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January 21, 2007

Haddock Is The Tip of The Iceberg

News About Ireland & The Irish

SL 01/21/07 Haddock Is The Tip Of The Iceberg
SL 01/21/07 Attorney-General's Mystery Files
SF 01/21/07 Adams Commemoration In Crossmaglen
BN 01/21/07 Hold Your Nerve, Hain Tells Sinn Féin
SF 01/21/07 McGuinness Encourages Participation
BN 01/21/07 McGuinness: We Need Plan B
SF 01/21/07 Durkan Attempting To Re-Write History
SL 01/21/07 IRSP Drops Support
SL 01/21/07 Time Is Right For Policing Decision
SL 01/21/07 Paisley's Church Faces Real Crisis, Says Foster
SL 01/21/07 Evil Klan Hoods In Ulster Net Hate Campaign
BN 01/21/07 Islands in Father Ted Festival Row


Haddock Is The Tip Of The Iceberg

[Published: Sunday 21, January 2007 - 09:20]
By Brian Rowan

He describes the UVF as "a vile, dirty, dangerous, killing
organisation" and says: "We had to get among them."

This is an intelligence source with detailed knowledge of
the inner workings of Special Branch.

He knows the role of the informer Mark Haddock. He knows
the period when the loyalist was being run as a covert
intelligence source. He knows it in fine detail.

"When you start mixing with it, you will get some
splatter," added the source.

So, is this the explanation for all that was wrong in the
handling or mishandling of Haddock?

Is there any explanation?

How can the running and the paying of this loyalist
informer be justified, given all of the suspicion about his
own involvement in murder and other terrorist activity?

"There would have been more people in the cemeteries of
Northern Ireland if we hadn't run people like Mark
Haddock," said the source.

It's not an answer to any specific question, but a
statement of fact as far as the source is concerned.

"The briefings coming in [said] Haddock was worth keeping"
- keeping, not just for his knowledge of the UVF in north
Belfast, but in relation to planned attacks in the

The intelligence source dismissed any suggestion of
collusion with loyalists: "If you examined some of the
republicans we ran, we ran them exactly the same way."

Haddock, who will be described as "Informant 1" in Mrs
O'Loan's report, is the "main suspect for ordering the
murder" of Raymond McCord jnr in 1997.

But later, according to intelligence sources, Haddock told
Special Branch about the people and the car linked to the

What are we dealing with here?

An agent who orders a murder, then informs on those
involved, and, six years after that killing, he's still on
Special Branch's books.

Haddock wasn't stood down until sometime in 2003. Who can
explain this?

In the pages of the Ombudsman's report tomorrow, we may
also read that the Special Branch dropped Haddock as an
agent because of his suspected involvement in another
killing in 1997 - not the McCord murder - but that he was
"back on the books" within a short period of time. Is there
an answer for this?

The intelligence source did not deal with the specifics of
that question.

His argument is that looking back from the present misses
the "context of time and place". He said: "It's all right
sitting back [now].

"But it's different when you are dealing with a live
terrorist situation."

In our peace we are left to walk through the filth of a
very dirty war. In this story of murder, agents and the
Special Branch, the puppets and the strings became a
tangled mess - and Haddock is the tip of the iceberg.

Sir Hugh has many questions to answer

When Sir Hugh Orde responds to the report of the Police
Ombudsman tomorrow, he needs to do a number of things.

He needs to say sorry - a policing sorry. He needs to
explain what has changed within the Special Branch system -
and how the mess of Haddock can never happen again.

And he needs to leave the specific explanation of the
mishandling of that agent to those who were directly
responsible - to the police and the Special Branch of
yesterday and not today.

Speaking last night, Sir Hugh said: "There has been a
fundamental root-and-branch review of how intelligence and
informants are handled."

That review, he said, had been "overseen by the Policing
Board" and followed the recommendations in a series of
reports - Stevens, Blakey and Crompton.

"It has been done," he added.

One senior republican interviewed by Sunday Life yesterday
was also very clear about the next steps.

He said: "Orde needs to speak to the Catholic community,
and reassure republicans, not that it won't happen again,
but that it can't happen again - that the system is crafted
in a way that doesn't allow for any repeat."

The police say the new structure now in place is
"absolutely designed" to "make it impossible" for the past
to be repeated.

The report from the Police Ombudsman comes at a critical
moment of decision for republicans. This day next week, at
a special ard fheis, Sinn Fein will decide their policing

"He [Sir Hugh] should be giving a guarantee to people that
on his watch there will never be a force within a force,"
said Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly.

Kelly - the party's policing and justice spokesman - added:
"Then it's up to the accountability mechanisms, hard
negotiated, to ensure that no-one at any level in a police
force can do it again.

"They [Special Branch] were so fixated with dealing with
republicans, that they let everything else go."

Now, he says, victims must "know the truth", and people
must know " that it can never happen again". Kelly's
argument is that policing and justice powers must be moved
away from "the hidden places in the British system".

And the SDLP say there is an argument for yet more

"Hugh Orde has to recognise that this report is of recent
vintage and confirms why robust accountability is needed
for any person and any organisation involved in
intelligence in the north," said the party's Alex Attwood.

"Orde should step back and tell the NIO that's what's
needed, and, critically, around MI5."

This is another of those moments when the past plays into
the present - and when the spotlight will shine again on
the Special Branch.

Agent may spend rest of his life behind bars

Caged Special Branch agent Mark Haddock was last night
believed to be " deeply disturbed" by the publication of
tomorrow's report into his gang's activities.

A senior prison source told Sunday Life the heavyweight
loyalist has been telling fellow inmates that he fears for
his life because of the report's findings.

The source also told of how Haddock has been telling pals
that he will spend the rest of his days behind bars.

Said the source: "Haddock is at his wits' end and he has
been dreading the publication of this report.

"He knows he will be the laughing stock of the jail on
Monday. He now knows that he's finished and he firmly
believes he will face new charges which will keep him in
jail for a very long time.

"He keeps telling the guards he will be poisoned or
something and how he will have to move out of Northern
Ireland if he ever gets out of jail.

"Haddock knows Raymond McCord took him on and won and he
can't stomach it. He is a man at the end of his tether with
nowhere to go.

In a separate development, sources also believe that the
UVF has vowed to kill one of Haddock's gang because of
their roles as Special Branch agents.

Added the source: "The word on the street is that the UVF
is going to nail someone over this whole McCord thing. They
are dreading the publication of this report and there's no
way the Chief of Staff will take the rap for it.

"It will be one of the members from Mount Vernon and
already a number of them are believed to have gone into

"This report has sent shockwaves through the UVF and it
will be interesting to see if the PUP makes any comment on

No charges for officers

No police officers are to face criminal charges arising
from the Police Ombudsman's report into the murder of
Raymond McCord jnr.

Sunday Life understands that serving and former officers
who had previously been warned they could face criminal
charges arising out of the contents of the Ombudsman report
have been told crown prosecutors will not be pursuing
criminal charges. The Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, is
currently examining papers compiled by Mrs O'Loan
recommending the prosecution of up to seven former RUC and
PSNI officers.

But it is understood that all those involved have already
been told that there will be no prosecutions.

Criminal trials could have seen former Secretaries of State
subpoenaed as witnesses and quizzed over Mark Haddock's
activities. One former senior Special Branch officer told
Sunday Life: "Don't forget: ultimately, we implemented
security policy in Northern Ireland that was determined by
(the Government).

"Senior Special Branch officers attended weekly meetings of
the joint policy group at Stormont that were chaired by the
Secretary of State - not by us.

"Ultimately, security policy was decided in London and it
was the responsibility of the Secretary of State for
Northern Ireland to ensure that the policy was correctly
and effectively carried out and there are minutes of those

With Haddock understood to have been operational as a
paramilitary from 1991 and a police agent from 1992, his
role covers both Conservative and Labour administrations.
Sir Patrick Mayhew, Peter Mandelson, and Paul Murphy could
all become potential witnesses in a trial if "policy"
relating to the handling of informants becomes an evidence

© Belfast Telegraph


Attorney-General's Mystery Files

[Published: Sunday 21, January 2007 - 09:31]
By Alan Murray

Within the group of former Special Branch officers who feel
they have been targeted by Nuala O'Loan, there is
puzzlement at the referral of the files to Attorney-General
Lord Goldsmith.

Said a former officer yesterday: "There are really only a
few reasons that files would be forwarded to the [Attorney-
General's] office - in criminal offence terms, really only
treason and bribing a police officer.

"Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, or
malfeasance in public office, wouldn't merit his

"If the case is overly-complicated, it might go to the A-G,
but, then, there have been even more complicated cases -
some involving fatal shootings over the last 35 years - so
it's difficult to see this being too complex for the
Director of Public Prosecutions in Belfast.

"The only other possibility, really, is the sensitivity
issue, or political considerations.

"Is it possible that the Ombudsman has found some trace or
lead to Box [MI5] which even we don't know about or never

"What we say is that we have not committed any criminal
offences and that we carried out our duties in accordance
with Government policy and observed the provisions of the
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

"It was RUC Special Branch officers who created the model
for the guidelines incorporated into RIPA and that is what
was followed at the management level."

The former officer said it may also be that forwarding the
papers to the Attorney-General's office was designed to
spare Mrs O'Loan " embarrassment".

"If the Public Prosecution Service in 2005 or 2006 declared
that there was no basis for criminal charges to be brought
against any former Special Branch officer, then Mrs
O'Loan's report would be a bit of a damp squib, wouldn't

"In November, for instance, we understand that she was
advised by her lawyers that she couldn't, or shouldn't,
name the primary subject of her report, because his
relatives might sue her for putting his life in jeopardy if
he was subsequently killed by the UVF," he said.

"That's why there was a delay and why he will not be named
in the report that is made public.

"We will wait to see what it says before making any further

© Belfast Telegraph


Gerry Adams Addresses Seamus Harney Commemoration In

Published: 21 January, 2007

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP gave the oration today
in Crossmaglen, at an event to commemorate the death of IRA
Volunteer Seamus Harvey who was killed 30 years ago. The
Sinn Féin President praised Seamus Harvey, his family and
all the families of the republican patriot dead. He
addressed the current situation, the Ombudsman's report
tomorrow into the killing of Raymond McCord jnr, and the
policing debate.

Mr. Adams said:

Tomorrow the Omudsman will publish a report into the
killing of Raymond McCord jnr. A young loyalist killed by
the UVF. The report will confirm that collusion was an
institutionalised practice involving the old RUC Special
Branch, British intelligence, mainly MI5, and the unionist
death squads.

Over the weekend the SDLP leader, in a cynical and most
opportunistic effort sought to claim this report for the
SDLP. Nonsense! When these killings and hundreds more were
taking place the SDLP denied that there was Collusion.
Instead, as MI5 was killing our people, the SDLP were
telling us that the British were neutral.

The real credit for the Ombudsman's report must go to
Raymond McCord Snr and his family. They have endured much
in pursuit of the truth of their son's killing.

But this report is only the tip of the iceberg. And the
investigation into the activities of the Special Branch and
the UVF in north Belfast is only part of the story of

But the truth will out. Here in South Armagh collusion was
a central part of British strategy. Their deaths squad was
active through this area.

Their activities extended into Dublin, Dundalk and
Monaghan. Scores were killed by gangs of killers involving
loyalist death squads, the UDR, the old RUC and MI5 and
British military intelligence.

Sinn Féin is committed to helping the families bereaved by

But the Ombudsman's report also impacts directly on the
debate we will be having next Sunday at our Special Ard
Fheis on Policing.

This is another reason why republican must take ownership
of the accountability mechanisms we have secured for

Our job is to hold the police to account. Our job is to
ensure that no one within policing is able to collude with
or run death squads. That is our responsibility.

For republicans the policing debate is probably the most
challenging and difficult we have yet faced.

But as we discuss among ourselves and with our friends and
comrades and community what this means -- let us also keep
our eye firmly fixed on the big prize -- the prize of unity
and independence. Because everything we do is about taking
us one step closer to that goal.

Republican strategy today is about building political
strength; popularising republican ideas; and, mobilising,
organising and strategising about how we can best achieve a
free, united Ireland.

One part of this is reaching a new peaceful accord with our
unionist neighbours based upon equality. The new Ireland we
seek to build has to be inclusive of the new Irish, the
immigrants who have come to this island in search of a
better life, as well as of unionists.

This is the context in which we must approach the issues of
policing and justice.

Significant progress has been made on key policing and
justice issues in this period.

The party leadership believe this represents a sustainable
basis to deliver a new beginning to policing in the context
of our strategic objectives; the full implementation of the
Good Friday Agreement; and, moving the struggle closer to
our primary aim of Irish independence, self determination,
and sovereignty.

Our intention, if the Ard Fheis agrees with the Ard
Chomhairle, is to ensure that no police officer ever again
does what was done on our people without being held to

I believe if we advance together, united behind our
republican goals, we will win our freedom and build the
united Ireland for which Seamus Harvey and his comrades
gave their lives


Hold Your Nerve, Hain Tells Sinn Féin

21/01/2007 - 12:58:38

A report into Special Branch officers' involvement with a
loyalist paramilitary gang by the North's Police Ombudsman
will make uncomfortable reading, Northern Secretary Peter
Hain admitted today.

On the eve of the publication of the report on an Ulster
Volunteer Force gang riddled with informers which carried
out murders from its North Belfast powerbase, Mr Hain urged
Sinn Féin and republicans to hold their nerve as they
considered endorsing the Police Service of Northern Ireland
(PSNI) for the first time in their history.

Following concerns that the report could destabilise
efforts to persuade Sinn Féin to support the PSNI at a
special conference in Dublin next week, Mr. Hain said: "The
report makes uncomfortable reading and will do especially
for those in positions of responsibility in the police
during the 1990s. There is no getting away from that.

"As for the timing of this, I would hope that republicans
in the run up to their critical meeting at the Árd Fheis
next weekend would take the advice of Gerry Adams that if
they still have remaining concerns about policing, the best
way to influence that is to sign up to supporting policing
and the rule of law as a matter of fundamental principle.

"They should participate in the district Policing
Partnerships as they are entitled to do and take their
seats on the Policing Board as Sinn Féin representatives
are entitled to do.

"That is how they can best answer the concerns raised in
this report.

"In my view the Ombudsman report is devastating about the
past and especially about the murder of Raymond McCord and
other related murders.

"It is a devastating indictment of that period of policing
in the 1990s but the PSNI has since come into being and
policing has been radically transformed since then."

Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan's report
focuses not just on the murder of Raymond McCord Junior in
1997 at the hands of a UVF gang on the outskirts of
Belfast, but covers other murders.

It is expected to be highly critical of how the police who
are running agents in the gang handled their informers.

Mr Hain today would not be drawn on claims that the Public
Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland has decided not to
prosecute police officers implicated in Mrs O'Loan's

Mr Hain was commenting as Sinn Féin continued with a series
of week-long meetings across Northern Ireland in the run-up
to its special conference.

Republicans backed meetings in Toome in Co Antrim and
Galbally, Co Tyrone yesterday addressed by Mr Adams, the
party’s MEP Bairbre de Brun and its policing spokesperson
Gerry Kelly.

The party’s chief negotiator Martin McGuinness was due to
take part in a meeting in Lurgan, Co Armagh today while Mr.
Adams was due to address republicans in Crossmaglen in the
south of the county before taking part in a public debate
in Newcastle, Co Down.

During yesterday’s meetings, Mr Adams argued Sinn Féin’s
support for the police in the North at this stage was the
right thing for republicans to do and would advance the
cause of a united Ireland.

He challenged critics of the Sinn Féin leadership to spell
out publicly at the debates what their plans were for
achieving a united Ireland.

In Galbally, the Sinn Féin leader was challenged from the
floor by former party member and former IRA gun-runner,
Gerry McGeough, who could be among a number of independent
republican candidates who will challenge the party in the
March Assembly election.

In Toome, some disaffected republicans opted not to take
part in the public meeting, including Paul McGlinchey whose
brother Sean was on the platform supporting Mr Adams.

Mr Hain said today he was hopeful the ingredients would be
in place for a meaningful Assembly election if the 2,000
members attending next week’s Árd Fheis backed the proposal
to support the police in the North.

“If those attending the Árd Fheis follow the
recommendations of Sinn Féin’s Ard Chomhairle (national
executive) Gerry Adams, Martin McGuiness and Gerry Kelly
and sign up to supporting the police and rule of law, there
is no reason not to have an election campaign to get a
mandate to take part in a power-sharing administration on
March 26,” he said.

“All the ingredients will be in place following a
successful Árd Fheis, I believe, for devolution to occur.

“There should be no dodging by anyone of their
responsibilities because we cannot be any clearer. March 26
is D-Day – there will either be devolution on that date or

The minister said he believed that Ian Paisley’s Democratic
Unionist Party was committed to sharing power provided
republicans supported the police, the courts and the rule
of law and demonstrated that.

“The DUP wants to see devolution happen,” he said. “I know
Ian Paisley wants it and he has made that clear in recent
weeks and days.”


McGuinness Encourages People To Make Their Voice Heard On
Policing Issue

Published: 21 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness speaking from
Lurgan before the latest public meeting on the policing
issue, said that the big crowds attending both the public
meetings and the republican gatherings over recent days
showed a vibrant community wanting to participate and
wanting to have their voice heard in this crucially
important debate.

Mr McGuinness said:

"When we set out our intention to embark upon a series of
public and party meetings throughout the island before next
weekends Ard Fheis we wanted to see the maximum
participation from both the republican grassroots and the
wider nationalist community in this debate. That is clearly
what is now underway. Yesterday in Belfast I spoke to well
over 1000 republicans. Well over 1500 people attended the
public meetings in Toome and Galbally. I am sure that his
trend will continue today in Crossmaglen, Lurgan and

"It is clear from the meetings so far that the broad
nationalist and republican community want to have this
debate. We have set out our position and are seeking
community support for this. It is clear that people want to
make their voice heard. I have to say that I am greatly
encouraged by the vibrancy, the focus and the quality of
the debate so far. It is evidence of a community that is
intent on moving forward with even greater confidence than
before. It is evidence of a community relishing the
challenges which will lie ahead.

"But we are acutely aware of the difficulty of this debate
for many nationalists and republicans. It is our
communities who have suffered from decades of partisan
political policing. Our objective is to end that experience

"That is why we are trying to ensure that everyone within
our society who wishes to participate can have their say.
That is crucially important and I would once again
encourage people who hold whatever view on this matter not
to allow the opportunity to participate to pass."ENDS


McGuinness: We Need A Plan B If Unionists Do Not Deliver

21/01/2007 - 16:08:34

Sinn Féin will be looking to Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair to
reactivate cross-border bodies if their plan to achieve
powersharing at Stormont by March fails, Martin McGuinness
said today.

In the third of a series of meetings across the North to
consider Sinn Féin's proposal for republicans to support
the police, the Mid-Ulster MP said there was no way he
would ask young nationalists to sign up to a British police

Mr McGuinness also told more than 200 republicans in Lurgan
that Sinn Féin's opponents would be sorely disappointed if
they expected hardline republicans to pose a serious
challenge to his party.

Mr McGuinness claimed: "Our approach is a conditional

"We have made it quite clear that if the DUP are not
prepared to deliver the Good Friday Agreement, the last
point of our motion says that in the event of powersharing
not happening, the two governments would have to move on to
Plan B.

"We made it clear in the motion that Plan B, the
partnership arrangements, have to be acceptable to Sinn
Féin and we'll have to contemplate the refusal and failure
of the DUP to sign up to powersharing.

"What is Plan B? It is the unfreezing of the all-Ireland
institution body. It has to be a further development of
those implementation bodies as well, and issues like energy
and transport.

"But let us also be clear we are Plan A-ers. We think it is
better for the entire process that we have all the
powersharing institutions and the all-Ireland institutions
up and running, with Ian Paisley in them.

"That would be good psychologically for loyalists and
unionists as well."

Sinn Féin is holding public meetings in the build-up to
next week's crucial Árd Fheis to debate whether republicans
should support the Police Service of Northern Ireland and
participate in policing accountability bodies.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony
Blair have identified Sinn Féin's support for the PSNI as
being critical to their hopes of persuading the DUP to
share power with republicans by March 26.

Mr McGuinness claimed the DUP had on a number of occasions
fallen short of honouring what it had agreed to do to
advance efforts to secure power-sharing.

The Sinn Féin chief negotiator said his party had been told
that the reason why Mr Paisley had failed to do what was
expected of him was he was facing opposition from within
his ranks, including oppositions from some MPs such as
Gregory Campbell, Nigel Dodds and David Simpson.


Durkan Remarks On Collusion Attempting To Re-Write History

Published: 21 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Assembly member Alex Maskey has accused the SDLP
leader Mark Durkan of 'insulting the intelligence of
victims of collusion'. Mr Maskey, himself a victim of
British Agent Brian Nelson, made his remarks after the SDLP
leader claimed that the release of the Police Ombudsman
report into the murder of Raymond McCord Junior would
finally prove allegations of collusion where true. Mr
Durkan however ignored the fact that for two decades when
collusion was at its height the SDLP dismissed collusion as
'republican propaganda'.

Mr Maskey said:

"Many people within the broad nationalist and republican
community, but particularly victims of the collusion
policy, were stunned yesterday when Mark Durkan attempted
to claim that the Police Ombudsman Report into the killing
of Raymond McCord justified their position on collusion. He
attempted to spin the lie that the SDLP had been trying to
expose the reality of collusion for years. The exact
opposite is the case.

"The SDLP supported the RUC. The SDLP supported the RUC
Special Branch. The SDLP encouraged nationalists to co-
operate with these organisations at the time when they were
controlling and directing unionist murder gangs. In 1985
after the Anglo-Irish Agreement the SDLP told us that the
British now had a neutral position on the six counties. The
SDLP swallowed this lie and attempted to sell it to the
nationalist community. At the same time the British were
re-arming the death squads through South Africa and
updating their intelligence through people like Brian

"But what annoys and upsets victims of the British
collusion policy most is that when Sinn Féin along with
Human Rights and victims organisations were seeking to
expose this policy when it was at its height, the SDLP
publicly dismissed concerns about collusion as 'republican
propaganda'. Indeed in my own case the SDLP briefed the
media that it was their belief that the attempt to murder
me was carried out by fellow republicans. No amount to spin
from Mark Durkan can alter this reality. Indeed his
attempts to rewrite history on this issue are insulting the
intelligence of victims."ENDS


IRSP Drops Support

[Published: Sunday 21, January 2007 - 09:42]
By Stephen Breen

A renegade republican terror group last night withdrew its
backing for a number of ex-Provisionals who have vowed to
contest Assembly elections.

A senior republican source told Sunday Life that the INLA's
political wing, the IRSP, will not be endorsing candidates,
including IRA gunrunner Gerry McGeough, because of their
ultra-Catholic values.

McGeough, who attempted to smuggle SAM-7 missiles into
Northern Ireland in the 1980s, is one of a number of
candidates who have vowed to oppose Sinn Fein because of
its stance on policing.

But veteran north Antrim republican Laurence O'Neill, who
has challenged Gerry Adams to a live TV debate on policing,
said the IRSP's lack of support would not prevent angry
republicans from contesting elections.

The source claimed the IRSP have offered to support the
brother of former INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey and ex-
Sinn Fein member Davy Hyland.

It's not clear if the IRSP has decided to field candidates
in any future elections because of the left-wing party's
opposition to Stormont.

Said the source: "They have offered support to a number of
candidates, but this was only done because these people
class themselves as true Irish socialists and have no
interest in religion.

"The IRSP had considered supporting all candidates standing
against Sinn Fein, but decided it was against their left-
wing ideology to support those with strong religious

Mr O'Neill responded: "No disrespect to the IRSP, but I
don't think the people who have decided to stand against
Sinn Fein because of the policing issue will worry about
their views."

© Belfast Telegraph


Time Is Right For Policing Decision

[Published: Sunday 21, January 2007 - 09:39]

After many decades of naked hostility towards the police
many republicans are finding it hard to swallow the Sinn
Fein leadership's new pro-PSNI stance. Ahead of his party's
crunch Ard Fheis next weekend Sinn Fein President Gerry
Adams explains why the time is now right for republicans to
support the PSNI and criminal justice system

This time next Sunday the Sinn Fein special ard fheis will
be taking place in the RDS in Dublin.

Over 2,000 republicans from across Ireland will come
together for the conclusion of a debate that has been going
on for some time, but which is currently very intense.

Sinn Fein has reached this historic juncture after years of
difficult, but successful negotiations with the British
Government on policing.

When others were willing to settle for less, Sinn Féin
ensured that the negotiations continued until there was
full delivery.

We stayed out of policing structures until now in order to
bring about maximum change.

Now is the time, I believe, for Sinn Féin to go into the
new policing dispensation in order to continue to bring
about maximum change and to hold to account those
responsible for policing.

Last weekend the party's Ard Chomhairle agreed to propose a
motion to the ard fheis, which if passed will see Sinn Féin
support the PSNI and the criminal justice system; appoint
party representatives to the Policing Board and District
Policing Partnership Boards; and actively encourage
everyone in the community to co-operate fully with the
police services in tackling crime in all areas and actively
supporting all the criminal justice institutions.

The motion also makes clear our determination to robustly
support the demands for equality of treatment for all
victims and survivors, as well as effective truth recovery

Tomorrow, Monday, the Ombudsman will publish a report on
the killing of Raymond McCord Jnr. By all accounts it will
be a damning indictment of the RUC and British intelligence
systems and their collusion with unionist death squads.

Of course, nationalists and republicans have known of
collusion for decades. We have exposed its lethal and
tragic consequences for families, and campaigned with
families to end it.

After the ard fheis, and if the motion is successfully
passed, Sinn Féin is determined to continue to campaign
with families for the British Government to acknowledge its
involvement in wrongdoing, including collusion with
loyalist paramilitaries, and to ensure that there is no
place in the PSNI for those guilty of human rights abuses.
Republicans have always been for policing.

Republicans have always been for law and order.

Republicans and nationalists are against criminality. Those
who target the young and the elderly, those who deal in
drugs and rob and assault our senior citizens, as well as
the rapists and racists, have to face justice.

But what passed here in the north for policing and a
criminal justice system for over 80 years was neither. The
RUC was a unionist militia whose function was to defend
British and unionist interests by any means necessary,
inside and outside of the law.

That fact was acknowledged in the Good Friday Agreement and
in the processes it established to bring about a new
beginning to policing and to fundamentally change the
criminal justice system.

Almost eight years after the Agreement, it would be
entirely wrong to allow the most negative elements of
unionism a veto over republican and nationalist efforts to
achieve the new beginning to policing promised then. Sinn
Fein will not be paralysed by rejectionist elements of the

In all of the negotiations we have had on this issue with
the British, Sinn Féin's strategic goal has been to achieve
a civic policing system which is accountable to citizens
and representative of the community as a whole. This is
good for everyone, including unionists and police officers.

Our objective is to secure a proper policing service and to
hold that policing service fully to account.

Sinn Féin has already achieved enormous progress on the
issues of democratic accountability, human rights
protections and the ending of political and repressive

We have reversed the integration of MI5 with the PSNI,
agreed and claimed as a victory by the SDLP at St Andrews.
And on plastic bullets our discussions with the British
Government and the PSNI Chief Constable secured a
commitment that these weapons will not be used as crowd
control weapons, as well as an acknowledgement of the hurt
and deaths they had caused.

I believe that the new beginning to policing promised in
the Good Friday Agreement is now within our grasp. Sinn
Fein wants to get policing right. The Extraordinary Sinn
Fein Ard Fheis is crucial to this. Our vision is of a new
policing and justice system throughout this island.

To repeat what I said three weeks ago. This is the right
thing to do and the right time to do it. The war is over.
Let's build the peace.

© Belfast Telegraph


Paisley's Church Faces Real Crisis, Says Foster

Sunday, January 21, 2007
By Stephen Gordon

Ian Paisley's Free Presbyterian Church is on the verge of a
split or total collapse, one of its leading ministers has

Veteran preacher Ivan Foster has given his sternest warning
yet of the crisis facing the church if Dr Paisley, its
moderator, leads the DUP into a coalition government with
Sinn Fein.

Rev Foster, one of Dr Paisley's oldest friends, says he is
praying " that God will spare His aged servant from
bringing dishonour on his head" .

The Fermanagh minister warned back in November that most
Free Presbyterians were "heartbroken" over the prospect of
Dr Paisley sharing power with Martin McGuinness. And last
week on his Burning Bush website (, he
talked openly of fears of a "fracture" in the church in
response to an email from a concerned Free Presbyterian in
the USA.

Rev Foster said: "The fear of fracturing is felt very
keenly here but, sadly, it will most certainly happen if
there is no attempt to stand against what is wrong.

"It is a case of the patient will die if surgery is not
performed and if surgery is performed it will cause the
patient pain!"

He added the Free Presbyterian Church was given no notice
that Dr Paisley, in his political role, was going to seek a
power-sharing coalition with Sinn Fein.

"There are ministers who have chosen to say nothing in
order to avoid the possibility of division. But silence in
the face of what is obviously wrong cannot be justified,"
he said.

"For some 40 years Dr Paisley campaigned against that which
he is now espousing."

Rev Foster asked people to pray for the church's survival.

"Let all who love the Saviour pray for its (the FPC)
continuance and for its deliverance from this entanglement
which threatens the very purpose for which it was raised


Evil Klan Hoods In Ulster Net Hate Campaign

[Published: Sunday 21, January 2007 - 10:24]
By Joe Oliver

An ultra-racist group linked to the Ku Klux Klan is using
immigration to gain a foothold in Ulster.

The Knights of the Invisible Empire want to see all migrant
workers and asylum seekers booted out.

And it is also demanding an end to "gypsy races" in the

The white supremacist organisation has recently set up a
number of internet websitesas part of its sick race hate

It is capitalising on concerns over the increasing number
of foreign workers to these shores in order to attract
support in areas like Ballymena and Craigavon.

In recent years, there has been a steady rise in activity
in the province by supporters of far-right groups.

Fascist cabals - including Combat 18, the White Nationalist
Party and the National Front - have previously forged
strong links with loyalist extremists.

The Knights of the Invisible Empire has long abandoned the
Klan's infamous white hood and robe trademark.

At its height the Klan had 5m members in America.

On one website, the Knights provide application forms - for
all "white Christians" - and warn "the Aryan masses
worldwide of the dangers that face our race".

These dangers, it claims, have been increased by an
enlarged European Community "with Romanian and Bulgarian
ethnic races ready to pour into Northern Ireland".

The Knights are understood to have a base in Ballymena and
have been active in Craigavon, where planning permission
was recently given for a mosque.

There have also been racially motivated disturbances in the
Village area of south Belfast and in Dungannon a growing
population of Portuguese workers have been subjected to
vile taunts.

The Knights of the Invisible Empire's has a bizarre
initiation ceremony.

New recruits are blindfolded with a mock hangman's noose
placed around their neck. They then swear allegiance with
one hand on the Bible and the other on Adolf Hitler's Mein

Patrick Yu, executive director of the Northern Ireland
Council for Ethnic Minorities, said yesterday: "This is not
acceptable in any democratic society and there are laws to
deal with it."

A report published last week said criminal justice agencies
in the province had displayed a "commendable commitment" to
tackling hate crime.

But the Criminal Justice Inspection also called for a more
consistent and integrated approach by police, prosecutors
and other agencies.

© Belfast Telegraph


Careful now - Islands in Father Ted festival row

21/01/2007 - 14:01:33

A row has broken out between two neighbouring Aran Islands
off Co Galway over an inaugural Father Ted festival next

Inis Mor, the largest of the three isles, is planning a
three-day 'Friends of Ted' event to mark the ninth
anniversary of the death of comic Dermot Morgan, the star
of the Channel 4 series.

However, Inis Oirr, the smallest of the islands, believes
it has a bigger claim over Father Ted because local scenes,
including the famous Plassey shipwreck, are shown in the
opening scenes of the hit comedy.

Inis Mor has been given an off-season cash injection as
dozens of Father Ted fans have rushed to book hotels,
hostels and B&Bs for the February 23-25 festival.

However one B&B owner on Inis Oirr said: "It's unfair that
Inis Mor is cashing in on Father Ted when obviously we have
closer links with the show. Fans and tourists would have
come here in the past just to view the Plassey shipwreck.
Inis Mor is trying to pull a fast one to be honest and
we're not very impressed."

The Friends of Ted event features a bizarre array of themed
events associated with the comedy series, such as the
Father Jack Cocktail Evening, the Father Dougal Breakfast
Movie Charades, the Lovely Girls Contest and Charity
Auction and A Song for Europe.

Also featured on the bill is the Toilet Duck Comedy Awards,
Crazy Golf, Hide A Nun and Seek, Ludo Aerobics, Buckeroo
Speed Dating and a Ferrero Rocher Quiz Night.

Fancy dress five-aside football will also pit priests
against nuns on the island.

The event is organised by Friends of Ted group established
to organise an annual celebration of the comedy series, on
the weekend closest to Morgan's death.

The organisers hope to limit the event to 100 lucky fans
and a proportion of ticket sales will go towards Croi, the
West of Ireland Cardiology Foundation.

Father Ted is set on the fictional 'Craggy Island' but was
shot at various locations in Co Clare such as Ennis,
Kilfenora, Ennistymon, and Kilnaboy. The parochial house is
at Glenquin, near Kilnaboy. All interior scenes were shot
in London.

Written by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan, Father Ted
ran for three seasons on Channel 4 between April 1995 and
May 1998.

It is currently being screened on BBC America, and is
repeated frequently on Channel 4, More4 and RTÉ Two.

The hit comedy spawned a string of catchphrases and
launched the careers of simple-minded priest Ardal O'Hanlon
as Father Dougal, manic housekeeper Pauline McGlynn and
veteran actor Frank Kelly won over younger audiences as an
alcoholic layabout who randomly shouted 'Drink! Feck!

The show won a BAFTA award for Best Comedy in 1996 while
Morgan won a BAFTA for Best Actor and McLynn scooped the
Best Actress award.

Morgan died aged 45 on February 28 1998 after he suffered a
massive heart attack at his home just 24 hours after
finishing the recording of the last episode of Father Ted.

More information on the Friends of Ted festival is
available on

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