Top Issue 1-2024

18 March 2004 Edition

We have to get back to conflict resolution

18 March 2004

Peace process cannot indefinitely survive undemocratic assaults by the British system - Mitchel McLaughlin Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin has described British policy in Ireland as "a package of undemocratic interference". "Recently we have witnessed the politics of the old, failed agenda of exclusion and vilification once again become currency in the media," he said. "Electoral interests North and South of the border are bound up with this. North of the border, securocrat elements trying to turn the clock back in an attempt to defeat republicanism have dovetailed their politics with those that fear the verdict of the electorate. But they won't succeed. The status quo is not an option. Free article

Larne bombing the work of the UVF

18 March 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on policing Gerry Kelly has accused the British Government of being obsessed with so-called republican violence while ignoring the fact that unionist paramilitaries have carried out 183 sectarian attacks against the nationalist community in the past year. Kelly was commenting on figures released by NIO Security Minister Jane Kennedy, which attributed to loyalists seven killings, 135 shootings and 41 bombings in the 12 months to January this year. Free article

Blair faces concerted lobbying on McBride case

18 March 2004

Members of the McBride family travelled to Dublin last Thursday to coincide with the visit to the capital of British Prime Minister Tony Blair who met with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. In advance of the visit, the McBride family urged the Taoiseach's office to raise with the British PM the ongoing controversary surrounding the decision to retain in the British Army the two soldiers convicted of Peter McBride's 1992 murder. Free article

Are discrimination and sectarian violence inextricably linked?

18 March 2004

During an open-air rally in 1959, Reverend Ian Paisley upbraided Protestant residents of the Shankill for allowing a handful of Catholic families to live in their midst. Inciting the crowd with sectarian hatred Paisley listed addresses of homes occupied by "Papishers and Popesmen". To the accompaniment of an Orange band, the crowd marched up the Shankill Road and attacked the houses identified by Paisley, breaking windows and daubing 'Taigs Out' on the doors. Free article


PSNI threats and beatings

18 March 2004

PSNI members who held three teenagers at gunpoint and warned not to move have been described as "armed thugs" by Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin North Belfast Assembly member Kathy Stanton said that the incident was "only the latest in a litany of offences" carried out by the PSNI against North Belfast nationalists. Free article

Shoukri released from jail

18 March 2004

Loyalists threatened journalists and surrounded their cars outside Maghaberry Jail to prevent them taking pictures or filming as North Belfast UDA commander Andre Shoukri was released from prison last week after serving a two-year sentence for possessing a gun. As Shoukri was being released on Friday 12 March, loyalist thugs, some wearing scarves to cover their faces, warned waiting journalists to stay inside their vehicles and not to try to take any photographs. Free article

McGuinness in the United States

18 March 2004

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness met with US Democratic Presidential challenger Senator John Kerry in Boston on Friday last. McGuinness was in Boston to meet opinion makers and political supporters of the Irish Peace Process. Senator Kerry was there as part of his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for the US Presidency. Free article

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