Another interface and another petrol bomb attack…

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Another petrol bomb attack. This time in west Belfast on the small Protestant enclave of Suffolk. Sinn Fein Councillor Gerard O’Neill was quick off the mark to make a statement yesterday:

“Whoever was behind the attack and for whatever motive, it is a disgrace and will not stop the good work continuing between the communities of Suffolk and Lenadoon areas.

“While the circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear at this early stage any attack on people’s homes with petrol bombs can clearly lead to death or serious injury. Thankfully in this incident no one was hurt.

“If it is sectarian then the people of the Suffolk estate should know that those that carried it out do not represent their neighbours in Lenadoon. Sectarianism from whatever guise is a cancer in our society and needs treated as such.”

The Carsonia1921 blog quotes PUP sources saying:

2 petrol bombs threw over interface wall tonight, 19/6/13, striking a home containing a 5 year old and a 2 week old baby…and these are the same interface walls that government agencies are investing thousands of pounds over the next 3 years to see of ways to reduce and remove.”

Tensions in this area have been dropping, and significant investment in cross community projects aimed at creating a safe shared space around the local shopping  zone.

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  • Innuendo

    Slugger has now decided to report – and, indeed, provide a fresh post – for every sectarian attack in Northern Ireland?

    You’re going to be very busy Mick. Cancel the summer holiday plans.

  • Mick Fealty

    What holiday plans? ;-)

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Mick,
    I got another message from McAfee saying that some content was blocked because potentially dangerous or suspicious. I did a screen capture before and after allowing to see what was blocked. It was the Tweet link in the upper right hand corner.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks Joe, can you send it editor@slugger…etc?

  • http://gravatar.com/joeharron Mister_Joe

    Not really Mick. I printed the screen before and it’s now gone. The same with the “after” to do a side by side comparison, but the screen is still there.

  • Neil

    Yeah I’ve had warnings too Mick, also phantom e cigarette links appearing above the banner at the top the odd time. Avast picks up problems the odd time.

  • Framer

    Perhaps Mick reports because the BBC NI ‘News’ website doesn’t and hasn’t.

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Why can’t Sinn Fein just describe this attempted murder of a two week old protestant baby for what it was – a SECTARIAN attack?

    Why the need for the ‘whatever motive’ and ‘if it is sectarian’?

    For all we know (based on the party’s previous attacks on Orange Halls and the murder of dozens of protestant children during The Troubles) Sinn Fein could have actually carried this attack out.

  • babyface finlayson

    Surely the PUP statement is contradictory. The petrol bombs were thrown over the wall, suggesting it is hardly doing an effective job.
    Maybe it is easier to lob a petrol bomb over a wall than to stand in the road and throw it in plain sight.
    Not living on an interface, I realise that is easy for me to say, but I genuinely wonder if they always provide the security intended or do they sometimes make random attacks like this easier?
    Joe, I always see a message on google saying this site may be compromised. Maybe they mean Mick is being blackmailed or something.

  • Morpheus

    @UPC

    I notice no cards after yesterday’s embarrassing debacle. Well done.

    Does it matter if it was a Protestant baby or a Catholic 4 year old girl? The result would have been just as catastrophic had it stuck either of them. The point of thread – I would assume – is that there is a serious problem at the interface areas of Belfast. Have you any suggestions about what should be done about it or should we all throw unsubstantiated accusations around and descend into ‘it was themuns’?

  • Ulster Press Centre

    “Morpheus: Does it matter if it was a Protestant baby or a Catholic 4 year old girl?”

    It seems to matter to Sinn Fein.

    In one instance (attack on catholic child) they claim the motive is abundantly clear while in the other (attack on protestant baby) it is still uncertain.

    I wonder why they have a different approach to the two attacks???

  • Innuendo

    “It seems to matter to Sinn Fein.”

    Does it matter to you, though: yes or no?

  • Ulster Press Centre

    Innuendo: Does it matter to you, though: yes or no?

    It seems to matter to Sinn Fein.

    In one instance (attack on catholic child) they claim the motive is abundantly clear while in the other (attack on protestant baby) it is still uncertain.

    I wonder why they have a different approach to the two attacks???

  • Innuendo

    I get it: you can cut and paste.

    But would it matter to you whether, as the result of a sectarian petrol bomb attack, a Catholic child was nearly murdered or a Protestant child was nearly murdered: yes or no?

    Also, you claim to be a group on your twitter profile: are all of you anonymous?

  • http://www.openunionism.com oneill

    The point of thread – I would assume – is that there is a serious problem at the interface areas of Belfast. Have you any suggestions about what should be done about it

    Hot off the press:

    “Sinn Féin Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile has welcomed today’s meeting between residents from Bryson Street in the Short Strand and Thistle Court in inner-east Belfast”

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/26972

    If that fails to work, then Plan B, ever higher walls.

  • DC

    By how much should the walls be raised?

  • http://www.openunionism.com oneill

    Don’t know DC as I have personally never attempted to petrol bomb or throw golf balls at my neighbours’ kids; guess there must be some optimal height which makes it all a bit pointless or even counterproductive- also building them with something which involves a rebound mechanism would be poetic justice perhaps?

  • DC

    I’m a big fan of poetic justice, maybe there should be more focus on poetic justice than prevention :)

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Maybe put UPC on top of the wall and he could try and catch the missiles as they come over.

  • aquifer

    Could our beloved missile factory make a heat seeking bag of shit?

  • Hedley Lamarr

    Maybe we should focus on preventing the root causes of sectarianism, promote integration and educate. We should have new initiatives to reduce the malevolent force which is sectarianism before it gets worse. Northern Ireland is reportedly more sectarian than at the time of the first ceasefires. Will it get worse? We have to urgently act as a society before it does.

    We are a smaller community now, in a global sense. Surely we can learn from things that worked for ourselves and others in the past/present and reduce bigotry and intercommunal violence. We owe it to ourselves.

    I understand completely why people feel safer with walls but we have to remove the need. I am not an expert but surely there is an answer out there? It may take decades but surely that’s better than perpetual strife.

  • Morpheus

    “Maybe put UPC on top of the wall and he could try and catch the missiles as they come over.”

    Judging by his comments yesterday somehow I don’t think there would be 360 degree protection :)

  • DC

    Some bizarre news coming in tonight, Gerry Kelly attached himself to a PSNI landrover then Caral NiChuilin supposedly tried to rescue him and got run over?

    https://twitter.com/sinnfeinireland/status/348198906959638528/photo/1

    a botched SF propaganda stunt or something more sinister by the PSNI?

  • derrydave

    Interesting point from Babyface – do these ‘peace walls’ actually make attacking your neighbours easier, and attract bored teenagers with nothin better to do. The results of lobbing something over a wall are all too hidden, which makes carrying out the act itself so much easier. In saying all that, the protection afforded by the walls when attacks do happen is pretty irrefutable, and so you can see why people in the areas affected would be very much against their removal. Seems to be just a very sad situation for those forced to live in these areas – here’s hoping for a relatively peaceful summer.

  • http://www.selfhatinggentile.blogger.com tmitch57

    “Interesting point from Babyface – do these ‘peace walls’ actually make attacking your neighbours easier, and attract bored teenagers with nothin better to do. The results of lobbing something over a wall are all too hidden, which makes carrying out the act itself so much easier.”

    Why not simply attach CCTV cameras to the top of the walls? The UK has them everywhere else, so why not in areas where lots of anonymous crimes happen?

  • Tupper

    “Maybe we should focus on preventing the root causes of sectarianism, promote integration and educate.”

    Hedley:

    And just what do you see the root causes of sectarianism as being?

    What root cause for example is resulting in nationalist youths ending up with sectarian attitudes, so that they feel that it’s OK to lob petrol bombs into the area of the people that they hate?

  • carl marks

    Tupper
    If your question read “any youth” it would be a honest search for a answer, but in view of the fact that youths on both sides are involved in these attacks then asking only why “Nationalist youth” are involved may point to you being part of the problem, as in you seem to be a person with a mote/beam problem.

  • Hedley Lamarr

    Tupper- “And just what do you see the root causes of sectarianism as being?”

    I understand sectarianism as being driven by personal experience rather than by natural causes. Personally, I believe ignorance and lack of empathy are partly to blame. When dealing with any type of narrow-minded bigotry people have to be persuaded to change.

    It may take a lot of effort but we could change mindsets for good.