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January 20, 2007

RUC Was Running UVF Gang

News About Ireland & The Irish

SB 01/21/07 RUC Was Running UVF Gang
IN 01/20/07 Collusion Charges May Never Happen
BB 01/20/07 Report To Confirm Collusion: SDLP
SB 01/20/07 RUC Collusion Officers Still In Police Force
BT 01/20/07 McCord Fears Over O'Loan Report
GU 01/20/07 'I Will Pursue My Son's Murderers'
IN 01/20/07 Fr Reid Confident SF Can Deliver On Policing
SF 01/20/07 Adams Seeks Community Backing For Policing
IT 01/20/07 Prominent US Neo-Con To Become Envoy To NI
BB 01/20/07 Bloody Sunday Remembered At March
IN 01/20/07 Bloody Sunday Families Call For Support
IN 01/20/07 Appointment On Parades Commission
IN 01/20/07 IRL: Spend E1 Bil On Cross-Border Initiatives
BT 01/20/07 Opin: A Good Deal Will All Depend On Timing
RT 01/20/07 Mamas And The Papas Singer Dies Aged 66


RUC Was Running UVF Gang

21 January 2007 By Colm Heatley

For the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force), it was a routine

A small-time criminal owed them some drugs money and he was
going to pay up or be killed. Three of the group took
Raymond McCord Jr to a disused quarry and beat him to death
with iron bars and hammers. The chief murderer was on
weekend parole and, with his handlers in Special Branch
aware of his paramilitary activities, he thought little
about the murder.

Tomorrow, just over nine years since McCord’s murder took
place, then a Police Ombudsman’s report into that killing
and at least a dozen others is expected to be the most
damning ever written about the police in the North.

It points to a trail of collusion between the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) and loyalist paramilitaries in murder,
and in extortion, corruption and threats that led to the
deaths of 18 people in Belfast until 2003.The report will
be a body-blow to the North’s policing legacy.

The Ombudsman’s report comes just a week before Sinn Fein
holds its extraordinary ard fheis to decide whether to
endorse the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The report’s findings graphically illustrate one of the
principal reasons why many republicans and nationalists
find accepting and endorsing policing so difficult - the
police colluded with loyalist paramilitaries, which they
believe resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Catholics
during the Troubles.

For many nationalists, the RUC and their successors in the
PSNI are the legal arm of the UVF and Ulster Defence
Association (UDA), providing help and assistance to the
paramilitaries on an almost daily basis.

The Ombudsman’s report, delivered to Northern Secretary
Peter Hain and the PSNI chief constable last Friday
morning, will confirm many of those fears.

What the report uncovered was a police force that regarded
human life as cheap a force, that was more concerned with
protecting its informers than the public, and that
effectively ran the UVF in north Belfast, an area with the
highest level of sectarian murders during the troubles.

That such collusion could exist years after the ceasefires
were called, and the Good Friday Agreement signed, is
evidence of how deeply ingrained and systematic it was in
the North’s security forces.

The report is the latest in a list of investigations that
has uncovered collusion between the British state and
loyalist gangs in Ireland, north and south. For many
republicans it is further proof that the security forces
propped up the Northern state with sectarian murder.

The north Belfast UVF gang that carried out the murders
investigated by Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan, was run almost from
top to bottom by the RUC Special Branch.

Its ‘military commander’, Mark Haddock, who ordered
McCord’s murder and many others, was a long-term Special
Branch agent. Its quartermaster, brigadier, deputy
brigadier and chief gunman are also strongly suspected of
being in the pay of the Special Branch.

When RUC officers from outside Special Branch, such as
Detective Jonty Brown, tried to bring killers such as
Haddock to justice, the Special Branch response was to
threaten their police colleagues.

‘‘I was told to fuck off, that Haddock was none of my
concern and to mind my own business,” said Brown.

When McCord was murdered on November 9, 1997, it was just
another grim statistic in the North, a murder destined to
be attributed to internal UVF feuding and forgotten soon
afterwards. In large part, it was the campaigning work of
his father, Raymond McCord Sr, which led to the Ombudsman’s

Viewed as a crank and a troublemaker, his claim that his
son’s murder was ordered and carried out by Special Branch
agents was dismissed at the time.

His persistence, though, has seemingly paid off and
tomorrow’s report is expected to vindicate all of his key
claims, although the investigation found no evidence that
Special Branch had prior warning of his son’s death. Brutal
though the McCord murder was, it is the wider activities of
the UVF gang and their controllers in Special Branch that
is due to be the most damning indictment of policing in the

Another of the UVF gang’s victims was Sharon McKenna, a 27-
year-old Catholic woman, murdered in north Belfast on
January 17, 1993.

She was visiting an elderly Protestant man on the city’s
Shore Road when the gang struck.

The Ombudsman’s report is expected to say that her killers
were RUC Special Branch agents. Perhaps what the report
won’t include is that, after the murder, two of her killers
went to their handlers and told them what had taken place.

‘‘They were told to stop worrying so much and go out and
get a few pints,” said one former senior detective who knew
how the murder had taken place.

‘‘The two of them were given a few quid by the Branch men
and told to relax, that was how Special Branch treated the
murder of an innocent young woman killed by their

The public version of the Ombudsman’s report will not name
individual informers or policemen who are implicated in the

Instead, it will refer to the police by rank.

The report is limited to looking at the role of Haddock’s
North Belfast UVF unit and hasn’t examined the role of
Special Branch agents in the wider UVF organisation. But
McCord Sr said he intended naming names at a press
conference in Belfast tomorrow.

‘‘This report vindicates what I have been saying for years
and it shows that the UVF were run by the police. They were
a proxy army for the Special Branch, carrying out murders
of Protestants and Catholics at will,” said McCord.

‘‘I have evidence to say that the UVF’s leader in the whole
of Northern Ireland has been a Special Branch agent since
the 1980s and I will be naming him.”

Among other incidents that Haddock’s UVF unit is believed
to have been involved in are two bombings in Co Monaghan in
1997 and the Loughinisland Massacre in June 18, 1994, which
claimed the lives of six men.

It is understood that UVF men from Haddock’s unit drove the
homemade bombs across the border, a move that is regarded
as unusual because it would have been easier to get a UVF
gang based close to the border to carry out the attack.

An informer nicknamed ‘The Mechanic’ was responsible for
providing the getaway cars used by the UVF gang who
machine-gunned a Catholic bar in Loughinisland as their
victims watched Ireland play Italy in the World Cup in June

The timing of the report’s publication could hardly be more

It takes place against a backdrop of intensive debate
within the broader republican family about whether or not
to endorse the PSNI.

In Derry last week, a meeting of republicans opposed to
Sinn Fein’s policing strategy was attended by more than 400
people. It heard calls for candidates to be fielded against
Sinn Fein in elections in March, should they be held.

Last week, party president Gerry Adams said he would hold
talks with those opposed to the party’s policing strategy
and with armed dissident groups.

But the message seemingly coming from some of those
disaffected republicans was that the offer was too little,
too late.

They argue that Sinn Fein intends to push ahead with
supporting the police at next Sunday’s ard fheis,
regardless of reaction from the Democratic Unionist Party
(DUP) or republican concerns.

If next Sunday’s ard fheis does back the Sinn Fein
leadership’s call to support the police, it will not lead
to an immediate change in republican policy towards the
PSNI. Instead, the Sinn Fein ard comhairle will be mandated
to decide when the policy will be implemented.

For those opposed to supporting the PSNI, tomorrow’s report
will be ample evidence that to support the police is
tantamount to treachery.

Not only will they attack the PSNI on ideological grounds,
but on the basis that it is has also been involved in
multiple murders in the very recent past.

They will ask some of the questions that the report doesn’t
answer, including: are some of the police who were involved
in Haddock’s UVF gang now members of the PSNI? Adams and
his supporters will argue that, if such collusion is to be
consigned to the past, it is essential that republicans get
their hands on the levers of power. There is, however,
unlikely to be a meeting of minds between the two sides.


‘Collusion Charges May Never Happen’

By Bimpe Fatogun

People named in a Police Ombudsman’s report into security
force collusion in high profile murders may be protected
from prosecution on grounds of ‘public interest’.

The warning came three days before the publication of the
report expected to contain revelations which will be highly
damaging to the police and British government.

The Public Prosecution Service has been examining a
preliminary version of the report for months and deciding
whether to press charges.

However, SDLP policing spokesman Alex Attwood has warned
charges may never be brought, even in the face of damning

After a meeting with Raymond McCord – whose son Raymond was
killed in an attack allegedly sanctioned by a police
informant – he said the report “is likely to make
horrifying reading”.

“The most serious allegations possible are likely to be
made about the conduct of police officers. The most serious
consequences should follow,” Mr Attwood said.

“The reported recommendation of the Police Ombudsman that
there are people who should be prosecuted must be taken

“This must not be put on the long finger by the prosecuting

“Critically, there is the danger that the Public
Prosecution Service and Attorney General will invoke so-
called ‘public interest’ grounds for not prosecuting people
against whom the most serious allegations are made.

“This could arise not only around people identified in the
ombudsman report and the Stevens report but also be used to
allow the on-the-run’s to walk.”


Report To Confirm Collusion: SDLP

A report on the UVF murder of Raymond McCord junior will
confirm collusion was a reality during the Troubles, SDLP
leader Mark Durkan has predicted.

Mr Durkan said the report, by Police Ombudsman Nuala
O'Loan, will be extremely serious and show collusion was
not a "nationalist myth".

The report is expected to be published at the start of next

The Foyle MP was being interviewed for Saturday's Inside
Politics programme on BBC Radio Ulster.

Raymond McCord Junior, 22, a former RAF man, was beaten to
death and his body dumped in a quarry in 1997.

There have been allegations that a leading member of the
UVF gang responsible for his murder and several other
killings in the north Belfast/Newtownabbey area were police

"I think the report will show that we had an RUC informer
who was allowed to murder again and again and again -
Catholics, Protestants, paramilitaries, civilians, even a
minister of religion," Mr Durkan said.

"It absolutely stinks. But we also have to ask why are we
only getting to this now.

"We are only getting to this now because some us insisted
on the police ombudsman having the powers to investigate
these things and investigate the past."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/20 10:08:32 GMT


RUC Collusion Officers Still In Police Force

21 January 2007 By Colm Heatley

A number of policemen implicated in the Police Ombudsman’s
report into collusion between the Royal Ulster Constabulary
(RUC) and loyalist paramilitaries in the 1990s are still
serving in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI),
according to senior sources.

A number of policemen implicated in the Police Ombudsman’s
report into collusion between the Royal Ulster Constabulary
(RUC) and loyalist paramilitaries in the 1990s are still
serving in the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI),
according to senior sources.

The report, which will be published tomorrow, concludes
that RUC Special Branch officers colluded in 18 murders in
the North between 1990 and 2003 committed by a north
Belfast Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gang led by police
informer Mark Haddock.

The report concludes that senior police colluded with - and
protected from prosecution - loyalist killers.

Some of the officers have since retired, including the two
most senior Special Branch men mentioned in the report, who
ran agents within the UVF.

In the public version of the report, which has been
shortened to 150 pages, the names of those implicated have
been removed, but the private version, sent to PSNI Chief
Constable Hugh Orde and Northern secretary Peter Hain last
Friday, identifies the policemen and UVF agents involved.

A number of policemen mentioned in the report, and
implicated in a number of sectarian murders in Belfast
during the 1990s, have gone on to forge careers within the

The Ombudsman’s report was initially launched to
investigate the murder of 22-year-old Protestant man,
Raymond McCord Jr, in north Belfast in 1997, but was
expanded to cover the activities of the same UVF gang in
more than a dozen other murders.

The report will say that those who ordered and carried out
McCord’s murder, as well as other murders including that of
27-year-old Catholic woman Sharon McKenna, were Special
Branch agents.

Haddock is serving ten years in prison for grievous bodily

The new head of Haddock’s former UVF unit is understood to
be the man who killed McCord and is suspected of still
being a police informer.

The revelation that some of the officers implicated are
still serving members of the PSNI has caused concern among
nationalists in the North.

Next Sunday, Sinn Fein will hold an ard fheis to debate
whether to support the PSNI.

A series of Sinn Fein-sponsored public meetings on policing
are to be held in the North this week.

A number of the crimes investigated by the Police Ombudsman
took place after 2001, when the Patten reforms were
supposed to have curbed the worst excesses of Special

The report uncovered evidence that Special Branch actively
protected their informers, even when they had committed
sectarian murders.

The Ombudsman’s report was sent to the Department of Public
Prosecution last year.

However, the DPP has yet to decide on whether to proceed
with recommendations to charge officers.


McCord Fears Over O'Loan Report

[Published: Saturday 20, January 2007 - 09:56]
By David Gordon

Politics should not dictate the authorities' response to a
massive investigation into alleged security force collusion
with loyalist killers.

That was the message last night from the campaigning father
who triggered the probe into police informers within the
north Belfast UVF.

With the findings of the inquiry by Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan
due for publication on Monday, speculation is continuing
over whether former police officers will be recommended for

A legal move against former officers could have major
political implications, particularly if the Government
tables fresh plans to allow exiled "on the run" IRA
terrorists to return home.

Taking ex-policemen to court while granting what would be
described as an amnesty to republicans could cause uproar
within unionism - and destabilise attempts to restore

Prosecutions could also raise the thorny question of the
extent to which the Government oversaw - and approved -
past security force intelligence operations in Northern

Monday's report by the Ombudsman is expected to vindicate
claims of police collusion with a UVF killer gang based in
north Belfast's Mount Vernon estate.

It is alleged that RUC Special Branch ran a number of
informers in this paramilitary team, and shielded them from

Mrs O'Loan's probe - codenamed Operation Ballast - began in

It was launched in response to a complaint by north Belfast
man Raymond McCord over the police investigation into the
murder of his son Raymond jnr.

He believes the 1997 killing was carried out on the orders
of Mount Vernon UVF chief Mark Haddock, a police informer.

Haddock's double life as a terrorist and Special Branch
agent was fully exposed last year, leading to an attempt on
his life by former UVF allies.

Mr McCord last night said political considerations should
not influence the response of the Public Prosecution
Service or Attorney General to the Ombudsman's inquiry.

"I believe this report will be so damning that the
authorities will have to act and be seen to act," he said.

"Politics should not enter into it. The judicial process
and politics must be kept separate.

"I will be seeking a meeting with the Attorney General in
the wake of Mrs O'Loan's report."

Publication of the Ombudsman's findings have been delayed
due to deliberations by the Public Prosecution Service

It is understood discussions between Mrs O'Loan's office
and the PPS have been continuing within the past week.

An attempted prosecution of former officers could also be
thwarted by past shortcomings in documentation and formal
procedures within the police force.

The report published on Monday will not name police
officers or informers.

A fuller document, including the names, has been prepared
for PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde and Secretary of
State Peter Hain.

Ex-Special Branch officers with links to the case are being
advised by a lawyer and a PR expert.

They are expected to strongly challenge the Ombudsman's
findings and the basis of her entire investigation.

© Belfast Telegraph


'I Will Pursue My Son's Murderers'

Controversial report to reveal that the RUC and
paramilitaries colluded in a reign of terror

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday January 21, 2007
The Observer

Raymond McCord will tomorrow receive a report that will
shake the security apparatus of Northern Ireland to its
foundations. He will be handed the findings of an
investigation into his son's murder that will include the
revelation that the RUC Special Branch allowed informers to
kill, maim and intimidate without fear of arrest or

Nine years ago a grieving McCord, 51, launched his campaign
to discover the truth about the murder of Raymond junior,
and uncovered a reign of terror by the north Belfast Ulster
Volunteer Force to which police officers and their senior
commanders turned a blind eye. His campaign will be
vindicated by Northern Ireland's Police Ombudsman, Nuala
O'Loan, who will publish her report tomorrow into the
activities of the police and loyalist paramilitary

Since his son was battered to death by members of the UVF's
notorious Mount Vernon unit in 1997, McCord, brought up as
a Protestant loyal to the British crown, has unearthed many
uncomfortable facts against the often dirty war against
terrorism. 'When I started trying to find out what happened
to young Raymond, I never imagined how big a can of worms
this whole thing has been,' he said

'It's now nine years since my lad was murdered, but I do
feel vindicated by what the report will say. The public in
Northern Ireland are going to find out first hand that I
told the truth.

McCord junior, at the time of his murder a 22-year-old RAF
cadet, fell out with the Mount Vernon UVF over the import
of a large haul of cannabis into north Belfast. He had been
a courier for the local UVF commander who, fearing he was
about to be shot for drugs smuggling by his own
organisation (the UVF officially opposes drugs and has shot
dealers in the past), blamed the plot on his young acolyte.
McCord was beaten to death in a so-called punishment attack
at Ballyduff Brae on the northern outskirts of Belfast on 9
November, 1997.

At first his father sought explanations from the UVF, then
officially on cease-fire, about why their members had
killed his son. Yet as he dug deeper, talking to sources
both inside the UVF and the police, he stumbled across a
network of collusion between the gang responsible for at
least 13 murders between 1993 and 2000 and their Special
Branch handlers. The leader of the UVF unit, Mark Haddock,
was later named under privilege in the Irish parliament,
the Dail, as the man who allegedly instigated the murders
while working as an informer

'I never dreamt it would be that bad. It emerged that
paramilitary commanders, not their foot soldiers, were
informers and were being protected, including Mark Haddock.
The more I uncovered, the more it became like one of those
American conspiracy theory films... only this one was

O'Loan's report, which will be presented to both Peter
Hain, the Secretary of State, and Chief Constable Hugh
Orde, will name at least six Special Branch and CID
officers who ran informants inside the so-called 'Dirty
Dozen', the nucleus of the Mount Vernon UVF murder squad.
Only Hain and Orde will see that confidential part of the
report where the actual names of the officers are revealed.
Privately the Northern Ireland Secretary has admitted that
the British government is 'going to take a hit'.

McCord likens the controversy over his son's murder to the
1989 loyalist killing of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.
Subsequent inquiries into the Finucane murder found that at
least six Ulster Defence Association terrorists involved
were also either agents of Special Branch or the British
Army's secretive Force Research Unit. But like the Finucane
murder, it is highly likely that not a single officer
accused of colluding with the loyalists will be charged.
McCord is determined to bring out the police officers'
names into open court.

'The taxpayer was paying for state agents who were openly
killing innocent Catholics and Protestants, anyone that
crossed them, and it's time the public knew who was
responsible for allowing that to happen... If the Director
of Public Prosecutions says there is no public interest in
prosecuting anyone over my son's murder, then I will take a
civil action against the handlers of these informants,' he

On the Mount Vernon estate, just off the Shore Road, a
menacing post-ceasefire UVF mural remains. It depicts
masked gunmen holding sub-machine guns and above them a
warning: 'Prepared for peace, ready for war.'

For the likes of Raymond McCord and the relatives of at
least another dozen of the Mount Vernon unit's victims,
their personal war against injustice will continue.


Fr Reid Confident SF Can Deliver On Policing

By Allison Morris

A Redemptorist priest who played a pivotal role in bringing
about the IRA ceasefire says that young republicans joining
the PSNI will signal the end of the conflict in Northern

Fr Alex Reid, pictured, said he believed that the Sinn Fein
leadership was capable of delivering the climate under
which that will happen.

“I think the Sinn Fein leadership are moving towards
policing in positive way and are on the verge of bringing
about a set of circumstances where nationalists feel in a
position to join the police,” he said.

“Once nationalists and republicans join and support the
police and security forces that will be the end of the

“That is important because once that happens communities,
such as Clonard where I served, will feel safe.

“Knowing that they have their own people in the police and
if they are under threat, from whatever source, they can
rely on the police to protect them.

“It will also help alleviate fears the unionist community

“Once nationalists and republicans support the police and
the institutions of government it shows their future and
the future of Northern Ireland is no longer under threat.”

Fr Reid along with protestant clergy man Harold Good
witnessed the final acts of IRA decommissioning in 2005.

In the late 1980s the Redemptorist priest facilitated
meetings between Gerry Adams and the then SDLP leader John
Hume, in talks that lead up to the 1994 IRA ceasefire.

He also acted on the behalf of the Irish government,
holding secret talks with jailed Real IRA boss Michael
McKevitt in the hope of brokering a peace deal with
dissident republicans in 2002.

On Wednesday Sinn Fein is to hold the first of a number of
public meetings to discuss signing up fully to policing
ahead of the March 7 elections.

The meeting will take place in Clonard Monastery where Fr
Reid served as a priest for 36-years.

Yesterday Fr Reid said that despite concerns from the
nationalist community he believed people would support Sinn
Fein in any move regarding policing.

“I understand that in the nationalist community there are
those who have an abhorrence for the police, having had a
long running bad experience,” he said.

“But it is a basic human right to have an acceptable police
service and Patten fully implemented gives the north of
Ireland a police service that could be held up as an
example anywhere in the world.

“I think people will move with Sinn Fein and within a short
period we will have young republicans wanting to join the


Gerry Adams Seeks Community Backing For Ard Chomhairle
Initiative On Policing

Published: 20 January, 2007

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams today addressed the first
in a series of town hall meetings on the issue of policing.
Mr. Adams was accompanied to the meeting in Toome, County
Antrim by MEP Bairbre de Brún and MLAs Gerry Kelly and
Francie Molloy. Mr. Adams will speak in Galbally, County
Tyrone later this evening.

Mr. Adams said:

“The decision facing Sinn Féin members next Sunday is a
huge one but I firmly believe that the time is right to
take this initiative. Sinn Féin members the length and
breadth of Ireland have been meeting over the last week and
this debate will continue right up to the Extraordinary Ard
Fheis. We have also been meeting with veteran republicans,
those who have suffered at the hands of the state and the
families of our patriot dead.

“Today we have taken the debate out into the wider
nationalist and republican community to seek support for
the position that the party leadership is putting before
the Ard Fheis. It is clear from the attendance at this
meeting that nationalists and republicans want to be part
of that debate and to have their voices heard.

“Many nationalists and republicans have suffered as a
result of repressive and sectarian policing in the north.
Sinn Féin’s objective has been to change all of that. Our
objective has been to secure a proper policing service and
to hold that policing service, once achieved, fully to

“We don’t want to leave policing to unionists. We don’t
want to leave policing to the securocrats in Whitehall. We
want it to be under the control of people in Ireland. This
is about defending communities. It is about ensuring that
there is accountable, non partisan policing as a service.
It is up to the PSNI to win the confidence of citizens.
They do that by being profession and by upholding peoples’
rights. It is our job to hold them to account and to
ensure that they do their job properly. That is what we
intend to do.”ENDS


Prominent US Neo-Con To Become Envoy To NI

Denis Staunton in Washington
Sat, Jan 20, 2007

The US special envoy to the North, Mitchell Reiss, is to
step down later this month after almost three years in the

He will be replaced by Paula Dobriansky (51), a prominent
neo-conservative intellectual who is currently
undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs.

Dr Reiss told The Irish Times that he was grateful to
secretary of state Condoleezza Rice for retaining him as
special envoy after he left the state department two years

"I think that we've used that time very productively to
move the peace process forward. And she's decided that now
would be a good time to make a transition and to bring the
job back into the state department," he said.

Dr Reiss said he was delighted that Dr Dobriansky, whom he
has known for almost 30 years, has agreed to succeed him.

"Paula and I have already had extensive conversations about
the nature of the job and the American role.

"Specifically, I told her how much progress has been made
in the peace process over the past few years and that she's
entering it now at a very propitious moment.

"She and I will be travelling to Northern Ireland at the
end of this month and I'll be introducing her to all our
colleagues and counterparts, and making sure that the
transition is as seamless as possible."

Dr Dobriansky was a founding member of the Project for the
New American Century, a neo-conservative think-tank, and
signed a letter in 1998 calling on then president Bill
Clinton to remove Saddam Hussein from power, by force if

"Although we are fully aware of the dangers and
difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the
dangers of failing to do so are far greater.

"We believe the US has the authority under existing UN
resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military
steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any
case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a
misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security
Council," the letter stated.

A vociferous advocate of US president George Bush's stated
policy of promoting democracy in the Middle East, Dr
Dobriansky is responsible for a broad range of foreign
policy issues at the state department, including democracy,
human rights, labour, refugee and humanitarian relief
matters, and environmental/science issues.

Dr Reiss said the US role in the Northern peace process was
constantly evolving, depending on circumstances on the

"I think we've maintained a very strong record of constant
commitment to this issue and I think that it has continued,
along with the work of many other people, to where we are
today, which is a remarkable place.

"It's very different to where we were just a few short
years ago," he said, adding that he will cherish the
friendships he made while special envoy.

"The great joy in this job has been meeting the magnificent
people in Ireland, both North and South and in Irish-
America. It has been a remarkable personal and professional
experience and one that I will always cherish," he said.

© 2007 The Irish Times


Bloody Sunday Remembered At March

Three arrests were made as 1,000 people took part in a
parade in Glasgow to remember the victims of Bloody Sunday.

There was a heavy police presence as about 250 people
protested against the march, which went ahead peacefully.

The march headed from Blythswood Square in the city centre
to Kelvingrove Park, where a rally was held.

Police said they had a "robust" plan in place for the
event, which was being organised by Cairde Na hEireann
(Friends of Ireland).

The parade remembered the 13 civilians shot dead by British
troops during a civil rights march in Londonderry on 30
January, 1972.

Eleven people were arrested at last year's event after
protesters jeered and threw bottles at the procession.

Trouble flared the previous year, when marchers and
protesters were involved in violent clashes in the city's
George Square.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said before this
year's march that the force was confident there was a
"robust but appropriate" policing plan in place.

Ch Supt David Christie said: "There was certainly a
strength of feeling on both sides but I am delighted at the
police operation today.

"Both the marchers and the protesters have behaved
responsibly and there has been less trouble than there has
been in previous years.

"The stewarding of the march itself was very pro-active and
very effective."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/20 18:30:26 GMT


Bloody Sunday Families Call For Support

By Seamus McKinney

THE Bloody Sunday families have urged people to show their
support for their continuing campaign to find the truth
behind the 1972 killings by wearing black ribbons in the
run-up to next week’s 35th anniversary.

John Kelly was speaking following the launch of the annual
Bloody Sunday black ribbon at Derry’s Guildhall yesterday.

Mr Kelly, a brother of Bloody Sunday victim Michael Kelly,
said the ribbons provided a perfect way for the public to
show its support for what the families were doing.

He said the ribbons also provided finance for the annual
commemoration programme.

Each year thousands of people attend the Bloody Sunday
commemoration weekend in Derry.

Mr Kelly will address the annual Bloody Sunday Scottish
commemoration in Glasgow today.

A report by Lord Saville into the killing of 13 anti-
internment protesters by British soldiers on January 30
1972 is expected to be published early next year.

Mr Kelly said the families had hoped the report would be
published early this year but remained determined to
uncover the truth.

“At the end of the day the families think we’ve waited for
35 years to get the truth, we can wait another year,” he


Appointment On Parades Commission

By Bimpe Fatogun

THE appointment of the joint leader of the Green Party to
the Parades Commission has provided a fresh impetus for its
critics to demand action on earlier controversies.

Kelly Andrews will take up her post on February 1 and serve
on the commission until the end of next year.

She was appointed by the Secretary of State, Peter Hain, to
replace a member of the Orange Order who resigned amid a
legal challenge to his appointment last summer.

Mr Hain said Mrs Andrews had been appointed following an
open competition.

She replaces Portadown Orangeman Don MacKay who resigned
his position last May in the midst of a court battle
brought by residents of the town’s Garvaghy Road against
his appointment.

They argued that as a member of the Orange lodge at the
centre of the long-running Drumcree parade dispute he could
not display independence of thought.

Mrs Andrews is the co-leader of the Green Party in Northern
Ireland and as a training consultant for Women in Politics
has been involved in programmes for conflict resolution,
human rights issues, equality, discrimination and feminism.

However, nationalist critics of the commission said the
body’s troubles are far from over.

Breandan Mac Cionnaith, spokesman of the Garvaghy Road
Residents Coalition, pointed out that Mrs Andrews’s
appointment arose out of a successful High Court challenge
against the appointment by Mr Hain of the two Orangemen.

An appeal is under way following a subsequent successful
appeal of the ruling by the secretary of state.

“It has become increasingly clear in recent weeks that the
secretary of state is trying to delay that process
unnecessarily,” Mr Mac Cionnaith said.


Republic Will Detail Plans To Spend E1 Billion On Cross-
Border Initiatives

By William Graham Political Correspondent

The Irish government’s national development plan to be
launched on Tuesday will detail more than E1 billion to be
spent on north/south projects, including the completion of
a high quality road network, over the next seven years.

This is the first time that funding for new strategic
projects in the north and cross-border area has been
included in the Republic’s national plan.

It is seen as a radical move by the Dublin government to
increase the level of cooperation and also underpin the
peace process, bringing huge investment and large numbers
of new jobs to Northern Ireland.

The spending of more than E1 billion of southern Irish
taxpayers’ money in the north and along the border areas is
viewed as particularly important for the development of
cooperation across the island in the years ahead.

This investment and cooperation is not conditional but the
hope is that a new power-sharing executive in the north,
with local ministers will be put in place, to manage and
take forward the potential benefits of this package.

The national plan will be launched at a press conference
attended by the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and his full cabinet
in Dublin next Tuesday.

Foreign affairs minister Dermot Ahern, who lives in the
border constituency of Dundalk, has been pressing for some
considerable time to have an all-island cross-border
dimension in the national plan.

The Irish News understands the projects earmarked for
investment are:

• a high quality road network (completed by 2013) linking
Dublin, Belfast and the north west, including Letterkenny-

• further development of the Dublin-Belfast rail line,
including increasing the number of services, with
consideration being given to an integrated rail network
serving other areas north and south

• a single electricity market introduced by November this
year – and also planned is completion of a second north-
south interconnector by 2012

• improved links between Co Louth and County Down which
means improved access for tourism and other opportunities
along what is called the eastern corridor

• in the education sector are plans for a significant
upgrading of higher education capacity in the north-west
and the border region involving strategic alliances between
educational institutions, north/south. And there will be
new schemes to promote graduate mobility and access to
opportunities for people from disadvantaged areas n studies
are to be carried out on both health and education co-
operation which will be overseen by government departments
and agencies from both sides of the border

• the potential for cross-border cancer services will be
further examined in adding to the project to provide
services for Co Donegal.

The question of restoring the Ulster Canal may also be
mentioned in the plan but this still has to be fully
discussed as it would be a hugely expensive project,
costing perhaps in excess of £100 million, in linking the
Erne waterway with Lough Neagh.

In essence the Republic’s government is proposing to
develop all-island funds (subject to agreement with the
British government and a restored Northern Ireland
executive) in education, skills, science and innovation;
energy research, including renewable and sustainable
energy; regional development; tourism development; and
poverty, social inclusion and community infrastructure.

Such funding will seek to address the long-term challenges
that both governments agree need to be tackled in the
modern, global economy.

It should be pointed out also that in some cases the
proposals will involve more effective use of existing
funding on an all-island basis.

The continued upgrading of road links with Northern Ireland
is recognised as one of the key objectives.

For example, the Dublin-Belfast motorway upgrade will be
completed in the early years of this plan.

The government will also invest in the development of the
City of Derry airport. Around E7.5 million has been
committed on a joint funding basis.

A review of ports policy in Northern Ireland and the study
of this sector recently completed in the south will
identify all-island capacity needs and be useful for future

Regarding energy the aim north and south is to provide a
reliable, sustainable, secure and competitively priced
supply on the island.

Both governments are already co-operating across issues
including electricity, gas, energy efficiency, renewable
energy and research.

The single market will be introduced towards the end of
this year and the second north-south interconnector
completed by 2012.

In reference to communications it is understood the plan
will refer to the broadband roll-out being completed in the
south, along with close liaison with Northern Ireland.

There will be increased research in science, technology and
innovation, north south, and a new centre may be
established on an all-island basis.

On enterprise and training, Intertrade Ireland will promote
entrepreneurship over the period of the plan through
initiatives that encourage north/south trade and business
development networks.

The plan may also refer to building on the cooperative
approach in trade, tourism and investment promotion. This
will recognise the benefits of pooling resources to support
companies on the island in foreign markets and on trade

In the health sector there will be co-operation on health
promotion, collaboration on research and development and
jointly improved access to services in border areas.

The Food Safety Promotion Board will run the all-island
safe food campaign.

On education it is believed the government will seek to
enhance collaboration between the Institutes of Technology,
particularly those in Dundalk, Sligo and Letterkenny.

Regarding the environment cooperation will be brought
forward covering water supply, waste water, waste
management and climate change.

The plan will also cover the area of agriculture and
fisheries and the development of the aquaculture industry
in the Carlingford and Foyle loughs will be coordinated.


Opin: A Good Deal Will All Depend On Timing

[Published: Thursday 18, January 2007 - 09:27]

As Sinn Fein plans a busy week of consultation on its
policing policy before a general ard fheis on January 28,
Tony Blair and Peter Hain are upbeat about the prospects
for devolution on March 26. Yet there are so many unknowns,
surrounding a possible deal between Sinn Fein and the DUP,
that it is premature to predict the outcome.

The first is that if, as expected, the rank and file
approve the executive's ground-breaking motion, the terms
are still unsure. Will it enable Sinn Fein to deliver
support for the police and the rule of law immediately - to
allow a brief testing period - or will it only come into
effect when devolution is finalised?

As things stand, the DUP refuse to enter into any power-
sharing agreement with Sinn Fein until there is delivery on
the policing issue. When that happens, the party "will not
be found wanting" - implying that it will then agree to
power-sharing, with Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness as
First and Deputy First Ministers. But delivery must precede
any deal, or any face-to-face meetings.

So everything depends on whether Sinn Fein can proceed with
certainty, after the ard fheis, to give its full support to
the PSNI and join the Policing Board. There is very little
time for delay, or for the matter to be referred back to
the executive, because two days later the Assembly is due
to be dissolved, ready for an election on March 7.

That is the timetable at the moment, but obviously it
presents enormous difficulties, both for Sinn Fein and the
DUP. There are dissidents within both parties, some of whom
may be open to persuasion, and others who may drop out, if
forced to make "historic" choices. Yet Mr Hain is adamant,
in a letter to all parties, that the date for devolution or
dissolution - March 26 - cannot be altered.

This assumes that an election will be held, but there
should be no question of asking the electorate to vote
without having a deal in place. People must know they are
voting for devolution, based on a partnership between the
two leading parties, without any more negotiation.

Unless these conditions are fulfilled, before the end of
January, it would be very unwise to proceed to an election
with a deal that was still a work in progress. Voters would
flock to the two strongest parties, delaying hope of a
workable settlement.

The Prime Minister is right; majorities in both the
republican and unionist communities want the deal to be
done. But if the politicians need more time, to absorb the
seismic changes, they shouldn't be denied it.

© Belfast Telegraph


Mamas And The Papas Singer Dies Aged 66

20 January 2007 14:31

Denny Doherty, from the 60s folk group the Mamas and the
Papas, has died aged 66.

The Canadian singer songwriter died at his home outside
Toronto after a short illness.

The Mamas and the Papas shot to fame in the late 60s with
hits such as California Dreamin' and Monday, Monday.

Mr Doherty was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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