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November 16, 2005

Paisley Faces Daugher's Legal Move

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News about Ireland & the Irish

BB 11/16/05 Paisley Faces Daughter Legal Move
IT 11/16/05 Loyalists Unable To Plan Future Agenda-Hain
IN 11/16/05 Loyalists Found With Security Breach List
BT 11/16/05 Named And Shamed: Killers Put Back In Jail
IT 11/16/05 Adams Dismisses Ahern's Commentsv
IT 11/16/05
US Will Seek Garland Extradition From State
BB 11/16/05 McCartney Family Meet US Senators
BB 11/16/05 'No Support' For New Maze Stadium
BB 11/16/05 On-The-Run Bill 'Just A Cover-Up'
BT 11/16/05 Seven Ways To Play Politics
DI 11/16/05 Govt's 'Dereliction Of Duty' Over Passports
II 11/16/05 SF Out Of Trinity Due To Thatcher Threat Email
DI 11/16/05 Opin: Another Case Fell Under The Radar
DI 11/16/05 Opin: Time To Get Tough On Unwilling DUP
DI 11/16/05 Opin: We Need To Face The Legacies Of Injustice
NH 11/16/05 Bloodiest Day Of Feud That Convulsed The City
BT 11/16/05 On The Line: The Internet's Future
IT 11/16/05 Nicklaus To Redesign Donegal Golf Links


Paisley Faces Daughter Legal Move

DUP leader Ian Paisley and his fellow party officers are
facing legal action by his daughter Rhonda for alleged
sexual discrimination.

She has alleged she did not get a job as a DUP policy
officer last year because of her gender.

Instead, the post went to one of the party's councillors in
Craigavon, Philip Weir.

A party spokesman said they were content the best person
got the job at the end of the interviewing process.

He added that the matter was now in the hands of their
legal team.

It is understood there were several applicants for the

A spokesman for the Office of Industrial Tribunals has
confirmed they have received notification of a case.

However, it is understood it may not be heard for several

Rhonda Paisley is a former DUP councillor and ex-Lady
Mayoress of Belfast.

However, in recent years she has shunned the political
limelight to concentrate on her career as an artist.

She previously took a fair employment case against the Arts
Council for Northern Ireland, alleging religious
discrimination, which she won.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/16 11:23:35 GMT


Loyalists Appear Unable To Plan Future Political Agenda-Hain

Seán O'Driscoll in New York

Loyalist leaders have not offered the Northern Ireland
Office any sign of developing a future political agenda,
Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said in New York

Mr Hain said he gets a "barrage of complaints" when he
speaks to loyalists, but they appear unable to follow
republicans into democratic politics. Loyalism, he said,
needed to ask if it has any purpose outside of gangsterism.

Mr Hain was speaking during a three-day tour of New York
and Washington.

"When I get loyalists speaking to me, I get a barrage of
complaints but I don't get a future political strategy
which, like it or not, republicans have always had. That's
why republicans are quite successful and I think the sooner
loyalists have a forward agenda, the more success they will
have," Mr Hain said.

Mr Hain added that he had made his comments to individual
loyalist leaders in Belfast, Lisburn and Ballymena but
wanted the loyalist leadership to consider his words.

He was speaking after the UDA announced that it wanted to
discuss its future with the Northern Ireland Office and may
consider disbanding.

Mr Hain also called on the Orange Order to stop boycotting
the Parades Commission, which is soon to have a new
chairman and members. "To keep boycotting the Parades
Commission, especially a reconstituted Parades Commission,
to put a road block up against dialogue, it not a forward
agenda. There are too many people trapped in Northern
Ireland's past," he said.

Mr Hain said his deputy, David Hanson, would be meeting
loyalist leaders next week to discuss the UDA announcement.

Meanwhile, a senior official said the NIO is to appoint an
entirely new Parades Commission in response to loyalist
violence in September.

The official said interviews were already taking place for
a new chairman to replace Sir Anthony Holland, and for the
six other positions on the commission, which decides where
contentious political and sectarian parades should take
place in Northern Ireland.

"We will be appointing a new parades commissioner and
interviews taking place for the chair and also six members.
They have done a valiant job in difficult situations," the
official said, before adding that the Orange Order and
loyalists should be left with no excuse to boycott the
commission after it is reconstituted.

The decision follows serious loyalist rioting that followed
the rerouting of the Whiterock Orange parade in Belfast.
Hundreds of loyalists in Belfast and towns across Antrim
attacked police and Catholic residents over several days.

This is the biggest shake-up of the Parades Commission
since 2000, when a new commission was announced, along with
the publication of new recommendations for the body.

© The Irish Times


Loyalists Found With Security Breach List

By Bimpe Fatogun

LOYALIST paramilitaries have been found with a list of
names linked to a British army internal security breach at
the Castle-reagh complex.

It is understood that police last night told more than 50
republicans in east Belfast that their lives were at risk.

Officers visited the homes in the Short Strand area to
advise them of the threat.

Police confirmed the document had been recovered.

"As part of an ongoing pro-active investigation, police
have recovered what they be-lieve to be a document linked
to the breach of internal security in army offices at the
Castlereagh complex in July 2004," a spokesman said.

"As a result police are warning a number of people about
their personal security."

Soldiers were transferred after the army launched an
investigation into the security breach last year which
resulted in the disappearance of a file from a room at the
Belfast police headquarters.

At the time NIO minister Ian Pearson said senior police
officers had told him that "there were no indications the
material had fallen into the hands of paramilitaries".

The assurance was repeat-ed by an army spokesman.

It was reported that 28 members of the Royal Irish Regiment
were withdrawn from sensitive security duties in connection
with the investigation into the document.

They were believed to have been withdrawn from security
duties at Castlereagh and watchtowers in nationalist areas,
such as Divis Tower in west Belfast and transferred back to
their barracks in Holywood, Co Down.

Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey said republicans in
the east of the city were "deeply concerned" by the

"The PSNI have this evening begun visiting the homes of
republicans in the Short Strand area of east Belfast," he

"They have informed local people that the details of ov-er
50 republicans have been found in the possession of local
unionist paramilitaries.

"This development is clear-ly of concern to the people
involved directly, their families and the wider community
in the Short Strand.

"It has been well over a dec-ade since such a large number
of republicans were visited in an operation like this in
the city.

"The people visited were told that their dates of birth
were part of the documen-tation – indicating that the
source of the information is some official or statutory

Mr Maskey called for unionist political and community
leaders to "speak out against these threats".

Security was stepped up at the complex after a police
officer was assaulted and sensitive documents stolen during
a raid at Special Branch offices on March 17 2002.


Named And Shamed: Killers Put Back In Jail

'They should never be let loose again'

16 November 2005

Ten killers convicted for their roles in at least 29
murders were sent back to prison after being freed under
early release schemes linked to the Good Friday Agreement,
it can be revealed today.

A Belfast Telegraph probe has uncovered the names of all
ten murderers who were returned to jail because they were
convicted of new offences or because their behaviour again
brought them to the attention of police.

Seven loyalists and one republican are back serving their
life sentences, while two - Shankill bomber Sean Kelly and
loyalist double killer Darren Larmour - have been released

Kelly was controversially freed in July by Secretary of
State Peter Hain just before the IRA statement pledging to
end all activity.

Larmour was freed on compassionate grounds because he has
an incurable brain disease.

East Londonderry Assembly member John Dallat today
condemned the killers who strayed again, saying: "They
should never be let loose again.

"It's clear that a lot of loyalists got out of jail who
were just thugs and made no use of the new opportunity.

"The greater number didn't reoffend but those loyalists
that did have let down political leaders who were trying to
be positive. Now they're behind bars, they should stay

The most high profile killer back behind bars is Greysteel
gunman Stephen Irwin, who was last month jailed again for
slashing a football fan's leg.

Another sent back for a new offence was Christopher
McMillan, who murdered Norman Harley at Belfast Waterworks
in November 1995. He was reincarcerated after assaulting an
ex-girlfriend in England.

Others returned to prison for new crimes include George
Armstrong who was jailed in 1990 for his part in the murder
of James Hamilton at his home in Belfast.

After being freed he was jailed in England for false
imprisonment of a man he accused of being an undercover SAS

Armstrong and McMillan's licences have been revoked.

Only two others have had their licences revoked - loyalist
Victor Graham who was jailed for two murders, and
republican John Brady, who was given a life sentence for
the 1989 murder of Reserve Constable David Black in

Three others are back behind bars because their licences
were suspended - licences are not classified as revoked
unless there has been a review.

One is John Marsden, who was jailed for the UVF murder of
two Catholics in Belfast in 1994.

Two others are not being named for legal reasons as they
face current court proceedings.

The Prison Service confirmed today that eight of the lifers
who were reincarcerated are still in custody.

In addition, two killers released on temporary licence in
2000 have also been returned to jail.

They are Stephen McClean (31), and Noel McCready (34), who
are serving life sentences for the 1998 murders in the
Railway Bar in Poyntzpass.

Sinn Fein Assembly member Mitchel McLaughlin today said:
"The fact that over 80% were loyalists would signify the
commitment of republicans to the Good Friday Agreement."

But PUP leader David Ervine said the number was a tiny
percentage of those who have been released early since the
late 1980s.

He added: "You have to be relieved to some degree that
there isn't a desire to commit political violence and
that's a major move from the past."


Adams Dismisses Ahern's Comments

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has dismissed as
electioneering Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's insistence that he
would not enter into coalition with Sinn Féin after the
next general election.

"It's the election, stupid, if I may borrow a phrase," Mr
Adams said yesterday when asked to respond to Mr Ahern's
emphatic remarks at the weekend that he would not go into
Government with Sinn Féin after the election.

Mr Adams, reinforcing a similar response by Martin
McGuinness on Monday, said he was not surprised by the
Taoiseach's statement, which he portrayed as designed to
boost Fianna Fáil's general election prospects.

"It's not a question of will Fianna Fáil share power with
Sinn Féin. It's a question of will Sinn Féin go into
government with Fianna Fáil," he said at Stormont yesterday
where he launched a party paper arguing that direct rule is
damaging the North's public services and its economy.

Sinn Féin would only enter into coalition government based
on party ardfheis approval and based on a programme of
government that dealt with issues such as inequality and
offered a strategy for achieving Irish unity, he added.

Mr Adams said that Sinn Féin was not in any way "meek" in
seeking to enter government in the South and re-enter
government in the North. "That is the raison d'être of our
existence. We don't want to do that to have bums on
ministerial seats. We want to do it because we want to
bring about change," he said.

The Taoiseach and other politicians and commentators have
criticised Sinn Féin's economic policies, particularly an
expected policy paper urging tax rises, including an
increase in corporation tax from 12.5 per cent to 17 per

Mr Adams, however, defended the party's economic approach.
He said party policy was to prevent privatisation of public
services. While the Government had its largest economic
surplus, it had "decrepit" services. "Our position is very
straightforward. The wealth should be used to provide those
public services and not to reward big business and those
who may be cronies of the more conservative parties."

Mr Adams is scheduled to make what he called a "keynote"
speech in Kells, Co Meath, tomorrow where he is likely to
expand on his initial response yesterday to the Taoiseach's
statement about coalition.

He said that the Sinn Féin discussion paper, Counting the
Cost of Direct Rule and Putting it Right, which he launched
yesterday, demonstrated that direct rule failed at "every
conceivable social, political and economic level".

The DUP, in particular, by refusing to engage with Sinn
Féin to end direct rule, was damaging the interests of the
people in the North. "This is a challenge for us all.
Unionists have walked away from every initiative aimed at
restoring the institutions. Their refusal to engage and
agree a way forward has penalised everyone, not just
republicans. The question is - how long will the DUP allow
direct rule ministers to take decisions to the detriment of
the people in the North?"

© The Irish Times


US Will Seek Garland Extradition From State

Seán O'Driscoll in New York

The US government will seek the extradition of Workers'
Party president, Seán Garland, from the Republic of Ireland
if he cannot be returned to Northern Ireland, a spokesman
for the US attorney's office in Washington has said.

Mr Garland announced yesterday that he has fled to the
Republic to avoid extradition proceedings on charges of
distributing millions of counterfeit dollars on behalf of
the North Korean government.

The US attorney's office in Washington, which has indicted
Mr Garland on conspiracy charges, said that it will be
meeting with the justice department's office of
international affairs, which handles extradition cases, to
decide how best to have Mr Garland extradited to the US.

A spokesman for the office, who was meeting with justice
department officials on a separate issue yesterday, said
that he did not want to pre-empt any outcome but said it
was likely that fresh extradition proceedings will begin in
the Republic if Irish authorities do not return Mr Garland
to Northern Ireland.

The case will likely be handled by justice department
senior attorney, Tressa Borland, who deals with extradition
proceedings with the Republic and has recently made very
critical comments to prosecutors and to the Irish
Department of Justice about the Republic's lack of co-
operation on extradition proceedings.

Jonathan Cherry, a spokesman for the secret service, which
investigated the Garland case and handed it over to the US
attorney's office, said the investigation into Mr Garland
and his associates remained ongoing and would not be
affected by his decision to stay in the Republic.

He said Mr Garland's extradition was a matter for the US
attorney's office.

The secret service is investigating five associates of the
Workers' Party president for alleged involvement in
smuggling millions of counterfeit dollars.

The notes were dubbed "supernotes" by the US secret service
because of their remarkably high quality and were created
by the North Korean government as a way of generating
foreign currency.

Along with Mr Garland, the attorney's office is seeking a
Dublin associate, Christie John Corcoran (57), as well as
an Irish counterfeit dealer, three British criminals and a
former KGB agent.

US attorney Kenneth Wainstein claimed in the indictment
that the IRA was behind the day-to-day running of the

© The Irish Times


McCartney Family Meet US Senators

The family of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney are in
the United States this week as part of their high profile
campaign for justice.

This is their second visit to the US following their
invitation to the White House for Saint Patrick's Day.

Robert McCartney, 33, was murdered in the street outside a
bar in Belfast city centre in January.

The sisters, who have already met Senator Ted Kennedy, also
plan to hold talks with Senator Hillary Clinton.

Mr McCartney's family have campaigned for justice for their
murdered brother and claim they have been intimidated by
the IRA.

Catherine McCartney said the family was grateful for the
backing they had received from the United States.

"Not just the Bush administration, but other people
especially the senators and congress people," she said.

"The only thing that they can do is use what influence they
have over Sinn Fein and speak to the British and the Irish

"It's just a matter of keeping the issue there until
justice is done."

In March, they had separate meetings with Mr Kennedy and
President George Bush, both of whom refused to meet Sinn
Fein President Gerry Adams at the time.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/16 06:46:52 GMT


'No Support' For New Maze Stadium

Proposals to build a £55m national stadium at the former
Maze Prison site in County Antrim do not have public
support, it has been claimed.

Supporters of rival plans for Maysfield and Ormeau Park in
Belfast said the site would lack facilities.

In March, the government said the Maze site near Lisburn
was the only viable location for the new stadium.

The DUP's Edwin Poots, who sat on the consultation panel on
the future of the Maze, said it was the best option.

"At the Maze there is a proposal for a leisure village that
will include cafes, restaurants, pubs and hotels," he said.

"We would be hoping to create in the Maze jobs for about
5,000 people - so that there will be a regular activity at
that site.

The government are arguing against themselves - it is part
of a statutory document that is the Laganside masterplan to
have a stadium on the site

Paul Durnien

Stadium bidder

"There will probably be a village of between 1,000 to 1,500
homes - this is not a stadium in isolation to everything

However, two Belfast-based groups are set to outline their
alternative plans to site the stadium in the city on

Belfast Chamber of Trade said the stadium should be at the
former Maysfield leisure centre.

Dave Pennick from the Chamber of Trade said people were "so
short of information" about the Maze plans.

"We are still working on the principle of 30,000 seats (for
Maysfield)," he told BBC News on Wednesday.

"In terms of infrastructure, Belfast has it. We have roads,
we have rail, we have boat, we have air.

"We have been side-lined in Belfast for some fairly grand

'Working with financiers'

Paul Durnien, who has a quantity surveying company, has put
together a team focused on the Ormeau park.

"The site has had a long association with recreation and
sport," he said.

"The government are arguing against themselves. It is part
of a statutory document that is the Laganside masterplan to
have a stadium on the site."

Part of their proposal would be to build two pedestrian
bridges linking the Gasworks site and the Lower Ormeau area
to the proposed stadium.

"We have been working with financiers both in America and
across the UK," he said.

On Tuesday, Sports Minister David Hanson said work on the
possibility of a multi-sports stadium was at an advanced

"We need an indication from soccer, rugby and GAA that they
will commit to the new stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh site,"
he said.

"Without this commitment the stadium cannot go ahead and I
want to emphasise that there is no plan B."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/16 09:02:41 GMT


On-The-Run Bill 'Just A Cover-Up'

Legislation dealing with "on-the-runs" is "just a cover-up
process negotiated between the British government and Sinn
Fein", the SDLP has claimed.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan is to outline the party's concerns
about proposed legislation allowing fugitives from Northern
Ireland to return home.

He will meet NIO minister David Hanson to hand over a
"detailed critique" of the bill, published last week.

The plans cover up to 150 people wanted for crimes
committed before 1998.

They would have their cases heard by a special tribunal,
and if found guilty would be freed on licence without
having to go to jail.

Unionists and terrorist victims expressed their outrage at
the law, calling it an effective amnesty.

The government and Sinn Fein argue that it clears up "an
anomaly" left by the release of those already in jail after
the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Durkan said many countries had attempted a truth
process, and although none has been perfect, "all have been
better than this".

"Because there is no time limit on the legislation, those
responsible for the 2,100 unsolved killings can sit back
and wait to see if the police ever come knocking on their
door," he said.

"If they do, then they can apply to be an on-the-run from
the comfort of their own homes.

"Sinn Fein even negotiated with the British government that
the killers don't have to turn up in court and listen to
how they shattered victims' lives."


The leader of the Alliance Party, David Ford, is meeting
Conservative and Liberal Democrat spokesmen on Northern
Ireland, about the on-the-runs issue.

Alliance want amendments to the legislation that would mean
fugitives had to appear in court for their hearing and for
clarification on the status of those exiled by paramilitary

The proposed law would set up a two-stage process. First
someone who will be known as the certification officer will
decide if someone is eligible for the scheme.

This could be a paramilitary on-the-run, someone living in
Northern Ireland who is charged with an offence before 1998
or a member of the security forces accused of an offence
committed when they were combating terrorism.

The case would then go to a special tribunal, consisting of
a retired judge sitting without a jury. The tribunal would
have all the normal powers of the Crown Court but accused
would not have to appear for their trial.

If found guilty they would get a criminal record but would
be freed on licence. They would have to provide
fingerprints and DNA samples to be granted their licence.

The scheme will be temporary but a precise cut-off period
is not specified in the bill - instead its expiry is linked
to the lifetime of the chief constable's historic cases
review team, which is looking at unsolved murders during
the Troubles.

The measures are contained in the Northern Ireland Offences
Bill which is expected to get a rough ride as it makes its
way through parliament.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/16 06:43:37 GMT


Seven Ways To Play Politics

London Life: Brian Walker
16 November 2005

"All politics is local," said US Speaker of the House, the
late Tip O'Neill, the old wheeler-dealer of Buncrana
descent who used to be one of the highest Irish-American
cards in John Hume's pocket. How right he was.

But it was a maxim Peter Hain and his officials failed to
note when they left the political analysis of the first
local government reforms in a generation to the last

Next week, Hain and his team will confirm the scrapping of
the present structure of 26 district councils, five
Education and Library Boards, four Health and Social
Services Boards and 18 Health Trusts. A bonfire of the
quangos will follow in a couple of weeks' time.

In place of the present councils, ministers, as forecast,
are opting for "7C", a version of the plan for seven
councils only, all neat, tidy and efficient.

Given that the main point of the exercise is to free up
savings of between £155 and £235 million a year to spend on
the front line, how can anyone object, apart from the
unfortunates who stand to lose their jobs? (Although the
redundancy bill is massive, I hear). Well, of course, you
know they can and they will.

Up to now, local government reform has been overshadowed by
disputes over whether "the war is over". Not for much
longer. Dealing with the future will prove just as
troublesome as dealing with the past.

To the other parties, Sinn Fein support for the seven
council option is reason enough to cry foul. Sinn Fein will
claim another victory, leaving ministers to reply
truthfully, if a little lamely, that the republicans are
only cleverly anticipating a decision they would have
reached anyway.

A seven council solution conjures up the nightmare of a
green West and an Orange east forever, leaving only Belfast
at about 50:50. It awakens deep fears in unionist hearts of
re-partition if the Assembly fails to get off the ground
and, in the SDLP, a DUP-Sinn Fein carve-up. No wonder Sinn
Fein has gone for it.

Ministers hope to turn these doom-laden prophecies on their
heads and coax out some positive thinking. With or without
the Assembly, the press of practical needs in bigger
council areas presents the political parties with a huge
challenge. Do they want to work for reconciliation or for
two rigidly divided communities? The threat of the
unionists being swamped in the west and nationalists in the
east should powerfully concentrate minds.

If only to protect their own minorities, parties will be
forced to strike council power-sharing deals ensuring, for
instance, that Protestants in Londonderry and Catholics in
Ballymena are not frozen out of increasingly cold home
areas. Certainly, politics can have no higher purpose.

The parties could get off to a good start by presenting
visions of genuinely inclusive new local identities and
developing the councils' new role of co-ordinating all
local services fairly.

Ministers also hope that bigger councils with more powers
and full control of the rates will attract new, talented
people into local politics, to fill spaces created by the
end of dual and triple mandates.

There's enough time to get this right, they argue, before
the new councils go live in 2009. What a pity they didn't
think through the big political issues much earlier. Such
as, do they intend to impose compulsory power-sharing on
the councils? On what model - surely not the Assembly's

Hain might quieten fears by gently pointing out that
expanded councils are acquiring more power but not that
much more. In practice, health and education strategies are
set to become more centralised than ever, dominated by a
strong single board each. This is surely the right course
for a region as small as Northern Ireland.

For health, Ministers are this week deciding to set aside
the consultation options and adopt the recommendations of
the Appleby report that starkly exposed our long waiting
lists and poor utilisation of hospital theatres. So look
out for a purchase/provider split with a powerful
independent single Health Board setting the budgets and
performance standards for seven new local health and social
services agencies.

Whatever the first reactions, Ministers are not wobbling,
apparently. As a direct ruler told me recently: "The aim is
not to invite the parties to unite against us.

"It's certainly OK if they give us stick, provided they
come together to work the system fairly."

They wish, while the rest of us can only hope.


Government's 'Dereliction Of Duty' Over Passports

Ciarán Barnes

The Irish government was yesterday accused of a
"dereliction of duty" following confirmation it had yet to
ask the British government to establish an Irish passport
office in the North.

Despite repeated requests from Sinn Féin to do so, foreign
minister Dermot Ahern has yet to discuss the subject with
the British government.

The demand for Irish passports in the North has never been
greater. It is estimated more than 200,000 people living in
the North hold Irish passports. The Passport Office's
Dublin headquarters deals with thousands of new
applications each year.

In a bid to cope with the increasing demand, the Irish
government set up a Passport Express service, which works
out of almost 40 Northern post offices. This is a fast-
track way of obtaining an Irish passport.

Sinn Féin's Barry McElduff welcomed this as a "positive
move" but said it did not go far enough.

For over a year, the West Tyrone assembly member has been
lobbying the Irish and British governments to set up a
dedicated Irish passport office in Belfast to serve the
North. He revisited the issue during a meeting with Dermot
Ahern and direct-rule ministers Peter Hain and David Hanson

Confirmation that the Mr Ahern has yet to speak to the
British government about the proposal has disappointed Mr
McElduff. "The Irish government is derelicting its duty.
Irish citizens in the North are not being treated in the
same manner as those in the Republic," he said.

"I appreciate that there is constitutional difficulties
but, if we can have a Passport Express service operating
out of post offices in the North, why can't we have a
proper Irish passport office in Belfast?"

David Hanson, the minister of state at the Northern Ireland
Office, wrote in a letter to Mr McElduff that there had
been no formal request from the Irish government to
establish a passport office in the North.

A spokesman for foreign minister Mr Ahern's office said
said there were as yet no plans to open an Irish passport
office in the North.

"This is an issue that is constantly under review," he


SF Out Of Trinity Due To Thatcher 'Threat Email'

SINN Fein has been booted out of Trinity College after the
campus branch chairperson circulated a hate email
containing threats to Margaret Thatcher.

The message urged Sinn Fein members to insult the late
husband of the former British Prime Minister, and contained
the statement: "We'll get the bitch yet."

The line is seen as a reference to the infamous Brighton
bombing, when the IRA attempted to assassinate Mrs Thatcher
and the British Cabinet at the Tory Party conference in

The sender of the email, Grace Vaughey, Sinn Fein Trinity
Cumann chairperson, has been disciplined by college
authorities, but not Sinn Fein, and she remains a member of
the party. Last night, a party spokesperson said Ms Vaughey
had apologised to college authorities and the party.

The email encouraged people to send hate mail to a Margaret
Thatcher fan site, to coincide with her recent 80th

It called for recipients to insult Denis Thatcher, who died
two years ago.

Sinn Fein has been banned from holding meetings on the
Trinity campus for the rest of the year, and has had
college funding and access to its office withdrawn.

Yesterday's edition of Trinity News reported that Ms
Vaughey had been fined €75 by the college, while Ogra Shinn
Fein was not allowed hold events on campus. Sinn Fein's
spokesperson said Ms Vaughey forwarded an offending email
written by somebody else. The email's author is not being

The party was not condemning the incident, but described
the email as in "appalling taste" and "extremely juvenile".

"She (Ms Vaughey) should have taken more care," the
spokesperson said. "She has apologised. It was a complete
error of judgment. It won't happen again."

The email came to light and action was taken by the college
after a Sinn Fein member in the college made a complaint.

Trinity Sinn Fein's website features a logo of a coffin
draped with the tricolour and with three gunmen standing
over it firing into the air. The slogan beneath says
'Remember Our Dead'.

Fionnan Sheahan
Political Correspondent


Opin: 90-Day Detention Proposal Had Full Glare Of Media But Another Case Fell Under The Radar

Anne Cadwallader

The drama at Westminster on the 90-day detention-without-
charge proposal last week took place in the full glare of
publicity with the 24-hour news channels carrying the
debate live.

Unnoticed, meanwhile, at Court Ten, Laganside Courthouse in
Belfast, a not-unrelated little drama of its own was
quietly unfolding. There were no television cameras, only a
few policemen, lawyers and reporters to watch.

You will not have read this story before. It wasn't
considered newsworthy enough to feature in anywhere else. I
leave you to judge whether it merited more attention.

The main dramatis personae were as follows: Resident
Magistrate Ken Nixon on the bench, defendant Peter Kelly in
the dock, defence solicitor Niall Murphy and Detective
Inspector Ian Monteith of the PSNI's serious crime squad
facing each other across the courtroom.

Kelly, a BT engineer from Newry, was before the court on
charges of possessing, collecting or making a document or
record of information likely to be of use to terrorists.
Monteith, who had charged Kelly at Antrim police station,
said the defendant had replied that he "refuted and denied
these hysterical, paranoid charges"..

The defendant had, said Monteith, asserted that he had only
been doing the job he was paid to do by BT and added: "I
would not be charged with these offences if I was a

Probably not the smartest of ripostes if you're about to
appear before a court in the North, but anyhow…

Monteith went on to outline, at the prosecution lawyer's
solicitation, some juicy morsels about the alleged police
evidence against Kelly. This included that he had in his
possession computer records on 36,000 members of the civil
service, 3,300 civilian workers for the PSNI and 70 workers
in the prison service.

At the crown lawyer's kind prompting, Monteith went on to
say this made the individuals involved "vulnerable to
approaches and potential threats."

All this, of course, has echoes of the "Stormont-gate"
affair, which irretrievably collapsed the power-sharing
executive and assembly at Parliament Buildings, leading on
inexorably to the DUP's eclipse of the Ulster Unionists,
thence on to the political stagnation in which we continue
to find ourselves.

All this despite the fact that the main charges against the
four defendants in the affair, specifically the critical
claim that they had been involved in "spying" on the Ulster
Unionists and the British government, have been dropped.

In Court Ten this week, after the prosecution had put its
case, the defence had its go in the shape of Murphy, a
solicitor with Kevin Winters & Co, who did not mince his

Monteith's contention that he could link Kelly to the
charges was, he said, "a misleading, false lie." Sharp
intake of breath in Court Ten.

Without going into minute detail, this is what Murphy's
case amounted to. Firstly, it was – correctly – reported
that Peter Kelly had been "arrested by police investigating
the Northern Bank raid". In the public mind, therefore, he
will indelibly be linked to that robbery, although neither
the charges nor the evidence to date bears any relevance to

Having spent six full days in custody, at 13.55 hours on
November 8, the police (with insufficient evidence to
sustain charges) applied for a three-day extension of his

Suspects, even in high profile cases like this, are rarely
if ever held for more than seven days. If the application
had succeeded, Kelly would have been held for nine.

Kelly's lawyers decided to seek a judicial review of this
application. A judge was sent for and a court hearing fixed
for 5pm that afternoon. The police, says Murphy, got wind
of this and at 5.03pm his client, Kelly, was suddenly
charged. Thus, the judicial review and court hearing were,
at a stroke, made redundant.

But, asked Murphy, if the police were intent on asking a
court at 1.55pm for more time "to obtain evidence" and had
been given no new information in the meantime, how could
they have had confidence a mere three hours later that they
could connect Kelly to the very serious charges?

Either there was sufficient evidence at 1.55pm (in which
case why seek an extension of Kelly's detention?) or the
extension order – if granted – would have been an abuse of

The defence submission (that the court should reject
Monteith's claim that he could connect Kelly to the
charges) failed. Murphy, however, had one more card up his

It was ironic, he said, that on the very day that the
British parliament was debating a proposal to extend police
powers to hold suspects without charge for up to 90 days,
this process was taking place in Belfast.

It showed, he said, how the best intentions of parliament
could be undermined by "over-zealous police officers".
Nixon quickly rejected this as a "political" argument and
Kelly was promptly taken from the dock down to the cells.

Outside the court, Murphy told reporters he was persuaded
that the police had got wind of his intention to submit a
judicial review. They could, he suggests, have somehow
(inadvertently of course) overheard him relaying this
during a phone conversation in Antrim police station. These
things happen...

Proceedings in Court Ten were a culmination of "a Khafka-
esque farce", said Murphy, recalling one consultation with
his client when, in a small closed room at Antrim
Interrogation Centre, they had been out-numbered by up to
eight senior policemen.

At the police application for the two days extension,
Kelly's lawyer – and Kelly himself – were excluded from
proceedings for 35 minutes while the police relayed
"sensitive" information to a judge by video-link.

The legal provision under which he was excluded, says
Murphy, was a personal slur on him and on the legal

Anyhow, he contends the police had insufficient evidence to
charge his client. They feared what might transpire during
a judicial review. So they charged him anyway. "Oh, what
the heck. Might as well."

If you were a cynic, with the first anniversary of the
Northern Bank robbery coming round, you might almost be
forgiven for imagining that the police want to have a few
people banged up facing charges.

Almost, of course, but not quite, because police officers
in the North don't stoop to such ignominious tactics.

Tony Blair's 90-day proposal this week included the
safeguard of regular court hearings to safeguard detainees'
human rights. What took place in Court Ten this week gives
me little confidence such a guarantee would be any bulwark
against abuse.

Meanwhile, Kelly – as we speak – languishes, a reluctant
guest of Her Majesty at Maghaberry, to re-appear in court
by video-link on November 16.

Anne Cadwallader is a freelance journalist, broadcaster and
author of Holy Cross: The Untold Story published by the
Brehon Press.


Opin: Time To Get Tough On Unwilling DUP

Editor: Maria McCourt

The DUP's decision to boycott yesterday's talks at
Hillsborough do not augur well for the prospects of
political advancement in the North. If the main unionist
party can't see its way fit to sit down and talk about the
way forward in the wake of the IRA dumping its weapons and
Gerry Adams saying the war is over, you have to wonder just
what it's going to take to convince Ian Paisley and co to
get round the table in order to thrash out an agreement on
where we go from here.

Bertie Ahern has agreed to meet Ian Paisley on Friday, and
while it's clearly a good thing that Mr Paisley is engaging
with the Taoiseach, the Irish government needs to be
careful not to be seen to encourage the DUP in its
recalcitrance. Part of the reason that the DUP is so loathe
to come together to do deals is that they are just not used
to it. For years, they were indulged by the governments who
catered to their separatist mentality by providing separate
agendas and separate rooms; similarly, television and radio
stations were only too happy to provide separate studios
and television debates in the North were turned into a
strange charade whereby politicians were marched up to a
podium one by one to make statements and then field
questions – and all because the DUP refused to sit down on
a panel with Sinn Féin. It would make more sense for the
Irish and British governments to make it clear to the DUP
that they are either in or they're out, and that there can
be no semi-detached approach to discussion and negotiation.

It's not as if Bertie Ahern is not capable of taking a
tough stand when the occasion demands. And the occasion is
now demanding a propos of Sinn Féin.

If election fever hasn't kicked in at Leinster House, the
political parties are certainly running a bit of a
temperature. Stung by accusations that a vote for Fianna
Fáil would effectively be a vote to put Sinn Féin in
government, the Taoiseach told newspapers at the weekend
that he would give up government rather than cut a deal
with Sinn Féin. The reason he gave was not that routinely
trotted out by his coalition partner, Justice Minister
Michael McDowell, who cites republican atrocities as the
reason they're not fit for government; rather Mr Ahern said
it was Sinn Féin's economic policies that he couldn't
stomach. This was a clever trick, allowing him to achieve
the desired effect without provoking unionist allegations
of hypocrisy and double-speak. Unfortunately, his words can
also be read as being an implicit acknowledgement that the
fiscal policies of the other parties are A-okay. Those who
believe that Sinn Féin are as entitled to be in government
as any of the other parties shouldn't be overly concerned
by the Taoiseach's words.

Fianna Fáil will do whatever it takes to form a government
when the time comes. And if they have to ask Sinn Féin to
rearrange a few commas or move a few percentage points in
their economic manifesto in order to allow them to say that
things have changed, then that is what they'll do.


Opin: Before Moving Forward, We Need To Face The Legacies Of Injustice

University of Ulster's Transitional Justice Institute
organised an event which reinforced pressure to create a
bill of rights for the people of the North

Effective social and economic rights must be the
touchstone for addressing the past and building the future,
a range of international academics and leading experts said
during a human-rights conference in Belfast.

Organised by the University of Ulster's Transitional
Justice Institute, last Friday's event lobbied significant
international pressure behind the demand that effective
social and economic rights be enshrined within a proposed
bill of rights for the North.

The conference came ahead of a meeting today between
Northern Ireland Office minister David Hanson and the
North's newly reconstituted Human Rights Commission.

Mr Hanson is expected to announce a British government
consultation process to further consider the commission's
investigatory powers.

The commission was created by the 1998 Good Friday
Agreement but effectively imploded under the weight of
internal and external criticism.

Earlier this year, just two of the original part-time
commissioners were still in their posts. A range of new
commissioners took up their positions in September.

While significant criticism was directed at the leadership
of the old commission, some commentators argued that the
British government had deliberately hobbled the institution
by imposing limited funding and restricted powers.

Improved representativeness and enhanced powers for the
commission — in line with the internationally recognised
Paris principles — were major elements of the multiparty
political negotiations that collapsed last December.

Before the negotiations failed, then British secretary of
state Paul Murphy declared on December 17 that following "a
review of the commission's powers… the government had
decided in principle that NIHRC should be granted the right
of access to places of detention and the power to compel
evidence and witnesses, subject to appropriate safeguards,
in conducting its investigations."

Almost a year later, newly appointed chief commissioner
Monica McWilliams revealed during last Friday's
Transitional Justice Institute conference that the British
government was set to propose a consultation process on the
expanding the commission's investigatory powers.

The institute's conference was entitled Developing Economic
and Social Rights in Transition: The Global and the Local.
It brought together key experts from across the globe
alongside human-rights practitioners, academics and
activists from Ireland.

Conference organiser Esther McGuinness told Daily Ireland
that the event was "crucial" in the context of newly
appointed human-rights commissioners being responsible for
establishing a bill of rights in the North. "It is crucial
that the new Human Rights Commission does all in its power
to ensure that effective social and economic rights are
best protected in a bill of rights for Northern Ireland,"
Ms McGuinness said.

"Friday's conference brought together world leaders in
their fields, with vast experience on both the enforcement
and the necessity of socioeconomic rights, particularly in
transitional societies.

"In a place like Northern Ireland, which is still in
transition and which still has so many areas of
deprivation, the entrenchment of effective socioeconomic
rights within a bill of rights is vitally important," she

Speaking at Friday's conference, Sandra Liebenberg from
South Africa's University of Stellenbosch, outlined the
"transformative potential" of effective socioeconomic
rights being built into the post-apartheid constitution.
Professor Liebenberg was involved in drafting elements of
the South African constitution in relation to social and
economic rights.

South Africa remains the third most unequal society in the
world, with half of the population living in poverty.
However, Professor Liebenberg argued that the development
of case law and constitutional court judgments had the
potential to begin tackling "deep, systematic and
structural poverty."

Socioeconomic rights entrenched within a written
constitution or bill of rights can, through influence upon
social institutions and public policies, give those
marginalised by poverty a "direct voice in social and
economic policy impacting on their welfare", she said.

In the South African experience, a declared commitment to
social justice was fundamental to enhancing the
constitution's potential to transform, Professor Liebenberg

Drawing on the post-Cold War experience of Hungary,
Professor Csilla Kollonay Lehoczky of the Central European
University in Budapest outlined the manner in which Western
liberal-democratic socioeconomic values had swept
throughout the former Warsaw Treaty countries in the 1990s,
precipitating an "allergic reaction" to the past.

In this context, countries such as Hungary avoided
culturally relative indigenous experiences that could have
positively informed their development of new rights-based
cultures, she said.

Professor Lehoczky noted that the word "worker" had become
"obliterated… as a discredited description" because of its
association with the past.

She also outlined how parents sending their children to
learn Russian were condemned as "crypto-communists."

However, Professor Lehoczky described how the right to
education in Hungary had now been effectively offset by a
government policy that resulted in disproportionate numbers
of well-off students availing of limited places for free

This happens because richer families are able to tutor
children so they get better results, thereby permitting
them to take the free education places.

"Poor people's money goes to subsidise, through taxes, free
education of middle and upper classes. The eyeglasses of
those who make the rules should be changed," Professor
Lehoczky said. "Some argue that an overdose of economic and
social rights may disable your autonomy as a citizen. That
is not true," she added.

Referring to the Good Friday Agreement, Unison trade
unionist and human-rights activist Inez McCormack said
"useful tools of change" were already in existence to
transform socioeconomic injustice in the North.

However, the former Irish Congress of Trade Unions
president declared that these tools had not been
effectively implmented.

"The absence of right is not neutral, especially when it
leads to the presence of exclusion and humiliation on a
daily basis," Ms McCormack said.

Social and economic change "is possible, if you make it
possible", she added. "The Agreement gave us some of the
tools to tackle these issues and we now have tremendous
goodwill across the community.

"But it has to be, as the Agreement said, on the basis of
objective need as a baseline. The most important thing is
that the rules and tools to promote the rights of the
deprived and disadvantaged must not regard them as the
problem," she said.

Ms McCormack attacked the "mischief and malice" adopted by
some elements of government in dividing political
representatives from civic society regarding socioeconomic
issues in the North. "All too often, the process has been
to remove the pressure rather than provide the effective
response which is needed," Ms McCormack said.

University of Ulster academic Eilish Rooney told Daily
Ireland that Friday's conference highlighted the
"desirability and necessity of putting social and economic
rights in a bill of rights". "One significant issue
emerging from the conference is that, whenever we are
talking about going forward and facing the future, the
prevailing legacies of socioeconomic injustice from the
past must be addressed," Ms Rooney said. "I don't detect
any energetic pursuance of the existing instruments or the
positive exploitation of the current legislation.

"Rather, the sluggish enactment of equality obligations and
the concentration on inequalities which are less
contentious instead of, for instance, socioeconomic
injustices in the North, highlights areas where the
existing provisions are being actively ignored or avoided.

"It raises important questions about having to look at
society in terms of those socioeconomic injustices of the
past which continue to play into people's lives in the
present," Ms Rooney said.


Bloodiest Day Of Feud That Convulsed The City

(Damian McCarney,

The feud came to a close after a settlement was brokered
between the two wings by two local priests, Fr Des Wilson
and Fr Alec Reid. The IRA feud, and particularly the events
of November 11, have been largely overshadowed by more
recent atrocities, but for the families and friends of the
victims, it remains a painful memory...'

This month marks the 30th anniversary of one of the
bleakest periods in West Belfast's turbulent history.

In November 1975 a bloody feud between the Provisional and
Official wings of the IRA ripped through the nationalist
community as tensions from the split within the republican
movement five years earlier resurfaced. Ultimately the
renewed hostilities would claim the lives of 11 people and
leave more than 40 injured.

What triggered the burst of attacks remains unclear to this
day. The Provisional IRA issued a statement at the time
saying that their actions against Official IRA members had
been to "stamp out criminal activities."

For its part, the Republican Clubs, the political wing of
the Official IRA, said the feud had been sparked after a
fist fight between an Official and a Republican.

Whatever the reasons, the consequences were appalling in
the final days of October and in the first two weeks of
November 1975, a period when both wings of the IRA claimed
to be on ceasefire.

The feud reached its bloody height with a torrent of
bloodletting on Tuesday November 11 with OIRA man John
Brown from the Markets area becoming the first of the day's
victims. The 25-year-old father-of-two was shot nine times
in front of his family in his Cooke Place home. In the same
attack John's 15-year-old brother was shot a number of
times in the stomach but survived.

Owen McVeigh, who had no connection with any political
organisation, was killed later the same day in what was a
case of mistaken identity. Two masked OIRA gunmen broke
into the father-of-two's Grosvenor Place home and, as he
tried to escape, shot him in the back. The gunmen ignored
the pleas of the 28-year-old's wife not to kill him. It was
reported that witnesses heard one of the gunmen shout as
they fled, "We've got the wrong house".

Teenage Official IRA member Jack McAllister became the
third to die on this dark day. The 19-year-old Ballymurphy
man was with his fiancée, waiting for a bus, when he was
shot. Only a week earlier Jack had mourned the death of his
close friend James Fogarty, an earlier victim of the same
feud. Jack's mother, Ethel McAllister, had been a prominent
civil rights activist and in the days following her son's
death was prominent in attempts to broker a truce between
the two factions.

The final victim of the day's violence was former
Republican Clubs man Comgall Casey. Aged only 18, he was
working as an apprentice joiner when gunmen shot him. They
entered his place of work and asked for him by name before
coldly carrying out the execution. As the Andersonstown man
pleaded for his life the PIRA gunmen brought him into a
separate room and shot him in his back and head.

The following day, November 12, saw the final death of the
factional war when the chairman of the Falls Taxi Drivers'
Association, Michael Duggan, was gunned down by the OIRA.
The gunmen burst into St Paul's Hall in Hawthorn Street and
opened fire indiscriminately, shooting the 32-year-old man
twice in the back. Another man was wounded when he was shot
in the groin. Michael Duggan had not been connected to any
paramilitary organisation.

The first fatality of the feud had been two weeks earlier
on October 29 when OIRA man Robert Elliman was gunned down
in McKenna's bar in the Markets area. On that same night 16
people were wounded in attacks related to the feud.

The following day saw the tragic death of six-year-old
Eileen Kelly. She was killed in her Beechmount Grove home
when PIRA gunmen tried to shoot her father, who had no link
to the Official IRA and was described in reports as a
Republican Clubs sympathiser. The following year two
teenagers received life sentences for her murder.

In the days following Eileen's death, Short Strand OIRA man
Thomas Berry and Sinn Féin member Séamus McCusker were
killed. Republican Clubs member James Fogarty was shot dead
in his Ballymurphy home on November 3 before a six-day
period of peace was shattered by the killing of 19-year-old
OIRA man John Kelly near the Antrim Road.

During this period there were a number of protests by
women's groups calling for peace, and attempts by various
members of the clergy and an Andersonstown News
representative to find a peaceful resolution. The feud came
to a close after a settlement was brokered between the two
wings by two local priests, Fr Des Wilson and Fr Alec Reid.

In a report in the Andersonstown News dated November 22
1975, the PIRA claimed that they suspected "British agents"
had carried out a sub-machinegun attack on a local club, in
which no one was killed, to keep the feud running. But
thankfully the feud was over.

The IRA feud, and particularly the events of November 11,
have been largely overshadowed by more recent atrocities,
but for the families and friends of the victims, it remains
a painful memory that they will never forget.

November 16, 2005


On The Line: The Internet's Future

By Daniel Howden
16 November 2005

Over the next three days a United Nations summit, in the
unlikely setting of Tunisia, will attempt to thrash out the
future of the internet.

More than 40 world leaders, including Kofi Annan, the UN
secretary general, are set to attend, and the ownership of
the World Wide Web itself is at stake. What the delegates
won't discuss is the creeping spectre of censorship.

What began as a military research project at the Pentagon
has exploded into the most powerful network in the world
and an entity upon which the global economy increasingly
relies. Its future character is now in question.

At present, the closest the internet has to a governing
body is an obscure American, non-profit corporation called
Icann. This quasi-independent body has, for years, quietly
regulated domain names and allocated addresses. But its
lease is nearly up. And the world's rich and powerful will
join battle for control of what they see as a gold mine.

The Bush administration wants Icann turned into a private
corporation, on US soil and subject to US controls. Much of
the rest of the world objects to that but the loudest
opponents are countries with a history of censorship and
repression, such as China and Iran. The likely balance of
power in that struggle rests with the European Union, whose
position is not clear.

The summit was originally conceived to address the digital
divide - the gap between people who can get online and
those, primarily in developing countries, who can't.
Instead, it has been dominated by an argument over who
controls the internet. The decisions of Icann - the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - may
seem very technical, but that does not mean they don't have
direct political repercussions. The unelected Californian
corporation could, in theory, block access to entire
country domain names (all sites ending in, for
example, could be taken offline). But the alternative to
that so far benign hegemony could, its defenders argue, be
much worse. The countries leading the calls for control of
the internet to be internationalised, under the aegis of
the UN, are the same ones that have led the way in
censoring their own citizens.

Remarkably, for a meeting called the World Summit on the
Information Society, there will not be a single seminar or
discussion panel held on freedom of expression. "The
internet is not just a technical issue," Julian Bein, of
the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, told The
Independent yesterday.

"How can countries like China, Iran and Cuba be discussing
internet governance?" Mr Bein asked. "It's not only China
any more, this is a worldwide problem. Now every dictator
or repressive regime in the world is attempting to control
what their citizens can access."

The host of the summit, expected to attract 12,000 to
15,000 delegates and up to 50 world leaders, has hardly
reassured those concerned that the spectre of censorship is
being ignored.

Already, rights watchdogs say, both Tunisian and foreign
reporters covering the summit have been harassed and
beaten. Fears of a crackdown have led some civil society
groups who plan to hold their own summit on the fringe of
the gathering to conceal their plans.

At the weekend, a reporter with the French daily
Libération, Christophe Boltanski, who had been
investigating the recent beatings of human rights activists
in Tunisia, was stabbed and kicked outside his hotel in
Tunis. He was not seriously injured.

The Tunisia Monitoring Group has highlighted the cases of
seven men now on a hunger strike in the country and
estimates that about 500 more have been jailed for
expressing opinions.

Robert Menard, secretary general of Reporters Without
Borders, has been banned from attending the summit. He
said: "Banning the head of an organisation that defends
free expression from attending a summit about the
information society is absurd and unacceptable."

The exponential expansion of the internet has been
accompanied by staunch resistance from countries anxious to
prevent their own people from getting greater access to
information. In the two years since the last internet
summit, held in Geneva, the rise of filtering technology -
deployed by states to control what they don't want people
to see - has been dramatic and insidious.

Ben Edelman, an internet researcher at Harvard University,
says countries using blocking technologies have found they
can cut off web content they dislike, while still obtaining
the internet's commercial benefits. "Go to, say, Thailand
and request a banned site on politics or pornography.
Thanks to blocking technologies like IP filtering, you
probably won't get the web page you asked for," he said.
"Neither will you get a warning saying 'This content is
blocked.' Instead, your browser is likely to say 'host not
found'. In fact things are just as the censors intended:
the site is working fine, but you can't see it."

In Uzbekistan authorities copy controversial sites, change
their content and then repost their own version - all
without the users being aware. Countries such as Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates filter content openly
and are proud of doing so. Iran earned notoriety by
becoming the first country to imprison someone for the
contents of an internet page, or blog.

But China remains the benchmark in censorship. Beijing has
cajoled major US players such as Google, Microsoft and
Yahoo into adapting their sites and services to suit the
censors. A Chinese web surfer typing the word "democracy"
or "freedom" or "human rights" into their server will
probably receive an error message announcing: "This item
contains forbidden speech."

Brad Adams, Asia director of Human Rights Watch said:
"There have been great claims by internet companies that it
would be an unstoppable tool for free expression and the
spread of democracy. But when companies like Yahoo!
Microsoft and Google decide to put profits from their
Chinese operations over the free exchange of information,
they are helping to kill that dream."

Last night, shareholders of the US hi-tech firm Cisco
Systems were to vote on a resolution calling on management
to release full details of their dealings with Chinese
authorities. Pressure is building on Western companies to
stop ignoring, and in some cases profiting from, censorship
in repressive regimes.

Access denied: a round-the-world guide to internet


The military junta permits only two service providers, both
under direct state control. Of the approximately 25,000
internet users in 2003, virtually all were hand-picked
members of the military or government.


China has the world's most developed internet censorship
technology, thanks, ironically, to companies such as Yahoo.
The pro-democracy writer Wang Yi's blog was closed two
weeks ago, days after he was nominated for an international


The Law on the Digital Economy (2004) states that service
providers are legally responsible for the content their
customers post online. Providers must also check the
legality of any links they maintain.


Though one of the best-connected countries in the Gulf, the
UAE's only service provider is state-owned. Medical and
scientific sites that show naked parts of the human body,
as well as publications about Buddhism, Sufism, religious
sects and the US anti-war film-maker Michael Moore, are all
blocked. Marriage agencies are allowed, but dating sites
are banned.

GERMANY, a website displaying graphic images of violence
and mutilation, has recently been blocked by its service
provider after a complaint from a watchdog group called
Jugendschutz (Youth Protection).


Iranian censorship officially aims to protect the public
from immoral, "non-Islamic" sites, but in reality concern
centres on the political possibilities of the internet: it
is currently easier to access pornographic websites than
reformist ones. The authorities recently ordered all
privately owned service providers to put themselves under
government control, or else shut down.


The line between criticism in the public interest and
insult in online publications is very blurred in the eyes
of the courts. Cybercafé owners are obliged to monitor the
activity of their users for pornography, gambling,
political separatism or any challenge to the state.


Nicklaus To Redesign Donegal Golf Links

Chris Ashmore

One of the world's golfing greats, Jack Nicklaus, flew
into Donegal yesterday to officially sign a design contract
to redesign two 18-hole links courses.

The two courses are being redeveloped as part of a major
€60 million project that will also see the construction of
Donegal's first five-star hotel as well as the building of
up to 200 luxury apartments, houses and retail units on a
spectacular coastal site.

The Relton Development group, which has been involved in
the restaurant, bar and property sectors in the Dublin
region for more than 25 years, is the driving force behind
the project. Early next year, details of an international
hotel operator to manage the facility will be announced.

The Nicklaus Design company has undertaken to redesign the
St Patrick's golf links, which comprises two courses -
Magheramagorgan and Trá Mór - which are close to the
seaside resort of Carrigart. The former, designed by Eddie
Hackett, was not completed until 1996, while the latter was
designed in the same year by former Royal County Down
assistant professional Joanne O'Haire.

Having briefly been shown around the course, Nicklaus
estimated it would take about a year to a year and a half
to complete. "There are some very nice holes, and what we
have to do is to make it into a first-class golf course. We
want to try and utilise what is there. This is a pretty
special piece of property," he said.

Tim Kenny, executive vice-president of Nicklaus Design,
said: "The land and the dunes comprising St Patrick's is
what Irish golf is supposed to be - raw, natural, wild,
windy, with bunkers carved and created by Mother Nature. It
is an incredible site."

Nicklaus was introduced to representatives of Relton
Development two months ago by Thomas Crumlish and Patrick
Sharkey of Crumlish and Sharkey, a Donegal-based corporate
finance and project management firm. "We went to the
developers and said that if they were going to develop a
five-star facility, then they would have to get the best to
design the golf courses. There was only one man to get -
Jack Nicklaus."

Nicklaus Design has been involved in designing 290 courses
in 29 countries.

Local business and tourism leaders have welcomed the news,
and hope that the development of such a top-end facility
will be a major boost to the Donegal region.

© The Irish Times

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