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November 09, 2005

SF Fundraising In Jeopardy

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IN 11/08/05 SF Fundraising In Jeopardy
UU 11/08/05 McNarry Welcomes US Decision On Adams Visa
BB 11/08/05 Plan To Let NI Fugitives Return
BT 11/08/05 Troubles Crimes To Be Written Off
BT 11/08/05 Corruption Probe Sees PSNI Staff Suspended
DI 11/08/05 Butchersmember In Court
IN 11/08/05 Loyalists Urged Towards 'Transitional' Process
BT 11/08/05 McKevitt's Attacks Credibility Of US Supergrass
BT 11/08/05 UDA Chief Shoukri Still In Custody
BT 11/08/05 Group Questions Report Into Loyalist Killing
UT 11/08/05 CIRA Deny Conlon Murder Link
BB 11/08/05 Children Saw Conlon Abducted
BT 11/08/05 Marion Price Tells Of Sorrow At Conlon Murder
BB 11/08/05 UUP Delegation Set To Meet Ahern
IN 11/08/05 Ministers Detail £163m Bill For BS Inquiry
DI 11/08/05 Irish Society Called 'Racist'
IN 11/08/05 Corrs 'On The Run' From SF Jibe
DI 11/08/05 Small Victories Each Day - Daily Ireland Battle
IN 11/08/05 Opin: SF Must Back Police Service
IN 11/08/05 Opin: It's Late For SDLP's 'Principled' Stand
IN 11/08/05 Opin: Force Within A Force Held To Account
IN 11/08/05 Opin: Restorative Justice Not Pltcl Football
BT 11/08/05 Opin: Blair Looks To Tie Up The Loose Ends
GU 11/08/05 Opin: Ulster Waits For Gordo
BT 11/08/05 Opin: Turn Over A New Leaf For St Patrick
IN 11/08/05 Mallon In Dark By Hume On Role In Executive
IN 11/08/05 When Push Came To Shove At Stormont
IN 11/08/05 Play Nice To Target Temple Bar
IN 11/08/05 Derrybeg Broadcaster Priest Dies Aged 78
IN 11/08/05 Museum To Mark Bloody Sunday
IO 11/08/05 Irish Woman Becomes 1st Female EC Sect-General


Opin: Moving Goalposts Puts SF Fundraising In Jeopardy

By Ray O'Hanlon

Irish-America is furrowing its brow this week over the
latest peace process twist – the barring of a fundraising
visit by Gerry Adams. Adams should have been waking up in
Manhattan this morning, applause still ringing in his ears
after collecting a peace award at the Waldorf Astoria last
night courtesy of Bill Flynn and the National Committee on
American Foreign Policy.

He should have been readying himself for the Friends of
Sinn Fein fundraising dinner at the Sheraton Hotel across
town tomorrow night.

He should have been gearing himself up for a New York

A bagel. Or perhaps the papal-sounding Eggs Benedict.

But no, the man isn't here.

Hence the furrowed brow and more than a whiff of
consternation in an Irish-America that figured the ending
of a war and unilateral disarming by the IRA would be
enough for a revolving door through which Sinn Fein leaders
could enter the US and leave after filling party coffers
with wads of banknotes featuring the country's first
President George.

Instead, there's a new line in the sand, one which seems to
have been drawn by the State Department, the White House-
based National Security Council, or a combination of both.

It was a tough week getting the former to spell out its
concerns in plain English but it all boiled down in the end
to Adams saying something positive about the PSNI.

Adams wasn't quite ready for that so the entire affair
ended up spawning the headline 'guess who's not coming to

This will not rest easy with Irish-America.

The anticipated scrubbing of the Adams trip had already
prompted a strongly-worded statement from seven members of
the House of Representatives.

One of the seven was Congressman James Walsh.

Walsh, a member of President Bush's Republican Party and
chairman of the Friends of Ireland group on Capitol Hill,
bemoaned the timing of the hard line from within the

"I think it's important that we don't move the goalposts on
Sinn Fein again," Walsh said.

Walsh, together with fellow Republican Peter King, engaged
in a bout of last-minute phone diplomacy with Ambassador
Mitchell Reiss, the administration's special envoy.

But to no avail.

Reiss seemed sympathetic but there was a sense that his
wasn't the only hand on the tiller.

Additional urging came from Irish-American organisations
including the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Irish-
American Unity Conference.

Ned McGinley, national president of the AOH, penned an 11th
hour open letter to secretary of state Condoleezza Rice.

McGinley said in the letter that the Hibernians noted with
"great concern" that fundraising by the Sinn Fein
leadership was in jeopardy.

"Even in the darkest days when the US government would not
allow Sinn Fein leaders to speak in this country we
received their messages but we cannot return to that lip
sync of ideas again," McGinley wrote.

"The dissident groups who are opposed to the Good Friday
Agreement are lurking in the wings to step out and take the
role of leaders if the confidence in Sinn Fein wanes," he

Robert Linnon, who leads the IAUC, accused the Bush
administration of overplaying its hand.

"In this case, it is sending out a negative message that
politics does not bring rewards, a message which will give
comfort only to the paramilitaries," Linnon stated.

Senator Edward Kennedy, who gave Adams the cold shoulder
last March in the aftermath of the Northern Bank robbery
and the McCartney murder, also expressed his concern.

"I agree that Sinn Fein should support the new police
service in Northern Ireland. There should be no question
about that. However, Sinn Fein has recently made impressive
progress toward lasting peace by securing the final act of
decommissioning by the IRA. It would be a mistake for the
administration at this important time to impose this kind
of restriction," Kennedy was reported as saying in the
Boston Globe.

Even without Adams the FOSF fundraising dinner is set to go
ahead. It might even raise more money as a result of Adams
being in absentia.

The national committee dinner was lucky in that it had a
second award recipient, former New York governor and 'Four
Horseman' alumnus Hugh Carey.

Meanwhile, Adams is heading for Canada where the queen's
visage still adorns the $20 bill and where the bacon is a
match for anything on a New York breakfast plate.


McNarry Welcomes US Government's Decision On Adams Visa

UUP Strangford MLA David McNarry MLA has welcomed the
decision of the US Government to keep restrictions on Sinn
Fein President Gerry Adam's visa in place but warned that
the US Government must prevent Sinn Fein from fundraising
in the US while investigations into the Northern Bank
robbery are still ongoing.

In a statement Mr McNarry said,

"The Provisional IRA walked away, last December, with 26
million pounds from the Northern Bank and should be
prevented from carrying out their large scale fundraising
activities in the US. Would the American people want Al
Qaeda or hizbollah raising funds in New York or Washington?

"It is refreshing to finally have an administration in
Washington, which can see Adams and McGuinness for what
they really are.

"The IRA's criminal activities and the dismantling if its
vast criminal empire remains high on the political agenda.
Unionists, after years of false - starts, are still
sceptical of IRA gangsters and criminality.

"The United States are obviously taking the issue of
policing extremely serious, a lot more serious than Sinn
Fein are, and that message be got through to Republicans."


Plan To Let NI Fugitives Return

Legislation allowing fugitives from Northern Ireland to
return home is due to be published.

The proposals cover up to 150 people wanted for crimes
committed before the Good Friday Agreement in 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.

The DUP is bringing a group of terrorism victims to
Westminster to lobby against the scheme.

Unionist, Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians are
also opposing the proposals.

Between 40 and 150 fugitives could benefit from the scheme,
including the former Sinn Fein publicity director Rita
O'Hare and the IRA Maze escapee Pol Brennan.

On Monday, Prime Minister Tony Blair defended the
government's plans, saying those suspected of offences
before 1998 had to be dealt with in the same way as those
prisoners released under the Good Friday Agreement.

The tribunal hearing the cases would consist of a retired
judge sitting without a jury; the accused would not have to
turn up for the hearing, but could send their lawyer in
their place.

If found guilty, they would be freed on licence without
having to serve any time in prison.

Aileen Quinton, who lost her mother Alberta in the 1987
Enniskillen bombing, said the families wanted justice.

She is in London with other victims' relatives to lobby
against the legislation.

"Some things are so important that you just have to do
them," she said.

"We are not looking for vengeance, we are not looking for
sympathy, we are looking for justice and justice has to be
the bedrock of any kind of peaceful or decent society."

On Tuesday, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said
security force members should receive equal treatment.

He said those in the services who found themselves charged
with crimes committed before 1998 should not be
discriminated against compared to paramilitaries.

In October, Mr Hain said "dozens" of paramilitary fugitives
could be allowed to return to the province under the

He also said there would be "a proper judicial process".

However, Conservative Northern Ireland spokesman David
Lidington has been critical of the plan.


"At the same time as the government proposes detaining
terrorist suspects for 90 days without charge, it will
allow convicted terrorists, and those wanted in connection
with the most heinous terrorist atrocities, to return to
Northern Ireland without ever having to appear before a
court and account for themselves in the normal way," he

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said his party had made it clear
"that this issue is crucial".

"This could do a lot of damage to public confidence," he

"We will not move into devolved government in circumstances
that there is not the confidence in the community in the
political process," he said.

"We have a government who today on the one hand are
proposing strong legislation against terrorism... and on
the same day proposing legislation that grants and
effective amnesty to some of the most notorious terrorists
in the UK."

Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness said many people had been
on-the-run since internment more than 30 years ago.

He said while many people had suffered pain, the
legislation was "a sensible measure".

"We have to see all of this as part of a bigger picture...
the peace process has transformed the lives of people in
the north.

"What is the sense of people being pursued whenever
everybody knows that as a result of the releases under the
Good Friday Agreement they are not going to spend one day
in prison."

BBC Northern Ireland's political editor Mark Devenport said
the government promised to allow paramilitary fugitives to
return home back in April 2003, but held back the move
until the IRA called off its campaign and disarmed.

"The law is set to be published, and could face a rough
ride in parliament, especially in the House of Lords," he

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/09 11:22:17 GMT


Troubles Crimes To Be Written Off

Bill wipes slate clean for on-the-runs

By Chris Thornton and Noel McAdam
09 November 2005

Thousands of unsolved Troubles crimes were set to be
consigned to history today as the Government proposed a new
law ensuring fugitives will not be jailed.

As well as allowing dozens of IRA fugitives the chance to
come home, the legislation now looks likely to wipe out the
chances of securing punishments for cases still under

Victims of terrorism were at Westminster for publication of
the Bill, which was being introduced today as the
Government also pledged to toughen up anti-terror laws.

The Government has insisted that people applying for the
freedom to return home will be considered to have
convictions against their names and will go through a
quasi-judicial process.

But questions have already been raised about the point of
pursuing 1,800 unsolved murders - currently under
investigation by the PSNI's £30m cold case review team.

Possible cases against an Army general and the IRA spy
known as Stakeknife are now also open to question.

The scheme unveiled today will immediately apply to a
number of known IRA suspects, like Sinn Féin's US
representative Rita O'Hare, who is wanted in connected with
a gun attack on a soldier.

Others likely to be affected are former MP Owen Carron, who
skipped bail after being accused of possessing an AK-47,
and Charles Caufield, who was named in Parliament as an
Enniskillen bomb suspect.

Most Maze escapees were previously cleared under a Queen's
Pardon issued in 2001.

Secretary of State Peter Hain indicated yesterday that the
scheme will take in more than a limited number of IRA

"Any member of the security forces who might find
themselves charged of crimes pre-1998, should not suffer
any discrimination compared with those involved in
paramilitary activity, loyalist or republican, who benefit
from the scheme and come through out on licence," he said.

"This is a proper judicial scheme and members of the
security forces should at least be treated equally."

Highlighting that members of the security forces would be
alongside the IRA in not being held to account for crimes,
SDLP leader Mark Durkan today accused the Government and
Sinn Féin of joining in "an alliance of sleaze".

"Sinn Fein have succeeded in getting the next best thing to
an amnesty for criminals in the security forces," Mr Durkan

Victims' groups leaders today travelled to Westminster to
exploit the timing of the OTR legislation with the
Government demand for 90 day detention of terrorist

They were joined by Aileen Quinton - whose mother Georgina
was among the 11 people killed by the IRA 'Poppy Day' bomb
in Enniskillen in 1987.

The Bill looked set to reopen unionist grievances about
police killers north of the border being treated different
from police killers in the South.

Dublin is signed up to draft similar legislation, but there
have already been indications from the Republic's
government that they will not extend it to two men wanted
for the murder of Garda Jerry McCabe.


Corruption Probe Sees PSNI Staff Suspended

Fraud cops act in contract inquiry

By David Gordon
09 November 2005

The PSNI has suspended two of its civilian employees as
part of a probe into alleged corruption, the Belfast
Telegraph can reveal today.

Fraud Squad detectives were called in three weeks ago to
probe the circumstances that led to a firm being stripped
of an important police service contract.

The PSNI had initially resisted calls for immediate
suspensions to be imposed, pending the outcome of the

But a police spokesman today said: "Two members of staff
have been suspended as part of this investigation."

No further details of the move were disclosed.

The Fraud Squad probe was ordered after a High Court judge
called for a criminal investigation into the circumstances
surrounding the 2001 contract saga.

The judge, Sir Liam McCollum, made his comments last month
at the conclusion of a long-running legal battle between
the PSNI and Belfast firm Northern Ireland Sheet Metal

The company received a £400,000 settlement for the
cancellation of a 2001 contract to supply armour plating
for police vehicles.

Sir Liam said there was evidence "some person or persons"
within the PSNI had "deliberately undermined" the company
and "wrongfully discredited" it.

He also stated that it was "difficult to attribute an
innocent motive" to anyone involved in the police service's
decision making process.

Detectives investigating the case carried out searches a
fortnight ago at a small number of PSNI offices and homes.

Police service premises in Carrickfergus and south Belfast
were among those searched.

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has set up an advisory
sub-committee to monitor the investigation.

A separate review of PSNI procurement processes is also
being carried out by independent audit consultants.

Sir Liam McCollum estimated that the armour plating affair
had cost the public purse around £1m, taking into account
the court case settlement, legal costs and the higher
prices charged by the firm that took over the contract.


Butchersmember In Court

One of the notorious gang faces magistrates on charges of
driving without a licence, tax, insurance or MoT test

Ciarán Barnes

A member of the notorious loyalist Shankill Butchers murder
gang appeared in Belfast magistrates' court yesterday.

Eddie McIlwaine, from Woodvale Avenue in the west of the
city, was in the dock to face charges of driving without a
licence, insurance, tax and test certificate.

The 52-year-old's case was put back until December 19.

In the 1970s, McIlwaine was part of the Ulster Volunteer
Force (UVF) Shankill Butchers gang which carried out 19
cut-throat murders.

Between 1975 and 1977, Catholics were picked up at random
at night and murdered with cleavers, axes and butchers'
knives. Some of the victims had their throats cut.

McIlwaine, a former British Army soldier, was sentenced to
15 years in prison in February 1979 for kidnapping, assault
and possession of weapons with intent to endanger life.

The sentence related to an attack on north Belfast man
Gerard McLaverty, the only man to survive being captured by
the Shankill Butchers.

Mr McLaverty was left for dead in an alley off the Shankill
Road after having his wrists slashed by the killer gang. He
underwent emergency surgery after being discovered by a

A week later Mr McLaverty returned to the Shankill Road in
an unmarked RUC vehicle and identified his attackers to
detectives. This led to the jailing of 11 loyalists
involved with the Shankill Butchers, although many more
were never apprehended.

In his award-winning book on the murder gang, Shankill
Butchers: A Case Study of Mass Murder author Martin Dillon
describes Eddie McIlwaine as a "loner" who served as a
part-time soldier in the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).

After his release from prison in the late 1980s, McIlwaine
adopted a low profile until he was returned to jail in 1999
for motoring offences.

Two years ago McIlwaine made headlines again after he was
pictured laying a wreath at a remembrance ceremony for UVF
killer Brian Robinson.

It was also revealed at the time that McIlwaine was a
leading member of the Orange Order in west Belfast.

A spokesman for the Orange Order said he was a member of
"good standing".


Loyalists Urged Towards 'Transitional' Process

By William Graham

The British government is in "sensitive" discussions with
leading loyalists to persuade the UDA and UVF to
decommission and move into a "transition" process towards
peace – it emerged last night.

The discussions are said to be at an early stage and
government ministers will not yet give details or the
format of the agenda.

NIO minister David Hanson said government's ultimate aim
was taking the gun out of Northern Irish politics in terms
of paramilitary activity and ending criminality.

He denied that he was involved in discussions out of which
a deal might emerge involving the release of loyalist
prisoners convicted after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Hanson could not envisage circumstances emerging whereby
the release of prisoners convicted of offences after 1998
would apply.

At the same time Mr Hanson emphasised that he had to look
at broad political considerations across the board and
would not rule out or rule in any particular aspect.

He was asked about progress on tackling claims over the
level of deprivation in loyalist areas and the relationship
between loyalism and government?

Mr Hanson said that Secretary of State Peter Hain had asked
him in September to establish a positive engagement with

"What we have done so far is that we have established an
audit of the most deprived areas across Northern Ireland
where officials now focus on what government is doing in
those areas.

"Secondly, we have got a delivery team which I have now
appointed headed by Nigel Hamilton which is looking at the
task force in Protestant working class areas and a range of
recommendations on education, on employment, on skills and
on training.

"What we are looking at now is establishing what those task
force recommendations are – what are the most applicable to
government at the moment – and what we can do to knock
heads together to get some action."

The minister with responsibility for political development
explained that he anticipated making announcements on this
front in January or February.

At the same time Mr Hanson said that on a weekly basis he
was visiting a loyalist community in either Belfast, Derry
or in the rural areas as well meeting loyalist
representatives, politicians and church groups.

Mr Hanson made it clear he was not talking about announcing
more money for such areas but instead about making
government spending more effective.

He was also examining "the perception of government" in
loyalist areas.

The minister was asked if he was talking to the UDA, UVF or
LVF behind the scenes.

He said he did not directly discuss positions with
paramilitary organisations.

Mr Hanson said: "But I am obviously making an assessment on
how we can end paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland;
and how we can get them on the road to disarmament and
channelled into positive engagement on a range of issues.

"So from my perspective I would not directly have meetings
with those organisations but I am obviously keen to engage
with individuals who have discussions with them in order to
make sure that we come to a peaceful settlement in the
current dispute [between the LVF and UVF] which I think is
coming to an end and also that we can begin to look at a
long-term solution through removing drugs, and criminality
from Northern Ireland society on both sides of the divide.

"I am confident we can build confidences and that we can
get to a situation whereby if the IRA through the IMC
report, not just October but also in January, show that
they are doing what they say they are doing, then over time
we will be able to bring slowly the loyalist community into
the same framework because that is the only future for
Northern Ireland."

He was asked if Mervyn Gibson of the Loyalist Commission,
who has been involved in talks processes with
paramilitaries, was emerging as the main 'point man'
between the government and the loyalists.

The minister said he has had discussions with Mr Gibson and
colleagues on a regular basis as part of the engagement
with loyalism.

"We are obviously keen to work with people who are able to
exert influence in the community to adopt the only way
forward which is to end the use of paramilitaries in
society, to end the use of arms and all criminality
associated with it, and to have the transition as I believe
the IRA are potentially doing now from a war footing to a
peaceful footing," Mr Hanson said.


McKevitt's Lawyer Attacks Credibility And Character Of US

By Ann O'Loughlin
09 November 2005

The credibility of FBI agent and supergrass David Rupert
was central to the prosecution case against convicted Real
IRA leader Michael McKevitt.

McKevitt(54), of Beech Park, Blackrock, Co Louth was jailed
for 20 years by the Special Criminal Court in August 2003
after he was convicted of directing the activities of a
terrorist organisation.

He was the first person to be convicted in the State for
the offence which was introduced after the Real IRA bomb
attack in Omagh.

McKevitt also received a six years concurrent prison
sentence for membership of an illegal organisation which
the court said was the Real IRA.


Yesterday three judges of the Court of Criminal Appeal
began hearing legal submissions by McKevitt's lawyers.

The appeal hearing is expected to last four days.

McKevitt was in court for the appeal which was also
attended by his wife Bernadette Sands McKevitt.

McKevitt's counsel Hugh Hartnett SC said there were 42
grounds of appeal. He said that the case against McKevitt
had relied exclusively on the evidence of David Rupert, an
American who was a paid agent of two security services, the
British Security Service and the FBI.

Mr Hartnett said that Mr Rupert's background, credibility
and veracity were central to the prosecution case against

Mr Hartnett said that David Rupert's evidence was that he
had been in Ireland throughout the 1990's, had fallen in
with people with republican sympathies, that he had become
acquainted with McKevitt and had become a member of the
Army Council of an unlawful organisation of which McKevitt
was the director.

Mr Hartnett said that at every stage questions arose in
relation to Mr Rupert's credibility, background and
veracity and these were clearly of concern to the defence.

Counsel submitted that significant areas of disclosure
about Mr Rupert's past, including his tax affairs, his
criminality and payments made to him by the FBI had been
sought by the defence but had not been provided.

Mr Hartnett said that a statement by a New York State
trooper had described Mr Rupert as a lifelong criminal,
drugs smuggler and a smuggler of arms and explosives.

He said that the defence was interested in why on two
occasions, in 1974 and 1994, Mr Rupert was under
investigation for various offences and on both occasions he
had been recruited by the FBI as an agent.

He said that Assistant Garda Commissioner Dermot Jennings
had indicated that Mr Rupert had told lies and that he had
a particular view of him, which also concerned the defence
in the trial.

He said that Mr Rupert had settled a three quarters of a
million dollars tax bill with the US Internal Revenue
Service for $25,000 and it would appear that there was some
involvement by the security services with that. He also
said that documents provided by the British Security
Service referred to Rupert's "trickiness" and the defence
wanted to know what this referred to.

Mr Hartnett said there had been a significant failure of
disclosure which tainted the whole trial.

He submitted that the trial court had failed to put Mr
Rupert into a special category, although issues of
credibility had arisen during his 12 days of cross
examination. Mr Hartnett said that the issues of disclosure
were symptomatic of the failure of fair procedures in the
trial and he submitted that there was unfairness in
relation to the whole disclosure system that operated in
the trial.

He said that a lack of fair procedure led everyone into

He said that if the failure of disclosure had occurred in
the Central Criminal Court before a jury, the jury would
have been discharged.

From a public point of view, justice could not be seen to
have been done.


He said the trial court had erred in law by not requiring
the prosecution to make a schedule of the documents over
which privilege was claimed.

The defence had been pushed to the side and effectively
insulated from the court process and deprived of the court
process by the court's decision not to seek disclosure of
documents which were outside the State.

The three judges of the Court of Criminal Appeal were given
access to the unedited documents from the FBI which had
been seen by the judges at the Special Criminal Court
during the trial.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan handed the
seven documents in to the judges and after they read them
in their chambers they were then returned to his custody.


UDA Chief Shoukri Still In Custody

Witness protection move stuns loyalists

By David Gordon
09 November 2005

UDA chief Andre Shoukri was still being questioned by
detectives today as part of an investigation into organised
crime in Belfast.

Shoukri was arrested along with his mother and three other
loyalists in an early morning swoop yesterday.

It's believed that the PSNI operation has also involved an
individual being taken into witness protection.

Loyalists in north Belfast fear this person may have inside
information on a business linked to UDA figures.

Police also carried out searches yesterday in the Westland
estate in north Belfast and Castlereagh in the east of the

Shoukri, the UDA's north Belfast "brigadier", is believed
to have been arrested in his Westland estate base.

The police operation against the leading loyalist comes
amid growing rumours of a split between him and other UDA

He was described as the last of the "bling brigadiers"
following last month's murder of former east Belfast UDA
chief Jim "Doris Day" Gray.

Secretary of State Peter Hain has denied that yesterday's
police operation was specifically aimed at loyalism.

He said the investigation was a bid to tackle criminality
and paramilitary activity.

"That doesn't equate to loyalism," he said.

"People shouldn't be acting in a violent or criminal
fashion. I understand that the arrests have been designed
to stop that happening."

Speaking on a visit to the loyalist Kilcooley estate in
Bangor, Mr Hain added that it was vital that anyone
involved in criminal or paramilitary activity, whether they
were republican or loyalist, knew that the police would
come after them.


Victims Group Questions Report Into Loyalist Killing

By Michael McHugh
08 November 2005

A key finding of the Barron Report into the murder of
Seamus Ludlow by loyalists does not "hold water", a
victims' group spokeswoman said today.

Margaret Urwin from the Justice For The Forgotten
organisation, which represents people in the Republic who
have suffered from bombings and shootings, queried Irish
judge Henry Barron's findings on the failure of gardai to
interview four suspects in the Ludlow murder.

The RUC disclosed the suspects' identities to the southern
authorities in 1979 and Mr Justice Barron found that the
"only credible explanation" was because they did not want
to set a precedent of closer co-operation with the RUC
during interviews.

Ms Urwin said she did not accept the reasons given in the
Barron Report for the quashing of Garda Detective
Superintendent Dan Murphy's request for permission to speak
to the suspects by his superiors in Garda headquarters.

"I don't accept that, not for one moment, because there
were precedents for following that sort of action," she

"It would not be the first time that gardai went north to
interview suspects. I think it just doesn't hold water at

"The Garda and RUC were already co-operating in a lot of
ways at that time. High-level meetings had taken place."

The 47-year-old forestry worker was picked up in a car
driven by loyalists from the centre of Dundalk, ostensibly
to give him a lift home.

He was shot dead and his body discovered in a laneway close
to his home north of the town.

The Barron Report found that Mr Ludlow was the victim of a
random, sectarian killing.

He was not connected with the IRA or any other illegal or
state organisation. No one has ever been convicted of his
murder, although the four suspects were also named under
parliamentary privilege.

They were: Paul Hosking; James Fitzsimmons; Richard Long
and Samuel Carroll.

Hosking told the Belfast Telegraph at the weekend that he
was innocent of the murder but he did admit that he was
present when the victim was killed in May 1976.

Ms Urwin said the controversy surrounding the Garda
investigation cast fresh doubt on other manhunts during the

"The fact that a direction was given not to proceed raises
huge concerns for us and the families of nearly 50 victims
of cross-border attacks in the 1970s.

"If an order was given in 1979 not to proceed, an order
could have been given in 1974 or 1975 in relation to the
Dublin/Monaghan bombings. This would be our suspicion."

The Irish Justice Committee in parliament will debate the
contents of the Barron Report in January.


CIRA Deny Conlon Murder Link

The Continuity IRA has issued a statement denying
involvement in the murder of Martin Conlon.

The 35-year-old was found dying by the side of an isolated
road between Keady and Armagh City on Monday night.

It is believed he was abducted from a flat in Armagh city
by two men using a stun gun or cattle prod, before being
taken away in his own car and later shot.

Mr Conlon was released from Portlaoise jail in the Republic
recently and his murder has been linked to a fall out among
dissident republicans.


Children Saw Conlon Abducted

Three children under the age of 10 witnessed the abduction
of a man murdered in south Armagh on Monday.

Martin Conlon, 35, from Railway Street in Armagh city, was
found with gunshot wounds at Farnaloy Road close to the
Madden estate outside Keady.

Two men used a stun gun to subdue Mr Conlon and take him
from a friend's house at Green Park Crest on Monaghan Road
outside Armagh, police said.

He was bundled into his own car and driven to the spot
where he was killed.

Police are appealing for anyone with any information about
the movements of the car, a silver Volkswagen Passat, to
contact them.

They have said it is too early to speculate who was
responsible for the murder.

Mr Conlon was found at about 1830 GMT on Monday and was
pronounced dead in hospital a short time later.

It has been speculated that he was killed by dissident
republicans with whom he was linked.

He was released recently from prison in the Republic of
Ireland where he had served a four year sentence after
being arrested at a Real IRA training camp.

After the killing, police recovered two cars for
examination, one of them the victim's.

It was found about a mile and a half from where he was
found, the other in Armagh city.

A number of people are understood to have stopped to help
the dying man and police would like to speak to them.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/09 12:14:16 GMT


Marion Price Tells Of Sorrow At Conlon Murder

By Michael McHugh
09 November 2005

A key supporter of dissident republicans has spoken of her
sorrow at a Co Armagh man's murder.

Marion Price, who helps prisoners, paid tribute to Thomas
Conlon (35), from Irish Street in Armagh, as speculation
continues about who was behind the murder.

Dissidents are believed to form part of police inquiries,
although there has been no official confirmation.

Mr Conlon, shot dead on Monday evening and dumped on the
Farnaloy Road near Armagh City, was convicted in March 2001
of taking part in a Real IRA training camp.

He pleaded guilty to training others in the use of firearms
at Co Meath, in October 1999.

Ms Price said she felt for the dead man's family.

"I know that he was a prisoner in Portlaoise but I have not
heard anything from when he was released," she said.

"I am very shocked about this, it is awful and you have to
think of his family."

Police are still probing motives for the murder.


UUP Delegation Set To Meet Ahern

The UUP is to emphasise to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern its
opposition to Northern Ireland politicians being allowed to
speak in the Irish parliament.

Party leader Sir Reg Empey will lead a delegation to meet
Mr Ahern in Dublin.

On Thursday, senior party figures will travel to London for
talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Sir Reg said he hoped the meetings would be a "useful
gauge" of the PMs' commitment to "ending the political
vacuum" and finding a way forward.

The party says it wants to conduct a "general political
stock-take" in its meetings with Mr Blair and Mr Ahern.

During a visit to Northern Ireland last week, Mr Ahern said
the constitutional question had now been settled.

He said a united Ireland could only be brought about with
the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.

In response, Sir Reg said Mr Ahern's comments were
"welcome, when taken and put into context with other recent
positive developments" but he "must back up his rhetoric by

"A good place to start, and an indicator of his bona-fides,
would be to scrap the notion of speaking rights," he added.

Sinn Fein wants its five Westminster MPs to have full
speaking rights in the Dail whenever Northern Ireland
issues are debated.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/09 06:54:33 GMT


Ministers Detail £163m Bill For Bloody Sunday Inquiry

By Staff Reporter

A detailed breakdown of spending on the £163 million Bloody
Sunday Inquiry was provided in the House of Commons last

The inquiry, headed by Lord Saville of Newdigate, is
preparing its final report on the fatal shooting of 13
civilians on a civil rights march in Derry on January 30

The tribunal closed early this year.

Legal fees for the NIO amounted to £55.5 million. It also
spent £15 million on accommodation, £3.2 million on
transport, £12.8 million on IT equipment and £7.6 million
hiring halls.

Other costs for the NIO amounted to £36.2 million. These

• salary costs of tribunal members (except Lord Saville)
and inquiry staff,

• witness expenses

• expert witnesses

• office services and security

• telecommunications and miscellaneous office spending.

The MoD incurred £29.7 million in legal fees. Its other
costs totalled £3 million, including inquiry-related staff
and support costs, accommodation, a police investigation
and miscellaneous fees and expenses.

NIO minister David Hanson said the inquiry's total cash
spend to October this year was £163 million.

"Some limited expenditure will continue until the tribunal
submits its final report to the Secretary of State for
Northern Ireland," he said.

Mr Hanson was responding to a question from Democratic
Unionist East Derry MP Gregory Campbell.


Irish Society Called 'Racist'

Human rights activist comdemns visa re-entry fees and lack
of recognition for migrant workers

Michael Brennan

An outspoken human rights activist yesterday told Justice
Minister Michael McDowell that Irish society was very
racist and unfriendly.

Goretti Mudzongo (35), originally from Zimbabwe, made a
passionate speech in which she condemned the work permit
system, the increase in charges for re-entry visas and the
lack of recognition for migrant workers.

"I find that Irish society, I'm sorry to say, is very
racist in the way it treats migrant workers and
travellers," she said. "I find Irish people very non-
inclusive. You could stand there in a room but nobody talks
to you".

At the launch of Anti-Racist Workplace week in the Equality
Authority's headquarters, she also claimed that black
people who drove cars in Ireland had to make sure
everything was in order.

"Invariably you're stopped [by the gardaí] for a DWB
charge, that's a Driving While Black charge," she said.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell, who was sitting in the
audience, responded by abandoning much of his prepared
speech and spent five minutes addressing the criticisms.

Ms Mudzongo, who works with the Southside Travellers Action
Group, said the government was not helping matters by
constantly talking about bogus asylum seekers.

"Could you imagine if all migrant workers were to drop dead
today or leave Ireland? What would happen to your
construction industry, your catering industry?"

Ms Mudzongo said the doubling in fees for migrant re-entry
visas - from €50-€100 (£34-68) - meant it had cost her
family €400 (£270) just to leave and re-enter the country
for a holiday.

In his response, Mr McDowell said he was sorry to hear that
she felt Ireland was a racist and unfriendly state.

"It's not a universal view among migrants, I have to say,
but if that's your experience, I have to say it saddens me
to hear that people would feel excluded or marginalised."

He conceded that the cost of €400 for re-entry visas for a
family was too high and said the issue would be looked at.

Minister McDowell said the government was working hard to
create a more inclusive society and pointed out that '97
per cent or 98 per cent' of the 18,500 people who applied
for Irish citizenship after the citizenship referendum
would be granted it.

"It has to be said that Ireland as a society is dealing
with it in a remarkably good way. There are so many
Cassandras, particularly in public life, who like the issue
of potential racial disharmony, who almost want it to
happen, and it hasn't happened yet," he said.

Mr McDowell reserved his strongest criticism for the media,
who he said were distorting his and the government's views
on migrant workers.

"What you said puts a big question mark on what they do.
Because they always zero in on the issues of problems, of
tension of conflict, of 'he says this', 'she says that',
instead of reflecting what government is constantly saying.
And that is that migrant workers in Ireland are welcome and
are essential for the economic development of this

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland will today
host a conference on the plight of migrant workers in the
North. Among speakers at the event, which takes at
Belfast's Hilton Hotel, will be John Wrench from the
European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.


Corrs 'On The Run' From SF Jibe

By Margaret Canning Tyrone Correspondent

DUNDALK pop band The Corrs should have Run Away from
accepting honorary MBEs a Sinn Fein councillor said

Although he admitted to appreciating The Corrs' musical
efforts, Barry McElduff said: "An MBE (member of the
British Empire) should not be something an Irish person
should carry proudly.

"The history of the British Empire is disgraceful," he
said. "They pillaged, exploited and sacked wherever they

Describing MBEs as an anachronism, the Omagh councillor
added: "People can dress the MBE up any way they like, but
it is still antiquated and a throwback to the Middle Ages.
Why any Irish person would accept it I don't know."

In reference to the Limerick-born presenter Terry Wogan's
OBE and honorary knighthood, he said:"I think a lot of
people are tired of the Terry Wogans of this world."

He also referred to Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney's defiant
expression of nationalism: "Be advised! My passport's

"No glass of ours was ever raised to toast the Queen."

As the Corrs received their award on Monday, violinist
Sharon said they were surprised to be given the award by
"another country" but that it was nice for them to be
recognised for their music and voluntary work.

She said the band had considered in advance the likely
reaction to their acceptance of the awards.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said he was pleased to see the
band's work acknowledged.

"They have been exceptional ambassadors for this country,"
he said.


Achieving Small Victories Every Day In Daily Ireland Battle

Daily Ireland's commitment is undiminished, one year after
the team leading it went full-time


The US writer Po Bronson speaks of the Brilliant Masses —
"nothing less than the many great people of our generation,
the bright, the talented, the intelligent, the resourceful,
and the creative".

He could have been describing the ambassadors for Daily
Ireland who have kept this remarkable initiative to create
a national, pro-united Ireland press on the up and up now
for almost 250 editions.

"The Brilliant Masses are mostly intellectually motivated,
so if they cross over and get involved, their commitment is
conditioned on being respected, and on a minimum of
unnecessary idiocy, and on winning/succeeding," writes

Over the past few months, travelling the country to fly the
flag for Daily Ireland, it has been my privilege to be in
the company of the Brilliant Masses. Invariably, ordinary
people spurred to action by their anger at injustice, the
Brilliant Masses have endured the business end of the
bottom-of-the-barrel Irish press their entire lives.

More than anyone else, they know how far removed from
journalism is the rubbish that passes for analysis of the
pro-freedom community on this island. (And they won't have
been surprised to see that the Sunday Independent, fresh
from its humiliation over the Liam Lawlor crash, returned
to safer ground at the weekend with a lead story warning of
the "threat to democracy" if Sinn Féin were ever to
coalition with Bertie Ahern.)

That is why, across the nation, the Brilliant Masses have
embraced Daily Ireland with its inclusive agenda. They
realise that, without a daily paper to legitimise and
mainstream the desire for independence, then you are
condemned to remain on the periphery.

A daily newspaper must also provide a platform for all
views. That is why Daily Ireland has had more Democratic
Unionist Party spokespersons writing for it in recent
months than any other national paper. That is why our
columns are at the service of Fine Gael and the Progressive
Democrats as well as Fianna Fáil, the SDLP and Sinn Féin.

The Brilliant Masses are not afraid of peace and they are
not afraid of dialogue. They suffered from censorship for
too long to wish to impose it on others.

Unlike their critics, they don't believe the world owes
them a living. They realise that they have the power to
unite Ireland, the ability to score little victories every
day. One of those little victories is achieved every time
they buy Daily Ireland.

The second funding round for Daily Ireland has brought me
to every corner of Ireland in recent months and to the
United States. If anybody gets the rationale behind Daily
Ireland, it is the diaspora. That is why Daily Ireland has
attracted more investment from the US-based Irish and from
Irish-Americans than any other entrepreneurial project in
west Belfast over the past five years.

Those who have been on the receiving end of BBC World
Service propaganda about the reality of life in Ireland
were crying out for a newspaper that would tell the whole
story. They got it with Daily Ireland is
a heart-and-head investment but one that has attracted
seven-figure support from the businesspeople among the
Brilliant Masses.

The phenomenal success of Daily Ireland has been underlined
by the growth in family notices since our first issue on
February 1; the steady rise in advertising revenue (last
week was the best to date); and the consolidation of our
sales performance.

But there is no room for spectators. It is now exactly a
year since the Daily Ireland team leading this bold
initiative went full-time. For their efforts, they have
taken countless brickbats from those who depend on a pliant
press. They have been smeared by Irish government
ministers, threatened with legal action by their commercial
opponents in an attempt to put them out of business, denied
a level advertising playing field by British ministers
dancing to the tune of unionist refuseniks, and been
refused the normal financial assistance granted business

In short, they have encountered the sort of bully-boy
tactics they expected for daring to challenge the media
status quo.

Their response is to stay in the only gear they know —
forward. Today, Daily Ireland's full-time Dublin
correspondent takes up his posting. Next week, a city-
centre office for Daily Ireland opens in the capital.

Their commitment to truth in the news remains undiminished
because they have the greatest privilege anyone could have
— they serve the Brilliant Masses.


SF Must Back Police Service

By Staff Reporter

The perfect police service does not exist either in
Northern Ireland or any other part of the world.

However, what Northern Ireland does have is a constabulary
which is increasingly drawn from both sides of a divided
society and which has structures which are carefully
designed to encourage the provision of fair, effective and
accountable policing.

PSNI officers are entitled to expect that they will be
supported by elected representatives while impartially
carrying out their responsibilities and in return must
expect to be subjected to legitimate scrutiny in order to
ensure that the highest possible standards are maintained.

Members of the district policing partnerships (DPPs) have a
crucial role to play in this regard and have helped to make
many of the proposed Patten reforms a reality.

While the vast majority of the population welcome the
efforts of DPP members a handful of extremists among the
ranks of dissident republicans wish to use violent means to
destroy all the progress which has been made.

The relentless targeting of the West Tyrone SDLP assembly
member and DPP member Eugene McMenamin has been
particularly shameful and disturbing.

Mr McMenamin's Strabane home has been attacked on over 20
occasions over the last three years and the latest outrage
could easily have killed him and his family.

The outside of his home was doused in large quantities of
petrol and an attempt – which fortunately failed – was made
to set the building on fire.

In civilised countries around the globe it is automatically
accepted that politicians and community figures have a key
contribution to make towards policing.

Mr McMenamin, by contrast, faces the real prospect of being
murdered for no other reason than his commitment to his
civic duties and his determination to achieve an improved
policing service for all the people of Northern Ireland.

It would be wrong to assume that a Sinn Fein endorsement of
the new policing structures would remove any further threat
to Mr McMenamin and his colleagues, but it would plainly
leave the tiny group of dissidents in a completely
marginalised position.

As this newspaper has pointed out before Sinn Fein leaders
previously displayed considerable courage by setting aside
their remaining reservations about the Northern Ireland
executive to take their seats and work diligently on behalf
of the entire community.

They should take precisely the same approach to our new
policing structures and address any unresolved issues over
the Patten report from the inside.

There will be many other obstacles ahead but whether the
challenges lie within education, health, policing or any
other area this is all part of the democratic process.


Opin: It's A Bit Late For SDLP's 'Principled' Stand

The Wednesday Column
By Brian Feeney

The SDLP have set out six 'principles' for dealing with on-
the-runs or OTRs. They're not principles at all of course,
they're conditions but the word 'principles' always sounds
much grander and more important. It's a bit late though for
either principles or conditions.

Why demand trials now for OTRs when both the SDLP and UUP
were happily urging voters to support the Good Friday
Agreement which guaranteed release of any prisoner as long
as he or she belonged to an illegal paramilitary
organisation? What new principle is at stake that wasn't
jettisoned seven years ago in the rush to get the GFA up
and running?

Maybe the SDLP is thinking only of OTRs who haven't been
convicted of any offence but jumped bail, or just made
themselves scarce in case they were going to be charged
with some offence.

Seriously? Do they think any former IRA member is going to
come over the border and own up to a criminal offence?

So how many trials would the SDLP want? Forty, 50?

Who would pay the millions the trials would cost?

Would they all be over in the year the SDLP has stipulated
as the time limit? No chance.

So they'd be remanded in custody awaiting trial? Great.

Let's suppose for a second that OTRs agreed to such a
procedure. What would happen if the first few were found
not guilty? After all, 30-odd years ago is a long time.

Could there be a safe conviction on the basis of evidence,
especially recollections of events, in the early seventies?
Of course not.

So maybe it's a crafty SDLP plot to get the OTRs off

Go one better than an amnesty? Hardly.

On the other hand, maybe it's a genius plan to watch a few
dozen IRA figures being put on trial for their activities
decades ago while British soldiers and RUC men get off scot
free since there's no question of any of them going on
trial for anything and none will spend a day in jail. That
would be a real political coup for the SDLP, wouldn't it?

Why didn't we hear any of this in 2001 when the British
government and the IRA first did the deal on the OTRs? Why
did the SDLP unquestioningly sign up to the Joint
Declaration in May 2003 which contained even more lax
provisions for OTRs?

One thing at least you could say about the DUP is that it
isconsistent in its opposition.

You could but you'd be wrong.

The DUP was prepared to sign up to a 'comprehensive' deal
last December which would have included the OTR deal which
it was blaming on the UUP. It was OK then but now the oul'
curmudgeon calls it a great betrayal and pledges the
'greatest possible resistance' to the proposed OTR bill.

By the way, wasn't it curious to watch Arlene Foster on TV
on Sunday opposing the OTR bill when she was a member of
the UUP in 2001 when it was agreed in principle, that word
again, at Weston Park?

Why didn't she resign then if it was so heinous?

The truth of the matter is that the word principle is the
last one that can be used about a process which has to be
entirely unprincipled. The fact is that this British
government came into power in 1997 with the clear intention
of getting the prisoners out because that is an essential
feature of any conflict resolution here. Releasing them was
an acknowledgement that what passed for law and the
judicial process was a tool of the British administration
here and that the only principles which applied were those
enunciated by Brigadier Kitson in his 1971 book Low
Intensity Operations.

Kitson recommended that the law should be used as a weapon
of the state to counter subversion and insurgency and so it

The deal on OTRs, devoid of any legal principle as it must
be, therefore makes an important point for Sinn Fein,
namely that this place is not like, altogether now, 'the
rest of the UK' but an entirely artificial construct where
the rule of law is whatever the British parliament says it
is. Does the SDLP leader not know that?


Opin: 'Force Within A Force' Must Be Held To Account

By Susan McKay

Look," he said. "Take your f******* boot out of the Prods.
Those guns that you recovered have started a whole f******
storm… a real Proddy basher, aren't you, son? Well, you
better pull your reins in…"

If Johnston Brown sued his former employer for post-
traumatic stress disorder, it would make for an even more
interesting day in court than the imminent class action by
some of his former colleagues. He was one of its best
detectives but although inevitably he feared the IRA, it
was the RUC/PSNI that put Brown through hell.

Brown, famous for getting former UDA leader Johnny Adair to
brag himself into jail for directing mass murder, was
beaten up, threatened and intimidated.

His life and the lives of his family were put at risk.

His address was given to paramilitaries. Gunmen came to his
house to shoot him.

Bombs exploded at his front door. His professional
integrity was repeatedly undermined. And all because he was
deemed a 'Proddy basher' by key figures within Special
Branch and their allies in the CID.

Into the Dark, the title of Brown's shocking and compelling
new autobiography, refers to what happened when police,
doing their job "in accordance with procedure", found they
were "inadvertently stepping on Special Branch toes". The
rest of the police might as well have worked blindfolded.
It was ruthless.

If you got in its way, you would pay for it. Its power was

Although it had a network within the IRA, too, its
involvement with loyalist paramilitaries was further

This was a collusive relationship. Significant elements in
Special Branch and the RUC supported and assisted sectarian
murder campaigns. Brown was a 'Proddy- basher' because he
believed the law applied to everybody.

This is how unionism deals with all critics from within –
Brown was a classic 'Lundy'.

Brown claims that "every fifth or sixth" person in the UVF
was a police or MI5 informant. This is how he describes the
situation of one informer, a UVF leader he calls 'X': "By
the time Special Branch had finished with 'X', he was
taking life after life after life. When we brought his
murderous activities to the attention of our CID
authorities, they assured us they had often made the
Special Branch aware of them.

Yet his handlers repeatedly told us to back off when we
moved to deal with him, accusing us of 'embarrassing their
valuable source'."

Brown reveals that his alarm bells always rang when he
heard Special Branch speak of the "bigger picture".

He describes an operation he and his colleagues had set up
which should have resulted in the seizure of a large chunk
of the UVF's armoury during a period when it was engaged in
a killing spree.

This was deliberately thwarted by Special Branch to protect
'X'. There is a ludicrous scene in which Brown and another
policeman go out under cover of darkness, dodging CCTV
cameras, to hide UVF weapons they have already recovered,
so that they can be recovered again without Special Branch

Brown has already cooperated with the BBC and UTV to tell
the story of Ken Barrett's dealings with the police but his
own account of it in this book is riveting. Barrett is the
gunman who murdered solicitor, Pat Finucane, in 1989.

He presented himself as a CID informer in 1991 and, when
Brown asked him who killed Finucane, replied,
"Hypothetically, me." Brown was soon to discover that not
only did Special Branch already know this, it was going to
prevent him from bringing Barrett to justice for it. When
Brown turned to the Stevens Inquiry team, he found that
Special Branch had set him up. It had tried to turn the
whistleblower into a suspect. Sir John Stevens asked him:
"Are you telling me Special Branch have sold me a pup?" He
salutes Stevens, and John Stalker, for their courageous
pursuit of unpalatable truth in a "very sinister arena".
Brown makes a good case for the use of informers to save
lives but reveals Special Branch to have been out of

This book shows the need for the sort of inquiry,
recommended by Judge Peter Cory, into the murder of Pat

That means the Inquiries Act of 2005 must be repealed. The
sinister arena must be emptied and razed to the ground.
Otherwise, Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde and his successors
will continue to be haunted by the 'force within a force'
and its 'dirty war'.


Opin: Restorative Justice Not A Political Football

The Tuesday Column
By Breidge Gadd

THERE are many areas of life in Northern Ireland where real
political and perhaps irreconcilable differences exist,
where emotions run high and political fights are
inevitable. Restorative justice is not one such issue and
should not be allowed to become one. The concept of
restorative justice as an approach to handling crime was
first introduced into Northern Ireland over twenty years
ago by Dr Howard Zehr, of the American Mennonite
University. (The Mennonites are an international
humanitarian organisation.) It has since been recognised
worldwide as a successful approach to the resolution of
crime problems. Community-based restorative justice schemes
were piloted by republican and loyalist groups in west
Belfast at least a decade ago. The concept of restorative
justice formally received governmental support in Northern
Ireland on the recommendations of the Criminal Justice
Review five years ago. So the idea has been around for a

What is restorative justice and why has the issue become a
bone of contention? Contrary to what you might have
gathered from recent public debates, it has nothing to do
with paramilitaries replacing the police in some areas. It
has everything to do with courts, police and communities
tackling crime in a new way. Our system of criminal justice
is based on an adversarial model. The state prosecutes the
accused. The accused defends himself. Both 'sides' present
their evidence and the court, judge or jury decides on the
basis of evidence presented whether the defendant is
innocent or guilty. One side is necessarily pitted against
the other and victims of crime, rather than being at the
centre of the action, often feel left out of their own
cases and allocated only a peripheral role as the presenter
of evidence to seemingly belligerent legal experts.
Furthermore, in the current criminal justice system the
offender's focus often is on getting 'off' and avoiding all
responsibility for his/her actions.

Restorative justice is a different way of thinking about
crime and conflict. While it continues to place the court
of law in its central position, it challenges us to think
about how we restore the balance for victim, community and
offender when a crime has been committed. Restorative
models attempt to hold the offender accountable in a
meaningful way, to take responsibility for their conduct
and as far as possible repair the damage done to the victim
and to the community. Restorative schemes are often
regarded and used as an alternative to the expensive court
process when dealing with low-level crime. But the
restorative approach if the circumstances are right can and
should be used after a finding of guilt, even with serious

There is no dispute among all the interested parties in
Northern Ireland about the worthiness of restorative
justice schemes. What is causing nervousness is not the
concept but its implementation. And the dispute is about
power and control. At present we have two streams of
delivery of pilot schemes; one managed by the NIO within
its juvenile justice agencies, with involvement and support
from police and other statutory bodies. The other provision
began in loyalist and republican areas as a creative
attempt to stop punishment beatings. Over the years these
community based schemes have worked hard to improve quality
of work and are evaluated by an independent world expert on
restorative justice practice. In the past there were issues
about working with the police. There is optimism that in
future this will no longer be a problem.

Which brings me to the power point – the current spat seems
to be about who is in control of schemes here, with an
emphasis being placed on the police being in charge. But in
other countries the overwhelming consensus is that
community ownership is essential to a successful
restorative justice program.

This does not mean a reneging of responsibility from
governmental bodies but it does mean the need for real
community involvement and a preparedness on the part of
police and other criminal justice agencies to be willing to
trust, share power and work in partnership with community.

Getting this right for the future shouldn't be a big deal.
It certainly does not need to become another political


Opin: Fevered Blair Looks To Tie Up The Loose Ends

London Life: with Brian Walker
09 November 2005

Will Tony Blair still be around to crown an eventual
Northern Ireland political deal? No one has ever got rich
putting money on when our Troubles will finally end, but I
bet he will.

The current end-of-reign fever focusing on the Terror Bill
is over-heated. At the same time, Blair is behaving like a
man looking after his legacy, Northern Ireland included.

Today's draft legislation to end the anomaly of the on-the-
runs is misnamed and will fool no one. This is no less than
a muffled proclamation of a general conditional amnesty for
all offences committed before the 1998 Agreement.

Writing in advance, I expect today's announcement to extend
the principle of amnesty to any charges arising out of the
1,800 mainly paramilitary cases and over 300 security
forces cases being examined in the "historic cases "
review. It should surprise no one if it further applies to
the Cory tribunals and Finucane, as well as any other as
yet unidentified collusion cases.

Peter Hain is responding to Tony Blair's orders to launch a
cycle of official forgiveness to wrap up the Troubles -

I regard this as a huge, necessary step towards a final
settling of tragic accounts, a big part of the price we
have to pay for dealing with the past. Others will think of
it as a betrayal, particularly without a time limit on the
amnesty period or linkage with support for the return of
exiles. The Government will have to explain why it is still
worthwhile spending tens, perhaps hundred of millions in
Cory inquiries and the historic cases review. And this on
top of multi-million pound compensation costs.

Awkward loose ends will remain. For instance, do the
Government seriously hope that the offer of conditional
amnesty will flush out the wrongdoers of long ago? Or will
they continue to lie low for many more years yet in the
hope that the review will pass them by?

Then there is the issue of moral equivalence. Should those
who wore Crown uniforms enjoy more lenient treatment for
their daily exposure to murder, or suffer harsher penalties
if they abused their legal right to bear arms?

In anticipation of the legislation, the Army establishment
have started rumbling in the Sunday Telegraph about fears
that former soldiers involved in controversial killings
like the Loughgall ambush could face real prosecutions and
actual sentences, while the Provos get off.

And what would happen if a former soldier or policeman
refused to certify his guilt on a point of honour, because
he believes he did nothing wrong? Would he face a full
trial and possible imprisonment?

Even stating these supposed fears shows how far-fetched
they are. If such a gross double standard were actually
applied, it would be hard to think of a quicker way of
wrecking the political process. I would expect the Attorney
General to prevent such prosecutions on grounds of national

Cynics are saying that ministers are launching the OTRs
Bill today, hoping it will be buried under the weight of
the row over 90-day detention in the Terror Bill. MPs have
enjoyed themselves pointing out the absurdities of another
clause "glorifying" terrorism, which amazingly, seems to
survive. The threat to free speech in the clause more than
matches the repressive silliness of the old "broadcasting
ban" of the 1980s, when the golden words of Gerry Adams and
Co had to be voiced over by actors just out of synch from
their actual words.

The threat to free speech could include most academics
quoting support for terrorism, Gerry Adams (at Bodenstown
etc.), the author of new biography of Michael Collins, fans
of "good " former terrorists like Nelson Mandela,
supporters of Kosovars against Serbs and of resistance to
Robert Mugabe, Cherie Blair for "understanding" why some
Palestinians become suicide bombers - and yes, fans of
Robin Hood.

Tory lawyers are trying to win changes that insist on proof
of intent to incite terrorism rather than catching folk who
get carried away in a speech. Which category would the Ian
Paisley of the old days have fallen into, I wonder?

It was interesting to see Peter Robinson struggling with
the "dilemma" of wanting to support the police while asking
to be told why their investigations might need 90 days
rather than, say 30. He must be relieved he no longer has
to display similar scruples over detaining the IRA.


Opin: Ulster Waits For Gordo

All the parties in Northern Ireland are trying to read the
chancellor's mind on future policy for the province, but Mr
Brown is no open book, writes Henry McDonald

Tuesday November 8, 2005

Just like the characters in Samuel Beckett's play, the two
main protagonists in Northern Ireland's gridlocked
political process are waiting for Gordo.

After the mortal wounding of Tony Blair last week Ian
Paisley's Democratic Unionists and their historic enemies
in Sinn Féin share one thing in common: they are watching
Gordon Brown's every move. And in the hiatus between Mr
Blair's expected departure from Downing Street and the
chancellor's move from No 11 to No 10 there seems little
prospect in the short to medium term that both parties are
likely to agree on a deal that will restore power-sharing
and devolution.

Since Mr Blair announced he would not seek a fourth term
and Labour's electoral hat-trick, the DUP in particular has
been quietly wooing the Brownite tendency in New Labour.
The Cambridge-educated, double-first law graduate and North
Belfast MP Nigel Dodds is known to be extremely keen to
establish warm relations with Brown and his allies. Mr
Dodds, along with his fellow North Belfast member of the
Stormont assembly Nelson McCausland, believe (rightly or
wrongly) that given Mr Brown's Scottish Presbyterian
upbringing and his innate caution about grandiose Blairite-
style projects, the chancellor will be less inclined to
intensify the pressure on unionists to enter government
with Sinn Féin in Belfast. It certainly suits Paisley's
party to slow down the pace to the deal with Sinn Féin that
many of its voters are implacably opposed to.

Up until Mr Blair's recent troubles Sinn Féin had invested
a large amount of political capital in one of the prime
minister's most trusted aides, the Downing Street chief-of-
staff, Jonathan Powell. Indeed No 10's chief-of-staff has
established a good working relationship with that other
chief-of-staff, the head of the Provisional IRA and his
Army Council colleagues. In secret meetings at trusted
republican "safe houses" in West Belfast Mr Powell has
listened and in many cases advised his boss to accede to a
shopping list of republican demands, the latest of which is
set to cause Mr Blair further headaches in a rebellious
Westminster - amnesties for the IRA's fugitives.

When the removal vans finally come for Mr Blair and family,
Mr Powell will be less than ubiquitous around Downing
Street. Republicans will no longer have such a captive ear
who, in turn, for so long had the ear of a prime minister.
They too must wait for Gordo.

The trouble for both the DUP and Sinn Féin is that no one
really knows what Mr Brown thinks about Northern Ireland.
He was present at a series of set piece visits by Mr Blair
before and after the signing of the Good Friday agreement,
including the announcement of a major aid package for the
province. But then the chancellor and the prime minister
were accompanied by the yesterday's men of the Irish peace
process - the Nobel peace prize winners John Hume and David

Given his legendary economic prudence Mr Brown will inherit
a province that is the UK's version of East Germany after
the fall of the Berlin wall. Britain props up Northern
Ireland with a huge annual subsidy of approximately £1.5bn.
The public sector is still the largest employer.

The generosity of welfare benefits is staggering,
comparable in relative terms even to West Germans' payouts
to their eastern compatriots post-1989. For instance there
is a standing joke in parts of Belfast relating to the
largesse of the British state. Entire taxi firms are
subsidised through the exploitation of DLA - disability
living allowance. DLA is granted to those whose ill health
renders them incapable of moving around large distances.
The recipients are granted free tax-free cars, privileged
parking conditions and even free insurance. A scam exists
in the province where those with DLA cars "rent" them at
peppercorn rates to legitimate taxi firms whose drivers in
turn don't have to pay premium insurances rates. The result
is a raft of firms subsidised by the British taxpayer.

Even in the higher echelons of Northern Irish society the
elite are pampered to an extent that their counterparts in
other ends of the UK's celtic fringe can only imagine. For
example there are more than 100 top civil servants in
Northern Ireland on salaries of more than £100,000 plus
expenses. In Wales, which has twice the population, there
are only 30 civil servants on the same top bracket. Mr
Brown's Treasury has already demanded deep cuts in the
numbers of those earning such pay rates in the province.

Mr Brown and the Treasury are all too aware of the economic
black hole that is parts of Northern Ireland, particularly
those completely dependent on welfare. The chancellor has
made no major pronouncements about Northern Ireland policy,
appearing aloof and above the problems that have dogged
Tony Blair's Good Friday agreement. Both the DUP and Sinn
Féin may therefore end up as disappointed as Beckett's
characters waiting for Godot. The only thing these parties
can be guaranteed, is that while direct rule from
Westminster pertains and Brown seeks to slash the public
spending bill across the UK, is pain in terms of water
charges, massive cuts in the numbers of civil servants and
a general reduction in the welfare budget.

· Henry McDonald is the Observer's Ireland editor


Viewpoint: Turn Over A New Leaf For St Patrick

09 November 2005

How to celebrate St Patrick's day has always been a problem
for Belfast, a city of divided loyalties, but a solution
may have been found. If the city council approves, and
everyone obeys the rules against displays of political and
sporting allegiance, Belfast may at last join the list of
cities, world-wide, which stage large-scale celebrations.

The key to the formula agreed by the council's policy and
resources committee is inclusiveness _ making the event as
welcoming for the unionist population as for nationalists.
Symbols of all kinds, from flags to football tops to faces
painted in national colours, will be banned, so that no-one
feels threatened.

Until now, what should be a day of universal celebration
has largely been taken over, officially or unofficially, by
nationalists. Attempts to ban tricolours or divisive
slogans have failed, leaving unionists feeling excluded
from the fun.

To anyone who thinks about the life and legacy of St
Patrick, any suggestion that he belonged to one side of the
community is nonsensical. He spread the gospel message at a
time, in the fifth century, when Ireland was united in
paganism, before Catholicism or Protestantism, let alone
nationalism and unionism.

Over the years, of course, the day and the celebrations
that surround it have been used for political purposes,
both good and bad. It has brought rival politicians
together, in the White House, and it has divided them at
home, in Belfast.

Now the councillors are giving a new lead, not before time,
to show that celebrating March 17 need not be divisive. It
can be a family day out, celebrating the cultures of the
two main communities - and immigrants, too - in a positive,
all-inclusive way, devoid of political content.

Can it be done, in practice as well as in theory? That is
what the council, with a £110,000 budget, must attempt to
prove - laying down strict rules, with adequate stewarding,
to make sure that next year's celebrations are a success,
and the first of many.

Sceptics will look at the history of controversy and
question whether political symbolism can be eliminated. Yet
there are distinct signs that old taboos are being broken,
on both sides, with little adverse reaction.

Take last week's visit by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern,
paying his respects to all the Irish, from north and south,
who fought and died in the two world wars. Then there was
the flying of the tricolour, alongside the union flag, in a
remembrance ceremony at the war memorial in Londonderry. We
have much more in common than we think.


Mallon 'Kept In Dark' By Hume On Role In Executive

By Staff Reporter

A new book has revealed how former SDLP leader John Hume
waited until the last minute to tell Seamus Mallon that he
would be deputy first minister in the historic power-
sharing assembly.

Mr Mallon was kept in the dark despite the men being
together in Dublin for the previous few days and both being
aware that Mr Hume was barred from taking the assembly post
while he was an MEP.

Room 21: Stormont – Behind Closed Doors by BBC political
correspondent Martina Purdy, chronicling the short life of
the devolved executive and the human stories behind it, is
being exclusively serialised in The Irish News today and

Ms Purdy reveals how on the morning of July 1 1998, with
the assembly to meet for the first time and name an Ulster
Unionist first minister and SDLP deputy first minister, Mr
Mallon was still uncertain what John Hume intended to do.

With no speech prepared he was told by Mr Hume at an SDLP
meeting that "you had better do it".

Asked by Ms Purdy, a former Irish News reporter, why he
waited until the last minute, Mr Hume said: "I assumed he

Meanwhile, the book also reveals that Mr Mallon threatened
to resign a short time into the post in a row over special

It also emerges that during the foot-and-mouth crisis SDLP
agriculture minister Brid Rodgers got agreement from Mid
Ulster MP Martin McGuinness for the British army to help
enforce an exclusion zone around the Ardboe area in Co


When Push Came To Shove At Stormont

The brawl in the hall - Room 21

By Martina Purdy

In a second extract from her new book, Martina Purdy tells
the story of the 'brawl in the hall' which broke out when
David Trimble and Mark Durkan were elected first and deputy
first ministers, following Seamus Mallon's retirement. Some
Alliance politicians had redesignated as 'unionist' to save
Trimble after two UUP members withdrew support for him

At first, the angry insults were barely audible in the
Great Hall of Parliament Buildings, crowded as it was with
reporters and politicians.

But as David Trimble and Mark Durkan conducted their first
official press conference after being elected first and
deputy first ministers, there was no mistaking the words
"Cheat!" and "Traitor!"

Trimble, looking flushed, had just left the debating
chamber with Durkan beside him.

As the first minister spoke to the media about stable
government, DUP members moved in on the two ministers and
their circle of supporters, who included Ulster Unionist,
SDLP and Sinn Fein assembly members. The pro-agreement
forces stood their ground.

A few feet away Ian Paisley, his right hand tucked into his
double-breasted, navy, pinstriped jacket, was
uncharacteristically silent while his son, Ian jnr, in a
suit of the same cloth, heckled Trimble: "You're not
credible by your own words!"

DUP MLA Paul Berry, following Junior's lead, shouted, "Go
and join your Provo friends!"

Trimble and Durkan did their best to ignore the catcalls,
until Joan Carson, an Ulster Unionist matron representing
Fermanagh/South Tyrone, let out a rather loud yelp and
pitched forwards.

Someone had pushed her from behind and the domino effect
plunged the SDLP's Alasdair McDonnell and Sinn Fein's
Mitchel McLaughlin into the DUP chorus section. McDonnell,
a strapping Glens man, might have crushed Ian jnr had the
DUP man not put his hands up to shield himself from the

Scuffles ensued, with a number of rival assembly members
hanging onto each other as if playing a rather rough game
of tug-o'-war, without the rope.

As tempers flared, the DUP moved forward calling out, "IRA

With those words, Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey was drawn into
the fray. His party press officer Ned Cohen, sensing
trouble, stepped in with arms outstretched to prevent any
serious clashes, aided by colleague McLaughlin, who had
recovered his balance.

McDonnell, still reeling from being shoved, looked around
to see who was responsible, but his cool-headed colleagues
trailed him away before he could discover who had kicked
and pushed him. All the while Paisley jnr shouted with glee
about the peace-loving party: "The SDLP is fighting!"

Amid the turmoil, SDLP advisor Conail McDevitt had a sharp
exchange with the DUP member for Lagan valley, Edwin Poots,
and Paisley jnr shouted louder: "The SDLP is fighting!"

Side by side in the Great Hall, the irresistible forces
that craved change and the immovable ones that did not

"Gentlemen, please," Stormont's security men shouted as
they moved in alongside a policeman, who sported a poppy in
his cap and looked woefully outnumbered.

More than a score of door-keepers were involved in calming
the incident, which became known as the 'brawl in the
hall', although a perhaps more apt description came from
the Sinn Fein member for Mid-Ulster, John Kelly, who
dismissed the episode as a case of "hold me back, let me at

Lord Alderdice later recalled that he had feared just such
an interruption given the strength of feeling in the
chamber and had worked hard to prevent scenes similar to
those that typified previous administrations: "We managed
to do that and then the doors opened. It was almost like a
valve opened with people shooting out."

The trouble was defused when Trimble and Durkan headed off
for a teabreak, leaving the DUP at the microphones.

The refreshments started with a photo-call as the two
ministers settled into leather chairs. Trimble seemed a
little shaken as he took his cup and saucer, his face still
beetroot red. As he settled back in his armchair, crunching
a chocolate biscuit, the photographer asked him to lean
forward as he looked a little too comfortable.

Trimble made a face as if to appear astonished by the
suggestion after his ordeal in the Great Hall and Durkan
joked: "We are meant to look comfortable after that?"

The photographer took his shot and, temporarily blinded by
the flashbulb, the first minister leaned over to Durkan and
jested that the first thing he would do when he got justice
powers would be to alter the definition of assault to
include the discharge of camera flashes within three metres
of a person without their permission.

• In tomorrow's Irish News, in another extract from Room
21: Stormont – Behind Closed Doors, Martina Purdy looks at
Bogside man Martin McGuinness' time inside Bangor's
ministry of education. The book is priced £19.99 and
published by Brehon Press.

About the author

Award-winning journalist Martina Purdy was born in Belfast
in 1965 and raised in Toronto, Canada.

After studying in Canada and training with the Toronto
Star, she returned to Belfast in 1990 and worked for The
Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph.

She joined the BBC in 1999 and is currently political
correspondent for BBC Northern Ireland, having reported on
the peace process since 1996.

The book is inspired by the first image of the new devolved
ministers together in the 'Room 21' of its title in
Stormont's Parliament Buildings.


Play Nice To Target Temple Bar

By Staff Reporter

Anti-social behaviour in one of Dublin's most popular
tourist spots is to be targeted by a new campaign.

Temple Bar, a 23-acre site full of pubs, clubs and
restaurants, has suffered from the hordes of people who
descend on it every night to socialise, including large
groups of English stag and hen parties.

The traders association TASCQ, said its Play Nice campaign
was an attempt to make the area more enjoyable for
visitors, workers and residents.

"We are trying to encourage responsible behaviour and
discourage irresponsible behaviour," general manager Martin
Harte said.

Businesses in the area have provided Ä50,000 in funding for
the new campaign, which involves more street lighting, CCTV
cameras, information signs and co-operation with the Irish

Under a new publican charter bar staff are to be trained to
serve alcohol responsibly and to encourage customers to use
the toilets before they leave the premises.

Bars have also pledged to provide more comedy, music and
food to dispel Temple Bar's reputation as a destination
only for alcohol consumption.

The Assistant Commissioner of the Irish police in Dublin,
Al McHugh said his officers did not want to spoil people's
socialising in Temple Bar.

"But equally we will not stand by and watch drunks using
doorways as toilets, intimidating passers-by or interfering
with residents," he said.

There are more than 3,000 people who live in apartments
along Temple Bar's streets and they have made frequent
complaints about the behaviour of visitors to the area.


Derrybeg Broadcaster Priest Dies Aged 78

By Seamus McKinney

ONE of Co Donegal's longest serving and best-known clerics
was laid to rest yesterday.

A native of Derrybeg, Fr Eoghan O Frighil, died on Saturday
night. He was 78.

The late 'Fr Owenie' as he was known, had been parish
priest in Killymard, Donegal town for the past 23 years.

Last year he celebrated the silver jubilee of his
ordination to the priesthood.

He was particularly well known through his work with RTE
and Donegal radio station Highland.

From 1958 until 1969, he was editor of RTE radio's An
Sagart Linn programme.

In more recent times he worked as religious advisor to
Highland Radio. He was also a frequent broadcaster on north
west stations. Fr O Frighil was buried at Magheragallen
cemetery yesterday following Mass at St Mary's Church in
his native Derrybeg.


Museum To Mark Bloody Sunday

By Staff Reporter

THE GAA Museum in Dublin is set to mark the 85th
anniversary of the Croke Park Bloody Sunday with a series
of lectures later this month.

Fourteen civilians including Tipperary footballer Michael
Hogan died when British forces opened fire on the crowd and
on players on 21 November 1920.

The massacre came after 12 British agents were shot dead by
an IRA squad led by Michael Collins.

Dr Brian Hanley from NUI Maynooth will describe the events
leading up to the massacre at Croke Park.

Marcus de Burca will examine what happened on Bloody

Jimmy Wren will speak about the players who were in the
stadium that day and Dr Diarmaid Ferriter will explore the
immediate aftermath of the atrocity.

Admission will cost E5 for adults and there will be a E4
concession. To reserve a seat or for more information
contact the GAA museum on (00353) 1 8192323 or email


Irish Woman Becomes First Female EC Secretary-General

09/11/2005 - 13:18:13

An Irish woman has been appointed as the first female
secretary-general of the European Commission.

Catherine Day will take over the EU's top civil service job
from fellow Irish national David O'Sullivan, who is taking
charge of the Trade Commissioner's department.

Ms Day has held a number of different civil service posts
in the EC since 1982 and has been director general of the
commission's environment department since 2002.

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