Mo Mowlam Dies Following Fall
BB 08/19/05 'Popular Appeal' Of Mo Mowlam
SF 08/19/05 McGuinness Comments On Mo Mowlam's Death
UT 08/19/05 Minister's Career Remembered
BB 08/19/05 'Colombia Three' Men All Released
SF 08/19/05 Unionist Paramilitary Campaign Continues
BT 08/19/05 Ahoghill Attacks 'Motivated By Sectarianism'
SF 08/19/05 Enda Fiddling While Ahoghill Burns
BT 08/19/05 UVF Murder Victim's Family Tell Of Their Loss
BB 08/19/05 RIR Move 'May Affect Devolution'
BT 08/19/05 Opin: Thuggery: No Simple Answer
BT 08/19/05 Met Chief Defends Bid To Block Shooting Inquiry
BT 08/19/05 Unanswered Questions For Beleaguered Met Chief
BT 08/19/05 Border Areas In Need Of A Cash Boost
BT 08/19/05 My Pride In Army Father's Medals
IO 08/19/05 Bound For Irish Festival In US
IO 08/19/05 McAleese Bound For Irish Festival In US
OM 08/19/05 25 Things You May Not Know About Irish Fest


Mo Mowlam Dies Following Fall

08/19/05 03:29 EST

The former Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam died this
morning in a hospice, a family spokesman has confirmed.

Mowlam (55) who previously suffered a brain tumour, died at
the Pilgrim's Hospice in Canterbury, Kent, at 8.10am local-

Mowlam had difficulties with her balance as a result of
radiotherapy treatment for the tumour. Earlier this month
she fell and banged her head and never regained

She was taken to King's College Hospital and was
transferred last week to the hospice. She had earlier asked
not to be resuscitated and in the last few days food and
water were withdrawn.

Family representative Brian Basham said: "Mo Mowlam passed
away today at 8.10 am. Her family wishes to thank the many
well wishers who have sent cards, messages and flowers and
to say that, although, the funeral will be a private family
occasion, there will be a memorial event in a few months."

"The family requests that flowers are not sent and suggests
that, as an alternative, friends might like to make a
charitable donation to the Pilgrim's Hospice, in 56 London
Road, Canterbury, CT2 8JA."

Her death comes less than two weeks after former Foreign
Secretary Robin Cook died. Mowlam - one of New Labour's
most popular figures - stood down from the Commons at the
2001 general election after 14 years as an MP.

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said her death would be met with
a great sense of sadness by all who knew her.

"Even at her lowest moments, she always seemed to have
enough energy and enthusiasm to lift an occasion and to
inspire those around her. No matter what the challenge, Mo
tackled it with courage and sincerity," Mr Ahern said.

"She was a politician and a person whom the Irish people
held in great affection and esteem."

The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair described as Mowlam
"one of the most remarkable and colourful personalities"
ever to enter British politics. The Prime Minister said she
had "transformed" the politics of Northern Ireland as well
as playing a key role in the creation of New Labour.

Tony Blair made her Northern Ireland Secretary when Labour
swept to power in 1997 and she quickly made a name for
herself as a down-to-earth and honest operator.

Her achievements were all the more remarkable because she
was recovering from treatment for the brain tumour at the

She took a particular political risk in 1998 by entering
the infamous Maze Prison to speak to convicted
paramilitaries when it became clear the peace process
needed their backing.

Loyalist UDA/UFF prisoners had previously withdrawn their

After her face-to-face talks with the prisoners, the
paramilitaries' political representatives then announced
they were rejoining the talks.

In 1999 she was replaced by Peter Mandelson and moved to
become Cabinet "enforcer". But her time in the post was
marked by a steady stream of reports that someone in high
places within the Labour Party was briefing against her.

There were also claims the Prime Minister had been angered
when the Labour Party conference gave her a longer standing
ovation than him.

Mowlam's down-to-earth approach made her one of Britain's
best-known and best-liked politicians.

But despite her popularity, her political career eventually
faded away - a fact she blamed on a whispering campaign
allegedly mounted against her by some of her Cabinet
colleagues. She accused Downing Street of freezing her
out and ignoring her and at times interfering in her
ministerial duties.

But there was a school of thought which believed that she
brought some of her troubles on herself through her
uncompromisingly honest approach. For most of her
political life she was universally popular.

Disarmingly straightforward and open, she was widely
applauded for her courage in refusing to allow treatment
for a brain tumour to hamper her political career. But
her memoirs, entitled Momentum, published in May 2002,
appeared to show her as a woman who felt she had been
betrayed by her colleagues and who suspected that some
fellow-ministers wanted her to be dumped out of office.

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'Popular Appeal' Of Mo Mowlam

By Martina Purdy
BBC Northern Ireland political correspondent

Marjorie 'Mo' Mowlam was a secretary of state in Northern
Ireland unlike any other.

She endeared herself to nationalists, weary of a succession
of stiff-upper-lip Tories, but eventually fell foul of
unionist politicians, who disliked her earthy, informal

She took up her post after the New Labour 1997 landslide
and arrived in Belfast in June 1997 wearing a wig.

Her health became a matter of speculation until she
confirmed that she had recently been diagnosed with a brain
tumour, said to be benign.

Her first walkabout showed her popular appeal, as she bent
down to talk to children, munched on crisps and bantered
with those she met.

She infuriated nationalists early on by forcing an Orange
Order march down the Garvaghy Road in Portadown, County
Armagh, but the anger soon subsided.

Government policy was to embrace the peace process and
Mowlam literally embraced those who had once had pariah
status in the halls of Hillsborough.

She did a lot of hugging, called her associates babe,
including Martin McGuinness, and went to the Maze prison to
appeal to loyalists not to give up on their ceasefire.

The gamble worked and the loyalists remained inside the
talks process. It illustrated her commitment to inclusivity
and ending alienation.

At Castle Buildings, she encouraged the participants to
make peace, but unionists found her far too chummy with
Sinn Fein.

In the last days of the talks, she visited the Sinn Fein
offices and happily left with an Easter Lily commemorating
the IRA dead in her lapel.

When Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness
learned of this, he called her back and insisted she remove
it before any unionist should see her.

But despite the bon homie, it later emerged Dr Mowlam had
authorised a bugging device to be placed in a Sinn Fein

While loyalists appreciated her efforts to include them in
the political process, both the Ulster Unionist Party and
the DUP clashed with her, accusing her of being pro-
nationalist and expressing disgust at her salty language.

Ken Maginnis, the UUP negotiator, memorably had a bust-up
with her during the talks process.

She showed little patience for the DUP's refusal to support
the talks with Sinn Fein or the Agreement that resulted.

When she departed, nationalists praised her courage - and
despite unionist political sentiment - there appeared to be
genuine affection across the community in Northern Ireland
for the secretary of state who insisted on being called Mo
and who had thrown open the gates of Stormont for a free
rock concert with Elton John.

Unlike her Tory predecessor, Sir Patrick Mayhew, Mowlam's
roots were working class.

The daughter of a postman, she was born in Watford on 18,
September 1949 and schooled in Coventry.

She later spoke of her father's alcoholism and the trauma
that brought to her childhood.

Mowlam focussed on her studies and later studied social
anthropology at Durham University and Iowa University,
earning a PhD.

She worked as a senior administrator at Northern College in
Barnsley until 1987 when she became MP for Redcar.

She held a variety of shadow portfolios before Labour came
to power including shadow Northern Ireland Secretary in
1994, the year of the ceasefires.

Her time as secretary of state was eventful, not least
because the Good Friday Agreement was delivered, and passed
at referendum in 1998.

Months before the 2001 general election, a disillusioned
Mowlam announced she was quitting politics for good

It helped seal her popularity within the Labour Party and
during the prime minister's speech that year, she won an
standing ovation.

Tony Blair was said to have been upstaged and some felt it
helped seal her fate in the cabinet.

She complained of being treated like the tea lady during
talks aimed at bringing about devolution post-agreement.

By the summer of 1999, it was clear that the prime minister
wanted to move her from Northern Ireland where unionists
were demanding she be replaced.

She was, it was said, being offered a job as health
secretary but this did not suit her. She refused to go but
the prime minister got his way by October 1999.

She went to the Cabinet Office and her job went to Peter
Mandelson. He kissed her good-bye but it masked an
underlying friction with the party leadership.

Mowlam would later claim she had been pushed out and that
there had been a smear campaign against her.

Months before the 2001 general election, a disillusioned
Mowlam announced she was quitting politics for good.

She published her autobiography Momentum and on occasion
appeared on the chat show circuit.

She is survived by her husband Jon Norton and her step-

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/19 08:03:51 GMT


McGuinness Comments On Mo Mowlam's Death

Commenting after learning of the death of the former
British Secretary of State Mo Mowlam Sinn Féin Chief
Negotiator Martin McGuinness said:

" Mo Mowlam brought a unique energy to the search for a
political settlement when she was first appointed after the
1997 British general election. She was an obvious departure
from previous British Secretaries of State.

" She played a crucial role in the negotiations which led
to the Good Friday Agreement and it is that Agreement which
will be remembered as her political legacy here.

" We were of course always conscious of the fact that she
was a British Minister and was at the mercy of the
securocrats within the NIO system. There was of course
occasions when we clashed, most notably when she caved into
Orange Order threats and forced an Orange march along the
Garvaghy Road in Portadown and when she authorised the
bugging of a car used by Gerry Adams and myself during the

" However Mo Mowlam will be remembered fondly by the vast
majority of Irish people and I would extend my thoughts and
sympathies to her husband John and the rest of her family
at this time." ENDS


Minister's Career Remembered

Mo Mowlam's down-to-earth approach made her one of
Britain's best-known and best-liked politicians.

But despite her popularity, her political career eventually
faded away - a fact she blamed on a whispering campaign
allegedly mounted against her by some of her Cabinet

She accused Downing Street of freezing her out and ignoring
her and at times interfering in her ministerial duties.

But there was a school of thought which believed that she
brought some of her troubles on herself through her
uncompromisingly honest approach.

For most of her political life she was universally popular.

Disarmingly straightforward and open, she was widely
applauded for her courage in refusing to allow treatment
for a brain tumour to hamper her political career.

But her memoirs, entitled Momentum, published in May 2002,
appeared to show her as a woman who felt she had been
betrayed by her colleagues and who suspected that some
fellow-ministers wanted her to be dumped out of office.

Some of her closest friends were saddened by some of her
accusations, which they believed to be exaggerated.

Indeed, they believed that Tony Blair had been, if
anything, too patient with her.

The fact that she was an unorthodox minister may have
endeared her to the outside world, but it did not always
impress those she had to work with.

She was certainly never guilty of conforming, choosing to
stroll around party conferences without shoes at times.

When treatment for a brain tumour caused her hair to fall
out, she would sometimes take her wig off during talks or
even press conferences, complaining that her head was

Marjorie Mowlam was born on September 18 1949. Her early
life was tough. She nearly died of pneumonia at the age of
three months and then her family, invariably short of cash,
moved from Watford to Coventry, where she was brought up.

Her father, for whom she lost respect and who died in 1981,
was an alcoholic, but she remained close to her mother.

She was educated at Coundon Court Comprehensive School,
Coventry, Durham University (where she gained a BA in
social anthropology), and Iowa University in the US.

She lectured at Florida State University and Newcastle
University and became an administrator at the Northern
College, Barnsley.

She moved on to Redcar where her attempts to get into
Parliament achieved unexpected success.

Only five days before the 1987 election deadline, the local
MP decided to quit. Mowlam was in her kitchen when someone
burst in and pleaded with her to fight the seat.

She responded with alacrity.

She arrived at Westminster, aged 38, to embark on a career
which, to her own genuine surprise, was to take her into
the top echelons of government.

Mowlam was popular with Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Tony

Her first Westminster job was as an assistant in the shadow
Northern Ireland Office.

Then she became a spokeswoman on City and corporate
affairs, where she took part in Labour`s famous "gin and
tonic" charm offensive on the City of London.

Afterwards she took on "shadow" posts on women`s affairs,
national heritage, and ultimately Northern Ireland.

In 1995 she married merchant banker and Labour supporter
Jon Norton, and inherited his two children.

"In politics," she said, "being married means one less
thing to worry about."

She said once: "There are no guilt trips with him, since he
is as committed as I am.

"Though I do have to make sure he`s factored into the
diary," she added as an afterthought.

Shortly before the 1997 general election she suffered a
severe blow: a brain tumour. It was treated successfully
but she was forced for several years to wear a wig.

"I hate the bloody things and have to carry two around with
me because I kept losing one," she said.

But she was made Northern Ireland Secretary after Labour`s
1997 election victory.

She set about her job and the quest for peace in Northern
Ireland with gusto.

She visited the infamous Maze Prison and spoke to both
Loyalist and Republican prisoners.

It was on her watch that the early release of prisoners
convicted of terrorist offences began, a consequence of the
Good Friday Agreement.

During negotiations for the Good Friday Agreement, it
became clear that Ms Mowlam was sidelined to an extent.

She said herself that she was treated as little more than
the tea lady.

Whatever her role in the negotiations, the Ulster Unionists
thought she was too sympathetic to the Republican cause.

When David Trimble, the then Ulster Unionist leader,
demanded that she be removed from the job, Mr Blair did so
with, some say, unfortunate speed.

Cynics suggested later that her removal may also have had
something to do with events at the 1998 party conference.

When Mr Blair referred to her as "our Mo" during his
speech, a prolonged standing ovation ensued.

As one contemporary commentator wrote: "No one upstages
Superman and gets away with it."

But Ms Mowlam was offered other posts, including the Health
Secretary`s job, which she declined after a former Tory
incumbent, Kenneth Clarke, told her it was a nightmare.

She also refused an invitation to be Labour`s candidate for
the Mayor of London.

It began to look as though she was cherry-picking which job
she wanted.

Some were surprised that Mr Blair was so patient with her,
especially as she was wont to go on TV chat shows and
deliver risque jokes, a practice which many thought was
demeaning for a Cabinet minister.

She eventually took what was considered a "non-job", as
Cabinet Office minister. Even here, she complained that 10
Downing Street kept interfering in her duties.

She decided, in the face of all this, to retire from
Parliament before the 2001 general election.

Her book, published the following year, angered some of her
former political colleagues.

She spoke of smear and whispering campaigns against her and
claimed that Mr Blair and his Chancellor of the Exchequer,
Gordon Brown, were at loggerheads.

"You could tell by the body language," she said.

She also claimed that because of her illness some people
were going round saying she was mad.

Her friends regarded it as a tragedy that her political
career, which had held such promise, should have ended in

After leaving Parliament, Ms Mowlam took on more writing
and after-dinner speaking commitments, and continued to
give interviews in the press until just a few weeks before
her death.

She also founded the MoMo Helps charity for people in drug
rehabilitation and the families of disabled people.


'Colombia Three' Men All Released

All of the Colombia Three, who were interviewed by
detectives in Dublin after the trio secretly returned to
Ireland, have been freed.

Niall Connolly was released without charge at about 0000
BST. It is believed he had been questioned about alleged
passport offences.

Martin McCauley and James Monaghan earlier left police
stations in Dublin.

The trio are wanted in Colombia where they have been
sentenced to 17 years in jail for training Marxist rebels.

The men had presented themselves at garda stations
voluntarily on Thursday.

Niall Connolly was held by police at Harcourt Terrace garda
station. Martin McCauley was interviewed at Kilmainham
garda station and James Monaghan at Terenure garda station.

They vanished in December 2004 while on bail pending an
appeal and have since returned to the Republic of Ireland.

News of their return to the Republic of Ireland broke when
Irish state broadcaster RTE interviewed James Monaghan at a
secret location on 5 August.

It prompted speculation that their return had been part of
a deal with the IRA and Sinn Fein, a claim which Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern broke off from his holiday to deny.

Colombian vice-president Francisco Santos has said he wants
the men extradited but said he did not rule out allowing
them to serve their sentences in Ireland.

The trio, who had been accused of being IRA members, were
arrested in Bogota in August 2001.

They were found guilty of travelling on false passports in
June 2004, but were acquitted of training the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

That decision was reversed after an appeal by the Colombian
attorney general and they were sentenced to 17-year terms.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/19 06:55:43 GMT


Unionist Paramilitary Campaign Continues

Published: 19 August, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan
has said that there seems to be no end in sight to the
anti-Catholic campaign being waged by the unionist
paramilitaries in North Antrim. Mr McGuigan's comments come
after a pipe bomb was left outside a home in Ballymena and
a bar and house were attacked in Rasharkin.

Mr McGuigan said:

"Yesterday Sinn Féin appealed to unionist politicians who
sit on forums and commissions with the leaders of the UVF
and UDA to start using their influence to get these attacks
stopped. This plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

"Last night the ongoing campaign continued with attacks on
a bar and catholic owned home in Rasharkin and a pipe bomb
left outside a house in Ballymena. Given the scale and
nature of this campaign of violence and intimidation it is
only a matter of time before somebody is killed. That is
the reality.

"So I would repeat the call we made yesterday to the
leadership of the DUP and UUP. What exactly are they
talking to the UDA and UVF about on the Loyalist
Commission. Is their engagement with the unionist
paramilitaries simply about Orange Marches or are they now
going to step up to the mark and make clear demands on
these organisations to end this campaign." ENDS


Ahoghill Attacks 'Definitely Motivated By Sectarianism'

By Linda McKee
19 August 2005

Catholics in Ahoghill are in no doubt that recent attacks
by loyalists are motivated by sectarianism, an SDLP
councillor claimed last night.

Councillor Declan O'Loan called on Deputy Chief Constable
Paul Leighton to clarify his remarks asserting that there
is more to the problem than sectarianism and other elements
are at play.

DCC Leighton said the problem in the Co Antrim village was
"worse than ethnic cleansing" as there was real hatred
between Northern Ireland's communities.

Catholic families have fled the area after a campaign of
petrol bombings, paint bombings and attacks on homes,
churches and schools in the village.

Insisting that individuals rather than an organisation were
carrying out the attacks, DCC Leighton said: "There's no
doubt that there's an element of sectarianism, but there's
also an element of people just not getting on with each

"We need co-operation from the community. These attacks are
coming from within the community and we need help from the

But Councillor O'Loan said the statement had sparked
"surprise amounting to consternation" among the Catholics
of Ahoghill.

"The statement in itself seems to be internally
inconsistent. No one can cast any light on what could have
been intended by the remark about 'people not getting on
with each other' being a factor," he said.

"I have no doubt that the fundamental dynamic and
motivation in these attacks has been a sectarian one. That
is the absolute belief of the Catholic residents of

"To divert attention from that is a very serious matter,
and deeply unfair to those who have been affected,"
Councillor O'Loan warned.

"It is essential that the PSNI identify and name a
sectarian motive when it is the case.

"There must be no suggestion of minimising that or
suggesting that the victims in this case are in some way
responsible for their own misfortune.

"The PSNI should clarify and alter this statement
immediately," the councillor insisted.


Enda Fiddling While Ahoghill Burns

Published: 19 August, 2005

Speaking ahead of a fact-finding visit to the besieged
village of Ahoghill in Co Antrim, Sinn Féin Dublin City
Councillor Killian Forde has questioned the commitment and
interest of the main opposition parties to the protection
of Irish citizens in the Six Counties. Councillor Forde
pointed out that opposition parties were "highly vocal on
and visible in the Six Counties when the SDLP were in need
of a respectable showing in the Westminster elections" but
have not been seen or heard of in three months of Unionist
attacks on the Nationalist community.

Councillor Forde said, "Earlier this year the opposition
parties were highly vocal on and visible in the Six
Counties when the SDLP were in need of a respectable
showing in the Westminster elections. Yesterday Sinn Féin
released a dossier outlining almost 100 attacks on
Nationalists, their homes, business's and churches since
June 2005. Yet despite three months of attacks, comment
from the opposition parties has been negligible and their
actions non-existent.

"So while Irish citizens are being ethnically cleansed from
their homes Enda Kenny misses no chance to attack Sinn
Féin. While five more people are buried due to unionist
violence Enda bleats on about Sinn Féin funding sources and
while Irish parents are forced to fit new windows and erect
fences around isolated schools Enda is busy writing a
speech for Sunday twisting the legacy of Michael Collins."

Councillor Forde noted that "Enda is not alone in his
silence, the chorus line of indignation that accompanies
the Labour front bench appears to have developed a vow of
silence on unionist violence." ENDS


'Mick was my life'

UVF Murder Victim's Family Tell Of Their Loss

By Ashleigh Wallace
19 August 2005

The heartbroken daughter of a Belfast man gunned down as he
made his way to work has slammed his UVF killers for the
devastation they have caused.

Michael Green (42) was shot dead as he made his way to work
at Gilpin's furniture store on Sandy Row on Monday.

Last night, his 16-year-old daughter Toni said of her
father's killers: "Maybe they have children of their own to
rear and just look at what they have done to my family.

"My daddy was my life and these cowards have left us
nothing but heartache.

"He was an innocent man. My daddy was never involved with
anything to do with paramilitaries. The people who did this
are just cowards.

"I don't like people saying he was killed as part of a feud
because he wasn't in any organisation.

"He was killed because of where he lived. He was heading
out to work one minute and the next he was put down by
cowards who decided to kill him - just like they have
killed other innocent people."

Mr Green's remains were due to be returned to his home at
Ballysillan Avenue today. The funeral is due to take place
from the family home on Monday.

His partner of 22 years, Anne Murray, said she is still in
shock. Ms Murray, who suffers from anaemia, said: "When I
heard Mick had been murdered, I thought I was dreaming.

"I'm still in shock, I'm still numb. I just can't believe
it. I'm still hearing his voice in the house, even though
he's not here. Its not sunk in yet.

"He was my right hand. I'm not too well and he would have
gone to his work and come home at lunchtime to make me a
bit of dinner.

"He always looked after me. Mick was my life."

Mr Green worked at Gilpin's for 22 years and was recently
promoted to manager of the dispatches store. And apart from
his family, his main love was for motorbikes. His 19-year
old son, also called Michael, has followed in his father's
footsteps and works as a mechanic.

Daughter Toni said: "He lived for his family, his work and
his motorbikes. All the kids in the street called my daddy
Uncle Mick, they all loved him. They're coming up to us and
asking us where he is and when is he coming home.

"He would have done anything for anyone. He was a hard-
working family man. He spoilt me and Brenda rotten."

Breaking down in tears, Toni added: "I'm getting my GCSE
results on August 23 and my daddy was coming to get them
with me.

"Its my job now to look after my mummy and my sister

So far, no-one has been arrested in connection with the
murder of Michael Green.

Just hours after the killing, LVF sources revealed he was
not a member of their organisation.

Detective Superintendent George Hamilton, who is leading
the murder investigation, urged anyone with information to
contact the PSNI at Lisburn Road on 9065 0222.


RIR Move 'May Affect Devolution'

The disbandment of the home battalions of the Royal Irish
Regiment could affect the DUP's approach to reviving
devolution, the party has said.

The DUP's Peter Robinson said his party has almost finished
its consultation with members of the regiment over the
disbandment of the NI-based battalions.

The party's deputy leader was speaking at a meeting of
Castlereagh Borough Council on Thursday.

The government has said the battalions will disband on 1
August 2007.

"We are at an advanced stage in engaging in a process of
consultation across the province and we have already talked
to many of those who are serving in the ranks of the RIR,"
Mr Robinson said.

"We want to ensure that our representations to the
government are able to deliver an outcome that recognises
the service provided to the community over many years and
the value of the service they can yet make.

"In the aftermath of the announcement to disband the home
battalions, we have been working closely with those across
all ranks in the Royal Irish to develop a number of options
for the future of those affected.

"Unlike police officers and prison officers who relied on
the Police Federation or the Prison Officers' Association
to advance the cause of their members, soldiers have no
such representation.

"Many members of the regiment have asked us, as their
elected representatives, to take up that mantle."

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/18 21:23:24 GMT


Thuggery: No Simple Answer

Eric Waugh
19 August 2005

The current underground war between rival loyalist gangs
may be the inevitable result of Government policy. One
cannot be sure about the inevitability. But it is probable.

The feud, now nearly ten years old, began, in essence, over
the direction of the peace process.

Those who broke away from the UVF to form the LVF were
satisfied that the process was offering far too much to
republicans and far too little to loyalists. They wanted no
more of it.

To them the scrapping of the British symbols, the
emasculation of the police amid a crime wave, the open
contempt shown for the state by Sinn Fein Ministers who
were part of its devolved government, not to mention the
greatly expanded role for Dublin, were too much.

The election to the first Assembly of two fluent spokesmen
for the UVF's participating point of view, Ervine and
Hutchinson, compounded the disgust.

The way was now cleared for the working out of a scene
deeply traditional in Irish history: for when one grouping
dares to seek a modus vivendi with the old enemy, as
Redmond did over Home Rule in 1912 and as Collins did over
the treaty of 1921, as O'Neill attempted in 1965 and
Faulkner in 1973, they tend to be outflanked by shriller
voices seeking to seize the abandoned ground.

Informing these voices is a single quantity; and that
quantity is political violence - or the threat of it.

This is where the policy of successive Governments comes
in: for the fundamental lesson of the peace process for the
LVF and its terrorist fellow-travellers is that violence
pays. It is a difficult argument to counter.

But it also represents a bitter dilemma for Governments.

Faced with the sort of nascent revolution that surfaced in
Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, Government had two
choices: to confront it with matching force or to seek to
police it by a mixture of cajolery, bribery and undercover

Of course the latter was the option chosen. Option one
would have enforced the law; but it would also have
threatened civil war and major international difficulty.
Such was not to be entertained.

The flaw lay in the consequent absence of law under option
two. Violence, far from being confronted, was rewarded. The
most heinous killers were released.

The failure of the process is seen in the conviction of the
loyalist thugs that violence pays. The price of option two
is reflected in the case of Brian Nelson and the chain of
Government-inspired corruption that small, bespectacled and
insignificant figure set in motion.

With Nelson, the former Black Watch private from Germany
planted back in the UDA, Army and police intelligence were
able to manipulate its murders.

So the killing of Finucane went ahead in 1989 when police
and military apparently knew in advance of the UDA's

The planned killing of Adams at the same time did not,
because the Government was already involved in secret talks
with him.

Similarly, Nelson was able to steer UDA killers away from
the Army's vital double agent in the IRA, Stakeknife.
Nelson did this by providing the UDA with alternative

It is a shocking tale but the policy it represents may be
reckoned unavoidable when a Government decides to take on
well-armed terrorists with one hand tied behind its back.

The community at large is left with the violent legacy,
which includes the revolting, if pathetic, thuggery in

There, as elsewhere, the law is treated with contempt.

On the border, security is wound down while extortion and
the traffic in smuggled narcotics, which finances the
terrorists, waxes beyond control.

So the dilemma of the Government is that, of itself, it has
destroyed the notion upon which good order subsists; and
that notion is that lawlessness brings vengeance.

Meantime, its co-regulator in Dublin poses as an impartial
adjudicator while its actions confirm that its only care is
for nationalists; and it, too, finds itself, in mealy-
mouthed incapacity, unable to arrest, let alone charge,
three bail-jumping mischief-makers roaming the world on
forged passports, bringing further disgrace on the name of
the Irish.

And what price now the devolution of justice and the police
to a Stormont Assembly? Cynics may be tempted to observe
they could not do worse.


Met Chief Defends Bid To Block Shooting Inquiry

By Jason Bennetto and Nigel Morris
19 August 2005

Scotland Yard was at the centre of a dispute with
independent police investigators last night after the
Metropolitan Police was revealed to have "initially
resisted" an independent inquiry into the bungled killing
of a Brazilian man.

The Met Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, responded to growing
controversy over his force's handling of the shooting of
the electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, by dismissing
allegations of a police "cover-up".

MPs said they would interrogate the Metropolitan Police
Commissioner about his handling of the crisis at an
emergency session of the Commons Home Affairs Select
Committee on the London bombings next month.

The family and lawyers of the dead man continued to call
for a public inquiry into the case and criticised the Met
for delaying an independent inquiry.

John Wadham, deputy chairman of the Independent Police
Complaints Commission, which is investigating the shooting
on a train at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July, stoked the
row yesterday when he disclosed that police had resisted
the setting up of the inquiry. He said the fledgling
commission had won an "important victory" for its
independence in overcoming the Met's opposition.

Sir Ian had written to the Home Office in the hours after
the shooting inquiring about having an internal police
rather than an IPCC inquiry, because he was concerned that
secrets about anti-terrorist tactics could be made public.
At the time the Met wrongly believed that officers had shot
dead a suicide bomber.

Mr Wadham said: "The Metropolitan Police Service initially
resisted us taking on the investigation but we overcame
that. It was an important victory for our independence.
This dispute has caused delay in us taking over the
investigation but we have worked hard to recover the lost

Mr Wadham disclosed that he hoped to complete the inquiry
in between three and six months.

Sir Ian denied that he had tried to block an independent
inquiry to protect his officers. He told the Evening
Standard: "These allegations strike to the heart of the
integrity of the police and integrity of the Met and I
fundamentally reject them. There is no cover-up."

He said: "I and everyone who advised me believed that the
man we had shot was a suicide bomber and therefore one of
the four people who we were looking for, or someone else.

"It seemed to be utterly vital that the counter terrorism
investigation took precedence - the forensics, the
ballistics, the explosives."

Scotland Yard said Sir Ian had written to the Home Office,
when Mr de Menezes was still believed to be a bomber,
because it believed it was "crucial" that the terrorist
investigation took precedence over any IPCC investigation.

Sir Ian also said he did not agree that the death of Me de
Menezes would define his period as commissioner. "I think
what will define that in the eyes of the public is our
response to the two bomb attacks and our ability to prevent
and detect others," he said.

However, lawyers for the De Menezes family said that by
failing to invite the IPCC to start its investigation
immediately, police had breached their statutory duty. This
"fatal delay of several days" meant vital evidence in the
case could have been lost, they said.

Sir Ian will almost certainly have to defend his actions
and those of his force when he comes before a special
session of the cross-party Home Affairs Select Committee on
13 September. Senior Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs have
expressed concern at Sir Ian's handling of the affair.

The Home Office yesterday refused to comment on the issue -
two days after Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, was
arguing that the public should be "very proud" of the way
the police handled last month's bombings.

Gwyn Prosser, Labour MP for Dover, said the gap between
early accounts by the police of the death and the actual
facts "beggared belief". He said: "Once the full facts
started to appear I believe there was a duty on the
Metropolitan Police to stop the speculation."

The revelations about the shooting came after documents
from the IPCC inquiry were leaked to ITV News. They
contained detailed accounts of the shooting of Mr de
Menezes which indicated that he had done little to arouse
suspicion other than to emerge from a block of flats in
south London which had been under surveillance.


Unanswered Questions Continue To Mount For Beleaguered Met

By Jason Bennetto
19 August 2005

As the row over the handling of the death of Mr de Menezes
intensified yesterday, there remained a series of questions
about whether the Metropolitan Police and Sir Ian Blair
tried to mislead the public.

Hours after the shooting, the Commissioner said: "As I
understand the situation, the man was challenged and
refused to obey police instructions."

Statements from police officers involved in the shooting
incident, contained in leaked documents, have disclosed
that one officer had pinned the Brazilian down on to a seat
on the Tube while surrounded by at least two other
surveillance officers. It was at that point, according to
the witness statement, that he was shot eight times, by
members of a four-strong firearms unit. The suggestions
that he was properly challenged and had refused to obey do
not tally with the statement.

Sir Ian later gave an even more detailed statement that
read: "The man who was shot was under police observation
because he had emerged from a house which was under
observation because it was linked to the investigations. He
was followed by surveillance officers to the station. His
clothing and behaviour added to officers' suspicions."

This now appears at odds with the disclosure that Mr de
Menezes was wearing a light denim jacket and was innocent
so had no reason to be acting "suspiciously".

The question remains as to who provided the source material
and then briefed the Commissioner with the apparently false
information - no one has suggested that he deliberately put
out a false account - and why did no one correct it when
fuller details emerged?

Lawyers for the dead man's family have argued that it
suited the police for the media to portray the electrician
in a negative way.

Witnesses to the shooting told reporters Mr de Menezes had
leapt over the ticket barriers, that he had wires sticking
out of a belt, and had run into the Tube train where he
tripped and was shot. All these accounts now appear to be
inaccurate. Witnesses are notoriously unreliable, which is
why it is crucial to get their observations collaborated
with other evidence such as CCTV. Unfortunately only one
camera appears to have been working. It may be because
police had removed the camera hard drives the day before in
the afthermath of the attempted bombings.

Sir Ian insisted there had been no attempt to "cover-up"
the details of the shooting. His defence follows criticism
of his attempts in the immediate aftermath of the shooting
to write to the Home Office and ask for the inquiry to be
held as an internal police matter rather than by the
Independent Police Complaints Commission.


Border Areas In Need Of A Cash Boost

By Michael McHugh
19 August 2005

The IRA's order to dump arms should prompt an end to the
economic neglect of border areas, public representatives
have said.

Large parts of the border region have been starved of
outside investment due to security fears and a lack of
proper infrastructure - but now the head of an influential
cross-border lobby group says it is time for change.

The Irish Cross Border Area Network (ICBAN) promotes
development and co-operation between ten cross-border
counties from Donegal to Armagh and former chairman, Fergus
McQuillan from Fermanagh, believes last month's IRA
statement could prove the catalyst for much-needed
investment in roads, public transport and other services.

He was echoing recent calls by the Bishop of Clogher, Dr
Joseph Duffy, for an end to economic cross-border neglect
after commitments made in the IRA statement.

"It is now time for people to focus on this issue of
economic deprivation in the border areas and how we can
bring about change," Mr McQuillan said.

"There are issues about public transport, how people travel
to Derry or Belfast for health services or other amenities,
the whole situation about provision for rural areas.

"We don't have the road structure here and they took away
the railway line so we are under-provided for."

Mr McQuillan, who sits on Fermanagh District Council, said
the tourist potential of the region had been neglected in
the past but added now is the chance to exploit the area's
many attractions. Councils west of the Bann have been
lobbying central government about the state of the roads
for some time and believe that they are discouraging

The Government is dualling the link between Dungannon and
Ballygawley and using 2+1 schemes to enable traffic to
proceed more smoothly on other routes. Fermanagh public
representatives are also alarmed at proposals which could
see the local council amalgamated with other local
authorities, arguing that this would dilute local

A recent study by the Combat Poverty Agency in the Republic
found the poverty rate in Donegal to be three times higher
than Dublin.


My Pride In Army Father's Medals

Sinn Fein councillor Brolly tells of dad who fought in
World War

19 August 2005

A former Sinn Fein mayor of Limavady has spoken of her
pride in her father - and revealed that he was a decorated
British soldier who died as a result of injuries sustained
in World War II.

Anne Brolly said she cherishes the medals won by her father
Joe Corey while fighting for the Allies. The leading
republican said her father died when she was just seven
years old.

Mrs Brolly added that after enlisting, he helped to guard
merchant shipping. He was shipwrecked twice and injured.

Eventually he succumbed to a brain tumour, which Mrs Brolly
said her family believed was connected to his ordeal.

According to Mrs Brolly, her father, with no hope of
employment in east Tyrone, joined the British Army to earn
money. She added that her uncle, Paddy Corey, was part of
the republican movement in Coalisland and was interned in
the 1950s.

Mrs Brolly said last night that this illustrates the
complexity of life in Northern Ireland. She said: "We need
to look at and acknowledge where we came from. My father
was proud of what he did. The fact that he fought for the
British doesn't make me any less of a republican," she

"We need new relationships in our communities. Unionists
need to form new relationships with the rest of Ireland,
while nationalists need to form new relationships with
England and the rest of Britain."

Mrs Brolly was speaking after chairing a passionate debate
during the monthly meeting of Limavady's Finance and
General Purposes Committee on Wednesday, where her Sinn
Fein colleague, Cllr Paddy Butcher, proposed a motion that
all British military memorabilia be excluded from Council

During the debate, Ulster Unionist and former mayor Jack
Rankin said: "In memory of my late son in the RUC and my
late father, I'll always wear their medals with pride."

Mrs Brolly replied: "My late father died of wounds that he
received in the Second World War. I also have his medals
and I cherish them."

Nine of the 15 committee members supported an amendment by
SDLP Mayor Michael Coyle calling for a policy reflecting
both sides of the community.


McAleese Bound For Irish Festival In Us

19/08/2005 - 07:26:51

President Mary McAleese is flying to the US today to take
part in one of the largest Irish festivals in the world.

The four-day Milwaukee Irish Fest, which was founded by the
local Irish community in 1981, is expected to attract
130,000 people this year.

Mrs McAleese, who will be joined by her husband Martin,
will meet local political, business and community leaders
during the visit.

She will be guest of honour at a civic reception hosted by
Mayor Tom Barrett and at the University of Wisconsin-
Milwaukee Centre for Celtic Studies.

This will be the president's thirteenth visit to the United
States since she came to office, and her second in 2005.

During her trip she will also attend the Irish Fest Liturgy
for Peace and Justice at the Marcus Amphitheatre and view
exhibits from the Milwaukee Art Museum, including works by
Georgia O'Keeffe.


25 Things You May Not Know About Irish Fest

By Jeff Sherman

Milwaukee will not only host the Irish President Mary
McAleese this weekend, but also the largest celebration of
Irish music and culture anywhere in the world -- including

It's the 25th year of Irish Fest, too, and in celebration,
here are 25 fun facts about the Fest's history and trivia.

This year, Irish Fest will sell T-shirts emblazoned with
"Mo Cuishle," the same Gaelic phrase worn on Hillary
Swank's robe in "Million Dollar Baby." It means, "my
darling, my blood."

Gaelic Storm. Yes that "Titanic" band that makes several
trips to the Mil every year sells so many CDs at Irish Fest
that the band's current album typically bumps up a few
notches on the Billboard World Music charts the week after
the festival.

One of Irish Fest's best-known volunteers is Milwaukee
Mayor Tom Barrett, who has tended bar in the beer tent
adjacent to the Aer Lingus stage since his early days as a
congressman. Hey, mayor, beer me!

President of Ireland Mary McAleese's visit to Irish Fest on
Aug. 20 and 21 is also her first trip to Wisconsin.

Irish Fest founder and president Ed Ward was named one of
the nation's top Irish Americans in 2004 by "Irish America
Magazine." Jack Nicholson, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and
Conan O'Brien also made the list.

The Tipperary Tea Room on the grounds expects to sell more
than 7,500 shamrock cookies this year.

A former ping pong champion from Ireland is in town this
weekend, he will appear on stage with Finbar McCarthy and
Seven Nations.

Some academics trace the rise of the ethnic festival
movement in America to the publication of Alex Haley's
"Roots" in 1976. Others think it has to do with the rise in
beer production and consumption (maybe that's just us).
Regardless, the first Milwaukee Irish Fest was in 1981,
making this the 25th year.

The Ward Irish Music Archives -- housed at the Milwaukee
Irish Fest Center in Wauwatosa -- owns the second largest
collection of Bing Crosby memorabilia in North America.
Learn more here.

More than 1,200 flags, banners and signs hang on the
grounds during Irish Fest.

Irish Fest Executive Director Jane Anderson and colleagues
have traveled to Ireland for 10 days each spring for the
past 13 years to scout talent and artisans, and meet with
government, media and tourism officials.

Bing Crosby impersonator, Bob Pasch and local U2 tribute
band, U2Zoo, will be among the "Irish" cover bands this

Irish Fest is powered by 4,000 volunteers. More then 150
will have served at all 25 fests after this year, and more
than 100 take a week of vacation every year to help
assemble and take down the fest.

The Celtic pop-rock band Off Kilter, returning to Milwaukee
for its third Irish Fest performance this year, was voted
the best band at all the theme parks at Disney World by
readers of "Disney Magazine" in 2004.

A delegation of more than 30 business leaders and public
officials from Galway, Ireland -- Milwaukee's Sister City -
- has traveled to Milwaukee Irish Fest every year for the
past decade. The mayor of Galway always leads the group.

Irish Fest's Celtic canine area features a Kerry Blue
Terrier -- the same breed that won "Best in Show" at the
2003 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Irish Fest has operated a Celtic Rock stage for 16 years.
This year's rockers include New York's Black 47, Seven
Nations and Hothouse Flowers.

Want to get your potcheen and mead on? Samples of ancient
Irish alcoholic beverages -- potcheen and mead -- are
available in the Fest's Cottage Market.

Michael Flatley of "Riverdance" danced at the first Irish
Fest with Green Fields of America. This year, Green Fields
of America will return, featuring performances by Jean
Butler, Flatley's "Riverdance" partner.

Organizers of Irish Fest held meetings in the early 1980s
at Mr. Guinness on Greenfield Avenue. Irish Fest first
rented office space in 1991 and purchased the Irish Fest
Center in Wauwatosa in 1998.

Over the years, various news sources have called Irish
Fest: "Mother of all Irish Festivals," the "Father of all
Irish Festivals," the "Super Bowl of Irish Music," and "The
Gentle Festival."

The first Irish Fest had four stages and attracted 40,000
visitors. This year's festival will have 17 stages;
organizers hope to attract 130,000.

Stamp collector, are you? Mail posted from a special post
office in Irish Fest's Cultural Village will be emblazoned
with a special 25th anniversary Irish Fest postmark.

The Liturgy for Peace and Justice on Sunday morning of Fest
weekend attracts from 10,000 to 15,000 worshippers who
donate more than 40,000 pounds of food for hungry

At 9:45 p.m. on Sunday evening, all of Irish Fest's
performers gather on one stage for a traditional musical
farewell and finale known as The Scattering.

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