The Irishworld Online

**Vatican fups up again, making thinking Catholics ashamed to be Catholic. This is almost like something off a television satire:

Highest Catholic award for Thatcher

by Paul Donovan

Baroness Margaret Thatcher has been awarded the highest honour that the Catholic Church can bestow for her work in promoting better understanding and dialogue between different faiths.

In a ceremony at Westminster Cathedral the former Prime Minister was made a Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Francis I in a ceremony presided over by Cardinal Francesco Pompedda.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor was also in attendance at the ceremony where Baroness Thatcher was welcomed into the order with an insignia and scroll inscribed with her name.

Labour MP Stephen Pound was absolutely staggered by the award. “It would be difficult to find a more inappropriate recipient of a Papal honour. She is a person who has promoted division at every turn. For thousands of my constituents her policies led to unemployment, negative equity and generally promoted misery in communities,” said Pound. “Central to the ethos of Thatcher was that there was no such thing as community which runs contrary to the core teachings of the Catholic Church.”

Fr Jerry Kivlehan of the London Irish Centre expressed “incredible surprise” when he heard of the award. “She made very little effort to understand ethnic groups like the Irish. Her attitude toward the hunger strikes in Northern Ireland and the imposition of the poll tax spring to mind,” said Fr Jerry. “There are certainly others more deserving of awards for their services to the poor and marginalized in society.”

“Justice and peace activists at grassroots level will be very disappointed to hear that the Vatican is to give Margaret Thatcher a papal award. I would have thought the church's social teaching would preclude such an honour being handed to a former world leader who publicly stated that she did not believe there was such a thing as society. Her very name stands for policies such as monetarism, privatisation and hostility to trade unions which have undermined the fabric of British society,” said Ellen Teague, justice and peace activist.

At the same ceremony Paul Murphy, the Northern Ireland secretary, a practicing Catholic was invested into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George.

He was made a Knight Commander of Merit with Star for helping to promote peace in Northern Ireland. “This is a considerable honour and I feel privileged to become a knight of the order,” said Murphy.

Others honoured included the former Chief of Defence staff General Lord Guthrie who was recognized for his work contributing to the life of the Catholic Church and supporting charities.

The Queen and Prime Minister Tony Blair sent messages of support.

Irish Echo Online - News

Malachy McAllister

McAllister family on brink of deportation

By Ray O'Hanlon

Belfast man Malachy McAllister was facing expulsion from the U.S. on Thursday, Nov. 20, after an immigration court denied his appeal against deportation.

And the Virginia-based Court of Immigration Appeals reversed a previous court decision to grant asylum to McAllister's wife, Bernadette, and the couple's four children.

Bernadette McAllister and the children have been given 30 days to leave the United States. Malachy McAllister's departure could be much sooner than that.

The former INLA member, who is now a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, was attending a meeting Wednesday at the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Donald Payne when news came through of the immigration court's decision.

"Now they can come and pick me up at any time," McAllister said. "I feel completely shattered. So much for the Good Friday agreement."

McAllister and his family fled Belfast a little more than 15 years ago after loyalist gunmen fired shots into their home. They have lived in New Jersey since arriving in the U.S.

"The kids were just babies when we got to America," said McAllister, who celebrated 25 years of marriage to Bernadette a few days ago.

One of his children, 26-year-old Gary, is married to an American citizen, but despite this, he has also been included in the deportation order.

Attorneys for the McAllisters were working around the clock in order to file an emergency appeal in the federal 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia in an effort to block any immediate move to deport Malachy McAllister.

That same court, however, recently ruled in favor of deportation of another former INLA man, John Edward McNicholl, and refused to hear an appeal to suspend McNicholl's deportation.

McNicholl was arrested and deported within days of the court's decision. His wife, a U.S. citizen, and two of the couple's three children, also citizens, were forced to follow McNicholl to Ireland because they could not afford the upkeep of the family home in Philadelphia.

The deportation of McNicholl was a cause of heightened concern for Malachy McAllister, in part because of what he perceived as a lack of community action in the cases of both the McNicholl family and his own.

"There has been no outrage, no stepping up to the plate," McAllister said a few days before the court decision in his own case. "This issue should be important to all Irish Americans.

"What harm was John McNicholl doing, where was the threat to national security, why are they going after Irishmen?"

McAllister said he considered the prosecution of both the McNicholl case and his case to be a waste of taxpayer money.

"Why are they putting our families through all this," he said. "We support the Good Friday peace agreement and the fight against terrorism as much as any American."

ic Derry - Sinn Fein Out to Smash Coleraine Glass Ceiling

Sinn Fein Out to Smash Coleraine Glass Ceiling Nov 21 2003

Sinn Fein assembly candidate for East Derry, Cliona O'Kane has said the party is determined to break through the 'sectarian glass ceiling' in Coleraine and offer nationalists and republicans there the chance to have real representation.

Speaking of the feedback received from her Coleraine canvass teams Ms O'Kane said that her party is breaking new ground and entering new areas, the culmination of three years planning work.

She said: "Since the establishment of the Dungiven Sinn FÈin Advice Centre three years ago we have been developing a network of party workers to cover all parts of East Derry, concentrating on those areas where in the past our party has not had a structured presence on the ground.

"We identified the Borough of Coleraine as a strategic priority. During this campaign we have canvassed every inch of Coleraine Bann, Central, East and Skerries including Harpur's Hill and the Ballysalley estate."

She continued: "The initial response was one of surprise to see such a strong Sinn Fein canvass in places we had never been before, followed immediately by a warm welcome and an outpouring of grievances about the plight of the republican and nationalist community in Coleraine.

"I was particularly moved by a middle aged gentleman who became quite emotional on the doorstep. He insisted that we went inside for fear we might be seen.

"He recalled an experience from the early 60's when as a child he was learning to read and write at St. Malachy's Primary School in Coleraine. "Accompanying his mother whilst shopping he saw a sign in a window, which read 'Two shop assistants required, RC's need not apply'.

"When he loudly asked his mother what a RC was, she hurriedly bundled him home in fear of her life."

Cliona O'Kane continued:

"He told me that beneath the surface, nothing much had changed in the town over the years 'Coleraine is not a comfortable place for Catholics and it never was. We just have to keep our heads down, say our prayers and get on with it' he said.

"The Coleraine canvass was quite different than any other ward issues of basic human rights, institutional sectarianism and loyalist intimidation were raised time and time again as a priority.

"In other areas where Sinn Fein has had a presence, particularly at council level, the key issues were typically unemployment, government neglect West of the Bann, rural regeneration, under investment in the road and rail infrastructure, drug abuse and so forth."

She added: "In Coleraine the right of people to live free from sectarian harassment is the issue. This is one of the five pledges I have made in my Election Communication.

"Many of those canvassed complained that Coleraine Housing Executive seemed to have adopted a secret agenda to quietly re house Catholics from flash point areas, where in some cases they have lived for generations, instead of addressing the root of the problem, sectarianism.

"One young mother told me that the town is littered with loyalist paramilitary flags and painted kerb stones from New Market Street to Ballysalley and by flying the union flag 365 days a year outside their offices, Coleraine Borough Council are sending out a dangerous message. The loyalists thugs interpret this as licence to intimidate."

The Sinn Fein candidate added: "The vast majority of the people we spoke to commented on the bravery of nationalist and independent councillors, clergymen and community leaders from the town, many of whom have had their property attacked and families terrorised in the past, who have lobbied for years to make this town inclusive.

"Despite their efforts they have not cut the mustard, they have failed to deliver. It is time the republican and nationalist people of Coleraine elected Sinn Fein to smash the glass ceiling of sectarianism in this town. They have an opportunity to do so next Wednesday."

New rules block thousands from Belfast Assembly poll
By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent
22 November 2003
The Independent

As many as one third of young people in Northern Ireland may not be
able to vote in the Assembly elections on 26 November because of
changes in the electoral rules.

Voting arrangements were completely revised before the elections were
called, with radical new rules for compiling the electoral register.
Up to 50,000 voters under 25 will not appear on the register and
therefore cannot vote in what is being billed as a particularly
important election.

The new rules were brought in as a response to allegations that the
traditional Northern Ireland practice of personation, or vote-
stealing, was still alive. A rigorous new form of registration last
year removed 11 per cent of the entire electoral register, which
could have a marked effect in a number of the 18 constituencies.

Opinions differ on how much of the reduction was accounted for by the
tackling of fraudulent voting and how much was due to a clean-up of
an untidy and out-of-date register.

The most striking change was in West Belfast, which is dominated by
Sinn Fein, with almost one in five of its electorate gone from the
new register. Since the changes, political parties have for months
been scrambling to make sure their potential supporters have been
added to the register.

Sinn Fein in particular has been making strenuous efforts to do this,
with hundreds of activists urging those excluded to get on the

A senior Sinn Fein source said yesterday: "Every party is going to
affected by this, because for some people getting on the register is
too much hassle for them.

"We've done a lot, and I think we may have made it up. We've been
back, we've been back, we've been back time and again to urge people
to get their forms in." In a separate development, the Electoral
Commission has warned that more than 35,000 people who are on the
register may not have an acceptable form of identification and will
not be able to vote.

The rules for identification were tightened because of suspicions of
voting fraud. Voters are now required by law to produce photographic
ID in the form of a special Electoral Identity Card or documents such
as a passport.

Electoral experts say that many young people will be disfranchised
because of sweeping rule changes in recent years. In a system that
has been introduced only in Northern Ireland, potential voters were
obliged to fill in individual forms rather than be registered by the
heads of households.

In addition they were required to provide their national insurance
number, date of birth and signature.

Many young people have apparently not taken the trouble to register.
One observer said: "Under the new system young people can no longer

rely on their parents. They have to make the effort to register
themselves, and many have not bothered.

"This could potentially have an impact on overall voter turnout -
getting young people to turn out is already difficult and this is
likely to make the problem worse than ever."

The register to be used in the coming election closed at the
beginning of September. This means that thousands of teenagers who
have turned 18 since the introduction of the new system will be
unable to vote despite now being of voting age.

Experts say other groups of people who are likely to be under-
represented include those with disabilities, people who are caring
for other people, people from lower socio- economic groups and those
with literacy difficulties.

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Prison officers back on duty

Prison officers back on duty

Hundreds of prison officers have returned to work at Northern Ireland's three main prisons after failing to report for duty on Friday.
All inmates were locked in their cells and police officers were called in to help with security during the unofficial dispute.

The normal regime was suspended at Maghaberry jail in County Antrim, Magilligan prison in County Londonderry, and Hydebank Young Offenders centre on the outskirts of Belfast, with visits cancelled.

The Prison Officers' Association has been involved in a long-running row with management over security arrangements for staff at their homes.

The union dismissed a recent meeting with the Prisons Minister Jane Kennedy as "a waste of time".

The Prison Service condemned Friday's action as "reprehensible".

This was to show government and management that they had had enough. Finlay Spratt,Prison Officers' Association

Director General of the Prison Service, Peter Russell said the action, which he said was unofficial, would do nothing to resolve the issue.

"Staff were warned this morning of the consequences of leaving their posts. It is a breach of their terms and conditions of service and as such they will not be entitled to pay," he said.

"This action increases the potential for disruption in the prisons when there is already a volatile atmosphere."

Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Prison Officers Association, said he supported his members but added that he had not known of the action in advance.

"I fully support any decision they have made," he said.

"If they are stressed out and sick, they have my utmost sympathy. This was to show government and management that they had had enough."

Recently, dozens of cells were wrecked during trouble at the high security Maghaberry jail.

In September, a review of safety at Maghaberry recommended separating republican and loyalist prisoners.

The move was being introduced in the wake of violent clashes between rival groups in the jail and in the face of a "dirty protest" by a group of dissident republican prisoners.

As well as paramilitary prisoners, Maghaberry houses male and female prisoners, whether they are convicted or on remand, and a number of asylum seekers.


BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Police called in to staff prisons

Police called in to staff prisons

Hundreds of prison officers have failed to turn up for work at Northern Ireland's three main prisons.

Visits to Maghaberry jail in County Antrim, Magilligan prison in County Londonderry, and Hydebank Young Offenders centre on the outskirts of Belfast, were cancelled on Friday as police officers were called in to provide cover.

The normal prison regime has been suspended at all three jails and prisoners have been locked in their cells.

The Prison Officers' Association has been involved in a long-running row with management over security arrangements for staff at their homes.

The union dismissed a recent meeting with the Prisons Minister Jane Kennedy as "a waste of time".

This action increases the potential for disruption in the prisons when there is already a volatile atmosphere

Peter Russell
Prison Service Director General

The Prison Service has condemned the action as "reprehensible".

Director General of the Prison Service, Peter Russell said the action, which he said was unofficial, would do nothing to resolve the issue.

"Staff were warned this morning of the consequences of leaving their posts. It is a breach of their terms and conditions of service and as such they will not be entitled to pay," he said.

"This action increases the potential for disruption in the prisons when there is already a volatile atmosphere."

Finlay Spratt, chairman of the Prison Officers Association, said he supported his members but added that he had not known of the action in advance.

"I fully support any decision they have made.

"If they are stressed out and sick, they have my utmost sympathy. This was to show government and management that they had had enough."

Recently, dozens of cells were wrecked during trouble at the high security Maghaberry jail.

In September, a review of safety at Maghaberry recommended separating republican and loyalist prisoners.

The move was being introduced in the wake of violent clashes between rival groups in the jail and in the face of a "dirty protest" by a group of dissident republican prisoners.

As well as paramilitary prisoners, Maghaberry houses male and female prisoners, whether they are convicted or on remand, and a number of asylum seekers.

Times Online

Adams prays at his father's funeral for a united Ireland

By David Lister, Ireland Correspondent

GERRY ADAMS took time off from Northern Ireland’s election campaign yesterday to help to carry the coffin of his father through the streets of Belfast.
Delivering the homily at the funeral Mass of his 77-year-old father, also called Gerry, the Sinn Fein president prayed for “a united Ireland that will be free for all its people”.

About 500 people packed into St Michael’s Church in West Belfast to pay their respects to the father of Ireland’s most famous politician. They included John Hume, the former leader of the nationalist SDLP, Martin McGuinness, of Sinn Fein, and Sean Kelly, a convicted IRA bomber.

The service was led by three priests, including Father Alec Reid, a tireless go-between for Sinn Fein and the Government at the height of the Troubles.

Mr Adams was one of six men who shouldered his father’s coffin, draped in an Irish tricolour, as they set out towards Milltown Cemetery, the republican graveyard where Mr Adams Sr was buried yesterday afternoon.

Also among those attending were Pat Doherty, the Sinn Fein MP and vice-president, and Arthur Morgan and Martin Ferris, Sinn Fein representatives in the Irish parliament. Mr Ferris is a convicted IRA gun-runner.

Gerry Adams’s father, better known as “Pa Adams”, was one of a tiny clique of senior republicans who encouraged the birth of the Provisional IRA in 1969 after the failure of its predecessor, the Official IRA, to defend Roman Catholic areas of Belfast. From a generation of “trenchcoat and revolver men” who had been active in the IRA in the 1940s, he carried enormous respect among republicans in Belfast. In 1942, at the age of 16, Mr Adams was wounded during a gun battle with police in Belfast that had been intended as one of a wave of IRA strikes against the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

After an attempted murder charge was dropped, he was sentenced to eight years for possessing ammunition.

He died on Monday after a protracted illness.

IOL: Irish names to be reinstated

Irish names to be reinstated
21/11/2003 - 10:41:02

Place names in English will no longer be recognised in Irish law as the Government has taken its first steps to legally recognise the original Irish versions, it emerged today.

More than 60 years after Irish was officially named the primary national language, Minister for Gaeltacht Affairs, Eamon O Cuiv, has given legal standing to Irish place names in six counties.

He highlighted the inconsistent translations certain names were given after being changed into English during British rule.

Mr O Cuiv said it was “unacceptable” that although place names in Irish were treated as if official, they had no actual recognition in law.

“If the local community wishes to use ‘Gaoth Dobhair’, ‘Dun Chaoin,’ ‘Casla’, ‘Tir an Fhia’ or ‘Cor na Mona’, I see no reason for anybody else to say that these are not the place names of these places,” he said.

The minister has promised to designate place names in all Gaeltacht areas by the end of the year, but it would reportedly take up to 10 years to formally translate place names in the remaining 20 counties.

Historically, the definitive legal place names of the country are contained in Ordnance Survey Ireland maps which date back to between 1824 and 1874.

These were deemed to be the legal place names of the country and all names are in English – mostly anglicised spellings of the original Irish language name.

While the 1973 Act allowed definitive Irish language versions of place names to be made available for official use, in legal terms such names remain in the English language only.

Under new legislation which came into effect on October 30, in an area outside the Gaeltacht, Irish and the English versions of a place name have the same status.

But for Gaeltacht place names, the English version is no longer legally recognised and cannot be used in future parliamentary Acts, on any road and street signs or on Ordnance Survey Maps.

The development will mean that voters in the Gaeltacht will have their addresses printed in Irish on their polling cards for the first time.


The Guardian | New Sinn Féin: from Armalite to Armani

New Sinn Féin: from Armalite to Armani

Republicans are trying to cast a broad net to catch voters from all sides who want peace and progress beyond the traditional loyalties

Rosie Cowan, Ireland correspondent
Thursday November 20, 2003
The Guardian

They are calling it the tiochfaidh ar la-de-da vote, a play on the IRA's infamous slogan "our day will come". Tramping the leafy avenues in some of Northern Ireland's most prosperous suburbs might seem a long way from Sinn Féin's 80s battle cry of the Armalite and the ballot box. It still wants a united Ireland. But many policies in its glossy 90-page manifesto - encouraging small business culture, developing the economic infrastructure - would not look out of place on the New Labour agenda.

Detractors dismiss it as spin, swapping AK-47s for Armani suits to give a veneer of political respectability. But republicans recognise the importance of appealing to the widest possible audience in the November 26 poll.

Voting in previous elections has always been along sectarian and class lines, with Sinn Féin attracting the majority of its support from staunch working-class Catholic areas. But this time there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that hardline unionist voters are more entrenched than ever, because of their opposition to the Good Friday agreement.

However, for Gerry Adams, the party president, the buzz phrase is the "new majority" - those who support the 1998 peace accord, regardless of their background. He hopes some of them will shake off their inhibitions to give republicans, if not their first-preference votes, then perhaps second or third.

Sinn Féin got 18 seats in the last Stormont assembly, making it the fourth largest party after the Ulster Unionists with 28, the Social Democratic and Labour party (SDLP), with 24, and Democratic Unionists with 20 seats. Republicans overtook the moderate SDLP at the June 2001 Westminster election, trumping its three MPs with four.

Sinn Féin may wish to establish its lead as the province's largest nationalist party but at least one republican denies the party has reinvented itself as a more cuddly outfit so as to lure middle-class liberals. "We haven't shed our republican history," he said. "Even if we were stupid enough to think we could, our opponents would never let us get away with it."

Sinn Féin candidates, he added, were not running away from their IRA connections. At the Bloody Sunday tribunal, Martin McGuinness, the senior negotiator and Mid-Ulster Westminster MP, discussed his former status as a paramilitary leader. Gerry Kelly, erstwhile IRA bomber and Maze jail escaper, who is canvassing affluent homes in north Belfast, has never made a secret of his past.

But republicans are claiming that many other Sinn Féin candidates have never had any links with the IRA. The party is drawing in a new breed of young radicals, dedicated to creating a more equal society and making the peace process work through republican politics.

"We are attracting young voters, but it's not about the glamour of violence," said a republican analyst. "The first IRA ceasefire was nine years, ago when first-time voters were nine years old. The whiff of cordite blew away a long time ago."

There is also now the influence of "new Catholic money", the middle-class professionals who moved from west Belfast to more well-heeled areas but never forsook their republican roots. Sinn Féin draws a comparison with South Africa, where business people forged links with the ANC liberation movement since it made economic sense.

"Whatever people think of Sinn Féin and the IRA, we've come a long way from the black hole of 10 years ago, when we had the Shankill bomb [IRA] and Greysteel shootings [loyalist UDA]," said one republican.

Alex Maskey, a former boxer - the stereotypical working-class republican hard man - is one who has stepped well outside his own political arena to try to broaden the vote. He made history when he served as Belfast's first Sinn Féin lord mayor this past year. The theme of his mayorship was crossing the sectarian divide and he engaged in all sorts of actions, from meeting loyalists and Protestant clergy to laying a Remembrance Day wreath at the cenotaph.

Now he has made another leap, from west to south Belfast to stand in a constituency of both rich and deprived areas. One pundit compared his move to an English Tory throwing away a safe home counties seat for an inner-city gamble. But Mr Maskey insists he is getting a positive response.

"I know I had a certain persona and some people were very wary of me when I ran for the Laganbank council seat in south Belfast two years ago," he said. "But this time the hostility is completely gone. My canvassers are hearing lots of favourable stories about my time as mayor and there's goodwill from all sides of the community."

Mr Maskey says Sinn Féin, by taking on two of the most challenging Stormont portfolios, with Mr McGuinness in charge of education and Bairbre de Brun as health minister, showed voters how well republicans could work in government. "The issue most people raise is how soon can we get Stormont re-established. But then they are keen to talk about local problems like traffic, housing and licensing laws. I know it's difficult to vote beyond your own tradition. But people have told me they are definitely considering it. Crossing those lines is what the Good Friday agreement is all about."


Gerry Adams senior dies after long illness

Gerry Adams senior, the father of Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, died in the Royal Victoria Hospital on Monday 17 November after a long illness. A lifelong republican, Adams senior was 77 when he died and is survived by five daughters and five sons.

His wife Annie died in September 1992.

In 1942, Gerry was shot and wounded by the RUC as he carried out an operation against the crown forces in the aftermath of the execution of Volunteer Tom Williams.

He was also a founding member of Cumann na Meirleach (the Irish Republican Felons' Club).

The Sinn Féin President cancelled all his public engagements on the news of his father's death. In a statement, on behalf of the entire Adams clann, he thanked staff at the RVH, the family doctor and all who attended Gerry senior during his illness.

Speaking at the party's manifesto launch at An Cultúrlann on Belfast's Falls Road on Monday, an event due to be hosted by Gerry Adams, the party's chief negotiator Martin McGuinness expressed the condolences of the Sinn Féin leadership to Gerry Adams and the entire Adams family.


IOL: Sinn Féin 'to win five extra seats'

Sinn Féin 'to win five extra seats'
19/11/2003 - 17:49:58

Sinn Féin is poised to take at least five extra seats in next week’s Northern Ireland Assembly election, the party predicted tonight.

With voters due to go to the polls next Wednesday, a senior Sinn Féin source said the party would increase its representation at Stormont to at least 23 seats.

He also claimed that under the proportional representation system, there would be more transfers from the rival nationalist SDLP to his party.

“We are getting a lot of credit on the doorsteps for our efforts in the peace process,” he said.

“We believe that we are on target to achieve a 60% transfer rate.

“Our latest analysis shows that we can win at least five extra seats.”

The source said Sinn Féin was intent on maximising the nationalist vote and encouraging supporters to transfer down the ballot paper to the SDLP and then other pro-Good Friday Agreement candidates after backing republicans.

He said the party was emphasising the need for strong nationalist representation at Stormont because there was a possibility that unionists could have more ministries in the next power sharing government if the Sinn Féin and SDLP votes were not maximised.

“We have been explaining that to people,” he said.

“However, I don’t think that some voters have been aware of that.

“It is not a sectarian argument and people are content that Sinn Féin and the SDLP are going into this election on a pro-Agreement basis.”

The Sinn Féin source dismissed SDLP claims, however, that in some constituencies the battle was between them and the Reverend Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists.

Sinn Féin today set out its policing policies but came under fire from the nationalist SDLP’s chairman Alex Attwood.

The West Belfast candidate claimed Sinn Féin’s manifesto had little to say on the real issues of law and order, such as car crime, protecting the elderly and investigating burglaries.

Mr Attwood claimed: “Their manifesto has little to say on these issues because people know that there is little that they can do.

“They’re not on the Policing Board. They are not on the District Policing Partnerships.

“All they have delivered is their seats on these bodies to anti-Patten unionists.”

The SDLP launched a 12-point plan which its representatives on the Policing Board and District Policing Partnerships would work to over the next four years.

They included ensuring that there was a proper police response to local emergency calls, pushing the police to pursue, prosecute and seize the assets of drug pushers and traffickers, prosecuting bars and off-licences that sell alcohol to under-18s, and getting more police officers out onto the streets instead of sitting behind desks.

The party was buoyed today by European Union Commissioner Chris Patten’s call for Sinn Féin to sign up to policing arrangements and urge young republicans to join the police.

Following yesterday’s public clash between Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and Democratic Unionist deputy leader Peter Robinson on the campaign trail, a former member of the UUP today launched a stinging attack on his ex-colleagues.

Democratic Unionist North Down Assembly candidate Peter Weir said: “The UUP are a party which abandons its words to the voters, thereby abandoning the people who voted for them.

“There is a place for those people who have been let down by the Ulster Unionists. They can place their trust in the DUP.”

Sinn Féin: Sinn Féin sets out Policing Agenda

Sinn Fein sets out Policing Agenda


Published: 19 November, 2003

Speaking at a press conference in Belfast this morning Sinn Fein Policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly was joined by party colleagues John O'Dowd, Michelle Gildernew and Alex Maskey as he set out the party's policing agenda.

" Sinn Fein wants to see effective, civic policing. We want to get policing right. Sinn Fein has been central to discussions relating to the future of policing in Ireland.

Sinn Fein put Policing on the agenda of the negotiations in 1997 and we insisted that this issue be directly addressed in the Good Friday Agreement.

Sinn Fein continues to pursue the agenda of radical change. We have made it a central plank of successive negotiations. The approach of our negotiating team has delivered substantial improvements on policing.

Sinn Fein continued to engage with the British Government to get policing right and to ensure that policing is democratically accountable and representative.

We want to see plastic bullets banned with immediate effect and we intend to hold the British government to their commitment to remove these lethal weapons from service by the end of 2003. This is an advance on the position of the SDLP and the Policing Board, who accepted that plastic bullets would remain in use until at least the end of 2005.


We secure a commitment from the British Government to an accelerated process to achieve a demilitarised policing service and we intend to hold them to it.

Special Branch

The corrosive position of the Special Branch at the core of the current policing arrangements has to end. There can be no part in a new beginning to policing for the 'force within a force' which has, as a matter of policy, been involved in the targeting and murder of citizens. Sinn Fein secured commitments from the British Government regarding the roles and powers of thinucane, Rosemary Nelson, the Brian Nelson affair, and multiple allegations of collusion between British forces and unionist paramilitary gangs;

Root-and-branch reform of the justice system;
Transfer of powers on policing and justice to the Assembly;
A policing service with human rights and equality at its core;
The removal from the PSNI of human rights abusers and those involved in collusion with loyalist death squads.
"We have delivered real progress. We now want to finish the job of creating the new beginning to policing promised in the Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Fein is the best guarantee of that."

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Dissidents attempt 'police trap'

Dissidents attempt 'police trap'

Police took items away for examination by forensic scientists

A hoax bomb warning by dissident republicans was an attempt to lure security forces into a real explosion, police have said.

The Real IRA is being blamed for leaving a bomb containing 20kgs of explosives in County Down which was found hidden on the Bryansford Road area of Newcastle on Tuesday.

Sources told the BBC that the dissident republicans had been planning an attack on the security forces.

It is understood the bomb had a timer attached.

Police believe that a false trail was set up in an attempt to lure them into the path of a real explosion.

Initially, a telephone warning was given on Tuesday about a suspect device at the vacant Enniskeen Hotel in the town.

A recognised codeword - used by a dissident republican group - was given.

We were led to believe there was only one device and they anticipated we would seal off the area where the real bomb was hidden

PSNI Inspector Paul McClean
At about lunchtime, the area was cordoned off as Army bomb experts examined the scene. However, it turned out to be an elaborate hoax.

The real bomb was in nearby Bryansford Road.

PSNI Inspector Paul McClean said: "A lot of planning went into this deliberate and reckless attempt to kill police officers.

"We were led to believe there was only one device and they anticipated we would seal off the area where the real bomb was hidden."

Gardens were searched during police operation
Up to 25 homes were evacuated, with families being taken to a nearby church hall, as officers spent 10 hours making the bomb found near the Bryansford Road safe.

"This device was left to be activated with a timer," said Mr McClean.

"Anyone could have been in the area and wounded or worse. This isn't the first time this type of incident has happened in this area and we are urging the wider community to be vigilant."

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Gerard Adams


Gerard Adams

Influential republican father of Sinn Fein president

Anne McHardy
Wednesday November 19, 2003
The Guardian

Gerard Adams, who has died aged 77 after a long illness, was important in the emergence of the Provisional IRA in 1970, and was a seminal political influence on his son, the Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, who has pulled out of campaigning for the Northern Ireland Assembly elections for family mourning. In latter years, the older man often appeared on republican platforms with his son.
Born in Belfast, Adams - widely known as "old Gerry" - was an active republican, whose grandfather had been a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, precursor of the original IRA.

In 1942, aged 16, he was shot and captured while escaping after an attack on the police in Belfast; he had wounded two officers with a Webley pistol, which then jammed. Jailed for eight years - five of which he served - he was released at 21 and married Annie Hannaway, the daughter of a similarly republican family. Gerry, born the following year, was the first of their children.

Because of his conviction, Adams, a labourer, found it difficult to get work, and, with a fellow ex-prisoner, Jimmy Bannon, he tried unsuccesfully to make a living selling fruit and vegetables from a horse and cart. When he could get work, he did so extremely hard: in his autobiography, Before The Dawn, Gerry recalls his father saying, "If you have six or seven children to feed, you'll step into the muck, son."

Adams was not active in the IRA campaign of the 1950s, but he did maintain political contacts, particularly with republican prisoners. Out of these connections came the Irish Republican Felons Association, of which he was the first chairman.

In the late 1960s, as the civil rights movement led to rioting, he became involved in negotiations to protect his home area; while his son was organising barricades in West Belfast, he was elected chairman of the Ballymurphy estate committee. These community defence committees spawned the reborn IRA, and when the republican movement split, Adams supported the Provisionals, who used violence as a political weapon, against the Officials, who favoured democratic methods.

In Ballymurphy, the older men - Adams among them - used barbed wire to trap British soldiers, whom the younger activists lured into the estate.

In June 1970, as the violence worsened, Adams was arrested and beaten by British troops. His son described arriving as his father was put into an ambulance: "His face was a mask of blood, and hospital examination revealed a hairline fracture of the skull. He was subsequently beaten quite badly on a few more occasions, and once the paratroopers hammered him very badly. In his own day, he had been a robust, stocky little fighter, and they gave him a very hard time."

Adams was interned in 1971, along with his son, brothers, cousins and uncles. As his son rose in Sinn Fein, and through the peace process, he was less active, but always supportive.

His wife predeceased him, and three of their sons died in infancy. Five sons and five daughters survive him.

· Gerard Adams, political activist, born 1926; died November 17 2003


The Shamrockshire Eagle: Monday 17th November 2003

As posted in The SHAMROCKSHIRE EAGLE, the link to CRYPTOME's photo and information on FRU, including this undated group photo. FRU is "still operating, running agents in Ireland." Lovely bastards, aren't they?

FRU group photo

An Phoblacht: Honouring an icon of our struggle

Honouring an icon of our struggle

Last Saturday night, republicans gathered at the City West Hotel in Dublin to honour a man rightly described by Martin McGuinness as a colossus of the struggle. Up to 900 friends, family and comrades attended the testimonial function for Joe Cahill, a stalwart of republicanism since the 1930s.



MONDAY 17/11/2003 12:49:53 UTV

Death of Gerry Adams' father

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams today cancelled his involvement in Assembly election campaigning after his father died in hospital. By:Press Association

Gerry Adams senior, a veteran republican and a former prisoner, died after an illness at the Royal Victoria Hospital in west Belfast.

Mr Adams confirmed the news after pulling out of the party`s manifesto launch for the November 26 election.

The West Belfast MP read a statement from his family.

He said: ``My father died this morning. He was ill for some time and on behalf of our family I wanted to thank staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital, our family doctor and all who attended to him.

``This is the second bereavement in my family circle in the last week.

``I will be cancelling public engagements at this time.

``I want to put on record that we appreciate the support and solidarity of colleagues and comrades at this time.``

Mr Adams senior was a founder member of the Felons Association in West Belfast.

Last week Gerry Adams` sister-in-law also died.

Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness expressed the party`s condolences to the family.

The Mid Ulster MP said: ``This manifesto launch is taking place under particularly sad circumstances with the death of our party president Gerry Adams` father.

``On behalf of the entire Sinn Fein leadership and all our party we want to send all our condolences to the Adams family at this time.``

**Gerry Adam' father has died in RVH in Belfast after a long illness. He was a veteran Republican and a former political prisoner. Mr. Adams has cancelled all his engagements for today.


Adams and Attwood go head to head

The SDLP last night launched a blistering attack on Sinn Féin President and West Belfast MP, Gerry Adams, after a television debate between both parties.

During the lunchtime encounter between Mr Adams and SDLP leader Mark Durkan, the Sinn Féin President stated that he would not be asking anyone to vote for SDLP candidate Alex Attwood. Reacting to the comment, former SDLP leader John Hume was scathing in his criticism: “The SDLP in this election are taking the fight to the DUP in key constituencies throughout the North.

“One of those constituencies is West Belfast where the DUP is targeting Alex Attwood.

“Gerry Adams’ comments not to transfer to a SDLP candidate in West Belfast can only mean that he would prefer to see a seat in the hands of the totally anti-Agreement DUP rather than in the hands of the totally pro-Agreement SDLP.

“At a time when the SDLP is working to save the Agreement and face down the DUP, I am disappointed that Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin would act in this way,” said Mr Hume.

In response, Sinn Féin Assembly election candidate Sue Ramsey said that the SDLP was “fast running out of excuses to attack Sinn Féin”.

“Firstly it has to be remembered that Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams actually proposed a vote pact with the SDLP a number of weeks ago. It was the SDLP who refused the offer being extended by Sinn Féin.

“Secondly, the voters of West Belfast will decide who can best represent their interests both in a new Assembly and in political negotiations.

“For our part, Sinn Féin’s focus is on making history by securing five Assembly seats in the West Belfast constituency for the very first time.

“The entire SDLP strategy of focusing on the DUP is predicated on ‘scare-mongering’. That’s why the SDLP continues to make false claims about a DUP seat being possible in West Belfast

“The SDLP have demonstrated that when they cannot effectively tackle Sinn Féin policies, they simply attack Sinn Féin personalities.

“And when the voters on the doorsteps reject that approach, then the SDLP – in desperation – start to ‘scare-monger’ about the DUP hiding around every corner.

“I have every confidence that the electorate will see through the SDLP’s negative and bogus style of campaigning,” said Cllr Ramsey.

Meanwhile Republican Sinn Féin will be holding a press conference tomorrow (Tuesday) in Belfast in order to highlight its opposition to next week’s Assembly elections.

With just nine days to go before the November 26 election, both the SDLP and Sinn Féin are predicting gains. SDLP hopes are focused on an extra seat in South Antrim (see profile page 17) while Sinn Féin is looking for gains in West, North and South Belfast, as well as in Strangford where Belfast businessman and party standardbearer Dermot Kennedy says he can benefit from a split in the SDLP vote. Former party stalwart Danny McCarthy is running against his former colleagues. “I’m confident I can slip in and make Strangford the shock result of the election,” said Dermot Kennedy.

However, SDLP candidate Joe Boyle insists that he will capture a first seat for the party in the constituency which stretches from Carryduff to Portaferry.

Journalist:: Jarlath Kearney

IOL: Sinn Féin unveils manifesto pledges

Sinn Féin unveils manifesto pledges
17/11/2003 - 10:54:30

Sinn Féin will press for an unarmed police service in Northern Ireland and also forge an alliance for Irish unity, the party vowed today.

With nine days left before Northern Ireland’s Assembly Election, Sinn Féin's manifesto said it would work alongside other parties, community groups, trades unions and individuals on the case for a united Ireland.

Republicans would also build on commitments secured during talks with the Irish and British governments on policing and justice, ensuring powers are transferred from Westminster to Stormont.

In a foreword to the 93-page document, Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said the party would press for the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

The West Belfast MP said: “We have continued to negotiate with the two governments and the unionists to restore the political institutions. We stand firm.

“Sinn Féin will continue with this approach to get the Agreement implemented, to secure equality, a new beginning to policing and further all Ireland progress.”

The party vowed to:
:: Call for the preparation and publication of a Green Paper on Irish unity by the Government.

:: Create more cross-border implementation bodies on policing, justice, agriculture, rural development, the social economy, pollution control, mental health, further and higher education, communications infrastructure and energy.

:: Secure representation in the Oireachtas and voting rights for people in Northern Ireland in Irish presidential elections.

:: Achieve a ban on the use of plastic bullets.

:: Push for removal from the police of those who colluded in loyalist paramilitary killings and also the withdrawal of the Joint Services Group which replaced the Forces Research Unit.

:: End all British Army patrols on Northern Ireland’s streets.

:: Establish a Department of Equality at Stormont and ensure the Single Equality Bill is rapidly progressed.

:: Restructure the Human Rights Commission, reviewing the composition, appointments process, powers and resources with an independent selection panel responsible.

:: Ensure timetabled monitored measures are produced to eliminate the differential in unemployment rates between Protestants and Catholics.

:: Produce a Bill of Rights based on an all-Ireland charter of rights, with the establishment of an all-Ireland constitutional court.

:: Increase significantly funding for education, with a sustained investment in early years education.

:: End academic selection and create “learning neighbourhoods,” building links between schools and the communities they serve.

:: Set aside £1.2bn (€1.7bn) to modernise health services over the next decade. This would come from the public purse as opposed to public private partnerships.

:: Amalgamate Belfast City Hospital with the Royal Group of Hospitals, guarantee the future of acute services in the Mater and ensure health needs are met west of the Bann.

:: Develop an all-Ireland economy with one tax regime and currency, with Sinn Féin supporting the adoption of the euro north of the border.

:: Redirect resources earmarked by the British government for the Army and police towards job creation in areas of high unemployment, the social economy and rebuilding communities affected by conflict.

:: Demand a new mechanism for determining the amount of British treasury money given to the Stormont Executive and the granting of tax varying powers to Stormont.

:: Produce a long term all-Ireland agricultural strategy and a strategy for rural economic development.

:: Prioritise investment in key transport corridors.

:: Secure more investment in water and sewerage services but oppose water charges.

:: Press for the appointment of a commissioner to oversee the promotion of the Irish language within British government agencies and departments and an Irish Language Bill to give Irish equal status as the Welsh and Scots Gaelic languages.

:: Produce targets and timescales for achieving equality of representation for women in public life.

:: Appoint a Minister for Children and Young People with the development of “realistic and measurable” targets for the eradication of child poverty.

:: Support an anti-racism pledge for all political parties and the drawing up of an all-Ireland policy for asylum seekers, with responsibility for refugees being devolved to the Assembly.

:: Press for the adoption of an all-Ireland Citizen Traveller Campaign based on the one piloted south of the border.

:: Develop a properly funded social housing programme.

:: Promote an all-Ireland waste strategy, rejecting all forms of incineration.


From Republican News 12 Nov.

Sinn Fein launch 10-point plan for Irish Unity

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty MP speaking in Belfast
said: "Sinn Fein has made significant progress in advancing
the all-Ireland agenda. Today we are setting out our ten point
plan for Irish Unity.

"All-Ireland approaches and institutions are now universally
accepted, even by the DUP. That in itself is significant
progress. Sinn Fein intends to build on this through our Ten
Point Plan for Irish Unity."

Mr Doherty was joined at today's election event by two TDs,
Caoimhghin O Caolain and Martin Ferris, Dublin European
Parliament candidate Mary Lou McDonald and Newry and Armagh
Assembly candidate Pat O`Rawe.

The West Tyrone MP said Sinn Fein was "the third largest party
on the island and the largest nationalist party in the north".

He continued: "Our political strength, our political
representation across the island and our clear focus on Irish
unity secured the establishment of the All-Ireland Ministerial
Council and the all-Ireland institutional architecture of the
Good Friday Agreement.

"We have a road map for Irish unity and the 10 point plan we
are setting out today will take the united Ireland agenda
decisively forward after this election.

The following is Sinn Fein's 10-point plan for Irish Unity:

* A Green Paper for Irish Unity in the Dail
* Attendance in the Dail for the 18 Westminster MPs
* Northern representation in the Seanad
* Votes for citizens in the Six Counties in Presidential
* Building the work of the All-Ireland Ministerial Council
* An All-Ireland Consultative Forum
* An All-Ireland Charter of Rights
* Integrated services and infrastructure along the border
* Increased action, co-operation and harmonisation in
Heath, Education and other key departments
* Extension of the Irish passport scheme across the Six

Caoimhghin O Caolain said his party was not looking for "token
representation" in the Seanad, the upper chamber in the Dublin
parliament, with the Taoiseach selecting a token nationalist
or token unionist.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said: "What we want to see is a
franchise extended to every citizen, not only in the Six
Counties but throughout the island of Ireland.

"Many of you are aware that there is a most bizarre selection
process for the Seanad. What we want to see is the right of
people in Kerry and Derry, Monaghan and Antrim to have the
opportunity to select from civic society and not the political
leadership their representation in the Seanad."

Mr O Caolain said the party wanted Westminster MPs to be able
to attend Dail debates on issues affecting them.

He also wished to see people north of the border voting in
Presidential Elections.

"We had the very odd situation in the last Presidential
Election where the candidate and current President of Ireland,
President Mary McAleese had not the opportunity to vote for
herself," he said.

"We have another Presidential Election coming up and what we
would like to see is the franchise extended to all citizens on
the island of Ireland and we believe whatever technical
difficulties there are can be overcome."

The Sinn Fein TD would not be drawn on whether his party would
field a candidate if there was a Presidential Election in the
26 Counties after Mrs McAleese`s seven year term had expired.

"It's something we haven`t considered but I have no doubt that
at some time in the future there probably will be a Sinn Fein
candidate for a President of All Ireland", he said.



More Police Files on Billy Wright Murder

**From CRYPTOME.org:

15 November 2003. Thanks to A.

These documents are from police files concerning the murder of Billy Wright in Maze prison by INLA prisoners in 1997.

Zipped JPEG images of the six pages:
click here (525KB)

Transcription from hardcopy. Words marked "illegible" were obscured by copying.

Related police files:
click here

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Adams and Durkan in TV clash

Adams and Durkan in TV clash

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams and SDLP leader Mark Durkan have clashed over the issue of policing. During a live debate on the BBC's Politics Show, the two nationalist leaders disagreed over a number of subjects.

The SDLP has given its backing to the new Police Service of Northern Ireland, however Sinn Fein has so far refused to join the Policing Board and District Policing Partnerships.

Mr Durkan said: "We have been delivering on Patten in terms of the structural changes that are needed in policing.

"Patten is a 10-year plan. The Policing Board has been in existence two years. We have dealt with the structural and those political issues. What we now need to be doing is turning onto the performance issues in relation to policing."

Mr Adams said there had been a consensus between the Irish Government, the SDLP and Sinn Fein which the SDLP had broken.

"The two governments were both shocked and delighted when the SDLP knocked on their doors and said to them they were going to go for the policing option," said Mr Adams.

"At Weston Park, the SDLP said you won't get legislative amendments, so don't bother going for them. We went for it and we got it."

He added: "The SDLP have made a mistake on this issue."

However, Mr Durkan responded that Sinn Fein were "jumping too late" over policing.

'Transfer down'

During the debate, Mr Adams said he had asked the SDLP if it would consider an electoral pact with Sinn Fein.

"Mark said no, and that's fair enough - that's his position."

Mr Durkan said: "Gerry said to me: 'I am thinking of perhaps calling for a transfer pact between our parties'. I said to Gerry very clearly that I would, in the elections, be recommending that anyone who votes SDLP should transfer down the line to other pro-Agreement parties of their choice.

"Equally, I would be up front in asking for transfers from other pro-Agreement parties to the SDLP."

Meanwhile, anti-Agreement Ulster Unionists are to release a post-election strategy later this week.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson denied it was a mini-manifesto, although he confirmed the proposals had been sent to the party's leader for inclusion in the UUP manifesto.

But Mr Donaldson said he was told that the manifesto had already gone to the printers.

The strategy, was drawn up by rebels MPs, Mr Donaldson, Martin Smyth and David Burnside.

It pledges closer cooperation with other unionists such as the DUP in the forthcoming review, and no devolution of justice and policing unless there is a guarantee Sinn Fein won't get the portfolio.

The strategy also involves opposing the British-Irish joint declaration and resisting power-sharing with Sinn Fein without fully transparent IRA decommissioning of all weapons, IRA disbandment and a declaration the war is over.

Also on the campaign trail, the Democratic Unionist Party's Robin Newton described the upsurge in the illegal traders in Belfast city centre as "appalling".

"On Saturday morning I was shopping in Belfast and was shocked that Cornmarket, Castle Lane and Royal Avenue were flooded with illegal stalls."

He added: "The stalls detract from the festive spirit of the city centre as the stores expensive, well-designed and pleasing to the eye window displays and other Christmas features are blocked from view."

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