Media 'jeopardising' release

Valerie Robinson
Irish News
17 July 2004

Campaigners for the release of 'border fox' Dessie O'Hare are said to
be worried that media leaks will jeopardise his chances of getting
out of prison.

A spokesman for the Derry-based Teach na Failte centre last night
(Wednesday) angrily denied a report that the INLA chief was granted
temporary release from Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon last weekend.

However, prison sources insisted that O'Hare had been released into
the custody of priest, who took him to an undisclosed location for a
reunion with his family and close friends.

O'Hare, who was jailed for the 1987 kidnapping of Dublin dentist John
O'Grady, was allowed out of prison for the first time last November
when he spent a weekend at the Glencree Reconciliation Centre in

The Republic's justice minister, Michael McDowell, was angry after
the high-profile prisoner posed for photographs and chatted to
reporters despite an earlier promise to keep the release secret.

Sources claimed O'Hare's supporters now fear that any publicity
surrounding him could cause a public backlash, prompting the justice
minister to refuse permission for future trips outside Castlerea.

"They're very keen to make sure that nothing comes in the way of
Dessie being freed from prison permanently under the terms of the
Good Friday Agreement. It's still very much touch-and-go with the
whole issue and nobody wants to rock the boat," they said.

O'Hare has been in Castlerea since December 2002 after being moved
from the high-security Portlaoise Prison.

The Armagh man topped Ireland's most wanted list after he
masterminded the kidnap of Dublin dentist John O'Grady.

Dubbed the 'border fox' because of his ability to elude gardai, his
gang demanded a £1.5m ransom for the release of a son-in-law of
millionaire businessman Austin Darragh.

In a gruesome twist, O'Hare ordered the tops of two of his victim's
fingers to be cut off and left with a ransom demand at an Armagh


UDA victim 'insulted' by offer of £500

Barry McCaffrey
17 July 2004
Irish News

• flashbacks: Jason O'Halloran, who survived a UDA gun attack two
years ago, is still traumatised by his memories of the event

A Belfast man shot three times and seriously injured by UDA gunmen
two years ago has branded a Compensations Agency offer of £487 for
his injuries as an "insult".

Ardoyne man Jason O'Halloran (31), was shot three times by armed UDA
members in a drive-by shooting as he stood on the corner of Rosapenna
Street/Oldpark Road in north Belfast on July 21 2002.

The 31-year-old was hit in both legs and the groin after loyalist
gunmen opened fire from a passing Mondeo car. A further 10 shots were
fired at him as he lay injured on the ground.

Less than half-an-hour after the shooting the UDA murdered Catholic
teenager Gerard Lawlor three miles away near his home on the
Whitewell Road.

Mr O'Halloran was rushed to hospital and spent a number of days in
intensive care. Since the incident he has not been able to work.

However, he says he is outraged that the Compensation Agency this
week offered him just £487.50 for the injuries he suffered in the

"I cannot believe they are telling me my life is worth less than
£500," the unemployed taxi driver said.

"The doctors told me it was a miracle that none of the bullets
ruptured any vital organs. I am still waking up with flashbacks even

"I could have been killed that night and poor Gerard Lawlor was
murdered soon after me.

"Do these people think that you get shot and a couple of days later
you can forget about it?"

He said that the issue was not about money, adding: "I don't care
about the money. What I do care about is the fact that I nearly died
and some faceless bureaucrat is saying that my life is worth less
than a cheap car."

Mr O'Halloran claimed that the Compensations Agency pointed to the
fact that he had previously been fined for a number of minor traffic
offences to reduce the offer made to him.

"The Compensations Agency reduced the money offered to me by 75%
because I had six traffic fines. Every one of those fines were minor
and were paid.

"Is the Compensation Agency saying that the life of someone fined for
driving offences is worth less than £500?"

A Compensations Agency spokes-man said it did not comment on
individual cases. He said that anyone who was unhappy with the
compensation offered to them had 90 days in which to appeal.

In 1972 Mr O'Halloran's mother was also shot by loyalists in a
sectarian attack on the Oldpark Road, while his father lost an eye in
a loyalist bomb attack in 1974.


"Fenian Voice is a news only egroup. As news happens in Ireland and is gathered it will be distributed to those members of the egroup. We will also send out press releases from many groups."

**Forgot to say thank you to FENIAN VOICE for the next post concerning Joseph Black.


**From Pittsburgh (U.S.), concerning Joseph Black

Time to correct a case of homeland absurdity

Saturday, July 17, 2004
By Dennis Roddy

Joseph Henry Black has a detention hearing Monday, meaning he has his first chance at freedom in 13 days and the United States government has an opportunity to do something morally right.

Prosecutors in Philadelphia can opt not to oppose bail for the former IRA gunman, who poses no threat to America and would happily prove it by hopping the next plane and shaking the dust of Pennsylvania from his shoes forever.

Black, 47, of Belfast, Northern Ireland, was stopped at Philadelphia International Airport July 6 en route to Pittsburgh for his niece's wedding. Before the plane landed, he signed an immigration card that he says his wife filled out for him and the others in his family.

When he got off the plane, a group from the Joint Terrorism Task Force awaited at the foot of the ramp, got his ID, and quickly charged him with a criminal offense: lying on an immigration form by ticking off two boxes, one saying he had not been convicted of a crime of "moral turpitude" and another saying he was not a member of a terrorist organization.

It's worth noting that the government, while not owning up to it, knew Black was coming here well before anyone handed out the immigration cards.

The major clue that the British government had forwarded the flight manifest, and drawn attention to Black's presence, is to be found in the federal government's own documents. They refer to Black as a former member of "PIRA" -- as in, Provisional Irish Republican Army. Nobody but the British call it that. Everyone else says, simply, IRA. Whatever alert the British government sent ahead of British Airways Flight 67 from London to Philadelphia used the PIRA terminology and nobody in Philadelphia thought to change it.

This raises the question of why nobody thought to simply tell Black either not to get on the plane or, once here, to walk him back up the ramp, put him in a seat and tell him to go home.

The federal government has vast powers of discretion in these matters. It could, for instance, have invited him to amend his erroneous immigration form. It could have told him to leave right away. It can, in many circumstances, deny admission to someone not convicted of crimes, as it did to Canadian writer Farley Mowat in the 1980s simply because the Reagan administration didn't like his leftist politics.

It could have done the same to Ian Paisley, a virulently anti-Catholic politician and clergyman from Belfast who has done more to encourage violence and paramilitary trouble there than any one man and has found himself on the inside of a jail cell but has been free to rove the fruited plains and accept a doctorate from the virulently anti-Catholic Bob Jones University of Greenville, S.C., and to visit the White House. Possibly they were unaware that Paisley once invited a cadre of reporters to a remote spot in Ulster to examine a newly assembled anti-Catholic paramilitary group.

There are a few unkind conclusions that can be made about the unnecessary detention of Black, whose IRA days ended when he left Long Kesh prison 25 years ago.

The first is that the federal government wants to send a strong message about its disapproval of terrorists. Unable to catch the ones that matter, they were content, on July 6, to recycle an old one for the purposes of putting a hide on the national barn door.

Readers of this column are by now reasonably familiar with my long-standing disapproval of the IRA, its tactics and ideology. But we are not at war with the IRA, nor is the IRA at war with America, or with the British anymore, for that matter.

If we choose not to let a 47-year-old home remodeler into the country because, as a 17-year-old living in a war zone of a city, he once cast his lot with one of the combatants, that is our prerogative. We control our borders. What we must also control is our urge to use the law as an excuse not to think.

Dennis Roddy can be reached at droddy@post-gazette.com

::: u.tv :::

Irish school tests under fire

16/07/2004 15:40:15
Press Association

National testing for primary schoolchildren was branded foolhardy today by one of the country's leading teachers' unions.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) claimed testing children as young as seven would label some failures for life and demonise disadvantaged schools.

INTO general secretary John Carr said numeracy and literacy tests for seven and 11-year-olds were culturally biased and there was no that evidence teaching standards would improve.

"We regard this as foolhardy. These tests have their limitations, they are not totally reliable and they should come with a health warning," Mr Carr said.

"If the minister had have come to us we could have put him right on it, and on the problems."

The tests measuring numeracy and literature levels amongst seven and 11-year-olds, due to be introduced in 2006-07, will be used to plot national standards rather than label schools, Education Minister Noel Dempsey said.

Mr Carr said the problems within the State education system had already been identified and that the government had failed to act to solve them.

And he added the government had not asked for any input from the INTO on introducing nationwide tests.

"The key issue for us is, after assessment comes what? We know that the resources are needed, the issue is that the minister cannot get the resources," he said.

Mr Carr claimed up to 7000 children around the country with special needs had already been assessed and results showed they needed more help, but that had yet to be provided.

"There are genuine fears that this information could be used to label children and stigmatise them for failing educationally or demotivate them, that is our fear.

"There are other fears that it could be used to demonise disadvantaged schools, or teachers who are putting in huge effort."

Minister Dempsey said that there was no intention to create competition either between schools, teachers or children at a very young age.

"There will be no league tables on the basis of this. I don`t want them used in this way, it is a tool for positive action rather than anything negative," Mr Dempsey said.

"We need information if we are going to ensure that the system is as effective as it should be. This is one way of getting that data."

The minister added that 96% of primary schools across the country were already using some form of testing to measure pupils` ability and that standardising tests would give nationwide data.

But he added that over the last 10 years there was little or no improvement in literacy levels across the State and change was needed.

Mr Dempsey, however, criticised his own government for failing to provide adequate data to assist the work of policymakers.

He said there was a huge lack of information within his department, and in other areas of government, which slowed down people`s ability to make the correct policy decisions.

And he added creating a nationwide data would address that imbalance and highlight areas in need of extra work.

::: u.tv :::

Sinn Fein protests cause traffic chaos

17/07/2004 13:28:26

Sinn Fein protestors have caused traffic chaos all over Belfast this lunchtime.

They blocked roads, which led to long tailbacks on main routes in and out of the city.

It is understood the protests were linked to the parades issue.

The Westlink at the Grosvenor Road exit was blocked for a time and there were protests at the Stockman`s Lane exit of the M1 and at York Road.

The Crumlin Road at the Ardoyne shops was also blocked, as well as Victoria Street at the May Street/Cromac Street junction.

Sunday Business Post

DPP slates middle-class exclusion from juries

11/07/04 00:00
By Barry O'Kelly

The Director of Public Prosecutions, James Hamilton, has urged reform of the jury system, warning that juries are not representative of society as a whole.
In a submission to a high-level Oireachtas study, which has been seen by The Sunday Business Post, Hamilton questioned why the current jury process excluded many professional people.

``What one is left with is not in fact a random group of 12 citizens, but a group which is likely to contain fewer middle-class or employed persons than the population as a whole.''

The report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women's Rights backs a call by Hamilton for an expert group to look at reform of the Juries Acts.

The committee's draft report says: ``We are concerned that, on a day-to-day basis, juries are not representative of a true cross-section of society. We urge that a method of ensuring that juries are more representative of the population as a whole be examined.''

The wide-ranging Review of the Criminal Justice System includes proposals for the possible introduction of plea bargains, dedicated witness liaison officers, court video links, the codification of the perjury laws and a dedicated central courts complex in Dublin.

The study, which is due to be published on July 21, calls for the introduction of ``plea and directions [court] hearings consistent with the constitutional rights of an accused''.

Labour's justice spokesman Joe Costello, a member of the committee, said: ``I cannot comment on the details, but I would urge the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, to look at it closely before he forges ahead further.''

The Bar Council, in its submission, calls for the witness protection scheme to be placed on a formal statutory footing.

The study urges that extra judges be appointed to ease a chronic backlog of cases. The DPP said: ``There are cases which have been on the list for four or five years . . . between one quarter and one fifth of all cases that are listed are not reached and are delayed once more.''


Call to lift Catholic monarchy ban

Tony Blair could boost the peace process in the North by lifting the ban on Catholics becoming King or Queen, it was claimed today.

Green Party leader Trevor Sargent called on the British Prime Minister to lead the fight against sectarianism by changing the 1701 Act of Settlement.

The Act bans Catholics from ever becoming the monarch and requires the King or Queen to be in communion with the Church of England and uphold the Protestant line of succession.

As Greens on both sides of the border prepared to launch a joint paper next week on the future of the Good Friday Agreement, Mr Sargent said: "Not only does the Act of Settlement embed sectarianism but it gives the all clear to those who make sectarian comments.

"What we in the Greens are asking for is the British government to lead by example in the fight against sectarianism.

"In our submission to the review of the Good Friday Agreement, we are urging the British government to send out the right signals to people in Northern Ireland. A good starting point would be amending the Act.

"A simple legislative amendment is a pretty straightforward example of how the British government can lead by example."

In December 1999, MSPs unanimously backed a Scottish National Party motion in the Scottish Parliament calling for the Act to be changed.

Other prominent supporters of a change have included the Guardian newspaper, Tory peer Lord Hamilton, SNP leadership candidate Alex Salmond, Labour MP Tony Wright and the late Cardinal Thomas Winning of Scotland.

In December 2000, Cardinal Winning described the Act as "an embarrassing anachronism" which discriminated against Catholics and which no-one could justify.

He argued: "It is quite ludicrous to suggest that if a dashing young princess from Spain or Belgium or Luxembourg were to sweep Prince William off his feet and the young couple wished to marry, that somehow the British state would be brought to its knees."

Mr Sargent revealed today his party was also calling in its document for an end to the practice of making Northern Ireland Assembly members designate themselves as 'unionist,' 'nationalist' or 'other'.

Under current Assembly rules, the votes of non-unionist and non-nationalist MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) do not count in the election of a First and Deputy First Minister.

Stormont's First and Deputy First Ministers can only be elected if their joint bid secures a majority of unionist Assembly members as well as a majority of nationalists.

In November 2001, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and SDLP leader Mark Durkan were elected First and Deputy First Minister at the second attempt.

Cross community Alliance Party and Women's Coalition MLAs were forced to temporarily redesignate as unionist and nationalist to guarantee Mr Trimble and Mr Durkan a majority.

Mr Sargent said: "I think it is a major flaw in the Agreement that some Assembly members are actually disenfranchised when it comes to electing key posts in the Stormont executive because they do not define themselves as nationalist or unionist.

"It is an unfair system which only entrenches divisions. The Greens believe everybody should be able to elect ministers."

With devolution still suspended in the North, the Dublin North TD said the Greens agreed with the SDLP that the Assembly and Civic Forum should be recalled and commissioners put in charge of the running of the Stormont departments until MLAs were able to elect a power sharing government.

"Direct rule is becoming embedded in Northern Ireland in ways that no-one ever envisaged," he warned.

"It is resulting in political stagnation and we all know how dangerous that can be in Northern Ireland."

Irish Independent

Top cop resigns after 'corrupt' inquiry

THE GARDA officer who was in charge of the Donegal division when some of his members were engaged in corruption is quitting the force.

Chief Superintendent Denis Fitzpatrick, accused by the Morris Tribunal of being grossly negligent and facing severe disciplinary action, disclosed yesterday that he was resigning.

He became the first casualty of the devastating first report from the Morris Tribunal, which is examining corrupt practices in Donegal during the 1990s.

Mr Fitzpatrick announced his intention during a meeting with Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy, who had summoned him to discuss the contents of the report in his office at Garda headquarters in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

His resignation from the force is to take effect from September 1.

Mr Fitzpatrick's position had been under mounting pressure since the publication of the report on Thursday, as he is currently head of the national traffic policy bureau. He was one of six members of the force in Donegal to be shifted to other duties by then commissioner Pat Byrne, although it was stated at the time that the moves should not be seen as an indication of wrongdoing.

Also moved to headquarters was Supt Kevin Lennon, who was found to have told lies to the tribunal and corruptly orchestrated the planting of ammunition and hoax explosives in Donegal and Strabane in 1993 and 1994. Similar findings were brought against Det Garda Noel McMahon of Letterkenny station, and the two men are under suspension at present.

Commissioner Conroy yesterday served notice on Garda McMahon of his intention to dismiss him from the force on the grounds that he was considered unfit to be retained. He was given a few weeks to respond to the notice.

This was the first move to be taken on foot of the report by Commissioner Conroy, who had pledged on Thursday that he would move expeditiously to deal with the findings.

It is understood that he intends to meet individually with other officers accused in the report of possible breaches of discipline as each case is examined by a working group he set up under Deputy Commissioner Peter Fitzgerald.

On Thursday, Justice Minister Michael McDowell wrote to Supt Lennon, inviting his comments on the report, and these will be taken into account when his fate is determined by the Government at a Cabinet meeting in early September.

Tom Brady
Security Editor

Belfast Telegraph

Dissident party to fight US ban

By Sean O'Driscoll in New York
17 July 2004

US-BASED dissident republicans are to mount a legal challenge to a US government ban on the fringe political party, Republican Sinn Fein.

The party, which runs candidates in local elections and has offices in Dublin and Belfast, was designated this week as a foreign terrorist organisation.

RSF is closely linked to the dissident republican paramilitary group, Continuity IRA.

The party's US support group, the Irish Freedom Committee, said that it would mount a legal challenge against the ban.

New York spokesman, John McDonagh, said that he would be meeting lawyers in Washington next week.

Mr McDonagh, who hosts a political discussion programme on Radio Free Eireann in New York, said he knew of party members who wanted to visit Disneyland with their children but would now be stopped because all members are now considered members of a terrorist group, even if they have no connection to Continuity IRA.

The State Department has previously designated the Real IRA, and its political advocacy group, the 32 County Sovereignty Committee, as foreign terrorist organisations.

A legal challenge by US supporters of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee was not successful.

Martin Galvin, a Bronx- based attorney associated with the 32 County Sovereignty Committee, hired a lawyer to fight the case. However, a US court found that the ban was constitutional.

Meanwhile, RSF's last remaining local council representative in the Republic lost his seat in Longford this year.

Belfast Telegraph

Shock as top secret terror 'bible' is lost

17 July 2004

A TOP secret military document on leading terrorist suspects is believed to have gone missing from Castlereagh security base, it can be revealed today.

Security chiefs fear the paper has fallen into the hands of UDA elements.

The Belfast Telegraph has learned that the discovery that the document is missing, or has been copied, is what lay behind reports earlier this week that police are investigating a possible security breach involving the Army at Castlereagh.

One source said: "This is a military 'bible' of leading terrorist suspects across Northern Ireland.

"That it might have fallen into the hands of loyalist terrorists is deeply worrying."

An investigation into the possible breach of security was reported by police last Sunday.

A PSNI spokesman confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that, after the alarm was raised, two searchs were carried out on a house in Belfast last Sunday, followed on Monday by the search of another house in Belfast.

After being told about the development, the SDLP's spokesman on policing, Alex Attwood, pledged to raise the matter with the PSNI's deputy Chief Constable.

"I intend to raise this with Paul Leighton," he said. "It would be astonishing if there has been a further breach at Castlereagh given past events and, if such a breach has taken place, this has to be evidence of either gross incompetence or more sinister behaviour.

"If this is the case the police need to confirm what they believe and, if it is in the hands of loyalists, in my view it's very sinister."

When asked about the document, an Army spokesman said: "This is a police investigation ongoing and we cannot talk about this incident until the police investigation is complete."

A PSNI spokesman said: "This is a live investigation and it would be improper of us to comment any further."

It was at the same complex in March 2002 that offices of the Special Branch were broken into.

On that occasion the IRA was blamed.

Belfast Telegraph

Omagh bomb: new Garda probe needed
Tribunal findings are 'a wake-up call'

By Michael McHugh
17 July 2004

PRESSURE to investigate alleged policing failures in the run-up to the Omagh bombing intensified today in the wake of the Donegal Garda corruption scandal.

The damning conclusions of the Morris Tribunal should serve as a wake-up call to southern authorities who ruled out Garda failures prior to the Omagh bomb, a group representing the victims says.

Michael Gallagher, from the Omagh Support and Self-Help Group, was speaking after the tribunal found that two senior officers organised bogus explosives finds in the north west.

Irish Justice Minister, Michael McDowell, said significant reforms were being put in place to tackle Garda corruption and other issues arising from the report.

Last December the minister defended the force as he published the Nally Report which refuted claims that senior gardai had known about the Omagh bomb days before it was planted.

Mr Gallagher, whose son Aidan died in the blast which killed 31 people, said the Justice Minister's admissions proved the contentions by Garda informer handler John White needed to be re-investigated.

He pointed out that corruption was not the issue in the Nally report, the contentious issue being whether or not warnings of an impending terror 'spectacular' were passed on to the then RUC.

"However, it is good to see Michael McDowell admitting that there were problems with policing in the South. It is obvious that there are serious problems and this now proves that there needs to be a more thorough investigation into the allegations that John White made," he said.

"The Nally team did not interview Paddy Dixon (the alleged Real IRA informant who warned his Garda handler about the Omagh plot), or the PSNI Omagh investigator Norman Baxter, or the Police Ombudsman investigator who looked at the PSNI's conduct during their inquiries.

"These are all key people that the Nally team did not contact and there were a lot of flaws in their report. This proves that there are serious problems with this report's credibility and it completely demonstrates the need for these serious problems to be investigated."

Mr White sparked the Nally inquiry after he alleged to Northern Ireland's Police Ombudsman he had warned his superiors about the likelihood of a "spectacular" in August 1998.

His agent, reported Real IRA car thief Paddy Dixon, is believed to have warned him of the plans for a bomb on a number of occasions.

"We are talking about one of the worst single atrocities in Britain since the Second World War and yet there does not seem to be a sense of urgency.

"It leads you to believe that there is not the political will to resolve this crime," Mr Gallagher added.

Omagh victims have launched a multi-million pound civil law suit against those they believe to be responsible for the bomb. The case is due in January.

One man, Sean Gerard Hoey (34), of Molly Road, Jonesboro, is awaiting trial in connection with the Omagh bomb.

Derry Journal

McCloskey Seeks Bonfire Alternatives

Friday 16th July 2004

SDLP councillor for the Rosemount and Glen areas, Kathleen McCloskey, has called on local residents and interested bodies in the area to come together to tackle the problems associated with bonfires.

Colr. McCloskey said: "There is no reason why people in this area cannot do the same as has been done very successfully in the Creggan area.

"There, instead of lighting bonfires and destroying the environment via the destruction of trees and shrubs, festival/family events, excluding bonfires, have been organised by neighbourhood groups."

She added: "Such programmes can prove to be a success and provide entertainment for the community.

"In addition to this, the environmental community education programmes, including workshops, should also be organised which will highlight the dangers of bonfires and the destruction they cause to our environment and the city."

Colr. McCloskey has called on the Glenview Community Association and the Rosemount Resource Centre to take her suggestions on board and engage in discussion with local residents and other interested individuals and bodies.

She added: "I am hopeful that, together, we can come up with an alternative to bonfires that can be enjoyed by the whole community and at the same time do no damage to the environment nor cause any inconvenience to the local community."


Sunday Life

Killer back behind bars
Greysteel triggerman charged with terrace slashings

By Ciaran McGuigan
14 July 2004

GREYSTEEL killer Stephen Irwin was back behind bars last night - charged with carrying out a vicious knife attack at the Irish Cup final.

The Hallowe'en 'trick or treat' gunman is accused of slashing another fan with a Stanley knife, during violent clashes involving rival factions of Glentoran supporters at the showpiece final, last May.

Our exclusive pictures show the evil killer at the heart of the clashes, with blood splattered over his head and face.

Yesterday, he was in the dock of Belfast Magistrates Court, charged with causing grievous bodily harm and of possessing an offensive weapon.

A cop told the court that, when charged, Irwin (30) replied "most definitely not guilty" to both charges.

Sunday Life understands Irwin was arrested in possession of a blood-stained Stanley knife.

It is further understood that DNA samples from the knife show the blood is that of one of the victims of the LVF-led attack, in the crowd.

Resident Magistrate Bernie Kelly remanded Irwin, in custody until next month.

It is now likely that Secretary of State Paul Murphy will face calls to revoke Irwin's licence, and force him to serve out the rest of his life sentence.

He was freed under the Good Friday Agreement, after being given eight life sentences, in 1995, for his part in the Greysteel massacre.

It was sicko Irwin who shouted "trick or treat" as the gunmen burst into the Rising Sun bar and opened fire on Hallowe'en night 1993, killing eight people.

Irwin, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, is believed to have fired more than 40 rounds into the terrified crowd.

Four years ago, there were calls for his licence to be revoked, following his involvement in a sick neo-Nazi stunt, at the Cenotaph in London.

After his release, in 2000, Irwin joined forces with members of the neo-Nazi group, Combat 18. He was among a Combat 18 gang, giving the Nazi salute and shouting slogans, during a Remembrance Day service attended by Tony Blair and the Queen, in November 2000.

News Letter

Mowlam (**former Secretary of State--now Sex Therapist) 'Rejected LVF Guns Handover'

Exclusive By Stephen Dempster Political Correspondent
Friday 16th July 2004

The Government turned down the first offer of decommissioning by paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, the News Letter has learned.

The LVF has claimed it proposed to Government officials that it would dismantle some of its armoury in a decommissioning gesture in 1998.

But, initially, the offer was rejected - not just once, but on three separate occasions.

The group said the rejection came from the then Secretary of State, Mo Mowlam.

The disarmament gesture was only accepted and given the go-ahead when representatives of the group threatened to go public on the Government's refusal to accept the guns, the LVF has said.

The NIO had no comment to make on the claims.

The LVF was eventually able to decommission at the fourth time of asking on December 18, 1998.

In front of the cameras, it handed in for dismantling: nine guns, 350 bullets, two pipe bombs and six detonators.

The paltry nature of the amounts, and age of some of the armoury, was secondary to the gesture, the LVF claimed.

Almost five years on, the LVF has said of the event: "That act of decommissioning was a tactical move by us to put the IRA behind the eight ball and test their sincerity on decommissioning.

"Yes, it was tactical. We did not support the direction of the peace process then and we are still sceptical now, even though the DUP are the biggest party in negotiations."

Since December, 1998, the LVF has been involved in a number of murders, mainly linked to feuds.

Recently, it was linked to an arms shipment which came in through Belfast port.

The Army sealed off the area for a week after a tip-off but the weapons had already been moved.

Ulster Herald

Tyrone men furious at being locked up wrongly

by Anton McCabe

TWO Tyrone men are furious that they have served the equivalent of five year prison sentences before being found not guilty.

Kevin Murphy from Coalisland and Don Mullan from Dungannon are angry that they had been remanded for such a long time when the eventual verdict was not guilty.

This according to the men was the only verdict 'given that they had been set up by a security force agent'.

They are angry that Brendan O'Connor from Pomeroy, one of the other two arrested with them, is still in Maghaberry prison, awaiting trial on a bombing charge where the evidence against him is traces of DNA allegedly found on a glove.

The other accused, Sean Dillon, was also released.
The four had been charged with possessing a rocket launcher and conspiracy to murder.

The launcher was found in the field where they were arrested in Coalisland in February 2002: forensic tests found no trace of their having been in contact with it.

The man alleged to have lured them to the field was Gareth O'Connor of Armagh: mobile phone records linked him to phones used by the security forces, but these were not made available to the defence for thirteen months, by which time those records showing the locations of the phones had been destroyed.
'In the new political dispensation, we're still dealing with the same reality, these people were manipulative, they were corrupt' said Keviin Murphy.
'The faceless men were still working behind the scenes'

Police raided his partner's house three times while he was in jail, and Don Mullan's mother's house twice.

'Not one nationalist or Republican politician came out to condemn it' Mr Murphy said.

'Our families were living in isolation from the broader community and we only had a small group of people supporting us which was our family and friends.
'We were alleged dissident Republicans, opposed to the Agreement'.
When the men arrived in Maghaberry prison Republicans and Loyalists were forcibly integrated.

'Your name was enough to get you attacked as there were eight Loyalists on the wing.

'It was not only them, Catholic prisoners would have set you up too'
The two men were on dirty protest for four months last year, until prison authorities moved Republicans and Loyalists into separate wings.
At the time of their release, they were on another protest, refusing to shave or cut their hair.

'We were locked up twenty-two or twenty-three hours per day' said Murphy.
'You could have been strip-searched every day. If you refused to take your clothes off, they sent for the riot squad which consisted of ten or fifteen men in helmets'.

They had to eat in their cells, washing and shaving at the same sinks where they washed their eating utensils.

Of Gareth O'Connor who disappeared last year, after leaving his home to drive to Dundalk, Mr Mullan said 'Gareth O'Connor might be an agent, but he is a victim of the same system that put us in jail, and so was his family.
'There's more Gareth O'Connors out there, and it's the faceless men that send them out that need to be exposed.

'We call on Sinn Féin and the SDLP to expose these show-trials' the men concluded.

Ulster Herald

Maghaberry jail conditions compare to Guantanamo Bay

A NEW prisoners welfare group has likened the conditions endured by four Strabane men imprisoned at Maghaberry jail to that of those incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay.

One of the group, a former female Republican prisoner in the jail, Diane McGlinchey - released six weeks ago - said conditions compare to that of the US led jail, with the security likened to Fort Knox.

Just five months after segregation at the jail was introduced, where £19 million was spent on two wings - one for Loyalists, another for Republicans- prisoners are again protesting that their basic human rights are being denied.
Diane, a member of the newly formed Strabane branch of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association, said there are only the most basic of facilities on the wings.

'The money has been spent on security, there are cameras everywhere and panic buttons. If there is any type of incident and that includes verbal, the panic button is hit and the wing is sealed down. It's like Guatanamo Bay.

Republican prisoners, she said, are subjected to 23 and a half hour lock up. When they are allowed out they can either shower or exercise, but not both.
'Prisoners have had to endure almost total lockdown, lack of recreation, lack of education, little or no association and constant, aggressive and demanding strip searches. One prisoner was stopped and strip searched 13 times in one day.
'Prisoner's mail is constantly delayed for weeks at a time and the incidences of harassment of visitors are increasing to levels not seen since segregation was conceded.'

Diane claims that the Northern Ireland Prison Service is treating basic facilities as privileges, using them as a stick to make Republicans fall into line. She further claims that the prison authority is attempting to reverse the recommendations of its Compact for Segregated Prisoners, drawn up by NIPS.

She said the group is in no doubt that the prison authority is trying to create a crisis in the segregated blocks to justify its initial opposition to it.

'It is an extremely dangerous road for them to travel,' she warned.
'These men are determined to resist this degradation as are republicans on the outside. We would call on NIPS, the POA and the NIO to see sense before these minor matters become too major to resolve.'

Lorna Devine, has two brothers currently in Maghaberry. Charges against John Brady have been dropped but, because he was on licence at the time, he remains in prison.

His brother Ben is accused of having documents likely to be of use to terrorists.
She said: 'In the last few weeks, Republicans prisoners have refused to take visits because a dog has been present at the visit and the prisoners are not prepared to take closed visits.

'If a visitor or prisoner makes a complaint about the dog, then the visit is stopped or the riot squad is called in.

'If I am visiting one of my brothers I am not allowed to speak to my other brother who could be just feet away at another table.
'If I do, I am told to move on or the visit is called off.

'The prisoners are not looking for a situation like that of the Kesh (Long Kesh prison), they are just looking for their basic human rights.'

Meanwhile, Diane adds: 'The morale among the prisoners is high and they remain defiant but it is shocking that we have returned to a situation where the men have been not washing and shaving in protest to have basic human rights afforded to them.'

Other Strabane prisoners on the wing include Eugene McNulty and Sean Diver, charged in relation to the explosives find at a flat in Lisnafin earlier this year.


**This is probably a blessing in disguise since if you're an Irishman, you're liable to be arrested by the Americans when you hit their shore and incarcerated without cause and held without trial for however long they feel like holding you as they have done (and are doing) with Ciarán Ferry and attempting to do with others.


2004-07-16 10:40:02+01

The Department of Health has reportedly claimed that smokers prosecuted for breaching the workplace smoking ban risk not being permitted entry to the US or Australia.

Reports this morning said a spokesman for the department said a conviction for breaching the ban could adversely affect a person's chances of gaining entry to the US or Australia.

The spokesman reportedly said that a number of people were facing prosecution for breaching the ban, with their cases due to come before the courts in September.


Kelly accuses NIO of wrecking Agreement

2004-07-16 14:20:03+01

Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly has accused the British government's Northern Ireland Office of deliberately preventing the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

Speaking in Dublin today, Mr Kelly claimed that the NIO was responsible for the decision to allow Orange Order supporters to breach Parades Commission rulings at recent marches in Belfast and Lurgan.

Mr Kelly claimed the NIO had also sought to block the implementation of the Patten policing reforms in the North and said the prospects for a fresh peace deal later this year were slim unless the British government took measures to address the matter.



2004-07-16 17:40:03

The Pope is to return to Ireland next year to mark the 25th anniversary of his first visit to the country, it was confirmed today.

Pope John Paul II has accepted in principle an invitation from Irish Bishops to mark the occasion.

Catholic Primate of All Ireland Dr Sean Brady, said a reply had been received from the Vatican's Secretariat of State.

"We are delighted with this response and hope that this visit will take place," he said.

The date of the visit has not yet been decided but given the 84-year-old's commitments for the remainder of the year it is understood a visit this year is unlikely.

Archbishop Brady said the programme of places to be visited had yet to be prepared and agreed.

"The visit of the Holy Father would once again be a pastoral one," he added.

"An appropriate and substantial programme of prayer, preparation and reflection is essential to ensure that the people of Ireland would gain maximum benefit from another papal visit."

He said the people of Ireland would warmly welcome a return visit from the pontiff and that a programme to mark the 25th anniversary was already scheduled for this September which includes a major celebration in Clonmacnois, Co Offaly.

"A special message from the Holy Father has been requested for the occasion and is eagerly awaited," he said.

"The celebration will evoke many wonderful memories and inspire many to do their utmost to ensure another memorable visit."

The Pope's ill health has been the subject of speculation for many weeks, leading many to suggest a return trip to Ireland would be highly unlikely.



Set up Pursuant to the Tribunal of Inquiry (Evidence) Acts 1921-2002
into Certain Gardaí in the Donegal Division

Report on Explosives "Finds" in Donegal

15th July 2004

Today in Irish History

**Sorry this is late

July 15

1927 - Countess Constance de Markievicz, Irish patriot, dies



Irish police 'staged arms finds'

A judicial inquiry into alleged police corruption in Ireland has found that two officers staged bogus discoveries of IRA weapons to advance their careers.

Superintendent Kevin Lennon and Detective Garda Noel McMahon orchestrated the planting of ammunition and hoax explosives in Strabane, County Tyrone and County Donegal, the report by the tribunal led by Justice Frederick Morris said.

The Morris tribunal also found that the two policemen lied to the inquiry.

The 554-page report noted that senior garda management had failed to uncover the two men's activity and that this negligence had enabled the hoaxes to continue.

Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell said the report's findings represented "dark day for the Garda Siochana", the Irish police force in County Donegal in the 1990s.

Mr McDowell said the events were "frightening and unprecedented", adding that he would be writing to Superintendent Lennon to ask for further submissions before his fate was to be decided.

Instant best-seller

"The entire story told by Detective Garda McMahon and by Superintendent Lennon was a cover-up," Justice Morris wrote.

"A huge amount of tribunal time was wasted in attempting to get to the bottom of the lies told by them," he added.

The report proved to be an instant best-seller, with people queuing outside the government bookshops in Dublin to get a copy.

Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy will decide Detective McMahon's future.

However, he said he had absolute confidence in the garda commissioner who will now have to address the failings of the force and implement the report's recommendations.

The Morris tribunal was set up two years ago to examine allegations of corruption in County Donegal.



Photo: A loyalist bonfire at Stoneyfort bedecked with Sinn Féin election posters

On my television screen, lines of mostly men in dark suits, bowler hats and Orange collarettes march in formation to the tunes of pseudo-military bands. Banners declare their district, their faith and their political allegiances. The mottos embroidered on their banners and flags reiterate a notion of themselves as the "chosen", the "finest" and the "true".

In the watching crowds, parents hold children aloft, kids lick ice cream and the inevitable granny sports a Union Jack hat. Here, fundamentalist Protestant notions of the elect seamlessly meet political notions of unionist supremacism. During this annual militaristic ritual, anti-Catholic and anti-Irish hostility is expressed as carnival. The Bible and the crown march to the fife and drum.

And what's more scary? The unionist paramilitary flags and paramilitary mock British Army uniforms worn by some of the bands and colour parties? Or the normalisation of such provocative parading? The ice cream treats and a day out for the family. For the BBC commentator it's all colour and spectacle; the English have their summer flower shows and Wimbledon tennis, and in the north of Ireland we have the Twelfth.

Of course, on the Eleventh Night the rituals are more blatantly brutish. The masked unionist paramilitaries, the gunfire show of strength by sectarian killers, the spectator mob, the bonfire and the ritual burning of Catholic effigies and portraits of nationalist politicians.

This year, some Belfast bonfires took to burning images of Sinn Féin's Bairbre de Brún, already dubbed by Ian Paisley's DUP, Barbara de Broomstick. For any thinking person, this surely must send a shiver down the spine. So now we can add to the ritualistic burning effigies of women as witches to the Celtic jersey-clad versions of Guy Fawkes, another unfortunate Catholic whose demise at the hands of a London mob set the bonfire fashion of revenge.

This year, the Eleventh fell on a Sunday and there was some discussion amongst the faithful about the significance. In a nutshell, is the burning of Catholic effigies on the Sabbath breaking the Christian work to rule? The doubters were reassured by the realisation that the bonfires would be lit after midnight and therefore not on Sunday. What a relief.

Anywhere else in the world, if a gang decided to dump a mountain of domestic waste in close proximity to housing and then set it alight in the middle of the night it would be seen as a public disgrace. Here, it passes as cultural expression (don't ask, I don't know why).

This year, we were encouraged by the BBC to believe that the fact that the Fire Service was only called out to 55 Eleventh night bonfires that were threatening to engulf nearby property made it all acceptable.

In the run up to the event, as the gathering debris despoiled more areas, there was even some discussion into what might be considered an environmentally friendly Eleventh night bonfire. Come off it, no one's that gullible.
Now, tear yourself away from those tv images of festival and sunshine and all that cheerful looking orange and imagine a gathering of White Supremicists spending the night burning effigies of other racial groups, firing off illegal weaponry and fêting racist killers as local heroes.

Then imagine them a few hours later, dressed in their Sunday best suits and marching proudly through your city, town or village in the name of religion, civic pride and culture. Well, it's not what you would call a tourist attraction. Indeed, it's not very attractive at all.

Intimidation is a curious thing, because where it works well, there isn't any call for actual violence. The Orange Order has a long history in the use of anti-Catholic and anti-Irish intimidation.

As Brian Feeney pointed out in the Sunday Business Post, Orange marchers provoked Belfast's first sectarian riot on 12 July 1813, when they tried to force themselves down Hercules Lane, a narrow street of mainly Catholic-owned shops (the people of the Falls successfully defended the area).

Indeed, since the establishment of the Orange Order, it has been associated with sectarian anti-Catholic violence and to this very day the Orange marching season is accompanied by heightened sectarian tension and increased attacks on Catholics.

Any good Orangeman will tell of days gone by when Catholics watched the parades as well as Protestants, except very few Catholics remember things quite in this way. True, some were forced to witness anti-Catholic marches by Orangemen parading through their districts, being at the time too few and too afraid to object, but that's not the same as enjoying the view.

So, when the BBC commentator described this year's Twelfth as "passing off peacefully" or relatively peacefully, apart from Ardoyne, remember an Orange parade might pass off without incident but that's nothing to do with peaceful. Peace requires embracing difference, not securing segregation through sectarianism.

An Phoblacht



Photo: The PSNI escorted Orangemen and their hangers-on through nationalist Ardoyne

Some things never change.

The trouble that erupted in Ardoyne on Monday as Orange marchers were escorted through an area that is mainly nationalist was inevitable once it became clear that the PSNI had set aside the Parades Commission ruling barring Orange Order supporters, mainly loyalist paramilitaries and drunken louts, from going up the Crumlin Road past the Ardoyne shops.

By early Monday evening, as the 'security operation' swung into action, it was clear to Ardoyne residents that the PSNI had no intention whatsoever of preventing unionist paramilitaries and their supporters from walking past the Ardoyne shops on foot.

They were hemmed in by thousands of Crown Forces personnel at the Ardoyne shops, including British paratroops deployed on Ardoyne Road behind the nationalists.

The heavy-handed military tactics began as early as 5pm, when lines of PSNI Land Rovers and heavily outfitted officers arrived to seal Ardoyne residents off from the Crumlin Road.

Using their vehicles as additional barriers, the PSNI lined the front of the Ardoyne shops from Brompton Park to the Ardoyne Road, in full riot gear. They were accompanied by British soldiers, who took up positions on the ground and atop the roofs of the Ardoyne shops. Meanwhile, at the junction of Woodvale Avenue, two PSNI water cannon sat awaiting orders.

At 6pm, British troops began to erect a massive steel wall along the front of the shops, which also extended to the Ardoyne Road. The wall was approximately 20 feet high and mirrored the lines of British soldiers and PSNI officers who stood grimly facing nationalists.

In spite of the heavy security presence, no effort was made to place vehicles across the path of loyalist supporters on the unionist side. And while nationalist residents nervously faced steel walls and heavily armed troops, loyalists in Twadell Avenue leaned on short metal crash barriers and chatted happily as they waited for marchers to arrive.

Around 6:30pm, a senior unionist paramilitary proudly announced to the ever-present media that a deal had been reached with the PSNI, which would allow parade 'supporters' to march past Ardoyne along with the Orangemen.

Word of the alleged deal filtered back to nationalist residents. Their anger and sense of betrayal was palpable. The message was clear. Once again, nationalists were the problem. It was nationalists who needed policing, not the UDA and its supporters.

By 7pm, a crowd of approximately 800 loyalists had congregated at the corner of Hesketh Road. They began to force British soldiers slowly back towards Ardoyne. Catholic families living in Summerdale Park and Ingledale Park suddenly found themselves behind unionist lines, cut off from the rest of the nationalist community.

At 7:45pm, three buses of Orange bandsmen were hurriedly driven past the Ardoyne shops, their vehicles almost completely hidden by the steel wall which had been erected. All the same, nationalist residents knew the Parades Commission determination was now a moot point. The Orangemen and their UDA companions would be walking past Ardoyne, and they would be doing it with the assistance of the PSNI.

By 8pm, as the Orangemen arrived on the scene, rocks, bricks and bottles began to sail over the steel barricade from both sides. One cameraman was physically assaulted and threatened by a unionist steward.

Just minutes after the Orangemen had passed, angry nationalist residents were forced to stand and watch while up to 400 loyalists also walked up the Crumlin Road - led by well-known unionist paramilitaries such as North Belfast UDA Commander William Borland.

The loyalist crowd actually had time to sing sectarian songs, chant paramilitary slogans, wave UDA flags and taunt Ardoyne residents for several minutes before they were gently eased on by the PSNI.

By this time, Ardoyne nationalists were furious. Loyalists began to gather at the entrance to Glenbryn at the top of Alliance Avenue. They were spotted by residents, who began to rush towards them, believing an attack was imminent. When the PSNI and British paratroops tried to push the nationalist crowd back, they erupted and turned on them.

For nearly an hour, heavy rioting continued on the Ardoyne Road.

Senior republicans tried to place themselves between the crowd and both the PSNI and British soldiers, fearing the troops were about to open fire. The PSNI responded by attacking those same stewards and then added to the chaos by charging into part of the crowd provocatively. Half of the residents fearlessly surged to meet them, while the other half turned its attention to a line of British Army vehicles which had attempted to block the Ardoyne Road.

In the ensuing chaos, Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly was struck with a PSNI baton, breaking his wrist. A local priest from Holy Cross was violently pushed against a wall by the PSNI. Many Ardoyne residents, injured by PSNI batons, were rushed from the scene covered in blood. British Army vehicles were driven towards residents at speed in a frantic effort to escape the onslaught.

No sooner had nationalist stewards managed to calm the situation on one end of the road when trouble broke out on the other end - at Brompton Park. The PSNI moved the water cannon in and opened up. It was almost 20 minutes before an uneasy respite eased the violence.

A shaken Father Aiden Troy of Holy Cross told the assembled media that the trouble was the result of a "huge breakdown in trust" between nationalists, the Parades Commission and the PSNI.

"Nationalists feel betrayed and feel the Parades Commission has washed their hands of this parade," he said. "It was the wrong decision to allow the parade and the supporters up the road."

For the remainder of the night, Ardoyne residents waited to see if any further violence would break out. Republicans and local community stewards kept vigil at the shops.

By the next morning, the press had disappeared, and so had the PSNI and British Army. Ardoyne residents were left to clean up the mess and pick up the pieces while the UDA and Orangemen slept in late, having smugly gotten their way once again.

The morning news reported that 25 PSNI officers and 10 British soldiers were injured in the trouble, along with several civilians. During the violence one Ardoyne nationalist - Tommy Clarke - suffered a heart attack in the driveway of his home and died at the scene, while paramedics tried desperately to reach him. Their ambulance had been unable to get past PSNI vehicles blocking Brompton Park.

Meanwhile, the PSNI man in charge of policing the march, Duncan McCausland, claimed pathetically that he was in an "impossible situation" and that the trouble showed that there was "no policing solution" to such issues.

It was yet another not-so-subtle attempt to shift the blame for the violence away from the PSNI and their decision to accommodate unionist paramilitaries. An old trick. The PSNI were simply "innocent bystanders" caught between two warring tribes.

"There are lessons to be learned from yesterday's operation and we will learn those lessons," offered McCausland condescendingly. "Communities need to engage in dialogue to come up with acceptable solutions and prevent such scenes from occurring again.

"How could I have policed it any differently? Everyone there had their human rights. We did not betray anyone - we policed the law as the law was laid down."

McCausland went on to insist that he could not have stopped loyalists or bussed them through Ardoyne and that the PSNI had only taken the decision to allow Orange supporters up the road at the last minute.

However, that assertion rings hollow - as it was clear from the outset that the PSNI never had any intention of preventing UDA hangers-on from accompanying the Orangemen up the Crumlin Road.

Earlier that day, soldiers from the British Parachute Regiment had arrived from England. Only a few hours later, they were deployed in the middle of the Ardoyne Road, on the nationalist side.

Not only did this illustrate a serious lack of sensitivity towards nationalist and republican residents - who have no love for the hated Paras - it also placed both soldiers and residents at risk by putting British troops in the centre of what the NIO knew would be a volatile situation.

The presence of the Paras was proof of what Ardoyne residents suspected all along - they were there because the NIO knew there would be trouble. And the NIO knew there would be trouble because they had already done a deal with unionists to facilitate a triumphalist UDA march past the Ardoyne shops.

Whatever deal had been struck, it was in place long before the Orange Order ever arrived on the scene.

On the evening of Tuesday 13 July, as the dust began to settle, Ardoyne residents met with republican leaders for a frank and occasionally heated meeting. In attendance alongside other community leaders were Sinn Fein North Belfast MLA's Gerry Kelly and Kathy Stanton, and party president Gerry Adams.

"People will not accept this exhibition of triumphalism," Adams told the media before he entered the meeting. "The croppies will not be lying down. We want to extend the hand of friendship, but we won't have it bitten off.

"The refusal of the Orange Order to talk to their Catholic neighbours is reprehensible, and the fact that the senior unionist party in this constituency has exactly the same position sends entirely the wrong signal.

"Orange marches should not be permitted to go where they are not wanted."

Later that evening, the PSNI put the "lessons" they had learned in Ardoyne into practice.

When members of the Royal Black Perceptory returned to Lurgan from their annual march in Bangor, the PSNI allowed them to enter the William Street area of the town, in direct contradiction of the Parades Commission ruling.

A PSNI spokesperson cited a parked vehicle as reason for the deviation in route, in spite of the fact that the street where the vehicle was parked was also an area prohibited by the Parades Commission ruling.

And while Ardoyne residents wait for the next contentious march through their area in August, their deep sense of resentment, hurt and anger remains as close to the surface as an open wound.

An Phoblacht

British responsible for Ardoyne trouble


Responsibility for the trouble that erupted in Ardoyne on Monday lies with the British Secretary of State, Sinn Féin spokesperson on policing, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly, told a press conference on Wednesday.

The trouble flared after the PSNI, in defiance of a Parades Commission ruling, escorted Orange Order supporters, including unionist paramilitaries, along the nationalist Crumlin Road and past the Ardoyne shops and the nationalist Mountainview estates. Meanwhile, hemmed-in residents were confronted by up to 2,000 British soldiers and PSNI riot squads.

Kelly told the media that the British Paratroopers deployed on Monday night had only been drafted into the Six Counties that day and hadn't a clue where they were or why they were there.

He added that the PSNI moved the Paras right into the Ardoyne area and this was "a recipe for disaster" given the tension that existed in the area.

"The NIO created the situation in Ardoyne on Monday night," said Kelly. "It was clear from the way things had panned out during the day that loyalists were going to be allowed up the Crumlin Road. The PSNI made it clear that they were in charge, not the Parades Commission."

"They would not have made the decision to allow the marchers past without the political approval of the NIO. And because the NIO had been threatened by loyalist groups and unionist politicians, the decision was taken to force the parade through - the same way they did on Garvaghy Road in 1995.

"When I phoned NIO Minister Ian Pearson about the situation on Monday night, he actually told me to calm things down and ring him back.

"I think it is outrageous that a British minister expects myself and my colleagues to calm down an escalating and volatile situation which the NIO created in the first place."

Kelly added that when Sinn Féin attempted to contact Secretary of State Paul Murphy to discuss the PSNI's facilitation of Black Perceptory marchers in Lurgan on the evening of 13 July, he was instructed that Murphy was having dinner and was therefore unavailable.


Irish American Information Service

07/15/04 16:13 EST

The SDLP and Sinn Féin today clashed over the violence
during Monday's Oroange Order march through Ardoyne.

The SDLP is in "disarray" over policing policy, Sinn Féin MP
Ms Michelle Gildernew claimed saying that while the SDLP's
Mr Martin Morgan and Mr Danny O'Connor were urging a rethink
of the party's policy towards policing boards, party leader
Mr Mark Durkan still backs them.

"The party leader tells us that the Policing Board is the
vehicle for accountability while other senior members are
calling for the party to leave the current flawed policing
structures entirely," Ms Gildernew said.

Mr O'Connor, a Larne councillor, demanded more action from
the PSNI after saying his elderly mother was threatened by
UDA men erecting a loyalist flag outside her home in the town.

And Mr Morgan, the former Belfast Lord Mayor, insisted his
party should reconsider its position on the Board if Parades
Commission restrictions on marches were flouted.

"It is obvious from these actions that the Policing Board
cannot deliver accountability and the SDLP have now come to
that realisation," Ms Gildernew said.

But SDLP MLA Mr Alex Attwood hit back, accusing republicans
of being confused and playing into the DUP agenda.

"We now have the grotesque spectacle where the DUP want to
destroy the Parades Commission and Sinn Féin are helping
them do it. It is Sinn Féin who are in disarray, calling
the Parades Commission defunct and thereby feeding the
agenda of the DUP, elements in the NIO and people in the
Orange Order who want to tear it down."

The West Belfast Assemblyman said that while the Parades
Commission have made mistakes they have been "a force for good"

He went on to criticise the chairman of the Policing Board,
Prof Desmond Rea's claim today that the PSNI had no option
when it allowed loyalist supporters join the Orange march
through the Ballysillan / Ardoyne interface on Monday.

While only Orange Lodge members were supposed to take part
in that part of the march, loyalists joined in leading to
clashes between the nationalists and police who had formed a
human cordon around locals who had lined the route. Prof Rea
said the police were in a "no-win situation" when they
allowed the march proceed through the west Belfast flashpoint.

Mr Attwood said: "He needs to stand back and see the damage
that has been done by bad government and bad policing."

Not only had the police got it wrong in Ardoyne, but they
and the Northern Ireland Office had undermined the Parades
Commission, he added.


NIO did a ‘dirty deal’

Responsibility for the decision to force this week’s Orange marches through nationalist areas of North Belfast and Lurgan rests firmly with the British Secretary of State, a leading republican said yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said “a dirty deal” had been done and he laid the blame for this week’s unrest squarely with NIO ministers – led by Paul Murphy.

Mr Kelly also said that the conduct of the PSNI copperfastened Sinn Féin’s determination not to become involved in policing structures until proper accountability mechanisms are in place.
Chaos erupted on Monday evening after members of the Orange Order and hundreds of hangers-on were protected by the PSNI as they walked past nationalist homes at Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales – the latter group in defiance of a Parades Commission ruling.
Many of the loyalist hangers-on were drunk, hurling sectarian abuse and carrying flags – including UDA banners.

After the loyalists passed up the Crumlin Road, fierce fighting ensued between the British Army and PSNI patrols and nationalist residents who had been corralled into Ardoyne to allow the hangers-on to pass.

Only the calming influence of senior republicans and dozens of local activists managed to prevent the riots spiralling out of control.

The following day an identical decision by the PSNI to facilitate the breaching of a Parades Commission ruling in Lurgan caused further outrage across the nationalist community.
Slamming the actions of the PSNI and British government yesterday, Mr Kelly revealed that he had been in direct telephone contact with British minister Ian Pearson and the NIO’s Political Director from the centre of the trouble in Ardoyne on Monday evening. He stressed the political dimension behind the PSNI’s actions.

“The securocrat agenda is in the ascendancy,” he said. “There was a deal done.

“I know that earlier on Monday some of the PSNI people on the ground were saying – not to me – that there was a deal done.

“But let me be clear about this: the buck stops with Paul Murphy. This decision was made at a higher level than the PSNI.

“The PSNI became the element or the mechanism for pushing this (decision) through.”
Reacting to the fall-out from this week’s PSNI actions, Mr Kelly alluded to recent comments by former Belfast Mayor, Martin Morgan, and Larne DPP member Danny O’Connor, that the SDLP should reconsider their involvement in policing.

“We have a position, which we think is right, on the PSNI and the Policing Board. The SDLP, in my opinion, and I would argue in the opinion of the electorate, made the wrong decision.

“Some of their own people are saying they should rethink their position and obviously we would agree with that.”

The leading republican also rejected any suggestion that meaningful dialogue happened in the run-up to the Ardoyne march.

And he hit out at what he described as “double standards” on the part of unionist politicians who are sitting on a community parades forum alongside loyalist paramilitaries.
“I will talk to anyone – which includes the three paramilitary organisations in this forum – if I thought that it would help the situation.

“But what about the DUP riding two horses here? There is a contradiction in the DUP’s position where they are sitting down and talking to paramilitary organisations and still not showing enough leadership to talk about these situations with Sinn Féin.

“We’re ready to talk to anyone, but if you’re asking has dialogue taken place on this issue, then the answer is no,” he said.

Journalist:: Jarlath Kearney



Monday evening’s events at the Ardoyne shops will have come as little surprise to anyone who has followed what is termed ‘the marching season’ over the years. After all, it was a loyalist march in Derry in August 1969, following the murders and bomb attacks of previous years, that lit the fuse that was to explode the conflict that we are still trying to pull ourselves out of 35 years later.

Back then the RUC/B-Specials and the loyal orders raised two fingers to the people of Derry. On Monday evening the PSNI, the Orange Order, the bandsmen and loyalists hangers-on did exactly the same. It was as if nothing had changed.

Crowds of drunken loyalists, many carrying UDA banners, were forced past the Ardoyne shops by the PSNI who took a decision not to police the Parades Commission’s determination to ban the loyalist hangers-on from returning home on foot via the nationalist area.

Nationalists were outraged by the PSNI actions – but not in the least bit surprised. Once more the threat of loyalist violence during the marching season determined the actions of the PSNI – just like their RUC forerunners.

Last month the same thing happened on the Springfield Road after the Whiterock parade was banned by the Parades Commission from walking past Workman Avenue. Predictably, Unionists hinted at a threat of violence – not by them, of course, but by loyalist elements; unionist politicians joined forces with loyalist paramilitaries and the Orange Order in a parades forum. The Orange Order refused to speak to Springfield residents. And what happened?
The decision was overturned by the Parades Commission and the march went ahead.

This newspaper has been to the fore over the past month reporting how the Orange Order, bandsmen and their hangers-on consistently break Parades Commission determinations by carrying paramilitary flags and banners – and yet decisions constantly go their way.
And as happened on Monday evening – and again on Tuesday night in Lurgan – even when the Parades Commission comes down on the side of nationalist residents who have to put up with this disruption of their communities – the PSNI move in to facilitate the loyal orders.

Is it any wonder that over the past couple of days some members of the SDLP – who many would say signed up to the Policing Boards far too hastily – are intimating that the PSNI can not take their continued support for granted.

Monday’s action at Ardoyne is proof positive that there is very little difference between the PSNI and the RUC – other than a change of name, badge and uniform. The decision to force loyalists through a nationalist area came as second nature – it’s been happening long before the current state was founded through the threat of unionist violence. When weighing up the situation, who would they rather beat off the streets: nationalist residents who live in the area or drunken loyalists?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work that one out.

So where does this leave us?

Obviously, recent decisions have been taken with one eye on the resumption of talks in September – keeping the DUP sweet, as it were.

However, pursuing such a policy is to take nationalism for granted. Just as in the Springfield decision, nationalist residents are expected to take the moral high ground and hold a peaceful protest.

As a consequence, it’s understandable that many Ardoyne residents on Monday evening vented their fury at being walked over again by the bigots and by the state.

The lesson of this summer won’t be lost when negotiations resume in two months’ time.
However, one thing’s for sure: we have come a long way since August 1969 and don’t intend to walk back in time with the Orange Order and their ilk.



The PSNI are to hold a ‘birthday celebration’ at Grosvenor Road PSNI station in the coming week to mark two years since the setting up of the high-profile Auto Crime Team (ACT).
And after admitting that ACT only work alternate weekends, the PSNI squad have now been dubbed ‘part-time peelers’ by the residents of West Belfast.

A member of one of the bereaved families which helped campaign for changes in the law says the PSNI still have a long way to go before there is cause for celebration.
Kieran Conlon’s 21-year-old son, Kieran, was killed by notorious car criminal Stephen Campbell in May 2002.

Although the group Families Bereaved Through Car Crime welcomed the setting up of ACT – it promised to crack down on car crime in the Belfast area – Kieran says there are still massive strides to make in the fight against car criminals.

Yesterday, West Belfast’s top cop Peter Farrar admitted that the team do not work every weekend saying it would be, “physically impossible” for them to do so. However, he maintains that the team have made an impact.

“To date the ACT have made 498 arrests, and with new powers of arrest that come into effect today (Wednesday) we hope to be able to build on that,” he said. “The amount of cars stolen in the Greater Belfast area has been halved.

“It is physically impossible to have the Auto Crime Team working every night and every weekend. What we can promise is that the PSNI do have a presence in West Belfast 24-hours-a-day seven-days-a-week.”

But the part-time nature of the unit means that the effectiveness of ACT is still being questioned.

Kieran Conlon Senior said: “FBTCC were promised by the Chief Constable Hugh Orde when we met over a year ago that every resource available would be made available to ACT.
“At the time we welcomed this move.

“However, two years on I feel there is little cause for celebration. To be taken seriously the team need to have a full-time presence.

“Car criminals do not work part-time hours or take alternate weekends off. As far as I can see Hugh Orde has failed to live up to this promise.”

And Kieran added that the figures showing a drop in car crime were not the whole story. Families Bereaved Through Car Crime have maintained for a long time that runarounds, not stolen cars, are the new danger on our roads.

“The large number of runarounds on the streets are not covered in these PSNI figures.

“Car criminals stopped by the PSNI in a runaround are given a producer to appear at the nearest police station with their documents and allowed to go on their way. They simply give a false name and address and are never seen again. Despite recent changes, which again we welcome, the laws to deal with this type of car crime are ineffective.

“Until this is dealt with there will continue to be car criminals on the road and innocent people will continue to die.”

Journalist:: Allison Morris



The Andersonstown News can reveal that a member of the Royal Air Force has been invited into several West Belfast schools over the past year in his role as a Careers Officer – and also sits on a local school’s Board of Governors.

The news – which will shock parents of schoolchildren – comes after the RAF’s Northern Ireland Schools Liaison Officer, Pat Jamison, left his business card – containing the RAF logo and crest, as well as his mobile and work phone numbers – at a local school. Mr Jamison – who works out of Palace Barracks – says he’s a former Lenadoon resident and cites St Finian’s and Christian Brothers Secondary (CBS) on the Glen Road as his former schools. We can also reveal that it is CBS where Mr Jamison sits on the Board of Governors.

Despite repeated attempts by the Andersonstown News to contact CBS, no-one from the school was available for comment. But the Andersonstown News can reveal that Mr Jamison – who is also the holder of an MBE (Member of the British Empire) – has been on the school’s Board of Governors for several years.

When contacted by the Andersonstown News Mr Jamison refused to answer any questions relating to his associations with CBS, but he did admit that he has sent letters to schools in West Belfast on RAF headed notepaper asking to meet careers teachers and principals in his capacity as the RAF’s School Liaison Officer for Northern Ireland. He admitted that as a result he has been invited into several schools in West Belfast over the past 12 months but says that at no time has he spoken about a career in the RAF to local schoolchildren. Instead, he says, he offers a service “free of charge” which involves him talking to students about interview skills, job application forms, presentation skills, building self-confidence as well as team building exercises.

“I like to go in without the RAF badge on and help in any way,” said Mr Jamison. “But I have never done an RAF presentation in West Belfast. I know it is sensitive because I have lived there.”

However, one CBS parent – who didn’t wish to be named – said he was “astonished” that someone with an RAF background was on the school’s Board of Governors.

“Considering West Belfast’s history with British state forces – particularly over the past 35 years – you have to wonder what on earth is this man doing sitting on the school’s Board of Governors,” he said. “I also want to know how he ended up there. Did he approach the school or did the school approach him?

“I’d also like to know what is discussed at these meetings considering that he is sitting there. I also wonder whether other members of the CBS Board of Governors know about his background.”

Last night West Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Paul Maskey – who has been working closely with local schools through the Safer Streets initiative – said he was angered by the RAF being allowed access to local schools under the auspices of giving careers advice.

“It’s a bit rich for somebody from the RAF to come into schools in West Belfast. Parents need to know that this is happening,” said Cllr Maskey.

“Principals of schools also need to take into consideration the feelings of people living in West Belfast who are not ready for the British army or the RAF to come into their schools and probably never will be,”added.

Journalist:: Anthony Neeson

**This is an excellent article because it explains the provocation that nationalists are subjected to by these Orange bastards. How would YOU like this up in your face at your doorstep in your neighbourhood?

Irish Echo Online

Watching a riot unfold
By Anne Cadwallader

The Woodvale Road began thumping to the sound of Orange drums. Loyalist politicians with dubious pasts like Billy Hutchinson, a former double-life sentence UVF man and Frank McCoubrey, with links to the UDA, strutted about importantly.

In the bright sunshine, Nigel Dodds of the DUP, the MP for North Belfast, wore his Orange sash proudly and smiled broadly. The atmosphere was relaxed. The police were dusting off the remaining few specks from the black helmets that complete their "Robo-Cop" riot attire.

We knew the Orangemen would be allowed to march past the Ardoyne shops flashpoint. But what of the loyalist bandsmen of the Ballysillan True Blues and the Pride of Ardoyne marching bands? And, more importantly, what of the group of about 500 drunken loyalist hangers-on, sporting heavy gold necklaces, large tattoos and union-jack bandanas?

What of the elderly loyalist lady clad in a mock nun's outfit? A bright orange nun's outfit?

The bandsmen climbed on board buses. The Orangemen lined up. So far so good. They made their way up towards Ardoyne where dozens of British army vehicles, equipped with 12-foot-high metal screens had penned its 7,000 inhabitants out of sight.

A few bottles sailed over each way. The Orangemen were up the road. What of the followers-on whom the Parades Commission had barred from the march. Would they stage a Drumcree-style stand-off? Would we see a tented village mushroom on the Woodvale Road?

Within seconds, we had our answer. Against all expectations - except those cynics who believed the Orange Order downgraded its threats on the back of a secret deal with the police - the loyalist crowd began moving through police lines, towards Ardoyne.

The hordes of waiting loyalists at the roundabout opposite the shops gave whoops of joy. Ardoyne's nationalists, caged like animals the other side of the impermeable screens, understood the message loud and clear. The loyalists were being forced past their doorsteps.

A hail of missiles flew either way. Loyalists joyfully waved UDA flags, sang "The Sash" as loud as they could, taunted Catholics in their gardens and on front doorsteps, inviting them to come out and fight. Two-fingered salutes and clenched fists were waved liberally in the air.

The raucous red-white-and-blue crowd made its way to where thousands of other loyalists were waiting in triumph. Ardoyne, realizing what had taken place, went berserk.

Leading republicans like Gerry Kelly and Bobby Storey, who have spent decades in jail for attacking the British state, found themselves desperately preventing furious youths assaulting soldiers and police.

Not for love of authority, but fearing that, given half an excuse, the police would love nothing more than a good, old-fashioned, unfair fight between bare fists and bottles - revolvers and plastic bullet guns.

One group of British soldiers, cut off from their fellows, were saved almost single-handedly by Storey, using his not inconsiderable bulk and political credibility to preserve them from a lynching. The water cannon came out, the riot lasted about 40 minutes.

At the end of it all, Gerry Kelly had a broken wrist, hit with a baton as he remonstrated with youths. Martin Morgan, the SDLP former Lord Mayor, was nearly in tears demanding a Police Ombudsman's inquiry. The streets were littered with glass, trees and flowers dragged from gardens.

The police withdrew, with Supt. David Boultwood explained to incredulous reporters that they had "policed the Parades Commission's determination" and enforced "human rights law".

The SDLP has a lot of explaining to do on how they can hold the police "accountable" for their actions. Sinn Fein is facing serious difficulties also, explaining how this could happen, 10 years into a peace process that was supposed to mean a new beginning.

The Orangemen, loyalists and their supporters had their victory, yet again. But at what cost to community relations?

This story appeared in the issue of July 14-20, 2004



Press Release

Republican Sinn Féin, Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street,
Dublin 1, Ireland

US State Department McCarthyism

Statement by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, President, Republican Sinn Féin

Republican Sinn Féin is a separate and distinct political
organisation dedicated to the national liberation of Ireland. It has
no military wing nor is it the political wing of any other

The US State Department, which has been notoriously pro-British over
the decades, in its current report says that Republican Sinn Féin is
an alias for the Continuity IRA. This is a blatant misrepresentation
and an attempt to brand a long-standing Irish Republican organisation
as a candidate for the latest bout of McCarthyism under the cover of
the recent Patriot Act enacted since September 2001.

It also seeks to repress legitimate opposition to the Stormont
Agreement and the promotion of the ÉIRE NUA alternative to it. The
President of Republican Sinn Féin has been banned from the USA for
over 30 years and other leading members have been likewise excluded
in recent years.

This repression and misrepresentation will not deter our members from
their political activities at this time or in time to come.



The National Irish Freedom Committee

Press Release

The National Irish Freedom Committee (NIFC) is an U.S. based
organization with no foreign principle. It's primary objective is to
promote the Eire Nua (New Ireland) program here in the U.S. Another
of its objectives is to lend financial support through Cabhair in
Ireland to the dependants of Eire Nua activists who are being
harassed and marginalized by the authorities in both parts of Ireland
for promoting Eire Nua. A third objective of the NIFC, is to promote
our Irish-American cultural heritage here in the U.S.

The authors of Eire Nua, who happen to be members of Republican Sinn
Fein have been denied entry visas by the U.S. government since 1976.
This policy has severely hampered the promotion of Eire Nua in here
in the U.S. It has left the American public with the impression that
their is no alternative to the British authored Good Friday Agreement
(GFA) Despite this arbitrary visa policy, the NIFC will continue to
promote Eire Nua as a viable alternative to the GFA.

It regrettable that Republican Sinn Fein (RSF), the oldest political
party in Ireland's, whose members were the authors of Eire Nua, are
now deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. It has a
chilling effect on the exercise of the freedoms that we hold
sacrosanct and casts a cloud on the sacrifice of those who died to
preserve those same freedoms.

Sunday Life

Border Body: Victim was ex-IRA man

By Stephen Breen
14 July 2004

A MAN, whose body was found on an isolated border lane yesterday, was a senior Belfast republican in the 1970s, it emerged last night.

Sean Haughey, from Oldpark Road, was discovered at the side of the Ferryhill Road, outside Newry, by an off-duty Garda officer.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on the 44-year-old's body last night to establish the cause of death.

A close relative of Haughey told Sunday Life that he had been socialising with pals in Dundalk on Friday evening, before his body was discovered.

The ex-Provo - nicknamed 'Oddjob' - walked into an RUC station in 1982 and confessed to his part in a murder-bid on two policemen, in July 1978.

Haughey gave himself up, believing police were hunting him for taking part in an illegal parade.

During his trial, the court was told that Haughey - who was also charged with possession of guns and ammunition - had acted as a scout for an IRA hit-team who fired at the RUC patrol, off Belfast's Crumlin Road.

A Crown lawyer told the trial: "Haughey was living in Dublin with his wife, but he went to Oldpark RUC station and surrendered himself, believing police were looking for him, for taking part in an illegal parade."

Haughey's lawyer also told how he had made a "conscious decision" to return to Northern Ireland, and plead guilty to the charges.

Leading republican, Martin Meehan, said last night that Haughey's family had been left "devastated" by his death.

Said Mr Meehan: "Sean had a connection with the republican movement in the 1970s, but has not been involved since then.

"I am a close friend of his parents, Jackie and Betty, and they are absolutely devastated by the death of their son.

"His parents are well-respected people in this district, and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.

"Nobody seems to know what the cause of Sean's death was, but the whole district will do all they can to support his family."

A police spokesman was unable to confirm the cause of death.

He said: "A post-mortem is being carried out on the body, but police are unable to say at this stage what caused the man's death."

Derry Journal

** Another PISS-NI story

Police 'Used Spade' To Remove Tricolour

Tuesday 13th July 2004

PSNI officers have been accused of using a spade to "batter down" a Tricolour from a lamppost in Castlederg.

A PSNI spokesman confirmed that officers removed the Irish flag yesterday morning in advance of a Twelfth of July parade being held in the town. "A flag was removed at about 7.30 a.m. as police believed its presence could antagonise marchers and bandsmen," the spokesman said.

However, the PSNI's decision to remove the Tricolour from a lamppost in the the Ferguson Crescent area has incensed local nationalists.

Sinn Fein Councillor Charlie McHugh claimed the incident had "reinforced the view among local nationalists that this force is no different from the RUC."

He said: "Local nationalists were angered to witness PSNI members on top of a jeep armed with a spade and battering down this Tricolour at 7.30 this morning.

"Castlederg is festooned with Union Jacks, Ulster Flags and the spectre of the PSNI taking unilateral action against a singular Tricolour in the predominantly nationalist end of the town has reinforced the view among local nationalists that this force is no different from the RUC."

Colr. McHugh publicly appealed to young nationalists in the area "not to be provoked by the PSNI's actions."

He added: "It is highly likely that this is their motivation in removing the Tricolour."

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