The Case of the Stolen Photographs

Last Sunday, Ciaran Barnes ran a story in the Sunday Life quoting a ‘senior republican source’ who expressed anger about the Liam Adams scandal and made a bit of a stink about his involvement with Sinn Fein in West Belfast. Photos of Liam Adams with Fra McCann, Tom Hartley and West Belfast youths were printed. These photos had previously been published in the Andersonstown News, whose coverage of the scandal has been more or less supportive of Adams and by … Read more

“The history of aeroplaning in this country will date from 31st December 1909”

The Irish Times reports that the Royal Irish Automobile Club (RIAC) are commemorating the centenary of “the first powered flight of an Irish aircraft” – the National Aero Club are to take to the skies at Weston Airport, Dublin. The event they’re celebrating, as the Belfast Telegraph notes, is Harry Ferguson’s maiden flight on New Year’s Eve 1909 in Hillsborough, Co Down, in the monoplane pictured above – Ferguson is to the left of the propeller. The BBC report adds … Read more

“intelligence branch of the PSNI, known as C3, has been working non-stop with MI5”

No injuries reported after a number of shots were fired at a police station in Crossmaglen, south Armagh, last night. Meanwhile, despite the BBC’s re-assuring report, the Belfast Telegraph reports that “The PSNI has foiled a major dissident bomb plot after a lorry packed with 1,000lb of explosives was found under a flyover bridge.” From the brief iol report. Technical examinations are to be carried out today on what is believed to have been a massive bomb found near Newry. … Read more

McMichael award highlights importance of court reporting

Whether you approve of honours or not, three cheers for Ivan McMichael, the doyen of a dwindling profession, that of court reporter, for being made MBE. He should have waited for the spurs of knighthood.. At the height of the troubles, he was also a terrific news tipster. For generations, he has supplied court stories to the entire media without a serious stumble. In a rare burst of modesty Ivan comments: “I have been thinking why me instead of colleagues … Read more

Guardian exclusive tears holes in the FCO story of the background to Peter Moore’s release

A diplomatic and political storm is likely to follow the Guardian’s categorical claims that the kidnapping of Peter Moore and the murder of three, and probably four security guards was sponsored out by an elite Iranian force which took them to various locations deep inside Iran. Evidence of the Iranian connection comes from one of the Iraqi kidnappers whom the Guardian has interviewed. I assume the Guardian had been sitting on the story for some time, not wanting to risk … Read more

“an absolutely phenomenal 26 days”

From CernTV. A short end of term report from the scientists at the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator, including Belfast-born director of accelerators, Steve Myers – interview with Robin McKie noted here. It’s still the experiment most likely to find more than a pair of WIMPy socks. If they’re really there… Pete Baker

Adams family saga being buried on Wikipedia?

Interesting edit war going on at Gerry Adams’ biography page on wikipedia. All mention of claims his father was abusive and his involvement around allegations over his brother Liam are currently removed and subject to intense argument on the discussion page. An entry on Liam Adams is blank with a redirect to the discussion on Gerry’s entry. The only small reference to the subject remaining is a brief mention on the entry for Gerry Adams, Sr. Mark McGregorBlogging at: http://heartsofoakandsteel.wordpress.com … Read more

Don’t mistake the symptoms for the disease

Combined with his blunt attack on his own security system, Barack Obama’s deadline of tomorrow for a preliminary assessment of the apparently thwarted attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner will make big waves on this side of the pond. We can expect a revival of the “Londonistan ” analysis like this from Michael Burleigh. Typically, the British elite tried to manage the problem by co-opting the self-appointed tribal chiefs, and paying them off with honours. Unfortunately, some of the … Read more

Power and Politics

Via European Alternatives an article from Zygmunt Bauman ‘Reconnecting Power and Politics’, he rounds on many of those in power would identify themselves as ‘Left’ across Europe In recent years to be on the ‘left’ has come to signal an intention to be more thorough than the ‘right’ in carrying out the agenda of the right, and better at protecting such undertakings from the backlash inevitably caused by their dire social consequences. It was Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’ that laid … Read more

Ireland and US handbagged after Mountbatten assassination…

THERE are many interesting disclosures flowing from the UK and Irish archives after the IRA assassination of Mountbatten in 1979. The Times reports that a “telegram from Robin Haydon, the British Ambassador in Dublin, to Lord Carrington, the Foreign Secretary, revealed that Lord Mountbatten’s daughter, Lady Pamela Hicks, had told him that 1979 had been the first year that the boat was not under guard or searched for devices before the family went aboard”. Haydon wrote: In the absence of … Read more

Major embarrassment for SDLP in Irish archives…

EXPENSES rows are not new. The Irish archives reveal that Dublin was prepared to hand out payments to the SDLP after the collapse of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing executive in 1974. Rather embarrassingly for John Hume and co, an official said details of the claims “do not tally” with records and advised further investigation to ensure “the SDLP aren’t claiming for something they aren’t entitled to”. Even more worryingly, one senior Irish government official believed Hume wanted internment brought back to … Read more

“Pages of half truths, opinions, bias, lies.”

According to Gerry Adams’ latest post at “This Blog”, “[He] stopped buying the Sunday papers about ten years ago.” And a message to the faithful, “‘[He’ll] tell you about the ones with their own wee agenda some other time’ [he] smiled. They usually write for the Sunday World, the Sunday Times, papers of that ilk.” So don’t worry your little heads about questions over his brother Liam’s time in Sinn Féin in Dundalk. Or about questions over his brother Liam’s … Read more

Let’s hear it for the Oldies

So Van’s still the man at 64! Why ever not! Over 500 news stories and counting throughout the world proclaim it so it must be true. And he’s more open about Van 111’s citizenship than his place of birth. Well, what do you expect from a man called Ivan from off the Bloomfield Road? Brian WalkerFormer BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political … Read more

Adams: Safe at home, vulnerable away…

Worth noting in passing Squinter’s straw poll of sentiment in West Belfast suggests that Gerry Adams’ support is undiminished in his own political heartland… It’s a point I made myself on GMU last Thursday (about 8.20)… It, I would suggest, indicates there is no immediate threat to Adams in the Westminsters (the SDLP are nowhere and ‘other’ republicans have made zero progress in developing a functional alternative to SF’s strategy)… The ‘political problem’ has more to do with wider party … Read more

Former Hunger Striker Calls on Adams to Resign from Sands Trust

Former Hunger Striker Gerard Hodgins has called upon Gerry Adams to resign from the Bobby Sands Trust in light of his actions surrounding the accusations against his brother, Liam Adams. The Sands Trust is currently run out of the Sinn Fein offices on the Falls Road, and its members are Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison, Tom Hartley, Jim Gibney, Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, Sile Darragh, Caral Ni Chuilin, and Peter Madden (Madden and Finucane represent the Trust). Hartley, Morrison and Adams have … Read more

“I’m hoping they will do it and I’m hoping they won’t renege.”

The Belfast Telegraph follows up yesterday’s report on the mood music from within loyalist paramilitary groups with a prediction from an anonymous “well-placed source” that – “The UDA is expected to fully disarm before the February deadline set by the Secretary of State, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.” [Is that the “good” and “bad” UDA? – Ed]. Whether it’s dependent on the success of Martin McAleese’s lobbying isn’t made clear but the title quote, from “a government source”, suggests some … Read more

The Rights and Wrongs of TV3 and Brian Lenihan

TV3 were right to report that finance minister Brian Lenihan had been diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, just about every other decision they made in covering the story was wrong. What TV3 gave us was Ursula Halligan, seemingly ill-prepared, at one point stumbling over tenses (“Brian Lenihan was, um, is…”) and saying not very much after the first sentence. (As an aside, why do television news editors feel the need for faux actuality, going over to ‘our reporter on the spot’ … Read more

Iris Robinson to stand down

The BBC have just announced that Iris Robinson is standing down from public life (presumably both as an MP and MLA?) because of depression. “The stress and strain of public life comes at a cost and my health has suffered,” she said. TurgonThis author has not written a biography and will not be writing one.

“They don’t seem to see the inherent danger..”

With the final final deadline for paramilitary groups to decommission without consequences about to come hurtling around the New Year corner [February 2010], and with Martin McAleese still lobbying on behalf of the “good” UDA, in the Belfast Telegraph Alan Murray reports on the mood music from within those paramilitary groups. The kitchen cabinet assembled here by Martin McAleese is composed of former public servants drawn mainly from the nationalist community in Northern Ireland and the criticism of it, from … Read more

The focus now is on Gerry Adams’s survival

When a journalist in a newspaper labels a leading politician as a liar and produces what ‘s claimed to be a smoking gun so to speak, we know that it’s game on for the highest stakes. Suzanne Breen and the Sunday Tribune are hardly risk averse. They come to the Adams scandal buoyed up with a clear victory over the government over their refusal to disclose the source of the Real IRA claim for the Massareene murders. Recognising the significance … Read more