News about the Irish & Irish American culture, music, news, sports. This is hosted by the Irish Aires radio show on KPFT-FM 90.1 in Houston, Texas (a Pacifica community radio station)

January 28, 2007

How Britain Created Ulster's Murder Gangs

News About Ireland & The Irish

SH 01/28/07 How Britain Created Ulster's Murder Gangs
RT 01/28/07 Sinn Féin Delegates Debating Policing Policy
IT 01/28/07 Text of Adams' Address To Conference
PT 01/28/07 McGuinness: 'Police Must Earn Republican Trust'
SF 01/27/07 Delegates Should Back Transforming Police
SL 01/28/07 SF Knows That IRA Has Already Given Assent
IT 01/28/07 Orde Says SF Support 'Inevitable'
SL 01/28/07 Where To Now For The Republican Refusniks?
SL 01/28/07 McCartneys:Back Police & Our Fight For Justice
SL 01/28/07 Party Bosses To Keep Guns
SM 01/28/07 Flim-Flam Flanagan
SB 01/28/07 MP: Flanagan’s Position Untenable
SB 01/28/07 Collusion Officer Gets PSNI Promotion
IT 01/28/07 Handling Recommendations 'Niave'
SL 01/28/07 Family Of IRA Victim Want Collusion Inquiry
SL 01/28/07 Genealogy: Voyage Of Discovery


How Britain Created Ulster's Murder Gangs

By Neil Mackay

Since the Sunday Herald was founded in 1999, it has led the
way in exposing the “dirty war” in Northern Ireland. Today,
we report on the most shocking revelations to date. Our
investigations show that far from merely “turning”
terrorists to work for the state, British military
intelligency actually created loyalist murder gangs to
operate as proxy assassins. They even cleared areas in
which the gangs were operating of police and army, to allow
them to carry out their hits and escape.

ON MONDAY, the world was stunned by the release of a report
by Nuala O'Loan, the police ombudsman for Northern Ireland,
which stated that Special Branch officers in Belfast had
"colluded" with loyalist terrorists working for the British
state as informers. According to O'Loan, police failed to
stop these paramilitary gangs, part of the Ulster Volunteer
Force (UVF) from killing an estimated 15 people in the
1990s. While this was seized upon by republicans as proof
that security forces had aided a loyalist campaign of
sectarian assassination, in reality O'Loan's findings
barely scratched the surface of a 30-year history of
criminality and murder orchestrated by the British army and
the Ulster police.

HE INSISTS on being named only as "JB", a sick, ageing man,
who fears that ill-health or a bullet from an assassin
wishing to silence him will claim his life before he has
the chance to tell the true story of his life and crimes.
On Wednesday, JB passed a bundle of papers to the Sunday
Herald, making up the bulk of his unpublished memoirs,
which paint British military intelligence as a callous,
murderous, criminal cabal. JB claims that he - and dozens
of other members of the terrorist organisation, the Ulster
Volunteer Force (UVF) - were trained and armed by military

He also claims select UVF officers were ordered by military
intelligence to carry out assassinations against both IRA
figures and ordinary Catholics. Such soft targets as
innocent men and women were pinpointed by military
intelligence in order to psychologically undermine the
nationalist population of Northern Ireland and cut the
support base from beneath the Provisional IRA.

Martin Ingram, the false cover name for a former member of
the covert British military intelligence outfit the Force
Research Unit (FRU), has supported the claims made by JB.
Ingram eventually turned whistleblower, disgusted at the
deaths the FRU had caused by colluding with terrorists in
Ulster. He later went on to write a book about the double
agent Stakeknife - IRA operative Freddie Scappaticci - who
had been "handled" by Ingram's FRU team and exposed by
Sunday Herald investigators. Ingram says he is aware of
JB's history, and believes his claims are "completely
credible". Loyalist sources have also confirmed JB's

JB, who was convicted twice of terrorist offences, once in
the 1970s and again in the early 1990s, says he carried out
some 50 UVF operations sanctioned by his handlers in the
Military Reconnaissance Force (MRF), the army team which
gathered intelligence and ran agents in Ulster. He says he
became a "killer, bomber, arsonist and robber". Of the 50
state-sanctioned operations he took part in, "not all were
successful". Some, he says, "were aborted". So far he has
refused to go into details of the actual murders he took
part in on behalf of British military intelligence. Beyond
admitting that killings took place, he will only talk about
how the British army trained him as a terrorist proxy.

In JB's words, "military intelligence trained, armed and
moulded squads of loyalists to put pressure on the IRA to
abandon their campaign of bloodshed and carnage". JB was a
young UVF member in the early 1970s when first approached
by an MRF handler. JB says the military intelligence
officer, whom he will name only as "Mike", told him that
the then prime minister Edward Heath had sanctioned the
"training of loyalists". Mike later added that "nobody,
except at the very highest level of the British government
and senior officers of the military" knew about the covert
counter-insurgency operations.

Mike told JB that "London has ordered the war be taken to
the IRA obviously this can't be done openly and must be
done covertly. That's why we are looking for people like
you ... We are enlisting men from all over the province to
co-ordinate attacks, to convince the Catholic people that
support for the Provos will only bring death and
destruction to their own community."

As well as being trained in firearms at army barracks and
firing ranges around Northern Ireland - primarily at Palace
Barracks near Holywood in County Down - men like JB were
also provided with intelligence on potential targets and
given details about which targets to hit. JB knows of at
least 30 loyalists who received similar training to him,
but believes more than 120 could have been trained as proxy
assassins. At times, he was given a British army uniform to
provide him with cover while with his handlers. He even
drank, on occasions, with his handlers in the Naafi - armed
forces bars on military bases.

When proxies like JB were dispatched on a murder operation,
military intelligence would impose an Out Of Bounds (OOB)
order on the area in which the attack was to take place. In
military terms, an OOB means an intelligence operation is
under way and army and police are forbidden from entering
the area. This gave loyalist murder gangs freedom to
operate with impunity during such state-sanctioned attacks.
At one stage, claims JB, Mike told him: "Mr Heath and the
top brass have given the green light for this."

JB was trained by military intelligence, he says, in how to
use a variety of hand-guns, machine guns and rifles, as
well as bomb-making techniques. The UVF men working for
military intelligence were also given consignments of guns
and ammunition by handlers, sent on gruelling fitness
courses and schooled in the arts of surveillance, counter-
surveillance and intelligence gathering. Other classes
included lectures on forensic science, how to avoid leaving
incriminating evidence at the scene of crimes and how to
steal cars for use in assassination operations.

JB also claims military intelligence instructed loyalists
to plant explosives in a Catholic bar to make it look as if
the IRA had accidentally set off the bomb. It was hoped
such acts would drain Catholic support for republicans.

The bomb was planted in McGurk's Bar in Belfast on December
4, 1971. It killed 15 men, women and children. The
immediate blame was indeed placed on the IRA. However,
seven years after the bomb, a UVF man received 15 life
sentences for the atrocity. JB says he was told about the
planned bombing two weeks before the attack and was with
his handler at the time it happened. He also claims he saw
his handler take pot-shots at republican youths on the
streets of Belfast around this time.

A captain in military intelligence spelt out the reasons
for the army creating these secret counter-insurgency cells
during one discussion with JB. He said: "This type of war
can't be won by conventional means. The only solution is to
implement a counter-operation, to counteract the violence
of the enemy by heaping more violence on them That's why
we've chosen men like you to instill trepidation and
pandemonium among the Provos and their support base, the
Catholic community We will match whatever they do, and
outdo them."

In the weeks leading up to the events of Bloody Sunday in
Derry, on January 30, 1972, in which the Paratroop Regiment
killed 13 people taking part in a civil rights
demonstration, JB was informed by his handlers that the
British army had been ordered by the Cabinet "to use
whatever force and tactics necessary to put these
troublemakers down". JB "concludes there were plans for
mass murder to be committed that day The Bloody Sunday
massacre was sanctioned by the government and top military
chiefs." JB is sure that there was a preconceived plan to
open fire on the civil rights demonstrators, with the full
knowledge this would cause civilian deaths. He believes
military intelligence thought this would shake the IRA.
Instead, the massacre was a huge boost to IRA support and

The day before Bloody Sunday, JB was taken for a training
session at Palace Barracks, where he was given a pep-talk
by a major who praised him for "having the courage and
loyalty to participate in covert actions against the common
enemy". The major told JB: "We are hoping to provoke a
confrontation with the IRA in Derry, and give them an
example of what to expect in future attacks." JB was then
offered the chance, he claims, to accompany his military
handler, Mike, to Derry to watch the operation to contain
the demonstration. Military intelligence sources today say
events such as this would help forge a bond, or esprit de
corps, between agent and handler.

JB was provided with a British army uniform, a gas mask,
camouflage face-paint and a rifle as cover for the time he
would spend in Derry with his handler. During the events,
JB watched from a military intelligence observation post as
soldiers opened fire on civilians. He also claims to have
seen members of military intelligence shooting at, and
hitting, unarmed civilians from the gun nest in the
observation post.

Another killing carried out by loyalists and facilitated by
military intelligence by the imposition of an OOB order
took place in February 1972 when a bomb exploded in a pub
killing, one Catholic man and injuring five others.

Trained proxies such as JB were often taken on "dummy run"
assassination operations by handlers to ensure the OOB
system was working. An OOB order would be given on a
specific area of Belfast and JB and his team would enter
the area, locate the home of a target, recce it and then
leave. If they met with no security force patrols, they
knew the OOB system was effective.

Mike at one time told JB: "We don't expect every time an
ASU active service unit of the UVF goes out, they will kill
somebody. The mere fact an attempt has been made and shots
fired, even if they wound or miss altogether, is all part
of the terror tactics." The policy was meant to "scare the
shit" out of Catholics. Mike also instructed JB on how to
"extract information" from Catholics or republicans they
kidnapped. The techniques were "gruesome", JB said. Mike
made clear that torture should be used, and referred to the
victims as "Taigs", a derogatory term for Catholics. Mike
also advised on the best shot to use to dispatch a victim
of a backstreet execution.

WHILE refusing to give a statement about the actual
operations in which he took part, JB said he knew about a
number of high-profile loyalist atrocities, sponsored by
the MRF. These included the shooting of three members of
the Miami Showband, a popular Irish group, in July 1975.
The band's bus was flagged down by members of the UVF
dressed in army uniforms at a fake military checkpoint.
Another MRF-sponsored atrocity, says JB, was the Dublin and
Monaghan bombings of May 17, 1974, which killed 33 people
and injured 250.

JB lists a series of killings by loyalists which were
facilitated by military intelligence putting out OOB orders
on the location where the target lived, including the
murder of a taxi driver, an eight-year-old girl, various
men walking alone in Catholic areas and a Catholic woman in
a bomb blast at public toilets in Lurgan. Referring to the
last killing, JB says: "As long as it was a Catholic
killed, fear would be creeping into Catholic minds - who
would be next?'"

When UVF proxies were targeting republicans or IRA men,
nearly all the intelligence used in planning hits came from
the British army's intelligence wing.

Perhaps the most horrible of all hits facilitated by
military intelligence, says JB, was one that involved the
infamous Shankill Butchers murder gang. An OOB was put in
place, allowing the UVF to put up an illegal roadblock at
which they abducted a Catholic man and took him to the head
of the Shankill Butchers - a UVF psychopath called Lenny
Murphy. The gang tortured their victims for hours with
knives before finally executing them. Sometimes the torture
sessions took place in front of baying crowds in loyalist
drinking dens. At least 19 people died at the hands of the
gang. JB states: "I verify and confirm what I have written
is a true and very accurate account of events."


Sinn Féin Delegates Debating Policing Policy

28 January 2007 14:08

Sinn Féin delegates are continuing to debate a motion to
change the party's policy on policing at a special Ard
Fheis in Dublin.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams
said he believed the Ard Fheis would support the motion
when a vote is taken later today.

He said the debate has been very thorough but support for
the motion should not minimise the historical nature of the

Mr Adams also said republicans still had concerns and it is
up to the policing service in Northern Ireland to win their
confidence and trust.

He said the DUP leader, Ian Paisley should now be given
space but if he declined to enter government with Sinn
Féin, it will be up to the Irish and British governments to
bring about a partnership.

The opening to the debate was delayed by 30 minutes because
of the large number of delegates registering their

The Sinn Féin President, Gerry Adams was jostled and jeered
by a small number of protestors as he arrived at the venue.

A proposal to exclude the media from sections of the day's
programme was defeated.

After Gerry Adam's address, the party's policing spokesman,
Gerry Kelly, gave a report on negotiations.

Martin McGuinness proposed the motion, recommending a
change on policing policy, which was seconded by the party
chairperson, Mary Lou McDonald.

Several hours of debate are expected.

It is expected that a formula of 50% plus one will be used
to decide if the motion is carried.

The Irish and British governments say today's developments
will have a crucial bearing on whether the devolved
government will be restored at Stormont in March.


Adams' Address To Conference

Sun, Jan 28, 2007

The following is the full text of Sinn Féin leader Gerry
Adams' address to delegates at today's extraordinary
ardfheis on policing.

A chairde. Ta scaifte mór anseo inniu. Poblachtanaigh le
cheile. Laidir agus aontaithe. Dia daoibh agus fáilte mor
romaibh uilig.

Go h'araithe ba maith liom bualadh bos mór a thabairt do
clainne ar gcairde agus comradaithe a fuair bás ar son
muintir na h'Éireann.

Tá fhios agam go bhfuil daoine anseo i bhfábhar an rún ón
Ard Chomhairle.Tá daoine in aghaidh an rún agus daoine eile
idir na dhá aiteanna. Tá muid anseo le chéile. Agus tá muid
ag lorg díospóireacht oscailte.

Ag críoch den díospóireacht beidh muid le chéile fos. Is é
sin an rud mór fúinn an rud iontach.

All over this island comrades have come together in debates
and discussions about how to advance our struggle at this
critical time in our history.

And comrades have argued out these issues in a frank and
robust way. In a mature way which must be the envy of our
detractors and our opponents.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this
debate. I want to thank all the people in Ard Oifig and
throughout the country who organised this extraordinary Ard
Fheis. Volunteerism is alive and well in Sinn Féin.

Today's proceedings and the last few weeks of meetings in
every part of Ireland is proof of that. Well done. I also
want to thank all of you who are here in your thousands.
Everyone is welcome.

I am also mindful that the families of the dead of Bloody
Sunday are gathering in Derry this afternoon. Out thoughts
are with the Bloody Sunday families and all other victims
of British state terrorism.

Martina Anderson, one of our leaders, who is speaking here
today will later represent us at the Bloody Sunday rally. I
want a special bualadh bos mór for the families of our
patriot dead many of whom are here today. I know there are
activists who are opposed to the Ard Chomhairle's motion.

Your views are as valid as anyone else's and it is the
character of our struggle that we can agree to differ on
tactical matters.

Why is this so? It is because we are in agreement about our
primary objectives. Sinn Fein is an Irish Republican Party.
Our resolve is to end British rule on this island; to end
partition; and to bring about a 32 county democratic
socialist republic.

There are activists who are in favour of the Ard Chomhairle
motion. And others perhaps who are between the two
positions. Today's debate is about getting agreement on all
of this. We come into this Ard Fheis united, as unrepentant
republicans. We know we can achieve our objectives.

Whatever decision we reach, we will leave here united as
unrepentant republicans who can achieve our objectives.

Achieving our objectives — that is the big question facing
us all. How do we do that? We need to build support for the
republican position. There are now more republicans on the
island of Ireland than at any time in decades.

There are now more people supporting Sinn Féin than at any
time since the 1920s. Our party is organised throughout
this island. But we have a lot more to do to build our
capacity and our political strength.

There are republicans in most of the political parties in
this state — the PDs of course are the dishonourable

There are many, many more people outside the political
parties who want equality, who want citizens to be treated
properly, who want an end to British rule and a united

The vast, vast majority of citizens want a just and lasting
peace on this island. I include the vast majority of
unionists. So there are many people who are open to the
republican message of equality, peace with justice and
freedom. What we have to do is to make our republicanism
relevant to all these people.

We have to plot a course from today's partitioned, divided
Ireland into a new, agreed Ireland and from there into a
national Republic. How do we do that? We think big. We live
and struggle in the present but we think in the future. We
get ready for government.

We build political strength.

We make the battle for equality, for peoples' rights and
entitlements, a 32 county battle.

That includes in this state a health service based on need
and not on the ability to pay. It means decent housing. It
means the wealth of the Celtic Tiger being used for the
common good. It means building the peace.

It means reaching out to unionism. It also means reaching
out to republicans of all persuasions. We have to engage
with all these people.

We have to find a space in our struggle for all those who
want to bring about a united Ireland. And who are prepared
to work with us in facing up to the British government.
Republicanism should never about elitism or dogma or

Republicanism always has to be about citizenship and
people's rights and equality. We are about making
republicanism relevant to people in their daily lives.
Citizens' rights include the right to a proper policing

We who live in the north have never had proper policing.
The old RUC and all of its associated militia served the
union, upheld the orange state and repressed everyone else.
At the beginning of this week the Ombudsman in the north
confirmed that state agencies had colluded with unionist
paramilitaries in killing citizens.

Over the last two decades Sinn Féin has provided the Irish
government with detailed evidence about British state
terrorism and the involvement of its agencies, including
the police, in atrocities against the people of this

There was a campaign of British state terror aimed in the
first instance at the republicans and the nationalist
people of the north.

Sinn Féin was a primary target of this policy of collusion-
our activists, our elected representatives and our
families. But these sectarian death squads once unleashed
by the British state also engaged in a murderous campaign
against ordinary Catholics.

People within their own communities also fell foul of there
thugs. At times the attacks killed people here in this
state, like the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings
or our own Eddie Fullerton, a Sinn Féin county councillor
from Donegal.

The Ombudsman's report came about because a very brave man,
a unionist, Raymond McCord senior had the courage and
tenacity to demand the truth about the killing of his son
by the UVF in north Belfast. Irish society, north and
south, Orange and Green and all the colours in between,
owes a great debt to Raymond McCord Snr and his family.

The Ombudsman 's report gives us only a snapshot of the
corruption of collusion in a very small area, over a short
period of time. Any similar investigation, in any part of
the six counties would have the same outcome.

Why? Because British state terrorism and collusion with
death squads was an administrative practise and part of the
British government's strategy to defeat the republican
struggle And because it employed serial killers, drug
pushers, and sectarian thugs, they killed anyone else who
got in their way, including Raymond McCord junior and many

Why were the state agencies involved in this activity? In
order to uphold British rule in our country. So, ordinary
unionists have a big question to ask of themselves. Was
this done in your name? Is the union worth all that
hypocrisy and terror and grief and mayhem?

The people of Britain also need to know what their
government does in our island. I put that point to Tony
Blair in a phone call the day after the Ombudsman's report
was issued. The very first time we met the British Prime
Minister 10 years ago we gave him a file on collusion.

It was a file on the activities of British agent Brian
Nelson who was involved in numerous killings, including
that of human rights lawyer Pat Finucane.

Another primary target of British Intelligence was Alex
Maskey who Brian Nelson repeatedly tried to murder. I want
to send solidarity to Alex and his brother Paul and their
family on the death on Friday of their father, Alex Snr.

The dedication of republicans during all this time makes
clear our determination to prosecute the struggle to its
final conclusion. Mr. Blair was to go on to tell us years
later that since his time in Downing Street he had not
authorised any such activities in Ireland.

Then who did authorise these killing or the cover ups, or
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?

I told Mr. Blair last Tuesday and in another telephone call
on Friday that the British state has to open up this can of
worms and face up to its responsibilities. It has to
acknowledge the great hurt it has 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.

I also told Mr. Blair that British policy in Ireland has to
change. It has to change to one which proactively works
with the people of this island to end British jurisdiction
in Ireland.

The Irish government has said it is shocked by the
Ombudsman's report. Shocked? What are they shocked about?
This city of Dublin was bombed and 26 people were killed.
The same day the same gang killed 7 people in Monaghan.
There wasn't even a proper Garda investigation into these

Remember - in the aftermath of these attacks the British
told the Fine Gael and Labour government that they had
interned those they believed were responsible. And what did
the government of the day do?

Absolutely nothing! They didn't have these men questioned,
they didn't seek their arrest.

They did nothing.

And every Irish government since then has failed these
families and all those killed as a result of British state

This is unacceptable.

It is a disgrace. The Dublin Monaghan bombings were carried
out by the Glenanne gang, based in Armagh and run by MI5.
This gang was a mixture of UDR, RUC, and unionist
paramilitaries. The government has known about this for a
very long time. So why do they say they are shocked?

Eddie Fullerton was killed in May 1991. He was an elected
representative of citizens of this state. Yet the Taoiseach
never met his family until last November.

Fifteen years later. Shocked?

The Ombudsman's report was published a week ago. Now that
they have had time to recover from their shock what is the
Irish government going to do? Very little — if they can get
away with it. That's where Sinn Féin comes in. That's why
we are dealing with this motion today.

The Thatcher government paid, trained, directed and
equipped the death squads. It authorised and covered up its
policy of collusion and state terrorism. But some of the
events covered by the Ombudsman's report occurred after the
Good Friday Agreement.

We have to ensure that these dreadful events never ever
happen again. Or if there is even the slightest whisper of
a reoccurrence that it is speedily exposed and dealt with.
We have to get the government here to face up to the
British government as equals and to work with the more
progressive elements within that government to protect,
uphold and actively promote the rights of our people,
including the right of the Irish people to freedom and

The Office of the Ombudsman would not be in existence and
would not have the powers that it does if Sinn Fein had not
been tenacious and determined in our negotiating strategy.

There are now more accountability mechanisms in the north
than there are in this state and there is resistance from
the Department of Justice and the establishment here to
have these mechanisms in place in this jurisdiction. Sinn
Féin stayed out of the policing structures in the north
until now because that was the best way to bring about the
necessary threshold.

Instead we campaigned on the streets; brought the issue
repeatedly to the negotiating table, and secured
fundamental change when others had given up. We now want to
enter into the policing structures to bring about further
change and to deliver accountable, civic, non-partisan
policing for our people — all our people.

And remember it was the Irish government, as well as the
British and US government, the Catholic Hierarchy and all
the establishment parties in this state who tried to force
us into accepting something less than we have now achieved
at this time. They all supported the SDLP.

This is the party that until recently claimed that
collusion was a republican myth.

Before Patten - before the Good Friday Agreement the SDLP
said they could 'work with' Ronnie Flanagan.

And the Policing Board, which the SDLP are part of,
extended Flanagan's contract.

The Policing Board, which included the SDLP, purchased tens
of thousands of plastic bullets.

The SDLP never demanded the disbandment of the RUC.

They worked with the RUC. So it was hardly a shock when
they joined the Policing Board in 2001. And when they did,
instead of confronting collusion, MI5 and the human rights
abusers, they became cheer leaders for the PSNI. They
became part of the policing problem.

They failed to hold the PSNI to account. So, my friends we
cannot leave policing to the unionist parties or the SDLP
or the Irish government. We certainly cannot leave it to
the British government. We cannot leave it to the

So let's have our debate. And let's take our decisions. I
myself only made my mind up on this a short time ago. About
two months ago I brought together a small group of very
senior republicans — very experienced activists — and asked
them to bring forward to me as Party President
recommendations on how I proceed at this point.

They made two recommendations.

Firstly that the strategic advancement of the republican
struggle at this time requires a deal on policing; and
secondly that the deal on policing has to be acceptable to
republicans. They then detailed issues which they thought
needed to be resolved to do this. That is what has guided
me since. We have resolved these issues.

So, the time is now right, and I am appealing to you
comrades to support this motion. Gerry Kelly will give you
a detailed account of the policing negotiations. Martin
McGuinness and Mary Lou McDonald will formally move the Ard
Chomhairle motion.

Some of you may disagree. That is perfectly acceptable. For
example Ógrá disagrees with us on this issue. I wish they
didn't but I respect their position and I especially
commend their resolve to accept the outcome of this Ard
Fheis debate.

That is the way all of us need to face into today's
discussions. Irish republicanism is about people. It's
about the future. It's about a new egalitarian society;
it's about the new Irish and the indigenous Irish, it's
about orange and green uniting on the basis of equality.

It's about the Proclamation of 1916 becoming a reality. So
it's bigger than us; it's bigger than Sinn Féin; it's in
the common good. This morning we came into this Ard Fheis
united. At the end of our debate this evening let us go out
of here with our heads held high and ready for the next
phase of our struggle.

Let us go out united and marching forward. Bígí linn; bígí
le chéile

© 2007


McGuinness: 'Police Must Earn Republican Trust'

The Police Service of Northern Ireland will have to earn
the trust of republicans if Sinn Fein agrees to support it,
Martin McGuinness has insisted.

Proposing a motion to Sinn Fein delegates at a special
conference in Dublin to back the police in Northern Ireland
for the first time in the party's history, the Mid Ulster
MP said: "The PSNI are going to have to earn our trust.

"They are not going to get our trust on Monday morning or
after this vote. They are going to have to earn it. We have
to make them realise that they must be the servants of the
people and not the other way around."

Mr McGuinness's speech kicked off a day of intense debate
in the party on an issue which will have a major influence
over whether devolved government returns to Northern

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern have
pinned their hopes on achieving power sharing between
unionists and nationalists by March 26 on Sinn Fein ending
its opposition to the police in Northern Ireland.

Democratic Unionist leader, the Reverend Ian Paisley has
said he will share power if Sinn Fein supports the police,
the courts and the rule of law and prove that by its
actions in republican neighbourhoods.

Mr McGuinness said his party was facing its D-Day.

"It is decision day as Sinn Fein moves decisively forward
to deliver for Ireland, for Ireland's future free and at
peace," he said.

Sinn Fein's chief negotiator also insisted that republicans
should take charge of policing if they removed their

"I want the police to watch MI5, to spy on MI5 and to
arrest MI5 when they break the law," he said.


McDonald Calls On Party Delegates To Back Initiative To
Transform Policing

Published: 27 January, 2007

Sinn Féin Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald speaking on the eve
of the party's Extraordinary Ard Fheis on said 'I believe
that a positive response to the Ard Chomhairle motion by
delegates tomorrow would open up a new arena for
republicans and ensure that the days of repressive and
sectarian policing are ended forever.'

Ms. McDonald said:

"Tomorrow thousands of republicans from every county in
Ireland will attend the party's Extraordinary Ard Fheis in
Dublin to debate and agree a new way forward on policing.
Over the last two weeks we have had an extensive nationwide
consultation, involving more than 100 meetings within the
party and the wider nationalist and republican community.

"Sinn Féin's objective is to secure a proper policing
service and to hold that policing service to account. We
believe that the profound changes secured in the recent
negotiations mean that the new beginning to policing
promised in the Good Friday Agreement is now within our

"We are asking delegates to back the Ard Chomhairle
initiative and to ensure that the type of repressive and
sectarian policing which was exposed once again by Nuala
O'Loan this week is never allowed to happen again.

"The past number of weeks have witnessed a debate and
discussion across this island which no other political
party would have attempted yet alone accomplished. We are
now on the eve of the Ard Fheis and I am confident that
delegates will approach tomorrow in the same spirit of
comradeship which has marked the recent consultation
process and I am looking forward to the debate." ENDS


The Party Knows That The IRA Has Already Given It Assent

[Published: Sunday 28, January 2007 - 09:42]
By Brian Rowan

Sinn Fein's leadership will know the position of the IRA
organisation before today's historic ard fheis vote on

There are increasing suggestions that the IRA will have met
- possibly in a Convention - before today's key conference,
which is expected to back a motion on support for the PSNI.

On Tuesday afternoon in Belfast, the ceasefire watchdog,
the Independent Monitoring Commission, will publish its
latest report.

That assessment will be finalised over the weekend once the
outcome of the ard fheis is known.

The Adams/McGuinness/Kelly leadership is expected to
achieve a convincing victory in Dublin.

"We are going to win the vote," a republican source told
Sunday Life last night. But how convincingly, he wouldn't

On the likelihood of a secret IRA meeting before the ard
fheis, another source said that would be "a reasonable
assessment to make".

"When they go to the ard fheis they will have all their
ducks in a row. It (an IRA meeting) has to happen," the
source said.

Indeed, such a meeting is seen as a crucial part of the
republican " sequence of events".

"It's inconceivable they wouldn't be meeting," a source
told Sunday.

What was not clear yesterday was whether the IRA leadership
would speak publicly to set out its position before the
Sinn Fein party conference.

But, whatever happens, the republican political leadership
will know the IRA's thinking.

Senior figures in that organisation have had an important
role in the internal republican briefings leading to the
ard fheis.

Adams and McGuinness will know that they have the support
of the 'army council' and the other significant parts of
the IRA leadership.

Another source said: "I will be completely astonished if
things don't go the right way (at the ard fheis). The only
thing will be the size of the majority." That majority is
expected to be considerable.

In April 2005, in an address to the IRA, Adams called on
that organisation to "take courageous initiatives which
will achieve your aims by purely political and democratic

Since then, the IMC has reported on the ending of the armed
campaign, decommissioning and the disbanding of the IRA's
military structures.

Victory in today's conference on policing will clearly be
viewed by the IMC as Adams and Sinn Fein delivering to an
impressive standard.

"It's leadership of a high order," said a source.

The big question is: Will it unblock the political process?

How will Ian Paisley and the DUP respond?

The coming days are seen as crucial in determining the next
political steps.

Today, republicans will support an historic initiative on
policing - and then the political attention will switch to
Paisley and his party.

© Belfast Telegraph


Orde Says SF Support 'Inevitable'

Sun, Jan 28, 2007

Sinn Fein's support for policing is almost inevitable,
Northern Ireland's most senior policeman said today. Sir
Hugh Orde said he was confident that thousands of
republican delegates meeting in Dublin today would vote for
the party's co-operation with his force.

The party is debating a motion from the leadership that
Sinn Fein sits on policing scrutiny bodies and encourages
nationalists to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland

"I think it's pretty inevitable that the ard fheis will
vote in support of policing. Certainly, over the last five
years the reforms we put in place under the Patten reform
programme have shown very clearly we are more than fit for
purpose," Sir Hugh told ITV.

"We are an organisation that all communities can trust and
we are prepared to protect those communities." Sinn Fein's
forum is part of a deal which could see a restoration of
devolved government in Northern Ireland by March.

Republican approval of policing is a key demand of the
British and Irish governments as well as local parties.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and senior colleagues want
powers over policing and justice to be devolved to local
administrators by 2008.

Sir Hugh added: "I think we have a right to say that if
this vote goes in the right direction we need to see some
tangible outcome."

He added that nationalists in republican areas should
support the investigation of crime and be willing to come
forward and help police convict offenders who are
terrorising the community.

Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan criticised the PSNI's
predecessor, the Royal Ulster Constabulary for collusion
between police and a loyalist murder gang in north Belfast
which was responsible for up to 10 deaths in the 1990s.

Sir Hugh said the dossier had made "uncomfortable and
disturbing" reading but added that changes put in place
since then meant the abuses should not happen again. "It
has been a slow but steady progression over the last four-
and-a-half years," he added.

© 2007


Where To Now For The Republican Refusniks?

[Published: Sunday 28, January 2007 - 09:38]
By Ciaran McGuigan

When Gerry Adams arrives at today ard fheis in Dublin,
he'll be greeted by Ruairi O'Bradaigh leading a picket
against support for police.

It had been O'Bradaigh (right) - now president of
Republican Sinn Fein - who led mass walkouts from the party
over 20 years ago when Sinn Fein made the decision to
officially recognise the Dail.

And Adams has been wary of many present day supporters
turning their backs on Sinn Fein as it reaches another
political watershed in the shape of policing.

There have been deep divisions in the republican movement
over the support for policing.

At least five of the party's Assembly team have been stood
down or deselected, and the absence of several of those on
the party's next election ticket will be directly down to
the policing debate.

Among those who have gone are Newry and Armagh MLA Davy
Hyland who was deselected and Mid Ulster colleague
Geraldine Dougan who quit the party over its "direction".

However, even opponents of Sinn Fein believe that they will
easily carry today's policing vote and still hold their
position at the polls come elections, in spite of the swell
of opposition.

Veteran republican Laurence O'Neill, one of those who left
the party over policing, said: "Those that are going to
leave the party over policing have already done so. But we
are in different times, when there is a large number of the
party that played no part in the struggle. Their numbers
will carry them through."

Security sources have predicted that the deep divisions
within republicanism will not result in a repeat of the
violent bombing campaign that followed the split in 1997.

Anger at the terms of negotiations that eventually led to
the Good Friday Agreement caused walkouts and resulted in
the formation of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee.

Parallel resignations from the IRA resulted in the Real IRA
and Continuity IRA and a campaign of dissident terror
attacks, culminating in the Omagh bombing in August 1998.
But in recent weeks, Adams has repeatedly urged the
dissident groups away from carrying out attacks and has
made offers to meet with them to discuss his policing

© Belfast Telegraph


McCartneys: Back The Police.And Our Fight For Justice

[Published: Sunday 28, January 2007 - 09:40]
By Stephen Breen

The family of murder victim Robert McCartney last night
urged republicans to show support for policing - by backing
their campaign for justice!

Speaking on the eve of the Sinn Fein ard fheis in Dublin,
Catherine McCartney told how she believes Sinn Fein's
acceptance of policing structures can lead to "progress" in
her brother's case.

The popular 33-year-old died after he was subjected to a
vicious beating and knife attack on January 31, 2005,
outside Magennis' Bar in Belfast's city centre.

Although one man has been charged in connection with the
murder, the dad-of-two's sister believes that up to 15
people were involved.

Ms McCartney believes the "wall of silence" which emerged
after the Short Strand man's slaying can come down if
republicans move to support policing.

She said: "We have been calling on people who had knowledge
of my brother's murder to come forward for two years now
without any success.

"Our agenda has never been about Sinn Fein endorsing
policing - we were highlighting the fact that Sinn Fein and
the IRA covered up Robert's murder.

"My brother's killers should have been handed over before
now and, if Sinn Fein accepts policing, then there can be
no more excuses."

Ms McCartney believes her brother's case can help prove
republicans have moved to support policing arrangements.
She also vowed to step up her family's fight for justice
over the coming months.

Ms McCartney added: "People need to know that another
Robert McCartney won't happen again and this can happen if
people co-operate with the police.

"The IRA was able to get rid of the evidence in the bar
after my brother's murder and they even tried to take away
a dying man's clothes. They have to demonstrate that these
sick and evil actions will not happen again by coming
forward and telling the police what they know. The people
who were responsible for my brother's killing and the
subsequent cover-up are every bit as bad as Mark Haddock."

© Belfast Telegraph


Party Bosses To Keep Guns

[Published: Sunday 28, January 2007 - 09:44]

Sinn Fein's leaders are set to be allowed to keep guns for
personal protection if the party endorses policing
proposals at today's crucial ard fheis.

If, as expected, the party's ard chomhairle is given the go
ahead to implement the policing proposals after the
historic vote, then police chiefs are expected to soften
their stance on Sinn Fein leaders holding personal
protection weapons, security sources claim.

Among those expected to be allowed to carry PPWs are Sinn
Fein leader Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

Each of them have been the subject of death threats
purporting to come from dissident republican groups in the
run up to today's ard fheis.

Personal protection weapons can be requested by people who
are under a " specific and verifiable threat" - as
evaluated by Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde.

Crucially, all of the threats relayed to the Sinn Fein
leadership in recent weeks fall into that category.

© Belfast Telegraph


Flim-Flam Flanagan

Richard Stott
28 January 2007

AS Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Ronnie Flanagan is
the most senior policeman in England, Wales and Northern
Ireland. It goes without saying he must be beyond reproach
if he is to lecture on the shortcomings of chief constables
and the way they run their forces.

But Sir Ronnie isn't - far from it. He ran the Royal Ulster
Constabulary when the Special Branch colluded with Loyalist
gunmen, paid them, ignored their crimes, perverted justice
and bankrolled a serial killer and drug dealer as an
informer to the tune of £80,000. This led to at least 15
killings, and probably double that, between 1991 and 2003.

Flanagan (right) was chief constable of the RUC for five of
those years but he has vehemently denied he knew anything
about what was going on within his own force. Nobody denies
Ulster was in the grip of a dirty war at the time and a lot
of people were being killed by IRA gunmen. Informants
weren't going to be found among silent orders of monks. But
this scandalous behaviour goes far beyond the bounds of
decency or honest police undercover shortcuts.

No wonder Republicans had no confidence in the RUC...
manned, as it was, by officers who were more than 90 per
cent Protestant. It also makes the Loyalist claim that Sinn
Fein couldn't be treated seriously because the party failed
to back the police look hollow and hypocritical.

Sinn Fein now faces serious problems with its own people,
many of whom have deep reservations about the decision to
support the newly-implemented Police Service of Northern
Ireland, the last major hurdle to power sharing.

If Flanagan had no inkling about what was going on within
the most sensitive part of his own force, then he most
certainly should have. His incompetence not only means he
is unable to criticise the work of other forces which will
have to go some to match the seriousness of the charges
made about the RUC. But it is also standing in the way of
peace in Ulster and the powersharing that will make it
happen. Some previous for Britain's most senior policeman.


MP: Flanagan’s Position Untenable

28 January 2007 By Colm Heatley

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn has said that a parliamentary
investigation into collusion between the Royal Ulster
Constabulary and loyalist paramilitaries, which took place
while Ronnie Flanagan was RUC chief constable, should be
called immediately.

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn has said that a parliamentary
investigation into collusion between the Royal Ulster
Constabulary and loyalist paramilitaries, which took place
while Ronnie Flanagan was RUC chief constable, should be
called immediately.

Corbyn, who sits on the Northern Ireland All-Party
Committee in Westminster, said that Flanagan’s current
position as head of the British inspectorate of
constabularies, which is responsible for ensuring high
police standards for all British forces, had become

The report by Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan, into collusion
between the RUC and loyalist paramilitaries in north
Belfast between 1990 and 2003, found that there had been
collusion between the force and the Ulster Volunteer Force
in at least 15 murders.

The report said that the collusion reached ‘‘the highest
levels’’ oft he RUC, and that three former assistant chief
constables and a number of other senior officers had
refused to co-operate with the investigation.

Flanagan, a former head of the Special Branch, was RUC
chief constable between 1996 and 2002, prompting calls for
him to resign his current post.

So far, he has refused to step down.

Corbyn said the evidence unearthed by the report was
‘‘disgraceful’’ and Flanagan should resign immediately.

‘‘I intend calling for a parliamentary investigation into
this matter, we are talking about as many as 18 people
losing their lives because of collusion, and Mr Flanagan
was the boss for most oft hat time,” said Corbyn.

‘‘What is needed now is a full parliamentary investigation
into what went on. The Ombudsman’s report has raised
extremely serious questions which need to be answered in a
public forum.”

Corbyn said he was confident that the Labour-dominated
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, which consists of 13
MPs, would back his call. Last week, Flanagan denied any
knowledge of the allegations contained in the Ombudsman

However, DUP MP Nigel Dodds has revealed that he had
accompanied Raymond McCord, whose son’s murder sparked the
inquiry, to a meeting with Flanagan in 1999.

It emerged that the Stevens Inquiry team, investigating
allegations of RUC and loyalist collusion, had also
contacted Flanagan about the allegations in 2000.

The SDLP and Sinn Fein have called for Flanagan to quit his
present job, with Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness calling for
him to be sacked.

Former Labour Northern Ireland Affairs spokesman Kevin
McNamara told The Sunday Business Post that Flanagan’s
activities had been of particular interest to him.

‘‘I asked a number of parliamentary questions about
Flanagan in the late 1990s, about his role in the Special
Branch and what was happening with informers,” said

‘‘Needless to say, I came across a number of brick walls.

‘‘This guy needs to go – if the same thing had happened in
England, there would be a national outcry.”

Flanagan could not be contacted for comment.


Collusion Officer Gets PSNI Promotion

28 January 2007 By Colm Heatley

At least one of the four serving policemen implicated in
the Police Ombudsman’s report into collusion between the
RUC and loyalists has been promoted within the Police
Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

At least one of the four serving policemen implicated in
the Police Ombudsman’s report into collusion between the
RUC and loyalists has been promoted within the Police
Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The four were described as junior officers on the
‘‘periphery’’ of the investigation, by Ombudsman sources.
The Ombudsman’s report found evidence of collusion between
RUC members and a north Belfast UVF unit, run by Special
Branch informer Mark Haddock, in at least five murders
between 1990 and 2003.

Raymond McCord Sr, whose son’s murder sparked the four-year
inquiry, said he was ‘‘disturbed’’ by the development.

‘‘I don’t think any officer who was implicated in this
inquiry should be serving in the PSNI,” said McCord. ‘‘If
they are implicated in wrongdoing, then they have no place
in policing, especially if people’s trust is to be

Senior sources told The Sunday Business Post that arrests
are expected in the coming days in relation to the
ombudsman’s report, and specifically the 1997 murder of
Raymond McCord Jr. However, it is understood that no former
RUC officers will be arrested.

The four year-long investigation was made public in Belfast
last Monday, causing huge embarrassment for the British
government and the PSNI.

In a separate development, sources within the Ombudsman say
that their request for a further stg£1.25 million in
funding - needed because of the complexity of their
investigation - means that future inquiries may be under-

The report has prompted calls for Ronnie Flanagan to resign
from his post as chief of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of

Flanagan was head of RUC Special Branch in 1996 and RUC
Chief Constable until 2002. He was made aware of the
concerns about the running of agents in north Belfast, but
it is claimed he took no action to remedy the situation.


Handling Recommendations 'Niave'

[Published: Sunday 28, January 2007 - 11:37]
By Alan Murray

Former RUC Special Branch officers have labelled some
recommendations on agent-handling in Nuala O'Loan's report
as "unbelievably naive".

Retired senior officers say that two instances in
particular highlight a lack of understanding and knowledge
of the realities of handling agents.

They say that her recommendation in the case of the
sabotaged UVF attack on Sinn Fein's Monaghan office in
March 1997 that those involved should have been arrested is

The former officers say that, if evidence had been
processed with the intention of prosecuting the UVF men
involved, then 'Informant 1' - Mark Haddock - would have
been exposed as an RUC agent and killed.

Said one officer: "She (Mrs O'Loan) confirms that Haddock
brought the bomb destined for Monaghan to Special Branch so
it could be neutered.

"If prosecutions had been mounted, a forensic scientist,
either in Belfast or the Republic, would have had to write
up a report on the composition of the 'bomb' and, unless
the scientist was prepared to fabricate a report for the
trial, he would have had to confirm that the 'explosives'
were no more than a mixture of putty and sawdust.

"That report would have had to be given to the defendants
and they would have been able to figure out that someone
doctored the bomb and easily worked out who it was. What
she suggests is unbelievably naive."

Former officers also say that, similarly, if Haddock had
been pulled in about planning a hit on a "republican
target" in the Antrim area in July 1994, he would have been
made aware that there was at least one other informant
within his Mount Vernon UVF unit.

In her report on the incident, Mrs O'Loan says "there is no
record of police challenging Informant 1 about it".

Another former officer added: "Imagine the implications of
pulling Haddock about that.

"It would have told him that there was another agent within
his unit and he would probably have sussed out who it was,
because so few knew about this and then would probably have
killed him.

"If you were to do what Mrs O'Loan suggests in these two
incidents, agents wouldn't survive more than a month -
they'd be dead and then she'd probably level the charge
against their handlers that they were in breach of their
duty of care towards an agent."

In response, the Police Ombudsman's office said yesterday:
"The Antrim incident referred to happened in 1994.
Informant 1 was engaged in terrorist activity he hadn't
told his handlers about.

"It was one of a series of incidents which should have rung
alarm bells about his activities and value as a source, yet
he remained an agent for another nine years, during which
intelligence linked him to multiple murders and attempted
murders and police effectively protected him from

"In relation to Monaghan, police made no attempt to mount a
surveillance operation, they did not attempt to disrupt the
attack, they failed to tell their counterparts in the
Republic, they failed to keep records which could have been
analysed and helped gain a fuller picture of UVF activity.

"These things could have been done without compromising an

© Belfast Telegraph


Family Of IRA 'Nutting Squad' Victim Want Collusion Inquiry

[Published: Sunday 28, January 2007 - 11:45]
By Stephen Gordon and Chris Anderson

The parents of a man savagely murdered by a notorious IRA
unit led by a paid British agent have called on Nuala
O'Loan to launch a McCord-style collusion inquiry into
their son's murder.

The Ombudsman's Office is now considering the request that
could lift the lid on the role of former Belfast Provo
Freddie Scappaticci - aka state agent Stakeknife - inside
the IRA's ruthless internal security unit.

Scappaticci is believed to have carried out dozens of
murders while leading a double life as a torturer in the
IRA's so-called 'nutting squad' and as an £80,000 agent
with the intelligence services.

Portadown couple Pat and Irene Dignam last week wrote to
the Police Ombudsman's office requesting an inquiry into
the police handling of the inquiry into the murder of their
son, John, 14 years ago.

And they believe Scappaticci was one of the killers.

Dad-of-two John Dignam (32) was himself a British spy
inside the IRA, as were his friends Gregory Burns and Aiden

All three were abducted, interrogated for a week before
being shot through the head in June 1992.

Their bodies were dumped on a border road in south Armagh.

The IRA said the trio had admitted being MI5/Special Branch
agents and of involvement in the murder of Portdown woman,
Margaret Perry.

But the Dignams believe their son was sacrificed by the
intelligence services to protect Stakeknife and want the
Police Ombudsman to investigate their claims police failed
to properly investigate the killing in 1992.

Pat Dignam said: "Until now there has been a wall of
silence about why my son was left to die at the hands of
the IRA's internal security squad. That's no longer
acceptable as far as we are concerned.

"One of the leaders of the murder squad that killed my son
was the British agent Stakeknife.

"Over the years he has been well protected and paid
thousands of pounds by his intelligence services

He added he had no doubt the itelligence services and the
IRA had colluded in his son's murder.

Irene Dignam said audio tapes existed that outline the
events which resulted in her son's murder.

The family wrote to the Ombudsman's Office last Thursday to
formally complain about the RUC investigation into their
son's murder and have asked to meet Mrs O'Loan to present
their case in person.

© Belfast Telegraph


Voyage Of Discovery

[Published: Sunday 28, January 2007 - 10:41]
By John McGurk

Here is the shipping news . . . about Ulster folk who
sailed away to new lives.

Thanks to a massive new online historical information
service, it's plain sailing for anyone seeking to discover
the amazing journeys taken in your family's past.

The initiative - - has just been
launched, offering details of the passengers who emigrated
to the America, Canada, Australia and other far flung

Information about more than 30 million loved-ones who set
sail from 35 ports around the British Isles from 1890 will
be available thanks to family history site and the National Archives.

Among the ports included in the database of passenger lists
are Londonderry, Belfast and Galway among others.

At present, ship passenger lists for 1890-1899 are
available at the click of a button.

But a spokeswoman for Ancestors On Board told Sunday Life
that many more records up to 1960 will be accessible in the
coming months.

Included in the passenger details is the list from the
legendary Belfast-built Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage
to New York in 1912

Other lists to be found among the records from more than
1,800 ships include the August 15, 1890 sailing of the
Ethiopia from Derry.

But it's not just emigrants who pop up on the one and a
half million pages of passenger lists.

For the treasure trove of travel information also includes
details about celebrities, businessmen, diplomats and
tourists. Among the famous names to be spotted are Sir Matt
Busby, Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini and Noel Coward.

Find My Past spokeswoman Elaine Collins said that the
service would be " an invaluable tool for people tracing
relatives they believe may have left the UK during this

She added: "Previously, these records were only accessible
from The National Archives in London. But now, everyone can
easily research their ancestors' voyages over the internet,
from the comfort of their own home, anywhere in the world."

© Belfast Telegraph

To Subscribe to Irish Aires Google News List, click Here.
To Unsub from Irish Aires Google News List, click Here
For options visit:

Or join our Irish Aires Yahoo Group, Click here

To Get RSS Feed for Irish Aires News click HERE
(Paste into a News Reader)

To January Index
To Index of Monthly Archives
To Searches & Sources of Other Irish News
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?