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October 18, 2005

Bomb Defused in Loyalist Belfast

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 10/18/05 Blast Bomb Defused In Loyalist Belfast
IO 10/18/05 Two More Loyalists Charged Over Ulster Violence
BB 10/18/05 PUP Funds Continue Despite Report
IO 10/18/05 Hain Makes Pledge Over Restorative Justice
UT 10/18/08 Murder Suspect May Have Been Informer - Claim
IO 10/18/05 IRA Kidnap Victim Gives Papers To University
BB 10/18/05 Report Due On NI Paramilitaries
SF 10/18/05 Ireland Can Learn From South African Experience
TS 10/18/05 Gerry Adams In SA To Say Thank-You
AA 10/18/05 SA Icon Of Freedom& Democracy In The World
BB 10/18/05 24-Hour Pub Opening 'A Disaster'
IT 10/19/05 Conan Doyle Letters To Shackleton's Wife


Blast Bomb Defused In Loyalist Belfast

18/10/2005 - 19:36:29

A blast bomb was found and defused in a garage in a north
Belfast housing estate tonight.

Police said the device was discovered by officers during
the planned search of the premises at Coolshannagh Park in
the Rathcoole area. (Poster's Note: Rathcoole is an
overwhelmingly Protestant housing estate and the scene of
numerous sectarian murders.)

The device and other items were taken away for further
examination after being defused by an army bomb disposal

Chief Inspector Chris Shead said the bomb was a
"potentially lethal device which could have caused injury
or even death if it had exploded".

He said leaving the device in a housing estate could have
had "catastrophic results".

There were no arrests in relation to the find.


Two More Loyalists Charged Over Ulster Violence
2005-10-18 20:50:03+01

Two more people were charged tonight in connection with the
loyalist violence which erupted around a contentious Orange
Order parade in North Belfast last month.

The charges came 48 hours after police made a fresh appeal
for information and issued CCTV pictures of six males they
wanted to interview.

They urged those involved in the violence to give
themselves up before they got a knock on their door.

A 40-year-old man has been charged with two counts of arson
and one of riotous assembly, said a police spokesman.

A 17-year-old youth has been charged with riotous assembly.

Both are due to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court
tomorrow morning.

The violence broke out on September 10 when the Orange
Order's Whiterock Parade was barred from a short stretch of
the nationalist Springfield Road by the Parades Commission.

Police came under petrol bomb and blast bomb attack and
gunmen opened fire with live ammunition.

The street violence and that which spread across loyalist
areas of Belfast over succeeding days was described as the
worst seen in Northern Ireland for years.


PUP Funds Continue Despite Report

The Progressive Unionist Party is still receiving
government grants despite a ceasefire watchdog
recommendation that its money should be withheld.

The PUP, which is linked to the UVF, was entitled to an
annual £27,000 grant because it has one assembly member.

Both the PUP and Sinn Fein lost this funding last year
because the Independent Monitoring Commission said
paramilitary activity was continuing.

Sinn Fein's fine was renewed but the PUP's funding resumed
in April.

In May, the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) said
that the small loyalist party should lose its grant, but
the government did not act immediately on this

Instead, it has been consulting on the matter while
continuing to pay the party in monthly instalments.

'Double standards'

Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey accused the
government of "breathtaking double standards".

He said it "confirms our view that the IMC was primarily a
tool of the securocrats to be employed against Sinn Fein".

Last week, current Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain
told MPs he intended to "watch developments carefully"
before reaching a decision in the context of an IMC report
due in January.

By then, eight months will have passed since the commission
made its original recommendation.

In September, the IMC blamed the UVF for five murders and
15 attempted murders as part of its feud with the LVF.

In its special report on the loyalist feud, the IMC
reiterated its view that the PUP should lose its grant.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/18 16:29:59 GMT


Hain Makes Police Pledge Over 'Restorative Justice'
2005-10-18 17:50:03+01

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain vowed today that
community restorative justice schemes in the North would be
run through the police and not "outside the rule of law".

Mr Hain said the idea that former paramilitaries could be
allowed to use the system to police the community was "just
not on".

But SDLP leader Mark Durkan, who met the Secretary of State
and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing Street,
said his five-strong delegation had not been sufficiently
reassured by what they were told.

Mr Hain said: "I want to make it clear that the idea of
victims engaging with offenders and offenders having to
apologise and come to terms with their victims is an
admirable principle.

"But there is no way that this will be done outside the
rule of law.

"The guidelines will be very, very tight and the idea that
paramilitaries can give up their arms but still police the
community through community restorative justice is just not
on, full stop, end of story and that has been explained to
the SDLP and I think they were encouraged by that.

"This whole process will be supervised by the PSNI and will
be operated according to the rule of law."

Mr Durkan said: "We can't have local warlords being turned
into local law lords.

"We can't have some kind of next steps agency for

Both politicians said it had been a "very good" meeting.

"Both the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State tried
to reassure us that some of what is in the papers really
wasn't what was going on but we registered our fundamental
and profound concerns," Mr Durkan said.

Issues to do with justice and policing should not involve
"privy negotiations and privy deals" with any one party but
should be transparent and inclusive, he said.

"We were not sufficiently reassured by everything that we
were told," Mr Durkan said.

"We hope to be reassured by what emerges subsequently."

He added: "We made the point very clearly that now that the
big stone has been rolled away in terms of IRA
decommissioning that the veto on institutions that went
with the IRA's failure to decommission should be deemed to
be gone as well."

Mr Durkan called on the British government to work together
with all parties.

Mr Hain said getting institutions back up and running
depended on the International Monitoring Commission report
due out tomorrow and the next one due in January.

They needed to "make it clear that the promise the IRA made
on July 28 has been delivered on the ground".

Mr Hain said of the imminent report: "It's a significant
report but its significance is only qualified by the fact
that it has only covered around a month of the period since
July 28 in which to really determine whether the IRA's
promise of closing down their illegal activity has been

The government would tomorrow be announcing "a lot of
progress" on North-South Co-operation, he added.

The SDLP is concerned at reports the British Government is
considering funding and recognising community restorative
justice schemes in republican areas, even though Sinn Féin
and those participating in them may not recognise or
support the police.


Murder Suspect May Have Been Informer - Claim

A serial sex attacker cleared of murdering schoolgirl
Arlene Arkinson may have been working for the police
special branch at the time she disappeared, it was claimed

With a major new search being planned in a bid to find her
body, the west Tyrone Sinn Fein MP Pat Doherty told the
Northern Ireland Ombudsman Nuala O`Loan there was
widespread local belief Robert Howard was a police agent.

"This was why he was not jailed long before the murder," he

Arlene`s sister Kathleen said tonight: "I`ve heard the
rumours and they could be right."

Howard, 61, was found not guilty last month of murdering
Arlene who vanished in August 1994 as the couple returned
home from a disco in Bundoran, Co.Donegal.

He was cleared with the jury in Belfast unaware he had been
convicted in October 2003 of murdering English schoolgirl
Hannah Williams, 14, whose body was found at a cement works
in Northfleet, Kent the previous year.

A spokesman for the Ombudsman confirmed the MP had raised a
number of issues with Mrs O`Loan who is already carrying
out an inquiry into the police investigation of Arlene`s
disappearance. He said: "They have been noted."

Kathleen Arkinson, her father William and sister Paula had
a four-hour meeting with investigators from the Ombudsman`s
Office at her home outside Castlederg, Co.Tyrone today.

Tonight she said: "I heard these rumours about Howard, even
before Hannah`s murder. I was approached a couple of times
by people telling me he was an informer, but I never really
paid them much attention.

"I don`t know why he ever came to Castlederg, and even
though he never worked, he never seemed to be short of
money. And he could always park his car outside the police
station without a licence or insurance. If it had been
anybody else, they would probably have been prosecuted."

She added: "I recall one night my father confronted him,
asking him where Arlene was. He jumped out of bed, ran out
of his flat shouting: `I`m getting the police, I`m getting
the police.``

"He then spends a couple of hours inside Castlederg RUC
station. Why was that? Why was that? Why were the police
giving him more protection than they were giving us. The
law stinks."

Howard had been out on bail accused of raping and abusing
another woman in Castlederg at the time Arlene vanished,
even though police were aware he had a record of sex
attacks stretching back to 1964 when he lived in London.

Detectives are expected to question Howard about a number
of unsolved murders of women in the Irish Republic where he
was born and had at least 12 addresses during the 1980s and

He is being held in an isolation cell at Maghaberry Prison,
near Lisburn, Co.Antrim, but will be transferred back to a
top security jail in England to serve out the rest of his
life sentence for Hannah`s murder.

The Arkinson family tonight said they expected the police
to carry out a major new search for Arlene somewhere in the
Castlederg area within the next three weeks.

Asked about the Sinn Fein`s MP`s claim there was a local
belief Howard had been working for the (Royal Ulster
Constabulary) Special Branch, a spokesperson for the Police
Service of Northern Ireland said: "Police do not comment on
whether or not a person has acted as a covert human
intelligence source, and no inference about any individual
should be drawn from that policy.

"We would continue to draw attention to the fact that
police have investigated Robert Howard for the last 15
years, culminating in charging him with the murder of
Arlene Arkinson."


IRA Kidnap Victim Gives Papers To University

18/10/2005 - 15:34:18

The Dutch industrialist who was the victim of the longest
kidnapping in Irish history has donated his personal papers
to the University of Limerick, it emerged today.

Dr Tiede Herrema, the former head of the Ferenka factory in
Castletroy in Limerick, was snatched by an IRA gang on his
work to work in October 1976.

He was held hostage for 36 days but was eventually released
unharmed after a two-week Garda siege of the house where he
was being kept in Monasterevin, Co Kildare.

Dr Herrema, now 84, said he had decided to give his papers
about the abduction to the University of Limerick.

"I think they should have a good place after my death, and
I don't want my children to have trouble about it, so I
decided to bring them back to Ireland," he said.

The papers include worldwide newspaper cuttings about the
case, personal tapes, a letter from the former Taoiseach Dr
Liam Cosgrave, and well as letters from well-wishers all
over the country.

However, Dr Herrema said the collection did not include the
bullet which his kidnappers had used to threaten him.

"I still have it at home, it's not going to the
university," he told RTÉ radio.

The kidnappers Eddie Gallagher and Marion Coyle, who had
demanded the release of three fellow IRA members from
prison, were sentenced to 20 years and 15 years in jail

After his release, Dr Herrema moved back to the Netherlands
because his employers felt he was at risk in Ireland, and
the Ferenka factory closed down with a loss of 1,400 jobs.

Dr Herrema said he had feared for his life at the start of
the abduction but had also tried to build up a relationship
with his kidnappers.

"It has partly to do with my education. I studied
psychology and I know that it's very difficult to kill
somebody if you know him very well. It's much easier to
kill someone you don't know," he said.

He admitted that he had been in contact with Eddie
Gallagher and Marion Coyle since but declined to reveal any
further details.

He and his wife were granted Honorary Irish Citizenship and
earlier this month both were received by President Mary
McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin to mark the 30th anniversary
of the kidnapping.


Report Due On NI Paramilitaries

A report from the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC)
on paramilitary activity over the summer will be published
on Wednesday.

The report is expected to confirm the IRA remained inactive
during August - the month after it formally ordered an end
to its armed campaign.

British and Irish ministers are meeting in Dublin to
consider the implications of the report on the political

The IMC reports on the activity of all of Northern
Ireland's paramilitaries.

The report was handed over to the British and Irish
governments on Friday and covers both republican and
loyalist paramilitary activity between March and the end of

BBC Northern Ireland's political editor Mark Devenport said
it will be focused on the first four weeks after the IRA's
cessation of violence statement at the end of July.

"It's likely to confirm that during that period the
organisation didn't engage in paramilitary shootings or
other armed activity," he said.

"However, most observers are setting more store by another
IMC report due next January, which is expected to provide a
more definitive judgement on the IRA.

"The governments are hoping to use that assessment as a
springboard for talks on restoring devolution," our
correspondent says.

The IMC published a special report last month on the
loyalist feud.

Wednesday's document is likely to emphasise the contrast
between the level of republican and loyalist paramilitary

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/19 02:52:16 GMT


Ireland Can Learn From South African Experience

Published: 18 October, 2005

On the first of a busy 4-day official visit to South Africa
the Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams met with the South
African Minister for Foreign Affairs Dlamini Zuma. Mr Adams
thanked her for the government invitation and praised the
South African contribution to the Irish Peace Process. He
briefed the Foreign Minister on developments since the
recent historic IRA initiatives.

The Sinn Fein leader, who was met at the airport by Ronnie
Kasrils the Minister of Intelligence, had earlier laid a
wreath in Freedom Park at the Isivavane, the symbolic
resting place for of those who gave their lives in the
struggle for a free South Africa.

Later Mr Adams met with National Executive members of the
ANC and briefed them also.

Speaking after his day long series of meetings Mr Adams

"It is clear that there is a keen interest in the Irish
Peace Process. The recent IRA initiatives have caught the
imagination of people here.

"The big questions those I have spoken to today are when
will the political institutions of the Good Friday
Agreement going to be re-established and when will unionism
begin to play its full part in the Peace Process.

The Sinn Fein President added:

"The South African experience is one which we in Ireland
can learn much from. It is clear that things are much
better for people in South Africa since the end of
apartheid and the achievement of a democratic settlement.
Ireland has the ability to replicate this success." ENDS


Gerry Adams In SA To Say Thank-You

October 19, 2005
By Sholain Govender

Barefoot and still as the smoke rose around him, Sinn Fein
president Gerry Adams marked the start of his South African
visit by meeting with the ancestors.

Years of interaction between South African and Irish
freedom fighters culminated in the four-day visit by Adams,
who, along with a delegation from Northern Ireland,
attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the garden of
remembrance in Pretoria's Freedom Park yesterday.

Later in the day, Adams met Foreign Affairs Minister
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Accompanied by bodyguards, Foreign Affairs acting director-
general Ahmed Seedat and Freedom Park Trust members, Adams
observed an ukuphahla or conversation with the ancestors
whose spirits were laid to rest at the site.

He also witnessed the burning of the incense or impepho
before laying a wreath in honour of struggle heroes.

"Freedom Park applauds the recent peace breakthrough in
Northern Ireland and joins you in spirit as you embark on
making peace a tangible ideal in Irish history," said
Freedom Park Trust CEO Dr Wally Mongane Serote.

"It's good to be here with your heroes and heroines," Adams
said. "South Africa has been a beacon for freedom-loving
nations, and what you have here is not only about the past
but also about the future."

He said the main purpose of his delegation's visit was to
thank all the people who had helped them in the past and to
listen to what lessons could be learnt for the continuing
peace process in his country.

Adams recollected the ANC's significant contribution's
through assistance and a 1996 leadership-team visit that
included Cyril Ramaphosa and Roelf Meyer.


SA Is Icon Of Freedom, Democracy In The World - Adams

October 18, 2005
Posted to the web October 18, 2005
Thapelo Sakoana

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams says South Africa is an
inspiration to the international community and must be
commended for its ability to unite its people in sustaining
freedom and democracy after years of struggle.

Mr Adams - who is in the country until Friday - says
Northern Ireland is among the countries in the world that
draw encouragement from South Africa, after its peaceful
democratic dispensation.

Sinn Fein is the political wing of the Irish Republican
Army (IRA).

Recently, the IRA denounced violence by decommissioning its
arsenal of weapons.

Mr Adams today visited SA's reconciliation flagship
project, the Freedom Park, at Salvokop, to learn about
measures South Africa has taken in cleansing and healing
the past.

He told BuaNews that the IRA had viewed as exemplary how
South Africa attained its freedom.

Mr Adams also praised the country for its efforts to
recognise the contribution of fallen heroes and heroines in
the struggle for freedom.

"There would not be freedom without sacrifices. The work
that South Africa does is not only about the past, it is
also about a prosperous future based on equality," he said.

"It is encouraging that the South African government asks
for the views of communities in its important initiatives
like this [Freedom Park]," he added.

Mr Adams thanked former President Nelson Mandela, President
Thabo Mbeki, and other leaders for their role in helping
Northern Ireland in its efforts to attain peace.

"So part of my visit here is to say thank you to them, the
government and people of South Africa," he said.

Freedom Park chief executive Wally Serote told Mr Adams
that freedom was an attainable ideal in Northern Ireland.

"South Africa has proved it possible even through dire
predictions by the sceptics among us, but we did [attain
freedom]," he said.

"The Freedom Park applauds the recent breakthrough in
Northern Ireland and joins you in spirit as you embark on
making peace a tangible ideal in Irish history," he said.

He added they would give possible assistance to nations
willing to compromise in peace efforts.

Mr Adams will have discussions with Foreign Affairs
Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma later today.


24-Hour Pub Opening 'A Disaster'

Round-the-clock drinking would be "a disaster" for Northern
Ireland, a University of Ulster addiction expert has said.

Victor Robinson was speaking as the Department for Social
Development confirmed 24-hour licensing would be going out
to consultation in November.

It is intended any changes will come into effect in 2007.

"Our psyche is not equipped to handle the 24-hour
availability of alcohol," the lecturer said.

"We are not a Mediterranean people, and have not been
socialised into the respect for alcohol those cultures

"In my judgment, 24-hour availability of alcohol in
Northern Ireland will mean the introduction of 24-hour
bingeing, not a new age of temperance and moderation."

The review will see a wide range of issues put out for
public consultation including flexible opening hours,
enforcement and health promotion.

Mr Robinson said in the past religious temperance movements
in the province had seen a high percentage of the
population remain teetotal.

"But those times are behind us: alcohol and drug use is
increasing in Northern Ireland.

"There is an increasing trend for young people to drink
alcohol, and for women to drink. Of course, women always
did drink, but today their drinking is more public and
visible," he said.

Alcohol and addictions present major challenges for
Northern Ireland society, he said.

Mr Robinson added that according to recent figures, around
40% of acute hospital beds in Northern Ireland were being
taken up by people who misuse alcohol.

The chief executive of the Federation of Retail Licensed
Trade, Nicola Carruthers, said their members would welcome
some changes to the current legislation.

""I know that a lot of nightclub owners who maybe don't
open until 10 o'clock would like something looked at," she

"I know the majority of licensees would probably want a bit
of additional flexibility around weekends, Christmas and
Easter and other special occasions that type of thing.

"But certainly nobody is going to be looking for any vast
change and nobody is going to be looking for 24-hour

Alcohol Concern, the national agency on alcohol misuse,
expressed its own reservations about extending opening
hours in the province.

"Given the prevailing drinking culture, extending licensing
hours are more likely to turn our town centres into
Faliraki than Florence," said Geethika Jayatilaka, director
of policy and public affairs at Alcohol Concern.

"In theory the aims of extended opening hours are worthy -
reducing crime and disorder and tackling the binge-drinking
culture," she said.

"In practice, changes may well increase crime and disorder
rather than curb it - putting more pressure on police and
struggling emergency services."

The Health Promotion Agency for Northern Ireland sounded
its own warning.

It said evidence from the US, Australia and Europe
suggested longer licensing hours meant increased alcohol-
related problems.

Public health expert Victoria Creasy said: "Northern
Ireland has already seen an increase in binge drinking,
with all its associated problems, in the past few years and
longer opening hours is the last thing we need."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/18 17:03:17 GMT


Conan Doyle Letters To Shackleton's Wife

Fiona Gartland

Newly discovered letters written by Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle to Lady Shackleton are to go on display as part of
the Ernest Shackleton Autumn School in Athy, Co Kildare,
next week.

The two letters, handwritten and dated from the 1930s, were
found recently when staff at the Athy Heritage Centre went
through a collection bought from Christie's auction house.

The collection included Shackleton family photos, albums
and more than 300 pieces of correspondence to Lady

It was purchased for just over £4,000 sterling in 2002, to
be included in the heritage centre's permanent exhibition
on the explorer. The value of the letters has yet to be

Sir Ernest Shackleton was born in 1874 and led three
exhibitions to the Antarctic. He died in 1922 in South
Georgia on his fourth expedition to the Antarctic, in his
ship, Quest.

Conan Doyle, most famous for his Sherlock Holmes mysteries,
was a friend of Shackleton and wrote to Lady Shackleton to
inform her that he had received "some curious messages
purporting to be from your gallant husband". He added that
he "can't guarantee them".

The letters will be on view as part of the autumn school,
which runs from October 28th to 31st.

The school includes the Shackleton memorial lecture by
Brian Keenan, as well as talks from a variety of guests
including Alexandra Shackleton, only granddaughter of the
explorer, and Grania Willis, Irish Times journalist and the
first Irishwoman to reach the summit of Everest from the
north side.

Breathless, a new play by John MacKenna, will also feature
as part of the event.

Performed by Mend & Makedo Theatre Company, it tells the
story of four Irish women who go missing and subsequently
meet on a deserted roadside.

© The Irish Times

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