May 31, 2004

West Belfast concern over parades

Efforts are being made to avoid clashes over two large loyalist parades in nationalist west Belfast planned for next month.

Loyalist feud appears over

A feud between two rival unionist paramilitary groups in the North appears to be over following a statement by the Loyalist Volunteer Force that it was moving to prevent further attacks against the rival UVF.


British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy has said there is no political consensus for reconciliation in Ireland.

On a wing and a prayer

Friday night we went to the Odyssey to see the world premiere of ‘On Eagle’s Wing’, which had been billed as a musical show that celebrates the history of the Scotch-Irish.

Dissidents blamed for west Belfast devices

British Army bomb experts defused a device outside the outside the Community Restorative Justice office in west Belfast today.

Collusion gang may have killed over 100

A delegation of international human rights workers have come to the North to probe allegations that members of the Crown forces colluded with unionists in a series of murders during the 1970s.

Republicans must make a stand for ideals of ancestors

A letter has been published calling for a congress of republicans to determine a collective way formard.

Ahern makes case for release of Colombia 3

Supporters of three Irishmen still being held in Colombia have welcomed a meeting Saturday between the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern with the Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, on Saturday in Mexico.

May 28, 2004

Hunger strike fear at Maghaberry

Republican prisoners at Maghaberry Prison have warned they will launch a hunger strike next month unless their conditions are improved.

Keane plays for Ireland

Manchester United captain Roy Keane has returned to the Irish football team, ending a notorious two-year self-imposed exile.


A covert British Army spying operation has been uncovered on the outskirts of west Belfast.

RSF Local Election Manifesto

Republican Sinn Féin is running seven candidates in the local government elections on June 11 in the 26 Counties. The following is an extract from their manifesto for the campaign.

Documentary shines Spotlight on South Armagh deaths

An English television documentary has placed a focus on a number of murders and other attacks in South Armagh in which the involvement of British Crown forces is alleged.

Britain to appeal ruling on Real IRA

The British government is to move quickly to plug the apparent legal loophole that could allow members of the breakaway ‘Real IRA’ to avoid being jailed for membership of the organisation.

Bank scandal mounts

Allied Irish Banks, Ireland’s largest retail bank, has made a series of revelations which has raised fears of a culture of dishonesty at the bank.

Positive Neutrality

The following is an edited version of the conclusion of Sinn Féin’s Positive Neutrality in Action document, which was published today.

May 26, 2004

Human rights groups flag referendum dangers

A number of human rights groups have expressed grave concerns over the Dublin government's upcoming referendum on Irish citizenship.


In a judgment which could have far reaching legal and policital ramifications, four County Tyrone men were cleared of membership of the 'Real IRA' after a judge ruled that the breakaway group is not a proscribed [illegal] organisation.

Feuding gangs could turn on Catholics

Loyalist paramilitaries have been put up in the luxury Hilton hotel in Belfast as a turf war between unionist paramilitary factions continued with further bomb attacks.

Republican candidates for European Elections

The following are brief profiles of the republican candidates for the elections to the European parliament, to be held on June 10 in the Six Counties and June 11 in the 26 Counties.

Doherty in race for Euro seat

Sinn Fein's Pearse Doherty has emerged as a serious contender for the Northwest constituency in next month's European Parliament elections.

DUP plan to stop SF 'worldwide propoganda coup'

Ian Paisley's DUP is insisting that the only question to be resolved in the Six County European election is whether Sinn Fein will top the poll on June 10.

Amateurism reigns in IMC 'non entity'

By Brian Feeney (for the Irish News)

You didn't notice our proconsul saying that his puppets, the so-called Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), would be bringing forward the date of their next report to present findings on the murder of LVF man Brian Stewart?

'Things have changed' - Ahern

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said that current negotiations in Dublin and London are not a continuation of the process which dramatically collapsed last October.

May 24, 2004


Republican prisoners at Portlaoise Prison are planning to begin a ‘dirty protest’ for political status within the next two weeks. Meanwhile, protest plans are underway at Maghaberry jail in the North following a reported sexual assault.

Ulster Workers Council strike of 1974

Thirty years ago, British military forces acted in line with loyalist politicians and paramilitaries and helped to sabotage a political process.

Adams seeks talks with Paisleyites

The Irish peace process will remain in freefall until Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionists seriously engage with Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams has said.

Branchmen outed on website

Members of the 26-County Garda Special Branch have been exposed on a US website.

Harney defies concern over Bush visit

Mainstream Irish political parties have clashed over the visit of US President George Bush to the west of Ireland next month.

Bomb attacks rock east Belfast as feud rumbles on

The latest unionist paramilitary feud that has already claimed one life has now sparked three bomb attacks since Saturday.

New Republican Protest Looms in Maghaberry

By Martin Mulholland, IRPWA

A new republican protest is imminent in Maghaberry Gaol due to the punitive regime inflicted by the Northern Ireland Prison Service and vigorously supported and administered by the Prison Officers Association. It is the belief of the IRPWA that the harsh conditions and arbitrary nature of discipline endured by the republican prisoners is a direct consequence of the British government’s decision to implement the Steele recommendations.

Adams blasts Ahern as party eyes Euro seats

The Dublin government has been strongly criticised for its handling of the presidency of the European Union by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams.

May 21, 2004

US Congressman shocked by citizenship referendum

Former US congressman Mr Bruce Morrison has said Ireland is handing over to Britain the right to determine who can or cannot become an Irish citizen.

Loyalist threats against Sinn Féin men

Sinn Féin last night said a further three members of its party had received threats from loyalist paramilitaries.


The British government tried to pressurise Britain’s top police officer in a bid to halt a public inquiry into the assassination of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane, it emerged in court today.

When friends die in distant places

Last month long time denizen of the Irish Echo, Jack Holland, wrote an article about the difficulty faced by some former republican prisoners who have tried to carve out a new life for themselves and their families in the United States.

Bombings inquest concludes

The inquest into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings has concluded with relatives of the victims calling again for a public inquiry just over 30 years since the blasts.

Anger grows over impending Bush summit

The Dublin government is coming under pressure from opposition parties to cancel the planned visit by US President George W Bush to Ireland next month. Mr Bush is due to participate in a summit in Ireland on June 25-26.

May 19, 2004

Sinn Féin mount legal challenge against IMC sanctions

Another murderous unionist paramilitary feud seems possible after a 34-year-old man was shot dead in east Belfast yesterday morning.

The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) gunned down Brian Stewart, of the breakway Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) as he sat in his car in an industrial estate.

They fired about five shots at him at close range. He died at the scene.

Sources close to the LVF last night said that Mr Stewart was not a high-ranking member of the LVF although other loyalist sources described him as an “LVF commander”. ind who did this.”

Tensions between the UVF and LVF have been constant since Mid-Ulster UVF leader Billy Wright was stood down by the organisation in 1996 and formed the LVF. They regularly flared in serious blood-letting.

This latest incident follows from a number of recent shootings in Belfast and reports that a number of UVF members had been warned by the police that they were under threat from the LVF.

The murder was also linked to serious violence which erupted during the Irish Cup final at Windsor Park earlier this month.

Yesterday’s murder was the third in six months linked to the UVF.

There are fears that the UVF is abandoning a potential political direction following a poor performance in November’s Assembly election by its associated political party, the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP). Financial sanctions recently imposed on the PUP by the Independent Monitoring Commission recently also infuriated the party, which has declined to comment on the murder.

Tensions between the LVF and the two larger loyalist paramilitary groups, the UVF and UDA, had reportedly been simmering in recent months. The LVF has previously been associated with the breakaway UDA grouping associated with Belfast maverick Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair. That group was largely forced into exile by a UDA purge on the Shankill Road last year.

Sinn Féin councillor Joe O’Donnell said nationalists and unionists living in east Belfast would be concerned by yesterday’s murder.

“People in east Belfast generally will be nervous that this killing will mark the beginning of yet another period of internecine loyalist feuding,” he said.

“Nationalists in the area will be concerned that this sort of internal loyalist feuding will eventually lead to attacks on the local nationalist population, particularly as we approach the summer marching season.”

* Unionists have been blamed for a number of stoning attacks on Catholic homes in Portadown, Co Armagh yesterday.

A group congregating near a loyalist bonfire at Edgarstown, close to the so-called ‘peaceline’ in the town, had targeted Catholic homes in the nationalist ‘Tunnel’ district.

John O’Dowd said he believed that “sinister forces” were to blame for incidents in the Obins Drive and Obins Avenue area and were attempting to increase tensions.


Another murderous unionist paramilitary feud seems possible after a 34-year-old man was shot dead in east Belfast yesterday morning.

Sinn Féin critique of IMC

The following is Sinn Féin’s case against the Independent Monitoring Commission (sanctions body) according to a statement from the party today.

Efforts increase for quiet marching season

The British government has announced plans for new talks with a body that includes unionist paramilitaries in a bid to prevent a summer of violence.

Dublin to impeach Judge

The Dublin government has started unprecedented impeachment proceedings against Judge Brian Curtin whose trial on charges of downloading child pornography collapsed on a technicality last month.

Dublin appeals over Colombia 3

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has sent a personal message to the Colombian president calling for three Irishmen to be allowed home from Colombia.

Bush’s Gift to the World

The admission by military intelligence officers to the International Committee of the Red Cross that between 70% and 90% of the prisoners they had taken had no involvement in the attacks on US forces and were arrested ‘by mistake’, speaks volumes about the real nature of the conflict in Iraq.

McDowell, Adams clash again

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams and Dublin’s Minister for Justice have again clashed in advance of the local and European elections in the 26 Counties next month.

May 17, 2004

Soccer player receives public death threat

Sectarian death threats have been written on the streets outside the home of Celtic footballer Neil Lennon, causing him to consider leaving his home.

Poll suggests big swing in June election

The Dublin government faces the loss of between 50 and 100 local council seats according to a Sunday newspaper poll, with the seats being snapped up by Sinn Féin and other left-wing parties.

Republicans targeted in Antrim, Derry

Two bombs were planted today at a Sinn Féin activist’s home in northern County Antrim.


Today is the 30th anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the worst single day of the recent conflict in Ireland, and there have been fresh appeals for a probe of the involvement of the British Crown forces.

Bombed and abandoned

An extract from ‘Bombed and Abandoned - The experience of the bereaved and maimed of the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings’, by Don Mullan.

Nominations close in election race

Forty-four candidates are contesting next month’s European Parliament elections in the 26 Counties. Nominations closed at noon for the June 11 poll for the 13 seats, two fewer than in 1999 due to constituency changes.

Campaign against ‘racist’ referendum builds

A press conference on Sunday organised by the Campaign Against the Racist Referendum warned that the controversial citizenship referendum in the 26 Counties could make Article 2 of the Irish constitution, which people voted for in 1998 under the Good Friday Agreement, completely redundant.

Politics in Command

Is the issue of Irish national sovereignty relevant at the beginning of the 21st century?

May 12, 2004

Talks planned on ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ process

The British government is to begin a new consultation with victims’ groups and other organisations in the first step of a ‘truth and reconciliation’ process.

Judge to decide fate of Colombia 3

Supporters of the Colombia 3 have said that the decision on whether the men can leave the country rests solely with the Judge in the case.

Gardai suspected British role in Dublin/Monaghan bombings

The Garda police in the 26 Counties suspected their northern counterparts were involved with unionist death squads in perpetrating the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974.


The European election race is well underway in the Six Counties after candidates from the DUP, Sinn Féin and SDLP handed in their nomination papers.

Murphy under pressure over inquiry refusal

The widow of murdered defence lawyer Pat Finucane yesterday accused British Direct Ruler Paul Murphy of trying to block a public inquiry into his death.

Bobby Sands Memorial Lecture

The annual Bobby Sands Memorial Lecture was delivered last weekend by Michael Finucane, son of Belfast defence lawyer Patrick Finucane, who was shot dead by the UDA pro-British death squad in 1989.

Death of Bernadette McAllister

Bernadette McAllister, wife of former INLA man Malachy McAllister, has died in the US after a battle against cancer.

Sectarianism and the DUP

The DUP is now the largest political party in the north of Ireland.

May 10, 2004

UVF claim pipe bombings

A group calling itself the Protestant Action Force has claimed responsibility for a number of pipe bombs planted in Randalstown outside Belfast overnight.

South Armagh anger at police board exercise

Policing representatives called off a meeting in south Armagh today following fierce resistance from residents.

Call for inquiry over Garda May Day violence

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has called for an inquiry into the level of force used to police a protest in Dublin on May Day.


The release of Provisional IRA prisoners still held at Castlerea jail are a bargaining chip for the Dublin government in its continuing negotiations with Sinn Féin, the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has confirmed.

‘This is war’

The following is an edited version of the party leader’s address by Ian Paisley to the annual conference of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

DUP vows end to Good Friday Agreement

Ian Paisley’s DUP vowed at the weekend to put the Good Friday Agreement “out of its misery”.

Hunger strikers remembered

More than 2,000 republicans gathered in Belfast city centre at the weekend for the 23rd annual commemoration of the 1981 hunger strikes.

A Proud Tradition

By Danny Morrison

The ‘Daily Telegraph’ wrote: “The Royal Military Police are already investigating allegations of mistreatment of Iraqis by British soldiers in southern Iraq after the Mirror’s publication of photographs said to show a member of The Queen’s Lancashire Regiment urinating on an Iraqi lying in a military truck with a hood over his head.”

May 7, 2004

Primate’s speech provokes mixed reaction

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop Sean Brady, was branded as a republican sympathiser by the DUP’s Ian Paisley jnr after he made a wide ranging speech on the peace process in the North of Ireland.

British move to block SF fundraising

The British government has been accused of damaging the democratic process by restricting the fund-raising of political parties.


The case of four Republican prisoners who were denied release under the Good Friday Agreement was in the spotlight tonight amid allegations that their release was a secret part of a deal that collapsed dramatically in October last year.

Get out of Iraq now

Four years ago, I travelled the length of Iraq, from the hills where St Matthew is buried in the Kurdish north to the heartland of Mesopotamia, and Baghdad, and the Shia south. I have seldom felt as safe in any country.

Cory tells US Congress of collusion findings

Retired Canadian Supreme Court Judge Peter Cory testified before the U.S. Congress in Washington on Wednesday giving detailed evidence of collusion of British Crown forces in four murders in the North of Ireland.

Bank caught overcharging customers

Allied Irish Banks, Ireland’s largest bank, has been exposed for overcharging foreign exchange customers over an eight-year period.

Treaties don’t stir good memories

By Ray O’Hanlon (for the Irish News)

An American anniversary passed quietly last week. On April 29 1868, representatives of the United States government and of the Sioux and Arapaho Indian nations signed the Fort Laramie Treaty in Wyoming. Signatories for the United States included General William ecumseh Sherman, a few years on from his civil war triumphs.

Sisters of Mercy make apology to abuse victims

A religious order has issued an unconditional apology to all the children who suffered abuse in its orphanages and industrial schools throughout Ireland.

May 4, 2004

Orchestrated violence at soccer final

Unionist paramilitaries have been blamed for orchestrating violence which marred Saturday’s Irish Cup soccer final at Windsor Park in Belfast.

Viking site found at site of new motorway interchange

The discovery of a 1,200-year-old Viking fortress at Woodstown, near Waterford city, has been hailed by a leading historian as “the most significant new find in Viking studies in perhaps a century”.

Tohill accuses PSNI of ‘frame-up’

A republican at the center of an alleged IRA kidnap plot stormed out of a courtroom and claimed he had been framed because he refused to make a statement blaming the Provisional IRA for an alleged abduction and beating.


A plan for a temporary administration apoointed by London has been proposed by the nationalist SDLP as a stop-gap measure while the political process in the North remains deadlocked.

Interview with Caitriona Ruane

Caitriona Ruane, coordinator of the campaign to release the Colombia Three, talks to Toni Solo about the case and continuing dangers preventing the men returning home

Bring Them Home campaign continues

An international campaign to allow the three Irishmen known as the ‘Colombia 3’ to be released into freedom is underway following their acquittal in Bogota on charges of training rebels last week.

Seven to stand for EU elections in North

The former leader of the Ulster Farmers’ Union John Gilliland has announced that he is standing as an independent in the forthcoming European elections in the Six Counties.

IMC land

Within just a week of publishing its findings the fallibility of the Independent Monitoring Commission became easily demonstrated if one considers how it would have reported had it been established in 2001, with the same punitive powers and using the same jaundiced criteria it was to use in the Tohill affair.

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