3 February 2005 Edition
The 5th Column
Indo at War
THE IRISH INDEPENDENT provided a rare service to journalistic accuracy on Tuesday when it rubbished a huge front-page sensational story in one of the more tawdry Sunday newspapers claiming that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been briefed by security chiefs that the IRA is preparing "a return to war".
Writing that the Taoiseach had denied the reports, Irish Indo scribe Senan Molony explained:
"A Sunday newspaper said the Taoiseach had been given reports by both the Garda Siochána and the Army that the IRA was planning a limited return to conflict.
"Mr Ahern declared: 'I have no such information. Obviously, I get security briefings but I have no information as suggested in those reports'...
"The contradiction came after it was claimed that a new IRA recruiting campaign was under way on both sides of the Border... [but Mr Ahern] made clear that there was no intelligence to suggest a resumption of hostilities on even a low-level basis.
"The newspaper said two Sinn Féin leaders and 'other members of the IRA's Army Council' had already approved the IRA's effective return to shooting and bombing."
One might have thought that the truly independent-minded public would have been delighted to hear that talk of the IRA going back to war utter bilge. So why was it buried at the very bottom of Page 16 of the Irish Independent's compact edition rather than splashed joyously all over the front page? And why did Senan leave out the name of the Sunday broadsheet newspaper that peddled this tripe as its front-page lead and over most of another inside page as well under the heading "Sinn Féin deceit: IRA planning a new terror campaign"? Surely not because it was an "Exclusive" by the insecurity editor, Jim Cusack, of the Sunday Independent?
Leech's leaky story
THE Sunday Indo's second headline lead story claimed that embattled Transport Minister Martin Cullen's €1,200-a-day PR supremo, Monica Leech, had confidential files stolen during a Watergate-style break-in at her home by the IRA.
The trouble is, the burglary happened in June of last year — seven months ago — and Leech reportedly told the cops at the time that she thought it was the IRA.
So why does it only come to national prominence now, the same week that Monica Leech and Martin Cullen are trying to cope with the fall-out over the Quigley Report into 'Monicagate' and a possible follow-up investigation by the Standards in Public Office Commission.
For an extravagantly-paid publicist, Ms Leech seems to have been a bit slow off the mark in this spin doctoring.
Rabbitte's Bart Simpson defence
THE Labour Party leader in the 26 Counties, Pat Rabbitte, had another dig at Sinn Féin last Wednesday week after Bertie Ahern's bust-up with republican TDs in the Leinster House chamber.
Challenged by Sky News Ireland's Gráinne Seoige that Bertie Ahern would have to stand up his allegations against republicans, Brother Rabbitte showed a heretofore unpublicised and touching faith in the Irish and British secret services.
Rabbitte said he didn't hold with "the Bart Simpson defence of you didn't see me so I didn't do it".
It's a curious line coming from someone with a pedigree in the old Kremlin-crazy Workers' Party and its alleged links to the 'Official IRA' and forged fivers, never mind junking the civil liberties principle of 'innocent until proven guilty'.
IAN PAISLEY JUNIOR has been given a verbal kick in his security credentials in a spat with Enniskillen Ulster Unionist Policing Board colleague Sam Foster.
Sam takes Junior to task over a "sweeping statement" in the News Letter chiding unionists for not turning up for a Policing Board meeting demanded by Junior so he could grandstand about the Northern Bank robbery.
Sam said he wasn't asked, and he's irked by the Paisley pup's impudence.
"It seems that Ian Paisley would rather have a special meeting of the board so that he gains politically — attention seeking — rather than giving the PSNI the uninhibited task of getting on with the job of catching those who had committed the crime." And then Sam suggests that Junior has a little yellow streak in his pinstripes, preferring the headlines rather than frontline.
"He wants to talk about security, yet never did any formal security duty in his young, able, athletic life!" Ouch!
No gay time for Paisley Jnr
BUT JUNIOR'S days on the Policing Board may be numbered after his snide attack on people who are gay, in particular Steven King, UUP leader David Trimble's advisor, who recently married his long-time male partner in a civil ceremony in Canada.
Religious fundamentalist Paisley Junior condemned the marriage as "offensive" and told one newspaper: "It is really astounding that David Trimble should have had a man such as this giving him advice — and must surely cast grave doubts on his own political judgment."
The DUP leader's son said that the UUP had actively opposed same-sex unions and it was "perverse" that the party's key adviser should take part in such a ceremony. "I think these sorts of relationships are immoral, offensive and obnoxious," before claiming that he didn't hate homosexuals!
DUP member Arthur Templeton was suspended last year by the DUP for overtly homophobic remarks. Will they dare discipline Baby Doc?
The Sunday Incandescent
In Incandescent Living
Why Sir Anthony J O'Reilly is the greatest man who ever lived
by Sunday Incandescent Editor-in-Chief Anguish Fawning
IRA causes global warming
Exclusive by Our Insecurity Correspondent Jim Cossack
Garda sources have revealed to the Sunday Incandescent for the first time that the rapid acceleration of global warming is the work of the IRA. This shocking revelation has rocked both the Irish and British Governments and has led to calls for the banning of Sinn Féin. A poll of Sunday Incandescent readers has shown 100% support for internment and the reintroduction of the death penalty.
Gardaí, working closely with British Intelligence and the CIA, have uncovered the truth of what is really behind climate change. "A ruthless IRA gang is working with international terrorists in the remote mountains of Afghanistan. They are releasing millions of tons of poison gas into the atmosphere. The IRA hopes that global warming will lead to the flooding of low-lying areas of England, while the Muslim fanatics hope to drown Los Angeles," a visibly shocked Garda Special Branch source told us.
We can also reveal that Provo godfathers Adams and McGuinness definitely knew in advance about the Northern Bank raid. While negotiating with Bertie Ahern they were in possession of secret Tarot Card readings obtained by IRA intelligence units who broke into the home of Fine Gael Senator Byron Haze, an amateur astrologer, and stole his deck of cards. It is believed IRA intelligence can now predict all world events for the next five years.
Commenting on this latest crisis, Minister for Justice Michael McDownfall said he "always knew the Peace Process was a mistake from the beginning. I told you so".
Sunday Incandescent Poll
Do you think Sinn Féin should be outlawed?
• Yes 100% • No 0%
Do you think internment and the death penalty should be re-introduced?
• Yes 100% • No 0%
* Note if you answer No to either question you are undoubtedly a Provo fellow traveller and our correspondent Jim Cossack will have no option but to pass your details on to the Garda Special Branch who will call to your home.