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January 07, 2007

McGuigan Daughter Out of Danger

News About Ireland & The Irish

BT 01/07/07 McGuigan Daughters Out Of Danger
BB 01/07/07 Power-Sharing In 2007 – Donaldson
SL 01/07/07 Paisley Says No To Helping Shinners
BT 01/07/07 McGuinness To Give Speech At Commemoration
SB 01/07/07 Crunch Time For Peace Process
SL 01/07/07 IMC Report Set To Focus On Policing Issue
GU 01/07/07 Gunrunner In Poll Threat To Sinn Fein
SL 01/07/07 Lindsay Robb: Dead Man Talking
SL 01/07/07 Loyalists: 'We Won't Be Policing Flashpoints'
SL 01/01/07 An Evans-Sent Witness For Kevin Fulton Case
SL 01/01/07 DNA To Unmask Evil UDA Murderers
ST 01/07/04 Monument For Controversial IRA Chief Russell
SL 01/07/07 Opin: Republicans- Actions Louder Than Words
SL 01/07/07 Opin: Time For Leaders To Do Precisely That
GU 01/07/07 Opin: One Man's Irish Dream Could Be Shattered
BN 01/07/07 Number Of Homeless Irish In London Drops
IT 01/01/07 Pilot Scheme For New Dublin Toilets
RT 01/01/07 260 Boston-Bound Stranded In Shannon
II 01/07/07 Who’s Who: Bertie Snubs Miriam


McGuigan Daughters Out Of Danger

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 09:38]
By Pauline Reynolds

Two little girls who survived the horrific car crash that
claimed the lives of their dad and big sister are now
making a remarkable recovery from their injuries.

Stacey (5) and Saoirse McGuigan (4) are still in some pain
but are well enough to play with their Christmas presents
for the first time.

The north Belfast kids have been visited regularly in the
city's Royal Victoria Hospital by their local priest,
Father Aidan Troy.

And last night he had heartening news about the youngsters'

"Thank God they're now out of intensive care and in a
normal ward," said the Ardoyne priest.

"Although they're still very sore, they're bright and alert
and the prognosis is very good.

"It's unbelievable they survived such a horrific crash.

"The biggest worry for the family was that something
terrible would happen to them after losing their daddy and

"Their injuries were in the nature of broken and fractured
bones. One had a fractured skull and the other a broken

"There doesn't seem to have been the internal injuries
which everyone had feared.

"At long last the two of them are able to play with all
their Christmas toys.

"It's marvellous to see them on the road to recovery.

"I don't know when they will be getting out of hospital,
but the signs are good.

"It's lovely to see their mummy and granny smiling again."

The youngsters' dad James (30) and eight-year-old sister
Lorna were killed when their car smashed into a tree near
Crumlin just three days before Christmas.

They were on their way to visit their granny in Lenadoon.

Tomorrow morning, the three McGuigan girls had been due
back at Holy Cross Primary School after the holiday break.

When lessons resume, there'll be an overwhelming sense of
sorrow as teachers and pupils mourn the loss of their
popular young classmate.

The grief will be all the more painful, as Holy Cross
suffered a double family tragedy during the Christmas

Three other children lost their dad after he suffered a
heart attack aged just 33.

Said Fr Troy: "It will be a very difficult start to the new
term and it's a very sad and distressing time for us all in
this small school.

"Teachers will have to assess how the children are coping
before we can formally mark the tragic deaths by either
Mass or a prayer service.

"And I've no doubt that some of the little children my need
counselling so we must deal with this upset in a very
sensitive manner."

© Belfast Telegraph


Power-Sharing In 2007 - Donaldson

A deal that brings about power-sharing between the DUP and
Sinn Fein will be achieved in 2007, DUP MP Jeffrey
Donaldson has said.

Mr Donaldson said he was optimistic agreement would be
reached on policing and a power-sharing executive would be
established at Stormont.

Sinn Fein members are to meet next week to discuss whether
to move forward with a special conference on policing.

Republicans are concerned about "a lack of a positive
response from the DUP".

On Friday, Secretary of State Peter Hain said Northern
Ireland's political impasse could be overcome if Sinn Fein
"delivered on policing".

Mr Hain said there was "every prospect" that the devolution
of policing would be on track by May 2008.

'Work together'

Mr Donaldson, the Lagan Valley MP, told Irish state
broadcaster RTE that he was optimistic an agreement would
be reached.

"I think it will happen in 2007. I would be fairly
optimistic about that and clearly there are difficulties at
the moment. The sooner we can get to that point the sooner
we will all be able to move on," he said.

"There is a huge agenda in Northern Ireland to address at a
socio-economic level, there is so much that we can work on
here and indeed work together on and lets get down to that

On Thursday, Tony Blair warned the DUP and Sinn Fein that
commitments on policing and power-sharing must be honoured
for an election to happen.

DUP leader Ian Paisley has said his party is willing to
make progress but that "upfront delivery is required from
Sinn Fein" on policing.

However, DUP MEP Jim Allister said on Friday he could not
foresee a time when policing and justice could be devolved
to an assembly.

Sinn Fein's leadership voted last month to hold a
conference on the issue of whether to support policing.

But the party signalled on Wednesday this was in doubt
because the move had not received a "positive enough"
response from DUP leader Ian Paisley.

If Sinn Fein's conference does not go ahead, the March
assembly election may be in doubt.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/07 09:22:56 GMT


Paisley Says No To Helping Shinners

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 09:51]
By Alan Murray

Ian Paisley says he won't be making any gesture to help
Sinn Fein leaders overcome their party's crisis over
support for the PSNI.

It follows Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness'
call on Friday for Mr Paisley to clearly back sharing power
by March 26 and the timetable for the transfer of powers on

But Mr Paisley indicated yesterday that he will not be
adding to what he said in his New Year statement and a
statement issued following the Prime Minister's
intervention on Thursday to try keep hopes alive of holding
an Assembly election in March.

Ian Paisley jnr said yesterday that his father won't be
adding to his response to the Prime Minister's statement
despite a warning from Martin McGuinness that a special
Sinn Fein party conference is now in doubt.

The special Ard Fheis was pencilled in for around January
25, when it was hoped that Gerry Adams would have
sufficient support to successfully move a motion to commit
Sinn Fein to support the Police Service of Northern Ireland
and the courts system.

Ian Paisley jnr said that his father had no intention of
adding to his remarks made last week in response to Tony
Blair's assessment of the current political situation which
concluded that the DUP would not impede the transfer of
policing powers to the Assembly when 'conditions are met'.

"My father will not be making any statement to help Martin
McGuinness and Gerry Adams out of their current
difficulties," he said.

"The statement from Martin McGuinness on Friday was bizarre
in the extreme.

"He knows that the Prime Minister has accepted the DUP
leader's bona fides on the policing issue and this latest
move by Sinn Fein merely highlights the significant
internal difficulties the party is facing at this time,"
added the North Antrim MLA.

"Mr Adams and Mr McGuinness know what they have to do on
policing and justice and that day of reckoning will come.

"Ian Paisley has made his statements and as far as he is
concerned the policing issue has been completely addressed
and he will not be diverted from the course of action he
has taken," he added.

© Belfast Telegraph


McGuinness To Give Main Speech At Sean South Commemoration

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 07:23]

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness will give the main address to
the Sean South commemoration in Limerick later today, as
the North's political crisis over policing deepens.

Sinn Fein's Ard Chomhairle has called a special Ard Fheis
to discuss support for the police, but this is now in doubt
after mixed messages from Ian Paisley's DUP.

Although the Brookborough border raid fifty years ago is
the cause of today's gathering of republicans, the big
question on everyone's minds will be policing in the North.

Sinn Fein's ard chomlairle voted for a special ard fheis to
discuss supporting the police,

but this depended on a positive response from the DUP.

Although Ian Paisley's response was, at best, luke warm,
senior DUP figures have hurled

a sustained and hostile barrage of criticism at

Martin McGuinness's statement has put not only the ard
fheis in doubt but also the timetable

leading to the restoration of devolution.

Will there now be an ard fheis at all is the question which
will be on everyone's lips in Limerick and elsewhere today.

© Belfast Telegraph


Crunch Time For Peace Process

07 January 2007 By Colm Heatley

When Sinn Fein called an ard comhairle in Christmas week
calling on its members to support the PSNI, the ongoing
policing debate, which has dogged the peace process, was
supposed to have taken a quantum leap forward.

When Sinn Fein called an ard comhairle in Christmas week
calling on its members to support the PSNI, the ongoing
policing debate, which has dogged the peace process, was
supposed to have taken a quantum leap forward.

For the first time in the history of the North, republicans
were clearing a path to support the police.

Events last week, however, have thrown that progress into
doubt, with the DUP insisting that even if a specially
convened Sinn Fein ard fheis gave full approval for the
PSNI later this month, it would not be enough to satisfy

Instead, the DUP is insisting upon an unspecified time
frame to assess whether republicans are ‘‘genuine in their

Late on Friday evening Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein’s chief
negotiator, said it was clear that the DUP were not on
board for policing, and that they did not agree with Tony
Blair’s assessment of the situation. Blair had earlier
interpreted the DUP’s position as being positive.

McGuinness’ comments throw serious doubt on whether the
special ard fheis will be called later this month. If the
ard fheis is not called, agreement on policing would appear
impossible, and the planned elections to be held in March
would be scrapped.

Within the DUP there was discord, with leading sceptic
Nigel Dodds insisting that the party would not agree to the
May 2008 timeframe for policing powers to be transferred to
a devolved assembly.

It appears that, in the meantime, hardline elements within
the DUP are in the ascendancy. However, intensive
negotiations between the British government, Sinn Fein and
the DUP will take place over the next fortnight, in a bid
to salvage the situation.

The transfer of policing powers is a key Sinn Fein demand
and the party feels that it can go no further on the
policing issue without a positive response from the DUP.
The DUP’s response is made more difficult by an
increasingly obvious split within its own ranks, between
those who favour sharing power with Sinn Fein and the
fundamentalist wing which opposes any compromise with

Last week the more moderate elements of the party,
including Jeffrey Donaldson, issued statements which did
not rule out support for the May 2008 transfer of policing
powers. Donaldson said that ‘‘no words must discourage Sinn

At the same time the hardliners, such as Dodds and David
Simpson, were making uncompromising statements explicitly
ruling out any recognition of Sinn Fein’s changed stance on

Simpson said the May 2008 deadline was ‘‘hopelessly
unrealistic and no unionist will listen to imposed

Sinn Fein’s movement on policing has widened the divide
within the DUP and the self-inflicted wounds which the DUP
experienced in November, when Ian Paisley agreed to enter a
power-sharing government, have worsened still further.

Senior DUP sources admitted that they were surprised by the
suddenness of Sinn Fein’s ard comhairle meeting and had
expected republican support for policing to be ‘‘some way
down the track’’.

For his part, Paisley, said that the DUP would only move
when Sinn Fein had ‘‘fully delivered’’ on policing.

Although the statement was interpreted positively by the
British government and Northern Ireland Office, it is less
than clear.

DUP sources were suggesting last week that if a specially
convened Sinn Fein ard fheis gave absolute support to the
police, a DUP statement recognising that commitment could
be made shortly afterwards.

But given the internal divisions within the DUP it is
difficult to determine what weight such sentiments hold for
the party as a whole.

This Tuesday, a meeting of Sinn Fein’s party officers will
take place, at the top of the agenda will be the policing
issue. The board of officers has the power to call a second
ard comhairle to discuss policing, something Sinn Fein
hasn’t ruled out.

However, in the light of McGuinness’ comments, the calling
of an ard fheis appears unlikely.

‘‘This process is something that has been going on for five
or six weeks and it has been intense with no let up, even
through Christmas,” said one republican. ‘‘So the party is
going to reflect on developments over the weekend and it
will come to a measured response.”

Contacts with the British government are ongoing and are
expected to continue in the run-up to Tuesday’s meeting.

However, even a last minute intervention by Tony Blair last
Thursday failed to bring clarity to the current situation.
Blair, who cut short his Christmas holiday in Florida, to
try and ease the situation, said that unless agreement was
reached between the DUP and Sinn Fein, the elections,
planned for early March, would not go ahead.

Ironically, Blair’s comments were taken as an endorsement
of Sinn Fein and the DUP position by Adams and Paisley.
However, the fact that Blair cut short his Christmas break
and made a direct intervention underlines the importance
with which the British government views the latest stage of
the peace process.

For once in the peace process, time is running out. The
process has been punctuated by a seemingly never-ending
series of missed deadlines and last minute fudges.

But with Sinn Fein willing to endorse the police, the
British government is aware that failure to restore a
power-sharing assembly by April, would be politically
disastrous. In terms of concessions, there is little more
that the Sinn Fein leadership can give to the process, and
the future of the peace process now hinges on the DUP’s

Sinn Fein has already faced internal criticism for its
imminent endorsement of the PSNI, and last week there were
indications that Philip McGuigan, the party’s North Antrim
MLA, will resign in protest.

Part of McGuigan’s constituency takes in Ahoghill, the
small Co Antrim hamlet where the last remaining Catholic
families were burned from their houses by loyalists in the
summer of 2005.

Infamously the PSNI issued fire blankets to the Catholic
residents while a loyalist mob banged drums outside the
families’ homes. Policing is not only deeply emotive for
republicans, but also a practical day-to-day issue, and it
would be a major political folly for Sinn Fein to endorse
fully the PSNI without guarantees that power-sharing and
the transfer of policing powers will take place.

Sinn Fein’s mid-Ulster MLA, Geraldine Dougan, has already
resigned from the party over the policing issue.

Ultimately though Sinn Fein’s mind is already made up on
policing and Gerry Adams said last week that Blair’s
statement, which called for unequivocal support for the
police, accurately reflected his party’s position.

In the coming days there will be further intensive
negotiations between the British government, Sinn Fein and
the DUP. Much will rest on how successful the British
government is in pushing the DUP across the line and how
well the DUP can manage its own internal divisions.

It is unlikely that Adams could muster support within Sinn
Fein to go any further with policing without a reciprocal
DUP gesture. However, it is unlikely that the British
government, and Blair in particular, will be prepared to
let a gilt-edged opportunity for resolving the peace
process pass by.


IMC Report Set To Focus On Policing Issue

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 09:48]
By Brian Rowan

The Independent Monitoring Commission will meet in Belfast
this week with plans for its next report to be published at
the end of the month.

That assessment - from the ceasefire watchdog - is certain
to focus on republican moves towards policing, as well as
developments within loyalism.

All four commissioners - Lord Alderdice, John Grieve, Joe
Brosnan and Dick Kerr - will be in the city this week.

Their next report will be read for what it says not just
about paramilitary activity, but organisational structures.

This was something addressed in the commission's last
assessment in October. It reported that the IRA had
disbanded its military structures.

That organisation in a New Year statement said it believed
its " political objectives can now be achieved by political

"There are big challenges to be faced in the time ahead,"
the IRA leadership said.

"Republicans will not shy away from these challenges," the
statement continued. "We are very conscious that progress
requires everyone to take risks."

On the planned IMC report, a source told Sunday Life: "The
IMC is working towards the delivery of a report to the two
governments for publication at the end of the month.

"The report will not just focus on the Provisional IRA, but
will address the full range of paramilitary organisations."

Dawn Purvis, of the Progressive Unionist Party, told this
newspaper: " The process that the UVF and Red Hand Commando
are involved in is ongoing with no definitive end date.

"People are working towards specific outcomes. The
leaderships of the UVF and Red Hand Commando want to see
political progress, and are watching with interest."

© Belfast Telegraph


Gunrunner In Poll Threat To Sinn Fein

· An ex-IRA activist is ready to stand against
· Adams policy in a protest over policing pledges

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday January 7, 2007
The Observer

A former IRA gunrunner has been approached to stand against
Sinn Fein in the next Assembly elections.

Gerry McGeough, who served three years in a United States
prison for conspiracy to purchase and export SAM missiles,
told The Observer he was 'giving very serious
consideration' to stepping forward as a candidate in the
Fermanagh/South Tyrone constituency.

The former IRA activist's intervention is yet another
headache for Gerry Adams and the Sinn Fein leadership. The
party has been hit by a series of resignations over Adams's
move to get the republican movement to support the police
in Northern Ireland.

McGeough said that, while he has not fully made up his
mind, he has received messages of support and encouragement
from both inside and outside the republican movement to

'I have never run away from my patriotic duty,' he said. 'I
have never refused to do what I thought was right for my
country. There is intense disillusionment both inside Sinn
Fein and outside in the wider republican community. I am
picking this up all over the north of Ireland and it's all
to do with the policing issue.'

McGeough claimed that traditional republican loyalty to the
leadership throughout the peace process 'had been the
draught that sent republicans to sleep'.

He added: 'Policing and the idea that republicans should
embrace a British police force has finally woken many up
from their stupor. There is some free thinking at last

Under the deal hammered out at St Andrews last October,
Sinn Fein can only enter a power-sharing executive with Ian
Paisley's Democratic Unionists when the republican party
swears an oath of allegiance to the PSNI and the judicial

'The present battle over policing is a struggle for the
heart and soul of republicanism,' said McGeough.'

Sinn Fein has dismissed republican dissenters as being
unrepresentative. McGeough, however, is unconcerned about
pulling in few votes if, as seems likely, he stands for

'This is a principled stand and it would be a greater shame
if no one stood up finally and took on this leadership at
the polls than the so-called shame of polling badly.'

The ex-IRA man, who was first arrested back in 1977 by SAS
soldiers while on South Armagh Provo boss Thomas 'Slab'
Murphy's farm, said the feedback from grassroots
republicans was 'very encouraging'.

'I was in west Belfast on Wednesday last week speaking to
people who were loyal for so long to the leadership. These
people were the backbone of the movement through thick and
thin. Even they are saying they don't trust the leadership
any more, which in republican terms is like a Catholic
saying that they don't believe in God.'

Asked why he took so long to speak out against the present
Sinn Fein strategy, McGeough said: 'Being honest I had my
epiphany while in the United States in prison. I was just
reticent then to talk about my concerns, out of blind
loyalty to the leadership. I suppose I believed as late as
2001 there was hope, a forlorn hope in the end, that I and
others like me could influence things and change the
movement's direction.'

Despite being outside Sinn Fein, he is senior figure in
northern republicanism. A member of the IRA's feared East
Tyrone Brigade, McGeough was a personal friend of Jim
Lynagh, the IRA leader shot dead, along with seven other
Provisionals, in the SAS Loughgall ambush twenty years ago.


Lindsay Robb: Dead Man Talking

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 10:41]
By Ciaran McGuigan

The 'beyond-the-grave' evidence of a murdered loyalist
gunrunner is at the centre of a probe into alleged
collusion against a leading mid-Ulster republican.

Former PUP negotiator and convicted gun runner Lindsay Robb
was stabbed to death in a Glasgow street just over a year

But statements he made to a Glasgow newspaper - and
evidence he gave in court - are still critical to an
ongoing Police Ombudsman probe into collusion between
loyalists and the police to have Lurgan man, Colin Duffy,
jailed for murder.

Duffy, a prominent republican, spent three years in jail
for the murder of retired UDR man John Lyness at his Lurgan
home in June 1993 on the word of Robb, who claimed he had
seen him flee the scene.

The Court of Appeal quashed his conviction in 1996, after
Robb himself was jailed for gunrunning and his evidence

Robb, who settled in Scotland after being released from the
Maze, claimed in an newspaper interview in 2000 that he
made a deal with Special Branch officers to give evidence
against Duffy.

In return he received £2,000 and a personal protection
weapon, he claimed.

He also claimed that his evidence to the trial had been
true, but that he would never have given evidence without
the deal with police.

Last month detectives from Nuala O'Loan's office travelled
to Glasgow to interview staff at the Sunday Herald
newspaper to whom Robb gave the interview.

A Police Ombudsman spokesman said: "We are looking into the
police handling of the investigation into the murder of
John Lyness in 1995 and in particular at evidence produced
at a subsequent court case."

It's understood that the Police Ombudsman launched their
investigation following a formal complaint by Duffy.

Robb was stabbed to death on New Year's Eve 2005 in a row
over a drugs debt. Last year a former soldier was jailed
for his killing.

© Belfast Telegraph


Loyalists: 'We Won't Be Policing Flashpoints'

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 10:08]
By Alan Murray

A loyalist group has told the police it won't be sending
members to stop trouble at interface flashpoints over the

The Beyond Conflict group in south east Antrim announced it
is withdrawing volunteers from troublespots on the
outskirts of Belfast where rival elements have regularly

In a statement it said it fully supported "an impartial and
non-political police service" and was "very happy to leave
the job of protecting life and property to the people who
do this for a living - professionals like the PSNI".

The group said that as a result, the South East Antrim
Protestant Interface Network (PIN) would leave the
responsibility for public and community safety to those who
organised events, including the loyal orders or individual

Last week minor trouble erupted in the Serpentine
Road/Merston Gardens area.

Beyond Conflict spokesman Paul Creasey claimed republicans
carrying hurling sticks attacked local residents.

He claimed that PSNI who arrived to quell the disturbance
used pepper spray against local residents and arrested two

He said locals were angry at the police response and added
that from now on the PIN volunteers wouldn't be turning out
to try to prevent trouble in the area.

"It's a policing issue. We will leave these interface
clashes for the PSNI to deal with."

© Belfast Telegraph


An Evans-Sent Witness For Kevin Fulton Case...

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 10:07]
By Alan Murray

The man tipped to become the new boss of MI5 could be
subpoenaed to testify at a Belfast High Court hearing being
brought by former Army agent 'Kevin Fulton'.

Spymaster Jonathan Evans, who served in Ulster as a senior
intelligence official in the 1990s, may have been one of
Fulton's handlers.

Inquiries are being made to see if the career spy is the
MI5 agent identified as 'Bob' who became Fulton's handler
in 1991 along with a Force Research Unit Army officer known
as 'Pete'.

In a book written about his exploits as an Army agent,
Fulton's initial handlers are identified as two FRU
officers referred to as 'Andy' and 'Gerry'.

In 1988 'Andy' was replaced by another soldier identified
as 'Alan', and then in 1991 Fulton was handed over to a new
FRU officer identified as 'Pete', and, for the first time,
an MI5 officer, because of the increasing importance of his

Intelligence sources are suggesting that the MI5 officer
referred to as 'Bob' in Unsung Hero is possibly Jonathan
Evans, the favourite to be the new head of MI5 and who did
serve in Ulster during the 1990s.

If the report is confirmed, Fulton's lawyers are likely to
subpoena Evans to testify to Fulton's value as an agent in
a forthcoming civil action.

Fulton is suing the NIO for compensation over what he
claims is its failure to honour a contract to finance a new
life in England after his cover as an agent was blown in

Before Christmas a High Court judge ruled that Fulton's
lawyers can call any of his former handlers and former
civil servants in the NIO to give evidence about his role
as an agent and their knowledge of any financial package he
claims was agreed with him.

Evans is tipped to take over from Dame Eliza Manningham-
Buller when she steps down as head of MI5 in April.

Evans, a career spy with a background in fighting terror,
is currently senior deputy director-general of MI5.

After spearheading the fight against terror in Northern
Ireland he served as head of G branch, MI5's international
terrorism section, making him the agency's then-supremo in
dealing with the emerging al-Qaida threat.

"If Evans turns out to be 'Bob' then he too will get an
invite via subpoena to turn up in the High Court in Belfast
to confirm his role with Fulton," one source with knowledge
of the case said.

© Belfast Telegraph


DNA To Unmask Evil UDA Murderers

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 09:55]
By Ciaran McGuigan

New DNA evidence is set to expose the cowardly UDA hoods
who murdered a young mum almost 20 years ago.

Lorraine McCausland (23) was savagely beaten and her half-
naked body dumped in a stream near a loyalist drinking club
in north Belfast in March 1987.

The gang who carried out the 'romper room'-style killing
were never caught but the victim's family believe that new
DNA evidence - uncovered after their fight for justice was
taken up by human rights campaigners - may finally lead
police to the murderers.

It is understood that the family has now asked for the
grisly murder to be probed by the police's Historical
Enquiries Team.

The family - along with representatives from the
campaigning British Irish Rights Watch - are to meet with
detectives from the HET later this month.

The victim's sister, Cathy McIlvenna, told Sunday Life:
"After all these years there appears to have finally been
some movement in Lorraine's case.

"It was only British Irish Rights Watch got involved and
helped uncover this new evidence that we have had any

"This evidence was missed by the original investigation,
but now, after more than 19 years, we can see some light at
the end of the tunnel in this murder."

The original investigation into the murder is also being
probed by the Police Ombudsman's office

A spokesman for the ombudsman said: "We are investigating a
complaint from the family that the police failed to conduct
a thorough investigation of (Lorraine McCausland's)

The mum-of-two was discovered face down in a stream at
Howard's Glen in the Ballysillian area.

A trail of blood led from the spot where she was found back
to Tyndale Community Centre, where she had been earlier in
the evening and where she is believed to have been

© Belfast Telegraph


New Monument Planned For Controversial IRA Chief Russell

John Burns

A vandalised statue of Sean Russell, a former chief of
staff of the IRA, will be replaced in Dublin’s Fairview
Park within months, the National Graves Association (NGA)
has promised.

“The design is near completion, and will be ready for
inspection at the end of January,” said Matt Doyle, a
spokesman for the NGA. “It will be erected in April, all
going well.”

The head and right hand of the current statue were knocked
off in 2005 by anti-fascist campaigners. They justified
their action by describing Russell as a “Nazi
collaborator”. The IRA leader spent the last year of his
life in Nazi Germany and died on a U-boat off the west
coast of Ireland in 1940.

Erected in 1951, the statue was almost unknown until the
1990s, when Sinn Fein began to use it as a rallying point.
This led to demands for Dublin city council to remove it.
As IRA chief of staff, Russell organised a 1939 bombing
campaign in Britain that caused several fatalities.

Dublin city council has not yet given the necessary
clearance for the controversial statue to be replaced.
Given that the monument is likely to continue being a
target for vandals, there are likely to be objections. The
Russell monument has already been attacked several times in
its 50-year history.

The Simon Wiesenthal centre in Paris has indicated its
opposition to Russell being put back on his pedestal. It
said the reconstruction would be perceived as a political


Opin: For Republicans, Actions Will Speak Louder Than Words

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 10:49]
By Dr Maurice Hayes

The big question for both Sinn Fein and the DUP is whether
Mr Blair is bluffing when he threatens to cancel the March
elections – and with them, all hope of devolution in the
foreseeable future - if they cannot agree on how to handle
the reassurances each needs about policing.

It would be polite for them to assume that he means what he
says, but perhaps not politic - the track record does not
quite support certainty in the matter.

Mr Blair cut short a family holiday in Florida (which had
already been spoiled by incessant telephone calls from
Northern Ireland leaders) in order to resolve the
difficulties on policing.

In part, indeed, he was trying to restore the validity of
the concept of a deadline which had been severely damaged
by Mr Hain's disposition to ignore those which he had
previously, and trenchantly, declared to be immutable.

He has cried wolf over deadlines so often that nobody now
believes him - least of all the DUP.

Whether the DUP now believes Mr Blair is more to the point.
Their immediate reaction is to declare that they will
determine their policy on going into government with Sinn
Fein not by the calendar, but by the evidence presented to

Or not quite the evidence, it seems, but what they make of
it - and different factions within the party seem disposed
to apply more or less rigorous tests for verification. Some
would test any possible agreement to the point of

Mr Blair's restatement of the St Andrews understandings
reduces them to the simplest (some would say simplistic)
formula: Sinn Fein agree to back the police; ergo, the word
is the deed. The DUP must accept the deed in the word and
devolution goes ahead, the parties learn to trust each
other and the transfer of police powers follows quickly.

Mr Hain has been promoting the date of May 2008, which most
of the DUP regards as unreasonable or unattainable, and
which might yet be too late for Sinn Fein.

There is little point in Mr Blair beating the leaders about
the ears and telling them to face up to their
responsibilities if this leaves them without followers.
Each is patently trying to say as much as he can to
reassure his own followers and as little as possible to
agitate those on the other side.

It is fairly clear that the leadership cadre in both the
DUP and Sinn Fein both want to go into government. The
marriage could take place. The terms of the settlement are
known. The only remaining issue is when it should be paid,
whether in a lump-sum or in instalments; when vows are
exchanged; and when there is consummation.

Mr Adams needs the guarantee of a transfer of policing
powers as his unique selling point - this is where Sinn
Fein's negotiations have made a difference, and they have
neutered the ''securocrats''.

If they give support for policing without the certainty of
subsequent transfer, in order to get into government, they
will have lost a trump card while the DUP picks up their

The atmosphere will not be improved, either, by those in
the DUP who are merely using the policing issue as a
surrogate for rejecting power-sharing.

It used to be the Council of Ireland - remember?

There are those in the DUP who never want to share power,
who would delay until the last stolen bank note has been

There is, too an Ombudsman report lurking in the wings on
the police investigation into the McCord murder, which, it
is rumoured, will expose Special Branch protection of
alleged loyalist killers.

Not a great time, then, to be selling policing to the
republican rank and file, when MLA after MLA departs the
party or signals disillusion and disaffection.

Paisley, too, has his troubles, perhaps even more so. It
must be difficult to maintain a moderate toe and keep open
the possibility of compromise with Willie McCrea leading
the faithful in repeated rousing choruses of ''I love

More worrying for him will be the attitude of the variously
named Twelve Apostles, or Dirty Dozen, who include leading
politicians and the party president, MPs and an MEP, all of
whom are loudly expressing dissent from the party line.

Everything turns, therefore, on the verification of Sinn
Fein's success in turning words into deeds.

Nobody has yet suggested a body like the International
Monitoring Commission, which could assess the extent of
Sinn Fein support for the rule of law by the standards
applicable to any political party which seeks a role in

This would take it out of the hands of the ultras in the
DUP, who could never be satisfied, or Peter Hain, who might
be satisfied too easily - and whom nobody believes anyhow.

Mr Blair may declare that the party leaders have promises
to keep. They have some miles to go before they do so.

Whether they complete the journey together or apart remains
the big question.

Dr Maurice Hayes is a former Northern Ireland Ombudsman. He
was permanent secretary of the Department of Health and
Social Services and is a former chairman of the Community
Relations Council. He was voted European Person of the Year
in 2003.

© Belfast Telegraph


Opin: Time For Leaders To Do Precisely That

[Published: Sunday 7, January 2007 - 10:45]

When Harold Wilson famously observed that "a week is a long
time in politics", he could have been describing bleak
early-January at Stormont.

The prize is clear; the mechanism for achieving it less
opaque than for a generation. Even the obstacles have been
whittled down to a binary pair.

And yet the prospects of a settlement appear to be receding
rather than advancing - the 'process' suddenly exhibiting
all the momentum of paddling to America through glue.

It's tempting to derive the conclusion that personalities
are as much to blame for this inertia as the policies.

Patently, Gerry Adams is little short of the antichrist to
many unionists.

And Ian Paisley, in his 81st year, has for five decades
been Central Casting's idea of a nationalist's nightmare.

Yet times dictate leaders as much as leaders dictate the

Was Churchill destined to lead Britain in May 1940 after a
piebald political career? What if Halifax hadn't turned the
job down?

Or what if Nixon had been in the Oval Office as
Khrushchev's freighters steamed on Cuba?

Or if Nelson hadn't been on the bridge at Trafalgar?

While it is inviting to speculate what sort of fist Martin
McGuinness and Peter Robinson would make of it if Adams and
Paisley weren't around, the reality is that they are.

We should no more forget the extent to which Adams has re-
cast himself than we should ignore his mandate.

Some of Paisley's recent utterances, meanwhile, would
previously have demanded the services of a speech-

Whatever deal is finally cobbled together, and how long it
flies, will be determined by their political acuity - no

Received wisdom has it that "there are no second acts in
American politics".

Adams' and Paisley's painful reinventions alone hold the
key to the final act in this drama.

© Belfast Telegraph


Opin: How One Man's Irish Dream Could Be Shattered

Mr Blair's desire to find a lasting solution before leaving
office once seemed possible but is now as far away as ever,
writes Henry McDonald

Sunday January 7, 2007
The Observer

Perhaps it was destiny that Tony Blair happened to be
spending his post-Christmas break at the luxury Florida
home of Robin Gibb when news filtered across the Atlantic
that the Northern Ireland political process was entering
yet another crisis. As the Prime Minister packed his bags
at Chez Gibb in preparation for an unexpected earlier
flight back to the UK, his co-host could have briefed him
on the many reasons why the leaders of unionism and
nationalism find it next to impossible to reach that final
settlement of the Irish Question.

By a bizarre co-incidence, the wife of Robin Gibb, Dwina
Murphy, gave an interview on Friday about life with the ex-
Bee Gee and her memories of growing up in the north of
Ireland. One of her earliest recollections was of B-
Specials shooting at targets at the back of her local
community hall in Fermanagh. Mrs Gibb remembered she and
her brothers using the B-Men's targets as makeshift snow
boards for sliding down a nearby hill in winter.

Last week, on a local talk-show debating the policing
issue, an elderly man from west Belfast offered a far less
bucolic memory of life with the B-Specials on his doorstep.
The Falls Road pensioner recalled B-Men drunk at weekends
coming out of Hastings Street barracks and firing shots up
Catholic streets, closing down Catholic pubs at random and
roughing up anyone that objected to their boorish antics.

Both divergent memories serve to illuminate why policing
remains mired in Northern Ireland's violent and troubled
past, stretching back even beyond 1969 to the very
inception of the state in 1921.

Such folklore in the republican community has been
exploited for decades as reason why Catholics and
nationalists cannot support any police force in the north
of Ireland. Insidiously, this was abused to justify the
unjustifiable murder of RUC officers during the last and
longest outbreak of northern Troubles. In the unionist
memory, the collective psyche recalls police officers as
their final line of defence against a violent 80-year
campaign to force them into a unitary state against their

With apologies to James Joyce, history is still a nightmare
from which the majority in Northern Ireland have not woken

Anthony Seldon, Blair's biographer, inadvertently gave the
game away before Christmas. In an article in the Guardian,
Seldon concluded that, at the very least, the Prime
Minister could exit the stage in 2007 in the knowledge that
unlike Gladstone, Lloyd George, Harold Wilson or John Major
(all Prime Ministers who put enormous efforts into solving
the Irish Question), he had finally settled that most
troublesome island. The master of British political
biography may have to revise that assessment before going
to print. Someone in Downing Street, too, should wake Tony
Blair up to the nightmare of history.

The reason for the unprecedented convulsions in Sinn Fein,
with up to six Assembly members either resigning or forced
out for not toeing the party line, is historical. For
three-and-a-half decades, Sinn Fein demonised the police as
the armed wing of unionism.

Then in a twist of fate reminiscent of that final scene of
Orwell's Animal Farm, that same party's leadership tells
its members to embrace the very same concept of policing
that republicans were told was unacceptable; one that
upholds British law in a state still connected umbilically
to the UK. In fact, Sinn Fein's anti-police subculture has
exploded in its face as its high command seeks (at any
price, its critics say) power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

Conversely, the memory of so many deaths and injuries
inflicted on police officers and their families acts as a
brake on the ambitions of those inside the Democratic
Unionist Party desperate to take over and run Northern
Ireland, albeit with republican consent and co-operation.

The British government's indecent haste towards the 26
March deadline for devolution's restoration also reflects a
desperation of its own. It's to award Blair at least one
trophy before he walks off on to the global after-dinner
speaker circuit. Given his troubles elsewhere - Iraq, NHS
reform, alleged corruption of the honours system etc -
Northern Ireland may be his only glittering prize.

No one can deny that Tony Blair, alongside Bertie Ahern,
has invested enormous amounts of energy and time into
achieving a final, historic accord in Northern Ireland. The
bitter irony is that the Prime Minister risks his legacy by
imposing a final, final deadline on a process that will
require even more time.

It now appears Tony Blair will reach the top of the
mountain, but will never get to walk in the Promised Land.
Both Sinn Fein and the DUP leaderships' respective internal
difficulties mean it's highly unlikely a deal will be
reached in time for the outgoing Prime Minister to call it
his own.


Number Of Homeless Irish In London Drops - Report

07/01/2007 - 10:26:20

There has been a significant reduction in the number of
Irish people sleeping rough on the streets of London,
according to new research.

In 2001 the figure stood at 50%, that’s now down to around

The Simon Community said the Dion fund set up by the Irish
Government, which gives support to a number of charities
working with homeless people in Britain, has made a big

Director of the Simon Community in London, Timothy Nicholls
said the research was carried out in early November and is
a good indicator about the changes that are taking place in
the homeless community.


Pilot Scheme For New Dublin Toilets

Much-needed public toilets could soon be back on the
streets of Dublin if a pilot scheme to reopen facilities
near Trinity College is a success.

For years a haven for drug addicts, 11 conveniences were
closed over the last decade or so as people became afraid
to use them opting instead to call into pubs, shops and
department stores.

Now the City Council is planning to bring them back
starting with manned 24-hour unisex toilets above the
disused, underground facility at the junction of College
Street and Westmoreland Street.

A spokeswoman described the area of the toilets as high
demand, only yards from the night spots of Temple Bar and
the Nite-link bus terminus.

Council officials have already held talks with gardaí in
Pearse Street to increase policing at the facility,
especially in the early stages of its opening.

And after a year, if the pilot scheme is deemed safe it
could be rolled out right across the city centre.

The redevelopment will include a kiosk manned 24 hours a
day, two unisex toilets, one of which with wheelchair
access, baby changing facilities, telephone boxes and a
service enclosure.

A second unit will include a screened urinal area with hand
washing/drying facilities and a water fountain.

The council was forced to close down nine public toilets in
the city centre over the last decade.

Two automatic public conveniences on Burgh Quay also had to
be shut down.



260 Boston-Bound Stranded In Shannon

07 January 2007 11:56

Around 260 passengers who were due to fly to Boston on
Friday have been stranded at Shannon airport for the past
three days.

Their Aer Lingus flight left Dublin on Friday afternoon,
but a technical problem was detected after it landed in

The plane departed for the US after the fault was repaired,
but it recurred 30 minutes into the flight and the pilot
was forced to return to Shannon.

A flight on Saturday was cancelled because of another
technical problem.

The passengers - who had been put up at hotels - are due to
depart on today's scheduled Aer Lingus flight to Boston.


Who’s Who: Bertie Snubs Miriam

NO MENTION: Left, Bertie Ahern's entry in 'Who's Who'
neglects to mention former wife Miriam, with Bertie, above

Dick Barton

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern has omitted any mention of his
separated wife Miriam from his entry in the celebrity
bible, Who's Who.

Inclusion in Who's Who - which contains potted biographies
of 32,000 of some of the richest, most famous and most
influential people in the world - is by invitation only. It
is an accolade conferred on comparatively few.

While the Taoiseach chose to name his late parents
Cornelius and Julia, his entry goes on, "m 1975
(separated)". Mr Ahern, who lists his education as
Rathmines Coll of Commerce and University Coll Dublin, says
his profession is "accountant". He also omits his two
daughters Cecelia, the writer, and Georgina, who is married
to Westlife's Nicky Byrne. He lists his recreations as
"sports, reading".

There are now two Aherns in Who's Who for the first time.
The Taoiseach has been joined in the prestigious 2007
edition by Foreign Affairs minister Dermot Ahern. Also
included for the first time are fashion designer John Rocha
and Gate Theatre artistic director, Michael Colgan.

In his brief and modest entry, Dermot Ahern, 51, mentions
his father, Jerry, but not his mother (which is unusual as
most people in Who's Who like to feature the names of both
parents). He does, however, mention his wife, Maeve, and
their two daughters.

He lists his recreations as "windsurfing, skiing, golf".

Michael Colgan, 56, is also making his first appearance in
Who's Who this year. Coincidentally, he and the Taoiseach
were married in the same year, 1975, and both are now
separated. But in his entry, Mr Colgan mentions the names
of his estranged wife and both parents.

John Rocha, 53, the award-winning fashion designer based at
Ely Place, Dublin, says he has been married for 16 years
and mentions his wife, Odette.

At six lines, Rocha's is the briefest of the three new
Dublin entries. Dermot Ahern and the Taoiseach take up 10
lines each, while Michael Colgan needs 17 lines. This
compares to the 27 lines required by Dr Ian Paisley.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, 58, takes up 11 lines - in
which he mentions his wife, Colette, and also the fact that
he was "interned for suspected terrorist activity in 1971
and 1973, subsequently imprisoned; released,1976."

Martin McGuinness, 56, is much more reticent about his
life, and takes up just five lines. He doesn't mention any
partners, past or present; doesn't mention his parents'
names; or give details about his education.

Neither he nor Mr Adams list any recreations.

Lady Paisley of St George's, the wife of Dr Paisley, makes
her debut in Who's Who this year, after being made a life
peer, entitling her to sit in the House of Lords in London.

She doesn't give her birthdate and she and her husband are
kept apart, alphabetically, by the Catholic Bishop

All are now in Who's Who until they die, when they will be
automatically transferred to Who Was Who. Other notable
politicians who have been included for a number of years
are Finance Minister Brian Cowen and the Health Minister
Mary Harney.

Neither Mr Cowen nor Ms Harney give their precise

Ms Harney prefers to appear under her maiden name, rather
than her married name, Geoghegan.

Altogether there are nearly one thousand new names in this
year's edition.

Everyone - with the possible exception of the fugitive Lord
Lucan, who vanished, without leaving a forwarding address,
in 1974 - is invited to compile his or her own entry, so
celebrities can include or exclude whatever they like, and
their entries can be as long or as short as they wish.

British newspaper columnist Julie Burchill gives her
recreations as "sex and shopping", while artist and
Spitting Images creator Roger Law, 65, says one of his
recreations is "over age sex".

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