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August 26, 2007

Reynolds To Chair Drumcree Talks

News about Ireland and the Irish

UT 08/26/07 Former Taoiseach To Chair Talks
SL 08/26/07 MP's Anger Over Garda 'Collusion' Tribunal Dithering
SB 08/26/07 Informer Claim Can Hurt Sinn Fein
SL 08/26/07 Rival UDA Factions Clash Inside Jail
SL 08/26/07 Hospital Leak Linked To Witness In LVF Case
SL 08/26/07 Adair's Son Back Behind Bars After High-Speed Chase
II 08/26/07 Opin: SF Is Back Playing 'Wind Up The Prods'
AN 08/25/07 Largest Mural Yet
TD 08/26/07 Celtic Tradition Alive On City's Waterfront


Former Taoiseach To Chair Talks

SUNDAY 26/08/2007 12:35:08

Former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds is said to be involved in
secret talks aimed at resolving the Drumcree dispute.

Also involved in the process are Sinn Fein`s Martin
McGuinness, Drumcree rector John Pickering and district
manager of the Portadown Orange Order, Darryl Hewitt.

Reynolds is tipped to chair formal talks between the Orange
Order and nationalists.

The Parades Commission is to propose that Reynolds be
appointed as mediator when they meet with the Garvaghy Road
Residents Coalition on Wednesday.


MP's Anger Over Garda 'Collusion' Tribunal Dithering

[Published: Sunday 26, August 2007 - 09:36]
By Alan Murray

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson has expressed concern over delays
to the tribunal probing alleged Garda collusion in the IRA
murders of top RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan in

The pair were ambushed on the border as they returned from
a meeting with Garda counterparts in Dundalk.

The Smithwick Inquiry was set up by the Dublin Government
two years ago but has yet to hold any public sessions.

Mr Donaldson said it was essential the way was cleared for
former Army agent 'Kevin Fulton' - who penetrated the
Provos in Newry - to give a full account to the tribunal.

The Lagan Valley MP said: "I am very concerned about the
delay which appears to have arisen because of concerns on
the part of Kevin Fulton that he may be compromised if he
makes full disclosure of what he knows and the
circumstances in which he came to know that detail as an
Army agent.

"Kevin Fulton's evidence is crucial to the success of the
inquiry in obtaining first-hand accounts of potential
collusion between a member or members of the Garda and the
IRA in the murder of these two officers.

"It is essential that British Government agencies clear the
way for Fulton to give a full account to the inquiry
otherwise many will question the sincerity of the
Government's commitment to get at the truth in this
important case."

Meanwhile, the tribunal has disowned reports that the
inquiry was being delayed because of Fulton's refusal to
give evidence. Stories emanating from Dublin suggested
Fulton's attitude was the main reason the tribunal had
failed to hold any evidence sessions to date.

The tribunal still hasn't replied to correspondence from
Fulton seeking clarification on legal immunity provisions
in the Republic for him.

Fulton has been warned that any evidence he gives in Dublin
relating to IRA activity he had knowledge of in Northern
Ireland could be used as evidence to prosecute him in
British courts.

He has so far refused to agree to testify on his knowledge
of the IRA's links to Garda in the Dundalk area until he
receives assurances that he will not face prosecution in
either the Republic or Northern Ireland.

The tribunal refused to comment on reports blaming Kevin
Fulton for the delay, but it's reliably understood that an
official working for the tribunal contacted Fulton's
solicitor and denied it was pointing the finger of blame at

A lawyer acting for Army agent Freddie Scappaticci has
already asked the tribunal for paid legal services, while a
senior Sinn Fein man alleged to be one of the gunmen in the
Breen/Buchanan attack is also understood to have made
contact seeking similar facilities.

© Belfast Telegraph


Informer Claim Can Hurt Sinn Fein

26 August 2007

Allegations that a Sinn Fein Assembly member was a British
agent highlight the delicacy of the political situation,
writes Colm Heatley in Belfast.

When a Democratic Unionist Party power-sharing sceptic
alleged that a Sinn Fein figure was a British agent, his
intention was almost certainly to cause difficulties for
Sinn Fein.

David Simpson, a gospel-singing hardline unionist, claimed
a well-known Sinn Fein man had been acting as an informer
to the British since the early 1980s. Simpson claimed the
alleged informer had played a role in the murder of
Frederick Lutton, a cousin of Simpson.

Lutton, who was killed in May 1979,was an RUC reservist
from a well-known unionist family in Moy, Co Tyrone.

Whatever the truth of the claim - and, so far, Simpson has
not provided any evidence - the allegation highlights how
the North’s past still affects its current political

Republicans have accused Simpson of attempting to derail
the progress made at the Stormont assembly by making the

They say sceptics such as Simpson, allied with remnants of
the Special Branch, are attempting to halt the Sinn Fein
political project.

Since Freddie Scappaticci, a former senior figure in the
IRA’s internal security unit, was outed as a British agent
in 2003, the Sinn Fein leadership has been vulnerable to
accusations that informers still operate at senior levels
within the republican movement.

That feeling was heightened in December 2005 when Denis
Donaldson, a senior and well-regarded Sinn Fein member,
confessed he had been working as a long-term British agent.
Donaldson was found shot dead at a remote house in Donegal
in April 2006.

In the wake of the Donaldson affair, more than a dozen
republicans, mainly based in Belfast, were named in the
media as informers.

However, as in the case of Simpson’s allegations, no proof
was presented - and many of those named still play an
active role within republicanism.

Simpson claims the Sinn Fein figure was recruited as an
informer after being found in a compromising sexual

Some dissident republicans claim this related to an
incident in a caravan the party was using as an election
vehicle in Coal island, Co Tyrone, shortly after the 1981
hunger strikes.

However, no proof has been offered and, unsurprisingly,
Sinn Fein has made little comment on the claims.
Republicans in the North were last week asking where the
evidence was, and the man who Simpson is believed to be
referring to said he was taking legal advice about the

What is known is that over the past two years, republicans
have conducted their own inquiries into informers within
their ranks across Ireland.

A fortnight ago, the Fox family from Co Tyrone, whose
elderly mother and father were killed by loyalists in 1994,
called on Sinn Fein to ‘‘come clean’’ on the role of
informers within republican ranks.

Past experience of people such as Donaldson and
Scappaticci, has taught republicans that nothing can be
ruled out but, in the meantime, they are treating the
informer claims with some caution.

The wave of hysteria that surrounded Donaldson’s outing -
and what were perceived as attempts to destabilise
republicanism in early 2006 - have bred caution within
republican circles about such stories.

Republican leaders have made no official comment on the
latest claims. Simpson has refused to comment further on
his claims, despite saying that he may name the Sinn Fein
member under parliamentary privilege when Westminster re-
opens in October.

Sources say Simpson is convinced of the accuracy of his
story and is confident that a number of policemen will come
forward to support him.

If his allegations are proven, it would be a blow to Sinn
Fein, especially in east Tyrone, which was one of the most
militant republican areas during the Troubles.

However, the DUP has something of a chequered history when
it comes to naming republicans, or those it suspects of
being republicans, under parliamentary privilege.

In 1999, DUP leader Ian Paisley named Eugene Reavey as one
of the organisers of the 1976Kingsmill massacre, when ten
Protestant workmen were killed by republicans.

Reavey’s three brothers had been killed by a UVF gang at
their south Armagh home in the same year.

Earlier this year, the Historical Enquiries Team, which was
set up to look at unsolved murders, said that Reavey had no
connection with Kingsmill, or with republicanism in any
form. Reavey asked Paisley to apologise, but the DUP leader
has yet to do so.

More recently, Peter Robinson, the DUP deputy leader,
alleged under parliamentary privilege that one of the most
successful businessmen in the North, Peter Curistan, had
links to republicanism.

That allegation was also hotly disputed, and Curistan has
taken legal action in the courts to rebut Robinson’s

Some sources have pointed to the location of the Lutton
murder as a reason why the Sinn Fein member has been
implicated, rather than any hard intelligence.

Lutton was killed just a hundred yards from where the Sinn
Fein man lived, and he became a prime suspect for the RUC
in the follow-up investigation.

Whatever the truth of Simpson’s claims, they are sure to
poison the political atmosphere when Stormont re-opens in a
few weeks’ time.

Some observers have suggested that that was Simpson’s
motive in the whole affair, claiming that he wanted to
cause difficulties for the power-sharing government, rather
than get to the truth of collusion.

In such a scenario, allegations may be made, even on the
flimsiest of evidence. Certainly, Simpson has never fully
embraced the reality of power-sharing with Sinn Fein.

Earlier this year, he was seen as a key opponent to the
idea of sitting in government with republicans.

While other DUP members, notably Robinson, are keen for
power-sharing to run smoothly and want to get down to the
business of government, Simpson has been, at best, lukewarm
about the new political arrangements.

It is also claimed that Simpson has a close relationship
with former members of the security forces, many of whom
are opposed to Sinn Fein being in government.

If Simpson’s claims prove to be unfounded - as with
Paisley’s allegations against Reavey - the whole episode
may say more about the internal state of the DUP, and the
opposition to power-sharing within sections of the party,
than it does about Sinn Fein. In a wider sense, the
allegations are proof that the ‘‘dirty war’’ waged in the
North is not yet over.

Many people believe British collusion with loyalists was
widespread and systematic. For many nationalists,
especially the families directly affected by alleged state
collusion, getting to the truth of the matter is a top

At a rally in Belfast a fortnight ago, Sinn Fein leader
Gerry Adams said the state’s role in collusion must be
brought into the open and admitted some republicans acted
as agents for the state.

There is a growing feeling among nationalists that getting
to the truth of the matter may involve washing some of the
republican movement’s dirty linen in public.


Rival UDA Factions Clash Inside Jail

[Published: Sunday 26, August 2007 - 10:22]
By Alan Murray

Rival UDA factions have clashed inside Maghaberry Prison.

The behind-bars bust-up between members of the breakaway
south east Antrim UDA faction and mainstream UDA figures
erupted on Friday night.

Snooker cues and balls inside socks were used as weapons
during the fighting, which led to the entire prison being
closed down.

One prisoner was taken to hospital with a facial injury
following the clashes. Prison sources say the trouble began
when a group from south east Antrim defied a warning not to
enter the dining area of Bush House.

" It was a pitched battle and the inner council prisoners
seem to have come off worst," one prison source said.

"The whole jail was locked down after the alarm was sounded
and an ambulance was called and took one man away to an
outside hospital."

A Prison Service spokes-man said: "There was an incident in
the recreation area on Friday evening involving prisoners
from the loyalist separation wing in Bush House. As a
result, landings one and two were closed down."

© Belfast Telegraph


Hospital Leak Linked To Witness In LVF Case

[Published: Sunday 26, August 2007 - 10:03]
By Ciaran McGuigan and Mick Browne

Cops probing suspected leaks of medical records at a top
Ulster hospital believe they may be linked to the
intimidation of witnesses in a loyalist terror case.

It's understood that an investigation into suspected
breaches of confidentially at the Craigavon Area Hospital
is directly linked to a series of threatening emails
received by people who have given evidence against a
notorious LVF gang.

Sunday Life understands that information contained in a
number of emails received by a victim of intimidation
included material that could only have been discovered by
someone with access to her medical files.

The victim is believed to have given evidence to police in
relation to a serious assault in Lurgan last December.

When the victim received the intimidating emails she
alerted cops, who are now investigating the source of the

It's understood that the home of an employee of the
hospital was raided by cops last month and a computer

Police and hospital authorities are now trying to establish
if an employee has accessed private records and passed on

Sources close to the probe believe that as many as TEN
patient files may have been illegally accessed at the
hospital. And a number of people in the Lurgan area have
been warned that their details may have fallen into the
hands of the gang.

In relation to the raid, a police spokesman said: "Police
carried out a search in the Lurgan area as part of an
ongoing investigation. A number of items were seized for
further examination. "

A spokeswoman for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust
said: "We have been notified of these allegations that
medical records were accessed.

"We take any breach of patient confidentiality very
seriously and we are investigating it at this time."

SDLP MLA Delores Kelly called on police to ensure that the
investigation into alleged intimidation of witnesses was
completed quickly.

"I am very concerned that people brave enough to take a
stand against known members of loyalist terror gangs should
be given support and that when that support is forthcoming,
it will encourage other people to take a stand against
these parasites in our community," she said.

© Belfast Telegraph


Adair's Son Back Behind Bars After High-Speed Chase

[Published: Sunday 26, August 2007 - 10:00]
By Ciaran McGuigan

The convicted crack-cocaine dealing son of Johnny 'Mad Dog'
Adair has been caged again.

This time Jonathan 'Mad Pup' Adair has been banged up for
seven months following a high-speed police chase in

Ayr Sheriff's Court was told last week how cops spotted the
dopey drug dealer - who has never had a licence - driving
through the streets of the Scottish town.

When they tried to arrest him he sped off and police lost

The motor had been abandoned when cops eventually found it
and Adair was arrested nearby.

Prosecutors said that when Adair was searched, police found
a metal tube containing traces of cocaine.

Lawyers acting for the young loyalist, who has previous
form for dealing heroin and crack as well as a string of
other offences, played down his criminal past by comparing
his record to that of his terrorist dad!

Solicitor Glenn Davis told the court: "My client has had a
difficult upbringing, living in Belfast and Bolton before
moving to this area.

"His father has expressed anger at his continued offending
and is determined his son will keep on the right side of
the law and that he will not emulate the criminal record
held by his father.

"His record, in relative terms, is minor."

Adair, who has been living in Troon, pleaded guilty to
driving without due care, speeding, driving while
disqualified and driving with no insurance. He was jailed
for seven months.

He was already banned from driving, even though he has
never had a licence.

He was "admonished" on a drugs possession charge.

Adair made similar promises to stay out of trouble when he
was released from a young offenders centre after being
jailed for supplying drugs in Bolton.

He served just 13 months of a four-year sentence after
being caught running a 'dial-a-drug' heroin and crack-
cocaine operation with Shankill brothers William and Ian

Cops believed the gang was trying to take over lucrative
drugs trade in the Lancashire town.

© Belfast Telegraph


Opin: SF Is Back Playing 'Wind Up The Prods'

Gerry Adams's recent activities are upsetting republicans
as well as unionists, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

Sunday August 26 2007

What is Gerry Adams up to? In theory, he should be striving
to consolidate the power-sharing deal at Stormont. Are
republicans not supposed to be delighted that Ian Paisley
and Martin McGuinness seem to be getting on so well that
they've been nicknamed the 'The Chuckle Brothers'? Yet
Adams's recent activities are so undermining the delicate
relationship between the DUP and Sinn Fein as to have the
potential to blow it apart.

There are plenty of contentious issues that the Executive
can resolve only with the utmost goodwill. The two parties
are fundamentally at loggerheads over, for instance, an
Irish Language Act, the Sinn Fein demand for a national
stadium on the Maze site with a hunger strikers' cosy
corner and the choice of a new victims' commissioner. Even
more important is the chasm between the parties about the
devolution of justice and policing to Stormont: SF want it
to happen next May; the DUP want a guarantee first that
their colleagues in power are truly wedded to upholding law
and order and the State that pays them.

So you might think that Sinn Fein would wish to reassure
unionists of their peaceable and honourable intentions. Was
that not the purpose of setting up Unionist Outreach almost
two years ago -- even if they rather spoiled it by
appointing a convicted terrorist, Martina Anderson, to be
its frontperson?

Why is Gerry Adams not uttering soothing words about peace
and harmony rather than -- as he's been doing for weeks --
playing with increasing aggression the time-honoured
republican game known as 'winding up the Prods'.

One of the sorest spots for unionists (and, indeed,
constitutional nationalists) is that by screaming collusion
at every turn, republicans are trying to market the fiction
that they didn't murder anyone.

Unionists know the statistics: republican paramilitaries
killed 2,160 or so and lost fewer than 400; loyalists
killed 1,000 and lost just over 170; the British army
killed 301 and lost 503; local defence forces (UDR and RIR)
killed 8 and lost 206 and the RUC killed 50 and lost 303.
So by any reckoning, republicans killed more than all the
other participants put together, paramilitaries of all
persuasions got off very lightly and the security forces
suffered disproportionately.

Those truths of course don't suit the republican
revisionists. The present Adams-led initiative seeks not
just to airbrush out the nastier bits of their three
decades of hideous and pointless violence: they're trying
to change their image completely. Think of replacing
Stalin's photograph with Gandhi and you've got the general

Republicans used to demand that there be no hierarchy of
victims. Unionists feel these days that there is a
hierarchy, and republicans are at the top.

They're already upset that all public inquiries in Northern
Ireland are focusing on victims dear to republicans (except
Billy Wright, whom most unionists despise) and all other
investigations seem never to touch on paramilitary wrong-

For a long time, the SF mantra has been that the British
government directed and colluded in all murders committed
by loyalists. Now we are being asked to believe that the
British government and its agents were behind all the
deaths of the Troubles. (

That Lord Eames -- the former Archbishop of Armagh -- and
Denis Bradley, who have been given the job of coming up
with ideas on how to address the legacy of the Troubles,
should have headed off to London to discuss collusion with
Lord Stevens does not reassure unionists.)

Adams's recent activities climaxed in the 'March for Truth'
he led a fortnight ago. Outside Belfast City Hall, wearing
a black armband to symbolise solidarity with victims, the
Sinn Fein president told around 2,000 followers that there
would be no let-up in the search for truth until "the
British state acknowledges its administrative and
institutional use of state violence and collusion".

Coming from someone who led the IRA and denies even being a
member, this didn't go down too well. Nor did the fact that
participants carried replica weapons and IRA insignia,
although the Parades Commission prohibits paramilitary

The outrage from the grassroots expressed in radio phone-
ins and the letters pages of the unionist Newsletter was
deeply alarming for the DUP: even the mild-mannered Jeffrey
Donaldson is calling for prosecutions.

So it is hardly surprising that the MP David Simpson went
on the offensive by announcing his intention of naming
under parliamentary privilege a prominent SF politician as
the man who had planned his [Simpson's] cousin's murder in
1979 and who had then become a police informer.

So the primary result of Adams's most recent activities has
been to stir up the DUP heartlands and cause consternation
in republican ranks.

Is it possible that his humiliation in the Irish election
has unhinged him?


Largest Mural Yet

By Ciarán Barnes

Work on what is expected to be Belfast’s biggest mural
started in earnest this week.

A 48-feet stretch of wall that runs along Beechmount Avenue
will soon be transformed into what locals are terming ‘The
Collusion Wall’.

The mural, which will be a mixture of paintings and perspex
images, will tell the story of collusion between the
British security services and loyalist paramilitaries.

Central to the piece will be images of more than 100 murder
victims who died as a result of collusion.

The Mid-Falls Commemoration Committee (MFCC), which is
behind the Collusion Wall idea, said the mural would get
bigger with time.

“At the moment we have set aside a 48-feet long space for
the mural, but we expect that to grow over time with more
families wanting to add images of their loved ones,” said
MFCC chairman Paul Murphy.

“We’ve had families from as far away as South Armagh who
have got in touch wanting pictures of their murdered
relatives to form part of the mural. This isn’t just a
local thing, we want it to encompass the whole of Ireland.”

Taking up a large section of the mural will be Police
Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s hard-hitting probe into collusion
between the Special Branch and the Mount Vernon UVF.

Ms O’Loan found collusion had occurred and that police paid
UVF double agent Mark Haddock £80,000 of public cash over a
10-year period, despite the loyalist being involved in 16
murders. Paul said images of the report would form a key
part of the Collusion Wall.

He added: “We want tourists, or anyone else for that matter
who looks at the wall, to see the full story of collusion.

“As well as the photos of the victims we want them to
understand that collusion was a reality, and that it’s not
just the families of murder victims saying that but the
Police Ombudsman.”

The MFCC is currently raising funds to pay for a plastic
guard to ensure the mural is protected.

They need to raise £1,500 and have appealed to local
businesses for donations.

“Any help would be very welcome.

“If anyone does want to help they should contact the Mid-
Falls Commemoration Committee,” said Paul.



Celtic Tradition Alive On City's Waterfront

By Karen Florin , Published on 8/26/2007

New London — “My brother was a boat builder in Ireland ...”
“There was a woman from Winnersh Island ...” “I'm half
Irish, half Scottish ...”

Tales began in this fashion all day Saturday as New London
Main Street put on its second annual Celts & Currachs
festival on the city's waterfront.

The brother of the boat builder from Ireland was 70-year-
old John Joyce, from South Boston by way of Connemara. He
was one of the guys you were told to talk to if you wanted
to know about the currach boats that were racing from the
Custom House pier. The modern version of the traditional
Celtic fishing and racing boats are 25 feet long, built of
wood, tar and canvas and piloted by four-person teams using
long, wooden, “paint stick” oars.

“I was more or less born in one of these type of boats,”
said Joyce, his blue eyes a-twinkle in his pink face as he
began his story. “I lived on an island, and the only way to
go to the store, church or anywhere was by the boats.”

After immigrating to “Southie” in 1955, Joyce and his
brother built their own currachs and tried to keep the
tradition of racing them alive.

“I wanted to see it done like it was done in Ireland,” he
said. “It was a very big sport.”

The sport appeared to be thriving Saturday in New London,
where 14 teams, made up of teens to seniors — signed up to
race a half-mile course. In the end, two teams from
Hanafin's Irish Pub faced off for the championship, and the
winning team, with pub owner Diarmuid Hanafin — native of
Dublin — pulling his own in the third seat, took a victory

On City Pier, keeping the music of Celtic people and their
traditional languages alive was the objective. Judith Gill,
who has a World Music show on WCNI radio, was in her glory.
Gill, who said she is half Irish and half Scottish, told
one person it did not matter whether they had any Celtic
ancestry at all.

“That's what the whole Celtic movement is about,” she said.
“It's like a big family.”

Musicians worked their fifes, fiddles, guitars and voices
all day, giving the crowd a taste of the merry and the
mournful. There was not an electric guitar in sight, though
a group resembling Irish rock's U2 was to perform at
Hanafin's late last night.

“It's all traditional music,” Gill said. “This whole
festival is about teaching young people and those who don't
know about the culture.”

Performers sang the stories of people who lived before,
tales of fishing and moonshine, weddings and funerals.

Balladeer Danny O'Flaherty filled the bleachers for his
afternoon performance. A native of western Ireland, he was
operating a pub in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina

Some New Londoners organized a fund-raiser here for
O'Flaherty and his family, and he said he would never
forget “what the people of Connecticut have done for me.”

His personal mission, O'Flaherty said, is to ensure that
people continue to learn and speak the Gaelic language,
which is spoken by only 8,000 people in Ireland.

He salted his stories and songs with Gaelic, including one
song, “from back in my parish,” about a woman from the
Island of Winnersh.

The day's events were to culminate in the area of Hanafin's
on upper State Street, where the street was set to close,
several musicians were to perform and more than a few pints
of Guinness were probably poured.

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