Malachy McAllister: Unforgiven for the Passions of His Youth

**proving that governments are the same the world over--FULL OF ASSHOLES.

Unforgiven for the Passions of His Youth

Published: November 29, 2003

MALACHY McALLISTER sits at a corner table in a Manhattan restaurant, his back again to the wall. He has not been to his home in New Jersey for more than a week, because he knows that federal agents have been there, looking to detain and deport him. Eyes down, he is a man out of place.

So, he is asked in this restaurant somewhere, how was his Thanksgiving? "Nothing you would call a Thanksgiving," he answers. His wife, Bernadette, reaches for his hand under the table, while Christmas music taunts in the background.

"What is the purpose of going after me?" he asks, without expecting an answer. "What does it solve?"

Many years ago in strife-torn Belfast, a young Malachy McAllister cast his lot with a paramilitary organization called the Irish National Liberation Army. To fight what he saw as the persecution of Catholics, he plotted to kill two officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. In one case, the officer was wounded; in the other, the plan was never carried out.

After serving more than three years in prison, he returned in 1985 to Bernadette, his days of resistance behind him. But Belfast forgets nothing. One night in 1988, masked gunmen fired 26 shots into the McAllisters' home while three of their four children were inside with Mrs. McAllister's mother. Time to go.

The McAllisters moved to Toronto and then, in 1996, to New Jersey. They requested political asylum, arguing that their lives would be in danger if they returned to Belfast. They settled as best they could into a Jersey routine. The father went to work each day as a stonemason. The children went to public school. The family joined the local parish.

In late 2000, the McAllisters received a mixed message. An immigration judge ordered that Mr. McAllister be deported, but granted asylum to his wife for having "suffered extreme past persecution based on her religion, her political opinion, and because she is Malachy McAllister's wife."

Mr. McAllister, who is 46, appealed his denial, the government appealed the asylum granted to his wife, and life continued. Their oldest, Gary, married an American woman. Jamie went to work with his father. Nicola, 17, is on the high school softball team. Sean, 16, has such sure hands that his football teammates call him "Sticky Fingers."

Last week, Mr. McAllister was on Capitol Hill, meeting with yet another congressman who supported him, when his cellphone rang. It was his lawyer. The Board of Immigration Appeals not only had ordered his immediate deportation, but also had revoked the asylum for his wife and children.

He was in such shock that he walked in a downpour for an hour, trying to find his car. His drive back to New Jersey that night was the longest in his life, he says. Fresh in his mind was what had recently happened in Pennsylvania to another Irishman accused of having a paramilitary past: he had left for work early one morning, was seized by federal agents and was hustled onto a plane bound for Ireland.

Then came Mr. McAllister's turn. Early one morning last week, his wife says, a team of federal agents in black jumpsuits appeared outside the door. She says two of them explained that they were investigating a hit-and-run involving a large black sport utility vehicle — Malachy's.

But Malachy wasn't home. And hasn't been since.

Eamonn Dornan, his lawyer, immediately filed motions with an appeals court in Philadelphia, and won a temporary stay of Mr. McAllister's deportation — though not of his detention. Michael Gilhooly, a spokesman for a Department of Homeland Security agency called Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said that cases of detention depend on many factors, and declined to say whether Mr. McAllister would be detained if found.

TUCKED into a corner of the Manhattan restaurant, Mr. McAllister holds his head in his hand, as if already imagining his family's forced return to Belfast. Where he is sure that the enemies of his past await him. Where he is sure that his family will be at risk.

He questions the loose use of the term "terrorist." Again and again, he says, "I'm a family man."

On the table, next to a cup of cold coffee, rests a copy of a government notice made moot by what may be his last round of appeals. But if those appeals fail, he will receive another notice just like it, and so will his wife and four children.

Arrangements have been made for your departure to Ireland from New York, it will say. Report on this day, at this time, and have your bags ready.

Adams calls for assembly return


Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has pressed for the Northern Ireland Assembly to be re-instated following this week's elections.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which opposes the Good Friday Agreement, overtook the Ulster Unionists to become the biggest party, but it refuses to share power with Sinn Fein, which also made gains.

Secretary of State Paul Murphy, who has met the main parties to discuss the future of power-sharing, has rejected calls for the Agreement to be re-negotiated.

The assembly was suspended more than a year ago and the parties went into the election against the background of a deadlocked political process.

Mr Murphy met the SDLP, Sinn Fein and Ulster Unionists separately at Hillsborough Castle on Saturday. He will hold talks with the DUP on Monday.

Ahead of his meeting, Mr Adams said his party would be pressing the government to get the assembly up and running again.

"We want to see the suspension of the institutions lifted and all of the other institutions that are part of the joint declaration that we negotiated, the unfinished business of the Good Friday Agreement, we want acts of completion on all of those," he said.

"We're going to press the governments to move ahead, and we're going to meet the other parties."

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said he had also told Mr Murphy he wanted the assembly reconvened sooner rather than later.

He added: "The election result makes it much more difficult for the Agreement. The Agreement is damaged by the election, but it is not destroyed."

Earlier, DUP spokesman Ian Paisley junior - who won a seat alongside his father in North Antrim - told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that it was time the British Government "wakens up to the reality" that a new deal had to be sought.

"It's dead in the water. The Agreement is over - that was the message of this election," he said.

The British and Irish Governments have insisted that the Agreement remains the only viable political framework - and is not open to negotiation.

They promised to bring forward proposals in the new year for a review of the Agreement.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble predicted a deadlock for "the next few months" but said it was a "huge overstatement" to say the Agreement was dead.

"There is still a majority of the population in favour of the Agreement," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

The BBC's Ireland correspondent Mark Simpson said there could be little movement until DUP leader Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein got together to talk.

But, he said, Mr Paisley maintained his refusal at "all costs".

"He wouldn't even share a cup of tea with him, never mind share power," said our correspondent.

Despite the governments' firm line, the DUP said the election - in which it won 30 seats - had given it a mandate for renegotiation.

However, Mr Murphy said the fundamentals of the Agreement - such as the principles of power-sharing and consent of the people - could not be changed.

"Northern Ireland can only be governed by an accommodation between nationalists and unionists, and that accommodation over the last five or six years has been hugely successful," he said on Saturday.

"I am not underestimating the difficulties, but I am not unhopeful that we can make progress," he added, saying that power-sharing between the hard liners had already happened "whether they talked to each other or not".

Sinn Fein secured 24 seats in comparison with the SDLP's 18 - a direct reversal of the parties' positions after the last election.

The Alliance gained six assembly places, while the three remaining seats went to a County Tyrone doctor standing on a single issue over hospital services, maverick unionist Robert McCartney and Progressive Unionist David Ervine.

The last assembly election in 1998 returned 28 Ulster Unionists, 24 SDLP, 20 DUP and 18 Sinn Fein MLAs.

Wild-Irish's Tiocfaidh Ár Lá **Thanks to Maureen








Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin
Irish American Unity Conference

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Talks to begin after NI elections

Talks to begin after NI elections

Efforts to examine the way forward for the Northern Ireland peace process are to begin on Saturday after elections to the province's Assembly.

The Democratic Unionist Party, which opposes the Good Friday Agreement, overtook the Ulster Unionists to become the biggest party.

However the DUP refuses to share power with Sinn Fein, which also made gains.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy will hold separate talks with the parties over the executive's future.

The assembly was suspended more than a year ago and the parties went into the election against the background of a deadlocked political process.

The British and Irish Governments insisted that the agreement remained the only viable political framework - and was not open to negotiation.

Despite the governments' firm line, it is precisely a mandate for a renegotiation which the DUP says it has after winning 30 seats.


DUP 10 30
SF 6 24
UUP -1 27
SDLP -6 18
AP 0 6
PUP -1 1
NIWC -2 0
UKUP -4 1
UUC 0 0
NIUP 0 0
Others +1 1
After 108 of 108 seats declared

Elected dissidents like Jeffrey Donaldson in David Trimble's Ulster Unionist Party, which won 27 seats, agree.

Mr Murphy is expected to see delegations from Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists over the weekend.

These meetings will be an initial test of the new political realities in the province, BBC correspondent John Thorne said.

The DUP is expected to meet Mr Murphy early next week.

The election also saw Sinn Fein make gains.

It secured 24 seats in comparison with the SDLP's 18 - a direct reversal of the parties' positions after the last election.

DUP: 26%
Sinn Fein: 24%
Ulster Unionists: 23%
SDLP: 17%

The Alliance gained six assembly places, while the three remaining seats went to a County Tyrone doctor standing on a single issue over hospital services, maverick unionist Robert McCartney and Progressive Unionist David Ervine.

Nigel Dodds of the DUP said the party "now speaks for the unionist community and now speaks for more people in the province than any other party".

But Mr Trimble said the Democratic Unionists had "sold the people a false bill of goods".

He added: "The DUP can't deliver and that will become clear and it will become clear very quickly."
The election count took two full days

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said it had been a good election for his party.

"There is a crisis within unionism that will need some patience for the rest of us to show in the time ahead," he said.

Reflecting on his party's showing, SDLP leader Mark Durkan said it had to "work with the hand that democracy deals us".

Following the results, the British and Irish Governments said they would "seek a political way forward and to secure a basis on which the assembly can be restored and a functioning executive quickly established".

They also promised to bring forward proposals in the new year for a review of the Good Friday Agreement.

The White House admitted it had some concerns over the outcome of the election.

However, US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said she hoped progress could continue to be made.

The turnout for the election was 63.84%, compared to 68.8% in the 1998 assembly election.

A total of 108 seats were contested in the election.

A power-sharing executive will not be re-established at Stormont immediately.

The last assembly election in 1998 returned 28 Ulster Unionists, 24 SDLP, 20 DUP and 18 Sinn Fein MLAs.

ic Derry - News from icDerry

**DUP in a huff

'Irish' Lights Blow DUP Fuse Nov 28 2003

A SEASONAL war of words has erupted in Derry after Irish language Christmas signs were erected on the historic City Walls.

Doire le Duchas, a bilingual group based at An Gaelaras, launched its controversial signage initiative at a lighting-up ceremony this week.

The move has infuriated local DUP Alderman Gregory Campbell who had strongly objected to permission being granted by Derry City Council.

Mr. Campbell is also incensed that the Irish lights were officially switched on by Sinn Fein's national chairperson, Mitchel McLaughlin.

Doire le Duchas said it was delighted to announce the initiative as it is the first time any signage in Irish has been seen on Derry's ancient walls.

The festive greeting sign which has been erected reads 'BeannachtaÌ na Nollaig (Merry Christmas) - Failte go Doire' (Welcome to Derry).

Derry City Council recently granted permission for the signage to be erected despite angry objections from some unionist councillors.

Gregory Campbell, who led the opposition, claimed yesterday that the unionist community in Derry would view the event as "more of the same."

Speaking to the 'Journal' he said: "There has been repeated attempts by nationalist spokespersons to say that the city centre is neutral territory.

"But our contention is that it is increasingly not a neutral area and this sort of thing only goes to prove it when you get an Irish language sign going up on the City Walls.

"I believe this will be looked upon by the unionist community as more cold house treatment, especially given the fact it was opened by a member of Sinn Fein, whose military wing has spent 30 years murdering members of the unionist community," the DUP Alderman claimed.

"If the Orange Order was to ask for some sort of Ulster-Scots sign going up with someone who was associated with loyalist murder gangs opening it and that was put to the nationalist community, how would they feel?"

Mr. Campbell also claimed the erection of Irish signage ran contrary to the tradition of extending goodwill to all at Christmas time.

"The city centre ought to be viewed as an area which is made attractive to all communities and, if anybody thinks this makes it attractive for unionists they do not understand the feelings of the unionist community," he added.

However, Development Officer for Doire le Duchas, Ms. Sorcha NÌ Mhonagail, said: "This is an historic and very proud moment for the Irish language community which has long sought recognition for the language and its culture.

"We believe that this is an important step towards our aim of bilingualising the city of Derry, an ongoing programme of work which began with the erection of Irish language street-name plates."

Pointing out that this week's launch was the first of a set of five Irish language Christmas signs to be erected, Ms. NÌ Mhonagail added: "Doire le Duchas would like to encourage the public to support our campaign to celebrate the Irish language as a marker of our cultural diversity."

The launch ceremony held on the Walls was attended by representatives from local Irish language groups, pupils from Gaelscoil Eadain MhÛir and members of the public.

IOL: Election results settle Sinn F?in nerves

Election results settle Sinn Féin nerves
28/11/2003 - 17:14:22

A day before Northern Ireland’s Assembly Election, Sinn Féin candidates were getting twitchy.

“Our canvass returns are frighteningly good,” South Down candidate Caitriona Ruane confessed as she accompanied party leader Gerry Adams on a walkabout on Belfast’s Antrim Road.

“I’m amazed at the response we’re getting. We appear to be getting a lot of first preferences in what were previously SDLP homes.”

Sinn Féin strategists needn’t have worried.

This week’s election was yet another triumph for the party’s slick election machine.

Canvassers had knocked on doors for months in target constituencies, identifying waiverers and nurturing the vote.

They were working from a system devised by Sheena Campbell, a rising star who was gunned down in October 1992 by the Ulster Volunteer Force in the bar of a South Belfast hotel.

The ‘Torrent Strategy’ helped deliver Francie Molloy’s victory in a 1990 council by-election and has been a proven success over 13 years.

One party worker explained: “It’s a tried and tested system. We mark green for yes, yellow for maybe and white for no.

“That enables us to identify our vote and nurture it. It’s a system we have used on both sides of the border.”

As Sinn Féin left the SDLP stumbling in its wake, workers were entitled to feel proud as the party scooped up Assembly seats.

Former Belfast Lord Mayor Alex Maskey broke new ground in the south of the city, taking a seat from the Women’s Coalition’s Monica McWilliams.

Conor Murphy delivered three seats in Newry and Armagh while Gerry Kelly and Kathy Stanton both came through in North Belfast.

Folk singer Francie Brolly not only lived up to expectations by becoming an MLA in East Derry but the party managed to out-poll the SDLP for the first time in the constituency.

The party’s most sensational result was in North Antrim, where victims spokesman Philip McGuigan took a seat in the Rev Ian Paisley’s heartland from the Ulster Unionists.

Add to that near misses in Lagan Valley, Foyle and West Belfast where the party’s bid for five seats was thwarted by the Democratic Unionists and you have a party which could justifiably claim to be the major voice in nationalism.

With Sinn Féin making breakthroughs in SDLP strongholds such as South Down, the party will be confident of more electoral success, fortifying new seats and targeting new ones.

Nationalist SDLP members were putting a brave face on their disappointing showing.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan and his colleagues blamed a drop in the Assembly Election turnout but admitted the party needed to reorganise.

But as the SDLP looked to the next General Election, it was clear it was facing a tough battle to hold onto its slender 1,532 vote advantage over Sinn Féin in John Hume’s constituency of Foyle in this election and its 3,915 lead in Eddie McGrady’s South Down.

As he waited to see whether Raymond McCartney and Mary Nelis would join him in the Assembly, Sinn Féin chairman Mitchel McLaughlin believed a sea change had occurred.

“I think you could argue a baton has been snatched in this election by Sinn Féin from the SDLP,” the Foyle MLA said.

“In many ways it is reminiscent of the emergence of the SDLP in the 1970s at the expense of the old Nationalist Party.

“What we are also witnessing with the rise of the four big parties – the Ulster Unionists, DUP, SDLP and ourselves – is a new political phase where the national question is coming centre stage.

“People are voting for pro-Union or pro-united Ireland parties.”

Mr McLaughlin believed the rise in the republican vote was a reward for Sinn Féin’s efforts to deliver a lasting peace.

And with the Democratic Unionist Party emerging with increased clout, the Foyle Assembly member was disputing claims that the success of both parties spelt doom for the peace process.

“I think there is change occurring in the DUP – change in terms of the flagging control and dominance of the Big Man (Ian Paisley) over the party,” he said.

“Clearly the pragmatists and the progressive elements within the DUP leadership are beginning to make their presence felt and were able to sideline Ian Paisley during the election campaign.

“It looks like we may be entering the beginning of the end of the Ian Paisley era.

“Unionists and nationalists will increasingly focus on the constitutional future of this island and republicans will go into those discussions with confidence, strengthened by our mandate.

“There may be people in the DUP now who are saying they will not talk to Sinn Féin but they will.

“The Ulster Unionists once said no and ended up talking.”

IOL: Govts hope to restore NI devolution

Govts hope to restore NI devolution
28/11/2003 - 19:28:45

The British and Irish governments tonight confirmed they would begin efforts to try and restore devolution in Northern Ireland after hardline unionists and republicans triumphed in the Assembly election.

In a joint statement issued tonight, London and Dublin said they would contact parties over the coming days to “seek a political way forward and to secure a basis on which the Assembly can be restored and a functioning executive quickly established”.

However, they also insisted that the Good Friday Agreement remained “the only viable political framework” in Northern Ireland and they insisted it was not “open to negotiation”.

They vowed: “Working with the parties, we will do our utmost to achieve those objectives, mindful that any devolution must be stable and fully inclusive.

“In our firm view, the Good Friday Agreement remains the only viable political framework that is capable of securing the support of those communities in Northern Ireland.

“We are determined that its wide-ranging provisions will continue to be implemented.

“The Good Friday Agreement has been endorsed in referendums in both parts of the island.”

The two Governments said that with most of the election results processed, the people of Northern Ireland had spoken.

With the DUP emerging as the largest unionist party and Sinn Fein the largest nationalist party at Stormont, both Governments said they respected the mandates all sides had received.

They reminded the Provinces’ politicians that “with success comes responsibility.

“The vast majority of the people of Northern Ireland want to see devolved Government.

“The future of devolution now lies in the hands of those elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly.”

London and Dublin said that the in coming days they would ask parties to submit their views about how the four-year review of the Good Friday Agreement should be conducted and what its agenda should be.

They said they hoped to finalise and present proposals for the review early in the New Year after receiving responses from the parties.

“This is a review of the operation of the Agreement,” they said.

“It’s fundamentals are not open to re-negotiation.”

The British and Irish Government confirmed that the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Itaoiseach Bertie Ahern would meet before Christmas to review the prospects for political progress after contacting the parties.

Blair and Ahern met in Cardiff this morning while counts continued in the Assembly election.

The joint statement concluded: “While the coming period present challenges for the process, it also represents the period of opportunity.

“We call on all parties to work constructively together and with the Government to consolidate and develop it has been made over the years.”


BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | SF man in threat claims

SF man in threat claims

Sinn Fein candidate Paul Butler at the Lagan Valley count centre

A Sinn Fein candidate claims he was threatened by loyalists at a count centre in County Down.

Paul Butler, who stood as a candidate in Lagan Valley, said loyalists entered the count at Dromore leisure centre on Thursday night and threatened him.

"What I can only describe as a loyalist mob made their way into Dromore leisure centre," he said.

"They actually got in on the count and started threatening people, pointing at people like myself and other Sinn Fein members," Mr Butler said.

"We left the building, other police came on the scene.

"But then we were attacked in the car park, this loyalist mob was allowed to got around my car, shouting sectarian abuse, trying to stop the car getting out of the car park."

Mr Butler said the attack was an interference with the democratic process.

"If this happened somewhere else in the world, the British Government would be making a hue and cry about it," he said.

Mr Butler said he had raised the matter with the electoral office and would also be in contact with the Police Ombudsman about the incident.

"I felt under threat, nobody was doing anything about it," he said.

A PSNI spokeswoman said police had not received any report of intimidation and were not approached for assistance.

The Police Ombudsman's Office said it had not received a complaint about the incident.

Thanks to Seán at ira2

And now the real fun can commence...

(Jude Collins, Irish News)

Well, that's the yawn-a-day campaign over – tedious but instructive.
Of the four party leaders David Trimble, amazingly, had the best
campaign. When the UUP man's back is up against a wall he becomes
strangely forceful, convincing and almost human. Gerry Adams was as
usual good-humoured and presidential. If he ever learns to stop
massaging his hands on-camera and saying "First of all", he'll be

Early in the campaign Mark Durkan's foot got stuck on the verbal
accelerator, so that people didn't so much listen to him as try to
avoid being run over.

As for Ian Paisley – 'O what a fall was there'. When his studio
debate chair was filled by underlings, it looked bad. When he
appeared on camera in person, he looked terrible.

Equally instructive was the kind of outside help parties here
attracted. Beauties like Andrew Hunter, who crossed the Irish Sea to
offer his moth-eaten carcass as a DUP candidate. Lib Dem chief
Charles Kennedy, over to hold the hand – or was he feeling the
pulse? – of an ailing Alliance. The Greens had a man from Scotland
and Sinn Féin had several southern TDs up to add pizzazz on the

Top draw, though, was the SDLP. They got Fine Gael advisers, they got
Fianna Fail advisers, they got PD advisers, they got Pat Rabbitte
Labour Party advisers, they got Tony Blair Labour Party advisers.
They even got Brian Kennedy, who urged everyone to "put the ballot in
the box" – helpful advice, I expect, for those voters who had been
planning to put it somewhere else.

And what now? Well, the UUP will do better than predicted. Opera-
lover and street-fighter, man of intellect and man of action, the
Cunningham House contender has sent a shiver of delight through
unionist drawing-rooms.

Who would ever have thought the Garvaghy Road prancer had so much
guts in him?

The DUP insist that legions of former UUP supporters have flocked to
their banner but I think not. Distaste for the Big Man runs deep in
Ulster Unionist circles.

He may be a good laugh on Give My Head Peace; but the real thing,
roaring into a microphone that God is standing shoulder-to-shoulder
with him and unionism – oh dear. All right for a crowd of clod-
hoppers in a tent around Ballymena, but not in the more refined
environs of Stormont. Strong as their distrust of equality-for-taigs
talk may be, it's not as strong as their distaste for Paisley's dung-
on-the-boots yahooery. No, David Trimble's post-election headache
will come from the UUP enemy behind him, not the DUP enemy in front.

But supposing the worst happened – the DUP passed out the UUP, became
the official voice of unionism. For months we've been assured that
this would result in political stalemate, especially if Sinn Féin
topped the nationalist poll, and that we'd be in for a period of
direct rule that could last months, maybe years.

Codswallop to the power of ten.

Sinn Féin have not come all this way – through so many physical and
political dangers – to allow such a vital bridge-head to be washed
away. They want an assembly and an executive – and they will have it.

As for Peter Robinson, after all those weary years enduring the
deafening roars and flying spittle of his master – Crown Prince Peter
will be wild to mount the first minister throne. The words 'rat'
and 'drainpipe' and 'up' come to mind.

The truth is, our politicians like exercising local power. It's like
a drug, and over the past five years all the major parties have
ingested some – UUP, SDLP, Sinn Féin, DUP. Nationalists won't want
Westminster to step in and take away what makes them feel so good –
nor will unionists.

So even if the unionist electorate went mad yesterday and elected the
DUP to be their voice, fear not. By Easter at the latest, the Peters
and the Nigels and the Gregories, who insisted during the campaign
that they would never share power with Sinn Féin – they'll put their
little heads together and

come up with a formula that will allow them to be true to their word
while at the same time sitting down in cabinet to work with Sinn Féin
and the rest. They'll do it, given the chance, because even DUP top
men must have their fix.

But that scenario – the DUP wrestling with their conscience and
winning – is, as they say, strictly hypothetical.

Because the DUP will not speak for most unionists. For better or
worse that poor deformed creature known as the UUP will.

Anyway, goodbye tedium, hello fun. It's count time.

November 28, 2003



Another link for updated election coverage. Refresh your page often.


(refresh page often)

(bbc is updating more quickly tham IRM)


  Irish Republican Media


**But this is the story, use the TABLE of votes and percentages and the MAP to access results and refresh the page often. If you click the other places for the other features, you will be hit up to subscribe. :P

Sinn Fein: Gerry Adams, Gerry Kelly and Martin McGuinness elected

**Click on above link for more coverage

Gerry Adams, Gerry Kelly and Martin McGuinness elected

Published: 27 November, 2003

Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams, Gerry Kelly and Martin McGuinness have been elected MLAs for West Belfast, North Belfast and Mid-Ulster.

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | First NI assembly seats won

First NI assembly seats won

The final results are not expected until Friday
The first results have been announced in the Northern Ireland Assembly election.

In Antrim North, DUP leader Ian Paisley was elected on the first count with 8,732 first preference votes.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams topped the poll in West Belfast while Gerry Kelly retained his seat in the north of the city.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan was elected on the first count in Foyle, where he topped the poll.

Mr Paisley said it was "a good day for the DUP".

"We are going to have a proper negotiation for a new agreement that will enable the democrats, and the democrats only, to buy into something that is stable," he said.


DUP 0 9
SF 0 5
UUP 0 7
SDLP 0 1
AP 0 0
PUP 0 0
NIWC 0 0
UUC 0 0
NIUP 0 0
UKUP 0 0
After 22 of 108 seats declared

In Lagan Valley, the anti-Agreement Ulster Unionist candidate, Jeffrey Donaldson, topped the poll with just over 14,000 first preference votes.

"The unionist electorate are very unhappy with the Agreement," he said.

Mr Donaldson confirmed that some of his transfers were going to the DUP.

"That is an indication that there are traditional Ulster Unionist voters who are unhappy with what is happening, they are unhappy with the Agreement," he added.

Sinn Fein's Mitchell McLaughlin was elected on the first count in Foyle, as was DUP candidate William Hay.

In Mid-Ulster, the DUP's William McCrea topped the poll, with only 22 votes to spare over Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, who was also elected on the first count.


Gregory Campbell has been re-elected in East Londonderry where he topped the poll.

Gerry Adams said people had endorsed his party's republican vision.

"We asked people to endorse the risks we were taking for the peace process, we stood on our record in the assembly and the executive," he said.

"I think the dialogue which we initiated with unionism has to continue."

Ulster Unionist Michael McGimspey was elected on the first count in South Belfast while his party colleague Sir Reg Empey was re-elected in East Belfast.

Mr McGimpsey said the result was very good for his party.

DUP candidates Nigel Dodds and Peter Robinson of the Democratic Unionist Party topped the poll in North and East Belfast respectively.

Iris Robinson of the DUP was elected on the first count in Strangford, where she topped the poll.

The assembly was suspended more than a year ago and the parties went into the election against the background of a deadlocked political process.

A power-sharing executive will not be re-established at Stormont immediately after the election.

A review of the workings of the Good Friday Agreement and a further round of negotiations is expected to begin after the elections.

Votes are being counted on Thursday, with a final result expected to emerge early on Friday evening, barring recounts.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble said he was confident the party would remain the largest unionist grouping after votes were counted.

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said he thought his party would hold its three seats in Foyle "comfortably enough" but said there was "more work to do".

The last assembly elections in 1998 returned 28 Ulster Unionists, 24 SDLP, 20 DUP and 18 Sinn Fein MLAs.

Northern Ireland Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley said the turnout appeared to be lower than in previous elections.

"Turnout seems to be somewhere between 50 to 60%, some of the polling stations a little higher than others," he said.


James is laid to rest

Heartbroken friends and family walked behind the coffin of Catholic man James McMahon this week and heard parish priest Sean Rogan say his murder made a mockery of Lisburn City’s slogan “A City for Everyone.”

James was battered to death by a three-strong bloodthirsty loyalist mob as he made his way home close to the banks of the River Lagan last Thursday evening. He died from his injuries the following day.

Hundreds of mourners, mostly young friends of James, packed St Patrick’s Church in Lisburn for the funeral of the 21-year-old.

Fr Sean Rogan said: “It will take many floods of water to wash away the stain and the shame of that dark and foul murder of James McMahon."

James was beaten to death by a masked gang wielding baseball bats as he walked home along Hancock Street. The funeral cortege stopped for a moment’s silence close to the spot where he was attacked.

His mother Deirdre had asked that her son’s organs be donated following his death. Fr Rogan said: “What a contrast, that this women’s interest in giving life be so starkly opposite to the actions of those masked individuals who were dealing in death. We salute you for your bravery, for your thoughtfulness, for your generosity. You are an example to all of us.”

Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor Anthony Farquhar joined Fr Rogan at Requiem Mass for the murdered man.

The victim was the eldest of five children. James’s brothers, Ryan and Christopher, fought back the tears as they gave readings.

Bishop Farquhar praised the McMahon family for their dignity in the face of such pain.

And Bishop Farquhar added: “Some see a glass half empty, some see a glass half full. Today, however, we are starkly reminded that, whatever else, the glass still holds the dregs of bitterness and hatred.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter


Free at Last!

Six hundred and fours days after first being jailed, North Belfast man John O’Hagan (31) spoke out yesterday for the first time following his surprise release on bail from Maghaberry Prison.

The bail decision came after an unsuccessful application for stay of proceedings by Mr O’Hagan’s legal team before Justice Coughlin at a court hearing on Tuesday.

Although Mr O’Hagan was relieved to be released – albeit on bail – he expressed deep reservations about the future of his case.

Interviewed exclusively by the Andersonstown News, Mr O’Hagan was angry about the way he has been treated, but defiant and determined too.

Mr O’Hagan was arrested on March 30, 2002 – Easter Saturday – and was subsequently charged with possessing information that could be useful to terrorists.

Although Mr O’Hagan’s arrest was initially linked by the PSNI to the Castlereagh burglary, responsibility for the case was formally assumed by the PSNI’s new unit, REMIT – even though REMIT was only established six months later in October 2002.

Mr O’Hagan has served what is effectively a three and a half year sentence.
He has been denied bail on eight separate occasions following strenuous opposition from the PSNI and Crown counsel.

"You have a situation where I have spent over 20 months on remand in custody, where the PSNI has leaked all sorts of untrue and unsubstantiated allegations about my case to the media, and where many figures have made highly political and highly prejudicial statements about my case – and I haven’t even had a trial yet."

In terms of the context of his case, Mr O’Hagan said that a number of fundamental inconsistencies are apparent.

"After I was arrested there were three weeks in which scurrilous and unsubstantiated leaks to the media were made by the PSNI, making all sorts of wild allegations about my case.

"At the same time the Secretary of State John Reid said the material allegedly linked to my case was neither a danger to the cessations, the Agreement nor the individuals concerned – and he said he made that assessment on foot of security briefings.

"So a massive contradiction arises. Without prejudicing the detail of my case, on the one hand the PSNI allege that I am a serious danger to society, yet on the other hand John Reid – quoting security sources – declares that my case does not represent any threat."

Mr O’Hagan also revealed, for the first time, that his legal advisors have written to Mr Reid and the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde putting both men on notice that they may be summonsed as witnesses if the case ever goes to trial.

"When you look at it, REMIT has no problem with resources or staff or power. The reason they are dragging out my case, in their own admission, is to do with ‘priorities’.

"So here we have a virtually autonomous Special Branch team within the PSNI in charge of political policing and with an ability to set their own ‘priorities’ in terms of what individuals they target, what legal teams they assist and so on.

"Is it any wonder anti-Agreement loyalists are getting their cases pushed through in record time?" Mr O’Hagan asked.

Alleging that a political agenda is being driven by REMIT against pro-Agreement republicans and nationalists, Mr O’Hagan was also critical of general delays in his case.

Despite ongoing defence concern, however, Justice Coughlin formally stated his belief at Tuesday’s court hearing, that these delays are not unreasonable.

According to Mr O’Hagan, however, "numerous requests we have made for basic evidential disclosure have been obstructed. For example, our independent experts were only permitted access three weeks ago to evidence with 250 fingerprints on it.

"My case was supposed to begin next Monday. Now how could I possibly formulate an effective defence and ensure a fair trial in such circumstances?"
Mr O’Hagan said that the situation in Maghaberry for republican prisoners of every allegiance continues to be difficult.

"There is significant resistance within the prison administration and the Prison Officers Association to implementing the basic requirements of the Steele Report on segregation. The administration is foot-dragging for political reasons and the POA are focusing their resistance on families because they are the vulnerable link.

"As always, the families bear the brunt – whether it be physical or verbal attack, the infamous ‘drug-dog’ or visits cancelled at the last minute.
"But, crucially, it must be remembered that the POA’s motivation in all of this is simply to get more money."

John O’Hagan acknowledged the "sterling work" done by his legal team to date and thanked his partner, family and friends for their support.
He also acknowledged ongoing scrutiny by the Andersonstown News and North Belfast News of the case.

Mr O’Hagan’s case is listed for mention again in January.

Journalist:: Jarlath Kearney

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Election counting begins

Election counting begins

The final result is expected on Friday evening

Counting of votes to elect candidates for the Northern Ireland Assembly is under way. However, early indications have suggested that the turnout for Wednesday's election was lower than usual.

Votes are being verified and counted on Thursday, with a final result expected to emerge early on Friday evening, barring recounts.

There are 1,097,526 eligible voters in Northern Ireland's 18 constituencies, while about 20 different parties and groupings contested the election.

In all, 256 candidates were nominated for the poll to elect 108 MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly).

Northern Ireland Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley said: "Turnout seems to be somewhere between 50 to 60%, some of the polling stations a little higher than others".

BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport said turnout seemed to be down in the east of the province, with traditionally higher figures in the west.

"Given that the turnout in the 1998 assembly election was over 69%, an educated guess would be a turnout in the higher 50s," he said.

"Apart from the immediate impact of the cold, the wet and the dark and football on the television, there is the whole business of holding an election to a body which remains suspended.

"That's obviously going to confuse people."

Exit poll

The assembly was suspended more than a year ago and the parties went into the election against the background of a deadlocked political process.

A power-sharing executive will not be re-established at Stormont immediately after the election.

Instead, a review of the workings of the Good Friday Agreement and a further round of negotiations is expected to begin.

Meanwhile, an exit poll of 1,500 people has claimed that the Ulster Unionists and Democratic Unionists are neck-and-neck with 25% of people saying they had given their first preference votes to either party.

The survey, carried out for the Republic of Ireland's broadcasting station, RTE, suggested that Sinn Fein had secured 20% support with the SDLP getting 16% of first preferences.

Wednesday's poll was the first election in Northern Ireland to be held in November since 1965.

**NOT election news, but this is a happy story and I like it :-)

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Farmers aid grazing swans

Farmers aid grazing swans

Martin Cassidy
BBC Northern Ireland rural affairs correspondent

They arrive in Northern Ireland exhausted and hungry after their 800 mile flight from Iceland.

The older birds lead the skeins of whooper swans in for their final approach towards Lough Erne and the nearby grassy fields which farmers have prepared for the flocks.

Swans are wary of humans and Martin Cassidy could not get close.

More than 2,500 of these distinctive swans winter at sites around Northern Ireland which are internationally important.

Farmers in Fermanagh's environmentally sensitive area are being encouraged to manage their land for the benefit of the 1,000 whoopers which arrive each year in the lakeland county.

The lush green grass in fields running down to the lough is appetising for the hungry swans, but having spent all summer in the wilds of Iceland, they are difficult to approach.

Ryegrass grown for cattle and sheep is very much to their liking, and importantly, the farm animals are removed early to allow a dense sward to build up for the swans to feed on over the chilly winter months.

Swan farming has now become a reality.

In areas which the birds frequent, farmers can opt to take part in a special European-funded swan project.

As well as undertaking to get their animals off the fields in early autumn, landowners also agree not to use slurry or pesticides during the winter months.

The swan project, which aims to provide the swans with clean wintering sites, is proving popular with Fermanagh farmers who can earn up to £45 per acre for eligible fields.

Swans are well known in these parts for their healthy appetite for grass, and the conservation scheme now provides compensation for the extra beaks to feed.

Local people reckon a couple of swans can graze as much as a sheep.

"They need green grass like we have here, and they like water where they can roost at night," explains countryside management adviser Patrick McGurn.

"Of course, they can't take off in small fields so you need big open fields, and we encourage farmers not to put fences up as that is going to limit swans."

Whoopers are wary of humans, and their long grazing necks are raised bolt upright when the birds are disturbed.

Having to take off to avoid intruders means using large amounts of energy. The last thing these swans want is visitors.

The whoopers are late this autumn, delaying their annual migration to take advantage of the unusually mild weather.

Race against time

For the cygnets hatched in Iceland, every extra day counts.

They face a race against time to be strong enough to escape the Arctic winter and make the first of up to 20 visits south to Fermanagh.

With winter closing in, hundreds of swans are now on their way. But that sea crossing is gruelling, particularly in bad weather.

Flight speed is also influenced by the amount of fat carried by the birds.

Mature birds in peak condition can reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour, while weaker birds may put down in the sea to rest.

But the flocks are now on the move and in the next few days, people in Fermanagh will be watching the winter skyline and listening as the whoopers trumpet their arrival for another winter by Lough Erne.


Yahoo! Groups : ira2

**While I'm thinking of it, I just want to direct you to this group because if you sign up to receive the group's daily postings, you will have more news sources on the north of Ireland than you can handle. I don't know how Briain Seán Tómas Mac Aodh does it, but he also finds time to post on the republican boards around the net as well.

**Story from my email compliments of Seán from Yahoo! group ira2

Police Warn of Dissident Threat to N.Irish Poll
Tue November 25, 2003 11:22 AM ET

By Alex Richardson

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Northern Ireland's police chief
warned Tuesday dissident Irish republican guerrillas opposed to the
peace process could mount attacks aimed at disrupting crucial
province-wide elections.

More than 2,000 extra policemen would be deployed to guard voting
stations Wednesday.

Chief Constable Hugh Orde's eve-of-poll message came after overnight
gun and bomb attacks blamed on breakaway factions of the Irish
Republican Army opposed to a 1998 peace accord aimed to end three
decades of violence in the British-ruled province.

"The two attacks were clearly aimed at disrupting the
election," said

Hard-line parties on both sides of the sectarian divide are expected
to the make gains in the election, a development which could scupper
British efforts to secure a speedy revival of the province's
mothballed power-sharing assembly after the poll.

Northern Ireland's 1.1 million voters can cast ballots from 7 a.m.
for the second election to the assembly, set up under the 1998 Good
Friday pact which sought to reconcile pro-British unionists with
Catholic Irish nationalists after a 30-year conflict costing more
than 3,600 lives.

"We are determined to protect those who want to go and exercise
democratic right to vote. Over 2,000 extra officers will be deployed
tomorrow," Orde added.

The assembly has been suspended since October 2002, when Britain
resumed direct rule of the province after a coalition of the four
main Protestant and Catholic parties fell apart amid allegations of
IRA spying.


The IRA, whose political ally Sinn Fein is expected to do well in the
election, has been observing a cease-fire since 1997.

But dissident factions opposed to the peace strategy of Sinn Fein
leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness continue to mount sporadic

One group, Continuity IRA, was blamed for planting a bomb which
partially exploded outside a British Army base in Dungannon late
Monday. Two police officers narrowly escaped injury. In a separate
attack, shots were fired from a passing vehicle at a police station
in Armagh. No-one was hurt.
Elections in Northern Ireland are effectively two contests. The
moderate Ulster Unionist Party led by David Trimble and the hard-line
Democratic Unionist Party of preacher-politician Ian Paisley battle
for the votes of majority Protestants, while Mark Durkan's moderate
SDLP contests Catholic votes with Sinn Fein.

Two weeks ago the only opinion poll of the campaign gave the UUP and
SDLP narrow leads over their rivals.

But polls consistently underestimate support for the two hard-line
parties, and bookmakers have made the fervently anti-gambling Paisley
favorite to lead the largest party and predict Sinn Fein will beat
the SDLP. Most analysts agree.

"The British government canceled the last elections in May because
they thought the DUP was going to be the largest party, and I don't
think they've really done much since then to change the situation,"

said Paul Dixon of the University of Ulster.

"The SDLP have put on a good show, but whether that's really enough

to arrest the growing march of Sinn Fein I'm not sure."

Both nationalist parties support the Good Friday accord as do the
majority of Trimble's UUP. But Paisley wants to tear up the agreement
and force negotiations on a new deal.

If the DUP and Sinn Fein are in the ascendant after the election it
is unlikely a consensus could be found on resuming power-sharing in
Belfast and an extended period of direct rule from London would loom.

The Shamrockshire Eagle: Monday 24th November 2003


Please read Paul Dunne's excellent re-cap of recent events in the U.S. concerning the American government's treatment of Irish immigrants, their families and just plain Irish visitors to the "land of freedom."

Sinn Féin: Doherty calls for Monitors to be allowed Access To Polling Stations

Doherty calls for Monitors to be allowed Access To Polling Stations

Published: 25 November, 2003

Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty has called for the International Observers who have travelled to the six counties to monitor the election to be allowed access to the polling stations.

Mr Doherty said:

"Serious concerns have been raised by a variety of bodies and political parties about the conduct of the registration process here. Tens of thousands of people have been disenfranchised and thousands of others who have managed to get on the register do not have the correct form of ID.

"In light of this Sinn Féin welcome the fact that International Observers have travelled here to monitor the election. Remarkably however, the Electoral Office has banned these International Monitors from entering polling stations on the day of the election.

" Exactly what is the Electoral Office trying to hide? Why are they preventing observers who have monitored elections across the world from visiting polling stations here?

" I m calling on the Chief Electoral Officer Denis Stanley to revoke this decision and allow these monitors full and free access to the polling stations. Confidence in the ability of the Electoral Office to conduct the electoral process is already seriously damaged without adding further to it with decisions like this."

online.ie: news

Bomb explodes near army base

2003-11-25 07:50:02+00

A policewoman escaped injury when a bomb exploded near an army base in Northern Ireland, it was revealed today.

The blast happened in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, late last night after police had moved into the area to carry out searches following a number of telephone warnings of a device having been planted.

The bomb partially exploded outside the Killymeal Road base as the woman officer was checking around the perimeter fence.

She was near the device at the time but was not hurt, said a police spokesman.

Army bomb disposal experts were sent in and a nearby leisure centre evacuated. The remainder of the bomb was made safe early today.

Dissident republicans were believed to be behind the bombing. They were also thought likely to have been responsible for a gun attack on a police station in Armagh last night.

A burst of several shots was fired at the police station on the Newry Road in the city.

The shots are believed to have come from a car speeding past the base. No one was injured.

**E-mails to the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General, may be sent to AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.


Subject: McAllister Home Surrounded, Support is Needed
Date: November 24, 2003


(212) 370-5316 TELEFACSIMILE (212) 370-7174

November 24, 2003


The Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"), under the
authority of Attorney General John Ashcroft, defying a ruling from the United
States Court of Appeals, has laid siege to the home of Bernadette McAllister
and her children, Sean and Nicola, and has launched a manhunt for her
husband Malachy.

On Wednesday, November 19, 2003, Bernadette and her children were
making preparations to celebrate Thanksgiving in the New Jersey town of
Wallington. That was until Bernadette received the shock decision
from the Board of Immigration Appeals that she and her children were to be
stripped of their hard-won status of political asylum and deported
within 30 days back to Belfast. Worse still, her husband Malachy was
in grave danger of being shackled and deported immediately.

As the McAllisters raced to file their appeals and seek the
protection of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, around 20 DHS
agents surrounded their home in the early hours of Friday morning, and two
agents barged their way into her home looking for her husband. The
last time armed government agents descended on the McAllister home was in
1988 in Belfast when a pro-British Loyalist death-squad came to kill
Malachy and launched a sustained gun attack on her children and their
grandmother. A federal judge found, as a result, that Bernadette and
the children had suffered "severe persecution" and granted
them political asylum in the United States.

The Federal agents who raided her home refused to identify themselves
and still have not produced a warrant for her husband's arrest.
Nevertheless they threatened to arrest Bernadette and her children
for "obstruction of justice" when she attempted to serve them with
a court-stamped copy of her motion seeking a stay of the detention and
removal of her husband.

Despite the fact that the Court of Appeals immediately issued a
temporary stay of removal pending its decision on this case, the DHS
remains staked out at the McAllister home and continues, unlawfully,
to treat Malachy McAllister as a "fugitive" from the very removal
order which the Court has stayed! More disturbingly, the DHS continues to
threaten Bernadette with criminal arrest for "obstruction of
justice." The irony is glaring. The only people in this case obstructing the
wheels of justice are John Ashcroft's DHS agents.

The McAllister family's case enjoys the widespread support of many in
the Irish-American community and its media, among groups such as the
Irish American Unity Conference and the Ancient Order of Hibernians,
as well as the support of many Congressional leaders. However, the
family remains in grave danger and we must keep the pressure on until the
siege is lifted.

Call Attorney General John Ashcroft and demand to know why Malachy
McAllister is being treated as a fugitive, and why the DHS are
staking out the McAllister home in the run-up to Thanksgiving, when their
appeal has been accepted by a United States Court of Appeals. Call your
Senator and Representative, and ask that they sign on to a letter
from Stephen R. Rothman (D, NJ; 9th District) instructing the DHS to allow
Malachy McAllister to return home without fear of arrest and


Hon. John Ashcroft
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Tel: (202) 353-1555

If you wish to send a donation to help defray the legal costs in what
may be an extensive legal battle, please make checks payable to Smith
Dornan & Shea PC, mark as "McAllister Legal Defense Fund",
and send to:

Smith Dornan & Shea PC
355 Lexington Avenue
17th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Phone: (212) 370-5316
Fax: (212) 370-7174

Contact: Eamonn Dornan, Esq., edornan@sds-law.com, (212) 370-5316

edornan@sds-law.com Smith Dornan & Shea Web Site



Lisburn killing: Organs donated
Sectarian murder condemned

The mother of James McMahon, who was brutally beaten to death last week by three baseball-wielding thugs, gave her permission to hospital medics that her son’s organs could be used to save someone else’s life.

Fr Sean Rogan of St Patrick’s Church in Lisburn, who was with Deirdre McMahon the moment she consented to have her son’s organ donated, said her generosity and courage was overwhelming.

“Deirdre has a love for the sacredness of life and she wanted to preserve life. The people who carried out this murder cared nothing for the sacredness of life and instead wanted to inflict death. The contrast could not be starker.

“Deirdre’s wish that she would like someone else to live to have his organs is in complete contrast to those who were masked and intent on dealing out death. In a so-called Christian society one would expect that citizens would be interested in the sacredness of life from the womb to the tomb.”

The eldest of five children, 21-year-old James McMahon died in hospital after he was beaten with baseball bats by a three-man gang just yards away from his home near the River Lagan last Thursday.

When police and ambulance crews arrived they found him slumped to the ground with severe head injuries. He died the next day in hospital.

Loyalists have since been blamed for the murder, and the PSNI are examining CCTV footage from the Lisburn Island Arts Centre, which overlooks the murder scene.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he was totally appalled by the murder.

“I know that this murder caused revulsion right across the community in Lisburn. This was an evil deed and I would call on anyone with information to pass it on to PSNI.

“I know that police haven’t yet described James’s murder as sectarian but if it is established that this was the case, I know that it does not represent the attitude or opinions of the vast majority of people in this district.”

Sinn Féin Lagan Valley representative Paul Butler said he believed the motive for James’s death was sectarian.

“This is very much a sectarian attack. It’s clear that another young Catholic has been murdered for no other reason than his religion here.

“In Lisburn Catholics are living in fear and are being intimidated on a regular basis. Many Catholics have even been driven out of their homes and the worrying thing is that Unionist paramilitaries are doing it with impunity. In recent months how many people have been arrested or charged with offences against Catholics? None that I am aware of.

“It’s clear that the PSNI don’t seem committed to solving these crimes, and their record in solving crimes against republicans in Lisburn is appalling.”

In the same area 12 years ago two Catholic men were murdered by loyalists within six months of each other. In March 1991 Francis Taggert, who was 17, was killed by loyalists behind the town’s leisure centre. He was stabbed 62 times in the head, neck and trunk. According to sources then the UVF was responsible.

In August 27-year-old Catholic Martin Watters was attacked by three youths along the bank of the River Lagan as he walked home. He was robbed, beaten and then thrown into the river. Four men were convicted of his death and two were also convicted of UVF membership.

Mr Donaldson added: “None of us want a throwback to the violence of that period. As a community representative I want everyone to know that I will be doing all I can to make sure something as tragic as James’s death doesn’t happen again.”

James McMahon will be buried from St Patrick’s Church on Tuesday at noon. He will be buried at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Longstone Street.

Journalist:: Áine McEntee


Sinn F?in: ?gra Shinn F?in launch Youth Manifesto

Ógra Shinn Féin launch Youth Manifesto

Published: 23 November, 2003

Letter From Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin is an Irish republican party. We are a party of radical change. We are an all Ireland party. We are the fastest growing political party in Ireland, and the only party with a strategy for the reunification of our country.

As republicans we are totally committed to ending inequality and to bringing about a society where all are treated equally. We have been leading the way for change in our communities, in political institutions and in the negotiations. We have stood up to the rejectionists, inside and outside of government and we will continue to do so.

Are you interested in politics? Do you want to have a say in how your life is run? Do you believe that the politicians in charge are representing your interests properly? Five years after the publication of the Good Friday Agreement do you, as a young person, feel more included in the political life of your country?

These are just some of the important questions facing you in the upcoming election.

This manifesto has been produced by Ogra Shinn Féin. It has been produced by young people, for young people. It sets out the commitments of young republicans.

If you want to know more about Sinn Féin and our policies, or join the party, why not log onto our new web site www.sinnfein.ie

Remember your voice can be heard — but only if you make it. I am asking you on November 26th to use your vote and to vote Sinn Féin.

Is Mise

Gerry Adams


Ógra Shinn Féin is the most vibrant and radical youth wing of any political party in Ireland. We are dedicated to bringing about revolutionary social change, ensuring youth rights and culture are respected, challenging corruption and imperalism at home and abroad and achieving the freedom of our country.

Is e Ógra Shinn Féin an t-aon pháirtí uile-Éireannach agus tá sé mar idhm againn poblacht daonlatach 32-contae a bhunú agus deireadh a chuir le riail Shasana in Éireann.

Through protest action, political discussions and international solidarity we campaign on issues that matter to young people' in particular:-

Irish re-unification
Youth rights
Minimum Wage
Car Insurance
Anti-racism and anti-sectarianism
Irish Unity and Independence

Ógra Shinn Féin is an Irish repubican party. We are working to bring about Irish Unity and Independence. Ógra Shinn Féin will be part of the generation that will see freedom, justice and a lasting peace in Ireland.

Ógra Shinn Féin is campaigning for:

The building of a broad alliance for Irish Unity;
A Green paper on Irish Unity;
Radical social and economic change;
Expansion of the all-Ireland agenda.
Five Years of British and Unionist Stalling must end

The Good Friday Agreement heralded a new political dispensation on this island. For the first time, people were promised a real say in how our lives were governed. The Agreement opened the way to all Ireland development and real change on the equality, human rights and economic and social justice fronts.

For the last five years we have had ongoing loyalist attacks and the Unionists and the British government have been stalling and blocking the implementation of the Agreement. This failure to stand by the Agreement has created a lot of anger among young people.

It is important that we do not become disillusioned, change cannot be prevented. The Agreement must be implemented in all its aspects. And Sinn Féin will continue to be at the forefront of the campaign for change.

Ógra Shinn Féin is demanding:

Full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement;
An end to the the governments reneging on their commitments;
Full equality for all.

Education is a human right, and should be open and accessible to all. Ógra Shinn Féin is demanding :

The abolition of the 11 plus;
Widespread change in the structure of our education system;
Equality for all forms of education, and in particular Irish language and integrated schools;
The re-introduction of student grants;
The abolition of student fees;
Increased provision of third level places to people from low income backgrounds and other excluded groups.

Homelessness and housing shortages are a problem which affect many young people.

Ógra Shinn Féin believes that:

The present running down of the Housing Executive must come to an end;
The Housing Executive should become the main provider of new social housing and increase its new build programme substantially;
The Housing Executive should have a greater focus on the needs of young families and single people.

We are constantly told that employment is on the increase, and that there is a reduction in the numbers of those out of work. However what they are not telling you is that the way in which unemployment statistics are counted has changed 11 times since 1997. The present figures mask the real level of unemployment in our society, especially among young people.

Ógra Shinn Féin demands:

A more focused strategy for developing employment at a local level;
An increase in the minimum wage for 18-21 year olds into line with that received by over 21s;
The development of social economy projects which meet the needs of local people while providing sustainable employment in the long term;
Additional funds to develop employability training programs in niche market industries such as music, film and television, multi media design and fashion. Such initiatives would enable young people to access the skills necessary for participation in some of the worlds last remaining expanding markets.

Crime is a serious issue in our society. However young people are often criminalised as the sole problem, particularly in term of anti social behaviour. This should not be the case, indeed young people have an active role to play in combating issues such as anti-social activity.

Ógra Shinn Féin is demanding:

Substantial resources to be invested in youth education and leadership programmes;
Training for young people to lead youth peer education and self esteem programs, we want to play a vital role in transforming local communities into safer and cleaner districts.
Policing & Demilitarisation

Young people in nationalist areas have born the brunt of unjust and violent policing for many years. Ógra Shinn Féin was at the forefront of the campaign to disband the RUC and remain committed to campaigning to achieve the new beginning to policing promised in the Agreement.

Ógra Shinn Féin are demanding:

The removal of the British war machine from our country;
The end of British Army and PSNI harassment of young people, and young republicans in particular.
Access to Political Institutions

If young people are to play a full part in the political life of our country then we need to see our political institutions and politics open up and become more accessible to young people. Too often political institutions are seen as the preserve of middle class men in dull grey suits, with little or no knowledge of young people and our needs and aspirations.

Ógra Shinn Féin believes that:

The voting age should be lowered to 16;
All political institutions should have shadow youth assemblies or councils;
Political and civic education should become core subjects in the school curriculum from 13 years and up.

Equality cannot be a meaningful aspiration, it must become a reality for all. Young people must have equality of opportunity and outcome in all aspects of life. Anything short of that is unacceptable.

Ógra Shinn Féin is demanding:

An equality minister and department in the new Assembly and in each local government body;
Measures to reduce the cost of car insurance for young drivers;
Proper resourcing to ensure that the Equality Commission is made accessible to young people;
A Minister for Children and Young People.
Sectarianism & Racism

In the recently published 'A Shared Future' Document there was not one single substantive reference to young people and our experience of sectarianism. Likewise in the recently passed race Relations Act (NI) young peoples concerns and needs, especially second generation young people, were almost completely ignored. Sectarianism and Racism need to be viewed as structural forms of discrimination which permeate our society in all its aspects, and which have specific effects on specific groups of people.

Ógra Shinn Féin believes that tackling the root causes of racism and sectarianism require:

A root and branch change to the institutional structure of our society, so that all people irrespective of race or religion have equal access to services, employment, resources, rights and entitlements;
Funding and empowering minority ethnic communities and good relations organisations is a vital part of this as real equality cannot be imposed from above but must be built from the grass roots up

Our society is becoming increasingly globalised. This brings many advantages but also many disadvantages. The globalisation of corporate culture and imposition of a bland, homogeneous and consumer led culture is not in the interests of our society, its culture or indeed our young people.

Ógra Shinn Féin believes that:

Internationalism is the real alternative to corporate globalisation;
The globalisation of human rights and social equality is the way forward;
Developing World debt must be scrapped;
Global financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank must be shut down and replaced with democratically accountable developmental agencies under the control of the United Nations.
Arts & Culture

For too long arts and culture have been relegated to the status of poor cousin to other areas of social and public policy. This needs to change. Young people have a right to express themselves and have access to the variety of artistic and cultural mediums which the arts have to offer. These practices must not be the right of the privileged few.

Ógra Shinn Féin believes that:

Arts and cultural education must be mainstreamed throughout all school ciricula;
Adequate resourcing is provided to ensure that all young people have a real option of training in a wide variety of cultural forms;
Employment schemes and resources must be made available for emerging and established arts;
Cultural organisations need to ensure that our local talent has the choice of staying here rather than emigrating for lack of opportunities at home.
Sport & Leisure

Like arts and culture Sports and Leisure are often relegated down the funding ladder by government. This has to change. More resources are needed to ensure that all young people have equal access to sports education and facilities and leisure facilities within local communities.

Ógra Shinn Féin supports:

A more serious approach to the issues of sport and leisure by local and regional government;
An all Ireland international soccer team;
Equitable funding for the GAA.


**You may have trouble viewing the FRU group portrait from the Cryptome site (see following post), so I have put the photo on my own web page. We'll see if this holds up. Go here:



Sunday Life

**This is the FRU group portrait referred to in the following post:

FRU photo

Caught on the web ...
Pic of Stakeknife WITH his agent handler could go online

By Alan Murray

A PHOTOGRAPH of the Army agent known as 'Stakeknife', posing with his military handler, could appear on the internet.

Former Army agents, who are suing the Ministry of Defence for compensation, say there is a possibility that the photograph of Stakeknife, with his Army handler, David Moyles, could be put up on a website, this week.

West Belfast republican, Freddie Scappaticci, has consistently denied that he is Stakeknife, since the allegation first surfaced, earlier this year.

Scappaticci - the 'number two' in the IRA's internal investigation unit, known as the 'nutting squad' - has denied allegations that he worked as an agent for the Army.

He was, however, ideally placed, as number two to John Joseph Magee for 15 years, to learn many IRA secrets, and provide detailed lists of personnel he'd debriefed after 'operations'.

Stakeknife provided his Army handler with details of the IRA's most-sensitive internal investigations, and this enabled Special Branch to alert fellow agents that they were under suspicion by the IRA.

Many survived Provo interrogations because of Stakeknife's tip-offs, and others fled the country, after he warned his handlers that the IRA had proof of their treachery.

Danny Morrison, a member of the IRA's 'general headquarters staff', was arrested by police who raided a house in west Belfast, where an agent had been interrogated. The former Sinn Fein publicity director was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Stakeknife was also able to identify key members of IRA active service units, which were debriefed by him after operations failed, or weapons were lost or seized by Special Branch.

Last week's publication of a group photograph of members of the Armys's secret Force Research Unit, which was run by Brigadier Gordon Kerr during the 1980s, has identified Stakeknife's handler, David Moyles.

Moyles is standing beside a female officer, who was involved in the handling of UDA spy, Brian Nelson.

A source close to the disgruntled former Army agents told Sunday Life: "There is a picture kicking around of Stakeknife with Moyles, and the buzz is that, by Tuesday or Wednesday, it will be on the internet."


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?