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19 February 2004 Edition

The Real Electoral Fraud

19 February 2004

This week, one of the biggest stories in the 26 Counties has been the furore surrounding electronic voting. Radio talk shows buzzed as speculation continued as to whether or not we would have our votes counted properly. The media actively promoted the debate. In the face of attack from opposition parties and the growing public unease over the new system, the government was forced into a partial climbdown. Free article

Finucanes will meet Stevens in London

19 February 2004

The family of assasinated solicitor Pat Finucane are to meet London Metropoliton Police Chief John Stevens on 23 February in London. The meeting comes 15 years after the solicitor was killed by the UDA. The Finucane family said that they want to meet Stevens to discuss their concerns about his continuing investigation and possible prosecutions, which they fear may be used by the British Government as an excuse to prevent the establishment of an inquiry into the killing such as that recommended by Canadian Judge Peter Cory. Free article

Kelly family just want the truth

19 February 2004

The family of County Tyrone Councillor Patsy Kelly, abducted and killed in 1974, has spoken of their frustration after their legal challenge to compel the PSNI to allow an independent investigation into the circumstances of his killing was delayed for the fourth time at Belfast's High Court on Friday 13 February. Free article

'Break up the Government not CIE'

19 February 2004

Public transport in the 26 Counties ground to halt this week as the condemnations from political parties and business organisations moved into gear. Monday's four-hour work stoppage, organised by the National Bus and Rail Workers' Union (NBRU) and SIPTU, brought thousands of Dublin Bus, DART, Iarnrod Éireann and Bus Éireann workers onto the streets. They were protesting at both the plans of Transport Minister Séamus Brennan to break up CIE while privatising bus services and also his failure to start negotiations with the CIE unions on his proposals, over a year after he first floated the break-up plan. Free article

Suicide tragedy in Ardoyne

19 February 2004

This Tuesday, 17 February, 18-year-old Bernard Cairns was laid to rest amid scenes of agonising sorrow. The young man had taken his own life only hours after attending the funeral of his friend Anthony O'Neill, who had also died by suicide. Cairns death is the 13th by suicide in the North Belfast area since Christmas -- an average of two people a week in the last six weeks. Although the recent deaths cross all boundaries of religion, age and gender, those who are taking their own lives are overwhelmingly males under the age of 25 and the deaths have sparked urgent pleas for help. Free article

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Coiste launches Kesh proposals

19 February 2004

For republicans, Long Kesh, first as an internment camp, then as a theatre of struggle around the issue of Political Status in the notorious H-Blocks and as the stage of the Great Escape (one of many) has an obvious historical role to play. But for others it is the site of a discredited British policy that many would sooner erase and forget, not least the British Prison Minister with responsibility for the site, who recently declared that the Kesh/Maze should be razed to the ground as soon as possible and consigned to history. Free article

SF demands real truth recovery process

19 February 2004

A commission to deal with the legacy of the conflict would become a stalling mechanism for the British Government to hide behind, said Sinn Féin justice spokesperson Gery Kelly on Wednesday. He was reacting after Policing Board Chair Des Rea and Vice Chair Denis Bradley announced their idea that a commission to deal with the conflict should be established. Free article

Last witness testifies

19 February 2004

Kay Duddy, sister of Jackie Duddy and Michael McKinney, brother of William McKinney, are pictured outside Derry's Guildhall last Friday after the last witness gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the public hearings were adjourned after more than 900 witness testimonies and 1,700 statements. Before he closed the proceedings, Lord Saville warned that one potential IRA witness is to be reported for contempt. He said he was reporting the man - known as Provisional IRA 9 - for refusing to cooperate with the tribunal. Free article


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