From Irish Political Review: November 2007

Editorial Commentary


was Eamon Dunphy's Radio Eireann guest on 3rd November. He asked her about Fintan O'Toole's "sneering article" when she stood for President saying his "set" didn't think there could be any more to mere singers and football players. She replied "he didn't even know me… These liberals are only liberal with those who share their views". She said she served on the stem cell research Committee of the European Parliament and saw that there were plenty of stem cells available from the placenta and the umbilical cord without having to use the foetus. Speaking about the "events", as many call them, of Bloody Sunday, Dunphy referred to the "murders" of that day. So his statement to Edna O"Brien a few weeks ago that he was no longer a revisionist looks correct.

BUS TOURS… according to the Belfast Telegraph (2nd Nov), have been stopped going along the Falls Road after stones and bottles were thrown at one of them. Hardly surprising as a few days earlier bottles were thrown at the IRA war memorial from the top of a tour bus by young men wearing Rangers shirts. What was the tour company thinking of when they took that lot up the Falls? Still, the real tourists will have something to talk about—they visited a real danger area! These tours do also have a touch of the zoo about them.

former IRA leader, has died. Meehan once described his interrogation by the RUC Special Branch at the time of internment. They stuck a knitting needle into his calf until it touched the bone and then scraped the bone. They were nothing if not inventive, the RUC.

MI5… have already begun moving in to their new purpose-built Barracks in Holywood, Co. Down, according to the Belfast Telegraph, October 11th. The handover of "national security" from the PSNI is expected to be completed by the end of the year. "The PSNI will be kept informed of all MI1 anti-terror operations… and will continue to run the 'great majority' of informers, and should be given access to all relevant information", said the paper. Mind you MI5 will decide what is relevant! Dolores Kelly, SDLP member of the Policing Board, said that the proposed role for MI5 was incompatible with the British Government declaration in 1990 that Britain has "no selfish, strategic or economic interest" in Northern Ireland.
THE EAST ANTRIM UDA… has said that it has decommissioned—all 14 guns. But SDLP Stormont Minister Margaret Ritchie continues to refuse to channel development funds via the UDA until all its sections have decommissioned. One UDA leader reasonably objected that they had no idea where many of the weapons were. Another objection was that Stormont shouldn't be responsible for what amounts to UDA pensions. Inquiry after inquiry has demonstrated that UDA operations were instigated, facilitated—or even organized and led by—RUC Special Branch and Military Intelligence. Its members therefore should be entitled to police or army pensions!
The above item… puts one in mind of a story many years ago when a UDA commander in North Belfast had the clever idea of burying his gun under next door's dog kennel. Of course the dog, probably expecting a juicy bone, immediately dug it up, and the police were called. Unfortunately for the gun owner he had wrapped it in a newspaper which had his name on the front to help the delivery boy. More than that, the man had half completed the prize crossword, but had already filled in his name and address. He was about to have plenty of time for doing crosswords.
1641 REBELLION RECORDS… which were planked away in Trinity College are to be digitized and made available to the public over the next three years according to the Irish News of October 18th. These comprise 3,400 accounts supporting the view that between 4,000 and 12,000 Protestants were killed by the rebels. What described as "rebellion" was an attempt by people in Ulster to regain lands taken from them 30 years earlier and settled by soldiers and civilians from Britain, mostly in the Western part of the Province.
THE SEAGATE FACTORY… in Limavady, which makes blank CDs, has announced that it will close in one year with the loss of over 900 jobs. The reason given is the 'sudden' discovery that Irish wages cannot compete with wages in the Far East or North Africa. As though there was no differential when the plant was set up nearly ten years ago with the help of a lot of taxpayers' money, or during the intervening years. The company received another £4m in State aid over the last six years. OUP Mayor of Limavady, Edwin Stevenson, said that the total amount of taxpayers' money paid to the company is between £30m and £40m. Seagate, a US multi-national, also employs 1,400 people in Derry. The company refuses to recognize Trade Unions.
45 RUC/PSNI OFFICERS… have been allowed to resign while under investigation for serious offences since March 2006 (Irish News Oct 3rd). The crimes include downloading child-pornography, assault, theft, and fraud. This means that they have avoided disciplinary processes and keep their pension entitlements.

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