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December 13, 2005

Loyalist Threat to 'Daily Ireland' Chief

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News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 12/13/05 Loyalist Threat To Daily Ireland Chief
BT 12/13/05 Eamon Dornan: Crackdown On Illegal Immigrants
II 12/13/05 Brits Face Consequences Of UK/US Treaty
SF 12/13/05 IMC Exemption From Freedom Of Information Act
NH 12/13/05 SF To Protest 'Brutal Treatment' By Police
UT 12/13/05 Finucane’s Seeks Church Help Over Inquiry
UT 12/13/05 Wright Inquiry 'Delayed'
BT 12/13/05 New Rules Tested At Wright Inquiry
BT 12/13/05 SDLP Calls For United Ireland Team
BT 12/13/05 Ireland Complicit In US War Crimes
BT 12/13/05 Anger As Ex-SAS Cleared Of Murdering Disabled
BT 12/13/05 Parties Keep Heat On Hain For Answers
BB 12/13/05 IRA 'Is Not Involved With Crime'
RT 12/13/05 Flood Backs Connolly In Controversy
IE 12/13/05 NUJ Attacks Minister's Behaviour
II 12/13/05 Passport Bid Was A False, Bogus Fraud On State
II 12/13/05 Opposition Claims Abuse Of Power As Row Deepens
BT 12/13/05 Suspended PSNI Worker 'On Premises'
BB 12/13/05 SF Petition Over Education Cuts
BT 12/13/05 Opin: Time Fading For Parties To Cut Deal
SS 12/13/05 Ireland Set For Gridiron


'Fresh Loyalist Threat' To Newspaper Chief

The publisher of a daily newspaper based in Belfast was
today seeking a meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Dermot
Ahern after being warned that loyalist paramilitaries have
placed him on a hit list again.

By:Press Association

Mairtin O Muilleoir, who earlier this year launched the
Daily Ireland newspaper, revealed he was visited by the
Police Service of Northern Ireland and told that
information relating to his newspaper group had been found
during raids on loyalist addresses.

He said: "This is the sixth time in recent years that I`ve
been warned that I am on a loyalist hit list.

"However, I do not know what loyalist organisation is
behind the latest threat nor do I know whether this
information specially came from a document stolen from
Castlereagh security complex."

In recent weeks, hundred of republicans, including Sinn
Fein leader Gerry Adams, have been informed that their
personal details were in the hands of loyalists.

The security scare was sparked by the discovery of
documents in loyalist homes relating to the missing
Castlereagh document.

Mr O Muilleoir, a former Sinn Fein councillor in Belfast,
said: "All I do know is that this latest threat relates to
a search of houses three weeks ago and that it could be
related to Castlereagh.

"Last year, a bullet was sent to the Anderstown`s News
Group and as I have said there have been six threats in
that time.

"However, no-one has been made amenable to the courts and
there has been no assistance given by the Northern Ireland
Office with personal or business security measures.

"Maybe Dermot Ahern could be of assistance in helping us to
secure assistance from the British government for security

Mr O Muilleoir contrasted the NIO`s treatment of his
newspaper group when it came under threat from loyalists
with the assistance given to prison officers who were
reported to have been under threat from the IRA in the wake
of the 2002 Stormont spy ring security scare.

"When prison officers were allegedly under threat after
Stormontgate, hundreds were assisted to move home at
enormous cost," he said.

"Despite repeated threats to the Anderstown`s News Group,
the NIO has refused to spend even a brass farthing to help
provide enhanced security at our offices.

"I will be asking the Irish government to make the British
do more to defend freedom of speech and the right to
publish from paramilitary threat."

The Daily Ireland publisher also said he was interested to
hear what Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell, a fierce
critic of the newspaper, had to say about the latest
loyalist threat to the Anderstown News Group.


US In Major Crackdown On Illegal Immigrants

By Sean O'Driscoll
13 December 2005

A Belfast-born immigration lawyer has warned that anyone
helping illegal immigrants in the US could be jailed under
a bill approved by the House of Representatives Judiciary
Committee last week.

At a meeting to launch a new group, the Irish Lobby for
Immigration Reform (ILIR), Belfast lawyer Eamonn Dornan
warned that helping illegal immigrants could become a
federal offence.

The bill, introduced by the judiciary committee chairman,
James Sensenbrenner, would require employers to verify the
Social Security numbers of their employees and impose heavy
fines for anyone who refuses to comply.

Mr Dornan warned the bill would ensure a crackdown on
restaurant and construction companies hiring Irish

His claim was backed by Senator Ted Kennedy's immigration
spokeswoman Esther Olavarria, who described the
Sensenbrenner bill as a "horrible, horrible" piece of
legislation that could cause very serious problems for

Campaigners packed into a New York meeting room for the
first meeting of the ILIR group, which calls for legal
status for more than 25,000 illegal Irish immigrants living
in the US.

The group is to lobby members of congress to pass the
McCain Kennedy immigration bill, which would allow illegal
immigrants to eventually obtain citizenship.

The organisation was launched by Ms Olavarria; immigration
expert and former congressman Bruce Morrison, Antrim man
Father Colm Campbell from the New York Irish Center and
Niall O'Dowd, the editor of the Irish Voice newspaper.

Ms Olavarria said that immigrants needed to lobby for the
McCain Kennedy bill, which would allow illegal immigrants
to apply for six-year work permits before applying for
permanent citizenship.

She added that it was unlikely that President Bush would
give the McCain Kennedy bill his full backing but said that
it had the support of a wide range of US society.

ILIR's inaugural meeting attracted a larger than expected
crowd at the Affinia Hotel in mid-Manhattan, with all the
seats taken and Irish immigrants lining the walls of the
meeting room.

Many of them wanted to know how long it would take before
the McCain Kennedy bill went to a full vote in Congress.


British Executives Face The Unintended Consequences Of UK's Extradition Act

By Julia Kollewe
Published: 13 December 2005

The UK's Extradition Act of January 2004 was designed to
speed up the extradition of suspected terrorists, but has
had the unwelcome effect of making the US a scarier place
to do business for UK executives.

Several British businessmen have already fallen foul of the
legislation, which is expected to lead to a flood of
extraditions to the US.

Ian Norris, the former chief executive of Morgan Crucible,
and three former NatWest bankers are currently vigorously
fighting their extradition to the United States in separate
cases. Nigel Potter, the former chief executive of gambling
group Wembley, has recently been sentenced to three years
in a US federal jail for conspiring to bribe a US official.

Under the extradition laws, US authorities are not required
to present a prima facie case, meaning that it takes very
little for them to make an extradition request, while UK
authorities must do so when seeking extraditions from the
US, because the US never ratified the extradition treaty.

The legislation leaves UK executives vulnerable to a
crackdown on white-collar crime in the United States in the
wake of the Enron collapse.

One of the biggest victims so far is Mr Potter, who entered
the US voluntarily, before the Extradition Act came into
force, because he wanted to clear his name and after advice
from his lawyers that he would otherwise be seen as hostile
to the US justice system.

Following his conviction and sentencing, the 59-year-old,
who is married with two children, has been denied bail
pending appeal and is now held at Allenwood, a federal
prison in Pennsylvania.

His lawyers have lodged an appeal. Mr Potter is faced with
the tough choice of sitting out the appeal process, which
could take between six and nine months, in his US jail or
forgoing his appeal and instead applying to serve his
sentence in the UK, closer to his family and friends.

Alistair Graham, a commercial litigation partner at the law
firm White & Case, said: "Nigel Potter's plight illustrates
the extraordinarily heightened risk at which UK executives
have been placed by the new US/UK extradition regime."

He added: "Contesting any request automatically means the
defendant is classified as a fugitive from justice, leading
to harsher treatment in the US judicial system if
extradition occurs. But co-operating with the US
authorities places UK executives at the mercy of an
extremely harsh judicial climate. It's an extremely
unbalanced situation and one that any UK government, if
serious about ensuring fair treatment for its business
community, should be looking to remedy as soon as

Mr Graham acts on behalf of Mr Norris, who is fighting his
extradition to the US on price-fixing charges, with a
hearing due in early January.

He has also applied for a judicial review of the Home
Secretary's decision to give the US the benefits of the new
speeded-up extradition procedure even though the US refuses
to reciprocate.

Business friends of Mr Potter have launched a campaign on
his behalf, arguing that his case is a travesty of justice.
They have written to Tony Blair, Jack Straw, the foreign
secretary, and Sir David Manning, the British ambassador in
Washington, to ask them to intervene in the case.

A website is also being set up where people can register
their support for Mr Potter, which will go live in the next
couple of days (

Among Mr Potter's friends is Roger Matthews, a former
finance director of J Sainsbury and Compass Group and now
the chairman of Land of Leather and Sainsbury Bank.

He said yesterday: "It's a gross injustice. Nigel was so
convinced he was innocent that he decided to go to the US
and didn't even fight extradition." He added: "It is very
concerning for businessmen doing business in the US that
there's a sentiment against white-collar workers in the US
which is making it very difficult for them to get a fair

Other supporters include Sir Francis Mackay, the chairman
of Compass and Kingfisher, Mary Francis, the former
director general of the Association of British Insurers,
Michael Peters, the chairman of Identica, Paul Baines, the
managing director of Hawkpoint and Maureen Smith, head of
the public relations company, The Communications Group.

The General Counsel 100 Group, which represents company
secretaries and legal directors from FTSE 100 businesses,
is also lobbying on Mr Potter's behalf. His local
Conservative MP, Adam Afriyie, has asked written questions
in the House of Commons about his case, and why the UK-US
extradition arrangements are not reciprocal. Answers are
due by 15 December.

The US judge's recommendation that Mr Potter, who has also
been fined $75,000, go to an open-style 'camp' prison was
overruled by the Federal Prison Service because he is
considered an 'alien.' Instead he was sent to a full prison
at Allenwood, while his co-defendant, a US citizen, is in
an open-style prison.

The details of Mr Potter's imprisonment make grim reading
for other UK executives faced with extradition. When Mr
Potter went into jail on 25 November, he was put in
'lockdown' (solitary confinement) for ten days, longer than
is usual, meaning he could not communicate with the outside
world and initially did not even have anything to read or
write with.

His family and lawyers cannot phone him, and did not hear
from him for 14 days until he was allowed to make telephone
calls. His wife, who plans to visit him in January for the
first time, says he also had to fight to keep his wedding
ring. Mr Potter's lawyer, Leonard O'Brien of Mac Fadyen
Gescheidt & O'Brien, is based in Rhode Island, where the
trial was originally brought, five hours' travelling time
from his jail.

The case against Mr Potter stemmed from allegations that he
and Dan Bucci, the former head of Wembley's Lincoln Park
gambling emporium in Rhode Island, tried to bribe John
Harwood, a former Rhode Island House Speaker, through his
law firm to get approval to install more gaming machines at
Lincoln Park.

The defence argued that the proposed payments were never
made and that they would have been legitimate because they
were destined for Mr Harwood's partner in the law firm who
had done legal work for Lincoln Park. The judge ruled that
Mr Bucci was the instigator of the offences.

Meanwhile, a decision from the High Court in London on the
extradition of the NatWest three - Gary Mulgrew, David
Bermingham and Giles Darby - on Enron-related fraud charges
is expected by 21 December. The High Court will also rule
at the same time on whether the Serious Fraud Office should
have investigated the charges in the UK. The case could
then go to the House of Lords and after that to the
European Court of Human Rights.

There is increasing awareness of the implications of the
new extradition regime, with Lord Hodgson prompting a
debate in the House of Lords this summer and the shadow
attorney-general pushing for a debate in the Commons. The
US extradition expert Douglas McNabb, who has testified on
behalf of the NatWest three, has opened an office in the
City in anticipation of a flood of extraditions.

Mr Matthews said: "This is going to be a big issue. The
government has very little control over who gets
extradited. We want to ensure that British businessmen are
made aware of this." His wife, an accountant, added: "Every
other European country will protect its citizens. The UK
government doesn't, as far as Americans are concerned."


Imc Exemption From Freedom Of Information Act

Published: 13 December, 2005

Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh Conor Murphy today said
that the news that the IMC is exempt from the provisions of
the Freedom of Information Act adds further evidence to the
belief that this organisation is operating in the shadows
afraid of the glare of public attention.

Mr Murphy said:

"Since its inception the IMC has operated as little more
than a tool of the British securocrats. Its purpose is to
provide political cover for those hostile to the peace
process and hostile to the involvement of Sinn Féin in it.

"Given the fact that the IMC is in the main made up of and
reliant upon spooks and spies it will come as no surprise
that they have been exempted from the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act. This fact will add further
evidence to the widely held belief that this organisation
is operating in the shadows afraid of the glare of public

"Sinn Féin will continue to resist attacks on the political
process, our party and our electorate by this unelected and
unaccountable quango. Unlike those who back this grouping
Sinn Féin will continue to stand by the Good Friday
Agreement and defend it in the face of securocrat attacks."


SF To Protest 'Brutal Treatment' By Police

(Margaret Canning, Irish News)

Sinn Féin is to hold a protest outside Castlederg police
station on Friday over what it claimed was "overtly
sectarian and brutal treatment of the local nationalist
community" by police.

The party's MP for West Tyrone, Pat Doherty, has accused
police of helping the Apprentice Boys to flout a Parades
Commission ruling, when police allowed a feeder parade from
Saturday's Lundy Parade in Derry onto Lurganbuoy Road in

Three men were charged with disorderly behaviour after
clashes between nationalist residents and police at
Castlefin Park. Three policemen were also hurt.

As the marchers reached the police lines on Saturday, they
produced a letter from the commission and were permitted by
police to go onto part of the road.

But a spokesman for the Parades Commission said the letter
had no legal weight and that the official notification said
the march could not go onto Lurganbuoy Road.

But Mr Doherty dismissed the decision of the police as
"business as usual" in Castlederg.

"The more things change, the more things stay the same in
Castlederg. Never-ending displays of loyalist and unionist
triumphalism in this majority nationalist town are
accompanied by habitual acts of PSNI aggression" Mr Doherty

A police spokesman said the force was "even handed" when
dealing with incidents in Castlederg.

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist assembly member, Derek Hussey
has denied claims that marchers paraded in a nationalist

He said: "Once again we witness the republican propaganda
machine trying to shift blame from their own who undertook
the assault on police."

December 13, 2005
This article appeared first in the December 7, 2005 edition
of the Irish News.


Murdered Lawyer's Widow Seeks Church Help Over Inquiry

Murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane's family will meet
Church of Ireland leader Robin Eames today in their
campaign to strengthen the powers of an inquiry into his

By:Press Association

The lawyer`s widow, Geraldine, is expected to hold talks
with Archbishop Eames in Armagh.

It comes amid the threat of a legal challenge against the
British government`s decision to convert the terms of an
inquiry into another controversial killing in Northern

As a new public session into the jailhouse shooting of
loyalist terror chief Billy Wright was to be heard in
Belfast, sources close to his father David said he was
preparing to contest a move to have it heard under the new
Inquiries Act rather than the Northern Ireland Prisons`

"David has concerns that this will switch the power from
the judge to the Secretary of State," a source claimed.

"Evidence can be heard in private and even the final report

Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory recommended separate
tribunals into the murder of Mr Finucane by the Ulster
Freedom Fighters at his north Belfast home in 1989 and the
killing of Wright, leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force
inside the top security Maze Prison after finding possible
evidence of collusion.

He also found enough to concern him in two other murders,
Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson and Portadown Catholic man
Robert Hamill to warrant similar probes.

But it is this new Inquiries Act which has also alarmed the
Finucane family, Judge Cory, human rights organisations and
nationalist political representatives.

They have criticised the Government`s decision to set up a
tribunal into Mr Finucane`s shooting under these terms,
claiming it will restrict information.

Ministers will have the power to determine what is heard in
public and what information can be given to the hearings,
they say.

The Finucane family who have already met political leaders
on both sides of the Irish border as well as the US Consul
in Belfast, Dean Pittman, held talks with the Ulster
Unionist leader, Sir Reg Empey in Belfast yesterday.

They are also to press for a meeting with the Rev Ian
Paisley`s Democratic Unionists as part of their strategy to
discuss the case with as wider range of opinion as


Wright Inquiry 'Delayed'

The start of a public inquiry into the murder of loyalist
paramilitary chief Billy Wright inside the Maze Prison has
been delayed because of difficulties in obtaining
documentary evidence from Government departments, it was
revealed today.

By:Press Association

Inquiry chairman Lord MacLean told a preliminary hearing he
and his fellow members were "concerned at the slow response
of a number of Government departments to our requests."

He told the hearing in Belfast it was now anticipated the
public sessions would begin next September and continue
well into 2007 - rather than start as had been proposed
next spring.

Lord MacLean said: "I will not, at this stage, give
specific examples of the extent of co-operation which the
Inquiry Team has or has not received from the parties we
are charged with investigating, namely `the Prison
Authorities or other State Agencies`."

But he added: "I will assure everyone, however, that
comment will be made in due course in the Report of the
Inquiry on some of the difficulties we have encountered in
the process of identification, collation and production of
evidence that may be relevant to our work."

He said it may be necessary to hold a third preliminary
hearing to examine specifically the question of the
identification and recovery of relevant documentation.

The Scottish Law Lord said it had also taken " a
significant period of time"- for Northern Ireland Secretary
Peter Hain to respond to his request for the inquiry to be
converted to be held under the Inquiries Act 2005 rather
than the Prisons Act under which it had been set up.

Controversy has surrounded the Inquiry`s Act and opponents
have claimed it can be used by the government to withhold
evidence, or even suppress the final report.

The inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat
Finucane is due to be held under the new legislation.

Billy Wright`s father, David, did not attend the
preliminary hearing and associates said his lawyers had
written to the panel yesterday informing them of his
intention to seek a judicial review in the Northern Ireland
High Court of the decision to hold the inquiry under the
Inquirys Act.

Lord MacLean said today he had requested the conversion of
his inquiry because he did not consider its powers under
the Prisons Act were sufficiently wide .

In explanation he added: "Where there has been the death of
someone in the custody of the State, any inquiry set up to
investigate that death must seek to ensure, so far as
possible, that it beings the full known facts into the
public light.

"In persuing that objective , it is important to recognise
that there is a responsibility and an onus on those State
Agencies concerned to provide a satisfactory and convincing
explanation on how the death occurred."

He said it was of paramount importance that all of those
who had, or ought to have, relevant material "should co-
operate willingly and to the fullest extent possible with
the inquiry team."


New Rules Tested At Wright Inquiry

First time laws on secrecy in operation

By Chris Thornton
13 December 2005

Controversial new secrecy rules for public inquiries faced
their first test today when a hearing into the murder of
LVF leader Billy Wright reopened in Belfast.

Wright's father, David, has threatened to withdraw from the
inquiry because today's hearing marked the first time the
Inquiries Act has been employed. He may also mount a legal

The new rules - which allow the Government to determine
what evidence stays secret - have also raised objections
from the family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane.

Mr Finucane's family were due to meet Archbishop Robin
Eames today as they discuss their concerns about the law
with unionist and Protestant leaders. They met UUP leader
Sir Reg Empey yesterday and hope to meet the DUP later.

The family has mounted a global campaign to discourage
judges from taking up the planned inquiry into the Finucane
murder while it remains under the Inquiries Act. So far
that campaign has been a success.

The Act, which was rushed through Parliament before the
general election earlier this year, allows the Government
to decide what evidence may or may not be heard in public
and what may be excluded from the inquiry's report.

Previously those decisions were at the discretion of the
inquiry's chairman.

A number of judges, including Bloody Sunday Inquiry chief
Lord Saville, have objected to the new law, along with the
Irish government and a number of human rights

The Wright and Finucane murders were among four collusion
cases that the former Canadian Supreme Court Justice Peter
Cory recommended for public inquiries.

Wright's case attracted suspicion because his INLA killers
were able to smuggle guns into the Maze Prison and avoid
security to carry out the murder.

In the 1989 Finucane murder, a police investigation has
established that collusion took place between his UDA
killers and the security forces.

The Government agreed to set up the inquiries recommended
by Justice Cory, but held back on establishing the Finucane
inquiry until the Inquiries Act could be passed.

The chairmen of the other two inquiries set up on Justice
Cory's recommendation - investigating the murders of Lurgan
solicitor Rosemary Nelson and Portadown man Robert Hamill -
have indicated that they will not seek to use the Inquiries


SDLP Calls For United Ireland Team

By Claire Regan
13 December 2005

The SDLP today fuelled a intense debate over the future of
playing God Save the Queen at Northern Ireland
internationals by calling for an all-Ireland football team.

East Londonderry assemblyman John Dallat added to a row
over the proposal to make Northern Ireland football more
inclusive by saying an all-island team "without the
trappings of division is the way forward".

The nationalist's controversial comments came as Unionist
quarters voiced strong opposition to the suggestion, made
in a report commissioned by the Irish Football Association,
to scrapping the British national anthem at international

The recommendation was made by Democratic Dialogue who
carried out a survey into the impact of the IFA's Football
for All campaign which was launched in 2000 after a number
of international games were marred by sectarian incidents.

Report author, Democratic Dialogue director Robin Wilson,
said consideration should be given to replacing the British
national anthem with a more neutral and "widely acceptable"

Mr Dallat described the move as "half a loaf".

"Times have moved on and a greater maturity exists in all
games now which is to be welcomed," he said.

"There is greater interaction between soccer, the GAA, and
rugby, and opportunities now exist to develop the positive
aspects of this.

"Soccer must move with the times, cease to be used on any
occasion to promote sectarianism or racism even by a few,
and become a leader in reconciliation. An all Ireland team
without the trappings of division is the way forward."

Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers, who is a member of the
Sports Council and a director of Glentoran FC, said he
believed banning the song would deter fans from attending

"I travel extensively to sporting fixtures and I respect
the national anthem wherever I am. I'm a strong believer of
'when in Rome, do as the Romans do'," said the Ulster

"To ban God Save the Queen would turn an awful lot of
people off."

Strangford DUP MP Iris Robinson said the suggestion was
"disrespectful and out of touch with the opinion of an
overwhelming majority of fans".


Ireland Complicit In US War Crimes, Says Campaigning Mum

By Fionnan Sheahan
13 December 2005

The mother of a US soldier, who was killed in Iraq, is
taking her anti-war campaign from George W Bush's ranch in
Texas to Government Buildings in Dublin today.

But Cindy Sheehan won't have to pitch her celebrated tent
to get a meeting.

She will voice her objections to Shannon Airport being used
by the US military for refueling at a meeting with Foreign
Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern.

She claimed that allowing US planes to refuel in Shannon
makes the Government "complicit in the crimes" being
committed in Iraq.

"Your Government, even though they didn't send troops to
Iraq, are complicit in the crimes by allowing the planes to
land and refuel," she said.

Ms Sheehan sprang to international fame earlier this year
after pitching her tent at President Bush's ranch as she
demanded a meeting over the war.

After her 24-year-old son was killed in Baghdad last year,
just five days after arriving in Iraq, Ms Sheehan founded
Gold Star Families for Peace.

What began as a solitary campaign to force a meeting with
President Bush became a large scale campaign.

In Ireland to call for US troops to be taken out of Iraq Ms
Sheehan requested a meeting with the Taoiseach to demand an
end to the Irish assistance to the US military at Shannon.

Mr Ahern is meeting with Ms Sheehan in private but the
Taoiseach didn't have a gap in his schedule.

The Irish Anti-War Movement wrote to the Taoiseach and Mr
Ahern on Ms Sheehan's behalf.

"Cindy is now a key figure head for the US anti-war
movement and has played a major part in turning US public
opinion, where a majority of Americans now believe the US
should set firm timetable for withdrawal of troops from
Iraq," an Irish Anti-War Movement spokesman said.


Wife's Anger As Ex-SAS Soldier Is Cleared Of Murdering Disabled Son

By Matthew Beard
13 December 2005

A former SAS soldier who admitted killing his terminally
ill son because of the trauma of working in Baghdad has
been cleared of murder.

Andrew Wragg, 38, said he suffocated 10-year-old Jacob, as
a mercy killing but denied murder. He said he wanted to
spare the severely handicapped boy any further suffering
from the rare genetic disorder Hunter syndrome, which
condemns its victims to a vegetative state.

Wragg was yesterday given a two-year suspended jail term
after a jury at Lewes Crown Court found him not guilty of
murder but guilty of manslaughter. An earlier jury had been
unable to reach a verdict.

The jury heard from defence psychiatrists that Wragg had
been suffering from a temporary abnormality brought on by
the stresses of his job as a private security guard in
Iraq, problems with his marriage and the condition of his
son. Consultant forensic scientist Dr Nicholas Wright said
Wragg had clearly been shell-shocked on his return from
Iraq and started to drink heavily to deal with the stress.

Wragg was three-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit
when he killed Jacob. He had ordered his wife, Mary, to
leave their home in Worthing, West Sussex, and take their
other son, George, to her mother's for the night. In moving
testimony he told how he went to Jacob, who was asleep in
bed, stroked his hair and "tried to explain" before killing
him and dialling 999. When his wife returned, he said, she
asked: "You didn't hurt him?" and then poured both of them
a glass of wine and drank a toast to Jacob.

Mrs Wragg, who is now divorced, gave evidence over three
days, clutching pictures of Jacob and claiming that her ex-
husband was a drunken, womanising father who could not cope
with looking after a severely handicapped child.

The court heard that days before the killing, Wragg had
broken down as he watched the film Lorenzo's Oil, about a
couple's struggle to cope with a disabled child. A few days
later, he said, he looked into the eyes of Jacob and sensed
his son wanted him to take action in what Dr Wright said
was a defining moment as Wragg verged on delusional.

In sentencing Wragg, Mrs Justice Anne Rafferty said she
intended to send a "resounding message" that Jacob's death
had not been a mercy killing but a "deed done by a man
suffering from diminished responsibility".

"Mitigating factors are your belief that what you did was
an act of mercy, that you reacted to stress you found
insupportable, and that you have, from the moment you
telephoned the police, admitted what you did," she told an
impassive Wragg.

"[The defence] told the jury that you took your son's life
as he stood at the gates of his last dreadful journey. No
words could better have caught the mixed tragedies with
which I have to grapple. For all the reasons I have set out
your case seems to me exceptional. That being so, I
consider that there is nothing to be gained by taking from
you your liberty."

The judge also rejected claims by Mrs Wragg that she was
unaware of her husband's plans and she had taken her other
son away in the expectation that she was to have a night of
intimacy with the defendant.

Judge Rafferty said to Wragg, of his former wife: "One
would have to be quite remarkably naive to accept that this
dedicated and experienced mother behaved in that way solely
so as to enjoy an evening of prolonged intimacy.

"I have no doubt she was complicit. Had I concluded
otherwise I should have formed a harsher view of you. I
accept that you would not have taken Jacob's life had you,
for a moment, thought that she disagreed with what you were
to do."

Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Wragg, who was wearing a
lock of hair on her jumper believed to be Jacob's, said she
was shocked by the sentence.

She said: "This case was never about Jacob's quality of
life. Jacob never judged his own life. He wasn't aware he
was different or less able in any way. It has been
extremely difficult to sit and listen as the dignity of my
little boy has been destroyed in an effort to reduce the
impact of his death.

"Jacob's condition has been used as an excuse for this
crime and I find it appalling that anyone would try and
portray him as being less deserving of his life or less
entitled to enjoy every precious moment his condition

Wragg's father, Bob, said: "We would now ask that we are at
last allowed to grieve for the loss of Jacob, who we all
loved dearly." Wragg declined to comment as he left court
before driving away with his new girlfriend.


Parties Keep Heat On Hain For Answers

By Noel McAdam
13 December 2005

Questions over the dropped Stormont "spy-ring" charges
refused to go away today despite the Government's bid to
draw a line under the controversy.

Secretary of State Peter Hain said he could see no reason
for a further statement on the so-called Stormontgate
affair and again insisted there had been no political
interference with the judicial process.

And Direct Rule Minister Shaun Woodward said the Public
Prosecution Service had made a "judgement call" and the
right thing to do was to support it.

DUP leader Ian Paisley, however, accused Mr Hain of
attempting to "muzzle" Parliament and pledged he would
wrest a further statement from the Government later this

"I shall be in Parliament this week and we will have a
statement from somebody," the North Antrim MP said.

His insistence came as the Ulster Unionist Assembly Group
called for the House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee
to investigate the police raid on Sinn Fein's Stormont
offices which lead to a massive follow-up operation, with
dozens of security forces and prison services personnel
moving their homes, at an estimated cost of £30m.

In a statement, the UU Assembly members said: "The handling
of this case goes right to the heart of the way the
Government conducts itself here. Democrats are being
threatened and cajoled; the legal system is being abused
and manipulated; police investigations are being dropped
for political reasons; and the public are being ignored and
patronised by Direct Rulers over bread and butter issues.

"Politics here is being turned on its head. The Secretary
of State directs policy - he is ultimately responsible. And
yet he stands in denial. Does he plead ignorance? Or is
there some other explanation?"

SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood accused Mr Hain of
"running away" and said he and Attorney General Lord
Goldsmith should be giving statements in Parliament.

"Nationalists will remember decisions not to prosecute
security force personnel in Shoot to Kill cases, in the so-
called public interest.

It wasn't in fact in the public interest then, and
nationalists will be asking what is in the public interest
now," he said.


IRA 'Is Not Involved With Crime'

The IRA is no longer involved in organised crime, Security
Minister Shaun Woodward has said.

In October, a report by the Independent Monitoring
Commission said signs that the IRA had ended its armed
campaign "were encouraging".

Mr Woodward said he understood there would be scepticism
but said the next IMC report in January would demonstrate
whether the IRA was true to its word.

The DUP's Ian Paisley Junior said the minister's comments
were "nonsense".

Mr Woodward said he would be looking to see what
conclusions the commission came to.

'Keeping word'

He said the IRA had indicated in their July statement that
they would be ending all criminality.

"We believe from the evidence we have seen, we believe from
the reports, and critically the reports from the
Independent Monitoring Commission, that the IRA is keeping
to its word.

"Now of course there will be another report in January and
we will be looking to see what that report says."

But Ian Paisley Junior said Mr Woodward's suggestions
demonstrated "a level of complacency that was not
acceptable in a security minister".

"Also, his comments suggest that the government is intent
on trying to fix the next IMC report that will focus on IRA
criminal activity," he said.


"The fact is no-one, not even the most optimistic peace
process cheerleader, will accept the statement that the
IRA's criminal activity in organised crime has overnight
been switched off."

In its last report the IMC said it was still too early to
draw firm conclusions that that IRA had ended all its

However, despite this the government said it would restore
Sinn Fein's assembly and Westminster allowances.

Sinn Fein assembly members and MPs had allowances suspended
after the IMC accused the IRA of involvement in the robbery
of £26.5m from the Northern Bank in Belfast, and other
paramilitary activity.

The IMC reports on the activity of all of Northern
Ireland's paramilitaries.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/12/13 12:40:19 GMT


Flood Backs Connolly In Controversy

13 December 2005 12:04

The chairman of the Centre for Public Inquiry has given his
support to its executive director, Frank Connolly.

In an interview on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Justice
Feargus Flood said that every citizen is entitled to a
presumption of innocence until proven otherwise in a court
of law.

His comments follow Minister for Justice Michael McDowell's
revelation yesterday that he had given documents to the
Irish Independent for their story alleging that Frank
Connolly had travelled to Colombia in 2001 on a false

Mr McDowell earlier alleged under privilege in the Dáil
that Mr Connolly had travelled to Colombia on a false
passport when he was a journalist in 2001.

Judge Flood says that he stands four square behind Frank
Connolly, saying he does so with any citizen until they
have gone through the due process of law.

He said all citizens are innocent until proven guilty, in
accordance with the rules of law, and said he would not
pass judgements on anybody until that was met.

He said the Minister for Justice cannot override the
constitution, which states that justice shall be
administered in courts, adding that the only person who can
decide whether a citizen is to be prosecuted is the DPP,
and no one else.

Judge Flood also cast some doubt over whether or not the
organisation can continue with its work, saying the centre
cannot operate without money. Last week, Atlantic
Philanthropies withdrew its funding.

Mr Flood said that current funds will run out by the end of
the year and the staff will have to be let go.


NUJ Attacks Minister's Behaviour

By Caroline O'Doherty

THE National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has accused Justice
Minister Michael McDowell of operating a separate system of
justice for himself in his campaign against journalist
Frank Connolly.

The minister was also warned that by effectively trying to
take on the role of the courts he was mirroring the
behaviour of a police state.

NUJ Irish secretary Seamus Dooley said Mr McDowell, a
lawyer by training, had behaved in a manner prejudicial to
Mr Connolly and in a way he would not have found acceptable
earlier in his career when he was representing defendants.

Earlier, Professor of Law at the University of Limerick,
Dermot Walsh said Mr McDowell should retract his statements
about Mr Connolly and apologise for the harm done to him.

"He [Mr McDowell] cites State security in defence of his
conduct against the journalist but more often than not
State security is a dust that an autocratic government
kicks up in order to shield itself against embarrassing
revelations about misconduct within its own ranks," Prof
Walsh told RTÉ.

"There is more than a whiff of that in this case given that
the target is a journalist with a reputation for
embarrassing revelations about corruption in Government."

Prof Walsh said there was something "deeply uncomfortable"
about Mr McDowell's insistence that the public accept
without question his allegations against Mr Connolly when
he had presented assertions instead of evidence.

"The central issue here is the extent to which a government
minister, a partisan politician, can effectively arrogate
to himself the whole power and authority of the courts and
the criminal justice system by making statements as if they
were fact, as if they were judicially proved, about
criminal conduct on the part of an individual... that's
what you get in a police state."

Mr Dooley, meanwhile, said: "Regardless of the alleged
wrongdoing, suspects have a right to due process. The logic
of stating that the Minister for Justice is allowed to make
assumptions on the basis of lesser evidence than the
Director of Public Prosecutions is one that I could not
claim to understand".

"The disturbing question that he [Mr McDowell] has to
answer is where does that logic begin and end? Can that
logic be applied to sex abuse cases, murder cases,

Mr Dooley also said there was a "profound irony" in Mr
McDowell leaking garda documents to allow the Irish
Independent publish a false passport application allegedly
submitted by Mr Connolly given the stiff sanctions he
introduced against gardaí who divulged information to the

He pointed out that Senator Maurice Hayes, a non-executive
director of Independent News & Media, had described as
"Stalinist" the idea that only the State should be free to
inquire into public affairs.


Passport Bid Was 'A False, Bogus Fraud' On The State

Michael McDowell: 'I stand by every single word I said and
it is the plain unvarnished truth as far as I'm concerned'

Justice Minister Michael McDowell has robustly defended his
decision to give the Irish Independent documents relating
to a "bogus" application for a passport allegedly made by
former journalist Frank Connolly

Michael McDowell told RTE's 'News at One' yesterday that he
was doing his job in defending the security of the State
and that the passport application form he made available to
the Irish Independent was not a confidential document but
one which was a "fraud on the Irish State".

The full text of the interview is as follows:

Sean O'Rourke: Ever since you put out that written Dail
reply last week about the Centre for Public Inquiry and its
executive director Frank Connolly, you've been taking some
criticism. What exactly was your justification?

Mr McDowell: Well, first of all I want to say that I
answered a question which was put to me by Deputy Finian
McGrath. And he asked me to comment on recent attempts, as
he put it, to undermine the CPI. This is the body for which
Mr Connolly was working as its chief executive.

I answered the question directly and I stand by every
single word I said and it is the plain unvarnished truth as
far as I'm concerned. I won't be browbeaten into silence by
people who are peddling what I regard as a complete
falsehood and that is: unless material is proven beyond all
reasonable doubt by admissible evidence in a court of law,
it can not be the subject matter of any comment by the
Minister for Justice. And that seems to be a constant theme
going through all of this, what I consider to be very
misguided and ill-informed criticism of me. My job is to
defend the security of the state.

SO'R: And is that what you were doing last week by making
these revelations about Frank Connolly?

MMcD: You will recall that I was being asked to deal with
the issue as to what I had done with the Centre for Public
Inquiry and to comment on what Deputy McGrath said were
efforts to undermine that body.

SO'R: But what he was really talking about, I suspect, is
the fact that the Irish Independent had been given, at
least, copies of the false passport applications.
Presumably that would have been a matter of concern for you
as Minister for Justice?

MMcD: No. First of all, it is not a concern of mine that
matter appeared in the Irish Independent because I supplied
it to the Irish Independent. SO'R: You actually provided
those documents to the Independent?

MMcD: Yes, I provided that document to the Independent,

SO'R: Was that not a document that should have been treated
as a confidential one - a citizen applying for a passport?

MMCD: No. Because it was a false, bogus application form
which was generated as part of a subversive activity.

SO'R: Why didn't you say at the time that you were giving
these documents to the Independent

MMcD: What do you mean, why didn't I say? The Irish
Independent sought from me and I gave to the Irish
Independent the document which was the subject matter of
the false application for a passport. And I just want to
make it very clear, under the Official Secrets Act, a
Minister of State is perfectly free, in appropriate
circumstances, in the public interest, to make official
information available to the media and I just want to make
it very, very clear as well that it was not a confidential
document. It was a bogus fraudulent document. Let's deal
with this, Sean. It was not a confidential document. It was
a document which was a fraud on the Irish State. And the
person named on it as the applicant for the passport never
made that application. A priest's signature was forged on
it purporting to be the signature of a priest in west
Belfast. The document was entirely bogus and it was
certainly not a confidential document.


SO'R: But we are talking about something here that was the
subject of a garda inquiry, that worked its way up the
system to the DPP. I'm surmising here. Correct me if I'm
wrong. And the DPP, in his wisdom, decided there really
wasn't sufficient grounds for a charge. And you as
minister, against that background, you see fit then to get
at Frank Connolly in another way.

MMcD: I'm not getting at anybody.

SO'R: But he's without €4m in funding.

MMcD: Hold on a second. The decision by Mr Feeney of
Atlantic Philanthrophies to withdraw funding is a decision
for Mr Feeney's charity and not for me.

SO'R: Are you saying you had nothing to do with it?

MMcD: I fully support it.

SO'R: And he did it based on pretty heavy briefing from
your good self.

MMcD: I'm sure he took into account what I said to him.

SO'R: Well, your office was saying last week that you told
him the full, unvarnished truth.

MMcD: That's right. And I insist on my right to do it. And
I don't know what your problem is with this, Sean.

SO'R: Could I put a question to you that was raised by
another analyst yesterday? In this case there is
uncertainty about at least whether anyone is going to be
charged with the murder of Rachel O'Reilly. You presumably
have info which is akin to what you had on Frank Connolly.
Do you want to tell us who murdered Rachel O'Reilly?

MMcD: Sorry, Sean, this is an absurd proposition that you
are putting to me.

SO'R: But you use the same logic.

MMcD: It is not the same logic. My purpose as Minister for
Justice is to defend the Irish State from subversion and I
intend to do that fearlessly and I'm not going to be
browbeaten by anybody.

SO'R: You're the last person anyone would expect to be

MMcD: But the point, Sean, that you're forgetting is that
it is not the case, it's not the law in Ireland, its not a
Constitution doctrine in Ireland. There is absolutely no
basis for the proposition that because material can not be
adduced in a court established by law for one reason or
another or because no prosecution is being brought, that
that material cannot be brought to the attention of the
Irish public.

SO'R: You can fillet the file to blacken the name of the
person who the DPP has decided not to charge - that's
really what you are talking about.

MMcD: Sorry, it's not about blackening anybody's name. I
stand by every word I said. It's not blackening somebody to
tell the truth as you see it. I heard the Frank Connolly
interview with you and I won't comment on the credibility
of that interview with you. But I say that I stand by every
word that I've spoken in public.

SO'R: Would you accept, Minister, though, that if it's the
case that Frank Connolly has not visited Colombia, then
that he has been gravely wronged?

MMcD: I'm not speculating on anything he said to you. I'm
saying what I said to you is certainly right. What I've
said to the public and to Dail Eireann is perfectly right
and I'm just saying that's the beginning, middle and end of
it. I am not going to be put into the position by anybody
that as Minister for Justice I cannot comment on actions
which I consider are subversive of state security.

SO'R: You're citing the protection of democracy as

MMcD: Yes.

SO'R: In what way was the Centre for Public Inquiry a
threat to democracy?

MMcD: I'm not suggesting that the Centre for Public Inquiry
is a threat to democracy. Those are your words. I'm saying
that Mr Connolly himself has some questions to answer and I
made that very, very clear in Dail Eireann, and no amount
of obfuscation by some commentators in the media will take
away from that fact.

The second point I will make to you is when, for instance,
I said the Provisional IRA were organising large-scale
robberies in Dublin, the exactly same criticisms were
unleashed on me that I was unfairly attacking an


SO'R: You didn't name any names.

MMcD: I mentioned Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Martin
Ferris as members of the Army Council and exactly the same
argument was made again in relation to that, that this was
something which should be dealt with in the courts or not
mentioned at all. This is the supine, pusillanimous
approach taken to the State's security that has got us into
difficulties we've encountered in the past.

SO'R: What other files have you given to the Independent?

MMcD: Sorry, I didn't give any files to the Independent.

SoR: Documents.

McMcD: I supplied to the Irish Independent the bogus
application form and I did so because it is not a
confidential document and the people are entitled to know
that such a false application for an Irish passport was
made. Can I ask you this as a journalist: do you think it
is wrong that a minister would supply a bogus application

SO'R: I think the more information you get from ministers
the better. I'm all in favour of openness. I just think
this is highly unusual what you did.

MMcD: Then what's your problem, Sean?

SO'R: I suppose I don't have any particular problem. I just
simply have a few questions, I suppose, that I wanted to
ask you and I appreciate you coming on the programme.

MMcD: I'm being frank with you and I didn't have to
volunteer that I gave that document to the Independent. But
I'm being frank and truthful with you because I stand over
everything I do. I did that because on an RTE programme a
couple of days previously remarks had been made that there
was no truth whatsoever in these questions which were being
raised about Mr Connolly and his role.


Opposition Claims 'Abuse Of Power' As Row Deepens

Gene McKenna
Political Editor

AMID escalating controversy, Justice Minister Michael
McDowell said yesterday he stood over his claim that
journalist Frank Connolly had travelled to Colombia on a
false passport.

Mr McDowell had said in the Dail last week that Mr
Connolly, executive director of the Centre for Public
Inquiry, travelled to Colombia with a known subversive and
using a false passport.

The journalist strongly denied the allegation, claiming a
"witch hunt" by the minister.

Having come under increased fire yesterday, Mr McDowell hit
back strongly and insisted he had told "the plain
unvarnished truth".

He said he was not going to be "browbeaten" into silence by
people who were "peddling what I regard as a complete
falsehood - that unless material is proven beyond all
reasonable doubt by admissible evidence in a court of law,
it cannot be the subject matter of any comment by a justice

"My job is to defend the security of the State from
subversion and I intend to do that fearlessly," he said. "I
was being asked by Independent deputy Finian McGrath what I
had done with the Centre for Public Inquiry and to comment
on what he said were efforts to undermine that body."

Meanwhile, Government sources said last night that
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern would endorse the minister's
decision to show the forged passport applications to Chuck
Feeney, the financial backer of the Centre for Public
Inquiry, who withdrew funding to the group after the
controversy erupted last week.

Mr McDowell admitted yesterday he had "supplied" a document
which was a copy of a false passport application to the
Irish Independent, adding: "The people are entitled to know
about this. This was not a confidential document - it was a
false, bogus application form which was generated as part
of a subversive activity.

"The Irish Independent sought this from me and I gave to
them the document which was the subject of the false
application," said the minister, speaking on RTE radio's
'News at One'.

Mr McDowell was last night criticised for "leaking" the
document by Opposition parties, who accused him of "setting
a dangerous precedent" and of "abusing his powers".

But Tanaiste and Progressive Democrats party leader Mary
Harney sprang to Mr McDowell's defence, saying: "Nobody has
done more to defend democracy than Michael McDowell."

She said she did not accept the criticism that he had
abused the privilege of the Dail: "He would have been
abusing privilege if he had not given the information he
had at his disposal."

As justice minister, Mr McDowell had "a unique
responsibility" to ensure he protected the State. He was
asked a parliamentary question and answered it, she added.

But Finian McGrath claimed that the minister's comments
about Mr Connolly had "undermined" justice in Ireland and
that he should resign.

It was a call echoed by Sinn Fein's Aengus O Snodaigh.

"He knows he has crossed the line in relation to article 46
of the Constitution. The bottom line is he got it wrong -
he knows that," Mr McGrath said.

Fine Gael Justice spokesman Jim O'Keeffe said the admission
by the Justice Minister that he gave material from Garda
files to a newspaper to support a charge he made "raises
serious questions about his judgment".

"This issue has now gone beyond Mr Frank Connolly and the
Centre for Public Inquiry. However, Frank Connolly still
has serious questions to answer with regard to this whole
matter," Mr O'Keeffe added.

Labour's justice spokesman Joe Costello said what the
minister had done was "unprecedented and extremely

"He is straying into an area that no other minister has
ventured near before and it leaves him open to the charge
that he is behaving in a dictatorial manner rather than as
an impartial legislator."

Green Party justice spokesperson Ciaran Cuffe criticised
the releasing of the document to the Irish Independent as
"a dangerous use of ministerial power".


Suspended Psni Worker 'On Premises'

By David Gordon
13 December 2005

PSNI chiefs have been asked to look into a report that a
suspended staff member was spotted back at his work

Two civilian police employees are currently suspended,
pending the outcome of a Fraud Squad probe into the
cancellation of a contract for the supply of armour

DUP Policing Board member Sammy Wilson today said he had
received a report that one of the staff members suspended
had been in regular contact with colleagues and had also
been back at his workplace on one day.

Mr Wilson said he had raised the matter with a high-ranking
PSNI officer.

"Someone who is suspended should not be back at work," the
DUP politician said.

"I have received an assurance that this should not happen
and that it will be looked into."

The PSNI declined to comment when contacted by the Belfast

The investigation by Fraud Squad detectives was launched in
October, after a court case resulted in a £400,000 payout
by the PSNI to Belfast firm NI Sheet Metal Works.

The company had taken legal action against the police
service, after being stripped of a contract to supply
armour plating for PSNI vehicles.


SF Petition Over Education Cuts

A delegation from Sinn Fein is to hand a petition in to 10
Downing Street in protest at cuts to education services in
Northern Ireland.

The party has said the cuts range from a reduction in
teachers and classroom assistants to a lack of school

Sinn Fein education spokesman Michael Ferguson said the
cuts are having a severe impact on children.

"We have 12,000 signatures which is a token of the
frustration and anger felt right across our society," he

"In the last two years we have lost over 500 school staff.

"In the SEELB area alone we have lost over 78 school
crossings and school transport in other rural areas, where
it is most needed, has been eroded."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/12/13 07:44:29 GMT


Viewpoint: Time Fading For Parties To Cut Deal

13 December 2005

Peter Hain may have been stating the obvious, but his
warning that there will be no election to the Assembly
unless the parties have agreed to form an executive
effectively creates a deadline for a political deal. With
talks expected to begin in the New Year, there will be
little over a year to reach a conclusion before May 2007.

It might have been expected that the next Assembly election
would be due in November 2007, four years after the last,
but Mr Hain obviously wants to exert maximum pressure on
the parties. He has decided on the original election
timetable, although there was a six-month delay in 2003,
awaiting an IRA move on decommissioning.

As the Secretary of State says, there would be no point in
the "charade" of electing politicians to an Assembly in
2007 that did not exist - as happened last time. While MLAs
were doing constituency work, they were not carrying out
the legislative function for which they were elected.

When money is tight for a whole range of public services,
including health and education, there is no justification
for keeping Stormont and its many departments permanently
on ice, at a cost of more than £24m a year. Tony Blair has
issued similar warnings, without effect, but now the
politicians really know time is running out.

Finding an accommodation between the DUP and Sinn Fein will
be as hard as ever - even in view of the IRA's July
statement, its decommissioning and, presumably, another
favourable report from the International Monitoring

The deal that fell through last December is off the table,
now, and in future all four main parties will be
participating, capable of re-opening the most contentious
aspects of the Good Friday Agreement.

Clearly the government is hoping that as it embarks on
major decisions affecting the everyday life - and finances
- of Northern Ireland citizens, pressure will grow on the
politicians to cut a deal, so that they can put their own
stamp on future reforms. There may be no going back on such
issues as water charges, council reorganisation, academic
selection and legislation for on-the-runs, but any
executive worth its salt would be promoting its own ideas,
more sensitive to public opinion.

It would also be demanding a detailed explanation for the
Stormontgate affair, which brought down the last executive
in an unprecedented manner, but which has been brushed
under the carpet for reasons of "public interest".

People may doubt whether the DUP and Sinn Fein could agree
on a common approach, but they would at least feel
decisions were being taken closer to home. Now that the war
is over, the politicians must seize their opportunity.


Ireland Set For Gridiron

By Lee Walker - Created on 13 Dec 2005
Reebok Pumps

Check out your nearest store and find out more about this
exciting new product.

The Irish American Football Association has decided to
enter a team into Group C of the European Championships.

Group C comprises of Ireland, Netherlands, Austria, Norway,
Switzerland, Belgium, Ukraine, Moldova, Luxembourg and

The Group C tournament is due to take place in 2007 at a
venue yet to be determined.

This will be the first time that an Irish National Team
hasentered an official EFAF tournament for National Teams.

Over the past two seasons, Ireland has fielded an IAFL
Allstars selection of Irish based players in a number of
fixtures against foreign teams.

The team has been in receipt of some grant aid from the
Irish Sports Council, which covered the majority of the
teams training expenses in 2005 and further funding is
under consideration.

If there are any players of coaches interested in joining
Team Ireland ,please contact Head Coach Phil DeMonte at

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