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September 21, 2005

Two Held Over Thomas Devlin's Murder

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News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 09/21/05 Two Held Over Schoolboy's Murder
UT 09/21/05 Loyalist Rioting 'Costing American Investment'
IT 09/22/05 Hain Pledges Investment In Loyalist Areas
UT 09/21/05 DUP: 'IRA Calling Shots On Disarmament'
IE 09/21/05 Pete's King Of The Hill
BT 09/21/05 The Softening Of America
IE 09/21/05 Adams In Washington DC & New York
IE 09/21/05 IAUC Girds For Pittsburgh Meet
TO 09/21/05 Real IRA Blamed After Police Leader Is Attacked
IT 09/22/05 Kenny Warns Government Over McCabe Killers
BB 09/21/05 Call For £200m RIR Payoff Package
IT 09/22/05 IRA Action On Arms Must Be Credible, Says Hain
SF 09/21/05 SF Internal Conference - Maximising Change
IT 09/22/05 Holocaust Horrors Must Never Be Forgotten


Two Held Over Schoolboy's Murder

Two men have been arrested by detectives investigating the
murder of Belfast schoolboy Thomas Devlin.

By:Press Association

The 15-year-old was stabbed as he walked along the city`s
Somerton Road with two friends after buying sweets at a

A police spokeswoman confirmed both men were arrested in
North Belfast in connection with the murder on August 10.

It is understood one of the men was arrested last night
while the second was taken into custody this morning.

Thomas, a Catholic, was stabbed five times in the back
during the motiveless attack.

One friend, aged 18, was injured in the incident but a
second, aged 16, managed to escape.

The murder sent shockwaves through the affluent Somerton
Road area of north Belfast where he lived, which had
largely escaped the violence of neighbouring areas.

The teenager`s parents, Jim and Penny, were joined by
dozens of Belfast Royal Academy pupils for his funeral
service last month.

Father Sean Emerson told mourners that the brutal and
senseless murder of the talented musician had forced people
to question what was wrong with society in Northern


Loyalist Rioting 'Costing American Investment'

Northern Ireland is missing out on potentially lucrative
investment from American firms because of the intense
loyalist rioting which engulfed Belfast, a minister said

By:Press Association

Following a trip to New York, Irish Foreign Affairs
Minister Dermot Ahern warned that high-powered business
chiefs had been left dismayed at scenes of orchestrated
street violence.

Mr Ahern insisted pictures of gangs of youths engaged in
petrol bombing and gun and bomb attacks on police lines had
put many investors off.

"In some instances I was made aware of the fact that future
investment, particularly in the north, had been put on hold
or postponed as a direct result of the scenes of violence
which were broadcast on American networks," he said.

Mr Ahern, a United Nations special envoy, said key
investors in the Irish-American community were turning
their backs on the north due to the threat of a return to
sectarian feuds and sustained violence.

"Scenes of violence on the streets of Belfast do great harm
to our image abroad," he said.

"We must not let the positive messages about the vibrancy
of our island economy get lost among the negative news
headlines. We must be clear in our condemnation of
sectarianism and clear in our determination to deal with

"People need to know that sectarianism has an economic as
well as a human cost: it saps business confidence, costs
jobs and mortgages, trapping communities in a cycle of
poverty and hopelessness."

Mr Ahern addressed a conference involving the Irish
Business and Employers Confederation and the Confederation
of British Industry (CBI).

And he called on the CBI to reiterate its message that an
elimination of sectarianism was needed to deliver a better
business environment, jobs and better livelihoods.

Mr Ahern said business chiefs should take an all-island
approach to their future and to attracting investment.

"You are all-island businesses. We must respond to your
needs as all-island businesses. We must start thinking
strategically, as you do, about what we can do on an all-
island basis," he said.


Hain Pledges Investment In Poorer Loyalist Areas

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Northern Secretary Peter Hain has pledged to support
disadvantaged loyalist areas but warned that the British
government would not allow a "mafia" paramilitary culture
to predominate in these communities.

He said in Belfast yesterday that recent loyalist violence
following the rerouted Orange Order Whiterock parade had,
as well as wasting public money, shaken confidence in
international investors who were considering setting up in
the North.

As already reported here, Mr Hain confirmed that political
development minister David Hanson would take on a special
role of tackling social disadvantage in Protestant areas.

He said the British government would work with trustworthy
loyalist representatives, but would have no dealings with

"The choice for loyalist paramilitaries is clear: play the
political role that you claim as your motivation, or face
the rigour of the law as the mafia organisations into which
you seem to have degenerated. You will not be allowed to
terrorise your own communities."

Mr Hain argued that Sinn Féin only made political gains by
the IRA moving away from violence.

He also challenged what he appeared to consider an
untenable unionist and loyalist negative mindset.

"What has unionism got from the agreement? I don't regard
that as a rhetorical question: there is an answer. For the
first time in the history of Northern Ireland the Irish
Republic has dropped its constitutional claim over the
territory of Northern Ireland.

"For the first time in the history of Northern Ireland Sinn
Féin has accepted that Northern Ireland will remain part of
the United Kingdom until and unless the people of Northern
Ireland decide otherwise.

"For the first time in the history of Northern Ireland the
principle of consent is enshrined in an international
agreement. Now, anyone who knows the history of Northern
Ireland and of unionism must appreciate the great
significance of this.

"To those who say that the principle of consent should
always have been there, we always have to deal with what
is, and not what should be: you can't rewrite history, but
you can make it.

"In short, it seems to me that the two fundamental demands
of unionism throughout 30 years of the Troubles have been
met: peace - the end of the terrorist campaign - and the
securing of the union."

Mr Hain also made clear that Northern rate-payers would
have to pay more for their services, and that they must
also face water charges by 2007.

DUP leader Ian Paisley said there could be no hope of
political progress unless Mr Hain matched his words with

To help instil unionist confidence, Mr Hain must move on
issues including "parades, victims, skills and training,
the Royal Irish Regiment, the Policing Board, public
appointments and the Ulster Scots culture".

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said, with some notable
exceptions, the "political representatives for working
class Protestant areas have long since abandoned them".

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said loyalist paramilitaries were
"predators in their own communities".

Ulster Unionist Assembly member Fred Cobain welcomed Mr
Hain's commitment to invest in loyalist areas, and said
there must be a "sustained plan of delivery" to tackle

© The Irish Times


'IRA Calling Shots On Disarmament'

The IRA is calling the shots on the decommissioning process
which will only include a unionist observer with their
approval, the Rev Ian Paisley claimed today.

By:Press Association

With London and Dublin expecting an announcement confirming
the dumping of all remaining Provo weapons, the Democratic
Unionist Party leader said republicans still had someway to
go to convince Protestants they were genuine in their
commitment to peace.

"The IRA is making the rules, controlling the programme,
refusing the photography, appointing their own referees and
engineering the whole affair."

General John de Chastelain, the head of the International
Decommissioning Body, will oversee of process, which is
believed to be already under way.

But his spokesman in Belfast insisted: "There will be no
comment whatsoever on his movements."

Irish foreign minister Dermot Ahern and Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain will hold talks at Stormont Castle
tonight, and tomorrow Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams will
address supporters in south Armagh and at a rally in the
centre of Dublin on Saturday - heightening the growing
belief that the Provisionals are close on delivering on
their pledge of nearly two months ago to dump all arms
after declaring an end to its campaign.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan tonight also urged the Provisionals
to get a move on in a bid to restore confidence into the

But Mr Paisley, the MP for north Antrim and whose party is
the largest in Northern Ireland, said there never had been
a real or honest IRA ceasefire and he questioned General de
Chastelain`s ability to verify decommissioning.

"Why, if all is above board about the so-called
decommissioning, can the independent observer from the
unionist side only be appointed by IRA/Sinn Fein?," he

"The IRA is making the rules, controlling the programme,
refusing the photography, appointing their own referees and
engineering the whole affair. Now the Secretary of State
has also become an apologist for shortened decommissioning

Mr Paisley added: "No Unionist in their right mind after
the volume of lies pumped out by IRA/Sinn Fein in their
campaign of blood, is going to believe anything they say,
especially when they refuse openness and real verification
of their so-called decommissioning.

"These gunmen and their murderers have put themselves
outside a place in the government of Northern Ireland. They
continue to be terrorists and black liars."

Mr Durkan said the scrapping of IRA weapons was long

"It needs to happen now without further delay," he said.
"The longer the IRA strings this out, the more it damages
the Good Friday Agreement."

Sinn Fein`s Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy, also a member
of the suspended Northern Ireland Assembly, hinted at
imminent developments on the republican side.

"It is crucial that in the coming days and weeks, the
tremendous potential created by the IRA announcement of
July 28 should be immediately built upon to create real
momentum in the peace process," he said.

"The issue of the IRA was held up by unionists as the only
stumbling block to political progress. It is now clear that
political unionism cannot cope with the new realities


Pete's King Of The Hill

By Ray O'Hanlon

Congressman Pete King, once excoriated in the press for
being too close to Sinn Féin and at one time accused by a
British ambassador to Washington of having blood on his
hands, was last week handed one of the critical keys to the
nation's security.

To the surprise of very few, and with the endorsement this
time of some leading editorial writers, the Long Island
Republican was chosen to chair the House of Representatives
Homeland Security Committee.

The committee is a powerful entity with a major say on how
and where funds for national security should be directed.

King, who was active on the Northern Ireland issue from his
earliest days in politics -- he is a former Nassau County
Comptroller -- has been something of an independent voice
in the GOP in recent years.

He was seen to be on the margins of his party in the first
Bush term because he had supported John McCain in the 2000
GOP primaries.

But his appointment is a clear signal that the party now
considers the seventh term representative and son of an
NYPD detective, to be clear-thinking on the front line
issue of national security.

Queens native King is one of the four co-chairs of the
congressional Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and played
a central role in the trans-Atlantic negotiations leading
up to the 1998 Good Friday agreement.

The Daily News in New York described King in an editorial
as being "as knowledgeable as they come about terror
threats and the need for emergency preparedness."


The Softening Of America

Walter Ellis
21 September 2005

It has often been said that New York isn't really America.
They do things differently here. Democrats vote for
Republicans, who in turn behave like Democrats - most of
the time.

Perhaps the closest analogy is with California, a mere
3,000 miles away, where Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced
he will run again for Governor. Arnie tries hard to be a
Republican, mainly because he came up the hard way and
doesn't see why sluggards and eejits should have it easy.

But the former muscleman has gone to flab in more ways than
one. He finds that, after two years in Sacramento, he has
unaccountably mellowed. He may not be any more competent
than his luckless predecessor in office (recalled after
failing to balance the budget), but he has found that all
of a sudden his sharp edges have started going fuzzy.

It's the same with Mayor Bloomberg in New York. Mike
Bloomberg is a hard-nosed tycoon, whose eponymous business
information company is now the second biggest in the world.

When he came to office in 2001, just months after the
events of 9/11, he promised not merely to help bind his
city's wounds, but to kick ass and force through the sort
of revolution of which Ronald Reagan only dreamed.

Today, Mike is a puppy dog. Oh, he claims to have clamped
down on waste and corruption and brought on much-needed
reforms in education and public housing. But, in fact, New
York today is much the same as when he took over.

If he is given a second term, which seems likely, by an
electorate a majority of whom are Democrats, it will be
because the people feel, more or less, for better or worse,
in safe hands.

Bloomberg hasn't screwed up. He's gained a few yards here
and there, dropped the ball a couple of times. But mainly
he hasn't been an embarrassment. It's enough.

George W Bush must wish he could say the same. But he's had
his chance. According to the polls, if he stood again
tomorrow, the voters would ride him out of town on a rail.

In his case, he's fixed nothing, broken everything. He's
ended up with so much egg on his face that his rhetoric
comes out like a soufflé.

The President was in town last week to address the United
Nations. Nobody cared. The feeling is that he's a busted
flush. From now on until the Democrats take back the White
House, Bush's job is to wind down the American occupation
of Iraq and get the Gulf coast - America's Gulf Coast, that
is - up and running again after Hurricane Katrina.

He has become, in effect, his own director of FEMA - the
Federal Emergency Management Agency. Given that the
previous incumbent, the son of an old friend, was formerly
head of the International Arabian Horse Association, we can
only hope for an improvement.

Emergency management aside, Bush's sole other preoccupation
is getting Judge John Roberts (The Man Nobody Knows)
confirmed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and then
filling a second, impending vacancy on the court with his
hardline Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales. This will be
his 'legacy'. Everything else will be put on hold.

As the President waffled in the UN, attention turned to
midtown Manhattan, where Bill Clinton's so-called Global
Initiative, attended by 40 world leaders, including Tony
Blair, Gerry Adams and Bob Geldof (I kid you not), made
more progress on issues of world poverty than any amount of
recriminations at the talking shop next door.

Bill lives just up the road, in leafy Westchester. His
wife, the formidable Hillary Rodham Clinton, now the Junior
Senator for New York, has just spent a million dollars
upgrading her home in Washington into a campaign centre.

Between them, for all their faults, they are the most
powerful force that will shape America in the post-W years.

I mentioned Gerry Adams. He practically lives here
nowadays. While Martin McGuinness is stuck at home dealing
with the grotesqueries of Ulster politics, Adams continues
to play the international statesman.

Somehow or other, he has convinced the Democrats that he
can deliver them the Irish vote - whatever that is. They do
not detect the blood on his hands; they only feel the
firmness of his grip.

But what is the Irish vote? Consider this: The American end
of the Ancient Order of Hibernians - Orangemen in green
sashes - is hard at work at the moment raising money for
the victims of Katrina. The cash will be administered by
the Hibernian Disaster Relief Effort.

And who are the victims? Are they the poor blacks whose
wretched images have filled our television screens in
recent weeks? Are they the descendants of slaves so poor
and disadvantaged in the midst of plenty that they were
unable to get out before disaster struck?

B'God, no.

"[The] money will be allocated to help our members,
Catholic charities, the Red Cross and immigrants in need of
help," says AOH President Ned McGinley.

So the 'survivors' of Hurricane Katrina most in need of our
support are - the Irish!

But Tommy Makem (from Keady, Lord love him) is at it, too.
He and other Irish musicians are making a charity recording
as their way of helping flood victims. The beneficiaries?
Danny O'Flaherty and his family, the owners of New Orleans'
most famous Irish bar, the Irish Channel.

You couldn't make it up.


Adams In Washington DC & New York

While the world was gathering in New York last week Sinn
Féin president Gerry Adams was himself alone in Washington
where he met with a range of legislators on Capitol Hill.

Adams briefed legislators on the current troubled state of
the peace process, most especially members of the
congressional Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs at a
gathering hosted by committee co-chair, Rep. Richie Neal.

"We must remember that this process is not over, and may
never be. As Irish Americans we need to do everything
possible to promote peace and stability in Northern Ireland
so that order and civility may be restored, Neal's fellow
co-chair, rep. Joe Crowley, said after meeting Adams.

Rep. Brian Higgins, whose district is centered in Buffalo,
said that after meeting with Adams he was confident that "a
real and lasting peace would become a reality in a united

After Washington, Adams traveled to New York where he
attended the inaugural meeting of the Clinton Global
Initiative, a group dedicated to promoting world peace
founded by former president Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin chief negotiator Martin McGuinness is
to visit Calgary next month where he will the keynote
speaker at a fundraiser marking his party's 100th

The fundraiser is being organized by Friends of Sinn Féin
(Canada) and is set for Monday, Oct. 3. Details on the
event are on the website


IAUC Girds For Pittsburgh Meet

The recent loyalist violence in Northern Ireland has given
the upcoming Irish American Unity Conference national
convention in Pittsburgh a sense of greater urgency,
according to the group's top man.

Participation in the convention at the Westin Convention
Center was now a "matter of urgency," said IAUC president
Judge Andrew Somers.

"The recent violence is reminiscent of the worst of the
1970s," said Somers. "And Americans must insure that the
British and Irish governments do not again abandon the
nationalist community."

The convention will feature an array of speakers including
Canadian judge Peter Cory and Paul O'Connor of the Pat
Finucane Center. The convention begins on Friday, Sept. 30
and runs until Sunday, Oct. 2. Details are available from
Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin at 412-782-2715 or


Real IRA Blamed After Police Leader Is Attacked

By David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

THE Real IRA was blamed yesterday for attacking the vice-
chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

Denis Bradley, a former priest, was beaten by a masked man
wielding a baseball bat while he was watching a football
match with his son in a pub in Londonderry.

Mr Bradley, who was the key contact between the Government
and Martin McGuinness in the Eighties and Nineties while
the Provisional IRA considered a ceasefire, spent Tuesday
night in the Altnagelvin Hospital and was treated for cuts
to his head and nose.

The community worker has received previous threats from
republican terrorists. He has also suffered attacks on his
home in Londonderry since taking up his position on the
Policing Board. Last year his family escaped a petrol bomb

The Real IRA, responsible for the 1998 Omagh bomb that
killed 28 people, including a woman pregnant with twins,
has some support in the city.

It split from the Provisional IRA over the Good Friday
Agreement. The Provisionals and their political wing, Sinn
Fein, have yet to endorse the Police Service of Northern
Ireland, which replaced the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

The attack was condemned by politicians across the
political spectrum and on both sides of the Irish border.

Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, who
visited Mr Bradley in hospital, said: "The attack on Denis
Bradley was wrong and unacceptable and must be condemned.

"The fact that he is the vice-chairperson of the policing
board does not warrant an attack on either him or his
family." Meanwhile Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland
Secretary, promised an "intensive engagement" with
Protestant leaders in an attempt to tackle the needs of
loyalist areas.

Mr Hain was making his first formal response to the growing
crisis in Unionism after riots earlier this month during
which the police came under sustained live fire from
paramilitaries. The Northern Ireland Secretary, accepted
that there was frustration and anger among Unionists but
told loyalists: "You will not be allowed to terrorise your
own communities."

He said that there was a "loud and clear perception that
public money is being channelled into community projects
under the influence of paramilitaries who speak the words
of community work while undermining those very areas with
racketeering and organised violence".

Mr Hain also cautioned that the imbalance in the economy,
with public spending almost a third higher per head than
the UK average, was unsustainable.

The province "by any standards" was over-administered, he
said, with 26 councils, 4 health boards, 19 health trusts,
5 education and library boards and about 100 other public

A shake-up of public administration had a deadline of 2009
and would "challenge the status quo — they will disrupt
power bases and vested interests", he said.

Sir Reg Empey, the Ulster Unionist Party leader, called on
John Reid, the Defence Secretary, to agree a £200 million
redundancy package for Royal Irish Regiment soldiers when
three home service battalions are disbanded in less than
two years. More than 3,000 jobs are likely to be lost as a
result of the security scaledown. Sir Reg argued that some
soldiers should be kept.

He said: "Retaining a locally-recruited capability would be
a much more cost-effective aid to civil power, if required,
than relying on regular Army providing the back-up when
they are stretched across the world and would need


Kenny Warns Government Over McCabe Killers

Mark Brennock & Gerry Moriarty

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has warned the Government
against reopening the issue of the release of the killers
of Det Garda Jerry McCabe, after Tuesday's high-profile
visit by the Sinn Féin leadership to the four men in
Castlerea prison.

Fianna Fáil Limerick backbencher Peter Power insisted
yesterday the Government would not soften its position on
the men.

Mr Power, who met the Taoiseach on the issue earlier this
year, said: "In the past few months, the Taoiseach has said
their release is 'off the table'. He said they would not be
released 'under his watch'.

"That position is not going to change. I can assure Mr
Adams that neither I nor the Government will turn our backs
on the McCabe family or the people of Limerick. There can
be no reprieve for criminals," said Mr Power.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams also said that although he
would continue to campaign for the early release of the
killers of Det Garda McCabe, there was no change to the
position of the prisoners that they did not want their
release to be part of any political negotiations. Mr Adams
and Martin Ferris TD said they met the four men and four
other IRA prisoners in the jail on Tuesday "to update them
on developments in the peace process".

In a statement, Mr Adams said the party was "committed to
securing their release" and that their continued detention
was one of "a number of outstanding issues to be dealt
with" in relation to the peace process.

A Sinn Féin spokesman later acknowledged there was no
change in the men's position and that they would serve
their full sentences.

Mr Kenny said the visit to the men and Sinn Féin comments
afterwards "must not mark the first step in attempting to
reopen the issue of the release of the killers of Garda
Jerry McCabe.

"The release of the killers of Jerry McCabe is off the
table. That is the official position of the Government,
eventually adopted following public outrage that these
persons might not serve their full sentence as handed down
by the courts.

"Gerry Adams should clarify whether his statement following
the visit is the beginning of another attempt to have the
killers of Det Garda Jerry McCabe released." Mr Adams
repeated yesterday that the men were qualifying prisoners
under the terms of the Belfast Agreement.

"I am very mindful of the feelings of Ann McCabe and of the
McCabe family, but let's be clear, this was a political
decision by the Irish Government," said Mr Adams.

Mr Adams said the prisoners - Kevin Walsh, Pearse McAuley,
Jeremiah Sheehy and Michael O'Neill - issued their
statement in March removing themselves from the political
process because they "did not want to be pawns in the

© The Irish Times


Call For £200m RIR Payoff Package

Full-time soldiers hit by the disbandment of the Royal
Irish Regiment home battalions should get redundancy
payments of £60,000, the UUP has said.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey told Defence Secretary
John Reid some Royal Irish troops should serve with the
reduced garrison of 5,000 soldiers.

He discussed disbanding the three battalions with Mr Reid
in London.

More than 3,000 jobs look set to go in the security
scaledown, announced after the IRA pledged to end all

Sir Reg's proposals included £1,500 for part-timers for
every year of their service.

"You could be talking about up to £200m in total," he said.

"But the government has already spent the guts of that on
the Saville Inquiry (into the Bloody Sunday shootings) and
they continue to find money for ex-prisoners groups.

"So they can jolly well acknowledge the circumstances these
people find themselves in."

During the hour-long meeting Mr Reid was warned that the
military will be stretched because of troop commitments in
Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rather than have to prepare units for service in Northern
Ireland, Sir Reg said that some Royal Irish soldiers should
be kept.

Specialist retraining programmes similar to those provided
for police who retired early under reforms in Northern
Ireland should also be made available for the RIR, the UUP

"Retaining a locally-recruited capability would be a much
more cost effective aid to civil power if required than
relying on regular Army providing the back-up when they are
stretched across the world and would need training," he

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/21 21:13:42 GMT


IRA Action On Arms Must Be Credible, Says Hain

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Northern Secretary Peter Hain has stated that it is
crucial that IRA decommissioning, understood to be
imminent, is of a "momentous" and "credible" nature to
propel the political process forward in the North.

The British and Irish governments believe that a series of
keynote events in the coming days involving Sinn Féin
president Gerry Adams, including an official meeting with
the Taoiseach in Dublin tomorrow, points towards
republicans "preparing the ground" for impending IRA

Mr Adams, who is addressing a Sinn Féin conference in the
republican heartland of south Armagh today, reiterated
yesterday that the IRA would deliver on its commitments.

There is a general expectation in Dublin, London, Belfast
and Washington that IRA disarmament is imminent, although
sources differ on whether it will take place next week or
by mid-October at the latest. One well-placed source said
Dublin was leaning towards decommissioning happening next
week, while London believed it might take a week or two
longer. "What does seem clear is that republicans are now
preparing the ground for decommissioning," added the

Mr Adams, as well as speaking in south Armagh this evening,
meets Mr Ahern, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern
and Minister for Justice Michael McDowell in Dublin
tomorrow, while in Dublin on Saturday he will speak at a
Sinn Féin rally for Irish unity.

Tomorrow's meeting with Mr Ahern and senior Ministers is
the first official meeting with the Government since the
alleged IRA Northern Bank robbery in December and appears
to denote that the British and Irish governments believe
the IRA is living up to its commitments in its July 28th

Mr Hain, who met Mr Dermot Ahern at Stormont Castle
yesterday, indicated as much.

He said that the "signs were good" that the IRA was meeting
its pledge in the statement to end all activity. "The
reports and information I have seem to suggest it is being
delivered upon on the ground," he said.

However, Mr Hain said what was critical in order to create
fresh political momentum was that the entire community
would believe that the IRA also lived up to its commitment
to fully disarm.

"What is important is that they move, not just sooner
rather than later, but that they move with credibility so
that everybody, including even the most sceptical and
suspicious, can be convinced that the promises to dump arms
on July 28th are genuinely being implemented and the
decommissioning is a major and momentous event," he added.

Mr Hain said that following decommissioning, Independent
Monitoring Commission reports, most importantly January's
IMC report, could further establish that the IRA had truly
ended its armed campaign and put its arms beyond use.

Thereafter there would be pressure for political
negotiations leading to the restoration of the Northern
Executive, he indicated. "Then we can get moving," said Mr

Mr Adams said yesterday that he would not speculate on
whether or not IRA decommissioning was imminent. "But I am
quite confident that the IRA is going to deliver on the
commitments it has made," he added.

Referring to his visit to meet the killers of Det Garda
Jerry McCabe and other IRA prisoners in Castlerea on
Tuesday, Mr Adams said Sinn Féin was still campaigning for
their early release.

He added, however, that the killers of Det Garda McCabe had
not altered their March statement saying their release
should not be a part of any political negotiations.

Mr Dermot Ahern, who hoped IRA disarmament would happen
"sooner rather than later", was categorical yesterday that
those convicted of Det Garda McCabe's killing would not get
early release.

There was no point in Mr Adams or Sinn Féin pursuing the
issue with the Government, he added.

"If they want to try and bring it up again they will be
meeting a brick wall. I can assure you it will not be on
the agenda as far as the Irish Government is concerned," he
said at Stormont.

"The Taoiseach, in fact in the Dáil, has said that as long
as he is Taoiseach the issue of Garda McCabe and Jerry
McCabe's killers will not be on the agenda in relation to
any of the discussions," added Mr Ahern.

The report of the Independent Monitoring Commission into
the UVF/Loyalist Volunteer Force feud will be published

© The Irish Times


Sinn Féin Internal Conference - Maximising Change

Published: 21 September, 2005

Over 70 Sinn Féin elected representatives and political
activists including the party's MLAs, MPs, TDs, MEPs and
council group leaders from across the island of Ireland
will converge on the Tí Chulainn Centre in Mullaghbawn
South Armagh for a day long internal party conference,
tomorrow Thursday 22nd September.

The Conference will start at 9.30 am and end at 7pm.

Speakers will include Cllr Pat McGinn, Chairperson of Newry
and Mourne Council, Cllr John O'Dowd, leader of the Sinn
Féin Assembly team, Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel
McLaughlin, Head of the all-Ireland department Martina
Anderson, leader of the Leinster House team Caoimhghin Ó
Caoláin and Mary Lou McDonald MEP and Sinn Féin President
Gerry Adams.

The media are invited to the Gerry Adams speech. They
should arrive by 4.45pm for 5pm start.

Speaking ahead of the conference Mr O'Dowd said:

"This conference is an important opportunity for our
elected representatives and political activists from across
the island to discus the current political situation.

"The IRA statement has created the potential to
reinvigorate the political process.

"It presents many challenges - for the British and Irish
governments who have dragged their feet in the full
implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and for
unionism. And to us as republican activists.

"In the days and weeks ahead it is essential that
republicans continue to drive forward the agenda for change
set out in the Good Friday Agreement.

"It is essential that patterns of poverty and deprivation,
north and south are challenged wherever they exist.

"Equality is an all-Ireland issue. Sinn Fein must be the
engine of change. We must maximise change and force the
governments to accelerate the equality agenda so that there
is a real difference on the ground." ENDS


Survivors In Ireland Warn That 'The Horrors' Must Never Be

Joe Humphreys

Four Irish survivors of the Holocaust spoke yesterday
evening of their experiences, and what they described as a
"saddening" level of ignorance in Ireland surrounding the

They were:

• Suzi Diamond, who was taken by cattle truck to the
notorious German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen at 18
months old.

Born in Hungary, she said she was "amongst the final Jews
rounded up" for extermination in the gas chambers. "All of
my family perished except for my brother and me. To prevent
other atrocities similar to the Holocaust, the only way
forward is through education," she said.

• Tomi Reichental, who also survived what he described as
"the horrors" of Bergen-Belsen. His mother and brother "by
sheer luck and circumstances" escaped too with their lives.
They later moved to Dublin, where he continues to live.

"For over 55 years, I didn't speak about the dark days and
months we spent there. I just couldn't," he said. "But in
the last couple of years, I realised that, as one of the
last witnesses, I must speak out."

• Geoffrey Phillips, who escaped the death camps thanks to
the foresight of his mother, who arranged for him to be
transported to England in December 1938. She later perished
in a concentration camp, along with Mr Phillips's father,
and the rest of his extended family.

"I was 13½ years old when I came to England. The memories
are not pleasant," said the married father-of-three, who
has been living in Dublin since 1951.

"I was one of the lucky ones. We owe it to those who died,
as well as to those who come after us, that the horrors of
the Holocaust are remembered," Mr Phillips said.

• Zoltan Zinn-Collis, who met Suzi Diamond in Bergen-Belsen
in 1944 and was also transported to Ireland after the war.

Now living in Athy, Co Kildare, he said: "As I go around
the country speaking to school pupils, I start with a
simple question. 'Who knows what the Holocaust was?' More
often than not, a blank stare is my reply."

© The Irish Times

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