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September 14, 2005

Orde Reject OO Criticism

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 09/14/05 Orde 'Rejects Orange Criticism'
BT 09/14/05 UDA Truce Is Still Intact Says Hain
IE 09/14/05 IAUC: Georgetown Peace Talk
GR 09/14/05 Pickets At McCartney Home After Police Report
IT 09/15/05 Documentation On 'Colombia Three' Received
IT 09/15/05 Amendment Of Oath For North MPs Urged
IT 09/15/05 Programme Of Events For Clifden Arts Festival


Orde 'Rejects Orange Criticism'

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has rejected criticism from
the Orange Order of the police operation at Saturday's
Whiterock parade in Belfast.

Orange Order grand master Robert Saulters described the
police's handling of the parade as aggressive and arrogant.

The Order said there was no evidence members were involved
in violence.

However, police released video in which they said Orangemen
were clearly seen attacking the security forces.

Sir Hugh said Orangemen joined in attacks on police, which
saw 60 officers hurt during days of rioting after the
Belfast march.

Mr Saulters said the Order regarded itself as blameless. He
said violence after the re-routed parade was a "cry of


Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Mr Saulters
blamed the police, the Parades Commission and the
government for causing the trouble after the Whiterock

"Perhaps the most worrying thing about the weekend's events
is the widespread feelings of frustration within the
Protestant community," he said.

"The extent to which ordinary, decent and reasonable men
have been goaded into behaving out of character by the
authorities and their insistence on appeasing and rewarding
nationalists at the expense of loyalists."

Mr Saulters said he would not comment on any disciplinary
action against Order members, but said there would probably
be an inquiry.

"They may have protected themselves but there certainly
wasn't violence. If a policeman comes at you with a baton
you'll certainly put up your hand or something to stop
them," he added.

When asked about the events of the last few days the
Belfast County Grand Master Dawson Bailie said he would "do
nothing different".

However, Secretary of State Peter Hain said the police
video evidence he had seen was categorical, with Orangemen
taking off their collarettes, picking up stones and
throwing them at the police.

"Maybe it was a minority of Orange Order members, I'm sure
it was, but the Orange Order organised that parade which
resulted and sparked off this vicious and ferocious
violence and lethal violence against police officers," he

"They must take responsibility for that and I hope it won't
happen again."

Sixty-three people were arrested and 60 police officers
hurt during three nights of rioting which started after the
re-routed west Belfast march on Saturday.

The chief constable said the Order was substantially
responsible for the disturbances which followed the parade.

Police officers and soldiers were shot at, attacked with
petrol bombs, blast bombs and other missiles during three
nights of what police described as "orchestrated violence".

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/14 19:45:27 GMT


UDA Truce Is Still Intact Says Hain

By Chris Thornton
14 September 2005

THE UDA ceasefire remains officially intact but under
review, Secretary of State Peter Hain said today in the
wake of his decision to revoke recognition of the UVF's

Mr Hain said his decision - based on the weekend violence
and a catalogue of violence over the summer that left four
dead - shows that the Government will not tolerate

PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde had blamed both loyalist
groups for taking part in gun attacks on police at the
weekend. In one case, police captured footage of a gunman
operating in a west Belfast housing estate dominated by the

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

But as it became clear yesterday that Mr Hain would rule
the UVF had breached its ceasefire, the UDA issued a
statement calling for an end to violence in Belfast.

Some rioting continued in Belfast and Lisburn last night,
leaving one police officer injured by a petrol bomb.

Mr Hain said the activities of the UDA and other
paramilitary groups would remain "under close inspection
and scrutiny" by the Independent Monitoring Commission.

"The UDA is part of that," he said. "We will continue to
monitor it day by day and week by week.

"I did note the statement from the UDA calling for an end
to street violence, and that is very welcome."

The UDA lost recognition of its ceasefire in 2001, only
regaining that status last year.

Today's move against the UVF means that membership charges
can be brought against those who belong to the

Mr Hain said he took his decision after reviewing evidence
about the weekend violence and an IMC report on UVF
participation in a feud with the LVF.

He said the move should be an "absolutely crystal clear
signal that violence will not be tolerated".

The Secretary of State said he would still meet loyalist
representatives in order "to find out what their future
agenda is".

Mr Hain rejected suggestions that the Government had turned
a blind eye to continuing violence until the security
forces themselves came under attack.

He said: "I have personally authorised decisions by the
security services which have stopped people being murdered,
and stopped illegal activity.

"So the idea that we stood back and did nothing, that the
police have simply turned a blind eye, is simply not the

Mr Hain said he hoped loyalist people will recognise "there
is a future for us".

"The Union is cemented in as a result of this peace
process, and you can't bomb your way into a united Ireland
any more," he said.

Alliance leader David Ford said he welcomed "this very
belated action" from Mr Hain. But he added: "However, he
should not have waited until now."


Georgetown Peace Talk

The Irish American Unity Conference is inviting all
Northern Ireland political party leaders to a discussion on
the peace process.

The group said that the moderated discussion, to be held
Nov. 18 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., would
be its "small part in bringing the parties and governments
together to discuss further advancement toward the

implementation of the Good Friday Agreement."

Anyone who wants to attend what will be an invitation only
event should contact or 1-800-947-4282.

This story appeared in the issue of September 14 - 20, 2005


Pickets At McCartney Home After Police Report

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Thursday September 15, 2005
The Guardian

Republicans have picketed the home of Bridgeen Hagans, the
one-time fiancee of Robert McCartney, and demanded that a
friend allegedly attacked by IRA men withdraw his statement
to the police, the family said last night. On Tuesday
night, a crowd of 50 people gathered outside the home of Ms
Hagans and her two young children, chanting: "Out! Out!"

After McCartney was murdered outside a Belfast bar in
January, Ms Hagans, along with his five sisters, accused
IRA members of the murder and a cover-up. They led a
campaign for justice that sparked international outrage at
the killing and gained White House support.

Ms Hagans, who lives behind bullet-proof windows after
earlier attacks on her home, is said to be terrified after
the recent pickets. The family say that on Monday night IRA
men involved in McCartney's murder used the cover of
loyalist riots to attack a relative, who was reportedly
assaulted outside the family home. Afterwards they are said
to have severely beaten McCartney's best friend, Jess
Commander, 34, as he went through the nationalist enclave
of Short Strand, which had come under sustained attack
during the riots.

Almost unheard of in a nationalist area where the IRA are
"protectors of the community", Mr Commander complained to
the police, naming his attackers. Picketers outside Ms
Hagans' home then demanded that no charges be pressed.

Paula McCartney said the protesters were associates of IRA
men involved in her brother's murder. She said there had
been "no respite" in republican intimidation of the family
and called on Sinn Féin to speak out against this

Sinn Féin party member Gerry Kelly said: "Intimidation is
wrong and should not be happening."

Meanwhile, as rioting continued in Belfast for a fifth
night, the Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Hain, said the
government no longer recognised the Ulster Volunteer
Force's 1994 ceasefire, although he conceded this was
chiefly symbolic and might "not make any difference on the
ground". The moderate nationalist SDLP accused him of
letting the Ulster Defence Association off the hook by not
declaring its ceasefire also broken down.

Both the UDA and UVF were involved in shooting and bombing
police during riots at the weekend. Mr Hain said: "Violence
does not pay ... they have got to find a political way
forward ... my door is open to loyalist representatives to
find out what their agenda is."

David Ervine, the leader of the Progressive Unionist party,
which is linked to the UVF, said declaring its ceasefire
over made it more difficult for him to bring the force into
democratic politics.


Documentation On 'Colombia Three' Received

Carol Coulter, Legal Affairs Correspondent

Documentation has been received by the Minister for
Justice from the Colombian authorities relating to the
"Colombia Three", it was revealed last night.

The documentation, which came via that Department of
Foreign Affairs, is now being examined, according to a
spokeswoman for the Minister, Michael McDowell.

The three men, Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James
Monaghan, were convicted in Colombia of entering the
country on false passports in 2001.

An acquittal on the more serious charge of training Farc
guerrillas was later overturned by an appeal court, and a
17-year sentence imposed. The men jumped bail and went into
hiding, emerging in public in Ireland last month.

The spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said on
Tuesday that if legal advice on the request from the
Colombian government is required, the Attorney General will
be consulted. Additional information and documentation may
also be required from the Colombian authorities.

When the file is complete, the matter is likely to be
referred to the courts.

The Government has been reluctant to comment as the matter
is seen primarily as one for the courts to decide.

However, since the emergence of the men and the resulting
debate on their possible extradition, legal observers have
expressed doubt that the Irish courts would agree to their

There is no extradition treaty between Colombia and
Ireland, and the two countries have not signed any
international treaties that would cover the offences of
which they have been convicted.

In addition, the procedure whereby the prosecution
succeeded in having an acquittal overturned, and evidence
found credible without it being heard, is unlikely to find
favour in Irish courts.

Asked yesterday about the case, the SDLP leader, Mark
Durkan, said that it was a matter for the courts in the
first instance.

The DUP has been strenuously demanding that the men are
extradited and sent back to Colombia to serve their

Its South Down MP, Jeffrey Donaldson, recently visited
Colombia, where he met security chiefs, vice-president
Francisco Santos and victims of the Farc rebels.

The US state department has also made clear its views that
the men should serve their sentences, either in Ireland or
in Colombia.

© The Irish Times


Amendment Of Oath For North MPs Urged

Carol Coulter

The oath of loyalty that must be taken by Westminster MPs
should be amended to reflect the aspirations of Irish
citizens elected to represent Northern Ireland, according
to Michael McDowell.

The Minister for Justice was speaking after a meeting with
the Ulster Unionist Party in Dublin yesterday.

Mr McDowell met the delegation, led by Sir Reg Empey, in
his capacity as president of the Progressive Democrats.

He criticised recent suggestions from Sinn Féin that
Northern Ireland MPs should be able to abstain from
Westminster and participate instead in Dáil Éireann.

This would run contrary to the clear purpose of the Good
Friday agreement, he said, which was that North-South
parliamentary relations should be conducted on the basis of
equality in a joint parliamentary forum.

However, he added that there was a "very strong case" for
amending the oath at Westminster to fully reflect "the
solemn obligation of the UK government under Article 1 of
the British-Irish Agreement in respect of the rights,
nationality, aspirations and identity of Irish persons
elected to represent Northern Ireland in the UK

He said Sinn Féin members used the oath to justify their
refusal to participate in Westminster. "It is a pretext
that could be dispensed with. Would they then participate?
I doubt it. But amending the statement of admission to
Westminster to make it compatible with Irish citizenship
would remove the fig leaf."

Referring to the recent loyalist violence in the North, and
the part played by the Orange Order, he said he fully
supported the position of Sir Hugh Orde, the PSNI Chief
Constable, that those who organised parades, and made
statements about their routing, had to take responsibility
for the consequences.

He described the violence of the past few days as
"disastrous", pointing out that scenes of ferocity were
broadcast across the world and would do great economic
damage, deterring inward investment.

© The Irish Times


Big Programme Of Events For Clifden Arts Festival

Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent

Don Quixote, Turlough O'Carolan, Hans Christian Andersen
and Christy Moore are among the range of artists, past and
present, reflected in this year's Clifden Arts Festival
programme which begins in Connemara today.

"How a boring old man became a romantic hero" is the title
of the opening event - a tribute to Spanish author
Cervantes by Dr EM Andrews of the University of Nottingham
on the 400th anniversary of the publication of Don Quixote.
It takes place in Clifden library this afternoon.

The formal festival launch will be marked by poet, author
and broadcaster Theo Dorgan in the West Connemara Leisure
Centre tonight.

Poets Áine Ní Ghloinn, Rita Ann Higgins, Michael Longley,
Dennis O'Driscoll, Bernard O'Donoghue, Paula Meehan, Mary
O'Malley and the aforementioned Theo Dorgan will give
readings during the 10-day event,while a feast of music
will be provided by Rob Strong, Christy Moore, Declan
Sinnott, Liam Lawton, Don Baker and the RTÉ Concert
Orchestra among others.

Former Siptu leader Des Geraghty and author Ulick O'Connor
will present an evening of poetry, music and song by
Brendan Behan on Sunday night.

Music Network will present a series of "Young Musicwide
Award" concerts by Carol McGonnell, Finghin Collins and
Catherine Leonard in the Church of Ireland church, Clifden,
next week. The Crash Ensemble will play in the same venue.

There will be traditional sean-nós evenings, sessions from
the Kilfenora Céilí Band and Liz and Yvonne Kane, late
night jazz and music from Poland.

Comedy will be provided by Jason Byrne and Niall Tóibín,
and talks will be given by journalists John Waters and
Eoghan Harris.

Tickets and further information are available from 095-
21644/21295 or on the website

© The Irish Times

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