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February 01, 2006

No Evidence of IRA Keeping Arms: IICD

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RT 02/01/06 'No Evidence' Of IRA Keeping Arms: IICD
IT 02/01/06 Loyalists Remain Involved In Crime, Drugs - IMC
RT 02/01/06 Ahern Calls For Resumption Of Powersharing
BB 02/01/06 Reaction To IMC Statement
BT 02/01/06 DUP's Devolution Blueprint Rejected
IN 02/01/06 Loyalists Hands Over Stolen Machinery To Police
BN 02/01/06 IRA Denies Holding Onto Guns
BN 02/01/06 New Splinter Republican Groups Identified
IN 02/01/06 CIRA Fires Shots Over Grave
IN 02/01/06 Row Over Call For North/South Links
DJ 02/01/06 'Give People Of Derry What They Deserve'
BT 02/01/06 IRA In Link To £70m Property Empire
BT 02/01/06 Axe Diplock By End Of Year: SDLP
BT 02/01/06 LVF Killer Bidding For Early Release
IN 02/01/06 Blair’s Religious Hatred Bill Defeated
BB 02/01/06 Q&A: Religious Hatred Law
IN 02/01/06 RSF Angry At Sunday Vigil
BT 02/01/06 Opin: Brown Needs Better Case For Flying Flag
BT 02/01/06 Opin: Hain Zeros In On Ulster Bureaucracy
BT 02/01/06 Opin: Sports Minister - My Vision For The Maze
IN 02/01/06 Opin: Trust & Confidence Isn’t Quite There Yet
IN 02/01/06 De Valera: Journalism Is Greatest Profession
IN 02/01/06 Artist To Pay Tribute To Factory Girls


'No Evidence' Of IRA Keeping Arms: IICD

01 February 2006 12:27

The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning
today said it had investigated media reports and
suggestions by security sources in Northern Ireland that
individuals and groups in the IRA had retained a range of

However, the head of the IICD, General John de Chastelain,
and his colleagues have concluded that, in the absence of
evidence to the contrary, the assessment they made about
IRA weapons decommissioning in September remains correct.

The Independent Monitoring Commission also released its
latest report today.

The IMC says its firm view is that the present IRA
leadership has taken the strategic decision to end the
armed campaign and pursue the political course.

But it also says there are some signs that are neutral and
a few more that are disturbing.

It says there are indications that the IRA appears to
retain long-term intentions to gather intelligence, which
the IMC says is a matter for concern.

The commission says it believes the IRA continues to engage
in intelligence gathering, and has no present intention of
doing otherwise.

It says it believes this is an activity that is authorised
by the leadership and which involves some very senior
members. While some of it may be for defensive purposes,
the report says such activity is predominantly directed
towards supporting the political strategy.

On the issue of republican paramilitary involvement in
criminality, the IMC report says it does not believe that
recent punishment beatings were sanctioned by the
leadership but that the contrary appears to be the case.

The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, and the
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, are in London
where they will give their reaction to the report along
with the Northern Secretary, Peter Hain.


Loyalists Remain Involved In Crime, Drugs - IMC

By Kilian Doyle Last updated: 01-02-06, 13:19

There has been no change in the status of loyalist
paramilitaries in the past six months, although there is
some evidence of efforts to rein in criminality, the
Independent Monitoring Commission said today.

In its eighth report, the IMC said the UDA, LVF and the UVF
showed no signs of disbanding and remained heavily involved
in criminality and drug dealing.

The report says 22 people were shot and eight others were
assaulted by loyalists from the beginning of September to
the end of November last year.

The Ulster Defence Association (UDA), in particular, has
been engaged in continuing paramilitary activity, including
the murder of former member Jim Gray in October. Gray was
shot dead while on bail after his arrest for money-

The IMC said UDA members also carried out a sectarian
attack on a Catholic last September and UDA members remain
involved in drug dealing, racketeering, extortion, robbery,
money-laundering and the production and sale of counterfeit

The organisation is blamed for orchestrating violent
disorders at Whiterock in Belfast last September. During
the rioting, more than 1,000 police officers and 1,000
soldiers were deployed to control up to 1,000 rioters.

Police said at least 50 live rounds were fired at PSNI
officers by loyalist gunmen.

The IMC concludes the UDA, having actively engaged in the
rioting and providing the weapons for attacking the police,
only moved to quell the disorder once it felt it was
getting out of hand. The report says the UDA worked with
the UVF and Red Hand Commando to get the rioters off the

"We give no credit to the UDA for trying to rein back on
disorders which it had done so much to foster just because
it found things had reached an unacceptable level.," the
IMC says. "But we do nevertheless think that there are
signs that some people within some parts of the
organisation or associated with it want to steer the UDA
away from violence and crime and into community

In the section dealing with the activities of the Ulster
Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Red Hand Commando, the IMC
notes the feud between the UVF and the LVF ended last
August and there is no sign of it re-igniting.

Despite this, the UVF and RHC continue to carry out
sectarian attacks on Catholics and ethnic minorities
throughout Northern Ireland.

Senior UVF members were also involved in the Whiterock
disturbances. were "During the course of the rioting,
members were responsible for hijacking vehicles and for
attacks on the police and military involving gunfire, blast
bombs and petrol bombs," it says.

Criminality remains deeply ingrained in the organisation,
the IMC says, but notes that elements within the leadership
are trying to reduce crime,e specially drug-dealing. "We
welcome this, and will watch with interest to see what

Despite these positive steps, the IMC concludes that the
UVF remains "a continuing and serious threat to the rule of

The report says it is believed the UDA and UVF "continue to
aspire to acquire weapons", although it concedes it has no
evidence they have been successful in doing so.

According to the report, the LVF is still "a deeply
criminal organisation" that is heavily involved in
organised crime, including drugs.

The LVF said in a statement last October that it planned to
stand down its military units. However, the IMC says it has
seen no evidence that this has taken place.

In conclusion, the IMC says loyalist groups have yet to
take the route of the Provisional IRA and taken "the
strategic decision to eschew terrorism and pursue a
political path".

However, it says, "there are some early signs of change
amongst loyalists which we hope to see taken much further."

© 2006


Ahern Calls For Resumption Of Powersharing

01 February 2006 13:09

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, has called
for the resumption of powersharing in Northern Ireland.

He was speaking in London following the publication of
reports from the Independent Monitoring Commission and the
Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.

Mr Ahern said the IRA had made significant progress in
switching off its paramilitary machine. He said the IMC
report contained enough to re-start talks on the resumption
of powersharing.

In its report the IMC says its firm view is that the
present IRA leadership has taken the strategic decision to
end the armed campaign and pursue the political course.

But it also says there are some signs that are neutral and
a few more that are disturbing.

It says there are indications that the IRA appears to
retain long-term intentions to gather intelligence, which
the IMC says is a matter for concern.

The commission says it believes the IRA continues to engage
in intelligence gathering, and has no present intention of
doing otherwise.

It says it believes this is an activity that is authorised
by the leadership and which involves some very senior
members. While some of it may be for defensive purposes,
the report says such activity is predominantly directed
towards supporting the political strategy.

On the issue of republican paramilitary involvement in
criminality, the IMC report says it does not believe that
recent punishment beatings were sanctioned by the
leadership but that the contrary appears to be the case.

The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, told MPs earlier
that, while it was crucial that all criminal activity must
cease, there had been considerable progress and that the
IRA's decommissioning statement last July remained

The Independent International Commission on Decommissioning
today said it had investigated media reports and
suggestions by security sources in Northern Ireland that
individuals and groups in the IRA had retained a range of

However, the head of the IICD, General John de Chastelain,
and his colleagues have concluded that, in the absence of
evidence to the contrary, the assessment they made about
IRA weapons decommissioning in September remains correct.


Reaction To IMC Statement

Leading figures have been giving their reaction to the
latest report by the Independent Monitoring Commission into
paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland.


A fair summary of what the IMC has said is that they draw
attention to their belief that there has indeed been a
strategic decision by the leadership of the IRA to give up
the armed struggle.

What they have also said, however, is that they are
concerned about violence and criminality.

Let me make it clear once again, all criminal activity has
to cease. That is absolutely crucial.

But it would be quite wrong if the right honourable
gentleman (Rev Ian Paisley) was suggesting that there had
not been very significant progress or that the statement
that the IRA gave last July was not highly significant.


It shows that the IRA is moving in the right direction and
is closing down - no murders, no recruitment and no bank

There is enough progress in this report to make the process
of talking meaningful - not an executive up and running
tomorrow, but the beginning of a process of genuine and
purposeful engagement.

For the good of the people of Northern Ireland we need to
strive to get to where we want to go and not get mired in
where we've been.


Firstly, it raises the challenges to the IRA leadership in
relation to the outstanding issue that all forms of
criminality must cease in order to allow partnership
politics to take place in Northern Ireland.

Secondly, the IMC report challenges the loyalist
paramilitary groups to follow the path set by the IRA in
their significant moves last year.

But thirdly it challenges not only both the governments but
also the political parties to reassert the primacy of
politics and to engage with others.


What this latest report shows is that while some progress
has been made, republicans are still wedded to a failed
ideology whose time has passed.

They cannot let go of crime or covert intelligence

When coupled with news of raids in the Republic linked to
IRA money laundering, it is clear that they still have some
way to go towards exclusively peaceful and democratic

For this reason it is imperative that we find the maximum
amount of attainable devolution for the assembly. An
immediate return to the Executive is just not on the
political radar.


This report shows real progress by the IRA in a number of
areas but is deeply worrying in a number of others.

It confirms the IRA are still running spy rings for Sinn
Fein's benefit. That is not on.

It only undermines trust and damages the Good Friday
Agreement. It plays right into the hands of the DUP and
those opposed to change.

How can you build trust if at the same time you are engaged
in dirty tricks and spying? This has got to end as the IRA
committed it would.


While considerable advances have been made, it is clear the
republican movement has still some way to go before fully
accepting exclusively peaceful and democratic means, and
supporting and upholding the rule of law.

It is clear that IRA structures remain in place, and that
there is formal leadership sanctioned activity that goes
beyond the bounds of acceptable democratic behaviour.

Alliance firmly believes that any and all paramilitary
activity is a threat to democracy, human rights and the
rule of law. The republican movement cannot have it both

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external
internet sites

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/02/01 13:21:41 GMT


DUP's Devolution Blueprint Rejected

By Noel McAdam
01 February 2006

Sinn Fein and the SDLP last night firmly rejected the DUP's
blueprint for devolution falling short of a fully-fledged

But the Ulster Unionist leadership said it was prepared to
examine the DUP's proposals calling for a start towards
"full and accountable" devolution.

Sir Reg Empey concurred with the DUP's blueprint which made
clear its preference for a "start-up model", allowing the
Assembly maximum rather than minimum power "consistent with
prevailing circumstances".

The UUP leader said: "We want to see the maximum amount of
attainable devolution. We believe legislative and financial
powers should be immediately devolved"

Sinn Fein, however, warned the DUP could not be allowed a
veto with proposals which threatened to subvert the
political process and delay the process of change.

West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty said: "The two governments have
an obligation to stand by the Agreement and its power-
sharing core (including) the power-sharing executive.

"Sinn Fein will not countenance a move away from the
fundamental principles which underpin the Good Friday

And SDLP leader Mark Durkan warned the DUP needed to face
the reality that they had no right to write off the
Agreement which had the executive devolution the DUP wants
to set aside at its heart.

"There is no acceptable level of direct rule and not once
has the DUP today mentioned the North-South agenda, yet it
too is a fundamental part of the Agreement."

The proposals - revealed in the Belfast Telegraph yesterday
- amount to a first phase of administration at Stormont,
suggesting a range of models, in what the DUP insisted was
a "genuine attempt to lift the political process".

Insisting it wanted to create forward movement, the DUP
said it believed an early start to the journey towards full
devolution could be begun "without loss to anyone's
position and with minimal effort".

The document, called Facing Reality, said setting aside
executive devolution as a prospect for the forseeable
future left a range of possibilities - but refused to give
details of the party's definitive model.

The DUP, however, said its preference was for a "start-up
model" allowing the 108 Assembly members maximum rather
than minimum power "consistent with prevailing

Mr Paisley said: "There is no point in this government
attempting to force Unionists down a road they will not go.
The very idea of a power-sharing executive with Sinn Fein
given all of their ongoing criminality and the existence of
their terror organisation is just not tenable.

"We have outlined a realistic and viable process that will
allow for the democratic community in Ulster to move
forward with confidence.

"We are not setting expectations so high as to be
unrealistic neither are we prepared to settle for something
so low that it is without meaning or credibility."


Loyalist Group Hands Over Stolen Machinery To Police

By Bimpe Fatogun

AN estimated £40,000 worth of industrial equipment stolen
from a Co Antrim business premises has been handed in to
police by the UDA-linked Ulster Political Research Group

The heavy-duty equipment, including a generator, is
understood to have been stolen by a criminal gang based in
north Belfast.

Police were called to a community centre in Westland Drive
late yesterday afternoon where the equipment was handed
over to them by representatives of the UPRG.

The move by the group, which has close links with the UDA,
came as the Independent Monitoring Commission prepares to
deliver its latest report on paramilitary activity later

It is believed the equipment was stolen from an industrial
estate in Mall-usk on the outskirts of north Belfast.

The UPRG claims it acted after being contacted by residents
in the Ballysillan area. Spokesman John Bunting said the
group had been made aware of the activities of what he
described as “a criminal gang”.

“People had come to the UPRG and representatives went with
these people to retrieve the stuff which had been taken to
Ballysillan Avenue,” he said.

“It was done with no trouble. We have a sub-office in
Westland and we took it there and handed it over to the

A police spokeswoman confirmed that “a number of items”
including grinders, a power welder, a hammer drill and an
engine generator, had been received by police.

“Inquires are ongoing regarding the ownership of these
items,” she said.


IRA Denies Holding Onto Guns

01/02/2006 - 11:39:31

The IRA has denied that some of its members have held onto
handguns and other weapons.

In a report submitted to the Irish and British governments,
Canadian General John de Chastelain’s decommissioning body
revealed that the accusation was made against the IRA last
week by security sources in the North.

The allegation was also put to the four-member Independent
Monitoring Commission (IMC), which reported today on the
state of the IRA’s ceasefire, but the republican
paramilitary group denied it.

The disarmament body revealed it launched a probe into the
assessment to find out whether it had been misinformed or
had made a misjudgement when IRA weapons destruction was

But with the Gardaí insisting it had no intelligence to
corroborate the claims, the Independent International
Commission on Decommissioning said it still believed the
IRA destroyed all the weapons under their control last

The IICD told Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain and
Minister for Justice Michael McDowell: “Last week we were
informed by security sources in Northern Ireland that they
had intelligence to the effect that some individuals and
groups within the IRA have retained arms including

“There was no indication that the quantities of arms
involved were substantial. We were also told there is no
suggestion these arms (purportedly kept for personal
protection and area defence) have been retained with the
approval of the IRA’s leadership or as part of a wider
strategy to return to violence.”

The commission said it raised the claim with the Gardaí,
whose intelligence last year had indicated the IRA went to
great lengths to locate and gather all the weapons, which
were put beyond use.

General de Chastelain, his American colleague Andrew Sens
and Finnish Brigadier Tauno Nieminen, said: “The Garda
informed us that what they regard as reliable sources in
relation to the IRA and its weaponry have produced no
intelligence suggesting any arms have been retained.”

The commission said it also met an IRA representative twice
last week who insisted all the arms that were dumped
following the organisation’s July statement were collected
and put beyond use.

The representative also insisted no weapons were retained
and hidden in secret arms dumps.

The IICD revealed: “In a meeting later in the week the
representative told us that following our earlier
discussion the IRA leadership questioned each of their
commanders about the intelligence assessment.

“These have confirmed that all the arms under their control
were decommissioned in September, as we stated.

“We are reassured by the fact that none of the various
intelligence assessments suggest the IRA leadership is
moving away from its July 28 commitments.

“We conclude that in the absence of evidence to the
contrary our September 26 assessment regarding IRA arms
remains correct.”

The IICD reminded both governments, however, that in
September it did not discount the possibility that a small
number of the IRA’s weapons may have gone astray over the
years as custodians died or the locations of some its arms
caches were lost.

The latest allegations against the IRA will almost
certainly deepen unionist scepticism about last September’s
act of disarmament.

The DUP were cynical about the destruction of the IRA’s
arsenal in the presence of the commission and two
independent witnesses - Methodist minister the Rev Harold
Good and Catholic priest Father Alec Reid.

With a fresh round of talks aimed at reviving the Assembly
planned next Monday, the DUP has said it cannot envisage
any inclusive power-sharing government involving it and
Sinn Féin because unionists simply do not trust


New Splinter Republican Groups Identified

01/02/2006 - 11:55:00

Two new hardline republican groups are operating within the
North, the latest report from ceasefire watchdog the
Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) claimed today.

The four-member IMC identified the splinter groups as
Oglaigh na hEireann and Saoirse na hEireann.

The IMC said Oglaigh na hEireann, a breakaway faction from
the Continuity IRA, was responsible for one assault and a
robbery at a post office in the period between September 1
and November 30 last year. It also tried to recruit members
of the Real IRA.

Saoirse na hEireann was described as a group of
disaffected, mostly young, republicans, the majority of
whom are based in Belfast. The organisation also claimed
responsibility for two hoax bombs in September.

The commissioners said: “It remains to be seen how and to
what extent these new groupings develop.

“Previous experience with splinter dissident groupings
indicates that they might not necessarily be long-lasting.
We will include any further information in future reports.”

The IMC said it was difficult to attribute some dissident
republican activity during the period to specific groups.

The incidents included the planting of a viable bomb at
Belfast City Hall at the end of November and two hoaxes at
the home of a senior member of the SDLP.

The commission also noted two hoax bomb alerts in October
and one the following month.

The report speculated that hardline republicans were using
the bomb scares to study how the security forces reacted in
such circumstances and help those responsible plan future

The IMC said the Continuity IRA remained a threat and was
training members, continuing efforts to recruit new
members, developing its equipment and seeking to acquire

The organisation was responsible for a hoax device under a
Royal Irish Regiment officer’s car and planned a campaign
of viable and hoax bombs against private, commercial and
military targets.

“We think it probable that the organisation was responsible
for planting four explosive devices in the period under
review, one against an Orange Hall and for hoaxes at
commercial premises and the Down Royal racecourse,” the
report said.

“It instructed some members of Oglaigh na hEireann, the new
grouping which has splintered from CIRA, to leave Northern
Ireland. We conclude that CIRA remains a threat; that it
will continue to mount real and hoax attacks; and that it
will continue to plan violence and to seek to enhance its

The report said the organisation behind the 1998 Omagh
bomb, the Real IRA (RIRA), continued to have two factions
within it.

Nevertheless, during the period examined in the report,
RIRA tried to develop its equipment and intelligence-
gathering capabilities, particularly against the security
forces, and also recruit members.

RIRA was accused of engaging in a campaign of intimidation
and violence against those it regarded as anti-social
elements such as drug dealers.

The organisation carried out more assaults than any other
hardline republican group and remained involved in
organised crime, including contraband cigarettes.

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) maintained a low
profile during the period but deployed weapons for
defensive purposes during the loyalist riots which followed
the Orange Order’s Whiterock parade in west Belfast in

The INLA tried to recruit, and was involved in at least one
unreported assault and in an arson attack on the home of a
District Policing Partnership member in Strabane, Co
Tyrone, as well as a number of hijackings.

“We believe that the INLA remains involved in organised
crime, including drugs and smuggling,” the IMC said.

“During this period, the Police Service of Northern
Ireland, in the course of investigations into money
laundering, recovered an INLA weapon, documents and
computer equipment.

“We conclude as before that the threat of the
organisation’s more active involvement remains, although
its present capacity for a sustained campaign is not high.”


CIRA Fires Shots Over Grave

By Staff Reporter

The Continuity IRA has claimed it fired at volley of shots
over the grave of a member in the Republic.

It a statement the republican paramilitary organisation
said the shots were fired at the grave of John O’Halloran
at Mount St Lawrence cemetery in Limerick on Monday night.


Row Over Call For North/South Links

By Sharon O’Neill

A POLITICAL row broke out last night after the British
government ann-ounced its review of public spending in
Northern Ireland.

The DUP rejected the secretary of state’s call for closer
links with the Republic to boost the north’s economy.

The SDLP dismissed his lengthy address yesterday as “just
another Peter Hain lecture”, while Sinn Fein said “local
politicians should be the people driving forward the agenda
of change, not British direct-rule ministers”.

Democratic Unionist assembly member Edwin Poots, who in the
main welcomed the review, said: “The DUP is all for
Northern Ireland companies exporting to the Irish Republic
and vice versa.”

But he added: “The secretary of state’s fascination with an
all-island economy misses the fundamental fact that the
Republic is our economic competitor and not our partner.

“The secretary of state should stop pretending that
Northern Ireland and the Republic have the same economic
goals and focus in-stead on increasing Northern Ireland’s
economic competitiveness so that we can outperform the
Irish Republic.”

Mr Hain made references to the need to restore the
institutions, warning that North-ern Ireland’s politicians
must take “key decisions”.

But DUP assembly member Nelson McCausland said his party
would not be pressurised and that “a lot of work needs to
be done before devolution can be restored”.

Sinn Fein assembly member Mitchel McLaughlin said Mr Hain’s
speech had contained “a few positive elements”.

“We now need to recognise that an Irish unity benefits both
the north and the south and that we need a more ur-gent
focus on the harmonisation of economic and development
regimes,” he said.

“The prioritisation of renewable energy, children and young
people and skills is essential but we must not blindly
abandon those most in need within our society.

“There is a legacy of underfunding in infrastructure,
health, education that needs to be addressed.”

SDLP assembly member Sean Farren said the speech offered
“all pain and no gain”.

“Everybody agrees that we have a massive overdependence on
the public sector but it must be remembered that this
overdependence is not the product of any local political
leadership,” he said.

“It was generated by successive British administrations
pursuing quick fixes.”

Ulster Unionist peer Lord Laird said: “In the early part of
the 20th century, when Northern Ireland was a lot more
prosperous, we paid more than our fair share into the

“Now we need a bit of help – you don’t just throw somebody
out of the family just because they suddenly can’t pay
their way.”


'Give People Of Derry What They Deserve'

By Julieann Campbell
Tuesday 31st January 2006

Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness says Lord Saville's
investigation into Bloody Sunday must "give the people of
Derry what they deserve", and he has warned that the
campaign for justice will continue unless the truth

Mr. McGuinness made his remarks when he attended the 34th
annual commemoration service at the Bloody Sunday Memorial
in Derry's Bogside on Sunday morning. The religious service
was attended by many relatives of the dead and those
wounded on the day, as well as several leading politicians.

Speaking of the service itself, Mr. McGuinness said: "These
ceremonies are very, very important and have been going on
for many, many years and each year is more important than
the last." "Particularly given that we're moving towards
what we will hopefully see in 2006 as the determination of
Lord Saville and the expected judgement from the people of
Derry that those who were murdered that day were innocent."

Mr. McGuinness spoke of the impending Bloody Sunday report:
"I have a lot of hope, but it's tempered with the
experience of Widgery and we need to wait and see. As John
Kelly rightly said in the course of his contribution today
- it would be a big mistake for Lord Saville to become the
second Widgery."

He also said that, on a personal note, he is unsure about
Lord Saville's findings: "I don't have faith in anybody
that comes from within the British system," he said, "but
at the same time I'm prepared to withhold judgement on Lord
Saville until I see the outcome of his tribunal." "The
reality is that he did come to Derry, he sat here and
listened to the most important witnesses of all -the
citizens of Derry. He knew the truth of what happened on
that day. He listened to the military witnesses - many of
them lying through their teeth. He listened to Edward Heath
who refused to answer dozens and dozens of questions about
his role in what happened that day."

"So I think we can rightfully expect that the Saville
Tribunal will give the people of Derry what they deserve,
but we also know from our experience, that if this doesn't
happen, then the campaign for truth and justice-will
continue, if needs be, for the next 34 years." "There are
people here who are the next generation," he added, " who
were not even born at the time of Bloody Sunday - but who
are just as anxious to get truth and justice as those of us
who marched on that day and saw the murder with our own

Lord Saville's findings into the events of Bloody Sunday
are expected to be released later in the year.


IRA In Link To £70m Property Empire

Garda specialist units seize documents in series of raids

By Tom Brady
01 February 2006

An IRA link to a massive £70m-plus property empire in the
Republic is being investigated by several Garda specialist

A series of raids on businesses, houses and the offices of
professional advisers has been carried out in four counties
in the past week.

A huge dossier of documentation, seized in the searches
which began a week ago and ended yesterday, will now be
analysed to establish if any of the businesses were used to
launder IRA monies.

The investigation was ordered by Garda chiefs as a result
of last year's Operation Phoenix into a Provisional IRA
money laundering operation which included the proceeds of
the £26m robbery from the Northern Bank in Belfast.

The inquiries are based on suspicions held by the Criminal
Assets Bureau that the empire was initially financed from
the proceeds of crime.

Detectives have also been trawling through files on
previous Garda inquiries involving the anti-racketeering
unit, over the past two decades.

The investigation is being led by the Garda's national
support units and, apart from the CAB, includes the Fraud
Bureau, the Republic's National Bureau of Criminal
Investigation, and the Special Branch.

The searches have been carried out in counties Dublin,
Meath, Wicklow and Louth and a number of properties in the
licensed trade are among those under investigation,
including a popular hotel in the centre of Dublin, a pub on
the southside and a former pub in the north of the city.

New developments including a housing and business venture
in Meath are also under the spotlight as detectives try to
determine if some of the money used to fund them was
generated through crime.

The homes of at least three company directors and the
offices of accountants and solicitors were also searched.

Members of the CAB examined several companies where the
directors overlap although detectives are satisfied some of
those named have no direct connections to the Provisionals.

Gardai have also been liaising closely with the PSNI and
police in Britain.

The money trail is believed by gardai to have begun back in
the late 1980s and 1990s when the IRA was suspected of
being involved in a huge slot machine scam in London and
other major cities.

Revenue officers in Britain believed that poker machines in
several amusement arcades had been fixed to reduce the
punters' prospects of winning.

Gardai now think some of the vast profits gleaned from
"slots" scams were used to build a property empire, with
the help of legitimate borrowings from financial

Most of the businesses under investigation are in the
licensed trade and detectives are focusing in particular on
pubs, clubs and hotels which were bought and then badly run
before being handed over to other companies, building up a
network in which the identities of the original players
became difficult to spot.

Initial Garda inquiries failed to establish a sufficient
link with the proceeds of crime to justify criminal
charges. But the inquiries were given a new impetus in the
past year as detectives probed deeper into the activities
of the Provisional IRA money laundering operation and, in
particular, the activities of its former director of


Axe Diplock By End Of Year: SDLP

Courts call as terror cases halve

By Michael McHugh
01 February 2006

The number of court cases heard involving alleged
paramilitaries has almost halved since the Good Friday
Agreement was signed, prompting new demands for an end to
the Diplock courts.

A total of 90 cases were dealt with in 2005, down from 177
in 1998 when the Belfast Agreement was signed.

The SDLP is now pressing for the non-jury system, set up in
the 1970s, to be terminated by the end of the year.
Security spokesman Alex Attwood said it has outlived its

"In the 1970s there were hundreds of people being put
through the courts, so there's been a dramatic shift from
what we had 10 or 20 years ago," he said.

"It is very positive and encouraging. The time has now come
when the Diplock courts should be closed down and a date
for that should now be set.

"In a lot of cases they have measures protecting witnesses
and sometimes they are difficult to accept because they
include people having their identity withheld or not
appearing in court."

A new court system to give protection to juries is being
planned for when the non-jury Diplock courts are scrapped.

Non-jury courts will be extended to 2007, with an option on
a continuation to 2008.

The Conservative Party has called for the powers to be
extended to 2012, arguing that the Government is working to
an unrealistic peace deadline.

The figures were obtained by House of Lords peer Lord
Hylton, who said progress was encouraging.

"They seem to have been decreasing but not quickly enough,
in an ideal world. Whenever possible, cases should be heard
by a jury but it won't be possible in all cases," he said.

"I know they have the security services going after people
who have made money out of a variety of criminal activities
and perhaps this means the figures may also go up."

Fred Cobain from the UUP believes ordinary courts are
capable of dealing with criminality which some
paramilitaries have engaged in.

"The reason why the cases are falling is that paramilitary
activity is falling and the police are dealing with a lot
of this through judge and jury courts," he said.

"This involves money laundering and drugs and people now
have more confidence in the police and the courts. Diplock
courts need to go away as quickly as possible."


LVF Killer Of Two Friends Bidding For Early Release

By Linda McKee
01 February 2006

LVF killer Noel McCready has launched a fresh bid for

The Poyntzpass killer has recently lodged an application
for a review of his sentence, the Sentence Review
Commission confirmed this morning.

McCready and co-accused Stephen McClean are serving life
for the murders of Catholic Damien Trainor and his
Protestant friend Philip Allen, killed on March 3, 1998, as
they drank in a bar in Poyntzpass in Co Armagh.

The application was made almost three months after the LVF
announced it had stood down. McCready must now convince the
commissioners that he is not and is unlikely to become a
supporter of a specified organisation and that he will not
be involved in acts of terrorism after his early release.

Commenting on the date of the hearing to determine whether
McCready is suited to early release, a spokesman for the
Sentence Review Commission said: "We have to make sure all
the paperwork is sorted out, but certainly within weeks is
a reasonable assessment."

Ballymoney DUP member Gary Blair has argued that the
Poyntzpass killers should be released as the group they
were aligned to is no longer active.

"One of the reasons he was refused release was that
according to police reports, he's a potential risk to
society," he said.

"Surely anyone released under the Good Friday Agreement is
a potential risk to society? If everybody else can be
released, why can't he?

"How can he prove he is no risk to society when he's not in
society to prove it?"

Mr Blair commented that IRA terrorist Sean Kelly was
returned to prison because his behaviour outside breached
the terms of his release, but was then allowed to go free
"on the back of an IRA statement".

"His case should have been put before the Sentence Review
Commission," he said.

"In Noel McCready's case, the Government seems determined
not to rule in his favour, not to release him and to force
him through the Sentence Review Commission.

"There is no equality of treatment, no parity of esteem and
the Government seems empowered to ignore the 1997
Sentencing Act if they want."

Both of the Poyntzpass killers were due to be released in
July 2002 under the Good Friday Agreement but their
licences were revoked after they were charged with
involvement in an attack on a man in Banbridge.

Both men were later cleared of all charges, but were
returned to jail.

The families of both victims are reportedly opposed to the
release of McCready and McClean.


Blair’s Religious Hatred Bill Defeated

By Staff Reporter

The government suffered a shock defeat last night over its
plans to combat religious hatred.

In a humiliating blow to Prime Minister Tony Blair, MPs
voted by 288 to 278 to back a key Lords amendment to the
Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. The defeat came hard on
the heels of November’s blow over the Terrorism Bill.

Objectors, including the comedian Rowan Atkinson, feared
the bill would limit artistic freedom by preventing people
from making religious jokes.


Q&A: Religious Hatred Law

The government has suffered a double defeat over its plans
to ban people from stirring up religious hatred - which
means a "watered down" version of the new offence becoming

What is this new law?

The new offence is designed to stop hatred being whipped up
against people because of their religion - not just their
race. It would ban people from intentionally using
threatening words or behaviour to stir up hatred against
somebody because of what they believe.

Don't current hate laws cover people's religion?

Sikhs and Jews already have full protection from incitement
because the courts regard them as distinct races. But
Christians, Muslims and others have not been given the same
protection because they do not constitute a single ethnic
block. Northern Ireland has its own laws to deal with
sectarian discrimination between Protestants and Catholics.

Isn't it already illegal to discriminate on religious

There are already Europe-wide regulations banning religious
discrimination in the workplace, while the Human Rights Act
incorporated the concept of religious freedom into British
law. Judges can also impose higher sentences if religion is
a motive for a crime - such as an arson attack on a place
of worship.

And isn't incitement already a crime?

There is an offence of incitement which says that it is
unlawful to try and persuade someone to commit a criminal
act. Critics of the new offence say this older law could be
used easily against bigots trying to whip up hatred or
violence against believers.

What if someone hates a religion because they think it's a

This was at the heart of the criticisms of the Racial and
Religious Hatred Bill. Those opposed to the law argue that
it would be impossible to say X or Y religion damages
British society because, in doing so, they may be accused
of inciting hatred.

What is the government's defence?

Ministers say the test for what counts as incitement is
high enough to ensure that robust and free debate about
beliefs can continue as before. And they reject claims from
campaigners, including comedian Rowan Atkinson, that the
original plans would have stopped people telling religious

How did the Commons defeats change things?

The final version of the laws contains specific freedom of
speech safeguards aimed at ensuring people can only be
found guilty if they intend to stir up hatred. And they
would ban only "threatening" words and behaviour, not
things which were merely critical, abusive or insulting.

What were the specific amendments?

The first defeat, by 288 votes to 278, was aimed at
ensuring the new laws would not affect the current racial
hatred laws. The second vote, which the government lost by
283 votes to 282, said the law should only criminalise
"threatening" behaviour, not things which were just
"abusive and insulting". It also means people can only be
prosecuted if they intend to stir up hatred - not if they
are merely "reckless".

How was Tony Blair defeated?

With a majority more than double the 26 rebels the
government theoretically should not have lost. But it seems
the whips just underestimated the scale of the rebellion,
so agreed to let at least 15 Scottish Labour MPs apparently
be away from Westminster campaigning in a by-election.
Ministers suffered two defeats - one of them by only one
vote: that was the one the prime minister himself missed.

How much will the new law be used?

That remains to be seen. Any prosecution would have to be
approved by the attorney general, the government's chief
law officer. Ministers say the small number of prosecutions
for incitement to racial hatred (fewer than 100 in three
years) demonstrate the law can be applied sensibly.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/02/01 11:34:06 GMT


RSF Angry At Sunday Vigil

By Seamus McKinney

REPUBLICAN Sinn Fein (RSF) has condemned a decision to
commemorate all victims of the Troubles at this year’s
Bloody Sunday march and rally.

Following Sunday’s 34th anniversary march, more than 3,600
candles were lit at Free Derry Corner to remember everyone
who died in the Troubles.

While the move was widely welcomed, RSF claimed it was
commemorating “those who perpetrated some of the most
heinous crimes against the Irish people”.

An RSF spokesman said: “Let those who sent the forces of
the British crown out to wage war against the Irish people
commemorate those who fought and died to maintain England’s
military occupation.”


Opin: Brown Needs A Better Case For Flying The Flag

Brian Walker
01 February 2006

Gordon Brown has been taking a hammering for proposing a
Union Jack in every garden to mark a new British National
Day, coinciding perhaps with Remembrance Sunday.

For some people, the spectre of Gordon the hard line
unionist has joined up with that of Gordon the Scrooge.
Critics of Brown have been busy comparing unfavourably what
they see as his blind British patriotism with Tony Blair's
commitment and sensitivity to our endless list of needs.

Can these be the same critics who sneer at Blair for having
another go at getting the Assembly back on the rails?

True, Brown could hardly have had the Twelfth of July in
mind when he called for a British equivalent of the Fourth
of July in the States and when he said the Union Flag was
"by definition a flag for tolerance and inclusion".
Obviously, he didn't give us a single thought, which will
alarm those who fear neglect under a Brown premiership.

But Brown never actually said a flag should fly in every
garden. He was articulating an idea of British nationhood
never before attempted and maybe never previously
necessary; because now, we have a devolved Britain that
needs to rediscover what he calls " the glue of unity."

A loss of confidence after the Second World War and the
loss of empire led to a retreat into an idea of Britain as
little more than institutions that never changed, he said.
While always "a country of different nations and thus of
plural identities ... there was always the risk that when
people are insecure, they retreat into more exclusive
identities rooted in 19th century conceptions of blood,
race and territory - when instead, we, the British people
should be able to gain great strength from celebrating a
British identity which is bigger than the sum of its

Well, most of us can identify with the analysis, if not
necessarily with the conclusion.

What Brown wants to develop is a modern patriotism based on
the "shared values of liberty and responsibility as well as

The National Health Service is his icon as much as the

Brown's practical Big Idea is to set up a National
Community Service - an ambition interestingly shared with
his new rival David Cameron - a sort of domestic Peace
Corps or VSO for every young person of gap year age, around
18. Their incentive to sign up would be a subsidy for their
future tuition or training fees. The aim would be to expand
community services like those of Bryson House (which Brown
incidentally supported at a Mayfair function I attended two
years ago.)

One of the jobs they would carry out would be to "befriend
vulnerable people in an isolated society", a far cry from
celebrating the Battle of Trafalgar.

Brown sets his ideas against a background of revived
constitutional reform to allow people in England as well as
in the nations to take more of their own decisions at local
level. However he needs to make a better case for his claim
that his own signature project, self-government for
Scotland and Wales, has strengthened Britishness rather
than weakened it.

Every day the media carries scores of news reports about
English health and education without telling us what's
happening in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The only exceptions I can think of are the full smoking
bans excepting England and no top-up student fees in
Scotland. Local decision taking may be popular in theory,
but most of us want to know if anyone is getting one over
the rest of us, such as why only the Scots get away without
top-up fees?

Brown must fill this enormous gap in accountability if his
vision of a more united, devolved UK is to amount to much.

For us, I draw four conclusions from Brown's new
patriotism. One, it shows that the differences in 21st
century Britain and Ireland are small and getting smaller.

Two, Brown's stress on responsibilities as well as rights
should be adopted by our politicians and courts.

Three, exaggerated flag display is a sign of weakness
rather than strength - Lisburn and Belfast councils please
note. When the boot is on the other foot it only encourages
competition between Sinn Fein and the SDLP to override
unionist sensitivities like for instance, the Londonderry

And four, the Blair vision should spur us all to greater
efforts to create a new pluralist Northern Ireland.


Opin: Hain Zeros In On Ulster Bureaucracy

Any doubts that Peter Hain is serious about reforming the
way Northern Ireland is governed and financed were
dispelled in his landmark speech at Stormont. For the first
time since direct rule was established in 1972, a Secretary
of State has spelled out the grim facts of life in an over-
administered province - and what he intends to do about

01 February 2006

There was little that was new in his analysis of how
Northern Ireland is getting poor value for the increasing
amounts being invested in health and education, but his
solutions were radical. No spending programme will be
regarded as sacrosanct, as he seeks to target money into
front-line services and improve economic competitiveness -
even suggesting a "joined-up strategy" with the Republic on
inward investment, which overlooks the North's corporation
tax handicap.

Mr Hain listed three key challenges in the future. First
was the need to "rebalance the economy", to make it less
reliant on the public sector. Second was the need to
"transform the delivery of government and public services",
to bring them closer to the people. Third was the need to
develop a "sustainable energy sector", through more use of
renewables, rather than oil, gas or coal.

On the first, he has given fair warning that the up-coming
Comprehensive Spending Review, covering all the devolved
departments, will take a harsh, "year zero" approach.
Nothing is ruled out, as government is made smaller, and
the announced reductions in councils, boards, trusts and
quangos will be implemented rapidly, saving an estimated

Whether or not this is possible, after redundancy packages,
is debatable, but the intention is admirable. Far too much
time, money and effort is wasted here in "bureaucracy,
bureaucracy, bureaucracy", as Mr Hain put it, attracting
talented people into index-linked pensionable jobs.

Clearly he is also concerned with the state of education,
which delivers well for the few, but leaves a "shocking"
23% of the working population without qualifications. Two
new funds will shortly be announced, at a cost of £100m
over two years, to expand the role of schools in the
community and to enhance training in skills, to tackle
long-term unemployment.

Everyone knows the waste, in education, arising from our
segregated society - and at last an independent review will
ask awkward questions. If there will be 80,000 empty
schools places by 2015, what schools, from all sectors,
must be amalgamated? And how much will the non-selective
secondary regime cost?

Mr Hain has set out a bold strategy for the future which
any government, direct or devolved, must have to deal with.
If local politicians want to put their stamp on it, they
had better move quickly, or the die will be cast.


Opin: Sports Minister - My Vision For The Maze

Sports Minister David Hanson
31 January 2006

Today, as Sports Minister, I will visit a desolate and
empty 360-acre site near Lisburn. A site, admittedly, with
a long and difficult history - indeed a site which is still
causing much discussion across Northern Ireland even today.
But in my view a site that now has the potential to be a
major international complex and contributor to the
continual regeneration of Northern Ireland. Northern
Ireland has an exciting future and one of its most
thrilling prospects is the potential for an iconic world
class sports stadium that will be shared by everyone.

When I visit the Maze/Long Kesh site today, that
possibility will be my vision.

For a moment imagine matches in the 2012 Olympic soccer
tournament being played on home soil, a fabulous showcase
for a region that needs to market itself on the world

Imagine world class rugby, soccer and gaelic football all
played under the same roof. Imagine a new venue for other
events and for pop concerts and meetings. It doesn't have
to be a dream. In the last few weeks a very significant
milestone has been reached in the development of proposals
for a multi-sports stadium on the Maze/Long Kesh site.

I asked the GAA, soccer and rugby authorities to commit in
principle to the new stadium. They have delivered. I pay
tribute to their courage, vision and professionalism.

I know there has been a lot of interest in and comment on
the stadium as the sports discussed the way forward. Some
accuse Government of rushing to establish this site. Some
believe we have other motives. Nothing could be further
from the truth.

It was my predecessor, Angela Smith, who asked the
Strategic Investment Board to investigate the commercial
viability of a multi-sports stadium for Northern Ireland
involving the three major sports - soccer, rugby and
gaelic. Government recognised the potential iconic
significance of a stadium shared by all communities. After
years of internal debate and discussion within Northern
Ireland about a potential new stadium, without any apparent
resolution, the Government was determined to tackle, once
and for all, the thorny issues that need to be addressed.
The result of the investigation was that a major sports
stadium could, indeed, be operationally viable if it had
the support of the three sports, soccer, rugby and gaelic
and if a site could be found that was acceptable to all.

The search for a site was on. A public advertisement
brought around a dozen suggestions from sites all over
Northern Ireland. All suggested sites were placed on a
provisional long-list. An initial assessment of this long-
list was carried out by a team of technical consultants
appointed to assess each of the sites on the basis of
potential deliverability. With the help and input of
landowners themselves, this technical assessment covered
issues such as site value, scale, land assembly,
contamination and likelihood of planning and surrounding
transport infrastructure implications. Planning and Roads
Service were also consulted.

As a result of this technical assessment, a short list of
three - North Foreshore, Titanic Quarter and the Maze/Long
Kesh - was announced in January 2005 to be the subject of a
further assessment, this time to include the key issue of
acceptability to the key sports. In March 2005 the
Maze/Long Kesh site emerged as the front runner and in an
announcement at the time, Ian Pearson, the then Minister
responsible for the site, said that should a multi-sports
stadium for all three sports happen, it would be on the
Maze/long Kesh site. He announced the development of a
masterplan for the whole 360-acre site, with international
experts, EDAW, appointed to identify the most appropriate
mix of commercial, sports and community uses alongside the
necessary transport infrastructure improvements.

Last summer detailed discussions on the stadium proposals,
now on a Maze/Long Kesh site specific basis, continued with
the GAA, IFA and the Ulster Branch of the IRFU and in
September 2005 the three sports bodies were provided with
copies of the illustrative business plans, showing the
projected costs and benefits of the stadium for their
respective sports.

I asked the three sports to let me have their decisions on
whether or not they could each commit in principle to a
minimum usage programme of the multi-sports stadium and to
let me have their decisions by January 27.

Within the last few days I am pleased to say that Ulster
Rugby, in association with the IRFU, has joined the GAA and
the IFA and indicated that they too will commit in
principle. I very much welcome the fact that we have got
this far. All sports, naturally, have issues which they
wish to pursue with me. These will be followed up as part
of a more detailed business planning process. I know that I
presented the three sports with tough challenges and I am
grateful to them for responding in a businesslike and
professional manner.

There is, of course, a long way to go and at the end of the
day I and my Ministerial


Opin: Trust And Confidence Isn’t Quite There Yet

The Wednesday Column
By Brian Feeney

IT’S not this IMC report but the next one that counts.
Everyone knows this one is going to say how well the IRA
has done since last July but ‘could do better’. The DUP
will dance a predictable jig around continuing IRA
intelligence gathering and any other straw they can grasp
to avoid sharing power with Sinn Fein. It’s easy for the
DUP. It never had to gather intelligence. Senior figures in
the NIO and RUC just handed the documents to it. During the
same period security figures were just as regularly
ensuring loyalist terrorists received details on

The crucial report, as Blair and Bertie have already
indicated, will be at Easter. After that the DUP will come
under intense pressure to participate in a Stormont
executive. As usual the British government and its
provincial administration here manage to portray the
impasse as warring local tribes who can’t agree to sit down
together. Of course there’s an element of truth in that but
it’s not that simple. The DUP’s refusal to treat
nationalists as equals is only one part of the equation.
The British government’s interminable foot-dragging on
policing and security is another critical part.

Even if a blue moon shone in the sky and that oul’ dinosaur
that unionists have chosen as their leader agreed to deal
with Sinn Fein next week, Sinn Fein would still not sign up
to a deal until the British government has delivered on
policing and security. The NIO successfully keeps it very
quiet but their legislation on policing next month is just
as important to republicans as the IRA’s departure from the
political scene is to unionists.

That’s the main reason there won’t be a complete return of
the Good Friday Agreement’s institutions this summer. SF
would be mad to agree to something they hadn’t seen in
writing. After all, as Irish government sources confirmed
the NIO stuck the provision about British security forces
getting off scot-free into the OTR bill only a few weeks
before it was published. As Sam Goldwyn used to say, “A
verbal contract ain’t worth the paper it’s written on”.

So SF will wait and see if, for once, if the British do
what they promised about policing and justice and make
provision for its devolution to parties in the north of
Ireland. If so, then the way is open for SF to endorse the
PSNI after a few more tweaks. Should that all run smoothly
it will be a massive fillip for republicans. Such an
outcome will provide a large political boost for SF. They
will be fully vindicated in withholding their imprimatur
from the PSNI. Quite simply, if all the changes were
necessary to deliver genuinely locally accountable
policing, then Sinn Fein was right all along, otherwise why
make the changes?

Despite the headlines about the speech of the US special
envoy, Mitchell Reiss, at the PSNI passing- out ceremony
last week, it’s clear he accepts the PSNI has a good way to

Not much publicity was given to his remark that, “When all
political parties support the PSNI, you will have to build
trust and confidence across the community”. In other words,
that trust and confidence isn’t there yet. Secondly, a lot
of coverage suggested Reiss told the new constables that
the PSNI was one of the best police services in Europe. In
fact, what he said was that after all the reforms,
structural changes and oversight provisions, “Many people
think you have one of the best police services in Europe”.
Maybe those ‘many people’ are right. Maybe not. Hardly an
objective scientific endorsement. Still, he hardly needs to
produce scientific evidence. With the sort of forelock-
tugging coverage the meedja here gives to any pronouncement
however trite or condescending from an imperial
representative, British or American, he can be sure of an
uncritical reception. The truth is it doesn’t matter what
Mitchell Reiss says. He’s like a third wheel on a rear
axle. What matters is getting the legislation right next
month, then getting it through Westminster. Without it
there’ll be no executive because it’s not worth having one
without republican involvement in policing. The cause of
all this?

Peter Mandelson who made a mess of policing.


On This Day/February 1 1937

De Valera Says Journalism Is The Greatest Of The

By Eamon Phoenix

THAT his belief was that journalism was the greatest of the
professions was stated by President Eamon de Valera at the
dinner of the Institute of Journalists at the Dolphin
Hotel, Dublin on Saturday night.

Journalism, said President de Valera, could do more than
any other profession for humanity.

“We have passed through rather difficult times and I have
got to say that – with perhaps one or two exceptions – in
20 years in which I have come into contact with working
journalists, I have not experienced among them anything but
what I would regard as a high standard of conduct.”

The knowledge of what responsible journalists could and
would do had given him at the start a liking for the
responsible members of the profession and he had never,
during the whole of his experience, had to alter that

On the whole he had never personally experienced anything
but proper treatment at the hands of journalists and he
thought that was the feeling of most people in this
country, said Mr de Valera.

Mr HW Dawson, president of the institute, said last year
produced a record recruitment of almost 300 new members.

“I know sufficient of the profoundly interesting but sadly
turbulent political history of Ireland,” he concluded,

“to realise the great part which the press of this fair
island and many individual journalists have played in its
struggles, its trials and its triumphs.

“In probably no other country in the world have journalists
been so intimately,

so practically, and so beneficially associated with public
life or so ardent in their campaign against oppression
within and without.”

Clergy condemn Falls murder

THE murder of Joseph Hanna – who was shot dead by gunmen in
McDonnell Street, Belfast – was condemned by the priests of
St Peter’s Church at all the Masses on Sunday.

The murder took place in the parish to which the dead man
had himself belonged.

“Within the shadow of this church

during the past week there has occurred a revolting, brutal
murder. The father of a family of nine children has been
done to death in a callous, cowardly and premeditated
manner, without a moment’s notice. Murder is an enormous
crime. It is a sin, according to the Sacred Scripture,
which cries to Heaven for vengeance.’’

Death of Ballymoney lady

THE death took place on Saturday at her residence, Victoria
Street, of Mrs Catherine Boyle, wife of Mr John Boyle,

The deceased, who had been in failing health, was the
second daughter of the late Fred Godfrey, town clerk of
Enniscorthy, and the last surviving member of the family.

She was married in August 1904 and, since coming to
Ballymoney, she won the golden opinions of all by her
winsome personality, charm of manner and kindness.

Her chief interests lay in her home where she lavished all
a mother’s care and devotion on her family of four sons and
two daughters: Mr Godfrey Boyle, solicitor (a partner in
the firm of Messrs P and J Boyle, solicitors, Ballymoney);
Mr Frank T Boyle, veterinary surgeon at the port of
Stranraer; Mrs JS McGlade, Coleraine, Mrs Sheila Boyle; Mr
Brendan Boyle and Mr Kevin Boyle.


Artist To Pay Tribute To Factory Girls

By Seamus McKinney

A DUBLIN-based artist has been selected to create a
landmark sculpture recognising the contribution to Derry of
women working in the city’s shirt factories.

Cork native Louise Walsh will create the artwork at King
Street roundabout, adjacent to the former Ebrington
barracks. Around £100,000 will be made available for the

It is expected to include a sewing machine and shirt and
incorporate stories of workers at the shirt factories, a
mainstay of the city’s economy for generations.

Ms Walsh was born in Cork and lived in Belfast from 1985 to
1989. Now living in Dublin, she lectures at the National
College of Art and Design.

In 1997 she spent two months in Derry working as artist in
residence at the Foyle Arts Centre. Previous works include
the Boundary Sculpture at Dublin’s James Hospital and the
Monument to the Unknown Woman Worker at Great Victoria
Street in Belfast.

Ms Walsh said she wished to make a large-scale work showing
the magnitude of women’s contribution to the shirt industry
in Derry.

“Walking around the piece... layers of personal narratives
and discoveries will be revealed to the viewer. Many of
these are testaments to friendships that were forged in the
shirt factories and lasted for lifetimes,” she said.

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