Quoted by Anthony McIntyre in The Blanket

**Silence then and now

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photo of Auschwitz-Birkenau from here

Silence is necessary to tyrants and occupiers, who take pains to have their actions accompanied by quiet … How many victims of silence there are, and at what cost! Silence has its laws and its demands. Silence demands that concentration camps be built in uninhabited areas. Silence demands an enormous police apparatus with an army of informers. Silence demands that its enemies disappear suddenly and without a trace. Silence prefers that no voice -- of complaint or protest or indignation -- disturb its calm. And where such a voice is heard, silence strikes with all its might to restore the status quo ante - the state of silence ... Today one hears about noise pollution, but silence pollution is worse. Noise pollution affects the nerves; silence pollution is a matter of human lives. No one defends the maker of a loud noise, whereas those who establish silence in their own states are protected by an apparatus of repression. That is why the battle against silence is so difficult.

--Ryszard Kapuscinski


**When the americans say 'stabilising' the country before elections, they mean killing anyone and everyone who would not vote for the puppet government.

Aid enters embattled Iraqi city

Red Crescent lorries are taking supplies from Baghdad to Falluja

A convoy of emergency supplies has entered the war-torn city of Falluja, amid fears of a humanitarian crisis.

The Iraqi Red Crescent lorries are carrying the first humanitarian goods to reach the city since a US-led assault began five days ago.

US and Iraqi government forces are battling insurgents in Falluja, where civilians are reported to be trapped without drinking water or electricity.

More than 1,000 rebels have been killed in the assault, an Iraqi official said.

Hundreds more have been captured, according to National Security Adviser Kasim Daoud.

"The city smells of explosives and decaying flesh.
Fadhil Badrani
Iraqi journalist in Falluja

Click here to read his eyewitness account

He said the Falluja operation was "accomplished".

"What is left is evil pockets which we are dealing with now," Mr Daoud said.

He added that militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whose group has claimed attacks across Iraq and a series of hostage beheadings, had escaped from the city - which he was said to be using as an operating base.

The BBC's Paul Wood, with US marines in the centre of the city, says the US-led forces have cornered most of the rebels in a narrow strip just south of the main road.

'Medical crisis'

The five trucks carrying relief supplies left the capital Baghdad for Falluja, 50km (32 miles) to the west, with no guarantee that they could enter the city.

The US military and the Iraqi interim government had earlier refused permission for the convoy to enter Falluja. But permission was granted on Saturday afternoon, Red Crescent spokeswoman Fardous al-Ubaidi said.

"The people inside Falluja are dying and starving, they need us," she said.

"It is our duty as a humanitarian agency to do our job for these people in these circumstances."

Latest reports speak of a typhoid outbreak.

The main hospital is cut off from the rest of the city and doctors are said to be treating the injured with nothing but bandages, if they can reach them at all.

In other developments:

* The Iraqi government sends extra troops to the northern city of Mosul to quell violence that has flared in recent days

* An influential group of Sunni clerics, the Association of Muslim Scholars, says three of its leading members have been arrested by Iraqi security forces in raids in the Baghdad area

* Iraqi authorities extend a ban on civilian air traffic over the capital

* In Ramadi, near Falluja, clashes continue between US troops and insurgents

* A number of heavy explosions rock central Baghdad


Our correspondent says the unit he is with has seen few civilians, presumably because they are hiding in terror.

The Red Crescent convoy entered Falluja, reportedly carrying food, blankets, first-aid kits, medicine and a water purification unit.

"I was in the middle of death in April, with bullets whizzing past me and I survived," said Mohamad Farihan, one of the volunteer truck drivers.

He was referring to a major three-week battle between US forces and militants in Falluja.

The US-led assault on Falluja is aimed at taking back control from insurgents and stabilising the country before planned elections in January.

US forces say 22 Americans and five Iraqis have been killed, and almost 180 US soldiers wounded, since the assault began on Monday.

Marines say they have detained 150 insurgents, including more than 50 from Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Tens of thousands of civilians fled Falluja before the US-led assault, but up to 50,000 people are thought to have stayed.

The Red Crescent is also concerned about the thousands of people living in camps and villages outside the city.


DUP to blame for stalled peace, says SF

13/11/2004 - 14:08:37

The peace process has stalled due the Democratic Unionists undermining the principles of the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Féin claimed today.

Sinn Féin’s Mitchel McLaughlin said that as the first anniversary of the Assembly election approached both the Irish and British governments must act to ensure the peace process evolves by demonstrating power sharing in practice.

“They must ensure that the approach adopted by the DUP is not allowed to stall the process of change any longer,” Mr McLaughlin said at a meeting of the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle on the progress of the peace process.

“The process has stalled at the present time because the DUP are in a crisis of confidence in their own ability to lead unionism.”

As the Ulster Unionists held their annual conference in Co Down, Mr McLaughlin said that Sinn Féin was prepared to be patient as long as both Governments made an assertive defence of the principles of the Good Friday Agreement.

He said: “Unionists have showed that they are incapable at this point in time to step forward and make an executive.”

At the Ulster Unionists conference, leader David Trimble said the British Prime Minister Tony Blair had missed the opportunity at the Leeds Castle talks to find out exactly what the Provisionals were prepared to do to revive power sharing at Stormont.

He also accused the DUP of conceding to Sinn Féin in the transfer of policing and justice powers to a Stormont Executive.

Mr McLaughlin retorted: “Leeds Castle was in many ways a rerun of the negotiations we had with David Trimble himself in April of last year and then in October, he walked away from that deal and I think was punished accordingly in the subsequent assembly elections.

“If this is David Trimble working out a recovery strategy for his party then I have to say that I am not particularly impressed.

“They way forward for us all is for those people who say they are pro-agreement to demonstrate that in their approach to these negotiations.”

Mr McLaughlin said that the DUP’s deputy leader Peter Robinson’s comments on ensuring the IRA’s decommissioning was “visual” could be addressed under the appropriate sections of the Agreement.

“Sinn Fein won’t shift the goalposts, we say use the section of the Good Friday Agreement, use your influence as we have used and we will continue to use our influence,” Mr McLaughlin said.


Trimble: Blair must nail down IRA on disarmament

13/11/2004 - 11:36:24

Tony Blair must nail down the IRA on a commitment to fully disarm and end paramilitarism if Northern Ireland’s Assembly is to return, it was urged today.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble told his party’s annual conference in Newcastle, Co Down, the British Prime Minister had missed an opportunity at talks in September to find out exactly what the Provisionals were prepared to do to revive power sharing at Stormont.

With the governments preparing to put proposals to revive devolution to Northern Ireland’s parties within the next week, he also accused the rival Democratic Unionist Party of letting republicans off the hook at the Leeds Castle talks in Kent.

“When Sinn Féin arrived at Leeds Castle, the cry was ringing in their ears that they were the government’s Stormont Fusiliers,” Mr Trimble said.

“I suspect that they had been unable to persuade their grassroots to make what they would regard as big sacrifices.

“Like other parties, we do not know what republicans supposedly offered to Blair. I suspect the offer was more a bluff than anything else.

“Blair should have nailed it down, but with characteristic optimism he rushed at it. The DUP could have covered themselves by confronting republicans and insisting they give clear details. But rather than engage in serious negotiations, they hid behind other issues.

“I did warn the DUP that they were letting republicans away in the smoke. Unfortunately, they did not listen. But that should not obscure the fact that the main responsibility lies with the government and republicans.

“The post-Leeds talks have run out of steam. It is said that the government is preparing a paper to put before the parties. We have advised government that they first nail down republicans.

“There must be genuine acts of completion that satisfactorily resolve decommissioning and paramilitary issues. Without that prospect, there will be no progress. With it, there is something to do and we will be ready.”

A deal on devolution and decommissioning has been frustrated by the failure of the Democratic Unionists and nationalists to agree a future model for power sharing.

Mr Trimble said today the DUP had put forward no new deal in the negotiations and had in fact signed up to the Good Friday Agreement after six years of opposing it.

He accused the DUP of flip-flopping on engaging with Sinn Féin in television studios and in talks.

Ian Paisley’s meeting with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin was the most dramatic reversal of all, the UUP leader claimed.

The Upper Bann MP also attacked the party for seeking separate elections in the Assembly for the Stormont First and Deputy First Ministers if devolution returned.

“What is the gain if the DUP is not required to vote for a Sinn Féin DFM but it is prepared to accept a Sinn Féin DFM voted in by other means?” he asked.

“This is merely stripping out one of the few cross-community provisions of the Agreement to spare the blushes of a sectarian party.”


A Politician to Watch

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a President who was voted into office by inbred, hillbilly, Bible-thumping, ignoramous hicks. We just happen to live in a country with 58 million of them. That’s why the rest of the world is so confused by us…”

So wrote a despairing North American on a bulletin board during the week. But, amid the depression, the dark, the gloom, the probability of ‘Four More Wars’ resulting from the victory of George Bush, there was some measure of relief in the election of another politician, Barack Obama.

Forty-three-year-old Obama made history as only the third African-American to be elected to the US Senate in the past 125 years. He will be the only African-American in the 100-member Senate and although the Republican majority there and in the House of Representatives will be able to effectively block progressive legislation they won’t be able to silence Obama’s remarkable oratory. He is a mesmerising speaker, confident, radical (relative to US politics, of course) and as a potential Presidential candidate many years from now he is streets ahead of Hilary Clinton.

Obama’s father, who herded goats, came from Nyangoma-Kogelo, a Kenyan village of several hundred. Obama’s grandfather was a cook, a domestic servant to the British, whose own father had become a Muslim convert. Barack Obama himself is a Christian. In the 1950s Obama’s father won a scholarship to a US university, left Kenya, qualified as an economist and married a woman from Kansas. They gave their son an African name, Barack, which means ‘blessed’.

After young Barack graduated (around the time we here in Ireland were going through the period of the hunger strikes) he worked as a community organiser in the toughest and most deprived parts of Chicago. He returned to university to study law and afterwards worked as a civil rights lawyer fighting employment discrimination cases in federal and state courts. He then successfully stood for the Illinois Senate and shone as a defender of the poor on issues such as education, day-care facilities, health coverage (including increased funding for AIDS prevention), investment in depressed areas and reform of the death penalty system.

It was his powerful address to the Democratic National Convention in July that brought him national and international attention as he wooed the audience with the story of his own life and his belief in equality and civil liberty.

“If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription drugs, and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

“It is that fundamental belief – I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper – that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.”

He attacked the divisive use of faith “as a wedge to divide us”. He said that “in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes, but should never be the first option.”

Last week, when news of his election to the Senate reached the village of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Obama’s 82-year-old grandmother, a devout Muslim, declared, “Praise be to Allah!” President Kibaki of Kenya sent him a message of congratulation which said, “You have proved to be a role model not only for the American youth, but the many young people in Kenya and indeed in Africa.”

In Illinois 70% of whites and more than 90% of African-Americans voted for him. In his victory speech he reminded supporters of what the sceptics had said, that “there was no possibility that someone who looked like me could ever aspire to the United States Senate… someone named Barack Obama could never hope to win an election – and yet here we stand!”

Obama has that common touch that many politicians lack. But his real gift is to explain an idea or a passion or a conviction not through ideology or theory but by making it flesh and blood. He has an ability to tell interesting stories such as the one about the woman he met while canvassing who promised him her vote.

Her name is Margaret Lewis and she will be 105 next week. He said that for days afterwards he couldn’t get this African American woman out of his mind, “born in 1899, born in the shadow of slavery. Born in the midst of Jim Crow. Born before there were automobiles… [or] airplanes in the sky… before televisions and cameras… cell phones and the Internet. Imagining her life spanning three centuries, she lived to see World War I; she lived to see the Great Depression; she lived to see World War II; and she lived to see her brothers and uncles and nephews and cousins coming home and still sitting in the back of a bus…

“Finally, she saw hope breaking through the horizon and the Civil Rights Movement. And women who were willing to walk instead of riding the bus after a long day’s work doing somebody else’s laundry and looking after somebody else’s children. And she saw young people of every race and every creed take a bus down to Mississippi and Alabama to register voters and some of them never coming back. And she saw four little girls die in a Sunday school and catalyze a nation…

“She saw people lining up to vote for the first time and she was among those voters and she never forgot it. And she kept on voting each and every election… thinking that there was a better future ahead despite her trials, despite her tribulations, continually believing in this nation and its possibilities. Margaret Lewis believed. And she still believes at the age of 104 that her voice matters, that her life counts, that her story is sacred…”

Yes, Barak Obama, a name, a politician, to watch.

“In the ultimate equation we will not be measured by the margin of our victory, but we will be measured by whether we are able to deliver concrete improvements to the lives of so many people… We are going to be measured by the degree to which we can craft a foreign policy in which we are not simply feared in the world but we are also respected…

“We don’t just inherit the world from our parents, but we also borrow it from our children.”


BBC coverage of the burial of Yasser Arafat



Arafat buried at his Ram Allah compound

Saturday 13 November 2004, 2:02 Makka Time, 23:02 GMT

Veteran Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat has been laid to rest at his battered Muqataa compound in the West Bank town of Ram Allah.

Shortly after Arafat's coffin was lowered on Friday into a marble-and-stone grave, the crowd began a prayer joined by Palestinian leaders including newly appointed Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) chairman Mahmud Abbas and prime minister Ahmad Quraya.

Arafat had been due to lie in state ahead of burial, but the programme was disrupted by the chaos at the compound, where thousands of mourners surged past security forces.

"He was buried ahead of time because of the emotion of the crowd. We had no choice," one official said.

Wounded by gunfire

Thousands of mourners rushed to touch the coffin of Arafat

Ahead of the burial, thousands of mourners rushed to the coffin and police fired wildly into the air to disperse the crowd that held up the removal of his body from the aircraft that flew in from Egypt.

Medics said four people were wounded by gunfire in the crowd.

Arafat, who became a Third World liberation icon and won a Nobel Peace Prize, died at the age 75 in a French hospital on Thursday from an undetermined cause.

The chaotic scenes in Ram Allah were in sharp contrast to a funeral service earlier at a Cairo air base, where the public was kept away and even some world leaders were shut out by mistake by overzealous Egyptian guards.

A few kilometres from the burial site, an explosion in a car killed two people in a reminder of the continuing violence in the region.


Sinn Féin

Intimidation of Sinn Fein Representative - PSNI putting life at risk

Published: 12 November, 2004

Sinn Féin policing spokesperson, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly has launched a blistering attack on the PSNI after the dawn raid on the home of Ballymena Sinn Féin representative Michael Agnew this morning.

Mr Kelly said:

"Michael Agnew has been the target of a sustained Loyalist murder campaign. The actions of the PSNI this morning are part of a deliberate attempt to justify these attacks. The actions of the PSNI are further endangering the life of Michael Agnew. It is in stark contrast to the lack of action against the unionist murder gangs that are operating with impunity throughout the North Antrim and East Antrim areas.

"This raid is a clear example of political policing. It is an extension of the loyalist murder campaign. It is evidence of the ongoing existence of collusion between loyalists and the PSNI and will only offer further encouragement to those who have targeted Michael Agnew because he is a Sinn Fein representative.

"I again challenge all political parties to come out and condemn the actions of Loyalist paramilitaries in this area and indeed throughout the six counties. The actions of the PSNI today are also a stark and direct challenge to the SDLP and I want to reiterate my challenge to the SDLP policing spokesperson Alex Attwood to come out into the open and have a public debate on policing."

Gerry Kelly will be available to speak to the media today at 12 noon at the opening of a new job assist centre at the Upper Springfield Trust at the top of the Whiterock Road along with Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP.


An Phoblacht

Remembering the Past - IRA executed Butchers' leader

11 November 2004

Lenny Murphy

On 16 November 1982, 22 years ago, the IRA executed the psychopathic leader of the Shankill Butchers, Lenny Murphy.

The Shankill Butchers were a group of Belfast loyalists who abducted nationalists — their victims were usually walking home from a night out — tortured, beat them, and killed them, usually by cutting the throat.

The leader of the Shankill Butchers was one Lenny Murphy. He possessed seething anti-Catholicism/nationalism, and was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He soon gathered together a gang, the core being Murphy himself, Robert 'Basher' Bates, and 'Big' Sam McAllister, who used his huge frame to intimidate the Butchers' victims. Typical of this gang's ritualistic killings was the case of Francis Arthurs, who was abducted, beaten and stabbed for over an hour before being killed.

The murder of Tom Madden is seen as one of the most gruesome examples of the Butchers' brutality. Madden was abducted and then stripped naked. He was hung upside down from the beam of a lock-up garage and slowly skinned alive. He eventually died of slow strangulation.

Francis Crossan, aged 34 and a father of two, was walking home from a night out when he was spotted by one of the gang. He was hit from behind with a wheel brace and dragged into a black taxi, which drove into the Shankill area. Francis was then tortured and badly beaten. He was repeatedly hit by Murphy, both with fists and with the wheel brace. Murphy repeatedly said things like, "I'm going to kill you, you bastard!" Francis Crossan was then dragged into an alley, and his throat was cut almost through the spine by Murphy. Pieces of glass found in Francis Crossan's head showed that a beer glass had been shoved into his head, either in the black taxi or in the alley.

More killings followed, until 1979. One of the Butcher's victims was found barely alive. He identified the Butchers, and they were all convicted of murder, except Murphy, who escaped on firearms charges. By 1982, he was out of prison, and he set about re-assembling his gang.

Murphy's gang re-grouped around the time a UDR man was kidnapped. The IRA had kidnapped him and was demanding a ransom. Murphy decided to kidnap a nationalist and demand the release of Cochrane in exchange. Murphy hijacked a black taxi and headed to the Falls Road, where 48-year-old father-of-two Joseph Donegan waved them down. He was taken to Murphy's house, where he was tortured. He had his teeth pulled out with pliers by Murphy until only three were left. He was finally killed by Murphy. Donegan's body was found in the back of Murphy's house. Murphy was arrested but the RUC said there was no evidence to suggest that he had committed the crime. The IRA, meanwhile, had set in train an operation to execute Murphy.

On 16 November 1982, Volunteers of the IRA's Belfast Brigade drove a blue Marina van to Murphy's girlfriend's house at Forthriver Park in the Upper Shankill. Murphy was waiting outside. The van pulled up beside him and IRA Volunteers, armed with a 9mm sub-machine gun and a .38 special, opened fire on Murphy. Murphy was hit by 26 rounds and died instantly. The blue van used by the Volunteers, which had been specially purchased for the operation, was abandoned and set on fire in Glenside Park, a predominantly loyalist area of North Belfast. The setting of the abandoned vehicle, and the fact that Murphy had recently been involved in the typical internal feuding within the UVF, led the RUC to concentrate their enquires in the wrong direction

The IRA, taking full advantage of this confusion, delayed its statement claiming responsibility for the execution until a few days later, when it said the following:

"Lenny Murphy (master butcher) has been responsible for the horrific murders of over 20 innocent nationalists in the Belfast area and a number of Protestants. The IRA has been aware for some time that since his release recently from prison, Murphy was attempting to re-establish a similar murder gang to which he led in the mid-'70s and, in fact, he was responsible for a number of the recent sectarian murders in the Belfast area. The IRA takes this opportunity to restate its policy of non sectarian attacks, while retaining its right to take unequivocal action against those who direct or motivate sectarian slaughter against the nationalist population."

Butchers may have been responsible for 1976 killing

Rosaleen O'Kane's body was found at her Cliftonpark Avenue, on 17 September 1976, stripped naked and burnt.

A postmortem examination, carried out at the time, failed to determine the exact cause of her death, partly because a pathologist could not conclude whether O'Kane's skull had been fractured before or after her death. In a sinister twist, blood and other forensic samples taken during the postmortem were destroyed in a fire at the Six-County Forensic Science Laboratory the next day.

Relatives of O'Kane were told by senior PSNI members that they had intelligence information that two men from North Belfast were suspected of being involved in the killing and that they could not rule out the possibility that the Shankill Butchers were involved.

Lawyers acting for the O'Kane family said they have now obtained funds from the Legal Services Department for a review of the original postmortem evidence, which will be carried out by Dublin state pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy.

Solicitor Patricia Coyle said O'Kane family has unanswered questions about the cause of death, the original investigation and who was responsible.

"The only thing they know is that their sister was murdered and possibly tortured and they further believe that the fire at the forensic laboratory may have been more than a coincidence," she said.

UVF commander Lenny Murphy led the Shankill Butchers gang which, during a reign of terror in the mid-to late-1970s, killed over 30 Catholics. In 1979, eleven members of the sectarian killer gang were convicted of 19 killings and jailed for a total of 1,885 years.

An Phoblacht

Shot because they thought he was Irish - Met officers suspended after unlawful killing verdict

11 November 2004

Harry Stanley

Up to 120 members of the Metropolitan Police force's firearms unit, SO19, refused to carry weapons for several days last week when two of their colleagues were suspended from duty for the killing of Harry Stanley. The strike was only called off after the intervention of Sir John Stevens, head of the Met, who said he had "sympathy" for the officers. His deputy, Sir Ian Blair, also waded into the argument by calling for the law to be changed so that, in effect, armed police officers will in future be immune from prosecution when they open fire on unarmed individuals. Writing in The Sun, Blair raged that "it should be a matter of shame for us all that they are let down when they most need our support".

The suspension of officers Neil Sharman and Kevin Fagan came as a result of the second inquest into the fatal shooting of 46-year old Scot Harry Stanley in Hackney, in 1999. On 29 October, the inquest jury, apparently not believing the account of the two that they "honestly" feared for their lives before they opened fire, found that Stanley had been unlawfully killed. The verdict places an implicit obligation on the Crown Prosecution Service to now bring charges against them; it has previously twice refused to do so on the grounds of "insufficient evidence". It also emerged during the course of the inquest that Sharman subsequently received promotion, despite his role in the killing. Stanley's widow Irene described hearing this news as like "being stabbed in the back".

The facts of Harry Stanley's killing are well known. On 22 September 1999, he was making his way home carrying a table leg in a blue plastic bag, which he had collected from his brother. He briefly called in to the Alexandra pub before continuing on his way. One of the customers in the pub, Clifford Willing, telephoned the police to say that an Irishman carrying a sawn-off shotgun in a bag had just left. In his statement to the police, which he repeated a month after the shooting, Willing said: "The package was wrapped so tightly that I could see that it was a sawn-off shotgun with the stock cut off. I could see the barrel and stock of the weapon and even the trigger. I would say it was double-barrelled and side by side." Later, at the first inquest into the killing, he then modified his account, telling the court that he had in fact only decided the bag contained a gun after a rumour to that effect had circulated amongst drinkers in the pub once Stanley had left the premises.

Nevertheless, the Met took him at his word without question. An armed response unit arrived in the area within minutes. According to police evidence, Sharman and Fagan approached Stanley from behind and shouted "Stop, armed police". As Stanley began to turn around he was shot twice, in the side of the head and through the hand, and died immediately. Although he was a matter of metres from his home, his family were not informed of his death for a further 18 hours, despite the fact that he was carrying several sources of identification on him. The family were also further traumatised by the fact that his body was left uncovered for several hours and blood at the scene was not cleared up.

Central to the killing, and the handling of it by the Met, the Police Complaints Authority and the CPS, was the perception that Stanley was Irish. Human rights campaigners in London have long argued that this perception was a prime reason for the extreme over-reaction of the Met, for the casual dismissal of the shooting by the authorities, and for the five-year struggle which the family has had to endure before even starting to receive some semblance of justice over their loss.

The original inquest into Stanley's killing was held in June 2002 and ended in chaos, when the Coroner of St Pancras Coroners' Court, Dr Stephen Chan, instructed the jury not to return a verdict of unlawful killing. Further serious questions were also raised over Chan's conduct after he had, in the family lawyer's words, attempted to "blacken" the dead man's name by ordering that Stanley's previous, spent, convictions be read out in court. Largely because of Dr Chan's conduct, the open verdict of the original inquest was overturned by the High Court in April this year, leaving the way open for the second inquest.

At the second inquest, Fagan told the court that as Stanley turned around he looked straight at the officer and adopted a "boxer's stance"; an interesting choice of phrase, as it is exactly the same wording as the police officer who killed unarmed IRA Volunteer Diarmuid O'Neill — also a member of SO19 — used when giving evidence at his inquest. In that case too, the coroner had intervened to prevent the jury from returning a verdict of unlawful killing.

When the verdict that Harry Stanley had been unlawfully killed was announced, the Home Secretary David Blunkett became involved, saying that he would be pressing for a change in the law so that police officers who kill unarmed members of the public would only face manslaughter rather than murder charges. His comments overlooked the fact that such charges are extremely rare; since 1990 there have been only two cases brought against police officers and there have been no convictions. In that time, around 30 unarmed people have been killed by the police.

One of those rare cases was James Ashley from St Leonards, East Sussex. In January 1998, Ashley was shot and killed by PC Chris Sherwood (who, according to some reports had had his gun licence temporarily withdrawn after a girlfriend accused him of violence) during a raid on his home. Sherwood was charged with murder, but in 2001 was acquitted — on the instruction of the judge. Nevertheless, within weeks the Chief Constable of East Sussex, Paul Whitehouse, was forced to resign after he repeatedly defended the actions of the officer. It seems highly unlikely, however, that either Sir John Stevens or his deputy will face a similar fate.


**Ahhhhh, ma wee heart is just sooo warmed-up over this latest news from the UDA :p

UDA to make 'significant' move

By Brian Rowan
BBC Northern Ireland security editor

Less than two weeks ago, some of the most senior loyalist paramilitary figures in Northern Ireland walked through the doors at Stormont and into a dialogue with the secretary of state.

Paul Murphy was taking a risk. At the time of the talks, the government did not recognise the Ulster Defence Association ceasefire which was announced back in February and the paramilitary organisation remains deeply involved in criminality, including drugs.

Now, there are suggestions that the UDA wants to change, wants to re-involve itself in the wider peace process and wants to be part of the bigger business of political deal-making.

It is being offered another chance. The political door has been re-opened.

After those talks at Stormont, senior officials at the Northern Ireland Office remained in contact with the political representatives of the UDA - the Ulster Political Research Group.

And, now, we are seeing the beginnings of some choreography between the two.

On the political grapevine there had been speculation for days. We were expecting Mr Murphy to speak first, and we were told there would be a quick response from the UDA.

The detail of that response has not been confirmed - but the hints suggest something very significant - a statement on criminality and its future.

The UDA is the biggest paramilitary organisation in Northern Ireland with thousands of men.

Members of the UPRG held talks with the government recently--and u thot this was a scene from 'The Godfather'.

Its leadership is an "Inner Council" of six so-called "brigadiers", and that leadership will have to sell any UDA initiative inside the ranks of the organisation.

That the government has opened its door again to those associated with this most volatile of groups, is something that is full of risk.

But if the UDA follows through with what is being suggested, then Mr Murphy will assess it was a risk worth taking.

That said, there will be sceptics and doubters. (DUH!)

If everything goes to plan, these opening steps in this new relationship should be completed by Monday

In the past, the word of the UDA has not been something that could be relied upon and, before passing judgement on this expected move, there will be those who will want it tested over a period of time.

There is nothing to suggest any early move by the UDA on decommissioning, and that is the position too with the other main loyalist paramilitary organisation, the Ulster Volunteer Force.

But if the UDA is serious about a peaceful future, then that will be a significant contribution to the wider business of trying to reach a comprehensive political deal.

The paramilitary group announced its latest ceasefire back in February, but for more than three years it was a "specified" organisation - meaning the government did not recognise its cessation.

Paul Murphy has changed that, and that decision is what will bring the UDA response.

For years, the government and republicans have negotiated and worked out sequences. Now, the loyalists are doing the same.

RSF National Conference 2004. Motions

Republican Sinn Féin
Ard Fheis / National Conference

November 13/14

Political Policy
Electoral Strategy
Constitution and Rules
International Affairs
Social & Economic
Political Policy Polasaí Polaitiúil

1. That this Ard-Fheis reiterates our support for the All-Ireland Republic proclaimed in Easter Week, established in 1919 and betrayed in 1921; condemns the current process which is copper-fastening British rule in Ireland for the foreseeable future and pledges to continue the struggle until our objective is realised.

Go n-athdhearbhaíonn an Ard-Fheis seo a tacaíocht don Phoblacht Uile Éireann, fógraithe i Seachtain na Cásca, a bunaíodh i1919, agus a fealladh i 1922; agus an próiséas reatha seo ag neartú ríal Shasana in Éireann go ceann i bhfad.
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath
Cumann Mistéil/Hurson, An Tulach Mhór,Ua bhFáilí
Cumann Dáithí Conaill, Muineacháin
Cumann de Rís/Ó Síoda/Ó Dulacháin, Co Chiarraí

2. That this Ard-Fheis continues to highlight the British occupation of our country.

Go leannan an Ard-Fheis seo ar aghaidh le béim a chur ar an fhírinne faoi impiriúlachas na Breataine in Éireann.
Comhairle Uladh

3. That this Ard-Fheis reiterate our opposition to political broad fronts which serve to dilute the national objective as expressed in the 1916 Proclamation.

Go n-athdhearbhaíonn an Ard-Fheis seo go bhfuil muid fós i gcoinne tosaigfh leathnach pholaitiúil a ndéanann cúis ar an cuspóur náisiúnta atá curtha in iúil ag Fógra 1916 a lagaigh.
Ard Chomhairle

4. That this Ard-Fheis instructs all our membership that we are opposed to all broad fronts, ie Congress, and any member who attends them either publicly or secretly will be instantly dismissed from the Republican Movement.

Go dtugann an Ard-Fheis seo treoir go gach ball go bhfuil muid i gcoinne tosaigh leathnach ar fad, ie Comhdháil, agus go mbeidh aon ball a freastalaíonn orthu – go poiblí nó go rúnda – curtha amach as Gluaiseacht na Poblachta ar an toirt.
Cumann Ó Crualaoich/Mac Giolla Bhuí, Béal Feirste

5. That this Ard-Fheis salutes the youth of Occupied Ireland who confront British Crown Forces, particularly those young people who courageously stood their ground against imperialism’s latest recruits, the Provos, on July 12 on the Ardoyne Road.

Go dtugann an Ard-Fheis Beannachtaí don aos óg in Éire forgabháilte as aghaidh a thabhairt ar forsaí coróin na Breataine go mór mhór na daoine óg a sheas an bhfód go misneach i goinne na hearcaigh impiriúrachais is déanaí – na Sealadaigh ar an bhothar Ard Aidheann ar an 12ú de Iúil.
Ard Chomhairle
Cumann Seosamh Mac Domhnaill, BÁC
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath
Cumann de Rís/Ó Síoda/Ó Dulacháin, Co Chiarraí

6. That this Ard-Fheis condemns the ongoing use of CS gas by the RUC/PSNI in Derry city.

Go gcaineann an Ard-Fheis seo úsáid leanúnach gáis CS ag an RUC/PSNI i gCathair Doire.
Ard Chomhairle

7. That Republican Sinn Fein redoubles its efforts to promote ÉIRE NUA as the only credible alternative to the failed and sectarian Stormont Agreement.

Go ndéanann Sinn Féin Poblachtach a seacht ndícheall ÉIRE NUA a chur chun cinn mar an taon freaghra amháin increidite don Comhaontú Stormont atá seicteach agus a theip air.
Comhairle Ceantair Cill Dhara
Cumann de Rís/Ó Síoda/Ó Dulacháin, Co Chiarraí

8. That this Ard-Fheis call on the Provisional Movement to drop the honourable name of Sinn Féin.

Go nglaonn muid ar na Sealadaigh stop a chur le úsáid ainm uasal Sinn Féin.
Comhairle Uladh

9. That this Ard Fheis views the recently-announced British government inquiry into the murder of Belfast Human Rights solicitor Pat Finucane as yet another cover up of the campaign of murder directed against the nationalist community by the British State.

Agus fiosrucháin fógraithe ag rialtos na Breatainne le déanaí ar dúnmharú dlíodóir chearta daonna, Pat Finucane -- dealnaíonn sé don Ard-Fheis seo go bhfuil an feachtas feallmharú i gcoinne an phobal náisiúnta curtha i bhfolach ag na Breatainne arís.
Comhairle Ceantair Cill Dhara

10. That this Ard-Fheis deplores the recent attempt by the US State Department to criminalise Republican Sinn Féin. We view this as part of an ongoing campaign by the British, 26-County and US governments to censor any alternative to the Stormont Agreement which involves ending British rule in Ireland, such as ÉIRE NUA.

Go gcáineann an Ard-Fheis seo an iarracht is déanaí le Roinn Stát na SA Sinn Féin Poblachtach a ainmiú mar eagras coiriúil. Is léir dúinn gur feachtas leanúnach é seo ag Rialtas na SA, Rialtas na Breatainne agus Rialtas na 26 Contae bealach ar bith don Comhaontú Stormont mar ÉIRE NUA chun deireadh a chur le rial Shasana in Éireann cinsireacht a dhéanamh air.
Ard Chomhairle
Comhairle Uladh

11. That this Ard-Fheis sends congratulations to all Irish Americans who stand by the principles of Republicanism and who refuse to be intimidated by the US State Department’s attempt to criminalise them.

Go gcuireann an Ard-Fheis seo comhghairdeas chuig na nGael Meiriceánach a sheasann le prionsabal Poblachtas agus a ndúltaíonn iarracht an Roinn SA iad a coiriúil.
Cumann Proinsias Mac Aodha, Glas Chú

12. That this Ard-Fheis deplores the use of screening and photographing of Irish citizens going to the US, thereby criminalising them.

Go gcáineann an Ard-Fheis seo go mbíonn an gach saoránach Éireanach iad a cheistiú agus grianghraf a dhéanamh díobh agus iad ar a slí go Meiricéa agus mar sin iad a coiriúil.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

13. That this Ard-Fheis encourage members to ask their friends to boycott travelling to the US while they continue their criminalisation policy and while the illegal war on Iraq continues or any form of international repression from the US continues.

Go n-iarrann an Ard-Fheis seo ar baill Sinn Féin Poblachtach a gcairde a spreagadh chun baghcat a dhéanamh ar taisteal go meiricéa comh fada is a mbíonn beartas coiriúlachas na SA a leanúint agus comh fada is a mbíonn an ionsaí neamhdhlithiúil ar Íraic ar siúl agus aon saghas cosc idirnáisiúnta ag na SA comh maith.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

14. That this Ard-Fheis determines that a vigorous campaign be waged by this organisation to oppose the proposed Constitution of the EU. We have had over 800 years of foreign rule – enough is enough.

Go mbeidh feachtas bríomhar ag na heagraise seo i gcoinne Bunreacht a bhéadh ag Aontas na hEoraipe.
Cumann Pádraig Ó Canóin, Ráth Éanaigh, BÁC

15. That this Ard-Fheis instructs the incoming Ard Chomhairle to mark the 100th anniversary next year of the founding of Sinn Féin in a fitting manner and calls on all members and supporters to rally around us for this purpose.

Go dtugann an Ard-Fheis seo treoir don Ard Chomhairle nua tofa an Céad Comóradh de bunú Sinn Féin a marcál ar nós atá oiriúnach agus glaoimid ar gach ball is tacaí teacht le chéile chun é sin a dhéanamh.
Ard Chomhairle
Comhairle Laighean
Cumann Ó Crualaoich/Mac Giolla Bhuí, Béal Feirste
Cumann Ó Cearúil/Ó Donabháin, BÁC
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC
Cumann Mac Níla/ Gaughan/Stagg, Muigh Éo

16. That this Ard-Fheis calls for full support to be given to the centenary events planned for next year.

Go n-iarann an Ard-Fheis go dtabhairfear lán-tacaíocht do na h-ócáidí a leagfar amach do chomóradh an Chéid ag an eagraíocht seo an bhliain seo chugainn.
Comhairle Ceantair Ros Comáin

17. That this Ard-Fheis calls on the GAA to continue its ban on soccer and rugby being played in Croke Park.

Go nglaonn an Ard-Fheis seo ar an CLG lean ar aghaidh leis an cosc ar sacair agus rugbaí a bheith dá imirt i bPáirc an Crócaigh.
Cumann Mac Níla/ Gaughan/Stagg, Muigh Éo

Electoral Strategy Straitéis Thoghchánach
18. That Sinn Féin Poblachtach, at every level of the organisation, begins in earnest to make preparations for the next 26-County local elections in 2009. In making such preparations we must learn from the lessons and mistakes of the 2004 campaign and put in place the framework for a strong nationally coordinated campaign and all members and branches of the organisation must accept it is their responsibility and duty to give full and active support to all campaigns and activities engaged in by Sinn Féin Poblachtach, including next year’s Údarás na Gaeltachta elections.

Go mbeidh ullmhúcháin dáiríre tosnaithe ag gach leibhéal den eagrais seo chun bheith ag troid sna dtoghcháin áitiúil sna 26 Chontae i 2009. Ní foláir dúinn ceachtanna a fhoghlaim ó botúin feachtas 2004 agus creatlach a chur i mbun chun feachtas chomhordaithe a bheith again ar fud na tire. Go nglacaimid leis an dualgas atá orainn tacaíocht is breise a thabhairt don gnóimh sin, toghcháin Údarás na Gaeltachta 2005 san áireamh.
Ard Chomhairle
Comhairle Ceantair na Gaillimhe

19. That this Ard-Fheis ensure that a concerted effort be made in areas not contesting local elections and that local elections be more widely contested.
Comhairle Chonnacht

Go mbéadh níos mó iarrthóirí ins na 26 Chontae sna toghcháin áitiúla agus tacaíocht níos foirleithne ó na Ceantair nach bhfuil san iomaíocht.
Comhairle Chonnacht

20. That this Ard-Fheis deplores the introduction of the measure whereby 15 voters are required in each area in order to nominate candidates in local elections in exchange for a reasonable deposit.

Caineann muid an éileamh ar 15 vótóirí ó cheantar ar leith chun ainmniúchán a dhéanamh. Is fearr méid réasúnta airgid a leagan síos.
Comhairle Chonacht

21. That this Ard-Fheis view with dismay the extremely low number of candidates who contested the recent local elections on behalf of Republican Sinn Féin and were very disappointed that Dublin did not field any candidates as this reflects very badly on the leadership.

Go baineann sé de chlú chinnireacht Sinn Féin Poblachtach nach raibh níos mó iarrathóirí sna toghcháin áitiúla le déanaí agus go bhfuil díoma ar an Ard-Fheis faoi.
Cumann Brugha/Sabhat, Luimnigh
Comhairle na Mumhan

22. That areas give serious consideration now to the selection of candidates for the 2009 26-County local elections. Coupled with this they should be also targeting the local issues on which they need to be campaigning.

Go mbeidh macnamh dáiríre déanta ag na ceantair iarrathóirí a ceapadh dosna toghcháin áitiúla sna 26 Chontae i 2009. Comh maith leis sin ní foláir dúinn feachtas a dhéanamh ar fadhbanna áitiúl.
Comhairle Laighean
Comhairle Ceantair Cill Dara
Cumann Mistéil/Hurson, An Tulach Mhór

23. That this Ard-Fheis ensure that all Ard Chomhairle members show their commitment to Republican Sinn Féin’s electoral policy by actively campaigning in all elections contested by the Movement.

Go n-iarrann an Ard-Fheis seo go dtaispeánann gach ball den Ard Chomhairle a dtacaíocht go beartas toghcháin de chuid Sinn Féin a iad a bheith ag obair i ngach toghcháin ina bhfuil Sinn Féin san iomaíocht.
Comhairle na Mumhan

Prisoners Cimí

24. That this Ard-Fheis send solidarity greetings to all Republican prisoners who adhere to the 32-County Irish Republic.

Go seolann an Ard-Fheis seo beannachtaí dlúthpháirtíochta go gach Poblachtánach a sheasnn le Phoblacht Uile-Éireann.
Ard Chomhairle
Comhairle Laighean
Cumann Ó Crualaoich/Mac Giolla Bhuí, Béal Feirste
Comhairle na Mumhan
Cumann Prionsias de hAodha, Glas Chú
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tallaght, Dublin
Comhairle Uladh Dáithí Ó Conaill Cumann, Monaghan
Cumann de Rís/Ó Síoda/Ó Dulacháin, Co Chiarraí

25. That this Ard-Fheis pledge continued support to the ongoing struggle for full political status in Maghaberry prison.

Go geallann an Ard-Fheis seo tacaíocht leanúnach don coimhlint i gcóir staid polaitíochta iomláine i gCarcair Machaire Biorra.
Ard Chomhairle
Cumann Prionsias de hAOdha, Glas Chú
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath
Comhairle Laighean
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tallaght, Dublin

26. That this Ard-Fheis instructs (1) all provinces to hold a monthly protest for political status for Republican prisoners similar to that held in Leinster; and (2) that the leaflet on prison conditions in Maghaberry produced recently be widely distributed.

Go dtugann an Ard-Fheis seo treoir do gach Cúige (1) agóid míosúil a chur ar siúl i gcóir staid polaitíochta ar son cimí polaitíochta cosúil leis an ceann i gCúige Laighean agus (2) go mbeidh an billeogín nua ar coinníolacha i gCarcair Machaire Biorra le fail i gach áit.
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath
Comhairle Laighean

27. That this Ard-Fheis instructs the incoming Ard Chomhairle to request more information on the position of prisoners for political status and inquires into the position of those who are prepared to accept criminalisation.

Go dtugann an Ard Fheis seo treoir don Ard Chomhairle nua tofa níos mó faisnéise ar son cimí i gcóir staid polaitíochta agus go mórmhór ar na cimí as glacann le iad féin a coiriúil.
Cumann Ó Crualaoich/Mac Giolla Bhuí, Béal Feirste

Constitution & Rules Bunreacht & Rialacha

28. That this Ard-Fheis change the first sentence of Rule 1 (h) on probationary membership to read: “New members shall serve a minimum of three months, complete an education course – which shall include as a minimum study of the main policy documents of the Organisation, the Constitution and the principles contained in the 1916 Proclamation – attend a minimum of three Cumann meetings and take the membership pledge before being admitted to full membership.

Go n-athraíonn an Ard-Fheis seo an céad abairt den Riail 1 (h) ar ballraíocht tástála go dtí: Beidh ar gach ball nua, trí mhí ar a laghad a bheith i Shinn Féin, cúrsa oideachas a críochnú – go mórmhór staidéar a dhéanamh ar na priomh doiciméadaí beartais den eagraíocht, an bunreacht agus an prionsabail atá i Forógra 1916 – freastal ar trí cruinniú de Sinn Féin ar a laghad agus an geall ballraíochta a glacadh go dtí go mbeidh said ina ballraíochta iomlán.
Ard Chomhairle
Comhairle Laighean Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

Organisation/Activities Eagraíocht/Gníomhaíochtaí

29. That the recommendations of the SWOT committee “think-in” be implemented.

Go gcuirfí i bhfeidhm moltaí an choiste SWOT.
Ard Chomhairle
Comhairle Laighean

30. That a Youth Forum be set up to liaise in each area, to organise and recruit and to speak solely on youth issues, this to meet regularly.

Go mbeidh Fóram na Naos Óg curtha ar mbun chun comhordú eagraíocht agus earcaíocht a dhéanamh i ngach áit chun labhart ar son cúrsaí na naos óg amháin. Go mbeidh an fóram seo ar siúl go tomhaiste.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

31. That this Ard-Fheis instructs the incoming Ard Chomhairle to set up a more efficient method of dealing with membership applications.

Go dtugann an Ard-Fheis seo treoir don Ard Chomhairle nua tofa córas éifeachtach a bhunú mar gheall ar ballraíocht ball nua a phléigh.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

32. That this Ard-Fheis instruct Ard-Oifig to send the address of a local Republican Sinn Féin member in each county to applicants for membership so that they can write direct to someone in their area.

Go gcuirfeadh an Ard-Oifig seoladh bhaill áitiúil (duine amháin ingach contae) chuig iarrthóirí chun go scríobhfadh siad chuig an duine sin.
Comhairle Chonnacht

33. That this Ard-Fheis ensure that the position of Regional Development Officer, passed at a recent Ard-Fheis, be taken seriously in the coming year.

Go n-aithníonn an Ard-Fheis seo tabhacht Oifigeach Reigiúnda Forbatha atá glacaithe again cheanna agus go mbeidh muid dáiríre faoi sa bhlian atá romhainn.
Comhairle Laighean

34. That this Ard-Fheis ensure that each province run a fund-raising event for Ard-Oifig, as agreed at a previous Ard-Fheis.

Go gcinntíonn an Ard-Fheis seo ar mbeidh imeacht ag gach cúige chun airgead a bhailliú don Ard Oifig mar atá glacaithe ag Ard-Fheis roimh ré.
Comhairle Laighean

35. That this Ard-Fheis ensure that a properly representative Finance Committee be set up as a matter of priority.

Go mbeidh Coiste Airgeadais fíorionadaithe curtha imbun mar ábhar riontanach.
Cumann Ó Cearúil/Ó Donnabháin, BAC

36. That persons applying for membership of Republican Sinn Féin who were previously members of another political organisation may only be accepted for full membership by the next level of the organisation, ie Comhairle Ceantair or Comhairle Chúige. If such persons were prominent in their previous organisation, they must be cleared by the Ard Chomhairle.

Daoine a chuireann a ainmneacha síos mar baill de Sinn Féin Poblachtach agus iad mar baill de eagrais polaitiúil eile roimhe sin, is ag an Comhairle Ceantair nó an Comhairle Chúige a bhéadh an cead isteach dáoibh. I gcás daoine mór le ná san eagrais – is ag an Ard Chomhairle a bheadh an Údaráis.
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath

37. That this Ard-Fheis instructs the incoming Ard Chomhairle to set up a North-east Executive.

Go mbéadh Comhairle bunaithe againn san iarthuaisceart.
Cumann Ó Crualaoich/Mac Giolla Bhuí, Béal Feirste

38. That this Ard-Fheis instructs the incoming Ard Chomhairle to inquire into the progress of reorganising areas where the organisation no longer functions.

Aon áit nach bhfuil an eagrais ag feidhmniú, ba choir go mbéadh fiosrucháin chun fháil amach cén fáth.
Cumann Ó Crualaoich/Mac Giolla Bhuí, Béal Feirste

39. That this Ard-Fheis condemns the recent refurbishment of the Queen Victoria statue in Dún Laoghaire and the many monuments to British Imperialism around the country and calls on local authorities to replace such monuments and rename housing estates in keeping with the Irish national identity.

Go gcáineann an Ard-Fheis seo deisiú dealbh Banríona Victoria i nDún Laoghaire agus mórán leacht eile i gcuimhne Impiriúlachas na Breataine ar fud na tire agus glaonn muid ar na húdaráis áitiúla iad a cur ar leath-taobh agus ainmneacha na héastát tithíochta éagsúla a Ghaelú mar is oiriúnach dár gcultúir Éireannach.
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath

International Affairs Gnóthái Idirnáisiúnta

40. That this Ard-Fheis expresses our continued opposition to the ongoing Anglo/US occupation of Iraq. We also oppose the granting of landing, refuelling rights and airspace to US warplanes in support of this illegal occupation by the Dublin Administration. This constitutes a clear breach of neutrality and is done in defiance of the clearly-expressed wishes of the Irish people.

Go leanann an Ard-Fheis seo ar aghaidh leis an seasamh i gcoinne an lathair Angla-Meiriceánach san Iraic. Cuireann muid beam ar an fhírinne comh maith go dtugann riaracháin Áth Cliath cead athbhreaslú srl do eitleán chogadh Meiriceánach in Aerfort na Sionna.. Thaispeán sé sabaitérracht a dhéanamh ar neodrachas na hÉireann ar meanhthoill na nGael.
Ard Chomhairle
Comhairle na Mumhan
Cumann de Rís/Ó Síoda/Ó Dulacháin, Co Chiarraí

41. That this Ard-Fheis commends all those who took part in the various protests held throughout the 26 Counties during the visit of US President George Bush in June. In doing so they made it clear that the majority of Irish people oppose the continued use of Shannon and Baldonnell airports as well as Irish airspace by US warplanes.

Go molann an Ard-Fheis seo na daoine go léir a glach páirt sna agóid éagsúla i gcoinne cúirt Uachtarán George W Bush ar na 26 Chontae i Meitheamh. Tá fhios ag an domhain go bhfuil formhóir de muintir na hÉireann i gcoinne úsáid Aerfort na Sionna is Baile Uí Dhonaill ag na Meiriceánaigh.
Comhairle Laighean Comhairle Ceantair Cill Dhara

42. That this Ard-Fheis denounces the presence of British, US and other NATO air-forces at air-shows in the 26 Counties as an attempt to ingratiate the Irish people with Britain and NATO.

Go gcáineann an Ard-Fheis seo láthair aerfórsaí NATO, an Bhreatain agus na Stát Aontaithe san áireamh ag aer séonna sna 26 Chontae mar iarracht iad a thaispeáint mar fórsaí gan dochair.
Cumann Seosamh Mac Domhnaill

43. That this Ard-Fheis calls on all Irish companies involved in the manufacture and sale of munitions used in imperialist wars around the world to cease such production forthwith.

Go glacann an Ard-Fheis seo ar comhlachtaí Éireannach atá rannpháirteach i deantús agus díolacháin armhóin arna úsáid ag impiriúlaigh timpeall an domhain stopadh a chur leis an gníomh sin gan mhoill.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

44. That this Ard-Fheis condemns international drugs companies who withhold patents for the production of generic medicines and vaccines in Third World countries.

Go gcáineann an Ard-Fheis seoi na comhlachtaí idirnáisiúnta drugaí a coimeáideann siar ó muintir an Triú Domhain paitíní do thairgeadh leigheas is vaicsín coitíanta.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

45. That this Ard-Fheis sends solidarity greetings to the oppressed people of Palestine.

Go seolann an Ard-Fheis seo Beannachtaí dlúthphairtíochta do muintir na Pailistíne agus iad faoi ansmacht.
Cumann Dáithí Ó Conaill, Muineacháin

46. This Ard Fheis extends greetings to the stateless nations of the world who like the Irish people continue to struggle for their right to national independence.

Go seolann an Ard-Fheis seo beannachtaí dosna náisiún gan stáit. Ccosúil le muintir na hÉireann tá said fós ag troid ar son cearta neamhspléachaí.
Cumann Ó Crualaoich/Mac Giolla Bhuí, Béal Feirste
Comhairle Ceantair Cill Dhara

Social & Economic Sóisialta agus Eacnamaíochta

47. That this Ard-Fheis instructs the incoming Ard Chomhairle to oppose the new water tax in the Six Counties.

Go dtugann an Ard-Fheis seo treoir don Ard Chomhairle nua tofa seasamh i gcoinne an cáin uisce sna Sé Contae.
Cumann Ó Crualaoich/Mac Giolla Bhuí, Béal Feirste

48. That this Ard-Fheis demands that the section of the Hanley Report which called for the scrapping of the Accident and Emergency departments in Ennis and Nenagh hospitals be deleted from the report and the deletions of all sections that minimise services to patients.

Go n-éilíonn an Ard-Fheis seo go mbéadh an cuid sa tuarascáil Uí Aonlaigh a n-aontaíonn le Roinn Tionóisc is éigeandáil i nOspidéil Nenagh agus Inis a críochnú a bheith bainte amach den tuarascáil agus gach roinn a laghdaíonn seirnhísí dosna hothair.
Comhairle na Mumhan

49. This Ard Fheis views the recent UN Human Development Report as an indictment of the right-wing social and economic policies being pursued by the present Dublin administration.

Maidir leis an tuairisc Forbacha daonra na NA le déanaí is léir don Ard-Fheis seo gur díotáil polasaithe sóisialta eacnamaíochta na heite dheis dá gníomh ag Rialtas Átha Cliath.
Comhairle Ceantair Cill Dhara

50. That this Ard-Fheis calls on the Dublin Administration to expand the income levels for medical cards to people on low incomes.

Go glaonn an Ard-Fheis seo ar Rialtas Átha Cliath leibhéal ioncam dosna cártaí leighis a méadú ar son na ndaoine atá ar ioncam íseal.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

51. That this Ard-Fheis supports the call for the opening of the western rail link between Ennis and Sligo.

Go dtacaíonn an Ard-Fheis seo leis an glaoch chun an bóthar iarann idir Inis agua Sligeach a oscailt.
Comhairle na Mumhan

52. That this Ard-Fheis oppose the proposed routing of the M3 motorway through the Tara area and that Sinn Féin Poblachtach will actively campaign against it.

Go bhfuil an Ard-Fheis seo in aghaidh an ród bhealach M3 tríd Ceantair Tomrach agus go mbeidh feachtas ag Sinn Féin Poblachtach ina gcoinne.
Ard Comhairle

53. That this Ard-Fheis condemns the NRA programme which destroys historical and archaeological sites and the imposition of tolls on these publicly-owned roads.

Go gcáineann an Ard-Fheis seo polasaí an NRA a scriosann láithreáin stairiúla agus seandálaíochta agus cáin bhealaigh a chur ar na bothair atá faoi sheilbh an phobail.
Comhairle na Mumhan

54. That this Ard-Fheis regards the abuse and vandalism of public property to be a result of neglect by the managing authorities and indifference towards substance abuse in working-class areas.

Is léir don Ard-Fheis seo go bhfuil maslocht agus creachadóireacht do úinéireacht an phobail de bhair neamhthoradh ag na húdaráis bainisteoireacht an neamhshuim atá acu ar scalladóireacht drugaí agus alcól i gceantairna lucht oibre.
Cumann Seosamh Mac Domhnaill

55. That this Ard-Fheis supports the trade union movement in their opposition to the privatisation of Dublin Bus and Aer Lingus.

Go dtugann an Ard-Fheis seo tacaíocht do Gluaiseacht na gCeardcumainn agus iad ag troid i gcoinne príobháidiú Bus Átha Cliath agus Aer Lingus.
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath

56. That this Ard-Fheis continue to oppose the privatisation of services.

Go leanann an Ard-Fheis seo ar aghaidh leis an seasamh i gcoinne príobháidiú taillí sheirbhísí.
Comhairle Ceantair Átha Cliath

57. That this Ard-Fheis encourage all Cumainn to become involved in local issues as a matter of urgency and instructs all areas to issue statement on a regular basis on such issues.

Gur ábhar riachtánach é go mbeidh gach cumann rannpháirteach i bhfadhbanna áitiúla agus tugann an Ard-Fheis seo treoir do gach Ceantair ráitísí a chur amach go rialta.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

58. That this Ard-Fheis recognise the role of the father in the development of a child and support equal right of access to children in the event of the breaking up of a relationship.

Go nglacann an Ard-Fheis seo le ról an athair i forbairt an leanbh. I gcás briseadh caidreamh ba choir go mbéadh ceart cothrom aige a bheith leis na leanaí.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

59. That this Ard-Fheis condemns the projected use of electronic tagging of released prisoners in the 26 Counties.

Go bhfuil muid i gcoinne tionscnamh lipéid leictrónach an iarphríosúnaigh atá ar intinne Rialtas na 26 Contae.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

60. That this Ard-Fheis condemns racial and homophobic attacks in Ireland.

Go bhfuil an Ard-Fheis seo I gcoinne ionsaí chiníoch is homafóibeach in Éireann.
Cumann Wolfe Tone, Tamhlacht, BÁC

SAOIRSE/Publicity SAOIRSE/Poiblíocht

61. That this Ard-Fheis congratulates all those concerned in the production of SAOIRSE.

Go ndéanann an Ard-Fheis seo comhghairdeas le foireann SAOIRSE.
Cumann Prionsias de hAodha, Glas Chú

62. That this Ard-Fheis calls on the organisation around the country, in view of the changing culture in Ireland, to openly canvass newsagents shop and other outlets as a means of increasing the sales of SAOIRSE.

Go mbeidh an eagrais timpeall na tire ag canbhasáil nuachtánaigh is siopaí eile mar bealadh chun méadú a chur ar díolacháin SAOIRSE.
Cumann Ó Cearúil/Ó Donnabháin, BÁC

63. That the price on SAOIRSE of €1 be replaced by €1 donation.

Go mbéadh athniú ó táille €1 go deontas €1 ar SAOIRSE.
Comhairle Ceantair na Gaillimhe

64. That this Ard-Fheis instructs all areas to appoint a PRO with responsibility for writing letters to the papers.

Go dtugann an Ard-Fheis seop treoir do gach ceantair OCP a cheapadh chun litreacha a scríobh chuig na nuachtáin srl.
Comhairle Uladh

Republican SINN FÉIN

Irish Republican Bulletin Board

**Posted by Danielle Ni Dhighe

11 November 2004
Irish Republican Socialist Party


Despite supporting the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
over his Fatah movement, the Irish Republican Socialist Party took the
occasion of the death of Yasser Arafat to reiterate its solidarity
with the struggle people of Palestine.

In a statement from the IRSP's International Department, spokesperson
Peadar Baile said of Arafat's death in Paris at the age of 75: "Arafat
has long been a symbol for the struggle of the Palestinian people,
both within their homeland and abroad. And, because he is such a
symbol, the IRSP believes it is important to take this occasion to
reiterate our solidarity with the Palestinian people, in their
struggle for national liberation and socialism in Palestine.

"Arafat was also a scapegoat for the Zionist occupying Palestine and
their American puppet-masters. In response to their own propaganda,
rather than political reality, Arafat had been held personally
accountable by US imperialism and the Zionists, for the breakdown of
peace talks and the continuing intifada. The reality was that Arafat
had long been prepared to compromise and capitulate to Zionism on most
key issues for years and, far from being the revolutionary voice of
Palestine, represented the reformist section of the Palestinian

"The Zionists and their American allies also held Arafat responsible
for the continued use of suicide bombing attacks on the Zionists, when
it was clear that their destruction of the Palestinian Authority and
undermining Arafat left him unable to control the tactics of Hamas or
various militant factions within the PLO, despite his own desire to
reach an accord with Israel, regardless of the cost. The reality is
that it was Ariel Sharon who personally and deliberately provoked the
outbreak of a renewed intifada with his visit to Temple Mount.
Moreover, it was the Zionists complete failure to negotiate in good
faith and to meet their obligations under the Oslo Accord that caused
peace talks to collapse.

"We in the IRSP, therefore, raise our voices in solidarity with the
Palestinian people and we pay tribute to Arafat, as a symbol of their
continued struggle for national liberation and social justice. With
Arafat's death causing him to leave the political stage, the
Palestinian people will be searching for new leadership. We encourage
them to recognise that nothing will be changed through attempts at
compromise and conciliation towards the Zionists. The Zionists will
never respect Palestinian sovereignty. The way forward, as the PFLP
have said, lies through the defeat of Zionism and the establishment of
a unified, secular, democratic, and socialist Palestine."

He concluded, "Accordingly, we in the IRSP do not mourn the end of
the undemocratic and reformist tactics of Arafat, but we grieve at the
sense of loss experienced by the people of Palestine and we salute
their determination in carrying their struggle forward in the wake of
Arafat's death."

32csm's Message Board

Press Release: 32 County Sovereignty Movement (International Dept)
For Immediate Release.
Contact - Sean Burns (inter_sol32@hotmail.com)

32csm Extends Sympathy to the Palestinian People upon the Death of Yasser Arafat.

The death this morning of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat comes as a palpable shock to his people and to revolutionaries across the world. For the past many years he has been a continuous presence in the struggle for the recognition of Palestinian Nationhood and his passing has no doubt left a vacuum in the hearts of many of his followers, as well as leaving a question mark over an equivalent successor to the PLO leadership.

There are many radically different opinions on the strategy employed in what was later termed the ‘Middle East Peace Process’, and it would not be right to argue during this moment of mourning over such points. Suffice to say that Arafat was recognized even by his enemies as a person with a phenomenally enigmatic character who could inspire unswerving and unquestionable devotion, to the extent that his image and the Palestinian struggle became almost as one within the minds of millions of people.

The ill-health that he suffered in the months prior to his death was no doubt greatly influenced by the conditions in which he was forced to live by the Israeli forces since the beginning of the second Intifada. Nevertheless Arafat himself would have perhaps found it fitting that he could share the same hardships and indignities as his people in those final weeks.

The 32 County Sovereignty Movement sends its deepest condolences to the family of Yasser Arafat, and to the Palestinian people we re-dedicate our fullest support and solidarity.


Real IRA leader loses legal aid

Michael McKevitt was jailed for 20 years

Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt has lost a legal aid battle to defend a multi-million pound claim brought against him by Omagh bomb relatives.

He had been granted the money for the High Court case, but it was set aside after the Legal Services Commission ruled he had not told the truth in his application.

On Friday, a judge said the decision to withhold the estimated £1m for his defence was based on good reasons and was not wrong in law.

Twenty-nine men, women and children died and hundreds were injured when the Real IRA detonated a car bomb in Omagh on 15 August 1998.

McKevitt, Seamus Daly, Seamus McKenna, Liam Campbell and Colm Murphy are being sued for £14m by the Omagh Victims' Civil Action Group.

"It is clear the judge hearing the civil claim has a vital role to play in ensuring a fair trial."
Mr Justice Girvan

There will be no convictions for murder because it is not a criminal case, but the families could be awarded damages against the men they accuse.

In August 2003, McKevitt, 54, was jailed for 20 years in the Republic of Ireland after being found guilty of directing terrorism and membership of an illegal organisation.

In a reserved judgement at the High Court in Belfast on Friday, Mr Justice Girvan referred to case law and said it was clear the judge hearing the civil claim had a vital role to play in ensuring a fair trial.

If he considered that it was in the interests of a fair trial that the defendant receive legal aid, he could give a ruling to that effect, he said.

Daly, McKevitt, Campbell and Murphy are serving sentences in the Irish Republic for Real IRA membership.

Murphy, a Dundalk-based builder and publican, was sentenced to 14 years in January 2002 for plotting the Omagh attack.

Campbell was jailed for five years in October 2001.

Solicitors acting for the victims' group served writs on the five suspects in 2002.


Murphy 'to recognise UDA ceasefire'

The government is expected to signal it is ready to recognise the Ulster Defence Association ceasefire, it is understood.

Secretary of State Paul Murphy is expected to confirm the move later on Friday.

In October 2001, the then Northern Ireland Secretary John Reid withdrew government recognition for the UDA ceasefire because of its involvement in violence.

The group declared a new ceasefire in February this year. Senior members of the UDA leadership held talks with Mr Murphy at Stormont last week.

Since that meeting, senior government officials and loyalists have remained in contact.

Irish American Unity Conference | IAUC Chapters



November 11, 2004

Denver, Colorado - On November 8, 2004, Judge Nottingham, sitting in the United States District Court of Colorado, has ruled against Ciaran Ferry pursuant to his petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus case. After waiting for over a year and half for Judge Nottingham to rule on the legality of Ciaran's treatment, the Judge ruled in favor of the Department of Homeland Security.

Ciaran had argued that the actions of the DHS in refusing him a hearing on his "green card" application was a denial of his constitutional right to due process, and that his detention was unlawful. Ciaran maintains that, compared to hundreds of thousands of arriving aliens like himself, he has been treated in a capricious and arbitrary fashion. Most importantly, Ciaran challenged the DHS to prove, in a court of law, its assertion that he was a "danger to the safety and security of the United States." The Court found that, as an entrant under the Visa Waiver Program ("VWP"), Ciaran had waived all constitutional rights to due process, regardless of how he was treated by the DHS, and that the DHS had no case to answer.

In its decision, the Court freely admitted that:

1.) Ciaran Ferry was "granted an early release as part of the Good Friday Accord";

2.) He lawfully "entered the United States on the Bureau of Inspections and Customs Enforcement's Visa Waiver Pilot Program"

3.) He candidly disclosed on his "green card" application "that he was a member of the Irish Republican Army from 1992 to 1993, and that he was imprisoned for political offenses relating to the conflict in Ireland."

4.) ICE agents arrested Ciaran "without a warrant," and informed him that they were arresting him for "having overstayed his visa."

5.) ICE placed Ciaran in the "Special Handling Unit" of the Federal Corrections Institute - a facility "usually reserved for dangerous criminals and those most at risk for escape."

6.) The next day, on January 31, 2003, agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation visited Ciaran at FCI and "failed to recite the Miranda warnings prior to their questioning of him, and they questioned him despite the fact that they knew he was represented by counsel."

7.) FCI did not permit Petitioner to use the phone for his first twenty-four hours in detention to call his attorney."

According to a statement issued by one of Ciaran Ferry's Attorneys, Eamonn Dornan,

"the bottom line is that according to the ruling, Ciaran Ferry and all immigrants
who enter under the Visa Waiver Program ("VWP"), have no entitlement to due process rights. This is in stark contrast to recent Supreme Court rulings granting such rights to enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay."

"According to Nottingham, anyone who enters under the VWP relinquishes his/her "constitutional rights" including the right to due process and to a bond hearing, regardless of whether or not the VWP entrant is married to a US citizen.

"In our argument, it is irrelevant that Ciaran had entered under the VWP scheme. Ciaran had clear and unfettered due process rights streaming from his status as the spouse of a US citizen. The heart and soul of our constitution provides that due process forbids the government from "arbitrarily causing an alien who has entered the country to be taken into custody and deported without giving him all opportunity to be heard upon the questions involving his right to be and remain in the United States."

"This is the first time this issue has ever been raised in a US court", said attorney Eamonn Dornan, "and this will have a resounding effect on every VWP alien, most of whom are from Western democracies, and their US citizen spouses."

Jarl Anderson, Director of the Ciaran Ferry Legal Defense Fund, said:

"This is negligence and cowardice on the part of Judge Nottingham and confirms that the rule of law has been replaced by the rule of fear. Ciaran Ferry could have thrown in the towel a long time ago, but instead sacrificed his liberties to establish the constitutional right of all immigrants, not just Irish, to due process. The justice system has failed him and is paving the way for executive abuse of power and individual liberty. "Nottingham is washing his hands of Ciaran Ferry like Pontius Pilot and wiping them on the Constitution."

Heaven Ferry stated, "We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. We've waited for over a year and a half for this decision only to find that Judge Notthingham was not prepared or even slightly inclined to give my husband justice. In all fairness, he could have made his ruling in April 2003. If this is indicitive of the US Justice system, it's pretty frightening for all of us".

Ciaran's legal team will appeal this decision and is approaching the Department of Homeland Security officials asking that Ciaran Ferry be released from Denver County Jail to live with his family while the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decides his request to live in America."

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Fiona & Ciaran Ferry

Deanna Turner, Coordinator of the Irish Deportees of America Committee visited Ciaran in jail 2 weeks ago said,

"We can only imagine what is going through Ciaran's mind at the thought of spending another Christmas illegally behind bars. His 3 year old daughter, Fiona, desparately wants her father to be with her when she opens up her Christmas presents and plays in the snow. The thought of just spending cherished time with his wife and family gets him through this awful ordeal".

In the spirit of the festive season, please lobby our government to release Ciaran, under whatever restrictions it wishes, to spend time with his family during what may well be their last Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations in America.






Go here: http://www.iauc.org/orderandmemorandumdecision1.pdf



Thank you to all of the many supporters who have worked diligently to help Ciaran Ferry and his family seek justice. The work is just beginning and we need to step up the efforts during this very crucial time.

Do what you can to get the word out about this story. DO NOT CONTACT THE JUDGE OR HIS CHAMBERS AT ANY TIME!!! This is not permitted and could be harmful to the case.

Re: Visitors to Ciaran in Jail
If you are interested in visiting Ciaran in jail, contact us first to schedule a visit well in advance. Ciaran is only allowed 2 visits per week and unfortunately outside visitors count towards family visits. We don't want Heaven & Fiona to be turned away at the jail door because they weren't aware that someone else was using a visit.


Deanna Turner
Irish Deportees of America Committee
P.O. Box 914
Farmington, MI 48332
email: info@irishdeportees.com

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Women offer to replace hostages

A group of women have offered to take the place of three UN workers, one from Northern Ireland, being held hostage in Agfhanistan.

Annetta Flanigan from County Armagh, and her colleagues Filipino Angelito Nayan and Kosovan Shqipe Habibi, were seized in Kabul on 28 October.

The Army of Muslims, which claims to be holding the three, is demanding the release of 26 Taleban prisoners.

Twenty Afghan women, which reportedly include housewives and journalists, have said they are willing to give up their lives to help free them.

Magazine editor Gulalai Habib told the Reuters newsagency on Thursday she made the gesture after seeing a videotape of the frightened women hostages, broadcast on Arabic Al Jazeera TV.

"We don't want our country to become a frightened country and a country of rebels which has a bad name in history," she said.

"We hope that the hostage-takers behave like men and give us their address.

"We are ready to go to meet them to become their hostages."

Another of the women, Jamila Mujaheed - a former Kabul Television presenter who edits another magazine - said five women had initially offered to take the place of the hostages.

"But when other women heard about the group, others came and said 'we are with you'," she said.

"I think the pride we have in our history about our hospitality has been proven by these women today."

Ms Flanigan, from Richhill, had been helping to organise last month's presidential elections in the country.

She was seized from a car, along with her two colleagues, during the day on a street in Kabul.

Afghanistan's presidential spokesman said on Tuesday that both Ms Flanigan and Ms Habibi had been allowed to make telephone calls.

Neither the Foreign Office nor Ms Flanigan's family could confirm or deny this.

Fellow hostage Ms Habibi was reported as having told a friend that she was well and was not being mistreated.

The kidnappers, who are believed to be a breakaway faction of the Taleban, have issued a series of conditions for the hostages' freedom, including that foreign troops be withdrawn from Afghanistan.

A series of deadlines set by the kidnappers have already passed.


Jackson: Give peace a chance

11/11/2004 - 19:12:48

Unionists and republicans must not allow a once in a lifetime opportunity to strike a Northern Ireland peace deal slip away, the Reverend Jesse Jackson said tonight.

The veteran US civil rights campaigner pleaded with the rival political parties to reach a settlement that would restore devolution as he attended a special awards ceremony in Belfast.

The fierce critic of racism also issued a stark warning that Northern Ireland’s economic growth could be wrecked by spiralling attacks on ethnic groups.

But with peace credentials stretching back to the 1960s, he used advice from his mentor Martin Luther King Jr to inspire Sinn Féin and Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists to broker a settlement.

The Rev Jackson said: “Leaders must have the courage to seek a leap of faith.

“Peace is risky, but war is riskier and a longer option. So give peace a chance and let the beauty of Northern Ireland shine for the world to see.

“These moments come only once in a while, so I urge the parties to seize the moment and set forth a new day for Northern Ireland.”

The 63-year-old from South Carolina, who has campaigned against apartheid in South Africa, and for an accommodation between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East, made his appeal at the Aisling awards recognising community workers in Belfast.

With the IRA believed to be close to an unprecedented disarmament move, the Irish and British governments have stepped up attempts to restore Northern Ireland’s power-sharing administration.

Unionists who walked out of the Stormont Assembly two years ago over an alleged intelligence gathering operation run by the Provisionals are refusing to sit in a cabinet with Sinn Féin until paramilitary weapons are scrapped.

But Dublin and London must also wrestle with a bid by Mr Paisley’s DUP to make big changes to the Good Friday Agreement, including an attempt to have ministers held to account by their colleagues and the 108-member parliament.

As the tortuous process continues, the Rev Jackson had earlier called on the political leaders to draw inspiration from Yasser Arafat’s struggle.

He insisted a settlement in Ulster would be easier than either Arafat’s challenge or Nelson Mandela’s battle against apartheid.

“If the PLO can be recognised as a state in making then surely Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionists can make that same leap,” he said.

“Frankly, they don’t have as far to go as the Palestinians had to go or South Africa had to go.”

As a founder of the Rainbow Coalition in Washington DC which campaigns for social justice and against racism, his presence at the awards was a timely boost.

Nurses from the Filipino community, which has come under attack in north Belfast from far right thugs, were added to the Aisling roll of honour.

The Rev Jackson had spoken of his horror at the tightening grip of racism on the city and warned of the consequences.

“I have read about it with some dismay,” he said. “Ireland right now is on the threshold of real economic investment and growth, but racist violence is a deterrent to growth.

“This is a deterrent to investment and if Ireland wants the benefits of investment, it must accept the opportunity of immigration.

“It must see immigration as an asset and not a threat.”

Asian families living in north Belfast had their homes smeared with sickening slogans earlier this week as far-right groups intensified their campaign.

Tiny knots of Pakistanis, Vietnamese, Ugandans and Portuguese who have set up home in Northern Ireland have also faced intimidation by the racists, with some cases also linked to Loyalist paramilitaries.

Three Latvian men were attacked in Lurgan, Co Armagh, this week, one being stabbed in the arm.

Mr Jackson denounced the thugs responsible for divisive racist attacks, stressing: “Racism theologically is a sin before God.

“We must see that racism hinders growth and limits the human spirit.”

In an attempt to eradicate the problem, he called for more education.

“In our schools and in our churches, we must not only condemn it but teach against it so that people can overcome their fear.”

Belfast Telegraph

Ahern is told Iraq hostage Hassan may be in Fallujah

By Senan Molony
11 November 2004

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern has been given reports indicating that Irish Iraq hostage Margaret Hassan is within the besieged city of Fallujah.

Mr Ahern says these reports are worrying.

However, his department holds officially that it does not have enough intelligence to say where exactly the hostage might be held captive.

The family of Mrs Hassan is in contact every day with the department's liaison staff.

They are understood to have relayed their personal anxiety that the aggressive American action against the city of Fallujah is putting Mrs Hassan's life seriously at risk.

Meanwhile, Iveagh House is maintaining a continuing silence over the case of Afghan kidnap victim Annetta Flanigan, who is from Armagh.

It is understood the United Nations has indicated to the authorities here that efforts to secure the freeing of the three abducted UN workers, including Ms Flanigan, are proceeding on a softly, softly basis.

However, the Department of Foreign Affairs has noted that one of the hostages taken in Kabul 13 days ago, Kosovar Shqipe Hebibi, was allowed to make a phone call to her home town of Pristina.

In the call, Ms Hebibi said she was feeling well and that she hoped to come home soon.

The development has raised hopes on behalf of Ms Flanigan and fellow detainee, Filipino diplomat Angelito Nayan.

The three are being held by a Taliban splinter group which calls itself Jaish al-Muslimeen, the Army of Muslims.

Minister Ahern is meanwhile due to fly to Rome on Friday to mark the 75th anniversary of Irish diplomatic relations with the Vatican city state.

The Vatican was recognised as the world's smallest sovereign state by the Lateran Treaty of 1929 with the regime of Benito Mussolini.

Mr Ahern will be in Rome with a number of members of the Irish hierarchy for ceremonies to mark the anniversary.

Events will include a gathering in the Irish College.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs also said he was "pushing an open door" in negotiations for the funding of new Irish embassies in some of the ten accession countries which joined the EU in May this year during Ireland's presidency of the EU.

Belfast Telegraph

SF mayor is given warrior status

By Brendan McDaid
11 November 2004

A delegation of American Indians have conferred warrior status on Londonderry's Sinn Fein Mayor Gearoid O'hEara.

A team of 20 Americans, hailing from Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia, honoured the Mayor and the city with a blessing during their visit yesterday.

The Mayor said he was honoured at being conferred with warrior status by Creek Indian peace chief Negel Big Pond.

Chief Big Pond said: "We have presented him with the sign of the most honourable bird, the Eagle.

"For Native American Indians, that is like being presented with a gold medal in the Olympics. I gave it to him because he is a warrior and a warrior in our world is one who goes to look for peace and I believe that is what the Mayor is doing now."

Chief Big Pond also said the Indian people were extending the hand of friendship following almost two centuries of hurt over the Trial of Tears, when over 4,000 Cherokee Indians lost their lives on the trail of 1838-1839.

Belfast Telegraph

Negotiators claim a deal to release hostage

By Daniel McGrory
11 November 2004

Negotiatators claim to have secured a deal to free Annetta Flanigan, the kidnapped United Nations official, and her two colleagues in Afghanistan.

Talks are continuing but intelligence agencies in Kabul have been told to expect "an imminent release."

At their home in Richhill, Co Armagh, Ms Flanigan's family have been told of the progress made in the past 24 hours but warned that any deal could still go wrong.

A UN source in Kabul said: "Hostage negotiations are anything but a precise science but we have been given strong indications the kidnappers are ready to release all three captives.

"They are being held quite a distance from Kabul so there are logistical questions about where the three will be freed. We have been given every assurance that the captors have no wish to harm them."

The deteriorating health of the three, in particular that of Ms Flanigan (38), has added to the urgency of negotiations.

Last night a spokesman for the kidnappers said the Kabul government had caved in to their demands to free prisoners held in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai's officials say they do not want to get dragged into a public slanging match over what has been agreed.

The kidnappers are understood to have dropped their demand for the release of Afghan prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay. UN officials have pleaded for secrecy during the last round of talks between Afghan government mediators and the kidnappers, expected later today.

Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams extends condolences to Palestinian people

Published: 11 November, 2004

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has expressed his deep sorrow at the death of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Paris overnight. Mr. Adams said that the most fitting legacy to President Arafat will be a sovereign Palestinian state.

The Sinn Féin leader has sent his condolences to President Arafat's wife Suha, to his family and to the Palestinian people in a phone call to Ambassador Ali Halimeh in Dublin this morning.

Mr. Adams

"Throughout a lifetime in struggle President Yasser Arafat has not only been a father of the Palestinian people he has been an inspiration to people throughout the world as he led the struggle for a sovereign Palestinian state. There is a close affinity and affection between the Irish and Palestinian people and his death this evening will be a cause of much sorrow.

"In recent years I spoke to President Arafat on several occasions and just last month Alex Maskey was in Ramallah meeting with Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekhat.

"The most fitting legacy to President Arafat is for the international community to act immediately to ensure that the Israeli Government remove its troops and illegal settlements from Palestinian lands and a return to the negotiating table.

"I want to extend my deep condolences, on behalf of Sinn Féin, to President Arafat's wife Suha, to his family and to the Palestinian people."ENDS

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