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September 28, 2005

de Chastelain Turns to Loyalists & Their Guns

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 09/28/05 General Turns To Loyalists & Their Guns
IO 09/28/05 Adams To Visit Rossport Five In Prison Today
BT 09/28/05 UU Deputy Defends Church Witnesses
BT 09/28/05 DUP Wants Talks With Decommission Clerics
NH 09/28/05 Opin: DUP Fears The IRA Has Gone Away, You Know
NH 09/28/05 Landscape Of Irish Changed Says Ex-Prisoner
BB 09/28/05 Arrests Over 'Dissident Activity'
BB 09/28/05 Adair Charged With Attacking Wife
WT 09/28/05 Ronald Reagan Pub Owner
BT 09/28/05 Paisley Joke Gets Blair A Big Laugh
IO 09/28/05 McDowell Unfit To Supervise Asylum System


General And His Team Turn To Loyalists And Their Guns

De Chastelain insists IRA has destroyed all weapons

By Noel McAdam
27 September 2005

The International Independent Decommissioning Commission is
poised to switch its focus to loyalist arms after
testifying that the IRA has got rid of its entire terrorist

The commission urged the political parties to "use their
influence" to persuade the UVF and UDA to co-operate in
beginning to put their arms 'beyond use'.

A full inventory of the paramilitary groups' weaponry and
ammunition is unlikely to be made public until all the
organisations have decommissioned.

In yesterday's historic statement, General John de
Chastelain pronounced: "We are satisfied the arms
decommissioned represent the totality of the IRA's

The cache included surface-to-air missiles, flame-
throwers, mortars, explosives, machine guns, handguns,
grenades and a "full range" of ammunition. These were now
inaccessible and could never be used again, the commission

General de Chastelain said he would have "loved" the IRA to
agree to allow more details to be made public of the
weaponry put 'beyond use' - and how it was done. But he
added he could understand why the Provos had not done so.

The commission is to hold on to its inventory of IRA
weaponry until all paramilitary groups have decommissioned
- and the General said he had not even asked for
photographic evidence.

He said: "Some have questioned the secrecy which has
surrounded what we do and we understand the desire of those
who have been subjected to armed violence for so long to
see for themselves that the threat has gone.

"But getting armed groups to put aside their arms
voluntarily, without the perception that the act is one of
humiliation and blame, is not simple."

Asked how the latest decommissioning sequence, only
completed last Saturday, compared with the three previous
IRA disarmament events, General de Chastelain said it had
involved "greatly more" weaponry.

The General and his colleagues said there were a number of
reasons for their conclusions - the amount of weapons
decommissioned had been consistent with estimates given to
the commission by the British and Irish security forces.

It had not seen any weapons manufactured after 1996, the
year the initial IRA ceasefire broke down and within the
last week, the General said: "We asked them (the IRA) 'Is
this everything?' They said 'Yes, this is everything'" -
which they had never said before.

General de Chastelain, and his colleagues, Andrew Sens and
Tauno Nieminen, refused to go beyond their remit but said
there was no reason for anyone to believe they would lie.

They declined to become involved in political questions,
but urged parties to use their influence regarding the arms
of loyalist paramilitaries.


Adams To Visit One Of Rossport Five In Prison Today

28/09/2005 - 10:27:18

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is due to visit one of the
so-called Rossport Five at Cloverhill Prison in Dublin

Mr Adams and Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris will be meeting
with Micheal O Seighin, one of the five Co Mayo landowners
jailed for obstructing work on the Corrib gas pipeline.

The five have spent the past 91 days in prison for refusing
to obey a court injunction ordering them not to interfere
with works on the pipeline.

They believe the structure poses an unacceptable risk to
the local population and want gas from the Corrib field
pumped to an offshore terminal rather than directly

Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Co Cork
yesterday, Mr Adams said the jailing of the men was an
"national disgrace".

He said they were basically imprisoned "for upholding the
rights of their families and their communities".


UU Deputy Defends Church Witnesses

By Noel McAdam
28 September 2005

Ulster Unionists have attacked the DUP over its criticism
of independent IRA decommissioning witness the Rev Harold

While the UUP said it would never question the honesty of
the former Methodist President, the DUP is seeking a direct
meeting with him and his co-witness Fr Alec Reid.

UU deputy leader Danny Kennedy said it was "regrettable"
there had been criticism of the veteran Methodist minister
from another Christian tradition.

But while a difference in emphasis emerged between them,
the two main unionists shared deep misgivings over IRA
disarmament following separate meetings with the
Decommissioning body yesterday.

Mr Kennedy, who was accompanied by North Down Assembly
member Alan McFarland and North Down MP Sylvia Hermon said:
"It is a sad situation that other parties today have cast
aspersions on the character and integrity of the two
witnesses to IRA decommissioning.

"Questioning their bona fides serves no purpose

Mr Kennedy said he had no doubt the Rev Good and Fr Reid
had reported what they had seen but there were other
concerns surrounding the decommissioning process.

He said it was essential an inventory of the IRA's
decommissioned weaponry is published and the "vast criminal
empire" of the republican movement is dismantled because
public confidence had not been maximised.


DUP Wants Talks With Decommission Clerics

By Noel McAdam
28 September 2005

The DUP has asked for a face-to-face meeting with the two
Church leaders who witnessed the IRA's historic
decommissioning of its terrorist arsenal.

Party leader Ian Paisley's request for direct talks with
former Methodist President the Rev Harold Good and
Redemptorist priest Fr Alec Reid came after a meeting with
General John de Chastelain's decommissioning body.

Mr Paisley said it had emerged that the two witnesses were
not appointed by the commission and would not therefore be
subject to the same restrictions in revealing further
details of the disarmament.

The DUP delegation, which also met the Independent
Monitoring Commission, said they also had serious concerns
because it appeared the witnesses had not been shown
official intelligence service estimates of IRA weaponry
given to the commission.

It also appeared that revised estimates from intelligence
sources included weaponry which had gone to dissident
republican groups and also a quantity which had been lost.

The two meetings came as unionists came under increasing
pressure to accept the veracity of the commissioning bodies
assertion that the "totality" of IRA arms have gone for

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said Mr Paisley needed

He said: "His concern is that the future isn't going to be
good for unionism - the future is going to be good for
everyone on this island, so we have to give Ian Paisley a
wee bit of space."


DUP fears the IRA has gone away, you know

(Susan McKay, Irish News)

"We are certain, utterly certain, about the exactitude of
this report," the Rev Harold Good said.

"We spent long days watching...minute by minute...from
beginning to end...It was so clear and incontrovertible, it
demonstrated to us, and it would have demonstrated to
anyone who was with us, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that
the arms of the IRA have now been decommissioned."

Dr Good is a former president of the Methodist Church.
Hardly a fellow traveller of the IRA. Jeffrey Donaldson put
on his most patronising voice.

"Mr Good is entitled to his opinion," he said. Then his
master, Mr Paisley, appeared. The DUP leader rounded up all
the usual words in his destructive arsenal and flung them

The so-called decommissioning was the "falsehood of the
century". There had been deceit, duplicity, dishonesty and
shameful betrayal.

The witnesses were "clearly under the control of the
general" and were "appointees of the IRA". In any case, he
concluded, "there are other IRAs prepared to carry on the
butchery and violence. At the end of the day, we are no
further forward."

General de Chastelain is convinced.

Tony Blair is convinced.

Bertie Ahern is convinced.

The US government will certainly be convinced. But the DUP
doesn't care.

For weeks it has been warning its flock that a great
conspiracy was afoot – that they would be asked to believe
that the IRA had decommissioned its weapons, but it was
going to be phoney and false and they weren't to believe

Thus prepared, the flock heard the news, and the DUP's
grim-faced leaders were able to say, without fear of
contradiction, that "the majority of people in Ulster are
not satisfied".

Mr Paisley might as well have added "and they never, never,
never will be".

Because that is what he means.

After all, what have the other IRAs got to do with this?

The fact is, the DUP doesn't acknowledge a difference,
routinely claiming that the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA
are the "proxies" of the Provisionals.

So some gang of lunatic dissidents only has to explode a
bomb in some busy street, or even on a deserted
mountainside, and the DUP will exult and shout: "We were
not fooled." Mr Paisley claimed that the commission on
decommissioning had gone on nothing but the assurances of
the IRA.

This was clearly nonsense and General de Chastelain made it
explicitly clear that the types of weapons and the
quantities of them that the commission had "put beyond use"
matched the assessments made by the British and Irish
governments of the remaining contents of the IRA's armoury.

The DUP was not always so reluctant to accept the bona
fides of information from security sources. Think
Stormontgate, Castlereagh and Colombia.

The Ulster Unionist Party initially welcomed the IRA's
decommissioning move. So far so good.

Sir Reg Empey had made a show of himself by jumping onto
the DUP's big noisy bandwagon during the Orange and
loyalist paramilitary riots of recent weeks.

Here was a chance to recover some credibility. But no.
Later in the day, Alan McFarland, from the party's liberal
wing, made another demand, in line with the DUP's position.

There would have to be an inventory, he said. When
decommissioning was first demanded, the IRA famously
declared that it would deliver "not a bullet, not an
ounce". Now look what has happened.

The war is over. The weapons have been handed over and
destroyed. Unionism has got what it wanted.

But it hasn't, of course.

It wants the past. It wants to tell the world about its
pain and suffering. It wants the B Specials and the RUC and
it wants Stormont the way it used to be.

Failing that, as Ian Paisley jnr said a few days ago,
direct rule would do. "Let's face it," he said, addressing
party members in Dromore, "there is no appetite for a
devolved government with Sinn Féin". Referring to recent
unionist violence on the streets, he then spoke about the
warning the unionist people had sent to the government.
"The government cannot ignore us," he said.

No, it can't. But it can't give unionism what it wants
either, because, tragically, it seems it wants the IRA.

Unionism needs to be armed against the enemy. To be at the
gates and on the frontier. It needs to be able to shout "No
surrender". It may well intend to continue to do so.

But on the world's great troubled stage, it is going to
look more and more foolish.

September 28, 2005


Landscape of Irish politics changed says ex-prisoner

(Barry McCaffrey, Irish News)

Mainstream republicans last night (Monday) welcomed the
decommissioning of the IRA's arsenal as a 'defining moment'
in Irish history.

Former IRA prisoner Gerry O'Reilly, who served two terms in
jail, said the IRA had changed the 'landscape' of Irish

"Unionists can no longer use the argument that the IRA is
an obstacle to the peace process," he said.

"Those days are over and it is up to unionists,
particularly the DUP, to show that they are prepared to
share power with nationalists.

"The IRA has met all of its obligations and now it is up to
the other parties to live up to theirs."

Mr O'Reilly, who works as an interface worker, said the
decommissioning of IRA arms was the beginning of a new
'revolution' within Irish politics.

"The IRA's actions will give people more confidence to move
forward. Our goal remains a united Ireland. Stormont power-
sharing is merely a half-way house to that goal," he said.

"What the IRA has done is to allow people to achieve that
goal through politics."

Sinn Féin assembly member Cathy Stanton, who was jailed in
1985 for possession of explosives, said the onus now had to
be put on unionists and loyalist paramilitaries.

"Loyalist paramilitaries and unionist politicians must now
explain what is happening to their weapons. The IRA has
fulfilled its side of the bargain but there has been
nothing from the UVF or UDA," she said.

"For years unionists claimed that loyalist paramilitaries
were needed to defend against the IRA.

"That excuse is gone, now they will have to justify the
continued existence of the UDA and UVF and their weapons."

Meanwhile, former hunger striker Tommy McKearney, a critic
of Sinn Féin strategy, said that the IRA's move meant it
had now committed itself to democratic politics.

"It was the logical outcome of the IRA's statement in July
and the logical outcome of accepting the Good Friday
Agreement," he said.

"Psychologically and morally the IRA has taken a huge step.

"The question now is how unionists will respond.

"What are the loyalist paramilitaries going to do?

"The Northern Ireland statelet is a unionist creation and
it is up to them now to sell it to nationalists."

However Republican Sinn Féin president Ruairi O'Bradaigh
accused the IRA of betraying the republican 'cause'.

"The betrayal of the republican cause by the Provisional
movement will not end with the destruction of arms at the
behest of the British government," he said.

"They will be required by their masters to accept and
participate in the British police in Ireland.

"With the destruction of their own arms the Provisional IRA
is no longer an army and should dissolve immediately and
stop the pretence. IRA General Order No 11 stigmatises such
action as an act of 'treachery' to be dealt with as such."

September 28, 2005


Arrests Over 'Dissident Activity'

Police investigating dissident republican activity in
County Tyrone have arrested four men.

They were detained in a series of raids in the Strabane
area on Wednesday.

A number of houses were searched and items taken away for
examination. The men are being questioned at the serious
crime suite at Antrim PSNI station.

Dissident republicans have been blamed for an attack on
vice-chairman of the Policing Board Denis Bradley and on
DPP members' homes.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/28 10:23:57 GMT


Adair Charged With Attacking Wife

Former loyalist paramilitary leader Johnny Adair has been
charged with assaulting his wife in a park.

Greater Manchester Police said the 41-year-old was charged
on Tuesday with common assault and was due before
magistrates in Bolton on Wednesday.

Officers were called to Old Station Park on Winter Hey Lane
in Horwich, Bolton, on Monday night.

Mr Adair, of Chorley New Road, Horwich, is a former senior
member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA).

Benjamin Dowie, 24, of Halliwell Road, Bolton, was charged
with drink-driving following Monday night's incident. He
appeared before Bolton magistrates on Tuesday.

A 24-year-old man has been bailed after being arrested on
suspicion of possession of heroin.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/28 08:10:21 GMT


Inside the Beltway

By John McCaslin
September 27, 2005

Pub Owner

Frederick Ryan Jr. swears he was only thirsty for a
pint of Guinness when, accompanied by his wife, Genny, and
the couple's three daughters, he ducked into the Ronald
Reagan Pub during a visit to Ballyporeen, Ireland.

By the time the president and chief operating officer
of Allbritton Communications in Washington left the pub, he
owned it.

"I hadn't even been drinking," said Mr. Ryan, a top
aide to President Reagan who is chairman of the Ronald
Reagan Library and Museum in California. "The funny thing,
I called Nancy Reagan and told her I just bought the Irish
pub named after her husband, and she paused and said, 'Have
you been drinking?'?"

When the Ryans arrived at the pub named for the late
Irish-American president after he sipped a pint there more
than 20 years ago, they found the door locked.

However, they found the owners, John and Mary
O'Farrell, upstairs, and the couple soon explained that
their family was expanding, and to gain the needed space,
they were auctioning off everything in the pub.

The O'Farrells, at the same time, were more than happy
to give the American visitors a tour of the pub, where Mr.
Ryan was surprised to find "everything still in its place -
- tables were set, glasses were on shelves, taps behind the
bar. And all the Reagan memorabilia was still there."

"Right then and there, I asked Mary how much she would
want to sell the pub for. She said she would have to
consult with her husband. The next thing you know, they
came back with a price, and I said: 'OK, I'd like to buy
the pub from you.' And I bought it.

"My wife came back in and said what's going on, and she
said, 'Your husband just bought the pub.'" (Yes, the Ryans
still are happily married.)

Here's the kicker: the one-time Reagan aide hired a
company to disassemble the pub completely -- bar, stools,
beer taps, pint glasses, a cabinet, tables, chairs, signs,
pictures on the wall, even the wallpaper -- "they took
everything out, shipped it to California, and reassembled
the pub, which I have donated to the Reagan Library," Mr.
Ryan said.

Most fittingly, the O'Farrells have agreed to travel to
the California library next month and be behind the bar to
pour the first pint of Guinness when the Ronald Reagan Pub
reopens during a reunion of Reagan alumni.

"What's the greatest thing for me is that this pub was
to have been auctioned two weeks later," Mr. Ryan said. "I
was there at just the right time, as if it was meant to


PM attempts to lighten mood after IRA move

Paisley Joke Gets Blair A Big Laugh

By Brian Walker in Brighton
28 September 2005

Tony Blair took the bold line of making a joke about Ian
Paisley during his leader's speech to the Labour Party
conference yesterday.

In an unscripted tribute to the late Mo Mowlam, Mr Blair
recalled how on one occasion, "Mo came into the room,
whipped off her wig and greeted the Rev Paisley with, 'Hi,
babe, how's tricks?'.

"I've never tried that," he added ruefully, to laughter
from the several thousand Labour faithful.

The fact that the Paisley reference was unscripted but came
at the top of his speech, suggests he wanted to lighten the
atmosphere after the first reactions to the IRA move.

Mr Blair's main theme was a full agenda for at least three
years of a third Labour term, giving a broad hint that he
was going to stay in office until at least 2008, before
giving way to an obviously impatient Gordon Brown.

In his own conference speech yesterday, Peter Hain was
following up the Prime Minister's sally with a more
substantial pledge to redirect tens of millions of pounds
towards the province's disadvantaged children and young

Although the money will be targeted on both sides of the
community, the timing is bound to be seen as a response to
calls for more spending in loyalist areas affected by the
recent rioting.

Mr Hain was repeating his all-party pleas to take the
completion of IRA decommissioning seriously and was
planning a round of separate meetings to discuss the way

Otherwise, he was resisting the temptation to hand out
sweeteners all round in an immediate effort to build
political momentum after the IRA's decommissioning act.

The investment, redirected from other areas of the
province's budget, will be spent in three areas: on before
and after-school clubs, and expanding the Sure Start
programme for young children; on vocational training and
apprenticeships for young people; and on a new drive to
provide energy renewables and other "clean" areas.

More blatantly political moves will await an "enabling
environment" later in the year and at the beginning of next
year, officials confirm.

A Victims' Commissioner is due to be appointed in a couple
of weeks' time. Legislation to allow the on-the-runs to go
home after a brief legal process is on the Westminster
stocks for before Christmas.

The devolution of justice and policing powers may be
introduced in the New Year to await implementation one day
by the parties.

At the beginning of his leader's speech, Mr Blair recalled
the period from the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 up to
"the completion of IRA decommissioning," amid the "change
and progress" since Labour came to power.

"It's taken many years and a lot of hard work, but every
minute of every hour of every all-night negotiation will
have been worth it if it brings lasting peace to Northern
Ireland," he told the conference.

"And there is a lesson for Northern Ireland," he continued.
"Nothing good comes easy. And in Government, whatever the
noise around you, you just have to persevere with the
things that really matter."


McDowell 'Unfit To Be In Charge Of Irish Asylum System'

28/09/2005 - 09:25:32

Anti-racism campaigners have claimed that Minister for
Justice Michael McDowell is unfit to be in charge of
Ireland's asylum system.

The Residents Against Racism organisation has accused Mr
McDowell of having an ideological obsession with deporting
people, regardless of the effects this has on their lives.

The group, which wants the asylum system taken out of the
hands of politicians, is due to mount a protest outside
Leinster House today to coincide with the resumption of the

Speaking ahead of the demonstration, spokesperson Rosanna
Flynn said: "Asylum is a human rights issue and it should
be treated as such."

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