Posts Tagged ‘ PSNI ’

News In Brief: Garth-Gate Simmers On As Do The Spuds!

 

We love da shpuds! (image courtesy: arandartdesings.com)

We love da shpuds! (image courtesy: arandartdesings.com)

 

Summer’s over everyone, go back indoors. There’s plenty of rather stupid news to catch-up on anyway.

The PSNI were called after a Ryder Cup flag hung up in Rory McIlroy’s hometown was mistaken for a ‘terrorist’ flag. The poor fella flying the flag was forced to explain to the plod, the emblem on his flag was actually that of the European Union that he’d put up for a party not that of ‘an Islamic terrorist group’ as was reported to the police. According to the BBC, whom the homeowner told his story in the end everyone was laughing. HAHAHA Terrorism! HAHAHA Golf! Deadly craic. Continue reading

News In Brief- Knowing Me, Knowing Who?

fatherted

Rebekah Brooks (former News of the World) has said this week she didn’t know phone hacking was illegal and that she couldn’t have that fella’s croissant and his new Lamborghini without asking either. She may have known what the celebs were getting up to on their nights off but she didn’t know she wasn’t meant to know. Ah. God love her.

Similarly Peter Robinson, up north, didn’t know the PSNI had sent a letter to a Republican “on-the-run” to tell him he wasn’t wanted anymore. Peter immediately called for a judicial review and issued a threat to resign, a threat that sank faster than Jesus’ pint after forty days in the desert. Not that Peter’s threat actually meant anything to anyone, except perhaps his wife. Continue reading

A Year in Brief: Part One

muff

What a year it’s been; Hitler birthday cakes, mutant rats, and Bob Geldof off to space! To celebrate the end of another 365 days here are some of NIB’s favourite stories of the year.

Kicking off the year in festive spirit a man in Derry was fined after stealing a CCTV camera which “became his friend”. Police found Peter Morrison, 24, drunk and “petting” the camera as they arrived to arrest him. CCTV pets are for life not just for Christmas. Continue reading

Mother Detained As Gregg Children Found Safe And Well

greggfamily

A mother and her three children, missing from their Co Roscommon home since yesterday, have been found safe and well in Fermanagh.

Gardaí issued a Child Rescue Ireland alert in the early hours of this morning after mother of five Fiona Gregg (41) and three of her children Killian (8), Elisha (6), and Derbhla (2) were last seen at around 3pm yesterday at their home in Ballyforan.

They were found safe and well this morning by the PSNI in Enniskillen.  Continue reading

Thousands Of Inquiries As Officers Chase Cop Killer

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Officers on both sides of the border are pursuing more than 3,600 lines of inquiry as they hunt down the killers of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.

The 41 year old officer was shot dead in January as he escorted the collection of cash from a credit union outside Dundalk, Co Louth. Continue reading

News in Brief-Optimistic Irish Love Their Mammies

The Social Welfare system has come into disrepute as a small group of staff members are investigated for diverting funds. This socially unfair practice has seen money transferred to personal bank accounts as well as “unworthy applicants” with eight cases handed to the Public Accounts committee. Continue reading

PSNI Arrest Suspect In McCartney Murder Probe

whymydaPolice in Northern Ireland have arrested a man in connection with the murder of father of two Robert McCartney in 2005.

PSNI detectives arrested the 51-year-old in Jonesborough in Armagh this morning and searched a property in the area. Continue reading

CIRA Threatens To Murder Irish Personnel Serving In British Forces

 

CIRAThe recrudescence of rioting factions and paramilitary groups in this country should be a concern for all. In recent weeks we have seen rioting in the North against the decision by councillors in Belfast to only occasionally fly the Union Flag. And in the same week Continuity IRA prisoners in Portlaoise prison made a statement stating that any Irish citizen that serves in the British military is a ‘legitimate target’ for their organisation. A planned Loyalist protest this week in Dublin was scrapped but only because it was hurried and not planned. The group was to ‘sarcastically’ call for Leinster House to lower the Irish flag in a reaction against the Belfast City Council’s decision to fly the Union flag on certain days of the year.

The rioters in the North have caused unpardonable infrastructural damage, injured and maimed many PSNI officers trying to keep peace and brought parts of Belfast to a standstill. There has not been a night this week in which some form of rioting has not occurred in the city of Belfast. PSNI  officers have been at the forefront of the mayhem and have been exemplary. Rioting thugs have burned out many vehicles in the city including a double-decker bus in the Rathcoole area of Newtownabbey and have single-handedly caused hundreds of thousands of pounds in damage. Reports also suggest that the thugs who have closed off roads in protest have refused access to local individuals trying to go about their business. A number of disgusting reports have come to light; a local GP being refused passage to get to a cancer patients house; an elderly man refused access to the area where he lived even though his terminally ill wife awaited his return; and other reports of thugs attacking random cars as they passed through their imposed blockades.

The situation in the North had been improving but the recent snag has suggested a return to high tensions between factions.

The other issue of concern regards Irish citizens serving in the British Armed Forces. In a disgusting statement from Continuity IRA inmates in Portlaoise prison it was said that such Irish citizens were targets for murder. Inmates stated that “The moment you don a British uniform you become a legitimate target for the IRA”. The outlawed organisation has never so directly incited the murder of Irish citizens but recent statistics have suggested a rise in the number of Irish citizens joining the British Armed Forces. The number is still relatively low; around 400 Irish citizens serve in the forces. Many of them have served overseas fighting the fanatical Jihadist group the Taliban but now face a threat when they return home to their own soil.

In December Gardai foiled a plot by the Continuity IRA to assassinate an Irishman serving in the British army while he was home for the Christmas period. The man was supposed to visit family in Limerick but was advised not to return home because of the serious threat to his life. The would-be murderers had befriended the man, who is in his 20’s, on Facebook months beforehand and had acquired a gun to carry out the assassination. The sinister development of the CIRA’s decision to actively seek to carry out such murders is one of major concern.

The British Ministry of Defence duly condemned the statement, “We condemn any threat of mindless violence against members of the British Armed Forces. We are committed to protecting them and all Irish personnel are being informed about this specific threat. The statement made by the Continuity IRA is a matter for the Garda Síochána”. Gardai are continuing to investigate the threats and warn any Irish citizen serving in the British Armed Forces to be aware of such a threat.

By Shuki Byrne

McConville Case Still Resonates Within Northern Ireland

An interesting showdown, with potentially important ramifications for both journalism and academia, has been slowly unfolding over the course of several months, involving a journalist in the middle, paramilitary soldiers seeking to tell the truth on one side and the PSNI and the families of the so-called ‘disappeared’ on the other.

The controversy circles an academic historical endeavour known as the ‘Belfast Project’, conducted by Boston College, whose aim is to create an oral history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, a history which would offer a much more frank and realistic view of the conflict, from both sides of the coin. Paramilitary volunteers from either side were interviewed for the large scale project. None of the Republican interviews, however, were authorised by the IRA. In fact, the only reason they were given by the participants was on the condition that they be released only after their deaths. Understandably this was because the IRA was and is very secretive and controlling, and those interviewed revealed operational secrets, the IRA’s methods and often criticised key decisions and people within the organisation. At present, the interviews are kept under lock and key at the college. However, on July 6th the first circuit court of appeal ruled that the College and Ed Moloney, the journalist in charge of the project, didn’t have the right to promise to withhold the information they were given, and have ordered that information be turned over to the PSNI by next month. This test case has brought out academics and journalists decrying the court’s decision, proclaiming source protection as sacred. The National Union of Journalists in particular, which is a joint British-Irish organization, has condemned the ruling. General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet has argued that the ruling has “significant implications” for academic and journalistic research, while others have criticised the College for not acting like other journalists and protecting their sources to the point of going to prison.

One of the main reasons the PSNI want to get their hands on this treasure trove of information is to help them discover what happened to certain people during the conflict, a collective known as the ‘disappeared.’ This is the name that has been given to sixteen people who vanished during the Troubles at the hands of the IRA, believed to have been abducted and killed, then buried in shallow graves. In 1999, the IRA admitted to killing nine of the victims on that list, and gave up the burial sites, although only three were found at that time. Since then, a further four bodies have been recovered. The most infamous of these cases was that of young mother, Jean McConville, whose body was finally discovered in 2003 by a family out on a walk, a mile from the location the IRA had given for her grave. McConville was born into a Protestant family in East Belfast though converted to Catholicism when she married her husband, Arthur. One of her sons, Robbie, was in Long Kesh for Official IRA related activities although he defected to the INLA in 1974. In December of 1972, she was abducted from her home by 12 members of the IRA, men and women, and killed by a single bullet to the back of the head, her remains buried on a nearby beach. The IRA refused to admit responsibility for many years, and then claimed that McConville had been a British spy, passing information on local republicans to British security forces through a radio transmitter. Her children have consistently rejected this claim, and have repeatedly called on the IRA to clear their mother’s name. An official investigation revealed no evidence to prove the IRA’s claims. Enter Boston College and their Belfast Project. One of those believed to be have been interviewed, Dolours Price, could reveal she was part of the murder as the driver of the car which took McConville to her death, and more importantly, the role of Gerry Adams in all of this. Such allegations concerning Adams are nothing new. In Voices from the Grave, based on two interviews from the Boston project, former IRA operative Brendan Hughes said as much of Adam’s role, claiming that it was Adams who established the IRA unit which killed McConville, and he who gave the order for her secret burial, to avoid the negative publicity surrounding the murder of a women and the orphaning of her children.

But the families of those disappeared by the IRA during the Troubles aren’t the only ones who could be affected by the court’s ruling. Those still living ex-IRA members and their families could be in for trouble should their testimonies reach the light of day. Carol Twomey, wife of Anthony McIntyre (former IRA gunman who conducted the interviews) believes that her husband and other ex-IRA men will risk being killed should the interviews be handed over, and used to secure prosecutions. Retribution, she argues, is a very real fear for men who have been branded by some as ‘touts’ for revealing IRA secrets.

Then of course there’s the impact on Northern Ireland and the peace process to be considered. The country may be at peace but nobody can deny it isn’t somewhat shaky. If Hughes’ allegations are confirmed by a second IRA member’s testimony, given in the knowledge it wouldn’t be revealed until after her death, what does this do for the stability of Northern Ireland and its government, bearing in mind that Gerry Adams always shrugs off accusations of IRA membership, and leadership. It’s hard to predict the reaction from the Republican camp. A Northern Irish government which is dependent on its members possible past criminal lives being ignored isn’t exactly a solid foundation in the first place. But it has worked thus far. And an appeal is already in the works. Several prominent politicians in America, including the former presidential candidate John Kerry have lobbied for the interviews to remain sealed. It just might stick and it could be years before the Boston tapes see the light of day, and all those involved are dead and buried, and a new generation will have to deal with the mistakes of their forbearers.

So, to reveal or not to reveal? Do we make an attempt to forget our past in the interest of the future or do we strive to excise all of its demons. It’s a tricky one. How do you decide which is more important – the need for truth and closure on the part of Jean McConville’s family, and any others who might have something new to learn about the disappearance of their loved ones or the fact that to reveal the identities of any former IRA members who participated in the Boston project is to pass a very possible death sentence on them. Some might argue that death is what they deserve for the activities they and their Loyalist counterparts were involved in during the Troubles but to essentially have them killed makes us no better than what they are and were. The truth shall set you free, it has been said. But in this case, perhaps it might just do more harm than good. Should Gerry Adams be finally proven to be an utter liar, should he be proven to have been in the IRA command when he said he wasn’t, such a thing wouldn’t be a terrible event by any stretch of the imagination. But if Boston College can be forced into giving up these precious oral histories of such an important and tragic part of our history, where does it stop? So many hidden histories, so many stories are dependent on the assurance that can be provided by the interviewer that the identity of their source will be protected at all costs. So who in their right mind would ever again trust a journalist or in particular an academic into telling their story?

No, let sleeping dogs lie, as they say. Wait until those involved are dead and gone. With any luck, Gerry Adams and co will still be alive when that time comes. If not, then we can see the contents of that historical treasure trove for ourselves, and history can be the judge of it all.

Manhunt Underway as Garda Hijacker Flees Over The Border

Gardaí are conducting a manhunt on both sides of the border after a man stole a Garda car and drove it across the border into Northern Ireland before abandoning it in south Armagh.

The man was stopped by two Gardaí driving near Lusk, Co Dublin, at around 9.30pm last night.

He was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and placed in the Garda car.

However, he managed to get into the driver’s seat and steal the car.

He then drove it through the toll bridge outside Drogheda, before travelling across the border and abandoning the vehicle in Armagh. Twenty squad cars and a helicopter chased the assailant but failed to apprehend him.

The PSNI is assisting with the investigation.

Gardaí say they believe they know the identity of the man and are confident of apprehending him.