You say RUC AA, I say Police Athletic Association Northern Ireland (or else!)

A few weeks back Jim Allister kicked off a small storm by highlighting the remarks of Assistant Chief Constable KERR:

“In blunt terms, a perceived unwillingness on the part of the Association to change to the more generic “Police Athletic Association Northern Ireland” may result in a failure to secure the grants on which this Association is financially dependent”.

Someone, it seems, though they remain unnamed, has been suggesting that the RUC Athletic Association (based at New Forge) might face problems with future funding if they don’t change their name… Or it would seem that way since the First Minister has gone to the trouble of pulling in the Finance and Justice Ministers. His full statement below:

“Following the proposal to rename the RUC Athletic Association, I have had discussions with both the Finance Minister and the Justice Minister. I underscored my view that any assessment of a business case from the RUC AA should consider solely the work it does, not what the organisation is called. Both Ministers agreed that the name of the organisation would not have any adverse impact on future funding applications.

It would be wholly wrong for members to enter Thursday’s meeting with a view that they were being strong-armed by government funders to change the name. Anyone who says the RUC AA name is damaging government funding opportunities is entirely wrong.

Whilst the name of the organisation is a matter for the members, I know many Association members have been concerned about the drive to change the name. I trust this will clarify matters and assist them to take their decision based on the facts.”

Hmmm… presumably the arms length bodies will continue to stick to the usual custom and practice?

However as Mr Allister points out this afternoon, the Assistant Chief Constable is keeping quiet about who exactly has threatened such action…

But here, laying the threats to one side for a moment, why does the New Forge leisure complex retain the name of a force that went out of existence more than ten years ago?

, , ,

  • tacapall

    BH I believe it was the dormant loyalists bit that’s being called into question.

  • Blue Hammer

    And your evidence that loyalist violence was not dormant around the time of the planning and execution of internment is to make reference to something that happened almost 6 months later? Great logic.

  • tacapall

    BH Are you suggesting that although they were active and carried out the first murders and bombings before 1971 they then became dormant before internment was introduced then became active again after internment was introduced ?

  • Blue Hammer

    In a nutshell, yes. Once Gusty Spence was arrested and gaoled for his murderous activities, the UVF was effectively neutered for a while, with only limited activities until they reemerged later in 1971, largelyin response to the escalation in violence following internment.

  • tacapall

    BH so you’re saying the UVF who carried out the first sectarian murders and bombings before internment when there was no IRA and no violence became dormant because one man was charged then reemerged after internment in response to the escalation of violence following internment. Although you agree they were still around “with limited activities, whatever that means in your mind” they were no threat therefore were not deemed worthy for inclusion on the first lists for internment although 5 months later they murdered 15 people.

    BH you have tried to defend and justify the RUC/Special Branch paying a salary and allowing serial killers roam the country murdering inocent people at will and ensuring they evaded prosecution.

    You have tried to defend and justify the RUC/Special Branch handing back weapons to a Loyalist terrorist organisation that were then used in multiple murders of innocent people including children.

    You have defended and tried to justify the actions of those RUC officers who although knew murder or murders were about to take place and could have stopped it but choose to allow it to happen, you justified RUC officers forwarding their intelligence files on Catholics to loyalist terrorists that enabled those Loyalists to target innocent catholics for assaination.

    You have defended and justified those Senior RUC officers who without their approval none of the above could have taken place and now you’re telling us the UVF was a one man army until 5 months after internment.

    WOW with people like you around no wonder things got as bad as they did. I think you don’t know the difference between right and wrong or maybe you just can’t interpret what is lawful and whats not or maybe your blind hatred is clouding your judgement whatever, you need to be locked up.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Some people take wallowing in MOPERY to a whole,new level 😉

  • Blue Hammer


    “You need to be locked up” – nice to see you supporting internment without trial.

    The UVF killed not one person from 1966 to October 1971. In 1969, they planted a few bombs which caused little or no damage, and no injuries. In 1970, they did next to nothing, causing no injuries.

    During the same period, IRA members killed many people, Protestants and Catholics alike. Their bombing campaign was also the cause of significant death and destruction across NI.

    You tell me who was the bigger threat to peace and tranquility.

    Perhaps you could show one example of this alleged “blind hatred” of mine to support your comments.

    I do not justify/defend the things you list, because I do not accept your narrative. I simply expressed support the forces of the state in doing whatever they deem necessary to put down an armed insurrection in my country. Particularly when it works and terrorism is defeated..


  • Harry Flashman

    Quite surprisingly, for me anyway, it appears that Faulkner was indeed correct, there was no substantial Loyalist campaign of violence, certainly nothing on the scale of the IRA, for the two years between the arrival of the troops in August 1969 and internment in August 1971.

    I, like most people, always assumed that there was tit-for-tat violence going on all the time leading up to internment but checking ‘Lost Lives’ I see that in fact the only two deaths attributable to Loyalists were own goals where they killed their own people.

    This contrasts with a massive escalation of Republican violence which was killing dozens of people and causing massive bomb damage. So I suppose whilst for the optics scooping a few prods wouldn’t have gone amiss actually on strictly legalistic terms it appears that in fact the much maligned RUC had already largely neutralised the Loyalist threat, of course by the time internment came around the RUC had been pretty much left out of the picture.

    McGurk’s happened almost six months after internment. Ascribing nefarious ideas of bias when security forces, who by that stage barely had an idea of what the hell was going on anymore, assumed that given the fact that the Provos were making most of the bombs the bar bombing might just have been one of theirs is as stupid as assuming French police hate white people for suggesting that a neo-Nazi gang was behind the shootings in Toulouse.

  • Submariner

    Between 1971 and the end of 1972 Loyalists murdered over 130 people. the total number of loyalists interned during this period was zero. In fact it was not until February 1973 that the first loyalists were interned leading to a 2000 strong march to Castlereagh demanding their release and also a strike which included power cuts.

  • tacapall

    BH “I do not justify/defend the things you list”

    tacapall 21 March 2012 at 3:30 pm

    “Could any Unionist explain why or how they can justify members of RUC/Special Branch handing back weapons to loyalists who then went on to use them in multiple murders. How or why they can justify the RUC/Special Branch paying and allowing members of the Mount Vernon UVF to commit all sorts of crimes including up to 15 murders then assisting them in evading prosecution”

    Your response – 21 March 2012 at 3:51 pm

    “I can justify it easily. The police and other security services were attempting to contain a vicious insurgence from one side of a divided community, and in doing so they used whatever means seemed appropriate. When fighting such a campaign information is key and the forces of law did what they did to secure the information needed to secure the victory that was ultimately achieved.”

    Vicious insurgence from one side ! That’s where the blind hatred comes in and my remarks about you being locked up were nothing to do with prison.

    Harry Flashman ”

    I, like most people, always assumed that there was tit-for-tat violence going on all the time leading up to internment but checking ‘Lost Lives’ I see that in fact the only two deaths attributable to Loyalists were own goals where they killed their own people.”

    What was the murders and bombings below in response to ?

    The UVF came on the scene with 3 murders in 1966, none of which ended up killing people linked to the IRA. The first attack was in May: they threw a petrol bomb at a Catholic bar, fatally injuring a 77-year-old Protestant widow, Matila Gould, who lived next door. The second attack targeted a Catholic man named John Patrick Sullion. He was shot in the back on his way home from a night of drinking, singing “Up the republic, up the rebels.”18 The third victim of the UVF was a teenage Catholic hotel barman, Peter Ward. He strayed into the Malvern Arms, a bar in the Shankill Road district, after work. In the bar, members of the UVF noticed he was Catholic, and shot after he left.

    In the early months of 1969, there were a number of bombings at electricity and water facilities in an attempt to bring down O’Neill.

    Your comments on the McGurks bar bombing shows your ignorance of the history of the RUC from its formation or the events prior to that bombing.

  • lamhdearg2

    The name of the Royal Ulster Constabulary Athletics Association is to remain after a controversial move to change it was withdrawn.

    Ass Ch Con Will Kerr wrote to members urging them to adopt a different name in order to keep vital funding grants.

    He said the very future of the association could be in jeopardy unless it changed its name to the Police Athletic Association Northern Ireland.

    But a motion calling for the change has now been withdrawn.

    The move has been welcomed by unionist politicians.

    DUP MLA Jimmy Spratt called on ACC Kerr to resign as chairman of the association.

    The TUV leader Jim Allister said the move had provoked anger among the members who met on Thursday morning to discuss the issue.

    Mr Allister said ACC Kerr needed to tell people where the threat to funding came from.

    The move was also welcomed by the Ulster Unionist leadership candidate Mike Nesbitt

    Earlier this week the plan was also criticised by the first minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson who rejected claims that future funding was dependent on dropping the RUC title.

  • HeinzGuderian


    I have no idea where you copy and paste your pile of pish from,but let’s take a closer look at it…………..

    …’they noticed he was a catholic’ ?? Who was this written for,gullible plastic paddy Yanks ?

    Point being,gusty and co were serving life sentences for those murders,you know,arrested by the RUC ?

    You didn’t tell us that wee bit…………..

  • Mike the First


    I really don’t know why it’s so difficult for you to grasp that the circumstances of autumn 1971 were different from those of two and a half years previously, or indeed five years previously. (And indeed you could note that the police achieved arrests and convictions over the 1966 murders and 1969 bombings!)

    Peter Taylor, writing “Loyalists”, noted a similar point to that which Harry Flashman highights above from “Lost Lives”. Taylor, writing of the introduction of internment: “The fact that not one Protestant was arrested did not come as any surprise to most members of the majority community since to them it was Protestants who were being killed and not doing the killing…Since the UVF had shot dead Constable Victor Arbuckle during the Shankill Road riots in October 1969, loyalists had killed only two people. The IRA had killed thirty-three.”

    Things changed in the weeks and months after the introduction of internment of course. Republican violence grew, and loyalist violence got going – the horrific series of tit-for-tat sectarian pub (and shop) bombings in late 1971 pays grim testament to that.

  • Harry Flashman

    Tapacall please refrain from addressing comments to me, I have no wish to debate with Jew-haters, this week in particular.

  • tacapall

    Harry the IRA/PIRA actions were no different to what the Jews used on the British during the 40s, but maybe just like the actions of he RUC you can justify one while condemning the other.

  • Harry Flashman

    Refer to my post 12.43 above.

  • 16 or so posts and only one on topic. Even for Slugger that’s good stuff.

    Yes, the RUCAA should lose funding. Retention of the name is two fingers to the process and that shouldn’t be rewarded.

  • Mick Fealty
  • PaulT

    Why don’t Rangers do a groundshare with RUC AA? get the academy players into the PSNI and off the clubs payroll