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January 16, 2006

DUP Outlines "Devolution Plan'

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News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 01/16/06 DUP To Outline 'Devolution Plan'
BB 01/16/06 Nuns' Distress At Convent Blaze
BT 01/16/06 Army Towers Removal 'Making Progress'
IO 01/16/06 Ahern To Meet US Congressman On Devolution
IO 01/16/06 IRA Member Goes Back To Jail Voluntarily
DI 01/16/06 British Told To Go Whole Hog
BB 01/16/06 DUP 'No' To Sinn Fein Power Move
BT 01/16/06 Call To Demand Policing Moves From SF
UT 01/16/06 Durkan Calls For Full Power-Share
IN 01/16/06 Police Fear US Website ‘Out’ Informers
II 01/16/06 Man To Make Mint As SF Book Bid Stalls
DH 01/16/06 No Politics In Dropping Spy Charges
TN 01/16/06 Martin McGuinness To Visit Sri Lanka
IO 01/16/06 Rossport Five Decision Due Next Month
DI 01/16/06 Coiste: Peace Centre Up For Discussion
RT 01/16/06 Firms Linked To SF Finance Make Donation
DI 01/16/06 HR & Wealth Central To SF Economics
DI 01/16/06 Opin: Why Threatened By Rise Of SF
DI 01/16/06 Opin: Be Careful What You Wish For...
NL 01/16/06 Opin: SF At Their Work Again Over Policing
BT 01/16/06 Opin: Love Ulster Cause A Stir In Dublin
IN 01/16/06 Opin: We Must All Accept Our Unclean Hands
IB 01/16/06 Irish Unite To Commemorate Hunger Strikes
NJ 01/16/06 Miss St. Patrick Crowned In Hamilton
DI 01/16/06 Journalist Who Reported On BS Dies
IN 01/16/06 Adair Faces ‘Captor’ In TV Meeting


DUP To Outline 'Devolution Plan'

The DUP is to table a paper proposing a return to
devolution in NI that stops short of a power-sharing
executive involving Sinn Fein.

At a news conference at Stormont, Ian Paisley said the
16-page document entitled "facing reality" would lead
to the return of local decision-making.

The proposals will be presented to Prime Minister Tony
Blair next week.

Mr Paisley said there was "no prospect of an executive
involving the IRA" in the near future.

He also said it was "up to the IRA" to clear the
passage and embrace democracy.

Mr Paisley refused to give a time-frame as to when his
party would be willing to share power with Sinn Fein
and would not give any details of what his party's
proposals contained.

However, it is believed that one option being
suggested is to give the assembly a role in passing

The DUP leader said his proposals "allowed for further
building blocks once the foundations were firmly set
for stable government".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/16 14:57:30 GMT


Nuns' Distress At Convent Blaze

Security is to be stepped up at a convent in west
Belfast following a suspected arson attack.

Clearing-up is continuing at the Convent of Mercy in
the Beechmount area of Belfast after a fire on Friday
night damaged the kitchen and roof.

Nine elderly nuns, one of whom is 98 years old, were
said to be very distressed by what happened.

Community leader Sr Teresa O'Neill said security at
the convent was under review following the fire.

"We will have to have security to man the grounds,
especially during the night, because we are very
vulnerable," she said.

Police believe the fire was started deliberately in a
storage shed next to the convent at Ardnavagh Road at
2150 GMT on Friday.

It then spread to the convent. No-one was injured and
no-one needed to be moved from the building.

Sr Teresa said the nuns' relationship with the
community had always been very good.


She did not believe those responsible were aware of
the devastation they had caused.

"It would appear that it was an arson attack of some
kind. I am sure that the people who did this were not
aware of what the implications were," she said.

"They probably didn't realise that they were causing
such inconvenience to sisters in their 90s.

Sr Veronica O'Brien, who visited the elderly nuns at
the weekend, said they were very shocked.

"They are quite devastated. This is their home, their
retirement refuge, their place of peace. It has been
violated," she said.

"They are quite distressed. It will take some time
before they get over this event."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/16 07:28:00 GMT


Army Towers Removal 'Making Progress'

By Michael McHugh
16 January 2006

Work to dismantle south Armagh's remaining five
watchtowers is making good progress, Sinn Fein said

Newry and Armagh Assemblyman Davy Hyland claimed work
on dismantling all installations in the border area
was "ahead of schedule".

The news follows reports that the work will be
completed as early as May of this year, over one year
in advance of the end of the normalisation programme.

The Government has pledged to demolish all non-core
military sites, including those in south Armagh, by
August 2007. Unionists have greeted the programme with
unease but Mr Hyland said he welcomed the swift

"There is a rolling program of these towers coming
down and I think they have made more progress than
they anticipated because favourable weather conditions
have helped them," he said.

"This brings normalisation back to the area and it
shows that progress can be made."

The watchtowers remaining include those on three
hilltops at Camlough and Faughill mountains and
Crotlieve near Forkhill.

The towers have been in operation since the mid-1980s
when Margaret Thatcher ordered their construction to
guard against IRA activity in the area.

Progress has been linked to an expected positive
report from the Independent Monitoring Commission,
which is due to rule soon on the state of the IRA's
ceasefire but the Army has denied any firm timetable.

A spokesman said: "Normalisation will be complete when
we are left in Northern Ireland with a normal
peacetime garrison, which is due by August 1, 2007.

"Come August 1, 2007, we will have no more than 5,000
military personnel in Northern Ireland in no more than
14 core sites across Northern Ireland.

"These core sites do not include the remaining
watchtowers in south Armagh.

"But when those watchtowers come down depends on the
continuation of enabling circumstances, particularly
the security situation."

Unionists have viewed the move as compromising
security and raised alarm about continued activity by
dissident republicans.

Towers at Cloghogue, Creevekeeran and Drumuckvall have
already been decommissioned.


Foreign Minister To Meet US Congressman On Devolution

16/01/2006 - 12:41:55

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern will
tomorrow hold a Border meeting with influential US
congressmen to discuss the prospect of Northern
Ireland power-sharing during 2006.

Mr Ahern said in a New Year’s statement that he
planned to step up contacts on the issue with Northern
political parties, the British Government and with US
opinion leaders and policy makers.

The Dundalk TD will meet Republican congressmen Jim
Walsh of New York and Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania as
well as Democrat Brian Higgins from New York.

“The plight of the undocumented Irish in the US will
also be discussed,” the minister’s spokesman added.

Mr Walsh is currently chairman of the Friends of
Ireland on Capitol Hill in Washington and the author
of the 1998 Walsh visa programme in support of the
peace process and aimed at applicants from Northern
Ireland and the six Border counties.

Tomorrow’s meeting takes place in Carlingford on the
shores of Carlingford Lough which separates Co Louth
and Co Down.

Mr Ahern said on January 2 that the Irish and British
governments planned to end direct rule and re-
establish the Assembly in 2006.

He added: “To that end the Irish Government will be
stepping up contact with all political parties, with
the British Government and with our friends in the US
in the coming weeks.

“Local, devolved government is the clear will of the
people of Northern Ireland. The parties and the
governments have a duty to deliver on that will.”


IRA Member Goes Back To Jail Voluntarily

16/01/2006 - 13:51:05

A Dublin Sinn Féin member who was jailed for four
years for IRA membership and who was freed on bail
last month pending an appeal went back to prison
voluntarily today.

Niall Binead's solicitor Mr Robert Purcell applied to
the Court of Criminal Appealto have Binead's bail
revoked and said that he wanted to surrender himself
to Portlaoise Prison this afternoon. Mr George
Birmingham SC for the DPP said he had no objection.

Last month the Court of Criminal Appeal freed Niall
Binead on his own bond of €1,000 and two independent
sureties of €10,000 each. It also ordered him to sign
on twice a week at Crumlin garda station, to surrender
his passport and not to associate with anyone
convicted of a scheduled offence.

Binead (aged 36), of Faughart Road, Crumlin was jailed
for four years by the non-jury Special Criminal Court
last year after he was convicted of membership of an
illegal organisation on October 10, 2002. His co-
accused, Kenneth Donohoe (aged 27), of Sundale Ave,
Mountain View, Tallaght was freed on bail by the Court
of Criminal Appeal last November

During the trial of the two men, the court heard that
gardaí found a list of the names of TD's - including
three former Justice Ministers - at Binead's home.
Binead is a former secretary of a south Dublin Sinn
Féin cumann and was a close associate of Sinn Féin TD
for Dublin South Central Aengus O'Snodaigh.

The Court of Criminal Appeal adjourned an appeal by
the two men against their convictions in November
after hearing that a separate case to be brought to
the Supreme Court will lead to a determination on
legal issues which are similar to issues raised in
their appeal.

The challenge before the Supreme Court in the other
case is against the current practice whereby the
defence is unable to challenge through cross
examination the basis of a Garda Chief
Superintendent's belief that someone is a member of an
illegal organisation.

The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal on whether the
right to a fair trial under Article 38 of the
Constitution has been infringed by not allowing the
defence to challenge the basis of the Chief
Superintendent's belief. The Supreme Court is expected
to hear the appeal early this year.


British Told To Go Whole Hog

Sinn Féin justice spokesman Gerry Kelly challenges
British government to deliver on promised policing law


Sinn Féin policing spokesman Gerry Kelly insisted
last night that there must be “no half measures” on

The Belfast North assembly member was speaking after
his party’s policing conference in the city on
Saturday. At the event, he challenged the British
government to ensure that next month’s new legislation
on policing in the North would be sufficient. He told
more than 200 delegates: “Since last summer alone, the
evidence of political policing has been irrefutable.

“Let’s be clear about their agenda. Our political
enemies in the institutions of this state do not want
a Shinner about the place. They don’t want the Good
Friday Agreement.”

He warned that there would be challenges ahead. He
said: “Republicans need to be acutely aware that, if
and when the Sinn Féin leadership achieves the
objectives set in this area, then this in turn will
present further challenges for all activists.

“There is a public commitment if we reach that point
to then put proposals to our membership and
nationalism as a whole.”

SDLP assembly member Alex Attwood said last night:
“This issue is too big for another turn of the merry-
go-round. No one says there are still not issues that
need continued attention. However, the change is
unprecedented and unparalleled. The governments must
tell Sinn Féin to act now.”


DUP 'No' To Sinn Fein Power Move

Unionists will not accept devolution of policing and
justice powers if it means the involvement of Sinn
Fein in their administration, the DUP has said.

MP Nigel Dodds said there was no confidence in the
"wider community" of Sinn Fein ministers having such

He said it would be "ludicrous" if people thought they
could be ministers but not support the security forces
and the republican mindset must change.

"That does not mean simply taking places on the
Policing Board," he said.

Sinn Fein has been demanding more reforms to policing
and called for policing and justice powers to be
transferred from Westminster to Stormont.

The party has refused to recommend the Police Service
of Northern Ireland as a career for young Catholics or
take its seats on the Policing Board which holds the
force to account.

On Saturday, Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly said a new
beginning to policing in Northern Ireland was

Speaking at a party conference on policing, the North
Belfast assembly member said if this was achieved,
then republicans would have to make difficult

"Activists need to realise that we can achieve it and
with achievement there comes further responsibility,"
he said.

"Negotiations herald change. Change brings turmoil and
soul searching. It also means breaking moulds."

He said at the core of his party's position was
getting "a threshold which enables the creation of
democratically accountable representative civic
policing and the consignment of political policing to
the dustbin of history".

The SDLP's policing spokesperson, Alex Attwood said
Sinn Fein should "show backbone and genuinely
participate in the policing structures".

"In the forthcoming discussions, the governments must
then send out one unambiguous message - now it is
time, and time now, for acts of completion on policing
by the provisional movement," he said.

"Nationalism is now well ahead of Sinn Fein on
policing. Nationalism and everyone else cannot be held
back by the tactical policing approach of Sinn Fein
for narrow political reasons."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/16 06:34:48 GMT


Call To Demand Policing Moves From SF

By Chris Thornton
16 January 2006

The British and Irish Governments should demand action
on policing from Sinn Fein, the SDLP said today after
the republican party hinted it may be moving closer to
accepting the PSNI.

Sinn Fein policing spokesman Gerry Kelly told a party
conference on policing on Saturday that members should
be prepared for a debate on a policing.

Sinn Fein says it will debate the acceptance of
policing when a settlement is reached with the DUP and
the Government on the devolution of justice.

"While we are not at that point yet, activists need to
realise that we can achieve it and with achievement
there comes further responsibility," Mr Kelly said on

He called on party members to "open up the debate
within Sinn Fein and their communities".

But SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood responded
that "time is running out for the provisional movement
to show backbone and genuinely participate in the
policing structures".

"Some will say that the comments of Gerry Kelly are
more positive," he said.

"The SDLP and everyone wishes it was so.

"However, Sinn Fein have said before that they would
not be found wanting on policing, yet when the moment
of decision came Sinn Fein were found wanting."

Mr Attwood said policing change has been "fundamental"
and added: "The Governments must tell Sinn Fein to act
now not at a later time which may not come for years."


Durkan Calls For Full Power-Share

The nationalist SDLP today pledged to resist any new
arrangements short of full power-sharing in Northern

By:Press Association

Interim proposals for a form of legislative Assembly
without an executive including unionists and
republicans have been outlined as a possible way of
breaking the political deadlock.

But SDLP leader Mark Durkan delivered a withering
assessment of the idea being mapped out by Ian
Paisley`s Democratic Unionists and insisted his party
would not consider it.

The Foyle MP said: "A two-stage process isn`t open. If
you start saying we are just going to go for a
fallback, and then starting with a fallback that is
just holding back.

"Let`s test it and see how far parties are willing to

The Stormont power-sharing administration has been
suspended since an alleged IRA spy ring was uncovered
more than three years ago, with Direct Rule ministers
committed to running Northern Ireland until all sides
in Belfast can strike a new deal.

Secretary of State Peter Hain has signalled the
Government is prepared to consider setting up
something short of the devolved executive laid out in
the Good Friday Agreement.

But Mr Hain, who is preparing to hold new political
talks in February after the Independent Monitoring
Commission ceasefire watchdog`s next report on levels
of IRA inactivity, stressed that the scheme must be
temporary and win cross-party support.

"The end has got to be a power-sharing executive," he
told the Sunday Times.

"The argument is whether you need an interim stage in
order to get to that objective.

"The parties have got to talk to each other. There`s
no point in saying `take it or leave it`. That is not
in prospect."

However, Mr Durkan emphasised the need to settle for
nothing short of giving the Northern Ireland Assembly
back its full powers.

He added: "We want the Assembly restored. If parties
aren`t willing to form an inclusive executive, we then
have to look at what other options there are, short of
suspension and direct rule again. And for the SDLP
short of voluntary coalition.

"But parties are only going to get real about how far
they are going to go in circumstances where the
governments are saying very clearly that there is a
definite date for restoration."


Police Fear US Website Could ‘Out’ Informers

By Sharon O'Neill Chief Reporter

POLICE are to target a website which offers access to
mobile telephone records amid fears that it may be
used as a tool to unmask agents.

The Irish News understands that senior PSNI officers
have been alerted to the potential danger of the

North American authorities flagged up the website to
police this side of the Atlantic in recent weeks.

In the aftermath of former Sinn Fein official Denis
Donaldson’s spying admission, police in the north fear
that other informers could be exposed by republicans
or loyalists using the website to trace calls to their

The potential privacy threat could also have
implications for the wider public.

The website has created a huge storm in the US and
Canada after a US government official and an FBI
agent’s calls were traced.

For as little as $110 (£62) and with results within
hours, clients can find out up to 100 calls made from
any mobile, including unlisted numbers, “guaranteed to
be accurate and current”.

Names and addresses of those called, including
including those with numbers outside Canada and the
US, can also be obtained for $250 (£141), with a
maximum wait of just two days.

With the internet proving notoriously difficult to
police the fact that US authorities have alerted the
international community shows how serious the
potential risk is being treated.

The FBI has launched an investigation into the
legality of the controversial website, linked to a
Florida-based company, and the US is under growing
pressure to tighten legislation in light of the
apparent breach.

Canada has much stricter laws but it did not stop a
detailed list being obtained via the same website of
the phone calls made by the country’s federal privacy

In Northern Ireland there is a mechanism in place to
prevent the access of mobile telephone records without
the customer’s knowledge.

However, the website under scrutiny has faced
accusations of deception, fraud and hacking into
systems to obtain information.

An FBI spokesman told The Irish News last night: “We
are curious because we are not clear as to how this
website got these

phone records from the cellphone companies.

“It is really more of a controversy in terms of
people’s perception of a right to privacy. It is
disturbing to a lot of people.

“Most people think their telephone records are
private. I think it is something that people in
general, not just law enforcement people should be
concerned about, no matter where they live.”

The Irish News attempted to contact the website via
email and phone but there was no response.


Ex-IRA Man To Make Mint As SF Book Bid Stalls

(Poster’s Note: Info from eBay of 7:42 AM today:
Sinn Fein Book Signed by Gerry Adams. Ireland Irish
Also Signed By 14 Other Leading Irish Republicans
33 bidders; High bid: $710.00; Postage $20.00
Originated in Ireland; Time left - 5 days 17 hours 18
minutes; direct link:

This Book Has Been Autographed By:

President of Sinn Féin and West Belfast MP,
Gerry Adams

Ex Officer in Command Long Kesh Prison,
Bik McFarlane

Veteran Belfast Republican,
Martin Meehan

Sinn Féin Vice President and MP for West Tyrone,
Pat Doherty

North Belfast MLA,
Gerry Kelly

Member of Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle,
Dawn Doyle

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator and Mid Ulster MP,
Martin McGuinness

Veteran Republican and ex cell mate of Bobby Sands MP,
Séanna Walsh

South Belfast MLA,
Alex Maskey

Cavan/Monahagn TD,
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Dublin South Central TD,
Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Foyle MLA,
Mitchel McLaughlin

Editor of Sinn Féin A Century of Struggle,
Mícheál MacDonncha

Editor of An Phoblact,
Seán Mac Brádaigh

Chairperson of Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle and Member of
European Parliament,
Mary Lou McDonald

On Saturday 5th of November 2005 over 1000 Irish
republicans from every part of Ireland came together
at the City West Hotel, Co Dublin. The occasion was a
dinner to celebrate the founding of Sinn Féin in 1905.

On the night we asked some of the most influential
Irish republicans of this generation to sign 5
hardback copies of the book Sinn Féin a Century of

This auction is for one of these five books.

This collection of signatures is unique and is certain
to become a much sought after collectors item!

Sinn Féin A Century Of Struggle

Edited by Dublin republican Mícheál MacDonncha, the
book tells the story of the Sinn Féin century in the
words of Republicans themselves over the ten decades
since the organisation was established.

Lavishly illustrated, the book is one of the
centrepieces of Sinn Féin's centenary programme.
Introduction by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

This book marks the centenary of Sinn Féin. Just
published it is a unique record of 100 years of
struggle. This book tells the story of the Sinn Féin
century in the words of Republicans themselves over
the ten decades since the organisation was
established. Lavishly illustrated, the book is one of
the centrepieces of Sinn Féin’s centenary programme.

Introduced by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, the
book traces the political history of Ireland from 1905
to 2005. It moves from the founding of Sinn Féin to
the 1916 Easter Rising, the Black and Tan War, the
Partition of Ireland and the Civil War. It speaks with
the voice of Republicans in the subsequent years of
what James Connolly rightly predicted would be the
‘Carnival of Reaction’ North and South. It gives an
insight in the Border Campaign of the 1950s.

It records the struggle of Republicans through the
Civil Rights Movement, the collapse of Unionist one-
party rule, internment, Bloody Sunday and the long and
tragic war. It reflects popular resistance to British
rule, the heroism of prisoners, culminating in the
hunger strikes, and the emergence of Sinn Féin as a
strong all-Ireland political party - despite all the
efforts of its opponents. Finally it brings us to the
peace process and looks forward to the Ireland of
Equals now being built by Sinn Féin.

This auction is brought to you by the
Sinnfeinbookshop. The online Sinn Féin store where you
can choose from hundreds of political books, gift
items and Irish republican merchandise and every order
helps Sinn Féin and our campaign for Irish unity and
freedom. )

Ben Quinn

SINN FEIN normally knows a money-making opportunity
when it sees one.

And so it probably seemed like a good idea to get 15
leading republicans to autograph a book on the party's
history, and later auction it to the highest bidder on
the internet.

Party President Gerry Adams, MEP Mary Lou McDonald and
TDs Caoimhghin O Caolain and Aengus O Snodaigh all
scribbled their names on the cover at a major
republican get-together in November.

Among others who autographed the book was Bobby Sands'
ex-cell mate Seanna Walsh and Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane
- a convicted IRA killer who escaped from the Maze
prison in 1983.

But after going to auction last week the book 'A
Century of Struggle' is itself struggling to attract
interest. The highest bid on the international eBay
website stood yesterday at just $450 (€370).

Sinn Fein's online book shop boasts that the lavishly
illustrated book is a centrepiece of the party's
centenary celebrations.

When it comes to raising finances, the party might
fare better by taking a leaf out of the book of a
former hunger-striker who now stands to make millions
from one of Dublin's latest major shopping
redevelopments. Tom McFeely, a former IRA man who
spent 53 days on hunger strike in 1980, is on the way
to benefiting from a multi-million deal to redevelop
The Square centre in Tallaght.

The builder, a resident of the upmarket Ailesbury Road
district, and his business partner Larry O'Mahony
acquired Lowes Tavern - a company holding a licencing
agreement to use an 18-acre car park close to The

Possession of this agreement has massive money-making
potential because the partnership of businessmen who
own the Square have been unable to extend the shopping
centre into the car park without it.

As a result of their acquisition, McFeely and O'Mahony
reportedly have a one-third share in the company which
is planning the extension.

The Square's redevelopment will triple the amount of
shopping space and propel the shopping centre into the
same league as rivals in Dundrum, Blanchardstown and
Liffey Valley.

McFeely, who also purchased the Tallaght Plaza hotel
last year with O'Mahony, served 12 years of a 26-year
sentence in the Maze prison for a post office robbery
and shooting.

A judge at Belfast City Commission Court told him in
1977: "I am satisfied that you are a dangerous young
man. You are intelligent and vicious and you seem to
be glorifying in your activity."


'No Politics' In Dropping Stormont Spy Charges


The attorney general has insisted there was "no
political interference" in the decision to drop
charges against the alleged members of the Stormont

In a letter to the Northern Ireland select committee,
published today, Lord Goldsmith also rejected any
suggestion that the trial had been abandoned to spare
government embarrassment.

However, he said the decision was taken in order to
avoid the disclosure of "sensitive and confidential
information", the revelation of which would not be in
the public interest.

In the letter dated January 9th, Lord Goldsmith wrote:
"The director [of public prosecutions (DPP)] and I
recognise the potential this decision has to damage
confidence in the new public prosecution services."

But he gave the committee his "absolute assurance that
there was no political interference and there was no
question of the decision being taken to cover any
possible embarrassment to the government".

"Political considerations did not form any part of, or
in any way affect, the decision," he added.

The discovery of an intelligence-gathering operation
at the Northern Ireland assembly in 2002 led to the
suspension of devolution in the province, a situation
that remains.

Denis Donaldson, Ciaran Kearney and William Mackessy
were accused of spying on the Northern Ireland Office
there, but the charges against the three men were
dropped last month.

DPP Ken MacDonald said that it was no longer in the
public interest to proceed with the prosecutions –
prompting accusations of a cover-up, which were only
strengthened when Mr Donaldson, a senior Sinn Fein
official, revealed he was a British spy.

He claimed the only spying at Stormont was done by the
British, but the government has denied this

Writing to clarify the situation to the Northern
Ireland committee, Lord Goldsmith admits that it would
be "unrealistic not to confirm that there was
sensitive and confidential information" that may have
come to light in the trial.

However, he insisted that "the prosecution was
vigorous in pursuing the interests of justice" and in
trying to bring the matter to trial without the
revelation of such information.

With regards to claims of ministerial intervention,
the attorney general said that "as part of the trial
process, I consulted ministerial colleagues in this
way as to whether they had any information that might
bear on the consideration of the public interest".

But he insisted that no decision about proceeding with
the prosecution was taken at the time, "and the
information obtained formed no part" of the DPP's
decision last month.


Martin McGuinness To Visit Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, January 16, 2006 11:09 GMT]

Mr Martin McGuinness, Chief Negotiator of Sinn Fein,
the Political Wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA)
from Northern Ireland will be visiting Sri Lanka from
17th to 19th January, a press release from Initiative
for Political Transformation (INPAC) an NGO based in
Colombo issued Monday said. Mr McGuinness is expected
to meet leaders of political parties to share his
experiences and "communicate his understanding of the
issues affecting political, conflict, peace processes
within the country [Sri Lanka]," the release added.

Full text of the release follows:

Mr Martin McGuinness, Chief Negotiator of Sinn Féin is
visiting Sri Lanka from the 17th to the 19th of
January 2006 on an invitation extended by inpact.

During his short visit Mr McGuinness will meet with
leaders and members of various political parties and
groups. While sharing his own experiences as a
negotiator in Northern Ireland he will also
communicate his understanding of the issues affecting
political/conflict/peace processes within the country.

Since been elected to the Executive of Sinn Féin,
Martin McGuinness has played a major role in promoting
and supporting the strategy of the current peace
process in Northern Ireland. He was a leading
representative in the 1972 talks with the then British
Secretary of State, William Whitelaw, in London. He
led the party's delegation which, following the IRA
cessation (of armed action) of 31st. August 1994, met
with the British Minister, Michael Ancram, on several
occasions. Prior to that he represented Sinn Féin in
protracted secret contact and negotiations with
representatives of the British government from 1990
until 1993.

In 1997 he was elected Member of Parliament for the
Mid-Ulster constituency and reelected again in 2001.
In 1998 he was elected to the Assembly for the same
constituency. He became Minister for Education in the
new Northern Ireland Assembly in November 1999 and was
widely acclaimed for his work.


Rossport Five Decision Due Next Month

16/01/2006 - 13:49:08

The President of the High Court will give his
judgement next month on whether the Rossport Five
should be punished for their anti-pipleine protest.

The five Mayo men have already served 94 days in jail
for refusing to obey a High Court order not to
interfere with the construction of the controversial
Corrib gas pipeline near their homes by Shell E and P

Brothers Philip and Vincent McGrath, Willie Corduff,
Michael O Seighin and Brendan Philbin were sent to
prison for contempt of court last June.

High Court President Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan said
today he will give his judgement on February 13 as to
what sanction if any should now be imposed on the men
for disobeying the court.

The men were released from jail at the end of
September after the Shell oil company applied to have
the temporary injunction which restrained interference
with the pipeline lifted.


Coiste: Prison Peace Centre Plan Up For Discussion

Jarlath Kearney

Coiste na n-Iarchimi, the republican ex-prisoners
network, will this week convene a major seminar on
“the development of an International Centre for
Conflict Transformation” at Long Kesh, Co Antrim.

A range of speakers from academic, community and
history backgrounds are scheduled to address the
discussion which takes place on Thursday in Belfast.
Focusing on last year’s report by the Maze
Consultation Panel, the seminar will hear a range of
suggestions and experiences relating to the process of
transforming historical sites.

“Contained within the Maze Consultation Panel’s plans
are proposals that part of the former prison is
retained and that an International Centre for Conflict
Transformation (ICCT) be constructed on the site,” Dr
Laurence McKeown of Coiste explained.

“These are definite proposals supported by the four
main political parties and preservation of the
buildings and development of the site is already under
way under the auspices of the office of the First and
Deputy First Minister.

“The Strategic Investment Board is tasked with taking
forward the development of the site and the Maze Long
Kesh Monitoring Panel has been established, again with
representation on it from the main political parties.

“Coiste na nIarchimí has its own views regarding the
development of the preserved buildings and ICCT which
we would like to share, alongside a range of other
views and suggestions on this matter. That is the
objective of Thursday’s seminar,” Dr McKeown said.

Among those scheduled to speak at Thursday’s
conference is Patrick Cooke from Kilmainham Jail,
north Belfast community worker Alan McBride,
University of Ulster lecturer Paul Arthur and Sinn
Fein assembly member Raymond McCartney.

The event takes place at the Holiday Inn, Ormeau
Avenue, Belfast, commencing at 9.30am.


Firms Linked To SF Finance Make Donation

January 16, 2006 14:38

The Dublin District Court has been told that a €5,000
donation has been made to the charity Alone by seven
companies linked to the Sinn Fein finance director and
prosecuted last month for failing to keep proper books
of account.

The directors of the seven companies, based at the
Parnell Centre in Dublin were named in court as Des
Mackin, the Sinn Fein finance director, and Peter
Curistan, a Belfast businessman, who was also involved
in the development of the Odyssey Arena there.

The Director of Corporate Enforcement brought the
charges against the companies under section 202 of the
Companies Act. The charges, four against each
company, related to the fiancial period from October 1
2000 to September 30 2004.

All seven companies had registered offices at the
Sheridan Imax Theatre, Parnell Centre in Dublin.

The defendants did not contest the charges when the
cases came before the Dublin District Court in
December. They pleaded that the debts incurred by the
companies were all inter-group and no outsiders were
affected by any failures in their operations. All
seven companies were granted the probation act by
Judge O'Donnell provided they made a donation to
charity. Today the case was mentioned to provide a
receipt to the court showing the money had been paid.


Human Rights And Redistribution Of Wealth Central To
SF Economics

David Lynch

Sinn Féin rejects “mainstream market orthodoxies”, a
party conference was told in Dublin on Saturday.

Speaking on Saturday at the opening of a Sinn Féin
party conference on an all-Ireland enterprise and job-
creation discussion document, Sinn Féin Enterprise and
Employment spokesperson, Arthur Morgan TD, said the
party reject many mainstream market orthodoxies.

He said his party challenged: “...the ‘trickle down’
theory, the theory of supply and demand, the
correlation of low taxation and low wages with
competitiveness, the belief that inward investment is
the panacea for economic problems, and the
oversimplified equation of growth with well-being and
social progress.”

Also speaking on Saturday, Minister for Justice,
Michael McDowell, reportedly described Sinn Féin
economic policy as “illiterate”.

The Progressive Democrat TD said that Sinn Fein’s new
policy document “confirmed that Sinn Féin is a party
which is economically illiterate, with little or no
understanding of how modern business operates or,
indeed, the role of the multi-national sector in the
Irish economy.”

However, Sinn Féin General Secretary, Mitchell
McLaughlin, told Saturday’s conference that his
party’s “priority is to build just economy, dynamic
public services and a real enterprise culture that can
deliver high-skilled and high-paid jobs”.

“The document before you today introduces Sinn Féin’s
vision of the economics of a united Ireland of equals.
Central to this vision is a clear understanding of the
kind of economy we want – that is, a strong economy
based on equality and social justice,” said Mr

“We are committed to rights-based governance and a
rights-based economic policy....We want to work with
others to bring about the realisation of this vision.

“Sinn Féin wants a dignified and productive working
life, a fair income and a good quality of life – an
economy characterised by the positive redistribution
of resources to eradicate poverty and social

The economic document will come before the party’s
Ard-Fheis for debate and a vote next month in the RDS,


Opin: Why Many Feel Threatened By Rise Of SF

“So when the PDs descend into rabid attacks on Sinn
Féin... it is evitable that the Taoiseach and Fianna
Fáil will approve. It is, in a sense, a perfect
situation for the Taoiseach. Someone else is throwing
the stones by proxy on his behalf.”

Damien Kiberd

Northern Secretary Peter Hain clearly hopes that he
can kick-start the peace process in February. He wants
to stop wasting time and, to that end, has decided to
issue warnings every few days to people who want to
waste time.

Firstly, he says that there is little point in holding
assembly elections in 2007 if there is no prospect of
getting the various parties to agree. Then he hints
that the existing assembly members – already operating
on reduced wages – could be ‘decommissioned’
completely by mid-year, if they are making no progress
in reaching agreement.

He further refers to the Six- County economy as
“unsustainable”, alluding to its massive dependence on
public spending. Two thirds of economic activity in
the Six Counties now depends on public cash and one
third on employment.

Hain adds, somewhat oddly, that he would like to see a
united Ireland in his lifetime and that the future of
the northern economy lies in the context of an all-
Ireland economy.

All of these statements have been made against a
backdrop of ongoing leaks concerning spies and alleged
spies, with Denis Donaldson being “outed” after the
PSNI told him he was suspected by various unnamed
republicans. This was followed by the attempted and
very public “outing” of other alleged spies and by the
planting in the media of various bizarre stories
designed to de-stabilise Sinn Fein.

The process of using informers to sow confusion and of
using contacts in the media to create suspicion has
accelerated in the period since IRA decommissioning
was completed. Some might have imagined the de-
commissioning would result in an improved political
climate: but the opposite is in fact the case.

Why is this so?

Well, there are a number of very obvious reasons.
Firstly, the publication of the next report of the
Independent Monitoring Commission is imminent and
there is a possibility, though only a possibility,
that the commission will give the republican movement
a clean bill of health. Hence, despite the dropping of
charges against three men previously accused of
involvement in the alleged Sinn Féin spy ring at
Stormont, more stories are being planted in the media
to the effect that there was a spy-ring and that it
was operating a massive intelligence-gathering

Perhaps, between now and the publication of the IMC
report, other strange events/disclosures will take
place. There are lots of people who do not want the
IMC to unlock the door to political progress. And
there are people who positively dread a situation
where the IMC would give republicans a clean bill of

This is because they fear that such a report from the
commission would permit Sinn Féin, if it so desired,
to participate in the control of the policing system
in the six counties and that this, in turn, could lead
to the dismantling of the Special Branch and of
various special units within the police.

Now, after what has happened since 1970, there are
clearly people within the security services who — for
reasons that are perfectly understandable in human
terms — are viscerally opposed to the idea of
republicans taking decisions in relation to future
policing. They will have lost comrades who were killed
by the very forces that may now be given a central
role in policing. But there are other aspects to the

Clearly a lot of money is at stake too. Over 35 years,
a whole security industry grew to very large levels
and while some of that has withered away, there is
still a lot at stake for many people. Looking at
possible meltdown for the security apparatuses that
they have built they will use whatever cards they have
at their disposal to halt progress: the two big cards
at present are informers and contacts in the media.

Just as a whole security industry has grown within the
police and army in the six counties, a parallel
industry has grown in the media — in the North and
especially in the South — where writers are occupied
on a virtually full-time basis in attacking Sinn Féin,
Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and the rest of
republicanism. A symbiotic relationship exists between
the securocrats and these columnists and
“journalists”. The more Sinn Féin is normalised the
less of a raison d’être can be advanced for the
continuance of such obsessions.

South of the border there are equally logical reasons
why the waters are being routinely muddied. The
biggest party Fianna Fáil, rightly or wrongly, fears
the growth of Sinn Féin and clearly approves of
actions by third parties designed to prevent the
growth of the Sinn Fein vote. The Taoiseach has to
perform a high-wire act here. On the one hand he has
to negotiate with people like Adams and McGuinness and
seek to get the Belfast Agreement implemented. But all
across north Dublin, including in his own
constituency, Fianna Fáil deputies will face
challenges in 2007 from Sinn Féin candidates who did
well in the local elections.

So when the Progressive Democrats descend into rabid
attacks on Sinn Féin — attacks which have become more
rabid since decommissioning — it is inevitable that
the Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil will approve. It is, in
a sense, a perfect situation for the Taoiseach.
Someone else is throwing the stones by proxy on his

And just as there is a highly developed security
apparatus in the Six Counties, there is a similar
security apparatus south of the border. Again twin
factors combine: a visceral hatred of republicans
coupled with an objective financial interest in
frustrating the normalisation of politics on this

In a sense, the only people in this equation who
unambigously want a political deal to be struck in the
Ssix Ccounties are Sinn Féin and the SDLP.

They have nothing to lose from the creation of such a
deal and lots to gain. Arranged against them in this
regard are a whole variety of forces: political
parties, security forces, bureaucrats and so forth.
Anybody who expects significant progress to be made in
2006 is an optimist.

The priority given to the Six Counties within British
politics is also likely to decline. The NIO now
constitutes half a cabinet portfolio for one minister,
and people may start asking why it is necessary to
subvent the Six-County economy so massively with
British taxpayers’ cash.

Reducing reliance on the public sector in the North
clearly offers a way forward but that can only be done
if the private sector takes up the slack. There has
been some significant inward foreign investment in
manufacturing in the Six Counties but not enough to
alter the balance of the economy. Perhaps overseas
investors do realise that a degree of normalisation
has been achieved but suspect that the situation is
“not normal enough”. Media hype about conspiracies and
spies, coupled with the annual circus surrounding the
marching season, must act as powerful disincentives to

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


Opin: Be Careful What You Wish For...


Opponents of Sinn Féin have been lying it on thick and
heavy over recent weeks in relation to the party and
the PSNI: republicans must back the policing service
in the North or take a hike.

Those same critics should be mindful of the old adage,
“be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”.
For after Saturday’s Belfast conference on policing,
it’s clear that Sinn Féin is on target to back the
PSNI sooner rather than later.

True, the party’s justice spokesperson Gerry Kelly is
adamant that the Sinn Féin green light for the PSNI
won’t come short of further reforms to bring to a end
to “political policing”. But neither he nor his
political opponents — nationalist or unionist — seem
to be in any doubt but that Sinn Féin will get the
concessions on policing they’re demanding.

When that happens, republicans in the six counties
will face their toughest task to date: taking
responsibility for policing. No-one should
underestimate the scale of that challenge. Indeed, for
some republicans it may prove a bridge too far.

However, those who insist that the peace process is
incomplete until policing is sorted out to the
satisfaction of a majority of Northern nationalists
make a compelling argument.

The irony is that those screaming the loudest for Sinn
Féin to be sidelined until they endorse the PSNI will
be the very same people who will be in high dudgeon
when they see Gerry Kelly taking the salute at a PSNI
passing out parade.

Helping hand for economic laggard

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and three government ministers
head out to India this week with 150 businesspeople to
search for lucrative contracts and attractive
investment opportunities in the world’s eleventh
largest economy.

In a commendable move, the Taoiseach has opened the
way for Northern firms to join the Enterprise Ireland
trade mission. That marks a first for North-South
links and should presage a situation where Enterprise
Ireland can more frequently give a helping hand to its
woebegone Northern equivalent, Invest NI.

Peter Hain is on record as saying that the basket case
economy of the North can only prosper through all-
island links. That was a cry for help but it was also
an admission that the British have no intention of
remedying the economic mess they have created.

In such circumstances, it’s incumbent on the Irish
Government to build on this trade mission invite by
developing an economic rescue plan for the North.


Opin: Sinn Fein At Their Work Again Over Policing

Monday 16th January 2006

Policing is an issue in Northern Ireland which we have
consistently maintained should never be politicised,
and it would appear that Sinn Fein is up to its old
tricks again, in a bid to wring more concessions from
the Government in return for some shadowy support for
an adjusted form of police and justice here.

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly intimates that republicans
might end their boycott of the PSNI if the Government
agreed on further weasled reforms of policing.

The ultimate Sinn Fein aim is to wrest control of
policing and justice, albeit alongside unionists, in a
power-sharing devolved administration, but, as North
Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds makes plain, there is not
the public confidence for this to occur, now or in the
foreseeable future. "Such a prospect was undermined by
the IRA robbery of the Northern Bank, the Robert
McCartney affair, the continuing profiteering by
republicans from criminality and the refusal to accept
transparent decommissioning," said Mr Dodds.

Political representatives of the Provisional IRA,
after more than three decades of murder and mayhem,
could never be acceptable as guardians and
decisionmakers on law and order and the Government
needs to be reminded of this.

Significantly, Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey
warns that Sinn Fein is starting out on a trail for
more concessions from the Government, as it did when
it was holding back on IRA arms decommissioning as a
major bargaining chip.

Policing in Northern Ireland was politically
compromised five years ago by the flawed
recommendations of the Patten report and Reg Empey is
right when he says the PSNI needs stability and no
further interference, from Government and those with a
narrow political agenda.


Opin: How Love Ulster Can Cause A Stir In Dublin ...
Take A Leaf Out Of Peter Stringfellow's Book

Pól Ó Muirí
16 January 2006

Which do you think will worry Dubliners more in the
coming weeks: that William Frazer and Love Ulster have
been given permission to parade in the city or the
fact that Peter Stringfellow has been given a dance
licence and will now open a club full of G-string
clad, firm-breasted, nubile young lapdancers? (Sorry,
lost the run of myself there.)

The answer is, of course, Stringfellow's club. Brave
Ulstermen will not bother anyone but the possible
exploitation of young women will exercise the letters
columns for weeks to come.

Reading some of the comments concerning the planned
demonstration in February, you could get the
impression that Love Ulster thinks it is going to get
itself loads of attention.

Walking in Dublin, it seems, is like confronting the
beast in its own den and that it is only a short step
from O'Connell Street to the Falls Road. Except, of
course, it isn't.

Love Ulster's parade won't merit a second glance from
most Dubs. Indeed, if the march stays north of the
Liffey, the southsiders will probably regard it as
happening in a foreign country anyway.

Whatever loyalists like to think, Dublin is not a
hotbed of Provo republicanism.

Dublin is its own wee planet and Dubs are well used to
watching day-trippers clogging the streets. Be it the
followers of Armagh and Tyrone on their frequent trips
to Croke Park, American tourists searching for the
perfect pint of Guinness, or the Fighting Irish
Marching Band from Papua New Guinea on Saint Patrick's
Day, Dubs are more likely to cast a glance at Love
Ulster and clap it along its way than attack it:
"Well, I like Ulster but I love Portugal more."

Dublin has seen it all; it is Ireland's most
cosmopolitan city and Love Ulster seems to have missed
that point - just as David Trimble did when he made
his ill-informed remark about the Republic being mono-

Marching in Dublin will not influence or affect
southern opinion because most southerners have happily
made their peace with partition.

Yes, the lip service to national unity remains but so
does the commitment to the Irish language and
neutrality and, oh, fill in the rest yourself.

The failure of unionism and loyalism has been to
recognise that fact.

Once an Assembly is firmly established and Sinn Féin
have signed up to policing, southerners will never,
ever, bother with the north again.

Apparently, Love Ulster is only bringing six bands
south but they had 20 wanting to take part.

My advice: bring all 20. In fact, bring 200 and make
sure that there are some scantily-clad young women
leading them. It really is the only way to attract the
attention of sophisticated Dublin society.

Observe the Loyal Sons of Ulster shakin' their Booty.

LISTENING to UTV's new radio station, U105, on an
occasional basis since it was launched, I have just
realised the scale of their achievement. They have
managed to set up a station that is even worse than
Downtown - and that is saying something.

I'm not sure who the target audience is but this 40-
something finds himself frantically trying to tune
into Cool FM and escape the horror of U105 whenever it
comes on the car radio. It says a lot about the new
station that I'd rather listen to music by bands I
don't know, whose music I will never buy, and listen
to presenters who use words like "cool" than U105's
supposed 'old favourites'. Hats off to all concerned.

I WROTE a couple of weeks ago that Mark Durkan and
Alex Attwood of the SDLP had been eating too much red
meat, such was their aggression towards Shinners and
the British Government.

It seems, however, that they are not the only ones.
SDLP councillor Danny O'Connor was involved in a minor
kerfuffle with UUP councillor, Andrew Wilson, over
local hospital plans.

Words - and a missed left hook - were exchanged
between the two at a meeting of Larne Council.
Happily, both men have since made up.

Memo to all SDLP members - Martin Luther King is an
icon of the party; not Rocky. Repeat after me:
"Violence solves nothing."


Opin: We Must All Accept Our Unclean Hands

The Monday Column
By Roy Garland

THE horror of the 1976 Kingsmills massacre hit me last
week when I noticed an old photograph showing six of
the 10 coffins in a Presbyterian Church. At last
week’s service in memory of the 10, the Archdeacon of
Armagh, Raymond Hoey, expressed his angst and
frustration at the prospect of on-the-runs returning
home “with absolute impunity”. He asked, “Is that

My mind went back to pictures of 10 hunger strikers
displayed beside the high altar in Clonard Monastery
for a memorial service in 2001. Two years later,
another Mass was said “for all those from Belfast who
gave their lives for Irish freedom”. The celebrant, Fr
Des Wilson, said that “if our public affairs had been
conducted with generosity and good faith” these
victims might have been saved.

Both Rev Hoey and Fr Wilson in their different ways
blamed society. For Rev Hoey it was an expected
failure of government to enact justice or retribution
on those who fled justice, while for Fr Wilson it was
an unjust society that created conditions that led
many young people to take actions that otherwise they
would never have contemplated.

But what we regard as the historical cause of
injustice is clouded in myth and prejudice and history
is, or ought to be, constantly subject to revision. As
human beings we can only start from where we are when
we attempt to make sense of the past. The details of
those events can seem so complex and confusing we have
to exclude much material to make sense of it.

We can say that all victims, killed or maimed, are
victims of our collective failure to accommodate each
other. Members of the security services became victims
in a special way. Many joined up to contribute to a
better society but lost everything as they stood
between the warring factions. It was particularly
difficult for Catholic members of the UDR who once
formed 25 per cent of the membership of that regiment
and who faced being disowned by their own community
and distrusted by some of their fellow soldiers. Their
lives, like the lives of many Catholic RUC men, were
easily disrupted and were, in some cases, destroyed.

Few loyalist paramilitaries, who themselves became
victims, were given recognition apart from small local
shrines and sometimes garish murals. One possible
exception is the granite memorial in the grounds of
Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church dedicated to
‘Lord Carson and his Ulster Volunteer Force’ and
placed there by the Ulster Constitution Defence
Committee, which was intimately linked with the Ulster
Protestant Volunteers. One UPV activist was seriously
wounded and subsequently died while trying to plant a
bomb – one of a series to unseat Terence O’Neill – at
a Ballyshannon substation. The victim was left to die
alone in what was to him a foreign country. His
companions fled the scene leaving him in utter

In this deeply divided society few seem happy to see
all these victims remembered together. When Belfast’s
first Sinn Fein Lord Mayor, Alex Maskey, suggested a
‘day of reconciliation’ in 2002 – something I called
for in 1994 – the DUP’s Sammy Wilson rejected the call
as a republican attempt to equate civilian victims,
security force victims and terrorists, including “the
blood stained IRA torturers”. This, he said, was

Many republicans also refuse to equate the crimes of
security force members with paramilitary crimes, for
example in relation to OTR legislation, and this
strikes many as hypocritical. Gerry Adams demands that
“IRA fugitives” be accommodated but less concern is
expressed about fugitives from IRA ‘justice’. Also
Sinn Fein’s refusal to endorse policing seems to be
playing fast and loose with the long- term interest of

If we continue stubbornly refusing to accommodate each
other and each other’s victims and fail to cement the
rule of law, we will remain vulnerable to interminable
wrangling that could reignite the vicious cycles of
violence and place all our futures in jeopardy. We
should learn from the past but we must first and
foremost seek to find our own responsibilities and
failures there. What we must not do is seek further
grounds to strengthen prejudice or lay blame
exclusively on others while keeping ancient hatred
alive. Better to accept the reality of common unclean
hands – and move on.


King Seat Under Pressure

IS Republican Congressman Peter King vulnerable in his
Long Island congressional district in November 2006?

According to Newsday, Democratic Party officials
believe he is and have sought a strong candidate to
run against him.

Their pick is Nassau Legislator David Mejias, who was
just re-elected handsomely in a very Republican area.
Mejias traveled to Washington last week to meet with
Democratic Party strategists to discuss a possible

King is the only remaining Republican representative
on Long Island, a testament to his strong local roots
and his ability to outwork any challenger.

However, it is King’s close ties to President Bush and
his outspoken support for the war in Iraq that is
seemingly causing him problems in his moderate home
district — at least that’s what Democrats think.

A survey of King’s district showed him vulnerable to a
campaign that would link his strong support of
President Bush and the war in Iraq, which are both
unpopular in his district.

In a poll taken by the Democratic Party King easily
won when the two names were put to the electorate, but
lost ground rapidly when his support for the war and
Bush was included.

Mejias, 35, says he is considering the race “very
seriously” and that he will make a decision in the
next four to six weeks. He is looking to raise between
$1 million and $2 million for a credible challenge.

Democrats have moved the King seat up to their top
list of targets. “If he (Mejias) decides to run for
Congress it’s clear he has a lot of fans in New York
and Washington who would heavily support him,”
Jennifer Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Democratic
Congressional Campaign, told Newsday.

Among those urging Mejias to run are Congressmen Gary
Ackerman of Queens and Steve Israel of Suffolk, and
the Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Richard

However, Mejias knows that King is among the toughest
Republican opponents anywhere in the country. Great on
the stump, excellent on television, King has many
inbuilt advantages.

However, given the political landscape this year,
anything is possible.

King Is Bush Buddy

IRONICALLY, of course, for many years King was the
ultimate Republican maverick. He voted against the
Clinton impeachment, supported Senator John McCain for
president and was so outspoken on Northern Ireland
that he was once deemed a security risk before a visit
to his Long Island base by then President Ronald

However, in recent times King has mended his fences
with the Republican power elite and has been rewarded
with the chairmanship of the Homeland Security
Committee in the House, a very powerful job.

King has established very strong links with Bush
himself and is often sent out to defend the president
on national television, a forum which King excels at.

It may be that very, support, however, that lands him
in difficulty in his race later this year. After years
of easily fending off Democratic opponents, King may
suddenly find himself in the toughest race of his
seven terms.

The Perfect Storm Election?

KING has every right to be worried. Just 10 months
before the 2006 elections the Republican Party may
well be facing the perfect storm in New York State.

On the national stage the Jack Abramoff lobbying
scandals may well lead to a “throw the bums out”
election, which could endanger many incumbents.

Adding to King’s problems are the fact that the
Republicans are foundering at the top of the ticket in
New York. If the election were held tomorrow Attorney
General Eliot Spitzer, who is running for governor,
and Senator Hillary Clinton would breeze home as the
Republicans have no effective leader in the post-
Pataki era.

If that were the case Democrats hope that many
previously safe Republican seats could come into play
in a Democratic landslide. Little wonder then that
King and other Republican incumbents are nervously
watching the polls as their races draw near.

Mention of Hillary Clinton brings up an interesting
speculation. Would she campaign against King, given
that he stood so loyally beside her husband on the
impeachment business?

Politics is an unforgiving sport, but Clinton might
find it very difficult to oppose a man who was one of
a very few Republicans who stood by her husband.


Irish Republicans Unite To Commemorate Hunger Strikes

by Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2006 at 6:16 PM

Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee
Colm Mistéil, Concerned Group for Republican Prisoners
- Chairman
Deirdre Fennessy, Irish Freedom Committee (Chicago
TJ O Conchúir, Irish Republican Socialist Committees
of North America


Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee
Colm Mistéil, Concerned Group for Republican Prisoners
- Chairman
Deirdre Fennessy, Irish Freedom Committee (Chicago
TJ O Conchúir, Irish Republican Socialist Committees
of North America

CHICAGO, IL - January 14, 2006

Irish Republicans Unite To Commemorate Hunger Strikes

25 Years On –Commemoration Says “We Must Be United!”

Twenty-Five years ago, ten brave men stunned the world
by their agonizing deaths on Hunger Strike in Long
Kesh jail in Ireland. Seven political prisoners allied
to the Irish Republican Army, and three representing
the Irish National Liberation Army, sacrificed their
lives to expose injustice and brutality in British
jails and to restore Political Status to their
imprisoned comrades. These ten martyrs, united in
cause and principle under different factions of Irish
Republicanism, left an unfulfilled legacy of strength
in unity to Irish Republicans today.

In 2006, the 25th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger
Strikes, a diverse group of US-based Irish Republican
organizations will unite in homage to the memories of
these ten martyrs and to the causes and demands for
which they died. These organizations, the Concerned
Group for Republican Prisoners, the Chicago Cumann of
The Irish Freedom Committee, and The Irish Republican
Socialist Committees of North America, will join
together under the banner of the Chicago Hunger Strike
Commemoration Committee to stage a series of events in
the Chicago area to observe the historic 25th
Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes. All groups
involved are devoted to the pursuit of a United and
Sovereign 32 County Socialist Irish Republic, free of
British military and administrative rule; and to the
support of the families of Irish Republican political

The Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee will
stage several events in the Chicago area in 2006 to
mark the 25th Anniversary of the Hunger Strikes. Event
dates and locations are to be announced shortly, but
these will include a benefit Rock and Roll show in
April, and a Commemoration Dinner Dance to be hosted
in August 2006. A special Testimonial Journal will
also be pressed for this historic occasion. All funds
raised at the Commemoration will go directly to aid
the families of current Irish Republican POWs, some of
whom still fight for the Political Status which the
ten 1981 Hunger Strikers died for.

In the spirit of Theobald Wolfe Tone, who sought to
unite “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter”; in
acknowledgement of the leadership of the Easter 1916
Rising, which united disparate Republican forces
against the might of Britain’s army; and most
especially in the memory of the 1981 hunger strikers,
who died united in protest inside the H-Blocks of Long
Kesh; The Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration
Committee will do our part in unity to pay respectful
homage to the legacy of ten brave men who sacrificed
all for Ireland.


Vol. Bobby Sands, IRA
Vol. Francis Hughes, IRA
Vol. Patsy O'Hara, INLA
Vol. Raymond Mccreesh, IRA
Vol. Joe McDonnell, IRA
Vol. Martin Hurson, IRA
Vol. Kevin Lynch, INLA
Vol. Kieran Doherty, IRA
Vol. Thomas McElwee, IRA
Vol. Michael Devine, INLA

Tiochfaidh ár lá!

For more information and event updates please visit
The Chicago Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee at , or email the CHSCC at .

The Concerned Group for Republican Prisoners (CGRP)
was launched in the summer of 2005 in response to a
critical need for support for a group of Irish
Republican Political Prisoners on E4 landing at
Portlaoise Prison. The Irish Freedom Committee (IFC),
formed in 1961, is a Nation-wide organization which
has supported anti-Treaty Irish Republican political
prisoners and their families for many years and has
lead numerous human rights campaigns, speaking tours,
film screenings, musical benefits, and public protests
on behalf of the prisoners and their families. The
Irish Republican Socialist Committees of North America
(IRSCNA) was founded in 1984 to expand support for the
Irish Republican Socialist Movement in Ireland through
political forums, press releases, and demonstrations.



Miss St. Patrick Crowned In Hamilton

Monday, January 16, 2006
By Kelly Rouba

HAMILTON - Being of Irish descent, 17-year-old Erin
Vanderhoof grew up listening to Irish music, baking
soda bread and taking part in elaborate St. Patrick's
Day celebrations with her family.

Impressed with the courage and strength of her Irish
ancestors, Vanderhoof decided to compete for this
year's title of Miss St. Patrick in Mercer County as a
way to repay her Irish community.

Yesterday evening, Vanderhoof got her wish. In
ceremonies at the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH)
hall on Kuser Road, Erin Bush, last year's Miss St.
Patrick, passed the sparkling crown to Vanderhoof as
the AOH pipe band played in the background.

Vanderhoof will be joined by the other finalists in
her court on the committee's float in the Trenton St.
Patrick's Day parade, to be held March 11. The theme
of this year's parade is "A Salute to American

Asked if being selected as Miss St. Patrick will
change her life, Vanderhoof spoke about her ancestors
and said, "It would give me an opportunity to repay my
Irish community."

Vanderhoof, a senior at Notre Dame High School, said
both her maternal grandmother and grandfather lived in
Ireland. "They told me stories about Ireland and what
it was like to live there," she said. This is a way to
"honor my Irish heritage."

"Being Irish is a huge part of who our family is,"
said Mary Vanderhoof, Erin's mother, noting that
Erin's father is part Irish too. "We celebrate St.
Patrick's Day in our house pretty big."

First runner-up Laura McWilliam, a senior at Notre
Dame High School, said Irish traditions are equally
important since her maternal grandmother lived in
Ireland before moving to the United States. "The faith
that my grandmom brought, it's a big part of my family
life and traditions," she said. "She really taught us
to hold that close to our hearts."

"We have a lot of traditions here at the Hibernians,"
McWilliam said, mentioning that she volunteers at the
club and attends many of their special events. "I
learn a lot from people here about my Irish heritage.
(It has) strengthened my pride in my heritage."

Each of the finalists were awarded scholarships funded
by the committee's fund-raising efforts throughout the
year, said Jerry Sheridan, committee trustee.
Vanderhoof won a $3,000 scholarship, a trophy and
roses. McWilliam received $1,500. Second runner-up
Elizabeth Kelly, a senior at Villa Victoria Academy,
was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and all other
finalists received $300.

Each year, the Trenton St. Patrick's Day Parade &
Scholarship Committee begins the selection process in
October. Women between the ages of 16-22, who live or
attend schools in Mercer County or have relatives who
belong to an Irish organization in the county, are
invited to submit applications and essays saying why
their Irish heritage is important to them.

Gerry Nabinger, chairman of Miss St. Patrick
Committee, stressed the contest is not a beauty
pageant, but a way for the committee to find well-
rounded young women to represent the Irish community
at upcoming events, including the parade, the grand
marshal's luncheon and the Irish Ball.

Nabinger selects five judges from outside the
community to score contestants based on intelligence,
personality, poise, appearance and community
involvement. Judges began by scoring the application
and essays submitted by 14 applicants based on a 100-
point scale.

Each applicant was then invited to a luncheon at
Tiffany's restaurant in Hamilton, where they were
interviewed by all five judges simultaneously and
scored based on a 200-point scale.

"Each of the judges asked different questions," said
Joe McGonigle, an Irish dancer from Philadelphia, who
served as one of the judges. "That was very
informative. That is where they had to speak on what
they wrote to a great extent."

Following the luncheon, eight finalists competed in
the final question-and-answer round, worth up to 100
points, that took place yesterday following
entertainment by Irish bands McHugh & Co. and Billy
O'Neal. Each contestant dressed in an evening gown and
had to answer one question based on their Irish
heritage in front of the judges and an audience of


Journalist Who Reported On Bloody Sunday Dies

By Staff Reporter

JOHN Bierman, the British foreign correspondent,
famous for his on-the-ground report on Bloody Sunday.
has died age 76.

Working for the BBC in 1972, Bierman was sent to the
Bogside in Derry to report on a Catholic civil rights

Despite being ordered to get out, Bierman and his crew

Speaking about the experience, he said: “Minutes
later, we and other TV crews were incapacitated by CS
gas fired by the security forces during a tense
confrontation with demonstrators throwing stones and

“Police water cannon opened up, putting the
demonstrators to flight – knocking out of action all
TV cameras but our own.”

Bierman and his crew captured the iconic scene of Fr
Edward Daly, later to become Bishop of Derry, leading
a wounded man through the carnage.

He filed a report live to camera in the midst of the
bloodshed. His 13-minute report later won an award at
the Cannes Film Festival.

Before working for the BBC, Bierman was a print
journalist in England and Canada, before setting up
and editing The Nation, a Kenya-based newspaper owned
by the Aga Khan.

On returning to London, he joined the BBC working as a
reporter in some of the world’s most dangerous

He was also the author of several books including the
best-selling biography of Swedish diplomat Raoul
Wallenberg and biographies of Napoleon III and Henry
Stanley, the African explorer.

Recently in collaboration with a another veteran
correspondent, Colin Smith, he published Alamein and
Fire in the Night, the story of General Wingate.

He died on Saturday in Paphos, Cyprus.


Adair Faces ‘Captor’ In TV Meeting

By Staff Reporter

Ex-police officer Jonty Brown has met notorious
loyalist paramilitary Johnny Adair, the man he helped
put behind bars, in a dramatic TV encounter.

The fiery hour-and-a-half-long meeting was captured on
camera by award-winning investigative reporter Donal

During the joint TV3/Channel 5 production the
convicted murderer sits beside former detective
sergeant Jonty Brown.

Adair, who has been living in Bolton since he got out
of jail last year, announces in the programme that
he’s the “king” and he says: “The king is coming back
to his kingdom.”

Meanwhile, Mr Brown describes Adair as a “leprechaun”.

“We expected it to be electric stuff and we weren’t
disappointed,” Mr MacIntyre told the Sunday World

“The first time they met was in front of the cameras
and it was very tense stuff.

“We had a lot of security standing by just in case –
there was real aggression in the air.”

Mr Brown was the officer who cultivated a relationship
with the Shankill Road terrorists over a number of
years while Adair was at his peak as boss of the
feared ‘C’ company.

The programme MacIntyre’s Underworld is due to be
screened at Easter.

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