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June 02, 2007

SF's 1st Policing Board Meeting Significant

News about Ireland & the Irish

DJ 06/02/07 First Policing Board Meeting A 'Significant Step'
BB 06/01/07 O'Loan: 'I Was Going To Quit'
AP 06/02/07 Interview : Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams
BT 06/01/07 Paisley Defends Himself In Gay Remarks Storm
BB 06/01/07 UDA Told 'Ditch Guns Or No Cash'
IT 06/01/07 NI Schools Face Closure, Committee Told
DN 06/01/07 Vote Management Elects Coughlan & Gallagehr
II 06/01/07 Opin: Enda Kenny And Sinn Fein
BB 06/01/07 What Is On Gerry Adams' iPod?


First Policing Board Meeting A 'Significant Step' - Anderson

Published Date: 01 June 2007
Source: Journal Friday DER Edition
Location: Derry

Sinn Fein Policing Board member Martina Anderson has said that
yesterday's meeting of the new Board was a "significant step"
towards delivering acceptable policing in the North.

The Foyle MLA made the comment after the first meeting of the
newly re-constituted Policing Board in Belfast yesterday. It was
the first time that Sinn Fein representatives have taken their
seats on the Board.

"This is clearly a significant step forward in our effort to
ensure that a fully accountable and acceptable Policing service
is delivered. Our membership of this Board, working with the
community, will be crucially important in delivering this goal.
The Sinn Fein team taking up our places on this Board look
forward to giving a voice to a community which has for
generations experienced all that is bad about failed policing. We
want to be constructive in our work and we want to ensure that
the failures of the past are never allowed to be repeated. ," she

Ms Anderson said that her party wanted to work constructively
with the PSNI but warned that they would also challenge the
police. "Sinn Fein will not be afraid to confront head-on issues
of concern to ourselves and people we represent. The days of PSNI
officers coming to the Policing Board to have decisions rubber
stamped and endorsed are over.

"We will bring genuine accountability to this process. We want to
work constructively with the PSNI in ensuring that good policing
practice becomes the norm. We want the community to have
confidence in the policing service which serves it," she

The new Policing Board member added that one of the challenges
facing the Board is to make itself more relevent to the
community. "Sinn Fein have already conducted a wide-ranging
series of meetings with a variety of groups and individuals. The
Policing Board now needs to undertake an open engagement with as
wide a cross section of society as possible."


O'Loan: 'I Was Going To Quit'

Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan has revealed how she nearly quit
after two of her sons were attacked.

But her family insisted she continue with the often controversial
job, she told RTE Radio on Saturday.

"When your little boy is brought home, someone having stood on
his head - that's very troubling," she said.

Last year, another of Mrs O'Loan's five sons was knocked
unconscious after being hit on the head with an iron bar in north

Mrs O'Loan lost her unborn baby in 1977 after surviving an IRA
bomb attack at the then Ulster Polytechnic in Jordanstown where
she worked as a law lecturer.

"The fact that my child was deprived of life, because somebody
decided that we were all dispensable in some cause, was
enormously hard to deal with," she said.

People said to me that if I reported what the evidence was
showing I would destroy the peace process

Nuala O'Loan

The English-born qualified solicitor drew most controversy in her
role as ombudsman when her investigation into the police handling
of the Omagh bombing found the security forces had two prior

Her findings that top-ranking police had failed the 29 people
killed and their families were sharply rebuked by then Chief
Constable Ronnie Flanagan and unionist politicians.

"People said to me that if I reported what the evidence was
showing I would destroy the peace process and that's some
pressure when you've been ombudsman for a year," she said about
the time.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/06/02 09:57:15 GMT


Interview : Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Take stock, move forward

Following a disappointing general election for Sinn Fein, party
President Gerry Adams speaks to An Phoblacht, giving his views on
the results, the campaign and on the lessons Sinn Fein needs to
learn to get back on track in the 26 Counties.

What is your response to the outcome of the General Election

Obviously like every other republican I am disappointed at the
outcome of the election and the fact that we did not make the
gains, which we had been working towards for several years. I
want to commend all of our candidates and activists who worked so
hard and to thank everyone who came out and voted Sinn Fein. I
also want to commiserate with Se n Crowe and his wife Pamela.

Why do you think we did not make any break through in this

I think that we went into this election in a strong position and
in the first two or three weeks of the campaign hit home with our
focus on the need for strong public services, equality and Irish
unity and on setting out that we were ready to be in a government
that would deliver on these priorities. But ultimately like many
of the other parties we were squeezed when the election became a
referendum on who would be Taoiseach. But in any analysis we need
to look at the full picture and examine the reasons why, even in
these circumstances, some constituencies advanced and came within
a handful of votes of taking a seat and others slipped back. We
also need to analyse our political message and our electoral
strategy. The party leadership began this work at a daylong
meeting in Dublin on Monday.

Do you think there was any decisive moment, which turned the

I don't know if there was any one particular moment either for
Sinn Fein or for the other parties but it is clear that the
campaign changed dramatically in the final days, particularly
when the debate turned to the economy. Brian Cowen had a decisive
influence. My view is that this was always going to be a
difficult election for us. We did go in better prepared than ever
before but it was obvious that the establishment parties and
media were seeking to make us irrelevant when it came to the
formation of the government. We succeeded in making ourselves
relevant until the election came down to a referendum on Bertie
Ahern. It was then a contest between him and Enda Kenny. Everyone
else lost out. But we need to look at all of this and I don't
want to pre-empt any discussions, which will take place within
the party.

What was the outcome of leadership discussions earlier this week?

On Monday the national Officer Board, incoming TDs, some of our
Ministers and representatives from the Assembly and some key
personnel from across the country met to begin the work of
analysing the outcome of the General Election campaign and to
start discussions about what needs to be done between now and the
Local Government and European elections in 2009. Rita O'Hare and
Pat Doherty have been put in charge of producing both a critique
of the Sinn Fein election campaign and a broader analysis of the
General Election and the failure of Sinn Fein to make advances.
The Ard Chomhairle will be meeting on Saturday, 9 June and
internal party meetings will be held in the coming weeks.

It is important that space is allowed for everyone within the
party to participate in this discussion but this period of
internal analysis should not be unnecessarily protracted.

As well as this formal review I would encourage anyone who wishes
to, to write to our National Election department at Ard Oifig.

The focus of these discussions, in learning lessons and how to
correct mistakes, must be to agree on how we advance the cause of
republicanism in the 26 counties. There needs to be a consensus
on how this can be accomplished and a consensus also on the
nature of social and political forces in this state.

We need to do things differently from here in. There is a great
deal of goodwill toward Sinn Fein, not least because of our work
on the peace process and the recent breakthrough with the DUP.
But people respond to the political conditions in which they
live. That's what shapes their view. Our job is to make
republicanism relevant to people in their daily lives, wherever
they live - which means building local and regional programmes
and structures capable of doing this.

The election, despite the disappointing result has brought
thousands of people out to work for Sinn Fein.

We need to build structures to keep those people working with us.
We need to develop republican programmes, which rally the broad
mass of people behind republican goals.

We need a shared analysis as to what happened but we also need to
be looking to the future. What we are trying to do on this island
is huge and unprecedented. We have a historic mission, which goes
well beyond these elections and in order to achieve our objective
of Irish re-unification we need to build the party in two
jurisdictions and increase both our political and our electoral
strength. This will throw up huge challenges, which we need to
deal with.

What happens next?

In analysing the results we need to acknowledge that there were
very high, and in most cases totally unrealistic expectations
about seat gains. On a very good day Sinn Fein could have made
these gains but this would have meant many of our candidates
doubling their votes. In reality, based on figures from the last
elections, in my view we were in line only to make one gain. Of
course on a good day I was hoping for seven or eight seats
overall. In fact we won no extra seats and lost one.

At the same time our vote went up by more than 20,000 votes and
in places such as Donegal, parts of Dublin, Cork and Wexford we
did extraordinarily well and are poised to substantially increase
our representation at the local government elections in 2009. But
none of this will happen by chance. We need to get back to what
we do best - campaigning and organising and building political
strength. You only have to look at the policing debate. We also
should not underestimate the huge effort and energy invested by
the party on this issue. At the same time the campaign around
healthcare which the party led over the last twelve months also
shows what can happen when we work together.

Who do you think will form the next government?

People engage in politics, in elections, for two reasons. In
their own self-interest, which is entirely legitimate, and/or for
a big idea. In this election self interest was served by a desire
for 'stability' and no change and the big idea was the economy.
So I think at this stage it seems likely that Bertie Ahern will
lead the new government - though you can't be sure.

But for me it is not who will form the incoming government but
what are the issues that will top the political agenda. Because
regardless of whether it is Fianna F il or Fine Gael which leads
the government do you think either of them has the capacity or
interest to really address the problems facing people the length
and breadth of this state in terms of healthcare, housing, or
education? Do you think any of them will promote equality or
Irish unity?

Our job, in government or in opposition, is to ensure that these
issues are put on the agenda, our job is to build political and
electoral strength, our job is to show people that genuine
republicanism can provide the core values for a just and fair
society. We also need to prove that we can bring the same skill
and determination to addressing challenges here as we did in
advancing the peace process. The fact is that Sinn Fein is the
engine for change in this country. Without us there will be no
further momentum towards a united Ireland or towards equality and
justice. We have a huge amount of work to do in the time ahead
but we are up to the challenge.


Paisley Defends Himself In Gay Remarks Storm

[Published: Friday 1, June 2007 - 11:45]
By Noel McAdam

Ian Paisley junior today denied breaching the ministerial code
over his remarks on homosexuals - and insisted his personal
opinion had no bearing on his role as a junior minister.

Facing possible Assembly censure for his assertion that gays
"without caring ... harm society", Mr Paisley argued his views
are not discriminatory and he did not advocate bias or

The North Antrim MLA also made clear the Hot Press interview was
arranged through his own private office, rather than the Office
of the First Ministers where he is a Junior Minister along with
Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly.

In his first interview since the Dublin magazine was printed, the
North Antrim MLA said: "I do not hate homosexuals. I do not hate
anyone. I was not brought up to hate anyone."

He told the News Letter: "I was asked for my view. I do not think
my answer was outrageous or offensive. If you look in the Oxford
English Dictionary for the definition of repulsion, it is
disgust. That is my personal opinion ... and I was honest."

A motion of censure against the Junior Minister has been tabled
but it is not clear whether the issue will be heard in the
Assembly next week.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said there was a
"problem" because the Office of the First and Deputy First
Ministers (OFMDFM) has a duty to uphold rights enshrined in

"I certainly think that we have a problem insofar as a junior
minister in that department has expressed views which are a total
contradiction of everything that the OFMDFM is charged to do in
terms of protecting the rights of all sorts of people within our
society, including minorities," he added.

But Mr Paisley said today: "We have reached a situation where
political correctness has gone mad.

"Nowhere in what I said did I breach the Ministerial Code and nor
do I believe my comments impact in the slightest possible way on
any piece of legislation or any work my department does.

"Neither do they have a bearing on my ability to do my job as a
minister of the Crown. You can separate personal opinion from
legal obligation."

The North Antrim MLA stressed the Hot Press interview, conducted
a few weeks ago at Stormont, had been in a personal capacity -
and he had been pressed on the issue of homosexuality.

c Belfast Telegraph


UDA Told 'Ditch Guns Or No Cash'

The Ulster Defence Association has been warned it must
decommission its arsenal if it wants its political wing to keep
government funding.

Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie's department is
responsible for a policy approved by her direct rule predecessor.

It gives almost œ500,000 a year to the Ulster Political Research

The minister said she was alarmed by UDA leaders saying that
giving up guns was "not on their radar screen".


"If this funding is to continue, then the UDA have to
decommission their arsenal," she said on BBC Radio Ulster's
Inside Politics programme.

"An intergral part of the transformation initiative is

"I have already communicated that message to them and I, as the
minister, demand that they do that. The public demands that they
do that."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/06/02 08:41:08 GMT


NI Schools Face Closure, Committee Told

Up to 14 schools are facing closure or delay to critical upgrade
plans because of a shake-up in the Northern Ireland education
administration, an Assembly committee was told today.

The schools are in danger because declining pupil numbers are
jeopardising their bids for renovation or new buildings.

Area plans are being introduced by the Department of Education in
an effort to streamline provision, but MLA Jeffrey Donaldson,
said the uncertainty was affecting parents' choices.

"My concern at the moment, because there's a lack of clarity in
the process, it is taking on a life of its own on the ground
without any form of structure and so on and . . . that worries me
greatly," he told a meeting of the Assembly's education

A total of eight schools have had capital projects rebuffed
because of falling numbers, while another six have been held up
because of question marks over the "robustness" of their schemes
amid the reorganisation.

A report last December recommended area plans to run alongside
the broader Review of Public Administration creating a
centralised education authority and districts linking in to the
number of local councils.

But committee chairman Sammy Wilson of the DUP dubbed the new
arrangements "byzantine" and criticised the multi-tiered system
of oversight.

Department of Education permanent secretary Will Haire said the
minister, Caitriona Ruane of Sinn Fein, could not come to a snap
decision on such a far-reaching proposal.


Precision Vote Management Takes Coughlan And Gallagehr To
Leinster House

PRECISION Fine Fail vote management and Fine Gael's single
candidate strategy were being cited for Sinn Fein's Pearse
Doherty's failure to unseat any of the three sitting TDs in
Donegal South West.

Doherty's poor showing in the Derrybeg and Bunbeg areas against
that of Dinny McGinley may have also been a factor.

In a pre-election poll in the Donegal Democrat, Doherty had been
widely tipped to take the third seat while it was suggested that
Pat the Cope Gallagher would be left struggling.

The poll seemed to be nothing more than a blessing in disguise
for the Cope who said he was "quietly confident" all along that
he would be re-elected.

As predicted, Mary Coughlan topped the poll taking more than
6,800 votes from her stronghold in the Donegal Electoral Area
(DEA) which stretches from Bundoran to Glencolmcille. It was in
the DEA where Dinny McGinley gained the biggest advantage over
Pearse Doherty. There, McGinley picked up almost 1,200 more votes
than the young Sinn Fein councillor, according to the tally men's
figures. Pat the Cope Gallagher received only 939 in this area.

In the first count, McGinley had 600 more first preference votes
than Doherty. And by the third and final county McGinley polled
10,281 while Doherty missed out with 9,263.

From the initial tally there were only 20 votes between Deputy
McGinley and Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty in the Glenties electoral
area with Doherty on 3,386 and McGinley on 3,366. Pat the Cope
Gallagher took the largest vote in this area with 5,515.

However, analysis of a number of the boxes in the Derrybeg and
Bunbeg areas showed McGinley taking almost twice the vote that
Doherty received.

An example of this was, two of the Derrybeg boxes where McGinley
took 155 and 140 votes while Doherty got 70 and 74 in the same

While the counts continued it was predicted that McGinley would
take the third seat because Doherty failed to get as large a vote
in his home area of Gweedore as expected.

In the Finn Valley area the four main contenders, Coughlan,
Gallagher, Doherty and McGinley all polled in the region of 2,000

The tally showed the Cope took 2,897, Pearse Doherty was next
highest on 2,462. Mary Coughlan got 2,457 while Dinny McGinley
took 2,000.

McGinley's director of elections, Terence Slowey, was initially
selected as the FG candidate in South West. However, when it
became apparent that Slowey did not have the "pulling power"
required, he made the painful decision to step aside to make way
for McGinley.

"When we looked at the two candidate strategy with Dinny coming
on the ticket with me, we realised that this would fragment the
vote in Donegal South West," explained a delighted Slowey.

"I had no problem with letting Dinny run alone as long as it
meant that Fine Gael would retain the seat and we done just

He added that they were aware of the Doherty threat from their
outset and planned to "match the Sinn Fein vote from Gweedore

Meanwhile, Pearse Doherty was quick to play down talk that he
lost the race for the third seat in his homeland of Gweedore.

"At the end of the day we increased our vote massively on 2002,
however, there are no prizes for the most gains," said an upbeat

"Fine Fail and Fine Gael just needed to maintain what they
already had. We did not lose as such, we were just beaten by the
other parties," he concluded.

Fianna Fail had their vote management down to a tee as the duo
successfully fought their fourth election together. Constituents
were asked to give Mary their number one and Pat a number two
preference in their respective strongholds. In the end, it was
Mary's transfers that pulled Pat over the finish line in second


Opin: Enda Kenny And Sinn Fein

Friday June 01 2007

Enda Kenny's only realistic prospect of forming a Government with
77 committed TDs of Labour Greens and his own Party, is with Sinn
Fein and Independents Michael Lowry, Tony Gregory, Finian McGrath
and Jackie Healy Rae.

It appears Mr Kenny is deluding himself, as few believe he has
any possibility of forming the new Government without Sinn Fein
who represent 6.9pc of the electorate.

In a similar situation in 1948, Fine Gael included Clann na
Poblachta whose leader was Sean McBride a former Chief of Staff
of the IRA in an inter party Government that proved effective and
operated for three years.

The real challenge for Mr Kenny may come later if he misses the
reasonable opportunity that is available to him to replace the
current Government.

Mr Kenny is also aware that within the Labour Party in prominent
positions are a few people who were activists in a repuplican
organisation that did not decommission their weapons.

I believe it is unwise of Mr Kenny to deprive his party of a
prospect of power by refusing to treat with Sinn Fein.


* I have really enjoyed the recent election and the interesting
and detailed coverage by all sections of the media. However there
is one point of interest that I feel has been ignored. All the
political parties claimed credit for their involvement in
bringing a power sharing Government to Northern Ireland.

Part of this process involved convincing both the UUP and later
the DUP that Sinn Fein had become a political party worthy of a
partnership in a Government.

Ironically, when faced with an option of including Sinn Fein in
talks of forming any coalition Government in the Republic of
Ireland, all political parties completey ruled this option out.
Is this not a case of blatant double standards?



What Is On Gerry Adams' iPod?

Johnny Caldwell
BBC News website

Sinn Fein President and now apparent music fan Gerry Adams has
been talking about what's on his iPod.

In addition to revealing his eclectic taste, Mr Adams also told
Hot Press magazine that he doesn't own a credit card.

Speaking about what he listens to on the now ubiquitous mobile
electronic device, he said: "I have everything on it (his iPod)
to tell you the truth.

"Everything from Dylan to Andrea Bocelli, to the Four Tenors, to
some light classical, to Ry Cooder, to Bruce Springsteen, Frances
Black, Christy Moore, Mary Black, U2 - a whole range of stuff."

Mr Adams was also asked if he was able to upload songs onto his
iPod himself?

"I haven't been able to do it myself. I got a guy to, no, I tell
a lie, I downloaded a lot of my CD collection onto my computer,
and then I put it onto the iPod," he said.

I get one of my friends that does have a credit card to do it
for me

Gerry Adams

"I have not been able to change it since, so my first sort of
batch of 600 songs has remained static."

Although getting to grips with technology, musically speaking,
the same can't be said about Mr Adams and electronic banking.

He said: "I don't have a credit card, so I have a few times
downloaded on iTunes to go to buy a CD but then run into this

"But now what I do is, I get one of my friends that does have a
credit card to do it for me."

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/06/01 08:07:52 GMT

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