More on the Northern Bank raid investigation

While UTV carry the Press Association report noting the GAA statement expressing shock and bemusement at the police’s search of the Casement Park Social Club, as well as recording that “The Association has confirmed that it has reported the matter at the highest level to the Dublin Government” [But not the Police Ombudsman? – Ed], the BBC have another comprehensive round-up of today’s events, including quotes from Joe O’Boyle, Chairman of the Antrim County Board.

  • Pete,
    I hope this case is solved. I await the whingefest about how this is so unfair on the GAA. It seems no crime can ever be investigated in norn iron, without the PSNI being accused of being politically motivated. Good cover.

  • Pete Baker

    s-l

    It looks to me that the GAA statement was intended to be the first salvo in the whingefest.

  • It’s distressing.
    Law and order are foundation stones in a democracy. The police have to be assisted in their enquires. It’s even in the interests of Sinn Fein to see a successful prosecution.

  • PSNI search GAA grounds and GAA are shocked and bemused because they didn’t know it was going to happen and they don’t know why it is happening. How exactly is that whinging??

  • Henry94

    If they find something then the search is justified. If they don’t it will be seen as politically motivated as were the many previous fruitless searches in nationalist areas in relation to this case.

    Of course all these searches may be the result of someone feeding the PNSI false information. Mendacity or incompetence. It’s a tough call but either should see the resignation of the Chief Constable.

  • Pete Baker

    How exactly is that whinging??

    Do you expect every organisation to be notified in advance that a premises which they own is to be searched, maca?

  • Pete Baker

    “If they find something then the search is justified.”

    Actually, no Henry. That’s not true. The justification comes from the relationship between the premises and the person under investigation.. via the warrant – an issue that is assessed by a judge. Whether the search produces evidence that is subsequently used in court doesn’t actually factor into that.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”It’s even in the interests of Sinn Fein to see a successful prosecution.”

    On paper yes SL, but we can hark back to the Omagh atrocity, when Gerry & Martin were quick to condemn but curiously reticent about giving either police force the slightest scrap of information which might lead to justice being served against those who had so greviously ‘damaged the republican cause.’
    Truth is that even if SF/IRA had absolutely nothing to do with the heist, they still won’t co-operate with the police on either side of the border. It’s their law or nothing.

  • gg

    Of course all these searches may be the result of someone feeding the PNSI false information. Mendacity or incompetence. It’s a tough call but either should see the resignation of the Chief Constable.

    *IF* that is the case, how would they be expected to know it was definitely false if they didn’t follow it up! This would be true of any police force.

    Or should they dust off the PSNI crystal ball?

  • Pete
    “Do you expect every organisation to be notified in advance that a premises which they own is to be searched, maca?”

    Not in every case. But how is simply pointing out that they had no prior knowledge of the search “whinging”? Care to explain?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Of course it’s whinging. How is this stuff supposed to work ?

    “Hello, this is Hugh Orde. Someone’s told us that there’s a few million quid stashed in a locker room up there. Mind if we pop up for a look ? Cheers, we’ll be there in an hour…”

  • Realist

    Shock, horror…imagine the PSNI wanting to solve a crime!

    What’s the world coming to eh?

    Croke Park spokesman, Danny Lynch had this to say:

    “What has happened over the past week may be a test of the resolve who supported the overturning of Rule 21”.

    What happened in the past week Mr Lynch, is that the PSNI were doing what they are paid to do…investigate crime.

    Perhaps that vibrant new PSNI GAA team are really “securocrats” in disguise, out to undermine the nationalist people?

  • seannaboy

    Maybe they are searching casement park for weapons of mass destruction?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Pete Baker “It looks to me that the GAA statement was intended to be the first salvo in the whingefest. ”

    So much for leading by example, eh, Peter?

    Pete Baker: “Do you expect every organisation to be notified in advance that a premises which they own is to be searched, maca? ”

    There are always certain formalities that must be followed, Pete… Certain gates must be cleared prior to the kicking in of doors. It’s not whinging, its a statement of fact — they had no notice and I’m certain that the GAA’s social club was not left in the same state it had been found. One wonders at the level of outrage that would sound were an OO Hall “searched” under similar conditions. Of course, there would be the small matter of the warning they OO Hall would get through “unofficial channels” prior to the police arriving…

    GLC: “On paper yes SL, but we can hark back to the Omagh atrocity, when Gerry & Martin were quick to condemn but curiously reticent about giving either police force the slightest scrap of information which might lead to justice being served against those who had so greviously ‘damaged the republican cause.’ ”

    I could go into the whole sordid history of Ireland and informers, but, in this case, I suspect I wuold be better served trying to teach a pig to whistle. Suffice to say, due to history, turning grass, even when its to their benefit, is not the easist thing to do.

    gg: “*IF* that is the case, how would they be expected to know it was definitely false if they didn’t follow it up! This would be true of any police force.

    Or should they dust off the PSNI crystal ball? ”

    Why not, they hung this whole affair on PIRA without so much as pico’s worth of hard evidence openly in hand. So far, I have heard a great deal of “inductive reasoning” as to why it has to be the provo’, but fact, not so much.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ”Suffice to say, due to history, turning grass, even when its to their benefit, is not the easist thing to do.”

    I see. So helping bring to justice the cold-blooded murderers of 29 entirely innocent men, women, children (most of whom were Irish citizens) is ‘turning grass’ is it? What an excellent movement the republican family is.

  • Stalin
    “Of course it’s whinging”

    Ok, well then tell me how it is whinging??
    ‘we had no prior knowledge, we don’t know the reason for it’ It’s a simple statement of fact, where is the whinging??

  • Pete Baker

    maca

    It could, of course, be the case that the statement doesn’t imply a belief that they should have been informed in advance.. it could be aimed, for example, at the more conspiracy-minded among us and designed to dispel any notion that the GAA were part of said conspiracy.. by those prone to that kind of thinking.

    But you’ve missed the quote from the GAA statement that I included in the original post – “The Association has confirmed that it has reported the matter at the highest level to the Dublin Government.”

  • Comrade Stalin

    Gawd, the coat trailing chuckiness around here is starting to get out of hand.

    Certain gates must be cleared prior to the kicking in of doors.

    Substantiate your insinuation that the PSNI violated procedure or did anything illegal.

    It’s not whinging, its a statement of fact—they had no notice

    Point to me the rule that says the police are supposed to let anyone know they are about to conduct a raid to investigate allegations relating to crime. Do you think the police are required to give suspects notice to clear away any evidence and obstruct an investigation ?

    and I’m certain that the GAA’s social club was not left in the same state it had been found.

    Care to back up what appears to be a completely invented claim with a reference ?

    One wonders at the level of outrage that would sound were an OO Hall “searched” under similar conditions.

    I remember at least one occasion a few years ago where an Orange hall was raided and weapons connected with loyalist paramilitaries were recovered. Perhaps you think the police should have told the UVF first, that way they might have been able to avoid having their property confiscated ?

    I could go into the whole sordid history of Ireland and informers,

    You’d probably bore us to death with high-handed and utterly irrelevant histrionics if you did. What the blazes do informers have to do with either the bank robbery or this raid ?

    Why not, they hung this whole affair on PIRA without so much as pico’s worth of hard evidence openly in hand.

    Only the chucks are denying that the IRA did it. Everyone else thinks they did – or are the IRA merely allowing highly organized criminal gangs to move around and point guns in places like Castlewellan and Poleglass for a laugh ?

    I became convinced it was the IRA when I read about the cash that was stashed in the Newforge police social club. You’ve got to hand it to them, they have a sense of humour.

  • Pete
    If they should have been informed (perhaps the should if the raid was directed at an individual rather than related to the GAA) then they would have a right to say so, it wouldn’t be whinging either.

  • Stalin
    “Do you think the police are required to give suspects notice to clear away any evidence and obstruct an investigation ?”

    So the GAA are the suspects? Interesting take on it Stalin. Even the GAA acknowledge “that it relates to allegations received by the authorities in regard to an individual and alleged activities totally unrelated to the GAA

  • Comrade Stalin

    So the GAA are the suspects? Interesting take on it Stalin.

    The GAA are obviously connected with a suspect, but I’d be surprised if they were suspects themselves.

  • Stalin
    You called them suspects!

  • Comrade Stalin

    maca, I just worded it badly. I don’t think the GAA are suspects. But by informing them in advance, the possibility exists that the actual suspects (GAA members or workers perhaps?) would learn of the impending raid and get in the way.

    It would be daft to try to claim that the GAA were organizationally suspect, but it’s pretty stupid for people to think that they have a right to hear in advance about a raid on their premises. I’d say the same thing no matter who it was.

    [I must add though that the police investigation appears to be all over the place at the moment. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at this Serious Crime Suite they have. Lifting people in Carrick ? I wonder what all that is about. I read on the news today that they’re holding Chris Ward for another 3 days. I guess they must think he knows something he’s not telling. Perhaps they want him to identify the people they’ve already charged…]

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DC: “Certain gates must be cleared prior to the kicking in of doors. ”

    cs: Substantiate your insinuation that the PSNI violated procedure or did anything illegal.

    You infer what was not implied… or are you telling me that there are no formalities prior to searching a premisis — it would be a statement in tune with your handle… It is a simple statement of fact. Also, depending on the circumstances, a simple request, followed by a judicial warrant would ahve been appropriate — or, as you implied above, do you believe that the GAA is somehow implicated in this robbery, beyond having Ward as a part-time employee??

    DC: “It’s not whinging, its a statement of fact—they had no notice ”

    CS: “Point to me the rule that says the police are supposed to let anyone know they are about to conduct a raid to investigate allegations relating to crime.”

    Point of fact, Stalin, no one, other than yourself, is alleging the GAA has any relation to the crime. The only point of connection is that Ward works for them on a part-time basis. As such, a simple request to the GAA to search the club likely would have sufficed. On the political front, a simply request would go down far better than the raid you seem to favor.

    CS: “Do you think the police are required to give suspects notice to clear away any evidence and obstruct an investigation ? ”

    Seeing as Ward is currently in custody, just who are the “suspects” at the GAA facility, pray tell? Do youthink the facility manager, the only person they’d really have to convince to allow them to search, is in on the job?

    DC: “and I’m certain that the GAA’s social club was not left in the same state it had been found.”

    CS: “Care to back up what appears to be a completely invented claim with a reference ? ”

    Nature of the beast, CS — never seen or even heard of a police search that did leave the place askew… Or do you mean to tell me they coppers came with their kid gloves and laid everything back where they found it?

    DC: “One wonders at the level of outrage that would sound were an OO Hall “searched” under similar conditions. ”

    CS: “I remember at least one occasion a few years ago where an Orange hall was raided and weapons connected with loyalist paramilitaries were recovered. Perhaps you think the police should have told the UVF first, that way they might have been able to avoid having their property confiscated ? ”

    No, frankly, I don’t. That said, given the role up the NI security services as the Loyalist / Protestant thugs intelligence service, would it have suprised you if they had been tipped off?

    CS: “You’d probably bore us to death with high-handed and utterly irrelevant histrionics if you did. What the blazes do informers have to do with either the bank robbery or this raid ?”

    For the thread impaired… it was n response to this post.

    GLC: “On paper yes SL, but we can hark back to the Omagh atrocity, when Gerry & Martin were quick to condemn but curiously reticent about giving either police force the slightest scrap of information which might lead to justice being served against those who had so greviously ‘damaged the republican cause.’ “

    DC: “Why not, they hung this whole affair on PIRA without so much as pico’s worth of hard evidence openly in hand. ”

    CS: “Only the chucks are denying that the IRA did it. Everyone else thinks they did – or are the IRA merely allowing highly organized criminal gangs to move around and point guns in places like Castlewellan and Poleglass for a laugh ?

    I became convinced it was the IRA when I read about the cash that was stashed in the Newforge police social club. You’ve got to hand it to them, they have a sense of humour. ”

    You’re relying wholly on inductinve reasoning — otherwise known as a wild-assed guess. There are no facts connecting PIRA to the case, leastwise, none that have been shared. Anyone could have pulled this off — especially given the apparent “inside man” theory that the PSNI seem to be running with in arresting Ward. The sheer amount of the loot taken suggests, inductively, admittedly, that the gang were amateurs, especially the uncirculated specie, because only a fool would have thought that that much cash, given the almost immediate access the authorities would have had to the serial numbers, would be worth taking. Likewise, given the low security of the police social club, anyone could have dumped off the money, even a crooked cop.

  • Stalin
    “the possibility exists that the actual suspects (GAA members or workers perhaps?) would learn of the impending raid and get in the way.”

    A simple phone call to GAA HQ in Dublin informing them that they were in the process (i.e. no time for a tip off even though I wouldn’t expect one) of inspecting a GAA premises would be a good way to go especially if they want to have a good working relationship with the GAA.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Also, depending on the circumstances, a simple request, followed by a judicial warrant would ahve been appropriate—

    Wait a minute. Are you claiming that the cops conducted the raid illegally, or are you not ? It sounds very much like you think they did. If this raid was illegal, the PSNI would be up in court.

    As such, a simple request to the GAA to search the club likely would have sufficed. On the political front, a simply request would go down far better than the raid you seem to favor.

    Are you on crack ? The police can’t phone up the people who are in charge of a premises which may possibly be a crime scene, and ask them please may we conduct a raid. How can the police assume “sure, the lads down at the GAA are good, they’d never try to destroy evidence” ? Please try to get with the real world.

    Seeing as Ward is currently in custody, just who are the “suspects” at the GAA facility, pray tell? Do youthink the facility manager, the only person they’d really have to convince to allow them to search, is in on the job?

    Why do you think the police have to convince anyone to permit them to search ?

    Nature of the beast, CS—never seen or even heard of a police search that did leave the place askew… Or do you mean to tell me they coppers came with their kid gloves and laid everything back where they found it?

    I don’t “mean to tell you” anything – I just wish you would support your accusations of bad behaviour on the part of the police with evidence, especially after you accused me of making “wild guesses”. Is it too much to ask ?

    No, frankly, I don’t. That said, given the role up the NI security services as the Loyalist / Protestant thugs intelligence service, would it have suprised you if they had been tipped off?

    I prefer not to refer to groups of people based on their religion. I bet if I used the term “Catholic thugs” you’d not like it (I wouldn’t).

    By “loyalists” are you referring to the people who were shooting crossbows and live rounds at police lines last September ?

    You’re relying wholly on inductinve reasoning—otherwise known as a wild-assed guess.

    We’re talking about a large organization with a long history of criminality, robberies, and using guns, taking families hostage within republican areas, and shifting a huge amount of cash without the IRA and their extensive criminal network along the border knowing about a jot of it. The list of possible guilty parties isn’t very long. Unsurprisingly, everyone has arrived at the same “wild-ass guess” including nationalist and pro-republican commentators and politicians.

    Anyone could have pulled this off—especially given the apparent “inside man” theory that the PSNI seem to be running with in arresting Ward.

    Explain how this eliminates the IRA from the equation.

    The sheer amount of the loot taken suggests, inductively, admittedly, that the gang were amateurs, especially the uncirculated specie, because only a fool would have thought that that much cash, given the almost immediate access the authorities would have had to the serial numbers, would be worth taking. Likewise, given the low security of the police social club, anyone could have dumped off the money, even a crooked cop.

    The gang weren’t amateurs; if they were, the vehicle and other evidence would have been recovered and put on show by now. This was masterminded by people who knew what they were doing. They were able to tell the people they held hostage intimiate details about their lives and family members. They obviously spent a lot of time researching and watching people. I’d love to know how you think it is possible for a non-IRA group to monitor people coming and going in Poleglass or Castlewellan.

    A simple phone call to GAA HQ in Dublin informing them that they were in the process (i.e. no time for a tip off even though I wouldn’t expect one) of inspecting a GAA premises would be a good way to go especially if they want to have a good working relationship with the GAA.

    While it may have been a nice touch, I very much doubt that a phonecall would have made any difference. The GAA were pissed at being raided and like anyone else they have a right to be. It’s silly to pretend that following a phonecall the GAA would have been issuing a statement about how they welcomed the cops with open arms to give them bad press.

  • Pete Baker

    maca

    From the statement issued by the GAA it’s clear that there was some communication between the GAA and the police.. or else they wouldn’t be able to say that they had received “an indication that it relates to allegations received by the authorities in regard to an individual and alleged activities totally unrelated to the GAA.”

    But I’d re-iterate the point that no organisation merits advance warning of a search of their premises under a warrant.

    If such advance notice was merited it should be directed by the judge who issued the warrant.

    And if the GAA have a complaint about the procedures followed then they should use the correct formal complaints procedure.. and contact the Police Ombudsman.

    That’s where the current, public, stance of the GAA fails for me.

    Reporting the incident to the highest levels of the Dublin Government is meaningless – apart from the semantic distinction between the use of Dublin Government rather than the Irish Government.. ANYway.. there are complaint procedures that could be followed and they seem to have been avoided.. which suggests the argument that the spokesman for the GAA was attempting to present the search, and the coverage of it, as politically biased.

  • Robert Keogh

    The RUC/PSNI can’t do enough to discredit and alienate themselves from nationalists can they? More votes for SF and re-unification that much sooner. Keep up the political policing!

  • Comrade Stalin

    The RUC/PSNI can’t do enough to discredit and alienate themselves from nationalists can they? Keep up the political policing!

    Robert, in what way would avoiding searching a GAA sports ground even though it may be connected with a crime because that might annoy nationalists, be any less political than what took place ?

    There seem to be a few slow learners here so let’s put it another way. If the police had reasonable suspicion about an Orange hall being connected with serious crime, but avoided searching it for fear of alienating the loyalist community further, would you have been supporting that decision ?

    It’s looking very much like the further police reform being demanded by nationalists is intended to result in nationalists never being investigated for crime, even when the crime took place in nationalist areas (Poleglass and Castlewellan). Is that what you’re really trying to say – nationalists are incapable of crime and should never come under suspicion or be arrested ?

    More votes for SF and re-unification that much sooner.

    If we were re-unified, do you think the Garda commissioner – you know, the chap who has been criticized by SF for claiming that the money recovered in Cork was connected to the bank robbery – would have acted any differently from the PSNI ?

  • lib2016

    Comrade Stalin,

    If you haven’t realised by now that the GAA and hardline republicanism are very different entities with very different positions in society then you have no understanding of nationalist Ireland.

    Just as the Met would think twice about organising a massively publicised raid on the MCC so the local hicks should have realised what they were doing when they raided Casement Park in this cack-handed way. Never mind – one of these days they’ll learn that the balance of power is changing in this society.

  • Comrade Stalin

    If you haven’t realised by now that the GAA and hardline republicanism are very different entities with very different positions in society

    I have never claimed that the GAA or the IRA were linked. It is other people who have claimed that the search of the GAA is politically motivated.

    Is “nationalist Ireland” is a different Ireland from the one everybody else lives in ?

    Just as the Met would think twice about organising a massively publicised raid on the MCC so the local hicks should have realised what they were doing when they raided Casement Park in this cack-handed way. Never mind – one of these days they’ll learn that the balance of power is changing in this society.

    What change in the balance of power are you talking about ? Is that a change where nationalists suspected of crimes are never investigated because they are the majority ? The unionists had a system like that 30 years ago. It didn’t work very well.

  • Brian Boru
  • lib2016

    Comrade Stalin,

    Thankyou for confirming the provincialism of unionist/loyalist supporters. It would really be better for unionists generally if they realised just how puny their attacks are on our national institutions.

    In the absence of agreed local control of the police the GAA have very wisely gone straight to government level, why waste time with the monkeys when the organ grinders are available?

  • gg

    I suspect that if NI never gets over the “my side can do no wrong, never, ever, because it is my side” complex then policing is always going to be fraught.

    I am thinking of summer Orange violence for example just as much as IRA robberies. Crime and politics is a bad mix.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DC: “The sheer amount of the loot taken suggests, inductively, admittedly, that the gang were amateurs, especially the uncirculated specie, because only a fool would have thought that that much cash, given the almost immediate access the authorities would have had to the serial numbers, would be worth taking. Likewise, given the low security of the police social club, anyone could have dumped off the money, even a crooked cop.”

    CS: “The gang weren’t amateurs; if they were, the vehicle and other evidence would have been recovered and put on show by now. This was masterminded by people who knew what they were doing. They were able to tell the people they held hostage intimiate details about their lives and family members. They obviously spent a lot of time researching and watching people. I’d love to know how you think it is possible for a non-IRA group to monitor people coming and going in Poleglass or Castlewellan. ”

    Seeing as Chris Ward is currently under the microscope, the “intimate details” the robbers shared have, shall we say, an obvious source. But then, since we’re operating under the Queen of Hearts logic — “Sentence first, verdict later,” the obvious wouldn’t matter. Likewise, a few inspired amateurs from the ‘hood would have that sort of information.

  • Stalin
    “I very much doubt that a phonecall would have made any difference.”

    I think it would have made a difference.

    “It’s silly to pretend that following a phonecall the GAA would have been issuing a statement about how they welcomed the cops with open arms to give them bad press.”

    Get a grip of yourself.

    Pete
    “if the GAA have a complaint about the procedures followed then they should use the correct formal complaints procedure.. and contact the Police Ombudsman. That’s where the current, public, stance of the GAA fails for me.”

    Actually I think the GAA are perfectly entitled to contact the Irish government directly.

  • seannaboy

    I wonder if any of the ‘Garnerville Gaels’ were inthe raiding party?

  • Briso

    >>Anyone could have pulled this off—especially
    >>given the apparent “inside man” theory that
    >>the PSNI seem to be running with in arresting
    >>Ward.

    >Explain how this eliminates the IRA from the
    >equation.

    It doesn’t. The IRA could be responsible. Please explain how everyone else in the whole world has been eliminated from the equation.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Briso :

    It doesn’t. The IRA could be responsible. Please explain how everyone else in the whole world has been eliminated from the equation.

    A simple process of elimination involving :

    – history of criminality in the locality including bank robberies
    – intelligence and organizational expertise
    – the neighbourhoods where the surveillance of kidnap victims occurred
    – the fact that some of the dough showed up in a PSNI leisure complex
    – the fact that more of the dough showed up in Cork

    No organization that I’m aware of fits the above better than the IRA. That is not in itself proof that the IRA did it (it’s very hard to prove the IRA did anything in it’s history, although most of the things attributed to them are undisputed anyway), but it’s good enough for everyone who thinks they did it, which is pretty much everyone outside of Sinn Fein and their supporters – the British, Irish and American governments; almost all of the nationalist media pundits; all the political parties; etc.

    Dread Cthulhu:

    Seeing as Chris Ward is currently under the microscope, the “intimate details” the robbers shared have, shall we say, an obvious source.

    CW may not even be a suspect at all. It could just as easily be the case that the cops are trying to pressurize him to identify who did it, and are threatening to prosecute him as an accomplice if he doesn’t (why else would it take them to hold him for nearly 7 days ? – as of now I still don’t think he has been released). After all, AFAIR the thieves did not wear masks while they occupied the homes of the bank workers. If the cops went and lifted a bunch of likely lads it would be a matter of CW pointing them out and then taking DNA samples.

    It’ll be pretty sensational if CW does get charged, especially given his interview to the media. I’ve a suspicion that he won’t be, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    CS: “It’ll be pretty sensational if CW does get charged, especially given his interview to the media. I’ve a suspicion that he won’t be, but we’ll just have to wait and see. ”

    Why arrest him if he’s not a suspect? Try and convict a man on the grounds you want him to do something he quite possibly can’t do or is afraid to do? “Gee, we can’t find the robbers, but we did convict one of the alleged victims?” Yeah, that’d go down real well…

    Frankly, at this late date, I would be suprised if *anyone* ends up getting arrested and prosecuted. Its been, what, nearly a year? They have one guy that, to the best that has been disclosed, is being held on the basis of his hat being found in someone’s yard or some other silliness. The damning loot has likely been destroyed long ago, any no one seems to opening their gob to share what happened.

    As for it being PIRA, I would agree, your inductive reasoning in not evidence. A group of crooked cops or inspired amateurs could have pulled this off. Where the money turned up has no probative value, unless you are suggesting one Provos live in Cork and go to police social clubs. Given the “professionalism” that all and sundry apply to PIRA when it comes to robberies, I would point out that whilst they didn’t leave any great amount of physical evidence, their choice of loot suggests it was strictly amateur hour, esp. given that N.I. currency is scrip with limited circulation, not “real” currency To take that sheer amount was to invite a turn in, rendering their vast haul worthless and, in fact, a liability.

    Ultimately, you are vehemently arguing a thesis based on inductive reasoning. I would also point out that I have, albeit on other threads, allowed that A) Maybe the Provos did do it and B) mayhaps they became involved after the fact, either demanding a cut of the take or providing money-laundering services. I suspect we may never know who did it and that we’ll get a couple “show” arrests as in the case of the “IRA Spy Ring” that brought down the last power-sharing government — how many were convicted in that little farce?

  • Comrade Stalin

    I notice the cops have received a further 48 hour extension. You’d think if they were going to charge him, they’d have done so by now. I wonder what they are up to.

    Frankly, at this late date, I would be suprised if *anyone* ends up getting arrested and prosecuted. Its been, what, nearly a year?

    There have been many successful investigations and prosecutions which have taken a lot longer.

    A group of crooked cops or inspired amateurs could have pulled this off.

    Nothing can be ruled out ahead of any real evidence, but so dangerous for the crooked cops if they were caught that they’d be fools to try it. Buying off loyalist killers in exchange for intelligence is one thing; what’s to be gained from this ?

    There is no known history of crooked police men carrying robberies in NI. There is a long history of the IRA carrying out robberies; they’ve had lots of practice and they’re good at it. Occam’s razor comes into play at this stage – we pick the most likely option, all other things assumed equal.

    Where the money turned up has no probative value, unless you are suggesting one Provos live in Cork and go to police social clubs.

    There are provos all over Ireland. The police social club is open to the public and has pretty much no security at all.

    I would point out that whilst they didn’t leave any great amount of physical evidence, their choice of loot suggests it was strictly amateur hour, esp. given that N.I. currency is scrip with limited circulation, not “real” currency

    The thieves had clearly had no idea of what was in the safe, and no idea of what would be passed out in the loot. The bank workers simply did as they were told and kept shovelling out cash until they were told to stop. This one is a bit of a strawman.

    Ultimately, you are vehemently arguing a thesis based on inductive reasoning.

    An awful lot of what passes for serious debate in Northern Ireland is conducted this way. Very little hard evidence exists on the clandestine activities of loyalist paramilitaries, the British army, or the police and the collusion between these three. The absence of solid evidence does not in itself rule the fact that many of the things that people allege did indeed take place. Of course there’s a lot of bullshit too.

    It isn’t just the securocrats pushing this line about the robbery – everyone is. I guess you could say it’s sheep mentality, but opinion on the bank robbery is far less divided than, for example, opinion on the raids at Stormont.

    I suspect we may never know who did it and that we’ll get a couple “show” arrests as in the case of the “IRA Spy Ring” that brought down the last power-sharing government—how many were convicted in that little farce?

    A few people are still facing charges over that including the list of civil servants found in the bag of one of the people arrested at the time.

    We’ve got more than a few show arrests, several people have been charged including one chap charged with the robbery itself, and DNA belonging to one of those charged was found at the crime scene.

  • Henry94

    CS

    The thieves had clearly had no idea of what was in the safe, and no idea of what would be passed out in the loot. The bank workers simply did as they were told and kept shovelling out cash until they were told to stop. This one is a bit of a strawman.

    I disagree. This gang made two trips to the vault. I don’t believe that could have been a spur-of-the-moment decision but had to be part of the plan. Think about that. No fear of arrest. No fear the alarm might be raised.

    I don’t care how cool and professional the Provos were this is simply Tarintinoesque in its audacity. Unless it was spooks.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    CS: “There is no known history of crooked police men carrying robberies in NI. There is a long history of the IRA carrying out robberies; they’ve had lots of practice and they’re good at it. Occam’s razor comes into play at this stage – we pick the most likely option, all other things assumed equal.”

    How many robberies have occurred in NI without convictions? How many were investigated and ultimately round-filed?

    DC: “Where the money turned up has no probative value, unless you are suggesting only Provos live in Cork and go to police social clubs.

    CS: “There are provos all over Ireland. The police social club is open to the public and has pretty much no security at all. ”

    There are no shortage of Unionists in NI… and no security sounds suspiciously like an eight year old of any stripe could have put the money there.

    CS: “An awful lot of what passes for serious debate in Northern Ireland is conducted this way. Very little hard evidence exists on the clandestine activities of loyalist paramilitaries, the British army, or the police and the collusion between these three.”

    Stuff and nonsense, at least on the collusion — at least 400 Nationalist names handed down to the Loyalist paramilitaries from the Castlereagh security complex.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/4441414.stm

    “then-security minister Ian Pearson said he had been told by senior officers there was no indication it had been given to paramilitaries.”

    We have crime and cover-up, in tale, CS. Please, tell me, would you not consider this to be “hard evidence” of the collusion between the security apparatus and the Loyalist paramilitaries?

    CS: “It isn’t just the securocrats pushing this line about the robbery – everyone is. I guess you could say it’s sheep mentality, but opinion on the bank robbery is far less divided than, for example, opinion on the raids at Stormont.”

    And how many of them, shall we say, don’t have an axe to grind? The Unionist political parties? The SDLP? Let’s be real — everybody who wasn’t SF tried to make hay out of this event, for their own gain, with maybe the exception of the poor sods who have to try and solve the crime, who were being verbally sniped at for not getting on the bus, so to speak.

    CS: “A few people are still facing charges over that including the list of civil servants found in the bag of one of the people arrested at the time.”

    A far cry from the sound and fury that was emitted at the time of arrest and the cessation of power-sharing, would you not agree? Compare this to the *ACTUAL* sharing of intelligence and sensitive information between the Loyalist paramilitaries and the security apparatus in NI, as evidenced by the information that the gov’t swore was not transferred to Loyalist thugs. Funny thing that — actual Nationalist put in actual peril doesn’t rate as high as suspected spying by Nationalists.

    CS: “We’ve got more than a few show arrests, several people have been charged including one chap charged with the robbery itself, and DNA belonging to one of those charged was found at the crime scene.”

    Stuff and nonsense, CS… they have bupkis — not a single body heading toward a court room, other than for the police to ask if they can hang onto them for another couple days. As you said with Ward, the fact that they are arrested means little to nothing. As for the fellow who has been charged, if they think they got the right fellow, why the slow feet and the monkeying about to prevent a bail application? There is many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. If they had something credible and concrete, we would have heard it by now. So far, it sounds like a load of busy work meant to distract from their internal woes.

  • Briso

    I said:
    >>It doesn’t. The IRA could be responsible.
    >>Please explain how everyone else in the whole
    >>world has been eliminated from the equation.

    CS said:
    >A simple process of elimination involving :

    >- history of criminality in the locality
    >including bank robberies

    True. Could have been the IRA.

    >- intelligence and organizational expertise

    True. Could have been the IRA.

    >- the neighbourhoods where the surveillance of
    >kidnap victims occurred

    True. Could have been the IRA.

    >- the fact that some of the dough showed up in
    >a PSNI leisure complex

    Utterly irrelevant, except where evidence can be collected as part of the investigation into that particular episode.

    >- the fact that more of the dough showed up in
    >Cork

    It didn’t necessarily, but in any case irrelevant.

    >No organization that I’m aware of fits the
    >above better than the IRA. That is not in
    >itself proof that the IRA did it

    Indeed.

    >(it’s very
    >hard to prove the IRA did anything in it’s
    >history, although most of the things attributed
    >to them are undisputed anyway),

    Also true, although this one is disputed.

    > but it’s good
    >enough for everyone who thinks they did it,
    >which is pretty much everyone outside of Sinn
    >Fein and their supporters – the British, Irish
    >and American governments; almost all of the
    >nationalist media pundits; all the political
    >parties; etc.

    The ‘evidence’ produced so far is indeed good enough for those already convinced. Otherwise this paragraph serves only to subtly imply that I’m a supporter of Sinn Fein.

    As for Occam’s razor, it always seems more reasonable when your holding it. Nobody likes being slashed ‘on the balance of probabilities’.

  • seanaboy

    as I said before, it was the Littlejohns what dun it!

  • Alan

    *I wonder if any of the ‘Garnerville Gaels’ were in the raiding party?*

    There was an excellent programme on Hurley in Cushendall on the box last night. Sambo McNaughten spoke of his heartfelt desire that Protestants would reconsider gaelic games. It made me think again about heading along to a match the next time I’m up there. You could see the energy and the committment of everyone concerned.

    Then we get the quotation above. Perhaps its time for the politicos to leave the GAA alone. Equally, perhaps it is time for the GAA at a central level to think before it jumps in with both feet. I’ll make a point of going to a match now, but also be sure to seek out an official to make an official complaint.

  • Ringo

    Alan –

    Saw that program on hurling in Cushendall too – excellent stuff.

    The GAA in Ulster negelects two big things – protestants and hurling. Hurling suffers all over Ireland because it is lumped with the rules and regulations of football – because football dominates the GAA. Real hurling people are very eager to get some level of autonomy within the GAA to be able to free hurling up to deal specifically with its developmental needs, as opposed to those it has in common with football.

    A serious program to develop Hurling in Ulster would be a golden opportunity for the GAA to open up to the unionist community. Gaelic football is the flagship nationalist game and it is inconceivable that the other side will ever make inroads on or off the pitch.

    Hurling, on the other hand is a green field. There is massive scope for development in both communities, as the standard even in existing hurling clubs in football areas is generally very poor. Next year there will be no Ulster county competing in the top division of Hurling. A huge amount of work is required to get the game beyond the likes of Cushendall. I expect that there will be a big developmental program put in place in the coming years, and when they are doing that they should aim for two communities instead of one.

    Sell it to the unionist kids as Ulster-Shinty.

  • Realist

    “Mr O’Boyle said: “I got information that 25 Land Rovers arrived with search warrants to do a search of Casement Park social club.”

    It turns out there were 4, and two unmarked PSNI vechiles.

    There were more Land Rovers escorted me and a few friends home from my stag night, than partook in this “1970’s style raid”.

  • “There were more Land Rovers escorted me and a few friends home from my stag night”

    Feck, it must have been somne stag night!

  • Realist

    “Feck, it must have been somne stag night!”

    My only crime was nudity. 🙂

    Funnily enough, my late mother did object to RUC overreaction when the convoy arrived at the door with her naked, and quite drunk, son.