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October 06, 2005

Adams & Paisley Meet With Blair

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 10/06/05 Adams & Paisley Holding Talks With Blair
BB 10/06/05 Asset Raids On 'IRA Properties'
UT 10/06/05 Minister Pledges To Strip Illegal Wealth
SF 10/06/05 SF Supports US Immigration Reform Bill
EX 10/06/05 Nationalists Forced To Fund July 12 Events
BT 10/06/05 Pressure Mounts Against 'Amnesty' Plan For OTRs
EX 10/06/05 Adams Denies SF Role In Rafferty Death
IO 10/06/05 Government Must Not Let DUP Delay, Says Durkan
UT 10/06/05 Government Warned Over DUP Demands
BT 10/06/05 Gray Was A Tout, Says Killer Stone
NL 10/06/05 Murder Of Gray Was 'Internal Matter' – Source
NY 10/04/05 IAUC Response To NY Times Editorial Re: IRA
BT 10/06/05 Opin: Loyalist: Police Must Regain Initiative
IA 10/06/05 McGuinness In D.C.
GA 10/06/05 Galway To Celebrate Sinn Féin's Centenary?
RE 10/06/05 Neil Jordan Grapples With The New Ireland


Parties Holding Talks With Blair

A delegation from the DUP is holding talks with Tony Blair
at Downing Street as the government explores ways to
restore devolution in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein is to hold separate talks with the prime minister

The meetings follow last week's statement from the
independent arms body which said all IRA weapons had now
been decommissioned.

Meanwhile, the SDLP has held talks with Irish Prime
Minister Bertie Ahern in Dublin.

Party leader Mark Durkan said the meeting focussed on the
need for both governments to persuade the DUP to enter into
power-sharing government.

"The IRA failure to decommission gave unionists a veto over
re-establishment of the Good Friday institutions," he said.

"The IRA has decommissioned, and that unionist veto must
now be gone."

The Sinn Fein delegation to meet Mr Blair will include
party president Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Caoimhghin
O Caolain and Michelle Gildernew.

Forthcoming legislation

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said:
"The government believes General de Chastelain's
declaration that the IRA has completed disarmament has
created an historic opportunity for progress.

"Despite that, no-one is expecting rapid movement before
January, when the Independent Monitoring Commission will
submit the second of two reports on IRA activity.

"In the meantime, the parties are working through a range
of concerns.

"The DUP has submitted a 60 page dossier to Downing Street
spelling out what it believes are necessary confidence
building measures for unionists.

"Sinn Fein wants to see details of forthcoming legislation
on both the return of on-the-run paramilitaries and the
transfer of policing and justice powers to local

Last week, the DUP held talks with the two churchmen who
witnessed the IRA's final act of decommissioning.

The party requested the meeting after questioning the
independence of former Methodist President the Reverend
Harold Good and Catholic priest Father Alec Reid.

DUP Upper Bann MP David Simpson, who attended the meeting,
said his party was not questioning the integrity of the two

However, he said his party still had concerns over what
they had seen.

DUP leader Ian Paisley had said the two clergymen were "IRA

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/06 12:10:33 GMT


Asset Raids On 'IRA Properties'

Properties worth £30m and thought to be linked to the IRA
are being targeted in raids in Greater Manchester.

Searches have identified about 250 properties linked to two
businessmen, which are being investigated by the Assets
Recovery Agency (ARA).

It is thought to follow an inquiry into the business and
financial affairs of Thomas "Slab" Murphy, who is widely
considered to be the head of the IRA.

Police have also raided the home and business of landlord
Dermot Craven.

Property groups

Greater Manchester Police confirmed they were raiding
Craven Properties in Britannia Road, Sale, in connection
with the ARA investigation.

It is part of the Craven Group which is run by Dermot

Police were also raiding his home, Craven House, on South
Downs Road in Bowden, Greater Manchester.

They were also raiding a block of flats in Sale on Thursday

The ARA searches were carried out on business and domestic
premises and documents seized.

A spokeswoman for the ARA said it was an investigation
against assets, not individuals or companies.

She added that if a Civil Recovery Order were to be awarded
by a court, the assets would be disposed of, including by
public auction.

The searches took place 10 days after the IRA put its
weapons beyond use and on the day Sinn Fein President Gerry
Adams was due to meet Prime Minister Tony Blair in Downing

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said it had
played the biggest role in referring information to the ARA
across the UK.

The operation is understood to have originated in Northern
Ireland and then extended to the Republic and the rest of
the UK.

Libel defeat

An ARA statement said: "The agency has so far identified
approximately 250 properties held by both persons and a
number of property management companies.

"The equity in the properties appears to be in the region
of £9m."

Murphy lost a libel case against The Sunday Times in 1998,
after the newspaper described him as a prominent IRA

The authorities on both sides of the border have been
investigating him for years.

Murphy describes himself as a County Louth farmer. The
family property is in an area straddling the border with
the Irish Republic at Hackballscross. Did you witness
today's raids in Manchester? Send us your accounts using
the form below

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/06 12:44:00 GMT


Minister Pledges To Strip Paramilitaries Of Illegal Wealth

Anti-racketeers involved in a major new offensive on
suspected IRA assets in Britain are focused on stripping
paramilitaries of all illegal wealth, the Irish Justice
Minister pledged today.

By:Press Association

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is examining 250
properties owned by two Manchester-based businessmen and
valued at £30 million.

The probe is believed to be linked to Tom "Slab" Murphy,
the alleged chief of staff of the IRA.

As Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness
prepared for Downing Street talks with British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, police in Greater Manchester also
raided at least two business premises.

Private homes and addresses owned by property managed
companies were all targeted after search and seizure
warrants and a disclosure order were granted at the High
Court in London, ARA said.

Documents were seized during the raids, which came just 10
days after decommissioning chief General John de Chastelain
declared all IRA weapons had been put beyond use.

But Michael McDowell, Irish Justice Minister and an
outspoken critic of the Provisionals, insisted the
authorities on both sides of the border were not prepared
to go soft on republican crime of any kind.

He said: "An Garda Siochana and the PSNI (Police Service of
Northern Ireland) and the Criminal Assets Bureau and the
ARA are co-operating in every possible way to ensure that
on this island those who have control of the proceeds of
crime are deprived of those proceeds.

"It`s not simply what happens in this island. It`s people
who transfer assets abroad to be outside the reach of the
long arm of the law."

Mr McDowell said he knew the operation was at an early
stage and did not want to prejudge its outcome.

But he insisted London and Dublin would come down hard on
the Provos if they break the law.

"I do say that anyone who believes that political
development will somehow airbrush out the whole question of
the proceeds of criminality and the massive portfolio of
assets which many people involved in Paramilitarism have
and intend to use to pervert the democratic process in this
state, they should think twice now because those assets
should not be written off. On the contrary, they are being
sought and tracked down," he said.

Mr McDowell said there was the closest co-operation between
the Criminal Assets Bureau and its counterpart the ARA.

"There is a joint determination to ensure that the border
is not something behind which criminals can hide or which
they can use to their advantage by concealing assets

The operation, which will overshadow Mr Blair`s separate
meetings with both Sinn Fein and Democratic Unionist leader
Ian Paisley, caused alarm in Belfast.

Danny Kennedy, a senior Ulster Unionist representative,
warned it could cause major damage to a new push to restore
power-sharing at Stormont.

The Newry and Armagh MLA said: "This is a very disturbing
development indeed.

"If, after investigation by the ARA, the properties turn
out to be linked to the IRA this will have very serious
consequences for the political process in Northern Ireland.

"The extent of the IRA`s vast criminal empire was confirmed
by the Northern Bank robbery last December.

"Various IMC (Independent Monitoring Commission) reports
have corroborated this and coming from South Armagh I know,
all to well, the extent of IRA criminality, fuel smuggling
and other illegal activities.

"The Republican Movement is probably the largest organised
crime network in the British Isles. Governments and all
investigative agencies must pursue justice with zero
tolerance for criminals."

David Ford, leader of the cross-community Alliance Party,
claimed the action proved the ARA was determined to go
after criminals on both sides of Northern Ireland`s
sectarian divide.

He said: "For some time, unionist politicians have claimed
that the ARA was only taking action against unionists, not

"It is clear from today`s news that a very significant
operation has been under way for some time directed against
republicans. A seizure on this scale must have required an
enormous investment of time and other resources."

Arriving for talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair at
Downing Street today, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was
asked about the reported investigation into the assets of
Mr Murphy.

Mr Adams demanded: "Have the Assets Recovery Agency named
some person?"

He added: "I am not going to respond to what are obviously
briefings headed up by a man, Alan McQuillan, a former
special branch officer."

He continued: "The reality is that people do have rights
and we will stand by those.

"I don`t think it`s any accident and I am not surprised
that this is trotted out today. This is obviously a
political agenda."

Democratic Unionist leader the Rev Ian Paisley was also
asked about the Assets Recovery Agency investigation as he
emerged from talks in Downing Street with the Prime

Mr Paisley said the issue had not been discussed, but
added: "I agree with it wholeheartedly. It`s a bit late in
the day. We should have started a bit earlier on to deal
with IRA racketeering.

"I wish the police every success and I trust that soon
these people will be brought to the courts, have British
justice applied to them and be removed from our society
which they have cursed for far too long."


Sinn Féin Supports US Immigration Reform Bill And Calls For
Similar Measures Here

Published: 6 October, 2005

Speaking during the debate on the all-party Motion relating
to the US Immigration Bill being proposed to regularise the
status of undocumented workers and immigrants living in the
US, Sinn Féin spokesperson on International Affairs, Aengus
Ó Snodaigh TD, said he supported the US Bill on immigration
reform. He said, "This measure, if passed, could have
positive and life-changing consequences" for thousands of
undocumented Irish workers living in the United States. He
went on to call on the government to introduce a similar
system for regularising undocumented migrants here, saying,
"Members of the Oireachtas should not promote the
introduction of an immigration policy in another
jurisdiction that they would not be prepared to introduce
here themselves."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "On behalf of Sinn Fein I would
like to lend my support to the Kennedy/McCain Bill on
immigration reform. This measure, if passed, could have
positive and life-changing consequences for undocumented
workers living in the United States, hundreds if not
thousands of whom are Irish. Three weeks ago my colleague
Deputy Sean Crowe expressed our support for the reform Bill
directly to the two Senators, along with the rest of the
all-party delegation, in Capitol Hill, Washington.

"The situation of the undocumented Irish living in the US
has been a continuous major concern for Sinn Féin. Our
concern centres around the vulnerability of this isolated
group of Irish citizens. In particular we lament the
effective exile of this group from Ireland and from their
families here. This exile results from the very real fear
that if they return here for a visit, a holiday, a wedding
or a funeral they will be unable to re-enter the United
States where they've built a life for themselves -- albeit
an uncertain life. It is also likely that this intolerable
situation contributes to substance misuse, suicide and
depression in this group.

"If the Kennedy/McCain Bill is passed it will resolve much
of this situation. And it is right and proper that we
promote such a move together.

"However, I would also like to use this rare opportunity of
Oireachtas enlightened consensus and goodwill around a
positive immigration reform to push for a similar measure
here. Members of the Oireachtas should not promote the
introduction of an immigration policy in another
jurisdiction that they would not be prepared to introduce
here themselves.

"Just as we have expressed empathy en masse with the
undocumented Irish in the US let us now do the same in
relation to undocumented workers here in Ireland. Sinn Fein
calls on this government to introduce a system for
regularising undocumented migrants here. This system
should, in line with recommendations of the Immigrant
Council of Ireland, prioritise the human rights of such
migrants and recognise that the vast majority are
involuntary migrants desperately seeking work -- as so many
Irish have done abroad before them.

"This type of immigration policy reform is vitally
necessary to bring an end to the exploitation of this group
by some unscrupulous employers in this state and to meet
the legitimate needs and right of migrants to maintain real
contact with their respective families at home. Failure to
introduce such reforms here would be nothing short of

"Again I welcome the opportunity to support the
Kennedy/McCain Bill which has real potential to resolve the
current insupportable situation of many Irish in the USA."


Nationalists Forced To Fund July 12 Events

By Senan Hogan

A NORTH Antrim local authority must stop using public funds
to finance Protestant marching season bonfires, an Antrim
residents' group said yesterday during a visit to the Dáil.

Sinn Féin councillor Monica Digney said Ballymena Borough
Council uses rate payers' revenue to pay for prizes for the
best bonfires during July 12 events.

Ms Digney, who won the first-ever Sinn Féin seat on the
council in May, was part of a delegation of North Antrim
residents who visited TDs yesterday to highlight sectarian

She said: "Even nationalist rate payers have to currently
fund prizes like £350 for the best bonfire and so on down
the line."

She complained that nationalists cannot attend their local
Catholic churches on Sundays and urged unionist leaders to
strongly condemn all sectarian attacks.

The five-member delegation met TDs and senators before
holding talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern.

Farmer and school caretaker Liam O'Neill from Ahoghill said
two estates both had about 40 nationalist families 20 years
ago, but they were now all driven out due to intimidation.

"If kids miss the school bus in the morning, they're afraid
to walk to school through certain areas."

He told TDs: "You're very lucky not to live in North
Antrim. We can't bring up our children there."

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said he
telephoned the PSNI when he witnessed loyalist youths
throwing eggs at local schoolgirls one day.

He went on: "I eventually got a call back from an officer
about two-and-a-half hours later."

Fianna Fáil Senator Camillus Glynn said: "This shatters the
myth of an impartial police force."

Sinn Féin's North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan, who recently
compiled a dossier of local sectarian attacks on
nationalists, said: "People can only get the leadership of
those they elect and at the moment, unionist leaders are
not offering positive leadership."

Fianna Fáil Senator Jim Walsh said: "Sectarianism is a huge
cancer in society and only serves to further polarise

Independent TD Finian McGrath commented, "There must be a
zero tolerance attitude to sectarian attacks among police
and politicians."

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin criticised Fine
Gael and Labour for not meeting the North Antrim residents.

Seanad leader Mary O'Rourke, who attended the meeting, said
she would raise the issue with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
during his address on Northern Ireland issues in the Seanad


Pressure Mounts Against 'Amnesty' Plan For OTRs

By Chris Thornton
06 October 2005

Pressure was increasing on the Government today to toughen
up its proposals for dealing with IRA fugitives.

With the Conservatives already lining up opposition in the
Lords, Alliance Party criticism has signalled that the
Liberal Democrats could also stand against the proposals.

Legislation dealing with the fugitives - known as 'on the
runs' or OTRs - is due to be introduced at Westminster
later this month.

Under proposals published two years ago, the fugitives -
including various Maze escapers, former MP Owen Carron and
Sinn Fein's US representative Rita O'Hare - would be
allowed back into Northern Ireland if they apply to a
quasi-judicial process.

The crimes they are wanted for would be reviewed at a
hearing, but they would not be required to appear.

Opponents say that it amounts to an amnesty.

Earlier this week, shadow Secretary of State David
Lidington told a Tory party conference meeting that the
Conservatives will oppose the measure as it stands.

While the Government still has a commanding majority in the
House of Commons, the legislation could run into difficulty
in the Lords.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers could combine with
cross benchers to make passage of the legislation

Alliance leader David Ford told Secretary of State Peter
Hain that his party opposes the current proposals during a
meeting at Hillsborough Castle on Tuesday night.

"Our concern is that OTRs will be dealt with in a way that
is not a general amnesty," said Mr Ford.

"But my impression is that what has been promised is an

He said his party wants the Government to treat the OTRs
the same as early release prisoners - making their freedom
dependent on good behaviour.

"When you consider the pain that early release caused,
allowing OTRs anything less than that is unacceptable.

He said Mr Hain has offered his party a meeting with
Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson before the
legislation is published.


Adams Denies SF Role In Rafferty Death

By Ann Cahill, Europe Correspondent, Brussels

SINN FÉIN president Gerry Adams denied his party had any
involvement in the murder of Dublin man Joseph Rafferty who
was shot dead last April.

He also dismissed as nonsense allegations that republicans
held onto 300 weapons following decommissioning.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said he will ask Mr Adams about
allegations by the dead man's sister that republicans were
involved in the killing.

Mr Adams, visiting the European institutions for the first
time, described Mr Rafferty's death as a brutal murder and
one of a series of murders in Dublin in the recent past. He
said people should help the family and anybody with
information should to go to the gardaí, as it was a matter
for them.

"This is a matter for the garda. Jo Rafferty's killing was
a very, very brutal murder - one of a series of such
murders in Dublin in the recent past."

When asked if there was any Sinn Féin involvement he said:
"Not as far as we can establish, there was not any
involvement. We repudiate the killing."

He repeated his offer to meet the family. "If there is
anything they want us to do that we can do, we will do it."
His first offer, made last week, was rejected by Mr
Rafferty's sister, Esther Uzell, saying she would meet him
only if he was prepared to give her straight answers to her

Asked about the murder in East Belfast yesterday of the UDA
brigadier Jim Gray, Mr Adams said he did not know very much
about it. "But I condemn all these murders - each of them
diminishes the body politic. We must make sure that the
peace process works and the vacuum that exists is brought
to an end as quickly as possible."

Mr Adams was meeting Regional Development Commissioner
Danuta Hubner who has said she hopes to allocate funds for
a Peace 3 programme from the 2006-2014 budget which is yet
to be agreed. Ireland benefited by about €700m from the
first and second Peace programmes.


Government Must Not Let DUP Delay, Says Durkan

06/10/2005 - 11:05:10

The Government must not allow the Democratic Unionist Party
to hold up political progress in the North, it was claimed

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the IRA decommissioning
roadblock has been eliminated and all parties must now
focus fully on the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Durkan was speaking before he led a four-member
delegation into official talks in Dublin with Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern and Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern for the
first time since last week's IRA decommissioning.

"If the issues that caused the suspension of the political
institutions have been dealt with, then the institutions
must be re-established without delay," he said.

He warned the Irish Government that the DUP should now
address all issues with the other parties within the
framework of the institutions.

"But if the Government entertains the DUP with the idea
that there will be a whole pub crawl of pre-conditions and
concessions on the way into the institutions, then the DUP
is going to keep this thing going for a year or two years."

Mr Durkan said there was a mentality within the DUP that
wants to hold up political progress just like Sinn Féin and
the Ulster Unionist Party in the past.

"With decommissioning achieved, the veto on the
institutions has gone," he said.

"We're now on the Agreement road and that's where the DUP
can have their mandate properly respected."


Government Warned Over DUP Demands

The British government is playing a dangerous game by
giving in to the endless demands of the Democratic Unionist
Party, it was claimed today.

By:Press Association

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said Northern Ireland power-sharing
institutions must now be set up to allow political parties
to deliver on their democratic mandates.

Mr Durkan was holding official talks with Irish Prime
Minister Bertie Ahern in Dublin for the first time since
IRA decommissioning was completed last week.

He told reporters that he believed DUP leader the Rev Ian
Paisley was presenting a 64-page document of fresh demands
during talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in
London today.

"The British government would be engaging in very, very
dangerous activity if they start giving the DUP gratuitous
concessions because that will create a stream of demands on
other things," Mr Durkan said.

"Tony Blair should politely tell the DUP where to go with
their demands and force them to fulfil their mandate within
the political institutions."

Mr Durkan said that competing demands from Sinn Fein and
the DUP would only create a merry-go-round of more
concessions, more demands, more excuses and more blame.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is also leading a
delegation to meet Mr Blair for the first time since last
week`s IRA decommissioning.

Mr Adams briefed MEPs in Brussels yesterday about the IRA`s
decision to end its armed campaign.

"The two Governments need to be standing together on all
issues against all-comers at this stage.

"They need to send a very strong signal to Sinn Fein and
the DUP that they`re not running separate hole-in-the-wall
operations where each of them can come and demand their own
concessions," he said.

The five-member SDLP delegation which included MLAs Alex
Atwood and Sean Farren held a one-hour meeting with Mr
Ahern and Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern in
Government Buildings.

Foyle MP Mr Durkan added: "The DUP need to show that it`s
for real about exercising its democratic responsibilities
and not focusing on demands like reconstituting the
policing boards."

Mr Durkan said that the DUP`s behaviour around recent
loyalist rioting put a question mark over the party`s
attitude to a lawful society.

Speaking of paramilitary criminality, he added: "Many of us
would have concerns that there`s going to be residual
criminal activity."

About 250 properties in Manchester worth €44 million (£27
million) were today being investigated by Northern
Ireland`s Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) as part of an
inquiry believed to be linked to the assets of the
Provisional IRA.

"We need to be reassured by the British and Irish
governments that a blind eye will not be turned to this
activity," Mr Durkan added.


Gray Was A Tout, Says Killer Stone

'Arrogant ex-UDA boss signed his own death warrant'

By Jonathan McCambridge
06 October 2005

Milltown murderer Michael Stone today claimed slain
loyalist Jim Gray "signed his own death warrant" by
becoming a supergrass prepared to betray his former UDA

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, killer Stone -
once a close associate of Gray - said the former UDA
leader's arrogance and refusal to stay in prison led to him
being gunned down in east Belfast this week.

Detectives are still holding six people over the murder of
the flamboyant former brigadier known as 'Doris Day', who
was shot five times in the back on Tuesday night.

Michael Stone, convicted of six murders, including three at
Milltown Cemetery, recalled one occasion when Gray told him
he "was a businessman rather than a loyalist".

Gray was at the killer's side at a loyalist rally at the
UIster Hall in 1998 when Stone was on temporary release
from the Maze.

When Stone was later released under the Good Friday
Agreement in 2000, Gray was at the prison to greet him.

But their relationship later soured and Stone was forced to
leave east Belfast as he believed Gray wanted him dead.

He said: "I knew Gray since he was young. His father is a
gentleman but there was always something strange about Jim
- wearing slacks and shoes with no socks, even in winter.

"I would be a hypocrite if I said I was surprised he is
dead - what goes around comes around.

"He never pulled a trigger in his life but he got where he
was by bullying people and ordering them around. He didn't
do anything but he knew a lot.

"I know for sure he was a supergrass and that signed his
death warrant. He thought by talking and giving evidence he
would be allowed to hold on to some of his cash abroad.

"He once told me he was a businessman, not a loyalist. He
said loyalism doesn't pay the bills.

"There will be so many suspects because Gray double-crossed
just about everybody he came into contact with. Police will
be looking at a long list of people. You could look at it
as a bit of internal house-keeping."

Gray was stood down as UDA east Belfast commander earlier
this year. Shortly afterwards he was arrested by police and
charged with money laundering offences.

Stone said: "The cops lifted him for his own protection. He
knew that by going on remand he would be staying alive.

"He knew it was coming but his arrogance meant he kept
going for bail and when he came out he was going to bars
and Chinese restaurants on the Newtownards Road right up to
the end as if he owned the place.

"He got where he was by bullying and bluffing. He was never
a loyalist."


Murder Of Gray Was An 'Internal Matter' - Source

By Gemma Murray Security Correspondent
Wednesday 5th October 2005

Former UDA chief Jim Gray was shot dead last night outside
his east Belfast home.

The 47-year-old deposed "brigadier", known as Doris Day,
was mown down by two gunmen in what one source described as
"an internal UDA matter".

The killers struck outside the loyalist's house in
Knockwood Park on the Clarawood estate in Tullycarnet.

The flamboyant former loyalist chief, who was expelled by
the UDA leadership earlier this year, was granted bail
three weeks ago awaiting trial on money laundering charges
after being arrested by police as part of an investigation
into serious crime in Northern Ireland.

His bail was under strict conditions - a curfew on him
leaving his home at night and orders to report to police
five times a week.

He was also told to steer clear of a Belfast estate agent
and his girlfriend, both of whom were charged in connection
with his racketeering.

In May, 2002, Gray survived a murder bid, also carried out
in the east of the city.

He was attacked following the murder of a senior member of
the LVF, Stephen Warnock.

At the time, then Belfast Assistant Chief Constable Alan
McQuillan said the shooting of Gray was related to
Warnock's murder.

Last night, loyalist sources said there were a number of
people who wanted to "nut Gray for different reasons".

One said: "He was doing a lot of mouthing, but apart from
that the UDA did not want him to appear in court and the
police did not want him to appear in court.

"It was only a matter of time for Gray. Many believed he
was prepared to tout for a lighter sentence."

Another source claimed Gray had been under police
protection since being released on bail.

Last night, the PSNI declined to comment on the allegation.
"Gray was being protected by a couple of officers, or
supposed to have been," the source said.

"We saw Gray in a pub having a pint and there were a couple
of peelers there to make sure he was okay.

"He also went to his father's house and there was a cop car
with him.

"There was a lot of talk in recent days about the damage he
could do if he started talking and not just within the

Gray had already appeared in the High Court charged with
possessing and concealing criminal property and money

He had denied the charges. A Crown lawyer said more than
100,000 documents had been seized and police had raided
council offices and planning offices.

The offices of solicitors, estate agents and accountants
were also raided, said the lawyer.


The I.R.A. Disarms
New York Times
Published: October 4, 2005

To the Editor:

Re "The I.R.A. Finally Risks Disarmament" (editorial, Sept.

The leaders of the Irish Republican Army were not "balking"
at delivering on disarmament. In return for the I.R.A.'s
destruction of arms, the Good Friday Agreement of 1998
required the British to take reciprocal measures of

It was the British who balked at instituting the reductions
because the military and police sectors are a significant
source of jobs for loyalists.

Yes, the British did respond to civil rights marches with
violence, but it was not isolated and did not end there.

For decades after Bloody Sunday in 1972, they corrupted law
and justice with internment, arrest without trial and
without jury and with systematic anti-Catholic

You cite "I.R.A. terror" in London but not the day in May
1974 when the British Army-loyalist collaboration produced
the largest atrocity of the conflict, the Dublin-Monaghan

We fear that your call to the Rev. Ian Paisley to "demand
an end to the mayhem by his community's extremists" will
fall on deaf ears. He got his start by creating mayhem; his
message has never changed.

Michael J. Cummings
Albany, Sept. 27, 2005

The writer is a member of the Irish American Unity
Conference's national board.


Viewpoint: Fear Stalks The Streets Of Belfast

Opin: Loyalist Murders: Police Must Regain The Initiative

06 October 2005

The murder of former paramilitary godfather, Jim Gray, is
yet another example of the quagmire that loyalist
paramilitaries find themselves in. The likelihood is that
he was killed by former comrades, in case he said too much
about them in court, but the main effect of the murder is
to expose them as the gangsters they are, rather than the
community defenders they claim to be.

The crisis in the loyalist paramilitary world, over the
last few months, can hardly be exaggerated. Five men have
died either in feuds or tragic "mistakes" - four at the
hands of the UVF and now Gray, a probable UDA victim. Two
years ago, the murder of a north Belfast UDA chief, John
Gregg, led to the exiling of the notorious Johnny Adair

Gray was widely known as a drug taker and dealer, who had
amassed a fortune through one means of extortion or
another, and was due for a long custodial sentence. That
would have been justice, but someone must have wanted him
silenced before he could defend himself against money-
laundering charges.

What a picture all this killing paints of the loyalist
paramilitary leadership. Founded in the early 1970s
ostensibly to counter IRA violence, the many loyalist
organisations have degenerated into criminal conspiracies
which live off the most deprived communities.

Although governments have encouraged contacts through the
Loyalist Commission - a group of churchmen, politicians and
paramilitaries - its influence over recent events has been
almost non-existent.

And how did meeting government representatives alter the
behaviour of the UDA and UVF leaders, some of whom are
either dead or banished to England? Why should there be any
delay in "specifying" the UDA, like the UVF, for breaches
of its ceasefire?

Even those who have given tacit support to some loyalist
paramilitaries in the past, to convince them that politics
is the way forward, are losing hope. They can see how money
and power has corrupted them, leaving their communities

One ray of hope is that a politician like Ian Paisley,
visiting a vandalised Catholic school in Ballymena, has
condemned the immorality of threats at a blessing of graves
in Carnmoney. The tide is turning against purveyors of
hatred, corruption and death.


McGuinness In D.C.

Sinn Fein Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness was in
Washington, D.C. last week for a number of meetings. Among
the U.S. politicians he met were Senators Hillary Clinton,
Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd, White House special envoy
Mitchell Reiss, and several members of the House.

"The historic nature of the IRA's actions in putting its
weapons beyond use deserves a response from everyone
involved in this process which is equally historic and
forward thinking," McGuinness said.

"The United States, the U.S. administration and members of
both the Senate and Congress have played an enormous role
in helping us to reach this point." McGuinness is pictured
with Senators Kennedy and Dodd.


Galway To Celebrate Sinn Féin's Centenary?

By Kernan Andrews

The Galway City Council is unlikely to set up a committee
to celebrate Sinn Féin's 100th anniversary but Cllr Daniel
Callanan says a number of events to mark the occasion will
still take place.

Sinn Féin's Cllr Callanan earlier this year submitted a
notice of motion to the city council, calling on it to "set
up a committee to organise commemorative events celebrating
the 100th anniversary of the founding of Sinn Féin on the
21st November, 1905".

It is extremely unlikely the city council would grant such
a request as it would be seen as partisan. Cllr Callanan
says the thinking behind it is that all the major parties
in Ireland, with the exception of Labour, have roots in
Sinn Féin. However he says at this late stage of the year
he may not pursue the motion.

Nonetheless the party in Galway will mark its centenary in
November with a number of events.


Director Neil Jordan Grapples With The New Ireland

Thu Oct 6, 2005 8:14 AM ET
By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Irish film director Neil Jordan's new
movie about a quirky 1970s quest for personal identity
against a background of violence, "Breakfast on Pluto,"
stands in contrast to the new, thriving Ireland.

It's enough to make Jordan feel nostalgic.

"Ireland is turning into Norway," says Jordan, sardonically
likening the rising affluence and dwindling political
tensions at home to what he views as a bland Scandinavian

"The country I grew up in hadn't changed since the 19th
century. It definitely hadn't changed since James Joyce
wrote 'Dubliners,' Jordan told Reuters in a recent

"Now it has transformed totally."

Jordan says he feels like a stranger in the booming "Celtic
Tiger" economy and hardly knows what to make of the
cultural landscape with the fading of the centuries old
"troubles" now that the Irish Republican Army has scrapped
its weapons.

"You've got all these ancient tribal conflicts finally put
to rest," Jordan said. "Everybody's employable. Everybody's
got jobs. And what then?

"I suppose you need a kind of satirist like Tom Wolfe when
he wrote 'The Bonfire of the Vanities' to make sense of
contemporary Ireland," he said. "I'm not sure there are any
such voices at the moment."

One of the most intriguing auteurs on the Irish scene in
the last two decades, Jordan has examined the issue of
terrorism and rebellion in his first film, "Angel" (1982),
"The Crying Game" (1992), "Michael Collins" (1996) and
again in his new movie.


"Breakfast on Pluto," the centerpiece of the ongoing New
York Film Festival, is a black comic fairy tale that
follows the journey of an abandoned Irish child who grows
up to be a transvestite and journeys to London in the mid-
1970s in search of his lost mother and a life of his own.

Patrick "Kitten" Braden, played by rising Irish star
Cillian Murphy, is open, naive and unafraid to confront the
dangerous realities that bombard him and his world.

That is what drew Jordan to adapt the novel by compatriot
Patrick McCabe, despite superficial similarities to "The
Crying Game," a thriller which won Jordan an Oscar for best
screenplay and involved the IRA and a transvestite in a
central role.

"I was really trepidatious, if that's a word, about
addressing an issue like that again. Then I thought the
character was so on the side of the angels that there can
be no doubt where the heart of the film stands.

"He's the only character able to speak clearly,
unequivocally and kind of bravely on all the issues.
Incredibly brave and impossibly naive at the same time. I
liked that about it, clear about the issues."

While Jordan may miss some of the Ireland he knew best, he
says the decommissioning of the IRA is extraordinary.

"It is an extraordinary event, where a fearsome army, which
it was, willingly disbanded itself," he said. "Whatever
comes out of it, I don't know. I don't quite trust a lot to
do with it, but it is an extraordinary thing."


Jordan said Irish writers will have to shift gears.

"It is so weird, to have been writing and working out in
your brain what you feel about this fight full of conflict
and paradox. It is so weird to see it so different. I don't
know what to say. Maybe I'm not a part of it.

"Conflict and badness are easier to write about than
goodness," he said. "I think it's both confusing, soporific
and strangely happy."

The filmmaker, who has written four novels and made 15
movies, said "rampant capitalism" had transformed the

"Ireland has changed so much. You know what changed things
quicker than anything is rampant capitalism," he said.
"Give it about two years and it will transform a country
inside out.

"Let money flow, and bam, suddenly 'I'm talkin' on my
mobile phone to my third wife,'" he said with a U.S.
western twang. "That sort of thing."

Jordan, who plans another novel after last year's
publication of "Shade," said he thinks he might concentrate
more on making movies and writing directly for the screen.

The 55-year-old Jordan even admitted he had tried his hand
at capturing the new Ireland but was not sure he would go
forward with the project.

"I've written a script but I think it'd be too savage and I
don't think I'd be able to live there anymore and I do like
living there, you know?"

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