October 31, 2003

Tories choose Hallowe'en horror

Michael Howard is set to claim leadership of the the British Conservative Party after a majority of the party's MPs pledged support for the former British Home Secretary.

Loyalists terrorise pensioner

An elderly widow's home has been attacked by loyalists for what may be the the fifteenth such attack in recent years.

SDLP man attacks `tired old party'

Paisley launches scary campaign

A former member of the SDLP has launched a stinging attack on his own party which he claims lacks talent and is ``bereft of political ideas''.

Electoral officer charged with fraud

A former chief executive of the Ulster Unionist Party is to appear in court charged with theft and false accounting at an electoral office.

Bloody Sunday victim was unarmed, Inquiry hears

A man, who attempted to get medical attention for a Bloody Sunday victim, said on Thursday that he did not see any explosives on the body.

2 And 3 Reasons To Be Cheerful

Dealing with unionists, as some of our patient elected representatives are doing at the moment, is difficult for a number of reasons.

P>Ahern's leadership is a weakness

In the fallout from David Trimble's latest walkout from the political process, little attention has been paid to the role of the Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrats government. Bertie Ahern had welcomed the Sinn Fein/UUP talks but in the aftermath of the breakdown he was at pains to show that he had his doubts beforehand. It was a performance bordering on self-justification and the Taoiseach could almost be heard whispering ``I told you so''.

Adams speaks on peace process, diaspora in U.S.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams spoke to an audience of several hundred in the southern U.S. on Wednesday, addressing topics ranging from his involvement in the Irish peace process to the role Irish-Americans play in those events.

October 29, 2003

Tories seek new leader as IDS is booted

Iain Duncan-Smith has this evening been deposed as leader of the British Conservative Party by 90 votes to 75.

Terence MacSwiney

Terence MacSwiney was born in Cork in 1879. After completing his secondary school education at the Christian Brothers' School at North Monastery in Cork city, he went to work as an entry clerk at Dwyer and Co, a Cork Warehousing and distribution company, at the age of 15.


The IRA tonight called for a deal involving the Ulster Unionists and the British and Irish governments, which dramatically collapsed last week, to be honoured in full.

Frazer, McCann to contest elections

A campaigner against the IRA tonight announced he will be standing in next month's Assembly Elections.

Blair claims he received arms info

The British Prime Minister Mr Blair has failed to clear up confusion over his claimed source of information on recent moves by the IRA to put arms beyond use.

Attacks blamed on loyalists

A retired couple are the latest victims of a series of attacks at homes in Armagh town in the last week.

Transparent Reminders

two teenagers, Gavin and Michael, stood talking at the road junction on a late Sunday night in July, near the entrance to a GAA club.

Ahern sits on Dublin-Monaghan report

The Irish Prime Minister, An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has received the long-awaited report by Justice Barron into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings which killed 33 people, but has refused to make it public.

October 27, 2003

UUP election candidate attended racist meetings

An Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate attended meetings of the British white supremacist organisation the National Front, it has emerged.

PSNI watch as Loyalists tear down posters

Sinn Féin East Antrim Assembly candidate Oliver McMullen has accused the PSNI police of standing by as known Loyalists tore down Sinn Féin election posters in Glenarm.

Interview with Gerry Adams

The following is the transcript of an interview on Irish television on Sunday with Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

Deal hopes fade

Trimble prepares election broadcast

As election concerns move to the fore, hopes that the peace process can be put back on track in the short term are fading.

Protestors force Bolivian President into exile

Bolivia's neo-liberal political parties have regained control of the South American country's Congress after a general strike put an end to the government of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. The parties agreed to formalise Sanchez de Lozada's resignation, his exile to Miami and the election of Vice President Carlos Mesa as the country's new president.

Christian Brothers clash with abuse victims

One of Ireland's biggest religious orders clashed today with an organisation representing victims of child abuse after denying it has been responsible for widespread abuse.

The Nature of Unionism

BILL DELANEY puts Tuesday's events into the context of unionism's dark past and uncertain future.

October 24, 2003

US representatives express regret at Trimble's actions

In a statement issued following the breakdown of the progress towards agreement on Tuesday, US Senator Chris Dodd expressed regret at the actions of David Trimble and urged that the elections proceed as scheduled. He said:

Spin, hype and hope

When journalists and photographers wake up to a 7am announcement of an election date, there can be no denying the palpable buzz of excitement this creates. And when this happened on Tuesday and more of the day's events began to unfold, it did indeed look as though front pages the following day would read along the lines of `Historic Tuesday for the North'.

LVF drugs ring `smashed'; UDA feud lingers on

The IRA apologised today to the families of the ``disappeared''.

It was confirmed on Monday that the remains found at Shelling Hill beach in County Louth were those of Jean McConville, who was killed by the IRA in 1972. Despite the IRA's efforts, the remains of six others who suffered a similar fate have never been recovered.

The IRA said it was sorry for the grief caused to family members for so long. It also insisted it had re-examined all available information and even revisited burial sites, in an attempt to find remains.

The IRA said it had acted in good faith and would continue to do so. The statement said: ``Our intention in initiating our investigation has been to rectify this injustice, for which we accept full responsibility.

``During the course of all of these searches we have continued to process all information that might assist in any way. So far the remains of four people have been recovered. We will do all that we can to bring closure for the other families.

``If further information comes to light we will assess and process that information,'' the IRA said.

IRA apology for lost remains

The IRA apologised today to the families of the ``disappeared''.

Informer's account dismissed as ``pure fantasy''

The claims of the informer Paddy Ward, who has been giving evidence to the Saville Inquiry, have been dismissed by Martin McGuinness as ``pure fantasy''.

Trimble raises the bar

Talks to revive a deal for the full implementation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement have suffered a fresh blow after Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, yesterday resurrected an old pre-condition on his support for a return of the North's local power-sharing institutions.

De Chastelain could resign over confidentiality

A spokesman for Gen de Chastelain's Independent International Commission on Decommissioning confirmed the general and his fellow commissioners would resign if forced to reveal the extent of IRA arms moves without its agreement.

Trimble raises the bar

Talks to revive a deal for the full implementation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement have suffered a fresh blow after Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble, yesterday resurrected an old pre-condition on his support for a return of the North's local power-sharing institutions.

Republicans deliver

On Tuesday, republicans - both Sinn Féin and the IRA - delivered on their side of the agreed sequence of events involving unionists, republicans and the two governments.

October 22, 2003

Tribunal hears of bribe in Dáil bar

There was further pressure on a government TD last night after the Mahon tribunal heard claims he took a 2,000 pound bribe in the bar of the Irish parliament.

The deal that never was

Efforts resumed today to rescue a deal with the potential to revive the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, with the Irish and British governments coming under pressure from both Sinn Féin and the Ulster Unionists.

Reunification through Planned Integration

The following is the introduction to Sinn Féin's Strategy Framework Document, Reunification through Planned Integration: Sinn Féin's All Ireland Agenda.

`Dissident loyalists' blamed for attacks on warders

Two separate petrol bomb attacks on prison officers' homes have benn blamed on unionist paramilitaries.

Craigavon racists put Mosque in doubt

Despite winning planning permission, Muslims in Craigavon have delayed building the first mosque in the Six Counties amid increased racist attacks in the town.

On election footing

At last, Assembly elections have finally been called.

October 20, 2003

UDA targets former representatives

The unionist paramilitary UDA has begun targeting former members of its political wing who do not back its anti-Good Friday Agreementstance.

Remembering Sheena Campbell

On 16 October 1992., a young mother was shot dead in the York Hotel on Botanic Avenue in Belfast. The killing was carried out by a lone UVF assassin, who had strolled casually into the hotel bar, his face covered by a scarf, a hat pulled low over his eyes. He looked around the room before calmly walking over to a table where three young people were sitting talking, unaware of his approach. He produced an automatic machine pistol and fired it at 29-year-old Sheena Campbell, striking her several times in the chest and throat.

Peadar O'Donnell on stage

The life and times of Peadar O'Donnell, republican activist and soldier, socialist, campaigner for workers' rights and prolific writer, narrated by Derry-based singer Joe Mulheron, was both inspiring and entertaining while never losing sight of O'Donnell's humanity.

Gardaí 'allowed Omagh bomb to cross border'

Senior Irish police ignored a clear warning about the 1998 Omagh bomb to protect an informer, according to a Sunday newspaper report.

John Kelly to resign from Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has paid tribute to veteran republican John Kelly who has announced that he will resign from the party and not seek re-election to the assembly.

Nervous days for high-wire process

Certainty, and the lack of it, is concerning nationalist and unionist negotiators as the ingredients of a potentially historic deal to bring about the full and final implementation of the Good Friday Agreement are being put in place.

Move to overhaul farmers' support payments welcomed

The Minister for Agriculture in Dublin, Joe Walsh, is to push ahead with a plan to make farmers' support payments independent from their agricultural production.

Irish Prisoners Treated Harshly In U.S. Custody


What is it about Irishmen, the inside of prisons and freedom? If you asked Ciaran Ferry, currently being held in solitary in Denver, at the pleasure of the United States Justice Department and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he might start out with the following brief story.

October 17, 2003

PSNI `used nationalists as shields'

The PSNI police has been accused of using nationalist residents as shields during a dissident republican attack in County Fermanagh last week.

Thomas Russell (1767-1803), United Irishman

`Into our townlan', on a night of snow,
Rode a man from God-knows- where;'

Five days left for deal - Ahern

Talks are continuing in Belfast and Brussels after the Irish Prime Minister, Bertie Ahern, declared Wednesday as the effective deadline for the announcement of a deal to end the stalemate over the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

North's electoral Office `forgets' Republican estates

The Six-County electoral office has admitted that thousands of voters in the nationalist Poleglass Estate of Belfast were ``overlooked'' during its recent voter registration drive, and thousands more will not have the photographic identification required to claim their vote.

East Timor President visits Belfast

President Xanana Gusmao of East Timor has met republican and loyalist groups in west Belfast in a historic visit by the leader of the recently liberated Asian island nation.

Former IRA men to counter Bloody Sunday claims

A Derry Sinn Féin councillor is expected to tell the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that he was the leader of the junior wing of the IRA in the city on the day.

British Arts Council funds loyalist murder gangs

The British Arts Council has given more than £100,000 of lottery money to fund unionist paramilitary `Kick the Pope' bands, including one closely identified with UVF and Red Hand Commandos.

What is the meaning of Arts?

The Arts Council refused to fund Joe Mulheron's recent performance about Peadar O Donnell. The Arts Council must give reasons for this decision, but underlying it is the question of what is the meaning of Arts?

October 15, 2003

UUP feud erupts again

Jeffrey Donaldson, one of the three anti-Agreement Ulster Unionist MPs who defied party leader, David Trimble, says he's having second thoughts about re-entering the party fold.

UDA power struggle in north Belfast

New infighting among unionist paramilitaries has led to at least one central figure in the UDA fleeing the country.

Raising a family in Dublin

I see they have jailed a nursing mother for one week for protesting over the waste tax. This mother's child stays with her at night in Mount Joy and goes home with its father to Dorset St. during the day. The treatment of this mother by the state in the republic comes as no surprise.

Cover-up claim `outrageous' - Bloody Sunday General

The British Army's most senior officer told the Bloody Sunday Inquiry today that he was not involved in a cover-up of the massacre of 13 Irish civil rights demonstrators by British forces in Derry on January 30, 1972. A fourteenth died later from his injuries.

Elections should go ahead - Blair

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he accepts that elections in the North of Ireland should go ahead.

Cover-up claim `outrageous' - Bloody Sunday General

The British Army's most senior officer told the Bloody Sunday Inquiry today that he was not involved in a cover-up of the massacre of 13 Irish civil rights demonstrators by British forces in Derry on January 30, 1972. A fourteenth died later from his injuries.

Protestor injured as bin charge row escalates

An anti-bin charge protestor has been hospitalised after an incident at a bin depot yesterday, marking a potentially dangerous escalation of a major dispute over the new charge for waste collection in Dublin.

Will handshake lead to elections?

(from the Irish People)

We all learned recently that Gerry Adams and David Trimble shook hands for the very first time in the early summer.

Ahern admits adviser held talks with dissidents

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has confirmed that, despite previous denials, his former special adviser on the North held a meeting with a Republican dissident group.

October 13, 2003

Thousands march in support of jailed bin tax protestors

Thousands of protesters staged a rally outside Mountjoy Prison in Dublin on Saturday to demand the release of jailed anti-bin charge campaigners.

Separation vs. Segregation

``The people who voted for the Agreement, which included the desperately difficult issue of the early release of paramilitary prisoners, did so on the basis that there would be no place for anyone who would use violence to achieve political ends. ``

Sanctions body meets for first time

The Independent Monitoring Commission which has been set up by the Irish and British governments to adjudicate on paramilitary ceasefires and other peace process issues, met for the first time yesterday.

Report due on Dublin/Monaghan attacks

The Dublin government will receive the Barron report into the 1974 bombings in Dublin and Monaghan in the next two weeks, it has been reported.

Paddy and Collette's story

In the last 20 years, the number of young men in the Six Counties that have committed suicide has more than doubled. AINE Ni BHRIAIN talks to a Belfast couple who are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of their son

Negotiators involved in London summit

A full-scale summit is being held in London today as efforts to secure agreement on the future of the peace process reach a climax ahead of an expected announcement of elections to the Belfast Assembly.

Divided island seeks Irish help for peace

Political representatives from Sinn Féin and the loyalist Progressive Unionist Party have taken part in talks to advance the peace process on the island of Sri Lanka.

Dissident bomb attack in Fermanagh

Dissident republicans have been blamed for an attempted bomb attack on a PSNI police station in the border village of Roslea on Saturday night.

October 10, 2003

Warped economic agenda


What is going on with cutbacks in jobs in education and health? Isn't there a crisis in these sectors? What is the government doing?

UUP feud ends amid poll threat

Three dissident Ulster Unionist MPs are to rejoin the party's group at Westminster following a hardening of the party's attitude to the Good Friday Agreement.

Para wanted to shoot Martin McGuinness

A former British soldier who wanted to take Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness ``dead or alive'' on Bloody Sunday claimed he had him in his rifle sights during earlier street disturbances in Belfast.

When history was made

By Michelle Gildernew

In Caledon, County Tyrone there is a small housing development called Kinnard Park, a place that I had never been to until I was an adult, but somewhere that I heard about throughout my childhood. It was here in 1968 that my family were evicted from a house in an event that was to have major implications for my future and that of this country.

Loyalists escalate campaign

Loyalists have carried out a series of sectarian attacks against Catholic homes over the past two days.

Who's policing the police?

In the second part of her examination of the Gardaí police in the 26 Counties, JOANNE CORCORAN looks at the measures necessary to create a policing service based on accountability rather than on a culture of denial.

Major protest called after further bin tax jailings

Anti-bin-charge campaigners called for a massive demonstration in Dublin tomorrow following the jailing of 10 more protesters.

Bad week for Peace Process optimists

To date, Sinn Féin's discussions with the two governments and the UUP have focused on the need to secure firm commitments - guarantees - on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and the sustainability of the institutions.

October 8, 2003

One in three in Six Counties living in poverty

A recently-released report has revealed that one in three people in the Six Counties is living in poverty.

The Great Experiment

I see the ongoing revolution in Ireland as an amazing, extraordinary, path breaking project on the world stage of the struggle for justice. However, I am not sure that everyone sees it like this. This article is to explain, and put the amazing events of the last 30 years in context - so that we can stand back and see the wood for the trees.

Talks for pre-election deal go `down to the wire'

The Sinn Féin president, Mr Gerry Adams, has warned that unionists and the two governments ``have set the bar too high'' for republicans.

Judge finds police investigations were incomplete

The Canadian judge investigating collusion between the security forces and paramilitaries in Ireland has said he has uncovered lines of inquiry that have not been followed by detectives.

Who's policing the police?

A series of two articles by JOANNE CORCORAN on the police in the 26 Counties, An Garda Síochána [Guardians of the Peace]

Family recounts night of masked loyalist terror

A Catholic family of four have told how they were forced to flee their home on the Parkhill estate in Antrim after an attack by a gang of masked unionist paramilitaries on Sunday night 5 October.

Coroner finds MoD, PSNI in contempt

The PSNI police and the British Ministry of Defence are in contempt of court after they failed to comply with a coroner's ruling to provide unedited material and video tape linked to the SAS and Loyalist killings of 10 people in Tyrone.

Bloody Sunday soldier accused of murder

A British soldier who fired a total of 22 shots in Derry on Bloody Sunday yesterday denied that he was a ``systematic liar'' and that he was a member of a ``murder squad'' on the day the British Army shot dead 13 civilians and wounded 13 others.

British army harassment in Fermanagh

Sinn Fein has criticised the level of British army activity in the Fermanagh area after a Sinn Fein activist was verbally abused and held for 45 minutes on Thursday night 2 October.

Wishful thinking in the Dáil

By Mícheál MacDonncha

All parties in the Dáil agree that it was wrong for the British government to unilaterally cancel the Assembly elections in the Six Counties. They voted accordingly after a debate called by Sinn Féin TDs before the summer recess and on Tuesday in the Dáil the Taoiseach repeated that the postponement was a move ``we opposed and continue to oppose''.

October 6, 2003

UDA plotted to kill Kennedys

Unionist paramilitaries planned to assassinate members of America's most famous family nearly a decade ago when they attended a miscarriage of justice hearing at a Belfast court.

Ombudsman urged to investigate O'Hara killing

The family of a Catholic student who was shot dead by unionist paramilitaries 11 years ago is to ask the Police Ombudsman to investigate allegations that the RUC police colluded in the killing.

Arms move could bolster 'progressive unionism'

Sinn Fein's chief negotiator Martin McGuinness has suggested that any future IRA move on arms should be more convincing for unionists.

Irish children facing exile

They came in their hundreds. There were the anti bin charge protestors. There were the little children from Drogheda, who, amongst so many in the state, want a decent school. There were the people who wanted Ireland to have no part in the warmongering that is happening around the world. There were the people who were abused as children in state and Church run institutions, who have been treated with disdain and contempt by the government, which wants to talk of `sample cases' in place of justice and full disclosure of the terrible things that happened to these people as children when they were `sentenced' to be incarcerated.

Celtic supporter survives serious assault

A 21-year-old North Belfast man had his skull fractured in a sectarian attack yesterday morning.

Call for end to `spy ring' prosecutions

The families of four people accused of operating an `IRA spy ring' at the Belfast Assembly have called for the charges against their relatives to be dropped.

Book Review - Hope and History

Hope and History: Making Peace in Ireland
By Gerry Adams
Brandon, €25

Gerry Adams has come a long way since the 1993 publication of The Street and Other Stories. Just ten short years ago, RTE refused to carry a 20-second ad for the book of stories penned by Adams, about Belfast and the people he had met there over the years.

Belfast man denied bail seven times

The Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams has expressed concern at the mistreatment of John O'Hagan by the North's still unreformed judicial system.

October 3, 2003

Spy-ring prosecutions `politically motivated'

Prosecutions arising out of an alleged IRA spy ring at the Belfast Assembly were politically motivated, it was alleged in court yesterday.

Gunmen vent sectarian rage at Gaelic supporters

Loyalist gunmen opened fire on a family's home in County Derry because they flew a Gaelic football flag yesterday. Three people escaped injury in the early hours attack in Coleraine.

One week left for talks breakthrough - Trimble

The British Secretary of State has said an election in the North of Ireland would lead to a ``dysfunctional assembly'' in Belfast without a move by the IRA.

Bloody Sunday para admits killing four

A former British soldier yesterday admitted he was responsible for killing four civil rights demonstrators in Derry on Bloody Sunday.

Even the dead can't rest in peace

``I smelt the smoke and started to panic. I was crying, most in my class were crying.'' These are the words of an 11-year-old pupil of Our Lady of Mercy girls secondary school in North Belfast. The child was describing the latest in a spate of attacks against Catholic schools throughout the north.

British Labour party to organise in Ireland

At its annual conference in Bournemouth, delegates of the British Labour party, led by Tony Blair, have backed a change to the party's rules which now allow people in the North of Ireland to join.

Unionist bitterness over Tyrone victory

Fair play to Tyrone, who showed they have just what it takes to win the All-Ireland in Croke Park on Sunday last. Armagh proved themselves worthy champions and took their defeat with immense dignity.

Blame game over growing abuse scandal

A scandal over a controversial backroom deal with the religious orders over compensation for child abuse victims continues to grow following efforts by the former Attorney General, Michael McDowell to distance himself and his office from the deal.

October 1, 2003

Sinn Féin office attacked by arsonists

Republicans battled to put out a fire after arsonists struck at Sinn Féin offices in County Tyrone on Monday. Bins were set alight at the back of the building on James Street, Omagh overnight. Flames destroyed an emergency rear entrance and scorched the carpet before the blaze was put out.

SF leaders address Labour conference meetings

As Tony Blair woos the Labour party faithful in Bournemouth with his mutually incompatible promise of both a wide ranging listening and consultation process and a blank refusal to change any actual policy, especially those the people most want him to change -- namely Iraq, foundation hospitals and student fees -- senior members of Sinn Féin have also been engaging the party membership on issues which affect the day-to-day lives of those living in the Six Counties, not least the denial of their democratic right to choose their own political representatives.

McDowell `up a pole' during abuse deal talks

The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell has confirmed he did not take part in crucial negotiations on the controversial compensation scheme for children abused in religious-run institutions.

McBride campaign wins support

Sarah Teather, the newly elected MP for Brent East in London, has expressed her backing for the campaign seeking justice for Peter McBride who was shot by Scots Guards in Belfast in 1992. Kelly McBride, sister of the victim, stood as an independent in the Brent East by-election.

Whose law? What democracy?

It was interesting to hear the chorus of condemnation from certain quarters against the bin-charge protesters last week. From the levels of outrage expressed by some establishment commentators, you'd think the protestors had captured government buildings and occupied the GPO (at least), rather than barricading a single lorry.

Schools targeted again

Catholic schoolgirls were terrorised as loyalist paramilitaries set fire to teachers' cars just yards from packed classrooms on Monday.

Leaders must earn accolades

An American university is giving a peace prize to two very deserving citizens, one English, the other Irish. ``In recognition of their work for peace in Ireland''.

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