Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

DUP election candidate charged with racist bomb attack in Antrim

Sat 15 October 2011, 10:26pm

 A DUP candidate in May’s local government elections, John Smyth Jnr (pictured with Peter Robinson following a previous pipe bomb attack on his own home), has been charged in relation to a racially motivated pipe bomb attack on the home of a Polish family in Antrim town. The BBC is reporting a DUP source as having announced that he has been suspended from the party pending the outcome of the case.  UTV have reported that the ‘Real UFF,’ a loyalist grouping responsible for dozens of attacks in the Antrim Town area in recent years, have claimed responsibility.

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Comments (46)

  1. Nevin (profile) says:

    Chris, I linked to this story yesterday and I also posted a report from 2002 about John Smyth Jnr’s father, John Smyth Snr:

    Last year DUP councillor John Smyth was elected to Antrim Borough Council. Mr Smyth had previously served a five-year sentence in the 1970s for UVF activities.

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  2. Neil (profile) says:

    Shhhh! Unionists don’t vote for terrorists.

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  3. Turgon (profile) says:

    Indeed Neil, probably explains why the DUP have already suspended him.

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  4. Nevin (profile) says:

    Neil, your effort at censorship is noted. You’re not by any chance a closet supporter of one or both of the parties in the OFMDFM?

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  5. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Why does it say “anorak” in big letters on that picture ?

    In all fairness it sounds like there are extenuating circumstances here. The UTV report notes that this man had previously attempted to take his own life and was living under the supervision of his parents. Evidently there are issues here and these may explain what is going on here.

    What it does not explain, though, is why when the DUP says “we oppose terrorism” it is taken by those with loyalist paramilitary sympathies or ideas (whether they are of sound mind or not) that this does not refer to them. In the same way as when Jim Allister says he opposes prisoner releases, some TUV members feel it safe to assume that does not apply to LVF multiple murderers.

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  6. keano10 (profile) says:

    Yeah lets excuse him. He was (allegedly) of “sound enough mind” to join the Real UFF and participate in a racist bomb attack. (while still a member of The DUP).

    Lets excuse him and talk about McGuinness again…

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  7. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    Comrade Stalin
    you’ve attempted to implicate Jim Allister in this criminal attack.
    Please give some evidence as to why you think he is involved? Or his party?

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  8. iluvni (profile) says:

    Did I hear the ‘depression’ explanation being trotted out by the DUP again?

    Worked the last time, I suppose

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  9. madraj55 (profile) says:

    The DUP only distanced themselves from Ulster Resistance when they realised they could be connected publicly to UR. This shows that had the DUP found a way of preventing their links to UR becoming public, they were happy enough to continue to consort with UR.That tells you all you need to know about the DUP

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  10. The Raven (profile) says:

    Neil wrote: “Shhhh! Unionists don’t vote for terrorists.”

    You meant, of course, “most unionists”, didn’t you…?

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  11. N.Exile (profile) says:

    He was being treated for depression… He was depressed about the number of Poles living in Antrim.

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  12. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    N. Exile,

    There’s a whisper going around our way that his condition has of late mutated into some form of bi-Poler disorder with, unusually, pyromanic side effects.

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  13. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Should the allegation be proved against Mr Smith I doubt he’ll be applauded into the next DUP Annual Conference to join the platform party.

    I’d even hazard that his chances of being employed as a DUP Spad are pretty low.

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  14. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    “Bi-Poler disorder.” Get out of it, Nun, you had me spraying my muesli all over the keyboard.

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  15. Cynic2 (profile) says:

    Anorak? He doesnt look the full shilling

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  16. Nevin (profile) says:

    Rory, you sometimes come to the aid of paramilitary-linked folks so the image of a machine-gunner spraying the enemy with muesli is an entertaining one. Me and the dog prefer porridge :)

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  17. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    keano,

    The report said that the man tried to take his own life.

    I’m sure the DUP don’t require their prospective members to submit a report from a psychologist before they sign up. Although maybe that might not be a bad idea.

    BlueJazz:

    you’ve attempted to implicate Jim Allister in this criminal attack.

    Eh ?

    Please give some evidence as to why you think he is involved? Or his party?

    I said no such thing. What are you on about ?

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  18. DC (profile) says:

    Anorak? He doesnt look the full shilling

    Do you mean Peter Robinson?

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  19. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    Rory Carr

    Profound apologies, I eased up on the top-of-the-bottle with my porridge this morning and rather overdid it with the scotch I fear :-(

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  20. HeinzGuderian (profile) says:

    This is about as funny as the bake on aul ma finucane,outside Number 10.

    Groiw up please gentlemen !!

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  21. keano10 (profile) says:

    Comrade,

    He ” tried to take his own life”.

    Actually he tried to take the lived of an entire young family.

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  22. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Keano 10
    Apparently he is being treated for manic depression. This is very different from depression. He may be having psychotic episodes, delusions, hallucinations.
    None of which excuses this attack, but it may well explain it.

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  23. keano10 (profile) says:

    A member of The Dup (as a result of mental issues) joins The UFF (as one does) and then participates in a pre-organised terrorist attack on a young innocent family.

    Babyface, the only people suffering hallucinagenic episodes are the people on here coming out with total tosh like that…

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  24. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    babyface finlayson

    Might explain why he joined the DUP, certainly.

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  25. ranger1640 (profile) says:

    I wonder did this DUP’er do a forensic clean up of the scene, and then claim he was in the toilet with 30 others all at the same time??? And I bet he won’t get back into the DUP.

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  26. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    keano10, you’re playing the Jim Allister game.

    It is not consistent for republicans to argue that violence does not occur in a vacuum, and then take an intransigent attitude to the violence inflicted by others.

    I’m not excusing the attack in any way, the guy is a danger to society and needs to be locked up.

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  27. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Keano10/Nun
    O the hilarity! He must be mad if he joined (insert group here). Very good.
    It always baffles me why people find mental illness so funny.
    If you knew anyone who suffers from manic depression you might not find it so amusing.
    The news report says this man is being treated for manic depression. Do you suppose he popped in to his GP last week and got that diagnosis, rather than go through long periods of treatment and assessment first?
    I am sorry for the poor family under attack.
    As for those manipulating this man, I have no sympathy.

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  28. Hopping The Border (profile) says:

    Turgon,

    Would you know is Mr. Smyth Snr still a member or was he suspended too?

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  29. vanhelsing (profile) says:

    Ok firstly lets stick with the facts.

    The man is being treated for manic depression [make all the jokes you like] but I’d imagine they degrade you more than anyone with this condition.

    Somebody attacked his house with a pipe bomb [reason unknown] but I’m sure that didn’t help his condition.

    I’m also sure the DUP condemn his alleged behaviour unreservedly. If found guilty [again I love the presumption of some who should know better] it is completely disgraceful and unworthy of any political party.

    No party would treat this incident any differently – the DUP have suspended him awaiting trial.

    Making party political points here is a little cheap methinks – anyone found guilty of this type of criminal activity should be locked away – and if this guy is found guilty also treated for his condition.

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  30. Jack2 (profile) says:

    If the election candidate did attack the home of the Polish family, is it beyond reason that perhaps he staged the attack on his own home?
    A false flag attack for sympathy and to spread hatred.

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  31. Clanky (profile) says:

    If these allegations should be proven, then I struggle to believe that he has developed a mental illness, joined a paramilitary organisation and committed these attacks all within the space of the 5 months since he was a good upstanding DUP candidate in May’s elections.

    While (for no other reason than that it would make no sense politically) I can’t believe that the DUP would knowingly put forward a candidate like this, surely there must have been some inkling in May that everything was not right?

    Politics and violence have been so closely linked in the north of Ireland for so many years that the parties need to bear in mind the possibility that those who are prepared to become active in politics are also active in violence and if a party is going to take a stand against terrorism then it needs to make it known that those involved in violence (and not just those who get caught) are not welcome.

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  32. Turgon (profile) says:

    Clanky,
    “I struggle to believe that he has developed a mental illness, joined a paramilitary organisation and committed these attacks all within the space of the 5 months since he was a good upstanding DUP candidate in May’s elections.”

    Whilst I condemn this attack unreservedly your comments above demonstrate that you have little understanding of mental illness.

    If it is true that Mr. Smyth has developed bipolar affective disorder the above sequence of events and chronology are far from atypical. Going from well to highly unwell in such a timescale would be about right. Bipolar disorder is a disaster for the patient who can end up doing things which are for want of a better word crazy. In the process they can wreck their own lives and those around them.

    Bipolar affective disoprder, if it is Mr. Smyth’s problem, is not an excuse; it does not lessen the dreadfulness of the attack on the completely innocent Polish family but could explain why a previously decent, normal person might do something utterly wrong and out of character. There are of course other explanations and mental illness does not excuse criminality. Equaly, however, Mr. Smyth is currently innocent and will remain that way unless and until he is proven otherwise.

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  33. lamhdearg (profile) says:

    czesc, the person that came close to burning a family to death, should be stopped from doing that again.
    Shroud of turin?.
    pup man looked good.

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  34. i wonder if this story will ever find its way onto the sound of an alarm FreeP blog site. plenty on it about sinn fein.

    I wish people would stop referring to Polish and other EU nationals as ‘foreigners’. Foreigners they are not, EU nationals residing in a part of the EU they are entitled to be in, as we are entitled to go and live in Poland, an live there as though we always did, it is our home in the EU if we want it to be. As theirs is here.

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  35. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    the ‘bipolar’ issue is a red herring. It’s easily treated and has no reason for criminal behaviour. Stephen Fry is a good example of a ‘sufferer’.
    It’s good stuff to a defence lawyer though, as is ‘depression’.
    Pseudo medical diagnosis is a DUP speciality though.

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  36. tomthumbuk (profile) says:

    I think we need to be careful.
    There is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and the entitlement to a fair trial.
    Just wait until the process runs it’s course and then you can say whatever you want, providing it’s legal, of course.

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  37. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    I agree with Turgon’s take on this. I doubt the depression is imaginary or fake. It may, or may not, provide a background for this man’s actions, a fact which does not justify them.

    Is it really so difficult to believe that a proportion of those who get involved in paramilitary gangs are suffering from mental illness ? When you add to it that NI has among the highest levels of mental illness in the UK ..

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  38. PaulT (profile) says:

    seems to be premeditated, or are pipebombs that freely available in unionist controlled areas.

    At least the puppetmasters are no longer claiming ‘its just the boys letting off a bit of steam’ when it was a pipebomb attack a day some years ago.

    I imagine the fella will shortly find God, be reborn, be released, rejoin the DUP (or get promoted to the TUV) and carry on as ‘normal’

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  39. JR (profile) says:

    While this is a bit embarrasing for the DUP and reveals an issue with their candidate selection I wouldn’t blame the party for this guy’s actions. I think the more important issue here is the rise in race related attacks in Northern Ireland, particularly in Loyalist areas.

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  40. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    Does Iris’ young friend supply the sick notes?

    BTW, I never knew that Johnny Vegas was a unionist, never mind a loyalist.

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  41. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    PaulT

    Absolutement; there’s not an atrocity yet to be conceived of that – according to some – a dip in the blood of the lamb wouldn’t deliver immediate and permanent repentance from and forgiveness for, it seems to me. Fresh start, no harm done, peaceable sleep, lightness unto darkness, no problem. You name it, the good Lord will, if asked nicely enough and approached through the right channels, cleanse you of and absolve you of any personal moral responsibility for. Balls to the victims, balls to ethics. Quare stuff altogether, this Christianity.

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  42. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    BluesJazz
    Do you think all people with manic depression manage like Stephen Fry?
    Maybe some are on the wrong medication, or don’t take their medication because they think it’s poison, or drink too much with their medication?
    It could be a reason for all sorts of behaviour including the criminal kind.
    Nunoftheabove
    Maybe you should wait for this conversion to actually happen before you start ranting about it.

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  43. Reader (profile) says:

    Nunoftheabove: Absolutement; there’s not an atrocity yet to be conceived of that – according to some – a dip in the blood of the lamb wouldn’t deliver immediate and permanent repentance from and forgiveness for, it seems to me.
    Well, it’s a bit of a truism that religion is the opium of the masses. I’m cynical enough to think a dose of it may be genuinely useful in some cases. I exclude myself, of course.

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  44. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    babyface finlayson,

    I’ll be sure to let you know when I’m ready to start ranting mon brave, just trust me on that ;-)

    Reader,

    excluded but not excused, I’m afraid.

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  45. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    …parties need to bear in mind the possibility that those who are prepared to become active in politics are also active in violence…

    Clanky,
    That is an outrageous slur on the people who are prepared to be active in politics in order to improve the lives of us too lazy to do anything other than vote, if even that.

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  46. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    Nunoftheabove
    Well if that wasn’t a rant it will do til one comes along
    (insert smiley winky face here).

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