Irish Echo Online - News

Colombia 3 still awaiting verdict

By Stephen McKinley

The three Irish men tried on charges of helping left-wing guerillas acquire terrorist know-how in Colombia will spend their third Christmas in a Bogotá prison this year.

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and Jim Monaghan were arrested as they tried to leave Colombia in August 2001.

They are now awaiting the decision of Judge Jairo Accosta as to their fate, after the conclusion of their trail, which was attacked in a report compiled by international observers and lawyers from Ireland, the U.S. and Australia as being politicized, prejudiced and unfair.

No evidence was presented, the report says, linking the three to the charges of training guerillas.

Judge Acosta, who under Colombian law would normally be required to give a verdict within a few days of the trial's end, asked for an extension for his deliberations, noting the exceptional sensitivities and complex issues raised by the case. He is expected to rule in the new year.

The observers' report, entitled "Colombia 3: Judge for Yourself," includes detailed analysis of the legal case and the trial process by a number of lawyers who attended the hearings including Irish barrister Ronan Munro and solicitor Pat Daly.

It also includes contributions by U.S. human rights advocate Natalie Kabaskalian and Australian lawyer Shaun Kerrigan, both of whom criticize what they claim were prejudicial statements by senior Colombian political and military figures during the trial.

There is further information at www.bringthemhome.ie

This story appeared in the issue of December 24-31, 2003


Army `spy' in bid to expose agent's life of crime
Impartial Reporter
18 Dec 2003

A man who admits spying for the British Army in Fermanagh in the
1990s is mounting a legal bid to "expose" another army agent still
living in Enniskillen.
Sam Rosenfeld, a Londoner, lived in Irvinestown for three years until
1993 under the assumed name of Tommy Doheny. He says he worked
undercover and passed intelligence information to his army handler.

The spy says he worked closely with another man, who is still
living in Enniskillen. Rosenfeld says he wants to expose this man who
has been involved in serious crime, including drug dealing, money
laundering and "bringing subversives into Northern Ireland."

However, the man was allowed to continue his life of crime
because he was an agent for the security forces.

Even more seriously, Rosenfeld believes the man has questions to
answer over a person's suspicious and violent death in the county.

"There was an investigation into that loss of life, and I believe
he was there that day the person died," said Rosenfeld. "At the end
of the day, human life is sacred. Nobody has the right to take life,
and cover it up with the excuse of national security."

Rosenfeld has given the name of the intelligence agent to the
Impartial Reporter, but we are not publishing it for legal reasons.
The former spy has been keeping his identity secret since leaving
Northern Ireland in 1993, but voluntarily emerged into the public eye
last week when he served a witness summons on alleged Belfast agent,
Freddie Scappaticci, alias "Stakeknife." He says he is responding to
attempts by the Ministry of Defence to have him arrested to silence

"I want to get these people into court to answer questions which
will clear my name," Rosenfeld told the Impartial Reporter. "Another
man in Enniskillen is well-known and apparently respectable. But I
want to see him held accountable, he destroyed my life."

Rosenfeld alleges that while in Fermanagh, he spied on terrorist
groups, passing on information. He worked solely with the Enniskillen
agent he is now pursuing through the courts.

"Stupidly, I trusted the Army," said Rosenfeld. "I didn't do
anything wrong, and everything they asked me to do he was involved
in. But then I discovered that he was involved in all sorts of crime,
which was swept under the carpet because he was gathering
intelligence for the Army."

As Rosenfeld became increasingly disillusioned in the early
1990s, he claims he was ruthlessly dealt with. Firstly, his home was
raided by security forces, and his partner, pregnant at the time,
subsequently lost her baby.

Then he was charged in connection with a stolen car; charges
which he believes were fabricated to discredit him. When it came to
court in 1993, he was told to leave Northern Ireland.

"There isn't a morning I waken up but don't think of that little
daughter who is buried in Breandrum cemetery in Enniskillen," says
Rosenfeld. "And before I go to bed at night, I think of her. I can't
even go to see her grave.

"I have never been told the reason for the raid on my home which
led to her death. A police officer laughed in my face at my loss at
the time, and said `you're next.' I have suffered a great deal as a
result of all this."

Rosenfeld insists: "That man in Enniskillen and all the others
must be exposed. He is not an innocent man; he knows who I am talking
about and I will not rest until I get him into a court of law."

An emotional Rosenfeld went on: "I sat in an office in Aughnacloy
with an Army Colonel, who told me to forget what happened to me and
move on. How can I? I need answers, I need closure. I've been fobbed
off for 11 years; they can shoot me, they can cut me into pieces, but
as long as I have a breath, I'll keep going until I see these people
in court."

Claims of crime during undercover work by British agents in
Fermanagh during the "Troubles" are not new. Following revelations
that the Army's "Force Research Unit" engaged in murky activities
throughout the Province have led to a file being sent to the Director
of Public Prosecutions on Gordon Kerr, a senior officer based at St.
Angelo barracks near Enniskillen. Sam Rosenfeld's army handler was a
member of FRU, the group within the army responsible for tough
counter-terrorism measures. It has been alleged that this unit's
activities resulted in collusion with loyalists involved in murder.


Irish News Online

**poster's note: all indications are that the death toll is 5 times what is reported here and in other "breaking" stories

Government pledges €1m to earthquake victims

The Government has pledged up to €1m to help the victims of today’s earthquake in Iran, which killed at least four thousand people and injured thirty thousand in the city of Bam.

Many of the survivors are still trapped under the rubble.

Minister of State Tom Kitt says the next 48 hours will be a critical period and that it is essential to act as quickly as possible to prevent further loss of life.

The funding from Development Co-operation Ireland will be channelled mainly through the Red Crescent and other humanitarian groups, including the UN.


BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Emma's Funeral


Emma's schoolfriends led the mourners at her funeral

The funeral has taken place of an eight-year-old girl killed in a road accident in west Belfast at the weekend.

Emma Lynch was one of two children who died after being struck by a car near the junction of the Falls and Springfield roads on Friday.

She was walking along with her eight-year-old friend, two boys and their father when they were struck by a car.

Emma was taken to hospital where she died from her injuries on Sunday.

Emma's cortege left the family home at Pollard Street on Wednesday for Requiem Mass at St Paul's Church.

Her coffin was wrapped in the scarf of her favourite band Westlife.

The cortege paused briefly outside St John's Primary School where Emma had been a pupil.

Hundreds of people lined the pavements as the mourners stopped at the spot where the crash happened and her father laid flowers.

Father Patrick Mulholland said it would be hard for any of the congregation to feel festive this year.

"I'd imagine that Christmas will forever hold painful and tragic memories for all in Emma's family," he added.

The community was also mourning the death of Christopher Shaw, 11, from Valleyside Close, who was killed instantly in the accident.

His older brother Darren, who was hurt in the same incident, is still in a critical condition in hospital.

Their sister and father escaped injury.

Christopher, who should have celebrated his 12th birthday on Monday, was buried at the City Cemetery after Requiem Mass on Tuesday.

A 42-year old man has been charged with causing the deaths of Christopher and Emma by dangerous driving and of causing grievous bodily harm to Darren.

IOL: Online Mass gives taste of home

Online Mass gives taste of home
24/12/2003 - 06:05:26

People around the globe will be able to enjoy a traditional Irish Christmas service in their own home for the first time this year.

Masses will be broadcast live on the internet on Christmas Day from the historic St Andrew’s Church in Dublin’s city centre.

Father Arthur O’Neill, the parish sdministrator, said the facility, which is the first of its kind in Ireland, was particularly poignant at this time of year.

“A lot of people who cannot come home for Christmas will be able to click home and feel as if they are part of the community,” he said.

“Many people who lived in this area have had to emigrate or move away so it’s nice that we can help them keep in touch with home.”

Fr O’Neill said the facility had received a very positive response from parishioners since its launch three weeks ago.

“People are excited about the possibilities,” he said.

“It offers a great contact point, especially at times like Christmas.

“People who unfortunately cannot make it home may feel a little closer when they can see the church and hear the choir in their living rooms.”

Fr O’Neill said the facility at the Catholic Church on the city’s Westland Row, which dates back to 1832, had already proved useful.

“On one sad occasion a relative could not get home for a funeral but was able to watch it online,” he said.

“Equally, it could also be used in the future by godparents or grandparents who cannot make it to a Christening service.”

Fr O’Neill was also very enthusiastic about the potential of the system.

“It is going to be extraordinarily important in allowing us to reach more people,” he said. “It is a sensible use of technology towards a good end and it is a natural progression on what we have already.”

Fr O’Neill said the Internet connection was the next step in the evolution of the parish radio system and a “loop” system which allowed the hard-of-hearing to listen to what was going on during services.

“This enables us to make contact with more people and surely that is what a Christian community should be about,” he said.

Not content with beaming live services across the world, however, Fr O’Neill said the parish had more plans in store.

The IT firm responsible for installing the Internet connection, Kilsheelan Technology International (KTI), have installed a radio-style transmitter in the belltower of the church.

Set-top boxes are to be supplied to allow those in the local area without Internet access, such as local nursing homes, to watch services on a specially tuned channel on their televisions.

“Older people or those too sick to attend who are not online could then still participate in services,” Fr O’Neill added.

The service is available on the web at www.westlandrow.dublindiocese.ie

mass online



Eight-year-old Emma Lynch died in hospital

The funeral of an eight-year-old girl killed in a road accident at the weekend is to take place on Wednesday.

Emma Lynch was one of two children who died after being struck by a car near the junction of the Falls and Springfield roads on Friday.

She was walking along with her eight-year-old friend, the child's two brothers and their father when they were struck by a car.

Emma was taken to hospital where she died from her injuries on Sunday.

Emma's cortege will leave the family home at Pollard Street at 1215 GMT on Wednesday for Requiem Mass at St Paul's Church.

Christoper Shaw, 11, from Valleyside Close, was killed instantly in the accident.

His older brother Darren, who was hurt in the same incident, is still in a critical condition in hospital.

Their sister and father escaped injury.

Christopher, who should have celebrated his 12th birthday on Monday, was buried at the City Cemetary after Requiem Mass on Tuesday.

A 42-year old man has been charged with causing the deaths of Christopher and Emma by dangerous driving and of causing grievous bodily harm to Darren.



She was a wee angel

The father of the little girl who was killed when a car struck her and a group of friends in West Belfast has described his only daughter as “a perfect wee angel”.
And the Christmas gifts bought for tragic eight-year-old Emma Lynch will go with her to the grave, he revealed.
New Lodge man Joe Caughey said he was devoted to his little girl and was dreading Christmas without her.
“Christmas is over. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Everything is over,” he said.
And in a cruel twist of fate a beautiful message written by Joe to his daughter inside a jewellery box will never be read by the little girl it was penned for.
The note in a Christmas present has an even more poignant and heartbreaking resonance in light of her death.
He explained how he had bought her a silver pendant adorned with an angel because “ she was always a wee angel”.
The message reads: “That’s who sent you from heaven sweetheart and keeps you safe forever. Love Daddy.”
Tragically little Emma never lived to receive the gift she would have been wearing on Christmas Day.
Instead the chain adorns her lifeless body as she was prepared to be laid to rest from her mum Eileen Lynch’s home in West Belfast.
The distressed father was speaking just hours after the life support machine that was connected to Emma was switched off.
Clearly devastated and trembling with emotion the stunned dad spoke of the harrowing moment the realisation came that he would never again speak to his daughter alive.
“Her mother had her in her arms and she just drifted away. We wanted to give her some dignity. We let her die in our arms,” he said as he fought back tears.
Little Emma was walking along Springfield Road with 11-year-old Christopher Shaw, his 13-year-old brother Darren and nine-year-old little sister Claire.
Darren Shaw was still fighting for his life in the Royal Victoria Hospital this morning (Tuesday) with doctors describing his condition as critical.
Emma was with the youngsters and Christopher and Darren’s dad Michael when the horror smash occurred.
Christopher, who was to celebrate his twelfth birthday on Monday died instantly in the crash.
The driver of the red Vauxhall appeared in court on Monday charged with dangerous driving. Wayne Johnston, 42, of Highfield Drive was also charged with causing grievous bodily injury to Darren Shaw.
Emma’s father revealed the little girl had the leash of a puppy the group were taking for a walk when the car ploughed into them as they stood at traffic lights. The puppy ran off in the aftermath of the accident.
“They were only walking because they were giving the wee puppy a walk. At any other time they would have been getting driven in the car.”
Just hours after the ventilator was switched off the devastated father said he was numb.
“For three days we had hope, she was coming back and then she wasn’t. At one stage she was breathing.
“We were anxiously waiting and counting every minute and then we were told there was nothing anyone could do. She had just wanted to walk the wee dog because her pet dog died a couple of weeks ago and I told her it was in heaven.
“She was a perfect angel and she just looked like an angel in the hospital. She just looked like she was asleep; there was not a bruise or a broken bone on her. That’s why we were hopeful because we didn’t see any marks or anything.
“It’s so unreal, it’s like a bad dream and I still can’t believe it has happened. She fought to the end and won the hearts of the doctors for she was a fighter and wanted to live. I know now she was too good to belong to this world and they had to take her back.”

Journalist:: Andrea McKernon

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Funeral of crash victim

Funeral of crash victim

Hundreds of people have lined the streets of west Belfast for the funeral of the 11-year-old boy killed in a road accident at the weekend.
Christopher Shaw, from Valleyside Close, was one of two children who died after being struck by a car near the junction of the Falls and Springfield roads on Friday.

The little boy should have celebrated his 12th birthday on Monday.

His older brother Darren who was hurt in the same incident is still in a critical condition in hospital.

The brothers were walking along with their father, eight-year-old sister and eight-year-old friend Emma Lynch, when they were struck by a car.

Their sister and father escaped injury. Emma later died from her injuries.

On Tuesday, church bells tolled as the funeral cortege passed the spot where Christopher was knocked down.

At the front of the procession, a guard of honour was formed by his brother's team, Newhill under-14s.

His sister Claire, who was with her brothers at the time of the accident, laid flowers.

During Mass at St Paul's Church on the Falls Road in Belfast, prayers were said for Emma Lynch.

Her funeral is set to take place on Wednesday.

Father Martin Graham said every Christmas would bring the pain of memory for the Shaw family.

He said the loss of Christopher had shattered their hearts.

Christopher was buried in the City Cemetery.

A 42-year-old man has been charged with causing the deaths of Christopher and Emma by dangerous driving and of causing grievous bodily harm to Darren.


Boulder Weekly | NewsandViews | NewsSpin

Christmas behind bars
Ciarán Ferry’s deportation case drags on, as judge denies him amnesty

by Pamela White

It’s not the first Christmas Ciarán Ferry has spent behind bars, but it’s likely to be the toughest. Ciarán wasn’t married during the 7 1/2 years he spent locked up in Northern Ireland’s infamous Long Kesh prison, nor was he a father.

Now he’s faced with spending the holiday in Jefferson County Jail, separated from his American wife, Heaven Ferry, and their 2-year-old daughter, Fiona. Ciarán has been in jail since Jan. 30, when he was taken into custody by immigration officials for allegedly overstaying his visa.

"[Christmas] is such a special, magic time for children and by reflection for the parents also," Ciarán writes from his jail cell. "In the past 11 months I have missed many special family occasions, but none compare to Christmas. For me to miss this would be a devastating blow to my morale. To suggest otherwise would be a delusion of my emotions. I live in hope."

But Ciarán is unlikely to see his wish come true. Last month, he lost his bid for amnesty and is now one step closer to being sent back to Northern Ireland, where his name appears on loyalist death lists. He fears that if he is forced to return to Belfast, his life–and those of his wife and daughter–will be in danger.

Ciarán was taken into custody on Jan. 30, when he and his wife met with immigration officials for a routine green card interview. U.S. immigration officials claimed he had overstayed his visa but also pointed to his association with the Irish Republican Army, suggesting he might be a danger to the public.

However, the day after Ciarán was taken into custody, FBI agents offered to set him free–provided he agreed to help them keep tabs on an IRA splinter group operating on the East Coast. Ciarán, who says he came to the United States to get away from death threats and violence, refused.

"It’s really caught me off guard that they can hold him this way," says Heaven Ferry, who got to know her husband by writing him supportive letters while he was in jail in Ireland.

His plight has captured the attention of Irish-Americans across the country, as well as the Irish and English media. He is one of several Irish republicans facing deportation as a result of an apparent shift in policy following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. Several Irish families, some of whom have lived in the United States for years, are suddenly facing orders for immediate deportation because of past membership in Irish republican paramilitary organizations.

In a very similar case, Malachy McAllister was released after being locked up by immigration officials after Congressman Steve Rothman, D-NJ, intervened on his behalf. McAllister was a member of the Irish National Liberation Army as a young man and served three years in an British prison after plotting to kill two officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. One officer was wounded, but the attack on the other was never carried out. McAllister and his family moved to the United States seeking asylum after surviving an attack by masked gunmen, who fired 26 shots into their home one night. McAllister still faces deportation, but he will remain free until his case is decided.

Currently, a letter is circulating in Congress that could help Ciarán win his freedom, as well.

Deanna Turner of the Irish Deportees of America Committee said, "We are very hopeful with the recent developments on the McAllister family case and with a Congressional letter currently circulating on behalf of Ciarán Ferry that a positive outcome will take place."

Ciarán’s attorney filed a habeas corpus in U.S. District Court, demanding government officials show just cause for keeping Ferry in jail, but the judge in that case was awaiting the outcome of Ciarán’s application for political and religious amnesty.

On Nov. 4, Immigration Judge James P. Vandello ruled that Ciarán was ineligible for amnesty.

"I find that the respondent’s offense constitutes a serious non-political crime," Vandello said in his ruling. "I further find that having been convicted of this offense, he has participated in the persecution of others… I further find that if the respondent were not barred from receiving relief, he has the ability to relocate to another part of the British Isles in order to avoid any problems he might face in Northern Ireland."

Heaven says the judge’s comments indicate to her that he doesn’t understand the political situation in Ireland. The family won’t be any safer in Dublin or London than they would be in Belfast, she says.

Heaven says they are in the process of appealing the amnesty ruling, a process that could take years, during which time Ciarán could remain behind bars. In the meantime, she hopes the court will rule on the habeas corpus, release her husband and allow him to await the final outcome of his deportation case in the comfort of the family’s home.

"It almost seems like they’re trying to discourage him from appealing by keeping him in jail," she says.

Ciarán was arrested when he was 19, after police pulled over the car he and two friends were traveling in and discovered two guns and ammunition. He was tried under the British no-jury system, convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Authorities alleged Ciarán and the others had planned to kill loyalists.

British officials released Ciarán under the Good Friday Peace Accords after authorities determined he had no further ties to the IRA and did not pose a threat to the public. He had been out of prison only long enough to get married, when officials informed him they had discovered his name on two separate loyalist death lists. Ciarán decided to relocate to the United States with Heaven, who was then pregnant, in order to protect his family. He had lived in the United States for two years before immigration officials took him into custody.

"Irish immigrants have never posed a threat to the United States in any way," Turner says. "In fact, they helped build this country into the wonderful place it is today and continue to make great strides within the political system."

The United States has traditionally been the biggest financial supporter of Irish republican groups, including the IRA.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com


An IRA man's long goodbye

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Saturday, November 22, 2003

Sean McClorey's demons get their eviction notice Tuesday night on the
stage of Club Cafe on the South Side, when the old IRA man approaches
the microphone, guitar in his rifle hand, and says goodbye to Jackie

Mailey was setting a bomb with two other members of Belfast's A
Company in 1978 when British troops ambushed them. Machine guns all
but sawed Mailey and his comrades in half.

McClorey was in Dublin when his good friend was killed. He had been
banished from Northern Ireland after three years in prison.

In the parlance of Belfast, McClorey's arrest was called
being "lifted," a term not meant to suggest he was put back down
gently. Under the emergency laws of the times, mere suspicion of IRA
membership was enough for the authorities to take someone away and
jail them without trial.

McClorey served his sentence in Long Kesh prison. During those years,
he was beaten, a hand-dug tunnel out of prison fell in on him, and
then the guard dogs waiting on the other end chewed him up.

When Jackie was killed, McClorey couldn't risk attending the funeral.
Violating the ban would have meant an automatic 10 years in prison.

Back home in Dublin, McClorey found members of his guerrilla army
making arms deals with drug smugglers. Disgusted, he left the
movement, carrying with him the memories of gun battles meant to
reunite his partitioned country that, as he saw it, had only widened
the borders between Catholic and Protestant.

"It's been burning a hole in my soul for a long time," McClorey said.
He was sipping a coffee and bought me a root beer. We compared notes
about West Belfast, the names of corpses we both had known. Sean
recounted his imprisonment, his drift away from armed politics, then
his immigration to Pittsburgh, where he got a college degree, married
a girl from the Irish Republican movement and struggled to walk the
new world with one foot in the old.

"For a long time I'd get these depressions. A friend finally
said, 'Sean, you're in America, you've gone to university, you have a
family. Don't you think Jackie would have liked all that?" McClorey

As his own country moved away from its 80-year-old civil war and his
adopted one edged into new combat, McClorey started toying with songs
and poems that worked out his anger at watching young men wander into

"War is for dreamers," McClorey said. "And dreamers never know the
full price that has to be paid."

Karl Mullen, the Kildare-born leader of the group Ploughman's Lunch,
told McClorey he needed to put together a show, to tell his own
story. Old IRA members usually don't talk about it. Half of Irish
loquaciousness is just men building a wall of words to keep out the

"The climate has changed," Mullen said. "Things that couldn't be
spoken of in Ireland about all kinds of subjects can now be

McClorey, working with poet Sam Hazo, and a trio of backup singers
from Point Park University, will move from song to poetry and back

By the time we looked up, McClorey and I had wandered out of the
coffee shop to the middle of Market Square. He fished into a bundle
of papers and pulled up the words to something he'd written,
something he wants to say on the stage Tuesday night. It's a note to

I feel your hand give my arm a shake,
And hear your voice say 'steady, mate'

A hand once steady enough to keep a rifle's scope fixed on a passing
convoy will pass over taut strings and a voice will speak to the dead
in hopes the living are listening.

Steady, mate.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Photo Journal - Belfast Diary

While I was looking for another article, I ran across this link to a feature by Martha Rial published in 1998 after the Omagh bomb. There are many photographs included, and it is well worth a look.



Bomb blast horse dies

By James Young
This is London

Echo at his 30th birthday party, reunited with John Davis, his former rider, also injured in the blast

Echo and Sefton, another bomb blast survivor

ECHO the horse who survived an IRA bomb blast has died aged 32.

Echo was one of three equine survivors of the blast in 1982 and was
the longest serving resident at the Home of Rest for Horses in Speen.

He died as a result of colic last Tuesday from which he had suffered
periodically since the bomb in Hyde Park, London.

Susan Lewis, of the home, said: "Echo had to be handled with
particular care because he never really got over the trauma he

Our charity provides more funds for equine welfare than any
organisation in the UK. We have already given more than £500,000 into
the research of colic and internal medicine.

With this in mind and in memory of such a great character, the home
has announced that it is launching a memorial fund to finance further
research into colic. It afflicts so many horses and causes them such

After being nursed back to health, Echo and fellow survivor Sefton
became residents at The Home of Rest for Horses, with Echo arriving
in 1983.

Sefton passed away in 1993 and Echo continued to receive goodwill
cards up to the time of his death.

Two years ago, for Echos 30th birthday ceremony, he was reunited with
his rider Detective Constable John Davies of the Metropolitan Police.
In attendance was the last remaining survivor Yeti, formerly of the
Household Cavalry.

A spokesman added: Yeti will greatly miss the company of his stable
mate Echo. They were particularly close.

It seemed the two friends shared the sadness of their appalling
experience and appeared to have a mutual sympathy.

Irish Examiner> Breaking News> Second child dies after road tragedy

21/12/2003 - 9:06:54 PM

Second child dies after road tragedy

An eight-year-old girl died in hospital tonight from injuries she suffered when a car ploughed into a group of children, killing an 11-year-old boy instantly.

Emma Lynch had lain critically ill in hospital since Friday night’s accident close to the junction of the Falls Road and Springfield Road.

Christopher Shaw, of Valleyside Close, Belfast, died in the accident and his 13-year-old brother remains critically ill in hospital.

A 42-year-old man arrested at the scene of the accident is due to appear in court in Belfast tomorrow charged with causing Christopher's death.

He is due in Belfast Magistrates Court charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

Police said that the motorist was driving up the Springfield Road when he appeared to lose control of the vehicle, swerved across the road and hit a set of traffic lights.

His vehicle careered on up the road dragging the lights with it and collided with the children walking down the pavement with Christopher sister’s new puppy.

The car then veered back across the road and came to a halt when it struck a parked vehicle.

Emma’s parents had maintained a vigil at her bedside in the Royal Victory Hospital – yards from the scene of the accident.

Sunday Business Post

Murdered RUC officer in collusion claim

21/12/03 00:00
By Paul T Colgan

RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen, who was killed by the IRA in 1989, may have been compromised by gardai when they learned he colluded with loyalist killers, according to security analysts.

Canadian Judge Peter Cory, who has recommended a public inquiry into the killing of Breen and his colleague, Bob Buchanan, appears to have overlooked specific allegations made against Breen linking him to loyalist paramilitaries and attacks made in the Republic during the 1970s.

Breen was named in a 1999 affidavit by former colleague RUC officer JohnWeir as having assisted him in the procurement of home-made submachine guns for loyalists.

The weapons were produced by an organisation known as Down Orange Welfare and were thought to have been used in attacks on nationalists in the north and on southern targets.

Weir's evidence was cited in last week's Barron Report into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Barron described him as "credible" and said he "came over as someone with considerable knowledge of the events which were taking place in the areas where he was stationed".

Barron's report referred to Weir's statement regarding Breen, though it did not name Breen.

Weir was jailed in 1977 for the murder of a Catholic grocer and later went on to reveal that RUC officers routinely took part in loyalist attacks on both sides of the border.

Breen made numerous visits to Dundalk Garda station in the 1980s to liaise with special branch officers about paramilitary activity in the region. He and Buchanan were assassinated by the IRAin 1989 while travelling north after such a meeting. He was the most senior RUC officer to be killed during the troubles.

Judge Cory found that the RUC and Garda had intelligence documents which, if proven accurate, would point to collusion between members of the Garda and the IRA in the killings.

Sunday Business Post

British try to force the ghost of state terrorism back in the box

21/12/03 00:00
By Paul T Colgan

Moves by the Irish government to have a public inquiry into the killings of RUC men Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan have exposed a rift between the attitudes of the Irish and British governments, and have fuelled widespread anger among nationalists and republicans.

The Irish government has published in full the findings of the retired Canadian judge Peter Cory. The reluctance of Tony Blair's government to do likewise is thought to stem from a fear that the report would discredit the roleof the North's security forces.

For years, unionists and the Northern Ireland Office portrayed the RUC and British army as the legitimate forces of law and order. If, as it is now suspected, Cory has found evidence to suggest they colluded with loyalists - or, in the Billy Wright case, the INLA - that would raise the "appalling vista" of state-sponsored terrorism.

In the report on the Breen and Buchanan murders, Cory - who is reportedly furious with the British government - referred to delays in carrying out his recommendations. He pointed out that the two governments and the Northern parties had agreed to his investigations at the Weston Park negotiations in 2001. Both governments agreed to publish the reports on the same day earlier this month.

"Failure to hold such an inquiry as quickly as possible might be thought to be a denial of the original agreement, which appears to have been an important and integral part of the peace process," he said. "The failure to do so could be seen as a cynical breach of faith, which could have unfortunate consequences for the peace accord."

The British government's contention that publication of the four reports relating to the North needs to be delayed while legal and human-rights issues are considered cuts little ice with nationalists. Cory would have taken care to write his reports in such a way as to avoid prejudicing any future court cases.

The Irish government had no qualms about publishing Cory, as the allegations it dealt with paled in comparison with those levelled against the RUC and the British Army.

Collusion between the Gardai and the IRA has been ruled out in the case of the Lord and Lady Gibson killings. If it is found to have taken place in the Breen and Buchanan killings, it is most likely to be a case of a rogue officer.

Crucial to Cory's findings is a statement from former British Army agent `Kevin Fulton'. Fulton, who comes from Newry, told Cory that IRA members had confirmed to him that at least one garda had colluded with republicans in killing the two RUC officers.

The RUC men met senior garda officers in Dundalk Garda Station before being ambushed while attempting to re-cross the border. Fulton's statement, delivered to Cory a month before he closed his investigation in October, alleged that an unnamed garda officer had given the IRA details of Breen and Buchanan's whereabouts and planned itineraries. Fulton's statement is crucial to Cory's decision to recommend a public inquiry. In conjunction with conflicting intelligence reports, Cory concluded that "the documents reveal evidence that, if accepted, could be found to constitute collusion".

But Fulton's brief statement is viewed with some scepticism. Fulton claimed that he was in Dundalk on the day of the attacks when it came to his attention that a garda officer had told the IRA of the RUC men's movements. He conceded that his information was fourth-hand.

"I am aware that after the ambush took place, my senior IRA commander was told by a member of PIRA that Garda B had telephoned to the Provisional IRA to tell them that officers Breen and Buchanan were at the Dundalk station," read the statement.

Fulton is currently attempting to sue the British government for failing to provide him with money and a new identity. Fulton's credibility has been questioned on numerous occasions. Former RUC Chief Constable Ronnie Flanagan described him as a "Walter Mitty"type character after he claimed that the RUC had ignored information he provided about Real IRA bombing plans just days before the Omagh bombing.

Northern Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan later rejected Flanagan's description, pointing out that Fulton had been regarded by the RUC as a valuable source.

Whatever the view of Fulton, the substance of the Northern cases is much more damning. While the IRA is alleged to have had one agent among Dundalk gardaí, Cory's report might show that the RUC and British army intelligence ran scores of loyalist agents as a matter of policy.

Belfast Telegraph

Boy (11) killed and two still critically ill
Road crash horror for family out walking dog

By Peter Cardwell
20 December 2003

RELATIVES of a young boy killed as a car ploughed into a family told today how they had been out walking a new puppy when the horror happened.

Christopher Shaw, who was killed instantly in the accident in west Belfast last night, was due to celebrate his 12th birthday on Monday.

His brother Darren (13) and Emma Lynch, a family friend, are both critically ill in the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Christopher's sister Claire, aged nine, was also injured in the horrific accident and is in a stable condition.

The accident happened at the junction of the Springfield Road and Falls Road at 7.45pm last night, within yards of the Royal Victoria Hospital, where the children were rushed for emergency treatment in the intensive care unit.

Police said a red Vauxhall Astra car, which was travelling in the same direction as the family, careered off the road and collided with traffic lights, tearing up underground cabling and dragging the traffic signals for about 15 metres.

Christopher was killed instantly.

Police said a man was arrested at the scene.

Michael Shaw, his three children and Claire's friend Emma were out for a walk with a new pup the family had recently acquired.

Mr Shaw and his wife Tina were today keeping a vigil at the Royal Victoria Hospital where Darren is being treated.

A relative of the family, who declined to be named, said today: "It's a big shock. We haven't begun to come to terms with this yet because we haven't started to feel yet.

"Christopher was a child who always had this cheeky grin.

"The family are well respected in the area. Michael was always out playing football with his children.

"You want to see the state of people on the street last night."

Speaking at the scene, Chief Inspector Mark Gilmore said: "My sympathies are with the friends and families of those involved in this accident.

"Three other children were involved. A boy has died and two others are in a critical condition."

The accident took place within yards of the Royal Victoria Hospital and the children were taken there for treatment.

Police at New Barnsley station have appealed to anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

SDLP councillor for the Lower Falls area, Margaret Walsh, said the community was devastated by the accident.

"For all of us it's a feeling of great shock. We're all thinking about the children and the family, my heart goes out to them now, especially at Christmas.

"I can't imagine what they're going through at the moment," she said.

Sinn Fein councillor for the area, Tom Hartley, said: "It's terrible that this is visited on any family, and especially before Christmas.

"It is always very difficult for any family, and especially as it concerns a young life.

"My sympathy and the sympathy of the people of Belfast go out to this family."

Sunday Life

'Don't rip my family apart, Mr President'

By Stephen Breen
21 December 2003

A FORMER INLA member last night pleaded with US President George Bush, not to deport him from the States.

Speaking to Sunday Life from his New Jersey home, Malachy McAllister said his family would be "ripped apart" if he was forced to leave his adopted country.

McAllister, who met with former US President Bill Clinton, during his time at the White House, to discuss his case, served three years of a seven-year sentence in the Maze, after he was convicted of a conspiracy to murder charge.

The builder, who is originally from Farnham Street, in Belfast's lower Ormeau Road area, was jailed after he signed a statement to cops, when he was implicated by republican supergrass Harry Kirkpatrick, in the 1980s.

But McAllister, 46, fled Northern Ireland in 1988, after a Red Hand Commando gang came within inches of killing his family.

The weapons used in the attack were later found - along with McAllister's personal details - in a loyalist arms dump.

The Ulsterman went to Canada for a short period, before moving to the States, along with his wife, Bernadette, and four children.

Although McAllister has worked as a builder in New Jersey, and employs up to 30 American citizens, he is facing expulsion because of his conviction.

Said McAllister: "Going back to Belfast is something you wouldn't wish on anyone who fled the city because of the people who tried to kill their family. I don't belong there anymore - America is my home now.

"I served my time in jail, and that was the end of it - I didn't get involved in anything, and my only concern was my wife and four kids.

"I came to America with nothing, and I had to work for everything I have today. I have been a good citizen to this country, and have helped put something back into the economy by employing US citizens.

"How can I be a threat to national security?

"I don't want to return to Northern Ireland because I honestly believe I could be targeted again, and I don't want to put my family through any more pain."

The Belfast man also said that he fears US judges will rule against him, in his quest to remain in New Jersey.

He added: "I just don't know what way this thing is going to turn out.

"But I think it doesn't look very favourable, and all I can think about is my kids who have grown up as north Americans - it is the only thing and country they know.

"If I do get sent home, I won't be returning to Belfast - that's for sure."


THE BLANKET * Index: Current Articles

An Autopsy On The Provos

Sandy Boyer • 12.12.03

The Provisional republican movement – both the armed wing the IRA and Sinn Fein the political wing – is effectively dead. This may seem a strange assertion considering that Sinn Fein holds seats in the Irish and British parliaments and the Northern Ireland Assembly. It is also easily the richest political party in Ireland thanks to extensive US fundraising.

But the republican movement from its beginnings in the late 18th century had only one overarching mission – freeing Ireland from British rule. The idea that the everyone living in Ireland is Irish - regardless of religious tradition or whether they are of settler or native descent - has also been a central part of the republican ideology.


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