February 25, 2004

PSNI prepare to use CS gas weapons

Deployment of controversial CS gas spray by the PSNI police appears set to go ahead after the force advertised for components of the weapon.

Orde accused of political intervention

PSNI police chief Hugh Orde has ben strongly criticised after he said that his force cannot cope with the demand to deal with outstanding murder cases of the conflict.


The mainstream Provisional IRA leadership has denied it authorised the alleged abduction of a well-known Republican dissident from a Belfast pub at the weekend.

John Edwards's statement on Ireland

U.S. presidential contender John Edwards has pledged his support for the Good Friday Agreement in a statement ahead of next week's primaries for the candidacy of the Democratic Party.

DUP selects former dissident to contest Europe

Barrister Jim Allister is to succeed DUP leader Ian Paisley as the party's European Parliament candidate.

Colombia 3 still in danger

An intervention by the Irish Embassy in Mexico City has stopped the transfer of one of the "Colombia Three" from a remand prison to a jail for convicted prisoners, a lawyer for the three men has said.

Basis seen for public inquiry into Ludlow killing

Relatives of murder victim Seamus Ludlow have said they believe an investigation by Justice Henry Barron will form the basis for a public inquiry.

Hypocrisy and high horses

Whatever is the truth behind the incident on Friday night, it is clear that it is a result of increased tension in republican circles in west Belfast.

February 23, 2004

Stevens urged to end Finucane murder probe

The widow of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane's widow urged British police chief John Stevens to halt his inquiry into the killing.

Calls for exclusion of Sinn Féin

The failure to bring charges of IRA membership or arms possession against the four men involved in the incident on Friday night could ease the pressure on Sinn Féin in the current talks process.

SDLP calls for the doctor

South Belfast general practice doctor Alasdair McDonnell has been elected the new deputy leader of the nationalist SDLP in the North.

Inquiry into bus tragedy this week

The company which operates Dublin Bus said today said an inquiry into Saturday's accident, in which five people were killed in Dublin city centre, would begin on Friday.

New law to plug Garda leaks on peace process

Members of the South's Garda Siochana police who leak stories to the media regarding the peace process or paramilitary groups could now face up to five years in prison.


Four West Belfast men have been charged with causing grievous bodily harm during an alleged attempted abduction in the city on Friday night, but none were charged with membership of the IRA.

Radical change needed for SDLP

Continuing our series of feature articles on the policies of the North's various partiers, were present an abridged version of a speech by SDLP Leader Mark Durkan to his party's annual conference at the weekend.

A Truth That Tells A Lie

WHEN I am teaching creative writing I often quote the oxymoron that fiction is 'a lie that tells a truth'. Writers imagine and create characters, which, hopefully, rise from the page as flesh and blood. The author will place them in challenging situations - be it a conflict, a dilemma, an issue of love or ambition - and through their experiences, adventures and decisions they emerge at the other end changed, and the reader, in turn, empathises, learns or has confirmed some philosophical truth about the meaning of life.

February 20, 2004

105-year-old woman targeted in loyalist attacks

A 105-year-old grandmother was showered with glass during a series of attacks on homes in north Belfast blamed on loyalists.

Ex-prisoners set forth plans for prison museum

Former republican prisoners have put forward their proposals for the former prison site of Long Kesh prison.

President calls for help for 'pockets of despair'

The Irish President, Mrs Mary McAleese, has spoken out following the recent spate of suicides in her native Republican Ardoyne in north Belfast.


The full Nally Report into the 1998 Omagh bombing cannot be published for security reasons, Dublin's Minister for Justice has claimed.

A Malignant Menage d'trois

Next Monday shall see UTV's Insight, with typical investigative skill, unpick the threads that have been weaved together post-Patten to fashion a renamed garment now termed the PSNI.

Cool response to Truth Commission proposal

The chairman of the North's Policing Board, Desmond Rea has proposed a truth commission be established to achieve a sense of closure for the war in Ireland.

New start, not regurgitation, of policing needed

Gerry Kelly, Sinn Féin spokesman on policing and justice, has responded to a recent opinion piece by the SDLP's Joe Byrne, who argued that new policing structures would be weakened if they were burdened with reinvestigating controversial cases from the past. Mr Kelly argues that it is "not a matter of resources, it is a matter of will".

Ahern calls for 'partnership' and 'closure'

In what was billed as a significant speech, the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said the 1998 Good Friday Agreement retains the capacity to "transform Northern Ireland for the better".

February 18, 2004

Southerners shunning Six Counties

Census figures have shown that 50% more people are leaving the Six Counties for the rest of Ireland than made the return move last year.

Sinn Féin figure targeted

Unionist paramilitaries are plotting an attack on a prominent republican in County Antrim, it has emerged.

Massive distrust over e-vote plans

Plans by the Dublin government to introduce electronic voting are to be revised following the combined opposition of the other parties in the 26 Counties.


A former officer in the Irish defence forces has told a Dublin parliamentary committee investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974 that he had information that a senior British Army officer was the person who armed the bomb that killed six people in Monaghan in May 1974.

Beloved Haiti

As I write this there is an attempt to start a civil war in Haiti, engineered in the United States of America and supported by its lapdogs in Caricom and the Organization of American States.

Battle on to fill seats vacated by Hume, Paisley

Belfast Mayor Martin Morgan is to seek the SDLP's nomination as the party's candidate in June's European election fror the Six Counties, it has been confirmed.

Ardoyne seen in distress following suicides

Some 18 people have taken their own lives in the nationalist enclave of Ardoyne since Christmas, two in the past week alone.

British backing status quo

Now that the proposals of the two main players in the Good Friday Agreement review are known you can see how far apart they are and how little chance there is of political progress.

February 16, 2004

Trimble calls for ‘savage’ attack on SF

Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble has called for the British government to use its “savage” and “significant” powers against Sinn Fein.

Government robbed pensioners, infirm

A Supreme Court decision has found that the Dublin government has been illegally charging residents of nursing homes for their care.

St Patrick’s Day shame

In an annual display of sectarianism, Belfast unionists have again voted to withhold funding for the city’s St Patrick’s Day carnival parade.

Murphy ‘breached Agreement’ on bombings

A Dublin parliamentary committee has accused the British government of breaching the Good Friday Agreement by refusing to co-operate with an inquiry into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings.


The Provisional IRA has said it will not protect any republican alleged to have been involved in the death of a Belfast man earlier this month.

The shipyard and silence replaced

By Jim Gibney (for the Irish News)

In the early spring of 1964 I arrived on top of my dad’s coal lorry outside 53 Bryson Street in Belfast’s Short Strand.

By-elections just three weeks away

By-elections are to be held in Meath and Kildare in just three weeks after the Dublin government yielded to pressure to name an early date for the polls.

Apologies won’t bring back the missing years

By Tom McGurk (for the Sunday Business Post)

There they were, ghosts from the past, still shuffling along like actors from an old drama in search of its denouement.

February 11, 2004

Vigilance urged in north Belfast

Loyalists are believed to be scouting areas of north Belfast in preparation for possible attacks.

Talks breakthrough possible - McGuinness

The Sinn Fein chief negotiator Martin McGuinness, has said if the DUP's Devolution Now document is a negotiating rather than a ``bottom line'' position, then it is possible that devolution can be restored.

Ombudsman to investigate Newry murder

The Police Ombudsman's office is to investigate claims that the RUC's Special Branch allowed the IRA to carry out a mortar bombing, in which a member of the RUC died, to protect an informer.

MPs angry at Maghaberry concessions

The British government bowed to pressure from paramilitaries by sanctioning a scheme of separating loyalist and republican prisoners at Maghaberry jail, according to a new report.


British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy and his two predecessors have refused to attend hearings of an Irish parliamentary sub-committee on the Dublin/Monaghan bombings of 1974, it has emerged.

The Spying Game

In a dramatic development, the central charges used to substantiate allegations of a so-called `Stormont spy-ring' were dropped - without any explanation whatsoever - at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

British army bases `to close'

Two military bases in the North are to close, it was announced last night, although no date was set for the closures.

DUP angling for `Unionist' assembly

They say there are two kinds of politicians, foxes and hedgehogs. A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog knows only one thing.

February 6, 2004

Special Branch `subverted Stormont'

One of three men charged over the alleged ``IRA spy ring'' which preceded the sudden collapse of the power-sharing government in the North of ireland in October 2003 accused the PSNI of damaging the peace process.

Sinn Féin support rises again

Sinn Féin's support in the 26 Counties has reached another high, according to the latest measure of public opinion.

No more warnings - Real IRA

The breakaway `Real IRA' has issued a `no more warnings' message to anyone who enters or supplies British army bases in Ireland.

No funding for Belfast's St Patrick's Day festival

A petition has begun calling on Belfast city council to provide funding for this year's St Patrick's Day celebrations.

Hume praised for peace efforts

There have been many tributes to former SDLP leader John Hume, after he confirmed that he is to step down from the European Parliament and Westminster, drawing a line under his political career.


Good Friday Agreement faces gravest threat

The British government has described proposals published today by Ian Paisley's DUP for a new model of devolved government to replace that contained in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement as ``very constructive''.

Devolution Now

Continuing our series looking at the policies and proposals of the North's parties, we present the DUP's proposals for devolution which were published today.

Language Belongs to All the People

In the north of Ireland today the conflict over cultural identity remains a central feature of life with few signs of a unifying identity or consensus emerging.

February 4, 2004

PSNI Special Branch force man to act as informer

The PSNI police have been accused of abducting a young Derry man and forcing him to work as an informer for them.

Kerry statement on Irish policy

The leading candidate in the race to become the Democratic Party nominee to oppose George Bush for the US Presidential election in November has made a statement on his Irish policy.

Human rights groups slam new Irish immigration law

Controversial new immigration laws is being rushed through the Dublin Parliament despite widespread criticism from opposition parties and human rights groups.


A decision by SDLP leader John Hume today that he is to stand down as a member of the European Parliament could clear the way for Sinn Fein to elect its first MEP this summer.

Adams opening address to the Review

The following were the opening Remarks by Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP MLA to the Review of the Good Friday Agreement.

Dissidents plant bomb at Ballykelly base

The group calling itself the `Real IRA' tonight said they planted a bomb inside a British Army base.

My report on Lord Hutton


The judge's ruling was no surprise. For decades in Northern Ireland he was a guardian angel of the establishment.

Cory report suppressed - Adams; Review begins

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams today said that British Prime Minister Tony Blair has ``no intention'' of publishing a report on four of the most controversial killings in the North.

February 2, 2004

Review begins tomorrow

Dublin's Minister for Foreign Affairs and the British Direct Ruler in Ireland, Paul Murphy, will jointly chair the first session of the Good Friday Agreement review at Stormont buildings outside Belfast tomorrow.

Ombudsman begins series of RUC inquiries

The Police Ombudsman has launched an inquiry into how RUC police officers investigated the killing of a Portadown teenager 12 years ago.

Minister links Ahern to `bribed' developer

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has again claimed that he does not recollect attending a 1989 meeting with property developer Tom Gilmartin - despite testimony from former Fianna Fail minister Mary O'Rourke that he was present at such a meeting.

Govt still hindering abuse inquiry - Laffoy

Justice Laffoy has strongly criticised the Dublin government, the religious congregations and lawyers in the third interim report of the Commission into Child Abuse, published yesterday.


British govt oppose human rights case at Lords

The family of an IRA man, shot dead in an RUC shoot-to-kill operation, have taken the fight to uncover the truth surrounding his death to the House of Lords.

Inspiration at Budrus

Mary La Rosa writes on the experiences of the International Womens Peace Service, a team of women working for social justice in Palestine's West Bank.

Crowd defies rain to remember Bloody Sunday

Thousands marched through driving rain in Derry yesterday to remember the Bloody Sunday massacre on the 32nd anniversary of the atrocity.

Stop concealing the truth

The following remarks were made by Sinn Féin Dublin EU candidate Mary Lou McDonald, speaking at the 32nd commemorative Bloody Sunday march and rally.

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