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February 11, 2007

Victims' Families Want Answers From Orde

News about Ireland & the Irish

SL 02/11/07 Victims' Families Want Answers From Orde
SL 02/11/07 McCord Campaign Goes To The US
SL 02/11/07 'Cold Case' Cops In Dark Over Murders
BB 02/11/07 Orde: Love Child Won't Affect Job
SL 02/11/07 DUP Manifesto May Spark Election Cancellation
SL 02/11/07 Hunger Striker Will Battle SF In Mid-Ulster
GU 02/10/07 Prosecuting IRA Not In Public Interest
SL 02/11/07 Wright Killer Back In Prison
SL 02/11/07 Mad Dog: I'm Still Pining For Jackie 'Legs'
SL 02/11/07 Mad Dog: Nike And Tina Turner!
SL 02/11/07 Threat Crisis For UVF Victim's Mum
GU 02/10/07 Fury At Hains Rugby Wreath Plan
SL 02/11/07 Peter Curistan: An Innocent Man
CD 02/11/07 Essay: Bloody Sunday's Legacy In Ireland
SB 02/11/07 Feature: Mayhem On The M50


Victims' Families Want Answers From Orde

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 09:44]
By Stephen Breen

Campaigning relatives whose loved-ones were murdered by UVF
serial killer Mark Haddock last night called for an urgent
meeting with Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde.

Belfast-based solicitor Padraig O'Muirigh, who represents
the families of murder victims Sharon McKenna, Gerald
Brady, John Harbinson and Peter McTasney, has requested the
meeting to discuss the findings of Police Ombudsman Nuala
O'Loan's report into the murder of Raymond McCord jnr.

Mr O'Muirigh has also requested meetings with Secretary of
State Peter Hain, the Historical Enquiries Team and the
Dublin government.

The grieving families, who met in Belfast last week, have
vowed to step up their campaign for justice over the coming

The families also attended the Policing Board meeting last
Wednesday in a bid to outline their concerns to local

Said Mr O'Muirigh: "The families have a number of concerns
arising from the O'Loan report and they want to speak to
Hugh Orde about them.

"They will also be raising concerns with the Policing Board
and they want to know why it has taken so long for these
findings to be revealed.

"It was the Police Ombudsman who uncovered the evidence
about Mark Haddock's activities and the police still have
important answers to address in relation to this issue.

"The families have requested a meeting, but they still
haven't heard anything back from Hugh Orde. They have a
right to the truth and a right to know if former officers
who are now working for the HET will be investigating their
loved-ones' cases."

Sharon McKenna's brother, Paul, who has already failed in a
bid to secure a meeting with Sir Hugh Orde, urged the
police boss to meet with victims' families.

He said: "We are still trying to get our head around this
report, but it is clear that a lot of questions remain

"The families have a number of considerations to make and
we will be keeping our campaign going over the coming

"I just wanted to meet Hugh Orde to talk about the impact
this murder has had on my family and I would hope that he
gives us a small amount of his time.

"We have a number of concerns and it's important they are
addressed sooner rather than later."

c Belfast Telegraph


McCord Campaign To Go Stateside

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 09:37]
By Stephen Breen

The father of Raymond McCord jnr is taking his campaign for
justice to the United States.

Sunday Life can reveal Raymond McCord, whose son was
murdered on the orders of UVF serial-killer and Special
Branch agent Mark Haddock, has been invited to visit the
United States by a number of influential US senators.

These include prominent politician Hillary Clinton (below),
who is the wife of former US President Bill Clinton.

The visit - organised in conjunction with the British-Irish
Human Rights Watch - will allow the north Belfast man to
speak about Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan's investigation
into his son's murder at a number of different US cities.

Mr McCord, who will be standing as a candidate in this
year's Assembly election, has vowed to speak on behalf of
all victims of paramilitary violence and collusion during
his week-long stay.

The crusading dad hopes his campaign across the Atlantic
will prompt the US authorities to call for a congressional
hearing into collusion later this year.

Said Mr McCord: "I want to tell the American people and
their politicians about the findings of Mrs O'Loan's

"They need to hear first hand accounts of the devastating
impact collusion has had on the relatives of victims whose
murders could have been prevented.

"I haven't stopped since the findings of the O'Loan report
were made public and I will go anywhere in the world to let
people know what went on in a democratic state.

"I don't know what politicians I will be meeting yet, but I
am looking forward to the trip. The Americans have a big
influence on the British Government and maybe they can put
pressure on them to call for a full public and independent

"I believe that there will be a congressional hearing into
collusion and I will tell them everything that I have
learnt in almost 10 years since my son's murder."

The crusading father has also vowed to reveal the names of
other top informers inside the UVF, over the coming weeks.

Added Mr McCord: "I have been told by different sources
that there are parts of Belfast I still can't go into.

"The threat against me remains in place and I would like to
know why. The UVF leadership knows that I have been
vindicated for what I have been saying all along.

"They are frightened that I am going to reveal names of
more informers in the UVF and these are people who hold the
highest positions in the group.

"They didn't frighten me in the past and they don't
threaten me now. I will continue to fight for all victims."

c Belfast Telegraph


'Cold Case' Cops In Dark Over Murders

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 09:21]
By Alan Murray

Seven murder cases relating to the Troubles have not been
passed to the Historical Enquiries Team, Sunday Life has

In a statement last week the PSNI confirmed that seven
terrorist incidents that resulted in fatalities have been
retained by the force's C2 investigation team and withheld
from the cold cases unit.

It is understood two of the deaths include the killing of
republican Eoin Morley in Newry in 1990 and the killing in
an IRA 'human bomb' attack of Royal Irish Ranger Cyril
Smith six months later.

The former Army spy, who uses the pseudonym Kevin Fulton,
was arrested by C2 detectives in London last November and
questioned about both murders after descriptions of the
killings appeared in Unsung Hero, a book detailing his role
as an agent.

In an open letter to Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde after
Fulton's arrest, Mark Thompson, the Director of Relatives
for Justice, said he was puzzled as to why the Chief
Constable had directed his detectives to arrest and
question Fulton.

He asked Sir Hugh if the intelligence services requested
Fulton's arrest " in a bid to prevent him from further
disclosing information about his activities as a state
agent", and suggested that the move seriously compromised
the integrity of the Historical Enquiries Team.

Sir Hugh declined to respond to Mr Thompson's claim, but
last week the PSNI did confirm that seven cases have been
withheld from Dave Cox's HET unit.

The statement said that the PSNI "are maintaining contact
with families and HET will look at all cases eventually".

The PSNI said that the HET unit was aware that a small
number of murder cases had not been passed to it and added
that it had "developed bespoke analytical tools to record
and investigate links between cases" .

But Mark Thompson said he is concerned that the PSNI is not
passing all pre-1998 murder cases to the HET.

"Seven cases is seven cases too many to be withheld from
the HET. It is unacceptable and it raises questions why
these particular cases are only being handled by PSNI

c Belfast Telegraph


Love Child Won't Affect Job: Orde

Northern Ireland's police chief has said revelations that
he has fathered a child outside of his marriage do not
affect his ability to do his job.

The News of the World published details of PSNI Chief
Constable Sir Hugh Orde's relationship with a Metropolitan
Police detective with whom he has a baby son.

In a statement Sir Hugh said his wife and son, 21, know of
the situation.

"This is a personal and private matter which doesn't affect
and never affected my ability to do my job," he said.

"My family are fully aware and supportive. I would ask that
the privacy of all the individuals involved is respected."

Speaking on behalf of the Police Service of Northern
Ireland Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton said the force
had "every confidence" in Sir Hugh.

"This is a private matter which has no bearing on the chief
constable's professional ability," he said.


"He is doing a fantastic job and has led this organisation
through some challenging and difficult times. We have every
confidence in him as chief constable of this police

Sir Hugh, whose hobbies include marathon running, was
appointed chief constable in May 2002, replacing Sir Ronnie

He joined the Metropolitan Police in London in 1977 and
rose to deputy assistant commissioner.

He was leading the investigation into the murder of Belfast
solicitor Pat Finucane as part of the Stevens Inquiry when
he was picked to fill the top post in the PSNI.

He was awarded an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours 2001
and a Knighthood in the Queens Birthday Honours 2005.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/02/11 14:18:02 GMT


DUP Manifesto May Spark Election Cancellation

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 10:17]
By Alan Murray

The DUP's manifesto is set to cast more doubt on the
possibility of a power sharing Executive being formed by
March 26 - and may even lead to the Prime Minister
cancelling the March 7 poll.

For the manifesto will demand evidence of Sinn Fein's
support on the ground for policing before Ian Paisley will
commit to sharing power with Sinn Fein.

Senior DUP sources confirmed yesterday that the thrust of
the party Executive's statement of last November will be
contained in the manifesto after a draft was revised last
Thursday night.

It is understood the manifesto will say that there can only
be a power sharing agreement embracing Sinn Fein when there
has been "delivery by the republican movement, tested and
proved over a credible period, in terms of support for the
PSNI, the Courts and the rule of law, a complete end to
paramilitary and criminal activity and the removal of
terrorist structures" .

The inclusion of the key paragraph from the Executive's
post-St Andrews statement will raise greater concerns in
Downing Street that the March 26 deadline for the creation
of a new Executive at Stormont will not be met.

Tony Blair has said if it appears the formation of an
Executive is unlikely to occur after the March 7 poll then
he may cancel the election.

Mr Paisley has been coy about whether he will form an
administration with Sinn Fein on March 26, saying that the
DUP is not 'date driven'.

Last November's Executive statement also stated that as
Sinn Fein was " not yet ready to take the decisive step
forward in policing, the DUP is not required to commit to
any aspect of power sharing in advance of such certainty".

Sinn Fein has since agreed to support the PSNI if the
transfer of legal powers is completed by May of next year,
a move the DUP has not agreed to.

A senior DUP source said yesterday: "The entire November
statement from the Executive is contained in the manifesto.
It is at the heart of the manifesto and it demands action
from Sinn Fein and the IRA to deliver and dismantle."

c Belfast Telegraph


Hunger Striker Will Battle SF In Mid-Ulster

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 10:14]
By Stephen Breen

An IRA hunger striker is to stand against Sinn Fein in next
month's crucial Assembly election, Sunday Life can reveal.

AN IRA hunger striker is to stand against Sinn Fein in next
month's crucial Assembly election, Sunday Life can reveal.

Brendan McLaughlin, who took the place of Francis Hughes
following his death after 59 days without food in 1981, is
to stand for Republican Sinn Fein in Mid-Ulster.

McLaughlin, from Eglinton, Co Londonderry, has taken the
place of the brother of former INLA leader Dominic 'Mad
Dog' McGlinchey, Paul, who is now expected to stand in
North Antrim.

McLaughin, who ended his hunger strike after two weeks,
made the decision to stand last week. The veteran
republican, who was jailed in 1977 for a series of firearm
offences, was not available for comment.

McLaughlin is one of a number of prominent republicans who
have decided to stand in the election after Sinn Fein's
decision to endorse policing and IRA decommissioning.

Although veteran republican Laurence O'Neill will not be
standing in the election, he believes former prisoners can
take votes from Sinn Fein.

Said Mr O'Neill: "I think Sinn Fein could be under
estimating the views of the nationalist people and I think
there could be a few surprises in this election."

c Belfast Telegraph


Prosecuting IRA Fugitives 'Not In Public Interest'

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday February 11, 2007
The Observer

Prosecutions of IRA fugitives and members of the security
forces accused of collusion are to be dropped in the
'public interest', it was claimed last night.

The UK's Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney
General are to be asked to shelve cases against on-the-run
republicans as part of a final deal between Sinn Fein and
Downing Street.

The government is also asking that no charges be brought
against policemen and soldiers accused of colluding with
loyalists. These include those named in files sent to the
DPP by Sir John Stevens as part of his inquiry into the
murder of lawyer Pat Finucane in 1989.

The SDLP justice spokesman, Alex Attwood, said the party
had information that the fugitives will be able to return
to Northern Ireland soon. 'I'm confident that the British
government will use the same ploy they used in the Saudi
arms controversy. It will not be in the public interest
either to prosecute the on-the-runs or those named in the
Stevens file, which was handed to the DPP three years and
eight months ago.'

Irish government sources pointed out there have been
several agreements involving Tony Blair's administration
and Sinn Fein in the build-up to devolution restoration day
on 26 March.

Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, has admitted
that the government will no longer use parliamentary
legislation to grant the on-the-runs amnesties. In 2005 a
government bill dealing with the issue was sabotaged by an
alliance of Tories, Liberal Democrats, unionists and a
number of backbench Labour MPs.

Meanwhile, several senior retired RUC officers are
considering their next move following devastating criticism
of the now defunct force's Special Branch in the report by
the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, Nuala O'Loan, on
the killing of Raymond McCord by the Ulster Volunteer Force
in 1997.

A senior ex-RUC officer made clear that, if there was
another 'Operation Ballast' - the codename for the
ombudsman's latest investigation - some officers would
consider 'outing' a number of informers, including several
leading republicans. A number of them refused to co-operate
with her inquiry team because they claim the ombudsman's'
office didn't make clear whether they were being questioned
as part of a criminal investigation or a public inquiry.

'Another similar inquiry would push people to the edge,'
said the officer, who has had more than 25 years in
counter-terrorism operations. 'A lot of these men have
knowledge about the war, and what they would have to say
might have huge ramifications for the entire political


Wright Killer Back In Prison

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 10:44]
By Ciaran McGuigan

One of the killers of LVF leader Billy Wright is back
behind bars and could be forced to serve the rest of his
life sentence.

John Kennaway was locked up at Maghaberry Prison last week
after an alleged bust up with cops.

It's understood that the convicted murderer - who along
with Christopher 'Crip' McWilliams and John 'Sonny' Glennon
gunned down the loyalist leader in the Maze in December
1997 - was pulled over by cops suspected of drink driving.

It's believed that he has since been accused of a raft of
offences, including assaulting police and making threats to
kill, arising out of the same incident.

He remains on remand at the Co Antrim jail, waiting to see
if Secretary of State Peter Hain determines he has broken
the conditions of his early release and suspends his

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Office said:
"Consideration is being given to whether or not Mr Kennaway
is considered to be in breach of the conditions of his
early release.

"Where there is evidence that an individual has breached
his licence conditions, the Secretary of State has
indicated he will take action to suspend that licence."

It is believed that Peter Hain's office will examine the
police file on Kennaway next week.

If the licence is suspended the matter is then in the hands
of the Life Sentence Review Commissioners, who will then
decide whether to revoke the licence.

Kennaway (44), from north Belfast, walked free from jail in
October 2000, just two years after being handed a life
sentence for the murder of LVF leader Wright.

INLA prisoners were among the last to be freed under the
terms of the Good Friday Agreement after the Government
recognised the terror group's ceasefire.

Kennaway had been serving a 25-year sentence for conspiring
to murder Ulster Conservative Dr Lawrence Kennedy when he
took part in the Wright murder in December 1997.

He was part of the INLA gang that held Dr Kennedy's family
hostage at their Holywood home in November 1991.

c Belfast Telegraph


'Mad Dog': I'm Still Pining For Jackie 'Legs'

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 10:30]
By Stephen Breen

Love-struck loyalist terror boss Johnny Adair has vowed to
win back the heart of his former mistress.

Sunday Life can reveal Adair declared his love for ex-lover
Jackie 'Legs' Robinson after bombarding her with phone
calls last week.

Although the exiled Shankill loyalist is involved in a
relationship with a young woman in Scotland, he told us he
is "still in love" with the east Belfast woman.

The ex-UFF terror chief contacted the mum-of-two after she
spoke out over newspaper claims she was a sex-hungry

'Mad Dog' also told us he was prepared to risk his life by
visiting Belfast in a bid to win back his former lover.

Said Adair: "It's true that I have been contacting Jackie
because I still have feelings for her.

"I may be seeing women in Troon but this is different -
Jackie knows there was something special between us.

"I didn't contact her before as I thought our relationship
was over, but the more I thought about it I knew the
feelings I had were still there.

"I spoke to her and told her how I feel. I don't know
what's going to happen. If I had to come back to Belfast
for her, I would.

"Jackie knows me better than anybody and now that I am no
longer with (ex-wife) Gina I think we could have a future

Jackie 'Legs', who wrote a book about her affair with
Adair, confirmed he'd contacted her.

Said Jackie: "Johnny knows that I know him better than
anyone. I had a feeling he'd try and contact me after I
spoke out last week.

"He wants me to come and live with him in Troon and even
offered to get on a flight to come and get me, but I just
want to live a quiet life - this part of my life is in the

"Johnny told me that Gina messed his head up and that he
will always have feelings for me.

"He probably contacted me because I said last week my
husband was divorcing me over these sex maniac claims which
were being directed against me."

c Belfast Telegraph


Nike And Tina Turner!

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 10:32]
By Stephen Breen

Ousted terror chief Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair has revealed how
he was warned by sportswear giant Nike to STOP wearing its

He claims in his new book - Mad Dog: Johnny Adair - that
lawyers for the company told him he was having a "negative
impact" on the label.

Adair says he was contacted by Nike representatives who
urged him not to wear any of the company's items because of
his reputation.

But the gangster refused to accede to the firm's request
and continued to wear Nike tops, jumpers and trainers.

Said Adair: "I'm into my designer sports clothes and
couldn't believe it when Nike phoned us up to tell me to
stop wearing their clothes.

"They didn't want people like me wearing their items
because they knew I was just out of jail for directing

"They must have saw me on the news one day and then decided
to complain.

"I laughed at them and then told them where to go.

"Nike should have paid me - because every time I was
wearing their clothes I was on television!"

He also recalls in his new book that he was once at the
centre of a row with rock queen Tina Turner.

Adair claims that lawyers for the American music star
warned him to stop using one of her most popular songs as
the UFF's motto.

The track - Simply the Best - was adopted by Adair's
notorious 'C' Company killer gang during the 1990s, with
murals and T-shirts worn by UFF thugs featuring the lyrics.

Adair tells how ex-pal, sectarian butcher John 'CoCo'
White, received a call from lawyers acting for Turner's
record label warning the loyalist killers to remove the
lyrics from murals and other terrorist material.

Said the exiled loyalist: "The call came through to us on
the Shankill from Tina Turner's record label and they were
giving off about us using the song Simply the Best.

"They told us Tina didn't want the song being adopted by
terrorists and they warned us to stop using the lyrics on
murals and at functions, or having them printed on T-

"We just laughed the criticism off and told them where to
go. This was Belfast not America. It would have been
interesting to see Tina Turner try and sue someone from the

c Belfast Telegraph


Threat Crisis For UVF Victim's Mum

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 10:07]
By Ciaran McGuigan

The mother of a UVF murder victim has been warned her life
could be in danger as two men accused of the horrific
killing are due in court.

But Ann Robb, whose son Andrew was butchered alongside
David McIlwaine near Tandragee seven years ago, says she
has been left exposed to the paramilitaries because the
Northern Ireland Office refused security measures for her

Two men accused of carrying out the brutal murders are due
to have preliminary hearings in their case later this

There is no suggestion that the two accused are behind the
threats, but Mrs Robb fears others linked to the murders
are behind the intimidation.

And police officers have warned Mrs Robb that more attacks
on her home could coincide with the court case.

Said Mrs Robb: "Police have said they expect the risk to
increase and they predict trouble for me in the run up to
these hearings.

"My house has already been petrol bombed, I have had cars
attacked with paint and Andrew's headstone has been
attacked. What am I meant to do?

"They (the NIO) have turned me down on several occasions
for security measures at my home, even when the Chief
Constable provided them with a certificate stating that
there was a high level threat against me.

"When they turned us down for compensation after Andrew's
murder they were telling me his life was worth nothing.

"I feel they are telling me my life is worth nothing

The murders of the two teenagers are also being probed by
Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan, who has examined claims that
the probe into the killings was hindered by the involvement
of police informants.

The murders are among five referred to in the Ombudsman
report into the activities of Special Branch agent Mark

Ann Robb is due to meet the Ombudsman later this week to
discuss the claims of Haddock's involvement in the double
murder and the suspected involvement of a number of senior
UVF members in the mid-Ulster area who were also police

c Belfast Telegraph


Fury At Hain's Rugby Wreath Plan

Minister wants to pay tribute to 13 shot dead by British
soldiers at Croke Park in 1920

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
Sunday February 11, 2007
The Observer

While history is being made today when Ireland's rugby
union team run out on to Croke Park to take on the French,
a row is raging about the next Six Nations clash at the
home of Gaelic sports.

The Observer has learnt that, before the Ireland v England
game in two weeks' time, the Northern Ireland Office is
considering plans for Secretary of State Peter Hain to lay
a wreath at a memorial to 13 Gaelic sports fans shot dead
by British forces inside the stadium in 1920 and issue an
apology from the British government for what has become
known as the first 'Bloody Sunday' massacre. Both Irish
rugby veterans and Unionist MPs are up in arms at the

Former Ireland international and British Lion Trevor
Ringland said last night that the proposal for such a
politically charged ceremony posed great dangers for peace
and reconciliation. Ringland, who runs the anti-sectarian
'One Small Step' campaign in Northern Ireland, said: 'The
fact that this game is being played at Croke Park, thanks
to the generous decision of the Gaelic Athletic
Association, will have positive ripple effects for the

'But plans for a wreath-laying ceremony and the apology
will only mix sport with politics. It will bring the
politics of the 20th century into the attempts at
reconciliation in the 21st century. The government should
think again before going ahead with something like this.'

Democratic Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson accused the
Northern Ireland Office of 'monumental stupidity' in
contemplating the wreath-laying ceremony: 'Whoever thought
up this bright idea ought to consign it now to the dustbin
of history. Rugby has always been a community where
politics and sports do not mix. I sincerely hope this plan
is dropped immediately, as it would outrage thousands of
rugby fans, not only in Northern Ireland but also across
this island.'

The Northern Ireland Office has yet to decide finally if
the Secretary of State will take part in the ceremony. He
is scheduled to attend the match.

Meanwhile, English rugby fans are likely to encounter
republican protests at the historically resonant clash with
Ireland. The breakaway nationalist group Republican Sinn
Fein (RSF), which opposes the peace process, has confirmed
it will picket the match. The organisation was one of three
republican groups that organised protests against a
loyalist parade through Dublin city centre last year.
Demonstrations against the 'Love Ulster' march degenerated
into some of the worst rioting Dublin had seen in decades.

Garda sources in Dublin told The Observer they were
monitoring the RSF and several other anti-Good Friday
Agreement republican factions in the run-up to the clash at
Croke Park.

'They managed to turn O'Connell Street upside down last
year and we were caught napping. They brought hundreds of
young men looking for trouble on to the streets. We can't
afford for that to happen again,' one senior officer said.

The political allies of the Continuity IRA said playing the
game at Croke Park - the home of Gaelic sports in Ireland -
was part of a process to 'normalise the occupation of

Des Dalton, RSF's vice-president, said: 'The political
symbolism of inviting the national team of a country which
forcibly occupies part of Ireland to Croke Park is
something Irish republicans are determined to publicly
protest against.'

Dissident republican groups are focusing their protests on
the playing of 'God Save the Queen'. They have viewed Croke
Park as hallowed ground since the 1920 massacre, which took
place hours after an IRA hit squad, set up by Michael
Collins, killed some British agents in the city.


Peter Curistan: An Innocent Man

[Published: Sunday 11, February 2007 - 10:40]
By Stephen Breen

A top Ulster businessman at the centre of a "Provo" slur
has been given a clean bill of health - by the Chief

Peter Curistan, chairman of the Sheridan Group, which
helped create Belfast's œ100m Odyssey Centre, is fighting
"utterly groundless" allegations linking him to IRA money-

But Sunday Life can reveal that the Police Service has
written to Curistan CLEARING him of any suspicion.

Sir Hugh Orde's right-hand man - Deputy Chief Constable
Paul Leighton - wrote: "I can say that we are not currently
investigating the Sheridan Group or Mr Peter Curistan."

Curistan (52) is taking legal advice after seeing his
"preferred developer" status for a second multi-million
pound waterfront development abruptly cancelled just before

He blames the unfounded "dirty money" allegations for
costing him the chance to create Queens Quay - an ambitious
mix of riverside apartments, offices, hotel and restaurants
on the Odyssey's doorstep.

The claims were first made by DUP deputy leader Peter
Robinson in February 2006.

Using parliamentary privilege, the East Belfast MP claimed
Curistan was linked to "IRA dirty money".

He called on Secretary of State Peter Hain "to ensure the
activities of the Sheridan Group and its association with
the IRA's dirty money are fully investigated".

Robinson also asked Hain to "guarantee that no further
public money is channelled in their direction until, if
ever, they get a clean bill of health ".

He also named a business associate of Curistan - Sinn Fein
finance director Dessie Mackin - in his Commons statement.

Curistan described the claims as "totally false and utterly
groundless" - and challenged Robinson to repeat them
outside the privilege of the Commons.

In a set-the-record straight email to business and
political leaders, Curistan wrote: "Allegations have been
made in Parliament (under parliamentary privilege) and in
the media which have linked me with paramilitary
organisations and with financial malpractice.

"The allegations against me have seriously misrepresented
and distorted the facts and, in the case of media reports,
I have been obliged to take legal steps to obtain redress.

"However, the legal process will take some time and, in the
interim, I felt it important to give assurance to people
like you in positions of authority and responsibility that
these allegations are totally false and utterly

He added: "I can state categorically that there is no
connection whatsoever, nor has there ever been, between
myself or the Sheridan Group and the IRA."

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable for Belfast Duncan
McCausland forwarded his copy of the email to Leighton, who
replied on Sir Hugh's behalf.

His letter stated: "I am writing in response to your email
to Duncan McCausland of 4 April 2006.

"Firstly I apologise for the delay in responding and,
secondly, I can say that we are not currently investigating
the Sheridan Group or Mr Peter Curistan.

"I am sure you will understand the difficulties in our
making public statements due to the setting of precedent."

Senior PSNI sources confirmed yesterday that the position
remained unchanged.

Said one senior officer: "Paul (Leighton) is a lawyer by
training as well as a very experienced police officer.

"When Duncan (McCausland) passed this up the line, he would
have recognised its significance straight away.

"But you can be certain he would have had a word with Peter
Sheridan (ACC Crime Operations) just to be sure Mr Curistan
was clean before committing himself. He'd also have run it
past the chief (Sir Hugh) as a matter of course."

Curistan won the Institute of Directors' Lunn Award for
Excellence in 2003.

He also holds an honorary doctorate from Queen's University
and is a visiting professor at the University of Ulster.

Peter Robinson was unavailable for comment this weekend.

c Belfast Telegraph


Essay -- Bloody Sunday's Legacy In Ireland

Friday, Feb 2, 2007
Posted on Sun, Feb. 11, 2007
By Sean O'Driscoll

A few years ago, while working for a newspaper in Belfast,
Northern Ireland, I was writing about the new judicial
inquiry into Bloody Sunday, the killing of 13 Irish
nationalist protesters by British paratroopers in 1972.

An editor came to my desk and warned me that some of the
other editors were upset because I had written that the
people were killed in Derry - contrary to a newspaper
policy to refer to the city as "Londonderry" first and then
"Derry" in subsequent mentions.

As a southern Irish native who had moved to Northern
Ireland, I thought it extraordinary that more than 30 years
after the killings, Catholic "nationalists" and Protestant
"unionists" could not even agree on what to call the city
where they took place - known as "Derry" to the city's
Irish nationalist majority, "Londonderry" to the British-
aligned unionists.

A few weeks after I was told to correct my article (I
didn't), Paul Greengrass released his stunning movie
"Bloody Sunday," which offered an immediate, fly-on-the-
wall look at the carnage. The morning after it aired on
Northern Ireland television, the unionist newspaper, The
Belfast News Letter, ran the headline "Bloody Sunday" with
a silly story about a fight that broke out in a local
hospital - an attempt to mock the serious impact of the

This may all seem trivial to people elsewhere in the world.
But control of the words "Bloody Sunday" - a massacre that
happened 35 years ago on Tuesday - matters a great deal
because of its lasting political legacy.


It's difficult to express the effect of Bloody Sunday,
which set off an explosion of rage by Irish nationalists
across Northern Ireland and the overwhelmingly Catholic

It marked the point of no return for the Troubles, as the
conflict over Northern Ireland is known, and it put back
the chance for peace by decades. The British army had
inadvertently handed a propaganda coup to the outlawed
Irish Republican Army, which could barely cope with the
huge numbers of volunteers that poured into its ranks in

Sean McClory, a former IRA man living in Pittsburgh, once
told me that he decided to enlist after seeing the coffins
of Bloody Sunday victims lined up.

"I decided at that moment that I was going to even up the
score," he said.

International reaction to Bloody Sunday was swift. In
secretly recorded tapes, President Nixon said the British
kept messing up in Ireland - and he blamed "Kennedy types"
for burning down the British embassy in Dublin three days
after the massacre.

John Lennon wrote a song in reaction to the killings, as
did Paul McCartney and his group, Wings.

The Wings song, "Give Ireland Back To The Irish," was
banned from airplay in the U.K.; BBC presenters were forced
to refer to the song as "A song by Wings" on radio shows,
much to the derision of Irish nationalists.

U2's contribution to the memory of the massacre hardly
needs to be described - the world-renowned anthem "Sunday
Bloody Sunday," released a decade after the killings,
helped propel the Irish band to stardom.


To this day, I am still haunted by the description of
Catholic priest Edward Daly, who saw a teenager flee
alongside him when the shooting started on Jan. 30, 1972.
The boy laughed out of nervous exhilaration before he was
suddenly gunned down.

Perhaps the most iconic image of the Troubles is that of
Father Daly, bent over to avoid British army bullets,
leading four men who were carrying the teenager's body. In
his hand he held a bloodied white handkerchief - a plea to
the troops to let the group carry the body to safety.


A new British-sponsored judicial investigation is looking
into the killings, and has so far cost a mind-numbing $600
million, most it swallowed up by lawyers.

The inquiry has fueled unionist resentment - not because
they genuinely believe the Bloody Sunday victims did
anything wrong, but because they feel Protestant victims of
the IRA have not received the same recognition or sympathy.

However, as Britain conceded when it established the probe
nine years ago, the fact that state troops gunned down
unarmed civilians made Bloody Sunday a uniquely significant
act of injustice.

The fact-finders have struggled for years to cope with a
mountain of witness evidence, including from some of the
soldiers who opened fire that day, and are expected to
publish their conclusions next year. People on all sides of
the argument hope the mammoth report will allow Derry, so
long overshadowed by the horrors of January 1972, to
finally come to peace with its past.

Meanwhile, a broader effort to set Northern Ireland on a
peaceful path trudges on. On Tuesday, just as Bloody Sunday
was being remembered, Britain shut down Northern Ireland's
stagnating legislature and scheduled new elections for
March 7.

asap contributor Sean O'Driscoll is based in New York,
where he writes for the Irish Times.


Feature: Mayhem On The M50

11 February 2007 By Ian Kehoe

No project epitomises Ireland's infrastructure problems
more than the M50.

Held up by planning delays, the road took 20 years to
build. At rush hour, it is often likened to a car park.
Road works, necessary because sections of the road are
being upgraded, are making matters worse.

Now heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) using the Dublin Port
Tunnel are being added to an already chaotic mix. From
February 19, trucks with five axles or more will be banned
from the city centre from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week.

Instead, the trucks will be forced to use the tunnel and
then head out onto the M50 to access routes to the west or
south of the country. This should improve the traffic in
the city centre, but the question is what it will do to the
already-clogged M50.

If a confidential memo prepared by the National Roads
Authority is to be believed, things are about to get a lot
worse. Hugh Creegan, head of project management with the
NRA, last year wrote to Dublin City Council warning about
the dangers of its new HGV policy.

In the letter, Creegan said that the council's strategy was
based on poor research and that there was ''a significant
knowledge gap in the decision-making process''. He argued
that the council should not have implemented a blanket ban,
and should have introduced a system on a phased basis over
a number of years.

The problems, as outlined in detail by the NRA, are

First, the new rules being introduced by Dublin City
Council, which controls traffic rules in the capital, will
push more HGVs than had been expected onto the M50.

Secondly, the HGVs are heading to where traffic is already
being held up by a major upgrade project between the N81
and N4 junctions. Another major upgrade project is due to
begin next year.

Meanwhile, despite the government's plans to go ahead with
the purchase of the West Link toll bridge, barrier-free
tolling is not due to come into operation until next year.

With these problems on the M50, the NRA is warning that a
blanket ban on HGVs using a southern access route -
particularly to the South Port - would risk creating
traffic chaos on the motorway.

Under the new rules, HGVs coming from the south of the
country and aiming to use the South Port - the part of
Dublin port adjacent to Ringsend - would be forced to
travel around the M50, go through the Port Tunnel, and
access the South Port by going over the East Link bridge.

''The position of the Authority is that it may not be
appropriate at this stage to implement a total exclusion of
a southern access route to Dublin Port, especially in the
context of the ongoing developments on theM50," the letter

''The exact effects of the HGV management proposals on the
tunnel itself and on the M50 motorway have not been

The NRA, which has responsibility for operating the Port
Tunnel, is particularly critical of the lack of research
behind the council's plan.

In his letter, which was sent last February, Creegan said
that the NRA was ''not aware of any traffic modelling that
has been done to predict truck flows in the tunnel''.

Furthermore, he said that no assessments had been carried
out on the resulting impact of this cordon the M50 traffic

''The absence of such analysis is a significant knowledge
gap in the decision-making process," he stated. The NRA
argues that the plan was never to ban access to the South
Port in this way and that the impact on traffic volumes on
the M50 could be significant. It argues that, instead of a
blanket ban of HGVs, it would be wiser to take a phased
approach, allowing HGVs access to the South Port through a
southern route initially, rather than forcing them to go
around the M50 and through the tunnel.

''2008 will then see the completion of the first phase of
the M50 upgrade between the N81 and the N4 junctions, the
removal of the current West Link toll plaza and the
implementation of a fully electronic gantry-based tolling
system," said Creegan.

''At that stage, the two busiest junctions on the M50 will
have been completed to their final free-flow form, and the
restriction represented by the West Link toll plaza will be

It is only at this point, according to Creegan, that a
review should be carried out on the advantages and
disadvantages of an extension to the HGV strategy. It would
have two years of experience of the relevant traffic flows,
and would then be able to make an ''informed decision''.

The memo states: ''In essence, it is the Authority's view
that it is an inappropriate burden to impose on transport
users of the south port of Dublin Port, to exclude a
southern access route while the current West Link toll
plaza remains and while the first phase of the M50
upgrading works are underway."

The NRA is not the only state body to voice concern over
the council's new plans.

The Dublin Port Company has been openly critical of the HGV
policy, stating that it has serious concerns about traffic
flows in and around the tunnel.

A recent study by the Port Company found that 43 per cent
of all goods that passed through the port either originated
or terminated inside the M50. Thus, once these trucks hit
the M50, they will then turn around and move back towards
the city.

The Port Company believes that this will bring a new set of
traffic problems to different areas.

The company also conducted a number of surveys on the
impact on journey times.

For example, a truck carrying goods from Dublin port to the
Pfizer plant in Dun Laoghaire would see its journey
increased from eight miles to 29 miles, with a fourfold
increase in journey duration, from 25 minutes to one hour
and 40 minutes.

This is obviously an important issue for HGV drivers, but
it is also vital for car users on the M50. With an
estimated 6,000 HGVs using the tunnel every day, commuters
on main roads around Dublin could find themselves
increasingly gridlocked.

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