January 30, 2004

UDA using powerful flares as bombs

Unionist paramilitaries are using nautical distress flares as booby-trap devices, the PSNI police has revealed.

Supreme Court ruling undermines Good Friday Agreement

Two men, Michael O'Neill and John Quinn have lost their appeal to the 26-County Supremem Court appeal against the unexplained denial of their early release under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

Scottish Bloody Sunday march banned

A Bloody Sunday commemoration march due to take place in Scotland on Saturday has been banned for the second year running after fears of a loyalist attack. The West of Scotland Bands Alliance organises the main Scottish Bloody Sunday commemoration march every year.

Observers' concern at continuing Colombia trial delay

A delegation of international observers are visiting Colombia to express their concern at the delay in the decision in relation to Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan. The men have now been in jail for two and a half years. The trial finished in July of last year and there is still no verdict.


Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley has held what he has described as a ``very constructive'' meeting with Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

History of the Bogside

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday. We publish a history of the area and community which was attacked that day, prepared by the Bloody Sunday Trust.

Diplomat accuses British of collusion

A former senior Irish diplomat, Sean Donlon, has told a parliamentary sub-committee in Dublin that be believed there was British security force collusion in the 1974 bombings of Dublin and Monaghan.

Spooks and spin-doctors win again

The Hutton fiasco shows the need, more than ever, for a full international inquiry into collusion and the nest of vipers that calls itself ``British intelligence''.

January 28, 2004

PSNI harass republicans

Sinn Féin Assembly member for West Belfast Fra McCann has accused the PSNI police of `engaging in a campaign of harassment against republicans'. Mr McCann's remarks come after homes in New Barnsley and Ballymurphy were raided this morning and one man was arrested.

Hundreds of young men committed suicide in 2003

Suicide is the main cause of death among young men in Ireland according to official statistics.

Human rights groups `a curse' - Trimble

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble yesterday described the human rights ``industry'' as ``one of the great curses of this world''.


The 26-County Dublin government has said it is prepared to work with the unionist paramilitary UDA to advance the peace process despite the group's ongoing campaign of violence.

Saving `Bobby Sands Street'

The following online petition to the President of Iran, launched by Danny Morrison, calls for the Iranian government to ignore British pressure to rename Bobby Sands street in the Iranian capital, Tehran. Bobby Sands was the first of ten men to die in the 1981 hunger strike in defiance of Margaret Thatcher's criminalisation of the armed struggle.

Bloody Sunday testimony draws to a close

A date has been set for the end of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Belfast demo against racism

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Belfast yesterday demanding an end to racism.

Who is going to police the secret armies?

Thankfully, apart from continuing political chaos there is still a postpeace-process good feeling factor in the North.

January 26, 2004

Children targeted by UDA booby-trap; Ahern meets UDA

Children escaped serious injury yesterday when an apparent booby-trap device, which had the potential to kill, failed to ignite at a west Belfast sports club.

Detainees beaten after Galway protest

The first major protests of Ireland's presidency of the European Union took place last weekend in Galway, with a number of groups speaking out on issues ranging from racism to fishing in Connemara. They coincided with a meeting of employment/social affairs ministers in a city-centre hotel. The largest demonstration took place under the banner ``Another Europe Is Possible'', in Eyre Square, close to the venue, and was attended by around 500 people.

Further details of FRU revealed

Members of the British Army's murderous `Dirty War' unit, the FRU (Force Research Unit), also known as JSG (Joint Services Group) have been named on a U.S. based website.


Main charges dropped in Stormont `spy ring' case

Prosecutors in the North have dropped their main charges against two Belfast republicans accused of involvement in an alleged IRA ``spy ring'' at Stormont.

Rights for all

The following is a Sinn Féin discussion document published today, entitled `Rights for All'.

Brown family condemn Orde response to report

Thw family of a Gaelic sports official murdered by unionist paramilitaries has accused PSNI police chief Hugh Orde of ignoring a scathing report on the investigation by the Police Ombudsman.

British approach to Agreement `tactical' - McGuinness

Sinn Féin's Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness said today that in the five years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed, there had been ``delay, foot dragging and inaction'' in many areas where the British government has direct responsibility.

Words of Freedom


WAR, wrote Clausewitz, is an extension of politics by other means. And politics is fought in many ways, not least psychologically through the deliberate use and choice of terminology. To surrender to one's opponents their definition of the world is to risk surrendering one's legitimacy.

January 23, 2004

Report on criminal justice reforms

The first report on the implementation of proposed reforms to the north's judicial system has raised questions over whether the process will ever be completed.

UDA warns against Catholic population growth

A statement by the Ulster Political Research Group in north Antrim has warned Protestants to be on the alert over the growth in the Catholic population.

New base opening hours criticised

The British government has been accused of reneging on a commitment to shut down a military barracks in west Belfast.

SF fury at funding allegations

Dublin's Minister for Justice, Mr McDowell, has maintained his verbal offensive on Sinn Féin by repeating that IRA criminal activity is being used to help fund the party.


Rhetoric levels rise ahead of historic meeting

A meeting in London next week with Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party has been described as ``enormously significant'' and ``historic'' by the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Battle for Irish-American votes

The peace process in Ireland has featured in debate surrounding the U.S. Presidential election in November.

British govt discusses violence with UDA group

The unionist paramilitary Ulster Defence Association cannot seriously be considered to be on ceasefire, the British government has admitted.

What if Paisley used his powers for good?

President of the Irish National Caucus in Washington DC

First of all, full disclosure: I've always had a soft spot for Dr Paisley. This seems to surprise many people, although I know I am by no means the only Northern Ireland Catholic who feels this way about the good reverend.

January 21, 2004

PSNI involved in clashes with youths

It has emerged that there were two separate riots last weekend involving nationalist youths and the PSNI police.

Pressure on British ahead of review

Irish foreign minister Brian Cowen tomorrow meets with British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy on next month's review of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement as part of a discussion by the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference.


Call for bombings inquiry to be abandoned

Three families of those killed in the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings have demanded that the newly opened parliamentary inquiry into the atrocities be abandoned.

Finucane family granted leave to apply for review

The High Court in Belfast has allowed the Finucane family to proceed with their case to force the British government to publish the Cory Report.

Bloody Sunday Programme of Events 2004

The line-up of events in the Bloody Sunday commemorations.

Dublin govt taken to task on EU agenda

Sinn Féin Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain said that many in the political establishment are ``more concerned with creating a United States of Europe than about achieving a United Ireland''.

Brown family to prevent new PSNI `investigation'

Relatives of Sean Brown are to mount a legal challenge to block a new PSNI investigation into his murder following the publication of findings by the North's Police Ombudsman that the original police investigation was inadequate.

Buried Secrets and Brutal Truths


`The Blade' is a relatively small family newspaper in the Ohio city of Toledo with a reputation for investigative journalism. A few months ago it published a series of articles, `Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths', after being tipped off about some classified documents. Two journalists spent eight months piecing together the story of Tiger Force, a platoon of the US military operating in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1967. (This is distinct from the My Lai massacre of 500 defenceless civilians in March 1968.)

January 19, 2004

Young voters fare worst in new registration system

One person in six was prevented from voting in November's crucial Assembly elections in the North, it has emerged.

Ex-RUC man becomes Sinn Féin councillor

A councillor in east County Derry has today switched allegiance from the SDLP to Sinn Féin in a dramatic political development in the area.

Paisley to meet Ahern ahead of February 3 review

Ian Paisley is to hold direct face-to-face talks with the Irish Prime Minister in what will be the first-ever such meeting.


The police investigation into the murder of Catholic man Sean Brown in 1997 has been taken apart in a damning report by the Police Ombudsman today.

Address to the people of Ireland

Another in our occasional series looking at the policies of the various political parties in the North. We present a recent document published by Republican Sinn Fein, the party led by Ruairi O Bradaigh which split from Sinn Fein in 1986.

Delegation to visit Colombia over unfair trial

Four Irish politicians are to travel to Colombia next week to visit three Irishmen held on charges of training rebels.

Catholic schools targeted

Two north Belfast Catholic schools were at the centre of bomb alerts today which were blamed on the unionist paramilitary UDA.

No criminalisation

Republican prisoners at Maghaberry jail in County Derry describe proposals for segregation of prisoners as `criminalisation by the back door'.

January 18, 2004

Talks to resume despite difficulties

The Dublin government intends to restart talks with Sinn Féin next week despite continuing fallout over allegations that the Provisional IRA was behind the Northern Bank robbery in Belfast.

IRA statement on bank raid

A brief statement was released by the Provisional IRA last night.


The head of MI5 has admitted that British intelligence agents placed a sophisticated listening device at the head offices of Sinn Féin in Belfast.

Feuding ‘Real IRA’ prisoners clash

Seven republican prisoners at Portlaoise Prison, in the Irish midlands, were hospitalised yesterday after an early morning fight at the prison during which rival dissident republican factions clashed.

The History of Sinn Féin

One hundred years ago this year, the Sinn Féin Organisation was formally established at a Convention of the National Council, held in the Rotunda, Dublin, on November 28, 1905, under the chairmanship of Edward Martyn. The impact of the British regime for so long aided and abetted by the so-called ‘National’ education system, based on British Imperialistic ideas, had practically obliterated the idea of separate nationhood.

British soldiers pictured abusing Iraqis

Images of British torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners have emerged as three British soldiers went on military trial Tuesday for their actions.

Removal of Anderstonstown base underway

The Andersonstown PSNI police barracks in west Belfast is currently being dismantled in a move that has been hailed as long overdue.

100 years of RSF

As we in Republican Sinn Féin embark on this the centenary year of the foundation of Sinn Féin in 1905 it is necessary to point out that whilst other political organisations such as Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, The Worker’s Party and the Provisionals may attempt to claim lay claim to the right of celebrating this centenary, Republican Sinn Féin are the sole inheritors of the Sinn Féin mantle.

January 16, 2004

UDA violence could signal major escalation

Unionist paramilitaries have been blamed for a wave of bomb alerts in Belfast following a jail riot and attacks on the homes of republicans.

Scappaticci in libel action

Freddie Scappaticci, the man who denies media reports that he is the British Army spy `Stakeknife', who is said to have infiltrated the IRA, has launched a libel action against the Sunday People newspaper.

IRA men testify at Bloody Sunday Inquiry

This week saw former IRA Volunteers give evidence at the Bloody Sunday inquiry into the British Army's massacre of civilians in Derry on January 30, 1972.

IRA counters PSNI claim of O'Connor threat

The mainstream IRA today denied threatening the father of an Armagh man who went missing last May.


Sinn Fein has accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair of pandering to rejectionist unionists after he said that he does not expect Ian Paisley's DUP to share power with Sinn Fein without the IRA verifying it is ceasing activity.

History repeating itself

Gerry McGeough, a former IRA member who was jailed in the USA for the attempted importation of Stinger surface-to-air missiles, conducted a very interesting newspaper interview recently.

Court success for family in U.S. deportation case

A U.S. court has ruled that an Irish family can remain in the United States until their case against threatened deportation is heard.

Govts must do what they promised

The following is the full text of a keynote speech made yesterday by Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams in St Malachy's College in North Belfast.

January 14, 2004

SF selects Westminster candidates

Sinn Féin has confirmed Caitriona Ruane will attempt to seize the South Down Westminster seat from the SDLP’s Eddie McGrady in this year’s British general election.

Loyalists freed on charges

A unionist paramilitary has walked free from court despite admitting gathering ‘targeting’ information on republicans. The offence carries a 10-year maximum jail sentence.

Harassment and intimidation of nationalists

The British Crown forces have been accused of sustaining a campaign of harassment of nationalists and their polticial representatives in Counties Tyrone and Antrim.


A battle over political credibility has continued in the wake of the bank robbery in Belfast last month, an incident which Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams warned is being “used to kill the peace process”.

Deja vu

(for the Andersonstown News)

The political fall-out from Hugh Orde’s laying of the blame for the Northern Bank robbery at the door of the IRA has uncanny parallels with another meticulously planned and executed job - the break-in at Castlereagh on the evening of March 17, 2002.

DPP man victim of intimidation

Dissident republicans in west Tyrone have targeted a member of the local District Policing Partnership (DPP) for the second time in three days.

Break cycle of oppression - RIRA<

The ‘Real IRA’ has called on Irish Republicans “to unite to defend the republic and to remain true to the core objectives of Republicanism”.

Toward a United Ireland

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams this evening gave the following address at the national launch of the ‘An Cead’ events to mark the 100 year anniversary of Sinn Féin at the Mansion House, Dublin. The following is an edited vesion of Mr Adams’s address.

Trimble against proposal to bypass DUP

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble last night questioned the point of holding talks on voting rules in the Belfast Assembly in an apparent hardening of his position ahead of the all-party review of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, to get under way at the end of the month.

Presidential election possible

A presidential election is likely in the 26 Counties after a Labour Party spokesman said yesterday that the party leadership believed it should run a candidate.


British shamed as Cory acts

The British government's continuing failure to publish a report into four cases of alleged collusion is developing into a fresh crisis of confidence for the peace process.

Finucanes seek judicial review

Mrs Geraldine Finucane is seeking a judicial review to force the British government to publish the Cory reports.

Confronting the killers

Firinne, the victims group campaigning for the truth about collusion between British state agents and agencies and Unionist death squads in the killing of citizens in Ireland is to hold a mass picket at the headquarters of British Intelligence in London on February 4.

Depraved attack on Milltown Cemetery

Loyalists have been blamed for the desecration of the grave of Gerry Adams's father and for leaving a suspect pipe-bomb at a memorial plot to Bobby Sands and other republicans.

Campaign grows for Irish in Europe

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has written to the Taoiseach urging him to secure official status for the Irish language during the Irish presidency of the European Union.

The status of Irish

The pomp and circumstance of the Irish Presidency of the European Union will be there for all to see in the next six months as politicians and venues are prepared to give Irish culture and tourism a shot in the arm. But it would be a pity if the commitment to Irish culture was seen to be only skin deep.

January 12, 2004

Rejectionism should be overcome - SF

If the Good Friday Agreement is not defended the British and Irish governments must move on over the heads of anti-agreement parties, Sinn Féin said at the weekend.

INLA condemned for attack on boy

The INLA has been criticised for a punishment attack on a 14-year-old boy in north Belfast on Friday night.


Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has rebuffed a party colleague for suggesting the party could enter a coalition government alongside Sinn Féin.

Family in U.S. case get death threat

The McAllister family, currently fighting a deportation battle to stay in the U.S., have received a threat allegedly from the Red Hand Commandos, the loyalist organization which in October 1988 carried out a gun attack on their home on the Lower Ormeau Road in South Belfast. The attack forced them to flee the country and come to North America.

Burnside and Smyth return to UUP fold

Two Ulster Unionist Party members of parliament who resigned the party whip last summer in protest at the party's stance on the 1998 Good Friday Agreement have resumed the whip, it has been announced.

Bloody Sunday Inquiry resumes

A Derry man described today how a bullet ripped through his coat as he ran in panic from British Army fire on Bloody Sunday.


At the beginning of this month Iranian government officials in Iran warned that fatalities resulting from the Bam earthquake could reach 50,000. The quake measured in at 6.6 on the Richter scale. If these estimates are accurate then Bam has been the site of the highest earthquake spawned death toll since the Chinese city of Tang-shan lost an estimated 242,419 of its population in 1976. It amounts to approximately 25% of the combined population of the Iranian city and its surrounding towns and villages. While the country's president has sought to pitch the anticipated death rate considerably lower, aid workers were not optimistic.

One Extreme


In February 1974, in a Westminster general election, 11 out of the North's then 12 constituencies returned anti-Agreement unionists. They were opposed to the Sunningdale Agreement, which had been negotiated a few months earlier between the Ulster Unionist party, under Brian Faulkner, and the SDLP, under Gerry Fitt.

January 9, 2004

PSNI stall on review of investigations

A special police team to review unsolved paramilitary murders has yet to be set up despite an announcement on the move almost a year ago, it has emerged.

Leaked corruption claim threatens Ahern

The Dublin government and opposition parties clashed today over renewed allegations about a former minister's tax evasion.

Killer soldier loses appeal

A former British soldier with the UDR regiment jailed for murder lost an appeal against his conviction in a Belfast Court today.

John Hume was Jack Lynch's agent - RUC

A secret document compiled by RUC Special Branch claimed that former SDLP leader John Hume and three colleagues worked as agents of the Dublin government at the time of Bloody Sunday.


Judge Peter Cory has suggested he may defy the British government by making public his reports into cases of collusion in murder by the British Crown forces.

The Nationalists of Northern Ireland

The Nationalists of Northern Ireland 1918-1973.
By Enda Staunton.
Columba Press. Dublin. Price #12.99.

DUP must talk

The following comments were made by Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness at a party meeting in Belfast.

Agreement Review starts work

The first working sessions of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement review are being chaired by British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy at Stormont.

Review of GFA to begin January 29th

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, has confirmed the review of the Good Friday Agreement will start on January 29th.

Pressure on PSNI over informer allegations

There have been calls on PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde to comment on the disappearance of Armagh man Gareth O'Connor after it was alleged that O'Connor was a police informer who had set up four other men for arrest.

Gardaí accused of perjury and torture

A retired Circuit Court judge has alleged that members of Garda Siochana had lied in his court, provoking a new furore over policing in the 26 Counties.


The PSNI police have been accused of racism amid a loyalist pogrom against ethnic minorities in south Belfast.

Government influence seen in constituency changes

Smaller parties and independents have expressed dismay at the report of the independent Constituency Commission, which has made proposals for changes to constituencies across the 26 Counties.

Colombia 3 - Judge for Yourself

The following is a summary of the report `Colombia 3 - Judge for Yourself' written by international human rights observers following the trial of the Colombia 3.

A Man for All Seasons?

Last week's resignation by Jeffrey Donaldson from the UUP is not at all surprising. What was a surprise is that it took him so long. Citing the abandonment of principle by the UUP as the main reason for falling on his sword, Donaldson at once began the face-saving spin that would have have been at least a lot harder, if not impossible after his certain forthcoming expulsion at the start of 2004.

January 7, 2004

Parties set out stalls for GFA review

As government officials and the parties prepare for the review of the Good Friday Agreement, Sinn Féin has warned that the DUP must be shown it is not going to get its way in trying to destroy the accord.

Magistrate backs DUP road-block

The DUP deputy leader Peter Robinson was given an ``absolute discharge'' yesterday despite being convicted of blocking a main road to facilitate a loyalist event on the flashpoint Albertbridge Road in east Belfast.


A new commission to monitor paramilitary activity in the North of Ireland for the purpose of punishing associated political parties began work today.

The 1973 government papers

Some of the highlights from the annual release of government papers from 1973 under the 30-year-rule.

Councillor threatened following Bushmills attack

The UDA in north Antrim have issued a public threat to Sinn Féin Councillor Oliver McMullan through a local newspaper after he highlighted a sectarian incident in Bushmills.

Coroner to see British documents on killings

The British Ministry of Defence has agreed to hand over documents and video footage relating to ten controversial killings in the North to a coroner investigating the cases. However, a `public immunity' order could still be used to suppress embarrassing details emerging into the public domain.

Constituency shake-up for 26 County politicians

The Constituency Commission has recommended an increase in the number of constituencies for the Dublin parliament but says that the number of TDs should remain at 166.

Bullies and bigots rail against Colombia 3

In a few weeks time in Bogota Judge Acosta will rule on the fate of the `Colombia Three', the Irishmen arrested at an airport in August 2001 and charged with training left-wing FARC guerrillas.

January 5, 2004

UDA warns off Adair supporters

Ousted loyalist leader Johnny Adair has been warned against trying to regain power in the North of Ireland by his former paramilitary associates.

More delay for Colombia 3 after third Christmas in jail

The three Irish men held in Colombia - Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and Jim Monaghan - have spent their third Christmas in jail after a further delay in their trial verdict.

IRA blames British for lack of progress

In its New Year statement, the IRA has said the British government is mainly to blame for the lack of progress in recent months.


Plans for a drastic escalation of the war in 1973, including the shooting of unarmed civilians, have been revealed in secret papers released in London.

Review of Bloody Sunday Inquiry 2003

A month-by-month review of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry by the Troops Out Movement

Donaldson and colleagues formally join DUP

Former Ulster Unionist MP Jeffrey Donaldson today confirmed his defection to Ian Paisley's ultra-hardline DUP.

The Politics of Terror


In the current `international war on terrorism' various civil rights and international human rights are being infringed. Such infringements happen in most conventional wars, and national emergencies, and are tolerated in the short-term by populaces as long as the war is perceived as being just, or the curtailments as measured, and they believe their government when it says it had no other choice.

Ahern sees danger of return to violence

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, warned yesterday that restoration of the Belfast Assembly is needed to avoid a return to violence.

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