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September 24, 2006

Parade is Peaceful

News About Ireland & The Irish

SL 09/24/06 Parade Is Peaceful
BB 09/24/06 Councillor's Home Petrol Bombed
SL 09/24/06 Rev Harold Good: Farewell To Arms - A Year On
GU 09/24/06 Banned UDA Pleads To Win Legal Status
BB 09/24/06 Empey: Sinn Fein Must 'Endorse Policing'
NH 09/24/06 Veteran IRA Man Resigns From Army Council
TO 09/24/06 Don’t Believe Ballad, Pleads Descendant Of Athenry Villain


Parade Is Peaceful

By Sinead McCavana
24 September 2006

A Contentious Orange parade in Portadown passed off
peacefully last night.

Around 500 Orangemen and 75 bandsmen walked from the centre
of Portadown to Drumcree Church.

The parade, lead by three bands, was held to mark 3,000
days since the Orange Order was banned from walking through
a mainly nationalist area.

A few dozen local residents stood quietly outside the
Catholic church at the bottom of the Garvaghy Road and
watched the marchers pass.

A Parades Commission ruling limiting participants to 1,000
appeared to have been complied with.

The determination by the commission was made after the High
Court in Belfast ordered it to reconsider its decision not
to restrict the procession.

Upper Bann DUP MP David Simpson gave the keynote speech to
Orangemen from a lorry parked at the bottom of the hill
below Drumcree Church.

Sinn Fein's Assemblyman for the area, John O'Dowd, said he
was pleased there had been no violence.

Orangemen have been trying since 1998 to parade down the
Garvaghy Road. The dispute exploded into violence in the
early years but has since featured scaled-down security

Last night there were around a dozen police vehicles at
flashpoints along the route.

But the PSNI kept their distance from where the crowd had
gathered near Drumcree Church to hear the speeches.

? Trouble flared in south Belfast between rival football
fans after Linfield were defeated by Cliftonville at
Windsor Park. Police closed off part of the M1 motorway for
a short period. One man was arrested for public order


Councillor's Home Petrol Bombed

The home of a Londonderry SDLP councillor has been targeted
in a petrol bomb attack.

One device was thrown at the back wall of Pat Ramsey's home
at Meenan Drive just before 2200 BST on Saturday.

Earlier, in the same area, two vehicles were hijacked and
set alight. It is 15th such incident at Mr Ramsey's home in
the Bogside area of Derry.

Mr Ramsey was not at home at the time, but his daughter was
and she said it was a terrifying ordeal.

He said he was reviewing whether he would remain in his

Mr Ramsey said his family were at their "wits end dealing
with ongoing attacks".

"We are just sick, sore and tired of these endless attacks
on our home and on our family."

He added: "I fear that if these attacks do not stop here
and now then it will result in the loss of life of my loved

"Last night's attack could have claimed a life. How much
more do we have to take before the stupid and reckless
people responsible come to their senses?"

SDLP Leader Mark Durkan MP MLA has strongly condemned the
latest attack on the home of his party colleague Pat

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the latest attack was
"despicable and disgusting".

"This was no mere hoax, but a determined effort to do as
much harm as possible to Pat's home and family," he said.

In July, Army experts carried out a controlled explosion on
a suspect device at his home.

The police described it as an elaborate hoax and they
suspected dissident republicans were responsible.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/24 10:34:03 GMT


Farewell To Arms ... A Year On

By The Rev Harold Good
24 September 2006

On Tuesday, it will be 12 months to the day since - as
independent clerical witnesses - Fr Alec Reid and I were
called upon to verify the statement on IRA decommissioning.

That statement had been given by General John de Chastelain
in the name and with the authority of the Independent
Monitoring Commission on decommissioning.

In front of the world's Press I personally stated that:
"The experience of seeing this with our own eyes, on a
minute-by-minute basis, provided us with evidence so clear
and of its nature so incontrovertible that, at the end of
the process, it demonstrated to us, and would have
demonstrated to anyone who might have been with us, that
beyond any shadow of doubt, the arms of the IRA have now
been decommissioned."

I went on to say: ". . . the decommissioning of the arms of
the IRA is now an accomplished fact."

At that time I was very much aware of those who had genuine
doubts as well as those who, for their own predictable and
political reasons, sought to undermine the validity of our

However, all of that was totally eclipsed by the
overwhelming amount of appreciation and affirmation from
across our divided community.

Since that time not one IRA bullet has been fired, and
there is growing confidence in what we declared to be a
fact, even by those who expressed misgivings at the time.

In last week's edition of this newspaper, Peter Robinson
stated: "By any reckoning, substantial decommissioning has
occurred, as well as the most positive ever IRA statement.

"The IMC has confirmed that very significant advances have
been made on the issues of paramilitary and criminal
activity by the IRA."

In interviews at the time, I said that I was persuaded by
what I heard as much as by what I saw in terms of the
intent of those I met during the process of

While I am in no way an apologist for the IRA, I do know
that in any process of conflict resolution there needs to
be acknowledgement of positive steps taken by either party
by the other.

This is why a recent Belfast Telegraph interview with the
leadership of the UVF is also important.

In their own words, they made it clear that, as far as they
are concerned, "the Provo war is finished" and, in their
threat assessment of the IRA, there is neither the will nor
the inclination to return to violence.

From these comments it would appear that the leadership of
this loyalist organisation will put no obstacle in the way
of a deal between the DUP and Sinn Fein - a far cry from
the dark days of 1974 and the Ulster Workers' Strike.

In that act of decommissioning there was the removal of a
giant-sized roadblock.

It is now the responsibility of all parties to pursue the
removal of whatever obstacles may yet stand in the way of
political progress and the restoration of a devolved and
democratically elected Assembly at Stormont.

The most obvious remaining obstacle to this taking place is
the issue of policing.

We have every right to ask of those in whose gift it is to
say and do whatever must yet be done to give all of the
protagonists in that debate good reason for confidence that
this issue will be resolved, and that no more undeclared
obstacles will be rolled on to the path.

As we all know from our personal experiences, no human
relationship can survive without 'compromise'.

For those who may have difficulty with this word, it may be
helpful to recognise that it shares the same root meaning
as the word 'accommodate'.

In everyday parlance, this means 'making space', which is
exactly what we must do if we are to share this piece of
soil with each other.

Speaking of difficulties with which we too are familiar, it
was a key player in a peace process in another place of
conflict who said: "Remember, this is about giving all
parties to the conflict an opportunity to share in a new
beginning, whether you think they deserve it or not."

As a preacher and as a pastor, I can think of no better
definition of the great Biblical word 'grace'.

An amazing word of which we hear and speak a great deal,
but now must put into practice.


Banned UDA Pleads To Win Legal Status

Loyalist terror group insists it will be non-violent but
refuses to lift death sentence on ex-leader

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday September 24, 2006
The Observer

The Ulster Defence Association wants to be made legal again
to help it move from paramilitarism to community politics,
its leadership has told The Observer

However, the largest loyalist terrorist group, which says
it is committed to the peace process, has also warned that
it will shoot former commander Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair on
sight if he returns to Northern Ireland. Adair is in exile
in Scotland and under a death sentence after his expulsion
from the UDA three years ago.

In an interview with The Observer, the UDA's leadership
said legalisation would help it transform into a non-
violent community-based organisation, and they ruled out

Two of its leaders, speaking on behalf of the UDA 'Inner
Council', the loyalist movement's supreme body, also
condemned death threats by loyalist dissidents against
senior Irish civil servant Aine de Baroid, blaming them on
a group of ex-UDA members based around Antrim town.

On rumours about possible UDA disbandment, they said: 'In
its last report the International Monitoring Commission
[the body that adjudicates on loyalist and IRA ceasefires]
said that the IRA was behaving itself because its
structures remained in place. By the IRA being there
intact, it could keep discipline in its ranks. The IMC
accepted this.'

The UDA was a legal organisation until 1992 even though for
20 years it was deeply embroiled in sectarian murder,
arson, extortion and blackmail. Under pressure from
nationalists and the Irish government, Sir Patrick Mayhew,
the then Northern Ireland Secretary, outlawed the

In their first major interview since the UDA routed a rebel
faction in north Belfast led by jailed brothers Andre and
Ihab Shoukri this summer, the organisation's leaders
admitted that not all its six so-called 'Brigades' were
behind the new departure. 'Five out of the six Brigades are
entirely behind the leadership in the way forward. Only
one, south-east Antrim, is not. That's because some of them
chose to believe that the Shoukris were not deeply involved
in crime with which they lined their own pockets.'

The loyalist leaders said the only thing that united the
south-east Antrim Brigade with others loyal to the UDA's
command was a determination to prevent Adair returning.

'If Adair comes back it will be for good, he will remain in
Northern Ireland permanently but he will be 6ft under."
They said he would 'never be forgiven' for ordering the
murder of John 'Grugg' Gregg, shot dead during 'Mad Dog's'
foiled bid to seize absolute control of the UDA in early

The UDA said it refused to accept that Adair's death
sentence was a breach of its ceasefire or made a mockery of
protestations that it wanted an end to paramilitarism.
'What can we do? Allow people like him and others like the
Shoukris to drag us back into the gutter again?'

With the 24 November deadline on all-party talks looming,
the UDA said it supported moves to restore power sharing.
'We understand how a lot of unionist victims feel about
Sinn Fein and the IRA... but we have to create the
conditions where there are no future victims. We have to
move on because if we keep going back to the past it will
just fester.'

However, the negotiations that begin next month are
unlikely to receive a boost from the UDA. Its leadership
said it was not disarming at this stage or winding up its
dormant assassination teams, who operated as the Ulster
Freedom Fighters. 'There are dissident republicans out
there that still pose a threat to the loyalist community.
Once that threat is gone loyalists would be only too happy
to see the UFF disbanded and the UDA transformed into
another mode.'

Johnny Adair said last night: 'They won't stop me from
going back to Northern Ireland when I choose to. None of
them in the leadership fought the "war" and they don't have
the guts to go after me themselves.'

Adair called on his estranged comrades to disband now.
'Never mind all this talk about legalisation, they should
wind up the UDA now. There is peace in Northern Ireland.
The IRA war is over and the Union is safe. There is no need
for a UDA.'


Sinn Fein Must 'Endorse Policing'

It is time for Sinn Fein to sign up to policing, the UUP
leader has said.

Speaking on the BBC's Politics show, Sir Reg Empey said
unionists had nothing more to give on the issue so the ball
was "in Sinn Fein's court".

However, Sinn Fein's Mitchel McLaughlin said policing would
only be acceptable if certain conditions were met.

"We have to have local control so that people can be
satisfied that the threshold for a new beginning to
policing has been achieved."

He added: "There is no mission - absolutely none - if you
are arguing on the basis of power being retained at
Westminster and MI5 in charge of intelligence."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/24 16:52:38 GMT


Veteran IRA Man Resigns From Army Council

(by Suzanne Breen, Sunday Tribune)

A veteran IRA member has resigned from the Army Council,
accusing the Sinn Féin leadership of "undemocratically"
controlling the organisation, according to republican

Former H-Block hunger-striker, Bernard Fox complained that
Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, who left the Army
Council last year, were effectively running it from behind-
the-scenes, the sources said.

Fox could not be contacted for comment. Sources told the
Sunday Tribune he had a "blazing row" with McGuinness
before he resigned. Fox, 55, joined the IRA at 18 and is
extremely popular with grassroots.

Meanwhile, two South Derry Sinn Féin councillors, including
the brother of IRA hunger-striker Francis Hughes, have
resigned. Patsy Groogan and Oliver Hughes are said to have
had serious disagreements with the leadership.

Martin McGuinness, who has previously denied that serious
splits exist in the area, described the resignations as
"most unfortunate". The IRA's entire South Derry brigade
recently resigned. The latest resignations will be an
enormous blow to Sinn Féin locally.

Sources said Bernard Fox's resignation is significant
because he is from West Belfast. Until now, most opposition
has come from rural areas. Belfast, and in particular the
west of the city, has been a leadership stronghold.

Fox has not linked up with dissident groups. He has been
imprisoned on four occasions, serving 22 years in jail. He
joined the Army Council last year, replacing Brian Keenan
who was then ill with cancer.

At the same time, Adams, McGuinness and Martin Ferris
resigned their Army Council seats in an attempt to publicly
distance Sinn Féin from the IRA.

However, Adams and McGuinness continued to exercise power
on the Army Council despite their formal departure. One
republican said Fox had protested strongly about "a council
within a council."

The source described Fox as "one of the most genuine
republicans you could meet" and said his resignation was a
big loss to the IRA.

"Bernard is a man of integrity. He was always highly
thought of within the jails and by ordinary volunteers. He
isn't into money or power and he was never ambitious. No
matter how often they were put in jail, people like Bernard
went out time and time again for the IRA at great cost to
their family life."

One source said Brian Keenan had visited Fox's home to try
to talk him out of resignation. The IRA had since taken
Fox's 'staff' car from him, much to the annoyance of some
activists. However, another source said he wouldn't be
surprised if the internal row was resolved.

A former apprentice coach-builder from the Falls Road, in
2001 the DUP's Peter Robinson named Fox in the Assembly as
the IRA's director of engineering.

September 24, 2006

This article appeared in the September 24, 2006 edition of
the Sunday Tribune.


Don’t Believe The Ballad, Pleads Descendant Of Athenry ‘Villain’

Jan Battles

HIS reputation as a heartless monster who was unfeeling to
the suffering of the Irish during the Great Famine was
immortalised in The Fields of Athenry.

But now a descendant of Charles Edward Trevelyan, a British
official responsible for Ireland from 1845-49, argues that
history, and Ireland’s most famous ballad, have treated him

Laura Trevelyan, the BBC’s United Nations correspondent,
says her great-great-great grandfather, a Treasury official
who oversaw relief operations in Ireland, has been
demonised and that he was really a “man of compassion” who
was moved by the horror of the famine.

“He carried out this appallingly difficult task
meticulously, but, as his many detractors would have it,
without much sympathy or compassion for the suffering of
the Irish,” she said.

In her book, A Very British Family: The Trevelyans and
Their World, she complains the name Trevelyan has become
“shorthand for the genocide of the Irish at the hands of
the English”.

The reporter was inspired to find out more about her
forebear’s background following an incident at a Department
of Foreign Affairs dinner in Dublin. The journalist was
sitting next to Sean O’Huiginn, the diplomat in charge of
Anglo-Irish policy. When she revealed her relationship to
Trevelyan, somebody across the room started to sing The
Fields of Athenry, a ballad inspired by his cruelty.

“It was a bit eerie, because everyone then went quiet and I
felt 150 years was actually not that long ago and this
connection was alive and well in Ireland,” she recalls.

On another occasion, she was at a graveyard in south Armagh
where one of the hunger strikers was buried. A woman from
Republican Sinn Fein who she was interviewing said: “How
can you drive around south Armagh as casual as can be with
the blood of the Irish on your hands?” This prompted her to
find out more about her ancestor. “I needed to have
something to say apart from just looking really
embarrassed,” she said.

“I started to read about the famine and realised what a
demonic character he was, which was quite shocking to me,
the fact that some people do hold him responsible for the
stinginess of the famine relief. Then I discovered there
are two sides to the story. Revisionist historians have
taken the view he was just an official carrying out the
policy of the day.”

Trevelyan, who was taught economics by the Reverend Thomas
Malthus, was a devotee of his teacher’s theory that the
world can support only a certain population. He regarded
the famine as a natural means of controlling excessive

American corn sent by Robert Peel, the British prime
minister, to be sold cheaply — not handed out — to the
starving Irish was locked in silos by Trevelyan. It was
this that inspired The Fields of Athenry, the story of a
man imprisoned and sent to Botany Bay for stealing
“Trevelyan’s corn” for his starving family.

Trevelyan says early famine historians quoted selectively
from her ancestor’s papers to create the impression he was
a providentialist who believed it was the will of God that
the Irish should die.

She claims a closer reading of his papers shows the
situation was not so simple, citing letters where he writes
that “the people must not be allowed to starve”. He did not
take family holidays and often went into the office at 3am.
She also says the “heartless image” of him does not sit
comfortably with his donation of £25 to the British
Association, a private relief body.

“He saw the famine as an opportunity for land reform in
Ireland — admittedly one sent by God — but that is not the
same as believing it was God’s will that the Irish should
die,” she says.

“He worked incredibly hard at the policy of letting the
market play its role in relief, wrong-headed and brutal as
it may seem by today’s standards. It was certainly not his
desire that anybody should die.

“He wanted to relieve the distress, but he was doing it in
a way that had been set out by the government of the day. I
don’t believe he was a providentialist who thought the
Irish deserved to die because they had a one-crop economy.”

But Trevelyan’s account of her ancestor has been described
by a famine expert as “clearly biased”. Christine Kinealy
author of This Great Calamity: Irish Famine 1845-52, said
the civil servant’s writing revealed a deep-rooted belief
that Irish people were not worthy of being saved.

“His personal papers and those of his contemporaries (even
political sympathisers) reveal him to be arrogant and
distant from the suffering of the Irish,” said Kinealy. “If
he was honest, hard-working and thorough, does this excuse
him for lacking sympathy, empathy and insight?” As
Trevelyan was a civil servant in the Treasury, his concern
inevitably lay in balancing the books rather than saving
lives, according to Kinealy.

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