Break-in documents found in Loyalist hands

The Irish News reports on how loyalists obtained a British army intelligence file allegedly containing information on up to 400 people.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was yesterday the latest to be told he was under threat from loyalist paramilitaries. Last night questions were raised as to why it had taken 16 months for police to warn those listed on a file which vanished from army offices at Castlereagh police complex in east Belfast in July 2004.

  • Pete Baker

    I don’t think this relates to the break in you may be thinking of, Mick?

  • Mick

    You are of course correct Mr Baker. Have amended the post accordingly.

  • Henry94

    So there was a second break-in at Castlereagh? One recieving wall to wall media coverage and another recieving none whatever. We didn’t even know it had happened until this announcment.

    Isn’t that interesting.

  • Mick

    Very true Henry.

  • kevin quiet

    henry, not strickly true, it was the fourth article on UTV live the other day. I think that the current state of Fermanagh roads (all built on bogs allegedly) was number 3.

  • Pete Baker

    Actually it’s not true, Mick.. as I recall it was reported at the time [not necessarily a break in btw]. After all, didn’t Sinn Féin turn up at the then-Minister’s office the day after the initial reports, back in June 2004, to question him about it?

  • kevin quiet

    I think the point is that it is a big story and the general dearth of media coverage is almost damning.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Ah, but it get nearly the coverage that the alleged “SF spying what ended joint rule” scenario got? No one convicted of the alleged Nationalist spying and some twenty soldiers moved to “less sensitive duties,” per the BBC.

    It would seem to be that, despite the protests to the contrary, those empowered to enforce the law and those committed to breaking the law, specifically terrorizing Nationalists, are still in bed together. Kinda makes you wonder why they want to keep so much of the Finucane evidence private, dontcha think…

  • John McIlveen

    This just flags up the absolute hypocrisy that’s riddled through our society. I have followd an awful lot of threads on this site for example and i can’t understand how people can get so up in arms and exited about some issues….. and do this with a straight face, when very few people seem to give a monkeys about this particular situation and others like it!!

    Lets get this right! Around 400 citizens details(a number of them democratically elected politicians, at least one member of the british parliament – and the leader of the second biggest political party in this state) are now on a list in the hands of Loyalist Parimilitaries (who have not decommissioned and who’s ceasefires are under scrutiny to say the very least!)

    And better still, this list came from British Army personnel who have since been moved to duties ‘of a less sensitive nature’.

    Is there anybody else out there who’s stomach churns at the extent to which politicians from all sides jump up instantly if (sometimes less dangerous) allegations are put up against republican’s yet stay absolutley silent when this comes out (just look at Minister McDowell’s comments on this compared to Northern Bank, Castlereagh Break-in etc etc).

    More dangerous than this is that our political/peace process is and has been in limbo for a condiserable amount of time since unionist politicians used the excuse of ‘Stormontgate’ to pull the institutions down, whilst the people arrested for this have still yet to be charged and have had the more serios charges including spying on Unionist’s etc withdrawn!!

    Where is the continuity of approach to “law and order” issues!!!

    This current situation is alot more serious than anything republicans have been acused of lately, and yet how big a priority is it given by the media!!

    No harm to anyone that posts on this site with genuine intent, but no-one and i mean absolutely no-one can talk to anyone else about Morality, Fairness, Democracy etc etc etc with a straight face until this ‘Wee Pravince’ starts instilling in it’s practices (from elected reps to media to whoever) these very charachteristics which have been missing since partition!!!

  • seabhac siulach

    Wasn’t it only the other day that the U.S. govt. and the Stoops were lecturing Sinn Fein that they should support the PSNI?

    Pathetic…

    Patten reforms in full now and justice issues to be devolved to Stormont (assuming it is ever set up…why are we still waiting, ‘Dr.’ Paisley?)

  • stu

    seabhac siulach

    You’re right. It’s pathetic that a political party that draws wages from a state should be asked to support those who uphold said state’s laws. It’s positively ludicrous.

    Just out of interest, exactly why did the Army have these details on file? In Castlereagh? Is something not making sense to anyone else?

    I demand an expensive public inquiry.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Stu: “You’re right. It’s pathetic that a political party that draws wages from a state should be asked to support those who uphold said state’s laws. It’s positively ludicrous.”

    It *IS* ludicrous when that same political party is put under threat by the leaking of personal information by those who are *SUPPOSED* to uphold the state’s laws.

    Is *THIS* is an example of what you mean by “upholding the state’s laws? Transferring information to armed paramilitary thugs the personal information of Nationalists for the purposes of violence against them? Or do you live in Cloud Cookoo land, believing the Unionist / Protestant paramilitaries were simply drawing up their Christmas card lists or some such??

    Stu: “Just out of interest, exactly why did the Army have these details on file? In Castlereagh? Is something not making sense to anyone else?”

    Well, Stu, I would say something about “its just the securocrats in action,” hand in hand with the Protestant Unionist thugs, but why be redundant?

  • Yoda

    Just out of interest, exactly why did the Army have these details on file? In Castlereagh? Is something not making sense to anyone else?

    Perhaps instead of posing rhetorical questions, you might enlighten us by telling us what’s on your mind?

    I mean, why address the issue when you can fire zingers at SF on policing?

    Can you tell me how this incident would instil nationalist trust in the security forces?

  • There’s been many a thesis written on this issue of media coverage and propaganda. Nothing new here, (move on) to the next republican infringement then start shouting from the rooftops again… laugh, i nearly shat

  • stu

    Yes, of course, the securocrats. Working so hard to discredit everyone around, the bitter, sick twisted bastards. I’m blind that I didn’t see it sooner.

    Yoda- ‘Perhaps instead of posing rhetorical questions, you might enlighten us by telling us what’s on your mind? ‘

    Well that’s what’s on my mind. What does the Army have these for? What purpose are they using them for? What were said documents doing at a PSNI location? This is a matter for serious consideration, and it should be investigated.

    ‘I mean, why address the issue when you can fire zingers at SF on policing’

    I was addressing seabhac siulach who managed to jump in off-topic and start fighting Sinn Fein’s corner.

    ‘Can you tell me how this incident would instil nationalist trust in the security forces?’

    It won’t. But has it occurred that this might not be the angle to look at ir from. What about posing the question ‘How will this incident instill confidence in your ordinary Northern Ireland resident.’ But that would be a bit too non-partisan for you… Is that a persecution complex peeping over the chip on your shoulder?

  • it can’t be that important as four hours later it either still hasn’t been posted to the Beeb’s website or has already been relegated by the ” member of the public walking their dog in a Dungannon park finds cocaine worth more than £100,000″ !??!

    Sensationalism seems to get the better of factually reporting the news ?!?!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    StuL “Yes, of course, the securocrats. Working so hard to discredit everyone around, the bitter, sick twisted bastards. I’m blind that I didn’t see it sooner.”

    Occam’s Razor – the simplest explaination is the one most likely to be correct. The informaiton was maintained so that it could be used. Now, that begs the question “What is use is the personal information of 400 nationalists to the PSNI?” Apparently, their use is to hand of to Protestant thugs, since that was what happened to them.

    Stu: “Well that’s what’s on my mind. What does the Army have these for? What purpose are they using them for? What were said documents doing at a PSNI location? This is a matter for serious consideration, and it should be investigated. ”

    Sure, just like the Finucane investigation — keep all the damning information and pray for a nationalist faux pas to get this gross misuse of law enforcement authority and power out of the news.

    Stu: “It won’t. But has it occurred that this might not be the angle to look at ir from. What about posing the question ‘How will this incident instill confidence in your ordinary Northern Ireland resident.’ But that would be a bit too non-partisan for you… Is that a persecution complex peeping over the chip on your shoulder? ”

    The problem with your logic, Stu, is that it wasn’t a non-partisan crime. It was the personal information of Nationalists being given to Protestant / Unionist paramilitary thugs — where is the “non-partisan” aspect of this misdeed? This is, on its face, an exceedlingly partisan act that gives rise and life to all the nasty “securocrat” accusations you so quickly dismiss — how can I believe it doesn’t happen when, obviously, given the news coverage, it DOES happen? The Unionists and the UK brought down a government over the accusation of spying, now we have the leaking of sensitive information to paramilitary thugs and I’m not supposed to ask point questions of the PSNI and their obvious and apparent support of said Unionist paramilitaries, specifically their acting as the groups’ intelligence wing?

    As for what they had this information for, yes, there may be a larger question that all should worry about, but let us address the aligators before we worry about draining the swamp.

  • stu

    Dread Cthlu

    Stu: “Well that’s what’s on my mind. What does the Army have these for? What purpose are they using them for? What were said documents doing at a PSNI location? This is a matter for serious consideration, and it should be investigated. “

    You: ‘…and I’m not supposed to ask point questions of the PSNI…’

    Either you agree with that we in Northern Ireland as a whole should get an investigation, or you’re implying that either all Protestants/Unionists are alll in favour of this, or that only Nationalists need to see answers here. I would like to think it is A, but if you’re willing to make your position clear, we could find ourselves in agreement over what I think we would both consider an important issue.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    That said, I would submit that there are two related problems, one sectarian / political and one general. The broader problem is that the PSNI has this information to hand out. To my mind, this is a long-term issue that will require changes in the policing norms in NI. Like as not, its prolly legal for them to collect and have, based on the anti-terrorism laws still on the books.

    The more immediate problem — the political one — is that the PSNI have just been outed as being the intelligence service for the Unionist paramilitaries. Stu, you’re daft if you think this act wasn’t sectarian in nature. The personal data on 400 nationalists suddenly gets handed from the police to the likes of the UDA and you don’t think there is a large orange elephant in the room? The PSNI, through these knotheads, have just justified the SF’s reluctance to support the policing boards. They have also justified almost everysecurocrat snipe that has been made over the years, with the possible exception of the one involving the sheik, the trampoline and the twin llamas. Can you not see how this undercuts whatever progress has been made and suggests the image of the PSNI as the new RUC?

    As I said, I am all for draining the swamp, i.e. addressing the long term, systemic problems of the PSNI and policing. However, the gators, the Unionist sympathizers within the PSNI who obviously felt that sharing this sort of information with the Unionist paramilitaries was an appropriate use of their policing power and access to intelligence data, need to be addressed first.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    One wonders, Stu, why the sixteen months of silence reagrding these documents and their transfer to the Protestant paramilitaries… cover-up / face saving, perhaps?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=669747

  • GavBelfast

    “Protestant paramilitaries”?

    Such revealing language from you there, Dread. Well done!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    “Protestant paramilitaries”?

    GavBelfast: “Such revealing language from you there, Dread. Well done!”

    Is this the part when you chastise me for stating th’ obvious — that the Unionist paramilitaries are, by some odd coincidence, overwhelmingly Protestant? If that is the best refutation you can come up with for what I have said, if that is the best arrow you have in your quiver, Gav, then you might want to consider another past-time, since rhetoric obviously isn’t your strong suit.

    As I said before, this was a blatantly sectarian crime — would you care to wager just how many of those 400 Nationalist names handed off to the Unionists thugs were not Catholics? I’ll give you good odds on the over/under…

    Seriously — this series of events — the initial theft, the small noise made about an investigation and that “no names have been leaked to (Unionist) paramilitaries,” followed by sixteen months of silence, followed by the admission that the information *HAD* been dished off to the Unionist paramilitaries and that the 400 and their families had been put at risk to save the PSNI’s “face.” This little farce has undercut the PSNI’s credibility, reinforced every SF arguement on why they don’t support the PSNI and prolly gifted us with another decade or three of “its those demmed securocrats” and the best you can do is try to taunt me for stating the obvious. Heck, given your light-hearted tone, one suspects you don’t even see the problem with the PSNI working as the Unionist paramilitaries intelligence unit. At least Stu is willing to address the broader of the two issues — that the fools had the information to pass on to the thugs, while dancing around the political debacle in the making — you apparently lack the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that.

  • Yoda

    But that would be a bit too non-partisan for you… Is that a persecution complex peeping over the chip on your shoulder?

    More deflection.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I’m beginning to believe in karma- what goes around comes around…think back to the Stormont Spy Ring and the Castlereagh break-in.

  • Yer Woman

    Concerned Loyalist wrote:
    “I’m beginning to believe in karma- what goes around comes around…think back to the Stormont Spy Ring and the Castlereagh break-in.”

    Your point being CS?

    The Security Forces go all out and point the finger at Republicans for an imaginary spy-ring to a media circus, but find no evidence to support this……yet they admit to passing on information on 400 nationalist cicvilans to Loyalist paramilitaries and no one seems to give a feck?

    I’m confused here – help me out.