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August 25, 2006

Silence From Paisley on UVF Not An Option

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 08/25/06 Silence From Paisley On Seawright Not An Option
BT 08/25/06 UVF Threaten To 'Silence' McCord
BT 08/25/06 40% Believe Agreement Needs To Be Renegotiated
IN 08/25/06 Restriction On Loyalist Parade’s Supporters
HC 08/25/06 Aer Lingus Flight Evacuated In Ireland
SF 08/25/06 SF Slams Failure To Include Farmers In New Pensions Scheme
IC 08/25/06 Peace Team Pay Tribute To Mo's Life Of Service
BT 08/25/06 Liffey Boardwalk: Where Tourists Fear To Tread


Silence From Paisley On Seawright Revelations Not An Option

Published: 25 August, 2006

West Belfast Sinn Féin Assembly member Fra McCann today
said that people were waiting for Ian Paisley to publicly
clarify his relationship with the UVF after the revelations
that former DUP Assembly member and Belfast City Councillor
George Seawright was a member of that paramilitary

Mr McCann said:

"Nationalists and republicans continue to wait for a public
statement from Ian Paisley clarifying his relationship with
the UVF after it emerged that former DUP Belfast City
Councillor and Assembly member George Seawright was a
member of that organisation. It is not credible to suggest
that if this was any other party or party leader that the
media would not be demanding answers.

"Over the course of recent years nationalists and
republicans have had to listen to Ian Paisley of all people
lecturing our community on democracy. This after building a
political career on defending sectarianism, discrimination
and inequality.

"Last week the DUP proposed a motion at the Preparation for
Government committee demanding an end to paramilitary
organisations. Now let us see their commitment to achieving
this. Let them use the long established and documented
links with unionist paramilitary organisations to deliver
an end to paramiltarism and criminality from within that
community. Staying silent on this issue will simply not
work. Nationalists are now watching Ian Paisley‚s next move
closely." ENDS


UVF Threaten To 'Silence' McCord

By David Gordon
24 August 2006

A prominrnt anti-UVF campaigner has been warned of a fresh
threat to his life.

Raymond McCord was yesterday advised by police of a plot to
"silence" him within the next few days over his continued
efforts to expose the truth about the 1997 murder of his
son, Raymond jnr.

He was told the threat came from the Mount Vernon UVF - the
same notorious gang responsible for his son's murder.

Mr McCord has maintained that his son was beaten to death
on the orders of an RUC Special Branch informer in the UVF,
allegations expected to be vindicated in the Police
Ombudsman's report next month.

Last night he said: "I have records of nine previous threat
warnings and I have also been warned verbally by police on
other occasions." He added that a group of men were seen
acting suspiciously near his home during the previous


40% Believe Agreement Needs To Be Renegotiated

By Noel McAdam
25 August 2006

There is growing support for the view that the specifics of
the Good Friday Agreement need to be renegotiated, a new
analysis has revealed.

But the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey also claims
fundamentalist opposition to the Agreement is quite

The latest report from the think tank Democratic Dialogue
cames as the political pace is expected to pick up in the
next few weeks.

It showed backing for the opinion that "the Agreement is
basically right but the specifics need to be renegotiated"
has increased to 41 per cent from 35 per cent three years

And that is a view shared by 41 per cent of Catholics as
well as 42 per cent of Protestants, according to the report
based on the public opinion survey taken late last year.

Author Robin Wilson argued the results reinforced the
uncertainty among Government officials, which has
transpired this year, about whether Plan A - implementation
of the 1998 Agreement - will succeed.

"But they also indicate that fundamentalist opposition to
the agreement is quite limited," Mr Wilson concluded.

"The view that 'the agreement is basically right but the
specifics need to be renegotiated' commands a clear
plurality of 41 per cent, well ahead of any other option on
the way ahead. This is up from 35 per cent, when the
question was previously asked in 2003."

Mr Wilson argued a more positive interpretation is a
groundswell of sympathy for the basic aspiration behind the
Agreement-a stable political accommodation, built around
power-sharing devolution with institutional links to the
rest of Ireland and the rest of the UK and the wider Europe
- allied to a recognition that details of the architecture
have proved to be flawed.

"The agreement appeared to herald an end to political
polarisation, and so a basis for reconciliation, because it
offered a new, yes/no, alignment to replace the unionist-
nationalist antagonism.

"But as nationalist support and unionist opposition came
increasingly to define positions on the agreement, the old
sectarian divide re-emerged intact.

"What in that context is interesting about this result is
that the knowing, 'yes, but', disposition towards the
agreement is precisely shared across the divide. While many
Catholics still remain gung-ho about the accord and many
Protestants take a dog-in-the-manger view of it, the more
popular view in both camps is the perhaps more subtle one."

Mr Wilson also said unease about being pigeon-holed into
one or other communal camp also continues to emerge.


Restriction On Loyalist Parade’s Supporters

By Maeve Connolly

SUPPORTERS of a contentious loyalist parade in Ballymena
have been banned from following bands along a predominantly
nationalist street.

Ballymena Protestant Boys Flute Band had applied to march
through the town next weekend with 19 other bands, some of
whom have UDA and UVF connections – including one linked to
murdered UDA ‘brigadier’ John Gregg.

However, the Parades Commission has ruled that the several
hundred supporters expected at the Saturday September 2
parade must not enter Market Road.

They will instead walk along a parallel road and meet the
20 bands on nearby Broughshane Street.

The bands and supporters will also have to march ‘the wrong
way’ around the Chapel roundabout which will take them away
from the front gates of All Saints Church.

The commission has warned bandsmen that “no music, other
than a single beat played on a side drum”, must be played
from 130 metres before the church until 50 metres past it.

The commission said it had imposed route restrictions due
to “continuing local community tension”.

Its decision recognised “the real possibility of damaging
community relations with a consequent effect on the
likelihood of public disorder should the parade proceed
along the entirety of its notified route”.

The commission also noted that should a “large-scale
policing operation” be required it would disrupt the local

In its ruling the body said seven “unnotified bands” had
taken part in last year’s parade and reminded the organiser
“that only notified bands may participate” next weekend.

“The commission would encourage the organising band to take
all possible steps to improve the conduct and behaviour of
all participants and supporters. It would also ask that the
organising band and all participants and supporters take
account of the sensitivities that surround parades in
Ballymena,” the ruling stated.

SDLP Ballymena councillors PJ McAvoy and Declan O’Loan met
the commission earlier this week to express their concern
about the loyalist band parade.

Mr O’Loan said it was important those involved in the
parade SDLP “stick to the letter and spirit of the

“These bands have to be conscious that the route includes
areas where there’s a majority Catholic population which is
in the vicinity of the Catholic church. It’s essential that
they fully respect the sensitivities of these locations.”

Mr McEvoy said it would be the last major band parade in
Ballymena of the year and he hoped “it would go off in a
respectful way for all concerned – those who participate
and those who observe and the areas that they will be
passing through”.

North Antrim Sinn Fein assembly member Philip McGuigan said
the determination fell “a long way short of what is
necessary to resolve contentious loyalist parades”.

“If these parades are part of loyalist culture then the
route should be where the residents wish to partake in that
culture,” he said.

Mr McGuigan said the parades disputes could be solved “if
common sense was applied”.


Aer Lingus Flight Evacuated In Ireland

By ROBERT BARR Associated Press
© 2006 The Associated Press

LONDON — An Aer Lingus flight from New York with 239
passengers aboard was evacuated in Ireland Friday following
a threat against the aircraft, airport authorities said.

Aer Lingus Flight 112 was evacuated during a scheduled stop
at 2:50 a.m. EDT at Shannon airport in western Ireland,
said airport spokesman Eugene Pratt. The plane was en route
to Dublin.

The threat "came to a police station in Dublin, and
referred to some explosives aboard that specific flight,"
Pratt said. No trace of explosives was found in the initial

Pratt said security officials decided to remove all baggage
from the flight to be screened again.

The Dublin-bound passengers were all being accommodated on
another flight, Pratt said.

"It wasn't an emergency landing. It wasn't a red alert. The
flight was coming here anyway," Pratt said. The aircraft
was parked at a remote stand as a precaution, he said.


Ferris Slams Failure To Include Farmers In New Pensions Scheme

Published: 25 August, 2006

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris
TD, has slammed the decision not to allow farmers to avail
of a new scheme that allows persons receiving the Old Age
Pension to earn up to €100 per week without that affecting
their entitlements. The scheme was announced as part of the
last Budget and is due to come into effect in September.
Recent inquiries by Mayo Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry Murray
have revealed that the scheme will not apply to farmers who
are in receipt of the pension.

Deputy Ferris said: "The principle behind the new scheme is
good and will go some way to addressing the issue of
poverty among pensioners who will be enabled to take on
paid employment and still retain their benefits. However,
the fact that farmers in receipt of the old age pension are
excluded is manifestly unjust, and follows on from the
rather shoddy manner in which farmers who were part of the
Early Retirement Scheme were treated. It indicates a
serious lack of understanding of the fact that a large
number of farmers, especially those who are getting on in
years, experience real difficulty in making ends meet.

"There would appear to be an assumption that the ownership
of land is somehow in itself a bar against poverty. That of
course is completely wrong. For the vast majority of
farmers, their land is simply the means by which they earn
their livelihood. Many not only reach retirement age with
few savings, but a significant number are also burdened
with debt. Therefore, any relief for those who have to
continue working past the retirement age would be much
needed. I would urge that the Minister for Social and
Family Affairs


Peace Team Pay Tribute To Mo's Life Of Service

Aug 24 2006
By Luke Traynor, Liverpool Echo

A PEACE centre built after the IRA bombing of Warrington
which killed two young boys has honoured the memory of
former MP Mo Mowlam.

The £3m complex is home to the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball
Trust in a lasting tribute to the boys who lost their lives
in the 1993 terrorist atrocity.

A residential lounge at the centre in Sankey was yesterday
named after politician Ms Mowlam who died aged 55 last

The Labour MP for Redcar from 1987-2001 was a former
Northern Ireland Secretary and oversaw the talks whichled
to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Tim Parry, 12, and Johnathan Ball, three, were killed when
two bombs were detonated in Bridge Street in Warrington
town centre.

Ms Mowlam has always been close to the hearts of peace
campaigners in Warrington as she helped lobby for the
pioneering centre.

She dug the first sod of turf when the building of the
peace centre started in 1999 and was a regular ambassador
for the town.

Ms Mowlam's husband, Jon Norton, was invited to the
ceremony as guest of honour by Tim Parry's parents, Colin
and Wendy.

Mrs Parry said: "Mo did so much in our early days to help
Colin and I pursue our dream of building a dedicated and
unique centre for young people everywhere who are at risk
of violent conflict.

"She shared our belief that such a centre was vitally
important in today's dangerous world, in helping improve
the lives of such young people.

"And she shared the belief that this was the most
appropriate legacy for Tim and Johnathan to leave behind in
their memory."

A host of high-profile figures have visited the centre over
the past seven years, including Cherie Blair, former prime
minister John Major and home secretary John Reid.

The peace centre was opened in 2000, on the seventh
anniversary of the bombing, to provide a fully-equipped
learning centre to teach young people about issues like
conflict resolution and anger management.

ECHO Essentials

* THE Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Trust was formed after the
IRA bomb attack on Warrington town centre in March 1993
which killed 12-year-old Tim and three-year-old Johnathan

* The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Young People'sCentre is
informally known as the Peace Centre

* The trust works under the banner of Children for Peace,
an educational peace charity which aims to help people lead
more peaceful lives through the nature and causes of

* The trust is based at Peace Drive, Great Sankey,
Warrington, Cheshire WA51HQ, and can be contacted on 01925
581231 or email


Where Tourists Fear To Tread

By Edel Kennedy
25 August 2006

Drug dealers and addicts have turned one of Dublin's main
tourist thoroughfares into a virtual no-go area.

Drug dealers are openly selling drugs on Dublin's Liffey
boardwalk in broad daylight.

And as these shocking pictures reveal, even the presence of
active gardai in the area does not deter them.

It came as the country prepares to host the Ryder Cup - and
just hours after the Republic's Tourism Minister John
O'Donoghue launched a multi-million pound campaign to
promote Irish tourism.

TDs have called for a dedicated garda patrol unit to stamp
out drug abuse in the area.

Over the course of a two-day investigation by Belfast
Telegraph sister paper the Irish Independent, dealers and
addicts were photographed exchanging money for drugs in
broad daylight during the height of the busy summer tourist

The investigation found:

:: Drugs being openly exchanged for money;

:: Women hiding drugs in their bras so gardai cannot find

:: Methadone being consumed in public;

:: Children accompanying their parents as drug deals take

:: Customers approaching dealers and asking for their drug
of choice.

Dealers worked up and down the tourist stretch, hiding the
drugs down the back of their trousers or in their bras.

Others openly waved around small bags of pills in full view
of the passing public. At one stage this week, two plain-
clothed gardai stopped and searched a number of people who
were loitering along the boardwalk. Later, the officers
were back - and the dealers were still in action.

Labour TD Joe Costello said the boardwalk was once a
novelty for people to walk along when they visited Dublin.

"It has become a no-go area because of the activities," he

He called for a garda squad to act as a deterrent..

Independent TD Tony Gregory also added his voice, saying
the area was now a complete turn-off for tourists.

A spokesman for Dublin City Council said it had a community
officer to patrol the areas and report such activities to
the gardai. However, he could not say if there was an
officer on the boardwalk at all times.

"We are working in conjunction with the gardai to alleviate
the problem," he said.

Workers, whose offices are alongside the boardwalk, said
they were too afraid to sit there to have their lunch.

"There's so many of them hanging around in big gangs," said
one young woman.

"I wouldn't go over there on my own and even in groups we
can't really relax and enjoy the sunshine. We have to
constantly keep an eye on our bags."

Gardai were also seen arresting a number of men. They
chased a young man who tried to run when he spotted them.
After being searched he was handcuffed and taken away.

A family was forced to flee the area recently after a knife
fight broke out between two drug addicts, while there are
also concerns that immigrants who cannot find a job are
sleeping rough beside the Liffey.

Gardai said 404 people have been arrested in the area
between April 3 and the end of June under the Misuse of
Drugs Act. Of those, 26 were arrested and processed in the

A further 20 were arrested under public order legislation.

A spokesman said: "We monitor the area on an ongoing basis
and any illegal activity which is reported or we come
across receives our attention."

He said gardai were working with homeless agencies to help
those sleeping rough in the area.

Frank McGee of Dublin Tourism said the activity is not
helping Ireland's reputation abroad.

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