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October 01, 2006

North's Ombudsman Rules Out Use of Stun Guns

News About Ireland & The Irish

EE 10/01/06 North's Ombudsman Rules Out Use Of Stun Guns
SL 10/01/06 Crucial IMC Report Being Finalised
SL 10/01/06 Cops Grill Ex-IRA Spy Over Murder
SL 10/01/06 O'Hagan Cop-Out: NUJ
SL 10/01/06 South East Antrim Brigade To Split From UDA
SL 10/01/06 Milltown Murderer Faces New Jail Term
SL 10/01/06 Orde Under Pressure On Cop Ambush Linked To Adams' Dabs
IT 10/01/06 Taoiseach Repays Controversial Loans
SO 10/01/06 Opin: The DUP Charm Offensive At Labour Party Conference
PD 10/01/06 Irish Northern Aid Dinner in Cleveland
DS 10/01/06 'Pirate Queen' About To Set Sail In Chicago


North's Ombudsman Rules Out Use Of Stun Guns

01/10/2006 - 11:04:49 AM

The Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman said today she had
not identified a need for controversial stun guns to be
introduced by police.

The Chief Constable of the PSNI Hugh Orde is investigating
whether he should add Taser guns to the armoury of his
officers, as a number of UK police services have.

Human rights campaigners have urged Chief Constable Orde to
learn from the experiences of the use of the Taser - which
dispenses a powerful electric shock - in the United States
and bin his plans for its introduction.

Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan attended a seminar last week during
which Amnesty International said more than 200 people had
died in the US since 2001 after being targeted with a

Representatives of the Policing Board, the PSNI and local
political parties also attended - both Sinn F‚in and the
SDLP said the stun gun plan should be dropped.

Tasers have been introduced by a number of British police
services and just last week another used it for the first

Ms O'Loan would be responsible for investigating any
complaints against the police in the North from the public
about the use of Tasers.

She said: "I have no say over whether the police choose to
introduce Tasers or not. It is a policing decision which
they will make.

"The only situation where I might look at the introduction
of something more in terms of the use of force would be if,
in the course of my investigations I had become aware of a
deficiency or a gap in the process available to the

The PSNI had used CS Spray, batons and firearms, she said
on BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence, adding: "If it were
that I found that there was a need for something like a
Taser I would feel entitled to say it. I have not
identified such a gap yet."


Crucial IMC Report Being Finalised

By Brian Rowan
01 October 2006

The report of the Independent Monitoring Commission that
could determine the prospects for a political deal here was
being finalised yesterday.

Informed sources suggested this latest, and crucial,
assessment by the four-man commission should have been
completed last night.

It will then be forwarded to the British and Irish
governments, and the four commissioners - Lord Alderdice,
Joe Brosnan, Dick Kerr and John Grieve - are expected to
hold a news conference at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Publication of the report will come exactly a week before
the political "hot house" negotiations begin in Scotland.

The commission is expected to confirm that the IRA has
closed down its terrorist operations, but the DUP will read
the assessment for what it says on criminal activities and
the continuing existence of an IRA structure.

The IMC will spell out in greater detail the changes that
have occurred inside the IRA since it formally ended its
armed campaign last July and the decommissioning acts that
followed in September.

Republicans insist that the IRA's "operational units" are
now inactive and that the organisation has "left the

The DUP made clear yesterday that it will read not just the
IMC report, but will seek other security and intelligence

Apart from questions about the IRA, the other key issues
that remain to be negotiated in Scotland, and in whatever
talks follow, are a return to power sharing and a
republican endorsement of policing.

Essential to the latter are the details and the timeframe
for the transfer of policing and justice powers to local

The IMC is also expected to report on positive developments
within loyalism.

Last Wednesday, the PUP - with links to the UVF - held its
second meeting with the commission in the space of eight

"The IMC was obviously asking and probing about UVF
intent," party chair and policing board member Dawn Purvis
told Sunday Life.

"We gave them as much information that was available to
us," she continued. "Whilst they recognise the 'positivity'
and the good things that are happening within loyalism,
they pointed out again that their job is to report on
continuing paramilitary activity."


Cops Grill Ex-IRA Spy Over Murder

By Stephen Breen
01 October 2006

A former IRA spy is set to be quizzed by cold case cops
over the murder of a hero soldier.

Sunday Life understands the police's Historical Enquiries
Team will interview double agent 'Kevin Fulton' later this
month about the 'human bomb' attack which claimed the life
of RIR soldier Cyril Smith QGM.

The case is currently being investigated by Police
Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan after the murdered soldier's
parents, Bernie and Cyril, told how they believed their son
was allowed to die to protect the identity of a republican

But police investigators believe Fulton - who infiltrated
IRA units in the south Down area around the time of the
attack - can provide the names of the bomb gang.

Said a senior source: "The Historical Enquiries Team think
Fulton could provide them with crucial information about
this murder.

"There was a lot of agents inside the IRA's south Down unit
around this time, but Fulton was up there.

"He has been questioned before about his time in the IRA
and the team has every right to quiz him because he was
central to the organising of Provo operations around this

Sunday Life contacted Fulton about the soldier's murder
last night, but he refused to make any comment.

The murdered soldier's parents, Bernie and Cyril, who
believe their hero son was allowed to die to protect the
identity of a republican spy, urged anyone with information
on the murder to come forward.

Said Bernie: "We are just letting the Historical Enquiries
Team get on with their job and we are hopeful that we can
receive justice.

"We know there are people out there who know the truth
behind Cyril's murder and I would plead with them to give
their full co-operation to the police and Mrs O'Loan."

Cyril (21) died after a bomb ripped through the permanent
border vehicle checkpoint at Killeen, outside Newry, in
October 1990.

He had just rescued James McAvoy (68), who was warned by an
IRA gang that his sons would be shot if he did not drive
the bomb to the checkpoint.

Cyril was running back to warn his comrades about the
device when it exploded, killing him instantly.

He was the first RIR soldier to be killed during the

East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson has vowed to raise Ranger
Smith's case as soon as possible at Westminster.

A petition has also been launched in Carrickfergus about
the murder.


O'Hagan Cop-Out: NUJ

By Philip Ireland
01 October 2006

Cops were last night accused of snubbing slain reporter
Martin O'Hagan.

The National Union of Journalists hand-delivered a letter
to Police Headquarters on the fifth anniversary of his
murder last week.

But neither Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde, his deputy, Paul
Leighton, nor any of FIVE assistant chief constables was
available to receive it.

It was finally handed to a civilian worker staffing the

NUJ officials and colleagues of the Sunday World journalist
later met Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan to give her a copy
of the letter to Sir Hugh.

In it, the union recorded its "grave concern" at the PSNI's
failure to charge anyone with the 2001 killing.

Belfast and District NUJ branch chairman Kevin Cooper said:
"Shortly after this appalling crime, a number of assurances
were given by the then Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie
Flanagan, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland,
John Reid, that the murderers of Martin O'Hagan would be
caught and brought before the courts.

"Today, we again ask the question: 'Why has no one been
brought before the courts for the murder of Martin

Mr O'Hagan was gunned down as he walked to his Lurgan home
after a night out with his wife, Marie, in September 2001.

Defending their investigation, police said officers had
pursued more than 2,000 lines of inquiry, taken more than
400 statements and made eight arrests.


South East Antrim Brigade To Split From UDA

By Stephen Breen
01 October 2006

Vereran north Belfast loyalist Tommy Kirkham last night
severed his 30-year link with Ulster's largest terror

The Newtownabbey councillor is set to appear at a Press
conference tomorrow, where he is expected to confirm the
south east Antrim UDA brigade's split from the mainstream

Kirkham - who backed the Shoukris during their bitter
dispute with the UDA's inner council - is also believed to
announce the formation of a new semi-political grouping.

The former UPRG man, who has held talks with the Government
in the past, has refused to comment on the development.

Sunday Life has obtained a draft document - entitled Beyond
Conflict - in which Kirkham and his associates have
outlined their views on the way forward.

The paper addresses the issues of criminality in loyalism,
decommissioning, social and economic regeneration and
support for policing.

It is also understood they will call for loyalists to be
given a five-year period to move away from crime.

And nine business plans aimed at regenerating the south
east Antrim area are also outlined.

As part of the new initiative, Kirkham held talks with the
Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) in the Whitewell
area last Friday.

During the meeting, the south east Antrim leadership is
believed to have denied any involvement in petrol bomb
attacks which gutted Catholic homes, in August.

But the new initiative has been dismissed by the mainstream

Said a top loyalist source: "The problem with the south
east Antrim proposal is that their wish for conflict
transformation had unrealistic goals.

"They believed it was necessary to bring the criminal
elements along with them, hence the unholy alliances with
the Shoukris - this was a position the mainstream could not

"Criminals must be dealt with through the legal structures
of the state and law and order cannot be used as a
bargaining tool to achieve or keep ill gotten gain by

"It would seem that members of south east Antrim are in
total support of the mainstream, but the leadership have
this difference of bringing criminality with them.

"This element of their strategy is not only at odds with
the mainstream organisation but also with the unionist and
loyalist community as a whole.

"There is a 'new loyalist' now and that loyalist will not
sign up to principles that oppress and deny their own
community's freedom and prosperity. The truth is that the
UDA has to do what it says on the tin, and that means all
of it."


Milltown Murderer Faces New Jail Term

By Stephen Breen
01 October 2006

Notorious graveyard killer Michael Stone was last night
preparing himself for a return to prison.

The Milltown murderer says he believes he will be charged
with fresh terror offences after he is interviewed by cops

Stone, now living in south east Antrim, claims he faces
being accused of attempted murder and seven charges of
conspiracy to murder.

The attempted murder charges relate to a gun attack on a
senior republican in Garvagh, in 1987.

The conspiracy to murder charges relate to Stone's role as
a freelance loyalist hitman in the months leading up to the
Milltown attack. One is believed to relate to a planned gun
attack against members of the Gardai along the border.

The killer-turned-artist was last night adamant that he
will be charged over the offences.

Said Stone: "I have to present myself on Monday to police
and after I am interviewed, I know I believe I will be
remanded in custody.

"I volunteered to go to police about my past a number of
months ago, because there was a former UDA man who was
going to tell them everything about me - it was a case of
jumping before I was pushed.

"I wanted to draw a line on my past as a freelance loyalist
paramilitary and I know I have to pay the penalty for the
offences I committed.

"When I go back to prison I won't be on any loyalist wing,
because I am not a member of any paramilitary organisation.

"I will take prison on the chin, because I know I can
handle it. I might not have to serve a full sentence
because these were politically motivated crimes, but I
could be away for a few years."

Stone also believes he could face more charges if some of
his former comrades speak to cold case cops about his past.

Added the terrorist: "I could face more charges because
there's men like Johnny Adair who know a lot about my past.

"These men are not true loyalists and I know that they
could provide police with information about my past just to
get at me.

"I want to draw a line on my time as a loyalist
paramilitary and I am prepared for anything which comes my

"I offered to meet war criminals like Adair to discuss the
conflict but he doesn't want to know. I just want to get on
with my life."


Orde Under Pressure On Cop Ambush Linked To Adams' Dabs

By Alan Murray
01 October 2006

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde is under pressure to release
details of a fresh inquiry into an IRA double-murder -
following claims that Gerry Adams' fingerprints were found
in a burnt out car linked to the killers.

The DUP's Ian Paisley jnr has called on Sir Hugh to brief
the Policing Board on the ongoing investigation by cold
case cops into the 1971 murders of RUC men Cecil Cunningham
(46) and John Haslett (21).

The two officers were working undercover when their
unmarked car was ambushed by IRA gunmen at the junction of
Twaddell Avenue/Woodvale Road, north Belfast.

Mr Paisley told Sunday Life: "My understanding is that
there is substance to the suggestion that material linking
a prominent Belfast republican to this incident has been
recovered and that it positively identifies someone who was
rising rapidly through the IRA's ranks in the city at that

"I am led to believe that half of a palm print and at least
one fingerprint was recovered from a vehicle believed to
have been used in the killings, and that those have now
been positively identified as a senior republican's.

"Hopefully, the Chief Constable will clarify if the traces
are DNA linked to this figure and how the Historical
Enquiries Team (HET) hopes to progress the case," added the
North Antrim MLA.

It is understood that fingerprints found on a burnt-out car
after the shooting on October 15, 1971, matched impressions
taken from Gerry Adams' hands when he was arrested in the

The discovery was only confirmed in the late 1980s when new
DNA techniques were developed to study traces that could
not previously be analysed.

Despite the discovery it is understood that Mr Adams was
never asked how his prints were found on the stolen vehicle
believed to have been used in the killings.

Constables Cunningham and Haslett were keeping watch on a
savings bank and post office when IRA gunmen in a green
Cortina car raked their parked vehicle with gunfire.

Later a stolen green Cortina car was found on fire in the
nationalist Ardoyne area.

Although it was never established that it was the vehicle
used by the gunmen, fingerprints were recovered from it.

Mr Paisley has asked the Chief Constable for a full
briefing into the new investigation mounted by the HET,
which was set up in January this year to investigate
unsolved terrorist murders and review all other cases
dating back to the very beginning of the Troubles.


Taoiseach Repays Controversial Loans

Last updated: 01-10-06, 11:30

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has repaid with interest loans he
received from 12 businessmen in the early 1990s, it emerged

Mr Ahern is understood to have issued cheques totalling
over ?90,000 - when interest is taken into account - to
cover loans he borrowed from friends and associates in 1993
and 1994.

The Fianna Fail leader has been under serious political
pressure since his public admission last week that he had
not - at that time - repaid any of a ?50,000 loan given to
him while minister of finance.

But Mr Ahern still faces questions over his admission that
he accepted œ8,000 sterling from a group of businessmen in
1994 for making a speech in Manchester.

On Friday T naiste and Progressive Democrat leader Michael
McDowell said he would continue in Government if Mr Ahern
can give the D il a credible and convincing account of how
he came to accept the payment.

"What I am saying is that a person in his position has to
be accountable in the right way to D il ireann. Decent
standards have to be observed and people have to be

I believe and hope that he will account, warts and all, to
the D il on Tuesday. I have the feeling that we have to act
proportionately on this," Mr McDowell told The Irish Times.

Yesterday Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern
defended the Taoiseach, calling for a "sense of
proportionality" in relation the controversy.

"Are we going to throw out a Taoiseach who was the best
labour minister in the history of this state? Are we going
to throw out the Taoiseach who brought in the Belfast
Agreement, with the aid of others?

"There is nobody in Leinster House to hold a candle to the
Taoiseach in relation to being leader of the country," he

c 2006


Opin: The DUP Charm Offensive At Labour Party Conference

Gary Kent reports on the DUP charm offensive at the Labour
Party conference

Swigging bubbly with Dr Ian Paisley was a jaw-dropping
first for many astonished delegates at the Labour Party
conference in Manchester this week. But a Federation of
Small Businesses champagne reception was where the DUP's
charm offensive began. And this time the emphasis was on
the charm rather than the offensive. Dr Paisley and his son
stuck to water and later stuck to their guns but wanted to
win friends and influence people.

I asked the Big Man why he had come to Manchester -
incidentally the gay capital of Britain.

He said that it was "always good to talk" and he wanted to
prove that "we don't have horns."

The DUP has developed a taste for bold strokes that
surprise and are therefore more striking.

This is the DUP's Martini Strategy. Anytime, Anyplace,

Earlier this year a senior DUP delegation went south to
talk to Irish and British parliamentarians in Killarney.

It was led by Deputy Leader Peter Robinson who was once
jailed on a trip south.

The Killarney trip went so much against type that it won
massive coverage.

The DUP then asked if they could attend the Labour Party

A breakfast fringe meeting at the Prime Minister's hotel
was hastily arranged.

Peter Hain and his ministerial team as well as senior MPs
and journalists turned up before 8am.

The Fookin Noodle Bar in Belfast sponsored the croissants
and orange juice. You couldn't make this stuff up.

Paisley was in humorous form. He paraded his orange pass
for the cameras but said that he was "flying under false
colours" as it wrongly described him as an Ulster Unionist.

He joked he was once a member but "I saw the light."

He said he preferred self-government rather than having
"visitors" running the show.

And he added to laughter, "I suppose there's a streak of
nationalism in all of us."

The Catholic Labour MP Steve Pound then addressed him as
"my fellow nationalist."

Peter Hain who is Welsh Secretary quipped that Paisley had
been "greatly civilised by his preaching in the Welsh

But laughter aside, Paisley's key message was polite but

He told Hain directly that "Ulstermen cannot be bullied by
threats from any politician. They just become more

The DUP say that they are not moved by the fear of losing
salaries and allowances if Stormont is shut down.

Ian Junior told me that the party understood that "Big
Boys' Rules" meant taking risks.

His father wasn't happy that "the curtains would come down
on 24th November."

He added "People don't believe the deadline. I'm not sure
if I could read the heart of the Secretary of State that he
believes it either."

With just weeks to go before that deadline neither Paisley
nor Hain was going to give their hand away.

But Dr Paisley told me afterwards that "it had laid to rest
the idea that the DUP is mad and that I'm a scamp."

Big Ian then went to hear a moving speech to the conference
itself from Betty Orr the Head teacher of Edenbrooke
primary school in the Shankill.

The symbolism was unmistakeable. The DUP set out to prove
it didn't have horns. Labour showed that it didn't either.

All this illustrates how discussion at Labour's conference
on Northern Ireland has changed profoundly over the 25
years I have been going.

The debate in the early years was often one sided and
dominated by calls for troops out now and withdrawal.

Sinn Fein and its supporters were the loudest voices.

But then others started to come.

The Workers' Party put on social nights for very many
years. It was all good craic with flutes, booze and
solidarity with striking miners.

Those who felt that being left-wing meant backing the
Provos started to see things differently.

But unionists were thin on the ground until David Trimble
broke the mould by attending conference for the first time
ten years ago to address a peace group in which I was

It took a long time for Paisley to follow suit.

And Labour has changed in that time. The annual "Ulster
Fry" breakfast brings together all parts of the province.

Labour used to return membership applications from anyone
in Northern Ireland. Thanks but no thanks.

Now people can join. A deal has also just been struck to
allow members to organise but not fight elections.

Northern Ireland has become a more mainstream issue in
mainland politics.

Even if what Peter Hain called "the endless merry-go-round"
of Ulster's "groundhog day" washes over most people.

The Paisley trip to Manchester was a high profile gesture.
The DUP and Labour are listening to each other. Whether
this heralds success by 24th November is a different

Gary Kent @ 07:35 AM


Irish Dinner:

Billie Chambers and Frances Quinn will provide the
entertainment for Irish Northern Aid's dinner and reverse
raffle starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the West Side Irish
American Club, 8559 Jennings Road, Olmsted Township. The
event marks the 25th anniversary of the Irish hunger
strike. Tickets are $60, or $80 per couple. Call 216-749-


'Pirate Queen' About To Set Sail In Chicago

October 1, 2006

By Betty Mohr Daily Southtown Theater Critic

After turning a production of Irish dance into a worldwide
phenomenon with "Riverdance," producers Moya Doherty and
John McColgan could have rested on their laurels.

Instead, the husband-and-wife team was emboldened to take
on an even bigger challenge -- and do it right away.

" 'Riverdance' had been such an exciting adventure that we
were eager to work on another show right away. We wanted to
do something that was rooted in Ireland, but we didn't want
to do just another dance show," Doherty said.

In researching Irish history, Doherty said that she,
McColgan and their creative team came upon the story of
Grace O'Malley, a real-life Irish pirate.

Her story was so fascinating that Doherty immediately knew
she would be the perfect subject for their new musical,
"The Pirate Queen," which opens in previews Tuesday, with
the official world-premiere Oct. 29 at Chicago's Cadillac
Palace Theatre.

Doherty said they based "The Pirate Queen" on Irish-
American author Morgan Llywelyn's novel "Grania -- She King
of the Irish Seas." Grania, the Gaelic name for Grace, was
part of the O'Malley clan who ruled in County Mayo in
Ireland. She lived during the 16th century when the English
under Queen Elizabeth I tried to occupy and rule Ireland.

"She fought for Ireland against the British queen, and we
thought that would give the musical great drama, and would
offer strong meaning, not only to the Irish but to all
people struggling for freedom," Doherty said.

As Doherty and McColgan considered doing a musical of Grace
O'Malley's life, they knew they didn't want to do just
another "Riverdance."

Doherty said they realized they would need different skills
for this type of musical theater than they did for their
dance spectacular.

So they put together an unbeatable creative team of proven
talents that includes Alan Boublil and Claude-Michel
Schonberg, composers of "Les Miserables" and "Miss Saigon";
Tony Award-winning Chicago director Frank Galati; set
designer Eugene Lee, who did the sets for "Wicked"; and
Mark Dendy, who is collaborating with Irish dance
specialist Carol Leavy Joyce to bring authentic Irish dance
of the 16th century to the show.

"It took us 4« years to put the show together. We
considered opening it in Dublin, which is where we opened
'Riverdance,' but as the work developed, we realized that
there are no theaters in Dublin large enough to accommodate
the epic size of this musical," Doherty said.

She said they decided it would be better to open it on a
big North American stage, and chose Chicago because of its
success with shows such as "The Producers," "Spamalot" and

"And, most importantly, Chicago has a strong Irish
community," she said. "I believe there are as many Irish in
Chicago as there are in Dublin."

Doherty, who lives in Dublin with McColgan and their two
boys, had a series of jobs before she hit it big with
"Riverdance." She said she always had an interest in
theater and taught speech and theater in Dublin.

She did some acting, became a journalist and got a job as a
television producer. "Riverdance" started as a small
television insert that she worked on and then expanded into
a dance blockbuster with McColgan.

"We're a little nervous about our new show," she said.
"It's quite a challenge to mount new work. Most producers
today mount works that have some kind of existing brand
from a popular book or movie that makes it well known to
audiences," Doherty said.

"We're doing something entirely unknown with 'The Pirate
Queen.' We have lots of cash outlays for four years before
we even sell a ticket. It's a very risky business. As a
famous producer once said: 'How do you become a millionaire
in theater? The answer: You start out as a billionaire.'

"You have to love what you do to take the financial and
creative risks that a big theatrical project like 'The
Pirate Queen' entails," Doherty said. "We feel so strongly
about Ireland and the story of this incredible Irish woman
that we want to share it with the world."

If you go ...

What: "The Pirate Queen"
When: Opens in previews Tuesday, with an official world
premiere Oct. 29. Runs through Nov. 26.
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St.,
Tickets: $28 to $85
Information: Call (312) 902-1400 or visit
Comments: Post a Comment

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