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September 03, 2007

PSNI: Brutal Force

News about Ireland and the Irish

DJ 09/03/07 PSNI: 'Brute Force'
DJ 09/03/07 Hegarty: MoD Withdraws 'Terrorist' Accusation

Daniel Hegarty
DJ 09/04/07 SF's Policing Role Will Upset Voters
TS 09/03/07 Opin: Murals Of Conflict Lay Claim To Peace
DJ 09/03/07 House Prices Fall As Market Slows


PSNI: 'Brute Force'

One of the injuries sustained by three men in the early
hours of Saturday morning.

The PSNI have been accused of acting 'in a brutal manner'
during an incident in Cornshell Fields in the early hours
of Saturday morning when three men, one of them suffering
from cerebral palsy, were arrested.

The Sunday was inundated with calls yesterday from people
in the area who said that they could see no reason for the
heavy handed police presence and the subsequent events.

The mother and wife of those arrested told the Sunday her
account of what happened: "The police arrived at our door
and they claimed they had received an allegation against my
son. Now they did not ask him about this allegation or give
him a chance to give his side of the story.

"Before I had a chance to open the door when they knocked
they came in and they were very hyper and aggressive. They
were shouting and pushed one of my sons up against the
wall. My other son, the one they wanted to talk to was in
the toilet, and I told them that but they continued to
behave very aggressively. When my son appeared they grabbed
him, pulled him out to the garden and banged his head of a
fence. My husband came down the stairs and went out to see
what was happening and they grabbed him as well.

"My other son, who suffers from cerebral palsy was then
grabbed and they hit him across the back and they arrested
him. I had to dive and try and protect my other son. It was
absolutely disgusting the way the police behaved.

"After a couple of hours they brought my son with cerebral
palsy back and they acted as if they were doing me a
favour. He has been very upset since then and can't
understand what is happening."

Another resident of Cornshell Fields resident told the
Sunday: "I couldn't believe the noise the police were
making. They arrived and sat outside the house for 45
minutes and then they started bringing people out of the

"I saw them bringing one man out and shoving him into the
car and then a female police officer started shouting abuse
at him when he was in the car.

"I saw them bringing a second fellah out to the car and he
didn't really seem to be offering any kind of resistance.
At this point one of the police men said to another 'give
me my baton,' while he had the fellah at the back of the

"At this point landrovers arrived and it was just complete
chaos. The police seemed to have no respect for anyone else
in the area. It seems ridiculous that police would send so
many officers to the one scene when there was very little
trouble to begin with."

Another resident said: "I have tried to call the police in
the past over serious incidents and couldn't get one but
there seemed to be no shortage here for what did not look
like a serious incident."

A spokesperson for the 32 County Sovereignty Movement said:
"After a recent incident with a former councillor
politicians and clergy fell over themselves to condemn it
yet after an incident like this their silence is

A police spokesperson said: "Police were responding to a
call from a member of the public. They were confronted with
a violent and aggressive situation. Three men, aged 28, 29
and 53 were arrested for disorderly behaviour and assault
on police." Police confirmed that one of the men was later
'dearrested' due to his mental condition, this is believed
to refer to the man suffering from cerebral palsy.

Last Updated: 03 September 2007 9:58 AM


Hegarty: MoD Withdraws 'Terrorist' Accusation

Daniel's name cleared

By Kyle White

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has offered its
"sincere apologies" to the family of an innocent Derry
teenager shot dead by British soldiers after it wrongly
labelled the youth a 'terrorist.'

Daniel Hegarty (15) was fatally injured during 'Operation
Motorman' in the Creggan in the early hours of July 31,

The unarmed teenager was described by the MoD as a
'terrorist' in its analysis of 'Operation Banner' - the
British Army codename for operations in Northern Ireland
between August 1969 and July 31, 2007.

News that the inaccurate reference has been removed from
the report, which was contained in a document published on
the MoD's website, was yesterday welcomed by Daniel
Hegarty's sister, Margaret Brady.

"I welcome the fact that this document is to be amended,"
she said. "It's wrong that we should have to fight to clear
Daniel's name when we were wronged in the first place. I
only wish they (MoD) would accept that the British Army
shot many many people without justification and where they
posed no threat.

"Young Seamus Bradley was shot that same night and his
inquest found that he was unarmed."

A spokesperson for the MoD confirmed that an error had been
made and apologised to the Hegarty family.

"The paragraph in question is inaccurate and this should
have been picked up on during proof reading, but
unfortunately was not. I recognise the considerable
distress this must have caused...and I have instructed the
report be removed from our website and an amended version
produced. I would also like to offer my sincere apologies
to Daniel's family."

The issue was brought to the attention of the MoD on behalf
of the Hegarty family by the Pat Finucane Centre in Derry,
which highlighted the discrepancy in July this year.

A letter was sent to Defence Minister, Des Brown,
requesting that the document be withdrawn and the reference
to Daniel Hegarty be corrected.

The Pat Finucane Centre pointed out in the letter that Mr.
Brown - then NIO Minister - had previously written to the
Hegarty family in 2003, stating that "neither I nor the
Government have ever said that Daniel was a terrorist."

Stephanie English, Pat Finucane Centre, said the
development represented a "small victory" for the Hegarty

"To be honest, we thought we were in for the long haul and
that much more pressure would be needed, but it seems that
very few people in Whitehall are willing to stand over this
document, which is littered with inaccuracies,
exaggerations and deeply racist assumptions.


"We do feel it important to set the record straight. It's a
pity that the other rubbish cannot be corrected, but at
least this represents a small victory for the Hegarty

The MoD spokesperson added "...the Secretary of State has
previously written letters to the effect that Daniel is
considered innocent and we continue to stand by those

Last Updated: 31 August 2007 10:57 AM


SF's Policing Role Will Upset Voters

By Staff reporter

The SDLP's leader on Limavady Council, Michael Coyle, says
Sinn Féin's decision to join the District Policing
Partnership in Limavady could prove a "step too far for

The former Mayor of Limavady, accusing Sinn Fein of
shirking its responsibilities in monitoring local policing
over the years, says the party has opted to follow the
example set by the SDLP.

“What will the voters who elected Sinn Féin on the
understanding that it would not work with the PSNI think
now? Will this be a step too far for those SF voters?

“Instead of shining a light in dark places, Sinn Féin in
Limavady is trying to cover-up their mistakes and
uncertainties. They have to blame the SDLP, because they
know they are in a catch-up situation. They have to justify
their poor performance to their electorate. After so many
years of...shirking their responsibilities in monitoring
local policing, it is strange to hear them clambering
aboard to join in the Limavady Policing Partnership.”

Mr. Coyle, who is also a former MLA, said the
nationalist/republican majority on the DPP would still hold
the majority sway, regardless of whether or not a 15, 17 or
19 member model was used to determine the make-up of the

“The District Policing Partnerships are not defunct, they
will be restructured - that is the number of members will
change and the members may change, however there basic
operation will not. The political balance of
republican/nationalist versus unionist is in the ratio of

“The overall gender balance is maintained within the
partnership when the independent members are taken into

“Whether the 15, 17 or 19 model is used in the makeup of
the DPP, the d’Hondt system ensures a fair political
distribution on the partnership.

“It is a bit of a surprise to hear Sinn Féin complain about
expenditure of Limavady DPP on one hand and on the other
they want an extra Sinn Féin councillor as well as an extra
independent member on the partnership, with the extra cost
that will incur.

“Surely 15 members on the DPP is a good compromise, giving
sufficient political representation while keeping the
expenditure reasonable.”

Last Updated: 03 September 2007 3:40 PM


Opin: Murals Of Conflict Lay Claim To Peace

Sep 03, 2007 04:30 AM

The iconography of conflict often outlasts battles and the
lives of those who fight them. In the American South,
Confederate flags still fly, though the government they
represent was defeated 142 years ago. In Britain, the poppy
has grown in significance, even as the number of World War
I survivors has fallen to single figures. In Northern
Ireland, the outbreak of peace hasn't diminished the status
of visual symbols of the Troubles. Murals are still being
painted and banners carried.

But their purpose is shifting. Images from Northern
Ireland's conflict, though barely over, now claim to assert
cultural identity. "Sharp uniforms, painted banners, flute,
drum and bagpipe playing from award-winning bands ...
create a colourful kaleidoscope for the senses," Tourism
Ireland promised of this summer's "Orangefest 2007" –
better known as the marching season, with its associated
strife. The murals of Belfast and Derry have long attracted
tourists, but the shock of seeing bombs, balaclavas and
Armalite rifles painted on the ends of terrace houses on
the Shankill is giving way to pacific artwork recalling
George Best or the sinking of the Belfast-built Titanic.

At their best, these murals reflect real change. The
People's Gallery records the Troubles in 11 striking images
that once helped perpetuate them, including The Runner, a
boy fleeing CS gas, and Petrol Bomber, a masked man shown
in 1969. They record violence and suffering, without much
bitterness. That's true too of non-sectarian murals painted
jointly by Danny Devenny, a former republican prisoner, and
Mark Ervine, a loyalist. Now they plan to paint Beatles
album covers on walls in Liverpool.

Should Northern Ireland's iconography be classified
alongside Beatlemania? Not yet, given the danger of a
nostalgia for battles. The Orange Order's commemoration of
17th-century conflict fed 20th-century feuds. Murals and
marches are evolving. It's too soon to be sure they
celebrate the end of conflict rather than sustain the
threat of its return.

This is an edited version of an editorial that appeared
Friday in the Guardian, London.


House Prices Fall As Market Slows

House prices have dropped 3% since the start of the year
revealing further evidence of a slowdown in the Republic's
once booming property market, new figures show.

The average price paid by home-buyers in July was 301,267
euro, around the same as in June 2006, according to the
latest Permanent TSB/ESRI house price index. This marks a
drop of almost 10,000 euro on January's average figure of
311,078 euro.

In the last seven months Dublin house prices dropped by
3.8% compared with 3.4% in the rest of the country, while
in the commuter counties the figure fell by 4.2%. The
average price paid for a house in the capital in July was
411,069 euro, while elsewhere it was 257,372 euro. This
compares with last December's figures of 427,343 euro and
266,339 euro.

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