Bank robbery: work of Loyalists?

Interesting line of enquiry originating from the An Phoblacht News Service is that the area in which the kidnap operation took place was “an area associated with unionist paramilitaries”. Interesting, and undoubtedly true – though Drumkeeragh Forest where the hostage’s wife was dropped, is isolated, it’s not exactly a strongly Unionist area. This one’s best put on the back burner pending more convincing corroborative evidence.

  • willowfield

    Nice impartial source for that story, Mick!

    Loyalists demanding protection money from all those trees?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Paisleys’ son has stated that the robbery had all the hallmarks of an IRA operation, whatever that means. Perhaps Lowry could be more specific on what he means.

  • Davros

    An Phoblacht is a joke – what on earth is that about Northern bank money being hard to spend in NI ?
    And it’s simply untrue to say that Northern Bank money is not accepted in Britain.

  • Davros

    Is poleglass in loyalist territory ?

  • Donnie

    Funny how all the unionists are up in arms when loyalists are accused of commiting the robbery yet they are quick to point the finger at the other side of the house.

    As there is little/no concrete evidence in the public domian I think all of you should stop the petty political points-scoring and do something worthwhile. Like spreading goodwill to all men!

  • willowfield

    No-one’s up in arms. People just find it amusing that the PIRA’s propaganda rag is trying to blame loyalists.

    You must admit it’s pretty funny!

  • Donnie

    Did you find it funny when all the other rags tried to blame the provos despite a lack of evidence?

    It’s a shame that the press show a distinct lack of confidence in the ability of the loyalist paras. I’m sure they aren’t all like Red Hand Luke and Uncle Andy…..

  • Davros

    Donnie, the nonsensical claims in an phoblacht would tend to suggest that this WAS a provo operation.
    I mean, poleglass as ‘unionist paramilitary’ territory ?

  • willowfield

    Did you find it funny when all the other rags tried to blame the provos despite a lack of evidence?

    Not really, there’s bound to be speculation about these things, and the Provos will obviously be in the frame, along with loyalists, dissident nationalists, and “ODCs”. All have been mentioned by the other rags.

    The funny thing is the source (An Phoblacht) and the reasoning (“an area associated with unionist paramilitaries” – Poleglass? A forest?)

  • Donnie

    There is very little funny about it as in reality these crimes aren’t carried out by loveable rogues like in Ocean’s 11/12. These are cold-hearted scumbags whether they be provos or loyalists.

    You should all know better than pay any heed to anything AnP publishes. Jackanory.

  • Davros

    An Fleabite even boasts that Poleglass is IRA territory ๐Ÿ™‚

    Belfast’s Falls Road is such a symbol. It is probably one of the most famous roads in the world, especially to people struggling for freedom.

    The `Road’, as it is affectionately known, is approximately six miles long. It is flanked on either side by a series of small working class districts, with separate identities but politically linked, like the Lower Falls, Beechmount, the Rock Streets, Ballymurphy, Turf Lodge, Riverdale, Lenadoon, Andersonstown, Twinbrook, and Poleglass, to name but a few.

    It was along this stretch of road that an intense and unrelenting battle was fought between the IRA, their supporters, and the Brtish Crown forces and their loyalist allies since 1969. Those who fought that battle on the republican side, activists and supporters, were largely drawn from the already mentioned districts.

  • willowfield

    It’s not the crime that is amusing, Donnie, it’s the An Phoblacht claims!

    Dear, dear.

  • mickhall

    How times change, it was not that long ago when both Loyalist and Republican supporters would have been only to proud to have claimed a robbery such as this, who ever had in reality carried it out. (sorry military operation against the enemy) It is of little consequence how many edicts get sent down from Connolly House and the UDA/UVF headquarters denying responsibility, you cannot change over-night peoples thought processes. No matter how much Pat denies it, I have no doubt the first thought loyalists and republicans had on hearing of this robbery was to wonder if it was one of theirs. How the peace process complicates things these days.

  • Donnie

    The poor paras have to make a crust somehow now they’ve all given up their wicked ways…..

  • Davros

    If the rumours are true, estate agency seems the natural progression Donnie ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I’m denying or confirming nothing Mick, because I simply haven’t a clue who carried this out. I haven’t even speculated who is responsible, that is what makes me different from the majority of the contributors.
    As I predicted the myth of IRA involvement in this case is already being hardened into fact. We now have people like Paisleys’son speaking of it as continued ‘evidence’ of IRA involvement in crime. No doubt it will be used as an excuse to stymie progress in the political process. It was all too predictable.

    By the way I liked your ‘insight’ into the thinking of republicans AND loyalists. Ever thought of a job with the UPRG or PUP?

  • smcgiff

    Okay, Okay, I can’t stand the bickering – I did it – it’s true!!!

    Now, where do I hand myself in?

  • unionist_observer

    Theres no way loyalists would ever be clever enough to mastermind such an operation. This is more something they’d aspire to rather something they’d actually do.

    Why does it have to be one of the paramilitary organisations anyway?

  • Henry94

    The IRA have confirmed that they were not involved.

  • Davros

    LOL Henry- this would be the same IRA that originally “confirmed” it wasn’t involved in the Adare Robbery and the Eniskillen bombing ?

  • peteb

    LOL

    confirmed?

    that’s a good one, henry.

  • Davros

    What’s the Irish for “It’s a fair cop guv, you got me bang to rights ” ?

  • tom luby

    so by the same logic the lorry bombs that exploded in the city of london in the early 1990’s were the work of stockbrokers, bombs that exploded at british army barracks in germany were the work of leather-shorted germans, and so on…..give me a break and wise up

  • mickhall

    Pat wrote,
    By the way I liked your ‘insight’ into the thinking of republicans AND loyalists. Ever thought of a job with the UPRG or PUP?

    Pat,

    I thought you thought I was already working for them or if not their paymasters.:)

  • Henry94

    If our unionists friends could contemplate for a moment the possibility that it might not be the IRA they would have to ask some very serious questions about their Police force.

    Since the incident all we have seen from the police is spin about how the PSNI (Pound Sterling Northern Ireland) is more or less useless and how they have all the seriel numbers.

    The reality appears to be that they have’t a clue about this job but the unionists are so busy trying to tie in the IRA that they don’t even notice.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The only thing remotely significant about the IRA denial is the fact that outed DUP supporter and former Special Branch Chief Bill Lowry stated that it was significant that the IRA hadn’t denied the robbery.
    Remarkable that someone of his background would attach such importance to an IRA statement, Paisleys’ son wont be pleased. Perhaps Unionists should have a word with their former police chief to get on message.

    Mickhall,

    Whatever gave you such an idea.

  • Davros

    Henry- all that this confirms to me about the PSNI is that the changes that SF demanded have severely damaged the operational capacity of the police.

    Have Sinn Fรฉin advised people in Poleglass to contact the police if they have any information ?

    It’s interesting because today’s Irish News has a copy of a Loyalist Flier threatening the stocks for those guilty of anti-social behaviour in the Village/Donegal Rd area.
    to quote

    “Watch Out Watch Out
    There’s A Thief About”

    Do You Know Your Neighbour,
    If Not They Could be Robbing
    You or Your Friends

    So Don’t Hesitate to let your Local Representative
    Or the P.S.N.I. At Donegall Pass Know of Any suspicious Activity.

    Now Henry – Once again Gerry and SF are skewered on criminality. I’ll take them seriously when Local SF reps or big-wigs call for anybody in “their” areas with info to contact the Police…

  • Dec

    Davros

    Would it not be more accurate to substitute “SF demanded” with “Patton recommended”. Otherwise readers might get the impression that you’re trying to blame Republicans for something else too.

  • Beowulf

    “I haven’t even speculated who is responsible, that is what makes me different from the majority of the contributors.” — Pat

    My but that *is* a high horse we’re on.

  • Beowulf

    I however am low down and dirty enough for a bit of speculation and I’ll opt for loyalists in conjunction with imported expertise.

    I’ll even speculate that it’s been in the planning for a couple of years, not months.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “So Don’t Hesitate to let your Local Representative
    Or the P.S.N.I. At Donegall Pass Know of Any suspicious Activity”

    Does that mean that the local reps and the PSNI are to assist the paramilitaries in putting people in the stocks?
    I knew the police helped these people to kill catholics, but putting protestants in the stocks, that’s a step too far.

  • Beowulf

    “I knew the police helped these people to kill catholics, but putting protestants in the stocks, that’s a step too far.”

    You must be a real laugh down at the local. I bet you just send them rolling down the aisles with laughter.

  • Donnie

    Aisles? In a pub?

  • Liam

    Davros

    “And it’s simply untrue to say that Northern Bank money is not accepted in Britain.”

    Personal experience definitely says otherwise!

    But it’s sure gonna be just a wee bit more difficult now.

  • AndrewD

    What more collusion!?

    Now we are going to have to waste more money on another inquiry.!

    How about we just move on….?

  • AndrewD

    The IRA have confirmed that they were not involved.

    Posted by: Henry94 at December 23, 2004 02:36 PM

    Sure Henry, we have all heard that one before…

  • JD

    But why are loyalists seen to be incapable of such an operation? And don’t tell me they are “stupid.” What’s the evidence for the opinion?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “don’t tell me they are “stupid.” What’s the evidence for the opinion?”

    Well they have political parties of their own but prefer to vote for the DUP.
    Having been led around by the nose by Unionist politicans for years and promising never to allow it to happen again, come the interface violence they resorted to their baser instincts and the rest is history.

  • JD

    Sorry, Pat, but I don’t follow what you said. Could you clarify? Thanks.

  • Fraggle

    NI bank notes are NOT legal tender in britain although some establishments do accept them out of goodwill. however, I’d suggest that now, most if not all NI notes will be rejected.

  • mickhall

    Does anyone have any info on the following, in today’s Guardian it was claimed that Northern Ireland Bank notes are not legal tender, even in the six counties let alone further afield. They are accepted in NI by custom and practice rather than law.

  • Mario

    The police have only said that they are looking at paras being linked to this. What is so far fetched about that? Police work looks for signatures, as cliche as this may sound, that is what they look for and the signature than points to certain people and then they look at them and begin to eliminate until they have a prime suspect. It is no rocket science.
    paramilitary high command could very well be clean of this robbery, but it is a fact that when huge military forces stop fighting or bombing, resisting, struggling or whatever it is that they do, some of their members are left with nothing to do and sometimes those members are no longer controlled by the chiefs of staff or the chieftains, so it makes perfect sense for the police to be looking at a force capable of carrying out this operation and I think that you have both Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries who have entered the British/Irish criminal underworld.

  • Davros

    Dec : Would it not be more accurate to substitute “SF demanded” with “Patton recommended”. Otherwise readers might get the impression that you’re trying to blame Republicans for something else too.

    No is the answer to that one Dec. There was no obligation to implement Patton recommendations in
    the GFA.

  • Davros

    Now you mention it I Have read that before Mick. As I recall the only “legal” tender is the currency issued by the Bank of England.

    Liam ,just because YOU had probs with NI Currency does not mean that ALL of Britain refuses NI Notes All the Time….

    Gerry K. is a convicted Terrorist.By that reasoning is it justified to say that all RCs are terrorists ? NO. Is it even justifiable to say that all members of SF are terrorists ? No.
    Same difference.

  • JD

    I simply don’t understand why NI money is not generally accepted in Britain. It seems very odd.

    I can’t help but wonder about what it says about how the union is perceived in Britain.

  • slackjaw

    I have used Northern Irish banknotes in England, but these usually only got accepted upon insisting that the shops were obliged to take the notes, and in the case of supermarket shopping this usually involved a chat with the manager. Not the ideal scenario for any bank robber eyeing up a nice little property in Cornwall.

  • Mario

    bank robbers usually sell the bank notes to a fence. Duh.

  • David Vance

    I am disappointed that the usual republican apologists here haven’t figured that Ulster Resistance was to blame. Waken up and smell the sterling…

  • Mario

    I think that the police are looking at “tangled” leads.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    DV,

    Are you basing your assertion on the fact that the arms smuggled from Sth Africa by British soldier Brian Nelson for UR as well as the UDA and UVF was financed by a raid on another Northern Bank branch in Portadown?

    There is hope.

  • Davros

    Are you by any chance an apiarist pat ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • David Vance

    Pat,

    Do you suspect Brian Nelson? Me too.

  • alex s

    From what we know of the robbery its fair to say that loyalists were not primarily responsible, as to the involvement of the Provo’s who knows, certainly not young Paisley, though its hard to believe paramilitaries werenย’t involved and given the area in which the gang operated and no doubt spent months gathering intelligence on the staff it seems likely that any paramilitaries would be republicans.

    However for 22 million it could have been a gang made up loyalists and disaffected Provo’s or whatever, time will no doubt tell.

  • Davros

    The Christian Science Monitor’s take on events here

    N. Ireland’s Lump of Coal

  • Davros

    David McKittrick in The Independent ( the British one )

    “The IRA disclaimer will not be taken at face value, since it has been economical with the truth in the past.” ( my addition of bold )

    Except for Henry ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Davros

    Whoops, except BY Henry !

  • Fraggle

    “From what we know of the robbery its fair to say that loyalists were not primarily responsible”

    what, exactly, do “we” know?

  • James

    Christ, I stay away for a day and the whole place goes bonkers.

    This is parity of esteem gone barking mad!

    Looks like my kinda group.

  • ShayPaul

    I hear that Glasgow rangers have made a mysterious 22M Sterling offer for Ronaldhino. They have asked Barcelona to accept a cash payment ????

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    No Dav, but have been known as a bit of a honey

    DV,

    I don’t suspect anyone at all, just having a go at people who do.

  • Davros

    I don’t suspect anyone at all

    Risky Pat, my advice is suspect everybody, no exceptions, even yourself, and you won’t go far wrong!

  • Donnie

    Risky Pat, my advice is suspect everybody, no exceptions, even yourself, and you won’t go far wrong!

    Pat can’t be faulted in his assertion he suspects no one. It isn’t the job of you, Pat or me to suspect anyone. It is the job of the peelers. That is unless you are undercover Davros ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Davros

    Pffft Donnie, you misunderstand me ๐Ÿ™‚ No fault involved, it’s my christmas present to pat – a gift of the secret of life, a guiding principle by which he will thrive !

  • DCB

    Come on now we can all guess. Only I can’t work it out, I can’t beleive that the provos would be so stupid to do it yet only they could be clever enough to carry it out!!!

  • CavanMan

    I hear that Glasgow rangers have made a mysterious 22M Sterling offer for Ronaldhino. They have asked Barcelona to accept a cash payment ????

    Shaypaul that couldnt possibely happen,Ronaldhino is a Roman Catholic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Davros, I go to England all the time and pretty soon I learned to make sure I had a supply of Bank of England notes, because many places will not accept them. Try getting a taxi at Birmingham Airport and then persuading the driver to take one of those plastic Northern Bank notes – he’ll have none of it. I’m pretty sure that my experience here is more common than yours, given that the airports here all of bank machines clearly labelled to dispense Bank of England notes.

    Bank of England notes are only legal tender in England and Wales. They are not legal tender in Northern Ireland. The only legal tender in NI is the one- and two-pound coins. I think the confusion arises because people think there are laws which govern which type of notes you’re allowed to accept and which you’re not. You have to remember that a banknote is merely a piece of paper saying that the institution which issued it guarantees the value of the piece of paper you’re holding. When you choose to accept a banknote it means you trust the words written on the piece of paper. If you refuse to accept the banknote it means you have chosen not to trust the authority of the piece of paper – which you are perfectly entitled to do vis. any banknote in Northern Ireland.

    Slackjaw, shops in the UK are under absolutely no obligation to accept NI banknotes. They may accept them in order to be nice, but you can save a lot of hassle by stocking up on BoE notes before you go, or withdrawing them from an ATM while you’re there.

  • Davros

    Roger- England is NOT Britain ๐Ÿ™‚ An P was talking Bollix. And I have spent NI money in England – e.g. they will take it in Stansted airport Cafรฉ. It’s An P playing silly buggers pretending that NI isn’t part of the UK.

  • Davros

    Whoops..wasn’t all meant to come out bold, only “have”

  • willowfield

    Henry94

    The IRA have confirmed that they were not involved.

    Well that’s that sorted. The police can immediately stop pursuing such a line of inquiry.

    If our unionists friends could contemplate for a moment the possibility that it might not be the IRA …

    I have always contemplated the possibility that it might not have been the IRA – in any of its guises.

    … they would have to ask some very serious questions about their Police force.

    It’s not my police force any more than it’s anyone else’s.

    Pat McLarnon

    I see you’re in defending the Provos’ honour again. But you’re not a supporter – right?

    Davros and Dec

    The man’s name is Patten.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    The last time the IRA were involved in a bank robbery and denied it, it turned out they had actually been behind it (albeit the operation had been conducted without authorization from the top).

  • Henry94

    willowfield

    It’s not my police force any more than it’s anyone else’s.

    The PSNI raided a mans house today to distrat attention from the fact that they haven’t a clue who robbed the bank. They wouldn’t do that to you or any unionist.

    They stole his shoes to give the false impression that there was a real investigation going on. Just like they took meaningless computer disks from the Sinn Fein office at Stormont and told the world they had broken a spy-ring.

    They are a joke but the joke is on unionists. They are hping that the glow of satisfaction you feel in seeing republicans harassed will be enough to deflect you from any serious questions about their performance.

    You are someone I think who might not fall for it .

  • Visioner

    “The PSNI raided a mans house today to distrat attention from the fact that they haven’t a clue who robbed the bank. They wouldn’t do that to you or any unionist.

    They stole his shoes to give the false impression that there was a real investigation going on. Just like they took meaningless computer disks from the Sinn Fein office at Stormont and told the world they had broken a spy-ring.

    They are a joke but the joke is on unionists. They are hping that the glow of satisfaction you feel in seeing republicans harassed will be enough to deflect you from any serious questions about their performance.

    You are someone I think who might not fall for it .

    Posted by: Henry94 at December 24, 2004 06:12 PM”

    Henry94, what complete and utter non-sense you speak of – but I suppose what should you expect from a Shinner/IRA apologist.

    The police could have only raided those houses based on evidence put before a judge inorder to get a warrent to proceed. Therefore it was Just. However I am sure you wouldn’t view it as Justice as it doesn’t run in your favour. If this does turn out to a Prov-IRA event some MAJOR Q’s have to be asked and action taken. It looks to be this way.

    Why wouldn’t the Police not do it to a Unionist? Was there not infact recent raids in loyalist areas for counter-fit goods – I think.

    It is a foresnic operation and shoes obviously can play a part in telling where someone has been.

    No doubt the case will be put before the Police Ombudsman by SF/IRA. They use that office yet they refuse to join the Policing Board because they will then have to accept law and order – something SF/IRA are not willing to do.

  • willowfield

    Poor Henry.

    So desperate to defend the honour of the Provisional IRA.

    Not an easy task.

  • Mick Fealty

    Re money in England most big retailers take NI banknotes (at least until the raid they did). I was refused once at a local Co-op store, but was assured by head office afterwards that this was not policy.

    I’ve noticed a considerable relaxing since the Republic went into the Euro system.

  • James

    “I’ve noticed a considerable relaxing since the Republic went into the Euro system.”

    I don’t understand the psychology of this, Mick. I can see that happening in the border areas in NI (I witnessed that in the area abutting Inishowen this year, in fact). As far as the English are concerned, though, the republic switching to the Euro should not affect the relationships amongst UK bank currencies.

    I am really interested in the attitudes that foster that result.

  • willowfield

    I don’t understand the psychology of this, Mick.

    It’s nothing to do with psychology and everything to do with knowledge.

    Prior to the Republic’s entry to the euro, both ROI and NI used pounds as their currency, and to the ignorant shopkeeper this caused a certain amount of confusion: when presented with “Irish money” he was unsure whether it was from NI or ROI. Since the Republic’s entry to the euro, this is no longer the case.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    willow

    Do you not think it’s a bit strange that the nation of shopkeepers don’t know what their nation consists of…?

    I bet Scottish traders don’t have as much of a problem accepting NI notes(!)

  • James

    “caused a certain amount of confusion: when presented with “Irish money””

    That would make them dumb enough to vote for Bush so, in deference to the English psyche, that seems a bit soft.

    I’ve handled UK and ROI monopoly money for years and been able to tell the difference. The front desk at Jury’s in Belfast and the black cab that got me there from the train station sure as hell knew the difference as well.

    Not that you sly nordies have not tried to lead me astray. I paid for my first Ulster Fry and got a 10 pound note with my change and asked who the bearded geezer was on the face. “Michael Collins” was the reply. I survived the Ulster Fry anyway but I donno if I would have survived asking the cabbie with the jailhouse tats on both arms who took me to the airport if he would take a Michael Collins note.

    So instead of UK and Irish monopoly money I contend with UK and EU monopoly money.

    It hasn’t got me past Ventnor Avenue yet.

  • maca

    “both ROI and NI used pounds as their currency, and to the ignorant shopkeeper this caused a certain amount of confusion: when presented with “Irish money” he was unsure whether it was from NI or ROI.”

    Haha. Confusion? What confusion? There must have been some fairly ignorant shopkeepers in your neck of the woods if they were confused (no offence intended to said shopkeepers). It didn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to notice the difference.