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October 12, 2005

More DUP To Be Added To Polcing Board

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 10/13/05 Hain To Add More DUP Members To Policing Board
DI 10/12/05 Loyalists Put Kids In The Line Of Fire .. Again
IN 10/12/05 Untimely Death Of Brian Campbell
DI 10/12/05 Large Crowd At Esteemed Colleague's Funeral
BB 10/12/05 Witness Likens Unionists To Nazis
IO 10/12/05 Raids Cash Linked To IRA Robbery – Conroy
UT 10/12/05 Police Target Cross-Border Gangs
IT 10/13/05 Murphy Denies Any Links With Manchester Firm
IT 10/13/05 Statement: By Solicitors, Madden & Finucane
UT 10/12/05 2 Questioned Over Attack On IRA Victim's Friend
IE 10/12/05 Peter King's Rocky Road To Capitol Hill
IT 10/13/05 Ireland Bows Out Of World Cup With A Whimper


Hain To Add More DUP Members To Policing Board

By Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Northern Secretary Peter Hain is today due to tell the
House of Commons that he will totally reconstitute the
Policing Board in the spring, despite Irish Government and
SDLP objections.

Mr Hain will announce that in the spring he will appoint a
new 19-member Policing Board, which will increase DUP
representation on the body from three to five and reduce
SDLP and Ulster Unionist representation, reliable sources
told The Irish Times.

Mr Hain in early August said that in the interests of
"continuity and stability," the life of the current board,
with its 10 political and nine independent members, would
be extended for up to a year until October 2006.

However, the Northern Secretary has since then come under
intense pressure from the DUP to change the membership of
the board so the DUP's unionist electoral dominance, as
reflected in the 2003 Assembly elections and more recently
the Westminster elections of May this year, would be
reflected on the board.

The Government and the SDLP warned against such a move. As
recently as yesterday evening SDLP leader Mark Durkan said
such a decision would be seen as the British government
delivering "sweeties" to the DUP.

Well-placed sources said Mr Hain felt compelled to make
such a move because at a time when the British and Irish
governments were trying to entice the DUP into political
negotiations he had to make some practical overtures to the
Rev Ian Paisley's party.

Of the 10 political appointees on the board (with Sinn Féin
not taking part), four are from the Ulster Unionist Party,
three from the DUP and three from the SDLP. Under the
scheduled reconstitution in the spring there would be five
DUP members, three Ulster Unionists and two members from
the SDLP.

© The Irish Times


Loyalists Put Kids In The Line Of Fire ... Again

'How dare they' - Harryville primary school principal
Lesley Meikle

Connla Young

Schools under threat:

June 27
St Joseph's Primary School, Ahoghill, Targeted In Paint

August 16
St Joseph's Primary School, Ahoghill, Targeted In Paint

August 30
Petrol Bomb Attack At
St Mary's Primary School, Harryville, Ballymena

August 31
Petrol Bomb Attack At
St Louis' Primary School, Ballymena

September 12
Three Pipe Bombs Found In Hedge At Harryville Primary
School, Ballymena

October 11
Pipe Bomb And Components Discovered At Harryville Primary
School, Ballymena

"I would urge the people who have left these things here to
come in and talk to me and tell me why they are putting the
lives of my children at risk."

- Lesley Meikle

Dozens of frantic parents rushed to rescue their children
yesterday after workmen discovered a bomb in the grounds of
a Co Antrim school.

More than 140 children, some as young as two-years-old,
were evacuated from Harryville Primary School and an
adjoining nursery in Ballymena, after a pipe bomb fell at
the feet of a workman who was trimming a hedge in the
school's grounds.

A number of nearby houses were also evacuated during the

The Protestant primary school was also forced to close on
September 12 last after three pipe bombs were found stashed

It is suspected that the pipe bombs were hidden around the
school until such time as they would be used by loyalist
paramilitaries. It is not known if yesterday's find formed
part of the original haul of pipe bombs dumped close to the

In a follow-up search of the area, requested by Harryville
Primary School principal Lesley Meikle, a bag containing
pipe bomb component parts was discovered in the same hedge,
just metres from the school building.

A British Army bomb squad was called to the scene to deal
with the bomb find.

Mrs Meikle said the hedge used as a bomb store will now be
ripped out.

"My only consolation in all this is that the school is not
the target," she said.

"They are using the school hedge as a hidey hole. I have
made arrangements for the hedge to be removed and if the
board doesn't do it I will dig it out myself.

"This sort of thing distresses the children. The first time
it happened we could pass it off and say the school was
safe. This time we will be honest with them and show them
that the hedge is being pulled out.

"I would urge the people who have left these things here to
come in and talk to me and tell me why they are putting the
lives of my children at risk.

"Harryville gets a bad press and now we are in the middle
of it but a school should be an oasis of calm. Our thoughts
go out to the man at whose foot this device fell at. He or
his colleagues could have been seriously hurt or killed."

The Harryville district of Ballymena has been in the
headlines in recent years after loyalist protesters set up
a blockade at the local Catholic church.

In August the district's Catholic primary school, Saint
Mary's, was torched in a sectarian fire bomb attack. The
principal of that school, Martin Kearney, visited Mrs
Meikle yesterday to offer his support.

DUP Mayor of Ballymena, Tommy Nicholl, launched an angry
attack on those responsible for leaving the potentially
deadly device close to the school.

"I am totally disgusted by this," he said.

"There is no place in society for people who would
perpetrate such evil, especially when there's a danger to
young children. There is no excuse for this and I hope the
police catch those people and put them away. The people of
Ballymena and Harryville want nothing to do with this act,
it gives them a bad name. Ninety eight per cent of the
people in this area are law abiding and I would appeal for
the people who did this to get off the backs of the

Sinn Féin MLA for North Antrim Philip McGuigan condemned
the attack.

"To leave these deadly devices in public is worrying, but I
would have to ask what these people thought they were doing
when leaving these things on the premises of a children's
school," he said.


Untimely Death Of Brian Campbell

Republican playwright and journalist Brian Campbell died
suddenly near his home in Newry on Saturday.

It is believed the former republican prisoner suffered a
massive heart attack.

The 46-year-old father-of-two became ill after he had been
out running on Saturday. It is understood he died as he was
being taken to hospital.

Softly-spoken and with a ready smile, Brian was well known
and liked throughout the republican movement and beyond.

A former editor of An Phoblacht/Republican News, Brian won
acclaim as a playwright and screenwriter before working
with Conor Murphy to elect him as Sinn Fein MP for Newry
and Armagh.

Arrested in 1986, he met hunger strike surviver Laurence
McKeown, his collaborator in two plays - The Laughter of
Our Children and A Cold House.

The pair also wrote H3, a film about the 1981 hunger

While in prison the men edited the book Nor Meekly Serve My
Time, in which former hunger strikers told their stories of
the prison struggle of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Conor Murphy said last night that there was "huge shock" at
Brian's death.

"The sudden death of Brian Campbell is a devastating blow
to all of us who knew him well and to the entire republican
family," he said.

"Brian was a hugely talented individual who made an
enormous contribution to the development of republican
politics and writing, not just in Newry and Armagh, but
across Ireland.

"He was active in so many fields - political, cultural,
community and sporting and yet was first and foremost a
devoted husband and father.

"His untimely death has caused huge shock and deep sadness
among his friends and comrades and his loss will be keenly
felt both within republican circles and beyond.

"Our deepest sympathy goes to Grainne, Niall and Mairead
and the Campbell family at this tragic time."

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said: "Brian Campbell was a
man of enormous talent and commitment to the republican
struggle. Republicans throughout Ireland were deeply
shocked yesterday when we heard the news of Brian's sudden

Lawrence McKeown also aid tribute to him.

"Brian was educated in England and qualified as a
mechanical engineer. The 1981 hungerstrike and the death of
Martin Hurson impacted on him greatly and prompted his
involvement in the struggle. He ended up in prison in the
mid-1980s and was sentenced to 16 years. He came into the
blocks and became really involved in creativity and

"He was the first editor of the Captive Voice and produced
it to such a standard that it was able to be read as a
magazine of interest outside of the jail. It gave a flavour
of the meaning of life to prisoners.

"He also compiled Nor Meekly Serve My Time.

"He was a republican socialist who could reach out to the
community, people young and old and unionists. He had
manners and a great civic spirit. IRA volunteers have often
been demonised as terrorists. Brian showed throughout his
life that he was a humane and progressive man. He was
humble and a very likeable person - he was a doer as well
as a thinker - calm, confident and unassuming," Mr McKeown


Large Crowd At Esteemed Colleague's Funeral

A large crowd gathered in Newry yesterday for the funeral
of well-known writer and playwright Brian Campbell.

Brian also worked as a subeditor and acting news editor at
Daily Ireland. He passed away on Saturday after suffering a
heart attack.

The 46-year-old was a former republican prisoner and the
first editor of the magazine The Captive Voice/An Glór
Gafa, which featured the writings of prisoners.

He was also one of the compilers of Nor Meekly Serve My
Time, which chronicled prisoners' memories of the hunger
strikes of the early 1980s.

Republicans from throughout Ireland travelled to Newry
yesterday for his funeral.

Brian was also well-known in arts circles in Ireland and
further afield, having written several plays, including The
Laughter of Our Children and Voyage of No Return, some co-
written with Laurence McKeown.

The large crowd that gathered for his funeral was testimony
to the esteem in which he was held.

Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy, a personal
friend of Brian's, gave the graveside oration yesterday.

Brian is survived by his wife Gráinne and children Niall
and Mairéad.


Witness Likens Unionists To Nazis

The Catholic priest who witnessed IRA decommissioning has
compared the unionist community to Nazis for their
treatment of Catholics in the past.

Father Alec Reid's remarks were made at a public meeting in
south Belfast also attended by Reverend Harold Good, the
Protestant decommissioning witness.

"They (Catholics) were not treated like human beings. It
was like the Nazis' treatment of the Jews," he said.

Willie Frazer of the victims group Fair walked out of the
meeting in protest.

Fr Reid said that not only unionists had grievances over
the past, nationalists had them too.

"The reality is that the nationalist community in Northern
Ireland were treated almost like animals by the unionist
community," he said.

The meeting was being held at Fitzroy Presbyterian Church,
and about 200 people were in the hall to hear what the
witnesses had to say.

After Wednesday night's 90-minute meeting Mr Frazer - who
claimed Protestants were butchered by Catholics during the
Troubles before storming out - said he was incensed by the
priest's remarks.

"I did fly off the handle but I could not sit there and
allow him to accuse the unionist people of persecuting the
Roman Catholic community for the last 60 years. That is far
from the truth," he said.

"That is not to say Catholics have not suffered but so have
the Protestant community.

"He was wrong and bitter and his republican attitude came
out when he called us Nazis."


Mr Frazer, who lost five members of his family including
his father during the Troubles, added: "Two of my uncles
fought in the Second World War."

After Mr Frazer left Fr Reid told the audience he had "said
some very hard things about the unionist community, which I
think are true".

"There is something else I believe. Their history in the
last 60 years put them in a position after partition that
they did not want.

"They were forced to treat nationalists the way they did."

Fr Reid told the audience that the nationalist community
would have acted in the same way, had the roles been

'Last gun'

Last month Fr Reid and Rev Good acted as witnesses to the
republican paramilitary group's final act of disarmament.

The head of the arms decommissioning body, General John de
Chastelain, said that he was satisfied the weapons "put
beyond use" represented "the totality of the IRA's arsenal.

Referring to this Fr Reid told the meeting the men who
oversaw IRA decommissioning were guarded by a man with a
loaded assault rifle.

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

"The man handed it over and got quite emotional," he said.
"He was aware that this was the last gun."

Fr Reid is a long-time confidant of Sinn Fein leader Gerry

He arranged ground-breaking talks between Mr Adams and then
SDLP leader John Hume.

This led to a common nationalist approach and, in time, to
the 1993 Downing Street Declaration.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/10/12 21:47:20 GMT


Raids Cash Linked To IRA Robbery - Conroy
2005-10-12 17:00:07+01

Cash seized in money-laundering raids is part of the IRA's
£26m (€37.9m) Northern Bank robbery, the head of the Gardaí
said today.

Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy said he was satisfied the
link has been established, despite the scepticism expressed
by Sinn Féin.

"I think if someone is saying that they are very much
mistaken. I am satisfied at this stage of the investigation
that we will show the money recovered during Operation
Phoenix is part of the takings from the robbery of the
Northern Bank in Belfast," he said.

During the operation detectives seized cash, believed to be
worth around €7m, in a raid on a bungalow in Farran, Co
Cork, in February, and also recovered money which was being
burned in the back yard of another house in the county.

Commissioner Conroy refused to say whether the link to the
Northern Bank raid last December, which was suspected to be
the work of the IRA, had been established through forensic
analysis of the notes.

"What I have seen at this stage, I am now satisfied that we
will get to that position in the near future," he said.

Although gardaí have expressed their strong belief that
such a link existed, Commissioner Conroy's comments are the
first official confirmation.

He was speaking at the annual Cross-border cooperation
seminar in Dublin, which involves officers from both the
Gardaí and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde said that in a way it did
not really matter what had happened to the remainder of the
money stolen in the Northern Bank raid, the biggest of its
kind in British history.

He referred to the decision by the Northern Bank to recall
hundreds of thousands of notes from circulation and issue
entirely new ones in their place.

"People haven't really recognised the significance of the
strategy which by working with the banks rendered it as
much use as waste paper. So it wasn't a hugely successful
operation bearing in mind the amount of considerable effort
the provisional IRA had to put in in pulling it off. We
suspect a lot of the money may now have been disposed of
because it's now useless, " he said.

The cross-border seminar was attended by members of the
Irish and Criminal Assets Bureau and British Assets
Recovery Agency, which has recently mounted joint
operations against the suspected assets of alleged IRA
Chief Of Staff Tom "Slab" Murphy.

The head of the ARA Alan McQuillen said it was impossible
to estimate the size of the IRA's criminal assets, given
the organisation's 25-year history.

But he said that all of the agencies involved were working
to identify the assets and to take them out of circulation.


WEDNESDAY 12/10/2005 17:19:56

Police Target Cross-Border Gangs

The only way of hurting cross-border gangs is to take away
their cash, it was claimed today.

By:Press Association

The Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable Hugh
Orde said both paramilitaries and criminal gangs were
taking part in the lucrative trade, which includes the
smuggling of alcohol, fuel, tobacco and waste across the

He said both the PSNI and the Irish police were working to
target the assets bought by the gangs with the proceeds.

"The one way of hurting this people be it cross-border or
within our own countries is taking away the cash. It
damages in relation to their status within their own
criminal community and it damages them because it makes the
whole effort they`ve put in complete worthless," he said.

He was speaking at the third annual cross-border crime
seminar in Dublin, which involved representatives from the
PSNI, the Gardai, the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), the
Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), the Revenue Commissioners and
HM Revenue and Customs.

There was tight security around the venue, Clontarf Castle,
which had emptied its rooms of guests for the two-day
conference, and cameras crews were requested not to film
the faces of those attending.

Mr Orde said it was often a fine distinction to work out
the background of those involved in cross-border crime.

"Are these paramilitaries operating for themselves or are
they operating through an organisation? We`re very clear,
they`re all criminals," he said.

Minister of State Frank Fahey said he welcomed the
conference`s seminar on illegal cross-border dumping.

"It has been an issue of huge public concern in the last 12
months. This is lucrative business for organised criminal
gangs who do not care about the effects of their activities
on the community," he said.

The level of cross-border co-operation has increased
dramatically since the PSNI replaced the Royal Ulster
Constabulary, with personnel exchanges between the force
and the Irish police due to happen soon.

Northern Ireland security minister Shaun Woodward paid
tribute to the recent raids on suspected IRA properties by
the ARA in Manchester and the CAB in Dundalk.

He said it was important that criminals were not allowed to
exploit the existence of the border.

"These seminars really are important because at the end of
the day, organised crime is a real threat to people being
able to get on with leading decent lives and if we can do
all we can not only to bring it to book, but to close it
down, we will make huge strides in achieving everything
most ordinary decent people want, which is just to get on
with their lives."

The head of the ARA Alan McQuillen said his agency and CAB
would be pursing their joint investigation.

"At this stage, we have collected a very large amount of
information on the basis of High Court warrants in the UK,"
he said.

He denied claims from Sinn Fein that the timing of the
operation had been politically motivated to detract from
its meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"We`re an independent agency, we`re accountable to
parliament. We take our operational decisions independently
and there is no political influence on what we do or when
we do it."


Murphy Denies Any Links With Manchester Firm

By Arthur Beesley and Conor Lally

Alleged Provisional IRA leader Thomas "Slab" Murphy said
last night he owned no property and there was "absolutely
no foundation" to allegations about his activities.

Mr Murphy, who has never before made a press statement, was
the target of raids last week in Dundalk and Manchester by
the anti-racketeering agencies in the Republic and the

The North's Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is investigating
what it says is a £30 million (€43.7 million) portfolio of
250 properties built up by the republican movement.

Mr Murphy said allegations made about him after the raids
were false. He said he had never conducted business with
Craven Property in Manchester and had no link with any
other business run by that company.

There was no mention of the IRA in the statement issued by
Belfast solicitors Madden & Finucane, but Mr Murphy said he
was a Republican and supported the peace process. "I have
been a republican all my life and fully support the peace
process. I will continue to play whatever role I can, to
see it work," Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy, who lost a libel action against the Sunday Times
some years ago, said he had had to sell his home to cover
his legal fees.

"The premises depicted in the media is not in fact my home
and I do not live at that address. I make a living from
farming," he said.

Dermot Craven, owner of Craven Property, has denied any
involvement with the IRA or racketeering. At a press
conference on Monday, he said his firmmanaged the affairs
of Sailor Property (UK) Ltd, a company owned by Mr Murphy's
brother Frank Murphy.

Thomas Murphy's statement said: "It is distressing to
myself and my family to see false allegations being made by
anonymous staff in the ARA and repeated as fact in the
media . . . My name has appeared on no ARA statement that I
am aware of and no agency has been in contact with me in
relation to any of this."

An ARA spokeswoman declined to comment.

Earlier yesterday, at a cross-Border seminar on organised
crime in Clontarf, Dublin, the head of the ARA, Alan
McQuillan, denied Sinn Féin accusations that last week's
raids in Manchester were politically motivated.

"We are an independent agency, we are accountable to
parliament. We take our operational decisions independently
and there is no political influence in what we do or when
we do it," he said.

"My motivation is taking assets off criminals, that's my
job. That's what we will continue to do without fear or

© The Irish Times


Tom Murphy Statement: Issued By His Solicitors, Madden And

We represent Tom Murphy from Crossmaglen who was the
subject of media coverage of last week's CAB and ARA
searches and seizures in Dundalk and Manchester

He wishes to make the following statement about the matter:

"There is absolutely no foundation to the allegations about
me which have been carried in the media for some time and
repeated at length over the past week.

"I have never conducted any business with the Craven
Property group, nor have I any link with other businesses
run by them.

"It is distressing to myself and my family to see false
allegations being made by anonymous staff in the Assets
Recovery Agency (ARA) and repeated as fact in the media. I
want to categorically state, for the record, that all of
these allegations are totally untrue.

"I believe that questions have to be asked as to why these
raids were conducted in the full glare of the media and why
my name was leaked in connection with this case.

"My name has appeared on no ARA statement that I am aware
of and no agency has been in contact with me in relation to
any of this.

"My solicitors are in contact with those concerned to
ascertain why my name has been falsely linked to this case.

"I do not own any property and, in fact, I had to sell my
own home some years ago to cover legal fees following an
unsuccessful libel case. Despite losing this case I take an
attack on my reputation very seriously.

"The premises depicted in the media is not in fact my home
and I do not live at that address. I make a living from

"Those opposed to the peace process are obviously hoping
that in vilifying me personally and republicanism in
general they will scupper attempts to build peace. They
will not succeed.

"I have been a republican all my life and fully support the
peace process. I will continue to play whatever role I can
to see it work."

© The Irish Times


Two Questioned Over Attack On IRA Victim's Friend

Two men were being questioned today about an attack on a
close friend of IRA murder victim Robert McCartney.

By:Press Association

They were arrested during police raids in Belfast`s Short
Strand district.

Police confirmed the pair were being held in connection
with an assault in the area last month.

Jeff Commander, a friend of knife victim Mr McCartney, was
left with serious head injuries after being beaten with
iron bars and sewer rods on September 12.

The father of five, who was with his wife Sinead, was
attacked by up to eight men.

At one stage a knife was produced by the gang.

Mr McCartney`s sisters and fiancee Bridgeen Hagans, whose
demand for justice over his killing has taken them to the
White House, claimed at the time the attack proved an IRA
intimidation campaign against them was intensifying.

One man charged with murdering the father of two outside a
Belfast bar in January is expected to stand trial next

A second is accused of attempting to murder another friend
who was with Mr McCartney on the night, he died in an
attack which seriously embarrassed the republican

In the latest development, police swooped early today.

A spokeswoman said: "As part of a planned police operation
a number of searches have been carried out this morning in
relation to a serious assault in the Short Strand area on
September 12.

"Two men have been arrested and are helping police with
their inquiries."


Echo Profile: Republican Royalty

Peter King's Rocky Road To Capitol Hill

By Ray O'Hanlon

The Pete King File BORN: April 5, 1944 in Queens, NYC.
EDUCATION: St. Francis College, Brooklyn; University of
Notre Dame Law School. MILITARY SERVICE: Army National
Guard 1968-73. FAMILY: Married to Rosemary, father of Sean
and Erin, One grandson. JOB HISTORY: Elected to Hempstead
Town Council, 1977. Later served three terms as Nassau
County Comptroller; first elected to U.S. Congress in 1992.
NOTABLE: King is the author of three novels, "Terrible
Beauty," "Deliver Us From Evil" and "Vale of Tears." QUOTE:
"The media didn't know what to expect. They seemed to think
he would come through the door with a gun at each hip. Here
was a guy who had been confined to West Belfast and they
treated him like Elvis. We had the British to thank for
that." -- Commenting on Gerry Adams' first visit to the

Peter King confounds.

He is a conservative Republican when it comes to most
domestic issues, but ranks Bill Clinton as one of his
closest political friends.

King backed John McCain for the GOP nomination in 2000 even
after ridiculing McCain's stance on campaign finance

He was one of the first politicians to use the words "tone
deaf" in describing then candidate George W. Bush's
political style.

He voted against impeaching President Bill Clinton.

He was for years dogged by charges that he was soft on
terrorism because he would not join the chorus of
condemnation of the IRA.

He is today one of the most vociferous members of Congress
when it comes to backing President's Bush's war against
terrorism anywhere in the world where it rears its head.

He was once accused of having blood on his hands by a
British ambassador to Washington because of his refusal to
disown the IRA's campaign.

Now his hands are stained green as he holds sway over a
mountainous wad of federal anti-terror dollars from his
perch atop the House Committee on Homeland Security.

While politicians are usually lauded for their willingness
to shoot from the hip, Pete King has taken his rhetorical
firepower to a new level.

He shoots from both, usually on full automatic.

Sometimes he hits his own foot.

Yet, unlike many legislators, King has so far managed to
avoid being hopelessly hobbled by a seeming reliance on
political chutzpah over starchy predictability, or
unremitting consistency.

Quite the contrary.

"He says and means what he says -- a rare trait in
Washington," is New York Newsday's view of King.

And there's this from the New York Daily News: "Straight
talk is King's strength. He is the one congressman with his
head on straight and his patriotism intact."

Long Islander King, now in his seventh term as a
congressman representing New York's 3rd Congressional
District, is seen as happily plowing his zigzag furrow to
what many suspect is a moment when he will launch himself
towards the U.S. Senate, a cabinet posting, the State
House, or maybe even a veep slot on a future GOP ticket.

No matter what it turns out to be, King will continue to
stand out -- in the crowd, and from it.

It's what he does best.

And it's what he did on the back of flatbed truck on a
windswept Manhattan street back in the days when Capitol
Hill seemed as remote a prospect than Belfast's Black

It was March of 1989 and then-Nassau County Comptroller
King was valiantly keeping up the GOP's end outside the
offices of the New York Times.

King was surrounded by Democrats, including the legendary
Paul O'Dwyer, and was piling on his mostly unwitting
party's share of opprobrium as a result of the paper's
failure to even mention the murder of Belfast lawyer Pat

During the 1980s, Comptroller King, son of Irish immigrant
Democrats, more often than not found himself alone in the
company of Democrats, lots of them, when the event was
devoted to Northern Ireland.

But he was an easy fit. And he didn't have to rely on
anyone for his cue.

If anything, he was often the leading authority in the room
having gone to Northern Ireland to learn of the situation
at particularly close hand.

Then Newsday reporter Jim Mulvaney was witness to King's
early encounters in Belfast with the protagonists, most
notably the leaders of militant loyalism.

Never stepping back from his support of Sinn Féin, King
engaged in a dialogue with loyalist leaders such as Andy
Tyrie and John McMichael.

"When pressed he acknowledged support for the IRA,"
Mulvaney said of King.

King toured Protestant neighborhoods that were very bit as
economically blighted than their Catholic counterparts.

"With the exception of Paul O'Dwyer, no one had more
meetings with the Unionist extreme than Peter King. Make no
mistake, that was a dangerous undertaking in the 1980s,"
said Mulvaney.

"His outreach was both public and private. Most of the
meetings were away from the press because King wanted
dialogue, not grandstanding.

"I don't believe King's personal stances changed at all,
but he proved that he was willing to listen and to see both
sides of a complicated issue. I still believe that King's
meetings in the mid 1980s were pivotal in the peace
process. When King, and others, cajoled President Clinton
into action, King was the one who could speak first hand of
the suffering of both sides."

Attorney and Democratic party activist Frank Durkan agrees.

"Pete has been an effective voice. It took a lot of courage
to speak out in defense of the IRA when everyone else was
killing them. And remember, his constituency was not
particularly Irish," said Durkan.

"Pete knew whereof he spoke because he had gone to the
North and had spoken to people."

As far as Durkan is concerned, King has secured his place
in the Irish American political pantheon "because he has
earned it."

But though he stuck his neck out for Irish Republicans when
it was distinctly unfashionable to do so, the post-Sept. 11
Pete King would have found it far more difficult to defend
the IRA's campaign had it stretched into this century, and
up as far as that fateful day.

The Sept. 11 attacks were a turning point for King. The son
of a New York City detective, he lost friends and
constituents in the attack on the World Trade Center and
his now-unequivocal hostility towards anything that even
remotely smacks of terrorism can be clearly traced to that
attack on America.

But then it comes to Ireland, King is off the razor's edge
and free to advocate for the peace process and Irish
nationalism's future from the lofty heights of his
committee chairmanship.

And not just for votes back on Long Island where King, who
lives with his family in Seaford, has shown an Al D'Amato-
like knack for addressing the needs, whims and demands of
constituents, 63 percent of whom cast their votes for him
in the 2004 congressional election.

Clearly, the voters like what they see and agree with what
they hear -- even when it's coming at them from the
rhetorical equivalent of a blazing six-shooter.


Ireland Bows Out As World Cup Campaign Ends With A Whimper

By Tom Humphries at Lansdowne Road

A long night in Lansdowne. It ended with long faces and
soon there will be long knives. The Republic of Ireland
crashed out of the World Cup last night. The three-year
tenure of manager Brian Kerr almost certainly died with
Irish hopes, writes Tom Humphries at Lansdowne Road

A scoreless draw was enough to usher the Swiss into the
play-off stages of qualification, dumping Ireland into
fourth place in the group. A French win over Cyprus in
Paris saw the France qualify automatically from Group Four.

The Swiss came to town with the comfort of having seen off
the last Irish manager, Mick McCarthy, when they were here
three years ago. Last night's result pretty much does the
same for Kerr. It was Ireland's worst qualification finish
since 1986.

It's hard to be precise about the moment when it happened
but somehow the idea of Kerr and Ireland being a fairytale
marriage lost its appeal for a lot of people. As the
manager was coursed through the pages of various
newspapers, so his team's performances became unhelpfully
tepid. The seeds of last night's failure were sown in poor
performances earlier in the campaign.

Kerr finished the night looking a forlorn figure as his
players again failed to make his case. It was even
suggested yesterday that Roy Keane would fly in to give an
impassioned speech to the team beforehand because the
millionaires might be scared of him. There was no sign of
Keane, but the performance early on suggested that perhaps
there had at least been an impassioned text

(Gd lck 2 U's?). The Irish went to work with verve and

With the raucous Lansdowne Road crowd acting like a cattle
prod on our lethargic heroes they began the game at a tempo
which we feared their metabolism couldn't sustain. The
Swiss had much the same suspicions and parried Ireland's
early blows nonchalantly. Indeed, the best chance of the
first half fell to them.

The serenely named Tranquillo Barnetta slung a lazy cross
to Alexander Frei who was criminally unimpeded as he headed
the ball wide - also criminally - of Shay Given's goal. For
penance, he held his head in his hands for quite some time.

Ireland saw much of their ambition broken down by the
concession of frees. In the end, though, our lack of
creativity proved fatal. Clear-cut chances on goal were
rare as hens' teeth. A highlights reel would show good
Swiss chances while the Irish pinballed around the Swiss

The ramifications go beyond the cancellation of Irish plans
to annex Germany next summer with beery bonhomie and lots
of SSIA money. We may lose a manager and we will certainly
lose our status as third seeds in the group stages of
competitions and become fourth seeds. We get weaker, the
gradient gets steeper.

© The Irish Times

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