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July 09, 2006

Scaled Down Security For Drumcree

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 07/09/06 Scaled Down Security For Drumcree
SL 07/09/06 UVF Force Mum To Flee Ulster
SL 07/09/06 UVF Must Come Clean: McCord
TO 07/09/06 Two Thirds In North Now Oppose Peace Deal
SL 07/09/06 O'Loan Expected To Criticise RUC Probe
SL 07/09/06 Prove My Mum Was An Informer
SF 07/09/06 25th Anniversary Of Death Of IRA Volunteer Joe McDonnell
SL 07/09/06 Opin: We Can't Let 11th Night Become An Annual Hate-Fest
TO 07/09/06 Opin: History Is Key For Orangemen For Road Map To Change
SL 07/09/06 Opin: The IRA's Still Dealing With Its Past
ND 07/09/06 Opin: Rep. King Tries To Terrorize The Press
SL 07/09/06 Twelfth Cancelled (In 1916) - Republicans Blamed
IO 07/09/06 Three New Priests To Be Ordained In Dublin


Scaled Down Security For Drumcree

Members of the Orange Order in County Armagh have arrived
at Drumcree church for an annual parade.

There is a visible police presence along the route in
Portadown, but the security operation is scaled down.

For the ninth year in a row, the march has been prevented
from passing through the mainly nationalist Garvaghy Road

The parade has been marked by serious violence in the past,
but it has passed off peacefully in the last three years.

The march has been one of Northern Ireland's most
contentious. The route was last used by Orangemen in 1997.

Each July, the Portadown Orange Lodge attends a service at
Drumcree church to commemorate the anniversary of the
Battle of the Somme.

Since 1998, their homeward route has been blocked by the
security forces, following a determination by the Parades

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

The Orange Order is the largest Protestant organisation in
Northern Ireland with at least 75,000 members, some of them
in the Republic of Ireland.

Its origins date from the 17th century battle for supremacy
between Protestantism and Catholicism. Prince William of
Orange, originally of the Netherlands, led the fight
against Catholic King James.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/07/09 11:07:36 GMT


UVF Force Mum To Flee Ulster

By Stephen Breen
09 July 2006

A terrified Ulster woman has been forced into exile after
receiving a sinister death threat.

Frightened Brenda Officer, from Rathgill Link, Bangor,
claims to be on a loyalist hit-list after agreeing to give
evidence against a suspected UVF man.

Brenda's nightmare began earlier this year when she gave
the cops the name of the terrorist after she accused him of
viciously assaulting her.

The mum-of-four, now living in Scotland, fled the province
in April after her car was paint-bombed and the windows in
her home smashed.

She also claimed that a relative has been attacked by
loyalists because of her stance.

The 46-year-old, who was attacked by a UFF gang in 2003
after her son was involved in a row with loyalists, has
vowed never to return to Northern Ireland.

Said Brenda: "I can never return to my family because I
won't withdraw the statement I made to police about the UVF
man who assaulted me.

"This man assaulted me because I stood up to him and then
the death threat was issued because they knew I made a
statement to the police.

"I can't wait to go to court against this man, but I would
like to give evidence by video-link from across the water
because these guys are very dangerous.

"I have stood up to the paramilitaries all my life. But
when it gets to the point of death threats being issued, I
had no other option but to leave.

"My family has lived in Bangor for 27 years, but my life
has been turned upside down and most of my personal
belongings are still in Northern Ireland.

"But I had to speak out because it's important for people
to stand up to intimidation."

The Bangor woman last night received support from local DUP
MLA Peter Weir.

Said Mr Weir: "I'm appalled at the treatment this woman has
received and no-one should have to live with a death threat
hanging over them. This woman has been subjected to

"I will do all I can to assist this woman and I would urge
the paramilitaries to allow her to return home."


UVF Must Come Clean: McCord

By Alan Murray
09 July 2006

The father of a UVF murder victim has called on PUP leader
David Ervine to urge the terror group's leadership to lift
a death threat on his family.

Raymond McCord said it was now time for the UVF leadership
to come clean about the murder of his son Raymond jnr and
put the whole issue to bed once and for all.

The north Belfast man made the call to the organisation's
Shankill leadership after learning that he and his family
are still targets for attack.

"I was told this week that I am still a target for attack
along with members of my immediate family.

"What I am saying to the UVF leadership today is put this
whole issue of my son's murder to bed.

"I now know that young Raymond's murder wasn't sanctioned
by the Shankill leadership and that the local brigadier
didn't know about the killing until after it was done.

"Mark Haddock took the UVF for a ride.

"So I'm saying to the UVF leadership, wash your hands of
these murderers and the police informers who directed them,
clear the air and put this whole issue to bed now", he

Raymond McCord says the targeting of a relative by a UVF
gang in the Rathcoole area recently confirmed that he is
still being targeted by the organisation.

"My cousin was burned on the hands and stomach while this
gang asked him where I was," he admitted.

The north Belfast welder, who has waged a nine year
campaign to bring his son's killers to justice, urged David
Ervine to press the UVF to make a clear statement about the
continuing attacks on his family and the threat to his


Two Thirds In North Now Oppose Peace Deal

Liam Clarke

ALMOST two thirds of adults in Northern Ireland do not
support the British and Irish governments’ policy that the
Good Friday agreement should be implemented in full.

The findings, in a survey funded by the Electoral
Commission for Northern Ireland and other bodies, will be a
blow to Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair who have stated their
intention to see the agreement put in place later this

Only 22% agreed with the statement that “the agreement is
basically right but just needs to be implemented”. Most
believed that it needed to be renegotiated either in full
(14%) or in part (41%) and almost one in 10 (9%) wanted it
scrapped. Only half the population (51%) would vote for it
again in a new referendum.

The Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, carried out by
the University of Ulster and Queen’s University between
October 2005 and January 2006, makes sobering reading for
Ahern and Blair as they push for full implementation by
November 24.

Support for full implementation is strongest among
Catholics (38%) but the policy is not supported by a
majority. More Catholics (41%) feel that the agreement “is
basically right but the specifics need to be renegotiated”,
a view shared by a similar percentage of Protestants.

Only 14% of the 1,200 voters surveyed felt that the
Northern Ireland assembly had made much impact on people’s
lives and 43% did not mind much whether it was abolished or

However, the governments will take confidence from findings
which show a decrease in sectarian attitudes. Only a tiny
minority of each religious grouping (4% of Protestants and
2% of Catholics) say they feel unfavourably towards the
other community.

Hardly any Protestants favour Irish unity but most (72%)
said they would accept it if a majority of people in
Northern Ireland voted to end partition. However, a
substantial proportion — one in four — said they would find
a united Ireland “almost impossible to accept” even if
people voted for it.

They are unlikely to be faced with the dilemma. The survey
indicates that partition is unlikely to be abandoned within
the present generation and that even among Catholics a
majority would not vote to abolish the border.

Just more than half of northern Catholics (60%) think of
themselves as Irish and a still smaller proportion, 52%,
said they were nationalist. Yet just 38% favour Irish unity
over a range of other options. Nearly as many Catholics
(32%) wanted to remain in the UK while 13% would prefer an
independent Ulster. Only 3% said they would find it “almost
impossible to accept” if Irish unity never happened.

The findings put into perspective demands from Sinn Fein
that the Irish government launch a strategy to end
partition. All the signs suggest that Northern Ireland is
stabilising under direct rule from Britain with Irish
government input and people are increasingly concerned
about economic rather than social issues.


O'Loan Expected To Criticise RUC Probe

By Alan Murray
09 July 2006

A report by the Police Ombudsman will severely criticise
the original RUC inquiry into the disappearance of west
Belfast mother of 10, Jean McConville.

Nuala O'Loan is expected to blast the failure of the RUC to
conduct a proper investigation into the 1972 disappearance
of Mrs McConville when she releases her report to the
family in a few weeks time.

Mrs O'Loan issued a brief statement on Friday confirming
that the widow - who was abducted and murdered by the IRA -
had not given any information to the RUC, the Army or the
British security services before she was abducted.

The statement quashed the IRA's stated reason for her
ruthless murder.

It is reliably understood that the Ombudsman encountered
some opposition from the Northern Ireland Office to the use
of the forthright declaration in her statement that Mrs
McConville "was not an informant", as it breached a
government convention.

But the Ombudsman considered it vital for the McConville
family that her conclusion be explicit.

One source said: "The Northern Ireland Office was a bit
unhappy with the line in the Ombudsman's statement clearly
declaring that Jean McConville was not an informant because
it broke with the convention not to declare if someone was
or was not an informant, but the Ombudsman insisted that
the sentence should be included."

It is understood that neither the PSNI nor MI5 raised any
objection to the explicit declaration.

"The police were not concerned and MI5 said that as it was
just a one off circumstance they had no objection, but the
NIO objected because it breached the overall Government
policy of not indicating whether someone is or isn't an

"The statement on Jean McConville is unprecedented," an
official said.

Mrs O'Loan is expected to say that the 1972 RUC
investigation into the widow's disappearance was virtually
non-existent and that officers initially did not treat the
report as a disappearance.

"It appears that the incident was not treated as a
disappearance from the start, but more probably a domestic
circumstance which would resolve itself in a day or so.

"And very little police paperwork could be unearthed about
the circumstances of the disappearance. There is a large
gap in the paperwork and either it was never there or it
went missing, it's not clear whether it was ever there or
was lost," one source said.

It was not until 2003 that Jean McConville's remains were
found on Templeton Beach in Co Louth.


Following a public request from the family of Jean
McConville, the IRA carried out a thorough investigation of
all the circumstances surrounding her death.

That investigation has confirmed that Jean McConville was
working as an informer for the British Army.

The conclusion of this investigation was reported to
Michael McConville.

The IRA accepts that he rejects this conclusion.

The IRA regrets the suffering of all of the families whose
loved-ones were killed and buried by the IRA.

(signed) P O'Neill


Prove My Mum Was An Informer

By Brian Rowan and Stephen Breen
09 July 2006

The IRA last night held to its line that a Belfast mother
it "executed" and disappeared more than 30 years ago was an
Army informer.

But the Provo's claim that mother-of-ten Jean McConville
was working for the British Army was greeted with anger and
a challenge by the murdered woman's eldest daughter.

Helen McKendry told Sunday Life: "I want the IRA to prove
to us that my mother was an informer. I want to see this
information they claim to have with my own eyes.

"I am willing to go anywhere to meet them and I want to ask
them how they were able, all of a sudden, to come across
this information."

A furious Mrs McKendry said her mother was in no position
to be an informer and her only concerns were her dying
husband and her children.

The IRA leadership was responding to a statement 24 hours
earlier by the Police Ombudsman which cleared Jean
McConville of the informer claims.

At a meeting in west Belfast, that statement was read by
the organisation's spokesman.

In it, the IRA said it had "carried out a thorough
investigation of all the circumstances" surrounding Mrs
McConville's death.

The statement added: "That investigation has confirmed that
Jean McConville was working as an informer for the British

On Friday, Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan said there was no
evidence to support the IRA's allegations.

But the IRA is not moving from its position.

The statement yesterday said the "conclusion" of its
investigation "was reported to Michael McConville" - one of
Mrs McConville's sons.

But outraged Helen McKendry said: "When we asked them (the
IRA) at the start to tell us where my mother was they told
us a lot of the people involved in her murder were either
dead or out of the country and that information was hard to
come by because of the passage of time.

"The IRA probably won't show me any information because
there is no evidence.

"My mother was not in a position to be an informer in the
early 1970s.

"The only thing that mattered to her then was her dying
husband and her children.

"Maybe the IRA was acting on hearsay when they thought my
mother was an informer, or maybe they were protecting
someone else.

"We have been vindicated by Mrs O'Loan and it is now up to
the IRA to produce the evidence over these false claims."


Republicans Gather To Mark 25th Anniversary Of The Death On
Hunger Strike Of IRA Volunteer Joe McDonnell

Republicans are gathering across Ireland today, Saturday
8th July, to mark the 25th anniversary of the death after
61 days on hunger strike of IRA Volunteer Joe McDonnell.
Events are taking place in Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Cork,
Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Waterford and Wicklow.

Speaking in Dublin this afternoon where a rally is taking
place at the GPO Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan said:

"Republicans are gathering across Ireland today to remember
Belfastman Joe McDonnell who died 25 years ago after 61
days on Hunger Strike. Joe, who was married with two young
children, was the fifth man to die on the 1981 Hunger
Strike and was followed shortly after by Tyrone IRA
Volunteer Martin Hurson.

"Joe stood as a candidate in the 1981 General Election in
the constituency of Sligo/Leitrim and he received massive
support, coming within a handful of votes of getting
elected. At his graveside the former Sinn Féin TD for that
constituency John Joe McGirl declared that the memorial we
had to build for Joe McDonnell was the freedom and unity of
the Irish people. That remains our goal as we seek to learn
the lessons of 1981 and advance the cause of Irish
independence in the times ahead."ENDS


Opin: We Can't Let Eleventh Night Become An Annual Hate-Fest

By Alan McBride
09 July 2006

I have to say my childhood memories of this festival of
loyalism are largely happy ones. I recall my mates and
myself collecting for the "boney", weeks before the event
and camping out in a makeshift tent to make sure 'them uns'
didn't steal our wood, or worse, set the bonfire alight
while we slept in our beds.

On the night itself, I would look out my old UDA LP, turn
the volume up full pelt and get drunk on a six pack of Top
Deck, while waiting for the big lads to come out of the pub
and light the fire (they always had the privilege of
setting fire to our 20ft monstrosity, even though they
never so much as lifted a finger to collect for it - a
point that caused some dismay amongst my peers).

I still attend the Eleventh Night celebrations in the
estate where I grew up, however, these days I am seeing it
through very different eyes.

I was there last year, standing among the masses and
listening to the customary soundtrack of loyalist
propaganda fill the air with a hatred of all things

I watched as the flames touched the night sky and the Irish
tricolour started to burn to the sound of a deafening roar,
and I asked myself - what am I doing here? What is it all
about? Why is it that so many get a kick out of shouting
obscenities aimed at those whom they perceive to be from
the 'other side'?

I am glad to see in some places that local councils have
been working with community representatives to make the
bonfire more environmentally-friendly.

However, the removal of tyres and the relocation of fires
to a designated site does nothing to address the sectarian
hatred that resides in the hearts and minds of the people -
the kind of sectarian hatred that brought about the
senseless killing, quite recently, of teenager Michael
McIlveen in Ballymena.

I recall talking about this murder with some friends. They,
like me, were shocked at the sheer barbarity of this act
carried out essentially by a group of children.

But before dismissing them as simply evil, I had to think
about my own upbringing. I remember in my teens being with
a group of lads when they kicked a man senseless, simply
because he was a Catholic and I did nothing to stop it.

In my mind the rationale was that 'our ones' were being
beaten up as well, so why not get one of theirs.

In the case I witnessed nobody lost their life, but that
was simply by chance.

Young Michael was not so fortunate. It was simply the roll
of the dice that meant that I wasn't complicit in a murder,
as some young loyalists in Ballymena now find themselves.

So, before we forget about the dreadful murder of young
Michael, and allow it to become just another statistic of
the madness which occurs in this place from time to time,
let us question ourselves concerning our own sectarian

Perhaps we would never kill anyone, but have we ever told a
sectarian joke or thought a sectarian thought?

Do we see people as equals or are we still locked into a
way of thinking that distinguishes 'them' from 'us' - you
know how it goes, people who are not like us, that don't
have the same names as us, that attend a different school
or live in a different area with different coloured kerb
stones from us, are people that we can't trust.

Surely it is this type of thinking that spawns the sort
person that one day might think it's OK to engage in an act
of violence against someone from the 'other side'.

I am not against bonfires or indeed any of the celebrations
that occur around the Twelfth. But we must prevent it from
becoming an annual hate fest.

If only we could dismantle the sectarian mindset that so
often accompanies the festivities, it is my opinion that
the Eleventh and Twelfth of July could become a cultural
festival that would rival anything in western Europe.

On that note, I am glad to see the Government have put in
some money (albeit only £100,000) to make this a
possibility. If I was an Orange leader I would definitely
want to market it that way, but a cultural festival is
about asserting who you are, not inciting hatred against
those whom you are not.

I want to finish with a story that gives me a little cause
for optimism.

Recently, I heard about a guy that got invited to a
barbecue on the Eleventh night by his Catholic neighbour
just as he was about to go around the fires (something he
did every year). Nervously, he explained why he could not

The following year he got the same invite, only this time
it was earlier in the evening, allowing him time to see the
fires. When he arrived at his neighbour's house he
discovered not only was he there for a barbecue, but that
his neighbour and several of his Catholic friends had built
a small bonfire in the back garden, just for him.

We might be light years away from this kind of thing being
repeated up and down the country but it gave me a little
insight into the kind of society we could have - where
culture and diversity are no longer regarded as a threat,
but rather as something we can all celebrate.


The Sunday Times July 09, 2006

Opin: Liam Clarke: History Is Key For Orangemen To Draw A
Road Map For Change

Colin Bateman, Northern Ireland’s leading satirical
novelist, was commissioned recently to write King Billy —
The Opera. The initial plan is for a 10-minute production
with the possibility of expanding it to a full show
complete with fife and drums.

On his website, Bateman outlines the concept: “I’ve come up
with a story called The Two Williams, which features King
Billy (that’s King William to you) on the eve of the Battle
of the Boyne in 1690 accidentally changing places with his
modern equivalent — a washed-up drunk whose only job in
life is to lead the Orange parade every 12th of July.”

One fan writes in suggesting Bloody Sunday on Ice should be
his next production.

While they may not be “washed-up drunks”, a contrast
between King William of Orange and the modern Orange
leadership would indeed provide a moral tale for our times
and might even provoke a fundamental rethink of the order’s

William’s victory at the Boyne ushered in the British
enlightenment and struck a blow against absolutism
throughout Europe. It was welcomed by the Pope with a te
deum in Rome and set Britain and Ireland on the road to
constitutional monarchy, where the power of kings would be
circumscribed legally within narrowly defined limits.

It has been a largely downhill journey ever since.

Last month David Hanson, Northern Ireland’s social
development minister, announced a grant of £100,000 to be
paid to the Orange Order to turn the annual July 12
commemoration of William’s victory at the Boyne into an
annual “Orangefest” that would appeal to the whole
community and attract tourists from all over the world.

One wonders if the Orange Order realises the extensive
remodelling it will have to undergo to make itself widely
acceptable after years of contested marches, sporadic
violence and refusal to talk.

Orange spokesmen compare blithely the tourist potential of
Orangefest with Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the Notting
Hill carnival in London. Not even Bateman could have
written those lines with a straight face.

Orange representatives have even been to the Notting Hill
carnival to pick up a few tips on running festivals. One
would imagine the first would be “lose the men in the
bowler hats and bring on the limbo dancers”. A gay pride
float, a nip of ganja and a Chinese dragon dance or two
might bring a little diversity to what, unless you are an
enthusiast, is a pretty tame affair.

An Orange lodge passes by, there is a band, then another
lodge, then another band and so it goes on unless the
monotony is broken by a riot.

To an extraterrestrial, who didn’t understand the language
or the cultural trappings, the “spectacle” of the bands,
banners and marching men would look much like a somewhat
larger version of the trades union May Day march. It may be
fun to take part or to watch if you support it, but as
public displays go it is dull and repetitive.

The sight of several thousand bowler-hatted Ulster
Protestant gents marching down Royal Avenue to the strains
of Lillibolero is not the stuff of dreams. It is not just
that it is a celebration of one culture, it’s also as dull
as ditchwater.

There is the possibility this handicap can be lessened
through time and dialogue. In Londonderry the Apprentice
Boys have had their annual “Lundy’s Day” march transformed
into a civic event that is tolerated by the Catholic
majority and attracts some business to the city’s shops. It
isn’t quite a shared celebration, but at least it tends to
pass without incident and has lost the sting it once had
when nationalists annually blocked the parade.

The Apprentice Boys have largely lived down the days when
they threw pennies down from the city walls in mockery of
unemployed Catholics living below them in the Bogside. By
comparison the Orange Order has a long way to go and may
never complete the journey.

Its problem is that the likely spectators of any Orangefest
are not from another planet, so they will spot the cultural
and sectarian references.

It’s hard to miss the Old Boyne Island Heroes LOL 633 with
its banner of Brian Robinson, a UVF man shot dead by the
British Army immediately after he had murdered a Catholic.
Some will feel sympathy with him; most will be appalled
that the lodge takes pride in such an emblem. Nobody will
see it as a spectacle to lift the heart like the carnival
in Rio.

How would the relatives and friends of Patrick McKenna,
Robinson’s victim, feel included in this demonstration of
Orange culture? When asked about it the lodge said of
Robinson: “His private life was his own affair.” They carry
a picture of him wearing his Orange colarette at each
demonstration they attend.

The Orange leadership seem oblivious. Dawson Bailie, the
grand master of Belfast, describes the Orangefest funding
as “another step on the long road towards full and proper
recognition of the Orange tradition as a key element of the
cultural diversity of Ireland”.

It will indeed be a long road with men such as Bailie
leading the carnival parade. Only last September he called
for unionists to take to the streets before the disputed
Whiterock march, and then inflamed them with talk of an
“attempt to humiliate and suppress our culture” when it was
refused permission to pass a nationalist area.

Afterwards he denied responsibility for the mayhem that
ensued, saying: “As far as I’m concerned the people to
blame for that [the violence] are the secretary of state,
the chief constable and the parades commission, fairly and
squarely.” Bailie has also defended an annual parade in
memory of Robinson.

He and his generation of Orange leaders have never made a
serious attempt to take on the extreme elements that have
dragged the institution’s name through the mire. The order
has fought battle after battle rather than face up to the
fact there are now nationalist majorities in many of the
areas where it once marched.

This is a legacy that will not be lived down easily.
Neither will it be washed away with a public relations
offensive. Yet there is something in the order’s history
that is to be appealed to and which could, against the
odds, carry it through.

In The Orange Order — A Tradition Betrayed, which is a fine
history of the organisation, Brian Kennaway, an Orangeman
for 21 years, points out that early Orange leaders
subscribed to the building of Catholic churches and married
Catholics. Grand Lodge even took out an advertisement in
the Freeman’s Journal, the paper of the United Irishmen, to
dissociate itself from a book of Orange songs that
contained the line “Papists lie down”.

John Claudius Beresford, the first grand secretary of the
Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, spoke strongly against the
Act of Union, saying: “Proud of the name of Irishman, I
hope never to exchange it for that of colonist.”

There is something in Orange history that is broad,
democratic and rooted in the ideals of the glorious
revolution that heralded the end of the divine right of
kings across Europe and the world.

At times it is a faint echo, comparable with the republican
memory of Theobald Wolfe Tone’s exhortation that Catholics,
Protestants and dissenters should be united in the common
name of Irishmen.

Irish republicanism’s roots in the egalitarian ideals of
the enlightenment and of the French revolution may have
been obscured by years of partisan violence and
sectarianism, but they were never extinguished entirely.

The same is true of Orangeism’s roots in the glorious
revolution and in the principles of democracy and freedom
of conscience that inspired the reformation. At times, when
the order was the linchpin of one-party rule and acted as
the vehicle through which the religious divisions of the
dark ages could be transmitted to modern times, such
notions seemed to count for nothing.

But these ideals are part of the tradition and may be what
it needs to survive the coming change. Kennaway argues for
their revival in his book, but his problem is that he is
now excluded from the leadership of the order, which has
instead chosen men such as Bailie to take it forward.

One Belfast mural depicts a dinosaur walking along wearing
a sash and bowler hat. Which is it to be? Extinction or
Mardi Gras?


Opin: The IRA's Still Dealing With Its Past

By Brian Rowan
09 July 2006

It was a meeting like so many others.

A single page from a jotter was placed on the table.

This was a statement from the IRA leadership - delivered to
me yesterday morning by the organisation's 'P O'Neill'.

At our meeting-place in Belfast, I copied the five
sentences into my notebook and then read them back to the
man sitting beside me - something I do to ensure accuracy.

Almost a year after its statement formally ending the
"armed campaign", the IRA is still dealing with its past.

In 1972, deep into that past, the IRA "executed" and
"disappeared" Belfast mother-of-10 Jean McConville.

She was buried in a secret grave and her remains were not
found until August 2003.

The IRA said she was an Army informer.

On Friday, the Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, took the
unusual step of publicly addressing that specific

Her investigators had been examining the then-RUC
investigation of the McConville case.

And, for weeks, there were background whispers that no
evidence had been found to support the IRA allegation that
Mrs McConville was an informer.

The question was: how to say this publicly.

Security policy, stretching across the various intelligence
agencies, is neither to confirm or deny informer

Nuala O'Loan, I was told, was determined to make her
findings public.

On Friday, she did just that.

Her words could not have been any clearer: "As part of our
investigation, we have looked very extensively at all the
intelligence available at the time.

"There is no evidence that Mrs McConville gave information
to the police, the military or the Security Service. She
was not an informant."

But this was not to be the last word on the McConville

Within 24 hours - at my meeting with 'P O'Neill' - the IRA
had responded.

It did so by saying that it, too, had carried out a
"thorough investigation" of all the circumstances
surrounding Jean McConville's death.

It added: "That investigation has confirmed that Jean
McConville was working as an informer for the British Army.

"The conclusion of this investigation was reported to
Michael McConville (one of Mrs McConville's sons).

"The IRA accepts that he rejects this conclusion."

Michael McConville would have known the IRA's answer long
before his meeting with the Ombudsman on Friday.

And, what the rest of us know is that this issue is not
going to go away, and that more questions are going to be
asked of the IRA.

Three decades and more after they were disappeared, there
are bodies that have yet to be found.

And then there are the allegations made by the organisation
that pulled the trigger in these "executions".

Yesterday, the IRA said it "regrets the suffering of all of
the families whose loved ones were killed and buried by the

That suffering continues, and will continue.

Where are the missing bodies? What is the truth of these

Yesterday, the Police Ombudsman repeated her findings: "Let
me make it very clear. We've found no evidence of any
information being provided by Jean McConville to the
police, the military or the security services."

The IRA's "war" may well be over, but there is much in the
past 30 years and more that has yet to be addressed.


Opin: Rep. King Tries To Terrorize The Press

Les Payne

July 9, 2006
Is Peter King having flashbacks?

On Nov. 6, 1992, three days after getting elected to
Congress, he journeyed deep into the lair of the Irish
Republican Army. This group was one of the bloodiest urban
terrorist organizations in the world. Among the gun-toters
of Belfast, King was more a hero than he was back in his
Long Island district.

"Can you smell the coal and peat?" the then-Nassau County
comptroller said to an accompanying Newsday reporter, upon
arriving in the Catholic ghetto. "I feel better already."
He felt even better upon entering the heavily fortified
headquarters of the outlawed Sinn Fein. Over tea, Sinn Fein
leader Gerry Adams - with IRA leaders in attendance -
congratulated King for the congressional victory that made
him a national player.

The IRA agenda centered on what King called the "struggle"
to defeat the opposing Protestant forces and to drive the
British out of Northern Ireland. His friends, Newsday
reported, were "people who have been to jail as
perpetrators of terrorist crimes or victims" of the
Protestant-dominated system.

Congressman King was not much given to the singularly
nonviolent methods popularized by that other King, the one
whose birthday became an official U.S. holiday in 1986.
Instead of siding with Sinn Fein, the Rev. Martin Luther
King Jr. more likely would have thrown in with the
nonviolent Social Democratic and Labor Party that condemned
the IRA rough stuff while working for Catholic rule in the

"The IRA has killed six times as many people as the British
government ... and the rest of them all put together," the
SDLP leader, John Hume, told Newsday at the time. "I'm glad
Peter King is elected to Congress and glad he is coming to
gather facts firsthand. But he shouldn't rely solely on the
men of violence."

Adams had been banned from the United States as a
terrorist, and Rep.-elect King had come to invite him to
his swearing-in ceremony in Washington, D.C. "I get
strength," King said, "from these people who have suffered
so much but continue to persevere." When the congressman
looked upon armed men that the British led the rest of the
Western world to see as "terrorists," he saw instead
"freedom fighters." His contrarian view of the IRA,
however, appears to have been but a narrow, biased piece of
expedient self-interest.

Observers have been struck by King's stunning
transformation as chairman of the House Homeland Security
Committee. What surprises is not so much the congressman's
view of "the struggle" against terrorism, post 9/11; it is
rather his clueless, opportunistic view of constitutional
powers when it comes to going after Muslim terrorists.
Take, for example, King's tainted view of the power of
Congress vis- ... -vis the prerogatives of the press in a
free society.

The congressional terrier ripped away at the trouser leg of
the press when The New York Times reported that the
government's so-called war on terror had agents leafing
through a vast database of global banking records. Neither
new nor exclusive for long, this story also attracted the
coordinated ire of both the president and the vice
president. With King yelping "treason," the U.S. House
passed a resolution along party lines that condemns the
publication of the banking story, and threatens to
"investigate and prosecute" those responsible.

As chilling as the congressional resolution might be, Peter
King's June 26 letter to the U.S. attorney general is even
icier. "I implore you to investigate thoroughly any
violations of law by The New York Times and other media
outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street
Journal and hold accountable those persons responsible for
aiding the cause of our enemies."

So what have we here? The one-time friend of the terrorists
from West Belfast finally has acquired power and is
hunkering down in his heavily fortified redoubt,
invigorating himself with whiffs of "coal and peat" - while
shouting billingsgate at the press.

For his outrages, King should be marched to the blackboard
and made to write 500 times the following excerpt from the
First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom ...
of the press."

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.


Twelfth Cancelled (In 1916) - Republicans Blamed

By Alan Muarry
09 July 2006

Twelfth parades in 1916 were not cancelled because of the
Great War - but because of the Easter Rising, an Ulster
historian has discovered.

Gordon Lucy says he came across the little known fact while
researching Grand Lodge documents covering the period of
the First World War.

Mr Lucy, who has prepared a 40,000 word manuscript on the
original Ulster Volunteer Force and its transformation into
the 36th Ulster Division, said: "At its half yearly meeting
held in Cavan in May of 1916, the Grand Lodge of Ireland
decided to cancel that year's forthcoming Twelfth
celebrations because of what had happened in Dublin.

"Because of the Easter Rising there was concern that
policing resources could be diverted from more important
duties," he said.

Mr Lucy, director of the Ulster Society, says his research
over the 10 years has thrown up many previously unknown
details about the original UVF and how it was transformed
into the 36th Ulster Division.

He has located warrants of military lodges formed within
the 36th Ulster Division while it was billeted in Sussex in
1915 before being shipped to France.

He says this may explain some depictions of soldiers
charging to their deaths wearing sashes.

"Possibly as many as half of the 36th were members of the
Orange Order.

"When they were in Sussex in 1915 the Battalions were
visited by the Grand Lodge of England, which issued what
were called temporary military warrants to form Orange
lodges within the ranks.

"All the Battalions of the Division had lodges formed in
England before they set off for France", he said.

Gordon Lucy hopes to publish his manuscript in the autumn
and says it chronicles three phases - the creation and
development of the UVF, its transformation into the 36th
Ulster Division and finally the Battle of the Somme.


Three New Priests To Be Ordained In Dublin

09/07/2006 - 13:16:02

The Dublin Catholic Diocese is to receive three new priests
later today.

They are the first seminarians to be ordained in two years,
after nobody graduated at all in the capital last year.

All three pursued other careers before entering the

More than 600 people are expected to attend the ordination
ceremony in St Mary's Pro Cathedral this afternoon at 3pm.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said that the
small numbers of men entering the priesthood is an
indication of the challenges the Catholic Church faces in

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