Sectarianism? The PSNI aren’t sure

A week after the murder of 15 year old Thomas Devlin the PSNI reveal they think the attack may have been sectarian but their minds are open. Meanwhile back in Ahoghill Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton (Irish News, subs req) has disputed assertions the ongoing campaign of attacks on Catholics in the village are entirely sectarian preferring to speculate there may be an element of “not getting on with each other” instead.

  • middle-class taig


    See my comment at post 38 of the “Government recognition of UVF ceasefire is a “crackpot situation”” thread.

    Staggering comment from the DCC. Real nationalist-confidence-building stuff.

  • looking in

    I’ve alluded to this before – the solution in the present climate in places like Ahoghill is simple. Put the police on the ground 24hrs a day. They are able to provide round-the-clock protection for our local two-bit political/civil elite and lesser lights – so why the heck can’t Mr & Mrs Ordinary Joe expect the same coverage.

    A challenge for DCC – go to whomever is bottom of the list of priorities for their 24 hr protection and redploy the detail to Ahoghill and if necessary do it again, and again and again, working up the list.

    Maybe when some of the politicians who “benefit” from the scheme loose their security balnket they might pull their fingers out and do something in the communities that they claim to represent so frequently (unionist majority etc passim..)

  • Tir Eoghain Gael

    This is an unbelieveable statement from the DCC, after weeks of ongoing attacks on the catholic population they are now going to tell us that these attacks are the result of feuding neighbours. Is there nothing the PSNI wont do to protect the image of their orange brethern.
    I suppose they are going to tell us the attacks on the catholic church and catholic school in Ahoghill are a result of feuding neighbours aswell.
    What part of “Taigs Out” do they not understand. It was only last week that the PSNI were handing out fire blankets to catholic families in the area as a result of information that they recieved from their informants that further attacks were planned by loyalist paramilitries. This U turn by the PSNI is another example of how they are prepared to tolerate unionist aggression against the catholic community rather than deal with these bigots.
    Feuding neighbours indeed, catch yourself on Paul Leighton

  • Overhere

    ““It’s much more serious than ethnic cleansing. There is real hatred between communities in Northern Ireland,” he added.”

    More serious than ethnic cleansing!! What planet is this guy living on?

    If this kind of attitude was happening here in London politicians would be calling for the heads of the police but I suppose the police in NI have different ideas about terrorism, i.e. it is only carried out by Nationalists.

  • Ziznivy

    “I’ve alluded to this before – the solution in the present climate in places like Ahoghill is simple. Put the police on the ground 24hrs a day.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Rather than sitting in the station tucking into Chinese takeaways, watching Sky TV, playing Playstation 2 and waiting for these attacks to happen, have officers in the areas that are effected by such attacks. The PSNI need to earn the money they’re making. I couldn’t believe the pictures as a pair of senior policemen wandered about Brookfield Gardens investigating what could be done about the attacks. GO THERE AT NIGHT AND CATCH THE WEE FECKERS IN THA ACT!

    It also becomes the case that the PSNI warn local councillors, shop-keepers etc. about impending violence rather than doing anything to stop it. Simply unacceptable.

  • Jo

    Does anyone actually bother with an IN sub?

  • cash

    I wouldn’t expect a statement of anything less from an organisation of such historical hatred towards Catholics. How dare anyone now challenge Sinn Fein for not sitting on the board where the Catholic community are now discriminated upon from the top down!

    The police service is a carnival, and Paul Leighton is a monkey (apologies to bubbles, cuddles and Marcel, who could all do his job with ten times more fairness)

    Well Mark Durkan, feeling good about that board decision now???

  • reality check

    the sdlp lost all credibility in the nationalist community when they joimed the policing board.Ask any catholic-they’ll tell you the psni is the ruc in disguise

  • Chris Gaskin

    It’s not much of a disguise

  • The Binlid

    Morc calling Orson, Morc calling Orson,

    Nanno Nanno.

    What planet is that eejit on?

  • barnshee


    you got the police service you asked for

    quote from one (admittedly in private ) “the days of me and my colleagues getting hurt for anyone are over- this is the society you choose to tolerate- we can`t move against one community without moving against the other –you can murder each otherto your hearts content we are not getting into the middle take it up with the politicans”

  • beano

    D’ya blame them? No matter what happens one side or the other is bitching about ‘heavy handed this’ or ‘brutality that’. The police can’t f**kin sneeze without being called up on “human rights” abuses.

    Sinn Fein wanted to make our police force impotent and it looks like they’ve succeeded.

  • Gonzo

    Leighton’s U-turn on sectarian onslaught

    By Maeve Connolly and Nevin Farrell

    THE deputy chief constable has made an apparent U-turn and confirmed that all attacks on Catholics in a Co Antrim village were sectarian.

    The senior officer, who is understood to be in charge of policing at the moment as the chief constable is on leave, had provoked outrage when he suggested disputes between neighbours were partly responsible for the recent wave

    of violence.

    Pat McGaughey, whose family is moving out of Ahoghill after their home was targeted by paint bombers earlier this week, said she was “shocked and angry” at Mr Leighton’s comments.

    However, in a letter to Ballymena SDLP councillor Declan O’Loan following demands for clarification of the officer’s remarks, Mr Leighton wrote: “There is no question the attacks are all of a sectarian nature and only in some do other, lesser factors, feature.”

    He stated that sectarianism “is the fundamental issue in the Ahoghill attacks as it is in other attacks in Ballymena”.

    In his letter, Mr Leighton also said that actions rather than words would reassure people in the area.

    The apparent U-turn came as police mounted a massive security operation in the neighbouring village of Rasharkin last night for a major loyalist parade.

    Mr O’Loan, chair of Ballymena’s District Policing Partnership welcomed Mr Leighton’s correspondence, adding he had sought advice from those “close to the situation” about the validity of the officer’s initial comments.

    “They dismissed them out of hand,” he added.

    Speaking to the media in Ahogill on Wednesday, Mr Leighton had said sectarianism was “an element” of a campaign against Catholic residents but people “not getting on with each other” was also a factor.

    He also disagreed with claims that loyalists are engaged in a campaign of ethnic cleansing, saying that it was “much more serious”.

    “There is real hatred between

    communities in Northern Ireland,”

    he said.

    More than 1,200 loyalists paraded through the predominantly nationalist Co Antrim village of Rasharkin last night amid a tight police presence.

    Around 60 nationalists staged a protest as up to 46 bands, some with UDA and UVF connections marched through the tension-filled village.

    Police jeeps, some fitted with camera recording equipment, swarmed the area and it is understood water cannon was on standby to deal with any trouble.

    Sinn Fein councillor Daithi McKay, said: “Given the present environment of sectarian attacks on Catholics and nationalists in north Antrim, this was the last thing needed here.”

    The march came just hours after a number of Catholic businesses and homes in north Antrim area were attacked, which police are treating as sectarian.

    Windows were smashed in two houses and two pubs during the early hours of yesterday at Finvoy Road and Gortnahar Road near

    Ballymoney, in Rasharkin’s Main Street and Lisnahuncheon Road in Portglenone.

    Mr McKay said the violence was designed to intimidate nationalists ahead of the parade.

    However, North Antrim DUP assembly member Ian Paisley Jnr blamed republicans for “fanning” hostilities.

    “I believe and have confidence a greater sense will prevail and that people will stand back from escalating this tension into violence,” he said.

    Also yesterday, police raided homes and searched open ground in Ballymena. No arrests were made but a number of items were removed for examination.

  • middle-class taig

    fair play to DCC Leighton. I’m sure he didn’t much fancy making an embarrassing public u-turn in response to nationalist outrage. Much though unionists may disbelieve us, our annoyance with things like this isn’t for propaganda purposes. We are actually shocked when we see the police demonstrate a lack of resolve to tackle sectarianism. 10 years ago we’d have heard nothing more about it. Progress of sorts.


    “you got the police service you asked for”
    “Sinn Fein wanted to make our police force impotent and it looks like they’ve succeeded.”

    I don’t think anyone in republican communities wants an impotent police force. They want one able and prepared to do its job – modern, sensitive, impartial policing. There’s a real desire for effective policing among nationalists. If decommissioning/activities of the IRA was the big disappointment of the Process for you guys, it was policing for us. The former appears to be sorted.

    The fact is though, after every event with a supposed republican link there’s about 20 arrests with (probably the same) fellas dragged in for questioning. That’a been notable for its absence around Ahoghill. I’m not saying necessarily that that’s what’s needed. But it would make nationalist communities a bit more tolerant of it if they could see that it was consistent.