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August 15, 2007

Paisley To Block Irish Language Act

News about Ireland and the Irish

IT 08/15/07 Paisley To Block Irish Language Act
SF 08/15/07 Paisley' Views At Odds With New Political Arena
SM 08/12/07 Diplock Courts Ended July 31st
UT 08/15/07 Government Marks Its First 100 Days In Office
DJ 08/15/07 Half Paisley's Posse Approve Of McGuinness
BT 08/15/07 Football Row 'Shows Need To Tackle Yobs'
BT 08/15/07 Control US Marine Visits Call After City Sex Assaults
IC 08/14/07 Thousands Unite In Call For Truth
EE 08/05/07 Victims Relatives Vilified: Rosemary Nelson's Brother
TO 08/14/07 KPFT’s Close Call: Drive-by Shooting
TO 08/05/07 Opin: Sinn Fein Has Hijacked The History Of Ulster
TA 08/15/07 Diggers' Bloody Role In Irish Uprising
BN 08/14/07 Danes Say Sorry For 9th Century Viking Invasion
LS 08/14/07 Irish Spirits Stirred By The Lonely Stag
IW 08/05/07 Film: “The Lonely Stag” Starring Role
BB 08/08/07 Pensioner Rescued From Mountain
BB 08/08/07 Teams Rescue Man From Cliff Face
SL 08/12/07 Leonardo The Provo!

(Poster’s Note: I brought back an IRISH VIRUS with me. I am
getting over it now and hope to get to regularly posting news. Jay)


Paisley To Block Irish Language Act

Wed, Aug 15, 2007

The Democratic Unionist Party is to block any bid to have an
Irish Language Act passed in the Northern Ireland Assembly,
according to a letter signed by party leader the Rev Ian Paisley.

In the two-page letter, written to mark the first 100 days of the
Stormont executive, the First Minister assures party members that
the DUP will oppose any legislation that was would enshrine the
rights of Irish language speakers.

A language act is a key demand from Irish language advocates who
say it deserves the protection granted to other minority
languages across Europe.

"Under DUP stewardship, unionists are now confident that the
Union is secure," the North Antrim MP said.

"We have transformed the political landscape despite many of our
opponents saying it was impossible. Some even attempt to rubbish
the significant gains we have made but we have defeated terrorist
objectives and safeguarded unionist interests."

He added: "The DUP will not support the creation of any such

"This was a proposal made by the two Governments (British and
Irish at the St Andrews talks) and was never agreed to or even
discussed with us.

"As a result of the changes we secured on the decision-making
process in the Assembly, the Irish language legislation would
require unionist support in the Executive."

Earlier this year, the Council of Europe called on the British
government to develop a comprehensive Irish language policy,
including measures to meet the increasing demand for Irish-medium
education "as a matter of priority".

The Strasbourg-based Committee of Ministers backed the findings
of an 86-page report from a Council of Europe watchdog monitoring
the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which
came into force in the UK in July 2001.

The Charter commits the British government to safeguard and
promote Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish, Scots, Ulster-Scots,
Cornish and Manx Gaelic.

In the North, where demands for an Irish Language Act similar to
the south's Official Languages Act, the Democratic Unionist Party
has branded the proposal for an language act as divisive and
discriminatory and "sponsored by Sinn Féin".

© 2007


Paisley' Views On Irish Language Legislation At Odds With New
Political Arena

Published: 15 August, 2007

She said, "The revival of the Irish language has been a cultural
success story. More and more people are using Irish. Young
children in particular are being educated in increasing numbers
through the medium of Irish and it is their future and their
rights that must be secured through legislation.

"Ian Paisley, as First Minister should recognise the obligation
to make provisions for those Irish speaking children and all
Irish speakers in general. I urge my colleagues in the Assembly
to act without delay to copper fasten and implement the agreement
made at St Andrews.

"It is essential that Irish speakers are granted the following
basic demands That rights are at the heart of the legislation

That adequate resources are provided to implement the Act

That the proposed commissioner shall have the power, staff and
resources to oversee the Act.

Ms Ní Chuilín continued, "The Irish language is not the property
of one section of our people. It belongs to everyone. It
threatens no-one.

"It provides Sinn Féin and the DUP with a unique opportunity to
move forward. It provides Ian Paisley with a unique opportunity
to move forward. There is an opportunity now the Irish language
and give ownership to all our people - Unionist, Republican,
dissenter and the 'new Irish'.

"Sinn Féin have met with Minister Poots recently to discuss Irish
Language legislation and for Ian Paisley to claim the campaign is
divisive and discriminatory is wrong. The reality is that it is
the resistance to legislation on rights for the Irish speaking



No More Sitting As Both Judge And Jury In NI

Graham Greig

THE Diplock Courts in Northern Ireland slipped largely unremarked
into history at midnight on 31 July. Established on the
recommendation of Lord Kenneth Diplock in 1973, at the height of
the Northern Ireland Troubles, the courts allowed a judge sitting
alone to preside over the conduct of serious criminal cases in
which a terrorist connection was suspected.

The many critics of the Diplock Courts regarded their creation as
an affront to the administration of justice by dispensing with
the participation of a jury. They queried how a judge could
fulfil the traditional role of referee as prosecution and
defence, present their evidence and authority on matters of law
but simultaneously become arbiter of the facts of a case.
Nationalists in particular claimed the Diplock Courts were a
partisan arm of the British state.

Supporters of the Diplock Courts regarded them as an important
demonstration that the prosecution of crime could continue
despite intimidation of jurors and witnesses and the reluctance
of some jurors to convict members of their own community
regardless of the evidence presented before them.

At the peak of their workload in the 1980s more than 350 cases a
year were being prosecuted in Diplock Courts. The crimes ranged
from the most notorious of the atrocities committed by republican
or loyalist terrorists to more mundane matters in which a known
paramilitary was accused of involvement. The list of "scheduled
offences" was set out in successive Northern Ireland (Emergency
Provisions) Acts.

Despite the persistent allegation that the Diplock Courts
represented a form of judicial oppression Professor John Jackson
of Queens University, Belfast, points out that even at the
feverish height of the Troubles Diplock Courts were acquitting
40-45 per cent of defendants before them.

"That was quite a high proportion of cases but is actually a
lower percentage than is generally found in jury trials here.
Northern Irish juries do tend to acquit!"

Jackson says the Diplock Courts appeared to become part of the
scenery relatively quickly. "The real hostility was focused on
many of the unsatisfactory sources of evidence that were
presented in trials of the time. In the 1970s they were seen as
rubber-stamping confessions that were highly dubious. Then there
was the 'supergrass' era which equally discredited a succession
of trials though it wasn't necessarily the Diplock Courts
themselves that were the problem."

The number of Diplock Courts began to fall in the mid 1990s and
the downward drift of their caseload kept pace with the slow
march of the peace process over the last ten years. The average
annual roll of Diplock courts has dropped to 64 since 2001.

Despite the fact Diplock Courts are still the best known feature
of the Northern Ireland judicial landscape in recent years, they
have been processing fewer than 5 per cent of Northern Irish
criminal prosecutions.

Jackson says there has been little excitement about the passing
of the Diplock Courts even in Northern Ireland. "In many ways
that's a good sign - an indication that the courts are no longer
worth rhetoric. Of course, the peace process has been part of it
but I think it's also worth noting the improvement in the quality
of evidence. The recent Omagh Bomb trial, for example, was about
forensics in the same way as any murder trial these days anywhere
in the UK."

The Northern Ireland Office says it will not be launching any
public awareness campaign about the role and practices of juries
because juries have been handling the vast majority of cases for
many years.

The Northern Ireland Minister, Paul Goggins, made it clear in
bidding farewell to the Diplock Courts that the presumption in
future will be in favour of normal jury trials. "A number of
commentators, including Lord Carlisle, the independent reviewer
of terrorism legislation, have indicated that the system of
judge-alone trials has in fact been a fair system, a system in
which high standards of justice has been maintained. and where
frankly there has been no disadvantage to defendants ... I think
we have struck the right balance here and there is a democratic
check because parliament will have to renew these powers every
two years ."

So in the end was Lord Diplock's legacy good for justice and good
for Northern Ireland? It may be that the answer changed by the
decade. Jackson says: "At a general level the Diplock Courts
probably worked. At least they did no harm. In the 1970s there
was evidence of intimidation of witnesses, though probably less
intimidation of jurors than was suspected. But there was no
getting away from the fact that Northern Ireland is a small
community and it was easy to find out who was on a jury. I think
it is probably relevant that there have been few cases reviewed
by the Criminal Cases Review Commission that were referred for

The new Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 came
into force on 1 August and retains a provision for the Northern
Ireland director of public prosecutions (DPP) to issue a
certificate in a case where it is felt a non-jury trial is
appropriate. Civil liberties groups in Northern Ireland have
expressed traditional concerns about retaining the option of non-
jury trials at all.

Jackson says: "If the option exists there is still the potential
that it will be overused. The discretion is with the DPP and
there is no judicial review of his decisions. On the other hand,
Dublin decided to retain the Special Criminal Courts in the
south. That's another forum with the judge sitting alone, though
concern there has been on organised crime cases. And there's a
tide in the current UK debate about terrorism and financial crime
where the role of juries is being questioned."


Government Marks Its First 100 Days In Office

Timeline: Northern Ireland's power-sharing government today
marked its first 100 days in office.

It has been a remarkable honeymoon period for First Minister the
Rev Ian Paisley, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and
their team of 10 ministers and two junior ministers.

Here are some of the key events since power returned to Stormont:

MAY 8: Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern
witness the appointment in the Northern Ireland Assembly of the
new power-sharing executive made up of Democratic Unionist, Sinn
Fein, Ulster Unionist and nationalist SDLP ministers.

MAY 9: In their first official engagement as First and Deputy
First Minister Dr Paisley and Mr McGuinness host a reception at
Stormont for ethnic minority communities.

MAY 10: Dr Paisley, Mr McGuinness, finance minister Peter
Robinson and regional development minister Conor Murphy announce
the deferral of controversial water charges for a year and plans
for a review of water reforms after the first cabinet meeting.

MAY 11: First Minister Ian Paisley meets Bertie Ahern during a
successful visit to the site of the Battle of the Boyne,
presenting the Taoiseach with a musket.

MAY 30: Martin McGuinness takes Ian Paisley Junior to task,
urging him to apologise over comments criticising homosexuals in
a magazine interview.

JUNE 7: Conor Murphy clashes with Assembly regional development
committee chairman Fred Cobain after the Ulster Unionist calls on
the minister to quit over his handling of the water reform

JUNE 14: Finance minister Peter Robinson and environment minister
Arlene Foster announce plans to release £5 million in emergency
funding for victims of flash floods in Belfast and Omagh.

JUNE 18: In an address to Assembly members at Stormont, Scottish
First Minister Alex Salmond salutes the real and inspirational
leadership shown by politicians in the province.

JUNE 22: Economy minister Nigel Dodds fires a warning shot to
party and cabinet colleague, sports minister Edwin Poots, that
unionists will not support a proposed £55 million multi-sports
stadium at the site of the Maze Prison if it means the H-Blocks
being retained as a shrine to terrorism.

JUNE 27: Deputy First Minister McGuinness and Peter Robinson head
a team of power-sharing ministers on a charm offensive in the US,
coinciding with Northern Ireland`s participation in the
prestigious Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington.

JULY 16: In his first visit to Stormont as Prime Minister, Gordon
Brown joins Dr Paisley, Mr McGuinness, Bertie Ahern, Alex
Salmond, Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan and the leaders of
the Guernsey, Jersey and Manx Governments for a British Irish
Council summit.

JULY 17: The new power-sharing executive meets the entire Irish
Government at a North South Ministerial Council summit in Armagh.

AUGUST 8: Northern Ireland is the only UK region allowed by the
EU to export its meat and dairy goods after the Surrey foot and
mouth outbreak following swift action taken by Sinn Fein
agriculture minister Michelle Gildernew and her colleagues in
conjunction with the Irish Government to keep out the disease.

AUGUST 10: After riots in Carrickfergus and Bangor linked to the
Ulster Defence Association, SDLP social development minister
Margaret Ritchie gives the loyalist terror group a 60-day
ultimatum to disarm or risk losing vital community development
funding from her department.


Half Paisley's Posse Approve Of McGuinness

By Staff reporter

They were once sworn enemies but now nearly half of Ian Paisley's
supporters believe Martin McGuinness is doing a good job
governing the North, a new poll has revealed.

And that level approval is not just one way, with the DUP
faithful’s vote of confidence in the self-confessed former IRA
chief being matched by republican praise for Mr Paisley`s
performance at the head of the power-sharing administration.

The Ipsos MORI survey found that Mr McGuinness had a 48 per cent
approval rating from DUP voters for his work as Deputy First
Minister at Stormont.

Such an endorsement in a man who has confirmed he was once the
IRA`s second in command in his native Derry, would have been
unthinkable just a few months ago.

But Mr Paisley scored even higher among those on the other side
of the political divide.

A total of 54 per cent of Sinn Fein supporters said they believe
the firebrand preacher and DUP chief has done a good job since
being installed as First Minister.

The findings of the poll further cement the success of the
coalition Executive formed in May.

The survey also showed Mr McGuinness has slightly more backing
from among his own supporters (69 per cent) than the 63 per cent
of DUP voters endorsing Mr Paisley`s performance.

Generally, two thirds (67 per cent) of those questioned across
the North last month believed the former political foes were
working well together so far.

That’s nearly three times as many as the 24 per cent who
predicted the pair could make a success of sharing power in a
similar poll carried out late last year.

Even when split by religion the DUP and Sinn Fein chiefs get
strong ratings from the other side.

A total of 54 per cent of Protestants felt Mr Paisley has done
well so far with more than half of Catholics surveyed giving
their seal of approval.

A total of 55 per cent of Catholics said Mr McGuinness had
performed well, 44 per cent of Protestants said he was doing a
good job.

Sixty per cent of Protestants believed the DUP was right to go
into government with Sinn Fein, compared to 76 per cent of

But many in the DUP still have reservations about sharing power
with Sinn Fein.

Although 58 per cent of the party`s supporters were in favour,
another 27% said it should not have happened. So-called “don`t
knows” made up the rest.

By contrast, 80 per cent of Sinn Fein voters endorsed the power-
sharing move.


Football Row 'Shows Need To Tackle Yobs'

[Published: Wednesday 15, August 2007 - 11:47]

By Chris Thornton

The row over sectarian chanting at an Irish League football match
has reignited calls for anti-hooligan laws - despite a previous
Government hint that there is "no demonstrable need" for new

After fans in Ballymena allegedly shouted sectarian abuse about
Catholic Linfield players at the weekend, supporters of the law
said the NIO and Executive need to get moving to outlaw the

The rest of the UK has laws banning pitch invasions, racist
chanting and throwing objects from the stands. Scotland also
outlaws sectarian chanting.

Proposals were being drafted five years ago but - despite support
from the footballing authorities - no legislation has been
brought forward here.

"Introducing such legislation will help us give bigots the boot
once and for all," claimed Alliance Castlereagh councillor,
Michael Long.

The latest row broke out after Linfield manager David Jeffrey
said a " small group" of Ballymena fans chanted "you are only a
team of Fenians" during his club's 5-1 victory at the weekend.

Ballymena United said they are investigating the claims and will
take action against any fans found to have been involved.

But Mr Long said a stronger basis for such investigations is

The Irish Football Association has previously said that an anti-
hooligan law would give clubs a sounder basis for dealing with
such behaviour.

Mr Long said: "David Jeffrey's claims underline the need for a
protocol for full investigation of such issues by the relevant
authorities, like the police.

"For this protocol to be put in place, legislation must be
created in Northern Ireland to crack down on racism and
sectarianism on the terraces."

"It is vitally important for the future of local football that we
get more people through the turnstiles at Irish League grounds,
and these laws will help us do that."

Similar legislation was introduced in England and Wales 16 years
ago. The Executive had been considering a hooligan law five years
ago when Stormont was suspended - and Direct Rule Ministers did
not take it up in the intervening years.

In June, senior sources at Stormont linked the delay to the
radical past of the then Secretary of State, Peter Hain. Mr Hain
had been involved in pitch invasions to protests against

At the time, the NIO said Mr Hain supported "action to tackle
serious disorder at sports grounds, like the very real problem of
the chanting of racist and homophobic abuse from the terraces.

"However, he is very sceptical about cluttering the statute book
with other offences for which there is no demonstrable need."

© Belfast Telegraph


Control US Marine Visits Call After City Sex Assaults

[Published: Wednesday 15, August 2007 - 11:36]

By Sean O'Driscoll

The Derry Anti-War Coalition has called for greater control of US
marine visits after it emerged that a marine captain sexually
assaulted two corporals and a sergeant during a drunken weekend
in the city.

In late June, a Navy-Marine Corp appeal court upheld the
conviction of Captain Jonathan C Lee for indecent assault after
hearing that he took advantage of lower ranking marines during an
education trip to the city.

One sergeant said he was in bed with a Derry women when he felt
Captain Lee's hand on his underwear and threw him out of the

Derry Anti-War Coalition spokesman, Colm Bryce, said that the
case emphasised the need to have greater control over so-called
"education" weekends in Derry.

Bryce said this was particularly important as the marines were
above the law in Northern Ireland and did not fear any punishment
from the Northern Ireland legal system.

The coalition had previously planned a protest against a marine
band playing to the public in Derry but the concert was called
off because of security fears.

Mr Bryce said that so called "education" weekends for marines in
Derry had become nothing more than heavy drinking sessions for
some officers.

"There is a lot of goodwill in Derry because marines were
stationed here during World War II but they are trading on that
in the current political climate," he said.

Captain Lee was convicted of indecently assaulting a sergeant
while the man was in bed with a Derry woman.

He was also convicted of indecently assaulting two corporals in
their bed and in a Jacuzzi during what was intended to be an
education trip to learn about the history of marines stationed in
Derry during World War II.

However, Lee's US lawyers are now appealing to two Derry women
who were in the hotel rooms to come forward with information in
time for his appeal before the US Armed Forces Appeal Court.

Mr Lee's US lawyer, Brent Harvey, said that a Belfast lawyer had
found one women who was willing to make a statement but two other
women had not come forward because they didn't want their
families to know they were there that night.

The marine group stayed at the Beech Hill County Hotel, which was
the Marine headquarters from 1942 to 1945. Captain Lee assaulted
three marines on the Friday and Sunday nights of the trip in
January 2004.

Mr Harvey, said it was "very, very important" to find the other
two Derry women who were in the hotel that night.

© Belfast Telegraph


Thousands Unite In Call For Truth

By Evan Short

The British government was challenged by thousands of marchers
yesterday to reveal the full role it played in the murder of
nationalists and republicans over the last 40 years.

Upwards of 7,000 marchers from all over Ireland, including the
relatives of victims, descended on Belfast City Hall to demand
that the British government disclose the part it played in
helping loyalist murder gangs.

Those gathered heard from representatives of a number of
campaigns aimed at finding the truth about the killings of loved
ones, and listened to Gerry Adams say Sinn Féin would be
continuing to raise the issue with the British government.

“If there is to be an inclusive healing process and a genuine
process of reconciliation then the British government must face
up to its responsibilities,” said the West Belfast MP.

“It is in the interest of all our people that there is a genuine
and successful healing process [and] all political leaders have a
responsibility to promote this.

“That means thinking beyond any sectarian, sectional, party
political or self interest,” continued Mr Adams.

Thousands of marchers from the four corners of the city descended
on the City Hall yesterday to demand the British government own
up to its role in the murder of its own citizens.

In bright sunshine up to 7,000 people of all ages, carrying
placards and wearing black ribbons, heard the families of the
victims of state violence speak of their suffering at the hands
of the British government and its policy of using loyalist
proxies to attack the nationalist and republican community.

As the march passed, the names of West Belfast men Pearse Jordan,
Pat Finucane and Tony Fusco loomed large among the hundreds who
were remembered by their loved ones.


The daughter of Donegal Sinn Féin councillor, Eddie Fullerton,
was first to speak and told a tale familiar to many of those who
looked on when she described how loyalists used a sledgehammer to
break down the door of her father’s home before shooting him as
he lay in bed with his wife.

Her recollection of having to deal with a disinterested legal
system, both North and South, was another part of the harrowing
recollection that struck a nerve with the crowd.

“Several media investigations have revealed links between British
army intelligence and their informers within loyalism that
facilitated the murder of my father,” said Amanda Fullerton.

“Four years ago we received information proving collusion between
the loyalists and the RUC.

“We have also learned that the Garda Síochána were given this
information but had not acted on it.

“We were always told the border was a major problem in the
investigation. We know now the border was not a major problem.”

Amanda was followed by Relatives for Justice Director, Mark
Thompson, who himself lost a brother to a loyalist killer gang.


He said that republican and nationalist attempts to assert their
rights as citizens with public rallies had always drawn a sharp
response from the British and their proxies within loyalism.

“The UDA and UFF murdered over 100 people in this city - most of
whom were killed by informers working for the British government
– that was policy.

“These agents helped bring in consignments of weapons that were
used to kill over 300 people across the North – that was policy.”

Delivering the keynote speech, Gerry Adams said the truth issue
would be central to future negotiations with the British.

“The objective of this march and rally is to draw attention to
collusion and British state violence; a policy which resulted in
many thousands of victims who were killed or injured or bereaved;
and the administrative and institutional cover-up by the British
government and its state agencies.

Black ribbon

“The black ribbon is the symbol of this event.

“Wearing it today is an act of solidarity with the victims, their
families and the campaign groups.

“It also sends a clear message to the British state that we are
determined to pursue the truth,” he added.

“We are determined to campaign even though it may take a long
time, until the British state acknowledges its administrative and
institutional use of state violence and collusion.”

He also said that the issue of the British manipulation of
members of the republican movement should be put under the same

“Yes the British recruited, blackmailed, tricked, intimidated and
bribed individual republicans into working for them and I think
it would be only right to have this dimension of British strategy
investigated also.

“If the British state used former republicans to do its killing
for it, then the victims of that policy have the right to truth


“The infiltration of organisations, the tactic of divide and
conquer, of counter gangs, has long been a hallmark of British

“But to compare, as anti-republicans do, this policy with the
structured control and direction of unionist paramilitaries in
the conduct of their war is disingenuous.”

Mr Adams added that the presence of so many at a rally in the
city centre showed that the strategy of collusion, like British
militarism in Ireland, was a failure.

“Both strategies have a number of things in common – they were
about the defeat of republicanism.

“And they failed.

“That objective has not been achieved. And it never will be,” he



Victims' Relatives 'Vilified', Says Rosemary Nelson's Brother

05/08/2007 - 10:57:12 AM

Victims' relatives are being vilified for demanding the truth
about controversial killings linked to the security services in
the North, it was claimed today.

With the authorities under pressure regarding the massive legal
costs involved in a number of independent inquiries, a brother of
murdered solicitor Rosemary Nelson claimed families are being

The tribunal investigating the March 1999 bombing outside her
home in Lurgan, Co Armagh, is not now expected to hold public
hearings until sometime next year after another delay.

"It is bitterly disappointing," said Mrs Nelson's brother, Eunan

"Delays are certainly unwelcome and the sooner we get to the
bottom of things the better.

"People are questioning the need for inquiries, but I think the
best way to deal with the past is to acknowledge the wrong done,
so people can move on."

He added: "The most upsetting thing is these people standing up,
nearly queuing up, to vilify families for wanting the truth.

"They're trying to persuade the public into believing that
families are being unreasonable."

Mrs Nelson became a hate figure for loyalists after offering
legal representation to the nationalist Garvaghy Road residents'
group at the height of the bitter Orange Order marching dispute
at Drumcree.

United Nations investigators and members of the US Congress
highlighted her subsequent claims of police and Army harassment,
before the 40-year-old mother of three was killed in a loyalist
car bomb attack.

In 2001 the Government ordered a review of her case, plus five
others, and agreed to hold public inquiries into the claims of
security force collusion in the deaths.

Last week Northern Secretary Shaun Woodward confirmed £211m
(€312.6m) has been spent on inquiries into the killings of Bloody
Sunday (£178m [€263.73m]), Mrs Nelson (£15.2m [€22.5m]), Robert
Hamill (£10.4m [€22.5m]) and Billy Wright (£7.2m [€10.6m]), with
a further £60m (€88.8m) set aside.

About £10m (€14.8m) has been spent on investigations into
unsolved murders from the Troubles carried out by the Historical
Enquiries Team set up by Northern Ireland Police Service, with a
further £24m (€35.6m) earmarked for it.

Mr Woodward defended the spending against criticisms from the
Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party, which also cited
the legacy of IRA violence.

But SDLP leader Mark Durkan today backed fears expressed by Mrs
Nelson's brother that inquiries risked being undermined.

"The family of Rosemary Nelson are entitled to the full truth of
the circumstances of her murder," said Mr Durkan.

"Ironically, the very people who insist that no stone be left
unturned in the pursuit of law and order are now railing against
the costs of this process.

"We have seen this before. But let us be clear - the problem here
is with the facts and not with the costs."

He said it was the Ministry of Defence that had driven up the
cost of the Bloody Sunday inquiry, and added: "The truth must
out. We should not allow people to evade the truth by false
concerns for costs."

British Conservative Party spokesman on the North Owen Paterson
insisted his party had no issue with families involved in the
current inquiries, but wanted a debate on the use of police

"I am genuinely surprised about the extra sums the Government
will be spending," he said.

"A considerable amount of police time is also being spent on
retrospective historical work and I feel the public may become
worried that current police priorities will be overlooked."

Mrs Nelson's brother said much of the spending now attributed to
the inquiries was the result of failed police investigations that
the government had insisted on holding prior to the latest

Mr Magee said: "I think there are forces afoot to halt any

"The family are made to feel they are guilty of trying to hinder
progress towards the new future in Northern Ireland, but the most
sensible way of embracing the new future is to deal with the
wrongs of the past."


KPFT’s Close Call

August 14th, 2007 at 7:56 pm

Monday morning around 1 a.m. a single gunshot from a passing car
nearly killed a DJ working at the radio station KPFT 90.1 in
Houston. KPFT is a local public radio station, fueled mostly by
volunteers, that prides itself on eclectic, progressive
programming. (The station does a weekly segment with Observer
editors and writers.) It’s a member of the Pacifica Radio
Network, a nationwide collection of stations committed to
creating “independent, noncommercial radio in the service of
peace, social and racial justice, and the arts,” according to the
site’s About page.

At the time of the drive-by shooting, Mary Thomas and John Orr
were hosting the show “Zydeco Pas Sale.” Orr was letting visitors
into the station (which is run out of a converted home) through
the front door a few feet to the right of where the bullet
entered the control room. The bullet went through two plates of
glass and lodged in a door on the opposite wall. It missed
Thomas, who was sitting at the controls, by less than two feet.

Program director Ernesto Aguilar’s station blog is the go-to
source for the latest information. Initial coverage of the
shooting begins with this post, and Aguilar has at least a dozen
follow-ups. We talked to him this afternoon, and he said there
are still no solid leads in the case. They have recovered the
bullet and shell casing. Witnesses say the shot came from a
white, four-door car driving slowly by the station, which is
located in the quiet Montrose neighborhood, leading authorities
to suspect the station was targeted intentionally. Aguilar said
KPFT and Crime Stoppers will likely work together to seek more

The station held an employee meeting today to discuss immediate
changes in security policy. Aguilar said the security around the
station had perhaps become a bit “laissez-faire” and there was a
need to “reemphasize this is serious business.” Tomorrow KPFT
will hold a press conference and kick off a fundraising drive to
pay for repairs — expected to cost several thousand dollars — and
to upgrade video surveillance equipment. Aguilar said he’s
received several calls from people who told him they don’t agree
with a single thing the station broadcasts, but they’re sickened
by efforts to intimidate discussion and want to help out. For
now, those who want to donate online can go here.

Sadly, the station is no stranger to violence. Shortly after it
went on the air in 1970, its broadcast towers were bombed twice
within the first year. A member of the Ku Klux Klan was
eventually convicted of the bombings. Two years ago, a group of
youngsters hurled bricks at the station’s windows. And last year
a mentally troubled listener arrived at the station with a
shotgun, accusing KPFT’s technology program of having been co-
opted by Microsoft. Police arrived and diffused the situation
without incident.

The gunshot represents an escalation, though, Aguilar said. It
has left employees shaken, but reaffirmed “certainly a very deep
commitment to what we do,” he said.

The lack of leads is due in part to the station’s variety of
programming. Shows range from gay and lesbian programming each
week, to Spanish-language broadcasts, to a show hosted by the
Southwest Regional Rep. of the Nation of Islam, all of which
could raise ire in conservative Houston. At the same time,
Aguilar said, in recent years a small, dedicated group has
vehemently criticized the station for not being far enough to the
left. And there’s always the chance that this was simply a random
act of violence with no political motive.

But Aguilar, who as program director handles all complaints from
listeners, is concerned by a steady escalation toward violence.
“We live in a very angry time,” he said.


Opin: Sinn Fein Has Hijacked The History Of Ulster

Last week British troops withdrew from Northern Ireland. Behind
them the story of the Troubles is being traducedPeter Taylor

Driving up west Belfast’s Divis Street last week, the scene of
the fierce sectarian rioting that triggered the deployment of
British troops 38 years ago, I noticed a gap in the murals that
have adorned its walls for so many years, a visual barometer of
the changing climate of the times.

I wondered if the creative talents of Sinn Fein’s art department
were already preparing to fill the space with a fresh mural
depicting the withdrawal of British forces. At midnight last
Tuesday the army brought down the final curtain on the longest
campaign in its history. There was no great ceremony, no Last
Post, no rolling up of the Union Jack as in Aden 40 years
earlier. The army slipped out of the province in carpet slippers.

Driving on up the Falls Road I passed the narrow streets around
the Clon-ard monastery where Catholics had come under Protestant
attack in that hot August of 1969. I remember talking to soldiers
about their experiences when they first arrived to keep the two
sides apart and prevent a feared Catholic pogrom. Many of the
troops barely knew where Northern Ireland was or understood the
bitter sectarian divisions that had flared into violent civil
conflict in this far corner of the United Kingdom. They were
welcomed like heroes. “I felt like a knight in shining armour,”
one of them told me. “Tea and an endless supply of buns were the
order of the day.”

Within months the honeymoon was over and tea and buns were
replaced with rocks, petrol bombs and bullets. Soon the army
became the enemy, as a result of a series of misjudgments and
catastrophic errors, largely through ignorance and blind reliance
on the unionist government at Stormont against whom the civil
rights campaign had been initially directed.

A disastrous curfew was placed on the Falls Road, alienating the
very people who had welcomed the soldiers with open arms.
Internment was introduced in 1971, carried out by the army as
young and old were dragged from their beds and carted off in the
early hours of the morning.

To make matters worse, a handful of suspects were subjected to
controversial interrogation techniques previously used by the
army in colonial situations in Malaya, Kenya and Aden, including
hooding, wall standing and exposure to an incessant high-pitched
“white” noise. The techniques were subsequently deemed to be
illegal. But worse was still to come.

On January 30, 1972, paratroopers shot dead 13 unarmed civil
rights marchers in Londonderry on what became known as “Bloody

It was undoubtedly the darkest day in the army’s 38 years in the
province, and in the eyes of many nationalists it completed the
transformation of the troops from knights in shining armour to a
murderous army of occupation.

In the bitter and bloody years that followed, army commanders
emphasised the need to win “hearts and minds” in order to win the
war, but the message fell on many deaf ears out on the ground as
squaddies saw their mates shot, blown up and maimed by an ever
more effective IRA.

No love was lost on either side. “Grab ’em by the balls and
hearts and minds will follow” was a sentiment I heard from
soldiers on the streets. “Chris” gave me a graphic description of
what that meant after he had intercepted a gunman who had tried
to kill him: “I did give him a good thumping. His genitals were
black and blue for a while. I think I must have cracked a couple
of his ribs. But that was the way you treat terrorists.”

Many of these early mistakes and abuses the army now recognises
and puts down to a long and difficult learning process.

This is only one side of the story. The problem is that it’s the
side on which Sinn Fein concentrates as it air-brushes the IRA’s
own history. What about “Bloody Friday” in 1972, when IRA car
bombs in Belfast killed nine? The Kingsmill massacre in 1976 when
an IRA unit in south Armagh gunned down 10 Protestant workers
returning home in a minibus? The La Mon restaurant bombing in
1978 when an IRA incendiary bomb killed 12 Protestants?
Enniskillen in 1987 when an IRA bomb killed 11 Protestants during
the Remembrance Day ceremony? And these are but a few.

I ended my drive up the Falls Road at the Whiterock community
centre on the fringe of the once notorious Ballymurphy estate
where soldiers used to patrol at their peril. I had come to take
part in a BBC Radio Ulster Talk Back discussion on the final
withdrawal of British troops. The new normality hits you between
the eyes. Unarmed officers of the RUC’s replacement, the Police
Service of Northern Ireland, stood at the door, smiling in the
sunshine. Inside was Gerry Kelly, Old Bailey bomber from 1973 and
Maze escapee 10 years later, sandwiched between two former
British soldiers. All were chatting without animosity as they
reminisced about the “war”.

Although republicans would vehemently deny it, the army did play
its part in helping us to reach this year’s historic political
settlement. At its most basic, the army prevented the IRA
achieving its original goal of driving the “Brits” into the sea
and reunifying Ireland. This was its agenda when Martin
McGuinness and Gerry Adams were part of the IRA delegation that
met William Whitelaw, the Northern Ireland secretary, in 1972 for
secret talks in London. Then there was no hint of compromise in
the air.

The critical point in the army’s campaign were the years that
followed the IRA hunger strike of 1981 when 10 prisoners died.
Sinn Fein was on the political rise and the IRA had more arms
than it could handle – 130 tons courtesy of Colonel Gadaffi of
Libya. That was when the SAS and other undercover units made it
clear that the Brits were not prepared to let the IRA win. In
1987 the SAS ambush at Loughgall wiped out eight members of one
of the IRA’s most experienced units. I remember Sir Robert
Andrew, permanent undersecretary at the Northern Ireland Office
at the time, telling me of his satisfaction that “we had won

The SAS killing of three members of another IRA unit in Gibraltar
the following year drove home the message. Both operations were
the result of vastly improved intelligence from penetration of
the IRA. Overall the army’s special forces kept the IRA at bay,
with the result that both sides privately accepted that there was
a military stalemate. Such were the necessary conditions that
preceded the long and tortuous peace process that culminated in
the historic agreement at Stormont earlier this year.

What of the cost? More than 3,500 people lost their lives in the
conflict and Britain put civil liberties on hold in the name of
defeating terrorism. All sides suffered horrendously before peace
finally came.

What of the lessons? It’s easy to say they have been learnt and
applied in the very different theatres where the army is now
involved: Iraq and Afghanistan. But Basra is not Belfast.
Initially the army patrolled its dusty streets without helmets
but these were soon put back on again as the local militias
turned against them, their support boosted by allegations of
abuses by the army during interrogation and elsewhere.

It seems like déjà vu: soldiers don’t make good policemen. In
Afghanistan it’s difficult for soldiers to win hearts and minds
when they’re trying to eradicate the heroin poppies from which
local farmers and their families make their living. In fighting
terrorism and political violence, “hearts and minds” needs to be
more than a well meaning slogan, not least when it comes to
countering Islamist extrem-ism on the streets of Britain.

The government knows that gaining the support of communities, be
they nationalists in Northern Ireland or Muslims in Britain, is
the key to countering terrorism and isolating the enemy, real and
potential. But as the army’s 38 years in Northern Ireland have
shown, it’s easier said than done.

Peter Taylor has reported the Irish conflict for 35 years for ITV
and the BBC and is the author of Provos, Loyalists and Brits


Diggers' Bloody Role In Irish Uprising

Brendan Nicholson

August 15, 2007

AdvertisementTHE year was 1916. Australian soldiers involved in
the brutal fighting on the Western Front had been granted leave
and went to Ireland for a break.

But instead of catching up with relatives and resting up, the
Australian troops found themselves reluctantly pressed into more
action by the British — to help crush the Easter Rebellion in

Some of the Anzacs involved in this little-known episode were
Gallipoli veterans prized by the British for their sharp-shooting

One group was ordered onto the roof of Dublin's Trinity College
to snipe at Irish dispatch riders delivering messages to the the
headquarters of the rebels, whose leaders included Michael

Barrister and historian Jeff Kildea has researched the episode
and described the colonial soldiers' dilemma in a new book,
Anzacs and Ireland, which will be launched today by former
Australian Defence Force commander Peter Cosgrove.

"For soldiers who enlisted to fight Germans, it was not a happy
time," Mr Kildea said.

These veterans of Gallipoli went to Ireland on leave but found
themselves once again in battle, he said. "(They were) given a
rifle and, in effect, told to shoot their Irish 'cousins'."

According to the book, Australian soldiers who left the Western
Front for leave in Ireland dubbed themselves "six-bob-a-day
tourists". Ten-day or 14-day "Blighty leave" passes gave
thousands of soldiers the opportunity to travel throughout the
United Kingdom, which then included all of Ireland.

Many took the opportunity to visit where they were born or where
their parents or grandparents had come from.

But when the fighting erupted in Dublin, many of the soldiers on
leave were rounded up by British officers in hotels and clubs and
at the local railway station and had rifles thrust back into
their hands.

It was a mixed group that found itself defending the famous
college. With the Australians were fellow Anzacs from New Zealand
and troops of Irish background from Canada and elsewhere.

It was said later that "there can be no doubt that the accurate
fire maintained from the college was an important factor in the
salvation of the city".

One unnamed Australian sergeant tried to use shots from his rifle
to cut a communications cable lying across Sackville Street.

Among at least a dozen diggers known to have been involved in the
Dublin fighting were Private Michael McHugh, Private George Davis
and Private John Joseph Chapman, who was born in Ballarat.

Mr Kildea found the diary of Private Davis, who described how the
soldiers made the best of a bad job — "but we would prefer to be
anywhere but this unenviable city".

Chapman and a mate teamed up with two Australian nurses
sightseeing during their leave and were marched off their train
and into action when they arrived in Dublin.

He found himself in the thick of the fighting to recapture
buildings along the famous River Liffey. The nurses stayed safe
in a hotel room but were "a little scared as a stray bullet
occasionally whistled through their window".

Chapman wrote later: "Given rifle and ammunition and had to fight
enemy in the streets. Nearly got hit several times. Only a few
casualties on our side." He later returned to the Western Front,
was wounded but survived.

Davis and a friend were ordered to join 70 men taking arms and
ammunition to Dublin Castle and described how a volley of rifle
shots rained down on the party from buildings the rebels
occupied. "Around us bullets pinged and broken glass clattered
onto the footpath.

"The horses bolted and vanished into the darkness and the troops
did likewise."

Davis and his friend ducked for cover and stayed put until the
firing dropped away and they could escape.


Danes Say Sorry For 9th Century Viking Invasion

14/08/2007 - 17:13:39

The Danish government today expressed its regret over the Viking
invasion of Ireland more than 1,000 years ago.

The belated near apology came as thousands gathered to watch a
replica Norse warrior ship pull into Dublin’s Docklands after an
epic voyage across the North Sea.

In a fit of diplomacy sparked by the sense of occasion, Danish
Culture Minister Brian Mikkelson was moved to extend a surprise
olive branch.

“In Denmark we are certainly proud of this ship, but we are not
proud of the damages to the people of Ireland that followed in
the footsteps of the Vikings,” Mr Mikkelson said.

“But the warmth and friendliness with which you greet us today
and the Viking ship show us that, luckily, it has all been

The only chords of disharmony came from demonstrators opposed to
the M3 motorway planned to a route through the archaeologically-
rich Hill of Tara in Co Meath.

The Sea Stallion, or Havhingsten, set sail from the Danish port
of Roskilde on July 1 to recreate the journey of the Viking
pirates to Dublin.

The mock long boat – the largest in the world – is a
reconstruction of the Skuldelev 2 built in Dublin in 1042 and
believed to have sunk in the Roskilde Fjord 30 years later.


Archaeologists traced the wood used in the original to trees
felled in Glendalough, Co Wicklow in the mountains that
surrounded the Viking settlement in Dublin.

A crew of 65 men and women sailed the replica vessel over 1000
nautical miles from Denmark to Ireland in a voyage described as a
living archaeological experiment.

Diarmuid Murphy, 34, from Bantry, Co Cork, one of only two Irish
sailors on the ship, admitted he almost gave up at the outset.

“About 18 hours into it I was just so cold and wet and I said
there’s no way I’ll do this,” he said.

But after surviving on a diet of dried food and having to sleep
in the cold, cramped and wet conditions of an open boat he was
overcome as they arrived at their journey’s end.

“It was fairly emotional all right, it was very hard to keep the
tears back,” he said.

The Sea Stallion sailed up the River Liffey from Dublin Bay
alongside a flotilla of naval, garda and port boats as well as
small traditional Irish rowing currachs.

The bells of Christchurch Cathedral rang out to herald the
arrival while office workers in the huge glass buildings that
line the revamped docks pressed against windows to watch the

Both the President Mary McAleese and Queen Margrethe of Denmark
sent their congratulations to the crew of the long boat, which
will be housed in Dublin’s National Museum until next summer’s
return leg of the voyage.


Irish Spirits Stirred By The Lonely Stag

The haunting beauty and rich history of Ireland is celebrated in
an extraordinary new film, which also marks the acting debut of
one of the country’s best-loved singers.

The Lonely Stag is a powerful work that uses poetry and song to
tell the story of people who were forced to leave their homeland
to seek a better life.

Their spirits are called back to rest in their beloved homeland
by a majestic stag that keeps a permanent vigil for them; calling
out across the Atlantic from a towering cliff top in Glengarriff,
overlooking Bantry Bay, West Cork.

The film features top Irish singer Tommy Fleming and haunting
tracks composed by music industry legend Mike Moran, who penned
the Freddie Mercury hit Barcelona, among many others.

Local people perform throughout to tell the story of their
ancestors’ experiences and their desperate attempts to free
themselves from famine and poverty.

This unique film is based on a poem by Linda Burrage, who was
inspired into writing it after placing a bronze statue of a stag
on a promontory outside her home in Glengarriff, as a memorial to
all of Ireland's émigrés.

The idea then developed into a movie project that not only
involved Tommy Fleming and Mike Moran, but also the Budapest
Philharmonic Orchestra, the Celtic Tenors, the World Champion
Step Dancers and the All-Ireland under 18 Set Dancing Champions.

A tale of hope and joy, The Lonely Stag it is a short film with a
story that anyone with a love of Ireland will relate to.

Fans of Tommy Fleming in particular will adore the special music
and the exclusive tracks included in the film.

Commenting on the forthcoming release, Tommy Fleming said: "It
was great to be able to work with the renowned Mike Moran and be
part of such a moving and exciting project."

Mike Moran said: "It was a fantastic experience writing and
performing with Tommy. It was a lot of fun filming with the
amazing people of West Cork."

Linda Burrage, who also produced the film, said: "I enjoyed ever
minute of making the Lonely Stag it was so exciting to see the
scenes I had imagined coming to life on the big screen.

"It was wonderful to see the people of Bantry and Glengarriff
getting together and having a great time taking part in the

Notes for editors:

Tommy Fleming, Mike Moran and Linda Burrage are available for

interviews: please contact Steven Sneesby on + 44 (0) 7968

441173 or email

A clip from the film is available for viewing at

A selection of images and full copies of the film are available
on request. The Lonely Stag website can be found at


Film: “The Lonely Stag” Starring Role

He is one of Ireland's most popular singers who has ventured into
the world of film. We chat to Tommy Fleming about his role in new
film, The Lonely Stag By Shelley Marsden - 01/08/07

Essentially a lyrical poem set to music, short film The Lonely
Stag is full of breathtakingly beautiful cinematography, and
tells the story of Ireland’s troubled past through a little
girl’s eyes. Perched on a rugged cliff top overlooking Bantry
Bay, a majestic stag keeps a permanent vigil for the people who
were forced to leave their homeland. The film is based on a poem
by Linda Burrage, who was inspired after placing her own bronze
statue of a stag outside her home in Glengarriff, as a memorial
to all of Ireland's émigrés. The idea then developed into a movie
project, that not only involved Tommy Fleming and top music
producer Mike Moran, but the Budapest Philharmonic, the Celtic
Tenors, the World Champion Step Dancers and the All-Ireland under
18 Set Dancing Champions. According to its cover, “Anyone who has
a drop of Irish blood in them will want to own a copy of this
film.” I’ll let you decide…

How did you get involved?

Through Linda Burrage, who produced and directed the film. She
rang me out of the blue and asked if I’d appear in the film.
There were a lot of phone calls I couldn’t really shake off! So I
eventually said yes, thinking “This’ll never happen.” It’s like
when somebody says will you come to my wedding in a few years
time and you say ‘yeah yeah’…All of a sudden, she rang me and
told me the dates for filming and I said, “Oh god….” I got a call
then from the musical director Mike Moran, and I’ve always
admired his work. He wrote ‘Barcelona’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and
produced a lot of songs for Queen, so he was really what clinched
the deal for me.

What’s the film about?

It’s about the struggle of Irish people in famine time, when they
had to leave their homeland and go to foreign countries like the
US, the UK, even Australia in some cases. Those emigrant souls
are coming back from the call of the stag. It’s a poem, and it’s
a lovely story. If it had been done with scripted dialogue it
wouldn’t have worked. I don’t think you can script something like
that; the father telling the story to his daughter, the teacher
telling the story to her pupils…

Were the actors professionals?

I suppose the only ‘real’ actors involved were myself and Mike
Moran. I’ve acted before, in a couple of films; ‘The Blue Note’,
‘The Forum’, I’ve done a few. I’ve done TVwork, so I’m used to it
even through that. I loved the story, I really did. I brought my
daughter down to Bantry, where we were filming for a week and a
half, and we had an absolute blast. The whole concept of watching
the local people getting involved was great, such an amazing job
by Linda who came into it a total amateur. She grabbed the
project by both horns – excuse the pun...


Pensioner Rescued From Mountain

An 82-year-old woman who wanted to climb Ireland's highest
mountain one last time had to be rescued from the peak after

She was found safe and well about halfway down Carrauntoohil by
the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team.

The peak, located in the McGillycuddy Reeks mountain range of
County Kerry, is almost 1,040m high.

The woman, who has climbed the peak twice before, sang a song for
her rescuers as they brought her down.

The alarm was raised when she and a 16-year-old family friend
went missing on Tuesday.

Brendan Coffey of the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team said by the time
his team got to them, the pair had spent more than 12 hours on
the mountain.

"She was chatting away and was even able to gives us a blast of a
song when we were walking down," he said.

"It was her third time climbing Carrauntoohil - the last time was
13 years ago. But she wanted to do it one more time," he told
Irish state broadcaster RTE.

The woman was rescued at about 0045 BST on Wednesday.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/08/08 15:08:34 GMT



Teams Rescue Man From Cliff Face

A man has been rescued after climbing a cliff without equipment
at Ballintoy, near Coleraine.

A rescue helicopter from County Sligo was scrambled, as well as
Ballycastle Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team and Coleraine Coastguard
Rescue Team.

The man was stuck about 200ft up the side of the cliff without
ropes or other climbing aids.

Coastguard Rescue Officers went down the cliff and were able to
reach the man and lower him down safely.

The incident happened at about 1345 BST on Wednesday.

Belfast Coastguard spokesman Dayle Jones said: "Apparently the
27-year-old man, after a light hearted discussion with his
workmates, decided it was a good idea to have a go at climbing
this cliff face alone and with no safety equipment or other
climbing aids.

"Fortunately for him, a keen eyed member of the public was on
hand to raise the alarm resulting in his rescue.

"We would just like to remind any member of the public that
climbing cliffs is a serious business and should only be
conducted by competent individuals with the appropriate

Meanwhile, two people have been rescued from the water near the
Erneside Shopping Centre in Enniskillen.

The Fire and Rescue Service had been called but it is understood
a man on his boat had already helped the man and woman to safety.

They have been taken to hospital, but they are not thought to
have been badly injured.

In a separate incident, a man has been airlifted to hospital with
head injuries after falling from a cliff in Rathlin Island.

It is believed he was with a group of friends when he fell near
the Old Harbour pier on Wednesday afternoon.

The Coastguard Rescue Team stabilised the man at the scene and
assisted in his transfer to the helicopter.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/08/08 16:34:26 GMT



Leonardo The Provo!

Movie hunk DiCaprio to play IRA spy 'Fulton' in new Hollywood

Sunday, August 12, 2007

By Alan Murray

Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio is to play a real-life IRA
spy in a new blockbuster.

The actor has been billed to star in 'The Infiltrator' - the
story of British soldiers going undercover to penetrate the

His role is based on Newry-born 'Kevin Fulton', the former Royal
Irish Ranger who became a spy at the heart of the terrorist

The movie, due to release in 2008, has been described by its
screenwriter, Joshua Zetumer, as a "thinking man's action film".

Fulton is said to be "flabbergasted" that the Titanic star has
been lined up to play him.

He declined to comment last week, but a friend said: "I don't
think Kevin ever thought he'd be portrayed by a heartthrob like
Leonardo DiCaprio. There isn't much of a resemblance, to be

"But it's a big thing, though, if a huge studio like Warner Bros
picks up the story of your life and decides to choose one of the
biggest stars in America to play you."

Details of The Infiltrator - to be produced by top film-maker
David Benioff - have emerged in leading Hollywood publications
including Variety.

Scriptwriter Zetumer told Variety: "The Infiltrator is a
thinking-man's action movie. It's got these big set-pieces, but
at the same time it's kind of an anti-James Bond film.

"It's inspired mainly by John le Carre, but with a good dose of
The Bourne Identity thrown in."

The idea for the film came from an interview Fulton gave to the
Atlantic Monthly magazine in the US in which he recounted being
tasked to infiltrate the IRA while serving in the RIR in the

He also told the mag of his later role acquiring hi-tech
electronic equipment in the US for the Provos with the full
knowledge of his Army and MI5 handlers.

In May 1981 he agreed to a 'bogus' discharge from the Army and
was sent to Newry to join the IRA.

It wasn't until 1988 that he was 'green booked', becoming a
fully-fledged IRA member, even though they knew he'd served in
the British Army.

Fulton claims that while he was in the Provos he was handled by
Jonathan Evans, now the head of MI5.

He fled Ulster just before the 1994 ceasefire after helping
thwart a murder bid on a top RUC man in Belfast.

Believing he'd been unmasked, Fulton refused to turn up for a
third interrogation session with notorious 'nutting squad' thug
Freddie Scappaticci, who it later emerged had been recruited as a
British agent.

Fulton told all last year in his autobiography, Unsung Hero. He
has since been interviewed by the PSNI about IRA operations he
was allegedly involved in following complaints from the victims'

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