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October 11, 2006

Paisley Jr In Public Row with Ombudsman

News About Ireland & The Irish

CB 10/12/06 Politician In Public Row With Ombudsman
GU 10/11/06 DUP Must Agree To Devolution - McGuiness
TH 10/12/06 Crucial Moment’ As Talks Begin On Stormont
GU 10/12/06 Attention Fixed On Paisley At Crucial Talks On Ulster

Picture: Getty
BB 10/11/06 Weather A Bad Harbinger For Talks
BB 10/11/06 'Will There' To Make NI Deal Work
BB 10/11/06 Orange Order Meets With Councils
IT 10/10/06 Half-Naked Axeman Arrested On Belfast Bus


Politician In Public Row With Ombudsman

Published on 12/10/2006

It's emerged that Northern Ireland police ombudsman Nuala
O'Loan had a stand up row with senior Democratic Unionist
Ian Paisley Junior in a Belfast city centre coffee house.

The pair clashed in front of astonished customers, with the
argument understood to have centred on Mrs O'Loan's family.

The police ombudsman was with two of her sons when a tense
exchange rapidly escalated on Tuesday afternoon.

At one stage it is believed Mr Paisley, a member of the
Northern Ireland Policing Board and a fierce critic of Mrs
O'Loan, asked one of her sons to leave the premises.

The DUP Assemblyman had been in the cafe with an official
from the Northern Ireland Office when the row flared.

A spokesman for Mrs O'Loan tonight confirmed there had been
an incident, but emphatically denied that either of her
sons had hurled any abuse.

by Marc Mallett


DUP Must Agree To Devolution - McGuiness

Last updated: 11-10-06, 21:46

The Rev Ian Paisley can advance the issue of policing in
Northern Ireland if he gives a clear signal that there will
be power sharing, Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness stressed

As parties took part in a hectic round of meetings with
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Mr
McGuinness emerged from the talks insisting Sinn Fein could
not move on policing without the DUP agreeing to form a
devolved government featuring Sinn Fein.

"I think that there is no doubt that a majority of
unionists and loyalists want to see their leaders working
in partnership with ourselves and the SDLP for a better
future for the children," the mid-Ulster MP said.

"I certainly think that a deal can be done but I would like
to hear Ian Paisley say that he is ready to go into
government with the Sinn Fein leadership. I would like to
hear Ian Paisley face up to the reality for example as we
major on the issue of policing that the issue of policing
has as much to do with him as it has to do with the Sinn
Fein leadership.

"The transfer of (policing and justice) powers (from
Westminster to a future Stormont government) is of critical

Earlier Mr Blair and Mr Ahern told the parties that they
had to strike a deal by the British and Irish Governments
deadline of November 24th for a breakthrough. Mr Blair, in
particular, insisted this would be the last intensive talks
process and it was time for a decision.

© 2006


Crucial Moment’ As Talks Begin On Stormont

ROBBIE DINWOODIE, Chief Scottish Political Correspondent
October 12 2006

THE St Andrews negotiations to restore devolved government
to Northern Ireland opened last night as political leaders
jetted into Scotland from London, Dublin and Belfast to
decide on a power-sharing deal.

Dr Ian Paisley of the DUP, potentially first minister-elect
at Stormont, was bullish, insisting his party had nothing
to prove and put the onus on Sinn Fein to shift its
position on policing issues, while for his part Gerry Adams
said his party believed there were no insurmountable
problems on the table.

First to arrive was Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, followed
by representatives of the SDLP, Ulster Unionists, Sinn Fein
and the DUP, before Tony Blair arrived fresh from Prime
Minister's Questions at Westminster to be welcomed by Jack
McConnell, the First Minister.

The talks, which would bring all the factions around the
table at a luxury hotel outside St Andrews, started with
statements from the British and Irish premiers followed by
submissions from each party.

They then broke into separate bilateral discussions between
the premiers and individual party groups ahead of a
resumption of full talks this morning.

Mr Blair said on his arrival last night he believed the
political will was there among the parties. "Essentially
everyone understands this is the crucial moment for this
whole process," he said. "We have been almost 10 years
working on this, myself and the Taoiseach. There has been
an immense amount of progress made but now is the time to
get the business done."

On a dreich, blustery day when the wind whipping in off St
Andrews Bay blew off Dr Paisley's fedora, the veteran DUP
leader looked at home in what he called "Ballymena

He was in typically combative mode, saying the onus was on
his republican opponents not just to say they had changed
in terms of supporting the police, but to demonstrate it.

Did the November 24 deadline for agreement imposed by
Ulster Secretary Peter Hain matter? "Not to us," he
replied. "We are not interested in deadlines, we are
interested in getting matters resolved."

He insisted: "My message to Sinn Fein/IRA is that you have
to deliberate. We have nothing to deliberate, because all
the other parties agree we have to build on a firm
democratic foundation. We don't have to argue or debate
with Sinn Fein. We're here to listen to whether or not they
are going to deliver, then we have to see activity."

He said the DUP was there to support the automatic
assumption that those who are in government of a country
have to support the police.

That means giving evidence about crimes and terrorism over
to the police and "handing back ill-gotten gains". He
added: "If we see that, we have hope. If not, it's another

Mr Adams said the media's insistence on seeing it as a
clash between policing and governance was simplistic, but
the key demand from the DUP is that Sinn Fein demonstrates
its support for the police. For its part the DUP has to
decide whether Dr Paisley could accept an arch-foe as his
deputy at Stormont if the Republicans continue to say all
the right things. He added: "We think the will is there and
the institutions can be put in place, and the Good Friday
Agreement met by the deadline."

On the issue of recognising and working with the Police
Service of Northern Ireland, Mr Adams said: "What Sinn Fein
will be doing is not to satisfy the DUP. Republicans
expect, demand and have an entitlement to a proper system
of civil policing that is accountable.

"There is a will on the part of Sinn Fein. The next few
days will show whether the DUP have that will."


Attention Fixed On Paisley At Crucial Talks On Ulster

Owen Bowcott, Ireland correspondent
Thursday October 12, 2006
The Guardian

Tony Blair arrived on the rainswept east coast of Scotland
yesterday for three days of intensive multi-party talks,
hoping to secure his political legacy with a final
settlement in Northern Ireland.

But attention was focused on Ian Paisley, veteran leader of
the Democratic Unionist party, whose influence will be
decisive for the negotiations aimed at restoring a power-
sharing, devolved assembly in Northern Ireland.

Nicknamed "Dr No" by opponents, the 80-year-old preacher is
under pressure from the British and Irish governments to
lead his supporters into an unprecedented agreement with
Sinn Féin.

Mr Paisley's pronouncements, closely analysed, have been
interpreted both as proof that a deal is possible before
Downing Street's deadline of November 24 and that he may
yet withhold his consent at a later date.

Speaking outside the Fairmont St Andrews hotel - after his
hat was blown off by the wind - the DUP leader placed the
onus for agreement on the republican movement which he
insisted must first join Northern Ireland's policing board.

"You must obey the law if you are going to be in the
government of a country," he said. "You must support the
police, not just by sitting on the police board but by
giving the police the information you have and giving them
evidence to help them solve the crimes that terrorists
committed ... and also hand back its ill-gotten gains.

"If they do that, there's hope. If not, then there's going
to be a cover-up and we are back to the bad old days. I'm
not interested in deadlines. I'm interested in getting this
matter solved. The IRA has got to deliver."

Bertie Ahern, the Irish prime minister, and Mitchell Reiss,
the US special envoy to Northern Ireland, are participating
in the "hothouse" sessions.

Mr Blair has probably dedicated more hours of his time in
office to Northern Ireland than to any other issue. A deal
would sound a grace note to what may otherwise be a
cantankerous final period in power. "Essentially, everyone
understands this is the crucial moment for this whole
process," he said yesterday.

"We have been almost 10 years working on this ... There has
been an immense amount of progress made but now is the time
to get the business done.

"We know the issues we have to resolve in terms of power-
sharing, in terms of policing. All of these issues are well
gone over ... The question is whether there is the will to
make sure we resolve any outstanding issues and get
agreement and give people in Northern Ireland the future
they want. I believe the political will is there to do it."

As well as concentrating on the need for Sinn Féin to sign
up to policing and the devolution of security affairs, the
discussions at St Andrews are expected to focus on reforms
to Stormont political institutions.

The Northern Ireland assembly was formally suspended in
late 2002 following allegations of a republican spy ring at
Stormont. Since then it has cost taxpayers £98m.
Redundancies have already been sent out to members of the
assembly (MLAs) in anticipation of its closure.


Weather A Bad Harbinger For Talks

By Martina Purdy
BBC Northern Ireland political correspondent

If the weather is a portent of doom the St Andrews talks
were washed up even before they began.

Fairmount, the luxurious talks venue, was cloaked in a fog
for much of the day - invisible at times to the rain soaked
media hordes which took shelter from the biting winds in a
big marquee.

The one comfort for hacks was the rather delicious leek and
potato soup which thickened into a stew as the hours

The afternoon brought more and more politicians but less
and less respite from the elements, in fact the weather was
the main point of agreement at successive news conferences.

The SDLP negotiator Sean Farren hoped the gloom would not
be reflected in the mood of the talks.

The Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, in a rare moment of
sympathy with the media quoted an Irish proverb.

"I hope the wind is at your backs," he grinned.

By the time Ian Paisley arrived - he was among the last -
the weather had worsened and the DUP leader had to hang on
to his fedora before quipping: "This is Ballymena weather."

It was Sir Reg Empey, the Ulster Unionist leader, who
summed up the mood after years and years of talks to
implement the Good Friday Agreement - "here we go again".

While the taoiseach was the first politician to arrive at
about noon it was the arrival of the prime minister shortly
before 1700 BST which marked the start of talks.


While there is little optimism that the DUP leader will cut
a deal in the timescale demanded by London and Dublin there
has been progress of sorts already at Fairmount.

The DUP leader, despite rumours that he would object, did
agree to be filmed sitting around the talks table with Sinn
Fein and the other parties for a session hosted by Tony
Blair and Bertie Ahern.

Although there was a similar photo opportunity in 2003 the
DUP had refused to repeat the move - and this was the first
image of all the parties and the two prime ministers.

The fact that Ian Paisley was just a few seats from a Sinn
Fein leader, with the Alliance Party as a buffer is a sign
of changing times.

So too were the people in the room watching - Eileen
Paisley and the IRA veteran Martin Ferris.

Mrs Paisley is now Baroness Paisley of St George's and Mr
Ferris a TD - member of the Irish parliament.

They all listened patiently as the prime minister spoke,
followed by the taoiseach and the party leaders in
alphabetical order.

One talks insider said there were a few light moments and
the DUP ignored a jibe by Gerry Adams that his party "was
not called Sinn Fein/IRA".

The problem for Tony Blair is the times are not changing
fast enough while Gerry Adams is suggesting he is up for a
deal on policing the DUP leader Ian Paisley is keeping
everyone guessing.

His remarks on his arrival could be interpreted as a
hardening of his position.

He demanded the IRA hand over it all its "ill-gotten gains"
as proof of the republican commitment to law and order.

A Sinn Fein source refused to even comment on the remark,
but one might well ask whether this is another
"unrealisable demand" designed to scupper a deal.

The prime minister's official spokesman brushed aside what
the party's are saying, no doubt hoping it's all rhetoric
as the parties get down to their bottom lines.

Ian Paisley's demand will reassure a nervous constituency
that he isn't going soft - but Mark Durkan the SDLP leader
remained concerned that warm words from the DUP will melt
the governments.

Published: 2006/10/11 21:20:55 GMT


'Will There' To Make NI Deal Work

There is the will to make devolution work in Northern
Ireland, Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

He was speaking as intensive multi-party talks aimed at
brokering a deal to restore devolution began at St Andrews
in Scotland.

He said progress had been made and it was time "to get the
business done". "I believe the political will is there to
do that," he said.

Mr Blair and Irish premier Bertie Ahern opened the three-
day talks.

Mr Ahern said the two governments would try to find ways
and compromises to deal with the "short enough list of
outstanding issues".

DUP leader Ian Paisley said Sinn Fein must back policing
and the IRA hand back any "ill-gotten gains" to enter

"We are not here to argue or debate with Sinn Fein we are
here to listen - if they are going to deliver," he said.

Politicians were initially summoned to an opening round-
table session.

Afterwards, during the evening, the parties will hold
separate meetings with the two premiers. It is believed
negotiations will be conducted on a twin-track basis

On Thursday for example the prime ministers are expected to
concentrate on the topic of policing - other ministers will
deal with issues related to the devolution of justice,
parades, equality, human rights and changes to the Stormont

On Friday, it is believed that the talks may deal with
questions concerning the past and victims.

The negotiations are due to end at noon on Friday.

The UK and Irish governments have given the parties until
24 November to reach a deal on power-sharing, otherwise the
assembly may be put into cold storage.

Mr Blair said the talks were a "one-off opportunity" to
build a lasting future for the province.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said he hoped the DUP
leader was ready to "sort the issues out".

"The government's position... is very clear, that the
working institutions should be in place by 24 November.
That's Sinn Fein's position too," he said.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said republicans must
"grasp the nettle" of commitment to exclusively peaceful

Talks blog

"They must not make the mistake of bowling in short all the
time, as they did over decommissioning," he said.

The SDLP's Sean Farren said the DUP should agree to a
return to power sharing.

"Amendments have been proposed by, amongst others, the DUP
- their amendments seem to us to be deliberately designed
to inhibit not smooth the working of the agreement," he

Alliance leader David Ford said progress was needed to
build solid and permanent devolution.

"The sectarian designation system in the Assembly must be
scrapped immediately. Power must be shared not divided," he

In a departure for the talks, the Ulster Unionists were
running their own blog on their website from the talks
venue, giving a first hand account of what was going on.

The talks in Scotland come a week after the body monitoring
paramilitary activity said the IRA had changed radically
and some of its most important structures had been

Mr Blair said at that time the IRA's campaign was over and
there was a "unique opportunity" to reach a final

The Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended on 14 October
2002 amid allegations of a republican spy ring at Stormont.

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

Direct rule from London was restored in October 2002 and
has been in place since.

On 15 May this year, Northern Ireland's politicians took
their seats in the Stormont assembly.

The government hoped recalling the politicians would help
to pave the way towards a deal in the autumn.

A Preparation for Government Committee was set up to
identify obstacles to the return of devolution. It met over
the summer months.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external
internet sites

Published: 2006/10/11 20:23:02 GMT


Orange Order Meets With Councils

The Orange Order has been meeting with representatives from
most of Northern Ireland's 26 local councils.

They met in Belfast to discuss ways of working more closely
on issues such as parades and to try and make people more
aware about what the Order does.

"It's an opportunity for us to take our message to the
ground as it where," the order's David Scott said.

"There's a perception and there are some fears out there as
to who we are and what we represent."

Mr Scott said Wednesday's meeting was a chance to address
those fears.

He said the Orange Order wanted to "ensure there are better
relations throughout Northern Ireland and there's a better
level of understanding as to what Orangeism is really all

Published: 2006/10/11 14:35:32 GMT


Half-Naked Axeman Arrested On Belfast Bus

Last updated: 11-10-06, 16:42

Police in Northern Ireland disarmed a half-naked man
wielding a hatchet in front of passengers on a bus in
Belfast today.

The man, stripped to the waist, boarded the bus in the
city's Oldpark area at around 7.30am made his way to the
upper deck.

No-one was hurt in the incident and the man was arrested
after police confiscated the weapon. A spokeswoman for
Translink said: "A man boarded the bus and made his way to
the upper deck where he began wielding a hatchet.

"Passengers on board alerted the driver and the police were
called. They attended the incident and arrested the man.

"Thankfully neither the passengers nor the driver were
injured, however, they were very shaken by this incident."

© 2006

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