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

August 04, 2005

Officers Hurt In Loyalist Disturbances

To Index of Monthly Archives
To August 2005 Index

News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 08/04/05 Officers Injured In Loyalist Disturbances
IO 08/04/05 Swoop On Homes In Loyalist Feud Probe
IO 08/04/05 Loyalist Feud Linked To Two Murders
BB 08/04/05 Second Arrest Over 1997 Killing
BT 08/04/05 Brits Out Means Us, Unionists Tell Nationalists
IT 08/05/05 Tory Warning On 32-County 'Shadow' Dáil
BB 08/04/05 Blair Defends NI Military Moves
DC 08/04/05 Opin: Is The Violence Over?
RE 08/04/05 Filmmaker Mobilizes 'I.R.A.'
IT 08/05/05 Donegal Friary Is Saved From Closure


Officers Injured In Loyalist Disturbances

Eight police officers have been injured and plastic bullets
fired during rioting on Belfast's Crumlin Road.

Petrol bombs, fireworks and other missiles were thrown and
cars hijacked during the disturbances.

Police in riot gear were involved in a stand-off with
rioters and the PSNI said loyalist paramilitaries were
behind the violence.

The trouble followed the arrests of six men in connection
with an operation linked to the ongoing loyalist feud.

Three cars and a lorry were hijacked and set on fire. The
police closed off part of the Crumlin Road. A bus was also
set on fire in Enfield Street.

The disturbances broke out shortly before 1730 BST.

Police on Cambrai Street came under attack from stones,
bottles, fireworks and petrol bombs.

Acting PSNI Chief Inspector Paul McCormill appealed for
calm and said the trouble could escalate.

"The serious outbreak of violent disorder is attributable
to loyalist paramilitaries," he said.

"At the minute we are just containing the people in the
area and we're just waiting to see how things are
developing," he said.

"We've been contacting community representatives and we are
trying to diffuse that situation by negotiation with
representatives from the community.

"I would appeal to those community representatives to
exercise whatever influence they have over the people in
the area, to ensure that this serious disorder is brought
to a peaceful conclusion as soon as possible."

A "significant number" of petrol bombs, paint, bricks and
stones were thrown at police, he said.

Three plastic baton rounds were fired by the PSNI.

Local community workers said the disturbances broke out in
direct response to the earlier searches.

There were allegations that police had been heavy-handed
during the searches.

However, while local DUP representatives were raising their
concerns with police, trouble broke out.

Transport company Translink said it had suspended services
on the Shankill Road after the bus was hijacked.

There were no passengers on board the vehicle which was
hijacked at the top of the Ballygomartin Road. The driver
was not injured.

The Crumlin Road is closed between Tennant Street and
Brookfield Mills.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/04 21:38:12 GMT


Swoop On Homes In Loyalist Feud Probe

04/08/2005 - 13:21:31

Homes were raided in Belfast today by police probing a
loyalist paramilitary feud that has claimed three lives.

Officers searched a number of houses in the north of the
city as part of an offensive against the warring Ulster
Volunteer Force and Loyalist Volunteer Force factions.

Chief Superintendent Mike Little, the commander in charge
of the operation, pledged: "Police are actively working to
disrupt the activities of those we believe could be intent
on increasing fear and intimidation.

"This ongoing operation will continue and any breaches of
law will be dealt with robustly."

The searches were carried out as detectives tried to find
new clues at the scene of the latest killing in the
deepening turf war over drugs.

Stephen Paul, 28, who had LVF connections, was gunned down
outside his home off the Crumlin Road in north Belfast on

His uncle, William "Wassy" Paul, was a top drug dealer
assassinated in Bangor, Co Down, seven years ago.

Another two men, Craig McCausland, 20, and Jameson Lockhart
were shot dead in the city last month in attacks blamed on
the larger UVF organisation.

Hundreds of its men also laid siege to an east Belfast
housing estate in order to force families allegedly
associated with the splinter LVF organisation out of their

Before officers moved into north Belfast today, a total of
72 searches had been carried out.

Police said 14 arrests have been made and seven suspects
charged with offences linked to the feud.

Mr Little urged those living in loyalist areas to help stop
the violence.

He added: "I'm again appealing for those with influence to
use that influence to help bring this feud to an end.

"Police are doing all we can, but we need assistance from
local communities.

"I'm asking people who don't want to live in fear to come
forward to us."


Loyalist Feud Linked To Two Murders

04/08/2005 - 18:16:27

The same loyalist killers are suspected of carrying out two
murders in a deepening paramilitary feud, it emerged

As detectives questioned six men about the turf war in
Belfast, security sources confirmed a link between the

Three men have been shot dead since the Ulster Volunteer
Force's dispute with the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force
faction erupted on the city's streets.

Stephen Paul, 28, was gunned down outside his home off the
Crumlin Road in north Belfast on Saturday.

He was murdered just streets away from where gunmen shot
20-year-old Craig McCausland three weeks ago.

The UVF is suspected of carrying out both attacks, and
detectives believe the same gang may have been involved.

Ballistic tests have been carried out in a bid to establish
if one weapon was used for both killings.

A third man, Jameson Lockhart, 25, was shot dead at the
wheel of his lorry in east Belfast last month.

The UVF was also blamed for that attack.

Hundreds of its men also laid siege to an east Belfast
housing estate in order to force families allegedly
associated with the splinter LVF organisation out of their

Six new arrests were made today as officers raided a total
of 15 homes, nearly all in the north of the city.

The suspects were taken to a serious crime suite at Antrim
police station, 20 miles from Belfast. Some were questioned
about Mr Paul's murder

Chief Superintendent Mike Little, the commander in charge
of the operation, said: "Police are actively working to
disrupt the activities of those we believe could be intent
on increasing fear and intimidation.

"This ongoing operation will continue and any breaches of
law will be dealt with robustly."

Before officers moved into north Belfast today, another 72
searches had been carried out.

Police said 14 arrests have been made and seven suspects
charged with offences linked to the feud.

The new raids were carried out as detectives went back to
the scene of Mr Paul's murder in a hunt for fresh clues.

The detective heading up the inquiry, Superintendent Roy
McComb, vowed to find the killers for the sake of the
victim's family.

Appealing for witnesses who saw the gunmen escape in a blue
Vauxhall Astra car, he added: "I grow weary of people being
murdered just because somebody else puts a title on them,"
he said.

"Regardless of what activities they are perceived to be
part of, nobody has the right to take life."


Second Arrest Over 1997 Killing

Police investigating the murder of a sports official in
Northern Ireland in 1997 have made another arrest.

Sean Brown, 61, was shot dead as he left his local Gaelic
Athletic Association (GAA) club in Bellaghy, County

A 39-year-old woman, originally from Northern Ireland, was
arrested on Thursday morning at a house in Waltham Crescent
in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

A man arrested at the same address on Wednesday is still
being questioned.

The woman is currently in custody in Nuneaton awaiting
questioning by officers from Northern Ireland.

The 44-year-old man was also to be questioned by PSNI

New inquiry

A police spokesman said the man was also originally from
Northern Ireland but was living in the Warwickshire area.

The murder of Mr Brown was featured in a reconstruction by
the BBC's Crimewatch programme in June.

A GAA match was recreated for the programme, and poet
Seamus Heaney and Church of Ireland primate Archbishop
Robin Eames were interviewed.

Last year Sean Brown's family reached agreement with PSNI
Chief Constable Hugh Orde on how a new investigation should

It followed a critical report from the police ombudsman on
the original Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) investigation
into Mr Brown's death.

In January 2004, Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan said she had
upheld two complaints from Mr Brown's family about the RUC
inquiry into his murder.

A new team of investigators, including officers from
outside forces, started a new inquiry.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/04 15:56:26 GMT


Brits Out Means Us, Unionists Tell Nationalists

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
04 August 2005

RIVAL unionist politicians have told a nationalist audience
in west Belfast that "Brits out means us".

DUP Assembly member Arlene Foster said it was fundamental
that nationalism accepts that she and Ulster Unionist Party
leader Sir Reg Empey are British.

And Sir Reg said he did not regard Secretary of State Peter
Hain as the British presence, saying: "I believe if he
could get out, he would get out - but ordinary unionists
are (British)".

But Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy said it appeared that
unionists were threatening to punish the Government for its
response to the IRA statement "by allowing them to rule
over us for even longer".

Sir Reg and his former party colleague were guests for the
annual West Belfast Talks Back event - now in its 10th year
- joining a panel with Newry and Armagh MP Mr Murphy and
the SDLP's Dolores Kelly.

Sporadically heckled by a capacity audience at St Louise's
Comprehensive College on the Falls Road, Mrs Foster also
said she did not accept there had been "institutionalised"
collusion involving the police.

But an audience member reminded her Britain's former most
senior police officer, Sir John Stevens had said the
security services were involved in collusion.

Sir Reg said it was a misapprehension in the area to
believe it was the only working-class community which saw
itself "hassled" by police.

He was asked - by Irish American lobbyist Fr Sean McManus -
what comfort nationalists were expected to take from
hearing police also kick working-class Protestants about.

There were few sharp exchanges during the two-hour debate,
watched by Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.


Tory Warning On Proposals For 32-County 'Shadow' Dáil

Frank Millar, London Editor

The Conservative Party has warned against the creation of
"a 32-county Dáil in shadow form", and said proposals to
allow Northern Ireland politicians speaking rights in the
Oireachtas would undermine the principle of consent.

Sinn Féin's long-standing demand that Northern Ireland MPs,
MEPs and Assembly Members should have association rights in
the Dáil has moved back up the political agenda on foot of
last week's IRA statement formally ending its armed

However Conservative shadow Northern Ireland secretary
David Lidington says any such offer to people elected to
serve in UK legislatures "will look to many in Northern
Ireland and Great Britain like an attempt to bypass the
principle of consent and establish a 32-county Dáil in
'shadow' form".

In a letter to Irish Ambassador Daithí Ó Ceallaigh in
London, Mr Lidington says: "Clearly, the Irish Republic,
like any other sovereign state, is entitled to decide who
should sit and speak in its legislature, but I am troubled
by the way in which this proposal appears to challenge the
principle of consent which is such a fundamental part of
the Belfast Agreement."

Mr Lidington continues: "The agreement binds both the
United Kingdom and the Irish Republic to accept the current
constitutional status of Northern Ireland for as long as
the people of Northern Ireland so wish.

"If the principle of consent means anything, it must mean
that the people of Northern Ireland elect representatives
to serve in Westminster and Belfast unless and until they
decide democratically to join the Irish Republic.

"Now, to offer rights of representation in Irish
institutions to people elected within the jurisdiction of
the United Kingdom to serve as representatives in United
Kingdom legislatures will look to many in Northern Ireland
and Great Britain like an attempt to bypass the principle
of consent and establish a 32-county Dáil in 'shadow'

Asking for additional detail of what the Irish Government
proposes, Mr Lidington has also asked Mr Ó Ceallaigh to
brief him "on how your Government believes this move to be
compatible with the agreement".

A Conservative spokesman told The Irish Times that Mr
Lidington's letter underlined "very real concern about this

And while again stressing it was ultimately a matter for
Irish decision, the spokesman said "it is very, very
unhelpful in terms of fostering genuinely good relations
within Northern Ireland".

© The Irish Times


Blair Defends NI Military Moves

Prime Minister Tony Blair has defended the government's
decision to dismantle border watchtowers and disband three
NI battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment.

He said the moves were "justified" in security terms and
had been for a time.

He was speaking after holding separate meetings with DUP
leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams.

Mr Blair said the momentum could only be maintained if
people fulfilled their promises to abide by "exclusively
peaceful and democratic" means.

The prime minister also said he wanted to see the
restoration of devolution as soon as possible, but could
not put a timescale on it.

In terms of the security reduction, he said: "These are
things that are justified and actually have been justified
for some time in security terms.

"With the IRA's statement we can implement that but that
has not been forced politically against the security wishes
of the police or the Army.

"Obviously you have to mark carefully what happens. You had
the IRA's statement but you then have got to make sure that
what has been said in theory is carried through in

Thursday's talks in London between the two party leaders
and Prime Minister Blair were the first since last week's
IRA statement in which it said it was ending its armed

After the meeting, the Democratic Unionists said that they
would require a "prolonged period of assessment" to
determine whether the IRA had given up its armed campaign.

Mr Paisley said the IRA had made a statement but had done
nothing about keeping their obligations.

He called for "total decommissioning that everyone can be
satisfied with".

Mr Paisley said: "We are not going to have any discussions
about devolution until the requirements Mr Blair set out
are fulfilled by the IRA," he said.

His deputy, Peter Robinson, added: "It will take a long
period of time to make sure that they are gone and they are
gone for good."

Mr Paisley said he had presented a list of demands to the
prime minister in what he described as a "blunt" meeting.

These included assurances relating to the government's
announcement that it planned to disband the three home-
based battalions of the RIR.

After his meeting, Mr Adams said he thought devolution
could be restored soon.

He added he believed that the outstanding elements of the
Good Friday Agreement would be implemented "in the period

Party colleague Martin McGuinness said the DUP had to
"regain their nerve" and recognise they had a major
contribution to make to the peace process.

"The ball game has changed, changed completely and I think
forever," Mr McGuinness said.

"At some stage the DUP will have to respond to an agenda
which is very clearly moving on without them."

The Northern Ireland-based battalions of the regiment are
to be disbanded on 1 August 2007, as part of the response
to the IRA ending its armed campaign.

The Army will end its support role to the police on the
same day.

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Hain also
announced that troop levels in the province would fall from
10,500 to 5,000 in two years time.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/04 14:43:29 GMT


Is The Violence Over?

August 4 '05
Published: Thursday, August 4, 2005 11:11 AM EDT

Last week, the Irish Republican Army said it would give up
its 30-year armed struggle against British rule in Northern
Ireland and push for a united Ireland through "exclusively
peaceful means." To help put this historic event into
context, The Examiner sought out the analyses of three top
experts on Irish affairs.

What the agreement says

Robin Wilson: First, the leadership of the paramilitary
organization announced it had "formally ordered an end to
the armed campaign" it embarked upon in 1969. Secondly, it
said all IRA "volunteers" had been instructed "to assist
the development of purely political and democratic programs
through exclusively peaceful means." Otherwise: "Volunteers
must not engage in any other activities whatsoever."
Thirdly, the leadership said the IRA would renew contact
with the international commission on weapons
decommissioning, "to complete the process to verifiably put
its arms beyond use." To "enhance public confidence," it
had invited a Catholic and a Protestant cleric to witness
this. The statement was widely reported as a bald
affirmation by the IRA that it was renouncing violence. As
so often in Northern Ireland, things are not that simple.
For a start, the statement was from the IRA leadership, not
the organization as a whole. Under its constitution, the
IRA is wedded to "revolutionary armed struggle" in support
of a united Ireland. And while the ruling seven-member army
council has the power "to conclude peace or declare war," a
"final conclusion of peace" must be ratified by an army
convention, a conference of rank-and-file IRA
representatives. No such convention has been held.

History behind the IRA

Richard English: Founded in 1969, the Provisional IRA has
killed far more people than any group in the Northern
Ireland troubles - around 1,800 deaths, representing about
half of all the victims of that bloody 30-years war.
Fifteen years ago, they were killing people on an average
of about one-per-week.

John McGarry: Some have linked the IRA climbdown to the war
on terror, which is being waged both by the Bush
administration and by Tony Blair's U.K. government. After
last week's historic statement, several commentators
pointed out that it was no coincidence that it followed so
quickly after the July bombings of the London transport
system. The IRA, it seemed, had acted to avoid being tarred
with the same brush as al-Qaida. In recent months, much has
been made of the Bush administration's cold-shoulder
treatment toward the leaders of Sinn Fein, the IRA's
political wing.

For the first time in recent years, Sinn Fein's leadership
was denied access to the White House on St. Patrick's Day.
From this perspective, the IRA capitulated to cold-shoulder
treatment, and perhaps to the fear that this could develop
into something worse: collaboration between the United
States and the United Kingdom in removing the IRA threat
through military means. The IRA move can be attributed more
directly, albeit belatedly, to the Good Friday Agreement of
1998 and the way in which it accommodated the political
aspirations of Irish republicans. The agreement created a
process for reuniting Ireland, after separate referendums
in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. It established
cross-border political institutions linking both parts of
Ireland, and capable of extending their jurisdiction by
consensus. Alongside this was a new power-sharing
government in Northern Ireland in which all of its major
parties, including Sinn Fein, were given the right to
seats, proportionate to their electoral support. Once these
institutions were conceded, it became increasingly
difficult for the IRA to claim to its supporters that
progress was possible only through violence. The
demographic growth of the Catholic electorate further
suggested that politics could deliver change in Northern
Ireland, and perhaps even a united Ireland in the
foreseeable future. The booming economy of the Irish
Republic pointed in the same direction, opening up the
possibility that a united Ireland might be achieved with
the consent of Protestant unionists, and not just with
Catholic numbers.

Robin Wilson: What weakened paramilitarism in Northern
Ireland, encouraging the cease-fires of 1994, was not
military defeat but popular war-weariness. Regardless of
what the IRA says now, in the wake of 9/11, the Madrid
bombings of 2004 and the recent bombs in London, a return
to an offensive "armed struggle" against the British state
would be politically unsustainable.

Richard English: There is undoubtedly reason to welcome
this kind of statement from the IRA. If this is really the
final movement of Irish republicans toward purely peaceful
politics, then that is very welcome. Indeed, cynics might
suggest that a deal with unionists is not what last week's
IRA statement was about anyway. In Northern Ireland, the
main goal of politics has sadly tended to be that of
gaining advantage over the other side. For months now, the
political focus has been on the fact that the IRA was the
main obstacle to peaceful progress. Unionists had
effectively said that they would no longer form a
government with Sinn Fein until the IRA left the stage.

But the IRA statement changes all that, in ways from which
republicans will hope to gain. As ever, they have offered
just less than unionists wanted (IRA disbandment, for
example), but enough to appear wonderful to virtually
everyone else. If unionists do accept this gesture as the
condition for setting up government again, they will have
done so having obtained much less from the IRA than they
would like; and republicans will proclaim that it was they
who broke the stalemate. If, on the other hand, Ian
Paisley, head of the Democratic Unionist Party, rejects
this IRA gesture as inadequate, then there is a risk that
the world will look on and blame unionists for things
collapsing again.

Will it last?

Richard English: Unionists in Ulster have tended to grow
ever more sceptical about IRA words, even during the period
since the organization's 1994 cease-fire. So IRA words are
not enough in themselves. It will have to be shown that
these words do actually mean the end of the road for
Provisional violence. If this does indeed become clear,
will that mean that unionists and republicans will be able
again to share power in a Belfast government? Perhaps. But
even here there are problems. One ironic feature of the
Irish peace process has been that, while the worst of the
violence has thankfully been silenced, the sectarian
division between nationalist and unionist has, if anything,
become wider. There is, in effect, no middle ground left in
Ulster. The two political parties which have now come to
dominate politics in Northern Ireland are Ian Paisley's
Democratic Unionist Party and Gerry Adams' Sinn Fein. Each
party draws support from only one community: effectively
Sinn Fein is a Catholic party and the DUP Protestant.

Robin Wilson: In public, as in the statement, the IRA
leadership has only referred to putting weapons "beyond
use." While previous such acts by the organization have
been widely translated as decommissioning, the insistence
of the IRA upon confidentiality means no one quite knows
what fate befalls these weapons. In particular, will they
be put irreversibly beyond use, in the sense of being

Robin Wilson is director of the Belfast-based think tank
Democratic Dialogue.

John McGarry is a professor of political studies and Canada
research chair in nationalism and democracy at Queen's
University, Kingston, Ont., Canada.

Richard English is professor of politics at Queen's
University, Belfast and author of the book, "Armed
Struggle: The History of the IRA."


Filmmaker Mobilizes 'I.R.A.'

Thu Aug 4, 2005 9:56 PM ET

By Steve Brennan

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Just a week after the
Irish Republican Army agreed to disarm, a new movie
focusing on the I.R.A.'s activities is set to begin
shooting in the Emerald Isle.

"I.R.A: King of Nothing" tells the story of Bobby O'Brien
(played by Damian Chapa, who also directs), an I.R.A.
member who is not happy with the modern day version of the
movement and believes that the only way to achieve Irish
independence is through violence.

"My goal as a filmmaker is to create stories that examine a
man's struggle with good and evil, and right and wrong,"
Chapa said. "With 'I.R.A.,' I want to explore the inner
turmoil and struggles of all the characters involved and
take an in-depth look at this contentious subject from a
more personal angle."

The film will be shot in Belfast, and south of the border
in the seaside town of Bray, County Wicklow, with a cast
that also includes Joe Estevez and Rachel Hunter.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


Donegal Friary Is Saved From Closure

Paddy Clancy

The Franciscan Friary at Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal,
recently faced with closure due to declining vocations, has
been given a reprieve and is to increase its number of

Friars at their recent conference voted to remain at
Rossnowlagh and their other centre in Multyfarnham, Co
Westmeath. The U-turn on Rossnowlagh was prompted by
arguments highlighting its vital cross-Border role.
Thousands of people from the North attend the friary and
its peace and reconciliation centre.

Two more clerics will now be added to the present staff of
three priests and a brother.

Fr Seán Collins, vicar provincial, said yesterday: "The
chapter moved very much in the direction of maintaining a
presence in the northern part of Ireland. Friars considered
that Rossnowlagh is very important for that reason."

When the Franciscans revealed their cutback plan last year
they insisted there would be efforts to retain links to
centres from which they would withdraw. There was local
speculation that a hotel syndicate might attempt to buy the
53-year-old friary.

But its oldest resident, Br Paschal Williamson (84), said
he was convinced it would always be a place of worship and
he prayed daily that something would save it. One
worshipper at the church said yesterday: "It seems Br
Paschal's prayers have been answered."

© The Irish Times

To August 2005 Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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