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August 09, 2006

RUC Men Released Over McCord Inquiry

News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 08/09/06 Former RUC Men Held Over Inquiry Released
SF 08/09/06 DUP Setting New Preconditions On Policing Issue
IO 08/09/06 Dublin Eighth Most Expensive City In World
IT 08/09/06 Dumped Black & Tan Body Believed To Be RIC Constable
IT 08/09/06 Car Park Fee Over Top For Cliff Visitors


Former RUC Men Held Over Inquiry Released

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor

Two former RUC detectives arrested yesterday in
connection with an inquiry into the police investigation
of the UVF murder of a young man in 1997 were released
last night without charge.

They were detained by officers from the Police
Ombudsman's office, assisted by the PSNI.

A third former detective, Johnston Brown, was questioned
on his return from holiday last night in connection with
the inquiry. Mr Brown was detained in conection with an
alleged attempt to pervert the course of justice and
misconduct in public office.

Nuala O'Loan's office has been examining the RUC
investigation into the killing of Raymond McCord jnr in
1997 following claims that at least one of those involved
was also an RUC Special Branch agent.

It emerged yesterday that the two men are also being
questioned about the UVF murder in 1993 of Catholic woman
Sharon McKenna, as well as allegations of attempting to
pervert the course of justice.

The original investigation into the McCord case is
widening into an examination of the former RUC's
intelligence-gathering methods and collusion with
loyalist paramilitaries.

Justin Felice, who heads Mrs O'Loan's team of
investigators, said yesterday: "The arrests and the
searches are part of a major investigation by this office
into the complaint by Mr Raymond McCord (snr) who alleged
that the police did not investigate the murder of his son

"This has proved to be a very complex investigation and
has also involved us looking into the police
investigation into the murder of Sharon McKenna.

"The two former officers are being held at separate
police stations and are being questioned about a number
of allegations including attempting to pervert the course
of justice and misconduct in public office."

Johnston Brown said earlier yesterday he expected to be
questioned. He claimed in The Irish Times last April that
elements within RUC Special Branch protected a named UVF
figure, linked with the McCord murder, to ensure he was
not exposed as an informant, despite the fact that they
knew he was associated with several killings of
Protestants and Catholics.

He told the BBC yesterday he had already responded to
requests for assistance from the Ombudsman's office in
2001 and subsequently.

"I co-operated fully with the Ombudsman," he said.

"There is nothing in this that I didn't make clear to the
Ombudsman when I retired in 2001. When they asked to see
me I went forward on a number of occasions . . . to help
the Ombudsman get round Special Branch obstruction."

He said he did not fear arrest and would meet any
allegations Mrs O'Loan wants him to face.

"I have nothing to fear," he added. The problem when you
speak out in relation to these serious matters is, they
can't get anybody else because nobody else is talking."

© The Irish Times


DUP Setting New Preconditions On Policing Issue

Published: 9 August, 2006

Following a meeting of the Preparation for Government
committee today on the transfer of policing and justice,
Gerry Kelly has accused the DUP of attempting to
introduce new preconditions on the policing issue.

Mr Kelly said,

"At today's meeting the DUP argued that even when they
join a power-sharing Executive with Sinn Féin, that
powers on policing and justice would only be transferred
if Sinn Féin meet new and as yet unspecified

"In 2004, the DUP accepted a two-year timeframe for the
transfer of power on policing and justice. Today they
retreated for this agreement and have now introduced new
and as yet unspecified preconditions for transfer of
policing and justice. The reality is that the DUP, afraid
of political responsibility and unable to show positive
leadership, is scrambling around for new excuses for non-
engagement." ENDS


Dublin Eighth Most Expensive City In World

09/08/2006 - 18:27:35

Dublin is the eighth most expensive city in the world in
which to live, according to a survey out today.

London was calculated to be the most costly for goods,
services and rent, followed by New York, with the Irish
capital in eighth place in the survey of 71 major cities.

People were found to have the highest net wages in Zurich
and Geneva, followed by Dublin and Los Angeles, when a
standard basket of 122 goods and services were compared.

Dermot Jewell of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland
said the high prices were simply no longer a shock to
Irish residents and tourists.

“Some time ago I would have been a little shocked but now
I don’t think anyone would be, certainly from the Irish
point of view,” Mr Jewell said.

The consumer watchdog said it was extraordinary that
tourists continued to flock to Ireland in spite of the
high prices.

“We are going to have to be able to offer an awful lot of
value for money if we keep increasing our prices,” he

Mr Jewell revealed that he believed there was not
currently value for money in general in Dublin.

“There is value in comparison to other cities,” he
admitted. “But we certainly still do have some areas
where prices are high but for no other reason than they
can be.”

Mr Jewell, who urged consumers themselves to do more to
speak out against the high prices, said restaurants and
hotels were often steeply priced, and cinemas were
extremely costly.

In the cities of western Europe and North America,
workers in 14 different professions earned a gross hourly
wage average of €14.

The study found the winners in the international
comparison of wages to be English-speaking Europe, with
Dublin and London newcomers to the top 10.

The “Prices and Earnings” study carried out by global
banking and financial group UBS looked at purchasing
power worldwide.

The study, which is published every three years, revealed
that Dublin had risen to the eighth most expensive city
since the survey was last carried out in 2003.

The research also compared how long it takes workers to
earn enough money to pay for a Big Mac burger.

In Nairobi, one and a half hours’ work is needed to buy
the burger, while in the US cities of Los Angeles and New
York a maximum of 13 minutes’ labour is needed. In Dublin
it takes just 15 minutes of work to purchase it.

Food costs the most in Tokyo at €560 for a basket of 39
food items, while the basket in Dublin costs €373, €367
in London and €430 in New York.

Public transport in general was most expensive in western
Europe. While the price of a single ticket for a train
journey of 200 kilometres was only €31in Dublin, it was
€70.75 in London. In New York it was €40.70.

A city break was calculated to be most expensive in
London at €915, while it cost €714 in New York and €636
in Dublin.

The bill for a three-course restaurant meal was €50 in
London, €38.80 in New York and €41.10 in Dublin.


Historian Believes Dumped Black And Tan Body To Be Missing RIC Constable

Barry Roche, Southern Correspondent

A historian of the Royal Irish Constabulary believes a
body of a Black and Tan reported to be dumped in a bog in
north Kerry is likely to be one of two policemen who
disappeared after being ambushed by the IRA in the county
during the War of Independence.

According to Jim Herlihy, author of The Royal Irish
Constabulary - A Short History and Genealogical Guide,
the body of the Black and Tan in Lixnaw is most likely to
be either that of Const Patrick Waters (24), from
Spiddal, Co Galway, or Const Ernest Bright (34) from
London. "Both went missing on October 31st, 1920, in
separate ambushes. They're the only two RIC men killed in
Kerry whose bodies were never found, so it's likely to be
one or other of them."

Mr Herlihy worked as a historical adviser on the recent
film, The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Retired Lixnaw
farmer Michael O'Connell (66) first learned of a Black
and Tan being buried in Derravrin bog more than 20 years
ago and he is convinced of its veracity, as is his
neighbour and friend, Brendan Cronin.

"I believe the Tan could have been shot in Tralee - if
people didn't like him or had him down as bad job. I
believe there were some Tans that were making too
friendly with young girls and it could well be one of
them. I think a search should be carried out and if a
body is found, it should be sent back to England to his
relatives if they are traceable. It shouldn't be left in
the bog anyway - a bog is no place for a body."

Mr O'Connell and Mr Cronin are both contributors to this
Sunday night's Kerry Lore documentary on Radio Kerry,
produced by Maurice O'Keeffe, who is convinced of the
accuracy of the story.

"Michael pointed out the spot to me. It's marked by a
crab apple tree, so it's not a huge area. It should be
easy to excavate and, being a bog, clothing should be
preserved. It should be possible to identify whoever it
is and return the remains to any relatives."

© The Irish Times


Car Park Fee Over Top For Cliff Visitors

Gordon Deegan

Dozens of motorists are parking illegally at any one time
near the Cliffs of Moher, avoiding the €5 parking charge
imposed by Clare County Council on visitors.

Supt Eamon Dolan of Ennistymon Garda station confirmed
yesterday that he had asked the council to take measures
to end snarl-ups at the cliffs caused by illegal parking.

Supt Dolan said gardaí in north Clare had issued hundreds
of tickets to motorists parked illegally on the public
road adjacent to the council's car-park for the visitor

Supt Dolan said: "At weekends, there could be up to 60 or
70 cars parked illegally at any one time and we have
imposed a substantial number of parking tickets over the
summer. We have also recommended that the council employ
a traffic warden at the site to prevent people from
parking their cars illegally."

At the start of June, the council raised the parking fee
by €1 to €5 even though a sizeable portion of the cliff
edge was off-limits as work continued on the €31.5
million visitor centre.

Cliffs trader Gerry Cahill said yesterday the fee "is one
of the most blatant examples of rip-off Ireland as the
place here is a building site at the moment and I receive
complaint after complaint about the charge from

Mr Cahill is one of 19 traders and musicians that the
council wants to expel from the site in circuit court

Local councillor Martin Conway (FG) said the illegally
parked cars "are causing traffic chaos and there is need
for a full-time traffic warden".

Cllr Conway said the parking charge was too high and that
he had "been inundated with complaints" about it. The
visitor centre opens in the first quarter of 2007 when
the council will increase the charge to €8 per car and
€60 per coach. Cliffs of Moher project leader Ger Dollard
said yesterday: "The August bank holiday weekend,
traditionally the busiest weekend of the year, operated
smoothly with the roadway being kept free at all times.
The car park did reach capacity on a few occasions for
short periods but adequate staff were in place to manage
the situation.

"There will always be some indiscriminate parking but
this is a minor issue." He added: "It has been
exceptionally busy at the cliffs this year and at times
cars were queuing to enter the car park. Approaching
visitors then formed the view that the car park was full
and decided to park on the side of the road as they
couldn't access the car park. The deployment of
additional staff to regulate and improve traffic flow has
addressed this issue."

John Downes adds: A member of the public has alleged that
there was "chaos" at the carpark serving Glendalough, Co
Wicklow, on bank holiday Monday.

Edward Phelan, of Rathgar, Dublin, said there was
"absolutely no control" of the car park and environs when
he took his nephew there around 4pm on Monday. "The car
park had filled up, people were trying to get in and
others were trying to get out. Many people abandoned
their cars by the side of the road."

A Garda press office spokeswoman said local gardaí knew
of traffic congestion in Glendalough on the bank holiday.
Gardaí had received a call about it but were already
dealing with the matter at the time.

A spokesman for Wicklow County Council said the council
had no direct responsibility for Glendalough, except for
the manned car-park at the upper lake. The Office of
Public Works is responsible for the visitor centre and
traffic management is a matter for the Garda.

© The Irish Times

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