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May 24, 2006

Finucane Killer Still A Threat

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 05/24/06 Finucane Killer 'Still A Threat'
PF 05/24/06 Finucanes Respond To Release Of Ken Barrett
BB 05/24/06 Parades Solution Sought For Town
BB 05/24/06 Pair Injured In Shooting Attacks In Loyalist East Belfast
BB 05/24/06 Knife Amnesty Getting Under Way
SF 05/24/06 Adams In Contact With Congress Re: US Undocumented Irish
NH 05/24/06 SF Out Of Touch With Grassroots — Ex-Prisoner
BT 05/24/06 Footballers Caught In 'Sectarian' Storm
BB 05/24/06 Goat Slaughter Alarms Neighbours


Finucane Killer 'Still A Threat'

One of the police officers who helped convict the murderer
of Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane has said he continues to
live in fear of the killer.

Ken Barrett was given a life sentence for the murder in
2004 and was told he would spend at least 22 years in jail.

He was released from Maghaberry prison on Tuesday after
having served almost three years in jail.

Retired CID officer Trevor McIlwrath said Barrett had
threatened to kill him and his ex-colleague Johnston Brown.

"Ken Barrett is a dangerous, dangerous man who has
threatened to kill Detective Sergeant Brown and myself," he

"That is a life sentence he has given us for the rest of
our lives.

"We will be under threat from Ken Barrett and people like
him who have been released into the community."

Early release

It is understood Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain
opposed Barrett's release, but the Sentence Review
Commission found in his favour.

The three-day hearing took place at Maghaberry last week to
decide whether Barrett should be freed.

The commissioners had to assess whether he still had any
connection to loyalist paramilitaries, and whether he posed
a threat to the public.

As a prisoner in England, he did not qualify for early
release under the Good Friday Agreement.

However, this changed when he was transferred to Maghaberry
prison in February 2005, and he became eligible for early

it is understood Barrett left Northern Ireland shortly
after being released from jail.

Pat Finucane was shot dead by the UDA in 1989 at his north
Belfast home in front of his wife and family.

It was one of the most controversial murders of the
Troubles, with allegations that members of the security
forces colluded with loyalists.

The Finucane family is unhappy with an inquiry which is
being set up to examine the murder.

They say that it will not be able to establish the truth as
it is being held under the Inquiries Act.

Revelations that loyalists who were security force agents
had been involved in the killing led to allegations of

Barrett featured in a BBC Panorama investigation into the
killing, during which he was secretly filmed talking about
his role in the murder.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/05/24 08:00:22 GMT


Family Of Pat Finucane Respond To The Early Release Of Convicted Murderer Ken Barrett

Speaking on behalf of the Finucane family Michael Finucane

“The release of Ken Barrett was inevitable and although the
timing is perhaps a little surprising, the event itself is
not. However, the significance of Mr. Barrett should not be
overestimated. The real focus for my family is to succeed
in our campaign to have a fully independent, public
judicial inquiry into the murder as agreed by the two
Governments at Weston Park in 2001. This is what we must
achieve and it is also what successive British Governments
have refused to allow, including the present administration
of Tony Blair with the help of his Secretary of State,
Peter Hain.

We can only get the truth behind the murder of Pat Finucane
and the policy of collusion that facilitated it if the
process of inquiry is properly and verifiably independent.
The British Government has run out of excuses for delaying
the establishment of such an inquiry.

The recent resolution passed by Congress of the United
States has re-affirmed the pressing need for a credibly
independent inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane and
rejected the British assertion that the Inquiries Act is
capable of providing such an inquiry. Britain cannot
maintain this fiction any longer.

This Resolution from the House of Representatives follows
hard on the heels of the motion passed by Dáil Eireann in
February this year. It echoes the criticism levelled at the
Inquiries Act by the Irish Government, Lord Saville, Lord
Woolf, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, British
Irish Rights Watch, CAJ and even Judge Peter Cory himself.
Now the legislature of the United States can be added to
the ever increasing list of those who reject the British
fiction, that an inquiry can be controlled by the state and
yet somehow remain independent. The two notions are simply
not compatible.

The case of Pat Finucane was a case where justice needs to
be done and seen to be done. If this is to happen, a Cory-
compliant inquiry must be established without further
delay. If Tony Blair cares at all about the search for
lasting peace in Ireland or even the reputation of his
government in the eyes of the world, he must act now to
establish a proper public inquiry that is clearly
independent and not subject to Ministerial control.”

Michael Finucane
13 Upper Ormond Quay
Dublin 7 Ireland


Parades Solution Sought For Town

Sinn Fein are due to meet the Parades Commission later to
discuss future parades in Ballymena.

A parade was voluntarily re-routed to help relieve tensions
in the town following the death of 15-year-old Michael
McIlveen earlier this month.

Sinn Fein's Philip McGuigan has said they are now keen to
see the parades issue in Ballymena settled for good.

The North Antrim Assembly member said the parades issue in
the town could only be resolved through dialogue.

"It is now more than ever, time that the parades issue in
Ballymena was finally settled once and for all particularly
after the death of young Michael McIlveen as a result of a
bitter sectarian-fuelled attack," Mr McGuigan said.

The attack on Michael McIlveen led to widespread shock and
cross-community condemnation both in the County Antrim town
and across Northern Ireland.

The teenager died on 8 May, a day after being attacked by a
gang at Garfield Place, Ballymena.

Six teenagers have been charged in connection with his

The Parades Commission was set up in by the government in
1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades
should be restricted.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/05/24 06:35:30 GMT


Pair Injured In Shooting Attacks In Loyalist East Belfast

Two men have been shot in separate paramilitary-style
shootings in Belfast, police have said.

A 20-year-old was shot in the leg in the Tullycarnet area
of east Belfast at about 2230 BST on Tuesday.

A short time later in north Belfast, a 17-year-old was also
shot in the leg by two masked men in the Conway Street

Detectives have appealed for anybody who has information
about the two attacks to contact them.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/05/24 05:55:03 GMT


Knife Amnesty Getting Under Way

A three-week knife amnesty is getting under way in Northern

The move comes amid growing concern over the number of
knife attacks in the province. There are approximately
1,000 knife-related crimes in NI every year.

The amnesty is part of a government and police campaign to
cut knife crime, especially among boys aged between 11 and

Anyone wanting to dispose of any type of blade can leave
them at designated bins located in civic amenity sites.

Knives should be wrapped in either cardboard or paper and
disposed of safely.

'Knife culture'

Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson said: "It is vital
that everyone takes this opportunity to dispose of knives
in a safe and secure way.

"In addition to the amnesty the government will extend
legislation to Northern Ireland which raises the legal age
for purchasing a knife from 16 to 18 years old. This will
take effect from later this summer."

Penny Holloway, whose son Thomas Devlin was killed near his
north Belfast home last August, said it was an important
first step in addressing the knife culture.

"I know some people may think it doesn't go far enough, but
we have to start somewhere in getting the message across to
teenage boys in particular that carrying a knife is not
cool," she told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme.

"I think the people who killed Thomas fall in to a
different category to the target group of this campaign -
the people who killed him set out deliberately that night
to kill somebody."

A telephone helpline will also operate during office hours
for the duration of this campaign - the number is 028 90

The Northern Ireland amnesty will run alongside a similar
five-week campaign in other parts of the UK.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/05/24 07:21:28 GMT


Gerry Adams In Contact With Senior Congress Members About
Issue Of Undocumented Irish In The United States

Published: 24 May, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has been in touch with
the offices of senior US Congressional and Senate leaders
to ask them to continue with their efforts to resolve the
issue of the undocumented Irish in the United States. Mr.
Adams was in communication with Senators Ted Kennedy and
John McCain and Congress members Jim Walsh and Richard

Mr. Adams also spoke to Grant Lally, the President of the
Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, to assure him of Sinn
Féin's ongoing support in the campaign to win legal status
for the estimated 40,000 plus undocumented Irish living and
working in the USA. Mr. Adams said "A senior member of the
party will be travelling to the US shortly to do what we
can to support the undocumented Irish.

Mr. Adams said:

"Key decisions on the future of undocumented immigrants in
the USA will be taken shortly. These will have profound
implications for the tens of thousands of Irish living and
working in the US who have no legal status.

"Last night I was in contact with senior Congressional and
Senate leaders to urge them to continue with their efforts
to resolve this issue. I also spoke with Grant Lally, the
President of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. And in
the near future a senior member of Sinn Féin will travel to
the US to do what we can to support the campaign of the
undocumented Irish.

"I would also urge all those living in the US to step up
their support the Irish Lobby for Immigration reform."ENDS


SF Out Of Touch With Grassroots — Ex-Prisoner

(Seamus McKinney, Irish News)

A former republican prisoner has accused the Sinn Féin
leadership of moving the party away from its roots.

Brian McFadden (53), a son of veteran Derry republican
Barney, said the party was even closing its last remaining
office in the city's Bogside.

He claimed a growing number of former prisoners are
becoming increasingly unhappy at the direction in which
Sinn Féin is moving.

A member of a well-known republican family, Mr McFadden and
three of his brothers are all former prisoners.

His father Barney McFadden was for decades the face of Sinn
Féin in Derry and was frequently interned.

Mr McFadden said he felt compelled to speak out after Sinn
Féin president Gerry Adams called on four republicans who
failed to turn up at court to be sentenced for the
abduction of Belfast man Bobby Tohill to give themselves

"I am worried Sinn Féin is determined to join the Policing
Board and they have not realised that 25 years after the
Hunger Strikes they still have not got the British
government to admit we were prisoners of war," Mr McFadden

"And those who are on the run still cannot come home.

"My four brothers were all in jail; my father was interned.
Did we go through all that to make Sinn Féin a good
political party? Where is the united Ireland?"

Mr McFadden claimed there was growing evidence that the
leadership was moving further from its grassroots, with
activists recently told of plans to close the party's Cable
Street centre and move operations to the Rath Mor Centre in
Creggan and its Glen office.

This, he said, would leave the Bogside without a Sinn Féin

"In my eyes they have forgotten about the people. A lot of
former prisoners are questioning what is going on," Mr
McFadden said.

But Sinn Féin general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin insisted
there was no question of the party moving away from its

"Brian is entitled to his opinion, the same as anyone else.
If he has questions he can ask them of the party. A number
of the leadership live in Derry and if there are concerns
they are available to deal with them," he said.

The Foyle assembly member said that while Sinn Féin was
closing its Cable Street office, this was to ensure a
better use of resources.

He said it was in need of major refurbishment and it made
more sense to move services to the Rath Mor centre, which
was close by.

May 24, 2006


Footballers Caught In 'Sectarian' Storm

Northern Ireland team barracked at US GAA visit

24 May 2006

The Northern Ireland football team was at the centre of a
sectarian row in the United States today after the players
received an angry reception when they arrived at a GAA
grounds in Chicago for an official engagement.

Lawrie Sanchez's men, currently in the Windy City preparing
for the final match of a US tour against Romania, were last
night greeted with protesters waving black flags, red cards
and wearing shirts emblazoned with the words: "IFA you are
not welcome".

The protesters lined the drive from the Gaelic Park
entrance to the clubhouse as the IFA party arrived in their
police-escorted coach.

The crowd were determined to vent their anger at the team's

While it was a peaceful protest, there were a few anti-IFA
chants as the players and officials stepped off the coach
at Gaelic Park, the main GAA club in the Chicago area.

Gaelic Park president, John Griffen, said he was thrilled
the IFA had accepted their invitation.

"We are non-political. Gaelic Park shares a policy
statement with the Irish Football Association which we all
agree on and those words are 'We condemn all things
sectarian'," he told the team.

"We know you do and we feel exactly the same. Our welcome
to you here tonight is in accordance with the spirit of the
peace process."

The protest came as former Ulster Unionist sports minister,
Michael McGimpsey, slammed a Chicago community group, the
Committee Chicago Irish Against Sectarianism, who he said
was trying to thwart the meeting.

He said the group had made comments saying they felt
"betrayed and angry" by the prospect of the IFA using the
Gaelic grounds for practice, despite the IFA having no
intention to do so.

He also said they accused the IFA of being a "polarising
political organisation" who "chose not to act in a manner
consistent with protecting their charge, and renouncing
acts of sectarian aggression".

The South Belfast Assemblyman described the comments as
"utterly appalling" and said any supporter of the group
should "hang their heads in shame".

"The IFA's track record in tackling sectarianism has been
an excellent example for society," he said.

"I anticipate that the Gaelic board is not prepared to be
blackmailed by a bunch of bigots who were nakedly flaunting
their sectarian agenda."

IFA vice president Morton McKnight said the team was not
perturbed by the protesters.

"It is brilliant football can bring communities together as
a common language," he said.

"We would like to thank the Gaelic Park Association for the
hand of friendship which we received in Chicago."

The protesters dispersed once the IFA party's tour of the
grounds and premises had been completed.

Andy from Dublin, a member of the Gaelic Park club, said:
"We would like to disassociate ourselves from those
protesters. That is not what we are about."

A club spokesman added: "There were five people in the
crowd who are members of this club. There are 5,000 members
in this club. At least 90% of the protesters were

Northern Ireland players posed for photographs with local
children and also signed autographs before returning to
their hotel base in downtown Chicago.


Goat Slaughter Alarms Neighbours

The slaughter of a goat inside a house in County Tyrone is
being investigated by police.

Dungannon SDLP councillor Vincent Currie said local people
contacted the police after they spotted blood seeping from
underneath the door.

He said the house at Mark Street was occupied by African

Mr Currie said police found "a goat's head and entrails
discarded in the backyard," and when they went inside, "a
goat carcass was in a cooking pot".

He said pools of blood were on the kitchen floor.

"There was a large live billy goat in the utility room,
clearly awaiting the same fate," he added.

The Ulster Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is
now looking after the goat.

A spokesman for the charity said it was not the first such
incident in Northern Ireland.

Police said those involved would be spoken to as it "could
be a health and safety issue".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/05/24 12:13:47 GMT

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