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November 11, 2005

Loyalist Charged

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IO 11/11/05 Loyalist Paramilitary Charged
DJ 11/11/05 'When Will Saville Publish Findings?'
SF 11/11/05 Adams Addresses Friends Of SF Dinner In NY
IO 11/11/05 FG: Republic Ill-Prepared For Terrorist Attack
BB 11/11/05 Opin: Is Blair On The Run?
SB 11/11/05 North: Clothing Firms Axe 118 Jobs
BT 11/11/05 MLA To Hand Back His Medals In Protest
DN 11/11/05 UK Urges US To Learn From N. Ireland Campaign
IO 11/11/05 Shannon Stopover Phased Out Within 3 Years
IT 11/12/05 Deal Described As Worst Possible Outcome


Loyalist Paramilitary Charged

11/11/2005 - 15:48:18

A top loyalist paramilitary was charged today with
blackmail, intimidation and money laundering.

Andre Shoukri, leader of the Ulster Defence Association in
north Belfast, was arrested earlier this week following a
series of raids in the city.

Police confirmed a 36-year-old man was also charged today
with two counts of blackmail, intimidation, money
laundering, possession of a firearm with intent to commit
an arrestable offence and possession of a firearm with
intent to cause fear.

Shoukri, 28, and the 36-year-old will appear before Belfast
Magistrates' Court on Saturday morning.

It is understood the arrests followed searches of houses in
the Westlands estate in north Belfast as well as the
Castlereagh area of east Belfast.

Two men appeared in court yesterday in connection with the

A 23-year-old man was charged with threatening to kill
after demanding £4,000 (€5,900) cash and the keys to a
Belfast bar and a 46-year-old financial adviser was charged
with money laundering.


'When Will Saville Publish Findings?'

Friday 11th November 2005

The DUP's Gregory Campbell is urging the British government
to reveal when the Saville Report into Bloody Sunday will
be published.

The East Derry MP, who has tabled a question on the matter
in the House of Commons, says he expects to have an answer
from Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Peter Hain,
within the next week.

Meanwhile, a detailed breakdown of spending on the Bloody
Sunday Inquiry was provided at Westminster this week.

The inquiry, which was headed by Lord Saville, is currently
preparing its final report on the fatal shooting of 13
civilians during a civil rights march in Derry in 1972.

The probe into the events of January 30, 1972 closed at the
start of this year. It's been suggested the report will be
published next spring.

Overall, the total expenditure now tops £160 million.

NIO minister David Hanson, responding in a Commons written
reply to Mr. CampbelI, revealed that legal fees for the
Northern Ireland Office (NIO) amounted to £55.5 million.

The NIO also spent £15 million on accommodation, £3.2
million on transport, £12.8 million on IT equipment and
£7.6 million hiring halls.

Other costs for the NIO amounted to £36.2 million. These
included salary costs of Tribunal members (except Lord
Saville) and inquiry staff, witness expenses, expert
witnesses, office services and security, telecommunications
and miscellaneous office spending.

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) incurred £29.7
million in legal fees.

Other costs for the MoD totalled £3 million, including
inquiry-related staff and support costs, accommodation, a
police investigation and miscellaneous fees and expenses.

Mr. Hanson said the total cash spend of the inquiry to
October 2005 was £163 million.

He added: "Some limited expenditure will continue until the
Tribunal submits its final report to the Secretary of State
for Northern Ireland."

Mr. Campbell says the latest expenditure figures "establish
beyond doubt" that the Bloody Sunday Inquiry "is by far"
the most expensive public inquiry in British legal history.

"What I'd now like to know is how this expenditure compares
with the outlay on whatever is the second most expensive
public inquiry in British legal history," he said.

Mr. Campbell told the 'Journal' that the only people to
benefit from the Saville Inquiry were "lawyers" - " to the
tune of £85 million." "Society needs to know that it has
had to pay for the privilege of an inquiry that, in my
opinion, has not taken forward the process of closure on
this issue."


Gerry Adams Addresses Friends Of Sinn Féin Dinner In New

Published: 11 November, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP spoke by live satellite
link up to a packed capacity crowd who were standing and
cheering at the Friends of Sinn Féin dinner in New York
City last night.

Mr Adams said:

"I believe the recent initiatives by the IRA have opened up
a new phase in Irish political life.

We now have the ability to develop strategies and policies
which can positively change the future of Ireland and
reshape the type of country that we want to live in for our
future generations as well as this generation.

Consultation, engagement, persuasion and negotiation with a
view to securing active support for a united Ireland must
be the means towards these ends.

And in all of this, the contribution Irish America has made
has been enormous. With the progress we have made this year
and the potential that is now opening up for us, we need
your support even more than ever.

But let me also now deal with the issue of Policing which
appears to have been at the root of the disappointing
decision taken by the U.S. Administration to refuse me a
fundraising visa.

Nationalists and republicans need and want to be policed.
We are a law abiding community.

Look at the facts:

"The crime rate is one of the lowest in the developed world
and less than half the British average" (source: Invest NI

The north of Ireland "has the second lowest crime rate in
Europe." (source: NI Tourist Board website)

And this despite the fact that for much of the 20th century
we did not have a policing service - we had a political
police force, a sectarian paramilitary force.

Just as a 'Protestant state for a Protestant people' became
the hallmark of the state, so too did the state police.

The Good Friday Agreement is about changing all that was
wrong with the northern state - tackling discrimination
against Catholics, resolving deep rooted human rights and
equality issues, constitutional and institutional matters
and of course creating a new start for policing and

The agreement declared that our society needed a new
beginning to policing and defined the criteria for a civic
policing service. That is the position Sinn Féin supports.
Achieving this is a priority issue and task for Sinn Féin.
Let me repeat that - Sinn Féin is for policing.

But Sinn Féin refuses to accept less than the Agreement and
while others chose to support the current policing
arrangements we carried on and won the argument for
amending legislation which brings the policing dispensation
closer to the Good Friday Agreement proposals.

This is the position Sinn Féin has put to the electorate in
successive election in the north over the last 8 years. Our
vote has substantially increased. The nationalists
electorate clearly supports our analysis and our stand.

No one will take our decisions for us or force us into
taking up positions which are untenable or unsustainable.
It is our party, in consultation with our electorate and
our support base which will take the decision to embrace a
genuine new beginning to policing.

I made it clear to the U.S. Government that the creation of
the new beginning to policing, in accordance with the
principles of the Good Friday Agreement is what Sinn Féin
is determined to achieve. And in my view we have made
substantial progress.

I believe we will get policing right - or as right as
policing ever can be." ENDS


FG: Republic Ill-Prepared For Terrorist Attack

Ireland is no better prepared for a terrorist attack now
than it was before the 9/11 atrocity because emergency
planning is split between different Government departments,
it was claimed tonight.

Fine Gael's defence spokesman Billy Timmins said the lack
of extra funding for anti-terrorism was very worrying in
the light of recent comments regarding Ireland's security.

Last night Islamic fundamentalist and lawyer Anjem Choudary
said Ireland was a legitimate target for terrorism because
the Government allowed US troops to refuel at Shannon

A few hours earlier, Scotland Yard chief Sir Ian Blair
warned Dublin was as much at risk from a major terrorist
attack as any other large international city.

Mr Timmins said: "There is no indication that extra funding
has been allocated to enhance our anti-terrorism measures
and that is very worrying in light of recent comments.

"However, I am particularly concerned about our ability to
respond to a national disaster such as a terrorist attack.

"Our emergency planning procedures are split between a
number of disparate Government departments despite a
recommendation that a single emergency planning authority
be formed.

"Legislation must be enacted to form this authority as soon
as possible," he said.

In order to deal with potential terrorist attacks, Mr
Timmins said there must be measures to reduce the risk of
an attack by improving Ireland's intelligence capability
and entry and exit controls.

The country also needs early warning systems,
communications control, efficient equipment and trained
personnel to ensure readiness for any act of terrorism, he

Mr Timmins said the response to an attack must be speedy
and appropriate, with effectiveness improved by regular
training exercises, while recovery in the aftermath should
include a range of activities to restore of normality.

"The Government must now ensure that our policy in dealing
with the terrorist threat is underpinned by legislation and
the necessary funding."

He also said recent comments by Sinn Féin and some
independent politicians with regard to attacks on US
military aircraft did not assist stability and security in

"Despite the motives behind a criminal act, no member of
the Dáil should condone and encourage criminal activity,"
he warned.


Opin: Is Blair On The Run?

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

It was dark on College Green opposite Westminster when I
headed out to interview some local MPs about Tony Blair's
landmark defeat on his proposal to detain terror suspects
for 90 days.

A senior DUP figure couldn't disguise his glee.

"I feel the hand of history on my shoulder" he said echoing
the prime minister's much mocked sound-bite at the time of
the Good Friday Agreement.

The rumour mill had been working all day that the
government was courting the DUP with offers of concessions
over the Royal Irish Regiment.

The SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, took a personal phone call
from Mr Blair suggesting his three MPs might abstain, an
offer the Foyle MP rejected.

The DUP said they hadn't been offered anything for their
nine votes.

Instead, they claimed to be more interested in shoring up
Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition to the
Northern Ireland Offences Bill.

In their view, the bill provides an effective "amnesty" for
on-the-run paramilitaries and others accused of historic
crimes during the Troubles.

At the start of the day it had looked like smart news
management for the government to publish the controversial
bill just as all eyes were turned elsewhere on the terror

But by tea-time it looked less clever.

The Northern Ireland Offences Bill hasn't been
particularly high up the agenda so far as London
commentators are concerned.

Even if the DUP had been made some kind of attractive
offer, it would have been tough for them to rush to the
government's aid on the very day they were showing Aileen
Quinton, whose mother was killed in the Enniskillen
bombing, and other terrorist victims, around the
remembrance garden at Westminster Abbey.

Either way, even the DUP's nine votes would not have saved
the prime minister.

So is Tony Blair damaged goods, and if so what might a
Gordon Brown succession mean for Northern Ireland?

The DUP's Nigel Dodds believes "there is no doubt that the
prime minister is now entering the latter stage of his

He added: "It is clear all sides at Westminster recognise
that power is seeping away from him in anticipation of the
coming day when in all likelihood Chancellor Gordon Brown
will become leader."

Mark Durkan told the BBC's Inside Politics programme that
he "didn't necessarily" think Mr Blair's authority has
disappeared, "provided he listens to his critics".

Nevertheless, he was prepared to entertain some questions
about Gordon Brown, expressing the view that the chancellor
might have proved more effective than Mr Blair in handling
the disruptive tactics of some local parties since the Good
Friday Agreement.

For now though, it is Tony Blair who has to steer
controversial measures like school and health reforms
through Westminster.

The Northern Ireland Offences Bill hasn't been particularly
high up the agenda so far as London commentators are

But there is no doubt that it has the potential to provide
the prime minister with another parliamentary headache.

The terms of the bill stand traditional notions of justice
on their head and there are rumours that senior figures in
the judiciary are extremely unhappy about the proposed
Special Tribunal, a "court without consequence".

In the Commons, Tony Blair may still enjoy a sufficiently
strong majority when the magic words "peace process" are

But in the Lords, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats
have the numbers to inflict damage.

It is hard to imagine this extremely contentious piece of
legislation making it on to the statute book without a
significant number of amendments.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/11 18:08:09 GMT


North: Clothing Firms Axe 118 Jobs

11/11/2005 - 2:39:32 PM

More than 100 textile job losses were announced today by
two firms in the North.

Lingerie company Adria confirmed 65 redundancies at its
operation in Strabane, Co Tyrone, just four months after it
said it ws to shed 185 jobs.

Those losses came on top of 175 redundancies in March.

In a separate move, Glenaden Shirts said it would be making
53 staff redundant, a third of the workforce at its Derry

Adria blamed difficult market conditions for the move and
said the job losses will be in fine gauge knitting and

The company said talks were ongoing with union and staff
representatives but the redundancies were expected to have
concluded by the end of February next year.

Glenaden Shirts said it had been forced to scale down its
operation after the reduction in the order book of a key

The company said, with 111 employees, it will still be the
largest remaining shirt manufacturer in the UK.

Managing director Andrew Lowden said: "This is a very
regrettable announcement.

"However, our commitment remains towards retaining a
significant number of jobs in Derry and mitigating the
projected job losses over the next two months wherever we

"The rest of the business is sound, with the potential to
add to the customer base, so it is important that the cost
structure and production capacity is brought down to the
level which is sustainable."

Sinn Féin economic spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin said he
was concerned at the failure to attract new jobs to the

The Foyle MLA said: "The news today of further job losses
in the north west is obviously a severe blow to those
workers immediately affected, particularly in the mouth of

"But it will also have a critical impact on the economy of
the north west.

"There have been numerous studies and consultations carried
out at immense cost to plan the future regeneration of the
north west region yet all we hear of is job losses.

"When are those tasked with attracting employment to the
region going to deliver?

"I am calling on both governments to act with the utmost
urgency to rectify the situation and reverse the
haemorrhaging of jobs from this region."


MLA To Hand Back His Medals In Protest

By Noel McAdam
11 November 2005

An Ulster Unionist Assembly member is to hand back his UDR
medals to Downing Street in protest at the Government
disbandment of the Royal Irish home battalions.

Michael Copeland said that it was with great sadness that
he will return his General Service award along with a
personal letter addressed to Tony Blair in London tomorrow.

The East Belfast MLA has voiced his outrage that, for the
first time since the Irish Republic counties ceded from the
United Kingdom, Northern Ireland "will be without a locally
recruited, readily available aid to the civil power". And
he was left angered because RIR officers, non-commissioned
officers and soldiers first learned of the decision from
the media.

Shortly after the announcement, Mr Copeland, who was given
the medal for campaign service with the UDR, said he would
hand the award back.

But he waited until this weekend when he is travelling with
50 members of victims groups who were at the House of Lords
today to highlight concerns over the Governments' proposed
effective amnesty for Troubles related crimes - and are
also planning to attend the Remembrance service at the
Cenotaph on Sunday.

Mr Copeland's letter says: "It will be impossible for you
to understand the significance of this medal to myself, my
family and those other thousands who served and continue to
serve within the UDR and the Royal Irish.

"I fully understand that emotion has little place in
politics and must often be deferred to pragmatism ...
Personally speaking, I find the attitude of your Government
in its policies towards terrorists, be they foreign or
domestic, ambiguous to say the least."

Mr Copeland, who became a UDR commissioned officer, said he
had joined, along with thousands of others, believing it
was the only avenue for contributing to the defence "of my
country". But the disbandment decision was viewed as a
"further act of appeasement to entice murderers and
terrorists onto the democratic playing field".

Yet the only reward to not just the UDR and RIR but the RUC
and Reserve, as well as prison, fire and ambulance services
for their part in the victory over terrorism "has been made
to feel like betrayal," the letter added.


U.K. Expert Urges U.S. Military To Learn From N. Ireland


Looking at the United Kingdom's experience in Northern
Ireland, former British Army officer and intelligence
analyst Andrew Garfield said Nov. 9 that he sees lessons
for the American military in Iraq.

Participating in a roundtable discussion organized by the
American Enterprise Institute, Washington, Garfield said
the first lesson for the United States is that the war
cannot be won by a "kinetic" approach, using the military's
term for offensive military operations.

The British Army in Northern Ireland initially resorted to
heavy force as its default reaction to every security
situation, he said, and these operations were largely
counterproductive. He cited an Irish Republican Army (IRA)
chief of staff who said the best recruiting sergeant he had
was the British Army, and that a lot of Irish youth joined
the IRA not because of any ideology but because of heavy-
handed British actions. The British Army had to shift its
emphasis from using force to winning the population's

Garfield said Americans should remember that people have
long memories. He doesn't believe American officials credit
the Iraqis with feeling the same way about civilian
casualties that Americans would in similar situations. The
term "collateral damage" doesn't explain the emotional
damage and animosity that the death of innocent civilians
can create. The classic example is the 1972 Bloody Sunday
incident, when 13 demonstrators were killed by British
soldiers. Garfield said the incident has haunted the
British Army and British government for 35 years.

All operations must be underpinned by the best intelligence
available, Garfield said. A counterinsurgency campaign
requires heavy intelligence support. In the British Army
today, he said, an armored brigade has six or eight
intelligence professionals to support each 5,000-man unit.
The numbers are similar for U.S. Army brigades. In Northern
Ireland, the British had 400 to 500 intelligence
professionals to support a brigade-sized force.

Those intelligence analysts cannot be on short-term
rotations, he said: Most intelligence professionals
deployed to Northern Ireland were there for two years on
individual, not unit, rotations, so they could build
continuity. Many of the intelligence professionals in more
sensitive and difficult areas served even longer.

That dedication of intelligence resources, Garfield said,
allowed an intelligence picture to be developed on an
adversary that wasn't nearly as complex or large as the
insurgency in Iraq.

Developing a clear understanding of the insurgency requires
effective coordination of all intelligence at all agency
levels, which poses a considerable challenge to the United
States because of the sheer size of its intelligence
bureaucracy, he said. The British in Northern Ireland had
the advantage of being small.

Counterinsurgency warfare requires new skill sets and
cultural understanding. The average British officer or
soldier did not understand the typical Catholic Irishman
though they shared many characteristics — certainly more
than a U.S. soldier shares with the average Iraqi Sunni.

Garfield said the approach must be to look at the
insurgency like an onion. Too often, the thinking in
military circles is that the best way to get at the onion's
rotten core is to slice it in half. Instead, the military
must peel away the layers of insurgent support until they
eventually reach the center, he said.

"Until you peel away those layers of support, and deal with
the perceived and actual grievances of the community, most
of your actions are counterproductive."

Coalition force numbers in Iraq are insufficient to defeat
the insurgency, Garfield said. In Northern Ireland, British
Army numbers rose as high as 22,000, relative to an Irish
population of 1.5 million, a Catholic population of
500,000, a hard-core republican population of 100,000 and
500 terrorists.


Shannon Stopover To Be Phased Out Within Three Years

11/11/2005 - 17:06:37

The Shannon stopover is to be phased out by April 2008, it
was revealed today.

The Minister for Transport signed an agreement with his US
counterpart in New York this afternoon.

The number of flights forced to land in Shannon will be
reduced to one in four by November next year.

Cargo flights will not have stop at all from that date.


Deal Described Locally As 'Worst Possible Outcome'

Gordon Deegan

The deal ending the Shannon stopover was described by
local campaigners last night "as the worst possible outcome
for Shannon airport".

Joe Buckley, spokesman for Signal, the Shannon workers
lobby, said it was "a black day" for the west of Ireland.

"It is an appalling deal and the Minister should have
walked away from it . . . The deal raises the prospect of
no winter transatlantic services out of Shannon, and if
year-round transatlantic services can't be maintained, we
won't see US industry coming to the west of Ireland."

Mr Buckley cited an independent study forecasting that
Shannon's transatlantic traffic will drop from 700,000 to
400,000 per annum under an "open skies" regime.

Opposition party TDs in the mid-west united in condemning
the deal.

Independent Clare TD James Breen said: "It is a sell-out of
the mid-west by Minister Cullen. It will have a seriously
negative effect on jobs at the airport."

Labour's Limerick East TD Jan O'Sullivan asked: "How could
this have happened, particularly in light of the thousands
of jobs, particularly in multinationals, which depend on
transatlantic flights? In addition, the lead-in time is
wholly inadequate."

Fine Gael TD Pat Breen described the deal as "the worst of
both worlds", forecasting that "airlines will use their
Shannon obligation for the peak periods during the summer
and ignore the airport for the rest of the time".

Last night, at a function in Spanish Point, Minister of
State for Education Síle de Valera declined to comment on
the deal, saying she still had to study its details. The
other local Minister of State, Tony Killeen, was
unavailable for comment.

However, Fianna Fáil Senator Brendan Daly said last night:
"Shannon airport has faced down difficult times before, and
I have no doubt that they will face it down again.

"It is a challenge for them, but this was inevitable
because I don't think governments will be able to determine
where people can and cannot fly to."

© The Irish Times

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