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December 05, 2005

Call For Inspection of CIA's Shannon Flights

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News about Ireland & the Irish

IT 12/06/05 Call For Inspection Of CIA's Shannon Flights
SF 12/05/05 Govt Must Search Suspect Planes At Shannon
DI 12/05/05 Flanagan Iraq Job Branded 'Massive Blunder'
DI 12/05/05 Man Describes Raid Over Heist As 'Nonsensical'
IO 12/05/05 PSNI Given More Time To Question Bank Suspect
IT 12/06/05 Irish Man Sought For Raid Held In Sydney
IT 12/06/05 Conditional Licences Should Replace Pardons
IO 12/05/05 Fusiliers To Pull Out Of The North In January
SF 12/05/05 Removal Of Battalion Is Not Demilitarisation
UT 12/05/05 Government Unveils CRJ Plans
SF 12/05/05 Sinn Fein Comment On CRJ Scheme Announcement
IT 12/06/05 Board Warns Against 'Two-Tier Policing'
BB 12/05/05 Searches In Teenager Murder Probe
DI 12/05/05 Family Seeks New Probe Into Killing
SF 12/05/05 Safety On Falls Road Low Priority For Agencies
DI 12/05/05 Spirit Of Comradeship To The Bitter End
DI 12/05/05 Residents Threaten Law Suit Over Irish St Signs
DI 12/05/05 Opin Language Pledge Just Empty Words
DI 12/05/05 Opin: A Taoiseach Who's Incapable Of Action
IT 12/06/05 Coroner Calls For Signs In Kerry After Drowning
IT 12/06/05 TCD Not Sending Book Of Kells On Tour Again


Call For Inspection Of CIA's Shannon Flights

Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent

The Government must inspect flights chartered by the
United States Central Intelligence Agency that land in
Shannon airport to ensure they are not carrying torture
victims, Amnesty International has said.

Information obtained by RTÉ under the Freedom of
Information Act indicates there may have been 38 landings
of CIA flights at Shannon, mostly since 2002.

However, Amnesty International has gone further and claimed
that six CIA-chartered aircraft have landed 50 times at
Shannon and made 800 flights into western European

Identifying the aircraft, the human rights organisation
said it was doing so because Minister for Foreign Affairs
Dermot Ahern had last week promised to have allegations

However, Mr Ahern's spokes- man last night said the
organisation should "go to the Garda Síochána" if it
believed it had credible evidence that the CIA was
transporting people through Shannon for torture.

There will be "huge consequences" for the relationship
between Ireland and US if it emerges that the US has
transported prisoners through Shannon for torture in third
countries, Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan said last
night.Speaking on RTÉ's Questions and Answers, she said if
US "assurances are erroneous there would be serious
consequences for the diplomatic relationship between
Ireland and the US, that is the seriousness of the matter".

Pointing out that the aircraft are commercially registered,
Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said gardaí could not
"forcibly enter" the aircraft unless they had evidence of
criminal activity. "But the fact is that the US government,
which is a friendly state and which is hugely friendly and
supportive of everything that happens in this State, has
given us unqualified and absolute assurances that they have
not, do not and will not use Irish airports for the
transference of prisoners other than in accordance with
Irish law and I accept that."

The CIA aircraft is a 32-seat Boeing 737-7ET, call sign
N313P, which was later re-registered as N4476S. It is owned
by Premier Executive Transport Services, which is widely
believed to be a CIA front company. The Boeing is
frequently seen at US military bases, including in
Afghanistan, said Claudio Cordone, Amnesty's senior
director of regional programmes.

A Gulfstream V, which was known by the call sign N379P
until it changed to N8068V and then to N44982, is known as
"the Guantanamo Bay express" because it has made more than
50 trips to the Caribbean detention centre.

This aircraft landed 13 times at Shannon registered as
N379P between 2002 and 2003, before landing three more
times in 2003 for refuelling after it changed its number to
N8068V. However, the original N379P registration turned up
in Cork once this year.

The Gulfstream V was used in the CIA's capture and
transport of Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed al-Zari from Sweden
to Egypt - an operation later declared by the Swedish
parliament to be illegal.

A parliamentary investigation in Stockholm found that the
men had been arrested at Stockholm airport, allegedly
stripped, hooded and later tortured in Cairo.

A Gulfstream III, known by its current call sign N259SK,
carried a Syrian-Canadian national, Maher Arar, from the US
to Syria where he was held for 13 months without charge and
tortured. He was freed in October 2003.

Amnesty International identified another aircraft, a
Gulfstream IV, known by its call sign N85VM until it was
renamed as N227SV, carried Abu Omar, a man kidnapped in
Italy by the CIA, to Egypt from Germany.

Last week, the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice,
guaranteed Mr Ahern that Shannon had not been used by the
US for "untoward" purposes, or to carry detainees on to
destinations for torture.

However, former Irish president Mary Robinson questioned
the value of the guarantees since it was no longer clear
what kind of treatment is regarded as torture by the US.

"A lot of it is coming to light now and none of it helps
the real battle, which is against terrorism," said Mrs
Robinson, former head of the United Nations' Human Rights

Rice defends CIA interrogations: page 9; Shannon - the
truth might hurt: page 16

© The Irish Times


Government Must Authorise Search And Inspection Of Suspect Planes At Shannon

Published: 5 December, 2005

Speaking today in response to the conclusions of a Swedish
parliamentary investigation into extraordinary renditions
and information obtained by RTE under the Freedom of
Information Act Sinn Féin spokesperson on International
Affairs Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said:

"Sinn Féin have called repeatedly for Garda inspections of
the planes identified by human rights groups, and now the
Swedish parliamentary investigation, as possibly being
involved in the transportation of prisoners by the CIA to
locations where they may be subjected to torture, inhumane
and degrading treatment.

"The US authorities expect their assurance to the contrary
to be accepted and the Irish Government is choosing to rely
on these. I have been calling on the Minister for Foreign
Affairs to back up these assurances with evidence because
until the planes are inspected everything is deniable.
Unfortunately, the Government have made it clear in their
own statements and in responses to parliamentary questions
placed by myself that they do not intend to inspect the
planes unless evidence is brought forward. However,
further evidence cannot be produced until the doors of the
planes are opened - it is a classic Catch-22 situation.

"The Council of Europe and a number of national parliaments
have launched investigations and in light of this, and of
the credible evidence produced thus far, I am calling again
on the Irish Government to authorise the search and
inspection of the planes N379P and N85VM and any other
flights associated with the US-led war on terror." ENDS


Flanagan Iraq Job Branded 'Massive Blunder'

By Eamonn Houston

The appointment of former RUC chief Ronnie Flanagan to
oversee the development of the new Iraqi police force in
the south of the country was last night branded a massive
blunder by Sinn Féin's spokesman on policing.

Gerry Kelly, MLA for North Belfast, said that the
appointment of Mr Flanagan by the British government marked
a "militaristic approach" to rebuilding policing in the
war-torn country.

"Ronnie Flanagan is clearly the wrong person to send," Mr
Kelly said. "He was involved in the RUC Special Branch here
and was in charge during one of the worst periods in the

"The last thing that Iraq needs is a repeat of what
happened with policing here. What is needed for Iraq is the
Patten proposals as a yardstick for policing. Ronnie
Flanagan, while here, presided over a force accused of
running state agents and collusion. He is a the wrong man
for the job. Iraq needs to come out of conflict. This has
to be described a a very poor appointment," Mr Kelly said.

It emerged yesterday that Mr Flanagan has been appointed to
carry out an assessment of the Iraqi police force.

British defence secretary and former direct rule secretary
of state for the North John Reid said that Mr Flanagan had
been asked to deliver a review of the capabilities of the
new force in the British controlled sector of southern

"Ronnie Flanagan has been sent there to find out first of
all what the situation on the ground truly is as
objectively as we can," Mr Reid said.

The move comes amid concerns that the training of the new
police force is not progressing as well as the Iraqi army,
with fears that the police have been heavily infiltrated by
the local militias.

The issue came to a head earlier this year when British
troops stormed a police station in Basra following the
arrest of two undercover SAS soldiers who the Iraqis
refused to release.

Mr Reid said: "There's a problem with the police in terms
of split loyalties running from sympathy for the local
people, right through to infiltration with the militia.
That's why we are now redoubling our efforts to make sure
that these people are rooted out.

"It isn't to say that all the police are like that. Many of
them are courageous. Many have given their life in the new
Iraq but some of them are rogues, some of them are corrupt
and some of them have obviously entered for the wrong
reasons and they've obviously got to be taken out"

Mr Flanagan, who has already made one visit to Basra and is
planning further trips in the New Year said that progress
on policing was now probably a year behind schedule.

"A total concentrated effort needs to be made by all the
coalition forces, and indeed the EU, which is happening, to
ensure that concentration on policing is provided," he told
the BBC's Politics programme.

"I know of moves to remove those who are not up to
standard, either in terms of their competence or in terms
of the level of the integrity they bring to the job. So
those things are in hand.

"Yes, they are a problem, but tremendous progress is being

However, one serving British army officer – speaking
anonymously – told the programme that they had already
missed the chance to deal with the issue.

He said that he did not know of a single instance of
British troops intervening to deal with intimidation by the
Iraqi police, in incidents which ranged from "severe
beatings to murder".


Man Describes House Raid Over Northern Heist As 'Nonsensical'

Bemused householder describes police tactics as 'mental
torture' for man arrested over bank job

Francesca Ryan

A man whose home was raided by the PSNI on Friday in
connection with the £26.5 million (€39.2 million) Northern
Bank robbery has described the incident as "nonsensical".

Officers in six vehicles arrived at Aidan Digney's west
Belfast home at 6am with a warrant to search his house for
information relating to the heist.

Speaking to Daily Ireland a bemused Mr Digney said there
was no reason for the early morning visit.

"They told me they were here in relation to the robbery and
asked whether I had any money or walkie-talkies in the
house that they should know about," he said.

"I told them that I hadn't and they put myself, my wife and
kids into the kitchen whilst they carried out the search."

Mr Digney is a member of Éire go Brách Celtic Supporters
Club – of which Northern Bank employee Chris Ward, who is
currently being held for questioning about the robbery, is
also a member.

He added: "I think this raid on my home was a tactical move
for the PSNI to look like they're doing something.

"It may be an attempt to put pressure on Chris, a sort of
mental torture. If they go in there and tell Chris they're
raiding the homes of everyone in the club, they think he'll
say something, but he won't because he knows nothing about
the robbery. This is nothing more than psychological

"I think that if they were really looking for something,
they would've ripped up the floorboards and pulled out the
fireplace but they left the place virtually untouched."

Mr Digney believes the PSNI are "grasping at straws" as
they try to find the gang behind last December's heist.

"This is beyond ridiculous, it is futile," he said.

"Are they really going to target everyone that knows Chris
either through the club or through work?

"This investigation is 50 weeks ongoing. I would imagine
that if anyone had anything relating to the Northern Bank
robbery, it would be well gone by now. This raid makes a
pitiful joke out of the investigation."

The PSNI took two computers from Aidan Digney's home, one
of which belongs to his 12-year-old son, and some
documentation relating to the Éire go Brách Celtic
Supporters Club.

The PSNI declined to comment, but confirmed that they had
carried out searches in the Castlereagh and Dunmurry areas
in connection with the Northern Bank robbery investigation
and that a number of items were seized.

The PSNI are continuing to question Chris Ward about the
robbery. On Saturday detectives were given a 60-hour
extension to the length of time he can be held.

The 24-year-old was taken hostage during last December's
raid. His solicitor has lodged a complaint with the Police
Ombudsman regarding his treatment.


PSNI Given More Time To Question Northern Bank Robbery Suspect

05/12/2005 - 23:44:39

Detectives were given more time tonight to question a
Northern Bank staff member about the £26.5m (€38m) robbery
last December.

Chris Ward, 24, from Poleglass, West Belfast, has been in
custody since his arrest a week ago.

Police were granted another 48 hours to hold him, a
spokesman said tonight.

Mr Ward was held hostage by the gang which carried out the
robbery on the bank's headquarters in the centre of Belfast
just before Christmas.

Detectives investigating the robbery have already charged
three men, one of them for carrying out the raid.

The Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has blamed the IRA for
robbing the bank.


Irish Man Sought For Raid Held In Sydney

Conor Lally

An Irish man wanted for questioning in connection with
last December's £26.5 million robbery of the Northern Bank
in Belfast is being detained by the authorities in
Australia in relation to alleged immigration violations.

The man, who is from Belfast, is in a relationship with an
Irish woman.

The man being held by the Australian immigration
authorities is a friend and former colleague of another man
from Belfast who worked for the Northern Bank and claimed
he had been held hostage by those behind the raid and
forced to take part in the robbery.

The man held in Australia has had links in the past with
the Casement Park GAA stadium in Belfast. The stadium was
searched by the Police Service of Northern Ireland last
week by officers investigating the Northern Bank raid.

The PSNI said it was aware of an ongoing immigration case
relating to a man from Northern Ireland in Sydney. However,
a spokesman said he could not confirm or deny if the man
was wanted for questioning about the bank raid.

The Irish Times understands the man was detained after he
and his partner were asked by police in Sydney to attend a
meeting to produce their passports. When the man's visa was
examined Sydney police believed it to be out of date and he
was detained.

However, he has not been arrested. Australia detains those
without valid documentation before deportation.

© The Irish Times


Call For Conditional Licences To Replace Fugitive Pardons

Mark Hennessy and Liam Reid

The Government must not grant presidential pardons to
paramilitaries who avoided prosecution before the Belfast
Agreement under its controversial "on-the-runs" (OTRs)
legislation, Fine Gael and Labour said last night.

In a Dáil motion agreed last night, Fine Gael said the
pardons, which are irrevocable, should not be awarded but
replaced by conditional licences, which would allow for the
individual to be sent back to jail.

The Government's existing plans and the British
government's plans to grant amnesties to both
paramilitaries and British security forces guilty of crimes
are "a denial of justice to victims", Fine Gael and Labour

Under the Government's plan, an eligibility board would
first decide if an individual qualified under the terms,
though the Minister for Justice and the Cabinet would have
the final say.

Once the Cabinet had decided, President Mary McAleese would
have to grant the pardons under Article 13.6 of the
Constitution - though it will be the first time that
pardons have been awarded to people who were not convicted.

Expressing "alarm" that the pardon use could create a
dangerous precedent, Fine Gael and Labour said it is
"without precedent" and "would be the first occasion in the
history of the State where the pardon had been used for
political purposes".

Calling on the Government to voice the Dáil's opposition to
the British OTRs legislation, the parties said it would
"create an open-ended amnesty for people responsible for
paramilitary and security force killings in the North".

Both governments are going back on promises made following
the Belfast Agreement that "all outstanding cases would be
pursued and those responsible would be brought to court,
convicted, and serve prison sentences".

Rejecting the Government's argument that the OTRs
legislation is required to fulfil the Belfast Agreement,
both parties said it "is neither necessitated by nor
consequent upon" the 1998 deal.

The British government's Northern Ireland (Offences) Bill
2005, which was published last month by NI Secretary of
State Peter Hain, will grant "an open-ended amnesty to
anyone charged with any of the 2,100 unsolved killings of
the Troubles".

Meanwhile, Minister for Justice Michael McDowell is to
raise the British government's plans for officially-
approved community restorative justice programmes with
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern today.

The Northern Ireland Office yesterday produced draft
guidelines for the programmes, which would not have to co-
operate with the Police Service of Northern Ireland to
exist and to qualify for British exchequer funding. The
issue was discussed yesterday by the Taoiseach when he met
with an SDLP delegation led by the party's leader in
Government Buildings yesterday.

Speaking after the meeting, SDLP leader Mark Durkan claimed
the issues marked the "most reckless and feckless approach
by a British government in 15 years".

"They're locked into a diet of 'concession of the week'. It
seems to be they're trying to butter up the DUP one week
and butter up Sinn Féin the other."

Mr Durkan said the restorative justice proposals had "huge
dangers". Currently 14 such schemes operate in nationalist
areas and five more in loyalist districts.

© The Irish Times


Royal Welsh Fusiliers Due To Pull Out Of The North In January

05/12/2005 - 18:08:52

It has been announced that the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, based
on the south Armagh border, will leave the North in the
middle of January.

British troop numbers in the North are to be cut to a 30-
year low in 2006 as the paramilitary threat diminishes.

It will mean the number of soldiers will fall below 9,000,
lower than at any time since the early 1970's.

For the first time since the Troubles began, only troops in
battalions no rmally resident in the North will be serving


Removal Of Last 'Emergency' British Army Battalion Does Not Equate To The Promised Programme Of Demilitarisation

Published: 5 December, 2005

Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MP Conor Murphy has said that while
many of his constituents will be happy at the announcement
that the last 'emergency' British Army battalion, currently
based in Bessbrook, will be sent back to Britain in the New
Year that levels of British Army activity and harassment
particularly in rural area highlighted the failure of the
British government to deliver the promised programme of

Mr Murphy said:

"Anything that further reduces the number of British troops
stationed in the north must be welcomed.

"However, this does not equate to dealing with British Army
soldiers who are still very active on the ground
particularly in rural communities such as South Armagh.

"The British government must deliver on its commitment to a
rolling programme of demilitarisation."

Sinn Fein demilitarisation spokesperson, Newry Armagh MLA
Davy Hyland added:

"On an almost daily basis there is evidence that levels of
British Army activity and harassment are negatively
affecting the lives of ordinary decent people going about
their daily business.

"The impact of the British Army presence on the lives of
children at school, on communities, businesses and farmers
cannot be underestimated.

"Transforming the political landscape demands that the
British government deliver on its commitments to dismantle
the British war machine." ENDS


Government Unveils CRJ Plans

The British government today unveiled plans which could
allow officially-sanctioned neighbourhood justice schemes
in Northern Ireland to deal with low-level crime in their

By:Press Association

Under draft proposals released by Northern Ireland Office
minister David Hanson, the police will have to be informed
if community restorative justice groups, which bring the
perpetrators of low-level crime face to face with their
victims, want to handle a specific case.

However in republican areas where Sinn Fein and its
supporters refuse to engage with the Police Service of
Northern Ireland (PSNI), there will be no obligation on
those running schemes to contact police officers directly.

Instead they can alert the PSNI by contacting the Probation
Board or Youth Justice Agency, which will pass a proposal
by a community restorative justice group on to the police.

Alternatively, the proposal could be passed to an advisory
panel featuring the PSNI and representatives of the scheme,
Probation Board or Youth Justice Agency.

The police will then consider if there needs to be any
action, such as fingerprinting, before referring the case
to the Public Prosecution Service, which will ultimately
decide if it should be handled by a community restorative
justice scheme.

Concerns have been expressed in recent weeks by the
Northern Ireland Policing Board chairman Sir Desmond Rea,
along with unionist and nationalist politicians, that
restorative justice schemes in republican areas could be
allowed to operate like quasi-police forces with stop and
search powers.

The British government was also warned it must not sanction
schemes which freeze the PSNI or other criminal justice
agencies out.

However Mr Hanson, who briefed Sir Desmond and board
members on the proposals earlier today, moved to reassure
critics that the PSNI had sole responsibility for policing
all areas in Northern Ireland.

"These draft guidelines are about implementing the
(Criminal Justice) Review recommendation for an unambiguous
and appropriate relationship between community-based
schemes and the statutory agencies, including the police,
in respect of dealing with low-level offenders in local
communities," he said.

"I am aware of the concerns that have been expressed in
recent weeks about the way schemes may operate.

"The draft guidelines make clear that the involvement of
the PSNI is not negotiable".

Under the Government`s proposals, the Public Prosecution
Service must in reaching its decision take into account:

:: If there was an admission of guilt, confirmed by a
police investigation.

:: The previous offending history of the offender; the
gravity of the offence; the views of the victim and other
information considered relevant.

Officially-recognised criminal restorative justice schemes
will be required to sign up to the proposals and must have
appropriate human rights, equality and legal training for
their staff.

They will be obliged to inform every offender of the
allegations against them and all the information received
about them and their offence.

Victims and offenders will also be given a written
description of the scheme and how it operates.

The schemes will have to identify an independent point of
contact for advice on human rights issues and legislation
and establish an independent external system for handling

The programmes will also be subject to inspection by the
Criminal Justice Inspectorate in Northern Ireland.

Officially-recognised schemes will be required to keep full
records of all the victims and perpetrators they have come
into contact with.

Mr Hanson, who is the Criminal Justice Minister in the
Northern Ireland Office, encouraged all interested parties
to take part in a 12-week consultation on the draft

The closing date will be February 24, next year.

The Minister insisted: "No decisions on the way forward
will be taken until the Government has fully considered all
the views expressed by respondents as a result of this
consultative process."

There are currently 14 community restorative justice
schemes operating in republican neighbourhoods in Northern
Ireland. Five also operate in loyalist communities.

Supporters of the scheme claim they can provide a viable
alternative to expulsions and the so-called punishment
beatings and shootings meted out by paramilitary groups.

The projects, which currently operate in communities in
Belfast, Londonderry and other parts of Northern Ireland
are privately-funded.

Supporters have been keen for the schemes to receive state


Sinn Fein Comment On CRJ Scheme Announcement

Published: 5 December, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice issues Gerry Kelly today
said that "Community Restorative schemes are a valuable
community asset which have worked well of over 5 years". Mr
Kelly's comments come on the day the British Government
published their proposals on future CRJ schemes.

Mr Kelly said:

"Community Restorative Justice is not an alternative to a
policing service. It never has been nor pretended to be.
Indeed Lord Clyde the Justice Oversight Commissioner
recently praised the CRJ schemes operating here and
reported that 80% of their work relates to community and
neighbourhood disputes which are nothing to do with the
formal Criminal Justice system.

"The CRJ schemes themselves have invited the Criminal
Justice Inspectorate to inspect and monitor their work.
Therefore funding for such schemes should not depend on the
opinions of those from within the Criminal Justice

"The recently found SDLP opposition to Community
Restorative Justice and the myths which they continue to
pedal in the media has nothing at all to do with these
schemes or the way they operate. These schemes have been
operating successfully in the north since 1999 and we have
not heard this hysterical opposition before now.

"The SDLP opposition is based upon a need to prevent
further necessary policing changes to justify their flawed
decision to jump too early onto policing. The SDLP and
Policing Board would be far better off supporting a
community based scheme which is working and has impacted
positively in hundreds of cases rather than attempting to
prevent further policing and justice change in order to
justify their own political view." ENDS


Board Warns Against 'Two-Tier Policing'

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

The Policing Board has warned the North's criminal
justice minister David Hanson that it would oppose any
concept of "two-tier policing" after the minister yesterday
published draft guidelines for operating community
restorative justice schemes.

And while the board insisted that such schemes must not be
officially sanctioned until Sinn Féin endorses policing, Mr
Hanson pressed ahead with a 12-week consultation programme
about introducing community restorative-justice projects.

Mr Hanson released details of his draft guidelines shortly
after he held what sources said was a "stormy" meeting with
the board yesterday.

Policing Board members, as well as the SDLP and unionist
parties, have expressed concerns that the community
restorative justice schemes would effectively hand over
control of local policing to paramilitaries.

Mr Hanson, however, said the involvement of the PSNI in
these schemes, which bring perpetrator and victim together
to resolve issues of low-level crime, was "not negotiable".

While the document sets out guidelines for operating the
schemes, it puts off offering a proposal as to whether
former paramilitaries should be allowed participate in
them. Instead it poses a question as to whether it would be
appropriate to discount offences committed "many years
ago", leaving it up to the general public and organisations
such as the Policing Board and the political parties to
guide him in his eventual decision on this matter.

At present there are 14 schemes operating in republican
areas and five in loyalist areas. While loyalists will co-
operate with the PSNI, republicans won't.

Under the guidelines, restorative schemes based in
republican areas could avoid dealing directly with the
police. Guideline number 10 says cases for resolution could
be communicated directly to the PSNI or to the Probation
Board of Northern Ireland or the Youth Justice Agency

While this would avoid direct contact between any such
republican scheme and the PSNI, the Probation Board or YJA
could still contact the police about the case.
Alternatively the consultation document says an advisory
panel could be set up to include scheme members, the
Probation Board, the YJA and the police.

All cases of low-level crime will be passed on to the
North's Public Prosecution Service (PPS) - the equivalent
of the DPP in the Republic - and in some instances,
depending on the nature of the offence, offenders will be
fingerprinted and DNA taken. It will be for the PPS to
decide whether cases are suitable for community-justice
settlement. Proposals on what sort of punishments or
penalties offenders might face would be "firmed up" later,
according to the document.

All community-based schemes must confirm to the Criminal
Justice Inspectorate their willingness to sign up to the
guidelines. The inspectorate will be responsible for
monitoring and inspecting the schemes. The inspectorate
will carry out random inspections.

The schemes must also fully conform to human rights law and
"restorative processes should be used only with the free
and voluntary consent of the parties".

Yesterday morning the chairman and vice-chairman of the
Policing Board, Sir Desmond Rea and Denis Bradley, led
SDLP, DUP, Ulster Unionist and independent board members in
talks with Mr Hanson. They told the minister that community
restorative justice in principle was a "good concept" but
that it must not lead to "two-tier" policing and, in a
reference to Sinn Féin, that it should only be implemented
when "all political parties have endorsed the existing
police structures".

Sinn Féin policing spokesman Gerry Kelly said the schemes
worked well, were never an alternative to policing and
should receive official funding.

DUP spokesman Ian Paisley jnr said the plans would diminish
the PSNI's role, while UUP policing spokesman Fred Cobain
said "it would be a complete betrayal of any concept of
justice if government were to allow paramilitary justice to
repackage itself as restorative justice".

SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood, as well as
reiterating the views of the Policing Board, said the
guidelines did not provide sufficient safeguards.

© The Irish Times


Searches In Teenager Murder Probe

Detectives investigating the murder of schoolboy Thomas
Devlin have carried out several searches in north Belfast.

The police said premises in the Mount Vernon and White City
areas had been searched in connection with his death.

A number of items were removed for further examination.
Police said the searches were part of an "ongoing and
active inquiry".

Thomas, 15, was stabbed five times as he and two friends
walked along Somerton Road on 10 August.

In September, the police confirmed the prime suspects in
the investigation were two young men with a black and white

Thomas, a student at Belfast Royal Academy, was a talented
musician who played the horn at school.

He had just bought sweets from a nearby shop and was on his
way home when he was stabbed in the back five times.

His 18-year-old friend was injured in the attack, but not
seriously. A 16-year-old boy managed to escape.

A number of people detained for questioning about the
murder were subsequently released without charge.

Thomas' mother Penny Holloway has said whoever attacked her
son meant to kill him.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/12/05 22:05:08 GMT


Family Seeks New Probe Into Killing

Relatives of man shot dead by PSNI two years ago unhappy
with Police Ombudman's report that recommends no further

The family of a Co Armagh man shot dead by the PSNI two
years ago want to meet with the Police Ombudsman to discuss
the circumstances surrounding their relative's death.

Ombudsman investigators recently completed their report on
the killing of Neil McConville in April 2002 – the first
man to be shot dead by police since the 1994 ceasefires.

They met with the father-of-one's family to tell them they
would not be recommending prosecutions against the officers
who fired the fatal shots.

However, the McConvilles are determined not to let the
matter rest and are seeking a fresh meeting with

Advising the family is respected human rights organisation
British Irish Rights Watch.

At the beginning of November its director, Jane Winter,
travelled to Belfast to meet with Mr McConville's

Commenting on the case she said: "The police were acting on
intelligence reports, but when the car was searched the
only weapon found was a gun that was wrapped up in cloth
and for which there was no ammunition. The Police Ombudsman
called herself in to investigate the case, and recently
briefed the family on her findings.

"The family have a lot of outstanding questions and will be
seeking a further meeting with the Police Ombudsman."

Mr McConville was shot dead after a car he was travelling
in ploughed through a PSNI roadblock near Lisburn, Co

Officers opened fire fatally wounding Mr McConville, who
had celebrated becoming a father just two days before.

Mr McConville had been living in the village of Bleary, Co
Armagh, although his family is from Belfast.

A second man travelling in the car with Mr McConville,
David Somers, sustained gunshot wounds to the arm.

He was later charged with possession of a sawn-off shotgun
with intent to endanger life.

PSNI officers claimed Mr Somers had brandished a shotgun at
them which was discovered in the car after it had crashed.

In the hours after Mr McConville's murder the PSNI admitted
the car he had been driving was at the centre of a drugs
surveillance operation.

Less than a year after the death of Mr McConville, David
Somers found himself caught up in another high-profile

In March 2003 David 'Digger' Barnes was shot dead at his
north Belfast flat.

Mr Somers has been charged with his murder, as has 39-year-
old Louis Maguire.

Both men along with Mr Maguire's wife, Margaretta Maguire,
are also charged with plotting to kill Mr Barnes.


Safety On Falls Road A Low Priority For Statutory Agencies

Published: 5 December, 2005

Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast Fra McCann has today said
that the volume of traffic on the Falls Road and the low
priority given to the road have contributed to it becoming
an accident blackspot. Mr McCann made his comments after
the PSNI claimed that the Falls Road was the most dangerous
accident black-spot in the North.

Speaking today Mr McCann said:

"The Falls Road is the main arterial route through West
Belfast and anyone using the road will be well aware of the
constant traffic jams and excruciating wait times at peak
periods. It is clear that further traffic calming schemes
are required on the road to lessen the amount of accidents
which are occurring.

"It certainly seems that the development of safer roads is
not a high priority for the Roads Service and or the other
statutory agencies. Sinn Féin has been pursuing the Roads
Service to implement further road safety measures in West

"The PSNI's new found interest in the amount of stolen cars
being driven on the Falls Road stands in stark contrast to
their disinterest in death drivers and anti-social
behaviour in West Belfast over the past 30 years." ENDS


Spirit Of Comradeship To The Bitter End

The last internee to be released 30 years ago today looks
back on the brutal British regime

Jarlath Kearney

Long Kesh internees in 1975 were digging an escape tunnel
until the very day they were released, one of the North's
most prominent republicans revealed yesterday.

Veteran Belfast activist Martin Meehan told Daily Ireland
that until internment officially ended on December 5, 1975,
the 47 remaining internees were persisting with work on an
escape tunnel which they hoped might be used by sentenced
republican prisoners at a later date.

Mr Meehan, a former IRA commander and more recently Sinn
Fein councillor, was Camp O/C of the Long Kesh internees
during the latter part of internment. He became the final
internee to be freed exactly 30 years ago today.

Mr Meehan also hit out at the SDLP's recent decision in
Westminster to support 28-day detention without trial,
branding the move "total hypocrisy".

He likened the British system of enforced, unlimited and
arbitrary detention during internment with the modern
actions of the American government in places like
Guantanamo Bay.

Beginning on August 9, 1971, internment led to hundreds of
mainly ordinary nationalists being held indefinitely and
without charge on the arbitrary orders of political
detectives from RUC Special Branch.

Despite recalling his eventual pleasure at being released,
Mr Meehan explained that his moment of freedom three
decades ago was also tinged with sadness.

"I remember P/O Larking coming in to the hut very early to
speak to me. He was a civil man and even claimed ancestry
back to Big Jim Larkin," Mr Meehan said yesterday.

"He said quietly to me that internment was over and that
the governor would tell us officially at 10 o'clock. I just
let a big yell out of me. Initially some men wakened up
thinking the hut was being raided, but when I told them we
were going home, Larkin couldn't get out of the hut quickly
enough! When they realised I was serious, they were hugging
each other and shaking hands – even men who had their
differences and maybe hadn't spoken in a year. It was one
of the most poignant experiences I've ever had," Mr Meehan

After forming up and marching once in drill formation
around the Cage, Mr Meehan read a statement to the
internees explaining that it was the duty of every
republican present to report back to the republican
movement. Men then began their release in batches of five,
travelling by van from the Cages to the prison car park.

"Then there were just five of us left, including myself,
Lawrence Mulholland from Bellaghy and Billy McAllister from

"Me and Billy were the last two and I was called out in
front of Billy.

"They said to me 'you've made history, you're the last
detainee to get release'. And I said 'what about Billy?'
And they said that he was going to be charged with trying
to escape from Musgrave Park hospital about six months
earlier – and they asked me to break the news to him.

"It was really difficult for me to tell him. I remember
walking back into the Cage and looking around. There were
papers and old clothes and bags lying all over the Cage
where men had just packed up quickly and left.

"Billy was there with his bag all ready to go and I had to
tell him the bad news that he wasn't being released after
all and that they were going to charge him with trying to
escape. It was very emotional. I remember we embraced and I
walked away, watching him there on his own, knowing that he
must have been broken-hearted. I felt very, very sorry for
him. He later told me that they just left him there on his
own for hours," Mr Meehan recalled.

However, despite the sad episode, Mr Meehan was still
required to read a formal statement to the waiting media in
the prison car park in his capacity as Camp O/C.

"As we were coming to the prison car park, Lawrence
Mulholland had a big twenty-first birthday key that someone
sent in to him as a souvenir on a card. When I went to read
the statement in front of the media, I held the key up and
shouted that the governor gave me the key to Long Kesh!" Mr
Meehan said.

Like scores of other ex-internees, Mr Meehan recalled the
comradeship in the Cages with great memories. However, he
also noted the brutality and injustice of the system which
the British government hoped would break the republican

"In those days of internment you were first taken away to
the Crumlin Road prison and then moved by helicopter to
Long Kesh. When you were in the Cages at Long Kesh, they
used to hold these sham hearings where Special Branch sat
behind screens to give uncorroborated evidence about you.
The vast majority of the men did not participate in the so-
called special courts," Mr Meehan said.

"The people targeted were from right across the entire
spectrum of the nationalist community – grandfathers in
their 70s right down to young lads aged 14 or 15.

"No-one should ever forget that the British government was
found guilty in the European Court of inhumane and
degrading treatment for some of their actions during

"The psychological and emotional damage that the brutality
of internment inflicted on men and their families has been
enormous and continues even to the present day. Yet despite
the brutality and absolute repression of the regime, the
ingenuity and creativity and resolve of the internees was
an absolute inspiration," Mr Meehan said.

While internees used their incarceration to become
politically educated and consistently tried to keep each
other's morale high, Mr Meehan described the lack of a
release date for internees as "soul-destroying".

"During that entire period, the men and their families
could only keep going with the support of the community.
And people who always need to be properly recognised for
their brilliant contribution were the bus drivers who
ferried families up and down to Long Kesh, the Green Cross
and the prisoners' welfare.

"That experience which the nationalist community were
forced to endure in the 1970s is the best possible reason
why the SDLP should now hang their heads in shame at voting
in favour of 28-day detention without trial, which they did
last month in the House of Commons," Mr Meehan said.

"For any political party claiming to represent the
nationalist community voting in favour of 28-day detention
and take us back to the days of internment is total
hypocrisy and utterly insulting to the thousands of
nationalists tortured and brutalised by such policies," Mr
Meehan said.


Residents Threaten Law Suit Over Irish Street Signs

Ciarán Barnes

Nationalist residents of a Co Antrim village are
threatening to take the local council to court over its
refusal to put up Irish language street signs around their

For years locals living in the Carnfinton Park area of
Rasharkin have lobbied the unionist dominated Ballymoney
Borough Council to mount street signs in English and Irish
next to their homes.

However, the council has repeatedly refused to consult with
residents, leading some to ponder legal action.

Despite warnings from the council's legal department that
it could be taken to court on this issue, unionists in
Ballymoney are still refusing to entertain the idea of
Irish language street signs on Carnfinton Park.

At tonight's full monthly meeting of the council Sinn Féin
will again raise the issue of the bilingual signs.

Councillor Daithí McKay predicts that if the matter cannot
be settled now it will end up in court.

He said: "If this issue isn't addressed within the next
week residents will begin legal proceedings, which will
probably result in Ballymoney ratepayers footing the bill.

"The choice at the meeting is clear. Either the Democratic
Unionist Party (DUP) backs down as Sinn Féin are suggesting
and consults with the residents of Carnfinton Park, or it
takes on a legal challenge that will not only be of great
cost to Ballymoney ratepayers, but which the council
doesn't have a hope of winning."

At tonight's meeting unionist councillors are expected to
maintain their position of not consulting with Carnfinton
residents over bilingual street signs.

DUP councillor Frank Campbell believes putting up Irish
street signs in the area will set a dangerous precedent.

He said: "There are more people who speak Chinese and Czech
in Ballymoney than who speak Irish.

"What are we to do next, put up signs in the those

"It would cost the council a complete fortune.

"I'll be voting on behalf of my constituents to put a stop
to these bilingual sign plans.

"Carnfinton residents can take legal action if they want –
it doesn't mean they will win."


Daily Ireland Editorial

Opin Language Pledge Just Empty Words

Managing Editor: Seán Mag Uidhir

Language inspectors arrive in Belfast this morning to
investigate British commitments, under European Charter, to
promote the Irish language. They will find little evidence
to indicate that Tony Blair has made more than a cursory
effort to live up to the Good Friday Agreement promise of
"resolute action" to bolster An Ghaeilge since their last
visit three years ago.

For all intents and purposes, Irish remains a hidden
language in the North. It is spoken widely in the
community, and the Gaelscoileanna movement goes from
strength to strength but in official circles the language
is neither seen nor heard.

Bilingual signage is verboten — witness the new Laganside
Courts in Belfast or the road signs across the six
counties. At their increasingly frequent and self-serving
press conferences, the Direct Rule ministers who run the
North like to pose in front of expensive, English-only
signs highlighting the topic of the day. The voter
registration form is available only in the Queen's English.
Ditto for tax forms, birth and death registration forms and
driver's licence forms. It's not that there is an inherent
difficulty in providing these forms in Irish or in a
bilingual format. The problem is that there is no will to
do so.

In Finland, just five per cent of the population speak
Swedish, yet every road sign in Helsinki is bilingual and
every state service is available in Swedish. Wales, the
Basque Country and Quebec, are other thriving societies
enriched by bilingualism. The huge gains made by Irish in
the Republic over recent years have also widened the gap
between how the language is treated North and South.

Ulster, however, continues to say "no".

Some baby steps have been taken by the Northern authorities
— though while Culture Minister in the short-lived
Executive Michael McGimpsey put the brakes on any real
progress; a stance enthusiastically embraced by his Direct
Rule successors.

Today the Committee of Experts will hear submissions from
Irish language groups on how best the authorities can grant
parity of esteem to the hundreds of thousands of people in
the six counties who wish to see the status of Irish
greatly enhanced. When they report back to the Council of
Europe, they're certain to politely rap the Brits over the
knuckles for their minimalist approach to the promotion of
the Irish language. In response, expect another piece of
legislation in some dusty back office to be translated into
Erse so that another box can be ticked by some bureaucrat.
There might even be a bit of cynical showboating: when the
experts on their last visit called for an Irish language
radio station, the British responded by authorising a
community radio licence for Belfast — but providing not one
cent to fund it.

"Resolute action", however, will only come with the
introduction of an Irish Language Act similar to that
driven through the Dáil by Éamon Ó Cuív and backed by all
parties. The experts all hail from countries where minority
or lesser-used languages are protected by law. That's what
works. That's what's needed in the North.


Opin: A Taoiseach Who's Incapable Of Action

Damien Kiberd

Consider this: you are presiding over the most successful
economy in Europe – where paid employment has grown by
96,000 or about five per cent in the year to August last –
where the economy is growing by about six per cent per year
and where consumer spending is rampant.

Yet you open the Sunday newspapers and you discover that –
as one famous Fianna Fáil man put it: "No good turn ever
goes unpunished." Eaten bread is soon forgotten. Your
political ratings are somewhere between 30 per cent and 34
per cent. You are only fractionally ahead of the beat up
Fine Gael party which has three Dáil Deputies in the
Greater Dublin area. And your name is Bertie Ahern.

Why is this the case? Well it's partly because of the
quality of leadership on offer from Fianna Fáil. The party
has been in power for 16 of the past 18 years: with the
exception of the period from 1994 to 1996 – when elements
within the Labour party contrived to remove Albert Reynolds
from power for whatever reason – Fianna Fáil has dominated
the Dublin government since 1987. People realise that this
is too long and they may yearn for change, regardless of
how bad the opposition is.

Bertie Ahern cuts an increasingly unconvincing figure as
state leader. He claims, for example, that he is absolutely
powerless in relation to the case of the Rossport Five.
These are the five Mayo men who spent the bulk of the
summer in jail because they were concerned about the safety
of a gas pipeline being built in close proximity to their

They refused to bend the knee to the president of the High
Court Joseph Finnegan – a man who – before he became a
judge- had represented as a lawyer the former energy
minister Ray Burke.

Now the reason why our sovereign taoiseach has no power
whatever in relation to the Shell corporation and the
hugely valuable Corrib gasfield (worth anything north of €8
billion; £5.4 billion) is because he and his political
chums – former jailbird Ray Burke and Galway Dáil deputy
Frank Fahey – signed away Ireland's rights to its own
natural resources. Ahern effectively gave carte blanche to
Shell to do what it wanted in relation to planning matters.

What are called Statutory Instruments effectively give one
of the world's richest corporations – Shell – the right to
dictate their own planning arrangements in Mayo. The people
of Rossport do not stand a chance.

The courts are merely interpreting correctly the legal
decisions taken by Burke, Fahey and Ahern. The people of
Ireland have no legal rights. The country has no
entitlement to its own natural resources. Why is this so?

Why can Norwegians get some return from Norwegian or even
Irish oil and gas, while Irish people get nothing from the
oil and gas in their territorial seas?

Are we uniquely incapacitated as a people?

Or is it simply that we are governed by the Fianna Fáil

The bizarre irony of the situation in relation to the
Corrib Gas is that the Norwegian state will gain a prince's
ransom from the gas that is taken from the Mayo coastline.
A state-owned Norwegian company called Statoil will make a
fortune from this gas – none of which will be used to fuel
either homes or businesses in Co Mayo – and the Irish
exchequer will get nothing. This is entirely down to the
actions of Burke, Fahey and Ahern. A number of
distinguished people have tried to intervene on behalf of
the Rossport Five with Ahern: he simply washes his hands in
public, claiming that he is incapable of action.

He is our sovereign leader, our taoiseach, but he is not
capable of action. He can do nothing for these men. He may
feel sympathy for them, but they could rot in jail forever
as far as he is concerned. The concept of national
sovereignty does not appear to matter one whit to the man
who now presides over "Fianna Fáil – the Republican Party".

A similar situation prevails in relation to the case of
Irish Ferries.

Here Ahern claims that he is also incapable of action. He
pleads inability to deal with the complexities of the law
of the sea. Apparently it is entirely possible for Irish
Ferries to "re-flag" their ships in some place like the
Gulf of Mexico, sack the entire staff and replace them with
people from eastern Europe who will be paid a sum for a
week's work that is just about enough to buy a meal for two
people in a Dublin restaurant. The equivalent of about half
of the minimum legal wage in the Free State. Again Ahern is
absolutely incapable of action. He cannot prevent the board
of Irish Ferries from taking its intended course.

Ahern does not want to know when he is asked about this
issue. He is not in charge. Absent without leave, you might
say, as they say in the parlance of seafarers.

Now Ahern used to be the Minister for Labour. He is well
aware of how the series of national wage deals which have
been agreed since 1987 have paved the way for massive
economic growth in the economy of the southern state.

Yet he does not appear to realise that all of this progress
is being placed in jeopardy because of his inaction in the
face of employers who would make William Martin Murphy
blush to the roots. The Bank of Ireland – apparently –
wants to prevent one of its senior executives from
continuing to serve on the board of Irish Ferries. Ask
yourself why this is so.

The bank has benefited hugely from the national pay deals.

It has not been asked to provide a special pay increase to
any of its workers in 15 years.

Its profits have escalated to astronomical levels.

Why would it want to rock the boat (forgive the expression)
in order to bolster the already strong profits of a ferry
operator that has simply lost the run of itself.

The Irish Continental Group will make a profit north of €20
million (£13.5 million) in the current year but apparently
feels obliged to cannibalise the careers of hundreds of
workers on the basis that "it might go bust in 2007".

If I was a senior executive of the Irish Congress of Trade
Unions or even of the Irish Bank Officials Association I
would be giving very active consideration to "bunging in" a
40 per cent wage claim on behalf of bank workers at Bank of
Ireland and AIB.

A senior figure in the management of Bank of Ireland is
also a director of Irish Ferries and, in a bizarre parallel
with the great lockout of 1913, there are the most
comprehensive links between the boards of Irish Ferries and
Independent News and Media.

Bank workers have contributed to the success of the
financial system to such an extent in the period since 1987
that both the major banking groups are together making
three billion euro per year in profits.

If Irish Ferries' boss Eamon Rothwell feels he is impelled
to destroy 500 normal jobs in order to replace them with
people paid €120 (£81) per week in order to protect his
family's income, then surely the workers in the banks might
feel that they owe it to their families to do a bit of
"catching up" in wage terms. What's sauce for the goose, as
they say, is sauce for the gander.

The Masters of Dublin cannot have it both ways. Either they
want an economy built on partnership or they do not.

Damien Kiberd is a writer and broadcaster. A presenter for
NewsTalk 106 in Dublin, he was previously editor of The
Sunday Business Post.


Coroner Calls For Signs At Kerry Beauty Spot After Drowning

Anne Lucey in Killarney

A coroner yesterday urged the State agency in charge of
the Killarney lakes to erect warning signs near a beauty
spot after a young man who dived in "for the fun" drowned
there in August.

Kieran Cahillane, Pinewood Estate, Killarney, Co Kerry, a
promising soccer and GAA player, was two weeks short of his
20th birthday when he drowned after diving with friends
into the Long Range River from a rock 30ft above early on
August 7th, the inquest into his death heard yesterday.

Mr Cahillane had been at a 21st birthday party at Ross
Road, Killarney, with four friends. They had left on foot,
and had met up with two others in a car. The seven decided
to go towards the Moll's Gap area for a swim. They got to
the spot at the Five Mile Bridge at around 5.45am.

Billy O'Leary, Ardshanavooley, the first of six friends to
give evidence, said Paudie O'Connor, Ballycasheen and the
driver of the car, were the first to dive off the rock. He
himself dived next.

"When I entered the water it was freezing. I would have
been at least seven to eight foot underwater. My feet never
touched the bottom of the lake. Visibility was very poor;
it was nearly pitch dark."

Mr Cahillane jumped next from the rock feet first. When he
entered the lake, he resurfaced around 8ft away from where
they were swimming. He was struggling. Mr O'Leary and Mr
O'Connor swam to save him. Mr Cahillane was pulling Mr
O'Connor with him. "Paudie had to let go for his own
safety," Mr O'Leary said.

One of the party, Michael O'Grady, Woodlawn Park,
Killarney, said Mr Cahillane "just wanted to jump into the
lake for the fun of it".

Evidence was given that Mr Cahillane could not swim.

"We all told him not to jump. Everyone was having the
craic," said Kenneth Clifford, of Groin, Aghadoe. Several
of the party dived in but could not locate Mr Cahillane.

Killarney Water Rescue recovered the body at 8.15am.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster found the
cause of death was acute cardio-respiratory failure due to

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

Coroner Terence Casey said it was not the first drowning
near the same spot. "I would ask Duchas [the national parks
and wildlife service] to erect a relevant sign at this
location . . . It's extremely dangerous."

© The Irish Times


TCD Not Sending Book Of Kells On Tour Again

Ruadhán Mac Cormaic

Authorities at Trinity College Dublin have turned down a
request from a Tokyo gallery to borrow the Book of Kells,
and have put in place a policy that the artefact will not
be lent for exhibition in future, The Irish Times has

The last time the Book of Kells travelled abroad was in
2000, when a volume was sent to Australia for exhibition at
the national gallery in Canberra. On that occasion, the
volume suffered pigment damage while in transit.

The college librarian, Robin Adams, yesterday described the
request from Tokyo in October as "fairly generic", and said
he did not foresee the book ever travelling again.

The college said it did not disclose details on requests to
borrow for security reasons.

Mr Adams said as a routine the college did consider any
request for loans of any important manuscripts, but he
added that the policy on the Book of Kells was that "it
would not be lent".

Asked if this decision on the Book of Kells was taken due
to the controversy over the Australian trip, Mr Adams said:
"It is unique, it is iconic, and it's difficult to see what
circumstances would justify its loan."

He added: "Irrespective of any other considerations, it is
a major exercise. Other institutions are set up for that
kind of arrangement, but we're not. We would lend fewer
items for exhibitions.

"The loan to Australia was a very big event, it took up a
lot of our time to make it happen. Our primary focus is on
other areas. We don't borrow regularly from other
institutions because our exhibition policy is very much
focused on our own holdings rather than any other
collections from other institutions."

The decision to send a gospel of the Book of Kells to
Australia in 2000 was taken against the view of then arts
minister Síle de Valera and the non-statutory Council of
Cultural Institutions, whose advice had been sought and
which unanimously advised against the proposal.

When it was revealed that the manuscript had suffered
pigment damage, the college described it as "a change in

A subsequent application to TCD from Kells Urban District
Council seeking a volume of the book for exhibition was

The Book of Kells had only travelled abroad on three
occasions in the twentieth century.

The last trip was a tour of European cities in the early

© The Irish Times

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