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September 15, 2005

News Violence On Belfast Streets

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 09/15/05 New Violence On Belfast Streets
UT 09/15/05 Police Swoop In Hunt For Violent Loyalists
SF 09/15/05 Unionists Must Sit Down With SF – McGuinness
BT 09/15/05 Orange Credibility Under Attack Over Riots
BT 09/15/05 PSNI In Scathing Row With Order
DI 09/15/05 Dodd's Double Standards
BB 09/15/05 Loyalists Picket Policing Board
BB 09/15/05 Hain Urged To Visit Riot Streets
BT 09/15/05 Hain Told To Specify The UDA's Ceasefire
UN 09/15/05 Political Leadership Needed Now More Than Ever
DI 09/15/05 O'Loan Report Delay Slammed By Family
DI 09/15/05 Destroying Ulster, Not Loving It
BT 09/15/05 Kelly Denies SF Is Behind Intimidation
WP 09/15/05 For IRA Critics, No Peace In Belfast
BT 09/15/05 Republican Pub Calls Last Orders In Dublin
HC 09/15/05 Houston: Alley To Stage McDonagh's Pillowman


New Violence On Belfast Streets

15/09/2005 - 13:48:16

Fresh trouble broke out in Belfast today after police
launched a series of raids in the loyalist north of the

A car was hijacked, set on fire and left blocking the
Crumlin Road and a van was hijacked and burned on the
Ballygomartin Road, said police.

The hijackings came as police searched a number of houses
in the Highfield area in the hunt for those behind the
street violence of recent days.

One person was arrested, said a police spokeswoman.

Highfield is where the Police Service of Northern Ireland
(PSNI) said it discovered a bomb-making factory at the

It is also the home district of a man who appeared in court
following the violence charged with possession of seven
guns and bomb-making equipment.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Reg Empey met Northern
Secretary Peter Hain at Stormont to discuss the violence
and urged him to get out on the streets of the city to
gauge loyalists' feelings.

Empey said: "There is no point in confining his meetings to
opinion-formers or the great and the good of this country.

"He has to get out on the ground and see for himself and we
have made specific invitations to him today to do so."

Mr Hain should have engaged directly with the communities
at an earlier stage, said Mr Empey.

"He must listen to their concerns and enter into dialogue
with opinion-formers at a grass roots level.

"He must understand that the sense of alienation felt by
ordinary unionists is profound," he added.

He said he also raised unionist concerns over the
"dangerous political vacuum" and the plans of the British
and US governments to hold a policing conference early in
the new year.

Unionists fear the conference is the forerunner to fresh
policing reforms - despite denials from both governments.

Mr Hain was also meeting Democratic Unionist leader Ian
Paisley and Alliance leader David Ford.

Meanwhile, loyalist protesters picketed the headquarters of
the Policing Board in Belfast to show their opposition to
the PSNI handling of the violence which erupted after an
Orange Order parade on Saturday.

Armed with banners declaring "British Citizens Demand
British Rights", around 50 women and a handful of men
staged the protest.

But Chief Constable Hugh Orde was briefing Policing Board
members on the weekend violence during the afternoon.

When protesters realised they had turned up too early, they
left, saying they would return later.

The SDLP branded continuing attempts by the Orange Order to
absolve themselves of blame for the violence as a farce.

Party vice chairman Eddie Espie said: "If the weekend was
tragedy, yesterday's press conference was pure farce.

"Sensible people reject the Orangemen's disgraceful claims
because their infantile accusations fly in the face of
facts on the ground."

Mr Espie said Orangemen had been seen using threatening
behaviour, and "picking up rocks and throwing them,
associating with masked paramilitaries and standing
shoulder to shoulder with petrol and blast bombers".


Police Swoop In Hunt For Violent Loyalists

Police launched a series of raids in loyalist north Belfast
today as they hunted those behind the street violence of
recent days.

By:Press Association

A number of houses in the Highfield area were searched and
one person arrested, said a police spokeswoman.

Highfield is where the Police Service of Northern Ireland
said it discovered a bomb-making factory at the weekend.

It is also the home district of a man who appeared in court
following the violence charged with possession of seven
guns and bomb-making equipment.

Loyalists protesters today picketed the headquarters of the
Policing Board in Belfast to show their opposition to the
police handling of the violence which erupted after an
Orange Order parade on Saturday.

Armed with banners declaring "British Citizens Demand
British Rights", around 50 women and a handful of men
staged the protest.

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde is due to brief the Policing
Board members on the weekend violence this afternoon.

When protesters realised they had turned up too early they
said they would go away and return later.

The loyalist violence took centre stage at a series of
meetings between Ulster Secretary Peter Hain and local
political parties at Stormont.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said he was also
focused on the political vacuum and plans of the British
and United States governments to hold a special conference
on policing next year.

Unionists fear the conference could herald fresh policing

Democratic Unionist leader, the Rev Ian Paisley and
Alliance leader David Ford were also meeting Mr Hain for
discussions on the violence.

The SDLP branded the attempts by the Orange Order to
absolve themselves of blame for the violence as a farce.

Party vice chairman Eddie Espie said: "If the weekend was
tragedy, yesterday`s press conference was pure farce.

"Sensible people reject the Orangemen`s disgraceful claims
because their infantile accusations fly in the face of
facts on the ground."

Mr Espie said Orangemen had been seen using threatening
behaviour, and "picking up rocks and throwing them,
associating with masked paramilitaries and standing
shoulder to shoulder with petrol and blast bombers."


Unionists Must Sit Down With Sinn Féin – McGuinness

Published: 15 September, 2005

Martin McGuinness MP wrote:

The recent historic initiative by the IRA created an
unprecedented sense of optimism and expectation that
renewed progress can be made towards a lasting peace. The
response has been almost universally positive and forward
thinking. Except that is within the leadership of unionism.
There the response has been negative, cynical and backward

Last week this negativity manifested itself in widespread
violence orchestrated by unionist paramilitaries clearly
designed to undermine progress and throw the peace process
into crisis.

Disgracefully, unionist leaders have compounded this
dangerous situation with inflammatory and totally
inaccurate statements. In particular, they have made wholly
unfounded claims that the current loyalist violence stems
from inequality and growing disadvantage in loyalist areas.
In fact, all of the evidence shows that nationalists
continue to suffer the effects of ingrained and
institutionalised inequality and disadvantage. For example,
of the 10 most deprived wards in the north of Ireland, 7
are predominantly nationalist, two are mixed and one is
mainly unionist. The most affluent wards, of course, are

Of course there is deprivation and poverty in working class
unionist communities and this should and must to be
tackled. But this is not the root cause of the recent

The reality is that the unease and instability in unionist
communities stems from a political vacuum created by
unionist politicians and now filled by loyalist violence.

Unionist parties have abjectly failed to provide
responsible or positive leadership. Instead they had
provided negative leadership, which hankers after a failed
and unacceptable status quo. The political leadership of
some working class unionist areas has been ceded to
loyalist paramilitaries and the deprivation that these
areas undoubtedly suffer has been compounded by the drug
dealing, infighting and other criminal activities of the

Rather than show positive leadership or undertake any
serious initiative to tackle the very real problems faced
by their constituents, the DUP, and now the UUP, have
chosen to allow the loyalist paramilitaries to assert this
negative agenda. Influential unionist politicians are
blatantly playing to the lowest common dominator by
justifying and excusing widespread sectarian violence. The
stark but unacknowledged reality is that the greatest
threat to unionist communities comes from the criminal and
sectarian activities of loyalist paramilitaries yet
unionist leaders are strangely and uncharacteristically

The leaderships of unionism, represented by the DUP and the
UUP, claim that their communities have no voice. Is this
not their responsibility? Is this not the result of their
failure, as politicians, to provide that voice - their
failure to show positive leadership and their failure to
engage on behalf of those they represent.

The leaderships of unionism and loyalism have presented the
peace process as a threat to their communities.

In this weekend's events we saw the playing out - at a
violent street level - of the comments of James Molyneaux,
the then UUP leader, when he described the IRA cessation in
1994 as the most destabilising event since partition.

Last weekend's violence is a response to the realisation
that the status quo is not an option and to the
uncertainties of a process of change which demands
equality, human rights, proper policing, justice and
inclusion. It is a response to the dawning reality that the
days of domination, triumphalism and second class
citizenships are gone forever.

The peace process is about equality and justice. It is a
threat to no-one, unionist or nationalist. It has been of
enormous benefit right across our society. There have been
enormous improvements in all communities over the past 10
years. Of course, there is still much to be done.
Inequality and disadvantage has to be tackled wherever it
occurs. But that is not the focus or concern of unionist
politicians. They are more interested in forcing a
sectarian march along the Springfield Road. How, in any
way, could the grievances that they describe within their
communities be resolved or eased by pushing a triumphalist
sectarian parade through a nationalist area of West

If the leadership of unionism, represented by the DUP and
the UUP, genuinely wish to deal with the very real and
immediate problems faced by the people they purport to
represent, particularly those living in inner city working
class areas dominated by loyalists, then they should sit
down and talk about these problems.

We in Sinn Féin genuinely share their concern. We want to
tackle deprivation, poverty and disadvantage no matter
where it occurs and in Sinn Féin they will find a ready
ally in bringing forward effective solutions and demanding
action from the British and Irish governments.

Unionist political leaders should deal with the short-
comings of direct rule through the return of accountable
local government. They should show by example that a better
future can only be found through equality, co-operation and
mutual respect. Unionists whether in the DUP, the UUP or
the Orange Order should sit down and talk with us, their
fellow citizens. That is the best way to tackle the very
real social and economic issues which affect all of us in
this society. ENDS


Orange Credibility Under Attack Over Riots

By Deborah McAleese
15 September 2005

THE credibility of the Orange Order was being questioned
last night after its refusal to accept any responsibility
for the loyalist rioting.

And calls were made for the banning of any parade or
protest if organisers will not agree to accept
responsibility for any consequences.

SDLP deputy leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell said the Order has
thrown away its last shred of respectability.

"I believe serious consideration must be given to the
banning of any parade or protest where the organisers will
not accept that by bringing people out on to the streets
they are fully responsible for the consequences.

"A statement of support for law and order and compliance
with police and Parades Commission instructions must become
a condition of all parades and protests," said Mr

Alliance Party leader David Ford said the Orange Order
cannot wash its hands of responsibility for its members'


PSNI In Scathing Row With Order

Fears over future policing of parades

By Deborah McAleese
15 September 2005

RELATIONS between the PSNI and the Orange Order slumped to
an all-time low last night, raising questions over the
policing of future marches.

The PSNI hit back at the Orange Order's scathing
accusations that police were to blame for the fierce
loyalist riots in Ulster.

In a hard-hitting statement, the police said they were not
responsible for calling people out onto the streets over
the weekend but yet police and the Army were left to deal
with the situation.

"Police officers and soldiers have come under sustained
attack with missiles, petrol bombs, blast bombs, pipe bombs
and live rounds. Over 80 officers have been injured," a
PSNI spokesman said.

"The Chief Constable clearly put on the record on Saturday
night that the Orange Order must bear substantial
responsibility for the serious disorder that we saw over
the weekend. We stand by that."

The fall out between the PSNI and the Orange Order does not
bode well for marches in the future.

However, now that all of this summer's main flashpoint
marches are over it will give the stormy situation time to
calm down.

Police confirmed last night that major investigations into
serious crime and the recent disturbances are ongoing and
that further arrests will be made.

An investigation into the breaching of the Parades
Commission's determinations for the Whiterock parade -
which Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said were
"comprehensively breached root and branch" - has also been

Despite the Chief Constable releasing video footage showing
Orangemen attacking police and threatening them with
swords, the Orange Order has still denied any wrong-doing.

Belfast's most senior Orangeman, Dawson Bailie, who last
week called people onto the streets over the rerouted
parade, said he would "not do anything differently".

Secretary of State Peter Hain said there can be no
equivocation in condemning attacks against the police.


Dodd's Double Standards

Ciarán Barnes

Democratic Unionist Party MP, Nigel Dodds, has been taken
to task over comments he made following nationalist rioting
in Ardoyne in comparison to the comments he made in the
wake of this week's loyalist violence.

After serious trouble in Ardoyne following a July 12 Orange
Order parade Mr Dodds described rioters as "deplorable".

He said: "The scenes of intense violence which has left so
many police officers and members of the press injured are a
scandal and a disgrace.

Mr Dodds also said the throwing of blast bombs by the
Continuity IRA "clearly demonstrates premeditated,
organised violence on the part of republican

During the riot in Ardoyne nine explosive devices were
thrown at the PSNI along with scores of petrol bombs.

Recent loyalist violence saw paramilitaries open fire on
the PSNI, throw hundreds of blast, pipe and petrol bombs
and hijack scores of vehicles.

Although condemning the violence Mr Dodds did not make
specific reference to loyalist paramilitaries.

The North Belfast MP said: "Having endured so much at the
hands of republicans over a very sustained period, the
community does not deserve to have this type of violence
inflicted upon it from within.

"I would urge people not to become involved in street
violence since it is leaving in its wake a trail of
destruction, putting local people in fear and setting back
the regeneration of the area."

North Belfast Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McCleneghan
said Mr Dodds' comments highlighted unionist double

She said: "It is time that all unionist political leaders,
Ian Paisley, Reg Empey, Nigel Dodds, began to show
leadership on the issue of loyalist violence.

"The public message seems to be that there is an acceptable
level of loyalist violence, particularly if it is only
nationalists and working class Protestant communities that
are suffering."


Loyalists Picket Policing Board

Loyalists have staged a demonstration outside the Belfast
headquarters of the Policing Board.

The protesters, who are mainly women, are angry at the way
police handled three days of disorder which followed
Saturday's Whiterock parade.

It is understood they plan to return to the Clarendon Dock
building later when Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde is due to
brief board members on the violence.

So far police have made 63 arrests in connection with the

Violence began 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.

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has blamed loyalist
paramilitaries, the Ulster Defence Association and Ulster
Volunteer Force, for being behind the trouble.

He said 60 of his officers had been hurt over three nights
of rioting.

Police officers and soldiers were shot at and attacked with
petrol bombs, blast bombs and other missiles during the

Dozens of hijacked vehicles were also set on fire at a
number of locations across Northern Ireland.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/15 10:29:54 GMT


Hain Urged To Visit Riot Streets

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has said the NI
secretary should leave his office and speak to people in
loyalist areas wrecked by violence.

He was speaking after a meeting with Peter Hain at
Stormont. Sir Reg said they discussed recent loyalist
violence and "the current political vacuum".

He said Mr Hain should meet people in these areas and get a
"real taste" of what was happeneing.

The Democratic Unionists and Alliance Party are also
meeting Mr Hain.

The UUP leader said that he had raised the issue of "an
apparent choreography" which started with an IRA statement,
and was preceded by the release of the Shankill bomber,
Sean Kelly.

Asked whether, as an Orangeman he was happy to be led by
the Belfast master Dawson Bailie, Sir Reg said he did not
accept Mr Bailie's version of what had happened.

He said he had not seen Mr Bailie's television interview
where he had refused to condemn the violence.

Sir Reg said he did not believe that anybody who saw what
had happened could fail to say that the institution had
some responsibilities.

"We saw individual cases of people behaving in my view
inappropriately," he said.

The UUP leader said Mr Bailie had been elected to his post
democractically and it was up to the institution to chose
its leaders.


Speaking before meeting Mr Hain, Alliance Party leader
David Ford said they intended to address the failure of the
unionist parties to condemn those responsible for the

"Reg Empey, in the immediate aftermath of the violence,
started issuing a statement which blamed the Parades
Commission and the police and the paramilitaries as an
afterthought," he said.

"The Alliance Party will put the blame where it lies, with
the paramilitaries and the Orange Order, not with those who
enforce the law and deserve support from everybody."

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is expected to
"brief members of Congress in Washington" on the political
process and recent violence.

In New York, he will speak at the launch of the Clinton
Global Initiative at the invitation of former president
Bill Clinton, said the party.

On Wednesday, the government announced it no longer
recognised the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) as being on

The decision to "specify" the UVF and Red Hand Commando
(RHC) was made by Mr Hain.

He was given a report from the Independent Monitoring
Commission on the UVF's feud with the Loyalist Volunteer
Force (LVF) last week.

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

Citing the "ruthless" attacks on police during weekend
rioting by loyalists, Mr Hain said violence did not pay.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/15 11:41:23 GMT


Hain Told To Specify The UDA's Ceasefire

By Deborah McAleese
15 September 2005

PRESSURE was last night mounting on the Secretary of State
Peter Hain to specify the UDA ceasefire.

Mr Hain was asked to closely inspect the terrorist group's
activities and not let them "off the hook".

PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde had implicated both the UDA
and UVF in the weekend riots which saw gunfire directed at

The UDA has also been linked to other attacks, including
the murder of nightclub promoter Stephen Nelson, who died
earlier this year after being assaulted in September 2004.

Following the specification of the UVF ceasefire, Mr Hain
is facing increasing pressure to admit the UDA ceasefire
has broken down.

As speculation mounted on Tuesday that the UVF ceasefire
would be declared defunct, a UDA statement called for a
cessation of all violence.

However, the timing of the statement has been questioned
and the Government urged not to be taken in by the "well-
timed" statement.

SDLP MLA John Dallat said: "The UDA's well-timed statement
calling for an end to violence was designed to get it off
the hook, but the fact is that it was up to its neck in the
weekend violence in Belfast.

"The Northern Ireland Office needs to get real and begin
respecting ordinary, decent people who want to see a shared
future which involves both communities without the
influence of terror groups."

Meanwhile, questions were being raised last night over what
constitutes the breaching of a ceasefire.

Liberal Democrat's Ulster spokes- man Lembit Opik MP said:
"There does not seem to be a standard by which the public
can clearly judge when a ceasefire has been broken.

"It is unclear whether the Secretary of State takes
criminal activity, or internal community exilings and
intimidation into account when reviewing the state of the


Political Leadership Required Now More Than Ever

The distressing scenes of violence, public disorder and
naked hatred which returned to the streets of Belfast this
week are a grim reminder of the long road yet to be
travelled in the peace process.

The outbreak of savage and sustained violence perpetrated
by extreme loyalists brought terror and despair back to the
fabric of life in Northern Ireland. These were scenes we
thought we had left behind, as communities from both sides
of the political divide yearned for a brighter future and
the Province seemed at last to be on the brink of
unprecedented prosperity as a result of the so-called peace

While it would, perhaps, be an over-reaction to speculate
that all the progress of recent years has been put at grave
risk, there is no doubt that the intensity of the violence
over the last few days has posed the greatest threat yet to
what is a fragile peace.

The running-battles with police, the burning of property,
the hijacking of cars and the terrorising of civilians all
seems to have been part of a well planned and orchestrated
campaign of violence and public disobedience.

And for what purpose? To highlight the grievances of a
Protestant population which is feeling increasingly
abandoned?; to stall efforts to get a new Assembly up and
running? or was the ultimate objective more sinister, an
attempt lure the IRA back into active operations.

It is particularly worrying, if not perverse, that the
breakdown in law and order is the result of a moronic
campaign of violence perpetrated from within the ranks of
loyalist paramilitaries against the PSNI. There is a tragic
irony there which reflects the changing face of politics in
Northern Ireland.

In stark contrast to the situation which sparked off the
Troubles in the late 1960s, it is now working-class
Protestants who feel isolated and alienated and bereft of
political leadership.

The hard men have stepped into the vacuum, obviously still
stuck in a time-warp, holding on to the outdated belief
that violence, rather than dialogue and compromise, is
still the best way to settle differences in the North.

With the IRA ready to destroy their vast arsenal of weapons
-- and more urgent movement in this regard would certainly
be welcome -- it seems that the leaders of Republicanism
have at last realised that democratic politics is the only
way forward. It took them more than thirty years to grasp
that obvious reality. Hopefully, the Loyalist
paramilitaries will not take as long.

Political leadership is needed in the North now more than
at any time in the last decade. Sinn Fein and all the
Unionist Parties must give unequivocal support to the PSNI,
the IRA must move swiftly to back up their pledge on
decommissioning with verifiable destruction of weapons and
renewed efforts must be made to begin meaningful dialogue
between Republicans and Unionists.


O'Loan Report Delay Slammed By Family

Jarlath Kearney

Relatives of the only person shot dead by the PSNI last
night criticised the Police Ombudsman's office for delaying
publication of a report on the killing.

Neil McConville was shot dead in a PSNI undercover
operation near Lisburn, Co Antrim, on April 29, 2003.

The 21-year old had been travelling in a car that was
tailed by several PSNI vehicles and a helicopter.

Mr McConville's car was rammed, before he and a passenger
were shot.

Mr McConville died shortly afterwards.

Although there was no paramilitary connection in the
incident leading to Mr McConville's killing, the dead man's
family are convinced he was the subject of a 'shoot-to-
kill' operation.

The McConville family are being supported by Relatives for
Justice, which campaigns for victims of state violence.

Speaking to Daily Ireland last night, Neil's uncle Barry
McConville expressed "deep frustration" with the Police
Ombudsman's failure to publish its report on the case.

"As we understand it, the report is now finished but for
one reason or another it has not yet been published.

"We believe the report is now being held up for political
reasons so as not to blacken the name of the PSNI.

"Perhaps they are going to try and bury the report on the
back pages.

"We can't see any other reason why this report hasn't been

"From the outset, in our naivety, we were prepared to give
the Ombudsman the benefit of the doubt, but now our
patience has run out," Mr McConville said.

Mr McConville also expressed serious concern that the
Ombudsman's office will refuse to disclose key details
about the investigation when the report is finally

"The lack of accountability in relation to the shoot-to-
kill of a young father – who could easily have been
arrested – is very unsatisfactory," Barry McConville said.

Daily Ireland understands that none of the PSNI members
involved in the shooting were suspended pending the outcome
of the Ombudsman's investigation.

The McConville family are also thought to be extremely
concerned about key aspects of the case. For instance, the
family believes that contradictions exist in the PSNI's
version of the killing.

They also argue that the impartiality of the Ombudsman's
office was prejudiced from the outset.

It is understood that items of evidence relating to the
ramming of the car in which Neil McConville was travelling
– such as lights, broken glass and plastic – were
discovered by members of the McConville family at the scene
of the killing after investigators had already left.

Responding to the concerns of the McConville family last
night, a spokesperson for the Police Ombudsman told Daily
Ireland: "The report will be published shortly."


Destroying Ulster, Not Loving It

Love Ulster. Express your Orange culture. Wreck the

Love Ulster. It will fight and it will be right.

Love Ulster. The British army must stay. Drive it out.

Love Ulster. Save the Royal Irish Regiment. Shoot at its

Love Ulster. Support law and order. Bomb the police.

Love Ulster. Set fire to its businesses.

Love Ulster. Put out its lights.

Love Ulster. Terrify its tourists.

Love Ulster. Scare its investors.

Love Ulster. Block its roads.

Love Ulsterbus(es). Burn them (after robbing the

Love Ulster. Hijack its cars.

Love Ulster. Stone its journalists.

Love Ulster. Drug its kids.

Love Ulster. Kill other Ulster lovers.

Love Ulster. Fracture babies' skulls.

Love Ulster. Break your neighbours' windows.

Love Ulster. Stab your neighbours' children.

Love Ulster. Firebomb your neighbours' churches and

Love Ulster. Piss and vomit in your neighbours' gardens.

Love Ulster. Wear a hood or mask or Rangers top with your

Love Ulster. Thou shalt not have strange gods — like God —
before it.

Love Ulster. It's a Protestant paradox fornenst a
Protestant people.

Love Ulster. No surrender.

Love Ulster. What we have we hold.

Love Ulster. No pope, no hope and no scope here.

Love Ulster. Except for Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan.

Love Ulster. It was a great wee place before 1969.

Love Ulster. It's at crisis point.

Love Ulster. It's as British as Finland.

Love Ulster. But not an inch the British government, the
Parades Commission, Sir Hugh Orde, Peter Hain, the
international press or the rest of the world.

Love Ulster. A bigger drain on the economy than the Iraq
war. Love Ulster. In the 1970s they came for the B

Love Ulster. In the 1980s, they came for the UDR.

Love Ulster. In the 1990s, they came for the RUC.

Love Ulster — 2005 and they've come for the RIR.

Love Ulster — 2006 and they're coming to take me away, ho
ho, he he, ha ha, to the happy farm…

Are we living in a 32-county, democratic socialist republic
under an IRA government? Has Protestantism been suppressed
and the Orange Order banned? Has the centre of all
commerce, banking and administration been shifted to

Whatever became of Reg Empey's contribution to political
stability, his cocky, provocative claim after the setting
up of the executive under the Belfast Agreement, that "the
hunger strikers had died for nothing and republicans were
administering British rule in the North"?

Whatever became of Ian Paisley's claim to unionists just
four months ago that, by voting for the Democratic
Unionists, the Ulster Unionist "sellout" would end and be
reversed and that under him there would be "no more
concessions to the IRA and no more rewards for IRA/Sinn

Empey had claimed that unionism had won, that republicans
had surrendered and been defeated. Paisley was claiming the
opposite and successfully played on his own people's often
irrational fears so that he could be crowned king of the
unionists and march them up to the top of a hill. But after
last weekend's outburst of rioting, organised by the
paramilitaries as part of a disastrously ill-thought out
political strategy (perversely aimed at gaining sympathy),
Empey and Paisley are now singing from the same hymn sheet.
IRA/Sinn Féin are getting everything (because of the IRA's
campaign) and Protestants are getting nothing so, out of
frustration, Protestants are turning to violence to improve
their lot.

It is a complete fallacy that only the nationalist
community has gained from peace or that nationalists have

The real impact of reform is that it is aimed at producing
a level playing field in Northern politics, not a united
Ireland. Reforms are aimed at reversing the sectarian
advantages that unionists historically abrogated to
themselves in government, throughout the economy, in the
judiciary and police. Reforms attempt to create equality,
including equality of aspiration (but with unionists having
the advantage given the current constitutional status quo).
The North clearly isn't as British as Finchley. A majority
in Finchley cannot separate Finchley from England whereas a
majority here can bring about Irish reunification. In that
sense, I'll certainly go along with unionists — they are
second-class British subjects.

Whilst armed struggle — at a terrible price all round —
certainly improved the negotiating muscle of the
nationalist community, it did so because the grievances of
nationalists were deep and real, not imagined, and were
recognised as such by the international community.

However, whilst unionists certainly suffered at the hands
of the IRA, nationalists are not responsible for their
grievances, real and imagined. People in deprived areas
such as the Shankill or Glenbryn should ask themselves how
their areas became so rundown and what their elected
representatives really did for them. Those areas have also
been undermined and demoralised by loyalist paramilitaries,
by endless feuding and by drug barons, not by Sinn Féin.

Unionists are resisting a level playing field because such
a transformation transcends the old Northern Ireland state
to produce a new hybrid state. And the king of unionism,
Ian Paisley, hasn't a constructive idea in his head and
certainly not one that enthuses or includes nationalists.

The political metamorphosis in the North is taking place in
a completely transparent fashion. There are no secret deals
between republicans and the British government. The IRA is
departing the scene and, of course, republican strategy is
to use the Belfast Agreement, cross-Border and all-Ireland
bodies and the national political influence of Sinn Féin on
the Dublin government to peacefully pursue republican
objectives. That's what republicans were told they could do
in place of armed struggle — only for unionists now to
complain that republican speculation about what year there
might be a united Ireland is unsettling them.

Last week's rioting shows that unionists still remain
leaderless and have learnt little from the clear PR
disasters that were Drumcree, Harryville and Holy Cross.
Against the background of the widespread rioting and
destruction, it should be remembered that Orangemen marched
to Whiterock Orange Hall and marched back from it last

What is revealing about the Orange mindset is that marching
to the hall wasn't as important as marching through a
Catholic area to get to the hall. Therein lies the malaise
of unionism. To love Ulster, they have to destroy it.

Danny Morrison is a writer and commentator. Tomorrow night
he will appear on the BBC1 documentary Citizen Fitt
(10.45pm) about the former MP for west Belfast. Morrison's
play The Wrong Man will be staged in the Tivoli Theatre,
Francis Street, Dublin, from October 10. The box office can
be contacted at (01) 872 1122 or by email at


Kelly Denies SF Is Behind Intimidation

Mediation offer slammed by SDLP

By By Linda McKee
15 September 2005

SINN Fein MLA Gerry Kelly yesterday denied that party
members were involved in the ongoing intimidation of the
family of murder victim Robert McCartney.

But the SDLP branded Sinn Fein's offer to mediate in the
dispute as "insulting" and called on the party to decide
whether to stand by local gang bosses or the McCartneys.

Following Monday's attack on Mr McCartney's best friend,
Jeff Commander, republicans and their supporters staged a
protest the following night, demanding that Mr McCartney's
fiancee Bridgeen and her children leave the Short Strand.

Mr Kelly said: "Sinn Fein was in no way involved but is
encouraging mediation to deal with these disputes.

"Sinn Fein is totally opposed to intimidation of any type,
no matter where it comes from or who it is aimed at."

But South Belfast SDLP MP Alasdair McDonnell said the
protest showed that the intimidation of Bridgeen Hagans and
her children had stepped up to a horrific degree.

"Afterwards, a statement was read out to residents in their
doorways presenting three demands: that Bridgeen and the
children should get out, that Jeff Commander withdraw his
complaint to the police, and that the McCartney family stop
what they called harassment of republicans," he said.

"The fact that Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly has condemned the
attack on Commander is of little value when the local
Provos feel able to read their expulsion proclamations in

"His offer to mediate is insulting since members of his own
movement are the problem. The Provos have evaded their
responsibilities for months.

"Sinn Fein needs to declare right now, today, what side it
is going to be on. Is it going to support the family of a
victim, the widow and children? Or is it going to stand by
the local gang bosses?"


For IRA Critics, No Peace In Belfast

Family, Friends of Slain Catholic Face Campaign of

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, September 15, 2005; Page A21

BELFAST, Sept. 14 -- The family of Robert McCartney, a
Catholic whose death at the hands of Irish Republican Army
members in January caused international outrage and brought
White House condemnation, said Wednesday it was being
subjected to a campaign of violence and intimidation for
speaking out forcefully against the IRA.

Paula McCartney, Robert's sister, said her two teenage sons
were beaten recently by family members of a high-ranking
IRA officer who they believe was involved in McCartney's
killing. On Monday night, one of Robert McCartney's closest
friends, Jeff Commander, was beaten with metal rods by a
gang of men the McCartney family also contends are IRA
members linked to the killing.

Robert McCartney, above, was killed Jan. 30 by IRA members
at a Belfast pub. His sister Paula, right, says her sons
were beaten recently by family members of a ranking IRA
officer. (Ho - Reuters)

On Tuesday night, at least 50 people, mostly women,
demonstrated outside the home of Bridgeen Hagans,
McCartney's fiancee, vowing to return every night until she
moves out of the neighborhood.

"They want to intimidate us, they want us to keep quiet,"
said Paula McCartney, whose small home in the Short Strand,
a close-knit Catholic community in East Belfast, is
decorated with photos of well-wishers including U.S. Sens.
Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.)
and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

She said Commander's attackers used the recent riots in
Belfast's Protestant communities as an opportunity to take
revenge on McCartney's family while police and public
attention were focused elsewhere.

Mitchell B. Reiss, President Bush's special envoy to
Northern Ireland, described the situation as "disgraceful."

"We deplore the recent violence and intimidation against
the McCartney family, Bridgeen and their friends," Reiss
said Wednesday in a statement to The Washington Post. "It
is unacceptable and should stop immediately."

McCartney, a supporter of Sinn Fein, the IRA's political
wing, was killed Jan. 30 in a pub brawl after an argument
got out of hand. He was dragged outside and beaten by at
least a dozen men, one of whom stabbed him in the heart.

In a remarkable departure from the code of silence enforced
by the IRA among its Catholic supporters, McCartney's
family publicly and repeatedly said that he was killed by
IRA members and demanded justice. They said the IRA
intimidated witnesses to keep them from coming forward and
sent in professionals to clean up the murder scene and
destroy evidence.

The family's campaign -- which included a visit with Bush
at the White House -- badly embarrassed Sinn Fein and
damaged its reputation as it fought an increasing
perception that the IRA was tainted by thugs and criminals
who lacked their forefathers' political ideals. Trying to
stem the political damage, Sinn Fein's leader, Gerry Adams,
invited the family to address a party meeting, where they
issued impassioned demands for justice.

The IRA took the unusual step of publicly denouncing the
McCartney killing and offered to shoot those responsible in
the kind of rough justice it has long used to police
Catholic communities. The McCartney family rejected that
offer. Two men have been charged in connection with
McCartney's murder, and the IRA announced it had expelled
three members over the killing. In July, the IRA announced
it was laying down its weapons for good.

Sinn Fein issued a statement Wednesday denying any link to
the beating of Commander, whose bloodied head was featured
in several front-page newspaper photos in Belfast on
Wednesday. "Sinn Fein is totally opposed to intimidation of
any type no matter where it comes from or who it is aimed
at," said the statement issued by a party official, Gerry

But in the Short Strand, an IRA stronghold where about
3,000 people live in modest two-story brick buildings,
McCartney's family said IRA intimidation was still a way of

Even as the IRA has disarmed and lost much of its former
clout, individual IRA members still "act as if they can do
anything they want," said Jim Arnold, Paula McCartney's
husband. "It's an absolute disgrace," said Arnold, a house
painter. "They are dinosaurs. They live on the back of the
IRA, but the IRA are finished, and they cannot grasp it.
They won't move on."

Arnold said the people who took part in the McCartney
killing are well known in the Short Strand. And he said
that despite the IRA's claims that the men were expelled,
they are still deeply involved with the paramilitary group.
"This district is sickened by these people still parading
around who were involved in Robert's murder," he said.

Arnold said these men joined a crowd of Catholics who
gathered at the entrance to the Short Strand on Monday
evening, standing guard against any rioting Protestants who
might try to come in and cause trouble. He said they were
also among the men who ambushed Commander later in the
evening, opening a large gash on his head.

"They're trying to tell our family: Shut up or this is
going to happen again," Arnold said. "The McCartney family
opened a lot of eyes in Belfast."

Arnold and Paula McCartney, as well as Bridgeen Hagans, are
making plans to move out of the neighborhood. "I can't live
in a community where it is perfectly acceptable to murder
an innocent man and still walk around freely," Paula
McCartney said.


Republican Pub Calls Last Orders In Dublin

15 September 2005

MARKET forces have finally achieved what the UFF tried but
failed to do - close the Widow Scallan's.

The pub on Dublin's Pearse Street was taken out of active
boozing service two weeks ago, the news broken to regulars
by a sign on the bar's window.

Inside, the bar has been stripped of its tatty republican
regalia, including drink-stained copies of the 1916
Proclamation and yellowed shots of masked IRA men with

Behind the bar there was a picture of former Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher, with the sign, Wanted For Murder, posted

The premises are reported to be valued in excess of €2.5m,
although there is no indication that it is for sale at

However, the property may eventually be sold to a private
developer for the building of apartments, a local source

On May 21, 1994 pub doorman, IRA member Martin Doherty, was
shot dead by loyalists who tried to throw a bomb inside.

No-one was ever arrested for the UFF attack, which was the
last time loyalists went south of the border on a civilian
bombing run.


Alley To Stage McDonagh's Pillowman

By Everett Evans
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

The Alley Theatre has acquired the rights to Martin
McDonagh's dark, widely praised play The Pillowman , a
recent hit in London and on Broadway. The show will run
Jan. 27-Feb. 26, 2006, on the Neuhaus Stage.


The Alley will be the first U.S. resident theater to
produce the provocative, much-discussed comedy-drama. Alley
artistic director Gregory Boyd will direct the Houston

Set in an unnamed totalitarian state, The Pillowman centers
on two sadistic cops' interrogation of an imprisoned writer
named Katurian. They are investigating real-life child
murders that echo the writer's grisly fiction.

The detectives hold the writer's mentally impaired brother
in the adjacent cell and strive to make each suspect
implicate the other. In the course of the interrogation,
several of Katurian's blood-curdling tales are enacted
onstage, as is the tragic history of the brothers and their
abuse at the hands of their eccentric parents.

Underlying the action are timely questions about censorship
and artistic freedom, the roots of violence and the
treatment of detainees deemed a threat to the public good.

At the play's Broadway premiere in April, the New York
Times' Ben Brantley deemed it "the season's most exciting
and original new play." In USA Today, Elysa Gardner called
it "the most brutal work yet from the celebrated author of
The Beauty Queen of Leenane , and also his most tender."

The play's successful Broadway production, starring Billy
Crudup and Jeff Goldblum, concludes its run Sunday. Though
attendance remains strong enough for it to continue, the
producers decided to close when the original cast's
contracts expired, rather than recast it with a different
set of actors.

Born in London to expatriate Irish parents, McDonagh during
the past decade has won renown as one of Great Britain's
most distinctive young dramatists.

His Leenane Trilogy includes A Skull in Connemara , The
Lonesome West and The Beauty Queen of Leenane , which,
after its successful 1997 Broadway production, was widely
produced at U.S. regional theaters (including the Alley).

The Pillowman is McDonagh's first play not set in rural

For information on the Alley's 2005-06 season, call 713-

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