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October 15, 2005

DUP Needs To Stop Making Excuses

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News about Ireland & the Irish

SF 10/14/05 DUP Need To Stop Looking For Excuses
BB 10/14/05 UUP Threaten Police Board Boycott
DI 10/14/05 Fr Reid Reveals Final Act Of Decommissioning
DI 10/14/05 Fr Reid: 'I'm Sorry'
IT 10/15/05 Unionists In Fresh Attack On Priest
SF 10/14/05 Brits Need To Make Statement On Anderson Affair
IT 10/15/05 IMC Gives Report To Dublin & London
IT 10/15/05 IMC Meets Family Of Dublin Murder Victim
BB 10/14/05 DUP Is Set To Join Ranks Of Lords
BB 10/14/05 Intriguing Time For Policing Board
UT 10/14/05 Two In Court Over Short Strand Attack
BT 10/14/05 Opin: Need Protection From Vigilante Policing
IT 10/15/05 Surprise As Son Joins Saddam's Defence Team
TS 10/14/05 Cheney: IRAN & IRAQ Spelling Similar To IRA


DUP Need To Stop Looking For Excuses

Published: 14 October, 2005

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP today
challenged the DUP to stop looking for excuses for not
engaging and get down to the business of replacing
unaccountable British Ministers with locally accountable
decision making.

Mr McGuinness said:

" The recent historic initiatives by the IRA have dealt
with genuine unionist concerns about republican intentions
in a definitive way. It is my belief that we now have a
major opportunity to move forward and make progress in the
time ahead.

" The DUP as the political leaders of unionism need to stop
looking for excuses for not engaging and instead join with
the rest of us in re-establishing the political
institutions and delivering for the people who elect us.
Ordinary people frustrated at the intention of the Direct
Rule Ministers to proceed with unpopular and unwarranted
policies such as Water Charges or Education Cuts are
demanding that we get down to the job of replacing these
unaccountable British Ministers with proper locally
accountable decision making.

" This can only happen within the framework laid out in the
Good Friday Agreement, a framework which the DUP signed up
for last December. The speedy re-establishment of the
political institutions in the wake of the recent IRA
initiatives has to be the political priority in the time
ahead." ENDS


UUP Threaten Police Board Boycott

Ulster Unionists will not serve on a new Policing Board
under the terms announced by the secretary of state, party
leader Sir Reg Empey has said.

NI Secretary Peter Hain said he wants a reconstituted board
to take over next April.

He indicated if Sinn Fein did not join he would give their
two seats to independent nationalists.

Sir Reg said this was unacceptable and would turn the
board, which holds the PSNI to account, into a "quango".

"The Policing Board has been engaged in good work," he

"It should continue to be accountable and democratically

"Instead we are facing the reality of a Policing Board
which is made up of a majority that does not represent the
voting intentions of the public.


"This is a crisis in the making. We will not serve on a

On Thursday, Mr Hain told the House of Commons the d'Hondt
formula would be used to appoint members in April next

Mr Hain said this would mean 4 DUP members, 2 SDLP, 2 UUP
and 2 Sinn Fein. But he said Sinn Fein had "expressed no
intention" of joining the board.

The DUP had called for the board to be reconstituted to
reflect the party's success in the 2003 assembly elections.

Mr Hain said: "I accepted the arguments... that the DUP was
in an unfair situation and that the present composition of
the board - its political section - did not reflect the
last assembly elections."

He added: "It is vital that community balance is
maintained. I don't know if Sinn Fein are going to come
onto the board.

"They have expressed no intention of doing so, but if they
want to get involved in devolved government... they will
have to take their responsibilities for policing seriously,
including going on the board."

SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood said his party had
also been told that Sinn Fein's seats on the new board
would go to nationalists if they were not taken up.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/14 16:56:32 GMT


Fr Reid Reveals Final Act Of Decommissioning

Although Tuesday's public meeting was overshadowed by
Father Alec Reid's comments about unionists, he also
revealed previously unknown details of the decommissioning
process during the event.

Before the meeting descended into a shouting match, Fr Reid
revealed that himself and Reverend Harold Good, the two
independent witnesses to the IRA putting its weapons beyond
use, were guarded throughout the process by a man armed
with a loaded Kalashnikov.

The gun then became the last weapon in the IRA's arsenal to
be put beyond use.

The priest vividly described the final act in the historic
process which was carried out by the Independent
International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

He told the audience: "Everywhere we went this Kalashnikov
was there and I could see it was loaded. I was beginning to
wonder if they were afraid dissidents were coming. They
were providing a bodyguard for us, if you like. The very
last act was this gun.

"The bullets were taken out of it and it was handed over to
General [John] de Chastelain [head of the IICD]. It was
handed over to him by a senior IRA man.

"It was a significant moment. This was the last gun. The
man handed it over and got quite emotional.

"He was aware that this was the last gun."

On the significance of the occasion, Fr Reid said: "We saw
the gun being taken out of Irish politics, from a
nationalist point of view."

Mr Good declined to reveal any more information about the
decommissioning process.

He told the audience: "We have already made it clear
publicly that it is not for us to go into detail about what
we saw.

"Not because we want to be difficult, or devious, nor
because we were asked to sign or agree to any secrecy

"There was an understanding between us and the task that we
shared that we would respect the confidentiality agreed to
by the IICD and the IRA as part of their process.

"We also respected the reasons for that undertaking."

The former president of the Methodist church added: "Our
focus was on the what, rather than on the how.

"The outcome is much more important that the detail."


'I'm Sorry'

"I deeply regret the comments I made. I found myself being
strongly provoked and offended by many of the comments made
about my integrity and my church. In the heat of the moment
I lost my temper and sincerely regret my comments. I deeply
respect unionists, as I said, and feel they are a dynamic
and gifted community. Once again I apologise for the hurt
my foolish words will have inflicted." Fr Alec Reid

Jarlath Kearney

Good asks unionists to accept apology

Former Methodist Church of Ireland president, Harold Good,
has appealed for unionists to accept Fr Alec Reid's apology
after he compared unionist treatment of Catholics with the
actions of Nazis.

A storm of controversy surrounded comments made by Fr Reid
at a public meeting in south Belfast on Wednesday night.

Fr Reid was attending a meeting organised by Fitzroy
Presbyterian Church, which was also attended by Reverend

Both clerics had been asked to give their views on the
recent disarmament of the IRA which they oversaw alongside
General John de Chastelain and the Independent
International Decommissioning Commission.

However, after a heated exchange with some members of the
audience, Fr Reid commented that "the nationalist community
in Northern Ireland were treated almost like animals by the
unionist community".

"They were not treated like human beings. It was like the
Nazis' treatment of the Jews."

However, yesterday Fr Reid issued a full apology for his
outburst, citing provocation and offence caused by members
of the audience.

"I deeply regret the comments I made. I found myself being
strongly provoked and offended by many of the comments made
about my integrity and my church. I lost my temper and
sincerely regret my comments," Fr Reid said.

While disassociating himself from Fr Reid's original
comments, Reverend Good expressed hope that unionists would
accept Fr Reid's apology.

"I wish it to be abundantly clear that I reject and
disassociate myself from Fr Reid's comments. I identify
fully with the hurt and anger felt by many within the
audience and wider community," Reverend Good said.

"However, I sincerely hope Fr Reid's unqualified apology
will be heard and accepted and that this incident will not
be allowed to overshadow the significance of the
decommissioning which was overseen by Alex Reid and
myself," he added.

Attacking Fr Reid, Ian Paisley Jr of the Democratic
Unionist Party said the comments were "deeply offensive".

"His description of life in Northern Ireland over the last
35 years will not be recognised by unionists as being
factual or accurate," Mr Paisley Jr said.

"It is deeply disappointing that someone who has been
attempting to convince unionists that all IRA weapons have
been decommissioned would insult an entire community and
show such disrespect by comparing them to the Nazis."

Sinn Féin assembly member Alex Maskey said he appreciated
that "many unionists have had difficulties with the
language used by Fr Alex Reid".

"But, by the same token many of these same unionists and
indeed church leaders have used language that has
denigrated and demonised nationalists and republicans."

Calling for everyone to "be careful" about what language
they use, Mr Maskey said: "If we are going to meaningfully
challenge it then we need have an honest debate about the
true extent, nature and causes of sectarianism within our
society. Unionist leaders are in denial about the history
of the state, their own responsibility for this and for the
conflict which resulted from this. The Good Friday
Agreement contains equality, human rights and policing
agendas precisely because there has been institutionalised
discrimination, sectarian policing, injustice and

Reg Empey, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party questioned
how Fr Reid's word could be taken seriously after his
comments on Wednesday night. Mr Empey described himself as
"absolutely appalled and deeply shocked" by the affair.

SDLP senior negotiator Seán Farren said it was clear that
Fr Reid "acknowledges that many people will have been
offended by what was said".

"The truth is that there was widespread denial of civil
rights directed against the Catholic community in Northern
Ireland. But this was not the same as the ruthless
persecution of the Jews by the Nazis."


Unionists In Fresh Attack On Priest

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Unionists have further criticised Fr Alec Reid who has
said he believes the IRA was not behind the Northern Bank

Fr Reid recorded an interview with BBC Northern Ireland's
Hearts and Minds programme which was broadcast on Thursday
night amid the furore over his claim that unionists were
like Nazis.

In the interview, recorded earlier this week, Fr Reid said
he accepted IRA assurances that it did not mastermind the
£26.5 million (€38.5 million) Northern Bank robbery last

"On that issue their leadership has denied it," he said. "I
believe absolutely they had no truck to do with it."

He also said he believed that the IRA viewed itself as
being at war with British forces and that it was not
involved in organised criminality. However, he conceded
that individual IRA members might have been involved in

"The whole spirit of that would be a betrayal of the whole
meaning of the republican movement," he said. "In their own
minds they are fighting a war."

Fr Reid added that the absence of an acceptable policing
service in certain areas had fostered crime, although he
condemned paramilitary-style so-called punishment beatings
of those believed responsible for anti-social activity.

"There is an absence of a police force that has
functionality in nationalist districts, and people are
going around who are raping, who are breaking into houses,
who are joy-riding and knocking people down, who are
terrorising the elderly people," he said.

"There are drugs of course. Those people, whoever they are,
will do something about it themselves."

The remarks prompted the DUP to assert that the Clonard
monastery priest, who was instrumental in bringing about
the 1994 IRA ceasefire, had "totally, utterly lost it" and
could not be viewed as a reliable witness of IRA

Ian Paisley jnr claimed: "He is in denial about criminality
and if he is in that sort of denial there can be little
credibility in what he says or what he claims to have
seen," he said.

"If he had not made the Nazi comment [ on Wednesday], these
comments alone would have struck at his credibility."

North Belfast Ulster Unionist Assembly member Fred Cobain
said no one had the right to carry out paramilitary-style

"There is no justification for this type of action and
people should not be trying to even explain it. It is wrong
and Fr Reid should know that. He is a priest."

"The danger of comments like these is that they are used to
legitimise this type of activity."

Fr Reid has apologised for his comparison of unionists and
Nazis made at a public meeting, claiming he was provoked
and had lost his temper.

The Rev Harold Good, a former Methodist president who
accompanied Fr Reid as they witnessed decommissioning by
the IRA, said he accepted Fr Reid's apology and understood
how he had felt provoked by hostile unionists at the public

However, both unionist parties have claimed that Fr Reid's
remarks both at the public meeting and on the BBC detract
from his credibility as a reliable witness of IRA

© The Irish Times


British Need To Make Statement On Eric Anderson Affair

Published: 14 October, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone Pat Doherty has demanded that
the British government make a statement on the activities
of former Special Branchman Eric Anderson. Mr Doherty said
that he is 'stunned' that neither Security

Minister Shaun Woodward nor his boss Peter Hain have made
any comment on the Eric Anderson affair before now.

Mr Doherty said:

"It is now well over 24 hours since former Special
Branchman Eric Anderson admitted on camera to stealing
confidential files relating to murder investigations in a
bid to frustrate the work of the Police Ombudsman.

"I am stunned given the gravity of the matters exposed that
neither security Minister Shaun Woodward nor his boss Peter
Hain have yet to make any public comment on what can only
be described as a developing scandal.

"Nationalists and republicans have long known about the
destructive role being played by the RUC old guard both
inside and outside the current policing structures.
Nationalists and republicans know only too well the

role of Special Branch in passing confidential files onto
loyalist death squads in the past.

"The British government and the PSNI need to realise that
this issue is not going away. Eric Anderson has admitted
involvement in serious criminal activity. The response of
the British government and its agencies to this matter is
an acid test of their commitment to the process and their
commitment to tackling malign influences who have up until
now had a free reign to try and undermine efforts to
consolidate and advance the peace process." ENDS


Monitoring Commission Gives Report To Dublin And London

Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent

The Independent Monitoring Commission gave its latest
report on the level of paramilitary activity to the Irish
and British governments yesterday, as Ministers prepare for
yet another attempt to move closer to the restoration of
the North's power-sharing institutions.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell confirmed last night
that the governments had received the report from the IMC.
It is believed to say that the IRA has been observing its
commitment to end all activity, given in its statement of
July 28th.

The report from the four-member commission is expected to
state that the IRA appears to have ceased a wide range of
paramilitary operations while stressing that too little
time has elapsed to make a definitive judgment on IRA

The Cabinet is expected to get details of the report and to
discuss it at its weekly meeting next Tuesday. Mr McDowell
said yesterday that arrangements were being made to lay the
report before the Oireachtas. This is expected to happen
next Wednesday, and the report will be simultaneously made

Also next Wednesday Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot
Ahern will have talks with Northern Secretary Peter Hain on
a series of discussions with the North's political parties
between now and Christmas.

These aim to narrow the gap between unionist and
nationalist politicians on issues such as the composition
of the policing board and the Parades Commission, and other
matters which could delay a deal in the North.

This latest IMC report is seen as interim. The governments
and the North's political parties consider the next report,
due in January, as providing crucial testament to the
veracity of the IRA's commitment to end all activity and
its assertion that it has disposed of all weapons.

If that report confirms the IRA has remained inactive, the
governments are determined to try to reach a deal to
restore the power-sharing executive in spring. But they
have considerable doubt over the commitment of the DUP and
Sinn Féin to doing a deal in the short term, whatever the
IMC says.

© The Irish Times


Monitoring Group Meets Family Of Dublin Murder Victim

Conor Lally

The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) is to include
in its next report in January its observations on the
murder last April of Joseph Rafferty by an alleged member
of the IRA.

A delegation from the IMC led by Lord Alderdice met members
of the dead man's family in Dublin Castle yesterday.

Mr Rafferty's sister, Esther Uzell, told The Irish Times
last night she was "very pleased" with how the meeting had
gone. She said the three-man delegation indicated they had
received information about the murder from other sources.

"We told them what had happened to Joseph and what had
happened in the run-up to his murder. We met them for an
hour and a half and they listened to everything that we had
to say. They said it would be included in their next
report," Ms Uzell said.

Her family had given information about her brother's
killing to the IMC which, for legal reasons, they were not
in a position to disclose.

The family believes that because the chief suspect has been
in the IRA and canvassed for Sinn Féin, the movement has a
responsibility to help solve the murder.

Mr Rafferty (29), father of one child, was gunned down in a
west Dublin housing estate. He had been told a number of
times by members of the family he clashed with that he
would be "got" by the IRA.Cllr Dáithí Doolan of Sinn Féin
said yesterday the murder was "a cowardly and brutal act",
and those responsible must face justice.

© The Irish Times


DUP Is Set To Join Ranks Of Lords

Ian Paisley's DUP is about to get its first life peers in
the House of Lords, the BBC has learned.

The party is expected to get three seats with Eileen
Paisley, wife of the party leader, and Belfast Lord Mayor
Wallace Brown among them.

Since becoming the largest party the DUP have made it clear
they are entitled to seats in the upper chamber.

Party chairman Maurice Morrow is the third possible DUP
member to be honoured with a peerage.

In the unlikely event that a fourth seat goes to the DUP it
would be filled by Foyle MLA William Hay.

The proposed elevation of former Ulster Unionist leader
David Trimble to the House of Lords is also set to be

He has had to wait until the DUP's allocation was agreed.

Eileen Paisley was first elected to Belfast City Council in
1967, almost three years before her husband's first success
at the polls.

Mr Paisley is now expected to be made a privy councillor,
an honour usually given to the leader of the largest local

However, the party's East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell
said that offering the party more seats on the Policing
Board or Westminster will not lead to a return of
devolution without other concerns being addressed.

"If we were to be offered five times the number we are
likely to get of members of the House of Lords, the
underlying issues remain to be addressed," he said.

Among the issues the DUP has raised is a generous severance
and training package for Royal Irish Regiment soldiers
affected by demilitarisation plans which will axe its three
Northern Ireland based battalions.

It also wants changes to the Parades Commission and a
financial package to revitalise working-class Protestant

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/10/14 17:47:49 GMT



Intriguing Time For Policing Board

By Mark Devenport
BBC NI political editor

Inevitably a great deal of attention has been paid this
week to Fr Alec Reid's injudicious comments likening
unionists to Nazis.

Some reports have indicated that the furore over the
comments could threaten the political process. I'm not

Unionists have been queuing up to slam the hapless cleric,
especially after he told the BBC that he accepted the IRA's
denials of involvement in the Northern Bank robbery.

But even if Fr Reid has blown much of his credibility as a
witness to IRA disarmament, does this mean that his fellow
witness, the Reverend Harold Good saw a decommissioning

For months, politicians have been stressing that they will
judge the IRA on its actions, not its words.

So it would be hardly consistent if Fr Reid's intemperate
words entirely unpicked the IRA actions witnessed by two
clergymen and three IICD commissioners.

The same day the Fr Reid controversy took hold of the
airwaves, the DUP picked up another Christmas stocking
filler from the government.

This time it was an enhanced position on the Policing Board
consistent with the party's showing in the 2003 assembly

The current board has 19 members: nine independents and 10
political nominees.

The Ulster Unionists have four places, whilst the DUP and
the SDLP have three each.

The DUP had been hoping for five places, relegating the
Ulster Unionists to three and the SDLP to just two.

This would have been the arithmetic if Sinn Fein weren't
included in the government's calculations.

However, the government worried that this would upset the
overall unionist-nationalist balance.

So it has instead decided to make its calculations as if
Sinn Fein were joining the board.

This gives the DUP four seats and the SDLP and Ulster
Unionists two each.

Sinn Fein have the option of ending their boycott and
taking their two seats.

But if they don't, government sources have indicated the
republican places will be given to independent

Ulster Unionist Fred Cobain pointed out that this would
potentially mean that when the new board comes into
existence in April, this will potentially mean that the
independents will outnumber the politicians by 11 to eight.

He accused the DUP of ineptitude, stripping the board of
its previous unionist majority.

There are still a few months to go before the matter comes
to a head

The DUP's Ian Paisley Junior hit back, accusing Mr Cobain
of being more interested in watching football matches than
taking part in Policing Board votes.

However, Mr Cobain's party leader, Sir Reg Empey, has now
raised the stakes by calling the proposed new board a
quango which his party will not serve on.

The DUP, for its part, says that if Sinn Fein continues its
boycott, its places should go to unionists rather than
independent nationalists.

There are still a few months to go before the matter comes
to a head.


Sinn Fein say that they won't be influenced by what they
call "tinkering" with the make-up of the board.

However, they are keen to see the forthcoming legislation
on the transfer of policing and justice and the return of
"on-the-run" paramilitaries.

Taken together with the continuing debate about state
recognition of restorative justice projects and the
potential recruitment of Community Support Officers, these
developments could encourage a shift in republican thinking
on policing.

Could 1 April see the UUP hopping off the board just as
Sinn Fein prepare to jump on?

Nothing is ever that simple, but the Policing Board could
be in for an interesting transition.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/14 20:36:27 GMT


Two In Court Over Short Strand Attack

Two men appeared in court today charged with attacking a
close friend of IRA murder victim Robert McCartney.

By:Press Association

They were remanded in custody for a month at Belfast
Magistrates` Court.

Sean Clinton, 39, from Mountforde Drive, and Patrick Magee,
34, of Beechfield Street, both in east Belfast,

were charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent
and possession of an offensive weapon, a metal bar.

Clinton alone was also charged with riotous assembly.

The men were arrested during police raids in the Short
Strand area yesterday. A police constable told the court
that he believed he could connect both men to the charges.

Jeff Commander was left with serious head injuries after
being attacked and beaten with iron bars in the Short
Strand area on September 12.

The father-of-five, who was with his wife, Sinead, was
attacked by up to eight men and at one stage a knife was
produced by the gang.

When the two men appeared in court today they were remanded
in custody until November 10 to re-appear via video link at
the same court.

They smiled and waved to friends in the public gallery
during the brief hearing.


Opin: Why We Need To Be Protected From Vigilante Policing

In the coming months Sinn Fein plans to set up similar
(CRJ) schemes throughout South Down in order to offer a
viable alternative to the PSNI - Catriona Ruane MLA,
January 2004

By Eddie McGrady, MP, SDLP

14 October 2005

There is not, nor can there be, any alternative to the
PSNI. Sinn Fein's strategy of promoting Community
Restorative Justice as an alternative to the police enables
them to maintain their control over communities and use CRJ
to substitute the community control exercised by the IRA.

The SDLP's struggle over the years has centred on
overcoming the oppression of our communities by the British
Government and the IRA. This community must not sit back
and allow Sinn Fein to get another stranglehold over the
nationalist community by way of Restorative Justice

Recently Sinn Fein politicians have tried to deny that they
are promoting Restorative Justice as an alternative to the
police and in doing so gaining an instrument of community
control/power for their representatives.

In an effort to secure funding for a Restorative Justice
programme, Sinn Fein councillor, Brendan Lewis, stated
during a council debate, that claims that Restorative
Justice schemes were set up as an alternative to the PSNI
were "untrue and unfounded".

This was contradicted by Sinn Fein's Human Rights
spokesperson, and confidante of Gerry Adams, Ms Catriona
Ruane, who stated in the Mourne Observer of January 28,

"In the coming months Sinn Fein plans to set up similar
(CRJ) schemes throughout South Down in order to offer a
viable alternative to the PSNI".

This contradiction is the traditional double talk of Sinn
Fein and its underhand politics. The community must be
aware that Restorative Justice - as promoted by Sinn Fein -
is not legally recognised, is vigilante in its operation
and is a clear attempt to create an alternative police
force in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Fein's Restorative Justice and that of Community
Restorative Justice Ireland has no ties with the police.

The basic premise of Community Restorative Justice
throughout the world is that it works in tandem with police
and justice systems.

It takes referrals from the police or other justice
agencies and in doing so reinforces its basic function,
which is to give the police and criminal justice system
another avenue to pursue when dealing with reparation for
crimes against an individual or community.

Who refers individuals to Community Justice Ireland?

Who decides that the individual concerned is in fact guilty
of committing the alleged offence?

Herein lies the problem. Community Restorative Justice
Ireland acts as the judge and juror, with no outside

I have been pursuing the NIO for nearly two years on the
need to publish guidelines on Restorative Justice. Without
guidelines, ad hoc groupings can apply for funding through
district councils, European bodies and benevolent
charities, and face no responsibility in relation to their
activities or the conduct and training of their membership.

I have been frustrated at the lack of urgency that this
issue has received from the NIO. It would appear to the man
on the street that the NIO are quite happy to allow Sinn
Fein to pursue the creation of an alternative police force
in Northern Ireland.

The NIO must act quickly to stem this alternative to the
PSNI and to protect the community from vigilante policing.

Community Restorative Justice must be regularised and
monitored. The NIO have a duty of care to those communities
being targeted by Sinn Fein as potential CRJ areas, to
introduce strict guidelines that will, at the very least -
as recommended by the Criminal Justice Review - require
links with the PSNI and Criminal Justice System, and be
subject to human rights monitoring. Anything less will be a
concession to former paramilitaries and fascist
politicians, and result in an alternative police force in
Northern Ireland.

I have received reports in my constituency office from
people who are increasingly concerned about the activities
of Community Restorative Justice schemes in their area.

Many of these people are not concerned about the larger
political or policing picture; they simply want to know one
thing: where do the CRJ schemes and their workers derive
their authority from?

Who oversees their work and guarantees that the wrong
individuals are not being accused?

Who can they complain to if they feel that their child has
been treated unfairly?

Equally important is the fact that this type of restorative
justice is a gross denial and infringement of basic human
rights, by the very people who demand full human rights for

I am also receiving reports of CRJ patrols and reports of
CRJ carrying out stop and search patrols on local youths.
This is the kind of thing that we resisted throughout the
Troubles; now it seems to be that our communities are being
harassed from within.

Restorative Justice, when working in conjunction with the
justice agency and providing an alternative route for those
who have been found guilty of petty or minor offences, is a
credible and worthwhile exercise, both for the victim and
the offender.

But Restorative Justice in the absence of an input from the
criminal justice system, and guidelines on its functions
and aims is a very dangerous and volatile exercise.

The philosophy of Community Restorative Justice is being

For those currently involved in CRJ schemes, who believe
that CRJ has merit, I would urge them for the sake of their
communities and for the integrity of the restorative
justice process, to move away from these unmonitored and
unregulated bodies.

In its current form Community Restorative Justice, as being
promoted by Sinn Fein, devoid of any universally accepted
regulations and guidelines to protect the community, and
devoid of any contact with the police, is abusing the
philosophy of Community Restorative Justice.

It is being used by those who wish to reinforce their
personal control over their communities - and by a
political party whose first concern is not community
harmony but community control.


Surprise For Family As Son Joins Saddam's Defence Team

George Jackson

The family of a Derry solicitor who has been appointed as
one of Saddam Hussein's defence team when the former Iraqi
dictator goes on trial in Baghdad next Wednesday charged
with crimes against humanity said yesterday they were
surprised by the appointment.

Des Doherty (43), whose legal firm is in Clarendon Street
in Derry, has been involved in several high-profile
inquiries in Ireland in recent years.

At the Saville inquiry he represented the family of Barney
McGuigan, one of the 13 unarmed civilians who were shot
dead by British army paratroopers in the Bogside area of
Derry on Bloody Sunday in January 1972.

He also represented Laurence Rush at the inquiry into the
1998 Omagh bombing in which Mr Rush's wife, Libbi, was one
of 28 people killed when a bomb exploded in the Co Tyrone

At the Barron inquiry Mr Doherty represents the families of
three of the 33 people killed in the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan

He also represents the family of Raychel Ferguson, whose
death in a Northern Ireland hospital was one of four
controversial deaths of children which were investigated by
barrister John O'Hara.

Mr Doherty is a member of City of Derry Golf Club and is
also a keen martial arts practitioner. One of his favourite
methods of relaxation is to play the bass guitar in his
large period home at Balloughry Road along the banks of the

Yesterday his older brother, Michael, said the family was
surprised when they heard the news that he had been
appointed a member of the former Iraqi dictator's defence

"He's done really well for himself. I was amazed when I
heard the news. I was just talking to Des two days ago and
he said nothing about it. This is some professional
achievement for him.

"He is a dedicated solicitor, a very bright guy and someone
who has done some amazing things in his life. We all know
Baghdad is a dangerous place but he will be aware of the
risks he is taking," said Mr Doherty.

© The Irish Times


Satire: Cheney Admits IRAN And IRAQ Spelling Very Similar

Written by queen mudder

Washington DC (Riotous) - Aides of Vice President Dick
Cheney have issued a hasty statement on behalf of the
beleagured ex-Halliburton CEO amid new CIA reports naming
Iran as the transit point of Al Qaeda 9/11 operatives:

"Mr Cheney now admits he and Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld may have got the geography wrong in sending US
troops to Iraq instead of Iran. The original intelligence
came from the Colonel Oilver North Wing of the Pentagon and
was unfortunately partly shredded through clerical error
before it could be decoded properly.

"The words 'terrorists' and 'IRA' were clear on the
communique from the UK's MI6 contacts at Mossad HQ in Las
Vegas detailing the post-9/11 threat to the US.

"The Defense Department was pretty sure that the IRA - that
is the Irish Liberation Army - could not be involved
because UK Premier Tony Blair 's close aides Peter
Mandelson and Alistair Campbell said so. The Vice President
therefore advised that the missing letter after the "a"
must be a "q" and not an "n" because Saddam was a bad boy
with more oil than sense and with an election due later in
2004, American voters had a need to know that their gas
tanks could be filled up at around $1 a gallon in the
forseeable future."

Meanwhile Defense Department chiefs reacted with disbelief
at the reports that the 101st Airborne Division might need
to be sent to Iran to spearhead an advance party
investigating relatives of the late Shah of Persia's
relatives who are believed to be operating the country's
first covert nuclear-powered smallpox microbe production
factory, in conjunction with a sophisticated recycling
center that has so far refurbished up to 500 Patriot
missiles left over from Iraq overshoots during the US's
1990 liberation of Kuwait when Saddam's forces were
successfully routed back to Baghdad.

"This may be a novel way of planning Sharia-law-approved
mass immunization of neighbouring states, of course," said
the spokesman, "but we have no definite data on the matter.

"Similar attempts at vaccinating whole nations were once
tried during the cold war when the Soviet Union toyed with
the idea of using rocket-fuel propelled giant syringes
filled with live cholera serum to immunize large areas of
Eastern Europe that lagged behind in modern health care.

"In the end an administrative decision was taken which
showed that it would be a cheaper and far more health-
effective option to simply send in tanks into the streets
of Czechoslovakia.

"Naturally, we are studying such options."

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