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 09, 2005

SF Councillor's Home Fire Bombed

To Index of Monthly Archives
To August 2005 Index
To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 08/09/05 Sinn Fein Man Hits Out At 'Low-Life Bombers'
BB 08/09/05 Loyalist: Murder Attempt 'Was Self-Defence'
BT 08/09/05 RIR Soldiers 'Should Move To Ulster HQ'
BT 08/09/05 Faul Fears Mob Rule Policing
BT 08/09/05 SDLP In Clash With DUP Over Heist Inquiry
UT 08/09/05 Calls For Colombia 3 To Be Jailed In Ireland
BT 08/09/05 Opin: Ahern's Colombian Conundrum
BB 08/09/05 Controversy Over Internment March


Sinn Fein Man Hits Out At 'Low-Life Bombers'

Councillor tells how home was attacked

By Michael McHugh in Banbridge and Lisa Smyth
09 August 2005

A Sinn Fein councillor today branded those who petrol
bombed his Co Down home as "low-life".

Dessie Ward (24) was about to go to bed shortly before
midnight last night when he saw a flash and opened the
curtain at his Edenderry Park home in Banbridge, to watch a
masked man hurling a petrol bomb at his front door.

His mother and 11-year-old brother were also in the house
at the time but the house did not catch fire and only minor
scorch damage was caused.

Mr Ward, the first Sinn Fein representative to be elected
to Banbridge District Council last June, said he would be
reviewing his security.

"They are just low-life. It does not take a brave man to
come and attack a man with his family.

"This is the first time this has happened, although I have
been expecting it for a while," he said.

"I saw a flash as the room was dark and as I looked outside
I saw a masked man with a petrol bomb in his hand. It
bounced off the front door and landed in the garden so it
was mainly scorch damage caused to the door frame. The
bomber ran off towards the Brookfield estate."

Earlier this year offensive graffiti about Mr Ward, who
works in Upper Bann Assemblyman John O'Dowd's office in
Lurgan, was scrawled on the road in nearby Rathfriland.

"Attacks like this have happened in the past, in the last
week we had a nationalist forced from the Kline Road area
and this time last year we saw a nationalist family in the
town suffering from a petrol bomb attack," Mr Ward added.

Local UUP councillor and former council chairman David
Herron condemned the attack as "evil" but said it was not
characteristic of the area.

Mr O'Dowd said it was time that the two main unionist
parties united publicly against the recent upsurge in
loyalist violence.

He said: "In recent weeks, there has been an escalation in
the numbers of fire bomb and pipe bomb attacks carried out
by unionist paramilitary factions and directed against
nationalists in different parts of the North.

"These same unionist paramilitaries have been encouraged to
carry out such attacks as a result of the negative
political environment which is being created by the two
main unionist parties.

"I would call on both the UUP and DUP to publicly condemn
this attack on a democratically elected public

Meanwhile, anyone with information should contact police
028 4066 2222 or freephone Crimestoppers in complete
confidence on 0800 555 111.


Murder Attempt 'Was Self-Defence'

A 44-year-man has appeared in court charged in connection
with a shooting of a man in Belfast at the weekend.

Trevor Dowie from Glenside Park is accused of attempting to
murder Laurence Kincaid who was shot at the defandant's
north Belfast home.

The court heard from a solicitor acting for Mr Dowie who
denied reports that the shooting was linked to the ongoing
loyalist feud.

A detective confirmed the defendant told police he acted in

He confirmed the accused had handed over a legally held gun
for which he had a firearms certificate.

The victim, who is seriously ill in hospital, was shot in
the chest at Glenside Park - in the Crumlin Road area - on

Also appearing in court on Tuesday, William Gilmore
Anderson, 20, from Silverstream Avenue in north Belfast
denied attempting to intimidate Mr Dowie at the accused's

He also denies criminal damage at Mr Dowie's house. He was
remanded in custody and is due to reappear before the court
via video link on 6 September.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/09 11:02:05 GMT


RIR Soldiers 'Should Move To Ulster HQ'

MLA wants Oxford-based troops 'home' in Ballymena

By Gary Grattan
09 August 2005

Royal Irish Regiment battalions currently stationed in
England should be relocated to its Ballymena headquarters
to offset the impact of the loss of the Home Service
battalions in two years' time, an MLA has stressed.

North Antrim UUP man, the Rev Robert Coulter, believes it
would make "logistical sense" to concentrate all the RIR
troops in the Co Antrim town.

"Moving battalions currently stationed in Oxford to the
home base of Ballymena would also lead to efficiency
savings which are bound to be attractive to the Government
in the present climate of regimental amalgamations and
rapid response restructuring of the armed forces.

"This move would also help to offset some of the economic
impact on the province of the potential loss of the Home
Service battalions, though we in the UUP would obviously
prefer to see the Home Service battalions retained at
present strength until the terrorist threat has been proved
to be totally eliminated," he said.

Mr Coulter believes the government should make the move
straight away in order to help undo some of the political
damage caused by the insensitivity and lack of consultation
surrounding last week's announcement that the Home Service
battalions are to be scrapped.

"We in the UUP are very proud of the Royal Irish Regiment,
of its sacrifice and of its heroism, and we are deeply
concerned for the welfare of the full and part-time
soldiers and support staff whose livelihood is now under
such immediate threat."

"We believe the government should also be looking at an
enhanced financial package for any troops and back-up staff
it proposes to lay off.

"There is no point in talking about a peace dividend ? if
there really is indeed a peace dividend at all - if the men
and women of the RIR who sacrificed so much and made that
possible are excluded from it," said Dr Coulter.


Faul Fears Mob Rule Policing

By Michael McHugh
09 August 2005

Republican endorsement of the new policing arrangements
could lead to mob rule sanctioned by the authorities, an
outspoken Catholic cleric claimed last night.

Monsignor Denis Faul, a Co Tyrone priest with a long record
of opposition to the IRA, said his worst nightmare would be
"hurling stick" justice meted out by republican

Sinn Fein has rejected the criticism, adding that its
approach to policing would be human rights-based.

Fr Faul said he was alarmed that cosmetic changes could
open the way for paramilitary policemen.

"I don't think there's much evidence of a desire to attack
the British any more, but the Provos will continue doing
what they are best at," he said.

"They will be pushing these restorative justice schemes and
they will act as the police over the communities."

The senior cleric claimed the IRA had killed 70 people and
expelled 2,500 since the peace process started over a
decade ago and added that people had witnessed a "control
process" as opposed to a peace process.

"I would be very worried that the PSNI will pay the Provos.
I told the Patten Commission that I didn't want Orangemen,
Freemasons or part-timers in the new police force," he

"The part-timers of both sides would be under the control
of the paramilitaries in each district, so they would put
in the local boys with the hurling sticks."

West Tyrone Sinn Fein MLA Barry McElduff said the
nationalist people had endorsed the party's strategy on

"Bona fide human rights organisations should be involved in
determining the new arrangements and Sinn Fein will take a
human rights approach," he said.


SDLP In Clash With DUP Over Heist Inquiry

By Deborah McAleese
09 August 2005

Nationalists and unionists were last night at loggerheads
over the PSNI's decision to downsize the police team
investigating the Northern Bank robbery.

While the SDLP threw its full support behind the decision,
the DUP accused the police of "throwing the towel in".

Originally a team of 45 detectives were working on the
investigation, which included hundreds of interviews and
viewing thousands of hours of CCTV footage.

Yesterday, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that the size of
the team has been downgraded. Although police would not
comment officially on the number of detectives taken off
the case, sources have indicated the investigating team
could be slashed by as much as half.

The PSNI has insisted that the cuts were not linked to the
IRA's cessation of activities and said its determination to
catch the robbers remains strong.

The SDLP's Alex Attwood insisted that he has every
confidence in the PSNI's judgement call.

He said: "If those leading the inquiry believe proper
investigations can continue with less officers then I have
no difficulty and will call on people to accept the PSNI's

"We have to remember there is a serious loyalist feud at
the moment and if police are taking some of the resources
and using them elsewhere to tackle crime then people should
acknowledge that."

However, the DUP's Ian Paisley junior accused the PSNI of
letting the IRA get away with "the crime of the century"
and said he was going to raise his concern with the Chief
Constable at the next Policing Board meeting.

He said: "I am alarmed that the PSNI has thrown the towel
in at this early stage. They do not seem to have much hope
of success in finding the perpetrators.

"The IRA has got away with this audacious crime. At the
next Policing Board meeting I will be demanding a full and
frank report on this investigation."

A sum of £26.5m was robbed from the Northern Bank
headquarters in December by the IRA after they took the
families of two employees hostage.

No-one has ever been charged over the crime.

No notes from the robbery have ever been recovered, apart
from £50,000 left at a sports club used by police.

But police are convinced that £3m of used sterling notes
seized by gardai in Cork in February are from the raid.


Politician Calls For Colombia Three To Be Jailed In Ireland

The Colombia Three should be jailed in Ireland for training
rebels in Colombia, a Government backbencher said today.

By:Press Association

Progressive Democrat TD Noel Grealish said alleged IRA
members Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and Jim Monaghan
should serve out the 17-year prison terms imposed by
Colombian courts last December.

The three men plunged the Northern Ireland peace process
into difficulties and soured Irish relations with Britain,
Colombia and the US after they resurfaced in Ireland last
Friday following eight months on the run.

Mr Grealish said today: "The three men are convicted of
criminal activity or wrongdoing in Colombia, and I think
they should serve their term in prison here in the Irish

"I don`t think they should return back to Colombia. They
have broken the law and travelled on false passports."

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams welcomed the return of the men
- just a week after the IRA`s statement ending its armed
campaign - and said they should now be `left in peace` with
their families.

Unionist politicians and Colombian authorities insist that
the trio should be immediately extradited to Bogota from
Ireland, but no such legal agreement exists between the

Irish Ambassador to Colombia, Art Agnew, is today meeting
the Colombian government to `set out the Irish legal and
political context` of the affair.

Last December an appeal court in Colombia reversed an
original acquittal and sentenced the men to 17 years in
prison for training FARC guerillas in urban terrorist

The trio were arrested at Bogota`s El Dorado Airport in
August 2001 as they boarded a flight out of the country.

Mr Grealish`s Progressive Democrats party is the junior
partner of the Fianna Fail-led Coalition government.

Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell, also a Progressive
Democrats member, is the harshest critic of Sinn Fein and
the IRA in the Irish government.

Mr Grealish said that the re-emergence of the Colombia
Three was carefully orchestrated by Sinn Fein.

Mr Monaghan told RTE that the men had arrived "in the last
few days" and that he was happy to talk to gardaí.

Mr Grealish said: "I think this was all cleverly staged by
Sinn Fein and the Colombia Three.

"The timing was perfect because all government TDs, all
backbenchers, all opposition TDs are on their summer
recess," he added.


Opin: Ahern's Colombian Conundrum

PEACE PROCESS: Too much at stake to let this pass quietly

09 August 2005

As could be expected, Sinn Fein have lost no time welcoming
and defending the Colombia Three returnees, while unionists
want to see them sent back to serve their sentences. Where
the Republic's government stands is still uncertain, but it
will have a major effect on the peace process.

If Bertie Ahern fails to act on the Colombian government's
plea for extradition, he will be seen to be soft on terror,
when it involves Irish republicans. If he does act - and if
the Irish courts accept that the men will be humanely
treated - he will be attacked by human rights activists for
sending Irish citizens back to a country where their lives
would be constantly at risk.

It is an agonising dilemma for a leader who avoids
confrontation, but one that he cannot sidestep. There is
too much at stake in the Northern Ireland peace process,
now that the IRA have declared an end to their armed
campaign, for him to allow the Colombia Three to quietly go
about their business, hoping to put the past behind them.

Initially, there was a strong suspicion that the return of
the three - including Martin McCauley from Lurgan - was
part of the choreography associated with the IRA statement.
But the strength of the denials suggests that they took a
calculated risk in order to live normal lives. So many
republican and loyalist murderers have walked free, because
of the peace process, they may think they can do likewise.

But circumstances have changed since the 9/11 attacks,
which happened within a month of their arrest. The Irish
government, together with London and Washington, is
committed to opposing terrorism of all kinds, and the US
Congress's International Relations Committee has concluded
that "apparently IRA explosives management training
techniques are resulting in more effective explosives
attacks" by FARC rebels.

Colombia, it said, was a potential breeding ground for
international terror equalled perhaps only by Afghanistan.
It was likely that in the former FARC safe haven terrorist
groups had been sharing techniques, using drug proceeds and
helping to challenge the rule of law.

Although both Tony Blair and President Bush will be anxious
not to upset the process here, which is having trouble
enough with the DUP's reaction to British demilitarisation,
they must insist that Dublin complies with Colombia's
requests. Men who are on an Interpol wanted list must face
Irish justice, as the Tanaiste, Mary Harney, has said.
Neither the killers of Garda McCabe nor the Colombia Three
can be a part of any political deal, if unionists are to be
kept on board.


Controversy Over Internment March

A republican march to commemorate the introduction of
internment in 1971 is due to take place in County Antrim.

The Parades Commission has restricted Tuesday's march in
Ballymena to the town's nationalist Fisherwick estate.

Recent loyalist attacks on pubs and Catholic churches in
the area have been linked by police to the parade.

The SDLP has called for the parade to be called off, saying
both sides of the community are opposed to it. It is
expected to attract hundreds of people.

A recent statement released by Sean Farren, Declan O'Loan
and PJ McAvoy of the SDLP said local residents were
"overwhelmingly opposed" to the parade taking place.

Sinn Fein has said it did not organise the parade and also
urged those behind it to "choose the moral high ground" and
call it off.

Arson attack

Police increased patrols in and around Ballymena following
a number of attacks by loyalist paramilitaries in the area
last month.

Arsonists targeted a bar in Martinstown and the remains of
petrol bombs were found at a pub in Rasharkin.

Crebilly Catholic church on the outskirts of Ballymena and
All Saints Church on the Broughshane Road were daubed with
paint in the attacks.

The remains of a petrol bomb were found at the Glens Way
Tavern on the Glenravel Road in Martinstown.

The bar was badly damaged in the arson attack.

Internment was a policy introduced by the British

On 9 August 1971, security forces attempted to arrest more
than 400 republicans in a dawn raid.

Three days of serious violence following the raids led to
23 deaths, but internment stayed in place until 1975.

The Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions
on whether or not restrictions should be imposed on
controversial parades during Northern Ireland's marching

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/09 06:02:12 GMT

To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.
To August 2005 Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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