Another Saturday night in Belfast……

Saturday night. Sun splitting the skies. Invite to a barbecue in a friend’s backyard. Call in to get cheap petrol at Tesco’s. Looking around as you do, waiting for the tank to fill up. See two teenagers being attacked by four other teenagers using metal brush shafts as they walk out of a shopping centre. Supermarket security staff presence stops the attack. The two attacked teenagers leave the verbal exchanges indicate a sectarian motivation. As I’m paying, garage staff ordered to shut the doors and serve through the hatch. As I drive on 6 MSU Landrovers head at speed to the supermarket (presumably in the area for searches relating to the Haddock attack). 15 minutes later in the backyard. Burger in one and bottle of water in the other. The crack was getting started. The two teenagers with four mates heading towards shopping centre. Comments of “We’ll get those barstewards” etc. Fortunately they return quickly. The police presence interfering in their plans.

  • As I’ve asked elsewhere why this low level criminality is not tackled properly.

  • Crataegus

    Sounds like Yorkgate. By the way great place to watch a movie went there about a month ago and virtually private screening.


    I agree. These are not minor attacks and the problems they cause cannot be underestimates.

    A relate problem in that general area is the imposition of commercial rates on empty property. A self inflicted own goal. It struck me that there was a relatively high percentage of empty buildings of little economic value in areas like North Belfast, which probably cannot be let due to the sort of problems mentioned and certainly few would be interested in purchasing the buildings. Perhaps instead of increasing rates in these areas we need to have commercial rate free zones to encourage businesses to set up and compensate owners for the cost of the additional security and anti vandalism measures they would need. It could be a living hell trying to run a business in such an area.

  • michael

    Totally off the subject, but I do believe that ‘craic’ is spelt as i have shown it.

    Just putting that out there.

  • fair_deal


    I am afraid you are mistaken. Craic is a the Gaelisication of a Scots and Northern English word. It’s first documented use in Irish is in the 1930’s while its use in Scots and Northern English beats this by a few hundred years. In Scots and Northern English the common spellings are crack or crak. Just an small example of cultural influences on one another.

  • Harry Flashman

    Fair_Deal is correct, except for one thing, “craic” is a gaelicisation of bugger all. When I was growing up it was always simply spelt as “crack”, the “craic” thingy is an abomination that started around the mid 1980’s and is completely bogus. It came to popular usage around the same time as that other product of phoney Irishry – the international “Irish” bar.

    “Crack” is a perfectly ordinary ENGLISH word, its usage can be found in such examples as “a cracking good time”, “wisecrack”, “crack on”, “crack a joke”, it has no particular special connection to Ireland at all.

    An obvious example of just how modern a creation “craic” is can be found in the title of the fine old Irish drinking song “The C-R-A-C-K Was Ninety in the Isle of Man”.

  • Mick Fealty

    A non too subtle form of cultural revisionism?

  • Jocky

    A couple of points on Asbo’s, I live in Manchester which is the one place that is giving them out like confetti and where they are seen as a success.

    But I don’t see the point of them. All they are is a fop to your Daily Mail readers. Rather than prosecuting a juvenille for a crime they prosecute them for breaking the Asbo. A lower burden of proof is required and correspondingly a lower standard of punishment. They are a great way of politicians pretending to act on a problem while in reality doing not very much.

    What happens is local scrote with a long history of petty offences, theft, assualt, vandalism and the like rather than being prosecuted for those offences get’s an Asbo, which bans him from frequenting the local suburb centre, an exclusion zone in effect to protect the decent people. At the same time all the residents get a pamphlet warning them that said person is a menace to society and will probably attempt to steal from you or assualt you, so better stay clear.

    Now my problem with this approach is;
    1) If someone’s breaking the law and has a history of theft and assault why aren’t they prosecuted for those offences (oh I forget the prison population is too big and it doesn’t work anyway, they’ll just come back better criminals)
    2) you are merely displacing the problem, normally to a less leafy suburb that the police / politicians dont give a monkeys about and said scrote is free to continue his criminal life, as long a she doesn’t do it near the nice people, out of site out of mind.

    It’s basically a huge admission that they haven’t got a clue how to deal with the Shameless/Chav generation who they have been complicit in creating that have been disenfranchised and have no aspirations of getting educated or finding useful employment. Much better to sponge of the state in your council house.

    It’s also an admission that they have created a system that gives these thugs a free run to cause as much havoc as they want cause they are untouchable. Their so worried about breaching a scrotes right to be a scrote they’ve had to invent a whole new system of dealing with them. Where in then old days they would have got a lip round the ear from the local copper but you cant do that any more cause their too precious.

    And the community cant deal with the problem for fear of a) prosecution for hitting one of the little scortes or b) getting stabbed in street.

    An example, if anyone remembers the case of the special needs teacher who was jailed and lost her job for firing an airgun at the ground when she confronted a youth who was vandalising her car?

    Well it turns out the youth who’s evidence convicted her had a string of offences for assualt, theft, vandalism for several years and had been repeatedly arrestted, he eventual got sent to jail for assault. But until that point he had spent several years committing crimes with impunity making the local community’s life hell.

    The only thing in their favour is that they are better than doing nothing.

    ON a side note, the only half decent idea that the governemnt has had is the use of voluntary special constables. But it in itself is an admission that they do not have enough police and after working your balls of and paying tax why should you then be expected to police the streets as well? Always thought it would be the perfect solution for N.I., formalise all the “community representatives” you seem to have. oh right, they wouldn’t want to have to be accountable.

  • Crataegus


    I would imagine we have plenty of potential prison capacity in NI. We let so criminals many out.

  • Mojo

    Hoo there, mates. What’s all this about less leafy suburbs where politicians don’t give a monkeys? Don’t go bringing us into the fray. My brothers and me are tired of all of these anti-monkey derogatory remarks. Now, chimps, that’s a different story. And go easy on the crack/craic etymological disparities (see what education I’ve gotten down here, Da?). I know a guy who named a street in America Craic instead of Crack because of the obvious invitation to the likes of those seen beating each other up in the parking lot on Saturday night. As to neighborhoods going down hill and what to do about it…..get rid of the chimps.

  • Crataegus


    get rid of the chimps.

    Bush tucker perhaps? Or two legged pork as known in parts of China?

  • m


    I missed the part where you reported the assault and possible vigilante attack to the police?

  • fair_deal


    The shopping centre had already reported the attack hence the Land Rovers coming to the scene.

  • páid

    FD and Harry Flashman,

    well done re. craic. It is a pseudo-Irish word, makes me sick.

    Have ye heard of “compulsory craic”?

    This means heading off to Doolin or Dingle and squashing into pubs and joining in a riproaring ballad session whilst having a pint of Guinness in one hand and a pint of Guinness in the other.

    Brilliant, iontach, craic…..SHITE

  • Tochais Siorai

    All the anglicisations of placenames, surnames etc in Ireland and people get worked up over the gaelicisation of one word.

    I’d say it had a bit to do with a desire to avoid confusion with a certain heroin and coke cocktail meself.