SHAME ON YOU – British Secretary of State signs PII to withhold information on the suspicious death of Noah Donohoe
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Sinn Féin First Minister-Designate Michelle O’Neill has written to the British Secretary of State on his decision to approve a certificate which will conceal information on the death of Noah Donohoe. Michelle O’Neill said: “I have written to British Secretary of State Shailesh Vara today making it clear that the use of a Public Interest Immunity (PII) […]Use of PII certificate in Noah Donohoe case ‘totally unacceptable!’ – O’Neill
The 900 or so delegates and 2,000 observers voted by 95 percent to “participate in local policing structures in the interests of justice,” and mandated the appointment of Sinn Fein representatives to the Northern Ireland Policing Board and District Policing Boards.
The decision, opposed only by Sinn Fein’s youth wing with a mere 20 votes, gives the Sinn Fein executive the right to participate in the North’s policing structures without further reference to the party’s membership. It follows a campaign by the leadership of the benefits of a Sinn Fein Minister of Justice, with control over the PSNI.
It means that the last obstacle, on the nationalist side, to reviving power-sharing in Northern Ireland between the nationalist Sinn Fein and the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has been removed.
The vote’s significance was immediately grasped on both sides of the Atlantic as it removes the last vestige of equivocation over Sinn Fein’s support for the Northern Ireland capitalist state.
The London Times noted, “Irish republicans have served notice that they will work with British sovereignty in Ulster for what they obviously hope will only be a transitional period but which could and should last for many years to come.” Outgoing US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland Mitchell Reiss commended the leadership of Gerry Adams and called for the full implementation of the St. Andrews Agreement, designed to restore power sharing. Reiss also demanded that unionists support the new agreement.
Further endorsement of Sinn Fein from top police and intelligence echelons came from the so-called Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC), whose members include a former CIA deputy director and a former deputy director of the Metropolitan Police.
The IMC stressed that, following its decision to disarm, the IRA has ceased all training, intelligence gathering and disbanded its paramilitary structures. “We are clear that the leadership of Sinn Fein and the republican movement as a whole remains firm in its commitment to the political strategy and continues to give appropriate instructions to the membership of the movement.”
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, with Ireland’s Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in tow, promptly announced that new elections for the Stormont Assembly would be held on March 7 “for the explicit purposes of endorsing the St. Andrew’s agreement and of electing the assembly that will form a power-sharing executive on March 26.”
The Northern Ireland Assembly set up as part of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which set out to end the longstanding war in the North by bringing Sinn Fein and the IRA into the framework of capitalist rule, has been suspended since 2002.
Following the suspension, the British government placed maximum pressure on Sinn Fein, partly in response to DUP demands, to abandon all extra-parliamentary activity.
In 2005, the murder of Catholic Robert McCartney and the raid on Belfast’s Northern Bank were utilised to press Sinn Fein towards its decision later that year to disarm the IRA and suspend all its activities. Nevertheless, subsequent efforts to revive the assembly have stumbled over Sinn Fein’s reservations over supporting the PSNI—the partially reformed replacement for the notorious Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), which played such a key role in British imperialism’s occupation of the North. The PSNI is formally committed to recruiting as many Catholics as Protestants.
In the St. Andrews Agreement of October 2006, orchestrated by Blair and the US government, a framework was established to finally bring Sinn Fein and the DUP together. The new agreement set out a timetable for elections, pledged human rights and equality legislation, along with promises of a cash bonus in the form of a spending review. In return, local control of the PSNI should be agreed, with the intention of this being implemented by 2008.
As a further sweetener to former IRA activists, the government abolished the Assets Recovery Agency. Commentators noted that this would undoubtedly assist the Sinn Fein leadership in convincing former IRA units—particularly in border areas of South Armagh, where a lot of money has been made from smuggling—of the correctness of their policy.
In the weeks leading up to the Sinn Fein vote, two events revealed the real character of the Northern Ireland state to which Sinn Fein is now wedded.
The first was the publication of a report by Northern Ireland’s Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan. The Ombudsman role was established along with the Good Friday Agreement, with the intention of establishing some level of public confidence in the police complaints system. In 2003, O’Loan was asked by Raymond McCord to investigate complaints surrounding the circumstances in which his son, also Raymond McCord, had been killed.
O’Loan’s report was devastating. It revealed that in one corner of North Belfast and Newtonabbey serious evidence existed to link at least 10 murders, 10 attempted murders and a host of other criminal activities to an informant of the RUC Special Branch. Both Catholics and Protestants were targeted. Called “Informant 1” in O’Loan’s report, Mark Haddock, a known member of the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force, was named in the Irish parliament by Labour Party leader Pat Rabitte.
Between 1991 and as late as 2003, alongside his murderous activities, Haddock is alleged to have provided hundreds of pieces of information to Special Branch. In return, and as part of a sustained effort to control a loyalist paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) unit, Haddock received around £80,000, was repeatedly given assistance by Special Branch to keep him out of jail, allowed to keep a handgun, and assisted in his effort to remove rivals in the local drug trade.
“As a consequence of the practices of Special Branch,” notes O’Loan, “the UVF particularly, in North Belfast and Newtonabbey were consolidated and strengthened.”
It can be assumed that such Special Branch practices covered every area of Northern Ireland. O’Loan notes that as a result of her report, 24 percent of police informants have been discharged, either as criminals or for not providing any information. O’Loan did not comment on the corollary to this—that 76 percent of informants remain active.
In another significant development, Annex E of the St. Andrews Agreement also allowed for MI5 to take overall charge of national security arrangements in Northern Ireland, while continuing to run agents, in close collaboration with the PSNI.
MI5, the internal arm of the British intelligence services, has long played a bloody role in Northern Ireland. Throughout the dirty war, MI5’s agents and informants were at some level implicated in a number of the most notorious incidents, including the Kincora Boys Home scandal, the murder of civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane, the killing of Francis Notarantonio and the Omagh bombing, to name but a few.
Although there was much inter-agency feuding, MI5 had close working relations with RUC Special Branch, the British Army’s covert units, such as the Force Research Unit, and had a high level of insight and control over the conduct and trajectory of Britain’s counterinsurgency operations.
In recent years, the multiple murderer and deputy head of the IRA’s internal security, Freddie Scappaticci, was exposed as an MI5 agent, as was the IRA’s leading international and US contact Denis Donaldson. No serious commentator on Irish politics considers that the full extent of MI5 infiltration of all paramilitary groups, including the top levels of the IRA, has yet been fully exposed.
MI5 has repeatedly put every obstacle in the path of investigators and lawyers trying to unearth the truth, for example, of the events of Bloody Sunday, January 30, 1972, when 13 civil rights demonstrators were shot dead by the British Army.
Recently allegations have emerged that loyalist killer Torrens Knight was an MI5 agent. Knight was one of a squad of Ulster Defence Association gunmen responsible for the deaths of eight Protestants and Catholics in Greysteel in 1993.
While the British Army watchtowers and fortresses have largely been dismantled, a new headquarters is being built for MI5 in Palace Barracks, outside Belfast. According the Sunday Tribune, reports indicate that MI5 is actively recruiting members of the former RUC Special Branch disgraced in the O’Loan report.
Of MI5’s UK-wide budget, fully one third remains allocated to operations in Northern Ireland, although the new building is part of a UK-wide escalation of its role. According to the Belfast Telegraph, MI5 is developing a networked 10-building infrastructure for its 2,850 staff, including regional stations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Opposing Annex E, in November the constitutional nationalist Social Democratic Labour Party tabled an amendment to the Northern Ireland Bill, based on the St. Andrew’s Agreement, which would have provided the Police Ombudsman with powers to investigate joint operations between the PSNI and MI5.
For their part, Sinn Fein claimed to “reject any role for MI5 in Ireland or in civic policing.”
In response, last month, the Blair government assured Sinn Fein that MI5 in Ireland would be a “stand-alone” body, that security arrangements would be overseen by a Liberal Democrat peer, and that a liaison group would be set up between the PSNI and MI5. No PSNI officers would be seconded to, or under the control of, MI5.
Presented with this worthless assurance from the government that launched a bloodbath in Iraq on a fabricated pretext, Sinn Fein’s policing and justice spokesman, Gerry Kelly, was ecstatic. He proclaimed that Blair’s statement ensured that “MI5 have no part in policing in the North…. We have a PSNI which is not signed up to MI5 and which will hold them to account.
With many thanks to: Steve James, World Socialalist Web Site (WSWS) for the origional story
THE mass escape of 38 PIRA prisoners from the Maze Prison, near Belfast on September 25 1983 in which a prison warder was stabbed to death, is detailed in previously confidential files. Like many files in this year’s releases, that relating to the prison escape is partially closed to 2069.
The official report claims that Gerry Kelly (Old Baily bomber), one of the PIRA escapees and now a Shame Fein MLA, shot a prison guard in the head. Confidential reports prepared for the Secretary of State Jim Priors shed new light on the event and the role of a British military guard at the prison. In a report on the events of that dramatic Sunday, penned the following day, W J Kerr, director of prison operations in the North of Ireland, described how at 16.45 hours he was informed of ‘an incident at the Maze’. He immediately proceeded to the prison where he ‘was informed that H7 Block had been taken over by armed prisoners who had hijacked the kitchen lorry and had proceeded to the main gate.’ There follows a diary of the events on that Sunday. The day began normally with prisoners unlocked for breakfast and exercise. At 11.15 Fr Rooney, the Catholic chaplain, celebrated Mass in the H Block with 54 prisoners in attendence. Dinner was served at 12.15 hours after which all prisoners were returned to their cells. Suddenly at 14.45 hours prisoners in H Block 7 overpowered staff on duty and took control of the block. Various weapons were used including guns.
The prisoners commandeered the prison meals delivery van and 38 prisoners forced the prison officer driver to drive the van from the block through segment gates one and eight to the prison main gate. The escapees then overpowered the staff on duty at the gate and, although eventually the alam was raised, they managed to get out of the prison proper. The prisoners at this point disappeared and fled in different directions.’ Among the prisoners in H7 were Gerry Kelly, aged 30, (the present Shame Fein MLA for North Belfast) and Brendan ‘Bic’ McFarlane who had been a spokesman for the hunger strikers during the 1981 Hunger Strike. Kelly had been convicted at Winchester in 1973, along with Marian Price/Mc Glincy and Dolours Price (The Price Sisters) and Hugh Feeney, for setting off car bombs in London. In all he had made four previous escape attempts. McFarlane (then 31), described in the file as ‘a PIRA leader deeply involved in the organisation’ was sentenced to five life terms for the 1975 bombing of the Bayardo Bar on the Shankill Road in which five people died. The sequence of events at the prison began when prisoner Mead overpowered a senior officer while ‘Prisoner Storey entered the principal officer’s office carrying a gun and pointed it at the senior officer’s head.’ Storey then took charge, “forcing the officer to answer the telephone in a normal manner”. Meanwhile, other officers were being overpowered and tied up throughout the H Block. “Officer Leak was in the toilet when he heard two shots. He left [to see] Prisoner 58 [Gerry Kelly] pointing a pistol into the control room. “Kelly turned the gun on Leak and forced him into the officers’ tea room. Leak was tied up and hooded. Kerr added at this point: “This would establish that prisoner Kelly shot officer Adams who was on duty in the control. It is not clear if the control grille was locked before Mr Adams was shot.” As the IRA inmates gradually seized control of the wings they approached the inner gates where ‘Bic’ McFarlane told the prison guard that he had been “sent to clean the sentry box”. The officer was then overpowered by armed prisoners. Meanwhile, officer McLaughlin was on duty as kitchen van driver and at 15.25 hours had passed through the lock gates of H Block to deliver afternoon tea. “As officer McLaughlin started to unload the meal from the van, prisoner Storey put a gun to his head and forced him into the medical inspection room.
“Whilst there he was threatened by prisoner [Gerry] Kelly who told him to do as he was told or he would be ‘blown away’.” McLaughlin was then forced to drive the van from the block to the main gate through the inner gates. According to the report the van proceeded through the first gate unchallenged to a parking lot where most of the uniformed prisoners ddisembarked. At the main gates they seized the controls and got outside. However, Kerr stressed, the staff in the Tally Lodge “resisted strongly and in the ensuing affray one officer was stabbed and died shortly afterwards. “By this time the alarm had been raised and two officers sitting in their cars outside the gate drove into the area, blocking the exit.” In the resulting melee 10 escapees were captured including a man called Murray who was wounded by an army sentry in a watch-tower. At the time of the report on 26 September, 21 inmates remained “unlawfully at large”. In his conclusion, Kerr highlighted a number of aspects of the PIRA escape which gave him concern. In particular, the fact that the inmates were in possession of firearms suggested that they and their supporters outside were able to breach the security measures at the Maze. He was particularly alarmed at the ease with which prisoners were able to gain access to the secure entrance into the blocks and the main gates. He also questioned how the escaping prisoners were allowed to drive a hijacked vehicle through two inner gates without being challenged and why five officers in H Block 7 were permitted to be off their posts at the same time. Claims by the DUP leader, Ian Paisley that the military guard had failed to open fire prompted a memo to the secretary of state from an NIO official, P W J Buxton on September 28 1983 on the reaction of the soldiers who formed a 150-strong prison guard. He reported that in the watchtower on the main gate had shot an escaper whom he had just seen shot a prison officer. The position of a soldier shooting escapers was quite clear, Buxton noted; ‘the Yellow Card’ applied. Thus, unless the escaper is presenting a direct threat to life, or has just killed or injured someone and there was no other way of arresting, he is not authorised to shoot.
With many thanks to: Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.
TODAY sees the release of previously confidential files from Stormonta and the NIO (Northern Ireland Office) covering the two years 1983 and 1984. This marks a change as Public Records Office be gains to phase towards a new ’20-year rule’. In total 1,047 files are released today of which 225 are subject to full closure while 366 are subject to ‘redaction’ or blacking-out. Those partially closed include files on the use of baton rounds, ‘political developments’ and ‘compensation to innocent victims’. Many are of these files are partially closed until 2067 (I wonder what they are hiding about the Shame Fein sellouts). Reporting on the Belfast files for the Irish News is Dr Damon Phoenix, a political historian and broadcaster and author of Northern Nationalism 1890-1940 (1994) and co-author of Conflicts in the North of Ireland 1900-2000 (Four Courts Press, 2010). Irish government files are released today under the ‘30-year rule.’ Reporting from Dublin is the Press Association‘s Ed Carty. The next lot of pages will be dedicated to these newly released files.
ON March 14 1984 Gerry Adams, the new Shame Fein MP for West Belfast, and three companions were shot and wounded by the UFF while driving back from a court appearance in Belfast city centre. Mr Adams was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital for emergency surgery.
Mr Adams stay in hospital was the subject of a series of complaints by the Ulster Unionist MP for South Belfast, Rev Martin Smyth alleging that Shame Fein leader was being ‘guarded’ by republicans at the RVH. In a note on file for the NIO uunder-secretary, John Patten on March 22 1984, R F Sterling, an official at the DHSS reported that Rev Smyth had phonened the minister’s office to complain about reports that Shame Fein members were gaurding the West Belfast MP and his colleagues. According to Sterling, Rev Smyth was “particularly indignant that these people were reported to be stopping and questioning members of the public within the hospital”.
Sterling explained to the minister that Adams and his companions had been housed in a secure ward and placed under the protection of armed police. All four, he noted, were material witnesses to an armed assault and “clearly their lives were at risk”. Questioned by Rev Smyth in the House of Commons on March 21, 1984 about the alleged ‘Shame Fein guard’ over Mr Adams, secretary of state Jim Prior insisted that the Shame Fein leader “was given medical attention under the protection of the RUC”. He also rejected a claim that British Intelligence had been aware of the murder bid on Mr Adams in advance. In a letter to Rev Smyth on March 22 1984 Mr Prior admitted that the hospital authorities believed that during Mr Adams ‘ stay at the RVH some members of Shame Fein might have been present but that they were confined to the public areas and “were not guarding” the Shame Fein leader.
With many thanks to: Dr Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.
We believe the past cannot be addressed or resolved in a partisan or one-sided way. Our future will remain contested for as long as we continue to contest the past.
Sinn Féin recognises that victims and survivors on all sides seek different outcomes.
We reaffirm our party policy on the establishment of an independent, international truth recovery process.
We accept that the development of strategies to assist in the management of the legacy of our past conflict poses complex political and human challenges. Discussion is clearly required to address the implications arising from any agreed strategies and processes.
This Ard Fheis renews it call for fully inclusive dialogue between all sides on how best to address the legacy of our past as an essential contribution to the peace process and development of reconciliation across the island.
This is Motion 23 This Ard Fheis commends Sinn Fein’s ongoing efforts to encourage cross-community and party support for the development of an inclusive reconciliation process.
We note that the public discussion which has occurred in the last 12 months has focussed mainly upon format, substance and participants. This is to be welcomed.
We further note that this public discussion has reflected the extent of disagreement within our society as to the causes and effects of the political conflict.
However, we believe that any acknowledgement that reconciliation is necessary, welcome and deserves to be built upon. We applaud those who have already offered strategic and far-seeing contributions to this discussion.
Sinn Féin recognises that there are many victims and much hurt on all sides. We acknowledge the pain and suffering of all non-combatants, combatants, and their families on every side.
We believe the development of an authentic reconciliation process is essential to consolidate and enhance our peace process and political stability. The unity of the people of this island is crucial to that enterprise.
Sinn Féin is committed to reconciliation in the here and now and the replacement of current divisions with new human and political relationships.
This Ard Fheis urges mature and strategic debate North and South on opening a new phase of our peace process based on reconciliation, the development of new relationships, and creation of trust among all our people.
THEN WE GET THIS Kelly slams Red Hand Defenders threat against schools
September 7th, 2013 – North Belfast – Gerry Kelly
Sinn Féin MLA for north Belfast Gerry Kelly has called on those responsible for issuing a threat of military action against school children, their parents and teachers at three schools in Belfast to immediately withdraw it and has further called on leaders within unionism and loyalism to condemn these threats in the strongest possible terms.
Speaking today Mr Kelly said:
“This is a disgraceful and sinister statement to come from any organisation or individual against school children, their parents and teachers. Those responsible have threatened violent action against children.
“People will remember the shameful scenes of school children at Holy Cross where primary pupils and their parents were left traumatised. We can never see a repeat of those scenes.
“Even the threat of this cannot be tolerated by society. One thing we can all say without fear of contradiction is that school children, their parents and teachers should never be targeted and threatened like this.
“The Red Hand Defenders is a flag of convenience that has been used in the past by mainstream loyalist organisations.
“We must now see unionist and loyalist leaders coming out and condemning these threats in the strongest possible terms, call on the Red Hand Defenders to withdraw this threat and actively support the rights of any child to attend any school of their choice where ever it may be situated and receive their education with without fear or intimidation.”
In other words they are saying lets forget the past be best buddies, while the other side threaten the lives of our children?
Gerry you have made a speech about the threat, but what are you going to do about it?
DUP councillor Ruth Patterson was last night charged with sending a grossly offensive message on Facebook. She will appear before magistrates in Belfast on Thursday. Earlier party colleagues had backed her, turning their fire on the police decision to arrest the former Belfast deputy lord mayor.
In a statement, the party accused the PSNI of carrying out a “sensationalist” arrest rather than interview Ms Patterson about her incendiary comments, by appointment. The 57-year-old was questioned by detectives as her supporters planned protests in the city. She was arrested early yesterday in connection to an investigation into “the sending of grossly offensive communications and other serious criminal offences in relation to intimidation and encouraging criminal acts,” police said. The DUP responded: “We fail to understand why the police chose to conduct a sensationalist arrest rather than contact Ruth and ask her to attend an Article 10 voluntary interview. This is a matter we will be raising with the chief constable.” And the party questioned why Sinn Fein assembly member Gerry Kelly, who attempted to stop a police Land Rover in June, was not arrested.
“If there is a legal process to be followed then we will await its outcome: others, who in the past set themselves up as judge, jury and sometimes literal executioners, should do likewise before commenting further,” the statement concluded. A police file relating to Mr Kelly was delivered to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, Sinn Fein representives on Belfast City Council are to bring forward a motion calling for Ms Patterson to resign her seat. It came as she received support on social media despite her initial support for an attack on a republican parade in Castlederg.Ms Patterson left Musgrave police station in Belfast at around 10.20pm. She was driven away by family members without making any comment. About 30 protesters, some drapped in the Union flag had gathered to call for her release.
With many thanks to : John Manley (Politicial Reporter), The Irish News.
ORANGEMEN plan to stage weekly ‘Drumcree-style’ parades to a North Belfast flashpoint in protest at being banned from walking along the Crumlin Road on the Twelfth. Sources say the plans to hold parades to police lines in the Wood ale area for the foreseeable future.
The Parades Commission yesterday refused an application from the order to march from Shankill Road to Ligoniel via the disputed section of Crumlin Road tommorow. The surprise application for 500 participants, three bands and an unknown number of supporters to hold a parade was lodged only on Tuesday. The demonstration is expected to require another huge policing operation. Six hundred mutual aid officers from British constabularies are still in the North of Ireland assisting the RUC/PSNI. A spokesman from the Orange Order said: “This decision by the Parades Commission to prevent this dignified parade is further indictment of this already discredited body.” Last night Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly called for the Orange Order to “step back from their confrontational mode and for wise heads to prevail”. Portadown Orange men have been lodging weekly applications to the parades body for almost 15 years since being prevented from marching along the Garvaghy Road. The Commission still receives around 50 applications a year in respect of the disputed Drumcree march, which sparked serious violence in the 1990s.
With many thanks to : Allison Morris, The Irish News.
THE Parades Commission’s rejection of a misguided Orange Order plan to march past Adoyne shops tommorow was entirely predictable. However, the order’s decision to make an application after days of protest and disorder was an unexpected development which served to increase tensions at a time when political leaders were calling for calm. The bid for a fresh parade at this flashpoint also highlighted the contradictory signals being sent out by the order. News of the application came on Wednesday, overshadowing the Orange Order’s statement saying it would “willinglly and actively participate” with the all-party discussions chaired by US diplomat Dr Richard Haass. This was a positive move but instead of this being the talking point, the focus was instead on the Ardoyne parade and the bid to keep tenisions simmering. After the Parades Commission’s ruling yesterday, it emerged the Orange Order may seek to stage weekly marches up to police lines at Woodvale. There is nothing about this strategy which is helpful or positive in terms of bridging community divisions, furthering the search for a resolution or reducing the threat of violence. If the scenes of last weekend are anything to go by, we can expect to see more disturbances and more destruction, with police braced for attacks and residents living in fear. This sort of tactic does not square with the Orange Order’s stated willingness to take part in the Haass initiative, which offers the prospect of an agreed resolution to contentious issues. It may be that this confused thinking points to a divergence of opinion within the institution and it is certainly striking how thousands of members were able to celebrate Orange culture without any difficulty in Derry and elsewhere on the Twelfth. There are lessons here for the Belfast lodges determined to make a stand at Ardoyne. Engagement, not confrontation, is the best way to achieve a desired outcome.
THE Orange Order was last night urged to “see since” and scrap plans to march past Ardoyne shops again this weekend. There are fears of fresh loyalist violence after the surprise decision by North Belfast Orange men to apply for a parade at the flashpoint on Saturday.
Rioting has broken out in loyalist areas of the city since a Parades Commission decision to stop a march returning past the interface on July 12. Furious Orange Order leaders called for protests after they were banned from walking past nationalist homes on the Crumlin Road, but later called off the action after heavy criticism from the PSNI. There were scenes of serious violence in Woodvale, close to Ardoyne, last Friday night as Orange men and supporters clashed with police enforcing the commission’s ruling. Despite this, and the fact the loyal order said no-one in the unionist community should engage with the Parades Commission, its Number Two district has now applied to march on Saturday afternoon from the Shankill Road to Ligional Orange Hall via Woodvale and the Crumlin Road.
It will involve up to 500 participants and one band, but the number of supporters is unknown. A ruling is due today (THURS). SDLP assembly member Alban Maginness branded the move “unhelpful and irresponsible”. “I am calling on the Orange Order to see since and withdraw their application,” he said.”It is time now for leadership and calm and I am calling on the Orange Order to do the right thing.” Sinn Fein assembly member Gerry Kelly also accused the order of “doing damage to community relations and themselves”. “The Orange Order said they were calling off their protests and yet we still have marches up to police lines at interfaces nightly and now this application to march on Saturday,” he said. “All this application does is inflame the situation.” The DUP’s Arlene Foster last night welcomed the fact the Order had applied to the Parades Commission, saying it was better to hold a lawful protest than an illegal one. A spokesman for the Orange Order declined to comment last night.
With thanks to : Connla Young, The Irish News.
GET the gift wrap out, we’ve just been sold. They can dress it up anyway they like but handing Peter and Marty the North of Ireland as an Enterprise Zone should be sending a chill down our spines.
The lads have decided that little things like planning laws, objections to decisions and the preservation of our countryside should no longer be in the hands of actual experienced planners. No, hand it over to the First and Deputy First ministers and let’s party. And if anyone wants the courts to look at a planning decision with a judicial rreview they’ve knackered that too. Objecters can only go to court on the grounds of their human rights or a breach of European law, if it’s a Wednesday and you’re an elephant standing on one leg. It’s hard to know if this is just two fingers to Environment Minister Alex Atwood or shameful shinners handing the North of Ireland to the DUP‘s developer pals on a plate.
After fighting a long and bloody war for Ireland the party is suspiciously keen to sell it to the highest bidder. MinisterAtwood hasn’t covered himself in glory after telling John Lewis to get lost at Sprucefield while welcoming the RU Kerry golf course next door to the Giant’s Causeway. But that’s nothing compared to what could happen if we let devolpers build where they like because the Pete and Marty show have decided it’s an ‘enterprize zone.’ Fracking in Fermanagh anyone? You provide the cash, we’ll provide the unspoiled green belt and the earthquakes. At least Minister Robinson’s back garden won’t be included. He’s already sold it and with Iris’s friends in the industry he can get plenty of advice close to home. The dirty deal between the parties exposed the schizophrenic nature of politics here. One minute it’s handbags at dawn over Gerry Kelly and his police Land-Rover stunt – do you know how hard it is to get a taxi in this town? – and the next minute they’re dancing round their handbags and putting up a big For Sale sign. So that’s two multi-story car parks on the top of Slieve Donard and an oil rig at Oxford Island. Well this is an enterprise zone.
With many thanks to : Roisin Gorman, Sunday World.
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