04 June 2005

Belfast Telegraph

McCartney court fury
Man is charged with murder


By Lisa Smyth
newsdesk@belfasttelegraph.co.uk
04 June 2005

There were angry scenes today outside the court where a man was charged with the murder of Robert McCartney.

Families and friends of the accused, Terence Davison (49), and of 36-year-old James McCormick, who was charged with the attempted murder of Mr McCartney's friend Brendan Devine, were outraged after it emerged there was not enough room inside the courtroom at Belfast's Magistrate's Court.

Davison was remanded in custody until July 1, charged with the killing on January 30.

McCormick was charged with the attempted murder of Mr Devine on the same night. He was also remanded in custody until July 1.

The unrest erupted after police at the court door refused entry to over 20 supporters of the accused, saying the court was filled to capacity.

However, the family members were outraged to learn that members of the media were going to be allowed in. A tense stand-off followed, with family members of the accused blocking the entrance so the Press could not go into the court.

The Resident Magistrate ruled that only a handful of Press members could cover the arraignment, to allow six more members of the defendants' supporters to take the six remaining seats in the court.

Earlier, the huge crowd assembled outside Court No 6 watched as the sisters and partner of Robert McCartney filed into the courtroom to see the two men being charged.

Mr McCartney (33) was beaten and stabbed after he was dragged out of Magennis's Bar in Belfast city centre on January 30.

Police have said they believe that members of the Provisional IRA were involved in the murder, which has attracted world-wide attention.

One of Mr McCartney's sisters, Catherine, said earlier: "We hope it will lead to further arrests because there were more than two people involved."

BBC

Appeal after cars are set on fire


Two cars were burned out in the attack

Two cars have been set on fire and a house targeted in an incident in east Belfast.

Sectarian slogans were painted on the house in the Whincroft Road area of Castlereagh.

The incident took place shortly after 0300 BST on Saturday, according to a PSNI spokeswoman.

Police have appealed for any witnesses to contact detectives at Castlereagh or to phone the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555111.


An Phoblacht

Observers slam PSNI and Commission over parades

As we face into another unionist marching season, a report released on Wednesday by two international observer organisations on the 2004 marching season finds that contested Orange parades in the North continue to promote unionist paramilitary groups.

The report's publication comes just days after a unionist paramilitary display of force on a contested parade through Lurgan town centre.

Law and Lawlessness: Orange Parades in Northern Ireland, the fourth report issued by the US-based Brehon Law Society and the Irish Parades Emergency Committee (IPEC), criticises "systematic violations" of Parades Commission determinations in several contested marches through nationalist communities in 2004. It also cites the failure of the PSNI to enforce the Commission's restrictions. These systematic violations include:

--A sash-wearing Orangeman at last year's 12 July evening march through Ardoyne waving a Ulster Defence Association (UDA) bannerette.

--William Borland, a leading member of the UDA, and hundreds of other rowdy 'hangers on' marching through Ardoyne on 12 July 2004 for the second year in a row, escorted by as many as 1,500 PSNI and soldiers in riot gear.

--Displays of unfurled Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) flags and emblems at several parades past the Short Strand neighbourhood in June and July 2004.

--Displays of furled UVF flags at the Whiterock parade through the Springfield Road community on 26 June 2004.

Loyalist paramilitary displays have been repeatedly documented at contested parades in Ardoyne, Springfield Road, and Short Strand for the past several years, the report finds.

Members of the 2004 Brehon and IPEC delegation, which included observers from the US, Italy and France, criticised the "hypocrisy" of mainstream unionists and Orangemen for participating in the North and West Belfast Parades Forum, which includes loyalist paramilitaries, while refusing to serve in government with Sinn Féin.

The observer report also faulted the massive military and police deployments throughout Belfast in June and July, particularly the decision to deploy the paratrooper unit inside the Ardoyne community on 12 July 2004. This deployment "reflected either gross negligence or an intention to trigger violent confrontation", the report states.

"We are disappointed that the Orange Order, the Parades Commission, and the PSNI failed to prevent the promotion of loyalist paramilitaries in parades through communities that have borne the brunt of their sectarian attacks," said Seán Cahill, a spokesman for the Brehon Law Society and IPEC observers.

Irish Parades Emergency Committee (IPEC) and Brehon Law Society observers have monitored contested loyal order parades in Northern Ireland each summer since 1996. Copies of the report will be sent to government officials and human rights groups in the US, Ireland, and Britain.

Parade tensions mount

Nationalist representatives in County Derry are calling on the Parades Commission to ban a planned loyalist band parade through the mainly nationalist Kilrea village, citing last year's trouble, when the PSNI fired live rounds into the air.

Tensions are set to rise after nationalists lodged objections to the parade, which will bring up to 30 loyalist bands and 1,500 marchers to Kilrea on 17 June for the parade, organised by the Boveedy Flute Band.

Coleraine Sinn Féin Councillor Billy Leonard told An Phoblacht that the ball is firmly in the Parades Commission court.

"Local people are angry at what they say is unfair PSNI and British government actions, particularly over last year's parade, when only one person faced charges resulting from the violence," he said.

Leonard criticised the PSNI's handling of last year's disturbances and added that he was unhappy with the Police Ombudsman's Office, which "took no action against several PSNI members who were involved in confrontations with nationalist residents".

Leonard said, "there cannot be a bias which results in loyalist and PSNI thuggery going unpunished when a young nationalist was arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon, a baseball bat, which he took off a loyalist who was attacking him.

"We put the case for banning the parade and we will be watching the Parades Commission and the PSNI carefully to see if local people are listened to."

Meanwhile ,Sinn Féin in County Down have called for a loyalist march in Ballynahinch next month to be banned after last year's march deliberately flouted a Parades Commission determination and carried unionist paramilitary flags.

Local Councillor Michael Coogan said last year's march was extremely provocative with many of the participating bands displaying flags representing the UVF and Red Hand Commando organisations.

And Sinn Féin MLA John O Dowd has severely criticised the Parades Commission over last Saturday night's loyalist parade through Lurgan town centre. He called on the new DUP MP David Simpson to explain what a DUP band was doing in the middle of what could only be described as UVF display.

"What we witnessed in Lurgan on Saturday night was a show of strength by the UVF in their ongoing cold war with the LVF, over 30 loyalist bands marched through Lurgan, with the majority of them displaying UVF and YCV colours. It was a clear message on behalf of the unionist paramilitary grouping to us all that they were stamping their authority on Lurgan.

"On a Saturday summer's evening, bar and restaurant owners in the town centre would normally expect a busy evening; instead, the town was practically deserted apart from loyalist bands and their supporters.

"The Parades Commission granted permission for this menacing, loyalist macho display and they have serious questions to answer. I doubt if any section of the community would want a repeat of Saturday night's events, it is about time the organisers of the parade and the Parades Commission realised that.

Daily Ireland

DUP ‘did a deal’ with SDLP

by Ciarán Barnes

A former SDLP mayor of Belfast has claimed his party struck a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to ensure every other party on Belfast City Council is excluded from holding the position of lord mayor until 2007.
Martin Morgan’s comments came just days after the DUP’s Wallace Browne was elected to serve as Belfast’s new lord mayor.
Mr Browne needed the support of the SDLP’s eight City Hall councillors to secure the top civic post.
This was the first time in the SDLP’s history that it had supported a DUP candidate for mayor. In return, the DUP backed the SDLP’s Pat Convery for deputy mayor.
Mr Morgan predicted that the DUP will support a bid by SDLP councillors Carmel Hanna or Pat McCarthy to become lord mayor of Belfast during the 2006-07 council term.
He said: “Last week saw politics in City Hall take yet another strange political turn.
“The SDLP supported the DUP’s Wallace Browne in becoming lord mayor of Belfast and, in turn, the ever tolerant, inclusive and forward-thinking and looking DUP supped with the SDLP and made Pat Convery Deputy Dawg.
“I will make this prediction. Either my old friend Pat McCarthy or Carmel Hanna MLA, councillor and former minister, will become the future SDLP lord mayor.”
Mr Morgan added: “It will be interesting if the deal between the DUP and the SDLP for the two largest gold chains in Belfast will see them further co-operate on matters that really count.”
Speaking to Daily Ireland yesterday, Mrs Hanna said there had been “no agreement” with the DUP but admitted she was happy that the city’s two top civic positions were now held by a unionist and nationalist.
The SDLP’s denial of a deal failed to convince Sinn Féin.
West Belfast councillor Tom Hartley said: “Martin Morgan’s comments confirm our suspicions that the SDLP did a deal with the DUP to secure the top positions on a number of councils in the greater Belfast area.
“When you look at how council positions have been spread around the SDLP and DUP in Lisburn and Castlereagh, it suggests the agreement was not only confined to Belfast.”






Telegraph

Tens of thousands remember Tiananmen massacre

(Filed: 04/06/2005)

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Hong Kong to remember those killed in Beijing 16 years ago by Chinese troops as they crushed the Tiananmen Square uprising.


Thousands took part in a candlelit vigil to remember those who died

A crowd that organisers estimated at 45,000 chanted "Vindicate the 1989 democracy movement", "Release all political dissidents" and "End one party rule," at the annual rally in in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Lee Cheuk-yan, a pro-democracy politician and key organiser of the rally, said the event was a success, despite the estimated attendance figures being 50 per cent down on last year.

He said: "There are lots of young people and they are all very critical of what Beijing did in 1989. We are sure this will never be forgotten."

Hundreds were killed on the night of June 3-4, 1989, when troops and tanks rolled into Beijing and seized control of the square that had been occupied by student demonstrators.

Victor Yeung, who brought his two sons aged four and eight to the rally, said: "Last night I took out some materials on the massacre and told them what happened. I hope they remember this.

"This tragedy is not over because there are people who are still in prison because of this."

In Beijing, the communist Chinese leadership was on alert for any protest that could threaten its grip on power. Uniformed and plainclothes police fanned out around Tiananmen square, and dissenters were kept under guard in their homes.

This year's anniversary was made more sensitive by the death earlier this year of Zhao Ziyang, a top leader ousted in 1989 for sympathising with the student demonstrators.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman indicated this week that the government would not consider changing its verdict on the wave of activism that marked the spring of 1989, which it has dubbed a counter-revolutionary rebellion.

"China's development in various areas, the advance of reforms, the expansion of the opening up and the strengthening of democracy and rule by law, have all proved the decision made at that time was right," Kong Quan told a news briefing.

Daily Ireland

Orange Order rejects talks offer

By Connla Young

The Orange Order has rejected an offer of face-to-face talks with the Parades Commission ahead of this year’s marching season.
Commission chief Anthony Holland wrote to grand master of the Orange Order, Robert Saulters, earlier this week asking for a face-to-face sit-down meeting to discuss issues surrounding parades.
Parades Commission chiefs are anxious to open up a formal line of communication ahead of a what many observers fear will be a long, hot summer on the marching front.
Plans by the Orange Order to hold a massive July 12 demonstration in Derry city are already causing concern.
Although details have yet to be finalised, it is understood Orangemen in the city are keen to bring the County Derry demonstration to the city for the first time in 13 years.
A spokesman for the Orange Order last night refused to confirm the parade plans and was also unable to confirm if the Orange Order will follow the Apprentice Boys’ lead and engage with the nationalist Bogside Residents’ Group (BRG).
However, the spokesman was definite that there would be no talks with the Parades Commission.
He explained that members of the Orange Order were angry that the Parades Commission chief had made details of his request for a meeting public.
“We see this as a very crude attempt to blackmail us into a meeting. It has enraged members of the institution, including senior officers, and what little chance he had of a meeting has been completely scuppered by his actions. We do not engage with the Parades Commission.”
A spokesperson for the Mr Holland said it was normal for the commission boss to issue pre-marching season statements.
“It’s rational that the chairman of the Parades Commission would make a statement at the start of the marching season. Our reason for existing is to promote and facilitate dialogue and that is what we do at all levels and we wish we could do it with the loyal orders.”
Meanwhile PSNI chief constable, Hugh Orde, yesterday said the policing of marches and protests against them will be professional and impartial.
“We are hoping for a season like last year – a largely peaceful marching season – where everyone worked together to achieve the objective, which was the right to march and the right to protest equally.”






BBC

PSNI victim named


Forensic teams have carried out an examination of the area

A 29-year-old man has died after he was hit by a police Land Rover in west Belfast.

It is understood the police were responding to an emergency call when the man was knocked down on the Springfield Road at about 0100 BST.

Jim McMenamin, who was 29 and is believed to have lived nearby, was given first aid by police officers but died at the scene.

The Police Ombudsman's office is investigating the incident.

Forensic teams have carried out an examination of the area.

A spokesman for the ombudsman said that a family liaison officer has been appointed to support the man's family.

"The area has been videoed and photographed and any exhibits have been removed.

"The police vehicle has also been removed for further forensic analysis," the spokesman said.

'High speed operation'

The ombudsman's office has asked anyone who saw what happened to contact them on 02890 828627.

They also want to hear from anyone who has information about the man's movements earlier in the night.

Sinn Fein assembly member Michael Ferguson said the community was shocked and angered by the incident.

"What has been established is that the PSNI were involved in some sort of high speed operation and have ended up knocking down a completely innocent pedestrian," he said.

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood said it was a terrible tragedy.

"All sympathy must go to the family of the young man killed," Mr Attwood said.

Daily Ireland

Gunshot boy goes home

by Zoe Tunney

Darragh Somers, the five-year-old shot in the head as he played in his school yard six weeks ago, was allowed out of hospital for the first time yesterday.
Doctors say he has made a miraculous recovery from the shooting, which almost cost him his life.
He was allowed to leave the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for the weekend.
He left hospital in a wheelchair yesterday to visit his primary one classmates at St Patrick’s Primary School in Mullanaskea, Co Fermanagh.
He is still undergoing intense physiotherapy treatment and must return to hospital on Sunday. However, his spirits were high yesterday and he was delighted to be back among his friends.
On April 22, Darragh was playing in the yard of his school, a few kilometres from Enniskillen, when he was hit by a stray .22-calibre bullet.
He underwent surgery to remove the bullet and spent more than two weeks in intensive care. Darragh’s parents Gerald and Janine kept a 24-hour vigil by their son’s bedside.
A spokeswoman for the Royal Victoria Hospital yesterday said: “We at the hospital and Darragh’s family are delighted with the very good progress he has made. We are very pleased.”
No one has yet come forward to admit responsibility for the shooting incident, although both the PSNI and Darragh’s family have said from the outset they believe it was an accident.
Ballistics tests carried out on legally held weapons seized from the locality by police have proved inconclusive.
Investigating officers will now turn their attention to illegally held firearms in the area. They say they are still centring their inquiries on the immediate area around Darragh’s school.
It is understood that Darragh’s parents and the doctors treating him did not tell the five-year-old that he had been shot until a few days ago.
His visit to school yesterday was a pleasant surprise for his friends and teachers.
Bernie O’Connor, the headmaster of St Patrick’s, said: “It was fantastic. Darragh seems to be in very good form. But it was emotional for some of us.”

BreakingNews.ie

Thousands demand end to world poverty

04/06/2005 - 15:56:01


photo: BBC

Celebrities and politicians were among thousands of people at a rally in Belfast today to call for an end to world poverty.

The MakePovertyHistory event was part of the campaign to put pressure on the governments of the richest countries to address the issue of debt when they meet next month in Scotland for the G8 summit.

Gary Lightbody, lead singer of Snow Patrol, and Belfast singer Brian Houston entertained the crowd at the event, while Natasha Bedingfield, Ronan Keating and Graham Norton have all endorsed the gathering.

Ahead of the rally, Lightbody said: “We were told about the poverty still happening – you can’t believe that it’s still the same situation 20 years later.”

“The reason is these countries are being crushed under the weight of debt.”

He said the solution was for people and governments in the developed world to take responsibility.

“As a generation, we have to stand up and say “no more”.

“When our leaders go into the G8 summit, they have to know the whole world is demanding they pay attention to Africa and all the Third World countries,” he said.

Lawrence McBride, spokesman for the MakePovertyHistory NI campaign, said the focus of today’s rally was debt cancellation.

He said between 2,000 and 3,000 people had turned up, including politicians Mark Durkan, SDLP leader and Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, church leaders and special guest Binnie Mwakasungula, from the Presbyterian church of Central Africa, who addressed the crowd about poverty in Malawi.

Mr McBride said the event gave people in the province – many of whom would not be able to make it to the huge demonstration planned in Edinburgh – a chance to add their voices to the campaign.

Supporters were given the opportunity to write messages which were being stuck on a giant ‘E’, which will be taken to Edinburgh along with the other letters spelling out ‘poverty’, which are coming from cities around the UK.

“Essentially what MakePovertyHistory wants is debt to the poorest countries in the world cancelled without any conditions, and that the money used to cancel debt is not taken out of aid budgets,” Mr McBride said.

He said the G8 leaders had the opportunity to make an unprecedented decision to cancel the debts of the world’s poorest countries.

MakePovertyHistory is a broad coalition of charities, trade unions, and community and church groups including Concern, Trocaire, Oxfam, Street Seen, Save the Children and Christian Aid.

It is demanding debt cancellation, trade justice and more and better aid to the world’s poorest countries to end global poverty.

Later in the year, the MakePovertyHistory campaign will be targeting the UN conference on the Millennium Goals in September to demand more and better aid.

In December, the anti-poverty coalition will be lobbying to secure trade justice at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Hong Kong.

BBC

Two remanded in McCartney killing

Two men have been remanded in custody charged in connection with the murder of Belfast man Robert McCartney.

Terence Davison, 49, of Stanfield Place in the Markets area of the city was charged with murder.

Mr McCartney, 33, was stabbed outside a Belfast pub on 30 January. He died in hospital the following day.

James McCormick, 36, of Victoria Road in Birmingham was charged with the attempted murder of Brendan Devine on the same night. Both deny the charges.

Both were remanded in custody when they appeared at Belfast Magistrates Court.

Relatives of the accused packed the courtroom for their appearance and officials restricted the number of reporters allowed inside the courtroom.

Mr McCartney's sister and partner sat on one side of the public benches, separated by police in riot gear from relatives and friends of the two accused.

Campaign

A senior detective said he believed he could connect the defendants to the charges.

The court heard the prosecution case is based on witness statements, ID evidence and, in the case of James McCormick, forensic evidence.

The defendants are expected to appear in court again by video link on 1 July.

Mr McCartney's sisters and partner have held a number of meetings with high profile politicians in their campaign for justice over the killing.

In March, they met US President George Bush at the White House in Washington.

They have also held separate meetings with US special envoy to Northern Ireland, Mitchell Reiss and the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.


BBC

Primary gets integrated go-ahead



One of the oldest primary schools in Derry has been granted integrated status.

Groarty Primary School on Coshquin Road was established in 1865 and has a current enrolment of 47 pupils.

Education Minister Angela Smith said it was a "long established" school and added that she wished it well for the future.

The integrated education movement wants to have Protestant and Catholic children educated together.

Integrated education has been promoted as a way to break down Northern Ireland's sectarian divisions.

In a report in 2004, Queen's University in Belfast and the University of Ulster, said there was a demand for integrated education among young people.

The Voices Behind the Statistics report studied young people's views of sectarianism.

The first integrated school in Northern Ireland, Lagan College, was established in Belfast in 1981.

There are more than 57 integrated schools in the province.


BBC

Man hit by police vehicle dies

A 29-year-old man has died after he was hit by a police Land Rover in west Belfast.

It is understood the police were responding to an emergency call when the man was knocked down on the Springfield Road at about 0100 BST.

He was given first aid by police officers but he died at the scene.

The Police Ombudsman's office is investigating the incident. The victim's name has not yet been released.

Forensic teams have carried out an examination of the area.

A spokesman for the ombudsman said that a family liaison officer has been appointed to support the man's family.

"The area has been videoed and photographed and any exhibits have been removed.

"The police vehicle has also been removed for further forensic analysis," the spokesman said.

The ombudsman's office has asked anyone who saw what happened to contact them on 02890 828627.

They also want to hear from anyone who has information about the man's movements earlier in the night .

Guardian

Man on McCartney murder charge today

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Saturday June 4, 2005
The Guardian


Robert McCartney

Police will today charge a man with the murder of Robert McCartney, who was stabbed and beaten to death outside a Belfast bar in January.

Terry Davison, 49, from Belfast, will appear in court in Belfast this morning to be charged with the murder of the 33-year-old father of two.

Jim McCormick, from the Markets area of Belfast, will be charged with the attempted murder of Brendan Devine, a friend of Mr McCartney's who was left critically injured from stab wounds on the night of the attack.

Both men were arrested in dawn raids in Birmingham and Belfast on Wednesday. Mr McCormick was escorted from a Birmingham bedsit wearing only boxer shorts after the raid by armed police.

Mr McCartney, a forklift truck driver from the Catholic enclave of Short Strand in east Belfast, died after he was stabbed and beaten outside Magennis's Bar in Belfast on January 30 following an argument.

His partner, Bridgeen Hagans, and his five sisters staged a high-profile campaign to bring his killers to justice, visiting the White House at the invitation of President George Bush and securing the backing of the European parliament to donate funds for a civil case if a criminal case never reached court.

Mr McCartney and Mr Devine had been drinking together in the bar near Belfast's law courts when a row broke out. He was then taken outside where he was beaten and stabbed in an alleyway.

CCTV footage was allegedly removed later as part of an attempt by the killers to clean the pub of all forensic evidence.

Under pressure from the family and in the aftermath of the £26.5m Christmas raid on the Northern Bank, Belfast, which police blamed on republicans, the IRA said it expelled three men over what it termed the "brutal" killing. It also said it offered to shoot those responsible for the killing, but the McCartney family had declined.

Sinn Fein also suspended a number of party members who were in the bar at the time and who allegedly failed to act on president Gerry Adams' demands to disclose what they knew or saw on the night of the killing. Martin McGuinness, the party's chief negotiator, used a party conference speech to express his outrage by the involvement of "a small number of IRA volunteers" in the "grievous crime".

Police revealed this week that they had taken statements from more than 150 witnesses. Ten people provided signed statements through the offices of the Northern Ireland police ombudsman Nuala O'Loan - an avenue suggested by Sinn Fein, which has not endorsed the police service.

Mr McCartney's sister Catherine said she was pleased with the breakthrough in the police investigation.

She said: "We are happy this has happened, but we know it is by no means over.

"We hope it will lead to further arrests because there were more than two people involved. We still have a long way to go in terms of a trial and convictions."

Another sister, Claire McCartney, said: "The family's campaign was paramount to people coming forward with information."


03 June 2005

RTE

Counterfeiting operation uncovered in Co Meath

03 June 2005 19:29

Gardaí in Co Meath have uncovered what they believe to be the biggest DVD counterfeiting operation ever found in the country.

Polythene tunnels that were originally erected on a farm to produce mushrooms were used by a criminal gang to produce up to 600 DVDs an hour - up to 3 million a year - on 20 DVD burners and printers.

Gardaí say an adult and two juveniles have been detained and equipment worth about €300,000 was seized.

Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters facing threats over body

By Michael McHugh
03 June 2005

Firefighters who failed to find a man's body while tackling a fire in Craigavon were last night subjected to threats from residents in the area.

The intimidation follows the weekend tragedy in Ardowen when Seamus Turkington (18), from Drumgor, was found dead in a derelict building.

His body was discovered by a Water Service worker last Saturday after a blaze the previous night had been dealt with by firefighters.

The Fire Service has launched an internal inquiry into why firefighters did not notice Mr Turkington's body.

The latest threats have been condemned by community representatives in the area.

"It appears that the Fire Brigade in Lurgan received some calls from people threatening their well-being which have been linked to the Fire Service's failure to discover the body," Upper Bann Assemblyman John O'Dowd said.

"I would condemn any threats on the Service, I am sure that 99.9 per cent of the community would do the same.

"These individuals are not helping the Turkington family and they are not helping the wider community to recover from this sad tragedy."

Officials from the Fire Brigade Union have approached local representatives for help in calming tensions following Mr Turkington's death.

Belfast Telegraph

Claudy bombing arrests expected
Police poised to act in wake of 1972 atrocity


By Clare Weir
02 June 2005

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Click to view - 'Memorial to those who were killed in Claudy, County Derry, on Monday 31 July 1972. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded three bombs killing 9 civilians. The bronze figure is the centre part of the memorial which includes a number of plaques.' From: CAIN

Detectives probing the Claudy bomb massacre that left nine dead in 1972, including three children, are poised to make arrests, it was claimed today.

Ahead of a meeting of the Policing Board in Londonderry today, a prominent member said police would soon make arrests in connection with the atrocity that rocked the Co Londonderry town.

At a public meeting in the City Hotel this afternoon, Chief Constable Hugh Orde was due to face questions on the progress of the investigation, which was re-launched in December 2003.

Policing Board member and DUP Assemblyman, William Hay, says he has been led to believe that arrests will take place in the near future.

He said he would press the Chief Constable for an update on the inquiry today and has tabled a question for this afternoon's meeting.

"This inquiry is very welcome but it has been some time since we have heard any news," he said.

"My knowledge is that there are going to be arrests.

"The families have been waiting for a long time to find out the truth and I will be asking Hugh Orde what the latest news is.

"This issue needs to be kept in the public domain. We need to see arrests and we need to see people charged."

A police spokesman would not be drawn on the possibility of arrests but did confirm that a question on the Claudy bomb had been tabled for today's meeting.

The Chief Constable was unavailable for comment.

The murders have always been blamed on the IRA - which has consistently denied the accusations.

There have also been claims that Catholic priest Fr James Chesney masterminded the three no-warning bombings and led the republican team responsible.

In a shocking development, it was revealed by police that both former Secretary of State William Whitelaw and the then Bishop of Derry were aware of the claims about the clergyman, who died in 1980.

In addition, an anonymous letter - the authenticity of which has never been proven - was sent to a Derry journalist and UUP councillor and survivor of the attack, Mary Hamilton.

In it, a man calling himself Fr Liam claimed that Fr Chesney broke down and confessed his part in the bombing shortly after the car bomb attack.

While Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kincaid initially led the inquiry, the investigation has now been taken over by Detective Inspector Robbie Paul and no significant announcement has been made in recent times.

Nine people were killed in the double bombing.

They were Kathryn Eakin (9), Joseph McCluskey, David Miller, James McClelland, William Temple, Elizabeth McElhinney, Rose McLaughlin, Patrick Connolly and Arthur Hone. William Temple was 16.


--------------------

BBC

NI receives peace funding boost


EU commissioner Danuta Hubner announced the funding

Northern Ireland will receive a further £97m from the European Union Peace II initiative.

Professor Danuta Hubner, the EU commissioner for regional policy, announced a two-year extension for the programme in Belfast on Friday.

The extra funding comes as a result of sustained campaigning from various groups in Europe and Northern Ireland.

The Peace II programme aims to achieve economic renewal and social integration in areas most scarred by the Troubles.

FIVE AIMS OF PEACE II
Economic renewal
Social integration
Inclusion and reconciliation
Local re-generation and strategic development
Cross-border cooperation
It aims to promote reconciliation and to help build a more peaceful and stable society.


Mrs Hubner said the money would allow the programme's vital work to be "consolidated".

"The European Union understands that economic and social development in support of peace and reconciliation at grassroots level is not a short term process," she said.

"The programme provides real added-value in bringing communities together to address shared economic and social problems and opportunities.

Impact

"In face of the current difficulties in the peace process, this decision demonstrates the continued solidarity and support of the European Union towards permanent peace in the region."

Peace II director Sean Henry said on Friday that the programme has had "a real impact on both Catholic and Protestant areas".

Mr Henry said they wanted to encourage more groups to apply, particularly those from Protestant areas, and that the application process had been "greatly simplified".

"We have set aside some money for community groups who have not previously applied for funding and for those who perhaps don't have the skills to fill in application forms," he said.

"With this type of effort, we should be able to ensure that this programme really gets to the people who need the money."

Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brun backed the extension, but called for a new Peace III programme to be set up that would run until 2013.

"Future funding should be directed to the twin goals of reconciliation and social inclusion, in order to combat the legacy of the conflict, particularly for those most marginalised in recent decades," she said.

Jim Allister, the Democratic Unionist MEP, urged members of the rural community to apply for funding.

"Farmers to date have had a very poor experience applying for Peace II money and in particular measures which have been administered by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development," he said.

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson warned he would be scrutinising how the money was allocated.

"While the distribution of funds may have been imperfect, I will be placing pressure on both the government and the commission to ensure the equal distribution of funding in the future," he said.

Beginning in 2001, the initiative followed on from the five-year Peace I, which distributed 500m euros. Peace I was established in the wake of peace developments in 1994.

Peace II covers Northern Ireland as well as the border counties in the Irish Republic.

Groups applying for Peace II grants must demonstrate their proposals will address the legacy of the Troubles and show how they will promote reconciliation and mutual understanding.

More than 5,300 projects have been funded by the programme.

Belfast Telegraph

Order calls for end to 50:50 policing quota

By Michael McHugh
03 June 2005

The Orange Order has backed calls for reform of the PSNI and demanded a reversal of the 50/50 recruitment policy.

The claims in the Orange Order's online newsletter follow strongly-worded criticism of the PSNI by former Policing Federation chairman, Jimmy Spratt, earlier this week when he suggested that the PSNI was losing the intelligence war against the IRA.

The Policing Board has defended the post-Patten recruitment system in the past, but many unionists are unhappy with the quota system imposed by 50/50.

A piece in the latest edition of the Orange Standard said the policy was discriminatory and unfair and called for its abolition.

"It also goes without saying that the obnoxious discriminatory recruitment policy which mitigates against Protestants joining the PSNI must be scrapped," the article said.

"It has been well-documented how unfair this recruitment policy is, with Protestants, who constitute 57 per cent of the population of Northern Ireland, restricted to less than 50 per cent of places on the PSNI.

"Northern Ireland is paying a heavy price for the blunders of the Patten recommendations implemented by a compliant Government," the article continued. "The sooner this unrealistic policy is reversed the better it will be for Northern Ireland."

Mr Spratt, a DUP candidate in the last Westminster election, questioned the PSNI's ability to thwart major criminal raids through intelligence-led policing following the amalgamation of Special Branch with CID.

A spokesman for the Policing Board said they had no comment to make.

Belfast Telegraph

Loyalists in clash at murder case

By Brian Hutton
03 June 2005

A leading police officer today prevented a man being thrown over the fourth floor balcony of Belfast's Laganside Courthouse as rivals in a murder case clashed.

Superintendent Roy McComb intervened in the bloody fracas outside Crown Court just minutes before judgment was to be given in the murder of Red Hand Commando drug dealing supremo Jim "Jonty" Johnston in the driveway of his luxury Co Down home on May 8, 2003.

A crowd of around 30 people were awaiting the judgment in the case of 41-year-old Robert John Benson Young at court 15, on the fourth floor of the courthouse, when the trouble erupted.

It is understood that a friend of the accused approached a friend or family member of Mr Johnston and after an exchange of words fists were thrown, just before the judgment was due to be heard.

Security staff radioed for help and plain clothes police moved in to separate the pair, who by then were circled by the crowd.

At one point one of the men was forced up against the glass safety panel of the fourth floor balcony when Superintendent Roy McComb and other plain clothes officers intervened, preventing him from being forced over the partition.

One woman ran into the court screaming "there's murder out there", to other members and friends of the Johnston family.

According to court reporter Mickey Donnelly, who was at the scene, one of the defendant's supporters shouted "Up the Loyalist Volunteer Force" as that faction left the building.


Supporters of the accused were ordered off the premises - BBC photo

"He had his nose cut up and there was blood spattered over his clothes," he said.

The family and friends of Mr Johnston remained in the court while the rival crowd left.

The case was adjourned with a time and date for a verdict to be fixed.

No arrests were made but it is understood that the incident may have been caught on the CCTV surveillance system.

Several police riot squads were among the large security presence at the courthouse for the case.

Young, from Ulsterville Park in Portadown, denies Johnston's murder, while his 39-year-old sister Lorraine from Church Hill, Holywood, is accused of providing him with a false alibi.

A second Co Down woman, 35-year-old Susan Ferguson from Westlink in Holywood, is on trial with them accused of possessing a magazine for a 9mm Taurus pistol, which was found at the scene of the shooting.

She is also accused of having a second magazine found during a search of her home.

Johnston (46), was a senior member of the UVF- linked Red Hand Commando and was regarded as a major player in the drugs trade.

He was shot as he was closing the gates to his luxury Crawfordsburn home on May 8, 2003.

The trial had heard that the drug dealer was ambushed by two gunmen who fired 14 shots, hitting him 11 times.

His four-bedroom family home in the affluent Ballyrobert Road area was sold for £410,000 last November after it was seized by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA).

Earlier this year, another four properties belonging to Johnston were sold off by the ARA for over a quarter of a million pounds.


IrishExaminer.com

Tristan father could face prosecution in Ireland

03 June 2005
Dan Buckley

THE Irish father of Tristan Dowse — the little boy left in a legal limbo in an Indonesian orphanage — could face prosecution here on charges of abandoning his son.
The Government is also to review legislation involving foreign adoptions in the wake of the affair.

In the meantime, Attorney General Rory Brady is taking take High Court proceedings against both parents in a bid to clarify the legal position of the adopted three-year-old.

Mr Brady will seek an order from the High Court to compel Joe and Lala Dowse to take care of the boy under constitutional provisions relating to the family.

The case is being taken in the hope that the couple will then take legal action to deregister the adoption in Ireland, freeing up the Irish and Indonesian authorities to find a solution relating to the legal quagmire involving the boy and to enable him to be readopted.

Joe Dowse, from Wicklow, may face prosecution if found to have abandoned his child under law without due care.

The Dowses adopted Tristan when he was two months old, but Mr Dowse returned him to an orphanage when he was two years of age, claiming the adoption “wasn’t working out.”

Minister for Children Brian Lenihan said his department was examining whether the return of Tristan Dowse to an orphanage by his adoptive parents was illegal and whether the law governing adoptions abroad needed to be tightened.

“This may be a case of an Irish citizen abroad who had abandoned an Irish child and we will be reviewing this to see if it was improper and what the consequences for this are under Irish law,” he said. Three-year-old Tristan faces spending the rest of his childhood in an institution unless he is re-adopted soon.

Officials in Indonesia have warned that if the legal quagmire is not sorted out before Tristan reaches the age of five, he cannot be adopted.

Under Indonesian law, children become ineligible for adoption at that age.

Tristan turns four this month and has already endured around two years in legal limbo. It is feared that further legal wrangles could now leave him trapped in an institution until he reaches the age 18.

The Indonesian authorities say Tristan’s adoption was illegal, and that it will take several months to get this situation rectified through their courts. In Ireland, a High Court action will seek to have Tristan’s name removed from the adoption register. Only when both these processes are complete can Tristan’s readoption process begin.

The registrar of the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI), Kiernan Gildea, said: “He simply isn’t eligible for adoption after the age of five and would probably have to stay in an institution until he reaches 18. We are certainly aware of the urgency and that time is running out for him.”

BBC

Man charged with McCartney murder

A 49-year-old man is due in court charged with the murder of Belfast man Robert McCartney.

A 36-year-old has also been charged with the attempted murder of his friend Brendan Devine.

Mr McCartney, 33, was stabbed outside a Belfast pub on 30 January and died the following day in hospital.

Both men, who were arrested on Wednesday, are understood to be from Belfast. They are due before the city's magistrates court on Saturday.

One of the men was arrested in Birmingham and brought to Belfast earlier this week.

Mr McCartney's sisters and partner have held a number of meetings with high profile politicians in their campaign for justice over the killing.

In March, they met US President George Bush at the White House in Washington.

They have also held separate meetings with US special envoy to Northern Ireland, Mitchell Reiss and the Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern.

Irelandclick.com

Health system let us down says family of suicide victim

On the day he committed suicide he asked if he could go back into hospital and was told that he couldn’t.

The parents of a young man who took his own life through suicide have been told by medical professionals there was a “breakdown in communications” between their son and the health system prior to his death.
Gerard and Carole McCartan discovered their son Danny (18) had hanged himself on April 11.
In the nine months leading up to his death he was prescribed nearly 3000 tablets to combat his depression and anxiety including anti-psychotic drugs and sleeping pills. At one stage he was taking 18 tablets a day ranging in strength from 5mg right up to 300 mg.
He had been self-harming for three years and had cut his face, legs and arms with blades. Then last August after several months of taking medication, he took an overdose.
On the day he committed suicide he asked if he could go back into hospital and was told that he couldn’t. Danny fled and that was the last time his parents saw him alive.
Gerard and Carole said they feel that the system has let them down and that there was a lack of information as to why their son was taking so many drugs.
At a meeting in the Mater Hospital last week with a leading psychiatric consultant and staff from North and West Belfast Health and Social Services Trust, Gerard and Carole McCartan, who believe that no one understood how urgent Danny’s situation was, were told that there was a “breakdown in communications”.
The McCartan family are now lodging an official complaint against the Mater Trust, North and West Belfast Trust and Knockbracken, a facility in South Belfast, which houses young mentally ill patients.
“The system completely failed us,” Gerard McCartan said.
“We had to be on top of things all the time. We had to chase so many people to get anything done and all the time people were passing the buck. Shifting him from pillar to post.
“And the worst thing was that he was never diagnosed with anything apart from general mental illness. They said to us we you can’t label him, he’s so young, well that’s all well and good but Danny wanted to know if he was schizophrenic or whatever.
“We got the impression they were holding information back all the time. Danny was in the system for eight months and we were never given an explanation of the drugs.
“They should have been more open with us. They knew themselves the implications of what drugs he was on. We didn’t. We tried to deal with this as best we could.”
The Mater Hospital issued a statement confirming that staff from North and West Belfast Trust and the Mater Hospital Trust met with Danny McCartan’s parents, “to discuss a range of issues following his death”.
“We will continue to meet with his parents to try and resolve any concerns they may have regarding his treatment. We wish to extend our sympathies to the parents of Danny McCartan at this very difficult time.”

Journalist:: Áine McEntee

Irelandclick.com

Going going

Work finally begins on bringing down Girdwood
barracks, a place SF has branded North Belfast’s ‘Guantanamo Bay’


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Girdwood army barracks was this morning being dismantled, bringing a legacy of the British army in North Belfast to a final and ignominious end.
A Sinn Féin councillor has branded the base in which Catholics were tortured throughout the conflict, as the “end to our Guantanamo Bay”.
And the new SDLP deputy mayor of Belfast, Pat Convery, also welcomed the start of work to demolish the massive base and called for a strategic plan to put the land to public use.
An MoD spokesman this morning confirmed work had started on the site that cuts a swathe through North Belfast.
Asked how long it would take contractors to demolish Girdwood, the spokesman said: “as long as it takes, but as soon as possible”.
Workmen were working on dismantling the communications towers and two huge cranes have been commissioned to take the base apart.
“The military installations will go first and the sangars and then the rest of the base,” said the British army spokesman.
The land is to be passed onto the Department of Social Development (DSD) but no decision has been made on what will replace it.
A DSD spokeswoman said the property still belonged to the MoD.
“It’s still MoD property and we have nothing to do with it until it’s passed onto the department.”
Pat Convery called for a “strategic approach” on the future of the site.
“I welcome this development. It shows that Girdwood is now being demolished and hopefully there will be a multi-purpose use for it,” he said.
“It can be used for housing, health care and leisure resources and business development in the community.”
Danny Lavery said “good riddance to Girdwood”.
“We are happy and grateful that Girdwood barracks is coming down after much pressure to go from Sinn Féin. This ends over 30 years of a legacy of murder, injustice, abuse and torture meted out to the nationalist community from within the walls of this base in North Belfast,” he said.

Journalist:: Andrea McKernon


Cryptome

**If you go to the above link, you can pick up the 688 page .pdf file on the:

REPORT ON THE INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH OF RICHARD BARRON AND THE EXTORTION CALLS TO MICHAEL AND CHARLOTTE PEOPLES


(It is listed as: Corruption of Northern Ireland Police /O June 3, 2005)


------------------


BBC

Emergency text service for deaf


People will be able to text message the police using mobile phones

A new PSNI text messaging service will mean people with hearing or speech problems will be able to contact the emergency services using mobile phones.

The project was developed by the police in partnership with the Deaf Association of NI and British Telecom.

It is being launched by Chief Constable Hugh Orde.

People who register with the service will be able to use their mobile phones to text the police, who in turn will contact the relevant emergency service.

The messages, which can be sent from any part of Northern Ireland, will go centrally to the police service's Belfast regional control centre.

Sign language

Staff at the centre will then direct the call to one, or all, of the required emergency services - police, ambulance and fire and rescue.

In addition to the scheme, the police are also training disability link officers in each of its 29 district command units.

The officers will be trained in both English and Irish sign language.

Hugh Orde said the new text service was another step towards making Northern Ireland a safer place for everyone.

"It also allows a group of people in the deaf and signing community who may in the past have found it difficult to communicate with the police and other emergency services and to deal with us in confidence," he said.

"Policing with the community is all about partnership."

Majella McAteer, of the Deaf Association of Northern Ireland said: "We are delighted with this recent development as it is vital that deaf sign language users have equal access to the emergency services of Northern Ireland.

"We hope that we can continue to break down barriers, raise awareness within the community and improve access to services for deaf sign language users."


BBC

Boycott urged over 'sham' inquiry


Mr Finucane, 39, was shot dead in front of his family

Amnesty International is urging senior judges not to sit on the public inquiry into the murder of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

The human rights group said the "sham" inquiry, set up under the Inquiries Act 2005, had been "railroaded" through parliament and would lack independence.

Mr Finucane, 39, was killed by loyalist paramilitaries at his home in 1989.

In a statement last December, the Northern Ireland Office said nothing would be withheld from the inquiry.

However, Amnesty International's UK director, Kate Allen, said crucial evidence could be omitted from any final report at the government's discretion.

"Any judge presiding over an inquiry into the Finucane murder, under the Inquiries Act 2005, would be presiding over a sham. We urge judges not to sit on any such inquiry," she said.


Judge Cory has criticised government inquiry plans

"By rushing through this act, the government has placed itself beyond public scrutiny and dealt a massive blow to any hopes of transparency in government.

"Under the Inquiries Act 2005, there will be no more independent, public inquiries like those into the Ladbroke Grove train crash, the murder of Stephen Lawrence or the tragedy at Hillsborough.

"The government will be able to control what the public finds out, and what it doesn't."

In March, before the act was approved by parliament, it was criticised by the judge who investigated allegations of security force collusion in Mr Finucane's murder.

Retired Canadian judge Peter Cory said the proposed new legislation "would make a meaningful inquiry impossible".

Family concerns

He said the bill would set up "impossible terms for any international judge asked to chair the inquiry".

Mr Finucane's son John also said the government should reconsider changes to the law.

The Finucane family have concerns about the independence and the powers of the inquiry and said it did not comply with Judge Cory's recommendations.

Mr Finucane's killing was one of the most controversial of the 30 years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, mainly because of the allegations of collusion between the Ulster Defence Association and members of the security forces.

In 2001, Judge Cory was appointed by the British and Irish governments to examine allegations of collusion surrounding the Finucane and other controversial killings.

Judge Cory recommended a public inquiry into Mr Finucane's death.

Last December, the NIO said the government wanted the inquiry to be able to get at the full facts of what happened.

However, because of national security, it said a large proportion of evidence would "have to be considered in private".

Loyalist Ken Barrett, 41, was sentenced in September to life for Mr Finucane's murder, after admitting his part in the killing.


1981 Irish Hungerstrikers

** I am sorry I did not get this posted on Sunday


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MARTIN HURSON BEGINS HUNGER STRIKE - 29 MAY 1981

"On May 29th...Martin joined the hunger strike, replacing South Derryman Brendan McLoughlin who was forced to drop out because of a burst stomach ulcer.

In the Free State general election in June, Martin was a candidate in Longford/Westmeath, and although missing election, obtained almost four-and-a-half thousand first preference votes, and over a thousand transfers, before being eliminated at the end of the sixth count, outlasting two Labour candidates and a Fine Gael contender."


>>>Read Martin's biography


--------------------------------

THE BLANKET

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A Salute to Comrades
Book Review

Dolours Price • 18 May 2005

After reading 'Ten Men Dead' I swore that I would never again read about the Hunger Strike of 1981. I cried at every page and my husband eventually hid the book. I bought another.

My levels of sadness rose at the same rate as my levels of anger. The targets for my anger were the usual ones: those identified by the Republican Leadership as responsible for the death of Bobby Sands and his comrades. Top of the list was Margaret Thatcher, then came busybody priests, political opponents, an uncaring Free-State Government and more and more.

Hunger-striking, the last resort of the brutalised political prisoner. The ultimate weapon, one's own body.


>>>Read it



--------------------



02 June 2005

RTE News

Romanian seven-year-old to be repatriated

02 June 2005 21:21

A seven-year-old boy left behind in Tralee, Co Kerry, after his parents and four-year-old brother were sent back to Romania as part of a mass deportation, is being cared for by his aunt.

He is to remain with his aunt overnight, while gardaí from the Garda National Immigration Bureau prepare to repatriate him to Romania to be reunited with his family.

Gardaí have confirmed that 58 asylum seekers, all Romanian, were arrested yesterday and deported on a charter flight from Dublin Airport to Bucharest.
Advertisement

There were 40 men, ten women, and eight children on board the charter flight. The deportees were arrested yesterday around the country, but mostly in Dublin.

Many were deported under the new fast track asylum process. Under these rules, applications from five countries, including Romania, are processed within three weeks of being made.

Others had been turned back on attempting to enter the country, had been refused leave to remain after going through the application process here or had withdrawn their applications for asylum.

A spokeswoman for the Tralee Refugee Support Group has said there has been a fierce reaction to the deportation.

Grainne Landers said that at around midday yesterday, the parents and four-year-old son of the family went to the local garda station to sign in, as is normal for asylum seekers facing the threat of deportation.

However, they had no idea that their deportation was going to go ahead yesterday.

Ms Landers said the three were arrested, put in a patrol car and brought to the Holy Family School in the town where their eldest son attends class. However, when they got there they found that the child had been removed from the school.

According to Ms Landers, gardaí then drove the other three members of the family to Dublin, from where they were deported last night.

Ms Landers said the family had been living in the Co Kerry town for three years. She said they were very well integrated and were popular amongst the community.

She said they had been through the application process for asylum, and had failed. She added that they were preparing an application for humanitarian leave to remain.

BreakingNews.ie

SF made most money in political donations last year

02/06/2005 - 13:47:07

Sinn Féin declared more money in political donations last year than any other party in the State, according to figures published today by the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The party declared more than €88,500 in donations for 2004, more than double the amount declared by Fianna Fáil (€43,500).

However, while the bulk of Sinn Féin’s money came from its own public representatives, most of Fianna Fáil’s came from private business.

Fine Gael, the Labour Party and the Progressive Democrats declared no donations to the Standards in Public Office Commission, while the Greens declared €36,000.

Under the law, political parties can only accept a maximum of around €6,350 from individual donors in a single year and must declare all donations exceeding €5,079.

BBC

One dead after explosion at plant


Ambulances attended the scene of the blast

One man has died in a blast at a water treatment plant in County Derry.

Two others were injured in what police say was an industrial accident at Carmoney treatment works in Eglinton. A tank was blown through the roof.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known. However, there is no threat to the water supply in the city of Derry.

Eoin Doyle of the Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters in protective clothing managed to carry out a snatch rescue of an injured man at the plant.

"This was a tricky operation for our crews because there were chemicals and there had been an explosion," he said.

A major incident was declared over fears fumes from chemicals may have escaped.

Residents in the Eglinton and Campsie area were advised to stay indoors before the area was declared safe.

Altnagelvin hospital in Derry put its major emergency plan into effect.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said two people had been taken to the hospital, but their injuries were not life threatening.

A police spokesman later said: "We are treating the cause of this explosion as accidental."

Geoff Ennis, who works at a motor dealership just a few hundred yards from the plant, heard the explosion.

"We heard the bang and I was walking out the workshop door out to get mileage off one of the vehicles.

"I looked up in the sky and saw this huge tank. It was about 150-200 ft above the factory on the hill.

"At first, I thought it was a hot air balloon or something that had blown up, it was up at such a great height. I had a closer look and it was like a storage tank, falling to the ground then."

It is believed there was a construction team on the site as well as several Water Service employees.

It is believed that the plant may be closed for some time and that the Water Service is making arrangements to ensure the continued supply of water to the Waterside area of Londonderry.

Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister Shaun Woodward offered his sympathy to the families of the dead and injured.

He has asked to be kept informed about the condition of the injured workers.

"Water Service is liaising closely with the Health and Safety Executive, who will conduct a full investigation into the incident," he said.

The area's MP, SDLP leader Mark Durkan, expressed his sympathies to the dead man's family and praised the work of the emergency services.

"It seems that they have handled the emergency professionally and with great speed and they should be commended," he said.


Daily Ireland

Loyalists say Dorrian suspect "in Scotland"

by Ciaran Barnes c.barnes@dailyireland.com

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One of the suspects in the Lisa Dorrian murder case has fled to Scotland, loyalist sources claimed yesterday.
Reports of the Belfast man's flit across the Irish Sea came on the same day it was revealed that Progressive Unionist Party leader David Ervine had met the Dorrian family to offer the relatives information about the shop assistant's death.
The Ulster Volunteer Force and Red Hand Commando paramilitary groups, to which the PUP is linked, are said to be investigating Ms Dorrian's disappearance.
The suspect who has reportedly fled to Scotland has strong links to the Red Hand Commando in north Belfast.
Another one of those believed to have been involved in Ms Dorrian's death, a Loyalist Volunteer Force drug dealer from east Belfast, has claimed he was abroad at the time of the 25-year-old's disappearance.
The UVF has alleged that the man is a police informer. He has not yet been questioned and is reported to have told friends he has airline tickets to prove he was out of the country at the time.
Detectives have questioned three people so far in the hunt for Ms Dorrian's killers. All three have been released without charge.
One of those questioned is a teenager who was with Ms Dorrian minutes before she disappeared.
The PSNI has said it believes that Ms Dorrian was murdered over a loyalist drug debt.
In a BBC documentary detailing the days leading up to Ms Dorrian's death, her family admitted she had a drug problem.
The family appealed yesterday for information that could lead to the return of her body.
The shop assistant's uncle, Terry Dorrian, said the family would meet anyone who could help them find his niece's body.
He said that, in his meetings with the PUP leader, David Ervine had stressed that his involvement in trying to help the family was humanitarian and that he had no political agenda.
Mr Dorrian said it was important for the wider community that his niece's body be recovered.
"People should hope and pray that this is the last time a young girl's life is taken for no reason," he added.
Mr Ervine told Daily Ireland that he would meet with the Dorrians again if he had any fresh information.
Earlier this month, Mr Ervine said he feared that loyalists might take the law into their own hands unless the police caught Lisa Dorrian's killers.
The family is offering a reward of £10,000 (14,800 Euro) for information leading to the recovery of Lisa's body, but there has been no progress so far.

Irelandclick.com

Caught in the crossfire

Residents of a West Belfast street say they are becoming increasingly alarmed by a bitter rivalry between local children which has already resulted in injury and damage to property of local residents.

A number of homes in the Westrock Grove area have been caught in the crossfire between rival gangs from the Beechmount and Whiterock areas who converge on the area to throw stones and bottles and hurl abuse at each other. Some of the rioters are young as four years-of-age, say locals.

Resident and former youth worker Anthony Parker says he is disgusted by the behaviour and is at his wits end trying to combat the problem.

“These kids come up the hill from Beechmount and over from Whiterock and throw stones and bottles and anything they can find at each other and our homes are bearing the brunt of this,” said Anthony.

“One resident of this street has had to board up her windows and her glass patio doors because they were destroyed by stones being thrown, another resident had all her windows broken and got hit in the mouth by a brick. This has to stop, enough is enough,” he added.

“There has always been a rivalry between local children. I’ll even admit doing this myself when I was younger, but it was just fun then, it was playful and we had plenty of room to run away, because this was just all open fields years ago. We certainly wouldn’t have been destroying people’s homes and then these kids have the cheek to stand and defy adults, the language they use is just foul.”

The violence, which has been going on for the past eight nights according to Anthony, has been an ongoing problem for years, but has escalated now as the days lengthen.

Ironically, Westrock Grove, which is now awash with bricks, bottles and broken glass, was voted Best Kept Street in 1989, but given recent events, say residents, the street has become a nightmare to live in and requires urgent attention from the Housing Executive to curb the tide of teenagers who are entering the area through broken fences and unsecured pathways.

“This area has in recent years been terrorised by glue-sniffers, joyriders and wee thugs, and that’s bad enough, but this is just getting out of hand and the parents of these young children should make sure they are safely at home, not terrorising this area.”

A spokesperson for the Housing Executive told the Andersonstown News that no complaints about a broken fence at Westrock Grove have been received by the Housing Executive, but added: “In light of the information received from the Andersonstown News the Housing Executive is making arrangements to inspect the fence and carry out any necessary repairs.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Belfast Telegraph

Bloody Sunday rifle found in Africa
Collins' claims spark call for inquiry


By Brian Hutton
02 June 2005

Shocking claims by former Army leader Tim Collins that his troops recovered a rifle in Africa that had been used on Bloody Sunday but was declared destroyed by the Ministry of Defence a year earlier, drew calls today for a full investigation of the matter.

John Kelly, whose 17-year-old brother Michael was one of the 13 civilians shot dead by the Parachute Regiment on the day, was extremely startled to learn of the revelations when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph.

Massive questions have been raised about the Ministry of Defence's participation in the Saville Inquiry in light of the claims, according to Mr Kelly.

In his just published book, Rules of Engagement, Belfast-born Colonel Collins tells how his troops recovered the rifle from a terrorist group in Sierra Leone in September 2000.

The SLR was one of two weapons the Army "deactivated as souvenirs" of their ambush operation.

In a footnote to the incident he says: "The rifles were old British Army self-loading rifles.

"It was only when they were back to the UK that it was discovered from the serial numbers that one of the rifles was actually an old 1 Para rifle.

"It was used on Bloody Sunday in Londonderry in 1972 when 13 protesters had been shot - and it had been declared destroyed when the Saville Inquiry into the shootings had asked for it."

The Saville Inquiry in 1999 was told that 14 rifles of the 29 originally presented to the original Widgery Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, had been destroyed, while 10 had been sold.

Colonel Collins, who was cleared of war crimes allegations two years ago, made headlines for his rousing speech to the Royal Irish Regiment before they entered into battle in Iraq in 2003.

The 44-year-old drew praise from Prince Charles and President George W Bush, who was believed to have requested a copy of the speech for the wall of the Oval Office.

John Kelly has called for the Saville Inquiry, which is currently preparing its final report, to confront the MoD about the claims.

"If this is one of the rifles used in Bloody Sunday then it is vital evidence. It could be one of the murder weapons," he said.

"Are the MoD lying? Somebody is lying.

"If Tim Collins has proof of this then he should make himself available to the inquiry," he said.

BreakingNews.ie

McCartney murder: Police hold two men

02/06/2005 - 07:26:34

Detectives are continuing to question two men today in connection with the murder of Robert McCartney.

Armed officers smashed down a door to seize one of the men in an early morning raid at a bedsit in Birmingham yesterday.


The house in Birmingham where one man was arrested

A second man was detained in Belfast as part of an arrest operation which relatives believe could signal a major breakthrough in the police investigation.

Mr McCartney, 33, from the Short Strand area of Belfast, was murdered by IRA men after being dragged from a city centre bar four months ago.

The two arrested come from the neighbouring Markets area but one had been staying in Birmingham for the past three weeks.

The man, 36, was wearing just his boxer shorts when police burst in to his second-floor bedsit in the Stechford area of the city.

Eyewitnesses described how he was led barefoot to a waiting police car in Victoria Road.

He was flown back to the North for questioning by a team of detectives headed by Inspector Kevin Dunwoody.

The other man, aged 49, was arrested in Belfast.

Police yesterday confirmed the two men can be held for questioning at Antrim for 72 hours.

Mr McCartney died after he was beaten and stabbed outside Magennis’s Bar in Belfast city centre on January 30.

His sister, Catherine McCartney, said she hoped the arrests would signal a major breakthrough in the investigation.

No one has yet been charged in connection with the murder, even though key suspects and several customers who were in the bar at the time have been interviewed.

Mrs McCartney said: “We obviously welcome these arrests but remain cautious.

“People have been arrested before and let out.

“Others have walked into police stations, stared at walls and said nothing.”

It is understood the man arrested in Birmingham had been staying at the rented flat in Victoria Road for just three weeks.

Senior members of the IRA in the Markets and Short Strand areas, where Mr McCartney lived with his partner and two children, are believed to have been involved in the murder, which led to the Provisionals expelling three men.

Several Sinn Féin members have also been suspended and some thrown out of the party.

BBC

Police probe after bomb attacks

Police have said they are investigating a possible racial motive for pipe bomb attacks on two homes in County Armagh.

The houses at Brooke Manor and Milltown in Ahorey are occupied by Lithuanians who work in a nearby poultry factory.

A family of four, including a ten-year- old boy were in one house. Three young men live in the other.

The devices were put through the letter boxes of the houses shortly after midnight. Minor damage was caused in the explosions, but no-one was injured.

The area was cordoned off while Army technical officers examined the scene. A number of items were taken away.

Police have appealed for information.

RTE

Dutch voters reject EU Constitution

01 June 2005 23:00

Dutch voters have overwhelmingly rejected the EU Constitution in a national referendum.

Provisional final results showed 61.6% of voters in the Netherlands rejected the treaty, with only 38.4% in favour. Turnout was reported to be 62.4%.

Unlike the French referendum, the Dutch vote was non-binding but the main parties said they would follow the will of the people if the turnout exceeded 30%.
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Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, said he was 'disappointed' by the result but promised to honour the outcome.

The result deepens the crisis in the bloc further following the rejection of the constitution in France.

The rejection of the charter by the Netherlands - one of the six countries that founded the bloc in the 1950s - could deliver a fatal blow to the treaty.

It also casts doubt on the EU's hopes for a more muscular foreign policy and its plans to expand further to the Western Balkans, Turkey and Ukraine.

Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg, the European Union President, said ratification of the constitution must continue in other countries despite rejection by Dutch and French voters.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, is to discuss the matter when he meets Mr Juncker and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany tomorrow.

Reacting to the result, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso admitted the Dutch rejection heralded difficult times ahead for the EU.

The Dutch 'No' campaign was an unlikely coalition of right-wing and far left groups - each of which had different reasons for opposing the constitution.

Some talked of a loss of Dutch identity, anger over inflation thought to be brought on by the euro and opposition to Turkey's application to join the EU.

'Yes' campaigners argued that the constitution set out clearly the limits of what Brussels should do and strengthens Europe's role in a world dominated by the US and the rising strength of India and China.


01 June 2005

BBC

Review sought over asbestos plans


Campaigners are opposed to plans for an asbestos store

Residents opposed to plans for a temporary asbestos storage site outside Crumlin are to apply for a judicial review to overturn the decision.

The residents will lodge papers for the review on Thursday after holding a meeting to gauge the level of support for continuing to oppose the plant.

The meeting, on Wednesday, was attended by South Antrim MP William McCrea.

It is proposed that asbestos from all over the province will be taken to the site at Crosshill for dumping.

The government has said the plant will pose no risk to health, and gave plans for it the green light in March.

The proposal will see double bagged asbestos being transported to Crosshill by the firm Eastwood Ltd, where it will be stored in steel containers before it is moved for final disposal.

However, objectors say they are taking the action because they believe the risk of contamination is too great.


Indymedia.ie

Cattle movements spread TB

by Mother Earth Wednesday, Jun 1 2005, 2:12pm
dublin / animal rights / news report

Farmlands all over Ireland are laced with badger snares. The Government Lab in Lucan, Dublin, is a Slaughter House for our indigenous wildlife. Will the Government put an end to the mass slaughter of Badgers now? Or is this something else that the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), the Meat Industry, and the Government will continue to cover up?

NEWS RELEASE: National Federation of Badger Groups


Cattle movements, not badgers, are the best predictors of bovine TB.


>>>Read it

BreakingNews.ie

Power supply linesman died after asbestos exposure

01/06/2005 - 18:52:45

A father-of-three, who worked with the Electricity Supply Board for over 30-years, died from exposure to asbestos, an inquest heard tonight.

Michael Clohessy, 53, from Killcross Lawns, Sandyford in Dublin had worked for the State-owned electricity company as a linesman for 33-years prior to his death on December 6, 2003.

His widow, Teresa, told the Dublin City Coroner’s Court: “He did say to the ESB he couldn’t breathe after cutting copper pipes.

“He was with the ESB his whole working life.”

The family’s solicitor, Peter Duff, said the ESB was Mr Clohessy’s prime employer during his entire lifetime.

The court heard that Mr Clohessy, had died from a mesothelioma tumour in the lungs, which in 90 to 95% of cases is associated with exposure to asbestos.

Mr Clohessy complained of shortness of breath in 2001 and was originally treated in several hospitals, including chemotherapy treatment, for a regular form of lung cancer.

He was transferred to Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross in March, 2002, where he remained until his death in December, 2003.

Mr Duff said: “Mr Clohessy confounded doctors. One of the hallmarks of this disease is it is usually very virulent and can strike a person down within two months.”

The coroner Dr Brian Farrell said that upon Mr Clohessy’s death a biopsy revealed an unusual mesothelioma tumour rather than ordinary lung cancer.

Dr Farrell said: “When he died a report to our office indicated exposure to asbestos during his occupational lifetime.”

In an autopsy report, the State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy, said she found encrusted fragments in the lungs and queried whether it may have been asbestos fibres.

Dr Louise Burke of Cork University Hospital also confirmed it was a mesothelioma tumour, which was often associated with exposure to asbestos.

The court heard that a mesothelioma tumour can result from exposure to asbestos some 20 to 40-years previously.

Dr Farrell said: “He had the potential of exposure during his work.”

He added: “It is sometimes difficult to get accurate details of exposure as it is so long ago.”

The jury passed a verdict of death caused by occupational disease, stating that on the balance of probabilities the mesothelioma was related to asbestos exposure.

The verdict stated Mr Clohessy was employed as a linesman with the ESB during his entire working life.

Dr Farrell said the Coroner’s Court and the Health and Safety Authority, which was represented in court by Dr Thomas Donnelly, feel potential occupational deaths must be fully explored.


Belfast Telegraph

Drowning victim's family welcome award to heroic pal
'David was brave risking his own life'


By Michael McHugh
newsdesk@belfasttelegraph.co.uk
01 June 2005


Jordan Murdock

The family of a Co Down drowning victim have welcomed news that a heroic friend who tried to save him is to be honoured for his bravery.

Police in Downpatrick will be presenting a Royal Humane Society Bravery Award to David Hackett (14), this evening after he attempted to rescue his friend, 14-year-old Jordan Murdock, from drowning in Killough Bay on January 11, 2004.

The short ceremony will take place in the St Patrick's Centre in Downpatrick.

The teenager was with friends at Killough harbour when he fell in.

Chief Constable Hugh Orde recommended David for the award and Jordan's uncle, Jim Murdock, said the family was pleased.

"What David did was exceptionally brave.

"He risked his own life in trying to save Jordan and we welcome this award," he said.

David dived into the sea and attempted to rescue his friend who was swept out into the bay.

Major General David Pennefather, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, last October said he had made a "selfless" attempt to save life.

RTE

Report finds Co Donegal gardaí negligent

01 June 2005 17:13

The Morris Tribunal has found that gardaí investigating the death of Richard Barron in Co Donegal were negligent in their duties and that the investigation was prejudiced.

The finding was made in the tribunal's second report on garda corruption in Co Donegal, which was published today by the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell.

The report also found that the system for reporting major incidents through Garda Headquarters to the Department of Justice is unsatisfactory.

In his second report, Mr Justice Frederick Morris found that elements within the gardaí had set out to frame Frank McBrearty Junior and Mark McConnell for Mr Barron's murder.

Speaking at the publication of the report, Mr McDowell said it made for disturbing and depressing reading.

The second module of the tribunal examined the garda investigation into the death of Richie Barron in Raphoe in 1996.

Mr Barron was found in a pool of blood on a roadside leading out of Raphoe in the early hours of 14 October of that year.

Initially it was thought he was the victim of a hit and run but within days gardaí had re-designated the case to a murder inquiry.

Frank McBrearty Jnr and his cousin Mark McConnell were arrested and allege that gardaí forged a murder confession in Frank's name.

Numerous flaws were found in the garda investigation and following the exhumation and re-examination of Mr Barron's remains in 2001, the death was again re-designated a hit-and-run.

In his first report in July 2004, Mr Justice Frederick Morris found that two members of the Garda Síochána orchestrated the planting of ammunition and hoax explosives in Co Donegal.

Superintendent Kevin Lennon was sacked from the force, while Detective Garda Noel McMahon resigned following the findings of the report.

Click >>>here to read the second report from the Morris Tribunal. (.pdf file)

BreakingNews.ie

Govt 'may take UK to court over Dublin/Monaghan bombs'

01/06/2005 - 12:16:40

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has threatened to take a case against the British authorities before the European courts in connection with the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

Thirty-three people died when loyalist paramilitaries detonated three car bombs in Dublin and a fourth in Monaghan on May 17, 1974.

There have long been allegations that the British security forces helped the loyalists behind the attacks.

An inquiry established by the Government has criticised the British for failing to hand over documents and files relating to the bombings.

Speaking in Dublin today, Mr Ahern said he planned to raise the matter one more time with new Northern Secretary Peter Hain and, if he made no progress, the Government would consider taking a case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Belfast Telegraph

Amazing Pearce up and dancing after op

By Nigel Gould
01 June 2005

Pearce Gilmore, the little Ulster boy who was on death's door just two months ago, is now on his way back to full health after making amazing progress during a special programme of treatment in America, it emerged today.

Ten-year-old Pearce travelled to the United States on April 1 for a life-saving brain operation.

Since the surgery he has shown remarkable progress.

And now, as he nears the end of a follow-up six-week course of radiation therapy at the New York-based Montefiore Children's Hospital, he is continuing to defy doctors' expectations.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Pearce's surgeon, Dr Rick Abbot, said: "He is doing really well. He is two- thirds the way through his radiation treatment and it has worked out better than anybody had the right to expect.

"The last time I saw him he was dancing.

"His tumour continues to shrink and with every decrease, Pearce seems to be using his body with a lot more authority.

"We are very pleased with the way things are going."

Pearce and dad, Seamus, will return home to Northern Ireland in a fortnight's time.

It is understood Pearce will require no further treatment.

The intense radiotherapy Pearce has been receiving since his operation will not only shrink the tumour, but hopefully also stop it growing again.

Recently, Dr Abbot revealed that the tumour, part of which he removed, was found to be benign.

Then, he said: "Things couldn't be any better for him.

"He is extremely well. We have relieved the pressure so the brain can work better.

"He had problems with control on the right-hand side of his body. Now his co-ordination has improved and his speech is better.

"He has found his humour again and is playing about with his family and joking around.

"He is a different kid. When he came here he was in a hole.

"Now he is in good shape."

More than £50,000 was raised by Telegraph readers not only across Northern Ireland but also overseas to send Pearce to the US.

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