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January 09, 2007

McGuigan Daughters 'Miracle' Recovery

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 01/09/07 McGuigan Daughters 'Miracle' Recovery
BN 01/09/07 Hain Warns Of Policing 'Outsider'
BB 01/09/07 Blair 'To Reassure Over MI5 Role'
SF 01/09/07 SF Look Forward To Brits Statement On MI5
BN 01/09/07 SF To Reassess Moves To Endorse Policing
BN 01/09/07 DUP: Devolution Should Go Ahead Without SF
BT 01/09/07 Ervine: His Final Wish
BT 01/09/07 Opin: Soft Words & Optimism Are Not Enough
TE 01/09/07 Ireland 'Welcomed Hitler's Henchmen'
BN 01/09/07 Exhibition Highlights Irish Life In 1950s
BT 01/09/07 Cillian Murphy Nominated For Rising Star Award


Crash Sisters 'Miracle' Recovery

A woman who lost her husband and eight-year-old child in a
road accident has spoken of the miraculous recovery of her
other two daughters.

James McGuigan, 30, and his daughter, Lorna, eight, died in
the accident near Crumlin, just before Christmas.

Two other sisters Saoirse and Stacey, aged four and five,
were critically injured, but are making good progress.

Their mother, Tina, said the two girls had helped her cope
with her grief, adding: "They are my wee miracles."

"Having the girls has kept me strong. I do have my days
where I am down and the girls have their days as well," she

"But I could have had nobody and I am grateful that they
are still here today with me.

"They are on the mend. You want to see them, they are

I don't feel angry, because God only takes the best in
this world and he took them for a reason


Saoirse suffered a fractured skull, broken collar bone and
broken leg in the crash.

Stacy had a fractured skull and arm, bruising to her lungs
and broken ribs.

Speaking on the BBC's Nolan show, Tina said her children
were due to be discharged from hospital soon.


Paying tribute to the staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital
in Belfast, she said: "They were in a room together and
there were two nurses, one for each of them.

"Any time one nurse went out, another one came in. They
never left them alone at any time of the day."

She said cards had been sent from people she had never met
before and from "the four corners of the world".

"I don't feel angry, because God only takes the best in
this world and he took them for a reason," she said.

Parish priest Father Aidan Troy of the Holy Cross parish in
Ardoyne, said he was amazed at the family's bravery.

"I saw them (the little girls) on Sunday afternoon they
were in such wonderful form, it is terrific," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/09 10:22:47 GMT


Hain Warns Of Policing 'Outsider'

09/01/2007 - 14:00:40

Somebody from outside the North's assembly could be
appointed to oversee policing and justice if the political
deadlock on the issue is not resolved, Peter Hain said

The Northern Ireland Secretary warned that the May 2008
deadline for devolution of powers to a Northern Ireland
justice minister must be adhered to.

He was speaking after addressing the Assembly’s Policing
and Justice Committee in Belfast today.

“This is a backstop, the overwhelming preference is to do
this by consent under the agreed proceedings.

“If we get to the stage where this process is deadlocked,
perhaps around May 2008, then you have to look for an
alternative legislative vehicle.”

Mr Hain added that the appointee could be “somebody from a
party outside the Executive or from outside the Assembly”.

Democratic Unionists have said they will share power with
Sinn Féin once they are sure of that party’s commitment to
policing and law and order.

Republicans had agreed to call an Ard fhéis by the end of
January to endorse the policing structures but party
president Gerry Adams has accused the DUP of failing in its
own commitments to agree a timetable for devolution.

Both parties have experienced dissent from members
concerned about the shift in policies.

Mr Hain said the March deadline for restoration of
government was absolute.

“People know that on January 30 Stormont either dissolves
permanently or power is devolved, it is the last chance.

“If there is wilful obstruction, some kind of deadlock
almost despite the best intentions of the parties then we
will have to look at another way through, but that is very
much second best.”

He added that the dates for power sharing and fresh
Assembly elections in March and devolved policing powers by
May 2008 were achievable but said there was no point in
holding elections if there was no agreement on devolution.


Blair 'To Reassure Over MI5 Role'

Tony Blair is to set out the distinct role of police and
security services in Northern Ireland, in a written
statement to the Commons on Wednesday.

The move follows intensive negotiations between the
government and Sinn Fein on policing over the Christmas

It is believed the government hopes the statement will
reassure nationalists about MI5's future role.

Sinn Fein sources believe it may answer nationalist doubts
about interference by the security services in policing.

Republican sources suggest it may mean an end to any
suggestion of secondments between the police and MI5.

There are also suggestions that a new Policing Board sub-
committee will be set up to deal with security.

Both the SDLP and Sinn Fein have raised questions about
oversight of the security services.

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said
the statement "could influence both the internal republican
debate on policing and the wider contest between the
nationalist parties".

It comes as senior Sinn Fein members were to meet on
Tuesday to decide whether their national executive should
reconsider a plan to hold a special conference this month
on policing.

Sorting out policing is critical to restoring devolution.

Fresh powers

Meanwhile, it emerged in the assembly on Monday that police
in Northern Ireland are to be given fresh powers to seize
documents and files in order to tackle serious crime.

Detectives could seize material without any explicit reason
to suspect crime. It is understood similar laws are not
planned for Great Britain.

Security minister Paul Goggins said searches would not be

SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said that at a time when other
security measures are being relaxed, more stringent police
powers should not be introduced.

"How can you on the one hand normalise Northern Ireland
society and on the other hand give the police this enormous
power?" he told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster.

"(Officers could) go into any building under a lawful
search and seize any document, even if there is no
suspicion of that document being relevant to crime."

The assembly's policing and justice committee debated the
issue on Monday.

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain is to address members
of the cross-party committee on Tuesday, where he will be
questioned by assembly members on his proposals for a new
justice department by March 2008.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/09 10:49:14 GMT


SF Look Forward To British Government Statement On MI5

Published: 9 January, 2007

Responding to the confirmation that the British government
are to issue a new statement in relation to the role of MI5
here, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing issues Gerry Kelly

"During the intense negotiations over the Christmas period
Sinn Féin made the issue of ending MI5 involvement in
civic policing a priority. We have been involved in
detailed work on this issue with the British government in
recent weeks.

"The proposals which the SDLP claimed to have negotiated at
St. Andrews were completely unacceptable. They would have
embedded MI5 within the PSNI. This would have generated the
potential to create once again a force within a force.

"The British government have now indicated that they are to
make a new statement regarding the role of MI5. This
statement must put in place mechanisms to ensure the
complete separation of MI5 from civic policing. There can
be no integration of MI5 and the PSNI. All PSNI members
must be fully answerable to the Patten accountability
mechanisms, hard won in negotiations." ENDS


SF Leadership To Reassess Moves To Endorse Policing

09/01/2007 - 07:32:27

The Sinn Féin leadership is meeting in Dublin today to
decide whether or not to press ahead with a planned ard
fheis to end the party's opposition to the PSNI.

The decision to hold the vote was taken just before the new
year as part of the latest move to restore power-sharing
government in the North.

However, Sinn Féin said the meeting was dependant on a
positive response from the DUP.

The unionist party has said it will judge republicans on
their actions and not their words.

Several DUP members have said there is not enough time
before the planned restoration of devolution in March for
this assessment to be made.

The prospects for progress took another blow yesterday when
DUP leader Ian Paisley denied claims from British Prime
Minister Tony Blair that he had agreed to the transfer of
policing powers from London to Stormont by May 2008.

This has angered Sinn Féin, which does not want to endorse
the PSNI unless a timeframe is in place for giving Northern
politicians control over policing and justice issues.


DUP: Devolution Should Go Ahead Without SF

09/01/2007 - 11:46:30

British Prime Minister Tony Blair was uged today to move to
form a devolved government in the North without Sinn Féin.

As Sinn Féin’s officer board met to review plans to hold a
special party conference on policing, Democratic Unionist
MP David Simpson claimed republican leaders were panicking
in the face of internal resignations, deselections and
possible dissident electoral challenges.

“Given that we are likely to see many other dissident
candidates stand against Sinn Féin/IRA’s internal purge,
accelerated splintering and the now inevitable challenge to
(Gerry) Adams’ leadership, it is clear that Sinn Féin
cannot or will not democratise any time soon,” the Upper
Bann MP argued.

“There is now a clear onus on the government to move on
without them.

“Let’s bring an end to the numerous delays and false dawns.

“Let the prime minister now show leadership and put in
place legislation that will allow for the devolution of
powers to democratic parties to establish an executive free
from the taint of those who still refuse to break free of
the morality of a terrorist organisation.”

Irish and British government efforts to secure republican
support for the police in the North and power-sharing by
March 26 were plunged into a fresh crisis last week when
Gerry Adams hinted his party’s special conference may not
go ahead.

Last month, Sinn Féin’s national executive decided there
would be a special conference in January to decide if the
party should for the first time in its history endorse the
police in the North.

However, the move was conditional on a positive response
from the Irish and British governments and from Ian

While Sinn Féin has welcomed assessments from Mr Blair over
the past week on what is needed from republicans and the
DUP if power-sharing is to return, its leadership has
warned that Mr Paisley has not been positive enough.

Party sources speculated that the officer board could
approve at today’s meeting another meeting of its national
executive, which would take place later this week, possibly
on Friday or Saturday.

As the officer board met, it was confirmed Mr Blair would
issue a written statement tomorrow on the future role of
MI5 in the North, a key demand of nationalists.


Ervine: His Final Wish

[Published: Tuesday 9, January 2007 - 10:01]
By Lesley-Anne Henry

It would be a "travesty" if the political parties got stuck
at this stage of the peace process, David Ervine wrote in
an article penned just hours before his death.

In what was his final political wish, the late Progressive
Unionist Party leader urged unionists to help Sinn Fein
make devolution a reality.

His family, who revealed that Mr Ervine had "passed away
quietly with peace and dignity" yesterday afternoon, gave
permission for the 53-year-old's final article to be
published in today's Belfast Telegraph.

He had been taken ill early on Sunday morning. He was taken
to the Ulster Hospital but later transferred to the Royal
Victoria where he died yesterday.

On Saturday, Mr Ervine had enjoyed himself watching
Glentoran beat Armagh City at the Oval in Belfast.

Mr Ervine, whose death prompted tributes from across the
political spectrum, wrote that if Sinn Fein president Gerry
Adams managed to persuade republicans to support policing
"a real line in history will have been drawn".

" Given the prize that is on offer for this society, it
would be a shame if it were stalled and undermined. From my
point of view I hope Adams pulls it off. We, the unionists,
should facilitate him to do so."

He went on to say: "The cause of peace does not rest with
two parties alone. If the plug is pulled on the Assembly,
the next step is clear. We just start all over again."

Mr Ervine suffered a heart attack, stroke and brain
haemorrhage at his home on Sunday. He was taken to the
Ulster Hospital but later transferred to the Royal Victoria
Hospital, where he died shortly after lunchtime yesterday.

Prime Minsiter Tony Blair led tributes to the loyalist
leader and described the East Belfast MLA as "a persistent
and intelligent persuader for cross-community partnership".

Political figures from the Republic have also recognised Mr
Ervine's efforts for peace.

President Mary McAleese said his contribution would always
be remembered, while Taoiseach Bertie Ahern noted that he
had played a key role in turning loyalism away from

Tributes have also come from PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh
Orde and chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board,
Sir Desmond Rea.

And US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Ambassador
Mitchell Reiss, said he had been shocked and saddened by
news of the death.

He said: "I greatly admired David's transformation over the
years into an unflinching advocate for a peaceful and
political solution in Northern Ireland and came to value
highly his wise counsel.

"He played a critical role in charting a new and more
hopeful course for the people of Northern Ireland. His
leadership, candour and wit will be greatly missed.

"On behalf of the United States government I extend my
deepest sympathies to David's wife and his family."

However, it has not only been friends and colleagues who
have praised the PUP leader. Political opponents have also
been generous in their recognition of him.

Mr Adams said Mr Ervine had made a significant effort
towards turning society away from violence.

"He made a valuable and important contribution to moving
our society away from conflict," he said.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan described the loss of one of
politics' greatest characters as a " tragedy".

© Belfast Telegraph


Opin: Soft Words And Boundless Optimism Are Not Enough

[Published: Tuesday 9, January 2007 - 08:45]
By Barry White

As the nation waits, with baited breath, I think it's worth
asking one simple question: do you, or do you not, believe
that Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness will ever sit
together as equal First and Deputy First Ministers?

If you do, you're a true believer and good luck to you. I
hope you're right. But if you don't, and that's where I
regretfully stand, all that's happening at the moment is
simply softening up the two parties and their supporters
for another attempt, after Tony Blair departs.

It's useful work that he's doing, on the whole, though it
has its dangers. He's making the parties face difficult
choices, even if they will continue to avoid making them.

The DUP have no wish to be in a power-sharing executive
with Sinn Fein, or to take part in North-South bodies, and
Sinn Fein are only really interested in the all-Ireland
aspects of government.

But they've both been forced to contemplate the possibility
of dealing with one another, because of Tony Blair's
unshakeable belief that he can solve any problem, simply by
talking to both sides - through the night, if necessary. He
probably enjoys the fact that they only talk through him,
and clear their statements with him, so he's in charge of
what happens and can produce 'agreements' where there are

You have to admire his stickability, after nearly 10 years
of effort, and you can't deny that progress has been made.
The DUP are prepared to consider entering a partnership
with Sinn Fein, whom they hoped to "smash" electorally, and
Sinn Fein are willing to take part in an executive
subservient to Westminster, and supportive of the police,
provided they obtain some local control.

Great. They're both paying attention to the wishes of the
voters, who want security and good government, above all.
Next time, if they fail, the centre parties could get
another chance.

There are some difficulties that soft words and boundless
optimism can't overcome, however, and we're now getting to
grips with them. They are so fundamental, where unionists
and republicans are concerned, that either leaders come
forward who can lead people against their instincts or a
long, slow process of change begins which could take
generations to complete.

We've tried to find such leaders, who must emerge
simultaneously, and so far there hasn't been much success.
David Trimble was probably the bravest on the unionist
side, but before him there was O'Neill and Faulkner - all
of them brought down because of republican/IRA resistance.
It gets more difficult all the time, and however hard it
is, you must have some sympathy for Gerry Adams, now that
he is doing the leadership thing. (Didn't he look so
uncomfortable reading his speech in Fermanagh last weekend,
after the 'boys' had re-staged the 1957 attack on
Brookeborough RUC station, complete with very real looking
Bren gun?)

Both he and Ian Paisley are, under prompting by the two
Governments, saying things they would not have considered a
few years ago. For republicans to accept the legitimacy of
a police force which must defend the territorial integrity
of Northern Ireland is epic, just as for unionists, the
idea of Martin McGuinness as joint prime minister is close
to anathema. (Hope you appreciated the omission of his name
in a middle-man's account of IRA army council talks with
Government representatives in Derry in 1975 ...)

We're moving, but I would reckon that time has run out on
this latest, brave attempt at joint unionist-British,
nationalist-Irish, rule. There's only a few weeks left and,
unless Tony or the cleverest Irish diplomats can pull
something out of the hat to make Ian Paisley risk losing
(a) his party and (b) his Church, this latest circle-
squaring attempt will fail. No election, no Assembly and no
stopping British-Irish infiltration all round - until poor
Gordon Brown, aren't you sorry for him, gets out the
history books and starts all over again ...

The middle-ground parties, the UUP and SDLP, tried to make
power-sharing work, and failed, because of attacks by the
extremes. Now we've got the extremes in charge, and they
may fail, because they're not ready and the mood isn't
right. Next time, the optimist in me says the voters will
revert to the sensible option, in which the moderates get a
mandate to try again. Keep hoping ...


A truly frightening book arrived at Christmas: State of
Denial, Bush at War III by Bob Woodward, the Watergate
reporter. As you read, whatever sympathy you ever had for
the two Presidents, Bush and Saddam, disappears. Bush let
Donald Rumsfeld make a mess of things, while Saddam did it
all himself.

The first US supremo, Jay Garner, reckoned that when the
policy of refusing to pay $$20 a head to Iraqi soldiers,
and sacking members of Saddam's party, was instituted, the
USA overnight acquired 350,000 enemies, with access to
weapons and explosives. The rest is history.

As for Saddam, his bloodthirstiness surprised King Fahd of
Saudi Arabia after militants took over the Grand Mosque of
Mecca in 1979.

Told that only the leaders would be executed, Saddam
advised that all 500 should be killed, as well as their
brothers, fathers and cousins. Like a Mafia chief, he
insisted that his bodyguards kill someone from their own
tribe, as well as an enemy. That way, they would save his
life, to save their own. If someone blinked, when he looked
at him, he would have him killed as a traitor; he'd rather
kill him than be unsure.

© Belfast Telegraph


Ireland 'Welcomed Hitler's Henchmen'

By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent
Last Updated: 8:17am GMT 09/01/2007

A disturbing aspect of Ireland's history has been uncovered
by research finding that leading Nazis were sheltered and
welcomed by the Irish establishment after the war.

A rogues' gallery that included fascists, Nazi
collaborators and war criminals came to Ireland, including
some who flourished and became respected members of the

A documentary to be screened on Irish television tonight
illustrates growing willingness amongst mainstream public
opinion to face up to Ireland's role in providing a haven
for war criminals.

advertisementIn the past, there has been a tendency to
overlook stories of Hitler's henchmen being protected while
they made their homes in Ireland or using it as a staging
post to escape to America.

"It is very interesting that there is now much more
willingness to raise these issues about those sections of
the Irish population, who were sympathetic to the Nazi
cause," said Paul Bew, Professor of Irish Politics at
Queen's University, Belfast.

"I am glad people are focusing on this now. It has been a
repressed theme in Irish history," added Prof Bew, who also
deals with the subject in his book The Oxford History of
Ireland, which is to be published later this year.

Otto 'Scarface' Skorzeny, once described as Hitler's
favourite soldier and the most dangerous man in Europe, was
feted by the Dublin social glitterati.

Fourteen years after he had rescued Mussolini from a
hilltop fortress in 1943, Skorzeny arrived at a reception
in his honour held at Portmarnock Country Club.

The cream of Dublin society attended the event, including a
young politician, Charles Haughey, who was later to become
Ireland's most controversial Prime Minister.

The two-part television documentary Hidden History on RTE,
Ireland's national broadcaster, will tell the story of
Skorzeny, who went on to raise prize-wining lambs in Co

Skorzeny made his name by raiding an Italian castle where
Mussolini was held captive. Descending on the fortress in
gliders, Skorzeny's men succeeded in freeing the dictator.

A year later, Skorzeny was involved in rounding up and
torturing members of the German resistance after their
failed attempt on Hitler's life.

He was acquitted of war crimes by a US court, but remained
a prisoner because other countries wanted to prosecute him.

He escaped from prison, fleeing to Spain before buying a
farm Martinstown House, near the Curragh, where he lived
for a decade.

The programme is presented by Cathal O'Shannon, an Irish
RAF veteran who feels that anti-British sentiment in
Ireland led to Nazis receiving a warmer welcome than he did
when he came home after the war.

He believes between 100 and 200 people with Nazi
connections passed through Ireland during the Cold War.

Albert Folens, who died in 2003 at 86 after founding
Ireland's leading academic text-book publisher, was
involved in the Gestapo and Waffen SS.

The documentary claims he was a volunteer in the Waffen SS
Flemish legion, serving on the eastern front until he was

After treatment in an SS hospital, he joined the Gestapo
and claimed to have worked at its Brussels headquarters as
a translator.

His name is said to have appeared on the US army's Central
Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects. Folens
always denied any involvement in torture or inhumane

Arrested by the British Army in Germany, he was sentenced
to 10 years after a military trial. But he escaped after 30
months and fled to the Republic on a false passport.

The so-called 'Butcher of the Balkans', Andrija Artukovic,
was another who sought and found sanctuary in Ireland,
spending his time in the Dublin suburb of Rathgar in 1947.

According to the programme, Artukovic, a Croatian Nazi, was
given safe passage to Ireland with the help of a Franciscan

Artukovic served as interior minister in the Nazi puppet
regime in Croatia. He was provided with immigration papers
under a false name before arriving in Ireland, where he
posed as a history professor before moving to the United

Decades later he was extradited to Yugoslavia and was
sentenced to death for opening concentration camps and
being involved in the genocide of up to one million
innocent people. The sentence was not carried out because
the authorities deemed him too ill.

Pieter Menten, a Dutch Nazi war criminal, moved to a Co
Waterford mansion in 1964 before he was eventually tried
and imprisoned. After his prison term, the Irish government
would not allow him back.

Helmut Clissmann was a World War II German spy involved in
failed missions with the IRA. He later became a successful
Dublin businessman.


Exhibition Highlights Irish Life In 1950s

09/01/2007 - 06:55:24

Ireland in the 1950s will come under the spotlight in an
historic exhibition and series of talks starting today.

Down Memory Lane, showing in the National Museum of
Ireland, focuses on childhood memories, school life,
health, welfare, children on film and children’s

The event is being accompanied by a series of talks,
beginning in the lecture theatre at 6.30pm today.

Collecting Memories will give an overview of the Irish
Folklore Project, which was carried out in the 1930s and
1940s in Ireland.

Bairbre Ní Fhloinn, of the School of Irish, Celtic Studies,
Irish Folklore and Linguistics at UCD, will outline the
findings of this project focusing on childhood memories.

Admission to the event, in Collins Barracks, Benburb
Street, Dublin 7, is free.

Talks will also be held next Tuesday on learning in Irish
primary schools, on January 23 on issues of health and
welfare, on January 30 on Irish children on film and on
February 6 on Irish children’s print media.


Cillian Murphy Nominated For BAFTA Rising Star Award

[Published: Tuesday 9, January 2007 - 08:18]

Irish actor Cillian Murphy has been nominated for another
prestigious award.

The 30-year-old Corkman is in the running for the Orange
Rising Star Award at this year's BAFTA's in Britain.

Murphy played a lead role in Ken Loach's Wind That Shakes
the Barley, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes last year.

He was also nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal
of an Irish transvestite in Neil Jordan's Breakfast on

© Belfast Telegraph

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