Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Two men arrested after Bangor shooting of off duty PSNI officer

Thu 20 December 2012, 2:20pm

Twitter was thrown into confusion last night, when a Catholic off duty policeman was grazed in a shooting last night. First reports said he’d been shot, later that he wasn’t injured. Henry McDonald reports:

The officer was grazed by bullets when two men opened fire on him in the area but it is understood he was not harmed.

Two men, aged 45 and 60, were later arrested near the scene of the shooting.

The republican alliance known as the new IRA, along with the Continuity IRA, has continued to target police officers, especially Catholic recruits to the PSNI.

Last year, they murdered Constable Ronan Kerr in a booby-trap bomb attack outside his home in Omagh. Two men are also serving life sentences for killing Constable Stephen Carroll in 2009, the first PSNI officer murdered by republican paramilitaries since the police service was reformed.

Such an attempt by Republicans during the security lock down of the trouble, would have been almost in a town like Bangor. Now in what passes for peace time, longer distance travel is much easier, for terrorists or for loyalist protestors.

Two other men have been arrested and remanded in custody for the murder of David Black

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Comments (42)

  1. Ulick (profile) says:

    Hmmm… hope you haven’t “jumped the gun” Mick. One of the local tabloids this morning are saying he was shot with his own weapon and that there was no republican involvement.

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  2. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Which one?

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  3. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    I’ll wait for details…

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  4. Ulick (profile) says:

    Daily Mirror.

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  5. BarneyT (profile) says:

    It’s amazing how you perceive this and then trying to pigeon-hole it. My first thoughts were that the Loyalists have upped their game and are taking their protest to another level.

    When I read this, initially seeing it was a catholic officer it fuelled the notion that loyalists were behind this.

    It of course now makes complete sense that the new IRA could be behind this as for them targeting a Catholic officer hits “their” enemy and puts manners on a “traitor”.

    I too await the details, but sadly over here we just need the assailant’s surnames to figure this one out. My gut reaction is that arrest has followed too quickly for this to be nationalist driven. Also the lack of “success” would indicate perhaps a less organised front.

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  6. galloglaigh (profile) says:

    Either the BBC or UTV have said the Police Ombudsman has been called in, given that it was a personnel protection weapon. It’s funny that it’s only terrorism when republicans are involved. Different century, similar narrative.

    On a side note, the PSNI has dedicated 15 detectives to investigate the terrorist attack on Bloody Sunday. They will be questioning army personnel. The terrorists in this case might well end up in court.

    Fingers crossed :)

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  7. Ulick (profile) says:

    You should read the “Belfast Daily” account’s tale of daring-do as “dissident republicans” shot at the “hero Catholic cop” who then “discharged his Glock pistol the through the roof of his car” and “arrested the two gunmen who tried to kill him”.

    Interestingly it goes on to say:
    “Belfast Daily understands the officer had been in contact with an MP and the Police Federation about an issue with work.”

    http://tinyurl.com/cnjftwy

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  8. serak (profile) says:

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/two-held-after-bullet-grazes-psni-officer-3332394.html

    “Police sources said they did not believe the attack was linked to dissident republicans, suggesting other criminal elements may have been to blame.”

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  9. GavBelfast (profile) says:

    Reassuring to see that paranoia about labels is as rife at the margins in one side as it is in the other ….

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  10. BarneyT (profile) says:

    The plot thickens…and the account from the Daily makes little sense. If they were armed gunmen, they are hardly likely to be deterred by the officer shooting his own roof. Would the officer not simply loose off in the direction of the armed men? Sounds like they were a couple of arses who had a moment of madness, or 10 pints of cidre flowing through their veins.

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  11. Sean Og (profile) says:

    Strange goings on alright. No mention of weapons recovered at the scene.

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  12. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Only his own service revolver… All Ill say about BD is those boys can write alright!!

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  13. jthree (profile) says:

    I hear: it was a burglary and the confusion arose when the cop initially said he though he’d been shot at first – which he was mistaken about.

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  14. West Sider (profile) says:

    Security sources told the Guardian that the attack was a murder bid by dissident republican paramilitaries.

    What are we to make of the Guardian reporter’s “security sources”?

    Next time you see an article by the same journo citing “security sources” think about this article.

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  15. BarneyT (profile) says:

    ye see, there’s a conspiracy theorist in us all :-)

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  16. Ulick (profile) says:

    “What are we to make of the Guardian reporter’s “security sources”?

    Next time you see an article by the same journo citing “security sources” think about this article.”

    In fairness to Henry, the Sickies and the Branch have enjoyed good relations for a long while now. The only thing that surprises me in this account by the self-declared “combatant in the battle for Irish history” is that he hasn’t managed to squeeze a Provie in there somewhere.

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  17. USA (profile) says:

    Aweful reporting all round. And why the need to report the officers religion?

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  18. USA (profile) says:

    Ooops, and awful spelling :-)

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  19. USA,

    The reason is that “dissident” Republicans have been specifically targetting “Catholic” police officers for murder.

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  20. MALCOLMX (profile) says:

    This type of reporting is an absolute joke to say the least. Mcdonald amongst others it is quite clear basically make the story sound as ‘sexy’ as possible, throw in the mention of a security source and theres the scoop.

    Some Journos here have for too long got away with this nonsense of basically making it up as they go along in the knowledge that very few people will challenge them.

    Particularly given the ‘flegs’ issue and the willingness of loyalism to do what they do best, assigning blame to the dissidents at the first chance could have serious consequences for some poor catholic caught up in a retaliation attack.

    This type of journalism is a disgrace and should be challenged and highlighted at every opportunity, leveson eat your heart out.

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  21. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Look, Henry can take dunt like the rest of us. But let’s not get side tracked too much on to playing the man.

    Let’s not pretend that dissidents are sweet as motherhood and apple pie, or not the only ones actively trying to reactivate an armed struggle.

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  22. Gopher (profile) says:

    Heard it was a domestic for what its worth

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  23. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Mick, I’m afraid I agree with the comments that this all seems to have been completely overblown and it looks like a domestic incident.

    TBH I imagine the dissidents, if they have any clue, are sitting back and watching the loyalists screw themselves up. The old saying – if your enemy is making a mistake don’t interrupt him.

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  24. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    That’s about 4 different versions in the space of 20 comments.
    Maybe we should all just go out for a walk or something.
    On the other hand, we could let the fevered speculation continue.

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  25. Mark (profile) says:

    Maybe it was a domestic gone wrong …..could the wife have been on the car roof ?

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  26. Ulick (profile) says:

    Coincidentally Matt Cooper on TodayFM tonight had an interesting piece with a writer of a book on how the Glock has become the Yanks number 1 weapon. They mentioned the phenomenon of ‘Glock leg’, whereby due to the light trigger and lack of safety switch there’s a high incidence of people shooting themselves with them. Looks like this peeler has have gotten of lightly with leaky car roof – but for the grace of his God, he could have kneecapped himself.

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  27. paddywhack (profile) says:

    No we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about anything that happens here because anything is possible. That said when you here strands of news along the lines of ‘shooting at off-duty police officers home’ the first thing that floats into the mind is dissident republicans…

    Like if I say… ‘a player dived at Anfield today’ who would float into your mind…….Exactly.

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  28. 6crealist (profile) says:

    If McDonald is wrong – and it seems very likely that he is with the two men arrested now released on bail – then he should be called out and held to account for deliberate shit-stirring.

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  29. I wouldn’t be too hard on the reporter. He was writing about a real incident and I bet most people immediately thought that “dissidents” were involved. If they had been, this would be, rightly, a major story.

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  30. between the bridges (profile) says:

    mark ‘Maybe it was a domestic gone wrong …..could the wife have been on the car roof ?’… could be!! the following from fermanagh PSNI Facebook… Responding to a call about erratic driving, police were amazed to see a vehicle with a man clinging to the bonnet come round the corner towards them! The driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving. They were also twice the legal drink driving limit! Enquiries continue… it appears the lady driver took her partner for a spin…

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  31. btb,

    I saw that on Father Ted a few years ago. It was a stomach hurting laugh for me.

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  32. USA (profile) says:

    Very strange the way the minds work over there. Sections of the media and some sections of society are very quick to blame republicans on anything and everything. My first thoughts were also that it was as likely to be a “domestic” as anything else. Consequently I thought I would wait for more information. I’m really still none the wiser.
    Reminds me of the time the IRA were blamed for an out break of foot and mouth. Months later it turned out to be some farmer from the North East of England illegally selling sheep at markets around Fermanagh or some such place.

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  33. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    UK police issue Glock pistols are fitted with the ‘New York’ trigger upgrade which doubles the trigger pull weight to 11pounds.

    Unless you have the touch of a baby elephant you’d be hard pressed to accidentally discharge the gun and suffer the mythical “Glock leg”.

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  34. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    http://www.belfastdaily.co.uk/2012/12/20/two-men-bailed-over-shooting-probe-at-off-duty-police-officers-home/

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  35. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Id wait a while longer before putting this one to bed…

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  36. Ulick (profile) says:

    “Unless you have the touch of a baby elephant you’d be hard pressed to accidentally discharge the gun and suffer the mythical “Glock leg”.

    That’s a pity, I was rather enjoying the image of the super “hero Catholic cop” suffering from “Glock leg”.

    Still I look forward to the explanation of how he “discharged his Glock pistol the through the roof of his car”. After all that would “have taken nerves of steel and quick reactions under such a pressure situation”, because “he is a real cop. You can’t beat the special training he has gone through in his career”. “There was no messing about with this guy” surely!

    “This Close Protection officer is a total hero in my eyes. No ordinary policeman would have been able to do this”.

    “I salute him”.

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  37. sonofstrongbow (profile) says:

    Whilst of course not referring to this, or any other real life incident it could have gone down thus: a couple of yahoos waylay someone they know to be polis. They know he’s packing heat so they frantically touch him up around the nether regions looking for the hardware.

    The cop knows where he keeps his rod and gets there first and draws the steel. In the kerfuffle the cop busts a cap into the car roof.

    The lowlifes sh*t themselves and surrender.*

    * with apologies to Raymond Chandler.

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  38. babyface finlayson (profile) says:

    sonofstrongbow
    “with apologies to Raymond Chandler.”
    More like James M Cain;
    ‘The Policeman always Glocks twice.’
    What’s that? My coat? Got it thanks.

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  39. BarneyT (profile) says:

    36 hours after the incident or arrest we are none the wiser. Has it been hushed?

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  40. BarneyT (profile) says:

    something noted in the Irish News today….what sort of Christmas and life is the cop now going to have given his address or locale has been released to the public domain. Some factions might be sadly interested in this.

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  41. forthman (profile) says:

    Henry McDonald spoofing? That’s how you get a job in the political ‘free press’ in Ireland and Britain. Scores of these hallions have made a wealthy career out of misrepresentation for decades. I’ll be kind. they are spoofers. Then again I’ll not be so kind, they are remorseless political assassins with a remit!

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  42. Sp12 (profile) says:

    How the hell does someone get bailed on an ‘attempted murder’ charge? Particularly when they try to kill a super-cop!

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