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September 23, 2005

RUC Knew of UDA Plot to Kill Fr Des Wilson

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Fr Des Wilson
RUC Knew of UDA Plot to Kill Fr Des Wilson

News about Ireland & the Irish

DI 09/23/05 RUC Knew Of Plot To Assassinate Fr Des Wilson
BB 09/23/05 Decommissioning Due 'Very Soon'
IO 09/23/05 Adams Invites Victim's Family To Meet Him
RT 09/23/05 Rabbitte Delivers Speech On North
DI 09/23/05 Free Men Before Talks
IO 09/23/05 Greens 'Are Real Alternative'
IO 09/23/05 Judge Refuses To Acknowledge Name 'Londonderry'


RUC Knew Of UDA Plot To Assassinate Fr Des Wilson

Ciarán Barnes

A campaigning Belfast priest was targeted for assassination
by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) with the full
knowledge of RUC Special Branch, Daily Ireland has learned.

An extract from UDA and British army double agent Brian
Nelson's diaries reveal that Fr Des Wilson was to be the
subject of a loyalist murder bid in the late 1980s.

Nelson was asked by a leading loyalist from the upper
Shankill in west Belfast to gather information on the
priest, however, his Special Branch handlers warned him not
to become involved.

Speaking to Daily Ireland yesterday, Fr Wilson said he had
no idea loyalists were intent on killing him two decades

He said Special Branch never warned him that his life was
under threat and accused detectives of a dereliction of
their duty.

Fr Wilson said: "This is news to me, but in truth I am not

"The police never warned me I was being singled out for
murder, they derelicted their duty.

"If they had approached me I would have simply taken
reasonable precautions, but it would not have prevented me
from what I was doing.

"I knew what I was doing upset the people in power,
including Special Branch."

Fr Wilson was involved in developing social and economic
initiatives to combat deprivation in Belfast. His work
often brought him into contact with members of the loyalist

"I could talk to them and while I knew some were
enlightened and shared the same views on education and
community development, at the same time I knew they could
not prevent me or would not prevent me from being shot."

Nelson's diaries came to light in the early 1990s after his
cover was blown. He was relocated to England by the British
army and is reported to have died there in 2003.

Adams & McGuinness
Gerry Adams has urged republican unity

Decommissioning Due 'Very Soon'

Sinn Fein has made it clear to the Irish government that
decommissioning will happen soon, Irish foreign minister
Dermot Ahern has said.

He was speaking after Taoiseach Bertie Ahern held his first
formal meeting with Sinn Fein since the Northern Bank
robbery last December.

Gerry Adams said everyone must work together to restore

"We believe we are all on the cusp of a future... to see
democratic and peaceful structures in place," he said.

"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."

I think the Sinn Fein delegation made it very clear that
they expect it to happen in the near future

Dermot Ahern

Irish minister for foreign affairs

As speculation mounts that the IRA is preparing to disarm,
Mr Adams said it was time to look at the next step.

"And I think we all have to wait for that of course, and
our focus at the meeting was to look beyond that even
though we all have to wait until that happens," he said.

Mr Adams said his party had raised a number of issues
during the discussions with the Irish government in Dublin.

He said these included the murder of Donegal Sinn Fein
councillor Eddie Fullerton in 1991, northern representation
on southern institutions and the peace process.

Speaking after the meeting, Irish foreign minister Dermot
Ahern said a verifiable act of decommissioning would put it
up to unionism that they must work in partnership with

"I think the Sinn Fein delegation made it very clear that
they expect it to happen in the near future, and that they
expected that it would be extremely significant and they
wanted to emphasise to us that they saw it as significant,"
Mr Ahern said.


Irish justice minister Michael McDowell said that an end to
all criminality was the foundation on which to build a new

"I'm confident that the Provisional movement in its
entirety knows that as far as the government is concerned
that we regard it as absolutely a cornerstone of any
further progress in Northern Ireland that there should be
no further criminality," he said.

"In that context I think that is clearly understood and the
consequences of any breaches of it will be categorical."

Mr McDowell said he had seen nothing which showed the IRA
was not living up to its 28 July statement that the
military campaign was over.

On Thursday, DUP leader Ian Paisley claimed the government
had made a secret deal with the IRA to exclude the need for
an arms witness acceptable to unionists.

Mr Paisley said the decommissioning process was a mess,
that the IRA made the rules, appointed the referee and was
doing as it wanted.

Mr Adams said if the DUP wanted to nominate a witness it
should have talked to his party.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/23 16:14:12 GMT


Adams Invites Murder Victim's Family To Meet Him

23/09/2005 - 16:11:55

The Sinn Féin President today invited relatives of murder
victim Joseph Rafferty to meet him.

The 29-year-old was shot dead outside his home in Ongar,
northwest Dublin earlier this year.

His family believe the IRA carried out the killing, but
Gerry Adams said he was satisfied no Republican had
anything to do with it.

The Taoiseach is due to meet with the Rafferty family next


Rabbitte Delivers Speech On North

23 September 2005 18:22

In a major speech on Northern Ireland, the leader of the
Labour Party has said recent events show that the ongoing
problem for the region is sectarian and not political in

Pat Rabbitte said the real problems in Northern Ireland
were caused not by partition but by divisions within
Northern Ireland itself.

The Labour leader told a selection convention in Co Louth
that the reality was that Northern Ireland could get on
without its devolved political institutions. He said a
functioning political structure was desirable but not

Mr Rabbitte argued that even when the political
institutions were up and running, sectarianism was becoming
more entrenched.


Free Men Before Talks

Connla Young

Supporters of the Rossport Five have called for the Co Mayo
men to be released from jail before the start of a
government-arranged consultation process next month.

The call from campaigners came after Noel Dempsey — the
minister for communications, marine and natural resources —
announced a consultation process to be put in place by the
Corrib technical advisory group.

As a result of the process, written submissions will be
made to Advantica, a company appointed by the Irish
government to carry out a safety review of the Corrib
onshore gas pipeline.

In the past, the government has been accused of defending
the interests of the three oil companies in the consortium
behind the Corrib gas project. Shell Exploration and
Production Ireland comprises Shell Oil, Statoil and

The Rossport Five were sent to jail on June 29 after being
accused of breaching a High Court order barring them from
interfering with potentially dangerous gas pipe
construction work.

Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington said the Rossport
Five should be released before the consultations.

"It would make more sense for the men to be present to make
their submissions.

"This process has no relevance with the men still in

"You can't have a so-called consultation process when the
whole thing was meant to be a fait accompli five years ago.

"At that stage, the oil companies had a consultation
process with those they thought mattered, the movers and
shakers. But they did not meet with local people then and
that's the lesson in this for them.

"What they are proposing to do is not acceptable to local
people. No amount of talking is going to change that.

"People want this gas processed at sea and have it brought
ashore in a standard fashion. If they decide to change
their proposal, then the process can start again from

"The lesson they will learn is that you consult first and
act subsequently. You don't impose anything on the people
of Erris without their will and agreement," said Ms

Independent TD Joe Higgins visited north Mayo yesterday to
meet Shell to Sea campaigners.

"Obviously, I am up here to show solidarity with the
Rossport Five but also to prepare for the return of the
Dáil next week when myself and other TDs will be raising
the issue of the Rossport Five and the Shell to Sea
campaign with the government.

"The key point in all this is that they are trying to wash
their hands on this and we are saying you can't do that.

"We say to the government: You are responsible because you
gave Shell and their partners the right to do this," said
Mr Higgins.


Greens 'Are Real Alternative'

23/09/2005 - 16:01:56

The Green Party would bring real change to an alternative
government, TDs said today as they met to discuss election
strategy and policies on education, childcare and energy.

Speaking at the party's parliamentary meeting in Dublin
today, leader Trevor Sargent said the Greens could provide
policies with a clarity people needed and deserved.

"We believe that it's important the electorate realises
they are electing a government who is going to make
changes," Mr Sargent said.

"We are a party this country needs, we have the solutions
to many of the issues that people are becoming aware of."

The party has unveiled its energy strategy – which aims to
switch Ireland to 100% renewable energy by 2050 – and said
it was the first of a number of detailed policy documents
to be released over coming months.

Energy spokesman Eamon Ryan dismissed recent criticism by
Michael McDowell that the party would raise taxes and build
fewer roads, claiming he didn't know what he was talking
about on transport and education, and reissued his
challenge to the Justice Minister to an open debate on the
two issues.

Mr Ryan also said the childcare document, drawn up in
consultation with parents and groups such as the National
Women's Council of Ireland, would give families choice on
how they brought up their children.

It aims for a balanced approach by providing flexible
working, greater parental leave and a payment which allows
parents to choose between childcare and bringing up their
child themselves.

The party's education spokesman Paul Gogarty said the party
would be launching a '50 steps to better education' policy
and that the Greens had been at the forefront in calling
for smaller classes, a review of catchment areas and multi-
uses for school buildings.

"If we don't invest majorly in education in the next 10
years – and a 10-year programme is what is needed – it's
going to cost the country money," he warned.

While the party has ruled out an electoral pact with any
other parties, the Greens aim to be part of an alternative
government, the party said today.

Mr Sargent said they were in negotiations with other
parties, but would not rule in or out any portfolios the
Green Party would want in a potential coalition.

In the next election, the Green Party is aiming to hold on
to the six seats they already have and is targeting a
further six – Carlow-Kilkenny, Galway West, Wicklow, Clare,
Dublin North Central and Dublin South Central – for
possible gains.

Mr Sargent refused to be drawn on how many Dáil seats the
party hoped to get in the next general election, but said
doubling the number of TDs would be very ambitious and any
increase on the current six would be great.

A greater gender balance and geographical spread was also
an important aim, the party leader said.


Judge Refuses To Acknowledge Name 'Londonderry'

23/09/2005 - 15:39:51

The DUP reacted furiously this afternoon to a Monaghan
judge who refused to acknowledge the name 'Londonderry'.

The party's Fermanagh and South Tyrone assembly member,
Arlene Foster, criticised the comments, made by Judge Sean
McBride during a motoring case.

The judge said that 'Londonderry' didn't exist, but Ms
Foster said he was ill-informed and completely inaccurate.

It showed, she said, the contempt felt for anything British
by the southern judicial authorities.

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