Did the ‘UDA Night’ at Sandy Row spark the “IRA Night” in Whiterock?

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After no some little searching, here’s the only reference I can find to the UDA event at Sandy Row Community Centre in An Phoblacht. Interestingly it carries a quote from a Sinn Fein councillor:

Laganbank Sinn Féin Councillor Deirdre Hargey has called for a full investigation into the incident. She also noted that as a council building it is open to all sections of the community and being associated with such incidents will only keep people away.

Mark Moloney notes…

A number of masked men carrying UDA flags and banners, and wearing military fatigues emblazoned with the UDA crest, appeared at an event organised by the Sandy Row Ulster First Flute Band at the weekend. Photos of the masked men were posted online by people there who described it as a “UDA night”.

Hmmm… so no replica weapons then, like there was at Whiterock?

Ceannaireacht dhíth, sílim.

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  • Morpheus

    Please tell you are not suggesting that ‘IRA night’ was worse than ‘UDA night’ because one reportedly had a different set of toys to another. Is there anything wrong with condemning both of them as highly inappropriate in council-owned facilities?

    As I said yesterday this is Castlederg/Coleraine all over again: their nutters = uproar, our nutters = susssssh

  • Dec

    ‘After no some little searching, here’s the only reference I can find to the UDA event at Sandy Row Community Centre in An Phoblacht.’

    Mick

    Let me assist here. I’m fairly certain Pete ran a thread about it at the time. Failing that I’m sure there’s official condemnation of the UDA incident on the UUP, DUP and TUV websites. Probably.

    ‘Hmmm… so no replica weapons then, like there was at Whiterock?’

    No, but as you say ‘masked men’. Then again, if masked men driving military vehicles up to PSNI lines at Twadell is ok, then why shouldmasked men carrying UDA banners bother anyone? Of course if replica weapons upset you so much then definitely don’t click
    this link.

  • Mick Fealty

    Morph,

    Nope. I’ve linked the phrase in Irish to Google Translate to avoid any such ambiguity.

  • Morpheus

    Yes, I read it and the inference by writing it in Irish isn’t lost on me either but ach b’fhéidir is gá dúinn beagán de ceannaireachta ar fud an bord agus an t-iarmhéid i ár rogha scéal eh??

    Any condemnation of these republican events is absolutely meaningless if there was silence on exactly the same same loyalist events just a weeks earlier.

    These should all be condemned as and when they come along

  • Mick Fealty
  • Morpheus

    If you are waiting on leadership to be shown after an event which happened a month ago then you’ll be waiting a while, a lot of people have been waiting years for leadership to be shown and there is still no sign of it. Unless of course this is ‘leadership’ – “don’t vote for us because we did A, B and C but vote for us to get at themuns (securing our seats/salaries/pensions/expenses is just an added bonus)”

    I say again, condemning one and not the other is meaningless. SF were quick enough to call for an investigation a month ago so they should be asking for one now. Likewise if the unionists are up in arms now then they should have been up in arms a month ago.

  • Morpheus

    And to follow on from that, there is no point us showing indignation and finger-wagging this month when there was no such indignation or finger-wagging last month.

  • Mick Fealty

    Morph,

    Where did suggest any one should condemn either. I’ve presented arguments from other places. As it happens, I agree with AnPh.

    But I do find it curious that SF found that the best way to prove such an argument is to go out and do the very same things themselves.

    Is there no one in charge when it comes to this ‘winding up the Prods’ stratagem? Or is it just the old plausible deniability reflex kicking in?

  • Neil

    I located the story on the Belfast Telegraph yesterday after about five minutes searching. I think I used the key word ‘Probe’ (as that’s what the PSNI are doing apparantly). It also features in a Scottich herald story from the weekend about the particular fella who took the photos and stuck them on Facebook who’s fled to Scotland. Bit busy now but I’ll dig those out a bit later.

  • mac tire

    You see Mick, if “SF have found that the best way to prove such an argument is to go out and do the very same things themselves” perhaps you can see that it is working.

    No matter what anyone’s view is of these events, there is no denying the hypocrisy of many within the Unionist family when it comes to commemorations/shows of strength.

    I think you are finding it difficult to understand that the hypocrisy overshadows whatever latest event they get themselves into a lather about.

    SF statement and UDA event hardly discussed.

    SF organise similar event and people work themselves up in indignation. Yep, I can see some logic there.

  • Morpheus

    Mick it is EXACTLY the same tactic used in Castlederg – republicans put on EXACTLY the same event as the loyalists and sit back and laugh while unionists go bananas about the republican one and say nothing about the loyalist one. Unionists fall for it every…single…time.

    And a person doesn’t even need to be a republican to join in – even the neutral observer can say ‘what’s going on here – where’s the balance?’

    Sun Tzu must be laughing his nads off

  • tacapall

    There were no replica weapons at Sandy Row but serious threats of violence were made to an individual by loyalist paramilitaries because he misleadingly let the cat out of the bag, he was forced to leave the country by a gang of armed gangsters yet no-one from the usual quarters has anything to say. I haven’t heard yet if any threats have been delivered via the PSNI to the individual who let the cat out of the bag re the memorial night in Whiterock but if he does Im sure we’ll hear all about it on the BBC and experience the all too often, coming out of the woodwork by long thought dead, unionist politicians lining up to support a victim. Mick we live in a country that allows one section of the community to insult, intimidate and imprison in their own home another section of the community annually and without agreement around whats considered appropriate decorum expect more cases of whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Mick Fealty

    There’s loads of stories I don’t do these days. Mostly I don’t touch them until there’s detail or they are politically significant

    My reasoning here is as follows: UDA, no votes. SF, loadsa votes. You think they are equivalent. I don’t. Simples.

    There’s simply no balance here to arrive at. Though the Sandy Row does become very interesting once its come to my notice.

    But it comes with a question.

  • Morpheus
  • tacapall

    Your reasoning is simple enough Mick but the reality is – Sinn Fein has access to the highest levels of power yep, UDA has access to highest levels of power yep, the fact of the matter is the UDA or the UVF dont need to enter elections to either get heard or get what they want from the government.

  • Dec

    ‘Mick it is EXACTLY the same tactic used in Castlederg – republicans put on EXACTLY the same event as the loyalists and sit back and laugh while unionists go bananas about the republican one and say nothing about the loyalist one. Unionists fall for it every…single…time.’

    Unfortunately that narrative portrays unionist politicians as victims rather than shameless hypocrites.

    ‘My reasoning here is as follows: UDA, no votes. SF, loadsa votes. You think they are equivalent. I don’t. Simples.’
    Hmm, or rather: attacking UDA, no votes, attacking SF, loads of votes. There’s the balance.

  • Morpheus

    tac

    For a story on just how close the relationship is have a look at the article named “Probes into claims of ‘threats’ by Protestant Coalition members” in The Irish News. In it the journalist describes how a new campaign by the Ulster Political Research Group called ‘Register Vote Transfer’ is encouraging loyalists to vote DUP in the upcoming elections.

  • Mick Fealty

    Well, I hope I can count on your No1 next time the first time I stand for election Dec… :-)

    I suppose we ought to be grateful that this round of tit for tat is nowhere near as deadly as the last time these two were ‘shooting’ at each other.

    Tac,

    Maybe. That’s where I think Ruarai’s idea of some form of legislation might work to put a steady line between current democratic actors and the street politicians of various paramilitary organisations…

  • Reader

    Mick Fealty: I suppose we ought to be grateful that this round of tit for tat is nowhere near as deadly as the last time these two were ‘shooting’ at each other.
    However, another point of similarity is that it leaves the players and their apologists feeling smug, satisfied and pointing at each other for justification while annoying the rest of us.
    It’s surely obvious that both incidents have to be dealt with if either is? I don’t know whether the PSNI have the stomach for this or BCC have the will.

  • Son of Strongbow

    I’ll add my bit into this thread amongst the nationalists battling with Mick Fealty over mentioning the IRA show of strength in a publicly funded leisure centre – I mean how very dare he!

    The Whiterock event and its mirror image Sandy Row terrorist love-in are equally reprehensible and worthy of condemnation.

    I’m sure very few locals, if any, at either locale were, for various reasons, inclined to complain about what was happening on their doorstep.

    That being said it does appear that there is at least one not so subtle difference between the two events. The loyalist terrorist event was outed by someone on the inside who “let the cat out of the bag” on social media. He has been rewarded by those he celebrated by being ‘asked’ to take himself off.

    The Whiterock terrorist glee club’s event was advertised before the event by posters being put up.

    It would appear that one group only were confident of local public acceptance of its get together.

    So be it. After all if a community is comfortable with its public facilities being used in this way it’s mostly up to those who live locally. This fact has already been acknowledged by the council across Belfast City where, for example, leisure centres have been built a short distance from each other for the implicit use of one only of the main two communities.

    However next time one hears of the Shinners talking about a ‘shared’ future or partisan symbols in the public sphere this little imbroglio can be remembered to remind all of Sinn Fein’s cant and hypocrisy.

    And finally back to my opening paragraph and the unfortunate Mr Fealty. Why is it increasingly the case on this site that any thread that touches on the Shinners is quickly met by howls of protest about critical comment about Sinn Fein or anyone from that gang being aired? Is ‘Army discipline’ or nationalist omertà now a requirement for everyone to kowtow to?

  • Morpheus

    Seriously, could you be any more of a cliché?

  • mac tire

    Good post, SOS. Shame about the content.

    @ Mick: “My reasoning here is as follows: UDA, no votes. SF, loadsa votes.”

    Sorry, Mick but this is becoming a stock excuse. It doesn’t wash any more.

    I know you don’t touch on all stories out there (it would be impossible anyway). However, spending alot of your time concentrating on so many Shinner’s List posts recently ensures less concentration on other issues.

    Should be another ‘List’ topic along very, very soon.

  • Son of Strongbow

    Yet another insightful comment from the resident OTR spokesperson.

    However feel free to deny the existence of the publicity material for Whiterock, or, and I’m happy to be corrected here, any similar material for Sandy Row.

    I’m sure you’re keen to inject some of your particular brand of ‘balance’ to counter my points. After all you have been so very keen and pointed to express such concern over loons in ex-Army Land Rovers in North Belfast at a time when other folks are using mortar and blast bombs across NI.

    Now if I was sitting in a police vehicle what would concern me more; a wooly-faced tube driving a big-boys’ toy or someone firing a “Semtex” filled mortar at me? I think I need some Morphspeak ‘balanced’ commentary to help me figure out my dilemma.

  • Morpheus

    Hahahahahaha

    Do me a favor and read the very first post on this thread – how’s that for balance?

  • Son of Strongbow

    “As I said yesterday……….”, and the day before, and the day before that, and the day…………..

    Yes as ‘balanced’ as your leitmotif attacks that concentrate on unionists.

    Keep up the ‘good’ work Good and Faithful Soldier! One day perhaps you too will parade with flags unfurled to receive your medal for the cause.

    He, he, he etc.

  • tacapall

    That is an option that could be looked at Mick however some politicians from this part of the world will never go for it because without those same paramilitaries they would be unemployed.

    SOS the Whiterock event was exposed exactly the same way as was the Sandy Row event but dont let the truth get in the way of your narrative or your demonising of the entire local community by suggesting it was supported by everyone, obviously you know nothing of the internal politics of West Belfast. Of course we should be grateful to the rate payers of the village area for beating down the doors of thon community hall demanding an end to paramilitary shows of strength but I dont think that happened – Do you believe it was because the event wasn’t advertised and the locals were unaware the UDA had booked the hall ?

  • Son of Strongbow

    “the Whiterock event was exposed exactly the same was as was the Sandy Row event”.

    Please link to the posters that preceded the Sandy Row event. The Vixenswithconvictions site, linked to from Slugger on this subject, shows a Whiterock poster giving the day and time of the event with a “bígí linn” to all. Why was a poster produced giving the details if it was not for publicity purposes?

    If the Sandy Row event was publicly promoted why has some poor sod ended up threatened and having to leave home for, ahem, publicising the event?

    As for the “ratepayers of the village area” well obviously they are not as courageous as you imply you are. I’m sure you’ve often led the charge to put terrorist thugs in their place.

    Do you also wear your underpants on the outside?

    I’ll ignore your professed knowledge of what the “locals” in Sandy Row either knew or didn’t know (oops back to that poster point again). My “knowledge” of West Belfast is, in part, informed by its voting record over many, many years. Now what does that tell you about “demonising” people for supporting terrorist linked groups?

  • Mick Fealty

    SOS,

    Behave!!

  • Neil

    Here’s the Belfast Tele link:

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/probe-into-uda-paramilitary-show-of-strength-in-council-centre-30059437.html

    I thought the Herald ran the other article I mentioned but it was the Daily Record article Morpheus linked to above.

  • Mick Fealty

    “”This is a clear breach of the terms and conditions for bookings in our facilities. The incident happened during a private booking and we are currently carrying out a full investigation into the issue.”

    “A police spokesman said: “Police have not received a direct report, but are aware of posts on social media which allegedly relate to an incident in Sandy Row.”

    Rinse and repeat…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Hypocrisy and double standards galore, this time from SF.

    Organized crime and vigilantism in this country is never going to go anywhere if the attitudes here continue to prevail.

  • Neil

    First up, just posting that link as you seemed to, after no little searching, only to have been able to locate this on An Phoblacht. A perfectly reputable publication I’m sure, however it’s also featured in the Belfast Tele, and Daily Record (including the fact that the reprehensible individual who posted the UDA photos – and I’ve seen them all, thanks be to LAD) has been intimidated by the UDA into leaving NI.

    “”This is a clear breach of the terms and conditions for bookings in our facilities. The incident happened during a private booking and we are currently carrying out a full investigation into the issue.”

    A breach of the BCC Leisure Facilities terms and conditions is certainly a serious matter. No doubt about it, if there’s one branch of government we should all try and stay on the right side of I personally would air on the side of caution when it comes to BCC’s Leisure Services Department.

    “A police spokesman said: “Police have not received a direct report, but are aware of posts on social media which allegedly relate to an incident in Sandy Row.”

    Rinse and repeat…

    One was spotted on social media, so was the other. One organisation is an active, illegal organisation which as recently as this week went on a ‘power trip’, rampage through Larne (and also intimidated that bottom feeder out of NI). The other is a former organisation that hasn’t been fingered for anything in a decade (cause they don’t exist).

    It’s basically the same story twice. Council property used for IRA commemoration/UDA show of strength with the main difference being which organisation currently exists. Outrage on one hand. Couldn’t really find it on the other. Maybe you couldn’t find it because other branches of the media take a similar approach to Slugger: IRA (gone) – outraged. UDA (active, but meh) – worth making a note of and moving right along.

  • Mick Fealty

    Neil,

    Try this from the OP:

    “Laganbank Sinn Féin Councillor Deirdre Hargey has called for a full investigation into the incident. She also noted that as a council building it is open to all sections of the community and being associated with such incidents will only keep people away.

    Doesn’t imply ‘until we get to do the same thing back at them.’

  • Neil

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2014/04/01/belfast-city-council-what-happened-on-saturday-evening-is-a-clear-breach-of-our-terms-and-conditions-of-hire/

    Neil (profile) says: 2 April 2014 at 11:23 am

    As I said I don’t think it’s wise to have chosen the leisure centre as the venue

    I’ll admit, I may not be treating BCC’s terms and conditions with the respect they deserve with my above post, however they can probe as much as they like and it really makes no difference. Your quote regarding the Whiterock is from BCC. Your quote regarding the UDA bash is from the PSNI. That may indicate the seriousness, in the real world, of one bash versus the other. One is regarding a current, dangerous organisation. The other is regarding a non existent organisation which poses no threat to anyone.

    The main thrust of my response is that Slugger seems much more concerned with the non existent organisation. It just seems extremely odd to me that the non existent organisation is more of an affront, more noteworthy, than the current organisation given both did the same thing (more or less, maybe fewer balaclavas at Whiterock), both are subject to the same probes by BCC and the PSNI, and both came to light via social media.

  • aquifer

    “can I have two swims please?”

    Are you going to do anything illegal?

    You will need a mask if you are going to do something illegal.

    “OK two swims and two masks then”

  • Mick Fealty

    Nice shimmy Neil. And Cllr Hargey’s statement?

  • aquifer

    “And have you any lube?”

    Green white and gold or red white and blue.

    “Any pink”

    Get out of here you pervert

  • tacapall

    “My “knowledge” of West Belfast is, in part, informed by its voting record over many, many years. Now what does that tell you about “demonising” people for supporting terrorist linked groups”

    SOS I live in West Belfast and not far from the village either and its a small world everybody knows everybody’s business and word of mouth sometimes works far better than billboards or public sales pitches, why they had to advertise is something you obviously never considered. I don’t vote I never have, why should Irish people take part in British elections. Like lots of people in this part of Ireland, there’s just no party out there at present who would represent my views. Have I ever put my balls on the line for others against people who would be considered paramilitaries – yes I have, loads of times. I never put anyone in their place or ventured into queensbury rules and all that but sometimes asking others to walk in another mans shoes brings about a different perspective.