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September 09, 2005

Prisoner Guard Denies LVF Link

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 09/09/05 Sacked Warder Denies LVF Link
SF 09/05/05 Unionist Using Threat Of Violence
NH 09/05/05 DUP Will Talk To Republicans — SF
NH 09/05/05 McGuinness Signals 'Powerful' Move By IRA
BT 09/05/05 Opin: Beware Of The Trail Leading Back To '69
BT 09/05/05 Businessman In Plea To McAleese After Trip
BT 09/05/05 Viewpoint: No Choice But To Put Visit On Ice


Sacked Warder Denies LVF Link

Relationship 'declared'

By Linda McKee
09 September 2005

A former Maghaberry prison officer who was sacked after
police raided a house she owned has denied she was in a
relationship with an LVF member.

Caroline Murdoch (left) lost her job after drug squad
officers raided two properties in October 2003.

Police told her Prison Service employers that she was
present at both raids.

However, she was never charged or convicted over any

Counsel for Caroline Murdoch told an industrial tribunal in
Belfast yesterday that she had no association with anyone
linked to the LVF.

Barrister Gerry Granger said Mr Granger said that the
person with whom Miss Murdoch was having a relationship was
the son of a long-serving prison officer and was himself a
member of the Northern Ireland Prison Service pipe band.

Maghaberry governor Alan Longwell, who was deputy governor
when Miss Murdoch was dismissed, said he was aware that she
had previously declared a relationship and no prohibition
was made against it or advice given.

But he said he had recommended in a meeting on December 5
2003 that Miss Murdoch be dismissed without a formal
disciplinary hearing, as the working relationship between
the prison officer and her employers had deteriorated
following the drugs raids.

Governor Longwell said he had viewed it as a very grave
situation as she was in an inappropriate relationship with
someone who was known to have LVF links.

Governor Longwell said he viewed drugs as coming a close
second to terrorism in the hierarchy of threats to the
prison, adding that prisoners would seek to gain advantage
from whatever situation they find themselves in.

Mr Granger said that in December 2002, police received a
report that a bullet had been found at Miss Murdoch's home.

She applied for help under the SPED scheme and later moved
from Barbour Lodge in Lisburn to King's Chase, he said.

At hearing.


Unionist Leaders Accused Of Fanning Flames Of Sectarian

Published: 9 September, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA, Mitchell McLaughlin said that unionist
leaders are blatantly using the threat of violence to try
and secure a decision in favour of the Orange Order in
relation to the contentious march through the nationalist
Springfield Road area.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Throughout the summer there have been sustained sectarian
loyalist attacks on nationalists. Unionist leaders,
including Ian Paisley and Reg Empey, have been muted in
their response to this and have failed to use their
considerable influence to bring this campaign of sectarian
violence to an end.

"However, the latest statement from Ian Paisley on the
Whiterock parade is a clear attempt to use the threat of
loyalist violence to secure a decision in favour of the
Orange Order.

"Not only have unionist leaders failed to show leadership
in tackling sectarian attacks but they are now fanning the
flames of sectarian violence with irresponsible and
dangerous comments.

"The way to resolve contentious parades is through dialogue
and agreement. Sectarian violence and the threats of
violence from unionist politicians must be resisted." ENDS


DUP Will Talk To Republicans — SF

(Jarlath Kearney,

Speaking on the Falls Road yesterday (Wednesday) Sinn Féin
chief negotiator Martin McGuinness insisted that the
Democratic Unionist Party will talk directly with

Mr McGuinness was speaking as Sinn Féin launched a major
rally headlined 'Make Partition History', which is
scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 24 in
Dublin. Addressing a Belfast news conference, the Mid-
Ulster MP predicted that the coming months will be
"vitally, critically important" for the peace process.

Mr McGuinness also urged unionist political leaders to
speak out strongly against ongoing paramilitary violence
which is emanating from the unionist community.

Asked about the negative reaction of unionists following
the IRA's decision to end its armed campaign, Mr McGuinness
commented: "On the republican side we understand our
responsibilities in terms of how we convince people in our
community that violence is not the way forward and that the
peace process is the best way forward.

"I think that the instability is more related to the
internal dynamics of unionism and the concerns that
unionists have about their future, concerns that can be
allayed by decisive leadership, by courageous leadership
from unionist leaders," Mr McGuinness said.

"What I'm saying is very clear and I think very, very
important. We as Irish republicans are only interested in
moving forward to a united Ireland by peaceful and
democratic means.

"Now, that appears to frighten some unionist leaders.

"I think that they need to overcome their fears and the
best way to overcome their fears is to engage with
republican leaders about the future and the only way we can
do that – and the peace process proves it – is by dialogue.

"The coming weeks are going to be vitally, critically
important. I think the coming weeks will provide an
opportunity for Ian Paisley to reassess where he's coming
from and to give much more enlightened and courageous
leadership to unionists at this time," Mr McGuinness said.

Notably, Mr McGuinness compared the current political
period with the years before the 1994 IRA ceasefire, during
which the British government had secretly engaged in
private talks with the Sinn Féin leadership through senior

Calling for republicans across Ireland to attend the 'Make
Partition History' rally on September 24, Mr McGuinness
said, "Sinn Féin are encouraging people from all walks of
life to come along and enjoy the Carnival and Rally on
September 24 to show that the desire and demand for Irish
unity amongst the ordinary Irish people is as strong today
as it ever was.

"Our goal is the reunification of our country and an end to
British jurisdiction in it. We are confident it will be

September 9, 2005


McGuinness Signals 'Powerful' Move By IRA Is In The Offing

(William Graham, Irish News)

The strongest signal yet that IRA decommissioning is going
ahead in coming weeks came from Sinn Féin's Martin
McGuinness yesterday, who said "something powerful" will

Mr McGuinness indicated to journalists in west Belfast that
"something very important" is about to take place.

He also said it was his view that the IRA would keep its
word on the decommissioning of arms and explosives.

Mr McGuinness was asked by The Irish News about what would
happen now in terms of political talks and IRA

The Mid Ulster MP said: "These are very important times.

"We as Irish republicans do fully understand the importance
of everyone contributing to a successful outcome.

"The IRA issued a very serious statement which was widely
welcomed throughout the international community.

"It is not lost on the people of Ireland and on the
political parties here the huge significance of that
statement. I actually don't think it is lost on unionists
either, even though they would not choose to admit it at
this stage.

"When the IRA said they were going to put their weapons
beyond use... I believe that is going to happen. It is best
left to General de Chastelain and to the IRA."

Significantly, Mr McGuinness said there would be
interesting times in the Irish peace process in the coming

He was asked if he was surprised by reports that some IRA
arms dumps had already been destroyed.

Mr McGuinness replied: "I am only going on the basis that
the IRA on three occasions have put weapons beyond use and
have done so in conjunction with General de Chastelain.

"I am not going to speculate about what is happening at the

"Very clearly the IRA have made their statement. I believe
they will keep their word. The IRA and General de
Chastelain need space to complete this important project."

Turning to the issue of loyalist violence, Mr McGuinness
urged unionist politicians such as the DUP's Ian Paisley,
Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds to speak directly to
loyalist paramilitaries in a bid to end attacks.

Mr McGuinness also unveiled a banner yesterday entitled
'Make Partition History', as preparations are made for a
rally about Irish unity in Dublin on September 24.

DUP MP William McCrea called on the British government
yesterday to recognise that the unionist community would
not be in the business of putting Sinn Féin into

Meanwhile, the SDLP has criticised Secretary of State Peter
Hain for stating he would not be rushed into any judgments
on the UVF ceasefire.

Party leader Mark Durkan, after meeting Mr Hain and NIO
security minister Shaun Woodward, said a failure to declare
the UVF's ceasefire invalid after a bloody summer – which
has seen the organisation kill four people in Belfast – was

"The UVF have been literally getting away with murder this
summer," Mr Durkan said.

"It is not good enough for the secretary of state to shrug
his shoulders and wring his hands."

Mr Hain said his first priority was to end all violence.

"My concern is to stop the murder and this awful violence
which has just strained communities in Belfast and
elsewhere. You do not necessarily do that by quick
procedural fixes," Mr Hain said.

September 9, 2005


Opin: Beware Of The Trail Leading Back To '69

Eric Waugh
09 September 2005

Taking on the police is an old Irish custom; but it is not
unique to the Irish, let alone Belfast. It tends to grow
from common roots, whether in Woodvale or New Orleans - or
even, in the past, New Lodge or, say, Brixton, or Toxteth
in Liverpool.

Those doing the taking-on tend to be the poorer in the
community. They tend to inhabit a poorer region of the
nation, one where the people have little political power
and where the police and the Government machine are
regarded as remote and in essence alien.

They tend to be familiar with, and have easy access to,
arms. They have a freewheeling attitude to lawlessness and
violence, have little compunction in inflicting it, and
close their minds to the longer-term consequences.

Those driving them are financed as a rule by the proceeds
of crime, usually smuggled drugs, counterfeit liquor and
other branded goods, and protection rackets. Their actions
spring from the gut. If anything interferes with the
lucrative running of their manor, their anger is shown to
be on a short fuse. As a rule the vexations of a long
history speak through it.

Each of these factors was present in the deep tragedy on
the Mississippi. Each is present in the manipulated riots
in north Belfast. Each tends to be fanned into a blaze by
the visiting media which, particularly in New Orleans, has
been indulging in the relentless forecasting of doom. ("No
one doubts grief will give way to rage. . .")

The standard of living of the officially poor in America
may strike many Europeans as verging on the comfortable. As
many as 85% of the blacks who until a week or so ago lived
in New Orleans are classed as poor. Yet most of them would
have run a car and had a home equipped with the essential
appliances of the 21st century.

But they survive, month by month, on a delicately-balanced
seesaw. The monthly benefit cheques from the US Department
of Social Security are its fulcrum. They were due on
September 1, which means that few had much left at the end
of August for the bus fares or for filling the tank of the
car, essential if they were to flee the approaching storm -
as advised by the State capitol in Baton Rouge.

Of course there were no mail deliveries in the New Orleans
ghettos on September 1, no banks, no cash; so the agony of
the storm was compounded. Bereft, the victims felt
abandoned by Government.

North Belfast, though containing elements of the same
resentments, has not the same excuse; and some, in defying
the law, have made the wrong choice.

But it has reminded the rest of us, as it has the
Americans, that, in a democracy, the fundamental truth is
that the law will only be kept so long as the people want
it to be.

The police may be there to enforce it; but they may find
themselves powerless if a nucleus of the people withdraws
its consent.

This time, though, the PSNI leaves itself open to the
charge that it has knuckled under too readily. One of the
alleged reasons is that the underground war against the
drug traffickers requires that police informers be
protected. If that is so, the question must be asked
whether the price of this hands-off approach is too high.

Manipulating youngsters so that they behave like hoodlums
is a dangerous game. At that age the imitative instinct is
strong. What young hooligans are allowed to get away with
in one neighbourhood will be noted by those biding their
time in another; and this in a situation where police
resources are already under strain.

Is this not the road which leads straight back to 1969? In
those days the urban no-go areas were those from which the
police and Army effectively were barred. They were policed
by the terrorists.

William Whitelaw, in one of his most decisive acts as the
first Secretary of State, called the terrorists' bluff and
they were repossessed by the law in a virtually bloodless
coup in the early hours of July 31, 1972. But it took
35,000 troops and police in armoured vehicles to do it.

The suspicion is that the Woodvale riots last Monday were
raised by the UVF to prevent the police gathering forensic
evidence related to the seizure of illegal arms. In the
disorder, specific vehicles used for forensic purposes were
pin-pointed for attack.

In this situation the PSNI needs to answer the obvious
questions as to who is boss, who is in control?

As for the UVF, it might explain its role in the disorder
and the nature of the activities it is at such pains to


Businessman In Plea To McAleese After Belfast Trip

By Brian Hutton
09 September 2005

A Belfast businessman last night urged Irish President Mary
McAleese to use her "special friendship" with a terrorist
leader to put an end to sectarian attacks.

During a trip to Belfast yesterday, President McAleese was
warmly embraced by one of the most powerful chiefs in the
Ulster Defence Association, Jackie McDonald.

The so-called UDA South Belfast brigadier welcomed and
hugged the Irish head of state at Taughmonagh Primary
School in a loyalist estate, just hours after her meeting
with Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde.

Following the meeting, a Catholic man, whose business in a
UDA-controlled area of south Belfast has been subjected to
an eight-year campaign of violent intimidation, called on
Mrs McAleese to use her influence to put an end to the

The man, who doesn't want to be identified for fear of
further harassment, was forced to close down his premises
for a period six years ago after a "50-strong mob of UDA
henchmen" attacked it.

Since then, his business, which has a cross-community
clientele, has been targeted, sometimes with petrol and
paint bombs. During one incident, staff were forced to lock
themselves in the back of the premises when a UDA gang
forced their way in.

"I just want to run my business," the man said.

"If Mrs McAleese has a special relationship with Jackie
McDonald then she should use her influence so that ordinary
Catholics and nationalists can go about their daily lives
in peace and without the threat of attacks."

The Irish President was forced to cancel a planned visit to
the Shankill area because of fears over her security given
recent tensions in the area.

The DUP said she was not welcome in the area because of
controversial remarks she made earlier this year, likening
the attitude of Protestants toward Catholics to Nazi hatred
of Jews. She later retracted the comments.

However, Mr McDonald welcomed her visit. "Mary has come to
try to help the situation and to try to help the people,"
he said.


Viewpoint: No Choice But To Put Visit On Ice

McALEESE MOVE: Next time Shankill trip should take place

09 September 2005

Events have once again conspired to thwart the plans by
President Mary McAleese to go to the Shankill Road area of
Belfast. This time the visit has been postponed because of
security concerns following an increase in tension in the
loyalist heartland.

In view of the outbreak of rioting by UVF supporters
earlier this week, and fresh protests by Orange supporters
over the re-routing of the Whiterock parade, the President
took the only course that was open to her.

To have pressed ahead with the visit to Edenbrooke Primary
School would have risked fomenting further street disorder
and exacerbating an already taught situation.

Another factor which certain politicians and parents have
raised is the lingering resentment about the President's
unfortunate remarks at Auschwitz in January, in which she
compared Nazi treatment of the Jews with the way some
Protestant parents transmitted to their children an
"irrational hatred" of Catholics.

While the remarks were regrettable, it should not be
overlooked that the President did make a heartfelt apology.
Seven months on, it is time to move on and let bygones be

Once the security situation settles down, fresh attempts
should be made to organise the visit, hopefully with the
wholehearted support of the local community. Other loyalist
areas such as Taughmonagh and Sandy Row can welcome the
President, and surely it must be just a matter of time
before the Shankill is added to the list.

The President deserves recognition for her many bridge-
building initiatives, not least of which has been to open
the doors of Aras an Uachtarain to members of the Orange
Order. During her term she has made a vital contribution to
the development of dialogue between north and south, and is
keen to facilitate an historic visit to Dublin by the

The recent history of Northern Ireland shows that
grievances which are nursed can easily fester, to
everybody's detriment. By contrast, a willingness to meet
and talk can open up new areas of understanding to mutual

The Shankill, an area which has suffered from so much
deprivation, needs all the support it can get at present.
People of influence such as Mrs McAleese should always be

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