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March 20, 2006

US Resolution Calls For Indp Inquiry Into Finucane's Murder

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News About Ireland & The Irish

DI 03/18/06
US Resolution Calls For Indp Inquiry Into Finucanes Murder
ML 03/19/06 Sinn Fein Chief Touts Freedom, Independence
SF 03/19/06 Proposals From Govts Must Be Good Friday Agreement Compliant
IN 03/19/06 Planned Shadow Assembly Gets Mixed Reaction
BT 03/19/06 Pressure Grows To 'Finalise Devolution'
BN 03/19/06 DUP Accuses Taoiseach Of Meddling In North's Affairs
BN 03/19/06 IRA Suspect On Trial For Attack On British Base
BT 03/19/06 Unionists On A Mission To Reach Out To Catholics
BT 03/19/06 Unionist Anger At St Patrick's Day Tricolours
DI 03/18/06 Adams Finds Broad Support On US Visit
DI 03/17/06 Adams Tells US Reps ‘Stop Playing To DUP’
BB 03/19/06 Integrated Schools Given Go Ahead
IC 03/19/06 Mass Marks 25th Anniversary Of Hunger Strikers
DI 03/19/06 Colombia Army Chief Met RUC And British Military
IN 03/19/06 Sinn Fein Informer's House On The Market
IN 03/19/06 Opin: Independents Hold Key To Future Of Policing Board
IN 03/19/06 Orange Tradition Must Evolve To Survive
BT 03/19/06 Americans To Be Offered Michael Collins Whiskey
IN 03/19/06 Columnist In Frame For Dail Role Representing Emigrants


Finucanes ‘hopeful’

Congressman’s Resolution To Call For Independent Inquiry
Into Solicitor’s Murder

by Jim Dee Daily Ireland correspondent on Capitol Hill,
Washington DC


The family of the murdered solicitor Patrick Finucane are
hopeful that the US Congress will soon follow the Dáil’s
lead and pass a motion calling on Britain to hold a fully
independent judicial inquiry into the 1989 collusion

“Congressman Chris Smith is proposing a resolution that
mirrors the Dáil motion, and certainly everybody that we
spoke to [in Congress] said that they would sign up to
that,” Geraldine Finucane told Daily Ireland after a round
of meetings on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Pat Finucane’s widow Geraldine and her son John have spent
several days in Washington this week briefing leading US
politicians and government officials about the family’s
quest to uncover the full truth about the assassination.
Geraldine was a guest at George Bush’s annual St Patrick’s
Day ceremony. She was among several people invited to the
White House who had lost relatives during the Troubles.
Relatives of the murder victims Joseph Rafferty and Robert
McCartney also attended.

In an interview with Daily Ireland prior to the White House
event, John Finucane stressed the importance of being in
Washington this week.

“We feel that coming to America, especially at this time of
year, is very, very important. We feel that people hearing
our message directly from us is extremely vital,” he said.

He said knowledge of his father’s killing and of the
broader issue of collusion is widespread in the US capital.

“Collusion is a fact. That’s not just our family saying
that. That’s been confirmed by John Stevens in his three
investigations. That’s been confirmed by Judge Peter Cory,”
he said.

“What we want to find out is how far up the chain of
command this collusion went. Now, we have made some fairly
strong allegations — that we believe that it went to the
very top. But there is only one way to find out, one way or
the other, and that is a truly independent judicial

Pat Finucane’s killing is one of the most controversial of
the Troubles because of persistent allegations of either
direct or tacit involvement of the British army’s secretive
Force Research Unit and the RUC Special Branch.

The Finucanes’ campaign to have a fully independent inquiry
into the murder was given a boost earlier this month when
the Dáil called on the British government to establish such
an inquiry.

The Dáil motion was passed on March 8 with all-party
support. It called on Britain to create “a full,
independent, public judicial inquiry” into Pat Finucane’s

The Northern Ireland Office dismissed the Dáil motion as
“fundamentally flawed and misleading”.

In 2003, the retired Canadian judge Peter Cory recommended
that separate inquiries be held into the killings of Pat
Finucane, Robert Hamill, Rosemary Nelson and Billy Wright.

Britain has stalled on opening an inquiry into Pat
Finucane’s killing and has indicated that any inquiry will
be held under the terms of the Inquiries Act 2005.

Along with Irish nationalist politicians, Judge Cory, and
several human-rights groups, the Finucanes claim that the
British legislation will keep certain evidence from any
inquiry and prevent the full truth from being revealed.

“And that is the message that we are bringing to America
this week — that the inquiry they are proposing is not
independent. It is not Weston Park-compliant. It is not
Cory-compliant, and it is not acceptable to our family,”
John Finucane told Daily Ireland.

He said that, over the years, “more and more information
has come out” that proved that collusion was “a policy that
the British government were implementing. And it wasn’t
just a policy that affected my father. It affected a huge
amount of people.”

John Finucane said that, while the British government might
continue to stonewall, “we are at the stage now where we
have support from everybody that we go to. We have support
from the Irish government. We have an all-party Dáil motion
which shows the unanimous support of all the parties in

“We have the support of Congress. We have the support of
human-rights groups. And we hope that all that pressure
will be so overwhelming that they will have to abide by
their promises and give us an independent inquiry — one
that we can participate in.”

He stressed that full exposure of all the murky details
about his father’s killing was essential to building the
type of society that the peace process aimed to achieve.

“People need to have confidence in the institutions of the
state. I don’t think any other case that is at the profile
that we are at shows how many agencies of the state are
really in the dock here.

“It’s not just the police. It’s not just the army. It’s not
just the judiciary or the government and the security
services. It’s all of them,” he said.

“Now, I want to live in a society where I can have faith
and confidence in the institutions of the state. So, not
only does justice need to be done but justice needs to be
seen to be done in this case for people to be able to move
on and have this issue dealt with once and for all.

“After this week, I’m encouraged by the support and by the
appreciation and understanding of the issue among the
politicians we have met.

“And I do firmly believe that, no matter where the British
government go in this world, they will be faced with
questions about the murder of my father.”


Sinn Fein Chief Touts Freedom, Independence

Monday, March 20, 2006
By Natalia Muñoz

CHICOPEE - More than two centuries after the American
colonies broke free from Britain because it ignored their
cries of inequity, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said
yesterday the United Kingdom is now listening to a list of
grievances from Northern Ireland and the United States of

Before a standing room only crowd of more than 400 people
at Elms College, Adams urged Irish-Americans to continue to
pull for the independence of their ancestors' homeland.

"I can think of nothing better than Irish-Americans going
back to a free Ireland," he said.

Adams was the guest of U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-
Springfield, also a prominent figure in the Northern
Ireland peace process. Neal invited Adams to walk in
yesterday's 55th annual St. Patrick's Parade in Holyoke,
the nation's second-largest outpouring of Irish pride.

Neal commended British Prime Minister Tony Blair for
agreeing to work for a peaceful solution to the strife in
Northern Ireland. Blair's administration has eliminated
oppressive British watchtowers and reduced Britain's
military presence in the province from the high double
digits to 5,000 troops, Neal said, but, he added, "we all
acknowledge that one is too many."

As part of his trip to the United States, Adams was invited
to the White House on Friday, but later was detained for
several hours while trying to fly to Buffalo, N.Y., to
address an Irish association because his name remains on a
terrorist watch list.

Asked about his experience of being at a White House
function one moment and in detention the next, Adams
dismissed the experience. "It's just an occupational
hazard," he said.

A former commander in the Irish Republican Army, Adams
became known as a peacemaker for his role in helping
negotiate the Good Friday Agreement and setting up the
Northern Ireland Assembly. That reputation was cemented
when he persuaded the IRA to lay down its arms and disband
last year.

In 1998, Ireland voted in favor of the Good Friday
Agreement peace accord, the blueprint for a power-sharing
Northern Ireland Assembly of Protestants and Catholics,
elected in 2002. However, the assembly has since been
suspended because militant Protestants of the Democratic
Ulster Party, led by the Rev. Ian Paisley, refuse to share
government with Adams.

"There are powerful elements that want to resist change,"
he said.

Adams told the audience the peace process will continue,
but it needs the continued support of Irish-Americans.

"The next few months are going to be crucial," he said.

"This is a period in our history where there are great
things happening." The peace process is slow and
frustrating, "but it's still happening," Adams said.

"The business of Northern Ireland is your business."

©2006 The Republican
© 2006 All Rights Reserved.


Proposals From Governments Must Be Good Friday Agreement

Published: 20 March, 2006

Sinn Féin MP for Newry and Armagh Conor Murphy today said
that any proposals from the two governments would have to
be Good Friday Agreement compliant if they were going to
have a chance of success.

Mr Murphy said:

"The two governments have indicated that they intend to
finally bring forward proposals to break the impasse in the
process and see a fully functioning Assembly and Executive
put in place.

"Suspension needs to be lifted and the Assembly reconvened
for the purpose of electing a First and Deputy First
Minster and the appointment of Ministers. If this fails to
happen then the Assembly should be scrapped and the
salaries paid to the MLAs should be withdrawn.

"Any proposals from the two governments need to be Good
Friday Agreement compliant and they need to be able to
deliver the type of institutions the people voted for
including a fully functioning Assembly, a power sharing
Executive and All-Ireland Ministerial Council.

"That is the benchmark upon which Sinn Féin will judge
them. The two governments now need to avoid further delays
and publish as speedily as possible their planned
blueprint." ENDS


Planned Shadow Assembly Gets Mixed Reaction

By Sharon O’Neill Chief Reporter

THERE was a mixed reaction last night to proposals for a
shadow assembly in a bid to revive the peace process.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said such a move could be
temporarily set up without an executive to break the

His comments came as the Irish and British governments
prepare to publish proposals to restore the institutions –
expected in around three weeks’ time.

“Well obviously if we don’t get agreement on the executive
you can’t have an executive,” he told the BBC.

“But that shouldn’t stop the assembly operating for a
period of time while there is work for it to do and that
could take a few months,”

he said.

“I think the difficulty for the prime minister [Tony Blair]
and I, is that it’s eight years on. It is now, we’re
heading quickly towards another summer.

“It’s last summer since we got the IRA’s statement, which I
think that most people thought we’d never get. The arms
issue was dealt with in the early autumn so we are heading
quickly towards another summer.

“Politicians all over the world like to be in power and I
am sure in Northern Ireland it is no different, they want
to deal with the everyday issues, what’s known all over the
world as the bread and butter issues – to deal with
education, local government and health.”

Both Sinn Fein and the SDLP have ruled out the setting up
of a shadow assembly.

Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator Martin McGuinness said: “In
our discussions with the two governments we have made it
crystal clear that progress had to be made in the immediate

“That means the lifting of suspension and a determined
effort to establish a fully functioning executive. It also
means the end of the failed approach of pandering to the

“It is my view that we can collectively deliver a fully-
functioning assembly and executive. But for this to happen
the governments need to stand firmly behind the Good Friday

“I look forward to seeing the proposals being put together
by the two governments. These plans will be judged on
whether or not they will deliver the institutions people
voted for eight years ago.”

SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness said his party will
consider any proposals made by the taoiseach and prime
minister Tony Blair.

He said: “But we have made very plain in the past that a
shadow assembly which is a long-term substitute for a fully
operational assembly with an executive is not going to
receive our support.

“Obviously the taoiseach has ideas of his own which he
would want to discuss with the political parties and we
would welcome any discussions... in relation to ideas to
restore the assembly as envisaged in the Good Friday

DUP MP Gregory Campbell said: “I think it is very
ambitious. If Bertie Ahern is saying to us the IRA are
going to be history within the next nine months, then that
is good. But I will believe it when I see it.

“If it is done and dusted, if they are history, if all the
guns are gone, no more criminality... and they are all law-
abiding citizens, then that is a big, big, jump to make.
And if they make it, well and good, we will wait and see.”

Ulster Unionist Danny Kennedy, deputy leader of the UUP’s
assembly party, said: “We will wait to see the details.

“It is very important it doesn’t become a talking

shop or school debating society.

“It has to have a role that will make a contribution to the
big decisions in front of us and currently with us, such as
education, planning, agriculture.

“If it is simply a window dressing or holding exercise, I
don’t think it will have a lot of impact.”


Pressure Grows To 'Finalise Devolution'

By Noel McAdam
20 March 2006

Sinn Fein and the SDLP have attempted to heap pressure on
the DUP after Taoiseach Bertie Ahern insisted the two
governments intend to "finalise" the devolution issue this

And he said it was time for Secretary of State Peter Hain
to remind "these foreign meddlers" that internal affairs in
Northern Ireland are "solely the concern" of the political
parties and British Government.

The Taoiseach said, however, the failure to bring
devolution to a conclusion had been a major theme in
meetings in the United States and warned "going on
indefinitely" would damage the credibility of the

"At the end of the day the question is are people sincerely
and genuinely interested in power sharing or are they not
and that question will have to be answered this year," he
told the BBC Politics Show.

"We are going to finalise this in 2006," he added,
indicating that an Assembly in 'shadow' form without an
Executive for a period was "possible".

His remarks came as the two governments worked on proposals
for the restoration of the Assembly, which it is believed
they want to put to the parties before the next Good Friday
- the eighth anniversary of the Agreement.

Sinn Fein negotiator Martin McGuinness argued it was
increasingly clear the DUP was becoming isolated "on many

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said: "We have repeatedly stressed
that the governments needed to stop sending the signal that
the DUP are in control of the political calendar. We have
been concerned that the governments would allow things to
drift until a time and terms that suited the DUP."


DUP Accuses Taoiseach Of Meddling In North's Affairs

20/03/2006 - 10:16:09

The Democratic Unionist Party has reacted angrily to the
Taoiseach's suggestion that a deadline be put on reaching
agreement on power-sharing.

Bertie Ahern has said he would like to see the Northern
Assembly recalled without the power-sharing executive, but
only until the end of the year.

The DUP has responded by accusing Mr Ahern of meddling in
the affairs of the North.

The hardline unionist party says the Taoiseach has no
business expressing opinions on how the North should be


IRA Suspect On Trial For Attack On British Base

20/03/2006 - 11:39:04

A 45-year-old IRA suspect went on trial today on charges of
attempted murder for a bungled 1989 attack on a British
base in Germany.

Leonard Joseph Hardy, from Antrim, Northern Ireland, is
also charged with deliberately causing an explosion. He is
being tried by a state court in the central town of Celle.

Hardy was arrested last August in a hotel in the Spanish
resort city of Torremolinos and extradited in January. He
is accused of taking part in the attack on the British
army’s Quebec barracks in Osnabruck in 1989.

Prosecutors say he was one of at least five IRA “Active
Service Unit” members that planned to plant the bombs –
made of a total of 265 pounds of military-grade plastic
explosives – around the base.

The suspects were disturbed by a workman as they tried to
lay the charges and only one bomb went off, causing damage,
but no injuries, prosecutors said.

Four others involved in the attack were convicted in
Germany in 1995 of attempted murder and sentenced to
several years in prison.


Unionists On A Mission To Reach Out To Catholics

By Noel McAdam
20 March 2006

Ulster Unionists are set to adopt a new 'outreach' strategy
to encourage more Catholics to vote for the party.

Formal agreement to the plan, also designed to target the
province's ethnic groups, could come at the party's annual
conference later this month.

The party's elections officer Johnny Andrews said last
night: "Unionists must reach out to the new and changing
ethnic mix in the voting population and sell the benefits
of the Union.

"It is only under the Union that our social, cultural and
human rights can be protected and fostered."

At the gathering, Sir Reg Empey is facing a free run to
remain leader since no contenders have come out to
challenge him for the position.

Senior sources, however, said the potential of a late
candidate still emerging could not be ruled out.

But a contest appeared an increasingly remote possibility
with Sir Reg still less than a year in office.

Instead, the gathering will discuss a further raft of
internal rule changes designed to modernise the party.

The discussions will also include a new 'values and
objectives' document drawn up by party officers.

The annual general meeting could also formally ratify the
'reach out' strategy designed to attract Catholics who
favour a unionist perspective. The programme is likely to
include Chinese, Indian, eastern European and Polish

Mr Andrews denied his blueprint was a sign of desperation
or an admission that mainstream unionists have deserted the
UUP for the DUP.

Instead, he hit out at the DUP's "failure to engage
seriously in talks" which was holding up progress on "the
big prize" of policing.

"The truth is, they are divided on power sharing and will
go on prevaricating. The DUP thrives on emotional rhetoric
and scare tactics. They create the continual polarization
of politics that leads to endless circularity in negative

"Northern Ireland continues to suffer under Direct Rule.
Water charges, higher rates and Government attempts to
effectively destroy our excellent education system. These
are but three of the many things that matter to people.

"The DUP and Sinn Fein feed off each other's rhetoric," he
added. "Meanwhile our children lose out as our schools will
be destroyed."


Unionist Anger At St Patrick's Day Tricolours

Flag flying sparks fury

By Deborah McAleese
20 March 2006

Unionists last night threatened to withdraw their support
for funding from next year's St Patrick's Day celebrations
in Belfast amid anger over the waving of Irish tricolour

UUP councillor Jim Rodgers said there was "no way" his
party could support another event.

And DUP councillor Robin Newton said his party would be
withdrawing its support unless "very strong reassurances"
are given that next year's celebrations will be completely

Unionists said the Belfast festivities on Friday were
"intimidatory" because of the waving of tricolours.

This was the first year that the Belfast parade, from the
City Hall to Custom House Square, was funded by the
council, which had attempted to ensure that tricolours were
not paraded.

But both the DUP and UUP claimed Protestant constituents
left the celebrations because they felt intimidated.

"There is absolutely no way this can be funded next year.
We hoped we would be proved wrong but we were not," said Mr

He added: "I will work to bring communities together in
Belfast but we are simply not ready for this and it does
more harm than good. That's why unionists voted against it
in the first place.

"At a time when rates have been increased considerably it
is time that ratepayers' money is put to better use."

Belfast City Council paid around £100,000 towards this
year's event.

Councillor Newton said: "There has to be an analysis of
this event. In terms of next year, I think a number of
people would have to be greatly reassured that there would
be significant changes. Unless those assurances are given
we would have to reconsider the funding issue."

Despite the unionist claims that many people felt
"uncomfortable and unwelcome", SDLP deputy Lord Mayor Pat
Convery said he thought the parade had been a "small step
forward" for a divided city.


Adams Finds Broad Support On US Visit

Sinn Féin leader refutes media spin he would be ostracised

by Jim Dee Daily Ireland correspondent on Capitol Hill,
Washington DC


In sharp contrast to St Patrick’s week last year, Sinn Féin
leader Gerry Adams faced no political hostility or shunning
during his visit to the US capital this week, a party
spokesman told Daily Ireland.

“The media spin that Gerry would be ostracised turned out,
as usual, to be absolutely wrong. In fact, things turned
out directly opposite,” said the Sinn Féin spokesman.

The party spokesman accompanied Mr Adams to George Bush’s
St Patrick’s Day gathering in Washington.

The spokesman said the visit had been “very positive, very
useful and very productive”. He said the Sinn Féin
president had met “more people than we expected”. These
included Democratic senators John Kerry of Massachusetts
and Barack Obama, an African-American rising star from

These meetings were in addition to scheduled meetings with
Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressmen Peter King, Richie Neal
and Jim Walsh.

The Sinn Féin spokesman said that, during all the meetings,
Mr Adams found “broad support for our message that Britain
needs to pull the assembly together now”.

The spokesman said that, far from being shunned by Mr Bush,
Mr Adams was seated up front during the US leader’s
remarks, while other North of Ireland politicians sat at
the back.

He said Mr Bush had singled out Mr Adams for “some
slagging” during his remarks by saying he was concerned
about the company the Sinn Féin president was keeping.

“He was referring to Peter King. It was a bit of craic,”
the spokesman chuckled. Speaking to Daily Ireland prior to
the White House event, Mr Adams expanded on his
“bewilderment” at envoy Mitchell Reiss’ decision to ban him
from fundraising during the trip.

“I think he might be being badly advised but he is
certainly giving bad advice. I have talked to him a number
of times but I just don’t see a logic or a rationale.

“I don’t think for a moment that everybody has to agree
with me. But I always examine another person’s point of
view in terms of the logic or the context or the intention.
And I just don’t see any logic at all,” said Mr Adams.

“It’s so totally counterproductive. And it trivialises the

“If [policing] wasn’t a serious issue, of course people
would be prepared to jump through hoops. But you have to
get it right, as right as you can.”

Mr Adams told Daily Ireland that, rather than being
diverted by the “bump in the road with the White House”, he
wanted to stress that “the most important thing is for the
British and Irish governments to bring together the
assembly and for Ian Paisley to be given the opportunity to
represent his electorate with the rest of us — and to take
everyday decisions about people who are underemployed,
people who are stuck on hospital waiting lists, and people
whose children are not being educated to their full

His call for the restoration of the assembly was echoed by
the Friends of Ireland congressional caucus, headed by New
York Republican Jim Walsh.

The Friends of Ireland statement urged “all the parties
involved to continue to take all the necessary steps for
peace. However, we regret that the Democratic Unionist
Party has continued to reject the Good Friday Agreement and
has refused to demonstrate its willingness to share power
with all parties, including Sinn Féin.”

Mr Walsh, a long-time supporter of the peace process, later
defended the fact that the statement had made no mention of
last year’s killing of Belfast man Robert McCartney.

“In my view, we’re Americans. We’re not Irish. We’re not
from Northern Ireland. We should speak, I think, in general
terms about certain values — pluralistic democracy,
devolved government, commitment to policing. And our
statement does that,” he said on Thursday.

“So we avoid, I think, the pitfall of getting involved in
stating specific crimes that have occurred in Northern

“We have met with the McCartneys. They have been to the
White House. There has been a great deal of attention to
that issue. But my view, as chairman of the Friends of
Ireland and speaking for the House [of Representatives], in
effect, is that we need to state the broad principles that
we support in this process.”


Adams Tells US Reps ‘Stop Playing To DUP’

By US correspondent Jim Dee in Washington DC


During meetings with Sinn Féin supporters and top US
politicians in Washington Thursday, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams
repeatedly urged the British and Irish governments to stop
pandering to the DUP, and start building real politics in
the North by reconvening the moth-balled assembly.

“We have an assembly that never meets. So we’ve said to Mr
Blair and the Toaiseach that we want that assembly put in
place before early summer and we’re calling on people here
to support us,” Adams told reporters prior to addressing an
early morning gathering of Friends of Sinn Féin at the
Capital Hilton.

“We will not have any part of any provisional or shadow, or
any type of an assembly, which falls short of the Good
Friday agreement. And why should we?” Mr Adams said.

“The job and the responsibility of the two government is to
uphold the agreement.”

Regarding George Bush’s special envoy Mitchell Reiss, who
is credited with having made the decision not to allow Mr
Adams to fundraise because of Sinn Féin’s continued refusal
to join the Policing Board, Adams was blunt.

“Well, I don’t have any high regard for Mitchell Reiss’s
input into this process,” said Mr Adams.

“I’ve talked to Mitchell Reiss recently. I said that if it
is he who is advising the president, then it is very, very
bad advice.”

“We are not a party that will ever exclude ourselves. We
believe in standing up for ourselves and more, importantly
for the people who support us.

“So, if anybody thinks that in some way they’re going to
bounce us, or arm-wrestle us into a position that we don’t
want to be in, well they’re dealing with the wrong party.”

“I’m not attacking the administration,” Mr Adams stressed.

“What I’m doing is putting it to Irish- America and to the
administration that they should support our call for the
British government to put the assembly back in place.”

He said that politicians he has spoken to in Washington
“are absolutely flabbergasted” that the assembly remains

“I mean, all these congress members fight elections all the
time. They just don’t understand how you can fight an
election and then have no assembly to go to,” he said.

Addressing the FOSF gathering, Mr Adams said that he
resented the fact that the Bush administration was now
treating Sinn Féin differently than other parties from the
North. He said that the fundraising prohibition would also
give yet another excuse to Ian Paisley and the DUP to try
and veto progress.

Mr Adams said that, when the IRA called an end to its armed
campaign and completed decommissioning last year, “the IRA
did the right thing. And it was a mighty thing”.

He said the fact that the DUP has been allowed to continue
to block the restoration of the assembly and executive,
even after the IRA’s moves, sent a bad message to
republican heartlands.

“Imagine you are a young republican back home in
Crossmaglen or south Tyrone or west Belfast. And that
republican freedom-fighters take these big, generous
initiatives, and they’re opponents are looking for other
excuses, looking for other reasons not to engage properly.”

On a more positive note, Mr Adams added, Irish-Americans
who’d stood by republicans for decades, particularly when
it was an unpopular thing to do, “can sit back and feel a
sense of pride” at progress made so far.

Mr Adams said that if the DUP refuses to participate in the
assembly, the British and Irish governments should now “set
the assembly aside. It can be returned to at some other
point in the future. But we don’t have a Bill of Rights. We
don’t have an equality agenda. We still haven’t cracked the
issue of policing”.

He said that, regardless of what the DUP does, the
governments must tackle long-standing economic and social
issues that are the “residue of discrimination” in many
nationalist areas.

The Sinn Féin leader added that, despite recent peace
process roadblocks, “it is a process. We have to keep
reminding ourselves of this. For the rest of our lives, and
as long as we have the energy, this is what we are going to
be about. There is not going to be a moment short of a
United Ireland where you’re going to be able to say ‘Well,
that’s that done and dusted’. Because there are powerful
elements who want to go back to the old ways.”

Mr Adams reminded the audience that Sinn Féin is the
“largest pro-agreement party in the North. We’re the third
largest party on the island of Ireland. And that’s all been
accomplished in a short ten years. So if you want to know
why our opponents are messing about, there’s the reason,
they fear the growth of Sinn Féin.”


Integrated Schools Given Go Ahead

Two integrated schools which were recently turned down for
funding by Education Minister Angela Smith are to open in

Funding for Rowallane Integrated College in Saintfield and
Clogher Valley Primary School was supplied by the
Integrated Education Fund.

Rowallane College will get £500,000 and Clogher Valley will
receive £250,000.

Both schools were among four refused funding by the
Department of Education earlier this month.

The fund has not yet decided what to do about Lir
Integrated Primary School in Ballycastle.

Earlier this month, Ms Smith said the new schools were
turned down because they were proposed for areas which
already had surplus capacity.

Integrated education has been promoted as a way to break
down Northern Ireland's sectarian divisions.

The Integrated Education Fund is a charity established in
1992 to promote the development and growth of integrated
education in Northern Ireland.

The first integrated school in Northern Ireland was Lagan
College which opened near Belfast in 1981 and there are now
58 integrated schools with more than 18,000 pupils on the
roll books.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/03/20 11:33:33 GMT


Mass Marks 25th Anniversary Of Hunger Strikers

A special 25th anniversary Mass remembers sacrifice of
hunger strikers

by Laura McDaid

There were emotional scenes at Clonard Monastery on Sunday
as the H-Block hunger strikers were remembered at a special

Relatives and friends of those who died gathered for the
afternoon ceremony to commemorate the 25th anniversary of
the hunger strike.

In a touching homily, Fr Gerry Reynolds acknowledged the
suffering of those who lost loved ones in the 1981 hunger

“Maybe it’s a son, a brother, a best friend or a comrade in
the armed struggle, now thankfully part of history.

“Whatever the relationship, the sense of loss and the
heartache does not go away.”

Emphasising the need for forgiveness, Fr Reynolds said, “We
pray today for the healing of the wounds of our history -
particularly those arising from the hunger strike.

“Perhaps you are bitter over the wrongs you've suffered,
and so need the divine power to forgive those who hurt you.

“There is a season for everything, a time for every
occupation under heaven.

“A time for keeping silent, a time for speaking, a time for
fighting, a time for peace.”

Speaking after the Mass, the father of Andersonstown man
Kieran Doherty, who died on August 2, 1981, said it was an
emotional, but necessary, day.

“It certainly brings it all back,” said Alfie Doherty.

“My wife was very upset this morning.

“It’s 25 years, but it just seems like yesterday.”

Recalling the events leading up to Kieran’s death in the H-
Block, Mr Doherty explained: “I was beside him in Long Kesh
16 nights and my wife was with him 16 days before he died.

“Prison wardens let us in when he looked like he was about
to die, but he lasted 73 painful days. On the last day,
they kept us out. I’ll never forget it.”

Oliver Hughes, brother of Derry man Francis Hughes, who
died on May 12, 1981, said a memorabilia display arranged
by the Greater Clonard Ex-prisoners’ Association brought
back a lot of painful memories.

“It’s all so vivid when you see the newspaper clippings,
but it’s very touching and commendable that this has been

“It’s also lovely to see families that I haven’t seen in 25
years – families who were such a source of comfort and
support in 1981.

“And it’s very important that we have these days so that
history isn’t forgotten and a new generation can understand
why this happened.”

Following the Mass, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness made a
presentation of bronze statues to the families of those who
lost their loved ones through the hunger strike.

Addressing the relatives, he commended the courage of those
who died for the republican cause.

“Their star burns brighter every year as Margaret
Thatcher’s star dims.

“What these hunger strikers achieved we should always be
proud of.

“These men stood up and fought for our rights and they made
a difference to our lives.

“The primary objective of the hunger strikers remains the
primary objective of republicanism today – ending British
rule in Ireland.”

Journalist:: Laura McDaid


Colombia Army Chief Met RUC And British Military

by Connla Young

The commander of the Colombian army held secret meetings
with the Royal Ulster Constabulary and British military
officials while on a tour of military installations in the
North, Daily Ireland can reveal.

The revelation has prompted British officials to deny that
Colombian security forces are being trained by the “regular
army” in the North of Ireland.

A spokesman said he was not aware if Colombians were being
trained by members of the British special forces. General
Jorge Enrique Mora met senior members of the RUC in
Portadown and at their Knock headquarters in Belfast in

Confidential British government documents obtained by Daily
Ireland reveal that General Mora also met with Peter Hain,
the current British secretary of state in the North, while
he was attached to the British Foreign and Commonwealth

During his five-day visit to Britain in August 2000, the
Colombian general was introduced to former commander of the
British army in the North General Roger Wheeler.

The general toured a facility used by the military to train
army personnel before they are sent to the North.

While in the North, Mora, who was accompanied by other
senior members of the Colombian military, received detailed
briefings from senior members of the British security
forces on the nature of joint police and army operations.

The detailed document revealed that neither human rights or
collusion issues were brought up during the general’s visit
to the North.

The South American visitors also met with former chief of
the Northern Ireland Prison Service John Steel.

One month after the Colombian visit to Belfast, then
British Secretary of State Mo Mowlam travelled to Colombia
and met senior officials there.

The get-together took place just a year before three Irish
men were arrested and charged with training left-wing
guerrillas and travelling on false passports. Niall
Connolly, James Monaghan, and Martin McCauley, fled
Colombia last year.

Although the PSNI refused to go into detail, Daily Ireland
understands that a Colombian official met with the PSNI
earlier this month in the North.

In recent years the relationship between Britain and the
Colombian governments has been questioned by human rights

The British government is believed by many to be providing
the Colombian authorities with practical military help in
their ongoing campaign against left-wing rebels.

In the past both governments have been accused of colluding
with state sponsored paramilitaries in the murder of

Military authorities in both countries meet regularly and
as late as 2004 General Carlos Ospina Ovalle of the
Colombian army visited a number of British army

A PSNI spokesman said: “Colombian officials have visited
the PSNI on a number of occasions in the past and also
visited the RUC.”


Sinn Fein Informer's House On The Market

By Sharon O’Neill Chief Reporter

THE west Belfast home former Sinn Fein official Denis
Donaldson fled after being outed as a British agent is now
up for sale.

It is the clearest sign yet that the republican, who was an
MI5 and Special Branch informer for two decades, will never
return to the area.

His house in Aitnamona Crescent is on the market for
‘95,000 and still bears some of the security measures
used by the prominent republican to scrutinise any

Given his double life, it is likely the security services
swept the house, removing any bugs, other surveillance
equipment or searched for anything incriminating before it
went on the market.

Sinn Fein is still reeling from the fall-out of
Donaldson’s unmasking, just a week after he, his son-in-
law and another man were cleared of operating an alleged
IRA spy-ring at Stormont.

The arrests and high-profile raids at Parliament Buildings
in 2002 collapsed the power-sharing executive, which has
yet to be restored.

At the time the former Sinn Fein head of administration at
Stormont said the charges were politically motivated and
designed to save the then UUP leader David Trimble’s

‘It was political policing and political charges and the
fact that we were acquitted proves that,’ he said.

Donaldson even posed with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
and Martin McGuinness on the steps of Stormont ‘ less
than 24 hours after the spy charges were dropped.

Republican sources later insisted that Mr Adams and Mr
McGuinness were unaware at that point of his double life.

Donaldson is the second prominent west Belfast republican
in two years to be outed as an informer.

In May 2003, it was claimed Freddie Scappaticci was one of
the British army’s most valued agents, codenamed

Last December Donaldson, a former IRA prisoner, confirmed
he was a British agent.

His admission came after Sinn Fein expelled him from the
party ‘ his role as an agent finally exposed.

Dondaldson said at the time: ‘I was recruited in the
1980s after compromising myself during a vulnerable time in
my life.

‘Since then I have worked for British intelligence and
the RUC/PSNI Special Branch. Over that period, I was paid

Donaldson has not been seen in public since his admission
in a prepared statement last December which was broadcast
on television.

However, a Sunday newspaper did track the 56-year-old down
to his new remote home in Donegal, which has reportedly no
electricity or running water.

Donaldson told The Sunday World: ‘The whole idea was to
get Trimble off the hook and get republicans the blame. But
it didn’t work, because Trimble is history now.

‘There was never a spy ring at Stormont.’

He appeared baffled as to why and how he was unmasked. When
asked how he felt about his British paymasters, he said:
‘That’s a good question. I don’t know why they did

Donaldson insisted he wasn’t in hiding and asked: ‘How
did you manage to find this place?’

‘You don’t see much of anyone here, not even the
gardai. They’ve been up and down past here but they never
came in.

‘I am not in hiding though, I just want to be left alone.
I don’t go anywhere.

‘I don’t be in touch with anyone. As you can see, I’m
in the middle of nowhere.’


Opin: Independents Hold Key To Future Of Policing Board

By Tom Kelly

Shortly I will have completed nearly four-and-a-half-years
on the Northern Ireland Policing Board. It has felt like
four times that amount. The ‘nearly’ new board takes up
residence at Clarendon Dock on April 1 and for the sake of
everyone, I hope the choice of date is not an omen.

For better or worse the Policing Board has been the only
successful part of the Good Friday Agreement. Of course it
has not been perfect but against the odds, in this land of
Nod, it has worked. Policing in the north has been
transformed and only the usual brigades of nay-Sayers and
serial protesters have not caught up on the extent of those
transformations. There were difficult moments and we have
not always reached consensus on contentious issues but as
time wore on and the natural suspicions subsided through
familiarity, there was a concerted effort to face such
issues together.

Maturity and responsibility dropped with a degree of unease
but willingness on the shoulders of both nationalist and
unionist members. Desmond Rea and Denis Bradley must be
given credit for their leadership and stewardship of the
new board. They were an unusual tag team but they showed
that people from fundamentally different backgrounds and
experiences can make things work, if they try.

Politicians had primacy on the outgoing board and that was
a very important factor as there are few enough examples of
local politicians exercising authority and responsibility.
Independent members exercised considerable authority on the
board and were to the fore of the consensus building. Some
independent members who don’t understand the need for
politicians to have primacy on such boards don’t understand
the primacy of democracy in public appointments or open
government. Independent members should reflect the broadest
spectrum of opinion and experience available in society but
their role should be in support of democratic
representatives, especially when the latter reaches cross-
party consensus.

Obviously while Sinn Fein continues to abnegate its
responsibility for policing for narrow political reasons,
the board cannot be truly reflective or serve the whole
community but the PSNI can and it does in terms of

This entire backdrop makes the composition of the new board
fraught with difficulties. One new member intends
‘educating’ other nationalist board members on the benefits
of Community Restorative Justice Projects. So much for
holding counsel until that new member learns more about
policing and how the board works. Many members from the

outgoing board came to the table with preconceived views on
policing but few if any hold on to such views after four
years. However myopic vision is always slightly distorted
from the comfort of the armchair and our own limited
environments. One hopes that on mature reflection
enlightenment comes soon to those who seek to impose a

I would be among the first to accept that no-one is truly
independent in Northern Ireland and that many of the so-
called recent independents are in effect party members or
closely affiliated to political parties. This puts a
greater onus on these members to step outside the political
box in terms of their role on the board. If they slavishly
follow party political lines over the next few years, they
will be complicit in the ongoing political stagnation and
will ultimately corrupt the appointments process. One hopes
that the political gamble in the recent independent
appointments pays off because pandering to the paranoia of
the political parties may prove costly in the long run.

The change in balance on the new board with more
independent than political members leaves the Ulster
Unionists in a difficult position. They made it clear they
would not accept such the ‘quangoization’ of the board and
it’s a fair point – though somewhat undermined by the
position of Trevor Ringland accepting an independent’s
position. The UUP leadership also has difficulties with the
appointment of Dawn Purvis of the PUP which again is a fair
point if looking at the appointment with any sense of
consistency. But when has consistency been a main stay of
the northern political process?

Or when has inconsistency been an electoral liability?

If the UUP do not take up their positions, the board could
end up with a nationalist chair and vice chair but more
importantly, they will have to go on the board later on and
that may prove more embarrassing, if it coincides with Sinn
Fein’s decision to sign up too. But square pegs and round
holes are what the north is all about!


Orange Tradition Must Evolve To Survive

The Monday Column
By Roy Garland

Wearing a sprig of shamrock but no sash, Presbyterian
minister and Orangeman Brian Kennaway spoke on the eve of
St Patrick’s Day on the relationship between
Presbyterianism and the Orange Order.

His talk involved more than the title might suggest and he
had amassed significant evidence challenging the idea that
the Orange Order is unchanging and demonstrating that
changes have sometimes been negative. During the height of
the Drumcree dispute I had reflected on the fact that
Belfast’s Twelfth parade had previously gone to Finaghy but
changed to Edenderry in the early 1970s. Yet the Order was
claiming it was not possible to alter their – admittedly
centuries old – traditional Drumcree route. The changed
venue in Belfast was because the old field was losing its
semi-rural character and was being used to accommodate
families from the nearby Falls Road. The land was sold at a
profit and the parade moved to a less contentious area.

Other Orange traditions do remain unaltered and are not
normally written down. These are innocuous oral traditions,
learned by rote and repeated by lecturers when members take
Orange and Purple degrees. Such apparent immutability is
said to be characteristic of other ancient oral folk

Brian Kennaway however points to significant changes in the
‘Qualifications of an Orangeman’ to which all members
assent. The protest in these against ‘errors and dangerous
doctrines of the Church of Rome’was only introduced in
1849; while only in 1885 were members told they must
‘scrupulously avoid countenancing’ any act of ‘Popish
Worship’. These ‘new’ elements are not dissimilar from the
churches including the Catholic Church, which depicts non
members as beyond the fullness of truth. The Orange Order
may even have taken the idea of being unchanging from the
Catholic Church which once prided itself on being Semper
idem – always the same – until the Second Vatican Council
changed all that.

Brian Kennaway suggests the Orange Order was initially non
sectarian and without anti-Catholic sentiments. This was
illustrated in 1798 when a certain William McKensie
appeared before Grand Lodge having changed the words of a
song from Croppies lie down to Papists lie down.

The Grand Lodge condemned this on the basis of Rule 5 which
stated that no one should be reproached on account of
religious opinion.

Nor were marriages to Roman Catholics forbidden and
according to Kennaway, Patrick Duigenan, a notable Grand
Secretary, not only married a Catholic but also facilitated
and encouraged her religious devotions. The marriage
prohibition was only introduced in 1863 and in Canada has
been removed completely. The early Orange Order was not
overtly opposed to Catholicism but rather to those who
sought to undermine the – admittedly Protestant (Anglican)
– constitution.

Since the 1960s an influx of virulent fundamentalists
attempted to enforce the largely dormant

anti-Catholic sentiments.

Some even tried to have Orangemen expelled for
participating in services honouring the dead of two World
Wars. Ecumenism was attacked and those who sought to reach
out to Catholic neighbours were vilified. By 2004 some
clergy and laity were officially accused of attempting to
‘rewrite the Gospel’. Fundamentalist brethren seemed to win
the day and so, as Kennaway suggests, past Presbyterian
leaders ‘would scarcely recognise the Orange Institution of

The Orange Order’s sister organisation the Royal Black
Preceptory, seems to have remained less sectarian as was
illustrated when a leader of the Black Order gave a lecture
on it in a country town. Some Sinn Fein people came in,
while having noted this, brethren went elsewhere.
Undeterred the speaker gave his lecture to the small Sinn
Fein audience. At the close, they told him that if this was
what the Black Institution was about, as far as they were
concerned, the Order could parade wherever they wanted in
the area. The Black Order is entirely religious as can be
seen from their banners and with no political overtones.
Perhaps Orangemen could find the courage to follow their
lead, decide what they are really about and radically
change direction if they are to survive beyond the early
years of the 21st century. All traditions are, after all,
invented and changed by human beings. None are immutable.

° Rev Brian Kennaway’s The Orange Order: A Tradition
Betrayed, is published on April 27 by Metheun.


Americans To Be Offered Michael Collins Whiskey

By Brian Walker
20 March 2006

Bushmills, Jameson, Powers and Paddy.

The roll call of familiar Irish whiskey brands is being
joined by a name from a different tradition - Michael

Whiskey from the Cooley distillery in Co Louth is being
launched in the States, bearing the name of the legendary
IRA leader who was assassinated by his erstwhile comrades
for signing the 1921 Treaty with the British.

To the Americans, the name "Michael Collins" has no dark

It was selected by the company owned by the late marketing
genius Sidney Frank, who made billions flogging a sweet,
sticky liqueur called Jagermeister to college kids and a
vodka called Grey Goose, a brand leader in the US. Franks'
sales technique involved hiring a squadron of young women
called "Jagerettes" to patrol bars and promote the product.
According to the marketing note, "Michael Collins"
available blended or as a single malt, is sold in an
elegant bottle "whose graceful fluting and statuesque
profile brings to mind the courage and cunning of Michael

The signature on the neck is Collins' own in Irish,
reproduced from the 1921 Treaty document. No word has come
yet of launching the whiskey in Ireland or Britain.

Collins was partial to a drop himself and " a bit of neck",
which for him, meant throwing a mate round the room in a
wrestling bout. Interesting to speculate what he might have
done with the writer of the flowery marketing blurb. A
portion of the profits from sales of "Michael Collins" will
go to Irish charities.


Columnist In Frame For Dail Role Representing Emigrants

By Claire Simpson

New York journalist and Irish News columnist Ray O’Hanlon
may be the first senator in the Seanad to represent
Ireland’s emigrants abroad.

Mr O’Hanlon, who lives in Ossining, New York, confirmed he
would allow his name to go forward when Fine Gael Senator
Jim Higgins steps down.

Mr Higgins said he would quit his post for someone who
would represent the interests of the Irish dispora.

Although it was assumed an emigrant candidate would come
from Britain, the US holds the largest number of Irish
emigrants in the world, with 44 million people claiming
Irish descent.

It is thought to be unlikely that Fianna Fail would propose
an alternative candidate.

However, Fine Gael leader in the House, Brian Hayes, has
requested Fianna Fail give its assurance that it will not
contest a by-election.

Mr O’Hanlon has written a number of articles on immigration
issues and also been a contributor to the Irish-American
news and culture programme Out of Ireland.

His book The New Irish Americans, which discussed the
Irish-American battle for immigration reform in the 1980s
and 1990s, won a Washington Irving book award.

Mr O’Hanlon is originally from Dublin.

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