20 August 2005

Unionist Attacks Dossier

Sinn Féin

**This was published 2 days ago. Work has been interfering with posting. Apologies.

Download PDF
Published: 18 August, 2005

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Unionist views on paramilitary violence

"Catholic homes caught fire because they were loaded with petrol bombs; Catholic churches were attacked and burned because they were arsenals and priests handed out sub-machine guns to parishioners" Ian Paisley DUP Leader, 1968

"We should make it clear that force means death and fighting, and whoever gets in our way, whether Republicans or those sent by the British government, there would be killings," John Taylor UUP, Tobermore, October 1972

"There is in particular amongst the Catholic community now, increasing fear of paramilitary activities. And in a perverse way, this is something which may be helpful because they are now beginning to appreciate more clearly the fear that has existed within the Protestant community for the past 20 years." John Taylor UUP

"My men are ready to be recruited under the crown to destroy the vermin of the IRA. But if they refuse to recruit them, then we will have no other decision to make but to destroy the IRA ourselves!...We will exterminate the IRA!" Ian Paisley DUP leader, Nov. 1981

"If the British government force us down the road to a united Ireland we will fight to the death...This could come to hand to hand fighting in every street in Northern Ireland. We are on the verge of civil war...We are asking people to be ready for the worst and I will lead them." Ian Paisley 1985 Ulster Clubs Rally Larne

"Taxpayers money would be better spent on an incinerator and burning the whole lot of them. The priests should be thrown in and burned as well." DUP Cllr. George Seawright 1984

"Ulster Resistance is not for the faint or half hearted and we will use all means which are deemed necessary to defeat the Agreement." Ian Paisley, November 1986 Ulster Resistance Rally, Belfast

"The Orange Order is a very broad church and it's not my responsibility to say to people they can't be members of various organisations," Belfast County Grand Master Dawson Bailie, August 2000 when asked about Orange Order members involvement with unionist paramilitaries

"They are on our side. We might not agree with everything they do but they have been helpful to brethren in north and west Belfast, and continued to defend Orange Order refusal to talk to residents." Orange Order Belfast Deputy Grand Master McMurdie, July 2005, when asked about Orange Order links to unionist paramilitaries.


The following dossier details attacks carried out by unionist paramilitary gangs in the period since June 2005(As reported in the media). Although by no means comprehensive, due to the fact that so many attacks go unreported it offers a chilling picture of orchestrated sectarian intimidation, particularly in areas where there is a vulnerable nationalist minority.

Throughout this period it is very clearly established that unionist paramilitaries have been engaged in ongoing sectarian attacks on Catholics, their homes, churches and businesses in addition to the well publicised feud between the UVF and LVF.

This dossier will be sent to both the British and Irish Governments.

The response from unionist politicians to this ongoing campaign has been typical. They have continued to hide behind anti-republican rhetoric even after the historic statement from the IRA committing that organisation to peaceful and democratic programmes in the future.

They have failed to grasp the reality that the biggest threat to this process at this time comes from violent unionism.

It must be remembered that at a time when the DUP in particular are continuing to ignore the democratic mandate of Sinn Féin and are continuing to stall efforts to put the political process back on track, both they and the UUP sit on Forums and Commissions with the leaderships of the UDA, UVF and Red Hand Commando.

Sinn Féin is demanding that unionist political leaderships tackle the issue of unionist paramilitary violence. Pretending that it is a reaction to the IRA or that it is not happening at all is no longer tenable. Unionist parties need to prove to the broad nationalist community that they are serious about respecting basic rights and entitlements. That they are serious about treating people with equality in the future.

JUNE 2005

2nd June - Blast bombs thrown at two homes in Ahorey, Richill in a racist attack on Eastern European workers.

3rd June - Loyalist feud erupts in violence inside the Belfast court complex.

4th June - Two catholic owned cars set on fire and sectarian slogans daubed in East Belfast

4th June - 7 catholic homes in Coleraine attacked.

5th June - Names of Sinn Féin election workers posted on walls in Coleraine.

5th June - Pipe Bombs thrown at the homes of migrant workers in racist attack in Loughgall.

6th June - 27 year old attacked by masked gang wielding baseball bats in his Ballyclare home.

6th June - Car set on fire in racist attack in Loughgall.

7th June - Catholic homes and a car petrol bombed in Coleraine.

10th June - 56 year old woman attacked in her Ballymoney home and given 24 hours to leave.

16th June - 28 year old shot in Greenland Park, Lurgan.

16th June - Four masked men attack a man at his home in Ballyree Drive, Bangor.

17th June - Elderly catholic woman left hospitalised after attack on her Kerrera Street home in Ardoyne.

19th June - Two nationalists assaulted by loyalist mob in Ballymena

20th June - Three Catholic homes at Old Throne Park, North Belfast destroyed after sectarian arson attack. Eight children including a small baby lucky to escape alive.

22nd June - Ballymena man jailed after UVF gun running plot exposed.

23rd June - Arson attack on St. John's Catholic Church in Portadown.

28th June - 20 year old shot in the legs in Bangor.

28th June - Loyalist flags erected outside PSNI barracks in mixed Dunmurray village.

29th June - Loyalist flags erected in mixed Lisburn Road area.

29th June - Petrol bomb attack the home of a 19 year old woman, Braeside Grove, Castlereagh.

29th June - 17 year old shot, Carrickmannin Gardens, Bangor.

JULY 2005

1st July - Loyalist mob led by PUP member Billy McCaughey disrupt DPP meeting in Clough, Co.Antrim. SDLP Councillor force to be escorted from the meeting by the PSNI.

1st July - Jameson Lockhart shot dead by UVF, Newtownards Road, East Belfast.

5th July - Catholic homes on Mountpottinger Road Attacked by loyalist gang.

6th July - 30 year old shot, Carlingford Street, Creaggh Road.

9th July - Catholic home on the Crumlin Road firebombed.

10th July - Gun attack linked to the LVF on a home in the Silverstream Road area of North Belfast.

11th July - Craig McCausland shot dead by the UVF, Dhu Varren, North Belfast.

11th July - Man forced to flee home in Woodvale Pass as masked and armed gang burst in.

11th July Man shot and seriously injured on the Crumlin Road in an attacked linked to the LVF.

11th July - Catholic woman forced to flee her Ahoghill home after 50 years due to attacks.

11th July - Catholic taxi driver and passengers attacked in Blacks Road area of West Belfast.

11th July - PSNI patrol attacked in East Belfast and weapon stolen.

11th July - Business premises on Creaggh Road burned down in arson attack.

11th July - UVF firing party appear at Belfast City Council backed bonfire on the Newtownards Road.

11th July - UDA firing party appear at bonfire in the Westlands area.

11th July - Harryville Church in Ballymena daubed with sectarian slogans.

11th July - Attempt to abduct nationalist in Portstewart.

12th July - UVF and UDA figures join Orange Parade through Ardoyne, Mountainview and the Dales in North Belfast.

12th July - Loyalist protest outside St. Matthews Catholic Church, East Belfast.

12th Nationalist residents in Lower Ormeau attacked by stone throwing loyalists taking part in

12th parade.

13th July - Catholic homes in Clandeboye Gardens in the Short Strand area attacked.

15th July - Sinn Féin member in Coleraine told of threat to his life.

15th July - Four nationalists in Coleraine told of unionist paramilitary threat to their lives

16th July - Petrol Bomb attack on the Diamond Bar, Ahoghill, Co. Antrim

16th July - Blast bomb explodes inside Catholic woman‚s home, Mountainview Gardens.

16th July - Catholic homes in the Short Strand once again come under attack.

17th July - Blast bomb thrown into a house at Schomberg Court, Carrickfergus.

17th July - Three nationalist homes in Coleraine attacked

18th July - UVF carry out gun attack on house at Victoria Road, East Belfast.

20th July - Shots fired at house in Avonorr Drive, East Belfast.

20th July - Woman in Coleraine has home petrol bombed

21st July - Petrol Bomb attack on Half Way House bar in Broughshane, Co.Antrim

23rd July - Sectarian slogans daubed on Catholic properties in Garvagh, Co.Derry.

23rd July - Several nationalists in Dunloy Co. Antrim visited by the PSNI and warned that they are under threat from unionist paramilitaries.

23rd July - Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne petrol bombed.

23rd July - Device left on Dublin rail line to disrupt travel to the GAA Ulster Final in Dublin.

24th July - Man in his 40s shot in the Shankill Road area.

25th July - Hundreds of UVF members invade Garnerville estate in the East Belfast and force LVF linked families to flee in full view of the PSNI and British Army.

25th July - Taxi Depot in the Ballysillan area destroyed in arson attack linked to loyalist feud.

25th July - Leading republican Martin Meehan advised by the PSNI that his life is under threat from unionist paramilitaries.

25th July - Another paint bomb attack on Harryville Church in Ballymena.

25th July - Two men shot in Tynedale Grove in North Belfast.

26th July - Two Catholic churches in Ballymena attacked.

26th July - Catholic owned bar in Martinstown, Co. Antrim firebombed.

26th July - Catholic owned bar in Rasharkin, Co. Antrim firebombed.

26th July - 10 shots fired at a house in Station Road, Newtownabby.

26th July - A woman and two children escape after petrol bomb attack on their home in Silverstream Gardens.

27th July - Nationalist home in Coleraine has windows broken

30th July - Stephen Paul shot dead by the UVF Wheatfield Crescent, North Belfast.

31st July - UDA linked to the shooting of a 38 year old in the Westland area.


1st August - PSNI Attacked by loyalist gang Palmer Street in the Woodvale area.

1st August - Bomb left outside home in Knockeen Crescent, Ballymena.

1st August - Shots fired into a house in Randalstown, Co. Antrim.

1st August - Petrol bomb attack on Catholic home in Laurel Park, Ahoghill.

2nd August - Petrol Bomb attack on home at Redwood, Dunmurry.

4th August - Loyalist paramilitaries orchestrate riot on the Crumlin Road in North Belfast.

5th August - Further rioting on the Crumlin Road.

6th August - Catholic man attacked in Coleraine shop

7th August - Man shot seriously injured Glenside Park. Victim believed to be leading LVF figure.

7th August - Device left at Brookfield Mill, North Belfast

8th August - Three houses in Cloughmills, Co.Antrim attacked with pipe bombs

9th August - Fire Blankets issues to Catholic families in Ahoghill, Co. Antrim

9th August - The Banbridge Home of Sinn Féin Councillor Dessie Ward petrol bombed.

9th August - Harryville Catholic Church in Ballymena paint bombed.

9th August - Catholic home in Ballymena has windows smashed.

9th August - Masked loyalist protesters are joined by DUP politicians for illegal protest in Ballymena.

10th August - St. Patrick‚s Catholic Church in Lisburn daubed with sectarian slogans

10th August - 15 year old Thomas Devlin murdered in North Belfast attack, attributed in the media to the UVF.

12th August - Catholic homes in the Waterside area of Derry attacked.

12th August - Leading LVF figure Gordon Hutchinson shot and seriously injured in Lurgan.

12th August - Two flats in Rathcoole come under pipe bomb attack

12 August - Pipe bomb left outside republican home in Beechmount Ave, West Belfast

13th August - 30 year old shot in the legs in Newtownabby

14th August - Newsagents shop on the Antrim Road in Belfast set fire in arson attack.

14th August - 15 year old tied to a lamp post and covered in paint on the Donegal Road

15th August - Catholic home in Kilrea attacked

15th August - Catholic home in Ahoghill, Co.Antrim paint bombed

15th August - Michael Greene an LVF associate shot dead in the Sandy Row area of South Belfast

16th August - St. Josephs Catholic Primary School, Ahoghill paint bombed

16th August - St. Mary's Catholic Church, Ahoghill paint bombed

16th August - Pipe bomb left outside home, Windslow, Carrickfergus

Dempsey should ask his pals in Shell to lift the injunction against the Rossport 5 - Ó Snodaigh

Sinn Féin

Published: 19 August, 2005

Speaking at a protest in Co. Meath this evening Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has called on the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Rasources Noel Dempsey to ask his "pals" in Shell to lift the injunction against the Rossport 5 and allow them to return to their families. Deputy Ó Snodaigh also scathed Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and his brother on Mayo County Council describing their roll in the Rossport case as "disgraceful."

He said, "What we are calling for today is for the 5 men who are languishing in jail for the last 52 days for standing up for their rights to be immediately released.

"Our focus today is the Minister Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey, a local TD and somebody who is obviously very friendly with Shell. Hasn't he and his party given away the family silver -- our gas reserves, our natural resources -- to them. Obviously you would only do that to somebody you really liked or got on with. There is no other logic to the sweetheart deal, which the minister offered Shell, again, last week by issuing them Exploration Licences in the North East Rockall Basin. This was right in the middle of questions being raised about previous deals and licences.

"Now since Minister Dempsey and Fianna Fáil get on so well with Shell, why don't they ask their pals to lift the injunction against the 5 Rossport men. For once in their infamous life, maybe Shell will respect the human rights of people who happened to be in the way of their greed for profit.

"Lift the injunction. Let the men who were preventing Shell from continuing their illegal pipe-laying, go free and reunite them with their families. In other jurisdictions people who prevent illegal acts are praised or even rewarded. In this state they are interned."

The Dublin South Central TD concluded by saying, "What of Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and his brother on Mayo County Council. Their role so far is disgraceful. They don't even have the balls to stand up and be counted, for or against. They want to avoid the issue while their constituents are spending their 53rd day in prison for no crime. Maybe it is that he remembers the role of Fine Gael Minister Michael Lowry in granting shell the licences in the first place nearly 10 years ago." ENDS

Storytellers to spin tales on the rails

Irish Examiner

Neans McSweeney, South East Correspondent
20 August 2005

STORYTELLERS from across Ireland will be spinning their yarns and shortening train journeys for commuters today as they convene for a celebration of an age-old Irish tradition.
This morning over 40 of the country’s best storytellers will make their way by rail to the National Museum at Collins Barracks in Dublin for the biggest ever gathering of storytellers.

They will share their yarns with passengers on trains from Cork, Waterford, Wexford, Derry, Belfast and on the DART from Bray and Howth.

On arrival in the city centre the tellers will move on to The National Museum by Luas, with more Tales on the Rails, all to celebrate the launch of Storytellers of Ireland/Aos Scéal Éireann’s Irish Storytelling Handbook.

Waterford woman Anne Farrell is among those who will entertain and will travel on the Dublin train out of Waterford this morning, telling stories to passengers as she goes.

“I’ve been a storyteller from childhood,” Anne explained. “We always had stories in our house. We had a shanty house in Glenmore. It was a drop-in house for people who could play music, chat, dance and enjoy a bit to eat.

“My two sons are very good at it now too. Stories just come to us. I write my own and love to read the work of others. A lot of the best stories come out of nowhere. Like other storytellers, I get great enjoyment out of it.

“We’re leaving Waterford just before 11am and will probably get a few odd looks on the journey. We’ll tell stories as they arise and make contact with as many people as possible.”

When the storytellers converge on Dublin, a very special afternoon is in store for all as the museum erupts with storytelling.

There will be stories tall and short, true and not so true at various locations in the museum and no doubt lots of impromptu telling.

Its going to be a great gathering, according to Liz Weir, chair of Storytellers of Ireland.

“Tales on the rails will be a day out with a difference for all the family and with so many tellers gathered in the one place we’ll need lots of listeners,” she said.

Storytellers of Ireland/Aos Scéal Éireann was established in 2003 to promote and foster the rich tradition of storytelling on the island as a whole.

State to assist any bid to extradite Colombia Three

Irish Examiner


Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent
20 August 2005

THE Government vowed last night to assist any bid to ship the Colombia Three back to South America.
The comments by Foreign Affairs Minister of State Conor Lenihan came as the trio remained at liberty as gardaí moved to send files on them to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

But legal experts queried the Government’s “grandstanding” stance, pointing out there was no extradition treaty between the Republic and Colombia and little confidence in that country’s legal system.

Mr Lenihan again pledged Ireland will “meet its international obligations” in relation to the three Irishmen convicted of training FARC rebels.

The lack of a formal treaty means an extradition request would be referred to the Irish courts, the minister said.

The remarks drew derision from Aisling Reigy of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

“I understand the Government wants to look as if it is doing all it can, but the reality is there is little confidence in the Colombian legal system and I think it is very unlikely an Irish court would allow extradition,” she said.

The comments came as Sinn Féin rejected claims the appearance of Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan at separate garda stations on Thursday was a publicity stunt.

Connolly was questioned in connection with the use of a false Irish passport but was released without charge at midnight.

Monaghan and McCauley, who travelled in Colombia on forged British passports, were interviewed voluntarily and left different garda stations after about six hours of questioning.

The Colombian authorities have called for all three men to be returned to that country to serve their prison sentences, but have yet to formally request extradition.

Mr Lenihan said the return to Ireland of the men had been unhelpful to efforts to restore devolution in the North.

He added the Government did not have any advance knowledge of the trio’s return nor did the issue arise in any discussions with Sinn Féin.

The three men fled Colombia last December after being sentenced to 17 years each for training FARC rebels.

Public want M3 to steer clear of Tara

Irish Examiner

Louise Hogan
20 August 2005

OVER 70% of people want the controversial M3 motorway rerouted away from the ancient seat of the high kings of Ireland, according to a new survey.
Environmental campaigner Vincent Salafia insisted it would be possible for the state to choose a viable alternative route to steer traffic far away from the Hill of Tara in Co Meath.

“The people of Ireland want Tara protected. This alternative offers the best compromise solution and I am seeking support for it from all political parties. Tara is too important to be a political football It should be a UNESCO Word Heritage site,” he said.

Campaigners have been disputing a 14 kilometre section of the planned 62km M3 motorway, which is scheduled to run alongside the former seat of the kings.

Mr Salafia said the results of a recent national survey by Red C Research had shown that 70% of people surveyed want the M3

motorway rerouted away from the site. The campaigner said the contingency engineering plan would offer a legally, economically and environmentally advantageous solution to the current route.

He said the new route between Navan and Dunshaughlin would be up to 2.5km shorter and would end any costly and lengthy legal disputes.

Protesters gathered at the toll booths on the M50 yesterday claiming the Government was trying to push a destructive and wasteful motorway through the scenic area. A leaflet handed out to motorway travellers stated: “The only people who will benefit from the construction of the M3 are the toll road operators and property speculators.”

The Eurolink consortium involving Spanish construction firm Cintra and the Irish group SIAC was recently announced as the preferred bidder to build the 600 million M3 motorway between Clonee and Kells.

Mr Salafia said legal advice is being sought as to whether they could also be held liable for any damage of the historic site as a co-developer of the project.

Meet the real John Doe - by Joe Baker


Joe Baker uncovers a Belfast hanging whose victim’s name resonates today

Police forces, emergency services, and morgues throughout the world are all familiar with the terminology John Doe (or the female version, Jane Doe). According to the English dictionary there is an entrance. John Doe has come to stand for and unidentified male and Jane Doe an unidentified female.


In Belfast there was really a person called John Doe but he is more remembered for the way he met his untimely end rather than the way he lived his life. It was this which brought the man with such a unique surname to the attention of those whose job it is to chronicle the history of Belfast.
A weaver by trade, he was caught up in the trade disputes which beset working class Belfast at the turn of the nineteenth century. A mill owner named Francis Johnston was eventually targeted by arsonists who tried to burn him out of his Mill Street home. He had been a large manufacturer in the area. The actual weaving was done in the workers’ own homes in the area around Millfield and Brown Square.


The weavers had organised a boycott between themselves and had taken an oath neither to weave a web for him or portion of a web, nor permit others to work for him.
It was alleged that he had given out work at lower prices than other employers at the time and so the argument soon developed in intensity. The intimidation of Johnston began with threatening letters, then on August 24, 1815, an unsuccessful attempt was made to burn him out.


Johnston took precautions against the striking weavers and had all his windows barred and sheeted with iron. In February yet another unsuccessful attempt was made to burn him out.
The Johnston’s large household consisting of Johnston himself, his wife, eight children, two maids and one manservant miraculously escaped injury. A firebomb had been thrown into the house which exploded, while the weavers opened fire into the house. Johnston did his best to defend his family and home. After several minutes the firing abated and the weavers scattered. The Johnston family were lucky to escape with their lives.


A town meeting the following day was held to discuss this outrage against the business community and a £2,000 reward was offered for the conviction of the offenders.
In today’s terms the reward would be equivalent to a quarter of a million pounds. Several men were subsequently arrested for the offence and were detained in Carrickfergus Gaol. One of them, James Dickson, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with 300 lashes. The other men were sentenced to be hanged on the September 18, 1816. Another man, William Gray turned ‘approver’ to save his own neck, and in return for his evidence was promised the reward.
On the first week of September the death sentence was duly carried out. Two married men with young families, John Doe and John Magill were brought along to Castle Place in Belfast. The exact location of the scaffold was at an open space opposite the Bank Buildings (Now occupied by Primark). Four clergymen were in attendance to the condemned men. The hangman was himself disguised by a crepe headmask. Large crowds, who thronged into Castle Place to witness this public execution, were held back by a platoon of soldiers. John Doe, who admitted that he was among the crowd which attacked the Johnston house, read aloud a passage from the New Testament professing his hope in his salvation and contrition for his offence.
Both men were left to hang before the crowd for around an hour before they were cut down. The bodies were placed in black cloth covered coffins with white mounting and were carried across the Long Bridge into County Down. They were subsequently buried in an unmarked grave in the Burial Ground at meeting House Green Knockbrachan, County Down. There is no existing evidence of what became of the Crown witness, William Gray or whether he got the £2,000 reward and no stone marks the grave of Doe or Magill who paid the ultimate price for their offence.

And so there we have it! Next time you hear the term John Doe remember that the name has a relative meaning in the annals of yesterday’s Belfast.

Cheering response to appeal for Ryan


A Poleglass mother is thrilled at the response of the West Belfast community to an Andersonstown News appeal for a much-needed wheelchair for her six-year-old son who suffers from Brittle Bone disease. Teresa Shannon believes that the appeal has already raised as much as £2,000 in cash, cheques and pledges since a story was run in last week’s Andersonstown News about brave Ryan.

And the happy mother is so moved by the generosity of the community that she says she cries and smiles every time she receives a donation. “I can’t stop smiling,” says Teresa, “It’s great. I’ve just been tears and smiles the whole time. I can’t get over just how generous everyone has been. I’d like to thank them from the bottom of my heart and so would Ryan. He thinks that he will be getting the wheelchair for his Christmas present.”

Readers moved by the front-page article set about donating money and organising fundraising nights. The largest single sum which Teresa has received so far is £200 from a businessman based in London. Other pledges have been made.

At present three fundraising nights have been organised between September and November. The Turf Lodge Tenants’ Association (known locally as the Green-Hut Club) will host a night of music and draws to raise money on September 17. Such has the interest been that the Shannon family have already run out of ballots, and are currently organising more. The West Club on the Falls Road is hosting a fundraising night on October 13 and the Twinbrook Social Club will hold another on the November 4.

Ryan was born with the debilitating disease that will confine him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He sustains injuries from everyday incidents – the first time he crawled as a toddler, he fractured his leg. In his short life, the bubbly child has endured the pain of 49 breaks to bones in his frail body.
The new wheelchair Ryan needs is called a Permobile Koala and it can be raised and lowered, which would provide him with a new level of independence. With these features, Ryan would be able to move from the wheelchair to the settee or his bed, activities he currently needs help with.

Unfortunately the wheelchair costs a whopping £9,000 and is not available from the NHS. Teresa is hoping to raise £10,000 in total to cover future repair costs as the warranty only lasts two years and the call-out fees for repair are £80.

Donations towards a wheelchair for Ryan would be greatly appreciated and can be made by contacting Teresa Shannon at 07767428915. If the current level of fundraising continues in West Belfast, Teresa is hoping that Ryan’s Christmas wish will come true.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

Joe Cahill unveiling


Milltown dedication and new cumann in Antrim

This Sunday one of West Belfast’s most renowned sons will be commemorated at a ceremony at Milltown Cemetery.

Veteran republican Joe Cahill, who died last July after a long illness, will have a monument dedicated to him at his grave.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News yesterday Dickie Glenholmes from the National Graves Association said that former comrades of Joe Cahill and his family came together to erect a tribute in his honour.

“A Celtic cross will be erected over Joe’s grave,” revealed Dickie.

“We are asking people to gather at the gates of Milltown at one o’clock where a guard of honour from the Roddy’s, led by a lone piper, will make their way to the unveiling at Joe’s grave.”

The tribute comes a week after a new Sinn Féin cumann in Ballycastle officially adopted their new name – that of noted republican and architect of the peace process, Joe Cahill. A generous donation has ensured the commissioning of a Joe Cahill cumann banner, which will be dedicated at a later date.

Guest speaker Martina Anderson, member of Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle, paid tribute to the outstanding work and commitment that saw the success of the Joe Cahill Cumann members in helping two Sinn Féin councillors, Cara McShane and Cathal Newcombe, win seats on Moyle District Council in Ballycastle town for the first time. This is just part of the republicans’ success story in the area as Moyle presently has its first Sinn Féin Chairman, Oliver McMullan, and in north Antrim the party secured eight seats, an increase of 300 per cent.

The family of Joe Cahill, including his wife Annie, travelled to Ballycastle to be part of the celebrations along with a number of Joe’s comrades including Des Kennedy, Dickie Glenholmes and Marie Moore. Paddy Dolan from NORAID also attended the function and family friend Frances Black sang a number of favourite songs. Jim McVeigh spoke of the esteem in which he held Joe and his gratitude to him for the invaluable assistance he gave him in the writing of his book, Tom Williams.

Paul O’Hara delivered a presentation of Joe Cahill’s nostalgic lecture at the Céad Bliain dinner held in Dublin shortly before his death.

Moyle councillor Cathal Newcombe was delighted at the success of the night. “Thanks must go to the generosity of the people of the town who made donations and all those involved who ensured that the night would long be remembered.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

When The Embers of Innocence Were Fanned Into The Flames of Fury


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

When I was a kid my mates and I always looked forward to the 15 August – the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, or Our Lady’s Day, as it was called. For weeks beforehand we would go out into the streets of Andersonstown (later, the Falls after I moved there in 1963) chanting, “Any oul wood for the bonfire!” We collected old furniture, tables and chairs, anything flammable, and would proudly compete with the next district to see who had the biggest bonfire.

In the run-up to the fifteenth the big lads would stay out until the early hours to prevent a raid or some sabotage by rivals. The ‘boneys’ were usually in a field or on waste ground and were lit before midnight so that the younger children could enjoy the spectacle. Families thronged around the flames and those who drank alcohol were in the minority and frowned upon. The occasion – though for the life of me I cannot imagine why, given that it was a holy day of obligation! – was also an annual rite for boys to try and get off with whatever local girl they fancied.

The tradition of the bonfire goes back to ancient times when the power of fire was thought to protect against the power of evil. Bonfires were subsequently lit to commemorate ancient festivals, including Samhain in the old Celtic calendar or Halloween. (That festival was also a time when fertility played an important factor in the future well-being of the community – so maybe that’s why we were kissing the girls!)

In Britain the tradition of Guy Fawkes-related bonfires came in response to celebrating the survival of the King in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605 with effigies of both Fawkes and the Pope later being burned on top. And, of course, some time after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 loyalists began commemorating King William of Orange’s victory over the Catholic King James II with Eleventh Night bonfires. Effigies of the Pope and Lundy (a Protestant ‘traitor’ during the Siege of Derry) were burnt on top, then petrol-soaked Tricolours became traditional, only to be joined in recent years by effigies of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.

In Belfast the tradition of bonfires celebrating the Feast of the Assumption lasted about one hundred years but came to an abrupt end in 1969. In the week running up to Our Lady’s Day in August 1969 there were disturbances throughout the North. The Battle of the Bogside raged in Derry, and on Thursday 14 August the pogroms against nationalist areas in Belfast resulted in eight civilian deaths, hundreds of homes being razed to the ground and thousands fleeing for their lives.

Celebration died and there were no bonfires in 1970 or 1971.

In response to the IRA campaign the British and Stormont governments introduced internment against republicans on 9August 1971. It was controversial (some of those detained were hooded for seven days and tortured), resulted in the deaths of twenty people in its first week, further alienated the nationalist population and boosted support for the IRA.

When the first anniversary of internment came around on 9 August 1972 bonfires were once again lit in nationalist areas across the North as an act of solidarity with the internees and to celebrate the fact that internment had failed and that resistance was ongoing. Thus, what had been a religious-inspired tradition became subsumed into a political tradition, even after internment was phased out in 1975.

The eve of each subsequent anniversary of 9 August was commemorated with bonfires but was an extremely tense occasion during which control of the streets, especially in West Belfast and Derry, was disputed between the locals and the British army and RUC. It was a time of rioting, plastic bullets and gun battles, often resulting in fatalities or serious injury. In the confrontations the local community lost out most, as the streets lay littered with burnt-out vehicles. Soot and dirt permeated homes, and deliveries and essential services were suspended.

Republican marches and rallies on 9 August were also banned but went ahead anyway. One rally in particular, outside Sinn Fein’s Andersonstown headquarters, was extensively covered by the press because Irish Northern Aid spokesperson from New York, Martin Galvin, was expected to defy a British government exclusion order.

When Galvin got up to speak the RUC, according to one BBC reporter, “ran riot”.

One man died and up to 20 others were injured, four seriously.

In 1988, after two plain-clothes soldiers were shot dead in Andersonstown after driving into an IRA funeral, the local community was demonised by politicians and the media. Secretary of State Peter Brooke referred to nationalists as the “terrorist community”.

Fearing more trouble around the anniversary of 9 August the MP for the area, Gerry Adams, set up a committee and founded Feile an Phobail (the West Belfast festival). Instead of bonfires local communities organised street parties, raised money to take children and pensioners away on day trips. It grew slowly until it became one of the largest community festivals in Europe, attracting thousands of overseas visitors and bringing much needed revenue into the area.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when driving down the Falls Road last week at the end of this year’s festival I saw a huge bonfire stacked on waste ground at the bottom of Divis Street. It was like a mirror image of an Eleventh Night bonfire except that it was bedecked with over a dozen Union Flags and Ulster Flags and was protected by gangs of youths.

This district – once an IRA no-go area to even the toughest of British army regiments – has, in the past few years, suffered at the hands of ‘hoods’ (juvenile delinquents) and joy-riders, with local people struggling to claw back ownership of their streets.

Increasingly, during the period of the IRA ceasefire, hoods in nationalist areas have been flexing their muscles, exploiting the policing vacuum and been bullying locals, including former republican prisoners. They know that the IRA is constrained from acting against them. If it does act then a major political issue arises, unionists and the two governments become involved and the Independent Monitoring Commission writes a report which results in Sinn Fein being penalised and excluded from the political process.

The hoods have become even more brazen since the IRA’s declaration of an end to the armed struggle. The PSNI cannot or do not pursue them (indeed, many believe that some members of the gangs act as ‘eyes and ears’ for the police who have little intelligence on republicans).

Upon inquiry, however, it turned out that those who had built the bonfire were not hoods but youths with no memory of the 9 August or the 15 August ‘Our Lady’s Day’ bonfires, who wanted a bit more ‘excitement’ than feile had to offer. However, their bonfire night descended into what one letter writer to a local newspaper described as “a slum circus”, with youths running around drunk into the early hours, urinating in public and being abusive.

Sinn Fein opposed the bonfire, fearing it would lead to trouble, and said it hoped that “it was the last bonfire we will have in West Belfast.”

Had that been said to my mates and I when we were ten years old we would have protested, “Never! Never! Never!”

But circumstances and times change and I too never want to see a bonfire again.

McCord murder bid claim

Daily Ireland


A Belfast man who has waged an eight-year campaign to bring his son’s loyalist killers to justice was the subject of an attempted murder bid on Thursday, Daily Ireland can reveal.
The Ulster Volunteer Force, whose members beat Raymond McCord Jnr to death in 1997, planned to kill his father, Raymond McCord Snr, in the Tiger’s Bay area of north Belfast.
Mr McCord, an outspoken critic of the UVF, was on his way to visit a relative in the staunchly loyalist district.
However, he received a phone call warning him that two UVF men were cruising the area on a motorcycle.
One of those on the motorcycle was the paramilitary boss he claims murdered his son.
The man, from Newtownabbey on the outskirts of north Belfast, was also allegedly involved in the attempted murder of leading loyalist Lawrence ‘Duffer’ Kincaid at the end of July.
Mr McCord says that he has been targeted four times by the UVF in the last two weeks.
He has also been told by the PSNI that he is on a UVF death list.
He is convinced the organisation, which is currently involved in a bitter dispute with the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force, will use the current ongoing feud as an excuse to murder him.
Since July 1 the UVF has killed four men, Jameson Lockhart, Craig McCausland, Stephen Paul and Mick Green.
None of the men were in the LVF, although Mr Lockhart and Mr Paul had LVF connections.
Mr McCord believes he is in more danger now than he has ever been.
He said: “The UVF has tried to kill me on a couple of occasions during the last week.
“The attempt on Thursday in Tiger’s Bay was probably their most focused effort.
“They don’t like how I stand up to them and how I am not afraid to say that they are a group of criminals, drug dealers and informers.”
At the end of the year respected human rights organisation British Irish Rights Watch (BIRW) is to publish a report into the murder of Raymond McCord Jnr.
The report will name the UVF informers involved in his killing and the RUC/PSNI Special Branch personnel who allowed the same informers to commit murders in return for providing information on the UVF.
The current head of the UVF is also named as a long time British army agent in the report which has been sent to the Police Ombudsman, Secretary of State, American Congress and European Parliament.
Mr McCord believes the UVF will step up its efforts to kill him once the BIRW document is published.
He added: “The UVF want me dead, in its eyes the quicker it gets rid of me the better.”
Later in the year, the Police Ombudsman's office will also publish its findings into allegations detectives did not properly investigate Raymond McCord Jnr’s murder.

Feud fears at Newry flute band march

Daily Ireland

By Connla Young

The mayor of Newry has moved to ease fears that the loyalist feud could spill onto the city’s streets. Newry and Mourne mayor Pat McGinn yesterday offered to meet the organisers of a loyalist parade scheduled to take place in Newry city next Friday.
Organised by the South Down Defenders Flute Band, the parade is expected to attract up to 2,000 participants and supporters as well as 40 bands affiliated to the Loyalist Volunteer Force and Ulster Volunteer Force.
Revelations that bands from both factions have been invited to take part in the parade have heightened anxiety that violence might flare between rival loyalists in the mainly nationalist city.
Daily Ireland has learned that Newry PSNI officers have expressed their “deep concern” at the paramilitary affiliation of some of the bands invited to take part in next Friday’s march.
It is understood that the PSNI is particularly concerned about the proposed attendance of several bands from the Mourne district.
A spokesperson for the Parades Commission last night confirmed that the PSNI’s concerns had not been passed on to the parades body during the determination process.
As revealed in yesterday’s Daily Ireland, Parades Commission chiefs have given the parade the go-ahead, although it has been banned from going past the city’s war memorial.
Mayor Pat McGinn said he was willing to meet loyalists from the south Down area to help ease local fears.
“I have been in touch with the Parades Commission to express my concern about this parade,” he said. “I made them aware that I am happy to meet the organisers of this parade in an effort help alleviate any concerns or fears people in Newry and Mourne might have.”
Sinn Féin councillor Charlie Casey said the parade would cause inconvenience for locals. “Newry and its community will be dominated by this type of sectarian bitterness for four to five hours and it is common knowledge that many of these bands had different allegiances to the various LVF and UVF factions involved in the ongoing feud,” he said.
Newry SDLP councillor Frank Feeley appealed for calm ahead of the parade.
“There would be a worry if these bands are taking part in the parade. They should not be allowed in. We have been given assurances in the past and I hope these still stand. Newry doesn’t want sectarian trouble or fights between loyalists,” he said. A PSNI spokesperson said the force was aware of the bands taking part in the parade.
“This parade will be policed accordingly,” said the representative.

Omagh evidence move is rejected

Belfast Telegraph

Application can be made at committal hearing

20 August 2005

A BID to stop vital forensic evidence being given against the man accused of murdering 29 people in the Omagh bombing has been rejected in court.

Sean Hoey, a 35-year-old electrician, from Molly Road, Jonesborough, south Armagh, faces 61 terrorist and explosives charges including the Real IRA bombing in Omagh seven years ago.

A committal hearing is due to start on August 30 but at Belfast Magistrates' Court yesterday Hoey's solicitor Peter Corrigan applied to have the evidence of a forensic scientist declared inadmissible.

Mr Corrigan said the extent of the scientist's evidence was that he had found similarities between the Omagh bomb and other devices with which Hoey was charged.

"His evidence is that possibly the same person constructed all the devices and that is not evidence," said Mr Corrigan.

"It is so blatantly prejudicial that it should not be admitted at the committal hearing."

Crown counsel Ciaran Murphy submitted that the proper forum to make such an application was the committal hearing when the disputed evidence could be considered in the context of all the evidence.

He added that a week had been set aside for the committal hearing and the examining magistrate had been supplied with a synopsis of all the evidence, including the forensic statements.

Resident Magistrate Philip Mateer ruled that the committal hearing was the proper place for the defence to make their application and he remanded Hoey in custody.

The hearing yesterday was conducted by video link with Maghaberry Prison but the court was told that he will be brought to court for the committal hearing.

Hain 'must act on UVF ceasefire'


Mark Durkan said the issue of the UVF ceasefire has been ignored

SDLP leader Mark Durkan has accused Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain of acting with "indifference" towards the UVF ceasefire.

Mr Durkan told BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Politics programme, the government must "stop pretending" that the loyalist ceasefire was intact.

Mr Durkan said that Mr Hain must take action on the issue.

"What worries me is that we have the British government evading the issue of the UVF's ceasefire," he said.

"The secretary of state (is) almost shrugging his shoulders and saying we'll wait and see what the IMC (Independent Monitoring Commission) say in October.

"It is the secretary of state and the secretary of state alone who has the responsibility in terms of specifying organisations and declaring on the status of ceasefires, and appearing to treat murders and other criminal activities from the UVF as though it was par for the course in the peace process is very dangerous," he said.

Alluding to the current feud between the paramilitary UVF and the rival LVF, Mr Durkan said he was concerned there was "an attitude in the NIO that this is maybe a cleaning up operation that's going on between loyalist paramilitaries" which could be a "prelude to something more positive advancing".

Mr Durkan added: "That is a very dangerous bit of cynicism and I would hope that is not the motive behind what appears to be indifference on the part of the secretary of state to the UVF ceasefire status."

The Independent Monitoring Commission was set up by the British and Irish governments in January 2004.

It is a crucial element in the two governments' plans for restoring devolution, which was suspended in October 2002 amid allegations of IRA intelligence gathering at Stormont.

Taxi driver injured in gun attack


A taxi driver has been injured in a gun attack in County Down.

The man was in his vehicle at Stirling Avenue, Newtownards, when he was shot at 0030 BST on Saturday. He is said to be in a stable condition in hospital.

An area close to the town's bus depot and a furniture shop car park have been cordoned off and are being examined.

It is understood police are looking at the possibility the shooting may be linked to the current loyalist feud, but other motives are being examined.

The feud between the Ulster Volunteer Force and Loyalist Volunteer Force has claimed four lives.

'Heinous crime'

Local people said they heard up to five shots, however, it is not known how many times the man was shot, or the extent of his injuries.

He is being treated at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

The vehicle is still at the scene of the shooting in the Westwinds estate.

Politicians said the town had been tense in recent weeks with a visible police and Army presence on the streets of Newtownards.

Strangford DUP MP Iris Robinson described it as a heinous crime.

She added: "This shooting is deplorable and must be condemned.

"There is no justification for this type of behaviour. Anyone who has information should assist the police."

Man arrested in teen murder probe


Thomas Devlin had spent the evening playing computer games

A man has been arrested by detectives investigating the murder of north Belfast schoolboy Thomas Devlin.

The 15-year-old was stabbed in the back five times as he and two friends walked home along the Somerton Road on 10 August after buying sweets.

Detectives staged a reconstruction of his final movements on Wednesday night, just hours after his funeral.

Last weekend, three people arrested in connection with the murder were released without charge.

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

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

Mickey Devine

1981 Irish Hungerstrikers

Died August 20th, 1981

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

A typical Derry lad

TWENTY-seven-year-old Micky Devine, from the Creggan in Derry city, was the third INLA Volunteer to join the H-Block hunger strike to the death.

Micky Devine took over as O/C of the INLA blanket men in March when the then O/C, Patsy O'Hara, joined the hunger strike but he retained this leadership post when he joined the hunger strike himself.

Known as 'Red Micky', his nickname stemmed from his ginger hair rather than his political complexion, although he was most definitely a republican socialist.

The story of Micky Devine is not one of a republican 'super-hero' but of a typical Derry lad whose family suffered all of the ills of sectarian and class discrimination inflicted upon the Catholic working-class of that city: poor housing, unemployment and lack of opportunity.

>>Read it

Michael Devine

Fallen Comrades of the IRSM

**Posted to group by Danielle Ni Dhighe. Click on above link for more photos

Fallen Comrades of the IRSM - Michael Devine
Died on Hunger Strike on 20 August 1981

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Michael James Devine was born on 26th May 1954 in Springtown, just outside of Derry city. He grew up in the Creggan area of Derry, where he was raised by his sister Margaret and her husband after both parents died unexpectedly when he was age 11.

Mickey was witness to the civil rights marches of the late 1960s in Derry in which civilians were often brutally attacked and the trauma of Bloody Sunday. In fact, Mickey himself was hospitalised twice because of police brutality. In the early 70s, Mickey joined the Labour Party and the Young Socialists. Then in 1975, Mickey helped form the INLA.

In 1976 he was arrested, and sentenced in 1977 to 12 years after an arms raid in County Donegal; he immediately joined the blanket protest. While on hunger strike an appeal to Irish workers he drafted was smuggled out of Long Kesh and it was this letter to Irish workers that was read at factory gates throughout Ireland.

Mickey was 60 days on hunger strike; he was the third INLA Volunteer to join the hunger strike and died at 7:50am on 20th August 1981.

He died as he lived: a Republican Socialist. Remember him with honour and pride.


It's hard to know what way to behave when a friend and a comrade is slowly dying on Hunger Strike just a few cells away, everyone of course tries to put on a brave face and act normal but both he and we know that it is only make believe. We've organized story telling and singsongs to keep up his morale, ours too, but it's hard, very hard. It won't be long now until he's taken away to join the other Hunger Strikers in the prison hospital and then?

Well it seems that only slow terrible death awaits them all. We try to shout words of encouragement but what can you say to a dying man. The screws for their part keep him as isolated from us as possible and go out of there way to taunt and belittle him, yet in their midst he, like his comrades is a giant. If they even had one ounce of their courage if even they had a spark of decency, decency from these who have tormented us all these years? Compassion from these who have made all this suffering necessary?

No, not even a friendly word, not even a word of sympathy during the long days and nights of agony but then neither he nor we expect it. We know only too well that these people have been put here to torment and persecute us and they have done their job well but not well enough. They have served their British masters, the poor pathetic fools, they think that inhumanity and cruelty can break us, haven't they learnt anything? It strengthens us, it drives us on for then more than ever we know that our cause is just.

Bobby Sands, Frank Hughes, Patsy O'Hara and Raymond McCreesh hunger for justice, they have suffered all the indignities that a tyrant can inflict yet still they fight back with their dying breath. Only a few yards from here, four human skeletons lay wasting away and still the fools the poor pathetic fools cannot break them. Even death will not extinguish the flames of resistance and this flame will without doubt engulf these who in their callousness and in greed have made all this necessary. Britain you will pay!

Michael Devine
Long Kesh, 1981



**Click on above link for large view of mural

Portrait of Mickey Devine, the final hunger striker to die, and a quotation:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

"I refuse to change to suit the people who oppress, torture or imprison me, who wish to dehumanise me…I have the spirit of freedom which cannot be quenched by the most horrendous treatment. Of course, I can be murdered, but I remain what I am - a political prisoner of war"


Random Ramblings from a Republican

INLA Volunteer Micky Devine

Michael Devine was born May 26th, 1954 on the former American army base, Springfield Camp, outside of Derry City. Unlike his comrades on hungerstrike, Micky did not come from a typically extended family. His father died when he was only 11 years old and his mother when he was a teenager. He grew up fast and fiercely nationalist.

>>Read it

Heavy security at loyalist parade


The parade took place in Rasharkin

A contentious loyalist band parade has passed off peacefully.

There was a heavy security presence in Rasharkin, County Antrim, for both the parade and a nationalist protest.

A group of nationalists staged a protest outside a pub in the town, which they claim was attacked by loyalists on Thursday night.

Sinn Fein said paramilitary flags had been displayed during the march, but unionists have blamed republicans for raising tensions in the village.

Sinn Fein's Phillip McGuigan said: "There is fear, there is tension, there is concern and it is all coming from people in this village.

"It is caused by a disgraceful decision that has allowed the village to be taken over by a heavy PSNI presence to allow loyalist bands to express sectarianism and triumphalism."

However, Mervyn Storey of the DUP said: "The majority of the law-abiding citizens of Rasharkin have no difficulty with the expression of a different faith.

"Remember, there are four Protestant churches in this village. The majority of the people in this village have no difficulty with this parade."

19 August 2005

Irishman to fight extradition from Spain


19 August 2005 15:25

An Irishman wanted by police in Germany in connection with an IRA bomb attack in 1989, is to fight extradition from Spain.

Leonard Hardy, 44, from Co Antrim, told the National Criminal Court in Madrid that he will resist Germany's legal attempts to have him extradited.

He is wanted by German police, who suspect him of involvement in a bomb attack at a British army base in Osnabruck.

Hardy has been ordered to the maximum security prison at Valdemora, just outside the Spanish capital, to await a full extradition hearing.

Unionist paramilitaries blamed on murder of 15-year-old

An Phoblacht

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Silence and inaction from unionist establishment

By Laura Friel

Senior PSNI personnel have refused to confirm the sectarian nature of the murder of a Belfast teenager last week, despite a growing belief in the city that the sickening attack was the work of UVF members.

Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Colin Sturgeon described the fatal stabbing as "totally random in nature" and said he had no reason to suspect a sectarian motive. Murder squad detectives were quoted as stressing there was "no evidence of a sectarian motive behind the attack", while British Secretary of State Peter Hain described the killing as a "brutal, appalling and apparently indiscriminate and motiveless attack".

Fifteen-year-old Thomas Devlin died after he was stabbed a number of times by at least three assailants as he walked home from a nearby garage on Wednesday 10 August. It was around 11.30pm. Fifteen minutes earlier the victim and two teenage friends had left Thomas home to walk the short distance to a shop at the local petrol station.

Thomas Devlin's parents, Penny Holloway and Jim Devlin described how the three friends had been playing computer games before leaving the house to buy sweets and soft drinks. The attack took place in Somerton Road, North Belfast just a few hundred yards from where the Devlin family lived.

Thomas was stabbed in the back five times. His 18-year-old friend was also stabbed in the back but a small pack bag is believed to have saved the second teenager from serious injury. A mobile phone call alerted Thomas's parents and they arrived at the scene within minutes.

An off-duty doctor and ambulance crew did their best to revive Thomas at the scene but he died a short time later in hospital.

The knife attack has been described as frenzied. The assailants are believed to have first encountered the three boys in the Fortwilliam service station before following them along Somerton Road towards Lansdowne Road. Surveillance cameras operating on the premises might provide identification evidence.

The men involved in the attack were apparently walking a dog. Minutes after the killing another young man walking in the area saw the three men, described as wearing hoodies‚ and the dog heading towards Lansdowne Road. "Look away or you'll get the same," one of the killers said to the man who was unaware of the stabbing.

There was no verbal altercation prior to the attack and the lack of verbal, sectarian abuse by the assailants appears to be the only factor behind the PSNI insistence that the killing was not sectarian. Curiously, despite labelling the killing as "random" and "motiveless"‚ the PSNI appeared in little doubt as to where to find possible suspects. Within 12 hours two men and a youth were arrested in the loyalist strongholds of Mount Vernon and Skegoneill.

The three suspects were held until Saturday night when all were released without charge. But one of the men questioned, a 22-year-old, was immediately re-arrested on a charge arising out of searches made in connection with the killing. He was charged with possession of ammunition. The charge has been described as "unrelated"‚ as if evidence of unionist paramilitary involvement bears no relevance to the murder of a young Catholic.

While the PSNI continue to insist that the killing of Thomas Devlin was not sectarian, loyalist sources from the nearby Mount Vernon Estate have said that unionist paramilitaries were involved and that the killing was sectarian. The sources have also told the media that the names of the killers are widely known.

A North Belfast man whose own son was murdered by the UVF has said there is no doubt that unionist paramilitaries were behind the murder. "The dogs in the street know who murdered that young boy," said Raymond McCord. "The police are saying it was not sectarian, but then why is it that one of those questioned and released about the murder was immediately arrested and charged with possession of ammunition?" he said.

The killing is being linked locally to the UVF. It has been claimed that one of the suspects was involved in a brutal punishment attack three weeks ago carried out on the orders of the Mount Vernon UVF.

The PSNI has also refused to comment on reports that a passing patrol may have stopped the murder gang prior to the killing.

"This attack bears all the hallmarks of a sectarian attack," said Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly. The North Belfast MLA called on the PSNI to come clean and acknowledge the sectarian nature of the killing. Kelly pointed out that none of the teenagers targeted had been robbed. "The area has witnessed a number of sectarian attacks in recent months which have been similar to this."

Cops didn’t check CCTV


Vital evidence in Michael Green murder wasn’t collected by PSNI

By Joe Nawaz

The PSNI failed to collect vital CCTV footage from cameras just yards from the scene of the murder of Ballysillan man Michael Green, the South Belfast News can reveal.

Father of three Mr Green was shot five times outside Gilpin’s Furniture Store on Monday morning by UVF gunmen as part of their ongoing feud with splinter group the Loyalist Volunteer Force.

The PSNI cordoned off Sandy Row on the day and interviewed shop owners along the main road but, according to a source, did not take CCTV footage from the Sandy Row community centre, just yards from the crime scene.

A spokesperson for the community centre revealed that Monday’s footage had since been deleted, in accordance with the centre’s policy.

Donna McCann explained how the footage was regularly wiped but in the case of Monday, it had been kept for an extra day.

“We normally erase our footage every 24 hours, but on Monday, as we couldn’t get access to the building because it was cordoned off, we had to do it the following day.”

Ms McCann said that police CID were in the process of interviewing staff at the centre but did not recollect that they had ever requested to view the CCTV tapes.

“I know that they have been interviewing everybody in the area this past week and they’re getting around to us today (Thursday) but I don’t remember whether they took or asked for CCTV footage,” she said.

This latest police oversight comes amid accusations of PSNI indifference to the bloody loyalist feud, which has already claimed four lives.

Earlier this month, there was widespread anger when PSNI officers stood by while 300 UVF thugs over ran Garnerville estate in East Belfast, with the aim of driving out alleged LVF members and their families who were living in the area.

Ulster Unionist MLA for South Belfast, Michael McGimpsey has been at the forefront of criticism against apparent police practice in relation to the current loyalist feud.

Although Mr McGimpsey refused to comment on any specific incident he did however say that police had been sending out the wrong message to paramilitaries.

“The message given to loyalist 'volunteers' is 'sort this out between yourselves', and now we have random murders as these organisations believe they can do as they wish,” Mr McGimpsey said.

A spokesperson for the PSNI refused to confirm whether the PSNI had requested footage from the Sandy Row community centre specifically, but added: “We have collected all available CCTV footage relating to the crime and this footage will form part of the ongoing investigation.”

Local MLA Alex Maskey said: “if this is true it will come as no surprise to nationalists, this is the same organisation that recently put loyalist violence in Aghohill down to personal disputes.”

Journalist:: Joe Nawaz

Border areas in need of a cash boost

Belfast Telegraph

By Michael McHugh
19 August 2005

The IRA's order to dump arms should prompt an end to the economic neglect of border areas, public representatives have said.

Large parts of the border region have been starved of outside investment due to security fears and a lack of proper infrastructure - but now the head of an influential cross-border lobby group says it is time for change.

The Irish Cross Border Area Network (ICBAN) promotes development and co-operation between ten cross-border counties from Donegal to Armagh and former chairman, Fergus McQuillan from Fermanagh, believes last month's IRA statement could prove the catalyst for much-needed investment in roads, public transport and other services.

He was echoing recent calls by the Bishop of Clogher, Dr Joseph Duffy, for an end to economic cross-border neglect after commitments made in the IRA statement.

"It is now time for people to focus on this issue of economic deprivation in the border areas and how we can bring about change," Mr McQuillan said.

"There are issues about public transport, how people travel to Derry or Belfast for health services or other amenities, the whole situation about provision for rural areas.

"We don't have the road structure here and they took away the railway line so we are under-provided for."

Mr McQuillan, who sits on Fermanagh District Council, said the tourist potential of the region had been neglected in the past but added now is the chance to exploit the area's many attractions. Councils west of the Bann have been lobbying central government about the state of the roads for some time and believe that they are discouraging investors.

The Government is dualling the link between Dungannon and Ballygawley and using 2+1 schemes to enable traffic to proceed more smoothly on other routes. Fermanagh public representatives are also alarmed at proposals which could see the local council amalgamated with other local authorities, arguing that this would dilute local representation.

A recent study by the Combat Poverty Agency in the Republic found the poverty rate in Donegal to be three times higher than Dublin.

Unionist paramilitary campaign continues

Sinn Féin

**McGuigan is assuming that unionist politicians are against Catholics being attacked or killed.

Published: 19 August, 2005

Sinn Féin Assembly member for North Antrim Philip McGuigan has said that there seems to be no end in sight to the anti-Catholic campaign being waged by the unionist paramilitaries in North Antrim. Mr McGuigan's comments come after a pipe bomb was left outside a home in Ballymena and a bar and house were attacked in Rasharkin.

Mr McGuigan said:

"Yesterday Sinn Féin appealed to unionist politicians who sit on forums and commissions with the leaders of the UVF and UDA to start using their influence to get these attacks stopped. This plea seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

"Last night the ongoing campaign continued with attacks on a bar and catholic owned home in Rasharkin and a pipe bomb left outside a house in Ballymena. Given the scale and nature of this campaign of violence and intimidation it is only a matter of time before somebody is killed. That is the reality.

"So I would repeat the call we made yesterday to the leadership of the DUP and UUP. What exactly are they talking to the UDA and UVF about on the Loyalist Commission. Is their engagement with the unionist paramilitaries simply about Orange Marches or are they now going to step up to the mark and make clear demands on these organisations to end this campaign." ENDS

McGuinness comments after Mo Mowlam death

Sinn Féin

Published: 19 August, 2005

Commenting after learning of the death of the former British Secretary of State Mo Mowlam Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness said:

"Mo Mowlam brought a unique energy to the search for a political settlement when she was first appointed after the 1997 British general election. She was an obvious departure from previous British Secretaries of State.

"She played a crucial role in the negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement and it is that Agreement which will be remembered as her political legacy here.

"We were of course always conscious of the fact that she was a British Minister and was at the mercy of the securocrats within the NIO system. There was of course occasions when we clashed, most notably when she caved into Orange Order threats and forced an Orange march along the Garvaghy Road in Portadown and when she authorised the bugging of a car used by Gerry Adams and myself during the negotiations.

"However Mo Mowlam will be remembered fondly by the vast majority of Irish people and I would extend my thoughts and sympathies to her husband John and the rest of her family at this time." ENDS

Risk-taker Mowlam played formative role in peace process


19/08/2005 - 08:44:29

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam died today in a hospice, a family spokesman said. Ms Mowlam, 55, who previously suffered a brain tumour had difficulties with her balance as a result of radiotherapy treatment. Earlier this month she fell and banged her head and never regained consciousness.

When Mo Mowlam became Northern Ireland Secretary, she may well have had her hero Winston Churchill in mind – and his declaration that history would be kind to him because he intended to write it.

Few would dispute Mo Mowlam made her mark in Northern Ireland.

During her two years in office she helped broker the Good Friday Agreement, and witnessed unionists and nationalists taking tentative steps towards power sharing.

Her reputation was that of a tough talker and a risk taker.

But like all Secretaries of State, her departure from Belfast was marked by criticisms and plaudits.

Before Mo Mowlam, Northern Ireland’s politics was overwhelmingly male.

Many of her admirers welcomed her touchy-feely style as a breath of fresh air in the North, and her ability to call things as she saw them.

But to others, mostly unionists, she was uncouth and ill-suited to the role of Secretary of State. Not that she would have cared.

Mo Mowlam arrived in Belfast in 1997 as Labour basked in its resounding general election victory.

She was familiar to many of the key players, having served as Labour’s spokeswoman on the North since 1994.

She also came to the North recovering from a brain tumour operation and having lost her hair during treatment.

Within days of being elected, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was in Belfast to offer Sinn Féin a place in talks if the IRA restored the ceasefire which collapsed in February 1996.

But if this was a signal Blair would adopt a hands-on approach to the North, it was also clear Ms Mowlam would not be relegated to a mere supporting role.

Within a week of assuming office, she was in Derry insisting her immediate priority was an IRA ceasefire, followed by talks.

It was not long before she felt the sharp end of both unionist and nationalist tongues on the thorny issue of the Protestant marching season.

As the North went to the polls for local government elections, she toured three parade hot spots – Drumcree in Portadown, the lower Ormeau in south Belfast and Dunloy in Co Antrim.

The move was condemned by Ulster Unionist MP Ken Maginnis, who claimed her meeting with nationalist residents’ leader Breandan Mac Cionnaith in Portadown had handed Sinn Féin a propaganda victory.

Within weeks, Mo Mowlam was criticised by Mr Mac Cionnaith, who accused her of “playing funny games” with residents after an Orange Order march was forced through the Garvaghy Road.

As riots broke out in nationalist areas, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams moved quickly, with one eye on the peace process, to calm the situation.

The reason became apparent just days later when republicans announced the restoration of the IRA ceasefire.

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble accused the British government of duplicity. But crucially, the UUP and loyalist parties remained at Stormont as Sinn Féin joined them. Only the Rev Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists and the UK Unionists walked out.

There would be many testing moments for Mo Mowlam in the negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement – not least when the INLA killed dissident loyalist Billy Wright.

The Loyalist Volunteer Force leader’s shooting in the Maze Prison in Christmas 1997 unleashed a wave of violence, with the Ulster Defence Association killing several Catholics.

UDA prisoners also voted overwhelmingly for their political wing, the Ulster Democratic Party, to pull out of the negotiations.

But in a brave bid to rescue the peace process, Ms Mowlam visited UDA inmates in the Maze Prison.

Faced by some of the North’s most notorious hardmen, such as Michael Stone and Johnny Adair, Ms Mowlam persuaded them to stay on board.

A Churchill quote may have inspired her move: “Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room!”

But to some unionists, another Churchill quote came to mind: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.”

During the talks, Ms Mowlam acquired a reputation for being blunt.

She was overheard telling Mr Adams at one meeting: “Bloody well get on and do it, otherwise I’ll head-butt you!”

With no regard to how others might perceive her, she would sometimes take her wig off during talks or even press conferences – not as a sympathy tactic but simply because her head was itchy.

One such episode occurred during a particularly combative meeting with some of loyalism’s most notorious hardmen. Observers said the loyalist delegation was left speechless.

Her lack of airs or graces sometimes threatened to cause a diplomatic incident.

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness recalls how she once walked in to the party’s room and noticed some lilies on the table – a republican symbol for commemorating those killed in the 1916 Easter Rising.

After asking what it was and remarking how nice it was, she left the office with a lily in her lapel.

McGuinness said she was fortunate to run into him as she left the office. “I told her to take it off, because if you are seen by any of the unionists, it’s going to cause a major international incident which could be severely to the detriment of this entire process,” he said.

“She said ‘Oops’ and took it off, wisely.”

Ms Mowlam would often break protocol while in the North, sending her Special Branch bodyguards out to buy her tights and lipstick.

She was also spotted wandering around Belfast city centre on unofficial walkabouts and the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim.

Her finest hour probably came with the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and its endorsement in referenda north and south.

The Real IRA’s Omagh bomb, which killed 29 people just months later, was undoubtedly a low point.

But her increasingly frosty relationship with unionism would ultimately be her undoing.

Her wisecrack that it was her mission to “civilise the Ulster male” did little to endear her to unionists.

In the days following the Good Friday Agreement her relationship with Mr Trimble deteriorated to such a point that senior UUP figures openly lobbied for her removal in a Cabinet reshuffle.

The most dramatic example of the breakdown in the relationship came in the months of political stagnation following the Good Friday Agreement.

In July 1999, following proposals from the Irish and British governments to break the deadlock in the peace process, she triggered a mechanism in the Northern Ireland Assembly aimed at setting up the power-sharing executive.

But Mr Trimble’s Ulster Unionists rejected the plan, and boycotted the nomination session.

Faced by empty Ulster Unionist benches, Sinn Féin and the SDLP went through the bizarre spectacle at Stormont of nominating ministers to an executive which would never come into being.

The standing ovation she received at the Labour conference in 2000, while clearly heartfelt by rank-and-file party activists, was reported to have unnerved Cabinet colleagues.

And when Peter Mandelson replaced her as Northern Ireland Secretary, reaction, as ever, was mixed in the North.

Then SDLP leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume described her contribution to the peace process as “outstanding“, while Ian Paisley said her term in office had been “a failure“.

Ms Mowlam simply shrugged off the praise and criticism.

As she faded from frontline politics, she maintained contact with friends in the North in politics, the civil service and journalism, and continued to visit as a keen advocate of integrated education for Catholic and Protestant schoolchildren.

She received many awards for her work during the formative years of the peace process, and earned the admiration of world leaders such as President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary.

And while she may have failed to win over the hearts of some hardliners in the North, she would have taken comfort from another Churchill quote: “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

'Colombia Three' men all released


Martin McCauley was interviewed at Kilmainham garda station

All of the Colombia Three, who were interviewed by detectives in Dublin after the trio secretly returned to Ireland, have been freed.

Niall Connolly was released without charge at about 0000 BST. It is believed he had been questioned about alleged passport offences.

Martin McCauley and James Monaghan earlier left police stations in Dublin.

The trio are wanted in Colombia where they have been sentenced to 17 years in jail for training Marxist rebels.

The men had presented themselves at garda stations voluntarily on Thursday.

Niall Connolly was held by police at Harcourt Terrace garda station. Martin McCauley was interviewed at Kilmainham garda station and James Monaghan at Terenure garda station.

They vanished in December 2004 while on bail pending an appeal and have since returned to the Republic of Ireland.

News of their return to the Republic of Ireland broke when Irish state broadcaster RTE interviewed James Monaghan at a secret location on 5 August.

Niall Connolly was interviewed at Harcourt Terrace garda station

It prompted speculation that their return had been part of a deal with the IRA and Sinn Fein, a claim which Taoiseach Bertie Ahern broke off from his holiday to deny.

Colombian vice-president Francisco Santos has said he wants the men extradited but said he did not rule out allowing them to serve their sentences in Ireland.

The trio, who had been accused of being IRA members, were arrested in Bogota in August 2001.

They were found guilty of travelling on false passports in June 2004, but were acquitted of training the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

That decision was reversed after an appeal by the Colombian attorney general and they were sentenced to 17-year terms.

PSNI ignored vital witness

Daily Ireland

Connla Young

A Catholic man caught up in the sectarian pogroms currently sweeping Co Antrim has been waiting almost five months to have a vital witness statement taken by the PSNI.
Paul Johnston, who was in the home of a nationalist family when it was attacked by loyalists in March, has criticised the PSNI for failing to fully investigate the current round of anti-Catholic attacks.
Mr Johnston, from North Antrim, was in the Brookfield Gardens home of Kathleen McCaughey in Ahoghill when it was targeted by loyalists. During a terrifying incident, two loyalists kicked down the Catholic woman’s front door and ordered her to leave within 48 hours. The grandmother eventually left the house on July 11 after being attacked on four subsequent occasions.
Mr Johnston, who was involved in a relationship with Mrs McCaughey’s daughter at the time of the March incident, said the PSNI failed to take a written statement from him despite his willingness to provide one.
“I gave them my details after the first incident and then gave a verbal account to the police,” he said.
“They said they would come back to me for a statement but I have never been contacted. They know who is doing this and to me their lack of action shows they are not interested in catching these people.”
Mr Johnston, who was also in the house on another occasion when it was petrol-bombed, said that until then he had no idea of the level of violence being directed towards nationalist residents in the area. He also dismissed nationalist support of the PSNI in the wake of the attacks.
“We are supposed to be equal now with a new police force but I can’t see who is going to support a new police force like that. The whole experience was very frightening, I had never come across anything like that before. I never saw such sectarianism; it’s not right. I have never been back in Ahoghill since. If I had known it was as bad as that I would not have been there in the first place.”
A spokesman for the PSNI said they were “unable to establish” if Mr Johnston’s statement was taken.
“If this man hasn’t been contacted by now and he wants to make contact he can do so with the duty inspector at Ballymena,” he added.
In the past month, two Catholic families have abandoned their homes in the unionist village of Ahoghill after a sustained campaign of intimidation.
On Tuesday, Pat and Patsy McGaughey vowed to leave the village when their “dream” home was targeted by loyalist paint bombers. A Catholic church and primary school as well as a Catholic-owned public house in the town have also been targeted by loyalists recently.
Yesterday the PSNI’s Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton sparked a furious response from nationalist representatives by claiming that the attacks in Ahoghill were not “purely sectarian”.
Ballymena Sinn Féin councillor Monica Digney criticised the senior policeman’s remarks.
“He must be the only man in Ireland that doesn’t believe these incidents are purely sectarian. The kerb stones in Ahoghill are painted the same colour as the paint thrown at houses. These attacks are sectarian and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.”
Ballymena SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan said he was baffled by the PSNI man’s remarks.
“I am not aware of anything that suggests this is not sectarian. Where Paul Leighton is coming from I don’t know.”


Irish American Information Service

08/18/05 18:05 EST

One of the Colombia Three has been arrested while the other two this evening left Garda stations after all three voluntarily met police today.

Niall Connolly is this evening still being questioned at Harcourt Terrace Garda Station after he was earlier arrested on a charge of obtaining a false passport.

Martin McCauley left Kilmainham Garda Station around an hour after James Monaghan left Terenure Garda Station. Neither made any comment.

A Garda spokesman said officers would be consulting with the Chief State attorney to decide on their course of action after the interviews were concluded.

It is understood the men were accompanied to the police stations by representatives of the Dublin-based legal firm Garrett Sheehan and Company.

According to a senior garda source, the three men are being questioned by members of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Special Detective Unit.

The source said that, since the men's arrival back in Ireland, detectives had been in continuing contact with their legal representatives.

The three men were arrested at Bogota's El Dorado Airport in August 2001 as they boarded an international flight.

Although Colombian prosecutors claimed they had used expertise allegedly gained in the IRA to train the left-wing rebel, group, Farc, the men claimed they were observing the peace process in the war-torn country.

The men surfaced in Ireland on August 5th when James Monaghan appeared in a television interview. He refused to reveal details of where they had been or how they got back into Ireland.

The Colombian government has demanded their extradition from Ireland but there is no agreement between the two countries on this action, and the Irish Government has said a decision is a matter for the courts.

The men were originally acquitted of the offence but a non-jury appeal court overturned the decision and ordered their rearrest.

The three left Colombia in secret, and some reports suggest they have been in Ireland for several months. However, Mr Monaghan said in his TV interview they had only returned a few days previously.

McCauley & Monaghan leave garda stations


18 August 2005 23:10

Two of the three Irishmen found guilty of training FARC rebels in Colombia have left separate garda stations in Dublin after presenting themselves voluntarily at the stations earlier today.

Martin McCauley left Kilmainham garda station and James Monaghan left Terenure garda station in the company of his solicitor.

Niall Connelly was arrested in connection with passport offences when he presented himself at Harcourt Terrace garda station.

His period of detention has now been extended and he can be held for a further six hours.

Gardaí have said that contact has also been ongoing with the legal representatives of the three men.

RTÉ News revealed earlier this month that the three men had returned to Ireland.

The three had been sentenced to 17 years in prison after an appeal court reversed their earlier acquittal on the charge of training the rebels.

The men have been on the run from the authorities in Colombia since December 2004 when they were released on bail awaiting the appeal decision.

An international arrest warrant was issued for the men who were also found guilty of travelling on false passports.

18 August 2005

Police question 'Colombia three'


The three republicans are being interviewed by gardai

The Irish police have confirmed they are interviewing the three republicans wanted in Colombia for training Marxist rebels.

James Monaghan, Martin McAuley and Niall Connolly, are currently being held in various police stations in Dublin.

They were sentenced to 17 years in jail in Colombia last year.

They vanished in December 2004 while on bail pending an appeal and have since returned to the Republic of Ireland.

An Irish police statement said: "An Garda Siochana can confirm that contact has been ongoing with the legal representatives of James Monaghan, Martin McAuley and Niall Connolly.

"At this time, all three of the above named are currently being interviewed at various garda stations in Dublin."

James Monaghan is understood to be at Terenure garda station in the south of the city, while other reports said another of the three was at Kilmainham station in the west of the city.

A garda spokesman would not say if the men were under arrest or were assisting police voluntarily, although unconfirmed reports said one of them had been arrested.

Caitriona Ruane of the Bring Them Home campaign said the men had made themselves available to talk to Irish police.

"They are not on the run," she said.

"Their wish now is to be allowed the time and space to get on with their lives and live in peace with their families here in Ireland."


News of their return broke when Irish state broadcaster RTE interviewed James Monaghan at a secret location on 5 August.

It prompted speculation that their return had been part of a deal with the IRA and Sinn Fein, a claim which Taoiseach Bertie Ahern broke off from his holiday to deny.

Colombian vice-president Francisco Santos has said he wants the men extradited but said he did not rule out allowing them to serve their sentences in Ireland.

The trio, who had been accused of being IRA members, were arrested in Bogota in August 2001.

They were found guilty of travelling on false passports in June 2004, but were acquitted of training the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

That decision was reversed after an appeal by the Colombian attorney general and they were sentenced to 17-year terms.

Fears growing ahead of loyalist march

Belfast Telegraph

Police liken trouble to ethnic cleansing

By Deborah McAleese
18 August 2005

FEARS were escalating today that a loyalist parade in Co Antrim tomorrow will fuel simmering tensions following a wave of attacks on Catholics.

And there was fury from republicans after the Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton said the series of attacks on Catholics in the mainly Protestant village of Ahoghill were not "purely sectarian".

More than 1,000 loyalists are expected to parade through the predominantly nationalist area of Rasharkin tomorrow evening, just a few miles from the under-siege village of Ahoghill.

There was growing alarm within the nationalist community over the news that 46 loyalist bands will march close to the area which several Catholic families were forced to flee from following a campaign of intimidation by loyalists.

Sinn Fein councillor Daithi McKay said people believe the Ballymaconnelly Sons of Conquerors Flute Band parade is "nothing more than a coat-trailing exercise".

Yesterday Mr Leighton visited the village of Ahoghill to reassure residents that police are doing all they can to improve the situation.

He claimed that police intelligence suggests there is more to the problem than sectarianism and "other elements" are at play.

However, Ballymena Sinn Fein councillor Monica Digney said that Mr Leighton must be the only person to think this.

She said: "It is unbelievable he said that, that he can't even come out and say 'yes it's sectarianism' because everyone knows it is purely sectarian.

"The paint they are throwing is the same colour as they paint footpaths with in Ahoghill."

According to Mr Leighton the problem in the village is "worse than ethnic cleansing" as there is "real hatred" among communities in Northern Ireland.

A number of Catholics have fled the area in fear for their lives after a sustained campaign of petrol bombings, paint bombings and attacks on homes, churches and schools in the village.

Police have stepped up surveillance in the area and yesterday it was revealed that the new police helicopter is being used in a bid to track perpetrators and protect the public.

Now cops arrest harassment victim


A resident of The Green in Dunmurry who has experienced persistent anti-social behaviour, theft, and verbal abuse over a number of months was arrested by police on Monday for standing up to the thugs who have been harassing him.

At around midnight on Sunday, youths began racing on scooters up and down the area near Dunmurry Lane, keeping residents awake and causing havoc in the area.

The resident – who doesn’t wish to be named – came out to ask the youths to leave, but they refused and became aggressive. He found himself embroiled in a scuffle with one, but walked away.

Around 20 minutes later, the PSNI arrived and arrested the man for assault with a weapon. Although no weapon was found and witnesses confirmed to police that he had neither instigated the attack nor used any weapon, he was later charged at Lisburn police station. Speaking to the Andersonstown News last night, the Dunmurry man explained: “I’m in shock at what happened.”

He continued: “This harassment by the same group of youths has being going on for months and we’re all at our wits’ end here,” he said.

“My next door neighbour is a female doctor who spoke to the police and passed on the number plates of the scooters involved, but nothing was done about it. She’s been tormented too with eggs, beer bottles, she’s had them urinating in her garden, but the police have done nothing for her.

“The youths actually stood there laughing and jeering as I was arrested. My neighbours were shocked.”

Residents in the area have recorded a number of incidents which have occurred in the area over the past number of months, including assault by youths carrying golf clubs, theft of items from their properties, drinking, anti-social behaviour and verbal abuse.

The accused resident added: “I’m no snob, but I’ve worked hard to be able to live in a nice property in what I thought was a nice area, and then this happens. You just feel like it’s a no-win situation.

“I’ve asked them why they don’t go and drink and urinate outside their own houses and harass their own parents, but of course it doesn’t happen like that.”

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Butler last night expressed outrage at the arrest.
“This shows what passes for policing in this area,” he said. “Here we have a man arrested and charged with confronting someone outside his house and the people who’ve been harassing him and his neighbours for months get off scot-free.”

He continued: “The police need to get their priorities right. There’s been a lot of criticism lately in the wake of the rape on the Blacks Road. They need to get their act together.

“Yesterday I spoke to residents in the area who have been tormented for months and have reported incidents but got no response. Then this happens. It doesn’t make sense.”

Journalist:: Laura McDaid

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