All paramilitaries involved in crime…

Although Minister Shaun Woodward has stated in public that the IRA was on track for a clean bill of health regarding its criminal activity, Assistant Cheif Constable Sam Kincaid told the policing board today that none of the major paramilitaries in Northern Ireland had “ceased involvement in organised crime”.

  • Which, since he has reportedly stood by his previous comments, begs the question… On what basis, or whose information – if any – is Shaun Woodward making his statements?

    The next IMC report is going to be interesting reading, Mick.

  • alfred

    the evilness and cunning of these securocrats knows no bounds! the dogs in ballymurphy can tell you what the psni (aka ruc) can only lie about: there is no cigarette smuggling, no counterfeiting, no peddling in red (or is it white, i can never remember) diesel going on anywhere and ‘slab’ and his mates are now as clean as the driven snow. i know ‘cos i was there when ‘slab’ was never smuggling anything, even pigs – not content with bringing down the democratically elected parliament at stormont, which we had spent 30 years trying to establish through bomb, bullet and hunger strikes, through their fiendish lies about spies and blackmailing of denis, now they want to make sure stormont never comes back – let me tell you comrades, these securocrats are everywhere and they are tireless!!

  • JD

    Despite your sarcasism Alfred, you need to realise that Sam Kincaid was also in charge of Operation Torsion and out of all the senior PSNI, apart ex members Bill Lowry and Alan McQuillan is the viciferously opposed to Sinn Feins involvement in Government, never mind in charge of policing. Woodward needs to analyse any claims from Kincaid very carefully, no more opinions at this critical juncture in the peace process. It is extremely suspicious to nationalists that this enemy of progress has popped up in an effort to torpedo the IMC report and give rejectionists the ammo they have been looking for.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Sam Kincaid is leaving the PSNI in four weeks time. So it is unlikely that he will be asked to stand over these comments seeing that they were allegedly made at a private briefing.

    Like Lowry before him he attempts to create chaos and set the agenda and then walkls away to retirement via some DUP meeting.

    The only good thing that can be said is that the politicos who were at the forefront of the Special Branch and RUC during the height of their collusion murder camapign are slowly but surely exitng stage left.
    They may attempt to fight their old agenda to the end, but the end it is. I believe it is called operational independence in some quarters.

  • bill

    Loyalist paramilitaries are continuing to shoot and beat people on the streets, another 2 attacks last night.

    No unionist condemnation and not a whisper of the attacks in this ‘unionist talk shop’.

    Funny that !!

  • TAFKABO

    Surely these unfounded attacks on Sam Kincaids character constitute playing the man?

    Mods, please.

  • Pete Baker

    TAFKABO

    I’d say they fall under Conor Brady’s definition of what constitutes discussion on the interweb.

    Kincaid, interestingly, is the only one who, and it has to pointed out, reportedly, didn’t single out any single organisation.

  • martin ingram

    Taf

    Republicans dont need proof the man is good enough

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Martin and Pat,

    Can we leave the ad hominem stuff outside the door. It’s not offensive, just tiresome and trivial.

    Breaking news has the DUP and Sinn Fein responses. The former backs Kincaid, and the latter slates him:

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/breaking/story.asp?j=169557902&p=y695586x8&n=169558662

  • alfredo

    is that ‘pat mclarnon’ aka as the sinn fein blog monitoring committee?

  • JD

    Anyone who cannot see the pattern here, is being totally disingenuous. Bill Lowry was at the forefront of undermining progress in the peace process and then retired from the PSNI and turned up at the DUPs sack cloth and ashes meeting. Alan McQuillen has left the PSNI yet launched a high profile series of raids in Manchester that have sinced led no where. Sam Kincaid, weeks before retirement,throughs a lifeline to the DUP, knowing he is untouchable as he is going anyway. These are the some of the now visable enemies of the peace process.

  • qubol

    I completely agree with Pat and JD here – but the question remains, how many other Sam Kincaid’s and Bill Lowry’s still exist within the PSNI? And when will ministers or chief constables eventually do something about PSNI officers using their position to implement their agenda? lets face it Shaun Woodward now looks stupid will he do anything though? No.

  • Nicholas Pugachev

    does this cessation of criminal activity, also include affiliated gangs & other hoods who tithe a section of their profits to the big boys as “protection” payments ?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pat Mc Larnon

    How long do you reckon before all the old-guard ‘political policemen’ are out? By mid-2007, perhaps?

  • Henry Porter

    A statement from Huge Orde is required on this. If the IMC back the Minister’s view then the Unionists will have the excuse of Kinkaid’s intervention.

    If the PNSI who brought down the institutions with their Stormontgate fiasco are now interfering with the restoration then we are in a very serious position.

    Let’s have their definitive position from Orde and not somebody half out the door already.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Slugger Admin,

    If a senior PSNI/RUC officer is the centre of the story (in this case Kincaid) then how the hell can you avoid making comments about him in the context of the overall thread.

    To many his behaviour is clearly a very cynical exercise to usurp the content of the forthcoming IMC report. It was done in a very underhand way and as usual a lot of people aren’t very vexed about how this ‘leaked out’.

    The comments do have serious implications for the political process (as intended) and will no doubt be quoted ad nauseum in the days ahead. In that context one is quite entitled to question the integrity and background of the person making the claims. It is also quite correct to point out that this is not the first time this type of selective leaking has occurred just before the person making the claims goes into retirement.

    Finally, while recognising that Slugger Admin don’t like (some) ad hominen comments it is clear that a consistent policy is not being followed.

    People have been allowed to come on the site and trash the reputation of others (exclusively republicans) and Slugger Admin doesn’t seem to get too excited.

    Gonzo,

    I have long argued that the middle and senior management of the PSNI who were put in place, at the time of the Flanagan era, should be rid out before recognition for the PSNI has be earned. Unfortunately SF and especially the SDLP don’t think this is necessary. However, with the likes if Lowry and Kincaid decommissioning themselves, progress of a sort is being made.
    As for mid 2007, keep guessing along with all the others, eventually one of the dates will be correct and you eventually be able to claim credit for being right all along

  • The Dubliner

    “Surely these unfounded attacks on Sam Kincaids character constitute playing the man?

    Mods, please.” – TAFKABO

    Surely you’re not suggesting that Pat would make an unfounded attack on another man’s character, as would clearly be a case of you making an unfounded attack on another man’s character, wouldn’t it?

    Sam Kincaid is one of the RUC ‘old guard’ mentality who headed the Special branch during a period when it was very active as one of the British state’s killing machines in the north. That is a true statement.

    http://relativesforjustice.com/conference.htm

  • JD

    The old guard of the RUC are doing everything in their power to halt progress, ably assisted by Mark Durkan if this mornings interview is anything to go by. Here you have Sam Kincaid the man who ran Operation Torsion to bring down the institutions, the man who ordered the arrested Francie Brolly in an effort to do political damage, four weeks before his retirement giving a ‘private’ briefing to the Policing Board which on the surface scuppers attempts to make progress much more difficult. Someone maybe might ask the question how come BBC and UTV, in time for the main evening news bulletins were aware of the contents of this private briefing, could it be that Ian Paisley Jr. knew it was coming.

  • Ringo

    Getting back to the nub of the issue – do Pat, JD and co genuinely believe that republicans have ceased all criminal activity such as diesel and other cross-border smuggling?

    I realise you’d have to accept that it was happening in the first place and that might be a bit of a problem.

    The thing is, Kinkaid may be everything republicans accuse him of being and republicans could still be involved in crime.

    Aside from just thrashing Kinkaid – will any of the republicans give us a run down on what they think the current situation is regarding smuggling and other crime that the republican movement has been accused of?

  • JD

    The IRA has effectively stood down, what ever smuggling or criminality that may or may not be going on is not being done by the IRA. Arrests and charges might demonstrate this to be the case, so none have happened. Why this black propaganda can prove so effective is that it is extremely hard to prove a negative, just through the accusation out there, like a hand grenade, and there will always be enough willing ears to take it as fact.

  • The Dubliner

    Ringo, the issue is whether the IRA is involved in crime or whether some of its members are. Undoubtedly, some are – just as some PSNI officers are. I doubt brown envelopes to fix this and that have disappeared from police culture. However, if the IRA’s Army Council has issued a cease and desist order to its members, then that is all it can be expected to do. It cannot be accountable for so-called freelancers.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Ringo,

    to even attempt to answer your question would bring us down the road that the statement and subsequent leak was meant to bring us down. Forgive me if I don’t oblige Kincaid

  • JD

    “Getting back to the nub of the issue – do Pat, JD and co genuinely believe that republicans have ceased all criminal activity such as diesel and other cross-border smuggling?”

    In addition Ringo,

    You will get cross border smuggling as long as there is a border. It has been a feature of border life since its creation and will continue amongst those who have a mind to do it until they can no longer make a buck from it. If republicans were so in love in smuggling why is their objective the removal of the border.

  • Belfastwhite

    Ringo

    Why would the IRA stand down and disarm only for the political objectives of the republican movement to be cast aside for a few litres of deisel or cheap copies of King Kong? Ask yourself if it makes sense. If Mr Kincaid knows who is involved in crime then he should arrest and charge them. If anyone thinks the Army Council of the IRA is organising such crimes then they are either stupid or living in cloud cuckoo land.

  • Ringo

    JD

    So we’re all agreed that it is not beyond the bounds of reason to suggest that smuggling and so on is ongoing. And there appears to be a tentative recognition that the IRA as an organisation was involved in smuggling sometime prior to July 2005.

    This is the problem as I see it. If someone is a member of the IRA – they are a member of a paramilitary organisation. If they are also involved in smuggling – purely for personal gain – it is still correct and accurate to say that paramilitaries are involved in smuggling. The only way that stops being true is if they either cease to be a smuggler, or cease to be a member of a paramilitary organisation.

    The lack of arrests is a double edged sword – while it might suggest to you that there is ‘black propaganda’ being floated about, it suggests to me that there is a culture of silence and solidarity among certain communities along the border – and considering the things that people have learned to keep quiet about for the past 4 decades, turning a blind eye to a bit of smuggling wouldn’t prove to be much of a problem. The lack of arrests or convictions doesn’t equate to an absence of crime, as the unsolved murders along the border shows.

    The big question is not whether the IRA is getting a cut (it isn’t any better to think that all the money is now flowing into the hands of a smaller but more criminally minded republicans)
    – it is whether republicans as a whole would be prepared to do anything about this criminal activity when it is carried out by members or even former members of their own movement.

    Considering the reluctance of republicans on this thread to see that the problem could actually be anything other than ‘political policing’ – it is clear that loyalty to the comrades and cause will always trump law and order. It is also clear that republicans answer to political policing is, well, more political policing – in their case: ‘you don’t police those that we are politically aligned to’.

    The Dubliner
    However, if the IRA’s Army Council has issued a cease and desist order to its members, then that is all it can be expected to do. It cannot be accountable for so-called freelancers.

    OK, so who is responsible? The police, the Guards, the local communities that turn a blind eye? No one?

    Belfastwhite
    If anyone thinks the Army Council of the IRA is organising such crimes then they are either stupid or living in cloud cuckoo land.

    No one is suggesting that (well, a few DUP’ers do, no doubt). If someone is in the IRA and they are smuggling then you have a situation where paramilitaries are involved in smuggling. As mentioned above, either they cease to be a paramilitary or a smuggler.

    Why would the IRA stand down and disarm only for the political objectives of the republican movement to be cast aside for a few litres of deisel or cheap copies of King Kong?
    Why would someone stop smuggling for themselves – it is not as though the the political objectives of the republican movement would be derailed over a few litres of deisel or cheap copies of King Kong?

  • JD

    Ringo,

    This is about the stalling of political progress and moving us out of the morass of British direct rule. If unionists want the IRA to stand down, but they also want the IRA to ensure that there is never any type of crime, ever, by anyone who may have voted for Sinn Fein in the past. Wise up. Lets call a spade a spade unionists (particularly the DUP version) the policing establishment will do anything and clutch at every straw to prevent change, because change brings with it a loosening of control over traditional power bases.

  • Belfastwhite

    Ringo

    Anyone at any time can be involved in criminal activity. It could be smuggling, counterfeiting, meeting male masseurs, or tampering with PSNI contracts or not paying your TV licence the question is should the political process be held up indefinately for these reasons. You suggest that republicans would look the other way when their allies are involved in criminal activity, are you saying that members of the RUC/PSNI haven’t done that in the past and will not continue to do so in the future?

  • Ringo

    JD –

    If unionists want the IRA to stand down, but they also want the IRA to ensure that there is never any type of crime,

    You are deliberately misrepresenting the case – no one is asking that the IRA ensure that there is no crime, least of all unionists as far as I am aware. No one wants the IRA to even exist, other than republicans.

    What yourself and Pat have done is to show how difficult it will be for republicans to get to a point where other republicans can be accepted as engaging in criminal activity and held accountable beyond the narrow confines of their community . Pat isn’t even prepared to countenance the idea for fear that it might be exactly what ‘the enemy’ wants – irrespective of whether it is valid.

    When republicans (and open minded ones at that) are not even prepared to admit this in the innocuous surroundings of Slugger, I don’t have the slightest hope that they would be prepared to do so in a court of law, even if Patten is fully implemented. For all the rabbitting on that SF do about the equality agenda, the outlaw mentality among republicans will make sure that it doesn’t extend as far as comrades who commit crimes.

    meeting male masseurs
    Meeting male masseurs is a crime? Jesus – you republicans really do have a lot in common with the DUP… 😉

    the question is should the political process be held up indefinately for these reasons.

    I am not saying that it should or shouldn’t. But unless republicans are prepared to deal with this in realistic terms –

    a)yes, there is smuggling and other crime in republican areas,
    b)no, the IRA is not organising it – that stopped at this x time.
    c)yes, there are people known to be active in republican circles who are smuggling for their own gain.
    d)yes SF condemns this, as it is a crime and those carrying out the activities are by extension, criminals – whether they have been arrested, convicted or not.

    and most crucially
    e) once republicans sign up to policing – they will not turn a blind eye (as is being done now for political reasons) and that crime, even when carried out by repubicans will be firmly dealt with by the forces of the law with the support of SF and the wider republican movement.

    Otherwise there is no reason to believe that they are remotely serious about a workable and equal policing and justice system. You only have to look south – republicans aren’t holding out for any political movements in the Republic, yet republicans are just as involved in smuggling and other criminality on a massive scale. Republicans don’t shop other republicans – regardless what the’ve done. And that is completely incompatible with any just and equal society.

    Just look at the reposnses to this thread- not one of you suggested that these border criminals were causing unnecessary grief for your political aspirations – it just isn’t done – instead you shoot the messenger.

  • Pat,

    You’ve a point. Re-reading your post, it is the case that the man is close to the subject. I guess people will read in their own interpretations. So my apologies. Having said which, you had been sailing very close to the line in the last week.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Thanks for ther acknowledgement Mick. On occasions I have indeed sailed very close to the wind, but I have to say it is the source and nature of the story that has taken me there.

    A few stories on Slugger recently have centred upon individuals (mainly journalists) who are making a lot of allegations without recourse to any reliable source of information. Given that it is impossible to question the source, the credibility of the story does itself become the focus for questioning and at times that leads to a direct questioning of the motivation of the journalist behind the story .

    It seems clear that in this instance the political agenda for the next while will be dominated by this off the record briefing. Scant details are available only those leaked (quite opportunistically) for the early evening news. It is too much to ask that all this is coincidental. A Policing Board overwhelmingly hostile to SF is briefed by an old scholl RUC a week or so before the report of the IMC and a fews weeks before he retires.
    If Kincaid had called a press conference to detail what he alleges then the detail becomes the news. But the underhand manner in which all this was carried out puts kincaid very much centre stage

  • qubol

    This is the problem as I see it. If someone is a member of the IRA – they are a member of a paramilitary organisation. If they are also involved in smuggling – purely for personal gain – it is still correct and accurate to say that paramilitaries are involved in smuggling. The only way that stops being true is if they either cease to be a smuggler, or cease to be a member of a paramilitary organisation.

    Ringo, thats not what is being said though, is it? the impression given by Unionists, the Media and Kincaid is that the IRA are involved in crime.
    Unionists react angrily to a police assessment that the IRA is still involved in organised crime. (BBC)
    Saying that ‘paramilitiries’ are involved in crime or ‘members of the IRA’ is one thing but thats not what’s coming out – All we are now gonna hear from the DUP is that the IRA is still involved in crime, giving the clear impresssion that it hasn’t moved on. Another thing too, you can argue that maybe Sam Kincaid was technically right or whatever because you believe some guy in Armagh sells illegal ciggarettes and is also a volunteer but I’m sure Kincaid was well aware of how his comments would be taken; especially by the DUP.

  • Ringo

    Ringo

    Just how many loyalist paramilitaries have you or any Unionist parties “shopped” for criminal activity never mind murder. How many RUC personnel have “shopped” members of their own organisation with links to loyalist paramilitaries or even providing those loyalists with files on republican suspects. I believe even John Stalker and his successor Mr Stephens were met with the same “wall of silence” you suggest that republicans would employ.

    You also have to take your argument the other way and ask how can Nationalist confidence be instilled in the PSNI so that this criminal activity will be addressed in future. This can only be achieved when nationalists through their political representatives believe that a viable system of accountable policing is in place.

    Do you think it is a coincidence that Kincaid’s remarks came out in a week when Sinn Fein took the first step on the road to accepting police structures?

  • Belfastwhite

    Hands up Ringo is not posting messages to himself it was my error>;0)

  • Ringo

    BelfastWhite aka Ringo

    How many RUC personnel have “shopped” members of their own organisation with links to loyalist paramilitaries or even providing those loyalists with files on republican suspects.

    Fair point, but out of context. The context is the post-conflict situation. It goes without saying that passing infomation to paramilitaries is infinitely more offensive than smuggling diesel.

    ask how can Nationalist confidence be instilled in the PSNI so that this criminal activity will be addressed in future

    absolutely. That requires a recognition by republicans beyond their own circles that it is criminal and does need addressing.

    Do you think it is a coincidence that Kincaid’s remarks came out in a week when Sinn Fein took the first step on the road to accepting police structures?

    You have obviously read more into Gerry Kelly’s speech than I did. I thought that SF were far enough down that road 13 months ago that ratification at an Ard Fheis was all that stood between them and accepting the policing structures.

    I see nothing strange about Kinkaid briefing the policing board at any stage – do we know the context for this meeting? The leaking of the meeting details is a different matter. That is clearly politically motivated.

    qubol

    All we are now gonna hear from the DUP is that the IRA is still involved in crime, giving the clear impresssion that it hasn’t moved on.

    As ever the truth lies somewhere between what the DUP state baldly as fact and what republicans deny. We’ll just have to wait for the IMC report.

  • JD

    “a)yes, there is smuggling and other crime in republican areas,
    b)no, the IRA is not organising it – that stopped at this x time.
    c)yes, there are people known to be active in republican circles who are smuggling for their own gain.
    d)yes SF condemns this, as it is a crime and those carrying out the activities are by extension, criminals – whether they have been arrested, convicted or not.

    and most crucially
    e) once republicans sign up to policing – they will not turn a blind eye (as is being done now for political reasons) and that crime, even when carried out by repubicans will be firmly dealt with by the forces of the law with the support of SF and the wider republican movement.”

    Ringo,

    I have no difficulty with statements dealt with in your post.

  • Ringo

    just wait until I come up with f) 😉

  • JD

    Surely, this isn’t an example of goalposts being hurriedly moved or more obstacles being erected, Ringo.

  • Ringo

    Not at all – if republicans come up to the mark I’ll be amazed and delighted.

  • JD

    Republicans will amazed and delighted when the Governments northern unionists and southern unionists step up to the mark, stop prevaricating and move this process forward, instead sapping whatever goodwill is left by erecting obstacle after obstacle

  • Ringo

    And just when we were beginning to get all agreeable you have to lapse into ‘everyone else is to blame’ mode again. It is kinda hard for the governments to put the screws on the DUP when you’ve headless chickens running around robbing banks, killing people in pub brawls, spying in stormont, not to mention the cottage diesel industry (I know, Kinkaid made them all up). And any goodwill there was was long dried up in the 7 year wait for decommissioning and the destruction of the pro-agreement unionist majority. Republicans aren’t the victims, the ordinary citizens in the north are. Ah well…

  • onanothermanswounds

    Okay okay, if it helps to get the process up and running again i admit it – i got a couple of weeks work before xmas and did not declare it to the dole. and i am a republican. Who is taking odds on kincaid being one of the ‘untouchables’? Who they? They were the elite of the branch, the creme de la creme, ronnies boys, could do whatever the ‘f’ they wanted too. Funny how they have all chosen early retirement. one just before details came out of his involvement sorry his ‘management’ of the rose mallon killing. another left after wrecking the institutions, now works as guest speaker at agms. another is now showing more care and attention to animals than what he showed to his fellow fenians. where is the manchester races, started by microphone and camera by another one, leading too or is that another false start? how many of the untouchables were / are there? who replaced them when they left?