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August 05, 2005

Sentence Body Backs Kelly Release

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 08/05/05 Sentence Body Backs Kelly Release
DJ 08/05/05 'Unrealistic And Ridiculous' – McGuinness
DJ 08/05/05 'No IRA, No Police - Where Do We Go From Here?'
DJ 08/05/05 People Crying For Proper Policing-Denis Bradley
IO 08/05/05 Paisley Condemns Rioting
UT 08/05/05 Man Refused Bail In Loyalist Feud Case
4N 08/05/05 4 Released Pending Enquiries In GAA Murder Case
UT 08/05/05 Three In Court After Belfast Riots
IO 08/05/05 Rossport Five Stay In Prison
DJ 08/05/05 Commission Warned On Derry 'Feeder' Parades
UT 08/05/05 Views Sought On Voter Registration Overhaul
TN 08/05/05 Monitoring IRA Pledge Is Crucial To Peace Plan
PB 08/05/05 Opin: Hope In Northern Ireland
BB 08/05/05 A Long Road To Devolution?
IT 08/06/05 Paisleys Tipped For Seat In The Lords
IT 08/06/05 Parents Reject Care Offer For Son
IT 08/06/05 Algal Bloom Threatens Disaster, Warns Expert


Sentence Body Backs Kelly Release

By Brian Hutton
05 August 2005

Shankill bomber Sean Kelly's release from prison was today
officially approved by the Sentence Review Commission.

A panel of the commission met this morning and reached what
is known as a 'preliminary indication' that there was no
reason to revoke the former IRA killer's release on

Both the NIO and Kelly's solicitor have been informed of
the panel's decision and now have seven days to make

In the likely event of there being no appeal, the
'indication' then becomes what is termed as a 'substantive
determination' and the matter is settled.

Kelly was jailed for murdering nine people in the IRA bomb
attack on Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road in
1993. A second bomber, Thomas Begley, died in the blast.

Kelly was released on licence in 2000 as part of the Good
Friday Agreement, but was returned to jail in June of this
year for allegedly becoming re-involved in terrorism.

Secretary of State Peter Hain said at the time that he had
received evidence that Kelly had become a danger to
society. But he has submitted no evidence to the Sentence
Review Commission.

Mr Hain released Kelly last week on the eve of the IRA


'Unrealistic And Ridiculous' - McGuinness

Friday 5th August 2005

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness has dismissed as "unrealistic
and ridiculous" suggestions that the DUP could take up to
two years before it decides whether the IRA's struggle is
finally over.

The Mid-Ulster MP, the party's chief negotiator, made his
remarks following talks yesterday with British prime
minister Tony Blair at Downing Street.

The Sinn Fein delegation - which comprised Mr. McGuinness
and party leader Gerry Adams - told Mr. Blair that,
following last week's announcement by the IRA that it was
giving up its armed struggle, a swift return to
powersharing government in the North was the next logical

Earlier, however, DUP leader Ian Paisley warned that there
could be no question of his party sharing power with
republicans until it was absolutely clear the IRA had given
up its arms and all paramilitary activity.

Mr. McGuinness said he hoped the DUP would now respond to
the changed agenda.

He also said it was vital that, in the type of process in
which they were engaged, "they did not wobble." "If you
wobble you are in big difficulty. We are not wobblers," he

"I think the DUP need to regain their nerve. I think they
have to realise that they have a mighty contribution to
bringing peace to Northern Ireland and they have to play
their part."

Also yesterday, Sinn Fein's general secretary, Mitchel
McLaughlin, urged the DUP to stop "grandstanding" and face
up to the new political challenges created by the IRA

He said: "Nationalists and republicans have been listening
to Ian Paisley's rants for decades. The reality is that
nationalists and republicans are more confident and more
determined to see progress made that at any time since
partition. The days of second class citizenship and
discrimination are over and are not coming back."

He added: "The DUP have been playing catch up with the
political process here since the first IRA cessation in
1994. Last week's historic initiative by the IRA creates a
new political dynamic on the island and presents new
political challenges and realities for all of us.
Retreating to the certainties of conflict and sectarianism
is not an option if this new opportunity is to be fully

"There remains no excuse for the two governments in
implementing the outstanding aspects of the Good Friday
Agreement. These are not concessions or bargaining chips.
They are basic rights and entitlements designed to create
for the first time a level political playing field.

"Sinn FÈin is keen to see this business completed speedily
and the early restoration of the all-Ireland power sharing
institutions. Even the DUP must now accept that the only
situation in which they will have executive power will be
in the Good Friday Agreement institutions alongside Sinn


'No IRA, No Police - Where Do We Go From Here?'

Friday 5th August 2005

Dissident Republicans in Derry have claimed that they have
been inundated with people requesting help with anti-social
elements following last week's IRA announcement that they
are ending all activity.

According to the dissident sources, they have had so many
appeals from various communities in the city that they
simply cannot handle all the requests. It is thought that
people are unsure of where to go now to seek help after the
IRA statement.

Fears have been expressed by individuals and groups as to
who will deal with anti-social elements in the wake of the
ending of all IRA activity.

One caller to the 'Journal' on Wednesday, who was
complaining bitterly about a gang of youths drinking and
threatening people in the Rosemount area, said: "For years
one of the ways that some of these thugs were kept in line
was by the threat of the IRA dealing with them.

"In most cases the threat was usually enough but what
happens now? I have heard that some people have been told
by Sinn Fein that there is nothing they can do about this
sort of problem so where do we go from here?

"We have a police force that most people in our community
simply will not turn to in time of need and if the truth be
told it appears that the PSNI are simply not interested in
dealing with the type of problems we face."

Despite the widespread welcome for last week's statement
many community groups are seriously concerned that they
will be unable to deal with anti-social elements in the
policing vacuum that now exists.


People 'Crying Out' For Proper Policing- Denis Bradley

Friday 5th August 2005

People across the North are crying out for a policing
service it can "support, join and hold to account", the
vicechairman of the Policing Board, Denis Bradley, told the
'Journal' last night.

Mr. Bradley - who has also confirmed that he plans to stand
down from the Policing Board when it is next reconstituted
- says an all-encompassing debate on policing, one that
must include republicans, cannot be put off much longer.

"I appreciate it is, at times, difficult for them but they
should find ways of putting spokespersons forward," he told
the 'Journal' in an exclusive interview.

"In addition, I believe it is vital they argue from the
current political and social realities and not continue to
fall back on eight years of history."

The former priest is convinced that the public is "tiring"
of "people like me and Sinn Fein arguing about things they
have little interest in.

"They are also disturbed about the impact these delays are
having on the estates and in the towns in which they live.

"Republican groups need to address these concerns, too.
Most people have moved to a view that they don't want any
group that is self-appointed judging what is allowable.
They want policing. They want Patten."

Mr. Bradley also believes that, until there is a united
Ireland, the PSNI, as established under the Patten
proposals, "is the only police service we are going to
have." "Even in a united Ireland, the Patten ethos and
structure will remain," he says. "They will remain because
they are better and more enlightened than anything else

"It will never be perfect - no large organisation is - but
it has built into it more mechanisms for balance and
redress than any other such organisation.

"It hasn't had time yet to to become as efficient as it
will become in the future. However, it is beginning to win
the support of by far the greatest number of people from
both communities.

"I base this assertion on the multitude of surveys that
have been carried during the last four years."

Mr. Bradley says everyone - including dissident republicans
--have no option but to face up to and, hopefully resolve,
current political realities.

"It would be better if Sinn Fein made efforts to embrace
and persuade former friends of these political realities,"
he says. "And these former friends need to embrace these
same realities.

"No IRA leadership has ever allowed a campaign of violence
to continue when it became clear there was little support
within the community.

"Change of policy and direction have often resulted in
disputes and bitterness. Some of that is bound to happen
but at this critical time is it everyone's duty to contain
those disputes within words and debates."

Mr. Bradley also took issue with a headline in this week's
'Derry on Monday' newspaper which read: SF support for
police will smash dissidents, Bradley predicts.

Mr. Bradley said: "I would never use the word smash about
any group and I don't believe any group should have it used
about them. I hate and disagree with violence of any kind.
Whatever influence I have had has been directed at
persuading individuals and groups to use debate and
politics as the way to achieve healthy change."


Paisley Condemns Rioting
2005-08-05 16:10:02+01

Democratic Unionist leader the Rev Ian Paisley intervened
tonight in a bid to prevent further rioting in Belfast
linked to a loyalist paramilitary feud.

The North Antrim MP met Acting Assistant Chief Constable
Wesley Wilson after clashes between loyalists and police in
north Belfast last night resulted in 40 officers being
injured and 11 plastic baton rounds being fired.

Loyalists linked the disorder in the Crumlin Road area of
the city to police raids in the Woodvale area yesterday as
part of a probe into a bitter loyalist paramilitary feud
which has so far claimed the lives of three people.

With some residents accusing the police of acting in a
heavy handed manner, the DUP leader said he was appalled by
the violence and wanton destruction.

"Those involved need to realise that it is their own
community that they are harming by their actions," Mr
Paisley said.

"They are doing damage to properties and disrupting the
lives of people within their own area. I would call upon
those involved to step back and ensure that there are no

"If people in North Belfast have genuine grievances against
the police, then I and my party colleagues in the
constituency are more than happy to take up their cases but
there can never be any excuse for attacking the police in
this way."

Mr Paisley was joined at the meeting by East Antrim MP,
Sammy Wilson - a member of Northern Ireland's Policing

Residents had complained that during raids in connection
with the feud between the Ulster Volunteer Force and the
rival Loyalist Volunteer Force, police had used abusive
language towards children.

But Mr Wilson said police had been subjected to an
unjustified attack and he suspected the UVF had
orchestrated the violence.

"I know that there have been allegations of heavy-
handedness by people," he said.

"The allegations made to the District Commander of North
Belfast will be investigated and there are procedures for
doing that."

Police were attacked with a blast bomb, petrol and paint
bombs, stones, bottles and golf balls during the
disturbances which flared at around 5.30pm last night.

At one point the cab of a HGV was driven at police lines.

Several vehicles, including a bus, were hijacked and set

Today's meeting between the police and the DUP came as the
third victim of the loyalist feud was being buried.

Stephen Paul, aged 28, was gunned down last Saturday in a
red van outside a house in Wheatfield Crescent in north
Belfast and another man was wounded in an attack which was
blamed on the UVF.

He was buried at Roselawn Cemetery after a service at his
parent's home.

The UVF is believed to have gunned down the other two feud
victims - Jameson Lockhart in the east of the city and
Craig McCausland in north Belfast.

Nationalist politicians condemned last night's

SDLP Assembly member Alban Maginness urged the Police
Service of Northern Ireland to hold loyalists to account.

"The police must continue to do their duty. They must work
to keep on top of the loyalist feud," the North Belfast MLA

Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan was worried the
violence would spread to nationalist neighbourhoods.

"People in Ardoyne are obviously concerned that the ongoing
unionist paramilitary feud and last night's rioting on the
Crumlin Road will ultimately, as before, culminate in
attacks on Catholic and nationalist homes in the area," she


Man Refused Bail In Loyalist Feud Case

A man alleged to be involved in the loyalist feud was
refused bail in the High Court today after a judge said he
could not consider releasing him in view of what was going

Twenty-one year-old Graham Campbell, from Ballysillan
Avenue, north Belfast, who is accused of unlawfully
possessing a shotgun and discharging it in public, applied
for compassionate bail to attend his grandfather`s funeral.

Crown counsel David Hopley said police were investigating a
gun attack on a house at Silverstream Avenue, Belfast, on
June 17 when they heard shooting just around the corner.

He said police found Campbell lying on the roadway with
head unjuries and surrounded by local residents attacking

"The people were accusing him of discharging a firearm and
were about to attack him with a breeze block but police
intervened and took him into custody," the lawyer said.

Mr Hopley alleged Campbell admitted firing the shotgun but
said he fired into the air as he "did not want to harm

The Crown lawyer said: "There is a very serious dispute
between the UVF and the LVF which has escalated and this
shooting is believed to be part of it.

It would be highly undesirable to grant this man bail in
view of what is going on.

"He is believed to be involved in this on-going feud and
the Crown believe that there is a real risk of
reinvolvement if he is released.

He has been threatened and police have served him with a
message indicating such a threat."

Defence barrister Taylor Campbell said his client had
apologised for "behaving so stupidly."

He said Campbell denied being linked to any loyalist
faction and added that he had been very close to his
grandfather so he wanted to be at his funeral.

Mr Justice McLaughlin said it was with regret that he had
to refuse bail but added: "In the present circumstances and
having regard to what is going on I cannot consider
releasing him."


Four Released Pending Enquiries In GAA Murder Case

Four people arrested in connection with the murder of a GAA
man in Co Londonderry in 1997 had been released pending
further inquiries.

Sean Brown, 61, was shot dead after being abducted by the
LVF on May 12th 1997 as he left his local GAA club in
Bellaghy. His body was later found with his burnt out car
near Randalstown.

The two men and two women, aged 31, 39, 44, and 45, were
arrested during a series of police operations on Wednesday
and Thursday. All four are originally from Northern

Last month, a number of people were arrested by police in
connection with their inquiries into the murder.

In June, detectives investigating Mr Brown's murder renewed
an appeal for information about his death on BBC programme

The programme featured appeals by Church of Ireland
Archbishop, Robin Eames and Noble Laureate poet Seamus
Heaney, originally from Bellaghy and a friend of the Brown



Three In Court After Belfast Riots

Three more people have appeared in court charged in
connection with the rioting at Ardoyne on the Twelfth of

Colm McCallum, 18, from Oldpark Square, and Colm Patrick
Largy, also 18 and from Jamaica Street, appeared at
Laganside Magistrates Court alongside a 15-year-old boy,
who can not be named for legal reasons.

They were remanded in custody, but a short time later
McCallum was released on bail in the High Court.

Ten people in total have now been charged in connection
with the violence which erupted after an Orange Order


Rossport Five Stay In Prison
2005-08-05 15:20:02+01

Five men jailed for their protests against the construction
of a controversial gas pipeline in Co Mayo will remain in
prison despite oil giant Shell's announcement it was
suspending work on the project, it emerged today.

The five men were jailed more than five weeks ago for
refusing to abide by a High Court order preventing them for
obstructing the construction of Shell's high pressure
pipeline from the Corrib gas field to an onshore refinery.

Shell last night announced it was deferring all work on the
laying of a 75km offshore pipeline to allow discussion on
the future of the €900m project.

The company's managing director Andy Pyle said: "We
strongly feel that the only way we're going to get a way
through this is to have a period of calm - certainly more
calm than there is at the moment - when we can havea proper
dialogue and a proper discussion of the issues."

The men known as the Rossport Five - Micheal (correct)
O'Seighin, Willie Corduff, Brendan Philbin, and brothers
Vincent and Philip McGrath - have pledged to remain in
Dublin's Cloverhill Prison until their concerns about the
safety of the pipeline are addressed.

They want the gas to be refined offshore rather than
transported along the pipeline beside their homes to the
onshore refinery.

Mark Garavan, of the Shell to Sea protest group, who
visited the men in Cloverhill prison today, said while
Shell remained committed to building the pipeline, the men
could not purge their contempt.

The men felt they had to be able to resist works which may
be carried out in the future, and so could not undertake
not to protest against the pipeline's construction, he

"The men are not there of their own volition: Shell got the
injunction, Shell put them in prison, and it's Shell that
have got to get them out.

"The men are saying they feel the offshore suspension
called by Shell should be seized on for a root and branch
review of the whole project," he said.

"Shell should prioritise the safety issues people have over
the pipeline, and Minister Dempsey should assist on this

Mr Garavan said the injunction should be stood down and the
men released if Shell were serious about facilitating
discussion over the issues.

"The men are under duress and cannot engage in discussin.

"No work is being done on the ground - it's hard to see why
there remains an injunction," he said.

Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources
Noel Dempsey has welcomed last night's move by Shell and
offered to appoint an intermediary to help the groups
resolve the conflict.

Sinn Féin MEP and National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald
was unable to visit the men as planned today in Cloverhill
Prison for administrative reasons, as they had used up all
their visiting time.


Commission Warned On Derry 'Feeder' Parades

Friday 5th August 2005

The Parades Commission has been warned that forcing
'sectarian' parades through contentious areas prior to the
Apprentice Boys' annual August parade in Derry could
severely damage the process of conflict resolution.

The warning came yesterday during talks between the
Commission and Sinn Fein representatives.

West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty said the meeting, which took
place at the request of Sinn Fein, focused on planned
feeder parades on August 13 - one of which will pass
through three nationalist areas of North Belfast - on the
same route taken by the Orange Order on the July 12.

"We conveyed to the Parades Commission the deep hurt and
anger caused by the PSNI and Orange Order actions on that
day," he said.

"Sinn Fein is demanding that the Parades Commission prevent
this march from travelling along this contentious route.

"Forcing feeder parades through nationalist areas for a
parade in Derry can only place added strain on reaching a
similar accommodation this time around."

Mr. Doherty said that, throughout the summer months,
tensions have been raised with a number of orchestrated
attacks upon "vulnerable nationalist communities." "It is
no coincidence that such attacks precede and succeed
contentious marches and the Orange Order must bear some
responsibility for this," he added.

"The broad nationalist community only wish to be left in
peace during the marching season.

"The only way these issues can be resolved is through
dialogue. People need to bear in mind that forcing
sectarian parades through areas where they are unwanted
does major damage to the task of conflict resolution."

Meanwhile, Derry Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney has
accused the DUP's William Hay of trying to "apportion blame
on others" for the disturbances which followed last month's
Orange Order 'Twelfth' parade in Derry.

Mr. Hay, himself a senior Orangeman, blamed nationalist
youths "wearing Celtic tops and carrying Tricolours" for
the trouble in the city centre.

He is now urging the police to bar them from the Diamond
area on August 13.

In response, Raymond McCartney said: "Several aspects of
the agreement [for July 12 parade] were broken by the
unionist side such as the carrying of paramilitaries flags
and on street drinking.

"Willie Hay seems to ignore the fact that the return march
was accompanied by a group of drunken supporters who were
clearly recorded by the press making provocative gestures
to the nationalist crowd.

"Willie Hay would be better getting his head out of the
sand and addressing these problems rather than trying to
blame others for the trouble."


Views Sought On Voter Registration Overhaul

The British government today asked members of the public
and interest groups to give their views on plans to scrap
annual voter registration in Northern Ireland.

By:Press Association

In a consultation document released today, Political
Development Minister David Hanson has proposed doing away
with the requirement on every voter to fill in a fresh
electoral registration form each year to secure their vote.

In proposals drawn up in conjunction with the Chief
Electoral Officer for the province Denis Stanley, the
minister has proposed:

:: Retaining the requirement for individual registration,
with those bidding to vote supplying three personal
identifiers such as their signature, date of birth, and
national insurance number .

:: Enhanced access to information from other public sector
bodies to enable the Chief Electoral Officer to track
changes in the circumstances of those registered and target
those individuals not on the register.

:: The right for the Chief Electoral Officer, with the
Northern Ireland Secretary`s approval, to carry out a full
canvass where he believes it is necessary to fully refresh
the register.

:: The extension of the deadline for registration to 11
days before polling day, subject to enhanced security

Northern Ireland`s parties have been critical of the annual
requirement on voters to register.

They claim some people have been confused by the process -
assuming once they had signed on they would be eligible to
vote in future elections.

Sinn Fein, in particular, has been highly critical of the
process, claiming it has disenfranchised around 210,000

Mr Hanson also published a separate consultation paper on
the regulation of political donations in Northern Ireland
which proposes the same rules for political donations as
the rest of the UK from February 2007, with a special
derogation for donations from Irish citizens.

Northern Ireland would be required to supply information on
a confidential basis to the Electoral Commission on the
source of its donations.

Sinn Fein`s director of elections Pat Doherty welcomed the
consultation paper, claiming annual registration had been a

The West Tyrone MP said: "Today`s publication of this
consultation document on the future of the electoral system
and the proposals it contains is a recognition that the
current arrangements are deeply flawed and need urgent

"Annual registration has proven to be a complete disaster.
Public confidence in the electoral system needs to be
rebuilt and it is my hope that today`s paper can be the
first step along this road."


Experts: Monitoring IRA Weapons Pledge Is Crucial To
Reviving Peace Plan

Voice of America, 5 August 2005

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) has announced it is ending
its armed struggle against British rule. In this report
from Washington, Senior Correspondent André de Nesnera
looks at the IRA's decision at a time when London faces a
terrorist threat from Islamic extremists.

For the past 36 years, the Irish Republican Army has been
waging an armed campaign against British rule in Northern
Ireland. The IRA has been fighting the British Army and
security forces as well as pro-British paramilitary groups
as it tried to reach its ultimate goal, a united Ireland.
More than 3,600 people have been killed during the past
three decades that have come to be known as "The Troubles."

In a statement released at the end of July, the IRA said it
has formally ordered an end to its armed campaign. It
instructed its units, in the statement's words, "to dump
arms" and said IRA members must now focus on "purely
political and democratic programs through exclusively
peaceful means." The statement also called on IRA
volunteers not to engage "in any other activities."

The British and Irish governments welcomed the IRA
decision, but in Northern Ireland, reaction was mixed,
split along sectarian lines. Sinn Fein, the political wing
of the IRA reacted positively while the largest pro-British
party, the Democratic Unionists, urged caution.

Stephen O'Reilly is deputy editor of Belfast's Irish News,
a newspaper reflecting the views of the Nationalist
community that favors union with Ireland. He says the IRA
decision to renounce violence is a very important
development. However, the reaction within his community has
been far more muted compared to 1997 when the IRA declared
a ceasefire.

"And if you were to compare it to what happened seven or
eight years ago, we had cavalcades of cars, we had all
sorts of celebrations, all sorts of protests from various
other people," said Mr. O'Reilly. "This time it's been
slightly more muted and it's probably a little bit of war
weariness, for want of a better word, if that's not too
ironic - war weariness in the sense that this has been a
long, tortuous process and for every step forward, there
appears to have been half a step backwards."

On the other side of the sectarian divide, there also
appears to be a sense of war weariness. But the Unionist
side, those who favor Northern Ireland's continued union
with Great Britain, don't take the IRA's words at face
value. Austin Hunter is editor of the Belfast Newsletter, a
newspaper with close ties to the pro-British community.

"As far as the Unionists are concerned, they just want to
see the words and the promises of the IRA turned into
action, or I suppose, in a way turned to 'inaction,'" he
explained. "The fact that they will stop their paramilitary
activities, they will stop their criminality and we will
all be allowed to have peace and prosperity. The conflict
has been going on in Northern Ireland for 35 years. The
whole conflict has cost 3,600 lives. We just want to make
sure it's stopped. There still will be various splinter
groups, small splinter groups who will still want to
continue their evil. But we want to make sure that the
biggest and most active terrorist organization, the IRA,
has actually gone away for good. And the best way to test
the sincerity of that statement is to examine it and
monitor it in the months ahead."

Experts say monitoring the IRA's commitment to lay down its
weapons will be crucial in reviving the Northern Ireland
power-sharing agreement between Nationalists and Unionists,
Catholics and Protestants. The Northern Ireland Assembly,
bringing together politicians from both sides, was
suspended in 2002 after Unionist politicians refused to
work with Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing. The
Unionists accused the IRA of not being serious in wanting
to put away its weapons for good.

Paul Bew is an expert on Northern Ireland, teaching at
Queen's University in Belfast. He has written extensively
on "The Troubles" and says while the IRA statement makes
clear the armed struggle is over, it omits one essential

"The IRA is not disbanding," said Mr. Bew. "It is retaining
its mission statement. It is maintaining still the right to
launch a campaign of armed struggle. So, in some ways, it
remains still a subversive organization. And therefore,
remains as the Irish government has made clear since the
statement came out, an illegal organization in Irish
society. It has not moved itself to the point where it
ceased to be illegal."

Mr. Bew says the crucial part of the IRA's statement is
when the paramilitary group urges its members to refrain
from engaging in what it broadly calls "any other
activities." Mr. Bew says those activities have contributed
in destabilizing the Northern Ireland political process.

"And the things that have harmed trust have been, for
example, the FARC episode when some IRA people were
convicted of associating in Colombia with FARC, the FARC
movement in Colombia, which the [U.S.] State Department
regards as a terrorist movement. There was a gun running
episode in Florida in which there were convictions. There
was a massive bank robbery in Belfast in the last few
months involving, I think you would say about $40 million,
which the security forces on both sides of the border,
Dublin and Belfast, say was carried out by the IRA," he

Mr. Bew says once again, verifying that the IRA has indeed
ended all those 'other activities' will be a challenge.

Experts say the IRA's decision to publicly announce an end
to its armed struggle against Britain comes at a very
opportune time for Prime Minister Blair, when London has
been the target of terrorist attacks from Islamic
extremists. Mr. Bew says that permits the security forces
to focus on the recent terrorist attacks and not face a war
on two fronts.

Dana Allin is a security expert with the London-based
International Institute for Strategic Studies. He says
there is a difference between groups like the IRA and the
al-Qaida network.

"One of the things that a famous terrorism analyst said
about old terror groups like the IRA is that they were
interested in having a lot of people watching, but not a
lot of people dead: in other words, a kind of mass casualty
campaign would work against their by goals undercutting any
possibility of popular support," said Mr. Allin. "The kinds
of statements and actions you have from [Osama] bin Laden
and groups that are affiliated with his al-Qaida network
are sort of the language of total war, and what's more, an
almost genocidal war in the sense that it is directed
against killing civilians on the largest possible scale."

While in no way condoning IRA violence, Mr. Allin says the
paramilitary group did provide coded warnings to security
forces before beginning a bombing campaign. He says that is
not the case with this new radical Islamic terrorism,
making the work of security forces that more difficult.


Opin: Hope In Northern Ireland

August 5, 2005 Episode no. 849

Read the comments of Father Mark-Ephrem Nolan, abbot of
Holy Cross Benedictine Monastery in Northern Ireland, on
the Irish Republican Army's July 28, 2005 statement ending
its armed struggle:

The recent IRA statement is an important step on the path
to peace. It was the statement that everybody had been
waiting for, but not surprisingly, it came at an unexpected
hour. The IRA was never going to accept being, as they
would see it, stood over, humiliated and bullied into
making this declaration, so it couldn't realistically come
at the end of any round of "talks." That does not mean to
say that I don't believe the members of the IRA really do
need to present themselves humbly and repentant before all
the people of this land (and beyond) for the hurts they
inflicted in the past, as indeed all sides in the conflict
must do. Concrete actions on the front of decommissioning
must follow without delay. Already on the day following the
IRA statement, further British demilitarization has taken
place. This shows the good will of the British government.

Not surprisingly, there is a restrained and somewhat
guarded reaction within the local moderate Unionist
community. The confidence and trust of these people needs
to be gained. Criminal activity in former IRA circles
leaves them still somewhat suspicious of the Irish
Republican movement. The more extreme form of Unionism
represented by the Reverend Ian Paisley's Democratic
Unionist Party, a group that gained a very large vote in
the most recent elections, has come out with a statement in
which these words are like the refrain of a litany: "We
alone will dictate!" This is just a mirror reflection of
the former, then still militant, Sinn Fein (literally in
Irish, "us alone") attitude. The fact that a loyalist feud
is currently taking place is worrying. It would be a much
healthier situation if loyalists and unionists were united
to welcome the IRA initiative.

I have never had any doubt of the responsibility of the
faith communities in The Troubles and therefore in the
peace process. This was strongly underlined for me as a
result of the first public interview given by Father Alex
Reid, a Redemptorist priest who has been heavily engaged in
peace talks with the IRA, many of the political parties,
and the British and Irish governments. Father Reid
explained how at an early stage in the process he was in
possession of documents being exchanged by Sinn Fein and
the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) to initiate
peace talks when he got caught up in a terrible tragedy
wherein two British soldiers were killed. As he bent down
over those dying soldiers to give them the kiss of life and
administer the last rites of the Church, the documents he
was carrying came into contact with their bodies and as a
result were covered in their blood. Presenting these
documents later that day to the then SDLP leader John Hume,
Father Reid could only say that here was the sign that
every risk should be taken to try to broker peace. In that
same interview Father Reid spoke of Sinn Fein president
Gerry Adams having said to him that the only "institution"
in a position to help advance the peace process in its
initial stages was the Church.

For me, the faith communities are part -- though evidently
not all -- of the problem, and because of this it is
incumbent upon us to seek to be part of the solution. It is
clear that a long, long process of healing has to be lived
through in our deeply wounded and still so bitterly divided
society, and therefore the witness of our monastic
community remains so very relevant and its ministry all the
more important.

We must be realistic. Hopes have come and gone many times
in Northern Ireland. It has often been a case of some steps
forward being followed by some steps back. Yet slowly but
surely, progress has been made. As a community, our joy is
great right now to see a breakthrough in what was a
worrying stalemate situation. Realism tells us that the
road ahead won't always be easy, and others have to break
through as well. It isn't always easy to synchronize
things. But as a Christian I believe in Saint Paul's
teaching that suffering leads to endurance and
perseverance, patience engenders hope, and this hope will
not disappoint (Romans 5).


A Long Road To Devolution?

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

It is a topsy turvy world. In the old days, the traveller
leaving England for Northern Ireland had to readjust to the
sight of police officers bearing guns and the Army on the

This week, en route to talks at the Northern Ireland Office
in London, I had to make my way into the Underground past
armed Metropolitan Police searching passengers with back

The London newspapers quoted police commanders saying their
officers were exhausted after weeks of arduous anti-
terrorist duty.

The Belfast papers in my bag still carried stories about
the disbandment of the home battalions of the Royal Irish
Regiment, which government sources argued was inevitable
given the fact that the Army has been operating far below

Until the loyalist feud, the sources say, the Army was
operating at about 4% capacity in Northern Ireland.

Since the feud, that figure has risen to nearer 20%. The
rioting on Thursday night in north Belfast is a reminder
that for some time the PSNI may continue to face
particularly difficult challenges.

Residents on certain estates in east Belfast and Holywood
might also argue that the Army's presence remains vital.

'Bracing itself for legislation'

But Tony Blair appears convinced this is the exception
rather than the rule, and that the security reductions
envisaged in the spring of 2003 are now overdue.

However, the prime minister is far from naive. He knows the
decision not to preserve the Royal Irish as part of
Northern Ireland's 5,000 strong peacetime garrison was
always going to have serious political consequences.

Whatever the security chiefs say, disbanding the RIR is a
political plus for Sinn Fein and a minus for the DUP.

The tactic of blaming concessions on the Trimble era is
wearing increasingly thin - the party can try to use its
clout at Westminster to hit back, but it needs the right
issue and the right arithmetic

The DUP has also taken hits in relation to the extension of
the current Policing Board, the release of Shankill bomber
Sean Kelly and the abandonment by the governments of any
support for photographs of decommissioning.

The party is bracing itself for the legislation due in the
autumn on "on-the-runs".

The government's logic seems to be that off-loading these
measures now both rewards republicans and clears the decks
at a time when the DUP had no intention of serious

The DUP, as the Ulster Unionists are keen to point out, is
starting to understand the difficulty of influencing a
sovereign government with its mind made up on a definite
course of action.

The tactic of blaming concessions on the Trimble era is
wearing increasingly thin. The party can try to use its
clout at Westminster to hit back, but it needs the right
issue and the right arithmetic.

'A final settlement'

So the DUP's main response is to promise "time penalties"
under which devolution will be delayed as a consequence of
what they view as unwarranted concessions to the IRA.

Party sources talk about a minimum of two years before
Stormont can be restored.

So 2007, then, the target date for Dail elections, the
RIR's demise and, who knows, maybe Tony Blair's departure
from Downing Street?

Will he leave with a final settlement in Northern Ireland
as his retirement present?

With unionist voters far from enthusiastic about restoring
Stormont, prolonging direct rule has little downside for
the DUP.

However, that could change if the government ticks off more
items from Sinn Fein's shopping list.

Developments on policing, rates and water charges may also
alter the terms of trade.

At this stage, it is impossible to predict whether such
issues will make the public more or less anxious to see
their local representatives in charge of local affairs.

For now, we are left discussing who shook whose hand on
camera or not. Was it cock up or conspiracy that prevented
Gerry Adams and Tony Blair going palm to palm?

Did Ian Paisley come within a hair's breadth of being the
warm up act for a Sinn Fein photo opportunity?

That may all seem pretty petty, however for we peace
process Kremlinologists, it is a diverting hobby which
makes us nostalgic for the 1990s.

But am I nostalgic for the guns on the streets now so
evident in London? Not one bit.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/08/05 19:59:57 GMT



Paisleys Tipped For Honours Including Seat In The Lords

Frank Millar, London Editor

DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley is being tipped for
elevation to Queen Elizabeth's Privy Council. Thus, in
Westminster parlance, Dr Paisley would have the right to be
called "the right honourable member" for Antrim North, 35
years after his parliamentary career began there in
relative isolation.

And it is expected that Mrs Paisley will be getting a seat
in the House of Lords.

The Privy Council goes back to the earliest days of
monarchy, when it comprised those appointed to advise the
king or queen on matters of state. Its business today is
conducted by ministers, while the notion of the Privy
Council as a secretive body is maintained by the oath
requiring members to "keep secret all matters. . . treated
of in council".

Dr Paisley has visibly enjoyed his new role at Westminster
since becoming leader of the largest unionist party in
Northern Ireland, and of the fourth largest party in the

And he has recalled with some relish the "pariah" status
which attended his initial arrival there in 1970. Now
senior colleagues suggest it is only a matter of time
before the Westminster establishment clasps its newest
member to its bosom.

Dr Paisley's relationship with Tony Blair entered a new era
of turbulence following confirmation this week of British
government plans to disband the Northern Ireland battalions
of the Royal Irish Regiment.

However, the expectation remains that Dr Paisley's new
status as majority unionist leader will be recognised.

"I'm sure the prime minister will want to do it for him in
due course," confirms one MP. "He's entitled to it,"
asserts another colleague, citing the "precedent" which saw
former Ulster Unionist leaders James Molyneaux and David
Trimble similarly rewarded.

Westminster sources say there is no rule of precedent
obliging Mr Blair to give Dr Paisley his "Rt Hon" or to
appoint any particular number of DUP peers to the House of

Again, however, the confident expectation is that a double
celebration in the House of Paisley will soon be capped by
a peerage for Dr Paisley's wife, Eileen.

Party chairman Maurice Morrow has also been nominated for a
peerage, although Downing Street and the Northern Ireland
Office are reportedly resisting the elevation of former
Tory MP Andrew Hunter, who took the DUP whip in the last
parliament. The party is hoping for an initial three
appointments to the Lords.

Having successfully triumphed over what was once called the
"Big House" unionism of the UUP, the DUP is now ready to
claim its inheritance.

© The Irish Times


Parents Reject Care Offer For Son

Carl O'Brien, Social Affairs Correspondent

The parents of a 14-year-old autistic boy with severe
behavioural problems have rejected a request from Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern that they place their child in a service which
they say is linked to a psychiatric hospital.

Mr Ahern made a private visit to the parents of Lewis
O'Carolan in Phibsboro last month and urged them to enter
their son into a State-funded education unit in north
Dublin which, he said, would meet the boy's needs.

However, Colm and Annette O'Carolan say the State's care
and education plans at Woodlawn in north Dublin are based
on a psychiatric model and would "destroy" their son's

The service planned by the State is operated by St Joseph's
Intellectual Disability Service, which was criticised in a
report last month by the Inspector of Mental Health
Services for its use of strait-jackets and protocols over
the use of psychotropic medication.

The O'Carolans had been holding protests outside Mr Ahern's
constituency clinic in recent weeks and collecting
signatures from the public.

The parents failed in a High Court battle to have the State
fund a placement for their son at an autism-specific centre
in Wales which experts said would help him reach his full

The High Court ruled that the education plans drawn up by
the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Department of
Education at Woodlawn were "objectively adequate" to meet
Lewis's needs.

However, following a fundraising campaign which has raised
€55,000 in public donations, the O'Carolans are to send
their son for a three-month assessment at the Bangor Centre
for Developmental Disabilities in Wales from next month.

The money was raised through a special "appropriate
education fund" which was established by the Hope Project,
an organisation founded by disability rights campaigner
Kathy Sinnott MEP.

Annette O'Carolan said yesterday that the family had been
overwhelmed by the public response and she would continue
to campaign to lobby the State to fund Lewis's education in

"For now, at least, we'll no longer have the fear that
he'll be pointed in the direction of a mental home and
drugged. Instead, he will have a better quality of life,
learn how to communicate more effectively and live more
independently. It's amazing what difference a year can make
with the right intervention," she said.

"Lewis is not psychiatrically ill," Ms O'Carolan added.

"He has a developmental disability, not a psychiatric
illness. What is being planned is totally inappropriate for

She said the cost of sending Lewis to Wales was around
€250,000 per year.

The Irish Autism Action support group estimates that the
cost of the placement in north Dublin is between €300,000
and €350,000.

The HSE, which has not put a figure on the cost of its
proposed services, said Lewis would receive
multidisciplinary care at Woodlawn and would be cared for
and educated along with a small number of intellectually
disabled young people.

It said all major intellectual disability services in the
country employ consultant psychiatrists with a special
interest in intellectual disability and multidisciplinary
support teams.

In a letter to the family, Mr Ahern urged the family to
discuss with health and education authorities the provision
of services for Lewis at Woodlawn as soon as possible.

© The Irish Times


Algal Bloom Threatens Disaster, Warns Expert

Anne Lucey

An algal bloom in Dingle Bay in Co Kerry is leading to an
ecological disaster in marine terms, according to a sea
fisheries officer and marine expert.

The Marine Institute, which carried out a survey of the
area, also said the naturally occurring bloom was one of
the most severe ever to hit the area, but said it was
confined in the bay. Fish-kills were being reported
continuously all around the bay from Kells, Rossbeigh and

Satellite images of the "red tide" of the microscopic
plankton species called Karenia mikimotoi bloom, which
began in the northwest in mid-June, show it extending up to
100km from the Irish coast. Affected areas include the
Donegal coast, where the absence of prawns has been
reported, and the Mayo and Galway coasts.

The bloom struck the Dingle Bay area over a week ago. High
cell counts were reported in Ventry, Dingle harbour,
Glenbeigh and Cromane. Pockets farther south were also hit.
It has now wiped out stocks of turbot, plaice, young cod,
conger eel and brill.

There are reports that significant numbers of farmed
shellfish, particularly cockles and some mussels destined
for the French market, have been destroyed, with the
Glenbeigh area one of the worst affected.

"We are now talking about huge marine dead zones," said
Kevin Flannery, sea fisheries officer with the Department
of the Marine.

Stocks of young turbot and plaice and the hardier mullet
have been hard hit in the estuaries, particularly on the
south of the bay.

Along with flatfish, finfish and shellfish, lug worms,
crabs and starfish are dying from the low oxygen and mildly
toxic bloom.

However, Fungi, the Dingle dolphin, and other larger marine
animals are safe. Lobster is also unaffected, fishermen
reported yesterday, but the flatfish that gather around the
lobster pots are dying in the pots.

Department of the Marine officials urged the public not to
pick or handle wild shellfish in the area. None of the
affected farmed shellfish was allowed into the market, and
the bloom, which appears reddish-brown, was not harmful to
humans, they said.

According to the Marine Institute, Karenia mikimotoi was
first identified on the east coast of the US in 1957 and
was first recorded in Europe in 1966 when it bloomed in
Norwegian coastal waters.

It was first recorded in Irish coastal waters in 1976 when
it bloomed extensively on the southeast coast. Subsequent
blooms were recorded each year between 1978 and 1982 and
again each year between 1990 and 1995.

© The Irish Times

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