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September 24, 2005

Loyalist's Roadblocks in Belfast

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BT 09/24/05 Loyalist Roadblock Shock In City Rush Hour
BT 09/24/05 Trouble Being Pre-Arranged By E-Mails: PSNI
BT 09/24/05 SF In Centenary Celebrations
BB 09/24/05 Arms Choreography Is 'Unmistakable'
BT 09/24/05 Speculation That IRA Has Disposed Of Weapons
BT 09/24/05 Viewpoint: Arms Move Is Welcome But Overdue
BT 09/24/05 IRA Victim's Family Set To Sue Hitman
BT 09/24/05 Police Face Action Over House Raid
BT 09/24/05 It's Judgment Day For Londonderry


Loyalist Roadblock Shock In City Rush Hour

By Claire McNeilly
24 September 2005

LOYALISTS caused traffic disruption yesterday when they
staged three lightning roadblocks in Belfast during the
evening rush hour.

However, a source close to loyalist marchers said he did
not believe it was an "indication things were going to kick
off" in the city.

He added that members of the loyalist community had agreed
to stage "focused protests" from now on.

Yesterday's protests, involving small crowds, took place at
Donegall Road/Sandy Row, Upper Malone Road near the Dub
Stores, both in the south of the city, and at Ballygomartin
Road in the west of the city.

A police spokesperson said the protestors were dispersed
after negotiations with the crowds.

At one stage the crowd of people gathering at Ballygomartin
Road tried to block the street with a small improvised
barricade but it was quickly removed.

Each of the protests lasted for just a short period and
traffic was later flowing freely throughout the city.

There were no reports of any violence at any of the

UUP MLA Michael Copeland confirmed there was still tension
among loyalists in the community.

"The situation in loyalist areas of the city does remain
tense," he said.

"It is my hope that a way of stressing these concerns and
addressing these concerns can be found, in a way which does
not involve causing further distress to these areas of the
city or the citizens who live in these areas of the city."


Warning on riots

Trouble Being Pre-Arranged By E-Mails And Texts, Says PSNI

By Paddy McGuffin
24 September 2005

SECTARIAN gangs of teenagers may be using e-mails and text
messages to mobiles to arrange a riot in Londonderry's city
centre today, police have warned.

For the past two Saturdays, mobs of up to 300 youths have
caused havoc in the city centre - and the PSNI now say the
trouble is being pre-arranged by e-mails and text messages
to mobile phones.

Secondary schools in the city were asked to make
announcements yesterday at assemblies asking for young
people to steer clear of the troubled areas.

Last Saturday, mobs that included a large number of girls,
were involved in sectarian violence which forced many
businesses in the Foyle Street/Market Street areas to pull
down their shutters.

Four arrests were made as a result of last weekend's
disturbances, the youngest being 13 years old and the
oldest 16, according to the PSNI.

In a bid to prevent further incidents, which local business
leaders warn could deter tourists and shoppers from the
city centre, police have warned that they will adopt a
"robust" approach today.

Inspector Milton Kerr said: "We are concerned that some
children and young people have been using e-mails and text
messages to arrange fights and orchestrate violence. This
is a concern shared by city centre traders and local

"On Thursday we telephoned school principals and asked them
to put out the message at their assemblies that the
violence will not be tolerated."

He added that officers would operate high visibility

He continued: "The vast majority of children and young
people come to the city centre to enjoy themselves and we
are not opposed to them coming with their parents, friends
or even by themselves.

"Our attention will be focused on the small minority who
have been involved in causing damage and injury in
incidents that only serve to spoil the good name of the

His fears echoed those expressed by Richard Sterling,
president of Derry's Chamber of Commerce.

"Our economy depends on continued growth and the retailers
in the city centre need stability in order to operate
effectively," said Mr Sterling.

"We cannot afford to let the actions of a few spoil the
economic future for many."


SF In Centenary Celebrations

By Brendan McDaid
24 September 2005

SINN Fein was today set to use a replica of Free Derry
Corner in their 100th anniversary celebrations in Dublin.

MLA Mitchel McLaughlin made the announcement while calling
for all local activists and supporters of the party to
gather in Dublin for the Cead Blaian.

The Free Derry monument and civil rights banners from years
gone by was expected to form one of the floats at a
carnival through the streets of Dublin.

Before setting off for Dublin, Mr McLaughlin said: "Sinn
Fein will be holding a carnival-type procession through
Dublin to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of
Sinn Fein.

"People from every county in Ireland will be taking part
and every county has been asked to provide a theme of
struggle to add to the pageant."

The rally was due to begin at 2pm at Parnell Square and end
at the GPO on O'Connell Street where Sinn Fein president
Gerry Adams MP was scheduled to make a keynote address.


Arms Choreography Is 'Unmistakable'

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

The choreography is unmistakable. The confirmation appears
only days away.

The question now is will the announcement of the completion
of IRA decommissioning mark the beginning of a new era, or
just the beginning of a new period of wrangling as the DUP
picks holes in the IRA initiative?

For weeks now, the whereabouts of General John de
Chastelain, the head of the decommissioning body, has been
a closely guarded secret.

A few days ago, the Northern Ireland Political Development
Minister, David Hansen, told the BBC's Hearts and Minds
programme he believed the IRA was beginning to make moves
related to disarmament.

Gerry Adams and Martin Ferris briefed IRA prisoners inside
Castlerea jail on the latest developments.

Sinn Fein activists prepared for a big Make Partition
History rally in Dublin.

Martin McGuinness confirmed his plans to travel to the
United States to brief the party's Irish American
supporters - a trip across the Atlantic being a sine qua
non for significant IRA announcements.

Sinn Fein's formal meeting with the Irish government seemed
to go smoothly, with even the hawkishly anti-IRA Justice
Minister Michael McDowell telling reporters that he had no
evidence to suggest that republicans were being"two-face"
about their latest commitment to peace.

The signs are that both Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair, who
will be addressing Labour party members at the party's
annual conference in Brighton on Tuesday, are preparing to
give the IRA's move the warmest of welcomes.

Closer to home, senior DUP figures are already signalling
their intention to do whatever they can to puncture the
peace process balloon.

They appear angry that the IRA has overlooked their
preferred clerical witness, the former Presbyterian
moderator David McGaughey.

With no photos and no say in those present, the DUP are
declaring that their conditions for transparency have not
been met.

The North Belfast MP, Nigel Dodds, has been voicing his
suspicion that republicans intend to hold onto their side

In an uncompromising speech at Dromore in County Down, Ian
Paisley Junior denounced what he termed the "so-called
decommissioning process" as secret and lacking in

"There is no appetite amongst unionists for a devolved
government with Sinn Fein", he declared. Adding for good
measure that the DUP "will live with direct rule".

Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein seems unfazed. He told the
BBC's Inside Politics programme that the international
audience was more important than the DUP.

'Inactive phase'

He described the Reverend McGaughey as an "opponent of the
Good Friday Agreement and the political process".

Particularly given the loyalist violence of recent weeks,
republicans don't feel under any great pressure to bow to
the DUP's demands over witnesses to disarmament.

Irish republicans may well feel comfortable with a
decommissioning move which further divides the government
and unionists by impressing the former whilst leaving the
latter cold.

Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, says he
doubts whether Ian Paisley snr will ever share power with

This may be his straightforward assessment, but equally he
may just be piling the pressure on the DUP.

In truth, nobody expects meaningful dialogue this side of
the IMC report scheduled for January, which is meant to
verify the IRA's new inactive phase.

It's only then when we shall discover what progress can be

Despite his assessment, Martin McGuinness declares himself
a "Plan A-er", but civil servants may soon have to start
dusting off their Plan Bs.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/24 10:02:57 GMT


Gone for good?

Speculation Grows That IRA Has Disposed Of Its Weapons

24 September 2005

THERE was mounting speculation today of a historic
announcement that the IRA has completed the decommissioning
of its vast arsenal of weapons.

Unionists were expected to demand unequivocal photographic
evidence of the arms disposal, verified by witnesses
acceptable to them.

In Dublin, Sinn Fein supporters were gathering to mark 100
years of the party, where party president Gerry Adams was
addressing thousands of supporters at a major rally in the

Mr Adams fuelled speculation that an unprecedented act of
decommissioning was on the cards after he declared that
Northern Ireland was close to a final accommodation between
unionists and nationalists.

"We believe that we are all on the cusp of a future which
allows those of us who want to, to see democratic and
peaceful structures in place," Mr Adams said after
yesterday's meeting between the republican party and
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

"Those of us who want to see equality right across the
island and those of us who want to see an accommodation
between unionists and the rest of us, we are on the cusp of
that happening in the wake of the IRA putting its arms
beyond use."

Retired Canadian General John de Chastelain is charged with
the task of scrutinising IRA disarmament, but the DUP has
remained sceptical about any move.

DUP leader Ian Paisley challenged the Government: "Will
unionist demands for open, verifiable, photographed and
witnessed decommissioning be adhered to or not? Furthermore
is that what the British Government has requested of the
IRA and have they made it clear to the IRA that nothing
else is satisfactory?"

Dr Paisley added: "We have a right to know the truth. The
day for deception is over, the day for the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but the truth has come."

UUP leader Sir Reg Empey said unionists should take heart
from the republican "U-turn" on decommissioning. "We must
remember that the republican position used to be 'not a
bullet, not an ounce'," he said.

South Down SDLP MP Eddie McGrady joined the chorus of
voices demanding that the arms disposal happen without
further delay.

"It is more than five years on from the decommissioning
deadline in the Good Friday Agreement. The scrapping of IRA
weapons is long overdue," he said.


Viewpoint: Arms Move Is Welcome But Overdue

KEY PHASE: This time round decommissioning must be final

24 September 2005

With Gerry Adams telling republicans in south Armagh that
the IRA is set to deliver on its commitments and Martin
McGuinness bound for Washington next week, the stage is
being set for the long-awaited completion of the
decommissioning process.

Eight years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement,
it seems that the IRA is finally poised to dispose of its
arms. The pity is that it has taken such an agonisingly
long time for the republican movement to reach this point.

What a difference it would have made to the peace process
if the IRA had moved more speedily. Such have been the
delays that public patience has been stretched to breaking

No doubt, IRA disarmament will be hailed around the world
as a seismic shift, and it should produce a sense of relief
in Northern Ireland. But the political atmosphere has been
soured to such an extent that regardless of what happens
next week, it will take time before unionists are ready
once again to share power with Sinn Fein.

While unionists cannot afford to be unnecessarily churlish
there are still bridges to be crossed, most notably on the
issue of Sinn Fein support for the police service. Any
party which aspires to government must be willing to
support the PSNI.

Republicans will view such demands as an attempt to raise
the bar but they must accept that there are still major
suspicions about the IRA's continuing involvement in
criminality and racketeering. The requirement is for the
IRA to match its words with its deeds, on all fronts.

For now, though, all eyes are on the IRA and what it will
do with its arms. This time round, the process must be
fully validated and a detailed inventory produced of the
weapons that have been scrapped.

In particular, the question of independent witnesses must
be speedily resolved. It is vital that the nominees put
forward enjoy the confidence of each section of the

If the IRA can satisfactorily complete the decommissioning
process, the republican movement will have taken a major
step forward on the road to democracy, and that should be
recognised. But nobody should see disarmament as the
complete solution to all our problems.


IRA Victim's Family Set To Sue Hitman

24 September 2005

THE family of IRA murder victim Joseph Rafferty are to sue
the Provo hitman responsible.

It is understood that the Raffertys believe they have
enough evidence to win a civil case against the man
believed to be responsible for killing Mr Rafferty (29) in
Dublin, should a criminal case fail.

The killer, who is in his mid 30s, is well known to gardai.
He shot Joseph over a personal jealousy and his family
claim he is being protected by Sinn Fein and the IRA.


Police Face Action Over House Raid

By Deborah McAleese
24 September 2005

EIGHT police officers, including a chief superintendent,
are facing disciplinary action following the controversial
search of the home of a former Special Branch officer
accused of leaking sensitive information to a journalist.

Peter William Adamson (50), formerly of Ferndale Avenue,
Portstewart, was cleared yesterday of breaching the
Official Secrets Act by supplying "sensitive information"
to the Northern Ireland editor of the Sunday Times, Liam

The leaked information was a major embarrassment to the
Government and included extracts of a telephone call
between former Secretary of State Mo Mowlam and Sinn Fein
MP Martin McGuinness in which she referred to him as

Officers raided Mr Adamson's home in the early hours of
April 30, 2003 and seized confidential police
documentation, which was identical to published

Mr Adamson complained about his treatment to the Police
Ombudsman, who found that the manner of the police search
compromised his safety and that of his family.

In a report, Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan said that police were
fully aware Mr Adamson was an ex-Special Branch police
officer and that detailed checks on his security status and
a comprehensive risk assessment should and could have been

She said: "I am satisfied that the police failed to give
any of these matters due consideration, and conduct risk
assessments and that their approach risked compromise to
your safety and that of your family."

The Ombudsman also upheld his complaint that the timing of
the search was unreasonable.

She said: "I am not satisfied that it was necessary and
proportionate to search your home address at midnight. This
search could easily have been left until 0700 hours that

She concluded the report by stating: "More serious failings
have been found in other aspects of the police action which
has attracted disciplinary recommendations being made in
respect of eight officers, ranks ranging from constable to
chief superintendent."

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph after he was cleared of
breaching the Official Secrets Act at Ballymena Crown Court
yesterday Mr Adamson said: "It has been a long two-and-a-
half years. It is a big relief to myself and my family who
have possibly suffered even more than I have.

"Since my house was initially searched it has been a
surreal situation. I had, as far as I believed, been a
dedicated police officer, with 26 years in Special Branch.

"I did not want it to come to this. I certainly did not
want it for my family or myself."

Mr Adamson is still facing a charge of possessing
ammunition in excess of the authorised quantity.

His trial has been adjourned for a date yet to be fixed.


It's Judgment Day For Londonderry

Fury as court told: 'It's Derry with a capital D'

By Paul O'Hare
24 September 2005

A JUDGE who told a Monaghan court that Londonderry did not
exist has been condemned by a unionist politician, who
accused him of having contempt for all things British.

Democratic Unionist Party MLA Arlene Foster confirmed she
intends to take up the comments with the Republic's

Judge Sean McBride is reported to have made the
controversial remarks after the address of the defendant in
a motoring court case was read out as Londonderry.

The Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA claimed the judge said,
as far as he was concerned, it was "just Derry with a
capital D".

Ms Foster said Judge McBride told Monaghan District Court
the issue had been resolved some time ago in the British
Parliament by former SDLP leader John Hume.

He ended by saying he did not want to see Londonderry
appear on any summons or charge sheets again.

Ms Foster reacted angrily to the comments and vowed to take
the matter up with the government in the Republic.

"For a member of the southern judiciary to make such an
ill-informed and completely inaccurate statement is
astounding," she said.

"This is indicative of the way in which authorities within
the Republic have contempt for anything British.

"I will be writing to the Irish Minister for Justice in
relation to this matter."

And Ms Foster added: "Is it any wonder that the minority
Protestant communities in the southern border areas feel
entirely isolated when this is the type of statement coming
from the Irish Judiciary?"

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