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October 09, 2006

SDLP Warns Against Delay In Power-Sharing Deal

News About Ireland & The Irish

BN 10/09/06 SDLP Warns Against Delay In Power-Sharing Deal
RT 10/09/06 Paisley Accuses Hain Of Being Deceitful On IRA
BB 10/09/06 Dissidents 'Behind' Hostage Raid
BB 10/09/06 Smoking Ban Moves A Step Closer


SDLP Warns Against Delay In Power-Sharing Deal

09/10/2006 - 19:23:46

Sinn Féin and the DUP must not delay any longer in setting
up power-sharing political institutions in Northern
Ireland, the SDLP said today.

Speaking after hour-long talks with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
in Dublin, party leader Mark Durkan also raised concerns
about proposed changes being sought by Ian Paisley to the
1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The SDLP will join other political parties for intensive
talks in Scotland this week with Mr Ahern and British prime
minister Tony Blair.

Mr Durkan, who led a six-member talks delegation to Dublin,
said: “I welcome the fact that Sinn Féin and the DUP are
finally catching up with the rest of us, but they shouldn’t
delay too long.

“They shouldn’t think that just because they’ve got away
with holding us up for so long that they can do it again.”

Mr Durkan reiterated that the DUP was negotiating changes
to the Good Friday Agreement which were dangerous.

“Changes are being conceded to the DUP and some of them are
actually dangerous,” he said. “Some can lead to worse
governance, stalemate and stand-offs within government.

“The DUP is looking for all sorts of drive-by vetoes on
what various ministers are doing.”

Mr Durkan said that his party had better ideas on fine-
tuning Executive and it would be bringing them to the talks
at St Andrews in Scotland.

The SDLP said the Good Friday Agreement boils down to the
two key principles of an inclusive democracy and a lawful

“What we really need is to find out if Sinn Féin signed up
to a lawful society and the DUP signs up to an inclusive
democracy,” said Mr Durkan.

“We have to move forward with a sense of purpose.”

He said that the DUP has come a long way from saying no to
power-sharing and North-South co-operation, while Sinn Féin
has also moved on from supporting violence to possibly
entering policing structures.

Mr Durkan also raised concerns about MI5’s role in
intelligence gathering in the North.

“We see the move to give MI5 primacy in terms of
intelligence policing as outside the Patton Report,” said
the Foyle MP.

“The British Government cannot ask us to trust what they
tell us we cannot know. If you can’t even get that degree
of transparency and openness about the British how do we
know that it’s not going to be outside accountable

Mr Durkan also dismissed Sinn Féin suggestions that
internal difficulties in the Irish Government had been a
distraction from efforts to push for power-sharing.

Mr Ahern, Tánaiste Michael McDowell and Minister for
Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern seemed very focused on all
relevant issues, he noted.

“I saw no signs of any distractions or preoccupations
debilitating their good work,” he added.


Paisley Accuses Hain Of Being Deceitful On IRA

09 October 2006 22:10

The DUP leader, Ian Paisley, has accused the Northern
Secretary, Peter Hain, of being deceitful about how far the
IRA had gone to end all its activities.

He was speaking after meeting the Independent Monitoring

Earlier he had what he described as very good and useful
discussions with the Catholic Primate, Archbishop Sean
Brady, their first such meeting.

The two shook hands and smiled for the cameras before the
90-minute meeting began.

The need to develop support for the administration of
justice and law and order formed part of their discussions,
according to Archbishop Brady, who said: 'A lot of progress
has been made. Hopes are now rising for further progress.'

Dr Brady said the talks were helpful and constructive.

Dr Paisley was joined at the meeting by DUP members Peter
Robinson, Nigel Dodds and Gregory Campbell.

Dr Brady was accompanied by five members of the Northern
Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs, Auxiliary
Bishop of Derry, Dr Frank Lagan, Fr Tim Bartlett, Anne
Gibson, Martin O'Brien and Deirdre O'Rawe.


Dissidents 'Behind' Hostage Raid

Two women have been held hostage while a gang stole a large
sum of money from a sub-post office in County Tyrone.

Three armed men forced their way into a flat at Lower Main
Street, Strabane, and held two women hostage overnight.

One of the women was then taken to Donegal and the other
was ordered to drive to the post office, remove money and
hand it over to a gang member.

Both women were traumatised by the incident. Police suspect
dissident republicans were behind the raid.

The incident began at about 0130 BST on Monday and the
women, one of them a post office employee, were held
hostage for several hours.

The employee was later ordered to drive to her place of
work and remove the money.

She then took the money in a taxi to the church car park at
Doneyloop in the Republic of Ireland and handed it over to
one of the gang members.

The other woman was later released in Donegal.

Detectives want to hear from anyone who saw suspicious
activity at Lower Main Street at about 0130 BST, or saw
anyone waiting around at the church car park between 0900
BST and 0930 BST.

The number to call is 0845 600 8000, or Crimestoppers on
the confidential freephone number 0800 555 111.

Published: 2006/10/09 15:45:34 GMT


Smoking Ban Moves A Step Closer

The ban on smoking in Northern Ireland's workplaces has
moved closer after the bill was passed in the Lords.

Peers approved the Smoking (NI) Order without a vote after
spending just 20 minutes debating it. A Commons committee
had passed the Order in July.

The legislation also bans lighting up in pubs, clubs and
restaurants from next April onwards.

Scotland has already banned smoking in enclosed public
places, while England and Wales have a similar ban next

Published: 2006/10/09 21:32:28 GMT

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