PSNI under fire after loyalist feud march spills into nationalist area

Sinn Fein has criticised the PSNI after several hundred ‘mainstream UDA’ loyalists were permitted to march into the nationalist Oldpark area before being stopped from entering the loyalist Westland estate, the home turf of the Shoukri UDA faction. The mainstream UDA men had marched from Ballysillan and included men armed with golf clubs and baseball bats, allegedly on their way to ‘confront’ the dissident faction in Westland.

  • Bushmills

    Sinn Fein is right to criticise this. The PSNI should have baton charged them off the streets and arrested as many of them as possible. Utterly outrageous that behaviour like this should be permitted.

  • bertie


    SF has a ruddy cheek to criticise this. However I could not agree more with your last two sentences. – But what can you expect in the current climate of appeasement?

  • Bushmills

    Indeed. Is the UDA ceasefire still recognised by HMG? Because if it is, it shows just how srewed up this place really is.

    Ah, St. Mo to Peacemaker, we’re still living with her insidious “internal housekeeping” doctrine…

  • Peking

    Did anybody hear the guy calling himself “Sam” who was on Nolan saying he was there last night and praising the restraint of nationlist residents?
    He sounded so much like Frankie Gallagher it was spooky. But then they must check these people out, right?

  • heres hoping

    why dont the psni just get iut of the way and let them at each other

  • DaithiO

    How can anyone say Sinn Féin has a cheek to criticise this?

    In the current climate, sure isn’t it pointless now to harp(o) on about the past?

    Nationalist residents have had enough of being subjected to aggressive loyalists marching past their homes whether having the PSNI force an Orange march past or now hostile lunatics wielding weapons !

    Really, even the most vehement unionist cannot criticisise the Shinners for speaking up for the innocent families who’ve simpley had enough of this nonsense.

  • papadoc

    All quiet from the M.P. for the area on this one. Nothing from the boul’ Nelson McCausland either. Funny that-normally Nigel Dodds is very quick to condemn the ‘men of violence’ and call on the PSNI to get the baton rounds out to disperse the bloodthirsty mob.
    Just can’t figure out the deafening silence from Nige and co. on this one…..

  • heres hoping

    they think its all over…until the next thug that crosses jackie mcdonald that is…

  • caddyshack

    The ‘good’ UDA win again.

    Thank god that’s over and even better, we’ll be able to make the Ryder Cup now-Give Martin a ring to see if he’s still got the freebies.

  • gum

    This would not be tolerated by the police anywhere else. The PSNI are scared of confronting the loyalist paramilitaries. I really think this is because the DUP and UUP do not give them anywhere near the level of political support in this regard.

  • Gum

    On another matter – how long do you think it will be before Jackie boy gets a nod for a Senate seat or is nominated for the ‘President’s 7’?

  • lib2016

    We’ve been governed for years by people who have supported the use of rightwing murder squads and you’re worried by McDonald and co.

    Oh yeah! His crime was murdering Protestants.

  • gum – the PSNI are increasingly reluctant to confront anyone, seemingly afraid of escalating the situation. Whether or not that’s an effective crowd management strategy I don’t know, but it would seem consistent over the last few years.

  • Gum

    Fair point Beano. Every time I am walking on Donegall Pass I’m amazed at the stuff I see on the PSNI’s very doorstep. Not paramilitary activity (I ovbiously wouldnt stick around!) but just general lawlessness. All within 20 meters of a police station!

  • So what happened? Mob goes to rival mob’s patch to provoke confrontation. Police stop mob. Mob goes home without rioting.

    Was that a bad outcome?
    Did I miss something?


  • harpo

    ‘How can anyone say Sinn Féin has a cheek to criticise this?’


    It all depends on the circumstances. Were the police aware that these guys were making their way to another loyalist estate via a republican estate? Did Sinn Fein call the police to tell them to come and stop this mob?

    If the police didn’t know initially about this mob gathering and only got to them after receiving calls about it, then you can’t blame the police. They can’t be everywhere all of the time.

    But if the police did know about the mob before it made its way through the republican estate, and did nothing to stop it then the police should be criticised.

    So what were the actual events?

    Of course if Sinn fein saw the mob and didn’t call the police to warn them then Sinn Fein would have no excuse to criticise the police. The police aren’t mindreaders, and if PSF have nationalists in a mindset of having nothing to do with the police to the point where no one dares call the police, then I don’t know what PSF expect will happen.

    How are the police supposed to respond to an incident if no one reports it?

  • harpo

    ‘why dont the psni just get iut of the way and let them at each other’

    heres hoping:

    There are several reasons for not allowing that.

    1. It isn’t clear who ‘them’ are in situations like this. Those who want to fight don’t wear nice uniforms to distinguish themselves from non-fighters. They don’t met on neutral ground so that everyone knows that everyone else is there to fight. This is mob violence. So when mob A moves into mob B’s territory, they aren’t likely to be too choosey about who they attack. So harm will be caused to those who aren’t involved, just because they live in the same estate as people in mob B.

    2. If you ‘let them fight’ and after having at each other on mob B’s territory, mob A is still going to have to go home. Now after a fight they aren’t likely to be in a good mood, especially if they came off worst in the fight.

    We know that mob A got to mob B’s territory via a nationalist area, so what do you think might happen if mob A heads home via the same route? Nationalists might suffer?

  • harpo

    ‘The PSNI should have baton charged them off the streets and arrested as many of them as possible.’


    What would the basis be for this baton charge, and for arrests? What would they be charged with?

    Isn’t part of the police’s job to prevent violence and not escalate situations?

    If this was in Ardoyne say and a republican mob took to the streets, but didn’t actually do much, but the police just waded in with a baton charge and started arresting people for any little thing they could think of Sinn Fein would be screaming about heavy handed policing.

    Enforcing laws to their full extent is sometimes not as important as defusing a volatile situation. Say the police had waded into these guys and it had resulted in a riot with the loyalists having a go at the nationalist area that they passed through. What would you be saying today? That the police made a volatile situation worse through heavy handedness?

  • bertie

    “How can anyone say Sinn Féin has a cheek to criticise this? ”

    Very easily in the same way that I would find it easy to say that neo NAZIs would have a cheek to complain about the failure to crack down on other undesirables.

  • Occasional Commentator

    From the article:

    The officer said loyalist representatives had met nationalist community leaders “and reassured them that there was no threat to nationalist residents”.

    Interesting. To be on the safe side, and to be consistent in their approach of supporting the ‘good’ UDA, the PSNI should have laid on buses to take them to their destination.