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BOGSIDE ARTISTS HAIL MURALS LIGHT UP
Friday 28th May 2004
THE Bogside Artists have hailed a decision by Derry City Council and Northern Ireland Tourist Board to light up Free Derry Corner and murals in the Bogside.
A representative said the development will assist the growing number of national and international visitors to the area and should be followed up by a suggestion by Sinn Fein’s Mary Nelis to also have the monuments sign posted.
He said: “Our studio next to the Bogside Inn has had to double up as a welcome and inquiry centre for the huge number of visitors who view the murals every year.
“We now hope community leaders and Derry’s political representatives can pull together and secure the Bogside’s rightful place as a community of immense interest to all.”
The spokesman said it had not gone unnoticed by the artists that when it came to well paid so called cultural strategists the Bogside is well down the page, if mentioned at all.
He added: “This is not just about the Bogside, but the city as a whole. The Artists themselves over the years had to go to the Greater Shantallow District Partnership to be assisted in their own endeavours, and a great deal of thanks goes to them in securing most welcomed support from the Local Strategy Partnership,” he added.
Enjoy Derry’s Free Tourist Guide 2004 Launch
Friday 28th May 2004
Guildhall Press, Derry’s own community publishing house, has just relaunched Derry Tourist Guide 2004, its free guide to the city and North West region produced in association with the Enjoy Partnership.
The Guide is required reading for anyone touring the North West.
Its colourful 96 pages are packed with information on the city’s history and geographical hinterland, descriptions of scenic beauty, hundreds of useful phone numbers and addresses of local shops, restaurants, hotels, B&Bs, pubs, clubs, taxis, takeaways etc.
It is the ideal travelling companion and has the backing of Derry City Council and the Visitor & Convention Bureau.
Business Development Officer with Guildhall press, Kevin Hippsley, commented on this year’s edition: “Guildhall Press have published the pocket-sized guide to Derry and its hinterland since 1987 but for a variety of reasons we haven’t been able to publish it for a few years.
“However, due to our association with the Enjoy Partnership, an innovative community-marketing group who helped us source our advertisers, we have been able to completely update it and produce our best Guide yet.”
He added: “The Guide is very popular with visitors who find its pocket size very convenient and the wide range of information very useful.
“It has detailed colour maps of the city, the North West and Derry’s Walls which tourists find particularly interesting. With over 100,000 visitors to our city every year from all corners of the globe, our Guide complements the wide range of excellent material currently available from the Tourist Information Centre.”
Mr. Hippsley continued: “The Guide is also available online at http://www.visitderry.com and this can be accessed around the world. It now carries all the contents of the Guide plus many additional photos and links to some of our advertisers for whom we have created web ads.
“Our aim is to develop the site into Derry’s premier on-line tourism and information resource, and we wish to thank the Local Strategy Partnership and our advertisers for their financial support which has enabled us to pursue this goal.”
The guide is distributed throughout Ireland and is available for collection free from the Derry Visitor and Convention Bureau in Foyle Road and Guildhall Press, Unit 15, Rath Mor Business Park, Bligh’s Lane, Derry.
For further details contact: Paul Hippsley at 7136 4413.
**Amusing history lesson here
The Way I See It
ON A WING AND A PRAYER
Friday night we went to the Odyssey to see the world premiere of ‘On Eagle’s Wing’, which had been billed as a musical show that celebrates the history of the Scotch-Irish. My surname indicates that I’m a touch Scotch-Irish Presbyterian myself but I was born a Catholic nationalist and am too adapted to Ireland to feel the need to plug some hole in my ancestral identity.
Anyway, the Ulster-Scots lobby’s leading spokesperson, Lord Laird, hailed and embraced ‘On Eagle’s Wing’. This lobby makes the case that Protestants have a distinct culture which isn’t properly recognised and is being discriminated against by the NIO in favour of Irish culture. They claim that for every £1 spent by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure on Ulster Scots, DeCAL spends £56.50 on promoting Irish culture.
Those figures strike me as a gross exaggeration, but at least every £1 spent on Ulster Scots today is £1 more than ever the old Stormont government devoted to the issue when Lord Laird was John Laird MP, and his father before him, Dr Norman Laird MP. In 50 years of Hansard one can find no mention of Ulster Scots, the ‘rediscovery’ of which represents a negative political reaction to the rise of the Irish language in the North.
‘On Eagle’s Wing’ was due to have its world premiere in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 7 and travel on to Jacksonville and Baltimore. But two major investors pulled out. They failed to say if the £1.5 million musical lacked commercial appeal or sense. Regardless, they pulled out and the production had to come limping home.
Not all seats in the Odyssey last Friday night were filled, despite the distribution of many free tickets. It was performed again on Saturday night with more empty seats. Although there is a plan to produce a television documentary, using drama and historical commentary which will flesh out the story, it is doubtful if the stage production can be rescued and become commercially viable.
John Anderson, a talented local musician and producer/director for Ulster Television and the BBC, mulled over the subject for many years before sitting down to write an original score to match the story of the people from Scotland, largely Presbyterians and Episcopalians, who came to Ulster in the 17th century as part of the Plantation project undertaken by King James I.
They settled on land confiscated from the Gaelic Irish. It is not a noble story. From the land the native Irish population was to be cleared, the principle of ‘segregation’ underpinning the settlement project.
There were not enough settlers and so the native Irish remained as labourers and became tenants of the worst lands (and have been causing us problems ever since). However, the Presbyterians, as non-conformists, suffered discrimination and persecution for their religion at the hands of another group of Planters of English origin, the Anglicans, who belonged to the established Church of Ireland. Some Presbyterians planned to seek relief in the American colonies and so set sail from Groomsport in 1636 in a ship called Eaglewing. Halfway across the Atlantic the ship was damaged by severe storms and had to turn back. Most of the would-be immigrants then made their way to Scotland. (So, that’s twice Eaglewing hasn’t made it to America.)
Others, though, successfully immigrated to the American colonies and played a major part in the struggle for American independence, bequeathing to America at least 17 Presidents. And herein lies the great anomaly – and great tragedy for us in Ireland. The immigrants to America assimilated and decided they were American first and foremost, but the immigrants to Ireland have decided to this day that they are British.
John Anderson – perhaps with an American market in mind – chooses to concentrate on the less controversial American half of the story, rather than the history of the Presbyterians in Ireland: though the Siege of Derry, a true epic, gets a scene. Had the history of the North been explored in the musical it would have had to include Presbyterian, republican involvement in the 1798 rebellion (better forget about that), and the role of ‘hellfire and damnation’ fundamentalist preachers in the subsequent grubby history of sectarianism, right up to the Holy Cross attacks on schoolgirls (better forget especially about that).
But even having made that choice, Anderson merely skims the surface of the American history – and fairly disjointedly at that, with a 1920s Prohibition scene actually being followed by the American War of Independence in 1776!
That scene is actually one of the best and depicts, in an almost Brechtian way, a singsong in a speakeasy bar. Yet one wonders if these particular patrons, our Bible-quoting Presbyterian characters, would have been seen dead in such a place?
‘On Eagle’s Wing’ suffers from being a hugely ambitious and expensive production, using choirs, bands, pipes, drums, actors, dancers and an orchestra to portray what is a thin storyline. Out in the real world it is competing against giants such as ‘Les Miserables’, and certainly many of the dance scenes, whilst brilliantly performed, appear derivative of River Dance. (‘The Guardian’ called it ‘Shankill Dance’ and somebody beside me described it as ‘Lagan Dance’.)
The show is described as having been designed to have the widest possible appeal, with “universal themes that will speak to dispossessed peoples all over the world. Its tone will be inclusive; its purpose is to reach out a hand of friendship and understanding.”
A worthy sentiment, but one which, I said, fails to match the mark. A contemporary Scottish writer described the seventeenth century English and Scotch settlers who came here as “generally the scum of both countries… abhorred at home”. That’s no way to describe my fine great, great, great, great granda… but we Morrisons take no personal offence. We were obviously crap farmers and had to throw in our lot with the Fenians.
Finally, ‘On Eagle’s Wing’ is bound to disappoint unionists if they are seeking to have their sense of dislocation reversed. It provides little sense of identity, no cultural security and grants no catharsis. On the other hand, it is a good musical – with some of the great drumming speaking to me from the home across the North Channel…
AMBITIOUS PLANS FOR NEW DAILY LAUNCHED
The Andersonstown News Group took the wraps off an ambitious plan to launch Ireland’s first firmly pro-United Ireland daily newspaper.
The cross-border, high-quality publication under the working title Ireland Today will create over 40 highly-skilled new jobs at offices in West Belfast and Monaghan. At the launch in the Odyssey Arena, West Belfast Partnership Board Chairman Gerry Carson welcomed the job creation potential of the new venture.
“In 1737 the Belfast Newsletter hit the streets as a weekly and then over a century later, in 1855, it went daily. In that same year the Irish News was born, to be followed 15 years later by the Belfast Telegraph. That’s a lot of media history and a heck of a headstart over Ireland Today,” he said.
“However, on behalf of the Partnership Board, in a personal capacity and in my role as a member of the national executive of the National Union of Journalists, I wish this project every possible success.”
“A prerequisite of a strong, united, assertive community is a daily paper, which is independent and authoritative, as well as being built around the image of the community it serves,” said Andersonstown News managing director Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.
“This new title will be a dynamic, quality newspaper that will help to sustain and build the strongly pro-nationalist community in the northern counties of Ireland. Our market research, analysis and surveying show that there exists a real window of opportunity for the provision of a strongly pro-nationalist newspaper.”
The Andersonstown News Group, which is driving the new project, already publishes the bi-weekly Andersonstown News, the North Belfast News, South Belfast News, and the daily Irish language newspaper Lá. The Belfast publishing group, which traces its roots back to the anti-internment struggle, says it’s delighted at the support for the plan since going public. “This is a high-risk venture but one which signals a new era for nationalism,” added Máirtín Ó Muilleoir. “The forces ranged against us — ranging from the world’s largest media baron Rupert Murdoch to the local naysayers are not inconsiderable — but the depth of their opposition will come as no surprise to those of us who realise the potential of this new daily to transform the fortunes of nationalism. Nevertheless, we have the skills, knowledge and the determination to make this venture a resounding success. When this paper hits the newstands, it’s going to blow the opposition out of the water with the very best in scoops, sports and features. In its campaigning stance, national outlook and community commitment, the new daily will capture the exciting spirit of 21st Century Ireland.”
Journalist:: Staff Reporter
DIRTY DIGGER VOWS TO BURY IRELAND TODAY
The world’s most powerful media mogul is vowing to wreck plans for the launch of new nationalist daily newspaper Ireland Today.
But Rupert Murdoch, whose global empire stretches from the tabloid Sun to Sky TV, has been told his assault on the Andersonstown News Group will be stoutly resisted.
“Murdoch is used to having things his own way but he might want to read up on David and Goliath before he starts throwing his weight around,” said Andersonstown News Group and Ireland Today Ltd spokesman Máirtín Ó Muilleoir. “We knew the opposition to Ireland’s first firmly pro-United Ireland newspaper would be fierce but we didn’t think the big guns would be wheeled out even before we hit the streets. Still, the message needs to go out that we are determined to create an exciting, bright and dynamic daily newspaper which will boost peace-building efforts — regardless of what name it goes under.”
Over 100 community and political leaders, including Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, were at the IMAX Theatre in the Odyssey on Thursday past for the community launch of the Ireland Today project. The new daily will be on the news stands before the end of the year and its promoters include former GAA President Peter Quinn and Fianna Fåil Senator and businesswoman Mary White. Welcoming the proposed daily, which will create over 40 jobs in one of the North’s worst job blackspots, were union leader Inez McCormack and Partnership Board Chairman Gerry Carson.
A court hearing on Rupert Murdoch’s proposed injunction against Ireland Today Ltd will be heard in Dublin on June 10. The Murdoch empire does not trade under the name Ireland Today.
Journalist:: Staff Reporter
Real IRA’s ‘dirty’ protest in prison is sweet and neat
TERRORIST prisoners from the dissident republican group, the Real IRA, are taking part in what they’re claiming is a “dirty” protest at the top security jail at Portlaoise – by discarding sweet wrappers outside their cells.
The jailed chief of staff of the renegade faction, Michael McKevitt, and 22 of his supporters have been involved in protest action since he rejected the terms of his temporary release to attend his mother’s funeral.
After they lost part remission of their sentences, as well as a month’s privileges, for refusing to obey prison rules, they declared they were beginning a dirty campaign.
But their idea of one appears to differ from the campaign launched in the past by their associates jailed in Northern Ireland.
In the North, a dirty protest has involved smearing excrement on the walls and doors of their cells. But in Portlaoise the campaign so far has consisted of dumping their refuse – such as sweet papers from the tuck shop – outside their cell doors rather than in the bin.
And, according to prison officials, the rubbish has been piled neatly outside rather than scattered around the landing.
The dissident republicans had been refusing to return to their cells at lunchtime and as a result were told they no longer qualified for the full remission of a quarter of their sentence, usually given for good behaviour.
The loss of a month’s privileges means no visits or telephone calls and a ban on recreation between 6pm and 8pm.
McKevitt, who is serving a 20-year sentence for directing a terrorist organisation, refused to accept the terms laid down by the prison authorities for temporary release to attend the funeral of his mother in Dundalk.
He was allowed out for a couple of nights to visit his mother when she was seriously ill last month and he then sought another couple of days for the funeral.
But the authorities told him he would be taken to Dundalk garda station and then allowed to attend the removal of remains unaccompanied before returning to the station for transfer back to the jail.
A similar arrangement was offered for the funeral the following day, but McKevitt turned down the terms and remained in his cell.
Last month, the leader of a rival faction within the Real IRA, Liam Campbell, was given permission to leave his jail cell to attend separate family Communion and Confirmation ceremonies.
McKevitt and Campbell have been involved in a bitter feud within Portlaoise jail since last year and their groups of supporters are being housed on separate landings within the E wing of the prison.
21 May 2004
TERRORIST EXCLUSION LIST AUTHORIZED BY USA PATRIOT ACT
Secretary of state, attorney general collaborate on designations
The Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) was created by the USA Patriot Act of 2001, according to a State Department fact sheet released May 21 by the Office of Counterterrorism.
The secretary of state, in consultation with the attorney general, has the authority to identify terrorist groups whose members may be excluded from immigrating to the United States or who may be asked to leave the country. This could include any groups that have planned or carried out terrorism, have incited others to do so, or have provided any kind of material support.
The purpose of designating terrorist groups, according to the fact sheet, is to deter financial aid to them, heighten public awareness of them, alert other governments to U.S. concerns about them, and stigmatize and isolate them.
Ten new groups were added to the TEL on April 29.
The names of new designees are published routinely in the Federal Register.
Following is the text of the State Department fact sheet:
(begin fact sheet)
U.S. Department of State
Office of Counterterrorism
May 21, 2004
Terrorist Exclusion List
Section 411 of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (8 U.S.C. Â§ 1182) authorized the Secretary of State, in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General, to designate terrorist organizations for immigration purposes. This authority is known as the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) authority. A TEL designation bolsters homeland security efforts by facilitating the U.S. government’s ability to exclude aliens associated with entities on the TEL from entering the United States.
An organization can be placed on the TEL if the Secretary of State finds that the organization:
— commits or incites to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity;
— prepares or plans a terrorist activity;
— gathers information on potential targets for terrorist activity; or
— provides material support to further terrorist activity.
Under the statute, terrorist activity means any activity that is unlawful under U.S. law or the laws of the place where it was committed and involves: hijacking or sabotage of an aircraft, vessel, vehicle or other conveyance; hostage taking; a violent attack on an internationally protected person; assassination; or the use of any biological agent, chemical agent, nuclear weapon or device, or explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain), with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property. The definition also captures any threat, attempt, or conspiracy to do any of these activities.
The Secretary of State is authorized to designate groups as TEL organizations in consultation with, or upon the request of the Attorney General. Once an organization of concern is identified, or a request is received from the Attorney General to designate a particular organization, the State Department works closely with the Department of Justice and the intelligence community to prepare a detailed administrative record, which is a compilation of information, typically including both classified and open-sources information, demonstrating that the statutory criteria for designation have been satisfied. Once completed, the administrative record is sent to the Secretary of State, who decides whether to designate the organization. Notices of designations are published in the Federal Register.
Effects of Designation
Individual aliens providing support to or associated with TEL-designated organizations may be found inadmissible to the United States, i.e., such aliens may be prevented from entering the United States or, if already in U.S. territory, may in certain circumstances be deported. Examples of activity that may render an alien inadmissible as a result of an organization’s TEL designation include:
— membership in a TEL-designated organization;
— use of the alien’s position of prominence within any country to persuade others to support an organization on the TEL list;
— solicitation of funds or other things of value for an organization on the TEL list;
— solicitation of any individual for membership in an organization on the TEL list; and
— commission of an act that the alien knows, or reasonably should have known, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material for financial benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training to an organization on the TEL list.
(It should be noted that individual aliens may also found inadmissible on the basis of other types of terrorist activity unrelated to TEL-designated organizations; see 8 U.S.C. Â§1182(a)(3)(B).)
1. Deters donation or contributions to named organizations.
2. Heightens public awareness and knowledge of terrorist organizations.
3. Alerts other governments to U.S. concerns about organizations engaged in terrorist activities.
4. Stigmatizes and isolates designated terrorist organizations.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, in consultation with the Attorney General, designated the following organizations, thereby placing them on the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL). Ten groups were added to the TEL on April 29, 2004.
Terrorist Exclusion List Designees (alphabetical listing)
— Afghan Support Committee (also known as [a.k.a.] Ahya ul Turas; a.k.a. Jamiat Ayat-ur-Rhas al Islamia; a.k.a. Jamiat Ihya ul Turath al Islamia; a.k.a. Lajnat el Masa Eidatul Afghania)
— Al Taqwa Trade, Property and Industry Company Ltd. (formerly known as [f.k.a.] Al Taqwa Trade, Property and Industry; f.k.a. Al Taqwa Trade, Property and Industry Establishment; f.k.a. Himmat Establishment; a.k.a. Waldenberg, AG)
— Al-Hamati Sweets Bakeries
— Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI)
— Al-Ma unah
— Al-Nur Honey Center
— Al-Rashid Trust
— Al-Shifa Honey Press for Industry and Commerce
— Al-Wafa al-Igatha al-Islamia (a.k.a. Wafa Humanitarian Organization; a.k.a. Al Wafa; a.k.a. Al Wafa Organization)
— Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB)
— Anarchist Faction for Overthrow
— Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (ALIR) (a.k.a. Interahamwe, Former Armed Forces (EX-FAR))
— Asbat al-Ansar
— Babbar Khalsa International
— Bank Al Taqwa Ltd. (a.k.a. Al Taqwa Bank; a.k.a. Bank Al Taqwa)
— Black Star
— Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (a.k.a. CPN(M); a.k.a. the United Revolutionary Peoples Council, a.k.a. the People s Liberation Army of Nepal)
— Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) (a.k.a. Continuity Army Council)
— Darkazanli Company
— Dhamat Houmet Daawa Salafia (a.k.a. Group Protectors of Salafist Preaching; a.k.a. Houmat Ed Daawa Es Salifiya; a.k.a. Katibat El Ahoual; a.k.a. Protectors of the Salafist Predication; a.k.a. El-Ahoual Battalion; a.k.a. Katibat El Ahouel; a.k.a. Houmate Ed-Daawa Es-Salafia; a.k.a. the Horror Squadron; a.k.a. Djamaat Houmat Eddawa Essalafia; a.k.a. Djamaatt Houmat Ed Daawa Es Salafiya; a.k.a. Salafist Call Protectors; a.k.a. Djamaat Houmat Ed Daawa Es Salafiya; a.k.a. Houmate el Da awaa es-Salafiyya; a.k.a. Protectors of the Salafist Call; a.k.a. Houmat ed-Daaoua es-Salafia; a.k.a. Group of Supporters of the Salafiste Trend; a.k.a. Group of Supporters of the Salafist Trend)
— Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (a.k.a. Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party; a.k.a. ETIM; a.k.a. ETIP)
— First of October Antifascist Resistance Group (GRAPO) (a.k.a. Grupo de Resistencia Anti-Fascista Premero De Octubre)
— Harakat ul Jihad i Islami (HUJI)
— International Sikh Youth Federation
— Islamic Army of Aden
— Islamic Renewal and Reform Organization
— Jamiat al-Ta awun al-Islamiyya
— Jamiat ul-Mujahideen (JUM)
— Japanese Red Army (JRA)
— Jerusalem Warriors
— Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LET) (a.k.a. Army of the Righteous)
— Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
— Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF)
— Makhtab al-Khidmat
— Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (a.k.a. GICM; a.k.a. Groupe Islamique Combattant Marocain)
— Nada Management Organization (f.k.a. Al Taqwa Management Organization SA)
— New People’s Army (NPA)
— Orange Volunteers (OV)
— People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD)
— Red Brigades-Combatant Communist Party (BR-PCC)
— Red Hand Defenders (RHD)
— Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (Pakistan and Afghanistan offices — Kuwait office not designated) (a.k.a. Jamia Ihya ul Turath; a.k.a. Jamiat Ihia Al-Turath Al-Islamiya; a.k.a. Revival of Islamic Society Heritage on the African Continent)
— Revolutionary Proletarian Nucleus
— Revolutionary United Front (RUF)
— Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)
— The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF)
— The Islamic International Brigade (a.k.a. International Battalion, a.k.a. Islamic Peacekeeping International Brigade, a.k.a. Peacekeeping Battalion, a.k.a. The International Brigade, a.k.a. The Islamic Peacekeeping Army, a.k.a. The Islamic Peacekeeping Brigade)
— The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
— The Pentagon Gang
— The Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (a.k.a. Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion, a.k.a. Riyadh-as-Saliheen, a.k.a. the Sabotage and Military Surveillance Group of the Riyadh al-Salihin Martyrs, a.k.a. Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Shahids (Martyrs))
— The Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (a.k.a. the Islamic Special Purpose Regiment, a.k.a. the al-Jihad-Fisi-Sabililah Special Islamic Regiment, a.k.a. Islamic Regiment of Special Meaning)
— Tunisian Combat Group (a.k.a. GCT, a.k.a. Groupe Combattant Tunisien, a.k.a. Jama a Combattante Tunisien, a.k.a. JCT; a.k.a. Tunisian Combatant Group)
— Turkish Hizballah
— Ulster Defense Association (a.k.a. Ulster Freedom Fighters)
— Ummah Tameer E-Nau (UTN) (a.k.a. Foundation for Construction; a.k.a. Nation Building; a.k.a. Reconstruction Foundation; a.k.a. Reconstruction of the Islamic Community; a.k.a. Reconstruction of the Muslim Ummah; a.k.a. Ummah Tameer I-Nau; a.k.a. Ummah Tameer E-Nau; a.k.a. Ummah Tameer-I-Pau)
— Youssef M. Nada & Co. Gesellschaft M.B.H.
(end fact sheet)
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
Provo tout drank with UDA traitor
30 May 2004
SUSPECT No1 (see story below this post) was once filmed with murdered UDA traitor Jim Craig, Sunday Life can reveal.
The two men held meetings in 1986 and 1987 – just months before the UDA’s military commander John McMichael was killed by the IRA outside his Lisburn home.
Eleven months later – in October 1988 – the UDA shot dead Craig – their main racketeer and enforcer – in an east Belfast pub, for allegedly setting McMichael up.
At least one meeting between Craig and his republican contact was secretly filmed by RUC Special Branch, which had become increasingly worried about the UDA man’s link with the Provisionals.
Initially, it was suspected that Craig had been meeting with republicans to discuss common crime interests.
But, as the meetings continued, Special Branch received information suggesting Criag was plotting to murder loyalist crime-rivals and, possibly, policemen.
Senior figures in the UVF, like Lenny Murphy. had already been killed by the IRA in precise strikes – prompting loyalist suspicions about Craig.
Kevin Fulton has alleged that Craig’s IRA contact was on a par with the Freddie Scappaticci.
But he can’t make any further public comment on his latest allegations, because of the civil legal action he is bringing against the Government.
That action is scheduled for hearing in less than two weeks – and legal sources say IRA members, Special Branch and MI5 officers have been sent letters asking them to give evidence.
Fulton brought the action after he claimed NIO mandarins “reneged” on a deal he had agreed with them, last year.
IRA CLOSES IN ON SCAP 2
30 May 2004
The IRA is close to unmasking a SECOND Stakeknife – an informer known to have been at the centre of Provo operations in Belfast, for more than 20 years.
They have narrowed down the hunt for the suspected Army double-agent to just FOUR men.
The disclosure comes just days after self-confessed IRA double agent, Kevin Fulton, claimed to have identified the top tout to detectives from the Stevens’ inquiry team.
But we can reveal that a secret IRA intelligence team was established even before Freddie ‘Scap’ Scappaticci was named as Stakeknife.
They were instructed at the very highest level to find out if the rumours surrounding Scap were true – and if there were others operating in Provo ranks who had been compromised.
“To confirm Scap’s involvement as an informer was difficult,” one senior republican told us last night.
“He had covered his tracks well. But it quickly became obvious to those investigating this matter that he could not have been operating on his own.”
The intelligence team trawled through every major Provo operation carried out in Belfast over a 25-year period, and came to the conclusion that the informer had to be one of four men.
Suspect No 1 is a former OC, who is believed to have known Fulton well, having worked on a construction site in France with him.
Suspect No 2 is a former internal security officer, with a Belfast IRA battalion. He was once kneecapped by the Provos, and still walks with a distinct limp.
Suspect No 3 is in his early 70s, and was a former OC in the Short Strand.
The final suspect is a man who served time along with Sinn Fein boss Gerry Adams’ cousin, Davy Adams, for his involvement in the planned ambush of RUC Chief Superintendent, Derek Martindale, in 1994.
The gang were caught red-handed in a van close to the officer’s home, which had been staked out by heavily-armed police.
No one was in any doubt police had been tipped off, but whoever the guilty party was, they avoided detection at the time.
Publicly, Sinn Fein politicians and republican hardliners have claimed that the entire Stakeknife affair was stirred up by British security forces to embarrass and cause dissention in IRA ranks.
But we were told: “The guilt of Freddie Scappaticci has been established, but will never openly be acknowledged.
“This inquiry was authorised by the Army Council, which was difficult because of the Northern influence on it.
“But they are now checking, and re-checking in meticulous detail, every operation assigned to, or carried out by, the four suspects.”
Our well-placed source added: “The cops were right about Fulton, he’s just a fantasist who’ll do anything to save his own neck.”
GÉNOCIDAIRES IN GAZA
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines genocide as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.” What is happening in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip today is dangerously encroaching on genocide, close enough so that the pictures of Palestinians in Rafah loading their meagre belongings on carts and evacuating their homes are too reminiscent of another time, another place and another people – Sam Bahour and Michael Dahan
Anthony McIntyre • 27 May 2004
Last Saturday morning, along with perhaps fifty others, I stood at the front of Belfast City Hall in silent rage hoping to draw much needed attention to the plight of Palestinian civilians being mercilessly slaughtered by Israeli forces. Someone in a Glasgow Rangers top drove by and howled ‘up the Jews.’
**image is poster’s addition
SINN FÉIN CALLS ON CHURCH LEADER TO ‘RECOGNISE EQUALITY’
Irish News – 29 May 2004
Sinn Féin has hit out at Church of Ireland Primate Robin Eames after
he called on nationalists to understand Protestants’ fears about their future in the north.
Giving a lecture on Wednesday at a church in London’s financial district which was badly damaged by an IRA bomb in 1993, Dr Eames said many Protestants felt their political aspirations and community were “being eroded by over-attention on the part of government to demands from republicanism”.
“Roman Catholics and nationalists in Northern Ireland need to
understand the uncertainty and apprehension of their Protestant
neighbours so far as the future is concerned,” he said. “The
perception of many in the Protestant community is that their ethos,
their political aspiration and their stability as a community is
being eroded by over-attention on the part of government to demands
Referring to a lecture given earlier this month at the same venue by the Catholic Primate Sean Brady, Dr Eames added: “Archbishop Brady rightly appealed for a recognition by Protestants and unionists of Roman Catholic and nationalist aspirations.
“Catholics must seek to understand the apprehensions of the Protestant and unionist community.”
Sinn Féin assembly member Conor Murphy described Dr Eames’ remarks
“Archbishop Eames must realise that the demands being made by nationalists, and articulated most vocally by Sinn Féin, are basic rights and entitlements,” he said.
“They are about undoing generations of unionist and British misrule
and discrimination. We make no apology for that.
“Indeed, it is what we are mandated by a substantial number of people
“It would be much more productive for unionist and Protestant leaders
to recognise the failures and injustices of the past and recognise
that equality for all of the people in the six counties and indeed
across the island threatens no-one.
“They should support the extension of basic political, social and
human rights to all citizens.
“Any lack of unionist confidence is bred not from the approach of
Sinn Féin or the British government but from the failure of unionist
political leaders to embrace change and embrace the demands of the
Good Friday Agreement.”
In his lecture at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and
Peace – where three weeks ago Dr Brady urged the nationalist community to vigorously challenge “unaccountable armed groups” in its midst – Dr Eames also spoke of how “both Protestant and Roman Catholic homes and parishes suffered” during the Troubles.
The most obvious victim of the Troubles was “trust, basic trust”, Dr
Sectarian attackers jailed
27 May 2004
Three Antrim teenagers were jailed last week for a sectarian hatchet attack which left 15-year-old Catholic Michael Craig permanently brain damaged and paralysed in one hand.
In August 2002, Craig was struck on the head with the hatchet and left seriously injured and fighting for his live in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
At Belfast Court on Friday 21 May, 19-year-old Rodney Crawford and his brother William, both from Rathglyn in the Stiles Estate in Antrim, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to Craig. Each were sentenced to six years and ordered to serve a further 18 months probation upon their release.
Robert Miliken (17) from Rathkyle, also in the Stiles Estate, admitted causing an affray and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years with 18 months probation.
Judge McCollum said the accused were part of a sort of war party that carried out a deliberate premeditated attack with a sectarian motive.
“They were out to injure or maim some person, any person they could lay their hands on belonging to the Catholic group,” he said.
He said the Crawford brothers would have been handed sentences approaching ten years if they had been adults, but acknowledged that the pair had an unsettled background and “difficulties adjusting to the ordinary business of living”.
Threats and attacks on prominent nationalists
Photo: Anti-collusion campaigner Sean Osborne displays the loyalist death threat he received
Anti-collusion campaigner threatened
Sean Osborne, a spokesperson for the anti-collusion campaign group An Fhírinne, has recieved a death threat from the unionist paramilitary gang, the Red Hand Commando.
The grouping, which has links to the UVF, is currently embroiled in an internecine feud with the LVF.
The threat, which took the shape of a photograph of a Red Hand Commando mural from the Bloomfield Estate in East Belfast, arrived in the post on Wednesday 26 May.
“The worry is that after their feuding stops, these loyalist killers will once again start to target Catholics,” said Osborne. “People need to be vigilant.”
Sinn Féin man’s home attacked
Sinn Féin Chairman of Cookstown District Council, John McNamee, said loyalists were behind the attack on his Orriter Street home in the early hours of Tuesday 25 May. Two men threw a large concrete slab through the livingroom window of the McNamee home as the Sinn Féin man and his family were in bed.
McNamee said he heard a loud bang. “We didn’t know what it was. I went downstairs and looked in the livingroom; it was destroyed, there was glass sprayed everywhere”.
McNamee said the PSNI told him they arrested a man who lives in the predominantly loyalist area of the town.
Loyalists issued a death threat against McNamee when he was elected chair of Cookstown Council in June last year and a neighbour’s window was broken last autumn by a brick wrapped with a note purporting to come from the UVF.
McNamee said he believed loyalists targeted him after he commissioned a new chain of office inscribed in Irish for the council.
South Belfast representatives under fire
The Lower Ormeau Road home of Gerard Rice, (above) who acted as the spokesperson for Lower Ormeau Residents over contentious Orange Parades through the area, was attacked by loyalists on Friday night 21 May.
The front window of Rice’s home was blasted with a high powered air rifle, which damaged the front sitting room window.
This attack occurred just 20 minutes after SDLP Assembly member Carmel Hanna’s house was targeted in a carbon copy attack.
Hanna was also targeted in sectarian graffiti at the Whitehall apartment complex in the Loyalist Sandy Row area. The complex has been the focus of sectarian protests and attacks by loyalists over the past month.
Rice said unionist paramilitaries were waging a sectarian terror campaign against nationalist representatives in South Belfast.
“They seem to be fulfiling the expectation that there is going to be a long hot summer for nationalists,” he said. “Representatives from the nationalist community are slowly being picked off in intimidatory attacks.”
Outrage as PSNI stop and search child
27 May 2004
An 11-year-old Bessbrook schoolgirl was stopped and searched by the PSNI as she made her way to camogie training in Camlough, South Armagh, on Thursday 6 May.
The girl was made to empty her sports bag onto a grass verge by a member of the PSNI, who searched through her sportsgear before allowing her to go on to her training.
The girl’s mother said she was very angry that her daughter had been singled out and searched in the way she was.
“I could not believe it when she told me what had happened. What was he looking for? He had no right to stop an 11-year-old girl, there was no reason for him to do that”.
The girl’s family sought legal advice with a view to lodging a complaint with the Police Ombudsman’s Office. The family’s solicitor, Ciarán Maguire, confirmed he will be asking the Ombudsman to formally commence an investigation into the matter.
**I popped over to the SHAMROCKSHIRE EAGLE to see what Paul was up to and found this funny piece I Don’t Know Much About Art, But I Know What I Like. I enjoyed it so much that I went searching for the news article about the fire. I’d seen the headline previously of course, but I never stopped to take in the full import of this…ahem, tragedy. I shall copy a pic of one of the …ahem, art works, so that you, too, may grasp the situation. I’m in mourning now. Do read Paul’s post though, if you want to be cheered up!
Sorrowfully up in smoke: Emin’s tent – “Everyone I have ever slept with 1963-95”
Colombian president ‘to act over detained trio’
29/05/2004 – 10:12:56 AM
The Colombian President has promised Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to look into speeding up the case of three Irishmen detained in his country, it emerged today.
A Colombian judge last month acquitted Niall Connolly, James Monaghan and Martin McCauley on charges of training Marxist FARC rebels.
However they have been ordered to remain in the country while Colombian prosecutors appeal the decision.
The three men were convicted of travelling to the country on false passports.
Mr Ahern met President Alvaro Uribe at a meeting during a summit of European Union and South American leaders in Mexico last night.
It is understood President Uribe promised to consult the appropriate legal and constitutional authorities in Colombia about how the legal process could be speeded up.
The Taoiseach also proposed the men should be allowed to return to their Ireland on the guarantee that they would fly back to Colombia once they were needed.
President Uribe also promised to respond to the Government’s proposals within a week to 10 days.
Mr Ahern told reporters afterwards he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting.
Supporters of the “Colombia Three” have argued since last month’s verdict that the men should be allowed to return.
Sinn Féin Assembly member Caitriona Ruane has expressed her fear that the men could be attacked if they remain in the country given Colombia’s volatile political situation and the high profile of their case.
‘Loyalist feud at an end’, claims LVF
29/05/2004 – 1:50:11 AM
The bitter feud between rival loyalist terror groups in Belfast is over, it has been claimed.
In a statement late last night, Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) announced that its conflict with the Ulster Volunteer Force had ended
The LVF called for mechanisms to be put in place to prevent any further feuding between rival amongst loyalists.
The fighting was sparked two weeks ago by the LVF when houses were attacked with gunfire and pipe bombs.
The festering divisions erupted fully when the UVF assassinated senior LVF man Brian Stewart, 34, in east Belfast last week.
Since then shots have been fired into several homes and bomb attacks mounted on properties stretching out of the city into North Down. A number of families were forced to flee their homes.
Most of the violence came from the UVF side as the organisation attempted to crush the smaller LVF.
The LVF said it hoped that Stewart’s death “will be the last of a loyalist by the hand of other loyalists” and that the conflict “is now ended”.
The group said that mechanisms and structures to prevent further feuds between loyalists needed to be set in place and all sides needed to adhere to agreed guidelines.
The terror group referred to the incidents that started the feud and insisted they had neither been sanctioned or authorised.
It said there would be an inquiry and what it called “disciplinary procedures”.
The statement came following efforts by clergymen to broker a cease-fire and a 90-minute meeting between prominent members of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and senior police.
Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland told the UUP representatives that extra police and soldiers would be drafted into east Belfast if the turf war escalated.
UUP councillor Jim Rogers warned the terror bosses to halt the shootings and bombings – or face being locked up.
“The police have got very good intelligence on those involved in this,” he said. “If they want to keep out of prison they should stop immediately because the security forces are going to catch up with them.”
Mr McCausland described his meeting with the politicians as “positive and constructive”.
He said: “The police are committed to meeting all groups willing to hold discussions towards a safer community.”
Plea for Ireland to treat Iraqi victims of torture
By John Breslin
A DOCTOR and former political prisoner yesterday appealed to the Government to allow Iraqi torture victims to travel to Ireland for treatment.
Dr Chris Neilson, the victim of torture when imprisoned for three years under South Africa’s apartheid regime, issued the challenge as he pledged his support for demonstrations against US President George Bush’s visit to Ireland.
“I was helped when I came to Ireland 10 years ago. If I can be helped, they (the Iraqis) have the right to be helped as well,” said Dr Neilson, founder of the Irish Foundation for Torture Survivors.
His organisation of volunteer medical professionals has helped 600 victims, mostly refugee applicants, since 1999.
Dr Neilson, who suffered electric shock treatment in South Africa, said victims needed careful treatment.
There are 150 dedicated rehabilitation centres around the world, he said, but most are full and will not be able to take in Iraqi victims although Ireland can and should.
Physical, psychological and sexual torture as seen in Iraq was designed not to extract information but to shatter victims, make them powerless and create a clear warning to others in opposition, he said.
Dr Neilson linked the torture to the use of Shannon as a transit point for US troops, including those involved in events in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison and other detention facilities. He claimed Ireland is a third party to this torture and in breach of the Geneva Convention.
The Anti-War Movement, an umbrella for a number of different groups, has announced a series of events to voice opposition to Mr Bush’s visit on June 25 and 26. A petition condemning it is to be circulated from today, a concert is planned for Dublin’s Point Depot on June 19 and simultaneous demonstrations are planned for Dublin, Galway, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Tralee at 7pm on June 25. Crowds of up to 100,000 are expected, said movement leader Richard Boyd Barrett.
Dr Juliet Bresson, of the Doctors against War group, called on Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to withdraw facilities at Shannon. She described as “utterly disgraceful” the spending of millions on the Bush visit while the Government prepares to close the nearby Ennis Hospital.
The calls for the withdrawal of Shannon facilities have been echoed by former UN Assistant Secretary-General Denis Halliday, who said Ireland must end its facilitation of pre-emptive war.
Mr Halliday said Ireland should espouse the cause of those who suffer as a result of injustice, poverty and the denial of human rights.
28/05/2004 – 1:07:25 PM
Police didn’t care, says ‘attacked’ gay man
Police in Belfast today faced accusations of homophobia from a gay man beaten up in the city.
Kristian Markus, 26, claimed he faced a wall of resistance from station officers after being battered outside a nightclub.
The advertising executive alleged anti-gay attitudes also stretched to his friend being wrongly arrested for assaulting a policeman.
Mr Markus vowed to take legal action and is preparing a detailed complaint for Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan’s office.
He said: “It’s no good devising new strategies for homophobic crime if there are undercurrents within the force itself.
“Their attitude was just p*** off and go home.”
Mr Markus told how he and his friend were jumped on by a 10-strong gang early on Tuesday.
Blows rained down from the thugs who had taunted them with homosexual abuse as they left the club on Tomb Street, Mr Markus said.
He said his companion, a 27-year-old hairdresser, then chased after two of the attackers who stole his wallet during the beating.
Mr Markus, who moved to Belfast from Dublin three years ago, managed to break free and flag down a police car.
Although he identified some of the gang by their clothes, the media buyer claimed officers told him it was not strong enough to make arrests.
After learning his friend had been arrested, Mr Markus said he went to the station on Musgrave Street where he was being held.
As he waited to see him, Mr Markus says, he urged police to take photos of his bruised and bloodied face as a record.
“They refused, saying it was not serious enough,” he claimed.
“I asked one of them if it would take a dead body to be considered serious enough and he said yes it would.
“A woman officer then started talking aggressively to me, saying I had abused the other one verbally.”
When he got to see his friend and heard what had happened to him, Mr Markus says he insisted there were no grounds for arresting him.
“Other officers were brought in and they took a complaint from Geoff and a statement from me,” he recalled.
Mr Markus added that the alleged treatment was even more outrageous because it came just days after new assistant chief constable Judith Gillespie pledged to crackdown on homophobic attacks.
Such assaults are believed to be on the rise across Northern Ireland, with particularly worrying levels in Derry.
Despite tough new measures aimed at halting hate crime, the latest victim said he was left dismayed by the police.
“It’s all very well trying to be PC when you are in the top positions and have to be seen to be doing something,” Mr Markus said.
“But how far does it filter down? Are officers on the ground getting the proper training?
A Police Service of Northern Ireland spokeswoman refused to comment on the case.
She said: “If he has any complaint against the police, the proper channel to address that through is the Police Ombudsman’s office.”
KILLER STONE LOSES £5,000 IN ROYALTIES
By Stephen Breen
23 May 2004
CEMETERY killer Michael Stone has been forced to hand over a slice of the proceeds from his explosive biography.
Sunday Life can reveal, that Stone’s publishers paid out £5,000 to a man the loyalist paramilitary wrongly accused of being a top Provo in the book, None Shall Divide Us.
Leading London-based publishing firm, Blake, settled out of court, after the Belfast man’s legal team threatened to sue for libel.
The man, who is understood to have grown up with Stone, in his old east Belfast stomping-ground, denies being a senior member of the IRA. He claimed the book – exclusively serialised in the Sunday Life – had put his life in danger.
This latest development comes, after it emerged that the former UFF killer, may be forced to repay the government the £30,000 compensation paid to the widow of one of his victims.
Ann-Marie McErlean, whose husband, Thomas, was killed at Milltown cemetery, is challenging the Compensation Agency’s refusal to go after Stone, because there was nothing to indicate they would make a “substantial recovery”.
The graveyard killer is also set to face legal action from former lovers over the book.
It is believed the terrorist romeo’s former partners have told Blake, that it was “irresponsible” to publish details of his relationships.
When we contacted Stone about the latest development, he confirmed the man he had named in his book, had received £5,000 from his publishers.
Said Stone: “I only found out about this myself in the last few days. I’m not very happy about it, but it’s true.
“People think I have made a fortune from this book, but I have hardly made anything.
“I thought we could have challenged the man’s claim in court, but I’m not the publisher.
“I wrote the book to tell my story as a loyalist, because there are far too many stories about republicans, and people in the UK need to know where people like me are coming from.”
A spokesman for Blake refused to comment.