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October 18, 2006

No Substitute For Direct Dialogue Between DUP & SF

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 10/18/06 No Substitute For Direct Dialogue Between DUP & SF
IT 10/19/06 Taoiseach Hopes SF Will Help End Policing Dispute
RT 10/18/06 Tánaiste Calls For Leadership From NI Parties
BB 10/18/06 UUP: DUP 'Must Publish Pledge Letter'
CB 10/18/06 Robin Eames To Meet Gerry Adams
PG 10/19/06 Ombudsman To Ask Why O’Hagan Killers Still Free
BB 10/18/06 Police Attacked During Operation In Ballymurphy
BN 10/18/06 Dublin Man Convicted Of IRA Membership
UT 10/18/06 'IRA Shot Dead Derry Man' Five & ½ Years Ago
IT 10/19/06 Surprise Guest: Sevengill Shark Found In Irish Waters


No Substitute For Direct Dialogue Between The DUP And Sinn Féin

- Ó Caoláin
Published: 18 October, 2006

Sinn Féin’s Dáil Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD told the
Dáil during statements on the St Andrew’s proposals that
the talks last week have put in place the basis for further
progress but said there was ‘no substitute to direct
dialogue between the DUP and Sinn Féin’. Pointing to a
range of issues it was necessary for the British and Irish
governments to deliver, Deputy Ó Caoláin restated Sinn
Féin’s position on policing, before concluding by
expressing the opinion that he did not believe the
proposals necessitated endorsement either through an all-
island referendum or an election in the Six Counties.

The Cavan - Monaghan TD said: “Cuirim fáilte roimh an deis
seo chun próiséas na síochána a phlé. Bhí mé i láthair ag
na cainteanna san Albain agus creidim go raibh dul chin
cinn déanta ag gach páirtí agus ag an dá rialtas. Creidim
go bhfuil bunús maith ann anois chun Comhaontú Aoine an
Chéasta a chur i bhfeidhm go hiomlán.

“Having attended the talks at St. Andrews in Scotland I
believe very significant progress has been made towards the
full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. The basis
for further progress is has been put in place and it is up
to the two Governments and the parties to build on that

“Yesterday the DUP pulled out of a meeting of the Programme
for Government Committee, a direct engagement with Sinn
Féin arising directly from the St. Andrew’s talks. The
pretext for this pullout was the DUP’s interpretation of
the pledge of office for the First Minister and Deputy
First Minister. I want to point out very clearly at the
outset that Sinn Féin has suggested changes to the pledge
of office which we think would be helpful. If the DUP want
to make other suggestions then the people they should be
talking to are Sinn Féin. There is no substitute to direct
dialogue between the DUP and Sinn Féin. The DUP have yet to
come to terms with that but they must do so if we are to
build on progress made to date.

“As I have stated St. Andrew’s formed a basis for movement
forward but much more remains to be done. That needs to be
hammered out in direct dialogue.

“The DUP has also linked the issue of policing to its
conduct yesterday. Again let me be very clear about Sinn
Féin’s position on policing. Sinn Féin is for proper civic,
democratic and accountable policing. What we are against is
bad policing and bad law and order. What we are against is
political policing, counter-insurgency policing, policing
as a weapon of war, which has been the norm in the Six
Counties for generations. Sinn Féin is about changing all
of this and we have made huge progress in recent years. The
issue before is whether policing in the Six Counties has
reached a stage where it can enjoy the support of all the
community. Our job is to resolve all of the outstanding
matters and to create a proper policing service. It will be
the PSNI’s job to prove themselves to the community. But
we want to see rapid progress made on this issue. We
believe such progress is possible. When this happens, and
in the right context, Uachtarán Shinn Féin Gerry Adams will
go to the party’s Ard Chomhairle to ask them to call a
special Ard Fheis on the matter. It will then be the
membership of Sinn Féin that will decide our position.

“It needs to be stressed that the St. Andrew’s document is
an agreement between the two Governments. The parties have
not signed up to it. This process is work in progress. Much
remains to be worked out between the parties. There is real
hope, despite yesterday’s events, that the DUP has come to
accept the democratic mandate of Sinn Féin and to accept
the need to share power with their nationalist and
republican neighbours. That will be tested in the period
ahead and Sinn Féin is anxious to facilitate the DUP in
taking that step forward, a step forward that will surely
benefit all of the people of the Six Counties and of
Ireland as a whole.

“If Sinn Féin is to respond positively to the St. Andrew’s
Agreement the proposals therein must have the potential to
deliver equality, accountable civic policing, human rights
and the full restoration of the political institutions
established by the Good Friday Agreement. We are commencing
a process of internal discussion with the membership of
Sinn Féin on the St. Andrew’s document, on the outstanding
issues which are still subject to negotiation and on the
way forward. That is a very important process. I urge
people generally, of all parties and none, to read and
study the St. Andrew’s document and to participate in the
public discussion. This is not just a matter for the two
Governments and for parties in the Six Counties. This is
about the future of Ireland and of all the people who call
this island home.

“At St. Andrew’s the British government made a number of
commitments which must now be delivered on issues
including: the all-Ireland Parliamentary Forum and the all-
Ireland Civic Forum, the removal of the British government
power to suspend the political institutions, a statutory
obligation for relevant Ministers to attend meetings of the
All-Ireland Ministerial Council, the establishment of a
Bill of Rights Forum by the end of the year, a single
Equality Bill, an Irish language Act, tackling
discrimination against ex-prisoners and an end to the bar
of Irish citizens accessing top Civil Service posts in the
Six Counties.

“The Irish Government also has obligations it must meet.
These include real representation for Six-County elected
representatives here in the Dáil. It includes the setting
aside of the draconian Offences Against the State Acts. It
must accelerate its efforts to integrate infrastructure and
public services on an All-Ireland basis and provide a real
peace dividend for those communities most adversely
affected by partition and conflict. The issue of prisoners
must also be faced up to.

“Sinn Féin does not believe that either a referendum,
either North or South, or an election in the North, is
required in the event that the St. Andrew’s proposals are
agreed by the parties. In our view it does not and should
not alter the fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement.
That Agreement remains the basis for progress.

“Tá dul chun cinn déanta. Ba chóir dúinn uile dul ar
aghaidh leis an obair.”



Taoiseach Hopes SF Will Help End Policing Dispute

Michael O'Regan

Dail Report: Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said he welcomed
indications from Sinn Féin of a willingness to see the
matter of recognition of the PSNI resolved.

"If that can be achieved, and I believe it can, then trust
and confidence will follow and the devolution of policing
and justice to the Executive can be achieved by May 2008,"
he added.

"All of this would be profoundly beneficial for the process
and help guarantee the stability and security that Northern
Ireland so badly needs."

Mr Ahern said that all the issues which the governments
addressed at St Andrews were important. "However, everyone
in the House will recognise the importance of full support
by all for the policing and criminal justice institutions."

Opening a series of statements on the North, Mr Ahern said
there would be further discussions in the new programme for
government committee regarding policing and the rule of law
in the context of the pledge of office that was envisaged.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell said he had always
been, and would remain, a fervent opponent of the
Provisional IRA. As Minister for Justice, it had been his
duty to highlight the unacceptable activities of the
movement, even when on ceasefire, particularly regarding
criminality, he said.

"For my troubles, I was criticised as an enemy of the peace
process, but the truth is that the spotlight which was
shone by government on those activities has helped that
movement to face up to these issues.

"Sinn Féin's past, its outlook and very mindset may be
politically distant to me and many others but, particularly
against the background of the development in St Andrews,
the impediments to Sinn Féin being in the Executive in the
North no longer exist."

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said it appeared as if all the
parties recognised that full and unconditional support for
the police and the justice system was essential if there
was to be a durable settlement.

"It should be remembered, however, that the St Andrews
Agreement is an agreement between the two governments and
that reaching agreement between the parties is a far
greater challenge." He expressed concern about "side
deals", which would lessen the impact of all the parties
wanting to get on with the business.

Labour leader Pat Rabbitte suggested the deadlines set by
the two governments may be too ambitious. There were
multiple issues about timing and sequencing which were
still unresolved. It was becoming harder and harder to make
out what had been agreed in St Andrews and by whom.

"And this is all because the St Andrews Agreement is not,
in fact, yet, an agreement at all. It is an announcement by
the two governments of an indicative timetable for a
process that they hope will lead to agreement."

Green Party leader Trevor Sargent expressed concern that
another referendum might take from the fundamental
significance of the Belfast Agreement which the Irish
people viewed as the cornerstone of the process.

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said it needed
to be stressed that the St Andrews document was an
agreement between the two governments. "The parties have
not signed up to it. Much remains to be worked out between
the parties," he said.

© The Irish Times


Tánaiste Calls For Leadership From NI Parties

18 October 2006 20:31

The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell,
has told the Dáil that the St Andrews Agreement is clearly
the way forward for Northern Ireland.

Mr McDowell said that while both the Irish and British
governments would continue to play a positive role, the
issues could only be ultimately resolved by goodwill on the
part of the public representatives in Northern Ireland.

He said now was the time for people to show leadership,
bravery and commitment.

The Tánaiste's comments came a day after the DUP pulled out
of a meeting with Sinn Féin in a row about how ministers in
a power-sharing administration would demonstrate their
support for the PSNI.


DUP 'Must Publish Pledge Letter'

The DUP has been challenged to publish written assurances
they claim were given by Tony Blair over the ministerial
pledge of office.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said he did not
believe such a letter from the prime minister existed.

The DUP wants a pledge of support for policing in place
before Ian Paisley and SF's Martin McGuinness can become
shadow first and deputy first minister.

Sir Reg said the DUP might only have a written minute of
talks with the PM.

"I call on Ian Paisley to publish these written
assurances," he said.

"We don't believe he has a letter from the prime minister.

"What he may have is a minute of a meeting with him, which
might say the prime minister has promised to amend the
pledge of office so that there will be support for the
police written into it."

Mr Paisley and Mr McGuinness are due to take up their
shadow roles on 24 November.

The DUP's Ian Paisley Jnr has claimed the deputy first
minister designated on that date would have to "swear and
pledge allegiance to serve the interests of the Ulster
people but also to support the only police service and
Royal Courts of Justice".

On Tuesday, the DUP leader claimed he had promises from the
government in writing and if those promises were not kept
the "writings" would be taken out and pushed down the
government's throats in public.

Downing Street has refused to comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly said the party was still
debating whether to back the PSNI but was not ready to vote
on it.

Mr Kelly was speaking after a meeting to be attended by
both Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams on Tuesday was postponed.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain delayed the Programme
for Government meeting after the DUP raised objections over
the pledge of office and threatened to boycott the

Mr Kelly told the BBC's Spotlight programme later that
evening that discussions were still ongoing.

"This is a very fundamental issue, it always has been for
republicans, and we intend to get it right," he added.

Sinn Fein has confirmed that its Ard Chomhairle or party
executive will be briefed on the St Andrews Agreement on
Thursday in Dublin. The executive is the body which is
expected to respond to the government by 10 November.

Last week's St Andrews Agreement stated that before the
government legislated on the pledge of office, "it will
consider the outcome of further Preparation for Government
Committee discussions on policing and the rule of law".

The Northern Ireland parties have been given until 10
November to respond to what the governments are calling the
St Andrews Agreement.

It was published after intensive three-day talks between
the parties at St Andrews in Scotland.

If all goes to plan, a first and deputy first minister will
be nominated on 24 November and the devolved institutions
will be up and running by 26 March.

Published: 2006/10/18 12:41:05 GMT



Robin Eames To Meet Gerry Adams

Published on 19/10/2006

Church of Ireland primate, Archbishop Robin Eames, is to
meet with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams next week.

It follows the recent groundbreaking meeting between the
Rev Ian Paisley and the Catholic Primate, Archbishop Sean

Lord Eames and the four northern bishops of the Church of
Ireland are to meet Mr Adams and a party delegation next
Monday at Stormont.

The church said it was part of a process of engagement with
political parties and it had already met with the Ulster
Unionists, SDLP and Alliance Party and was requesting a
meeting with Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists.

The church said in a statement: "The Bishops have
consistently and publicly voiced their belief that
political progress can only be achieved by full and equal
participation in - and commitment to - the structures of

by Marc Mallett


Ombudsman To Ask Why O’Hagan Killers Still Free

By Dominic Ponsford
Thursday, 19 October 2006

The Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman is to launch an
investigation into why the killers of Sunday World
journalist Martin O'Hagan have yet to be charged, five
years on from his death.

Colleagues of O'Hagan have named Loyalist paramilitaries
believed to have been involved in his killing. And they
fear that the Police Service of Northern Ireland has failed
to prosecute them because at least some were informants for
the security services.

This week O'Hagan's brothers and sisters made a formal
request that Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan investigate the case —
only family members of a murder victim can prompt an
Ombudsman Inquiry.

In their letter to O'Loan, they said: "We are concerned
that although five years have passed since our brother was
shot from a passing vehicle outside his home in Tandragee
Road, Lurgan, no one has been charged in connection with
the murder.

"We are further concerned at media reports which state that
the police know the names of Martin's killers, as well as
those persons involved in a wider conspiracy to have him

They also repeated claims made in the Sunday World about
named men believed to have been involved in the murder. And
they handed over detailed notes about the case compiled by
O'Hagan's editor, Jim Campbell, who was himself shot by a
Loyalist gunman in 1984.

Campbell told Press Gazette that he has now named in the
pages of the Sunday World 10 men believed to have been
implicated in the murder of O'Hagan. He said: "Virtually
every week we write something to make them aware we are
watching them, it's a rattling-the-cage exercise, in the
hope that sooner or later one of them will break ranks.

"The big hope would be that one of them will break away and
spill the beans about the rest of them."

Campbell said he believed that there wouldn't have been
more than three people in the car from which the shots were
fired which killed O'Hagan. But he said far more people
would have been involved in the conspiracy —including those
involved in spotting O'Hagan, driving a decoy car and
driving a follow-up car.

He said he was concerned that O'Hagan's unsolved killing —
the only murder by paramilitaries of a journalist in the
modern Troubles — was getting little media coverage outside
the pages of the Sunday World.

"Martin is the forgotten victim. He certainly hasn't got
the coverage that Veronica Guerin got when she was shot by
criminals in Dublin."


Police Attacked During Operation

Police have come under attack with missiles and fireworks
during an operation in the Ballymurphy area of west

Officers responded to a report that a masked gang armed
with wooden bats had taken a young man from a house.

The incident took place shortly before 1930 BST at a house
in Rockdale Street. The 19-year-old was put into a car
which made off towards Whiterock Road.

Police came across the man at Bog Meadows. He had been

The teenager was taken to hospital.

Shortly before 2000 BST, officers stopped a car in the
Funnel area of Ballymurphy and arrested a man.

A wooden bat and iron bars were recovered, a PSNI spokesman

In a follow-up operation, a firearm was recovered from a
car at Ballymurphy Road.

A crowd gathered and missiles were thrown at police.

Published: 2006/10/18 21:52:05 GMT


Dublin Man Convicted Of IRA Membership

18/10/2006 - 14:25:16

A Dublin man was convicted of membership of an illegal
organisation at the Special Criminal Court today while a
Northern Ireland man was cleared of the same offence.

The two men were arrested after a garda investigation into
the activities of the Continuity IRA which involved the
surveillance of a Mercedes car which travelled from Newry
to Dublin.

Colm Maguire (aged 32), a native of Ballyfermot with an
address at Oatfield Crescent , Clondalkin, Dublin was found
guilty of membership of an illegal organisation styling
itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na
hEireann, otherwise the IRA on September 13, 2003.

Brian Quinn (aged 34), of Parkhead, Newry, Co Down was
acquitted of the offence after Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan,
presiding, said that the court was not satisfied beyond a
reasonable doubt that he was guilty.

The judge said that the court accepted the evidence of
Detective Chief Superintendent Philip Kelly that he
believed Maguire was a member of an illegal organisation on
September 13, 2003.

The court found that the Chief Superintendent’s belief was
corroborated by Maguire giving misleading answers to gardaí
when questioned about his membership.

Both Maguire and Quinn denied in evidence that they were
IRA members.

The court was told during the six-day trial that gardaí
stopped a Mercedes car on the Swords road as it travelled

The court heard that two rifles with telescopic sights,
five mobile phones and €2,400 in cash were recovered from
the car which was put under garda surveillance as it was
driven from Co Louth to Dublin and back towards the North.

The court was told that gardaí observed Maguire meeting the
driver of the car in Dublin city centre.


'IRA Shot Dead Derry Man' Five & ½ Years Ago

A suspected drug dealer was shot dead on his birthday by
the Provisional IRA during its ceasefire, an inquest has

By:Press Association

Christopher "Cricky" O`Kane was gunned down as he returned
to his security-heavy home in the Currynierin estate, in
Derry, on April 21, 2001.

He was locking up his car in the Milldale Crescent
driveway, just 20 minutes into his 37th birthday, when two
men, arms outstretched, walked towards him firing five
bullets into his body.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Inspector Robert
Paul said the manner in which the assassination was carried
out, and other information, led him to believe the
Provisional IRA were responsible.

The dead man`s cousin, Declan O`Kane, told the inquest
"Cricky" was also concerned about reports in a loyalist
publication, Warrior, linking him to the death of a brother
of one of the Greysteel murderers.

One man was arrested in the follow-up police murder
investigation, but was later released without charge and
the case remains open, Inspector Paul said.

The guns used - a 9mm pistol and a .38/357 calibre revolver
- had no previous history and have not been used in any
shootings since, according to police files.

Unemployed O`Kane had a number of previous non-drugs
related convictions, but was known as a dealer. He was
evicted from his previous home by the Housing Executive
after neighbours complained.

After living for some time in the Drummond Hotel,
Ballykelly, he was allocated a new house which was fitted
with armoured windows, steel security gates, special
lighting and a panic button.

There were also CCTV cameras but the quality and clarity of
the footage on the night of the shooting could not help
identify the killers, Inspector Paul said.


Surprise Guest: Sevengill Shark Found In Irish Waters

Anne Lucey

An aggressive shark normally found in the Pacific or off
the warm waters of Africa at this time of year has been
caught in the nets of a Kerry fishing vessel off Fastnet

The sevengill, or cow shark, was brought up on Tuesday
morning in the nets of the HollyB, owned by John O'Donnell
of Cloghane, and it was presented to a rare fish expert
attached to the Mara Beo aquarium in An Daingean. The fish,
a female, was already dead and is now on its way to the
Museum of Natural History.

The sevengill's predator is the great white, and its
presence in Irish inshore waters has led to speculation the
great whites are on their way here.

Department of the Marine officer and exotic and rare fish
expert Kevin Flannery, based in An Daingean, said great
whites had already been spotted off Cornwall and "when you
get this shark, it's only a matter of time before the great
whites appear," he said of the sevengill's presence.

Sea temperatures here were "well up" this year, Mr Flannery
said. There had been a two degree increase in temperatures
in waters in the southwest in recent years. This was "a
major, colossal" increase.

The sevengill is the latest exotic creature to appear in
Irish waters off the southwest this year alone.

Tropical puffer fish and other warm water species had
already made an appearance, Mr Flannery said.

© The Irish Times

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