RM_Distribution <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
IRISH NEWS ROUND-UP
Friday-Sunday, May 30-June 1, 2003
1. KEN BARRETT ARRESTED FOR FINUCANE MURDER
2. UUP council to debate Joint Declaration
3. Murder suspected as UDA feud continues
4. Conditions placed on provocative East Belfast parade
5. Sinn Fein confident of success in Crotlieve by-election
6. Death of Billy McCulloch
7. Feature: The Liberation of Ireland
8. Analysis: Take on the consultants
>>>>>> KEN BARRETT ARRESTED FOR FINUCANE MURDER
A man has been charged in Belfast with murdering Belfast defence lawyer
Pat Finucane in 1989.
Mr Finucane was shot in front of his wife, Geraldine, and three
children at their home in north Belfast on February 12 1989.
His death is the principal focus of an ongoing controversy over British
collusion with unionist paramilitaries and an investigation by London
police chief John Stevens.
Unionist paramilitary William Stobie was charged with the murder in
1999 but the case collapsed two years later and he was murdered soon
Ken Barrett, who fled Belfast in 1999 after being branded a police
informer, faced a series of other charges when he appeared at Belfast
They included attempting to murder Thomas McCreery and Elizabeth McEvoy
in 1991, taking four guns from a British Army armoury at Malone
Barracks, Belfast, in 1989, and handling 17 other weapons and
ammunition taken from the armoury.
Barrett was arrested by the Stevens Inquiry team at his home in Sussex
earlier this week and was flown back to Ireland for further
Detective Inspector Hilary Warnock said when Barrett was charged at
Antrim police station on Thursday night he replied not guilty to all
Barrett was remanded in custody until June 27.
BBC television reporter John Ware may be called as a prosecution
witness to testify against the man who he secretly filmed admitting the
murder of Pat Finucane.
A detective inspector told the court that Barrett had been arrested
after new evidence came to light during the last two years. The
detective said the new evidence included Barretts interview with
Panorama and two covert police operations.
Barrett was secretly recorded speaking to Panoramas John Ware 18 months
During the interview Barrett said that the RUC police not only knew of
his role as a UDA killer, but that it was an RUC Special Branch officer
who actually suggested that the UDA should murder Pat Finucane.
>>>>>> UUP council to debate Joint Declaration
Hardliners within the Ulster Unionist Party have secured a showdown to
press for the party to reject the Joint Declaration published by the
Irish and British governments last month.
A meeting of the party's ruling Ulster Unionist Council is to take
place on June 16, it has been confirmed.
The Joint Declaration contained conditional pledges on the scaling down
of the British army presence in Ireland, policing and justice reform,
equality, human rights, support for the Irish language, and a sanctions
mechanism which could be used to exclude Sinn Fein from the political
process in certain circumstances.
Hardline unionists have been outraged by the Declaration, which they
say contains too many concessions to nationalists.
Their fury was fuelled by reports that the British Army's Royal Irish
Regiment could have its battalions in Ireland, amounting to some 3,000
A motion by UUP members opposed to the 1998 Good Friday peace Agreement
will urge delegates to reiterate the position that th e UUP would not go
back into government with Sinn Fein until the IRA demonstrated it was
beginning to stand down. The motion would also urge delegates to reject
proposals linked to the joint declaration.
Ultra-hardliner Ian Paisley of the rival DUP challenged Ulster
Unionists to identify the benefits contained within the joint
declaration. Mr Paisley claimed the joint declaration was a blueprint
for "the advancement of terrorism" in the North of Ireland.
While suggestions that therte could be another attempted Ulster
Unionist leadership heave were being played down, Mr Donaldson said he
was confident his motion would be approved by the UUC.
"UUP members want clarity in the party's attitude to the joint
declaration which offers much to republicans and nothing to unionists.
They are not in the mood for another fudge. Rejecting the joint
declaration is also the only way to safeguard the future of the Royal
UUP honorary secretary, Ms Arlene Foster, said the UUC meeting would
give rank-and-file party members a valuable opportunity to discuss the
"I look forward to a constructive debate on the joint declaration as
there is a need for clarity and plain language on the party's
position," she said.
>>>>>> Murder suspected as UDA feud continues
A well-known loyalist is believed to have been killed after being lured
back to the North of Ireland by his one-time associates in the unionist
It is understood that Alan McCullough, who was on a UDA death list, had
been told he could return to Belfast as part of a deal to end a
continuing feud within that organisation.
Mr McCullough was one of dozens of UDA members, loyal to the notorious
Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair, who were driven out of the lower Shankill in
west Belfast by the mainstream UDA after the mu rder of leading UDA man
But it was claimed that the mainstream UDA last week agreed a deal to
lift the death threat and allow Mr McCullough to return home to the
North of Ireland.
Mr McCullough is understood to have returned to his mother's home at
the weekend, believing that the UDA death threat against him had been
lifted. He soon went missing and is now presumed dead. A search is
underway around the upper reservoir close to an estate where houses
were attacked during the feud between warring UDA factions.
It was reported that he had left his home in the lower Shankill on
Wednesday in the company of a leading Shankill loyalist, now under
However, Sammy Duddy of the Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG), the
political wing of the UDA, rejected claims that the UDA was behind Mr
"I'm completely in the dark. He could have gone back to England or
anywhere", he said. "If (the UDA) had been involved someone would have
got a message to me to release a statement."
>>>>>> Conditions placed on provocative East Belfast parade
Residents of the Short Strand in East Belfast have opposed a proposed
Apprentice Boys' parade on Saturday 7 June around the area as "flying
in the face of ongoing initiatives" at the interface.
The Apprentice Boys from Tigers Bay in North Belfast have applied to
march through the city centre and around the Short Strand in four
applications to the Parades Commission, totalling 13 bands and over 500
Residents met with the Parades Commission on Thursday 22 May asking for
this "non traditional parade" to be rerouted away from the nationalist
On Saturday, the parade was approved, but with some conditions preventing
the Apprentice Boys from passing too close to the Short Strand.
< BR>Sinn Fein councillor for East Belfast, Joe O'Donnell, described the
application as "crazy" and said the parade has been fabricated to
create sectarian bitterness and to incite people.
"Why do they want to march past St Matthew's Catholic Church three
times if this parade is not controversial?" he asked. "The people of
this area have no problem with loyal order parades provided they parade
where people want to see them, but not in the Short Strand.".
In its ruling on Saturday, the Parades Commission said there was "a real
possibility of damaging community relations with a consequent effect on
the likelihood of public disorder" if the parade were to proceed along
the entire route on 7 June.
The commission said it noted the parade was to pass the flashpoint area
twice and had been told the routes "demonstrate a total lack of
sensitivity" on the part of the parade organisers.
It also said fears had been expressed that the parade, to celebrate the
anniversary of the Queen's Coronation, "has the potential to throw into
disarray all the hard work locally that has gone into calming interface
tensions and into building cross-community dialogue on the part of both
The commission stressed its ruling did not significantly affect the
right of those taking part in the parade to assemble.
And it said it believed the conditions imposed "strike a fair balance
between the needs of the community and the rights of the individual".
>>>>>> Sinn Fein confident of success in Crotlieve by-election
Colm Burns has been chosen by Sinn Fein to contest the Crotlieve
by-election to Newry and Mourne District Council on 18 June, and
hundreds of Sinn Fein activists and supporters packed Warrenpoint Town
Hall on Tuesday evening to attend the campaign launch. Burns said he
was confident of increasing Sinn Fein representation on the council.
Colm has been a member of the local Tom Williams Sinn Fein Cumann since
its foundation in 1999. Originally from Andersonstown in West Belfast,
he has lived in Warrenpoint for the past 21 years. He is married to
Angela and they have one daughter.
Colm runs a successful photographic business in Warrenpoint and has
been a long time member of St Peter's GAA club in Warrenpoint. His
other interests include the Irish language, which he has taught to
young children in St. Peter's GAA club and he also enjoys Irish
Since the death of his twin brother in 1984 from leukaemia, Colm has
campaigned for the closure of the Sellafield nuclear processing plant.
Addressing the gathering, Newry/Armagh Assembly member Conor Murphy
said: "Last Wednesday afternoon, I accompanied Colm, Martin McGuinness
MP and Assembly member Mick Murphy to sign his nomination papers. I
believe this delegation reflects the unity of purpose and confidence
Sinn Fein has in our candidate and I am sure that Colm is set to become
our newest elected representative to be returned to Newry and Mourne
District Council come polling day."
He welcomed Mitchel McLaughlin, guest speaker at the launch. "This is a
further indication of Sinn Fein's commitment to the electorate of
Crotlieve and South Down in general and reflects how united and focused
our party is at both local and national level," said Murphy.
"Sinn Fein is the largest nationalist party in the Six Counties and
people across Ireland are voting for our candidates in ever increasing
numbers. This is one reason why the British government postponed the
Assembly elections and in doing so denied the electorate their right to
make a judgement on the political parties involved in the peace
"By electing Colm Burns on 18 June, the electorate of Crotlieve can
give voice to the widespread anger felt by the nationalist community
throughout the Six Counties, who have yet again been disenfranchised by
a British administration arrogant enough to believe they know what is
best for the Irish people."
For his part, Colm Burns said: "This constituency has been hampered by
a lack of investment that would have allowed the region to achieve its
true economic and tourist potential. Our local farming community is in
decline and has suffered due to a lack of a coherent strategy for rural
economic development. It is now time for change.
"There are a number of vitally important issues affecting the people of
this constituency. For many years, profit has been the over-riding
consideration in the planning and building of houses and provision must
now be made that allows local people the opportunity to set up home in
the locality. Following the recent closures of big name employers in
the area such as Dunne Stores, encouraging economic investment in
Crotlieve must be made a priority.
"Crotlieve is an area of outstanding natural beauty and the tourist
potential of the Mournes, Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Peninsula in
North Louth has never been properly marketed or fully exploited. I am
therefore very supportive of my party's continuing efforts to secure
capital funding for a link bridge that would span Carlingford Lough at
Narrow Water which I believe has the potential to rejuvenate the town
of Warrenpoint and the surrounding hinterland.
"At local level the 13 elected Sinn Fein Councillors sitting on Newry &
Mourne District Council have provided strong, effective leadership
within the local community and I am hopeful that following this
by-election we will have an even stronger representation."
Mitchel McLaughlin said "the fact that Sinn Fein is now the largest
party on the council is proof that our councilors are giving effective
leadership in dealing with the daily problems of constituents. It will
also allow voters to register their disg ust and opposition to the fact
that the Assembly elections have been postponed and left them
"A strong vote for Sinn Fein will send a message to both governments
that we are the party they want to represent them in negotiations to
further progress in the Peace Process."
>>>>>> Death of Billy McCulloch
The death has occurred in West Belfast of 91-year-old Billy McCulloch,
socialist, internationalist and father of Rita O'Hare. Billy, who was
born a Protestant in East Belfast to an English father and Welsh
mother, grew up in working-class Rosebery Road in a heady mix of
industrial labour, Protestant fundamentalism and socialist agitation,
all revolving around the nearby shipyard, where his father worked as a
moulder. Billy had a brother in the British Army, who was wounded in
the First World War.
Billy was self-taught and put down his literary interests and left-wing
views to the influence of his close neighbours, the Boyces (at whose
home the poet John Hewitt was a regular visitor), and to Joe Walker,
'an ingrained socialist' from Newtownards.
He was apprenticed as a weaver and went on to work in linen mills in
Ireland and in France and Germany. His favourite pastime was hostelling
and walking the mountains of Ireland and Scotland and it was whilst
hostelling that he met his future wife, Maureen Maginn from the
nationalist Ballymacarett (Short Strand) area in East Belfast. They
married and moved to Andersonstown in West Belfast, where they had
three children, Rita being the second born.
Billy worked hard his entire life and even after retirement was a
handyman - an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter. Over the past 30
years he suffered several blows, beginning in 1971 when Rita, a mother
of three whose husband was then interned, was shot and seriously
wounded by the Br itish Army. Rita was hospitalised but was later
accused and charged with taking part in an IRA ambush. She was bailed,
then went South with her children. Later, she was arrested again,
charged and sentenced for allegedly smuggling explosives into
Portlaoise Prison. Billy and Maureen were to be seen regularly with
Rita, particularly around Easter, when Rita would be addressing one of
Billy lost his wife Maureen in 1996, followed by another blow a year
later when his son Bill died suddenly in London. Billy was agile up
until just a few months ago, when his condition deteriorated and he
needed full-time nursing care. He died in a nursing home at the foot of
Slieve Donard in the Mournes, an area he loved.
His remains were brought back to his house in West Belfast and he was
waked surrounded by his neighbours and friends and large family circle,
with the exception of Rita. The British government refused to waive the
32-year-old extradition warrant against her should she come North. So
much for reconciliation.
Rita stayed away from the funeral not out of personal concern but out
of concern for the effect a malicious arrest of her could have on the
peace process and the republican mood at such a difficult time.
People travelled from the USA, England and throughout Ireland,
including many former prisoners, to pay their respects. Protestant
friends and relatives of Billy joined with the rest for a mixed
'service' for Billy, who was a socialist and atheist. Fr Des Wilson -
who knew Maureen - gave a secular homily and spoke about death from two
points of view: from that of those who believe in the afterlife and
from that of those who don't, and why we should respect both. Mary
McCulloch, wife of Billy's surviving son Alan, recited 'Farewell' by
Walter de la Mare. Billy's next-door neighbour, Gerry Adams, and Bill's
widow, Linda, sang 'The Red Flag' and Gerry then added a few words
about Billy and Ri ta. Danny Morrison recited Clough's 'Say Not The
Struggle Naught Availeth' and gave the eulogy.
He said that friendship is a wonderful and surprising thing and of how
Billy came late into the life of he and his wife and added magic to
their lives over the past five years. He then read a message from
Billy's oldest friend, Gibby Allen, from Cumbria.
"Yes, I remember our first meeting outside a youth hostel last century,
at Crianlarich, and joining two of his pals at Ft. William and then
going on to the Cairngorms and through the Larig Ghru. I hope I've
spelt that right. And we've kept that friendship all those years...
"But we must remember he had a very rich life. I was always astonished
and admiring of his interest in literature, especially poetry, and his
ability to quote from his favourites left me in wonderment. The loss of
his son and his difficulty in getting to meet Rita was also painful.
But he kept battling on."
Just as the service was finishing, an old man stepped forward - the son
of Billy's late sister Molly. He said he wanted people to remember that
Billy was a craftsman, a great weaver, and this aspect of his life, how
important it was to Billy, should not go without comment. It was a
moving contribution and was applauded by everyone in the room.
Later, in Ardglass, County Down, a piper led the cortege as Billy was
carried to Maureen's grave. He played 'The Red Flag', some Scottish
tunes, but also 'Wrap The Green Flag Round Me', which acknowledged
Billy's Irishness. When asked several years ago what was his
nationality, Billy replied, "Left-wing or sans frontieres".
Billy was the centre of his family. He was regularly visited up until
his death by his son and daughter-in-law, his nieces and cousins,
beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren. And he lived to see his
great great granddaughter.