25 June 2005


Bomb blast in Madrid stadium

25 June 2005 19:59

A bomb exploded in the car park of a sports stadium in Madrid this evening following a telephoned warning in the name of armed Basque separatist group ETA.

No injuries were reported.

ETA's last fatal attack was in May 2003 when a bomb killed two police officers and seriously injured a third in northern Spain.


Rosenfeld's life threatened

View at cryptome.org or here.


Orange Order protest march ends peacefully

25/06/2005 - 18:21:20

A massive protest march in Belfast, which was held after the Orange Order postponed today’s contentious parade, passed off peacefully.

Over a thousand people, including a dozen bands from different Orange Order lodges, took part in the march in the Shankill area of Belfast as police kept a discrete presence.

However, the Order has warned it is determined to march along its traditional route in west Belfast before the autumn after it abandoned plans for today’s Whiterock parade.

The Order’s North and West Belfast Parades Forum decided to postpone the contentious march in the Whiterock area of the city after the Parades Commission rerouted it.

Residents in the nationalist Springfield Road area welcomed the abandonment of today’s march.

In a statement, nationalist residents said the only way to resolve the matter was for the parade organisers to resume negotiations with the residents.

However, DUP councillor and Orangeman Nelson McCausland said the Order was determined to march in the area without being re-routed, as the forum decided to stage a protest parade in the Shankill area instead.

“The protest parade today is only the start and we would encourage people to support that protest parade. Then over the coming weeks and months that campaign strategy will unfold,” Mr McCausland said.

“It undoubtedly will include such things as an exploration of a legal challenge to what the parades commission has done.

“But in the end we are determined to secure our basic right to parade there to the Whiterock hall as brethren have done for the past 48 years.”

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds also appealed to people to come on out and support today’s protest parade on the Shankill area.

The Orange Order’s North and West Belfast Parades Forum decided to postpone the march in the Whiterock area after the Parades Commission rerouted it.

Northern Ireland’s Parades Commission refused to lift restrictions on the parade, despite several attempts by the Orange Order to overturn it.

A statement from the North and West Parades Forum confirmed the parade will be postponed.

The statement said: “This has been an extremely difficult decision for our community to make.

“There has been a deliberate attempt to humiliate and demean our community and we are aware of the deep hurt that has been caused to our people.”

Mr Dodds said: “The Parade’s commission has been discredited in its disgraceful ruling over the Whiterock parade.

“It has rewarded the violence of Republicans against the Orange Order Parade last Friday.”

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said he was concerned at the Orange Order’s decision not to follow the route advocated by the Parades Commission in the Whiterock area.

Mr Adams said: “The Orange Order must realise however that it is not simply a case of entering into dialogue and being rewarded by a parade. The Orange Order must accept any discussions have to be open to resolutions, which may involve compromises.

“In this context the decision of the Parades Commission to re-route today’s Whiterock parade is the correct one. However the Orange Order have in recent days embarked upon a dangerous strategy of heightening tensions and threatening violence.”

Mr Adams said republicans would work towards a peaceful summer but the Orange Order, Parades Commission and the British government also had a role to play.


McDowell must go - Opposition

25/06/2005 - 21:00:48

Opposition politicians tonight called on the Taoiseach to consider removing the Justice Minister Michael McDowell from his post.

Fine Gael’s MEP Jim Higgins made the move after it emerged the Government had damning information on some Donegal gardaí as far back as five years ago.

Mr Higgins said Bertie Ahern should consider removing Mr McDowell from the Justice portfolio, after it was reported that gardaí had passed on hard-hitting information on activities of Donegal garda to the Government in 2000.

However, Mr Higgins said the Morris Tribunal to investigate complaints by the family of publican Frank McBrearty Snr against gardaí in Donegal during the 1990s was not set up until two years later in 2002.

“The Taoiseach should seriously consider the position of Michael McDowell because he really has been dismal in relation to the manner in which he handled this particular case,” Mr Higgins told RTÉ News.

“He has been arrogant, he has been indifferent, he has never seen himself as being in sympathy with the McBrearty family or the other families who were grossly victimised by gardaí in Donegal.”

The second report from the Morris Tribunal found that the investigation into the death of cattle-dealer Richie Barron in Co Donegal in 1996 was “prejudiced, tendentious and utterly negligent in the highest degree“.

Two senior gardaí resigned in the aftermath and five officers were transferred from Co Donegal to Dublin postings.

TDs made the call for the resignation of Mr McDowell after it emerged a damning summary of an investigation by an Assistant Garda Commissioner detailing activity of some gardaí in Donegal in the 1990s was allegedly sent to the Justice Department in August 2000.

A spokeswoman for the Minister for Justice said: “The Justice Minister has dealt with this at length in the Dáil over the last couple of weeks.”

She said there was nothing new in reports that information on garda activities in Donegal had been passed on to the Government in 2000.

It is believed this document made several damaging accusations and recommendations about the situation in Donegal.

Labour's Brendan Howlin said the then Minister for Justice, John O’Donoghue and former Attorney General, Michael McDowell, must explain the reasons that a year after receiving the report they voted down moves to establish an inquiry in 2001.

He said: “At a very minimum it is now essential that Minister O’Donoghue should come into the Dáil next week and make a full statement on why he turned down requests for an inquiry when he knew the situation was so serious. The two year delay in establishing an inquiry prolonged the suffering and trauma of the McBrearty family and others in Donegal.”

Joe Costello, the Labour Party’s spokesman on Justice, added: “It is now imperative that the Minister for Justice then, John O’Donoghue, comes into the Dáil and makes a statement on the matter. I think that if he is not prepared to do that himself then the Taoiseach should ensure that he does so.”

Meanwhile, PJ Stone, the general secretary of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), said no decision had been taken by the organisation over any attempt to stop the transfer of gardaí from Donegal.

He said around two out of the five officers transferred to Dublin in the aftermath of the tribunal report may be appealing individually to the Garda Commissioner through an internal mechanism.


Loyalist freed after questioning

Loyalist killer Michael Stone was released from jail in 2000

Convicted loyalist killer Michael Stone has been released from police custody.

Stone presented himself to police in London earlier this week and was brought back to Northern Ireland by PSNI officers.

Police said a 50-year-old man who was being questioned in relation to terrorist offences had been released.

A report will be sent to the Public Prosecution Service. Stone murdered three men at the 1988 funerals of three IRA members killed by the SAS.

He was released early in June 2000, under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

In addition to the three men murdered, about 60 people were injured as Stone ran through Milltown Cemetery, firing shots and throwing hand grenades.

Security forces caught him at the edge of the cemetery, and he was later sentenced to several life terms.

His autobiography was published in 2003.

Belfast Telegraph

SF defend d'Hondt motion

25 June 2005

Sinn Fein in Limavady yesterday defended attempts to introduce the d'Hondt system against accusations unionists are being denied top positions.

United Unionist Coalition councillor Boyd Douglas claimed relations between the nationalists and unionists in the chamber had plummeted to a new low over the issue.

"Limavady Council is a real disaster story" he said.

His comments came after a motion by SF's Anne Brolly that the council "employ d'Hondt to achieve the fairest possible allocations" was pulled at Thursday's meeting.

Ms Brolly vowed that the motion would be tabled at a later date.

Unionists staged a walk out after the system was deployed at the Annual General Meeting last month to share out seats. Mr Douglas said: "It's a fiasco - the electorate is losing out."

Belfast Telegraph

Elderly urged to 'lock out crime'

25 June 2005

Elderly residents across Armagh are being encouraged to take advantage of a "Lock Out Crime" initiative.

The scheme is open to householders whether living in public or private property.

The project's implementation is being overseen by the NI Housing Executive District Office maintenance teams. The entire programme will take roughly two years to complete. Eligible elderly people are being offered a specific package of measures namely front and back door mortice locks, front door restrictor bar or chain, window locks to "accessible" windows, front door peephole viewers and bulkhead lighting to the front and rear of their homes.

All eligible persons are being contacted by post.

Encouraging people to take up the scheme the Executive's district manager in Armagh, Joyce Dobbin, says it is not often people have the opportunity to benefit from an offer like this.

She added that unfortunately the criteria for participation is strict and only those who meet it will be eligible.

Belfast Telegraph

Skaters to get on their boards

25 June 2005

Young people from across Northern Ireland will be in Belfast this weekend for a skateboarding championship extravaganza.

The thrills and spills of the extreme sport will be on show at the Ozone complex, Ormeau Road, today.

Skateboarders from as far afield as Nashville, USA will also be there.

The main part of the Globalclub PepsiMax Sk8Jam festival is from noon to 6pm. As well as the championships there will be a unique blend of skateboarding, mini-moto, Virgin Megastore's Battle of the Bands, urban arts, DJing and music from Cool FM.

An outdoor skatepark will remain at the Ozone Complex until Sunday.

For further information visit www.sk8jam.co.uk


Belfast Telegraph

Firefighter and cop up for award

By Linda McKee
25 June 2005

A firefighter and police officer have been nominated for a bravery award after the pair joined forces moments after the horrific two-car collision outside Larne last year.

Harry Phillips, a police officer who was travelling to work, and Robert (Roy) McAllister, an off-duty firefighter from Glengormley, were nominated for a Vodafone Lifesavers award by David Hanna, PSNI district commander in Larne.

He told the Belfast Telegraph their responses showed members of the services never consider themselves off-duty.

Two people lost their lives in the crash. Mr McAllister, who had been travelling behind one of the cars, tended to the injuries of the female driver, then pulled the passenger of the other car free as it went up in flames.

The driver was trapped in by a jammed seatbelt.

"Roy found a piece of glass near the car and used this to cut the seatbelt from the driver," Mr Hanna explained.

"He then pulled the driver from the burning car through the open window."

The pair tried to release the driver of the other car but she was too heavily trapped.

"Roy and Harry helped others to drag the second car away from the fire and remained at the scene until emergency services arrived.

"There's no doubt that the actions of these brave men saved the life of another in quite remarkable circumstances."

Belfast Telegraph

The face of justice in Ulster

Sir Alasdair Fraser, head of the new Prosecution Service, speaks to Chris Thornton

24 June 2005

A matter of yards from where the fatal attack on Robert McCartney forced republicans to confront fundamental questions about what constitutes crime, a different kind of transformation in justice is under way.

Hidden from the scene of the McCartney murder by a high wall is the new headquarters of the Prosecution Service. It is where the next key decisions about the case against McCartney's alleged killer will be taken, and the base for the most significant changes to Northern Ireland's justice system in a generation.

Five years after it was recommended by the Criminal Justice Review - a product of the Good Friday Agreement - the independent and regionalised Prosecution Service is on its way to being fully established.

Over the next year-and-a-half the service will begin setting up bases in major towns across Northern Ireland, and take over almost every prosecution, including the most minor cases currently prosecuted by police.

And in cases like the McCartney murder, prosecutors will operate alongside the police, shaping a case by advising on legislation and what kind of evidence might be required, instead of waiting for a case file to be presented to them.

The reshaped service is presided over by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Alasdair Fraser. For 16 years Sir Alasdair - son of the manse, educated in Holywood and at Trinity College - has been Northern Ireland's chief prosecutor.

For most of that time he has been a remote figure at the head of an organisation that was battened down, not only against the dangers it faced through the Troubles, but from general public scrutiny as well.

Now Sir Alasdair and his organisation are entering a new era. For the Service this means a rapid expansion - a caseload jump from about 10,000 cases a year to around 70,000 and a quadrupling of legal staff.

For the 'Director' - as his staff refer to him - it also means giving the first interviews about his work, and about dealing with new initiatives and old criticisms.

This week, for example, Sir Alasdair's office was on the defensive side of a courtroom, confronting one of those criticisms. Belfast man John Boyle, who was wrongly jailed for terrorism charges, brought a High Court action to get the DPP to give detailed reasons why the police who put him away were not prosecuted. The Police Ombudsman had recommended that the officers should be charged with perjury, but prosecutors declined to bring the case to court.

Critics say there is a particularly public interest in explaining decisions involving police. Sir Alasdair won't comment directly on the Boyle case, but he says the question of explaining the reasons why some cases don't make it to court is not a problem exclusive to Northern Ireland.

"It's a problem prosecutors share throughout the common law world," he says. "The position is that we provide reasons in general terms - that there was insufficient evidence, or that the public interest did not require prosecution.

"We do that not out of any sense of being defensive, but there are issues of rights and concerns of individuals in society. For example, if I said 'I'm not going to prosecute an individual because I find the following persons not capable of belief', that would be an inappropriate thing for me to say.

"Those persons, I recognise, would not have due process to protect them.

"Now, if there is a request for more detailed reasons, then we look at the case on an individual basis and we measure how far we can go in assisting the person who is making that request by providing greater detail. That is rather different from saying 'the Director doesn't give reasons'."

He says his office's policy on giving decisions is "evolving", and could be assisted by legislation.

Another repeated criticism is the length of time it takes some cases to reach court or come to some resolution.

Although Sir Alasdair says the average time to complete cases is falling - against an increased workload - high profile cases routinely take long periods to complete. Currently the Stormont spy case and the extradition of chef Larry Zaitschek (wanted for questioning about the Castlereagh police burglary) have taken more than two years.

"It's not a problem which a single agency has responsibility for. It crosses across the system as whole," Sir Alasdair says.

"I think it is important that prosecutors are given sufficient time to take informed decisions which are sustainable. The system of justice is rather like an orchid. If there were a series of cases that went badly wrong , the damage would be immense.

"It's very hard to say how long cases should take. A simple case should be reported quickly; a more complex case will take a greater amount of time.

"If you take a complex fraud, it's quite clear that will take a number of months perhaps for the police investigation to be completed, and the analysis in this office could take a number of months. It all depends on the degree of complexity.

"There isn't perfection in any walk of life. And there are occasions, clearly, where cases take too long.


Thousands at Orange protest march

Thousands of people have gathered in the Shankill area of Belfast for an Orange Order protest being held in place of the suspended Whiterock parade.

The Orange Order has said, however, it will march along its traditional Whiterock Parade route before autumn.

Nationalist residents of the Springfield Road welcomed the postponement of the parade.

But DUP councillor Nelson McCausland said the Order was determined to march without being re-routed.

"The protest parade today is only the start and we would encourage people to support that protest parade. Then, over the coming weeks and months, that campaign strategy will unfold.

"It undoubtedly will include such things as an exploration of a legal challenge to what the parade's commission has done.

"But, in the end, we are determined to secure our basic right to parade there to the Whiterock hall as brethern have done for the past 48 years."

The Parades Commission had imposed route restrictions on the march.

The Orange Order wanted to go through Workman Avenue, off the mainly nationalist Springfield Road, but had been ordered by the commission to go though the former Mackies factory site.

The decision to call off the parade was announced by the North and West Belfast Parades Forum following a meeting on Friday.

The forum represents a wide range of unionist-loyalist-Orange opinion.

Forum spokesman Tommy Cheevers described recent events as "a deliberate attempt to humiliate and demean" the loyalist community.

He also called on the government to review the role of the Parades Commission.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds called on people to support the protest parade.

He said: "The disgraceful Parades Commission ruling to insult the Orange brethren, by forcing them through an industrial site, has been rightly rejected.

Residents welcome move

"By their actions in postponing, not cancelling, the Whiterock parade, the Orange Order, the North and West Forum and the entire community are committed to an ongoing campaign for the human and civil rights of Orange brethren and Protestants throughout north and west Belfast. "

In a statement, nationalist residents said the only way to resolve the matter was for the parade organisers to resume negotiations with the residents.

Earlier this week, the Parades Commission rejected two applications for it to reverse its decision to impose restrictions on the parade.

It said it could not review its original ruling as it has not received any new information.

The commission said its original ruling was a "genuine attempt to manage the many difficult and emotive issues" surrounding this year's Whiterock parade.

It said it wanted to "accommodate the concerns of the parade organisers and residents".

The Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades should be restricted.

Daily Ireland

IMC bill tops £2m

By Jarlath Kearney

The Independent Monitoring Commission has cost taxpayers on both sides of the border over £2 million (€3 million) since January 2004.
Daily Ireland can also reveal that the IMC’s budget between April 2005 and March 2006 will be set at a further £2 million (€3 million).
A Northern Ireland Office spokesperson confirmed the figures to Daily Ireland last night and added: “We plan to publish final audited accounts for the first 15 months of the IMC’s operation in due course.”
The IMC was formally constituted by both the Irish and British governments in January 2004. Its four members are paid £625 (€942) for every day of their professional services. The budget is jointly paid by both governments.
Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deputy director, Dick Kerr, former Department of Justice secretary general, Joe Brosnan, former Alliance Party leader, John Alderdice, and ex-Scotland Yard Special Branch head, John Grieve, have published a series of controversial reports on alleged paramilitary-related activity in the North.
Republicans have repeatedly criticised the IMC, claiming it is a tool of both governments.
Last night’s revelations came as new statistics from the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) revealed that confidence in the PSNI and the Policing Board has dropped during the past year.
The NIO also disclosed that the North’s Forensic Science Agency failed to maintain key professional accreditation from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service during 2003/04.
Both disclosures are included in the NIO’s annual departmental report which was published yesterday.
According to NIO survey figures for 2004/05, public confidence has fallen in the PSNI’s ability to provide a good service to everyone in the North and “treat both communities equally”.
The percentage of people who think the Policing Board “helps ensure the PSNI does a good job” and is “independent” of the PSNI has also dropped. By contrast, overall confidence in the Police Ombudsman’s office has risen.
One of the NIO’s key public service agreement targets is “increasing confidence in the police throughout all parts of the community in Northern Ireland”.
Commenting on the results, the NIO’s Policing and Security Directorate, headed by senior civil servant, Nick Perry, noted that progress “has declined slightly this year”.
“This is disappointing. The issue of confidence in the police will be carefully considered in the year ahead.”
The NIO annual report also disclosed that during 2003/04 the North’s Forensic Science Agency only met half of its key targets. According to the report: “The agency was not successful in meeting a target relating to the speed with which it turns around casework in those cases where a case is required to be submitted to the DPP within the notified timescale.”
This marked the second year in succession that the agency failed to meet this target.


Shots fired after car fails to stop in Armagh

25 June 2005 14:48

Politicians in the North have criticised the British Army for firing shots at a car that failed to stop at a police checkpoint in the early hours of this morning.

Army officers were accompanying police on an anti drink-driving campaign in the Cullaville Road area of Crossmaglen in Co Armagh.

Dominic Bradley, the SDLP's Newry and Armagh MLA, said there were other means which could be deployed to deal the situation without resort to firearms.

The PSNI is seeking assistance in tracing a dark coloured Peugeot 406 which was involved in the incident.

Unison.ie / Irish Independent

80,000 fans turn out as U2 return home in triumph

YOU TWO: back home . . . storming Croker, and giving the fans exactly what they wanted. Picture: Kenneth O'Halloran

U2 made a triumphant homecoming to Dublin last night when they played the first of three concerts in front of 80,000 people at Croke Park.

The biggest band in the world came back to the city where Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam first began rehearsing together more than 25 years ago as teenagers at Mount Temple school. And their fans - across the generations - loved it.

The music went down a treat - and it was just as well as Bono's words were lost on a large section of the crowd.

In many parts of the huge Croke Park stands, fans said the sound system didn't allow them to make out what Bono was saying. Speakers positioned half way down the stadium to relay sound to fans further away from the stage created what some fans described as a time delay effect.

Fans from all over the country and from further afield began filing into the stadium just after 3pm when the doors officially opened to the public.

The diehard followers, some queueing in dismal conditions since Wednesday evening, were rewarded for their loyalty by securing a place early in the day in The Elipse, or front pit of the stadium, which holds 4,500.

The three concerts are reckoned to be worth €50m to the capital. "It's not as big as a Papal visit but it's the next biggest thing," said Dublin Tourism spokesman Frank McGee.

Although there were reports of disgruntled fans being moved by gardai to the back of a queue of people on Jones's Avenue after queueing all morning at the wrong entrance on Jones's Road, gardai said last night they were pleased with the crowd and the fact that there were no arrests or serious disruptions.

Ticket touts, who may have expected to rake in hundreds of euro for tickets outside Croke Park were last night left disappointed and forced to drop their prices at the last minute. By late evening touts were selling tickets for as little as €130 - just €70 more than the face value for a standing ticket for last night's show, and hundreds less than those offered on Irish internet auction site ebay.

But if the touts were losing out, local publicans in the areas surrounding Croke Park were reaping the benefits of the crowds descending on Dublin 3.

James Gill's pub on North Circular Road and Quinn's pub in Drumcondra were packed to the brim, with people spilling out onto the streets.

And the money-making outside the stadium was more than matched by that within. Alcoholic drinks were €5 a go and nibbles such as burgers and hot dogs were selling for €4 a piece.

Despite the dark clouds looming overhead, spirits were high amongst revellers in the streets surrounding Croke Park.

"We don't mind if it rains all night as long as we get to see them," said Jimmy O'Shea who travelled from Tralee with his wife Minnie and daughter Aoife to see the show.

Traffic came to a standstill as concertgoers descended on the stadium in their thousands. Trains into the city were mobbed, as were the extra buses put on by Bus Eireann. An estimated 30,000 travelled down from the North.

A short time before the concert, manager Paul McGuinness said: "Playing Dublin is always extra excitement, extra pressure. It's great to be playing this magnificent stadium."

Bono and the boys bounded on stage at 9pm and, after a brief intro, yelled: "Uno, dos, tres, quatorze' - the opening line of their hit single 'Vertigo', whereupon the whole audience joined in.

In a stage towering 28 metres above Croke Park, Bono, forever proud of his roots, told the crowd: "This is the funky side of town, this is the north side." And with that the multi-million-euro stage erupted into an visual extravaganza blasting out pyrotechnics and brightly colour lights to the packed arena.

While Bono initially seemed nervous, he quickly got into the swing of things, engaging the crowd with hits such as 'Beautiful Day', 'Wild Horses' and 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For'.

The 22,000-strong crowd who were standing leapt up and down in frenzied enthusiasm at the start of each song. And the gesture wasn't lost on Bono, who commended them on their performance. "Thank you for all your support, you crazy fools," he yelled before launching into a back catalogue of hits spanning more than 25 years.

Louise Healy


New Bedford gets a visit from a Nobel Irishman

Standard-Times staff writer

John Hume isn't a man who would likely put a "26+6=1" sticker on his car's bumper.
The 1998 Nobel Prize winner avoids that call for a unified Ireland and instead calls for an "agreed Ireland."
Mr. Hume, 68, is the former Irish Catholic member of Parliament who negotiated the Good Friday peace accords with Protestant leader David Trimble.
He was in New Bedford yesterday visiting with the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and their supporters.
The Irish-American fraternal organization is celebrating today's dedication of a monument to area Irish Americans. A Celtic cross, located at Fort Taber adjacent to the Acushnet River, will be dedicated at 1 p.m.
Mr. Hume avoids talk of a united Ireland lest he offend Protestant militants.
His "agreed Ireland" is a place in which Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland will determine their future through peaceful means.
The Good Friday accords -- which outline a governing scheme for Protestants and Catholics sharing power -- will ultimately lead to peace in his troubled homeland, Mr. Hume said.
"For the first time in history, the people of Northern Ireland voted on how they are going to live together," he said of the elections that followed the peace agreement brokered by former Maine Sen. George Mitchell.
Since the Good Friday accords, the streets of Irish trouble spots like his home town of Londonderry (Derry) are calm, he said.
"No longer can the paramilitary organizations (such groups as the Irish Republican Army and Ulster Defense League) claim -- as they always have -- to be representing the people," he said.
As younger Protestants and Catholics spend their lives working out differences through the ballot box instead of with guns, they will not go back to violence, he said.
"If we have 25 to 30 years of Catholics and Protestants working together to build a society, you don't think that'll change attitudes?" he asked.
All change takes time, Mr. Hume acknowledged, but he insisted change is on its way for a country that has been fighting for 400 years.
"The structures are in place for it to come," he said.
"In a generation or two, there'll be a new Ireland," he said.
Mr. Hume said that the late Congressman Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy played key roles in changing the atmosphere in Northern Ireland.
"We owe a deep debt of gratitude to your public representatives in Massachusetts," he said.
They were instrumental in convincing President Jimmy Carter to become the first American president to recognize the problems of the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland, he said.
When Rep. O'Neill visited Ireland, Mr. Hume researched where the late American politician's Irish grandmother had been born and took him there, he said.
The only way forward for Ireland is by forging agreements through peaceful means, he said.
"Having gone through what I've gone through for 30 years -- seeing people killed in our streets -- I don't want to see that happening anywhere," he said.
The Irish peace model, is based on the same respect for diversity that is the model for American democracy and the European union, he said.
"The essence of our community is respect for diversity," he said.
"E pluribus unum."

Contact Jack Spillane at jspillane@s-t.com

This story appeared on Page A1 of The Standard-Times on June 25, 2005.


IRA apologizes for shooting to death teenage girl in 1973

Posted 6/24/2005 2:26 PM

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — The Irish Republican Army apologized Friday for shooting to death a Catholic girl in 1973 during a botched ambush on a British army patrol.

The IRA had long insisted that British soldiers killed the girl, 14-year-old Kathleen Feeney, in Derry, Northern Ireland's predominantly Catholic second-largest city. But in a statement published in the Derry Journal newspaper, the outlawed group said a new internal investigation had confirmed what the public had long believed — the IRA did it.

"Our failure to publicly accept responsibility for her death until now has only added to the hurt and pain of the Feeney family," the IRA statement said. "The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann (IRA) wish to apologize unreservedly to the Feeney family for the death of Kathleen and for all the grief that our actions have caused to them."

The statement was the latest act of public contrition from the IRA, which killed about 1,800 people from 1970 to 1997 as part of a failed campaign to abolish Northern Ireland as a British territory. The underground organization called an open-ended truce that year as part of a peace process that produced Northern Ireland's Good Friday accord of 1998.

Usually, IRA apologies have been roundly criticized as cynically timed for political effect, for containing qualifications that offend the victims' families, or simply for coming decades too late.

Mark Durkan, the moderate Catholic who represents Londonderry in British Parliament, and the Irish government's justice minister, Michael McDowell, both said the IRA should have told the truth long ago on scores of such disputed killings.

"The IRA lied through its teeth at the time and blamed the killing on the British army and maintained that lie in a cowardly fashion for many years," McDowell said.

"No family should have had to wait so long for the truth. No family and no community should have been left for so long with a false understanding of such a great loss," Durkan said.

But the Feeney family, who always accused the IRA of responsibility, offered a muted welcome in a prepared statement. Siblings of the slain girl had approached IRA members in Derry earlier this year.

"In memory of our parents, Kathleen and Harry Feeney, the family of Kathleen Feeney decided to seek an unconditional apology from the Provisional IRA for the death of their sister," the family statement said, using the IRA's full formal name. "It is the family's wish that this will help bring closure."

A single bullet struck Kathleen on Nov. 14, 1973, as she played with friends in a street about 200 yards from a British army foot patrol, which came under fire from at least one IRA gunman. One of the British soldiers tried to resuscitate the girl.

Until Friday, the IRA's official position had been that British troops killed the girl, and the IRA began shooting afterward in retaliation. Although a 16-year-old IRA member was charged with murdering Kathleen and attempting to murder soldiers that day, he was acquitted on those charges in 1975 and instead received a 7-year prison sentence for possessing an assault rifle and ammo.

Statements of apology and regret, particularly by the IRA and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, have formed one particularly emotionally charged plank of Northern Ireland's peace process.

In the most sweeping but divisive gesture, the IRA in 2002 apologized for killing what it called "noncombatants" but insisted that most of its victims — including police officers and soldiers targeted while off-duty in their homes or private cars — were "legitimate targets."

In March, four IRA prisoners convicted of shooting to death a southern Irish police officer in 1996 said they were sorry.

In October, the IRA apologized for killing a 15-year-old Belfast boy and dumping his body in the city zoo in 1973. In October 2003, the IRA apologized for secretly burying nine Catholic civilians in unmarked graves from 1972 to 1981.

For his part, Blair pioneered the path of peace-process contrition just two months after taking office in 1997. He issued Britain's first official statement of regret for its role in the Irish potato famine of 1845-1850, which left 1 million dead and compelled 2 million more to emigrate.

He also authorized fact-finding probes into the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre by British soldiers in Derry, where 13 Catholic demonstrators were shot to death, and into four cases that involve accusations of British security-force collusion in killings.

In February, he apologized to a London family and Belfast man Gerard Conlon — subject of the Daniel Day-Lewis film 'In the Name of the Father'— for their wrongful imprisonment in the 1970s and 1980s over IRA pub bombings.

Derry Journal

IRA Apologise For Death Of Derry Schoolgirl

By Eamonn MacDermott
Friday 24th June 2005

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

A dramatic and unprecedented move, the IRA in Derry last night apologised 'unreservedly' to the family of schoolgirl Kathleen Feeney for her death in a shooting incident almost 32 years ago.

In a statement issued to the 'Derry Journal', the IRA said: "The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann wish to apologise unreservedly to the Feeney family for the death of Kathleen and for all the grief that our actions have caused to them."

The move came after the Feeney family approached the IRA seeking full disclosure of what happened to 14-year-old Kathleen and also seeking an unconditional apology.

Kathleen Feeney was shot dead on November 14, 1973, just yards from her Quarry Street home in the Brandywell. Her father, Harry, witnessed his daughter being shot as he stood in the doorway of his home.

Following the death, controversy arose over who fired the shots that struck the Derry schoolgirl. The British Army said that one of their patrols was fired upon but did not return fire while the IRA denied responsibility for the shooting and blamed the army. The IRA also claimed they killed a soldier 'in retaliation'.

However, last night the IRA issued a lengthy statement about the events surrounding the death of Kathleen Feeney in which they acknowledged that they had killed her.

The full IRA statement reads: "On 14th November 1973, 14-yearold Kathleen Feeney was shot dead in Quarry Street, Derry.

"The IRA in Derry, in a statement, denied that any of its volunteers were responsible for the death of Kathleen Feeney. In a further statement, the IRA in Derry claimed to have carried out an operation against the British Army in retaliation for the death of Kathleen Feeney.

"The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has been asked by the Feeney family to examine the circumstances surrounding the death of their sister and to publicly acknowledge that she was killed by the IRA.

"The IRA leadership agreed to do so. We found, as the Feeney family have always believed, that Kathleen was hit by one of a number of shots fired by an IRA Active Service Unit that had fired upon a British army foot-patrol in the Lecky Road area.

"The IRA accepts responsibility for the death of Kathleen Feeney. Our failure to publicly accept responsibility for her death until now has only added to the hurt and pain of the Feeney family.

"The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann wish to apologise unreservedly to the Feeney family for the death of Kathleen and for all the grief that our actions have caused to them."

In response to the IRA statement, the Feeney family issued a brief statement which they said was their definitive response on the matter.

The Feeney family said: "In memory of our parents, Kathleen and Harry Feeney. The family of Kathleen Feeney decided to seek an unconditional apology from the Provisional IRA for the death of their sister, who was shot dead 32 years ago. Kathleen was then aged 14-yearsold. It is the family's wish that this will help bring closure."


Catholics burned out

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Saturday June 25, 2005
The Guardian

In the dead of night on the smart north Belfast cul-de-sac, a river of burning oil had scorched everything in its wake. The roof of one house had caved in and a children's playhouse, which four children had slept in a few days earlier, was a burnt-out shell.

If they had been there at 1am, when arsonists set an oil tank alight, causing two more to explode and sending a fireball through the edge of the estate, they would have been burned alive like their pet rabbit.

"We can't stay here now," said the children's father, Peter McCall, as the smell of smoke hung in the air. The McCalls are now abandoning this middle-class idyll of the new Northern Ireland.

The image of parents waking to the crackle of burning, wrenching children from their beds and throwing them over fences to safety is a throwback to the Troubles. Attacks still occur in working-class areas and on the homes of migrant workers. But in a leafy new mixed development of Catholics and Protestants, where most children attend the local integrated school, it is not supposed to happen.

When a group of youths told Catholic children from the estate "You are invading our territory and your houses are going to burn tonight", no one took it seriously.

Police are investigating a motive for Monday's attack in Old Throne Park. Sinn Féin said it was attempted murder, a sectarian act by loyalists to stoke tensions during the marching season, which began with violence last weekend and was due to continue with the contentious Whiterock parade in Belfast tonight before it was suspended. This could mark the start of a fraught summer, the party warned.

When a Catholic church was burnt by arsonists in Portadown this week, a local priest appealed for no revenge attacks.

The first major parade of the Protestant marching season ended in chaos last weekend after Catholic demonstrators threw bottles and bricks and clashed with police after the return leg of the Orange Order's Tour of the North passed the nationalist Ardoyne shops in north Belfast.

This rundown and embittered interface between Protestant and Catholic communities who live behind dividing "peace walls" is a flash point of tension every year. This area of north Belfast suffered the most murders of the Troubles and the loyalist protests outside Holy Cross school four years ago still play strongly in people's minds.

Northern Ireland's chief constable, Hugh Orde, said the disturbances, in which 18 police officers and 11 others were injured, should serve as a "wake-up call" for the marching season.

Father Aidan Troy, the priest who led Catholic children to school during the Holy Cross dispute, warned that tension had descended to "the subhuman" and if the Irish or British governments did not intervene soon, someone could be killed.

Various groups are working to stop the rioting at Ardoyne sparking further violence in west Belfast tonight.

But politicians on both sides are unhappy. The Democratic Unionist party's Nigel Dodds described the violence at the parade in Ardoyne as "an outrageous, unprovoked and vicious attack by republicans" which "Sinn Féin/IRA allowed to happen".

In March, at the height of the Robert McCartney crisis, the moderate nationalist SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, warned that Sinn Féin and the IRA might orchestrate violence during the marching season so they could then try to claim advantage by calming tensions on the streets.

He said this was a way of "reminding people that there are some things that the IRA are needed for".

Last year, 99% of parades were peaceful. In the whole marching season, there was only an hour and a half of extreme violence - crowds turned on the army and police in Ardoyne on July 12, the pinnacle of the season when the Orange Order commemorates the Protestant William of Orange's victory over the Catholic James II at the battle of the Boyne.

Asked this week if Sinn Féin was turning violence "on and off" for its own advantage, the party's justice spokesman, Gerry Kelly, said this was a "strange logic". He said the footage of the recent Ardoyne rioting had shown it had been out of control and community leaders had tried to stop it.

But he warned that tensions were high in north Belfast, worsened by the government's decision this week to send a senior republican released under the Good Friday agreement back to jail. Sean Kelly was convicted of the IRA's Shankill Road fish shop bombing in 1993 in which nine Protestants and one of the bombers died.

It remains to be seen whether, amid the mood of renewed distrust, the IRA will produce its awaited statement announcing it is to abandon guns for politics.


I won’t join assembly with Sinn Féin, says Empey

24/06/2005 - 23:39:19

New Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey tonight insisted that his party would not go into government with Sinn Féin in the lifetime of the current suspended Stormont Assembly.

“I made it clear in my literature that this party will not participate in an executive which includes Sinn Fein in the lifetime of this Assembly,” the East Belfast MLA said.

“I made it clear at four meetings this week. That has been my position.”

As he celebrated victory in a close run leadership contest to succeed David Trimble, the former Stormont Economy Minister vowed to bring forward fresh talent from within the UUP.

He also criticised the British government for allowing politics to be paralysed with a moribund Assembly.

The 58-year-old UUP leader was forced into a second count in the leadership contest by north Down Assembly member Alan McFarland.

At the end of the first round of voting, there were 29 votes between the two candidates. But after the distribution of 54 votes for the third candidate, David McNarry, Sir Reg emerged victorious, with 21 votes to Mr McFarland’s 287.

Sitting beside his wife Stella and surrounded by supporters, including MEP Jim Nicolson and Assembly members Danny Kennedy and Michael Copeland, Sir Reg reminded opponents that he would not contemplate sharing power with Sinn Féin in the near future.

Sir Reg said he hoped that the Government would wake up to the fact that politics should not be paralysed in Northern Ireland with a moribund Assembly at a time when local politicians should be taking key education and health decisions.

He also vowed that the Ulster Unionists would work together as a united team.

After the heavy losses of last months Westminster and local government local elections, and anxious to put years of internal feuding behind the party, the new UUP leader declared: “We are going to use our talents.

“We are drawing a line. We are going to try and start afresh.”


25 JUNE 1985

Police hunt IRA resort bombs

The IRA may have planted several devices in resorts around the UK

Thirteen people have been arrested in connection with a suspected IRA mainland bombing campaign uncovered by police two days ago.

The men - who are being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act - include a 33-year-old from Belfast, suspected of carrying out the attack on the Conservative Cabinet in the Brighton Grand Hotel last year.

It is feared the IRA may have planted devices in a dozen seaside resorts around the UK - timed to go off at the height of the summer season - and a massive police hunt has been launched.

A controlled explosion was carried out on a suspect package in Brighton and a hotel in Hull was evacuated, but both incidents proved to be false alarms.

The only bomb discovered so far was found in the Rubens Hotel, London, where civil dignitaries and mayors were expected to stay for three Buckingham Palace garden parties next month.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher congratulated the police on their prompt action and said the eight forces involved in the bomb hunt had averted a disaster "calculated to maim and kill many innocent people".

Home Secretary Leon Brittan told the BBC he had given Metropolitan Commissioner Sir Kenneth Newman three weeks to make safe the resorts named in the IRA plot.

In Context

The alleged IRA summer bombing campaign was successfully averted.

One of the 13 men arrested, Patrick Magee, was charged on 29 June 1985 for the murder of the five people killed in the Brighton bombing the previous October.

He was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment for that attack and the seaside resort conspiracy, but released in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.


Empey new Ulster Unionist leader

Empey has won the Ulster Unionist leadership race

East Belfast assembly member Sir Reg Empey has been elected as the new leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.

The ex-Stormont enterprise minister, 57, was selected after a vote by 618 members of the party's ruling council.

He was elected in the second count with 321 votes. Ex-Army major Alan McFarland got 287 votes. Strangford MLA David McNarry was eliminated after one count.

Sir Reg succeeds David Trimble who quit after he and all but one of his MPs were defeated in the general election.

Sir Reg, who was tipped to win the contest, becomes the 13th leader of the party.

Empey profiled

He said he was under "absolutely no illusions about the difficulties that lie ahead".

"It's a mammoth task but we have faced great adversity before and we will meet the challenge," he said.

Senior negotiator

When he announced his intention to stand, it emerged Sir Reg had the backing of more than half the party's MLAs as well as its MEP, Jim Nicholson.

Sir Reg said the UUP was guilty of "not listening" to its supporters and vowed to change that if he became leader.

He was a senior negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr McNarry, who was the first man to throw his hat in the ring for the leadership contest, had said he wanted change and to "take the party out of denial".

Former soldier Alan McFarland, who had the backing of the party's sole MP Sylvia Hermon, said he was leading a "grass-roots rebellion" had he won the contest.


Orange parade in city postponed

The Orange Order Whiterock parade has been suspended

A contentious Orange Order parade scheduled to take place in Belfast on Saturday has been postponed.

The decision to call off the Whiterock parade was announced by the North and West Belfast Parades Forum following a meeting on Friday.

The forum has said a protest parade will be held in the Shankill instead.

Earlier this week, the Parades Commission rejected two applications for it to reverse its decision to impose restrictions on the parade.

The forum represents a wide range of unionist-loyalist-Orange opinion.

Forum spokesman Tommy Cheevers described recent events as "a deliberate attempt to humiliate and demean" the loyalist community.

"Lies about the different processes of dialogue in which we have engaged have been told by Sinn Fein representatives," he said.

"As a result the suspension of all cross community contact has begun."

'Emotive issues'

He also called on the government to review the role of the Parades Commission.

The Orange Order wants to go through Workman Avenue, off the mainly nationalist Springfield Road, but has been ordered by the commission to go though the former Mackies factory site.

The commission has said it could not review its original ruling as it has not received any new information.

The commission said its ruling last week was a "genuine attempt to manage the many difficult and emotive issues" surrounding this year's Whiterock parade.

It said it wanted to "accommodate the concerns of the parade organisers and residents".

The Parades Commission was set up in 1997 to make decisions on whether controversial parades should be restricted.

24 June 2005


Dissident link to illegal factory

Police have linked a counterfeiting operation to dissident republicans

Police have said a counterfeiting factory discovered in County Tyrone is linked to dissident republicans.

Four men have been arrested in connection with the raid at a farm property in the Aughnagar Road area of Cappagh in Dungannon.

Thousands of fake DVDs, CDs, counterfeiting equipment and cash were taken away during the planned searches. Police believe the operation could be worth millions of pounds to those involved.

A computerised printing press and up to 70 DVD recording machines were also discovered at the site.

Police have described the find as "highly significant".


CNN story

Zimbabwe extends demolitions to rural areas


Sunday Herald

Mugabe takes revenge

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Tyrant’s destruction of urban slums is yet another atrocity Western leaders are likely to ignore, reports Fred Bridgland in Cape Town

IN raids reminiscent of Kristallnacht in Germany and of Pol Pot’s Return to Year Zero in Cambodia in the late 1970s, Robert Mugabe’s police and soldiers have in the past three weeks torched, bulldozed and sledgehammered the homes of two million of Zimbabwe’s poorest of the poor.

Officially heralded as a clean-up of Zimbabwe’s teeming urban slums, ordinary black Zimbabweans have been turned into roofless internal refugees in the middle of southern Africa’s short winter when night temperatures dip below zero.

Amid the smoke from smouldering homes, the poor are dying from exposure and starvation and there are reports of suicides among broken people driven beyond despair. Moving thousands from the cities to the countryside means only more poverty, hunger and unemployment.

President Mugabe says the blitz on the very people he says he fought to liberate is necessary “to restore sanity” to the cities, although many people are questioning the 81-year-old leader’s own mental health. Out of the earshot of agents of the much-feared Central Intelligence Organisation the name “Mad Bob” has been whispered. They say this is Mugabe’s revenge on urban dwellers for voting for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in parliamentary elections last March.

As well as the mass destruction of housing and the small roadside businesses of the poor, more than 30,000 have been arrested in Mugabe’s continuing Operation Murambatsvina, which translates as “operation drive out the rubbish”. Entire families are sleeping in the open. Others are battling to find scarce transport to take them to relatives’ rural homes. Many are burning furniture and their few surviving possessions before they depart.

“I believe only the survivors of South Africa’s apartheid-engineered forced Bantu removals would be able to appreciate the scale and ferocity of this operation,” said Vincent Kahiya, editor of the weekly Independent newspaper. “The police are going about the rapine with gusto, destroying everything deemed illegal, never mind that the officers carry no papers from any recognised court of law. There can be no worse lawlessness than this callous operation.”

Tendai, aged 10, and his four-year-old brother Chipo may be among the dead in Mugabe’s onslaught. They were among many Aids orphans being looked after by Zimbabwean and Irish Dominican nuns in the Harare suburb of Hatcliffe. For the past decade, the Catholic sisters had distributed anti-retroviral drugs there to HIV-positive women while running a crèche for 180 orphans in an entirely legal brick building.

Sister Patricia Walsh, one of the senior nuns, got word that police bulldozers had moved into the township and that police were destroying the homes of the poor, pouring petrol on the debris and setting it ablaze. She dashed to Hatcliffe and was initially lost for words when she saw that bulldozers had demolished the Dominican clinic.

Surveying the wrecked building, Walsh said: “I wept. Sister Carina was with me. She wept. The people tried to console us. They were all outside in the midst of their broken houses, furniture and goods all over the place, children screaming, sick people in agony.

“How does the government say that Tendai and Chipo are illegal? We provided them with a wooden hut when their mother was dying of Aids. She has since died and these two little people had their little home destroyed in the middle of the night. When we got there, they were sitting crying in the rubbish that was their home. What do we do with them?”

“How can the little ones of the world be brutalised in this way? Their only crime is that they are poor, they are helpless and they happen to live in the wrong part of town and in a country that does not have oil and is not very important to the West. We stand in shock and cry with the people, but we also have to try to keep them alive. When will sanity prevail? Where is the outside world?”

Yesterday, unconfirmed reports suggested that Tendai and Chipo had died in the assaults by Mugabe’s stormtroopers.

With Zimbabwe’s new Chinese warplanes and Alouette helicopters, newly provided with spares by South Africa, sweeping overhead, police demolition squads turned Mbare into a battleground, completely demolishing houses and shelters in street after street. Families with remaining possessions on their heads, wooden planks, tin sheets, pots wrapped in blankets and plastic – or in makeshift carts are on the march, like refugees in some terrible war, after the mass demolition of their homes.

It is a scene of desolation and despair, being repeated right across the country in the attempt to drive hundreds of thousands of people back to the rural areas. Miloon Kothari, the United Nations special representative on housing for the poor, told reporters in Geneva he feared Mugabe planned to drive between two and three million Zimbabweans in a population of 11.5m into the countryside in Operation Murambatsvina.

“We have a very grave crisis on our hands,” said Kothari. “This is a gross violation of human rights. People are desperate. They have nowhere to go.”

But Zimbabwe’s local government minister, Ignatius Chombo, said: “This is the dawn of a new era. To set up something nice you first have to remove the litter, and that is why the police are acting in this way.”

The weekly Standard newspaper responded editorially: “Chombo’s explanation is nonsensical and an insult to the intelligence of the people of this country. The government should not delight in the suffering of people when it does not have a ready-made alternative for them.”

Brian Raftopoulos, Professor of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe told the Sunday Herald: “It may well be that Mugabe is looking to remove ‘surplus’ elements of the urban population ahead of the next presidential election by drawing them into more controllable rural political relations.

“The long-term implications of this process do not bode well for democratic politics.”

Simon Phiri and his wife Tsitsi are victims in the chaos as well. They rescued the essentials from their Mbare township shack before a state bulldozer razed it. Simon, 39, and Tsitsi, 32, who have four children, saw their home of 12 years crushed to pieces. Close to tears, Simon, who until early this month sold second-hand clothes at Mbare’s colourful but now burnt out Mupedzanhamo market, looked at the wrecked remains of his shack and said: “This is the only home I know but government and the city council have just destroyed it.”

12 June 2005


Belfast Telegraph

Demolition of Zimbabwean homes kills two children

By Elizabeth Davies
24 June 2005

Two Zimbabwean children were crushed to death during the demolition of illegal houses this month in a government crackdown that has made tens of thousands of impoverished city dwellers homeless and prompted an unprecedented international outcry.

Zimbabwe's official Herald newspaper reported yesterday that a one-and-a-half year-old child died after being buried beneath the rubble of bulldozed buildings in Harare's Chitungwiza township on Sunday. Another baby died earlier this month in similar circumstances.

"If the reports are simply half true... this is a situation of serious international concern, and no government that subscribes to human rights and democracy should allow this kind of thing to go on effectively under their noses," the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told journalists.

The news of the deaths emerged as the United Nations and the African Union came under mounting pressure to take urgent action against the Zimbabwe government's Operation Murambatsvina, or "Restore Order".

An unprecedented coalition of more than 200 African and international NGOs urged the organisations to intervene to save thousands more from destitution. They called President Mugabe's mass evictions "a grave violation of international human rights law and a disturbing affront to human dignity".

The groups, including Amnesty International and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, released smuggled video footage showing hundreds of thousands of people on the move from shanty towns after police torched and bulldozed their homes. Condemning the evictions, in which more than 300,000 people have lost their homes, the NGOs urged Nigerian President Obasanjo, as chair of the AU, to put the crisis on the agenda of the AU Assembly in July.

"The AU and UN simply cannot ignore such an unprecedented, wide-ranging appeal on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe, particularly from African civil society," the coalition said in a joint statement. "African solidarity should be with the people of Africa ­ not their repressive leaders."

The appointment of a UN special envoy to investigate the destruction was welcomed by the groups. But they called for the UN to publicly condemn the evictions and to take immediate action to prevent them.

Sinn Féin

Hillsborough protest at Internment of Sean Kelly

Published: 24 June, 2005

Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly speaking at the Free Sean Kelly Campaign protest outside the Hillsborough Castle residence of the British Secretary of State has said that Peter Hain would have some distance to go before he could prove to nationalists and republicans that he was capable of standing up to the anti peace process securocrats within his own system.

Mr Kelly said:

"The malicious determination of the British Secretary of State Peter Hain to bow to the insatiable demands of rejectionist unionists and securocrats within his own system in the decision to intern Sean Kelly last weekend suggests to nationalists and republicans that Peter Hain is unwilling or incapable of standing up to the very securocrats and spooks that he was once a victim of himself.

"Peter Hain should know that if progress is to be made then history tells us that these faceless individuals have to be faced down and their anti peace process agenda defeated. Given the record of Peter Hain so far and in particular his action around Sean Kelly he has some distance to travel before he will persuade nationalists and republicans that he is capable of carrying out this task.

"The fact that Sean Kelly will not be in a position to defend himself against baseless accusations made by faceless securocrats because he will not have access to the information that was used to intern him is clearly unjust and unfair. It only serves as a reminder of the flaws within the approach of the British government to justice in Ireland, particularly when it comes to republicans.

"Hidden unaccountable accusations by Special Branch And their ilk in the secret intelligence world was supposed to be a thing of the past. So was internment without trial." ENDS

Daily Ireland

Contentious parade to pass Short Strand

by Ciarán Barnes

The Parades Commission yesterday gave the Orange Order the green light to stage a massive march past a nationalist area in Belfast on July 1, despite the parade being classed as “illegal".
Next week, 3,000 Orangemen, accompanied by thousands of loyalist supporters and more than 35 bands, will parade down the Albertbridge Road past the Short Strand.
The march, billed as the annual Battle of the Somme commemoration parade, has previously been the scene for a number of paramilitary displays.
Last year, bands carrying Ulster Volunteer Force and Ulster Defence Association banners and flags took part.
Short Strand residents have reacted with shock to the Parades Commission ruling, claiming the group has given into loyalist threats.
Last week DUP and Ulster Unionist politicians warned the PSNI could find itself in a Drumcree-style stand-off if officers prevented Orangemen from taking part in marches in east Belfast.
A spokesman for the Short Strand residents group said: “The decision by the Parades Commission to allow this march on the Albertbridge Road can only be viewed as an award for those who failed to abide by previous determinations.”
The Somme parade has been classed as illegal because Orangemen purposely did not fill in the parading application form properly.
This is done, apparently, to prevent the PSNI from questioning individual members about illegal incidents at parades.
Previously, the Orangemen would put the names of district masters and secretaries on parading application forms.
So far this year there have been three illegal Orange Order parades in east Belfast. The PSNI has yet to prevent any taking place, although during the last 12 months they have questioned a number of senior Orangemen.
Both Sinn Féin and the Ulster Unionist Party met with the Parades Commission yesterday to discuss upcoming loyalist marches.
Speaking to Daily Ireland after the meeting, former Ulster Unionist Belfast mayor, Jim Rodgers, welcomed the Somme march ruling.
He also denied seeing paramilitary displays at last year's Somme parade and insisted he did not have a problem marching next to banners of the old UVF which fought during the First World War.
He said: “The Parades Commission should be congratulated for placing no restrictions on the July 1 Somme parade. It is a victory for common sense."
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane has criticised the Parades Commission after it granted permission for a a loyalist band parade in Ballynahinch.
Ms Ruane accused the Commission of treating local nationalists with "’tter contempt".
Despite hearing detailed complaints from Ms Ruane and other representatives last week, the Commission refused to place any restrictions on the march.
Tonight's march, which is expected to involve dozens of bands, is organised by the Ballynahinch Protestant Boys.
Last year, local nationalists claimed the march was marked by the widespread display of loyalist paramilitary emblems and sectarian abuse.

Indymedia Ireland

Michael McDowell is Quickly Trying To Consolidate A Shitload Of Power

by sheeeessshhh
Friday, Jun 24 2005, 3:33pm




32 years on, IRA admits killing teenage girl

Staff and agencies
Friday June 24, 2005

The IRA today admitted killing a teenage girl in error in the 1970s, in a statement which the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams said he hoped would bring "closure" for her family.

Kathleen Feeney was a 14-year-old schoolgirl when she was hit by a sniper's bullet aimed at British troops on patrol in Derry in Novermber 1973.

At the time the IRA blamed the army for the killing, and later murdered a soldier "in retaliation".

The Ulster Unionists (UUP) have now demanded that the IRA also apologise to the family of the dead soldier.

"This type of despicable and deplorable behaviour is what we have come to expect from the IRA. There is no justification whatsoever for murdering a child." said David McClarty, the UUP member of the legislative assembly for East Derry said

"The IRA claimed it was the army who shot the young girl and in retaliation for the army's alleged actions murdered a soldier on the streets of Derry.

"Whist we fully appreciate the significance of this statement for the Feeney family and are mindful of their situation, when is the IRA going to apologise to the family of the soldier they shot dead?"

But, speaking in Dublin, Mr Adams said: "The most important element in all of that is the Feeney family. I would hope that the statement helps to bring closure to that family and I therefore welcome that statement.

"At least the IRA is prepared to stand up and take responsibility for something that they did. There is an absence of that both in terms of armed organisations and in terms of politicians."

A youth, who was 16 at the time of the tragedy, was charged with her murder two years later. He was acquitted and cleared on two separate charges of IRA membership and of attempting to murder soldiers.

But he was jailed for seven years after admitting possession an Armalite rifle and ammunition. The judge said the Crown had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he fired the fatal shot.

Four shots were fired but the defendant told police he only fired one. The judge concluded a second and possibly more experienced gunman was involved.

Mr Adams also said today that the bodies of the so-called "disappeared" will eventually be found and returned to their families.

He welcomed a decision by the British and Irish governments to seek a forensic expert to help find the remains of those murdered and secretly buried by the IRA since the 1970s.

"I'm fairly certain, without raising expectations, that we will eventually get those remains and give them back to the families," he said. "We have never stopped trying to help. I understand that this is a horrendously difficult issue, particularly for families who are being denied a funeral."


McCartney friend jailed over raid

A man stabbed and left for dead along with murder victim Robert McCartney has been jailed for robbing a security van.

Brendan Devine, of Mayfield Village in Glengormley, was sentenced to seven years at Belfast Crown Court.

Appearing alongside him were William Francis Evans, 24, of Albert Street and John O'Connor, 33, of Torrens Avenue, both of Belfast.

Both men were also jailed for seven years over the robbery which took place on 24 February 2004.

Evans and O'Connor were ordered to spend two years of their sentence on probation.

The men were virtually caught red-handed carrying out the raid on the Cash-Co security van as it made a delivery to Finaghy Post Office in south Belfast, the court was told.

Devine, who had rugby tackled a security guard delivering the cash, was caught a short distance away after throwing the cashbox over his shoulder while being chased by police on foot.

Evans, who was the driver of the getaway car, and O'Connor, his front seat passenger, were arrested in nearby Locksley Parade after abandoning their stole car.


The court heard that Devine, who suffered "extensive and life threatening injuries" when knifed outside a Belfast bar in January, had since made a full recovery physically, but mentally was suffering from post-traumatic anxiety disorder.

His defence barrister said the father-of-two had run up "significant and uncontrollable debts" because of his "serious and tragic abuse of drugs".

In order to fund his lifestyle and business Devine, who was spending up to £1,000 a week on his habit, agreed to get involved "out of desperation", and had "succumbed to the temptation of immediate profit," his counsel said.

However, the lawyer claimed that despite his involvement in the robbery, "his offending seems to have been totally out of character".

He said that while out on bail, Devine's "situation was changed very significantly by events which occurred recently - the circumstances of which are clearly in the public domain".

Devine, he added, was the "victim of a quite serious attack" in which "unfortunately his colleague (Mr McCartney), who was with him, was not so fortunate".

Drug abuse

Defence barristers for Evans and O'Connor, said their involvement also stemmed from the need to fund their drug abuse.

Jailing the trio, Judge Rodgers said he would "not make any distinction between them as each had a role to play".

He added that all three had financial problems which they thought could be solved by committing the robbery.

He said as robbers they were "playing for high stakes and must accept appropriate sentence when caught".


Presentation Sisters' web page about Nano Nagle here

Nun named Ireland's greatest woman

24/06/2005 - 13:04:51

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
click to view icon

An 18th Century nun, credited with establishing girl’s education in the State, was today named Ireland’s Greatest Woman.

Sister Nano Nagle, who died in 1784, was awarded the accolade over a host of well-known figures including campaigner Christina Noble, disgraced Olympic swimmer Michelle Smith and journalist Veronica Guerin.

Listeners’ to the competition on RTE Radio’s Marian Finucane show awarded the prestigious title to Cork-born Sr Nagle, who was credited with establishing girl’s education in Ireland through the founding of the Presentation Sisters.

Sr Jo Piggott said she nominated Sr Nagle for her extensive achievements and in light of Cork being the European Capital of Culture for 2005.

Sr Piggott said the nun, who was born into a wealthy family and educated in France, had a change of heart after viewing the disadvantaged women in Cork.

“They were very disadvantaged,” Sr Piggott said. “So she choose education and she came back to Cork and formed her little followers, she also brought the Ursuline Sisters to Cork. She built a house for them.”

The Ursuline Sisters were founded primarily for the education of girls and the care of the sick and needy.

“She died at 69, worn out. She never gave up but was a very spiritual woman towards the end.” Sr Piggott added.

The nation wide phone poll at the radio station had listeners pitch over the past few weeks the reasons why their nominee should be given the accolade of ‘Ireland’s Greatest Woman’.

Ms Finucane said the listeners’ poll, which has been running on the show for several months, had received massive publicity over the amount of people who voted for Ms Smith.

The swimmer, who was banned from the sport for four years in 1998 for charges of manipulating a sample, was one of the 10 finalists in the show’s competition.

Smith, who won four medals for swimming at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, was nominated by her husband Erik De Bruin for the competition.

There were over 25,000 votes cast for the nominees for ‘Ireland’s Greatest Woman’ with 23.5% going to Sr Nagle, 21.4% for former President Mary Robinson and 19.8% for Michelle Smith.

The presenter, who is leaving her mid-morning slot for a weekend radio show, said: “One of the things, presumably why this got so much coverage around the world, was the amount of people that voted for Michelle Smith.

“It really was quite astonishing and it was from all over the country. It was said that Michelle Smith was in disgrace but it would appear that there are an awful lot of people that don’t except that.”

She added: “We were really quite astonished about this and it looks like the Irish people have not accepted the international view that Michelle is in disgrace.”

Some of the well-known names, of those living and dead, who were nominated included charity worker Christina Noble, Peig Sayers, Maureen Potter and former President Robinson.

Remember this

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

click to view - For all the children killed in conflict
(mural from here)


Belfast Telegraph

1973: the IRA kills Kathleen Feeney (14)
2005: they apologise

Provos urged to 'come clean' on all their murders

By Brendan McDaid and Jonathan McCambridge
24 June 2005

The IRA was today facing demands to come clean over all its murders following a historic apology for shooting dead a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Derry 32 years ago.

In a statement the IRA said it was apologising "unreservedly" for killing Kathleen Feeney in 1973.

Kathleen was killed during an IRA sniper attack on a British Army mobile patrol in the Lecky Road area of the Bogside on November 14, 1973.

Policing Board vice-chairman Denis Bradley - who knew the victim - said today he hoped the apology would bring closure for her family.

Kathleen was shot in the head with an Armalite rifle while she was playing with other children in the street in the Brandywell area of the city.

The IRA had previously blamed the Army for Kathleen's killing.

But in a statement issued today, after the family approached the IRA seeking a full explanation of what happened to the young girl and an unconditional apology, a spokesman said: "The leadership of Oglaigh na hEireann has been asked by the Feeney family to examine the circumstances surrounding the death of their sister and to publicly acknowledge that she was killed by the IRA.

"The IRA leadership agreed to do so.

"We found, as the Feeney family have always believed, that Kathleen was hit by one of a number of shots fired by an IRA active service unit that had fired upon a British Army foot patrol in the Lecky Road area."

The IRA spokesman said that the organisation accepted it had "only added to the hurt and pain of the Feeney family" by failing to own up to the killing for over three decades.

Mr Bradley said: "This is an important statement and an important development.

"As someone who was around in the city at that time and who knew the child, her parents and her family I have to say this is not before time.

"I hope it brings some closure for the Feeney family."

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's political leaders today called upon the IRA to come clean over all murders it has committed and denied after the unprecedented apology.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell said the onus was now on the IRA to give a full account of the murders it has carried out and then denied during the Troubles.

Mr Campbell said: "We have to look at the ramifications of this.

"How many other murders have the IRA carried out which they originally denied, and after the murders occurred, then carried out retaliatory killings for murders they had committed?

"This shows just how the IRA have created a deepening cycle of violence and more violence."

Mark Durkan, SDLP leader, said no family should ever have lost a daughter and a sister to such violence.

"No family should have had to wait so long for the truth. No family and no community should have been left for so long with a false understanding of such a great loss," he said.

Mr Durkan called for perpetrators of similar crimes to come forward.

He said: "The SDLP believe that everyone who has lost loved ones through violence is entitled to truth.

"All organisations whether state forces or paramilitaries who have taken life owe it to the victims and to the wider public to provide the truth."

Kathleen was killed just yards from her Quarry Street home in the Brandywell.

Her father Harry saw his daughter falling down from the doorway of their home.

Following her death, controversy arose over who fired the shots.

At the time the IRA had maintained it was the Army that carried out the shooting.

The organisation also later claimed that it had killed a soldier in retaliation.

The British Army has always maintained that it was not involved in the young girl's death.

The Army said at the time that one of its patrols was fired upon but did not return fire.

Unison.ie / Irish Independent

Crippling virus hits eircom.net clients through rogue emails

A POTENTIALLY crippling computer virus which is sweeping the country purports to originate from an Eircom email account.

Thousands of eircom.net email customers across the country have been sent and continue to receive the emails containing the virus from at least two separate eircom.net accounts.

If activated, the virus disables existing anti-virus software, leaving computers wide open to viruses from which they may previously have been protected.

Subject matter in the emails can vary, but one accuses subscribers of sending "a huge amount of unsolicited spam messages" and asks them to open the attached document "so you will not run into any future problems with the online service". The file attached to the email is not a document but a programme, which if initiated disables a computer's anti-virus software.

A spokesperson for eircom.net, the country's leading internet service provider, has confirmed that the potentially damaging emails have not been sent by them but by a spammer who "uses a legitimate brand or company name to disguise where their emails are originating. This is what has happened in this case and we can assure our customers that the mail has not been sent by us."

The spokesperson confirmed that the virus, called 'W32/Mytob.EP@mm', is a mass-mailing worm which opens a back door into systems and lowers security settings on the compromised computer.

If the attachment is opened on a PC with even the most up-to-date anti-virus software, it can send itself from user to user. This means it can be sent to another computer without the sender's knowledge.

Eircom asks anyone affected by the virus to contact them as soon as possible. "We have a dedicated security section on our support site which offers people tips and advice on how to avoid viruses, and highlights all current viruses which people should avoid." Computer users are warned not to open attachments on emails from people unknown to them or emails that seem odd.

Last week, thousands of bogus emails were sent from Leinster House after a virus infiltrated its computer system. People on email lists at the Oireachtas were bombarded with spam emails after a virus caused its system to send out thousands of them.

Up to 70pc of all viruses being detected in Europe are variants of the Sober virus. A generation of viruses which can infect mobile phones and could threaten to collapse wireless networks has also been uncovered recently.

More than 50 viruses targeted at mobiles have been detected in the first six months of 2005. The figure has alarmed security firms as it is only a year since Cabir, the first mobile phone virus, was identified.

At least one virus, Commwarrior, infects a handset through a Bluetooth connection.

Pat Flynn

::: u.tv :::

Adams pledge on disappeared

FRIDAY 24/06/2005 12:09:13
Press Association

The bodies of the so-called Disappeared will eventually be found and returned to their families, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams pledged today.

He welcomed the decision by the British and Irish Governments to seek a forensic expert to help find the remains of those murdered and secretly buried by the IRA since the 1970s.

"I`m fairly certain, without raising expectations, that we will eventually get those remains and give them back to the families," he said in Dublin.

"We have never stopped trying to help.

"I understand that this is a horrendously difficult issue, particularly for families who are being denied a funeral."

He claimed the idea for a forensic expert was suggested by Sinn Fein to the British and Irish Governments over three years ago and that he had had the name of a suitable candidate for more than 14 months.

"I welcome that they have finally moved but there`s a question mark as to why it took so long," he said.

The body of Armagh father of two Gareth O`Connor was found in his car in the Newry Canal earlier this month after a tip-off to police.

He had gone missing in May 2003 while travelling to Dundalk garda station to fulfil bail conditions and was due to face charges of Real IRA membership.


Academics plan motorway protest at Tara

24/06/2005 - 10:22:16

International academics will gather at the Hill of Tara site on Sunday to protest against the M3 motorway planned for the area.

Last month Environment Minister Dick Roche cleared the way for the construction of the project by issuing strict instructions to Meath County Council on how archaeological work is to be carried out.

The international scholars, who are experts in Celtic studies, Irish history, Irish literature, linguistics, archaeology and anthropology, sent a petition to the Irish Government in April calling on it to re-route the motorway through the Tara/Skryne Valley.

The academics are based in various European countries, the US and Canada, Australia and Russia.

The project was approved by An Bord Pleanala two years ago, but many archaeologists and historians have argued that part of Ireland’s most important heritage site will be destroyed.

The academics will also be attending the Ulster Literary Cycle lecture series at Maynooth University.

They will be discussing ancient mythical tales such as Irish epic Tain Bo Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) which claims warrior Cú Chulainn’s head and right hand are buried at Tara.

Some visitors marking summer solstice celebrations at the Hill of Tara this week also held a silent protest at the motorway plans.

Those attending at Tara on Sunday include Henry L Shattuck, Professor of Irish studies at Harvard University; Professor Joseph F Nagy, Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles; Professor Ronald Hicks, professor of anthropology, Ball University, Indiana; Professor Ann Dooley, University of Toronto; and Dr Charles Doherty, School of History, University College Dublin.


Kelly arrest a blatant act of provocation

(Jim Gibney, Irish News)

The imprisonment of Ardoyne republican Sean Kelly is a blatant act of provocation.

It is aimed at undermining republican confidence in the peace process.

Sean Kelly is not a Johnny Adair figure. Those who put him in prison know this.

He supports the peace process. He has worked tirelessly to defuse interface conflict in Ardoyne.

It is for this reason and no other he is back in prison on a manufactured intelligence report.

What sort of message does this type of sinister manipulation of a man's liberty send out to republicans?

Evidence that this report is contrived to suit a political attack on the peace process was revealed by news organisations.

They showed recent correspondence from the PSNI to a unionist representative complaining about Sean Kelly's presence at peaceful protests.

In a curt response the PSNI stated that Kelly was not breaking the law.

In fact, Sean Kelly was defusing tension and preventing sectarian clashes.

Those responsible for his imprisonment are the securocrats, the DUP, some sections of the media and a secretary of state, still wet behind the ears, who thinks it beneficial to pander to the DUP.

Sean Kelly was easy prey for those who have tried many times to derail the peace process.

Loyalist politicians opposed his release and demanded his re-arrest but took a completely different attitude towards Adair-led loyalists when they were creating havoc on the Shankill Road.

And this weekend as in previous years the same loyalist politicians will walk in an Orange parade on the Springfield Road, which has for years been imposed on the nationalist people of that area and in the past included a banner glorifying a UVF man who killed a Catholic.

For many republicans, Sean Kelly's arrest confirms for them that the peace process is in a crisis.

The implications of Peter Hain's decision to imprison Kelly are on a par with Mo Mowlam's decision to force an Orange parade down the Garvaghy Road a short time after she arrived here.

Mowlam's credibility among republicans never fully recovered from that decision.

I suspect Hain will suffer similarly.

The new British secretary of state shares the same Christian name with a previous secretary of state, Peter Mandelson.

He needs to be careful this early in his tenure he doesn't end up being viewed as negatively as Mandelson.

The news of Kelly's imprisonment was breaking as the people of Ardoyne were dealing with the violence of an Orange parade forced past their district.

Ardoyne is a small community.

They suffered grievously and disproportionately during the conflict.

Ninety-nine people lost their lives.

Hundreds of men and women were in jail.

For 20 years the people lived under military occupation.

They have been traumatised as a result.

They must be wondering to themselves if they are ever going to live in a society which respects and protects them.

If the comments of the PSNI officer in charge of the Ardoyne operation are anything to go by then we are a long way from that.

He told the press his main concern was to "force the parade and supporters through".

He said nothing about the effect of his actions on the people of Ardoyne nor did he make a comment about the Orange Order insisting on walking past Ardoyne.

Indeed this year there is practically no focus on the consequences of the Orange Order's marching plans.

This anti-Catholic organisation is threatening violence if it is prevented from marching where it wants to.

Their threats are being echoed by the DUP.

It is obvious the Orange Order and the DUP are out to test the resolve of the British government.

The British government must stand firm against this sectarian intimidation.

Orange Order marches should be re-routed away from areas where they are not wanted and where they cause – and are intended to cause – deep offence.

And Sean Kelly, a pro-agreement, pro-peace process republican activist should be released immediately.

June 24, 2005

This article appeared first in the June 23, 2005 edition of the Irish News.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?