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March 18, 2006

Adams on Terror Watch List Detained at DC Airport, Misses Buffalo Event

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News About Ireland & The Irish

MC 03/17/06
Adams Detained At DC Airport, Misses Buffalo Event
SF 03/17/06 BBC Misrepresent And Distort Remarks Of US Senator
BB 03/17/06 Adams Criticises Bush's NI Envoy
BN 03/17/06 Irish-Americans' Plea To SF And DUP
BN 03/17/06 Birmingham Six Hill Demands Apology
UN 03/17/06 McCartney And Rafferty Families Look To Freeze SF Assets
BN 03/17/06 SDLP Voices Support For Assembly w/o Power-Sharing
BB 03/17/06 DUP Welcomes 'SDLP Policy Shift'
BN 03/17/06 US Pressure On SF Over Policing - Orde
BB 03/17/06 PMs Will Give NI Talks Assessment
RT 03/17/06 No Special Deal For Irish In US, Says Ahern
IT 03/17/06 Ahern Appeals To Bush On Illegal Irish Immigrants
BN 03/17/06 Couple Suspected Of Fuel Smuggling Have Assets Seized
BN 03/17/06 Ahern Makes Plea To President Bush To Help Illegal Irish
BB 03/17/06 Woman Is Arrested After Guns Find
BB 03/17/06 Rendition Flights Landed In NI
BN 03/17/06 Orange Order Issues First St Patrick's Day Message
BB 03/17/06 NI Celebrations Mark St Pat's Day
FP 03/17/06 25th Anniv. Of The H-Blocks Hunger Strikes In Ireland
BB 03/17/06 Murder Police Are Given More Time
UN 03/17/06 Bush Praises Irish Who Fought For US Independence


March 17, 2006 - 23:05

Sinn Fein Chief Adams Detained In Washington, Misses
Buffalo St. Patrick Event

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was
detained at a Washington airport Friday after attending a
meeting of Irish leaders with President George W. Bush,
causing him to miss a scheduled St. Patrick's Day
appearance in Buffalo, a congressman said.

Adams' name and that of a travelling companion appeared on
a terror watch list at Reagan National Airport, triggering
a lengthy inspection, said U.S. Representative Brian
Higgins, a New York Democrat, who invited Adams to speak at
the Buffalo Irish Center.

"When I spoke with his assistant a little while ago, their
luggage was still being, let's just say, inspected,"
Higgins told a crowd of several hundred people awaiting
Adams' 7:15 p.m. EST address.

Adams "was detained physically for over an hour," Higgins

He had had been booked on a 5:30 p.m. flight from
Washington to Buffalo.

"Gerry Adams should not have been on a terror watch list,"
said Higgins, who quickly placed calls to U.S. State
Department and other officials seeking an explanation.

Neither the White House nor the State Department
immediately confirmed Adams' detainment. A spokeswoman for
the Transportation Security Administration, Jennifer
Peppin, said she could not confirm Adams was detained at
the airport. She said the TSA log showed no record of Adams
having been detained or subjected to secondary screening. A
Homeland Security official said Adams had left the
Washington area but he would give no further details.

Earlier Friday, Adams joined Bush and Irish Prime Minister
Bertie Ahern at a White House St. Patrick's Day ceremony
also attended by Mark Durkan, whose Social Democratic and
Labour party represents moderate Roman Catholic opinion in
Northern Ireland. Adams' IRA-linked Sinn Fein party
represents most Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Bush last year barred all Northern Ireland leaders from the

"Gerry Adams has done more than anyone else in Northern
Ireland to promote the peace process there," Higgins said.

It was unclear if Adams would make it to Buffalo for
several events Saturday.


BBC Misrepresent And Distort Remarks Of US Senator

Published: 16 March, 2006

Sinn Féin today said that the BBC was either guilty of
deliberate misinformation or the worst kind of
unprofessional sloppy journalism after they ran a story
wrongly claiming that Senator Ted Kennedy supported the
position of the US Administration regarding Gerry Adams
fundraising in the USA. Mr Kennedy had in fact stated the
exact opposite at the press conference being reported by
BBC NI journalists in Washington, and has previously been
on the record stating this position.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson today said:

"Since early morning broadcasts the BBC have been running a
story filed in Washington claiming that US Senator Ted
Kennedy shared the position of the US Administration
regarding Gerry Adams fundraising in the USA.

"The basis of this report was a press conference given by
Senator Kennedy yesterday. However at that press conference
Senator Kennedy once again clearly stated that his views on
the matter differed from those held by the Administration a
fact reported by other media outlets who attended the press

"However the BBC alone reported the exact opposite and
continued to do this throughout much of today. This BBC
story was then picked up by other outlets and has been
widely covered during the course of today.

"This is a disgraceful piece of journalism and leaves very
many questions needing to be answered by the BBC here in
Belfast. The BBC need to tell us how a situation arose when
their journalists alone distorted and misrepresented the
content of yesterdays press briefing. Was this a case of
unprofessional sloppy journalism or was it a case of
deliberate misinformation. The public will draw their own

"Sinn Féin will be writing to senior BBC management
demanding answers to these and other very serious questions
which this episode raises regarding the nature of BBC
coverage." ENDS


Adams Criticises Bush's NI Envoy

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has strongly criticised US
President George Bush's special envoy to NI.

Speaking in Washington, Mr Adams said: "I don't have high
regards for Mitchell Reiss's input into this process."

"If it is he who is advising the president, it's very very
bad advice," he added.

However, Mr Reiss has dismissed the criticism from the Sinn
Fein president. "I reject that accusation, that
allegation," he said.

Mr Adams is angry that the US government has refused him
permission to fundraise, and said it was wrong to treat
Sinn Fein differently.

He was speaking as he arrived at a Friends of Sinn Fein
gala breakfast on Thursday.

The party has been forced to refund donations that were to
be made at the event at Washington's Capitol Hilton hotel.

Mr Reiss said: "We try very hard to be an honest broker. I
think if you look at the record, it demonstrates quite
clearly that we don't play favourites - that we call it as
we see it.

"We try to keep our eye on the main objective here - which
is moving the peace process forward and keeping the focus
on the people of Northern Ireland."

'Work together'

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain, who is also in
Washington, said the "clock is ticking" for the suspended

"There are some hard choices going to be faced by all the
politicians this year because there needs to be a moment of
decision made," he said.

"We can't continue with this state of political paralysis
and impasse that we've had for far too long, with an
assembly that hasn't met for nearly four years and with the
whole cost from the taxpayer pouring in to fund that
institution and its members."

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said: "The issue now is
are people prepared to work together in an assembly, and
work together as the Good Friday Agreement set out.

"I think we're going to find that out in the months
immediately ahead."

Meanwhile, SDLP leader Mark Durkan rejected earlier Sinn
Fein claims that the US government has become biased in its
handling of the peace process.

Speaking in Washington, Mr Durkan said Mr Adams was wrong
to criticise the Bush administration as partisan.

He said the US had been critical of unionist politicians
for their stance on the violence that erupted last year
over the Whiterock parade

Speaking in New York before travelling to Washington for
Saint Patrick's Day this Friday, Mr Adams said he was
bewildered and surprised that the US government would not
allow Sinn Fein to fundraise when the IRA had put all of
its weapons beyond use.

Mr Durkan said he felt Mr Reiss had "done a good job in
calling things straight on the need for a lawful society".

Mr Adams' comments also took some US politicians by

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/16 17:15:30 GMT

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has sought to move the
spotlight away from his outspoken attack on US President
George Bush’s special envoy to Northern Ireland.

Yesterday, Mr Adams lashed out at Mitchell Reiss, saying he
was giving the President bad advice.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said such “spats” had
to stop because they got in the way of progress.

At a fundraising dinner in Washington last night, Mr Adams
reiterated his complaint against Mr Reiss, but insisted
that his protest was not the most important message.

“I find that I’m not impressed by what Mitchell Reiss has
been inputting into the peace process,” Mr Adams said.

“But that’s not the main story – the main story is to get
the British government to put institutions back into place
and with all speed.”


Irish-Americans' Plea To SF And DUP

16/03/2006 - 21:02:04

Irish-American politicians tonight called on Sinn Féin to
endorse policing in Northern Ireland after it turned down
policing board seats in the North.

But the group, led by Senator Edward Kennedy, also said it
was essential Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists committed
themselves to taking part in an inclusive government with
Gerry Adams’ party.

The Friends of Ireland, a lobbying group of congressmen and
senators, said in a statement that Sinn Féin must continue
to build on the “significant progress” already made.

“Progress on policing is essential in order to ensure peace
and stability in Northern Ireland,” they said.

“A decision by Sinn Féin to support and join the new
policing structures would be a very important step

On Monday, Northern Secretary Peter Hain announced the new-
look 19-member policing board for the North, which will sit
for the first time on April 1.

The board will have four Democratic Unionists, two Ulster
Unionists and two Assembly members from the SDLP, but Sinn
Féin has turned down the two seats it was offered.

The party also refused to take its seats on the previous
board because it believes policing reforms in the North do
not go far enough.

The Americans also called for justice to be done in the
case of Robert McCartney and for paramilitaries to end
“criminality and intimidation“.

The group, which also includes senators Chris Dodd and
Susan Collins and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, said
September’s decommissioning by the IRA should have been
embraced by all in the unionist community.

“We regret that the Democratic Unionist Party has refused
to state that it is willing to share power with all
parties, including Sinn Féin, and has continued to reject
the Good Friday Agreement,” the group said.

“It is essential that the DUP unequivocally agree to share
power with all parties, and commit itself to working within
all the institutions established by the agreement.”

The statement came as Taoiseach Bertie Ahern met Senator
Kennedy and other leading Irish-American politicians, and
said he would be looking to them later in the year to help
convince Northern parties that working under the terms of
the Good Friday Agreement was possible.


'Birmingham Six' Hill Demands Apology

16/03/2006 - 18:38:33

One of the Birmingham Six has vowed to launch legal action
against the British Government unless he gets a public

Paddy Hill – who was released from prison 15 years ago this
week – slammed Prime Minister Tony Blair for not
acknowledging their plight when he openly said sorry to the
families of Gerry Conlon and Annie McGuire last year.

Like the Birmingham Six, Conlon and McGuire had been
wrongfully convicted for IRA bomb attacks in the UK the
1970s. They served 15 years in prison.

Legal proceedings will also be taken over the Government’s
failure to reintegrate the men back into society, according
to Mr Hill, 62, who runs the Miscarriage of Justice
organisation from his Scottish home.

“I have no idea why he left us out,” he said, referring to
Mr Blair.

“I wrote to him and told him I commended him for having the
courage to stand up and do it (apologise), but told him I
was a bit disappointed that while he was apologising to the
Conlon and McGuire families he didn’t apologise to the
other Irish great miscarriage of justices in the 1970s,
namely Judith Ward and the Birmingham Six.

“A few weeks later I got a letter from Anthony Phillips
(his private secretary) telling me Tony Blair would be
writing to me when it was appropriate, but I’ve never had a
word since then.

“I did send word back to them two weeks ago telling them I
was going to take action against them.”

Mr Hill told RTE radio the past 15 years had been very
hard, but he thought little of the anniversary of his

“I’ll never forget what happened to me and I never forget
when we were looking for help everybody slammed the door in
our faces,” Mr Hill said.

“People have this perception that we came out and got a
load of money and everybody kisses and makes up and we all
ride in to the sunset. Unfortunately it’s nothing like

In Lancaster in 1975, the six Birmingham based Irishmen –
Paddy Hill, Bill Power, Dick McIlkenny, Hugh Callaghan,
Gerry Hunter and John Walker – were sentenced to life
imprisonment for a Birmingham bombing which killed 21
people and maimed or seriously injured 161.

Despite pleas that the confessions had been obtained
because of beatings by warders and ill treatment, the case
was initially upheld on appeal. The men were eventually
freed on March 14, 1991.

In 2000 Mr Hill was offered a final settlement of more than
£960,000 – with £50,000 charged for bed and board for his
years behind bars.

Mr Hill said he could accept his jail term if it had
guaranteed no other miscarriages of justice and been
carried out in the UK.

“You come out and you’re on a high,” Mr Hill continued.
“But there was no help at all out here for us, we have to
fight for everything. We had absolutely no counselling when
we got out.

“Unfortunately for all the miscarriages of justice victims,
one day you’re sitting in a prison cell. At 8 o’clock that
morning the door is opened, the next thing you know is
you’re in the prison van, you’re up at the Court of Appeal
and if you’re lucky and win your appeal later that
afternoon you’re dumped on the court steps with half a
dozen bin liner bags with your few possession and legal

“They give you a £50 discharge grant and a one way rail
ticket to wherever you come from. That is it, goodbye.”

Although having a home, Mr Hill spent almost the first year
of his release sleeping rough in a nearby park to feel the
fresh air around him. Shortly afterwards he was diagnosed
with depression.

He said: “A psychiatrist told me I had been living under a
state of depression for so long it was normal, and I’m
still not alright today. I felt like I was coming apart at
the seems.

“One minute I’d by sitting there fine and there would be
nothing wrong with you, the next minute you’d be sitting
there crying your eyes out like a child, you don’t even
know what you’re crying for. And then I started locking
myself up in the house, going around opening all the
windows, locking them all up again and I ended up living in
one room like being in prison.”


McCartney And Rafferty Families Look To Freeze SF Assets

19:14 Friday March 17th 2006

The killings of Dublin man Joseph Rafferty and Robert
McCartney have been raised in the White House during talks
between the Taoiseach and US President George Bush.

It is understood that both families have begun moves to
freeze Sinn Fein's assets in the US until the party
identifies those responsible for the murders of the two

The families are believed to have had discussions with
Washington-based lawyers Powell Goldstein.

Mr McCartney's sister Catherine said the Republican
Movement was ``impeding justice``, while her emotional
mother Kathleen said the past year had been a nightmare.

Ms McCartney said: ``Robert's murderers are still being
protected by Sinn Fein and the IRA. The republican movement
have not just done absolutely nothing, they're actually
impeding and frustrating justice.

``To sit back and do nothing is not good in itself but to
actively impede justice is a far more serious case.''

Fianna Fail councillor Gary Keegan, who is supporting the
Rafferty family's case, said: ``We met a law firm here
yesterday and we are exploring legal avenues. For example,
Sinn Fein are registered under the Foreign Agents
Registration Act here.

``There is a precedent for organisations that are proven or
suspected to be implicated in illegal activity that their
assets can be frozen and fundraising endeavours suspended
pending the outcome of the case.''

Ms McCartney added: ``I don't think either family has any
interest in fundraising but if we can use that to put
pressure on the leadership to make the murderers come
forward then we will do it.''


SDLP MP Apparently Voices Support For Assembly Without

16/03/2006 - 17:26:36

A furious row has broken out in the North over comments
made by the SDLP MP Eddie McGrady, apparently supporting
the idea of recalling the assembly without power-sharing.

McGrady called for the restoration of devolution, if
necessary with a temporary executive of non-elected
members, or with the current B ritish ministers until the
parties could agree.

Welcoming the comments, the DUP deputy leader Peter
Robinson said they were a “helpful step forward”, falling
“within the DUP’s proposals of a phased approach to power

Sinn Fein reacted furiously, saying that the SDLP was
sending out mixed messages and challenging the party to
come clean.

Mr. McGrady said the DUP had got the “wrong end of the
stick” and that he had “only been seeking information, not
making concrete proposals.”


DUP Welcomes 'SDLP Policy Shift'

The DUP have welcomed what they interpret as a shift in
SDLP policy on the restoration of a Stormont assembly.

On Wednesday, South Down MP Eddie McGrady urged the
government to back "the re-establishment of a fully
devolved administration".

This would be with "a temporary executive appointed from
non-elected members or, indeed, consisting of the NIO
ministers themselves", he said.

However, Mr McGrady said the DUP "has got the wrong end of
the stick".

The appointment of non-elected members as an alternative
way forward has been an SDLP proposal for some time.

However, DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson said Mr McGrady's
reference to NIO ministers forming a temporary executive
presents "an opportunity for constructive debate" as it
falls within the DUP's notion of phased devolution.

Mr Robinson said "it is important that alternative interim
arrangements are considered".

In response, Mr McGrady insisted he was not in favour of
Northern Ireland Office ministers forming a temporary
executive, but was simply suggesting that the parties'
different suggestions for interim forms of government
should be discussed.

"It is however, interesting to note that Peter Robinson
believes that it is in no ones interests for the 'current
form' direct rule to continue," said the South Down MP.

"Perhaps he will agree then that keeping these
unaccountable direct rule ministers in their positions in
any form is pointless."

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/16 15:53:37 GMT


US Pressure On SF Over Policing - Orde

17/03/2006 - 22:09:32

Pressure from American politicians on Sinn Féin to endorse
policing could have a “substantial” influence, Northern
Ireland Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said tonight.

Sir Hugh said he had briefed a large number of US
politicians in recent days and it was them, not him, who
had raised the issue of the party’s refusal to take its
seats on the policing board.

“It’s something they think is important and I know they’ve
raised it with Sinn Fein,” he said.

“I think they would listen to many of the people I speak to
– who are people who also speak to Sinn Féin.”

The Chief Constable told a reception on the work of the
board held in Washington: “Support from this place is

“People we can convince over here that we are delivering
can have a substantial influence on those who still don’t
wish to play in our world.”

On Monday, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain announced
the new-look 19-member policing board, which will sit for
the first time on April 1.

It will have four Democratic Unionists, two Ulster
Unionists and two Assembly members from the nationalist
SDLP, but Sinn Féin has turned down the two seats it was

The party also refused to take its seats on the previous
board because it believes policing reforms in Northern
Ireland do not go far enough.

Yesterday senior Irish American politicians led by Senator
Edward Kennedy called on Sinn Féin to endorse policing.

Sir Hugh said the big victims of their refusal to do so
were the communities that did not have a voice on the
policing board as a result.

“They have a right to have a voice and I have a right to be
held to account by a fully democratically elected board,”
he said.

“Until they (Sinn Féin) walk that walk like as the other
parties have done it’s not going to be as effective as it
could be.

“When they join we will just rocket in some areas.

“You just get the feeling that a lot more people want to
engage and just feel constrained by this.”


PMs Will Give NI Talks Assessment

The British and Irish prime ministers are to give an
assessment of the political process in Northern Ireland in
about three weeks time.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said he and his British counterpart
Tony Blair would make a joint statement on the talks.

He was speaking after a meeting with US President George
Bush at the White House on St Patrick's Day.

Earlier, Mr Ahern said he hoped politicians were back in
devolved government by Christmas.

He said "real progress" was made in the past year,
including the IRA's armed campaign ending and

However, the Irish prime minister told the American Ireland
Fund's gala St Patrick's dinner in Washington that Sinn
Fein must sign up to policing.

Mr Ahern said both he and Tony Blair were "committed" to
making 2006 a "decisive year for Northern Ireland".

Criminal activity

"When we gathered here on the eve of St Patrick's Day last
year, we all recognised that we had reached a turning point
in the peace process," he said.

"I made clear that we needed to see total change.

"We needed to see an end to paramilitary and criminal
activity and the completion of decommissioning of weapons.

"We had to move forward on an exclusively peaceful,
democratic basis.

"As I stand here tonight, I can tell you that since we last
gathered, there has been real progress in the peace

He also said that working class loyalists in Northern
Ireland must not be left behind as the peace process

"I have always said the peace process must leave nobody
behind," he said.

Mr Ahern is in Washington for St Patrick's Day
celebrations, as are many prominent Northern Ireland

Mr Bush said the good relations between the US and Ireland
should continue.

"The united states appreciates all of Ireland's efforts for
peace and freedom. Americans are grateful to our Irish
friends and we are proud of our Irish heritage," he said.

"The Census Bureau tells us there are more than 34 million
Americans that claim Irish ancestry."

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/17 18:39:35 GMT


No Special Deal For Irish In US, Says Ahern

16 March 2006 22:50

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has said there can be no
special deal for Irish illegal immigrants in the United
States, and that their situation will have to be dealt with
as part of a comprehensive solution.

He was speaking after a meeting with Senator John McCain,
one of the key sponsors of immigration reform legislation.

Immigration reform is a hot political issue in Washington
DC at the moment, with proposals due to be debated in the
Senate soon.

There are up to 12 million illegal immigrants in the US,
and while the Irish only make up at most 50,000 of that
figure, the Taoiseach is pushing the issue in the American
capital this week.

Today, he has been having a series of meetings with
congressional leaders, including Senators John McCain and
Edward Kennedy, who are sponsoring a bill that would offer
illegals a way to secure citizenship.

After a meeting with Mr Ahern, Senator McCain said this
issue was not going away.

And he said he wanted a comprehensive settlement, and did
not want to start 'carving out' different national groups.

Mr Ahern agreed, saying a patchwork solution would not work
- only a comprehensive deal covering all nationalities.


Ahern Appeals To Bush On Illegal Irish Immigrants

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern today appealed to US President
George W Bush to 'find a path' that would allow illegal
Irish immigrants in the US to legalise their status.

Mr Ahern was speaking at the Shamrock Ceremony in the White
House where he presented Mr Bush with the traditional

"On this St. Patrick's Day, mindful of the resonance that
this great issue commands for Ireland and its people, I
would like to express the hope that a path may be found to
enable current Irish immigrants to legalise their status in
the US on a permanent basis. I hope they can realise their
dream of stable and secure lives for themselves and their
families in this great country," he said.

The Taoiseach said Ireland and the US enjoyed 'an
extraordinary and very special relationship.'

"We remember on this day that the strength of today's
relationship is made possible by the hard sacrifices of
generations of Irish immigrants," he added.

Mr Ahern also thanked Mr Bush for his support for the peace
process in Northern Ireland and said 'real progress' had
been made since last St Patrick's Day.

"After decades of denying the will of the Irish people, the
IRA announced the end of its armed campaign and the
decommissioning of its weapons. These were long-awaited,
landmark, historic developments," he said.

"Both Prime Minister Blair and I are determined that 2006
will be a decisive year in completing the journey of peace
that we have embarked on. We are at one on our objective
and on our strategy."

"I welcome your invitation to the Northern Ireland
political parties to be here today and the fact that you
have also extended an invitation to many others tragically
affected by violence or working for a better future for
everyone in Ireland," he added.

Mr Ahen also applauded the work of US Special Envoy
Mitchell Reiss and the US ambassador James Kenny.

© The Irish Times/


Couple Suspected Of Fuel Smuggling Have Assets Seized

17/03/2006 - 09:56:42

The North's Assets Recovery Agency has seized assets worth
nearly £1.5m from a couple suspected of fuel laundering.

The property belongs to James and Patricia Molloy of Co
Armagh who are suspected of fuel smuggling, false
accounting and money laundering.

The Agency alleged in court that the Molloy’s had used
their four businesses, two of which are based in the
Republic, to launder the proceeds from fuel smuggling and
to falsify records.

The court was also told that the couple have links to other
fuel smugglers that the Agency have under watch.

Among the assets seized was a property in Craigavon,
Portadown together with their two properties in the

Almost £100,000 and 23 commercial and private vehicles were
also seized by the Agency.

This is the eighth case the body has taken on this year in
relation to alleged smugglers and money launderers.


Ahern Makes Plea To President Bush To Help Illegal Irish

17/03/2006 - 17:15:35

The Taoiseach has made a personal plea to President Bush to
assist illegal Irish emigrants in the United States.

He was speaking in the White House, at the traditional
presentation of shamrock to the US President.

Mr. Ahern told President Bush that thousands of Irish
people want to live out their American dream without fear
of deportation.

“On this St Patrick’s Day, mindful of the resonance that
this issue has for people, and Irish people, I would like
to express the hope that a path may be found to enable
current Irish immigrants to legalise their status in the
United States on a permanent basis.

“I hope that they can realise their dream of stable and
secure lives for themselves and their families in this
great country,” he said.


Woman Is Arrested After Guns Find

A woman has been arrested following the discovery of guns
and ammunition in north Belfast.

They were discovered during the planned search of a house
in Glenrosa Link in the loyalist Tiger's Bay area.

The Army bomb disposal squad was involved in the operation,
and the area was cordoned off during the searches.

A number of other items were also seized and have been
taken away for forensic examination. The police said a
woman was assisting their inquiries.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/16 21:32:47 GMT


'Rendition Flights' Landed In NI

The transport secretary has revealed that aircraft
allegedly operated by the CIA to take prisoners out of the
USA landed at airports in Northern Ireland.

The planes landed at Belfast International and City of
Derry airports after January 2001.

Alistair Darling said the government had no information
about the flights' purposes as they were "non commercial".
Anti-Iraqi war campaigners said they were used to fly
prisoners to states where torture was used.

A total of six US planes linked by campaigners to
"extraordinary rendition" used UK airports 73 times since
2001, Mr Darling confirmed.

Campaigners claim to have details of planes used by the CIA
to transfer terror suspects to countries where they could
be tortured.

Mr Darling confirmed the serial numbers of planes that had
landed in the UK matched those on the campaigners' list.

But he said he had no evidence they were involved in

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has denied the US
uses torture, but insisted the practice of extraordinary
rendition was not unlawful, adding: "Renditions take
terrorists out of action, and save lives."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/17 17:22:26 GMT


Orange Order Issues First St Patrick's Day Message

17/03/2006 - 08:45:42

The Orange Order has issued its first ever St Patrick's Day
message saying the festival should be about more than just
green beer and leprechauns.

The Order said St Patrick’s message is in danger of being
lost and today should be a day of Christian reflection and
re-dedication to Biblical standards and morality.

It also said that it is greatly concerned by the breakdown
of morality in our society, such as the recent introduction
of civil partnerships.

The Order does condemn violence and hatred towards
homosexuals but notes that the Bible condemns homosexual
practices as well as heterosexual immorality.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Armagh has called for all
Irish people to hold out the hand of friendship to the many
ethnic minorities living here.

Archbishop Brady said by doing so, we will reflect the real
meaning of Saint Patrick , who himself was a migrant.

He said we should be mindful of the many people like Saint
Patrick living among us, in an effort to build a society
that welcomes the cultures and traditions of others.


NI Celebrations Mark St Pat's Day

Parades and concerts have taken place across Northern
Ireland as part of the celebrations to mark St Patrick's

The main parades were held in Belfast, Downpatrick and

For the first time, the Belfast parade was sponsored by the
city's council who were hoping for a cross-community event.

SDLP deputy Lord Mayor Pat Convery said he thought this had
been achieved to a "certain degree". "It is a small step
forward in a divided city," he said.

"We hope that the diversity of our city will be able to be
included in this parade and concert.

"We hope this will be the first step in many and we hope we
will be able to generate a lot of interest in this new
event every year if it is possible."

This year's Belfast celebrations featured a carnival parade
from the city hall to Custom House Square, where a St
Patrick's Day Concert was compered by BBC Northern Ireland
personality John Daly was taking place.

The carnival's route followed along Donegall Place to
Castle Junction and into Castle Place, before proceeding
along High Street, Victoria Street and finally into Custom
House Square.

In the past, the parade was regarded as contentious with
unionists objecting to the presence of Irish tricolours.

The police have said they want people to enjoy the
celebrations in Northern Ireland, but warned about the
dangers of drink driving.

Northern Ireland's main political leaders, except DUP
leader Ian Paisley, joined in the 17 March festivities at
the White House in Washington.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/17 18:46:49 GMT


25th Anniv. Of The H-Blocks Hunger Strikes
In The North Of Ireland

by Amanda Bellerby Friday, Mar. 17, 2006 at 1:39 PM

This interview aired on KPFA/Pacifica radio's investigative
news show, "Flashpoints," on March 16th. I spoke with Bobby
Lavery, Sinn Fein representative for North Belfast from
1985-89, and from '93-2000, also an ex-prisoner of Long
Kesh. The other voice is that of Terry Kirby, who was
imprisoned in Long Kesh during the Blanket Protest and the
Hunger Strike of 1981. Terry was one of 38 men who managed
to escape Long Kesh in 1983. mp3, 21 minutes

audio: MP3 at 19.0 mebibytes
(download torrent - )

Music clip: "James Connolly"by Black 47.

This intervew tackles the political realities behind the
IRA's armed struggle to free ireland from British colonial
rule. Terry Kirby was comrade and friend to the men who
died on the Hunger Strikes. Bobby Lavery lost his young son
and brother to Loyalist death squads.


Murder Police Are Given More Time

Police have been granted more time to question two people
arrested in connection with the murder of north Belfast
teenager Thomas Devlin.

A PSNI spokesman said a 22-year-old man and a 22-year-old
woman were arrested in Belfast on Wednesday morning.

A police spokesman said detectives had been given until
Friday night to question the pair.

Thomas, 15, died after being stabbed five times as he and
two friends walked along Somerton Road last August.

No-one has been charged in connection with his killing,
although a number of people have been questioned.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/16 21:40:19 GMT


President Bush Praises Irish Who Fought For US Independence

16:59 Friday March 17th 2006

In US President George Bush's St Patrick's Day speech he
has praised the "Sons of Eireann" who fought for US
independence from British rule.

He was speaking at the traditional presentation of the
shamrock by the Taoiseach in Washington.

He said: "The friendship between Ireland and the United
States has deep roots. Few people fought as hard for
American Independence as the sons of Eireann.

"At the end of the revolutionary war Lord Mountjoy told the
House of Commons that we've lost America through the
Irish," he pointed out.

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