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January 10, 2006

Working 'Day & Night' to Wreck Peace

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News about Ireland & the Irish

DJ 01/10/06
Working 'Day And Night' To Wreck Peace
BB 01/10/06 Arrest Made Over Catholic Student Threats
DJ 01/06/06 'Does Someone Have To Die Before This Stops?'
UT 01/10/06 Home Daubed With Graffiti In Loyalist Estate
BB 01/10/06 Boost For Loyalist Areas Unveiled
DJ 01/10/06 What's In It For Unionists? - Campbell Asks
BB 01/10/06 Spy Case Decision 'Not Political'
DU 01/10/06 Storey Slams Hain's 'Quick Fix' Approach
IO 01/10/06 SDLP In Clash Over Justice Schemes
BT 01/10/06 Ex-Crucible Chief Challenges US Extradition
IO 01/10/06 Nuns Apologise For Poor Care Of Children
IT 01/11/06 Protester Told Not To Bare All


Working 'Day And Night' To Wreck Peace

McGuinness Accuses British Intelligence

Tuesday 10th January 2006

BRITISH INTELLIGENCE agencies are working 'day and night'
to wreck the North's peace process, Martin McGuinness told
the 'Journal' last night.

In a particularly hard-hitting outburst, Sinn Fein's chief
negotiator accused elements within Britain's intelligence
services of trying to prevent political progress in the six

He said: "These are people with the same mentality as
rejectionist unionism; people who are hostile to the peace
process and the Good Friday Agreement.

"They are opposed to the prospect of an all-Ireland
agreement up-and-running with unionist, nationalist and
republican politicians sitting down together to map out a
better future for the 32 counties."

The Mid-Ulster MP added: "Clearly, these people will
continue with their work. They are negative influences.

"But, at the end of the day, the person who has to curtail
these activities, to bring these people to heel is the
British prime minister. The buck stops with him.

"And, of course, when we speak to him, as we will, we will
make it very, very clear that we are prepared to play our
part, as we have done over many years, in trying to put
these institutions back together.

"But he also has to play his part in making it clear to
those elements within the British intelligence services
hostile to the process that their activities have to end."

In his interview with the 'Journal', Mr. McGuinness also
assessed prospects for political progress in 2006 and the
political atmosphere for negotiations around the
restoration of the all-Ireland institutions.

Expanding on his recent call for the Irish and British
governments to bring forward a plan to restore political
institutions in the North, the Derry republican said:
"Given that prior to Christmas there were positive
soundings coming from both the Irish and British
governments around the issue of a big push to restore the
institutions - followed now by further statements from
Dermot Ahern and Peter Hain clearly indicating that both
governments are going to pump up the volume on this issue -
it is now incumbent on them to explain to the rest of us
their plan for getting the DUP to play its part in
contributing to the restoration of the Good Friday

Huge effort

"A huge effort was made by republicans last year. The IRA
delivered big time on an end to their armed campaign and on
the issue of arms. "As I predicted last year, a spotlight
is now going to be turned on the leadership of the DUP and
my hope obviously is that they will rise to the challenge;
that they will recognise that we all have a responsibility
to the people we represent and they have to recognise that,
as Gerry Adams has said, a genuine effort is needed to end
the stalemate.

"We are determined that the IRA initiatives of last year
are not squandered and that, collectively, we all play our
part in restoring the institutions that the people of
Ireland voted for."


Arrest Made Over Catholic Student Threats

Police have arrested a man on suspicion of making threats
to kill Catholic students at a college in east Belfast.

Two men verbally abused students having a smoke break at
Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education at Tower
Street on Monday, a spokeswoman said.

The college spokeswoman said sectarian threats were made
before the men left but they returned armed with knives.

Sinn Fein education spokesman Michael Ferguson has met the
college's chief executive to discuss campus security.

Three years ago the campus, which is in a loyalist area,
was closed after masked men threatened Catholic students

The college said the students involved in Monday's
incidents were attending performing arts courses.

CCTV footage of the incidents was being examined.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/10 21:36:49 GMT


'Does Someone Have To Die Before This Stops?'

By Amanda Williams
Friday 6th January 2006

A Derry mother has vowed to remain in her Fountain home
despite an ongoing campaign of violence in the area.

Katie Jackson, her husband William and their three children
narrowly escaped serious injury on Wednesday night after a
petrol bomb was hurled at their interface home shortly
after 9.30pm causing scorch damage to the porch.

Mrs. Jackson, who has lived in the area for the past 22
years, called for tougher sentencing for those caught
causing trouble in the area.

"People on both sides of the community have been working
hard to stop these attacks but those involved are not
listening. We need proper CCTV and anyone caught must be
dealt with properly by the law, not just given a slap on
the wrist." she said.

Mrs. Jackson also spoke of her family's distress at the
latest incident.

"My eldest son Robert has special needs and he doesn't
really understand why this is happening, they've even
called him names, like 'spastic' and it's very disturbing
for him," she said.

"My sister-in-law won't come up to the house, she's that
nervous and my youngest daughter who's 13 is very
frightened. These attacks have been going on for years and
while we have become used to it, it doesn't make it any
easier to live with."

Local politicians last night united to condemn the
incident, backing calls for the installation of proper CCTV
cameras in the area.

Sinn Fein councillor Peter Anderson said there could not be
any justification for the ongoing violence.

'"I've condemned these attacks before and no doubt I will
be doing the same in the future. Does someone have to die
before these incidents stop?" he said.

"A lot of good work is being done on both sides in a bid to
prevent such incidents. Earlier this week a member of
Estate Services [security firm] apprehended a number of
young people heading towards the Fountain with a wheelie
bin half filled with bottles and petrol, thankfully these
people were stopped but the area cannot be patrolled 24
hours a day."

Colr. Anderson added that anyone who believed they were in
any way representing republican ideology by attacking the
Fountain was 'living in cloud cuckoo land'.

"It seems to be a generational thing," he said.

"Perhaps these kids saw members of their own families
petrol bombing people and I suspect peer history has a lot
to do with the current situation - they think it's ok but
it is not and never has been.

"I am a Republican and never in my life have I contemplated
throwing a petrol bomb into the Fountain."

Party colleague Patricia Logue, one of a number of
community volunteers who have been tackling sectarian
clashes at the Fountain/Bishop Street interface, said the
cycle of attacks had to end.

"It is obvious that those responsible on both sides have no
interest in anything other than their own entertainment,"
she said.

"For the people living in and around the Fountain estate
this is not entertaining and the community is becoming
increasingly angry that a tiny minority of young people,
both Catholic and Protestant, are putting their sectarian
amusement above the community's well being."

She added that if the identities of the young people
involved become known parents would 'be informed.'

Meanwhile DUP councillor Drew Thompson called for CCTV
cameras to be installed in the estate.

"This family is being attacked on a regular basis and they
are disgusted" he said.

"Someone is going to be seriously injured or killed if
these attacks do not stop. The only way to get the message
through is to bring the perpetrators before the courts,
CCTV may help achieve that."

SDLP councillor Sean Carr also condemned the attack.

"The vast majority of people living in and around the
Fountain want a complete end to violent attacks and
intimidation," he said.

"It is high time that those who carry out such acts listen
to the will of the community - both unionist and
nationalist --and got off the people's backs."


Home Daubed With Racist Graffiti In Loyalist Estate

A black woman may be forced to quit a loyalist housing
estate after her home was daubed with shocking racist
slogans, she said tonight.

By:Press Association

Alison Antoine, 34, woke today to find the words "Die
N****r" spray-painted on the front of the house in Stiles,

A swastika, the Nazi SS symbol and "White Power" were also
scrawled on the Housing Executive property at Rathkyle
where she has lived for four years.

Ms Antoine said: "I`m sick of it and don`t know what to do.

"I`m frightened to walk out onto the street unless I have
someone with me."

The Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities
described it as one of the worst incidents of race hate it
had encountered.

Executive director Patrick Yu said: "Normally they
distribute leaflets, but this time it is targeting a
specific family. It`s very serious."

Ms Antoine, originally from Grenada, moved to Northern
Ireland more than 10 years ago to be close to her partner
Robert Jones`s family.

Although the unemployed woman stressed most people in
Antrim have caused her no trouble, she told how the
intimidation from a minority has intensified.

A garden shed was burnt down and her kitchen windows
smashed since she moved into the town, she said.

"I have been victimised because of my colour and had racist
names shouted at me, but nothing like this," Ms Antoine

"I don`t know why somebody has done this to me, I wish they
would leave me alone.

"It`s making me think about asking to move."

A Housing Executive order has been issued to have the
graffiti removed on Wednesday.

The attack horrified Ken Wilkinson, a Progressive Unionist
representative in Antrim.

Mr Wilkinson, whose party is aligned to the Ulster
Volunteer Force, said the Loyalist Commission he sits on
has attempted to stop the spread of racism by distributing
leaflets and talking to youths.

"These people who come in the dead of night and target a
vulnerable girl are scum," he said.

"They probably cheer on their favourite football team with
five or six black players.

"My father and his brothers fought to defeat the swastika
which represents the murder of six million people.

"When I see a swastika it insults me and it insults the
people I represent."

Mr Yu also insisted those responsible posed a major threat
and urged any witnesses not to stay silent.

"Someone, somewhere saw something and they need to tell the
police," he added.

"One of the difficulties of race-hate crime is when local
police say nothing."

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokesman confirmed
detectives were investigating a racist attack at Rathkyle.

He said: "Racist slogans were spray-painted on the wall.

"A man and woman were in at the time and it`s thought the
incident took place during the hours of 4am to 8am.

"Antrim police are appealing for anyone with information to
contact them on 0845 6008000."


Boost For Loyalist Areas Unveiled

A scheme to ensure that funding in loyalist areas is spent
as effectively as it is among nationalist communities has
been unveiled by the government.

NIO Minister David Hanson said the plan would focus on how
government can empower working class Protestant communities
to tackle deprivation.

It was drawn up following concerns that policies were not
making the intended impact in loyalist districts.

Mr Hanson reiterated that loyalist paramilitaries must end

"We are very clear, as we have been with the IRA, that
criminality and paramilitary activity are not compatible
with a democratically governed, modern business society in
the 21st century," he said.


Mr Hanson said he sensed that loyalist paramilitaries were
debating how to move away from criminality.

"What we now have to do is encourage confidence in the
political process and show that that type of activity is
actually holding back the community.

"We have to ensure the transformation takes place in
loyalism, as I believe it is doing slowly but surely within
the IRA."

DUP MP Nigel Dodds said his party would judge the
government's plan on whether it actually met the needs of
the loyalist community.

The North Belfast MP said the DUP had tabled a detailed 12-
page action plan to the government in December to target
socio-economic problems in the community.

"What we do need is a long-term, properly-funded plan that
will deliver results that overcomes difficulties with
educational underachievement, social housing shortages and
a lack of employment skills," he added.

Ulster Unionist MLA Michael Copeland welcomed the move but
said "a proper diagnosis followed by a detailed course of
treatment" was needed to "heal the social and economic

"Simply throwing a one-off tranche of funding or seeking to
shirk blame for past errors will not sort out what are
effectively generational problems in terms of health,
education and housing," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/10 21:07:34 GMT


What's In It For Unionists? - Campbell Asks Council

By Claire Allan
Friday 6th January 2006

DUP MLA Gregory Campbell last night told representatives of
Derry City Council that they needed to "put their money
where their mouths are" and provide funding to Waterside
sports groups if they want the Unionist community to
approve of a £250,000 "gift" to Sean Dolan's GAA Club.

Ald. Campbell said any decision by the Development
Committee of the Council to gift eight acres of land,
currently valued at £240,000 to the Creggan based Gaelic
Club, could potentially further the sense of alienation
which exists in the Protestant Community.

"Everyone knows how some sections of our community view
this Council. This award, if not accompanied by something
similar for sports in the Waterside will enhance and worsen
the view that exists that this council make decisions on a
sectarian basis."

Ald. Campbell made his remarks during a council debate on
the proposal by Sean Dolan's GAA Club, which had received
the support of council officers, that waste land at Piggery
Ridge be gifted to them so that they can build a second

It was revealed that the club has already secured almost a
quarter of a million pounds in grant aid from the Sports
Council of Northern Ireland for the requisite building
works- but only on the condition that they can prove they
have long term access to the land.

The proposal was supported by both the SDLP and Sinn Fein.
However, Ald. Campbell requested it be amended so that
between now and May council could ascertain if any
applications were pending from the Waterside, and if so
only to consider the Sean Dolan's proposal in conjunction
with these.

Development Committee Chairperson, Colr. Pat Ramsey, ruled
Ald. Campbell's amendment as "wholly negative" and ruled
that it could not be added to the original.

"It has always been the policy of this committee to look at
every application on an individual basis and judge them on
their own merits," Colr. Ramsey said.

"This policy will continue and we can not be asked to make
decisions on reports which are not even before us at this
stage. However we will continue, as we always have done, to
look as favourably as possible on every proposal."

The motion was passed with seven votes for and three
against. Council representatives will now write to the
Minister to seek formal permission to dispose of the land
at below market price.


Spy Case Decision 'Not Political'

Political considerations played no part in the decision to
drop charges in the "Stormontgate" affair, the Public
Prosecution Service (PPS) has insisted.

Charges related to allegations of IRA spying against three
men were dropped last month "in the public interest".

One of the men, former Sinn Fein Stormont official Denis
Donaldson, later admitted he had been a British agent since
the mid-1980s.

The PPS said it could not confirm what the two-year case
cost the taxpayer.

In response to a series of questions put forward by the
BBC, the service said it did not hold information on the
individual costs of cases.

It said this was "only one of the large number of cases the
PPS deals with in the course of a year".

Legal sources told the BBC that while costs would have
built up over the two years, the fact that it did not go to
a full trial would have avoided considerable expenditure.

Police raid

The three were arrested following a police raid on Sinn
Fein's offices at Parliament Buildings on 5 October 2002,
when documents and computer discs were seized.

Following the arrests, the Reverend Ian Paisley's
Democratic Unionists and the Ulster Unionists, led at that
time by then First Minister David Trimble, threatened to
collapse the executive with resignations.

The British government then suspended devolution in the
province, embarking on direct rule for the last three

However, the "Stormontgate" case collapsed on 8 December
2005 when charges against the three men were dropped.

Despite pressure from unionists and the nationalist SDLP,
the PPS has consistently refused to be drawn further on why
the charges were dropped.

One week later, Mr Donaldson, who headed the party's
administration office at Stormont before his arrest,
admitted he was a paid British agent for two decades.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/01/10 17:01:12 GMT


Storey Slams Hain's 'Quick Fix' Approach

Resolving the difficult issues around the worthiness of
militant republicanism to be considered as a genuinely and
permanently dormant force must tax Secretary of State Peter
Hain more fully warned North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey.
Mervyn Storey said,

"Peter Hain is further risking his credibility with the
unionist community by trying to herd democratic politicians
like cattle into the political pen with Sinn Fein in the
interests of a quick fix solution. Mediocre and
unconvincing choreography with Dublin Ministers in clearly
contrived press statements is fooling no-one."

Mervyn Storey pointed out that Mr. Hain should stop and
reflect on the concerns of all the parties that Sinn Fein
was again being given a preferential pathway to fulfil its
objectives. Mervyn Storey continued,

"There must be no doubt about the position and status of
the IRA and their political party. Unionists, the SDLP and
Alliance have a right to expect the end of paramilitary
activities and the absence of any criminal operations. The
IMC report could go some way to confirming this, but we
know that the IRA turns its illegal activity on and off so
the longer term is a significant factor.

The Secretary of State should listen to the DUP and look
carefully at our proposals. They have been compiled in an
effort to secure progress and protect democracy but they
will require a genuine commitment from the British


SDLP In Clash Over Neighbourhood Justice Schemes

10/01/2006 - 18:51:00

The British government and the SDLP clashed tonight over
claims the party had failed to submit proposals for state
funded neighbourhood justice schemes in Northern Ireland.

SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood urged Northern
Ireland Office minister David Hanson to go back and check
his facts after he said he had received no proposals from
the party on restorative justice.

Earlier Mr Hanson said the SDLP and other critics needed to
be clearer about their vision for the schemes.

"At the moment it is not illegal to run a community
restorative justice scheme," the minister told PA.

"So the question for the SDLP and others is: are they
saying to me I should make it illegal to operate these

"If the funding comes from American philanthropists or any
other charitable source, should I ban that charitable
activity? Or are they saying I should put in place
regulations to make sure they operate within the criminal
justice system?

"Alex Attwood asked me to publish these documents. I have
done it.

"He asked me to give the political parties a chance to
comment upon it. I have done it. He has asked me to
consider the points he is making. I will do it when he has
made them.

"I don't think to date I have had a submission from the
SDLP – they may have sent one but I haven't seen it in
front of me on my desk."

Restorative justice schemes operating in loyalist and
republican neighbourhoods bring the perpetrators of low-
level crime face to face with their victims to agree an
appropriate penalty.

Sinn Féin and supporters of the schemes argue they are a
viable alternative to paramilitary expulsions and so-called
punishment attacks.

Unionist and nationalist critics, however, fear republicans
in particular want restorative justice organisations to act
as an alternative to the police in their neighbourhoods.

The programmes are currently funded by American
philanthropists but, with the money due to dry up soon,
supporters would like them to receive Government funding as
officially state-sanctioned schemes.

Under the draft guidelines, the Government envisaged the
majority of state-funded restorative justice groups would
refer a case they would like to handle to an advisory panel
featuring the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and
representatives of the scheme, Probation Board or Youth
Justice Agency.

However, in republican areas where people refuse to engage
with the police, there would be no obligation on those
running schemes to deal with police officers directly.

Instead they could alert the PSNI about cases they would
like to deal with by contacting the Probation Board or
Youth Justice Agency who will pass the proposal on to the

Unionists have accused the British government of trying to
put the police at an arms length in the proposals.

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly accused the SDLP of whining about
the proposals to undermine efforts to further secure
policing changes needed in Northern Ireland.

Mr Attwood tonight said the Government was well aware of
what the SDLP believed was wrong with the protocol and what
needed to be done.

"The SDLP has met the Minister twice on this issue, had
three meetings with senior officials, and handed over a
written preliminary analysis of the draft protocol together
with a range of supporting documentation," he said.

"Yet the Government still claims that it doesn't know what
the problems are and what the SDLP has proposed to remedy
those problems.

"The SDLP trusts that the minister will go and check with
his own office and with his own officials and withdraw his
comments which do not reflect the facts.

"The SDLP set out last October the standards we wanted on
community restorative justice, including an independent
statutory complaints system and dedicated oversight body
for Restorative Justice schemes.

"We provided this to the British government and are
publishing it again today so that people can see it for

"The SDLP hopes that the minister, rather than trying to
obscure the deep concerns around restorative justice, fully
faces up to the problems and dangers."

The West Belfast MLA also claimed the minister had
condemned himself by saying he was trying to achieve
minimum standards for restorative justice.

"The SDLP has been clear that maximum standards are
required around issues such as human rights and
relationships with the police," he countered.

"It comes as a startling admission from the Minister that
the government's approach is to create minimum standards
when maximum standards are required."


Ex-Crucible Chief Challenges US Extradition Attempts

By Liz Chong

IAN NORRIS, the former chief executive of Morgan Crucible,
begins his challenge tomorrow to the American Government's
attempts to extradite him to face charges of price-fixing.

The case of Mr Norris is one of several that have stirred
controversy over the 2003 Extradition Act, which was passed
in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks and
intended to speed up the extradition of suspected
terrorists for trial.

Mr Norris denies charges that he fixed prices of components
used to power trains between 1989 to 2000.

His case represents the first time that Washington has
sought extradition for price-fixing. At the High Court, Mr
Norris will appeal against a magistrate's ruling last June
to extradite him, and seek judicial review of the Home
Secretary's approval of the decision.

His legal team will argue that his extradition will
infringe his human rights, echoing arguments made
previously at the High Court by three bankers linked to the
Enron scandal who are contesting extradition.

The men, who say extradition will violate their rights as
Englishmen, will receive a ruling later this month, which
could affect Mr Norris's case.

Lawyers for Mr Norris will also argue that Britain is
standing by the law though it is unlikely to be ratified in
the US, after an extensive campaign by Irish-American lobby
groups who claim that British justice cannot be trusted.

About half of the US Government's 43 requests to extradite
Britons so far have involved businessmen, prompting lawyers
and politicians to accuse America of abusing the
legislation in its pursuit of whitecollar offenders.

Alistair Graham, who is acting for Mr Norris, called for
the British Government to rethink its approach to
extradition law.

Mr Graham said: "It was ill-conceived for the Government to
remove the requirement for the US to demonstrate a prima
facie case against UK citizens."


Nuns Apologise For Poor Care Of Children

10/01/2006 - 12:21:25

An order of nuns who ran an industrial school for girls
today apologised for failing to provide for their needs.

The Sisters of Mercy operated St Joseph's School in
Dundalk, Co Louth for more than 100 years until it closed
in 1983.

At the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse the Order
said that its Sisters had at all times sought to provide
for the needs of the girls who had been sent there from
broken homes.

"But no institution, even if it were perfect, could ever
recreate what a loving home offered or even substitute for
the love of parents, particularly for vulnerable and
traumatised children who were frightened and lonely and
suffered so much and lost so much," said Sister Anne-Marie

The elderly nun, who is the provincial leader of the
Order's Northern Province, had to pause in her evidence to
the Commission when she was overcome with emotion.

"The best efforts of those who cared for the children fell
far short of their needs," she said.

Sister McQuaid said this caused deep sadness and regret to
the Order as they remembered the people who had lived under
the school's roof for 100 years.

She added St Joseph's was an unsuitable building to house
children, was generally uncomfortable and had inadequate
recreational facilities.

At its height in 1943, the nuns in St Joseph's were looking
after 100 girls a year but these numbers gradually declined
to 30 in the 1960s and less than 10 in the 1970s.

It also looked after boys from 1969 onwards in an attempt
to prevent children from the same families from being split

At the Commission's public hearing into the school, Sister
McQuaid said most of the children were admitted because of
poverty or poor social conditions.

"A parent had died, often the mother, or the family were
not able to look after them," she said.

There were two general inspection reports in 1944 and 1966
which were severely critical of the nuns' care of the
children in the school.

They revealed that the children looked dirty, unkempt,
under-weight and had lice.

Sister McQuaid said that from 1947 onwards more staff were
employed at St Joseph's and there was a marked improvement.


Protester Told Not To Bare All

A young Galway woman wearing shackles held a "naked
protest" in the middle of Galway city yesterday against the
cruel treatment of circus animals.

Although Janine Foley (22), a volunteer with Animal Rights
Action Network (Aran), was prepared to bare all during the
protest at Shop Street at noon, she was warned by gardaí
she would be arrested if she removed her bra and thong.

Ms Foley wore shackles and donned fake scars and bruises in
an effort to highlight the violent beatings she claims are
an everyday occurrence for animals in circuses. Aran said
that in order to force wild animals to perform stressful
and often painful acts, trainers use metal bullhooks,
whips, muzzles and electric prods.

As a result of advance publicity of the event, a large
crowd turned out to watch, and leaflets were handed out as
well as DVDs of a recent undercover investigation by Animal
Defenders International.

Ms Foley said: "The reaction was very positive. People were
eager to know what we were about and there was no negative
response at all."

Aran's naked campaign tour will also be visiting Sligo,
Donegal, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Kildare, Cork and
Belfast. The demonstration has made previous stops in
Dublin and Limerick city.

© The Irish Times

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