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September 13, 2005

Hain Declares Breach of UVF Ceasefire

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News about Ireland & the Irish

EP 09/13/05 Hain Declares Breach Of UVF Ceasefire
UT 09/13/05 Loyalist Protests Start In Belfast
BT 09/13/05 Stevens Tells Of Ulster 'Lies And Treachery'
IT 09/14/05 Catholic Woman Fears New Violence From Loyalist
BB 09/13/05 UDA Calls For An End To Rioting
SF 09/13/05 McGuinness Condemns Attacks In Magherafelt
DI 09/13/05 Orangemen: "I'm Not Condemning Anything..."
IT 09/13/05 'Colombia 3' Extradition Request Sent
GU 09/13/05 McCartneys Accuse IRA Of Attack On Best Friend
IT 09/14/05 Convicted Paramilitaries 'Ineligible For PSNI'
SF 09/13/05 Dodds Should Deal With Loyalist Violence
SF 09/13/05 Irish Justice Minister Out Of Touch
TH 09/13/05 King, Weldon Make Last-Minute Push
IO 09/13/05 Irish In Hurricane Zone All Safe And Well
BC 09/13/05 Commentary: Along Baltimore City's Peace Path
IT 09/14/05 Councillors Criticise Demolish Pub From Ulysses
IT 09/14/05 President Opens Office For Irish Language


Hain Declares Breach Of UVF Ceasefire

Peter Hain has announced that the government no longer
recognises the Ulster Volunteer Force ceasefire.

The Ulster secretary also announced on Wednesday that the
Red Hand Commando has been 'specified' as in breach of its
ceasefire commitments.

"I have reviewed the status of all specified and other
paramilitary organisations, as I am obliged to do under
legislation, and concluded there are sufficient grounds to
specify the UVF/RHC," he said.

"I intend therefore to lay an order before parliament to
that effect and to seek parliament's approval."

There has been no change to the recognition of other
loyalist paramilitary ceasefires.

Wednesday's move came after a review of paramilitary
ceasefires prompted by an ongoing loyalist feud.

It was also taken in the wake of the recent rioting in
Belfast, in which the security forces came under sustained

Hain said the feud and the "very serious" attacks against
the security forces over the course of September 10 and 11
amounted to a breakdown in the ceasefires.

The move came ahead of Hain's talks with a Sinn Fein
delegation including Martin McGuinness, Gerry Kelly and
Alex Maskey.

There has been speculation that the IRA is preparing to
decommission more arms within weeks.

Meanwhile, shadow Northern Ireland secretary David
Lidington also travels to Northern Ireland for talks on the
recent disturbances with chief constable Sir Hugh Orde.

Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine, whose party
is linked to the UVF, said the move by the government was
"hardly unexpected".

He described it as "tragic" and said it would mean there
would be more ground to cover once the UVF was restored to
the political process.

In July, the Northern Ireland secretary said he intended to
withhold the PUP's assembly allowances for another year.

The latest moves follow a report from the Independent
Monitoring Commission, which is set to say that the UVF and
Red Hand Commandos remained active, violent and involved in
organised crime.


Protests Start In Belfast

Loyalist protests have caused disruption in Belfast this

Roads closed include the Belsize Road, and the M1 at
Stockman`s Lane.

There is also a protest at the Derriaghy Road at Milltown.

The protest which closed the Westlink between Broadway and
Divis has been lifted. Traffic will be moving slowly in the
immediate future.

Those protests at Broadway, Twaddell Avenue and Seymour
Hill in Dunmurry have also been lifted.

Translink have revealed buses will not be running in north
Belfast after 6.30pm tonight.

Bus services in east Belfast, Bangor and Newtownards are
also facing disruption to timetables.


Stevens Tells Of Ulster 'Lies And Treachery'

By Chris Thornton, Political Correspondent
13 September 2005

AN "entanglement of lies and treachery" was used to try and
block the long-running investigation into collusion between
terrorists and the security forces, top policeman Lord
Stevens has revealed in his memoirs.

The former Metropolitan Police Commissioner - who is still
investigating the role of Army agent Stakeknife in IRA
killings - confirms in his book that he suspects a shadow
Army unit was responsible for burning his investigation
team's office in Carrickfergus 15 years ago.

The blaze at the Seapark complex in January 1990 was
declared an accident by an RUC investigation, but Lord
Stevens says his detectives were told soon after the blaze
"that the fire may have been the work of the Force Research
Unit, a secret British unit responsible for running Army

Stevens and his detectives had been preparing to arrest one
of the unit's agents, Brian Nelson, when the blaze struck
on January 10, 1990. The fire could have ruined the
investigation, but Stevens had taken the precaution of
backing up records to an office in Cambridge.

Nelson also escaped - although the Stevens team eventually
captured him and saw him jailed for conspiracy to murder.

"In almost 30 years as a policeman I had never found myself
caught up in such an entanglement of lies and treachery,"
Lord Stevens says of the investigation.

In his memoirs, Not for the Faint Hearted: My Life
Fighting, Lord Stevens also says RUC officers tried to
block his detectives from getting information about Nelson
just before the fire.

He says they were met "with a blank refusal to co-operate".
And he says police resisted his attempts to search the
homes of UDR men.


Catholic Woman Fears New Violence From Loyalist Mob

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Louise O'Prey lived trouble-free among her Protestant
neighbours in a small mixed housing development until
Monday night when she was intimidated by a mob shouting
"Kill the Taigs".

Her house, where she had lived alone for the past year and
a half, is near the route taken by the Whiterock Orange
parade last Saturday.

"I just had to get out last night. There was a mob of about
200-300 attacking this woman Sarah's house. They were
attacking the house and dancing on her car and stuff like
that. They were waving swords and machetes and shouting
'Kill the Taigs'."

Not far from where she lives is the loyalist West Circular
Road. It is only a short distance from the scene of the
worst trouble last weekend, where police and soldiers came
under automatic gunfire and sustained attack from petrol
and blast bombs.

More than 50 civilians and police were treated for
injuries, including 22-month-old Caleb Moore, who suffered
a fractured skull after he was hit by a rock thrown at his
father's car.

As the sedatives wore off yesterday after a night of fear
Louise O'Prey began to search for somewhere else to live,
wary that those who live nearby could point her out to the
mob that has rampaged through the area these past few

"This has been going on since Wednesday of last week. There
was never anything before that." Her speech is as tense as
it is rapid. Still wearing pyjamas and slippers after
seeking comfort in a Catholic neighbour's home in the
middle of the night, she tells of the recent intimidation.

She says she spent some time on the floor of her room,
trying to ensure her doors and windows were secure, fearful
the youths outside would come for her.

"I rang the police at nine o'clock and I told them I was
under attack. Nothing happened and I phoned again after 10
minutes. This policemen I was talking to - he was really
rude - said: 'I don't understand why you're ringing'. And I
shouted back at him: 'Look, there's people coming up the
lane towards me here and they've got swords."

As the disturbances continued into the night, she says, she
went out to the police who were wearing full riot gear
confronting the rioters on the street.

"I wanted to tell them what was going on earlier at my
house but they just turned their shields on me, pushing me
back and said they were doing all they could."

Now she is gravely worried that one of the Protestants
nearby is telling loyalist rioters and paramilitaries where
she, and others like her, live.

"I'm afraid to walk past this neighbour's house now for
fear she'll tell somebody who I am and where I'm going."
She spent yesterday on the phone trying to find somewhere
to go.

© The Irish Times


UDA Calls For An End To Rioting

The situation is calm following three nights of rioting in
parts of Northern Ireland, police have said.

The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) said the violence
should stop.

Rush hour traffic leaving Belfast was disrupted for a
second day by loyalist protests, while a number of evening
bus services in the city were cancelled.

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has blamed the UDA and UVF
for being behind the trouble, sparked by the re-routing of
a contentious Orange Order parade.

The statement, issued by the UDA in north Belfast, came as
police said 63 people were arrested over three nights of
rioting which left 60 officers hurt.

Tuesday's UDA statement urged its members to remain calm,
"no matter what the provocation".

"No longer can we or will we let these types of situations
destroy our own communities as it seems the community is
the only sufferer in this conflict," it added.

In the latest night of violence in Belfast and other parts
of Northern Ireland on Monday, 10 police officers were

Sixty people have been arrested for public order offences
and three in connection with serious terrorist offences.
Police said that more arrests would be made.

On Monday, trouble flared in Belfast, Lisburn, Newtownards
and Newtownabbey.

But the violence was not on the same scale as at the
weekend, police said.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain is reviewing to what
extent Ulster Volunteer Force or Ulster Defence Association
members orchestrated the violence.

He is expected to announce on Wednesday that the UVF
ceasefire is no longer recognised.

The US consul general Dean Pittman said he was
"disheartened and saddened" by the violence of the past few

He described the image sent out across the world at the
weekend as "terrible". It was now important for leaders to
come together and build for the future, he said.

Unionists said there had been a build-up of resentment
within their community because of the government's handling
of the peace process.

Trouble began in the city on Saturday after the Parades
Commission refused to change their decision to allow the
Orange Order's Whiterock parade to pass through a
nationalist section of Springfield Road.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/13 21:42:13 GMT


Martin McGuinness MP Condemns Sectarian Attacks In

Published: 13 September, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Mid Ulster Martin McGuinness has today
condemned a number of sectarian attacks in the Magherafelt
area in recent weeks. In the most recent incidents there
have been attacks on Catholic homes and a graveyard along
the Castledawson Road, and an attack upon a Free
Presbyterian Church and the home of the DUP's Willie McCrea
which was daubed with graffiti.

Speaking at lunchtime Mr McGuinness said:

"As MP for the area I am disgusted by the attack on
Catholic homes and graves, the Free Presbyterian Church,
Orange Halls and also on the home of Willie McCrea in the
Magherafelt area.

"I absolutely deplore these attempts to heighten tensions
in the Magherafelt area. There can be no equivocation, all
of these attacks are equally wrong. I am clearly calling on
those involved to immediately desist from their
activities." ENDS


"I'm Not Condemning Anything..."

Conor McMorrow

Orange spokesman rejects any blame

As loyalists wreaked a third day of havoc in the North
yesterday one of Belfast's most senior Orangemen refused to
condemn the rioting and violence.

County Grand Master Dawson Bailie claimed that the Orange
Order was not responsible for the weekend trouble.

When asked if the Order condemned the violence, he told the
BBC: "As far as I'm concerned the people to blame for that
are the Secretary of State, the Chief Constable and the
Parades Commission, fairly and squarely."

He added: "I'm not condemning anything at this moment in

Apart from Mr Bailie's comments, the Orange Order declined
on a number of occasions yesterday to make any official
comment about the violence.

Several roads in the greater Belfast area were blocked by
loyalists yesterday evening, causing rush hour traffic

Thousands of Belfast city-centre workers left work early to
avoid the roadblocks, leading to traffic congestion across
the city.

The Broadway roundabout, the Westlink, North Queen Street,
Duncairn Gardens, Tates Avenue, Boucher Road in Belfast and
Seymour Hill in Lisburn were among the roads blocked.

Mobile phone networks collapsed across much of Belfast for
a period yesterday afternoon as they could not cope with
the volume of concerned commuters ringing home.

As darkness fell, cars were burned at the Crumlin Road–
Ligoniel Road junction in north Belfast. The PSNI also
recovered a number of crates of petrol bombs and prevented
a bus hijacking in the Ligoniel area of north Belfast.

In south Belfast the PSNI warned that there was minor stone
throwing from Roden Street along the Westlink.

In the west of the city, petrol bombs were thrown at New
Barnsley PSNI station on the Springfield Road.

The US Special Envoy to the North, Mitchell Reiss, called
on unionist politicians to reassert their authority over
their communities.

"It is a time for the unionist leadership to really assert
itself because this type of behaviour is completely
unacceptable," he said.

In attempting to explain what has motivated loyalists to
wreak havoc, PUP leader David Ervine asked: "Did the Chief
Constable not hear the rumbllngs of discontent from
loyalist communities before now?"

Mr Ervine claimed that the widespread violence was caused
not just by the re-routing of an Orange parade in west
Belfast on Saturday but by a deep sense of anger within the
loyalist community.

Nelson McCausland, DUP Assembly member and a member of the
Orange Order, said: "I think the violence is an expression
of a much deeper resentment and anger that exists right
across Northern Ireland.

"The key thing is that the government, in other words Peter
Hain as Secretary of State, and the Chief Constable and
others have failed to listen to the political leadership of
the unionist community."

Mr McCausland claimed that the Parades Commission had
rewarded republican violence in the past and that had
motivated loyalists into causing the current wave of


'Colombia 3' Extradition Request Sent

Paul Cullen

The Colombian authorities have formally requested the
extradition of three Irishmen who fled the country after
being convicted of training Farc guerrillas.

Papers seeking the extradition of the "Colombia Three" were
sent yesterday to the legal division of the Department of
Foreign Affairs in Dublin, The Irish Times understands.

The papers drawn up by the office of the fiscalia (attorney
general) in Bogota are expected to arrive in Dublin today.
The move poses a major dilemma for the Government, under
intense international pressure to take action against the
three men as part of the "war on terror", as well as
considerable domestic pressure to do nothing.

Last night the Department of Foreign Affairs said its role
in extradition requests was confined to acting as a
"diplomatic postbag" for the Department of Justice.

A Department of Justice spokeswoman said that a request,
when received, would first be checked for completeness. If
legal advice was required, the Attorney General would be
consulted and, if further information was needed, the
Colombian authorities would be asked for it through the
diplomatic channel. Once the file was complete, the matter
would be referred to the courts for a decision, she said.

The request is not unexpected. Last Sunday the DUP's
Jeffrey Donaldson said Colombia was ready to seek the
extradition of the three men, Niall Connolly, Martin
McCauley and James Monaghan. Mr Donaldson had just returned
from the South American country, where he met security
chiefs, the Colombian vicepresident Francisco Santos and
victims of the Farc rebels.

Mr Santos told The Irish Times last month he would be
making an extradition request "sooner rather than later".
He said: "We want them in Colombia. We want them to pay
their jail term in Colombia."

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Tánaiste Mary Harney have said
Ireland will consider any request for assistance from
Colombia, although legal sources say the chances of the
three men being extradited are remote. This is because no
extradition treaty exists between Ireland and Colombia.

In addition, there is no international treaty to which both
countries have signed up which covers the offences of which
the men were convicted. Over the past month, officials at
the Department of Justice and the Attorney General's office
have been examining various European and international
treaties relating to the prevention of terrorism, prisoners
and criminal law to see whether any could be applied to the
"Colombia Three".

The Tánaiste has suggested a European agreement on transfer
of prisoners could be used to require the men to complete
their 17-year jail terms in Ireland.

The men were travelling on false passports when they were
arrested in Colombia in 2001. All were convicted there of
using false passports but cleared of training Farc
guerrillas. On appeal by the Colombian authorities, the
latter verdict was reversed and the men received 17-year
sentences. By then, they had jumped bail and gone into
hiding. To the embarrassment of the Government, they re-
emerged in Ireland last month.

McCauley and Monaghan later presented themselves
voluntarily for questioning by gardaí, while Connolly was
arrested and questioned for 12 hours. A file has been sent
to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to
Connolly's use of a false Irish passport while in Colombia.
The other two men used false British passports.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has said the men would not be
extradited "under any circumstances whatsoever", a view
supported by Fianna Fáil backbenchers such as Jim McDaid
and Mary White.

The US State Department believes the men should be jailed
either in Colombia or in Ireland.


Family Of Murdered Man Accuse IRA Of Attack On Best Friend

· McCartney sister says loyalist riots used as cover

· Attack calls into question pledge to end violence

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Wednesday September 14, 2005
The Guardian

IRA men involved in the murder of Robert McCartney used the
cover of loyalist riots to severely beat his best friend,
it was claimed last night.

Jess Commander, 34, was beaten with iron bars and sewer
rods similar to those used to murder his friend in January,
after he was ambushed by a gang of seven men while walking
home with his wife. At one stage one of them allegedly
produced a knife. He was taken to hospital and treated for
head injuries.

The McCartney family said IRA members were involved and
some of the attackers had helped to murder their brother or
played a role in the cover-up. The attack calls into
question the IRA's announcement seven weeks ago that it had
ceased all "activity", further weakening a peace process
strained after three nights of the worst violence in
Northern Ireland for more than 10 years.

The manner of the attack, and the beating of another of Mr
McCartney's relatives late on Monday night as the
nationalist Short Strand had a third night under siege from
loyalist mobs, outraged local Catholics. The family, whose
campaign for justice sparked international outrage and
garnered support at the White House, said they were being
forced to move out of the Short Strand after intimidation
by republicans and attacks on their homes.

During the three nights of loyalist mayhem in east Belfast,
the tiny Catholic enclave of Short Strand has been under
attack from gangs of men throwing bricks and petrol bombs
over the peace wall. The IRA has kept a presence on street
corners. But the McCartney family said that on Monday
night, IRA men blamed for McCartney's murder turned up
outside his fiancee Bridgeen Hagans' home for the third
evening in a row. A relative, Gerard Cooley, asked them to
move on and a fight broke out during which he was beaten
with a martial arts flick-stick baton. A crowd of around
100 onlookers gathered.

It was after the crowd dispersed that Mr Commander, who the
McCartneys said had tried to quell the disturbance, was
ambushed and beaten on a quiet footpath.

Paula McCartney said: "It was attempted murder. They
produced a knife. He sustained serious head injuries. They
were not aiming to maim."

She claimed republicans attempted to intimidate the
Commander family within hours of the attack, and said the
attackers changed their clothes in the same house used in
the clean-up operation on the night of her brother's
murder. "The [Commander] family were visited and advised
not to speak to the press. They are angry. I had predicted
that it would happen again. This is what these people do.
They want to beat people into silence."

She added: "I can't live in a community where it is
perfectly acceptable for murderers to be supposedly
marshalling the area. The people of the area don't want
murderers protecting them."

Police said they were investigating the assault. The
inquiry into McCartney's murder has been frustrated by
witnesses' fear of republican retribution. One man is on
bail for McCartney's murder, and another is on bail for the
attempted murder of his friend Brendan Devine.

Gerry Kelly of Sinn Féin said: "The last thing the Short
Strand needs is individuals fighting ... There was no
republican involvement. In fact [this] incident was not
political in nature. Sinn Féin has called for mediation to
deal with such disputes."

Alasdair McDonnell, SDLP MP for Belfast South, said: "It is
absolutely clear that the provisional movement's
fingerprints are all over this attack as they are all over
the sustained campaign of intimidation which has gone on
ever since Robert's murder. The family is clear that one
person involved in this attack was also involved in the

"It has to stop.The way the McCartney family and those
associated with them are treated is an absolute benchmark
for judging the provisional movement's intentions of
following its July statement. The brutal attack on this man
is a clear breach of that statement's instruction to
provisional volunteers."


Convicted Paramilitaries 'Ineligible For PSNI'

Gerry Moriarty and George Jackson

Northern Secretary Peter Hain will today tell rank-and-
file PSNI members that, notwithstanding some unionist
fears, convicted paramilitaries will be prohibited from
joining the police force, according to reliable sources.

Mr Hain, who is today addressing the PSNI's representative
body, the Police Federation, is to reassert that
paramilitaries with criminal records will be banned from
the force despite contrary claims by a number of unionist

Police Federation members are likely to question him on
whether paramilitaries who have no convictions but on whom
there is intelligence of membership will also be barred
from the PSNI.

Mr Hain, in excluding convicted paramilitaries from
policing, was supported in his view by the US consul
general in the North, Dean Pittman, who said in Derry
yesterday that neither former republican nor loyalist
paramilitaries should be allowed join the PSNI.

Mr Pittman also said the violence of recent days would
affect investment in the North.

Mr Hain's commitment will be issued as the DUP in
particular continues to voice suspicions that a special
policing conference due to be organised early next year
under the initiative of US special envoy Dr Mitchell Reiss
is a device to announce further "concessions" on policing
to win Sinn Féin support for the PSNI.

The DUP, still smarting after Dr Reiss's complaint of a
failure of unionist leadership over the continuing loyalist
violence, has launched fierce attacks on Dr Reiss, with
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds saying he is now "damaged

He said Dr Reiss's comments "could well prove to be one of
the most unhelpful, negative and damaging contributions to
the political process in recent times".

Both Mr Dodds and Mr Ian Paisley jnr implied that, while
publicly Dr Reiss said there should be no paramilitaries in
the PSNI, privately he told the DUP the British government
might permit them to join the force.

"He proposes a conference on policing which is clearly
being suggested to pave the way for further changes to
policing even beyond Patten, something which even the SDLP
are concerned about.

"His crass behaviour at such a sensitive time is almost
incredible. If this is diplomacy in action it beggars
belief," said Mr Dodds.

The US consul, Mr Pittman, said he was not going to enter
into "tit-for-tat" comments about the private conversations
Dr Reiss had had with the DUP.

He insisted, however, that loyalist and republican
paramilitaries must not be allowed join the PSNI.

"The issue of former paramilitaries getting into policing
here is not on. I don't think there is a place for them.

"I think you want a policing force that communities feel
confident in and so the British government have told us
they do not plan to wipe the slate clean and allow
paramilitaries into the police force and we accept that,"
Mr Pittman said in Derry.

"If people have broken the law, they are not the kind of
people you want in your police force. You want a police
force people feel confident in," he said.

During a visit to Groarty integrated primary school, Mr
Pittman said that potential investors had received "a
terrible message" in terms of whether Northern Ireland was
a good place to locate their businesses.

He said that rioting in loyalist areas would impact on the
job prospects for those areas. "It was a very bad weekend
and a very bad last three days.

"It sent out a terrible message around the world to
tourists and to investors, and that is a tough image to

"There is so much goodness going on in Northern Ireland
right now and so many opportunities exist here, but those
things got hidden by events such as we saw at the weekend,"
added Mr Pittman.

© The Irish Times


Nigel Dodds Should Stop Making Bogus Claims About
Republicans And Deal With Loyalist Violence

Published: 13 September, 2005

Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has criticised DUP
North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds for making bogus claims about
republican attacks and accused him of trying justify
Loyalist violence.

Mr Kelly said:

"These bogus claims from Nigel Dodds are ludicrous. He is
attempting to justify Loyalist violence. It is a disgrace
and will feed into the current climate where Loyalists are
attacking vulnerable nationalist communities.

"Sinn Féin have been contacted by dozens of people who are
angry and frustrated that attacks on their homes and
property have gone largely unreported. Across North
Belfast, in Ligoniel, Deerpark and the Dales and the
Springfield Road, Short Strand, Ahoghill, Larne,
Glengormley, Ballymena and many other areas Loyalist are
engaged in a concerted sectarian campaign of violence that
is unacceptable and inexcusable.

"Loyalist have tried to suck nationalists and republicans
into their cycle of violence but have by and generally
shown great disciple and refused to rise to the bait. Where
there have been isolated incidents such as in Derry Sinn
Féin have moved quickly to resolve the difficulties.
However, this pales into insignificance compared to the
orchestrated sectarian violence of the past week and the
summer of orchestrated sectarian attacks on nationalists
throughout the Six Counties.

"Nigel Dodds, along with other unionist political leaders
and the Orange Order need to take responsibility for
Loyalist violence and begin to demonstrate some positive
leadership. No one within unionism should be making excuses
for this sectarian violence." ENDS


Irish Justice Minister Accused Of Being Out Of Touch

Published: 13 September, 2005

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA, Philip McGuigan, has described
as bizarre the comments of Michael McDowell criticising
republicans in the wake of three days of loyalist violence.

"Today's comments from McDowell are the most blatant
example of his obsessive anti-republicanism. After three
days of orchestrated loyalist violence, much of it directed
at isolated nationalist and republican communities, the
Irish justice minister attempts to place the responsibility
for this on republicans.

"Republicans and nationalist will find his analysis of
loyalist attacks very removed from the reality of their
lives. Mr McDowell's comments might be better informed if
he left the comfort and safety of his Dublin home for a few
hours to visit the hundreds of nationalist homes attacked
over recent days." ENDS


King, Weldon Make Last-Minute Push

By Jonathan E. Kaplan

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the leading candidate to take the
helm of the Homeland Security Committee, expressed
confidence late yesterday that his candidacy will prevail
when the GOP Steering Committee meets today to decide the

"If I were a betting man, I'd bet on me," he said. "But
I've been in politics long enough to know that I could be
calling you Thursday morning having to explain what went
wrong," King told The Hill.

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), who is the current vice chairman
of the panel, has campaigned hard for the gavel and
continued to search for votes yesterday. He argued that he
is the better choice because he has developed expertise and
credibility on homeland-security issues.

"The leadership has to make a choice," he said. "If the
choice is based on what state you're from, I can't help
that, or if it's [based on] the credibility of issues, that
is who I am and what I'm about."

Weldon told The Hill that he promised Speaker Dennis
Hastert (R-Ill.) that he "would not go out and run a race.
I'm not running a geographical race." He added that some of
his colleagues, as well as Joe Allbaugh and James Lee Witt,
former directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) for Presidents Bush and Clinton, encouraged him to

As a New Yorker who personally knew many victims of the
Sept. 11 attacks, basic geography may be King's biggest
asset. Republican Reps. John McHugh and Tom Reynolds, both
powerful upstate New Yorkers, are King's biggest supporters
on the Steering Committee, he said, and that can only boost
his candidacy.

Other candidates for the post include Reps. John Linder
(Ga.), Dan Lungren (Calif.) and Don Young (Alaska). Rep.
Mac Thornberry (Texas) has been mentioned as a candidate,
but he has not returned calls to confirm his candidacy.

The 33-member steering panel will meet this afternoon in
the Capitol's basement to listen to the candidates' 30-
minute presentations. A vote is expected afterward.

Weldon holds a seat on the Steering Committee, representing
the mid-Atlantic region. Another lawmaker of his choosing
will vote in his place.

A senior House Republican aide said that a memorandum —
first reported by The Hill and circulated yesterday — that
highlighted King's past criticism of the Republican Party
would not hurt him. But any opposition within the GOP
conference to his candidacy could hurt his ability to pass
tough legislation on the committee and on the floor if he
is chosen chairman.

"He has been much more supportive than most lately," a GOP
aide said of King.

Despite Weldon's insistence that he's running a low-key
race, he spent yesterday continuing to explain to Steering
Committee members how he would run the homeland-security
panel. He also said he would circulate a classified
memorandum at today's meeting that Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld wrote for his top aides citing Weldon's work on
the threat of an electromagnetic-pulse bomb, which
threatens computer networks.

Hurricane Katrina is also set to play a role in the
decision. King said the first thing he would do as chairman
is put together a field trip to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf
Coast region; Weldon traveled to Louisiana on Sept. 2 to
deliver relief supplies donated from private defense and
medical companies.

Linder, chairman of the Prevention of Nuclear and
Biological Attacks Subcommittee, has met twice with the
now-embattled Department of Homeland Security Secretary
Michael Chertoff since he was appointed earlier this year,
expressing support for the secretary, who since has lost
face in the wake of the department's widely panned response
to Katrina.

"He is smart, he is tough and he is a great choice," Linder
said in the letter. "He is facing bureaucratic foot-

"Katrina placed an exclamation point on that!" Linder
wrote. "He needs our help."

The Steering Committee's decision could hinge on the
lawmakers' reputations from their work on foreign-policy
issues in which both lawmakers bucked conventional wisdom
and the establishment's position.

But Weldon also has taken on the CIA and Pentagon. He wrote
Countdown to Terror: The Top-Secret Information that Could
Prevent the Next Terrorist Attack on America and How the
CIA has Ignored It, which was published this year and
ridiculed in some foreign-policy circles.

Weldon also has alleged that analysts working for a
Pentagon program called "Able Danger" had identified
Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers in 1999 but that
Pentagon lawyers did not share the information with the
FBI. The Pentagon has disputed the allegations.

Whatever the outcome in the contest for the Homeland
Security chairmanship, Weldon is scheduled to testify at a
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next week in which he
said a witness will testify that he was ordered to destroy
thousands of pages of computer data relating to Atta and
that the person will state who gave him the order to
destroy that information.

For his part, King, an Irish-American, has been intimately
involved in the Northern Ireland peace process and was
closely associated with the cause of Irish nationalism and
the Irish Republican Army's (IRA) political arm, Sinn Fein.
In 1986, he welcomed home a convicted IRA gunrunner who had
been released from federal prison. King was an early and
aggressive advocate of trying to persuade former President
Bill Clinton to grant Gerry Adams, a Sinn Fein leader,
entry into the United States. Clinton granted him a visa in

King said his involvement with the IRA is "something that
could be easily taken out of context" and that his friends
in Congress thought it is something he should think about
as he ran for chairman. But King said nobody on the
Steering Committee has raised it as an issue.

"I've been very instrumental to bringing about a peaceful
resolution. …" he said "Whenever the IRA deviated, I was
the first one to criticize them."

"There are some people who are not happy with me," he
added, referring to his call in March for the former
terrorist group to disband.

Roxana Tiron contributed to this report.


Irish In Hurricane Zone All Safe And Well
2005-09-13 17:10:04+01

All Irish citizens missing in New Orleans since the
devastating Hurricane Katrina ripped through the city have
been found safe and well, it emerged today.

Dermot Ahern, Minister for Foreign Affairs, revealed that
around 50 people who had been unaccounted for over the last
three weeks had been located.

Consular officials in the United States told the minister
that the final few had been tracked down in the last 24

At the height of the search and rescue operations staff
from the Chicago consul were busy trying to locate 50 or so
Irish citizens. Up to the end of last week all tourists and
students on J1 visas had been found.

But three people, including a mother and daughter, who had
been living in the Gulf state for almost 25 years remained
missing since the disaster struck on August 29. They were
finally located today.

Speaking from New York where he is attending a United
Nations summit, Mr Ahern thanked all those who had helped
in the search for Irish citizens.

"I would like to pay tribute to the very hard work and
hours of the consular staff from Chicago," he said.

"And in particular to the voluntary work of many Irish-
Americans who in so many ways gave up their free time to
help in the search for Irish people who had not been in
contact and for whom at certain stages there was
significant concern.

"The Irish-American organisations and consular officials
put in a significant effort to locate all of the missing
Irish people. I know I speak on behalf of the families when
I say well done and thanks very much.

"And I hope in the near future to meet with the staff and
some of the Irish organisations who put in so much work."

Mr Ahern is due to meet with immigrant groups and Irish
American organisations on Friday. It is hoped the minister
will unveil extra funding to support the groups and their
work with immigrants.


Commentary: Along Baltimore City's Peace Path

by William Hughes

Women in Black's primary mission has evolved into a
spiritual call to bring together all those "who seek peace
through mutual understanding and constructive dialogue...
and to end the cycle of violence that is enveloping the

Baltimore, MD, Sept. 11, 2005—On a glorious, sun-filled,
late summer afternoon, the fourth anniversary of the 9/11
tragedy, a robust demonstration for peace and justice,
sponsored by Women in Black, was held along this city's
most splendid boulevard—Charles Street. Activists lined up
beside its sidewalks, stretching for 12 miles from the
downtown Inner Harbor area to the beltway north of the city

Along the way I met some wonderful people. "I'm out here
today as a witness to the wastefulness, the immorality and
the futility of war to settle anything," Anna Brown, a
nurse practitioner, told me. Both Dawn and Samantha
Musgrave said that we need "to bring the troops home, now."
Meanwhile, Rev. Don Stroud, a Presbyterian minister,
underscored the necessity for people "to speak out and to
make it known that war is not the answer." He added, "We
have to take a stand for justice and the things that are

Women in Black (WIB) was founded in Israel, in 1988. Its
original purpose was to oppose via a "posture of silence
and non-violence" Israel's oppression of the Palestinian
people in the West Bank and Gaza. Since then, it has gained
a worldwide presence. Its primary mission has evolved into
a call, spiritual in origin, to bring together all those
"who seek peace through mutual understanding and
constructive dialogue... and to end the cycle of violence
that is enveloping the world." Oddly, WIB isn't an
organization in the normal sense of that word, but "a means
of mobilization and a formula for action." The dedicated
women protesters wear black as a "sign of mourning for all
that is lost through war and violence." Participating
individuals, organizations and non-profits in the WIB-led
picket line read like a who's who of Baltimore's vibrant
activist community. At Saints Philip and James Roman
Catholic Church, at the corner of Charles and 29th Streets,
I noticed, while driving by, Baltimore City Councilwoman
Mary Pat Clarke. (While President of the Baltimore City
Council, in 1993, the feisty Clarke led the successful
effort to enact the "MacBride Principles" Bill. For
background on that important economic investment and
justice measure for Northern Ireland, see, The MacBride
Principles: Genesis and History, by Father Sean McManus,
one of County Fermanagh's finest sons.)

At the epicenter of Charles Street, literally dividing
Baltimore north from south and east from west, is beautiful
Mt. Vernon Square. It's a park designed in the form of a
Greek cross, where the first monument in this country to
George Washington was erected in 1829. The land for both
the monument and the park was donated by Revolutionary War
legend Col. John Eager Howard. Also found there is an
equestrian monument to another of Washington's
distinguished comrades-in-arms in the eight-and-a-half year
struggle against the British imperialists: the Marquis de

At Mt. Vernon Square Park I met up with Judy Pentz. She
said, "I'm here to protest the Iraq War. We're wasting
lives and money over there. There isn't enough money here
to help our own people, especially the people of New
Orleans. A lot of the National Guard personnel from
Louisiana were in Iraq when Hurricane Katrina hit, and they
couldn't help their own people."

Peter D. Molan, of the Phil Berrigan Chapter of Veterans
for Peace, emphasized how the newly released Downing St.
Memos corroborated the critical fact that "There were no
WMD in Iraq!" He was standing on the corner of Charles and
Redwood Streets. At Cold Spring Lane and Charles Street,
Max Obuszewski, a longtime advocate for peace, was holding
up a sign that read, "Shame! War is not the Answer." He
said, "We're trying to stop the war and to bring the troops
home. This war is an atrocity and combined with the
condition of the poor souls down in the Gulf Coast, who
were hit by Hurricane Katrina, we've got to stand up—we've
got to do something! Regime change may be our only hope
right now."

Some of the other signs, posters and banners seen along the
Peace Path had messages like "Don't Kill, Don't Die," "Stop
the War: End the Occupation," "Swords into Plowshares," and
this one, my personal favorite, "Where's Bin Laden? Are we
Safer after four years of War?"

Chuck Michaels, a civil rights attorney and outspoken
opponent of the draconian USA Patriot Act, said, "We're
here to show people that there are plenty of folks in this
country who are opposed to the war in Iraq and who would
like to see peace in this world." Green Party activist
James Madigan, standing at 25th and Charles streets, said,
"We need to end the occupation of Iraq. It's draining
moneys from the local economy—moneys that could be funding
jobs for working class people." Near the beltway I chatted
with Ginger McAndrew. She told me, "I'm here this afternoon
to support peace and to take a stand against violence."

As of today's date, 1,896 brave members of the US military
have died in the illegal Iraqi War. The conflict is based
on a policy that we now know was nothing less than a pack
of rotten lies generated by a cabal of Neocon ideologues
and slick intriguers and profiteers from the Bush-Cheney
Gang. The cost of the war to the taxpayers is put at $193.7
billion and rising. The number of Iraqi civilians killed,
half of whom were women and children, is estimated in one
of the latest studies at over 100,000.

Down near the Inner Harbor, on Charles and Pratt Streets, I
talked with Sarah Lawrence, whose family's roots in
Maryland go back over 300 years to colonial days. She said,
"The war in Iraq is costing us $2 billion a week. If we
stop the war, we will have the money to rebuild New

This citizen-rooted protest action was also being
replicated in many other cities and towns across the US.

Today's citizen-rooted protest action in Baltimore,
initiated by WIB, was also being replicated in many other
cities and towns across the US. It is yet another example
of the growing concern of the American people, which
demands an immediate end to the immoral Iraqi War. If it
also leads to one of Maryland's U.S. Senators, Democrat
Barbara A. Mikulski, breaking her vow of silence in
opposition to the Iraqi War, I will deem it a resounding
success. Although Sen. Mikulski voted against the Iraqi
War, she has repeatedly voted to fund it based on the most
dubious kind of reasoning. Also, when President George W.
Bush, Jr. recently visited Baltimore, she criticized him
over the amount of federal antiterrorism spending for the
Port, but didn't raise the matter of the Downing St. Memos
with him. Those documents prove that Bush and his cronies
lied the nation into the Iraq War. Mikulski's absence, too,
along with many other supposedly anti-war congressional
members, from any of the numerous anti-Iraqi War rallies,
dating back to 10/26/02, speaks volumes about her true
feelings on this seminal issue. Mikulski is the same
political hack whose priority in the US Congress,
"regardless of the consequences to the American public,"
has been to give away tens of billions of dollars in
taxpayers' money to right-wing regimes in Israel.
Meanwhile, Bethlehem Steel's Sparrows Point facility and
GM's Broening Highway plant are now history; predatory
interest rates on credit cards have no federal limits; the
Chesapeake Bay is quickly dying from "dead zones"; and the
vulnerable levees at New Orleans that needed desperate
repairs were cavalierly ignored. Enough is enough!

Copyright William Hughes 2005. William Hughes is the author
of Saying "No" to the War Party (IUniverse, Inc.). He can
be reached at


Councillors Criticise Plan To Demolish Pub From 'Ulysses'

Olivia Kelly

Dublin City councillors have criticised plans to demolish
a 19th-century pub mentioned in James Joyce's Ulysses, to
make way for a six-storey development with apartments and a
new pub.

Hedigan's, also known as the Brian Boru, is located on
Prospect Road, Glasnevin, and is a major landmark on the
main route from the city to Glasnevin Cemetery. The pub is
close to Phibsborough village and faces the Porterhouse
North pub, opened last year.

Its owner, Michael Hedigan, last month applied to the
council for permission to demolish the existing pub and
replace it with a new 540 sq m pub and 57 apartments. Some
1,700 sq m of office space designated for "media and
associated uses" is also planned for the development.

Councillors heard yesterday that seven objections had been
made so far to the planning application. One of these
related to the architecture of the building, which is not

The others were from residents at the nearby housing
estate, Delcassian Downs, who felt they would be

However, councillors said yesterday the pub should be
preserved for its literary and historical merit. "This site
itself is a historical site. It is mentioned in Ulysses and
is also supposed to be where Brian Boru camped before the
battle of Clontarf," said Sinn Féin councillor Nicky Kehoe.

Fine Gael councillor Mary Fitzpatrick said Hedigan's was
one of the few alternatives to "super pubs" in the area.
"I'm not sure if there is architectural merit to the pub,
but there is a literary tradition, and I'd like to know how
they intend to maintain that. "What they're currently
proposing is not right and not suitable or appropriate. "I
don't think we should allow overdevelopment on this site,"
she said.

Fianna Fáil's Maurice Ahern said the development could
worsen traffic, which was already extremely heavy in the
area. Members of the public have until Friday to lodge
objections to the application.


President Opens Office For Irish Language

Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent

The Irish language can benefit from the new multicultural
Ireland, and it is up to the Irish language community to
embrace such influences, President Mary McAleese has said.

Marking the opening of the office of An Coimisinéir Teanga
(Irish Language Commissioner) in Spiddal, Co Galway,
yesterday, the President spoke of the enriching effect of a
multicultural and multilingual society.

Such change should be a matter of celebration, Mrs McAleese
said, speaking in Irish. It was up to the Irish language
community to embrace these influences as the language
evolved to meet the needs of the 21st century.

It was now "cool" to express oneself through the medium of
Irish, she said, and this was a very positive development
when the future of the language depended entirely on the
good will of its people.

Advances had been made by TG4 and Raidió na Gaeltachta, and
all-Irish schools had grown in popularity, but Gaeltacht
areas had eroded considerably due to increasing pressure
from the English language.

Mrs McAleese quoted 17th century poet Dáibhí Ó Bruadair,
noting that Irish was the oldest written language in Europe
and still remained as a living language.

The language belonged to all of the people of Ireland -
whether from the Gaeltacht or outside, she said.

She paid tribute to the office of the Irish Language
Commissioner, and commended Seán Ó Cuirreáin, who is
effectively the State's ombudsman for the Irish language.

He was formally appointed by the President last year, and
his office is charged with monitoring the obligations of
State organisations under the Official Languages Act.

Children from Scoil Éinne, Spiddal, provided a guard of
honour for the President yesterday, under the direction of
school principal Máirín Uí Neachtain. The Spiddal-based
group, Dordán, played music and Mrs McAleese was presented
with a sculpted piece of 3,000-year-old bog oak by Eric

The office of An Coimisinéir Teanga is located in a new
Údarás na Gaeltachta-owned facility, part of which is
leased by the Office of Public Works.

Mr Ó Cuirreáin said it was a great honour that the
President had accepted the invitation to perform the
official opening.

© The Irish Times

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