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October 06, 2006

Extracts of 12th IMC Report

News About Ireland & The Irish

IM 10/04/06 Twelfth Report Of IMC Key Extracts
IM 10/04/06 Statement By The Taoiseach On IMC Report
IM 10/04/06 Statement By Blair On IMC Report
US 10/05/06 US Encouraged That Irish Group Has Abandoned Violence
BN 10/04/06 Adams: 'Democratic Unionists Cannot Stop Change'
BN 10/04/06 Paisley To Seek Further Clarification Of IMC Findings
BB 10/05/06 'IRA Is Winding Down' Says Orde
BB 10/05/06 Hain Letter Outlines Talks Topics
BT 10/04/06 Five Star Dilemma
VC 10/05/06 O’Loan: Public Review Of Police Praised
SF 10/05/06 Ó Snodaigh Calls For WD Of Tribunal Of Inquiry Bill
BB 10/05/06 UDA 'Needing Help' To Stand Down
BT 10/04/06 Ex-Detective In Call For Inquiry Over Haddock
BB 10/04/06 Policing Of Estate Feud Defended
IT 10/06/06 Opin: IMC Findings Should Herald Deal
GU 10/06/06 Opin: Máirtín Ó Muilleoir The Mindset Of War Remains
BT 10/05/06 Opin: Jack The Ripper And The UDA
GT 10/04/06 Atlas To Wipe British Isles Off The Map

(Poster's Note: My internet died. Hope it has been revived. Sorry for lack of news. Jay)


Twelfth Report Of IMC Key Extracts

(Reporting period 1 March to 31 August 2006)

“We remain of the view which we expressed in our report six
months ago, namely that the PIRA leadership has committed
itself to following the political path.” (para. 2.16)

The findings of the Report “taken together, presents
convincing evidence of PIRA’s continuing commitment to the
political path”. (2.19)

The IMC concludes that PIRA “is not the same organisation
that it was three years ago. Three years ago it was the
most sophisticated and potentially the most dangerous of
the groups, possessed of the largest arsenal of guns and
other material. It is now firmly set on a political
strategy, eschewing terrorism and other forms of crime. In
this process there has been a loss of paramilitary
capability. The leadership has taken a firm stance against
the involvement of members in criminality, both through
public statements and internal directions.” (5.18)

End of Terrorist Activity

“We do not believe that PIRA is now engaged in terrorism”
or “that PIRA is undertaking terrorist-type training.”

“There were no PIRA shootings in the period covered by this
report.” (2.18)

“We believe that the leadership does not consider a return
to terrorism as in any way a viable option” (2.19)

“We have no evidence of targeting, procurement or
engineering activity” (2.18)

Dismantling of IRA Structures

“PIRA has taken further steps to run down its terrorist
capability. It has disbanded “military” structures,
including the General Headquarters departments responsible
for procurement, engineering and training, and it has stood
down volunteers and stopped allowances.” (2.17)

“Such structures as remain are largely concerned with
preserving the cohesion of the organisation and serving its
wider purpose in a period of major change of strategy and
direction.” (2.19)

“The leadership is seeking to reduce the size of the
organisation;” (2.18)

“We do not believe that PIRA has been recruiting. It
appears to have directed towards Sinn Féin some who have
sought to join.” (2.18)

“Continuing inactivity itself leads to further erosion of
capability”. (2.17)

Addressing Criminality

“The leadership has maintained a firm stance against the
involvement of members in criminality, both through public
statements and internal directions.” (2.17)

“This has included public statements and internal
directions; investigating incidents of breach of the
policy; the expulsion of some members; and emphasising the
importance of ensuring that business affairs are conducted
in a legitimate manner” (2.17)

“We have no reason to believe that there has been any
organisational involvement in or planning of robbery or
other such organised crime over this period” (2.18)

“Some individual members of PIRA remain involved in serious
criminal activity for personal gain including smuggling and
money and fuel laundering, though in some cases – notably
fuel smuggling – there has been a clear reduction.” (2.18)

“None of these actions of individuals calls into question
the leadership’s stance against the involvement of members
in criminality” (2.18)

Other Activities

PIRA “leadership continues to instruct members not to use
physical force, whether for the purposes of community
discipline or any other reason. When, in response to
pressure from within the community to deal with anti-social
behaviour, permission to do so has been sought, it has been
denied. We think that with a very small number of
exceptions the leadership has been successful in checking
violence by members”. (2.17)

“We believe that what might be termed ’military’ or
‘terrorist’ intelligence gathering has ended” (2.18)

“We believe that PIRA remains interested in information
which supports its political strategy and maintains
cohesion of the movement. It is also interested in the
activities of the loyalist paramilitaries, mainly to enable
it to predict trouble in the parades season and at
interface areas. We have no indication of the illegal
acquisition of information for these kinds of purpose.”

“Senior members of the organisation have played key and
personal roles in securing a peaceful parades season. This
has included confronting troublemakers from the republican
community and being in the front line to stop people from
responding to what they saw as provocation. We believe that
the work of PIRA members significantly contributed towards
the absence of violence” (2.17)


“In so far as a small quantity of weapons was held back
from decommissioning, this was done by local groupings
despite the instructions of the leadership. We do not
believe that it was material known to the organisation or
that it had been deliberately kept out of the
decommissioning.” (2.18)

“We do not believe that weapons have been acquired or
developed. The leadership has issued instructions to that
effect” (2.18)


“The leadership has accepted the need for engagement in
policing and wishes to achieve it. The leadership has given
public indications to this effect and efforts have been
made to secure membership support.” (2.21)



Statement By The Taoiseach On IMC Report

IMC report: “Clear-cut findings are of the utmost

The Irish and British Governments have today published the
12th Report of the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC).

We are greatly encouraged and warmly welcome the Report’s
conclusion that there is convincing evidence of the
Provisional IRA’s continuing commitment to an exclusively
political path. The Report confirms that the IRA is not
engaged in paramilitary activity – no terrorism, training,
recruiting, targeting, procurement, intelligence gathering,
engineering – and that it is not involved, and continues to
direct its members not to engage, in criminal activity.

These positive and clear-cut findings are of the utmost
importance and significance. They are evidence that the
security landscape in Northern Ireland has been radically
altered. It is now clearly apparent that the IRA has
neither the intent nor the interest in restarting its
paramilitary campaign.

Prime Minister Blair and I will meet the parties in
Scotland next week for intensive discussions aimed at
achieving the restoration of the devolved institutions by
the 24 November deadline.

It is time to make decisions and for Northern Ireland to
look to the future.

We genuinely believe that sustainable partnership
government is achievable and that Northern Ireland can now
move forward with confidence that the past has been left
behind. The Governments will play their part but we expect
the parties to shoulder their responsibilities and to come
to Scotland ready to address the final obstacles and open
to agreement. The context for political engagement has
never been better.

We are mindful of the Report’s conclusions in relation to
other groupings. We will continue to encourage those who
are seeking to pursue a new peaceful direction. At the same
time those intent on defying the will of the people and
persisting in illegal activities will be met by the full
force of the law.

4 October 2006


Statement By Blair On IMC Report

The government thanks the members of the Independent
Monitoring Commission for their 12th report, and
acknowledges the painstaking, methodical and objective way
in which they have conducted their assessments of
paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland during the past
three years.

It is in that same spirit that we believe this report
should be read. The best commentary on it are the words of
the IMC itself and we believe that they should be studied
with care.

As they themselves note the situation now has been
transformed from what it was three years ago – particularly
in regard to the IRA.

As the report concludes the IRA is not the same
organization it was three years ago. “Three years ago it
was the most sophisticated and potentially the most
dangerous of the (paramilitary) groups, possessed of the
largest arsenal of guns and other material. It is now
firmly set on a political strategy, eschewing terrorism and
other forms of crime. In this process there has been a
loss of paramilitary capability. The leadership has taken
a firm stance against the involvement of members in
criminality, both through public statements and internal
directions.” (paragraph 5:18)

In particular we welcome both its conclusion that the
leadership of the IRA “does not consider a return to
terrorism in any way a viable option” (2:19) and that it
“continues to direct its members not to engage in criminal
activity” (2:19) and its statement that in the period since
Gerry Adams’ April 2005 statement “the Sinn Fein leadership
has delivered on the intent set out in it”. (4:5)

The significance of these statements cannot, and should
not, be under-estimated.

That is particularly so given the report’s detailed
conclusions that the IRA is not involved in:

• terrorism;
• training;
• recruiting;
• targeting;
• procurement;
• or engineering activity. (2:18)

And that the leadership has not just maintained a “firm
stance against the involvement of members in criminality”
(2:17), but also taken action against members who have
continued such activity.

We also note that the report says that where individuals
have been involved, as individuals, in criminality that
has not been sanctioned, and it should not call into
question the leadership’s position. (2:18)

We also note, and welcome, the report’s assessment that the
IRA has:

• Taken further steps to run down its terrorist
• Has disbanded its structures which were responsible
for procurement, engineering and training;
• Has stood down volunteers;
• Has instructed members not to use physical force, and
refused to respond to community pressure to do so. (2:17)

And we also acknowledge the report’s finding that the work
of IRA members, along with that of loyalist paramilitaries,
contributed significantly to the most peaceful marching
season since the 1960s. (2:17)

The government also acknowledges the report’s conclusion
that some members of the UDA and UVF continue to try to
move their organizations away from violence and criminality
– though, like the IMC, we believe there is much more to do
if the loyalist organizations are to match the profound
change brought about by the IRA. (2:29)

Given that change, we agree with the report’s conclusion
that there is now “convincing evidence of the IRA’s
continuing commitment to the political path”(2:19) and
believe that it is no longer credible to suggest otherwise.

Like the IMC, the government, however, believes that
further progress needs to be made on the issue of policing,
though welcoming the report’s conclusion that the
leadership has accepted the need for engagement. (2:21)

The government believes that the necessary progress can be
made at the upcoming talks in Scotland. But, while we
accept that individual parties will, quite rightly, make
their own assessment, we believe this report does lay the
basis for the final settlement of the conflict in Northern
Ireland – and, as such, presents a unique opportunity for
this generation to reach that final resolution, an
opportunity the government hopes the parties will now


05 October 2006

U.S. Encouraged By Report That Irish Group Has Abandoned Violence

U.S. envoy urges Northern Irish leaders to find power-
sharing solution in upcoming talks

By Stephen Kaufman
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- The Bush administration welcomes a report by
the Independent Monitoring Commission in Northern Ireland
that says the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) has
forsaken terrorism and violence in favor of a political

In a statement released October 4, U.S. Special Envoy to
Northern Ireland Ambassador Mitchell Reiss also urged
Northern Ireland’s political leaders to “seize this
important opportunity to reach a lasting political
settlement” in their talks on power-sharing scheduled for
October 11-13 in Scotland.

Ambassador Reiss described the Independent Monitoring
Commission’s (IMC) 12th report as “very encouraging,” and
also praised the panel for its “tireless efforts on behalf
of peace in Northern Ireland.”

The 60-page report, released October 4, presented some
statistics and trends that indicate the IRA has moved away
from its terrorist past by disbanding units for weapons-
making, arms-smuggling, recruiting and training. The
Provisional IRA was formed in 1969 as the clandestine,
armed wing of the political movement Sinn Fein, dedicated
to removing British forces from Northern Ireland and
integrating Ireland and Northern Ireland. The group has
claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks in
the United Kingdom since the 1970s.

The reaction of leaders from the United Kingdom and the
Irish Republic, as well as Protestant and Catholic leaders
in Northern Ireland, was largely positive.

Ambassador Reiss said the Bush administration is
“particularly heartened by the Commission’s conclusions
that the IRA ‘is now firmly set on a political strategy,
eschewing terrorism and other forms of crime.’ This
report, combined with previous Commission findings,
confirms that the IRA has undertaken to do what it said it
would,” he said.

He also noted that the leadership of the IRA’s political
wing, Sinn Fein, has “accepted the need for engagement in
policing and wishes to achieve it,” and expressed hope that
“this can be accomplished as soon as possible.”

Reiss said the United States remains concerned over the
security threat presented by “paramilitary and criminal
activity among dissident republicans and some loyalist
elements,” and added, “Such activity has no place in a
democratic society.”

However, the ambassador said the positive conclusions of
the IMC report should “help clear the way for serious
discussions” in Scotland on power sharing during the coming

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Prime Minister
Bertie Ahern have set a November 24 deadline for a
power?sharing agreement based upon the 1998 Good Friday
peace agreement. (See related article.)

The Good Friday Accord of April 10, 1998, calls for
Protestants to share political power with the minority
Catholics, and gives the Republic of Ireland a voice in
Northern Irish affairs. In turn, Catholics are to suspend
the goal of a united Ireland unless the largely Protestant
North votes in favor of such an arrangement.

At the State Department, deputy spokesman Tom Casey said
October 5 that Ambassador Reiss would attend the all?party
talks in Scotland.

Casey said the IMC report is “positive,” but echoed
Ambassador Reiss’ concern over the continued paramilitary
and criminal activities.

“I wouldn't say that this puts an end to the issue, but
certainly it's a positive report and we welcome it,” Casey

A senior State Department official said the report is
“certainly a step forward” on implementing the Good Friday
agreement, which the United States helped broker.

“We think that’s been the approach we’ve been pursuing.
It’s definitely positive,” the official said.

The full text of the report can be found at the
International Monitoring Commission’s Web site.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of
International Information Programs, U.S. Department of
State. Web site:



Adams: 'Democratic Unionists Cannot Stop Change'

04/10/2006 - 19:12:52

The Rev Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party can only
slow down but not stop the process of change in the North,
Gerry Adams said today.

Speaking after publication of the latest IMC report the
Sinn Féin president said the big question now was whether
the DUP wanted to condemn the province to second class
government or sheer power.

Arriving at Stormont Castle for talks with Ulster Secretary
Peter Hain he said: “What this is about is trying to ensure
the process of change continues and we are very, very much
part of that.”

He said they had to be patient but quietly assertive. “The
fact is the DUP don’t have anything other than very limited

He said the question of what happened next was not for him.
“A deal could be done tomorrow morning, a deal could be
done tonight.

“The question is for Ian Paisley, does he want British
direct rule from ministers who are not accountable
whatsoever to this part of our island or the different
political groups with a mandate who can at least be sacked
by the electorate?”

Mr Adams asked how long were other parties going to “cast
about for some straw to stop them from coming forward and
taking up their rightful position of administrative rule in
this part of our island?”

He warned the DUP: “If they don’t participate they are
condemning people here, particularly their own
constituents, to second class public services run by second
class fly-in, fly-out British ministers.”

He said the DUP could go away and come back in two, three
or four years but all the changes and cross-border
harmonisation which would have been put in place by the
British and Irish governments could not be wished away.

“I think that all the DUP can do is to delay, attempt to
slow down, but they cannot stop the process of change.”

Mr Adams said he had not read the latest IMC report, but
party colleague Gerry Kelly had and had told him it
contained a detailed review of all that had happened in
recent months.

But he added that, even without the report, “it is very,
very, very clear that republicans have kept all of the
commitments that republicans have made”.

Mr Adams side-stepped a clear answer to the key question of
whether republicans were now ready to finally give their
full backing to policing and policing structures in the
North as the Government have urged them to and the DUP has
demanded they must.

He said: “All of us have a duty to uphold law and order.
Sinn Féin supports law and order and that is why we have
spent so much time trying to get policing right.”


Paisley To Seek Further Clarification Of IMC Findings

04/10/2006 - 13:55:02

DUP leader Ian Paisley is still refusing to accept that the
IRA has abandoned paramilitarism and criminality in favour
a political path.

In a report out today, the Independent Monitoring
Commission says the republican movement is "firmly set on a
political strategy" and has taken measures to disband its
military structures.

The Irish and British governments are hoping the
conclusions will put further pressure on the DUP to end its
policy of refusing to share power with Sinn Féin.

However, Dr Paisley has already poured cold water on those

He said today that the DUP would be seeking talks with the
IMC to ascertain if the measures taken by the IRA are
"permanent and irreversible".

Dr Paisley also said he still had serious concerns about
the murder of Denis Donaldson, the former Sinn Féin
official who was shot dead earlier this year after
admitting to being a British spy.

The IMC says it has been unable to reach a conclusion on
who murdered Mr Donaldson.

Elsewhere, the DUP leader said republicans do not support
"policing and the rule of law" and must "demonstrate in a
practical and convincing way that their days of criminality
and terror are gone for good".


'IRA Is Winding Down' Says Orde

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has said he "broadly
supports" the latest report on IRA activity by the
Independent Monitoring Commission.

The report said the IRA had changed radically and some of
its most important structures were dismantled.

Sir Hugh told the Policing Board the trends are the IRA is
winding down.

However, he said there was a "grey area" over whether IRA
members engaged in crime were doing so on behalf of the
organisation or for personal gain.

"I have no evidence to suggest they (Provisional IRA) have
any intention of going back to an armed struggle in any way
shape or form in terms of activities," he said.

"The grey area, as ever, will be activities undertaken by
people who are members of the Provisional IRA which we
would class as criminal.

"And the question as always is, was that for the
organisation or was that for the individual? But in broad
terms I accept what the IMC was saying."

The Policing Board, which met in Belfast, also heard that
sick leave cost the police service £30m in lost days over
the past 18 months.

The vast majority of that sum, more than £23m, was due to
the sickness of police officers, while the rest was down to
civilian staff.

Established on 4 November 2001, the Policing Board holds
the PSNI to account.

Sinn Fein has resisted giving the PSNI, the Policing Board
and other institutions its support, insisting more
legislation is needed before it can sign up.

The party said it needed to see more power transferred to
local politicians before it would consider nominating

The two governments have given the politicians until 24
November to reach a deal on devolution.

The DUP is still demanding Sinn Fein fully support the
police before they consider any agreement.

Published: 2006/10/05 17:05:30 GMT


IMC Makes No Finding On Donaldson Murder

Last updated: 04-10-06, 12:34

The Independent Monitoring Commission report has found no
clues as to who shot former Sinn Féin official Denis
Donaldson, who was murdered months after he revealed
himself as a British spy.

In April, Donaldson was blasted with a shotgun in a remote
cottage in Glenties, Co Donegal, where he had gone into
hiding after admitting he had spied on colleagues for more
than two decades.

At the time security sources believed disaffected former
IRA comrades were behind the attack.

Today's IMC report on IRA activity devoted just one
paragraph to the killing: "In our previous report we
mentioned the murder of Denis Donaldson in Co Donegal on
April 4th, 2006. We said we were not able to attribute
responsibility for the murder and would continue to monitor
the situation. There has been no change in this situation
to date."

Donaldson, a friend of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, was
a trusted member of Sinn Féin when he was one of three men
arrested in October 2002 for allegedly operating a
republican spy ring at Stormont.

The allegations led to the collapse in 2002 of power-
sharing which has not been revived since.

Within weeks of the case against Donaldson and his co-
accused collapsing last December, he declared himself a spy
for the previous 20 years in the pay of British

© 2006


Hain Letter Outlines Talks Topics

The secretary of state has written to the parties setting
out a number of key issues for discussion at next week's
intensive talks in Scotland.

Peter Hain said agreement was needed on changes to the
institutions and support for policing and the rule of law.

He said the parties could "clear away remaining differences
and doubts in these areas and... demonstrate their support
for restoring institutions".

"Both governments are committed to working with you to
achieve that aim."

In his letter, Mr Hain said the politicians will need to
discuss the ministerial arrangements for a future
department of policing and justice and the timetable for
devolving law and order powers.

He also highlighted questions such as whether the Stormont
ministerial code should include a requirement to uphold the
rule of law and how the first and deputy first ministers
should be elected or appointed.

Additionally, the government has published a number of
draft changes to the law, illustrating how the Stormont
rule book could be redrawn.

The British government has laid down 24 November as the
deadline for a deal to be reached over the restoration of

The main parties meet in the Scottish town of St Andrews
later this month.

Devolution was suspended in October 2002 over allegations
of a republican spy ring.

The court case that followed collapsed and one of those
charged, Denis Donaldson, later admitted working as a
British agent.

Published: 2006/10/05 18:07:47 GMT


Five Star Dilemma

Our politicos will be holed up in a luxury hotel in
Scotland next week, but the arguments will remain rather
more basic, as Chris Thornton finds out. Weary of a
"twilight zone" assembly, SDLP leader Mark Durkan says it's
vital the governments make sure the DUP know the November
24 deadline is non-negotiable, while Alliance leader David
Ford says that republicans must accept the PSNI and Dr
Paisley's party must be prepared to share power.

04 October 2006
Mark Durkan, SDLP

Mark Durkan has sympathy for anyone stifling groans at the
thought of next week's talks foray to Scotland.

"I know a lot of the public are bored and frustrated by the
way the process has dragged on. So are we," the SDLP leader

"As people who know the way this process has worked hasn't
been according to the Agreement at all, there's nobody more
frustrated than us. But that frustration will express
itself in very positive and purposeful contributions in any
talks next week and in any talks thereafter.

"People know, based on past experience, we might be
sceptical of some of these hothouse type of efforts but we
are not going to let that scepticism get in the way of our
determination to see democratic institutions restored."

Mr Durkan, an arch-analyst of the peace process for many
years, has spent much time warning London and Dublin of
what he has seen as a series of strategic mistakes over the
four years that the Assembly has been suspended. As sleeves
roll up for the last push before November 24, the SDLP
leader has some more advice - let the DUP know that it
cannot move the deadline.

He suggests that Ian Paisley and company have learned
quickly about manipulating the process.

"We have been more sceptical than most about the DUP over
the last number of years because of the circumstances where
all sorts of people were saying the DUP were up for a deal
and on for a deal, including Sinn Fein at Leeds Castle.

"We made it clear that we didn't think they were, that we
thought they had just been good students of this process
and were playing the governments like a musical instrument.

"The fact is that we see even in recent weeks where the
Secretary of State is spending more time praising the DUP
than pressing the DUP. So we obviously are sceptical about
how seriously the DUP take the deadline that's set by the
two governments.

"And again the DUP, as good students of this process,
probably take their guidance from the governments' previous
form, where they allowed every deadline to pass.

"Now that isn't what we want to see happen and that's why
way, way back we argued to the governments that they should
assert their control of the political calendar and they
should have actually set a timetable for restoration -
actually set a restoration date.

"Now, the governments chose to go about this in a different
way, with the sort of twilight zone Assembly that we have
at the minute and we've had to go through the sort of
surreal politics where the DUP refuse to negotiate in the
Assembly committees and Sinn Fein refuse to debate in the
Assembly chamber and the rest of us are having to make
sense out of everything in between," says the SDLP leader.

In that light, the deadline is about more than the
credibility of Tony Blair or Peter Hain. Mr Durkan sounds
as if he believes that control of the deadline will
indicate who controls the process.

"Both governments assure me that it is absolutely
immutable, unbendable, etc," he says.

"Now it's clear that not everybody believes that. And based
on form, one can see why people might disbelieve that.

"But there's a problem in that the DUP basically have taken
a signal from the governments that, one, a new deal is
needed and, two, any deal will only be on the DUP's terms
and in a time of their choosing. That's why I think the
governments need to disabuse the DUP of that idea and
assert their control of the political calendar."

Will that happen? "We will have to try and hope so.
Certainly that's the basis on which we will be going there.

"We don't believe that parties should be allowed to invent
or inflate all sorts of preconditions for restoration.

"We take a very straightforward view that, if problems that
cause suspension are now dealt with and out of the way,
then we should be moving towards restoration anyway.

"And all of the other issues can be addressed in the
context of restoration.

"While the benefits of the good engagement in the
Preparation for Government Committee and its working groups
were limited because of the stances of the parties such as
Sinn Fein and the DUP, the fact is that we're going into
these talks at least against a background of months of
reasonable working exchanges between parties on a number of
the issues.

"Against that background, we could make good use of next
week, particularly if the governments reflect on the fact
that we had good work over the summer because it was left
to the parties and the parties had to face issues together.
And it's important that the governments maintain that kind
of emphasis on inclusion and collective responsibility.

"It has been the form in this process for the governments
to conduct exercises of parallel side deals with Sinn Fein
and the leading unionist party. Our point would be that
that hasn't been the best way to deliver or implement the

"It might suit those parties but it hasn't suited the
collective democratic interest.

"So we would caution the governments against repeating
those sorts of mistakes - you know, things that the
governments now tell us that they recognise were maybe
mistakes or didn't work as well as they had thought."

His aim in Scotland "will be protecting the key principles
and precepts of the Good Friday Agreement because it was
clear that, with what the two governments, Sinn Fein and
the DUP were prepared to do before with the Comprehensive
Agreement, that they were ready to do damage to the

"It's not that we're being fundamentalists about the
Agreement. There are plenty of working adjustments to the
Agreement institutions that we would make, that we have
advocated - in fact we've probably advocated more than
others - but none of them actually do damage to the
architecture of the Agreement.

"People will see the SDLP there engaged in trying to take
forward the two key pillars of the Agreement, which are an
inclusive democracy on one hand and a lawful society on the

"The reality is that people need to see the DUP step up to
the plate on the requirements of an inclusive democracy and
people need to see Sinn Fein step up to the plate in terms
of the requirements of a lawful society."

So is he willing, in the way of a former Ulster Unionist
deputy leader in the Agreement talks, to give odds on
success and failure?

"I'm not going to get into John Taylor country, so I'm
not," Mr Durkan says.

"We'll be making an effort that is 100% and we will be 100%
on the case of any party or government that is holding
things back."

David Ford, Alliance

Once delegates have crowded into their five-star hotel's
conference centre on Wednesday afternoon for the opening
plenary meeting, Alliance leader David Ford fears the
Scottish talks could turn into a tale of two parties.

That is a situation the two governments should not allow to
develop, he said.

"I have major concerns that, with time being so short, the
governments will concentrate solely on the DUP and Sinn
Fein," he says.

"We need an inclusive process. That means involving all
parties and it also means building the structures for a
shared future, not just asking unionists and nationalists
to manage divisions.

"If you look back at the autumn of 2004, the so-called
Comprehensive Agreement failed because it wasn't

"It just focused on two parties and ultimately even they
didn't agree. In the inclusive process that led up to Good
Friday, all parties had the opportunity to put forward
their views and to comment on other people's views.

"That's the only way we'll get a balanced and inclusive

On balance, Mr Ford is still sceptical about whether that
agreement can be reached by the November 24 deadline.

However, he believes much of the necessary groundwork has
been done, with the Preparation for Government Committee's
summertime work at Stormont "setting out the issues that
need to be dealt with".

"That process has now reached its end," he says.

"Negotiations now have to be led by the two governments.

"We're hoping to see a real commitment by the governments
and all the parties to resolve things.

"I think the evidence is that republicans are now starting
to move forward on to a peaceful path and therefore other
members, particularly the DUP, have to respond to this.

"The real question to be asked of the DUP is: Are they up
for sharing power?

"Republicans have to show that they accept that the PSNI is
the only legitimate police force.

"That involves participating in the structures, co-
operating with the police in a practical way and
encouraging those they represent to do the same."

Mr Ford said the talks would be "very important" in
determining whether the parties could reach a settlement by
November 24.

"These talks are clearly very significant in setting the
tone for the next seven weeks," he said.

"I do genuinely believe that, when the Secretary of State
says 'this is the last go', the 24th of November is the
genuine deadline for agreement, though not necessarily

"I think the DUP have to recognise that reality."

He says any settlement would need to involve the DUP
entering power sharing before any election, although he did
not rule out the prospect of the governments calling a new

"It seems to me that the DUP's demand for an election is
unrealistic at this stage. If they are to provide assurance
that they aren't just trying to postpone things, then we
have to see DUP ministers in an executive to show that they
are serious."

Mr Ford is also caught up by the problem that party workers
are expected to give their all over this period of
negotiation but will not have a job at the end of it if the
Assembly is wound up.

Unfortunately it is inevitable at the moment that people
are looking at the prospects of failure - of good, hard-
working staff who will lose their jobs through no fault of
their own.

"It's one of the real problems we have. People are having
to work hard to try to bring about devolution when, if they
were only looking after their own interests, they would go
and get another job," he adds.

"I still think the chances of an agreement by the end of
November are still less than 50-50. It will require a lot
of hard work by a lot of people to deal with a lot of
outstanding issues if we are to succeed. I know that
Alliance is up for the challenge."


O’Loan: Public Review Of Police Praised

By Matt Kieltyka, 24 Hours

Northern Ireland's police ombudsman made a strong case for
independent police review yesterday at the Canadian
Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement in

Nuala O'Loan said that since her independent police
complaint office - with a staff of nearly 150 - took charge
seven years ago, the number of incidents involving
aggressive police behaviour, use of force, baton and gun
deployment has decreased.

"There was a complete swing," said O'Loan, who is in her
final year as ombudsman. "It demonstrates the contributions
we make to change policy and the accountability of police."

The Northern Ireland system is a stark contrast to B.C.'s
police complaint system, where police investigators from
other detachments are tasked with investigating their

There is nothing wrong with that, claims B.C. police
complaint commissioner Dirk Ryneveld.

"Police can investigate police provided, and that's a
strong provided, there is a strong civilian oversight
component to it," said Ryneveld, who lacks the staff and
funding to conduct his own police investigations. "It may
well be there is no single system that works best."


Ó Snodaigh Calls For Withdrawal Of Tribunal Of Inquiry Bill

Published: 5 October, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human
Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called on Justice Minister
Michael McDowell to withdraw the Tribunal of Inquiry Bill
2005. Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh pointed to the
particular impact this Bill would have on victims of
collusion and their families in their quests for truth.

He said, “I have been in contact with human rights NGOs,
and groups like Justice for the Forgotten who represent the
victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, An Fhirinne,
the Pat Finucane Centre and the Eddie Fullerton campaign in
relation to this Bill. I called on the Minister to
withdraw the Tribunals of Inquiry Bill last April and I
wrote to him last week outlining my objections in detail.

“Journalists have now begun to link the Taosieach's current
public predicament prompted by the disclosure of Mahon
Tribunal documents with the decision to schedule the
Tribunals of Inquiry Bill 2005 for debate next week. But
the full consequences of this Bill are further reaching and
gravely worrying. Of particular concern is the impact this
Bill would have on victims of collusion and their families
in their quests for truth.

“The Bill as it stands follows in the footsteps of the
British Government's Inquiries Act 2005 which amounts to
little other than another effort to limit the scope of
future inquiries into the cases of those murdered by
British state collusion like Pat Finucane. Rather than
furthering the cause of justice, this Bill has instead
limited the potential of future public inquiries to uncover
the full truth. It has rightly been condemned by a range
of civil and human rights organisations.

“However, we believe that the Tribunals of Inquiry Bill
published by Minister McDowell and agreed by this
government attempts to do the same. This Bill would
effectively give the government power over whether to
establish a Tribunal of Inquiry at all, its terms of
reference and its members. It would also effectively give
the government the power to suspend or dissolve a Tribunal
for unlimited reasons and to prevent the publication of a
Tribunal's report. This is completely unacceptable and
will not instil any confidence amongst either the general
public or more crucially those who have been specifically
affected and are seeking the full truth about events. I am
repeating my call for this Bill to be withdrawn.” ENDS


UDA 'Needing Help' To Stand Down

The Ulster Defence Association is keen to stand down and
needs help to achieve it, according to loyalist

Senior commanders in the paramilitary organisation were
among those attending the launch of a document on the
organisation's future.

Frankie Gallagher of the Ulster Political Research Group,
which gives advice to the UDA, said they believed the "war
was over."

He said: "We believe people want to move on, will you help
us move on?"

He added: "We are going to say to the rest of civic society
and the rest of communities that we don't know how much it
will cost, if it costs anything, but what we are saying is
that if everybody chips in and helps us, then we can create
that environment."

The pamphlet outlining ways of transforming loyalist areas
has been published, following a consultation within working
class Protestant areas. It includes the views of UDA

On Monday, one of the UDA's most notorious units said it
wanted to disband, but it wanted the government to give it
£8.5m to help the process.

The South East Antrim Brigade of the UDA has been
responsible for dozens of murders throughout the Troubles.

It said it now wanted to become "a community development

The leadership is backing a new group, Beyond Conflict, "to
deal with drugs, paramilitary activity, race relations,
interface violence and unemployment".

Nationalist and unionist politicians criticised the

Published: 2006/10/05 21:03:06 GMT



Ex-Detective In Call For Inquiry Over Haddock

By David Gordon
04 October 2006

A public inquiry is needed to uncover the truth about
senior UVF informer Mark Haddock, an ex-detective has

The notorious Belfast paramilitary was last week found
guilty of attacking a pub doorman, but cleared of
attempting to murder him.

A Police Ombudsman report is being finalised on Haddock's
dual role as a UVF chief and Special Branch informer.

But retired detective sergeant Johnston Brown has claimed
that this investigation is not capable of exposing all the

Mr Brown co-handled Haddock as an informer up until 1991.

He was then taken over by Special Branch after having
become involved in the north Belfast UVF.

"There is a stronger case for a public inquiry on this than
any of the cases currently going to inquiry," the former
police officer said.

"I believe that one day I will give sworn evidence at an
inquiry on Haddock.

"It's too big a case to go away."

Mr Brown was arrested in August by investigators from
Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan's office.

He was released the following day without charge and has
angrily denounced his detention.

Mr Brown said the arrest and search of his home in the full
glare of media attention has put his family at risk.

He also stated that the UVF's current south east Antrim
commander - another alleged Special Branch informer - drove
past his house last weekend.

"He waved to my son. That was not an act of goodwill, it
was blatant intimidation," he said.

Mr Brown has been warned by police about his security in
recent weeks and is planning to move home.

He believes he is being "pilloried" by the Ombudsman's
office for intelligence-gathering methods that helped jail
UDA terrorists Johnny Adair and Ken Barrett, the murderer
of solicitor Pat Finucane.

Mr Brown said last month: "If I had done in the Barrett and
Adair cases what the Ombudsman's office is suggesting I
should have done, they would both have escaped justice."

It was alleged in the Irish Parliament last year that
Haddock was involved in a string of murders, while working
for Special Branch.

It was further claimed that his killing spree started in
1993 with the shooting of Catholic woman Sharon McKenna.

The forthcoming Ombudsman's report is not expected to name
Haddock, or any other police agent in the north Belfast


Policing Of Estate Feud Defended

The PSNI district commander for west Belfast has defended
the policing of a feud in the Ballymurphy area.

More than £1m has been spent dealing with what Chief
Superintendent David Boultwood described as an "intense
level of violence".

But he said there had been underlying issues which the
police have not been able to get to the bottom of.

"I think we've done everything we possibly can under
difficult and challenging circumstances," he said.

"If you look at the level of resources we've put into
trying to resolve the dispute in Ballymurphy - we've gone
out into the community, we've tried a multi-agency approach
- we haven't given up on this.

"We're going to continue to work as hard as we possibly can
to resolve the issue."

Last week, the police said there had been 600 separate
incidents since the dispute between two families began in
the estate.

The incidents have ranged from threats to kill to murder.


Trouble in the area has been ongoing since the fatal
stabbing of Gerard Devlin in February.

Mr Devlin, 39, was stabbed to death at Whitecliff Parade in
Ballymurphy. Four people have been charged with murder.

Several other families in the estate have become involved
in the dispute and a number of people have been put out of
their homes.

Chief Superintendent Boultwood said that, since March, 75
files had been sent to the director of public prosecutions
in relation to the trouble.

"We have carried out detailed investigations in relation to
every crime which has been reported to us and we haven't
always had the support of the wider community in gathering
evidence - that has been a problem in the Ballymurphy
area," he said.

He said officers operating in the area had been attacked by
youths throwing stones.

However, the chief superintendent said he remained

"It is a very challenging one for us, but I've no doubt
eventually we will bring it to a successful conclusion."

Published: 2006/10/04 08:46:58 GMT


Opin: IMC Findings Should Herald Deal

"We do not believe that the IRA is now engaged in
terrorism." This weighty judgment in the latest six-monthly
report from the Independent Monitoring Commission on
paramilitary violence yesterday sets the scene for final
efforts by the two governments to secure a power-sharing
deal before their November 24th deadline.

It is a very positive report, and a thorough one, covering
IRA training, recruitment, targeting, procurement and
engineering. Residual involvement in criminality is the
only area of activity it finds still extant. This
remarkable state of affairs shows there is real potential
to hope that a breakthrough can be made if political
leadership and will are shown by the major parties over the
next seven weeks.

Reactions to the report yesterday bear this out. Both
governments used superlatives to describe it. Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern said it is of the "utmost significance",
signalling that it changes the situation radically for the
better. Prime minister Tony Blair said "the IRA's campaign
is over. The door is now open for a final settlement".

Dermot Ahern insisted November 24th is a real deadline, as
did Peter Hain, who spoke of a "historic, seismic,
irreversible" pattern of change in Northern Ireland's
politics. He welcomed the Democratic Unionist Party's
qualifiedly positive attitude to the report, in which
credit was claimed for that party's firmness over the last
three years. While it is natural for political leaders to
talk up the opportunities for a settlement, on this
occasion they undoubtedly have good reason to do so.

The parties are to meet next week in Scotland. The agenda
being set out by the governments concentrates on two
central elements: Sinn Féin's attitude to policing and the
DUP's willingness to share executive power with Sinn Féin.

It is hoped to make progress on linking them in such a way
that by November 24th a political deal would be reached
contingent on Sinn Féin securing agreement from its members
to participate in the Police Service of Northern Ireland
and the DUP members agreeing to a powersharing Executive.

This would be the essential bare bones of an agreement. It
would be fleshed out by parallel bargains on the potential
timing of a transfer of political control over policing
from Westminster to the new Executive, by agreed changes to
the Belfast Agreement on how the executive is elected, and
by credible commitments to the rule of law. There is ample
time to copperfasten these details in coming weeks, such
that the basic framework can be put in place by November

The parties should be fully aware that it is not only the
patience of both governments which is running out if
political will and leadership are lacking. The general
public in Northern Ireland is quite disenchanted by the
endless bickering and prevarication between the political
parties. If they fail to reach agreement there will be
little public sympathy for them.

© The Irish Times


Opin: The Mindset Of War Remains

Today's report on the IRA told us nothing we didn't already
know. Now, the democratic unionists are the only obstacle
to progress.

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

The Independent Monitoring Commission is independent in
much the same way as Orkney - which is how it can perform
the amazing feat of scoring a perfect 12: its last 12
reports have echoed, to the letter, British and Irish
government policy. Today's report, therefore, confirming
the IRA has gone out of the war business, is totally
irrelevant since the two governments and all the parties,
including the DUP, already know that.

The IMC was set up to create another hurdle for republicans
to negotiate before they could exercise their mandate as
the biggest nationalist party in the occupied area by
taking their places in a reformed executive at Stormont.

That hurdle, which wasn't erected for loyalist gun-gangs
run by special branch or for the British spooks who
murdered human rights lawyer Pat Finucane, was cleared over
a year ago when the IRA destroyed all its weapons and
instructed its members to engage in wholly peaceful and
democratic activities. The only obstacle to progress now is
the DUP which, led by a pastor who believes the world was
created 6,000 years ago and that line dancing is immoral,
refuses to share power with their nationalist neighbours.

The DUP pretends that the IRA has to pass even more tests
before the bona fides of Sinn Féin can be accepted - and
this from a party which in 1986 helped found the
paramilitary Ulster Resistance whose weapons have never
been decommissioned.

In fact, that contention is no more than a ruse being
trotted out to claim even more concessions from a British
government which has shown itself only too willing to
pander to the most extreme DUP demand. The DUP fears power-
sharing and the Good Friday agreement - in fact one of its
senior members announced last week it would use the
upcoming talks in Scotland to demand fundamental changes to
the structure of the peace deal - because it can't handle
the truth that the days of unionist one-party rule are

It can't handle sitting down in government with Sinn Féin
leaders who, it says, took the war to Britain over the last
30 years. Such an arrangement falls somewhat short of their
claim that they would smash Sinn Féin. It can't handle
having to tackle the loyalist drug-dealing paramilitaries
which, by its own admission are the greatest threat to the
unionist community.

There's a long way to go before the mindsets of war are
decommissioned but progress is being made. If, by 24
November, the DUP is still saying "no" to peace, the two
governments should move on to an effective state of joint
authority where nationalists can push on to a united
Ireland, leaving unionists to circle the wagons ever-
tighter until they get leaders willing to take risks for


Opin: Jack The Ripper And The UDA

By Lindy McDowell
04 October 2006

Where Jack the Ripper went wrong...Instead of sending his
infamous 'from Hell' letters taunting the constabulary
about its repeated failure to halt his killing spree,
perhaps old Jack would have been better advised to put down
in writing his terms for turning from murder and
"transforming into a community-orientated activist ready to
meet the challenges of the future".

I'm not sure what it would have amounted to in 1888. But
currently the going rate is eight mill.

That's what the murderous South East Antrim brigade of the
UDA envisages it will require to end its terror campaign
and transform into a "community orientated organisation
that can meet the challenges of the future".

Eight million pounds!

So this is what the UDA really meant when it mentioned some
time back that it was planning to "clean up". The UDA -
with an Armalite in one hand and a money box in the other ?

The money we are assured will be spent on "community

What sort of "development" has the UDA in mind? A casino,
spa and golf complex?

Where the fantasists of Planet UDA are concerned, anything
is possible.

They are, of course, cute enough to couch their demand in
coy language. They don't say directly they want the
Government to fork out. But aside from Lottery funding it's
hard to see from where else they expect such a sum to come.

They're not even offering an immediate return for this mind
blowing whack of money.

They reckon it will take five years "to bring about an end
to all paramilitary and structures." (And if they don't get
Johnny Adair within that time-frame possibly even longer

Why does it take five years to wind up the murder and
maggotry business?

And does the UDA plan on continuing in the terror trade
while simultaneously availing of public funding?

Apparently it does. Apparently it sees no problem
whatsoever in the Government providing funding for a still-
operational paramilitary organisation.

Other questions:

• Will the so-called punishment attacks continue during
this five-year period?

• At which point will the South East Antrim UDA lift its
fatwa on playwright Gary Mitchell and his family?

And the real million dollar question - what in the name of
God has the Government conveyed to the UDA that has led
them to think that such a dizzying sum might be there for
the asking?

How is it that we have reached the point in Northern
Ireland where a terror organisation, without any sense of
shame, irony or respect for its many victims, feels free to
demand a multi-million pound Government pay-off ?

Just imagine the bill if they all get in on the act - if
every paramilitary gang in Northern Ireland decides to
adopt this strategy.

What you could call tactical use of getting the arm in

Think of the added rates hike the rest of us will pay to
finance it.

The Government needs to make clear precisely where it
stands in relation to demands for "transformation" cash
from paramilitaries.

Is it seriously considering this option?

Beyond Conflict, the UDA call its "initiative".

If it was being suggested anywhere else but in Northern
Ireland, it would also be beyond belief.


Atlas To Wipe British Isles Off The Map

Published: Wednesday, 4 October, 2006, 01:10 PM Doha Time

DUBLIN: Ireland’s leading schoolbooks publisher plans to
wipe the British Isles off the map in new atlases to be
published next year, according to the Irish Times.

The decision follows a complaint to Folens publishers that
the use of the term has no legal standing in Ireland.

Managing director John O’Connor said the issue had been
raised with the company by a teacher.

"I have a policy that if I see a potential problem I’ll act
on it immediately instead of waiting to see if a problem
arises. So from January 2007 the reference will be
removed," he told the newspaper.

The use of the term British Isles is regarded by many in
Ireland as an old-fashioned throwback to colonial times
when Britain ruled Ireland for centuries.

It was raised in the Dail, the lower house of parliament,
by the leader of the Sinn Fein republican party Caoimhghin
O Caolain last year.

Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said it was "not an
officially recognised term in any legal or inter-
governmental sense".

"It is without any official status. The government,
including the department of foreign affairs, does not use
this term."

He said officials in Ireland’s embassy in London "continue
to monitor the media in Britain for any abuse of the
official terms as set out in the Constitution of Ireland
and in legislation".

The use of geographic terms and political claims about them
can be hugely controversial in Ireland.

For decades a claim in the Irish constitution to Northern
Ireland had infuriated Protestant Unionists who favour
continued British rule of the island’s six north-eastern

Article 2 of the constitution - drawn up in the 1930s -
claimed the national territory of the Republic consisted of
the "whole island of Ireland, its islands and the
territorial seas".

The claim was dropped prior to the signing of the landmark
1998 Good Friday peace agreement.

The constitutional definition of the country was changed
from it’s territory to it’s people.

Ireland became a republic in 1949. - AFP

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