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January 11, 2007

Orde Hopes to End Plastic Bullet Use

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 01/11/07 Orde Hopes To End Baton Gun Use
BB 01/11/07 Sinn Fein Wrong On Agreement: DUP
BT 01/11/07 Foster Attacks Paisley Again Over Agreement
BN 01/11/07 'Bik' McFarlane In Trial Prevention Bid
RT 01/11/07 Dublin Man Charged With IRA Membership
NW 01/11/07 Strabane Man To Stand On Anti-Policing Ticket
IT 01/11/07 Storm Causes Power Outages, Disrupts Travel


Orde Hopes To End Baton Gun Use

Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has said he does not want his
officers to have to use plastic bullets again.

Sir Hugh also acknowledged that some of the 14 people
killed by plastic bullets during the Troubles were

Sir Hugh Orde's remarks come as Sinn Fein considers whether
or not to proceed with a special ard fheis which could see
it signed up policing.

In a wide-ranging interview, Sir Hugh stopped short of
calling for a ban on plastic bullets.

He did not promise never to use the the modern version of
the weapon.

He said that as chief constable he retained the right to
use them - but stressed the best way of avoiding their use
was for politicians to engage in policing.

Sir Hugh told the Press Association: "If the politicians do
not secure a deal this time around, there are substantial
implications for policing and substantial implications for
the communities who these people are supposed to be

"They need to realise that this is a huge opportunity that
could move policing on, that could move confidence in
policing on, and create conditions in Northern Ireland that
move Northern Ireland on.

"Having now been allowed to officially meet Sinn Fein, my
impression is the leadership is committed to joining
policing but my impression also is they need to convince a
lot of people in their community who are still unsure.

"That is one side of the equation. What is equally
important is that other politicians in other parties help
to create the space that allows the world to move on."

'Significant development'

Responding to Sir Hugh's comment on plastic bullets, Sinn
Fein Mitchel McLaughlin insisted there should be a total

"Hugh Orde's acknowledgement of the hurt resulting from
injuries and death of innocent people, including children,
is also welcome.

"These weapons should never be used again."

Clara Reilly of the United Campaign Against Plastic Bullets
said Sir Hugh's comments were "a very welcome and
significant development".

"But this is only the first step in addressing the legacy
of impunity that surrounds all of these killings. We now
need the full truth about all of these killings," she said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/11 21:13:34 GMT


Sinn Fein Wrong On Agreement: DUP

The DUP leader Ian Paisley has accused Sinn Fein of trying
to renegotiate the St Andrews Agreement.

Sinn Fein is due to hold another meeting this weekend to
consider its policing policy.

Mr Paisley said there was no requirement in the St Andrews
deal for his party to agree to the devolution of justice by
May next year.

Sinn Fein has been keen for the DUP to commit to a time
limit but the DUP has refused.

Mr Paisley said the agreement contained "only an aspiration
of the two governments that they would like it done".

"People should understand there is not a line in the St
Andrews report at all about saying that, at a certain date,
we must hand over these powers and work a joint system in
security," he said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/11 16:26:53 GMT


Foster Attacks Paisley Again Over Agreement

[Published: Thursday 11, January 2007 - 11:18]
By Sam McBride

A senior Free Presbyterian minister has said he never
expected to denounce Ian Paisley from his pulpit, but has
done just that.

In a forthright sermon made last Sunday and placed on his
website, the Rev Ivan Foster launched another attack on the
Free Presbyterian leader's stance on the St Andrews

Mr Foster, who in November said the denomination was
"heartbroken" at the prospect of Mr Paisley in government
with Martin McGuinness, said he was praying that God would
intervene and stop power-sharing between the DUP and Sinn

"There is in principle being pursued, by the leadership of
the DUP, a coalition with the murderers of Sinn Fein," he
said in the 70-minute sermon.

"We do pray for Dr Paisley and I never thought I would see
the day that I would stand in this pulpit and say I think
him wrong entirely and say I could never support what he is
doing, but that day has come."

During the sermon, Mr Foster admitted it was unusual for a
minister to be openly critical of his own church, but said
if Mr Paisley goes into government with Sinn Fein it would
do "great, great harm" to his name and that of the church.

The minister, a close friend of Mr Paisley for many years,
said he was " grieved in the extreme" to make the public
comments, but believed it was his duty.

"If we don't do something about what I believe is our
leaving of Christ, there will be no Free Presbyterian
Church in the not too distant future," he added. He also
attacked DUP councillors who voted for councils to
facilitate civil partnerships.

During the sermon entitled, Where have we gone astray?, he
said members of his church who told jokes made by a "filthy
sodomite comedian" should be ashamed and continued: "There
is a more tolerant attitude toward the wickedness of this
age among Free Presbyterians as was recently evidenced in
the compromise of a few Free Presbyterian councillors who
refused to oppose sodomy as it ought to be opposed."

In November, Mr Foster told the BBC: "The thought of one so
highly esteemed and loved as Ian Paisley in political
coalition with Martin McGuinness I would say is
heartbreaking to most, if not every, Free Presbyterian".

In response, the Rev David McIllveen said the church did
not have an official position on the St Andrews Agreement.

© Belfast Telegraph


Maze Escaper 'Bik' McFarlane In Trial Prevention Bid

11/01/2007 - 12:43:13

Maze prison escaper Brendan 'Bik' McFarlane is to appeal to
the Supreme Court in a bid to prevent his trial going ahead
on charges connected with the 1983 kidnapping of
supermarket boss Don Tidey.

The Special Criminal Court was told today that his lawyers
are preparing to lodge an appeal to the Supreme Court
against a High Court ruling last month that his trial
should go ahead. The court today remanded Mc Farlane on
continuing bail until February 20 next when his case will
be mentioned again.

McFarlane (aged 55),a father of three, of Jamaica St in
Belfast was charged in January 1998 with falsely
imprisoning Mr Don Tidey in 1983 and with possession of a
firearm with intent to endanger life at Derrada Wood,
Ballinamore, Co Leitrim in November and December 1983.

Mc Farlane had been in prison at the Maze since 1975 for
his part in the IRA bombing of a bar on the Shankill Road
in which five people were killed.

He was the OC (officer commanding) of the Provisional IRA
prisoners at the Maze prison at the time of the hunger
strike in 1981 and escaped in the mass break out by 38
prisoners from the jail in September, 1983. He was later
arrested in Amsterdam in January, 1986, extradited to the
North and released on parole from the Maze in 1997. He was
arrested by gardaí outside Dundalk in January, 1998.

Supermarket executive Don Tidey was kidnapped by an IRA
gang in 1983 and rescued after 23 days in captivity. A
trainee garda, Gary Sheehan, and a member of the Defence
Forces, Private Patrick Kelly, were killed in a shoot-out
with the kidnap gang when Mr Tidey was rescued.

The High Court made an order in July 2003 preventing the
DPP from proceeding with Mc Farlane's trial at the non-jury
Special Criminal Court because certain exhibits from which
fingerprint evidence was taken had gone missing and were
not available for inspection by Mc Farlane or his lawyers.
The Supreme Court was told that the case against McFarlane
consists of fingerprint evidence and certain alleged
admissions made by him to gardaí after his arrest.

At the High Court last month Mr Justice John Quirke
dismissed McFarlane's claim and said that any increased
levels of stress, anxiety and inconvenience which McFarlane
complains of as a result of delays cannot outweigh the
community's very considerable interest in having the
offences of the gravity such as these prosecuted to a

McFarlane had contended he could not receive a fair trial
because of "systemic" delays following upon the institution
of the judicial review proceedings initiated by him in

In the High Court in July 2003, in his judgment upholding
McFarlane's challenge to his prosecution, Mr Justice
Aindrias O'Caoimh made an order prohibiting the prosecution
of McFarlane after hearing that a milk carton, a plastic
container and a cooking pot found at a hideout where Mr
Tidey was imprisoned and on which fingerprints were
recovered had gone missing from Garda Headquarters.

However, on April 15 last year the Supreme Court overturned
that decision.

While criticising the fact that important evidence in the
case had been lost by gardaí, the majority of the Supreme
Court said the fingerprints had been photographed and the
photos of the impressions were still available.

The court also said there was a forensic examination of the
missing items prior to their disappearance and the results
of the forensic analysis had been preserved.


Dublin Man Charged With IRA Membership

11 January 2007 22:59

A Dublin man arrested as part of a Special Branch
investigation into dissident republicans has been charged
with membership of the IRA at a special sitting of the
Special Criminal Court tonight.

Joseph Clarke, aged 36, of Forestwood Close, Santry Avenue,
was charged with membership of an unlawful organisation
styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh
na hEireann, otherwise the IRA.

Prosecution solicitor Denis Butler told the court that
gardaí would be objecting to bail.

The court remanded Clarke in custody until next Thursday
when a bail application is expected to be made.


Strabane Man To Stand On Anti-Policing Ticket

By Michele Canning Smith

WITH West Tyrone already a hotbed of controversy on the
'will they, won't they' March Assembly elections, it has
emerged that an independent Republican candidate may well
throw his hat into the lion's den in this constituency.
That's the word on the ground from the Irish Republican
Socialist Party, who revealed to the Strabane Chronicle
yesterday that a Strabane man has put his name forward for

Endorsement for the Independent Republican candidacy will
go to an IRSP Ard Comhairle meeting at the weekend.

Moves have been afoot by the Concerned Republican group - a
coalition of what many regard as disaffected Republicans -
to infiltrate Nationalist strongholds in a bid to challenge
Sinn Féin on its policing agenda.

Already, members of the staunchly Republican McGlincheys of
South Derry, are set to challenge former comrades in Tyrone
and Mid-Ulster. Paul McGlinchey, a member of SF until last
month, says he will enter into the election race in direct
opposition to party chief, Martin McGuinness.

Gerry McGeogh, a former IRA man from Kileshil, is also set
to stand against Sinn Féin in Fermanagh/South Tyrone.

The Chronicle this week spoke with Willie Gallagher, a
leading member of the IRSP, on his party's position, and
how a series of meetings has led to a political attack on
mainstream republicanism. Those meetings, which began in
August last year, came as result of a call by a local man,
Eddie McGarrigle, at a commemoration in Derry calling for a
healing process within the diversity of Republicans.

That initial call has culminated in a decision by a group
of Republicans to stand for election. They include
disaffected Sinn Féin members, the IRSP, the 32 County
Sovereignty Committee and independent republicans, all
opposing the Good Friday Agreement.

During a series of meetings, the hugely contentious issue
of policing was the 'political thing in town' and proved to
be a gathering force for the group.

"There was unanimous support within the grouping that there
should be public opposition to any endorsement of the
policing and judicial system.

"The policing issue really was when Republicans had to wake
up and smell the coffee. Republicans that I have spoken
with, who once supported the Good Friday Agreement, now
reject it. Some have said they deeply regret endorsing it.

"As far as we are concerned, the Good Friday Agreement is a
pacification process to give up Republicanism. Now
Republicans are being asked to endorse the police and
judicial system.

"As this gained momentum, members of the Concerned
Republican group decided to stand as independents. There
will be a IRSP Ard Comhairle to see if our party will
endorse support for these candidates.

"The feedback is that there is a strong possibility that
most constituencies will put someone forward.

Mr Gallagher confirmed that there is a local man who has
expressed a wish and that will be considered at this
weekend's Ard Comhairle.

"As Independent Republicans, they oppose any endorsement of
the PSNI. The policing issue has forced the hand of
Republicans. Some of these people until a month ago were
members of Sinn Féin."

Mr Gallagher said he believes there is a very strong
feeling of opposition gathering across the board to any
endorsement of the police or judiciary.

"Sinn Féin would say this is a stepping stone to a United
Ireland. But it's a reformist strategy and it is impossible
to negotiate away political policing under the framework of
the GFA/St Andrew's Agreement.

"It is a simple exchange of principles to go into power
with the DUP, nothing more, nothing less.

He said he believed the SF leadership has misread the depth
of feeling among republicans on the issue of policing.,

"Overall, I feel it is possible that Sinn Féin could become
the third largest party because of protest votes going to
independent Republicans.

"This has taken on a momentum of its own and has acted as
driving force on the policing debate. We are viewing this
in the long term where republicans coming from a fair
region of diversity will get talking and debate and discuss
tactics, strategies and alternatives.

He clarifies his position by stating that it is very clear
within the group that this is an unarmed strategy.

"That was a point reinforced at the first meeting and no
one spoke out against that."

Asked whether he believed that voters would opt for what
many see as a group on the very sidelines of mainstream
political parties, he said, "Can someone tell me the
difference in voting for Sinn Fein and voting for the SDLP.

"I can see a situation where people will be comfortable in
supporting this group. We are traditional republicans.

"It would be wrong to sit back and do nothing about the
endorsement of policing and the criminalisation of the
Republican project."

He concludes his interview by setting the scenario: "If
Gerry Kelly takes up the Minister of Justice portfolio,
will he sign the arrest forms on behalf of the Historical
Inquiry Team?"


Storm Causes Power Outages, Disrupts Travel

Mark Rodden and Alexandra Cochrane
Fri, Jan 12, 2007

Transport and other services were seriously disrupted
yesterday as a result of stormy overnight conditions that
continued into the morning.

Air and ferry services were curtailed, while thousands of
Bank of Ireland customers were deprived of ATM and other
card facilities due to power cuts caused by the bad

Met Éireann reported gusts of 140km/h (87mph) at Malin
Head, Donegal, yesterday morning and a number of homes in
the county were left without power for a time as the winds
hampered repair work.

Dublin airport reported that domestic flights using small
aircraft were worst affected by the weather. Aer Arann
cancelled 14 flights at Galway, Cork, Dublin, Donegal and
Kerry airports. Flights were running on schedule in the

Conditions also forced Ryanair to cancel two flights to
Bristol and Glasgow in the morning, with passengers being
accommodated on later flights. Aer Lingus cancelled one
flight to Heathrow after the weather also caused delays to
their services. Passengers were accommodated later.

Irish Ferries's 9.30am Rosslare-Pembroke service was
cancelled, which meant that there was no afternoon return

Stena Line sailings on the Dublin to Holyhead route were
cancelled, as were services from Rosslare to Fishguard.
Services from Rosslare and Dublin Port were expected to
resume yesterday evening.

In the North, more than 1,500 homes were left without
electricity after gale force winds brought down power
lines. Enniskillen, Omagh and Coleraine were the worst
affected areas.

Bank of Ireland said the disruption to its services was
down to a "serious ESB power outage" early yesterday that
affected its systems. The outage hit the company's computer
centre at Cabinteely in Dublin from about 6.30am yesterday,
causing problems to its entire network and affecting
branch, ATM and other card facilities.

© 2007 The Irish Times

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