16 July 2005

This loyalist feud goes on, but why?

Belfast Telegraph

Just over a year ago the UVF and the LVF agreed to a truce following weeks of feuding that left one man dead and dozens of families driven from their homes. That uneasy peace has now begun to unravel with two men shot dead by the UVF and one man fighting for his life after being gunned down by the LVF. As those living in loyalist communities brace themselves for further attacks and retaliation, Mary Fitzgerald reports on the background to the deadly tensions between the UVF and the LVF and why many believe this latest bout is far from over.

By Mary Fitzgerald
16 July 2005

Early evening on Eleventh Night in Belfast and the signs are everywhere. Signs that all is not well. Signs that things could possibly get worse. On gable walls on the upper Shankill where graffiti still gloats over the UVF murder of Jameson Lockhart.

On wooden hoardings that lean against as yet unlit bonfires in areas where the UVF dominates. "LVF/IRA" reads one on the lower Newtownards Road. "F*** the LVF" is the blunt message at the Donegall Pass bonfire. At the site at Pitt Park in east Belfast, just metres away from where Lockhart died after the lorry he sat in was raked with gunfire 11 days previously, three black LVF flags and two funeral wreaths are perched on top of the bonfire. Rumours fly that the wreaths have been stolen from Lockhart's grave, a claim later proved false. The mood here and elsewhere in the city is tense and everyone talks about the latest shooting.

Just that morning three UVF gunmen smashed their way into a house at Dhu Varren in the Woodvale area and opened fire on 20-year-old father Craig McCausland, hitting him at least five times. McCausland, whose partner, Kathy, and her two children, aged nine and six, were also at home at the time, died later in hospital.

Soon after the shooting, a man escaped a murder bid by jumping from the window of a house in nearby Woodvale Pass as masked men tried to smash their way in.

Earlier that night David Hanley, 21, was shot several times as he walked his dogs past a bonfire site on the Crumlin Road. Hanley, who was hit at least once in the head, remains in a critical condition following emergency surgery. The LVF is believed to have been behind the attack. In another incident blamed on the LVF, a mother and child escaped injury early on Sunday morning when shots were fired into a house on Silverstream Avenue and at a nearby address.

"Everyone is scared about what might happen next," explains one woman standing a few streets away from where McCausland was shot. "We've been here before and we know what this can descend into - tit-for-tat shootings and innocent people being killed.

"People are worried and afraid for their kids' safety," she says, pulling her children closer. "Who knows what might happen."

Further north in Ballysillan, around a bonfire ringed with LVF flags fluttering from poles, the mood is one of defiant anger.

"Another innocent person shot dead by murdering scum," says one thirtysomething man, referring to the shooting of Craig McCausland, whose family, and the LVF, would later insist had no paramilitary connections whatsover.

"This is starting to get far more serious. People are talking about revenge."

His friend agrees. "It's bad this time. The ball has only started rolling."

It's not the first time the long-standing fear and loathing between the LVF and UVF has spilled over into violence and murder. In the alphabet soup of loyalist paramilitarism, the enmity between the UVF and its splinter group runs deep. The bad blood between the two goes back to the birth of the LVF in 1996 when Billy Wright was expelled from the UVF after his gang murdered Catholic taxi driver Michael McGoldrick in Portadown. Since then residual resentments, shifting loyalties and festering tensions have periodically erupted into vicious and deadly feuding that has claimed more than a dozen lives, including Portadown UVF leader Richard Jameson, Red Hand Commando boss Jim "Jonty" Johnston, LVF drug dealer Steven Warnock and, in May last year, LVF member Brian Stewart.

As one loyalist source put it: "Not one of the feuds between the UVF and the LVF has been resolved completely at any stage since 1996 - it's like a family feud that never really goes away."

The killing of Stewart, shot as he arrived for work at an east Belfast industrial estate, sparked off weeks of threats, attacks and intimidation that resulted in several families driven from their homes in east Belfast and Co Down.

Mediators, including Rev Mervyn Gibson, a Presbyterian minister, and Sammy Douglas, an east Belfast community worker, helped broker a truce between the two groups which apparently included a "no first strike" agreement. An uneasy peace had followed until it all began to unravel again in recent months.

The background to the latest round of feuding is a mix of threats, warnings and what one source described wearily as "low-level stuff that just piled up into something more serious".

Cars were attacked on both sides, shots were fired as intermittent warnings and at one stage every pub in east Belfast with UVF associations was daubed with LVF slogans overnight. Several observers believe there was a deliberate attempt by LVF members to ratchet up tensions between the two groups.

A few weeks ago, a number of UVF members in the Ballycraigy estate in Antrim were forced out of their homes by the LVF, upping the ante until the murder of Jameson Lockhart by the UVF on July 1.

It wasn't the first time he was targeted. Lockhart, who lived in Ballysillan, is understood to have been friends with two brothers from the same area who are senior LVF members. His construction business had been attacked before and in January, Paul Crooks, a 23-year-old from Highview Crescent, appeared in court charged with the attempted murder of Lockhart and two others - Gareth Kincaid and Barry Smith. This related to an incident in Highfield during which shots were fired at a van. The charges were dropped following Lockhart's murder, although the decision is not believed to be linked.

Since his murder, several of Lockhart's relatives have received threats and a number have been forced to leave their homes.

There is some concern that attempts at mediation between the two groups have apparently failed in recent weeks. "Neither side is looking for a solution at the moment," said one source.

There is talk of some leading figures "going to ground", a claim dismissed by others; talk of bulletproof vests and personal security guards; talk of this bout of violence as just another stage in a bitter war of attrition with the only solution, in the eyes of the UVF, the routing of the LVF in Belfast. In a chilling warning delivered by masked UVF gunmen at the Pitt Park bonfire on Monday night, the organisation said it would "wipe out" the rival group.

Another worrying aspect of this latest chapter of loyalist feuding is the relatively young age of those caught up in it, whether unwitting victims or protagonists. All of those killed or shot in recent weeks have been 25 or under.

There is speculation that the gunman responsible for shooting David Hanley is only 16 and those who killed Jameson Lockhart just a little older.

As one source put it: "The guys involved in this are too young to remember any split between the UVF and the LVF, they're too young to know what it was like then and that's a real concern."

For now though, those living in loyalist areas in Belfast and elsewhere hold their breath amid fears of imminent retaliation.

"I think we're in for a bloody few weeks," one source said. "Those two deaths will not be the last."

More than 1,000 gather to protest jailing of 'Rossport Five'


16/07/2005 - 19:02:18

More than 1,000 people have attended a protest in Ballina this afternoon against the jailing of five men for attempting to prevent the building of a gas pipeline on their land in Co Mayo.

The demonstrators are calling for an investigation into deals made between the Government and the gas company, Shell.

The wives and families of the jailed men thanked the crowd for their continued support.

Frank McBrearty Jr was a guest speaker at the rally and after the speeches the protestors marched around the town.

Another rally is being planned to take place in Dublin next Saturday, July 23.

Woman hurt in Belfast house bomb attack


16/07/2005 - 09:03:33

Sectarian bombers are suspected of injuring a woman in an attack on a north Belfast home today.

A blast device was thrown at the house on Mountainview Gardens, off the Upper Crumlin Road, at about 12.15am.

The bomb damaged an upstairs bedroom window and a car parked outside.

Police said the woman, who was alone in the property, needed hospital treatment for cuts and lacerations.

A spokesman confirmed detectives were examining a possible sectarian motive for the attack.

Investigating officers have urged any witnesses to contact them.

Quote of the week: "They can’t all be dissidents”


Parades Forum rules out talks with nationalists

16/07/2005 - 08:43:28

The North's Parades Forum says it is unable to trust nationalist representatives after republicans failed to prevent Tuesday night’s violence in the Ardoyne.

Up to 100 members of the PSNI were injured in the clashes when blast and petrol bombs were thrown by dissident republicans.

The Forum has cut all ties with nationalist residents despite engagement by both sides in the run-up to the Ardoyne Orange parade.

Forum Chairman Tommy Cheevers has ruled out the possibility of future discussions unless a nationalist negotiator with clout is found.

“That violence has damaged any future chance of dialogue because people can’t deliver in that area and they are trying to blame that on dissident Republicans”, said Mr Cheevers.

“There were widespread attacks throughout Belfast and indeed right across Northern Ireland. They can’t all be dissidents”, he added.

“What needs to happen is that we need to find someone, somehow, within the Republican movement that we could actually have a dialogue with that would be about compromise and stop this nonsense of trying to create apartheid,” Mr Cheevers said.

De Chastelain's return sparks talk of IRA statement


16/07/2005 - 08:41:14

There is speculation the IRA could issue a statement on its future intentions before the end of the month.

The speculation has been sparked by the recent return to Belfast of General John De Chastelain - the Chairman of the Decommissioning Body.

An internal debate is believed to be ongoing within the Provisional movement to decide whether democratic means are the only way forward.

It is thought the IRA will not announce complete disbandment but will instead convert to an organisation that would be one of remembrance.

Orange Bullyboys Rewarded

An Phoblacht

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The lives of Ardoyne residents were at risk this week when Orangemen, who refused to engage in dialogue with them, were rewarded for their intransigence, backed up by huge force of PSNI and forced through the nationalist district. Despite disciplined and dignified protests during the day, violence ensued following PSNI provocation. For the full story read our interview with Gerry Kelly in the next article.


"Lucky that lives not lost"

Gerry Kelly, an eye-witness to events as they unfolded in Ardoyne on 12 July gives his first hand account of the situation in an interview with An Phoblacht .

As eye-witness to Tuesday's events in Ardoyne and as political representative for North Belfast can you give us your perspective on what transpired?

Well, fundamental to what happened in Ardoyne this week is the issue of anti-Catholic organisations demanding the right to walk through an area where they are not wanted. If such unwanted and contentious marches, of which there are only a small number, did not take place, then there would be no trouble. The decision of the Parades Commission was patently wrong. It rewarded the Orange Order's refusal to talk to residents, undermining the principle of dialogue as the way forward.

"We were lucky that lives were not lost in this area on Tuesday. I wish to praise the Ardoyne residents, the local clergy and those members of Sinn Féin right up to national leadership level who have been involved for weeks in attempting to work out a situation whereby we would have a calm day.

"There were two protests in the area on Tuesday. One in the morning which was a small and involved the youth of the area sitting passively on the road in a peaceful protest. These young people showed great pateince, courage and commitment to the peaceful nature of the protest, as they were removed in a quite heavy-handed fashion by the PSNI, and did not retaliate in any way.

"Duing the second protest in the afternoon, the protesting residents decided to move off the road just before the Orange march arrived. Again, this was a very successful protest and we had hoped that was the way the day would continue.

"The protests were a peaceful and dignified expression of the deep anger among the entire community of Mountainview, Ardoyne and the Dales. This myth that has been propogated of the march just passing shopfronts in Ardoyne needs to be dealt with once and for all. This sectarian march goes through three nationalist areas twice in the one day.

"Later in the day when the Orange march arrived at Twaddell I was there. There was stone throwing and insults being traded both ways beteween the loyalist crowd and nationalist youths. However it is our view that this was manageable and we were trying to prevent any escalation. But the immediate reaction of the PSNI in baton-charging nationalist youths and in using water cannon disempowered stewards to the point where they deliberately targeted the stewrads themselves with the water cannon. Gerry Adams and myslef were also deliberately targeted. Once that happened it took several hours to restore calm."

Several blast bombs were thrown during the disturbances on Tuesday, injuring journalists. The action was reportedly carried out by the self-styled 'Continuity IRA'. What is you view of the incident?

"I believe three or four people were involved. They were not from the area and they left the area immediately after the incident.

"The vast majority of people in Ardoyne were against this action. These blast bombs could have caused more injury or death. Thrown in the middle of a highly charged atmosphere with hundreds of residents, it could have resulted in a reaction leading to more deaths. This irresponsible action endangered the lives of nationalist residents. The people who carried this out don't represent the people of Ardoyne nor do they have their support.

Where do the events in Ardoyne leave the wider process of attempting to find accomodation around these marches and what effect do you think it may have on the wider political situation and the peace process?

"The problem in all of this is that those organisations who demand to walk through nationalist areas are fundamentally anti-Catholic. If those few contentious marches through areas where they are unwelcome were not taking place we would not have this trouble.

"What must be borne in mind is that several of the leading Unionist politicians here, don their Orange collarettes to take part in these sectarian and controversial marches themselves.

"All of this is compounded by the decision of the Parades Commission which rewards the refusal to talk. This march in Ardoyne takes place next door to West Belfast where the Orange Order does talk to residents. In Derry the Orange Order talks to residents. Yet, 400 yards away the Orange Order refuses to talk. They should not be rewarded for adopting this approach. Such a course of action is unworkable and unacceptable.

"Basic to any resolution of anything, whether it's high politics or local disputes or whatever, is the issue of dialogue. I am prepared to talk to anyone to get this sorted out and so are the residents.

"These events make me more determined to face down the anti-Agreement elements in the DUP, Orange Order and the UDA. I am more determined than ever to push for dialogue as the way forward on this issue and in the peace process generally."

Shell sells its Republic operations


15 July 2005 21:53

Shell has sold all its retail and commercial businesses in the Republic for an undisclosed price.

Shell's Irish operations - which include oil importation, distribution and retail service stations - have an estimated annual turnover of €1 billion.

The purchasers - a consortium led by venture capital group Ion Equity - say they will be maintaining the operations and the association with the Shell brand.

Nationalists warned of threat


Billy Leonard said the community must stand together

A number of nationalists in Coleraine have been told they are under threat from loyalist paramilitaries.

It is understood the men were informed by the police on Friday afternoon.

Local Sinn Fein Councillor Billy Leonard said the whole community, nationalist and unionist, must stand together against the threats.

"It's got to be a case of unionist and loyalist politicians standing up and being proactive about what is emanating from their community," he said.

"It's got to be much more than condemnation," Mr Leonard added.

15 July 2005

Adams - Time for Orange Order to talk

Sinn Féin

Published: 15 July, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams speaking in Dublin this afternoon said "It isn't tenable that with each contentious parade, society is brought to the brink. This problem cannot be parked until next year. It needs to be dealt with now. It's time for those within the Loyal Orders, and those unionist politicians who are among their leading members, to engage in a meaningful process of dialogue."

Mr. Adams said:

"This week rejectionist unionist politicians, who are also leading Orangemen, steered the Orange Order on a course which could have resulted in the political atmosphere being poisoned at a time when the IRA is engaged in its internal consultation and at a time when traditionally tensions run

"Given the decision of the Parades Commission, the situation in Ardoyne had the potential to be a disaster. It had the potential to lead to the loss of lives.

"That is why Sinn Féin put so much effort into trying to ensure that the situation remained calm. We engaged with the local community, the Parades Commission, the churches and young people. And for the most part we succeeded. Residents in Ardoyne are to be commended for the discipline they showed this week.

"But the underlying problem remains. It isn't tenable that with each contentious parade, society is brought to the brink. This problem cannot be parked until next year. It needs to be dealt with now.

"It's time for the Loyal Orders, and those unionist politicians who are among their leading members to engage in a meaningful process of dialogue.

"If we are seeking to make progress over the next few months then obviously having the rest of the marching season peaceful assists that. That is our focus. The Orange Order and the DUP need to step up to the mark as well."ENDS

Boxer appeals for return of belt


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Eamonn Magee has appealed for return of his title belt

World Boxing Union welterweight champion Eamonn Magee said he was devastated at the theft of his title belt from his mother's home.

The diamond-studded belt, worth thousands of pounds, was taken from the house at Holmdene Gardens, north Belfast.

Mr Magee, 33, successfully defended his title in March after suffering multiple injuries in an attack last year.

He said the belt had value to him, but "was useless to anyone else".

The black leather belt was decorated with a gold crest surrounded by diamonds and carried the number 49.

"I just appeal to the intruders to bring it back; no action will be taken," he said.

Doctors told Mr Magee he would never fight again because his injuries were so severe.

However, he went back into training and won his comeback fight against Danish boxer Allan Vester.

He said he hopes to defend his title in the King's Hall, Belfast, in October.

Blogspot posting was down today for awhile

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Mixed reports as embers cool


by Joe Nawaz

As the dust settled and the embers cooled on another Twelfth of July, the aftermath of this year’s parades and bonfire celebrations could be seen scattered around the south of the city.

Bags, bottles and discarded flags littered the streets of Belfast on Tuesday evening while the debris from the previous night’s bonfires was still burning the following day.

On Tates Avenue on Tuesday morning, the smoking ruins of a bonfire obstructed the main road, forcing cars to veer dangerously around the obstacle.

Nearby, plastic traffic island pillars had been burned away by the heat of the blaze, leaving just two melted stumps.

Roads Service were unavailable for comment

Just around the corner on Boucher Road, while previous night’s revellers were lining the streets to cheer on the bandsmen, a still-burning bonfire had incinerated a public billboard next to it.

Even at council-sponsored bonfires organisers found it difficult to keep order – five masked UVF men appeared on stage at the council-supported Pitt Park bonfire to fire a volley of shots into the air.

The site was one of eight to receive £2,500 in funding to help bring it under proper control.

The other two in South Belfast – at Annadale and Taughmonagh – appeared to pass off with less controversy, although the clean-up bill has yet to be counted.

Speaking before eleventh night, council spokesperson Stephen Walker said, “I would hope that all our eight sites this year will avoid an overt display of paramilitary imagery or presence.”

He was unable to say afterwards whether the night’s events had jeopardised future council sponsored bonfires.

In the final analysis, half-burned kitchen units and sofas, scorched walls and even a burned-out van next to Donegall Pass PSNI station indicated that it was “business as usual” for the eleventh night in South Belfast.

Colin Halliday, loyalist community representative for the Village area, said that events had gone better than planned and added that South Belfast parades had been amongst the best organised in Northern Ireland.

“I was delighted with how the eleventh and twelfth went this year. It’s a real testimony to organisers that we got things right and there was no trouble.”

He denied any knowledge of obstructive or illegal bonfires on Tates Avenue.

“I was all over the Donegall Road and Sandy Row on Monday night – I didn’t see anything like that at all. I would say that it’s been a success overall.”

On march day itself, thousands of flag-waving, beer-drinking revellers lined the main arterial route of Lisburn Road as bandsmen paraded by.

The weather proved to be kind, as parades from all over South Belfast converged at Barnett’s Demesne and then returned into town later that evening.

Apart from several drink-induced brawls, it was a relatively peaceable day and a far cry from the sobering events that were unfolding in Ardoyne at the same time.

However, residents on the lower Ormeau Road were party to the other side of the coin, as locals were abused and several attacked by bandsmen who had been allowed, at the last moment, to change their route, taking them closer to the mixed, residential Holyland area.

Local councillor and MLA, Alex Maskey, said that marchers had been “intimidatory” and “triumphalist” as they marched near to nationalist homes.

“They were abusive and violent, directly in front of a parades commission observer. This kind of thing is detrimental to an area which has in recent years been relatively quiet.

“There needs to be stiffer action taken by the Parades Commission to ensure the rights and safety of people from other communities over the twelfth. There is not just one community living here and that should be taken that into account for future years.”

A day of contrasts, then, for both nationalists and loyalists living in the most mixed region of Belfast.

As residents from the Markets, Short Strand and Lower Ormeau battened down the hatches to weather another Twelfth of July, their counterparts from the Village and Sandy Row took to the streets with Lambeg drum, fife and sash to celebrate their culture/ affirm their superiority – depending on who you talk to.

Colin Halliday, comparing the marches here with those that had erupted in violence in the north of the city said, “On the whole it’s been a real quiet and enjoyable Twelfth of July in South Belfast. It was the most peaceful for years and long may it last.”

Journalist:: Joe Nawaz

'UVF men were part of march'

Belfast Telegraph

By Brian Hutton
15 July 2005

Senior loyalist terror leaders were among a contentious Orange Order parade as it passed through the Ardoyne flashpoint on Tuesday, it was claimed last night.

SDLP MLA Alex Attwood said that two "very senior" members of the UVF were among the supporters which preceded the parade on its return leg.

Almost 90 people were injured, some seriously, when nationalist rioters attacked police after the march passed through on its way to Ligoniel as part of the annual July 12 celebrations.

"I have very reliably been informed that these people do not live in north Belfast and under no circumstances can be considered individuals that are governed by parade legislation," said Mr Attwood.

"They had no proper purpose for being on the road. Their presence was planned and it was provocative," he added.

Mr Attwood, who was at the interface during the trouble, has raised his concerns with PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton.

He alleged that "some of the most unsavoury loyalist leaders there are" were on the parade "in order to say we have reclaimed this ground".

Mr Attwood called on the Orange Order to take responsibility for who attends its marches.

"I am informing the Parades Commission of this information and urging that this becomes a key factor and influence in forthcoming Commission decisions," he said.

The Orange Order said it could not possibly know everybody that was on the march.

"Given the serious rioting that occurred in Ardoyne which put the lives of civilians and police officers at risk, we are astounded that Alex Attwood has chosen to focus his attention on peaceful supporters," said an Orange Order spokeswoman.

"He would be better spending his time helping the PSNI to identify those involved in the violence rather than taking cheap shots at the Orange Order," she added.

The PSNI said it is currently studying the events of July 12 closely.

Memorial statue for top Ulster cardiologist

Belfast Telegraph

By Ben Lowry
15 July 2005

Frank Pantridge - BBC photo

The Ulster doctor who developed the portable defibrillator, which has saved countless heart attack patients, is to have a statue erected in his memory.

The monument to Professor Frank Pantridge will stand at Lisburn Council's headquarters building - Lagan Valley Island.

The distinguished cardiologist, who died in December aged 88, produced the first portable defibrillator while based at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1965.

The plans for a statue have been welcomed by politicians and former colleagues, many of whom have been critical about the failure to award a knighthood or peerage to Professor Pantridge during his lifetime.

The Second World War veteran, who survived Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, received the CBE.

Lisburn Council's Corporate Services Committee has recommended the statue should be placed adjacent to Lagan Valley Island's main entrance, on the canal side.

The DUP Mayor of Lisburn, Jonathan Craig, welcomed the decision to erect a monument to the Hillsborough-born physician.

"Professor Pantridge's contribution to the medical field has been a great one," Mr Craig said: "My wife is a paramedic and she uses his equipment on a daily basis, and it does save lives."

Prior to Professor Pantridge's portable version, defibrillators - which apply an electric shock across the chest to correct a disturbance of the heart rhythm - only existed in hospitals.

His first portable model was operated by car batteries and weighed 70 kilos, and was transported to the scene of a heart attack by ambulance.

The success of this innovation was clear by 1972, when the so-called Pant- ridge Plan was used to manage US President Lyndon Johnson when he suffered a heart attack.

Professor Pantridge's expertise in heart disease had its origins in the 1939-45 war, when he became ill with cardiac beri beri and his heart swelled to three times normal size - and he deduced what was wrong.

Later in the 1940s, he spent time working in Michigan under FN Wilson, the then world authority on electrocardiography.

On appointment to the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1950, Professor Pantridge quickly established an internationally acclaimed cardiology unit.

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Illegal fuel 'harms environment'

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Illegal fuel 'harms environment'

Illegal fuel laundering is harming the environment

Illegal fuel laundering in Northern Ireland is harming the environment, customs officers have warned.

It follows the discovery of an illegal fuel operation at Camlough in south Armagh on Thursday.

Two vehicles adapted with concealed tanks for transporting fuel and 17,000 litres of laundered fuel were seized.

John Spence from HM Revenue and Customs service said the chemicals used in the laundering process caused damage to the surrounding area.

The harmful chemicals are used to remove the red dye from "low tax" diesel intended for agricultural use. The fuel is then sold to motorists.

"We estimate that there was a potential revenue loss of £1m from a plant like this over the course of a year," said John Spence.

"However, we also need to be aware of the environmental and safety issues of illegal laundering plants.

"We need to consider what happens to the waste by-product and the damage caused to our land, our water and our rivers.

"We know that waste like this has been dumped close to where this laundering plant was and that clearly causes damage to our environment."

14 July 2005

Torched vehicle rolls through sleeping street


By Laura McDaid

Residents of Norglen Drive awoke to a terrifying scene on Monday morning as a stolen car was set alight at the top of their estate and rolled down the sloping road outside their homes engulfed by flames.

The burning car freewheeled past a number of houses at 6.30 in the morning before crashing into the back of another vehicle which was parked on the slope.

The Fire Brigade was immediately called in to extinguish the blaze, which they managed to do before the second car caught fire.

A resident of the street, Maureen Tully, described her horror as she saw the burning vehicle rolling down the road.

“I just looked out the window and couldn’t believe my eyes. There was this burning car with no driver rolling past my house towards the houses down the hill. It was like a scene from a Hollywood film.

“I ran out of the house screaming to everyone to get out of the way, and then saw it crash into my neighbour’s car.

“Thank God it stopped there, but we were all still terrified that the second car would catch fire and maybe explode. It was absolute mayhem here.”

The owner of the second car, Mary Morgan, said, “I came running out of the house, and all I could see was black smoke belting out of this car. I was just waiting for my own to go up in flames. My children were petrified. I sent them out the back for safety.”

Mary’s car, which had to be taken away for repairs over the bank holiday, is essential to the family, whose disabled teenage son had a major heart operation earlier in the year.

“We need that car so badly, it’s our lifeline. My son has learning difficulties and we were planning to bring him to Ballycastle for the bank holiday. We can’t do that now, which is sad, especially after the scare he got when he saw the scene outside this morning. We were in Ballycastle on Sunday night and we thought about staying, but we came home in the end. To be honest, I’m glad we came back and that our car was parked there, because if it hadn’t been, that burning car would have rolled the rest of the way down the hill and into someone’s house.

“Our car can be fixed, but people would have been killed or seriously injured if that had gone any further.”

Maureen added: “It was an absolute miracle that no one was killed this morning. I just can’t understand why anyone would want to do that to the people in this street. What was going through their minds?

“We shouldn’t have to live like this. This area is getting out of control with joyriders and anti-social behaviour, and we all know it’s only going to get worse over the summer months.

“The funny thing is, years ago, when there was no money around, things were better here. Now these thugs are running around making life hard for everyone. When is it going to stop?”

Journalist:: Laura McDaid

Children in peril from car bomb

::: u.tv :::

THURSDAY 14/07/2005 16:52:42

Children walked past a primed bomb that would have caused a deadly fireball had it exploded, it was claimed tonight.

Gas cylinders packed with explosives and a timer power unit were left in a green Hyundai car parked on a roadside between Milford village and Armagh city in Northern Ireland.

Military explosives experts who defused the device last night also found two containers of petrol in the boot.
Political representatives in the area were horrified by the discovery.

SDLP Councillor Gerald Mallon said: "Whatever organisation was responsible, they have no respect for the local people or for local businesses.

"What is more frightening is the reality that local children and mothers with prams have been walking up and down this road during the holiday period.

"Little did they know they were walking past a live bomb."
Police Superintendent Kenny Maclean also hit out at the terrorists involved.

He said: "The resultant explosion would have taken the form of a large fireball and shrapnel.

"It would have caused indiscriminate injury to members of the public who passed along the busy Monaghan Road."

The bomb was found after searches across Northern Ireland.

In a coded warning issued to a Belfast media outlet earlier, 15 locations were mentioned, half of them in the Armagh area.

All other areas were declared bomb-free and safe.

Two controlled explosions were carried out on the car, fitted with false number plates, parked on a bridge later on Tuesday night or early on Wednesday.

Detectives urged any witnesses to contact them.

Mr Maclean added: "Where the device was placed was on a road bridge over the River Callan, a place popular with anglers who often leave their own vehicles at the same spot to access the riverbank."

Government urged to review UVF ceasefire

::: u.tv :::

THURSDAY 14/07/2005 17:06:27

The British government was tonight urged to review the Ulster Volunteer Force ceasefire after a man was shot dead in his home earlier this week.

By:Press Associaiton

SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the murder of Craig McCausland, 20, in north Belfast proved the loyalist paramilitary group was not prepared to put down their weapons.

The Foyle MP has written to Secretary of State Peter Hain and urged him to crack down on loyalist paramilitary activity.

Mr Durkan said: "The UVF murdered Craig McCausland in cold blood at his family home on Monday - in front of his wife and her children.

"No paramilitary group should be allowed to think that it can murder with impunity.

"Nor should any paramilitary group imagine that the rest of us will turn a blind eye and ignore this carnage."

Calling for a reassessment of the ceasefire, Mr Durkan said: "The facts are stark. The murder of Craig McCausland is but the latest.

"The UVF has already murdered three people in the last two years - and attempted to murder another in January.

"Meanwhile, loyalists are still responsible for most violence.

"They are up to their necks in attacking vulnerable communities - and poisoning their own with drugs.

"That is why the two governments must bring real pressure on the UVF and other loyalists to wind up all their activity - now and for good."

The SDLP leader said, despite some notable coups for the Assets Recovery Agency, the political process had failed to tackle the issue of loyalist terror.

Last night it was claimed Mr McCausland was not a member of one of the organisations involved in the loyalist power struggle.

Police said at the time Mr McCausland was killed by the UVF who believed he was a member of the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force.

But detectives investigating the murder were not convinced he was a member of the LVF and the organisation said he was not.

The Press Association was told by an intermediary: "The LVF want to make it clear he did not belong to that group.

"He was not connected or linked and never has been.

"They cannot understand why someone kill him and link him to them. There were no links, no association, nothing."

Mr McCausland, who was shot several times in his Dhu Varren Park home, lived with his girlfriend, who is in her mid-20s, her nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter.

Police branded the killing a "ruthless execution" which was believed to have been carried out after a man was shot and seriously injured while he was out walking his dogs.

The LVF was said to be behind that attack.

Earlier this month loyalist paramilitaries were blamed for the murder of Jameson Lockhart, also from north Belfast, who was shot as he drove a lorry in east Belfast.

The UVF was also linked to that killing.

Family devastated by paramilitary murders


Craig McCausland died after being shot in Dhu Varren Park

A 20-year-old Protestant man shot dead this week is the second member of his family to have been murdered by loyalists, his aunt has said.

Craig McCausland died after being shot in Dhu Varren Park in north Belfast early on Monday.

The killing was blamed on tensions within loyalism by police, sparking rumours of an LVF/UVF feud.

His aunt Kathy McIlvenny denied he was in the LVF and said loyalists killed Craig's mother when he was aged two.

The LVF have said the murder victim was not known to them.

Three men burst into the home Craig shared with his partner and her children and fatally wounded him.

Earlier that night, another man, David Hanley, was shot several times as he walked two dogs on the Crumlin Road near Glenbank.

"She was beaten to death in a loyalist club and he has now left a son at the same age - the loyalists have now left another child without a parent."
Kathy McIlvenny

A short time after the killing of Mr McCausland, in nearby Woodvale Pass, a man escaped another apparent murder bid by jumping out the window of a house as a number of masked men were attempting to smash their way in.

"This child was brought up, the whole family, never to get involved or associate with so-called paramilitaries," Mrs McIlvenny told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme.

"He went through integrated education, had a wide span of friends and there is no way that they can even say he was associated with a paramilitary group."

The half-naked body of his 23-year-old mother, Lorraine, was found in a stream on 8 March, 1987 near a loyalist club in Tynedale where she had been drinking.

She had been beaten with a concrete block, and it was reported at the time that it was believed she had been killed by the UDA.

"She was beaten to death in a loyalist club and he has now left a son at the same age - the loyalists have now left another child without a parent," Mrs McIlvenny said.

No-one was ever charged with his mother's murder.

The family has blamed the UVF for murdering Craig.

"These are cowards that go in the middle of the night with masks over their face and shoot people in their bed," she said.

She added that when he was younger, Craig had been involved in petty crime, but that since the birth of his son he had turned his life around.

"Craig has not done anything to give them ones a reason. He wanted to live for his child," she said.

The family of David Hanley, who was shot and seriously wounded on the same night, have stressed that neither of the two men were involved in a loyalist feud.

The Hanley family said in a statement: "The PSNI spokesmen and both paramilitary groups have stated that these young men are not, and have never been members of these organisations. These statements are most welcome."

The family added: "We were unable to prevent the attempted murder and the horrendous injuries inflicted upon our son.

"But please be advised that we will not allow his good character to be attacked by anyone using either express or implied terms."

Empey Challenged Over Cluan Place Remarks

Sinn Féin

Published: 14 July, 2005

East Belfast Sinn Féin Representative Deborah Devenny has challenged UUP
leader Reg Empey to tell the full story about the events at the interface
between the Short Strand and Cluan Place yesterday. (see this story.)

Ms Devenny said:

" There were a number of incidents throughout yesterday of stone throwing
between Cluan Place and Clandeboye in the Short Strand. It seemed that the
catalyst for these disturbances was a party held in Cluan Place and attended
by members of a Scottish flute band staying in Belfast for the Twelfth who
seemed intent on trying to provoke conflict.

" Local residents and community leaders in the Short Strand worked to ensure
that stone throwing incidents from the nationalist side were kept to a

" After a number of relatively peaceful summers in this area the last thing
that local people want is a repeat of the summer of 2003. It is my hope that
this band has now returned to Scotland and local people can once again get
on with their lives.

" However partisan and one sided commentary by individuals like Reg Empey
does little to reduce tensions in this area and only serves to wind up a
situation which has been relatively successfully managed in recent years."

32 dead as bomber attacks children


By Oliver Poole, Iraq Correspondent
(Filed: 14/07/2005)

Thirty-two people, most of them children, were killed yesterday when a suicide bomber exploded his car beside a convoy of American soldiers handing out sweets in a Baghdad suburb.

The blast left the street covered in pools of blood, mangled bicycles and the corpses of the young, many still clutching blue-wrapped chocolate bars.

An Iraqi woman wails in anguish after the blast

Two houses partially collapsed, reportedly killing a family of seven, and another building was set on fire in one of the worst outrages the city has witnessed this year.

A total of 31 people were wounded in the explosion, many of them also children, and an American soldier was among the dead.

Moments before, locals said, the street had been filled with the sound of shouting and laughter as the youngsters, most aged between six and 13, excitedly surrounded the line of US Humvees.

The US military has had far more success in gaining trust from the city's young than its adults, not least because Baghdad's children know the shout of "Hey, Mister" or simply "Hello" is often rewarded with a treat.

This time the children of the city's Jedidah district thought they were in particular luck.

The convoy, dispatched to look for a suspected car bomb, had piles of sweets and key-rings featuring a smiley face in a baseball cap.

Word spread, drawing more children to the spot.

"My friend Abbas ran out," said Amer Hamad, 13. "I shouted at him to wait for me but by then he was already on the street.

"It was then the car came from a side street and blew up."

The dead were taken to Kindi hospital, where small, wooden coffins were laid out in the courtyard.

Mothers ripped open their black robes, threw themselves on the ground, wailed in anguish and slapped their faces.

Abu Mohammed's son had shrapnel lodged in his head but was alive. "All the rest of his friends died," said Mr Mohammed.

Hana Ali had already checked several of the city's hospitals looking for her 11-year-old son. Then she found his body at the bomb site.

The people of Baghdad had until now thought they could no longer be shocked by the bombings.

Most are received with a shake of the head or black humour. But yesterday there was palpable disgust at the crime and anger at those who had committed it.

"Children are the most innocent," said Henan Hafidh, who has two sons. "That is no Muslim who did this. It is evil. I feel so strongly for the loss to their families."

Last September 34 children were among 41 Iraqis killed when three car bombers attacked an American convoy on a busy street.

But yesterday was the first time children had been so clearly visible around an intended target.

Major Russ Goemaere, a US military spokesman, said: "The terrorist made a deliberate decision to attack one of our vehicles. He undoubtedly saw the children around the Humvee as he attacked."

Statement from Rossport 5 after High Court today

Indymedia Ireland

by M. Ní Sheighin Thursday, Jul 14 2005, 2:51pm

Ráiteas eisithe ag an "Rossport 5" tar éis na hArd-Chúirte inniu, Déardaoin 15 Iúil 2005.

The change proposed to the High Court order today is a welcome advance extracted from Shell. Shell has accepted, by implication, that it is in breach even of the rolling consents granted to them by ex-Minister Frank Fahy.

We welcome Shell’s promise to abide by the consent and hope that this indicates a new attitude on their part to what behaviour is tolerable in a democratic society.

It is regrettable that this decision to abide by the law has been extracted from Shell as a result of the action of our legal team, and is not a voluntary conversion. What a commentary this is on accepted business ethics, when such behaviour is practised with impunity.

We are in jail, as a last resort, to protect ourselves and our families, our neighbours and our area, from potential destruction by gas pipeline rupture. That remains our position, our one and only requirement: no-one can do less.

Pipelines rupture: no pipeline engineer intends this to happen but it does, with sickening frequency. The outlandish pipeline here proposed, to be forced in close proximity past our houses, is the stuff of nightmares. What they do to us, they will do to you.

The solution we are proposing, i.e. a shallow offshore platform, is the only positive one. It means yes to gas, yes to jobs, but yes to health and safety.

posted on behalf of
Philip McGrath, Brendan Philbin, Vincent McGrath, Willie Corduff and Micheál Ó Seighin

No place in care unit for suicidal boy


**Here is an example of people not doing their jobs. The boy needs immediate help. He should NOT have to wait until August for a 'review' of his application in August. He is at risk NOW.

14/07/2005 - 12:43:40

The Ballydowd Special Care Unit, currently Ireland’s only secure facility that provides therapeutic intervention for children with serious emotional and behavioural problems, has rejected an application to take a 14-year-old boy who has tried to kill himself three times.

The north inner city boy has been held in custody for over two months in the Finglas Child and Adolescent Centre amid fears for his safety. He is facing a charge at the Dublin Children’s Court for handling a stolen bicycle, over which the issue of his fitness to plead has been raised.

Defence solicitor Michelle Finan told Judge Angela Ni Chonduin today that she had been contacted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and told that that the Ballydowd Special Care Unit had rejected the application to have the troubled boy placed there.

Two assessments, one conducted by and Finglas Child and Adolescent Centre, and another by a psychiatrist, concurred that the teen needed to be placed in a secure therapeutic environment and that a placement through the criminal justice system was not appropriate, the court had heard earlier.

Ms Finan said yesterday that the HSE had stated that it had not been provided with enough information in relation to the request to have the boy placed in the Ballydowd Unit, which is in west Dublin.

However, she added that the HSE is to hold a strategy meeting on Monday, with all relevant parties present, and are review the application in August.

“The Health Service Executive said they were acutely aware of the position he (the boy) is in, and they are endeavouring to find a placement for him,” Ms Finan told the court.

Rose Sweeney of the Special Residential Services Board said that presently, the Ballydowd Special Care Unit was the only facility that could provide the specialised therapeutic intervention needed.

Judge Ni Chonduin consented to a request from Ms Finan to adjourn the case pending the outcome of next week’s strategy meeting.

She said that it would have been very easy for the HSE to get the required information. Meanwhile, she added, the teenager has been in custody over two months.

“The health service executive needs to provide a secure therapeutic unit for this child, not in the criminal justice system,” she said adjourning the case.

The teenager has been involved in suicide attempts and incidents of self harm and his family fear for his welfare, the court had heard previously.

Earlier, his mother had told the court that she had been trying to get help for her son for since he was aged 10.

His school teacher had also said earlier that over the last two years she, with the boy’s mother, has attended numerous meetings with social services over him “but nothing has come out of it".

She had described the boy’s behaviour as “very extreme” and continued to say he had tried to commit suicide three times in school.

Five Co Mayo men to remain in prison


14 July 2005 13:20

The five Co Mayo men who are in jail following their failure to comply with a court order are to remain in custody after they declined to purge their contempt at a High Court hearing this morning.

Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan also refused to amend the order given on 4 April restraining landowners in the Rossport area from stopping Shell carrying out work on their lands.

The judge also dismissed an application for an injunction preventing Shell from continuing with work on the Corrib gas pipeline project in north Mayo.

Justice Finnegan said he saw no point in the five men remaining in jail.

However, he said they would have to come before Justice McMenamin to purge their contempt before they could be released.

Meanwhile, a group of about 20 people continued their protest at the site of the Shell Gas Refining Terminal at Bellanaboy in North Mayo this morning.

Pickets were placed on two separate entrances and a waste removal truck was prevented from entering the site.

Work on the site has been halted for the past week. A number of Gardai were called to the scene.

The protestors say they are still totally opposed to the location of the €300 million terminal at the site and believe the gas should be refined at sea.

Shell welcomes Dempsey move

Meanwhile, Shell Ireland has welcomed an initiative by the Minister for Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey, aimed at resolving the dispute over the pipeline.

Last night, the minister said he was ordering a further safety review with a view to ending the standoff.

However, in their initial reaction to the minister's initiative, the jailed men have indicated that its terms of reference do not go far enough.

In a statement issued on their behalf, the men said the core safety issue was what would happen if there was a leak or rupture of the gas pipeline and what would be the subsequent effect on local people at various distances from it.

The statement said the minister's most recent proposal deliberately excludes the safety of the men and their families from his published terms of reference and it was not acceptable.

Orange DisOrder


As Orangemen celebrated the Twelfth, accompanying violence and disruption spilled onto the streets throughout the North.

* Sexual Assault at Bonfire

At an Eleventh night bonfire in North Down a woman was subjected to what the PSNI have described as a ‘serious sexual assault’. The 30-year-old was attacked some time between midnight and 3.00am at the fire at Clandeboye Road in Bangor.

The PSNI said that there was a large crowd at the bonfire. The attacker was wearing a red T-shirt and had either gelled or greased hair.

* Bonfire Causes Gas Explosion

A Chinese takeaway food business was destroyed as an Eleventh night bonfire ruptured a gas pipeline. The three-storey building in Dromore Street off Cregagh Road was gutted when the gas was ignited by the bonfire which was built in the middle of the street.
As a result of the gas pipe blaze, the Chinese family were left homeless and thirty homes in East Belfast were evacuated. Phoenix Gas engineers were required to attend the scene on the Twelfth to try to carry out repairs on the hazardous leak.

*Firemen Attacked by Loyalists

Firefighters were attacked by stone throwers in eleven separate incidents as they dealt with more than 500 call-outs over the Eleventh and Twelfth. Seventy of the call-outs were bonfire-related on the Eleventh night. Much to the disappointment of the Divisional Officer Graham Crossett, the figures are very similar to last year. “The Fire and Rescue Service are there to serve all sections of the community and it makes our job much more difficult when we come under such attacks,” said Mr Crossett.

*PSNI Attacked by Loyalists

Two PSNI officers were assaulted as they assisted a man who was being savagely attacked by a crowd at an Eleventh night bonfire in the east of the city.
During the violent attacks at Woodstock Link two officers were hurt and one had his gun and radio stolen after they were flagged down and asked to help a man who was being beaten up. The loyalist crowd outnumbered and set upon the officers. Extra PSNI were brought into the area to restore calm early on Tuesday morning. The weapon was later recovered but the PSNI did not release any details about how it was retrieved.

* UVF Show of Strength
A group of masked men claiming to be members of UVF attended a bonfire in the lower Newtownards Road area of East Belfast. The bonfire was at Pitt Park where the organisers received £2,500 sponsorship from Belfast City Council under a scheme intended to maintain control over the event.

The UVF party showed up wearing military style clothing and balaclavas and mounted a stage to address the crowd gathered at the event about the ongoing feud with loyalist rivals, the LVF. They said that they would “wipe out” the LVF and fired a volley of shots.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Politicians raise questions over use of plastic bullets


By Francesca Ryan

The July 12 rioting in North Belfast saw the police fire plastic bullets into the crowd for the first time in almost three years.

The PSNI fired the latest plastic bullets, known as attenuated energy projectiles (AEPs) and which were introduced last month, following the return leg of a contentious Orange Order parade along the Crumlin Road on Tuesday evening.

Speaking yesterday, Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly said, “The fundamental problem is the unionists’ and loyalists’ continuing demand to walk through Catholic areas," before adding that only dialogue can solve what he referred to as an “untenable and unacceptable situation" in the North of the city.

“To take a position as a political leader not to speak, and for the Orange Order to take a position not to speak to residents or indeed to political representatives, is one way of going absolutely nowhere, the Parades Commission rewarding this refusal to talk is a fundamental problem," he said.

Mr Kelly, who himself was on the wrong end of a PSNI water cannon on Tuesday alongside party leader Gerry Adams, was quick to praise community activists, members of the local clergy and the Ardoyne residents for their “courage and restraint" but was more reserved, however, when asked whether he thought the PSNI's behaviour had improved compared with recent years.

“That's difficult to say, there were a number of plastic bullets fired as well. The first thing to hit me was actually the baton charge and then the water cannon but I suppose the whole process has moved forward somewhat."

Minor stone throwing and an exchange of insults between youths and marchers would have been easily managed had the PSNI not intervened with the baton charge and water cannon, said the Sinn Féin MLA.

“This action disempowered the local residents and stewards and for a time control was lost. This is not what we wanted to see happen, nor was it what the residents of that area wanted to see happen."

Meanwhile, SDLP policing spokesman, Alex Attwood, said the PSNI did show restraint and that needed to be acknowledged.

“It has been a number of years since I have seen such vicious and ferocious rioting. This was an organised riot and nationalists are responsible for what went on that night, it wasn't anybody else, the Orangemen had long since passed when the rioting erupted.

“Of course, the SDLP condemn the use of plastic bullets, both old and new, that is crystal clear. We have never agreed to their use but I challenge other people to accept our analysis that the PSNI's behaviour was restrained.
“Indeed, the restraint shown by all throughout the day was significant and nobody should take away from that."

Journalist:: Francesca Ryan

Residents deny petrol bomb attacks on Springfield Road


Damian McCarney

SpriNGfield Road residents say they’re mystified by PSNI reports that petrol bombs were thrown by nationalists over the peace line on Monday evening. The stories of petrol bombs thrown from the Springfield Road at houses in Ainsworth Avenue were carried by the BBC and confirmed by the PSNI.

Information provided by the PSNI about the alleged incidents appears to undermine the validity of the reports. A PSNI spokesperson said that none of their officers witnessed the attack but that they had received reports of it.

They did not say who reported them.

The PSNI spokesperson said that the petrol bombs were thrown from near the Workman’s gate at about 8.45pm – the gate remains open until 9pm.

They PSNI say they’re not sure if the missiles went through the gate or over the wall. For the lit petrol bombs to have been thrown from Workman’s gate and land in Ainsworth Avenue, they would have to have travelled the length of Forth Parade and Kirk Street.

A spokesperson for the local residents said that they were shocked when they heard the news story the following morning as local residents were on the ground on the Eleventh night working with young people to keep the situation calm and they saw nothing.

“The story actually heightened tensions as residents believe that it did not happen. The length and journey of the petrol bombs make it impossible,” said the local representative.

The PSNI said that no one was injured and there was no damage to property caused by the attack.

Journalist:: Damien McCarney

Loyalists launch Lenadoon raid


By Francesca Ryan

THERE were scenes of violence when trouble broke out between loyalists and nationalists at the Suffolk/Lenadoon interface.

Over 100 loyalists carrying knives, iron bars and one wielding a samurai sword, poured across the Stewartstown Road into the nationalist Lenadoon estate at around 1am on Tuesday and hand-to-hand fighting ensued.

Gerard O'Neill, a Sinn Féin councillor who was present at the time, explained to the Andersonstown News what happened.

“Myself and three others were standing in the opening to Doon Road facing Costcutter to ensure there was no trouble. It had been a very quiet night up to that point, there was nobody around. Next thing a taxi pulled up, its windows had been smashed and the driver claimed he had been attacked on Blacks Road. Before we knew what was happening there was a band of people coming towards us from the other side of the Stewartstown Road."

Councillor O'Neill estimated that 100 people had gathered across the street hurling missiles, including rocks and bottles, whilst around 30 more entered the Horn Drive area via an open gate which runs along the side of Woodbourne barracks.

“With all the noise these loyalists were making, residents soon came out of their homes to see what was happening, then it was just mayhem. One of these loyalists, who had a t-shirt over his head, was taking swipes at people with a samurai sword in Horn Drive and others had iron bars."

The PSNI arrived and parked their Land Rovers in the middle of the road to keep the crowds separated and an uneasy peace descended.
One officer was injured by a stone before calm returned.

“As far as sectarian tension goes, this place is usually quiet enough," said Councillor O'Neill.

“Right up until I saw these people, the whole estate was fairly silent and then it all happened out of the blue, it was a bit surreal. We haven't seen the likes of it in a number of years. Bizarrely, the PSNI were herding nationalist residents further back into their own estate rather than moving the loyalists out of Lenadoon," added the councillor before adding that he was convinced that the trouble was organised.

“These were not kids, they were grown men and I'm pretty sure they weren't all from that small estate on Blacks Road. I think other people may have come from elsewhere to join them in what appears to be an orchestrated attack on our community.

“I don't know why this happened, relations are usually fairly cordial to some degree between the two communities," said Cllr O’Neill who went on to appeal for calm in the weeks ahead.

The PSNI confirmed an incident had taken place in the area
“Police received a report at about 1am that a group of young people were throwing stones in the Stewartstown Road area.

“It is believed that rival factions totalling 12 youths were involved. A group of about fifty persons were also noted in the area and were monitored by police.

“The police received a report at 1.15am of a disturbance in the Woodbourne area and while responding to this report, one officer received a minor head injury when he was struck by a stone."

Journalist:: Francesca Ryan

Mayhem: Silence descends at march


by Ciara Mcguigan

An eerie veil of silence fell over the normally bustling Springfield Road on Tuesday morning as crowds of residents gathered to protest over the contentious 12th of July Orange Order parade.

Lined peacefully along either side of the Springfield Road, residents spoke in hushed tones as they waited for the parade to begin – the buzz of three helicopters circling high above the roa slicing through the stillness.

Holding placards condemning ‘Sectarian Marches’, residents displayed posters calling for ‘Meaningful Dialogue’ – a dialogue which broke down last month after a Parades Commission ruling ordering the Whiterock Lodge parade to bypass the contentious stretch of road by using the Mackies site route.

A strong PSNI presence flanked the Springfield Road, with an estimated 20 Land Rovers and over 50 officers patrolling the full length of the parade route.
A number of officers also carried video and camera equipment.

Political representatives, including Sinn Féin councillors Tom Hartley, Chrissie Mac Giolla Mhín and Fra McCann, were also present, lending their support to the residents, each holding a white sheet reading, ‘Meaningful Dialogue = Respect’.

In a startling incident just before the march began, protestors awaiting the late arrival of the Orange march narrowly escaped injury as a speeding car, adorned with Union flags, careered up on to the footpath, causing seated protestors to scatter, narrowly avoiding serious injury or worse.

As the parade finally got under way, representatives from four Orange Lodges made their way past Catholic homes towards the gates, patrolled by PSNI, at Workman Avenue.

Orangemen marched to a single drumbeat as they paraded along the contentious route, led by two young children wearing junior-sized Orange sashes.

Herded through the Workman Avenue gates, the Orange marchers were followed, at a distance, by the assembled crowd of Springfield Road residents who held their placards high above their heads in a silent, dignified protest.

As they left the road and made their way back on to the other side of the peaceline, marchers were greeted by loud yells and triumphant whoops from their waiting supporters and the two bands accompanying the march immediately struck up an ear-bashing din as their supporters waved Union Jack flags and sang a joyous rendition of the Sash as Springfield Road protestors stood silently at the other side of the barrier.

Speaking after the protest, Springfield Road Residents’ Association spokesman Sean Paul O’Hare said that he was delighted by the dignity and restraint demonstrated by the residents of the Springfield Road. But he added that he was disappointed by the original ruling that such a provocative march could be allowed along the Springfield Road.

“Meaningful dialogue needs to be put in place so that this matter can once and for all be resolved,” he said.

Journalist:: Ciara McGuigan

CIRA claim responsibility for late violence in Ardoyne


By Ciarán Barnes

The Continuity IRA considered firing on the PSNI with automatic weapons during rioting following an Orange Order parade in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast on Tuesday night.

The leadership of the organisation made the claim in an exclusive interview with the Andersonstown News less than two hours after the July 12 violence.

The CIRA also confirmed, using a recognised code word, that its members threw two blast bombs at the PSNI that seriously injured one officer and two journalists.

Shortly after trouble in Ardoyne had ended dissident republicans contacted this newspaper to give what they termed as “their side of the story”.

A journalist was taken into West Belfast where he met with the most senior CIRA figure in the city.

He told the Andersonstown News that the only reason the organisation did not open fire on the PSNI was because it wanted to avoid another Bloody Sunday.

He said, “We had three active service units (ASUs) in Ardoyne on Tuesday night, mostly comprising volunteers from North Belfast.

“There were about 15 men in all and each ASU was armed.

“When the PSNI started firing plastic bullets at residents we considered returning fire.

“We abandoned the idea because we were fearful that many people could be injured. Instead, we decided to use blast bombs on the PSNI.”

The CIRA figure also denied PSNI claims that officers were pulling out of Ardoyne when they came under attack.

He said: “They were firing plastic bullets at residents when we attacked them.”

Rioting erupted after the PSNI attempted to hold back nationalist protesters as hundreds of Orangemen marched along the Crumlin Road for the return leg of their July 12 parade.

Shortly after 8pm bottles, bricks and debris were thrown at the PSNI after they used a water cannon to break up the demonstrators.

The PSNI responded by firing a number of plastic bullets.

A car was also hijacked and set on fire close to PSNI lines.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, who with party colleagues got a dousing from the water cannon, said that, despite the violence, it could have been much worse.

“The fact is that the vast majority of people have demonstrated peacefully and in a calm manner," he said.

The West Belfast MP blamed the PSNI’s strategy for the trouble. “When the police moved in, in what I think was quite a reckless manner, they took management completely away from the stewards.

“They brought the water cannon in too quickly, we should have been allowed to keep order," he insisted.

In the wake of Tuesday’s violence the Orange Order called on the Parades Commission to ban all future protests at Ardoyne.

A spokesman said the latest rioting proved that the Commission’s policy of “constantly appeasing" hardline republican residents by granting them the right to protest at Ardoyne was “threatening the stability of Northern Ireland and putting the lives of police officers at risk".

Journalist:: Ciaran Barnes

CIRA fired blast bombs, says 'spokesman'

Belfast Telegraph

By Chris Thornton
14 July 2005

The bomb attacks that injured police and civilians during Tuesday's Ardoyne riot were the work of the Continuity IRA, according to police and a man claiming to represent the dissident republican group.

The man said the bomb attacks were in response to police using plastic bullets against the rioters.

He claimed the group had been prepared to open fire on police, but feared injuring Ardoyne residents.

The development could cause concerns for the PSNI. Police intelligence has generally constrained dissident republicans, especially the smaller Continuity IRA.

But the injuries caused by the blast bombs used in the attack suggest police did not have advance warning of the attacks.

The alleged Continuity IRA spokesman told the Daily Ireland newspaper that the group had "three active service units in Ardoyne on Tuesday".

He claimed those units were armed and had a total of 15 men, mainly from north Belfast.

Rioting broke out as an Orange Order parade passed through a heavy security cordon on the Crumlin Road. Police said it was orchestrated, noting that rioters stepped back before the bomb attacks began.

Supt Gary White, the senior officer on the ground during the march, said: "This was a clear and deliberate attempt to kill police officers, there can be no doubt of that."

He said police came under an "lengthy and ferocious attack".

Nine blast bombs were thrown plus dozens of petrol bombs, stones and bottles.

One hundred police officers, two ambulance staff and eight civilians, including two journalists, were injured.

'Dissident' republicans accused of trying to murder officers


14/07/2005 - 09:02:30

The PSNI has accused 'dissident' republicans of trying to murder police officers during rioting in north Belfast on Tuesday night.

The riots broke out after an Orange Order parade proceeded along the nationalist Crumlin Road, despite local opposition.

The PSNI said nine blast bombs, some packed with bolts and nails, were thrown at the security forces during the violence.

Six of the bombs exploded, injuring more than 100 police officers and a number of civilians, including journalists and ambulance workers.

A British army press officer was the worst injured, having sustained multiple fractures and abdominal wounds.

The Continuity IRA is being blamed for the worst of the attacks.

The PSNI said it fired 22 plastic bullets during the riots and insisted that it acted with restraint, despite Sinn Féin complaints that the police acted before local republicans had a chance to quell the crowd.

Family meet IRA over man's murder


The family of a man murdered in Londonderry nearly two years ago has met with the IRA in an effort to resolve their dispute.

Jimmy McGinley was killed by Bart Fisher - who the McGinley family claim was a member of the IRA.

A statement released by the family after the meeting said the IRA had "refused to accept any of their concerns".

The meeting ended with the McGinley's walking out.

'UVF gun show' threatens funding: council has money to burn


UVF men fired shots at a Belfast bonfire

A paramilitary show of strength at a bonfire in east Belfast could put a pilot funding scheme in jeopardy, a Belfast councillor has said.

Five UVF gunmen appeared on stage at Monday night's bonfire at Pitt Park in the lower Newtownards Road area and fired a volley of shots.

The Pitt Park bonfire was one of nine bonfires which are part of a £50,000 council pilot scheme.

It aimed to bring such events under proper control.

Naomi Long of the Alliance Party said Pitt Park had been chosen because of its controversial nature.

"What we wanted to do was try and tackle some of the very serious problems we have had with some of the major bonfire sites," she said.

"The intention was that this scheme wouldn't be some tokenistic approach by the council, but would actually try to get to the root cause of some of the problems we have been having."

Ms Long was one of the councillors who originally approved the scheme.

It aims to address issues such as paramilitary flags being flown, tyres being burned, preventing illegal dumping and keeping the site tidy.

The incident of UVF gunmen turning up and firing shots was a serious knock back to the scheme, which will now be under review, she said.

"A total of £50,000 was allocated to the entire scheme - over half of which went to Groundwork - the organisation which facilitated a lot of the facilitation on this scheme.

"As to the individual bonfires, a maximum of £2,500 was allowed to be spent on each individual site.

"But that was to be spent on a mixture of things. Some of it was signage for the site, some of it was fencing for the site, which would already have been incurred by the council."

Other money would be given to fund "community-based celebrations", said the councillor.

"That is the portion - which I think in the case of Pitt Park - needs to be looked at again by the council before that finance is released."

'Bomb' found after coded warning


13/07/2005 - 22:54:58

A bomb was found in a car in Co Armagh tonight after police mounted widespread searches for devices across the North.

The bomb, deemed “viable” by police, was discovered in the vehicle on a roadside between the village of Milford and Armagh city.

The device, once made safe, was taken away by army bomb disposal experts for detailed examination.

Searches for bombs were launched early in the day after a coded warning was made to a Belfast media outlet.

Police said 15 locations were mentioned in the warning, half of which were in the Armagh area.

Others were on the M1 motorway, the A1 road to the border, Banbridge, Lisburn, Moira, Dungannon, Scarva.

All other areas were declared bomb-free and safe.

13 July 2005

BOGSIDE ARTISTS: Stories of the people’s gallery

Daily Ireland

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By their own admittance, the Bogside artists are not trained art therapists. But the Derry trio know that their work has merit in this field.
The artists behind the North’s only “people’s gallery” have launched a book detailing the ethos behind their internationally acclaimed work.
In the book Art and Healing, the artists seek to place their works in a historical context. With human beings the subjects of the majority of their art, the stories that glare out from gable walls the length of the Bogside seek explanation and interpretation.
In the book, the artists reveal the influences that have spurred them into creating one of Derry’s biggest tourist attractions.
The artists — brothers Tommy and William Kelly and Kevin Hasson — have transformed gable walls in the city’s Bogside area with murals that depict some of the pivotal events of the city’s recent history.
According to William Kelly, the new book’s author, one of the chief influences on the work of the Bogside artists is the Austrian artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis.
“We believe that the artist is, in some degree, in the healing profession,” William Kelly says.
Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh are also held up by the artists as people who created art for the alienated.
To the elite of the art world, the Bogside artists — by depicting ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances in artistic form on humble gable walls — would be coarse pretenders existing on the margins of “true art”.
However, this is true art. The subjects are powerful only in their trueness and faithfulness to reality — the schoolgirl shot dead with a British army bullet, the cheerful participants of a march that would end in carnage on Bloody Sunday, and the youth wearing a gas mask and bearing a petrol bomb as a means of defence against the state.
In the context of the Bogside, it is a personal history, owned by the people but held proudly to the outside world as a poignant and dignified homage to a resilient community.
For the tourists who flock to view the murals each day, the works have a much wider significance when viewed in the context of conflicts across the world. Children have been killed in Iraq — the gun is not choosy where it gains its expression. There have been thousands of protest marches across the world that have ended in innocent deaths. There are numerous examples of children having their innocence stripped from them and then being thrust into conflict worldwide. This is where the people’s gallery really becomes a people’s gallery — when the reference points are elevated out of the Bogside and the North of Ireland.
In Art and Healing, the trio explain their international travels and how they came to interpret artistically events such as Bloody Sunday and the Battle of the Bogside.
The world-renowned playwright Brian Friel has described the artists’ work as “a work of conscious ostentation, of deliberate defiance. Every mural explains — but it also embraces.
“Every mural instructs — but at the same time each has the intimacy and the consolations of a family photograph.
“I suspect the Bogside artists have a lot of excitement squaring up each new virgin gable wall and a lot of fun endowing it with eloquence.”
The artists have been painting murals and conducting workshops in the famous area of Derry for more than a decade. Their work has gained international acclaim.
William Kelly said: “A vitally important part of our commitment is the workshops we do with the disenchanted youth of the city.
“These children have little recollection of the Troubles that began way back in 1969 but their parents, like us, lived through them.”
Kelly has described the book as an attempt to inform students and the young who have “sensible” questions to ask about Irish history and Irish affairs.
The Bogside artists can claim a unique approach to recent history and have produced murals that have become a benchmark for other artists.
“Our own efforts as mural painters have been directed to helping heal people by depicting their experiences on gable walls,” William Kelly added.
“In this manner, we have endeavoured to help them to reflect on a shared history and to ponder the price they had to pay for democratic rights. Not to have commemorated the struggle in this way would have meant that we failed in our vocation as artists for, make no mistake about it, art really is a vocation with a social dimension.”
Art and Healing is dedicated to the people of the Bogside and “the youth and children of the city of Derry from whom we have learned so much”.
At the heart of the book’s message is the employment of art in a curative way. Kelly said: “The making of art, by its very nature, is healing and we, who teach this in our workshops, can attest to this simple fact.”
It is easy for the powers that be to dismiss the Bogside artists as a band of rebellious intellectuals. It is true that they are disgruntled — the very mention of the Turner Prize makes them wince.
In the book, Kelly said: “The winner of the Turner Prize is no ordinary man, we are expected to believe. He is ‘superior’ and, invariably, not only does he believe this himself but spends the rest of his life demanding the homage that he has been led to believe is his due. He is invariably superior in some other obscure way that makes no sense to anybody except the people who have elected him.”
For the Bogside artists, the only recognition they crave is the approval of the community that they serve. The only message they wish to convey on the Bogside gables is a human one.

Commision ruling ‘breach’

Daily Ireland

Connla Young

The Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI) has come in for strong criticism after claims that Orangemen were allowed to breach a Parades Commission determination in Co Armagh.
Criticism of the the PSNI operation to marshal an Orange parade in Lurgan came after a group of 12 Orangemen were escorted down the town’s nationalist William Street area by the PSNI. Side streets and roads were blocked by PSNI Land Rovers as they made their way along the street towards the town’s railway station.
The Parades Commission had earlier banned members of the Orange Order from entering the nationalist district.
A group of Orangemen, which included Upper Bann MP David Simpson, met PSNI commanders minutes before heading down William Street in full Orange Order regalia under PSNI escort. The group later returned to the town centre via William Street where they continued with the Orange Order’s district demonstration in nearby Portadown.
Violence flared after an Orange Order parade in the Co Armagh town last year when the PSNI allowed Orange Order marchers to proceed beyond a specific point designated by the Parades Commission on Market Street.
Upper Bann MLA John O’Dowd says his party will ask the Police Ombudsman’s Office to attend future parades in Lurgan to monitor the PSNI’s conduct.
“It would appear that the PSNI, like the old RUC, see one of their primary roles as attempting to reassert Orange Order domination over minority nationalist communities. It is clear following last year’s breaches of Parades Commissions determination in Lurgan and now this breach facilitated by the PSNI, that the PSNI cannot be trusted to enforce such determinations. I am calling on the Police Ombudsman’s Office to intervene and place personnel on the ground in Lurgan to monitor PSNI activity, and Loyal Order parade.”
“The Parades Commission banned the Orangemen from walking down this street. After talking with the police they walked down the street and that is a clear breach of the Parades Commission determination and it was done in agreement with the police. There is a clear pattern emerging here. Last year we had a similar situation when Orangemen were allowed to move beyond a particular point in the road by the PSNI and this has been repeated here this year. We will be asking thePparades Commission how they will be dealing with this clear breach of their determination.”
A spokesperson for the PSNI confirmed that Orangemen passed down the town’s nationalist William Street.
“A delegation of senior Orangemen walked down William Street after the main parade had passed by. They had spoken with senior police officers on the ground prior to walking down the street. This does not constitute a procession/parade. The main parade itself did not enter William Street at any time. No public disorder occurred during the parade.”
A spokesperson for the Parades Commission said that monitors were on the ground in Lurgan and they await a “formal report” of events.

BRG blames PSNI for Derry trouble

Daily Ireland

Eamonn Houston

The Bogside Residents’ Group in Derry last night blamed PSNI mishandling for minor trouble that broke out as local Orangemen made a return parade through the city centre.
The city’s main parade involved thousands of Orangemen. It had passed of peacefully earlier in the day, gaining the plaudits of political, religious and business leaders.
Just after 6pm, rival crowds of loyalists and nationalists traded insults and missiles as a small number of local Orange lodges made the return journey from their main gathering in the Waterside back through the city centre.
The PSNI swiftly parked a large white van to block the junction of the Diamond and Ferryquay Street as tensions began to rise.
Riot squads then stood between nationalist and loyalist rivals as a standoff developed. One policewoman was struck by a missile and received medical treatment.
PSNI reinforcements wearing full riot gear moved to clear the Diamond and Bishop Steet areas amid claims of heavy handedness from the Bogside Residents’ Group and republican representatives.
Residents’ group spokesman Donncha Mac Niallais said the PSNI had let drunken loyalists accompany parading Orangemen through the Diamond area for the second time in a day.
One loyalist was seen to throw a bottle at nationalist onlookers.
Mr Mac Niallais said: “This trouble was provoked by drunken loyalist thugs who were blatantly and openly allowed to drink. They threw bottles and pint glasses as this parade made its return to the city centre.
“The blame for all of this lies squarely at the feet of the PSNI. We have to question whether there is a need for a return parade such as this.”
Mr Mac Niallais would not speculate on how last night’s trouble would impact on the recent historic deal that let the Orange Order march through the city centre yesterday for the first time in 13 years.
The commanding officer at the scene, Superintendent Johnny McCarroll, defended the actions of his officers. He claimed that two had been injured. Similar actions had been taken against loyalists, he said.
“The officers have acted with the use of shields only,” he said.
“We have to return normal public order. No batons have been used and we have had to make the Diamond free to the public.”
Two petrol bombs were thrown but an intervention by republican activists defused the situation.

Legal loophole ‘facilitated’ exploit

Daily Ireland

Connla Young

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The PSNI was criticised yesterday for helping loyalist bands exploit a Parades Commission loophole.
An all-day standoff took place yesterday in the nationalist village of Dunloy, Co Antrim. Nationalist protesters blocked a road, barring Orangemen travelling through the town to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at a local church cemetery.
The protest arose after a local loyalist band struck up a series of Orange tunes from a standing position in the town’s main street. A Parades Commission determination had earlier prohibited the band from playing music in the area.
Currently the Parades Commission’s remit includes only moving processions. Therefore, determinations do not extend to any band or group of people remaining in a stationary position.
Philip McGuigan, Sinn Féin assembly member for North Antrim, said locals had been alerted to the loophole after an incident in the nationalist town last year.
“There is no problem with the Orangemen going to the church to lay the wreath. They have been doing that for the last eight years.
“But there is a loophole in the law and they played music in an area that the Parades Commission said they should not. That has angered locals, and the fact is Orangemen have acted outside the spirit of the Parades Commission determination.
“The only people who came out of this with any dignity were the people of Dunloy. The PSNI facilitated the Orangemen to exploit the loophole. They were told that it was a public order matter and they did not intervene but they were happy to facilitate Orangemen rubbing nationalist noses in it. People in the town are very angry”.
The protest was eventually abandoned after day-long negotiations between local representatives and senior PSNI officers. At one point, heavily armed riot police moved in to remove nationalists who had blocked a road in the town.
In a choreographed compromise, the PSNI removed 30 nationalist protesters from the road under the watchful eye of senior Sinn Féin negotiator Martin McGuinness, the Mid-Ulster MP.
SDLP North Antrim assembly member Seán Farren called for talks to end future disputes in Dunloy.
“This situation, like all others, has got to be resolved by dialogue. Confrontation can be no way forward. What is needed is for all sides to sit down and hear concerns and proposals from villagers in the area as well as hearing the case of the parade organiser. We need everyone working together to seek an accommodation which reflects the concerns on all sides. Sit-downs, standoffs and confrontation are no way forward. They only end up in police action against one side or the other, which inevitably makes resolution all the more difficult,” Mr Farren said.

Same old story

Daily Ireland

Andrea McKernon and Áine McEntee

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Blast bombs were thrown and plastic bullets fired in north Belfast last night. Rioting broke out after a disputed Orange Order parade went past the nationalist Ardoyne district. Two Catholic teenagers were struck by plastic bullets believed to have been fired by the PSNI. Several people were injured, including two journalists, after at three blast bombs were thrown at police lines. Dozens of petrol bombs were thrown at the PSNI and British army.

Trouble erupted after the PSNI tried to force nationalists off the Crumlin Road as Orangemen approached the Ardoyne shops. Fr Gary Donegan, from Holy Cross church in Ardoyne, tried to restore calm to the area and was targeted by a PSNI water cannon.

“Myself and Fr Aidan Troy were in the area to try and defuse the situation among the young people. We tried to get close to the young people when the water cannons were turned on and we both got soaked,” he said.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who was in Ardoyne, said he and north Belfast assembly member Gerry Kelly had contacted the British and Irish governments after the rioting erupted.

“The amount of hard work that was done to keep things calm in the face of this provocative loyalist parade was wasted by the actions of the PSNI.

“I think the people of Ardoyne have shown tremendous patience and discipline,” he said.

Earlier yesterday, nationalist residents from the Ardoyne area staged a peaceful sit-down protest on the Crumlin Road to highlight their frustration at the Orange Order’s refusal to engage in dialogue. The PSNI described the morning protest as illegal. It was organised by local residents after the Orange Order decided to push ahead with its controversial route. Around 40 protesters sat down in the road and linked arms in solidarity in the face of hundreds of PSNI and British army officers dressed mostly in riot gear, with water canons and hundreds of metres of steel.

The Parades Commission announced it would not be reviewing its approval of the Orange Order’s outward or return route despite Sunday morning’s arson attack by loyalists against a Catholic family on the Crumlin Road.
The Orange Order has repeatedly refused to talk to Ardoyne residents. Speaking to Daily Ireland yesterday, a spokesman for the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland said the organisation did not believe it was constructive to talk to residents from Ardoyne.

“It is not Grand Orange Lodge policy to discuss with Sinn Féin/IRA-fronted residents. We do talk to genuine residents’ groups who are genuinely affected by the parade,” he said. Supporters of the protesters yesterday held aloft banners that said “Parades Commission should promote dialogue, not reward rejectionists”. Gerry Adams and north Belfast assembly members Gerry Kelly and Kathy Stanton attended the protest to show their support for the protest as well as help calm tensions.

The Parades Commission refused to comment on the actual parade. However, it said: “Every parade is considered individual and in its own context. The commission facilitates and promotes dialogue wherever it can.”

Last year’s July 12 parade along the same route in north Belfast resulted in violence, as did the Tour of the North loyalist march on June 17 this year.

At around 8.30am yesterday, PSNI officers in riot gear and shields charged in and removed protesters from the Crumlin Road and put them behind a barricade of Land Rovers in front of the Ardoyne shops. Sheets of high-density metal were driven in on lorries and attached to make a wall roughly one mile (1.6 kilometres) long.
The barricade hemmed in Catholic residents, who were separated from the Orangemen and their supporters making their way to the main July 12 demonstrations in Belfast.

Mr Adams said it was imperative that the Orange Order engage in dialogue. “The key focus here is that there’s no reason why everyone should not be able to look forward to the Twelfth and particularly the Orangemen who want to celebrate, if they would only talk to residents. That all the hassle and stress and the potential for injury and death could all be taken out of it would be a huge step."

A PSNI spokesperson said it was too early to estimate the cost of the huge military operation, which began with personnel moving into Ardoyne on Monday and removing concrete bollards. The PSNI said there were no arrests following yesterday morning’s protest.

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