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November 21, 2006

SF: Transfer of Policing Powers Must Happen

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 11/20/06 Transfer Of Policing & Justice Powers Must Happen
IT 11/21/06 DUP Warns On Timetable To Devolve Policing
BN 11/20/06 Gardai To Review Security At Adams' Holiday Home
IT 11/21/06 Hain Under Pressure At Westminster
BB 11/20/06 Loyalist Jailed For 'Savage' Act


Kelly - Transfer Of Policing And Justice Powers Must Happen

Published: 20 November, 2006

Sinn Fein Policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly MLA responding
to Peter Robinson's comments on the timeframe for the
transfer of policing said:

"The British government has set out their intent to
transfer powers on policing away from Westminster. It is
now the job of the Programme for Government committee to
agree the timetable for the transfer of powers and the
departmental model which will be used within the Executive.
These are issues that should be dealt with relatively
quickly. The coming weeks will tell us if the DUP is
serious about addressing these issues and serious fcabout

"The fact is that policing is a matter for both Governments
and all the parties, including the DUP. The DUP has to
come up to the mark in terms of accepting accountable
policing, subject to democratic control, responsible to the
community and leaving behind the repressive and sectarian
legacy of the past."ENDS


Robinson Warns On Timetable To Devolve Policing

It will be "several lifetimes" before policing and justice
responsibility is devolved to a Northern Executive if Sinn
Fein fails to move on policing, according to DUP deputy
leader Peter Robinson. Gerry Moriarty, Northern Editor,

Mr Robinson issued his warning after he and Sinn Fein
leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness came face-to-face
at Stormont yesterday at the first meeting of the
Assembly's Programme for Government committee. DUP leader
the Rev Ian Paisley did not attend.

One of the main obstacles to ensuring full devolution by
the scheduled date of March 26th, 2007, is resolving the
issue of when justice and policing matters would be handed
over from Northern Secretary Peter Hain to the Northern

Sinn Fein has argued that it must have a timetable for this
devolution before it would call an ardfheis on policing.
But yesterday Mr Robinson appeared to harden the recent
comment by North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds that the
transfer of policing and justice responsibility to the
Executive would not happen for a "political lifetime".

Asked when such devolution might occur Mr Robinson said,
"At the rate Sinn Fein are going at the present time it
will be several political lifetimes - they really have to
get down to it." The DUP deputy leader said it was
essential that Sinn Fein recognised the need to build
confidence within the community that it supported and
endorsed the police in order to allow the transfer of these
powers. "And like Nigel, indeed I probably said it before
Nigel, that it would not be in my lifetime, never mind my
political lifetime," he added.

This issue is now the main block to Sinn Fein supporting
the police and the DUP signing up to powersharing.
Nonetheless, the DUP, Sinn Fein, the Ulster Unionist Party,
the SDLP and the smaller parties are beginning to consider
a number of models for a department of justice that might
reconcile current problems.

These include allowing the DUP, some time after May 2008,
as the largest party, have temporary sole control of the
department of justice in a resumed Northern Executive or,
if by then Sinn Fein and the DUP remain deadlocked on the
issue, UUP and/or SDLP ministers running the department.

Said Mr Robinson after yesterday's Programme for Government
committee meeting, "of course there are many ways of
dealing with policing and justice: you don't have to have
Sinn Fein participation in it. So we will look at all of
those issues in the years ahead. Let's hope that we will
have the kind of peace and stability that will make
policing and justice less important issues."

Sinn Fein president Mr Adams said yesterday's meeting was
"businesslike" and some progress was made. "It's inch by
inch," he said. "But given that some people used to say
'not an inch' that's, I think, quite appropriate."


Gardai To Review Security At Adams' Holiday Home

20/11/2006 - 19:41:25

Gardai are reviewing security around the Co Donegal holiday
home of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams after recent threats
to his life.

The move comes after reports that Mr Adams and other party
leadership figures such as Martin McGuinness and Gerry
Kelly may be targeted by disaffected IRA members opposed to
any moves to support policing as part of a power-sharing
deal for the North.

Dissident republicans were recently blamed for arson
attacks on commercial premises around Halloween and for
ongoing incidents involving guns and home-made bombs.

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell requested a security
assessment of Mr Adams' home from the Garda Commissioner
Noel Conroy and he received a written report on the issue
late last week.

Mr Adams' north Co Donegal holiday home has been the
subject of media attention in the past.

He uses the remote cottage as a retreat during the summer
months to write books and answer correspondence.

A Department of Justice spokesman refused to comment on
specific security issues relating to Mr Adams, but added:
"Security for individuals or premises in this jurisdiction
would of course be a matter for the Garda."

Sinn Fein also declined to comment on any security
arrangements for any member of the party.

Referring to the recent reports of security threats, a
spokesman added: "The security threats remain very real. We
are taking them very seriously and making the necessary
precautions to ensure the party can get on with its work."

In order to restore power-sharing in the North, Sinn Fein
is contemplating finally joining other political parties in
endorsing the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

But hard-liners within the republican movement are believed
to be fiercely opposed to such a move.

Speaking about the threats, Mr Adams said last week:
"Obviously, there are elements out there who are opposed to
Sinn Fein strategy and who are seeking to exploit the
current situation.

"I would not be playing this up or dealing with it as
anything other than just the atmosphere in which we work.

"I am calling on people to ensure they are not being
manipulated. I uphold people's right to express an opinion
on issues in a frank, open and comradely debate on any


Hain Under Pressure At Westminster

Frank Millar, London Editor

Pressure on Northern Secretary Peter Hain is growing at
Westminster as the British attorney general, Lord
Goldsmith, considers the terms of his inquiry into whether
Mr Hain or his officials misled the High Court in Belfast.
The Conservatives stopped-short of calling for Mr Hain's
resignation, while describing Mr Justice Girvan's judgment
yesterday as "a devastating indictment" of Mr Hain and his

Senior Tory sources said privately that Mr Hain's situation
"could not be more difficult for a minister of the crown",
suggesting that any other minister in charge of a
"mainland" department would already "find his head on the
block". However, the party's Northern Ireland spokesman
David Lidington confined himself to demanding "a detailed
explanation" from Mr Hain, who is a candidate for Labour's
deputy leadership.

Mr Lidington said: "The criticisms contained in Mr Justice
Girvan's judgment today are a devastating indictment of the
secretary of state and his advisers. It really is quite
extraordinary for the judge to submit 67 questions for the
attorney general to investigate in respect of this matter.
The issues he raises, relating to possible attempts to
pervert or obstruct the course of justice, are of the most
serious nature."

Mr Lidington continued: "The issue here is not about the
suitability of the interim victims' commissioner, but of
the conduct of the government in her appointment. It is now
essential that Peter Hain comes forward with a detailed
explanation of his actions in response to Mr Justice
Girvan's criticisms."

DUP Assembly Member Ian Paisley jnr suggested that Mr Hain
should be "indicted" if found guilty of any wrongdoing. "If
the attorney general found there was any attempt by the
secretary of state to misdirect the court, or to 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," said Mr Paisley.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general said Lord Goldsmith
had received a memo from Mr Justice Girvan yesterday
morning, and that he would "now take steps to inquire into
the issues the judge has raised and will announce the terms
of the inquiry and who will conduct it as soon as

Lord Goldsmith could have an opportunity to comment on the
case on Thursday, when he is due to answer a question
concerning judicial reviews in Northern Ireland tabled by
Lord David Trimble.


Loyalist Jailed For 'Savage' Act

A leading north Belfast loyalist has been jailed for 10
years for an attack on a nightclub doorman.

Mark Haddock, 37, originally from Mount Vernon Park, was
convicted in September of grievous bodily harm with intent
against doorman Trevor Gowdy in 2002.

Sentencing him, the judge said it was an "act of
conspicuous savagery".

Haddock, an alleged informer, had been named in court as a
leading member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He survived a
gun attack on 30 May.

Mr Gowdy was attacked at a social club in Monkstown in
December 2002.

He was hit on the head and body with an iron bar, a hatchet
and a bat, and suffered an "open" fractured skull, broken
leg as well as various cuts and bruises.

Police found him lying unconscious on the ground.

He is now living in England under a witness protection

'Gangland attack'

Haddock was subsequently cleared of attempting to murder Mr
Gowdy. However, he was convicted of false imprisonment and
setting fire to a car.

Haddock appeared before Belfast Crown Court on Monday via
video link from prison.

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

"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.

"This type of gangland attack cannot be tolerated."

Haddock was shot six times in the Doagh Road area of
Newtownabbey, County Antrim, in May. At the time, he was on
bail awaiting judgement in the case.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/11/20 17:40:55 GMT

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