"A very polarised society"

Last night’s BBC Newsnight report on the opinion poll figures is available online [realplayer req. 11:15mins]. It starts with a section on the McCartney family’s campaign but brings in many other issues too. There are interesting contributions throughout from Brian Feeney, including, on the 44% of nationalist voters who say they don’t know who carried out the Northern Bank robbery – “sectarian solidarity.. they’re lying.”

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Caught the programme through the link and must say that I find the Feeney quote strange and off the cuff, the fact that he doesn’t explain his assertion was regrettable.

    Given that the only money recovered so far was buried in a wall at a police complex and the fact that we were assured several weeks ago that the money found in Cork would be speedily connected to the Northern (as yet nothing), then is it any wonder that 44% of nationalists don’t know.

    The usual siren voices have been alowed free reign that of course it must have been the IRA but apart from exposing their own bias they too have offered no proof.
    In fact I thnk I (and others) predicted that the legend would be allowed to develop into fact, regardless of evidence or arrests.

  • peteb

    It’s a long clip.. with many elements, Pat.. I wouldn’t get too hung up on the one quote. I just highlighted it because I think it had been mentioned here previously.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    No problem with the quote pete just wondering why Feeney said what he did and in that matter. I’m pointing out that nationalists have a right to be confused. Especially given their experience with the more inscrutable members of the security forces.

  • Henry94

    This quote from last Sundays Observer shows the extent to which the media have failed in their responsibilities on this story

    Similarly, the fact that the thieves were meticulous in erasing forensic evidence was also seen as a hallmark of IRA robberies. The absence of fingerprints has effectively become an IRA fingerprint. And indeed the denials issued by the IRA and Adams and McGuinness were also seen by many as confirmation of IRA guilt.

    Is this Hugh Orde’s evidence? “Good news Chief Constable the tests are in. No fingerprints. It had to be the provos.’ I’ll ring Jim Cusack.”

  • PS

    And indeed the denials issued by the IRA and Adams and McGuinness were also seen by many as confirmation of IRA guilt.

    If the IRA had said nothing I’m damn sure that would have been taken as confirmation of guilt. Talk about damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

  • peteb

    It’s just a suggestion, Pat, but I’d say Feeney said that because he is convinced – for whatever reason – that the IRA were responsible for the Northern Bank robbery.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    The big question is not whether or not the IRA were behind the robbery, it is why they committed it. Feeney has nothing to gain by pinning the blame upon them.

    Over £2m stg was recovered in Cork (or was it £3m ? I can’t remember). Has anyone reported £2m missing lately ? I’ve yet to hear a sensible reason why a legitimate businessman – with Sinn Fein connections funnily enough – would be keeping such a fortune in a shed in his back garden instead of a bank. How mysterious.

  • Davros

    I’ve yet to hear a sensible reason why a legitimate businessman – with Sinn Fein connections funnily enough – would be keeping such a fortune in a shed in his back garden instead of a bank.

    IF I was a cynic I would reply: Who would know better than someone with SF connections that banks can be robbed ? 😉

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    pete,

    again not a problem with Feeney believing anything he wants to, after all he did believe the SDLP were worth belonging to. It is the fact that he stated 44% of nationalist respondents were lying. A pretty sweeping statement by any account.

  • Henry94

    Roger

    Do you not find it even more mysterious that the man with the money in the shed has yet to be charged with any offence whatsoever. I sure do.

    Do you not also find it mysterious that the Garda commissioner came to Belfast to announce that he was confident tests would limk the money to the Northern bank within days but weeks later no such link has been established.

    At what stage should journalists start acting independently and start asking some hard questions about all this.

  • aquifer

    We are really in the dark here, as presumably anything that could be construed as evidence will be withheld from us to avoid prejudicing any trial.

    Denials don’t cost anything in the short term and history teaches SFPIRA that people in power have short term memories.

    Anybody offering betting odds on a double on both convictions and the perps ending up claimed by the IRA?

  • levitas

    As well as the shortage of charges there are another few canards which seem to have disappeared into thin air….

    1) what ever happened to the cash burner? no charges.WHY??

    2)the forensic “match”… ” almost certainly tomorrow” …”almost certainly northern bank notes”….nothing heard since.WHY??

    3)the notes in the PSNI leisure centre which were sealed into the wall behind a full false wall and a set of tiles…the ONLY definitive batch of notes from the bank raid….(er not just “dumped”..)no more news on that WHY??

    4)the one and only guy charged…in Cork was charged with being a member of the “Real” IRA-(just in case you didnt know- no friends of the peace process)…covered for exactly one and a half hours and then dropped and referred to as “IRA membership” from then on.No more heard on that fascinating but inconvenient fact. WHY??

    5)The Sinn Fein election agent and candidate held and released with no charges being referred…only connection to RIRA member arrested?? they once worked in the same bar. No more heard on that WHY??

  • Alan2

    “assured several weeks ago that the money found in Cork would be speedily connected to the Northern”

    I thought it had already been announced that the money in cork WAS from the Northern bank raid?
    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/story/18657

    You fail to state that an anonymous caller called the police saying there were drugs in the RUC Athletics Association centre
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4280713.stm