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November 06, 2005

LVF Hangs On To Drugs Empire

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News about Ireland & the Irish

SL 11/06/05 LVF Hang On To Drugs Empire
SL 11/06/06 Loyalist Creeping Back Into The Shadows
IO 11/06/05 Johnny Adair Settles In Scottish Seaside Town
SL 11/06/05 Release Of Loyalists To Balance 'OTR' Move
SL 11/06/05 Lisa’s Family Seek Reassurances From Minister
SL 11/06/05 Tutu Ignored Justice Group
SL 11/06/05 Bus Business As Usual On Shankhill
SL 11/06/05 Cops Urged To Quiz Loyalist Killer Again
BB 11/06/05 Racecourse Alert 'Elaborate Hoax'
SL 11/06/05 Arrest For Scap (Of The Cardiac Variety)
SL 11/06/05 Belfast: There's A New Sheriff In Town...
SL 11/06/05 Amnesty May Solve UDA 'Lucan' Mystery
SL 11/06/05 IRA Victim's Daughter To Lobby MPs On Fugitives
SL 11/06/05 Loyalist Supergrass Given Reasons For Refusal
SL 11/06/05 Jonty's Book Of Revelations A Sure-Fire Hit
SL 11/06/05 Taking IRA Confessions With A Help From Pope
SL 11/06/05 Proud To Have Saved Life Of Provo's Child
SL 11/06/05 Bad Apples & Good Stemmed From Special Branch
IO 11/06/05 Ahern 'A Genuine Socialist', Says McCreevy
SL 11/06/05 Keenan Sister Making Slow Recovery
GU 11/06/05 All-Irish Soccer Centre Mooted
BB 11/06/05 Divis Mountain Wins 'Space Award'
JN 11/06/05 Ireland's Consul General To Visit Orangetown


LVF Hang On To Drugs Empire

By Ciaran McGuigan
06 November 2005

THE LOYALIST Volunteer Force offered to "stand down"
because it was in disarray with its leaders either behind
bars or forced to flee Ulster.

But the loyalist terror group, described by one senior
security source as "simply drugs dealers with guns and
badges", are unlikely to give up their lucrative drugs
trade so easily, it has been warned.

The LVF statement issued last Monday, ordering all its
units to stand down, has been met with scepticism

"Whether or not they step down, as they have said in the
past week is one thing.

"But drug dealing is what these people do for a living and
have been for years, and it's unlikely that they are going
to give that up now," warned a senior security source.

"They have come out with their statement because they have
been under intense pressure from the UVF, and for no other

"If they are serious about standing down they will have to
give up their guns and stop dealing drugs and I don't see
that happening.

"Their organisation has taken some severe blows, however.

"Because of what has happened (with the UVF), a lot of the
most senior figures have taken themselves offside and out
of the country.

"Others are still in Northern Ireland, but in jail."

Sunday Life understands that among the senior figures who
have fled is a close associate of murdered LVF commander
Steven Warnock.

The man, who lived in the Garnerville area of Holywood,
fled after the UVF took over the estate. He's believed to
be holed up in east Scotland.

As well as coming under pressure from the UVF, the man is
understood to have been questioned about the disappearance
of Lisa Dorrian.

Added our source: "He was the main man in Holywood and east
Belfast and was involved in major drug dealing on a daily

Another leading figure is Robert 'Blackie' Black, currently
on remand in Maghaberry prison awaiting a no-jury trial for
attempted murder.

He was one of the men arrested for a brutal shooting in
Redburn cemetery, earlier this year.

Said a security source: "Blackie would have been the one
who put up a fight against the UVF.

"With him off the streets and behind bars, things were able
to calm down a little."

Black is another known drug dealer and another associate of
Warnock, with over 100 convictions to his name.

Another leading LVF figure, who was released from prison in
mid September, and has remained close to home, is Lawrence
'Duffer' Kincaid.

He was charged earlier this year with intimidation in
relation to an incident in which he suffered a serious
gunshot wound.

Before that shooting incident, Kincaid, who has already
served jail time for drugs offences, beat a major drugs rap
after an "ecstasy distribution centre" was unearthed in the
Ballysillian area of north Belfast.


Creeping Back Into The Shadows

06 November 2005

ALTHOUGH the streets of Belfast saw the worst of the
loyalist feud, the LVF's leading figures in mid-Ulster have
been forced to creep back into the shadows.

The organisation are known to control the lucrative drugs
trade, but its leading figures have taken a number of
expensive hits at the hands of the Drugs Squad and have
gone to ground.

And a number of their members have been targeted in
shooting incidents arising out of personal disputes.

Among those shot was convicted drug dealer Gordon

Child killer Glen Hagan has also been caught up in a number
of explosive incidents with loyalist rivals.

Also keeping his head down is the money man behind the
LVF's drug deals.

The man - an associate of the LVF's former jailhouse
commander Robin 'Billy' King - has never been convicted of
an offence in this country, but was questioned in relation
to the murder of investigative reporter Martin O'Hagan.

He has lost money on a number of major drugs busts,
including a £1m cocaine haul recovered in mid Ulster, and
an £8m ecstasy racket smashed in Amsterdam, but has never
been up in front of a court.

According to security sources, he is "keeping a very low
profile" at the minute.


Johnny Adair Settles In Scottish Seaside Town

06/11/2005 - 12:22:04

Former paramilitary boss Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair has moved
to a quiet Scottish seaside town, it emerged today.

Adair, the ex-Ulster Defence Association commander, has re-
settled in Troon, South Ayrshire, after leaving his
previous home in Bolton, Lancashire.

Strathclyde Police confirmed they were keeping a close eye
on Adair.

Last month, he walked free from a Bolton court after
admitting assaulting his wife, Gina.

A spokesman for Strathclyde Police said: "Collectively the
Scottish police service is aware of the presence of Mr
Adair in Scotland.

"As a UK citizen, he is not subject to any restriction and
is free to enter Scotland but the fact that he has chosen
to do so is clearly of interest to us.

"We would, however, wish to generally reassure members of
the public of our resolve to continually monitor any
potential causes for concern and take the action that
appears appropriate to the circumstances at that time."

Adair, 42, was fined £250 at Bolton Magistrates' Court last
month over a drunken attack on his wife of 23 years, with
whom he has four children.

The ex-UDA brigadier, who collects state benefits, admitted
a charge of common assault.

Adair's family first came to Scotland and stayed in Ayr in
2003 after fleeing a violent loyalist feud in Belfast.

The terror chief was a hate figure to republicans for much
of the 1990s because of his direction of a vicious campaign
of sectarian violence against Catholics.

But it was fellow loyalists who ousted "Mad Dog" and many
of his C Company allies from their lower Shankill Road
power base.

In February 2003, UDA brigadier John Gregg and fellow UDA
member Robert Carson were gunned down in Belfast docks as
they returned from a Glasgow Rangers match.

Adair's family and remaining friends then fled their homes
and caught the ferry to Scotland before moving to Bolton,
settling in the Horwich area.

They were joined earlier this year there by "Mad Dog" after
his release from Maghaberry Prison, Co Antrim.


Release Of Loyalists To Balance 'OTR' Move

By Sunday Life Reporter
06 November 2005

THE NIO is actively considering the early release of a
second batch of paramilitary inmates from Ulster's jails,
Sunday Life can reveal.

But unionists claim the move is nothing more than a blatant
"sop" to placate loyalist anger at the Government's
proposed amnesty to Provo 'On The Runs' (OTRs).

Stormont sources said NIO officials recognised the need for
urgent action on loyalist prisoners in light of the planned

As many as 70 IRA fugitives are expected to be free to
return to Ulster within weeks without risk of arrest -
provided they agree to sign up to the Government's new

The proposed legislation will also include a 10-year period
in which terrorist suspects could also qualify for a total

Unionists claim that would seriously impact upon the
police's 'cold case' review team currently investigating
some 1,800 unsolved murders during the Troubles.

Said one Stormont source: "The Government has major
concerns about how the OTRs' legislation will impact on the
unionist community.

"They (the Government) recognise republicans will benefit
most and there is an immediate need to address
unionist/loyalist anger.

"The Government believes this can be achieved by another
early release of loyalist paramilitary prisoners."

Sources say UVF and UDA prisoners convicted of terrorist
offences committed after the signing of the 1998 Belfast
Agreement could be walking the streets as free men within
the next two years.

However, any future release of loyalist prisoners would be
conditional upon all loyalist paramilitary groups standing
down and decommissioning their terrorist arsenals.

Added the source: "If they want their prisoners out, then
they are going to have to follow the IRA's lead by standing
down and decommissioning all their weapons.

"If they don't, then the prisoners stay in jail - it's that


Dorrian Family Seek Reassurances From Security Minister

By Stephen Breen
06 November 2005

THE family of murdered Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian will meet
with Security Minister Shaun Woodward today.(correct)

The 25-year-old's family will be accompanied by North Down
MP Lady Sylvia Hermon for the Hillsborough Castle meeting.

They requested the sit-down with Mr Woodward to discuss the
police investigation into Lisa's disappearance and murder.

Lisa's family are seeking assurances that the investigation
will not be scaled down.

It comes after it emerged cops conducted a series of
searches last week in a bid to uncover evidence about the

Sunday Life understands police are set to conduct a number
of searches for Lisa's body in water before the end of the

The searches were organised after police received new
intelligence about Lisa's murder and the whereabouts of her

Speaking to us last night Lisa's mother, Pat, told us her
family have prepared a list of questions for Mr Woodward.

Said Mrs Dorrian: "We are hoping the meeting with Mr
Woodward will be worthwhile and that he is happy to answer
all of the questions we put to him.

"Lisa has been missing for eight months now and we just
want to ensure we have the full support of the Government
in our campaign to find her and to bring those responsible
for killing her to justice.

"We would also like to ask him about the intelligence the
police have been receiving and to what extent they will
continue to use that intelligence."

The family also thanked everyone who attended


Tutu Ignored Justice Group

By Stephen Breen
06 November 2005

ANGRY relatives of loyalist violence failed in a bid to
stop Nobel peace prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu from
having a secret meeting with cemetery killer Michael Stone.

Sunday Life can reveal the Relatives for Justice (RFJ)
group urged the anti-apartheid campaigner to reconsider his
decision to chair a meeting between Stone and the family of
one of his victims, at a secret location in north Down,
last month.

Archbishop Tutu, a close friend of Nelson Mandela, made the
trip, after he was asked by the BBC to chair a meeting
between the perpetrators of violence during the Troubles',
and their victims' relatives.

Among the others taking part in the project were ex-IRA
terrorist, Sean O'Callaghan.

In a letter to the Archbishop before the meeting, RFJ
spokesman, Mark Thompson, urged him to reconsider, citing
loyalist killer Stone's "notoriety".

Mr Thompson failed to persuade the peace activist to pull
out of the meeting for a second time during filming for the
programme which is to be screened in January.


Business As Usual

Tour firm back on Shankill after loyalist reassurances

By Alan Murray
06 November 2005

A BELFAST bus tour firm - which was threatened that its
vehicles would be attacked unless it paid paramilitaries
£6,000 - now says the threat did not come from loyalists.

City Sightseeing Tours says it accepts Shankill loyalists
did not attempt to extort cash from the company - even
though five of its vehicles were stoned in one two-week

After meeting both the UDA and UVF last week, the firm's
director - who didn't want to be named - said he was
satisfied that there was no threat to his business from
loyalist paramilitaries.

He said: "I now believe the threat story was bogus."

It was originally reported that a Shankill UDA commander
was behind the demand for cash, to feed his boozy

The businessman added: "This is what I was told originally,
but both the UDA and the UVF have denied making any demands
for cash and we are operating normally along the Shankill
and Crumlin roads."

The firm operates seven open-top double-decker buses along
the Shankill and Falls roads, but was forced to suspend the
service for a fortnight because of stoning attacks on the
Crumlin Road.

"We had four or five buses damaged in stoning incidents
over a fortnight, but BT and other companies had their
vehicles stoned, too, so we don't think we were singled out
for special attention.

"It wasn't kids doing it, but groups of men, so I suspected
it was organised by paramilitaries.

"Anyway, the company has been told that there are no
demands for money from any loyalist organisations and we
can carry on without any threat to our business."

One community activist in the area said local people wanted
the tours to continue without interference.

He said: "The Shankill has a history that its people are
proud of and we want people from all over the world to see
how we live and begin to understand our culture - we don't
want the tours to stop."


Teen Murder Case Cops Urged To Quiz Loyalist Killer Again

By Stephen Breen
06 November 2005

COPS were last night urged to quiz a notorious loyalist
killer over the brutal UVF murders of two teenagers.

Ann Robb, whose son Andrew (19), and his pal, David
McIlwaine (18), were butchered in a frenzied attack in
February 2000, wants the new police inquiry into the double
murders to question caged murderer Clifford McKeown.

Mrs Robb believes McKeown, who is serving life for the
murder of taxi driver Michael McGoldrick, could hold the
key to the murders.

She made the claim after a 54-year-old man from Craigavon
was arrested by cops yesterday morning(correct) in
connection with the killings.

Said a police spokeswoman: "Police can confirm a 54-year-
old man was arrested in Craigavon on Saturday in connection
with the murders of Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine."

It is understood the new suspect has never been quizzed
about the murder before.

The arrest comes after police offered a £10,000 reward to
anyone who could provide them with information.

A senior security source told us cops were not acting on
information received after an appeal was made on last
Wednesday's BBC Crimewatch programme.

Although Mrs Robb welcomed the latest development, she
pleaded with police to talk to McKeown.

Said Mrs Robb: "I know the police have already questioned
McKeown, but I think it would be worthwhile for them to
speak to him again.

"There is a new inquiry team in place now and we have
always believed that McKeown was one of the suspects in the

"I welcome the fact that someone has been arrested for the
murders and we will just have to wait and see what happens.

"There are people out there who know what happened and I
would urge them to come forward."

David McIlwaine's father, Paul, said: "Clifford McKeown
will always be a suspect in my eyes."


Racecourse Alert 'Elaborate Hoax'

A suspect package found at Down Royal racecourse in County
Down was an "elaborate hoax", police have said.

Thousands of racegoers were moved out of the Hillsborough
site on Saturday after telephoned bomb warnings.

The alert came during the Northern Ireland Festival of
Racing, one of the biggest events in the racing calendar.

Army technical officers examined the object before
declaring it a hoax. Police used dogs to search the rest of
the course but nothing else was found.

About 8,000 people, thought to be a record crowd, had to
leave the course following the warnings.

Mike Todd, the manager of Down Royal racecourse, said he
was saddened that the meeting had been interrupted due to
the "actions of a tiny minority in our community who are
clearly set on living on the past".

Ulster Unionist peer Lord Magennis, who was at the meeting,
said it had cost the racing industry a lot of money.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/06 15:43:45 GMT


Arrest For Scap (Of The Cardiac Variety)

IRA 'grim reaper' dodges a meeting with hooded scythe-
carrier after surviving heart attack..

By Stephen Breen
06 November 2005

IRA superspy Freddie Scappaticci has suffered a heart
attack at his secret Italian hideaway, it was claimed last

Senior security sources told Sunday Life the former head of
the Provos' internal security unit - the so-called 'nutting
squad' - was rushed to hospital last month.

The top informer's life is not believed to be in danger,
and members of his family in Belfast have been kept
informed of his condition.

Scappaticci (pictured) has been living in Italy since 2003
after being exposed as the British Army's top spy inside
the IRA.

The former builder has suffered from heart problems for
years and had been awaiting a bypass.

Although the Provos denied he was on a hit-list, 'Scap'
fled Northern Ireland over fears that he would be executed
by his former comrades after his cover was blown.

The west Belfast man has consistently denied the
allegations levelled against him, but republicans believe
he did act as an agent during his time in the IRA.

It is not clear if the notorious Provo torturer is
considering returning to his home following the
decommissioning of IRA arms and Gerry Adams' declaration
that the war is over.

A source said the former top spy is worried that if he
returns to Belfast, he could suffer the same fate as fellow
informer Eamonn Collins, who returned to his Newry home
after the 1994 IRA ceasefire, but was later mown down and
killed by a car driven by former comrades.

The betting is Scappaticci will probably not return,
because of the 'stigma' associated with being an informer.

Said the source: "Scap's friends have tried to keep his
heart problems to themselves but everybody knew about, it
in spite of him being a very private person.

"Although Scap lived in west Belfast, he used to come from
the Markets area and people there have been talking about

"The talk is that he feels isolated in Italy, and all the
stress of what emerged over the last two years has finally
caught up with him.

"He is lucky to be alive and the doctors have now told him
to take it easy. The word is that he would love to come
home, but he would have very few friends.

"There has never been any anomosity directed against Scap's
family from the republican community because they were
unaware of his life as an agent."


There's A New Sheriff In Town...

By Joe Oliver
06 November 2005

A PASSIONATE supporter of Ulster-Scots culture is set to
become the new High Sheriff of Belfast.

William Humphrey's name has already been submitted to
Secretary of State Peter Hain.

The DUP member, who was elected to the city council last
May, will succeed the UUP's David Browne in January.

Mr Humphrey (38) is a director of the Ulster-Scots Heritage
Council, and a former member of the UUP.

He also represents the Court area, which includes the
Shankill, Highfield and Woodvale wards.

"I've lived in Woodvale all my life and I'm well aware of
the deprivation in many areas of Court," he said.

"It's one of the reasons why I hope to help and promote
young people in the city during my year in office."

The High Sheriff, who represents the Lord Mayor and deputy
Lord Mayor when they are unavailable, is also present at
all Royal functions.

"I'm looking forward to playing a role alongside the Lord
Mayor and deputy Lord Mayor, particularly with the
centenary of the City Hall next year."


Amnesty May Solve UDA 'Lucan' Mystery

By Alan Murray
06 November 2005

THE mystery of a UDA leader - who fled the dock of a
Belfast court 31 years ago - may finally be solved next

Sammy Tweed, the 'Lord Lucan' of loyalism, vanished in 1974
after 50 denim-clad youths created mayhem in Belfast
Magistrates' Court and hustled him to freedom.

But the saga could be about to end if the Government
implements an amnesty for so-called terrorist 'on the

Asked about Tweed, the PSNI last week refused to say if he
was still on their wanted list.

In 1974, Tweed, then 32, was a UDA leader from Templemore
Street in east Belfast who was charged with possessing 18
handguns and a shotgun.

His solicitor indicated at a hearing in April 1974 that
Tweed accepted full responsibility for the weapons haul.

He was facing 15 years in jail when, at a second hearing in
May 1974, young supporters shouted a bomb warning and help
him flee prison officers and police to a yellow van parked
Chichester Street.

Sammy Tweed hasn't been seen since, at least not by the RUC
or the PSNI.

Only UDA veterans can recall anything about him. None will
say where he is today and probably very few know.

But by next year he might receive a virtual 'amnesty' for
his criminal offences along with around 60 IRA on the runs.

One veteran UDA figure said last week: "I wonder what Sammy
looks like today? He'd be in his sixties. He could be in
England or Scotland living under a new name. He could even
be here still."


IRA Victim's Daughter To Lobby MPs On Fugitives

By Alan Murray
06 November 2005

IRA victim's daughter to lobby MPs on fugitives

THE daughter of a woman murdered by the IRA in the
Enniskillen massacre will lobby MPs at Westminster this
week to reject an amnesty for terrorist fugitives.

Aileen Quinton, who lost her mother, Alberta, on
Remembrance Day 18 years ago, will join other victims of
IRA violence to urge MPs to challenge Government plans to
allow the Enniskillen bomber and other fugitives to return
to Ulster.

Charles Caufield was named under House of Commons'
privilege by Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson as the IRA
man who built and detonated the bomb which killed 11 people
in the Poppy Day attack in 1987.

Caufield is understood to be among a 50-strong group of IRA
terrorists whom Sinn Fein is seeking an amnesty for.

He is believed to have been living in the United States
since the devastating attack.

On the 10th anniversary of the bombing in 1997, Ms Quinton
staged a candlelight protest outside Sinn Fein's Dublin

Mr Donaldson said Aileen would join other victims at
Westminster this week to advise MPs of the deep opposition
to the Government's amnesty plans.

He said: "Aileen and other victims will gather at
Westminster to lobby MPs from all parties about the
iniquity of this legislation.

"The Government is keeping the details secret because it
knows the reaction it is generating."

And he added: "There is stiff opposition to these secret
plans from MPs across the board.

"There is a good possibility that the Government will be
defeated on this one in the House of Lords.

"The Government is so concerned that they are refusing to
divulge any details - that's how sensitive they are on

The NIO last week refused to discuss the issue or confirm
any details about how many fugitives would be granted an


Supergrass Given 26 Reasons For NIO Compensation Refusal

06 November 2005

A LOYALIST supergrass forced to flee his Belfast flat after
being tortured by a leading UDA man has had a claim for
compensation dismissed by the NIO.

The Northern Ireland Office told convicted drug dealer-
turned-supergrass Dessie Truesdale there were no fewer than
26 REASONS why his claim for compensation was refused.

Truesdale is currently in hiding in England, on the run
from BOTH the mainstream UDA thugs who have threatened to
kill him and Johnny Adair's 'Bolton Wanderers'.

He fled Ulster after receiving a savage beating in his
north Belfast flat by UDA boss Mo Courtney.

But he returned briefly to Northern Ireland to give police
statements against Courtney and Ihab Shoukri.

He told cops how Courtney - currently on trial accused of
the murder of Alan McCullough - and Shoukri 'questioned'
and beat him after using his brother William Truesdale to
trick their way into his flat.

He also told how they ordered him to hand over £5,000 he
had in a Credit Union account.

It was then he knew he had to flee to England.

However, the NIO wrote to Truesdale last week telling him
that they would not pay him compensation in relation to the
assault and the fact he had to flee his flat.

The letter then listed 26 reasons why he was not entitled
to compensation, starting with a caution for not wearing a
seatbelt when he was stopped in a car in 1988.

It also included a number of drugs convictions and his
former associations with his brother Ian and his pals in
Johnny Adair's former UFF 'C' Company.

Dessie Truesdale last night told Sunday Life: "I can't
believe that I went back to Belfast and risked my life
giving statements against the likes of Mo Courtney and they
(the NIO) have let me down like this."


Jonty's Book Of Revelations A Sure-Fire Hit

06 November 2005

JOHNSTON Brown's bombshell book Into The Dark is set to be
a Christmas number one.

Waterstones say the ex-RUC detective's book - which has
been serialised in the Sunday Life over the last three
weeks - has been "flying off the shelves" since it arrived
at the firm's Belfast city centre store on Friday.

"Interest in Johnston Brown's book has been phenomenal
since Sunday Life began its serialisation," said
Waterstone's executive, Pat Ramsey.

"And copies have been flying off the shelves since we took
the first delivery on Friday. We've already ordered more
from the publishers to cope with the demand.

"It has been incredible. It has been a long time since
we've sold so many copies of a local book in half-a-day.

"It is the number one local interest book by miles, and I
would be very confident that it will stay at number one
over Christmas," said Mr Ramsey.

Mr Brown is probably best known as the CID detective who
put UFF thug Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair behind bars for
directing terrorism.

In his gripping book, he claims his attempts to put other
ruthless terrorists, including serial killers, behind bars
were thwarted by the Special Branch officers, who were
running the murderers as agents.

On Friday, he was David Dunseith's guest on Radio Ulster's
Talkback show.

Among the many callers was a former CID detective from the
RUC's north region, who said he had experienced similar
Special Branch obstruction, which had driven him almost to
the point of a nervous breakdown.


Into The Dark: Taking IRA Confessions... With A Little Help
From The Pope

06 November 2005

THE words of Pope John Paul II helped me gain many a
confession from guilt-ridden IRA men.

"Murder is murder is murder," said John Paul II during his
visit to Ireland in 1979, and there was no mistaking the
genuine admonishment in his tone.

From January 1979, I spent five years as a detective in
nationalist west Belfast - based first in Andersonstown
station and later at Woodbourne.

When I arrived in the 'wild west' from Bangor, where I was
based for a short time, an older detective asked: "What did
you do to deserve to be sent to this God-forsaken

"I volunteered. I wanted a challenge," I answered

He shook his head in astonishment as I explained that "I
didn't like the sort of crime I was investigating in

During those years in west Belfast we worked under enormous
pressure, under constant threat of murder from republicans,
as did officers in other frontline stations.

In the late 1970s/early 1980s, PIRA had become a very
efficient killing machine. Their absolute disregard for
human life was truly awful to witness, and we followed too
many coffins of brave RUC men who had been cut down by IRA

Yet, there were still an awful lot of decent people in west
Belfast who wanted us there, people who quietly, and at
times anonymously, would help us get to grips with those
responsible for terrorist atrocities despite the terrible
risks to themselves.

I had listened with interest to what Pope John Paul II had
preached about the evil of violence on his 1979 visit.

I knew from interviews with PIRA 'soldiers' that the
ordinary volunteer assumed what he was doing in the name of
Irish freedom was morally legitimate.

Many of the terrorists we interviewed believed
wholeheartedly they'd at least the tacit approval of the
Catholic Church. Yet, now the pope himself had made it
clear the taking of a human life could never be justified.

Following discussions with Catholic friends, I bought an LP
of Pope John Paul's address.

I played it over and over again at home until I knew most
of the lines by heart.

Sometimes I would quote some of these lines during
interviews with terrorists, and always to great effect.

Many of the republicans who made murder confessions to me
were moved to do so by those words of John Paul II.

They went to prison at peace with themselves. Hardened
paramilitaries would listen intently as I argued that
neither their pope nor their Maker would ever forgive them
for such disgusting murders.

This was no cynical exercise. I firmly believed what I was

I fully understood that before any man can kill another, he
has to dehumanise his intended victim.

The PIRA found it easy to dehumanise the Army or the RUC.

But problems would arise later when volunteers who had
killed found themselves revisited by the horrific images in
their dreams, or even in broad daylight in the form of

They had not expected this, but it is a fact of life.

Guilt is a terrible thing, and man is not born evil.
Paramilitaries could kill - they did kill.

But at home in later years, in the quietness of the night,
they are revisited relentlessly by images of the dead, by
the enormity of their crimes.

I know this to be the case because I recorded long and
detailed statements from many IRA volunteers who broke down
in tears during interview and confessed to their
involvement in such crimes.

The first thing a murderer feels once he has confessed his
crime is relief.

The atmosphere in the interview room is suddenly
transformed by the sense of euphoria which emanates from
the prisoner.

Yes, they know they are going to jail, but they have
realised that prison is the least of their problems.

Atoning for the atrocity is far more important.

I have unexpectedly come face-to-face with men who served
many years in jail after confessing their crimes to me.

None of them displayed any animosity. Without exception,
they expressed only thanks. They were no longer visited by
nightmares or flashbacks to the same extent as they had
been prior to their confession.

In a way, these men were the lucky ones. I know many men,
too, now in their 40s and 50s who can't sleep at night.
They are haunted by the same horrible images.

As a former detective, I have no sympathy for them. I can
only advise them to go to the police and confess. The
reality is that the fear of long prison sentences is no
longer valid post-Good Friday Agreement. Confessing to
their crime is their only hope of returning to some kind of


Into The Dark: Proud To Have Saved Life Of Provo's Child

How a tip-off by a UVF man's wife saved a top republican
and his four-year-old daughter from being riddled to death
by sick loyalist psycho

06 November 2005

AS a policeman it was my job to protect all the people -
even those out to kill me!

This is exactly what happened in 1993 when my partner and I
saved the life of a Provo suspect who we'd been warned was
targeting us for murder on behalf of the Ardoyne IRA.

We not only saved the republican's life, but that of his
four-year-old daughter. A UVF gunman had been planning to
wipe them out in an ambush outside a nursery school in

It was during that year Special Branch warned my partner
Trevor and I that a Provo suspect called 'Kevin' (not his
real name) was targeting us.

We'd been spending too much time in Ligoneil on an
investigation. In particular, the Provos had noted our
fondness for a fish and chip shop in the area. We
immediately reduced our visits, aware of that IRA team's
legendary thirst for blood.

Around the same time, 'Sonia', the wife of a Shankill UVF
man, had become an important informant to us. I'd first met
'Sonia' while arresting her husband at their home.

She discreetly arranged to meet Trevor and I and explained
how she was sickened by all the violence.

'Sonia' hated the UVF and her greatest fear was that her
son would be dragged into the organisation.

Through her husband and his cronies, she was close to UVF
'Brigade' staff on the Shankill. She was able to get good
information on Johnny Adair and his cohorts.

In February 3, 1993 she gave us information that led to
police foiling a UVF murder bid on an innocent Whiteabbey
man the terrorists wrongly believed was in the IRA.

Soon after, she warned us how her husband and others were
seeking sanction from the UVF leadership to attack Trevor
and myself.

Then, in June 1993, 'Sonia' tipped us off that the UVF were
planning a major attack, but she couldn't get any further

Near midnight on June 22, 1993 an agitated 'Sonia' called
to say she needed to meet us urgently. We met her in a car
park at 1.45am.

She said: "They are planning to murder a Provo called
'Kevin' from Ligoneil. They're going to do it this morning
when he's taking his wee girl to nursery on the Ligoneil

I saw Trevor roll his eyes skywards in disbelief. It was
the same 'Kevin' we'd been warned was trying to kill us.
Talk about a twist of fate!

'Sonia' was able to confirm that a gunman called George
Waters jnr had been chosen. She said he'd been ordered not
to kill the little girl.

But Waters had been boasting that he intended to kill both
father and child, arguing that, in 14 years' time, the girl
would be a Sinn Fein voter.

He had been instructed to fire a single shot from a VZ58
rifle, but he was bragging he would stick it on automatic,
and claim he'd lost control of it.

The murder was planned for 9.30am - it was already almost

'Sonia' rummaged in her handbag and gave me a piece of
paper with the location of the nursery school and the names
of the UVF team assisting Waters.

'Kevin's' alleged membership of the IRA was neither here
nor there as far as Trevor and I were concerned. Our only
concern was that two lives were under threat.

We were also obliged under the rules to take the
information to Special Branch.

If Special Branch Support Units (SSUs) moved quickly, there
was a good chance they could arrest the UVF team and
recover the weapons.

Only Special Branch had the resources to conduct such
operations and to confront terrorists and take them down.

We rang ahead and arranged to meet with our Special Branch
contact at Castlereagh.

As I read out the six UVF names, he stopped at one, saying:
"He is one of ours".

But this Branch informant had not passed on details of the
murder plot.

"So, tell me this, if he's not reporting it in, does he
still get protected?" I asked.

The Special Branch officer's answer astounded me. He
explained that the UVF source was not required to report
anything to do with "the military", that his role was to
mingle with top UVF men and to report on changes in
leadership, political direction or strategy.

But I knew our Branch contact was a decent man and that he
would do all he could to persuade the powers-that-be to
take down this vicious UVF unit, rather than simply swamp
the area with police and force them to abandon the murder

By 7am we had fully briefed Special Branch on 'Sonia's'
information. We were exhausted, having already completed a
16-hour day before 'Sonia's' call.

I headed home feeling drained, knowing there was nothing
more I could do.

Later that morning I was awoken by a call from a CID
detective inspector.

"Jonty... look, thanks for your note. That put me well
ahead. Your operation was successful," he said.

He went on to say two UVF men in a hijacked Ford Sierra
taxi had been arrested after the car was rammed by an SSU.
George Waters jnr had been sitting in the back with a VZ58
automatic rifle straddled across his knees.

Three more UVF men had been arrested for hijacking a taxi.

"Waters had that rifle on fully-automatic. He would have
cut that wee girl in half," said the detective inspector.

My adrenalin was flowing again. I no longer felt the least
bit tired.

Fair play to our Special Branch contact. Here was evidence
of what could be achieved when CID and Special Branch
worked together.

George Waters jnr and his cohorts were duly charged and
convicted. Waters got 16 years for possession of a firearm
with intent to endanger life.

However, Waters spent just four years in jail, gaining
early release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.


Into The Dark: Bad Apples And Good Stemmed From The Branch

06 November 2005

I REMEMBER a young detective I worked with in Andersonstown
asking me why I had such a reputation for fighting with
Special Branch.

"They must be a bunch of b******," he concluded.

"On the contrary," I replied. "Like us in the CID, they
have been a bastion of strength in the face of anarchy.
There is a pressing operational need for their services.

"Unfortunately, there are individuals who abuse their
powers. We have some such people in CID as well."

The difference between our two departments was very simple.
We as investigators were concerned only with the facts and
the collection of evidence. Special Branch was concerned
only with the gathering of intelligence, to be analysed and
acted upon.

Information is power. It is what one does with such power
that is so important.

I told him the majority of Branch personnel were decent
men, who'd be shocked at the conduct of some of their
colleagues, but that, in my experience - and at the risk of
sounding melodramatic - there was an almost tangible sense
of evil and corruption about some of the Branch men.

I told him that these cloak-and-dagger Branch men didn't
care who they hurt. They would not hesitate to inject
poison to eliminate anyone daring to challenge them.

I knew many, many decent, honest and highly courageous
Branch officers, men I'd have liked to have had beside me
in any situation. But, unfortunately, some of the worst
specimens of humanity I'd ever encountered were also Branch

That conversation took place in 1984. The young man is now
a senior Special Branch officer. He is a tremendous fellow.

• Extracted from Into The Dark: 30 Years in the RUC,
published by Gill & Macmillan, priced £16.99.


Ahern 'A Genuine Socialist', Says McCreevy

06/11/2005 - 14:07:20

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is one of the few genuine socialists
in the country, his former finance minister claimed today.

European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said he believed the
Taoiseach's controversial assertion of his political

"Well Bertie pronouncing himself as a socialist wasn't a
surprise to me because funny enough, I believe Bertie Ahern
is one of the few socialists in Dáil Eireann, and would
have said that many many years ago," he said.

There was genuine amazement in political circles when Mr
Ahern made the pronouncement in a newspaper interview last
year. It was widely seen as an attempt to reposition Fianna
Fáil as a party for working class people in the face of
Sinn Féin's growing popularity.

The writer and socialist Eamon McCann has said that if
Bertie Ahern was a socialist, then "the moon is a balloon,
Ian Paisley is a member of Opus Dei and Tony Blair never
told a lie in his life".

But Mr McCreevy said that while it was not his job as
European Internal Market and Services Commissioner to
defend Bertie Ahern, he believed he was a genuine

"I would have said that many years ago. I said it around
the cabinet table, I said it among friends when I wasn't on
the airwaves and I believe it. He's one of the very few.
I'm not by the way, as you're probably aware."

He told RTÉ radio that Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins was
one of two other genuine socialists in the Dáil but
declined the name the remaining politician.


Keenan Sister Making Slow Recovery

By Stephen Breen
06 November 2005

THE sister of former Belfast hostage Brian Keenan, who was
involved in a horrific car crash, was last night making a
slow recovery.

Elaine Spence, who campaigned to have her brother released
after he was kidnapped by Islamic militants in 1986,
remains in intensive care at the Ulster Hospital, in

It is understood she suffered serious injuries to her head
and body in the accident near Comber, last month.

A hospital spokesman last night described her condition as

The Co Down woman's sister, Brenda Gillham, from Ballybeen,
has been maintaining a bedside vigil ever since.

Mrs Gillham declined to comment on her sister's decision.

She said: "We are still too upset at the moment to make any
further comment at the minute and just want to be left

It is understood the mum-of-one is to be transferred to the
Royal Victoria Hospital.

The 45-year-old and a friend were rushed to hospital after
her car crashed outside Comber in the early hours of last
Tuesday morning.


All-Irish Soccer Centre Mooted

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday November 6, 2005
The Observer

Eighty-three years after their historic split, the two
football associations on the island are planning to discuss
an all-Ireland soccer museum based in Belfast.

The Irish Football Association said it will raise the
suggestion during discussions over a range of joint
ventures with the Football Association of Ireland.

An all-Ireland soccer museum is the brainchild of the
Dublin-based Sport Against Racism Ireland (Sari), which
campaigns against racism and sectarianism. The group met
IFA chief executive Howard Wells and Michael Boyd, the
association's community relations officer, in Belfast on

While stressing that the museum idea was Sari's, Wells said
yesterday he would be prepared to raise the idea during
talks with his southern counterparts.

'What we have been trying to do with the FAI is to get a
memorandum of understanding to exchange ideas, good
practices and maybe even swap staff,' he said.

'As for the museum, it's something we will raise during our
discussions with the FAI chief executive, John Delaney.'

The three-man Sari delegation was led by Ken McCue, who
said this weekend that any all-Ireland soccer museum should
be in Belfast: 'Irish football was the fourth in the world
to establish an association, 125 years ago in Belfast. So
it would be fitting if the museum was founded there. 'It's
important to remember that up until 1922 there was just one
association. There's no suggestion on our part that a
museum and interactive soccer centre is part of any move to
unite the two associations again. All we think it can
achieve is to build understanding and a shared space for
football fans on this island.

'It would be important, for example, for kids in Dublin who
still think the first Irish side to qualify for the World
Cup was the Republic in 1990. A trip to the museum would
inform them that the northern team were actually at three
World Cups in Sweden 1958, Spain 1982 and Mexico 1986,' he

Sari's plans include an audio-visual centre showing famous
international games played by both the northern and
southern sides; a library containing minute books of all
the league clubs in Ireland; and memorabilia display
including the first ever Irish national jersey, whose badge
incorporated the Celtic Cross and the Harp.

Sari proposed raising the finance with funds from both the
UK and Irish lotteries, as well as cash from the EU's Peace
and Reconciliation programme.


Divis Mountain Wins 'Space Award'

Divis Mountain has won a National Lottery Award after
coming first in the Amazing Space category.

Divis Mountain opened for the first time to the public at
the end of June.

The area was formerly owned by the Ministry of Defence and
was bought by the National Trust last year with the help of
a lottery grant of £1.33m.

The awards focused on projects which have benefited
children and young people and the winners are voted for by
the public.

The mountain is now open to walkers, nature-lovers and

About 1,200 volunteering hours were put in to help restore
the land to its natural beauty and preserve and protect its

Now the public has free access all year round to the
mountain, and the vistas of the city and beyond that it

Mike Dobson, the property manager of Divis and Black
Mountain, said he was absolutely delighted to receive the

"Winning this award so soon after the mountain was opened
to the public demonstrates how superb this open space is
for people in Belfast and beyond," he said.

"This award is for everyone - staff, volunteers, funders,
communities and everyone who helped and supported the
National Trust to realise this breathtaking vision."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/06 12:10:20 GMT


Ireland's Consul General To Visit Orangetown

By Gerald McKinstry
The Journal News

If you go

What: Ireland's consul general, Tim O'Connor, will visit
the Great Hunger Memorial and pay tribute to three Rockland
religious orders instrumental in raising orphans of the

When: noon Friday

Where: The memorial is on the Gaelic Athletic Association
Irish Football Field on Old Orangeburg Road.

Call: For more information, call 845-398-1623.

Etc. Free, open to the public.

(Original publication: November 6, 2005)

ORANGETOWN — Ireland's consul general will be in town this
week to visit the Great Hunger Memorial and pay tribute to
several religious orders in Rockland that were instrumental
in raising orphans affected by the famine of the 19th

Tim O'Connor, Ireland's ambassador to the United States,
will visit the memorial at noon Friday. The memorial is at
the Gaelic Athletic Association's Irish Football Field on
Old Orangeburg Road.

County Legislator John Murphy, R-Orangeburg, who helped
coordinate the event, said the Dominican Nuns of Sparkill,
the Dominican Nuns of Blauvelt and the Sisters of Charity
of Nanuet helped feed, clothe and educate thousands of
orphaned children for years after the Great Hunger.

"It was really hard times. ... Those three, in particular,
moved up here so the kids could have fresh air," he said.
"We want to pay tribute to the nuns who started it."

The term Great Hunger refers to the years 1845 through
1851, when starvation killed about 1.5 million people and
forced millions of others to migrate to America.

Murphy said a generation of orphans was created then
because many Irish people were forced to leave their
country. Rockland's religious orders were instrumental in
their survival, he said.

George Leahy, president of the Rockland County Ancient
Order of Hibernians, said their work was extraordinary and
that it was fitting that they be honored.

"The sacrifices they made were just outstanding," Leahy
said. "They're truly women of God."

Leahy said O'Connor's visit was also important to Irish in
the county because many of the 50,000 residents who are of
Irish decent still have families and friends in Ireland.
"The consul general certainly represents Ireland, and we
maintain our connections with great pride," Leahy said.

The memorial, which cost about $50,000 to build, is a 7-
foot Celtic cross made of green marble from Vermont.
Inscribed are the names of Ireland's four provinces and 32
counties, including the six that make up Northern Ireland.

The memorial also bears verses from an Irish ballad about
the tragedy. The cross is inscribed with "The Great Hunger"
in English and its Gaelic equivalent, "An Gorta Mor."
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