**The Xanga site is down for maintenance for a few hours
17 April 2004

Irish Examiner


17 April 2004
--By Michael O'Farrell, Political Reporter

OPPOSITION parties are to table a joint Dáil motion next week in a bid to force the Government to postpone the controversial citizenship referendum until after June's local and European elections.

The Fine Gael, Labour and Green Party motion the fifth joint opposition motion this year will call on the Government to refer its proposed constitutional amendment on citizenship to the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution.

Supporting legislation to the referendum is due to be debated next Wednesday and Thursday as the Dáil reconvenes two days early after the Easter recess.

However, if carried, the joint opposition motion would result in the Bill being delayed until after local elections on June 11 while the committee studied its implications.

In a statement yesterday, the parties referred to a 2001 report by the All-Party Committee, which envisaged referendums be referred to the Committee.

"In recent days, serious concerns about the implications of the constitutional referendum on the Good Friday Agreement have been raised by political parties in Northern Ireland. This further adds to the need for the issues to be teased out with great care in an all-party setting," the statement said.

Addressing members of the Labour parliamentary party and national executive at a pre-Árd Fheis meeting in the RDS last night, Labour leader Pat Rabbitte said the Bill, as it currently stood, created a new loophole which would allow a child born in Ireland to claim Irish citizenship if the mother claimed the father was British.

"This is one example of the danger of haste. It is the kind of thing that happens when a government determined to grab hold of a populist issue, no matter how dangerous, indulges itself in sloppy, slip-shod drafting and shabby and disingenuous argument.

"They say they want to close off loopholes. In fact, they are creating the danger of new ones ... in pursuit of a policy which is mean-spirited, dangerous and wrong," he said.

Mr Rabbitte criticised the Government's approach, saying it deliberately introduced the race card into June's local election instead of taking the calm and measured approach necessary.

"Fianna Fáil candidates have already begun to use the issue in their literature and on the doorsteps. Fianna Fáil, in particular, believe that in raising the issue of race, they can, in the words of Bruce Morrison, encourage people 'to exercise their worst instincts about newcomers rather than their best'. The PDs, and Michael McDowell in particular, are willing parties in this exercise," he said.

Irish Examiner


--By Catherine Shanahan and Caroline O'Doherty

AN ANGUISHED family last night begged Health Minister Mícheál Martin to cut the red tape that is denying their son a chance to live.
But while Mr Martin insisted he was doing his best for 29-year-old Billy Burke, health officials and hospital representatives who met to consider his case ended their discussions without making any decision on his future.

Billy, who urgently needs a lung transplant operation, fears official inaction will kill him as he waits for resolution of the contractual row that has already been sapping his strength for an agonising 14 months.

"My situation is now terribly desperate," he wrote in a letter hand delivered to Mr Martin yesterday.

He accuses the hospital at the centre of the row of "recklessness" and "belligerence" and describes his dwindling faith in the Irish Government, which he once believed would not stand by and let him suffer.

Billy, who has cystic fibrosis, was put on the transplant waiting list four years ago at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, England, which has a deal with the Department of Health to carry out surgery on Irish patients in return for getting first call on donated Irish lungs.

Last year, in a move questioned by Irish doctors, the hospital took him off its list after he contracted an infection but although a hospital in Manchester has offered to carry out the procedure, Freeman will not release organs to another transplant team.

A meeting took place in Dublin yesterday between representatives of the hospital and officials of the Department of Health and Eastern Regional Health Authority to review the controversial contract but while they discussed Billy's case, they refused to set aside the legalities and act to help him. As the meeting began, Billy's sister, Lisa Burke-Joyce, confronted Mr Martin, who was preparing to address doctors at the Irish Medical Organisation's annual conference in Killarney, less than ten miles away from the family's Killorglin home. She broke down in tears as she handed over her brother's letter, pleading: "Are you going to waste any more time?" Referring to Billy's isolation in a single room as he battles to prevent re-infection, she continued: "We're begging you. Billy has given a whole year of his life for this."

Family friend, Anne Foley, challenged Mr Martin to flex the same muscles he used when pushing through the smoking ban to break through the less formidable barriers to Billy's survival.

"You are powerful enough to make the country smokeless overnight.

"Can you save Billy's life? Are you powerful enough to do this?" she asked.

It has emerged Billy is just one of at least three Irish patients to have been refused transplants by Freeman Hospital in recent times, including one man who has already died.

Mr Martin said all that could be done for Billy, would be done, but he said the power to decide lay with the doctors involved. He also defended the arrangement with Freeman Hospital, pointing out that the number of lung transplants performed on Irish patients had quadrupled.

He admitted, however, that Billy's case had "raised issues around the agreement" and said it might be possible to revise it when the transplant unit at the Mater Hospital in Dublin begins performing surgery later this year.

Last night, Billy was not expecting to see that milestone. "If suitable organs are not made available to the hospital in Manchester immediately," he told Mr Martin, "I will die.


**If one accepts Scappaticci's guilt, does it not seem that there would be at least a few who lost comrades or family members to brutal execution at this man's hands who would want to "despatch" him?


Stakeknife: Britain’s Secret Agents In Ireland.
By Martin Ingram & Greg Harkin. O’Brien Press.
ISBN: 0-86278-843-9

Anthony McIntyre • Fortnight, April 2004

**My favourite part of this review:

"Those put to the sword on Scappaticci’s watch – the book claims there were 35 – can no longer be regarded as the collaborators the republican leadership alleged them to be. Undoubtedly some were, but an army council that gave the nod for people to be killed on the basis of information provided to it by a British agent itself carries much more culpability than the people it despatched to early graves."

>>>Read it


Two Codes of Ignoble Submission

'At critical moments it is always the women who show the most courage.' - Leonardo Boff, Franciscan Theologian

Kathleen O Halloran • 12 April 2004

I have read a lot over time about the experience of Irish women and their passions and experiences. For me the experience of Irish womanhood is linked inextricably to two traditions, that of the Church and republicanism.

>>>Read it




PSNI spotted taking down tricolours

The PSNI took down tricolours from masts in Ardoyne on the day before North Belfast republicans held their Easter Rising commemoration march.
Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan said eyewitnesses saw PSNI members standing on top of Land Rovers with ladders removing Irish Tricolours in the early hours of Easter Monday.
The North Belfast commemoration committee had lined the parade route in Ardoyne with tricolours flying from every lamppost.
However, on Easter Saturday night a handful of local anti-socials removed about 30 of them from the route.
But on Easter Monday morning, more were removed in Balholm Drive by the PSNI.
Margaret McClenaghan said it showed once again that the PSNI had not changed its sectarian spots.
“It was so disappointing to see much of the hard work the committee put into the march thrown away. On one night a few well-known trouble makers removed flags,” she said.
“But then the next night, the PSNI were seen with ladders on their jeeps removing even more. It’s as if the anti-socials and the PSNI were working hand in hand to put a dampener on the parade.
“And the fact that the PSNI chose to take down Irish national flags on the route of an Easter commemoration march shows that sectarianism is still alive and well in the ranks of the PSNI.”
The PSNI declined to comment.

Journalist:: Andrea McKernon

The Fenians -- Characters -- History -- Fremantle Prison


J.B. O'Reilly

The Fenian movement, or Irish Republican Brotherhood, was a secret society that flourished during the 1860s. Its activities included an armed rebellion against British rule in Ireland, which failed for a number of reasons. In 1865 hundreds of men were arrested in Ireland on suspicion of complicity. There were two elements amongst the men charged and convicted: those who were civilians, and those who were currently serving in the British military services. The civilian element were treated as political prisoners, whilst the military element were treated as ordinary criminals. In 1869 the civilian element were granted clemency and freed, whilst such consideration was denied the military element (Erickson pp.115-156).

John Boyle O'Reilly was an NCO in the 10th Hussars (the prestigious regiment of the Prince of Wales) when arrested in 1866 for assisting fellow soldiers to join the rebellious Fenian movement. Found guilty at his court martial, his death sentence was commuted to one of 20 year's penal servitude which automatically meant transportation (anyone sentenced to seven years or more was transported).




ePolitix News
15 April 2004

Sinn Fein has condemned an independent report on paramilitary
ceasefires which has been delivered to the British and Irish governments.

The document, compiled by the Independent Monitoring Commission
(IMC), was handed over to ministers in Belfast and Dublin on Thursday.

Northern Ireland secretary Paul Murphy said he was "studying the
report and arranging to have it printed".

It will be published next Tuesday, when Murphy will make an oral
statement on it in the House of Commons.

The move comes ahead of a meeting of key players in the peace
process, which is due to take place in London later this month.

With the Good Friday agreement currently being reviewed by the
British and Irish governments, and the devolved institutions
remaining suspended, the report comes at a sensitive time.

And it was immediately condemned by Sinn Fein, which said the IMC
has "no positive role to play".

"The IMC is no more than a smokescreen to be used by the British
government to provide cover for any attempt at exclusion in the
future," argued policing and justice spokesman Gerry Kelly.

"The issuing of this report is politically motivated and is an
attempt to disadvantage Sinn Fein in the imminent talks."

The IMC report was delivered ahead of schedule following the alleged
Tohill kidnap attempt in Belfast, which Ulster police chief Hugh Orde
blamed on the IRA.

"The British government has refused to implement the recommendation
of the Cory report to hold an inquiry into the killing of Pat
Finucane on the basis that it would be prejudicial to the trial of a
man charged with his murder," said Kelly.

"In contrast the British government has demanded and received a
report from the IMC on an incident involving Bobby Tohill despite the
fact that a number of men are facing charges relating to that matter.

"Presumably this report will now be made public. The double standards
in operation are blatant. The British government writes the rules to
suit its own strategic interests."

The report was drawn up by former CIA deputy director Richard Kerr,
Commander John Grieve, a former Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist
chief, Lord Alderdice, former presiding officer of the devolved
Belfast assembly and retired Irish civil servant Joe Brosnan.



--Brian Feeney - Irish News
15 April 2004

Does Easter kick off the 'marching season' or is it the Somme on the
first Sunday of July? It used to be the Somme, but the kick-off seems
to be getting earlier each year. It's no longer marching feet that
signal the beginning of the season, but other, more symbolic evidence
of ownership of the north: flags, graffiti, bonfire preparations.

Yes, in recent years preparations for Eleventh night bonfires have
been noted in early March, a full three months before they are to be
lit. Flags begin flapping from lamp posts and telegraph poles around
the same time and slogans are scrawled or sprayed on any available
surfaces. Alongside these phenomena you can hear the plaintive wail
of the middle classes appealing to the flag wavers, bonfire stackers
and spray-can artists to consider the environment, think about the
shameful impression on visitors to Norn Irn, have pride in their
community. Hah.

You may as well appeal for good weather on St Patrick's Day. Guess
who runs those communities? Why the very people who send out the flag
wavers, bonfire stackers and spray can artists, principally the UDA
and LVF with the UVF in Co Antrim bringing up the rear.

Do the hand-wringers believe for a moment that if the local
UDA/LVF/UVF boss didn't want flags, bonfires and graffiti there would
be any? What do they think would happen to guys festooning the place
with flags contrary to instructions from the local boss?

Naturally the local boss is impervious to considerations of the
environment or tourism. He knows that the local council and DOE are
equally impervious to environmental conditions on the estate he runs
and that no tourist ever catches a glimpse of it, loyalist Bushmills
being the exception.

No, the only way to deal with these manifestations is legislation.
Isn't it remarkable that after almost 40 years of persistent
sectarian violence the first time people were convicted for an
offence connected with loyalist flags was last month? It's indicative
of an attitude that has dominated the pro-union thinking in the NIO
for the whole period of that office's existence. Their concern being
that somehow you can educate people out of sectarianism, that
bringing in legislation to deal with the unique and specific
circumstances of the north would perhaps be to admit that this really
is a place apart, not like, wait for it, 'the rest of the UK'.

Do you realise that the Incitement to Hatred Act was brought in in
1970? Yes 1970. You may not realise either that it covers all the
aspects of bigotry that bedevil the north including using words or
publishing anything threatening or abusive or insulting on the
grounds of 'religious belief, colour, race or ethnic or national
origins'. It might have nipped things in the bud. Only one snag. It
doesn't work because you have to prove intent. Although this flaw was
obvious since 1971, nothing whatsoever was done to plug the gap.

The thinking was similar with fair employment legislation. Introduced
in 1976, it was like a lighthouse in a bog: brilliant but useless. A
decade later there was no difference in the ratio of unemployed
Catholics to Protestants. The US and Irish governments had to drag
the NIO kicking and screaming to sign up to real anti-discrimination
legislation in 1989.

The evidence across the world points in one direction only. In ethno-
political conflicts like the north it is fanciful to believe that you
can educate people out of bigotry and sectarianism and racism. The
only approach that begins to work is legislation with stiff
penalties. It was the huge fines and compensation powers in the 1989
Fair Employment Act which brought offenders to heel. It was only
after the 1954 instruction from the US Supreme Court that states had
to act 'with all deliberate speed' to end segregation that brought
governors in states like South Carolina and Virginia into line.

The only way to deal with the intimidation and threat that oceans of
flags and graffiti and bonfires present to the community at large is
by prosecution and jail. They're not merely a claim to ownership of a
particular captive estate. Due to the blind eye the authorities turn
to loyalist bonfires and flags, these manifestations of extreme
unionism represent a claim to ownership of the north of Ireland, a
unionist place where symbols of unionism, however extreme,
threatening or offensive, are allowed special licence to disfigure
the public thoroughfare, and in the case of gigantic bonfires, to
endanger property.

The legislation is in place. It remains to be seen whether the police
and NIO have the will to enforce it or whether unionists will be
allowed to flout it for the next six months until they decide the
marching season is over.


At this time in 1981, these men were on hunger strike:

Bobby Sands, since March 1

Francis Hughes, since March 15

Patsy O'Hara, since March 22

Raymond McCreesh, since March 22

Save Tara / Skryne Valley Campaign Home Page


The Irish Times Letter to the Editor 23.02.04

The Hill of Tara constitutes the heart and soul of Ireland. Our ceremonial and mythical capital, its very name invokes the spirit and mystique of our people, and is instantly recognisable worldwide.

An Bord Pleanála's recent approval of the Government's scheme to divide the Tara/Skryne valley with the M3 motorway spells out a massive national and international tragedy that must be averted.

**Click on above link to read about it and sign petition



The council voted last year to begin a process to change the city's name

The DUP has said it is outraged at an attempt by Derry City Council to change the name of Londonderry Port. The council has written to ask the harbour commissioners to drop London from its title.

The commissioners have discussed the matter but have decided to defer the decision until after it celebrates its 150th anniversary later this year.

The Democratic Unionists have accused Sinn Fein of attempting to strip away all things British by changing every official name from Londonderry.

However, republicans say everyone can lay claim to the name Derry, and say they are trying to create an inclusive society.

Democratic Unionist William Hay said it was a further attempt by the council and Sinn Fein in particular to alienate Protestants in the city.

"This has nothing to do with how we all manage the name," said the MLA.

"This is Sinn Fein attempting once again to strip anything British away from the city and from Northern Ireland generally.

"It is a purely sectarian argument."

Sinn Fein's Barney O'Hagan said they simply wanted to market the city with one single name.

"The term Londonderry is a political term," he said.

"The vast majority of the citizens in the city do not recognise or affiliate to it.

"With the name Derry, everyone has an a historical affiliation to it and everyone can identify with it."


Derry City Council decided last year to begin a process to change the name of the city.

A motion was passed despite angry objections by unionist councillors.

The motion said Londonderry should not be imposed as the official city name and everyone had the right to use the name they felt most comfortable with.

The local authority changed its name to Derry City Council in 1984, although the official name of the city has remained Londonderry.

**Sorry to be so late anymore--working is interfering with my blogging :P


--Irish News

Republican Sinn Féin yesterday (Sunday) called on people to join the
Continuity IRA, provoking strong criticism from unionists.

Speaking at the annual Easter Rising commemorations in Milltown
Cemetery, Fergal Moore recalled the words of republican Maire Drumm
who had said the slogan 'up the IRA' should be replaced with 'join
the IRA'.

Mr Moore echoed her calls by adding: "Join the Continuity IRA".

Ulster Unionist vice president Jim Rodgers, who is chairman of
Belfast's district policing partnership, urged police to investigate
the recruit- ment call.

"The last thing we need are people, especially young people, being
encouraged to join illegal organisations," he said.

"If we are to move forward in Northern Ireland we need to stop this.

"So many young people have heard this sort of message before and
spent their lives behind bars in prison."

April 14, 2004


Irish Independent


CONVICTED terrorist Michael McKevitt has been granted compassionate temporary release from Portlaoise prison to tend his terminally-ill mother.

The former Real IRA chief of staff left the jail yesterday afternoon. No date has been set for his return.

It is understood that Mrs McKevitt's health has been in decline for some years.

McKevitt is serving a 20-year sentence for directing terrorist activities and was jailed in August last year. Prisoners are allowed out on a 'word of honour' bond which is considered a very low risk for the authorities.

Brendan Farrelly



April 14

848 - In Dublin, the tricolor national flag of Ireland is presented to the public for the first time by Thomas Francis Meagher and the Young Ireland Party

1922 - Led by Rory O'Connor, forces against the Anglo-Irish Treaty seize the Four Courts in Dublin. The provisional government later attacks the garrison, which starts the civil war


The News Letter

Supporting Mixed Marriage In Ulster
--By Joanne Lowry

Wednesday 7th April 2004

WHEN Philomena McQuillan met her husband Ronnie in 1979, they were just like any other couple, except for one thing - they came from two different religious backgrounds.

Meeting at a time when the Troubles were at their height, it was difficult for Catholic and Protestant friends to mix, let alone form a relationship.

But despite a few hiccups along the way, the couple, like many others across the Province, broke down the barriers and found love across the divide.

Now working as an administrator for NIMMA - Northern Ireland Mixed Marriage Association - Philomena, along with other NIMMA members, has the personal experience to help other couples who are going through the highs and lows of a mixed relationship.

"I think in terms of the acceptance of mixed marriages and relationships in Northern Ireland, things have definitely improved, in some areas at least, and certainly NIMMA has had a lot to do with that," said Philomena.

"Some people do still run into difficulties with family members or clergy.

"Someone in the family might be a member of an Orange Lodge or GAA club, and they struggle to accept your partner.

"Our families were quite supportive, to be honest any problems we had existed within our own partnership.

"While we were going together I was under the impression our children would be brought up Roman Catholic, so it was something I had to think about when we started to discuss things."

In the end, Ronnie and Philomena were married in the Presbyterian church although their first daughter, now 17, was baptised in the Roman Catholic church.

"At the end of the day, it's the love between two people that matters, not religious differences. It is the Christian identity that matters, denomination is not important.

"There is only one Bible, only one Christ - we weren't that different really."

The couple's second daughter was christened in the Presbyterian church, while their son was christened in the Methodist church.

"I think the children struggled with identity issues as they weren't brought up to be Catholic or Protestant.

"They were happy to go to any church when they were younger but, as you get older, church can often become less interesting for young people.

"They would come home from school and ask 'What am I?' and I told them they were Christian, but in a society which relies so much on labelling people it can be very difficult.

"We were lucky because we had an integrated school on our doorstep, so that's where we sent the children."

NIMMA was set up in 1974 following a meeting at Corrymeela Centre for Reconciliation in Ballycastle, which was attended by couples living in or planning a mixed marriage, as well as several supportive clergy.

Since then the organisation has spent time working with the clergy and influencing community attitudes, as well as the rules of the four main churches.

Acting as a Province-wide support group providing advice and information, NIMMA is celebrating its 30th anniversary and earlier this year, held a special service of thanksgiving in St George's Church in Belfast.

Philomena said one of the aims of the service was to promote awareness of NIMMA.

"We are still here 30 years on, promoting the acceptance of mixed marriages in Northern Ireland and providing practical information and support," she added.

"Being in a mixed marriage is a very enriching experience and a great opportunity for your children to learn and grow."


The Blanket

Is There A Republican Alternative To The Good Friday Agreement?

Gerry Ruddy • 8 April 2004

In asking this question I am conscious that the probable response to the same question by Sinn Fein (P) would be that the GFA was the Republican response to the continuing military stalemate. The leadership of the Provisional Republican Movement had waged a guerrilla war and forged the most effective guerrilla army certainly in Western Europe for 25 years with no discernable advancement. Their leadership calculated that there was more to be gained by taking the political road rather than the military road. There are probably many complex reasons why they came to this conclusion and this could include some or all of the following: the collapse of Soviet style communism leaving the USA as the only superpower, the peace processes in South Africa and the Middle East, war wariness, the steady loss of volunteers, particularly in Tyrone, the recognition of the futility of violence, a better understanding of the position of the unionist population, the higher body count of the loyalists coming into the nineties, personal ambition, disquiet at the increase in sectarianism, and the increasing effectiveness of British intelligence operations.

**Click on above link to finish reading


Belfast Telegraph

Anger over sectarian attack on youth
--By Larry Deeney

13 April 2004

A UNIONIST councillor today demanded action after a Catholic youth was assaulted by a Protestant mob in Derry.

A 12-strong gang yelled sectarian abuse as they kicked the teenager about the head and body, after he had been knocked to the ground.

The victim and his brother had just left a shop at Rossdowney Road - just a few hundred yards from their home in the Kilfennan area - when they were attacked by the mob.

SDLP councillor, Gerard Diver, said he was worried that parts of the Waterside were becoming sectarian no-go areas, due to a series of similar assaults.

DUP councillor and deputy mayor, Mildred Garfield, said crowds of youths regularly gathered outside the shop at Rossdowney Road, where the youth was attacked.

And she appealed for parents to keep their children away from the area.

Police said when they arrived shortly after the attack on Sunday a crowd of 20 boys and girls had congregated at the shop.

"To think that somebody in the group must have known this young fellow - it's deplorable," Ms Garfield said.

"It is terrible to think that this young fellow can't even go to the shop around the corner.

"A very large crowd regularly seems to assemble outside this shop and I would appeal to parents to make sure their children are not among the people gathering there.

"And I would also appeal to the PSNI to keep an eye on the area so that this kind of incident cannot happen again."

The victim was treated at Altnagelvin Hospital for bruising to his face.

Councillor Diver said given that the teenager was attacked by a gang of 12 others it was fortunate he was not more seriously injured.

"It is not even just the physical injuries that this young man has sustained - the psychological trauma is also a cause for concern," he said.



**At first, I thought they were talking about loyalists

14/04/2004 17:11:22 UTV

Electoral chiefs in Northern Ireland were plunged into a row tonight
over rules banning ''idiots and lunatics'' from voting.
By:Press Association

An Assembly member demanded the offensive reference to mental
disabilities should be removed from official guidelines.

SDLP representative Patsy McGlone said: ``It`s incredible that
something so insulting to these people and their families should

Mr McGlone learned of the phrasing as he probed an alleged refusal to
put a constituent with Down`s syndrome on the electoral roll.

According to a fact sheet produced by the Electoral Commission anyone
with mental disabilities cannot vote at a general election, under
common law, if they are incapable of making a reasoned judgment on
polling day.

The guidelines then further clarifies this with the words ``idiots``
and ``lunatics``.

No one from the Commission`s offices in Belfast was available for

But it is understood the body regards the wording used in 120-year-
old legislation as inappropriate.

Senior officials are believed to favour allowing as many people to
vote as possible.

A guide produced for electoral administrators says people with mental
disorders - but not living in a mental hospital or special
establishment - can be included in the register.

It adds: ``The eligibility of someone who has a profound disability
might, however, in certain cases be called into question because
under the common law so-called `idiots` cannot vote.

``So-called `lunatics` on the other hand can vote, though only in
their lucid intervals, and so could not be excluded from the register
on this ground.``

Mr McGlone said: ``Even if this is antiquated legislation, it`s not

``This is way out of line to refer to anyone with mental health
difficulties in this way.``


Irish Independent

Poll 'could rewrite' Good Friday pact
Irish Independent
14 April 2004

THE Human Rights Commission is to consider claims that the proposed
citizenship referendum might amount to a rewriting of the Good Friday
Agreement, it was confirmed yesterday.

The parallel HRC in Northern Ireland will also consider the issue,
after the DUP suggested failure by the Government to consult other
parties to the Good Friday Agreement was a unilateral renegotiation.

The DUP is anxious to secure changes to the Agreement to make it more
amenable to unionists, but has been told by London and Dublin its
fundamentals are not open to renegotiation. The DUP has accused the
Government of flouting rights of other signatories in amending the
changes to Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution.

These changes dropped the territorial claim on Northern Ireland, but
said it was the birthright of anyone born on the island of Ireland to
seek citizenship of the Republic. Passage of the proposed
Constitutional amendment here on June 11 would water down those
provisions - allowing the entitlement to be abridged by legislation
in the south.

The Government appears in a legal difficulty when defending a charge
that it can alter the Good Friday Agreement to suit itself. The
Government insists it made changes sought by the unionists, and that
it is now clarifying "aspirational" phrases in the articles.

The president of the Republic's Human Rights Commission, Dr Maurice
Manning, has written to Justice Minister Michael McDowell of his
concern at the proposals.

Senan Molony
Political Correspondent


Belfast Telegraph

--By Larry Deeney
14 April 2004

A BITTER war of words erupted today between loyalists and republicans
in Londonderry.

Firstly, Sinn Fein chairman Mitchel McLaughlin warned republicans
that they may be being targeted, after alleged sightings of a
prominent loyalist in the Bogside area.

The Ulster Political Research Group - a body with links to the UDA -
agreed loyalists had been in nationalist areas of the city but
claimed they were only there to take part in cross- community work.

A UPRG spokesman said loyalists would now withdraw from cross-
community work in nationalist areas because Sinn Fein had endangered
their lives by highlighting their presence.

"How many more people from loyalist areas have been targeted in this
way that we do not know about?," he said.

"Consequently UPRG would advise all loyalists who are visiting other
parts of the city to be very careful about their personal safety and
despite republican assertions that there are no 'no-go' areas in the
city, there are in fact different rules being applied to Protestants,
who might engage in cross-community contact, either for work or
because of their own personal relationships."

A Sinn Fein spokesman said the loyalist figure spotted in the Bogside
had "definitely not been involved in cross- community work".

"That's a very poor explanation. The person seen is well known and is
not involved in cross-community work.

"Any Protestant involved in cross-community work in the city can be
assured that they are not under threat and they should carry on their
work as normal," he added.



Fenian Voice

13 April 2004

To all,
Bernadette McAllister, wife of Malachy, is in Hackensack University
Medical Center. She is undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer. This is just
another setback for the McAllisters. Please pray for her and the family.

Please send get well cards to:
Sarah Bernadette McAllister
Room 3912
Hackensack University Medical Center,
30 Prospect Ave.
Hackensack, NJ 07601

The Guardian

Self-imposed apartheid

Plans to end segregated public housing in Belfast are doomed, writes Mary O'Hara

Wednesday April 14, 2004
The Guardian

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the body responsible for public housing, is taking radical steps to tackle the deep-rooted religious segregation of working-class communities. It proposes to build two housing estates that it hopes will be populated by both Catholics and Protestants. It's a laudable attempt to combat what has in the past been seen by the authorities as an insurmountable problem. Sadly, it is almost certainly doomed to fail.
At the latest estimate, 92.5% of public housing in Northern Ireland is divided along religious lines. In Belfast it is even worse - 98%. But it isn't just the numbers and geography that present obstacles to change. It is the cruel fact that both sides of the divide still fear and distrust each other. In these circumstances, any serious attempt to redraw the population map of Northern Ireland would constitute social engineering on a grand scale. It is a brave soul who takes on this task.

Segregation has been a fact of life in Northern Ireland since long before the recent wave of Troubles began in 1969. But it tightened its grip as violence and civil unrest took hold and it was in the working-class urban districts now targeted by the Housing Executive that polarisation has been sharpest. These areas, which include the notorious Falls Road and Shankill Road enclaves in west Belfast, have been hotbeds for the worst violence of the past 35 years. They have suffered social and economic deprivation, and have been recruiting grounds for paramilitaries.

The housing authorities have had a significant role in the planning of new housing estates in areas like these. The authorities oversaw the construction of estates across towns and cities in the 70s and 80s in an effort to rehouse deprived families. But some of the housing developments were also planned and built on the back of security concerns that meant keeping the two sides of the community apart. Not surprisingly it fostered the entrenchment of sectarianism. The enduring legacy is entire districts fortified from the outside world, both physically and culturally.

In many cases there are just a few metres between Protestant and Catholic areas; yet they remain intractably separate. The construction of so-called "peace lines" - huge walls - physically reinforce the hostility. Make no mistake, these places are ghettos. They are ghettos in the modern sense of the word in that they are riddled with the fallout of social deprivation such as crime, unemployment and low educational attainment.

But they are also ghettos in the original sense of the term as it first emerged to describe the Jewish enclave in Venice in the 16th century, the Ghetto Nuovo. They are self-contained, culturally homogeneous communities with a strong sense of history and local identity. The people who live in them tend to have strong cultural and political allegiances.

As with the ghettos of old, these communities are not completely cut off from the outside world but they
somehow manage to remain separate. Two years ago, the chief executive of the Community Relations Council went so far as to describe the outlook of some of these areas as being a "self-imposed apartheid". People mix, of course. They go to work, they shop in town centres, and they brush shoulders with each other at gigs and in city centre bars. But for the most part, these residents want to live with their kith and kin.
There is a degree of integration further up the social scale in Northern Ireland, but this has always been the case and has little or no impact on people living in more deprived areas. The reality is that it is not normal to have regular social contact with Protestants if you live in a working-class Catholic district, and vice versa.

The vast majority of children are educated separately and never get the chance to befriend someone from the "other side". Segregation also persists because, despite the best efforts of organisations that campaign for integrated education, it is still only a very small number of parents who are willing to send their children to non-segregated schools.

Despite the peace process, the entrenched fear, bigotry and mistrust in these communities rumbles below the surface. That a number of new peace lines have been built since the process began is an ominous reminder of the ongoing tensions.

The Housing Executive has said its new approach is focused on the long term, and that ensuring people's safety is paramount. It insists it is not promoting social engineering, but simply making the most efficient use of housing and land to meet real need.

But is it really possible to expect people to take part in what is an admirable social experiment but an experiment nevertheless? Who exactly do the authorities expect to move on to these new estates? The spectre of couples in mixed marriages being hounded out of communities - or even killed - has not been forgotten.

There is no doubt that many people would love to see an end to segregation. But it is not coming any time soon and so far no one, including the housing authorities, appears to have a viable answer.

The Irishworld Online


9 April 2004

Paul Donovan asks whether Muslims have replaced the Irish as Britain’s suspect community

The cry that the Muslims have replaced the Irish as the suspect community seems a growing reality with each passing day.

The media choreography of the arrests of eight British men of Pakistani descent bore all the hallmarks of the way anti-terror operations were handled during the conflict in Northern Ireland. The broadcast media were tipped off and obediently followed every police and intelligence service direction. Despite the historical precedent of miscarriages of justice each individual arrested was immediately considered guilty. It was not a time to question methodology but to pat the police and intelligence services on the back for a job well done.

If the eight individuals are released in a few weeks time there will be no banner headlines leading the television news or across newspaper front pages. Yet on the record so far the majority of people being picked up are being released without charge.

Over the past few months hundreds of suspects - including many of North African or Middle Eastern origin - have been arrested but most have been released without charge.

Four men were arrested in Sheffield earlier in March. Another four men were arrested in early December after raids in the West Midlands, Luton and Birmingham, and in November police arrested a number of suspects following raids in Manchester, Gloucester and Birmingham.

Last September, eleven men were arrested under the anti-terror laws in another wave of raids in London and Manchester following dawn raids, and in one of the most controversial operations, seven people were detained after 150 police stormed the Finsbury Park mosque in north London in January 2003.

Muslims have also increasingly become the victims of stop and search operations. Home Office figures show that in 2002-03 there were 32,100 searches overall under the Terrorism Act, 21,900 up on the previous year and 30,000 more than in 1999-2000. Metropolitan Police figures show an increase in the number of Asians, who are mainly Muslim being stopped. From April 2000-01 it was 9.9per cent; 2001-02 11.8 per cent; 2002-03 12.2 per cent; and 2003-04 11.7 per cent so far.

Muslim people are claiming they have been pulled over for questioning at airports or ferry terminals, and that they have been picked on for no apparent reason other than their ethnic origin.

Then there is the hanging threat of the 13 people being detained indefinitely in British prisons under the Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001. These detentions remain as a permanent reminder to foreign nationals in the country as to what could happen to them if they step out of line. The effort of the Home Secretary to extend the powers to British nationals is no doubt intended as another move to ratchet up the pressure on the Muslim population.

Post Madrid, Muslims in east London are reporting the hostility they are encountering on the street is getting back to post 9/11 levels. They are being attacked simply for their beliefs and who they are. Add in the growing threat of police and intelligence service actions against parts of the community and the tension continues to grow.

The post 9/11 approach of blaming the Muslims for terrorist attacks across the world is building racial tensions across the country. The Muslims are being seen as the new Irish in that they are viewed as the new suspect community. When the Prevention of Terrorism Act was brought in following the Birmingham and Guildford pub bombings in 1974 the Irish became a suspect community. Thousands were stopped at ports and airports. Houses were raided and people detained for anything from a few hours to seven days. Most were then released without charge - as is happening now with the Muslims - but the message was clear don't get involved in the politics of Northern Ireland. The fact that you are Irish and in this country means you are automatically suspect.

The miscarriages of justice involving the Birmingham Six, Judith Ward, the Guildford Four and the Maguires proved the racism of the policing and intelligence operations. The police, intelligence services and their bosses in government were quite happy to see innocent Irish people remain in prison for long periods of time. The effect of the operation of the PTA and the miscarriages of justice was to make Irish people recall what they were doing and where they were at the time of a bombing. In Liverpool many Irish people went absent from work the day after a bombing atrocity for fear of reprisals.

The PTA and miscarriages of justice had a salutary effect on the Irish community resulting in it effectively retreating into itself. The Irish clubs developed as a network of havens where people could go and mix with their own. On the political front the Irish largely retreated from the scene. Despite being the largest ethnic minority in Britain, the community certainly didn't pull its weight on the political scene. It has only been with the advent of the Northern Ireland peace process and an end to the bombing that the Irish have been able to emerge and start to assert themselves fully both in a political and cultural sense in Britain.

At present the signs are there that the Muslim community are all set to follow the exodus of the Irish into on themselves. Multi faith organisations operating at community level are already feeling the tension as communities that perceive themselves as under attack withdraw into themselves where they feel safe. This trend if it continues will not be healthy for racial harmony in the UK.

From the point of view of safety from terrorism, the withdrawal of a community back in on itself is unhealthy. For the few terrorists around who may be plotting bomb outrages there is likely to be far more opportunity to hide. The feeling of a community under threat from the rest of the society will also foster sympathy for such individuals and their aims. The government and police have gone to some lengths since 9/11 to reassure the Muslim and other ethnic minority communities that they are not the target. However, the raids, surveillance and attempts to employ informers is telling those communities something completely different on the ground.

Irish people need to be prepared to support those in the Muslim and other communities that now feel under threat. It is not acceptable to take the self-preservation approach that simply says we are one rung up the ladder and safe, let someone else take the heat. The British state has taken the methodology it used for so many years against the Irish and deployed it against the Muslims. This is not acceptable in any civilised society. In the longer term it will simply lead to a more authoritarian state which will be bad news for everyone from the Irish and Muslims to the Hindus, Sikh Jews and English.

The present approach to counter terrorism could create a race war. Communities that have lived side by side and contributed to British society for years are suddenly beginning to feel like outcasts. At present many just feel frightened and are retreating in on themselves. In time this fright will turn to anger which will not only help the terrorists but in the end lead to a sectarian society divided along racial and religious lines. Is that what we want in 21st century Britain?


Newshound (www.nuzhound.com)

HUMAN RIGHTS BODY TO DISCUSS CITIZENSHIP REFERENDUM --Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent Irish Times 13 April 2004

Representatives of the human rights commissions in the Republic and Northern Ireland will hold a joint meeting this month to discuss the proposed citizenship referendum, as opposition grows to the planned June 11th poll.

News of the intervention of the human rights commissions - independent statutory bodies set up under the Belfast Agreement - will add to the growing pressure on the Government not to hold the referendum as planned on June 11th, the same day as the local government and European Parliament elections. The commissions are empowered to advise the governments on how proposals will affect human rights.

The president of the Republic's Human Rights Commission, Dr Maurice Manning, wrote to the Minister for Justice, Mr McDowell, a fortnight ago expressing concern over the issue, it emerged yesterday.

This followed a meeting of the commission on March 25th at which several members said they feared a referendum could have implications for the Belfast Agreement.

The commission referred the issue to the North's Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Prof Brice Dickson, who agreed to the meeting of the joint committee of the commissions, north and south. This body was not due to meet until June, but has decided to meet earlier because of the speed with which the Government was moving on the issue.

At the weekend the SDLP, Sinn Féin and the DUP joined the Dáil Opposition parties in objecting vehemently to the proposal, albeit for different reasons.

In his letter to Mr McDowell, Dr Manning said he believed there should be consultation with interests in Northern Ireland. The right to Irish citizenship for children born on the island was inserted into the Constitution as part of the Belfast Agreement.

The SDLP, the Labour Party and others argue that the proposal now to restrict citizenship rights of children born to non-nationals may amount to a unilateral alteration to the terms of the deal.

The letter also expressed concern, said Dr Manning yesterday, "about the danger that holding it [a referendum] on the same day as the elections could lead to it being hijacked by racist groups".

This is the same concern expressed by Fine Gael, Labour, the Green Party, Sinn Féin and other Opposition deputies, all of whom fear it will be used by some Government party canvassers to exploit public unease over immigration during the election campaign. They have demanded that the referendum be deferred to allow the Government seek an all-party approach to the issue.

The two human rights commissions have agreed in principle to hold a meeting shortly of their Joint Committee of Representatives, which provides an all-island forum for discussion of human rights issues.

"Clearly on the face of it, it could have implications for the Good Friday agreement," Dr Manning told The Irish Times yesterday.

A Government spokeswoman said yesterday they have not yet received a formal request for a meeting from the SDLP, which said at the weekend that it wanted an immediate meeting with the Taoiseach. Senior SDLP negotiator Mr Sean Farren urged the Government at least to defer the referendum.

The Sinn Féin president, Mr Gerry Adams, said it would "have negative consequences for Irish society and the Good Friday agreement".

The DUP claimed the move was proof that the Belfast Agreement could be changed, as has been sought by the DUP.

The Human Rights Commission's letter to Mr McDowell was sent after the commission's racism sub-committee told a commission meeting on March 25th that it was concerned about what was proposed.

The commission also asked the Minister to give it early sight of the actual legislation and the proposed wording of the referendum. It expects to receive these early this week.

Dr Manning said yesterday that Mr McDowell had "diligently referred all upcoming legislation" of relevance to the commission.


Newshound (www.nuzhound.com)


The SDLP's Alasdair McDonnell's platform piece in the Irish News of March 26th, under the headline "Only the paramilitary criminal fears police" was dismissive of whole sections of our community.

The unfortunate fact is there is a fear and mistrust of this police force, which is deep-seated both in the past and the present. Members of the RUC and PSNI have been involved in a campaign against nationalists and Catholics for generations. More importantly members of that force still run unionist paramilitary agents who have been involved in every conceivable crime including the killing of citizens. Since the setting up of the PSNI this partisan political agenda has continued. For example, in the Abernethy case the forensic scientist involved stated under oath that systematic attempts were made to interfere with evidence.

In the recent investigation into Sean Brown's murder members of the PSNI acted to conceal two critical pieces of evidence from the Ombudsman's office. Also, for more than a decade the RUC has refused to give information in their possession critical to the inquests of 10 Tyrone people including Roseanne Mallon even though the Coroner demanded the evidence be produced. The latest refusal to comply was by the present Chief Constable of the PSNI, who sent documentation that was censored. The Coroner ruled all the information should be made available to him.

This is the tip of the iceberg.

Judge Cory's report has been published. At least some of it has been published. A large part of the section on the Special Branch has been censored by the very people Judge Cory was tasked with investigating or held back from the public gaze by other devices. Despite this, from what has been published of the Cory Report the public now know that what Sinn Féin and others have been saying all along is true.

The Cory Report shows that there is clear and strong evidence that British military intelligence, MI5 and Special Branch were involved in collusion with unionist paramilitaries. Hundreds of nationalists and Catholics died as a result. The report shows that:

Special Branch and MI5 officers from the joint security service knew as far back as 1981 of a plot to kill Pat Finucane and did nothing about it. They acted likewise in 1985 in respect of a second plot.

Seven weeks before Pat Finucane was murdered, MI5 became aware of the plot to kill him but did nothing to prevent it.

Special Branch, both in 1981 and five days before his killing in 1989, had information on these plots but did nothing.

Special Branch, despite being informed by William Stobie about the murder weapon 3 days after Pat Finucane was killed, did nothing to trace it.

Documentary evidence indicates that Special Branch did not take steps to prevent UDA attacks or to warn those who would be victims. This had fatal consequences

Special Branch frustrated the RUC investigation into Pat Finucane's death by withholding information about Nelson, FRU and Stobie.

A senior government official, in November 1990, asked for information to be supplied to him which could be used with the Attorney General to persuade him that FRU agent and UDA intelligence officer Brian Nelson should not be prosecuted.

The British defence secretary wrote to the Attorney General in the terms provided in the information brief on Nelson asking him not to prosecute Nelson.

The British Attorney General allowed bogus testimony favourable to Brian Nelson to go unchallenged at this trial

Military intelligence, senior British government officials and the British defence secretary were all implicated in attempting to keep a lid on collusion by seeking to halt the prosecution of FRU agent and UDA Intelligence officer Brian Nelson.

Multiple impediments were placed in the path of inquiries into these matters by FRU and the RUC.

Despite, or perhaps because of, these findings the British government has refused to act on Judge Cory's recommendations even though Tony Blair gave a public undertaking to do so.

The excuse is the "sub-judice" rule which the same British government is ignoring in another case presently going through court by pushing the International Monitoring Commission to publicly report on this case in the next week or so!

Alasdair McDonnell's colleagues in the SDLP have spent the days since the Cory Report was published avoiding attacks on the Special Branch involved and attacking republicans! While most nationalists were appalled at the Special Branch activities the SDLP diverted attention onto republicans.

The Cory Report is as much an indictment of the SDLP as it is of British policy. Instead of acting as a catalyst for change within the policing system and on the policing board, the SDLP has become part of the system. It has failed to hold to account those human rights abusers who moved from the RUC directly into the PSNI. It has failed to advocate or demand the expulsion of human rights abusers from the PSNI. It has failed to challenge the structures, individuals and continuing culture of collusion.

Many of those who ran and carried through this strategy of administrative collusion and state-sponsored killing still serve British interests in the Special Branch, in MI5 and within the political and bureaucratic structures which established and protect those involved.

The SDLP made a fundamental mistake three years ago of signing up to these policing arrangements. By its policy the SDLP is failing all of those who supported the demand within the Good Friday Agreement for a new beginning to policing.

When Alasdair McDonnell writes in the Irish News under the headline "Only the paramilitary criminal fears the police" he unintentionally highlights the reality, thus far, that Special Branch, MI5, British military intelligence and senior British government officials – all of whom were involved in collusion or attempting to cover it up – have nothing to fear from the police. And isn't that the problem?

I have continually said that those nationalists in places like north Belfast who have suffered from bad policing over the years want proper policing most. However, they are not naive. Sinn Féin is striving to achieve a politically neutral, civic policing service, which will be representative of all sections of the community. The SDLP jumped too soon and accepted too little. We will not.

April 13, 2004


Gerry Kelly is the Sinn Féin spokesperson on policing and justice.

This article appeared first in the April 9, 2004 edition of the Irish News.



Easter Rebellion resonates throughout Ireland to this day

By Jim Dee/Irish Times
Monday, April 12, 2004

BALLINLOUGH, Ireland - In the past decade, Ireland has morphed from a sluggish rural economy into a high-tech powerhouse. But fully grasping the dynamics of what is now the European Union's most pricey country means understanding an event Saturday at this sleepy County Meath crossroads.

Here Brian Keenan, a reputed Irish Republican Army heavyweight, addressed a rally marking the 88th anniversary of the failed 1916 Easter Rebellion - a pivotal milestone in the eventual securing of independence from Britain for 26 of Ireland's 32 counties.

"The IRA, and the present-day republicans, will not forget their objective. And that is freedom in this country," Keenan told a gathering of about 50 Irish republicans.

Keenan spoke after two 70-year-old IRA veterans laid wreaths at the graves of two local 20-year-old IRA men killed during the War of Independence.

Ballinlough's gathering was tiny compared to weekend rallies in Belfast, Derry and Dublin that drew thousands. But the fact that Ballinlough - comprised of a half-dozen houses, a pub, a store and a church - had an Easter Rebellion rally at all was an illustration of how the 1916 rising still resonates across Ireland.

Later this month, Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, whose own Fianna Fail party was born after splitting from the IRA in 1926, will lay a commemorative wreath in Dublin's Arbour Hill cemetery where 14 of the leaders of the rising were buried.

In fact, so strong remains the pull of the Easter Rebellion and the subsequent 1919-21 War of Independence that, in October 2001, Ahern had the bodies of 10 IRA men whom Britain executed during that period exhumed and reburied with state honors.

Some pundits say Ahern wants to steal the IRA-allied Sinn Fein's republican thunder in order to halt the party's growing popularity in the South. His justice minister, the Progressive Democrats' Michael McDowell, has been more aggressive, accusing the IRA of engaging in widespread criminality on Dublin's docks.

Republicans deny the charge. And on Saturday Keenan slammed McDowell and Ahern's coalition government, which he claimed was just slinging mud ahead of June's local council and European parliamentary elections in which Sinn Fein is expected to do well.

Alluding to some pundits' ascribing to Sinn Fein a metaphorical "whiff of cordite" from IRA weaponry, Keenan said, "It's not the whiff or cordite around Sinn Feiners the Irish people have to worry about. It's the prevailing stink of corruption around this present administration."

Indeed, Ireland has seen several public tribunals into alleged government corruption since 1997. Last week Ahern himself was grilled at one over claims he was present when a property developer was asked for a bribe to speed the approval of his project. Ahern strongly denied witnessing anything of the kind.

Ahern wants the current IRA to vanish for good. Otherwise, he says, Britain will neither lift its 19-month suspension of Northern Ireland's assembly (imposed amid an IRA spying scandal), nor further reduce its troop levels or army bases in the North.

But Keenan, while a staunch peace-process advocate, gave no indications republicans are ready to fold.

"If the British army and the (police), and all their death squads, can arm, train, reinforce and bring in electronic devices, more troops, more helicopters and more guns, well, they shouldn't be surprised if the IRA won't go away," he said. "And long may it continue."

Derry IRSP

Images from Easter 2004 - IRSM

Belfast Telegraph

Stanley McCombe: Condemnation
Relatives' fury over event at cemetery

By William Allen
12 April 2004

RELATIVES of victims of the Omagh bomb today voiced outrage at a planned commemoration in Derry by a political group linked to the Real IRA.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement was due to hold Easter commemorations at Derry's city cemetery this afternoon, where Old Bailey bomber Marian Price was expected to be the main speaker.

It was one of only two such rallies on either side of the border, the other being in Dublin where the main speaker was expected to be former Omagh councillor, Francis Mackey, chairman of the Movement.

Stanley McCombe, whose wife died in the Omagh bomb, today condemned the Derry event, which marks the 88th anniversary of the Easter Rising, and asked why it was allowed to take place on council owned property.

Mr McCombe said: "We broke up a 32 County Sovereignty Movement fundraising event in London a couple of years ago.

"I am horrified and outraged that this has been allowed to happen, and only 30 miles from Omagh.

"This is the political wing of the cowardly b******s who murdered my wife and inflicted so much grief on other families in Omagh.

"I would hope the people of Londonderry would voice their concern at this development. A cemetery is supposed to be a sacred place. This should not be allowed, and I hope the PSNI monitor it closely.

"It's time the Government and PSNI made clear there's no room in society for people like this. But the question is: why did the local council allow it to happen?"

DUP deputy mayor, Mildred Garfield said no one sought Derry City Council's permission.

She added: "If there had been a loyalist or unionist event, there would have certainly been a debate.

"I would have to agree that this council has led the way in Northern Ireland on many issues, including the parades issue. But if we are going to progress, then all council property must become neutral.

Irish Freedom Committee

Easter Commemoration Derry – Easter Monday 2004.
Oration Delivered by Marian Price printed in full below.

Easter 2004.

A Chairde,

Fáilte romhaibh agus Beannachtaí na Cásca daoibh go léir.

Fellow republicans and friends, we are gathered here today on this
proud, historic and symbolically potent date in the calendar of the
Irish Republican struggle to pay homage to, and salute, the heroism,
suffering and sacrifices endured by generations of Irish men and
women in pursuit of Liberation and the establishment of a Sovereign,
Independent Irish Republic.

It is at Easter time that Irish Republicans take the opportunity to
reflect with pride upon those momentous events which occurred in our
country in that famous week in 1916.

The political fallout from the sacrifice made by our patriot dead of
that generation had a shattering impact, not just in Ireland, but on
a global scale. The British Empire at that time was one of the most
powerful and ruthless political and military systems the world had
ever seen and a blow struck here was an inspiration to so many other small
nations to throw off the yoke of tyranny.

As Republicans we gather, not merely to foster and cherish the memory
of our fallen predecessors and comrades (important and necessary though
that function must always be) but also to draw strength and
inspiration from their lives and deaths and once again to swear allegiance to the
legacy which they bequeathed to us. From their sacrifice we receive
lessons of history to learn, ideals to espouse and principles of patriotism to uphold.

To be a revolutionary one must first accept that "to gain that which
is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything" (Bernadette
McAliskey) and certainly the men and women who lie beneath us in the
earth's cold embrace were all too familiar with the hardship and risk
of building a resistance movement in the face of what sometimes appears
to be insurmountable odds.

I say this because, as with all true republicans, we have similarly
faced our difficulties. In the past year once again we have been
forced to face the open aggression of the British and Free State Governments
in their attempts to crush any opposition to their policies by every
means at their disposal. This has included a campaign of harassment
against our members, led by the RUC/PSNI and Special Branch, as well as the
use of the media in order to vilify our cause through a process of black
propaganda and misinformation.

These attempts took a particularly sinister twist when it was
discovered earlier this year that attempts were made by the RUC and the DPP to
influence the Forensic Science Laboratory in the cases of men falsely
accused and remanded in custody on the basis of manufactured forensic
evidence. Scientists were asked to "modify" and "omit" aspects of
their reports and to overlook acts of contamination and blatant malpractice
in order to ensure convictions. This is nothing but flagrant corruption,
an act carried out by corrupt police officers on behalf of a despotic
and corrupt state which, when faced with opposition, is willing to bend,
break and abuse its own laws in order to achieve convictions.

Nevertheless we are told to believe that in the realms of what is
ironically termed the justice system here in the north there is
a `New Beginning to Policing'. In the daily news-sheets the Nationalist
people have been advised by self-appointed and altogether rather dubious
community figures to become part of the much heralded `Policing
Partnership'. We state this clearly and without ambiguity or
diplomatic double-meaning; there will never be an acceptance by true Republicans
of ANY British backed police force anywhere in Ireland and our sole
relationship to any such force will be strictly in terms of absolute,
unremitting and ceaseless resistance.

The so-called new age or "new dawn" that is said to exist ever since
the signing of the Stormont agreement has nothing to do with the kind of
revolutionary Republic that we, or the men and women of 1916

"We see the Six County State as irreformable and believe that full
civil rights, an end to discrimination, unemployment, social deprivation
and sectarianism can only be achieved when we achieve our national
rights – i.e. independence and unity. We are opposed to the Assembly, and
believe it has dangerous potential as a vehicle for a return to Stormont

Not my words, but those of a 1982 Sinn Fein election manifesto.

Contrast this with the situation that the Provisional Movement now
finds itself in, hypnotised by the pomp and ceremony of ministerial
finery – deluding themselves that a Westminster paycheque and
`cross-border bodies for arts and culture' will someday deliver the
Workers' Republic that men and women gave their blood for.

They should remember the prophetic words of Pearse,
"I make the contention that the national demand of Ireland is fixed
and determined; that that demand has been made by every generation; that
we of this generation receive it as a trust from our fathers; that we
are bound by it; that we have not the right to alter it or to abate it by
one jot; and that any undertaking made in the name of Ireland to
accept in full satisfaction of Ireland's claim anything less than the
generations of Ireland have stood for is null and void, binding on
Ireland neither by the law of God nor the law of Nations. Ireland's
historic claim is for separation. Ireland has authorised no man to
abate that claim. The man who accepts as a final settlement anything less
by one fraction of an iota than separation from England will be
repudiated by the new generations".

It is perhaps worth taking a moment to ponder how the countless Irish
martyrs of every generation would have regarded our present day
society, north and south of the British imposed border? What would Pearse and
Connolly think of Ireland at Easter 2004? The overriding legacy which
the 1916 leaders bequeathed was their strength of character, their
courage, commitment, integrity, humanity and principle. They were
poet warriors in the classical sense; men whose very souls were
intertwined with the culture and physicality of a living and breathing nation.

But does the Ireland of today reflect the realisation of their
beliefs and aspirations?

In both the south and north poverty is at chronic levels. There are
shortages in housing, and the gap between rich and poor is ever
widening. Our cherished folk and native culture is swamped by a media
bombardment of capitalist orientated Anglo-American popular values.
In the south the sovereignty of our nation is continuously eroded by the
growing power of the European Union. The Dublin Government offers a
capitalist playground where ministers currently display a feverish
greed for the Washington Dollar – prostituting what was once neutral Irish
soil so that American bombers and troops can go and annihilate
thousands of relatively defenceless but fearlessly defiant people in Iraq and

I have a feeling that those who gave their lives through the fire and
sacrifice of Easter 1916, as well as many whom have shed their blood
since, would have plenty to say about the state of our beleaguered
nation.The martyrs of 1916 "followed the call of freedom through fire and
blood, through poverty, strife and slander; followed it through the
gates of death, gladly proudly, uncomplainingly. Their call to us is
a call of hope and courage. They bid us remember that so long as there
are even a few, be they weak or strong, who will not yield in their
hearts to the English enemy, who will have no traffic with English
trickery, who will keep the light of faith and love and service on
the straight road they walked, so that others may see it and follow where
they led, there is hope for Ireland still, and all the force and
intrigue and treachery in the world cannot crush her down in defeat.
They bid us be strong in our faith, unyielding in our course,
courageous and clean in our actions, loyal to the very last as they were and
content to do our share of the uncompleted task, not caring to whom
will go the honour and the glory."

We might sometimes wonder why the world does not shake at the sheer
injustice of it all. But we must take heart for it is their ideals
and their faith in the future generations that calls us to hope and

My last words today will be quoted from the last letter written by
Liam Mellows to his devoted friends, in the course of which he stated
profoundly:"The Republic stands for truth and honour, for all that is best and
noblest in our race. By truth and honour, by principle and sacrifice
will Ireland be free….She may shrink but her faltering feet will find
the road again. For that road is plain and broad and straight; its
signposts are unmistakable".

Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir
Beidh an Bua againn.

The Telegraph
(Filed: 11/04/2004)

**Here is the Pot calling the Kettle black

US tactics condemned by British officers
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent

Senior British commanders have condemned American military tactics in Iraq
as heavy-handed and disproportionate.

One senior Army officer told The Telegraph that America's aggressive methods
were causing friction among allied commanders and that there was a growing
sense of "unease and frustration" among the British high command.

The officer, who agreed to the interview on the condition of anonymity, said
that part of the problem was that American troops viewed Iraqis as
untermenschen - the Nazi expression for "sub-humans".

Speaking from his base in southern Iraq, the officer said: "My view and the
view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence
is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing.
They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as
untermenschen. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the
British are. Their attitude towards the Iraqis is tragic, it's awful.

"The US troops view things in very simplistic terms. It seems hard for them
to reconcile subtleties between who supports what and who doesn't in Iraq.
It's easier for their soldiers to group all Iraqis as the bad guys. As far as
they are concerned Iraq is bandit country and everybody is out to kill them."

The phrase untermenschen - literally "under-people" - was brought to
prominence by Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf, published in 1925. He used the
term to describe those he regarded as racially inferior: Jews, Slaves and

Although no formal complaints have as yet been made to their American
counterparts, the officer said the British Government was aware of its commanders'
"concerns and fears".

The officer explained that, under British military rules of war, British
troops would never be given clearance to carry out attacks similar to those
being conducted by the US military, in which
helicopter gunships have been used to fire on targets in urban areas.

British rules of engagement only allow troops to open fire when attacked,
using the minimum force necessary and only at identified targets.

The American approach was markedly different: "When US troops are attacked
with mortars in Baghdad, they use mortar-locating radar to find the firing
point and then attack the general area with artillery, even though the area they
are attacking may be in the middle of a densely populated residential area.

"They may well kill the terrorists in the barrage but they will also kill
and maim innocent civilians. That has been their response on a number of
occasions. It is trite, but American troops do shoot first and ask questions later.
They are very concerned about taking casualties and have even trained their
guns on
British troops, which has led to some confrontations between soldiers.

"The British response in Iraq has been much softer. During and after the war
the British set about trying to win the confidence of the local population.
There have been problems, it hasn't been easy but on the whole it was

The officer believed that America had now lost the military initiative in
Iraq, and it could only be regained with carefully planned, precision attacks
against the "terrorists".

"The US will have to abandon the sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut approach - it
has failed," he said. "They need to stop viewing every Iraqi, every Arab as
the enemy and attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people.

"Our objective is to create a stable, democratic and safe Iraq. That's
achievable but not in the short term. It is going to take up to 10 years."

NEU : GMX Internet.FreeDSL
Ab sofort DSL-Tarif ohne Grundgebühr: http://www.gmx.net/info

BBC NEWS | UK | Northern Ireland

Threats halt construction work

Work on Housing Executive property in the estate has ceased

A building firm has stopped working on a housing estate in County Antrim because of threats from loyalist paramilitaries.

The intimidation follows a hoax bomb attack in the Glebeside area of Ballymoney last week.

The mixed workforce is employed by a Catholic-owned contractor, and had been working for the Housing Executive on homes in the estate.

The firm said that for safety reasons the workers will not be coming back.

"The workers were there trying to do their job, improving Housing Executive properties for the people who live within the Glebe," said Sinn Fein assembly member Philip McGuigan.

"It is very disappointing.

"It is obviously blatant sectarianism and I would be calling for those who issued the threat to withdraw it."

The local community association has been working hard to raise the estate's public image in recent years.

SDLP assembly member Sean Farren said such incidents do not help.

"Intimidation such as that which has been experienced this week can set all the effort that has been put into community development in the area back a considerable way," he said.

The police say they are keeping an eye on developments on the estate.

The Blanket

Bail For Sale - Nationalists Need Not Apply

A judge's duty is to grant justice, but his practice is to delay it: even those judges who know their duty adhere to the general practice - Jean de la Bruyere

Anthony McIntyre • 9 April 2004

The partisan discretion which has been exercised by the Northern Ireland judiciary since the inception of the state seems to have been alloyed little by the new dispensation we supposedly find ourselves in. At a recent High Court application made on behalf of West Belfast man, Tommy Tolan, compassionate bail was granted for a period of four hours so that the Ballymurphy man could visit his 11-year-old daughter in hospital where she was undergoing skin grafts to treat injuries sustained after being struck by a firework in the 1990s.

A maximum four hours bail accompanied by a court stipulation that the bailed man remain in the presence of a family member for the duration of the short time outside the prison walls is a stringent condition. While Tolan’s young daughter will benefit from his presence at her hospital bedside, four hours in which to do that is hardly an act of judicial generosity. Nor does there appear to be any credible reason why continuous bail should not be granted, given the needs of the child being treated and the nature of the charges preferred against the accused. Police objections on the grounds that Tolan is likely to commit more offences evokes a mere, ‘they would say that wouldn’t they.’ Besides, alleged links to ‘paramilitary’ bodies has not been an obstacle in the way of bail in other cases.

**Click on above link to read article

News Letter

**From last week

Bonfire Dumps Are Gathering Protests
Thursday 8th April 2004

THE early collection of material for 11th of July bonfires this year is creating social and environmental problems across the Province.

Councils and the Housing Executive have received complaints about rubbish being piled high at some sites from as early as mid-February - five months before the annual celebrations.

In Belfast, wooden pallets, tyres and household rubbish have been dumped in areas including Annadale Embankment, Mersey Street off the Lower Newtownards Road and the Belvoir estate, close to Shaw's Bridge.

Outside the city, bonfire preparations are under way in towns including Ballynahinch and Coleraine and the city of Lisburn.

No one is clear why collections have started so early.

East Belfast councillor Naomi Long said: "There is an element of competition to see who can have the biggest bonfire each year, so, once one area starts, other areas follow suit."

Housing Executive officials have said that the earliest gathering of material in years past has been shortly after Easter.

"It's beyond belief," said one official. "We used to get complaints after Easter because it was so early - now it's early February."

People in the affected areas have said bonfire sites are being used for illegal dumping.

Ms Long said: "I have heard that there have been people opposed to the gathering of bonfire material so early posting leaflets around the Annadale area encouraging others

to dump rubbish at the bonfire site, in order to force the council to come along and clear it all up.

"No one is opposed to people celebrating but, while people are prepared to put up with the bonfire rubbish for a short period directly before the the fires are set alight, it is too much when they are being expected to to put with it for six months at a time."

Ms Long said the bonfire rubbish at Mersey Street had been cleared away in recent days because it had been sitting on the area where a housing development is being built.

The councillor said she had spoken to residents there who said the site had become a focus for drinking, vandalism and other anti-social behaviour since the fire material was collected.

Outside Belfast, there have been reports of former bonfire committees being resurrected to deal with the issue.

Belfast councillor Jim Rodgers and Ms Long both said this was the type of action which was needed to control the problem.

They added that a review of the whole situation was needed.

"I have nothing against bonfires. I have fond memories of collecting wood when I was a kid," said Mr Rodgers.

"But there are issues - environmental, social and health concerns.

"I know we have debated in the past local councils providing designated bonfire sites but the problem with that is that councils are liable for insurance costs if someone is injured. Premiums soar and ratepayers suffer.

"I think what we really need is more community leadership.

"There are a lot of community groups out there and the bonfires need to be properly marshalled from start to finish."

Sunday Life

**This problem could be solved by letting certain people--and I use the term loosely--visit through plexiglass.

Terror jailbirds put bounty on dog's head

By Stephen Breen
11 April 2004

CAGED terrorists last night placed a sick bounty on the number one sniffer dog, at Maghaberry Prison.

Drug-taking jailbirds, at the high-security prison, want to poison the Labrador - who can't be named for 'security reasons' - because of its ongoing success rate in sniffing out drugs.

Although bounties were placed on other sniffer dogs at the jail by loyalist paramilitaries, in 2002, the fresh reward has been placed on the prison's most successful sniffer dog.

Dope-smoking inmates - fed-up with their visitors being caught smuggling drugs into the prison - have put a whopping £500 bounty on the top dog.

We also understand prisoners on the jail's integrated wings are angry, after the dog helped discover a secret mobile phone.

A senior prison source told us that prisoners - including loyalist and dissident republicans - will go to "any lengths" to have the dogs killed.

The source also claimed that prisoners have openly been talking about poisoning the dog, during planned visits.

Said the source: "The inmates, especially those who like to smoke dope now and again, are absolutely raging about this particular dog's success rate.

"The other dogs are good - but they are nowhere near as successful as the dog, which has a bounty on its head.

"It seems to be that every week the dog is finding something which the prisoners should not be bringing in, and this includes drugs.

"The dog has been a great success at the jail, and you can see the worry on some of the inmates' face during visiting times.

"It just goes to show you some of the lengths the inmates will go to get their own way at Maghaberry - they want it to be like the old Maze, where they control everything."

A spokeswoman for the Prison Service said sniffer dogs would continue to operate at the jail.

Added the spokeswoman: "We have a responsibility to prevent the smuggling of drugs into the prison, and all our dogs do is indicate the contamination of a person, or clothing, with drugs.

"We need these dogs at the prison, because apart from the health problems caused by drugs, they also lead to intimidation and bullying, and an unsafe environment for staff and prisoners.

"We're committed to tackling the problems of drugs head on, with every measure at our disposal - there can be no half measures."

Sunday Life


She's taken me for a ride

Taxi driver driven round the bend by transsexual's sex slue

By Sinead McCavana
11 April 2004

A BELFAST taxi-driver told yesterday how his life was ruined when a transsexual accused him of indecent assault - outside a city-centre cop shop!

The bizarre allegations, which have now been withdrawn, were made by the passenger after she refused to pay her fare.

Mark Mayled, 42, thought he was doing the right thing by going to the police station.

But, two-and-a-half hours later, cops arrested HIM!

Said Mark: "I thought it was a joke."

But, sadly, five months later, the father-of-four is still trying to clear his name.

Mark has reported the case to the Police Ombudsman, and has resigned his position with a leading taxi company, after being sickened by the incident.

His nightmare began when he arrived to pick up a fare at from a city-centre bar, last November.

Mark told Sunday Life: "I saw this man, who was dressed as a woman, being helped out of the pub by the barmen.

"I thought 'Oh, God', but a fare's a fare."

Mark drove the transsexual to another pub, and waited while she went inside.

When she was also ejected from that bar, he agreed to take her to one final pub, and asked for his fare.

When she refused, Mark radioed the operator, who told him to go to the nearest police station.

Said Mark: "I drove up to Grosvenor Road police station, and parked outside the main gate. She was screaming 'You'll pay for this'.

"I opened the window to speak to the policeman at the gate.

"I said 'This person won't pay her fare'.

"He said 'You can't park here, mate' and, as he said that, she started ripping her tights and underwear."

When female police officers eventually took the passenger into the station, she was screaming, 'He raped me' and 'I'll get you for this'.

Mark said he was told police would caution her, and take a statement.

But, hours later, police arrested HIM and took him to Strandtown station.

Said Mark: "I was stripped to my underpants, and they took forensics from me.

"The interview just wasn't real.

"I was being accused of taking £50 off her, indecently assaulting her, bruising her, cutting her, burning her with a lighter - I don't even smoke!

"I said 'You're asking me questions I just can't answer, because they don't make any sense.'"

He was not released for nearly 10 hours.

A Police Ombudsman's spokesman confirmed yesterday that an investigation was ongoing.

Despite the transsexual retracting her statement last month, a PSNI spokeswoman told Sunday Life that the matter was being forwarded to the DPP.

Added Mark: "I'd like an apology from the police, and I'd like this transsexual off the streets - she could do this to any taxi-driver.

"I did everything by the book and look what happened.

"I've lost my faith in humankind."

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