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April 18, 2007

MPs To Investigate RUC Killings

News about Ireland & the Irish

UT 04/17/07 MPs To Investigate RUC Killings
BT 04/17/07 Questions Over Extent Of Loyalist Spying Ring
IN 04/17/07 UVF Files Led To 117 Warnings, Court Told
BB 04/17/07 Probe Into 'PSNI Computer Breach'
BB 04/17/07 Ashdown To Head Parading Review
SF 04/17/07 Sinn Féin Comment On New Parades Review Body
BB 04/17/07 Sinn Fein In Call For Resources
BT 04/17/07 Paisley Pledges To Stay At Its Head For His Full Term
BT 04/17/07 1st Joint Martin & Ian Message Of Sympathy To Families
IN 04/17/07 Little Hope In Talks For McCartneys
BB 04/17/07 PM Invited To View Power Sharing
BT 04/17/07 Fury After UVF & UDA Tagged Voluntary Groups
IT 04/17/07 Opin: Devolved Govt Must Address Democratic Reform
BT 04/17/07 Opin: SF Must Banish Spectre Of Army Council
IM 04/17/07 Rossport Five Vindicated By High Court Ruling
IN 04/17/07 Easter Rising Subject Of New London Musical


MPs To Investigate NI Killings

A committee of MPs is to investigate the RUC's failure to
properly investigate six Northern Ireland security force
killings, a spokeswoman has revealed.

The Westminster human rights grouping`s intervention follows a
European Court ruling that the UK was in breach of its obligation
to carry out a proper inquiry.

It has received petitions from lobby groups including
British/Irish Rights Watch.

Director Jane Winter said: "This failure not only denies families
their right to the truth about how their loved ones died, but
undermines the UK`s domestic and international standing when it
comes to human rights."

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2001 that eight IRA
men shot dead by soldiers of an undercover SAS unit at Loughgall,
County Armagh, in 1987, and two IRA men killed by RUC officers
had their human rights violated.

Judges considered four separate cases between 1982 and 1992 in
which 14 people were killed.

The killings included:

:: Patrick Kelly and the seven others who died in the worst
single loss of life for the IRA at Loughgall - argued in the
human rights court that excessive force was used.

The IRA men were killed along with a passer-by, Anthony Hughes,
when soldiers of an undercover SAS unit ambushed them during an
IRA attack on a police station.

:: The 1992 shooting dead of IRA man Pearse Jordan, 23, at a
security force checkpoint in west Belfast.

:: Gervaise McKerr, 31, who died with two other IRA members at
the hands of a special RUC unit in Lurgan, Co Armagh, 1982.

:: Sinn Fein member Patrick Shanaghan, 31, who was ambushed and
shot dead behind the wheel of his van by the Ulster Defence
Association, allegedly in collusion with the RUC, as he drove to

A representative of the Joint Committee on Human Rights said: "We
periodically review the cases and the committee has received
submissions which it will be considering."

Ms Winter said the UK should implement the Strasbourg court`s

"We have asked the committee to try to use their influence to
speed this up," she added.


Arrests Lead To Questions Over Extent Of Loyalist Spying Ring

[Published: Wednesday 18, April 2007 - 08:47]
By Chris Thornton

Questions about the extent of a UVF spying operation are piling
up after an RIR soldier and a PSNI clerk were linked to alleged
terror documents.

More than 100 republicans and nationalists have been warned by
police that their details were in the hands of loyalists after a
factory manager was charged with UVF membership last week.

Relatives for Justice director Mark Thompson was among the people
warned that their personal details were found in the documents

Wrightbus manager Darren Leslie Richardson (30) of Moneynick
Road, Randalstown, was charged with UVF membership, possession of
documents likely to be of use to terrorists and 30 rounds of

On Monday, PSNI clerk Aaron Hill, of Mainebank, Randalstown,
appeared in court accused of illegally accessing names and
addresses from police computers. The 22-year-old works in the
Crime Management Unit.

Paul McGlinchey, who ran for the Assembly as an independent
republican opposed to Sinn Fein's acceptance of policing, said he
was "totally gobsmacked" to find his 20-year-old son, Sean, is
one of those under threat.

"If they'd come about me, I wouldn't care. Everybody knows who I
am. But the cub's not into politics, he's been through enough
with me being in jail," he said.

c Belfast Telegraph


UVF Files Led To 117 Warnings, Court Told

By Staff Reporter

More than 100 people were warned about their safety after the
seizure of documents linked to the UVF, the High Court in Belfast
was told yesterday.

Their names, addresses and car registrations were in five hand-
written documents found during a police search at a Co Antrim
bus-making firm last week, a prosecution lawyer said.

He successfully opposed a bail application by Darren Richardson
(30), of Moneynick Road in Rand-alstown, who denies UVF
membership, possessing documents useful to terrorists and having
30 rounds of ammunition.

The lawyer said the find was made at the premises of Wright-bus
in Ballymena, Co Antrim, where Richardson worked as a manager.
The ammunition was found in his desk and the documents were in
his briefcase.

The files contained 104 vehicle registrations and the names and
addresses of 51 people. Another document found in Richardson's
car contained 13 registrations and personal details.

The lawyer said Richardson told police he had made records of
vehicles acting suspiciously near his home and kept the lists to
establish whether any of the people on them were republicans.

He said he had been given documents by a man he refused to name
and had also received information from an RIR soldier whose name
he gave to police.

The lawyer said police believed the unnamed man was Aaron Hill
(22), of Mainebank in Randals-town. Hill, who worked in the PSNI
Crime Management Unit, appeared in court on Monday on related

"As a result of all this police have had to warn 117 individuals
about their safety," he said.

"Police are trying to estab-

lish the identity of others who may be at risk by checking a
computer used by Hill to see what additional information that
throws up."

The lawyer objected to bail be-cause the perceived republicans
named in the documents could be attacked by paramilitaries.

A defence lawyer said Richard-son had been misguided.

"What seems to have happened is that he started down a road
several years ago in a sort of glorified neighbourhood watch and
then by association with these two persons this activity
spiralled out of control," he said.

Richardson's wife Louise said she had been aware that he had been
keeping records of vehicles because of attacks on their home.

After the judge asked about the soldier, the prosecution lawyer
said: "He has been interviewed but has not yet been charged. He
has denied passing information."


Probe Into 'PSNI Computer Breach'

The police have begun an internal inquiry into allegations that
the security of their computer system has been breached.

It follows the appearance in court in Belfast of a police
employee on terror charges earlier this week.

Aaron Hill of Mainebank, Randalstown, is accused of having
documents likely to be of use to terrorists.

Mr Hill, 22, who worked in the police's crime management branch,
has been suspended.

He has been remanded in custody on the terror charges, which also
include allegedly breaching the data protection act and
misconduct in public office.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/04/18 12:31:37 GMT



Ashdown To Head Parading Review

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown is to head a review
of parading in Northern Ireland, it has been announced.

NI Secretary Peter Hain said Lord Ashdown would bring great
"expertise and credibility" to the job.

Lord Ashdown - a former international high representative for
Bosnia - was raised in Northern Ireland.

The government promised an independent review of parading in the
St Andrews Agreement.

Lord Ashdown and his review team will begin their work in May,
with a view to reporting to the government in 2008.

"Lord Ashdown brings a huge amount of experience in conflict
resolution with him and is highly regarded both nationally and
internationally," Mr Hain said.


Sammy Douglas - Belfast Interface Group
Mervyn Gibson - Orange Order Chaplain Lodge of Ireland
Sean Murray - Springfield Residents' Group
Geraldine McAteer- West Belfast Partnership
Garvan O'Doherty - Londonderry businessman
Mervyn Rankin, former chief executive of Ballymena council

"He has an excellent understanding of the issues that affect
Northern Ireland and his work starts at a time when the historic
agreement reached between the DUP and Sinn Fein has moved the
political process on to a new era."

Sinn Fein expressed caution over Lord Ashdown's appointment.

Party leader Gerry Adams said that his background as a former
serving soldier in Northern Ireland meant he was not equipped for
the job.

Lord Ashdown rejected the criticism.

"I was in Belfast as a young soldier in 1969/70 that was then
this is now - if you look into the background of other people on
this commission they were doing different things that long ago.

"I don't think Northern Ireland should be tied to its past I'm
certainly not going to be - we're looking to the future here," he
told the BBC's Newsline programme.

North Belfast DUP assembly members Nigel Dodds and Nelson
McCausland described the appointment of former IRA prisoner Sean
Murray as it showing a lack of sensitivity and that it could
undermine the review process.

The remit of the review team is to make recommendations on how
parading can be taken forward in a way "consistent with the
shared future objectives of respect, tolerance, responsible
citizenship and promoting equality of opportunity and human

Lord Ashdown said: "I know the work will be challenging and there
are no simple answers to what are fundamentally very difficult
problems, but I am looking forward to the challenge and to the
debate and to contributing to what must be, if it is to succeed,
a locally-grown solution to this issue."

Lord Ashdown was born in New Delhi, but grew up in Donaghadee and

He returned to the province as a Royal Marines officer when the
Troubles started in the early 1970s.

His political career peaked in 1988 when he was elected Liberal
Democrat leader, a post he held until 1999.

After standing down from the Commons in 2001 he was elevated to
the House of Lords and appointed as the UN High Representative in
Bosnia-Herzegovina, a post in which he served until 2005.

Lord Ashdown became a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St
Michael and St George (GCMG) in the 2006 New Year Honours List in
recognition of his work in the Balkans.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/18 19:17:20 GMT


Sinn Fein Comment On New Parades Review Body

Published: 18 April, 2007

Commenting on the announcement of the make-up of the Strategic
Review of Parades Body, Sinn Fein Assembly member for South
Belfast Alex Maskey said that he had reservations about the
appointment of Paddy Ashdown as

Chairperson given his military and political involvement in
Ireland in the past but that Sinn Fein would engage with any
group who were prepared to press forward on the basis of local
dialogue and accommodation to resolve contentious parades.

Mr Maskey said:

"It must be pointed out that this is a review group which will
report sometime next year on the overall parading issue, it will
have no impact on decisions taken by the Parades Commission this

"Sinn Fein would clearly have reservations about the ability of
Paddy Ashdown to act as an impartial and independent chairperson
of such a group given his military and political involvement in
Ireland in the past. However

many of the local appointees to the group do have a grasp and an
experience of the difficult issue of contentious parades.

"The key to resolving contentious parades is through local
dialogue between marching orders and the communities they wish to
march through. That is the lesson of the past ten years or more.
Sinn F‚¡n will engage with any group including this one in a bid
to ensure that future parading issues are resolved on this basis.

"This is a difficult issue which in the past has resulted in
significant community conflict and unrest. It is also an issue
which needs resolved. That means groups including the Loyal
Orders reflecting upon new political realities and seriously
considering the motivation behind seeking to march through
communities where they are clearly not wanted." ENDS


Sinn Fein In Call For Resources

A Sinn Fein delegation has held talks with Tony Blair at Downing
Street ahead of the restoration of the Northern Ireland executive
next month.

Led by party president Gerry Adams, the group also included
deputy first minister designate Martin McGuinness.

After the meeting, Mr Adams said the executive must be given
adequate resources to do its job.

"A financial package is of crucial importance," Mr Adams said.

"The fact is we need proper resources because service charges are
higher, the cost of living is higher and wages are lower and we
are coming out of over 30 years of conflict and underinvestment
in infrastructure.

"We have a crazy situation where we are still arguing that the
British government has to match the contribution that the Irish
government is making," he said.


The West Belfast MP said that Mr McGuinness and DUP leader Ian
Paisley were planning to meet the European Union president in a
bid to secure Brussels funds.

He said he also expected them to meet with Chancellor of the
Exchequer Gordon Brown on the issue soon.

Sinn Fein and the DUP have agreed to share power on 8 May, with
Mr Paisley to be sworn in as first minister.

On Monday, Sinn Fein held its first talks with the NI Policing

Mr Adams said he would put a proposal to his party executive that
it should take part in the Policing Board and District Policing

Sinn Fein members voted to support policing in Northern Ireland
for the first time in the party's history at the party's ard
fheis, or conference, at the end of January.

It paved the way for a deal to restore the political institutions
which have been suspended since October 2002 amid allegations of
intelligence gathering at Stormont. A court case which followed

Direct rule from London has been in place since that date.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/18 17:52:47 GMT


Paisley Pledges To Stay At Its Head For His Full Term

[Published: Wednesday 18, April 2007 - 09:03]
By Victoria O'Hara

Ian Paisley confirmed last night that he is to serve the full
four-year term as Northern Ireland's First Minister.

The DUP leader, who will take up the post on May 8, scotched
speculation he would serve in the post for a short time -
possibly a year.

He told filmmakers preparing a documentary to be broadcast here
next month: " I am going to do the full term... the full term...
the four years.

"I have no intention of retiring because I believe that Ulster
needs me. I believe they need the leadership that I can give

Mr Paisley's comments to UTV appear to have killed suggestions
that DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson or senior party members
such as North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds could succeed him within the
next year as First Minister and possibly DUP leader.

The First Minister-in-waiting (81) has spent the last three weeks
preparing for his role as the joint head of the new Northern
Ireland power sharing executive.

His comments come as the full line-up of the Executive can be
revealed - as shown above.

The Belfast Telegraph can also reveal today the estimated
salaries of the Northern Ireland Executive.

As First Minister Mr Paisley is expected to receive a salary of
œ143,518 - which includes his Westminster salary of œ60,277.

The UUP's Danny Kennedy - appointed committee of the centre
chairman - is estimated to earn œ55,849.

Meanwhile, the DUP's Ian Paisley jnr and Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly
who have both been named as Junior Ministers in the Office of
First and Deputy First Minister are expected to be paid œ63,591.

c Belfast Telegraph


First Joint Statement By McGuinness And Paisley Is Message Of
Sympathy To Families

[Published: Wednesday 18, April 2007 - 08:52]
By Victoria O'Hara

DUP leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness have
issued their first ever joint statement offering "heartfelt
sympathy" to the victims of the Virginia Tech University

The future First Minister and deputy First Minister both sent
their condolences to President Bush and the American people
following the tragedy.

In the letter, Mr Paisley and Martin McGuinness said: "It was
with great regret and shock that we learned of the deaths of 32
people in Virginia Tech University and wish to extend our
heartfelt sympathy to you and to the American people.

"Our thoughts are with the parents and families of those who have
died and we would be grateful if you could extend our sincere
sympathy to them and let them know that our thoughts are with
them at this grief-stricken time.

"We fully understand the impact that events like this can have on
a community and the population as a whole. The loss of any life
is difficult to bear.

"The senseless loss of young life in such numbers is particularly

"Our thoughts are with you all at this very difficult and sad

c Belfast Telegraph


Little Hope In Talks For McCartneys

By Staff Reporter

The sisters of an IRA murder victim said their hopes of a
breakthrough in their campaign have dimmed after meeting the DUP
leader Ian Paisley.

During talks with the First Minister designate, Robert
McCartney's family sought any new details of republican
cooperation with the inquiry into the killing outside a Belfast

Catherine McCartney emerged from the half-hour encounter at
Parliament Buildings, Stormont yesterday to say: "Everything is
falling in place for the political establishment and the people
in it, yet people like Robert are just collateral. Victims will
just have to live with it."

Although one man has been charged with the murder, the family
believe at least a dozen people were involved in the attack in
January 2005.

Ms McCartney and her sister Paula quizzed the DUP leader on
whether he had secured any assurances from Sinn Fein about their
brother's stabbing.

The DUP have identified the murder of Mr McCartney, a 33-year-old
father of two, as an acid test of republican backing for the
police service.

Yesterday's meeting delivered little progress, even though the
DUP chief gave them a pledge to keep pressing republicans.

"This is supposed to be some form of litmus test of their
[republicans] attitude to the rule of law but they have failed it
miserably by offering no co-operation," Catherine McCartney said.

"It doesn't appear that situation is going to change.

"Dr Paisley said that there were difficulties within the
republican organisation. Very senior members would have
difficulties but he has said he will continue to push and


PM Invited To View Power Sharing

The DUP leader Ian Paisley has issued an invitation to Prime
Minister Tony Blair to visit Stormont next month.

Mr Paisley is hoping Mr Blair will come to Belfast for the
creation of the new power sharing executive when the Assembly
opens on 8 May.

He told the House of Commons it was Tony Blair's duty as he had
worked so hard to create the new executive.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and DUP leader Ian Paisley agreed
last month to embark on a power-sharing executive.

Mr Paisley said: "Could I ask the Prime Minister if he is going
to come to the opening of the new parliament assembly and the new
regime that is going to come into order on 8 May."

The invitation from Mr Paisley came as Mr Adams and Northern
Ireland deputy first minister in waiting Martin McGuinness were
due to hold talks with Mr Blair in Downing Street later on

Mr Blair said he would keep the invitation "well in mind".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/04/18 13:16:42 GMT


Fury After UVF And UDA Tagged Voluntary Groups In Education Note

[Published: Wednesday 18, April 2007 - 09:35]
By Chris Thornton

The appearance in an education document of the UDA and UVF cited
as " voluntary organisations" was blamed on clumsy note-taking
last night.

The groups were brought up during discussions among education
chiefs about distributing part of a œ33m funding package for
loyalist areas.

Minutes from the meeting last year say: "Maintain/establish good
working relationships with voluntary organisations (Barnardo's,

The SDLP - which found the document in a Freedom of Information
trawl - described the Belfast Education and Library Board
document as " ludicrous and insulting".

Assembly member Dolores Kelly said it "beggars belief" that the
two loyalist terror groups could be brought up in discussion
about improving schools.

The chief executive of the board and a senior Department of
Education official took part in the meeting.

The Department of Education admitted it made a clumsy error.

"The Department of Education does not equate paramilitary
organisations with those doing excellent charity work; neither
does the Belfast Education and Library Board.

"The document referred to is a minute of a meeting which took
place in June 2006.

"The minute reflects clumsily views expressed by those whose
reflections were sought."

The SDLP says the document raised further questions about the
Renewing Communities fund, which they say is illegal because it
uses religion as the basis for targeting cash.

"Barnardo's and the NSPCC do human rights work. The UDA and UVF
threaten human rights workers," Mrs Kelly said.

"Barnardo's and the NSPCC protect children. The UDA and UVF beat
them up. The SDLP will be writing to the Minister for Education
seeking an urgent explanation for this ill-conceived and worrying

c Belfast Telegraph


Opin: Devolved Government Must Address Democratic Reform

Thu, Apr 19, 2007

Northern Ireland has a poor record of democratic performance and
the very welcome prospect of restoration of the democratic
institutions bequeathed by the Belfast Agreement should not
obscure the real challenges which lie ahead, writes Robin Wilson.

That is the message from Power to the People?, an audit of
democracy in Northern Ireland published by the think-tank Tasc,
and a companion volume to one just published on the Republic.

The outworking of the Good Friday agreement of April 1998 did not
go to the plan envisaged by the governments in London and Dublin
and it disappointed the hopes of the citizens across Ireland who
voted in its favour. Politically-motivated violence has,
thankfully, fallen to a relatively low level. But while the
agreement held out a major democratisation step with devolution
of power, a prolonged impasse ensured that this transfer from
London did not take place until December 1999.

In early 2000 the institutions were suspended amid continuing
political arguments, as they were again, twice, in 2001 before
they finally collapsed in 2002. It is now expected that they will
once more be operative from May 8th this year, following the St
Andrews Agreement between the two governments last October.

Power to the People? finds positive aspects of democracy in the
region on which to build - notably the strength of the voluntary
sector - but it finds other, more negative, features, even if the
"democratic deficit" that is direct rule is dismantled. As in the
Republic, these are often taken for granted. And the two volumes
are strikingly similar in two highlighted areas: the gulf of
class inequalities and the very poor representation of women in
public, especially political, life.

The main theme of the Northern Ireland assessment is indeed of a
"democratic deficit", borrowing the phrase from the EU context.
This has characterised the governance of the region under direct
rule, particularly when cast in the light of the functioning -
warts and all - democracy in the Republic. The depth of
democratic denial to which this can lead, as this volume shows,
is severe and should be in the foreground of public concern.

Northern Ireland suffers from major social ills which have been
obscured by the way the argument over the constitutional future
of the region has crowded out discussion of "bread-and-butter"
issues. Notable among these are the high level of social
disadvantage, although this is ameliorated by relatively low
housing costs and Labour's in-work benefits.

There are major concerns about mortality and morbidity rates, and
about the associated inequalities in health along a social
gradient. One of the success stories of devolution was an
innovative strategy on public health, although rising hospital
waiting lists were only reversed when direct rule was restored.

There are similar concerns about under-achievement in education,
alongside high performance in the grammar schools. But there is
continued sectarian polarisation over the abolition of academic
selection at 11 and integrated education is still only available
to some 5 per cent of pupils.

A serious concern is the low level of representation of women in
political life. This is despite the availability of legal
provision for positive discrimination via all-women shortlists
for candidate selection, which has gone unused. Women are
seriously under-represented in all aspects of public life in
Northern Ireland: only 16 per cent of current Assembly members
are female.

Equal opportunities have historically been at the heart of the
Northern Ireland problem. Since the civil rights movement, anti-
discrimination has been progressively toughened to address these
concerns. The major innovation of the Good Friday agreement in
this regard, the egalitarian "section 75", has, however, had
modest impact.

The restoration of devolved government in May 2007 will go a
significant way to removing the Northern Ireland "democratic
deficit". But there is still a profound agenda of democratic
reform to be effected if the region is really to embrace modern
democratic standards.

Robin Wilson is the co-author of Power to the People? Assessing
Democracy in Northern Ireland, just published by Tasc, a think-
tank committed to progressive social change in Ireland. He is
also a former editor of Fortnight magazine

c 2007 The Irish Times


Viewpoint: SF Must Banish Spectre Of Army Council

[Published: Tuesday 17, April 2007 - 11:27]

Another crucial milestone in Northern Ireland's evolutionary
process was passed with the first formal meeting between Sinn
Fein and the Policing Board.

A body that two years ago condemned the republican movement,
following the Robert McCartney murder and the Northern Bank
robbery, is preparing three places for its representatives as
soon as Stormont reconvenes.

Sinn Fein's entry into government, on the strength of its
electoral support, is one thing, but its membership of the
Policing Board will take its participation in state institutions
to a new level. While its emphasis will be on "holding the PSNI
to account", to placate its own doubters, it is formally
accepting the legitimacy of the police in its dual task of
countering criminality and terrorism against the state.

Since this is a first, in the history of Northern Ireland and
Sinn Fein, there will be much interest in the effect that
republican participation has on policing on the streets. Will
there be a rush of applications from republicans to join the PSNI
and can people living in west Belfast, for instance, expect a
higher level of policing, as a result? People will judge the
success of the new policing regime by results, and Sinn Fein's
new policing spokesman, Alex Maskey, has the necessary experience
to make a positive contribution. Before he goes to work, however,
he and the party leader, Gerry Adams, must realise that they have
some vital issues to resolve. Their first priority must be to
disband the IRA Army Council, representing the blood-stained past
that Sinn Fein has, hopefully, left behind.

Now that the party is fully committed to the democratic process,
and is about to participate in all the Good Friday Agreement
institutions, north and south, there is absolutely no role for
paramilitarism, in any form. All must be equal, taking their
places as unionists, nationalists or others, and even the
possibility that the IRA Army Council could be re-activated at
some future date would haunt the Stormont corridors of power.

Already Gerry Adams has responded to unionist concern by giving
an assurance that there will be a resolution to the problem that
will satisfy even Jim Allister, MEP, who resigned from the DUP
over the Stormont deal. Just as the Sinn Fein leader persuaded
the IRA in 2005 to call off its war and decommission its weapons
allowing arms-length negotiations with DUP to begin - he must
complete the task by getting the Army Council to formally
disband, for good.

Politics, north and south, is entering a new era, where Sinn Fein
hopes to be regarded as a full member of the democracy club,
qualifying for executive places as of right, and devoid of
paramilitary connections. That can only properly begin when the
Army Council ceases to exist.

c Belfast Telegraph


Rossport Five Vindicated By High Court Ruling

Mayo Miscellaneous News Report
D‚ C‚adaoin Aibre n 18, 2007 19:45
By Bill Poster - Dublin Shell To Sea

Pipeline route now defunct, Shell to pay legal costs

Very good news for Shell to Sea from the High Court today.

* The stance of the Rossport Five and Brid McGarry has been
legally vindicated.

* The original pipeline route through Rossport is now defunct.

* Shell will have to pay the ?1 million costs, including those of
the Rossport landowners.

Broadhaven Bay

In a nutshell, Shell was applying to drop the permanent
injunction against several local landowners. They had dropped the
interlocutory (temporary) injunction in September 2005 - they
dropped that in order to get the five men out of jail, as having
the men in jail was doing Shell so much harm. Since then they
have been trying to drop the permanent injunction.

But the local landowners said, you can't just drop the injunction
as though it never meant anything - some of us went to jail as a
result of that injunction. Justice Mary Laffoy's ruling today
agrees with that standpoint and imposes conditions on the
dropping of the injunction, including:

* CAOs (Compulsory Acquisition Orders) be dropped against
landowners along the pipeline route. This means that the original
pipeline route is now formally and legally defunct. The only way
it could go ahead is with the consent of the landowners.

* Shell pick up the legal costs associated with the injunction.
The Rossport Five are still liable for the costs associated with
their contempt of court, but these are marginal. And for Shell to
pursue these would be highly vindictive and an extremely bad PR

The ruling also means that the stance taken by the Rossport Five
and Brid McGarry is now legally vindicated. To say they are
vindicated is no longer an ideological position. It is now a
legal position.

A further blow for Shell is that the company hoped that other
legal matters which were raised during all the proceedings
(arising from counterclaims made against Shell by the landowners)
would be dispensed with. This has NOT happened. Justice Laffoy
ruled that there are issues of "public law" still to be

It can said that Shell abused the injunction process. They took
out an injunction against five people, had them jailed on the
foot of that injunction, and then tried to drop the injunction.

This is good news in lots of ways. Bu one potential negative
outcome to be aware of might be that this will add to the notion,
spun by Shell and government, that the honest decent folks who
went to jail over a pipeline was one issue, which has now been
resolved, and that there are then separate issues being dragged
out by people who just won't let the past be the past and who are
determined to oppose everything about the project (e.g. small
things like a refinery and a gas giveaway) because they are

Related Link:


Easter Rising Subject Of New London Musical

By Bimpe Fatogun

THE battle for an independent Ireland is to be fought once more -
this time on the London stage.

The production, called simply 1916, is at an embryonic stage. It
promises "an incredible musical journey of courage, pride and

The action will be set against "the backdrop of the Easter
Uprising and political upheaval".

According to the producers it will trace "the lives of those on
the front line, the little people in the shadow of major events".

"This story of love and pain can only end in tragedy and
betrayal," they said.

However, the production has some way to go before it makes it to
the West End. An advertisement on a London theatre website is
scheduled "provisionally" for October next year.

It is seeking a director, assistant producers, fundraising, stage
management, designers and production co-ordinators. The project
is asking for anyone with experience on staging or being involved
on a show to help.

The modest production will be hoping it is better received than
the last Irish-themed theatrical offering - the big-budget Pirate

Telling the story of real-life 16th century Irish swashbuckler
Grace O'Malley, the lavish show by Alain Boublil and Claude-
Michel Schonberg, creators of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, was
panned by critics in New York when it opened this month.

That play follows the daughter of a pirate and a contemporary of
Queen Elizabeth I, with the latter persuaded by the charismatic
Irishwoman to stay away from her lands in western Ireland. It was
derided as "a mulligan stew of a musical" but praise was given to
the "sprightly and joyful Irish step dancing" from its producers.

Perhaps the appetite for independence-era Ireland, which
yesterday saw a major auction in Dublin, will save this musical
from a similar fate.

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