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January 12, 2007

SF: DUP Had Agreed To Policing Timeframe

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 01/12/07 DUP 'Agreed Policing Timeframe'
IN 01/12/07 DUP ‘Will Move If SF Signs Ups’ But When?
UT 01/12/07 Orde Concern Over Inquiry Costs
RT 01/12/07 Orde Makes Some Significant Statement
BN 01/12/07 SF Welcomes Adm About Use Of Plastic Bullets
BN 01/12/07 Sinn Féin Leader Attends Ervine's Funeral
BT 01/12/07 A Deal Is What David Would Have Wanted
BT 01/12/07 Gusty Spence Remembers His Protegé
IN 01/12/07 Opin: Policing Offers Little To Most People
IN 01/12/07 Opin: DUP’s Ambiguity Has Limited Lifespan
BT 01/12/07 Opin: Why Pessimistic About Success Of Devo
IN 01/12/07 Ltr: Sinn Fein Must Beware Any DUP Double-Cross
BB 01/12/07 No English? No Irish More Like
IN 01/12/07 Family: Publisher Was Not In Gestapo
PL 01/12/07 Obit: Edward V. Kelly Jr.


DUP 'Agreed Policing Timeframe'

The DUP have gone back on a deal to agree the devolution of
policing, Sinn Fein has said.

Party leader Gerry Adams said the DUP was given the text of
the motion he would put to his party's executive calling a
special meeting on policing.

He said the DUP was meant to say that if Sinn Fein
translated its words into actions they would "accept the
devolution of policing by May 2008".

Mr Adams said the DUP had said "the required words were in
the motion".

He said that the DUP leader Ian Paisley was to have
responded to them in a New Year statement.

The party has now published the words which it says the DUP
agreed to say.

These were:

"The DUP has always maintained that it will support
devolution of policing and justice if there is sufficient
confidence across the community.

"The words needed are those contained in the ard chomhairle

"Provided Sinn Fein translate into action the commitments
contained in that motion, the DUP will accept devolution of
policing and justice in the timeframe set out in the St
Andrews Agreement or even before that date."

He said that because these words were not said "there is
now a crisis in the process".

"The DUP have refused to accept power sharing within the St
Andrews timeframe.

"The basis of the ard chomhairle (party executive) motion
has been removed. We have to find another basis to move

"It will be very difficult but I see this as a challenge to
be faced and overcome."

He said there was still an urgent need to get the power
sharing arrangements in place.

He said the the executive would meet on Saturday to "judge
all of these matters in the round".

Last week DUP leader Ian Paisley denied he ever agreed that
policing and justice powers would be transferred to the
Northern Ireland Assembly by 2008.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/12 11:40:17 GMT


DUP ‘Will Move If SF Signs Up To Policing’

By William Graham Political Correspondent

The Democratic Unionist Party has said it “will not be
found wanting’’ if Sinn Fein sign up to policing and this
is taken to mean following through on a commitment to power
sharing – but the problem remains about when all of this
will happen.

The eyes of the DUP will be on Sinn Fein and its Ard
Chomhairle in Dublin tomorrow to see whether republicans go
ahead with their intention of calling a special Ard Fheis,
probably on January 27, to address the contentious policing

For the republican leadership it seems that one political
box has been ticked this week with the statement from Prime
Minister Tony Blair on the future role of M15 in the north
and its separation from the PSNI.

The second political box as to the exact intentions of the
DUP remains blank.

According to republicans “a grave difficulty’’ remains
because the DUP has yet to agree to the St Andrew’s
timeframe on restoring devolution, or accept plans to
devolve responsibility for policing and justice to a new
powersharing executive by 2008.

Yesterday DUP leader Ian Paisley accused Sinn Fein of
trying to renegotiate the St Andrews agreement.

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

He said the St Andrews document contained only an
aspiration of the two governments that they would like it

“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.

Most observers at this stage believe it is still likely
that Sinn Fein will proceed with the Ard Fheis on policing
but there are clearly considerable difficulties within
republicanism on this issue and a delay is still possible
if, for example, more clarification is sought on the DUP’s

No clarification statement, however, is expected from the
DUP within the next forty-eight hours.

So, how do the DUP view the situation not only within their
own party but also within Sinn Fein?

“A lot hinges on the outcome of Sinn Fein’s meeting at the
weekend. Sinn Fein have been hit quite severely by the SDLP
[over M15] and an accumulation of all of those things means
they are having some difficulties,’’ a DUP source said

Yet some within the DUP believe that it will now be “very
difficult’’ for Sinn Fein to delay on the policing issue.

“Sinn Fein need to do [on policing] what they have always
needed to do... and do it quick,” the source said.

“The DUP has made it clear that if Sinn Fein do what is
required of them – we will not be found wanting.

“Ian Paisley is a plain speaker and a man of his word but
others have to live up to their commitments first.’’

When asked what the meaning of “not found wanting’’ was a
DUP source insisted this phrase was fairly clear.

The phrase is taken to mean if Sinn Fein sign up to
policing then the DUP will agree to share power at

According to the DUP that is “the essence’’ of where things
are and it very much depends on Sinn Fein delivering on
policing in “a quality fashion.’’

The DUP maintains that delivery must be soon as “this is a
fairly straight-forward issue – do you support the police,
or do you not?’’

“Republicans have taken a very long time to get to where
they are at at the moment but it is still very unclear.
They need to deliver and deliver up front in quality

Even though the St Andrews document has set out a timeline
for devolution on March 26, with fresh assembly elections
set for March 7, the DUP steadfastly refuses to be drawn on

“We have said fairly consistently ... to the point of being
blue in the face... that we are not calendar led,” the
source said.

“You cannot set an alarm to go off to say, yes, that on
this day everything is right.

“It depends on the delivery and the quality of the

The position appears to be as outlined by Nigel Dodds in
Westminster this week that Sinn Fein’s support for the
police, the courts and the rule of law had to be tested by
its actions over a credible period of time.

What this credible period of time means in actual number of
weeks and months is unclear.

“If we can get to the stage that Sinn Fein are supporting
the police, then after that there will be ample opportunity
for them to illustrate to us all clearly whether or not
they support the police,” the DUP source said.

“Words are one thing. But they need to demonstrate they
support the police in a meaningful way on the ground.’’


Orde Concern Over Inquiry Costs

Around £18.5 million has been spent so far on three
inquiries into controversial murders in Northern Ireland,
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has revealed.

By:Press Association

He warned that society in the country needed to get to
grips with the issue of addressing the past, ensuring that
it did not impact on confidence in policing today.

And he also claimed some of the money that has been spent
on inquiries could have built two police training colleges
and a hospital.

"I think dealing with the past in the current way is a huge
money-sucking venture because it deals with these people
called lawyers," Sir Hugh said.

"As I understand it, there was a parliamentary question
last month which said £18.5 million was spent so far on the
(Rosemary) Nelson, (Billy) Wright and (Robert) Hamill

"Now, unless I have missed it, there has not been a day`s
hearing in those.

"I had to appoint an Assistant Chief Constable to do
nothing but deal with requests and demands from the many
different agencies dealing with historical stuff and we are
doing our level best to provide intelligence which goes
back 30 years - in some cases from legacy systems which are
paper systems.

"History needs dealing with. The Bloody Sunday inquiry is
nearly 10 years old now and that is nearly £180 million.

"So the way we are dealing with it currently, it is hugely
expensive and that is clearly two police colleges and a

The Nelson, Wright and Hamill inquiries were set up after
retired Canadian judge Peter Cory recommended to the
British and Irish Governments that there should be hearings
into the controversial circumstances of each death.

Mr Hamill, a 25-year-old father of two, died in May 1997
after being kicked to death by a loyalist mob in Portadown.

Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Wright, 37, was gunned down
in the Maze Prison in December 1997 by the Irish National
Liberation Army in a van.

Mrs Nelson, a 40-year-old solicitor who was involved in a
number of high- profile cases, was blown up by a loyalist
car bomb outside her home in the town of Lurgan, County
Armagh in March 1999.


Orde: 'No use of plastic bullets in future'

12 January 2007 11:42

The PSNI Chief Constable has said he does not intend to use
plastic bullets in crowd control in the future.

Hugh Orde acknowledged that some of the 14 people killed by
plastic bullets during the Troubles were innocent.

Mr Orde said he believes Sinn Féin's leadership is
committed to joining policing but they may need to convince
many people in their own community who are still unsure.

He also said politicians in other parties should help to
create the space to allow the world to move on.

The DUP's deputy leader, Peter Robinson, last night said
the party has a deep desire for devolution.

He also said the prospect of a peaceful and prosperous
Northern Ireland is within our grasp if everyone is
prepared to play their part.

It is also understood that last night the Taoiseach, Bertie
Ahern, had a lengthy phone conversation with the DUP
leader, Ian Paisley.


SF Welcomes PSNI Admission About Use Of Plastic Bullets

12/01/2007 - 08:00:13

Sinn Féin has welcomed comments by PSNI chief constable
Hugh Orde acknowledging problems with the use of plastic
bullets in the North.

The widespread use of these weapons at demonstrations
during the Troubles is a major cause of republican distrust
in the police force.

Seventeen people, including nine children, were killed by
plastic bullets in the North and many more were blinded or

The projectiles were often fired directly at people's heads
or chests in breach of the police's own rules.

Mr Orde admitted last night that some of the victims of
these bullets were innocent.

He also said he did not want his officers to have to use
them again, but the best way to secure this was for all
politicians to engage in policing.

Sinn Féin says the comments are welcome, but Mr Orde should
have gone further and promised that plastic bullets will
never be used again.

Campaigners against plastic bullets have also welcomed the
remarks, but say more action is needed to address "the
legacy of impunity" surrounding their use.


Sinn Féin Leader Attends Ervine's Funeral

12/01/2007 - 12:04:41

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams attended the funeral of former
loyalist paramilitary David Ervine in the North today.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, Northern
secretary Peter Hain and police chief constable Hugh Orde
were also among VIPs in East Belfast, which came to a
standstill for one of the city’s largest funerals.

Almost 800 people packed into the East Belfast Mission Hall
for the service, while outside the streets were lined with

Among them were familiar faces once associated with Mr
Ervine when he was a member of the paramilitary Ulster
Volunteer Force.


A Deal Is What David Would Have Wanted

[Published: Friday 12, January 2007 - 09:19]
By Brian Rowan

The man recognised as David Ervine's political mentor
believes the accommodation that prisoners were arguing for
more than 30 years ago is now close to being achieved.

Veteran UVF leader Gusty Spence is convinced there will be
a deal involving the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph days after the death of
David Ervine - who he first met in jail in 1974 - Spence
said: "It's up to those two dominant parties. It will be a
strange wedding, but there have been other strange weddings
in the past. One seems more than willing, while the other
is rather shy, but I think they will end up at the altar of
political reconciliation."

Spence says a deal is what David Ervine would have wanted.

"Whilst David will not be there his message is loud and
clear, and is the underlying theme which will bring both
parties into Government," Spence said.

The veteran loyalist (73) said he will remember the
"private face" of David Ervine - someone who he said
"anguished" and " agonised" when off the public stage.

He described him as "generous to a fault" - someone who
made a contribution not just to the peace process here, but

"He was a man of the world even though he didn't realise he
was a man of the world," said Spence.

"We agreed a terrible long time ago that the day of the
paramilitary was finished," said Spence. Loyalists and
republicans, he added, had " faced their devils".

PUP president Hugh Smyth, said he would miss David Ervine
"as a friend" , and that he would also be missed by "the
party in general and the country".

He said David Ervine was about trying to "create a society
that is built on peace and justice for all".

© Belfast Telegraph


Decades After They Met In Jail, Gusty Spence Remembers His Protegé

[Published: Friday 12, January 2007 - 09:21]
By Brian Rowan

They were men of the jail when they first met - one 20
years older than the other.

That meeting between Gusty Spence and David Ervine dates
back to the mid-1970s - a moment more than three decades
into our past.

Spence, the UVF leader, was there for murder; Ervine had
been caught transporting a bomb.

He was asked the question that Spence asked of every
prisoner: "Why are you here?"

This wasn't about the bomb or the jail sentence.

It was a question that looked for other answers.

Why had he joined the UVF?

Why had he become involved in Ulster's war?

What next?

Spence told me that, under his breath, Ervine whispered two
words: " Arrogant b?ard."

It was the beginning of a long relationship that lasted
until the death of the PUP leader on Monday.

Spence became Ervine's political mentor. The two men
thought and talked the same.

"There was a hidden David Ervine," Gusty Spence told this

"People just saw the public face. David anguished over
things. The private face was somewhat different. It's the
private face I remember."

In the politics of the jail, Spence said Ervine was "in the
front row" , and that he "didn't do hard time".

What Spence means is that he used his time, those five
years in prison - " always probing, always wanting to know

"The talent was immediate," Spence said - meaning he
recognised immediately the political potential Ervine had.

"Politics to us was the art of the possible, and we could
see no reason why we couldn't come to an accommodation."

Indeed, Spence was arguing that this was the only endpoint
- that there was no alternative.

"We ruled out mass extermination and mass evacuation, and
that left us, if you want, with mass accommodation," he

In today's situation, he talks about a process that is
still on two tracks - the processes of politics and peace -
and he believes the two will meet and that a deal will be

"The two must meet and will meet, and it's up to those two
dominant parties (Sinn Fein and the DUP)," Spence said.

"It will be a strange wedding, but there have been other
strange weddings in the past."

"One seems more than willing, while the other is rather shy
- but I think they will end up at the altar of political

In those comments, in that language, you see and hear how
Spence influenced Ervine.

Their talking and their thinking were the same.

"We agreed a terrible long time ago that the day of the
paramilitary was finished."

He believes that loyalists and republicans have now "faced
their devils" .

He said: "David would never have made a good paramilitary,
because, number one, he was far too humane, and, number
two, after he had seen the consequences of paramilitary
activity, he agreed with those people in the UVF who were
determined to bring about a political solution."

Spence is convinced that solution is now closer than ever.

When you look for the things that have made that possible,
you travel back to the ceasefires of 1994 - first the IRA
and then the Combined Loyalist Military Command, as it was

It's been a long road since then, leading to today. And,
decades after he met David Ervine in jail, what is Gusty
Spence thinking?

"Whilst David will not be there, his message is loud and
clear, and is the underlying theme which will bring both
parties into government."

An old man of the war, Ervine's political mentor is
starting to see a clearer peace.

© Belfast Telegraph


Opin: Wrangling Over Policing Offers Little To Most People

By Roy Garland

The apparent impasse in the political process is centred on
devolution of policing and justice. Beyond that, and
despite Ian Paisley’s claim to “characteristic bluntness”,
the precise difficulties are somewhat confused due to a
lack of transparency and plain speaking.

In his New Year message Paisley told Sinn Fein the party
knew what needed to be done but it was “not asked to do it
to satisfy the DUP”. A few sentences on, he claimed DUP
proposals meant “only someone whom we support can be chosen
for the post”. And yet DUP MP Willie McCrea refers to the
DUP stance as “unambiguous”.

At St Andrews all parties accepted the need to support
policing and the rule of law. This did not imply
unquestioning support. No political party can give carte
blanche backing to police, except “in the lawful execution
of their duties”.

Support must be critical because, when facing lawbreakers,
security people can be tempted to stray beyond lawful
methods. One overseas police friend admitted a tendency to
develop a “them and us” attitude to criminals.

Policing has therefore to be accountable yet, as the two
governments suggest, support for policing and courts has to
“underpin any democratic society”. The St Andrews Agreement
claimed progress on devolution of policing was being made
and implementation of that agreement would build the
necessary confidence and enable the assembly to request
devolution by May 2008. Later it was stated that to
demonstrate community confidence, devolution would follow a
joint proposal put forward by the first minister and deputy
first minister and passed by a majority of designated
nationalists and unionists. This concurs with the DUP
assertion that devolution depends on community confidence.
May 2008 was thus only a target date akin to the hope
expressed in the 1998 Belfast Agreement that
decommissioning be completed within two years.

Republicans are understandably concerned that the DUP might
ensure similar procrastination that could be rationalised
on the grounds of insufficient confidence, which of course
the DUP is expert at constructing.

For republicans emerging from war with the RUC and Northern
Ireland, full support for law and order is fraught with
difficulties just as for the DUP sharing power with a Sinn
Fein it aimed to “smash” is a risky venture. But for
republicans, devolution of justice and policing represents
a shift from British control and makes support for policing
less objectionable. Even so Gerry Adams needed a positive
response after the ard chomhairle but Paisley’s lieutenants
– doing what they do best – uttered depressingly familiar

Even Paisley, defying the two governments’ expectations,
said the DUP “could not envisage a situation in the
foreseeable future where community confidence would exist
for a Sinn Fein minister of policing and justice”.

Gregory Campbell is now reported as saying the DUP wants
even more from republicans, including a series of tests for
Sinn Fein.

This reflects DUP anxiety on facing an election lest the
party be blamed by other unionists for opening the door for
a prominent Sinn Feiner to become minister of justice.

In a panic the DUP proposes that such a minister be elected
by a weighted majority rather than D’Hondt. This would
exclude both the DUP and Sinn Fein but the latter would
have none of it and rubbished Peter Hain’s suggested
appointment of the minister in the event of deadlock. The
DUP’s Nigel Dodds added insult to injury by warning it
could take several political lifetimes to build confidence
and claiming the target date was not the DUP’s. It was
ultimately a republican demand and, he added, no other
party would make such a precondition for doing “the right
thing” on policing. This approach might damage the
prospects for Paisley’s “fair deal” but it appeals to DUP

It is also hypocritical in that Paisleyism has in the past
displayed less than fulsome support for law and order. At
times the DUP seemed to want – but lacked the necessary
courage – to emulate the founding fathers of unionist
rebellion who defied law and order to set up their own
provisional government and army in preparation for a fight
against the British authorities.

Some Paisleyites continued to resent “interference” by
British politicians in the activities of the old Stormont
regime and in affairs thought to be within Northern
Ireland’s jurisdiction. There might be a crumb of comfort
here for republicans but continued wrangling offers little
to most people, who have had enough of procrastination.


Opin: DUP’s Creative Ambiguity Has Limited Lifespan

By Jim Gibney

For the first time in his 50 years in politics Ian Paisley
snr is facing a reality he probably thought he would never
have to face.

For the first time in their 36-year history the DUP are
also facing the same reality.

They have now to decide whether to share power with
republicans and nationalists in an administration which is
firmly set in an all-Ireland framework.

Over the last few months, especially since the meeting at
St Andrews, the most Ian snr has done using his own words
is hint at the possibility that he is willing to share

Until Monday when he accused the British prime minister
Tony Blair, of ‘misrepresenting’ his party’s position, he
permitted others, including the Assembly speaker Eileen
Bell and Tony Blair to interpret his intentions in the most
favourable way.

It could be argued that this was the DUP’s version of
‘creative ambiguity’, a formula they denounced when it was
used by others at various times during the peace process to
remove road blocks of one form or another.

However, creative ambiguity has a limited life span. It is
only credible if the underlying intention of those using it
is to move the situation forward or to allow those who are
having difficulties with moving forward time to come

It is obvious, more so since St Andrews, that what is
troubling the DUP is the very idea of power sharing as
defined in the Good Friday Agreement. It is the
implications of supporting this agreement which is wreaking
havoc inside the DUP.

The issue of policing is but a smokescreen, an excuse, one
of many already used by the DUP to try to block political

If a Sinn Fein special Ard Fheis were to back the new
policing arrangements then the wreckers inside the DUP
would seek another excuse to try to delay.

Not for the first time since the IRA’s cessation in August
1994 the party leading the unionist people is in turmoil.

The rebellion led by Nigel Dodds is not without precedent
in the last decade. It is a disguised version of the
numerous heaves led by his party colleague Jeffrey
Donaldson when he was a senior member of the Ulster
Unionist Party.

This contemporary dilemma with this particular brand of
unionism is not new. David Trimble expressed and faced the
same dilemma.

It has a resonance stretching back over four centuries to
the Protestant plantation of Ireland.

These centuries were dominated by a power struggle between
the minority Protestant and unionists who held Ireland for
the British crown and the majority nationalist and
Catholics who seek Irish independence.

There were of course many Protestants who were nationalist
and republican. Irish republicanism owes its origins to
those from a Protestant background.

Over the centuries it was the power elite within
Protestantism and unionism who had their power slowly
wrested from them by struggling nationalists to the point
where the DUP now see themselves as the last unionist

The unionist population invested in Ian Paisley in the hope
that he would fare better than Trimble at containing
nationalist expectations as expressed in its support for
Sinn Fein.

They hoped that Ian Paisley’s leadership would undermine
and dampen the nationalist community’s confidence.

It seemed not to matter to him or his party leadership that
his message of ‘no surrender’, ‘no power sharing’ was
completely at odds with the terms, conditions, needs and
requirements of the peace process and negotiations.

Ian Paisley and the DUP are where David Trimble and his
party were prior to the Good Friday Agreement.

Trimble’s mistake was he failed to understand the dynamic
and imperative of the peace process.

Political insecurity clouded his vision. He missed the
opportunity the peace process provided nationalists and

He ultimately sought refuge in the failed politics of the
past, the politics of exclusion.

Will Ian Paisley make the same mistake as Trimble?

Or can he lead unionists into the 21st century and the new
dispensation on offer?

Can the DUP shake off their ‘no’ men and provide the
leadership unionists need and deserve?

We will know soon enough.


Opin: Why I'm Pessimistic About The Long-Term Success Of

[Published: Friday 12, January 2007 - 10:32]
By Eric Waugh

They were throwing stones at the police again on New Year's
Eve. I thought again of the little sporty Italian car I
heard about some time ago. It was the sort young thieves
cannot resist.

So they hot wired it one night in a car park in north Down
and off they went. It was found later in west Belfast.

They were throwing stones at the police again on New Year's
Eve. I thought again of the little sporty Italian car I
heard about some time ago. It was the sort young thieves
cannot resist. So they hot wired it one night in a car park
in north Down and off they went. It was found later in west

It was the second time it had been stolen. The distraught
woman who owned it got a call from the police. She asked
when they could recover it. Well, actually they would
rather not, if she did not mind. "Why not?" asked she.
"Well," said one, "if we went up there we'd be pelted."

Then there was that other night, after hours, when there
was such a row coming out of a pub on the fringes of west
Belfast that the neighbours telephoned to complain. Some
time later a patrol car arrived. Its crew observed what was
going on. Then, without doing anything about the illegal
drinking, they withdrew.

One of the complainants later sought an explanation. He was
told that, having seen the number of drinkers present in
the rowdy pub, the police elected to do nothing - on
grounds of public order. An arrest would have caused a

Having the police on is an old Irish custom and we should
not underestimate the challenge posed by our current
dilemma over the acceptability of the PSNI. But 30 years of
violence have bred habits of a new kind of lawlessness in
Northern Ireland. The question is whether the requisite
words from the leadership of Sinn Fein can be translated
into a complete turnaround in mood in the nationalist areas
where the police still fear they will be stoned.

For the issue is not merely the police as a force. It goes
much deeper than that. The police are the visible marker of
the state. If you support the police, you support the
state. If you do not support the police, you do not.

Nationalists, the SDLP in particular, make great play with
the manner in which they persuaded Patten to wipe all the
British symbols from the police uniform. But this was only
a superficial part of the monumental fudge which was baked
as the means of forcing through the 1998 Agreement. Ever
since, both Dublin and Washington have been at great pains
to oblige London to maintain the momentum of the drive to
suppress remaining signs of overt Britishness in Northern

The drive began with little things. The Royal Arms which
adorn official documents in all other parts of the United
Kingdom were wiped off those issued in Northern Ireland. In
fact, in the last ill-fated power sharing regime, some
documents were issued without any acknowledgement of their
origin - official or otherwise - whatsoever. Since the
resumption of direct rule, a small line - in a minuscule
font - has been added, usually at the bottom of the back
page, denoting a website. Because it ends with the loaded
letters, '', one has to reach for a magnifying glass
if one wishes to read it.

The driving force behind all this rarely breaks surface.
The last occasion was when Brian Cowen, Bertie Ahern's most
likely successor as Taoiseach, pronounced - following the
conclusion of the Agreement - that "beyond the
constitutional acceptance that Northern Ireland remains
part of the United Kingdom, there should be no further
evidence of Britishness in the governance of Northern

There is one grave drawback to this preening of his green
credentials by an ambitious politician. It describes an
inoperable theory of government. Northern Ireland remains
part of the British state. Its taxation and administration
are, and after devolution would remain, in the ultimate,
British-controlled. Vitally, it is the same with the
police. It is British law they enforce. Anyone whose memory
goes back as far as 1968-69 can be in no doubt where
ultimate sovereignty resides in Northern Ireland; and -
even under devolution - it is not at Stormont.

This is why the police thing is so delicate. For Sinn Fein,
acceptance of the police involves acceptance of the British
state in a new, broader dimension. By backing the police,
they back the agency whose principal remit is to maintain
British law and order in this part of the United Kingdom.
That is why I remain pessimistic about the long-term
prospect for resumed devolution under the current

As I have said before, a negotiated independence may be the
only guise in which Northern Ireland can forge an agreed
Government which might be durable: creating a new entity
which, constitutionally, would be neither British nor
Irish. One test of its stability would be whether its
yobbos would throw stones at the police.

© Belfast Telegraph


Ltr: Sinn Fein Must Beware Any DUP Double-Cross

Sean Reid, Belfast

It is perfectly clear now that neither the UUP nor the DUP
ever wanted to share power with representatives of the
north's Irish community.

The UUP kept finding reasons for delaying participating
with Sinn Fein in government.

Even when Sinn Fein had persuaded the Provisional IRA to
decommission their arms, the UUP held General John de
Chastelaine and the monitors with him up to ridicule by
refusing to accept their word that all the Provisional IRA
arms had been put beyond use and collapsed the assembly.

One real possibility is that despite all their recent
public utterances, often contradicted by each other, the
DUP fundamentally has no real intention or desire to share
power with nationalists and republicans.

It is more probable that the DUP will either invent reasons
for not doing so or, even if pressed into forming a
government after elections, will collapse the government at
the first opportunity.

Who among us – having witnessed the events of the past few
years – would doubt that plenty of such opportunities will

This is therefore likely to be a recipe for continued
political turmoil and instability.

The second obvious point is that the DUP are perfectly
poised to humiliate the Sinn Fein leadership.

If the proposed ard fheis proceeds as planned and gives
full recognition to the PSNI a subsequent refusal by the
DUP on any grounds to share government with Sinn Fein would
surely leave that party’s leadership utterly humiliated
within the nationalist/republican community.

Who would benefit from such a turn of events?

Again how would the above assist the peace process and
produce better political stability in Northern Ireland?

For all those reasons Sinn Fein are right to obtain the
clearest possible public commitment from the DUP to
genuinely share power before proceeding further – or a
irrevocable guarantee from the British government that the
DUP cannot bring the assembly down and exclude Sinn Fein.

Even the present impasse is better than a devised double-
cross by the DUP which of course might in its own intended
way secure them 13 seats at the next Westminster election –
not that far away.


No English? No Irish More Like

It is not quite the case of an innocent abroad, but an
Irish language television presenter brought Gaelic to the
heartland of loyalism in Belfast to see how widely the
language is spoken.

Manchan Magan made a trip around Ireland speaking only
Irish to see if census claims of 1.6m people being able to
speak the language were true on the ground.

Of those claiming to speak Irish 165,000 live in the north.

In the course of his travels Manchan gets kicked out of
bars, served the wrong food, given the wrong directions,
the wrong clothes, the wrong haircut.

"Seeing those figures I thought it should be very simple
just to make one's way around," he told BBC Radio's Good
Morning Ulster programme.

He met with a mixed response making the four episodes of No
Bearla - No English - for TG4 - the Irish language

But while the level of fluency may not have matched the
claims, it prompted strong feelings.

Accompanied by a film crew using a hidden camera a
shopkeeper in Dublin covered his ears and told him to speak
English or get out.

But why the hostility? Manchan said after 10 years of being
schooled in Irish, people in the Republic may feel ashamed
that they cannot speak the language.

I was met at first with bemusement - a few people talked
to me in English saying that it was a sweet enough language
as long as it wasn't shoved down their throats - but then I
was warned eventually that if I did insist on speaking
irish on the Shankill that I was liable to end up in
hospital very soon.

Manchan Magan

"In some ways if you are speaking Irish some people will
think it's a weapon of war, or they will think you're just
showing off," he said.

His journey took him to Belfast and he said there was
"great enthusiasm" for him using Irish on the Falls Road.

He then took his no English mission to the nearby Shankill
Road, a staunchly loyalist area.

"I was met at first with bemusement - a few people talked
to me in English saying that it was a sweet enough language
as long as it wasn't shoved down their throats," he said.

"But then I was warned eventually that if I did insist on
speaking Irish on the Shankill that I was liable to end up
in hospital very soon.

"So I decided to shuffle off somewhere else after that and
went to Letterkenny where I got a great reaction."

He said that there seemed to be a different attitudes among
the generations towards the language.

Ethnic understanding

"Younger people seem to be a lot more up for the language,
willing to understand me," he said.

"In Dublin maybe it's just too fast paced to be listening
to someone in another language."

He said that in the course of making the programme it was
the rising number of ethnic minorities who made the most
effort to accommodate him.

"It was actually the foreigners all over Ireland, the
Chinese and Polish people in particular who tried to make
an effort to understand me," he said.

They say the great test for language is whether you dream
in it, and for Manchan his sleep is peppered with English
not Irish.

"For probably the first 16 years of my life I would have
been dreaming in Irish, but it's an English world and so
one way or another we have to shift," he said.

He said that he would be very sad to see Irish die out as a
language, and he was not alone.

He said three people on the Shankill said they did not want
to see it go they just "didn't want it shoved down their

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/12 09:52:04 GMT


Family: Publisher Was Not In Gestapo

By Claire Simpson

The family of Albert Folens, founder of one the Republic’s
most famous publishing houses, have rejected claims made in
an RTE documentary that he was a member of the Nazi secret

The documentary, broadcast on Wednesday, alleged Belgian-
born Mr Folens was a member of the feared Gestapo and the
Nazi Party. In a statement released yesterday, his widow
Juliette Folens denied the claims and said her husband had
refused to pledge an oath of allegiance to Adolf Hitler.

Although Mr Folens was arrested by the Belgian police
following the end of World War II, Mrs Folens said the
police could find no evidence that he had ever committed
war crimes.

He was found guilty of collaboration and sentenced to 10
years in detention but he escaped to Ireland with his wife
two years into his sentence and became an Irish citizen in
the 1950s.


Irishman Showed Ancestral, Cultural Pride Daily

Obit: Edward V. Kelly Jr.

Obituaries in the news
By Jerry Vondas
Friday, January 12, 2007

Ed Kelly celebrated St. Patrick's Day 365 days a year.

"Ed was a true Irishman," said his wife, Joyce Kelly.
"Every day, he'd sing and recite Irish ditties for our
children and then for our grandchildren."

Edward V. Kelly Jr., of McCandless, retired founder of the
Kelly Dry Ice Co., died of cancer on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007,
at his home. He was 75.

"Ed enjoyed taking the microphone at the old Pat McBride's
Restaurant in the North Hills on St. Patrick's Day and
entertaining the crowd," his wife said.

"Ed loved my soda bread. It was the only Irish recipe that
I knew."

Mrs. Kelly said her husband was active in the Ancient Order
of Hibernians and the Knights of Equity, organizations
known for their support of charities.

Born and raised on the North Side, Mr. Kelly was one of six
children of Edward and Mary Fisher Kelly.

While attending grade school and North Catholic High
School, Mr. Kelly helped his father, who owned an ice
company on the North Side, deliver ice to customers.

"At one time, Ed's father had customers on the North Side,
McKees Rocks, Aliquippa and Sewickley," Mrs. Kelly said.

In 1948, following graduation from North Catholic High
School, Mr. Kelly took ownership of a gas station and auto
repair shop on the North Side.

He then met Joyce Becker, a North Side resident. "To go to
work, I had to pass the gas station several times a day,"
she said. "We got to talking and he swept me off of my
feet. We began to date and were married in 1959.

"He never disappointed me. Ed was a loving and caring man
throughout our marriage.

"Ed put in long hours and worked hard. But when he was
home, he enjoyed getting together with family and friends
and singing old songs, especially Irish songs.

"One of the happiest moments in his life came when, for his
65th birthday, we took Ed to Ireland, where he had the
opportunity to visit the places he heard about and read
about growing up in an Irish home."

When his father moved his ice business to Jacks Run Road in
Ross, Mr. Kelly closed his business and joined his father.
He later founded the Kelly Dry Ice Co., one of the largest
distributors of dry ice in the region.

Mr. Kelly retired in 1999, and the company is now run by
his son, Edward Kelly.

Mr. Kelly is survived by his wife, Joyce Becker Kelly; four
children, Maureen Wisnieweski and John Kelly, both of
Cranberry, Butler County, and Ed and David Kelly, both of
McCandless; 11 grandchildren; and three sisters, Mary
Steinbach, of McCandless; Rita Rhue, of Jacksonville, Fla.,
and Peggy Norder, of Bethlehem, Lehigh County.

He was preceded in death by a son, Bart Kelly; and two
brothers, James and Jack Kelly.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today
at the Devlin Funeral Home, 806 Perry Highway, Ross. A Mass
of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday
in St. Alexis Catholic Church, McCandless.

Jerry Vondas can be reached at or (412)

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