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October 31, 2005

DUP: Other Loyalists Should Follow LVF

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DUP William McCrea and Billy Wright

News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 10/31/05 DUP: Other Loyalists Should Follow LVF
UU 10/31/05 UUP: LVF Breakthrough We’ve Been Waiting For
BT 10/31/05 LVF Is Ready To Destroy Weapons
BT 10/31/05 MPs Debate 'Final Renewal' Of Diplock Powers
BT 10/31/05 McCord Raps Unionists Over Quest For Justice
IO 10/31/05 Belfast Murder Victim Named
UT 10/31/05 Device Found Outside Antrim House
BT 10/31/05 Kincaid Retirement To Launch PSNI Shake-Up
GA 10/31/05 Number Of Gay Attacks Fall
II 10/31/05 'Scary' Irish-American Has Bush In His Sights
UT 10/31/05 Threats Against Priest Condemned
UT 10/31/05 Best Still Has 'Long Way To Go'
IO 10/31/05 10,000 Take To The Streets For Dublin Marathon


DUP: Other Loyalists Should Follow LVF

Loyalist paramilitary groups were today urged to follow the
LVF and order their military units to stand down.

By:Press Association

The terror group ceased its operations at midnight in a
direct response to the IRA`s decision to decommission its
weapons arsenal.

The move also followed a formal end to the feud between the
LVF and the rival UVF.

The Democratic Unionist Party said it was time all loyalist
paramilitaries abandoned the armed struggle.

Jeffrey Donaldson said: "We would call on the other
loyalist paramilitary groups to follow suit and to also
confirm that they are standing down their units and ending
all their violent and criminal activity.

"We are clear that the only way forward in Northern Ireland
is through the democratic process.

"If we are to have any real hope of lasting peace, then all
of the paramilitary groups must end their violent crime for
good and also deal emphatically with the issue of illegal

The Lagan Valley MP said the LVF will continue to be
scrutinised by politicians and the International Monitoring

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said the announcement
is the latest in a series of positive developments.

"Yesterday`s announcement that the feud is over, last week
the UDA sent a delegation to see the decommissioning body
and Gerry Adams, for the first time, allowed the words `The
war is over` to pass his lips," Sir Reg said.

"Now when we take all those things together I think we have
had a fairly positive week and something that I think we
need to build on."

The LVF was formed by Portadown loyalist Billy Wright after
the Ulster Volunteer Force leadership stood down his unit
in 1996.

Wright, who was nicknamed King Rat, was later charged with
menacing behaviour and sent to the Maze Prison.

On December 27, 1997 he was assassinated by INLA prisoners,
who had escaped from their wing via a roof.

Wright was shot dead at point-blank range as he sat in a
prison van in the forecourt waiting to be taken for a

The LVF statement came just hours after it was announced
the bitter loyalist feud, which claimed four lives, is

The Loyalist Commission said the dispute between the rival
paramilitary groups had been resolved.

In a statement the commission, which includes politicians,
churchmen and paramilitaries, said: "We now believe that
the feud has permanently ended."

The four victims of the feud were Jameson Lockhart, 25,
shot dead on the lower Newtownards Road on July 1; Craig
McCausland, 20, shot dead in his Dhu Varren Park home in
north Belfast on July 11; Stephen Paul, 28, shot dead in
Wheatfield Crescent in north Belfast on July 30; and
Michael Green, 42, shot dead in Sandy Row on August 15.

The UVF was blamed for the murders of four men in Belfast
during July and August.

A special report by the Independent Monitoring Commission
said the LVF carried out two murder attempts but concluded
its actions were mainly a response to UVF attacks.

Alliance leader David Ford cautiously welcomed the

The South Antrim MLA said: "The feud between the LVF and
the UVF had served only one purpose - to destroy the
communities those organisations claim to represent.

"It has taken far too long for these people to see sense,
but everyone will be glad they have now done so.

"Further statements report that the LVF has, in its own
words, `ordered its units to stand down`.

"Although this also appears welcome, we will wait and see
precisely what that means.

"Urban communities across Northern Ireland are still being
destroyed by the scourge of paramilitarism. It must end
now, in all its forms."


Empey: Loyalist Moves Represent Breakthrough We Have Been
Waiting For

Responding to moves by Loyalists to stand down and end
feuding, Ulster Unionist Party Leader Sir Reg Empey said,

"I welcome the decisions of the UVF and LVF to call an end
to their violence.

As I made clear at my Party's Conference, I will not be
found wanting where my help and support is required in
assisting Loyalist communities that seek to move towards
normality and a better future.

While a few critics may deride my Party's efforts and where
some journalists may have tried to put words into my mouth,
I am conscious that over 30 years of violence requires more
than stern words to bring it to an end.

Taken together with other recent developments, these moves
could represent the breakthrough that we have all been
waiting for.

The momentum created by this needs to be built on. I call
on the Secretary of State to accelerate his efforts to get
some sustainable community infrastructure in place in
Loyalist areas.

Building up the confidence of the people in battered
loyalist communities must become a high government priority
in the days ahead."

(October 31st, 2005)


LVF Is Ready To Destroy Weapons

Move to follow stand down of 'military units'

By Chris Thornton
31 October 2005

The LVF is considering the decommissioning of its weapons
in the aftermath of the group's decision to stand down,
loyalist sources confirmed today.

The group has told intermediaries that members secured most
of its arsenal before announcing that its "military units"
would cease activity.

Loyalist sources have said there are indications of a new
atmosphere in paramilitary ranks since last month's
decommissioning by the IRA.

As well as today's move by the LVF, the UDA last week
renewed contact with General John de Chastelain's
Decommissioning Body. The UVF is reportedly considering
similar moves.

With the LVF also reaching an end to its feud with the UVF,
sources said there are expectations their weapons should be
disposed of properly.

"They're going to have that debate now," a loyalist source
said. "People are encouraging them along that road."

The LVF was the first terror group to decommission weapons,
handing over a small amount to be destroyed in December
1998. That move was taken so its prisoners would qualify
for early release from the Maze and was not followed up by
further acts.

In a statement, the LVF said it had ordered its units to
stand down at midnight last night.

However, the decision was mainly believed to be a condition
for the ending of the feud with the UVF.

UVF leaders had vowed to wipe out the LVF during the feud,
which took place mainly over the summer.

During the dispute, the UVF killed four men who had little
or no connection with the LVF. It failed to strike at the
group's leadership, although in the longer term the LVF
seemed incapable of stopping the more powerful UVF.

The LVF carried out two murder attempts, according to the
Independent Monitoring Commission.

The Loyalist Commission, which includes politicians,
churchmen and paramilitaries, helped settle the feud. In a
statement last night, the group said: "We now believe the
feud has permanently ended."

The LVF broke away from the UVF in 1996, when Portadown
loyalist Billy Wright fell out with UVF leaders. The group
killed its first victim later that year, murdering Catholic
taxi driver Michael McGoldrick during the Drumcree dispute.

Wright was later jailed for intimidation. He was killed
inside the Maze by the INLA in 1997.

After his death the LVF - supported by elements in the UDA
- carried out a series of sectarian murders in response to
Wright's killing. This was the group's most active period,
but without Wright's leadership it quickly became more
disorganised. Security sources consider it mainly a drug
dealing group now.

North Belfast MP, Nigel Dodds, welcomed the end of the
feud, saying he hoped "that this announcement will be
evidenced on the ground and that people's lives will return
to normal".

SDLP MLA, Alex Attwood, said the LVF announcement was
welcome "as far as it goes, but everyone wants to see a lot

He added: "There have been a number of false dawns around
the LVF before. That is why people will be cautious."


MPs Debate 'Final Renewal' Of Diplock Powers

By Brian Walker
31 October 2005

The end of the security system that has dominated life in
the province for so long was being foreshadowed at
Westminster today.

MPs will debate what Ministers hope will be the last ever
renewal of emergency powers for the courts and the security
forces in the Terrorism (Northern Ireland) Bill.

In the main, it prolongs the powers of the non-jury Diplock
courts and the special powers of arrest for the Army that
apply purely in the province.

The measures expiring next summer will be extended to
August 2007 but with added provision for an extra year to
August 2008, "in case the security situation does not

Controversial powers to restrict suspects' movements
directed at Islamist terrorism in the Act of 2000 and this
year's forthcoming Act will apply in the province, but will
not be directed at the local scene, say officials.

In the debate, Peter Hain was due to resist strong pressure
to reveal further details of the judicial process for
dealing with the extant offences of "on the runs" (OTRs).

Last Thursday Mr Hain provoked DUP, SDLP and Ulster
Unionist anger when he appeared to suggest that a deal for
OTRs could be extended to the review of 1,800 cold cases,
allowing them also to be released under licence.

In a foretaste of the DUP's likely line, Ian Paisley said
that "the greatest possible resistance" must be organised
against the proposals.

"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."

Despite the DUP's show of surprise, the concessions to OTRs
were first outlined in an addition to the Joint Declaration
by the two Prime Ministers in 2003.

In spite of firm denials by the Prime Minister and Mr Hain,
Mr Paisley claimed that the next move would be the
inclusion of IRA personnel into the police.

"Soon, well known IRA men will be ruling their own
districts with the authority of the Government. In no way
must these serious surrenders be allowed to come to
fruition. It is now or never that the battle for Ulster's
soul will be won," said the DUP leader.

Mr Hain is expected to resist clarifying the confusion over
the numbers of offenders who could benefit from the OTRs
legislation, beyond telling MPs that he expects to publish
it next week.

Officials stress that he would not have approved £50m
funding for the cold cases review, only to scupper it with
the arrangements for the OTRs.

The improving security scene in the shape of the IMC's
preliminary finding of a quiescent IRA, the reports that
the UDA have been in touch with General John de
Chastelain's decommissioning body and news that the
murderous feud between the UVF and LVF may be over, are
likely to welcomed by the House as a whole.

Some Labour MPs and the SDLP and are likely to call for
faster "normalisation" in a speedier end to the Army's
security role.


Father Raps Unionists Over Quest For Justice

By David Gordon

31 October 2005

Anti-UVF campaigner Raymond McCord has accused unionist
politicians of failing to stand alongside him in his quest
to expose his son's killers.

Mr McCord was speaking after senior Dublin politician Pat
Rabbitte used parliamentary privilege in the Dail to accuse
named Belfast loyalists and the police over the 1997 murder
of Raymond McCord Jnr.

Mr McCord, a Protestant, said: "A thank-you letter is on
its way to Mr Rabbitte to show my gratitude for what he has
done for my family and especially young Raymond.

"I was present in the Dail for his speech and it was very
emotional for me.

"It is disgraceful that I did not get this kind of support
from unionist politicians and had to go to Dublin.

"Even after what happened in the Dail, not a single
unionist politician has lifted the phone to speak to me.

"I was ignored or ridiculed up here - many people did not
want to know."

Raymond McCord Jnr (22), was beaten to death and his body
dumped in a quarry by a UVF gang in November 1997.

In his Dail speech last week, Mr Rabbitte, the leader of
the Irish Labour Party, alleged that two RUC Special Branch
agents within the UVF were involved in the killing.

The Dublin TD claimed the murder was carried out on the
orders of a long-standing informer, Mark Haddock, while
another informer called John Bond was present.

He also named loyalist John "Bunter" Graham as the "officer
commanding the UVF on the Shankill Road".

Mr Rabbitte further alleged that Haddock has been
associated with a string of other UVF murders.

The Irish Labour leader said: "Mr Raymond McCord has lost a
22-year-old son to a violent and ruthless organisation that
seems to have operated with the surreptitious sanction of
the police.

"We owe it to him and to all others who have lost family,
friends and neighbours to ensure, as best we can, that they
receive justice."

Haddock (37), from Mount Vernon in north Belfast, was
refused bail on Friday. His trial for the attempted murder
of a bar doorman in Ballyclare is due to start next week.

Police objected to his bail application on the grounds that
public order would be threatened if he was released.

Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan is, meanwhile, finalising her
investigation on a complaint from Mr McCord about the
police inquiry into his son's murder.

Ex-RUC detective Johnston Brown has also made a series of
allegations about Special Branch practices and the UVF
Mount Vernon gang. His book, Into the Dark, is published on
November 1.


Belfast Murder Victim Named

31/10/2005 - 11:14:34

Police in the North have named the woman who was found dead
in a house in North Belfast yesterday as Maureen Little.

The 63-year-old was from Richmond Square off the Cavehill
Road in the north part of the city.

A murder investigation has been launched into her death and
a man arrested yesterday is still in custody.


Device Found Outside Antrim House

An explosive device made from fireworks was found outside a
house in County Antrim, police said today.

By:Press Association

Army bomb disposal experts were called to the Stiles Estate
in Antrim to deal with the homemade device shortly after
9.30pm yesterday.

A PSNI spokesman said: "A motive is being investigated."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at
Antrim or Crimestoppers.

(Poster's Note: Stile Estate is a predominantly Unionist


Kincaid Retirement To Launch PSNI Shake-Up

By Jonathan McCambridge
31 October 2005

One of Northern Ireland's top police officers - who is in
charge of the investigations into the Omagh bombing and the
Northern Bank robbery - is to retire.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kinkaid is set to leave the
police force in the new year, a move which will prompt a
shake-up at the top levels of the PSNI.

Sam Kinkaid OBE joined the RUC after graduating with a
first class honours degree in Law from Queen's University
in 1980.

He rose rapidly through the ranks and worked as senior
investigating officer on many of Northern Ireland's most
high-profile murder investigations.

In 2001 he was appointed Assistant Chief Constable and in
2003 he headed up the new Crime Operations department,
which is responsible for the investigation of organised and
serious crime.

In his role, he has been responsible for the implementation
of the recommendations of the Stevens report into collusion
and helped draft the new human rights code of ethics for
the PSNI.

He is the Gold Commander for the police investigation into
the Omagh bombing and his Crime Operations department has
also led the hunt for the IRA gang who stole £26.5m from
the vaults of the Northern Bank last December.

Both these investigations have been high-profile and
regularly in the news.

Just last week, the security minister Shaun Woodward
confirmed the PSNI have yet to arrest and question a single
suspect for the Northern Bank robbery.

Sam Kinkaid will be replaced as head of Crime Operations by
Peter Sheridan, currently Assistant Chief Constable in
charge of the rural area.

Mr Sheridan's position will be taken by ACC Judith


Number Of Gay Attacks Fall

Ben Townley, UK

Monday 31 October, 2005 10:58 More from this date
Today's headlines

The number of anti-gay attacks in the city of Derry,
Northern Ireland has fallen from its record high, with
members of a community led-alliance praising the drop.

There were 27 attacks reported to the police in the six
months up to September 30th this year, compared to 37 for
the same period last year.

Then, the city was reported as a centre of anti-gay crime
in the UK, with a substantial increase in not just the
numbers of attacks but also in the severity.

In response, an alliance was formed with police and
community leaders in a bid to combat the rise of

Today, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
praised this 'partnership protocol'.

"One reason for the reduction may be that it is widely
known within the city that there is a multi-agency protocol
which is working, and that all the partners have signed up
to a zero tolerance of these type of incidents," Inspector
Milton Kerr told the Northern Irish press.

However, he said members of the protocol will not become
complacent in the face of success. "The partners to the
protocol are determined to continue to work together not
only to support the victims, but also to educate the public
that such incidents are wrong and the perpetrators should
be shunned and brought to justice for their actions," he

The city's Rainbow Project praised the partnerships and the
drop in attacks.

One of its leading campaigners David McCartney said he
hoped the figures would help eradicate the image that Derry
had become a hub of anti-gay activity.

He said the increases last year could be attributed to more
progressive attitudes within the police.

"This city is far from a being a centre for homophobia, it
is actually one area where valuable efforts are being made
in quantifying and dealing with this type of hate crime,"
he said.

"Given the reductions over the past six months, it is our
hope that this is finally demonstrating a positive dividend
for the gay community," he added.

"There is still a long way to go, but at least we are on
the move, this approach needs to adopted and rolled out
across the country."


'Scary' Irish-American Has Bush In His Sights

THE future of President Bush's administration is in the
hands of a first generation Irish-American known as a
modern-day Elliott Ness.

And it isn't the first time that Special Prosecutor Patrick
Fitzgerald has played a crucial role in a four-hand reel.

President Bush and his closest aide Karl Rove, with Vice
President Dick Cheney and his special advisor Lewis
'Scooter' Libby, are in the cross-hairs of Fitzgerald's

As a boy, Fitzgerald played accordion with his brother
while their two sisters danced at Irish traditional events
in Brooklyn with their proud parents from Co Clare. It is a
background that may help him get to grips with accusations
that senior figures in the Bush administration fiddled
their accounts of how they burned an undercover CIA


Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who indicted Vice-
President Dick Cheney's closest aide, Lewis 'Scooter'
Libby, on Friday has thrown the US government into turmoil
and paralysed the White House.

If his investigation into the unmasking of CIA operative
Valerie Plame takes him to the door of the Vice President
then even if he cannot indict Karl Rove, it will further
diminish the authority of President Bush.

As tensions rise in the Middle East and Iran's nuclear
ambitions move centre stage, a lame duck US President would
not serve Europe's interests.

It has thrown a genuinely modest and publicity shy Irish
American lawyer with a pristine reputation and unquestioned
competence, however reluctantly, onto the world's stage.

Fitzgerald (44), whose father was a doorman in a New York
apartment block, also worked as a doorman and a school
janitor to finance his education at Amherst College and
Harvard Law School after winning a scholarship to a
prestigious Jesuit high school.

From humble beginnings in Flatbush, Brooklyn, he worked in
the lower Manhattan office of the US attorney's office.

He played rugby at college and continued to play when he
was a young prosecutor working his way into the biggest
Mafia and terrorist cases.

Colleagues say he practically lived in the office where he
showered and kept fresh shirts, ties and underwear while
preparing cases against the Gambino brothers, part of John
Gotti's mob family.

He used a civil war sedition statute to nail Sheik Omar
Abdel-Rahman and others for the 1993 bombing of New York's
World Trade Centre and began investigating Osama Bin Laden
five years before 9/11.

A Republican Senator recruited him for the top prosecutor's
job in notoriously corrupt Chicago and former United States
Attorney, David Kelley, describes him as 'scary smart'.

Unmarried, Kelley said he visited his apartment and found
stacks of old pizza boxes on the cooker causing a real fire

"He reminded me that although he had lived there for 10
years at that point, he'd never turned the stove on."


A classmate at Harvard, Tony Bouza, said: 'He was a lot
brighter than almost everybody else but didn't spend a lot
of effort trying to show that he was brighter.

He has been investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's
identity for the past two years and in July jailed New York
Times reporter, Judith Millar, for not revealing her

Ron Safer, a defence lawyer in Chicago, who has watched
Fitzgerald since he was appointed US Attorney there in
2001, said: "They (the Bush administration) could not have
picked a worse person."

As his inquiry rolled on in Washington, speculation about
his political leanings rose as his Brooklyn Irish
background suggests a soft spot for the Democrats.

"He has no agenda," said David Kelley, a long-time friend
and former US Attorney in New York. "He looks at the facts,
uncovers the facts and goes where the facts lead him."

Sam Smyth


Threats Against Priest Condemned

The support group for victims of sexual abuse, One in Four,
is condemning any threats of violence against priests in
the wake of the Ferns Inquiry.

The Irish Examiner reported today that a parish priest was
placed under Garda protection in county Wexford following
verbal assaults on him during mass.

The news comes as anger mounts over the abuse revelations
contained in the Ferns report.

One in Four Director Colm O`Gorman said people must not
attempt to take justice into their own hands.


MONDAY 31/10/2005 08:05:31

Best Still Has 'Long Way To Go'

George Best's recovery from life-threatening illness still
has a long way to go, his physician has warned.

The 59-year-old Manchester United legend gave hope to his
family and supporters yesterday when he opened his eyes and
began breathing unaided.

He is in a serious condition in an intensive care ward of
the private Cromwell Hospital in London, suffering from
internal bleeding and kidney problems.

Best`s doctor, Professor Roger Williams, who oversaw his
liver transplant three years ago, stated last night: "He`s
a little better and he`s now off the ventilator, which is
very good news.

"He`s recognising people. He`s better in that respect, but
please don`t run away with thinking he`s fantastic because
there`s still a long way to go."

He added: "It`s the long haul when somebody has been as ill
as this.

"After all, he was very, very ill on Friday. He`s still
very ill but he`s not so ill as he was on Friday. There`s
lots of improvement and there`s an increasing degree of
hope among the team that he will see through this terrible
illness he`s had."

Relatives of the former Northern Ireland international last
night thanked well-wishers for their encouragement.

Best`s brother Ian, who visited him in hospital, said in a
statement: "We would like to express our thanks to everyone
who has so far been supportive.

"George has received an enormous number of letters and

His close friend and agent, Phil Hughes, said yesterday
Best had gripped his hand when he spoke to him.

He added: "He`s unable to talk as yet but he`s certainly
aware when we are talking to him."

Best`s illness is thought to be related to immuno-
suppressant drugs he must take to stop his new liver -
which he received in July 2002 - being rejected.

His condition deteriorated severely earlier last week after
four weeks of hospital treatment for an infection.

Mr Hughes said he had not had the heart to tell Best about
United`s defeat against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The agent also spoke to Best`s former United teammate Denis
Law, who said he had attended church to pray for his
friend`s recovery.

Best has a well documented history of alcoholism.


10,000 Take To The Streets For Dublin Marathon

31/10/2005 - 10:51:25

The Dublin City Marathon has begun and ten thousand people
from Ireland and abroad have taken to the streets, despite
the poor weather conditions.

It's the twenty-sixth year of the event, involving
professional athletes and members of the public, running to
raise money for charity.

More than seven thousand visitors from 63 countries arrived
in the capital to take part.

The race begins in Stephen's Green and will head northwards
through Nassau Street towards Phibsborough, then through
Crumlin to Milltown towards Ballsbridge to end up at
Merrion Square about midday.

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