Over fifty attacks on SDLP members in three years

One minor story from a couple of days ago. News of a device attached to the bottom of West Tyrone MLA Eugene McMenamin’s car came in a press release from the SDLP. Attached to the bottom was the promise of a log of over 50 such incidents that have taken place in the past two to three years.

Here’s some of the most notable incidents in the last year or so:

· West Belfast: three hoax bombs and one letter bomb (to Policing Board HQ)

· South Belfast: attacks on homes of Carmel Hanna MLA and Cllr Pat McCarthy, one hoax bomb at party office

· Strabane: Numerous attacks on the home of Eugene McMenamin MLA following earlier destruction of cars and damage to house by blast bombs. Cllrs Bell and McBride also attacked. Regular death threats. Wreaths sent to three SDLP members of DPP

· Craigavon: Systematic series of threats to SDLP members of DPP. Nov 04 police say active threats to Craigavon and Armagh DPP members from Real IRA

· Antrim: Cllr Donovan McClelland threatened in public in council building.

· Newry and Mourne: Four councillors recently received bullets in the post

· Derry: Five attacks on home of Pat Ramsey MLA, two on home of DPP member Marian Quinn, two on the home of Mayor Sean Gallagher, and Cllr Sean Carr was assaulted. There are ongoing threats to DPP members and others.

Most of the attacks are currently beleived to have originated with various dissident Republican groups.

  • El Matador

    This is a disgrace. If people disagree with SDLP policy, at least be man enough to say who they are and debate the issues, as Mr McMenamin offered to do with them.

    It’s easy being a ‘big lad’ and threatening people, but they’re cowards who are afraid to admit who they are because they know they are unjustified and without a substantial mandate.

    The people with the real guts are the SDLP people who stick by their beliefs in the face of such intimidation and threats.

  • Visioner

    An example of some of the many intimidation tactics used by the SF/IRA leadership.

    Demonstrates their value for Democracy.

    Would remind you of the tactics employed by Hitler and his Facist party in his crusade to political power.

  • maca

    “An example of some of the many intimidation tactics used by the SF/IRA leadership.”

    SoAre you saying SF are behind this? I presume you have stacks of proof?

  • DCB

    Maca – they may well not be behind this wave of attacks but they have done it in the past.

  • PS

    Disgrace and appaling that members of the SDLP should be subject to such intimidation and those who have suffered have my deepest sympathies.
    Whoever is responsible for these attacks has little to offer society.

    Visioner’s remarks are not worthy of a response.

  • Visioner

    Maca, you would have to ask Hugh Orde about that.

    Who else would it be? It has been linked to Republican’s, and who do Republican’s support on the Political front?

    What motives would Republicans have in doing this? What are they getting out of it?

    Boils down to Politics.

    In comparison – what advantage did Hitler’s Nazi Party get out of intimidating Political opponents?

  • Visioner

    Visioner’s remarks are not worthy of a response.

    Posted by: PS

    Pity you couldn’t condemn the violence carried out by the Republican movement on other occasions.

  • maca

    “Who else would it be?”

    Loyalists?

  • Christopher Stalford

    The attacks against the SDLP in Strabane are without doubt carried out at the behest of SF/IRA and so-called dissident republicans.

    Yet while his party colleagues are getting attacked and intimidated, what does the worthless leader of the SDLP do? Refuse to go it alone without Sinn Fein. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

  • El Matador

    Well done Mr Stalford. Use attacks on SDLP members as an excuse to criticise their party’s leader. And to think the DUP would try to capitalise out of republican actions! Perish the thought

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    When unionists paramilitaries carried out attacks on nationalist politicians with pipe bombs etc the DUP were always very quiet and seemingly unable to apportion blame. In fact when the unionists attacked the residents of Whitehall Sq the DUP blamed the residents.
    Nice one Christopher, the DUP will always lead the hypocricy stakes with the likes of yourself in the saddle.

  • Davros

    When unionists paramilitaries carried out attacks on nationalist politicians with pipe bombs etc the DUP were always very quiet

    Time and time again you destroy good arguments with this sort of thing Pat.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “In fact when the unionists attacked the residents of Whitehall Sq the DUP blamed the residents.”

    In fact Pat, the property developers with responsibility for Whitehall Square (The Carvill Group) admitted that the problem was coming from a few troublemakers inside Whithall Sqaure. These people, who were waving tricolours, throwing stones at people coming from the Orange Hall and hurling abuse at residents have since been evicted from the development and the problem has gone away, so perhaps you could save your ill-informed clap-trap for someone else.

    BTW, for someone who isn’t a Sinn Fein supporter, you do a damn good impression of one.

  • Christopher Stalford

    I stand by my comments: if his party colleagues are being attacked by Provos, why does Mark Durkan insist on including them?

  • JD

    The attacks on the SDLP members are disgraceful.

    However, what is the proof it was SF? Aren’t there plenty of other possibilities from both sides?

  • TroubledTimes

    The biggest problem in relation to these attacks lies with the fact that no-one claims these attacks. Therefore no-one knows if it is a renegade gang, dissident republicans or mainstream republicans. In Strabane it is well known that all these organisations have been involved in some form of attack on the SDLP in recent years. This raises huge problems for Sinn Fein because until they can break away from armed activists they will continue to be in the spotlight in regard to these attacks even if their representatives condemn it publicly.
    The fact that no organisation claims these attacks leaves no one in any doubt that all these organisations all sing from the same hymn sheet. The true Irishmen and women would never ever have attacked any elected Nationalist politician.
    It brings a shame on the Republican movement, mainstream, dissident and whatever breakoff gangs there may be.
    These groups bring shame to all things Irish and to this day remain the biggest barrier to a United Ireland.

  • TroubledTimes

    The biggest problem in relation to these attacks lies with the fact that no-one claims these attacks. Therefore no-one knows if it is a renegade gang, dissident republicans or mainstream republicans. In Strabane it is well known that all these organisations have been involved in some form of attack on the SDLP in recent years. This raises huge problems for Sinn Fein because until they can break away from armed activists they will continue to be in the spotlight in regard to these attacks even if their representatives condemn it publicly.
    The fact that no organisation claims these attacks leaves no one in any doubt that all these organisations all sing from the same hymn sheet. The true Irishmen and women would never ever have attacked any elected Nationalist politician.
    It brings a shame on the Republican movement, mainstream, dissident and whatever breakoff gangs there may be.
    These groups bring shame to all things Irish and to this day remain the biggest barrier to a United Ireland.

  • pakman

    JD

    “Aren’t there plenty of other possibilities from both sides?”

    In Strabane? In Newry? In Londonderry? These attacks on the SDLP are coming from within the broad republican family. Can anyone say with certainty that SF/IRA aren’t behind at least some of the attacks?

  • JD

    It brings a shame on the Republican movement, mainstream, dissident and whatever breakoff gangs there may be.

    I completely agree.

    In Strabane? In Newry? In Londonderry? These attacks on the SDLP are coming from within the broad republican family. Can anyone say with certainty that SF/IRA aren’t behind at least some of the attacks?

    No, I cannot say with certainty that it wasn’t SF. Nor can you say for certain that they are. And what makes you certain these attacks aren’t loyalist/ unionist? Presumably they could get in a car and drive?

  • pakman

    JD

    so the largest nationalist party in NI could have been behind terrorist attacks on the SDLP. Remind me again why that same party should be let anywhere near executive power in this state.

  • JD

    so the largest nationalist party in NI could have been behind terrorist attacks on the SDLP.

    If we’re playing this silly game of no proof, then I suppose that members of the DUP could have been involved.

    Remind me again why that same party should be let anywhere near executive power in this state.

    Because they have a mandate?

  • pakman

    JD

    it’s not a silly game. You have conceeded that Sinn Fein could have been behind the attacks. Now, even to contemplate that the Minister of Health and Public Safety in the last Assembly was part of an organisation which used potentially lethal violence against its political rivals raised questions about that partys’ participation in government. Or do you believe you can kill, maim and rob and still be given executive power as of right simply because of a mandate?

  • Visioner

    Oh yeah and Sinn Fein have loads of evidience to back up all their claims of Collusion by the British forces!

    Maca, speculation, speculates that it is republicans. Cant you read?

  • JD

    it’s not a silly game.

    It is. I don’t know who did it. Nor do you. Simple.

    And I could ask you the same thing. If it was the DUP (they have flirted with paramilitarism in the past also), would you accept that they have no place in government?

    As for “legitimate government,” it’s not as if the security forces have spotless records either.

    See where this is going? Pointless.

  • pakman

    JD

    if the DUP were attacking the UUP in the way you think SF could be attacking the SDLP then of course any law abiding democrat (myself included) would accept that they had no place in government. Indeed I would call on anyone with information about such attacks to go to the police.

    Now please answer the question I posed at 6.16 :

    “… do you believe you can kill, maim and rob and still be given executive power as of right simply because of a mandate?”

  • JD

    “… do you believe you can kill, maim and rob and still be given executive power as of right simply because of a mandate?”

    Ordinarily, I would answer this with a simple “no.”

    However, the way you frame your question is loaded. You seem to arguing for the complete exclusion of SF. I believe excluding them would deny their voters a voice and I see that as counterproductive. What’s needed is more inclusion, not less.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Christopher,

    The problem was mobs of unionists attacking the property and the sight of DUP members molly coddling with UDA members is something that were are all used to by now.
    For people supposedly opposed to terrorism you do a very poor impression of it.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “The problem was mobs of unionists attacking the property”

    Wrong Pat. The Carvill Group have evicted the trouble-makers responsible for stirring up the trouble. They have acknowledged where the fault lay and it wasn’t with the people of the area. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • pakman

    JD

    I’m confused.

    Can you kill, maim and rob by night and demand a cabinet post by day?

    Ordinarily that sort of behaviour would merit jail not executive power.

    I just want to know if the use of violence by any political party can bar that party from government.

    Surely you cannot contemplate a situation where a Minister for Policing & Justice is also a member of a party which sends letter bombs to members of DPPs. Or can you?

  • TroubledTimes

    The only way to stop Sinn Fein or any party that plays the game of Politics and Gangster at the same time is to stop voting for them. Their only tool of power in politics is their vote aka mandate. A vote for any party involved in any crime is an endorsement of that crime.
    It is up to the people to get politics right by voting sensibly. The finger pointing at politicians and political parties needs to stop. It is the people who vote for these a..holes that need to get their act together.

  • JD

    I just want to know if the use of violence by any political party can bar that party from government.

    In an ideal world, that should probably exclude them. But the situation in NI is far from ideal. Perhaps I see the NI situation as far more complicated and messy than you seem to. I can’t give you a simple answer to a complicated problem, so I won’t. Sorry if that doesn’t satisfy you.

  • cg

    “The only way to stop Sinn Fein or any party that plays the game of Politics and Gangster at the same time is to stop voting for them. Their only tool of power in politics is their vote aka mandate”

    Then let’s wait to May and let the electorate decide

  • Christopher Stalford

    Gaskin

    “Then let’s wait to May and let the electorate decide”

    Not good enough. Do you think it was a crime for the IRA to murder Jean McConville? This question isn’t going to go away.

  • cg

    Stalford
    I never said it would

    I repeat that her death should never have occurred and was wrong.

    That said I don’t believe the IRA was, are or ever will be criminals.

  • Christopher Stalford

    So it wasn’t a crime to murder Jean McConville? Yes or no? Stop being so duplicitous!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Christopher,

    you are coming very close to defending unionist terrorism, suffice to say it was all captured on glorious technicolor, DUP and UDA marching together.
    Aren’ the DUP supposed to have nothing to do with terrorists? Or does it depend on their religion?

  • Davros

    Aren’ the DUP supposed to have nothing to do with terrorists? Or does it depend on their religion?

    Fair comment first part although I’ll point out that two UDA members in Larne are Roman catholic. Bizarre.

  • cgmoron

    The attacks on the SDLP representatives are an absolute disgrace. The whole idea behind this strategy is to kill off the SDLP.
    This would leave Sinn Fein as the sole voice for the Catholic population. There are many good people excluded from entering the SDLP simply by fear of attacks on them and their families.

  • maca

    Visioner
    “Cant you read?”
    Don’t be a smart arse!
    Yes I can read and I can form my own opinions. In my opinion it’s more likely the work of loyalists. I don’t believe SF would waste their time sending death threats and bombing the SDLP.

  • cg

    “cgmoron”

    Interesting name 😉

  • Davros

    Looks Welsh or Breton to me cg 😉

  • cg

    😉 Davros

  • TroubledTimes

    Maca, your opinion that these SDLP attacks are the work of Loyalists saddens me. You obviously are out of the loop.
    If my knowledge serves me correctly, in the Strabane area the first attack on Mr McMenamins home was graffiti daubed on his home back in 2000/2001. The graffiti had Sinn Fein Youth written on it at the time. Do you think this is still the work of Loyalists?

  • maca

    TT, you’re basing all these attacks on SFY graffiti from 2000/01?

  • TroubledTimes

    No Maca. Other Republican entities in the Strabane area also hold Sinn Fein to account for the blast bombs that destroyed two cars outside Mr McMenamins home.
    I have my ear firmly to the ground Maca. I “know” who is doing what. I just hope someday you see for yourself the facts right in front of you about what has happened not only recently but over the past 35 years. I 100% guarantee you that some of the things that Sinn Fein have got up to post 1998 will make your eyes pop out of your head.
    I hope you see the truth someday Maca – nothing else – just the truth…..

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Well Chris, now you know how some of us felt when Mr McCrea got up there with Billy Wright and nobody in your party, or your electorate, lifted a finger to complain. What’s your stance on the matter ? I’ll not hold my breath, every time I ask a DUP supporter this question they run away.

  • maca

    Chill TT.

  • cgmoron

    Maca,
    Have you been sipping wild mushroom tea again. I think all that wandering around in the evening with a torch trying to locate the fungi is affecting your rationale.

  • TroubledTimes

    I am chilled Maca, I just wish people would stop going by heresay and what the media says and know the actual truth of what is going on both within and beyond the sick counties.

  • maca

    Cgmoron – apt name.

  • maca

    TT – how could I possibly know the truth unless i’d been there at the time or lived there and knew the people. I form my own opinion based on what I know and if i’m wrong fair enough it doesn’t mean I should be put down for expressing my opinion. We can’t all have “our ear firmly to the ground”.

  • cg

    “sick counties”

    Where is that? 😉

  • Davros

    “sick counties”

    Where is that? 😉

    The other side of Our Border, where you work cg LOL
    (into hiding now )

  • cg

    “into hiding now”

    LOL, don’t worry Davros there are ways and means of finding you 😉

  • TroubledTimes

    Im with you Maca, I am not trying to put you down, I value your opinions.
    Cg, I refer to “Northern Ireland” as the sick counties because as they continue to be under British Rule they will remain ill, and as bravado Republican and Loyalist run around thinking they are trying to make the situation better they are just making the sick (six) counties worse.

  • Gay

    The SDLP aren’t the only politicians being attacked and threatened.More

  • Sam Maguire

    TT

    Anyone who knows anything about Strabane at the current time can say with a fair degree of certainty that the attacks on Eugene McMenamin have absolutely nothing to do with the SF or the IRA, just like they know the IRA didn’t rob the Ulster bank in the town.

  • TroubledTimes

    Mr Maguire, the bank robbery in Strabane according to the IMC report and “the dogs on the street” was carried out by the INLA. However, again the factual evidence is not available – yet.
    As far as attacks on Mr McMenamin the only fact we have is that no one is yet to claim these attacks.
    The dogs on the street are also saying that the word in Strabane is that the blast bomb attack at Mr McMenamins home was carried out by Sinn Fein, thats according to RIRA, INLA, IRSP and the CIRA but I seriously doubt if they will say that publicly. The people that did that had to leave Strabane and I believe are currently in the US.

  • Sam Maguire

    Obiviously you have much better sources than me and I bow to your superior knowledge on the subject. On that note who do your sources tell you where responsible for the McBride and Bell attacks?

  • TroubledTimes

    The dogs on those particular streets say they were mainly carried out by the RIRA bar one incident – Bell attack -car burnt out. The dogs are unsure about that one.

  • Sam Maguire

    I never realised there were as many dogs in Strabane. Though to be fair I haven’t frequented Katy Daly’s in a year or 2.

  • TroubledTimes

    LOL. Very Good Sam.

  • spirit-level

    I vote for TroubledTimes … its refreshing to hear your opinions, as they are well thought through. As a Irishman abroad its easier to see that “These groups bring shame to all things Irish and to this day remain the biggest barrier to a United Ireland.”
    I count myself lucky

  • cgmoron

    I also vote for troubled times. Good sense all round.

  • TroubledTimes

    Spirit Level – if only we could send all the people abroad at home. Maybe it might broaden their horizons a little more and appreciate what it truly means to be Irish.
    Personally, I am proud to be Irish but groups like the IRA, INLA,RIRA etc only bring shame to my country. They have no concept of what it truly means to be Irish. They still remain a barrier to Irish Unity but unfortunately they will never grasp this notion.

  • spirit-level

    I’m proud too of being Irish, and I’m glad to be living in Sussex , where I can view things from a distance. ( but the issues still close to my heart)
    There’s no doubt I would have been a volunteer had I been raised in Ireland and got myself mixed up in the ballacks.
    My take on these groups is that if you live the life of an outlaw and don’t mix in the mainstream of some kind of honest work and play; and all you know is balaclavas paranoia etc you’ll rot your soul. And the very passion you had that made you join the struggle will embitter and corrupt you, the romance gone , everything is seen as military, tactical.
    And you become that which you despised.
    sean callaghan came to the same conclusion.

  • TroubledTimes

    Excellent analysis Spirit Level.

  • spirit-level

    sean o’callaghan

  • maca

    “if only we could send all the people abroad at home”

    Compulsory emigration. Would probably be a good plan! Might change the narrow minds of quite a few. Depends where you send them of course.