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September 22, 2005

IMC Accuses UVF of Trying to Wipe Out LVF

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IO 09/22/05 IMC Accuse UVF Of Trying To Wipe Out LVF
BT 09/22/05 Police Probe Petrol-Bomb Attack On House
BT 09/22/05 Adams Insists IRA Will Deliver On Commitment
BB 09/22/05 Mortar Tubes Find 'Significant'
NH 09/22/05 "If I Was A Few Years Younger, I'd Be Rioting"
DI 09/22/05 Morrison: Fitt Found His Feet @ Thatcher's Heel
DI 09/22/05 Basra Attack Echoes SAS Actions In North


Ceasefire Monitors Accuse UVF Of Trying To Wipe Out LVF

22/09/2005 - 11:51:00

The body set up to monitor paramilitary ceasefires in the
North has concluded that the Ulster Volunteer Force is
trying to wipe out the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force.

In a report published today,

the Independent Monitoring Commission said the recent feud
between the two groups was the worst violence it had been
asked to investigate since its establishment a year-and-a-
half ago.

It said the Progressive Unionist Party had lost control
over the UVF, which had decided that the time was now right
to "finish off" the LVF.

The IMC said the UVF was responsible for four murders
carried in July and August as part of the feud, as well as
some 38 others attacks.

The LVF was blamed for 11 attacks.

The British Government has already withdrawn its
recognition of the UVF ceasefire after receiving a copy of
the report earlier this month.


Police Probe Petrol-Bomb Attack On House

By Deborah McAleese
22 September 2005

Police are today investigating motives behind a petrol-bomb
attack on a north Belfast home in which a family escaped

A mother and her four children were in their house in the
mainly nationalist Longlands Road before 7pm yesterday when
the house was targeted.

A device was thrown at the back of the property and the
family said they did not know why they had been targeted.

The house is on an interface area, close to the mainly
loyalist White City estate.

Tensions are already high in the area following a number of
sectarian attacks against both communities.

A police spokeswoman said: "A motive is still being


Adams Insists IRA Will Deliver On Arms Commitment

By Noel McAdam
22 September 2005

Expectations of IRA movement on decommissioning heightened
today as Gerry Adams underlined the Provisionals would
deliver on their commitments.

Almost two months after the IRA's statement that its units
would dump arms, there were predictions the disarmament
could come next week - or be completed by mid-October.

The West Belfast MP is due to meet Toaiseach Bertie Ahern
in Dublin tomorrow - their first formal talks since the
Northern Bank raid and the murder of Robert McCartney - as
well as delivering a major address at the weekend.

Dublin officials believe the sequence amounts to
republicans preparing for decommissioning.

Mr Adams said he would not speculate on whether IRA
decommissioning was imminent but added: "I am quite
confident that the IRA is going to deliver on the
commitments it has made."

The indications came as the Government prepared to publish
the special Independent Monitoring Commission's report
sparked by the UVF-LVF feud which led to Secretary of State
Peter Hain withdrawing recognition of the UVF ceasefire.

Mr Hain told the Belfast Telegraph he believed the next
reports from the Commission would be "critical benchmarks"
in terms of moving towards renewed political negotiations.

"I am already having meetings [with the parties] but we
will obviously be looking very closely at the IMC report
next month" - and its follow-up expected in January.

Following a meeting with his Irish ministerial counterpart,
Dermot Ahern, last night, Mr Hain was asked when any return
of a power-sharing administration could be anticipated.

"Well, I have said all along is that I don't think this
will happen in weeks but it cannot happen in years.
Northern Ireland cannot be caught paralysed politically for
a long period of time," he added.

DUP leader Ian Paisley hit out, however, at Mr Hain's
assertion in a set piece speech yesterday that republicans
have never been rewarded for violence. "It is simply not
true that the IRA made no progress until their ceasefire.
The fact is, we never had a real, genuine, honest ceasefire
from the IRA," he said.


Mortar Tubes Find 'Significant'

Terrorist items, including five mortar tubes, have been
found on the outskirts of Londonderry.

The mortar tubes and component parts were discovered during
a security operation on the Letterkenny Road, said a PSNI

The operation took place on Thursday morning.

The police said the mortar tubes were left there on
Wednesday and were discovered by a passer-by. They have
described the find as "significant".

Superintendent Richard Russell said the find appeared to be
component parts of improvised mortars "commonly known as

"We found five devices, minus explosives. There were no
explosives present or electronics, so they were not capable
of functioning.

"Though, with those additional parts they would have been
capable of functioning.

"We are still examining those devices at the minute, from a
scientific point of view, to establish their origin, which
is not yet clear, and establish how long ago they were

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/22 12:04:53 GMT


"If I Was A Few Years Younger, I'd Be Rioting"

(by Suzanne Breen, Sunday Tribune)
Jimmy Creighton, Shankill community activist

"If I was a few years younger, I'd be out rioting.
Protestants have been driven to this. The police aren't
allowed to take on the IRA any more, so they're trying to
tramp us into submission instead. Well, they won't succeed.

"They went hell for leather at us during the Springfield
Road parade. They arrived with two big bull-dozers and six
water cannons. They beat Protestants off the streets.
People lost eyes from plastic bullets; a 15-year-old lost
his testicles.

"I've seen broken legs and strapped-up shoulders this week.
The police fired 450 plastic bullets at us in one day, more
than they've fired at nationalists in years.

"A clatter of plastic bullets was fired at Ardoyne
nationalists this summer and Sinn Féin were gurning. When
we're targeted, their silence is deafening - not that we'd
want support from them scumbags anyway.

"The British government has ordered the police not to touch
Catholics – that's the price for ensuring no more bombs
causing £5 million worth of damage in London. I was
intimidated out of Ardoyne in 1971. It's worse there now –
Protestant school-children are being attacked.

"Sinn Féin say there's poor leadership in the Protestant
community. That's true but who are they to tell us? They're
sanctimonious bastards; I've scraped better off the sole of
my shoe."

Margaret McClenaghan, Sinn Féin councillor

"UDA members are standing at illegal roadblocks shouting
abuse and throwing missiles, trying to antagonise

"We're working flat out to keep the kids in Ardoyne from
responding. We want them to stay out of trouble. Loyalist
aggression is frightening; the police are standing idly by.

"A 77-year-old woman, her two sons, and 11-year-old
grandson were trailed from their car by armed and masked
UVF men on the Shore Road within sight of the PSNI.

"The sons asked for help. The police said if they didn't
clear off, they'd be arrested. Night after night, loyalists
set up roadblocks on the Crumlin Road and Twaddell Avenue
and the police sit in their Land Rovers doing nothing.

"But on the Twelfth, when nationalists attempted to set up
a blockade in Ardoyne, the police moved in with their boots
and batons, kicking and shoving people off the road.

"The other night, residents were standing on the footpath
at Ardoyne shops – their own shops in their own area – when
a police inspector asked them to move because the sight of
them was agitating loyalists at the illegal roadblocks.
Ardoyne people feel the PSNI does nothing to protect them.
It's hard to dispute that."

Harry, North Belfast Orangeman.

"They say we're making a fuss over nothing, that there's
only a 260-step difference between our chosen route on the
Springfield Road and the one we were allowed to take.

"But it's 260 steps taken from us today, it'll be 460 steps
next year, and 660 steps the one after that. All the time,
nationalists are chipping away at our culture.

"They keep saying we can't march here and we can't march
there because these areas are now Catholic. They're only
Catholic because Protestants were driven out. It's ethnic

"It's not natural for Protestants to wreck all round them.
But our ones see where violence got the IRA, so their
attitude is 'if we cause enough trouble we can get what we
want too'.

"I joined the Orange Order 40 years ago and I've never seen
the police behave like they did last week. They were so
hostile towards us. The old RUC was never like that. They
knew who we were and we knew who they were.

"I haven't a clue who this new crowd are. Half of them seem
to be English. Maybe they're British soldiers in police

* Harry's real name can't be used because Orangemen aren't
allowed to speak to the press without Grand Lodge

Paddy Murray, former IRA prisoner

"If there's all this deprivation in loyalist areas, they
don't need to riot. Let the Assets Recovery Agency seize
UDA and UVF money and redistribute it in the community.

"They say ordinary loyalists have nothing, well their
paramilitary bosses are driving around in Mercs and BMWs,
wearing big gold chains around their necks. I'm struggling
to make ends meet. If I was a senior ex-loyalist prisoner,
I'd be a millionaire.

"I know them from jail and they don't have the ideals
republicans have. They join to be top dog in their area or
as cover for their criminal activities. I'm not surprised
they're organising these disturbances.

"They're very mixed up people. They're on the side of the
state but it's their neighbours – peelers and screws –
arresting them and locking them up. What does the loyalist
campaign amount to now: driving Catholics and the odd
immigrant from their homes?

"They demand the right to march but they won't tolerate
others. They even objected to the gay rights' parade in
Belfast. They tried to stop us holding the first ever
republican march in Ballymena a few weeks ago and that was
through a predominantly nationalist area.

"The Parades Commission gave us only 300 yards to march
along but we didn't mind – 300 yards is 300 yards, and
maybe we'll get 600 next year."

Diane Dodds, DUP Assembly member

"Peter Hain lambasted unionists for a lack of leadership.
He's one to talk. During the worst weekend of violence in
Northern Ireland in years, our Secretary of State couldn't
even be bothered flying here. He stayed in Britain.

"I don't condone the wanton destruction we've seen but
sadly it was inevitable. The traditional Orange parade
takes only nine minutes and five seconds to pass along the
Springfield Road. Why can't nationalists live with that? It
doesn't say much about their recognition of cultural

"There are widespread complaints of police heavy-
handedness. A lady, who came to my office this week, had
been shot in the stomach with a plastic bullet. There was
rioting in the street and she was standing at her door when
a bullet ricocheted.

"After she got out of hospital, she went to make a
complaint. Tennant Street police station sent her to
Grosvenor Road station – they told her they were too busy
to take her statement.

"There is absolute rage in my community about how
Protestants are treated. It's displayed visibly on the
streets of Belfast, but there's also the sullen, dour rage
of Middle Ulster – people are fuming in front of their

Patricia Lewsley, SDLP chairperson

"The old people were terrified. A rumour that loyalist
paramilitaries were about to turn off the water and
electricity caused panic in Dunmurry, the area I represent.
In these situations, the elderly and sick suffer most.

"The UDA and UVF must feel like really big men being able
to scare the most vulnerable. A five-months' pregnant woman
was punched in the face at an illegal roadblock round the
corner from my home. Her 'crime' was that she hadn't been
able to turn her car fast enough in the street.

"In the SDLP, we take a tough line on IRA violence despite
the personal risks involved. Unionist politicians don't do
the same with loyalist violence.

"The PSNI did a great job at the march, standing up to
these thugs, but they must do the same with the roadblocks.
The number of young people rioting shows loyalist
paramilitaries are still recruiting. Years of good cross-
community work has been undone.

"In the few religiously mixed working-class parts of
Belfast – like Isadore Avenue off the Springfield Road –
people are talking of moving out. These streets will become
solely Catholic or Protestant.

"We should be learning to live together side-by-side.
Instead, there's growing segregation. Everybody is
retreating into the trenches."

September 22, 2005


Fitt Found His Feet At Thatcher's Heel

Danny Morrison

BBC Northern Ireland recently broadcast a documentary on
Lord Gerry Fitt who died in late August in England, his
adopted home.

It was based on a lengthy interview about his life which he
gave to Seamus McKee last year. Among those interviewed
were many of his friends and allies, his opponents and
critics. I participated in the documentary though my most
trenchant criticisms of the former MP for West Belfast were
not aired.

I first met Gerry Fitt when I was a waiter in the
International Hotel in Donegall Square South, behind
Belfast City Hall, in 1968 when I was 15. Before going to
work, I had watched him perform brilliantly on television
against a unionist politician. My family and I cheered
Fitt. Indeed, such was the intensity of the finger
pointing, the raised voices and the ill-tempers that WD
Flackes, the legendary political correspondent of the BBC,
almost had to keep the two rivals apart. So, imagine my
surprise when I came into work an hour later to find Fitt
and the unionist at a table beating drink into them,
laughing and joking as if it were all really just a bit of

Many people suffered during the conflict, suffered
appalling injuries from gunshots and bombs and plastic
bullets. Fitt got hit over the head by an RUC baton in the
civil rights march in Duke Street in Derry on 5 October
1968 and it only added to the nationalist perception of him
as a local hero, as a man who led from the front.

However, others were to claim that Fitt and some of the
British Labour MPs present were deliberately pushed to the
front since their heads being batoned would receive more
publicity than an ordinary five-eighth's!

Earlier that year, speaking at a Connolly commemoration in
Derry Fitt said: "The day for action has arrived… if
constitutional methods do not bring democracy to the North,
then I am quite prepared to go outside constitutional
methods." (Irish News, 22 July 1968.) In his book, War and
an Irish Town, Eamonn McCann claims that on 5 January 1970
Fitt told a crowd at the corner of Victoria Street in Derry
that "it's time to get the guns out".

At the Westminster general election of June 1970 Fitt was
defending West Belfast which he had won four years earlier.
On the afternoon of polling I and a bunch of mates were
sitting in a friend's back garden in Iveagh Crescent, off
the Falls Road. One of Fitt's election workers, who knew
one of my mates, called in. He said: "I've some bad news.
Gerry's in serious trouble!"

"What's wrong?" we asked. He said that the unionists were
personating "like mad" and that John Laird (now Lord Laird)
might take the seat. The question was put: "Was there
anything we could do to help? He hesitated, then asked:
"Are you really prepared to help?" We assented and that's
when he gave each of us five polling cards and told us
which schools to go to and vote for Gerry. Afterwards, I
could never take the SDLP seriously when they complained
about voter fraud.

After Fitt's death the newspapers were full of glowing
tributes to him. I have no doubt that he was a great
raconteur. Martin Lynch once told me that Fitt was the best
of company and could keep you entertained all night. I
don't doubt that either. However, one obituary, in
particular, made me very angry, and put Fitt's disloyalty
into context.

It was by Henry Kelly, writing in an Irishman's Diary in
the Irish Times on September 1st. Of Lord Fitt of Bell's
Hill he wrote that he "never strayed from his original,
basically socialist, principles". What nonsense.

Worse was to come. Kelly told a story about himself and
Gerry Fitt, at a time when he, Kelly, was Northern Editor
of the Irish Times in the early 1970s. One night the two of
them joined Ted Heath, who had become Prime Minister in
June 1970, in No 10 Downing Street.

"The drink flowed and the hours sped past," wrote Kelly.
Gerry Fitt took out his mouth organ and played a medley of
tunes, "much to the delight of the prime minister. Ted
Heath was genuinely pleased and though he didn't join in
with some of us who slurred Danny Boy and a few other Irish
ballads, when Gerry finished Heath suggested to him that he
should have a go at other musical instruments."

On the way out of Number 10 Gerry Fitt embraced Ted Heath
and cracked a joke: "You know, Ted, I'd have given my right
arm to have played the violin."

What I find disgusting about this episode is that just two
weeks after Heath became Prime Minister his soldiers
imposed the curfew on the Falls Road, shot dead four of
Gerry Fitt's constituents, gassed an entire community,
young and old alike, wrecked a thousand homes, and here was
Fitt, their MP, drinking with and embracing the man

Could you imagine the reaction in Leeson Street if Henry
had published that story back then?

During the week which saw the introduction of internment –
which Heath had also sanctioned – close to a dozen of Gerry
Fitt's constituents were killed by the British army, and
four of his constituents – "the hooded men" - were
tortured. Indeed, the Irish government took the British
government to the European Court on torture charges – but
Gerry would ideally just loved to have been able to play
some Yehudi Menuhin to Ted. Then followed Ted's Bloody

After resigning as leader of the SDLP in 1979 Gerry Fitt
spent more and more time at Westminster. He knew he was
finished and had nothing to lose when he stood up in the
House of Commons in two years later to support Thatcher's
position on the hunger strike. He told her not to give the
prisoners their five demands and not to compromise. She was
to quote his speech to justify her stance and the speech
was distributed by British embassies to media around the

Gerry Fitt helped condemn brave men to death in jail. Of
course, within weeks of the West Belfast electorate
rejecting him in 1983 Mrs Thatcher awarded him a life
peerage for services rendered.

Gerry Fitt's mouth organ and his words were sweet music to
successive British premiers. Whether intentional or not, he
encouraged the British in their intransigence and to
believe that there could be a military solution.

On the one hand, there was his work on behalf of the
Guildford Four and others, but on the other there was his
more pernicious propaganda work on behalf of the British

The harshest criticism of him in the obituaries was the
comment that he had perhaps lost his way.

Let's be truthful, at least on behalf of those who died at
the hands of the British, Gerry Fitt didn't lose his way –
he found his feet and it was at Thatcher's heel in the
Commons and on the floor of the House of Lords.

Danny Morrison is a regular media commentator on Irish
politics. He is the author of three novels and three works
of non-fiction.


Basra Attack Echoes SAS Actions In North

Jarlath Kearney

Sinister covert operations by British forces in Iraq are
"reminscent of the activities of the SAS" in the North, a
leading human rights campaigner said last night.

Paul O'Connor, of the Derry-based Pat Finucane Centre
(PFC), demanded that the British government "break the
cycle of abuse" imposed by its forces.

He also questioned the "sheepish" decision by large
sections of the media to "report the MOD line as
established fact".

Mr O'Connor was speaking to Daily Ireland after further
details emerged about an incident in Basra on Monday
afternoon involving undercover British operatives.

The incident drew parallels with the March 1988 attack on
the funeral of IRA volunteer Caoimhghin Mac Bradaigh.

During that incident, two armed and undercover army
intelligence operatives drove directly at the cortege in
west Belfast. After firing a shot, both soldiers were
subsequently captured, beaten and shot dead by the IRA.

In Monday's incident, both undercover soldiers are reported
to have opened fire after being stopped and challenged by
Iraqi police. An Iraqi policeman was shot dead, but the
undercover soldiers were overpowered and held in an Iraqi

However, a major British Army operation then commenced to
break the men out of prison. The operation involved the
perimeter wall of the jail being destroyed by a British
tank. During the assault, British forces came under
sustained attacks from local people using petrol bombs and
rocks. Nevertheless, both British covert operatives were
successfully recovered.

Many commentators have noted the similarity between the
activities of British forces in Iraq in recent years with
British actions in Ireland over the past three decades.

Speaking last September after the British government's
controversial decision not to establish a public inquiry
into the 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane,
former secretary of state Paul Murphy alluded to the
similar activities.

During a BBC interview, Mr Murphy commented: "Many of the
operational techniques that would be discussed in the
inquiry would be used currently in the war against terror."

Mr Murphy subsequently left the Northern Ireland Office in
May and became chairperson of the British government's
intelligence and security committee.

It has also been widely reported that Brigadier Gordon Kerr
is now stationed with British forces in Iraq. Brigadier
Kerr played a key role in the activities of covert British
activities in the North as the commanding officer of the
Force Research Unit/Joint Services Group.

Referring to the recent actions of British forces, Paul
O'Connor said: "It is not at all suprising and is in fact
for many people reminscent of the activities of the SAS
here when they engaged in shoot-to-kill missions."

"Distressing as it is to see the human rights violations
repeated in Iraq, it is equally distressing to see the
media follow sheepishly behind the MOD line, so you have
broadcasters like the BBC reporting a number of highly
contested aspects of this affair as established fact," Mr
O'Connor said.

"We have the situation where all British soldiers in Iraq
are keenly aware that in their ranks were convicted
murderers – Fisher and Wright – one of whom had since been
promoted," Mr O'Connor added.

A fortnight ago, the PFC organised a meeting in London
addressed by lawyer Phil Shiner who is representing more
than 50 families of Iraqi citizens killed by British
forces. Mr Shiner outlined systematic abuse – up to and
including murder – practised by British soldiers in Iraq,
specifically mentioning the ordering of prisoners to cut
off the fingers of other prisoners.

Mr O'Connor said: "We have to break this cycle of abuse."

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