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November 22, 2006

North To Get Policing Powers in 2008 - Hain

News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 11/21/06 North To Get Policing Powers In 2008 - Hain
RT 11/21/06 NI Power-Sharing Legislation Is Passed
BT 11/21/06 DUP Bids For Extra Time On Deadline
BT 11/21/06 Stormont Committee Will Meet Weekly
IT 11/22/06 Sinn Fein Will 'Support Policing'
IT 11/22/06 Pressure On SF As Debates On St Andrews
BN 11/21/06 TDs Criticise Garda Response Protests
BT 11/21/06 PM Urged To Intervene In Hain Affair
BT 11/21/06 Hain: Independence Call For Cover-Up Probe
BT 11/21/06 Hain To Face 67 Questions & AG Probe
BT 11/21/06 Analysis: Judge Moves Hain Affair To Dif Level
BT 11/21/06 Haddock Jailed For 10 Yrs, But May Serve Only 2
BT 11/21/06 Haddock Inquiry Call Over Judge's Comments
BB 11/21/06 Court Told Of Bomb Unit 'Contact'
BB 11/21/06 Slab Murphy’s Brother’s Assets Frozen
BB 11/21/06 People Mourn House Fire Tragedy
BB 11/21/06 Major Carriageway Upgrade Opened
BB 11/21/06 Stormont Papers Opened To Public

Tommy Makem, despite cancer, still carries his banjo far from his Dover, N.H., home. (Janet Knott/ Globe Staff)
BG 11/21/06 Tommy Makem: He Still Sings To Irish Ears


North To Get Policing Powers In 2008 - Hain

The British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said
this evening that devolved government in the North will
acquire policing and justice powers in May 2008.

Speaking in Westminster, where the Northern Ireland (St
Andrews Agreement) Bill is being rushed through the British
parliament this week, Mr Hain said the St Andrews Agreement
had set the target date for a devolved government to take
over the powers from Westminster.

He added that there was nothing preventing a future
devolved Policing and Justice Minister from legitimately
criticising the police.

"The St Andrews Agreement included a clear commitment and a
target of May 2008 for the devolution of policing and
justice powers to the restored executive," he said during
the Second Reading of emergency legislation aimed at
restoring power sharing next May.

"We expect all concerned to take this target seriously.
"Indeed the Bill requires the Assembly to report to the
Secretary of State before March 27 2008 on progress for the
devolution of policing and justice powers.

"And I want to make it clear that, once policing and
justice is devolved, there is nothing in the pledge which
would remove or unreasonably constrain any future Minister
for Policing and Justice from making legitimate criticism
of the police."

The Northern Ireland Bill sets out a timetable for reviving
devolution by March 26 of next year.

If it is passed, the legislation will create a Transitional
Assembly from this Friday, with the Democratic Unionists
and Sinn Fein expected to signal the Rev Ian Paisley and
Martin McGuinness will be their nominees as First and
Deputy First Minister next March in the event of power
sharing returning.

The Transitional Assembly will meet until January 30 when
it will be dissolved for fresh Assembly elections on March
7, 2007. One week after the results, parties who qualify
for devolved ministries will nominate Assembly members to
Stormont's cabinet posts.

On March 26, the new ministers will take office and
devolution will return.

As he moved the Bill, Mr Hain spelt out the consequences if
its politicians failed to seize the opportunity for
devolved government.

"If at any stage between now and March 26 we run out of
track then devolution becomes dissolution. "The clock is
stopped. The election scrapped. That is the reality. "In
that event direct rule and Plan B with even closer co-
operation with the Irish Government will stretch into the
foreseeable future."

If the British and Irish governments' St Andrews plan for
devolution in Northern Ireland is to be realised, the Rev
Ian Paisley of the DUP insists Sinn Fein must change its
policy on policing by publicly endorsing the PSNI.

But Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has insisted that the
DUP will need to agree to a date for the transfer of
policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont
before he can call a special party conference to change its
policing policy.

After the inaugural meeting of the Stormont Programme for
Government Committee yesterday, DUP deputy leader Peter
Robinson warned that unless Sinn Fein moved first it could
be several political lifetimes before policing and justice
powers were devolved.


NI Power-Sharing Legislation Is Passed

21 November 2006 22:32

Legislation to enact the St Andrews Agreement has passed
all stages in the British House of Commons without

It is due to be debated by the House of Lords tomorrow.

It is expected to be signed into law before next Friday
when the DUP and Sinn Fein are expected to indicate
candidates for the posts of first and deputy first
ministers to the interim Assembly.

The interim Assembly will run until next March when fresh
elections are due to take place.


DUP Bids For Extra Time On Deadline

By Noel McAdam
21 November 2006

The DUP was today attempting to buy extra time for a
devolved power-sharing administration to be formed by
extending the Governments' new deadline of March 26 next

A DUP amendment to the St Andrews legislation would
effectively give the Secretary of State more flexibility on
a date for devolution to go live.

MP Jeffrey Donaldson said today: "If Sinn Fein are still
dragging their feet on policing at that stage, and more
time is needed, then the Secretary of State could extend
the date if need be."

The emergency legislation is due to be rushed through the
House of Commons today and the Lords tomorrow, where it is
unclear if there will be any other amendments.

But it will be given Royal Assent only a matter of hours
before the so-called 'Transitional' Assembly, which is
time-limited to the end of next January, holds its first
meeting this Friday.

Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon is understood to have
tabled an amendment to a clause which could allow Sinn Fein
to take the First Ministers position if it was ever the
largest party at some point in the future.

DUP MEP Jim Allister last week urged unionists to unite to
remove what he called the "ticking timebomb" clause from
the St Andrews Bill.

The SDLP has also tabled a series of amendments including
concerns over MI5, the future of academic selection and to
prevent the removal of independent members from District
Policing Partnerships to allow Sinn Fein to take places.

An SDLP amendment would also allow anyone with a valid
complaint against MI5 to be able to go to the Policing
Ombudsman to have it independently and impartially

Leader Mark Durkan added: "Our children's education should
not be offered up as yet another side deal for the DUP. We
will be insisting in the House of Commons that the
Government stands over the policy that it claims to support
and ends selection for good."

Secretary of State Peter Hain, bruised over the referral of
the appointment of the interim Victims Commissioner to the
Attorney General, was due to open the seven-hour debate in
the Commons this afternoon.

It is the first real opportunity for Conservative MPs,
Labour backbenchers as well as Northern Ireland MPs to
debate the legislation.


Stormont Committee Will Meet Weekly

By Noel McAdam
21 November 2006

The new Stormont Programme for Government committee is to
meet every week and could agree to intensify its work.

Its first meeting yesterday, which brought together Sinn
Fein President Gerry Adams and DUP deputy leader Peter
Robinson, provisionally agreed the weekly meetings on
Mondays - at noon.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey, who also attended the
two-hour inaugural meeting, said the Government intended to
use the committee as a "sounding board".

"The committee is constructed with reference to the D'Hondt
system and is clearly a 'shadow executive' as far as Peter
Hain is concerned," he said.

"It seems clear that this committee will spearhead the
negotiations with Chancellor Gordon Brown and a number of
other contentious issues. It will be used by government as
a sounding board and could scope the problems that will
face an incoming Executive."

The four parties on the committee, also including the SDLP,
yesterday agreed that the water reforms legislation should
be deferred, and the public funding gap and capital backlog
which that would cause be met by extra Government cash.

It also agreed to seek another meeting with Chancellor
Gordon Brown over his proposed peace dividend package,
which the committee agreed is "grossly insufficient".


Sinn Fein Will 'Support Policing'

Kitty Holland

Sinn Fein would support policing arrangements in the North
"without any great problems"once it could reach agreement
on the issue at its ard fheis, the former deputy chairman
of Northern Ireland's policing board, Denis Bradley, has

Speaking to The Irish Times yesterday before delivering a
keynote speech to the Association of European Journalists
in Dublin, Mr Bradley also said he was "flabbergasted" that
the Government and the SDLP had "allowed the DUP take the
high moral ground on the policing issue".

He said the St Andrews Agreement would be endorsed by all
parties by March "because there is nowhere else to go".

"A deal will happen. Sure there will be some small
difficulties along the way, in ways that no-one really
cares about anymore.

"There's an inevitability about it now. The people are
walking towards a deal. There will be institutions. There
will be devolution. There will be a deal."

He said Sinn Fein would support policing arrangements once
it gets support to do so at its ard fheis, which he said
would not be called until the party was sure it had a
sufficient majority of members "on board".

"Sinn Fein will get through the ard fheis then without any
great problems and support policing. The waters that are
policing run deep," he said. "They will endorse policing
arrangements in the North. The big question is whether they
are ever going to do it for the Garda."

He also called on the party to applaud the "generosity"
shown by the SDLP.


Pressure On SF As Westminster Debates St Andrews Legislation

Frank Millar, London Editor

Pressure is building at Westminster about the timing of any
Sinn Fein ardfheis on policing as MPs and peers process
emergency legislation paving the way for the restoration of
devolved government at Stormont.

In the Commons last night, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter
Hain maintained that the timing of any ardfheis or
conference to resolve Sinn Fein's future attitude to the
PSNI remained a matter for that party.

However, he agreed with his Conservative shadow David
Lidington that it was "absolutely crucial" that such a
conference be held and that Sinn Fein make clear its
acceptance of the legislation - including the proposed
pledge of ministerial office - ahead of the March 26th date
for the appointment of a new powersharing Executive.

Both men were speaking during the second reading of the
Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Bill, which goes to
the House of Lords later today.

The Northern Ireland Office later declined to say that Sinn
Fein's decision on policing would in effect have to be
taken by the end of January, in advance of the February
trigger for March elections intended to provide endorsement
of the St Andrews Agreement by the Northern Ireland

However, official sources indicated that Mr Hain broadly
shared Mr Lidington's view that the upcoming electoral
process would "start to impose its own pressures on the
timetable" for a resolution of the policing issue.

The issue was thrown into sharp focus after Mr Hain warned
the Northern Ireland parties: "If at any stage between now
and March 26th we run out of track then devolution becomes

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson pressed Mr Hain as to when
precisely he might "run out of track" on the failure of
Sinn Fein to call an ardfheis.

Mr Hain said it was "crucial" Sinn Fein called such a
conference and he expected it to do so.

Mr Lidington said there surely "must by the calling of the
election be some certainty" about Sinn Fein's intention,
while DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson told him "there must
be a point where it becomes ludicrous to ask people to
accept Sinn Fein's bona fides" if they refused to come to a
decision between the St Andrews negotiations and March

Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon said that, given the
declared Sinn Fein and DUP positions, the reality was that
Northern Ireland was being asked "to elect a deadlocked

Mr Hain insisted this need not be the case, while stressing
that this coming Friday (November 24th) was important, with
DUP and Sinn Fein required to "indicate who the first and
deputy first ministers will be" come March 26th.


TDs Criticise Garda Response To 'Shell To Sea' Protests

21/11/2006 - 14:26:18

Politicians from across the spectrum are criticising Garda
behaviour during protests against the Corrib Gas Pipeline.

The Labour Party, the Greens, Sinn Fein and a number of
independent TDs say the 'Shell to Sea' campaign group have
been subjected to police brutality.

Demonstrators claim the Garda¡ have been given orders to
treat them aggressively, during what they say were peaceful

Green Party Leader Trevor Sargeant described the handling
of the protests as 'disgraceful'.


PM Urged To Intervene In Hain Affair

By Noel McAdam and Mark Hookam
21 November 2006

Pressure was mounting on Secretary of State Peter Hain
today as an Ulster MP asked Tony Blair to become involved
in the controversy over a High Court case.

It came after the Attorney General agreed to establish an
inquiry into whether Mr Hain and senior civil servants
misled the court over their procedures for the appointment
of the interim Victims Commissioner.

It also emerged the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith may
make his first public comment on the issue on Thursday when
he is due to answer a question on judicial reviews tabled
by former First Minister Lord David Trimble.

Criticism, meanwhile, increased from Ulster Unionists and
the DUP as a defiant Mr Hain prepared to kick off a seven-
hour Commons debate on emergency legislation to restore
power-sharing devolution in March next year.

Mr Hain pledged full co-operation with the investigation,
which will look at a total of 67 questions put to the
Attorney General by Mr Justice Girvan, and insisted there
had been no intention to mislead the court.

Ulster Unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon said she had asked Mr
Blair to explain the possible consequences if Mr Hain is
held in breach of Ministerial rules.

"Since the judge held the Secretary of State to be in
breach of the Ministerial Code, I've now asked the Prime
Minister to elaborate on the consequences for his Cabinet
colleague," the North Down MP said.

"Whatever the outcome, I don't think any of this can be
good news for someone campaigning to become the next Deputy
Prime Minister."

And DUP MLA Ian Paisley junior said: "If the Attorney
General found there was any attempt by the Secretary of
State to misdirect the court, or get his officials to do
so, in any other country he would be indicted and I do not
see why a different standard ought to apply to him."

The Conservatives' David Lidington said Mr Justice Girvan's
ruling was "a devastating indictment" of Mr Hain.


Hain: Independence Call For Cover-Up Probe

By Chris Thornton and Mark Hookam

The Attorney General has been urged to ensure the
independence of any cover-up inquiry examining Peter Hain's
handling of a High Court case.

Lord Goldsmith said he will announce the leader of the
inquiry at a later date.

Mr Hain promised full co-operation with the investigation,
while insisting that he and his officials did not try to
mislead a probe into the appointment of the Victims

Pressure for an inquiry grew yesterday when Mr Justice
Girvan referred the matter to Lord Goldsmith - posing 67
questions about the conduct and knowledge of the Secretary
of State and senior civil servants.

The judge said there could have been an attempt to pervert
the course of justice and said his questions "must be
addressed in a rigorous and searching investigation".

Two weeks ago the judge found that the appointment of
Bertha McDougall as the Interim Victims Commissioner had
been an improper political concession to the DUP. But he
also called for an inquiry into whether there had been an
NIO cover-up of the appointment.

The judge found that the NIO had provided misleading
information to the court about the DUP's role in the

At least one contentious item - a statement by civil
service head Nigel Hamilton - had been approved by Mr Hain
before it was sent to court.

After the judge's call there was no immediate Government
action, apart from a Cabinet Office statement saying that
it would be up to Mr Hain to decide if there should be an

But in another hearing yesterday, the judge returned to the
matter and said he was referring the case to Attorney
General Lord Goldsmith.

"The papers and manner in which the respondent met the
legal challenge raised serious issues as to whether there
was an attempt to allow the court to be misled as to the
true factual and legal situation," he said.

Mr Hain was stung into a response.

"I absolutely reject any suggestion that there was a
deliberate attempt to mislead the court in relation to the
appointment of Bertha McDougall as the Interim Victims
Commissioner," he said.

He said the inquiry "will receive our full co-operation".

Conservative spokesman David Lidington said the Attorney
General who, like Mr Hain, attends Cabinet meetings, should
appoint either a retired judge or a senior lawyer to act as
an independent investigator.

Mr Lidington said such a report must be made public and
Lord Goldsmith should wrap up the inquiry by Christmas.

The Conservatives sought to table three Commons written
questions about the affair.

The first asks the Secretary of State to directly respond
to yesterday's judgment. The second asks the Solicitor
General, Mike O'Brien, to reveal the terms of reference for
the inquiry, the membership of the inquiry team, the
timescale of the probe and whether the findings will be
made public. The third asks the Prime Minister whether he
was consulted over the appointment.

In a separate development, Plaid Cymru, the Welsh
nationalists, last night threatened to make a complaint to
the Commissioner for Public Appointments if Lord
Goldsmith's inquiry is not dealt with urgently.


Hain To Face 67 Questions And Attorney General Probe

By Chris Thorton
20 November 2006

Questions about Peter Hain's conduct in the Victims
Commissioner's case were referred to one of the UK's
highest law officers today.

Scrutiny of the Secretary of State's role in the case
intensified as Mr Justice Girvan called in the Attorney
General - indicating there may have been a cover-up that
amounted to an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

He also posed 67 questions about the conduct and knowledge
of Mr Hain and senior civil servants, saying the questions
"must be addressed in a rigorous and searching

His comments opened up the possibility of a criminal
investigation and increased pressure on Mr Hain, who has
yet to respond to the judge's criticisms.

Earlier this month the judge ruled that Mr Hain had
appointed Interim Victims Commissioner Bertha McDougall as
an improper concession to the DUP.

But at the same time he drew attention to a possible
Northern Ireland Office cover-up, saying "misleading"
evidence had been provided to the court and Brenda Downes,
the woman challenging the appointment.

"The question arises in this case is whether there was a
deliberate attempt to mislead and if so by whom," he said

The judge has been severely critical of a statement to the
court by Nigel Hamilton, the head of the civil service in
Northern Ireland, which had been read and approved by Mr

"The papers and manner in which the respondent met the
legal challenge raised serious issues as to whether there
was an attempt to allow the court to be misled as to the
true factual and legal situation," he said.

Two weeks ago the judge called for an "immediate and
searching inquiry at a high level".

Today, he clarified those remarks after the Cabinet Office
said it was up to Mr Hain to decide on an inquiry into the

The judge said an investigation could not be "fair and
meaningful" if it was "conducted by any of the personnel
involved in the handling of the case".

Lord Goldsmith is a Cabinet colleague of Mr Hain, but he is
also charged with guarding the justice system.

The judge said the case is about preserving the integrity
of the judicial review process.

"Any possible attempted interference with or obstruction of
the course of justice is a grave matter which demands a
proper investigation," the judge said.

The judge said that if "incorrect and misleading
information was deliberately given to put the applicant on
a false trail, then prima facies that conduct would appear
to fall in within the concept of perverting the course of

"If in the course of the substantive judicial review there
was a deliberate attempt to mislead the court the same
would be true.

"The letter and the evidence provided by Mr Hamilton as
approved by the Secretary of State had the tendency to

The Secretary of State reacted quickly saying: "I
absolutely reject any suggestion that there was a
deliberate attempt to mislead the court in relation to the
appointment of Bertha McDougall as the Interim Victims

"I would welcome any decision by the Attorney General to
hold an inquiry. It will receive our full co-operation.

"On the wider issue of the judicial review judgement on
public appointments, which have implications beyond this
specific case, an appeal is still under consideration.

"The one group of people who must not be forgotten are the
victims. I make no apology for preparing the ground for a
permanent champion for victims who will, for the first time
in Northern Ireland's history, have a voice at the highest

"I want to re-iterate that Bertha McDougall has done an
excellent job on behalf of victims."


Analysis: Judge Moves Hain Affair To Different Level

By Chris Thornton, Political Correspondent

He says he did it for the victims. Last week Peter Hain
told Welsh reporters that "the big picture" from the
Victims Commissioner court case was that "I was acting on
behalf of victims".

In that case, Mr Justice Girvan concluded that the
Secretary of State had actually done it for the DUP -
appointing Bertha McDougall, Ian Paisley's choice for the
post, as an improper political concession to the unionist

But there were more serious implications - the High Court
also rebuked the Secretary of State and senior civil
servants for their handling of the case.

Today the judge went further, firmly underlining that the
case has become about more than Mrs McDougall's

In perhaps the most serious development so far, he called
on the Attorney General to investigate the NIO's handling
of evidence, opening the way for a possible criminal

According to the judge, material provided by the NIO misled
the court at an early stage, and the integrity of the
judicial review system is at stake.

If there was a deliberate attempt to kill off the case,
that would amount to an attempt to pervert the course of
justice and contempt of court.

As the head of a Government department, Mr Hain can come in
for criticism from courts from time to time.

But this case isn't about him being a figurehead for
decisions by civil servants further down the food chain -
his fingerprints are on some of the material the judge
wants investigated.

It was late last year that two widows found themselves
headed for court. Brenda Downes, whose husband was killed
by a police plastic bullet, challenged the appointment of
Mrs McDougall, whose RUC husband was murdered by the INLA.

The legal challenge arose after DUP sources boasted they
had secured the appointment.

The court found that was the case - Mr Hain had ordered
shortcuts to get an appointment made, the DUP had nominated
her, and she was the only person interviewed for the post.

But that's not what the NIO initially revealed. First, in a
letter to Mrs Downes' solicitors, officials indicated the
appointment of Mrs McDougall was based on merit and "gave a
false answer" about DUP consultation.

When the case came to court, an affidavit was provided by
the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Nigel

Mr Hamilton had interviewed Mrs McDougall, along with
Jonathan Phillips, now the Permanent Secretary of the NIO.

In that statement - which, crucially, was read and approved
by Mr Hain - he set out the background to the case.

But when that material was challenged in court, it emerged
that the statement didn't tell the whole story. Mr Phillips
provided a new affidavit indicating Mr Hamilton may not
have been fully aware of the DUP's involvement in the

That helped the judge to conclude Mr Hamilton's statement
as misleading.

"The question which arises in this case is whether there
was a deliberate attempt to mislead and if so by whom," he
said in yesterday's statement delivered in court.

"The papers and manner in which the respondent met the
legal challenge raised serious issues as to whether there
was an attempt to allow the court to be misled as to the
true factual and legal situation."

Attached to that statement were the 67 detailed questions
that the judge described as the "key questions which need
to be addressed in a rigorous and searching investigation".

When the judge initially called for an inquiry two weeks
ago, the Cabinet Office said it would be a matter for Peter
Hain to decide whether one should be set up.

That wasn't good enough for the judge. "If such an
investigation is to be fair and meaningful it could not be
conducted by any of the personnel involved in the handling
of the case," Mr Justice Girvan said.

The 67 questions will be forwarded to the Attorney General,
Lord Goldsmith.

He is a Cabinet colleague of Peter Hain, but the judge
noted that he is "the guardian of the public interest in
the due administration of justice". It's in that role that
he is supposed to decide what happens next.


Haddock Jailed For 10 Years, But May Be Out In Only Two

By David Gordon
21 November 2006

A leading north Belfast loyalist and former police informer
has been handed a 10-year prison sentence for a "gangland"
attack on a pub doorman.

But notorious paramilitary boss Mark Haddock is likely to
be free in little more than two years.

Thirty-seven-year-old Haddock remains at the centre of a
major investigation by Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan into
alleged police collusion with a UVF murder gang.

He escaped death in a loyalist gun attack in March this
year while out of prison on bail.

A report on the Ombudsman's inquiry is not now expected to
be released until early 2007.

The 10-year sentence imposed yesterday related to a vicious
assault on Ballyclare man Trevor Gowdy in December 2002.

Haddock has already served close to three years in custody
on remand, awaiting the conclusion of the case. With 50%
remission on his sentence, he could be back on the streets
in around two years.

Mr Gowdy, a former amateur boxer, was moved out of Northern
Ireland on a witness protection programme after narrowly
surviving the 2002 assault in the Monkstown area of

The homes of some of his relatives were then attacked in a
co-ordinated but unsuccessful attempt by the UVF to stop
him giving evidence.

Imposing the sentence yesterday, Mr Justice Weatherup said
he was satisfied that Haddock had been the leader of the
four-man gang that set upon Mr Gowdy with a hatchet, hammer
and knife.

At one stage, they forced him into the boot of car but he
managed to escape and fight back.

His resistance led to Haddock's downfall - traces of the
loyalist's blood were found at the scene by a forensic
team, tying him to the attack.

The judge yesterday said Mr Gowdy had been "summoned" to
Monkstown in an act of "gangland revenge" after an earlier
altercation with other members of the gang in Ballyclare.

"This was an act of conspicuous savagery and a despicable
act upon this man," Mr Justice Weatherup added.

"He was put in fear of his life and but for his own
resourcefulness I do not doubt he would have been removed
from the scene and further punishment inflicted upon him."

Haddock, from the Mount Vernon estate, was not present in
court, but appeared by video link from Maghaberry Prison.

His defence lawyer said he was fearful of being attacked
and had suffered post traumatic stress disorder following
the shooting. He may have to wear a colostomy bag for the
rest of his life due to a gunshot wound to his bowel, the
court was told.

The video link showed a bearded Haddock, in a light pink
pullover, sitting impassively during the hearing.

He had been cleared of attempting to murder Mr Gowdy, but
guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Only a small group of his relatives were present in court
yesterday. During earlier stages of the case, large numbers
of north Belfast loyalists turned up to support him.

Two armed police officers stood guard inside the court.

Also present was anti-UVF campaigner Raymond McCord, the
man whose complaint to the Police Ombudsman prompted the
lengthy investigation by Mrs O'Loan's office.

Mr McCord believes Haddock ordered the 1997 murder of his
son Raymond Jnr and was shielded from justice for years by
his police handlers.

"I believe the sentence was far too light," Mr McCord said
last night. "Justice has not been done for Trevor Gowdy."


Haddock Inquiry Call Over Judge's Comments

By David Gordon
21 November 2006

Revelations made during the sentencing of a UVF godfather
have strengthened the case for a public inquiry into his
links to police, it was claimed today.

North Belfast loyalist Mark Haddock was yesterday given a
10-year jail term for a brutal assault on a Newtownabbey
pub doorman.

He remains at the heart of a major Police Ombudsman
investigation, centring on allegations about his double
life as a Special Branch informer.

It was disclosed in Belfast Crown Court yesterday that
Haddock had been apprehended for a total of 54 prior
offences, including serious assault, intimidation, arson,
assault on police and involvement in a 1997 UVF attack on a
Portadown pub.

The judge noted yesterday that only one of these past
convictions led to a prison sentence.

The anti-UVF campaigner who initiated the Ombudsman
investigation, Raymond McCord, today said: "How could
police keep him on as an informer for years with a record
like that?

"I couldn't believe the details when they were read out in
"There are also questions about how he avoided jail
sentences in the past for serious offences.

"This shows why we need a full public inquiry," he added.

Mr McCord alleges that the 1997 murder of his son, Raymond
Jnr, was carried out by a UVF gang on Haddock's orders.

The court was yesterday told that the leading loyalist's
involvement in crime dated back more than 20 years.

It included interface rioting and making and throwing
petrol bombs in his mid-teens, as well as drugs and
motoring offences.

Irish Labour leader Pat Rabbitte alleged in the Dail last
year that Haddock was involved in a string of UVF murders
while working as a police Special Branch informer.


Court Told Of Bomb Unit 'Contact'

The former chief executive of the NI forensic laboratory
may have handled the timer power unit from the Omagh bomb,
Belfast Crown Court has heard.

In an email, Richard Adams suggested he might have touched
the device.

The defence said his actions showed a "casual disregard for
maintaining the forensic integrity of the device".

Sean Hoey, 37, of Molly Road, Jonesborough, denies 58
charges including the murder of 29 people in Omagh in 1998.

Dr Ruth Griffin was the lead scientist on the Omagh bomb
forensic review.

Months after she was appointed in 2001, she got an email
from the then director of the forensic laboratary, Richard

Mr Adams, a forensic specialist, said that after the timer
power unit, or detonation system of the Omagh bomb arrived
in the laboratory, he went to have a look.

He said he did not remember touching it, but added: "Who

Dr Griffin said, at the time, the examination of the timer
power unit had apparently been concluded and Mr Adams was
alerting her to the need to eliminate his DNA profile, were
it to turn up in later, more sensitive tests of the device.

The case continues

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/21 18:17:13 GMT


Slab Murphy’s Brother’s Assets Frozen

More than œ1m worth of property in Manchester belonging to
a brother of an alleged IRA leader has been frozen.

Nine properties belong to Francis and Judy Murphy of County
Louth. Francis Murphy is a brother of Thomas Murphy,
alleged to be the IRA's chief of staff.

The Assets Recovery Agency claimed the properties were
bought using the proceeds of money laundering and fuel

It has been looking into the purchase of 250 properties
worth more than œ30m.

The agency has now been granted a High Court order to
freeze 10 residential properties.

The other property, worth œ450,000, belongs to a
Manchester-based businessman.

Thomas Murphy's farm, which straddles the border, was also
raided as part of the agency's investigation.

In its application to the High Court, the agency alleged
that Mr and Mrs Murphy built their property portfolio on
"wealth derived from money laundering and fuel smuggling in

The nine properties subject to the order are mainly in the
Trafford and Stretford areas of Manchester.

These include two houses owned by Judy Murphy, worth
œ70,056 and œ188,071 each, plus a further seven properties
registered to Francis and Judy Murphy's property firm,
Sailor Property (UK) Ltd, Britannia Road, Manchester, which
changed its name to FTM Properties (UK) Limited in August

These include four flats - one worth œ119,200, two worth
œ109,200 and one worth œ111,300.

Records seized

There are a further three houses worth œ185,000, œ128,000
and œ109,100. The equity in these properties is about

The freezing order means the properties cannot be sold
while the investigation continues.

If the agency proves they were bought using the proceeds of
crime, it will then sell the properties and keep the money.

The court action follows searches made throughout the
Manchester area in October 2005 in which the agency seized
more than 350,000 records.

Since then the agency has carried out a large scale
forensic exercise, further searches and a number of
interviews in the Manchester area.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/21 17:37:44 GMT


People Mourn House Fire Tragedy

The tight-knit Shankill community in north Belfast is
mourning the loss of three members of the same family who
were killed in a house fire.

Three-year-old Madison Bothwell died in the blaze along
with his father John and his grandmother Helen McCoubrey.

The blaze broke out at the family home in Edenbrook Close
on Monday afternoon.

Staff at the Hobby Horse playgroup in the lower Shankill,
where Madison attended, said they were devastated at the
news of his death.

Playgroup assistant Elizabeth Murphy said: "He was just so
loveable, it was hard not to like him. We were just so
shocked and devastated."

The Fire and Rescue Service said the family appeared to
have died from smoke inhalation.

Post mortem examinations are to be carried out on the
victims later on Tuesday.

The Fire and Rescue Service said that the family appeared
to have died from smoke inhalation.

Lennie Entwhistle from the service said it was an awful

"It was an unusual fire in that it had self-extinguished at
some stage during the night," he said.

"The actual fire damage was moderate in comparison to the
smoke damage. The smoke damage was extensive in that

A smoke alarm was fitted at the house but it is not yet
known if it was working.

Police said early indications were that it was an
accidental fire.

Superintendent Gary White of the PSNI said: "We don't at
this stage suspect that there was anything suspicious about
this, but clearly it is the early stages of the

"We'll carry out a very thorough examination of the house
including bringing in forensic experts to ensure that all
bases are covered.

Three generations of one family is a tragedy, so we will
do all we can in terms of trying to support them

Superintendent Gary White

"The early indications are that this was a very, very
tragic accident."

He said the whole community was devastated and appealed for
anyone with information to come forward.

"Three generations of one family is a tragedy, so we will
do all we can in terms of trying to support the family," he

Democratic Unionist North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said it
was a terrible tragedy.

"Our thoughts are entirely with the family of those who
have lost their lives and with the community in Edenbrook
Close at this time," he said.

"It is an appalling and awful tragedy to occur."

Ulster Unionist assembly member Fred Cobain said the
community was stunned.

"People are in a state of shock about what has happened,"
he said.

"It is a terrible, terrible incident."

SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness said he was saddened
by the news.

"News that three members of one family have died following
this house fire comes with a great sense of shock and deep
sadness to the entire community," he said.

PUP councillor Hugh Smyth said: "The people of the Shankill
Road are absolutely stunned by the tragic news of what
seems to be a terrible accident.

"Naturally the people offer their condolences to those left
behind to pick up the pieces of this awful tragedy."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/21 14:15:23 GMT


Major Carriageway Upgrade Opened

A new dual carriageway has been officially opened on the
main road between Belfast and Dublin.

The six-mile stretch, costing œ25m, runs from
Loughbrickland to Beech Hill in County Down.

Roads Service has said it is also pressing on with plans to
dual the section of road from Beech Hill to the border.

A œ33m scheme to upgrade the road from Cloghogue to the
border is already well under way.

This is part of the cross-border Newry to Dundalk Link Road

Gerry McGinn of the Department for Regional Development
said the statutory procedures for four further new
junctions on the A1 at Hillsborough, Dromore, Banbridge and
Loughbrickland had also been confirmed.

"The completion of land acquisition procedures for the
œ109m scheme to complete the remaining section of the route
is anticipated before the end of 2006," he said.

Work on the road is expected to begin in the spring of

Last March, the government unveiled plans to spend more
than œ1.5bn on Northern Ireland's roads and public
transport system.

The government said a total of œ770m would be used to
develop the road network, while œ704m will be spent on the

A further œ81m was earmarked for bus and coach services.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/21 10:12:24 GMT


Stormont Papers Opened To Public

More than 50 years of Stormont parliamentary records are to
be made available to the general public.

Hansard, the official record of government documents, can
now be accessed on the internet.

All 92,000 pages of Hansard recorded at Stormont between
1921 and 1972 have gone online.

The website has been indexed by subject heading and an
introduction to the political figures has also been

The site was created by the Centre for Data Digitisation
Analysis (CDDA) at Queen's University Belfast and the Arts
and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) at King's College

Preparing the data for the website took longer than two
years and during that time the project assisted five young
people to gain qualifications in NVQ, information
technology, and administration.

The site creators said the papers previously were "held by
very few institutions and were available as reference-only

The papers from the old Stormont Parliament are a unique
and hugely important source of information on the history
and development of Northern Ireland

Eileen Bell Assembly Speaker

They said no comprehensive subject index was available and
the documents were inaccessible and difficult to use.

Dr Paul Ell, director of the CDDA at Queen's, described the
Hansard records as a "vast, virtually untapped resource".

"There is no wider community than that offered by the
internet and now anyone can access this site to find out
how issues such as health, education, social services,
local trade, agriculture, law and order, planning and
industry have developed in Northern Ireland," he said.

Assembly Speaker Eileen Bell, who helped officially launch
the website, said: "The papers from the old Stormont
Parliament are a unique and hugely important source of
information on the history and development of Northern

"They help us to understand exactly how and why previous
generations made decisions that, in one way or another,
have helped shape the way we live today.

"However, until today, that rich archive has not been
widely available.

"The period covered by the papers includes not only some of
the most crucial times and events in local history, but in
world history."

The website address is:

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/21 06:55:22 GMT


Tommy Makem: He Still Sings To Irish Ears

By Brian MacQuarrie, Globe Staff November 21, 2006

DOVER, N.H. -- Fifty years after Tommy Makem and the Clancy
Brothers introduced a raucous, revolutionary brand of Irish
folk music to the global stage, Makem's fingers still begin
moving the instant he picks up a banjo.

A centuries-old Irish tune, plucked slowly and starkly,
fills a living room where a cast-iron kettle from his
boyhood home in Northern Ireland is preserved by the

"Now," he says, "I can see ever more clearly that it's
necessary to keep pushing."

Makem, 74, is referring to what he believes is a steady
erosion of Ireland's musical heritage. The statement also
could apply to a man who, in the face of late-stage lung
cancer, refuses to curb his lifelong passion for

Makem says he intends to perform "as long as I have a voice
to sing."

And that voice, synonymous with Irish folk music for
millions of listeners, will cover thousands of miles in the
next few months. From a concert on Saturday in Rochester,
N.H., to a tour of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince
Edward Island, to a cruise to the Panama Canal, Makem will
spin a unique web of myth, romance, rebellion, and humor
that has ensnared audiences for decades.

"When I do a concert, I'm hoping that not only will people
have a good time, but that they'll find something that will
stretch their minds a little," Makem said.

Makem has been stretching minds and the boundaries of
traditional Irish music since he and the three Clancy
brothers bonded in New York City in the late 1950s.

They all were struggling actors then -- Makem from County
Armagh in Northern Ireland, and Paddy, Tom, and Liam Clancy
from Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary, to the south.

From their mouths, what once were mournful ballads became
rousing, rafter-raising choruses. The transition caught
fire in an era when folk singers like the Highwaymen and
the Kingston Trio found steady, profitable work. And not
only did their music find a home on the record players of
Irish-Americans, but the tunes reinvigorated an interest in
traditional music in Ireland.

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem appeared on "The Ed
Sullivan Show," the stage of Carnegie Hall, and "The
Tonight Show." And their trademark Aran sweaters became
indelibly linked with the popular American vision of an
emerald-green Ireland filled with poets and pubs.

Makem left the Clancy Brothers in 1969, performed in a duo
with Liam Clancy from 1975 to 1988, and has been singing
solo since then.

For a 23-year-old immigrant who arrived at Logan Airport in
1955 carrying only a makeshift suitcase, a pair of
bagpipes, and an X-ray of his lungs, his life's path
continues to astonish someone who worked in a Dover foundry
before seeking fame as an actor in New York.

"None of us had any intentions of being singers. We had
serious work to do in the theater," Makem said with a self-
effacing smile. "I was lucky to be alive at a phenomenal

Now, he continues to be engulfed by singing, composing
songs, and keeping track of his four children: three sons
who perform regularly as the Makem Brothers, and a daughter
who is an amateur actress.

Makem's wife, Mary, died five years ago.

The lung cancer that was diagnosed in May is not something
that consumes or depresses him, Makem said, even though his
doctors have said that surgery is not an option.

"I don't want to convince myself that I have cancer, but
this is what the doctor tells me," Makem said.

Despite the cancer's advances, the singer said he feels no
pain or illness. "I'm still up and positive, and I hope to
stay that way," said Makem, who once was a heavy smoker.
"When I was diagnosed first, I said, 'God helps those who
help themselves.' Cancer is not a death sentence anymore."

At a service by a "healing priest" in Massachusetts, Makem
said, he had a "peculiar experience." A voice only he could
hear, Makem said, told him he had been cured.

"I said to myself, 'Well, I'm all for that,' " Makem

Despite an uncertain future, Makem carries on, spreading
the gospel of song at a brisk, peripatetic pace. Makem has
plenty of work, but he is concerned by what he sees as
cultural amnesia among Ireland's young.

"We're so obsessed with modernity, we don't realize what
we're losing," Makem said. "They're making gazillions of
dollars in Ireland, but they're losing their culture."

In particular, he said, the "old song tradition" in
Ireland, the art of telling stories through music, is
vanishing from the homes and pubs where the art form had
been nurtured for centuries.

Makem, however, said he is heartened by what he believes to
be the innate strength of Irish traditional music.

Although its popularity might wane, Makem said, the music
will survive.

When asked to reflect on his career, Makem chose a singular
moment from his first hour in the United States.

Nervous and alone, he was flabbergasted, Makem said, when a
customs agent welcomed him to the country by saying: "Have
a great life."

Savoring the scene in his mind's eye, Makem paused, smiled,
and added a predictably upbeat coda.

"I took him at his word," he said.

c Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.
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