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November 07, 2006

Collusion: PSNI Not Capable of Getting To Truth

News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 11/07/06 Collusion: PSNI 'Not Capable Of Getting To Truth'
BB 11/07/06 Families Lobby MPs On 'Collusion'
SF 11/07/06 SF Accompany Loughinisland Families To Westminster
BN 11/07/06 Bar Massacre Families To Go To European Parliament
IT 11/07/06 Officials To Meet North Collusion Report Authors
SF 11/07/06 Time To Convene Meeting Of Programme For Govt Committee
RT 11/07/06 Ahern Urged To Hold Summit On Collusion Claims
BT 11/07/06 Paisley Meets Eames To Discuss Agreement Plans
BB 11/07/06 Parties Meet Hain Over Agreement
UK 11/07/06 Downing Street Statement On Sinn Fein
BB 11/07/06 New Super-Council Names Announced
BT 11/07/06 Justice Schemes Facing Closure Over Shortfall In Funding
BB 11/07/06 Integrated Housing Plan For City
BT 11/07/06 Opin: Sinn Fein In Danger Of Overplaying Its Hand
GG 11/04/06 Blog: Shake Hands With The Devil
NB 11/04/06 Blog: Adams One Of World’s Most Stalked Male Celebrities
BN 11/07/06 Conference To Address Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
IT 11/07/06 Irish Obsessed With Gossip, Shops, Think-In Told


Collusion: PSNI Team 'Not Capable Of Getting To Truth'

Orde defends cold case team after international criticism

By Chris Thornton
07 November 2006

PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has defended the team
reviewing Troubles murders after a report questioned
whether they would be able to resolve concerns about

The international panel that produced the report, which
looks at loyalist collusion in 74 murders in the 1970s,
indicated that the PSNI's Historical Enquiries Team (HET)
review of individual cases seems unlikely to connect the
dots that could establish if collusion was systematic. They
also said the team does not meet UN standards because its
findings will not be made public.

Sir Hugh said he has long believed a "wider process" is
needed, but pointed out that the HET is "the only piece of
concrete work that is ongoing in relation to these issues".

The report, launched in Belfast yesterday, looks at a
series of killings in the Armagh-Tyrone border area, many
of them linked by forensic evidence.

Ballistic and witness evidence suggests members of the
security forces were involved in the murders.

In one case, four RUC officers - at least one on duty -
were convicted of a gun attack on the Rock Bar, near Keady,
Co Armagh, in 1976. Only one received a jail term.

Guns used in that incident were used in a number of other
attacks, including murders.

The only man wounded in that attack, 84-year-old Mick
McGrath, backed the report at yesterday's launch. A bullet
from the attack is still lodged inside him. "I was lucky I
recovered," he said.

Professor Douglass Cassel, the law professor from Notre
Dame Law School in the US who headed up the panel, said the
Government should institute an investigation that gets at
the "full depth and full breadth and height of collusion",
including how much senior officers and officials knew.

"There's enough evidence, easily accessible in the public
domain, to reach the conclusion that we reached - that
there was substantial collusion," Professor Cassel said.

"But there is a great deal that we haven't seen. There is a
great deal more that should be done but we are not
suggesting that it is the Historic (sic) Enquiries Team
that should do the digging.

"The Historic Enquiries Team by itself, in our judgment, is
not a sufficient vehicle to get to the truth."

But Sir Hugh said the team would look at every case
"thoroughly, impartially and professionally and where there
are grounds for further investigation and prosecution,
appropriate action will be taken".

"I have said from the very beginning that the Historical
Enquiries Team is only one part of the solution to the
difficult and sensitive issues around Northern Ireland's
recent history," he said.

"I believe that a wider debate has to happen and a wider
process is needed; however, so far this team is the only
piece of concrete work that is ongoing in relation to these
issues and whilst I do not say it is the answer to every
question, it offers real answers to many, many, families
who are deciding to engage with it.

"This particular panel did not meet with or consult
directly with the Historical Enquiries Team. I would invite
them to come and see for themselves how the investigations
and work with the families are progressing."

Alan Brecknell, whose father was killed in one of the
attacks, said many families want the truth about what

"It's not about revenge," he said. "It's about a meaningful
way of addressing the past."


Families Lobby MPs On 'Collusion'

The families of six men murdered by the Ulster Volunteer
Force are to lobby MPs to investigate claims of security
force collusion.

The men were shot dead in O'Toole's bar, Loughinisland,
County Down, on 18 June 1994 as they watched football.

The Loughinisland Justice Group is to meet a cross-party
delegation of MPs at Westminster.

They will meet Conservative NI Secretary David Liddington
and Liberal Democrat NI spokesman Lembit Opik.

The other MPs they will meet include Labour MP Jeremy
Corbyn and members of the Northern Ireland Select

The Loughinisland victims were watching Jack Charlton's
Republic of Ireland team beat Italy in the USA World Cup
when the loyalist gang burst into the pub and opened fire.

The victims were 34-year-old Adrian Rogan, 39-year-old
Eamon Byrne, who was married with four children, his
brother-in-law Patsy O'Hare, who was 35 and single, Dan
McCreanor, 59, a single farmer, his uncle Barney Green, an
87-year-old retired farmer who was married, and Malcolm
Jenkinson, 54, a building contractor who was married with
three children.

'Wiped off'

The families will be accompanied to the meeting by Sinn
Fein South Down assembly member Caitriona Ruane.

She said the families had waited patiently for justice for
12 years.

"As the years have gone on, the families have began to
raise serious questions about the murders and specifically
the subsequent investigation into it.

"Sinn Fein will continue to support the families of those
murdered at Loughinisland in their campaign for the truth
about what happened on that night 12 years ago.

"The British government need to realise that issue will not
go away."

Emma Rogan, who was eight when her father, Adrian, a scrap
metal collector, was shot dead said: "Six innocent men who
did not do anybody wrong in their lives were wiped off the
face of the earth because somebody said go and do it.

"We want to know why."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/07 07:29:24 GMT


Sinn Féin Accompany Loughinisland Families To Westminster

Published: 7 November, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for South down Caitriona Ruane
today accompanied the families of the six men killed by the
UVF in Loughinisalnd 12 years ago to brief MPs in
Westminster on recent revelation exposing the involvement
of British Agents in the attack and a subsequent cover-up
by the RUC.

Speaking from Westminster Ms Ruane said:

"For 12 years the families of the six men killed by the UVF
at Loughinisland have patiently waited for justice. As the
years have gone on the families have began to raise serious
questions about the murders and specifically the subsequent
investigation into it.

"It has now emerged that:

A British Agent has admitted supplying the car used in

The car used by the murderers to get away has subsequently
been destroyed by the investigating team

A hair follicle was found on one of the balaclavas - yet
nobody has been charged

At least one of the weapons used was imported from South
Africa by British Agent Brian Nelson

The PSNI have consistently refused to answer questions from
the families preferring to hide behind the Official Secrets

"Given the impact which the murders at Loughinisland had
across Ireland and the determination of the families to see
justice and truth delivered this is an issue which simply
will not disappear for the British government.

"Sinn Féin will continue to offer our full support to the
families in their campaign and today's meetings in London
were another stage on the road to exposing British State
involvement in the murders and what can only be described
as a cover-up in its aftermath and since." ENDS


Bar Massacre Families To Go To European Parliament

07/11/2006 - 16:14:52

The families of six men gunned down in a bar in the North
as they watched a World Cup match are to take their case
for justice to the European Parliament.

Relatives of people killed in the June 1994 Loughinisland
massacre will meet MEPs later this month to highlight
concerns about security force collusion in the loyalist gun

Patrick McCreanor, whose uncle Dan McCreanor and great
uncle Barney Green were among those murdered, confirmed
during a visit to Westminster today that the families plan
to take their case directly to Brussels.

He said: “What we are trying to do is ensure people are
aware of what happened in Loughinisland and get to the
truth of what happened.

“We’re in London today meeting the Conservatives, Labour
MPs, the Liberal Democrats and members of the Northern
Ireland Select Committee. We will be in Brussels later in
the month.

“We’re telling them 12 years have passed since the massacre
and the police have kept us in the dark for all this time.
It’s time everyone got to the truth of what happened.”

The victims were watching Jack Charlton’s Republic of
Ireland squad beat Italy in the 1994 USA World Cup on
television in the Heights Bar in the Co Down village of
Loughinisland when an Ulster Volunteer Force gang struck,
opening fire on customers.

The victims, who were all Catholic, came from
Loughinisland, Ballynahinch, Drumaness and Downpatrick.

They were 34-year-old father of two Adrian Rogan, 39-year-
old Eamon Byrne, who was married with four children, his
brother-in-law Patsy O’Hare, who was 35 and single, 59-
year-old Dan McCreanor, a single farmer, his uncle Barney
Green, an 87-year-old retired pig farmer who was married,
and 54-year-old Malcolm Jenkinson, a building contractor
who was married with three children.

Charlton’s team learnt of the atrocity after securing their
historic victory over Italy and the Football Association of
Ireland sent a message of condolence.

The attack was also condemned by the Queen of England and
Pope John Paul II.

Earlier this year the families, through their solicitors,
formally complained to the North's police ombudsman Nuala
O’Loan about serious flaws in the police investigation.

In particular, the families raised concern about the loss
of potentially vital forensic evidence and the decision by
the police to destroy the UVF’s red getaway car in 1996.

They also expressed concerns about recent claims that a
police agent codenamed Mechanic was believed to have
supplied the car.

The relatives have called for an inquiry into the link
between the Czech-made VZ rifle used in the attack and the
arms shipment brought to the North from South Africa by
loyalists, including Ulster Defence Association member and
British agent Brian Nelson.

The Loughinisland Justice Group published a six-page
leaflet outlining the reasons for their campaign and
containing 10 portraits of the six victims.

The group was in London today with Sinn Féin Assembly
member Caitriona Ruane to meet shadow Northern Ireland
secretary David Liddington, Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn,
Liberal Democrat Northern Ireland spokesman Lembit Opik and
members of the Northern Ireland Select Committee.

Emma Rogan, who was eight when her father Adrian, a scrap
metal collector, was shot dead, said the families were
delighted with the support their campaign had received in
Northern Ireland in recent months.

“It’s been heartening to have people from both communities
in places like Loughinisland, Ballynahinch and Downpatrick
come up and wish us well in our quest for justice,” she

“What we are trying to make clear to the MPs today is the
six people killed in Loughinisland were innocent.

“My father was innocent. He was a hard-working family man
who adored his children.

“He had friends on both sides of the community and had no
political association whatsoever.

“My father happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong
time. He didn’t deserve what happened to him and he
certainly doesn’t deserve the secrecy which has shrouded
the polce investigation all this time.”

Following the release of a report into collusion in the
1970s yesterday, which found evidence of RUC and British
Army involvement in 74 loyalist murders, Sinn Féin Assembly
member Ms Ruane said the British government should face up
to the issue.

“The British government is going to have to come clean –
not just in this atrocity but in loads of other cases,” the
South Down Assembly member said.

“There is obvious collusion in the Loughinisland killings.
One has to ask why did the RUC destroy the UVF gang’s car?

“We know agent Mechanic supplied the car. What was the role
of agents? What was the ballistic history of the gun used
in the attack?

“Why have the RUC and latterly the PSNI completely and
utterly failed to properly investigate these murders? Why
have they kept the families in the dark?

“There’s a huge sense out there that there has been a
cover-up over Loughinisland.”


Officials To Meet North Collusion Report Authors

By Luke Cassidy Last updated: 07-11-06, 12:50

Government officials are to hold talks in Dublin today with
an international panel of experts that claims to have
uncovered evidence of British army and RUC collusion in
dozens of sectarian murders in Northern Ireland.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern is studying the
evidence, and his officials will meet the report's authors
in Dublin, according to a department spokesman.

Margaret Urwin, Justice for the Forgotten

At the Dublin launch of their findings on the deaths of 76
people in 25 loyalist atrocities during the 1970s the panel
members called on the Government to use "all diplomatic and
legal powers at their disposal" to try and force the
British government to fully investigate the claims.

The panel members are: Prof Douglass Cassel of the Notre
Dame Law School in the US; Susie Kemp, an international
lawyer based in The Hague; Piers Pigou, who was an
investigator for the South African Truth and Reconciliation
Commission, and US lawyer and academic Stephen Sawyer.

Their report found evidence of security force involvement
in 74 of the 76 sectarian murders investigated, with 38
occurring in the Republic.

Margaret Urwin secretary for Justice for the Forgotten said
the publication of "the international and impartial report
was a hugely significant moment".

Ms Urwin said it was "very important it was published here
[in Dublin] as well as in Belfast because half of the
murders were carried out in the Republic."

The panel reported senior Royal Ulster Constabulary
officers were aware and approved of the collusion while
officials in London had enough information to intervene.

Prof Cassel said that the British government for "the good
of its own country" should find out how a democracy could
go so far off the rails. He added that the panel had
received a letter from Northern Ireland secretary Peter
Hain who expressed the opinion that the best way forward
would be through a police investigation.

Dermot Ahern

However, the panel concluded in its report that neither the
Historical Enquiries Team nor the NI Police Ombudsman Nuala
O'Loan "have the scope, independence, transparency and
credibility required to assure victims and the public that
the truth has been pursued energetically and made known".

Any investigation, Prof Cassel said, "has to be capable of
looking up the chain of command".

The inquiry included the May 1974 Dublin Monaghan bombings
that killed 33 lives; the Miami Showband massacre in July
1975, in which three musicians and two members of the
Ulster Volunteer Force gang died; and the shooting of
Catholic police sergeant Joe Campbell in February 1977.

Susie Kemp said the panel had made a number of
recommendations to the British government from the families
including; the requirement of information, the need for
acknowledgement of collusion and of a failure to
investigate it fully and finally an apology from the state.

The panel have also urged the authorities in the Republic
to investigate the claims made about gardaí.

The families of six men shot by loyalists 12 years ago in a
Co Down bar will meet a cross-party delegation of MPs in
Westminster today.

© 2006


Time For Governments To Convene Meeting Of The Programme For Government Committee

Published: 7 November, 2006

Speaking in Stormont today Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh &
South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew said that ' Sinn Féin's
negotiations team are meeting with the British and Irish
governments today to press them to convene a meeting of the
Programme for Government Committee to facilitate dialogue
between Sinn Féin, the DUP and the other parties.'

Ms Gildernew said:

"Yesterday the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle mandated the party
leadership to follow the course set out at St. Andrews and
to continue with the ongoing negotiations to resolve the
outstanding issues. Today members of the Sinn Féin
negotiations team are meeting with the British Secretary of
State Peter Hain and with senior Irish government

"We need now to begin the urgent work of preparing for
government in the run up to the nomination or the First and
Deputy First Minister on November 24th. The Programme for
Government Committee should now meet and begin this
detailed work and our negotiations team will press both
governments on this issue in meetings later today." ENDS


Ahern Urged To Hold Summit On Collusion Claims

07 November 2006 12:30

The Taoiseach has been urged to hold a special summit with
the British government to deal with collusion between
paramilitaries and the British security forces.

The call was made by Independent TD Finian McGrath.

It comes after the publication of a report claiming there
was strong evidence of collusion by British forces in the
murders of 74 people on both sides of the border during the

Government officials are due to meet an international panel
of experts today.

The 115-page report, which was published in Belfast
yesterday, has found considerable and credible evidence of
security force involvement in 74 of the 76 sectarian
murders investigated.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, is said to
be studying the contents.

Incidents investigated in the report include the May 1974
Dublin and Monaghan bombings and the Miami Showband
killings in July 1975.

Meanwhile, the families of six men shot by loyalists as
they watched a World Cup game in Loughlinisland, Co Down 12
years ago will meet with a cross-party delegation of MPs in
Westminster today.

The Loughlinisland justice group, representing the families
of those murdered by the UVF in O'Toole's bar in June 1994,
is to raise concerns with MPs about alleged state collusion
in the deaths.


Paisley Meets Eames To Discuss Agreement Plans

By Noel McAdam
07 November 2006

Ian Paisley has met Church of Ireland Primate Robin Eames
to debate the current political impasse, it was confirmed

The DUP leader met the Archbishop of Armagh last Wednesday.

Delegations from the Presbyterian and Methodist churches
met the DUP yesterday to discuss the aftermath of the St
Andrews Agreement. And a team from Dr Paisley's own Free
Presbyterian Church also met the party.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Peter Hain was today holding
meetings with Ulster Unionists, the SDLP and Alliance to
discuss concerns over St Andrews.

UUP leader Sir Reg Empey is worried a number of aspects
have been left too vague including proposals for an Irish
language act.

The SDLP is voicing fears that some of the proposed changes
to the rules for ministers will lead to government

Leader Mark Durkan said: "The British government is focused
on getting the DUP over some imaginary line they themselves
have created. But the rest of us have the right to demand
government that works, can deliver for people and protect
them in times of emergency."


Parties Meet Hain Over Agreement

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain is due to hold talks
on the St Andrew's Agreement with the Ulster Unionists,
SDLP and Alliance.

The parties are expected to press Peter Hain on their
concerns and seek clarification.

Sinn Fein has already given a conditional yes to the
agreement, subject to further negotiations.

The DUP and the other parties have until Friday to make up
their minds about it.

The Ulster Unionist Party has concerns that key aspects to
the deal have not been nailed down.

The SDLP is expected to tell Mr Hain that some of the
proposed changes to the rules of power-sharing ministers
are dangerous.

The party fears ministers will not be able to make
decisions in an emergency situation.

Alliance has concerns about mandatory coalition and victims

However, it is the DUP's stance which is likely to be

It is expected to give a signal to go forward with the St
Andrew's Agreement, also subject to further negotiations.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/07 07:44:32 GMT


Downing Street Statement On Sinn Fein

PMOS welcomed the announcement by the Sinn Fein Executive,
the Ard Comhairle, that they are going to proceed with the
St Andrew's Agreement. Asked if the announcement meant that
Sinn Fein accepted the role of the police force the PMOS
replied it meant they had accepted in general that we moved
forward on the basis of the St Andrew's Agreement. From
Sinn Fein's point of view they appeared to have said yes.
Further meetings still needed to take place but the general
indication had been given.

Asked about the other parties involved in particular the
DUP, the PMOS said that we were waiting for the 10th
November but the parties had held a series of consultations
at local level and he could not speak for those groups, but
indications were that they had been heavily in favour of
moving forward.


New Super-Council Names Announced

Belfast City Council is to incorporate areas currently
covered by Castlereagh, Lisburn and North Down, under new
Boundary Commission proposals.

The number of NI councils is being cut from 26 down to
seven in 2009, under government plans announced last year.

The amalgamated council areas proposed will be called Inner
East; East; South; West; North West; North East and Belfast
Local Government Districts.

Part of Magilligan Strand will go from Coleraine to Derry-
based North West.

This is the only significant boundary change from ones
announced by the government last year.

Public consultation

Local Government Boundaries Commissioner Dick Mackenzie's
proposals will now go out for public consultation.

Mr Mackenzie said confirmed that Belfast would get 60
councillors under his plans.

It is proposed that the six other council areas could have
60 councillors each.

However, the boundaries commissioner said he was prepared
to look at suggestions during the consultation period this
number could vary between 55 and 65.

He said the names of the seven new councils would be:

Belfast Local Government District, incorporating the
current Belfast City Council, parts of Lisburn, North Down
and Castlereagh;

Inner East Local Government District, incorporating Antrim,
Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey Councils and the remainder of
Lisburn City Council;

East Local Government District, comprising Ards, Down,
parts of North Down and Castlereagh Councils;

South Local Government District, made up of Armagh,
Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry and Mourne;

West Local Government District, incorporating Cookstown,
Dungannon and South Tyrone, Fermanagh and Omagh;

North West Local Government District, comprising Derry,
Limavady, Magherafelt and Strabane and part of Coleraine;

North East Local Government District, made up of Ballymena,
Ballymoney, Larne, Moyle and a major part of Coleraine.

Mr Mackenzie said he had chosen the names of the seven new
councils to reflect the geography of Northern Ireland.

He had consulted historians to see if they could be given
more imaginative names around which people could unite but
to no avail.

People are being invited to submit written responses to the
new boundaries over the eight weeks until 5 January, and
public hearings will be held in each new council area.

Mr Mackenzie said the boundaries were purely based on their
geography rather than any consideration of electoral

"The proposed boundaries of the districts are based on the
amalgamation of the existing councils, with the exception
of Belfast, for which I am recommending a more natural
boundary for the population living within the city area and
which reflects the expansion of the city over the years,"
he said.

Under plans announced last November by Northern Ireland
Secretary Peter Hain, the dual mandate which allows people
to serve both as Assembly members and councillors is being
removed, affecting 69 out of the 108 MLAs currently

Key decisions will be taken on a cross-community basis and
in future councils will also have responsibility for a
number of major functions like planning and local roads.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/07 11:23:10 GMT


Justice Schemes Facing Closure Over Shortfall In Funding

By Mark Hookham
07 November 2006

Some of Ulster's controversial restorative justice schemes
are likely to go to the wall because of a lack of funding,
it has been claimed.

Kit Chivers, chief inspector of criminal justice in
Northern Ireland, warned MPs that not all of the 18
restorative justice schemes in the province are likely to
survive unless more money is forthcoming.

He made his comments last week during a Commons inquiry
into the protocols governing the projects.

There are 14 Community Restorative Justice (CRJ) schemes in
republican areas and four projects in loyalist areas,
called Alternatives.

The schemes have been dogged by claims from the SDLP and
DUP that they are coming under the influence of former
members of the IRA and loyalist paramilitary groups.

Ministers published a set of long-awaited revised
guidelines in July which ruled that people guilty of a
'serious arrestable offence' since the Good Friday
Agreement are disqualified from involvement on the schemes.

A special 'suitability panel' will vet others - including
former paramilitaries - on a case-by- case basis.

However, Mr Chivers warned that the protocols are too
"bureaucratic" and the schemes need more funding to

He said there are "great challenges" for the schemes,
including the vetting process, which he said "will not be a
popular thing."

He told MPs on the Northern Ireland select committee: "The
Government is not offering any funding to these schemes,

"Unless the schemes are able to receive funding from other
agencies or from charitable sources, which seems
increasingly unlikely, it may be that some of these schemes
go out of business just because there is no funding.

"And it may be a less attractive environment for volunteers
to work in. At the moment they depend very heavily on
volunteer support.

"What you are looking at under the protocol, is much more
like a professional type of criminal justice system. I
think it is quite possible that some of them will

He said his team of inspectors will not shy away from
exposing any schemes which are engaged in "unacceptable"

He said: "I believe in setting people challenges and I
think inspection is the way that we do that. If they don't
meet the criteria, then I write adverse reports about them
and they get de-accredited.

"We all understand what are acceptable things to do.
Extorting money from people with threats and menaces are
not acceptable things to do. Turf wars and protecting drug
dealers are not acceptable things to do.

"We shall expect without fear or favour and we shall report
publicly and frankly what we find."


Integrated Housing Plan For City

Catholics and Protestants could live side by side in the
heart of Belfast if ambitious plans are approved.

Integrated housing is part of a government blueprint to
regenerate the North West Quarter of the city.

It includes the area bordered by Royal Avenue, Upper North
Street, Millfield and Upper Donegall Street.

The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society said the
proposals, which also look at culture and tourism, offered
a chance to revive a neglected area.

The North West Quarter includes a mixture of residential
areas, such as Brown's Square and Carrick Hill, as well as
commercial buildings, colleges and Northern Ireland's
Central Library.

Social Development Minister David Hanson said his
department wanted to examine whether it was possible to
achieve a mixture of new social and new private housing in
the area.

"The consultants have identified housing, economy and
enterprise, education, retail, tourism and cultural
development, transport and urban design as key levers for
taking forward the regeneration of the area," he said.

"Potentially, the most difficult of these is the further
development of social housing.

"At present social housing in the area is characterised by
the segregation of Catholic and Protestant communities.
This situation isn't healthy for any city centre."

He said it would be a challenge to see if integrated
housing could be achived in a way which "eases, rather than
adds to, further polarisation of the community".

The area's close proximity to the shopping heart of Belfast
could allow it to benefit from the city's rising

Rita Harkin of the Ulster Architectual Heritage Society
said: "It has enormous potential in one of the most
historic parts of the city centre - North Street dating
back to the 17th century.

"There's still some very good buildings there that we are
keen to see being reused.

"We are particularly heartened, I think, by the message
that residential will be playing a key role. In past years,
it's really been retail development in the city centre. A
mixture of uses I think is very exciting."

The consultation period on the report will last until 30
January, 2007, with the final masterplan expected by June

It will set out a framework on which to guide the future
development of the area and link with work for other parts
of the city including Crumlin Road Gaol.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/07 09:16:09 GMT


Opin: Sinn Fein In Danger Of Overplaying Its Hand

Barry White
07 November 2006

Not for the first time, you have to admire the gall of Sinn
Fein, imploring the two governments to keep pressing the
DUP to accept St Andrews.

The republican party is dragging its heels over backing for
the PSNI, just as doggedly as the DUP is refusing to accept
anything less. Yet everyone is complaining about Nigel
Dodds postponing the transfer of law-and-order powers to
Stormont for a "political lifetime".

It looks as if both parties are getting distinctly worried
about the scenario that first emerged in 2003, when the
electorate chose Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams as their top
two. The two parties have had three years to think about
Paisley and Martin McGuinness sharing power, probably
believing it could never happen. Now that St Andrews is
staring them in the face, they're panicking.

It looks as if the DUP could be facing a significant split,
while Sinn Fein never lets any dissension show. Unionists
of all descriptions hate the thought of an ex-IRA man as
Deputy First Minister, with another ex having some control
over the police. The DUP would only consent under the most
extreme duress, after an election supplied it with a
mandate, so naturally the party is putting up a fight, at
least until November 24 and most likely until March 26.

Sinn Fein, for its part, has to pretend that St Andrews is
a stepping stone to Irish unity and that, if it says "yes"
to the police, this is because it has to in order to pull
Northern Ireland away from London and closer to Dublin.

It's a temporary expedient for Sinn Fein - just as an
enforced coalition is for the DUP - until the border
becomes irrelevant, politically as well as economically.

Both parties have no difficulty persuading their core
supporters they're doing the right thing by continuing to
negotiate right up to the deadlines of November 10 (to
accept St Andrews) and 24 (to nominate the shadow First and
Deputy First Ministers).

But by warning that the transfer of policing powers may not
happen for 20 years or so - despite the target of 2008 in
St Andrews - the DUP is distracting attention from Sinn
Fein's delaying tactics over support for the police.

With hindsight, we know that the Good Friday Agreement
should have included a timetable for full acceptance of
policing by every party in government, as soon as the
Patten reforms had taken effect and were approved by
independent judges. That way, Sinn Fein would have no
argument. But here we are, nine years on, and Sinn Fein is
still using the police as a bargaining tool.

Of course, maybe it wouldn't have signed up to the 1998
deal if the Agreement had included policing.

Republicans have always had a thing about the police, going
back to 1916 and all that, after which the IRA set out to
make rural Ireland ungovernable, forcing RIC barracks to
close and killing 418 RIC personnel by the time of the 1921
truce. (Yet Michael Collins, their chief strategist, was
soon negotiating in Downing Street.)

Targeting the police was a tactic that worked for removing
the British presence from 26 of the 32 counties and there
must be great misgivings in republicanism about joining the
ranks of the Northern Ireland force, even a reformed one.

Would the IRA have to answer for past crimes? How would the
changes affect cross-border rackets?

Sinn Fein knows the decision has to be taken if it is ever
to play a part in government here, so the party will do it
- after wringing every ounce of advantage from it.

The party isn't doing badly so far, with promises of an
Irish language act, a Maze shrine and new North-South
forums. But the party is always in danger of overplaying
its hand, as it did by ensuring the defeat of David
Trimble. It could now guarantee that the November 24
deadline will be missed by failing to give a sufficiently
watertight pledge on the police.

If that's what Sinn Fein really wants, to avoid standing up
to its dissidents, it will have proved to most of us that
it was never serious about politics and reaching
accommodation with its opponents, North or South. It would
confirm that it is a group of eternal rebels with a single
cause, uninterested in the nitty-gritty, everyday issues
that affect ordinary people.


Blog: Shake Hands With The Devil

The State Department has given Gerry Adams the nod. He can
raise funds in the USA, money needed to support Sinn Fein,
and he'll be leaving for New York next week. If you've $500
to spare, you might be able to buy your way in to the
dinner in Manhattan.

Government approval, after a long ban, has been ascribed to
Sinn Fein's movement towards accepting the Police Service
of Northern Ireland. Washington, along with Dublin and
London, have been pressurizing the lads to recognize the
authority of the local constabulary as part of the overall
devolution process. If all goes well, the Stormont body
should sit on the 24th of this month. You know it won't,
but it sounds pretty all the same.

And against what backdrop will the Shinners be squeezed?
According to a report commissioned by the Pat Finucane
Center in Derry, the old Royal Ulster Constabulary, since
dissolved into the PSNI, colluded with loyalist thugs in
the murders of up to 74 innocent people over a five year
period. Recognize the PSNI, all you Shinners, and don't
mind the fact that their antecedents helped to gun down six
harmless men who were guilty of sitting in a pub, watching
a soccer match. The old crime of "being Catholic", you see.

In general, Catholics in the north don't want anything to
do with the police, and this report only confirms their
suspicions. The boys in blue, duty bound to protect, were a
bit busy giving aid and comfort to the Ulster loyalists.
Professor Douglass Cassel of Notre Dame University cited a
case in which RUC and British army officers were fully
aware of what their subordinates were up to, but they
encouraged rather than stopped it. The panel found evidence
that the murdering thugs got arms, ammunition, training and
information from the RUC and the British army, clear proof
that the men in charge were colluding with those who
fomented sectarian killings. No wonder the murders were
never properly investigated. No surprise that the killers
were never brought to justice.

Put it all behind you, Sinn Fein, and recognize the
authority of the police force. Is it any wonder that the
two sides cannot come together? And is it any surprise that
the DUP dreads the notion of a Shinner taking charge of the
PSNI? Shake hands with the devil, indeed, and what filth
might be shaken out of the rafters if Sinn Fein did a bit
of housecleaning.

posted by O hAnnrachainn


Blog: Adams One Of World’s Most Stalked Male Celebrities

“Stalking is a legal term for the repeated harassment or
other forms of invasion of a person's privacy in a manner
that causes fear to its target. Celebrities and public
figures are frequently targets of such behavior, sometimes
under the psychological term erotomania.” quoted from
Wikipedia. Below is the current list of World’s most
stalked male celebrity in alphabetical order from alphabet
A to alphabet I. The World’s most stalked male celebrity
list includes Prince William, US President George W. Bush,
Former US President Bill Clinton, and Lord Jesus Christ.
(Poster’s Note: Gerry Adams is included on this list.)


Conference To Address Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland

07/11/2006 - 09:28:25

The challenges of living in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland will
be discussed at the ninth annual Ceifin conference which
opens today.

Irish and international speakers will discuss topics like
community and interculturalism at the two-day event in
Ennis, Co Clare.

Speakers include Special Olympics chief Mary Davis, Revenue
Commissioners chairman Frank Daly, Trust founder Alice
Leahy and African Women’s Network Ireland director Salome
Mbugua Henry.

This year’s conference is running under the theme of
’Freedom: Licence or Liberty? Engaging in a Transforming

Ceifin chairman Fr Harry Bohan founded the organisation in
1998 to promote values-led debate in Ireland.

He said: “There is little dispute that Ireland in the 21st
Century is a society in transformation. But for all our
success there are many who feel disconnected and
marginalised in our society.

“We may be enjoying freedom from the economic and social
shackles of our past, but does that freedom constitute
liberty or is it engendering a licence that is gnawing at
and ultimately threatening the fabric of our new society.”


Irish Obsessed With Gossip, Shops, Think-In Told

Last updated: 07-11-06, 14:52

Irish people have become obsessed by greed, gossip and
shopping, a conference was told today.

Fr Harry Bohan - founder of the Céifin Centre - said that
consumer values had replaced moral values in "Celtic Tiger
Ireland", and he called for a modern debate on the issue
within families, schools and workplaces.

Opening the ninth annual Céifin conference in Clare, Fr
Bohan warned that a lack of community spirit now threatened
the survival of a caring and respectful society.

Fr Bohan, who is parish priest of Sixmilebridge, Co Clare,
and director of pastoral planning in the Diocese of
Killaloe, founded Ceifin in 1998 to encourage a debate on
values in society.

He told the conference in Ennis: "There is a growing
concern that modern Ireland is cash rich and culturally
poor. Commercial and market values now dominate as
instanced by 24-hour, seven-day-a-week shopping."

"We live in a harsh climate in which gossip and controversy
are so much more newsworthy than real news and especially
good news, and people forget what their real values are.

"There is no doubt that without a strong sense of community
human beings will wilt and begin to die or destroy one
another. Community and community values are the foundation
of human society. They mean the survival of the species."

Fr Bohan pointed to new problems such as family and
community breakdown, high crime rates, low level of civic
responsibility and the lack of appreciation for heritage
and the environment.

Irish and international speakers at the two-day Ceifin
conference will discuss topics like multiculturalism, crime
and family values.


© 2006

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