News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

October 23, 2005

Loyalist Stone Praises London Bombers As Noble Men

To Index of Monthly Archives
To October 2005 Index
To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.

News about Ireland & the Irish

SL 10/23/05 Stone Praises 7/7 Bombers As 'Noble Men'
SL 10/23/05 UDA Death Threats Were Never Going To Stop Me
SL 10/23/05 Bertie Ahern To Be Told Of Loyalists Concerns
UT 10/23/05 Derry Masonic Army Base Demolished
IO 10/23/05 Lawlor Family Furious At Prostitution Claims
DU 10/23/05 Peter Robinson Comments On UUP Leader's Speech
TC 10/21/05 Paisley Visits Catholic School
SL 10/23/05 Into The Dark: 30 Years In The RUC
II 10/23/05 IRA's Intelligence-Gathering Hasn't Gone Away
II 10/23/05 £300k Cost To Move McCartneys To Safety
II 10/23/05 Hain: A Great Job, Great People, A Great Place'
SL 10/23/05 Protestant Teen: Lucky To Be Alive After Attack
TB 10/23/05 Repeal Anti-Catholic Section Of Settlement Act
SL 10/23/05 DUP: Straight Talking: Ssshh... It's Safe
BT 10/23/05 Opin: SF Need To Practise Before Dail
BG 10/23/05 A Rock Pillar Gives Bush A Good Rap
SL 10/23/05 Sunday Life Comment: New Terror On Our Streets
IO 10/23/05 Rory Carroll Due Back Home Today
SL 10/23/05 Tall Ships: Belfast Set To Billow...


Killer Stone Praises 7/7 Bombers As 'Noble Men'

By Stephen Breen
23 October 2005

CEMETERY killer Michael Stone has sparked controversy by
declaring that the Islamic extremists who bombed London
were not "mass murderers".

Although 52 people lost their lives in the underground and
bus blasts on July 7, Stone refused to label the suicide
bombers as evil.

The killer-turned-artist, who was in London at the time of
the blasts, told Sunday Life the suicide bombers were
"noble" men.

Said Stone: "These men were not criminals - they paid the
ultimate sacrifice for an ideology which they believed very
strongly in.

"I'm aware the relatives of those who died in the blasts
might not be too happy with my views, but I am just trying
to understand the motivation behind their actions.

"I condemn the fact they did not target a military,
political or economic target and the fact innocent people
lost their lives, but I can't see them as mass murderers."

The former UFF hitman will outline his controversial views
in a special television programme next Thursday. Along with
members of Hamas, the Afghan mujahedeen and others, Stone
was interviewed by BBC's Horizon for a programme about
terrorist psychology.

But it is Stone's shock views on the London bombers which
are set to cause the most controversy.

He admitted that the programme makers were "stunned" by his
views about the bombings in the capital.

Added Stone: "They filmed me for about five hours at a
secret location but they couldn't believe it when I
outlined my views on the London bombings.

"These people are from London and were completely stunned
by my opinions, but I stand by them.

"The English public might not be too happy with the views
but I stand by them. The suicide bombers are not like
serial killers."


'We've Received Death Threats, But They Were Never Going To
Stop Me'

By Stephen Breen
23 October 2005

THIS is the worried Belfastman who will defy UDA threats to
his life to give evidence at the trial of a leading
loyalist accused of killing his brother.

Alleged UDA boss William 'Mo' Courtney (41) goes on trial
tomorrow(correct) accused of murdering Alan 'Bucky'

Alan's brother, Kenny (left) told Sunday Life: "I have been
under a death threat for a long time and my family has also
been intimidated since Alan's killing.

"All we ever wanted after Alan's killing was justice and
I'm not going to stop now.

"We have been intimidated and received death threats, but
they were never going to stop me from giving evidence.

"All we want is to be left alone and to live our lives in

Mr McCullough also hit out at the recent wave of
intimidation which has been directed against his family.

Last week, it was revealed that police warned two family
members they were under threat from loyalist

Alan McCullough, a former associate of deposed UDA chief
Johnny Adair, was killed in May 2003.

The 21-year-old was taken from his mother's north Belfast
home. He was later shot, and his body buried in a shallow
grave on the outskirts of Belfast.

Since the murder, Mr McCullough's family and friends have
suffered a campaign of intimidation from loyalist thugs.

Among those who have been targeted is Presbyterian minister
the Rev Ruth Pettigrew.

Courtney, of Fernhill Heights, Belfast, denies the murder
charge and his trial is expected to last for a few weeks.

This latest development comes after we revealed earlier
this year that a mystery woman received a £10,000 bribe to
withdraw statements linking top UDA men to the murder.


Ahern To Be Told Of Loyalists Concerns

By Alan Murray
23 October 2005

PUP leader David Ervine will meet Bertie Ahern in Dublin on
Wednesday - just days before an expected announcement that
the bitter loyalist feud is over.

A statement confirming the ending of hostilities between
the LVF and UVF is expected to be made by a senior figure
in the Loyalist Commission, before the end of this week.

There are hopes the move could lead to the three main
loyalist organisations standing down their military
structures, by early next year.

The meeting between the Taoiseach and Mr Ervine, whose
party is linked to the UVF, is part of a drive by Dublin to
build a better rapport with loyalists.

Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs have been
in contact with different loyalist elements, over the last
four months.

They have been anxious to see the feud ended, so that a
greater dialogue can be conducted.

David Ervine said yesterday that he appreciated Mr Ahern's
interest in developments within the unionist community.

He said he would appraise him of the concerns of the people
he represented.


Derry Army Base Demolished

Work has begun on demolishing an army base in Londonderry.

The Masonic army base is situated at Bishop Street on the
city`s historic walls overlooking the Bogside.

Army engineers have been removing rocket screens and armour
plating from the site in preparation for major demolition
work which is due to start in the next few days.

The move follows security normalisation measures announced
by the Secretary of State earlier this year.


Lawlor Family Furious At Prostitution Claims

23/10/2005 - 15:06:06

The family of former Fianna Fáil TD Liam Lawlor, who was
killed in a car crash in Moscow, today hit out at claims he
may have been with a prostitute at the time of his death.

Mr Lawlor, who was jailed three times for failing to comply
with the tribunal investigating planning corruption in Co
Dublin, was on a business trip when he died in the crash in
the Russian capital in the early hours of Saturday.

The accident killed the driver of the car and injured a
young Ukrainian woman who was with them.

A Moscow Police spokesman said Mr Lawlor was not close
friends with the woman and appeared to have met her in the
street, reports said today.

But the 61-year-old former politician's family has
described the claims as inaccurate, reckless and

"At this time of mourning it is deeply distressing that
such hurtful allegations should be made in this way without
checking their veracity," they said in a statement.

The family asked for space to cope with their loss.

Following his death, arrangements were being made for the
repatriation of Mr Lawlor's body to Ireland for a funeral
planned for the end of the week.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said the
Irish Embassy in Moscow was working to ensure Mr Lawlor's
remains could be brought back as quickly as possible.

Fellow Lucan politician Labour Senator Joanna Tuffy today
said she wanted to extend her deepest sympathies to Mr
Lawlor's family in the wake of his death.

"Although a controversial political figure, Liam Lawlor was
a diligent representative of the people in this area for
many years.

"He was also invariably courteous in his dealings with
other public representatives in the area," she said.

The man described as his old adversary, Mr Justice Feargus
Flood, who presided over the planning tribunal when Mr
Lawlor gave his evidence, said the former deputy was a
larger-than-life character.

"The death of anybody who you know is a very sad event and
I would like to convey my condolences to his family who
must be in a deep state of shock.

"I think he was a larger-than-life character and had his
own agenda, and I'm not sure my agenda and his were on the
same track, and I think that's probably the reality of
that," he said.

The judge told RTE Radio he thought it was within the
bounds of possibility that Mr Lawlor might have had the
chance of a cabinet position had he not chosen a different

The Dublin West TD, who first entered the Dáil in 1977, was
a member of Fianna Fáil until 2000 when he resigned from
the party following an internal party investigation into
planning corruption.

He initially refused to go before the planning tribunal,
but later admitted to receiving payments from lobbyist
Frank Dunlop, in the scandal which saw politicians receive
bribes to rezone land for development.

His refusal to comply with orders from the tribunal,
including furnishing them with financial records, led him
to be jailed on three occasions for a total of six weeks.

Three days into his third, month-long, spell behind bars in
February 2002 for failing to comply with the tribunal, he
was released by the High Court for a matter of hours to
attend the Dail where he heard unanimous calls for his

Having supported Fianna Fáil in the Dáil as an independent
TD for two years following his resignation from the party
he eventually decided not to stand as a candidate in the
2002 General Election.

The news of his death overshadowed his former party's Ard
Fheis in Killarny, Co Kerry, this weekend, and Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern paid tribute to his former colleague,
describing him as an engaging, witty and larger-than-life


Peter Robinson Comments On UUP Leader's Speech

Speaking after the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
delivered what many are already describing as a speech
without fizz DUP Deputy Leader Peter Robinson MP, MLA said,

"Today we have been treated to wriggling and revisionism.
Under an attempt at sabre-rattling we have listened to the
death rattle of the UUP.

Here is a party without purpose. A party without any
formidable politicians, without any clear message or
direction, without any distinctive path to tread and which
has the misfortune to be led by someone who was an
architect of the disastrous Belfast Agreement which
pandered to the IRA and savagely damaged unionism.

It will take more than Wriggling Reg to hose away the guilt
of the UUP for the elevation of Sinn Fein and the advances
made by republicans during the UUP's tenure as the leaders
of unionism.

Reg Empey is a hypocrite. On the one hand he claims that
attacking fellow unionists is counter-productive while he
himself, in an attempt to deflect attention from his own
pathetic party, attacks the Democratic Unionist Party.

The UUP are still in denial. It needs to face up to its
guilt rather than absurdly attempting to place it on
others. Nobody is fooled, Reg, you should apologise to the
unionist community and fade away as gracefully as you can

For the first time in a generation Northern Ireland has, in
the DUP, a unionist party which has made no concessions to
republicans. Just as nobody could stop Reg Empey and the
UUP trusting the IRA and making repeated concessions to
them, there will be times when nobody will be able to stop
the government making concessions to the IRA. However,
unlike the UUP, we will not acquiesce and support the
government's concessions. It is also worth recording that
the concessions which have been made to republicans over
the past year are concessions made by the UUP during the
period the UUP was negotiating for unionism but which are
flushing themselves through the system now because they
were dependant on the IRA taking certain steps which they
were never forced to take by the UUP. There is published
documentary evidence tracing these concessions back to Reg

His attempts to claim credit for IRA decommissioning which
happened after the DUP became the largest party whilst
blaming the DUP for concessions that were agreed during the
UUP's tenure is absolutely contradictory and shows the UUP
up for the mess that they are in.

The concessions we are now seeing are the legacy of Empey
and Trimble the two most generous unionist friends the
Provos ever had.

There are two certainties about all that has happened
recently. If the UUP had still been the dominant unionist
party the IRA would never have been forced to substantially
decommission and if they had Reg Empey would have fallen
over himself to be in government with them.

Let me make it clear, the DUP will not be suckered like the
UUP. We will hold out until-

an enabling environment is established which offers
equality and fairness to unionists;

changes have been made to the political structures to
ensure they are stable, efficient, effective and
accountable; and,

we can make as safe a working assumption as possible that
the Provisional IRA's terror machine has been dismantled,
Sinn Fein has been democratised and a workable mechanism is
in place to deal with any defaults.

The folly of the UUP has taught our community one thing -
never again must unionists risk their future by trusting
the word of the IRA or any government."


Paisley Visits Catholic School

In an apparent olive branch to his Catholic constituents,
Democratic Unionist leader and MP Rev Ian Paisley visited a
St Louis Catholic Primary School in his North Antrim
constituency which had been vandalised by loyalists. Dr
Paisley joined secretary of state Peter Hain and denounced
loyalist violence and in particular recent threats by
loyalists to desecrate Catholic graves in Carnmoney near
Newtownabbey. He was greeted by headmaster Liam Corey and
said people who perpetrated such attacks should be
isolated. "I have no sympathy with them whatsoever, and the
vast majority of people in Ballymena would have no sympathy
with them" the MP said. "What we have to do now is to see
that these people are isolated and that they know that all
right-thinking sections of the community are opposed to
what they are doing". Dr Paisley said people who threatened
to damage graves had "no respect for either the living or
the dead". "They have no respect for the bodies of those in
the tomb, no respect for the people who were weeping and
were plunged into sorrow for the passing of their loved
ones". Mr Hain said the threats were "an awful almost
medieval throwback to a past of violence and bigotry".
"People must start respecting each other and I ask that the
people who did this just understand the image that it
projects, not only to the rest of the community, but to the
rest of the world who look on it with amazement and
horror". SDLP North Antrim Assembly member Sean Farren
welcomed Dr Paisley's visit to the school saying that while
for other MPs it would be a small gesture it was "quite
momentous" for the DUP leader "given his silence through so
much of the wave of sectarian attacks and intimidation
during the summer". "It would be fitting if he realised the
great benefits to be gained by all from true
reconciliation" Dr Farren said.


Into The Dark: I'm The Fall Guy As Special Branch Sell
Stevens A 'Pup'

By Johnstn Brown
23 October 2005

He fought to put terrorist killers like Johnny Adair behind
bars and was the victim of dirty tricks from sinister
elements inside the RUC's Special Branch. Now former top
CID detective Johnston Brown has written a gripping account
of his career. Adapted by Sunday Life's Stephen Gordon from
Into The Dark: 30 Years In The RUC...

IN April 1999 I found myself being treated like a criminal
suspect by the Stevens Inquiry team.

John Stevens (later Sir John Stevens) himself treated me
with some disdain, before I was finally able to expose a
Special Branch dirty trick to discredit me.

I had always taken the view - still do - that it was the
responsibility of Special Branch to investigate the murder
of Pat Finucane. I had no faith in passing responsibility
to a team of English detectives.

I had wanted to return to the Finucane case, but when
responsibility for the case was handed to Stevens, it was
my duty to assist.

On April 27, 1991 I sat in the sweltering heat of the
Stevens team office at Seapark with two English detectives,
going over and over my account of Barrett's confession.

I told them how Barrett's confession had been recorded by
'Sam' on October 3, 1991.

The following day, I returned to record my witness
statement - simply a full account of Barrett's confession.
There was no reference to Special Branch obstruction or

As I reached over to sign the statement, a Welsh detective
sergeant stopped me and told me to read it aloud. After I
did so and went to sign it, he again stopped me.

The two Stevens detectives cleared the desk, leaving only
the statement sitting there between them and me. The
atmosphere changed totally. I was aghast. As a detective, I
knew exactly what this meant.

They were no longer looking at me as a witness. I was now a
criminal suspect. They thought that they had me cornered.

"Before you sign that, Jonty, I want you to think very
carefully. Could you be wrong? Could you be mistaken?

"No," I answered.

"If you sign that certificate, and what you say is not
true, that is perjury. You do understand that, Jonty?" he

I assured him I understood, and then signed all six pages
of my witness statement.

The detective explained that Sam had handed over an
audiotape marked '3 October 1991' to the Stevens 3 team.
The recording had been tested by the Met and it had not
been altered or edited in any way.

He added: "But I can tell you now for a fact there is no
confession on it from Barrett in relation to the murder of
Pat Finucane. So, how do you explain that?"

I was speechless. I felt sick. I realised Special Branch
had pulled a fast one. But how could they have edited the
tape without leaving a forensic trace? I asked to be
allowed to listen to the entire tape. Stevens was brought
into the room and I put my request to him.

"Allow him to listen to the tape," said Stevens.

"Give him all the writing paper he needs. Let him make
whatever notes he wishes and when he is finished, seize his
notes and exhibit them."

I noted more than a little disdain in his voice. He did not
believe me either.

On the tape, Ken Barrett could be heard speaking excitedly
about two murders which occurred that night in north

He spoke first about the murder of a man he referred to as
"wee Harry Ward", who had been shot dead by republicans.
Barrett could then be heard blaming Johnny Adair for a UFF
retaliation murder of a Catholic taxi driver a few hours
later. I realised these two murders dated that tape.

I called CID Regional Intelligence Unit (RIU) at
Castlereagh, knowing they would have the date on computer.
My stomach was turning over. I felt ill.

The officer at RIU replied: "Yes, sergeant, here it is.
Henry Fleming Ward. He was shot dead in the Diamond Jubilee
Bar on the Shankill Road by the IPLO on 10 October 1991."

Special Branch had switched the tapes! The recording given
to Stevens marked October 3 was a tape of a second
conversation with Barrett on October 10.

Special Branch had made sure the second meeting with
Barrett took place at exactly the same lay-by, and insisted
that neither my CID colleague nor myself question him about
Pat Finucane's murder.

The tapes had been switched to make a liar out of anyone
who alleged that Barrett had confessed. It had almost
worked. I had almost fallen victim again to one of their
dirty tricks.

When Stevens returned to the interview room, his previous
disdain for me was gone.

"Are you telling me that Special Branch have sold me a
pup?" he asked.

He turned to some of his staff and demanded: "Get over to
RUC headquarters and get that original tape."

During a conversation, I told Stevens I hoped he would
deliver change, so that a new generation of detectives
would not suffer the same obstruction I'd suffered from
elements within Special Branch.

He replied: "I have listened to some very senior RUC
officers speak ill of you, Johnston. I listened to them,
but as far as I can see, they are not fit to lace your

This man now knew he was facing the runaround.

Treated like a pariah for doing my duty as cop

I WAS branded a "rat" following my assistance to the
Stevens Inquiry investigation into Pat Finucane's murder.

CID colleagues shunned me and one Special Branch man made a
sinister threat to have guns planted in my home.

When I walked into a room, colleagues simply walked out.
They totally ignored me. They passed me in corridors as if
I was invisible. I was a whistleblower, a rat.

There were notable exceptions. Some decent police officers
who supported me knew the facts. They had taken the trouble
to ask. They understood my reasons for going forward and
had no problems with what I had done.

They told me of malicious rumours being bandied about of
how I had made a number of statements to the Stevens team
incriminating Special Branch and fellow CID officers.

According to those fabricated stories, there was no end to
my treachery. This was nonsense, of course, but there was
nothing I could do to redress it.

I was tired. I was totally disillusioned with it all. I
tried to brave it out, but inside it was eating me up.

On the other hand, Special Branch wasted no time in letting
me know they had nothing to fear from what I had told the
Stevens team.

They were openly hostile towards me, but that was to be
expected. One of them stopped me in a corridor in

"We are duck's ass tight on that Finucane murder, Jonty. We
don't give a f*** about the Stevens team," he said.

I knew that particular officer had quite a lot to fear. I
have often wondered if the Stevens team were ever able to
bring that particular Rottweiler to heel.

Another Special Branch officer, who had a long history of
fighting with me, actually threatened to have guns planted
in the roofspace of my home.

He said that he would send in his "Ninja" men to recover
them. This was his idea of a ploy to totally discredit me.

He told me straight that I could not expect to bad-mouth
Special Branch to a team of English detectives and not
receive payback. His outburst was so filled with venom.

There was no telling how they would come back at me for the
Barrett affair. I feared the worst. Now I had to protect my
family, not only from terrorists . . . but also from
sinister elements within the RUC itself.

Into The Dark: Barrett spilled the beans... and opened up
huge can of worms

By Johnston Brown
23 October 2005

LOYALIST serial killer Ken Barrett sat in his house telling
me he was sick of the UDA and wanted a new life in Canada.

"I've had it, Jonty. I've seen enough," said the senior
Shankill Road UDA man.

"I've seen them with big boxes of money from their drugs
and their racketeering . . . there are no soldiers in it.
It's all a waste of time."

Barrett was offering to work for CID for six-nine months -
to blow the Shankill UDA wide open - before disappearing.

That conversation, on October 1, 1991 was to spark an
incredible chain of events that included:

• Barrett confessing 48 hours later that he had murdered
Pat Finucane in 1989.

• Special Branch blocking my attempts to bring Barrett to

• Special Branch dirty tricks against me.

• Sir John Stevens finally bringing the killer to justice
in 2004.

It had actually begun a short time earlier that evening
when Barrett called me out of the blue at Greencastle CID.

I hadn't recognised the deep voice at the other end of the
line. The voice was chilling. He spoke slowly and

"Save a life, you said, Jonty. You told me to ring you if I
could save a life. Well, I want to save a life. I need to
talk to you," he said.

My interest mounted when the caller revealed his identity.

Ken Barrett was suspected of commanding 'B' company of the
UFF in west Belfast - one of their most vicious units.

My CID colleague, Trevor McIlwrath, and I had interviewed
him many times about terrorist crimes, and each time we
finished by inviting him to ring us if he ever had
information that could save a life.

"Jonty, I'm taking my life in my hands here ringing you.
The only reason I trust you is that the UDA hates you, the
UVF hates you. Look, I even know some peelers who hate you
- you've got to be straight," he said.

"Come up to my house in the Glencairn. I want to 'empty'
these bastards. Come up here on your own, Jonty," he said.

"No problem," I replied. I had no intention of going on my
own. That was not an option.

It was a shock to me that a killer like Barrett should come
forward. I feared an ambush. Trevor and I decided to go
into Glencairn estate backed up by armed Mobile Support
Unit officers.

When Barrett opened the door to Trevor and I at 11.30pm,
two burly uniformed RUC armed with Heckler & Koch
submachine-guns were standing either side of us. Uniformed
officers were crouching nearby and others were covering the
back door.

"We're off to a great start here, Jonty," said Barrett,
glaring at us. "How am I going to explain all this?"

He was not happy, but he invited us inside and began to
talk of his disgust for the UDA.

Barrett claimed he was so well-placed that no operations
were mounted anywhere in Belfast without his knowledge.

He said he was second-in-command to Jim Spence, the
'brigadier' of 1 Battalion UDA/UFF. He was offering to hand
over arms dumps, give details of UFF operations and expose
RUC and UDR officers involved in collusion.

"I'm willing to hand over all I know if the RUC will come
up with a deal," he said.

"How much do you want, Ken?" I asked.

"I was thinking of a grand or so, Jonty. As a token of our
deal, if you know what I mean."

I nearly laughed out loud. Trevor and I could easily scrape
up £100, but he had no chance of getting £1,000. I
explained that CID only paid on results. We were not like
Special Branch, who paid informants monthly retainers.

"No Branch, Jonty. I want nothing to do with them
scumbags," Barrett said.

I explained that we had to involve Special Branch at an
early stage in accordance with our regulations. Barrett
lost it.

"No Branch, Jonty. The back roads of Northern Ireland are
littered with their mistakes."

It was useless to argue with Barrett. Our hands were tied.

Before we left, Barrett said: "It is as simple as this,
Jonty. I have the commodity. You want it. It's a seller's
market at my level because I can ruin the UFF."

Barrett was a despicable, low life thug. I was under no
illusions as to why he was offering his services. He wanted

But I also knew we could exploit his weakness to gain
information that could save lives.

He sat in a police car and confessed to the brutal murder
of Pat Finucane - but Special Branch were not impressed

KEN Barrett's offer to blow the UFF wide open didn't appear
to impress the group of Special Branch officers I was
ordered to brief at Castlereagh.

They behaved like children, going out of their way to let
me know that no one was interested in what Barrett had said
two days earlier.

I looked up from my notes to find them winking and nudging
each other. I hadn't been speaking long when a Special
Branch detective chirped up: "Thanks for that, Jonty. Now,
this is how we handle this."

My partner and I were told Branch officer Sam (not his real
name) was to accompany us to pick up Barrett in a car at
Nutts Corner that night.

"Sam will use a concealed tape recorder to record the
conversations," said the detective.

When we arrived that evening the area was swarming with
undercover police. Nothing could have prepared me for the
debacle that was to follow.

At 8.50pm Barrett opened the back door of our police car
and was seated beside my partner Trevor in a flash. As Sam
drove off towards Nutts Corner roundabout, cars coming
towards us and others parked at the side of the road
flashed their lights.

Barrett twigged exactly what was happening. Sam swung the
car into the first lay-by, and as he switched off the
ignition more headlights flashed from a car parked 300
yards up the main road.

Sam reached for his radiotelephone: "The bird is in the
nest." "Roger," came the reply.

I couldn't believe it. It was almost as if Sam and his
colleagues wanted Barrett to be aware they were Special

"Who are these c****, Jonty?" asked a furious Barrett. "I
spotted at least four police cars and there's another one
up there flashing lights! Say there's three of them boys in
each car, that's five cars and 15 men, plus you three. That
means at least 18 people know I'm here, and how many more?"

"Those people are here as much to protect you as they are
to protect us," I lied.

"And who is he, Jonty?" Barrett asked, pointing to Sam, who
we were pretending was a CID man from HQ in charge of the

"He's a f****** Branch man," an agitated Barrett shouted,
after Sam asked him a series of questions that no CID man
would have asked. Barrett knew that Sam and his watching
colleagues were not CID.

He was not happy, but gradually he began to settle down and
answer our questions. His knowledge of the UDA/UFF was

We sat in that car for two hours. I cannot recall exactly
at what juncture it happened, but he was in full flow when
I decided to ask him who had murdered Pat Finucane?

Barrett's composure left him. The look on his face was one
of shock. I realised I had touched a nerve.

"Hypothetically, me," he said without hesitation. Sam
pushed his knee into mine as if to indicate that I should
say no more. I did not know what his problem was and I
couldn't have cared less.

By now Barrett was reliving that traumatic event. He was
obviously back there in that kitchen, committing the murder
all over again.

He was gloating, boasting of how he had murdered Pat
Finucane. In Barrett's own sinister world, he was a hero.

"I stood right over him, Jonty, straddling him, and I fired
shot after shot into his face."

Barrett looked at me with his scary, cruel eyes. He seemed
to be seeking approval. I think he expected me to
congratulate him. The fact was, he made me feel physically
ill. But I knew better than to let him detect that. Ken
Barrett was the stuff of nightmares.

"Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang," he said, holding his hands
in the shape of a gun. "Them bullets were going into his
f****** head and coming straight back up at me. I heard
them whizzing past my own head. The stone floor in the
kitchen, Jonty. The bullets were going through his face and
into the stone floor and whistling back up again past me.

"I nearly shot myself dead," he said, with a sudden
expression of concern. All I could think, was how could
anyone do such a thing to a fellow human being, let alone
do it in front of screaming and terrified witnesses, like
Pat Finucane's wife and children?

"I'll tell you something else you won't know," Barrett

"I killed that c*** so fast, he was still holding his fork
in his hand," he gloated in a sickening manner.

With facts like these, we would be able to further
incriminate or eliminate Barrett from our murder inquiry.

People had made false confessions before. But, personally,
I was in no doubt that we were sitting in the presence of a
psychopath. I was also totally convinced that this was not
the only murder he'd done.

Barrett also told us the name of the second gunman, and
said the driver was a young lad from Rathcoole on his first
UFF operation.

The problem we had now, was nothing that Barrett had said
to us was admissible in evidence against him. He was not
under caution. It could only be used to corroborate other

But we now had a clear duty to put him in jail for life for
that murder - and our colleagues in Special Branch had a
duty to assist us.

They would. I just knew that they would. This was sheer,
unadulterated murder. We had a clear responsibility to the
deceased and to his wife and family.

I was in for a shock.

After we dropped Barrett off, both Trevor and myself
expressed our intention to put him away.

"No you won't," Sam said. "Move away from it."

"What?" I asked.

"Move away from it," he repeated.

"We (Special Branch) know he done it, Jonty. We know all
about it," he said.

As a killer this man was stuff of nightmares

My CID partner Trevor and I dubbed Ken Barrett "Freddie
Kruger", after the sinister main character in Nightmare On
Elm Street.

Barrett was perhaps the most evil-looking individual it had
ever been my duty to meet in 30 years as a policeman.

The cold-blooded serial killer was small in stature, and
very thin and gaunt. He used his wild, staring eyes to
reinforce points.

It always struck me as odd the way that he would boast
openly of his involvement in horrific crimes, including

It was as if he had done so many times to other RUC men,
who had done nothing about it.

I had my own suspicions as to which branch of the RUC had
been involved.

Fight for justice frustrated... by forces of law and order

KEN Barrett's graphic description of the Finucane murder
fitted perfectly with the facts.

The position of the body, the horrific injuries inflicted,
bullet holes in the house - all matched forensic reports.

But, right from the start, my CID partner and I were
prevented from trying to bring the killer to justice.

On the morning after Barrett's startling confession, Trevor
and I briefed our supervisors. I noted their apparent lack
of enthusiasm for this chance of a lifetime to put a serial
killer in jail.

It was obvious that Special Branch had got to these men
first. We were told we could not meet Barrett again until
six days later, on October 10.

Shortly before that meeting, we were instructed by Special
Branch not to raise the Finucane murder case. We were to
bleed Barrett of every scrap of information about the UFF.
Special Branch had allegedly given senior CID officers the
"bigger picture". My alarm bells never rang louder than
when Branch men used the term "bigger picture".

My experience was that this "bigger picture" phenomenon was
used to protect the Branch and their agents from scrutiny.
No one was allowed to question the propriety of what the
Branch was doing.

I continued to have contact with Barrett. But I had no idea
of the lengths Special Branch would go to stop me asking
any more questions about the murder of Pat Finucane.

In November, 1991 Barrett told me: "Sam (the Special Branch
man) says I'm not to speak to you . . . he hates you,
Jonty. He says you are going to put me in jail for the
Finucane murder."

But Special Branch attempts to shut Barrett's mouth failed
miserably. On March 16, 1991 Barrett told me: "Sam says
they are going to put a serious UFF threat on you and put
the 'mix' in with your bosses to get rid of you . . . them
boys are scary b*******. Sam told me that, from now on, I'm
only to meet Special Branch."

He claimed Sam asked him if he knew if Johnny Adair and Jim
Spence knew where I lived, and where my elderly mother

Barrett was right. Two days later, I was summoned to the
detective inspector's office at Tennent Street where I was
officially informed that a serious threat from the UFF had
been made against me. The threat alleged the UFF were aware
of my address and my mother's address.

Later, a superior officer told me: "The Special Branch want
a meeting at Castlereagh at 2pm today to discuss your
alleged betrayal, Jonty. They say you are dropping the
names of their informants on the Shankill Road."

There was "the mix" Barrett had tipped me off about.

But I had already informed a superior officer of Ken
Barrett's warning.

Our CID regional head was later able to stop Special Branch
in their tracks, telling them that none other than Ken
Barrett had warned me this would happen.

Special Branch were stumped, but quickly concluded there
had been "a clash of personalities at a junior level".

They agreed to remove Sam from the Barrett case in return
for CID removing me.

Into The Dark: Confessions of a terror chief

How big mouth Adair talked himself into jail

By Johnston Brown
23 October 2005

He fought to put terrorist killers like Johnny Adair behind
bars and was the victim of dirty tricks from sinister
elements inside the RUC's Special Branch. Now former top
CID detective Johnston Brown has written a gripping account
of his career. Adapted by Sunday Life's Stephen Gordon from
Into The Dark: 30 Years In The RUC...

GETTING Johnny Adair to talk wasn't a problem for former
top RUC detective Johnston Brown.

"The problem was getting him to shut up!" mused the ex-cop,
whose cunning and bravery led to 'Mad Dog' being caged.

"Once he started, Johnny would just run off at the mouth."

Incredibly, cocky Adair would regularly chat to Det Sgt
Brown about the most recent murderous attacks carried by
his Shankill Road UFF 'C' company gang.

Adair was incriminating himself - and would pay the price
with a 16-year jail sentence for directing terrorism.

But he wasn't the first terrorist to be lured into making a
fool of himself by the wily detective.

In Into the Dark, Brown says: "There are a lot of men who
languished in Ulster's prisons for years because they made
the mistake of trusting me. Men who were responsible for
many of the most heinous crimes in the Troubles. I am proud
of that."

Det Sgt Brown sometimes called at Adair's Boundary Way home
twice a day for a chat and a cup of tea. Sometimes it was
as little as twice a month, depending on how he gauged the
volatile UDA godfather's mood.

He played on Adair's vanity, flattering him about how
successful he was in avoiding arrest. He also conned him
into believing that he was doing him occasional favours.

Brown is particularly pleased with how he tricked Adair
into believing he got his wife Gina off a drink-driving
charge, after the terrorist pleaded for help.

"When I did a check, it turned out that Gina's sample
reading was under the legal limit. But I let on to Adair
that I'd swung it, that I'd got the lab to produce a false
reading. Johnny fell for it hook, line and sinker. He was
very grateful."

Adair became so relaxed in Brown's company that he took the
CID man's presence in his home for granted, although other
UDA men weren't so comfortable.

"One in particular got very agitated," recalled Brown.

"He shouted: 'What's he doing here? Get him out of here.'

"Adair shouted back: 'You get the f*** out, he's more
welcome in here than you are.'"

But Adair was in for a shock.

Brown never wore a microphone to tape any of his
conversations. He wrote up notes afterwards and compared
them with scenes of crime reports from the incidents Adair

Adair had blurted out damning details that only someone
with an intimate knowledge of the operations could have
known. Among the incidents was a UFF takeover of a house in
west Belfast, where the loyalist gang posed as IRA men as
they held a family hostage.

Brown is saving many details of his 'sting' on Adair for
another book solely about that operation.

But in Into The Dark, he tells how putting Mad Dog behind
bars brought terrifying consequences for both him and his
family, as these exclusive extracts reveal.

JOHNNY Adair knew he would be humiliated if I gave evidence
against him in a courtroom packed with UFF men.

The loyalist godfather pleaded guilty in 1995 to a charge
of directing terrorism after I made the second of two
statements, which effectively sealed his fate.

Adair had read enough into those statements to realise I
could demonstrate to the court he had incriminated himself
by running off at the mouth so often that he would look
like a complete fool.

My CID partner, Trevor McIlwrath, and I knew that he was
not afraid of any other aspect of the evidence presented
against him.

He realised by the time I had finished with him, the UFF
wouldn't have given him a job washing dishes.

I was not there on the day he pleaded guilty at Belfast
Crown Court and received a 16-year jail sentence. My bosses
took the view that my presence in the courtroom would cause
a riot.

Adair shouted abuse about me from the dock. He left the
police in no doubt that the "good men" of 'C' company would
"deal with me".

I was under no illusion as to what exactly he meant by
that. Adair's tendency to hold a grudge until he could get
his own back was legendary. But it was 1995, and Adair had
just begun a long sentence. I was due to retire in April

I thought I would be long gone and forgotten before he ever
became a threat to me again. How wrong I was.

I had not bargained on the Good Friday Agreement, which led
to the release of Johnny Adair and hundreds of prisoners
like him from both sides of the political divide.

When Adair was released in 1999, he immediately set about
regrouping his old 'C' company. But he had no war to go
back to.

He couldn't use his men to launch attacks upon Catholics in
the same way as he had done before his incarceration.

So, he turned his interests to drug dealing and

Sources reported his criminal activities to us on a regular
basis. Then he broke the golden rule and started to use the
drugs he was peddling. He became paranoid. He trusted no-

He rounded on his former friends and associates, and turned
them out of the Shankill.

I knew that it was only a matter of time before he came
after me.

Our sources within his group told us of his intentions to
carry out an attack on my home, which he knew was protected
by sophisticated security measures.

One very highly placed source reported to a senior police
officer that Adair couldn't get to sleep for trying to
think up another scheme to get back at me. To add to my
personal difficulty, the political climate at the time
virtually forbade us from arresting and questioning him in
relation to our intelligence in a manner that would have
been normal prior to the Good Friday Agreement.

To arrest Adair was to risk alienating the UDA, and the
demand for political stability now far outweighed the
threat of my death at the hands of this moron.

There was also the in-fighting. The Special Branch had
deliberately withdrawn any assistance their agents could
provide to protect me from the UFF.

Their sources were telling my sources of Adair's plot to
attack me.

Yet, up to my retirement, no formally documented threats to
my life came to me from the Special Branch, after my
assistance to the Stevens Inquiry into the murder of
solicitor Pat Finucane.

This saddened me, but it did not surprise me.

In fact, I had good reason to believe that some of the more
sinister elements in Special Branch were engaged in winding
the UFF in 'C' company up and spinning them in my

This was putting my life and the lives of my wife and
children in danger.

Sick UFF plot to kidnap my teenage son

JOHNNY Adair plotted to kidnap and kneecap one of my
teenage sons in revenge for my role in putting him behind

Ever since Adair's conviction in 1995, my wife Rebecca and
I had lived under constant threat of an attack by the UFF.

But it was the information I received from CID sources in
January 2000 that made me feel more vulnerable than I ever
felt before in 30 years as an officer.

The sources revealed Adair had contemplated sending his
cronies to our village in Ballyrobert to seize one of my
sons. Adair's intention was to have the child tied to a
lamppost, kneecapped, and with a placard with 'Drug Dealer'
written on it hanging around his neck.

He had told one of his very close associates: "That'll put
Jonty's head up his backside."

He was right.

I had never felt as vulnerable as I did when I realised
that I would have to watch my children every minute of the
waking day.

This put an incredible burden on both Rebecca and myself.

It also meant that we had to sit our young boys down and
explain graphically to them why they would have to be on
constant alert for strangers on foot or in cars.

They were not to open the front door to anyone - not even
to a policeman or a cleric.

Adair's men had used both of these ploys to gain access to
the homes of other targets.

At the time of these threats, Adam was 15 and Simon was 13
years old.

No child should have to live in the shadow of such terror.


The IRA's Intelligence-Gathering Branch Hasn't Gone Away,
You Know

The IMC's observation tallies with that of members of the
Garda Siochana who have informed the Minister for Justice,
Michael McDowell, that the old IRA intelligence branch was
stood down last year and replaced with a new network which
includes members in almost every Sinn Fein cumann
throughout Ireland. The role of these agents is to dig up
any scandal or corruption involving members of Fianna Fail,
Fine Gael or Labour. The intelligence is funnelled into a
central group which decides how the information can be used
as black propaganda against the main parties prior to
forthcoming elections.

One such dirty-tricks operation involving the IRA in
support of Sinn Fein was identified in the British general
election in May when a British government political
intelligence document arising from a conversation between
the SDLP's Eddie McGrady and a senior Northern Ireland
Office official was leaked to newspapers.

The document was stolen by the IRA during the operation of
its spy ring at Stormont over the period when Sinn Fein was
in government in the North. Details from the document, in
which Mr McGrady is critical of John Hume's leadership of
the SDLP, were published within two weeks of the elections.
The attempt to smear the long-standing South Down MP
backfired however and he increased his vote and retained
his Parliamentary seat with an 8,000 vote majority over
Sinn Fein.

It is understood that the IMC was aware of the use of the
document as an attempt to blacken the reputation of one of
the strongest SDLP candidates in a constituency that Sinn
Fein was desperate to win. The reference to the "political"
function of the IRA's intelligence gathering is a reference
to this.

Gardai have noticed in the past two years that former IRA
members have become attached to Sinn Fein cumann in
selected constituencies in the Republic where Sinn Fein is
hopeful of making gains. As well as ordinary and perfectly
legal electoral register work the IRA figures are also
known to be gathering "political" intelligence on opponents
in other parts. In one constituency where such an operation
has been underway two long-serving SF members who objected
to these activities were beaten up and expelled from the

The general observations by the IMC that the IRA has become
inactive militarily also tallies with the view of the
gardaI. It is the view of both the Garda Siochana and PSNI
that the IRA has finally stopped gathering intelligence on
members of the security forces, judiciary and senior
government officials in the North, something it had been
doing up until the start of this year.

The major act of arms decommissioning and the IRA's July
"stand down" statement are recognised by the IMC - again
tallying with the views of gardai - that the organisation
has given up on the idea of "military" action for at least
the near future. Senior gardai believe the IRA was
effectively backed into a corner this year following the
murder of Robert McCartney and the Northern Bank robbery.
The negative reaction to Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein,
particularly in Washington, is said to have convinced the
Sinn Fein leader that the IRA was becoming a major

In order to place distance between himself and the IRA,
Adams actually stepped aside from the "Army Council" even
though he is still believed to control the organisation
through his nominees on the seven-man leadership council.

Although the IMC report does not directly link the IRA
leadership to criminality, it points out that "vast" sums
of money are being made from fuel smuggling in Borderareas
where the IRA has a hand in, or controls, all illegal

The report states: "There is evidence of methods of
marketing, distributing and selling which are highly
developed. The criminals are flexible and resilient. Some
operations involve vast sums of money and the services of
skilled lawyers and accountants."

The IMC is now understood to be concentrating its
attentions on the involvement of the IRA and other
terrorist organisations in criminality. In relation to the
highly sophisticated and extensive fuel smuggling the IMC
has recommended that both governments introduce far tighter
licensing controls on fuel outlets. They point out that
although a third of all petrol stations in the North are
suspected of selling illicit diesel, only one station
operator has had his licence revoked in the past five

The IMC warns that the growth of criminality involving
either serving or ex-terrorists is one of the biggest
destabilising factors in the North. "We have concluded that
because of this paramilitary involvement, organised crime
is the biggest long-term threat to the rule of law in
Northern Ireland."

It also points the fact that though all the terrorist
groups are officially on ceasefire, they continue to
control the communities where they exist.

"Paramilitaries sometimes use violence within those
communities, sometimes threats and intimidation. Other
crimes in those areas can provide them with lucrative
outlets for illicit goods which they have stolen,
counterfeited or smuggled. Activities of this kind go hand-
in-hand with unofficial forms of control and in some areas
with rejection by some in the community of official organs
of the State," the report says.

It adds that these activities "involve the exercise of
power over and exploitation of the very communities which
the paramilitaries say they protect and from which they
draw support. Thus paramilitaries make victims of those
they claim as their own for example by participating in
organised crime and in so doing inhibit the social and
economic development of those very communities. In this
they perpetrate a vast and damaging confidence trick and
have an impact which runs directly counter to this own

The other major issue in the IMC report involves the
"exiling" of people from areas controlled by terrorist
organisations. This issue is believed to be central to
negotiations between both governments and the republican
leadership with the governments seeking to have the IRA
issue a statement saying that anyone 'The general
observations by the IMC that the IRA has become inactive
militarily also tallies with the view of the gardai.'

forced out of their homes and even from Northern Ireland by
the IRA is safe to return and will be unharmed. Hundreds of
people, mostly young men, have been forced to move away
from their home areas by the IRA and it is expected that
their safe return will become part of any deal which allows
the remaining "on the run" IRA people to be allowed back to
live in the North.

The IMC report is highly critical of the other terrorist
organisations stating that the Irish National Liberation
Army is heavily involved in drug trafficking and other
forms of crime as are the loyalist UDA and the UVF.

The IMC held back from stating that the IRA was responsible
as an organisation for the murder of Joseph Rafferty in
Dublin in April, though it agrees with the garda view that
he was murdered by an IRA man who has worked for Sinn Fein.

Jim Cusack


£300k Cost To Move McCartneys To Safety

Alan Murray

TAXPAYERS in Britain had to pay out over £300,000 to
rehouse members of the McCartney family because of
continuing intimidation by Sinn Fein and IRA members.

Just days before Tony Blair restored Sinn Fein's £120,000
Westminster allowances, members of the McCartney family
were offered newaccommodation in Belfast by the Northern
Ireland Housing Executive.

Both Paula McCartney and Robert McCartney's partner
Bridgeen Hagans have been offered new homes in the greater
Belfast area because of the continuing threats.

Paula is the last of the four McCartney sisters to leave
the Short Strand area where their family ties date back 100

Paula McCartney yesterday moved to her new home with her
family but Bridgeen Hagans won't be moving to her new home
until her five-year-old son Conlaed is released from
hospital after he broke his thigh bone in a fall.

The two properties bought by the Housing Executive are
slightly above the average Belfast property price because
of the exceptional nature of the family's circumstances.

It's understood that the Executive has purchased two
properties costing around £160,000 each to provide safe
accommodation for Paula McCartney and Bridgeen Hagans.

One source familiar with the arrangements said, "It's a bit
above the average £115,000 Northern Ireland house cost but
these are two exceptional cases where special arrangements
had to be made. To rehouse in a nationalist area of Belfast
beside or near hardline republican elements would not have
been useful in the long term so the net had to be cast
wider to acquire suitable accommodation in a safe
environment for Paula and her family and for Bridgeen and
her children."

It was felt that neither Paula or Bridgeen could be
rehoused in a nationalist area close to hardline
republicans because of the ongoing threat to the family.

Robert McCartney was brutally murdered by IRA members in
January outside a city centre pub. Since then Bridgeen and
Paula McCartney have been subjected to an intolerable hate
campaign from IRA and Sinn Fein supporters because of their
continuing quest for Robert's killers to be brought to

On Wednesday, Tony Blair confirmed in the House of Commons
that Sinn Fein's annual parliamentary allowance of £120,000
would be restored, prompting anger from Ian Paisley.

Representatives from the family had a meeting on Wednesday
with the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan to discuss the
progress of the police investigation into the McCartney
murder but emerged disappointed.

Catherine McCartney said it appeared from the update given
by the Ombudsman that Sinn Fein supporters who had been in
Magennis's Bar on the evening Robert was murdered have
provided information of little value for the PSNI

"As far as we understand the situation, little useful
information has been provided by the five Sinn Fein members
who were in the bar and who we think witnessed significant
developments in the assault on Robert. Little by way of
useful evidence was provided via the Ombudsman so again we
find that Sinn Fein's public words are at considerable
variance to what their members say and do in private," she

Robert McCartney's best friend Geoff Commander has now been
formally warned by the Police Service of Northern Ireland
that the "Provisional IRA" intends to attack him if he
gives evidence against men charged in connection with an
assault on him in the Short Strand area in September.

The International Monitoring Commission's latest report
published on Wednesday confirmed continuing IRA activity
including an assault on one of its own members after July
28 statement it made pledging to end all paramilitary
activity. The report also revealed that the IRA's
"intelligence-gathering" arm continues to function but is
redirecting its "focus" to become "more political".


'It's A Great Job, They're Great People, It Is A Great

PETER HAIN, South African-born sports lover, was looked
upon as an enfant terrible by the rugby and cricket
establishments when, as a 19-year-old student, he led the
anti-apartheid demonstrations in Britain that led to the
banishment of his native country from test cricket and
international rugby for many years.

Hain knew that sport was a powerful medium for getting
world attention for his crusade. In fact, Nelson Mandela
told him, many years later, that the warders in Robin
Island, men with a deep interest in sport, had kept him
fully informed of Hain's campaign.

Thirty five years later, Hain, at 55, is an urbane
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, so not for the
first time has a radical stormy petrel of the university
campus become a smooth symbol of the political

I met him in the British Embassy in Dublin last week within
hours of the issuing of the seventh IMC Report.

"It's encouraging," he said, "They have reported
significant progress and they covered about four weeks
following the July 28 statement. So we are going in the
right direction . . ."

Was he talking specifically about decommissioning, or about
other related aspects, I asked?

"I am talking about the promise the IRA made to abandon
paramilitary and criminal activity on July 28. The
suspicion was, especially amongst unionists, but also
generally, that they mightn't actually deliver.

"We all know it was an absolutely historic statement, but
would it actually be delivered on the ground? So far, so
good. The evidence is very clear that they are shutting up

"That will take a bit of time to bed down but let's hope
that trend is maintained so that the IMC, which is due to
make its next report in January, is able to survey the
whole period from the point of view of the continued
closing down of those operations rather than any revival of
this seedy and violent activity.

"It means not just the covert paramilitary activity but
also the intelligence-gathering and targeting, punishment
beatings, the exiling, criminal activity, everything. I
mean, there has been a dramatic change in this period and
they have delivered on their word so far, in my view.
Everybody knows that the IRA in the past promised a lot and
delivered a little. This time, it seems to be different.

"The IMC Report shows the odd incident but it's very
isolated and exceptional. There is really not much more
than that going on."

I asked him whether it was rational to expect the IRA to
give up its very last weapon when loyalists are still
armed, and I recalled the attacks on Catholic areas of
Belfast in August, 1969, when the people in the Ardoyne and
elsewhere felt unprotected and, in fact, welcomed the
British Army's arrival.

"The difference is that you now have a police service for
Northern Ireland which demonstrated absolutely conclusively
in mid-September in the Whiterock riots that it will defend
Catholic areas from loyalist paramilitaries who were trying
to have their violence spill over in order to entice a

"The PSNI actually stood like a wall to prevent that
happening, and I think if republicans had any doubt about
the police performing their role in protecting citizens
equally from attack wherever they come from, they would
have been proven wrong in mid-September."

So what's going to happen with loyalist weapons?

"They must recognise that the game is up. Does the IRA
recognise that you can't, in the modern era, get what you
want by the bullet and the bomb? You have put yourself on a
political trajectory and engage in politics. That old style
of terrorism doesn't work.

"In fact, it was only since the IRA stopped the bombing
that it has made political progress. I think the loyalists
would do well to learn from that. The sooner they disarm
and decommission, the sooner ministerial doors will be wide
open to political discussions.

"I would like to find out what their forward agenda is. I
haven't seen any signs of a forward agenda, I have seen
lots of signs of an absolute stockpile of grievances, many
of which are understandable. They have my sympathy in some
respects, but I think that it is very important that the
mindset within the loyalist, and to a large extent the
unionist, communities changes. There ought to be a forward
agenda about building a new Northern Ireland."

I asked him if there had been progress towards the
acceptance by Sinn Fein of the new police force?

"They would be very far from that," he replied, "There was
a process of dialogue between Sinn Fein representatives and
police officers around the parades in the summer. But there
is a long way to go.

"For example, we still have a situation where the police
near Newry organise a summer football tournament for
youngsters to get them off the streets and for them to have
'I have only ever wanted to be in politics to make a
difference, you know, to do something rather than to be

an activity. They wanted to put up a couple of portaloos.

"Sinn Fein Councillors actually blocked that because it was
a police event. This is absolutely ridiculous and brings
tremendous discredit to Sinn Fein. Despite the fact of the
IRA's historic statement, within a matter of weeks you get
this kind of behaviour."

When I asked him about the grievances, historic and
contemporary, that are harboured on both sides in Northern
Ireland, Mr Hain replied: "Northern Ireland is now a fully
democratic society with laws and practices and watchdogs to
root out discrimination and all of the injustices felt to
be there in the past. There is no justification at all for
intimidation or violence. It is rapidly becoming,
especially in loyalist areas, gangsterism in the name of an

"I think that, while I understand the anger in loyalist
communities about, say, Sean Kelly's release, or what they
see as undue haste over taking down watchtowers, even
though the watchtowers have no useful function at all.

"I think that for many working-class Protestant
communities, there has been a sense of cumulative shock.
The days of the automatic ticket into a job in the local
factory after leaving school at 14 or 15, or into the
police force, or into the public services or into very many
other areas of life which Protestants occupied almost
exclusively, those days are over. Therefore, life is much

"You know, as Northern Ireland is normalised, life has got
tougher in the way that it is in deprived communities in
Britain. If you don't have skills or you don't have
ambition, you aren't going to make your way in the world.

"The only future for Northern Ireland is to be the best. To
have the best schools, to have the largest ambition,
because if you settle for second best, you stay second
best. If I were any parent in the Shankill area, I would be
thinking, what sort of world is my child going to grow up

"Forget about whether I feel absolute affinity with
Catholic youngsters. Forget about all of that, just think
about what they are going to do when the juggernauts from
India and China, especially, run over our economies.

"The only way you will be prepared for that is to go down
the high-skill, high-tech route. To do that you have got to
set your sights high. I think we can get there and Northern
Ireland has done fantastically well these last years since
the Good Friday Agreement, but can do a hell of a lot

"What is interesting in Northern Ireland today is that
where trouble and strife and sectarianism and intimidation
used to be widespread, it is now confined to very, very few
areas. Life, on the whole is pretty good for most people."

Assuming that the process of normalisation went on, what
did he see as the next step?

"A lot depends on the IMC Report in January. I have no way
of knowing what it will say, as it is an independent
report. While the first three months have been pretty good
so far in that the IRA's promise has been kept, we know
from the past, who knows what might come about in the next
three months?

'BUT, if the picture is good, I would really think that
there is no real reason why all of the political parties
can't step on the road to the future."

I put it to Mr Hain that, even as political progress
continued, sectarian hatred between the communities would

He replied: "Northern Ireland beat England in football on a
Wednesday night, a fantastic night of celebration in the
city of Belfast, totally peaceful, as I recall. People had
a few drinks but it was a nice, peaceful celebration for
Northern Ireland. Football is mainly supported by
Protestants but this was cross-community actually.

"Three days later, on the Saturday, we get these awful ugly
riots. What struck me watching the police videos, some of
which have not been made public for reasons of evidence in
court, was the frightening venom with which loyalist
paramilitaries were firing on the Queen's police.

"These are people who claim to be loyal to the Queen and
yet they are trying to kill the Queen's police officers. Or
Orangemen, admittedly a minority, taking off their
collarettes and just hurling any rock they can get their
hands on and trying to smash the heads of police officers.

"Again, what is the Orange Order, if it is not loyalty to
the Crown? These are police officers acting on behalf of
the Crown. It is a kind of Alice in Wonderland inversion of
reality and we have to get people out of that."

Does he like the Northern Ireland job?

"Oh yes, it's a great job. They're great people, it's a
great place and I think it's got a great future. I have
only ever wanted to be in politics to make a difference,
you know, to do something rather than to be something. Over
the years, I have been in a number of places where I have
been able to do that. The day I stop being able to do that
I will get out."

Aengus Fanning


Lucky To Be Alive After Mob Attack

By Stephen Breen
23 October 2005

THIS is the Protestant teenager who was left for DEAD when
he was abandoned in a republican stronghold - by HIS OWN
taxi driver.

Stephen Donaghy, from Blacks Road, in west Belfast,
suffered serious injuries, after he and a pal were set upon
by a 30-strong mob on the Andersonstown Road, early

Although his friend managed to escape, Stephen was knocked
unconscious, after he was repeatedly kicked and punched on
the head.

The thugs also hurled full beercans at the two pals.

Said Stephen: "I can't believe this has happened to me.

"I had just dropped off two Catholic friends of mine, and
thought I was on my way home.

"I knew something was funny when the taxi driver asked
where we were from, and then made excuses about having to
meet his brother for something.

"The next thing, he stopped the car outside a chippy,
grabbed a baseball bat, opened the door and started calling
us Orange b******s. He knew the crowd were waiting for us,
and we had no other option but to get out of the car. The
next thing I remember is the punches and kicks flying in on
my head.

"I am still in a daze about the whole thing."

Stephen was sharing a taxi with three friends before two
were dropped off on the Glen Road.

But, when he was on his way home, the taxi driver started
quizzing him, before suddenly stopping in the hardline
republican area.

Stephen was rescued by two passersby and was rushed to the
Royal Victoria Hospital, where his condition was last night
described as "stable".

He is now waiting to see a specialist over fears that his
right eye may be permanently damaged.

But, he believes that he is very lucky to be alive.

Added Stephen: "I tried to get away, but they kept kicking
and punching me.

"The next thing I remember is waking up, and these two
fellas helping me - I probably owe them my life.

"I can't see out my of my right eye and I just hope I won't
be blinded by the attack.

"The mob were like animals - they were determined to kill

"I've no doubt the taxi driver knew that, by dropping us
off, we could have ended up being killed. I have no
interest in religion and was just out to enjoy myself.

"I have never been in a situation like this before, and it
is one I never want to experience again."

The taxi driver was believed to be driving a red-coloured
car, and police at Woodbourne have appealed for

Said a spokesman: "Police at Woodbourne did move a crowd on
in the Andersonstown Road area on Saturday morning, and
would appeal for anyone with information on this attack to
come forward.


Repeal Anti-Catholic Section Of Act Of Settlement 1701

Some answers and explanations

Fr. Sean Mc Manus • 22 October 2005

The Irish National Caucus campaign to force the British
Government and the Queen of England to repeal the sectarian
and anti-Catholic section of The Act of Settlement, 1701,
has evoked a considerable response. (To remind our readers:
that provision mandates that the heir to the British Crown
must be Protestant and that if he/she becomes Catholic, or
marries a Catholic, then he/she must forfeit the Throne,
and -- I kid you not -- "the people are absolved of their
allegiance". So if the universally esteemed Queen Elizabeth
II felt conscience-bound to convert to Catholicism, she
would have to renounce the Throne. And, yes, that's right,
we are speaking of today, 2005, not 1701).

The reactions to our campaign can be broken into three

Irish-Americans sympathetic to equality, justice and peace
in Ireland;

Supporters of the sectarian and anti-Catholic provision;

Those who want to dismiss the whole issue as irrelevant.

Irish-Americans sympathetic to equality, justice and peace
in Ireland

Some Irish-Americans are amazed that such a law still
exists in modern British society (many, of course, know of
it as the Irish National Caucus first launched its campaign
about this way back in 1980). But the reaction of some, at
first, is to laugh at the silliness of such a law, until
they reflect that it would be similar to the US
Constitution having a provision to outlaw an African-
American becoming president or marrying a Black person.
And, if the president were to marry a Black person, his/her
election would be declared null and void by the

And then they realize just how much such a racist law would
have fanned the fires of white racism in the United States,
providing justification and affirmation to White racists,
segregationists, the White Citizens Councils and the Ku
Klux Klan? (*See note blow on the KKK). Now, never mind the
non sequitur that some have raised, namely, that in fact it
would have been -- granting the attitude and the
demographics -- impossible in the past for a Black person
to have become president, anyway. That is not the point.
The point is that it would have been absolutely abhorrent
to have such a racist provision in the Constitution -- and
only the whacko and racist American would defend it.

Supporters of the sectarian and anti-Catholic provision

(a) Some have raised the issue of Ne Temere, the Papal
Decree of 1908. Here it should be pointed out that there
has been a change in Catholic teaching, which I greatly
welcome: "Although Catholics in a mixed or interfaith
marriage must still promise to do all they can to raise the
children Catholic, non-Catholics are no longer required to
make such a promise" (Marriage. Encyclopedia of
Catholicism, Harper Collins, New York. 1995, page 828).

But even if that section of Ne Temere were still in force
it is simply not comparable to the sectarian and anti-
Catholic provision in the Act of Settlement. Church law in
a secular society, to state the obvious, is not the law of
the land. So, for example, if Catholic President John F.
Kennedy had divorced and remarried a Protestant, he would
not have been able to receive Holy Communion at Mass, but
he would not -- for goodness sake -- have been forced to
resign the Presidency. Church law is hugely different from
a country's Constitution.

(b) Some have raised the issue that the Queen is not only
head of State, but also head of the Church of England.
Well, for starters, that is simply another reason why
Church and State should be separate, as in America. That
was one of the great ideas of the Founding Fathers, who
were aware from their knowledge of the English system how
discriminatory and sectarian the concept and practice of an
Established Church is.

Those who want to dismiss the whole issue as irrelevant

(a) No part of a "constitution" can be considered
irrelevant. (I realize the British do not have a written
Constitution, which further means all rights can be
suspended). But if the anti-Catholic provision of the Act
of Settlement is irrelevant why not change it? Why oppose
change? And if it is not relevant, why is the Guardian
Newspaper leading a campaign to repeal the sectarian and
anti-Catholic provision and why is it supported by the
Attorney General of England, 72 MPs and 35 peers, Cardinal
Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of England, Cardinal O'Brien of

The sectarian anti-Catholic provision in the Act of
Settlement may not mean much to the average
Englishman/woman in the street, but it has always been of
great importance to the extreme
Protestants/unionists/Orangemen of Northern Ireland.

This provision provides the "theological", philosophical,
political and cultural "justification" for their belief
that Catholics should not be treated as equals. For you
see, if the very top law in England, the Queen's own law,
says Catholics can be discriminated against, then it's okay
to discriminate against them in Northern Ireland. That's
the deadly logic.

Dr Paisley, for instance, is on record of stressing that
his allegiance is not just to the British monarch but also
to "Protestant succession to the British throne".

Furthermore, back in 1980 -- before Prince Charles married
Princess Diana -- there was speculation that he might marry
a Catholic. So a Protestant/Unionist/Orange delegation was
promptly dispatched from Northern Ireland to London to ward
off this calamitous possibility. The Washington Star
explained it in the following way:

"The row broke out over the week-end when militant
Protestants demanded that Prince Charles be barred from
succeeding Queen Elizabeth as sovereign if he marries a
Roman Catholic. The Protestants said they had raised the
matter with the government and insisted that Prime Minister
Margaret Thatcher promised them that Charles will have to
renounce his right to the throne if he marries Marie-Astrid
or any other Catholic. We pointed out that we were most
anxious that only a Protestant would succeed and Mr. Atkins
(then secretary of state for Northern Ireland) gave us a
guarantee that the present government would never revoke
the Act of Settlement - which would mean a constitutional
change in Parliament to allow a Catholic to become either
Queen or King." ('Protestants object to Charles ruling with
Catholic wife'. Washington Star, Monday July 7 1980).

A Call to all True Protestants

The tragedy of all this is that true Protestantism is
supposed to stand for freedom of religion, freedom of
conscience and freedom of thought. I believe the
Unionist/Orange extremists of Northern Ireland need a good
dose of true Protestantism -- as, indeed, I believe every
good Catholic needs a good dose of true Protestantism.
"Here I stand, I can do no other," as Martin Luther put it.
These ecumenical sentiments are particularly apt as
Reformation Sunday (the Sunday nearest October 31) is
Sunday, October 30, 2005.

Cicero once said: "Fundamentum iustitiae est fides" (the
foundation of justice is good faith). I call on all good
Protestants to show their good faith and join the Irish
National Caucus in calling for the abolition of the
sectarian and anti-Catholic section of the Act of

But remember, the buck stops with the British Government
and the Queen of England -- it was not the Orangemen who
passed the Act of Settlement, 1701.

LBJ's words of Wisdom

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the
Voting Rights Act (which, coupled with the Civil Rights Act
1964, did for African-Americans, morally speaking, what the
Good Friday Agreement did for Catholics in Northern
Ireland). To his fellow southerners, the president made a
memorable plea, which to some degree is applicable to the
Protestants/Unionists/Orangemen of Northern Ireland
(although I know it has been said that "every parallel
limps," and that "all comparisons are odious"):

"It is difficult to fight for freedom. But I also know how
difficult it can be to bend long years of habit and custom
to grant it. There is no room for injustice anywhere in the
American mansion. But there is always room for
understanding toward those who see the old ways crumbling.
And to them today I say simply this: It must come. It is
right that it should come. And when it has, you will find
that a burden has been lifted from your shoulders too. It
is not just a question of guilt, although there is that. It
is that men cannot live with a lie and not be stained by

Let us all commit us to nonviolence, equality, justice and
peace. Let us work for justice and pray for peace in
Ireland. God bless America and God save Ireland.

* Note on Ku Klux Klan (KKK). It is important, here, to
remember that the three targets of the KKK are: Catholics,
Jews and Blacks. "The modern Klan was revived in Atlanta,
on October 16, 1915, by William J. Simmons. By the
beginning of 1921, anti-Catholicism had emerged as the most
effective rallying cry." (Anti-Catholicism in America: the
last acceptable prejudice", Mark S. Massa, S.J., The
Crossroad Publishing Company. New York. 2003). Noted
historian Arthur Schlesinger has termed anti-Catholicism as
"the deepest bias in the history of the American people".


Straight Talking: Ssshh... It's Safe

By Linda Gilby

23 October 2005

THE image is a strange one. It brings to my mind a shy and
modest teenage girl, with eyes downcast, desperately hoping
that she isn't going to be the wallflower at the party.

Never realised that the largest, strongest and most
successful unionist/loyalist party in the province was so
bashful and hesitant.

Last week, the DUP again insisted that there wasn't a
snowball's chance of them returning to devolved government
unless Westminster toed their line, and implemented their
agenda of 'confidence-building' measures.

The DUP isn't confident? Just run that by me again.

It doesn't, then, inspire them with confidence that, clause
three having been removed from the Irish Republic's
Constitution means that the Union is safe on paper, as well
as in reality?

And they are not doing a tap dance or throwing their
collective bonnet over the windmill, knowing that a 'vast
quantity' of IRA arms and ammunition has now been put
beyond use?

They are not crowing victory that in the short-lived
periods, when the assembly was up-and-running, prominent
republicans had been pushed into the position of
participating in a hated British government?

Well, one can, I suppose, understand it. These were all
benefits of the Good Friday Agreement, the negotiations for
which, as we recall, the DUP boycotted somewhat sniffily.

More recently, why are they not applauding Baroness May
Blood's contention that pound-for-pound, depressed
Protestant areas were receiving just as much in government
and EU grant-aid as depressed Catholic ones?

In fact, statistics not only back up Baroness Blood's
contention, they exceed it. Protestant areas are receiving
MORE in grant-aid than Catholic areas.

The problem lies, of course, in the incompetent way that
the UUP failed to sell the Good Friday Agreement to
Protestant punters.

It failed to crow victory to a constituency, which then
interpreted the victory as defeat.

The UUP were just too damned gentlemanly about the whole
affair, and you may be sure that the DUP is not about to
rectify their omission.

It's time for 'grey power'

COULD it be that we have finally got the message? Have we
now begin to make love, rather than war?

Afraid not. Apparently, the fact that Northern Ireland's
population is projected to jump by more than 100,000 in the
next 15 years, will not be down to an increase in the

Rather, it will be the result of old farts like me
contriving to live longer.

Those of us who are 45 and over will soon outnumber the
amount of children under 16.

It is often said that the young are our future. Wrong. In
this case, the old are our future. If we hang on by our
fingernails for another 15 years, we will be in a position
of immense power, if only we choose to exercise it.

We are the folk who have seen the Troubles from start,
around 36 years ago. We have seen so many patterns repeat

We have seen, in spades, the full panoply of the appalling
things that citizens of Northern Ireland are capable of
visiting upon one another.

And the most important thing about us is that we all have
the vote.

So, why do we not begin soon to give the present local
political encumbrance the benefit of our experience, and
demand that they stop piddling about and get this business


Opin: Sinn Fein Need To Practise In Stormont Before Foray
Into Dail

By Barry White
22 October 2005

I REMEMBER writing a piece a few years ago saying, only
partly in jest, that Sinn Fein was becoming such a
successful political outfit that it would save a lot of
time and anguish to let them have what they want now rather
than wait for governments to give it to them, in easy

I argued that they should be allowed to keep their places
in the Assembly Executive, regardless of what the IRA was
up to, and we'd see how they'd run their Departments, prior
to letting them do the same job in the Republic. (We know
they're far more interested in taking over the Government
of the south than the north, but they would need some
experience here.)

They'd have to work to tight budgets and we'd see how they
sorted out the messy finances of education and health.
These were the highest spending Departments of the old
Executive, you'll remember, given to them by the unionist

But no, the IRA broke too many rules, like dragging their
heels on decommissioning, for even the British and Irish
Governments not to complain. Their break-in at Castlereagh
and their spying operation at Stormont could not be ignored
- though they've been quietly put on the shelf - and Sinn
Fein were in the bad books.

It was obvious, even then, that they were so good at the
political game - always ready with a sound-bite, especially
when the loyalists were shooting themselves and others in
the feet - that they would soon be back in contention. As
long as they were collecting votes and had a potential
"army" behind them, they were unstoppable.

Therefore, I wrote, why try to stop them? Why not let them
have their way, at least in the north, and see how
socialist and revolutionary they are? What would they do,
when there wasn't enough money to keep all the hospitals
and the three separate school systems going? Let them
suffer, like real politicians.

Well, here we are now and the Government is as anxious as
ever to keep them in the political fold, handing out
goodies and always underestimating the constitutional
question. As long as there is the remotest chance of
reviving the Assembly, there is nothing Tony Blair won't do
for either Sinn Fein or the trouble-makers in loyalism.

The IRA's robbing banks and investing in property? Never
mind, give Sinn Fein their Assembly and parliamentary
allowances back, even if they just use Westminster for PR

The loyalists are revolting and shooting at the police?
Must keep their political advisers going _ and throw in
more money to repair the damage, trying to keep it away
from the wreckers.

You see what I mean? The republicans always bounce back,
whatever they do - remember they were offering to shoot
some of their own after the Robert McCartney murder - and
Gerry and Co. end up in Downing Street, the Taoiseach's
office, the White House or, now, the South African

That's where political acumen and manipulation gets you,
and I'm tempted, again, to wish that the opposition would
capitulate and let Sinn Fein show us what they're made of,
in the Assembly and Executive.

Most of their efforts would be directed at uniting Ireland,
but in the divided society they've helped to create, they'd
have to look after unionists, too. And take responsibility.

It won't happen, of course, for as long as Ian Paisley is
around, but meanwhile we'll carry on complaining about
government appeasement, unionist ineptness and republican
savvy, while Peter Hain takes an axe to our over-governed
province, adding taxes and passing laws that an Assembly
could never agree upon. There are no easy options, but
that's living in Northern Ireland.


A Rock Pillar Gives Bush A Good Rap

By Nina J. Easton, Globe Staff October 23, 2005

George W. Bush, wracked by low approval ratings and a
rebellion among other conservatives, can count among his
remaining friends one of the world's biggest rock stars,
U2's Bono.

After a friendly meeting last week with the president, Bono
hosted his secretary of state at an arena concert, where he
effusively lauded Condi Rice and her Oval Office boss for
their work on AIDS in Africa. Bono has worked closely with
Bush officials in pursuing his global campaign against

The rock star was painstakingly bipartisan, adding
Democratic Senate Whip Dick Durbin and House Minority
Leader Nancy Pelosi to his hymns of praise, and throwing a
bone to anti-Bushies in the audience by proclaiming that we
shouldn't ''become monsters" in our fight ''against

But Bono's kind words for the White House were notable
because many entertainers are notoriously vocal about their
disdain for Bush & Co., which can make for some awkward
moments in DC nightlife. At a 2003 concert, Bruce
Springsteen called for the impeachment of Dick Cheney,
apparently unaware that vice presidential daughter Mary
Cheney was in the audience.

At Thursday night's U2 concert, Rice, enjoying one of the
best seats in the house, left less than halfway through the
concert because she had an early morning flight to Alabama.
Ironically, she slipped out during ''Sunday, Bloody
Sunday," the antiterror anthem written to lament IRA
bloodshed in Northern Ireland but which Bono dedicated to
America saying, ''This is your song now."

Not so Pelosi, who was attending a U2 concert for a second
night in a row. ''She's a huge fan," said spokeswoman
Jennifer Crider, who noted that the Californian Democrat
attended two earlier concerts in San Jose.

Rove on Rove: Time for some spin

As Karl Rove awaits word on whether an indictment is
heading his way in the special prosecutor's investigation
into the leak of a CIA agent's identity, a new poll shows
that his own public standing could use some of that
legendary Rove massaging.

Of the respondents who knew enough about the Bush political
adviser to have an opinion, only 16 percent viewed Rove
favorably, while 30 percent had an unfavorable opinion,
according to the Diageo/Hotline poll released last week.

The good news (if you can call it that): The unfavorables
for Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican, were worse (at 44
percent) and Cindy Sheehan, the leftist peace activist
mother, were almost as bad (at 25 percent).


Sunday Life Comment: New Terror On Our Streets

23 October 2005

CAR thieves are bringing new terror to our streets.

They have invented a driving craze called 'wipe out'.

Basically, it involves driving along poorly-lit streets and
roundabouts - with no lights on - at high speed.

One Sunday Life reader has already reported having a narrow
escape, when one of these young tearaways roared past her,
on an M2 roundabout.

Despite all the excellent TV adverts, warning of the perils
of bad driving, some youngsters just never take the stark
message on board.

They continue to play fast and loose with their own safety,
and that of other road users.

So, perhaps it's time for the authorities to drop the
policy of gentle persuasion for one of severe custodial
punishment, for those who break the law.

A car speeding along a dark street, can be just as lethal
as a terrorist with a gun.

If the kid gloves have to be removed, in order to deal
efficiently with these young car hoods, then so be it.

The sooner these thieves feel the full weight of the law
bearing down on them, the better.

And the safer our roads will become for those of us who
drive with due care and attention.

Big-hearted Gerry

UTV chat host Gerry Kelly is a big man - with a big heart.

And in Sunday Life today he describes the secret heartache
that he and his wife, Helena, endured while trying to adopt
a Romanian orphan.

In the end, sadly, they were unable to bring the little
girl back to Ulster.

But Gerry is living proof that despite the glitz and
glamour of his TV fame, he can still be bowled over by a
child living in appalling conditions, in a run-down
Romanian orphanage.

It's nothing less than his army of fans would expect!


Rory Carroll Due Back Home Today

23/10/2005 - 10:08:58

Freed Irish journalist Rory Carroll, who was kidnapped in
Iraq, is due to be reunited with his family in Dublin

Gunmen snatched the Guardian journalist from a Baghdad
suburb on Wednesday, but he was released unharmed on
Thursday night after 36 hours in captivity.

He is due to fly to Dublin to see his parents Joe and Kathy
and sister Karina at the family's home in Blackrock, south

His father, a retired Irish Times journalist, confirmed the
family were expecting him to arrive in Dublin this

"It's been a long week," his father said.

The journalist was watching the trial of deposed leader
Saddam Hussein with a Shiite family shortly before he was

He had spent several hours with the family in the Sadr City
district and was snatched as he left the house.

There were fears Mr Carroll could meet the same fate as
previous Irish passport holders who were taken hostage and
killed by Iraqi rebels.

The Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern led round-
the-clock political and diplomatic contacts with officials
in Iraq, Iran, Britain, France and Italy.

But after two nights held in a cell, one of Mr Carroll's
kidnappers received a mobile phone call and the award-
winning journalist was released.

He was taken to a rendezvous point with Iraqi police and
then transported to the offices in the fortified Green Zone
of Iraqi deputy prime minister Ahmed Chalabi, where he
telephoned his father in Dublin to say he was free and

His family described his release as a miracle, and said
they were over the moon at the news he had been freed.


Belfast Set To Billow...

23 October 2005

A MINI armada of the famous 'Tall Ships' are returning to
Belfast next year for a major maritime festival.

Up to 10 of the spectacular sailing vessels will arrive in
the city in July.

Ships from a host of European nations will support them in
what is expected to be one of the highlights of a series of
events to mark the city's centenary year.

The largest of the tall ships will be the 200ft Tenacious
and the 635-ton Prince William.

Belfast City Council has set aside a budget of £200,000 for
the event. An estimated 300,000 people witnessed the Tall
Ships race when it sailed here for a four-day stay in 1991.

The highlight of the stunning event was a carnival when
more than 2,000 crew came ashore to join a huge street

The council has already announced that the race - and more
than 80 sailing vessels -will dock again in Belfast in

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers, who lobbied for its
return, said yesterday: "The fact that we have been able to
get this extra event next year is great news.

"There may only be 10 vessels, but they will attract
enormous interest - as will the naval ships.

"It will undoubtedly boost tourism and give the business
community a lift."

To receive this news via email, click HERE.
No Message is necessary.
To October 2005 Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?