6 January 2005 Edition

Papers released under new Freedom of Information Act- Brits decided to let Hunger Strikers die

6 January 2005

Documents released under the new Freedom of Information Act, which came into force on 1 January, have revealed that in December 1975, the British Government made a decision that, in the event of a hunger strike by Republican POWs, it would let prisoners die rather than reintroduce Special Category status. Free article

Trying to build a Basque peace process

6 January 2005

On 14 November last, the Basque pro-independence party, Batasuna, put forward a fresh proposal aimed at finding a negotiated end to the conflict between the Spanish and French states and the Basque pro-independence movement. Pernando Barrena, a member of the National Executive of the banned party Batasuna, who has represented the Basque nationalist left for many years at Sinn Féin's Ard Fheis, explains what the proposal entails and the political reaction to it to date. Free article

Carnival of Reaction: A snapshot of Ireland in 1974 - Key Stormont documents 'missing'

6 January 2005

Irish and British cabinet papers, kept secret for 30 years, and released on 1 January, have revealed an Ireland in which the forces of reaction at that time fought and succeeded in holding back the tide of political, economic and social change. Free article

Basque Parliament approves referendum proposal

6 January 2005

On 30 December, three MPs from the Basque pro-independence party Batasuna helped push through the Basque Parliament a proposal by Basque conservative nationalists PNV and EA to allow for a referendum on greater political autonomy in all the provinces of the Basque Country - including those within the Spanish State and those ruled by France. However, the other three of the pro-independence party's six MPs voted against the proposal, to express opposition to a plan they feel does not go far enough, as the document does not aim for independence and the end of partition for the Basque Country. Free article

Coalition health strategy limps into 2005

6 January 2005

The incoherent and ineffective approach to public health policy of the Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrats Government was on display in the opening days of 2005 as Health Minister and Tánaiste Mary Harney made yet more promises to "drive reforms". Free article

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I was tortured

6 January 2005

Complaints of torture of Basque political detainees have been a constant feature of the conflict but have heightened in recent times. The following graphic account of arrest and torture at the hands of the Spanish Guardia Civil was given by Basque activist Amaia Urizar De Paz Free article

Seán Russell statue attacked in Dublin

6 January 2005

Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Christy Burke has slammed the partial destruction of a memorial to Dublin republican Seán Russell and a journalist in the Sunday Independent who congratulated the vandals responsible. The attack on the statue of Russell, which saw the head removed, occurred in Dublin's Fairview Park over the Christmas period. Free article

A tale of two builders - Expert report on state purchase of housing land leaked

6 January 2005

In some parts of Ireland, developers have the land but won't make planning applications to build on it. But in other areas, developers are rushing to meet planning deadlines in unprecedented numbers. How can this be? Well, it all depends on government policy. Free article

So long Jarvis, hello Vinci?

6 January 2005

It might be a case of third time lucky for Jarvis, the failing Private Finance Initiative specialist, but at what cost? The company, which last week announced interim losses for the first nine months of 2004 totalling £283 million, has spent the last few weeks speedily selling remaining assets to avoid financial collapse, while all but two of its 21 current building projects have missed completion deadlines. Free article

Irish - Bahamas ferries

6 January 2005

Irish Ferries workers have returned to work after their recent dispute over company proposals to outsource work. Free article

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