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January 31, 2007

Adams To Challenge Blair on Collusion

News About Ireland & The Irish

SF 01/31/07 Adams To Challenge Blair On Collusion
BB 01/31/07 Adams Backs PSNI McCartney Probe
SF 01/31/07 Call for DUP To Respond To SF Initiative
IT 01/31/07 Rea To Be Questioned On Orde Dossier
IT 01/31/07 Chief Constable In Appointment Row
BB 01/31/07 DUP Anger At SDLP Police Claim
BN 01/31/07 McGeough: SF Forced Into U-Turn
IT 01/31/07 SDLP Launches All-Island Economy Plan
IE 01/31/07 House Calls For Finucane Probe
RT 01/31/07 Order Stops Casual Trading At Cliffs Of Moher


Adams To Challenge Blair On Collusion

Published: 31 January, 2007

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will lead a party
delegation tomorrow to hold a meeting with the British
Prime Minister Tony Blair on the issue of Collusion.

Mr. Adams said:

"The O Loan report is the tip of the iceberg. Collusion was
an integral part of British policy. It existed under the
Tories and Labour in the 1970s but became a more focussed
weapon of state terror under the Thatcher government.

"Not only did MI5, the Force Research Unit, Special branch
and other state agencies run informers and agents but they
trained, equipped and supplied specific information on
potential targets. The Glenanne gang which carried out the
Dublin Monaghan bombings is one example, but perhaps the
example which best exposes the extent of institutionalised
collusion was the murder of human rights lawyer Pat

"The British government and its agencies also encouraged
and facilitated informal acts of collusion which were
always part and parcel of the relationship between the RUC
and UDR and unionist paramilitaries.

"It isn't good enough for Hugh Orde to express support for
the O'Loan report and then criticise Sinn Fein for
condemning those who carried out these actions, and others,
some still within his organisation who covered them up.

"Neither is it enough for this British government to
express concern and do nothing to right this wrong. British
government ministers who sanctioned collusion must face the
consequences of their actions.

"We intend telling Mr. Blair tomorrow that British
government figures, including successive Prime Ministers
who sat around the British Cabinet table, and who
sanctioned collusion, and received reports on its
implementation, must be held accountable. 10 years ago when
we first met Mr. Blair in Downing Street we gave him a file
on Collusion and specifically the case of Pat Finucane.
Years later he told me that since his time in Downing

Street he had not authorised any such activities in
Ireland. Then who did authorise the killing and the cover-
ups, which have occurred while he has been British prime
Minister? Who authorised the running of the drug pushers,
or the payments of these killers?

"Who authorised their non-prosecution by the DPP? Who
within the British establishment thinks they are more
powerful than the British Prime Minister? Moreover, four
years ago the Stevens Inquiry sent files on 25 individuals
to the DPP with a view to charging them. Four years later
nothing has happened. This is the same DPP office that made
a sordid little side deal with Brian Nelson, the
UDA/British agent who helped kill Pat Finucane and many
others. What does Mr. Blair intend doing about the DPP?

"These are questions which demand answers. Mr. Blair must
be prepared to open up this can of worms to public
scrutiny. And as a first step he should accede to the
Finucane family's request for a proper public,
international based, enquiry.

"But Mr. Blair also has to acknowledge the great hurt
successive British governments have inflicted on almost a
thousand citizens who were killed, and their families who
have suffered directly, and all the thousands of others who
had their rights undermined and subverted by a policy,
which encouraged paramilitarism and violence and which in
turn corrupted Protestant working class communities.

"The reality is that Collusion is a symptom of a bigger
problem; British rule in Ireland. The RUC Special Branch,
British intelligence and their agents were doing exactly
what they were paid to do. It was a political policy
decided in Downing Street by the British government and
implemented by the Special Branch, FRU and others.

"Collusion and State terrorism was used by the British
government to uphold the Union; to defend and assert
British government involvement in Irish affairs. The
history of that involvement is littered with examples like
this. Sinn Féin remains resolute in our determination to
end that involvement." ENDS


Adams Backs PSNI McCartney Probe

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has said anyone with
information about the murder of Belfast man Robert
McCartney should go to the police.

Mr McCartney, 33, was beaten and stabbed to death outside a
bar near Belfast city centre on 30 January 2005.

Mr Adams made the appeal after being challenged by the DUP
and Irish justice minister Michael McDowell.

Mr McCartney's murder - allegedly by IRA members - placed
huge pressure on Sinn Fein at the time.

The issue has resurfaced after the party voted to back the
PSNI in a special meeting at the weekend, held just days
before the second anniversary of the killing.

In 2005, Sinn Fein refused to explicitly tell people to
contact the PSNI, but Mr Adams now says: "Anybody who has
any information about the McCartney killing should give it
to police."

He added: "Michael McDowell should not be setting tests for
anyone - this is the minister who refuses to put into place
in the other jurisdiction on this island, the type of
accountability and mechanisms that are in place in this

"Mr McDowell, like Ian Paisley, is in no position to
lecture or to give tests or to in any way put preconditions
upon Sinn Fein."

Fresh appeal

As police were issuing a new appeal for information on
Tuesday, the second anniversary of the killing, Mr
McCartney's sister Catherine said his death should be a
"litmus test" of Sinn Fein's support for policing.

"Sinn Fein members (in the bar) refused to speak to police.
They had a nonsense of talking to third parties like
priests, but that was fruitless. Police are trained to take
statements, not priests.

Mr McCartney, a father-of-two, died the day after he and
his friend Brendan Devine were attacked - allegedly by IRA
members - inside Magennis' Bar in May Street and then in
Cromac Square.

One man has been charged with his murder, and another with
the attempted murder of Mr Devine.

Sinn Fein said it had suspended a number of its members
after the killing, and Mr Adams previously said he
supported the family's campaign for justice.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/31 14:37:10 GMT


de Brún Calls On DUP MEP Jim Allister To Respond Positively
To Sinn Fein Initiative

Published: 31 January, 2007

Speaking during a debate in the European Parliament Sin
Fein MEP Bairbre de Brún called on the DUP to 'respond
positively by the weekends Ard Fheis by Sinn Fein.'

Ms de Brún said:

'The last week has seen significant developments in the
Irish peace process.

'Following the historic decision by last Sunday's Sinn Féin
Ard Fheis (National Conference) to support the new police
service in the north of Ireland a considerable opportunity
now exists for further progress.

'I would call on all Irish political parties, including the
DUP and UUP to work with Sinn Féin to ensure the full
implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

'In particular I would call on Jim Allister MEP to fully
play a full and constructive role in the peace process.

'Last week also witnessed further confirmation of the
existence of collusion between unionist paramilitaries and
the British state. The Police Ombudsman's report released
on January 22nd confirms what the families of the hundreds
bereaved by collusion between British state forces and
unionist death squads have been saying for years.

'This report is only the tip of the iceberg. It is clear
from the seniority of those involved within the old Royal
Ulster Constabulary and referred to in this investigation
that collusion was a matter of political and administrative
practice which existed at all levels of the RUC and of the
British government.

'Is suntasach ar fad iad imeachtaí na seachtaine seo a
chuaigh thart i bpróiseas na síochána in Éirinn.

'I ndiaidh chinneadh stairiúil ard fheis (Chomhdháil
Náisiúnta) Shinn Féin ar an Domhnach seo a chuaigh thart
chun tacaíocht a thabhairt don tseirbhís póilíneachta nua i
dTuaisceart na hÉireann tá deis shuntasach ann anois le
haghaidh tuilleadh dul chun cinn.

D'iarrfainn ar gach páirtí polaitiúil Éireannach, an DUP
agus an UUP san áireamh obair a dhéanamh le Sinn Féin chun
cur i bhfeidhm Chomhaontú Aoine an Chéasta ina iomlán a


'D'iarrfainn ar Jim Allister FPE ach go háirithe chun ról
iomlán cuiditheach a ghlacadh sa phróiseas síochána.

'Sa tseachtain seo a chuaigh thart chonacthas daingniú go
raibh ann do chlaonpháirtíocht idir paraimíleataigh
aontachtacha agus stát na Breataine. Deimhníonn tuarascáil
an Ombudsman a cuireadh amach ar 22 Eanáir an rud a dúirt
teaghlaigh a chaill baill teaghlaigh trí chlaonpháirtíocht
idir fórsaí na Breataine agus scuaid an mharaithe
aontachtacha le blianta anuas.

'Níl sa tuarascáil seo ach barr an scéil. Tá sé soiléir
nuair a amharctar ar shinsearacht iad siúd a raibh páirt
acu ann laistigh den seanRUC, an tsean péasfhorsa, a
rinneadh tagairt orthu san fhiosrú seo, gur cleachtadh
polaitiúil agus riaracháin í an chlaonpháirtíocht a raibh
ann di ag gach leibhéal den péasfhorsa sin an RUC agus de
rialtas na Breataine.

'Is í an mhórcheist atá ann anois ná cad é a dhéanfar leis
an tuarascáil. Cad é an gníomhú a ghlacfar agus cad é mar a
chuirfear ceartas i bhfeidhm.' Crioch.


Rea To Be Questioned On Orde Dossier

Wed, Jan 31, 2007

Policing Board chairman Sir Desmond Rea was today urged to
rule on a deepening row over Special Branch collusion with
loyalist killers.

Sir Desmond was meeting justice campaigner Raymond McCord
and his wife Vivienne to discuss Police Ombudsman Nuala
O'Loan's devastating report into their son's murder by
paramilitary informers.

Her revelations that ex-Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) boss
Mark Haddock was shielded from prosecution for up to 15
murders stretching back to the early 1990s unleashed a
barrage of criticism against former chief constable Sir
Ronnie Flanagan.

Even though Sir Ronnie insisted he knew nothing about any
officers under his command collaborating with UVF men in
north Belfast, Mr McCord and nationalist political leaders
have rejected his denials.

They have pointed to allegations first raised months after
Raymond McCord Jr, 22, was beaten to death in November 1997
by members of Haddock's Mount Vernon gang.

Sir Desmond and his vice chairman, Barry Gilligan, will be
told that before current chief constable Hugh Orde was
appointed by the board, he investigated loyalist collusion
with the RUC as part of the sprawling Stevens Inquiry.

Mr McCord claimed Sir Hugh passed a dossier of his findings
to police in Belfast.

He also stressed that he held talks with Sir Ronnie back in
1998 to discuss what rogue Special Branch officers knew
about the UVF killing of his son.

"If Ronnie Flanagan's trying to say he didn't know about
collusion what was it I went to meet him about? The traffic
arrangements in north Belfast?" he said.

With the furore over Mrs O'Loan's findings — and what
police chiefs did and didn't know — still to subside, Mr
McCord vowed to put Mr Rea on the spot.

"After studying the report, does he believe Hugh Orde's
version or Ronnie Flanagan's version of who knew about
collusion and who didn't.

"This is in his remit as chairman of the Policing Board
that holds the chief constable to account.

"He has to make a decision whether Hugh Orde is fit to hold
the office bearing in mind all that has been said."

A spokeswoman for Sir Desmond said the meeting with Mr
McCord and his wife was private. "Issues raised will be
brought to the Policing Board when it meets next on
February 7th."

© 2007


Chief Constable In Appointment Row

Wed, Jan 31, 2007

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde was at the centre of a
deepening row with nationalist politicians in Northern
Ireland tonight.

SDLP claims that they ensured his appointment to the job
over four years ago provoked a ferocious backlash.

The Northern Ireland Policing Board has written a letter of
protest to the SDLP's leader Mark Durkan about the
appointment claims.

"The Northern Ireland Policing Board undertook a thorough,
professional and legislatively compliant appointment
process which was based on appointing a new chief constable
solely on merit and included independent assessments," a
spokeswoman said.

"The chairman of the Board (Professor Sir Desmond Rea) has
written to the leader of the SDLP in relation to the
comments published in an advert."

Mr Durkan used that commercial to claim the kudos for
keeping out what he called the old Royal Ulster
Constabulary order.

Sir Hugh won the recruitment competition over senior RUC
candidates Alan McQuillan, a former senior officer in the
Belfast district, now head of the Assets Recovery Agency,
and fellow assistant chief constable Chris Albiston, who
are now reportedly considering legal action.

The Chief Constable was a deputy assistant commissioner of
the Metropolitan Police at the time of his 2002 promotion.
The senior officer is due back from a trip to New York to
face a stormy Policing Board meeting about the affair.

Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party has called for an
investigation into the SDLP's claims. DUP Board member
Willie Hay said there needed to be a close look at
procedures linked to Sir Hugh's appointment.

"We need to look at the scrutiny mechanism used by the
members on that panel when the appointment was made to see
if there are any inaccuracies," he said.

"It does call into question the members of the SDLP who sit
on the Board, they need to look at their position because
we all have a duty on the Board to act impartially in all
aspects of policing, especially senior appointments."

He added that confidence in the Board had been shaken by
recent revelations and added that an inquiry into the
matter should also look at the actions of independent non-
political panel members.

"It has angered a number of senior police officers in the
service and a number on the ground, there is a feeling that
they are being used as a political football in all of
this," he added.

© 2007


DUP Anger At SDLP Police Claim

The DUP has called for an investigation into the SDLP's
claims that it ensured the Policing Board appointed Sir
Hugh Orde as Chief Constable of the PSNI.

Sir Hugh, in a memo sent to almost 10,000 police officers,
has also reacted angrily to the suggestion and also to
remarks by Sinn Fein last week.

He said both parties were "using policing as a political

Sir Hugh, who is in the US, also said they were making
insulting comments about the PSNI and its staff.

'Solely on merit'

Sir Hugh was angered by remarks by Gerry Adams last week,
when he said republicans "would put manners on the police".

He was also annoyed by a statement by Mark Durkan in a
newspaper advert in which the SDLP leader claimed his party
had ensured that the Policing Board appointed Sir Hugh as
chief constable of the PSNI - to keep out what he called
"the old RUC order."

A spokesman for the Policing Board said it undertook a
"thorough, professional and legislatively compliant
appointment process".

This had been based "solely on merit and included
independent assessments", he said.

"The chairman of the board has written to the leader of the
SDLP in relation to comments published in an advert in the
Irish News on Friday 26 January 2007. "The matter will be
raised at the Policing Board meeting next week," said the

Two former RUC assistant chief constables have consulted
their lawyers over claims.

The two unsuccessful candidates who were interviewed for
the job are Alan McQuillan and Chris Albiston.

Policing Board member Ian Paisley Junior has called for an
investigation into the SDLP's claim.

"This is one of the most senior appointments in Northern
Ireland," he said.

"They are entitled, by dint of their membership of the
Policing Board, to sit on the recruitment panel and yet
this advert implies that they openly rigged that
recruitment process."

'Sensitive side'

Ulster Unionist board member Fred Cobain called on Mark
Durkan to apologise for his remarks.

The SDLP's Alex Attwood rejected the criticism and said his
party had not excluded any RUC officer from the process,
but had resisted government pressure to exclude external

The SDLP leader refused to apologise to Sir Hugh and the
other applicants. Mr Durkan denied the advertisement was
insulting and provocative.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said it was "quite
ridiculous" that Sir Hugh's memo was referred to as

"This is the PSNI showing its sensitive side. The fact is,
the O'Loan report said that a serial killer was being paid
taxpayers' money."

Prime Minister Tony Blair has told the Commons that Special
Branch officers criticised in the report "were a minority
within the police force".

Mr Blair said collusion was wrong and was to be deeply

"I don't think that should take away from the work that the
majority of officers, both in the police and in the
service, the majority of the work that they did was of
enormous benefit to the local community."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/31 14:09:59 GMT


McGeough: SF Forced Into U-Turn

31/01/2007 - 21:39:10

Sinn Féin is being forced into u-turn after u-turn because
of the insatiable demands of Ian Paisley, a former party
member said tonight.

Gerry McGeough, a former IRA gun runner who is challenging
the party as an independent candidate in the Stormont
Assembly Election, claimed his former colleagues had turned
their backs on a united Ireland by endorsing the Police
Service of Northern Ireland.

At the launch of his campaign in Fermanagh and South
Tyrone, he also said he would prefer a Plan B of more all-
Ireland political arrangements to Bertie Ahern and Tony
Blair’s Plan A of resuming power sharing.

Mr McGeough said: “We have a very energetic and competent
campaign which is going to offer the people of Fermanagh
and South Tyrone a viable alternative.

“We are in this battle to win and expect to poll well.

“But whether we get 10 or 10,000 votes, the important thing
is someone is making a stand in this constituency for
traditional republican values.

“Sinn Féin, by endorsing the Crown forces, has taken the
united Ireland agenda out of the equation.

"My campaign’s aim is to put it back in there.”

Former Sinn Féin Assembly member John Kelly was among those
who turned out for the launch of the campaign in Lisnaskea.

A message of support for Mr McGeough was also read from
former IRA hunger striker, and vociferous critic of Gerry
Adams, Brendan Hughes.

Mr McGeough is hoping to capture one of six seats up for
grabs in the Assembly election in the Fermanagh and South
Tyrone constituency.

Sinn Féin currently has two Assembly seats.

The party’s Michelle Gildernew is also the MP for the

Fermanagh and South Tyrone came to prominence in 1981 when
IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands won a House of Commons seat
there in a by-election.

Mr McGeough tonight challenged Ms Gildernew to an open,
level playing field public debate in the constituency on
the policing issue.

Following Sinn Féin’s comments in recent days urging
republicans to go directly to the police to report crimes
including the murder of Belfast father-of-two Robert
McCartney and Gerry Adams' assertion that he would have no
difficulty if a young republican joined the PSNI, Mr
McGeough said his former party was capitulating to the DUP.

“I actually feel vindicated by everything which has been
said since last Sunday’s Ard Fheis,” he said.

“I said no matter what Sinn Féin did it would not satisfy
the insatiable demands of the DUP.

“What we are witnessing now is the ongoing capitulation of
Sinn Féin, who have no option but to keep dancing to the
tune of the DUP and the British government.”


SDLP Launches All-Island Economy Plan

Ciara O'Brien
Wed, Jan 31, 2007

The SDLP has unveiled its blueprint for an all-Ireland
economy, with plans to help address skills shortages,
create a single corporation tax regime and tackle
infrastructure deficits.

The party is also proposing to remove tax barriers on
cross-border workers in an effort to improve the flow of
labour throughout the island.

The party argued that the lack of recognition for
qualifications in some areas was impeding the movement of
skilled workers to the areas they were needed most.

Part of the SDLP's plan includes accelerating the opening
of an all-Ireland energy market, and advocating the
recognition of the island as a European Energy Zone to help
reduce costs, meet targets and improve planning.

Speaking at the reception, the Taoiseach Mr Ahern said both
sides of the border faced similar economic challenges,
including greater competition from low-cost economies, the
promotion of investment in R&D, the need to deliver quality
health and education services and the need to build world-
class infrastructure.

"We want the children of this country to grow up in peace
and prosperity and with equal opportunity for all," he
said. Mr Ahern also pressed home the importance of power-
sharing in the North.

"Everyone who goes up for election knows that it is about
power-sharing, support for policing and all within a time-
frame of March 26th," he said.

Mr Ahern said it was crucial to look to the future. "As
attitudes change in the North, so we must look up and
appreciate what is happening. Now is the time to focus on
Northern Ireland, not to look away.

"We particularly need to understand the Unionist people and
build a new and durable relationship with them. We must be
ready to play our part in building a better island, on the
basis of respect for all."

© 2007


House Calls For Finucane Probe

By Ray O'Hanlon

Coming hard on the heels of the Police Ombudsman's report
on collusion, the U.S. House of Representatives called
Tuesday for a full independent inquiry into the 1989 murder
of Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane. Recently, the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Democratic Rep.
Tom Lantos, took a bipartisan line in voting through a
resolution authored by New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris
Smith that renewed its call for an inquiry into the murder.

That vote took place a day after the publication of what
Smith described as a "devastating report" detailing acts of
collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and police in
Northern Ireland.

The House resolution calls on the British government to now
begin a full "independent public judicial" investigation of
Finucane's murder.

"Pat Finucane was a courageous human rights activist and a
loving father and husband. It is imperative that the
questions surrounding Mr. Finucane's murder are answered in
order to restore full confidence in the rule of law in the
north of Ireland," Rep. Smith said in a statement

"Any agents of the government who may have colluded in the
murder of a defense attorney must be held accountable,"
added Smith, who over the years has authored three separate
congressional bills alleging human rights abuses by the
police in Northern Ireland.

Finucane was gunned down in front of his wife and children
and in the years since his death political figures and
human rights groups have charged that the murder was
carried out by loyalist gunmen with the aid of members of
the security forces.

The resolution, formally entitled house Concurrent
Resolution 20, calls on the British government to
"reconsider its position" on the matter of an inquiry into
the murder of Finucane, to amend the Inquiries Act of 2005,
and to take fully into account objections raised by the
Finucane family.

"For years, numerous international bodies and
nongovernmental human rights organizations have raised
allegations that Mr. Finucane's murder resulted from
collusion between loyalist paramilitaries and British
security forces," Smith said during the committee's pre-
vote hearing on the resolution.

"In 2004, retired Canadian Supreme Court Judge Peter Cory,
who was appointed by the governments of Ireland and the
United Kingdom to examine these allegations under the
Weston Park agreement, reported that sufficient evidence of
collusion existed to warrant a full, independent and public
judiciary inquiry without delay. Unfortunately, the British
government has yet to comply."

While the British government, as part of the Weston Park
agreement, committed itself to following Judge Cory's
recommendation, the subsequent Inquiries Act placed strong
limitations on the potential scope of any inquiry.

This in turn provoked sharp criticism from the Finucane
family, human rights groups, Judge Cory and the Irish

"During congressional hearings, the one theme that kept
recurring was the ongoing concern about human rights abuses
by members of the police service in Northern Ireland. The
concerns about collusion may never be put to rest without a
full investigation into the possibility of collusion in the
Finucane murder," said congressman Smith.

"A stumbling block to greater acceptance of the police by
the community has been that the charges of official
collusion in the murders of people such as Mr. Finucane
remain unresolved.

"People are hesitant to move forward if they are not
confident that those guilty of abuses will be held
accountable. As I have emphasized in other areas of
conflict, there can be no peace without justice," Smith

This story appeared in the issue of January 31 - February
6, 2007


Order Stops Casual Trading At Cliffs Of Moher

Wednesday, 31 January 2007 15:59

Clare County Council has secured a court order at Ennis
Circuit Court to prevent casual trading and busking at the
Cliffs of Moher.

It comes after the council sought injunctions on 19 traders
and buskers operating at the site last year.

It has already offered licenses to 17 buskers under a new
scheme set up to maintain standards, and says it intends to
fully implement the terms of today's order at the cliffs.

AdvertisementThe cliffs attracted more than a million
visitors last year.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will officially open the new €31.45m
'Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience' on Thursday, 8

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