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February 23, 2006

PSNI Officers Face Murder & Sexual Assault Charges

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News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 02/23/06 Murder Bid & Sex Assaults Among Charges PSNI Officers Face
BT 02/23/06 Come Clean Call To DUP On Ulster Resistance Arms
BT 02/23/06 Call For Publication Of Report Into Police Collusion
IA 02/23/06 White House In Spotlight Over Even-Handedness
BT 02/23/06 Outrage At Paisley IRA Arms Claim
BB 02/23/06 Ministers Discuss Talks Progress
BB 02/23/06 Restrictions On Republican March
BT 02/23/06 Finucane: Judge Tells Of Regrets
GU 02/23/06 Terror Laws Condemned For 'Undermining Human Rights'
IM 02/23/06 Bird Flu In Clonakilty?


Police in the dock

Murder Bid And Sex Assaults Among Charges Officers Face

By Deborah McAleese
23 February 2006

Almost 30 serving PSNI officers have been accused of
criminal offences since the beginning of 2004, including
attempted murder, sexual assaults, and drink driving, the
Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.

In two years, wages totalling almost £500,000 have been
paid to 28 suspended police officers who have been charged
or summonsed for a criminal offence.

It recently emerged that 200 serving officers have criminal
convictions, including 19 sergeants.

However, the Belfast Telegraph has learnt that another 28
officers are, or have been, accused of serious offences.

These include violent crimes such as attempted murder,
aggravated assault, grievous bodily harm and assault
occasioning actual bodily harm.

Sex offences alleged to have been committed include gross
indecency, indecent assault and indecent behaviour.

Material - obtained by the Belfast Telegraph under the
Freedom of Information Act - shows that there have also
been a number of alleged car crimes that include dangerous
driving, driving while unfit through drink or drugs,
careless driving, no insurance, no driving licence, failing
to stop after a damage only accident, failing to remain at
the scene and failing to report.

Some of the 28 suspended officers face allegations of
misconduct in public office, forgery, breach of the Data
Protection Act, possessing a firearm with intent,
deception, perverting the course of justice and disorderly

When responding to the Freedom of Information request the
PSNI stressed that not all officers charged or summonsed
are subsequently convicted by the courts.

There was concern today over the revelations, but a
Policing Board member pointed out that the PSNI, which has
over 7,000 officers, has a very rigorous suspension policy.

The SDLP's Alex Attwood said: "I would be concerned at any
citizen facing such serious charges but that concern is
heightened if police officers, who have a higher
responsibility, are accused of such serious matters. But I
think it needs to be stressed that the PSNI has a rigorous
suspension policy for any officer up on a serious offence."

The information obtained by this paper also reveals that
£436,337 of wage expenditure has been paid out to the 28
officers from January 1, 2004 to mid-December, 2005.

On top of full pay for the duration of suspension officers
also continue to receive housing allowance and PSNI
allowance, believed to be around £200 per month.

The only time a suspended officer will not receive full pay
is if he has been given a jail sentence or is in custody
awaiting sentencing.

Recently Parliament revealed that 200 officers currently
remain in the PSNI with convictions. Nineteen of those are
a sergeant, 148 are constables and 33 are reserve officers.

The majority of the offences concerned are traffic


Come Clean Call To DUP On Guns

Where are Ulster Resistance arms?

By Noel McAdam
23 February 2006

The SDLP has urged the DUP to "come clean" with any
knowledge over imported arms linked to Ulster Resistance.

Assembly member John Dallat asked if senior party figures
had passed on any details about the quantity or location of
any weapons to the police.

"We need to find these guns and the fact that the DUP has
met with the International Monitoring Commission about IRA
decommissioning presents an opportunity to call upon the
leaders of that party to co-operate in the discovery of
other weapons imported by Ulster Resistance," the East
Derry MLA said.

"The fact that these political leaders prided themselves in
wearing the beret and badge of this lethal organisation
surely places an onus on them to tell what they know."

His accusations came as DUP leader Ian Paisley accused the
Government of a cover-up after his meeting yesterday with
General John de Chastelain.

"We have a cover-up by the Government who actually are in
the controlling seat and they have agreed evidently with
the IRA that decommissioning is finished." he said.

"So I would indict the Government of double standards. I
would indict the (disarmament) commission for not saying
truthfully if we can't do this job right, we are not going
to stay any longer."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan also launched a strong broadside
against Mr Paisley over his assertion that any weaponry
retained by the IRA would be used against "the Protestant

The former Deputy First Minister branded Mr Paisley a
"disgrace" for implying the Provisionals could return to
violence on the basis of the Independent Monitoring
Commission (IMC) report which concluded they have eschewed

Mr Durkan said Mr Paisley's remarks were disgraceful,
reckless and inflammatory.

He said: "On the one hand Paisley says that he raised
loyalist decommissioning with the International Independent
Commission for Decommissioning (IICD). Then in the next
breath he predicts sectarian warfare and gives them the
excuse they need to hold on to their weapons.

"The IMC was totally clear that the IRA leadership have
eschewed terrorism. Ian Paisley deliberately makes out that
they are about to resume it.

"These remarks show a complete failure of leadership by Ian
Paisley. They must be withdrawn by him and condemned in the
strongest terms by the two Governments."

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein also warned the Government
would have to reconsider its approach to the DUP in the
devolution negotiations.

Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness said: "It is time that the
DUP began to live up to their political responsibilities
and began showing the sort of political leadership they
promised to deliver."


Call For Publication Of Report Into Alleged Police

By David Gordon
23 February 2006

The Alliance Party today pressed for the publication of a
long-awaited Police Ombudsman report on alleged collusion
between the security forces and a UVF murder gang.

Alliance leader David Ford made the call after a meeting
with Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond Jnr was beaten to
death in 1997 by UVF terrorists from Mount Vernon in north

Mr McCord made a complaint to Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan
in 2002 about the police investigation of his son's murder.
He believes the killing was carried out on the orders of a
high-level Special Branch informer in the UVF.

The Ombudsman's work on the case is believed to be
effectively concluded, but publication has been held up
while advice is obtained from the Public Prosecution
Service (PPS).

Mr Ford today said: "Clearly the allegations of collusion
which Mr McCord has made are extremely serious and are of
grave concern to us all.

"I share Mr McCord's confidence that the Police Ombudsman's
investigations will be thorough and robust, and I will be
contacting her office on his behalf to press for
publication of her report at the earliest opportunity."

Alliance colleague Naomi Long MLA, who also attended the
meeting, said: "The Government must realise, and realise
quickly, just how important it is that people have
confidence that the rule of law is being applied fairly.
The security forces are subject to the law just like anyone

The fact that the Police Ombudsman has sought advice from
the PPS has raised speculation that her report could
recommend the prosecution of past or present members of the
security forces.

Mr McCord is planning discussions with a number of party
leaders and is also due to meet Taioseach Bertie Ahern


White House In Spotlight Over Even-Handedness

02/22/06 17:13 EST

The US government has dismissed as inaccurate a newspaper
report in the London Times that a decision has been made to
invite Sinn Fein leaders to the White House on St Patrick's
Day but to forbid them from fundraising while in the US.

An administration source said last night that the White
House had not yet drawn up the St Patrick's Day guest list
and criticised yesterday's report.

"It doesn't profit the peace process to have these
inaccurate leaks," the source said.

Sinn Fein leaders were not invited to the White House on St
Patrick's Day last year when President Bush received the
family of murdered Belfast man Robert McCartney.

Last November Gerry Adams cancelled a visit to New York
after he was told that he could visit the US, but could not
engage in fundraising.

Sinn Fein is allowed to raise funds in the US, but party
leaders have been refused fundraising visas following the
Northern Bank robbery just over a year ago. Sinn Fein has
consistently denied republican involvement in the raid.

The Bush administration has linked the issue of fundraising
visas to Sinn Fein's endorsement of current policing
arrangements in the North, calling for some movement
towards co-operation with the PSNI.

But the position has been ridiculed by many commentators on
the North.

The Irish National Caucus's Fr. Sean McManus pointed out
the anomaly that President Bush embraces the DUP's Rev. Ian
Paisley, who "has spent 60 years of his 80-year life trying
to keep Catholics at the back of the bus, and the last 10
years trying to wreck the Irish peace-process and the Good
Friday Agreement" while refusing to embrace Gerry Adams,
"who more than any other person has made the Irish
peace-process and the Good Friday Agreement possible."

Pointing out Irish-America's distaste for double-standards,
the Capitol Hill-based Fr. McManus asked why President Bush
was "desensitized on the Irish-Catholic issue?"

"Didn't his famous visit to Bob Jones University, Dr.
Paisley's main American sponsor, teach him anything? Or
has the extreme fundamentalist wing of the U.S. Republican
Party so captured the President's ear that he actually wants to
be seen as endorsing Paisley's anti-Catholicism?" Fr.
McManus asked.

"This, of course, would not have become an issue if the
President were seen to be even-handed, embracing equally
all the political Parties in Northern Ireland. It has been
forced upon us as an issue by the President's perceived
double standard and apparent overt bias."

Fr. McManus argued that Dr. Paisley was even more opposed
to the PSNI than Sinn Fein.

"After all, Dr. Paisley totally opposed any change to the
old RUC, vigorously fought Patten, gleefully trounced
David Trimble for allegedly colluding in the demise of the
RUC, and still advocates, in effect, not an acceptable
police service but a Protestant militia , which would
continue to be the armed wing of Unionism, keeping uppity
Catholics in their place... And for this, the
Bush Administration embraces him!" said Fr. Sean.

The Fermanagh-borm cleric encouraged the Bush
Administration to return to being "an honest broker in the Irish
peace-process -- being even-handed, not taking sides or
being seen as the Recruiting Sergeant for the PSNI".

"Is that too much for Irish-Americans to expect as we
approach St. Patrick's Day?" asked Fr. sean.

There has also been growing anger and frustration among
nationalists at the failure of the PSNI to deal with
continued loyalist violence and the evidence of continuing
collusion between the police and loyalists who have
murdered both Catholics and Protestants since the Good
Friday Agreement.

Also of concern to the nationalist community in the North
is the revolving-door policy operated by the courts when
loyalists are arraigned. They allege there is a manifest
imbalance in giving bail to loyalists compared to

There are also recent allegations that the PSNI took back
on the payroll their agent, the notorious Greysteel and
Castlerock killer and UVF member, Torrens Knight, after he
was released early from multiple life sentences under
the terms of the GFA.

Also this week, the PSNI is facing allegations that the man
responsible for one of Northern Ireland’s most notorious
sectarian murders was a police agent working for RUC
Special Branch.

John White, who served two life sentences for the murders
in 1973 of Paddy Wilson, a Catholic politician, and his
Protestant girlfriend Irene Andrews, became a police
informer upon his release in prison in 1991, according to
the Belfast Telegraph.

It is within this context that the US administration is
putting demands on Sinn Fein to endorse the current
policing arrangements but any move in that direction by the party is
most unlikely until the actual legislation devolving
policing and justice powers is put before parliament.


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Outrage At Paisley IRA Arms Claim

SDLP and SF slam remarks

By Noel McAdam
23 February 2006

Sinn Fein and the SDLP last night bitterly attacked DUP
leader Ian Paisley as the issue of IRA arms continued to
dog the political process.

Senior Sinn Fein negotiator Martin McGuinness told Mr
Paisley to halt the DUP search for "excuses" to refuse to
negotiate with republicans.

And SDLP leader Mark Durkan branded Mr Paisley a disgrace
for implying the Provisionals could return to violence on
the basis of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC)
report which concluded they have eschewed terrorism.

Both parties accused the DUP leader of a complete failure
of leadership and warned the Government would have to
reconsider its approach in the devolution negotiations.

And the SDLP insisted the DUP figures associated with
Ulster Resistance come clean about arms imported into
Ulster in the 1970s.

The criticism came after Mr Paisley and senior colleagues
met decommissioning body head General John de Chastelain
following the row over the IMC report of police and
intelligence claims that the IRA has retained some

After the meeting, Mr Paisley said the police or MI5 should
release any information they have indicating a failure of
the IRA to destroy the 'totality' of its arms.

But Mr McGuinness said: "This meeting has little to do with
IRA weapons. The IRA have dealt decisively with that issue
and the DUP know this. What today's meeting is about is
part of the DUP search for excuses not to engage.

"It's time the DUP began showing the sort of political
leadership they promised to deliver. The time for excuses
is over and the two governments need to make this clear to
the DUP."

Mr Durkan said Mr Paisley's remarks were disgraceful,
reckless and inflammatory.

He said: "On the one hand Paisley says that he raised
loyalist decommissioning with the IICD. Then in the next
breath he predicts sectarian warfare and gives them the
excuse they need to hold on to their weapons.

"The IMC was totally clear that the IRA leadership have
eschewed terrorism. Ian Paisley deliberately makes out that
they are about to resume it.

"These remarks show a complete failure of leadership by Ian
Paisley. They must be withdrawn by him and condemned in the
strongest terms by the two Governments."

SDLP Assembly member John Dallat added: "The DUP should
come clean and tell what they know about the quantity and
location of these and other weapons and if they passed on
information either to the RUC or more recently the PSNI or
the IICD."


Ministers Discuss Talks Progress

Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern and Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain have held further talks on the
political process.

At the meeting in London on Thursday, the men discussed
recent efforts to restore power-sharing to NI.

Talks hosted by the governments at Stormont on Monday broke

A spokesman for Mr Ahern said the meeting was "part of
intensified efforts to restore the executive and assembly
as soon as possible".

Parades Commission

The politicians held their breakfast meeting at the
Northern Ireland Office at Millbank.

Mr Ahern met Parades Commission chairman Roger Poole in
Dublin on Tuesday.

The Northern Ireland secretary has said the government may
be prepared to form a shadow assembly before power-sharing
is fully restored.

Plans for round-table talks by Northern Ireland political
parties at Stormont earlier this week collapsed amid

The plan was to have the DUP, SDLP, UUP and Alliance at one
session of talks on Monday, without Sinn Fein.

This would have been followed by a second round in which
Sinn Fein replaced the DUP - which refused to sit down with
the republican party.

However, Sinn Fein angrily rejected the plan. Party leader
Gerry Adams accused the government of "pandering to the

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/02/23 10:52:02 GMT


Restrictions On Republican March

The Parades Commission has placed restrictions on a
republican march to be held in Strabane on Sunday.

The event commemorates three IRA men shot dead by
undercover soldiers of the SAS 21 years ago.

An IRA colour party attended last year's commemoration and
marchers chanted pro-IRA slogans.

The SDLP assembly member for the area, Eugene McMenamin,
says he "believes the determination is fair".

"It puts a lot of onus on the organisers, it's practically
impossible to stop people from chanting," Mr McMenamin

"But I know that in recent times, in the past years, this
parade has passed off peacefully and I can't see any
problems come this Sunday."

The Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions
on whether or not restrictions should be imposed on
controversial parades in Northern Ireland

The most recent appointments, including Portadown Orangemen
David Burrows and Donald McKay, were made to the commission
in November 2005.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/02/23 11:11:10 GMT


Finucane: Judge Tells Of Regrets

By Chris Thornton
23 February 2006

The judge who recommended an inquiry into the collusion
around Pat Finucane's murder says he now worries that the
truth about the solicitor's killing may never come out.

Justice Peter Cory, a retired Canadian Supreme Court judge,
said it may be impossible to establish the full facts
around the 1989 killing, indicating that the Government had
'moved the goalposts'.

The judge, who spent a year and a half investigating the
Finucane murder and five other collusion cases, has joined
Mr Finucane's family and others in objecting to the
legislation that the Government passed to set up the

Justice Cory has previously said "no self-respecting
Canadian judge" would work under the Inquiries Act because
it inhibits the independence of an inquiry. Under the new
law, ministers decide what material should remain secret.

In Belfast last night to deliver the annual MacDermott law
lecture at Queen's University, the judge was asked if the
conditions have made it impossible for the full facts about
the murder to come out.

"It may be," he said. "If all the ministries involved said
`yes, you can have everything you want, we're not going to
frustrate anything and there's going to be no motions on
our side with regard to it', then I think you could.

"That may be beyond the realm of reality. I don't know, but
it's possible."

Asked if he thought the truth about the Finucane case would
come out, he replied: "I worry about it."

He said he could not comment on the national security
considerations that the Government has cited as a reason
for the secrecy rules because "I don't know what their
basis is".

The judge said he was "heartbroken" by the Government's
refusal to abide by his recommendation for the terms of the
Finucane inquiry.

He said he has no regrets about looking into the six
collusion cases, but he indicated that with hindsight he
might not have if he had known the Government would "change
the rules".

"If you told me at the beginning, 'no matter what you do,
we're going to change the rules', then any self-respecting
person would say 'thank you, no, I'd just as soon not'.
This is Mickey Mouse. This is Alice in Wonderland."

He added: "My goodness, when you look at, in the middle of
everything, you move the goalposts and change the rules of
the game. It's like playing (ice) hockey - instead of six
to a team, you're going to have one team with eight and one
with four and see how you do for ten minutes and then
you're going to change.

"I just don't think it's the way to run a railroad. But I'm
not running the railroad."


Terror Laws Condemned For 'Undermining Human Rights'

Matthew Tempest and agencies
Thursday February 23, 2006

The government's anti-terror policies are "ill-conceived"
and seriously undermine human rights, Amnesty International
has said in a report released today.

Amnesty called on Tony Blair to scrap diplomatic "no
torture" agreements and abandon controversial "control

Their wide-ranging and damning report comes on the same day
as the annual human rights report from the Commons foreign
affairs select committee (FASC), which also condemns
Guantánamo Bay, and says the government has a "duty" to
inquire further about allegations of CIA use of UK airspace
for so-called extraordinary rendition flights.

The cross-party committee of MPs says it "seriously
regrets" that ministers have not directly asked the US for
more information on the 200 or so possible flights thought
to be linked to CIA planes.

Blair and Straw deny knowledge

So far Mr Blair and the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, have
reiterated that they have no information and no reason to
believe that UK airspace or airports have been used.

"Only after prodding by European Union member states has
the government made any effort to investigate serious
allegations," say the MPs.

The MPs also say Guantánamo Bay is hindering the "war
against terrorism".

"We recommend that the government make loud and public its
objections to the existence of such a prison regime," says
the report.

In a blandly worded section, the report says the government
should "clearly set out its policy on the use of
information derived by other states through torture in its
response to this report and that it encourage a public
debate on the ethical dilemmas it faces".

It also warns that "memorandums of understanding" with
states that do use torture - which Amnesty criticises
strongly - should not be a mere "fig leaf".

It adds that the government should give "possible examples
of how they work in practice".

Perhaps the most eye-catching recommendation of the FASC
report is that the role of the international development
secretary, Hilary Benn, should be split in two, as "the
government risks downgrading its human rights work by
combining human rights responsibilities with trade".

Amnesty's hard-hitting report

Amnesty's more hard-hitting report said men who were among
the Belmarsh detainees who were later freed on control
orders and then detained under immigration rules had been
"effectively persecuted" by UK authorities.

The group said it was "increasingly dismayed" by the
government's "sustained attack" on human rights.

Countering for the government, Lord Falconer, the lord
chancellor, rejected the allegations, insisting that human
rights laws allowed strong responses to counter terrorism.

He said: "What Amnesty are doing is, in practice,
disagreeing with us on whether or not the laws are too

"But they should not suggest we are breaking human rights
principles because we are complying always with human
rights principles.

"It is unfortunate that an organisation of Amnesty's
standard is, in effect, attacking our values when what they
are really doing is saying you are being too tough in
relation to the stances you are taking within human rights

He added: "We have always sought to stay within that
[European convention on human rights] which is proof that
our values haven't been changed. Once we didn't - which was
the Belmarsh decision - and we within weeks changed the

Undermining liberty and freedom of expression

Amnesty's report says the terrorism bill - currently before
parliament - contained "sweeping and vague" powers, which
would further undermine rights to liberty, freedom of
expression and to a fair trial, it added.

The government lost a vote on one clause of the bill
allowing 90 days detention for terror suspects without
charge, whilst is now in a battle with the Lords over a
clause allowing an offence of "glorifying" terrorism. A
compromise of 28 days detention was voted on by MPs.

So-called memoranda of understanding, or MOUs, designed to
guarantee that deported terror suspects would not be
tortured - so far secured with Jordan, Libya and Lebanon -
were "unenforceable", Amnesty said.

Criticising a wide spectrum of Britain's measures to tackle
international terrorism, the report said: "By undermining
fundamental human rights at home and abroad, the UK has
effectively given a green light to other governments to
abuse human rights, while its own credibility in promoting
human rights worldwide has been seriously weakened.

"The imposition of control orders is tantamount to a
government minister 'charging', 'trying' and 'sentencing' a
person without the fair trial guarantees required in
criminal cases."

'Assault on human rights'

Like its predecessor legislation, which gave the home
secretary powers of internment, the Prevention of Terrorism
Act 2005 was an "assault on human rights protection, the
independence of the judiciary and the rule of law," the
report said.

For example, its proposal for detaining terror suspects for
up to 28 days without charge risked further alienating
ethnic minorities, it said.

Amnesty also attacked the government for failing to oppose
US activities at Guantánamo Bay Bay "with any real vigour".

It also said the UK had failed to establish full and
independent investigations into alleged human rights
violations by British forces in Iraq.

Amnesty made 25 recommendations to improve Britain's human
rights record, including an end to control orders.

The government should also abandon implementation of
existing MOUs and cease from seeking additional diplomatic
deals, added the group.

Meanwhile, in a speech last night, the attorney general,
Lord Goldsmith, said that even those suspected of the most
vicious terrorist outrages should be granted the right to
trial by an "independent and competent" tribunal.

His comments may be seized upon by campaigners who have
opposed the system of control orders imposed by the home
secretary, Charles Clarke, on terror suspects who have not
been brought to trial.

The orders replaced an earlier system of detention without
trial, which was ruled unlawful by the law lords.

The government has argued that those subject to control
orders cannot be brought to trial because the case against
them often rests on evidence from phone-tapping, which is
not admissible in court - something both the Liberal
Democrats and Tories have urged the government to review.

Lord Goldsmith said he welcomed indications from Mr Clarke
that work is under way to determine whether such intercept
evidence can be made admissible.

He said: "There should be in modern society no outlaws; no
people to whom the law does not apply who can ignore its
constraints and to whom therefore anything can be done.

"They should be bound by the law and held rigorously to
account in accordance with the law when they do not uphold
it, but the law should not treat them as non-persons

And he added: "Determining if a particular person is or is
not a terrorist requires more than mere assertion on the
part of an authority, however genuine and well-intentioned
that authority may be.

"Our tradition requires such an assertion to be subject to
testing by an independent and competent tribunal."

EU investigation

In Brussels a European parliamentary inquiry into CIA
rendition flights and "secret prisons" in Europe was today
told that the US had created "daunting obstacles" to block
any investigations. The New York based Human Rights Watch
told a committee of MEPs there was circumstantial evidence
indicating the CIA transported suspected terrorists
captured in Afghanistan to Poland and Romania, and
identified the two countries as possible hosts of secret
US-run detention facilities. This allegation was denied by
both countries.

Swiss senator Dick Marty, who is leading a Council of
Europe investigation, will update MEPs later on his
findings so far.


Bird Flu In Clonakilty?

National Miscellaneous News Report Thursday February
23, 2006 11:23 by M Cotton

Bird Flu may have chosen Clonakilty as its first port of
call in Ireland.

At any rate, a dead swan found in the bay has been sent off
for analysis and the town is on tenterhooks until results
come through. According to a report in yesterday’s Evening
Echo ‘the number of dead birds being received by the
District Veterinary Office in Cork has increased
dramatically over the last two weeks. A swan, a duck and a
gannet have been brought to the District Veterinary Office
during the last week alone.

A spokeswoman for the DVO is reported to have said: “What
was a trickle of birds over the winter has specifically
increased over the last two weeks. A swan was brought in
from the DVO in Clonakilty last week and we are expecting
another local assignment. The rest of the birds have been
from Co. Kerry. The Avian viorology section at the
Deparment of Agriculture are currently testing blood and
tissue samples for the H5N1 strain. It takes three to four
days for definite results to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Agriculture minister Mary Coughlan has said that
the likelihood of a bird flu outbreak occurring in Ireland
is slim because ‘almost all of the affected birds are mute
swans from central Europe and Ireland doesn’t have a
pattern of getting these birds’ she said.

The increase in the number of dead birds being reported was
thought to be as much to do with the growing awareness of
the possibility of bird flu causing people to report
instances which ordinarily they would ignore. The Echo
report says that bird flu has affected 20 countries so far
resulting in 170 infections to humans, with 90 of those
resulting in fatalities.

Clonakilty has a special defence in the shape of Joe Walsh,
TD widely credited with keeping foot and mouth disease out
of Ireland. Mr Walsh has said that he would like to a part
of a bird flu task force.

“The bad thing with a bird flu virus is that is an
invisible disease” he said.

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