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November 08, 2006

Ahern Urged To Press Blair on Collusion

News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 11/07/06 Ahern Urged To Press Blair On Collusion
BB 11/07/06 DUP Deadline For Proposal Stance
BN 11/07/06 DUP Hardliner Prompts Further Pessimism About North Deal
TO 11/07/06 Couple Are Set Alight In Attack By Masked Gang
BN 11/07/06 NI: More Catholics Reporting Crime To Police
BB 11/07/06 Hain Contacted By London Police
UT 11/07/06 Actor Backs Call For Integrated Schools
BB 11/07/06 NI World War II Website Launched


Ahern Urged To Press Blair On Collusion

By Brian Htton
08 November 2006

The Irish Government was urged yesterday to step up
diplomatic pressure on Prime Minister Tony Blair to
investigate evidence of British state collusion in 74
sectarian murders.

Pressure was building on Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to take
action after an international panel of human rights experts
published a report into killings on both sides of the Irish
border in the 1970s.

The 115-page document, which took two-and-a-half years to
complete, uncovered considerable and credible evidence of
British Army and police involvement in 25 loyalist
atrocities, its authors said.

The probe included the May 1974 Dublin/Monaghan bombings
which claimed 33 lives; the Miami Showband massacre in July
1975 which saw three musicians and two members of the
Ulster Volunteer Force die; and the shooting of Catholic
Police Sergeant Joe Campbell in February 1977.

A group representing relatives of victims murdered in the
Dublin and Monaghan massacre, Justice For The Forgotten,
backed the report and said it would deliver a copy directly
to Mr Ahern.

Head of the investigation team, University of Notre Dame
human rights law Professor Douglass Cassell, said he would
urge the Irish Government to act on its recommendations.

Margaret Irwin, of Justice For The Forgotten, said it was
important the report, released in Belfast on Monday, was
also launched in Dublin as half the murders probed occurred
in the Republic. She said: "We hope this will assist the
Taoiseach in his attempt to pressurise the British
Government to do something in relation to all these cases
of now clear collusion."

Prof Cassell said that it was in Britain's interests to
fully investigate how "a democracy that purports to respect
the rule of law could go so far off the rails as to have
its police and Army officers involved in, according to our
findings, 74 murders".

Prof Cassell is to hold talks with US government
representatives, the Committee of Ministers in the Council
of Europe and the Joint Committee of Human Rights at
Westminster about his findings.


DUP Deadline For Proposal Stance

Wednesday marks the deadline for returning the DUP
consultation document on the St Andrews proposals to
restore devolution in Northern Ireland.

The party is expected to clarify its position on the
agreement by Friday, but it is understood it wants action
first from republicans on policing.

However, the party is likely to give a commitment to
proceed with the plan, subject to further negotiations.

Sinn Fein has already given qualified support for the

In the past few days the DUP has met the Ulster Unionist
party, the anti-agreement UK Unionist leader Bob McCartney,
and leaders of the Presbyterian and Methodist churches.

On Monday, the DUP MP William McCrea warned Sinn Fein could
not run away from full support from the police.

He also said his party regarded assisting the police to
solve the Robert McCartney murder last year as a "litmus
test" for republicans.

On Monday, the Sinn Fein national executive gave its
qualified support to the plan, following a meeting in

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said that the agreement had
the potential to move the process forward.

However, he said there were elements which needed further
work, including a timeframe for the devolution of policing
and justice powers.

There is still no date for a special Sinn Fein conference
on the policing issue.

On Tuesday, DUP leader Ian Paisley said Sinn Fein's
decision to give qualified support for the proposals was a
step backwards.

He accused republicans of trying to "unhook" themselves
from support for policing by raising pre-conditions.

Peace dividend

Northern Ireland's parties have until 10 November to give
their verdicts on the draft St Andrews Agreement.

The British and Irish governments have set a date of 26
March 2007 for a new executive to be up and running.

The chancellor, Gordon Brown, has promised £50bn to
Northern Ireland over the next 10 years if power is
devolved at Stormont.

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.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/08 07:56:33 GMT


DUP Hardliner Prompts Further Pessimism About North Deal

08/11/2006 - 08:24:19

A hardline DUP MP has prompted further pessimism about the
prospects for progress in the North following an
uncompromising speech last night.

Willie McCrea said his party would only accept the
devolution of policing and justice powers to Stormont once
it trusted Sinn Féin.

He also said it was inconceivable for this to happen for
many, many years, if indeed ever.

Mr McCrea's comments come just days before Sinn Féin and
the DUP are required to give their initial response to the
St Andrew's proposals put forward last month.

Sinn Féin has already given conditional approval to the
document, but the party says it will only meet its
obligation to endorse the PSNI once a timeframe is set for
the transfer of policing and justice powers from London to

However, Mr McCrea said last night that the democratic
process could not be corrupted to suit what he called the
warped and twisted Sinn Féin/IRA mindset....


Couple Are Set Alight In Attack By Masked Gang

By David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

Sinn Fein was under pressure last night to urge people in
the republican heartland of South Armagh to co-operate with
the police after a couple were doused in petrol and set

The Rev Ian Paisley, the leader of the Democratic Unionists
— who are preparing to say whether they will go into
government with Sinn Fein — said that the crime was a
“litmus test” for the Provisional IRA’s political wing.

Police said that they wantedto question four men, all
brothers, who were critically ill last night in the burns
unit of St James’s Hospital, in Dublin. The home of two of
the brothers was raided by police investigating the attack,
which left Lisa McClatchey, 21, and Thomas O’Hare, 33, in
the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital, in

Ms McClatchey, a Protestant from a loyalist housing estate
in Portadown, who is also related to a former senior
Orangeman, raised the alarm when she ran in flames from the
house that she shared with Mr O’Hare, a Roman Catholic, in
an isolated country area near the village of Keady.

It is believed that up to six masked men burst into their
home and set it on fire during a ferocious attack. Forensic
science experts were examining the blackened wreckage of
the house yesterday. Neighbours who carried Mr O’Hare from
the inferno said that he was in agony and covered in burns.

Hours after the first report of the attack, four men
presented themselves at a hospital across the border in
Dundalk. Their burns were so serious that they were
transferred to a specialist unit in Dublin.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman said:
“Police searched a house in Clady, Co Armagh, yesterday as
part of their investigation into the attempted murders.”

Sources close to the inquiry confirmed that police believe
that at least two other people know what happened when the
gang went into Ms McClatchey’s and Mr O’Hare’s home.

Police in the Republic are waiting to question the four
men, who are not under armed guard. It is understood that
they are aged between 24 and 34 and are from the South
Armagh area.

The attack on the couple drew widespread criticism, with
Conor Murphy, the local Sinn Fein MP, the nationalist SDLP
and Ulster Unionists all expressing revulsion. Sharon
Haughey, a local SDLP councillor, suggested that Mr O’Hare
was the target of a vigilante attack and it is understood
that he may recently have had a “confrontation” in the

Mr Paisley said: “This attack is yet another litmus test
for Sinn Fein/IRA and their attitude to the PSNI and the
rule of law. They have an inescapable responsibility as
leaders in their community to encourage people to go
directly to the police with all and any information
available to help convict those responsible for these
brutal deeds.”

Mr Murphy said yesterday, in reply to a question, that he
had “no difficulty” with people going to the police if they
wished or passing on information about the attack via other
means. He said that the details of the incident were
difficult to comment on as “it may soon be sub-judice”.
Detectives have ruled out a sectarian or racist motive but
are following a definite line of inquiry. They have not
dismissed paramilitary involvement.

The DUP has called on Sinn Fein to endorse publicly the
PSNI and to encourage its supporters to report crime to the
police, one of the DUP’s conditions for entering a power-
sharing government with republicans next March.


NI: More Catholics Reporting Crime To Police

08/11/2006 - 11:14:49

Just as many Catholics as Protestants are reporting crime
to the police in Northern Ireland, a new survey claimed

According to a poll conducted by District Policing
Partnerships in the North, 80% of Catholics questioned who
were victims of crime and 81% of Protestants reported it to
the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The survey also revealed 31% of Catholics were very
satisfied with the PSNI’s response and 38% were satisfied,
with just 10% unhappy at their treatment and 7% very

Among Protestants, 25% were very happy with the police’s
treatment of their case, 37% satisfied, 13% dissatisfied
and 7% very unhappy.

The findings were released as unionists, moderate
nationalists and the British and Irish governments waited
for Sinn Féin to join them in publicly endorsing the PSNI.

Sinn Féin has so far refused to do so because they insist
police reforms do not go far enough.

They also want a definite date for the transfer of policing
and justice powers from Westminster to a new devolved
department in Stormont.

The Rev Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists have insisted
Sinn Féin must publicly endorse the PSNI and declare
republicans will uphold the rule of law if power sharing is
to be restored next March.

Gerry Adams, however, has not yet been able to recommend to
Sinn Féin’s national executive that there should be a
special conference to review the party’s policy on

Nationalist SDLP Policing Board member Dolores Kelly, whose
party has been an enthusiastic supporter of the new
policing arrangements, said the survey’s findings showed
Sinn Féin was out of step with its community over the PSNI.

“These results show Sinn Féin are behind the times and
behind the nationalist community,” the Upper Bann Assembly
member said.

“Communities are crying out for the police to be able to
tackle crime in their area and they are already engaging
with the PSNI even though Sinn Fein won’t urge them to do

“In my own constituency, local people on the Garvaghy Road
in Portadown worked with the police this week over an
initiative to ensure local children have proper lights on
their bicycles. That is a measure of the progress that has
been made.

“On a more worrying note, we also had an 83-year-old man
burgled by a gang in Lurgan and the community has been in
contact with the police about that.

“There has been a sea change in policing over the past five
years. There is still more work to do and the Oversight
Commissioner’s reports illustrate that.

“However there is no doubt that by and large officers are
making a difference. Sinn Féin needs to get wise to that.

“There is going to be an increasing focus over the next few
years on community policing which will also have an impact.
All officers will be affected by that and it will not be
the preserve of just two or three in a station.”


Hain Contacted By London Police

The Northern Ireland secretary has confirmed that he has
been contacted by the Metropolitan Police.

Peter Hain is the latest politican to be contacted as part
of the probe into donations and peerages.

Ex-minister and 2005 Labour election supremo Alan Milburn
has revealed he was interviewed by police investigating the
cash-for-honours affair.

Gordon Brown and John Prescott have also been contacted
about the loans made before the 2005 election.


They are among a large number of the 2005 Cabinet to be
asked to reveal "formally in writing" what they knew.

Police are investigating whether donors received honours in
return for cash. All involved deny wrong-doing.

It now appears that many, if not all, of the members of the
Cabinet at around the time of the 2005 general election,
apart from Tony Blair, have received letters from

As well as Mr Brown and Mr Prescott, these are known to
include Jack Straw, John Reid, Patricia Hewitt, David
Milliband, Alan Johnson, Peter Hain and Ruth Kelly.

They have been asked to declare in writing what they knew
about loans worth £14m made to the party.

Those receiving the letter were also reportedly asked what
they knew about the subsequent nomination of lenders for

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/08 17:33:53 GMT


Actor Backs Call For Integrated Schools

Leading actor Adrian Dunbar has given a powerful
endorsement of demands for more integrated education in his
Northern Ireland homeland.

By:Press Association

The star - who co-wrote and starred in Hear My Song and
many other box office blockbusters - said teaching Catholic
and Protestant children together could be part of the
solution to the province`s problems.

Just 5% of pupils in Northern Ireland go to integrated
schools but many more will need to be opened to cope with
growing demand.

More than 800 pupils were turned away from integrated
schools in September because there were not enough places
to satisfy the parental clamour for Protestant and Catholic
children to be educated side by side.

The huge shortfall in classroom places was revealed by the
Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education as Dunbar
officially opened a new integrated primary school in Co

Speaking at the Clough Valley Integrated PS, he said:
"Integrated education may not be the answer to the problems
that continue to face Northern Ireland. It can, however, be
part of the solution."

He added: "Educating children together in a shared school,
where they can see it is possible for teachers, staff and
governors coming from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds
to work together in harmony, despite strongly held personal
beliefs, must hold out some hope for a shared future for

The school opened for lessons at the start of the school
year in September despite the Government refusing to fund

Money from the Integrated Education Fund charitable trust
enabled it to get going.

Tina Merron, IEF director, said: "The Clough Valley parents
steering group has now clearly demonstrated to the
Department of Education that there was high parental demand
for integrated education in their area and that the school
is viable.

"If the fund hadn`t taken the decision to commit
substantial funding for the development of this school, the
children would have been forced to attend separate

The demand for more integrated schools increases as
numerous Protestant and Catholic schools face closure
because of falling pupil numbers.

There are currently 61 integrated schools in Northern
Ireland - 41 primaries and 18 second level colleges -
educating 18,000 pupils.

A recent survey found 82% of people in Northern Ireland
believed integrated education was important to the peace
and reconciliation process and that 71% would support a
request to transform the status of their existing school to


NI World War II Website Launched

A website focusing on how the Second World War affected
people from Northern Ireland has been launched.

It will enable users to view resources that are held in
Northern Ireland's museums and archives.

It features six learning packages, specially developed for
teachers and school pupils.

These will examine the history of the war as it was
experienced by people in Northern Ireland. The website
address is:

The six topics covered by the learning packages are:

Northern Ireland in the Blitz;

Londonderry's role in the Battle of the Atlantic;

The impact of the war on women in Northern Ireland;

Irish neutrality;

The Holocaust and Northern Ireland; and,

American Forces in Northern Ireland.

The site also includes information on how unprepared
Northern Ireland was for the war and allows visitors to
listen to men and women who experienced the war.

It is produced by the Nerve Centre.

Along with museums across Northern Ireland, the Public
Records Office is a partner in the site and has enabled the
inclusion of a collection of important archives.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/08 06:58:08 GMT

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