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September 13, 2006

McGuinness: SF Up for Political Institutions

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 09/13/06 McGuinness - Sinn Féin Up For Political Institutions
BN 09/13/06 Paisley Gloomy On Devolution Deal Hopes
SF 09/13/06 Special Branch Files Theft - Planned Systematic Cover-Up
IT 09/14/06 O'Loan Rejects Police Leader's Fierce Criticism
UT 09/14/06 DUP MP Sparks Policing Row
SF 09/14/06 DUP All Over Place On Issue Of Unionist Paramilitaries
PG 09/14/06 Daily Ireland Closes, Blaming British Ad Boycott
BB 09/14/06 Ex-Soldier Sentenced Over Rioting
BT 09/14/06 Opin: 9/11, Omagh... Who Really Grieves
BB 09/14/06 Republican Leader Honour Proposal


McGuinness - Sinn Féin Up For Political Institutions

Published: 13 September, 2006

Speaking on his return from the TUC Conference in Brighton
Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness said that his
party will be meeting with both the Taoiseach and the
British Prime Minister in advance of the discussions
planned for Scotland next month. Mr McGuinness also said
that The British Prime Minister Tony Blair needed to make
it clear to Ian Paisley during their meeting this week that
the governments would stand by the Good Friday Agreement in
the coming discussions and that time was now short for the
DUP to commit to the power sharing institutions.

Mr McGuinness said:

"Sinn Féin are up for a real effort to get the Good Friday
Agreement political institutions put back in place before
the two governments November 24th deadline. Clearly there
are a number of scheduled meetings due to take place over
the coming weeks including what we are told will be an
intensive session of political talks in Scotland.

"The British Prime Minster is due to meet with Ian Paisley
in the coming days. Sinn Féin will be meeting with both the
Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister in advance of the
discussions in Scotland. If we are to maximise the
opportunity which I believe does exist then it is vital
that the British Prime Minister makes it clear to Ian
Paisley that the two governments are committed to standing
by the Good Friday Agreement during the next 10 week

"The two governments have made it clear that November 24th
is a real deadline. If that proves to be the case then time
is now short for the DUP to commit to the power sharing
institutions. The luxury afforded to the DUP for so long in
allowing the process to drift must now come to an end.

"Progress can undoubtedly be made between now and November
if the two governments demonstrate clearly that the basis
for moving forward is the basis laid out clearly in the
Good Friday Agreement. That must be the template for the
coming period." ENDS


Paisley Gloomy On Devolution Deal Hopes

13/09/2006 - 23:03:28

Ian Paisley dealt a heavy blow tonight to attempts to
strike a new devolution deal in the North.

After meeting British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Downing
Street, the Democratic Unionist leader warned the chances
of a settlement by the Government's November 24 deadline
were slim.

He also called for the abandonment of plans to hold a peace
summit in Scotland next month, branding it a waste of

With London and Dublin attempting to get the DUP and Sinn
Féin back into a power-sharing administration at Stormont,
Mr Paisley gave a gloomy assessment of the chances of
success this autumn.

He said: "I don't think so.

"In fact, we never mentioned it. There was no deadlines
mentioned, but I can't see it.''

With Mr Blair quitting within the next 12 months, the
November 24 deadline is increasingly being seen as the last
chance to revive the Northern Ireland Assembly before he

Mr Paisley conceded that the Prime Minister's focus could
be elsewhere as he prepares to stand down, even though he
stressed they could still do business.

"We have to be realistic that Mr Blair has a lot on his
plate at the present time,'' he said.

But the DUP chief was adamant that the plan to corral
Northern Ireland's political leaders in Scotland next month
would yield little success.

He insisted: "We shouldn't leave Northern Ireland for this

"We should all stay in Northern Ireland and do it there.

"I put this very forcefully to the Prime Minister. He said
he would take it on board.

"I feel it's a waste of money. Why spend all this money in
Scotland? Let's have it in Stormont.''


Special Branch Files Theft - Planned Systematic Cover-Up

Published: 13 September, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly has said
that the revelation in this mornings Irish News that the
RUC and PSNI have concealed and hidden over 1000 murder
files raised many serious issues. Mr Kelly said that it was
not enough to say that the files were missing, people
needed to know who stole them, when they were stolen, where
are they now and what was being done to retrieve them.

Mr. Kelly said:

"At the time the Historical Inquiries Team was established
by the British government we expressed reservations about
its ability to impartially investigate the past and in
particular investigate the hundreds of cases where the
British government either directly or indirectly through
their pseudo gangs carried out killings. The families of
those killed through policies like collusion have long
called for a public inquiry independent of the British
government to get to the truth on these issues.

"The revelation that the HET cannot even locate over 1000
case files will come as no surprise to nationalists who are
all to aware of the culture of concealment and cover-up
which exists at the heart of the Special Branch. But it is
not enough for the British government to say that files are
missing, people needed to know who stole them, when they
were stolen, where are they now and what is being done to
retrieve them.

"Late last year on a UTV Insight programme a former senior
member of Special Branch Eric Anderson admitted to stealing
case files and still having them in his possession. Indeed
he tried to sell the case file in relation to the murder of
Arlene Arkinson to the journalists working on the
programme. Despite this public admission the PSNI took no
action against Anderson or to retrieve any files he had
stolen. Given that this is the current PSNI policy we can
only assume that no efforts to retrieve any other missing
files either have been or will be made.

"The latest revelation about the extent of the cover-up and
the amount of files stolen raises very serious issues for
the British government and their attitude towards dealing
with the past. Thousands of missing files is not the work
of rogue individuals it is the outworking of a systematic
and planned effort to cover-up and conceal the involvement
of British State agencies, including the Special Branch, in
the murder of citizens. It can be seen in no other way."


O'Loan Rejects Police Leader's Fierce Criticism

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan has defended herself after a
fierce attack by the chairman of the North's Police
Federation, Irwin Montgomery, who said she did not enjoy
the confidence of the PSNI and that if she retires as
scheduled next year she should be replaced by a senior

"What is he afraid of?" responded Mrs O'Loan.

Mr Montgomery, head of the representative body for PSNI
officers, portrayed Mrs O'Loan as a publicity-seeking
official who had damaged police morale, who pressed ahead
with high profile damaging and "disastrous" cases against
police officers, and who should not be pursuing historic
cases from the period of alleged RUC misconduct.

He told the annual meeting of the federation yesterday that
after six years in office she had failed to secure the
confidence of the PSNI and that her seven-year tenure to
next year was too long.

Mr Montgomery in his key address at the La Mon Hotel in
east Belfast also warned against republican paramilitary
involvement in community restorative justice schemes. These
must be subject to police supervision, he said. "We cannot
put the foxes in charge of chicken coops."

But he reserved his strongest criticism for the Police
Ombudsman. He queried why she referred 170 cases that she
had investigated to the North's public prosecution service
last year when she recommended prosecution in only five of

Mrs O'Loan accused Mr Montgomery of expressing "concern for
the difficulties of police officers under investigation,
but no concern at all for members of the public under

She added: "More critically, he believes the person with
responsibility for public complaints against the police
should have far less time in office than police officers,
far less powers than the police, and in particular, far
less powers to look into incidents from the past than the
police. What he is afraid of?"

© The Irish Times


DUP MP Sparks Policing Row

A Democratic Unionist MP is at the centre of a furious new
policing row after claiming ex-terrorist prisoners could
join the ranks of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Gregory Campbell, MP for East Londonderry, appeared to
suggest anyone who showed complete contrition and denounced
all criminality may be considered to serve as officers.

His comments prompted Ian Paisley`s party to issue a
statement clarifying that it was opposed to former
paramilitaries joining the force.

But the Ulster Unionists, Sinn Fein and UVF-linked
Progressive Unionists all rounded on Mr Campbell.

Fred Cobain, a UUP member of the Policing Board, said he
was astounded and demanded to know if it included IRA
killers like Shankill Road bomber Sean Kelly.

Accusing Mr Campbell of a dramatic turnaround, the
Assemblyman said: "Our view used to be exactly the same as
the DUP, namely that if you had a criminal record you were
not allowed to get into the PSNI (Police Service of
Northern Ireland). End of story.

"If you take his views on board what you will end up with
is Provo policemen.

"People in my constituency of North Belfast will be asking
Gregory Campbell: `If Sean Kelly, a convicted IRA mass
murderer, were to become repentant - whatever that means -
he would be allowed to join the police and could eventually
end up policing the Shankill Road?` Is that the DUP`s new

Sinn Fein`s Philip McGuigan claimed the DUP were guilty of
double standards.

"Gregory Campbell, having for years opposed republican
involvement in policing, to the point that the DUP claimed
they would resign form the Policing Board if Sinn Fein were
involved, is now arguing for former unionist paramilitaries
within the ranks of the DUP to become serving members of
the PSNI.

"The hypocrisy is there for all to see.

"On this issue like almost every other issue involving
unionist paramilitary gangs the DUP are once again all over
the place, attempting to talk out of both sides of their

And PUP leader David Ervine, whose party is aligned to the
loyalist paramilitary UVF, insisted former prisoners had no
divine right to be considered for the PSNI.

He said: "The PUP totally refutes the suggestion that ex-
combatants should be involved in the police service.

"It recognises that the offspring of combatants should not
be punished for the perceived sins of their fathers.

"However, it believes fundamentally that there`s no
requirement for ex-prisoners to be involved in the police

The outcry came after Mr Campbell responded to questions
about whether former paramilitaries should be allowed to
serve in the force.

Stressing they must show no support for any form of crime,
he said: "They have to demonstrate that they are repentant
and they have to show that they do not advocate those sort
of activities.

"If so, they could then be considered, only if they
demonstrate that. If they don`t, they should not."

The party stressed that Mr Campbell`s comments were part of
a wide-ranging discussion and that he was not suggesting
vetting procedures should be weakened.

"Gregory Campbell is not advocating terrorists joining the
police force," a DUP source said.

A party statement also declared it has consistently
maintained those who refuse to support the police, the
courts and the rule of law cannot be involved in the
governance of Northern Ireland.

It added: "DUP policy in relation to policing is that there
can be no question of a two tier policing system,
particularly where terrorists, past or present are
attempting to establish their own systems of justice
through Community Restorative Justice schemes.

"We do not advocate or support the weakening of vetting
procedures for the Police Service of Northern Ireland and
the party does not support terrorist prisoners with
convictions for murder and other serious criminal offences
joining the police.

"Any view to portray our policy as different is mistaken."


DUP "All Over The Place" On The Issue Of Unionist Paramilitaries

Published: 13 September, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan
today said that the DUP were "all over the place on the
issue of unionist paramilitaries". Mr McGuigan's comments
came after DUP MP Gregory Campbell on today's BBC Nolan
Show argued that former unionist death squad members within
the DUP ranks should be allowed to join the PSNI.

Mr McGuigan said:

"On one hand the DUP have tried to create the myth that
they have no relationship whatever with unionist
paramilitaries. This of course flies in the face of all of
the evidence stretching over 30 years and more. The reality
is of course that the DUP have long had a relationship with
unionist paramilitaries and were publicly involved in the
formation of Ulster Resistance, an organisation which went
on to import tonnes of weapons to the six counties to
murder Catholics.

"The individual convicted of murdering my party colleague
Malachy Carey in Ballymoney in 1992, Gary Blair, is
currently a leading DUP figure in Ian Paisley's
constituency and has indeed led a campaign to see those
jailed for the LVF sectarian double murder in Poyntzpass
released. It has also recently emerged that former DUP
Councillor and Assembly member George Seawright was a
member of the UVF.

"This morning DUP MP Gregory Campbell having for years
opposed republican involvement in policing, to the point
that the DUP claimed they would resign form the Policing
Board if Sinn Féin were involved, is now arguing on BBC
radio for former unionist paramilitaries within the ranks
of the DUP to become serving members of the PSNI. The
hypocrisy is there for all to see.

"On this issue like almost every other issue involving
unionist paramilitary gangs the DUP are once again all over
the place, attempting to talk out of both sides of their
mouths." ENDS


Daily Ireland Closes, Blaming British Ad Boycott

By Dominic Ponsford

Thursday, 14 September 2006

Belfast-based newspaper, Daily Ireland, has failed in its
bid to establish itself as a pro-nationalist cross-border

Bosses of the paper claimed the British Government was
partly to blame for Daily Ireland's failure because it
refused to place advertising.

Ten journalists have lost their jobs following the sudden
closure on Friday.

Editor-in-chief Máirtin Ó Muilleoir said that the British
exchequer was the chief financial beneficiary of the
venture — he claimed that of the £3 million invested in
Daily Ireland since January 2005, £300,000 was paid in tax.

The final edition on 7 September ran to 44 pages with a
front page splash about Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
meeting the leaders of Hamas.

The sudden nature of the closure meant there was no
farewell, but the last editorial said: "For 475 editions
now, Daily Ireland has argued that the unification of
Ireland remains the most pressing issue of our time.

"For saying so, we have endured a government advertising
boycott in the North and brickbats from the great and the
good in the South."

Irish justice minister Michael McDowell claimed Daily
Ireland was biased in favour of the IRA — prompting the
paper to sue him for libel.

The launch of Daily Ireland prompted a frenetic period of
activity in the Belfast newspaper market last year — with
the publishers of the News Letter briefly publishing a
populist daily morning tabloid and evening paper The
Belfast Telegraph launching a tabloid morning edition.

Daily Ireland had a target circulation of 20,000 north and
south — but in the latest round of ABC figures it only
managed to reach an actively purchased sale of 8,736.

It was launched by the Andersonstown News Group which
continues to run a series of weekly newspapers in Belfast.

Ó Muilleoir said: "When Daily Ireland launched on 1
February 2005, we had a realistic expectation that we would
receive Invest NI start-up assistance. This was refused. We
also expected to receive government advertisements on the
same basis as the other local dailies.

"Instead, we were told we would have to receive an ABC
certificate of distribution — a stipulation which never
applied to any of the newspapers which were the
beneficiaries for many years of huge amounts of government
ad money.

"However, when we duly received our first — and very
encouraging — ABC certificate in July 2005 the government
then announced a review of its ad spending which was to
last nine months. During this crucial period in Daily
Ireland's development, we were the only local daily denied
job advertisements.

"When the review was completed it was announced that
government advertisements would be put out to tender for
the first time ever, but we were told we could not tender
on the basis of our group distribution figure.

"We have examined the implications of that decision and
have concluded that it means it will be impossible for us
to cover our costs going forward and so we have reluctantly
decided to cease publishing from Friday.

"We will leave it to others to decide for themselves why
the first-ever root-and-branch reform of the British
Government's multi-million annual advertising spend in the
North coincided with the arrival of Daily Ireland on the


Ex-Soldier Sentenced Over Rioting

A former soldier, caught on camera rioting in north
Belfast, has received a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Darren Stewart Cahoon, 37, from West Circular Road in
Belfast, was amongst a crowd of people who attacked police
lines last September.

Officers were pelted with bricks, bottles and other
missiles. Cahoon admitted the charges.

The disturbances broke out after the disputed Orange Order
Whiterock Parade was re-routed.

Judge Patrick Lynch QC told Cahoon: "This society has
enough troubles and the Police Service of Northern Ireland
has enough difficulties without it being exacerbated by

"They are the last people who need to be attacked by
persons of mature years who should know better."

Cahoon's sentence was suspended for three years.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/13 13:17:11 GMT


Opin: 9/11, Omagh... Who Really Grieves

By Walter Ellis
13 September 2006

I'm writing this piece on September 11. It's 19 minutes
past seven in the morning. Outside, I can hear helicopters
and police sirens. The President is in town and New Yorkers
are getting ready for the biggest act of remembrance in US
history since 2002.

Five years ago, passengers on American Airlines flight 11,
the first of the two aircraft that would crash into the
World Trade Center, were boarded and ready to go.

The hijackers were no doubt fastening their seatbelts for

Those booked onto the second aircraft, United Airlines 175,
were meanwhile gathered by the departure gate at Boston's
Logan airport, waiting to be called. They drank coffee,
bought newspapers or maybe just sat around yawning.

The hijackers would have been preoccupied. They had a lot
on their minds. But I doubt they forgot to read a verse or
two from the Holy Koran.

That was then. We all know what happened next. The world
changed. But today, five years on, we have to ask, has it
in any way changed for the better?

As you read these words, it is most likely September 13,
two days on from the day of remembrance. You know - which I
don't - how things went and what the President said and who
promised what on the never-ending War on Terror.

All I know is that none of it alters the facts.

Two realities strike me. The first is that New York is
divided into those, few in number, who regard 9/11 as the
most sacred day in the calendar, and those, growing in
numbers by the day, who weren't here on the day it happened
and only know about it because of TV and the internet.

The second reality is that because of the terror unleashed
that day, resulting in nearly 3,000 deaths, America
declared Jihad on its enemies across the world.
Afghanistan, the heartland of Al Qaida, was occupied, but
not subjugated. Then Iraq, a country that had nothing to do
with the terrorist attacks, was invaded.

In both cases, nothing worthwhile was achieved. Afghanistan
- as British forces have cause to know - remains a hotbed
of resistance. The Taliban are back with a vengeance and
winning support throughout the country. At the same time,
Iraq has become chaotic and ungovernable - a perfect storm
of civil unrest, in which some 150,000 people have perished
since 2003.

If the cause was tragic, what about the effect? And when
and how will it all end?

I have no answers to these questions. If I did, I would be
a multi-millionaire consultant in Washington. More to the
point, nobody has the answers. Nobody. The war has achieved
its own terrible momentum, without rhyme or reason, and
those in charge blunder on, waiting for the day when they
can pass on the baton to a new Administration.

But back to that first reality. I have written before about
the 'families' - the wives, husbands, brothers, sisters,
sons, daughters and cousins of those who died on 9/11.

There are thousands of family members, and for them New
York is a mausoleum, a living monument to their loved ones,
and should remain so, possibly forever. On Monday, the
names of those killed were due to be read out at a ceremony
at the Ground Zero site, but I can't help feeling that the
same list is recycled endlessly in the heads of the
families. For them, the world has stood still since that
day, five years ago, when the terrorists struck.

But then there is a second group of New Yorkers who weren't
around for 9/11. I don't mean children five years old and
younger; I mean the hundreds of thousands of new arrivals
into the city from all over the world.

New York changes by the day. Hispanics stumble, exhausted,
off coaches from Texas and points south; immigrants land at
JFK from as far away as Eastern Europe, Russia and India.

Here in Brooklyn Heights, we are having our kitchen
renovated - a task that is likely to last a month or more.

The two men from Mexico who removed our old cabinets and
took away our mouldering appliances were living in Los
Angeles in 2001, having recently crossed the border into
the United States.

The two electricians who should arrive any moment now are
from Poland and Serbia. They were still living in Warsaw
and Belgrade when the Twin Towers fell.

For them, the sense of connection is not there. They can
empathise, in the way that perhaps you, in Belfast, or
Derry, or Portadown, can empathise. But they weren't here;
they didn't actually experience the horror.

It must be the same, on an infinitely smaller scale, in,
say, Omagh, or Greysteel, or the Shankill Road. Omagh's
outward scars are almost entirely gone. For the families of
the 29 people killed by the Real IRA bomb, the pain
continues to be deeply felt, but already a new generation
is growing up for whom the outrage is merely a part of an
unknown and unknowable past.

The memorial to the victims will always command respect,
just as memorials to the dead of the two world wars command
respect. But it is only families and friends who harbour
the actual grief.

This is how it should be - how it must be. Life has to go
on, and that means looking to the future more than to the
past. It is one thing to demand justice.

That seems an absolute right. But to pretend that the
future can only be determined by reference to the worst of
the past leads invariably to a dead end.

America's War on Terror seems to me such a dead end.
President George W Bush appears still to believe, against
all the evidence, that he can somehow extirpate terrorism
and remove his country's enemies from the face of the

It does not occur to him that new enemies will always arise
so long as they continue to believe they have a cause worth
dying for.

In Northern Ireland, we have at least begun to learn that
lesson. There is talk, I believe, of a central memorial to
the dead of the Troubles, which is right and proper. But,
in spite of the inanities of the Orange Order and the
Blanket Men, there is no deep-seated cult of commemoration.

To that extent, we have begun to liberate ourselves.

It is the same, apparently, in Serbia, where my electrician
friend, who has just turned up, says that the fifth
anniversary of the Nato bombing of Belgrade was marked on
page three of the newspapers.

But in America, the old Irish adage, to hell with the
future, let's get on with the past, has acquired a
dangerous potency. Bush's War on Terror has become an
obsession, with no end in sight.

It is one thing to be vigilant and look after your
citizens, it is something else when that struggle for
security takes on the qualities of Jihad.

So let us read the names of the dead, and then let them
rest in peace.


Republican Leader Honour Proposal

Proposals for a path through The Meadows in Edinburgh to be
named after a controversial Irish Republican leader have
been lodged with planners.

The James Connolly Society wants one of the unnamed
walkways in the city beauty spot to be named after the
Edinburgh-born political figure.

Connolly was executed for his part in the Easter Rising
against British rule in 1916.

The society hopes a decision will be made by the end of the

Jim Slaven, spokesman for the James Connolly Society in
Edinburgh, said: "There are several paths in The Meadows
which have no name. We want to keep the memory of James
Connolly alive in the city of his birth with a fitting
tribute to him.

"I do recognise that any political figure is contentious
and causes some controversy but most people recognise that
we are moving out of conflict in Ireland.

"We are at an historic point in the Irish peace process and
a tribute such as this would give a good signal to new
immigrants coming to Edinburgh.

"We want an inclusive society and we are optimistic that
these plans will be welcomed."

A city council spokeswoman said the plans had been lodged.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/13 17:18:57 GMT

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