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November 29, 2006

Adams Willing To Meet PSNI Chief

News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 11/30/06 Adams Declares Willingness To Meet PSNI Chief
IT 11/30/06 Ahern Takes Threats To SF Seriously
BN 11/29/06 Brits 'Colluded In International Terrorism'
IT 11/30/06 Widespread Collusion By Brits Behind Atrocities
IT 11/30/06 Collaboration Between Loyalists/Security Forces
BN 11/29/06 Plea To Enshrine Human Rights In Policing
IE 11/29/03 Schumer To Address ILIR Rally On Friday
BN 11/29/06 Omagh Bomb Families Demand Cross-Border Inquiry
ND 11/29/06 £10m Tax Bill For Slab
BT 11/29/06 Hopes Rise Of Peaceful Lundy Day After Talks
BB 11/29/06 Embassy Garda 'Went Off Drinking'
BN 11/29/06 Man Recovering After Kinsale Harbour Rescue
IT 11/30/06 Monarch Admired De Valera – Archive

Adams Declares Willingness To Meet PSNI Chief

Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has stated he will meet PSNI
chief constable Hugh Orde if it will help speed up the resolution
of difficulties that are blocking the creation of a powersharing
government in Northern Ireland.

Mr Adams has expressed confidence that policing and other
outstanding matters can be resolved. However, he said he will not
call an ardfheis on policing until issues such as when policing
and justice powers are devolved to the Northern Executive are

"Crucially we need local accountability and control of our
policing and justice structures. We need to take control of
policing and justice away from London," he said in the edition of
the republican paper An Phoblacht out today.

"I am committed to calling a meeting of the Sinn Féin
ardchomhairle immediately when these issues are resolved. This
ardchomhairle meeting will be for the purpose of convening a
special ardfheis within the timeframe set out at St Andrews," he

"However, let me be equally clear that I will not go to the
ardchomhairle to seek a special ardfheis unless I have the basis
to do so," Mr Adams emphasised.

Mr Adams said in order to solve outstanding issues Sinn Féin
would intensify its contact with the British government. "We are
prepared to meet with the PSNI chief constable Hugh Orde on
issues which fall within his remit and we will sit down with the
DUP and other parties at any time to agree other issues," he

Mr Adams met Sir Hugh Orde at Downing Street two years ago with
British prime minister Tony Blair, but this is the first time he
has publicly indicated willingness to initiate a meeting with the
chief constable. The 2004 meeting was chiefly to discuss British
army demilitarisation, Mr Adams said at the time.

Mr Adams said in An Phoblacht that he was "determined to make
clear to the widest cross-section of national public opinion and
especially unionist people" that he wanted all remaining issues
dealt with as quickly as possible and "within the timeframe set
out at St Andrews".

"If the two governments and the other parties are of the same
mind then there is no reason why this cannot happen," he added.

Mr Adams said that the argument put by some DUP politicians that
policing could not be devolved for "several political lifetimes"
was "unsustainable".

"Policing and justice are vital, fundamental issues of concern
for every citizen. The Assembly and Executive should have the
same rights in respect of these matters as for health and
education and environment and so on. It makes sense. I believe we
can find agreement on this," he added.


Ahern Takes Threats To SF Seriously

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern tonight said death threats to Sinn Féin
leaders were being treated seriously by security forces on both
sides of the border and in Britain.

He was reacting to Sinn Féin's confirmation that the PSNI has
warned of a new threat to the life of party leader Gerry Adams.

The latest threat comes almost two and a half weeks after it was
reported that hard-line republicans had threatened Mr Adams,
chief negotiator Martin McGuinness and north Belfast MLA Gerry

Sinn Féin's confirmation of the threat came just hours after a
letter to a Belfast newspaper from the loyalist Michael Stone
said he had planned to kill Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness in the
Northern Ireland Assembly last Friday.

Mr Stone was arrested after he tried to launch a bomb attack at

A Sinn Féin spokesman said they were aware of the threat from a
number of quarters to their leadership.

"We are very mindful that there are elements within the British
system, within unionism, and some disaffected republicans who are
opposed to the Sinn Féin strategy and are prepared to take
extreme action to pursue their narrow agenda," he said.

"Sinn Féin will obviously take whatever precautions we can to
minimise the danger but we will not be deflected from continuing
to do the work we were elected to do."

Speaking to reporters in Brussels after addressing the European
Parliament, Mr Ahern added: "In fairness to the Sinn Fein
leadership, they never make any attempt to play these up.

"But these threats are a concern. These are not frivolous threats
and I know that security forces, north and south and in Britain
are very alert to threats like these."

Earlier in a debate after Mr Ahern's address, DUP MEP Jim
Allister accused the Taoiseach of promoting a "stale message"
about the stalled EU Constitution.

The vocal critic of power-sharing said: "Mr Ahern may soon be
judged by his own electorate to be a stale politician."

However, referring to scheduled March 7th elections for a new
Northern Ireland power-sharing assembly, the Taoiseach replied to
Mr Allister: "I'll deal with my electorate and I wish you well
with your electorate next year."

Earlier, Mr Ahern said in his address to MEPs that the EU had
played a very constructive role in the Northern Ireland peace



British Security Forces 'Colluded In International Terrorism'

29/11/2006 - 18:19:22

British security forces colluded in acts of international
terrorism in the 1970s, a Dáil committee said in a hard-hitting
report today.

“The spectre of collusion” was present in the attacks
investigated by the probe into a series of bomb and gun attacks
carried out on both sides of the border by loyalist

At a press conference in the grounds of the Dáil in Dublin, the
committee concluded that security force members were involved in
the attacks: “We now have enough information to be fully
satisfied not only that it (collusion) occurred, but that it was

It added: “The sub-committee notes that the British cabinet was
aware of the level to which the security forces had been
infiltrated by terrorists and we believe that its inadequate
response to this knowledge permitted the problem to continue and
to grow.”

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said the findings were very disturbing.

“The findings in this report regarding collusion are deeply
troubling and a matter of most serious concern. They paint a very
disturbing picture,” he said.

“We have consistently pressed the British government for any
cooperation they can provide in relation to all of these

And he said it was absolutely essential the British government
examine the findings of all of the reports on collusion.

The Taoiseach said the terror attacks occurred during a dark and
tragic period of Irish history and urged people to think of the

The two governments have been in contact today, with Foreign
Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern meeting Northern Ireland Secretary
Peter Hain.

Mr Ahern said: “I advised him of the Irish Government’s grave
concern at the contents of the report, and of allegations of
involvement of members of British security forces in these
appalling events.

“I stressed the importance of full and unfettered British co-
operation with the ongoing investigations and inquiries into
these matters, as the Government has consistently made clear to
the British government.”

Both the Taoiseach and the Foreign Affairs Minister welcomed
calls for a parliamentary debate on the findings.


'Widespread' Collusion By British Forces Behind Atrocities

Miriam Donohoe, Political Staff

Oireachtas committee:Widespread collusion between British
security forces and terrorists was behind many, if not all, of a
number of atrocities on both sides of the Border that resulted in
18 deaths in the mid-1970s, an Oireachtas committee has concluded
in a report published last night.

A subcommittee of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice said
it was "horrified" that people employed by the British
administration to preserve peace and to protect people were
"engaged in the creation of violence and the butchering of
innocent victims".

The subcommittee which considered Mr Justice Henry Barron's
report into nine terrorist attacks, including the bombing of
Kay's Tavern in Dundalk, Co Louth, the Three Star Inn in
Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, and the attack on the Miami Showband
near Newry, Co Antrim, said it believed that unless the full
truth about collusion is established, and unless those involved
admit to or are fixed with responsibility, there cannot be
closure for the families.

In its report, the subcommittee said there were acts of
"international terrorism" that were colluded in by the British
security forces. "The British government cannot legitimately
refuse to co-operate with investigations and attempts to get to
the truth," it said.

The committee found that the British cabinet was aware of the
level to which the security forces had been infiltrated by
terrorists and said there was an inadequate response to this.

The subcommittee said it further believed that unless the full
truth about collusion is established there is always the risk of
what occurred in the 1970s occurring again some day. "We are of
the view that these matters cannot be swept under the carpet," it

However, the subcommittee fell short of calling for a full public
inquiry into the atrocities, much to the disappointment of
survivors and relatives of those killed who attended the report
launch in Leinster House last night, and instead called for a
full debate in the Dáil and Senate to allow for greater political
impetus to highlight what occurred.

Fianna Fáil TD Sean Ardagh, the subcommittee chairman, said
collusion was "widespread" and "endemic", but rather than a
public inquiry, a Dáil debate would act as a catalyst for further
action and for the UK parliaments to look at the findings. He
said it was up to Westminster to ensure that people on the
British side co-operate in full with any investigation.

It noted that at the time of the atrocities the authorities in
this jurisdiction at all levels could have been more vigorous in
their attempts to identify and bring to justice to the

The Irish government complained to the British government in
August 1975 that four members of the RUC in the Portadown area
were also members of the UVF.

The subcommittee said it could not understand why the
documentation in relation to this stops dead in its tracks on
September 3rd, 1975, given the gravity of the issue.

Mr Ardagh said in human terms the true cost of these atrocities
is incalculable and the committee acknowledged the enormous
suffering endured by both the victims and their families.

In relation to the Miami Showband murders, the committee noted
that three serving members of the UDR were convicted and two
other serving members of the UDR accidentally blew themselves up
at the scene of the attack. They noted the conviction of three
RUC officers in connection with the attack on the Rock Bar in Co
Armagh in June 1976.


'Clear Picture Of Collaboration Between Loyalists, Security Forces'

Mark Hennessy

Miami Showband killings:The identities of the killers of the
Miami Showband, who were massacred on July 30th, 1975, were known
within weeks to the highest levels in the British government, the
Oireachtas committee reported.

The showband, led by Fran O'Toole and then one of the most
popular music groups on the island, played its final gig in the
Castle Ballroom in Banbridge, Co Down.

In the early hours, the group left the town to head south in a
minibus where they were flagged down by a group of armed men near
the Border.

Believing it to be an official checkpoint, they stopped. The
band's members were told to get out with their hands up.

A few seconds later, there was an explosion, killing two of the
armed men. This was followed immediately by gunfire that killed
three of the group, Francis O'Toole, Anthony Geraghty and Brian

Stephen Travers was badly injured and Des McAlea managed to
escape by fleeing across a field in the darkness.

Two serving members of the Ulster Defence Regiment were charged
with murder, convicted and sentenced to 35 years, while a third
was arrested later and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mr Justice Henry Barron noted that a former RUC officer, John
Weir, alleged the bomb used in the attack had come from a
farmhouse at Glenanne which was frequented by British army

The Miami case, and others investigated by him, said Judge
Barron, "paints a clear picture of collaboration between members
of the security forces and loyalist extremists. The inquiry would
be shutting its eyes to reality if it accepted that such
collaboration was limited to the cases in which collusion has
been proven."

By September 1975, the identities of the murder gang was known,
judging by minutes of a meeting involving then prime minister
Harold Wilson, the Northern Ireland secretary of state, Merlyn
Rees, the future British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and
Airey Neave, the Conservative Party spokesman on Northern
Ireland, who was murdered by an Irish National Liberation Army
car bomb four years later.

The Oireachtas joint committee report concluded: "The secretary
of state was more worried about sectarian murders than about the
bombings in Belfast, and it was unfortunate that certain elements
in the police were very close to the Ulster Volunteer Force and
prepared to hand information to, for example, Mr Paisley. It [
the minutes of the meeting] states the army's judgment was that
the UDR was heavily infiltrated by extremist Protestants who
could not be relied upon to be loyal in a crisis. The regiment
which could not be relied upon in a crisis was mobilised in south
Armagh in the wake of the attacks at Donnelly's Bar, Kay's
Tavern, on the Reavey and O'Dowd households and the Kingsmills
massacre," the joint committee report said.


Plea To Enshrine Human Rights In Policing

29/11/2006 - 17:51:03

Human rights must be put at the core of policing, the Irish
Council for Civil Liberties said tonight.

Insisting planned reforms of An Garda Siochana do not go far
enough, the group called on Tánaiste and Minister for Justice
Michael McDowell to ensure all recommendations from the Morris
Tribunal are fully implemented.

Mark Kelly, ICCL director, said deficiencies identified at the
corruption inquiry are not being addressed.

“Among the measures most urgently needed are reform of management
structures, improved human rights training and proofing
mechanisms and human rights compliant procedures for handling
Garda agents,” he said.

“The ICCL hopes that the Tanaiste and Minister for Justice will
seize this opportunity to place human rights at the core of
policing in Ireland by implementing all of the recommendations
made by Mr Justice Morris in his reports.”

The group outlined six areas were further reform is needed.

:: Constant and close monitoring of investigations to ensure
compliance with human rights.

:: A Garda Authority, or policing body, to look after promotions,
draw up policing plans, contracts and set clear performance goals
the Commissioner will be accountable for.

:: The Office of the Garda Ombudsman should remain totally

:: Recruitment and promotion should have no government influence
and ethnic groups should be encouraged to join.

:: Powers to sign search warrants should be handed to Circuit or
District Court judges – a move Mr McDowell supports and is
bringing forward legislation on.

:: Gardaí running informers or covert operations must be given
ethical direction and supervised to ensure rights are protected.

In a statement to the Dáil on garda reform, the Tánaiste said he
had been taken aback and shocked by some of the findings from
Morris. But he insisted not all the force was plagued by
corruption and reforms were taking shape.

“The vast majority of gardai do their work honestly and
conscientiously with a great spirit of public service,” the
Tanaiste said.

“But there has to be an end to wrongdoing and the cover-up and
collusion witnessed in cases in the past. No longer will
misplaced and ill-judged loyalty to corrupt bullies be allowed to
supplant the loyalty all gardaí owe to the Constitution and the
law; to the people; and, indeed, to An Garda Siochana itself.”

The ICCL also noted the Garda Siochana Act 2005 made the Garda
Commissioner directly accountable to the Minister for Justice,
Equality and Law Reform and while it welcomed closer ties it
warned this runs the risk of over-centralising the force,
politicising it and ultimately undermining its independence.

But Mr McDowell was also criticised for the slow pace of garda

Labour Party justice spokesman Brendan Howlin said: “One of the
main findings of the early Morris Reports is that disciplinary
action within An Garda Siochana takes on the character of a
criminal trial with a criminal level of proof required.

“There are ongoing discussions with the Garda Conciliation
Council concerning new regulations – when will they become

“Reform and public accountability within this most critical and
vital public service continues at a painfully slow rate. It is
simply not good enough.”


Schumer To Address ILIR Rally On Friday

By Ray O'Hanlon

Senator Charles Schumer is lined up to speak at this Friday's
(Dec. 1) Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform Rally in the Bronx.

Following the recent midterm elections, ILIR is kick starting its
renewed campaign for more Irish immigrant visas with the rally
set for St. Barnabas Church starting at 7 p.m.

"We're calling on all the undocumented to turn up and be
counted," said ILIR executive director, Kelly Fincham.

"We can't win this without the support of the undocumented. If
they don't turn out, people will think they have gone away," she

In addition to Schumer, Congressman Anthony Weiner is also
expected to speak at the Bronx event.

ILIR is hoping that a revived "Countdown To Victory" reform
campaign will secure favorable results when combined with the
changed political landscape in Washington.

Schumer is sympathetic to the plight of the undocumented Irish
and will be a central figure in congressional efforts to secure a
bipartisan reform bill in 2007.

ILIR, meanwhile, is planning a rally in Boston on Wednesday,
December 13. The event is set for The Stadium, 232 Old Colony
Avenue at 7 p.m. Details are available by calling Aoife at

Other rallies are being planned by the group for venues in
Philadelphia, San Francisco and Florida.


Omagh Bomb Families Demand Cross-Border Inquiry

29/11/2006 - 17:57:32

Families of victims killed in the Omagh Bombing tonight called on
the Irish government to launch a full cross-border public inquiry
into the atrocity.

Survivors also attacked the publication of an edited version of a
report investigating claims by a garda that officers ignored
crucial intelligence which could have prevented the 1998 bombing.

The Nally Report found the allegations by Detective Sergeant John
White were motivated solely by concerns about his own career.

However, the Omagh Support and Self Help Group maintains key
witnesses were not interviewed in its preparation.

“The Omagh families directly affected were never given an
opportunity to have an input in to the inquiry,” said spokesman
Michael Gallagher.

“The families are deeply concerned by the timing of the censored
report into garda intelligence and John White’s allegations, in
the light of court proceedings involving John White.

“We believe this report is of limited value and now call on the
Government to hold a full cross border public inquiry into the
full circumstances of the 1998 Omagh Bombing.”

The Real IRA attack on Omagh on August 15, 1998, killed 29 people
and injured around 300 others.

The Nally Report concluded there was no foundation to Det Sgt
White’s claims that a Real IRA informer told him in advance of
the 1998 attack about a car which was to be used in a bombing but
that on passing this warning on to a senior officer, it was never
passed to the RUC.

“Indeed it is clear from what he said to the group that he made
no allegation or mention whatever of his concerns to any person,
not even his wife, until after his arrest on 21 March, 2000,” it

The report states that there was a direct connection between the
difficulties he found himself in with his superiors in the force
and the making of his allegations concerning the Omagh bombing.

It adds that Det Sgt White’s assertion that he was motivated to
make the information available by a sense of responsibility to
the victims is “inherently incredible”

The Nally Group, headed by the former Secretary to the Government
Dermot Nally, was appointed in April 2002 to examine matters
arising from the Report raising concerns of the activity of An
Garda Siochana officers during 1998.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell tonight told the Dáil he was
always committed to producing an edited version of the report
once criminal proceedings against Det Sgt White were disposed of.

The officer, who is currently suspended from the force, has been
acquitted of the unlawful possession of a shotgun in May 1998,
despite being heavily criticised in three reports investigating
alleged garda corruption in Donegal.

“This commitment was given not on the basis that any public
interest would be served in disseminating allegations which had
been found to be baseless but in deference to the wishes of the
families of the victims of the Omagh atrocity - an atrocity that
marked one of the darkest days in the history of this island,” he
said, defending the move.

“However, that commitment was subject to the understanding that,
even with the criminal proceedings being disposed of, I could not
publish the report in full because of the security sensitivity of
some of the information it contained.

“My inability to give a fuller account did not sit easily with me
– given the gravity of the allegations made.

“Consequently, I hope that this edited version will be seen as a
legitimate balance between the public interest in full
accountability and the exigencies of the security requirements of
the State.”< r McDowell emphasised that the allegations made by
John White, although very serious, are quite different from
allegations claiming that the gardai could actually have
prevented the Omagh bombing.

“As I have already mentioned, the Nally Group found that there is
simply no basis whatsoever for these allegations and that they
were motivated solely by base reasons, involving the
dishonourable abuse of the grief of the Omagh victims’ families,”
he said.

“In producing an edited version, I am very much conscious that
there will be those who will question the transparency of the
editing process and query the validity of the product of such

“No matter what, I am, as I have already indicated, in a
difficult position in trying to respond to such concerns, as the
only way to put them beyond doubt would be to detail what was
edited out, which defeats the whole purpose of editing in the
first place.”


£10m Tax Bill For Slab

ALLEGED IRA chief Thomas “Slab” Murphy, along with his family,
faces a £10 million tax bill after a probe by Irish and British

The family, which owns property worth £1.5million in Manchester,
had it frozen last week by the Assets Recovery Agency in a move
to prevent them and their associates selling it to meet part of
the bill.

The Agency was granted orders at the High Court in London last
week halting the sale of 10 homes as part of a major inquiry into
alleged money laundering, fuel smuggling and mortgage fraud
linked to the Provisional IRA. Nine of the properties belong to
Murphy’s brother Francis and his wife Judy of Ballybinaby, Co

Alan McQuillan, the ARA deputy director in charge of the probe
into an overall £30 million property empire, warned more legal
action is to come.

“We have alleged that the fuel smuggling by members of the Murphy
family in the Co Louth/south Armagh border area is associated
with members of the Provisional IRA as well. This is the start of
the next phase of our investigation in Manchester which started
last year. We have taken steps to freeze a whole portfolio of
property there to prevent dissipation.”

The agency’s inquiry began in October last year when they were
alerted by Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorism squad. Nearly 300
properties were searched in Manchester as staff examined the
affairs of Slab Murphy, a millionaire south Armagh farmer widely
regarded as a leading member of the republican movement.


Hopes Rise Of Peaceful Lundy Day After Talks

29 November 2006

The Apprentice Boys of Derry today said months of behind-the-
scenes work should ensure Saturday's Lundy day parade will again
pass off peacefully in Londonderry.

As in recent years the order has been engaged in dialogue with
the city's business community and the Bogside Residents Group
(BRG), in the run up to the annual December parade.

The once-contentious parade has been largely transformed into a
peaceful event and where once city centre shops closed during the
march, the majority now stay open for trade.

City Centre Initiative manager Stephen Kelly, who represented
traders in this year's talks process said he was pleased by all
parties' desires to reach a compromise.

"We have been delighted by the response to attend to the concerns
of all parties.

"The conversations were challenging for everyone but once again,
the city has led the way in addressing and agreeing ways in which
the rights of all parties can be accommodated," he said.

Senior Apprentice Boy William Hay said members of the association
and shoppers alike can expect a peaceful day.

"Once again the association has done much work behind the scenes
to ensure the parade passes off peacefully for both the public
who want to watch the parade and for the city's business

"What we have here in Londonderry for this parade is an emphasis
on joined-up thinking.

"We, as an association, have spoken to everyone who needs to be
spoken to.

"All agencies involved are aware of our plans. There are clear
lines of communication open here."

He warned anyone intent on getting drunk or causing trouble to
stay away.

"I would ask our members to realise the responsibility of
membership. We do not want to see any drinking," he said.

"There have been huge improvements in this area and we want to
see it continue."

BRG spokesman Donncha MacNiallais said he too was hopeful of a
peaceful day.

In recent years the BRG has not protested against the parade. Mr
MacNiallais confirmed that again will be the case this year.

"We just hope that people will be allowed to go about their
business," he said.

The PSNI also said it was optimistic ahead of the parade.

Superintendent David Hanna said: "Our preparation, prepared in
consultation with the Apprentice Boys, local traders and other
interested parties are now at an advanced stage."

"We remain hopeful the event will pass peacefully and with
minimal disruption to city life."

More than 2000 Apprentice Boys and 23 bands are expected in Derry
for the parade.

Events begin on Saturday at 11am and culminate in the burning of
an effigy of Colonel Robert Lundy, governor of Derry.

The PSNI has advised that the bottom deck of Craigavon Bridge
will remain open throughout the day, and that a cannon will be
fired at the Memorial Hall at midnight on Friday.


Embassy Garda 'Went Off Drinking'

Two police officers guarding the US embassy in Dublin have been
dismissed after one allegedly went drinking.

The two plain-clothes gardai had been assigned to the building at
Ballsbridge in the south of the city.

One officer was left by himself, alongside uniformed officers, at
the embassy during the incident in June.

The garda alleged to have been drinking is then alleged to have
had a row with the other plain clothes garda on his return.

It is further alleged that he was later stopped on suspicion of
drink driving early the following morning.

The Irish Department of Justice apologised to the US Ambassador,
James Kenny, over the incident.

The two officers were dismissed by Garda Commissioner Noel

Both officers are now entitled to appeal their dismissal.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/29 17:38:16 GMT


Man Recovering After Kinsale Harbour Rescue

29/11/2006 - 15:29:12

A man was rescued from Kinsale Harbour this morning after falling
into the water at Scilly Walk.

Kinsale inshore lifeboat was notified by Valentia coastguard, and
the man was rescued from the rocky shorefront within about 20

He was taken to hospital for treatment for hypothermia and was
said to be making a good recovery.


Monarch Admired De Valera - Archive

Deaglán de Bréadún, Foreign Affairs Correspondent

British monarch George V admired Éamon de Valera's "rare gift of
natural good manners", according to the latest volume in the
series, Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, launched by Minister
for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern in Dublin last night.

The fifth volume, covering the period 1937-39, includes a
confidential report from the Irish high commissioner in London,
John W Dulanty, about a meeting at Buckingham Palace on March
4th, 1937, with King George VI, who revealed that his father
"always had a quiet but real admiration for Mr de Valera".

It was his father's opinion, "that however you may differ
politically you had to admire the president's rare gift of
natural good manners. Both in Geneva and in London he said the
president had widely established this reputation."

Speaking at the launch in Iveagh House, Mr Ahern stressed the
importance of the collection for understanding the cross-channel
relationship at the time.

"The dominant theme continues to be Anglo-Irish relations, and in
particular Éamon de Valera's long project to completely reshape
the relationship between Ireland and Britain, replacing the
treaty with a relationship of complete and formal equality.

"This volume allows us to follow the tentative steps by which the
two sides came together and negotiated the agreements of April
1938, which ended the economic war and brought the return of the
Treaty Ports."

The Minister announced a €20,000 grant to make the records
available on the internet.

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