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October 07, 2007

UDA Has Not Done Enough On Arms

News About Ireland & The Irish

BB 10/07/07 UDA Has Not 'Done Enough On Arms'
BB 10/07/07 Pair Injured In Sectarian Attack
II 10/07/07 US Officials Were Angered By 'Blase' Attitude To IRA
SF 09/20/07 Fine Words Not Enough To End Sectarianism: McGuinness
SS 10/07/07 Orangeman Invites Top Catholic For Lunch
BB 10/07/07 Paisley Defends Causeway Stance
II 10/07/07 McCartney Sisters May Emigrate


UDA Has Not 'Done Enough On Arms'

The Ulster Defence Association has not done enough on disarming to
secure funding for loyalist projects, Alliance Party leader David Ford
has said.

On Saturday, NI Secretary Shaun Woodward said the paramilitary group
had started "meaningful engagement".

Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie has threatened to pull
œ1.2m loyalist funding over the issue.

Mr Ford said the UDA had not done enough and that Mr Woodward should
not have released a statement on the issue.

However, he said the group engaging with the Independent International
Commission on Decommissioning to discuss how it could put its weapons
beyond use was welcome.

"This statement cannot be used as a get out clause for the UDA to get
their funding and I would again urge Margaret Ritchie to stick to her
deadline," he said.

"I am concerned the secretary of state has made a public statement on
the UDA's engagement at this very sensitive time.

"The issue of the grant was solely a matter for Margaret Richie and the
Department of Social Development.

"This unhelpful statement from Mr Woodward suggests a lack of respect
for the devolved institutions in general and the work of Margaret
Ritchie in particular."

Mr Woodward's welcome for the UDA development will put pressure on Ms

The social development minister has insisted she will end funding for a
three-year loyalist conflict transformation project, unless actual
decommissioning of weapons begins by Tuesday.

In a statement released on Saturday, Ms Ritchie said she was aware of
the NI Secretary's statement and would monitor the situation over the

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/10/07 08:56:59 GMT


Pair Injured In Sectarian Attack

Police are investigating a sectarian attack on two men in their early
20s in Portadown early on Saturday.

One of the men was taken to hospital following the incident at
Woodhouse Street at about 0100 BST.

As police attended the scene, fighting broke out between a crowd of up
to 30 people gathered nearby.

A female police officer was injured as she tried to intervene. Police
have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/10/06 13:32:35 GMT


US Officials Were Angered By 'Blase' Attitude To IRA

Sunday October 07 2007

The US government was angry and perplexed that neither the Irish or
British governments were putting pressure on Gerry Adams to insist on
the end of IRA criminality prior to entering Stormont.

The US special envoy on Northern Ireland pulled up the Irish Government
after Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern said that Sinn Fein
support for policing should not be a "precondition" for the party going
into government. In a series of recorded interviews with high-ranking
US officials involved in the negotiations prior to the settlement, an
American academic has revealed that following Mr Ahern's remarks in May
2006, the Americans issued a "call for clarification" from the
Department of Foreign Affairs.

The research shows that the Bush administration was infuriated by the
IRA's training of FARC guerrillas in Colombia and also by the murder of
Robert McCartney and the Northern Bank robbery. They insisted that Sinn
Fein buy into policing and that the IRA decommission and declare and
end to its "war

The revelations come as former Minister of State Liz O Donnell admitted
that the Irish Government had been "taking risks with democracy" when
it first began to bring Sinn Fein into the peace process during the

"There had to be a suspension of critical faculties," she tells
interviewer Bryan Dobson in RTE's One to One programme on Monday.

But US officials believe that appeasement of Sinn Fein and the IRA by
the Irish and British governments continued right up to last year.

Despite the accepted belief that the Clinton Administration was more
instrumental in pushing the peace process, Mary Alice C Clancy of
Queen's University's School of Politics, International Studies and
Philosophy contends that President Bush's envoys, Richard Haass and
Mitchell Reiss, played a greater role in pushing Sinn Fein towards an
agreement acceptable to the DUP than either the British or Irish.

Senior US administration officials said that the decision to withdraw
Gerry Adams's visa for a fundraising trip to the US was key to Adams
moving the IRA to decommission arms and join the Northern Ireland
Policing Board.

One of the officials interviewed described the murder of Robert
McCartney and the Northern bank robbery as the biggest such crime in

The combination of the two events was, according to one US official,
"the perfect storm", and Adams would feel its full effects when he
travelled to the US in March 2005. If Dublin was proving a 'cold house'
for Adams, Washington would prove even frostier on St Patrick's Day. He
was not invited for the annual St Patrick's Day celebration at the
White House, while Robert McCartney's sisters and partner were the
guests of honour instead.

Ms Clancy quotes another senior US official as saying there was
amazement in the Bush administraion that "elements of the Irish
Government, the British government appeared rather blase about IRA

"This was the biggest irritant between us and the Northern Ireland
Office. I don't believe that they had ever issued a policy statement to
the police to tell them to ignore IRA criminality as long as it did not
turn into bombs on the mainland, but I believe that many, many police
thought they operated under those rules. And the explanation we got
quietly when we asked about a well organised œ1.5 million robbery was:
'If we were to say it was the IRA, we'll be accused of interfering in
the (June 2004 European election, in which Sinn Fein gained two seats)

Ms Clancy also quotes senior officials as saying the United States'
attitude to Sinn Fein changed in the light of the September 11, 2001,
attacks in the US and after the three IRA men were caught on their way
home from training the FARC narco-terrorist group and when Gerry Adams
visited Cuba against US advice.

She writes: "Upon becoming special envoy in 2001, (Richard) Haass made
it clear that any solution to Northern Ireland did not lie in
Washington, and that it was up to the local leaders to strike a deal.
Events, however, would cause Haass to assume a more active role.
Adams's decision to travel to Cuba against US advice in 2001 and the
discovery of three IRA members in Colombia, allegedly training FARC
guerrillas, exactly one month before the September 11 terrorist attacks
caused the Sinn Fein leader problems in the US, and one official has
admitted that the administration's view of Adams 'dimmed' shortly
thereafter. Moreover, Haass's unwillingness to give Sinn Fein the
benefit of the doubt in perpetuity was exposed on September 11, when
Haass -- to borrow from the graffiti of south Belfast -- told Adams to
'FARC off' as it were."

She quotes a US official stating that after the replacement of special
envoy Haass with the new envoy, Mitchell Reiss from Massachusetts, and
the Robert McCartney murder and Northern Bank robbery, the US
introduced the visa ban on Adams and became even more insistent on Sinn
Fein signing up to policing. And, it was at this point that the
American protest was made over Dermot Ahern's interview in The Irish


Fine Words Not Enough To End Sectarianism - Martin McGuinness

Published: 20 September, 2007

Sinn F‚in deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has told a peace
conference today that condemnation of sectarianism and racism is not
enough to bring it to an end.

Speaking at the 5th Annual Conference of the Centre for Peace Building
in Donegal he said:

"Ending sectarianism and racism goes further than fine words. It
requires give and take, compromise, accommodation and hard work.

"If we are to build a society where there is respect for all cultures
and traditions there can be no place for intolerance or making excuses
for those who demonstrate such attitudes in their behavior.

"Everyone has a responsibility, and a role to play, in creating a
society that is at ease with the diversity of individuals and whole
communities. We also have a responsibility to build the prosperous and
equal society which will ultimately undermine sectarian and racist

Mr McGuinness said the theme of the conference "Bringing an end to
sectarianism and racism" represented the vision which he and First
Minister, Ian Paisley have set for themselves.

"Our aim has been to show the importance that the Executive places on
tackling all forms of intolerance and the need to include all people in
our society, regardless of their background. I believe that message and
our commitment to it is having a significant impact.

"People across our traditional communities are now reaching out to
build relationships, not only with each other, but also with the
growing number of new communities establishing themselves here in
Ireland. There is a lot to be learned from their presence with us and
through the experience of integrating those important new members of
our society.

"The importance of moving towards a society where there is respect and
understanding of each others traditions cannot be stressed enough.
Differences in our society must cease to be barriers. Difference must
be recognised and appreciated and celebrated.

"I believe this is a tremendous time in our history. A time of
opportunity - if grasped. Not to do so would be foolish in the


An Teach B n: Centre for Peace Building was established in 1985 to
provide a space for respite for community groups and individuals
experiencing community conflict. It is situated in Downings, Co

With the advent of Peace Funding the group developed a strong peace
building and community relations focus specialising in cross-border
work with women's groups, victims groups and community organisations.


Orangeman Invites Top Catholic For Lunch


THE leader of the Orange Order of Scotland is set to invite one of
Scotland's most prominent Catholics out to lunch in a bid to heal age-
old sectarian divisions.

Grand Master Ian Wilson is keen to meet Archbishop Mario Conti as part
of a broader public relations blitz by the exclusively Protestant
organisation aimed at improving its public image.

The Order, which is best known for holding Orange parades in west
central Scotland, has hired a top Edinburgh PR firm to help enhance its

Wilson, who wants to modernise the contentious organisation, is keen to
build trust and dialogue with the Catholic church.

He previously met Conti briefly during an anti-sectarian summit
organised by former First Minister Jack McConnell.

"I said to Archbishop Conti that we should meet up for lunch and he
replied that he thought that would be a good idea," said Wilson.

"Sadly I have not taken him up on that yet, but I am keen to put that
right. The interfaith dialogue has to continue. It is the only
civilised way to conduct business in the 21st century."

Halogen PR, a company set up by former MP and Scottish Conservative
chairman Raymond Robertson, has been hired by the Order.

Spokesman Iain McMenemy said:

"We want to make it clear that the Order has a zero-tolerance policy on
anything paramilitary or singing any bigoted songs.

"They have also made it clear that the so-called Buckfast brigade with
their Rangers tops and flags are no longer welcome."

A spokesman for Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow, said: "The Archbishop
would be glad to meet with Mr Wilson."

The Orange Order, which has close ties to the Loyalist movement in
Northern Ireland, claims 50,000 members in Scotland.


Paisley Defends Causeway Stance

Ian Paisley Jnr has said critics of his relationship with the
developer, Seymour Sweeney, have failed to provide conclusive proof of
any wrongdoing.

Independent MEP Jim Allister has called for a planning inquiry to
clarify Mr Sweeney's proposal for a visitors' centre at the Giant's

Mr Paisley Jnr has said he has nothing to hide.

"Did I support this application? Did I know this man? I answered 'yes I
know of him, yes'," he said.

"I think that is exactly how I answered the questions.

"It wasn't as if I was hiding anything, the answer was positive and in
the affirmative.

"This should not be a discussion about the applicant, this should be a
discussion about the quality of the application and what will happen."

Mr Allister said he thought people had been "shocked by the daily
revelations over the Causeway debacle".

"How Unesco, the National Trust and EHS can offer professional advice
against the private proposal and yet the minister smiles upon it, is
unexplained and baffling for most," said the former DUP representative.

Earlier on Friday, World Heritage body Unesco rejected claims it backed
Mr Sweeney's bid for a visitors' centre at the Giant's Causeway.

It had been reported that Ian Paisley Snr had written a letter to the
UK Heritage Lottery Fund in 2003 claiming Unesco backed the developer's

Mechtild Rossler, a senior Unesco official, clarified the situation.

"We don't deal with private developers and I expressed that very
clearly to Mr Sweeney," she said.

Speaking on BBC's Good Morning Ulster, Ms Rossler added: "Under the
World Heritage Convention, we deal with governments and it's up to the
governments to implement the decisions of the World Heritage


In his letter, Mr Paisley Snr also took the fund to task for not
awarding a grant to Mr Sweeney in his bid for the centre.

Sinn Fein's Daithi McKay has called for "full disclosure".

"So that we can not just uncover what has happened but also more
importantly so that we can get a new visitors' centre," he said.

"It is clear that it would be a catastrophe to move ahead with private
development proposals that would threaten the world heritage status of
the site."

The SDLP has called on the first minister to make a statement to the
assembly on the controversy.

Assembly member John Dallat, said it could damage the assembly's

"The most recent revelation in the (Belfast) Telegraph has suggested
the facts were not as they were," Mr Dallat said.

"The scheme by Mr Sweeney does not have the support of Unesco, does not
have the support of the National Trust, does not have the support of
the local councils."

The previous visitors' at the Giants Causeway centre burned down in

The Giants Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered
basalt, resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago,
attracts nearly 500,000 visitors a year.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/10/05 17:07:24 GMT


McCartney Sisters May Emigrate

Sunday October 07 2007

Two of Robert McCartney's sisters, Catherine and Paula, are planning to
leave Belfast so that their families will not become targets of the IRA
figures involved in the murder.

It has also emerged that most of the killers have been quietly re-
integrated into Sinn Fein, which now shares power in Northern Ireland.

Catherine confirmed yesterday that she and her sister are "thinking
about" emigrating. She has already been offered a teaching job in
Western Australia and Paula is considering moving to Spain.

Their three other sisters, Clare, Gemma and Donna, and Robert's
partner, Brigeen Hagans, who all have young families, are so far not
considering emigration.

Paula and Catherine, who have led the campaign for Robert's killers to
be brought to justice, were appalled to learn recently that one of the
key suspects in the murder was given a well-paid 'community
development' job after being interviewed by two members of Sinn Fein,
both of whom were also in the bar the night their brother was stabbed
to death by members of the IRA.

Despite the family's pleas, none of the large group of Sinn Fein
members -- believed to be between 60 to 70 -- who were in Magennis's
bar on the night of the murder has ever made a statement to the police.

Sinn Fein has been quietly reinstating figures who were in the bar that
night and who it claimed to have expelled. Several now hold well-paid
'community' jobs in organisations controlled by Sinn Fein in working-
class Catholic areas of Belfast.

The key suspect recently given a 'development' job in the community
sector is barely literate and has no qualifications, despite the fact,
Catherine said, that the job requires development analysis and report
writing skills. The appointment has also angered local people whose
children have gone through university and are unable to get such jobs.
Despite the fact that the IRA-man has no qualifications and left school
early with limited reading and writing skills, he is now earning a
higher public salary than a school teacher.

The man, who served a prison sentence for IRA firearms offences, was
"officer commanding" of the IRA in the Markets area where the
McCartney's lived. According to witnesses he had a dispute with Robert
McCartney's friend Brendan Devine and as he walked away he signalled to
other IRA-men in the bar that the two were to be taken out and stabbed.

According to witnesses who spoke to the McCartney family, the man drew
his finger across his throat as he walked away.

The IRA gang present then took carving knives from the pub kitchen and
dragged the two outside and into a side street where both were
repeatedly stabbed and beaten with sewer rods by up to nine men.
Brendan Devine survived having had his throat slashed and suffering a
wound from his lower abdomen to the tip of his chest. Robert was
pronounced dead shortly after reaching hospital.

The murder was one of around 40 committed by the IRA during the so-
called "peace process", which ultimately resulted in Sinn Fein going
into power at Stormont with the DUP after "recognising" the PSNI and
agreeing to serve on the North's Policing Board.

During their campaign, the McCartneys gave assistance to the family of
Dubliner Joseph Rafferty, who was also murdered in April 2005 by an
IRA-man doubling as a Sinn Fein election worker. Again, as in the case
of Robert, Sinn Fein members who knew what happened refused to co-
operate with gardai.

Catherine McCartney said she and her family could not be sure whether
they or their children would be targeted by republicans angered at
their campaign.
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