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November 02, 2006

SF Seeks TImetable on Policing Powers

News About Ireland & The Irish

IT 11/03/06 SF Seeks Timetable On Policing Powers
IT 11/03/06 Blame SF For Any Delay, Says Paisley
BB 11/02/06 Ahern Says Next Two Weeks Crucial
RT 11/02/06 SF Concern Over Lack Of Contact With DUP
BB 11/02/06 Irish Goverment To Unveil Package
UT 11/02/06 Paisley: 'Sinn Fein Must Support Policing'
BT 11/02/06 OTRs: The Issue That Simply Won't Go Away
CB 11/02/06 Dead Governor Ordered Maze Prison Files 'To Be Destroyed'
IM 11/02/06 SF MLA To Call On Irish Americans To Make Peace Process Work.
IT 11/02/06 McCabe Killers Not Eligible For Early Release, Court Told
RT 11/02/06 Kevin Fulton ‘Double Agent' Quizzed Over 1990 Murders
BG 10/25/06 Immigration: Healey Spouse Backed Illegals' Hiring
IT 11/03/06 Opin: 10 Years Of TG4
IT 11/02/06 Cobh Couple Fight Extradition For Kidnapping Grandson
ST 11/02/06 Movie Review: 'Stolen'


SF Seeks Timetable On Policing Powers

Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent

An agreement on the timetable for transferring powers over
policing from Westminster to the Northern Ireland Assembly
must be in place before Sinn F‚in will hold a special
ardfheis to drop the party's opposition to the Police
Service of Northern Ireland, Sinn F‚in has said.

Sinn F‚in leader Gerry Adams will receive a report in
coming days on party grassroots opinion towards the St
Andrews proposals presented by the Irish and British
governments in Scotland last month.

Three senior party members, Kerry North TD Martin Ferris,
MEP Mary Lou McDonald and Newry-Armagh MP Conor Murphy,
were directed two weeks ago to hold consultations with

Up to 60 meetings have been held since and a small number
remains outstanding, Mr Adams said yesterday following a
meeting at Government Buildings in Dublin with Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern.

The consultation will not offer a final judgment on whether
the party's grassroots are prepared to agree that Sinn F‚in
should offer support "for law and order [ that will]
include endorsing fully the Police Service of Northern
Ireland and the criminal justice system, actively
encouraging everyone in the community to co-operate fully
with the PSNI in tackling crime in all areas and actively
supporting all the policing and criminal justice
institutions, including the policing board", as outlined in
the St Andrews proposals.

Sinn F‚in said last night that Mr Adams was "not in a
position" to propose holding a special ardfheis on policing
to the ardchomhairle until a date for the devolution of
policing powers to Stormont was agreed, and until the
British government enacts other policing legislation after
November 16th.

In addition, an agreement with the Democratic Unionist
Party over the way in which government departments in
Northern Ireland will operate subsequently will also be
necessary, a Sinn F‚in spokeswoman told The Irish Times.

A two-thirds majority of the 54-strong ardchomhairle will
be needed to call a special ardfheis, though a simple
majority only of ardfheis delegates will then be needed to
change party policy.

After the Government Buildings meeting, Mr Adams said it
had been a "very focused", but he warned that the timeframe
laid down by the Taoiseach and British prime minister Tony
Blair at St Andrews had "slipped".

Questioned about the DUP's demand that Sinn F‚in's Martin
McGuinness should swear a pledge of office if he was
nominated as Deputy First Minister on November 24th, Mr
Adams told journalists: "There was no mention about any
necessity about a pledge of office in the St Andrews
Agreement before the Executive comes into place, and the
timeframe for that is March next year.

"The governments need to stick by their own agreement.
There has been a setback and the setback is that the
timeframe has already slipped. We were making it very clear
to the Taoiseach, and he was at one with us on this, is
that the timeframe cannot be allowed to slip further," Mr
Adams continued.

"Our concern is that while the DUP fight out their little
sham fight [ about the pledge of office] that the timeframe
set out by the two governments is slipping and it cannot be
allowed to slip."

Meetings of the Stormont Assembly's programme for
government committee must take place, Mr Adams said.

"The committee was to meet Tuesday fortnight ago and has
not met. The British actually cancelled it. That meeting
should be called as quickly as possible. It isn't because
we are being bloody-minded, or that we don't want to give
the DUP space. It is what it says it is: a programme for
government meeting."

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach said that the British chancellor
of the exchequer Gordon Brown had delivered on the "peace
dividend" demanded by all Northern parties.

"One of the issues on which we had total agreement was a
peace dividend. Now we have that," he told journalists in
Dublin Castle.

He said he would be meeting SDLP leader Mark Durkan
"shortly", while "lengthy meetings" were taking place on
the issue every day at ministerial and official level.

c The Irish Times


Blame SF For Any Delay, Says Paisley

Dan Keenan, Northern News Editor


The Rev Ian Paisley has told the British government to
blame Sinn F‚in for any delay in the restoration of
powersharing at Stormont.

In a hard-hitting statement, Dr Paisley warned that no
system of "nods, winks and half-measures" would suffice and
republicans must "abandon the path of crime [ and] deliver
support for policing and the rule of law and must be seen
to be doing so".

His remarks follow a strident assertion by North Belfast MP
Nigel Dodds that the British and Irish government deadline
of March 26th for restoration is unrealistic.

Northern Secretary Peter Hain warned again that the parties
had a choice between devolution, backed by Gordon Brown's
investment package, or dissolution of Stormont.

Speaking during a Belfast City Council debate on the St
Andrews Agreement, Mr Dodds said: "In my view [ the
deadlines] are increasingly unrealistic because it's clear
Sinn F‚in aren't even prepared to make the first minimum
move that needs to be done on policing.

"Remember we still have an IMC (Independent Monitoring
Commission) report that has to deal with the whole issue of
terrorist structures - the army council and all of that
stuff. So what we will do is judge everything by the
delivery and actions of the IRA and Sinn F‚in - that will
be the crucial issue, not dates set in a calendar by the
government." The DUP and Sinn F‚in refused to back a SDLP
motion calling for support for the St Andrews Agreement.

This was followed yesterday by Dr Paisley's sternest words
yet in which the party heaped blame for the current stand-
off on republicans.

"The Secretary of State knows that it is Sinn F‚in/IRA that
now needs to fulfil its obligations and to fully support
the police, the courts and the rule of law. No other party
refuses to support the rule of law in Northern Ireland and
the Secretary of State and the prime minister have a
special responsibility to hold firm and ensure that Sinn
F‚in deliver," he said. He added that there can be no
middle way on whether a party is exclusively peaceful and
democratic, or whether they wish to "cling to terror and

"The DUP will not be budging on this issue and during the
course of my meeting with the prime minister I indicated
that now was the time for delivery from Sinn F‚in.
Democrats have nothing to prove and have no obligations to

Dr Paisley warned: "Unionists will not be agreeing to any
policing and justice powers being devolved to Stormont
until such times as confidence in the community is

Tony Blair and Peter Hain needed to concentrate on Sinn
F‚in, he added.

"The message cannot be clearer, no up-front delivery means
no deal."

He claimed unionists everywhere endorsed the DUP demand.

SDLP deputy leader Alasdair McDonnell accused the DUP of
adopting a "couldn't care less" attitude to restoring

"It is deeply disappointing that neither the DUP nor Sinn
F‚in was able to back the motion the SDLP proposed at City
Hall welcoming the St Andrews deal."

He added: "St Andrews paves the way for the DUP and Sinn
F‚in to live up to the Good Friday agreement. But if [this]
is anything to go by, it's far from clear that either of
these parties feels any urgency about moving."

c The Irish Times


Ahern Says Next Two Weeks Crucial

The next two weeks are critical for the political process
in NI, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has said.

Mr Ahern said meetings were taking place every day to try
to resolve the outstanding issues.

Meanwhile, DUP MP Nigel Dodds said he thought the timeframe
for power-sharing envisaged in the St. Andrews Agreement
was "unrealistic".

Mr Dodds was speaking after Belfast City Council defeated a
proposal welcoming the St Andrews Agreement.

Both Sinn Fein and the DUP said it was premature as no deal
was in place.

Mr Dodds told the BBC the timeframe, set down by the
British and Irish governments following three days of talks
in Scotland, was unlikely.

The SDLP's Alban Maginness began the debate by proposing
that parties welcome the St Andrews Agreement and
indications that Sinn Fein may sign up to policing while
the DUP may sign up to power-sharing.


The motion failed to win backing from any other party,
however, and was defeated by 27 votes to eight.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Maginness said he was disappointed.

"The opportunity was there for the parties to indicate, not
to commit themselves, but to indicate their general support
for the St Andrews Agreement and yet they failed to do
that," he said.

"That sends a fairly negative vibe to the community at
large. We are very positive as a political party. We
believe this deal will be implemented, that this is the

Sinn Fein's Paul Maskey said the SDLP motion was premature
while negotiations on the St Andrews Agreement continued.

"There is no substance at this stage, that we can see
anyway, regarding this motion that the SDLP put forward,"
he said.

"When you have every single party voting against them, it
proves that point."

The Alliance Party attempted to amend the motion. Naomi
Long's amendment fell when it was defeated by 25 to 13

"My disappointment is with the original motion in that it
seemed to be more about the SDLP finger-pointing at the DUP
and at Sinn Fein rather than actually taking on board that
all parties have a responsiblity for moving this process
forward," she said.

"If any of us are being disingenuous by making it more
difficult for people to move, that in itself is a very
serious charge."

Nigel Dodds said the government's timescales in the
agreement were arbitrary and unlikely to be met, including
the March 26 date for devolution.


"In my view they are increasingly unrealistic because its
clear that Sinn Fein aren't even prepared to make the first
minimum move that needs to be done on policing and
remember, we still have an IMC report that has to deal with
the whole issue of terrorist structures, the Army
Council...," he said.

"So what we will do is judge everything by the delivery and
actions of the IRA and Sinn Fein and that will be the
crucial issue, not any date set on the calendar by the

Ulster Unionist councillor Michael McGimpsey said he
detected a "lot of nervousness in the DUP" with a "no camp"
developing in the party.

"I have no doubt the DUP are going forward with this deal.
Dr Paisley, after all, said a new day had dawned for
Ireland," he said.

I have no doubt too, that Sinn Fein can deliver on their
side of the bargain and I think we are about to see
something that none of us actually anticipated happening, a
DUP-Sinn Fein government through the Paisley-Adams deal."

The parties have until November 10 to give their verdicts
on the draft St Andrew's Agreement.

The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, has promised œ50bn to
Northern Ireland over the next 10 years if power is
devolved at Stormont.

Electoral endorsement

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

The parties have until 10 November to respond to the plan.

The Northern Ireland Assembly was suspended on 14 October
2002 amid allegations of a republican spy ring at Stormont.

The court case that followed collapsed and one of those
charged, Denis Donaldson, later admitted working as a
British agent.

Direct rule from London was restored in October 2002 and
has been in place since.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/02 14:54:54 GMT



SF Concern Over Lack Of Contact With DUP

02 November 2006 19:37

The Sinn F‚in leader, Gerry Adams, has expressed concern
that his party has yet to meet the DUP.

Speaking in Dublin after talks with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern,
Mr Adams said the cancellation of a meeting last month
represented a set-back, the significance of which should
not be under-estimated.

The Sinn F‚in leadership met the Taoiseach as the next
deadline in Northern Ireland's political process draws
closer without the two potential government partners having
had a single face-to-face encounter.


Mr Adams told journalists that the Taoiseach shared that
concern and would be raising the situation with the British

A DUP demand that Sinn F‚in signs up to new policing
arrangements well in advance of entering government remains
a sticking point.

However, Mr Adams could give no indication of progress on
this front either. He said he had no knowledge of any
proposal for his party to give an interim pledge on the

So, despite the offer of around ?75 billion in investment
from UK Chancellor Gordon Brown yesterday, there is still
no certainty that the Northern Ireland parties will be able
to nominate first and deputy first minister designates
later this month.

Govt to study Brown proposals

The Government is to study Mr Brown's proposals for an
economic package to underpin the Northern Ireland peace
process before announcing its own plans.

T naiste Michael McDowell told the D il that Mr Brown's
plan represented a 'very significant programme of
expenditure over many years'.

Earlier, the Northern Secretary, Peter Hain, said the
economic package unveiled for Northern Ireland is entirely
conditional on the restoration of power-sharing at

However, Mr Hain rejected calls for a lowering of the
corporation tax rate to the same level as that in the

Speaking on RT Radio, Mr Hain said the British government
was prevented from lowering the tax rate under EU rules.


Irish Goverment To Unveil Package

The Irish government is to unveil its own financial package
for Northern Ireland after examining the plans revealed by
the Chancellor.

Chancellor Gordon Brown said on Wednesday the British
government would provide œ50bn over the next ten years.

Irish deputy prime minister Michael McDowell said he would
consider Mr Brown's package carefully.

Mr Brown linked the spending package to the establishment
of a Stormont executive.

Michael McDowell, speaking in the Dail on Thursday, said:
"This is a significant programme of expenditure over a
number of years and we are now studying it to see what is
already committed and what is new.

"The Irish government will make its own intentions known in
relation to additional new expenditure to aid the peace
process in Northern Ireland and infrastructural development
there when we have an opportunity to study the British

Following their meeting with Mr Brown in London, Northern
Ireland's political parties said more work must to be done
to finalise the so-called peace dividend.

However, the parties said they were disappointed that the
chancellor did not offer to cut corporation tax.

They want corporation tax reduced from 30% to match the
Irish Republic's rate of 12.5%.

The DUP called the funding an "opening offer" which was no
more than œ3bn of new money, while Sinn Fein leader Gerry
Adams said it was "still early days".

However, according to Northern Ireland Secretary Peter
Hain, the package on offer represents an "extraordinary

One economist said the new money could be as little as
œ2.5bn, but Mr Hain said even this sum would be generous.

"If it were only œ2.5bn, people ought to be grabbing it
before the chancellor has a chance to close his red box,"
Mr Hain told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster on Thursday.

"No other part of the United Kingdom, including Wales which
I also represent as its secretary of state, has got
anything like this package."

Mr Brown, who announced the package after Wednesday's talks
with Northern Ireland's political parties, said the funding
would be worth œ50,000 per household in Northern Ireland.

Mr Hain said EU law banned the government from lowering
corporation tax levels solely in Northern Ireland.

"There is a problem in that our legal advice tells us that
under the Azores ruling, it is illegal under EU rules for a
member state to allow one region to adjust its level of
corporation tax while maintaining another level in the rest
of the country.

"In other words, you can reduce the level of corporation
tax for everybody in the UK or nobody at all. Sinn Fein and
the DUP have challenged that - we are getting our Treasury
experts on to it."

Mr Brown said he was still considering the parties' views
on the package, but there was much there to attract inward
investment and stimulate the economy.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/02 13:54:11 GMT


Paisley: 'Sinn Fein Must Support Policing'

There will no power-sharing in Northern Ireland next March
if republicans fail to deliver upfront support to policing
and the rule of law, Ian Paisley has warned.

By:Press Association

Following Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain`s warning
that there would be no slippage from the government`s
deadlines for devolution, the Democratic Unionist leader
said the minister needed to focus his attention on getting
Sinn Fein to endorse policing.

"There can be no middle way on whether a party is
exclusively peaceful and democratic or whether they wish to
cling to terror and criminality," said the North Antrim MP.

"The DUP will not be budging on this issue and, during the
course of my meeting with the Prime Minister, I indicated
that now was the time for delivery from Sinn Fein.

"Democrats have nothing to prove and have no obligations to
fulfil. Those who, as yet, refuse to support the police and
abandon the path of crime must deliver support for policing
and the rule of law, and must be seen to be doing so.

"Nods and winks and half-measures will not suffice. There
must be real and meaningful change and it must be seen by

Under British and Irish government plans, Northern
Ireland`s politicians must state by November 10 whether
they will implement the St Andrews proposals for reviving
power sharing by March 26 next year.

In recent days, DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson has
expressed doubts about the ability of the parties to meet
one of the other key deadlines - November 24, when Mr
Paisley and Sinn Fein`s Martin McGuinness are due to be
nominated as Stormont`s First and Deputy First Ministers.

The key catalyst to getting the DUP to share power next
march will be persuading Sinn Fein to join with the other
Assembly parties in publicly supporting the Police Service
of Northern Ireland.

To do that, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams must recommend
to his party`s national executive that a special conference
be held to change its policing policy.

With Sinn Fein currently carrying out 60 meetings with its
members in Ireland, Mr Adams has not yet been able to
convene the special conference.

Following a meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin,
the Sinn Fein leader today urged the Irish and British
governments not to allow the timetable for power-sharing to

"The governments have to stick by their own agreement,"
said the West Belfast MP. "There has been a setback and the
setback is that the timeframe has already slipped.

"I have made it very, very clear to the Taoiseach and in
fairness to him he is at one with us on this: the timeframe
cannot be allowed to slip any further."

The DUP has also been consulting its members about the St
Andrews power-sharing proposals and last week published a
four page analysis of the deal, arguing it marked an
advance for unionism.

The party invited supporters to send in their own responses
to the St Andrews proposals by post, fax or by hand.

It is understood thousands of people have already replied.

Mr Paisley claimed tonight it was clear from the
consultation and the response of the unionist community
that there was overwhelming support for his party`s stance.

"Unionists across the province are supporting our strategy
of ensuring up-front delivery and satisfactory progress on
the remaining issues before we consider any return to
devolution," he said.

"Whilst much progress has been made, there remains much
work to be completed and it is only when this has been
successfully concluded that it will be possible to make a
final judgment on the setting up of any new structures."


OTRs: The Issue That Simply Won't Go Away

02 November 2006


"The Bill is dead, the anomaly remains." Secretary of State
Peter Hain responds personally to the Belfast Telegraph's
exposure of apparent contradictions in his statements about
On The Runs

The Belfast Telegraph has been running a story this week
casting doubt on assurances I gave to the House of Commons
in October on the position of the so called 'On The Runs' -

I will explain the position once again.

Following the Weston Park Talks in 2001, the Government
accepted there is an anomaly in relation to individuals
suspected of past offences who had gone 'on the run' before
they could be tried because, if they had been convicted
before 1998, they could have been released by now under the
terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Both the British and Irish Governments gave a commitment in
2001 to try to find a way to resolve this anomaly.

Following the IRA statement in July 2005 that its armed
campaign was over, I introduced legislation - the Northern
Ireland Offences Bill - to implement that commitment.

Agreement could not be reached and I withdrew the Bill on
11 January 2006.

I told the House of Commons then: "The Government still
believe that the anomaly will need to be faced at some
stage as part of the process of moving forward? Northern
Ireland is not ready to do that. We will reflect carefully
over the coming months on how to make progress in the
context of dealing with the legacy of the past".

The Bill is dead, the anomaly remains.

In answer to a question from Peter Robinson on 11 October
2006 I said this: "There is no other procedure [to allow
OTRs to return]. There is no prospect of an amnesty. The
legislation was tried; it was withdrawn when support for it
collapsed? we have absolutely no intention of bringing
legislation back".

There will be no 'resurrection' but the anomaly remains.

That is the position.

The Telegraph created its story from a letter I wrote to
the US Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, in September
during discussions between the British and US Governments
on the US-UK extradition treaty.

The US Senate was considering whether to approve the treaty
for ratification by the US.

It was important to ensure that the new improvements to the
extradition process would be reciprocal.

Some members of the US senate had raised concerns about how
the treaty might affect individuals suspected of terrorist
offences in connection with Northern Ireland.

The US Administration indicated that it would be helpful if
I were to restate the Government's position in relation to
such cases.

I did precisely that: to restate the position that has been
in place since 2001.

I said in an annex to the letter that the Government is
currently reflecting on the way forward.

That is what I said we would do in January 2006.

I think it will need to be considered as part of a much
broader range of issues dealing with the legacy of the past
in Northern Ireland.

But clearly we are not yet at that point and I will not be
rushing to conclusions on this issue.


"We have no intention of bringing back legislation on the
issue." Tony Blair attempts to reassure unionists in the
House of Commons yesterday

When he came back from holiday this year, one of the first
things Peter Hain did was cast his eyes across the

For more than two years, an important extradition treaty
between the US and the UK had languished in the US Senate,
which has the final say on all American treaties.

The UK had signed up to the treaty, but the Senate was
withholding its approval, primarily because of what could
happen to IRA suspects in the States (one legal analysis of
the treaty mentions Northern Ireland 39 times, saying it
was at the heart of the Senate's problems).

Over the summer, the treaty shot up the UK political
agenda. The Government was criticised for extraditing three
Natwest bankers to the US, when the US had not ratified the
treaty that would allow suspects to come the other way.

So on September 4, Mr Hain wrote a letter that helped crack
the deadlock - indeed, it was so helpful that the Senate
referred to it at the start of their resolution approving
the treaty three weeks later.

In his letter, Mr Hain told the US Attorney General Alberto
Gonzales that the British Government wants to find a way of
dealing with the IRA fugitives known as the on-the-runs

"The British Government is currently reflecting on the way
forward," an attached note said. This sentence was
emphasised by bold type.

The document also said that "the British Government is
committed to addressing these cases in a way which resolves
the anomaly".

That's the position Mr Hain outlined in January, when he
dropped controversial legislation on the issue. It had been
repeated in March by the then Home Secretary, Charles
Clarke, in another letter to Mr Gonzales, when he said the
Government was "keen to make progress on this".

Six weeks after his letter, Mr Hain was in the House of
Commons with his bags packed for three days of talks in St

NIO Criminal Justice Minister David Hanson had told the
House that there would be no legislation on OTRs, but DUP
deputy leader Peter Robinson was concerned that other ways
of dealing with it - a form of Royal pardon, for example -
could be in reserve.

Mr Robinson asked Mr Hain if he would "settle the nerves of
my colleagues and me by assuring us that no other procedure
will be used to allow on-the-run terrorists to return".

Mr Hain said there would be no legislation and "no other

The DUP seemed to accept that the issue was dead. "As a
result of the present negotiations the Government have
agreed to abandon proposals to give an amnesty to 'On The
Runs'," they said in their Your Verdict document, published
last Friday.

In light of Mr Hain's US letter, the Belfast Telegraph
questioned whether the issue is alive or dead.

The NIO indicated that it remains alive. A spokesman said
there is "a clear commitment to resolve this issue". "The
matter of finding an acceptable way to take it forward
remains," he said.

This may be partly an argument over semantics. Mr Hain
feels comfortable in saying there is "no prospect of an
amnesty" because he never considered the OTRs legislation
an amnesty to begin with.

Equally, his spokesman can describe the legislation as
"dead and buried", because it is. But that's not how they
are describing the issue.

Yesterday the DUP went to the Prime Minister for the
verdict. Jeffrey Donaldson, the Lagan Valley MP asked him
to "confirm that the Government will not grant an amnesty
to IRA terrorists who are on the run, and will not
reintroduce the deeply offensive legislation that was
previously brought before the House or seek to achieve the
same objective by any other means".

Mr Blair replied: "My right honourable friend the Secretary
of State for Northern Ireland has already made it clear to
the House that there will be no amnesty for on-the-runs,
and that we have no intention of bringing back legislation
on the issue." That's two out of Mr Donaldson's three
points answered.

Maybe Mr Blair means the issue is dead and no other means
will be used to resolve it; maybe he doesn't. But the DUP
may now find themselves in a place the Ulster Unionists
will be familiar with: relying on Mr Blair to mean what
they think he means.

So what are on the runs?

OTRs have long been a sticky problem for the Government.
They say there is an anomaly in the cases of people like
Charles Caulfield, suspected of involvement in the
Enniskillen bombing, and Rita O'Hare (below), Sinn Fein's
American representative who skipped bail on a gun attack

If they had been convicted some time ago, they would have
been freed under the Good Friday Agreement, but if they
were caught and convicted now, they would have to serve two
years in jail.

Peter Hain says there are "dozens" of such cases and some
reports say Sinn Fein have named at least 60 to the

After the IRA announced it was ending activity last year,
the Government brought out legislation to have their cases
dealt with by a special tribunal that would let them avoid

The Bill was heading for difficulty in the Lords when Sinn
Fein withdrew their support for it - because soldiers and
police involved in collusion could also avoid jail.

Without Sinn Fein support, the Government dropped the Bill,
warning that the issue wouldn't go away.


Dead Governor Ordered Maze Prison Files 'To Be Destroyed'

Published on 03/11/2006

Responsibility for the destruction of security files on
hundreds of former paramilitary prisoners at the Maze
Prison has been laid at the feet of a Northern Ireland
prison governor who has since died.

The public inquiry into allegations of state collusion in
the murder of Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright
inside the Maze in 1997, was told there is no written
record of the order for the destruction of the key

The inquiry is holding a week-long preliminary hearing
concerned solely with the recovery of certain documents.

Under questioning today, Maureen Johnson, a junior governor
said she had been told in late 2001 or 2002 to destroy the
files on some 800 inmates who had been held in the Maze but
released under the Good Friday Agreement.

The files destroyed included those on the three men
convicted of murdering Wright.

Martin Mawhinney


Sinn Fein MLA To Call On Irish Americans To Make Peace Process Work.

Los Angeles, CA. Sinn Fein's Thomas O'Reilly, Member of the
Legislative Assembly for Fermanagh / South Tyrone, will
address Los Angeles' Irish American community on the recent
negotiations held at St Andrews, Scotland, to restore
partnership Government in N. Ireland, and outline Sinn
Fein's, Campaign for a United Ireland.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Orange County INA
chairperson, Deborah Harvey said Irish Americans have a
vital role to play in ensuring democracy is established in

"Irish America must once again drive the peace process
forward and ensure Ian Paisley's DUP are not allowed to
prevent a peaceful political resolution of the conflict.

"Irish America has proved how influential it can be by
convincing the US Administration it has a role to play in
advancing the political process. That positive engagement
resulted in Gerry Adams being issued a visa, allowing our
nation to hear another side of the conflict in Ireland.

"Irish America must once again urge the US Administration,
the British and Irish Governments to ensure the Good Friday
Agreement is enforced and not diluted by the refusal of the
DUP to recognize the electoral mandate of Sinn Fein. It is
time the `backwoodsmen' of the DUP were confronted and told
their day of delaying change on the island of Ireland is
over." Harvey said.

The event will be held 11 November at The Workmen's
Circle/Arbeter Ring, 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles,
CA 90035

The event is free to the public though donations are
greatly accepted to cover the expenses of Councilor
O'Reilly's trip.

The media are invited to record Mr. O'Reilly's speech.

For More Information: Contact Kevin Tierney at 714-773-4741
or email ENDS


McCabe Killers Not Eligible For Early Release, Court Told

The killers of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe are not
entitled to early release under the terms of the Belfast
Agreement, the Government argued before the High Court

The Minister for Justice has "wide discretion" in deciding
what prisoners may or may not be specified for early
release and the Government was entitled to exercise this
discretion in relation to Det McCabe's killers, Mr Donal
O'Donnell SC argued.

Mr O'Donnell said that the Belfast Agreement is an
international political agreement between the British and
Irish governments and neither Pearse McAuley nor Jeremiah
Sheehy were parties to that Agreement.

They therefore had no entitlement to seek performance of
any its provisions nor could they complain about alleged
non-performance of it.

They were not entitled to release either under the
Agreement nor the Criminal Justice (Release of Prisoners)
Act 1998, Mr O'Donnell continued.

McAuley and Sheehy claim that political and policy
considerations were denying them early release. But Mr
O'Donnell said the entire context of the Agreement and the
criteria for release of prisoners was political.

If policy and political considerations had not applied, the
57 prisoners released to date following the ratification of
the Agreement would not have been freed.

Mr O'Donnell was making submissions in the continuing
hearing before Mr Justice Daniel Herbert of the challenge
by McAuley and Sheehy to their continuing imprisonment.

They claim the refusal of early release breaches their
rights under the Constitution, the Belfast Agreement and
the European Convention on Human Rights, and unjustly
discriminates against them.

They say the failure to release them involves the
application of a "consistent government policy" that the
prisoner release scheme will not apply to any person
involved in the incident in Co Limerick in 1996 in which
Det McCabe was killed and his colleague, Det Garda Ben
O'Sullivan, was injured.

In submissions on their behalf earlier today, Mr Patrick
Dillon-Malone BL argued that the two men could not be
excluded from the early release scheme except by
legislation to that effect.

The absence of such legislation meant failure to specify
the men as qualifying prisoners was unlawful and breached
their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights,
he said.

McAuley, originally from Strabane, Co Tyrone, and Sheehy,
from Limerick, were jailed for 14 years and 12 years
respectively in early 1999 after pleading guilty at the
non-jury Special Criminal Court to the manslaughter of Det
Garda McCabe during an attempted robbery outside Adare post
office, Co Limerick in June 1996.

Kevin Walsh (45) of Patrickswell, Co Limerick also got a 14
year-year jail term in connection with the Adare incident
while Michael O'Neill was jailed for 11 years.

John Quinn pleaded guilty to conspiring with other persons
to commit robbery and was jailed for six years.

In 2004, the Supreme Court rejected a bid by Michael
O'Neill and John Quinn to secure their release under the
provisions of the Belfast Agreement.

The Supreme Court said the government had decided as a
matter of policy that persons convicted in connection with
Det McCabe's killing would not be freed under the
provisions of the Agreement and the government was entitled
to make that decision.

c The Irish Times/


Kevin Fulton ‘Double Agent' Quizzed Over 1990 Murders

02 November 2006 19:39

Police in Northern Ireland are questioning an alleged IRA
double agent about two paramilitary murders in the Newry
area of Co Down in 1990.

The 46-year-old man, known as Kevin Fulton, was a former
British soldier who infiltrated the IRA and became a double

He was arrested by the Metropolitan Police in southeast
London yesterday and flown to Belfast.

He is being questioned in the serious crime suite at Antrim
Police Station about two murders in the Newry area of Co
Down in 1990.

In one of the incidents, 23-year-old Eoin Morley, a member
of the IPLO, was shot dead by the IRA.

In the other, Irish Ranger Cyril Smith was killed after an
IRA car bomb was driven into a border vehicle checkpoint at
Killeen and exploded.

It is thought the arrest of Kevin Fulton may have been
requested by the PSNI's Historical Inquiries Team.

It is examining 3,000 murders committed between 1969 and
the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, in an attempt to
establish if new evidence can be established and charges


Immigration: Healey Spouse Backed Illegals' Hiring

By Frank Phillips, Globe Staff October 25, 2006

A presidential council that includes the husband of
Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey called on President Bush
last summer to resist harsh measures aimed at discouraging
the hiring of illegal immigrants, even as Healey campaigned
for tough policies against undocumented workers.

Sean Healey joined his colleagues at the July meeting of
the President's Export Council in agreeing to tell the
president that the role of illegal immigrants is a "special
and important part of our economic growth" and implore him
not to implement policies that would disrupt their

"Removing undocumented workers from an economy with near
full employment would be devastating and
counterproductive," the 47-member council wrote Bush.
"Documented and undocumented immigrants are filing the
void. They continue to fill jobs Americans, for various
reasons, are not doing."

Healey, the GOP nominee for governor, has made curbing
benefits for illegal immigrants a central focus of her
campaign. She is calling for severe penalties for companies
that hire illegal immigrants, because, she says, those
employers are hurting the state's economy. At one point she
called for throwing those workers out of the country, but
has since moderated that position.

"Every job they give to an illegal immigrant is a job that
could been done by a Massachusetts worker," states one of
the 50 proposals that Healey is vowing to push as governor.

She also said that a more welcoming policy would serve to
bring more illegal immigrants to the state. "Turning a
blind eye to illegal hiring practices only encourages
illegal immigrants to locate in Massachusetts," her
proposal reads. "By enforcing tough penalties on businesses
that hire illegal aliens, we will discourage illegal
activity in the Commonwealth and lower costs."

Healey has attacked Democratic rival Deval Patrick over his
support for driver's licenses and instate tuition rates for
illegal immigrants. She also wants to bar noncitizens from
applying for public housing, although federal courts have
prohibited state officials from requiring proof of

Yesterday, her campaign brushed aside Sean Healey's
position on immigration as a member of the Export Council.
Her campaign manager said Kerry Healey is focused on

"Sean Healey isn't running for governor," said Healey's
campaign manager, Tim O'Brien. "The real debate on
immigration should be between Kerry Healey and Deval
Patrick, since he is way too liberal for Massachusetts by
supporting driver's licenses and in-state tuition for
illegal immigrants."

While he has remained in the background, Sean Healey, the
chief executive and chairman of Affiliated Managers Group,
is a key financier of his wife's candidacy. The couple has
relied on the wealth he has accumulated from his asset
management firm, estimated to be more than $100 million, to
bankroll a good part of her campaign, which is expected to
top $10 million.

Ali Noorani, executive director of the Massachusetts
Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, asserted that
Kerry Healey's position is driven by politics.

"The differences in the position in the Healey household on
immigration are ironic," he said. "You have one side that
is looking after the bottom line and realizes the value of
the immigrant work and the other side of the household
realizes the value to scaring voters to the polls by using
the immigrant worker."

In its letter, approved by the 25 members who were present,
the Export Council is asking Bush to open up "a path to
legalization" that it says will "address the reality that
millions of undocumented immigrants are now living and
working" in the United States and provide "a solution,
outside of deportation or amnesty, to deal with the
undocumented already here."

Last November, Kerry Healey said that illegal immigrants
"need to be returned to the countries from which they
came." But last May, she moderated her position, suggesting
that the government should identify those who are here
illegally but "have the potential to become good,
productive American citizens" and to allow them to stay
under some circumstances.
This fall, as she attempted to draw sharp differences with
Patrick, Healey focused again on immigration.

"Employers only hire people who are here illegally because
they think they can get away with it," Healey said during a
bus tour of Southeastern Massachusetts last month.
"Certainly, imposing higher fines and enforcing those fines
would discourage that practice."

Bush appointed Sean Healey, whose firm's revenues reached
nearly $1 billion last year, to the council last May as one
of its 28 private-sector members. The council includes five
US senators and five representatives and members of the
president's Cabinet, including the secretary of state.

c Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company


Opin: 10 Years Of TG4

The Irish-language television station TG4 was 10 years old
on Tuesday. That it has not just survived but thrived
through its first decade will be a source of considerable
satisfaction to its staff, its many independent
contributors and its viewers. That being said, the 10th
anniversary is an appropriate time for stock-taking,
assessing whether it is properly fulfilling its mandate and
whether it is both efficient and effective.

It was never envisaged that TG4 would be an exclusively
Irish station; such a policy might have rendered the
viewing figures too low to be counted. However, the extent
to which the station has moved into bilingual mode will
have surprised its followers and encouraged the cynics.
English-language programming, especially films, undoubtedly
boosts viewership, but this is a line that the station must
tread with care because any further diminution of the first
language would call into question the justification for its
substantial State funding.

That funding is as critical as ever. TG4 has a 3 per cent
audience share, which is a respectable figure in this
multi-channel and digital era. However, the viewership
figures do not manifest substantial advertising revenue.
This currently runs at less than ?5 million per annum, an
amount that the costs of television production can chew up
in a matter of weeks.

The Government grant is running at ?28 million per annum
and TG4 receives an hour of programming per day from RT,
which constitutes a subsidy of close to ?10 million. Its
funding from State sources is climbing rather than

Much is made of the commitment to break the station's
connection with RT and to establish it as a wholly-
independent company (from next April). This commitment goes
back virtually to the station's inception and nearly two
years have elapsed since consultants were appointed to draw
up a plan. TG4 is very keen on the development and RT is

On the face of it, it is difficult to see why or how full
independence for TG4 will make the station more efficient
or better able to serve its viewers and win new ones. On
the other hand, independence will necessitate increased
funding. The station has done a credible job in giving
Irish a television platform, which is essential in
contemporary living. It gives a (modest) living to writers
of Irish film and drama scripts but needs to improve the
variety of its programming and to spend more resources on
enticing younger viewers.

An increase in funding to achieve this end would be
unquestionably warranted.

c The Irish Times


Cobh Couple Fight Extradition For Kidnapping Grandson

Last updated: 02-11-06, 17:45

A grandfather, who along with his wife, is accused of
kidnapping his daughter's son from the US and taking him
back to Ireland, said he would rather see his grandson dead
than see him grow up in America, a court heard today.

The Cork couple are facing extradition to the United States
and sentences of up to 30 years if convicted of kidnapping
their grandson from his Chicago home in 2004.

At the High Court today, counsel for the State described
the application by the US authorities for the extradition
of maternal grandparents Tim and Ethel Blake, both aged 60,
from Cobh, as "legitimate and relevant".

There they are expected to meet charges alleging the
aggravated kidnapping of their then nine year old grandson
in July 2004.

However, the court also heard that neither the couple's
grandson, now aged eleven and back living in the US with
his mother, nor his mother wished to see the couple

The boy's mother wrote to the US authorities pleading with
them not to extradite the couple, saying that she knew her
parents had done wrong, she loved them very much and did
not wish for them to be prosecuted.

The couple "knowingly by deceit" enticed their grandson
from Illinois to Dublin in July 2004. The child was
returned to his mother, who lives in Winthrop Harbour, a
suburb of Chicago, in November 2004.

Today, in applying for an order for the extradition of the
couple, Mary Ellen Ring SC, for the State, said this was
a "very emotional" matter arising out of protracted family
differences. Such problems were not something that can be
taken into account in regard to the extradition

Aggravated kidnapping is a felony which carries a a minimum
sentence of six years and a maximum sentence of 30 years in
Illinois State, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard.

In her affidvait, the boy's mother said her parents had
visited her in the US in July 2004 and stayed in a hotel
nearby. They told her her father was dying and they wanted
to spend some time with their grandson. She agreed they
could take him out for lunch but asked them to give her
their passports.

The couple, however, had duplicate passports with them and
when the mother returned to the hotel to collect her son,
she could not find him. She contacted the police. She had
not given her parents permission to remove the boy from the
US and had told them that several times.

Her father had said he would rather see his grandson dead
that see him become "an American bastard", she said. The
child biologicial father is dead and his mother had met a
US Naval officer and moved, with a number of her children,
to the States in 1997 and got married.

In 1999, when the Blakes had visited the US with their
grandson, his mother had refused to allow him back to
Ireland and he remained there, the court was told.

In January 2001, Cork Circuit Court had made the grandson a
ward of court and granted his grandaprents joint custody.
The court also directed the boy's mother to deliver him
back into the care of his grandparents.

In March 2001, the Blakes had taken proceedings in the US
under the Hague Convention for the return of the child to
Ireland but their application was turned down.

In his affidavit, Mr Blake said no application had been
made to have the order of Cork Circuit Court of 2001
discharged or varied.

Mr Blake said he could not understand why the Irish
authorities were applying for his extradition in such
circumstances. "We were giving effect to an Irish court
order. We would never do anything to harm a hair on his

Given cardiac, diabetic and other medical problems, Mr
Blake said there would be little prospect of him leaving
prison if extradited to the US. His consitutional rights to
fair procedure, bodily integrity and liberty would be
breached, he added. There is now contact between the two
families and they speak to the child and his mother on the
phone every week, Ms Blake said in her affidavitt.

The case continues tomorrow.

c 2006


Movie Review: 'Stolen'

**« out of four stars
Unrated by the MPAA

Hollywood art heist movies make the guys who swipe
masterpieces into light-fingered connoisseurs, generally
played by elegant chaps such as Sean Connery or Pierce
Brosnan. In reality, as this documentary shows, they're
slash-and-grab thugs who resemble extras on "The Sopranos."

The film explores the largest art robbery in recent
history, in which 13 priceless paintings were stolen from
Boston's Gardner Museum on St. Patrick's Day 1990. It
offers a colorful rogue's gallery of suspects for the
still-unsolved case, with most fingers pointing to Irish-
American thieves in cahoots with the IRA. The film is a bit
rough around the edges, but it found an unforgettable
character in a dogged 75-year-old art robbery sleuth named
Harold Smith. Set against the crass motives of the mugs who
swiped the art and the slithery equivocations of
prosecutors, Smith's absolute dedication to recovering the
lost paintings is a thing of rare beauty.
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