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August 03, 2006

Faction Back in UDA Mainstream

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 08/03/06 Faction 'Back In UDA Mainstream'
SF 08/03/06 Sinn Féin Comment As Unionist Paramilitaries Flee Westland
NO 08/03/06 Sinn Féin Comfortably Win Fews By-Election
BB 08/03/06 Move On NI 'Disappeared' Graves
NO 08/03/06 Sinn Féin Comment On Statement On Disappeared
IT 08/04/06 Sinn Féin Calls For No Vote On National Pay Agreement
EE 08/03/06 Call To Destroy 'Fake' Casement Diaries
ZW 08/03/06 Notables Remember Manton At Funeral
IT 08/04/06 Talks To Try And Avert Hospital Overtime Ban


Faction 'Back In UDA Mainstream'

Loyalist and security sources have said they hope a
potential feud within the UDA has been averted after a
leading member of a breakaway faction left NI.

The police said they escorted a convoy of cars out of the
Westland estate "as a number of people felt under threat".

A breakaway north Belfast UDA faction has released a
statement saying it had met with the so-called inner
council and agreed to elect its own leadership.

It said members were "glad to be back in the mainstream of
the organisation".

Tensions have been high following a weekend stand-off
between the factions.

Overnight on Thursday, up to 300 Ulster Defence Association
supporters gathered in the Oldpark area of north Belfast.

Following this, it was believed Alan McClean and his family
travelled to Dublin to catch a flight out of the country.

He is widely believed to have taken over the leadership of
the UDA in north Belfast after Ihab and Andre Shoukri were
expelled from the organisation last month.

Mr McClean, his wife and two sons, a younger brother of the
Shoukris and a small number of supporters left their homes
at about 0400 BST on Thursday to catch a flight out of the

'Bloodbath averted'

Pastor Brian Madden, who intervened in the dispute, said a
potential bloodbath had been averted.

"I saw machine guns on people's shoulders, handguns," he

"I was taken into a house, talking to people who were
pointing guns, swinging guns, they were very, very angry. I
was very fearful and I pleaded with them to leave.

"After about 20 minutes of heated discussion they started
to drop the bullets out of the guns and he (Mr McClean)
agreed that he would leave.

"I informed the inner council, who through this whole thing
showed massive restraint, and the men on the streets went

Meanwhile, the PSNI said some of its officers were forced
to draw their weapons in Ballysillan because of the serious

Chief Superintendent Wesley Wilson said houses had been
attacked in the Ballysillan and Tyndale areas earlier in
the evening by crowds armed with cudgels and baseball bats.

"Our officers went into deal with that. At one stage our
officers were between two mobs and actually had to draw
weapons to protect themselves - luckily they didn't have to
discharge the weapons," he said.

A large crowd gathered very quickly and officers were
ordered to go to the Westland estate area, he said.

'Gathering information'

The officer said loyalist representatives had met
nationalist community leaders "and reassured them that
there was no threat to nationalist residents".

"There was a convoy of cars that left Westland Road area in
the middle of the night and police did accompany them as
far as the Westlink.

"This was to prevent any breach of the peace or attacks and
was about preventing any loss of life.

"We realised they were people from the Westland Road area
and wanted to leave the area and obviously felt under

He said police were still gathering information about the
occupants of the cars.

"If we can firm up on the intelligence, perhaps with this
faction gone it might ease the situation - but I don't know
that as yet."

A Sinn Fein spokeswoman said nationalist residents felt
intimidated and some had left their homes in fear.

The loyalist protests follow the expulsion of leading north
Belfast loyalists Ihab and Andre Shoukri.

Earlier this week, members of the UDA's so-called ruling
council held talks with representatives of the breakaway

It followed a weekend stand-off between the rival factions
and a public show of strength by the UDA leadership.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/03 21:38:14 GMT


Sinn Féin Comment As Unionist Paramilitaries Flee Westland

Published: 3 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Belfast Kathy Stanton
has said that nationalists in the area would be greatly
alarmed at reports from a Protestant Minister that the
Westland estate was last night awash with armed loyalists.

Ms Stanton said:

"Nationalists care little that one wing of the UDA has
exerted its control over another section of the UDA in
North Belfast. Nationalists care little that one group of
sectarian gangsters has departed Westland only to be
replaced by another.

"People across society will however be greatly alarmed by
reports from a Protestant Minister involved in mediating in
the latest UDA dispute, that the Westland estate was last
night awash with heavily armed loyalists. The PSNI were
also present in Westlands last night, yet predictably there
have been no arrests or no weapons seized.

"There will be a genuine fear now amongst nationalists in
areas like North Belfast that the weapons on the streets
last night will now be directed back towards vulnerable
Catholics. In the past the end of internecine unionist
feuds have resulted in attacks against Catholics their
homes and businesses." ENDS


Sinn Féin Comfortably Win Fews By-Election

Sinn Féin Councillor Turlough Murphy said
that he was deeply heartened by the solid endorsement of
Sinn Féin in the Fews area once again and he thanked all
those who voted for him in the Fews area by election. He
said that like most of the community was angry that the by
election had taken place at all.

Cllr. Murphy said:

"This was not a serious election in any sense except that
of the many thousands of pounds that it has cost the
ratepayers of Newry and Mourne. William Frazer who is
viewed by many as nothing more than a leading apologist for
loyalist paramilitaries, did not canvass the Fews area, did
not try to engage with all those who live here, he stuck up
number of Posters and that was the sum total of his attempt
to represent the people of the Fews area.

"The result here today clearly shows that William Frazer
was never a credible candidate despite his endorsement by
the Unionist groupings on Newry and Mourne Council. This
Unionist alliance aligned themselves with a candidate who
very publicly declared his admiration for loyalist killer
Billy Wright, and only last week accused the ambulance
service of practically aiding and abetting a death.

"Those Councillors in the Unionist grouping who
deliberately created the situation where in their
vindictive attempt to steal a bona fide nationalist seat
have cost this Council, all our communities, many thousands
of pounds. This is a view that is shared by many and it was
unfortunate that the SDLP whilst stating these views
privately as they were doing, decided that they publicly
would use this by election to attack the integrity of Sinn
Féin and the legitimate mandate of the nationalist people.

"Despite this attack this nationalist seat has been
retained and I am thankful that the nationalist community
came out to vote. It is also quite obvious from this result
that the Fews area community were very disappointed by the
call by the SDLP not to vote. Finally I am challenging the
Unionist Grouping of Councillors on Newry and Mourne to
justify their support for what was a complete waste of many
thousands of pounds by causing this Fews area by election
and I call on all Councillors, the Unionist Councillors in
particular, to adhere to what is regarded by most as normal
procedure and allow co options to take place when Council
vacancies occur." ENDS


Move On NI 'Disappeared' Graves

There will be no new digs to locate the graves of the so-
called disappeared unless a panel of judges agrees, the
government has said.

An Independent Commission will have to rule there is a good
prospect a body will be found, the British and Irish
governments said on Thursday.

Nine "disappeared" were murdered by the IRA and secretly
buried in the 1970s.

SAS Captain Robert Nairac, killed in 1977 after going
undercover in south Armagh, is one of four other cases.

A confidential telephone and DNA tests will also be used in
the searches.

DNA samples will be taken from the remaining relatives.

The governments' decision came in response to a series of
recommendations made by the Independent Commission on the
Location of Victims Remains after work to find the bodies
of the "disappeared" was undertaken by an independent
forensic expert.

In the light of a number of unsuccessful excavations in
recent years, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said it
was important "not to raise unrealistic expectations".


Sir Ken Bloomfield, one of the people involved in the
search for the bodies, said new information about the
whereabouts of the "disappeared" had been offered in the
last 12 months.

"There is evidence of a greater willingness to provide
information," he said.

"Now whether or not that will prove useful at the end of
the day, one cannot be sure.

"After all, the expectation about the original information
was that it would lead to the recovery of those nine
bodies, and that proved not to be the case."

The services of the forensic expert are being retained and
DNA samples will be taken from the closest relatives of
those victims whose bodies have yet to be recovered.

A new Post Office box number and a telephone line will be
established to enable confidential information to be passed

The bodies of four of the "disappeared" - people abducted
and murdered by the IRA - have been recovered. Five more
have not been found.

So far, the remains of IRA victims Eamon Molloy, Brian
McKinney, John McClory and Jean McConville have been

Among the others still missing are:

Seamus Wright from Belfast: A member of the IRA, he was
accused of being a British Army agent and a member of the
Military Reaction Force (MRF). He was interrogated and
murdered by the IRA in 1972.

Kevin McKee from Belfast: An IRA member, he was alleged to
have been an Army agent and member of the MRF. He was
interrogated and murdered by the IRA in 1972.

Columba McVeigh , 17, from Donaghmore in County Tyrone:
Abducted and murdered in 1975 by the IRA after allegedly
confessing to being an army agent with instructions to
infiltrate the IRA.

Brendan McGraw , 24, from Belfast: Allegedly confessed to
being a British provocateur and MRF member in 1978.

Danny McIlhone , from Belfast: Said by the IRA to have
admitted to stealing weapons in 1981

Last month, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said new levels
of cooperation between the IRA, Sinn Fein and the Irish
government should see the recovery of the remaining five

He also revealed that IRA members involved in the killings
have visited burial sites with a forensics expert.

Other cases being investigated include those of Charles
Armstrong and Gerard Evans, who disappeared from County
Armagh, Seamus Ruddy who disappeared in France and whose
disappearance has been attributed to the Irish National
Liberation Army (INLA) and Captain Nairac.

Seamus McKendry, son-in-law of Mrs McConville, said the
onus was on republicans to end the pain of other families
whose loved ones' bodies had not been recovered.

"In reality the only likelihood of ever retrieving another
body is with the co-operation of Sinn Fein and the
republican movement," he said.

"Surely the government should be thinking about penalising
them in some way and pushing them until they come clean
with the information they have?"

Mr Adams urged the Irish government to move speedily to
ensure that, where practical, digs took place.

"The suffering of these families has gone on too long. They
have been victims of a grievous injustice done by
Republicans," he said.

"The IRA has acknowledged this and its engagement with the
forensic expert, and the report he has now produced, is
evidence of its determination to right this wrong."

Patricia Lewsley, SDLP, said the announcement was "welcome
but overdue".

"Many families have been waiting over 30 years for the
bodies of their loved ones," Mrs Lewsley said.

"Bureaucracy must not leave them waiting longer. There also
needs to be a renewed will to find the bodies."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/08/03 19:15:19 GMT


Sinn Féin Comment On Statement On Disappeared

/ Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has
welcomed the decision by the British and Irish governments
to retain the services of the forensic expert and implement
the recommendations of his report into the recovery of the
remains of people killed and secretly buried by the IRA.

The Sinn Féin leader also welcomed the briefing given to
the families.

Mr. Adams said:

"I wrote to the Taoiseach in May and urged him to quickly
conclude the government's deliberations on the forensic
report and to inform the families of the outcome of this.

In his reply to me several weeks ago the Taoiseach said
that the discussions between the Department of Justice, the
NIO and the Commission for the Location of Victims Remains
were close to conclusion. I welcome the fact that a
decision has now been taken and the families informed of

"There is only a relatively short period of time left in
which the weather will permit detailed searches to take
place. Mindful of the need not to unduly raise expectations
among the families the Irish government should move
speedily to ensure that where practical digs take place.

"The suffering of these families has gone on too long. They
have been victims of a grievous injustice done by
Republicans. The IRA has acknowledged this and its
engagement with the forensic expert, and the report he has
now produced, is evidence of its determination to right
this wrong.

"The IRA has said that it is not responsible for the
disappearance of Charlie Armstrong or Gerard Evens. Anyone
with any information on these two men should come forward
to me or to their families." EMDS


Sinn Féin Calls For No Vote On National Pay Agreement

Stephen Collins, Political Correspondent

With Siptu, the biggest union in the country, currently in
the process of balloting its 200,000 members on the terms
of the latest national partnership agreement, Towards 2016,
Sinn Féin has called on trade unionists to vote no to its

The agreement, which proposes a 10 per cent pay increase
over the next 27 months, has already been accepted by the
Irish National Teachers Organisation but rejected by the
Irish Bank Officials Association.

The national executive of Siptu has recommended acceptance
of the agreement and ballot papers have been sent to union
members. They have to be returned by the end of next week.

Siptu's decision will be critical to the success or failure
of the deal as the union will send close to 35 per cent of
the delegations to a special conference of the Irish
Congress of Trade Unions on September 5th which will decide
its fate.

The Sinn Féin spokesman on worker's rights, Arthur Morgan,
yesterday called on workers to reject the agreement,
following a decision by the party's ardchomhairle to call
on its members and supporters to vote no in their
respective unions.

"The decision on Towards 2016 rests with the membership of
the trade union movement, but it is one that will shape the
economy and society of this State and all of its citizens
for the next 10 years. Consequently, Sinn Féin believes it
is necessary to place our views on the record in a manner
that is both forthright, but also respectful of the
independence of the trade union movement to make this

"As a result of our analysis, we are therefore calling on
all union members, but in particular, Sinn Féin members and
supporters, to vote no to Towards 2016," he said.

Mr Morgan maintained that the deal was a spectacular
failure for the low-paid workers and that the pay increases
of 10 per cent over 27 months would barely keep pace with
inflation currently running at 3.9 per cent. "With house
prices increasing at double-figure rates and ESB and gas
prices in the offing, the proposed increases will be
largely wiped out by inflation," he said.

He said the deal opened up the public sector to
outsourcing, with unions only having a right of
notification. "This will undermine the terms and conditions
of public sector workers and could see them being replaced
with non-union labour." Mr Morgan also objected to the fact
that while employers retained their ability to claim an
inability to pay increases, union negotiators did not
obtain an "ability to pay" clause as there was no local
bargaining clause which would allow unions to negotiate
with prosperous companies.

© The Irish Times


Call To Destroy 'Fake' Casement Diaries

03/08/2006 - 12:30:37 PM

The “Black Diaries” of Roger Casement should be destroyed
when they are eventually exposed as fakes, it was claimed

On the 90th anniversary of the revolutionary’s execution
for treason in 1916, supporters called for Casement’s
legacy to focus on his humanitarian work in Africa and
South America rather than other controversies about his

The Black Diaries, which claim to detail Casement’s
explicit homosexual urges, are currently kept in the Public
Record Office outside London.

Jack Moylett, chairman of the Roger Casement Foundation
said today: “I think they are horrible things and should be
eventually destroyed when it is proven they are

“If they are to be exhibited, they should only be criminal

A two-month forensic analysis of the diaries in 2002,
funded by RTE and the Taoiseach’s Department, found they
were genuine examples of his handwriting.

However, the Foundation disputes these findings and is
currently raising funds to carry out its own linguistic
study of the documents using a Canadian computer software

“We will be examining the words, phrases and style of
expression, which we believe Casement would never have used
at all,” said Mr Moylett.

The Diaries, which comprise two office diaries, an army
field notebook, a pocket diary and a 1911 cash ledger, were
used by the British to smear Casement at his trial for
treason in 1916.

Mr Moylett said he would block any attempts to have the
documents housed in an Irish museum.

The Roger Casement Foundation was formed in Dublin in 1995
and has up to 100 members. It also holds an annual one-day
symposium on the revolutionary.

Mr Moylett has written a stage play about the revolutionary
in which he plays Casement himself.

A distinguished British diplomat who served in the Congo
and the Amazon basin, Casement tried to import arms for the
Easter Rising but was arrested at Banna Strand Co Kerry
after leaving a German submarine.

He was hanged for treason at Pentonville Prison outside
London on August 3, 1916.

His body was repatriated in 1965 and he was given a state
funeral and buried with full military honours in the
Republican Plot in Glasnevin Cemetery.

President Eamon de Valera defied doctors’ advice to attend
the ceremonies, along with 30,000 Irish citizens.

The Foundation will lay a wreath at Casement’s grave at
Glasnevin Cemetery on Sunday to mark the anniversary of his

Sinn Féin will mark his anniversary with a march to his
birthplace in Sandycove on Saturday.


Notables Remember Manton At Funeral

By Joseph Wendelken, Assistant Editor

A Marine Corps Honor Guard carries the late Tom Manton’s
casket from St. Sebastian’s in Woodside on Friday.

The family and friends of Tom Manton were joined by
local and national dignitaries on Friday in Woodside, when
they bid their final farewells to the chairman of the
Queens County Democratic Organization, who had passed away
six days earlier.

Among those who attended the funeral mass at St.
Sebastian’s were former President Bill Clinton, Sens. Chuck
Schumer and Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the man
much rumored to assume Manton’s seat atop the county’s
Democratic organization, Congressman Joseph Crowley.

“He played the game that we love better than anybody
else, and he was better than the game,” said former
President Clinton, one of the deceased’s three eulogists,
of the former councilman, congressman and 20 year Queens
party boss. Manton, who lived in Astoria, was 73 when he
succumbed to the prostate cancer he had been battling for
three years.

Politicians throughout the borough spent the immediate
days after Manton’s passing considering his professional
contributions, but many spent Friday reflecting on his

“He was a class act in every way. If you were a friend
of his, you were a friend for life,” said Schumer before
joining the hundreds of mourners inside St. Sebastian’s. As
a 25 year friend and colleague, Schumer spoke of the
support Manton extended toward him in 1998, when he
appeared to have little chance of winning a senate seat.

Spitzer, who is running for governor this fall, added:
“He always tried to do what was right for the people around
him. He was a voice of integrity. He defined integrity,
good judgment and values.”

Others spoke of Manton’s humility, describing how even
as he climbed the county’s political ladder and grew in
stature, he never forgot the people he met and the lessons
he learned when working as a beat cop in Harlem.

After hearing the eulogies offered by Manton’s son in
law, John Laurent, and Manton’s former law partner, Gerard
Sweeney, Bill Clinton spoke of Manton’s graciousness and

Clinton recounted being advised by a friend in 1991 that
he had an outside shot of gaining the party’s presidential
nomination the following year if he could “dance through
the thicket of New York Democratic politics.”

Nervous to be stepping into what he labeled New York’s
“unfriendly” political climate, he was quickly put at ease
by the broad shouldered Irish American who greeted him when
he came to Forest Hills to address the Queens County
Democratic Organization. “It was an act of uncommon
kindness. I was running fifth or sixth in the polls then.
He knew I was in a strange land. But he was so kind. I will
never forget it,” Clinton said.

Clinton also spoke of Manton’s work to bring peace to
Northern Ireland, which Sweeney described as the most
fulfilling accomplishment of his professional life.

Laurent, the husband of Manton’s daughter Cathy, advised
those in attendance to, in times as uncertain as these,
pray for more leaders like Manton.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. George Pataki and Assembly
Speaker Sheldon Silver all paid their respects at Manton’s
wake, which was held at Sunnyside’s Lynch Funeral Home on
Tuesday and Wednesday.


Talks To Try And Avert Hospital Overtime Ban

Elaine Keogh

Conciliation talks under the auspices of the Labour
Relations Commission to try and avert industrial action at
Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth, broke
up last night without resolution. The 360-member ATGWU
lifted its threat and the matter will be dealt with at a
later hearing of the Labour Court.

The union, which represents porters, cleaners, household
and catering staff, had balloted in favour of a ban on
overtime from this morning, saying the pressure on its
members to carry out additional work was due to a failure
to employ sufficient staff and could not continue.

"The cap on recruitment has contributed to this situation
and our members have been asked to come in and work on
their holidays and on their days off," union spokesman Colm
Kinsella said yesterday as he entered conciliation talks.
"This cannot go on."

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital management has called on the
union to withdraw the proposed overtime ban "as both sides
have agreed to conciliation".

Mr Kinsella said patients were a priority for the ATGWU.

It had put forward a number of proposals including the
creation of two dedicated cleaning units and a pool of
workers which would, he said, eliminate the need for the
HSE to employ agency staff.

© The Irish Times

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