13 August 2005

Galway 'Rossport Five' National Demonstration : The Photos

Indymedia Ireland

by Tommy Donnellan - Shell to Sea
Saturday, Aug 13 2005, 9:27pm

2,300 to 2,400 marched from the arch !

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Fire on hijacked bus extinguished


A fire on a hijacked bus was extinguished

A bus been hijacked and set on fire in Derry.

The incident took place at Lone Moor Road in the Brandywell area of the city at about 1330 BST.

The vehicle was stopped by several people and a blaze started onboard. However, it was extinguished by local people.

The female driver of the bus was said to be badly shocked. Police said the incident is not thought to be connected to the Apprentice Boys parade in Derry.

Parade passes 'without incident'


The main Apprentice Boys demonstration in Derry has passed off peacefully, according to police.

An estimated 10,000 Apprentice Boys and 120 bands took part in the main demonstration.

Superintendent Johnny McCarroll said the march, which commemorates the 1689 Siege of Derry, was the most successful parade in 15 years.

Police said four people were arrested during the day, two for disorderly behaviour and two for drunkenness.

Superintendent McCarroll said that seven bands would also be reported to the Apprentice Boys organisation for misbehaviour.

He said the seven bands had behaved in a "deliberately provocative manner".

Rival groups of loyalists and nationalists exchanged taunts during the parade.

Police praised the Apprentice Boys, the Bogside Residents' Group and Chamber of Commerce.

"It was very successful - I think it was one of the most peaceful parades that I have seen in 15 years of policing," said Supt McCarroll.

"I am very pleased and I am very pleased for the city."

A small return parade involving local members of the loyal order is due to take place at about teatime on Saturday.

Earlier, police in Society Street were attacked with petrol bombs. It happened as an Apprentice Boys bannerette was being dedicated. No-one was injured.

The parade is Northern Ireland's biggest annual loyal order parade.

The main demonstration, which lasted for several hours, was preceded by a religious service and a pageant re-enacting the siege.

The parade has been relatively trouble free in recent years.

The loyal order commemorates the 13 apprentice boys who shut Derry's gates at the start of the siege by the troops of the Catholic King James II in December 1688.

The siege was finally lifted in the summer of 1689.

Crew welcomes new lifeboat for Larne

Belfast Telegraph

By Fiona McIlwaine Biggins
13 August 2005

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'Jean and Paul on exercise at Larne July 2005' - Photos and info on the Larne station here

A Co Antrim RNLI crew has welcomed the newest member to its brave life-saving team.

The lifeboat station in Larne recently took delivery of a new £25,000 lifeboat - the Hannabella Ferguson.

The D Class craft replaces the previous inshore lifeboat Jean and Paul, which responded to 107 emergency calls over the past nine years.

The lifeboat is capable of 25 knots with a crew of three and has many features including a GPS colour plotter to enhance the inshore life-saving capability of the Larne station, particularly at night.

It can also be righted manually by the crew after a capsize and is ideal for rescues close to shore where larger lifeboats cannot operate.

Owen Medland, training divisional inspector said last night: "I am delighted to declare Larne Lifeboat Station's new inshore lifeboat on-service.

"The boat will ensure that the volunteer crew at Larne continues to provide an excellent service, saving lives."

Since being established in 1994, Larne's inshore and all-weather lifeboats have responded to hundreds of emergencies.

The station has 30 volunteer crew members including a teacher, restaurant manager, fish farm operative, manufacturing manager, student, forklift-truck driver, taxi driver, van driver and leisure centre assistant.

The new boat is the fourth in a programme of updating lifeboat station D' Class boats by the RNLI across Ireland.

DUP MEP unhappy with increased Catholic representation in the PSNI

Belfast Telegraph

50:50 rule for police challenged
Policy in conflict with the EC directive, says MEP

13 August 2005

A EUROPEAN member of parliament last night called for a "renewed and concerted campaign to highlight the inequity and discrimination" of Northern Ireland's current 50:50 police recruitment policy.

DUP MEP Jim Allister said that with Brussels due to review the continuation of the process of recruitment to the PSNI before the end of the year, it is in conflict with one of its own directives.

The 50:50 recruitment measure was set up under recommendations of the independent Patten Report in a bid to rectify the historical imbalance of Protestants and Catholics in the force's make up.

The recruitment bias forms part of the 175 recommendations of the independent Patten Report, which outlined the way forward for policing in Northern Ireland, in the wake of the Good Friday Agreement.

After three years of recruitment on a 50:50 cross-community basis, of Catholics and non-Catholics, Catholic representation on the force has increased from 8% in 2001 to 17.14%, according to the most recent figures.

Mr Allister said: "50:50 recruitment to the PSNI, with its built-in discrimination against Protestant applicants, is in conflict with the basic tenets of Council Directive 2000/78/EC which lays down guarantees of equal treatment in employment and occupation.

"This pending review, I believe, should be used as a focus of a renewed campaign to end the inequity of 50:50 recruitment. Accordingly, I urge all who are opposed to the discrimination explicit in 50:50 recruitment to make vigorous representations.

"Certainly, as an MEP, I will be doing so and I will be happy to liaise with all those interested in ending this discrimination, with a view to presenting cogent and co-ordinated representations."

Shell to Sea motion loses

Daily Ireland

By Connla Young

Mayo councillors have refused to support a campaign by residents to stop a consortium of oil companies building a controversial gas refinery.
A motion by the Shell to Sea campaign was beaten by 13 votes to nine when elected representatives met at Mayo County Council headquarters in Catlebar yesterday. Several councillors failed to attend the meeting.
Just last month, councillors passed a motion of support for the campaign but the motion was called back on a technicality.
In June, five Mayo men were jailed after being accused of breaching a High Court order prohibiting them from interfering with pipe-laying work on their land.
Willie Corduff, brothers Philip and Vincent McGrath, Micheál Ó Seighin and Brendan Philbin are now into their sixth week behind bars for objecting to the construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline across their land in north Mayo.
The men have also called for a multimillion-euro gas terminal planned for Bellanaboy to be relocated to the sea.
Last night, Vincent McGrath’s wife Maureen said after the vote: “We are disappointed but not shocked. What does surprise us is the fact that some of those who said in the past they support the Shell to Sea campaign voted against this motion of support.
“Faced with advice, which has no basis, that they may be sued down the line if they supported the motion, they put the financial wellbeing of the council before the welfare of its people. But this result doesn’t set us back. We haven’t lost any ground.”
Independent Mayo TD Jerry Cowley described the council’s decision as a “disgrace”.
“To be honest, I think a lot of these councillors voted under duress. Our attention now turns to the national rally in Galway, where we expect to see a big crowd,” he said.
The rally is to set off at 2pm today from Spanish Arch in Galway city.
Shell has appealed to protesters near the Bellanaboy and Glengad Corrib sites to allow essential maintenance and environmental work to go ahead.
Rosemary Steen of Shell E&P Ireland called on protesters to stand back to let construction workers move machinery off site.
“It is important as part of our ongoing health and safety programme that we are allowed to carry out this work and we appeal to protesters not to interfere with these critical activities to be undertaken,” she said.

Save the ‘Irish Alamo’

Daily Ireland


On the face of it, 16 Moore Street just off Dublin’s O’Connell Street looks like any other derelict commercial property. However, inside the property, the original cast-iron fireplaces remain and the wallpaper is just about intact.
It was in an upstairs room in 16 Moore Street that an injured James Connolly, Patrick Pearse, Seán Mac Diarmada and other leaders of the provisional Irish government decided to surrender after the 1916 Easter Rising.
For nearly five years, campaigners have been lobbying the Irish government to have the property restored, preserved and opened to the public as a permanent memorial.
The campaign has been headed by the National Graves Association and has gained cross-party political support as well as the backing of An Taisce, historians, journalists and a plethora of interested and passionate parties.
The National Graves Association said in 2003: “On April 23, 1916, some 150 insurgents took over the GPO in Dublin and the men and women fought without pause or sleep for five days and nights.
“Ravaged by sniper fire, machine guns, nine-pound guns from Trinity College and 18-pound shells from the gunboat the Helga, the insurgents were forced to abandon the GPO and set up headquarters in 16 Moore Street.”
After a high-profile drive to save 16 Moore Street in 2003, Dublin City Council agreed to consider the property in the council’s regeneration of the area.
The National Graves Association hopes the property will be opened as museum or interpretative centre or simply restored.
Matt Boyle, the association’s secretary, said: “I have been through the rooms of Moore Street and touched the fireplaces, looked out of the windows Pearse or Joseph Plunkett would have stared out of.
“I’ve felt the history and got an impression of what it was like. Everybody in the 32 counties should have the right to take the same trip around the house. With a little bit of imagination, it would be a real gem.”
Moore Street is in Bertie Ahern’s Dublin North constituency and is part of the O’Connell Street regeneration programme.
The Carlton Group, which owns the former Carlton cinema, had planned to knock through the cinema into Moore Street. Since those plans fell through, Moore Street has become a legal minefield and is now the subject of a Supreme Court case.
Dublin City Council tried to buy the property in 2001 but was blocked by a former member of the Carlton Group, who challenged a High Court ruling in favour of the council in the Supreme Court.
Currently, 16 Moore Street is not even listed as a protected structure.
A plaque erected high up on its front wall, which is barely readable from the footpath, states: “Here on 29th April 1916, members of the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic decided to surrender.”
This plaque replaces an earlier one that was stolen in 2002. The earlier plaque was erected in 1966 on the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
So far, these have been the only contributions by the Irish government or Dublin City Council to commemorate the people and events of Moore Street.
Matt Boyle said there was hypocrisy among Irish politicians when it comes to progress and heritage.
He referred to the fact that both of the Taoiseach’s parents were members of the IRA, while justice minister Michael McDowell takes pride in the fact his father fought in 1916.
“Can you imagine what it will be like in 2016 on the centenary? Everybody from Michael McDowell and Bertie Ahern will be marching down O’Connell Street wearing rows of medals and claiming to be more republican than the next.
“And yet, right now, when they can do something to show respect to the republicans of 1916, they sit on their hands,” Mr Boyle said.
“The roof is falling in, the water is leaking in. Does the building have to collapse onto the street before anybody will do anything about it?
“We have contacted every minister in every department in the Dáil to try to get something done before it’s too late.”
Mr Boyle noted that, in the 1930s, the Fianna Fáil government of the day had supported calls to demolish Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and that Robert Emmet’s house had been demolished to make way for the St Stephen’s Green shopping centre.
“Kilmainham is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Dublin today,” he said.
“With a little imagination, Moore Street could be the Irish Alamo.
“It could be a place to commemorate Elizabeth O’Farrell and the Cumann na mBan, Irish republicanism, the martyrs of 1916, just a place to remember that chapter in Irish history,” he said.

Killing ‘sectarian’

Daily Ireland

by Ciarán Barnes

The PSNI was coming under increased pressure last night to state whether it believes the murder of a 15-year-old Catholic schoolboy in Belfast was sectarian.
Thomas Devlin died on Wednesday night after being stabbed five times in the back as he walked along the Somerton Road with two friends.
So far the PSNI has insisted there is nothing to indicate that his killing was sectarian.
The PSNI has also refused to comment on reports that a passing patrol may have stopped the murder gang prior to the killing taking place. Detectives are currently questioning two men and a juvenile about the incident.
However, a number of loyalist sources in north Belfast have told Daily Ireland that the savage attack on the schoolboy was sectarian.
It is believed that loyalists from the nearby Mount Vernon district were involved in the murder. The names of those involved are known throughout the area.
Sinn Féin North Belfast Assemblyman Gerry Kelly called on the PSNI to state whether the murder was sectarian.
He said: “This attack bears all the hallmarks of a sectarian one. The area has witnessed a number of attacks over past months which are similar to this.”
Former SDLP mayor of Belfast, Martin Morgan, believes there was a sectarian motive for the schoolboy’s murder.
He said: “The PSNI should call this like it is, a random and nakedly sectarian murder.
“What reason would a gang of loyalists have for walking around the Somerton Road with knives, other than to carry out a killing?
“The police has a duty to keep the community informed. By not describing Thomas Devlin’s murder as sectarian they are keeping information from the public which people have a right to know.”
However a spokesman for the PSNI insisted that at this stage there is nothing to suggest a sectarian motive for the Devlin murder.
He explained that there were no sectarian phrases used during the attack on the schoolboy and two of his friends.
“This is very much a live and proactive investigation,” said the spokesman.
“All lines of enquiry are being fully explored and investigated.”
The spokesman also confirmed that detectives were examining closed-circuit television footage from a nearby service station to try to determine the identity of the teenager’s killers.
His mother, Penny Holloway, yesterday described her son as a “shining beacon” in her family’s life who would never come back.
She said: “‘Devastated’ is just too light a word for how we all feel.
“I saw him lying there with the doctors working on him and he’s just my beautiful boy, who’s gone. I just really don’t understand that.”
Thomas’ father, Jim Devlin, described what the family was going through as a “living hell”.
“We’re just totally gutted. We haven’t got him home yet but we are doing our best to keep going.
“Thomas was the next generation coming up. He was across all the divides and taken away by someone who sought otherwise,” he said.
Secretary of state Peter Hain said he was horrified by the “brutal and appalling” murder.

Ceremony on 90th anniversary of O'Donovan Rossa's death


13/08/2005 - 14:56:45

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The 90th anniversary of the death of the Irish patriot Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa is being commemorated in Dublin this afternoon.

Republicans are attending the ceremony at his graveside in Glasnevin cemetary.

O'Donovan Rossa, who was born in 1831 in Rosscarbery, Co Cork, was accused of plotting a Fenian Rising in 1865, convicted of treason by the British government and sentenced to penal servitude for life.

He was released in 1871 and exiled to the US where he died in 1915.

His body was brought home for a hero's burial in Ireland where Padraig Pearse gave a famous graveside oration.

WB Yeats statue sent crashing after high-speed car chase

Irish Independent

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Photos from here

SLIGO'S most famous landmark, a life-size bronze statue of poet WB Yeats, came to a violent end yesterday when a car ploughed into it during a high-speed chase by gardai.

Gardai had been in pursuit of a man for an alleged driving offence in another part of town, when his vehicle went out of control and crashed into the 140cm statue, which was mounted on a concrete pedestal outside the Ulster Bank on Stephen Street, close to Hyde Bridge.

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The man, believed to be from Co Offaly, was arrested at the scene and questioned by gardai. He is expected to appear in court next month on a drink driving charge.

Meanwhile, students from all over the world woke up on the final day of the Yeats International Summer School to see the bronzed image of the figure the school had been celebrating, lying in pieces on the ground, the head still intact and an arm pointing skywards.

"It is really, really dreadful. I am so shocked. It has been such a landmark and it was so loved by everyone. Sadly this is the image our students will take away with them after a really successful summer school," said Maura McTighe, chairperson of the summer school committee.

Sculpted by Rowan Gillespie and erected in May 1990, the statue became the focal point over the years for countless photographs and postcards.

"There is no doubt that it became part of Yeatsian life in Sligo. As a teacher, I brought numerous classes to it and it was always where the children chose to have their pictures taken," Ms McTighe said.

The statue's location was selected because of a reference the poet made when he went to Stockholm in 1924 to receive the Nobel prize for literature. He compared a 17th century palace in Stockholm to the Ulster Bank building, although he admitted it had been a long time since he had last seen it.

Rowan Gillespie was selected from four artists by a selection committee which included former gallery director Ronan McEvilly. "It was an extraordinarily popular piece of sculpture. It will have to be replaced," Mr McEvilly said yesterday.

The president of the Council of the Yeats' Society, Michael Keohane, said the statue had been the single reference to Yeats which was visible in the town.

"It gave people a sense of place as to where they were. Otherwise you could drive through Sligo and not know it had had anything to do with Yeats," he said.

Anita Guidera

Irish priest faces life sentence in Kenya over protest


By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter
13 August 2005

AN Irish missionary who lives under constant death threat in Kenya was last night in jail facing a possible life sentence after he was arrested for organising a land rights protest.
Fr Gabriel Dolan, a native of Derrydonnelly, Co Fermanagh, was yesterday charged with intention to cause violence, being involved in an illegal gathering and malicious damage to property - a charge which carries a life sentence in Kenya if upheld.

Despite receiving frequent death threats and being arrested and beaten by police in November 2003, the Kiltegan Fathers missionary is known in Kenya for defending the human and civil rights of his community through the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.

However, he was arrested yesterday for his role in organising the latest in a series of protest marches against land policies which saw public land assigned to well-connected political cronies.

The demonstration of several hundred in the rural town of Kitale was broken up by police who fired live rounds and tear gas as 23 protesters were arrested.

After initially going into hiding, Fr Dolan yesterday handed himself in to police where he was charged and taken into custody.

Despite putting up money and the deeds to the parish church, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission was refused an application for bail last night and will make another attempt on Monday.

In the meantime, Fr Dolan, who this month collaborated with a special Irish Examiner series on Kenya, remains imprisoned in squalid conditions, sharing a small cell with up to 60 other men.

“It’s very bad. He should have been let out but they argued a technicality to keep him in there,” one of his legal team, Sam Mohochi, told the Irish Examiner from Kitale last night.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was “pursuing the matter through diplomatic channels”, while the human rights group Front Line called on the Kenyan Government to release Fr Dolan immediately.

Trócaire, which supports Fr Dolan’s work, said it believed he was being deliberately targeted.

“They’re trying to get after him mainly because of the communal activities he’s been involved in around justice and the land issue here because there’s been so much corruption around it,” said East Africa regional director Noel Maloney.

Fr Tom Kiggins of the Kiltegan Fathers said the society supported Fr Dolan. “He certainly has been quite effective and this is all part of his work to bring justice to the people there.”

Rossport Five rally in Galway today


13/08/2005 - 08:41:08

A rally is being staged in Galway today in support of the Rossport Five.

Groups from across Ireland are assembling in the western capital in a show of solidarity with the men who are completing a second month in jail.

They are opposed to Shell building a gas pipeline across their land in north Mayo on safety grounds and have refused to purge their contempt of court and be freed.

Policemen injured in crowd attack


Two policemen have been injured during an attack in west Belfast.

One of them suffered a broken jaw and was stabbed in the arm while the other sustained bruising to his back after being attacked by up to 30 people.

The attack took place on the Whiterock Road at about 0200 BST after they had stopped their patrol car to speak to a man who had approached them.

Police said they were investigating what happened and had made no arrests in connection with the incident.

The officer who sustained a broken jaw was taken to hospital for treatment.

10,000 Apprentice Boys to parade


10,000 Apprentice Boys and 120 bands will march in Derry

The annual Apprentice Boys parade to commemorate the anniversary of the 1689 Siege of Derry is being held later.

It is Northern Ireland's biggest loyal order parade. About 10,000 Apprentice Boys accompanied by 120 bands will be on the march in Derry.

In the first parade local Apprentice Boys and three bands will walk the city's historic walls before a wreath laying ceremony in the Diamond.

The main demonstration will get under way in the afternoon.

It will last for several hours and will be preceded by a religious service and a pageant re-enacting the siege.

The parade has been relatively trouble free in recent years.

The police have said they will be visible on the ground and will have some areas in the city centre screened off to keep rival groups apart.

The loyal order commemorates the 13 apprentice boys who shut Derry's gates at the start of the siege by the troops of the Catholic King James II in December 1688.

The siege was finally lifted in the summer of 1689.

Ombudsman to be asked to probe PSNI behaviour

Daily Ireland

Connla Young

The Police Ombudsman’s Office will be asked to probe the behaviour of the PSNI after a republican parade in Co Antrim this week.
Although the republican parade through Ballymena passed off without serious incident on Tuesday night, republicans say a crowd of up to 800 loyalists were allowed to assemble illegally.
News that Nuala O’Loan’s office was asked to launch an investigation into the conduct of the PSNI comes after figures released yesterday show that just two people have been charged in relation to an intense sectarian campaign directed at Catholics living in and around the staunch loyalist town.
The PSNI ha also come in for criticism after fire blankets and smoke alarms were given to Catholics under threat from loyalist paramilitaries. Advice on what window to jump from in the event of an attack was also given to terrified Ahogill residents earlier this week.
In recent weeks the PSNI, supported by the British Army have flooded loyalist areas in Belfast in a bid to protect members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) under threat from their Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) rivals. It is estimated the price of policing the loyalist feud costs the PSNI £30,000 (€38,000) a day.
Daily Ireland reported yesterday that since the start of July, 21 sectarian incidents have been recorded by the PSNI’s District Command Unit. The majority of the attacks have been directed against Catholics.
In recent weeks five Catholic churches in the Ballymena area have been targeted in seven separate loyalist attacks.
Ballymena Sinn Fein councillor Monica Digney says the PSNI has failed to protect Catholics under attack in and around Ballymena.
“We only have to look at what has happened in Belfast and Ballymena to see the different approach. In Belfast they send dozens of officers into an estate when someone is under threat and in Ahoghill they hand out blankets and tell people what window to jump from.
“At the parade this week loyalists were allowed to gather in an illegal assembly. They moved in a water canon but didn’t use it. We are currently preparing to make a complaint to the Police Ombudsman’s Office.
“They blamed this parade for an attack on a Catholic church this week, but these attacks started on Good Friday and there is no will to put a stop to it.”
Meanwhile, senior SDLP representatives are to meet with government ministers, police chiefs and political leaders in a bid to halt the attacks on nationalist homes and Catholic churches.
Sean Farren, MLA for North Antrim, said he will meet Chief Constable Hugh Orde today.
He said: “We have had a wave of attacks from Lisburn to the north of the county and as far as Coleraine and it has got to be stopped and stopped now. The church in Harryville has been paint-bombed three times in as many weeks and the situation in Ahoghill has been particularly alarming. While the so-called republican parade didn’t help and has certainly made the situation worse, the problem of sectarianism and loyalist violence in north and mid Antrim runs much deeper.
“I welcome the forthright condemnations by Protestant churchmen and some unionist politicians, but the immediate situation requires much stronger cross-community action.”

LVF targets gun shop owners

Daily Ireland

Ciarán Barnes

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) is targeting gun shop owners throughout the North, Daily Ireland has learned.
The paramilitary organisation, which is involved in a bitter feud with the rival Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), is desperate for weapons and is also targeting owners of legally-held guns in a bid to boost its armoury.
Earlier in the year, the leader of the LVF in north Belfast stole six legally-held weapons from a house in the Finaghy area of south Belfast.
Now gun shop owners believe the paramilitary organisation has turned its attention to them.
One store manager who spoke to Daily Ireland but was too frightened to be indentified said he had been warned by a police officer about the LVF threat.
However, the PSNI has denied contacting him.
He said: “I don’t know why the police are denying it but an officer told me that gun shop owners are being targeted by the LVF.
“He said the LVF was trying to get its hands on weapons and the easiest way to do this was to take legally-held weapons from gun shops.
“I am having to be extra-conscious about my security.”
During the LVF weapons theft at Finaghy, a babysitter and children were tied up for six hours while a gang raided the house before escaping with two shotguns, three rifles and a pistol.
All of the hostages were Catholics; the babysitter’s husband was murdered in the 1990s by the Ulster Defence Association.
A second attempt by the LVF to steal legally-held weapons in north Belfast some time later resulted in one paramilitary boss being seriously injured.
Daily Ireland has learned that the LVF is being alerted to the home addresses of pistol and rifle owners by two men with strong loyalist connections who are members of a well-known gun club
The latest feud between the UVF and LVF has claimed three lives – Jameson Lockhart, Craig McCausland and Stephen Paul. All of the men were murdered by the UVF.
The LVF blinded and seriously wounded David Hanley in a north Belfast gun attack on July 11. Mr Hanley has no paramilitary connections.
There have also been numerous gun and bomb attacks and riots throughout Belfast. A number of families have also been forced to flee their homes.
The PSNI’s handling of the feud has drawn criticism from unionist politicians, loyalist leaders and the families of those murdered.
However, the PSNI has rejected this criticism, insisting its officers are doing all they can to bring the feud under control.

Murdered boy was 'shining beacon'


Thomas Devlin had spent the evening playing computer games

The mother of 15-year-old boy murdered in north Belfast has described her son as a "shining beacon" in her family's life who would never come back.

Thomas Devlin was stabbed in the back five times as he and two friends walked home along Somerton Road after buying sweets on Wednesday night.

Two men and a teenager are still being questioned about the murder.

His mother Penny Holloway said: "Devastated is just too light a word for how we all feel."

She said words could not describe her family's pain.

"He was such a lovely child, young man, with everything going for him and that's just been taken away for nothing, for absolutely nothing.

"Thomas was just a shining beacon in our lives and it's gone, and he's not going to come back."

She described how she knew her son was not going to survive when she saw him lying on the road, after the attack.

"I saw him lying there with the doctors working on him and he's just my beautiful boy, who's gone."
Penny Holloway

"I saw him lying there with the doctors working on him and he's just my beautiful boy, who's gone. I just really don't understand that.

"We don't know the doctors who helped Thomas. We know they all worked very hard. We want to thank them for everything they did, the paramedics, the doctors and people in the hospital and the police."

Thomas' father, Jim Devlin, described what the family was going through as a "living hell".

"We're just totally gutted. We haven't got him home yet, but we are doing our best to keep going.

"People have been very good to us and calling around."

However, he stressed that the killing should not deter people from going out.

"People have to be in the streets, be in the villages and cities and take back what's their's.

"Thomas was the next generation coming up, he was across all the divides and taken away by someone who sought otherwise."

Friends and relatives have left flowers at the scene

Thomas' 18-year-old friend was injured in the attack, but not seriously. A 16-year-old boy managed to escape.

Earlier, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain spoke of his horror at the attack.

He said the police were working flat out to try to solve the murder, which came days after the double rape of a 15-year-old girl in the west of the city.

"I am just absolutely horrified by the brutal, appalling and apparently indiscriminate and motiveless killing," he said.

Thomas, a student at Belfast Royal Academy, was a talented musician who played the horn at school.

The school's principal, Billy Young, said he had been shocked by the death of a pupil who was "bright, articulate and sharp-minded".

"There is a sense of loss at the pointlessness of it - a young man with a powerful future snatched away in a random attack," he said.

He said Thomas had been due to return to school soon to study for nine GCSEs and had the potential to follow his brother to university.

Youth is charged with aiding rape


A teenager has been charged in connection with the double rape of a 15-year-old girl in the Blacks Road area of west Belfast last weekend.

The boy, 16, is charged with aiding and abetting rape, four counts of robbery and assault and various other charges.

He is to appear before Craigavon Magistrates Court on Saturday.

It is understood the teenager went to the police after they searched a house in the Twinbrook estate on Friday morning.

The charges follow an incident in which a teenage girl was raped and four other young people robbed and assaulted on Saturday 6 August.

12 August 2005

Man is shot in stomach and legs


A man is being treated in hospital after he was shot in the stomach and legs in County Armagh.

The shooting happened at playing fields at Glenavon Lane in Lurgan at about 1430 BST.

Police said while his injuries were serious, they were not thought to be life-threatening. The area remains cordoned off.

The shooting is believed to be connected to a feud among loyalists in the town.

Get tough over loyalist violence, Orde urged


12/08/2005 - 12:28:39

The North's most senior policeman was today urged to adopt a get-tough attitude to loyalist paramilitary leaders following a recent wave of sectarian attacks.

The call to Hugh Orde came as members of several Protestant churches in Ballymena joined in a clean-up operation at a Catholic church targeted by loyalist paint-bombers, and continued to express their outrage.

Meanwhile, the SDLP confirmed, ahead of a meeting with the PSNI’s Chief Constable, that it was also seeking a meeting with the British government about concerted action against loyalist gangs.

North Antrim Assembly member Sean Farren said: “We have had a wave of attacks from Lisburn to the north of the county and as far as Coleraine and it has got to be stopped and stopped now.

“The church in Harryville (in Ballymena) has been paint-bombed three times in as many weeks and the situation in Ahoghill has been particularly alarming.

“While the so-called republican parade didn’t help and has certainly made the situation worse, the problem of sectarianism and loyalist violence in north and mid- Antrim runs much deeper.

“I welcome the forthright condemnations by Protestant churchmen and some unionist politicians, but the immediate situation requires much stronger cross-community action. This violence is organised and orchestrated and it is spreading and I fear that lives are at risk. It is time for dialogue explicitly aimed at stopping it.”

Following a recent spate of threats and arson attacks in the Co Antrim village of Ahoghill, police have issued fire blankets to Catholic families.

Sinn Féin councillor Dessie Ward’s home in Banbridge, Co Down, was also targeted by petrol-bombers.

The Ulster Volunteer Force has been engaged in a bloody feud in Belfast with the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force, which has claimed the lives of three people.

SDLP deputy leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell said the British government, police and society needed to face down loyalist gangs.

“Violent loyalism can be defeated by stern police action, by removing their criminally acquired assets which fund the lavish lifestyles of the brigadiers, and by denying them the cover of spurious ceasefires,” the South Belfast MP said.

“In the absence of the Secretary of State, I have sought a meeting with Lord Rooker to ensure the government is fully aware of the scale and extent of threat to Catholic homes, churches and lives in Antrim and elsewhere.”

Hugh Orde was also due today to meet a delegation from the Rev Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists to discuss their security concerns in the wake of the IRA’s declaration that it is ending its armed campaign and the subsequent moves by the British government to scale down the British Army presence.

Man arrested over teenager's rape


The teenagers were all ordered into the grounds of a golf centre

A man has been arrested in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl in west Belfast at the weekend.

The arrest followed the search of a house in the Twinbrook area on Friday, after which a man walked into Woodburn police station and was detained.

The girl, on holiday from England, was raped twice in the Blacks Road area while her three teenage friends were threatened with a metal bar.

Police have said they are now following a definite line of inquiry.

On Wednesday night, several hundred people attended a vigil to show their revulsion at the rape.

It took place at the forecourt of a filling station where the teenager was first raped.

The teenagers were then ordered into the grounds of Colin Valley Golf Centre, where the girl was raped again.

Local community worker John Fox said residents wanted to show solidarity with the victims.

After the rape, there were claims that police officers did not act on information about the incident. The PSNI may hold an investigation into the claims.

Family angry at SPED rejection


A mixed marriage couple and their three children who narrowly escaped death in a loyalist arsonist attack have been left reeling after Chief Constable Hugh Orde decided their lives were not in jeopardy.
The McCall family have lived in Old Throne Park, just off the Whitewell Road for the past seven years and in that time they have been attacked numerous times.
The most recent attack saw the McCalls and their neighbours targeted by loyalists after they set fire to oil tanks.
The Fire Brigade said if they had arrived any later, they would be dealing with ‘multiple fatalities’.
The PSNI said at the time of the attack in June and again this week when asked by the North Belfast News, that a sectarian motive was just one line of enquiry.
Incredibly, after the McCalls applied for their home to be sold under the Special Purchase of Evacuated Dwelling (SPED) scheme, which means anyone under paramilitary threat can be paid the market value for their home without having to put it up for sale, they were knocked back.
SPED decisions are made by PSNI chief constable Hugh Orde who declares if a person or family is at risk. This decision is forwarded onto the Housing Executive who then pay out to allow a relocation.
The family’s situation is getting worse by the day, as both Mandy and her husband Peter have been unable to work since the fire and their empty home is being constantly vandalised.
Their children have received counselling about the attacks following advice from their GP and their nine-year-old daughter is losing her hair because of the stress.
“We’re living in a temporary place for the meantime while the work gets done. But how can we go back? The place looks like a bomb site,” Mandy McCall said.
“Somebody’s got in and turned the water taps on and flooded the place. Steel framework has been chucked at the windows and graffiti has been sprayed on the skip. It’s not our home any more.”
Mandy’s husband Peter said they, and their three young children would never return.
“No matter what happens, we will not be going back.”
The HE said they can only purchase property under the SPED scheme if the Chief Constable issues a certificate confirming that it is unsafe for the applicant or a member of their household to remain in the property.
“In the case of the McCall family no certificate was issued and therefore their application had to be turned down,” a spokesperson said.
Sinn Féin councillor Tierna Cunningham said it was outrageous the family was being persecuted further.
“It beggars belief that once again the victims are being punished,” the councillor said.
“This was attempted murder, which could have resulted in multiple deaths. The perception that sectarian attacks are not happening almost on a weekly basis to Catholics must be challenged.
“Our thoughts are with the McCalls and the McManus family at this time. They have already been through attempted murder and so much upheaval.
“There is no normality for them as they can’t go back to jobs, they need to move one and find a new home and their children will have to change school. These families don’t deserve this.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Eleven-year-old boy attacked by loyalists


An 11-year-old boy has been telling how he was dragged and punched by a loyalist who attacked him from a car in Alliance Avenue.
The boy, whose parents were too afraid for him to be identified, said he believed the man attacked him because he was wearing an Ireland top.
He said he had been walking along Alliance Avenue around 7.30pm with around seven of his friends when he was attacked at Deerpark Avenue.
“A silver car came out of Glenbryn. There was a man driving it and another in the back. The front seat passenger got out.
“He had blond hair and tattoos all over his arms.
“He got out of the car and grabbed me and dragged me up beside Glenbryn and then he hit me a dig in the face. My friends were yelling at him to leave me alone and he was shouting down ‘you’ll never see this wee lad again’.
“I was crying and he started to drag me again and then I threw myself to the ground to stop him.
“He said to me ‘the next time I see you I’m gonna kill you’. I got away and ran down to Jamaica Street where I saw my daddy driving past.”
The victim’s mother said she was outraged at the attack on her son.
“He came in and his nose was bleeding and I told him just to stay in and not to go out again,” she said.
The attack comes a week after Michael Lynch almost lost fingers in a frenzied machete attack by loyalists who drove into Ardoyne in a car.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Huge cache of IRA ammo dumped in Kerry

Irish Examiner

**Via News Hound

By John Breslin

THOUSANDS of rounds of assault rifle ammunition, discovered earlier this week in north Kerry, are believed to have been dumped by the IRA in the area.

The haul was left close to a river walk near Tralee, prompting speculation the IRA wanted the ammunition to be found.

Gardaí search teams located the ammunition on Tuesday at Tonevane, just outside Tralee.

It is believed the cache included ammunition for AK-47 assault rifles. The ammunition was thought to have been dumped in a field on Monday night.

In a statement last month ordering an end to its armed campaign, the IRA leadership told members to dispose of arms.

Most of the weapons and ammunition are held in two dumps. However, individual units, despite the organisation being on ceasefire for all but 18 months of the last 11 years, held on to some guns and ammunition for ‘training purposes’.

There was confusion as to how the individual units would dump their stockpiles safely, without taking the risk of transporting them.

If, as seems likely, this was a stage-managed dumping of ammunition, it would be the first known act of local decommissioning.

Gardaí in Tralee confirmed a couple of thousand rounds of ammunition were discovered but released few other details.

The force’s press office said it had no information about the discovery of the ammunition.

However, reliable sources in the area, the stronghold of TD and former IRA gun-runner Martin Ferris, said the ammunition was for Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, the favoured weapon of the paramilitary group.

Local sources said there was some activity in the area on Monday night, though not suspicious enough to warrant a call to the gardaí.

The following morning, gardaí went straight to the field where they found the ammunition.

“There is no question the ammunition was for use in assault rifles. The only possible explanation is that they were left there by the IRA,” said a local source.

While the amount discovered on Tuesday is minimal compared to the vast arsenal the IRA has built up, it is significant if local units are complying with the leadership’s orders to dump arms, and ensuring that gardaí find them.

In separate moves, the IRA is reported to have begun to collect guns from local units for transport to central dumps.

The organisation is expected to carry out a major act of decommissioning, to be overseen by international monitors headed by retired Canadian general John de Chastelain.

There were hopes of early movement following the organisation’s July 28 statement declaring the end of its armed struggle.

However, Mr de Chastelain has returned to Canada and the other monitors are on holiday for most of the month.

It could be next month before the process begins.

A Protestant minister and Catholic priest will accompany the monitors when the expected major acts of decommissioning take place.

Call for new heritage body

Belfast Telegraph

By Brian Hutton
12 August 2005

The public has lost confidence in the ability of the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) to protect Northern Ireland's natural heritage, it was claimed last night.

Responsibility must be passed to an independent non-government agency without delay, said SDLP environment spokesperson Tommy Gallagher.

"There are many good and dedicated people working in the EHS, but the dead hand of bureaucracy constrains all their efforts," he said.

"Conflicts of interest may arise if some other government or public agency is a polluter.

"Strong, but necessary measures, may be diluted through political pressure from industrial or agricultural lobbies.

"Most of all, they are unable to act with the urgency and thoroughness that the public interest requires."

The EHS yesterday revealed it had invoked three-year-old legislation for the first time this week to charge a polluter with destroying Lough Beg, near Toomebridge.

"The problem is compounded by the nature of direct rule by part-time commuter ministers," said Mr Gallagher.

Omagh horror

Belfast Telegraph

Seven years on... relatives gather to remember the dead

By Michael McHugh
12 August 2005

Relatives of victims of the Omagh bomb will gather this weekend to mark the seventh anniversary of the largest single atrocity of the Troubles.

Families will gather on Sunday at the memorial in the town to those who died in the Real IRA blast in August 1998.

They will hold an interdenominational service to be attended by British and Irish government ministers.

The chairman of the Omagh Victims' Support and Self-Help Group, Michael Gallagher, recently concluded legal proceedings in his unsuccessful battle for compensation and said this weekend would give cause for reflection.

"We are talking about this issue coming up to the seventh anniversary of the bomb and myself and my wife have not received one single penny of compensation," he said.

His son, Aidan, was killed in the blast.

The 21-year-old was one of 29 people, including a woman pregnant with twins, slaughtered in the blast, which tore through the town centre full of shoppers on a Saturday afternoon.

The bomb sent shockwaves across the globe as people struggled to come to terms with the indiscriminate nature of the attack.

The town centre has been slowly rebuilt and those injured in the blast have worked to come to terms with the attack.

Mr Gallagher set up the victims' group in the wake of the bombing as a way for survivors and bereaved relatives to offer support to one another.

Countless families were affected by the tragedy, which occurred when shoppers escaping a security alert in another part of the town walked into the path of the bomb.

Mr Gallagher said: "The impact in Omagh was phenomenal. Almost every family in the town knew someone involved in the bomb.

"The whole area of compensation needs to be addressed.

"I was totally amazed at the speed at which London compensation was agreed - it was a lot quicker than in the case of Omagh."

Millions of pounds have been paid by the Government to victims of the Omagh bomb.

NIO Minister Lord Rooker and the Irish Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin, will attend the service.

Mr Gallagher said there were pressing problems which still needed to be addressed by both governments.

"After the blast I was walking in blood in the Tyrone County Hospital looking for my son and yet the Government was saying that they don't recognise the trauma which we have suffered," he added.

The lobbyist for the families said civil judgements had granted compensation to people who watched the Hillsborough disaster on television and said equal treatment needed to be given to victims here.

Kevin Skelton, who saw his wife of 20 years, Philomena, die in the street, said his family did receive compensation but are bitter about how they were approached by representatives of the NIO.

An NIO spokesman said: "The amount of compensation is determined by the Criminal Injuries (Compensation) (NI) Order 1998 - £20.4m has been paid to date to those affected by the Omagh bomb."

The Gallagher family's compensation case was settled in Omagh County Court last month during a hearing which they failed to attend in protest at their treatment by the authorities.

'Solidarity' over church attacks


The church has been attacked several times in recent weeks

Members of several Protestant churches in County Antrim are taking part in a clean-up operation at a Catholic Church which has been targeted by loyalists.

It follows the latest in a series of attacks on the Church of Our Lady in Harryville near Ballymena.

Youth Pastor Jeremy Gardiner said they want to show solidarity with their Catholic neighbours.

"In the negativity that's going on in the town right now, somebody needs to make a stand," he said.

"Hopefully that's what we're going to do today in a positive way."

Pastor Gardiner, from High Kirk Presbyterian Church in Ballymena, led groups from his congregation to clean a previous graffiti attack on the church.

"For me, the story of the Good Samaritan really comes to mind - helping other people who are in need and reaching out to our neighbours.

"That is exactly what we are doing; we are reaching out to our neighbours. At this point in time they happen to be Catholic neighbours, if it was Protestant neighbours, we would do the same."

Republican parade

He said he had received letters and emails from places like Canada, America, Germany and France praising his church's support of Harryville's Catholic parishioners.

On Tuesday night, paint bombs were thrown at the church, the third such attack in the last month.

Father Paul Symonds said it was very frustrating and the attack had come just after the church had been restored after a previous incident.

Police condemned those responsible and said it was linked to tensions over a republican parade in the town.

Several hundred loyalists staged a protest over the parade held to commemorate the introduction of internment in 1971.

Protesters dispersed peacefully after a stand off with police in riot gear.

The march involved two republican bands from Antrim, a town about 11 miles from Ballymena, parading the length of Fisherwick Gardens.

Police probing pipe bomb attacks


Pipe bombs were thrown at homes during the night

Police are investigating overnight pipe bomb attacks in County Antrim.

The first devices damaged the front doors of two flats in Rathcoole Drive in Newtownabbey just after 2200 BST. It is thought both were empty at the time.

Another device exploded at a ground floor flat at Carnbrook Drive in Antrim at about 0200 BST. Damage was caused to a bedroom.

Two men inside were uninjured. Police are still investigating a motive and have appealed for information.

Police release man held in relation to Lisa Dorrian murder


12/08/2005 - 09:39:51

Police in the North have released a 22-year-old man arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of Lisa Dorrian.

The man was questioned by police investigating the disappearance of the 25-year-old Bangor shop assistant earlier this year.

Ms Dorrian has not been seen since leaving a party at a caravan site in Ballyhalbert in February.

No body has been recovered, but the police are treating the case as murder, with the Loyalist Volunteer Force believed to have been involved in the killing.

Archaeologist in plea to save the Maze from bulldozers


Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Friday August 12, 2005
The Guardian

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It is one of the most notorious prisons in Europe, soon to be transformed into a sports stadium to host football matches for the London Olympics.

But a British archaeologist warns today that the multimillion-pound redevelopment of the Maze prison in Northern Ireland will see hundreds of acres of buildings bulldozered before crucial historical research has been carried out.

Laura McAtackney of Bristol University argues in British Archaeology magazine that the Maze "remains in limbo, at an uncomfortable crossroads between the present and past, between history and heritage".

The prison, which housed some of Northern Ireland's toughest paramilitaries, saw political protest, gun murder and the death of ten republican hunger-strikers.

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The site, which is the size of a small town, is to be developed into a sports complex. Fifteen acres of the 365-acre site will become the International Centre for Conflict Transformation, preserving isolated fragments including the hospital building where hunger-strikers died and a section of perimeter wall.

Ms McAtackney acknowledges the politics surrounding the Maze's future but says lack of access has thwarted proper historical research.

Although the last prisoners left four years ago, the prison is still under high security. "There has been limited academic investigation, and few have had unlimited access," Ms McAtackney warns.

She says that the "piecemeal" remains to be kept for the new centre will "create a collection of isolated artifacts" - but not enough to create a comprehensive history.

Around 100 acres of the site have not been allocated a new purpose and will not be used for 15-20 years.They have also been ordered to be "cleared and decontaminated".

"Why clear such an iconic site, much discussed but little researched or understood, before necessity dictates?" Ms McAtackney asks.

Her argument comes as Northern Ireland debates what to do with the architectural legacy of the Troubles while post-ceasefire society rushes to reinvent itself.

Irish diplomat in talks over Colombia Three


12/08/2005 - 00:15:42

A top Irish diplomat pledged today to explore ways in which Ireland could hand over three IRA-linked men convicted of supporting terrorism in Colombia, despite the lack of an extradition treaty.

“Ireland will meet its obligations under international law,” said Art Agnew, Irish ambassador to Mexico, who is also responsible for Colombia, after discussing the situation with Colombian vice president Francisco Santos in Bogota.

Agnew acknowledged that the lack of a treaty between the two countries “presents a problem”, but nevertheless insisted “there could be other mechanisms” that would permit the three men’s extradition.

He said that the two sides were looking into all the possibilities and that ultimately a ruling on extradition would be left up to Irish courts.

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and Jim Monaghan were convicted of training left-wing rebels in terrorist tactics and sentenced to 17 years behind bars. But the trio disappeared eight months ago before resurfacing in Ireland last week.

Santos said today's meeting - the first direct encounter between the two governments since the trio resurfaced - was very friendly and he was confident a solution to the “problematic” issue would be reached.

“What we’ve found from the Irish government is its complete willingness to work with us to find a way out of this, and that’s what one hopes for,” the Colombian vice president said.

Earlier this week, Santos said that if Ireland did not extradite the three men, it should at least force them to serve their sentences in an Irish prison.

Santos and Agnew would not indicate whether this possibility was discussed during their half-hour meeting.

The trio’s return to Ireland was revealed when Monaghan gave an interview to RTE on August 5. In the interview, Monaghan said many people in many countries had helped them travel from Colombia back to Ireland.

Today in history: Police use tear gas in Bogside


12 August 1969

The Royal Ulster Constabulary has used tear gas for the first time in its history after nine hours of rioting in the mainly-Catholic Bogside area of Derry.

There have been numerous outbreaks of violence between Catholics and Protestants since the start of the summer marching season. Catholic feeling against the Royal Ulster Constabulary is also running high over their brutal tactics.

The shells were fired just before midnight sending a large crowd of youths scattering in all directions. Many sought refuge in nearby houses where residents treated their streaming eyes.

A police armoured car was then sent at speed to break through the barricades the crowd had erected and roared off down Roseville Street, smashing smaller barriers in its path.

As a crowd started to gather round the vehicle, the doors burst open and more tear gas grenades were hurled out.

Water cannon

The trouble began during the annual Apprentice Boys march.

There were clashes as the Apprentice Boys marched along the wall, past the perimeter of the Catholic Bogside area. The RUC intervened and within hours the trouble had escalated into a full-scale riot.

The Northern Ireland Prime Minister Major James Chichester-Clark called a meeting last night of the Ulster Cabinet security committee at police headquarters in Belfast.

It followed earlier violence in Londonderry city centre. Rioters threw petrol bombs, stones and iron bars against the armoured trucks and water cannon being used by police.

Protestants who gathered near the barricade in Roseville Street were egged on by police, as they aimed catapults armed with stones at the Roman Catholics on the other side.

One American reporter, Robert Mott of the Washington Post, was clubbed to the ground and kicked during a police baton charge. He is said to have resumed reporting after treatment.

At one point a crowd from the Bogside began attacking police in Sackville Street. From the other end of the road a crowd of Protestant youths started advancing, picking up stones and hurling them back.

It was only after various Catholic and civil rights workers, including local MP and prominent civil rights worker, Ivan Cooper, intervened that some order was restored.

Mr Cooper was later knocked unconscious by a stone.

The Independent MP for Mid-Ulster, Bernadette Devlin, toured the area of Roseville Street urging demonstrators to get back behind the barriers, which had been hastily constructed using paving stones and planks left by building contractors working on new housing.

Eventually police made another baton charge up Roseville Street to clear the rioters - but they were followed by a group of stone-throwing Protestants and gradually beaten back.

The Protestant Apprentice Boys were set up in memory of 13 apprentice boy supporters of William of Orange who defended Derry against the forces of the Catholic King James II in 1688

In Context

The Apprentice Boys march was allowed to go ahead despite repeated warnings of trouble.

The two days of rioting which followed became known as the Battle of the Bogside. It ended with the direct intervention from Britain in the affairs of Northern Ireland.

Four hundred soldiers of the 1st Battalion, The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire, were deployed on the streets of Derry.

They were called in at the request of the Northern Ireland Prime Minister Major Chichester-Clark to prevent the total breakdown of law and order and give some respite to police.

The troops were already on standby at the Sea Eagle naval base on the outskirts of Londonderry. They arrived in full battle kit with steel helmets, self-loading rifles and machine guns, but with strict orders to keep their gun safety-catches on.

Their neutral attitude was initially welcomed by residents on both sides of the barricades and an uneasy peace deal was struck.

But the violence spread to Belfast where five Catholics and one Protestant were killed on 14 August.

The following day troops were deployed there.

General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland, Lieutenant-General Sir Ian Freeland, told the media at the time the honeymoon period between troops and local people was likely to be short-lived. He was right, within months the welcome had turned to violence.

The Parades Commission, an independent quasi-judicial body, was set up in 1997 with the power to ban or impose conditions on parades.

11 August 2005

A dog-gone tale of true devotion

Belfast Telegraph

Owner looks for leads to pet's whereabouts

By Deborah McAleese
11 August 2005

A Co Antrim dog owner has gone to astonishing lengths in a bid to find his lost pet.

Gavin Graham has posted more than 200 notices throughout the Lisburn area and has spent the past 13 days launching intensive searches of the area for his golden cocker spaniel, Rudy.

The dog went missing at Shaws Bridge on Friday, July 29 and was last spotted on Monday in the Lambeg area.

Gavin has taken time off from work to spend his days and evenings searching for Rudy. He is also offering a reward to anyone who helps him find his beloved pet.

Although Rudy knows the area where he was walking, Gavin believes he has gone off the beaten track and cannot find his way back.

Rudy has a very long tail and has a blue collar. Anyone who may have spotted him is asked to contact Gavin on 07815 737825.

Three Irish writers nominated for Booker long list

Irish Examiner

11 August 2005

By Ian Kilroy, Arts Editor
THE Man Booker long list announced yesterday has a strong Irish showing, with authors John Banville, Sebastian Barry and William Wall all in the running for the prestigious £50,000 book award.
It is John Banville’s second time being nominated for the prize, having been previously nominated in 1989 for The Book of Evidence. Cork-native Wall and Dublin-native Barry have never previously made the nomination list.

Banville’s book, The Sea, tells the story of a recently widowed man returning to the seaside village where he spent his youth. Written in Banville’s characteristic elegant prose, it is a clear favourite to make the short list to be announced in September.

Better known as an award-winning playwright, Barry’s novel, A Long Long Way, deals with the Irish dimension of World War I, taking its title from the song It’s a Long Way to Tipperary. A work of fictionalised history, the book was published to critical acclaim earlier this year.

Wall, a former teacher from Cork, is nominated for This is the Country. It’s a bleak novel that looks at the fringes of the criminal world through the eyes of a troubled teenager.

It is Wall’s fourth novel, and is a work as tender as it is harsh.

If any of the three authors win the prize this autumn, it will be the first time an Irish writer has won the Booker since Roddy Doyle, for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha in 1993.

Other high-profile writers on this year’s long list are Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith and South African Nobel Prize winner, JM Coetzee.

With several previous Booker winners like McEwan, Rushdie and Kazuo Ishiguro on the list, the Irish novelists will face a stiff challenge for the prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony in London on October 10.

‘Free O’Hare now’

Daily Ireland

Conor McMorrow

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Monsignor Denis Faul has called for the immediate release of INLA prisoner Dessie O’Hare from Castlerea prison in Roscommon.
Mr O’Hare, who was known as the Border Fox, was given a 40-year prison sentence in April 1988 for offences including the kidnapping and mutilation of Dublin dentist John O’Grady. The sentence was the longest in the history of the Republic for any offence other than capital murder.
Last week revealed that a number of senior figures in the Catholic Church had thrown their weight behind the campaign for Mr O’Hare’s release.
Now Monsignor Faul, who has visited O’Hare in prison on a number of occasions, has spoken out, stating his belief that O’Hare had served enough time and should be released.
“The man has served his sentence and I don’t believe that he should be left in jail,” said Msgr Faul.
“There are so many people that are part of the forgotten wreckage of the Troubles and while Dessie O’Hare is not so much forgotten, he is part of that wreckage.”
He added that Dessie O’Hare posed no threat to people in Ireland.
“People are sent to jail to be punished and get rehabilitated before their release, if they don’t pose any threat to people outside,” he said.
“In my opinion Dessie O’Hare has been rehabilitated, has served his punishment and would not pose any threat to people when he gets out, so any further detention of Dessie O’Hare would be purely vindictive. He should be released soon.”
Msgr Faul also criticised the way certain sections of the media have treated Mr O’Hare’s case.
“The Dublin media should leave him alone and in my view he should be left to get on with his life along with his wife and two children,” said the parish priest of Carrickmore, Co Tyrone.
“The man has been in jail for all these years and the prison authorities are in favour of his release. There are other clergymen that have been to visit him and they also believe that he should be released.”
Msgr Faul added: “Family circumstances and the fact that his wife has been ill means that he should be allowed out.”
From Keady, Co Armagh Mr O’Hare was a member of the IRA before defecting to the INLA.
In December 2002 he was transferred from the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, Co Laois to the lower security Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon, and put on a pre-release programme. He has been freed on 15 to 20 temporary paroles over the past three years as part of that programme.
Eddie McGarrigle, a director of Teach na Fáilte, a group that provides support for republican socialist ex-prisoners and their families, has been spearheading the campaign to have Mr O’Hare released.
Mr McGarrigle, who is also on the Ard Comhairle of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP), said: “The background to the situation is that the Prison Service have basically washed their hands of Dessie and say that it is up to Michael McDowell when he gets released.
“Michael McDowell agreed to release Dessie in April and the prison service is now saying that the decision lies with the minister.”
Mr McGarrigle, who has been working closely with Mr O’Hare’s family as part of the campaign to have him released, described their anguish as they await Mr O’Hare’s release.
“They have been put under serious mental torture and mental anguish as they have been waiting for three years for his release,” he added.
No-one from the Department of Justice was available for comment yesterday.

Remembering the Past - The Funeral of O'Donovan Rossa

An Phoblacht

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Click to view - The landmark funeral of O'Dovovan Rossa

By Shane Mac Thomais

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa died in the USA on 29 June 1915 an unrepentant Fenian to the last. His widow, a Fenian herself, was determined that he should lie in Irish soil, and obtained, after a short struggle, permission for him to be taken back.

When Tom Clarke received news from John Devoy in America concerning the passing of O'Donovan Rossa he saw the potential support that could be aroused in the Irish people for republicanism and replied by telegram to Devoy


Tom Clarke immediately set about organising a funeral committee that was to include some of the men and women who were to become household names in the coming struggle for Irish Independence. Chief Marshall for the funeral was Tomás MacDonagh, who was to work very closely with Tom Clarke on the plans for the procession to Glasnevin. The Labour Movement was represented by James Connolly, William O'Brien and Richard O'Carroll. Sinn Féin founder Arthur Griffith sat on the Committee alongside Joe McGuinness, Constance Markievicz, Major John Macbride, Cathal Bugha, Sceilig, Edward Daly, Brian O'Higgins and Eamon DeValera.

The committee had a tragic but glorious destiny. Of the members who, within less than a year, would no longer be around — MacDonagh, Connolly, Clarke, MacBride, Daly were all executed by the British in Kilmainham Jail. Councillor Richard O'Carroll was brutally murdered by British soldiers who shot him on the streets of Dublin after he had surrendered during the Rising. In 1922 two more Rossa Committee members would pass, Arthur Griffith and Cathal Brugha.

The remains of O'Donovan Rossa arrived in Dublin a few days before the funeral and lay in state at City Hall next to Dublin Castle, the symbol of British imperial interests in Ireland. A Guard of Honour of Irish Volunteers surrounded the coffin, and thousands came to pay their respects

On the day of the funeral, special trains came to Dublin from all over the country and the funeral cortege was a grand affair with pipe bands and armed units of the Irish Volunteers and the Citizen Army following the hearse and the mourning coach.

Crowds thronged the streets. At Glasnevin it is reported that some 70,000 managed to get within earshot. After the Funeral Mass said by the republican priest Father O'Flanagan, the only speaker was Pádraig Mac Piarais, dressed in the uniform of the Irish Volunteers. Pearse took the opportunity to develop a sense of identification with the Fenian and explained why he was chosen to speak:

"If there is anything that makes it fitting that I rather than another, I rather than one of the gray-haired men who were young with him and shared in his labour and in his suffering, should speak here, it is perhaps that I may be taken as speaking on behalf of a new generation that has been re-baptised in the Fenian faith and that has accepted the responsibility of carrying out the Fenian programme."

He praised Rossa and his fellow Fenians buried at Glasnevin. The following are the famous closing words from that great speech:

"Our foes are strong and wise and wary; but, strong and wise and wary as they are, they cannot undo the miracles of God who ripens in the hearts of young men the seeds sown by the young men of a former generation. And the seeds sown by the young men of '65 and '67 are coming to their miraculous ripening today. Rulers and Defenders of the Realm had need to be wary if they would guard against such processes. Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations. The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but, the fools, the fools, the fools! — They have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace."

As the old Fenian was laid to rest in the country of his birth, a country he had spent his life fighting for, a new dawn had risen on a fresh generation of the Fenian tradition.

A just solution is the way out of conflict - Leila Khaled

An Phoblacht

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Click to view - Leila Khaled speaking in Ireland

Iconic figure of the Palestinian struggle, and member of the Palestinian National Council, Leila Khaled was in Ireland last week at the invitation of Féile An Phobail at which she was scheduled to speak. However, having been refused a visa by the British Government to enter the Six Counties, she was confined to the 26 Counties where she addressed public meetings in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Leila did eventually manage to speak to people at the Belfast Féile, thanks to a video link.

During her trip Leila, who lives in exile in Amman, Jordan, gave a fascinating interview with An Phoblacht detailing her life in struggle and the prospects of a resolution of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

An Phoblacht: How do you remember your childhood?

Leila Khaled: We were forced to leave our country in 1948. Those who arrived said the arrival of the Jews to Palestine was the "promise of God" becoming truth. When I was young in Palestine I kept asking why God did something like that to us. How it was that God promised land to some people and not to others. In exile, while we were living in a very miserable situation, we tried to better our lives as a way to come back to Palestine. Palestinians were at the time dependent on UN aid, clothing and food.

Children always remember the details of their lives and it affects their personality in the future. As for all Palestinians, and I am one of them, we were always asking why we had to live in such a miserable situation and the answer that came from our parents was: "It is because you are outside Palestine." So, it was planted in our minds even when we were that young that we had to go back. We wanted to go back, but did not know how.

During our student years we would demonstrate every 15 May about the "disaster" for the Palestinians of the creation of Israel as a state.

How did your political activism begin?

In 1952, when Nasser took over in Egypt, the first thing he mentioned was the need for the restoration of Palestine, and to help Palestinians to go back. Also many of the Arab parties had in their programme that they supported the return of the Palestinians and the destruction of Israel.

Very early on we had the idea that we would be back to Palestine and that we would have our human rights like any other people. However, in 1967, Israel went to war and occupied all of historic Palestine, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai from Egypt. This all created a new phenomenon for the Palestinians. They had no one to help them, so they had to take their future in their hands. So, the Palestinian revolution was initiated outside Palestine, because since 1969 all patriots, all activists were put in jail, which meant that it was very difficult for any force to be strong enough to face the Israelis when they occupied Palestine.

The revolution was welcomed in the Arab world and we had the Algerian example to follow. The Algerians fought an armed struggle and gained their independence from France. It gave us some hope that we could do this ourselves.

However, the Israelis kept launching attacks against Palestinian military bases in Jordan and by 1970 we were driven out and we went to Lebanon. We needed time to reorganise but what happened was that Israel attacked us in 1972 in Lebanon. In 1973 it was the turn of the Lebanese Army. In 1975 there was a civil war in Lebanon and we were forced to take part in it. This war went on until 1978, when once again Israel invaded Lebanon and occupied Lebanon. Then 1982 marked the end for armed struggle, as Israel occupied Lebanon and Palestinian fighters had to leave for other countries. This created a depressing atmosphere for people in the diaspora. On the other hand, those in the occupied territories who had also gained the experience of resisting occupation were sent to jail in their thousands.

How did the Palestinians deal with this situation?

The Intifada broke out in Palestine in 1978. This was a defining point. It was a new stage of resistance with people going out in the streets facing the Israeli Army with the might of their weaponry. Many were killed, many were deported, many were put in jail, but the Intifada showed the real nature of Israel. Before that, Israel was considered a democratic state in a region of dictatorships.

What about the role of women? In the West there is a belief that women are not allowed to take part as much as men in social or political life in the Middle East or in Arab countries. Is it that the reality in Palestine?

Generally, Palestinian women are examples for women in struggle around the world because women were involved since the beginning of the resistance to the occupation.

How is life in Palestine under Israel's occupation?

You have heard about the wall. We call it the Apartheid wall. It represents the political system. Although they say that we have to stop our resistance and to live in peace, we ask what kind of peace with a wall which took much of our land?, that cut the cities from each other, the people from each other. Although the International Court of Justice in the Hague reached a decision that this was an illegal wall that should be stopped, the Israeli response was to turn their back on the law and continue building the wall. From now until the end of September they will be surrounding Jerusalem, which will mean that Palestinians living in Jerusalem will be prevented from travelling to the West Bank without military permission, and those in the West Bank will not be able to travel to Jerusalem anymore.

Israel is banking on Palestinians accepting any solution, but this is not possible without addressing the question of the refugees. And I mean accepting the UN resolution that Palestinian refugees have the right to go back to their homeland. Then there is the question of the sovereignty of the land. We said that we accept that if Israel implements the UN resolution and accepts the return of the refugees, the second drive of the Palestinians is for self-determination and to establish their own state in Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital. Until now, Israel keeps denying these rights to Palestinians.

How is all this affecting those living in the occupied territories?

Have you ever heard in history of human beings being assassinated by planes, but in Israel? A bullet is all that is necessary to kill a human being. However, they carry out these assassinations against activists and leaders, and innocent people are killed because they happen to be walking the road near the target. There is not the same fuss as when a Palestinian kid goes and blows him or herself up in Israel. Why is it that if there is a bomb in Israel you hear that there are innocent Israelis killed or injured while the treatment of the Palestinian who get killed is different? We are talking about Palestinian children. All of you have seen the images of six-year-old Mohammed while he was hiding behind his father. His father was shot and he was killed. Israelis kill a lot of children, even while they are sitting in their school. In many of our schools there are pictures placed on chairs to mark the spot where the children were killed while attending class. This is another kind of punishment against Palestinians.

What about checkpoints? Imagine that in an area of less that 20,000 square kilometres there are more than 200 checkpoints. So if you want to travel from one place to another, it will take hours. So people, when they want to go to work need to leave two or three hours earlier because the Israelis will not allow them to pass. Many lose their jobs.

And then, the humiliation at the checkpoints is something else. They keep the people waiting under the sun. If someone complains, they get beaten up and abused in front of the others. Many women have lost their children at checkpoints. I knew this woman who lived in Nablus and she went into labour. Her husband and father accompanied her to hospital. The Israelis took her out of the car by herself, because they did not believe she was given birth, but that she had explosives. They killed her father and husband. She gave birth at the checkpoint. She was asking for help but the soldiers ignored her. In the morning, they allowed her to go to hospital. This is one of many stories. Many people die because soldiers do not allow them access to medical attention. Children going to school are forced to open their schoolbags at gunpoint, and we are witnessing many psychological problems in Palestinian schoolchildren.

During the last few years, thousands of houses have been demolished, which means that hundreds of families are now homeless. And that means not only the destruction of the house but also that people are not allowed to live in their own house, so they become destitute and have to live in relatives houses.

How has Palestinian struggle changed, if at all, since the death of Yasser Arafat?

I do not think that the struggle has changed because occupation is still there, it did not change. What has been added to the struggle is that PLO leadership is negotiating with the Israelis; this is the only thing that happened. Other than that, we have witnessed that after the Oslo Agreement, Israel is still practicing its policies of occupation and hostility to the Palestinians. And the Palestinians retaliated by defending themselves, by holding their guns again.

We witnessed how Arafat was pushed aside, although he was the one who signed the Oslo Accords. Previous to that there was an international conference in Madrid to discuss the situation in the region. The aim behind the gathering was to foster negotiations between Arab countries and Israel. They did not invite a Palestinian delegation to attend, but there were Palestinians as part of the Jordanian delegation. Then, they accepted that a Palestinian team could attend negotiations in Washington, but those negotiations did not go anywhere. The negotiations were called the "corridor negotiations" because the Israeli and Palestinian delegations did not agree upon the agenda, so they went out and spoke in the corridors. However, at the same time there were secret channels, and in 1993 it was clear there was an agreement in Oslo between Israeli and Palestinian, and accords were signed in the US. This brought the end to the first Intifada. It meant that the US wanted to restore the face of Israel as a democracy and that Israel wanted peace. But what we have witnessed in the last ten years is how Israel has re-occupied the towns and cities and how they have pulled out of the accords.

This is why Arafat refused to accept the withdrawal of the demand for Palestinian refugees to come back to Palestine and for Jerusalem to become the capital of a future Palestinian state. Any settlement that does not discuss these two issues will not come to any positive conclusion and will bring further bloodshed.

In every negotiation the United States has acted as a mediator, as an honest broker. Who else do you believe could play that role?

The honest peoples of the world, the peace loving people. And there are governments that support us. We are patient enough. We will work to raise awareness about our situation so we can get further international support.

There has been an evolution in our political ideas since the 1970s, as you admit that you now accept the right of the Israeli state to exist and the possibility of co-existing with it.

The only way out of this conflict is to find a just solution, and just solutions always will be permanent ones, unjust solutions will not stick. The just solution is that there is to be a democratic state in Palestine for all of us — Palestinians and Israelis.

Would you go back to a Haifa under Israeli rule today if you were allowed to?

Of course. Yes. Without any hesitation. It is my right to.

And do you think the majority of Palestinian would do likewise?

They would. If they were given the chance they would go back even if they have to live next to Israelis. Think that part of our people is still living in Israel now, and they hold Israeli passports. Of course, they are not treated equally to Israelis, but even so, at least they remain in the land. And this is very important for the identity. The Zionists wanted Israel to be a pure Jewish state and they denied the existence, the presence of Palestinians within its limits. Nowadays there are 1,200,000 Palestinians living within Israel, so they cannot be denied anymore.

Do you believe that there is still room for armed struggle in a post 9/11 world?

Armed struggle is not something that people take up willingly. We are obliged to hold arms. Now, whenever Israel stops its occupation, we will throw our arms away. It is only natural that where there is occupation there is resistance. We will not give our arms up until Israel goes out of Palestine. No one can blame us or judge us because we are holding our arms. Since 1967 and since 1948 Israel has turned its back on international law, violated our right to return to our land, to self-determination, to create our own state with Jerusalem as its capital. So, unless Israel recognises our rights and treats us accordingly, we will not stop our resistance.

How do you think the solution to the conflict could be achieved?

We are the ones looking for peace, because we are the ones who are not living in peace. We are the diaspora. We are not allowed to go back to our homeland. Although there is a United Nations resolution that calls upon Israel to accept the return of the Palestinians to their home and to their properties in territories occupied by Israel post 1948, as a condition that Israel will be accepted and recognised as a member of the UN. Unfortunately, according to the balance of forces, Israel was accepted as a member of the international community although refugees remain refugees.

We understand the balance of forces that made this possible but that does not mean we are going to quit our rights. That is why even Yasser Arafat, who signed the accords was not accepted by the Israelis or US administrations because they did not consider him as a good participant in their negotiations.

What can we do in support of the Palestinian cause?

We are asking people to get the facts of what is happening in Palestine. Then it is to extend their solidarity to Palestinian people. But we are also looking for justice. We would like a similar campaign to that that was run against the South African Government during the Apartheid regime, because that is what Israel is — an Apartheid government. They not only despise the Palestinians, but also those who were brought from Ethiopia, the Falashas, are not treated as equal citizens because they are black Jews. Is that not Apartheid even against its own people?

We believe it is time to punish Israel. It is time to pressurise that state to stop ignoring international law, to stop violating human rights, building the wall and expanding the settlements.

Israel does not accept any role for the European Union, but if there was a strong policy position, a strong attitude by the EU, Israel, which has many vested interests in the EU, will change. We are telling the EU, which was responsible for the building of much of the infrastructure in Palestine, to at least ask Israel to compensate for the destruction of it. But they would not do even that.

Three arrested in murder inquiry


Thomas Devlin had spent the evening playing computer games

The teenager who was killed as he walked home with friends in north Belfast was Thomas Devlin.

The 15-year-old boy had just bought sweets and was walking home along Somerton Road, when he was stabbed five times in the back.

A 16-year-old boy managed to escape - but an 18-year-old was also hurt, although not seriously.

Two men and a male juvenile have been arrested in connection with the teenager's death.

Thomas's parents said the whole family was devastated by what had happened.

They said the police had told them that they currently had no motive for the attack.

Thomas's mother, Penny Holloway, said her son was "a lovely, good-natured, bright and kind-hearted boy".

"For his life to be snuffed out like this is unbelievable. We're just devastated," she said.

Police cordoned off Somerton Road after the murder

Thomas, a student at Belfast Royal Academy, was a talented musician who played the horn at school.

He spent Wednesday night playing computer games at his home in the Somerton area.

One of his friends planned to stay over and they decided to go out for food but were attacked on the way home.

"It's come to something when a boy can't even walk up the street to his own home," she said.

It is understood that police officers were called to the area at about 2350 BST.

Parish priest Father Sean Emmerson said the boy's family was still in a state of shock.

"I was with them this morning, just on a pastoral visit and they are finding it very difficult to come to terms with it and, I suppose, they are just suffering from a total and absolute numbness at the moment," he said.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said the killing had stunned the local community.

'Casual violence'

Mr Dodds said: "The death of anyone in such circumstances is deplorable but it is particularly shocking when the victim is so young.

"The whole community will be shocked and appalled at what has happened and our sympathies go out to the family circle at this time."

Alban Maginness, SDLP assembly member for north Belfast, also said the murder was "deeply shocking".

"I think of the devastation that will come to his mother and father and the rest of the family. Everybody in this district will be shocked by it."

Detectives in North Queen Street have appealed for anyone with information to contact them at 028 9065 0222.

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