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April 09, 2006

Apprentice Boys Get Go-Ahead For Ardoyne March

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News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 04/08/06 Apprentice Boys Get Go-Ahead For Ardoyne March
SF 04/08/06 SF To Attend Reconvened Assembly On May 15th
BN 04/08/06 British Spy Says UK Govt Offering Him No Protection
II 04/09/06 Stakeknife Hunted By IRA Flees Refuge
IL 04/08/06 April 8 Update From ILIR
BB 04/08/06 Guerin Murder Suspect Out Of Jail
BB 04/08/06 IRA Bomb Victims To Sue Gaddafi
BB 04/08/06 Funeral Service For Murdered Spy
BG 04/08/06 Pressures Mount To Get N. Ireland Peace On Track
BB 04/08/06 Deal Deadline Set To Become Law
BT 04/08/06 Row Erupts Over Orange Hall Venue For Meeting
BB 04/08/06 Seven Remanded Over Bomb Charges
JA 04/08/06 Opin: D Ahern - N Ireland Politicians Need To Deliver
AD 04/08/06 Opin: Terminated With Extreme Prejudice
BT 04/08/06 Opin: Ed Moloney - Provos At War?
BB 04/08/06 Opin: Politicians 'Reluctant To Take Power'
GU 04/09/06 Opin: The Evil Legacy Of The Easter Rising
BN 04/08/06 Ireland Free Of Bird Flu But Awaits Further Test Results
BB 04/08/06 1916 Collection Goes Under Hammer


Apprentice Boys Get Go-Ahead For Ardoyne March

By Chris Thornton
08 April 2006

An Apprentice Boys' parade has been approved for one of
Belfast's most notable flashpoints in recent years.

The Parades Commission told organisers of the feeder parade
past Ardoyne that they can follow their regular route on
Easter Monday.

However, they will be restricted from playing music while
passing the republican area in north Belfast.

The Commission also approved an Apprentice Boy's parade
that passes part of the Short Strand in East Belfast, but
rerouted marchers who applied to pass through the lower
Ormeau area.

Nationalist residents' groups had planned protests against
each of the Belfast marches.

Ardoyne has recently stood out as one of the most difficult
marching areas, with violence breaking out in response to
Twelfth parades over the past two years.

The Parades Commission met over two days this week to
consider one of the early batches of this year's
contentious parades.


Sinn Féin To Attend Reconvened Assembly On May 15th - The
Focus - A Power-Sharing Government

Published: 8 April, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking during a
meeting of the party’s Ard Chomhairle said “Today the Sinn
Fein Ard Chomhairle met, following detailed consultation
with our Assembly team, and after careful consideration, we
have decided to attend the reconvened Assembly on May 15th.

Our focus in doing so will be the formation of a power
sharing government on the basis set out in the Good Friday
Agreement. “

Mr. Adams said:

“On Thursday, in response to the joint statement from the
two governments, I said that Sinn Fein would judge their
proposals against the benchmark of the Good Friday
Agreement, and whether they would secure the restoration of
the political institutions. I also welcomed the convening
of the Assembly and the clear statement that its primary
role is to elect a power sharing government.

“Today the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle met, following detailed
consultation with our Assembly team, and after careful
consideration, we have decided to attend the reconvened
Assembly on May 15th. Our focus in doing so will be the
formation of a power sharing government on the basis set
out in the Good Friday Agreement. This also has to be the
focus of the Irish and British governments.

“The DUP have to decide if they are prepared to join the
rest of us in a power sharing government. That is the
inescapable question which they must face. If they refuse
to do so the two governments must deliver on their
commitment to jointly implement all other elements of the
Good Friday Agreement. In the coming days Sinn Fein will
seek clarity and detail on the accelerated all-Ireland co-
operation and action that will replace the Assembly if the
DUP is not prepared to share power.”ENDS


British Spy Says UK Govt Offering Him No Protection

08/04/2006 - 08:57:15

A double agent who infiltrated the IRA for British security
services has broken his cover to tell the BBC that he has
been given no protection, despite promises to the contrary
from the British government.

His revelation comes in the wake of the brutal killing of
former Sinn Féin official and self-confessed British agent
Denis Donaldson on Tuesday last.

The long-time British agent fled to England when his cover
was blown and assumed a new identity., but has come forward
to tell the BBC that he expects to suffer the same fate as
Denis Donaldson.

He said he is scared and frightened and was forced to
assume the new identity himself as the British government
refused to issue him with one.


Stakeknife Hunted By IRA Flees Refuge

By Greg Harkin
Published: 09 April 2006

A British spy at the top of the IRA's most-wanted list has
been forced to flee his holiday island hideaway after his
cover was blown.

Freddie Scappaticci, known as "Stakeknife", left his rented
villa in Tenerife after being recognised by holidaymakers
from his native Belfast.

News of the incident emerged yesterday, four days after the
murder of another British agent Denis Donaldson, who spent
two decades spying for Downing Street inside Sinn Fein.

Mr Scappaticci, the former deputy head of the IRA's
internal security unit, known as the Nutting Squad, passed
on information to a secret Army intelligence unit for more
than 20 years.

Outed as a spy in 2003, he was thought to be living in
Manchester or the Italian town of Cassino, where he has
relatives. He had also been sighted last year in Gran

He fled Tenerife three weeks ago after being recognised.
One eye-witness told The Independent on Sunday: "He was in
Lineker's bar in Playa de las Americas having dinner with
his wife. I found it incredible that he would choose to
hide out in a resort that is so popular with Irish


April 8 Update From ILIR

Dear ILIR Supporter

As you have probably heard already, the agreement on
comprehensive immigration reform fell apart at the last
hurdle as the Senate adjourned for a two-week recess.

But, even though Congress is out for two weeks the issue is
not going away.

While Senators are home for this two-week recess, we MUST
continue to contact them. Let them know:

We want bipartisan support; like the bipartisan support on
March 27th in the Judiciary Committee

We want them to get the compromise bill back to the Senate
floor and passed.

You can find the telephone and e-mail information for your
Senators here:

It is MORE URGENT now for us to be heard, as the anti-
immigrant people are already outnumbering us 2-1 on the

Monday, April 10 there will be demonstrations in Washington
and across the country. The public is demanding that
Congress take action. Get out there, take part and make
noise! To find out what is going on in your city, visit

The next step may well depend on what happens in the next
two weeks around the country.

Visit for updates.

So, what did happen on Friday?!

Senate leaders of both parties, and Senators who have
played a key role in shepherding comprehensive reform
through the Committee process, came together around a
compromise initiated by Senators Martinez (R-FL) and Hagel
(R-NE). The compromise policy proposal would have preserved
much of the Judiciary Committee bill.

With respect to legalization, the compromise proposal would
have led to approximately 10 million undocumented
immigrants getting permanent residence within 6 to 8 years.

Those who have been here for five years or more would be
offered a direct and multi-step process to permanent
residence. Persons who had been in the U.S. prior to
January 7, 2004, but less than five years, would have to
“touch base” outside the country, but be able to come back
in immediately and get on track for permanent residence
within eight years. (Though they have to “touch base”
outside of the country, paperwork will be done in the U.S.)

Those here since January 7, 2004, would not be eligible for
legalization, but would not be barred from the temporary
worker program, with its own path to eventual citizenship
for those who want to stay.

Details of the process for pushing the agreement forward
were the sticking point. While restrictionist Senators
wanted to offer a series of amendments to weaken or gut the
agreement, there was a sufficient bi-partisan coalition of
Senators to defend the agreement against the amendments of

For varying reasons, it was the leadership of both parties,
and procedures in the Senate which made it easy for a
handful of Senators to prevent the Senate from getting
things done, that has halted progress towards comprehensive
immigration reform for now.

Talking Points

:: Don’t Take Away our ‘Legalization’ - Dozens of hidden
traps in the Senate and House bills sabotage the
“legalization” programs and will exclude tens of thousands
of people. This would undermine the very purpose of earned
legalization, which is to encourage undocumented immigrants
to come forward and become full members of American

:: Don’t Turn Our Local Police Into Federal Immigration
Agents - Asking local law enforcement to ask those who look
like immigrants about their immigration status would be a
public safety disaster. It will lead to racial profiling
and undermine community policing strategies that are aimed
at building trust and solving local crimes. This is why
police officials from across the country oppose this idea.

:: Let Every Person Have Their Day In Court - The Senate
proposals put unchecked power in the hands of bungling
bureaucrats in the Department of Homeland Security – the
people who brought you the Katrina relief effort. Citizens,
green card holders, and the undocumented could all be
affected. Due process is the foundation of American justice
and should be preserved for all.

:: Stop Cruel Deportations – Keep Families Together and
Communities Strong - The Senate and House bills will rip
families apart by permanently separating children from
parents and spouses from each other, often for minor
infractions for which deportation is an unfair and
excessive punishment. The government would send back
countless families seeking safety from war, persecution,
and violence.

:: Build Bridges Not Jails - Immigration reform should
bring immigrants out of the shadows, not consign them to
mandatory detention and deportation. Locking innocent
people up in jails and military bases without meaningful
review – even those who pose no flight risk or danger to
the community – is not the American way.

:: Choose Freedom, Not Fear - We are at a crossroads in
America. We have to make a choice about what kind of a
country we want to be. Do we want to live with pre-dawn
raids on innocent families, Federal agents crawling through
our communities, armed military camps, thousands of deaths
along our walled borders? Or will we support a positive
vision of America made strong, secure, and vibrant by full
participation of immigrant families?

Kelly Fincham


Guerin Murder Suspect Out Of Jail

The man suspected by police of murdering Dublin journalist
Veronica Guerin has been released from jail.

Eugene "Dutchy" Holland served nine years in Ireland's
Portlaoise Prison for possession of cannabis with intent to
supply others.

The 66-year-old was not charged over the journalist's
murder and has denied he carried out the killing.

During his trial, a police officer said she believed he was
the gunman who had killed Mrs Guerin in her car in 1996.
Veronica Guerin was murdered after waging a high-profile
campaign against the Republic's drug barons on the pages of
a leading Sunday newspaper.

Holland was jailed for 20 years in 1997 for possession of
cannabis, although it was reduced to 12 years on appeal.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/08 08:27:59 GMT

The family of Veronica Guerin have said they are
disappointed that the convicted drug dealer, Patrick
'Dutchy' Holland has been released from jail.


IRA Bomb Victims To Sue Gaddafi

IRA victims are to sue the Libyan government and its leader
Colonel Gaddafi over claims the country supplied explosives
for bomb attacks.

A class action is to be filed in US courts along with
lawsuits from American victims of IRA bombings.

Among the UK litigants is Colin Parry, whose son Tim, 12,
was killed in the Warrington bomb in 1993.

London-based lawyer Jason McCue, of H2O Law, said the case
would take into account 10 IRA bombings.

'Held to account'

These include the Enniskillen bomb which killed 11 people
in 1987, the Harrods bomb of 1983 which claimed the lives
of six people and the Manchester bomb of 1996 in which no-
one was killed.

Mr McCue said the lawsuits were based on any attack where
Semtex allegedly supplied by Libya was used for a bomb or
to boost a fertiliser bomb.

He said UK victims of the IRA were able to take action in a
US court if they joined a legal action being brought by US

Mr Parry said: "It is important the state of Libya is held
to account."

Omagh bombing

He was awarded the OBE in 2004 for his peace campaigning
work, which includes setting up the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball
Trust and the Peace Centre in Warrington in 2000.

Three-year-old Jonathan Ball was also killed in the same
blast as Tim Parry.

H2O is also involved in suing the alleged perpetrators of
the 1998 Real IRA Omagh bombing.

No-one at the Libyan Embassy was available for comment.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/08 17:58:50 GMT


Funeral Service For Murdered Spy

Family and friends have gathered in Belfast for the funeral
of murdered British agent Denis Donaldson.

Requiem Mass was held at his former family home in
Aitnamona Crescent in west Belfast.

Ex-Sinn Fein official Donaldson, 56, was found shot dead in
a remote cottage in County Donegal on Tuesday.

He was buried in the City Cemetery, where fewer than 100
people attended. On Friday, his family said they did not
believe the IRA murdered Mr Donaldson.

He had been expelled from the party in 2005 after admitting
he was a paid British agent.

Mr Donaldson's family said they did not know who killed him
but blamed the "activities of British intelligence" for
their "difficult situation".

Head of administration

Irish police have been carrying out searches in the
vicinity of the remote cottage near the village of Glenties
where Mr Donaldson's body was found.

Post mortem examination results have indicated he died from
a shotgun wound to the chest.

It said there were other injuries to his body consistent
with shotgun blasts, including a severe injury to his right

Police removed a car at the scene on Thursday.
Mr Donaldson had been Sinn Fein's head of administration at
Stormont before his 2002 arrest over alleged spying led to
its collapse.

He and two others were acquitted of charges last December
"in the public interest".

One week later he admitted being recruited in the 1980s as
a paid British agent.

He said there had not been a republican spy ring at

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/08 11:21:25 GMT

His wife Alice, daughter Jane and sons Pearse and Denis Jnr
led mourners during the requiem service in his former home
in Aitnamona Crescent.


Pressures Mount To Get N. Ireland Peace On Track

With spy buried, parties renew push

By Kevin Cullen, Globe Staff April 9, 2006

Last Tuesday, at approximately the same time police in a
remote corner of County Donegal found the body of an Irish
rebel turned British spy, Irish and British diplomats were
putting the finishing touches on the ultimatum their prime
ministers would deliver to the parties in Northern Ireland
two days later.

At the same time, about 3,000 miles away in Washington,
D.C., the biggest Protestant unionist party was mounting a
charm offensive. The Democratic Unionists were trying to
explain why, eight years after the Good Friday Agreement
was supposed to have ended Europe's most intractable
conflict, and eight months after the Irish Republican Army
said its war was over, they still refuse to share power
with Sinn Fein, the IRA's political wing.

The settings couldn't have been more different: a derelict
cottage, where police found the body of Denis Donaldson,
the onetime IRA commander and longtime Sinn Fein figure who
admitted last December that he had been a spy for British
intelligence for more than 20 years; the staid, hushed
offices in Dublin and London, where the team of diplomats
work more closely than ever before; and Senator Edward M.
Kennedy's private retreat in the Capitol, where Peter
Robinson, the deputy leader of the Democratic Unionists,
tried to convince his American hosts that the IRA remained
a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Despite the different settings, all three events were
inextricably intertwined as the British, Irish, and
American governments, once again, try to figure a way out
of the morass that is post-conflict Northern Ireland.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and his
Irish counterpart, Bertie Ahern, met in Armagh, the
ecclesiastical seat for both the Roman Catholic and
Anglican churches on the island of Ireland, to announce
that they would give the parties until Nov. 24 to revive
the power-sharing local government. That assembly, the
cornerstone of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, was
suspended in 2002 when unionists, who want to maintain the
union with the United Kingdom, walked out after Donaldson
and two other men were charged with spying for the IRA at
Stormont, the parliament building where Donaldson ran Sinn
Fein's offices.

But those charges were dropped four months ago, and
Donaldson dropped a bombshell days later when he appeared
alongside Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and admitted he had
been spying after all -- for the British. Donaldson was
expelled from Sinn Fein and went into self-imposed exile in
the wilds of Donegal, living in a ramshackle cottage
without electricity or running water, in what some of his
former comrades saw as a monastic-like penance.

In July, the IRA, facing pressure over its continued
involvement in violence and criminality, declared its armed
campaign over and said it would use only peaceful means to
bring about the republican goal of a united Ireland.
International monitors later confirmed that the IRA had
destroyed its arsenal.

Still, the Democratic Unionists led by the Protestant
fundamentalist Rev. Ian Paisley, refuse to share power,
saying they aren't convinced the IRA is out of business.
Donaldson's killing provided what Paisley considers a
legitimate reservation, and what others less charitably see
as a convenient excuse, to refuse to do a deal with Sinn

Officials in Ireland's national police force said they do
not believe the IRA would order Donaldson's killing,
because of the political damage it would do its cause. But
detectives hunting for Donaldson's killers are leaning
toward the theory that former or current IRA members
operating without the organization's blessing killed him
with shotgun blasts.

In setting a deadline, Blair and Ahern borrowed a page from
the playbook of George Mitchell, the former Senate majority
leader from Maine who chaired the negotiations that led to
the 1998 agreement. Frustrated after years of bickering,
Mitchell gave the parties a deadline to reach a deal or
walk away, saying that without such an incentive the
parties would revert to form and simply talk at rather than
to each other.

The fact that the Democratic Unionists, led by an 80-year-
old preacher who a decade ago dismissed Mitchell as a
biased outsider from ''the Kennedy stable of the Boston
lobby of republicanism," visited Kennedy on Capitol Hill
last week shows just how dramatically things have changed.
But they are finding little support for delaying the
resumption of power-sharing.

Last year, angered over the IRA's alleged involvement in a
$50 million bank heist and its admitted involvement in the
slaying of a Belfast forklift driver named Robert
McCartney, Kennedy shunned Adams and demanded that the IRA
end its violence. Now, Kennedy says the IRA has kept its
part of the bargain and that it's time for the Democratic
Unionists to share power with Sinn Fein.

If the government is restored, Paisley would be its first
minister, while Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein's chief
negotiator, and more significantly a former IRA chief of
staff, would be deputy first minister -- something the
Paisleyites find repulsive.

In the coming months, Sinn Fein will be under pressure to
accept the legitimacy of the police force in Northern
Ireland, but once that happens, as is expected, most
pressure will be on Paisley.

Blair strongly hinted that if Paisley refuses to reach an
agreement by Nov. 24, the British and Irish governments
would chart a new way forward that gives the Irish
government a greater say in Northern Ireland, a prospect
that Paisley dreads as much as shaking hands with

Responding to the Blair-Ahern ultimatum, Paisley celebrated
his birthday Thursday by insisting he would not be bullied
into a deal.

But, as one British diplomat put it, if Paisley is
determined to call Blair's bluff, the reverend might want
to remember that as a vice-averse Free Presbyterian he is
not supposed to gamble.

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


Deal Deadline Set To Become Law

The two governments' deadline for a deal to restore
devolution will be written into an emergency law due to be
brought before Parliament this month.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain told Radio Ulster's
Inside Politics this will make the deadline rock solid.

He said unionists should not be concerned about any change
to NI's constitutional position if a deal on devolution
cannot be achieved.

"There's no question of joint authority or anything like
that," Mr Hain said.

"There's no question of joint government. That would be in
contravention of the referendum that that the people of
Northern Ireland voted on when they endorsed the Good
Friday Agreement.

"So there's no issue about that, it's not a constitutional

Mr Hain also confirmed to the programme there were plans
for a prime ministerial summit on Northern Ireland in June.

The deadline for a deal on devolution is 24 November.
Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern travelled to Northern Ireland
on Thursday to give parties a "take-it-or-leave-it" plan.

The assembly is to be recalled on 15 May with parties being
given six weeks to elect an executive.

If that fails, the 108 members get a further 12 weeks to
try to form a multi-party devolved government. If that
attempt fails, salaries will stop.

The British and Irish governments would then work on
partnership arrangements to implement the Good Friday

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

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/08 08:09:58 GMT


Row Erupts Over Orange Hall Venue For Meeting

By Lisa Smyth
08 April 2006

Ballymoney District Policing came under fire this week as a
local Sinn Fein councillor accused it of excluding the
nationalist and republican community from an upcoming
public meeting on policing.

Daithi McKay said the decision to hold a DPP meeting on the
PSNI's annual report in Stranocum Orange Hall shows yet
again that policing in Northern Ireland "still has a long
way to go".

He said that it again endorses the stance Sinn Fein has
taken on policing.

"For the PSNI and District Policing Partnership to host a
meeting on the PSNI's annual report in an Orange Hall shows
quite clearly that they have no notion of impartiality in
policing," he claimed.

"This is quite clearly a meeting about a one-sided police

He continued: "The DPP has distributed posters to the
public inviting them to talk about policing in an Orange
Hall and quite obviously they, nor the PSNI, see anything
wrong with it. Expecting the nationalist and republican
community to accept a force still engaged in political
policing is one thing, expecting them to feel welcome in an
Orange Hall, however, is more ludicrous still."

However, a spokesman for Ballymoney District Policing
defended the decision and said it is the aim of the DPP to
ensure that all members of the community are represented.


Seven Remanded Over Bomb Charges

Six men and a 16-year-old youth have been remanded in
custody on charges of possessing bomb making materials.

At Belfast Magistrates Court on Saturday all seven were
charged with possessing a timer unit and other items with
intent on 5 April.

It is understood the charges are linked to a police
investigation into dissident republicans.

The officer in charge of the case told the court he
believed he could connect each of the accused to the

All seven were arrested in a house at Springfield Crescent
on Wednesday.

The six men are Sean Maloney, 20, from Cavehill Road, Owen
Farrell, 18, from Springfield Crescent, Joseph Connor, 23,
from Charnwood Avenue, all Belfast and Ballymena men Peter
Kyle, 18, from Dunclug Park, Kieran McIlwaine, 19, from
Mount Street and Alan Daly, 31, from Moohan Road in Cabra
near Dungannon.

The 16-year-old cannot be identified because of his age.

They were remanded in custody to appear again via videolink
on 5 May.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/08 11:47:39 GMT


Opin: Dermot Ahern - In N Ireland, Politicians Need To

It has been almost eight years since the Good Friday
Agreement was endorsed, but its promise has yet to be fully
realised. For more than three years, the devolved
government in Northern Ireland has been on hold, the
democratic institutions established under the agreement
have been suspended, and people in Northern Ireland have
had politics without influence. On Thursday, the Irish and
British governments announced proposals to put an end to
this shadow politics.

When the Northern Ireland assembly and executive first met:
Locally elected politicians from both communities began to
make the hard but necessary choices about education,
health, industry, agriculture and other vital issues.

Most important, they did so in partnership. Power- sharing
between representatives of both communities is crucial to
Northern Ireland's future. We cannot heal the wounds of the
past with a snap of our fingers and they will not go away
on their own.

People deserve to have that normalcy and that control over
their lives restored to them. That is why the two
governments will re-establish the Northern Ireland assembly
on May 15.

The assembly will be expected to form a power-sharing
executive within six weeks. If it does so, power will be
devolved to Northern Ireland from Westminster and
politicians can get on with the business of government.

Last July, the Irish Republican Army committed itself to
peaceful means. In September, the Independent International
Commission on Decommissioning reported that the IRA's
weapons had been put beyond use. Since then, there have
been no sanctioned shootings or assaults, no "punishment"
attacks, no evidence of training or recruitment and no
robberies on the part of the IRA.

More needs to be done; loyalist paramilitaries must disarm
and normal policing must be extended to all areas and
receive support from all communities. The killers of Denis
Donaldson, a former official for Sinn Fein, the IRA's
political wing, need to be tracked down and brought to

The murder this week of Donaldson, who was recently exposed
as a British spy, was a savage act and a shocking reminder
of Northern Ireland's tragic and tortured past.

We cannot let those who trade in murder dictate the pace of
the political process. The need for positive politics has
never been clearer.

As politicians, we have a duty to deliver. In recognition
of the transformation that has occurred, the British
military presence in Northern Ireland has been scaled down.
Troop numbers are at their lowest in 30 years. This week, I
witnessed the demolition of the last British Army
watchtowers in Armagh.

People may say that trust needs to be rebuilt, but that it
takes time. We are prepared to give it some limited
additional time, but trust only comes from working
together, from being dependent on one another to get
results. Cooperation builds trust, separation does not.

Progress in the peace process will be maintained. With or
without devolved government this year, the Irish and
British governments will do all they can to ensure that the
Good Friday Agreement is implemented to the maximum
possible extent for the benefit of all communities.

I hope that the parties will rise to the challenge when
they meet in the assembly in May with a clear mandate and
timetable to prepare for shared government.

Sometimes in politics, one needs to step back and see
things in perspective. In Northern Ireland that view is of
genuinely impressive progress. It took real leadership to
get us here; it will take leadership to complete the
transformation. It is time for politicians in Northern
Ireland to get on with the job they were elected to do.

The Boston Globe
April 7


Opin: Terminated With Extreme Prejudice

09 April 2006 By Eamonn McCann

Donegal Catch is Ireland’s leading frozen fish brand.

Hence the joke that has been whizzing in text messages
around Northern republican circles: ‘‘Donegal Catch dish of
the day - Cottage Spy.”

The fact that the quip is relished as much by members of
the mainstream Provisional movement as by so-called
dissidents highlights the difficulty that Gerry Adams and
other Sinn Fe¤ in leaders face in dealing with the issues
emerging from Denis Donaldson’s death.

Most members of Sinn Fein in the North follow their leaders
in observing that the killing was carried out by people
unconcerned, at the very least, about the fate of the peace
process to which the party is wedded. But most say, too,
that it was no more than Donaldson deserved.

The expressions of sorrow for the plight of the Donaldson
family may be genuine. But so, too, is the sense of vicious
satisfaction that a traitor has got his just desserts.

In the republican perspective, Donaldson was a soldier who
went over to the enemy at time of war, for which the
mandatory punishment everywhere is death. Whoever battered
down the door of his whitewashed hovel and blasted his face
with a shotgun was asserting the legitimacy of the armed
struggle of the last 35 years and defending the honour of
the army.

It is for this reason that, while Adams and others can
sincerely deplore the killing because of its political
effects, they have not denounced those responsible in the
terms they felt able to deploy in relation to the murderers
of Robert McCartney, as ‘‘lowlifes’’ and ‘‘thugs’’.

This is despite knowing from the outset, which they cannot
have done about Donaldson’s killers, that the men who
knifed McCartney to death were well-established members of
their own movement.

Donaldson had to be killed for the same reason as each of
the dozens of IRA ‘touts’ who faced the ultimate punishment
over the course of the armed struggle.

Some are remembered because of the circumstances or the
significance of their deaths. Franco Hegarty was lured home
and then slain in 1986 for having revealed the whereabouts
of the Eksund arms shipment. Paddy Flood was horribly
tortured before being put to death in 1990. Aidan Starrs,
Gregory Burns and Johnny Dignam were British Army agents
tortured by the IRA before being executed in 1992, after
they had murdered Burns’ girlfriend, Margaret Perry.

Others were routinely dispatched, and soon forgotten other
than by members of their own families, whose grief will
have been the more intense for the fact that it could be
shared with so few.

Seamus Morgan, an election worker for Donaldson’s friend
Bobby Sands, was executed in 1982; James Young in 1984;
Kevin Coyle, 1985; David McVeigh, 1986; Robin Hill,1992;
and there were two dozen or so others who met their end as
a thud and a bundle on lonely roads.

Some deaths may return to haunt the executioners. There are
questions to be asked of the Garda, the IRA and individuals
about the murder of a Kerry IRA man in 1985, almost
certainly to maintain the cover of informer Sean
O’Callaghan, whose direct relevance to the killing of touts
went strangely unmentioned in television interviews last

The families of a number of victims are convinced that
their loved ones, too, were murdered either in error or in
order to protect British agents, and continue to press the
IRA for answers - James Kelly killed in 1993 and Anthony
McKiernan in 1998, for example.

In a small number of cases - such as Anthony Braniff in
1981 - the IRA admitted killing the wrong person, and

In all of these cases, republicans hold that the killings
were carried out in good faith as far as the movement
itself was concerned, and were justified by the ordinary
rules of war.

This belief is rooted in the core republican idea of the
IRA as the legitimate army of the Republic proclaimed at
Easter 90 years ago, and of its armed struggle as a
defensive war to protect the Republic.

This is not a view which can easily, or at all, be
reconciled with unequivocal endorsement of the multiparty
agreement of Good Friday 1998 which leaves the North
constitutionally within the UK and makes any future
vindication of the Republic conditional on the support of a
six-county majority.

Sinn Fe¤ in leaders have managed to appear to dissolve this
contradiction by advertising the agreement to their rank
and file, not as a settlement but as a means of undoing the
purported settlement of 1922.

Thus, demands for the full implementation of the agreement
are accompanied, sometimes in the same sentence, with
pledges to press on without delay the vindication of the
Republic, sometimes anticipated as being accomplished by
the centenary of the Easter Rising in 2016.

The Donaldson killing came at a moment when time may be
running out for this sharply contradictory presentation. On
Thursday, as most commentary concentrated on the
difficulties faced by the Democratic Unionist Party in the
face of the Blair/Ahern deadline for restoring the
agreement, Sinn Fein leaders were repeating their
commitment to joining the Policing Board when/if this

It is when they endorse the PSNI, accepting the legitimacy
and becoming part of the arm of the machinery of the
partitioned state, that republican rhetoric will collide
with reality and crumble.

It will then no longer be possible to maintain the view
which provided moral justification for the armed struggle
and enabled Sinn Feiners last week to take pleasure in the
death of Denis Donaldson.


Opin: Ed Moloney - Provos At War?

Was the killing of Denis Donaldson the first sign of a
Provo revolt against the leadership? Ed Moloney examines
the evidence

08 April 2006

Those pundits and politicians who are linking the killing
of Denis Donaldson to the newly relaunched attempt to save
the Good Friday Agreement are probably correct, but not in
the way they think, nor for the reasons they give.

From Martin McGuinness to Tony Blair, the cry has gone up
that the informer's killers set out to damage or derail the
British and Irish governments' Assembly initiative
announced last Thursday, but even a cursory examination
reveals this theory to be flawed.

If that indeed was the motive of the killers then common
sense suggests that they should have waited until near the
November 24 deadline and if there were signs of a DUP-Sinn
Fein deal emerging, strike then against Donaldson in the
knowledge that suspicion of IRA responsibility would
probably torpedo any chances of success. But killing him
now, seven long months before the deadline, will have next
to no impact on those talks.

A better explanation of the motive for Donaldson's death
can perhaps be found in the Byzantine internal politics of
the Provisional movement and in the distinct possibility
that the killers were striking not just at the informer but
at the leadership and strategy of the Adams-McGuinness

If the slaying of Donaldson is the first sign of a
rebellion against the Provo leaders, then the governments
are right to be worried about the chances of reviving the
Good Friday Agreement.

So what has been going on inside the Provos that might be
the cause of discontent serious enough to set off such a

To begin with there were those recent raids on Tom 'Slab'
Murphy's south Armagh home and farm by the assets recovery
agencies of both the Northern and Southern states, during
which millions of 'Slab's' euros were confiscated, a huge
tax bill reportedly drawn up and the promise of worse to

As the IRA's Chief-of-Staff fled his breakfast table on the
morning of the raids it would be surprising if the angry
thought did not cross his mind that the loss of his fortune
was one bit of the peace process script that Gerry and

Martin had neglected to tell him about.

The authorities went for 'Slab' first in their drive
against IRA criminality to send a message to others in the
organisation who have been operating a lucrative sideline
in diesel smuggling and illicit cigarette sales which was
that if 'Slab' can be targeted, then none of them are safe.

There will be no shortage of unhappy Provos in the wake of
these raids, no shortage of Provos ready to cause trouble
for those they blame for all this.

Needless to say these malcontents could hardly frame a case
against their leaders on the grounds that Gerry and Martin
couldn't get the governments to turn a blind eye to their
rackets. But they could make a case against them, one that
would resonate within the wider republican community, over
the issue of the IRA's treatment of informers in recent

Denis Donaldson is the third high-level, seriously damaging
informer to be exposed or caught by the IRA in recent years
only to escape the traditional punishment reserved for
those who have betrayed their comrades.

The first case, one that has received no publicity but
which is well known inside the IRA, concerns a Sinn Fein
councillor in the South who was on the IRA Executive and
responsible for recruiting personnel for the IRA's bombing
campaign in England.

The man was working for MI5 all along, betraying the
English bombing teams, but when the IRA caught up with him
he was allowed to live on the grounds that the revelation
of such high-level penetration by the British would be
extremely embarrassing for the leadership.

Then came Freddie Scappaticci, the head of the IRA
spycatchers unit, the Security department who, it is
reckoned, was working for the British Army for at least 20
years. The damage he did to the IRA was incalculable but
certainly immense. Yet when he was caught it seems that he
too was forgiven, presumably for the same reasons.

Hard on the heels of 'Scap' came Denis Donaldson who also,
it turned out, had been working for British intelligence
for two decades. Again Donaldson's position, in the circle
just outside the Adams' think-tank, made him a valuable
agent and again, he escaped the ultimate sanction - until
this week.

The lesson from these three cases is hugely damaging to the
Adams-McGuinness leadership.

It is that if you are an informer then the more damage you
do to the IRA and the more embarrassment you can cause to
the leadership, then the more likely you are to live and
enjoy the fruits of your treachery.

It is this point, perhaps, that the killers of Denis
Donaldson were intent on making in Donegal this week.

Ed Moloney is the author of A Secret History of the IRA


Opin: Politicians 'Reluctant To Take Power'

By Mark Devenport
BBC Northern Ireland political editor

Back in the legendary days when the ancient Kings of Ulster
and the knights of the Red Branch ruled from Navan Fort,
there was no shortage of leaders vying for power, often
with bloody results.

But when the two monarchs from the south and the east, King
Bertie and King Tony, strolled into the Navan centre in
Armagh this week, their problem was how to give power away.

Bertie expressed amazement that Northern Ireland's elected
politicians seemed so reluctant to take power.

On the face of it, he has got a point. There are not many
places where politicians are vehemently refusing to discuss
the local economy, rates and education.

But then, the SDLP and Sinn Fein would retort, there are
not many places where politicians are asked to debate
issues with no guarantee that any action will follow.

The DUP want to discuss bread and butter politics in the
new assembly, but remain adamant they will not go into
government. Equally perplexing.

However, unionists point out, no-one is forcing Bertie to
share power with Sinn Fein or even with Fine Gael.

No-one is telling Tony he must form a coalition with the
Conservative pretender David Cameron (although come to
think of it, he might find that arrangement easier than the
one he has with Gordon Brown).

Even if the DUP swallowed its pride on IRA activity, they
would not be able to fully deliver on their policy platform
given the constraints of the Good Friday Agreement.

Back in Belfast, DUP MEP Jim Allister questioned whether
the party should cooperate at all with the process, given
the threat of expanded north-south cooperation hanging over
their heads

The DUP have won a small short term victory in securing
government support for an assembly without an executive.

But the "joint stewardship" stick being wielded by the two
prime ministers, should no deal be achieved by November,
has exposed tensions within the party.

Over in the United States, on the eve of the prime
ministers' visit, Peter Robinson made a strikingly moderate
speech to Irish-Americans about the prospects for a final
historic settlement between the "Planter and the Gael".

But back in Belfast, DUP MEP Jim Allister questioned
whether the party should cooperate at all with the process,
given the threat of expanded north-south cooperation
hanging over their heads.

Having spent several weeks warning that - in the absence of
a deal - a greener form of direct rule is on the cards,
Peter Hain rowed back a little over the weekend.

He told Inside Politics that joint authority and joint
government were out of the question and Northern Ireland's
constitutional position within the UK remained secure.

'Capitalise on the argument'

Mr Hain said the emphasis in any new "step change" in
north-south cooperation would be economic.

The Ulster Unionists have sensed an opportunity in the
latest developments.

They point out that the DUP promised to smash the Agreement
and replace it with something better. Instead, the UUP
argues, unionists are now threatened with something worse.

They have a point, but the UUP's decline has been so
serious that it is hard to imagine the party can capitalise
on the argument.

Meanwhile, the DUP has hit back criticising Sir Reg Empey's
response to the murder of Denis Donaldson.

Sir Reg argued that unionists should not continue to let
such brutal events dictate the course of the political
process - the DUP claims this amounts to brushing suspected
republican violence under the carpet.

Talk of a new round of discussions in a stately home such
as Hampton Court has now receded in the face of general
opposition from the parties

While the unionists have traded invective, the nationalist
response has been more muted.

However, it will be nationalists, specifically the SDLP,
who can decide whether the new assembly has any life beyond
simply voting for a first and deputy first minister.

That is because they control just over 40% of the
nationalist vote, the amount required to secure cross-
community consent for a debate.

Whether the SDLP gives the assembly a lease of life without
an executive remains very much open to question.

Talk of a new round of discussions in a stately home such
as Hampton Court has now receded in the face of general
opposition from the parties.

But the prime ministers are pencilling in dates in their
diaries for another visit to Northern Ireland in June.

Could this be a sign that they recognise the experimental
assembly may be in need of life support long before we get
to the two prime ministers' "rock solid" deadline of 24

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/08 09:27:08 GMT


Opin: The Evil Legacy Of The Easter Rising

For Ireland to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the 1916
rebellion is to betray democracy

Geoffrey Wheatcroft
Sunday April 9, 2006
The Observer

Last Tuesday, Denis Donaldson was found savagely murdered
in County Donegal. Next weekend, the government of the
Irish Republic will noisily celebrate the 90th anniversary
of the Easter Rising. Perhaps only in Ireland could anyone
fail to see the connection between the two.

Although it claimed to be a national rebellion, the rising
was a very strange affair. The Irish Republican Brotherhood
was a tiny sect with little popular following. In 1914,
there had been deep sympathy in Ireland for Belgium as a
small Catholic nation brutally violated, the official
Nationalist party had supported the Great War and for every
'volunteer' who took part in the rising, there were 100
Irishmen fighting on the Western Front for home rule, which
had already been granted by the London government.

As it turned out, the rebels lost their battle but won the
'narrative', to use an irritating but valid term. Sentiment
was revolutionised by the executions which followed the
rising, Sinn Fein swamped the constitutional party (just as
it has recently done in Ulster), a free state was created
in 1922 and it soon became what one Tory politician
predicted at the time, the most reactionary corner of

Nor should that have been surprising. Although revisionist
Irish historians have spent the past generation examining
the creation of the state and its underlying myths, even
the best of them tend towards insularity and have not
noticed how Ireland fitted into a European pattern.

In the early decades of the 20th century, there was
everywhere a reaction against constitutional liberalism
into irrationalism, whether it was Mussolini's successful
'march on Rome' in 1922 or Hitler's unsuccessful Munich
putsch of 1923.

The Easter Rising was the forerunner, echoed all too often
thereafter. Patrick Pearse's exalted (or insane) words
about the tired old earth that needed to be enriched by the
spilling of much blood - that at a time when the blood of
several million young men was being spilled on the Western
Front - was the very language of Blut und Boden (blood and
soil) that the National Socialists would soon use.

It was Ireland's misfortune that the greatest European poet
of the age should have been Irish and have extolled the
rising. WB Yeats wrote of Easter 1916 that 'a terrible
beauty is born' and he hymned the martyred 'Sixteen Dead

When Hitler came to power, he built a great mausoleum in
Munich to the 'old comrades' who had fallen there in the
failed putsch. They were just the same number, 16 dead men.

The Free State, now Republic, is not a fascist country, but
it is a country with a hang-up and an internal
contradiction. You realise this when you go into Leinster
House in Dublin, the home of the Dáil or parliament. The
first things you see in the antechamber are three images.
Ahead is the 1916 proclamation and on either side are two
portraits of men in uniform - Cathal Brugha and Michael
Collins - there for party balance.

Both were killed in the savage little Irish civil war of
1922-23 which succeeded the previous Troubles, Brugha
fighting on the Republican side from which the governing
Fianna Fáil party descends and Collins for the Free Staters
who are the forebears of the opposition Fine Gael party.

And so here is the legislature of what claims to be and,
indeed, is a parliamentary democracy; and here are three
images celebrating bloody rebellion against parliamentary
democracy. One simple fact will be brushed over in next
weekend's celebrations.

In 1916, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
was a democracy with limited representative government and
a rule of law. Obviously, it wasn't a perfect democracy -
what is? - but it was much more of one than most countries
on earth then or many today.

Over the years, the contradiction worsened. In 1966, Dublin
marked the 50th anniversary of the rising with an orgy of
nationalist bombast. Eamonn de Valera had been one of the
leaders of the rising and was by then President of the
Republic, in which capacity he renewed the irredentist
claim on Northern Ireland and in the coarsest Son-of-the-
Gael terms.

Although that wasn't the only cause of the horrible
bloodshed in Ulster over the next 30 years, there can be no
possible doubt that it helped to validate that 'armed
struggle'. After all, violent republicans continually
invoke the Easter rebels, claiming to be the true heirs of
Connolly and Pearse.

When 12 Protestants were burned to death at the La Mon
House hotel in 1978 or 11 worshippers were killed by a bomb
on Remembrance Sunday at Enniskillen in 1987, or another 10
Protestants, two of them children, were blown to pieces in
the Shankill Road in 1993, a deed publicly celebrated by
Gerry Adams, or 29 people were killed at Omagh in 1998 - on
all those occasions, the Provisional IRA or its splinter
factions thought that a terrible beauty was born. In 'Irish
republican' terms, maybe they were right.

Before the haunting but morally repugnant 'Easter 1916',
Yeats had earlier written the play, Cathleen ni Houlihan,
and he would wonder: 'Did that play of mine send out
certain men the English shot?' It was a good question.

Today his shade might ask: 'Did that poem of mine send out
certain men who murdered children?' or hundreds of men and
women up to and including Donaldson.

In another unforgettable line, Yeats wrote that 'the blood-
dimmed tide is loosed' and ever since 1916, Ireland has
been lapped by that tide. Most Irish people don't really
like this cult of violence and yet they cannot escape the
legacy of the rising which has poisoned Irish life.

The problem is quite simple. If the Irish want to celebrate
the Easter Rising they may, but they must realise that they
are in no moral position whatever to condemn any other
violent insurrection against another lawful government
carried out by people who feel strongly enough. Looking
around the world today, the Easter rebels have a good deal
to answer for.


Ireland Stays Free Of Bird Flu But Awaits Further Test Results

08/04/2006 - 08:59:04

Officials have confirmed that bird flu has not reached
Ireland amidst heightened fears yesterday that the deadly
H5N1 strain of the virus had spread from Scotland.

Authorities in the North said last night that dead swans
found in Antrim and Down had tested negative for the
dangerous type of the virus.

Test results are expected later today on a number of dead
birds that were found near the border as experts stay on
alert for an outbreak.

The Government has also confirmed that calls to the bird
flu helpline rose by 60%, going from nearly 20 calls a day
to 100 day following confirmation of the virus in Scotland.

The Minister for Agriculture, who called a meeting of the
expert group on avian flu yesterday, said no further
control measures were needed at this time.

The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste also said yesterday that we
are well equipped to deal with any outbreak of the virus.
Bertie Ahern said we are better prepared to deal with this
threat than we were for the foot-and-mouth outbreak in

Meanwhile, tests are continuing on more dead birds found in
Scotland, where so far only one swan has been confirmed as
having the deadly H5N1 strain.

A wild bird risk zone, covering around 1,000 square miles,
has been put in place in Fife.


1916 Collection Goes Under Hammer

BBC Northern Ireland reporter Diarmaid Fleming has been to
see some unique relics of Irish history.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising -
but it also marks the largest collection of 1916
memorabilia ever to go on sale.

The collection, much of it on view to the public for the
first time, goes under the auctioneer's hammer on Sunday
and Wednesday.

The 1916 Easter Rising marked the symbolic birth of the
Irish Republic.

The leaders of the doomed rebellion were quickly executed
by the British after a fight against hopeless odds and the
might of the British Empire, but their deaths inspired the
drive for Irish self-determination.

There is fascination in Ireland about the Rising and what
inspired it - even among a vocal group of modern critics
who argue it was undemocratic, a claim mocked by those in
Ireland who today revere the leaders, the great folk-heroes
of Irish nationalism.

The 90th anniversary sees two auctions.

Up for grabs are items such as rebel leader Michael
Collins' typewriter, the hand-written first manuscript of
the Irish National Anthem by its author Peader Kearney, and
a vast store of memorabilia - everything from police
intelligence reports, personal letters, propaganda posters,
medals, to art.

Stuart Cole of Dublin fine art auctioneers Adam's, said:
"One of the principal unique aspects of this sale is that
it contains so much material that comes directly from the
families of those who were involved, principally the Thomas
Clarke archive which is, to my mind, one of the only intact
archives from one of the leaders of 1916."

Clarke's wife Kathleen painstakingly recorded everything to
do with his life.

In doing so, she provided a treasure-trove for historians,
much of which has not been seen before and which will
provide unique new insights into the men and women behind
momentous events in modern Irish history.

"She really had an archivist's mind. Every single item,
Kathleen annotated - or she sometimes even wrote a letter
about it. She had a unique understanding of her place in
history," said Mr Cole.

"Tom's last letter to her comes with an explanatory letter
from her saying how he'd bribed a soldier with his watch -
the only thing of value he had - to get it to her and how
she received it two weeks after his death."
1916 memorabilia is now big business. There was little
interest in memorabilia for the 50th anniversary in 1966,
possibly because Ireland was a poorer country and many
participants in the Rising were still alive.

Ireland's economic boom has seen revolutionary relics
rocket in value.

Items stored in cupboards and drawers across the country
have been brought to the auction rooms in Dublin, often
family heirlooms, with owners either keen to cash in, or
fearful of caring for and storing items now worth huge
amounts of money.

Auctioneer Fonsey Mealy of Mealy's, said: "There is a big
price range. We have items to cater for every pocket.

"The lowest priced item is a bundle of postcards of the
republican leaders which might go for 50 euro, up to the
original Irish National anthem which we've priced at
between 800,000 to 1.2m euro.

"There has never been a record of any country's national
anthem going up for auction, so we're in the dark

Auctioneer Ian Whyte of Whyte's, who are also holding an
auction which includes the personal papers of Peader
Kearney, says that Irish wealth in the economic boom now
means that 90% of 1916 collectors are Irish-based, the
reverse of 30 years ago when most went to the US and

But some fear the auctions could see the disappearance of
jewels of Irish political history and say that the Irish
state should have intervened to buy them.

"With the large amount of wealthy collectors around, the
museums and archives can't afford to buy all this, they'd
need huge amounts of funds," said Mr Whyte.

"The happy medium is where serious and responsible
collectors have the pleasure of owning items, conserving
them and insuring them - and then they lend it to the
museums who wouldn't even have the space for much of this.

"But when they have big exhibitions, they can draw on the
resources of collectors - which also enhances the value of
their collections. So the private owners are a resource for
the national institutions."

Some collectors will be holding on to their memorabilia,
while others will be buying at these auctions, mindful that
in 10 years time the centenary of the 1916 Rising could see
a another revolution in prices on anything to do with the
Irish rebellion.

One wonders what the executed 1916 socialist leader James
Connolly would think of it all....

The 1916 collection is open to the public. More details can
be found on the following websites:


Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/04/08 08:53:30 GMT

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