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December 07, 2006

Bail Refused to McIlveen Accusted

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 12/07/06 Bail Refused To McIlveen Accused
IT 12/08/06 LVF Terrorist Fulton Jailed For Life
BN 12/07/06 Paramilitary Groups 'Must Go Out Of Business'
BT 12/07/06 Blair Urged To Reveal SF 'Human Bomb Mastermind'
BT 12/07/06 Opin: What Wolfe Tone & Ian Paisley Have In Common
IT 12/08/06 Opin: Perpetual Opposition Haunts DUP
IT 12/08/06 De Valera Looks Forward To New Phase In Her Life


Bail Refused To McIlveen Accused

One of the teenagers accused of murdering a schoolboy has
been refused bail after the High Court was told that he may
have struck the fatal blow.

Michael McIlveen, 15, died after being attacked by a gang
in Ballymena in May.

Mervyn Moon, 18, of Douglas Terrace in the town, is one of
seven men and juveniles charged with murder.

A prosecution lawyer said he had told police how he struck
the teenager with a baseball bat. Michael had been kicked
and beaten during the sectarian attack.

She said four of the defendants had already been released
on bail.

However, Mr Moon's application was being opposed because
police believed he was one of the main offenders and, on
his own admission, could potentially have struck the fatal

A defence barrister said he could live at an address in
Randalstown which would get over police fears about
interference with witnesses, whom the prosecution had
described as "young and vulnerable".

Refusing bail, Lord Justice Sheil said Mr Moon had admitted
his involvement in what he described as "this tragic

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/07 18:13:01 GMT


LVF Terrorist Fulton Jailed For Life

Top LVF terrorist Jim Fulton, who confessed to English
undercover police to involvment in the murder of
grandmother Elizabeth O'Neill was today jailed for life.

The 38-year-old Portadown man and brother of deceased
gangster Mark 'Swinger' Fulton, could face two further life
sentences on charges of conspiring to murder Sinn Féin
office workers and a man called Derek Wray.

Instead of reading his 226 page judgement in full, Belfast
Crown Court judge Mr Justice Hart went through the
indictment telling Fulton he was guilty of 48 charges but
acquitted him of 14 others.

In total, Fulton was convicted of aiding and abetting the
murder of Mrs O'Neill, two counts of conspiring to murder,
seven of attempted murder, nine explosive charges, 12
woundings and attempted woundings, seven firearm offences
including possessing the gun used to murder Catholic taxi
driver Michael McGoldrick, one attempted robbery, one of
perverting the course of justice, two false imprisonments,
two hijackings, two drug dealing offences, being a member
of the Loyalist Volunteer Force and directing its

Among the judge's acquittals were one charge of attempted
murder, two attempted woundings, two explosive charges, one
firearm offences, two drug dealing offences, three
robberies, two false imprisonments and an attempted

In relation to his co-accused 56-year-old Muriel Gibson, Mr
Justice Hart acquitted her of involvment in the murder of
Catholic council worker Adrian lamph but convicted her of
impeding the arrest and prosecution of his killers.

Gibson, with an address at Clos Trevithick in Cornwall, was
also convicted of withholding information about a shooting,
two charges of possessing firearms, two of having
explosives and also of being a member of the LVF.

However the judge also acquitted her on two explosive
charges and a further count of conspiring to cause an

The convictions come after both Fulton and Gibson confessed
to undercover police about their activities and involvment
with the LVF over the course of eight years between
December 1991 and September 1999.

Their trial, the longest in Northern Ireland's legal
history, had run from September last year until June of
this year.

After delivering his verdicts Mr Justice Hart told Fulton
that as he had been convicted of murder, "the only sentence
I am empowered to impose is life imprisonment - you will be
senteced, therefore, to life imprisonment".


Paramilitary Groups 'Must Go Out Of Business'

07/12/2006 - 14:29:14

Paramilitary groups must go out of business in the North
and stop issuing death threats to all people including
civil servants, a senior nationalist politician said today.

After it emerged that a hardline loyalist threat against
the life of an Irish Government official working in Belfast
had been lifted, nationalist SDLP Assembly member Alban
Maginness also insisted the demonising of people working in
agencies like the British Irish Secretariat should stop.

The North Belfast MLA said people on both sides of the
community in the North were saddened when Áine de Baróid
was forced to flee Belfast after receiving warnings from a
breakaway faction of the Ulster Defence Association.

Ms de Baróid has since been informed that the threat has
been lifted and while initial reports suggested she had
resumed her work, Irish Government sources today revealed
she was in the process of returning to Belfast.

Mr Maginness said: “In the chaotic world of paramilitary
connections it is difficult to know what status to give the
statements that the threat has been withdrawn.

“Everyone must commend her courage in getting back to work.

“There are two lessons to be drawn from this unfortunate

“The first is that all paramilitary groups have to go out
of business so that no-one is faced with this type of
threat again.

“The second and more important one is that the role of the
secretariat and other such agencies have been demonised for
cheap political advantage and they must stop.”

Ms de Baróid had been involved in outreach work with the
loyalist community for the Irish Government.

In particular, she was a player in establishing contact
between Belfast-born President Mary McAleese and her
husband Martin and leaders of the Ulster Defence

In August, the official learned that she was being targeted
following an internal dispute within the UDA by a breakaway

The threat also came amid reports that the Irish Government
was building a high-security residence for its civil
servants in the south of the city.

The house, which was being built in the exclusive Notting
Hill area, contains bullet-proof windows and blast-proof

Irish Government officials have denied that the house,
nicknamed Bertie’s Bunker, would be used by Taoiseach
Bertie Ahern and his ministers as an official residence
while in the North.


Blair Urged To Reveal Identity Of SF 'Human Bomb Mastermind'

Thursday, December 07, 2006
By Mark Hookham

A senior Sinn Fein politician was the mastermind behind a
horrifying IRA 'human bomb' attack 16 years ago, it was
claimed in Parliament today.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson used Prime Minister's Questions to
allege that the person behind the killing was both a top
republican politician and MI5 informer.

Royal Irish Ranger soldier Cyril Smith died in a bomb blast
in 1990 while trying to rescue a man who had been forced to
drive a car bomb into an army checkpoint near Newry.

His parents, Bernie and Cyril, from Carrickfergus, believe
their son was allowed to die to protect the identity of a
republican spy.

Mr Wilson today made a direct appeal to Tony Blair to
ensure that no MI5 intelligence on the attack is held back
from the PSNI historical inquiries team, which is currently
reviewing the case.

The East Antrim MP said: "The families of those victims
were told that the mastermind behind those bombs was a very
senior Sinn Fein politician who was also an intelligence
source for MI5.

"The historical enquiries team have now re-opened that

"Would the Prime Minister ascertain first of all if any
intelligence exists as to the mastermind behind that bomb
and secondly give the House the assurance that no
intelligence will be held back to protect a senior
politician or an intelligence source?"

The Prime Minister replied: "I can assure him that no
information whatever, whether of an intelligence nature or
any other information, will be held back from the proper
authorities. I obviously can't comment on the particular
case of his constituent, however."

Ranger Smith (21) died after a bomb ripped through the
permanent border vehicle checkpoint at Killeen, outside
Newry, on October 24 1990.

He had just rescued James McAvoy (68), who was warned by an
IRA gang that his sons would be shot if he did not drive
the bomb to the checkpoint.

Cyril was running back to warn his comrades about the
device when it exploded, killing him instantly.


Opin: What Wolfe Tone And The Ian Paisley Of '69 Have In Common

Thursday, December 07, 2006
By Eamonn McCann

I gather that one of the blessings which will befall us if
the Assembly is restored will be a visit from the Pope. I
wonder, is there anybody around who will speak to him after
the manner of Wolfe Tone?

Ian Paisley won't. Nor Gerry Adams. That much is obvious
from exchanges at Stormont on Monday.

Mr Adams had, reasonably, used the DUP crisis meeting at
Templepatrick the previous Friday as a peg on which to hang
mention of the Presbyterians who had rallied there for
revolution in 1798. Naming six of the prominent
Presbyterians involved, he commended their view, "That the
weight of the English influence in the government of this
country is so great as to require a cordial union among the
people of Ireland to maintain that balance which is
essential to the preservation of our liberties and the
extension of our commerce".

The Rev Ian would have none of it. Adams's version was
'republican propaganda history,' he insisted. "The
Presbyterian Synod - the Synod of Ulster - was totally
opposed to the rebellion." McCracken, Hope, Munro, Robb,
Kelburn and Dickson were not Presbyterians at all, but "
Arians or Unitarians."

Some might consider it a mite presumptuous even of the
elder Paisley retrospectively to expel the Templepatrick
Six, including two ministers, from the communion of
Presbyterianism. And he might have mentioned that, whatever
about the Synod of Ulster, which was split on the matter,
the Presbytery of Antrim, which covered Templepatrick, was
on the Unitarian, and the United Irish, side.

But then, the history of the period tends not to bear out
the position of either Mr Adams or Dr Paisley as indicated
at Stormont.

Although the Ulster leadership of the United Irishmen was
largely Presbyterian, and its support for republicanism
reflected the dissident nature of Presbyterianism itself,
the organisation was not definitively or exclusively so.
Its chief theorist and ideologue, Theobald Wolfe Tone, came
from a Church of Ireland background. Tone believed in a
God, but was by no means devout and in adulthood associated
himself with no denomination. The relevant point here is
that none of the Templepatrick Six would have dissented
from his attitude to the Papacy.

The notion that the United Irishmen were Protestant
ecumenists of a sort, arguing for respect for Catholicism
and the creation of a tolerant society in which "both
communities" would live in genial amity is attractive,
particularly to nationalists, including modern republicans,
anxious to suggest a non-sectarian heritage. But it's far
from the facts.

As Marianne Elliot noted in her biography, Tone saw the
Pope as "the incarnation of evil". In this, he was in line
with the Enlightened thinking of the day. Had he succeeded
in his revolutionary enterprise, he would have cleansed the
influence of the Catholic Church from the face of the
Republic he had hoped to create.

Indeed, one of the chief reasons Tone and the United
Irishmen wanted to end the oppression of Catholics was that
they believed that, freed, the Catholics would slough off
their religion. In his splendid Argument On Behalf Of The
Catholics Of Ireland, written for the Dublin-based Catholic
Committee in 1791, Tone put it plain: "Persecution will
keep alive the foolish bigotry and superstition of any
sect...Persecution bound the Irish Catholic to his priest
and the priest to the Pope; the bond of union is drawn
tighter by oppression; relaxation will undo it."

What would the response be today were an MLA publicly to
describe Catholic teaching and ritual as "foolish bigotry
and superstition?"

Or to characterise the Mass, as Tone did, as "abominable

Tone angrily rejected suggestions from the French Directory
that he take two priests with him when he sailed to Ireland
to foment revolution. "I will not have priests involved in
the enterprise," he responded.

Compare and contrast the first Sinn Fein ard fheis after
1916, when 10% of the delegates were priests, one of whom
was elected by acclamation as vice-president.

Tone and the United Irish leaders believed they were living
in the last days of Catholic power in the world. They
referred frequently and excitedly to the fact that it had
been Catholics, or ex-Catholics, who had accomplished the
French Revolution. Why should Irish Catholics, roused to
liberate themselves, be any different?

When French forces drove the Pope from Rome in February
1798, Tone exultantly welcomed what he saw as the beginning
of the end of Catholic influence in Europe. He regretted
that Bonaparte had let the Pope live: " It was unwise to
let slip so favourable an opportunity to destroy forever
the Papal tyranny."

However, he consoled himself, at least the Pope had been
deposed, and the Roman people had "declared themselves free
and independent...Thus terminated the temporal reign of the
Popes after an existence of above 1,000 years." A bit
premature, as things turned out. But there's no mistaking
his attitude, which in all essentials was the attitude of
the Templepatrick Six.

Wolfe Tone's attitude to the Pope was closer to that of Ian
Paisley circa 1969 than to the mellow musings of the Rev
Ian on Monday.

It bears no resemblance of any kind to the attitude of Mr

Anybody for a Wolfe Tone Commemoration Committee to give
Benedict a proper republican welcome at Aldergrove?


Opin: Perpetual Opposition Haunts DUP

Last Friday, speaking before a meeting held to discuss
tensions within the DUP, Ian Paisley jnr said his
colleagues should remember that the "real enemy are
republicans", writes David Adams.

This was rich, coming from that source. Throughout his
political career, Mr Paisley's father has persisted in
treating other unionists as though they were the "real

If his attitude had been more in line with his son's
belated advice, then unionism - not to mention Northern
Ireland - might well be in better shape than it is today.

But for the antics of Ian Paisley and a variety of
sidekicks down through the years, moderate unionists might
long ago have been able to establish and maintain a
powersharing administration with their nationalist
counterparts. And, consequently, might just have managed to
bring a measure of political stability and social cohesion
to Northern Ireland when those were most sorely needed.

As it was, every forward-looking unionist leader was
characterised as an enemy of the union and relentlessly
pursued with accusations of sell-out and treachery until
eventually toppled. In this way, Ian Paisley and his
cohorts brought every political initiative to collapse.

How times have changed. After finally managing to clamber
into the driving seat of unionism, it is clear that Paisley
is now eager to make a deal of his own. Except it isn't
really his own deal.

Apart from Sinn Féin now being the lead nationalist party,
there is little difference between what is currently on
offer and any of the other proposed settlements that
Paisley spent decades opposing.

This tells us that, regardless of what he has said or done
in the past, Ian Paisley didn't really consider the more
far-sighted leaders of unionism as enemies at all, but
rather as mere obstacles on the road to his own ambition.

Despite all of his past protestations and accusations of
sell-out, it would appear he was more upset by the fact
that it wasn't he and his party who were making an
agreement than with anything other unionists were prepared
to agree upon.

The problem now for Paisley and his more pragmatic
colleagues is that not all of the DUP or its supporters
were alive to this.

Many of them actually believed the high-flown rhetoric
about the traitorous Ulster Unionists, the slippery slope
to Dublin, smashing Sinn Féin, never sharing power with
republicans, the necessity for sackcloth and ashes, and all
the rest of it.

Those within the DUP concerned at the direction the party
is taking consider themselves, with justification, to be
simply holding firm to the supposedly immovable articles of
faith to which they and their leader have always clung.

When the now dissenters vowed never to have any truck with
"IRA/Sinn Féin" they actually meant it.

In reply to Ian Paisley jnr, they would argue it is not
they but the party leadership that has forgotten who the
"real enemy" are.

Though obviously related, not all of the current tensions
in the DUP are exclusively to do with the party's dilution
of its previous position.

With an eye to Ian Paisley's age and his health problems of
a couple of years ago, no doubt some senior members are
taking the opportunity to position themselves for a
leadership bid when the occasion arises. There is also a
good deal of resentment among many longtime DUP stalwarts
at the parachuting of former Ulster Unionist dissidents
into senior party positions over their heads.

That said, this has been considerably heightened by the
fact that, virtually to a man and woman, these past UUP
members are among those pushing hardest for Ian Paisley to
run with the St Andrews Agreement.

At root, everything stems from the fact that the DUP is now
charged with giving leadership (as opposed to sniping from
the sidelines) and hard decisions having to be made.

In essence, Ian Paisley is facing the same dilemma that
confronted former UUP leader David Trimble.

Either, like the courageous Trimble, he faces down the
opposition in his party and enters a powersharing Executive
with Sinn Féin where unionism will help direct the future
of Northern Ireland, but run the significant attendant risk
that republicans will act as a ministerial fifth column, or
he buckles under the pressure and opts for allowing the
process to collapse, hoping that blame for the subsequent
dissolution of the Assembly spreads beyond his door.

The obvious problem with this option is that it will leave
unionism politically isolated, and Northern Ireland to be
jointly managed by the British and Irish governments.

Dragging out the process beyond March next year, in the
forlorn hope that things might change for the better, would
probably guarantee party unity, but it is not a realistic

There can be little doubt that with elections in the
Republic and Tony Blair's imminent departure from Downing
Street to occupy them, next year's deadline is at least one
the two governments intend sticking to.

One thing is certain, whatever Ian Paisley decides to do
his party will shed members and supporters.

For, by its very success, the DUP has been robbed of the
internal cohesion that comes with perpetual opposition.


De Valera Looks Forward To New Phase In Her Life

Síle de Valera prefers to remember the positive aspects of
Charlie Haughey, writes Miriam Donohoe, Political Staff

Outgoing Minister of State Síle de Valera says she hopes
people will remember former taoiseach Charles Haughey for
his achievements rather than for controversies surrounding
him in his later life.

Ms de Valera (52), who steps down from her junior
ministerial position in the Department of Education today,
has also spoken of her plans to write a "warts-and-all"
memoir based on her 30 years in politics.

Asked if she regretted supporting Charles Haughey for the
Fianna Fáil leadership in 1979 given what emerged about him
in recent years, she says: "My view on Charlie Haughey is
that he will be remembered in years to come far more kindly
than perhaps he is remembered now.

"I supported Charles Haughey at the time of the leadership.
I regarded him in the light of what I knew about him as a
backbencher. In relation to the negatives they have already
been gone into. I prefer to now remember the positive
aspects of him and there were some very positive aspects."

Ironically it is Mr Haughey's son Seán, a Dublin North
Central TD, who is tipped to replace Ms de Valera as a
junior minister, but she will not comment on who her
successor might be. "I will leave that to the Taoiseach."

Ms de Valera says she kept notes of important events during
her years in politics and plans to write her memoirs "warts
and all".

"I didn't keep a diary as such on a day-to-day basis but I
kept notes. I was lucky to be in politics when it was
exciting and it was in a state of flux with Fianna Fáil
coming in with a huge majority in 1977 and then in the 80s,
which was a time of turmoil in Irish politics, with three
elections in 18 months."

She says major reform is needed to encourage more women
into politics, which is "still very much a man's world".

"I know that all the parties have to put in a good effort
to encourage more women into politics. It has to be tackled
in a number of ways, through fundamental reform of the

"I think we also have to have a look at the current
'pantomime' type of politics we have where people feel they
have to disagree for the sake of it."

Ms de Valera reiterates that it was she who approached
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern last year when she had decided she
would not contest the next general election and offered to
step down, but they agreed she would do so this month.

One of the lows of her career, she says, was when she was
dropped from the cabinet by Mr Ahern in 2002 after serving
as minister for arts for five years. At the same meeting in
which she was sacked, she says, Mr Ahern offered her a
choice of any ministry of state she wanted.

"That was extremely gracious of the Taoiseach. While I was
disappointed about being dropped from cabinet, I was also
excited about the prospect of having a role in the
Department of Education."

Ms de Valera regrets that her retirement from politics at
the next general election will be the end of the de Valera
name in the Dáil.

Her grandfather Éamon de Valera was elected to the first
Dáil in 1918 and her uncle Vivion de Valera also served.
Her cousin, Éamon Ó Cuív, is Minister for Community, Rural
and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Ms de Valera, who was elected to the Dublin Mid County
constituency in 1977 aged 22, says she regards herself as
"entering a new phase in her life".

She plans to do a PhD in psychology and looks forward to
new challenges ahead.

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