Irish Examiner


Sinn Féin employees paid €500 a week

By Michael O'Farrell

GERRY ADAMS and all other Sinn Féin employees receive just €500 a week before tax with additional earnings going directly into the party's finances.

Sinn Féin's accounts released yesterday in a bid to quell speculation on the sources of the party's finances also reveal the party's comprehensive network of constituency offices is almost entirely reliant on volunteers.

In recent weeks, Justice Minister Michael McDowell has made and defended accusations about Sinn Féin being funded from the criminal activities of the IRA.

With an all-Ireland network of 47 constituency offices as well as headquarters in Belfast and Dublin, the entire Sinn Féin party employs just 29 people 16 in the South and 13 in the North.

In addition, the party has 24 MLAs and five TDs receiving State salaries, all of whom donate everything but the average industrial wage of €500 a week to central party accounts and constituency offices. However, all Sinn Féin's elected representatives also keep their TD and MLA expenses allowances.

According to the party's accounts, the entire Sinn Féin party, both North and South, had €1.5m in income last year, just under €800,000 of which went towards running the party machine in the Republic.

Responding to questions on whether the number of volunteers left the party open to local funding abuse, Sinn Féin director of finances Des Mackin said the nature of Sinn Féin meant it attracted activists willing to work for free.

"Apart from the employees, our whole party is based on political activism by voluntary activists. We can't emphasis that enough. We don't have to pay for people to put our posters up.

"We don't have to pay for people to do all the other things like other parties have to do," he said.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams last night attacked Mr McDowell, saying his allegations against the party were overtly political and unacceptable. "There is no substance to these allegations, whatsoever and they go beyond the normal cut and trust of acceptable political comment, not least because Michael McDowell is speaking in his capacity as minister for justice," he added.

Special Court internment

Joe Lynch, Limerick Republican Sinn Féin
December 20, 2003

The continued use of the Special Non-Jury Court to imprison people on the word of a senior policeman is an abuse of civil liberties and tantamount to internment, the Limerick Branch of Republican Sinn Féin stated today.

RSF Limerick spokesman Joe Lynch from Ballinacurra Weston said that in the past few days four men had been before the Special Court and charged on the sole word of a police Superintendent.

"The high profile coverage given to these cases is in marked contrast to the reserved judgement last Friday where a man had his IRA membership conviction overturned by the Court," said Mr. Lynch.

"The significance of this decision has yet to be fully appreciated. There is a fundamental flaw in the law and many men now in prison should not be there," he added.

"In these days when anyone who protests about the political situation can be described as a terrorist, it is time to cry halt. The Special Court has become a method of imprisoning people simply on the word of a senior policeman.

"This erosion of civil liberties cannot be tolerated in a democracy and we are now calling for the abolition of the Special Court. All Republicans and those concerned with fundamental freedoms will have to unite to oppose the current campaign by the 26 County Administration.

"The fact is that any Republicans who oppose the failed Stormont Agreement are being rounded up for imprisonment on the word of a senior policeman - it is tantamount to internment and it must be challenged before the presumption of innocence is eroded by this type of questionable conduct."



Adams unhappy after Downing Street summit

The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, last night said that his afternoon summit with Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern was “unsatisfactory”. Speaking to the North Belfast News from London, Mr Adams said: “Mr Blair said he would not publish the Cory Report at this time. I believe there is a connection between the British refusal to co-operate with the Barron Report on the Dublin/Monaghan bombs and the refusal to publish the Cory Report. And that connection is collusion.”
The West Belfast MP said collusion was “administrative practice” here. “The only conclusion we can come to is that the people who controlled and directed collusion remain in place and still have considerable power within the system. Also, both governments would not give us assurances we sought that outstanding commitments on basic rights and entitlements will now be followed through on.
“Mr Blair is not as focused as he should be, so after Christmas we have to get back to campaigning again.”

The Pat Finucane Centre Homepage

Click on above link for the Cory report files



From the Pat Finucane Center (see links)
18 December 2003

**see previous post if report not found

Irish Government to release reports online/pfc

The Irish Government will publish the Cory investigation into allegations of cross border collusion at 1pm today. The report will be available at www.irlgov.ie. Access the website and click on Government Departments where the report will be accessible on the Department of Justice section.

In his report to the Irish government, Cory dealt with the deaths of RUC officers Bob Buchanan and Harry Breen in 1989 and those of Justice Gibson and his wife Cecily in 1987.

All four were killed by the IRA just over the border in the North, but Cory is believed to have called for an investigation into whether a garda may have tipped off the IRA about the RUC men's movements after a trip to Dundalk.

The decision by the Irish Government to publish today follows the refusal of the British Government to publish Cory’s reports into the murders of Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, Robert Hamill and Billy Wright. This is despite a British promise to publish all the reports at the same time as the Irish on December 1. PM Tony Blair has claimed that the reports cannot yet be published for reasons of ‘national security’.

Judge Cory, a former Supreme court judge from Canada, is understood to be furious that the Blair government has broken firm promises made during the Weston Park negotiations.

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Dublin to publish 'collusion' report

Dublin to publish 'collusion' report

The Irish Government is expected to publish its reports into allegations of collusion between rogue police officers and the IRA.
The findings were made by retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory.

He has examined if public inquiries should be held into eight killings on both sides of the Irish border.

He handed six reports over to the Irish and British governments nine weeks ago.

The Irish Government's reports concern the IRA murders of Lord Justice Gibson and his wife in 1987 and two senior RUC officers, Bob Buchanan and Harry Breen, in 1989.

The British Government has four reports regarding the 1989 murder of solicitor Pat Finucane, the killing of Catholic man Robert Hamill in Portadown in 1997, the murder of Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright in 1997 and the murder of Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson in 1999.

A British Government source told the BBC on Monday it was "unlikely" their reports would be published before Christmas, as it was still considering legal and human rights matters.

It is understood that Judge Cory recommended an inquiry into the murders of Chief Superintendent Breen and Superintendent Buchanan.

The two had just returned to Northern Ireland after a meeting with Garda officers in Dundalk, County Louth.

There have always been suspicions that a rogue police officer in the Republic of Ireland may have tipped off the IRA.

It is believed Judge Cory has not recommended an inquiry into the murders of Lord Justice and Lady Gibson.

They were killed just inside Northern Ireland on the main Belfast to Dublin road after returning to Ireland from holiday.

Three years ago, a Garda investigation into both incidents found no evidence to support the allegations of collusion.

On Wednesday night, Garda sources said there was no expectation that any new inquiry would come to a different conclusion.

Judge Cory, who is in Canada, is said to be deeply unhappy at recent developments.

He has received letters from the families of the four victims whose reports are with the British Government and is said to be considering considering writing to them himself to inform them of his decision.

Some of the families are also considering taking legal action in an attempt to force the government to publish the full reports, which were due to be made public at the beginning of this month.

It is understood that Judge Cory has recommended public inquiries into the four murders in Northern Ireland.

Judge Cory was appointed by London and Dublin following the Weston Park political negotiations in 2001.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein and the SDLP have called on the British Government to publish its Cory findings into the killings of Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, Robert Hamill and Billy Wright.

MOD Scammed £Millions by NI Police Informer

Read it at CRYPTOME


I Will Not be Silenced - Ex-IRA Spy
The News Letter
Dec 17 2003

By Ross Smith

A FORMER spy who infiltrated the IRA last night revealed he will boycott court action in England today, and dared MoD officials, who are trying to gag him, to take him on in Northern Ireland.

On the eve of a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, in London, Sam Rosenfeld said he will not turn up to fight a lifetime injunction stopping him telling secrets about his time in Army intelligence.

He wants to tell the truth about security force collusion with paramilitaries, which, he claims, led to murders on both sides of the community being sanctioned in order to protect agents.

Mr Rosenfeld claimed today's hearing will be conducted in chambers rather than open court, and he would not be allowed to instruct a solicitor to represent him.

By staying away, he hopes it will be clear he did not consent to the proceedings if he later challenges the outcome, which he may seek to do through the European courts.

Speaking from a secret location in Northern Ireland, the ex-agent told the News Letter: ''It will mean everything I have done to call witnesses will become irrelevant.

"Everything they have done has been done in secret. But my solicitor has made it clear to them they will need to serve any documents they have through the courts in Northern Ireland."

Mr Rosenfeld had issued a summons to Freddie Scappaticci - the west Belfast man alleged to have been Britain's top spy in the IRA - Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, ex-agent Kevin Fulton, and former agent handler turned whistle-blower Martin Ingram to appear as witnesses.

"I'm disappointed the English legal system quite clearly appears willing to hear applications in people's absence,'' he added.

"If someone was charged with murder, he would have more rights than me.

"But they can do what they like - I've no intention of paying any attention to what they're doing.''

He is hoping to have the case heard at the High Court in Belfast.

He said: "If they want to argue it in a court in Northern Ireland, I'm ready, willing and waiting.

"If they come to Northern Ireland, they're going to have a fight on their hands.

"I don't think anybody's going to believe they didn't murder anybody. I dare them to come into a court in Northern Ireland."

From the Brehon Law Society
16 December 2003

Well here we are at this "Joyous" time of the year.

But as we all know its not quite for everyone.

The Irish American community and other right thinking people have risen to the occasion in the efforts to stop the dreadful injustice that is being perpetrated on Malachy McAllister and his family.

That effort is ongoing and everyone is encouraged to keep at it until a successful resolution.

Meanwhile, and not to take away from these efforts,there are two other situations that need to be focussed on.

The first is to remember the men still being held in Colombia .In fact it has been 28 months since their arrest and a verdict has still not been rendered.

If one is not received shortly there is a fear that it will not be until February .
Yet the men remain incarcerated in an extremely hostile environment far away from their families and loved ones at this "Joyous" season.

While everyone is writing out their Christmas cards could they send one on down to the lads?

They are , of course, Jim Monaghan, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley.

The address is Pisa 1,Alta Seguridad,Carcel National,La Modelo,Bogota CRA 56#19-30, Colombia.

Frances McAuley-- is well known to many activists in Belfast.

She is one of the longstanding leaders of The Springfield Residents Action Committee and has stood in the fore of resistance to various onslaughts from all sides.

A few weeks back a candle burnt down, the wax leaked into her TV which exploded and her house , with all her belongings, burnt to the ground.

Frances herself was burned but is on the road to recovery.

Unfortunately her insurance had lapsed and she is desperately in need of some help.

So, once again,I am asking everyone to dig deep and help in raising some money to help Frances out in re-establishing her life.

Could you send whatever you can spare?

Make the checks out to either myself,Stephen M McCabe[which Illdeposit and will issue one check to Frances] or simply make the check payable to Frances McAuley.

My address is Box 855, 114 Old Country Rd., Mineola,NY,11501.
Thanks to all.

From Tues. Dec. 16:

Murder Victim's Gravestone Vandalised
The News Letter
Dec 16 2003

THE grave of Roman Catholic postal worker Danny McColgan has been vandalised in Carnmoney cemetery.

A police spokesman said the gravestone was vandalised and flowers strewn over the grave during the incident which happened between 1pm on Sunday and 10am yesterday.

The grave of the father-of-one, who was gunned down as he made his way to a sorting office in Rathcoole in January 2002, has been targeted on several occasions.

The attack comes hours after a street memorial to 16-year-old Tommy McDonald was torched on Saturday night in the Whitecity estate.

WEDNESDAY 17/12/2003 11:24:17 UTV
One in alleged IRA spy-ring cleared

One of the four people charged in connection with the so-called Stormontgate affair which led to the collapse of the power-sharing Executive after the discovery of an alleged IRA spy ring was cleared today.

Fiona Farrelly, a 47-year-old caterer, from Rosgoill Park, West, Belfast, was freed after the charges against her were withdrawn without explanation at the Magistrates Court.

She had been accused of of possessing the personal details of prison officers and having an IBM Think Pad laptop which could be useful to terrorists.

The three other accused, who were due to be committed for trial today, had their cases adjourned until next month.

They are Denis Donaldson (53), Sinn Fein`s head of administration at Stormont, from Aitnamona Crescent, his son-in-law Ciaran Kearney (32), from Commedagh Drive, and William Mackessy (45), a former Stormont porter, from Wolfend Way, Ligoniel, all Belfast.

They are charged with possessing documents which could be useful to terrorists. They were arrested in October last year after police raided Sinn Fein`s office at Stormont and have been on bail following various periods in custody.

Peter Madden, solicitor for Donaldson, complained that although the case had been listed for a preliminary enquiry today the papers had only been served this morning.

"This case is a year and three months old and all along there has been no indicatation when it was going to move forward," he said.

Michael Crawford, solicitor for Kearney, said a number of personal effects, including letters and photographs, were seized by police and had not been returned, despite repeated requests.

"This is causing him some distress, particularly as his father has passed away," said Mr Crawford.

The prosecuting lawyer said he had now been informed that all matters not pertinent to the investigation would be returned.

The three accused were remanded on continuing bail until January 7.

BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Six charged after drug raids

Six charged after drug raids

Six people - including the wife and son of Northern Ireland loyalist leader Johnny Adair - arrested in a police operation targeting drugs have been charged.
Five houses in Greater Manchester and a hotel in Lancashire were raided by officers in the early hours of Tuesday, leading to the arrests.

The suspects have all been charged with conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.

The charges follow a three month investigation by Bolton officers codenamed Operation Margate.

The six charged are: Jonathan Adair, 19, Gina Adair, 37, Benjamin Dowie, 22, William Truesdale, 40, who all live on Chorley New Road, Horwich, Karen Truesdale, 32, of Thorpe Street, Halliwell and a 13-year-old boy from Halliwell.

Mr Adair, Mr Dowie, Mr Truesdale and Ms Truesdale have also been charged with supplying class A drugs.

Mrs Adair was arrested after the raids on Tuesday evening. The rest were arrested during the raids.

They are due to appear before magistrates in Bolton later.

House action

Mrs Adair - the wife of Ulster Freedom Fighters leader Johnny Adair - arrived in Horwich with her four children in March.

The family was fleeing in-fighting among Northern Ireland's loyalist paramilitaries.

Mrs Adair rented a private property, but demanded Bolton council re-house her.

When it refused, she took the authority to court but lost.


BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Adair's son held in drugs raid

Adair's son held in drugs raid

The son of the convicted loyalist leader Johnny Adair is among six people arrested during a series of police raids in northern England.
Jonathan Adair, 19, was arrested on suspicion of drugs offences along with a 22-year-old man at a hotel on the M61 in Anderton, near Chorley in Lancashire.

Police searched five houses in Greater Manchester in the early hours of Tuesday, following a three-month investigation by Greater Manchester Police.

Five imitation guns were seized by police - a fake M16 machine gun and four fake handguns.

Officers arrested a 32-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy in Halliwell, Bolton, and an 18-year-old woman and a 40-year-old man in Horwich.

Johnny Adair's family and many of his associates were forced to leave Northern Ireland following an internal loyalist feud earlier this year.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said they hoped the operation would reassure the people of Bolton that it was responding to their concerns.

Adair was arrested and returned to prison in January 2003 after Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy received information he was involved in directing terrorism, drugs, extortion and distributing weapons.


IOL: Blair to push peace process agenda to NI parties

Blair to push peace process agenda to NI parties
15/12/2003 - 06:44:02

Tony Blair is set to urge Northern Ireland’s political leaders to break the peace process deadlock during meetings in London this week.

All five of the main political parties are expected to see the British Prime Minister at Downing Street in a bid to map out plans for a New Year review of the Good Friday Agreement.

British government sources described the talks, which are expected to take place on Wednesday, as a stock-taking exercise after last month’s Assembly elections left the prospect of devolution returning to Belfast even more remote.

“We don’t expect to know what the parties want in the review until the end of the month, but the Prime Minister wanted to see them before Christmas,” one official said.

Hopes of restoring the Stormont power-sharing administration that has been suspended since a suspected spy-ring was uncovered 14 months ago suffered a major setback in the elections.

Ian Paisley’s hardline Democratic Unionists and Sinn Féin swept ahead of the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP respectively as the biggest Assembly parties on either side of the sectarian divide.

With the DUP refusing to go into government with republicans until the IRA is scrapped for good, many feared years of direct rule from London.

Both Mr Blair and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern are adamant the Good Friday accord is not up for renegotiation.

But Mr Blair will challenge the nationalist and unionist leaders, along with the centre-ground Alliance Party, to help come up with solutions.

Sources close to the negotiations insisted that months, even years, of painstaking discussions was not inevitable.

“This is about seeing what is do-able. It doesn’t necessarily have to be long but that depends on how quickly the parties want to engage.”


Military presence is putting strain on school kids, learning
By Jim Dee/Irish Times
Monday, December 15, 2003

FORKHILL, Northern Ireland - Holding the attention of fidgety
elementary school kids is tough at the best of times. But try doing
it amid the roar of low-flying helicopters as armed men can be seen
outside classroom windows.

"British army foot patrols are still passing this school
daily, sometimes cutting through school grounds,'' said Ciaran
Mackin, principal of St. Oliver Plunkett school, a circa 1848
building that's had an army/police base next door since the 1970s.

"Army helicopters still fly overhead. On any given day, we
could have in the region of 25 to 30 flights - from 8 in the morning
to 3 in theafternoon. The most we've ever had is 42,'' said Mackin,
who oversees 120 children ages, aged 4 to 11. ``It eats into
teaching time. When a helicopter flies overhead we have to stop
teaching and wait until it passes.''

British army demilitarization moves were part of a plan to
revive the stalled peace process that unraveled in October when pro-
British unionists rejected the Irish Republican Army's biggest-ever
disarmament act.

It would have seen the 57 British bases now in the Connecticut-
sized North reduced to 14 by the end of 2005, and the 14,000 troops
garrisoned here cut to 5,000. When the peace process began 10 years
ago there were 105 bases and 18,000 troops.

Army foot patrolling has stopped in most of Northern Ireland,
but not in border areas like Forkhill in south Armagh, a region the
police and army claim is a stronghold of anti-peace-pact IRA rebels
of the so-called "Real IRA.''

There has never been a dissident IRA attack recorded in

A British Army spokeswoman said patrols have been increased
recently in Forkhill because a new battalion of soldiers was getting
used to the area.

She noted that the Tievecrum army post was removed from a
hillside facing the village last May, and that army statistics show
chopper activity in south Armagh had fallen 31 percent since 1998's
Good Friday peace accord.

"There are many individuals who do not want the British army
in Northern Ireland,'' she added. ``But what we're doing, we're
doing because we're required to be here. We do endeavor to try and
minimize disruption upon the civilian community as much as

Mackin claimed last May's scrapping of Tievecrum was offset by
a subsequent extension of spy towers at the base next to his school.
''There has to be demilitarization right across the board,'' he
said. ``People think that once you use the word 'demilitarization'
you're coming from a political grouping. And that is not the case. I
represent the children from this school.

"And if a child here is being disadvantaged compared to a
child in Belfast or Bangor, that imbalance needs to be addressed,''
he said. "All I'm asking for is an environment where they can learn
and develop on a par with their peers. It's as simple as that. This
is a story of the peace process which is not being told.''


Twenty-nine more lives lost during May 1974

Maeve Connolly, Irish News

The Dublin and Monaghan bombings of May 1974, which claimed 33 lives, occurred in the middle of a month in which a further 29 people died or were murdered in incidents related to the Troubles.

Running concurrently was the Ulster Workers Strike which had the support of loyalist paramilitaries from its beginnings on May 15.

This action effectively paralysed Northern Ireland and brought down the power-sharing executive formed through the Sunningdale Agreement.

During the 14-day strike there were reductions in electricity and petrol supplies, the stoppage of postal services and roads were barricaded.

Rural communities suffered greatly with many farmers forced to dispose of milk and other products that had perished.

In the middle of it all, the 'Ulster Army Council' issued a list of services to be allowed through roadblocks and opening times for shops.

The strike was called off on Wednesday May 29 and by the end of the month 62 people had lost their lives in Ireland.

The month opened with the May 2 UVF cannister bomb attack on a Belfast bar in which six Catholic men were killed.

Thomas Morrissey (46), James Doherty (53), Thomas Ferguson (48), John Gallagher (23) and William Kelly (56) all died in the blast, while Francis Brennan (56) died nine days later.

The UDR lost its first female member on the same day. Eva Martin (28) was killed in an IRA attack on a UDR base in Co

An explosion in south Belfast on May 5 resulted in the death of Protestant Albert Green who suffered a heart attack.

Two days later, loyalists killed four people in separate attacks.

Catholic father-of-three Patrick Jago died when he was gunned down by the UFF in a workmen's hut in Newtownabbey.

A 20-year-old IRA man, Frederick Leonard, was also killed in a random loyalist attack at a Carnmoney building site that day.

On the evening of May 7 James and Gertrude Devlin were shot dead close to their Co Tyrone home.

Meanwhile, the UFF was responsible for the death of 40-year-old Francis Rowe at his Co Antrim home.

On May 10 the IRA murdered two Belfast police constables – father-of-two Malcolm Ross (40) and Brian Bell (29), a father-of-one.

Days later two Co Tyrone IRA men were killed when a bomb exploded prematurely.

The Official IRA also lost two members on May 15 when the British army shot dead Colman Rowntree (24) and Martin McAlinden (23) in Co Down.

The following day a 21-year-old Catholic mother-of-two was gunned down in New Lodge, north Belfast.

UVF member Joseph Shaw was shot dead in a Belfast bar on May 18, allegedly following a disagreement over strike opening hours.

The Dublin and Monaghan fatality list increased on May 21 with the death of 72-year-old Archie Harper.

On the same day the body of Catholic Michael Mallon (20) from Co Antrim was found on the outskirts of Belfast.

A father-of-eight and his brother were gunned down on May 24 at their Co Antrim pub.

Sean and Brendan Byrne were killed by a gang whose job it was to monitor the opening hours of establishments during the strike.

Three people lost their lives on May 25.

Belfast Catholic Alfred Stilges was beaten to death by the UDA while Patrick McGirr (39) and Eileen McCrory (20) were killed when the car in which they were travelling crashed into a tree cut down to block the road as part of the UWC strike.

The month closed with the murder of Catholic Alfred Shotter in an IRA bomb attack at his Co Tyrone home designed to kill security personnel.


Sunday Life

Spy strikes wrong notes with Queen
MoD warns off ex-agent over letters to Palace about collusion in Ulster

By Stephen Breen

14 December 2003
A FORMER Army agent, who spied on the IRA's notorious border units, during the Troubles, was last night at the centre of a row with the Queen.

The man, who uses the pseudonyms 'Tommy Doheny' and 'Sam Rosenfeld', could end up in jail, after writing two letters to Buckingham Palace, about alleged collusion between terrorists and the security forces.

The letters outlined the ex-spy's experiences of working with the security forces, in Fermanagh and Tyrone, in the early 1990s.

The London-based businessman, who is suing two of his former military handlers, wrote to the Queen, in a fresh bid to highlight his case.

But the MoD stepped in, after learning about the letters, and threatened to prosecute the ex-spy, if he continued to contact the Queen.

The former spy went to the west Belfast home of the man accused of being Army agent 'Stakeknife' on Friday, in a bid to force him into court. Freddie Scappaticci has consistently denied the charge.

Said the former agent: "I wrote to the Queen, because she is the head of state, the upholder of our constitution.

"I wanted to tell her that armed forces, in Northern Ireland, were allowing murders to take place, letting their agents kill with impunity.

"The latest threats, to have me jailed, are because of my letters to the Queen, exposing collusion between terrorists and the security forces."

The ex-agent claims to have spied on the Provos, and dissidents, for the shadowy Force Research Unit (FRU), before being "abandoned" by his handlers.

He also had his cover blown on the internet, after launching £500,000 compensation claims against Tony Blair and the MoD.

The businessman's real name and address have appeared on an American website, which reveals his legal claim forms against the Prime Minister and MoD.

The MoD threat is the latest chapter in a 10-year battle by the Englishman, against the British authorities.

When Sunday Life asked him last year, if he was concerned about his cover being blown, he replied: "Of course I'm concerned.

"But I've had enough. That is why I've taken these drastic steps, to issue papers against my former handlers.

"My main concern is to bring closure to this. I want to get on with my life."

He also claims one of his former handlers was also the handler to 'Stakeknife', reportedly the highest-ranking security services agent inside the IRA.

But solicitors acting for the alleged IRA mole said their client had never mentioned 'Rosenfeld', and would not be prepared to act as a witness in his case.

Sunday Business Post

Cosgrave's shameful failure

Efforts to excuse the shameful failure of the Cosgrave government to track down the perpetrators of the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings beggar belief.

Take the reaction by Minister for Justice Michael McDowell to the publication of the report by Mr Justice Barron into the attacks. McDowell paid tribute to the judge for completing a thorough examination and assessment of the circumstances surrounding the single greatest atrocity to have been visited upon citizens of the Republic during theTroubles.

But from there the minister embarked on an exercise in exculpation. It was a matter of regret to McDowell that the Barron report found inadequacies in the Garda investigation. Inadequacies? Let's call them what they were - systematic failures of the Garda Siochana to discharge the most basic duties with which it is tasked. If the force was incapable of preventing 33 people, including a pregnant woman,being killed and many more injured, at the very least it should have spared no effort in tracking down those who committed the offences.

What of the evidence in the Barron report that some gardai were wittingly or unwittingly working for the British? Why have those who did so knowingly never been brought to justice, having betrayed the interests of the state?

There seems to be an attempt to suggest that, by citing state security, it is possible to detract from the failure to protect the citizens of the Republic.With this in mind, the inaction of the Cosgrave government, when names of suspect bombers were given to it by the British authorities, looks all the more sinister. To this must be added the loss of important forensic evidence, the slow motion conduct of the investigation and, finally, the disappearance of files from the Department of Justice.

In the aftermath of the murders, then taoiseach Liam Cosgrave spoke of his commitment to bring the perpetrators to justice.Three decades on, the words still ring hollow to the families and friends of those killed in the attacks.

The Barron report is an indictment of the government Cosgrave led.Yet what has been the public response by some of its leading figures who are still alive? Presumably Cosgrave, former justice minister Paddy Cooney, former minister for foreign affairs Garret FitzGerald and their cabinet colleague Conor Cruise O'Brien are acquainting themselves with the report's contents.

But their silence is damning. Had a Fianna Fail-led government presided over such a disgrace, it is likely that the same people who are now concocting excuses for Cosgrave and his colleagues would be baying for blood.The depredations visited on the economy by FitzGerald become clearer with the passing of time. However, his role in the Cosgrave cabinet after the bombings is likely to inflict even more serious damage to his reputation.

Cosgrave's government displayed such little concern for the lives of Irish people that it emboldened the British in the view that the Northwas essentially their internal problem.This simply served to prolong the conflict and cost more lives.

It is to their shame.

Sunday Business Post

'Her body simply disintegrated in our arms...'

By Vincent Browne

Vincent Browne was among those people who helped the dying and maimed in the Dublin bombings. Earlier he had met UVF leaders, some of whom were likely to have been responsible for the outrage.

Four months before the Dublin bombings in May 1974, I met the leaders of the UVF, the organisation that was responsible for those bombings.

Almost certainly some of those directly involved in the bombings were present. The circumstances of that meeting were as follows: in January, 1974, I was asked by the second in command of the IRA at the time, Daithi O'Connell, to go to Belfast to meet the UVF leadership to set up a meeting between them and the IRA.

I had known O'Connell for some years and met him often at that time, although meetings were difficult as he was on the run. At those meetings, I regularly raised with him the killings by the IRA of off-duty members of the RUC and UDR.

It seemed to me those killings were particularly gruesome and horrific. When O'Connell asked me to meet the UVF, he said the purpose of the contact was to arrange for the ending of the sectarian assassination of Catholics in the North and the ending of the killings of off-duty RUC and UDR members.

I do not remember why it was necessary for me to set up a meeting, nor do I remember how my meeting with the UVF was set up.

I met the UVF leadership in a room above a pool hall off the Shankill Road on a Saturday afternoon. My recollection is that arrangements for the meeting with the IRA were quickly agreed and I then conducted an interview with them,which was published the following Monday or Tuesday in the Evening Herald, which I had recently joined.

There was a petrol shortage in the North at the time, either because of an industrial strike or loyalist action. I suspect loyalist action, for one of the UVF leaders at the meeting, Jim Hanna, gave me a note to show to a petrol retailer in Lisburn, which secured me supply.

Hanna was a tall, redheaded, outgoing fellow and is the only one of the UVF leadership I recall. I also liked him and I think we had some informal discussion after the meeting and the interview.

The meeting between the IRA and the UVF took place in Co Cavan a week or so later in a holiday home of a friend.

I met the two IRA representatives in a hotel in Virginia before the meeting and brought them to the venue.

The UVF representatives were accompanied by another journalist, who was then well known to me and who now works for a Dublin newspaper.

The IRA duo were O'Connell and Brian Keenan, who is still senior in the republican movement in Belfast and actively involved in the Peace Process.

Two people attended from the UVF. I had met both at the Belfast meeting. One was Hanna. I have forgotten the name of the second person, but I think this person was the more senior. The journalist who accompanied these UVF members would certainly know who this other person was, for he had intimate knowledge of the UVF.

Neither the other journalist nor I was present during the IRA-U VF meeting.We went to a local hotel, to be joined very much later by the four men, who obviously had got on well personally and were happy to socialise together for some hours into that night.

I was aware that Hanna and perhaps the second UVF person accompanying him to the Cavan meeting or some other member of that organisation came to Dublin subsequently for another meeting with the IRA and, again, the meeting was productive, or at least that was what I was led to believe, I assume, by O'Connell.

I have not had an opportunity, at the time of writing this column, to look back at the extensive interview published in the Evening Herald that January.

Perhaps when I do my memory will be refreshed and I will be able to recall some further information about the UVF and their disposition at the time.

The other journalist would be in a better position to recall that, for he had known the UVF leadership for some time. But I have no recollection of anyone expressing hostile intent towards the South.

The outcome of the meeting was some abatement in the killing of off-duty members of the security forces and of innocent Catholics.

No off duty member of the security forces was killed by the IRA from the murder of Cormac McCabe in a field near Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone, on January 20, 1974, until the murders of Frederick Robinson on March 19 and Donald Farrell on March 23, and there were no further such killings until April 10, when George Sanderson was murdered.

There was also a let up in the sectarian killings of Catholics until May,when that campaign was resumed by the UVF with a vengeance.

During that time, however, some awful atrocities were perpetrated by the IRA. The worst of these was the murder of 12 people, nine of them British soldiers, on a coach travelling on the M62 motorway in Yorkshire. During that time also, the UVF killed two Catholics in a bomb attack on Conway's pub on the Shore Road in Belfast.

Among the killings during that period from late January 1974 to early May 1974 was that of Jim Hanna on April 1 by his own comrades in the UVF.

According to the book, Lost Lives, the superb chronicle of all the killings of the Northern conflict, there were conflicting reports of the reasons for his murder. Some claimed he was killed because he was a police informer, others that he was killed in an internal UVF feud. Another report that I recall is that he was killed for personal reasons.

Robert Fisk in his book, Point of No Return, claims Hanna was killed because of a meeting with the Official IRA in Monaghan. I assume this is a mistake and that it may have been because of his meeting with the Provisional IRA in Cavan and later Dublin.

This would be surprising for at that meeting in Belfast in early January,1974, I met what I was told was the entire UVF leadership (there were at least eight present, as far as I recall) and all were anxious for a meeting with the Provisional IRA.

But certainly something happened within the UVF during those months, from the period in January, when they wanted to explore, with the IRA, the idea of lessening the killings, to May when they intensified their campaign against innocent Catholics and then engaged in the horrific bombing of Dublin and Monaghan on May 17,1974. My theory is that they felt they were being outflanked by the UDA and by Ian Paisley, who were determined to bring down the power-sharing executive, involving the Ulster Unionists and the SDLP, which had come into power that January.

When the Loyalist Workers Strike began in early May, 1974, the UVF had no option but to take sides, although the planning of the Dublin bombing may have preceded early May.

I had a bit part in the aftermath of those bombings in Dublin. I was in the offices of Independent Newspapers on Middle Abbey Street when I heard the first bomb go off. I was on my way downstairs to meet my brother, Malachy,who then was a final year medical student at Trinity.

By the time I met Malachy at the door of Independent Newspapers another bomb had gone off, this time nearer to us. We walked out to O'Connell Street and saw people running into that street from Talbot Street.

We began walking down Talbot Street, observing damage done to buildings by the explosion, a scene familiar to me from the years I had spent as a reporter in the North.

As we approached the junction with Gardiner Street, and almost in slow motion, we focused on the real horror.There were bodies and bits of bodies amid the rubble and, in the silence, sounds of quiet moaning.

There was a fine strapping man, I would have thought in his late 20s or early 30s, lying outside O'Neill's shoe shop. He had a big piece of metal from a car stuck into his right side. We lifted him up, awkwardly, and, with the assistance of another man, brought him to Moran's Hotel.

Someone there would not let us leave him in the foyer. They insisted we take him downstairs. We let the injured man fall on the steps as we meekly obeyed. The steps were covered with black speckled linoleum and an inch or two on the lip of the steps had a black and white square design.

We went back out and lifted a woman, also outside O'Neill's. She was still alive and was moaning. As we lifted her, her body simply disintegrated in our arms. We placed her down again.

There was a young woman, not badly injured but suffering from shock. Malachy thought she was in danger of dying unless she was got to a hospital quickly. No ambulances had arrived nor were any to arrive for what seemed like an age, certainly 40 minutes. A man was getting into a car further up Talbot Street near the junction with Marlborough Street. I ran up to him and asked would he take the young woman to the Mater Hospital. He hesitated, then agreed.

Malachy, the stranger we had met and I brought the woman down towards Marlborough Street, away from where ambulances were expected to arrive. The man with the car had gone. We brought others into Moran's Hotel, again down thestairs. The room downstairs was now in bedlam, people screaming, crying, moaning, others attending to them.

Back out on the street a senior garda officer wanted helpers to line up the dead bodies. Malachy impatiently told him to forget about the dead. He, the garda, was in deep shock. It may have been him, but certainly some garda shouted another bomb was about to go off.We raced back down Talbot Street and crouched beside walls for a few minutes. When nothing happened we went back.

Then an ambulance arrived.There were no stretchers in that first ambulance, just the iron frames on which to put stretchers, which meant only one person could be placed in the ambulance and then on the floor between the two iron frames. Other ambulances arrived.

After some time we went back to Independent Newspapers and I wrote an account of what I had seen for the following day's Irish Independent. Again, I have not had an opportunity to read that before writing this column, so my recollection may have been distorted by the passage of almost 30 years. I had the carbon copy of that article for years afterwards, but now can't find it.

Malachy and I then went out to Daly's pub on the quays. There were only a few people in the pub. I recall us simply staring ahead towards the glasses on the mirror-backed shelves. And for the first time the emotion of it all was overwhelming. I was crying and I think so too was Malachy. We drove to my home, then in Churchtown, past the old blood bank, which was then at the top of Lower Leeson Street. There was a queue of people lined up to give blood.

We watched Liam Cosgrave on television that night speak with sadness, firmness and dignity. I remember feeling proud of him and a confidence that his commitment to bring the perpetrators to justice would be realised.

Sunday Business Post

Government splits with Britain over terror collusion report

14/12/03 00:00

By Sean Mac Carthaigh, Political Correspondent

The government will publish the Cory Report on collusion between paramilitaries and security forces on Thursday, abandoning a plan to release it simultaneously with Britain.

The move will be seen as a stiffening of resolve by the Irish in the run-up to the next round of peace process negotiations.

Canadian judge Peter Cory gave his report into possible collusion by the authorities in eight killings to the two governments in October. But in the intervening weeks, British prime minister Tony Blair has dragged his heels on releasing the document.

While some British government sources have cited "security reasons" for the delay, many in the North believe Blair is simply embarrassed by the contents.

The judge is believed to have concluded that British agents or security personnel played a role in the murders of lawyers Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson, as well as Portadown man Robert Hamill and LVF leader Billy Wright. It is likely he has called for a public inquiry into these deaths.

In his report to the Irish government, Cory dealt with the deaths of RUC officers Bob Buchanan and Harry Breen, and those of Lord Justice and Lady Gibson.

All four were killed by the IRA just over the border in the North,but Cory is believed to have called for an investigation into whether a garda may have tipped off the IRA about the RUC men's movements after a trip to Dundalk.

This would mean that the British government faces far harsher criticism from Cory than the Irish.

In October, both governments agreed to release the two reports simultaneously, vowing they would be made public by the end of the year.

But while Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is anxious to keep this promise, Blair plans to delay p ubl i c at ion on c e more. Sources said this weekend that the Irish side has "waited enough".

If the British, under pressure by the Irish decision, decide to release their report this week, its timing could not be worse, after last week's Barron Report.

Finucane, a prominent Belfast solicitor, was murdered at his home in 1989 by masked men using a weapon "stolen" from the British Army. It came weeks after British minister Douglas Hogg claimed some lawyers in the North were "unduly sympathetic" to the IRA's cause.

In 1997, Hamill was kicked to death by loyalists in the centre of Portadown, within metres of an RUC jeep.

When no one was charged, his family's solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, announced her intention to sue the RUC, and vowedtoobtain the video tapes from cameras overlooking the scene. She continued to criticise the British authorities and received numerous death threats. She was killed by a car bomb in 1999.

THE BLANKET * Index: Current Articles

Stalemate for the Good Friday Agreement
Northern Ireland Assembly elections

Paul Mallon • Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!
December 2003/January 2004

Elections held on November 26th 2003 to the Northern Ireland Assembly have failed to break the deadlock in the Good Friday Agreement. The elections were designed to break the deadlock following the suspension of the Stormont Assembly in October 2002. The prospect of Ian Paisley, whose Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won most seats, as the prospective First Minster with Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein as his number two, ensures the executive cannot be restored. As the media focuses on a ‘normal’ North of Ireland and its electoral process the realities of the nationalist working class is deadly different. Loyalist attacks have continued against Catholics even as talks about talks get underway to break the deadlock. One thing is clear: neither a review of the Good Friday Agreement nor a return to the Stormont Assembly will give any respite to the nationalists on the receiving end of the Loyalist hate mobs.


THE BLANKET * Index: Current Articles

The GFA and Other Fairystories

Proinsias O'Loinsaigh • 9.12.03

The Good Friday Agreement, the Ceasefires, the Assembly, Elections and the myriad of other events in the North of Ireland in recent years must have engendered enough written material to fill the World's Libraries.

Just about all of that mass of literature is complete hogwash, written by people who see the World as they wish it to be, not as it actually is.

There are two fundamental and horrible errors that are committed by all of these pundits each time they produce any utterance on the North.


THE BLANKET * Index: Current Articles

Civil Rights Vets on Prison Situation

October 5th Association • 13.12.03

The Derry-based October Fifth Association, which is composed of 1968 civil rights veterans and supporters, has expressed grave concern that the Northern Ireland Prisons Service is continuing to house Republicans alongside convicted members of loyalist death squads. The group has been publicly active on the issue of prisoners' rights, and the need for segregation, over this past few years.


Belfast Telegraph

Finucane murder accused in Belfast court

13 December 2003
FORMER Belfast man Kenneth Barrett, arrested by detectives in the Steven's inquiry, has appeared at Belfast Crown Court.

Barrett (40), originally from Glencairn Way, was arrested by Steven's detectives in Sussex after he allegedly confessed to undercover police to murdering Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Yesterday Barrett was formerly arraigned before Lord Justice McCollum on a total of 14 charges, including the murder of Mr Finucane and the wounding of his wife Geraldine on February 12, 1989.

Barrett, who denied the charges, also denied membership of the UFF, and the attempted murder in January 1991 of a Mr Thomas McCreary and the wounding of a Ms Elizabeth McIlroy.

In addition, Barrett was charged with possession of the weapons used in both attacks and the possession, handling, and obtaining by deception a number of other guns, including rifles, pistols, revolvers, sub-machine guns and ammunition.

No date was fixed for his trial but the case will be mentioned again at the end of January next year.

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