Ballymurphy on fire?

Well not quite, but keep an eye on the papers tomorrow. This tragic event of Friday night seems to have been followed up by a series of attacks in the area. We are getting reports that since then that so far four houses belonging to the members of one extended family have been burned, as well as a commerical premises. It would seem a full blown campaign is under way to push all of them out of Ballymurphy. None of the context for these attacks is clear, as yet. But one family member appeared on Newsnight on Wednesday last.

  • trunk

    The two families have been at this for nearly 3 years.

    The fact that someone has lost their life is absolutly terrible.

    To think that a row over kids playing has resulted in the death of a man and the destruction of property.Absolute madness.

  • Pete Baker
  • Suzanne (sudie) Elsoffer

    This sort of behavior is terrible, a disgrace. People should learn to live together in peace. I have strived for this for a long time in my own community in Florida thru the progressive democratic party. It takes time for this sort of situation to go, as the people of ireland move towards peace. When the GFA is implememted in full and patton is fully accepted then peace will come dripping slow.

  • Animus

    Suzanne, this is not about the GFA. Yes, people should live together in peace, and congratulations to you for doing so. Can you tell me that Florida is free from turf wars and tit for tat violence? This is a problem which exists in any number of urban locations where people live cheek by jowl.

  • Yokel


    You may have got a very mixed up report on this item depending on what source you have read from. This is a family feud rather than any poltical dispute between communities.

  • Suzanne(sudie)Elsoffer

    No it is not. It is a policing situation. It may have arisen between families but it is a POLICING situation.

    In Florida for turf wars we employ restorative justice groups, and also here in Virginia where I spend some time.

    If Patten was implemented then this situation would not be there. Setting fire to peoples property, and their homes and of course this is not the first dispute this family of Italian origin has come in to. Is it? No it is not.

    Italian americans have this sort of situation. This case is GETTING OUT OF HAND and that is the difference. Now a life has been lost and in such poor and deprived communities.

    This is not like the lower shankill my friends in north belfast tell me. That is where an organisation was at fault, this is a situation where the POLICE are at fault.

    Gerry Adams will help this is his home territory. He is a good man I have met him many times and have been in contact with SF through the many organisations here in the US and also the Danny Morrison board and others. I know what is going on. Please do not try to talk down to me.

    This situation is a police matter. They need to do more to make themselves acceptable to the nationalists Patten needs to be implemented and quickly!!!

  • Animus

    With all due respect Suzanne, you don’t have a clue what’s going on here, just because you have a few friends in North Belfast and met Gerry Adams. I live here and some situations baffle me. I don’t know the full detail of this case, although like anything in NI there whispers and rumours and then there’s the truth.

    Please don’t tell us that life is never lost over turf wars (hello Miami?) in Florida. Turf wars are a fact of life in urban life, especially small communities in poor areas. If it’s true that the IRA blamed Devlin for a murder, perhaps Mr Adams should stay out of it. Sometimes ‘help’ of his kind is not what’s needed.

  • Shore Road Resident

    I expect someone from Sinn Fein will e-mail this woman shortly and explain to her that this is a most inappropriate use of the rhetoric with which she has clearly been primed.

    It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for the Shinners, isn’t it? No wonder they quietly despise Americans.

  • JD

    This dispute featured as part of Newsnights’ attempted hatchet job on CRJ, where the Nortantonios’ were described as a family the ‘gave as good as they got’ by the Newsnight presenter. This case clearly demonstrates the need for a mediation service in neighbourhood disputes, a row over children has developed into murder, CRJ should be acknowledged for trying to stop this situation escalating not criticised. Newsnight should apologise.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Shouldn’t CRJ should be acknowledged for failing to stop this situation escalating?

  • Dec


    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t eh?

    Perhaps you can provide your thoughts on why the PSNI have yet to arrest the main suspect in this murder, despite eyewitnesses supplying his name within minutes of the fatal attack.

  • crow

    He probably has not been arrested yet because he probably works for the securocrats.

  • west belfast resident

    JD its all the fault of newsnight is it?

  • JD

    No, of course it is not Newsnights fault, however Newsnight should learn the lesson that parashooting a biased reporter in W Belfast with a pre-ordained agenda which was to paint CRJ as a shadowy organisation that control areas of W Belfast, is doing a disservice to the viewer. They supposed pride themselves in delving deeper into topics that other programmes do not, this is clearly an example of one that they didn’t.

  • parashooting

    Unfortunate but funny?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Newsflash: Shinner calls for police to lift people on neighbour’s say-so.

    That special ard fheis vote will be easier than predicted.

  • Dec


    Newsflash: Shinner calls for police to lift people on neighbour’s say-so

    You know you’ve won the argument when you pose a question devoid of party political content and you’re immediately labelled a Shinner.

    But this is were I get confused: first of all, Unionist posters regularly lambast nationalists on this site for not providing statements to the police when a murder has been committed, but it seems that when they do, their statements are dismissed as tittle-tattle.
    Like I said earlier: damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Not quite a true representation of SF’s behaviour I’m afraid. The party’s response has criticised the police for not making immediate arrests – knowing full well that arrests based on witness accusations require witness statements to be taken. Arrests followed the next day which was as speedy as can possibly be expected. Now SF is hinting darkly that the main culprit still hasn’t been arrested (trial by media, anyone?) But in fact this is perfectly understandable if there are more statements to be collected.

    SF’s entire response to this situation so far (and I’m not accusing them of being responsible for it) has been to ask: “How can we make sure that everything we say is still a criticism of the PSNI?” Very community spritied of them, I must say.

  • Dec

    Arrests followed the next day which was as speedy as can possibly be expected.

    Not really, no when the murder was carried out in the middle of a busy street as neighbours and children looked on. Its not just the RM who is questioning why the PSNI have yet to arrest the man the Devlin family, amongst others, have identified as the murderer.

    knowing full well that arrests based on witness accusations require witness statements to be taken.

    I think you’ll find the police don’t need witness statements to arrest anyone. I’m still puzzled why you feel the need to consistently allude to the RM throughout this topic? The issue is straightforward: a man was stabbed to death in a busy street, most of Belfast knows who did it and the PSNI, 4 days later, have yet to question him.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Making an arrest and making an arrest likely to lead to a conviction are two very seperate things.
    It’s the PSNI who are being “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” here. SF squeals when they lift people then squeals when they don’t.