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October 03, 2005

Loyalists Threaten Catholic Graves

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BB 10/03/05 Loyalist Desecration Threats To Catholic Graves
BB 10/03/05 Hain: IRA 'Delivering On Peace Promise'
ND 10/03/05 IAUC Letter: Rationale Wrong On IRA Initiative
NH 10/03/05 Naysayer Paisley Is Holding North Back
UN 10/03/05 Ex-Soldier Seeks Help In Gun Theft Case
NH 10/03/05 Council's £100k For 'Sectarian' Bonfires
SL 10/03/05 Heat Turned Up Over Cash For Bonfire Deal
UN 10/03/05 A Coalition With SF 'Wouldn't Last Five Days
UT 10/03/05 Award For McCartney Sisters


Loyalist 'Desecration Threats' To Catholic Graves

Loyalist protesters who gathered outside Carnmoney Cemetery
in County Antrim threatened to descreate Catholic graves, a
local priest has said.

It happened during a blessing ceremony on Sunday, which has
been the focus of previous loyalist paramilitary threats.

Parish priest Father Dan Whyte said people were "very

"I was disappointed when I learned that later there was a
protest that degenerated into a noisy chorus of sectarian
verbal assault," he said.

He also said that "verbal threats of grave desecration" had
been made.

Fr Whyte said that he had hoped the situation would have
returned to normal, particularly since the ceremony had
been delayed from September to allow "temperatures to cool

He said that Catholics and Protestants should unite to
oppose such attitudes.

Sinn Fein councillor Briege Meehan condemned the protests.


"Once again the Catholic community in Newtownabbey have
been subjected to naked sectarian hatred and bigotry in its
most vile form as they paid devotion to their deceased
loved ones in a dignified and non-triumphalist manner," she

She called on unionist politicians to ensure the protests
do not happen again.

Two protests were held at the cemetery in Newtownabbey
where Catholics had gathered for an annual blessing of
their graves ceremony.

Police said an initial demonstration was peaceful. A second
protest was held later in the day and the O'Neill Road was

The ceremony was delayed, but was able to proceed after a
short time.

Speaking after Sunday's ceremony, before learning that
threats had been made, Fr Whyte, of St Bernard's Church,
Glengormley, said: "Our objection was that in previous
years, the protest was a riotous protest, the purpose of
which was to prevent us from saying our prayers.


"That wasn't the case today.

"I'm thinking perhaps that the bad old days of Carnmoney
Cemetery Sunday are behind us now."

Traffic diversions were put in place outside the cemetery
for the initial demonstration.

It is understood that community representatives were
present and helped police ensure that the protest passed
without incident.

In September, the graves ceremony was postponed by Father
Whyte following widespread violence across Northern

Carnmoney graveyard has been attacked on several occasions
and headstones have been smashed.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/03 07:16:52 GMT


Hain: IRA 'Delivering On Peace Promise'

Early intelligence reports indicate that the IRA have
"delivered on their promise" about ending violence for
good, the NI secretary has said.

However, Peter Hain said that as well as "bombs and
bullets, punishment attacks, intelligence-gathering and
targeting" also had to end.

He did not expect devolution to be restored within weeks,
but direct rule "cannot last years".

The "period of political paralysis" had to end, he told BBC

"It has got to come sooner rather than later and I will be
working flat out in the coming months.

"Especially after the reports of the Independent Monitoring
Commission - one expected in a few weeks' time - then
crucially the one in January."

If that gave "a clean bill of health to the implementation
of the IRA's promises" then it would be "time to start
talking and move NI forward", he said.

However, Democratic Unionist Nigel Dodds said Mr Hain
should realise that "the mere absence of activity, whether
terrorist or criminal, does not in itself qualify any
organisation for government".

"Unless there is unequivocal evidence of the dismantling of
the criminal structures and the disbandment of the
terrorist machine, the fact that the Provos keep quiet for
a few months will not convince unionism to admit Sinn Fein
into government," he said.

Mr Dodds said the DUP would not be "pushed over".

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said he would like
devolution to happen as soon as possible.

Speaking on Irish state broadcaster RTE on Sunday, he said
he believed the gun was gone for good from Irish politics.

Mr Ahern said he was hoping for a positive report from the
IMC in January that would pave the way for the
implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Last week, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said the British
and Irish governments must move quickly towards re-
establishing devolution.

Mr Adams said unionists would need time to absorb the
"completeness" of the IRA's disarmament, announced by the
head of the arms decommissioning body.

However, the DUP said the IRA must "end criminality" before
it would enter any talks with Sinn Fein.

On Monday, General John de Chastelain, head of the arms
decommissioning body, said the IRA had put all of its
weapons beyond use.

'Inefficient waste of resources'

Speaking on Sunday, Mr Hain said under direct rule he aimed
to take as many difficult decisions as possible, including
the introduction of water charges and rate reform

"I worry about the fact that we have a massive bureaucracy.

"We are over-administered, we have bureaucracy all over the
place and we are not directing resources which have been
pushed in by our government in record amounts."

There were "50,000 empty places in our schools across the
board, rising over the next few years to 80,000", said the
NI secretary.

"That is a massive and inefficient waste of resources. In
the end, if they are concentrated as they are with many
small schools, you get lower education standards.

"Northern Ireland is falling behind and it is partly
because we have not tackled this history of an educational
structure which is just not fit for the century."

He added: "I do not want any child, on grounds of their
faith, class background, or where they live, to be facing
discrimination in opportunity."

It was not a question of abandoning faith-based schools,
said Mr Hain.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/02 13:46:57 GMT


IAUC Letter: Rationale Wrong On IRA Initiative

October 2, 2005
News Day

Thank you for the support of the Irish Republican Army's
latest initiative to take the gun out of Irish politics
["IRA keeps its promise," Editorial," Sept. 27]. We
disagree, however, with your explanation.

You claim this now makes credible the IRA's pledge to
abandon violence. Actually the IRA's cessation of
hostilities for eight years was the only proof needed. Arms
can be replaced within weeks. But the British have catered
to loyalists who are faced with a demilitarization that
reduces the well-paying jobs in the military and police
sector - almost exclusively a Protestant preserve. Chaos
and violence have always served loyalists well in the past,
and they will do anything to sustain it. Therefore, your
call for the loyalist paramilitaries to likewise destroy
arms will most certainly fall on deaf ears.

You speak of an "infuriating delay" by the IRA in opening
its arsenal to inspectors, but there were three previous
decommissioning of weapons prior to this last one.

You speak of the Rev. Ian Paisley as still "representing
the majority of Protestants in Ulster." Do not expect any
leadership from the man who called out the numbers of
Catholic homes on Bombay Street so that his followers could
loot and burn with precision.

Michael J. Cummings

Editor's note: The writer is a national board member of the
Irish American Unity Conference.



Naysayer Paisley Is Holding North Back

(James Kelly, Irish News)

Everybody accepts by now that the IRA has decommissioned
its arsenal of weapons of war and explosives – that is
everyone except that doddering old bigot and conspiracy
theorist, Ian K. Paisley, who is busily turning the air
blue with his rag-bag of abuse.

According to the ancient fakir, Ayatollah quack-doctor,
immovable moderator and DUP Fuhrer, the whole D business
was a gigantic swindle, the "falsehood of the century".

A deception involving governments on both sides of the
Atlantic, underlined by the honest testimony of the north's
most respected religious leaders, Methodist and Catholic
lending themselves as dupes to the IRA, he believes.

This latest outrageous lie caused such widespread disgust
that members of Paisley's own party have been falling over
themselves since, declaring that there was no intention of
doubting their honesty when they told the world that there
was "no shadow of doubt" that they had witnessed the
destruction of the IRA's huge armoury of guns, bombs,
machine guns, and explosives.

The notification of the IRA's farewell to arms 36 years
after its foundation in the tragedy and wreckage of Bombay
Street and seven years after the signing of the Good Friday
Agreement produced at home something approaching anti-
climax because of the years of torturous delays.

These were caused not only by the muddled reaction of the
unionists to the terms of the agreement but also to the
frustration of Sinn Féin leaders like Gerry Adams and
Martin McGuinness in the hard slog over years to convince
supporters throughout the island, some far from the front
line of the conflict, that the time had come to put away
the gun in favour of political progress.

So it's going to be a long haul back to devolution at

Next week Prime Minister Tony Blair meets Adams and Paisley
at 10 Downing Street for talks while we all await the
reaction of the loyalist paramilitary groups to the IRA's
challenge before the IMC reports to the two governments on
the way forward.

While leading members of the DUP, such as Peter Robinson
and Nigel Dodds, are said to be anxious to accept the
trappings of office in government at Stormont, Paisley
seems anxious to avoid involvement, perhaps because he has
no real talent for ministerial office, having spent most of
his life tearing down in opposition rather than in
constructive effort to build up the economy.

If the Secretary of State, Peter Hain, and his ministers in
the continued absence of local input decide to apply
pressure till the pips squeak by attacking long outstanding
issues like water rates, education, health, Paisley and his
party may have to shoulder the blame from an electorate
disgusted at their resistance to devolution.

If the electors in the north suffer from the results of
Hain bringing them into taxable parity with their own
constituents in Britain, then the obvious target as to the
cause of it all will be Paisley and his party.

The build up to all this will, they say, take about two

By then Tony Blair, with one year to go before handing over
the leadership to the brooding Chancellor, Gordon Brown,
will be anxious to bring about the completion of the Good
Friday Agreement, which he regards as one of his success

A new general election in the north, he hopes, will clear
the air after the abortive one that produced the present

Whether two years is enough for the slow learners of
unionism, free at last from the grip of the antediluvian
Orange Order, to wake up to the advantages of the European
connection against a peaceful environment like the Celtic
Tiger, remains to be seen.

The electors will have it in their own hands, especially
the huge numbers who foolishly stayed at home last time,
instead of exercising their right to vote for a better

October 3, 2005


Ex-Soldier Seeks De Chastelain's Help In Gun Theft Case

Jim Cusack

A FORMER Irish soldier who has been fighting for 30 years
to have his name cleared over the theft of a high-powered
machine-gun from Clancy Barracks in Dublin in January 1973
has asked General de Chastelain, the Government and Sinn
Fein to find out if the weapon was among those
decommissioned by the IRA last week.

Dubliner Michel Donnelly's career in the army was ruined
and he spent years and thousands of pounds trying to clear
his name after an internal investigation led to his
dishonourable discharge in 1975.

In his latest attempt to unearth the truth about what
happened to the stolen machine-gun he wrote to the head of
the North's decommissioning body, General de Chastelain and
asked him to check any GPMGs (general purpose machine-guns)
being decommissioned by the IRA to see if the serial number
tallied with the weapon stolen 32 years ago from the army.

After his dismissal he took the Department of Defence as
far as the Supreme Court in an attempt to clear his name
but the court found that the army had the right to dismiss
soldiers without giving detailed grounds.

Donnelly, 50, has never given up trying to get his name
cleared and has unearthed information about the theft of
the machine-gun which, he says, indicates it was stolen by
the Provisional IRA who had planted moles inside the
defence forces in the early Seventies.

The main suspects behind the theft up to some years ago
were old 'official' IRA. However, former 'officials' insist
they did not take the weapon.

Donnelly now firmly believes the Provisional IRA stole the
weapon and used it in the North. As part of his campaign he
has been seeking information and help from whatever sources
he believes can help.

His case has been supported by, among others, Labour leader
Pat Rabbitte who has written to successive Government
ministers about the case but without satisfaction.

In the years since the IRA ceasefire Mr Donnelly also wrote
to the Sinn Fein leaders Gerry Adams and Caoimhghin O
Caolain asking them to intervene with the IRA but without
any success.

His latest gambit has been to write to de Chastelain in the
past fortnight, providing him with the serial number of the
GPMG, which he obtained through Freedom of Information
requests about his case.

He said he had hoped the Government would release papers
relating to the theft of the gun under the 30-year rule on
the release of official documents last year. However, he
was told by Defence a decision had been made to include the
documents under the 50-year release rule.


Council's £100k For 'Sectarian' Bonfires

(Barry McCaffrey, Irish News)

Unionist councillors have voted to give £100,000 in funding
to loyalist bonfires, despite the burning of posters of
nationalist politicians and an effigy mocking Catholic

Earlier this year Belfast City Council choose eight
loyalist areas to take part in a pilot project to encourage
better management of July 11 bonfires.

The scheme followed concerns about an increase in the
number of bonfires in 2004.

Further concerns were raised over the health impact of
thousands of tyres being burned and the presence of
paramilitary gunmen at the events.

A council report into bonfires at the eight funded sites
has found:

UVF gunmen took part in a 'show of strength' at Pitt Park
in east Belfast

an effigy mocked suicides of Catholic men in Ardoyne on the
Westland bonfire in north Belfast

election posters of Sinn Féin candidates and SDLP deputy
leader Alasdair McDonnell were burned at Annadale, south

here were multiple burnings of Irish tricolours and
erections of loyalist paramilitary flags

there was also a UDA show of strength at a non-funded
bonfire at Ballysillan in north Belfast.

The cost of the scheme included council funding of £48,000
and £60,000 in repair costs.

But despite receiving nearly double the number of bonfire
complaints compared to 2004, unionists have voted to go
ahead with funding for even more loyalist bonfires next

"Many of the complaints expressed frustration that the
council would fund/support bonfires and that they had not
taken sufficient account of the health effect caused as a
result of them," the report stated.

"This view was supported by views expressed by some
community groups to council community workers."

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Maskey said: "Unionists are
funding anti-Catholic hatred by supporting these bonfires.

"We want to move away from bonfires and to promote
community festivals. It is entirely unacceptable that
unionists want to fund sectarian hatred in this way."

Ulster Unionist Jim Rodgers said he supported the project.

"There was a problem with Pitt Park with masked and armed
men appearing for a show of strength but I don't think you
can blame the organisers and I think they should be given a
second chance," he said.

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said his party would not
support the funding of any bonfire that featured

"We want to support the positive aspects of this project
but there must be penalties for any site which promotes
anti-Catholic or paramilitary emblems," he said.

The issue is due to be debated during a full council
meeting on Monday.

October 3, 2005


Heat Turned Up Over Cash For Bonfire Deal

By Joe Oliver
02 October 2005

UNIONIST councillors in Belfast are caught up in a blazing
row over plans to REPEAT a Twelfth bonfire 'bonus' scheme
in loyalist areas next year.

The controversial decision has sparked a furious row with
Sinn Fein members.

But the council's community and recreation committee
decided to persevere with the pilot project - designed to
make bonfires more environmentally-friendly.

The initiative was introduced last July, when community
groups, in eight areas, were each offered £2,500 to help
their celebrations go off with a bang.

But the plans - and a charter agreement with residents -
ran into trouble, when the UVF staged a show of strength in
one of the areas on the 11th night.

Masked terrorists used the bonfire at Pitt Park in east
Belfast to declare war on the LVF, and also fired weapons
into the air.

A subsequent report expressed further "disappointment" over
the number of paramilitary flags and emblems displayed at
the bonfire sites.

But one unionist councillor told us: "We were forced to
address this problem because of public criticism over
bonfires, which annually cost thousands of pounds to clean
up and carry out necessary repairs. Pitt Park may have been
a big issue, but what can ordinary people do when masked
and armed men suddenly arrive on the scene?

"It would be wrong to punish the innocent and there were

"For instance, we achieved a reduction in the period of
time over which materials were collected.

"There was also a vast improvement on how materials were
stored, and a major reduction in the number of tyres burnt.

"There will be an independent evaluation, but we intend to
hold talks with representatives of the various communities
to see how the scheme can be improved next year."

So far, it is understood that around £15,000 has been paid
out to the groups that participated in the scheme.

The committee decision will have to be ratified by the full

One Sinn Fein member said: "It's a scandalous waste of
ratepayers' money.

"It's completely unjustifiable."


A Coalition With SF 'Wouldn't Last Five Days

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern returned to the attack on Fine Gael,
Labour and the Greens yesterday, saying the alternative
parties of Government "cannot agree on the weather."

The Fianna Fail leader painted the prospect of a Rainbow
Coalition - which is now riding high in the opinion polls -
as a Government that "couldn't make up its mind."

Mr Ahern suggested that such internal differences could put
Ireland's low direct personal taxes and its low external
debt at risk.

But Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny countered in a television
interview last night that Fianna Fail had still not ruled
out sharing power with Sinn Fein.

He emphasised that Fine Gael had already committed itself
to keeping Sinn Fein on the backbenches.

Mr Kenny told Ursula Halligan on TV3 that voters should
beware of Fianna Fail's refusal to give guarantees against
having former gunmen in Government.

The Taoiseach however cast grave doubt on his party forming
a coalition with Sinn Fein in an RTE radio interview
yesterday lunchtime.

He said there would be so many differences of policy
between the parties that he could not see such an
arrangement lasting "five days, let alone five years."

"It wouldn't work," he added.

Senan Molony
Political Correspondent


Award For McCartney Sisters

The sisters and fiancee of murdered Belfast man Robert
McCartney will today be awarded a prestigious bravery prize
in Germany.

The women will be presented with the annual Die Qudriga
Award - which stands for courage, vision and responsibility
- in Berlin.

They came to prominence after the 33-year-old father-of-two
was stabbed to death outside a Belfast bar in January.

Despite being subjected to a campaign of intimidation, they
claimed the killer was a member of the IRA and was being
shielded by the paramilitary group.

The judges praised the women`s courage and dignity in the
face of repeated threats.

Their campaign for justice took them to the White House for
a meeting with US President George Bush in March, during
which he urged people to break down the wall of silence
surrounding the murder.

The McCartney sisters and Robert`s partner, Bridgeen
Hagans, have also travelled to London, Brussels and Dublin
to raise the profile of their case.

One man has been charged with Mr McCartney`s murder and is
expected to stand trial next year.

A second is accused of attempting to murder the friend who
was with him on the night he died outside Magennis` Bar in
Belfast city centre.

The McCartney`s last month said a campaign of intimidation
against them had intensified and claimed republicans were
responsible for beating a close friend of the murdered man
in Belfast.

Sinn Fein has denied republicans were responsible for
attacking them.

Meanwhile, the sisters and Ms Hagens will this week be
named among Time Magazine`s European Heroes for 2005.

The US news weekly recognises the women alongside Live8
organiser Sir Bob Geldof and Arsenal striker and anti-
racism campaigner Thierry Henry.

Justifying it`s selection, Time said: "Standing up to the
IRA just isn`t done in Northern Ireland."

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