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December 14, 2006

SF: O'Loan Investigate Attack on Adams in 1984

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 12/14/06 O’Loan Investigate Attack On Adams In 1984
BT 12/14/06 War Is Over & Nowhere To Go; Adams Meets Orde
BT 12/14/06 Opin: Time Is Ticking Away On Policing Issue
BT 12/14/06 Opin: Emotional Blackmail: The Big Stick
BT 12/14/06 Emigration From Ulster Continues To Increase
BN 12/14/06 Yoko Ono Peace Tree To Be Unveiled In Dublin
RT 12/14/06 IMSR Critical Of Rescued Surfers

(On December 14, 1918 - Women in Britain vote for the first
time in a general election and are allowed to stand as
candidates. The first to be elected was Irish nationalist
Countess Markievicz of Sinn Fein, who could not take her
seat as she was in prison.)


Gerry Adams Calls For Ombudsman's Investigation Into Gun
Attack On Him In 1984

Published: 14 December, 2006

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has instructed his
solicitor to write to the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan
following the publication today of a report in the
Andersonstown news which links the RUC Special Branch to
the gun attack on him in March 1984. Mr. Adams was hit five
times and three others with him in the car were also shot.

The Andersonstown News report says that a former retired
RUC detective has confirmed to the North Belfast News that
a UDA informant, who was a double agent working for Special
Branch, told his handlers a week before the attack that it
was to take place.

Commenting on the report Mr. Adams said:

"This is not the first time that a source from within the
British system has confirmed that the UDA gang who carried
out the attack were colluding with the Special Branch and
British Military Intelligence.

In his book 'Big Boy's Rules' BBC reporter Mark Urban
confirmed some years ago that a British Military
Intelligence source confirmed to him that a UDA agent had
tipped them off about a plan to assassinate me.

I have asked my solicitor to write to Nuala O'Loan and ask
that his latest information be thoroughly investigated."


War Is Over & Nowhere Else To Go, As Adams Meets Orde

Brian Rowan
[Published: Thursday 14, December 2006 - 11:58]

A member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board has
described yesterday's PSNI-Sinn Fein meeting at Stormont as
"the beginning of the end of a long road".

Brendan Duddy was commenting after Sir Hugh Orde and Gerry
Adams, accompanied by senior delegations, met at Parliament
Buildings to discuss a range of policing issues.

The meeting took place yesterday more than four years after
the PSNI stormed Sinn Fein's offices in Stormont and
arrested Denis Donaldson - an incident which brought the
power-sharing Assembly down in its wake.

Mr Duddy - a Derry businessman - was the secret link
between the republican leadership and the British
Government in the pre-ceasefire years.

On Sinn Fein's efforts to achieve republican support for
policing, he said the leadership "need and deserve

"They need understanding for the journey that they have
taken to bring the republican-nationalist community to this
point," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"They have a major contribution to make and the sooner and
quicker the last barriers are cleared, the happier I will
be. I've waited a lifetime for this," he said.

He described the senior PSNI officers involved in
yesterday's talks as " professional" and as people who
"want policing to succeed" and to be "admired" across the

On republican moves towards involvement in policing, he
said, "There's no other road to take".

"The war's over," the Policing Board member said. "There's
nowhere else to go."

On the policing issue, he said Sinn Fein should not be
treated as " special" - they should get "what they are
entitled to", a view echoed by a police source, who spoke
to this newspaper.

"There will be no pandering to them. They will be treated
like everybody else."

Republicans are still negotiating on a range of issues
including a timeframe for the transfer of policing and
justice powers to local politicians and the future role of
MI5 here.

Gerry Adams has made clear he will only call a special Sinn
Fein ard fheis or party conference to debate and decide on
policing when he has answers to his questions.

No handshakes on camera, but there were in private

It's a picture that speaks a thousand words and more - a
picture full of detail and significance.

Forget that Gerry Adams and Sir Hugh Orde have met before.
In the past it has been behind closed doors.

Yesterday was different - the beginning of something new -
"the beginning of the end of a long road", to quote the
Derry businessman and Policing Board member Brendan Duddy.

There was no political cover for the Stormont meeting, no
one in the room to hold their hands.

It was the peelers and the Shinners € Gerry Adams and Hugh
Orde with senior delegations.

And, this time, there was a picture € a photograph that was
taken to be shown and seen.

The chief constable had his deputy Paul Leighton with him.

They were both in uniform, and, beside them, in a suit, was
Peter Sheridan € the senior officer who has command of the
Special Branch, the policing " dark side" as far as
republicans are concerned.

Gerry Adams brought his policing and justice spokesman
Gerry Kelly, the MP Michelle Gildernew and MLA Caitriona

There were no handshakes on camera, but there were in

Mr Adams opened the discussion, and, in the comments
afterwards, we heard what we expected.

It had been frank, professional and useful; a good meeting,
which at times was testing, and the chief constable thought
that was OK.

He's not interested in "nice conversations".

Yesterday was all of the above and more, and that picture
that set the scene was probably as important as anything
and everything that was said, when that door was closed and
the cameras left.


Because it tells republicans, shows them, lets them see
where this is going, and it does exactly the same within

Two sides need to be convinced about this process - not
just one.

And, after all that this place has been through,
relationships and trust are things that will take time to

You'd give a thousand pennies and more for the private
thoughts of those in that Stormont room yesterday - not
just the republicans, but also those sitting at the
policing side of the table.

Their meeting is part of a process € a process of making
peace after the fighting of the war and after so many
deaths on both sides.

For a long, long, time these two sides were enemies.

And they could spend forever talking about yesterday and
never getting to tomorrow.

Yes, of course, the past is important, but so are the
present and the future, and the looking back can't just be
about all of the stuff that republicans want to talk about
- the stuff that includes collusion and inquiries.

We have heard lots about how difficult this is for
republicans, about how tricky it is to manage this issue of
policing inside that community, and we know about the
threats to Gerry Adams and Gerry Kelly.

Ten years ago when he was based in Derry, the IRA was
targeting Peter Sheridan - the now assistant chief
constable, who sat in that Stormont meeting yesterday.

Who wants to talk about that now?

Who knows what he and his family had to live through those
ten years ago?

And there are many other similar stories.

This can't be about one side talking at the other.

It has to be about the two sides talking with and to each
other about the policing model of tomorrow and how
republicans fit into that.

"That photograph and that meeting was the beginning of the
end of a long road," Brendan Duddy believes, and he's very
clear about what now needs to happen.

"We all need to support dignified policing," he says.

And at the top of the police and at the level of the
republican leadership, he is convinced that there are
people who want to make this work.

"The leadership of the republican movement need and deserve
support," the Policing Board member argues.

"They need understanding for the journey that they have
taken to bring the republican-nationalist community to this

And what about the three senior PSNI officers who sat in
that Stormont room yesterday?

"They are professional," says Mr Duddy.

"They want policing to succeed," he continues, and he
believes they want it to be "admired" across the policing
world - admired for being good.

Getting republicans inside will be a huge achievement, and
it will take some more work - more talking and negotiation.

It's not done yet, and even, if the i's can be dotted and
t's crossed, the Adams-McGuinness-Kelly leadership will
still have a job of work to do inside their movement and
across their community.

It can be done; will be done, because as Mr Duddy says
"there's nowhere else to go".

So, remember the photograph - that picture of detail and
significance that was taken yesterday.

Remember who was in the photograph and what it was and what
it is they are talking about.

Think about how difficult such a meeting would have been
not that many years ago.

And ask yourself, would Mr Adams have gone into that room
if he didn't intend going further and taking others with

We know the answer to that question, and that's why Brendan
Duddy has got it right when he talks about this being the
beginning of the end of a long road.

The real talking on policing has begun, and it will

© Belfast Telegraph


Opin: Time Is Ticking Away On Policing Issue

[Published: Thursday 14, December 2006 - 11:41]

There are two ways of looking at the well-publicised
meeting between Sinn Fein and Chief Constable Sir Hugh
Orde. Either it was a genuine attempt by Gerry Adams to
sort out his party's remaining problems over policing, so
that he can win acceptance of the PSNI at a special Ard
Fheis, or it was another means of pressurising the
Government into further concessions that would upset the

Either way, there is precious little time for a solution to
emerge, satisfactory to both sides, before the Assembly
deadline on January 30. And the list of contentious
subjects on which Sinn Fein demand action appears to
lengthen with each high-level meeting.

That said, the fact that Sinn Fein was prepared to engage
with the Chief Constable at Stormont, rather than Downing
Street, is a mark of progress, at a time when dissident
republicans have issued threats against the party
leadership. All sides now accept that unless republicans
can endorse the policing and justice system inside the next
six weeks, there will be no deal and no election in March.

The other side of the bargain is that the DUP must commit
to sharing power with Sinn Fein, in accordance with the St
Andrews Agreement, and find some means of overcoming the
factions within their own ranks who resist power-sharing,
let alone the early transfer of policing and justice powers
to Stormont. Without progress on this front, the present
impasse will continue.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein are adopting a tough line in their
negotiations on policing, which will be difficult for the
PSNI and the Government to meet. They oppose the
introduction of MI5 into the equation, from its new
Holywood base; they want an end to plastic bullets and -
with no hint of irony - they demand "proper and effective
policing", operating through " the most rigorous,
efficient, accountable and transparent mechanisms".

Coming from an organisation which helped to conduct a 30-
year war against the RUC and the security forces, with
heavy casualties on both sides, this conversion to proper
policing is welcome. Yet Mr Adams has made so many
references to "human rights abusers" within the PSNI and
its " efforts to frustrate inquiries into collusion" that
the negotiations for a republican-approved police service
could be lengthy and difficult.

It goes without saying that republicans need fair,
impartial policing as much as unionists, and communities
are crying out for it. But it will only be delivered if
Sinn Fein and the DUP can reach some halfway house on what
are, at present, incompatible demands - for transfer of
policing powers by a specified date and for immediate,
full-blooded support for the PSNI. The clock is ticking.

© Belfast Telegraph


Opin: Emotional Blackmail: The Big Stick

[Published: Thursday 14, December 2006 - 11:11]

The DUP is clearly split over the way forward, says Robert
McCartney QC, MLA, UKUP, but did they permit a last-minute
clause to be added to the St Andrews legislation to ensure
they had a big bogeyman to rally voters next March - the
spectre of Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as First Minister?

Central to political brainwashing is the technique of
disorientation by which the subject is deprived of the
touchstones of present reality such as Time, Place and

When he or she is suitably prepared a new set of values is
introduced as the subject's old ones are washed down the
'memory hole'. The Unionist electorate is now being
similarly conditioned by the DUP to accept its new stance
as a 'born again' Pro-Agreement party.

Post St Andrews the dominant sentiment among remaining
party activists is one of deep confusion at the
leadership's U-turn. Indeed, it was clearly the leadership
intention to maintain that confusion until after the March
2007 election. But the party's efforts to keep its grass
roots in a state of unreasoning faith in its iconic leader
have not been entirely successful. For the first time a
significant number of his loyal supporters have questioned
the direction the party is taking. As a result, Dr Paisley
found it necessary to deny publicly that he would be party
to any 'sellout'. Yet by agreeing in principle to enter
into an enforced coalition with Sinn Fein upon any terms in
breach of the 2005 Manifesto, that is exactly what the DUP
leadership is intending to do.

Confusion and dissent are not limited to the party grass
roots support. They have become evident even within the
upper levels of the party hierarchy. The 12 dissenting
apostles minus one have maintained their opposition at the
Templepatrick meeting. That belief is supported by the
leader's call for party unity in his 'House Divided' speech
at the Kells meeting. Leaders only plead for unity when the
threat of division is an established fact.

The 'pragmatists' in the leadership are not, however, in
the least confused. They have already decided to go into
partnership with Sinn Fein, but wish to maintain confusion
about the terms on which they will do so until after the
election. Such uncertainty enables them to keep the
'unhappy apostles' on board until after the election. In
the meantime everything will be 'work in progress'.

Recently published emails from Ian Paisley jnr and Jeffrey
Donaldson reveal a touching naivety in claiming that the St
Andrews Agreement provides the mechanism for smashing the
Republican movement and destroying its ideology.

In their view, acceptance of the PSNI and agreement to
observe the rule of law will form the IRA's epitaph. Ian
jnr states "a Republican who accepts the police is no
longer a Republican". Such faith is appealing, but the real
response is that a Republican who infiltrates, let alone
runs the police, is a stronger Republican. Words alone will
not change the leopard's spots.

Jeffrey Donaldson, who as an Ulster Unionist opposed David
Trimble's policies, is now adapting one of Trimble's
reasons for power-sharing with Sinn Fein, by trotting out
the old bogeyman that if Unionists don't do the deal
something worse like joint authority is lurking in the

Faced with the prospect of dissent within their own grass
roots and the loss of the votes of anti-Agreement Ulster
Unionists who switched to the DUP in the last two
elections, the DUP 'pragmatists' had already devised a big
stick with which to herd a fearful Unionist electorate into
the polling booths on the party's behalf.

They recognised that as the DUP and the Ulster Unionists
were now both willing to enter an enforced coalition with
Sinn Fein their policies were indistinguishable.

As a result, anti-Agreement Unionists would have no place
to go to on election day and might stay at home or spoil
their ballot papers. A scheme of electoral emotional
blackmail had therefore to be devised to drive them to the
polling stations and give Ian Paisley their vote.

The St Andrews Agreement legislation has provided the DUP
with the necessary big stick to emotionally coerce
Unionists into voting for it at the expense of other
parties. Under the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which put
into law the Belfast Agreement, elected Assembly members
had to designate themselves Unionist, Nationalist, or
Other. The First and Deputy First Minister were elected by
cross-community vote. As Unionists were always the largest
designation they could not only nominate the First
minister, but also effectively block the nomination of
unsuitable candidates for the post of Deputy.

The DUP, on the basis that it would not vote for any Sinn
Fein candidate, negotiated a change whereby the largest
party in the largest designation would nominate the First
Minister. This would almost certainly have guaranteed the
DUP the right to nominate. However, at the very last moment
an astonishing clause was inserted which provided that it
was simply the largest party regardless of designation that
would have the right to nominate the First Minister. At a
stroke the spectre of Martin McGuinness as First Minister
arose, if Sinn Fein became the largest single party,
regardless of Unionists as a whole having many more seats
than Nationalists.

The identity of the party requiring the change remains
unknown, but certainly the DUP must have seen the draft
bill and were indeed warned of its significance by Jim
Allister MEP. Nevertheless, the DUP did not object to it.
As a party it could have said to the Government "if you
make this change we will break off negotiations for
devolution". At the very least it could have tabled an
amendment in the Commons debate. Not only did it not do so
but it 'talked out' a proposed Ulster Unionist amendment.
In the House of Lords the Ulster Unionists tabled and
debated an amendment, but the DUP did not.

There can only be one rational explanation for the DUP's
acquiescence - namely that the change provided the DUP with
a weapon that it could use for its own electoral advantage.
The symbolic and morale-boosting effect of a Unionist First
Minister was to be put at risk for selfish party gain. Like
the tactic employed by the DUP in past European elections,
the proposed March Assembly election would not be about
policies or truth. Instead it would be turned into a
contest between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness. The DUP
election machine will then churn out the threat and wield
the emotional blackmailing stick that if Unionists do not
turn out to vote and make the DUP the single largest party,
then Martin McGuinness could conceivably be the First
Minister of Northern Ireland.

Unionists will not therefore be asked to vote for the DUP
because they support that party's new pro-Agreement policy,
but to vote for the DUP in order to stop Martin McGuinness
becoming First Minister.

This is a high risk strategy by the DUP that deliberately
puts in danger the wider interests of the Unionist people
for its own narrow political gain.

What greater hypocrisy can their be than to create a
situation detrimental to the Unionist community and then
blackmail the electorate into voting for the party that
failed to prevent it.

It becomes clear with every passing day that none of the
DUP's 'work in progress' will become 'work satisfactorily
completed' by the date of the March election. If the
election nevertheless takes place, the Unionist people will
be asked to give the DUP a blank cheque by voting for it.

Doubtless the party's manifesto will contain pledges and
promises as to the terms and conditions upon which it will
enter an enforced coalition government with Sinn Fein.

But the electorate would do well to simply remember the
pledge which that party gave in its general election
manifesto last year: 'Inclusive mandatory coalition
government which includes Sinn Fein under D'Hondt or any
other system is out of the question.'

© Belfast Telegraph


Emigration From Ulster Continues To Increase

[Published: Thursday 14, December 2006 - 11:34]
By By Tom Calverley and Dominic O'Neill

More than 2,300 people moved abroad from Northern Ireland
last year, according to a report published by a leading
think tank.

The Institute for Public Policy Research study calculated
that at least 5.5 million people born in the UK now live

'Brits Abroad: Mapping the scale and nature of British
emigration' revealed that Australia and Spain are the most
popular destinations, with 1.3 million and 761,000 resident
Britons respectively.

The US and Canada have over 600,000 Brits each, while the
Republic of Ireland took fifth place with 291,000 UK

While English speaking countries topped the list, the poll
found increasing numbers of emigrants heading for Asian

The overall number of UK citizens moving permanently abroad
doubled between 2001 and 2005, from 53,000 a year to

And a BBC national poll this July claimed that more than
half of UK citizens have considered emigrating in their
life time, with 13% hoping to in the near future - almost
twice the number asked the question in 2003.

Young people were the most likely to want to leave with a
quarter saying they were hoping to live abroad.

But increased emigration is matched by rising immigration.
The Northern Irish and Statistics Research Agency recorded
a net gain of 6,671 persons in Ulster in 2005.

Dr Patrick Fitzgerald, lecturer at the Centre for Migration
Studies, Omagh, revealed: "Our focus on inward migration
has overshadowed continued emigration.

"We are getting 'lifestyle' migration with people moving in
significant levels for warmer weather, cheaper fuel and
property, particularly in the Costas of Spain.

"'Brain Drain' is a major issue. Students are still reliant
on universities in Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
Internal migration can lead to onward migration and a loss
of skills to the Northern Ireland economy.

"People still need to leave Northern Ireland for
educational economic and employment reasons, though perhaps
not to the extent they did in the seventies and eighties."

Young looking abroad for future in the sun

With a recent poll suggesting one in four young people want
to emigrate abroad, we asked students at Belfast's Queen's
University why so many people are seeking better lives
abroad, and if they would consider it.

Rick Colligan (18), from Newtonabbey, working in PR, said:
"I was planning to live abroad, maybe Spain. I was going to
go out there to work. I haven't changed my mind, I'll
probably go next year. Why do people leave Northern
Ireland? It's too cold for a start. People want a change of

Brett Zych (18), from Ardglass, studying management and
Spanish, said: " I have to go away and live in Spain in my
third year anyway. That's why I picked the course. Northern
Ireland is cold and the people are all the same. I fancy a
change. I need to meet new people. I want to do something
different. I don't want to live at home all my life."

Sophie Dinsmore (19), from Belfast, studying social
anthropology, said: " The opportunities are very limited in
Northern Ireland. It's getting better. It's getting more
diverse. But me and my boyfriend are planning to start up a
clothing company and the market here is restricted."

Rachel McKinney (20), an exchange student from Pensacola,
Florida, studying chemistry and psychology, said: "I've
been here four months, it's cold but I like it. I'm going
home in a few weeks, though I don't know if I'm staying
there. I think people move abroad just for new, different
things. Everyone thinks somewhere else is better, no one's
happy where they are any more."

Laura Sands (19), from Warrenpoint, studying computer
science, said: "I would like to go away for a while for the
experience and to broaden my horizons. But I'll always want
to return to Northern Ireland. All my family and friends
are here."

Liam Gault (19), from west Belfast, is studying English at
Queen's. He said: "Yeah I'd definitely live abroad. For
work when I leave university, I reckon I would. I'd like to
work in journalism or to teach English in other countries.
I like northern Spain, Barcelona, I'm thinking of studying
over there. It's such a small place here, there's not many

© Belfast Telegraph


Yoko Ono Peace Tree To Be Unveiled In Dublin

14/12/2006 - 07:31:09

A 300-year-old "peace tree" donated by Yoko Ono will be
unveiled in Dublin’s Temple Bar later today.

The tree, to be planted on Cow’s Lane, will raise awareness
of human rights abuses in Darfur.

The ceremony will be part of a three-day event transforming
the cultural quarter into a multi-cultural venue.

More than 50 stallholders from 12 countries, including
Morocco, Peru, Brazil and China, will be displaying their
traditional crafts, gifts, clothing, jewellery and food
during the event.

An ethical and fair-trade Green Santa and performers
dressed in traditional Burundian costume will also bring
some festive cheer to the city.

The Christmas Fete, on Essex Street West in Old City Temple
Bar, will run until Sunday.


IMSR Critical Of Rescued Surfers

14 December 2006 11:45

Three surfers who got into trouble off the Cliffs of Moher
last month have been severely criticised by the Irish
Marine Search and Rescue.

The surfers refused assistance from the Shannon Coast Guard
helicopter on the basis that their surf boards were not
going to be taken onboard.

The IMSR committee said today their behaviour was
completely unacceptable to the rescue agency and to the
maritime community that it represents.

The committee said it was totally unacceptable,
reprehensible and dangerously irresponsible for those who
seek recreation on Irish waters to place themselves in
undue peril in the expectation that the rescue services
will respond.

The surfers were eventually rescued by the Doolin Coast
Guard Unit boat and transferred to the Aran Islands

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