News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

October 27, 2006

Allegation of MI6 Operating in Republic Deserves Response

News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 10/27/06 MI6 Allegations Deserve Response - Mitchell
SF 10/27/06 Popular Opinion Essential In Demand For Return Of Assembly
UT 10/27/06 DUP Will Not Be Rushed Into Deal
BT 10/27/06 Ulster Needs Parades Body For Forseeable Future: Poole
DJ 10/27/06 Set Date For Bloody Sunday Inquiry Report Call
RC 10/27/06 Priests Pledge To Speak Out For Undocumented Immigrants
NH 10/27/06 Anti-Social Tail End Will Wag The Sinn Féin Dog
BB 10/27/06 Nine Years For Loyalist Blackmail
BB 10/27/06 Ex-INLA Man's Son On Bomb Charges
NH 10/27/06 Opin: Commission Can Feel Justly Proud
IN 10/27/06 Drugs Haul Handed On To Police
IT 10/27/06 Irishmen Unearth 'Brass In Muck' For US Burials
SF 10/27/06 Adams Welcomes Ministers Support For Conway Mill Project
NW 10/27/06 SF's M McGuinness Visits Toronto (Oct28) & Halifax (Oct27)
MM 10/27/06 E McGuire: Life Of Undercover IRA Activist –William Hughes

(Poster’s Note: I will be out of pocket (aka away from the computer)
for a good portion of this weekend. I will post news when I can. It is
a bank holiday weekend in the Republic, so maybe the news will be slow this
weekend. For you USA types who are on DST, don’t forget to FALL BACK on
Saturday night!! Jay)


MI6 Allegations Deserve Response - Mitchell

Allegations that Britain's Secret Intelligence Service,
known as MI6, is operating in the Republic deserve a more
"forthright" response from the Minister for Justice, a Fine
Gael TD has said.

Gay Mitchell said he would again raise the issue in the
Dáil after he received a written reply to a question to Mr
McDowell earlier this week about the alleged activities of

Referring to a radio interview with Sinn Féin president
Gerry Adams earlier this week, Mr Mitchell asked the
Minister if he shared the concerns about alleged MI6

In an interview on RTE's Morning Ireland on Sinn Féin's
position on policing in the North, Mr Adams mentioned
"concerns about the role of MI6 in the South" but was not
further questioned on that specific issue.

Mr McDowell's written reply to Mr Mitchell said he had
examined a transcript of that radio interview.

"However, it is not clear what, if any, allegations are
being made. Accordingly, I am not in a position to make any
substantive response," he said.

In a statement today, Mr Mitchell said the allegation
"clearly is that MI6 is active in the Republic".

"An allegation that a foreign security service is actively
working in the Republic, made by an elected member of the
UK Parliament, deserves a more forthright response," he

"The Minister could have replied that he is not aware of
activities of MI6 in the Republic. The reply he gave adds
mystery to a matter that he should have cleared up. I will
raise this issue again in the Dáil."

MI6 is involved in worldwide secret intelligence gathering
on issues such as terrorism, weapons proliferation and
illegal drugs.

According to its website, MI6 operates world-wide to
collect secret foreign intelligence in support of the
British Government's policies and objectives.

MI5, the British Security Service, which is responsible for
protecting Britain against threats to its national
security, is currently building a new headquarters outside

The recent St Andrews agreement unveiled by Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern and British Prime minister Tony Blair outlined
arrangements being put in place for the handling of
national security intelligence and the necessary
"accountability measures" that will be in place once "lead
responsibility" passes to MI5 late next year.

© The Irish Times/


Mobilisation Of Popular Opinion Essential In Demand For Return Of Assembly

Published: 27 October, 2006

Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin MLA has said
that the mobilisation of civic society and popular opinion
is essential in the run up to the November deadlines for
the return of the Assembly, power-sharing Executive and
all-Ireland institutions so that local politicians can make
the decisions on key issues such as Water Charges.

His comments came after 16 organisations including the Help
the Aged and the Ulster Farmers Union urged local
politicians to ensure that it is the Assembly and not
direct-rule Ministers that decides on how we manage and pay
for our water after the Consumer Council met with the
Stormont 'Preparation for Government' committee.

The Preparation for Government Committee also unanimously
passed a motion calling for the deferment of the Water
Charges legislation and Sinn Féin specifically inserted the
demand for the publication of the negotiations between
Peter Hain and the British Treasury in 2005 that paved the
way for the current legislation.

Commenting on the letter Mr McLaughlin said:

"Martin McGuinness met with Peter Hain on October 17th at
urged him to take the legislation on Water Charges off the
table. We also made it clear that it should be locally
accountable politicians that deal with the highly sensitive
issue of Water Charges. However, Sinn Féin are very
concerned that this legislation will still be progressed as
an Order in Council.

"It is welcome that the economic sub-committee unanimously
agreed to a resolution calling for the deferment of this
legislation including the specific Sinn Féin demand for the
publication of details of the 2005 deal between Peter Hain
and the British Treasury.

"Sinn Féin believe that the voice of civic society and
popular opinion is essential in the run up to the deadline
for the return of the institutions and welcome the
mobilisation of a range of organisations and groups around
not just the issue of water charges but also the demand
that local politicians ensure that the institutions are
back up and running before the November deadlines." ENDS

Note to Editors

The Consumer Council met the Preparation for Government
Committee at Stormont and presented the committee with a
letter calling for local politicians to take the decision
on Water Charges from a range of business, voluntary,
trades union and environmental organisations signed by:

The Consumer Council
Advice NI
Age Concern
Citizens Advice NI
Friends of the Earth
Help the Aged
NI Environmental Link
Voluntary Service Bureau
Confederation of British Industry
Federation of Small Business
Institute of Directors
NI Chamber of Commerce
Ulster Farmers Union


DUP Will Not Be Rushed Into Deal

The Democratic Unionist Party will not be rushed into
accepting a deal which falls short of a fair one for
unionists, according to a senior member.

By:Press Association

Nor will the party be bounced into government with Sinn
Fein by any deadline set by the British and Irish
governments, Nigel Dodds warned.

As his party published a four-page paper on the two
governments` St Andrews proposals for achieving devolution,
Mr Dodds insisted there were still issues which needed to
be addressed before the DUP could say on November 10 it was
accepting or rejecting the deal.

"St Andrews was an agreement between the Government and
their counterparts from the Irish Republic," the North
Belfast MP reminded supporters.

"It belongs to no-one else.

"Unionists have waited a long time for a fair deal, down
through the disastrous years following the Anglo-Irish
Agreement and the Belfast Agreement.

"The DUP will ensure that any eventual settlement arrived
at is the right one.

"We will not be rushed into accepting any package that
falls short of our requirements."

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern have
given Northern Ireland`s politicians until November 10 to
state whether they accept the St Andrews proposals as a
basis for resuming power sharing in Northern Ireland.

Mr Dodds said the DUP was happy with parts of the St
Andrews Agreement.

However the former Stormont social development minister,
whose party has held a series of internal meetings across
Northern Ireland this week to discuss the proposals, said
there were other elements they disapproved of.

He added: "There are also a number of other matters that we
believe any fair and credible deal must contain and which
are not there at present."

Mr Dodds said overall no-one could deny the St Andrews
package represented a significant advance for unionism
compared with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

This was especially true, he said, on the issue of policing
where unionists now had a veto on the transfer of policing
and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont.

The North Belfast MP also said it was clear any party
seeking to serve in a power sharing government must support
the rule of law and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Nevertheless, Mr Dodds insisted while major progress had
been made on this and other fronts, there was still more
work to be done.

"We will not judge any settlement simply by whether it is a
fairer deal than 1998, but whether it genuinely represents
a `fair deal` for unionism," he said.

"Even if all the major elements of a fair deal are in
place, our position on Sinn Fein`s fitness for office
remains unchanged and unchanging.

"It will require a complete end to paramilitary and
criminal activity, support for the police and all the other
requirements of being committed to exclusively peaceful and
democratic means.

"All of this has to be delivered and tested over time.

"Entry to government for any party depends on the
conditions being met - not on any arbitrary date set by
government whether it be November 10, March 26 or any other

"Our position on that critical matter remains the same
today as it was previously."

Today`s four-page DUP document was interpreted as being
largely positive about the St Andrews Agreement.

The insert compared the St Andrews proposals favourably
with the Good Friday Agreement.

While insisting there are still some issues to be addressed
in negotiations, the document also spelt out the
consequences of a rejecting the two governments` proposals.

These included:

:: No devolution in Northern Ireland for years to come.

:: There would be no control over issues like water
charging or the reform of the rating system or the end of
academic selection.

:: A greater role for Dublin in the affairs of Northern

:: While there would be no power sharing government
featuring Sinn Fein if the deal is rejected, Gerry Adams
could have an input into the government of the Irish
Republic where it contests elections.

:: A Labour Government could determine policy in Northern
Ireland without any local input.

The document also encouraged unionist voters to study the
St Andrews package and send the DUP their responses.

As his and other parties continued to deliberate over the
proposals, Sinn Fein general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin
called for a mobilisation of civic society and popular
opinion to secure a return to power sharing.

The Foyle Assembly member issued his call after 16
business, community and voluntary organisations and trade
unions wrote to MLAs urging them to ensure the Assembly and
not Northern Ireland Office ministers decide how water
services in the province will be funded.

"Martin McGuinness met with Peter Hain on October 17 at
urged him to take the legislation on water charges off the
table," he revealed.

"We also made it clear that it should be locally
accountable politicians that deal with the highly sensitive
issue of water charges.

"However, Sinn Fein are very concerned that this
legislation will still be progressed as an Order in

"It is welcome that the (Stormont Programme for Government)
economic sub-committee unanimously agreed to a resolution
calling for the deferment of this legislation including the
specific Sinn Fein demand for the publication of details of
the 2005 deal between Peter Hain and the British Treasury.

"Sinn Fein believe that the voice of civic society and
popular opinion is essential in the run up to the deadline
for the return of the institutions.

"We welcome the mobilisation of a range of organisations
and groups around not just the issue of water charges but
also the demand that local politicians ensure that the
institutions are back up and running before the November

The letter calling for Stormont politicians to take the
decision on water charges was signed by the Consumer
Council, Advice NI, Age Concern, Citizens Advice NI,
Friends of the Earth, Help the Aged, the Northern Ireland
Council for Voluntary Action, NI Environmental Link, the
Northern Ireland Local Government Association, the
Voluntary Service Bureau, the Confederation of British
Industry, the Federation of Small Business, the Institute
of Directors, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce, the
Irish Congress of Trades Unions and the Ulster Farmers


Ulster Needs Parades Body For Forseeable Future: Poole

New marching review is imminent

By Chris Thornton
27 October 2006

Northern Ireland will need the Parades Commission for the
foreseeable future, the body's chairman has said as the
Government gears up for another review of parading.

Roger Poole indicated that the review promised to the DUP
by Peter Hain could not afford to scrap the Commission -
especially in light of the progress made at this year's
marching season, which was the least violent for years.

"If you got rid of the Parades Commission tomorrow, you'd
have to reinvent the Parades Commission the day after," he

And he praised the "outstanding" contribution of former
Orange leader David Burrows to the Commission, whose
appointment was embroiled in criticism and a court case
earlier this year. He said some criticism of his
appointment, including reporting in this newspaper, was

Earlier this week Mr Poole launched a publication outlining
the Commission's "forward view" for parading, reinforcing
their view that "only dialogue will lead to the resolution
of contentious prades". He also repeated that his goal is
to put the Commission out of business - looking forward to
a day when there are no disputes around parades.

But in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Poole
indicated that such a day is not on the horizon.

His remarks come as the Secretary of State announced a new
review of parading immediately before the St Andrews talks,
along with reports that the Prime Minister talked to the
DUP about replacing the Commission during those talks.

Mr Poole says that when he took up his appointment in
January, Mr Hain asked him to aim for a day when the
Commission would no longer be needed, but added that day is
"a way down the line yet".

"Northern Ireland is not in a position yet where you can do
without the Parades Commission," he said.

"Somebody has got to take responsibility for these
difficult things. The police won't do it and shouldn't do
it. The Secretary of State can't do it. Local politicians
can't do it because they'd be seen as biased in one way or
another on these issues, so Parliament has decided you'll
have the Parades Commission to do it. And we're now having
some success. Therefore the Parades Commission is here for
a bit.

"I think the people of Northern Ireland would be horrified,
quite frankly, if anybody suggested the Commission should
be wound up tomorrow morning.

"But at the point at which the Parades Commission no longer
has to issue any determinations because there's
understandings reached, I think that the Government could
think about winding the Commission up."

Mr Poole says the reduction of violence this year around
contentious parades like Whiterock and Ardoyne shows that
the Commission's push for dialogue is working.

"There's more understanding that the Commission is right -
dialogue in the way forward, and if these two communities
sit down and seriously talk to each other then there is
progress," he said.

The chairman said the new Commission could have done
without the row over Mr Hain's Orange appointments earlier
this year - a row that saw the resignation of Portadown
Orangeman Don Mackay, the removal of Mr Burrows by the High
Court and his reinstatement by the Court of Appeal.

"I wish we hadn't had it," said Mr Poole. "There we were, a
new Commission coming together trying to get to grips
around the table and we had to deal with all those
problems. And people like you kept going on and on about it
- I understand why you did, I have no complaint about it.
But we're past it, that's yesterday's newspaper story."

He said Allison Scott-McKinley, who has registered a family
relationship with members of the Order, "doesn't have an
Orange perspective at all. Allison's got no connection with
the Orange Order at all".

Mr Burrows, he said, "has been outstanding because he helps
us to understand things we'd find more difficult to

"We've got green on the Commission," he said, a reference
to the membership of former SDLP MP Joe Hendron. "We've got
a clear understanding of green processes. Having David has
been a real benefit to the Commission. "

Mr Mackay's position has not been filled. A replacement is
"not a matter for me".

"It's a matter for the NIO," said Mr Poole. "It's a matter
for them whether or not they fill it, it's a matter for
them who they fill it with. Whoever they fill it with, this
Commission will work with them. It's not a matter for us."

Mr Poole said reports about the number of spelling mistakes
in Mr Burrows' application to the Commission were "unfair".

"I thought that was a little bit unfair. But we're past
that. David is a highly valued member of the Commission. I
think that when working class people do these things they
will sometimes make mistakes like that," he added.


Set Date For Inquiry Report Call

FOLLOWING THE letter from Lord Saville in which he said
that the report on Bloody Sunday may not be ready until at
the earliest late next year, Sinn Fein Councillor Maeve
McLaughlin has called for a date to be set for the final

Meanwhile John Kelly on behalf of the Bloody Sunday
families said that at least Lord Saville's letter put an
end to the speculation about when the final report was due.

Calling on the Tribunal to give the families a definite
date when the inquiry will be completed Councillor
McLaughlin said: "It is unacceptable that the findings by
the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday have been postponed
yet again. The families of those killed and injured have
endured enough over the years without the further torment
of not knowing when the findings will be made public."

She added: "While there is an understanding of the size of
the task that is presented in bringing together the
findings of the ten year inquiry the families have now been
given several dates that have not been met.

"In order to lessen the pain to the relatives of further
postponements I am calling on the Saville Inquiry to set a
definitive date in which there will be no further slippage.

"The truth of what happened on Bloody Sunday needs to come
out but these delays in the publishing of the findings is
eroding public confidence that the inquiry will achieve

John Kelly said that the families accepted what Lord
Saville had said and he felt that it was important that
they be told when the report may be ready.

He added: "There is nothing that can be done and, as is
explained in the letter, the delay is due to the mass of
that has to be considered by the Inquiry.

"We have had all sorts of speculation as to when the
Inquiry was due to report and why they might be delayed, at
least this clears all that up. At least now we can get on
with our lives for the next year or so knowing that there
will not be a final report before then."

SDLP councillor Colum Eastwood said: "I have spoken to a
number of the Bloody Sunday families. It is positive that
Lord Saville has given them some indication as to when the
report will be ready, even though it is frustrating that it
remains quite far off.

"The families recently raised a number of questions with
Lord Saville. They feel reassured by the thoroughness of
his answers, particularly by his promise that he alone will
determine when the final report will be given to the
British Government and that he will notify the families
well in advance of that date.

"The Bloody Sunday families and Trust remain focussed on
ensuring that truth is served and justice is done."

In his letter to the relatives Lord Saville who heads the
Inquiry said that they have to consider 'a huge quantity of
material' including oral evidence from some 922 witnesses,
160 volumes of evidence, 110 video tapes and 121 audio

He added that the legal submissions from the various legal
teams totalled 14,000 pages of 'detailed and complex

Lord Saville told the families that the Tribunal was trying
to carry out this work 'as carefully and as thoroughly' as

As regards a completion date Lord Saville said that it was
difficult to predict how long the outstanding work would
take but he added: "We consider it most unlikely that we
will complete the report before the end of next year at the
earliest and we may need a longer time even than that."

Lord Saville also pointed out that arrangements for the
publication of the report were the responsibility of the
Secretary of State and not for the Tribunal itself.

27 October 2006


Police Officers Call For Stun Weapons

By Jonathan McCambridge
27 October 2006

The organisation which represents rank and file police
officers has urged the Chief Constable to adopt the use of
50,000 volt taser guns.

The Policing Board has begun a consultation period over the
use of the stun weapon which fires two barbed darts at the
subject and then transfers a five-second 50,000-volt charge
into their body through an electric cable, incapacitating
them for five seconds.

However, their use has been opposed by the local branch of
Amnesty and the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan has said she
will investigate every use of the weapon if they are

Terry Spence, chairman of the Police Federation of Northern
Ireland, told their annual conference that any opposition
to tasers was "misguided".

He said: "Let me make it clear that this Federation
believes that tasers are a less lethal option and in
appropriate circumstances, and after suitable training,
should be used.

"The alternative of the baton or CS spray is useful only at
very close engagement. In two separate recent cases,
officers have had to deal with one person wielding a
hatchet and one person swinging a Samurai sword. In each
case we were fortunate that disarming took place without
resorting to firing a gun."

Mr Spence added: "It is unacceptable that officers should
have to make a choice between drawing their personal weapon
and almost certainly killing someone or getting so close as
to use a baton or CS spray as to risk serious, even fatal,

"The Chief Constable can be assured of this Federation's
support for the introduction of tasers within the PSNI.
Other UK police forces have recognised their useful place
within the overall police less-lethal options response and
as a result officers' lives have been saved every day."

Amnesty International has claimed that tasers are linked to
more than 150 deaths in the US since 2001.


Priests Group Pledges To Speak Out For Undocumented Immigrants

Catholic Online (

CHICAGO, Ill. (Catholic Online) – Recently passed U.S.
congressional “enforcement-only” immigration legislation
places tens of thousands of undocumented families at
immediate risk of deportation or separation, according to a
U.S. clergy group.

More than 50 priests representing the church’s Latino and
Polish-, African- and Irish-American communities of the
Chicago Archdiocese gathered Oct. 20 at Holy Name Cathedral
here discussed their concerns about congressional measures
that will adversely affect immigrants currently in the
United States as workers, spouses and family members.

Priests for Justice for Immigration, made up of a group of
about 120 clergy of the archdiocese, works to raise issues
regarding immigration policy and to support “responsible
and respectful comprehensive immigration reform, inclusive
of respective, human border controls.”

In a statement received by Catholic Online, the priests’
organization outlined four pledges and said its members are
“compelled by our conviction in faith and our respect for
the dignity and sanctity of every human life, and saddened
by the current congressional leadership's passage of
enforcement-only legislation which totally ignores the
disheartened spirits of the immigrants among us who daily
contribute their gifts to this country.”

Noting that the status of undocumented is in part “the
result of a long-broken immigration system,” the Priests
for Justice for Immigration pledged to “listen and respond
in faith to the tragic stories of families and individuals
faced with terrible choices due to an unresolved
immigration status.”

The priests’ group said it will work to increase awareness
that 98,000 known families and countless others might be
deported or separated due to congressional action.

The Priests for Justice for Immigration called for “a
suspension of any non-felony deportations which would
separate spouses, or separate children from parents or
guardians, until a comprehensive immigration policy is
passed by Congress.”

The priest members said that they will work educate parish
leaders and other faithful about “the contributions and
struggles of our undocumented brothers and sisters through
our preaching” and other communications efforts.

The clergy immigration group called on “our brother
priests” during October, as Respect Life Month, and
especially on Oct. 29 to celebrate the Eucharist “with
special emphasis on prayer to defend the rights of all
families to be free of fear, to economic security, and to
share in the rights that will maintain and support healthy
family life.”

At the cathedral press conference, Auxiliary Bishop Gustavo
Garcia-Siller of Chicago praised “church leaders who are
committing themselves to walk a journey that will find our
political leaders opening their hearts and minds to
understanding the reality of today’s immigrants.”

There is a need “to reiterate the call for respectful and
comprehensive immigration reform that respects the dignity
of every human being and protects the dignity and unity of
families,” said Father Marco Mercado, pastor of Chicago’s
Good Shepherd Church and a core leader of the Priests for
Justice for Immigrants.

In a keynote address, Father Larry Dowling, pastor of
Chicago’s St. Denis Parish and a core leader of the group,
that the priests will “accompany our undocumented brothers
and sisters in their journeys to acknowledge that their
status is the result of a long-broken immigration system.”

Father Casimir Garbacz, director of the archdiocese’s
Office for European Catholics, commissioned each clergy
member of the Priests for Justice for Immigrants to aid the
area’s undocumented immigrants, asking that they display
the organization’s four pledges “in a prominent place” in
each of their parishes.

On Oct. 23, Congress sent a bill authorizing construction
of 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexican border to
President George W. Bush, who signed it Oct. 26.
- - -

The following is the statement of purpose, including the
four pledges, of the Priests for Justice for Immigrants:

We, the Priests for Justice for Immigrants, compelled by
our conviction in faith and our respect for the dignity and
sanctity of every human life, and saddened by the current
congressional leadership's passage of enforcement-only
legislation which totally ignores the disheartened spirits
of the immigrants among us who daily contribute their gifts
to this country, continue to work to influence the public
conversation regarding immigration policy, and to support
responsible, respectful comprehensive immigration reform,
inclusive of respectful, humane border controls.

We pledge to:

- Accompany our undocumented brothers and sisters on their
journey and to acknowledge that their current status is, in
part, the result of a long-broken immigration system; we
will listen and respond in faith to the tragic stories of
families and individuals faced with terrible choices due to
an unresolved immigration status;

- Educate our brothers and sisters in parish leadership as
well as all people of our parishes – highlighting the
contributions and struggles of our undocumented brothers
and sisters through our preaching, through written and
video materials, and through providing opportunities for
the personal witness of undocumented workers;

- Increase awareness that 98,000 known families are at
immediate risk of separation/deportation and countless
unknown families who might be torn apart and call for a
suspension of any non-felony deportations which would
separate spouses, or separate children from parents or
guardians, until a comprehensive immigration policy is
passed by Congress;

- Ask our brother priests to celebrate the Eucharist during
Respect Life Month (October), particularly on Sunday, Oct.
29, 2006, with special emphasis on prayer to defend the
rights of all families to be free of fear, to economic
security, and to share in the rights that will maintain and
support healthy family life.


Anti-Social Tail End Will Wag The Sinn Féin Dog

(Newton Emerson, Irish News)

On Monday Sinn Féin signed up to policing. The Republic is
piloting 22 local authority joint policing committees,
which will operate much like district policing partnerships
north of the border. Sinn Féin justice spokesman Aengus

O Snodaigh TD attended the inaugural meeting of Dublin's
new committee.

Far from approaching the exercise with scepticism, he was
positively bubbling over with enthusiasm, even issuing a
press release the day before.

'Dublin's joint policing committee could play an important
role in tackling anti-social behaviour across the city,' it
declared. The next morning he issued another press release
advising residents to attend and also announcing a Sinn
Féin 'door-to-door survey on anti-social behaviour'.

Mr O Snodaigh is a late convert to the cause of law and
order. In 2004 two of his 'election workers' were jailed
for possession of CS spray, balaclavas, walkie talkies,
restraining tape, a sledgehammer and a list of drug dealers
paying protection money to the IRA. Still, better late than
never and if Sinn Féin can work with one partitionist
police force it can certainly work with another.

In truth, every stated republican objection to policing was
conceded years ago.

The Good Friday Agreement recognised partition, consent and
the writ of British law. Sinn Féin did not actually sign
the agreement but it has since claimed to own it so
vociferously that it has no choice but to accept the

Endless republican lectures on the need for dialogue,
compromise and "working the institutions" only underscore
Sinn Féin's failure to apply this to the PSNI.

Serious outstanding issues do remain, not least the
immunity of certain people from prosecution but these are
arguments for engagement rather than huffing in the corner.
Policing is only an obstacle for Sinn Féin because it
dragged the issue out for political leverage.

Republicans who became permanently hung up on this
temporary negotiating tactic have now outlived their
usefulness. Some will abandon the party, which will be no
loss to anyone. A handful will be so upset by Sinn Féin
joining the PSNI payroll that they will defect to dissident
groups and join the MI5 payroll but it seems apparent that
most republicans are ready for a deal. The real policing
problem Sinn Féin now faces is reconciling the expectations
of its supporters to the philosophy of its activists.

Although we are used to thinking of Sinn Féin as a radical
party, the Irish republican constituency itself is
inherently conservative. Fianna Fail has understood this
well for 80 years. Sinn Féin has ignored it for 30 years
under the distraction of ethnic conflict.

Now a new conflict could emerge between Sinn Féin voters
who want strict measures against low-level crime and Sinn
Féin members who prefer to see the problem in terms of
poverty, exclusion and the general victimhood of the

It is telling that Aengus O Snodaigh made such an issue of
anti-social behaviour over his attendance at Monday's

This is a serious concern for Sinn Féin's voters, who are
plagued by the youthful contempt for authority fostered by
Sinn Féin's politics. But will more Sinn Féin politics
really solve the problem?

Years of projects, schemes, funds and initiatives have had
no measurable impact on anti-social behaviour at all.

Community Restorative Justice has been a total disaster.
Tackling widespread delinquency requires a nice cop and a
nasty cop. There must be community involvement and youth
conferencing but there must also be constant patrolling and
a credible prospect of lawful punishment. This will be an
ideological minefield for a party that usually absolves the
individual of all responsibility for anything.

It will also be fantastically expensive. What services is
Sinn Féin prepared to cut from the assembly budget to
deliver tougher law and order for republican communities?

If a 'policing precept' is added to taxes here, as it
already is to council tax in England and Wales, then how
much should the rates go up in Ballymurphy?

This minefield extends beyond the boundaries of the party
itself. For example, there is a powerful public sector
lobby in Northern Ireland against the use of anti-social
behaviour orders.

The Human Rights Commission clearly intends to use its new
powers under the St Andrews Agreement to demand the closure
of Hydebank Young Offenders Centre. Will Sinn Féin
ministers favour this liberal agenda over the far less
liberal instincts of their own electorate?

The policing split republicans need to worry about is not
between the devolutionists and the dissidents.

It is between the left and the right.

October 27, 2006

This article appeared first in the October 26, 2006 edition
of the Irish News.


Nine Years For Loyalist Blackmail

Two loyalists who admitted trying to blackmail an
undercover policeman have been jailed for a total of nine

Belfast man Brian Gould, 38, of Vernon Street, was jailed
for six years and Thomas Meehan, 37, of Pine Way in the
city, was jailed for three years.

The judge said "more sinister figures" in the case were not
before court, but extortion could not be tolerated.

The trial heard they went to a builder in Belfast and asked
for £2,000 for a loyalist prisoners' fund.

An undercover policeman then took his place on phone calls,
covertly recording conversations with the defendants.

At the start of the trial at Belfast Crown Court last
month, Gould pleaded guilty to blackmailing undercover cop
'Andy' on dates between 22 February and 23 March last year.

After two days of evidence, Meehan pleaded guilty to aiding
and abetting the blackmail plot.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/10/27 16:45:18 GMT


Ex-INLA Man's Son On Bomb Charges

A son of former INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey has been
remanded in custody at Londonderry Magistrates Court on
explosives charges.

The charges are connected to the discovery of a bomb in
Bellaghy in July.

Declan McGlinchey, 30, of Gulladuff Road in Bellaghy,
denies possessing an explosive device and making explosives
with intent to endanger life.

He was remanded in custody to appear by video-link on 14

His solicitor said he would be making an application for
bail in the High Court.

During cross-examination, a detective confirmed to a
defence solicitor that Mr McGlinchey had made a statement
denying the allegations.

Challenged to reveal the evidence against the defendant,
the detective confirmed DNA forensics were found on the

However, he also agreed with the solicitor that this was
discovered on a piece of tape connected to the explosives.

Building sites

The court was told that batteries, wiring, an electrical
switch and lunchbox were all component parts.

The lawyer said: "The sole evidence in this case is that
there is DNA found on a piece of tape."

He added that his client had made a statement that he
worked in the construction industry where he would come
into contact with various types of equipment on building

Declan McGlinchey's father was once the most wanted man in

During his time as INLA leader, the organisation killed 17
people in the Droppin Well bombing in Ballykelly.

Dominic McGlinchey was murdered in an INLA feud in Drogheda
14 years ago.

The defendant's mother - Mary - was shot dead in Dundalk in
1987, also as part of an internal INLA feud.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/10/27 14:32:34 GMT


Opin: Commission Can Feel Justly Proud

(Editorial, Irish News)

While the Parades Commission had to face a range of
internal issues over the last year it is entitled to look
back with huge satisfaction on one of the most peaceful
marching seasons in living memory.

Cynics might suggest that both the Orange Order – after its
disastrous handling of the 2005 Whiterock riots in Belfast
– and republican groups, with one eye on wider political
developments, had strong reasons for avoiding
confrontations during the past summer.

Regardless of those circumstances, the contributions of
both the commission and a number of community-based
organisations still deserves considerable praise.

All sections of society should be able to appreciate that
disputes can best be resolved through open dialogue and
that there are massive benefits in ensuring that marches
pass off without incident.

If progress continues to be made, senior figures in the
commission are fully justified in looking to the day when
the body no longer needs to exist.

Less than 200 out of almost 3,000 annual parades require a
determination from the commission and almost a third of
these rulings relate directly to the Drumcree saga in

Yesterday's (Wednesday) report from the commission,
'Parading in a Peaceful Northern Ireland' outlines
proposals which have the potential to significantly reduce
the already relatively low level of determinations.

If normality really does return to our streets on a
permanent basis, the future of the peacelines which divide
so many districts of Belfast will also have to be

This is a debate for the longer term, which can only
develop with the active involvement of community leaders
and elected representative on all sides.

However, it would be entirely wrong to assume that
alternatives to maintaining and even extending the present
physical structures can never be considered.

October 27, 2006

This article appeared first in the October 26, 2006 edition
of the Irish News.


Drugs Haul Handed On To Police

By Staff Reporter

SUSPECTED cocaine with an estimated street value of £80,000
has been handed over to police in Co Tyrone.

The substance, contained in seven packages weighing about
six kilos, was given in anonymously at the offices of Sinn
Fein in Dungannon on Monday and it was in turn passed on to
Breakthru, a drugs awareness group in the town.

Breakthru handed the suspected haul to police and tests are
being carried out to identify the substance.

Assembly member Francie Molloy said although the nature of
the find was unclear “it seems undoubtedly to be drugs of
some sort”.

“This will be an eye-opener to the wider community that
this amount of drugs is in circulation and that clearly
there is a lot more out there,” he said.

A police spokesman confirmed seven packages had been
received by police.

“If the packages turn out to contain Class A drugs, this
will be a major find worth £80,000,” Chief Inspector Tom
Singler said.


Irishmen Unearth 'Brass In Muck' For US Burials

Two Irishmen have set up a business selling dirt to
nostalgic Irish Americans who want a handful of "the mother
country" on their graves.

Pat Burke (27) and Alan Jenkins (65) have just shipped
their first $1 million load of "official" Irish soil to New
York - at $15 per 12-ounce (340-gram) bag - and confidently
expect it will be followed by many more.

"The demand has been absolutely phenomenal," Mr Burke, an
agricultural scientist from Co Tipperary, said today. "We
knew it would take off but not in our wildest dreams did we
expect the reaction we've had so far."

Mr Burke, who has patented a way of processing the soil so
it passes US import rules that demand it is free of disease
and non-indigenous insects, said the pair were in talks
with "one of the world's largest retailers" and a US
shopping channel.

"We're looking at going worldwide," he said. The firm has
pledged to donate 80 per cent of its profits to charities
in Ireland and the United States.

Globally, the Irish diaspora is estimated at more than 70
million people.

Mr Burke said the idea for the business came about after Mr
Jenkins attended an Irish association meeting in Florida.
"He found that all that these second-, third- and fourth-
generation Irish wanted was a drop of the old sod - a true
piece of old Ireland - to place on their caskets," he said.

The firm has already received an order from an elderly New
York businessman, originally from the west of Ireland, for
$100,000 worth of dirt.

© The Irish Times/


Adams Welcomes Ministers Support For Conway Mill Project

Published: 27 October, 2006

Sinn Féin West Belfast MP Gerry Adams has welcomed today's
statement from British direct rule Enterprise Minister
Maria Eagles that the funding gap for Conway Mill is being
urgently examined by the Department of Social Development.

The Sinn Féin West Belfast MP met Minister Eagles last
Monday with a delegation from Conway Mill.

Mr. Adams described Monday's meeting on the Task Force
report as 'very positive'.

Commenting on the Minister,s statement today Mr. Adams

"I am very hopeful that there will be significant
investment in the Conway Mill project announced within the
near future.

"While some progress has been made in the implementation of
the report there have delays particularly in respect of
funding for flagship projects like Conway Mill.

"However, following last Monday's meeting and today's
statement I am very hopeful that significant investment
will be made into Conway Mill in the near future." ENDS

Note to Editor

Statement from Maria Eagles


Enterprise Minister, Maria Eagle MP, has outlined the
government's commitment to the Conway Mill project in West

The Minister said: "Government has worked hard to put
together a package of measures for Conway Mill in
recognition of its importance as a regeneration project in
West Belfast. A lot of progress has been made but there
remains a significant funding gap.

"The Department for Social Development is looking urgently
at this and my colleague, David Hanson, is hopeful that
this can be resolved in a matter of weeks."


Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness M.P. Visits Toronto (Oct. 28) & Halifax (Oct. 27)

Media Advisory

TORONTO, Oct. 27 /CNW/ - Sinn Féin Lead Negotiator Martin
McGuinness M.P. will visit Canada on a speaking tour from
October 27 to 29, 2006. During the visit, Mr. McGuinness
will inform Canadians on his party's role in crucial peace
negotiations planned for November, involving the British
and Irish governments and Irish political parties. While in
Canada, Mr. McGuinness will be the guest speaker at the
sixth annual Friends of Sinn Féin (Canada) Inc. Annual
Dinner in Toronto. Scheduled visits by Mr. McGuinness to
Ottawa on October 25 and Montreal on October 26 had to be

Mr. McGuinness will appear at the following Friends of Sinn
Féin (Canada) events:



HALIFAX: Fri., Oct. 27, 8:00 p.m. - Dinner
The Holiday Inn Select, 1980 Robie St., Halifax.
Tickets $100.00 Information and tickets, call Brian at
(902) 471-4889.

TORONTO: Sat., Oct. 28, 8:00 p.m. - Friends of Sinn Féin
(Canada) Annual Dinner

Hilton Toronto, 145 Richmond Street West, Toronto
Tickets $125.00. For information and tickets, call Alan at


Friends of Sinn Féin (Canada) Inc. is a federally
incorporated not-for-profit company launched by Gerry Adams
M.P. in 2001. The purpose of FOSF (Canada) is to win
support in Canada for Sinn Féin and the Irish peace

For further information: FOR INTERVIEWS WITH MR. McGUINNESS

CONTACT: (416) 258-5381; (416) 402-3729; or (416) 280-6418
(messages only);


Eamon McGuire: The Life Of An Undercover IRA Activist

William Hughes

"What is it like to be on the run with the CIA looking for
you? Well, Eamon McGuire, an Irishman, can tell you
something about that, along with what it was like to be
member of the IRA’s South Armagh Brigade. For over 20
years, McGuire led a double life: one as an aircraft
engineer, the other as an IRA operative. His newly-released
book, “Enemy of the Empire: Life as an International
Undercover IRA Activist,” is compelling reading."

William Hughes is a Baltimore author, attorney, educator
and professional actor. He has been writing political
commentaries for over 40 years. His latest book, "Saying
'No' to the War Party," is a collection of his essays, and
photographs, that targeted the "Special Interests," like
the Neocons, Big Oil and the Military-Industrial Complex,
which dragged the U.S. into the Iraqi war. The book was the
author's way of challenging the outrageous conduct of the
Bush-Cheney Gang, while making current history come alive.

author's email Article About ...

author's web site

view author's other articles

William Hughes
October 26, 2006

“You cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea.”
-- Sean O’Casey, Irish Playwright

Bahrain is an island nation located in the Persian Gulf.
Like so many countries in the region, it was a former
colony of Imperial Britain. [1] It’s the early 1970s, just
outside its capital city of Manama, in the steaming hot
desert. A young Irishman can be found testing what he
labels “electronic counter measures,” to be used against
British military forces in the Occupied Six Counties of
northeastern Ireland (Northern Ireland). The man’s name is
Eamon McGuire. He’s leading a double life. To his family,
friends and fellow workers, he’s a highly respected
engineer for Gulf Airlines, who originally learned his
craft while serving in the Irish Army, along with earning
an electrical engineering degree from a Dublin college.
But, McGuire is also, secretly, a member of the South
Armagh Brigade, one of the most feared elements within the
Irish Republican Army (IRA). [2]

In his newly-released book, “Enemy of the Empire: Life as
an International Undercover IRA Activist,” McGuire relates
a compelling story about his more than two decades of
guerrilla activities, including a few years of life on the
run and six years of imprisonment after being first tracked
down on Dec. 13, 1992, in Nelspruit, South Africa, by the
CIA. The CIA considered him, the IRA’s “chief technical
officer.” McGuire’s tome was written while in jail, a
literary tradition with honored precedents, not only among
the Irish, but other ethnic groups, as well. Russia’s
brilliant Fyodor Dostoevsky comes to my mind. In fact, some
of McGuire’s vivid descriptions of prison life and the
character of some of inmates that he encountered in jails
in South Africa, Ireland and America, reminded me of
passages from Dostoevsky’s “The House of the Dead.”

Most of McGuire’s time behind bars was spent as an
involuntary guest of the U.S. government. The book,
however, is set against a global scene, where the once
mighty Imperial Empire of John Bull is seen being rolled
backed by a rising tide of nationalism. McGuire, as the
result of his skills as an aircraft engineer, is an
eyewitness to that history, not only in his ancient
homeland, but in such places as Africa, the Middle East and
Central America, as well. [3]

McGuire speaks of the secret part of his double life, but
only in broad terms. He leaves the details, especially
those pertaining to the military struggle, to the
imagination. For example, he writes: “While this...everyday
life was taking place, I was living another life in
parallel with it. In order to produce some equipment for
the war effort at home, I purchased components from around
the world and built devices...With seven weeks’ leave per
year, I was able to return to Ireland at intervals to check
the devices in the battlefield and, if satisfactory, put
them in service...In time, as skills were developed, they
became more successful and helped to force the British off
the ground and into the air...The research I carried out
helped to restrict the movement of British forces on the
ground. Their operations were now very dependent on their
air superiority.” When he took a job with Aer Lingus in
1978, it gave McGuire a chance to work in both the Bahamas
and Trinidad. He also took the opportunity to go to the
U.S., where he “visited...companies that produced technical
products to see if they had anything that could be... for
use in the war at home.”

McGuire, a farmer’s son, born in 1936, in the Republic of
Ireland’s County Monaghan, near the northern border, sensed
something was up on the day of his arrest in South Africa.
When his plane landed at a small airfield, after a short
flight from Maputo airport in Mozambique, he noticed what
look like an a “containment ring” of people. “When you are
exposed to danger for a long time, it sharpens your mental
faculties--some people call it ‘being jumpy’--and you
develop an a way that people living under
normal, civilized conditions can hardly imagine...A kind of
sixth sense warns you...while at the same time it allows
you to weigh up the chances of escape.” As he moved towards
a car-hire stand at the airport, McGuire was quickly
cornered and surrounded by four men, one of whom he
observed had a gun strapped to his ankle. The lead man in
the quartet spoke to him: “My name is Colonel Myburgh. I
have a United States warrant for your arrest. We can do
this the easy way or the hard way. Put your bag down and
step away.” McGuire weighed his options and, wisely,
decided to obey the order of the policeman. Reflecting
later on the circumstances concerning his arrest, he had
concluded that “someone close to me who knew my intentions
must have informed on me. This was a very bad feeling.”

The U.S. warrant against McGuire came out of a 1989 Federal
Court criminal case in Boston, Massachusetts. He was
charged with, inter alia, conspiring with others, to
“produce a guided missile system,” to be used “to destroy
helicopters located in Northern Ireland.” McGuire said that
there were originally “five of us involved in that IRA
cell...I was on the run and the fifth person had already
left prison. It was always referred to as the ‘Boston
Three’ case.” McGuire beat the extradition case in South
Africa, in 1992, but it proved to be a “pyrrhic victory.”
He made his way back to Ireland, via a flight to Paris,
France, but was later arrested by the Irish police, in
Dublin, in Feb., 1993. He was held first at Mountjoy prison
and then at Portlaoise. In December of 1993, the Irish High
Court decided the extradition case against him. He was on
his way to the U.S. McGuire, at that time, had also
considered cutting a deal with U.S. authorities and to
plead guilty to the three charges, which he later did at a
hearing in April, 1994, in Boston. On June 15, 1994, he
received a six-year sentence.

Soon, McGuire was moved from his prison cell in Plymouth,
MA, to one in New Hampshire. His prison bus then passed by
the town of Concord, MA, which is steeped in the history of
the American Republic. He thought to himself,
“ the descendants of the people who fought
that war of freedom were now dragging me in chains past
that hallowed place at the bequest of their old enemy and
prolonging our oppression.” McGuire also did time in the
U.S., at Essex County Jail, northeast of Boston;
Metropolitan Correction Center (MCC) in Manhattan;
Otisville, PA; Allenwood, PA; Lewisburg, PA and Cumberland,
MD federal facilities. Along the way, McGuire shared a cell
with Mafia bosses, an Iran-Contra figure, bank robbers,
drug dealers and even one of the notorious James “Whitey”
Bulger’s ex-associates, Howard “Howie” Winter.

Around the time McGuire was in Cumberland’s FCI, I was
doing a weekly commentary for the popular WBAI program,
“Radio Free Eireann,” in NYC, co-hosted by John McDonagh
and Sandy Boyer. Cumberland is about 150 miles northwest
from Baltimore. I recall visiting with McGuire there on two
occasions. I remember him telling me that he had also been
held for a short time, in 1997, at Baltimore’s City Jail
and what a horrible experience that had been for him. In
the book, he described it this way: “Baltimore’s prison was
the worst that I had ever been in, worse than any in
Ireland or South Africa...We were put in a bullpen with
standing-room only...I had the feeling that my time here
would be a journey through the valley of darkness.” When
McGuire had ten weeks left on his prison sentence, he was,
mercifully, sent back to Ireland to complete it. He was
released just “before Christmas in 1997.”

Background: Both of McGuire’s parents were born in the
North of Ireland, near the town of Crossmaglen, in South
Armagh. His father was a Catholic and his mother, a
Protestant. From an early age, McGuire had a great love for
the people of the area, and for the land, which he says was
“made holy by the blood sacrifices of their Celtic
ancestors.” When the Civil Rights Movement in the British
Occupied Six Counties was repeatedly crushed by the police
forces, McGuire’s attitude shifted about the need for using
“violence as a weapon of change.” He also watched in horror
“the sight of families fleeing south” from the pogroms
against Catholics in the North. “It had a profound and
lasting effect on me,” he wrote. During the early 70s, the
British regime in the Six Counties decided to impose the
practice of “Internment” as one of its oppressive measures.
McGuire then learned that Nationalist prisoners were being
“systematically tortured in Magilligan prison camp in
Derry.” The “last straw” for him personally was on Jan. 30,
1972, when at a peaceful, anti-Internment rally in Derry,
13 marchers were slaughtered by British paratroopers, in
what McGuire saw as a “calculated strike to prevent further
protest.” That day of infamy is remembered as “Bloody
Sunday.” McGuire added, “There would be no turning back
after that.” [4]

Some more Irish history is required here. British crimes
against the Irish people, over the centuries, are legion.
It is beyond the scope of this essay to detail them, but
they include just about every wrong that it’s possible for
one people to inflict on another. [5] As I write, however,
a “Peace Process” in Ireland, which was begun in 1994, is
slowly beginning to take shape. [6] It was firmed up with
the “Good Friday Agreement” (GFA) in 1998. A majority of
the people of Ireland, North and South, have voted to
support it. I’ve wondered aloud if the Irish should be
totally trusting the British ruling clique. [7] Not long
after I wrote about my concerns, it was disclosed that a
high ranking member of Sinn Fein, Denis Donaldson, had
actually been a British spy for 20 years! [8] Nevertheless,
the guns have been silent and progress has been made.

The last word here belongs to McGuire. He dedicated his
book, “To all my fallen comrades.” I am highly recommending
it to readers for both its historical and memoir values.
Recently, the IRA disbanded and placed all of its weapons
beyond use. McGuire wrote: “Was it worth the price to get
this far? I believe it was. One must think about how bad
things were prior to 1969 before answering that question.
It is hard for a person far removed from those conditions
to imagine what it was like. But ask yourself why did
almost half the population rise up against the government
unless things were intolerable? At least one in ten was
willing to sacrifice themselves for change. I believe that
we would not be where we are now without the war. And, I
hope that our politicians will see sense and govern justly
so that our people will never have to endure twenty-five
years of horror again.”


[1]. “The Way of the Aggressor,” by John Michael, (1941),
chronicles the crimes of British Imperialists from genocide
in Ireland, to slave trafficking in Africa, to exploiting
the resources and peoples of Asia, India, the Middle East,
Australia and Tasmania.


[3]. and



[6].“Creating a New Ireland” by William Hughes.



by courtesy & © 2006 William Hughes

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