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November 06, 2005

Adams: Ireland United in My Lifetime

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News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 11/06/05 Adams: 'Ireland United In My Lifetime'
SB 11/06/05 Ahern Grasps The Loyalist Nettle
IO 11/05/05 Two Still Held Over Northern Bank Raid
LL 11/05/05 Two IRA Fugitives Will Be Excluded From Amnesty
UT 11/05/05 Man Charged With Rioting Released On Bail
ND 11/05/05 Frank Carvill: An Immigrant's Best Pal
UT 11/05/05 Cruise Ship Passenger Tells Of Pirate Attack


Adams: 'Ireland United In My Lifetime'

Ireland will be united in Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams'
lifetime, he said last night.

By:Press Association

The West Belfast MP claimed the IRA`s pledge to end all
violence and disarm completely had transformed the
political landscape.

But he urged republicans to work with unionists in order to
achieve their goal.

Mr Adams told supporters at an event in Dublin to mark his
party`s centenary: "The type of Ireland we want to create
involves the coming together of Orange and Green on the
basis of equality and respect.

"Republicanism is about much more than re-uniting Ireland.

Republicanism is about equality. There is now the wealth in
this state to make that a reality."

The Sinn Fein leader insisted nationalists in Northern
Ireland were no longer so-called second class citizens.

"Republicanism is stronger than at any time in recent
memory," he claimed.

"We are moving forward with confidence and I believe that
if we work together we will see a united Ireland in our

Mr Adams based his assessment on the impact of the
Provisionals announcing in July that its armed struggle was
over and decommissioning chief General John de Chastelain
overseeing weapons destruction two months later.

"Even though the IRA initiative of formally ending its
campaign and putting arms beyond use occurred only a few
months ago already a debate has started within unionism,"
he said.

"This may take some time to play out but it is positive

"And in the 26 counties the other political parties are
facing up to the reality that the political landscape is
being transformed. The old political certainties are being

To achieve a united Ireland all strands of Irish
nationalism, republicanism and the labour movement must
come together, he stressed.

Mr Adams added: "Those of us who want to see an end to
British rule and the establishment of the republic need to
build new alliances, to devise and develop new strategies
and shared positions and to drive forward the united
Ireland agenda in the time ahead.

"A key part of this must be a genuine engagement with the
unionist community."


Ahern Grasps The Loyalist Nettle

06 November 2005 By Colm Heatley

Strolling around the Somme Heritage Centre outside
Newtownards, Co Down, last Thursday, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
must have had time to reflect on the history of militant

Although the centre commemorates the dead of both world
wars, and even displays uniforms belonging to James
Connolly's Irish Citizen Army, its main focus is the 36th
Ulster Division.

Its men, who fought and died at the Somme in 1916, were the
forerunners of the modern Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) - at
least in the history of loyalism.

The visit, which came just five days after the Loyalist
Volunteer Force announced its disbandment, was the latest
in a series of low-key, but potentially significant,
confidence-building measures between Ahern's government and
the wider loyalist community.

Last week, David Ervine, the leader of the Progressive
Unionist Party (PUP), which has long had links with the
UVF, held talks with Ahern in Dublin.

Afterwards, Ervine said loyalist paramilitaries would
continue to debate their future, and reiterated his view
that the outcome would be "peaceful and positive''.

"It was a very positive meeting and I think Ahern
understands the need to give people time and space to work
things out," he said. "Ahern realises that you can't just
slam the brakes on a juggernaut, it has to be guided there

Ervine also hinted that all-party talks aimed at restoring
devolution - something that he favours - would begin soon,
with Ahern's support.

Loyalists have long complained of being "frozen out'' of
the peace process; Ahern's trips and meetings seem designed
to counter that percept ion. His 'softly-softly' approach
also suggests a fragile relationship. The message coming
from both the political and military wings of the UVF is
that it intends to go out of business in the coming months,
but nothing will happen overnight.

The much-anticipated disbandment of the Loyalist Volunteer
Force (LVF) paves the way for the UVF and the Ulster
Defence Association (UDA) to make similar moves.

Under pressure from the UVF because of a feud over the
summer, the LVF did not so much leave the stage as be
pushed off it.

During its nine-year history, the LVF was involved in about
24 murders, all committed during the peace process. It
carried out the attacks while building a criminal empire,
which often led to violent feuds with rival loyalist

Few, including the LVF's leadership, believe its members
will end their criminal activities. They are expected to
carry on with criminality in a freelance role and free from
UVF intervention.

The LVF has also refused to declare its hand with regard to
decommissioning. It is known that the group has access to a
modern arsenal of weapons including AK-47s, handguns and

There is a possibility that these weapons will end up in
the hands of criminal gangs in the North. However,
disbandment sets a precedent for other loyalist groups and
removes at least one threat from Northern nationalists.

Even the UDA, the largest and least stable of the loyalist
paramilitary groups, was eager to point out that it met the
Decommissioning Body last week. However, its spokesmen and
'brigadiers' continue to make threats against nationalists.

Loyalism, like unionism, is politically fractured. Its
inability to deal with the new realities created by the
Good Friday Agreement have been compounded by a series of
feuds over the past five years, which have led to the
murders of dozens of loyalist paramilitaries by former

In dealing with leaders such as Ervine, Ahern has to assess
whether he is talking either to a politician who can
genuinely deliver the UVF's guns, or to the leader of a
political party that saw its vote drop to just 1 per cent
in last May's elections.

Occasionally, Ervine claims to have the ear of the
militarists, arguing that this gives him a central role in
the peace process. However, more often he argues that the
UVF is beyond his control.

Ahern's government will also have to decide if loyalist
criminality is a nettle it will grasp following the
disbandment of loyalist paramilitary groups. However, given
the disbandment of the LVF and recent UVF statements on the
subject, it is clear that loyalists are aware of the
shifting sands since IRA decommissioning and disbandment.

At a grass-roots level in Protestant working-class
communities, there is a general indifference to the
intentions of the UVF and the UDA.

While some Protestants support the paramilitaries, they
have also suffered from the almost non-stop loyalist feuds
that have engulfed parts of Belfast. The feuds have brought
not just murder, but mass expulsions from loyalist areas,
such as happened on the Shankill Road in 2003 during an
internal UDA feud.

"I'm sick of the paramilitaries. They're only out for
themselves. They claim to be loyalists, but they are only
loyal to crime," said one shopkeeper on the Newtownards
Road in Belfast last week.

Those experiences, combined with the appeal of the
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and traditional Protestant
voting patterns, also make it unlikely that the PUP will
get an electoral boost when the UVF disbands.

Instead, loyalist politicians and leading UVF figures are
calling for increased funding for Protestant areas and,
from their perspective, a more inclusive approach to

Another less visible factor, British military intelligence,
maybe pushing for loyalist disbandment. Most of the
loyalists' current arsenal was provided in the late 1980s
with the approval, knowledge and support of the British
government's intelligence agencies.

Few believe the loyalists would have been able to conduct
their campaign without logistical support, a belief borne
out by a succession of official investigations and
revelations that point to a deeply ingrained policy of
collusion between the British military and loyalist

Given the IRA's recent disbandment, it could be that the
British military has decided it no longer has any use for
loyalist paramilitaries.


Two Still Held Over Northern Bank Raid

05/11/2005 - 20:33:05

Two men were still being questioned tonight by detectives
investigating the £26.5m (€39m) Northern Bank heist in

The pair, aged 30 and 43, were held as part of planned
raids that led to five arrests being made.

Building contractor Dominic McEvoy, 23, of Kilcoo, Co Down
became the first man charged with last December's robbery
when he appeared before a magistrate in Belfast on Friday.

Two others, aged 40 and 25, have been released without

Although some cash seized in Co Cork in February has been
linked to the raid on the Northern's HQ, nearly all of the
money stolen has still to be traced.

Police chiefs on both sides of the border have blamed the
IRA for the robbery.


Two IRA Fugitives Will Be Excluded From Amnesty

By Barry Duggan

MINISTER for Defence, Willie O'Dea confirmed this Tuesday
that two IRA fugitives who are "on the run" and wanted for
the killing of Det Garda Jerry McCabe will be excluded by
the Irish Government in any amnesty for republican

Paul Damery and Gerry Roche are wanted by Garda' and
Minister O'Dea said "whenever they are caught, they will
have to face justice".

Following the IRA declaration that their armed campaign is
over, both Irish and British governments are introducing
legislation providing an amnesty to 40 IRA terrorists who
are still listed as "wanted" as part of a political
payback. British legislation will be put before parliament
next week, but Irish laws are expected to differ from the
British in respect of the IRA duo.

According to Minister O'Dea, Damery and Roche will be
excluded from any Irish amnesty legislation.

"This is a planned amnesty and they will not have any part.
They are keeping quiet at the moment, but it is well known
that we want them back. They have to face the consequences
for what they did," said Minister O'Dea.

Garda' and foreign police agencies including Interpol are
working closely to have Damery and Roche-who senior Garda'
believe were at the scene of the fatal shooting of Det
Garda McCabe at Adare in 1996-extradited back to Ireland to
face trial.

Earlier this year, Justice Minister Michael McDowell
exclusively told the Limerick Leader that he wanted to
extradite and put on trial the two IRA fugitives.

On having the two men extradited back to Ireland, the
Department of Justice said the issue was "an operational
matter" and would not comment further.

Widow of the slain detective, Ann McCabe has said that the
two men should be extradited back to Ireland to face trial.

Damery, an electrician from Cobh, County Cork sought refuge
in Nicaragua after Adare while Roche-a veteran republican-
is believed to have moved to the continent. It is
understood that vital forensic evidence recovered on a
getaway jeep linked the pair to the Adare shooting.


Man Charged With Rioting Released On Bail

The 22nd person to be charged in relation to the rioting at
the Ardoyne shops last July was released on bail today.

Belfast High Court heard that 20-year-old Gerard
McClafferty had been visiting relatives in the north of the
city on July 12th when he allegedly became involved

in what was described as "serious public disorder".

Crown lawyer David Hopley told the court that from footage
recorded by the security forces, McClafferty could
allegedly be seen "throwing missiles at the police lines".

However he added that although the Orange Order parade and
the police came under attack from petrol and blast bombs,
it is not alleged that McClafferty was involved in that
"but rather he threw rocks and stones".

After Mr Justice Weir commented that McClafferty had picked
a "fine evening" to go to the Ardoyne shops, defence
solicitor Robert Murtagh conceded he had to "take that on
the chin" but added that during police interviews, "the
applicant made full admissions".

The judge released McClafferty on hos own bail of £250 with
one surety of £500, ordered him to reside at Stockman`s
Lane and imposed a curfew from 9pm - 8am.

Almost 100 riot squad officers and two journalists were
injured during four hours of rioting as an Orange Parade
returned past the shop fronts.

They came under attack from a 300-strong crowd throwing
innumerable missiles such as bricks, bottles, golf and
snooker balls as well as dozens of petrol bombs and nine
blast bombs, six of which exploded.

Officers had tried to fend the crowd off using water canon
but eventually resorted to using the new foam-tipped
plastic bullet, now called an attentuated energy


An Immigrant's Best Pal

Part of Ave. named after Iraq war hero



A war hero and an immigration advocate received a fitting
salute last week when a portion of Woodside Ave. was
renamed in his honor.

Frank Carvill, who died in Iraq last year at age 51, helped
establish a local center for immigrants and dedicated his
life to assisting newcomers.

"It's nice that he is remembered and recognized not just by
the way he died - but by the way he lived," said his
sister, Peggy Carvill-Ligouri.

She spoke after unveiling the "Frank Carvill Place" street
sign at Woodside Ave. and 59th St.

Down that block sits the Emerald Isle Immigration Center,
founded in 1988 with the aid of Carvill, who served as the
center's treasurer and board member.

A resident of Carlstadt, N.J., and the son of Irish
immigrants, Carvill became active in Woodside - a
neighborhood that serves as the heart of the city's Irish

The immigration center - which is open to all nationalities
and caters to about 500 people each month - offers legal
and social counseling, and assists in finding employment.

Referring to the new street sign, Emerald Isle chairman
Brian O'Dwyer said, "It means that every single day that we
come here we'll be reminded of Frank and his work."

Wednesday morning's dedication ceremony attracted a sizable
crowd that included Carvill's mother and two siblings,
elected officials and local leaders.

"Frank Carvill was not just a hero to Irish-Americans and
new Americans but to all Americans," said City Councilman
Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside), who helped make the sign a
reality despite initial opposition from the local community

Carvill was a paralegal for the Port Authority and worked
at the World Trade Center.

Growing up in a family of first-generation Americans, his
sister said, "There was tremendous pride and patriotism we
were brought up in."

As a volunteer with the New Jersey National Guard for two
decades, Sgt. Carvill was dispatched to Iraq and served in
a military police battalion in central Baghdad.

On June 4, 2004, during a patrol on Palestine St. at the
hostile Sadr City neighborhood, his Humvee was blown up by
an improvised explosive device that killed Carvill and four
other soldiers.

"He was the epitome of unselfishness," eulogized Sean
Crowley, president of the Brehon Law Society, who worked
with Carvill. "In fact, days before he was killed in Iraq,
he gave up a chance to return home, deferring to a fellow
soldier who had suffered a death in the family."

Lynn Washington, 36, served in the same unit with Carvill
and called him "an extraordinary person." Although he was
always ready to converse about any topic, Washington could
not recall his peer ever bragging about his advocacy work.

"He affected hundreds and thousands of people's lives, but
he never talked about it," Washington said.


Cruise Ship Passenger Tells Of Pirate Attack

A British tourist told today how he watched helplessly as
pirates fired a rocket launcher at his luxury cruise liner.

Solicitor Norman Fisher, 55, from Hampstead Garden Suburb
in north London was onboard the Seabourn Spirit 100 miles
off Somalia in Africa when the attack from small boats took

The first many bleary-eyed passengers knew of the dawn raid
was when captain Sven Erik Pedersen came on the PA system
and said: "Stay inside, we`re under attack."

Terrified passengers, including 18 from Britain, were told
to go to the restaurant as the sound of the grenade and
gunfire from two 25ft rigid inflatable boats filled the

"I was awake doing some work when I heard what sounded like
a crack from outside at 5.50am," said Mr Fisher.

"I looked out of the window and saw a small boat with about
five people in it about 20 yards away.

"One of them clearly had a rifle. Later I realised that two
of them had rifles and one had some kind of rocket

"They were firing the rifle and then fired the rocket
launcher twice. One of the rockets certainly hit the ship -
it went through the side of the liner into a passenger`s
suite. The couple were in there at the time so it was a bit
of an unpleasant experience.

"Fortunately they weren`t hurt but you can just imagine
what it would have been like if they had been standing up
because obviously the cabin was very badly damaged.

"I only saw one boat, although the captain said there were
two. At first I didn`t know what was going on, but when I
saw the rocket launcher I started getting a bit scared."

Mr Fisher went on: "I suppose I had a little bit of
adrenaline, particularly because I was trying to take

"Afterwards, particularly when I looked at the photos and
realised the guy was loading the rocket launcher right in
front of me, which I hadn`t seen with the naked eye, then
you do feel a certain amount of tension about what might
have happened."

Mr Fisher said the captain tried to ram one of the boats in
an attempt to capsize it and stop them getting aboard.

"The captain didn`t sound the usual alarm because he was
worried that people would run up on the deck thinking it
was a fire, and that would be the worst place to be," Mr
Fisher explained.

"Instead he made an announcement at five past six, saying:
`Stay inside, stay inside, we are under attack`.

"Then he told us to go the restaurant in the middle of the
ship and wait.

"The atmosphere in the restaurant was a little tense.
People were pretty good and they weren`t panicking, but one
or two were certainly looking nervous," Mr Fisher said.

"Most people were wearing dressing gowns and were quite
bleary-eyed. Some sat on the floor for extra safety and
others sat in the chairs. After a while they started
bringing in water and coffee for us.

"The captain came in at about 6.30am and explained what was
going on and said he was reasonably confident we had lost
them. Of course he got a massive round of applause."

He added: "It was all a very surreal experience - not the
kind of thing you expect on a cruise."

The Bahamas-registered ship was carrying 302 passengers and
crew at the time, but there was only one casualty - a crew
member suffered minor injuries from flying debris.

David Dingle, a spokesman for the Miami-based company
Seabourn Cruises, owned by US cruise giant Carnival,
claimed the rocket did not hit the ship but it was struck
by small arms fire. The vessel escaped with only minor
damage, he added.

The crew also used an on-board loud acoustic bang to repel
the attackers who finally sped off without managing to
board the liner. They did not return fire at the pirates.

The drama happened in an area notorious for pirate
activity, leading to warnings to stay away from the coast
where bandits board ships and demand ransoms.

Somalia has had no recognised government since 1991 and at
least 23 hijackings or attempted raids have been tried off
the East African country`s coast this year, according to
the International Maritime Bureau.

The ship was en route to Mombasa in Kenya on a 16-day
cruise out of Alexandria in Egypt.

The 10,000-ton liner offers the height of luxury, with huge
suites, marble bathrooms and more than one crew member to
each passenger on board. Most of the passengers are
believed to be American.

Mr Dingle said: "The ship`s crew immediately initiated a
trained response and as a result of protective and evasive
measures taken the occupants of the small craft were unable
to gain access to the ship."

He said that when the rocket propelled grenade-type weapon
was fired at the ship, the crew and passengers remained

"The passengers were somewhat surprised and shocked because
it happened at 5.30am in the morning and they were woken,"
he explained.

"The passengers were mustered in a public room, told what
was going on and reassured that we were fighting off the
attack. They were shocked but no passengers were injured

"We are extremely pleased that all the measures worked.

The captain and crew did a fantastic job."

The ship has now cancelled its stop at Mombasa and will end
the cruise in the Seychelles on Monday.

Mr Dingle said the company had no reason to believe it was
a terrorist attack and all the evidence pointed to pirates.

Despite the incident the area is not the most notorious for
pirate attacks, which are increasing being executed by
ruthless organised and well resourced criminal gangs.

Indonesian waters are the most dangerous with 93 attacks in
2004. Overall though the IMB said incidents worldwide have
decreased over the last few years but still 30 crew were
murdered last year by pirates with many others beaten and
held to ransom.

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