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May 20, 2007

UDA: We Won't Be Moved

News about Ireland & the Irish

SL 05/20/07 UDA: 'We Won't Be Moved'
BN 05/20/07 SF Defends Criticism Of Policing
IT 05/19/07 SF Wants M3 Diverted Away For Tara
BT 05/20/07 FF, FG In 'Phoney War' By Ruling Out Coalition – SF
EX 05/20/07 Expert Predicts Election Meltdown For PDs
SL 05/20/07 McCord: They Said I Didn't Know Enough About Troubles
IT 05/20/07 Musical To Capture Joyce's Love Life


UDA: 'We Won't Be Moved'

[Published: Sunday 20, May 2007 - 10:05]
By Alan Murray

The UDA's ousted south east Antrim 'brigade' has spoken of its
intentions to disband within two years.

In an exclusive interview with Sunday Life, leaders of the
breakaway group said they would continue to do things "their

"We're not answerable to Jackie McDonald or Frankie Gallagher,
we're answerable to the UFF and the UDA in south east Antrim and
we will sit our ground."

The five men claimed morale was higher than ever and there were
no dissenting voices.

The 'brigade staff' group said its 3,000 members weren't seeking
a confrontation with the mainstream UDA and said it was on course
to wind up in two years.

They hoped the mainstream UDA would follow a similar course.

Said one: "Around 20 men in the brigade have received threats
telling them to leave the country, but nobody is leaving. A
couple of weeks ago there were 1,700 men in Rathcoole because it
was rumoured there would be a takeover by the 'inner council'.

"We don't want to put people on the streets and we won't be
putting people on the streets. We are doing things our way
through the Beyond Conflict proposals. UDA men here don't want to
fight with UDA men from other areas - so don't come in."

And referring to the recent handshake between Jackie McDonald and
IRA man Sean 'Spike' Murray, the group said it had never been
happy with the relationship McDonald had struck up with Martin
McAleese, the Irish President's husband.

"We wouldn't be happy with their representatives shaking hands
with a former leader of the IRA's Northern Command, but that is
their business," said one.

"The picture of Jackie McDonald with Spike Murray makes us more
determined to stay separate from the inner council."

The leadership denied one of its members, Harry Speers, had
assaulted another UDA prisoner on the instructions of Andre
Shoukri, claiming it was another example of "black propaganda"
from the 'inner council'.

"Tommy Kirkham went into the prison to meet Michael Stone at
Stone's request, not Andre Shoukri. Harry Speers had a fight with
another UDA prisoner when one word led to another, but he was not
and is not acting for any other person in the jail. Andre Shoukri
was in no way involved in this argument."

They said that a representative would continue to liaise with the
Independent Monitoring Commission.

Asked if the meetings with the IMC would lead to decommissioning,
one man said: "It will have to be discussed over the next two
years. The UDA has to go away as a military organisation and that
means the 'inner council' has to go away and our brigade has to
go away as a military entity.

"We want to move to an old boys' association or old comrades'
association, but at the minute that's not legally possible and
the government needs to make that possible by changing the law.

"South East Antrim is peaceful today and that is the way we want
it to stay. We don't want any confrontation and we see no reason
why there should be confrontation with any other UDA men.

"One or two people connected with the Inner Council want to bring
about confrontation we think for some financial reasons linked to
personal gain.

"They can take the government money, but that's not what we are
after ourselves. We want to do this anyway for the community, not
because we want highly paid government jobs like some other
people who stole money from the organisation. If that is who is
calling the shots for the inner council, then we won't have any
contact with them."

c Belfast Telegraph


SF Defends Criticism Of Policing

20/05/2007 - 13:23:08

Sinn Fein has today hit back at unionists who claimed they have
reneged on their commitment to policing.

Policing spokesman Alex Maskey said it was the party's duty to
hold police to account after a row erupted over their criticism
of the arrest of a senior republican in Co Tyrone.

MEP Jim Allister accused the party of going back to their old
opposition to the rule of law after Mr Maskey lambasted the
"heavy-handed" approach of police.

They had arrested Brian Arthurs during an organised crime
operation at his Dungannon home on Friday.

However, Mr Maskey today said Sinn Fein backed accountable and
acceptable policing.

"What we do not support is bad, repressive or political
policing," he said.

"When the conduct of the PSNI drops below the standard we expect
then it is our duty as public representatives to call the
policing service to account."

Detectives are still questioning Mr Arthurs and two others
arrested yesterday in the Armagh area.

They have said their action on Friday was proportionate and
necessary but Sinn Fein claimed six police vehicles arrived at
the house in an over-zealous display of force.

Northern Assembly member Mr Maskey (Sinn Fein, South Belfast)
added: "Sinn Fein are not joining policing structures to rubber-
stamp the decisions taken by the PSNI leadership.

"Our job is to provide a robust and effective accountability

"The operation in Dungannon on Friday evening was heavy-handed
and unacceptable.

"Sinn Fein will not shy away from speaking out when we feel that
it is necessary."

Mr Allister claimed the intervention posed a challenge to Ian
Paisley's DUP, which has accepted Sinn Fein's commitment to
policing and entered devolved government with them.

He left the party earlier this year after they agreed to power-
sharing at Stormont.

Republicans have nominated members of the Northern Ireland
Policing Board and will also sit on local District Policing
Partnerships which scrutinise officers.


SF Wants M3 Diverted Away For Tara

Sinn Fein said today it would seek to have the controversial
section of the M3 motorway diverted away from the Hill of Tara if
in government.

Outlining the party's environmental policies, Dublin TD Aengus O
Snodaigh said: "The current Government's track record on
protecting Ireland's archaeological and architectural heritage is

Mr O Snodaigh said: "Under the so-called Environment Minister
Dick Roche, they have pursued a relentless, no-holds barred
campaign of destruction, as they seek to plough roads and
motorways through historic sites, allow the sale of priceless
historic artefacts, which are rightly the property of the Irish
nation, and neglect and let fall into ruin key historic buildings
which should be promoted as major tourist attractions."

He said that while Sinn Fein fully supports the upgrading of the
country's road this does not have to be done at the cost of the
wholesale destruction of the environment or precious heritage.

Environment spokesman Arthur Morgan said the party would pursue a
legal and diplomatic campaign to close the Sellafield nuclear
plant in Britain if in government.

Mr Morgan said he believes higher cancer rates in Louth are
directly linked to the nuclear reprocessing plant.

Sinn Fein had consistently said that the threat of a disaster
resulting from a fire at Sellafield was a real and immediate
danger and that the next Irish government must make it clear to
the British Government that nuclear reprocessing at Sellafield
has to cease, he said.

He also said Sinn Fein would prioritise the resolution of the
current water contamination crises on an urgent basis and
adequately fund an All-Ireland Safe Water Strategy to bring all
water supplies up to the highest EU standard.


FF, FG In 'Phoney War' By Ruling Out Coalition - SF

[Published: Sunday 20, May 2007 - 13:00]

Sinn Fein has said that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are engaging in
a 'phoney war' by ruling out a coalition with it.

MEP Mary-Lou McDonald said today's opinion polls - which show
Sinn Fein has more support than the Greens and the PDs - is a
good indication that the party will be in Government.

Ms McDonald said whoever is in power after polling day will still
have to work with Sinn Fein Ministers in the North.

"Can I just remind you that whoever is in Government in the South
after this election will be working with Sinn Fein - with five
Sinn Fein Ministers through the all-Ireland Ministerial Council.
In a way, it's almost a phoney war."

c Belfast Telegraph


Expert Predicts Election Meltdown For PDs

The Progressive Democrats will plummet to just two Dail seats -
their lowest ever tally, an election expert predicted today.

Sean Donnelly, who has compiled statistics on four previous
general elections and runs the site,
also forecast that Fine Gael, Labour and the Greens will not have
the numbers for an overall majority.

After close study of opinion polls and 41 constituencies the
pundit also predicted that Fianna Fail will lose nine seats while
Sinn Fein and the Greens will each gain new TDs.

"Mary Harney will be returned for the PDs with either Michael
McDowell or Liz O'Donnell," said Mr Donnelly.

The prediction means that outgoing TDs of the junior Government
partner - Noel Grealish, Mae Sexton, Fiona O'Malley, Tim O'Malley
and Tom Parlon will all be rejected by voters.

The pundit's state of the parties for the 30th Dail is:

Fianna Fail:------70 (- 9);
Fine Gael:--------44 (+12);
Labour:-----------24 (+ 3);
Greens:------------9 (+ 3);
Sinn Fein:---------8 (+ 3);
PDs:---------------2 (- 6);
Socialist Party:---2 (+ 1);
Independents:------9 (- 5).

"With a resurgent Fine Gael and with the Greens and Sinn Fein
pushing for votes, I just can't see where the PDs will get their
seats except for Harney and either McDowell or O'Donnell," said

"However, nothing is certain until people make their tick in the
ballot box on Thursday. With such a tight contest, a lot of last-
minute decisions will be made, I think."

The PDs won an incredible 14 seats in their first general
election in 1987 but this fluctuated to 6 in 1989, ten in 1992,
four in 1997 and eight in 2002.

According to Mr Donnelly's forecasts, the possible coalition of
Fine Gael, Labour and the Greens will have 77 seats between them,
six short of a Dail majority of 83.

Reacting to the forecast, PD leader Mr McDowell said "The pundits
always get it wrong when it comes to the PDs. And they're getting
it wrong this time as well."

Experts predicted two seats in 2002 but the party doubled its TDs
from four to eight, he explained.

Mr McDowell said that today's opinion polls showing a drop in
support for Fine Gael and Labour augured well for the PDs.

"People are beginning to see the flaws in the alternative
coalition, whether it's the bogus contract for the people or the
dangers of a lurch to the left.

"We're confident that by polling day, people will be voting in
large numbers for the PDs so that the achievements of the last
two administrations will not be thrown away."


McCord: They Said I Didn't Know Enough About The Troubles

[Published: Sunday 20, May 2007 - 13:05]
By Stephen Breen

CAMPAIGNING dad Raymond McCord last night vowed to launch a
judicial review over his rejection for the post of Victims'

The north Belfast man - whose son was butchered by UVF informers
in 1997 - has confirmed his barrister has initiated legal
proceedings over the controversial decision.

Mr McCord, who was rejected for the post partly because he
"didn't know enough" about the Troubles, has also called on
Stormont's new First and Deputy First Ministers, Ian Paisley and
Martin McGuinness, to back his campaign.

The crusading father, who has vowed to highlight the NIO's
controversial decision with senior US politicians, hit out at the
way he has been treated.

Said Mr McCord: "I was so angry at the way I have been treated
over this post that the only option left available to me was
legal action.

"I have already been speaking to my legal people and we are now
seeking a judicial review over this whole farce.

"I would hope that no appointment is made to this position until
the outcome of the judicial review has been completed. All I want
is to be treated fairly."

He added: "They said I didn't know enough about the Troubles, but
my son was murdered and for the last nine years my family has
been subjected to intimidation and death-threats.

"I am not saying I was the right person for the job, but surely
their suggestion that I didn't know how to deal with the media is

"It is me who has kept my son's murder in the public domain for
almost a decade. It's now up to the courts to decide this case."

Mr McCord, who raised his case with the DUP's Ian Paisley jnr and
Nigel Dodds last week, urged new MLAs not to forget about people
who lost their lives during the conflict.

He said: "The politicians have to remember that some of the
language they used during the past got people killed. I don't
think there is any harm in our new politicians apologising for
the sectarian rhetoric they once used. "

He also confirmed he is to visit Washington again later this year
to update politicians on Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan's report
into his son's killing.

A total of 46 people applied for the Victims' Commissioner job
when it was advertised in January.

Thirteen people have been interviewed, but no appointment has
been announced.

c Belfast Telegraph


Musical To Capture Joyce's Love Life

Sun, May 20, 2007

James Joyce's love life will be celebrated in music and song in a
production to be staged in Dublin.

Highlights of a hit musical heading for the West End will be
performed for one night only as part of the Bloomsday

Himself and Norareveals to the world stage Joyce's words and how
Nora Barnacle, a young chambermaid from Galway, inspired him as
his portable Ireland throughout all their tumultuous travels.

Composer and lyricist Jonathan Brielle will give the Irish
audience a sneak preview of the show on Saturday, June 16th at
the James Joyce Centre, on Dublin's North Great George's Street.

He wants Joyce fans to give it their seal of approval before he
takes it around the world. "It is so important to me to bring
Joyce home," said the composer from his New Jersey studio and
home. "I have been offered a three-month run in the West End, but
for now I want to focus on bringing it back to Dublin.

"I have this instinct to launch it here. I would feel so
wonderful about it." Jonathan's own love affair with Joyce
started 11 years ago when a friend showed him a play she wrote
about the famous writer that she wanted turned into a musical.

He said he became fascinated with Joyce, reading all his works.
Himself and Nora premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in California
in 2005, getting rave reviews from fans.

"The play itself is about the man James and the woman Nora," said
Jonathan, who has penned a number of theatre pieces stateside.
"She was his rock and their love enabled him to write about love.
"The people who saw this in the Globe wanted to know more about
Joyce and his work.

"It was right for the American audience, but it is really
important to me to make sure I open it up to Irish collaboration.
"This will be a composers presentation, featuring around 80% of
the show with myself and two excellent Broadway actors. "But if
we were to do it right in Dublin and present the whole musical,
it would have to be with an Irish cast."

The production will be part of Bloomsday 2007, which features a
full week of activities, music, films, lectures, walking tours,
and readings to the day - June 16th, 1904 - on which James Joyce
set his masterpiece Ulysses. The celebration - now in its 103rd
year - has

c 2007

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