David Campbell: If Ulster Unionists stand in all seats, it will be a declaration of war on fellow unionists and a boost for Sinn Fein

I wonder who’s having a total meltdown over the upcoming elections?


Pressure on Nigel Dodds as Republicans and the new UUP leader rules out standing aside


Follow this link to find out more: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/politicalnews/2019/09/19/news/john-finucane-puts-name-forward-to-contest-north-belfast-1716102/content.html

Councillor Mark McKinty stands down over ‘driving incident’ – BBC News



A SINN Fein assembly member has claimed comments by former Ulster Unionist Ken Maginnis during a TV documentary on Margaret Thatcher confirm the British government operated a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy during the Troubles. West Tyrone MLA Declan McAleer claimed remarks made by Lord Maginnis showed the ggovernment was “responsible for targeting and executing people”.

Collusion - Shoot-to-kill

During the RTE documentary Thatcher – Ireland and the Iron LadyLord Maginnis said IRA members were killed in an SAS ambush shortly after he gave names to Baroness Thatcher. The former Ulster Defence Regiment major said he met Margaret Thatcher after the IRA killed eight British soldiers in August 1988. When Ms Thatcher asked him who was responsible the former UUP member gave her names of the people he suspected of being involved. “Subsequently, believe it or not, there was an SAS operation when the same team tried to kill a coal man and they were ambushed and that was the end of that particular team,” Lord Maginnis said in the programme, broadcast on Tuesday.

IRA  members Martin Harte (23), his brother Gerard (29) and brother-in-law Brian Million (26) were shot dead at Cloughfin in Drumnakilly, Co Tyrone, during an SAS ambush in August 1988. Mr McAleer claimed Lord Maginnis’s comments confirmed that there was a ‘shoot-to-kill policy sanctioned by the highest level of the British government. “It confirms what republicans have been saying for years, that those at the highest levels of the British government were involved in targeting and assassinating republicans, solicitors and anyone else who challenged their remit in Ireland,” he said. The UUP dismissed Mr McAleer’s comments. A spokesman said : “This is yet another attempt by Sinn Fein to rewrite history.”

With many thanks to : Brendan Hughes, The Irish News.


‘ While other councils across the north are moving forward…. Lisburn is still firmly stuck in the Dark Ages as a fiefdom for the DUP and bigotry.

LISBURN council has been accused of being stuck “in the Dark Ages” with the DUP maintaining its grip on power, taking both mayor and deputy mayor posts. The party now holds 10 out of the 12 available leadership positions.


Alliance group leader Brian Dornan said that in the past three years the mayor and deputy mayor roles have gone to another party only once. Alliance had put forward Stephen Martin to be deputy mayor but he was defeated despite getting the support of Alliance, SDLP, Sinn Fein, one UUP councillor and an independent. “I am disappointed that yet again the DUP have refused to accept power sharing in Lisburn Council,” Mr Dornan said. “They have no problems with it at the assembly, so why can’t they agree to it in Lisburn? “The DUP may talk of a shared future but their actions don’t match their words.”

He called for mandatory power-sharing to be introudecd by environment minister Alex Attwood. Sinn Fein group leader Ader Carson said unioni. ‘s “discriminatory policies…. on Lisburn City Council are as alive in 2013 as they ever have been”. “Sinn Fein is the second largest party grouping on the council yet, despite this, we have been denied any formal positions following Lisburn council’s annual general meeting,” he said. “Given the mandate that Sinn Fein received in 2011, had d’Hondt been enacted the party would be enacted the party would be entitled to the position of chair and vice-chair of a committee each year, along with one year as major of Lisburn. “Since first being represented on Lisburn council in 1985, unionist politicians have constantly sought to deny Sinn Fein its share of positions. “As a result, by the end of this term in 2015, Sinn Fein will have held only two official positions in 30 years. “While other councils across the north are moving forward, such as Banbridge and Coleraine, Lisburn is still firmly stuck in the Dark Ages as a fiefdom of the DUP and bigotry. “Certainly there is no shared future in the minds of the DUP councillors in Lisburn City Council. Discrimation and jobs for the boys remains the prioity.”

With many thanks to : Bimpe Archer, Irish News.



Seosamh O Bradaigh


Today I went to Lisburn City Councils AGM at which Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected as are Chairs and Vice chairs of committees. It will be no surprise to you to know that bigotry is alive and well in Lisburn with the DUP taking 10 of the 12 positions available and the UUP taking the other 2. The DUP took Mayor and Deputy Mayor being Margaret Tolerton and Andrew Ewing respectively. The chair positions were filled by DUP with 2 vice chair positions given to UUP. Last year SF had a position of chair with the promise that they would be rewarded this year with more positions but that was not the case, in fact there was a retrograde step as they got nothing. So this new dispensation seems to be working but no one has told the DUP in Lisburn. People will ask why can they get away with this and how can they do it? The answer is: because they can! They can go on their junkets to Cardiff and tell Obama all is well in this Unionist dominated state, but they don’t want a taig about the place never mind an Independent Republican like myself.

Today Lisburn Council once more told everyone that the occupied 6 counties are and always will be “A protestant state for a protestant people”. It does not matter who holds what position in Stormont when you get down to the grass roots there are no changes. Peter and Martin can walk about smiling and saying we are building a new and peaceful place with equality for all (not in Lisburn). Republicans who are still on the bus believing that things are changing and we have a voice I say to you, there has been “not an ounce” of change in the mindset of unionism for all the compromises made by past republicans who still sit up on the house on the hill, you are Constitutional Nationalists who have been sold a pup.





‘This type of motion can only cause division and is the last thing Nipsa needs – Ross Hussey.


A MOTION calling for the release of prominent republican Marian Price due to come before the Nipsa conference has been criticised by the UUP. West Tyrone MLA and policing board member Ross Hussey said he had been contacted by Nipsa members who were “deeply unhappy” at the motion.

Mr Hussey described it as a “deeply regrettable situation” which could “cause decision”. “I have been contacted by a number of Nipsa members who are deeply unhappy at Motion No 13 in the conference handbook which states ‘Conference demands the immediate release of Marian Price’. “The motion goes on to call for the Nipsa general council ‘to campaign for the immediate release of Marian Price on humanitarian grounds’. “This is deeply regrettable situation. Nipsa is a highly respected trade union which draws its members from right across the province and from all sections of our society. “This type of motion can only cause division and is the last thing which Nipsa needs.” Then secretary of state Owen Paterson revoked her life sentence licence at Easter 2011 after Price was charged over a dissident republican rally in Derry. She is also facing seperate charges of providing a mobile phone for a terrorist purpose in March 2009 shortly before two soldiers were shot dead at Massereene barracks. The 58-year-old has been receiving treatment for depression, arthritis and lung problems, while kept in hospital under armed guard.

With many thanks to : Maeve Connolly, Irish News.

This letter also appeared in the Irish News today Friday May 17 2013.

Two years incarceration and still no justice for Marian.


The long, drawn.out process in recent times still has not revealed an outcome. Fifteen years on from signing of the British agreement the treatment of Marian Price and others exposes that the injustice suffered at the hands of the British establishment hasn’t gone away. The analysis of the Irish people throughout our history that there is no British justice in Ireland is epitomised again with this deliberate maltreatment. Marian Price should be released immediately on humanitarian grounds due tonton the state of her health but she should also be released as a right because the spurious charges against her are not proven and innocent until proven guilty has gone out the door. Marian Price is serving a sentence of inhumane treatment for the past two years and yet is not sentenced to a single day in jail. Where is the justice ?

With many thanks to : Francis Mackey, Omagh, Co Tyrone.




NORTHERN Ireland’s premier politician Peter RRobinson, may be preparing to pull the plug on a four decade political career, the Sunday World has learned. And the race could soon be on to find a new dynamic leader to lift the mantle of Ulster unionism and wage the Democratic Unionist Party‘s battles at Storming and Westminister.

Speculation is rising within the DUP that the party leader may quit politics altogeather in favour of a new life on the other side of the Atlantic, where he and his wife Iris own a substantail home in Florida. Sources close to the Ian Paisley founded party, say the DUP leader appears to be ” going through the motions ” of holding down the prestigious post of First Minister. The cite Robinson’s recent lack-lustre performance at Westminister, when David Cameron sent him and Martin McGuinness packing with nothing to show for their  efrorts to secure a new Corporation Tax for the North of Ireland, as the latest example of the First Minister’s ” mounting disillusionment with politics.” And the recent comments he made concerning an attack on the Irish News in which he called on people ” to stop buying the Irish News “. ” David Cameron swotted Robinson and McGuinness like flies,” said one Stormount source. ” This was supposed to kickstart the North of Ireland’s economy. In the end, they came away with nothing and clearly Robinson and McGuinness had no plan B.” And the source added : ” Peter Robinson is a man whose political career was predicted on his understanding of fiscal matters, but he was caught out badly when Cameron told him there would be no change in Corporation Tax in the North of Ireland until after the referendum on Scottish Independence. Robinson had no answer to that.”

Robinson – who became DUP leader and First Minister five years ago when the Rev. Ian Paisley stood down – managed to overcome heartache in his personal life, to get his political career back on track after it emerged his wife Iris had had an affair with 19-year-old cafe owner Kirk McCambley. In the wake of the ‘ Iris-gate ‘ crisis, Robinson stood down from front-line politics, while his wife was treated for depression in a private London clinic. He handed over the reigns of leadership to Fermanagh MLA Arlene Foster, who assumed the role of Acting First Minister. However, our sources maintain that if Robinson quits in the short to mid-term, then it is no longer a foregone conclusion that Foster – a former member of the Ulster Unionist Party – would emerge as frount runner for the leader’s job. ” Just because Arlene did such a good job when Peter was on gardening leave it doesen’t automatically mean that she is odds-on to be the next DUP leader. ” For many years, political pundits speculated that Nigel Dodds was the natural successor to Peter Robinson, but despite the rumours – even from within the party – that isn’t going to happen,” said our source.

And the source revealed for the first time that in his opinion, Peter Robinson’s preferred successor is Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, who quit the UUP shortly before the party, led by David Trimble, signed the Belfast Agreement on Good Friday 1998. It is believed Robinson is impressed by Donaldson’s performance at Westminister, where he sits on various high-powered committees.  ” Jeffrey has a great understanding of how Westminister works and although Peter believed Storming caters for good devolved and stable Government in the North of Ireland, he sincerely believed unionism is best served by a strong unionist presence at Westminster,” the source said. And he added : ” If Peter had his way, he would step down tommorrow and allow Jeffrey Donaldson to take over the reigns.” It is understood Peter Robinson’s ego was delt a damaging blow when following the Iris Robinson‘s toy boy sex scandel, voters in East Belfast dumped him as as Westminister MP in favour of the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long. His political star in East Belfast decended even more during the recent Union Flag crisis. While the Alliance Party endured a campaign of vilifcation, Robinson was roundly jeered when he turned up at a meeting on the Lower Newtonards Road to discuss the issue. Our source said it was the current DUP leader’s ambition that the party speak for all shades of unionist opinion.

With many thanks to : Hugh Jordan,Sunday World.

‘Ardoyne-style talks’ wanted at Drumcree

Craigavon Council is set to ask the Parades’ Commission to set up a new initiative – similar to one in north Belfast‘s Ardoyne – aimed at resolving the long-running Drumcree dispute in Portadown.


Orange Order parades have been banned from the Garvaghy Road since 1998 but, while violent scenes of the past have not been replicated in recent years, weekly protests are still held by members of Portadown District.

“I know there’s a small number of people who think that the problem has gone away,” the Ulster Unionist Party‘s Colin McCusker said, having put forward a motion on the issue on Tuesday night.

“But for the 900 members of Portadown District, their families and supporters, this problem still persists.

“We’ve had over 5,000 protests now – it’s still ongoing and I want to see a resolution to it.”

But according to the Garvaghy Road Residents’ Coalition, the issue has already been resolved.

Spokesman Breandan MacCionnaith told UTV: “Coming from the viewpoint of this community, Drumcree has been solved.

“There have been many initiatives over the years – I can’t see what another one’s going to bring to the table.”

He added: “The Orange Order knows that they have a perfectly acceptable, viable route to take them back from Drumcree church into the town centre.”

But Portadown’s District Master Darryl Hewitt disagrees.

“I think any dispute, if one side is not happy with the outcome, then the situation hasn’t been resolved,” he said.

Portadown District certainly are not happy with the current situation and we seek to get a resolution that suits everybody – we have said for these past five years that we’re willing to meet anybody with no pre-conditions.

“And that includes the Garvaghy Road residents.”

The UUP’s motion that the council write to the Parades’ Commission was backed by the DUP and Alliance Party, but opposed by Sinn Féin and the SDLP.

SDLP councillor Joe Nelson said that his party didn’t feel that mediation had worked in the past.

“Unless there’s some new and radical thinking coming forward, we don’t believe that the north Belfast model is particularly going to work in Portadown,” he added.

The motion was passed by majority vote and a letter will be sent to the Parades’ Commission.


Single victims’ commissioner sought

  Two women walk past mural depicting victims of the Troubles in west Belfast
Two women walk past mural depicting victims of the Troubles in west Belfast
A single victims’ commissioner is set to take over the duties of the three current holders of the position. The Executive has advertised in local newspapers for applications for the advocacy role for people bereaved or injured in the Troubles. The decision to reduce the number of commissionerscomes as a new Victims Service gets up and running.It is understood the Government considers that the three current commissioners, who get paid £65,000 a year, have accomplished so much in establishing initial contact with victims that their workload could now be undertaken by one individual.However, ministers are understood to be open to hiring two commissioners if two outstanding candidates emerge.The current incumbents – RUC widow Bertha McDougall, Patricia MacBride, whose IRA brother was killed by the SAS, and Brendan McAllister, formerly of Mediation NI – end their terms in post in May.

There had been four commissioners but Mike Nesbitt resigned to pursue a career in politics with the Ulster Unionist party.

The three outgoing commissioners will be free to apply for the new position.

The newspaper advert calls for applications to the post of commissioner/commissioners.

A senior Stormont source said that while there was the potential for appointing two commissioners, the preference was for one. “The intention is to appoint a single commissioner,” said the source. “But we are trying to retain some degree of flexibility.”


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