December 29, 2004

Special Branch man questioned on Omagh warning

Suspicion about the role of the British Crown forces in the 1998 Omagh bombing has increased after a PSNI Special Branch officer was accused of making an anonymous warning of an attack in advance of of the bombing.

Peace efforts to resume next week

The Dublin government is looking to secure an agreement in the peace process before the British General Election, expected in May.


A gang who carried out one of the largest bank robberies in history appear to have been tipped off that a PSNI police foot patrol was on its way to the bank.

Republican political prisoners

December is traditionally the month in which republican prisoners are remembered. The following is a list of republican prisoners identified with the mainstream [Provisional] Republican Movement, from Coiste

100th anniversary of Sinn Fein

Two republican political parties are preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Sinn Fein.

British ID cards opposed

Tens of thousands of people in the North are expected to reject British government identification cards when they are introduced in the six counties in 2008.

Ireland responds to Asian disaster

Irish aid agencies are receiving siginificant financial support for the victims of the Indian Ocean disaster, but are appealing for more.

Colombia’s Appalling Vista

The circumstances around the long-running case against Niall Connolly, James Monaghan and Martin McAuley are in many ways more significant than the case itself.

December 22, 2004

Real IRA mount wave of attacks

Republican hardliners have claimed responsibility for a spate of pre-Christmas firebomb attacks on businesses in Counties Derry and Antrim.

United front needed

The Third International Conference Against Isolation took place in Berlin last week. This speech was delivered by Liam O Ruairc and Gerard McGarrigle of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.


Republicans believe disaffected members of the British security forces may have worked with unionist paramilitaries to carry out the largest bank robbery in Irish history.

Opportunity for leap forward

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has responded to accusations by the rival SDLP that his party has allowed the 1998 Good Friday Agreement to be eroded in recent draft proposals for a new agreement involving the Dublin and London governments, Ian Paisley’s DUP and the Provisional IRA.

Colombia 3 appeal considered

The case of three men accused of training rebels in the Colombian civil war is to be raised with the European Union following an extraordinary decision by the country’s judiciary to overturn their acquittal earlier this year.

An observer’s point of view

The following account of the trial of the Colombia 3 is by Stephen M. McCabe, an American attorney who observed the Colombian judicial process

US family ‘hostage to political process’

A man linked by British security forces to the ‘raid’ at Castlereagh barracks on St Patrick’s Day 2002 remains in legal limbo almost three years later.

Distaste for Sinn Féin is outmoded

By Brian Feeney (for the Irish News)

In politics there’s one simple rule: winner takes all. The rule operates in its most brutal form in British and American elections as we’ve just seen. Within a week of John Kerry’s defeat people were asking who the Democrats’ candidate in 2008 would be.

December 18, 2004

No talks progress seen before New Year

Intensive efforts to reach a deal in the northern peace proess will not resume until the New Year, it has emerged.

Irish population booms

Ireland’s population may exceed seven million by 2016 if current immigration patterns and improving medical standards continue, it is predicted.

Intimidation campaign at Catholic schools

The unionist paramilitary UDA has been blamed for planting four hoax bombs at Catholic schools in north Belfast in the last two weeks.


Three Irishmen who face a 17-year jail sentence in Colombia after a shock judicial reversal are to attempt to overturn the judgement through an international route.

Act for Justice for Colombian Three

A brief summary of the story of the Colombia 3 followed by an action appeal.

It’s impossible to deliver, so let’s move on

In practical terms decommissioning was always a nonsense.

December 15, 2004

Teenagers targeted in sectarian campaign

A young girl has been attacked in a third sectarian attack on young nationalists in north Belfast in as many weeks.

Let’s talk about sin - McGuinness

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness has offered to meet DUP leader Ian Paisley on the issue of ‘sin’ if it helped move the peace process forward.

‘Day of Reflection’ may become annual event

Sinn Féin mayors and council chairs held ceremonies to commemorate the dead of all wars last weekend.


DUP talks boycott hinges on second apology

Nationalist confidence in the current talks process dipped this week as the the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern made a grovelling apology to DUP hardliner Ian Paisley for suggesting unionist demands for photographs of IRA weapons decommissioning could not be met.

Political action alert

The US-based Irish Northern Aid Committee has issued an appeal to contact US envoy Mitchell Reiss.

Irish teens turning to drink

Irish teenagers have the highest level of so-called ‘binge drinking’ in Europe, and are almost twice as likely to smoke marijuana or hashish than the European average, new research has revealed.

British Army fires on vehicle at checkpoint

A British soldier opened fire during an incident at a border checkpoint in south Armagh at the weekend.

No Photographs, No Humiliation

(by Danny Morrison, Andersonstown News)

There has been much argument over what was or was not agreed on the issue of IRA decommissioning being photographed.

December 8, 2004

World record bid for spy base

Rosemount Barracks in Derry is the centre of a bid for a world record with the Guinness Book of Records.

MI5 attempt to recruit informer in Spain

A republican currently living in Spain was approached by MI5 this week in an elaborate operation to get information from him.

‘An unprecedented opportunity’ - Adams

The following is the full text of a prepared statement delivered by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams at a press conference in Belfast yesterday.


The British Prime Minister and Irish Taoiseach are to reveal their proposals for peace in the North of Ireland this afternoon despite the refusal of Ian Paisley’s DUP to back the plan without symbolic photographs of IRA disarmament.

The Castlerea Four

(from Coiste)

There are currently four prisoners in Castlerea prison who are serving sentences in relation to the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe in Adare on June 7th 1996.

European parliament hears of British collusion

A public hearing in Brussels has looked into British government killings in the North of Ireland.

Controversy continues over Castlerea 4

Garda police in the 26 Counties have called for four Provisional IRA members to be kept in jail regardless of any new peace deal in the North.

Whenever, whenever, whenever

By Danny Morrison (for the Andersonstown News)

“If you closed your eyes you would think you were listening to a member of the Democratic Unionist Party. The conspiracy theory was there. The unionist language of IRA/Sinn Féin featured prominently.”

December 3, 2004

Wave of suicides ignored by British officials

The Department of Health in the Six Counties has no suicide prevention strategy despite escalating numbers of deaths among young people in deprived nationalist areas.

Republican released as forensic evidence queried again

A Tyrone man was released yesterday after a non-jury court cleared him of charges of conspiring to bomb a police base four years ago and membership of the breakaway ‘Real IRA’.


Is Paisley preparing to compromise?

The prospects of a comprehensive deal involving the IRA and Ian Paisley’s DUP were boosted tonight with just four days remaining before the Dublin and London governments bring the current process to a close.

A defining moment

The following is the edited text of an address by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams in Navan, County Meath this week.

Election candidates selected

SDLP veteran Seamus Mallon’s Westminster seat will be contested by Dominic Bradley of the SDLP and Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy.

Release of Castlerea 4 part of deal - Ahern

Bertie Ahern has accepted that four Provisional IRA men still held in Castlerea prison should be released as part of a comprehensive deal in the peace process.

Degree of welcome for giveaway budget

The Dublin government presented a generous budget on Wednesday in a transparent effort to boost its rating in the polls.

We will never be allowed to hear the truth

By Brian Feeney (for the Irish News)

You have to admit they did it well, the so-called Inquiries Bill, that is. Knowing it would be a big issue for nationalists, the British government snuck it out at their favourite time for bad news, Friday, the worst news day of the week when it was certain to be buried, as indeed it was.

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