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December 10, 2006

Bigotry in DUP Blocking Progress

News About Ireland & The Irish

SB 12/10/06 Bigotry In DUP Blocking Progress: Rev Good
BN 12/10/06 Dublin/Monaghan Bombs Report Passes 6th Deadline
RT 12/10/06 Man Held Over Suspected Sectarian Assault
SL 12/10/06 LVF Killer (Jim Fulton) & His Rogue Cop Helper
SB 12/10/06 Smithwick Tribunal To Ask Ingram To Testify
SL 12/10/06 Government Funding Is Targeted By Loyalists
SL 12/10/06 PSNI Backtracks On Ballykinler
SL 12/10/06 DUP In New O'Loan Inquiry Demand
RT 12/10/06 Ahern Urges SF To Hold Ard Fheis
TO 12/10/06 Republicans & Unionists To Derail Power Sharing
SL 12/10/06 Stone Broke My Hand
SB 12/10/06 Opin: Shock & Awe Comes Home For Bushs Neo-Cons
CL 12/10/06 Opin: Neo-Cons In Disarray
TO 12/10/06 Opin: Hain Needs To Tackle Unionist Homophobia
MI 12/10/06 Blog: Martin Ingram - The Maze
GU 12/10/06 Lennon Offered To Sing For The IRA
TO 12/10/06 Irish In Radioactive Alert
SB 12/10/06 Haughey Is Named In US Court Proceedings
SB 12/10/06 Friel Classic Goes Back To Broadway


‘Elements Of Bigotry’ In DUP Blocking Progress, Says Good

10 December 2006 By Colm Heatley

The Protestant clergyman who witnessed last year’s IRA
decommissioning has said that the DUP’s opposition to
sharing power with Sinn Fein is partly driven by ‘‘elements
of bigotry’’, who do not want to compromise with
republicans under any circumstances.

The Rev Harold Good, a former president of the Methodist
Church, was one of two independent clergy witnesses
approved to witness IRA decommissioning in the absence of
Ian Paisley’s demand for the act to be photographed in
September 2005. Subsequently the DUP, who did not accept
that full decommissioning took place, questioned Good’s

‘‘There is an element of bigotry within it [the opposition
to power-sharing],” said Rev Good. ‘‘There are real and
imaginary causes of fear and they get confused.

‘‘There would be a mix [within the DUP] of those who cannot
bring themselves to accept republicans as equal partners,
and others have suffered at their hands. We have all had an
overdose of bigotry, and they need to move on with it.” Rev
Good said that, while he understood some of the concerns of
anti-agreement DUP members, ‘‘there are those who cannot
bring themselves to accept republicans as equal partners’’.

Referring to DUP MP Willie McCrea’s opposition to joint
partnership with Sinn Fein, Good said he found it ‘‘hard to
square’’ with McCrea’s attendance at a rally in support of
LVF leader Billy Wright in Portadown in 1996.

McCrea shared a platform with Wright, a multiple sectarian
murderer who was notorious for publicly advocating the
killing of Catholics in the North. McCrea has said that he
finds the idea of sharing power with Sinn Fein morally

‘‘If you look back over the history of political
initiatives, each time unionists here turned it down, the
price has gone up,” said Rev Good.

‘‘Next time it will be higher. If unionists want to enhance
their image they need to be magnanimous. The republican
movement mean business - they did things they said they
would never do.”


Dublin/Monaghan Bombs Report Passes Sixth Deadline

10/12/2006 - 10:44:09

The families of victims killed in the Dublin Monaghan
bombings have criticised delays in a Government-
commissioned investigation as it passes its sixth deadline.

Justice for the Forgotten said it is concerned and
disappointed that the Commission of Investigation into the
1974 tragedy is to ask for its seventh extension.

The report, headed by barrister Patrick MacEntee SC, was
due to be completed tomorrow and handed over to the
Oireachtas for approval.

However, a request for an extension will now go before the
Cabinet either this Tuesday or next Tuesday.

“Obviously, at this stage, this is a disappointment,” said
Margaret Urwin, of Justice for the Forgotten.

“While we were perfectly happy to accept that Mr MacEntee
needed extensions in order to complete the investigation,
it stated in the last interim report that he had finished
the investigation and was in the process of checking
evidence with persons who added to the report.

“Now we are very concerned.

“We knew the report was never going to be published next
week, but it was meant to be going to government.

“Even at that stage it wouldn’t be made public until
February, but with the Dail and Seanad about to rise for
Christmas we don’t know when it will be published.

“It will also have to be cleared by the Attorney General to
ensure it does not interfere with human rights of those who
gave evidence or that there are any legal issues.”

More than 300 people were injured and 33 killed when four
car bombs exploded in Dublin and Monaghan on May 17, 1974.
No organisation claimed responsibility but loyalist
paramilitaries were widely blamed.

The campaign group was formed in January 1996 with the aim
of getting truth and justice for the victims.

The commission, which is being held in private, was
established more than 18 months ago and has already sought
six extensions to get more material from security sources
about the bombings.

The Government agreed to its last extension to December 11
in October.

“This is the seventh time an extension has been sought
since it started on May 13 last year,” Ms Urwin continued.

“It was due to last six months, but now it is running more
and more behind schedule.

“There are no concessions given to us over this time.

“We get no information to pass on to the families and even
on the day when the report is finally published we won’t
have any concessions, we might just get it a couple of
hours before it is made public.”

The terms of reference of the commission were to report on
why the garda investigation was wound down in 1974, why
gardai did not follow up on information that a white van
with an English registration was parked on Portland Row and
was later seen parked in Dublin’s ferry port, and the
subsequent contact with a British army officer on a ferry
boat leaving Dublin.


Man Held Over Suspected Sectarian Assault

10 December 2006 12:19

Police in Northern Ireland have said a man has been
arrested in connection with an assault on a 17-year-old
Catholic youth in Ballymena this morning, which they
believe was sectarian.

The PSNI says he was attacked by a group of between four
and six people at Granville Drive.

The teenager was taken to hospital with injuries to his
head and hand. He has since been released after treatment.


Revealed: The LVF Killer And His Rogue Cop Helper

By Ciaran McGuigan
10 December 2006

A rogue cop deep in debt set up a bank manager to be taken
hostage and robbed by loyalist paramilitaries.

The cop provided detailed information used by LVF killer
Jim Fulton and his gang in their bid to rob the Ulster Bank
in Newcastle.

The cop even provided the armed gang with a police uniform
to trick bank manager Conor McAleavy into going to the bank
to check on a faulty alarm.

The role played by the police officer was revealed in
bugged conversations between Fulton and undercover police,
and published last week in a judgment by Mr Justice Hart.

Fulton boasted that they had received the Newcastle-based
cop's tip off that the bank's alarm was faulty and would be
set off on windy nights. When it was set off it, the police
would visit McAleavy's home to have the alarm checked.

The cop even gave the gang details of shift patterns so
they could strike while no police were on the ground,
according to Fulton.

The gang had hoped to bag hundreds of thousands in the
October 1996 raid, but was forced to flee empty-handed
after Mr McAleavy was able to lock himself in a bedroom and
raise the alarm.

Last week, Fulton (38), of Queen's Walk, Portadown, was
convicted of 48 different terrorist offences, including the
murder of grandmother Elizabeth O'Neill at her home in
Portadown 1999. As well as murder, he was convicted of
seven counts of attempted murder, explosives charges, drug
dealing, hijacking and possession of the gun used by hitman
Clifford McKeown to murder taxi driver Michael McGoldrick.
The guilty verdicts came at the end of the longest trial in
Northern Ireland legal history.

His co-accused, Muriel Gibson (56), of Clos Trevitick,
Cornwall, was convicted of membership of the LVF,
possession of firearms and explosives and withholding


Smithwick Tribunal To Ask Ingram To Testify

10 December 2006 By Colm Heatley

The Smithwick Tribunal is expected to call former British
Army intelligence officer Martin Ingram to give evidence,
The Sunday Business Post has learned.

The tribunal contacted Ingram’s solicitor last week, but
was told that any request for Ingram to attend the tribunal
would need approval from the British government.

Ingram, a former member of the British Army’s Force
Research Unit, is banned from giving evidence unless the
British government gives him clearance.

The tribunal is investigating whether a garda tip-off led
to the IRA ambush and killing of RUC Chief Superintendent
Harry Breen and his RUC colleague Bob Buchanan in south
Armagh in March 1989.T he two men were returning from a
meeting at Dundalk garda station when the ambush took

Ingram’s evidence is expected to centre around the role of
British agents in the south and, in particular, the role of
Freddie Scappaticci, a long-term British spy in the IRA,
whose existence was uncovered in 2003.In gram helped expose
Freddie Scappaticci’s existence.

The former intelligence officer claims that Scappaticci was
the IRA ‘‘handler’’ of the garda member whom some suspect
of passing information about the movements of Breen and
Buchanan to the IRA.

‘‘I’m happy to give evidence to the inquiry. It is just a
matter of getting permission from the British government,”
said Ingram.

‘‘Freddie Scappaticci was the IRA man assigned to handle
the garda informant, and it is extremely unlikely that he
would not have passed on this man’s information to his own
handlers within the British Army.

‘‘That being the case, it would seem likely that the
British Army would have been aware of the general threat to
Breen and Buchanan in terms of attending meetings in
Dundalk, if not the specific threat on the day they were

The tribunal expects to hear evidence from witnesses early
next year. A spokesman for the tribunal refused to say if
Ingram would appear.

Ingram claims that Kevin Fulton, an IRA informer from
Newry, has vital information relating to the Breen and
Buchanan ambush, but has been told by the PSNI that if he
gives evidence, he will be liable to prosecution in the

The Sunday Business Post reported last month that John
Weir, a former RUC officer turned whistle blower, said he
would be prepared to tell the Smithwick Tribunal that Breen
was heavily involved with loyalist paramilitaries.

The Smithwick Tribunal was established under the terms of
the 2001 Weston Park agreement as one of six public
inquiries into murders which took place during the

It is the only one of the six that will be held in public.
The British government has rushed through legislation which
means that the other five inquiries, to be held in the
North, will effectively be conducted in private.

The British government’s Inquiries Act has been condemned
by the Dail, the US government and Amnesty International.


Government Funding Is Targeted By Loyalists

By Alan Murray
10 December 2006

Loyalist paramilitaries are attempting to establish
neighbourhood watch schemes in Protestant areas in a bid to
cash in on Government funds.

Leaflets seen by Sunday Life show how loyalists intend to
muster community support in loyalist areas of the city to
lobby the council for facilities.

Politicians and senior police commanders are aware of the
efforts - which are believed to be led by the UVF.

The PSNI is worried that the paramilitaries will capitalise
on widespread community anger about vandalism, theft and
car crime in loyalist areas.

One Belfast councillor - who wished to remain anonymous -
said there was concern over the implications of the scheme.

He said: "No one has any doubts that there is bad activity
that needs to be tackled in the unionist communities.

"But it is not the job of loyalist paramilitaries to tackle
this problem.

"The police know what is happening and they know what
organisation is behind this initiative. There is concern
within the district command units about this. But the
police need to use their resources to put an end to the
nightmare situations in these estates before these
paramilitary initiatives get off the ground."

Giving evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
at Westminster last Tuesday, Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde
said only those without criminal convictions should be
allowed to operate community restorative justice schemes.


PSNI Backtracks On Ballykinler

By Alan Murray
10 December 2006

The PSNI has admitted that it is NOT carrying out an
investigation into allegations that soldiers at Ballykinler
camp in Co Down passed classified information to UDR

The Police Service contacted Sunday Life last week to
withdraw a statement it issued to the paper about the

In its initial statement, a police spokesman said: "Police
are conducting a number of inquiries in relation to
allegations about this matter.

"As this investigation is active and ongoing, it would be
inappropriate to comment further."

But in a second statement last Thursday, the Police Service
appeared to contradict its earlier position.

The second statement said: "Last week, the PSNI were asked
a series of specific questions about a number of
allegations relating to the unlawful passing of information
by members of the security forces.

"We answered these questions by way of a general response
for valid investigative reasons. Our response, which was
not carried in full, was not as clear as it could have

"The PSNI wish to make clear that there is no investigation
into any allegations that soldiers based at Ballykinler
divulged intelligence details to UDR soldiers in the early


DUP In New O'Loan Inquiry Demand

By Alan Murray
10 December 2006

The Police Ombudsman is facing demands from the DUP for an
inquiry into her own office.

Jeffrey Donaldson MP says revelations about staffing issues
in Nuala O'Loan's office are so serious they require
independent investigation.

It follows a Sunday Life story last month concerning a
photograph at the centre of allegations of bullying and
counter-claims of a smear campaign.

A suspended investigator's picture was placed on a
noticeboard earlier this year with the words "gardening
leave" written beneath it. The investigator, who is one of
Mr Donaldson's constituents, had been sent home almost a
year ago after the PSNI began investigating an allegation
there had been an attempt to pervert the course of justice
within the office.

They were called in after the investigator raised concerns
about evidence given in a trial involving a cop.

Mr Donaldson claims the depiction of the suspended
investigator on the noticeboard was a clear attempt to
humiliate him.

"The story is shocking - it is a personal attack on an
employee who may have acted as a whistleblower inside the
Ombudsman's Office.

"But it also raises more serious issues about access to the
office's IT system and access to sensitive files.

"For someone to retrieve my constituent's official
photograph from the IT system and be able to display it
with this derogatory comment written below, it raises major
questions about how the office is run.

In a statement the Ombudsman's spokesman said it was
suspected that someone had entered the office over a
weekend and placed the photograph on the board in an
attempt to discredit Mrs O'Loan.

The spokesman added that it was suspected the culprit was
the same person who supplied Sunday Life with a photograph
of the board. Mr Donaldson has described that explanation
as "inadequate".


Ahern Urges SF To Hold Ard Fheis

10 December 2006 13:24

The Taoiseach has stressed the importance of Sinn Féin
calling an Ard Fheis as soon as possible, to consider its
policy on support for the police in Northern Ireland.

Speaking in Co Wexford this morning, Bertie Ahern
acknowledged the policing issue is sensitive for Sinn Féin
but said that the issue is linked to the prospect of a
power-sharing government at Stormont.

Mr Ahern made his remarks at the annual Liam Mellows

Looking to the immediate future, he talked about the
prospect of a power-sharing administration at Stormont and
said 2007 could be a year as historic as any in the past.

The Taoiseach suggested that, for the first time in 400
years since the Flight of the Earls and the beginning of
the Ulster Plantation, there be an agreement between all of
the representatives of all the people on the island of

Mr Ahern said the path to shared government in Northern
Ireland passes through a Sinn Féin Ard Fheis where the
policing issue is definitively and successfully addressed.

He referred to the two governments target date of late
March for power-sharing at Stormont.


Angry Republicans And Unionists Aim To Derail Power Sharing Agreement

Liam Clarke

DISSIDENT republicans are organising meetings to protest
against Sinn Fein’s proposed support for the Police Service
of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Angry unionists are also rallying in opposition to the
Democratic Unionist party’s (DUP) plan to share power with
Sinn Fein. Both sets of meetings are being seen as an
attempt to derail the Irish and British governments’
efforts to secure a power sharing agreement by March 26
next year.

Hardline republicans say they intend to hold a public
debate in Toomebridge on Thursday to discuss policing and
that more will follow. A 12-strong steering group will meet
today to organise the meetings in an attempt to highlight
what they regard as a Sinn Fein sell-out. The steering
group includes members of Sinn Fein unhappy with their
leadership’s strategy, as well as representatives of the
Irish Republican Socialist party (IRSP) and 32-County
Sovereignty Movement, the political counterparts of the
INLA and the Real IRA.

Willie Gallagher, an IRSP representative on the group, said
the working title for the organisers was Concerned
Republicans. The group held a policing debate at Conway
Street Mill in Belfast last week. It was attended by 300
people, including a leading member of the IRA in north

“Afterwards we were approached by a lot of people,
including Sinn Fein members, demanding similar debates
around the country,” Gallagher said. “We were told Sinn
Fein is having private meetings on policing, but they are
geared towards the yes men. It is a closed shop.”

The Concerned Republicans group is considering mounting
political opposition to Sinn Fein, such as supporting
independent candidates in marginal constituencies if
assembly elections are called on March 7.

Gallagher condemned any threats against Sinn Fein leaders.
Last week Gerry Kelly, the party’s spokesman on policing,
showed journalists a letter from the PSNI saying dissidents
were planning to attack him.

“It is hard to either prove or discount such warnings, but
I would be sceptical of it,” Gallagher said.

“There is no way we would get into bed with people who are
conspiring to use violence against the Sinn Fein
leadership. If there was even a hint of that we wouldn’t
take part in it.”

Security sources are still concerned about dissident
attacks and believe the Real IRA has recruited significant
figures from the Provisionals’ north Armagh, east Tyrone
and south Derry brigades. According to Danny Kennedy, an
Ulster Unionist MLA, “security contacts are expressing
particular concern about north Armagh and the
Lurgan/Craigavon area”.

In April police discovered a car bomb in Lurgan and in
August they defused a bomb in a taxi.

Hardline unionists are planning strategies to put the DUP
off the idea of sharing power with Sinn Fein and to exploit
the divisions opening in the party.

Robert McCartney, leader of the UK Unionist party, said he
was aware that meetings critical of the DUP’s drift towards
power sharing will be held in Ballymena and Coleraine.


Stone Broke My Hand

By Stephen Breen
10 December 2006

Graveyard killer Michael Stone SMASHED hero security guard
Susan Porter's hand as he tried to assassinate Gerry Adams.

Brave Sue jammed her hand in Stormont's revolving door to
stop the crazed loyalist carrying out his murder-bid.

Sue only realised it was broken last week - a FORTNIGHT
after Stone's headline-grabbing rampage.

Said Sue "I just want to forget about it now - I'm no

The heroic Stormont security guard who disarmed loyalist
killer Michael Stone suffered a BROKEN HAND in the botched

Brave Susan Porter - who spoke exclusively to Sunday Life
after Stone's attempt to wipe out the Sinn Fein leadership
- had the fracture treated in hospital last week.

Ms Porter believes the injury was caused when she tried to
jam the revolving door as the crazed loyalist attempted to
barge into Parliament Buildings.

The ex-RUC officer, who served 22 years in south Armagh and
south Down, also told how she suffered from shock after the

Said Susan: "I went back to work the next day, but I now
believe I was suffering from shock because I couldn't focus
on anything. I couldn't even sleep properly.

"It was only a number of days after the incident that the
enormity of what happened sank in.

"It's still hard to believe. My head was up in the clouds."

She added: "I went back to work straight away and am still
at work.

"My hand was very sore in the days after what happened and
that's when the hospital told me I had broken it.

"I have been offered a holiday by my employers and I can't
thank them enough. It will be great to get away and just

"I don't know what people are saying about Stormont, but I
just want to forget about it now because I'm no hero."

Sunday Life can also reveal that Ms Porter, who received a
death-threat from the INLA while working as a police
officer, was a popular good Samaritan while stationed in

Said a source in the town: "Susan was great during her time
in Downpatrick. She gave gifts to the kids in Apple Tree
House (a children's home) and also helped the local

"The kids at the home loved her and many people in the town
immediately recognised her when she was on TV tackling

"When she was investigating crimes in Downpatrick, she also
left money for people but she never wanted any credit for

"She was regarded as an angel because of her kind gestures
and she served all sections of the community.

"She may have been under threat in the past, but there's no
way anyone would threaten her now because of what she did
at Stormont."

In a separate development, it has emerged that former
comrades of Michael Stone have been writing to him in
prison to express their disgust at his actions at Stormont.


Opin: Shock And Awe Come Home To Roost For Bush’s Neo-Cons

10 December 2006 By Tom McGurk

What now for the neo-cons? What now for the war on terror?
Has any US president - apart from Richard Milhous Nixon
when he received his impeachment documentation - been
handed a report quite like the Baker Report George Bush got
on Wednesday?

Led by former US secretary of state James Baker, a
Republican, and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton,
the Iraq Study Group report can be summarised thus: (1)
There is no victory possible in Iraq.(2) The US must be
prepared to cut and run. (3) The ‘axis of evil’ powers,
Iran and Syria, must be brought into the equation. (4) The
current policy on Israel/ Palestine must change. (5) The
Iraq situation now threatens to destabilise the entire
Middle East.

In short, US foreign policy in Iraq has reached meltdown
and unless something is done - and nobody is quite sure
what can be done – the Middle East region will come apart.

One outcome not beyond the imagination is the collapse of
Iraq in to separate religious entities, with Kurdistan
breaking away, Saudi Arabia supporting Iraqi Sunnis and
Iran supporting the Iraqi Shias. The knock-on effect for an
already unstable Lebanon - probably leading to another
Hezbollah engagement with Israel - could provoke an
international crisis of epic proportions. Factor into all
this the determination of the jihadis to ferment crisis
whenever possible, and the scenario becomes a nightmare.

It is perhaps worth recalling that this was prompted by the
neo-conservative ideology that saw the US bringing freedom
and democracy to the world. The reality of this Pax
Americana is quite different of course, and the
implications for the entire globe are still emerging. On
September 20, 2002, the new American defence doctrine -
predicated on what it called pre-emptive action to be taken
unilaterally if necessary - replaced the previous doctrine
of deterrence and containment.

Despite the fact that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had no part in
the 9/11 attacks and was actually hostile to
fundamentalism, with secular traditions in advance of any
other Arab state, it was attacked. According to that now-
infamous document submitted to the US Congress: ‘‘The 20th
century ended with a decisive victory for the forces of
freedom - and a single sustainable model for national
success: freedom, democracy and free enterprise.”

In fact, the Pax Americana was about making the rest of the
world more like America. As a project, its arrogance was
extraordinary. Buoyed by the collapse of eastern European
totalitarianism, the neocons were convinced that American
hegemony was the future for the 21st century. But such a
role requires three factors, and there is considerable
doubt as to whether the US can deliver on any of them.

First, that sort of imperial global ambition requires the
economic strength to support such a role. Second, it
assumes that the US has the will to sustain it, and, third,
that the rest of the world would be ready to accept it.

Even on the single question of economic strength, the US
economy, full of international investment - particularly
Saudi Arabian money - does not enjoy financial

By contrast, at the beginning of the 20th century when
Britain ruled a third of the planet, it was the world’s
largest capital exporter and, at one stage, one third of
its wealth was invested overseas. Today, the US is the
biggest importer of world capital. So how can it use its
hegemonic power, since it is limited in its freedom of
action by this fact?

Unlike the Gulf War, which was paid for by the coalition of
nations, the US bill for Iraqis now heading towards a
trillion dollars. Quite apart from the body count and the
international implications, the US has finally begun to
look at the cash bill for this Iraq adventure.

All of this raises further questions as to how much the
White House understands about the nature of neo-colonial
wars. Bombing people to bits and invading countries to
bring them freedom and democracy is, to put it mildly, a
hazardous course of action. From the outset, the Bush
administration fundamentally misunderstood the political
nature of the Iraqi regime.

Created in 1919 out of western oil demands, Britain and
France designed Iraq by the subtraction of other invented
nations, such as Syria and Jordan. Its three constituent
elements never made for a homogenous state and, since its
creation, it has only been held together by one form of
tyranny or another.

What the US invasion has done is to strip away what existed
of the original Iraqi state - and the US is now exposed to
its constituent elements. What the neo-cons have never
understood is that the most powerful forces in these types
of societies are not financial or even democratic, but
religious, ethnic, nationalistic and cultural.

Irrespective of what banner the foreign soldiers come
under, irrespective of what they may be offering, they are
invaders to the indigenous peoples.

These indigenous forces first react by unifying against the
invader and then by seeking out their tribal opposites to
fight, in order to begin laying down their claims to
whatever political structures are going to emerge from the
chaos. That is where Iraqis today.

And exactly what does democracy mean to them? Can you
imagine what they must make of democracy when, as they
survey their estimated 600,000 dead, they contemplate the
fact that it was the leading democratic society in the
western world that did this to them?

The US has also acted in this fashion as a means,
apparently, of defending itself. After 9/11, the first
major foreign attack ever on the US, they determined that
it must never happen again. The reality that the US must
learn to live with is that it cannot guarantee its

Despite having weapons technology beyond what was
imaginable only a generation ago, it must accept that, in
the age of the determined suicide bomber, there is no
ultimate defence.

Beyond all this, the sober reality is that the age of
globalisation is not ushering in an era of global
governance, but is in fact producing a rebirth of ‘empire’.
Imperial governance is being reinvented as the only remedy
for failed states: Bosnia, Afghanistan, Kosovo and now
presumably, after Baker, increasingly involving
international enterprises such as the UN, Nato and the EU.
These are not and will not be projections of American
power, but at least they are not expansionist in their
aims, being rather defensive and cooperative. Will the neo-
cons learn their lesson?

And will the powerful fundamentalist Christian forces,
allied to Zionists in the US, that support Bush’s fantasies
within the Republican Party, now take heed? The more
frightening prospect is that they might well regard all
this as the day of Armageddon for which they have been so
dutifully praying.


Opin: Neo-Cons In Disarray

By Finch Sunday, Dec 10 2006, 3:43am
International / Injustice/Law / Commentary

Washington today is characterised by neo-cons running for
cover as reality presses in on their delusional world. It’s
every psychopath and criminal for him/herself as
uncertainty grips the culpable. Neo-cons and their support
networks are abandoning the new American century (delusion)
for the hard reality of rapid American decline and the very
real prospect of facing war crimes tribunals. The recent
utterings of arch-neocon, Richard Perle, attempting to lay
blame on the imbecile, Bush, reveals panic at the highest
levels; but it’s far too late to evade responsibility, the
world is very familiar with the criminal perpetrators of
the whole neo-con fiasco.

No amount of apologising from the Bush administration will
resurrect one of the hundreds of thousands of innocent
Iraqi DEAD – the culpable must now pay for their crimes.
Wolfowitz and Perle’s Trotskyist dream of perpetual war and
the dominance of American militarism has encountered the
real world of tenacious resistance – people defending their
traditional lands and homes rarely submit. A rabble of
badly trained and ill-equipped fighters is defeating the
world’s largest super power. The whole world has learnt
that America is incapable of successfully waging a
sustained guerilla campaign. The nation’s military
strategists have mistakenly concentrated on state conflict
at the expense of post-modern warfare. Failure to address
all aspects of modern warfare (including occupation) is
proving to be extremely costly for the bereft American

Sanity is once again slowly asserting itself in Washington.
The Bush dynasty is in death throws and signals the demise
of other cabals, cliques and milieux that imagine they
control the fate of the world.

The people have a perfect opportunity to insist on
implementations that would allow for intervention in the
event that any future government turns rogue. Failure to
demand sweeping social reforms would allow power to move
(East) into the hands of Asian elites. It is critical that
the people demand justice and demonstrate to their Asian
brothers and sisters that minority rule is untenable in
today’s world.

It would be extremely difficult for the leaders of the
coalition to survive a war crimes tribunal given the many
lies they foisted on a ‘terrorist’ primed public. No
manoeuvre or avoidance tactic exists that could spare them
in a court of Law. The only hope for these felons would be
a complacent, apathetic public that defers to denial rather
than justice.

It is astounding that advisers to conservative leaders
continue to cling to tired and failed strategies of social
manipulation. Today's Australian headlines carried an (old)
alarmist story of fluid restrictions on international
flights – if terrorist threats were anywhere near the level
that lying conservatives would have us believe then why
haven't any attempts been made on the lives of Howard,
Blair or Bush? It should not be forgotten that
assassination is regarded as a relatively simple and
readily accessible political option. The existence of
expert Muslim snipers is an established fact, assassinating
one of these puppet leaders presents little challenge for
even an amateur assassin.

The notion that a group of Arab criminals numbering less
than the American Mafia constitutes a real threat to the
secular democracies of the world is ridiculous. The easiest
targets of greatest political value for the ‘terrorists’
are the three leaders of the coalition of willing invaders;
with the possible exception of the much hated Bush, the two
Prime Ministers, particularly Howard, have remarkably
little security considering their daily habits and
routines. If the degree of threat posed by ‘terrorists’
were as great as that claimed by the conservatives, then
Bush, Blair or Howard would have been assassinated long

We can expect many more desperate manoeuvres and a barrage
of distracting tactics from the coalition of willing
criminals; I am sure that no effort will be spared to save
their miserable hides from the courts.


Opin: Hain Needs To Keep His Nerve And Tackle Vile Unionist Homophobia

Liam Clarke

Peter Hain is right to push through regulations prohibiting
discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in
Northern Ireland. Now the secretary of state needs to hold
his nerve and bring in the legislation next year,
regardless of the opposition he will encounter in
tomorrow’s assembly debate on the issue.

The Democratic Unionist party, which is leading the charge
against the introduction of the Equality Act (Sexual
Orientation) Regulations (NI) 2006, will argue its case on
procedural grounds. The regulations, it will claim, are
still out at consultation in Britain and should be delayed
until a power- sharing assembly is created and a local
minister can take the decision.

That sort of argument won the day on the issue of academic
selection for secondary schools, but where legislation
covering basic human rights is concerned, different
considerations apply. In the case of equality legislation,
justice delayed is justice denied. It it also storing up
trouble for the future.

The establishment of a devolved government is by no means a
foregone conclusion. There are signs that the DUP and Sinn
Fein are unwilling to take the hard decisions necessary to
share power for the foreseeable future. Many now believe
the government’s latest deadline of March 26 will meet the
same fate as those that preceded it. People are already
talking about autumn 2007 as a possible date for an

Another school of thought has it that even if the March
deadline is achieved, then having to deal with legislation
of this sensitivity early on could put a severe strain on
the executive. A Sinn Fein minister would push it through
to howls of protest while a DUP minister would attempt to
delay and stymie it. The whole issue would end up being
kicked into the long grass of appeal mechanisms, cross-
community votes and, possibly, the courts.

If Northern Ireland were exempted from legislation that is
eventually adopted in Britain, as it would be, then there
would be every opportunity to test cases right up to the
European Court of Human Rights.

In terms of realpolitik there is an overwhelming case for
the British government to deal with this issue now and
remove it from the politics of veto and wheeler-dealing
that rule the roost at Stormont.

The government must realise there is no chance of this
legislation being dealt with sensibly because the DUP, the
largest party in Northern Ireland, and some sections of the
Ulster Unionist party are opposed to extending the rights
of citizenship to homosexuals, despite having a number of
open or closet homosexuals in their ranks.

Both parties opposed the extension of homosexual civil
partnerships to Northern Ireland, but shortly afterwards it
emerged that Stephen King, one of the UUP’s advisers at the
time, had concluded a civil partnership with his long-
standing boyfriend in Canada.

The DUP’s Ian Paisley Jr responded by demanding King be
sacked. “I find this sort of relationship immoral,
offensive and obnoxious,” he said, while simultaneously
denying he was homophobic.

Asked if he had felt comfortable dealing with Peter
Mandelson, the former secretary of state who lived with his
male lover at Hillsborough Castle, Paisley replied: “At
least Peter Mandelson did not promote his relationship to
the degree that he would go away and get married or create
a civil partnership.”

Paisley seemed to be advocating a policy of “don’t ask,
don’t tell” rather than taking a moral stance. The argument
seemed to be that discreet or furtive homosexual forays
were preferable to an open commitment to a long-term
relationship. The DUP is the last party in which it would
be possible for gays or lesbians to be open about their
sexual orientation.

The sort of harassment they might be subjected to was there
for all to see in the boorish behaviour of Arthur
Templeton, a DUP councillor, who taunted John Blair, a
homosexual who stood against Templeton as a rate payers’
candidate. Templeton’s behaviour was awful and he was
arrested, fined and eventually suspended from the party.
The bigotry he displayed was reminiscent of Ian Paisley
Sr’s Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign against homosexual
law reform, which was launched in 1977 and defeated in the
European Court of Human Rights in 1981.

At least Templeton was suspended from the DUP after being
dragged through the courts. Not so Maurice Mills, the
Ballymena DUP councillor who said last year that Hurricane
Katrina was God’s judgment on a planned gay pride parade in
New Orleans. He said the burning down of a hall in which a
gay meeting was planned was a “direct hit” by the Almighty.

No doubt George Dawson, the DUP MLA who is leading the
opposition to the introduction of the equality bill, would
not indulge in the same sort of boorish behaviour as
Templeton, but he has a history of scaremongering on the
issue of homosexuality.

He is also a luminary of the Caleb foundation, which was
set up to oppose homosexual law reform, and he is the grand
master of the Independent Orange Order. He warned last June
that legalising gay civil partnerships would lead to
demands for gay polygamy. He quoted Advocate, a rather
fanciful American gay and lesbian magazine, instead of the
Bible in support of that view.

However, his more usual argument is that the Bible bans
homosexuality and it therefore offends against the rights
of fundamentalist Christians to have to sell goods and
services to gay people.

A Caleb briefing paper focuses on the dilemma of B&B
owners. “For evangelical Christians, who believe
homosexuality is wrong, to be forced into providing a
homosexual couple with a double room would be facilitating

Homosexuality is described as the sin of sodomy that led
God to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah after the
inhabitants of Sodom threatened to rape three male angels
sent to assess the situation. But biblical evidence that
homosexuality was the sin of Sodom is weak. In Ezekiel 16,
God said: “This was the sin of your sister Sodom. She and
her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they
did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did
detestable things before me.”

By this reckoning, inhospitality, smugness and greed were
the sins of Sodom. On that basis it is the born-again B&B
owner, who looks down his nose at his guests and turns them
out, who might face fire and brimstone.

Elsewhere in the Bible, loving relationships between men
are described with approval. The most notable example is
the doomed passion of David and Jonathan, a love that David
said “surpasses the love of women” and which King Saul,
Jonathan’s father, attempted to break up with tragic

But that was the Old Testament, where God frequently judges
and punishes. If the New Testament is to be believed,
Christ was a friend to prostitutes and sinners. He
tolerated the failings of others and preached tolerance to
those with whom we disagreed.

If Dawson is reading this he may respond that the devil can
quote scripture and he may well put some other
interpretation on the passages cited. He might even be
right. But in matters of politics and human rights, one’s
personal religious and moral views can seldom be regarded
as paramount or imposed on others.

It was arguments from inflexible moral principle that,
under the old Stormont parliament, led to Sabbatarian rules
such as locking up children’s swings and gave rise to the
joke about “spending a week in Belfast one Sunday”.

It is precisely to prevent a return to that sort of
timewarp Ulster, and to guard against paralysis in any new
executive, that Hain should press ahead with the reforms
and not listen to the DUP’s arguments for delay.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Blog: The Maze.

Much has been said and recorded about the experience of
those who were imprisoned in Long Kesh/Maze prison in N
Ireland. Now for the first time a new web site has been
launched to record the experience of officers who worked
there. The web site is The
videos below tell of both loyalist and republican inmate
experiences. They are quite long, around 1 hour long, but
are very informative.

Posted by martin at 5:27 AM

Martin Ingram is a Freelance Journalist, & former British
Army Intelligence Officer, he is the co author of the best
seller Book Stakeknife. (contact)

(Poster’s Note: Check this blog to see two videos on the
Maze. Or check the following:,GGLG:2006-02,GGLG:en&q=%22Long+Kesh%22&sa=N&tab=nv


Lennon Offered To Sing For The IRA

Beatle was so incensed by Bloody Sunday in 1972 that he met
leading Belfast Provo in New York

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday December 10, 2006
The Observer

John Lennon met the IRA and offered to sing at a
fundraising concert for republicans after Bloody Sunday,
according to a new book about the murdered Beatle out next

The pacifist singer was so incensed about the British
army's killing of 13 unarmed demonstrators in Derry in 1972
that he agreed to hold talks with an IRA representative in
New York shortly afterwards. But such was Lennon's confused
thinking about Ireland that during his talks with a leading
Belfast Provo he also suggested doing a gig for working-
class Northern Ireland Protestants.

Lennon's relationship with the IRA is confirmed by the
Provos' former 'Belfast Brigade' press officer, Gerry
O'Hare, in an interview with rock n'roll biographer Johnny
Rogan. O'Hare, who later left the Provisional IRA and
pursued a career in Irish journalism, said the Provos' high
command sent him over to New York on a speaking tour
shortly after Bloody Sunday. Through republican contact in
the city, O'Hare linked up with Lennon.

'You see in New York there were Irish Americans who kept
him [Lennon] briefed. I was over on a speaking tour and a
guy said to me, "would you like to meet John Lennon?"
Within two days I was in his presence,' O'Hare said.

Lennon had recorded political agitprop songs such as
'Sunday Bloody Sunday' and 'Luck Of The Irish', donated
royalties to the Civil Rights Movement and had joined anti-
internment marches the previous year. O'Hare, who in the
early Seventies operated under the nom de guerre of 'S
O'Neil', said the IRA leadership regarded Lennon as a
useful ally.

'He was taken very seriously because he offered to do two
concerts - one in Dublin and one in Belfast. When I was in
New York I met him briefly through a contact whose name I
do not want to divulge. I went up to the apartment and I
asked Lennon was he serious about all this. He said he was,
but his problem was that if he left America he might not be
able to get back in again and he was frightened about this.

'So I came back and told the people on our side, "he wants
to do it, but this is his big problem." And then, of
course, it faded from our priorities. But I did speak to
him myself. He knew who I was and where I was coming from.
He said he'd do it all right.'

O'Hare tells Rogan he was convinced that Lennon was
dedicated to the Irish republican cause even if he appeared
confused about the conflict.

'You have to think of the time. There was nobody bigger
than the Beatles, and John Lennon was espousing his
working-class values. We [the IRA] were thinking, "This is
brilliant, how did he get away with it?"... Whether he
[Lennon] was [just] caught up in the emotion, I don't

'He gave me the impression he was genuine. I said, "that's
fine".' The upshot of it was that he said he would love to
do a concert, but if he did it he insisted on doing one in
Belfast too. I got the impression that he was very anxious
to do one for the Protestant community as well.

'In the end he just explained to me, "I have a difficulty,
my lawyers are fighting this. There's a lot of things I
want to do and I badly want to go back home".' He kept
saying "back home" and I presumed he meant London or
Liverpool or whatever. Finally, he said, "until such time
as that, this will have to be put on the long finger." So
it was left to the guy who introduced me to him, that if it
were ever going to happen then he would be the contact and
we would do what we had to do on this side. But nothing
ever happened.'

Rogan has also uncovered still classified FBI files on
Lennon, which, he claims confirms MI5 whistleblower David
Shayler's allegation that the British security services
spied on Lennon because of the star's support for Irish

'Lennon: The Albums' by Johnny Rogan is published next
month by Calidore-Music Sales; £12.99.


Irish In Radioactive Alert

SIX Irish guests who stayed at the London hotel where
Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with a radioactive
substance have been urged to seek medical attention, writes
John Burns. They are among hundreds of people who will be
tested for polonium-210 after seven staff at the Millennium
hotel, in Mayfair, tested positive.

Department of Foreign Affairs officials have been spending
the weekend making contact with the six, who stayed in the
hotel between October 31 and November 2. A spokesman said
they did not want to alarm any of the Irish visitors, as
the risk to their health was likely to be very low.

The six are being urged to contact their GPs and seek a
medical assessment from the Health Service Executive. The
British Foreign Office passed details of the Irish hotel
guests to Iveagh House yesterday.

John Reid, the British home secretary, is furious with
public-health chiefs for taking a fortnight to discover
hotel staff had been contaminated with the radioactive
poison that killed Litvinenko.The Health Protection Agency
kew by November 24 significant traces of radiation were
being found at the hotel, yet it was not until last
Thursday that it announced seven bar workers had tested
positive. Officials say they wanted to wait until all the
results were in.


Haughey Is Named In US Court Proceedings

10 December 2006 By Ian Kehoe

The former taoiseach Charles Haughey has been named in US
court documents in relation to a major international court
action into the thoroughbred industry.

Haughey, along with former minister for health Dr John
O’Connell, has been named in court pleadings because of
their relationship with the late Mahmoud Fustok, a wealthy
Arab horse dealer and an adviser to the Kingdom of Saudi

Jess Jackson, a US billionaire, is taking a number of court
actions in the US in relation to claims that he was
defrauded out of millions of dollars when he purchased
thoroughbred horses and stud farms.

In one court action, Jackson is alleging that international
sale advisor Emmanuel de Seroux, trainer Bruce Headley and
bloodstock agent Brad Martin conspired to inflate the price
of a Kentucky horse farm in order to receive more than
$500,000 in kick-backs.

The case relates to Buckram Oak, a 46 9-acre farm that
Jackson bought from Fustok for $17.5 million last year.
Jackson is claiming that a now defunct Irish company,
Continental Bloodstock, was used to funnel millions of
dollars in relation to this fraud. Court documents filed in
recent days list O’Connell and Haughey as associates of
Fustok, but do not make any allegations against either of
them in relation to this court action. Instead, they draw
reference to the fact that O’Connell acted as a conduit for
a £50,000 payment Fustok made to the late taoiseach for a
passport in 1985.

In a separate action, Jackson, who owns Kendell-Jackson
wine estates, is claiming that he was defrauded out of $2
million by agents involved in horse trading. As part of the
high-profile US court case, Jackson is taking depositions
from two Irish businessmen and examining three Irish

The two men are Stephen McClure, a Terenure-based
businessman, and Maurice Clifford, a partner in the Dublin
accountancy firm Clifford Desmond & Associates. They will
be asked questions about three Dublin companies: Finsbury
Bloodstock, Aleyrion Bloodstock and Dancerton Properties.

According to documents lodged in US courts, Jackson
believes that Finsbury was involved in the sale of five
horses for $1.7 million. He believes that more than
$300,000 of that formed an illegal commission.

He believes that Aleyrion was involved in one further sale,
while Dancerton did not buy a horse but did pay a

Jackson has not made any allegations against either of the
two men, but believes they have crucial information
relating to his overall court action. He believes they know
whether a number of international agents received
commission from both parties of a sale - an illegal act
under California law.


Friel Classic Goes Back To Broadway

10 December 2006 By Niall Stanage in New York

A quarter of a century after its American premiere, one of
Brian Friel’s most acclaimed plays will return to Broadway
next month under the direction of Garry Hynes.

Set in 1833, Translations, which Friel once described as
‘‘about language and only about language’’, will begin
previews at the Biltmore Theatre in New York on January 4
in preparation for its official opening on January 25.
Friel, Hynes and the cast will be hoping that Translations
replicates the success of a recent Broadway revival of
another play by the Omagh-born playwright, Faith Healer.

Although Faith Healer did not perform well in New York
during its first production in 1979, it swept all before it
earlier this year, playing to packed houses and earning
four Tony nominations.

Ian McDiarmid ultimately won a Tony for his performance as
an ageing Cockney impresario. Irish plays have been
enjoying a wave of success on Broadway. Faith Healer was
one of three Irish plays to be nominated for 2006 Tonys.
Martin McDonagh’s The Lieutenant of Inishmore received five
nominations, while Conor McPherson’s Shining City received
two, though neither ultimately won.

The financial rewards of a hit play can also be
considerable. Every week of well-attended performances on
Broadway can generate revenues of around $500,000.
Playwrights will often be paid around 3per cent of that
gross income.

In the case of Translations, however, there will not be any
businesspeople getting rich behind the scenes. The co-
producers of the play are the Manhattan Theatre Club and
New Jersey’s McCarter Theatre Center, both of which are
non-profit organisations. The Manhattan Theatre Club was
also the producer of Translations during its first Broadway
run in 1981.

The current project came about when the McCarter Theatre
Center was asked by Princeton University to put on a major
Irish play as part of a celebration of Irish drama. ‘‘I had
always wanted Garry Hynes to come here, so I called her and
she said yes,” said McCarter’s artistic director Emily

Hynes, a native of Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon, is a co-
founder of the Druid Theatre Company and the first woman
ever to win a Best Director Tony.

According to Mann, the two women discussed various plays
and kept being drawn back to Translations, ‘‘a play we had
both always loved and admired’’. The production played at
McCarter from October 8 to 29, earning rave reviews and
drawing big crowds. Mann estimates that it sold out about
75 per cent of all seats during its run in the 1,100-
capacity venue.

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