Vice-Chairman of Policing Board attacked

The vice-chairman of the Policing Board, Denis Bradley, was attacked last night, while watching a football match in a bar in Derry with his son, by a masked man wielding what has been described as a cut-down baseball bat. The reality, and ongoing problem, is that certain groups continue to believe they can commit such attacks with impunity. Btw, the only arrest, so far, is for disorderly behaviour in relation to the attacks on police investigating the assault.

  • Denny Boy

    “Ulster Unionists described the attack as unjustifiable, while Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness said Mr Bradley’s membership of the policing board did not warrant an attack on him or his family.”

    All of which begs the questions:

    a. When would such an attack be justifiable in the eyes of Ulster Unionists?


    b. When would Mr Bradley’s being or behaviour, in the opinion of Martin McGuinnes, warrant an attack ?


  • El Matador @ El Blogador

    Denny Boy,

    Answer to a: When Belfast roadblocking loyalists/ spides are involved, and

    Answer to b: When he has been found ‘guilty’ by an IRA ‘court-martial’ i.e. when it suits them.

  • J Kelly

    Denny Boy
    selective quoting is a bad habit, Martin Mc Guinness also said that this attack was wrong and unacceptable.

    For the record i do not believe that Mar
    tin Mc Guiness could be any clearer.

    Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP has said that the attack on Denis Bradley was wrong and must be condemned.

    Speaking after visiting Denis Bradley in Hospital last night Mr McGuinness said:

    “The attack on Denis Bradley was wrong and unacceptable and must be condemned.

    “The fact that he is the vice Chairperson of the Policing Board does not warrant an attack on either him or his family.

    “I am glad to hear that his injuries are not life threatening and hope that he makes a full recovery.”

  • Denny Boy

    Thanks for clearing that up, Mr Kelly. There’s hope yet….

  • GavBelfast

    Denny Boy, don’t you think you were just splitting hairs/looking for something that wasn’t there? Even a wee bit.

    I also heard Willie Hay on TV earlier say his and Mr Bradley’s politics/attitudes would differ a lot, but he (Hay) totally condemned the attack.

    All of the reaction I have read and heard on this is of total opposition to what happened and sympathy for/best wishes to Mr Bradley.

    It is possible to be too forensic, is it not?

    I would be more worried by the petrol bombs, etc, ready to hand to attack the police with – reminicsent in small scale of the sort of pre-planning we saw in Woodvale lately. The attack on Mr Bradley may have been opportunistic, but the rioting that followed would appear not to have been.

    And only one arrest. Heavy-handedness again!

  • pacart

    To be fair,there was no equivocation at all in Martin McGuiness’s statement. Denis Bradley has made a massive contribution to the civic life of Derry over the years, massive, not just with the Police Board but in a huge range of areas. I wonder what contribution his cowardly attacker has made.

  • middle-class taig


    That was my first reaction too. When I thought about it for a bit and read the whole thing, though, I came to the view that a statement condemning the attack and declaring it unjustifiable from the single most iconic living figure in militant republicanism cannot be a bad thing, and can only have a dissuasive effect on copycats. I’d say there are DPP members around the country sleeping more soundly for MMcG’s statement.

    Hospital visit was interesting too. They must have talkd about whodunnit. SF’s first engagement with the Policing Board?

  • Denny Boy

    Yes, I guess I was splitting hairs. This was my angry response to what I perceived as the usual going-through-the-motions condemnatory soundbites. My tailor is measuring me for a sackcloth-and-ashes suit even as we speak.

    I’m also glad Martin McGuinness came out with those robust comments. It gives me hope that NI politics have indeed turned a corner.

  • Feismother

    As somebody has just said on MarkdotPatterson’s programme [just for the privileged on Radio Foyle!] either somebody was in the bar, went home and changed for beating-up duties or else tipped off somebody else to come and do it. An “opportunity arose” apparently. Carpe diem indeed. And Denis Bradley’s son was with him when it happened. Horrendous.

    The comment on the programme almost unanimously condemned what happened. I did hear one, “no business being there in the Bog etc”. They seem to forget that his wife is from the area. And he was a curate in both the Cathedral and Long Tower parishes.

    I wish him well.

  • Dandyman

    Well I guess this, along with the ongoing terrorising & intimidation of the McCartney sisters, belies the idea that everything that’s going on in NI at present is a macchiavellian RM-controlled PR exercise, and that the RM would be clever enough to keep their spides under control so as to capitalise (should that be capitOlise?) on the negative image the OO and Unionism in general managed to project over the last fortnight.

    What a bunch of utter losers.

  • pol

    Danny boy,

    Denis Bradley and Martin McGuiness Have been friends for years.
    it was Bradley who when he was a priest afficated at McGuiness’s wedding.
    So there is no call for you going off on one trying to rake up somthing that is not there.

    I have to say that i condemn the attack, but from a man of Bradley’s intelligence i would ask what was he doing there in the first place.
    Bradley would be seen in that area as a hate figure because of his support for the PSNI and like a lot of people in the north there is places you just don’t go. especially take your seventeen year old son.
    For those who carried out the attack i suppose in years to come the will talk of the great battle that was won in Maleys bar. ‘Get a life’.

  • Denny Boy

    Jeeze, pol, easy does it! My tailor can only work so fast.

    I thought of going to Hong Kong, but since the Brits moved out it’s impossible to find the right sort of ashes.

  • Green Party

    ‘The vicious assault Tuesday on Denis Bradley demonstrated once again the powerlessness of violence. The incident will help seal the political fate of those who beckon us to an ugly future tainted by a fundamental disrespect today for human rights, freedom of speech, and democratic choice.

  • willis

    Frankly in a conflict with very few decent people, I was saddened but hardly surprised by the attack on DB. More power to him that he was not going to let the begrudgers win. I wish him a speedy recovery.

  • Alan McDonald


    As an American who might someday visit Northern Ireland, I have a request. When you say “in the north there is places you just don’t go,” can you tell me exactly where these places are so that I can avoid being hit with a baseball bat?

    Thank you in advance.

  • aquifer

    Don’t go the route of serving the wider interest of the whole community or mix with both sides. Don’t tell it as you see it. Just make money or keep to the middle of one ghetto or the other and you should be safe enough.

    You could get elected and have your security arranged by the state no matter what hatred you foment, although that option is not open to american citizens, unless your granny was irish.

  • pacart

    Aquifer, very sad but very true. Just being a decent human being is dangerous in some areas.

  • missfitz

    While I dont know what part of America you live in, I have found that there are places all over the world one avoids, by simply employing common sense. This has been true in parts of America as well as parts of Northern Ireland.

    Reading Pol’s piece carefully, he is making the point that as a moderate nationalist who openly supports the PSNI, Denis Bradley perhaps should not have ventured into that particular bar.While I see the sense of the argument, (and I tend not to drink on the Newtownards Road myself,) I find it a dangerous but realsitic comment on life in Northern Ireland.

    Sadly, this is a place where, if you live here permanently, you have to think twice about where you live, shop, drink and work.

  • Plum Duff


    Extrapolating from your logic, it was DB’s own fault that he got beaten up for having the temerity to watch a football match in his own city.

    Sure, if he was a thinking man, at all, he would have beaten himself up before leaving the house to save the hooded scumbag the bother of carrying the bat.

  • Jocky

    Pol and Missiftx, I think you are being somewhat disengious with your “no go areas” comment.

    First up, do you think Mr Bradley and his son just drove about until they found a random pub to watch the game? i dont know the circumstances but for them to blithely wander into a “no go” pub seems of the mark, I think they’d be able to judge that for themselves.

    It’s distinctly not like other cities where there are rough pubs you wouldn’t walk in wearing the wrong football colours or whatever.

    Secondly, This wasnt some random act of violence, some pub brawl. Someone recognised him and either went out and got a bat and mask or phoned someone else to do it.

    Why? because of the guys job? because he supports the PSNI? Was this one guy with a grudge or is there something more sinister? Did he just think “oh there Mr Bradley I think I’ll hospitalise him” or was it “I’ve been looking for the oppertunity to hospitalise him for ages now”

  • pol

    Pol and Missiftx, I think you are being somewhat disengious with your “no go areas” comment.

    I don’t think I’m being disingenuous. I just think i live in the real world.
    There’s places i wouldn’t venture into.

    you say you don’t know the circumstances of what happened, well there’s a good place to start.

  • Gummo

    Plum Duff

    All but a few looneys here in Derry were sickened at Denis’ ordeal and, simultaneously, we were surprised that Denis felt he’d be safe in that bar.

    Its disingenuous for you to assert that criticism of his bar selection skills ensured that the critics made Denis culpable for his assault.

  • pol

    alan mc donald

    You would be welcomed in my town anytime.
    We have visitors coming here from all the world. The only problem you might have though is once you get here you might not want to leave.

  • Alan McDonald


    Thanks for the invitation. My wife wants to go, but I think it’s not safe enough yet.

    I have had “no go” advice in the States, and sometimes I’ve followed it. When I didn’t, sometimes I had to run and sometimes I didn’t run fast enough. I’ve also been in a “yes go” bar where nothing should have happened, and got accosted by an angry drunk.

    My reading of the incident in question is that it was directed at Denis Bradley because of who he was not where he was.

  • pacart

    Alan, you are right in this case. However, in my very extensive experience of drinking establishments around the world, any bar that is a no-go for any particular person, or group of people, is invariably a complete shithole you wouldn’t to be caught dead in anyway. Bigotry and good times just don’t go together. You can put that in your rulebook of life.