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August 18, 2005

SF Dossier On Unionist Paramilitary Activity

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SF 08/18/05 SF Dossier On Unionist Paramilitary Activity
SF 08/18/05 Unionist Views On Paramilitary Violence
BB 08/18/05 Police Question 'Colombia Three'
UN 08/18/05 Columbia 3 Minefield To Destabilise Coalition ?
UN 08/18/05 Border Issues
BT 08/18/05 Fears Growing Ahead Of Loyalist March
UT 08/18/05 Paisley Urged To Condemn Loyalist Attacks
BT 08/18/05 Opin: Sectarianism Has No Place In Our Society
BT 08/18/05 Sinn Fein Condemns Republican Graffiti
BT 08/18/05 Boy (12) Charged Over Ardoyne Riot
IO 08/18/05 Suspect IRA Bomber Held By Spanish Police
SF 08/18/05 Republican In Spain Should Be Allowed To Return
BT 08/18/05 Adair Faces Harassment Charge
BT 08/18/05 Tensions Fuelled By Flag Flying
BT 08/18/05 Council Tells PM To Keep RIR Intact
BT 08/18/05 Minister Rooker Slams 'Barmy' Ulster
BT 08/18/05 Police Tried To Intervene In Shooting Inquiry
IA 08/18/05 Irish Family Wants 9/11 Records Released


Sinn Féin Launch Dossier On Unionist Paramilitary Activity

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Published: 18 August, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly members Gerry Kelly and Philip McGuigan were today joined by party councillors Carol niCuillan and Billy Leonard as Sinn Féin launched a report detailing unionist paramilitary activity since June 2005.

Speaking at the press conference Mr Kelly said:

"The following report details unionist paramilitary activity since the beginning of June.

"It details over 85 instances of unionist paramilitary activity, including five murders in a period of just over two months.

"Although by no means comprehensive, due to the fact that many attacks and acts of intimidation go unreported, it offers a chilling picture of a campaign of orchestrated sectarian intimidation, particularly in areas where there is a vulnerable nationalist minority.

"This report paints a picture of a sustained and organised campaign of violence and intimidation. It shows very clearly where the threat to the peace process lies.

"This report should also act as a wake up call to unionist political leaders and in particular to the DUP.

"Both of the main unionist parties and the Orange Order sit on Forums and Commissions with the leaderships of the UVF and UDA. They undoubtedly have influence with these organisations.

"People have a right to know have they raised this ongoing campaign during these meetings.

"What are the DUP and UUP doing to end attacks on Catholics?

"What are they doing to end the ongoing feuding amongst the unionist paramilitaries?

"Sinn Féin is demanding that the leadership of the DUP and UUP tackle the issue of unionist paramilitary violence. Pretending that it is a reaction to the IRA or that it is 'tit for tat' is no longer tenable. It is time for the unionist parties to demonstrate to the entire community that they are serious about building a shared future.

"Part of that process must also be to respect the democratic mandate of Sinn Fein and sit down and engage in a constructive fashion and plan out the next steps in the wider peace process. The failure of the DUP to respect the mandate of Sinn Féin sends out a very clear message to those involved in this campaign that nationalists are not to be treated as equals.

"The current unionist paramilitary campaign must be tackled and addressed. A heavy burden of responsibility for this rests with Ian Paisley and the DUP as the largest unionist party." ENDS


Unionist Views On Paramilitary Violence

"Catholic homes caught fire because they were loaded with petrol bombs; Catholic churches were attacked and burned because they were arsenals and priests handed out sub-machine guns to parishioners" Ian Paisley DUP Leader, 1968

"We should make it clear that force means death and fighting, and whoever gets in our way, whether Republicans or those sent by the British government, there would be killings," John Taylor UUP, Tobermore, October 1972

"There is in particular amongst the Catholic community now, increasing fear of paramilitary activities. And in a perverse way, this is something which may be helpful because they are now beginning to appreciate more clearly the fear that has existed within the Protestant community for the past 20 years." John Taylor UUP

"My men are ready to be recruited under the crown to destroy the vermin of the IRA. But if they refuse to recruit them, then we will have no other decision to make but to destroy the IRA ourselves!...We will exterminate the IRA!" Ian Paisley DUP leader, Nov. 1981

"If the British government force us down the road to a united Ireland we will fight to the death...This could come to hand to hand fighting in every street in Northern Ireland. We are on the verge of civil war...We are asking people to be ready for the worst and I will lead them." Ian Paisley 1985 Ulster Clubs Rally Larne

"Taxpayers money would be better spent on an incinerator and burning the whole lot of them. The priests should be thrown in and burned as well." DUP Cllr. George Seawright 1984

"Ulster Resistance is not for the faint or half hearted and we will use all means which are deemed necessary to defeat the Agreement." Ian Paisley, November 1986 Ulster Resistance Rally, Belfast

"The Orange Order is a very broad church and it's not my responsibility to say to people they can't be members of various organisations," Belfast County Grand Master Dawson Bailie, August 2000 when asked about Orange Order members involvement with unionist paramilitaries

"They are on our side. We might not agree with everything they do but they have been helpful to brethren in north and west Belfast, and continued to defend Orange Order refusal to talk to residents." Orange Order Belfast Deputy Grand Master McMurdie, July 2005, when asked about Orange Order links to unionist paramilitaries.


The following dossier details attacks carried out by unionist paramilitary gangs in the period since June 2005(As reported in the media). Although by no means comprehensive, due to the fact that so many attacks go unreported it offers a chilling picture of orchestrated sectarian intimidation, particularly in areas where there is a vulnerable nationalist minority.

Throughout this period it is very clearly established that unionist paramilitaries have been engaged in ongoing sectarian attacks on Catholics, their homes, churches and businesses in addition to the well publicised feud between the UVF and LVF.

This dossier will be sent to both the British and Irish Governments.

The response from unionist politicians to this ongoing campaign has been typical. They have continued to hide behind anti-republican rhetoric even after the historic statement from the IRA committing that organisation to peaceful and democratic programmes in the future.

They have failed to grasp the reality that the biggest threat to this process at this time comes from violent unionism.

It must be remembered that at a time when the DUP in particular are continuing to ignore the democratic mandate of Sinn Féin and are continuing to stall efforts to put the political process back on track, both they and the UUP sit on Forums and Commissions with the leaderships of the UDA, UVF and Red Hand Commando.

Sinn Féin is demanding that unionist political leaderships tackle the issue of unionist paramilitary violence. Pretending that it is a reaction to the IRA or that it is not happening at all is no longer tenable. Unionist parties need to prove to the broad nationalist community that they are serious about respecting basic rights and entitlements. That they are serious about treating people with equality in the future.

JUNE 2005

2nd June - Blast bombs thrown at two homes in Ahorey, Richill in a racist attack on Eastern European workers.

3rd June - Loyalist feud erupts in violence inside the Belfast court complex.

4th June - Two catholic owned cars set on fire and sectarian slogans daubed in East Belfast

4th June - 7 catholic homes in Coleraine attacked.

5th June - Names of Sinn Féin election workers posted on walls in Coleraine.

5th June - Pipe Bombs thrown at the homes of migrant workers in racist attack in Loughgall.

6th June - 27 year old attacked by masked gang wielding baseball bats in his Ballyclare home.

6th June - Car set on fire in racist attack in Loughgall.

7th June - Catholic homes and a car petrol bombed in Coleraine.

10th June - 56 year old woman attacked in her Ballymoney home and given 24 hours to leave.

16th June - 28 year old shot in Greenland Park, Lurgan.

16th June - Four masked men attack a man at his home in Ballyree Drive, Bangor.

17th June - Elderly catholic woman left hospitalised after attack on her Kerrera Street home in Ardoyne.

19th June - Two nationalists assaulted by loyalist mob in Ballymena

20th June - Three Catholic homes at Old Throne Park, North Belfast destroyed after sectarian arson attack. Eight children including a small baby lucky to escape alive.

22nd June - Ballymena man jailed after UVF gun running plot exposed.

23rd June - Arson attack on St. John's Catholic Church in Portadown.

28th June - 20 year old shot in the legs in Bangor.

28th June - Loyalist flags erected outside PSNI barracks in mixed Dunmurray village.

29th June - Loyalist flags erected in mixed Lisburn Road area.

29th June - Petrol bomb attack the home of a 19 year old woman, Braeside Grove, Castlereagh.

29th June - 17 year old shot, Carrickmannin Gardens, Bangor.

JULY 2005

1st July - Loyalist mob led by PUP member Billy McCaughey disrupt DPP meeting in Clough, Co.Antrim. SDLP Councillor force to be escorted from the meeting by the PSNI.

1st July - Jameson Lockhart shot dead by UVF, Newtownards Road, East Belfast.

5th July - Catholic homes on Mountpottinger Road Attacked by loyalist gang.

6th July - 30 year old shot, Carlingford Street, Creaggh Road.

9th July - Catholic home on the Crumlin Road firebombed.

10th July - Gun attack linked to the LVF on a home in the Silverstream Road area of North Belfast.

11th July - Craig McCausland shot dead by the UVF, Dhu Varren, North Belfast.

11th July - Man forced to flee home in Woodvale Pass as masked and armed gang burst in.

11th July Man shot and seriously injured on the Crumlin Road in an attacked linked to the LVF.

11th July - Catholic woman forced to flee her Ahoghill home after 50 years due to attacks.

11th July - Catholic taxi driver and passengers attacked in Blacks Road area of West Belfast.

11th July - PSNI patrol attacked in East Belfast and weapon stolen.

11th July - Business premises on Creaggh Road burned down in arson attack.

11th July - UVF firing party appear at Belfast City Council backed bonfire on the Newtownards Road.

11th July - UDA firing party appear at bonfire in the Westlands area.

11th July - Harryville Church in Ballymena daubed with sectarian slogans.

11th July - Attempt to abduct nationalist in Portstewart.

12th July - UVF and UDA figures join Orange Parade through Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales in North Belfast.

12th July - Loyalist protest outside St. Matthews Catholic Church, East Belfast.

12th Nationalist residents in Lower Ormeau attacked by stone throwing loyalists taking part in

12th parade.

13th July - Catholic homes in Clandeboye Gardens in the Short Strand area attacked.

15th July - Sinn Féin member in Coleraine told of threat to his life.

15th July - Four nationalists in Coleraine told of unionist paramilitary threat to their lives

16th July - Petrol Bomb attack on the Diamond Bar, Ahoghill, Co. Antrim

16th July - Blast bomb explodes inside Catholic woman‚s home, Mountainview Gardens.

16th July - Catholic homes in the Short Strand once again come under attack.

17th July - Blast bomb thrown into a house at Schomberg Court, Carrickfergus.

17th July - Three nationalist homes in Coleraine attacked

18th July - UVF carry out gun attack on house at Victoria Road, East Belfast.

20th July - Shots fired at house in Avonorr Drive, East Belfast.

20th July - Woman in Coleraine has home petrol bombed

21st July - Petrol Bomb attack on Half Way House bar in Broughshane, Co.Antrim

23rd July - Sectarian slogans daubed on Catholic properties in Garvagh, Co.Derry.

23rd July - Several nationalists in Dunloy Co. Antrim visited by the PSNI and warned that they are under threat from unionist paramilitaries.

23rd July - Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne petrol bombed.

23rd July - Device left on Dublin rail line to disrupt travel to the GAA Ulster Final in Dublin.

24th July - Man in his 40s shot in the Shankill Road area.

25th July - Hundreds of UVF members invade Garnerville estate in the East Belfast and force LVF linked families to flee in full view of the PSNI and British Army.

25th July - Taxi Depot in the Ballysillan area destroyed in arson attack linked to loyalist feud.

25th July - Leading republican Martin Meehan advised by the PSNI that his life is under threat from unionist paramilitaries.

25th July - Another paint bomb attack on Harryville Church in Ballymena.

25th July - Two men shot in Tynedale Grove in North Belfast.

26th July - Two Catholic churches in Ballymena attacked.

26th July - Catholic owned bar in Martinstown, Co. Antrim firebombed.

26th July - Catholic owned bar in Rasharkin, Co. Antrim firebombed.

26th July - 10 shots fired at a house in Station Road, Newtownabby.

26th July - A woman and two children escape after petrol bomb attack on their home in Silverstream Gardens.

27th July - Nationalist home in Coleraine has windows broken

30th July - Stephen Paul shot dead by the UVF Wheatfield Crescent, North Belfast.

31st July - UDA linked to the shooting of a 38 year old in the Westland area.


1st August - PSNI Attacked by loyalist gang Palmer Street in the Woodvale area.

1st August - Bomb left outside home in Knockeen Crescent, Ballymena.

1st August - Shots fired into a house in Randalstown, Co. Antrim.

1st August - Petrol bomb attack on Catholic home in Laurel Park, Ahoghill.

2nd August - Petrol Bomb attack on home at Redwood, Dunmurry.

4th August - Loyalist paramilitaries orchestrate riot on the Crumlin Road in North Belfast.

5th August - Further rioting on the Crumlin Road.

6th August - Catholic man attacked in Coleraine shop

7th August - Man shot seriously injured Glenside Park. Victim believed to be leading LVF figure.

7th August - Device left at Brookfield Mill, North Belfast

8th August - Three houses in Cloughmills, Co.Antrim attacked with pipe bombs

9th August - Fire Blankets issues to Catholic families in Ahoghill, Co. Antrim

9th August - The Banbridge Home of Sinn Féin Councillor Dessie Ward petrol bombed.

9th August - Harryville Catholic Church in Ballymena paint bombed.

9th August - Catholic home in Ballymena has windows smashed.

9th August - Masked loyalist protesters are joined by DUP politicians for illegal protest in Ballymena.

10th August - St. Patrick‚s Catholic Church in Lisburn daubed with sectarian slogans

10th August - 15 year old Thomas Devlin murdered in North Belfast attack, attributed in the media to the UVF.

12th August - Catholic homes in the Waterside area of Derry attacked.

12th August - Leading LVF figure Gordon Hutchinson shot and seriously injured in Lurgan.

12th August - Two flats in Rathcoole come under pipe bomb attack

12 August - Pipe bomb left outside republican home in Beechmount Ave, West Belfast

13th August - 30 year old shot in the legs in Newtownabby

14th August - Newsagents shop on the Antrim Road in Belfast set fire in arson attack.

14th August - 15 year old tied to a lamp post and covered in paint on the Donegal Road

15th August - Catholic home in Kilrea attacked

15th August - Catholic home in Ahoghill, Co.Antrim paint bombed

15th August - Michael Greene an LVF associate shot dead in the Sandy Row area of South Belfast

16th August - St. Josephs Catholic Primary School, Ahoghill paint bombed

16th August - St. Mary's Catholic Church, Ahoghill paint bombed

16th August - Pipe bomb left outside home, Windslow, Carrickfergus


Police Question 'Colombia Three'

The Irish police have confirmed they are interviewing the three republicans wanted in Colombia for training FARC guerrillas.

James Monaghan, Martin McAuley and Niall Connolly, are being held in various police stations in Dublin.

They were sentenced to 17 years in jail in Colombia last year.

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

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

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

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

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/08/18 12:39:28 GMT


‘Columbia Three’ Minefield To Destabilise Coalition ?

THE government, according to acting Justice Minister, An Tanaiste Mary Harney, is determined to ‘play its full part in the fight against international terrorism’ and furthermore, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, in a message from his holiday hideaway, said that the State ‘will abide by its obligations under international law.’

All this relative to the political crisis emerging over the surprise arrival in Ireland of the so-called Columbia Three, the men sentenced to 17 years imprisonment in Columbia on charges of training Farc guerrillas and the timing of which is alleged to have been stage-managed by Sinn Fein as a possible fallback excuse for the IRA possibly reneging on their recent commitment about decommissioning and giving up the arms struggle.

This presents An Taoiseach and the government with a desperately difficult ‘no win’ scenario and given that where paramilitary issues are concerned, the PDs, with Michael McDowell as Justice Minister, will adopt a more hardline approach to fully supporting the rule of law than, arguably, the majority party, this situation has all the hallmarks of a crisis that could destabilise the Fianna Fail- Progressive Democrats Coalition.

The international community, at this time, is fighting a global terrorist threat mainly from Islamic suicide bombers and other fanatics and while the activities of the ‘Columbia Three’ cannot be cited in the same context, there is, naturally, deep suspicion about what they were doing in that faraway South American country and particularly in view of dangers posed by its apparently disgraceful human rights record.

The United States, Britain and all European countries are taking a hard line on the threat from militants and if Ireland fails to deal with the Columbia Three issue, we will be open to accusations of being ‘soft’ on terrorism. The Social Affairs Minister Seamus Brennan admits that the incident has already soured relations with the United States and it is noted that only last week President Bush repeated his resolve to continue the war on terror.

While it is contended that we cannot stand apart from the rest of the allies in the fight against global terrorism, the Americans appear to have a question to answer in this regard. In 2003, they signed a pact with Columbia whereby that government agreed not to surrender to the International Criminal Court, US nationals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. Soon afterwards, the US government released millions of dollars in military aid to Columbia and such a trade-off appears to have been highly questionable.

Columbia is also described as a ‘human rights disaster’ and in view of likely dangers to the lives of the three men, if extradited to that country, there is a strong argument against such a proposal. Even if extradition were made possible, as there is no such treaty between Ireland and Columbia, the men could appeal to the High Court under Section 50 of the Extradition Act, I965 and remembering that, in the past, the Supreme Court has prohibited extradition because of fears for the safety of fugitives handed over to the requesting state.

Where extradition is concerned, there appears to be enormous legal difficulties. Some other treaties can be classed as extradition agreements but relate to specific crimes such as aircraft hijacking and drugs and could not apply to the "Columbia Three’ and after that, the only other option is for Ireland to enter into an agreement with Columbia. But, given continual UN condemnations of that country for human rights abuses, the propriety of doing so would be questioned and furthermore, such a treaty would require Dail approval. With our politicos on holidays for three months, the Houses of the Oireachtas are closed for an extended period, this, in itself, being disgraceful but, aside from that, there is a general prohibition on extradition for ‘political purposes’ to be found in Section 9 of the Extradition Act,1965. That provision was heavily criticised in the past when it was employed to refuse extradition of IRA suspects to the UK in the 1980s.

An Tanaiste Mary Harney, in a tough talking statement, ventilated another possible option when she said that legislation going through the Dail , the Transfer of Execution of Sentences Bill, 2003, could be used to make the three men serve their sentences here. That, however, depends on Columbia signing up to a Council of Europe Convention and there could also be legal obstacles while it is also possible that they could be imprisoned here for the passport offences of which they were convicted in Bogota.

Ms. Harney, however, is being accused of having ‘dug a deep hole’ for Minister McDowell on his return from holidays because, so far, there is no evidence to prove that they used false passports. Furthermore, on the terrorist training charges, it is also contended that there is no reliable evidence to prove these charges and the Columbian court overturned the original acquittal without having heard any evidence or examined key witnesses. That can hardly be regarded as a fair judicial procedure and how could an Irish legal system validate such an apparent travesty of justice ?

A question being asked is whether the Provisionals timed the announcement to cause maximum instability and with weapons decommissioning on the cards, this is a major distraction so, if the IRA prevaricate, attention will be diverted from attempts to get the Peace Process back on track. Given DUP intransigence, that situation faces enough difficulty but, either way, the fall-out from the Columbia Three episode could have a serious impact on politics here when, eventually, political life resumes.

With all these extended holidays, the government appears to be in disarray on the issue and it is surely extraordinary to have the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, the person most relevant to the situation, away ‘down under’ in Australia at such a juncture. One political commentator last week exclaimed that ‘it seems we have handed over control of everything in this country to a delinquent political rump’, a description echoing Dr. Garret Fitzgerald’s statement about the ‘growing incoherence of our political system.’


Border Issues

The long-awaited announcement by the Provisional IRA of its intention to stand down was welcomed far and wide - apart from the usual misgivings among the Unionist community who feel they have no reason to trust anything the Provos say.

Indeed, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern must have experienced similar feelings on learning of the return of the so-called Columbia Three who surfaced out of the blue and whose presence on the island might have gone unnoticed for a considerable time had one of them not chosen to speak with RTE’s Charlie Bird.

Bertie and the government needed this homecoming like the proverbial hole in the head, just a few short days after achieving the greatest ambition of his political life, the IRA stand-down, which, if it holds, will guarantee him his place in history. But that’s a matter for another day. In the meantime, the Columbia Three problem won't go away and may eventually strain relations between the Coalition partners.

Of more immediate relevance to people in this part of the country is an issue introduced in the aftermath of the IRA statement by the Bishop of Clogher, Dr. Joseph Duffy. Naturally, he welcomed the Provos complete cessation of violence as a political weapon and pointed out that it would take months if not years for its full significance to sink in.

As many other commentators have done, he appreciated that fulfilment of the declaration by actions and not words was the issue, but he regarded the statement as an essential first step towards the long-term goal - the construction of a normal united community.

It needs to be said that the IRA’s stand-down is perhaps the most historic move they have made in their entire history - a point made Sligo Sinn Fein Councillor Sean McManus in an extensive interview with this newspaper last week. He was one of the key negotiators during the early stages of the peace process and, more than most, has a keen appreciation of exactly what has been achieved.

Bishop Duffy took the analysis a step further, however, by pointing to a reality which has been long ignored - namely the ongoing economic neglect of communities on both sides of the border over the past thirty years of conflict.

There is no doubt that one of the biggest casualties in ‘the Troubles' has been the border region in general. While the various sides slugged it out, trying to bomb and shoot one another out of existence, the ordinary people of these counties were caught in a time warp whose chief characteristic was economic deprivation and neglect.

Great personal tragedies were visited upon many families who were directly caught up in the 'crossfire'. The phrase ‘ethnic cleansing’ came into common usage only relatively recently, but it was being practised for years in the border counties - only nobody knew what name to give it other than naked sectarianism.

Highlighting the neglect of the border counties, Bishop Duffy pointed out there is an obvious and urgent need there which is crying out ‘for immediate and vigorous attention to be addressed as intrinsic to the overall social health of the country, north and south’.

However, he warned it wasn’t the full answer to the current problems. Time and again, he added, particularly in private conversation, there were glimpses into a hidden Ireland that expresses itself in sectarian terms, that condones crime on one’s own side while deploring it on the other and this approach seems to ignore basic tenets of truth and morality when it comes to matters of public service and responsibility. ’In our more honest moments we may admit this to ourselves, but surely the time has come to face the implications in whatever practical ways we can, and this can begin with our neighbours in our own parish and area."

It can also begin with a massive inter-governmental programme of investment aimed at rejuvenating the border area and bringing it into economic line with the rest of the country. As for the deep-seated issues of sectarianism and criminality, these will prove harder to handle and will require a strong police force with wide cross-community support to break the stranglehold of criminality once and for all


Fears Growing Ahead Of Loyalist March

Police liken trouble to ethnic cleansing

By Deborah McAleese
18 August 2005

FEARS were escalating today that a loyalist parade in Co Antrim tomorrow will fuel simmering tensions following a wave of attacks on Catholics.

And there was fury from republicans after the Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton said the series of attacks on Catholics in the mainly Protestant village of Ahoghill were not "purely sectarian".

More than 1,000 loyalists are expected to parade through the predominantly nationalist area of Rasharkin tomorrow evening, just a few miles from the under-siege village of Ahoghill.

There was growing alarm within the nationalist community over the news that 46 loyalist bands will march close to the area which several Catholic families were forced to flee from following a campaign of intimidation by loyalists.

Sinn Fein councillor Daithi McKay said people believe the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band parade is "nothing more than a coat-trailing exercise".

Yesterday Mr Leighton visited the village of Ahoghill to reassure residents that police are doing all they can to improve the situation.

He claimed that police intelligence suggests there is more to the problem than sectarianism and "other elements" are at play.

However, Ballymena Sinn Fein councillor Monica Digney said that Mr Leighton must be the only person to think this.

She said: "It is unbelievable he said that, that he can't even come out and say 'yes it's sectarianism' because everyone knows it is purely sectarian.

"The paint they are throwing is the same colour as they paint footpaths with in Ahoghill."

According to Mr Leighton the problem in the village is "worse than ethnic cleansing" as there is "real hatred" among communities in Northern Ireland.

A number of Catholics have fled the area in fear for their lives after a sustained campaign of petrol bombings, paint bombings and attacks on homes, churches and schools in the village.

Police have stepped up surveillance in the area and yesterday it was revealed that the new police helicopter is being used in a bid to track perpetrators and protect the public.


Paisley Urged To Condemn Loyalist Attacks On Catholics

The Rev Ian Paisley was challenged by Sinn Fein today to stop sectarian attacks by loyalist paramilitaries on Catholics in Northern Ireland.

By:Press Association

The lack of unionist condemnation of the violence was only worsening the situation, they said.

Sinn Fein published a dossier today detailing 85 loyalist attacks since June and said they were sending copies to both the British and Irish Governments.

North Belfast Assembly member Gerry Kelly said unionist political leaders needed to speak out vociferously against the violence.

"By their inaction they are encouraging these attacks," said Mr Kelly.

He added: "A heavy responsibility rests with Ian Paisley and the DUP because they are the leaders of the unionist community."

Unionist politicians needed to make it clear to the paramilitaries that their violence was of no benefit to their own community.

"Sinn Fein is demanding that unionist political leaderships tackle the issue of unionist paramilitary violence.

"Pretending that it is a reaction to the IRA or that it is not happening at all is no longer tenable. There is no excuse at the moment," said Mr Kelly.

He said the dossier, which he said was by no means comprehensive, offered "a chilling picture of orchestrated sectarian intimidation", particularly in areas where there was a vulnerable nationalist minority.

The loyalist paramilitaries were engaged in ongoing sectarian attacks on Catholics, their homes, churches and businesses in addition to the well publicised feud between the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Loyalist Volunteer Force, he said.

"Sectarian attacks are wrong and it needs people to come out to say this. You`re better going over the top and speaking too often than not at all," said Mr Kelly.

He said unionist politicians` refusal to engage in dialogue with nationalists despite the IRA`s latest commitment to peace was only exacerbating the situation.

Mr Kelly said: "Unionist parties need to prove to the broad nationalist community that they are serious about respecting basic rights and entitlements - that they are serious about treating people with equality in the future."


Viewpoint: Sectarianism Has No Place In Our Society

BULLY BOYS: The community must stand up and be counted

18 August 2005

Sectarianism has always been a problem in the divided communities of Northern Ireland, but this summer it has reached a level that demands immediate action. When paint and petrol bombs are raining down in Ahoghill, Ballymena and Londonderry, because of "religion", people cannot stand idly by.

The term, "ethnic cleansing", is often misused, but it is hard not to see the paint-bombing of a Catholic couple in Ahoghill as anything else. They are leaving their ruined home, despite neighbours' support, and there are fears that others may follow, after similar attacks on a Catholic school and church.

Although it would be normal for the police to order extra patrols at night, to provide reassurance, this is apparently out of the question. In a tacit acknowledgement of their lack of resources, they have instead offered fire blankets and smoke alarms - probably for the first time in any country in the civilised world.

The police in Derry are considering the same policy, after random attacks by youths against the Fountain estate, the last Protestant enclave on the City side. What a commentary on the state of community relations, in the 21st century, at a time when the IRA has finally agreed to lay down its arms.

Much of the trouble must be connected to the heightened atmosphere this summer, following the marching season and the IRA statement. It may taper off, as the schools re-open and there is an end to provocative demonstrations, but everyone of influence - and Archbishop Robin Eames has led the condemnation of recent events - must unite to find long-term solutions.

It is always said that the bigots who are striking at soft targets, late at night, are a tiny minority. But even where they are known, there is a reluctance to take them on, or to help the police find them.

It is no good complaining about the lack of a police presence, if communities are unwilling to identify these ethnic cleansers. When towns or cities are branded as centres of sectarianism, everyone suffers - and the heat is removed from the IRA.

The police need help, and the kind of success that restored confidence after the failed London bombings. Despite the tragic mistake of the shooting of an innocent Brazilian, prompt arrests had a calming effect, still lacking here.

While statistics produced by the PSNI may show that violent crime is decreasing, that is far from the public perception. As long as politics is polarised and sectarianism is rife, there will be a need for more and smarter policing.


Sinn Fein Condemns Republican Graffiti

18 August 2005

A GRAFFITI attack on the home and car of a Protestant family in Rathfriland has been condemned.

Sinn Fein councillor Dessie Ward hit out at the pro- republican graffiti daubed on road signs and property in Drumnascamph bungalows.

"I would condemn this wholeheartedly and I would call on those behind this to reflect on their actions," he said.

"This graffiti may, or may not, be in response to anti- republican graffiti that appeared in the town over the Twelfth of July period. Either way it is wrong."

The incident was branded "sick and despicable" by South Down DUP MLA Jim Wells.

"Words fail to describe the morals of those who, under the cover of darkness, would spray offensive sectarian graffiti on people's walls and cars," said Mr Wells.

"It would appear that these mindless thugs have no regard for the stress and trauma that they cause by their totally irresponsible behaviour."

Mr Wells said local residents have always taken pride in their homes and gardens.

"One can only imagine how they felt when they saw this unwarranted vandalism of their well-kept estate."


Boy (12) Charged Over Ardoyne Riot

18 August 2005

A 12-YEAR-OLD boy yesterday became the latest person to be charged following rioting on July 12 as an Orange parade was returning past the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

The schoolboy, who cannot be named because of his age, was charged with riotous assembly when he appeared before magistrates.

The charge is more serious than riotous behaviour and can only be dealt with at the Crown Court. The boy was remanded in custody to appear at the Youth Court on August 31.

A total of 13 people have been charged over the incident and police expect to charge others after they study video evidence.


Suspect IRA Bomber Held By Spanish Police
2005-08-18 13:10:04+01

A suspected IRA bomber was being held today by Spanish police over a mortar attack on a British military base in Germany.

Leonard "Bap" Hardy, 44, was arrested at a hotel in the resort city of Torremolinos.

He is wanted by German authorities over his suspected involvement in the June 1996 strike on Quebec barracks, Osnabruck.

Three mortar shells were fired at the base but only one exploded, causing no injuries.

Former soldier Michael Dickson, of Greenock in Scotland, was jailed in December 2003 for his part in the attack carried out by a five-man IRA unit.

Hardy, from north Belfast, is believed to have been in Spain for several months.

He is also reportedly wanted for questioning about a 1982 bomb attack in Banbridge, Co Down, that killed an 11-year-old boy.

With on the run IRA fugitives expected to be granted an amnesty as part of the peace deal surrounding the Provisionals pledge to end its armed struggle, police in Northern Ireland were in no rush to intervene.

"It would be better for us if we didn't get involved," a security source said.

The suspect, who is married to prominent republican Donna Maguire, was staying at the Hotel Sol Principe when police swooped on Wednesday.

Scotland Yard was also involved in the arrest operation, it was reported.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed moves had been made to bring him in for questioning.

A spokeswoman added: "We have been made aware that an international warrant has been effected in Spain by the German authorities in relation to a person from Northern Ireland.

"We will be monitoring the situation."

The Irish Government's Department of Foreign Affairs said they were aware of the arrest.

A spokesman added that officials at the Madrid Embassy would be making inquiries.


Republican Arrested In Spain Should Be Allowed To Return home

Published: 18 August, 2005

Commenting after the arrest of a Dundalk republican in Spain on the foot of a German extradition warrant, Sinn Féin TD for Louth Arthur Morgan said:

"This man has lived openly in Ireland for many years with his family. Reports indicate that he has been arrested in Spain whilst on holiday on the foot of an extradition warrant from Germany which relates to matters over a decade old.

"It is my firm view this man should be released and allowed to return home to his family in Ireland without any further delay." ENDS


Adair Faces Harassment Charge

18 August 2005

FORMER UDA boss Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair was due to appear before Bolton Magistrates' Court today charged with harassment.

Terror chief Adair, (41), was arrested and charged following an incident outside a laundrette on Halliwell Road in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on Monday, August 15.

A second man, William Woods, (37), from Bolton, was also due to appear in court charged with two counts of harassment and one count of common assault.

It is thought the charges arose following an argument within Adair's circle.

The ex-UDA boss fled to Bolton, in the north of England, in February 2003 after a bloody feud among loyalist groups in Belfast.


Tensions Fuelled By Flag Flying

Clashes erupted after tricolours erected at flashpoint

By Sarah Brett
18 August 2005

TWO Limavady men have appeared in court following sectarian clashes over Irish tricolours being flown at a flashpoint area in the town.

The arrests fuelled fears that violence could erupt at a loyalist band march planned for last night, coinciding with a Limavady United match against Linfield.

At Limavady Magistrates Court yesterday, Dominic Allen (41), of Kennaught Terrace, was granted bail on condition that he stayed inside his home from 6pm yesterday until 6am today and did not interfere with the loyalist band parade.

He is accused of disorderly behaviour in Josephine Avenue, Limavady, on Tuesday.

But Sergeant David Jennings successfully opposed bail in a related case involving Raymond 'Bimbo' Magee (38), also of Kennaught Terrace, who was accused of encouraging members of a loyalist faction to commit a breach of the peace at nearby Irish Green Street that night.

He said police feared there was a threat to public order from Magee, who was allegedly seen urging a nationalist crowd to come forward with him and confront a group of loyalists.

According to the Sgt Jennings, Magee's behaviour had previously been noted by police at other band parades when he was seen behaving similarly "on numerous occasions".

Sgt Jennings said the incident on Tuesday involved groups at the Irish Green Street flashpoint where loyalists from Sperrin Road and nationalists from Kennaught Terrace had confronted each other.

The magistrate said the main issue was to avoid trouble during the band parade and remanded Magee in custody overnight to appear at Londonderry Magistrates Court today, when he would consider granting bail.

A third man from Kennaught Terrace was also arrested on Tuesday night for public disorder and resisting arrest but was released pending a police report.

In Limavady last night around 20 bands and up to 650 supporters were due to take part in a parade led by the local Edenmore Flute Band.

Meanwhile, East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has held meetings with the police to discuss growing concerns about simmering sectarianism in Limavady.

He demanded the immediate removal of the flags and said plans for a republican march in the town next month had increased tensions.


Council Tells PM To Keep RIR Intact

By Debra Douglas
18 August 2005

NORTH Down Borough Council has agreed to write to Tony Blair to express condemnation at the Government's decision to disband the three home battalions of the RIR and call for a reversal, it was revealed today.

At a meeting this week, councillors agreed to pass a motion put forward by DUP councillor Alex Easton condemning the Government decision to implement the provisions of the Joint Framework declaration.

Describing the decision as "a politically inspired act of appeasement to terrorism", the motion condemns the fact that members of the RIR were given no prior notice of it and calls on other councils to join in common opposition to it.

It calls on the Government to ensure that members of the RIR, both full time and part time, who are made redundant are given a generous financial package including full pension rights, as well as the establishment of a fund for UDR/RIR widows.

Putting forward his motion, Mr Easton said: "This announcement and the latest round of concessions is the latest act of madness by the Government to bend over backwards to the IRA.

"When will they learn that rewarding evil only brings more evil into our society. It does not work and I predict that this will come back to haunt the Government?

"We look at the reasons why this has happened and it merely based on the words of an IRA statement that does not even say the war is over nor tells us that all arms will be decommissioned.

"The Government has been fooled twice already and now they are going to get more egg on their faces, it is a farce of the worst kind."


Minister Rooker Slams 'Barmy' Ulster

By David Gordon
18 August 2005

A DIRECT Rule Minister today described the number of Government departments in Northern Ireland as "absolutely barmy".

Lord Rooker, who runs four departments, made the comment in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph.

His responsibilities include the Review of Public Administration (RPA), which is expected to slash the number of councils and public bodies. RPA's remit, however, does not cover government departments.

Lord Rooker said: "Let's face it, the structure of the 11 departments is absolutely barmy. It's illogical.

"We know we are only here temporarily so it doesn't make sense for us to restructure them."

The departmental set-up was created after the Good Friday Agreement to ensure there were enough ministerial portfolios to share between the parties.

Lord Rooker is the Government's Northern Ireland spokesman in the Lords, as well as being Minister for Agriculture, Environment, Finance and Personnel and the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM).

A further responsibility was recently added to his portfolio with his appointment as Minister for Children, which comes under the OFMDFM umbrella.

Commenting on the varied nature of the OFMDFM portfolio, he said: "Every week, I find something new I am responsible for. I'm the women's minister, for starters. That takes a bit of explaining."

An example of how broad-ranging Lord Rooker's duties are came earlier this month. On the day he was appointed Children's Minister, he was also obliged to don his Environment Minister's hat to warn that new laws could be introduced to limit the height of garden hedges.


Police Chief Tried To Intervene On Fatal Shooting Inquiry

Officers must face murder charge, says family. Suspect was 'pinned down' before being shot

By Jason Bennetto
18 August 2005

Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, tried to halt an independent inquiry into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes just hours after the innocent Brazilian's death, it emerged last night.

Scotland Yard said Sir Ian wrote to the Home Office permanent secretary, John Gieve, to ensure the terrorist investigation took precedence over any Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation.

Later the same day, the Metropolitan Police agreed to hand over the investigation to the IPCC.

Scotland Yard said last night that the letter, which was also sent to the IPCC, was "to clarify the role of IPCC if, as it then appeared, the shooting at Stockwell tube station involved a suicide bomber who had been involved in the previous day's incidents".

It was reported last night that Sir Ian was concerned about the possible security risk posed by an independent inquiry.

Mr de Menezes' legal team accused police of breaching their statutory duty yesterday by not immediately inviting the IPPC to start its inquiry. The family's lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, called for Sir Ian to resign. She is meeting IPCC representatives for the first time today.

With pressure growing for a public inquiry into the shooting after further details emerged of blunders in the police operation, Scotland Yard is also facing increasing criticism over their "shoot-to-kill" policy.

Former Cabinet minister Frank Dobson last night said that Sir Ian's position was "very difficult" because he was partly responsible for people being misled, including Prime Minister Tony Blair. "The public and everyone had been misled by the police not correcting the story that first came out," he told BBC2's Newsnight.

Leaked documents, believed to be from the IPCC inquiry suggest Mr de Menezes was sitting calmly in the Tube carriage, surrounded by surveillance officers, moments before police stormed in and fired eight bullets into him.

According to the documents, an officer grabbed Mr de Menezes, pinned his arms down, and pushed him back on a seat before he was shot. Mr de Menezes's cousin, Alex Alvez Pereira, said: "The officers who have done this have to be sent to jail for life because it's murder and the people who gave them the order to shoot must be punished."

According to a statement in the leaked report, one of the surveillance officers, codenamed Hotel Three, saw four firearms officers approaching the suspect at Stockwell station.

The witness statement said at least three surveillance officers were positioned. "I immediately identified these men as police [firearms] officers probably from SO19 and decided to identify the male in the denim jacket who I followed on to the Tube to them as they appeared to be looking into the carriage as if searching for someone."

Hotel Three stood up and walked to the carriage doors. "I placed my left foot against the open carriage door to prevent it shutting ... I shouted 'He's here' and indicated to the male in the denim jacket with my right hand. I then heard shouting which included the word 'police' and turned to face the male in the denim jacket."

The officer said Mr de Menezes then stood up and walked to within a few feet of him. "I grabbed the male in the denim jacket by wrapping both my arms around his torso pinning his arms to his side. I then pushed him back on to the seat where he had previously been sitting ... I then heard a gunshot very close to my ear and was dragged away on to the floor of the carriage." Mr de Menezes was shot eight times, seven times in the head, once in the shoulder. Three bullets missed him.

Statements from witnesses had said earlier that Mr de Menezes was followed from his flat in Tulse Hill on to the bus that took him to Stockwell station.

Mr de Menezes was mistakenly believed to be linked to the men who tried to detonate bombs in the failed July 21 attacks. Contrary to earlier police and witness statements he was not wearing a heavy jacket and did not run on to the platform.

The documents also reveal details of what officers describe as a " training camp" in north Wales linked to a suspected bomber. The " training camp" in the Cambrian mountains in north Wales is understood to have been used by some of the July 21 suspects for "bonding" sessions.

According to the material, obtained by ITV News, officers are investigating a possible link between the camp and Lampeter University. The university has an Islamic studies centre.


Irish Family Wants 9/11 Records Released

By Sean O' Driscoll

An Irish family who lost their son on September 11 have called on the Fire Department to release all transcripts of radio communication on the day.

The Tallon family, whose son, Sean, worked for Ladder 10 fire station near the World Trade Center, said that they wanted to know what the Fire Department had held back because it was considered “painful or embarrassing.”

Sean’s sister, Rosaleen, who has been fighting for an above ground memorial on behalf of the September 11 families, said that she wanted the whole truth about what happened, even if it caused embarrassment for the city.

As required by a court order, the Fire Department sent out CDs of oral histories and radio transmissions to the Tallons and other families last week, but were allowed to hold back painful or embarrassing excerpts.

Tallon said she discovered the CDs at her doorstep when she returned from a trip to Ireland. She said that they showed how there was a lack of communication within the fire department and that many firemen did not know that the first tower was collapsing until it was too late.

“You can see that the ones on the bottom floors found out but the ones on the top floors didn’t stand a chance,” she told the Irish Voice.

She said she read one transcript in which a fireman said he left one of the towers on a hunch. “These men should not have had to leave the buildings on a hunch, they should have been informed,” she said.

Thousands of pages of oral histories were released on Friday after a legal victory by the New York Times and a group of September 11 families.

The Tallon family, whose parents are from Kildare, attended the court for every session. They rejected Fire Department arguments that the release of the transcripts could cause pain to the families.

“Nothing is worse than losing a loved one. Finding out why they died and if any other family can be spared in the future in something worth fighting for,” Rosaleen said.

The oral histories were recorded in the weeks after the attack.

In one vivid account, Irish American firefighter James Murphy recalled being trapped underground with colleagues while civilians grabbed at them.

“We were saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’re with the Fire Department. Everybody is going to get out,’” he recalled. “We were just as scared as anybody else. We were just victims too. Basically the only difference between us and the victims is we had flashlights.”

(See tributest to Sean Tallon at:

Tributes to other Irish & Irish Americans involved in 9/11 at:

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