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November 27, 2006

Debate Resumes at Stormont

News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 11/27/06 Politicians Resume Debate At Stormont
BT 11/27/06 Political Rift Remains After Stormont Chaos
UU 11/27/06 Blog: SF Have Lost Argument On Police - Empey
RT 11/27/06 McCartney Says Paisley Is Ready To 'Sell Out'
BT 11/27/06 Paisley's Silence Spoke Volumes: McCartney
BT 11/27/06 Stone's Real Cause Is The Quest For Fame
BT 11/27/06 Mad Dog And Irish Men
IN 11/27/06 NIO Staff Get Bonuses Of £2m Over Last 5 Years
IN 11/27/06 Republicans Opposed To SF’s Strategy Plan Meeting
BT 11/27/06 Opin: Spooks To Get Licence To Be Ill
BT 11/27/06 Descendants Of Slaves May Live In Ulster


Politicians Resume Debate At Stormont

The North's politicians are back in Stormont to resume the
debate which was disrupted on Friday when convicted
loyalist murderer Michael Stone burst into the Stormont
foyer claiming to be carrying a bomb.

Michael Stone's attempted attack on the Assembly was
described as "an assault on democracy," by speaker Eileen

Ms Bell told MLAs this morning that a review of security
had been ordered following Friday's incident which resulted
in the suspension of business.

The review will examine future police presence, additional
security measures and evacuation procedures.

She confirmed that short-term measures had been put in
place, and paid tribute to the bravery of security staff
who prevented the loyalist killer from detonating bombs in
the building.

"One should not under-estimate the courage shown by our
doorkeepers," she said.

By the time Stone entered the building late on Friday
morning, proceedings had already descended into chaos after
nominations for first and deputy-first minister failed to
take place as planned.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams had confirmed that his party
would nominate Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister,
but Mr Paisley told the Assembly that until Sinn Féin
declared support for policing and justice arrangements, the
DUP was not obliged to nominate a first minister.

The DUP leader withheld his name but told the Assembly that
if republicans gave full support to policing and justice
arrangements, he would then decide on whether to enter a
power-sharing administration with Sinn Féin.

However, speaking later on Friday, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
indicated that the DUP and Sinn Féin had done enough to
proceed with the power-sharing plan. Mr Ahern said

Dr Paisley had "made his position clear" in a second
statement released by the DUP leader on Friday afternoon.

British Secretary of State for the North Peter Hain
yesterday called on both parties to take the steps
necessary to stop the political process ending in failure.

He said what had happened in the Assembly before it was
interrupted had indicated everyone was prepared to move
forward with the St Andrews Agreement agenda, but he said
he would "not pretend that what happened on Friday was the
best that I had been hoping could have happened."

Speaking on the Politics Programmeon BBC he called on Sinn
Féin to hold a special party conference to get backing for
the party supporting policing before elections take place
in March.

He also called on members of the DUP to stop saying they
would never accept devolution in their lifetime involving
power sharing with Sinn Féin.

He said: "If they [the DUP] keep saying that, some of their
leading figures - not Ian Paisley or Peter Robinson - there
is no prospect of moving forward."

He added: "Sinn Féin need to understand that they need to
fulfil what they signed up to in paragraph six of the St
Andrews Agreement - and that is in the legislation -
completely signing up to policing.

"If we can get clarity on those issues, then we can move
forward to devolution."

Mr Hain added: "If it is not achievable - and it may not be
- of course dissolution and the packing up of Northern
Ireland's politicians is what they will be responsible

© 2006


Political Rift Remains After Stormont Chaos

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
27 November 2006

The political deadlock over policing remained today as the
DUP attacked Sinn Fein's insistence that it cannot sign up
to the PSNI while being denied an operational role.

Still recovering from the party's wobble during Friday's
dramatic events at Stormont, the DUP attempted to maintain
the focus on the policing issue.

It came as Secretary of State Peter Hain said the remarks
made by Deputy leader Peter Robinson, party secretary Nigel
Dodds and the Rev William McCrea - that the devolution of
policing might not happen for at least a "political
lifetime" - were unhelpful.

It emerged today, however, that the statement issued by 12
senior party members, including four MPs, on Friday, had
initially been drawn up as a point of order for chairman
Lord Morrow.

But after the attack by Michael Stone suspended Assembly
proceedings, Lord Morrow did not get the opportunity to
raise it during the debate and, with the party's press
office closed, it was decided to release it.

"It was a mess," a senior party member conceded today, "but
it was the appearance of a mess rather than a real mess and
has only served as a distraction."

Meanwhile, the Sinn Fein leadership made it clear it is
prepared to call its special ard fheis on policing in
January, shortly before the writ of the new 'transitional'
Assembly runs out - but only if a timetable for the
devolution of policing and justice is agreed.

Mr Dodds said: "That is spurious nonsense. (Sinn Fein) is
saying it will only support policing when it can see itself
getting control or influence over the police in a devolved

"That is totally unreasonable.

"Support for the PSNI, the rule of law and the courts must
happen as part of the commitment to peaceful and democratic
means, not as some kind of political deal with Sinn Fein.

"Sinn Fein, alone of the political parties, makes it a
precondition of even beginning the process leading to
eventual support for the police that they must have the
early prospect of getting leverage over the running of the
police," the North Belfast MP added.


Blog: SF Have Lost Argument On Police - Empey

November 27th, 2006
Sir Reg Empey MLA

In a statement this evening, UUP Leader Sir Reg Empey

“Sinn Fein have no alternative but to support policing and
the rule of law. This was spelled out to them by the
British, Irish and American Governments long before St
Andrews. Even their staunchest Irish American supporters
accept the inevitability of Sinn Fein taking this step.

The only issues to be decided are the timing and precise

The Sinn Fein Leadership knew at St Andrews that their
support for the PSNI and rule of law would be in the pledge
of Office to be taken in March. They were under no
obligation however, to sign up to this before 24th November
and they said so during the talks.

The decision of the SDLP to support the PSNI, the
forthcoming elections in the Republic next spring and the
growing acceptance of the police by the Roman Catholic
community have forced this change of attitude.

Given all of this, the way that Ian Paisley is campaigning
to get Sinn Fein to sign up to policing (as a means of
counteracting his internal critics) has its dangers. As
Sinn Fein will and must do so is not in doubt. But the risk
the DUP is running is that by placing such a value on SF
doing so (even though most unionists don’t want SF near
policing) they are handing valuable bargaining power to
Gerry Adams. He will be seeking concessions from Blair as
support for policing is the last card SF has to play. Adams
has got more in side deals as Blair is saying to SF ‘we’ve
got to help the Doc get this through.’

I think that in the next few weeks there needs to be a
rethink on these tactics lest we allow Sinn Fein to once
more hold the country to ransom and hold the keys to


McCartney Says Paisley Is Ready To 'Sell Out'

27 November 2006 11:15

At the resumed session of the Northern Ireland Assembly in
Stormont, the DUP leader, Rev Ian Paisley, has been accused
of being prepared to sell out on unionist principles.

The Independent UK Unionist Assembly member, Bob McCartney,
asked whether enforced coalition with Sinn Féin is what the
men and women of the security forces and the unionist
community have died for?

He called the DUP a born-again pro-Belfast Agreement party
and warned that similar policies brought electoral disaster
on the Ulster Unionist Party under David Trimble.

This morning's session was concluded in less than 25

The Assembly speaker paid tribute to the Stormont security
staff for their actions when the loyalist demonstrator,
Michael Stone, was detained at the front door of Parliament
buildings last Friday.

On Friday there was confusion about Dr Paisley's

In the chamber he held back on giving a commitment to take
the First Minister's job if certain conditions were met.

He later issued a statement changing that situation and it
was welcomed by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and British
Prime Minister Tony Blair.

There are tensions within the DUP about power-sharing. Mr
Paisley's party keeps highlighting the need for Sinn Féin
to address its policy on support for the police.

Increased security at Stormont

Assembly members faced increased security measures as they
arrived to resume discussions at Stormont this morning.

Two PSNI officers stood inside the front entrance of
Parliament Buildings, just yards away from where Michael
Stone was wedged in a door by security staff when he tried
to launch an attack last Friday.

Assembly security guards were also positioned in the
grounds of the Stormont estate.

The Assembly speaker, Eileen Bell, told MLAs that, having
been briefed by PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde and one of
his assistant chief constables, it was clear there was a
very real danger of loss of life or serious injury on

She said the devices that were defused may have been crude
in nature but were nonetheless life-threatening for that.

She paid tribute to the security staff who disarmed Michael
Stone on Friday and said that by doing so they undoubtedly
prevented serious injury and possible loss of life.


Paisley's Silence Spoke Volumes: McCartney

By Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent
27 November 2006

Ian Paisley consented to becoming First Minister in the
future "by his silence", MLA Robert McCartney insisted

The United Kingdom Unionist Party leader challenged Mr
Paisley to repeat his public statement, issued four hours
after the Assembly was suspended on Friday, in the Stormont

He said the DUP leader is in danger of taking the
designation alongside the already-nominated Martin
McGuineess but to do so "would forfeit his reputation and
the trust of his people".

Speaking before the Assembly session resumed, Mr McCartney
said: "Despite all the puppet show there was a moment of
truth for Ian Paisley and that was when the speaker (Eileen
Bell) deemed his speech to be an acceptance.

"At that point he could have simply stood up and said you
can deem it what you like but it is not an acceptance. In
fact he consented by his silence."

The North Down MLA, who first came to prominence in 1981
when he labelled Mr Paisley a "fascist", said it was
important the acceptance is a matter of official record.

His remarks came as Assembly members were expected to
restart the meeting disrupted by the Michael Stone incident
precisely where it left off, with Alliance leader David
Ford speaking.

But the meeting was also expecting to hear a report on the
security implications of the attack, and praise for the
Assembly staff who thwarted it.

The Assembly meeting was expected to be followed by the
second meeting of the Programme For Government committee,
again likely to be attended by Sinn Fein President Gerry
Adams and DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson.

It was anticipated the committee will debate setting up a
special sub-group to examine the policing issue, in
particular the timetable for devolution of policing and
justice and the model for a Department.

Mr McCartney, meanwhile, said it appeared Mr Paisley, at
the insistence of his Assembly group, omitted the key
sentence containing his express consent which the
Government had been expecting on Friday.

He said it brought "a lot of flak" from Premiers Tony Blair
and Bertie Ahern who threatened to "pull the plug".


Brian Rowan: Stone's Real Cause Is The Quest For Fame

Loyalist's assault of Stormont was more about the killer's
ego than protesting against power-sharing. Brian Rowan

27 November 2006

You might wonder why Michael Stone didn't attack the
Stormont building and the new politics of this place long
before last Friday.

That is, if you accept what he claims as his motivation for
all that happened and didn't happen at Parliament Buildings
those few days ago.

I don't.

If you were daft enough, he'd have you believe that this
had something to do with power sharing and a political
sell-out; something to do with Paisley and the Provos, and
that he, Stone, the "soldier" from the "war" that's over,
was out to deliver a last loyalist message of "No

What absolute nonsense.

What about Stormont and the politics of this place when
David Trimble was First Minister and unionists,
nationalists and republicans - including Martin McGuinness
- were part of the same Executive?

Where was Michael Stone then? Where were his pipe bombs and
all of the rest of his paramilitary bits and pieces?

The answer is, they were nowhere to be seen.

I think I know why.

Last Friday, and the Stone show, had nothing to do with
power sharing or a sell-out - nothing whatsoever.

Michael Stone long ago accepted Sinn Fein's mandate and its
place in the political process. He told me so - told me
within weeks of the Good Friday Agreement; told me and then
tried not to tell me.

After a television interview, he and other loyalists asked
for the tape.

I spoke to him in that gap between the Good Friday
Agreement and the referendum of 1998 - interviewed him
while he was out on parole and just hours after loyalists
had given him a standing ovation inside the Ulster Hall.

They are not celebrating him any longer - not after his
show on Friday last.

That interview back in 1998 was quite controversial - not
so much because of what Stone had to say, but when he said

It was a timing thing.

The people had not yet endorsed the Agreement, and one of
its most controversial aspects related to the early release
of prisoners - something from which Stone and hundreds of
loyalists and republicans would later benefit.

Last Friday at Stormont one of those early release licences
was torn up in public - destroyed in that one-man show at
the entrance to Parliament Buildings.

Stone must have known the consequences of his actions. Did
he want to go back to jail? Is that where he believes he
will be safe?

Some will tell you that the answer to both those questions
is yes.

Back in May 1998, on the morning after the Ulster Hall
rally, the Northern Ireland Office told the then Ulster
Democratic Party to ensure that Stone did no media

This issue of prisoners and their release was damaging the
wider political agreement, and the Government feared this
could feed the "No" vote in the now imminent referendum.

The call to the UDP was too late. Stone had just finished
an interview with me to be broadcast later that day on BBC
news outlets.

In the company of Stone and the UDA brigadier Jim Gray -
later murdered in 2005 - the UDP's then prisoners spokesman
John White asked me to give them the tape.

I refused. A fax signed by Stone was then sent to the BBC
withdrawing permission for the interview to be used, and
senior leaders in the UDP contacted BBC editors.

It was serious stuff. There was talk that the Prime
Minister Tony Blair had hit the roof when he'd seen the
television pictures of Stone in the Ulster Hall.

The interview was broadcast - an interview in which Stone
refused to apologise for the murders he had committed.

He acknowledged "the hurt" he had caused, but "within the
context of being a volunteer in a war", he would not

In that interview, more than eight years ago, Stone said
the following about Sinn Fein's most senior leaders:

"Adams and McGuinness have brought the republican death
squads on, seemingly making the transition into a
democracy, and, if they believe in that democracy, then
majority rules. They've a political mandate, I accept that,
and they should have their place at the talks."

The same Michael Stone, who in 2006 is shouting about no
power-sharing with the "Shinners" and who is accusing Ian
Paisley of a sell-out, spoke those words - words that take
you closer to the truth of what last Friday was really

Forget about all of that shouting and ranting about power
sharing, about Paisley and the Provos and about the new
politics of this place.

What happened at Parliament Buildings last Friday - after
Stone stepped out of a taxi - was a play for publicity, a
desperate and dangerous performance by a man whose cause is
fame and whose fear is that he might become irrelevant.

Friday was about Michael Stone's ego.

He plays this silly game with the exiled loyalist Johnny
Adair - a game of gimmicks and stunts. It is about the two
of them staying in the news - about them sounding and
seeming important within loyalism and within Northern

They aren't. Not any more. It's all nonsense.

These days, Adair sneaks in and then runs out of Northern
Ireland, because, for all his talk, to stay would mean he
would end up dead.

Stone - after his performance at Parliament Buildings - is
back in prison and will stay there for a considerable
period of time.

His ego has been sent to jail.

Will it matter to anyone within loyalism? No it won't.

Because for all they were to the UDA in the war of
yesterday, Stone and Adair are nothing in the peace of


Mad Dog And Irish Men

Notorious loyalist paramilitary Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair
defied death threats from former comrades to return to
Belfast for a television documentary being screened
tomorrow night. Acclaimed investigative journalist Donal
MacIntyre spent six months filming Adair in Scotland,
Germany and on a clandestine return to his former Lower
Shankill heartland. He talks to Laurence White about why he
made the film ? part of the Underworld series for Five ?
and what life is like now for the former leader of the
UDA's C Company, which was responsible for a reputed 40

27 November 2006

Why did you decide to make a programme on Adair?

I think he is an interesting character and an important
character. Anyone doing work on the recent history of
Northern Ireland has to mention Johnny Adair, not just as a
footnote but as a paragraph or two.

Of course, he was responsible for some very despicable
crimes, but our job was to get inside his world and paint
it as it is. We made no moral judgement.

What was his reaction to being asked to be a part of the

We talked to him for about three years on and off. He is
not shy of press publicity but has never taken part in an
access documentary. It took a lot of persuasion and trust.

People like Johnny Adair and the others featured in the
series never know when they may get a bullet in the head or
a 25-year jail sentence and so like to leave their mark in
video format.

Did he put any bans on your filming?


Was he paid for participating?

No, and he didn't ask to be paid.

How long did you spend with him and what did you think of

I spent a lot of time with him over the last year, with an
especially concentrated period of about six months. As
regards the man himself, no one is all good or all bad.
Sometimes he is charismatic and funny, but you can never
forget the horrendous crimes he was involved with.

However, he can be amusing and charming. I have to stress
that we, as programme makers, are neutral on our subjects.
We don't make a moral judgement. It is up to the audience
to decide how they regard him from our portrayal.

At one stage you film him in Germany with a group of neo-
Nazis. One is a girl who has a shrine to him, another a man
in jail who says he will take revenge if anyone harms
Adair. It all seemed surreal. Were they hamming it up for
the cameras?

The guy who says he will protect Adair was deported from
South Africa for an attempted coup against the ANC and
jailed for attacking immigrants and making pipe bombs in
Germany. If Adair wanted a European army, I have no doubt
he could have one. But he seems to have left his cause and
his war behind.

What does life hold for him at present?

He cannot get a job and he is going to be on the dole. The
men who know him in Scotland seem quite happy to buy him
drink and the women seem quite happy to sleep with him. He
is, in a way, reliving his youth without the pressure he
had in Belfast. He has a new-found adolescence and he is
enjoying it. He doesn't have an expensive lifestyle.

Some people have made the suggestion that he will get
£100,000 for a book about him and that he got a huge
advance from the publishers. That is preposterous. It ain't
going to happen. He will be lucky if he makes £3,000.

He seems to surround himself with undesirable types like
Scottish gangster Mark 'Scarface' Morrison and lottery lout
Michael Carroll. Does it appear he is likely to get
involved in crime?

If he wants to be a major crime figure in Britain, I am
sure that he could make lots of money that way. I don't
know what direction he will take. Will he import his former
gangster and racketeering skills? I don't know.

In our programme, he admitted openly - for the first time -
that he was involved in drug dealing, prostitution and
racketeering "for the cause".

On his return to Belfast, he describes the new UDA
leadership in the Lower Shankill, describing them as "drug
dealers, rapists, house-breakers and petty criminals". He
doesn't seem to realise the irony of those being some of
the allegations laid against him and his former associates

We don't make judgements. We just paint a picture, a broad
palette. He obviously lives in a bizarre world.

Interestingly, previous programmes made by us about the
criminal world are now used in educational criminology
programmes. You can view the programmes in many ways, strip
away the layers and see the links between poverty and

The paramilitary type of justice that was dispensed in
Northern Ireland, such as punishment beatings, is also used
by notorious gangster figures in Britain. They run their
communities in a similar way to that which Adair used to
run the Lower Shankill.

Has he changed?

I would think that the Adair of old was much more
dangerous. He is very street smart and ran rings round some
of the most sophisticated surveillance and covert
intelligence-gathering operations in western Europe for
many years.

However, now I think his appetite for violence has gone. I
don't think he is very interested in 'war' any more and
seems happy with the way peace in Northern Ireland is now
constituted. He feels he is a legend and is living his own
legend. The neo-Nazis and others feed on that. He showed me
a text message about sleeping with a young Catholic girl. I
suppose when he now talks of "banging" Catholics, [it is]
in a sexual sense rather than shooting them. It is an
unusual peace dividend.

What reaction do you expect to get to the programme? At one
stage you call him a terrorist pin-up.

There will be those, especially in the media, who will
criticise us for giving him celebrity status. But those
very same people all want his telephone number so that they
can make their own programmes or write their own articles
about him.

This programme is not about exposing Johnny Adair but
revealing him. It shows how he is living his life now. It
is up to the audience to make their own judgements.

What was the return to Belfast like? Adair travelled to
Wales, then over to Dublin and finally across the border to
return to the Lower Shankill.

I wasn't that nervous. We went into the Lower Shankill at
8.30am on December 29 last, when most people were still
asleep or groggy from the festive celebrations. Adair was
sensibly nervous. He is not a coward, but he doesn't want
to be killed.

When we were in Dublin standing outside the GPO, I reminded
him there were 2,000 'retired' IRA men in the city.

He naturally wanted to get out of Dublin as quickly as

He got through Irish customs by using the Irish version of
his name. I thought he wouldn't be too keen on that but he
didn't seem to mind.

In Belfast, we were stopped by two rookie policemen who
didn't recognise Adair in the back seat of the car. He was
with his son Jonathan. Maybe Johnny Adair's time has passed
when the cops don't recognise him any more.

One of the most dramatic moments in the programme is when
he comes face-to-face in Manchester with Jonty Brown, the
detective who put him behind bars for directing terrorism.
What was that meeting like?

I brought in security because I thought it was sensible. We
had no idea what would happen. Jonty has seen the film and
he thinks it is fair on both of them. He accused Adair of
ordering the bombing of his home, but Adair denied it and
said police had raided his home on many occasions.

Our aim in making this film was to make a fair film and to
give people an insight into characters like Adair.

The series features a number of dangerous gangsters. Why
did you decide to do the series?

This is dangerous television about dangerous men. We are
pushing back the creative boundaries. These men are
contemporary gangsters. We realise there are ethical
questions about putting their lives before the camera but
we have a very experienced crew who have worked in current
affairs and documentaries. We have to be robust and not

Johnny Adair as we know him was not made in the womb. It
was the society he lived in which created him.

He is responsible for his politics and his actions but
everyone in Northern Ireland has a responsibility for the
creation of the circumstances which led to emergence of
people like Adair. The politics of Northern Ireland created
people like Adair.

Mad Dog, part of the MacIntyre's Underworld series, Five,
tomorrow, 11pm


NIO Staff Get Bonuses Of £2m Over Last Five Years

By Claire Simpson

STAFF at the Northern Ireland Office have received more
than £2 million in bonuses in the last five years, new
figures reveal.

More than 1,000 staff were given bonuses last year, with
one staff member receiving £11,000, according to figures
released in response to a parliamentary question by Keith
Vaz, the Labour MP for Leicester East.

Between 2003 and 2005 around 90 per cent of staff were
deemed eligible for a bonus, increasing the NIO salary bill
by more than £1 million.

Although it dramatically cut the number of staff who
received a bonus last year, around 50 per cent of staff are
still paid a bonus. The amount of money handed out has
actually increased by more than £55,000.

Senior civil servants have a minimum income of around
£54,000 a year, rising to more than £159,000 plus expenses.

A spokeswoman from the NIO said the bonus scheme had been
changed in the last financial year.

It was now “targeted at exceptional performance”, she said.

“The scheme was amended following a review and a decision
was taken to make bonuses more meaningful in line with
Treasury guidelines.

“There are three criteria for determining why to recommend
a member of staff for a bonus – performance against
objectives across the reporting year; how the objectives
are achieved; behaviour and attributes displayed and the
circumstances of the achievement,” she added.

Bonuses paid to public-sector workers have come under
intense scrutiny after it was revealed that Translink chief
executive Keith Moffat’s bonus package bumped up his annual
salary to £374,000 last year - around twice as much as
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern gets.

SDLP assembly member John Dallat, a former member of the
assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, said he was astounded
at the level of bonuses.

“I do not know how the NIO qualifies for performance-
related bonuses whenever the general impression is that it
is not doing a good job,” he said.

“The whole idea of bonuses being paid to staff does not go
down well with the public, who are bracing themselves for
hikes in rates and water charges.

“It stems from the days of empire when managers handed
their staff little perks.

“It’s time to get the snouts out of the trough”.

He said a greater level of accountability was needed from
the NIO.

“If we ever have the good fortune to have an assembly up
and running, one of the first things we have to do is to
re-establish the Public Accounts Committee to look at these
issues,” he said.

“We have to give Audit Office a greater say in how our
money is spent and they should plan to stop the gravy train
before it leaves the station.”


Republicans Opposed To SF’s Strategy Plan Meeting

By Staff Reporter

A PUBLIC meeting to discuss policing is expected to be held
in west Belfast tonight.

The meeting of republicans, apparently opposed to the Sinn
Fein strategy, is to be held at Conway Mill, off the Falls

A former republican prisoner, who is to attend that
meeting, claimed that Sinn Fein members had been told “that
they should not trust me, have nothing to do with me and
that they should not talk to me”.

Tony Catney, who says he has been a member of the
republican movement for 37 years, said he had learned of
claims that he was “a member of an armed organisation which
poses a threat to people or things unnamed”.

He said he resigned last year because of the “lack of
internal debate on matters of policy and strategy and the
manner in which membership were expected to blindly follow
a leadership led policy without question or dissent”.


Opin: Pól Ó Muirí: Spooks To Get Licence To Be Ill

27 November 2006

And the dividends of the peace process just keep on coming.
MI5 is to recruit in the North.

Of course, it is not as if it had not recruited here
before, but the candidates were limited to scumbag,
murderous paramilitaries.

Let us hope that all those agents with their funny little
codenames don't become too upset by the fact that Joe and
Josephine Blog will now have the chance to join their ranks
as an 'English language monitor'.

But before you jump to get an application form, read the
small print.

The reality is far removed from the dangerous glamour of
the television series, Spooks.

Successful candidates will be expected to watch CCTV
footage of 'national security targets'.

The Government thinks it can safely locate its super spies
in the North with no consequences.

Little does it realise just how much the local culture will
affect their suave agents. One can only imagine the
conversation in MI5's plush new building in north Down as
Jimmy reports to M: "Here, see yer man there, M, he's a
quare suspicious so-and-so, isn't he? Reminds me of a boy I
once saw in Gulladuff. Right chancer. Used to sell second-
hand hens at car boot sales.

"Och, now don't get me wrong. There was no harm in him. Not
like this glipe on film. He's an evil-looking blade,

Here, love to stay and chat but I've got to see a man about
a dog.

"What man? What dog, you say? That's for me to know and you
to find out. Here, by the way, what kind of name is M
anyway? Are you anything to the Maghera Ms?"

I give it a month before the agents start pulling sickies
like a teacher on Mondays.

Dodgy Days In The DUP

Can someone please explain to me what the DUP is about? The
DUP mayor of Ballymoney, John Finlay, graciously welcomes
the Antrim senior hurling squad to his parlour and
congratulates them on becoming Ulster champions while DUP
MP, Gregory Campbell, continues to give off about the
Antrim County Board's decision to allow Casement Park -
where Antrim play their hurling - to be used for a
controversial hunger strike commemoration during the
summer. Confused? We all are.

Durkan Sups Of The DUP's Veto-Milk

SDLP leader Mark Durkan has more one-liners than Patrick
Kielty - except funnier.

Durkan is certainly letting the DUP have a piece of his
mind of late, saying that they are "veto-holics".

But Durkan's best line has to be: "Giving vetoes to the DUP
is like asking Attila the Hun to mind your horse."

Expect a complaint any day now from the descendants of
Attila the Hun about being compared to the DUP.

Due For A Plaque

A blue plaque is to be unveiled in London commemorating the
Zulu king, Cetshwayo, who famously led his armies in battle
against the British. His exploits were recalled in films
like Zulu. Cetshwayo visited London after the Zulu war and
the plaque will mark the place where he stayed. It is all
terribly British, of course, honouring a man in their
capital who killed their soldiers.

Still, it is a long time ago. Wonder when the plaque to
Michael Collins will go up.


Descendants Of Slaves May Live In Ulster

By Ashleigh Wallace
27 November 2006

A book by a local author about the history of Donaghadee in
Co Down has claimed the descendants of Scottish slaves may
still live in the seaside town.

The historian Harry Allen described his

latest publication, Donaghadee - An Illustrated History -
as a labour of love.

Among the many events he unearthed while researching the
book, Mr Allen discovered that, in 1739, a cargo of
"slaves" taken from their homes in the Scottish Isles
escaped their fate after a boat on which they were
travelling stopped in the seaside town before making the
hazardous Atlantic crossing to America.

The captives were kept in sheds while docked in the seaside
town under the watch of the ship's captain William Davison.
Seizing their escape, the men, women and children fled into
the night.

Many were recaptured but some escaped the hands of the
captain and his men and eventually settled in the town.

After checking the local graveyards and finding evidence of
this, Mr Allen is convinced the descendants of those who
escaped their fate in America may still live in the town.
Mr Allen taught history in Donaghadee High School for 30
years. He turned his hand to writing after he had retired.

His first book, Men of the Ards, was published two years
ago. His latest offering - which is littered with
photographs and illustrations - is now available.

Mr Allen completed an Open University degree on historical
research methods.

He said: "There seems to be a myth that a lot of people
believe a majority of written records about Irish history
has been burned or destroyed, but you have to look for it
in the right places.

"The book about Donaghadee has always been a work in
progress. I've written various things about the town over
the years and I've had people phone me up asking about, for
example, the history of Grace Neill's."

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