“reminiscent of the worst excesses of their disgraced predecessors”

There are no charges brought yet, but two separate police arrests this morning are worth looking at as they have developed, or not as the case may be. While UTV notes firstly the double arrest in Bellaghy, and then the arrest in Armagh separately, the BBC puts both cases together in one report and notes the ‘dissident’ link to one of them. RTÉ has the interesting snippet, though, the arrest linked to a seizure of smuggled cigarettes, and ‘dissident’ republicans, in November has no political reaction, while the two arrests in Bellaghy have incurred the criticism of SF, who have already complained to the Police Ombudsman, although it’s not exactly clear what the complaint is based on..From the RTÉ report

Sinn Féin hit out at the arrest operation, and said a complaint had been lodged with the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman.

Mid Ulster MLA Geraldine Dougan claimed officers continued to search the two men’s homes after the early morning arrests.

She added: ‘The attitude of the PSNI on the ground is reminiscent of the worst excesses of their disgraced predecessors in the RUC.’

It’s a long way from that to the co-operation with the police on the ground imagined by Peter Hain..

Update Sinn Féin statement on the arrests in Bellaghy


  • Paul O

    Pete I had to read that blurb a few times before I could understand what you were saying! Keep it straight forward mate!

  • Pete Baker

    As long as you got there in the end, Paul. And sure it does no harm to encourage readers to pay close attention to what’s actually being said. ;o)

  • slug

    Remember that these illicit cigarette activities do harm to the Gallaher jobs in Ballymena.

  • Dave

    I am a little confused and this is probably due to a lack of education, me being unionist and all that goes with that particular label, maybe one of the better educated or dare I say intellectual Republican/Nationalist bloggers could clarify and define ‘dissident Republican.’

    My definition of a “dissident Republican” is as follows:

    A free lance terrorist who is a member of the Republican movement until caught, at this juncture the individual concerned metamorphose into a dissident Republican i.e. their actions were not authorised….whatever that is supposed to mean.

    Any crime a dissident republican commits is claimed to be in the name of Ireland and the Irish, of course I don’t believe this for one minute, that is to say, if dissident republicans had the backing and support of the Irish, why then do dissidents need to commit crimes, robbery , etc.? surely the people they porport to defend would provide the coin.

    Lets hope Republican and Loyalist dissidents when caught at their (work for/and on behalf of the people) go to prison for a very long time.

    Am I being naive? or could it be the case that people are fed up to the eyes of so called dissidents and their crime wave, afterall it is their “own people” they steal from and it is their own people who pay the price (no pun intended). in the long run.

    Come on then, what is a dissident Republican besides a thief.

  • harpo

    ‘the two arrests in Bellaghy have incurred the criticism of SF’


    I’ve often thought of building a decision tree so that we know what’s what upon the arrest of a republican (of any brand).

    In this case we can see that in the Bellaghy case, it must be Provos involved, since the PSF decision tree contains this element:

    Q: If anyone is arrested, are they ours?

    A: No – stay quiet since it’s dissidents.
    A: Yes – complain about the PSNI being just like the RUC.

    PSF always pop up to complain about the police – heavy handedness or whatever – when it’s Provos involved. Think back to the McCartney case. When the police moved in after the Provo perps, what was the first thing that PSF reps said? Of course it was to complain about police heavy handedness.

  • James St John Smythe

    ‘reminiscent of the worst excesses of their disgraced predecessors’ also has another resonance in that it separates categorically the PSNI and the RUC – something with which some republicans, including those in Bellaghy whom Suzanne Breen believes have broken away from the Provisional IRA, have an issue.
    When asked about the South Derry breakaway on Inside Politics last Saturday morning, Gerry Adams was noticeably reticent to comment. Is the intervention by Sinn Fein here an effort to cover up that split, is there actually no split after all, or are these different men?

  • harpo

    ” ’reminiscent of the worst excesses of their disgraced predecessors’ also has another resonance in that it separates categorically the PSNI and the RUC”

    James St John Smythe:

    A very good point. They used to say stuff like ‘the continuing excesses of this political police force’ when they called the police PSNI/RUC, but now the RUC is a ‘predecessor’ of the PSNI. Good spot.

  • slug

    Good to see people keeping up to date with provospeak!

    My login is maybe69. Are you asking?

  • James St John Smythe

    But that also raises another point for everyone here, generally.
    Can we really attribute such clever linguistic subtlety to Geraldine Dougan? Or is it a freudian slip? Or are we just reading too much into what she says?

  • If it was a slip that’s probably just as good – it shows that whether or not they’re saying it, they’re thinking it.

  • GurnyGub

    On the button! When they protest – guilty.

  • Nic

    Reading yesterday that Allen Carr has been diagnosed with lung cancer and his doctors reckon organising all those “give up smoking” seminars full of smokers inflicting their poison on him is what got him (ooooh the irony), my liberal bleeding heart opinion is round up any cigarette smugglers you can find and throw away the key. Killers all.

  • Not related to the topic sorry

    Hello good folk of Ireland. I have a general question I would like to ask of our Unionist brothers.
    I live in Sydney Australia, I have done so for about five years. I read this site to escape work 🙂
    Anyway my question is.. During my time in Oz I have not met one Unionist and I have met thousands of Irish. Do Unionist not do the coming of age thing and head to far flung corners of the world or do they just stay at home?
    I am intrested in an answer and sorry about been off thread

  • not related to topic either

    I’ve been in Oz about 25 years myself, met a lot of Irish and a lot of fellow Ulster exiles too. I think one difference is that many of the latter have been here a long time and have assimilated more fully and don’t make a fuss of where they came from. Often they seem happy enough to have the accent recognised and talk about their background, but it’s just not a big deal. I’ve met a few N Irish doing the coming of age thing too like everyone else but I suspect that there are just fewer, maybe in proportion to the overall populations of both places.

    NB When I first came here to Melbourne there were two (at least) active Orange Lodges not too far away from me that I used to drive past – not sure if either are still active but both the locations have changed use. And recently I heard a young tradesman whistling the sash whilst walking along one of Melbourne’s main streets – clearly not too abashed by the great preponderance of local sympathy for the Republican cause! Which I think has actually matured a lot post Omagh, 9/11 and Bali. Scales fell from a lot of eyes about the continuing use of violence once Australians were subjected to the same mindless brutality.

    NB 2 I’ve no time for Loyalist terrorists either.

    I read the recent post on how N Irish abroad do the, “…and what part of Belfast are you from..” rituals to establish any potential allegiances. Been through it myself of course but I suspect it’s no different to what happens for people from any country who meet anywhere else in the world.

  • spice girl

    aye, plenty of unionists hit the southern hemisphere mate. If questioned in detail I don;t mind portraying my unionist routes, but generally i don;t feel it necessary to preach to the entire population of Australia – why should they give a toss!!
    generally I found the locals to be blissfully unaware of what goes on in these greens meadows of our – perhaps its better it stays that way!

  • darth rumsfeld

    I note Geraldine Dougan’s list of excesses as follows:

    1. Not letting the occupants of the house-the weemen and wains- leave while the house was being searched- as if such innocents might ever..er attempt to conceal or remove evidence of criminality had they been let out before the search

    2. Not letting Geraldine into the house- and her an MLA!

    3. Er that’s it….

    Crumbs. The RUC dog of oppression is barking at your feet as a great man once sang.

  • Dave

    What is a dissident republican? someone must know?