March 26, 2005

SDLP criticised as Policing Board backs plastic bullets

The North’s Policing Board has given approval for the deployment of a new and potentially lethal plastic bullet.


A tribunal of inquiry is being set up by the 26-County government into the killing by the Provisional IRA of two leading members of the RUC police (now PSNI) in County Armagh in 1989 -- but there is still little prospect of open inquiries into British collusion with unionist paramilitaries.

Let he who is without blame cast the first stone

By Danny Morrison

Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy refused to meet Gerry Adams on St Patrick’s Day in Washington last week.

Last trick to deny voters

Election officials in the North have been accused of introducing new blocking measures to prevent people being registered to vote for local and Westminster elections in May.

Republicans mark 1916 Rising

Tens of thousands of Irish republicans are taking part in marches, commemorations and wreath laying ceremonies across Ireland to mark the 89th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Deportation overturned by student power

A deported Nigerian student is being allowed to return to Ireland to sit his Leaving Certificate xams in June, and is expected to be permitted to remain here indefinitely.

McCartney visit was organised by SDLP

Senior members of Mark Durkan’s SDLP helped arrange the McCartney family’s trip to Washington last week, it has been revealed.

Electorate to become more polarised

Everybody’s back from Washington & after dozens of speeches, acres of newsprint & scores of interviews the political scene remains exactly as it was.

March 22, 2005

Fears over new plastic bullets

The PSNI police is set to purchase a new generation of potentially lethal plastic bullets without the approval of the police board.

McDowell cites US model in deportations row

Protests are being mounted at offices of the Irish Tourist Board following the sudden deportation of a group of 35 Nigerian asylum-seekers, including a number of children.

Loyalist violence escalates

A 12 year old girl from North Belfast was the victim of a vicious sectarian attack on Sunday.

Inquest to hear evidence on British Army killing

A new investigation is to be launched into the death of a Bogside man who was crushed by a British Army vehicle during riots around the Protestant marching season in 1996.

SF working towards IRA disbandment - Adams

Disbanding the Provisional IRA “is easier said than done”, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has told a US audience.


The Dublin government has rejected calls for a discussion document on its policy for Irish unity.

Cory letter on Finucane case

A letter bu Judge Peter Cory criticises new British legislation which attempts to keep parts of an inquiry secret.

After the feeding frenzy

By Father Sean Mc Manus,
President, Irish National Caucus

Now that the St. Patrick’s Day anti-Sinn Fein feeding frenzy is over, where do things go from here?

March 18, 2005

PSNI ‘building case’ in McCartney killing

PSNI chief Hugh Orde has defended his force’s handling of the Robert McCartney case and its failure to take witness statements.


Talks planned after White House shamrock ‘snub’

US President George Bush has broken with tradition in presenting the traditional bowl of shamrock to 26-County Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on St Patrick’s Day in the absence of other Irish political leaders.

Legal figures blast Finucane inquiry restrictions

Lord Saville, chair of the new Bloody Sunday Inquiry in Derry, has publicly condemned the British government’s controversial plans for holding a restricted inquiry into the murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane.

Rosemary Nelson and the Garvaghy Road

Robbie McVeigh recalls Rosemary from the point of view of the people she worked for in the nationalist enclave of the Garvaghy Road.

McCord family goes unheard

The father of a man killed by unionist paramilitaries has criticised political representatives of ignoring a police cover-up in the case.

Castlerea men press case for release

Legal proceedings aimed at securing the release under the Good Friday Agreement of the Castlerea 4 were adjourned in the High Court yesterday.

McCartneys hit the top

A sister of Robert McCartney has said the family’s campaign for the killers to hand themselves into the police “can’t go any higher” following a meeting with US President George Bush at the White House.

Killing used as political football

By Danny Morrison (for Daily Ireland)

Despite the best intentions of the McCartney family and their appeals for their brother Robert’s murder not to be used as a political football, that is exactly what has happened. They went to extraordinary -- and personally difficult -- lengths to defuse it as a political issue with which to bash republicans by attending the Sinn Fein Ard-Fheis, where the party president, Gerry Adams, identified with their desire for justice and encouraged all republicans to support the family.

March 14, 2005

UVF killers were working for police

A former top RUC policeman has confirmed that two unionist paramilitaries behind a series of murders in the 1990s had been working as British agents at the time.

Adams, McCartneys for USA

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has arrived in the United States for a week of engagements with supporters.

Orange Orders splits with UUP

The Orange Order has voted to cut links with the Ulster Unionist Council, the ruling body of David Trimble’s Ulster Unionist Party.

Meath voters send a message

The Meath and North Kildare by-elections on Friday brought bad news for the government and good news for the opposition, particularly Sinn Féin.


Four Provisional IRA prisoners refused early release despite qualifying under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement have said they will not allow themselves to be used as political pawns in any new talks process.

The Bogside Artists

The Bogside Artists are known throughout the world for their larger than life murals in Derry. The artists are currently visiting the USA for a number of events, and a brief itinerary follows this manifesto, a statement of their artistic goals.

Dispute over secretive inquiries legislation

Canadian judge Peter Cory has said an independent inquiry into the murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane would be impossible under new restrictions being imposed by the British government.

Establishment should hang its head in shame

By Tom McGurk (for the Sunday Business Post)

What an extraordinary political week it has been. The backdrop to the desultory by-election campaigns in Kildare and Meath has illustrated, if illustration were ever needed, the sheer mediocrity of our public services and political classes.

March 10, 2005

Sinn Féin deprived of Westminster funding

Sinn Féin was prevented on Thursday from receiving 440,000 pounds sterling ($1m) of allowances and funding by the British government in connection with the party’s elected members of the Westminster parliament.

IRA reports on McCartney investigation

The Provisional IRA has made it absolutely clear that those who killed Robert McCartney in a knife-fight outside a Belfast bar last month must be held to account.


Senior civil servants in the 26-County government knew that pensioners were being illegally charged for nursing home care years before the matter became public knowledge, it has emerged.

Renewed focus on Finucane case

Pressure is mounting on British Prime Minister Tony Blair over his government’s refusal to have a public inquiry on the murder of Belfast defence lawyer Pat Finucane.

War on trial

A group of peace activists known as the Pitstop Ploughshares are currently on trial in Dublin over their efforts to stop US warplanes using Shannon airport in the west of Ireland en route to Iraq.

The following is their statement of faith and an appeal for support.

Victims group left cold by police reinvestigations

The British government has announced is is to investigate up to 2,000 unsolved killings from 1968 to 1998, funding the PSNI police up to 32 million punds sterling (46 million Euros) to do so.

Anti-republican hysteria could backfire

There is no alternative but to press ahead with building a process affirmed by a huge majority of voters in 1998 by way of referendum.

March 6, 2005

McLaughlin delivers negotiations report to SF Ard Fheis

The following is an edited address by Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin to his party's annual conference on Sinn Féin's view of recent negotiations in the peace process.

Irish lives bottom of British Army’s table

The family of a North Belfast teenager shot dead by two British soldiers has challenged the British Army to explain why they had not been thrown out despite serving murder convictions.

Hold the front page

The mainstream Dublin and London media, attending Sinn Féin’s Ard Fheis in Dublin this weekend, had to abandon their prepared script at an early stage.

Irish language channel broadcasts Belfast test signal

Irish-language TV coverage in the North of Ireland took another faltering step forward yesterday when Ireland’s Irish language television station, TG4, began broadcasting a test signal from Divis Mountain on the outskirts of Belfast.


Sinn Féin has responded to its political critics with an extraordinary annual conference in Dublin this weekend.

Short shrift for the Strand

People are undoubtedly angry about the IRA in the Short Strand area of Belfast - but it’s not anger at the intimidation of witnesses who might finger those who killed Robert McCartney at a city centre bar on January 30. Far from it.

Bloody Sunday internee blasts inquiry, imprisonment

The only person to have been convicted in connection with Bloody Sunday today branded the new Inquiry into the killing of 13 civil rights demonstrators in Derry in 1972 as “a farce”.

McDowell should learn lessons from history

By Brian Feeney (for the Sunday Business Post)

Nearly 50 years ago, the British government arrested Archbishop Makarios, the Greek Orthodox primate of Cyprus, and exiled him to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

March 3, 2005

Sackville bombings inquest returns verdict

The relatives of a bus conductor killed in the 1972 Sackville Place bombings in Dublin will not rest until they discover the circumstances surrounding his death, his widow told his inquest.

MI5 extends role in Ireland

British intelligence agency MI5 will take formal control of British “national security” in Ireland, including classified information held by the PSNI police, it was announced this week.

Hunger strike claim rubbished

Republicans have angrily rejected claims in a new book that a British offer to concede most of the demands of the 1981 hunger strikers was rejected for political gain.

Give it up - Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has made an unequivocal demand for the killers of Robert McCartney, who died in a knife-fight outside a Belfast bar in January, to face justice.


Hopes of a long-sought comprehensive deal to implement the 1998 Good Friday Agreement are being sustained by all sides in the peace process in an effort to dispel the impression that the process is in freefall.

Hunger strikers story brought to book

By Danny Morrison (for Daily Ireland)

I got a phone call from the ‘Sunday Times’ last Saturday.

Anger at PSNI march flip-flop

A PSNI police decision to allow a unionist paramilitary band to walk through the republican Whitewell Road area of north Belfast has sparked anger.

Sinn Féin and the political crisis

A different take on recent political developments and a look to where it all might lead. By ‘The Robe’.

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