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September 17, 2005

Unionists Accused Over Loyalist Violence

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 09/17/05 Unionists Accused Over Loyalist Violence
BT 09/17/05 Belfast: City Of Fear
BC 09/17/05 Fr Troy Says Catholics Live In Fear
IO 09/17/05 Ahern To Meet Colombian Counterpart In NYC
BT 09/17/05 SF Should Suport PSNI- Foreign Affairs Minister
BB 09/17/05 Violence Blame Game In Full Swing
BT 09/17/05 PSNI Hits Back After Force Attacked Re: Rioting
BT 09/17/05 Hain Sticks To His Guns Over Release Of Kelly
TW 09/17/05 Opin: For Bright Future, Orange Belongs In Past
BT 09/17/05 Nationalists Wary Of Anti-Sectarian Initiative
BT 09/17/05 Opinion: The Mafia Are Better At PR
BT 09/17/05 Church of Ireland Bishops Hit Out At Violence
BT 09/17/05 Soldier Jailed For Attack On A Drunk Man
BT 09/17/05 Shankill Has The Worst Educational Record


Unionists Accused Over Loyalist Violence

17/09/2005 - 13:41:33

Unionist political leaders were accused today of "almost
soliciting" the loyalist violence which erupted in Northern
Ireland a week ago.

The rhetoric used the Rev Ian Paisley and Sir Reg Empey
ahead of last Saturday's contentious Orange Parade in
Belfast was heavily condemned by SDLP leader Mark Durkan.

And he said it appeared the loyalist paramilitary tail was
now almost wagging the unionist dog.

Hitting out at the Democratic Unionist and Ulster Unionist
party leaders, Mr Durkan said: "Effectively the signal they
sent to people was 'do your worst and we won't blame you,
do your worst and we will blame the police.

"Do your worst and we will blame the Parades Commission and
we will blame the Secretary of State'.

"Of course that is exactly what they have done since."

Mr Durkan, speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics
programme, said the leaders of the two unionist parties had
allowed the loyalist paramilitaries to take the lead over
policing and parades.

"It seems as thought the whip hand in unionist politics
actually lies with the paramilitaries who showed their real
nature last weekend," he said.

He dismissed the DUP call for a "root and branch" review of
the Parades Commission – what the party really wanted was
its abolition, he said.

Mr Durkan said ahead of the re-routed Whiterock parade Sir
Reg had not, through the terms he had used, made his
position clear.

"It was, I believe, the rhetoric used by himself and Ian
Paisley, even in advance of last weekend, that almost
solicited the sort of violence we had," said Mr Durkan.

Meanwhile two Anglican bishops today offered to help
communities caught up in the loyalist violence.

The Church of Ireland Bishop of Connor, Alan Harper and
Bishop of Down and Dromore, Harold Millar, said they hoped
to meet people in the areas affected.

Bishop Harper said they "wanted to understand the issues
behind the violence".

He said: "The first thing we intend to do is to meet the
clergy on the ground from those parishes that have been
directly concerned in Belfast.

"We will then invite them to talk to us alongside members
of their own congregations whom they will identify as being
able to talk freely to us about that matter."

In a joint statement the bishops said they rejected
violence as a legitimate method of expressing grievances.

The bishops also demanded an end to the "unseen
intimidation" of stones through widows, finger-pointing and
the subtle violence which was as real as the riots.

"It is time to move beyond this and to create genuine
processes that engage more than a handful of people in our
land in determining the future," they added.

:: A 14-year-old Catholic schoolboy allegedly joined
loyalist rioters to attack the security forces in Lisburn,
Co Antrim last week, it was revealed today.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was
allegedly videotaped throwing stones and police and troops
last Monday.

He was released on bail and ordered to stay indoors between
6.00pm and 8.00am when he appeared at Lisburn Magistrates


City Of Fear

By Jonathan McCambridge and Deborah McAleese
17 September 2005

Belfast remained on a knife-edge last night following
sinister attempts to bring traffic chaos to the city.

Police took a robust line in keeping roads open after
loyalist protests in a number of areas - there were
scuffles between police in riot gear with dogs and
protesters on the Donegall Road.

At one point Great Victoria Street in the City Centre was
closed by police following a road-block, despite calls by
UUP leader Sir Reg Empey for an end to the demonstrations.

Earlier in the day rumours swept Belfast claiming that
shops, businesses and schools were to shut down from
lunchtime amid fears of mass loyalist roadblocks.

Some schools reported bogus calls claiming to be from
Translink telling them to send children home because buses
were cancelled.

There have been warnings that the ongoing disturbances
could put international investors off coming to Northern

Meanwhile Secretary of State Peter Hain has told the
Belfast Telegraph that he believes his decision to release
Shankill bomber Sean Kelly has stoked loyalist anger - but
claimed he could not have handled the situation any other

He has defended the amount of time it took him to drop
recognition of the UVF ceasefire, claiming he did not want
to jeopardise behind closed doors attempt to end their
bloody feud with the LVF.

Mr Hain has also said it would be "unreasonable" to exclude
all republicans - as distinct from IRA members - from
joining the police.


Priest Says Catholics Live In Fear After Protestant Riots

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS) -- After four nights of extensive
rioting by Protestant mobs in Belfast and other parts of
Northern Ireland, Catholics are living in fear, said Father
Aidan Troy of Holy Cross Parish in Belfast. "When rioting
is taking place, members of this parish can't leave the
area, because access to the main roads is blocked. We're
supposed to be having a novena here this week, but speakers
can't get in to us because of the violence," he said in a
Sept. 14 telephone interview. Northern Ireland Chief
Constable Hugh Orde said the rioting was organized by
Protestant paramilitaries -- the Ulster Defense Association
and the Ulster Volunteer Force -- with disturbances
breaking out in seven different locations in Belfast and
five different locations outside the city in an effort to
stretch police and army resources to the maximum.
Protestant leaders deny the charge. Rioting started Sept.
10 after the Independent Parades Commission ruled that a
parade by the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternity, could
not pass through a Catholic district.


Minister For Foreign Affairs To Meet Colombian Counterpart

17/09/2005 - 11:06:05

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern is to meet
with his Colombian counterpart next week.

The pair will come face to face in New York on Monday, when
both men attend the United Nations General Assembly.

The Government claims Colombia hasn't formally requested
the extradition of the Colombia 3 but says it will consider
the issue if Colombian authorities ask for Niall Connolly,
Martin McAuley and James Monaghan to be sent back to

The men, who jumped bail, are appealing after being
convicted of training FARC guerrillas.


Sinn Fein Should Suport PSNI, Says Foreign Affairs Minister

By Senan Hogan
17 September 2005

The time has come for Sinn Fein to trust and support the
PSNI because its officers protected nationalist communities
from recent loyalist rioting, it was claimed yesterday.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern called on
republicans to join the PSNI force and take their rightful
place on local policing boards.

In the wake of unionist withdrawal from the Belfast
District Policing Partnership over the PSNI's handling of
recent rioting, Mr Ahern urged all political
representatives to maintain their full support for policing

"A key remaining step to complete the policing project is
for Sinn Fein to support the new policing arrangements," Mr
Ahern told the National Committee on American Foreign
Policy in New York yesterday.

Referring to recent loyalist rioting in Belfast, he added:
"The PSNI stood squarely between nationalist communities
and loyalist attack last weekend.

"Sinn Fein now has a duty to join with the SDLP in making
the PSNI accountable to nationalist communities through the
Policing Board and to press for the full implementation of
the Patten Report.

"I would also strongly urge unionist leaders to maintain
their full support for the structures of policing."

Referring to recent loyalist rioting and attacks on
Catholic property, Mr Ahern also warned that there can be
no place for sectarianism in modern Ireland.

Mr Ahern, who was in New York for the UN Global Summit,
also called on all political and community leaders,
particularly those from within the unionist community, to
use their influence to bring an end to recent paramilitary
and criminal activity.

He said equality and partnership lay at the core of the
1998 Good Friday Agreement but paramilitarism and arms
decommissioning have hindered political process for too

The IRA pledged, in their July statement, to decommission
its arms and achieve its aims through peace and democracy.

"We now need to see these words transformed into deeds," Mr
Ahern said.

"Trust has been damaged in Northern Ireland and independent
verification will be crucial."

A forthcoming IMC report next month will help the
Governments assess whether criminal activity has come to a
clear end. He said that once IRA decommissioning is
completed, he expected unionist parties, particularly the
DUP, to engage constructively to help restore the political


Violence Blame Game In Full Swing

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

During the week since the Whiterock parade erupted into
violence, the blame game has been in full swing.

The Orange Order and many unionists have blamed the Parades
Commission, the police and the government for the trouble.

The chief constable has responded with video evidence of
Orangemen engaging in violence. The Order, he insists, must
bear substantial responsibility.

Secretary of State Peter Hain says we have been treated to
rather more "followership" than leadership.

It is an ugly made-up word, but he has a point. Politicians
less than keen to condemn the paramilitaries that rule
their patch. Community leaders keener to talk about
deprivation than intimidation.

And commuters left with no choice but to follow each other
out of Belfast along the few arterial routes guaranteed to
be safe.

A debate has erupted about the relative poverty of
loyalists, vis-a-vis their republican counterparts.

The DUP has demanded a financial package for the loyalist
areas ravaged by violence, while the Ulster Unionists have
invited Mr Hain to go on a walkabout with them.

There are, as I wrote last week, real concerns on this
score, and you can compare the statistics across a variety
of different indicators.

However, if my memory serves me right, the Whiterock parade
was not a latter day Jarrow March by people crying out for
bread and jobs.

Instead, we are dealing with the more familiar politics of
parades and interfaces.

And no-one can pretend that the images of the last few days
will do anything for inward investment.

On Thursday night, representatives from both main unionist
parties pulled out of the city's District Policing

The possibility had been telegraphed even before the
Orangemen began their march last weekend.

'Decision to boycott'

But tellingly, the withdrawal was not announced by either
of the two parties.

Instead, it was confirmed by the North and West Belfast
Parades and Cultural Forum.

This umbrella group includes politicians, the Orange Order,
community representatives and, crucially, loyalist
paramilitaries such as the UVF and UDA.

These were the groups who opened fire on the police in west

One pillar of the unionist establishment told me he
believed the Orange Order's behaviour has been disgraceful
- but he was not prepared to go public

So who made the decision to boycott the policing body? SDLP
leader Mark Durkan told the BBC's Inside Politics that he
believes the unionist leaders have given the paramilitaries
the whip hand.

One pillar of the unionist establishment told me he
believed the Orange Order's behaviour has been disgraceful.
But he was not prepared to go public.

With liberal unionists tongue-tied, the middle of the road
Alliance Party has sensed an opportunity.

David Ford says unionist leadership has failed miserably.
Naomi Long accuses them of petulance for withdrawing from
the Belfast District Policing Partnership.

Many aggrieved motorists or voters sympathetic to the
security forces will agree.

However, in the May local elections the combined unionist
vote was over 49%, while Alliance took 5%.

So although this criticism might sting, it is more akin to
the gnat on the elephant's behind than any more serious

The unionists may ride this out, then slowly return to the
District Policing Partnerships. But the policing structures
could be fragile for some time.

The hostile unionist response to talk of a conference on
policing reform next year emphasises the potential
difficulties ahead.

The government would dearly like to win Sinn Fein's support
for the police, but can it tempt republicans on board
without triggering a unionist boycott?

No-one expects serious political dialogue until the new
year, when tempers may have calmed. However, nothing is
guaranteed and we could be in for a bumpy ride.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/09/17 08:34:28 GMT


Police Chief Hits Back After Force Attacked Over Rioting

By Lisa Smyth
17 September 2005

Belfast's top cop last night hit back at increasing
criticism of the way the recent violent disturbances in the
city have been policed.

Calling for community representatives to use their
influence to help bring the disorder to an end, Assistant
Chief Constable Duncan McCausland rejected claims that the
PSNI are responsible for the violent protests.

He said: "We as a police service are working to serve the
whole of the community in Northern Ireland. We are playing
our part.

"The police are not responsible for the current situation
on the streets of Belfast but it is our job to police it
and we are working hard to do so.

"There is some evidence of others working hard to help end
it, however all we are hearing from some quarters is
abdication of responsibility and accusations of blame. This
is unhelpful and inaccurate."

Mr McCausland went on to say that those who have criticised
policing operations as well as police commanders over the
past week "have moved to disengage" with the PSNI.

"All of my commanders are committed to continue to engage
fully with representatives to help deliver safer places to
live and work, they have my total support in this," he said

"In June in particular, I commended the work undertaken by
my senior officers in north and west Belfast who have
invested a huge amount of time addressing issues including
the current situation around the Whiterock Parade. I stand
by that."

He also said he was disappointed the unionist decision to
withdraw from the Belfast DPPs but reiterated his
commitment to local communities that his officers will
continue to engage with DPPs to help make communities


Hain Sticks To His Guns Over Release Of IRA Man Kelly

By Chris Thornton, Political Correspondent
17 September 2005

Freeing Shankill bomber Sean Kelly has contributed to the
sense of grievance among loyalists, Secretary of State
Peter Hain has admitted - but he says he couldn't have
handled Kelly's imprisonment and release any other way.

The Secretary of State also defended the length of time it
took him to drop recognition of the UVF ceasefire, saying
he didn't want to jeopardise attempts behind closed doors
to end the feud with the LVF.

But he said he was not specifically attacking unionist
politicians yesterday when he accused unionists of becoming
fellow travellers with "thuggery and gangsterism" in the
wake of this week's loyalist rioting.

"Nothing I have said since the riots and gangsterism of
last weekend has in anyway suggested that unionist
politicians either incited or condoned the violence," he

"I have a good relationship with all unionist politicians
and leaders and respect for them as we work together on the
forward agenda. I well understand how difficult the present
situation is for them."

Yesterday the Belfast Telegraph reported Mr Hain's remarks
- which concerned a failure to react strongly to the
violence against police - applied to unionist politicians.
He has now indicated the remark applied generally to some

At the same time, SDLP leader Mark Durkan attacked unionist
politicians for sitting alongside the UVF and UDA on the
North and West Belfast Parades Forum.

After UUP and DUP councillors decided to boycott the
Belfast Police Partnership, Mr Durkan said: "Clearly the
UUP and DUP prefer to work with gunmen than the police.

"They prefer to work with people who shoot at the police
than with the men and women whose job it is to enforce the

Mr Hain had returned Kelly to prison in June over suspicion
he had again become involved in terrorism. But he released
him in July the day before the IRA declared an end to its
armed campaign.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Hain said:
"There was no forward plan to let him out.

"I locked him up because he was breaching his licence. I
had a report that arrived in my red box one night from the
PSNI and it would have been irresponsible of me not to have
acted on that.

"Equally it would have been wrong of me to ignore the fact
that the IRA statement was of a historic and completely
different kind from anything that had come before and
opened up a new era in Northern Ireland, a statement to
which he was signed up.

"Given that sequence of events, I don't think any other
Secretary of State could have taken any different

"Is it the decision I'm most proud of? No, of course not.
But given the circumstances I don't think any of those
decisions could have been different."

In the wake of last week's rioting, Mr Hain said the
Government would no longer recognise the UVF ceasefire.

UVF violence has been an issue for several months, but Mr
Hain said he delayed the decision because of ongoing
attempts to stop the group's feud with the LVF.

"There were other reasons why I delayed making a decision,
in terms of other moves that were going on in an attempt to
bring the feud to an end and attempts at dialogue - not by
me, obviously," he said.

"And actually a premature specification could have got in
the way in that.

"I don't have any regrets about the specification, either,
but would it have changed anything on the ground over that
weekend? I rather doubt it.

"And in a way there was a whole political hullabaloo around
it, as if this was the be and end all. Now people are
saying what difference has it made and that was my point
all along."

Mr Hain said it would be "unreasonable" to exclude
republicans - as distinct from IRA members - from joining
the police.

"This is very simple," he said. "Anybody joining the Police
Service, whatever their personal political position,
whatever community they come from, have to conform to the
same very high recruitment and vetting standards. Full
stop, end of story.

"In a sense I don't want to know what their political views
are. But I do want a Police Service, as it has increasingly
become, that is representative of the community.

"And I do want republicans who have signed up for the
democratic and peaceful future, I do want them to be
supportive of the police and engage with the police.

"If people are saying that a 19-year-old from a family that
has had republican connections is barred from joining the
police straight out of school as a young recruit, despite
satisfying all the standards, then obviously not. Obviously
that's unreasonable."

But he said he was not saying "you can demobilise
paramilitaries and integrate them". "Absolutely not," he


Opin: For Bright Future, Orange Belongs In Past

Chris McLaughlin

The endgame of peace can be the most precarious part of the

The scenes of rioting in Northern Ireland were, as Northern
Ireland Secretary Peter Hain put it "a hideous throwback to
a past that everybody thought had been put behind us".

Yes, but they should have come as little surprise to those
whose job it is to monitor the political climate on the
streets of Belfast.

They were the climax of an ugly and violent mood that has
been building up over the summer months in many parts of
loyalist Northern Ireland.

As Austin McCartan details on page 10, there has been a
steady increase in extreme sectarian violence, not least
against Catholics in Ian Paisley's Ballymena.

Public disorder has become an endemic "recreational" among
children as young as 13.

Catholic families are still being forced to flee their

The re-routing of the Orange Order march – albeit less than
a couple of hundred yards – was the opportunity the
paramilitaries were waiting for to light the touch paper
for full-scale riots.

The irony of loyalists firing on "their own" policemen in
apparently random but deliberate attempts to kill
concentrated the minds of The Telegraph and The Mail
perspective in mainland Britain as they tittered and shook
their heads at what looked and sounded like the return of
"the troubles".

Bloody Irish – for that, whether they like it or not, is
how the British majority view the loyalists in the north of
Ireland – there's no hope for them.

It is true that the violence, and the deliberately-
triggered evacuation of parts of central Belfast, were no
flash-in-the pan release of pent-up frustration that will
now die away, making way for a return to the "low level"
violence that is everyday life but for which the British
media and public have little appetite.

But it is not a return to the troubles.

The danger is that, unless properly handled by politicians
at all levels, it could mark the turning point.

Although there is little reasonable doubt that the
intention of the IRA to render its arsenals unusable is
genuine, it has not yet done so.

Could it be they are biding their time, wary at the
development of the loyalist revolt?

That the loyalists are throwing stones and shooting at
British police is not as remarkable as it might appear.

For many, the British Government, in a process started
under the Tories and continued under Labour, has let them
down and given in to the republicans.

In a collective sense the link back to William has been
frayed if not severed. The word loyalist does not mean
quite the same any more.

Once virtual rulers of their own mini-state – exploiters
and oppressors of Catholics – it is they who proclaim they
are the downtrodden, the second class community occupying
the most poverty-stricken parts of the most rundown parts
of Belfast.

The bottom line for unionists is that they are losing out
to nationalists from state handouts to jobs and better
council homes.

The line was put forward by none other than Ian Paisley,
who claimed Protestants were being deprived their fair
share of Government money.

Independent research suggests that Protestants continue to
have better job prospects than Catholics as well as the
best housing in the plusher areas.

A deeper malaise lies in the paramilitary feuds which have
gripped parts of the loyalist community.

At least four murders over the summer have been linked to
feuds and the rivalry between the Ulster Volunteer Force
and the drug-financed Loyalist Volunteer Force.

Poverty, crime, drugs and paramilitary gang wars make a
volatile mix for politicians to tackle.

Yet it becomes even more unstable when they fail to do so.

Disturbingly, Unionist leaders have failed to raise their
voices, failed to show their authority, to condemn the
violence or to call for justice where it is needed.

Mr Hain has been reluctant to act earlier for fear of
exacerbating the tension. The delay was a gamble of
potentially historic consequences.

Now he must do more to ensure the politicians on the ground
play the endgame the Government's way.


Antrim Nationalists Wary Of Anti-Sectarian Initiative

17 September 2005

Nationalists in north Antrim have given a cool response to
a new anti-sectarian initiative from Ballymena council.

The initiative involves inviting the local police
superintendent Terry Shevlin to address a meeting of
Catholic and Protestant churchmen so that they can be given
an update on sectarian attacks in the area.

However, at the Thursday night meeting of the council SDLP
councillor Declan O'Loan, refused to endorse the move.

He said:

"We have not been consulted on this, there are other
discussions going on at the moment which are still at an
early stage and we reserve our position."

North Antrim Sinn Fein Assembly member Philip McGuigan said
his initial reaction was that the initiative sounded like a
'DUP stunt'.

He added:

"What is needed is that all political representatives stand
shoulder to shoulder against all sectarian violence and

Announcing the move under the council's 'good relations
strategy' DUP mayor of Ballymena Tommy Nicholl said:

"I firmly believe the council should consider hosting a
meeting of churches and faith based organisations in the
Ballymena area and invite Superintendent Shevlin to brief
them on the past and current situation in respect of the
serious and unacceptable instances of violence and
intimidation that are currently blighting our borough."

Councillor Nicholl said he hoped that other developments
would flow from the event.

The inter-church meeting has already received the support
of DUP leader Ian Paisley who earlier this week described
it as a 'good idea'.


Opinion: The Mafia Are Better At PR

The recent violence and disorder has been a disaster for
unionism and the Orange Order. David Burnside MLA, UUP
assesses the fallout

17 September 2005

Recent events in the province have been a public relations
disaster for both Orangeism and unionism. for many years
Some of us have, against the trend, worked and argued
professionally on the mainland and internationally to
present a reasonable face for unionism. In The Friends of
the Union, Union Information Office (GB) on the mainland
and overseas we have tried to bring national and
international media on side to understand the unionist
case. How galling it now is to see traditional supportive
newspapers such as the Daily Mail in its leader column
refer to Orange Order marches as "a tribal ritual that
should have no place in the 21st century". Other national
papers such as the Mail, traditional unionist supporters
such as the Daily Telegraph and The Times are highly
critical of Orangeism and the present unionist leadership.

Respected columnist Libby Purves in The Times on Tuesday
argued well on how the Sinn Fein/IRA faction had faced the
reality in the US "post September 11 that terrorism was no
longer fashionable" and "the St Patrick's Day
sentimentalists in the whole of the democratic West get the
message there is a sombre new enemy against whom to unite"
- terrorism.

I have no doubt my fellow Orangemen in the Orange
leadership have their hearts in the right place but they
don't seem to realise the damage that we are doing to our
reputation nationally and internationally; and the
leadership of unionism, Ian Paisley's DUP, which wiped out
our Ulster Unionist parliamentary party in the last
election, has not filled the gap and does not appear to
have the expertise, professionalism or stomach to argue a
cogent unionist or Orange case for the province in GB or

I fear that more and more respectable people are going to
disassociate from the Orange association. The old Ulster
Unionist/Orange link was a stabilising influence within
Orangeism, its demise caused by tactical mistakes made by
my own party and exploitation by political influences who
always were anti- establishment and regarded Ulster
Unionists as 'big house' unionism.

The DUP is very good at winning elections in its back yard
on a wave of justifiable disillusionment and protest
against the Blairite appeasement in the peace process but
it seems incapable of rising above provincial parochialism.

The concentration of unionist and Orange efforts should
have been united against the Prime Minister being
'suckered' once again by Sinn Fein/IRA in July in to
granting more concessions again before Sinn Fein/IRA has
stood down its terrorist army and ended its criminal

The plan to stand down the Home Battalions of the Royal
Irish is not only bad for future security, it also is
another anti-British concession like the treatment of the
RUC which destabilises the unionist psyche.

The political release of Shankill bomber Sean Kelly says
violence and threat works for republicans - why not for

However, who today is talking about Sinn Fein/IRA being
responsible for the biggest bank robbery in English and
Irish history? What national media is keeping the pressure
on Sinn Fein/IRA? Who is working on the mainland to
undermine the lies and deceit of the republican movement?

No-one of any worth, because Orangeism and the present
Unionist leadership is allowing the case to go by default.

How can we argue against the deceit and criminality of Sinn
Fein/IRA from west Belfast to south Armagh and to Colombia
when so-called loyalist paramilitaries are shooting at
police men, burning the car of a Protestant Minister's wife
in Ballyclare, hijacking and robbing passengers on buses
and injuring children when hijacking cars?

How to win friends and influence people? The Mafia are
better at PR.

The peace process is biased one way and there is deep
disillusionment within unionism, but whatever the tactics
of the republican-biased quango, the Parades Commission, or
tactics of the PSNI on the ground, we are doing our image
immeasurable harm on the mainland where we must maintain
support for the Union.

The absence of professional PR on behalf of the Orange and
inward-looking PR on behalf of DUP unionism is creating the
environment where in coming months Blair will just continue
to roll out concessions to Sinn Fein/IRA.

Siege mentality on behalf of a noble cause is honourable.
Siege mentality from political unionism on the back of
widespread criminality and violence within the Protestant
community in Northern Ireland turns off the mainland media,
disillusions many of the unionist people who are just
trying to get on with their ordinary daily lives and is bad
for business, tourism and the general image of the province
nationally and internationally.

Orangemen and unionists must realise that no one is
listening outside Northern Ireland to phone callers to
David Dunseath on Talk Back. There is no professional
Orange or unionist presence on the national or
international stage. The DUP is not filling the gap or
meeting the challenge caused by Ulster Unionism's weak
position at Westminster. Efforts must be made to unite all
our resources and skills.

There must be wide private smiles on the faces of Sinn
Fein/IRA leaders as they have watched recent events. Just
wait to see how smug Adams and co will be when another act
of decommissioning takes place, whether a con-job or not.
Sinn Fein/IRA will regain a dubious high ground with more
sympathy from the public, media and parliament than for our
own unionist cause.


Bishops Hit Out At Violence

Church in 'listening process' to help address frustrations

By Alf McCreary, Religion Correspondent
17 September 2005

Two senior Church of Ireland bishops have strongly
condemned the recent violence and have announced a "
listening process" to help address the underlying causes.

Bishop Alan Harper of Connor and Bishop Harold Miller of
Down and Dromore urged respect for the law, and rejected
violence "as a legitimate means to express grievances".

They expressed their concern about "the lawlessness and
violence" during and after the Whiterock parade and their
desire to "understand better the issues and frustration
that underlay the descent into chaos".

They are to establish a process of listening to clergy and
lay people in order to derive how the Church of Ireland can
assist in enabling the underlying issues to be addressed.

Meanwhile, the Belfast Methodist Church Synod, meeting in
Sandy Row in Belfast, has expressed its "deep concern" at
the recent civil unrest, and especially the involvement of

It stated: "Weak social and economic infrastructure, the
perceived marginalisation of loyalist culture and the lack
of opportunities for young men and women in such areas is a
recipe for anger and frustration."


Soldier Jailed For Attack On A Drunk Man

17 September 2005

A squaddie who kicked a man about the head in a drunken
city centre attack has been jailed for four years.

Handing down the sentence, Belfast Crown Court Judge Tom
Burgess told 20-year-old Royal Fusilier Oliver Devoti that
it gave him "no pleasure" but that he was obliged to "send
a clear signal to others not to behave in this manner".

Earlier, prosecuting lawyer David McCaughey told him that
Devoti, who was stationed at Palace Barracks in Holywood
but is originally from England, had pleaded guilty to a
charge of grievous bodily harm after getting into the
drunken fight last October.

He said that Devoti was walking along Belfast's High Street
after a night out with two friends when a drunk man began
shouting abuse at him for being English.

He added that Devoti, despite pleas from his friends to
ignore the man, punched him, knocking him to the ground
before he kicked him about the head.

The lawyer told the court that after walking away the
squaddie "turned on his heel" and kicked the man in the
head a further two times causing him to suffer a blood clot
in the brain, fractures to his back and ribs as well as
other minor cuts and bruises.

When interviewed by police Devoti admitted to the attack
and told them "I am an idiot.

"I should have controlled myself better."

During the police interview, the court heard that Devoti
dictated "a letter of apology" which was later given to his

Defence lawyer George Chesney told the court that Devoti
has showed "an extraordinary amount of remorse" and that
his client's behaviour on that night was

The Recorder of Belfast, Judge Burgess told Devoti the fact
that he returned to kick the man while he was unconscious
was a "dangerous act and a cowardly act" that could have
led to more serious charges.

The judge told Devoti: "It is a bitter lesson you have
learned for a moment of madness."


Shankill Has The Worst Educational Record

By David Gordon
16 September 2005

BELFAST'S Shankill Road has the worst educational
achievement record of any district in Northern Ireland,
newly released statistics showed today.

The official information has been published amid an intense
debate about underlying problems in Protestant working-
class areas scarred by rioting this week.

Two different parts of the Shankill occupy first and second
place in the official list of the 10 most deprived areas
for qualifications and progress through the education

All 10 districts on the table are located within the
Belfast area.

The Crumlin Road, Falls Road, Woodvale and Village areas of
the city also feature on the list.

The statistics were disclosed by Education Minister Angela
Smith in response to a parliamentary question from DUP MP
Peter Robinson.

Mr Robinson today said they were relevant to the current
debate about troubled Protestant areas.

"I think this emphasises the need for investment in working
class Protestant areas. There is massive deprivation and
everybody is looking at other parts of the city," he said.

In third place on the educational deprivation table is a
section of the Mount district in east Belfast, which
includes part of the Short Strand interface area.

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