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BreakingNews.ie

31/07/2005 – 16:19:39

A man was recovering today after he was wounded in a so-called loyalist punishment shooting in north Belfast.

The 38-year-old was treated for his injuries in hospital after the shooting which was linked to the loyalist Ulster Defence Association.

Detectives do not believe the incident was connected to the on-going feud between the Ulster Volunteer Force and the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force which last night claimed a third victim.

The victim was shot shortly after noon today in the Westland area.

He sustained a gunshot wound to the right leg and his injury is not believed to be life-threatening.

BreakingNews.ie

31/07/2005 – 16:19:39

A man was recovering today after he was wounded in a so-called loyalist punishment shooting in north Belfast.

The 38-year-old was treated for his injuries in hospital after the shooting which was linked to the loyalist Ulster Defence Association.

Detectives do not believe the incident was connected to the on-going feud between the Ulster Volunteer Force and the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force which last night claimed a third victim.

The victim was shot shortly after noon today in the Westland area.

He sustained a gunshot wound to the right leg and his injury is not believed to be life-threatening.

Sunday Life

31 July 2005

ORANGE Order chief, Robert Saulters, could be facing a challenge to his position as Grand Master for the first time since he took up the reins, nine years ago.

For many rank-and-file Orangemen are strongly opposed to his recent criticism of talks with residents’ groups, in Londonderry and west Belfast.

And, a growing number of Grand Lodge of Ireland members, believe a radical new approach is required to deal with the issue of contentious parades.

Talks involving the order and nationalist residents, chaired by Derry Chamber of Commerce, led to a major breakthrough on the Twelfth.

It allowed Orangemen to march on the west bank of the city for the first time since 1992.

There were also discussions leading up to the postponed Whiterock parade, involving district master, William Mawhinney, the most senior Orangeman on the Shankill Road, and prominent republican, Sean Murray.

Mr Saulters and his deputy, the Rev Stephen Dickinson, have argued that such talks breached “if not the letter, certainly the spirit of Grand Lodge policy.”

One senior member of Grand Lodge told Sunday Life: “Robert Saulters may well have to carry the can for the sins of the past, and unless there is a major policy rethink, he will face a challenge at the Grand Lodge meeting at the end of the calendar year.”

Sunday Life

UVF blamed as feud against LVF escalates

By Sinead McCavana and Ciaran McGuigan
31 July 2005

UVF gunmen shot dead notorious LVF-linked criminal Stephen Paul last night.

The 29-year-old, who was recently released from prison, was riddled with bullets as he sat in a red Transit van, just yards from his father’s home in Wheatfield Crescent, off the Crumlin Road.

His passenger, a man, was also shot in the attack but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Last night Paul’s devastated son, Lee Brown, spoke to Sunday Life just hours after the shooting, which took place around 5.40pm.

“Cowardly bastards killed my father,” he said.

“I’m only 15 years old and my father was only 29.

“People think he was in the LVF but he wasn’t, because I asked him myself and he said ‘no’.

“If my father had been in the LVF he would have said so, that was the type he was.”

Paul is the third victim of the current loyalist feud between the LVF and UVF.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, ran to the scene of the shooting after hearing up to 10 rounds being fired.

“I heard a lot of shots, maybe 10. It sounded like an automatic weapon because they were so close together,” he said.

“The van was sprayed with bullets, the glass was shattered.

“Stephen’s father was trying to help him, he was still in the front seat. The other guy was walking – he’d been hit but he could walk.

“The police were there very quickly but the ambulance seemed to take a while to get there.

“His father was telling police he wanted to take him to hospital in his car.

“The police officers did their best – they got him out of the van and onto the ground, where they were working on him.”

The injured victim was still being treated in the Mater Hospital last night.

Police are appealing for information, especially from anyone who saw a small blue car, registration RDZ 5600, in the area.

The vehicle was found burnt out in Forthriver Drive.

Paul was a career criminal and a notorious thug, who had previously escaped a number of murder bids at the hands of loyalists.

He was also a serial wife-beater, who was jailed in 2001 for a catalogue of offences against his young partner.

On one occasion the vicious thug beat his wife unconscious.

One loyalist source last night claimed that Paul had a public row with the UVF’s ‘military commander’ last week, which sealed his fate.

Said the source: “Paul had a row with this man, and offered him a ‘fair dig’ in front of a lot of people.

“But the other guy ducked the challenge and told Paul that he was a ‘dead man’.

“That was just a few days ago, and now he’s dead.”

But Paul had been on the hit-lists of a number of loyalist paramilitary figures for several years.

In January 1999, he miraculously survived a murder bid in Bangor’s Kilcooley estate.

His uncle, drug-dealer William ‘Wassy’ Paul, was killed in 1999 by Red Hand Commando Frankie Curry, apparently over a personal grudge.

Stephen Paul had a tattoo on his right arm: “In loving memory of Uncle Wassy murdered by a cowardly b——.”

DUP MLA Nelson McCausland last night appealed for feuding loyalists to end the violence.

“Whatever the background, whatever the circumstances, whatever the justification, there can be no justification for the taking of life,” he said.

“This feud is tearing communities apart, the unionist community wants it brought to an end.”

Local SDLP MLA Alban Maginness added his condemnation, saying the UVF could not profit from the violence.

“They must pull back immediately. In the week of the IRA’s decision, it is imperative loyalists get their act together and end this violence now.”

Thug no stranger to violence

COCKY criminal and serial wife-beater Paul was riddled with bullets in a previous loyalist murder bid – and then spat his defiance in an interview with Sunday Life.

Paul, then just 22, – but already a father-of-four – was ambushed outside this home in Bangor in January 1999.

From his hospital bed, with a bullet still lodged in his neck, he vowed to return to Bangor, saying: “I want to go back to prove that I’m not afraid. They have tried their best shot and I have survived . . . I don’t fear them.”

Paul was no stranger to violence. Just 24 hours before he was shot, he’d appeared in court on a charge of threatening to kill.

He was a gangster, drug dealer and self-confessed wife-beater.

He had been shot five times in the legs by the UDA when he was just 16. After that attack, he moved to Bangor where he continued his criminal life.

During a stretch in jail he formed an unlikely alliance with LVF drug dealer Adrian Porter.

Porter had been right-hand man to loyalist Frankie Curry, who shot dead Paul’s uncle, William ‘Wassy’ Paul, in 1998.

Stephen Paul, who idolised his uncle, hated Curry but became close to Porter – the two bound by a mutual interest in drugs, crime and a shared hatred and fear of senior UVF/Red Hand Commando figures.

Porter was shot dead by the Red Hand Commando in Conlig in March 2001.

Paul lived in fear of a similar attack by people close to his former wife, who accused him of beating her.

It is believed that is why he was ambushed in Kilcooley in 1999, and he later received threats, including a bullet delivered to his house.

And in October 2001, Paul was jailed for six-and-a-half years after confessing to a shameful list of crimes against his wife, including threats to kill, false imprisonment and a string of brutal assaults.

Sunday Life

By Ciaran McGuian
31 July 2005

A MAN charged with an attempted murder in a Co Down cemetery was a close pal of slain LVF godfather Steven Warnock.

Robert Black (35), described by senior security sources as a “leading light” in the LVF, appeared in court last week, accused of abducting and shooting a man in an incident in Holywood in June.

However, career criminal Black’s violent, drug-dealing past was raised in an earlier court hearing, in which the gangster-busting Assets Recovery Agency seized around £200,000 from the estate of murdered LVF chief Warnock.

Warnock was gunned down in September 2002 while driving through Newtownards with his three-year-old daughter, in the back of his £30,000 BMW.

Judge Girvan painted Warnock as a drug-dealing paramilitary godfather and said: “He associated with Robert Black, a known and proven drug dealer with 103 convictions for various offences including the importation of drugs, possession with intent to supply, robbery, burglary, deception and crimes of violence.”

A senior security source told Sunday Life: “Black is one of the most violent and dangerous members of the LVF.

“When he was remanded in custody, it made it a lot easier for the UVF to go into the Garnerville estate and start putting people out.

“With him still there, it could have turned very messy.”

Black, who survived a UVF murder bid near a south Belfast primary school two months ago, was arrested last weekend by detectives investigating a brutal shooting in Co Down last month.

A 26-year-old man was lucky to be left alive after being blasted in the chest with a shotgun.

He had earlier been abducted by three men from a filling station on the Old Holywood Road and taken to the Redburn Cemetery.

Black, from Glenlea Park in Belfast, appeared in Ards Magistrate’s Court last Monday charged with attempted murder.

Another man, Jonathan Smyth (22), also from Glenlea Park, is also charged with the attempted murder, which Crown lawyers have linked to the ongoing feud between the rival UVF and LVF paramilitaries.

The charges were scheduled, and will be heard before a judge sitting without a jury if they proceed to the Crown Court.

Sunday Life

By Alan Murray
31 July 2005

THE UVF’s drive against the LVF in east Belfast, last weekend, wasn’t planned.

What began as a minor incident snowballed, but now the UVF is keen to repeat what it regards as a successful tactic against it’s bitter rivals.

Loyalist sources say the UVF operation, in Garnerville, which drove out the LVF, last Sunday and Monday, began with a few UVF men having a barbecue, before they turned to give LVF rivals a grilling.

It’s understood that on Sunday evening, a leading UVF man went to the area with another UVF man, who had been put out of the estate by the LVF months previously.

Along with two other UVF men they went to the exiled man’s old home, in Garnerville, where his wife and family still live, and decided to have a barbecue.

After a few drinks, more UVF men were invited to come up and join in, and eventually the now swollen UVF party decided to pay a visit to the home of one of the LVF figures in the estate.

“It just snowballed after that. The LVF man panicked and jumped into his car and fled, and the UVF men thought this was a successful ploy and went to another couple of houses, phoned up more UVF men, and went from house to house, telling the LVF men that they were staying in the estate. The rest is local history,” one loyalist revealed.

“It wasn’t a grand plan by the UVF leadership, it all just bubbled out of a barbecue, a few drinks, knocking on a few doors, and the LVF panicked.

“They thought they were going to be hammered, but there was no big UVF plan, and the LVF just put one and one together and got three.

“But, now that it’s done, there will be no going back, and the UVF will push on to Holywood to winkle them out of there, and put them across the river.”

Loyalist sources also revealed that unknown to the UVF, a key LVF figure in Garnerville had been ‘stood down’ by its overall leadership just two days earlier.

The man, who we can’t name for legal reasons, is a relative of a man shot dead in a loyalist feud.

LVF sources have confirmed to Sunday Life, that he was relieved of his position within the small terror group, a couple of days before the UVF invaded the estate.

‘Freedom Party’ for troubled estate

WHAT a difference a few days make.

There was a party atmosphere in the Garnerville estate yesterday, where, earlier in the week, masked UVF men and supporters invaded to drive out people accused of links to the rival LVF group.

Yesterday, kids played on bouncy castles, and had their faces painted in a street celebration, dubbed a Freedom Party.

One local woman, a long term resident, said: “We’re calling it a Freedom Party because we don’t have the LVF here anymore to torture us.”

Some residents, who favoured the UVF invasion, claimed they were glad to see the back of LVF elements, who they blamed for drug dealing, noisy all-night parties, intimidation, and other anti-social behaviour, during the last couple of years.

Sunday Life

UVF plan to push terror rivals into Antrim estate

By Alan Murray
31 July 2005

THE UVF is planning to drive LVF remnants in north Down across the Lagan into exile in Co Antrim.

And, UVF bosses are preparing for another Garnerville-style mass invasion – this time in Ballysillan, north Belfast, before forcing their rivals to Ballycraigy, in Antrim.

Local commanders in east Belfast and north Down have been ordered to concentrate on pushing the remaining small knot of LVF activists and associates out of Holywood, where they fled to, after being forced to leave the nearby Garnerville area.

But, a heavy PSNI presence in Holywood, since Wednesday, has prevented the UVF from repeating their saturation tactics in Garnerville, which intimidated LVF opponents from the area, last Sunday and Monday.

But, a reliable source told Sunday Life: “The UVF leadership wants them out of Holywood, and they won’t let them move down to Bangor, nor will the UDA. Neither organisation wants the LVF about them, because of the trouble they cause.

“The UVF intends to hit the dozen or so flats and houses, occupied by the LVF, in Holywood, and force them out,” one source revealed.

The UVF expects what remains of the organisation in east Belfast and Holywood to decamp to Ballysillan, in north Belfast.

“The UVF feels that it can deploy enough men in Ballysillan to intimidate the LVF out of there, just as they have done in east Belfast, and plan to do in Holywood and ultimately drive the LVF to Ballycraigy, in Antrim, well out of the way, and out of striking distance”.

slnews@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Sunday Life

By John McGurk
31 July 2005

THE Secretary Of State, Peter Hain took a historic step towards a new Northern Ireland – on the streets of Crossmaglen!

For the Ulster political supremo undertook an impromptu walkaround in the south Armagh border village where the security forces have, in the past, been wary to tread.

The Secretary Of State revealed that he had decided to see the village for himself, during what was described as “a routine visit” to the local police station last Tuesday.

An NIO spokesman told Sunday Life: “He was visiting Crossmaglen police station and, during the visit, he asked about the public access area.

“So he went out onto the street of Crossmaglen and then walked down to the square for about five to 10 minutes, accompanied by the local police commander, Bobby Hunniford.”

Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight, Mr Hain said that the response from locals to his impromptu walkabout, with police and soldiers in support, “was not unfriendly”.

And he added that he could foresee a “future in which we can have normal policing, including community bobbies” in the village and elsewhere.

Other Secretaries Of State are thought to have visited Crossmaglen security base in the past. And former Tory spokesman for Northern Ireland, Quentin Davies went to the border village in 2002.

But many political observers believe that this is the first time a current Secretary Of State has actually set foot in the streets.

However, Hain’s potentially historic walkaround was a bit of a mystery to some locals.

Barmaids in two pubs – the Clarnagh Maid and the Grocer Publican Undertaker – said that none of their customers had clapped eyes on him.

One barmaid told Sunday Life: “You would expect to hear people talking about it. But nobody has mentioned it.”

Sunday Life

By Stephen Breen
31 July 2005

Joan Feenan, from Ardglass, Co Down is seeking a face-to-face meeting with graveyard killer Michael Stone over the murders of her elderly aunt and cousin.

She believes Stone can help solve the double-killing of Kathleen and Terence Mullan.

Mrs Mullan (79) and son Terence (32) were gunned down at their isolated Ballynahinch home by the UFF in 1986.

Lisburn loyalist Jeffrey McCullough was convicted of assisting the killers, but no-one has ever been charged with their murders.

At the time, loyalists claimed Mr Mullan was a driver for senior republicans – a claim the family vehemently denies.

Ms Feenan (53) wants to meet Stone because she believes the gun used was one of the weapons later used by him to kill three people at Milltown Cemetery, in 1988.

Said Ms Feenan: “My aunt and cousin’s senseless murders have been on my mind for a very long time.

“We were told that the weapon used in the attack was the same one used by Stone at Milltown – that’s why I’m willing to meet him.

“I don’t know if he killed my relatives but he may know something about it. I’m not afraid to meet him.

“I just want to know why they were murdered. They were completely innocent, and even if it is almost 20 years on, we still deserve answers.

“I’ve also decided to speak out now because I’m aware of the promise by police to re-investigate unsolved murders of the Troubles, and I want to know if my aunt and cousin are included in this process.”

Stone said: “I’ve no problem meeting this woman because I have nothing to hide. I didn’t kill her relatives.

“I’ll admit that I did see his ‘file’, and I believe he was a legitimate target because I believe he was involved with republicanism.

“The gun I used at Milltown was taken from a police officer some two years before, but I can remember the cops telling me a different type of weapon was used to kill the Mullans.

“I was active in the south Down area, and I will try and tell this woman why young loyalists went out to kill in a ‘war’ situation.”

Sunday Life

31 July 2005

ORANGE Order chief, Robert Saulters, could be facing a challenge to his position as Grand Master for the first time since he took up the reins, nine years ago.

For many rank-and-file Orangemen are strongly opposed to his recent criticism of talks with residents’ groups, in Londonderry and west Belfast.

And, a growing number of Grand Lodge of Ireland members, believe a radical new approach is required to deal with the issue of contentious parades.

Talks involving the order and nationalist residents, chaired by Derry Chamber of Commerce, led to a major breakthrough on the Twelfth.

It allowed Orangemen to march on the west bank of the city for the first time since 1992.

There were also discussions leading up to the postponed Whiterock parade, involving district master, William Mawhinney, the most senior Orangeman on the Shankill Road, and prominent republican, Sean Murray.

Mr Saulters and his deputy, the Rev Stephen Dickinson, have argued that such talks breached “if not the letter, certainly the spirit of Grand Lodge policy.”

One senior member of Grand Lodge told Sunday Life: “Robert Saulters may well have to carry the can for the sins of the past, and unless there is a major policy rethink, he will face a challenge at the Grand Lodge meeting at the end of the calendar year.”

Times Online

**Via News Hound

Liam Clarke
July 31, 2005

THE Democratic Unionist party will insist on a two-year decontamination period before entering government with Sinn Fein if the IRA fails to provide visual proof that it is has dumped its weapons.

The party has warned that in the absence of transparent decommissioning it will demand an extended period of IRA inactivity before sharing power with the republicans.

Last night Peter Robinson, the deputy leader of the DUP, said: “If they (the IRA) do their decommissioning in a hole-in-the-corner way, we could be talking several years of an assessment period to gauge their intentions. If they do things openly and transparently then obviously the period of assessment could be significantly shortened.”

By openly and transparently, the DUP means with a full photographic record of the decommissioning process and an inventory of the arms put beyond use. This, they believe, is necessary to build confidence among their voters that the IRA threat has passed.

“The less transparency you have the more time it will take for people to feel confident,” said Robinson.

Jeffrey Donaldson, a DUP MP and member of the party’s negotiating team, said the IRA and Sinn Fein had refused to move before carrying out a period of consultation with their grassroots and ensuring their followers were happy. “We have the same approach. We will not move into government unless we are confident that the unionist community can support what we are doing. It may be that we will want to test public opinion on the issue through an election.” Elections to the suspended Northern Ireland assembly are not due until 2007.

Donaldson added: “That period of assessment will lengthen with the lack of transparency by the IRA on decommissioning. It has already lengthened as a result of the early release of Sean Kelly (the Shankill bomber), which has dented unionist confidence.”

Robinson and Donaldson will drive the point home this Wednesday when they bring a delegation of people injured in, or bereaved by, the Shankill bombing to meet Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary. He agreed to release Sean Kelly, who planted the bomb that killed 10 people in 1993, after reading a draft of the IRA statement.

The DUP’s attitude represents a setback for the British and Irish governments. They had hoped that, if the IRA held to promises made in its statement, they might restore power sharing next spring.

While the DUP may not be willing to enter government so soon, the party’s leaders are prepared to enter a shadow assembly without executive powers. Such an interim assembly would not have local ministers sharing power but could scrutinise the work of British ministers. Nationalists might accept this plan as a stepping stone to full power sharing.

The British Army is due to start demolishing a number of other security bases in Northern Ireland this week, paving the way for a reduction of troops down to garrison level. Bases earmarked for early closure include several watchtowers in south Armagh.

Sunday Life

UVF blamed as feud against LVF escalates

By Sinead McCavana and Ciaran McGuigan

31 July 2005

UVF gunmen shot dead notorious LVF-linked criminal Stephen Paul last night.

The 29-year-old, who was recently released from prison, was riddled with bullets as he sat in a red Transit van, just yards from his father’s home in Wheatfield Crescent, off the Crumlin Road.

His passenger, a man, was also shot in the attack but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Last night Paul’s devastated son, Lee Brown, spoke to Sunday Life just hours after the shooting, which took place around 5.40pm.

“Cowardly bastards killed my father,” he said.

“I’m only 15 years old and my father was only 29.

“People think he was in the LVF but he wasn’t, because I asked him myself and he said ‘no’.

“If my father had been in the LVF he would have said so, that was the type he was.”

Paul is the third victim of the current loyalist feud between the LVF and UVF.

A neighbour, who did not want to be named, ran to the scene of the shooting after hearing up to 10 rounds being fired.

“I heard a lot of shots, maybe 10. It sounded like an automatic weapon because they were so close together,” he said.

“The van was sprayed with bullets, the glass was shattered.

“Stephen’s father was trying to help him, he was still in the front seat. The other guy was walking – he’d been hit but he could walk.

“The police were there very quickly but the ambulance seemed to take a while to get there.

“His father was telling police he wanted to take him to hospital in his car.

“The police officers did their best – they got him out of the van and onto the ground, where they were working on him.”

The injured victim was still being treated in the Mater Hospital last night.

Police are appealing for information, especially from anyone who saw a small blue car, registration RDZ 5600, in the area.

The vehicle was found burnt out in Forthriver Drive.

Paul was a career criminal and a notorious thug, who had previously escaped a number of murder bids at the hands of loyalists.

He was also a serial wife-beater, who was jailed in 2001 for a catalogue of offences against his young partner.

On one occasion the vicious thug beat his wife unconscious.

One loyalist source last night claimed that Paul had a public row with the UVF’s ‘military commander’ last week, which sealed his fate.

Said the source: “Paul had a row with this man, and offered him a ‘fair dig’ in front of a lot of people.

“But the other guy ducked the challenge and told Paul that he was a ‘dead man’.

“That was just a few days ago, and now he’s dead.”

But Paul had been on the hit-lists of a number of loyalist paramilitary figures for several years.

In January 1999, he miraculously survived a murder bid in Bangor’s Kilcooley estate.

His uncle, drug-dealer William ‘Wassy’ Paul, was killed in 1999 by Red Hand Commando Frankie Curry, apparently over a personal grudge.

Stephen Paul had a tattoo on his right arm: “In loving memory of Uncle Wassy murdered by a cowardly b——.”

DUP MLA Nelson McCausland last night appealed for feuding loyalists to end the violence.

“Whatever the background, whatever the circumstances, whatever the justification, there can be no justification for the taking of life,” he said.

“This feud is tearing communities apart, the unionist community wants it brought to an end.”

Local SDLP MLA Alban Maginness added his condemnation, saying the UVF could not profit from the violence.

“They must pull back immediately. In the week of the IRA’s decision, it is imperative loyalists get their act together and end this violence now.”

Thug no stranger to violence

COCKY criminal and serial wife-beater Paul was riddled with bullets in a previous loyalist murder bid – and then spat his defiance in an interview with Sunday Life.

Paul, then just 22, – but already a father-of-four – was ambushed outside this home in Bangor in January 1999.

From his hospital bed, with a bullet still lodged in his neck, he vowed to return to Bangor, saying: “I want to go back to prove that I’m not afraid. They have tried their best shot and I have survived . . . I don’t fear them.”

Paul was no stranger to violence. Just 24 hours before he was shot, he’d appeared in court on a charge of threatening to kill.

He was a gangster, drug dealer and self-confessed wife-beater.

He had been shot five times in the legs by the UDA when he was just 16. After that attack, he moved to Bangor where he continued his criminal life.

During a stretch in jail he formed an unlikely alliance with LVF drug dealer Adrian Porter.

Porter had been right-hand man to loyalist Frankie Curry, who shot dead Paul’s uncle, William ‘Wassy’ Paul, in 1998.

Stephen Paul, who idolised his uncle, hated Curry but became close to Porter – the two bound by a mutual interest in drugs, crime and a shared hatred and fear of senior UVF/Red Hand Commando figures.

Porter was shot dead by the Red Hand Commando in Conlig in March 2001.

Paul lived in fear of a similar attack by people close to his former wife, who accused him of beating her.

It is believed that is why he was ambushed in Kilcooley in 1999, and he later received threats, including a bullet delivered to his house.

And in October 2001, Paul was jailed for six-and-a-half years after confessing to a shameful list of crimes against his wife, including threats to kill, false imprisonment and a string of brutal assaults.

Sunday Life

By Ciaran McGuian

31 July 2005

A MAN charged with an attempted murder in a Co Down cemetery was a close pal of slain LVF godfather Steven Warnock.

Robert Black (35), described by senior security sources as a “leading light” in the LVF, appeared in court last week, accused of abducting and shooting a man in an incident in Holywood in June.

However, career criminal Black’s violent, drug-dealing past was raised in an earlier court hearing, in which the gangster-busting Assets Recovery Agency seized around £200,000 from the estate of murdered LVF chief Warnock.

Warnock was gunned down in September 2002 while driving through Newtownards with his three-year-old daughter, in the back of his £30,000 BMW.

Judge Girvan painted Warnock as a drug-dealing paramilitary godfather and said: “He associated with Robert Black, a known and proven drug dealer with 103 convictions for various offences including the importation of drugs, possession with intent to supply, robbery, burglary, deception and crimes of violence.”

A senior security source told Sunday Life: “Black is one of the most violent and dangerous members of the LVF.

“When he was remanded in custody, it made it a lot easier for the UVF to go into the Garnerville estate and start putting people out.

“With him still there, it could have turned very messy.”

Black, who survived a UVF murder bid near a south Belfast primary school two months ago, was arrested last weekend by detectives investigating a brutal shooting in Co Down last month.

A 26-year-old man was lucky to be left alive after being blasted in the chest with a shotgun.

He had earlier been abducted by three men from a filling station on the Old Holywood Road and taken to the Redburn Cemetery.

Black, from Glenlea Park in Belfast, appeared in Ards Magistrate’s Court last Monday charged with attempted murder.

Another man, Jonathan Smyth (22), also from Glenlea Park, is also charged with the attempted murder, which Crown lawyers have linked to the ongoing feud between the rival UVF and LVF paramilitaries.

The charges were scheduled, and will be heard before a judge sitting without a jury if they proceed to the Crown Court.

Sunday Life

By Alan Murray

31 July 2005

THE UVF’s drive against the LVF in east Belfast, last weekend, wasn’t planned.

What began as a minor incident snowballed, but now the UVF is keen to repeat what it regards as a successful tactic against it’s bitter rivals.

Loyalist sources say the UVF operation, in Garnerville, which drove out the LVF, last Sunday and Monday, began with a few UVF men having a barbecue, before they turned to give LVF rivals a grilling.

It’s understood that on Sunday evening, a leading UVF man went to the area with another UVF man, who had been put out of the estate by the LVF months previously.

Along with two other UVF men they went to the exiled man’s old home, in Garnerville, where his wife and family still live, and decided to have a barbecue.

After a few drinks, more UVF men were invited to come up and join in, and eventually the now swollen UVF party decided to pay a visit to the home of one of the LVF figures in the estate.

“It just snowballed after that. The LVF man panicked and jumped into his car and fled, and the UVF men thought this was a successful ploy and went to another couple of houses, phoned up more UVF men, and went from house to house, telling the LVF men that they were staying in the estate. The rest is local history,” one loyalist revealed.

“It wasn’t a grand plan by the UVF leadership, it all just bubbled out of a barbecue, a few drinks, knocking on a few doors, and the LVF panicked.

“They thought they were going to be hammered, but there was no big UVF plan, and the LVF just put one and one together and got three.

“But, now that it’s done, there will be no going back, and the UVF will push on to Holywood to winkle them out of there, and put them across the river.”

Loyalist sources also revealed that unknown to the UVF, a key LVF figure in Garnerville had been ‘stood down’ by its overall leadership just two days earlier.

The man, who we can’t name for legal reasons, is a relative of a man shot dead in a loyalist feud.

LVF sources have confirmed to Sunday Life, that he was relieved of his position within the small terror group, a couple of days before the UVF invaded the estate.

‘Freedom Party’ for troubled estate

WHAT a difference a few days make.

There was a party atmosphere in the Garnerville estate yesterday, where, earlier in the week, masked UVF men and supporters invaded to drive out people accused of links to the rival LVF group.

Yesterday, kids played on bouncy castles, and had their faces painted in a street celebration, dubbed a Freedom Party.

One local woman, a long term resident, said: “We’re calling it a Freedom Party because we don’t have the LVF here anymore to torture us.”

Some residents, who favoured the UVF invasion, claimed they were glad to see the back of LVF elements, who they blamed for drug dealing, noisy all-night parties, intimidation, and other anti-social behaviour, during the last couple of years.

Sunday Life

UVF plan to push terror rivals into Antrim estate

By Alan Murray
31 July 2005

THE UVF is planning to drive LVF remnants in north Down across the Lagan into exile in Co Antrim.

And, UVF bosses are preparing for another Garnerville-style mass invasion – this time in Ballysillan, north Belfast, before forcing their rivals to Ballycraigy, in Antrim.

Local commanders in east Belfast and north Down have been ordered to concentrate on pushing the remaining small knot of LVF activists and associates out of Holywood, where they fled to, after being forced to leave the nearby Garnerville area.

But, a heavy PSNI presence in Holywood, since Wednesday, has prevented the UVF from repeating their saturation tactics in Garnerville, which intimidated LVF opponents from the area, last Sunday and Monday.

But, a reliable source told Sunday Life: “The UVF leadership wants them out of Holywood, and they won’t let them move down to Bangor, nor will the UDA. Neither organisation wants the LVF about them, because of the trouble they cause.

“The UVF intends to hit the dozen or so flats and houses, occupied by the LVF, in Holywood, and force them out,” one source revealed.

The UVF expects what remains of the organisation in east Belfast and Holywood to decamp to Ballysillan, in north Belfast.

“The UVF feels that it can deploy enough men in Ballysillan to intimidate the LVF out of there, just as they have done in east Belfast, and plan to do in Holywood and ultimately drive the LVF to Ballycraigy, in Antrim, well out of the way, and out of striking distance”.

slnews@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Sunday Life

By John McGurk

31 July 2005

THE Secretary Of State, Peter Hain took a historic step towards a new Northern Ireland – on the streets of Crossmaglen!

For the Ulster political supremo undertook an impromptu walkaround in the south Armagh border village where the security forces have, in the past, been wary to tread.

The Secretary Of State revealed that he had decided to see the village for himself, during what was described as “a routine visit” to the local police station last Tuesday.

An NIO spokesman told Sunday Life: “He was visiting Crossmaglen police station and, during the visit, he asked about the public access area.

“So he went out onto the street of Crossmaglen and then walked down to the square for about five to 10 minutes, accompanied by the local police commander, Bobby Hunniford.”

Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight, Mr Hain said that the response from locals to his impromptu walkabout, with police and soldiers in support, “was not unfriendly”.

And he added that he could foresee a “future in which we can have normal policing, including community bobbies” in the village and elsewhere.

Other Secretaries Of State are thought to have visited Crossmaglen security base in the past. And former Tory spokesman for Northern Ireland, Quentin Davies went to the border village in 2002.

But many political observers believe that this is the first time a current Secretary Of State has actually set foot in the streets.

However, Hain’s potentially historic walkaround was a bit of a mystery to some locals.

Barmaids in two pubs – the Clarnagh Maid and the Grocer Publican Undertaker – said that none of their customers had clapped eyes on him.

One barmaid told Sunday Life: “You would expect to hear people talking about it. But nobody has mentioned it.”

Sunday Life

By Stephen Breen

31 July 2005

Joan Feenan, from Ardglass, Co Down is seeking a face-to-face meeting with graveyard killer Michael Stone over the murders of her elderly aunt and cousin.

She believes Stone can help solve the double-killing of Kathleen and Terence Mullan.

Mrs Mullan (79) and son Terence (32) were gunned down at their isolated Ballynahinch home by the UFF in 1986.

Lisburn loyalist Jeffrey McCullough was convicted of assisting the killers, but no-one has ever been charged with their murders.

At the time, loyalists claimed Mr Mullan was a driver for senior republicans – a claim the family vehemently denies.

Ms Feenan (53) wants to meet Stone because she believes the gun used was one of the weapons later used by him to kill three people at Milltown Cemetery, in 1988.

Said Ms Feenan: “My aunt and cousin’s senseless murders have been on my mind for a very long time.

“We were told that the weapon used in the attack was the same one used by Stone at Milltown – that’s why I’m willing to meet him.

“I don’t know if he killed my relatives but he may know something about it. I’m not afraid to meet him.

“I just want to know why they were murdered. They were completely innocent, and even if it is almost 20 years on, we still deserve answers.

“I’ve also decided to speak out now because I’m aware of the promise by police to re-investigate unsolved murders of the Troubles, and I want to know if my aunt and cousin are included in this process.”

Stone said: “I’ve no problem meeting this woman because I have nothing to hide. I didn’t kill her relatives.

“I’ll admit that I did see his ‘file’, and I believe he was a legitimate target because I believe he was involved with republicanism.

“The gun I used at Milltown was taken from a police officer some two years before, but I can remember the cops telling me a different type of weapon was used to kill the Mullans.

“I was active in the south Down area, and I will try and tell this woman why young loyalists went out to kill in a ‘war’ situation.”

Times Online

**Via News Hound

Dearbhail McDonald
July 31, 2005

THE ink was barely dry on last week’s IRA statement when a group of army engineers flew in to dismantle the super Sanger lookout post that has blighted the South Armagh enclave of Newtownhamilton for almost 30 years.

Local residents, who had heard the army had moved in at 9am on Friday morning to dismantle the nearby hilltop observation tower at Sugarloaf mountain in Camlough, gathered in disbelief to see for themselves whether the infamous observation post was finally coming down.

Increased security — paratroopers patrolling the streets and helicopters flying overhead — failed to raise expectations that the towering concrete and corrugated tin structure that forces residents to take a two-mile detour around the town would be torn down.

“It is just like any other day,” said Noelle McGarvey, a mother of three from the village and a local SDLP councillor. “Don’t be fooled by the paras on the streets or the drone of the helicopters. That means nothing, they’re always here. Newtown is an army barracks with a village surrounding it, instead of a village that has a police station.”

Thursday’s IRA statement, the fruit of six months of unrelenting pressure on Sinn Fein, called an end to the war and was billed by the republican party as a momentous document. But even locals in the IRA’s south Armagh heartland, ground down by years of peace-process tedium, struggled to respond with appropriate fervour.

“We’ve been living under a cloud of oppression for so long,” said Frances Caherty, a member of the local development committee. “I’m trying to get excited about the IRA statement, I haven’t heard it in full yet, but it has reached a point where total apathy has set in. People still resent the army presence here, but there’s nothing you can do. You just get on with it.

“You couldn’t compare the IRA statement to the Good Friday agreement, you can’t even think about it in that way. But, hopefully it is a small step towards returning our lives to some semblance of normality.”

In the Central bar, punters were equally unfazed. “Aye, I suppose it’s great. Everyone keeps telling us that it is, but it’s about 11 years too late,” said Patrick Haughey from Cullyhanna. “The problem in Northern Ireland was never politics. It was sectarianism and it still is. I suppose it is historical because we can try and move from war to peace and Catholics will get to have their say, because up until now they’ve been ignored.”

Publican Neil Gildernew, who owns the Central, said locals had more important issues, such as policing, criminality and inward investment, to discuss.

“Nobody is even talking about it,” said the cousin of Michelle Gildernew, the Sinn Fein MEP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone. “In fact, the only people getting excited about it are the media. I think it is an historic statement; at least I hope it is. I’m trying my best to be optimistic.

“Newtownhamilton is the town the world has forgotten. People don’t realise it’s still under siege by the soldiers. I’ve been burgled three times in recent weeks, and I’ve given up on the police catching the hooligans. Who is policing this area? The paras, the police or paramilitaries?” In nearby Crossmaglen, therepublican capital of “bandit country”, close to the home Thomas “Slab” Murphy, chief of staff of the IRA, the presence of the British Army was of primary concern.

“We’ll be the last to go, we’re not too optimistic about any major changes in Cross,” said Neil Comiskey, 23, a regular at Shorts bar. “I want the soldiers off the streets and the troops out for good. Then I want proper jobs and opportunities for young people like me. We have nothing to do all day except hang around the streets”.

“The IRA statement is just a bunch of words and it means nothing to people in Crossmaglen,” said Aidan Short, son of the late publican Paddy Short. “There were more celebrations in 1994. There was a cataclysmic shift in people’s minds back then. Locals have faith in the sincerity of the statement, but it’s not historic. The momentum has gone and people here have just got on with their lives.

“We are still living under watchtowers, we are still cut off and living in a cocoon. Nobody will trade here because they think it is unsafe.”

Most locals seemed happy to turn a blind eye to the IRA’s criminal enterprise, the subject of much criticism from the Irish government. “Diesel laundering, smuggling, all the craic is not criminality, it’s a way of life,” said one local. “We don’t connect that activity, the way that some people like Michael McDowell do, with criminality and paramilitary activity. It’s not all going to fund bloody IRA weapons, everyone does it. They’re just trading, and evading tax while they’re at it. That’s normal, that’s Crossmaglen, it’s not criminality. The IRA statement won’t change that. People are doing well out of it too.”

In Camlough, home of Raymond McCreesh, the republican hunger striker and Conor Murphy, the rising star of Sinn Fein, reactions to demilitarisation were mixed. “I’m delighted to see it go,” said Barry Doherty, who has lived in the shadow of the army base in Camlough. “But it should have come down a long time ago.”

Surprisingly, in this republican heartland, nobody openly called for a return to violence although not everyone was happy with the decision to dump IRA arms. “You would just want to be careful about who you talk to about the IRA,” cautioned one local. “A lot of people aren’t as happy with it as they seem.”

The Observer

The IRA member’s reaction

Anthony McIntyre
Sunday July 31, 2005
The Observer

Anthony McIntyre served 18 years in prison for IRA activity. He is currently a republican columnist with the online journal, the Blanket

Whatever one may think of Seanna Walsh’s views or his management style, there can be little to quibble about when it comes to his courage and stamina.

A fully committed IRA volunteer who lasted the distance and mastered challenges faced by few others, he was leader of the H-Blocks IRA in 1982 as it made the transition from prison protest to accommodation with the regime. It was an accommodation that benefited the IRA much more than it ever did the prison authorities.

In a twilight zone where the old certainties had crumbled for many of us, Walsh had the necessary vision to set the IRA on course for some of its most remarkable achievements in prison.

When I watched him read the IRA statement announcing a formal end to its armed campaign against the British, my only emotion was indifference. Better, no doubt, that he read it than some career-bent politician who had shunned republicanism when association with it came bearing a hefty price tag. It is difficult to work up the energy required to feel something when formalities are all that we are left with. It is comparable to receiving a death certificate many years after a loved one has died. The raw emotion was vented at the time of the event rather than at the point of its much-delayed announcement.

I have long come to accept that the IRA lost its war with the British state. Whatever way it seeks to camouflage last week’s statement in the garb of ongoing struggle, it has effectively settled for an internal Northern Ireland solution. Having Walsh read out the statement was an attempt by the Provisional leadership to smuggle into the subtext the imprimatur of Bobby Sands. We have no idea what Sands would have thought today. But at the time his death was an act of defiance against everything the Provisional movement has come to embrace today.

Throughout the peace process IRA volunteers were treated with contempt by their own leadership; allowed no input, the end game was always withheld from them. The British were never in any doubt where it was all going. They assiduously aided the Sinn Fein leadership in its slow strangulation of the IRA, which saw Western Europe’s most formidable guerrilla army degenerate into a new Official IRA – the Sticks – an alternative republican body, regarded as traitors and despised by the men of the Bobby Sands era.

Sands once famously remarked that our revenge would be the laughter of our children. Our children, if they are generous, will not laugh at us for fighting a futile war, merely for pretending that it was somehow victorious.

From his grave Sands may ruefully ponder, ‘for what?’ From his own, Cathal Goulding, long-time chief of the Official IRA, will smugly say: ‘We are all Sticks now.’

Times Online

**Via News Hound

Liam Clarke
July 31, 2005

THE Democratic Unionist party will insist on a two-year decontamination period before entering government with Sinn Fein if the IRA fails to provide visual proof that it is has dumped its weapons.

The party has warned that in the absence of transparent decommissioning it will demand an extended period of IRA inactivity before sharing power with the republicans.

Last night Peter Robinson, the deputy leader of the DUP, said: “If they (the IRA) do their decommissioning in a hole-in-the-corner way, we could be talking several years of an assessment period to gauge their intentions. If they do things openly and transparently then obviously the period of assessment could be significantly shortened.”

By openly and transparently, the DUP means with a full photographic record of the decommissioning process and an inventory of the arms put beyond use. This, they believe, is necessary to build confidence among their voters that the IRA threat has passed.

“The less transparency you have the more time it will take for people to feel confident,” said Robinson.

Jeffrey Donaldson, a DUP MP and member of the party’s negotiating team, said the IRA and Sinn Fein had refused to move before carrying out a period of consultation with their grassroots and ensuring their followers were happy. “We have the same approach. We will not move into government unless we are confident that the unionist community can support what we are doing. It may be that we will want to test public opinion on the issue through an election.” Elections to the suspended Northern Ireland assembly are not due until 2007.

Donaldson added: “That period of assessment will lengthen with the lack of transparency by the IRA on decommissioning. It has already lengthened as a result of the early release of Sean Kelly (the Shankill bomber), which has dented unionist confidence.”

Robinson and Donaldson will drive the point home this Wednesday when they bring a delegation of people injured in, or bereaved by, the Shankill bombing to meet Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary. He agreed to release Sean Kelly, who planted the bomb that killed 10 people in 1993, after reading a draft of the IRA statement.

The DUP’s attitude represents a setback for the British and Irish governments. They had hoped that, if the IRA held to promises made in its statement, they might restore power sharing next spring.

While the DUP may not be willing to enter government so soon, the party’s leaders are prepared to enter a shadow assembly without executive powers. Such an interim assembly would not have local ministers sharing power but could scrutinise the work of British ministers. Nationalists might accept this plan as a stepping stone to full power sharing.

The British Army is due to start demolishing a number of other security bases in Northern Ireland this week, paving the way for a reduction of troops down to garrison level. Bases earmarked for early closure include several watchtowers in south Armagh.

Bobby Sands mural photo
Ní neart go cur le chéile

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'So venceremos, beidh bua againn eigin lá eigin. Sealadaigh abú.' --Bobby Sands