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December 15, 2006

SF: Publilsh Stevens Report Into Collusion

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 12/14/06 Publish In Full Stevens Reports Into Collusion
BT 12/16/06 Minister Plan By DUP Fails
BN 12/15/06 SF: DUP Paper On Policing Crazy
BT 12/15/06 Police Federation In Call To Sinn Fein
IN 12/15/06 Appeal For ‘Ownership’ Of Policing
NW 12/16/06 Donaldson Says Sinn Fein Must Act
BT 12/16/06 Parties Blasted For Secrecy On Key Committee
BT 12/15/06 New Adams Murder Claims Sparks Ombudsman Call
IN 12/16/06 How Hamill Inquiry Witnesses Will Give Evidence
BT 12/15/06 McCord: Why Did Unionists Not Help Me?
IM 12/15/06 Sinn Féin Demands Release Of All IRA Prisoners
IN 12/16/06 Pain Of Paramilitary-Style ‘Justice’
BB 12/15/06 Defence In Call Over Omagh Case
BB 12/15/06 Convicted Killer's Assets Frozen
NW 12/16/06 Councillor Backs Undocumented Irish In USA
IN 12/16/06 Opin: Families Deserve Inquiry Into Collusion
IT 12/16/06 Opin: Showtime For North's Refuseniks
BT 12/15/06 Belfast's Finest Captured On Camera
SN 12/14/06 AOH Names Harringtons Irish Man & Woman Of Year


Call To Publish In Full Stevens Reports Into Collusion

Published: 14 December, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Truth issues Philip McGuigan said
that the fact the British system today published in full
John Stevens report into allegations of British
Intelligence involvement in the death of the a British
royal in Paris ten years ago set a clear precedent and he
called for the immediate publication of Stevens two reports
into collusion in the six counties.

Mr McGuigan said:

"John Stevens today published in full a lengthy report into
the death in Paris ten years ago of a British royal amid
allegations of the British Intelligence agency involvement.

"John Stevens has completed three separate inquiries into
the involvement of British State agencies, including the
Special Branch in the murder of citizens in the six
counties. All but one of these reports have been completely
suppressed while the one eventually published was heavily
edited. At the launch of the last report Stevens did
however publicly acknowledge that collusion happened.

"A clear precedent has been set today by the British State.
They cannot have it both ways. They cannot simply decide to
publish reports which support their position or vindicate
their agencies. It is now time to publish in full the
Stevens reports into British State murder here and for the
policy of concealment and cover-up to end." ENDS


Minister Plan By DUP Fails

[Published: Friday 15, December 2006 - 11:35]
By By Noel McAdam

A DUP proposal that a Justice Minister should be appointed
outside the power-sharing Executive has been rejected by
the other main parties.

A paper put forward by the DUP at the policing and justice
sub-group of the Programme for Government committee could
have meant an Alliance party representative becoming the
first Minister for Justice.

DUP Assembly member Arlene Foster said the paper was an
attempt to move the deadlocked situation over policing

And she added that if Sinn Fein signs up to policing "they
will not find us wanting" in relation to power-sharing.

Sinn Fein, Ulster Unionists and the SDLP rejected the key
DUP proposal that the Justice minister should not be
appointed under the d'Hondt system for the Executive.

Instead, it is understood, the prospective Minister would
require a 70%-plus vote yet not have a seat in the power-
sharing Executive.

Alliance leader David Ford, whose party is excluded from
the Programme for Government committee and its sub-groups,
said today he had not had time to study the DUP paper.

But Sinn Fein dismissed it as "crazy stuff. What they were
suggesting was effectively a unionist veto and in
particular a DUP veto over who would be minister. Everybody
bar them thought this was unacceptable," a source said.

"There was no mention in their document of a time-frame for
the devolution of policing and justice powers when
everybody and their granny knows that the only way this is
going to be unlocked is for a date for policing and justice
powers to be transferred."

Ulster Unionist senior negotiator Alan McFarland told the
BBC Hearts and Minds programme last night that if Sinn Fein
bought in to policing, " the rest of this is a matter of

Sinn Fein MLA John O'Dowd, however, said Gerry Adams had
made clear he is not yet in a position to call a meeting of
his party executive to summon a full ard fheis because no
date has been agreed for the transfer of justice powers.

The SDLP's Alban Maginnis said the DUP and Sinn Fein were
engaged in a " sham fight" and pieces of political theatre.

© Belfast Telegraph


SF: DUP Paper On Policing Crazy

14/12/2006 - 17:42:40

The Democratic Unionists were tonight accused of putting
forward a crazy position paper on policing as efforts
continued to break the deadlock over power-sharing.

After the second meeting of the Stormont Programme for
Government Committee's sub-group on policing and justice,
Sinn Féin sources claimed Ian Paisley's party proposed an
unrealistic method for selecting a devolved minister in
charge of policing and justice.

The DUP's position paper, which it said was rejected by
Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists, proposed that
the minister would not be appointed under the method used
in the Assembly for other ministers.

Instead it would require a 70%-plus vote in favour of the
candidate within the Assembly.

The DUP also suggested that the minister would have no vote
within the power-sharing executive.

A Sinn Féin source said: "This was crazy stuff.

"What they were suggesting was effectively a unionist veto
and in particular a DUP veto over who would be minister.
Everybody bar them thought this was unacceptable.

"There was no mention in their document of a timeframe for
the devolution of policing and justice powers when
everybody and their granny knows that the only way this is
going to be unlocked is for a date for policing and justice
powers to be transferred."

Under Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister
Tony Blair's plan for achieving power-sharing next March,
it is envisaged that Sinn Féin will for the first time
publicly declare support for the Police Service of Northern

The DUP wants Sinn Féin to do so before it will form a
power-sharing government.

Gerry Adams has insisted, however, that Sinn Féin will need
a timeframe for the transfer of policing and justice powers
from Westminster to Stormont, agreement on the departmental
model that will handle those powers and assurances that MI5
will have no role in civic policing before he can move to
recommend that the party endorse the PSNI.


Police Federation In Call To Sinn Fein

[Published: Friday 15, December 2006 - 09:52]
By By Sam McBride

The organisation which represents rank and file police
officers has urged Sinn Fein to support the PSNI.

The organisation which represents rank and file police
officers has urged Sinn Fein to support the PSNI.

The Policing Federation, which represents 9,000 officers,
called on Sinn Fein to join the Policing Board and said it
wants to meet the party if it takes its place in

In the editorial of this month's Policebeat, the
federation's magazine, the organisation said that despite
the murder of policemen during the troubles, it believed
Sinn Fein's electoral mandate meant the party should be in

A future meeting with Sinn Fein would not be to talk about
the past, but to talk about the future, the federation

The editorial stated: "The Federation has suffered brutal
loss over the past 35 years. But we believe there is more
to be gained by Sinn Fein joining the Government and taking
their place in all the institutions of civic society."

© Belfast Telegraph


Meeting Hears Appeal For ‘Ownership’ Of Policing

By Catherine Morrison

VETERAN republican Laurence O’Neill, who resigned from Sinn
Fein last month, received a rapturous reception at a public
debate on policing in south Derry last night.

The event, on the theme Policing: A Bridge Too Far for
Republicans, followed a similar discussion at Conway Mill
in west Belfast which attracted around 200 people last

It also came days after Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
held his first full public meeting with Chief Constable Sir
Hugh Orde at Stormont.

Around 120 people attended last night’s discussions in the
Elk hotel in Toome. On the panel were Francie Mackie, of
the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, Paul Little of the
IRSP, Declan Kearney of Sinn Fein and independent
republican Laurence O’Neill.

The SDLP declined an invitation to attend the meeting.

After the speakers were introduced by chairman Kevin
McQuillan, each panellist spoke before the debate was
opened up to the floor in a question and answer session.

Francie Mackie, of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, said
the issue of whether the police force was made up of
Catholics or Protestants was irrelevant as, he claimed, it
would still be enforcing the laws for an “occupying power”
– the British government.

“We can only address the issue of policing in the context
of the dispute over national sovereignty,” he said.

Paul Little of the IRSP, welcomed last night’s event,
claiming that opportunities for such a forum were “few and
far between” in the past.

That theme was picked up by independent republican Laurence
O’Neill, who said the discussion should have taken place
“10 or 20 years ago”.

His comment was greeted with warm applause.

Mr O’Neill, from Glenravel, Co Antrim, left Sinn Fein last
month after he said he was put under “pressure” from senior
republicans to support the party leadership. He told the
audience that he was not a member of, or a supporter of,
any other group.

Referring to collusion between police and loyalist killers,
he asked: “Are these the sort of people we want to join? I
certainly don’t. Some of them may be innocent policemen and
women but there’s a cloud over them and they are tainted.”

He said “participation and ownership” of policing was

Declan Kearney, speaking on behalf of Sinn Fein, said the
party had a “long-term” vision of policing, one which
involved an equal, community-based service, driven by a
“culture of human rights”.


Donaldson Says Sinn Fein Must Act

By Michael Breslin

In an address at last week's annual dinner, held in
Brookeborough Orange Hall, to members of the Erne East
branch of the DUP, the guest speaker, Jeffrey Donaldson
submitted that Sinn Fein were still not ready for a seat in

Interestingly, the Assembly member bracketed his comments
with a caveat that the DUP would not share power with
anyone with Loyalist paramilitary attachments.

He stated: "The Government has set a deadline of 24
November to restore the power sharing arrangements at
Stormont. However, there are no clear indications at this
stage that Sinn Fein is prepared to make the moves that are
necessary to secure the peace and ensure a strong
democratic foundation for government.

'We owe it to those who have suffered so much in this area
alone, and to the younger generation coming after us, to
finish the job and complete the transition to a peaceful

Mr Donaldson insisted that the DUP would not repeat the
mistakes made by other Unionist leaders. "We will resist
the pressure for a 'quick fix' and will hold out for the
bigger prize, that of a real and lasting peace, with strong
and stable democratic government for all the people of
Northern Ireland.

"The DUP stands ready to face the challenge of building a
better future for Northern Ireland and recognises the huge
responsibility that has been placed upon the Party's
shoulders in providing sound leadership for Unionism.

"We will not shirk our responsibility and we will not let
the people down. The new few months will be crucial in the
battle to secure a democratic and peaceful future. We have
come a long way since the worst days of the Troubles, but
the journey to a lasting peace is not yet complete'.

He told his listeners that the terrorist threat remained
and criminality continued.

He went on: "We have made clear to the Government and the
other parties that there can be no place in Northern
Ireland's future for such unlawful activity, whether it be
loyalist or republican.

For Sinn Fein/IRA in particular, this means that the
terrorism and criminality of the republican movement must
cease for good, and they must give their support to the
Police and accept the rule of law.

"The same goes for the Loyalist paramilitary groups.
Nothing less will do. The DUP will stand by the mandate
given to it by the electorate and we will not sit in
government with Sinn Fein or any other paramilitary linked
party until these crucial matters are resolved".

That, he suggested, had still to happen.

"They still refuse to cooperate with the Police. And they
continue to turn a blind eye to criminality in local
communities. As such, they fail to meet the reasonable
standards of democracy that are required of any Party that
aspires to sit in government and to administer the rule of
law. The next move is their move and it is essential that
the pressure be kept on them to complete the journey to
full democracy".

Mr Donaldson acknowledged that, both Fermanagh and South
Tyrone had suffered greatly in the past three decades and
that there had been much loss of life, limb and property in
both counties.

"The legacy of the Troubles', he stated, "has left a deep
wound in this community that will take many years to heal.

We owe it to those who have suffered so much and to the
younger generation coming after us to finish the job and
complete the transition to a peaceful society.

Our children will not forgive us if we falter now and give
way to the temptation for temporary gain at the expense of
resolving the issues that have blighted Northern Ireland
for so long."


Parties Blasted For Secrecy On Key Committee

[Published: Friday 15, December 2006 - 11:32]
By By Noel McAdam

The four main political parties came under fire today after
it emerged details of the new Stormont devolution committee
are to be kept secret.

An Assembly spokesman confirmed DUP, Sinn Fein, SDLP and
Ulster Unionist members have agreed not to publish Hansard
accounts of the Programme for Government Committee.

Yet its forerunner, the Preparation for Government
Committee, published word-for-word Hansard records of all
its meetings.

Alliance leader David Ford said the new committee was being
given the " perks and privileges" of an Executive-in-

Mr Ford, whose party is excluded from the programme
committee, said: " Either they are an Assembly committee or
they are not. Assembly committees are supposed to be open
and transparent. People are supposed to know what is going

"Yet none of the usual rules seem to apply here and none of
them have taken a pledge of office. These are people who
complain of the lack of openness by the Northern Ireland
Office and yet are behaving in exactly the same way."

The Alliance chief said the predecessor to the Programme
for Government Committee, the Preparation for Government
Committee, had published its proceedings in full.

"But there will be no Hansard for either this committee or
its sub-groups and its minutes will only tell us as much as
people want to go into them," he added.

"This committee is being given all the privileges and perks
of an executive and the four parties are accepting those
privileges and perks."

© Belfast Telegraph


New Claims Over Adams Murder Bid Sparks Call To Ombudsman

[Published: Friday 15, December 2006 - 09:43]
By By Noel McAdam

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has alerted the Police
Ombudsman over renewed claims that a UDA informer told
Special Branch of a loyalist plot to murder him in 1984.

The Sinn Fein president was shot five times as he travelled
with three colleagues through Belfast city centre to the
magistrates court.

However, a UDR patrol rammed the murder vehicle soon after
and three men were arrested - John Gregg, Gerard Welsh and
Colin Gray.

Several years ago a book - Big Boy's Rules - by journalist
Mark Urban alleged that a British military intelligence
source had confirmed a UDA agent tipped police off.

And yesterday it was reported that a retired RUC detective,
who was a double agent working for Special Branch, told his
handlers a week before the attack that it was to take
place. Mr Adams said he has instructed his solicitor to
write to the Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan.

"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," the Sinn Fein president

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

The move came the day after Mr Adams, who police have told
is currently facing a death threat from dissident
republicans, held his first direct meeting with the Chief
Constable of the PSNI, Sir Hugh Orde.

A spokesman for the Ombudsman said she had yet to receive
the letter and therefore could not comment on whether an
investigation would be undertaken.

© Belfast Telegraph


Court To Decide How Inquiry Witnesses Will Give Evidence

By Staff Reporter

A court is being asked to decide if police witnesses at the
Robert Hamill murder inquiry should give their evidence in

The inquiry is appealing against a recent High Court
judgement which overturned its decision not to allow
officers to be screened and known only by an initial.

The case was briefly before the court yesterday when the
two-day appeal was fixed to start on January 24.

Last month Mr Justice Morgan upheld an application for
judicial review brought on behalf of 20 retired and serving
officers who claimed their lives would be at risk if their
identities became known.

The judge did not order the inquiry panel to grant
anonymity but his ruling meant individual officers would be
able apply for secrecy before giving their evidence.

The inquiry was due to start in September but has had to be
postponed indefinitely because of the judicial review and
now the appeal.

Next month’s Appeal Court ruling may not be the end of the
legal process, as observers have hinted the case may end up
in the House of Lords.

Robert Hamill, a 25-year-old Catholic, was beaten and
kicked to death by a loyalist mob in Portadown in 1997.

Police have denied claims that four RUC officers in a Land
Rover saw what was happening and failed to intervene.

The government set up the inquiry to determine if there was
any wrongful act or omission by police which facilitated Mr
Hamill’s death or obstruction of the investigation into it.


McCord: Why Did Unionists Not Help Me?

[Published: Friday 15, December 2006 - 09:06]
By By Chris Thorton

Unionist politicians face a "day of reckoning" in the New
Year when a damning report is expected to detail how a UVF
gunman was able to continue killing while working for
police, a campaigning father said today.

Raymond McCord, who has fought for nine years to expose the
agent's role in the murder of his son, said many unionists
should explain why they did not take up the case when he
appealed for help.

The Police Ombudsman's report on the McCord case is
expected to detail how the UVF agent was repeatedly
suspected of killings while working as a Special Branch

Secretary of State Peter Hain has already said the report
"may be extremely uncomfortable for the British State" when
it is produced by Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan, possibly next

A spokesman for Mrs O'Loan said: "This may be the most
significant report we've produced to date."

Mr McCord said: "When this report comes out in the New Year
it will be a day of reckoning for politicians who ignored

"They have to explain to my family and other victims why
they didn't do anything about this. They can't say they
weren't warned."

Raymond McCord Jnr was murdered by the UVF in 1997. A
senior UVF figure, who worked for the police, is believed
to have ordered the killing of the former RAF man, who had
been used as a cannabis courier by the paramilitary gang.

Mr McCord Snr said: "The DUP, UUP and PUP have failed
unionist victims time and time again. When is the DUP or
the Unionist Party going to go after the UVF leadership who
were sending these killer gangs out?"

Mr McCord said there has been a reluctance among unionists
to acknowledge collusion.

"I didn't believe that collusion was happening between the
UVF and British security forces," he said. "I didn't want
to believe it. I've found out since the murder of my son it
was being done on a heavy scale. "

He criticised Ian Paisley, saying it took him nine years to
get a meeting with the DUP leader that lasted half an hour
in October. Mr McCord said Mr Paisley had agreed to issue a
statement, but failed to do so.

Ian Paisley Jnr, who was also at the meeting, said his
party had accommodated Mr McCord and had issued a
statement. He said he had posted a copy to Mr McCord.

Mr McCord said: "Ian Paisley is the man who told unionists,
while he was shouting 'never, never, never', that they
would smash Sinn Fein and rewrite the Good Friday

"I've never heard Ian Paisley asking the Government to
smash the UVF, who have been killing unionist people since
their so-called ceasefire in 1994."

He also attacked PUP leader David Ervine, who said earlier
this year that he has never resigned from the UVF.

"David Ervine could have done a lot for my family to get
justice," he said. "He didn't.

"I'd like to remind Mr Ervine that my son was buried in a
closed coffin through the brutality of the UVF.

"David Ervine went to Colombia recently to help the people
there, but the organisation he says he's a member of
haven't decommissioned one bullet and they're still
involved in extortion, drugs and killings."

Mr Ervine said: "It was me who suggested to Raymond McCord
in a number of private meetings that he go to the Police
Ombudsman. If that's not being helpful, I don't know what

Mr McCord singled out North Down MP Sylvia Hermon as "the
only one within unionist circles who was sincere and
genuinely concerned and wanted to get justice for young

© Belfast Telegraph


Sinn Féin Demands Release Of All IRA Prisoners

Dublin Rights And Freedoms News Report
Thursday December 14, 2006 22:01
By Saoirse - Ógra Shinn Féin

Sinn Féin held a protest outside Leinster house today
demanding the release of IRA prisoners. The protest was
made up of Sinn Féin and Ógra Shinn Féin activists.

Some of Sinn Féin's TD's where also present showing their
support for the campaign.

8 years following the GFA and 1 year following the IRA's
decision to call an end to its armed campaign, there is no
reason why IRA prisoners should still be in jail.


Related Link:


Living with the pain of paramilitary-style ‘justice’

By Allison Morris

• OUT OF HOSPITAL: Conor Weldon faces years of
physiotherapy after losing his right leg in a paramilitary-
style attack which the Continuity IRA subsequently admitted

A teenager maimed in a republican paramilitary style
shooting has spoken about the pain of having to learn to
walk again with an artificial limb.

Conor Weldon lost his right leg after being shot at close
range with a shotgun as he walked along the Falls Road with
a friend.

The September shooting was admitted by the Continuity IRA
which accused the 19-year-old

of being involved in anti-social behaviour, something he
strongly denies.

The Continuity IRA was later responsible for paramilitary-
style attacks on three other men and issued a list of up to
20 others who

it said were under threat of execution.

This powerful picture of the consequences of paramilitary
justice comes as politicians continue to try to find
agreement on policing. The 19-year-old spoke to the Irish
News on the same day that disaffected republicans met in Co
Antrim to discuss their opposition to signing up to future
policing arrangements.

The Beechmount youth was released from Musgrave Park
hospital this week with his new artificial limb but still
faces years of painful physiotherapy.

The National Health Service limb is made from heavy metal
and plastic and causes blisters and bruising on the stump
of his amputated leg.

Doctors were unable to save his right leg which was blown
apart by the force of the shotgun blast and was peppered
with over 300 metal shotgun pellets.

He is currently staying with a relative, having lost his
mother to illness when he was a child, but is uncertain as
to where he will live in the future.

Conor said: “I’d like to get a flat of my own and maybe
train to be a chef or something but at the minute I just
don’t know what I’m going to do.

“The false leg is really sore to walk on, the doctor says I
need to try to walk on it for about two hours a day to get
used to it.

“After a while though I need to use the crutches because it
gets too painful.” Conor has not had any counselling since
the attack and is currently only receiving basic benefits
as his application for Disability Living Allowance is

“It is hard and I get angry and upset sometimes but I just
have to get on with it,” he said.

“I can do most things myself, I don’t really need help to
do anything, I’d rather look after myself as much as I can.

“My friends and family have all been really good and helped
me out as much as they can but I need to try and help
myself and get about on my own.”


Defence In Call Over Omagh Case

Defence lawyers at the Omagh bomb trial have begun making
legal submissions calling for the case to be thrown out.

Sean Hoey, 37, of Jonesborough, County Armagh, denies 58
charges, including the 29 murders in Omagh in August 1998.

Earlier the prosecution completed their case. It ended with
the revelation that 80% of swabs used to test DNA could
have been contaminated.

There was more robust debate over the reliability of DNA
evidence being used in the case on Thursday.

The defence learned this week that at the forensic lab
where some exhibits were examined, four out of five swabs
in a batch were contaminated.

The forensic science service has since changed its supplier
- but it was a problem when they were looking at some items
in this case.

Dr Jonathon Whitaker, a forensic scientist, insisted he was
still 100% certain of his findings.

The defence lawyer, Orlando Pownall QC, said that was
"wishful thinking".

This afternoon the defence began their submission of no
case to answer - in effect requesting the judge to throw
out of court all 58 charges Sean Hoey is accused of.

The south Armagh electrician has consistently denied
involvement in any of the attacks.

During the application Mr Pownall said DNA was the
foundation stone of the prosecution case.

But he said prosecution experts had been shown to "differ
fundamentally in their interpretation" of results.

He also said that low copy number DNA was still not
accepted for evidential purposes in the majority of
countries worldwide.

The trial continues on Friday.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/14 17:55:53 GMT


Convicted Killer's Assets Frozen

A convicted murderer described by police in court as a
disaffected republican has been remanded in custody on
money laundering and fraud charges.

In court was Seamus Francis Mullan, 52, from Lisnascreaghog
Road in Garvagh.

He denies acquiring criminal property, having almost a
quarter of a million illegal cigarettes and dishonestly
obtaining nearly £20,000 in benefits.

Mullan, who served a 14-year prison sentence for murder,
had assets worth £300,000 frozen earlier on Thursday.

That happened at a hearing at the High Court in Belfast.

Mullan was refused bail at Londonderry Magistrates' Court
after a senior detective warned he was likely to re-offend
and interfere with witnesses.

He was arrested during police raids on 16 houses in
Limavady and Coleraine on Tuesday in which a number of
people were arrested.

Mullan's solicitor, Thomas Doherty, disputed the scale of
his client's estate and told the court there were large
areas of the case against him which he contested.

The accused was remanded in custody to appear again on 11

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/12/14 17:09:41 GMT


Councillor Backs Undocumented Irish In USA

OMAGH District Cllr Declan McAleer has added his voice to
the growing lobby to legalise undocumented Irish people
living in the USA. He said that hundreds of Tyrone people,
including people from the Omagh district, are among those
who have no legal status in the US.

According to Cllr McAleer "There are approximately 50,000
undocumented Irish people in the USA. Many feel under
siege, living in limbo, uncertain about their future and
unable to make career plans or start a family because of
the fear of imminent deportation.

"One of the most distressing aspects of the draconian
immigration measures, which were introduced in the wake of
the attack on the twin towers, is the inability to travel
home, especially for weddings and funerals. At this festive
time of year, many Irish people long to come home for
Christmas but this is not possible because of the danger of
not being allowed back to resume their lives and careers in
the New Year. There are also many cases where elderly
grandparents have never seen their grandchildren and even
within this district I have seen situations where family
members cannot return home to be with their loved ones if a
family tragedy occurs."

In an address to the US Senate, Niall O'Dowd who chairs the
Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) group, alluded to
the difficulties experienced by the undocumented Irish when
he referred to a young Irish woman named Mary who lives and
works in the USA. When her brother was killed in a car
accident several months ago, she had to listen to the
funeral service down a telephone line.

Cllr McAleer added, "Perhaps, one of the most damaging
measures is the decision not to issue driver licences to
people who are not documented. This makes it impossible for
parents to leave their children at school and signals
financial ruin for construction workers who require
licences to travel to work and operate machinery."

According to the ILIR, approximately 300 Irish construction
workers rushed to help at Ground Zero on 9/11 and spent the
next seven or eight days digging up bodies. None of them
were asked for work papers but many are castigated as
illegal immigrants and effectively 'on the run' from the
authorities as a result of the so called "war on terror".

Cllr McAleer said he would be tabling a motion in Omagh
Council to reflect these concerns.

He said he would be personally forwarding a letter to Ms
Pelosi and called on other elected representatives and
interested groups and individuals to do likewise.

The Mid-Tyrone Councillor concluded, "This initiative,
which has the full backing of the Irish government, will
help resolve the undocumented Irish issue and effectively
'free' thousands of our fellow countrymen and women from
the shadows and allow them to develop and get on with their


Opin: Families Deserve Judicial Inquiry Into Collusion

By Jim Gibney

In a filing cabinet inside the office of Nuala O’Loan, the
police ombudsman, there is a damning report into collusion
between the RUC Special Branch and the UVF in north

In a filing cabinet inside the Belfast office of the Public
Prosecution Service there is a report into collusion
between the crown forces and loyalists. The report could,
if acted on, lead to serious charges being laid against 24
members of the crown forces.

There are many files in many filing cabinets in government
offices in Dublin, Belfast and London, containing reports
into collusion arising from enquiries – Stalker, Samson,
Stevens, Cory, Barron, McEntee.

These files tell the startling story of British state
forces, as a matter of policy, using loyalists to kill
civilians, primarily Catholics.

Collusion is under scrutiny in public inquiries into the
killings of Robert Hamill, Rosemary Nelson and Billy

The British government is trying to prevent the truth
emerging about the extent and depth of collusion in the
killing of Pat Finucane. Every loyalist involved was an

Two weeks ago a report into the deaths by loyalists of 18
people, by a joint committee of the Oireachtas, revealed
that the Irish government in 1975 complained to Harold
Wilson, then British prime minster and later Margaret
Thatcher, that their forces were using loyalists to kill
people north and south.

The committee’s report also censured the Irish government
and the Gardai for cooperating with the crown forces when
they knew, “…that British security personnel were working
with, and as, loyalist paramilitaries” were killing Irish

O’Loan’s report will tell the incredible, harrowing and
disturbing tale of a UVF unit run by the RUC Special Branch
through their agent Mark Haddock. It is believed this unit
was responsible for killing 21, perhaps many more,
Catholics and Protestants between 1991 and 2000.

This unit is also linked through another agent to the
massacre in Loughinisland when loyalists killed six people
in June 1994.

The agent nicknamed the ‘mechanic’ previously owned the car
used by the killers and told The Irish News he passed on
this information to the RUC and was released without
charge. The PSNI later destroyed this car and potential
vital forensic evidence in the massacre.

Those responsible for these killings were protected by the
Special Branch.

The only reason there is a public focus on the activities
of the Mount Vernon UVF is because Raymond McCord, whose
son Raymond was killed by them, relentlessly pursued his

Two years ago he convinced O’Loan to help him. Her report
may well prove to be as devastating in its findings on
collusion as others like Stevens’s investigation into the
killing of Pat Finucane. Or the exposure of senior UDA
figure Brian Nelson and his handler Brigadier Gordon Kerr
who was in charge of the Force Research Unit, the
organisation which directed the loyalists. After reading
the report Peter Hain described it as “extremely
uncomfortable for the British state”.

A former RUC detective Johnston Brown has stated publicly
that three weeks after the killing of Sharon McKenna in
January 1993 Haddock could have been charged with the
killing. Had this happened many people now dead might still
be alive. The Special Branch prevented Haddock from being
charged. Brown further claims the protection of Haddock is
not an isolated case.

Haddock’s reign of terror ended not as a result of anything
the RUC or PSNI did. He is in jail today because a person
he savagely assaulted lived and gave evidence in court
against him.

During the conflict loyalist paramilitaries killed more
than 1,000 Catholics and nationalists. There is growing
evidence that British crown forces were involved with
loyalists in all of these murders.

A few years ago such a claim would have been dismissed. Not
any longer such is the scale of collusion revealed in the
many enquiries confirming what Sinn Fein were saying for
years while others including the SDLP were silent.

The case for an international, independent judicial enquiry
into collusion is both overwhelming and compelling. The
British and Irish governments should jointly sponsor such
an inquiry. If the British refuse then the Irish government
should proceed.

They owe it to the families of those killed.


Opin: Showtime For North's Refuseniks

Time was the word "dissident" had tragic, dramatic and
essentially foreign qualities. Dissidents were locked up
for decades in psychiatric hospitals in the iciest wastes
of the USSR. They circulated spiky commentary in home-
printed copies, sometimes escaped to western acclaim,
writes Fionnuala O Connor

Then the name re-emerged as a Northern phenomenon, a
counterpoint to the "peace process". Dissident became the
second-most used term of the new jargon. Neither got much
in the way of textual analysis: in a remarkably short time
both names set hard.

Republicans who opposed the IRA's ceasefires complained -
with some justice - that it was the leadership of Gerry
Adams and Martin McGuinness who had moved away from true
republicanism, not the newly christened dissidents. They
were insulted all over again when the peaceniks were tagged
"mainstream republicanism". They probably know they were
honoured to be christened dissidents. Even in this
slapdash, thoughtless application, the word retains more
lustre than the rag-tag but sometimes lethal Continuity
IRA, the Real IRA, the 32 County Sovereignty Committee and
Republican Sinn Féin have ever generated.

But the inherited dignity of an inappropriate name was
never going to disguise the empty negativity and strategy
vacuum of bitter-enders. The republican dissidents have
killed, destroyed, denounced. For 12 years they have failed
to build even the first stage of a credible alternative to
Sinn Féin's exit path from the Troubles, or to attract any
sizeable support.

Like the DUP leader in his current guise as possible if
procrastinating power-sharer, Sinn Féin is lucky in its
opponents. By comparison with their weakness, the Adams-
McGuinness leadership looks even stronger. Like the
"mainstream" of old, republican dissidents have only two
modes: violent or accusatory. Very little lurks behind
windy statements, speeches and articles about lack of
debate and mainstream repression.

They never quite spell out what it is that they recommend,
beyond a cloudy coming together of the like-minded to keep
on keeping on. One recent article decided the Adams
leadership was "at the mercy of Paisley's whims" and
advised them to admit defeat. There was no suggestion of
alternatives in waiting, only a counsel of despair: "Leave
it to the generations to come. You did wrong. Others will
fix it."

Now that the crunch has finally arrived, it is hardly
surprising to hear reports of threats as well as speeches
about betrayal and "settling for salaries". The surprise is
the new disaffected voices, people who put their faith in
the Adams team until this point or at least until
comparatively recently. How could anyone take this long to
realise where the process was headed? Policing was always
going to be the decider: no way around it, no way out.

Join the government, support the forces of the state.
Earlier difficult passages contained wriggle room. There
was elastic confusion about decommissioning, some of which
might have been denial. But for a long time and at many
levels there was optimism, perhaps understandably, that it
might be possible to avoid what finally happened.

Senior police on both sides of the Border were in no hurry.
Despite the republican bogey of "securocrat" machinations,
it was police chiefs who went on making it clear that they
recognised the desirability of going slow on
decommissioning, to preserve the coherence and authority of
the "mainstream" IRA and ensure the splinters stayed
marginal. It was obvious that the two governments agreed.

Anything the mainstream leaders were not explicitly
required to do, they avoided doing. For as long as the
Blair-Ahern axis blinked at robberies and rackets, those

Now showtime has arrived for refuseniks. Primitive
firebombs in DIY stores inflicted considerable financial
damage but in terms of building an alternative to the peace
process, and even of republican mythology, firebombing has
an almost medieval aura. The horror of the Omagh dead left
the splinter groups reeling, harried from every direction.
It seemed certain that they could never again use car-
bombs: but there have been varied violent efforts, thwarted
for the most part.

With bitter internal splits and police penetration to
contend with and nothing political to offer that anyone is
listening to, what are dissidents to do? There are no pikes
in the thatch for the next generation. After initial
sniffiness, police on both sides of the Border now seem to
accept the Provo assessment that elements are toying with
some mad anarchist "grand gesture" as a way to derail the
entire process.

Unionists mock when leading republicans say they are under
threat, but helping to govern the Northern state and
supporting its police is the point of no return. The idea
of signing up to make Ian Paisley first minister will be
hard- fought on the doorsteps. It may suit the Adams team
to emphasise their problems, but the last big decision was
always going to hurt.

For some brooding rejectionist out there with neither
following nor sense, attempted assassination could be a
fitting last throw.


Belfast's Finest Captured On Camera

[Published: Friday 15, December 2006 - 12:07]
By By Emily Moulton

Some of Belfast's most celebrated citizens have been
immortalised in a new photographic exhibition entitled No
Mean City.

The eclectic collection of portraits profiles more than 50
of the city's most well-known identities from a range of
backgrounds including sports, the arts, business and

Belfast City Council commissioned the exhibition to mark
the centenary of the City Hall and is one of two legacy
projects which were set to be unveiled this week to show
the city's rich history, both past and present.

Belfast-born photographer Michael McDonald has managed to
capture some of the many characters and personalities that
have helped shape Belfast into the vibrant, cultural city
it is today.

Belfast boy and footballing legend George Best sits
alongside renowned engineer and Titanic designer Thomas

Van 'The Man' Morrison shares the stage with musician
Francis McPeake and architect Peter McGuckin and children's
author CS Lewis learns a line or two off Snow Patrol lead
singer Gary Lightbody.

Other portraits include former snooker world champion Alex
Higgins, poet John Hewitt, playwright Marie Jones, Irish
President Mary McAleese, trade unionist James Larkin,
author Glenn Patterson, Olympic gold medallist Dame Mary
Peters, actors Kenneth Branagh, Jimmy Ellis and Stephen Rea
and singer Brian Kennedy.

No Mean City was unveiled at Belfast City Hall last night
and will be on display until the end of June next year.

© Belfast Telegraph


Hibernians Name Harringtons Irish Man And Woman Of The Year

By Eileen Stanbridge

From left: John Sullivan, Dennis Harrington, George Denny
(president of the Sussex County division of the AOH), Mary
Harrington and Suzane Sullivan. (Photos by Eileen

Franklin - Dennis and Mary Harrington were honored last
Friday by the Ancient Order of Hibernians as Sussex
County’s Irish Man and Woman of the Year.

The Harringtons have lived in Franklin for 28 years and
were recognized for the work they did to resurrect the
Sussex County St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The original parade had been organized in the 1980s by John
and Suzanne Sullivan, the former owners of Sullivan’s
Tavern, which was recently torn down and replaced with a
Commerce Bank on Route 23 in Franklin. The parade was held
annually through 1992, according to George Denny, the
president of the county branch of the Hibernians, but then
ceased to exist. In 2004, the Harringtons brought it back
to life.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award, but it really
means so much more to us because it is named for the people
who really started it all,” said Mary Harrington. “We
really just followed in their footsteps,” she added.

This sentiment was echoed by her husband, who said: “While
this is a great honor, I don’t feel that I’m deserving of
it because so many people have done so much, and we are
just continuing the tradition.”

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is a Catholic, Irish-
American Fraternal organization founded in New York City in
1836 to assist Irish immigrants, especially those who faced
discrimination or harsh working conditions. Today,
according to the organization’s Web site,, it
is the oldest Catholic lay organization in America and is
dedicated to “Friendship, Unity, and Christian Charity.”

Friday night’s party offered a traditional Irish supper of
fish and chips; entertainment was provided by Kindred
Spirit, which played traditional Irish ballads, and by
Robbie Henry of Vernon, who played the bagpipes.

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