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October 28, 2005

Adams: Weapons An Issue For DUP Too

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 10/28/05 Weapons Also An Issue For DUP: Adams
NH 10/28/05 Special Branch Officers Linked To UVF Murders
IT 10/28/05 Rabbitte Wants Inquiry Into Loyalist Killings
UT 10/28/05 Loyalist Bandsman Jailed For Rape Attempt
BT 10/28/05 Loyalist Is Refused Bail Over Murder Bid Charge
BT 10/28/05 UVF Boss 'Linked To String Of Murders'
UT 10/28/05 Loyalist Adair Admits Assaulting His Wife
DU 10/28/05 Strangford MP Strongly Condemns Shootings
UU 10/27/05 UUP: Which Wing Of Party Is Paisley On?
BT 10/28/05 PSNI Tactics During Riots Are Defended
BT 10/28/05 Victims Of Troubles Fund To Get £1.5m
BT 10/28/05 Fraud Squad Search Police Offices
EX 10/28/05 Coalition Clashes Over Dáil Plan For North MPs
IT 10/29/05 SF Criticises Parties For Bar On MPs Speaking
4N 10/28/05 Orange Hall Damaged In Arson Attack
UT 10/28/05 Paisley Speaks Out On Fugitives
BT 10/28/05 Assembly Members Set To Meet
TE 10/28/05 Waterspout Taps Into Spring Of Republicanism
GI 10/28/05 Opin: Ireland Should Forget Its Violent Past
UT 10/28/05 Dog Survives 150ft Cliff Plunge
NN 10/28/05 O'Flaherty Returns To Newport For Nov. 11 Show
BT 10/28/05 Satirical Paper Loses President's Approval


Weapons Also An Issue For DUP: Adams

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
28 October 2005

The DUP must also deal with the issue of decommissioning -
over the issue of Ulster Resistance weapons, Sinn Fein has

Ian Paisley's party came under fire from republicans as the
prospects for early devolution talks faded further over the
Governments' plans for on-the-runs.

As it emerged meaningful talks could be postponed until
after legislation on fugitives has passed through
Parliament, Sinn Fein attempted to apply pressure on the
DUP which has vowed to oppose the plan - including possible
human rights-based legal action.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the DUP would have to
take full responsibility for the continuation of direct
rule and unaccountable government if it failed to grab the
current opportunity.

"There will be difficult decisions for the incoming
Executive and Assembly. But perhaps the biggest decisions
at this time is for the DUP," the West Belfast MP said.

"Do they have the confidence to govern this place with the
rest of us or will they allow British Ministers to continue
to do so in the interests of the British government instead
of the people here?"

He said continuing Direct Rule would mean more cuts to
public services, including education and health as well as
increased rates and water charges.

The attack came as DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson said
there was no future for either loyalist or republican
paramiltaries in Northern Ireland.


Special Branch Officers Linked To UVF Murders

(Barry McCaffrey, Irish News)

Six Special Branch officers have been implicated by Police
Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan in the cover-up of more than a dozen
UVF murders, The Irish News understands.

Mrs O'Loan's report into loyalist murders in the 1990s –
seen as her team's most extensive since a probe into the
Omagh bomb investigation – is said to be "explosive and

A spokesman for Mrs O'Loan's office last night (Wednesday)
confirmed that she has passed an interim report to the
Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP) in relation to a
number of murders by a UVF informer between 1993 and 2000.

It is understood to implicate at least six Special Branch
officers in failing to act on evidence that linked senior
UVF leader Mark Haddock to at least eight murders during a
seven-year period.

It is also understood that Haddock and one of his Special
Branch handlers will be named in the Dail today in relation
to a UVF bomb attack on Sinn Féin offices in Monaghan town
in March 1997.

Mrs O'Loan's report is understood to detail alleged Special
Branch collusion in the murders of:

Catholic woman Sharon McKenna, shot dead by a UVF gunman
while visiting a Protestant pensioner in January 1993

Co Armagh builders Gary Convie (24) and Eamon Fox (44),
shot dead while working in north Belfast in May 1994

Thomas Sheppard (41), shot dead as a suspected UVF informer
in March 1996

William Harbinson (39), beaten to death by UVF men in the
Mount Vernon area of north Belfast in May 1997

David Templeton (43), a Protestant clergyman who died
following a UVF punishment attack in February 1997

David Greer (21), a UDA man shot dead by the UVF in Tiger's
Bay in October 2000

Tommy English (40), a UDA man shot dead in Newtownabbey in
October 2000.

The ombudsman's report is understood to implicate Special
Branch officers in the UVF bomb left at a Sinn Féin office
in Monaghan town in March 1997.

The attack came at a crucial time in the peace process and
was said to have been part of a 'no claim, no blame'
strategy operated by the UVF.

Former RUC detective Johnston Brown last night also claimed
that Special Branch prevented police charging Haddock with
the murder of Sharon McKenna in 1993.

October 28, 2005


Rabbitte Wants Inquiry Into Loyalist Killings

Marie O'Halloran

Claims that an RUC informer was protected from
prosecution, despite allegedly being involved in the murder
of eight people, were raised in the Dáil yesterday.

Labour leader Pat Rabbitte called for an independent
inquiry into alleged police collusion in loyalist
paramilitary murders. He said that once an investigation by
the North's Police Ombudsman into circumstances of the
murder of Raymond McCord, one of the victims, was
published, there had to be an inquiry.

But Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Noel Treacy said
because the investigation was at a sensitive stage, any
comment on the possible establishment of an independent
inquiry into this issue would be premature.

The investigation was established following a complaint
from Raymond McCord snr alleging police misconduct into the
circumstances of his son's murder, believed to be carried
out by loyalist paramilitaries.

Mr McCord and family members sat in the spectators' gallery
as Mr Rabbitte raised the issue.

The Labour leader said two of the gang members who carried
out Raymond McCord's murder were special branch informers
Mark Haddock and John Bond. They were also both allegedly
involved in an attempt to bomb Sinn Féin offices in

Mark Haddock is now awaiting trial for attempted murder,
"but there is no progress in any of the outstanding murder
investigations". Mr Rabbitte added that "for almost eight
years the investigation into the Raymond McCord murder has
gone nowhere. His father is morally certain of who killed
his son but the perpetrators enjoy immunity for their acts.
The police need for intelligence has trumped the state's
duty to protect the right to life."

He said that "Haddock was originally handled by Johnston
Brown, a CID officer in the RUC. RUC Special Branch later
took over the handling of informers.

Haddock is said to have been recruited as an informer after
he murdered Sharon McKenna, a Catholic who was shot while
visiting a friend in Mount Vernon in January 1993.

Since the McKenna murder and while serving as an RUC
informer, Haddock has been associated with the murder of
Gary Convie and Eamon Fox, Catholics shot on a building
site in May 1994; Thomas Sheppard, an alleged informer shot
in March 1996; the Rev David Templeton a Protestant
clergyman who died in March 1997 after being severely
beaten; Billy Harbison, handcuffed, beaten and left to die
in May 1997; Tommy English, a former UDP politician, beaten
and shot in October 2000; and David Greer, shot during a
loyalist feud in October 2000."

Mr Rabbitte said the central allegation was that Mark
Haddock, who ordered the murder of Raymond McCord, "was not
charged with any crime because he was an informer who had
to be protected. He was able to act with impunity, while
the police effectively colluded in his crimes."

Mr Treacy said "the Government will continue to monitor
development in this case very closely and will give its
immediate and careful consideration to the Ombudsman's
report and any recommendations that it makes, when it is

© The Irish Times


FRIDAY 28/10/2005 15:58:21

Loyalist Bandsman Jailed For Rape Attempt

Convicted would-be rapist Thomas "Snowy" Sloan wept when
jailed for 12-years today as family and friends protested
his innocence.

Lawyers for the 39-year-old loyalist bandsman from Cluan
Place, Belfast are already planning to appeal his
conviction earlier this month for the attempted rape and
indecent assault of a teenager.

Family and friends shouted he was an "innocent man" and
encouraged him to "keep your head up" after Belfast Crown
Court Judge Derick Rodgers told the weeping Sloan he has
used threats and his forceful personality to sexually abuse
his victim.

"She was only 15 while you were in your late 30`s. You had
power over her and used it in a perverted manner," said
Judge Rodgers who also ordered that Sloan be placed on the
sex offenders` register for life.

His now 17-year-old victim, Amanda Millar, who waived her
right to anonymity to speak to a Sunday newspaper of the
abuse she suffered at the hands of Sloan, chairman of the
Crimson Star Flute Band, was unavilable for comment today.

However, defence QC Paul Ramsey revealled that they were to
investigate the Sunday Life article as Ms Millar had made
claims never put before Sloan`s trial and which were also
unknown to the prosecution.

Mr Ramsey said that Sloan "is devasted and disappointed by
the jury`s verdict and continues to protest his innocence"
and that the matters raised by Ms Millar in the newspaper
article, "underline are concerns in this case".

However, Judge Rodgers said that victim impact reports on
Ms Millar made for "sad and unhappy reading" and indicated
she had "suffered grievously from this period of abuse"
which had left her "severely traumatised to the point where
she attempted to take her own life".

The judge said that the jury had convicted Sloan of two
charges of attempted rape and five of indecent assault
committed between July 2003 and March last year w

hen Ms Millar was aged 15 to 15.

Judge Rodgers said the sex attacks took place either in
alleyways or in the kitchen of the Cosy Bar in east Belfast
after band practice.


Loyalist Is Refused Bail Over Murder Bid Charge

By Jonathan McCambridge, Crime Correspondent
28 October 2005

A LEADING Ulster loyalist linked under parliamentary
privilege to a number of UVF murders while working as a
police informer, was today refused bail.

Mark Haddock, (37), from Mount Vernon Park in north Belfast
- who is due to go on trial for attempted murder - had the
application refused at Belfast Crown Court after the judge
accepted there was a risk of public disorder if he is

But Mr Justice Hart has ordered that Haddock's defence team
should make another bail application if his trial does not
begin as scheduled on Monday week.

Haddock denies attempting to murder Ballyclare pub doorman
Trevor Gowdy in December 2002. He also denies falsely
imprisoning Mr Gowdy and setting fire to his car.

Haddock was named in the Dail yesterday as the UVF
terrorist at the centre of a major investigation by Police
Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan into Special Branch collusion.

In court today his defence barrister said Haddock was
charged on August 21, 2003 and had been in custody since.

He argued that several start dates for his trial had not
been met and that the amount of time he had spent in
custody was in violation of European Human Rights Laws

The barrister also said a co-accused, Darren Moore, (36),
from Ballyvesey Court Newtownabbey, faces the same charges
and he was released on bail last week. He said the two
cases were "virtually indistinguishable".

He added that of the six people who were originally charged
over the alleged offences, Haddock was the only one who
remained in custody.

Detective Inspector James Templeton gave evidence in
opposition to bail and stated that Haddock had paramilitary
connections and had been "a leading member of the UVF for
some time".

He said: "If we were given bail he would try to re-
establish links with that organisation. I believe this
involves the danger of life to the people who control the
area he previously controlled."

Mr Justice Hart said: "This man has been in custody for an
appreciable length of time. By the time of his trial he
will have been in custody for two years and 11 weeks.

"There are the same arguments as in the case of his co-
accused Moore and the court must seek to ensure a
consistent approach is applied to co-defendants.

"It appears to me the only possible basis for
distinguishing between Haddock and Moore is the suggestion
there would be a greater danger of public disorder and we
have heard of reference to feuds between terrorist

The judge refused the bail application but said if the
trial did not start as scheduled on Monday week then the
defence should make another bail application and Haddock
would be released.


UVF Boss 'Linked To String Of Murders'

Police protected informer, says Irish Labour leader

By David Gordon
28 October 2005

A leading Ulster loyalist was involved in a string of
murders while working as a police Special Branch informer,
it was alleged last night.

Mark Haddock from north Belfast was accused under
parliamentary privilege in the Dail of being the UVF
terrorist at the centre of a massive investigation by
Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan.

A Shankill-based loyalist, John 'Bunter' Graham, was also
named during the debate as a UVF chief.

The allegations were made by Pat Rabbitte, leader of the
Irish Labour Party.

Thirty-nine-year-old Haddock is currently awaiting trial on
a charge of attempting to murder a Co Antrim pub doorman in
December, 2002.

During yesterday's Dail debate, Mr Rabbitte alleged that
Haddock had been a long-standing Special Branch informer
while involved in a number of murders with the Mount Vernon
UVF in north Belfast.

He also stated that the UVF murder of ex-RAF airman Raymond
McCord (22), in Newtownabbey in November 1997 was carried
out on Haddock's orders.

Mr McCord's father Raymond Snr has alleged for years that a
Special Branch agent was responsible for his son's murder.

His claims have been the subject of a major probe by the
Police Ombudsman.

A report on the findings is believed to be near to

Mr Rabbitte further alleged that Mr McCord Jnr was killed
to prevent Shankill UVF chief John "Bunter" Graham finding
out about Haddock's drug operations.

The TD also claimed that another Special Branch informer,
whom he named as John Bond, was present at the murder.

Calling for an international public inquiry to be
established once the Ombudsman's report is published, Mr
Rabbitte said: "The central allegation is that Haddock was
not charged with any crime because he was an informer who
had to be protected.

"He was able to act with impunity, while the police
effectively colluded in his crimes."

Mr Rabbitte also claimed that Haddock was linked to the
murders of seven others while serving as a RUC police

According to Mr Rabbitte, these murders were: Catholic
builders Gary Convie and Eamon Fox in 1994; alleged
informer Thomas Sheppard in 1996; Protestant clergyman, Rev
David Templeton in 1997; Billy Harbison in 1997; former
loyalist politician Tommy English in 2000 and David Greer
in 2000.

Mr McCord Snr travelled down to Dublin for the Dail


Adair Admits Assaulting His Wife

Former Ulster Defence Association paramilitary Johnny "Mad
Dog" Adair today walked free from court after he admitted
assaulting his wife.

Adair, 42, drunkenly attacked Gina Adair hours after he was
released from prison last month, Bolton Magistrates` Court

Karen Tong, prosecuting, said Adair was seen kneeling on
his wife and "punching her repeatedly with both arms".

The couple, who have been married for 23 years and have
four children, were walking home from a nearby pub after
celebrating Adair`s release from prison on September 26.

A group of children and their parents playing football in
the park reported seeing Adair dragging his wife by the
hair as she tried to flee, Mrs Tong said.

Mrs Adair suffered bruises to her face, cuts to her hand
and some hair loss in the attack but did not require
medical treatment.

Adair, formerly of Chorley New Road, Bolton, was made the
subject of a 12-month community rehabilitation order. The
Probation Service will supervise him one-on-one because he
is not deemed suitable for group work. His new address was
withheld by the court.

Adair, who collects state benefits, was ordered to pay a
£250 fine and £35 costs. The court heard how Adair, who
admitted one charge of common assault on September 28, had
attacked his wife before.

"The Probation Service report said there was some history
of domestic violence Mrs Tong said.

Adair was released from prison on the day of the attack
after serving 39 days for harassment. The harassment charge
did not relate to his wife.

Imposing the Community Rehabilitation Order, David Bonner,
chairman of the bench, said: "This domestic violence
offence is a very serious matter."

Adair, former commander of the West Belfast `C` Company
section of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, fled to Bolton
earlier this year after a feud erupted among Loyalist
terror groups in Belfast.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Superintendent Dave Lea
said: "This incident is totally unacceptable and assaults
of any type will not be tolerated by Greater Manchester
Police, especially those assaults committed by those with
whom you are entitled to feel safe.

"This attack took place, somewhat shamelessly, in the
middle of a park in broad daylight in front of
schoolchildren playing football close by.

"We are committed to reducing violent crime across Bolton
and, as a result, we pursued a prosecution in this case
despite the fact that the victim did not want to give

"This type of `victimless prosecution` is a result of
ground-breaking work being undertaken here in Bolton to
support those victims who have, in the past, been left to
their own devices. This is no longer the case.

"We want to send a strong message to people who use
violence to settle disputes - we will pursue you.

"I would like to stress that we welcome people from all
walks of life into Bolton but we will take robust action
against anyone who chooses not to abide by the law."


Strangford MP Strongly Condemns Shootings

Strangford Member of Parliament Iris Robinson has condemned
two separate overnight shootings in her constituency at
Canal Row in Newtownards and at Rectory Park in Kircubbin.
The DUP MP said,

"I unreservedly condemn these two shootings. Once again,
the Strangford constituency is in the spotlight because
paramilitaries have set themselves up as judge, jury and
executioner. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims
and their families and I wish them a speedy recovery.

The good people of Strangford are sick, sore and tired of
living under the shadow of these gunmen. The Ards area is
now a hotspot for paramilitary style attacks. Those
responsible need to realise that society does not want them
or the misery that they bring.

As the DUP's Health spokesman, I am concerned that these
two shootings have put unnecessary pressure on our already
hard pressed hospitals. Whenever we are trying hard to
ensure timely treatment for people with the limited
resources in the health service, it is unacceptable for the
paramilitaries to start creating new patients who will no
doubt require ongoing medical attention.

I appeal to anyone who has any information that might be of
use to the Police in catching those responsible for these
shootings in Newtownards and Kircubbin to contact the
Police in Newtownards or phone the Confidential telephone


McFarland Challenges Paisley To Reveal Which Wing Of The
DUP Is He On?

Speaking to Ulster Unionists in Lagan Valley this evening
UUP Chief Negotiator Alan McFarland MLA challenged the DUP
Leader Rev Dr Ian Paisley to reveal which wing of his party
he is on?

Speaking to party activists in Drumbo the North Down MLA

"In stating that "Sinn Fein is on a path that may lead to
democracy" (UTV's Insight Programme evening of Monday 24th
October), the Deputy Leader of the DUP, Peter Robinson, is
giving out strong signals to Sinn Fein and the NIO that the
DUP is ready for a deal.

"In doing so he is accepting Sinn Fein's declaration that
the war is over, and that the DUP can now put Sinn Fein
into government, with Martin McGuinness as Deputy Prime
Minister of Northern Ireland.

"Peter Robinson also seems to have accepted that the
decommissioning process, put in place by the Ulster
Unionist Party against a background of vicious opposition
from the DUP, has now effectively run its course and is no
longer an issue.

"Based on his acceptance of General John de Chastelain's
description of decommissioning, Mr Robinson stated that "a
significant event occurred, we don't know whether it is
all, we suspect it is not all of their weaponry". But it is
evidently enough for Mr Robinson to accept that the
decommissioning process is effectively complete, and to
move on towards going into government with Sinn Fein.

"Meanwhile in Brookeborough on October 7th, Jim Allister
took the opposite view, re-iterating the DUP's manifesto
commitment that "Inclusive, mandatory government which
includes Sinn Fein under d'Hondt or any other system is out
of the question".

"So where does the Leader of the DUP stand on these
matters? Is Dr Paisley now going to declare, with Peter
Robinson, that decommissioning is no longer an issue, or
will he continue to argue over its validity? Is he himself
now contemplating entering the process that will result in
the DUP going into government with Sinn Fein, or is he with
Jim Allister in standing by his manifesto commitment?

"The public is entitled to know Dr Paisley views, and which
wing of the DUP has captured him. Which side of the ever
deepening chasm that is splitting the DUP does he stand

(October 27th, 2005)


PSNI Tactics During Riots Are Defended

'Different treatment' claims rejected

By Jonathan McCambridge
28 October 2005

The Police Federation has rejected suggestions that
tactical support officers treat loyalist or republican
rioters differently following a summer of unrest on our

Instead the Federation - which represents 9,000 rank and
file officers - has claimed that the "determined" approach
taken by police in response to loyalist rioting after
Whiterock, was inevitable following events earlier in the

The Federation has heavily criticised the PSNI command for
their tactics after republicans rioted at the Ardoyne on
July 12 and 105 officers were injured.

The Federation has reported the PSNI to the Health and
Safety Executive following the Ardoyne riots.

An editorial in this month's issue of the PoliceBeat
magazine said there had been accusations that police were
more robust at Whiterock than Ardoyne because they had been
dealing with loyalist rather than republican rioters.

The editorial stated: "There is no doubt that the decision
of the Federation to call in the Health and Safety
Executive helped to focus management attention on the risk
to officers and the unsustainable injury toll.

"Rioters have become skilled in observing police tactics at
public order confrontation.

"The (PSNI) policy of a graduated response seems to invite
rioters to gradually step up the violence until they have
had enough fun for the day.

"Suggestions that the determined response of the PSNI to
the west Belfast (Whiterock) disorder was because the
service was dealing with the Orange Order and Protestant
paramilitaries is nonsense.

"The simple truth is that no matter where the next riot
occurred after the Twelfth, a more appropriate and solid
no-nonense response was going to be justified."

The Federation has pointed out that although the violence
which flared at Whiterock was more serious than at Ardoyne,
there was a smaller number of officers hurt.

The editorial continued: "Our officers are not cannon
fodder. Officers have human rights too."


Victims Of Troubles Fund To Get £1.5m

By Dan McGinn
28 October 2005

THE Government is to make available £1.5m to a fund for the
victims of Northern Ireland's Troubles.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain revealed the plan
following the appointment of Bertha McDougall as the
interim commissioner for victims.

The fund, which operates as an independent charity, was set
up by the Government in 1999 for projects which help
relatives of people killed in the Troubles and survivors
cope with everyday life.

A total of £7m has been allocated to date.

Among the projects the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund has
supported are small grants to help victims and survivors in
financial difficulty, education and training grants, a
short break scheme to enable applicants to get away from
their surroundings and programmes for wheelchairs, amputees
and those suffering chronic pain.

Mr Hain said the additional funding demonstrated his
Government's commitment to victims and survivors.

But he also revealed Mrs McDougall would examine funding
arrangements for services and grants in a report on
victims' issues next year.

He said: "In that context, Mrs McDougall will wish to
consider the work of the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund and
the contribution the fund makes to the welfare of
individuals who have suffered as a consequence of the

"I anticipate that the Interim Commissioner will produce a
report by the end of 2006 and that in her report she will
comment on the work of the fund.

"It is also likely that in completing her study Mrs
McDougall will be informed by an evaluation of the fund's
work by independent management consultants.

"The money I am announcing today will allow the fund to
continue its work in the interim."


Fraud Squad Search Police Offices

By David Gordon
28 October 2005

Fraud Squad detectives have stepped up their probe into
alleged police service corruption by launching searches of
houses and PSNI offices, it can be revealed today.

The internal investigation is examining the cancellation of
a contract to supply the force's transport services wing
with armour plating for police vehicles.

Police have given little away about the search operation,
which was launched yesterday.

But it is understood that PSNI premises in south Belfast
and Seapark, Carrickfergus were among those targeted.

A police service spokesman said: "I can confirm that
searches were carried out at PSNI buildings and some houses

The PSNI has rejected calls to bring in police fraud
investigators from across the water to conduct the

It has also faced criticism for not suspending any staff

The probe was ordered after a High Court judge, Sir Liam
McCollum, called for a criminal investigation.

He spoke out after the PSNI paid a £400,000 settlement to
Northern Ireland Sheet Metal Works, the Belfast firm that
was stripped of a 2001 contract to supply vehicle armour

The judge said there was a "prima facie" case that "some
person or persons" within the police service had
"deliberately undermined" the company and "wrongfully
discredited" its delivery of the contract.

He also stated that it was "difficult to attribute an
innocent motive" to anyone involved in the police service's
decision making process.


Coalition Clashes Over Dáil Plan For North MPs

By Paul O'Brien and Cormac O'Keeffe

THE Coalition parties clashed last night over controversial
plans to allow Northern politicians speak in the Dáil.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell described the proposals
by the Taoiseach as "unacceptable".

In a letter circulated to party leaders on Thursday, Mr
Ahern suggested that a new Oireachtas committee be
established to hear presentations from Northern MPs on Good
Friday Agreement issues.

However, the committee would be a "committee of the whole
House", comprising all 166 TDs and meaning its sessions
would likely take place in the Dáil.

Sinn Féin, which has long been pushing for speaking rights
for its Northern MPs, supports the proposal, as does the

However, Fine Gael, Labour and, significantly, Mr Ahern's
Government partners the PDs immediately rejected the plan.

Yesterday's comments by Mr McDowell emphasised how far
apart the PDs and Fianna Fáil are on the issue.

"The Progressive Democrats are very clear on this. The Good
Friday Agreement envisages the establishment of a
parliamentary forum where equal numbers North and South
would participate on an equal basis from the (Northern)
Assembly and the Oireachtas," he said.

"That's what the Good Friday Agreement stipulates and
that's what must be done, and the Progressive Democrats
reject the idea that a parallel North-South forum should be
established within the Oireachtas which would sweep away
the basis [of] what was envisaged in the agreement, and
which would tend to reward Sinn Féin abstentionism because
they wouldn't go to Westminster and [yet] they [would] come
South and participate in sessions in Dáil.

"That's simply not acceptable to us under any

Mr Ahern suggested in his letter that the committee would
meet at least twice a year, and stressed that the proposal
involved neither full Dáil representation nor speaking
rights for Northern politicians.

But the PDs and the opposition feel the proposal would give
the MPs Dáil speaking rights by default.

Mr Ahern is thought unlikely to pursue the proposal in its
present form given the level of opposition to it and the
rancour it could create among the Coalition partners.


Sinn Féin Criticises Parties For Bar On MPs Speaking In

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent

Sinn Féin has denounced the "partitionist parties" in
Leinster House for rejecting proposals to have MPs from the
North speak regularly in a "committee of the whole Dáil".

The party's Dáil leader, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, said Fine
Gael and Labour's rejection of the Taoiseach's proposal to
provide for participation of Northern Ireland MPs in Dáil
proceedings "exposes these deeply partitionist parties for
what they are. They want to keep the Oireachtas as a cold
house for Northern nationalists".

He said he would now seek clarification from the Taoiseach
about the status of the proposal, including the attitude of
his Coalition partners the PDs.

He urged Mr Ahern to go ahead with his plan, announced in a
letter to Dáil party leaders this week, to have MPs from
the North speak at a "Committee of the whole Dáil" at least
every six months. This would almost certainly involve their
speaking in proceedings in the Dáil chamber in which all
166 TDs could participate.

Fine Gael, Labour and the PDs have objected, because they
see the scheme as giving Sinn Féin the opportunity to have
their leaders such as Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness
become the "star turn" at regular Dáil proceedings.

While Sinn Féin and the SDLP would take up invitations to
attend such Dáil proceedings, the main unionist parties
have said they would not.

Without the approval of the main parties, the Taoiseach
will almost certainly not proceed with the plan. The PDs'
view is believed to have been made known to Sinn Féin last
week, while the Fine Gael and Labour rejections are
unlikely to have come as a surprise to that party.

The Minister for Justice Michael McDowell confirmed his
party's opposition to the Taoiseach's proposal yesterday.
He said the Belfast Agreement envisaged a forum in which
equal numbers of parliamentarians from the Oireachtas and
Northern Assembly would participate.

"The Progressive Democrats reject the idea that a parallel
North/South Board should be established within the
Oireachtas which would sweep away the basis for what was
envisaged in the Agreement, and which would tend to reward
Sinn Féin abstentionism," he told reporters in Dublin.

He said it was unacceptable that Sinn Féin MPs would not go
to Westminster, but instead "would come south and
participate in sessions of the whole Dáil in the Dáil
chamber. That's simply not acceptable to us under any

However Mr Ó Caoláin said yesterday he has written to the
Taoiseach asking what the status of these proposals was
now, and whether the PDs had vetoed them. "Before the ink
was dry on the Taoiseach's letter to them Fine Gael and the
Labour Party have rejected the proposal to provide for
participation of Six-County MPs in a Committee of the whole
Dáil", he said. "These deeply partitionist parties have
been exposed for what they are."

© The Irish Times


Orange Hall Damaged In Arson Attack

A west Belfast Orange Hall has been damaged overnight in an
arson attack, police have said.

The Whiterock hall was set alight sometime between 7pm on
Thursday and 7.30am on Friday after a window of the
property was broken and flammable liquid poured in and set

The resulting fire caused scorch damage to the hall and
kitchen of the building.

West Belfast DUP MLA, Diane Dodds, condemned those behind
the attack.

"I utterly condemn this disgraceful sectarian attack on
this hall," Mrs Dodds said. "It is clearly aimed at
intimidating the local Orange Brethren. I would urge
community and political leaders in the Nationalist
community to come out publicly and condemn this wanton act
of destruction."

West Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Hartley also hit out
at those responsible for the attack.

"Sectarian attacks on churches, schools, businesses and
homes from whatever quarter are wrong and should be
condemned," he said.

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact
them on 028 9065 0222 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.



FRIDAY 28/10/2005 16:02:37

Paisley Speaks Out On Fugitives

Plans to allow IRA fugitives abroad to return to Northern
Ireland amount to the biggest unconditional surrender by a
British Government, it was claimed today.

By:Press Association

The Rev Ian Paisley called for unionist resistance to
legislation planned by Northern Ireland Secretary Peter
Hain next month which would enable the return to the
province of paramilitaries who fled during the Troubles to
avoid arrest.

The Democratic Unionist leader said: "It was quite clear
from the statement that whether there was decommissioning
or no decommissioning, the blackmailing power of Sinn
Fein/IRA is such that the Government is bowing to their
atrocious demands.

"Call it what you may, the proposed legislation for on-the-
run terrorists and terrorists under suspicion of murderous
deeds is to all intents and purposes an unconditional

"Once a terrorist gets the certificate of clearance, they
are beyond the pale of the courts.

"Their lawlessness has become lawful. This is the most
unconditional surrender that any British Government has
ever engaged itself in."

Mr Hain has faced a barrage of criticism from unionists
since he told the House of Commons` Northern Ireland
Affairs Select Committee on Wednesday the legislation would
surface soon.

The minister acknowledged public concerns around an amnesty
for terrorist fugitives, but said undesirable actions
sometimes had to be carried out for conflict resolution.

However, he has insisted there will be a judicial element
in any scheme for the so-called on-the-runs.

Mr Hain has been warned by Conservative Northern Ireland
spokesman David Lidington his party will not support
anything which does not involve a proper judicial process.

Eileen Bell, the deputy leader of the cross community
Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, has also criticised the
Government for pressing ahead with the proposed legislation
when people exiled from Ulster by the IRA and loyalists
were not allowed to return.

Mr Paisley alleged today that paramilitaries would use the
legislation to claim they won the war and to trample over
the unionist community.

He said: "The greatest possible resistance must be
organised against these Government proposals.

"There must be no giving in to these unjustifiable demands.

"If the British Government has no stomach for the fight
they will discover that the unionist population will have
none of the propaganda and spin and in no way will they
give tolerance to such betrayal."

Mr Paisley also expressed fears that IRA members would be
allowed into the police in Northern Ireland.

The DUP leader claimed well known Provisionals would also
be ruling their own districts with the blessing of the

On the eve of a loyalist rally in Belfast, he added: "In no
way must these serious surrenders be allowed to come to

"It is now or never that the battle for Ulster`s soul will
be won."


Assembly Members Set To Meet

By Chris Thornton
28 October 2005

Two years after they were elected, all 108 members of the
Northern Ireland Assembly are scheduled to meet for the
first time at Stormont.

However, the gathering won't be the long-delayed official
opening of the Assembly.

Instead, MLAs have been invited to the Long Gallery in
Parliament Buildings on Monday for a budget briefing from
direct rule Finance Minister Lord Rooker.

The meeting is expected to be the first in a series of
direct discussions between the direct rule team and the
Assembly as a whole.

More briefings are expected to take place before Christmas.

Those talks are likely to include the upcoming shakeup of
public services under the Review of Public Administration,
which is due to be released next month.

MLAs may also be consulted about water charges and other

In a speech last month, Secretary of State Peter Hain set
out his intention to make a series of "tough decisions"
that could no longer wait for the return of power-sharing.

As part of that drive, he took the unusual step on Tuesday
of announcing budget details himself, including the 19%
rise in the regional rate.

The Review of Public Administration is due to be unveiled
next month.

Monday's meeting is not being held in the main Stormont
chamber because the Assembly remains a long way from being
formally constituted.

The first official sitting of the Assembly would trigger a
six-week timetable for selecting an Executive or holding a
new election.

And with the DUP and Sinn Fein still a long way from
reaching an agreement over power-sharing, Ministers won't
be rushing into that scenario.


Waterspout Taps Into An Old Spring Of Republicanism

By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent
(Filed: 29/10/2005)

An apparently innocuous waterspout given to a small market
town after it suffered from crop failure would appear to be
an unlikely symbol of English colonial oppression.

But plans to restore a 19th century limestone well in
Nenagh, Co Tipperary, have re-ignited ancient Anglo-Irish

A £27,000 proposal to refurbish the spout and reinstate a
plaque commemorating the "unparalleled benevolence of the
English nation to the poor of Ireland" has outraged
republicans, still smarting from the treatment of Irish
peasants during the Great Famine of the late 1840s.

A Sinn Fein councillor yesterday said the wording was
"offensive" and claimed putting the plaque back up was
"akin to asking the Jews to erect a plaque to celebrate the

The reaction of Cllr Seamus Morris and his supporters has
divided the local council, setting them against those
members who accept that the inscription should be restored
as a true reflection of the town's history.

The row has stalled the project, which is part of a larger
renovation programme planned for the town with a population
of 6,000 on the main Dublin to Limerick road.

The plaque has been in storage since 1905 when a local
councillor objected to its sentiments after the Great
Famine when British landowners were blamed for countless
deaths and the exodus of the Irish to America.

Money for the waterspout was provided to Nenagh, formerly a
13th century Norman stronghold, by the London Taverners'
Society to provide relief work during a small-scale local
famine in 1822.

The Society, a charitable organisation of the time, took
the action after the then MP for Co Clare drew the
attention of the House of Commons to the crisis.

The full inscription, which once adorned the well and its
neoclassical columns, reads: "Erected by local contribution
to commemorate the unparalleled benevolence of the English
nation to the poor of Ireland at a season of extreme
distress A.D. 1822."

Cllr Morris said yesterday that he was "horrified" by the
proposal to display the plaque on the well, which once
provided washing and drinking water for the community.

Although the waterspout was constructed before the worst of
Ireland's famines in 1845-1850, Cllr Morris said that by
1822 the conditions that led to the disaster had already
been put in place by the ruling classes.

"Everyone knows that all food was being exported at that
time and local Irish people were being subjected to abject
poverty by landowners who were mostly somewhere else.

Ireland was being prepared to halve its population and the
idea that a little drop of water would do some good when
people were starved is nonsense."

Cllr Morris was backed by Tom Morgan, an independent
councillor, who said it should be up to the people of
Nenagh to decide whether the plaque is re-erected.

"We were only poor because of England and they were
invading us at the time," said Cllr Morgan.

However, others believe that it is time to move on,
insisting that the words are an integral part of the
heritage of the town, known for its colossal Norman keep
and founded by Theobald Walter, a cousin of Thomas à

Tony Sheary, the Mayor of Nenagh, said: "I am a very grown
up Irishman and this happened well over a hundred years
ago. To compare it with the Jews and the Holocaust is
nonsense. The project was going along fine until they heard
about this plaque.

"Yet now they have hysterics, because it refers to the
benevolence of the English people."

He added: "We can laugh at this because now we don't need
the unparalleled benevolence of the English or any other
nation. I would be disappointed if anyone took offence at


Opin: Ireland Should Forget Its Violent Past, Not
Romanticise It

By trying to reclaim the memory of 1916, Bertie Ahern is
storing up problems for the future

Martin Kettle
Saturday October 29, 2005
The Guardian

Steaming towards Guy Fawkes's 400th, with Trafalgar's 200th
in our wake, there is little purpose in regretting
humankind's preoccupation with anniversaries. To do so is
almost as pointless as to regret the existence of humankind
itself. But it is surely not pointless to hope that both
humankind and its anniversaries can be set to more
constructive than destructive purposes.

This is specially true of anniversaries at the heart of a
nation's foundation myths. There was a striking example of
that this week in Ireland. Last Friday, speaking at his
Fianna Fáil annual conference in Killarney, prime minister
Bertie Ahern electrified party supporters with a surprise
announcement. From next year, he told them, the Irish army
would resume its long discontinued Easter military parade
down O'Connell Street, past the Dublin GPO building, focal
point of the 1916 rising that led to the existence of the
Irish republic itself. And not just that. Eleven years
ahead of the event, the taoiseach announced that he is
setting up a governmental 1916 centenary committee to
prepare for the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.

It may be tempting to regard all this as both obscure and
premature, even by the standards of modern anniversary-
mania. But Ireland is a country where history matters - and
whose history inescapably involves Britain too. And there
are few events more potent than those of 1916. So a
dismissive response misses both the immediate political
significance of Ahern's announcement and its wider echoing
cultural implications.

For the Irish premier's move is largely about his party's
determination to reclaim the history, traditions and
symbols of republicanism from Sinn Féin and the Provisional
IRA. As Ahern himself put it: "The Irish people need to
reclaim the spirit of 1916, which is not the property of
those who have abused and debased the title of
republicanism." The revived Easter military parade, he went
on, would assert that the Irish defence forces are "the
only legitimate army of the Irish people, the true
successors of the volunteers [of 1916]".

There is a very immediate reason why Ahern is doing all
this. For years, Sinn Féin has been systematically
appropriating the militant milestones of an Irish state
whose legitimacy it has never recognised. This year it
claimed ownership of the centenary of the original - and
unrecognisably different - Sinn Féin movement of Arthur
Griffith. Next year it aims to annex the 90th anniversary
of the socialist James Connolly and to serve it up in a
heady cocktail mixed with the 25th anniversary of the IRA
hunger strikes. But the biggest target of all is control of
the centenary of 1916 itself. To allow Sinn Féin to
colonise the events of Easter 2016 as its own would be an
existential challenge to the very republic itself. Given
the characteristically relentless way in which Sinn Féin
already has that goal in its sights, Ahern had no
alternative but to act.

Inevitably, Ahern has less elevated motives too. Sinn Féin
is now the largest nationalist party in the north and is
slowly also becoming a significant minority player in the
south, where support for Fianna Fáil is languishing. In
that context, Ahern's announcement is about pushing Sinn
Féin back to the margins by calling its bluff over its
claims to be the authentic voice of 1916. After all, Sinn
Féin still does not recognise the state or its armed forces
as the legitimate political and military institutions of
the Irish republic proclaimed in 1916.

But Ahern and Fianna Fáil - and even Ireland itself - pay a
price for again embracing the legacy of 1916. That legacy
is not just the sentimental heroic nationalist myth so
intoxicating to the Irish diaspora. It is also the legacy
of a state born in martyrdom and violence, created around
the romance of the deed, whose origins are steeped in the
pseudoreligious cult of the transformative blood sacrifice
and purging authenticity of the acts of a committed
minority that al-Qaida or Hamas could recognise. Sinn Féin
is not the only Irish party that roots its conscience in
this violent past. So, to some degree, do most of the
republic's main parties, and certainly Fianna Fáil - formed
to fight the 1921 treaty - whose name means "soldiers of
destiny". This is one reason why Irish politics remain
exceptional in Europe.

But there is a long and dignified tradition of resistance
to the fetishising of 1916. It stretches in an unbroken
line from Eoin MacNeill's original attempt to countermand
the rising, through Sean O'Casey's The Plough and the Stars
to Conor Cruise O'Brien's writings in the 1970s and the so-
called revisionist school of Irish historians led by Roy
Foster - with many stops and manifestations in between -
until it reaches the present day, and the sustained attempt
by democratic politicians throughout Britain and Ireland to
reach a peaceful, gun- and bomb-free compromise with armed

At the heart of all recent refusals to bow the knee to the
celebration of heroic violence has been a belated
recognition of the reality of the Northern Ireland
experience. Back in 1966, on the 50th anniversary, Eamon de
Valera spoke of Ulster as "the land of the O'Neills, the Ó
Cathains, the MacDonnells, the Maguires, the
MacGuinnesses". One of the last would become one of the
most powerful IRA men of the era. But there was still no
place for the other, unacknowledged Ulster in De Valera's
world view - just as there had been no place for it in 1916
or in 1921. Instead, the national patriarch again extolled
the example of an unelected armed elite trying to impose
their will by force of arms.

Many in the republic found the 1966 events lifeless and
hollow. But in the north many found them threatening. The
outbreak of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland in the
late 1960s - and the demise of de Valera - allowed Dublin
quietly to end its Easter marches. Now they are to resume.
Has anyone in Dublin given any serious thought to how this
return to the past will be seen in the north? Or elsewhere?

Of course the 1916 events need to be marked, discussed,
celebrated and regretted. But it is their complexity and
their mixed and changing legacy that is striking today, not
the selective, 900-years-of-oppression, Anglophobic - and
in a way Anglocentric - republican mythology. By 2016, does
Ireland really want to be defined anew by men and women who
were contemporaries of the Kaiser, Lord Kitchener and
Charlie Chaplin? Very few of the rest of us feel this need.
But if Ireland cannot liberate its self-image from its
violent past, what hope is there for its non-violent


Dog Survives 150ft Cliff Plunge

A three-year-old Labrador miraculously escaped death after
falling 150ft over a cliff top and landing unscathed on the
beach below, his owner said today.

Nikki Smith, 34, her five-year-old daughter Georgia and
their black Labrador Bracken were enjoying the sunny
weather by walking along the cliff tops, at Peveril Point,
near Swanage, in Dorset, yesterday at noon.

Bracken suddenly disappeared from view after slipping from
a ledge and falling to the bottom of the cliff on to a
rocky beach.

Ms Smith could not see or hear him and he did not respond
to her calls so she contacted Portland Coastguard.

Swanage and St Albans rescue teams arrived and a rescuer
was winched down the cliff to find the dog unhurt with his
tail still wagging.

A harness was attached to Bracken and he was hoisted back
up the cliff-side to a relieved Ms Smith and Georgia.

Ms Smith, from Yateley, in Hampshire, said: "When I saw him
at the bottom I couldn`t believe he was OK. It was an
absolute miracle he wasn`t hurt. Looking at the drop, how
on earth he survived I don`t know."

She said the 150ft drop was not sheer but was full of
ledges on the way down and that Bracken had been lucky to
hit the small part of rocky beach instead of falling into
the sea.

"We took him to the vet and the vet couldn`t believe what a
lucky escape he had had," she said.

Bracken, who was a rescue dog, had escaped the fall with a
few grazes on his back legs and paws.

"He just feels stiff and wants to lie down and has been
staying in his comfy bed all day," Ms Smith added.

She thanked the rescue teams for their speedy response and
said: "It`s amazing how quickly they got together and
rescued him."

Ms Smith added: "When I got home it really hit me how lucky
we were to be coming home with him in one piece."


O'Flaherty Returns To Newport For Nov. 11 Show

Danny O'Flaherty, Celtic balladeer from New Orleans, is
returning to the coast for a concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov.
11 at the Newport Performing Arts Center.

Outrunning Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, O'Flaherty,
musician, story-teller and bard, takes a break from hosting
tours to Alaska, the Caribbean and Ireland to astound
audiences throughout the United States. His Newport
performance is a benefit for the Newport Lions Club.

Central Oregon coast residents first met O'Flaherty in 2004
during a fun-filled evening of song, jigs, stories, history
and blarney.

More information about O'Flaherty can be found at

Tickets for the Nov. 11 performance are $20 each. Call 265-


Satirical Paper Loses The President's Seal Of Approval

By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
28 October 2005

The Bush White House is not only losing the battle for the
hearts and minds of the American people. It also appears to
be losing its sense of humour.

The administration has just written a cease-and-desist
letter to the satirical newspaper The Onion, urging it to
stop using the presidential seal on its website.

The publication has a cult-like following for its spoofing
of the news and political leadership generally (recent
headline, "Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge of

The paper's editor, Scott Dikkers, wrote back: "I'm
surprised the President deems it wise to spend taxpayer
money for his lawyer to write letters to The Onion. If you
have a lot of extra money lying around that you don't know
what to do with, how about a tax break for satirists?"

Parody and satire are understood to be protected speech
under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The
presidential seal has been used in many fictional or spoof
contexts over the years, especially by the entertainment
industry. But that was not the argument used by White House
counsel Grant Dixton. He wrote: "The Presidential Seal is
not to be used in connection with commercial ventures or
products in any way that suggests presidential support or

That's a strange interpretation of what The Onion does,
since anyone clicking on the seal on the paper's website is
directed straight to a series of spoof presidential radio
addresses that come across as anything but an endorsement.

The Onion's lawyer wrote back: "Readers of The Onion know
that its incidental use of the Presidential Seal and its
complementary parody of the President's weekly radio
address are not meant to convey sponsorship but, on the
contrary, to serve as political commentary."

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