Attwood (& Durkan): who but the IRA could it have been?

Alex Attwood, the SDLP’s security spokesman is quick to assert that the IRA is the only organisation with the capacity to have carried out the heist. His latest statement to the press:

From Alex Attwood

“The comments of the Chief Constable will add to the growing sense on the ground that who else but the IRA could have carried out this robbery. People see through IRA denials and DUP finger-pointing and are making their own judgments. There is also anger among many people who struggle to make ends meet and worry about money and then see the IRA steal and smuggle to feather their own nests and fund their life styles.

“The SDLP have spoken time and time again of the deep damage done to
politics and democracy by the criminal actions of republicans and loyalists. The involvement of loyalists in the drug trade and corrupting communities is an acute threat. Time and time again the SDLP have said this must be faced up to. Now the governments must face criminality down.

“The governments must not in any shape or form diminish the essential
message behind the Northern Bank raid, namely that the IRA intends, whatever else happened, to continue criminality”.

Mark Durkan adds:

“IRA sources may have denied involvement, but so many of their denials in have turned out to be false in the past – like over the murder of Garda McCabe. So it is almost impossible to take their denials at face value now. And if the provisional movement was not responsible, will Sinn Fein say who they believe had the organisation and expertise to carry out the raid?

“Some have portrayed this raid as audacious. The truth is that it was
anything but. Two employees of the Northern Bank were forced to rob their own workplace on pain of death to them and to their families, who had to endure the trauma of being held hostage at gunpoint for over 24 hours. That is not audacious – it is brutal and callous.

“Those who carried out this raid have shown no respect for working people, no respect for families and no respect for the Good Friday Agreement. When the people of Ireland voted for the Agreement, they voted for paramilitaries to go quietly into retirement. They did not vote for armed robberies to fund the luxury lifestyles that many are trying to carve out for themselves”.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    So what Mark Durkan is effectively saying is that it does not matter what P O Neill states or indeed what emantates from Sevastopol St he doesn’t believe a word of it anyway. At least that is clear. One wonders why the SDLP are always asking SF to make a statement on this or the IRA to publicly comment on that.

    Seems all a bit cynical to me.

  • davidbrew

    has any one considered the possibility of a crack SDLP squad of semi-redundant MLAs doing the job to put the Shinners behind the 8 ball and revive the flea bitten corpse of DFurkan’s party?
    Bring ’em in Hugh, and beat the truth out of them!

  • Davros

    Pat: P O’Neill has been silent 😉
    Who else could it have been ? Little green men ? Whoops, that’s the IRA…

  • Davros

    David, If it had been the SDLP they would have claimed it – after all they have claimed the “credit” for everything else that’s happened here since they were formed.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros

    ‘Who else could it have been ? Little green men ? Whoops, that’s the IRA…’

    If we’re waiting for the PSNI to present us with the evidence then we will never know. But you’re right who else could it have been.

  • Davros

    Seems a tad hypocritical of SF to criticise Orde for using the same tactics as Martin did at Saville ….
    But just out of interest, if Hugh Orde named an informant, what do you think would happen to that person Pat ?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I’m confused about Alex Attwood’s statement. He said:

    “The governments must not in any shape or form diminish the essential message behind the Northern Bank raid, namely that the IRA intends, whatever else happened, to continue criminality”.

    Let’s assume Alex means what he says. Is this the SDLP confirming that they are quite prepared to insist on Sinn Fein being in government while the IRA continues to engage in criminal activity? Is the SDLP position that parties associated with criminality MUST be in government if they have the mandate?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros

    ‘But just out of interest, if Hugh Orde named an informant, what do you think would happen to that person Pat ?’

    Shouldn’t informers be utilised before the crime has taken place or is their role now simply to help bolt the stable door?

  • Davros

    That’s a fair point Pat.
    Admire you for hanging around on a difficult day!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    On a serious note, it really is incumbent on Attwood to name and shame those people he accuses of feathering their own nests etc etc. If nothing else it would damage the standing of SF to the benefit of the SDLP. The fact he doesn’t makes me believe it is another SDLP stunt.

  • Davros

    Pat- This is a serious issue and one that SF don’t seem to have grasped. Politics isn’t about evidence. Evidence is for courts dealing with criminal prosecutions. Politicians deal with appearances and beliefs.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros, totally agree and I suspect that is why the steady head of steam was built up to get republicans well and truly into the frame. As I stated at the time of the robbery the myth would indeed become reality.

    While SF are well and truly in the frame (in the eyes of unionists) the PSNI are well and truly under scrutiny within nationalism. To a certain extent Orde was in a no win situation, despised by the majority of nationalists and in danger of being dumped by political unionism. Orde IMO tried to salvage something by keeping unionism on side. By doing so he has plunged a dagger through the heart of what is left of the SDLP.
    To unionists the raids on nationalist homes and business premises are the PSNI simply doing their job, to many nationalists they are simply doing what they do best.
    That will not be forgotten at the polls.

  • alex s

    I see Alex Attwood ignores the absence of effective intelligence on the part of the PSNI prior to the robbery, maybe the old style Special Branch weren’t such a bad bunch after all, who was it that called for their removal apart from the Shinners?

  • Davros

    It’s a game everybody is playing Pat. SF newsite yesterday was posting that the police were carrying out ‘Violent’ Raids. What does that mean ? The only violence seen or reported was from locals wellying into the Peelers. And Sinn Fein have done exactly the same Heist Job over “securocrats” and “collusion”.

  • mickhall

    As informers have been mentioned, after Freddie Scappiticci was named as the informer Stakeknife, there was much speculation in the media about the PIRA leadership having been thoroughly infiltrated by British assets/touts. Some people even wrote that those who still support the Provos will have a great surprise awaiting them when this is eventually revealed. I have no real knowledge if this is correct or not, but if as many have claimed that the Provos where responsible at GHQ level for the Bank raid, then does this not throw a spanner into the works of this theory. Or are the same journalist now implying that the British army and security services allowed their touts within PIRA’s leadership to take part in this robbery and have not passed this on to the RUC/PSNI, nor any knowledge they have about those who raided the bank with the touts.

    The media is saying 40 people took part in the raid, if we half that and then some more; and say 15 people actually took part, or had knowledge of the robbery, if the provos are as infiltrated as was claimed at the time of Freddie’s exposure, then why have these touts not blown the whistle. There are clearly many questions to be asked here and not only about who raided the bank.…

  • Belfast Gonzo

    mick

    I think it was security correspondent Alan Murray who suggested in a recent article that the PSNI’s intelligence gathering capability since Patten reform has been severely curtailed.

    In other words, fewer touts on the street. Cutbacks, eh?

  • Davros

    if the provos are as infiltrated as was claimed at the time of Freddie’s exposure, then why have these touts not blown the whistle.

    According to the media the PSNI have been made to cut contacts with their informants MickH, so the this doesn’t necessarily prove that earlier claims as to the level of info received were necessarily exaggerated.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It now appears that the whole Scap affair along with the naming of others was an over played hand. The security sources at the time lied as did a lot of the journalists involved.

  • mickhall

    Davros and Gonzo,

    I did not mean the RUC/PSNI, but the British security service and army intelligence; and far from making cutbacks it seems both of these organisations are if anything expanding their capabilities, although admittedly they are not solely centred on the north of Ireland.

    I suppose one of the main questions I am asking is if the claims made at the time of Scappiticci exposure were true, are these securityorganisations continuing to collude with para militaries when they carry out criminal acts. Or if they were untrue about the level of infiltration of PIRA, what weight can we put on the claims some of the same people are making today. Either way it seems to me the security services dont come out of all this very well. Unless that is there is a third answer to this conundrum.

  • Davros

    Ah, Ok MickH, I see your point.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Mick

    If you are talking about claims made today (by PSNI), what makes you think that Army-run agents would be telling the police anything to base any claims on?

  • mickhall

    Gonzo,

    You are surly not trying to tell me that they do not all work as one closely oiled team of crime fighters. You will be telling me next they all have a different agenda. Does the Secretary of State know about this. 😉

    Best regards

    Mick

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Competition between the various security agencies has had a negative effect on NI in the past. I doubt if that has changed much.

    Information supplied by touts to one agency is unlikely to be shared, if different authors are to be believed.

  • Keith M

    Gonzo “Is this the SDLP confirming that they are quite prepared to insist on Sinn Fein being in government while the IRA continues to engage in criminal activity? Is the SDLP position that parties associated with criminality MUST be in government if they have the mandate?”

    This is the key political question that needs to be asked, and not only of the SDLP. Bertie Ahern has come out and more or less says he believes what Orde has said and yet he is still inhabiting the 1998 linguistic landscape talking about an “inclusive” agreement (meaning including SF/IRA).

    Does 25% of the electorate mean you have to be included in the executive no matter how much money you steal, how many families you terrorise, how many international terrorists you work with, how many people you abduct and kill? If so, are democrats wasting their time trying to restore the executive?

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    There is no “myth” here. There is a general suspicion that the IRA were behind the crime because they are the best fit given the known facts at present. We can talk about “myths” once evidence becomes available showing that it was *not* the IRA.

    If it turns out *not* to have been the IRA then we’re all in big trouble, as another large, highly disciplined, armed group with experience in dealing with bank robberies and avoiding forensic detection with the ability to move around freely in places like Poleglass now exists to rival it. If they can knock off a bank so easily the sky’s the limit.

    Keith, there aren’t many democrats among those attempting to restore the executive. We’re down to two large parties, both of whom one way or another have actively stood alongside armed paramilitaries in the past to force their will through force. It seems to be a question of which side you want to pick.

  • alex s

    Pat Mc Larnon, are you seriously suggesting that P O’Neill can be relied on to tell the truth, get real

  • Davros

    Even the Guardian is putting in the boot in it’s leader.

    While pointing out in the opening that:

    “Northern Ireland’s chief constable offered no direct evidence to support his conclusion”,

    it ends with

    “Those who continue to vote for Sinn Féin should think about what they are doing. If nothing else, they have achieved the improbable feat of making decent people listen to the Democratic Unionist party and wonder whether Ian Paisley may have been right after all.”

    The IRA is blamed

  • Intelligence Insider

    It is only natural to hear denials of involvement from the nationalist terrorist organisations. They denied Columbia, Stormont, killing Garda McCabe, Enniskillen, Darkley, involvement in the murder of informants, involvement in the killing of “The disappeared”, I could go on! Why should people believe them now? It seems to me that a denial of involvement by sinn fein/ira can be seen as indicative of their involvement, if past history is anything to go by!

  • barnshee

    Now the the Bank has at least hinder the disposal of the money (reissue) I suggest that after a discrete interval SF will find that members of the IRA “acting without the knowldge of the Army council an without thir permission@ had indeed carried out the robbery they of course will have benn “disciplined”. I would not be surprised to see at leat some of the money ‘discovered’

    you read it here first

  • ShayPaul

    After initial speculation that Glasgow Rangers had raised a significant cash sum to buy Ronaldhino, it now seems that the football connection is closer to the truth than many have imagined.

    Let me just say that the after a fluent piece of dribbling the “ball” is sure to find the “net”, especially when we consider the “credentials” of the “player” in question.

    Sorry but will say no more, time will tell its’ own tale.

    Many a true word is spoken in jest.

  • ShayPaul

    “It is only natural to hear denials of involvement from the nationalist terrorist organisations. They denied Columbia, Stormont, killing Garda McCabe, Enniskillen, Darkley, involvement in the murder of informants, involvement in the killing of “The disappeared”, I could go on! Why should people believe them now? It seems to me that a denial of involvement by sinn fein/ira can be seen as indicative of their involvement, if past history is anything to go by!

    Posted by: Intelligence Insider at January 8, 2005 01:02 AM”

    I also note the return to the fray of Sammy Wilson on this same theme.

    “The IRA said they didn’t do it – well there’s all the evidence we need, it proves that they did.”

    Without wishing to offend all those that have made this fantastic intellectual deduction, can I simply point out that if you guys get together there’ll be a lot of deprived villages looking for the missing idiot.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Shay/Patrick,
    Only an idiot would believe the words of sinn fein/ira. Can you answer me these questions?

    Why did they say that they had no Cuban representative (i.e. the Columbian terrorist trainer)?

    Why did they say that they had no involvement in the murder of Garda McCabe?

    Why did they say they didn’t know where Jean McConcille was buried?

    I could fill a book with questions about lies told by the republican movement but if you can answer the above it would help!

  • Intelligence Insider

    Sorry, please read McConville above, not McConcille.

  • ShayPaul

    Intelligence insider.

    Let’s keep it simple :

    “The IRA said they didn’t do it – well there’s all the evidence we need, it proves that they did.”

    This is an infinite loop that makes sense only to idiots.

    If the IRA said they did it would you believe them ?

  • Intelligence Insider

    Patrick,
    “The IRA said they didn’t do it – well there’s all the evidence we need, it proves that they did.”

    This is an infinite loop that makes sense only to idiots.

    If an organisation which has in the past denied responsibility for events which they later were proved to be responsible for, or later admitted responsibility for, then Sammy Wilson IS actually talking sense! (For once)

    Anyone who has seen the intelligence reports regarding the robbery would be in no doubt as to the perpetrators of it. Blaming the provos is not a tall story, or should that be Storey???????

  • ShayPaul

    Intel Inside

    Who’s Patrick ?

    Or is this another of your powerful deductions ?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘Why did they say that they had no Cuban representative (i.e. the Columbian terrorist trainer)?

    Why did they say that they had no involvement in the murder of Garda McCabe?

    Why did they say they didn’t know where Jean McConcille was buried’

    Surely as an Intelligence Insider you should be telling us.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Pat,
    Ok, I will. They denied all of the above, as they are denying robbing the Northern Bank, because they didn’t think it could be proved. Just goes to prove that you cannot believe anything that the republican movement says. They are fascist, criminal, murdering monsters, every single one of them. Anyone that gives them any support, in any way, is no better than a nazi.

  • cg

    Intelligence Insider
    You would really want to control that typing hand of yours as you have just insulted many people including me.

    Members of the Republican movement include Sinn Féin members please explain to me how I am a “fascist, criminal, murdering monster” and basically a Nazi.

  • ShayPaul

    Intel inside

    The republican movement has the support of a large percentage of the population here as shown by their democratic mandate.

    So after your last statement what is the solution you propose to deal with all these “nazis” you have identified ?

  • DCB

    CG – he’s painting with a somewhat broad brush – but (and here’s the whatabourty) would you think of someone who says that they are a member of say the UDA, or that they support the UDA.

    Personally I would have similar feelings to those expressed by II – e.g. there all thugs/nazis.

    Of course you can’t for a minute beleive that SF/IRA are anything like the UDA.

    Personally I see the difference more in terms of one lot are far better organised the other.

  • DCB

    ShayPaul – the solution is that SF become our very own Finna Foil (sorry so not the sp).

    the rest of us can then vote for SDLP/UUP – in other words Fina Gail (again sorry, excuse the Twinbrook Irish)

  • cg

    DCB
    He didn’t say IRA but Republican movement which includes Sinn Féin members. As a Sinn Féin member he has accused me of being a fascist, a criminal and a murdering monster and seeing as I have no criminal record I would like him to explain his slanderous statement or retract it and apologise.

    He has insulted a lot of people including over half of all nationalists in the north and he should explain himself.
    His actions have consequences

  • Davros

    I’m keeping out of this one!

  • Intelligence Insider

    cg/shay paul et al,
    Adolf Hitler also had the support of a majority of Germans. Support for a party doesn’t make it’s actions tolerable. I repeat, they are fascist, criminal, murdering monsters, every single one of them. Anyone that gives them any support, in any way, is no better than a nazi.

  • George

    “Adolf Hitler also had the support of a majority of Germans”

    Wrong, he actually had less support than the DUP has in Northern Ireland.

  • cg

    You are an absolute coward
    You still haven’t responded to my comments and until you either retract your statement and apologise or provide evidence for these unfounded allegations I will have no further contact with you.

    By your actions you show you are truly ignorant and indeed a coward.

  • Intelligence Insider

    George, maybe I should have posted that more people voted for the nazis than for any other party in Germany. “less than the DUP”, I can’t be bothered to check the electoral history, you could be right. Perhaps they had the same level of support as sinn fein do, so the actions of Hitler can be viewed as similar to that of Adams.

  • Intelligence Insider

    cg, you are the coward, not me. I stated that the ira are “fascist, criminal, murdering monsters”. By asking how I can call YOU that is an admittance of membership of that organisation. Perhaps you misread me, if you are merely a supporter of that organisation then you are the same as a nazi.

  • Davros

    I stated that the ira are “fascist, criminal, murdering monsters”.

    Not so I.I. You actually wrote

    “Just goes to prove that you cannot believe anything that the republican movement says. They are fascist, criminal, murdering monsters, every single one of them. Anyone that gives them any support, in any way, is no better than a nazi.”

  • cg

    Wrong Intelligence Insider you said Republican movement not IRA.

    “Just goes to prove that you cannot believe anything that the republican movement says. They are fascist, criminal, murdering monsters, every single one of them”

    You see you said Republican movement which includes Sinn Féin to which I am a member.
    In doing so you inferred inter alia that I am a fascist, criminal, murdering monster and I would like you to provide evidence or retract that disgraceful statement and apologise.

  • Intelligence Insider

    I stand by my comment. Morally, people who support the actions of terrorists are as guilty as those who carry out acts of terrorism. Those who vote for, and especially those who are members of, sinn fein, are condoning murder, bombing, robbery, extortion, drug dealing, kidnapping, et al.

    As I stated earlier, support for a party does not bring with it legality or a rightness for it’s actions. Nazi-ism is alive and well and living within the ranks of sinn fein and those who vote for them.

  • cg

    That’s not what you said Intelligence Insider and now you are just trying to wrangle out of the lies you told.
    I would have some respect for you if you just admit your mistake but by your actions you demonstrate a total lack of moral fiber. You are a gutless moron who hasn’t even got the integrity to admit his mistake.

    I shall have no further contact until you retract your original statement and apologise or provide evidence for your claims.

    Other bloggers can tell how untenable your position is.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Fiber? Never heard of it, do you mean fibre? Or perhaps you mean fibber, as that is what YOU are! I stand by every comment that I have made, how do you see what I have stated above as “trying to wrangle out of the lies you told.”? All of the republican movement are guilty, be they active or passive members, their guilt is absolute and total and they have no place in decent society.

    You state that you will have no further contact, is that your way of escaping your guilt and failure to come up with a plausible excuse for the existence of a cowardly bunch of thugs and criminals otherwise known as sinn fein/ira??????

  • ShayPaul

    Intel inside

    Now we have been subjected to your hysteric ravings about the electors of a party which has the democratic mandate of a large percentage of the population.

    These same electors you describe as “nazis” and “their guilt is absolute and total and they have no place in decent society”.

    Before you drivel off into dementia and what’s left of your rather weak processor explodes, could you please enlighten us as to what you propose in order to implement your well thought out political opinions ?

    Extermination ?

  • Intelligence Insider

    Extermination? No that is what sinn fein/ira/nazi-ism would use. They did after all try and exterminate Protestant border farmers some years ago. They call for “Brits out” knowing that the unionist population are Brit’s. So, no, I’ll leave the policy of extermination in the hands of the nationalist terrorists who use it.

    What you refer to as the “democratic mandate of a large percentage of the population” was, as I have stated before, also enjoyed by Hitler. Does that make his actions any better? Although then again, if you support sinn fein you are probably a hitler fan too, didn’t you erect a statue of a gestapo/ira agent in your capital city?

  • cg

    “trying to wrangle out of the lies you told.”?

    Very simple you originally said

    “Just goes to prove that you cannot believe anything that the republican movement says. They are fascist, criminal, murdering monsters, every single one of them”

    You called every republican who is a member of the republican movement, including me, a fascist, criminal, murdering monster. When asked to substantitate this you wouldn’t provide proof.

    You then tried to wrangle out of your lies by stating you said IRA and not republican movement.
    When I and Davros corrected you you said

    “Morally, people who support the actions of terrorists are as guilty as those who carry out acts of terrorism. Those who vote for, and especially those who are members of, sinn fein, are condoning murder, bombing, robbery, extortion, drug dealing, kidnapping, et al”

    Which is very different from saying someone is actually a fascist, criminal, murdering monster.

    Don’t try to be smart as it doesn’t suit you. It seems perfectly clear that you have no intention of apologising or providing evidence so I call you a liar.

    I have no intention of continuing this farce with you as you inhabit the gutter, as far as intellectual debate goes.

  • ShayPaul

    Intel inside

    You seem to be the one obsessed by Hitler, your rantings are filled with references to him.

    Now will you enlighten us with your brilliant political wit and explain how you intend to implement your well thought out plan to deal with the electorate of SF :

    Quote :

    “their guilt is absolute and total and they have no place in decent society”.

    Of course I don’t expect you to answer correctly, as you are clearly too thick to dig yourself out of the pit you dug yourself into.

  • Intelligence Insider

    cg, what you really mean is that you have no intention of condemning terrorists. You are obviously a supporter of the drug dealers/robbers/kidnappers/bombers/murderers who make up the ira. Your failure to condemn terrorist activity means that it is you that inhabits the gutter, not I. As for intellectual debate, you wouldn’t know what it was if it slapped you in the face. You can’t even spell fibre! Maybe the priest who taught you had more on his mind than education, if so, there are organisations that will help you.

  • cg

    Intel
    You have really gone too far this time.

  • Davros

    Yellow Card time Mick ?

  • ShayPaul

    A quick check will show you he has already several identities here, so the yellow card would serve little purpose.

  • cg

    Davros
    I have never been so insulted in my life and for him to infer I was sexually abused by a priest is disgusting.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Shay/Patrick, a “quick check” would prove no such thing, I don’t need to post under several identities. The failure of cg and other republican/nationalists to condemn terrorist activity speaks volumes. Those who support terrorism should not have the same rights as the moral majority. Bring back internment, lock them up, and throw away the key. Those who support sinn fein are no better than those who supported the nazis.

  • mickhall

    “Intelligence Insiderwrote,
    Maybe the priest who taught you had more on his mind than education, if so, there are organisations that will help you.”

    Hi,
    You accuse others of bigotry then sadly display your own, I would have thought child abuse is such a dreadful event and thus traumatic subject for many, it should not be used as a petty debating tactic to gain advantage, lets get things into perspective shall we.

    Regards

  • Intelligence Insider

    Agreed Mick, it was stupid , and indeed insensitive, of me to make such a comment. I apoligise unreservatively, anger unfortunately got the better of me.

  • cg

    So is that apology encompassing your other scandalous statements or just the one where you insinuated I was molested by a priest as a child?