2 Arrested in Thomas Devlin murder hunt

Exactly a year to the day of his murder, Detectives have now arrested 2 men in connection with the murder of Thomas Devlin. UPDATE 2 people arrested in connection with the murder have been released.
Police had launched an Anniversary appeal last night, with fresh requests for people to come forward. There has always been unease about the nature of this killing with PSNI reluctant to label it sectarian. As late as yesterday, a sectarian motive was still being ‘considered’. Brian Rowan has maintained the murder was neither sectarian or planned. Thomas’s mother had these chilling words about the murder:
‘For the two people who killed him it was quite carefully planned. They had obviously taken a knife out with them and you don’t take a knife out unless you’re going to use it. Ms Holloway said no words were exchanged and the assailants did not even make an effort to start a fight as justification for what they were to do next. They just jumped on them from behind. One attacked one of his friends and the other went after Thomas. The intention was to have killed both of them.”

On a related note, I saw in the Times yesterday that the knife amnesty has had no impact, indeed recorded numbers of knife crimes have risen by 73%. Perhaps we need to focus again on the cause of crime and malcontent, while we still have time.

  • since the GFA, the 3 Quinn brothers, Mickey Bo and Lisa Dornian were also children killed but the media never paid as much attention to this as the killing of Robert McCartney…why ?

  • John Maynard

    Disgusting Shinner troll. Go count column inches in some other graveyard.

    On the topic, I very much fear that these arrests are window-dressing by the PSNI, to deflect media coverage from the lack of progress one year on. I’d put good money on them being released tomorrow.

  • Justin

    I believe the answer to that is obvious. It’s because an IRA memner was involved in the McCartney death, and the British gutter press loves to slam Republicanism as much and as often as possible.

  • Moochin photoman

    Anon and Justin
    away on with you
    go and discuss that elsewhere..its not what this is about

  • John Maynard

    Indeed, how badly behaved those journalists are compared to the courageous individuals who gutted a man like a fish.

    The subject of this thread is the murder of Thomas Devlin – yet who has immediately turned the subject to Robert McCartney here?

    The media coverage of Thomas Devlin’s murder has been and continues to be extensive. So why the complaint that the media focused on Robert McCartney?

    The agenda of ‘anonymous’ and ‘Justin’ here is obvious, sickening and laugably fixated on the media. Why don’t you just come right out and say what you mean?

    “How come our murder got lots of coverage when these murders didn’t?”

    Except, boys, every murder you mentioned got headline coverage all around the world. So what you really mean is:

    “Don’t mention our murders. Only mention theirs.”

    How very ‘republican’ of you.

  • viny

    Those alleged to have taken part in the murder are believed to have connections with the uvf in Mount Vernon, thus the threat of paramilitary ‘justice’ to anyone giving information on the murder.

  • Justin

    My assertion is that the PSNI concentrates on handling the murders committed by Republicans more actively than those committed by Loyalists. Simple as that John. Flame away!

  • Moochin photoman

    I have no idea if this was a sectarian attack or not, but if the perps are being protected coz they are involved or related to paramilitary scum, it’s all the more reason to scourge the country of them and their ilk.
    Justin to lil too late you tarnished yourself there quit will your ahead and go and polish ure hurley or something!

  • Moochin photoman “…go and discuss that elsewhere..its not what this is about…” who awarded you the decision maker title for the thread or the blog?

    John Maynard “Disgusting Shinner troll. Go count column inches in some other graveyard. “ I’m neither a Shinner nor a troll having posted very frequently at this blog for a lot longer than your arrogant self. This should have been obvious to anyone with recollection powers who’d remember my handle. I do however notice that you then go on to concur with what I was implying that there is ‘window-dressing’ and media manipulation…well done genius

    My post was aimed at the media coverage in NI … how the tabloids should have been all over the kiddie killings as grist for the gutter press mill and in comparison to the McCartney murder…this might have led to a quicker conclusion to the T Devlin murder.

    “How come our murder got lots of coverage when these murders didn’t?” I don’t belong to a “them’un’s and our’un’s” grouping in the limited sectarian breakout that you seem to divide society – try again.

  • overhere

    Good to see something happening on this front even if it is long overdue. As to the causes of crime I don’t want to come over all “right wing” here Miss Fizz but how about pure bloody badness nothing more nothing less. Still could be worse try living in South Africa as this new site can trstify


    pss on to friends as these people need all the help they can get.

  • John Maynard

    Aye right Justin. Your post didn’t mention the PSNI at all, it mentioned only the media and the McCartney murder.
    Your tribal cheerleading for selected psychopaths on a thread discussing Thomas Devlin’s murder is a disgrace.
    Kindly take a hike.

  • John Maynard

    …and more rubbish from ‘anonymous’.
    You say more media coverage could resolve the Devlin murder, but you complain that there was too much media coverage of the McCartney murder, which hasn’t been resolved. Absurd.
    Face it. You saw a thread dicussing a murder, and the first thing that popped into your head was your continuing anger at the media coverage of the McCartney murder. Astonishing, twisted and totally transparent.
    You’re fooling nobody.

  • Justin

    Listen here John, I am no Republican. Simple as that. I am NOT cheerleading anyone Simple. I will not take a hike simply because you don’t like what I am saying. Grow up a tad mate. We all have our opinions, and I would never think of telling you to leave because I don’t agree with your ideas. You’re just not as smart as you imagine yourself. Keep up the flames though, I enjoy you.

  • John Maynard on Aug 10, 2006 @ 03:12 PM “… Except, boys, every murder you mentioned got headline coverage all around the world. “
    EErrrr, not a chance…the Quinn Bros featured in the media for a short while but none of the others did to any extent. The Robert McCartney killing was top news for a long period of time.

    Stick to economics, Keynes

  • John Maynard

    Then explain why you jumped in your first post from complaining about the “gutter press” to claiming in your next post that your “assertion” was about the PSNI?
    You’re all over the place, and repeatedly posting that you enjoy it when people point out that you’re talking rubbish hardly absolves you of talking rubbish.

  • Miss Fitz

    Intersestingly, ‘pure badness’ was the exact phrase used by one of the Detectives in this case. As you can see as well, it appears that both boys had been targets for this crime.

    Anon and Justin
    To be honest Anon, its a little rich to use a handle like that and ask why no one remembers you? If you wanted to be remembered, surely you wouldnt be anonymous?

    And again, I thought your first post was trolling, to be honest. Lisa Dorrian was in her 20’s when she was killed, and certainly not a child.

    As for Robert McCartney-
    Tell you what, when I do a thread on that, we can discuss the rights and wrongs of it. This is not the forum for his murder, and trying to introduce it was incorrect. Moochin was correct, it belongs on another thread, not this one.

    And funnily enough, I DO have the right to say this.

  • Moochin photoman


    nobody apointed me anything, my own disgust at your attempt at whataboutery or tit4tatery prompted my response. All too often threads are diverted with such drivel and i was attempting to avert that.
    In a word “pathetic” and u should be ashamed of yourself for posting

  • John Maynard

    ‘Anonymous’, what you claim is untrue.
    The Quinn murders, the Michael McIlveen and the Lisa Dorrian case have all been reported worldwide – the first two extensively.
    The Quinn murders continue to be mentioned in many international articles on Northern Ireland.
    Why are you so anxious to pretend otherwise?
    Did you sit in front of your television throughout the McCartney coverage counting the seconds and comparing?
    If so, your counting could improve.
    And why is this so often the direction that discusion of any murder in Northern Ireland takes?
    Who got the most media coverage? Did the other lot’s murders get more or less? This is staggeringly amoral búllshit – a deliberate distraction by apologists of all persuasions.

  • Dec

    Considering the widespread speculation that people connected to the Mt Vernon UVF were involved/or have knowledge of this matter, there has been a notable lack of media interest in pursuing this angle. Considering Dawn Purvis’ presence on the Policing Board and David Ervine’s now-formal links with the UUP, it is not unreasonable to suppose that pressure applied in this direction may have produced results before now.

  • Justin

    If you can’t see the connection between the media and how the PSNI deals with crime I couldn’t explain it to you. While I agree that I should have been more articulate while explain this in previous posts, I will not concede my point John. Continue on with yourself.

  • John Maynard

    Who cares if you won’t concede a point you admit yourself you failed to make?

    Take it somewhere else. I’m sure Mick will start a McCartney murder thread for you – or would that count as more ‘unfair’ media coverage?

  • Animus

    It probably doesn’t make a bit of difference to his parents whether the motive was sectarian or not. If I were them, I would be looking for justice and to see the murderers jailed.

    I do wonder what goes on in people’s head about these sorts of crimes. I’m not surprised about the knife amnesty being ineffective either. Surely people who carry knives aren’t interested in giving them up, or else they would never have started carrying them in the first place.

    I suppose one of the reasons this murder is so scary (particularly for parents) is because Thomas had no warning and was killed during the course of a mundane day. (I’m not saying Lisa Dorrian wasn’t innocent, nor Robert McCartney, but there is murkiness about both cases in the public eye. I’m not saying it’s justified either, because I certainly don’t think it is.) If a child cannot walk to the shop to get sweets without being knifed, what hope is there?

  • Justin

    Delete my posts them Ms Fitz. It’s your right.

  • ” but you complain that there was too much media coverage of the McCartney murder…” at no time did I complain about media coverage of the McCartney murder…I complained about the lack of coverage of the murder of the children and the fact that these should have been, in the strange media way, been much more likely to have been covered by media.

    You see my complaint about the lack of coverage of the Devlin murder as a “… continuing anger at the media coverage of the McCartney murder“ which displays to me that you see this site and society in NI as a case of “them’un’s and our’un’s”.

    I find you “Astonishing, twisted and totally transparent. You’re fooling nobody. “

    If media coverage of the Devlin murder didn’t count for much then why have the cops “…launched an Anniversary appeal last night, with fresh requests for people to come forward.” which seems to have resulted in the arrests and then this thread. Try letting go of the zero sum grip that seems to have taken over your reading of postings.

  • Dec


    To state that the murders of the Quinn children or Lisa Dorrian have received as much media coverage as the murder of Robert McCartney is patently untrue. Speculation as to why this was the case however, belongs, as Miss Fitz says, on another thread.

    Though, I echo your fears that this is more PSNI window-dressing.

  • Miss Fitz

    No Justin, I wont. I understand what you are saying, I just dont think this is the place.

    I dont want to get mumsy, but my son is the same age as this boy, and his image stays with me all the time. His posters are all over Fortwilliam, and it never ceases to sadden me to see his face and smile.

    I wanted to post this so that we can remember him, and hope that his killers will be found.

    I know that there are other tensions around this, particularly with the Mt Vernon alleged connection. Thats why we shouldnt let it be forgotten.

    But lets give Thomas the dignity in death of not having his murder lessened by purile comparisons to a completely different scenario.

  • John Maynard

    Anonymous – As I wrote in the second post on this thread, I suspect the PSNI arrests are window dressing to deflect critical media coverage.

    I am surprised that you think repeating my own point back to me refutes the observation that you raised the issue of Robert McCartney and media coverage in your very first post.

    You have deservedly lost this argument. Stop digging yourself deeper into your hole.

  • the point of this thread surely should be that a young boy was murdered in such an evil way. the resultant investigation has been exceptionally slow even though the psni have known who has done it for long time. if this is window dressing by the psni then thats a disgrace and should be clearly publicised. if it is the case that these two suspects are involved and have done it then hang them.

    the murder of anyone is wrong. The fact that some of the commentators on here have hidden behind a made up name and then shouted that the other side are is bad is shameful.

    And if you haven’t figured it out by now but the media in this country are slighty skewed.

    there comes a point where politicians need to be real men and denounce any and all murder.

    for those who wrap themselves in flags i question your ability to be a real patriot as its the ones who try the hardest who aren’t at all

  • PS -Justin be a man and remember that this young boy was murdered. imagine the pain his family felt. his death like that of so many will be forgotton by many. thats the problem……….

  • Justin

    “PS -Justin be a man and remember that this young boy was murdered. imagine the pain his family felt. his death like that of so many will be forgotton by many. thats the problem……….”

    I never forgot this poor young man, in fact, the exact opposite. Be a man? Please explain as I have no idea what that has to do with anything in this thread.

    Miss Fitz: I understand, and I by no means was trying to discount this young mans life. I have nothing but sympathy for him and his family and friends. I see simularities in all of these cases hence why I indulged Anon in this original post. I was simply answering his question as I understood it. I was not trying to distract nor diverge.

  • Miss Fitz

    First of all, I wasnt complaining about people recognising my name, so I dont know what your little jibe was meant to accomplish.

    I’m also not sure what the author/poet reference pertains to here on Slugger? If you’re referring to a handle I used on another site last year, well what do you want? A prize for being clever.

    My point stands. Anonymity is a cloak for those afraid to stand up and be who they are. I’m nt anonymous, but I am a little cautious of freaks and eejits who populate the web.

  • Moochin photoman

    all ure posts and you still havent condoned ure comments and as a consequence every further posts serves nothing but to undermine them.
    At least Justin did clarify and extend his condolences, you however have not.

  • lib2016


    You made your point about the onesided nature of press coverage. John Maynard is a troll who picks fights with republicans. Don’t feed trolls.

    Miss Fitz,

    A BBC ‘security correspondent’ denies that the murder of a Catholic by known loyalists is sectarian and you think it is worth linking to? Maybe if he had given some proof as to how he had reached his conclusion it might have been worth a link but as it is all we have is a good idea of how he got his job in the first place. Frankly I’m disappointed in you.

  • “ First of all, I wasnt complaining about people recognising my name, so I dont know what your little jibe was meant to accomplish. “ my handle should be as recognisable as any other.
    “ If you’re referring to a handle I used on another site last year, “ If I can remember you name and your postings and the origins of your handle and an old name you used…you might be able to remember my name and recognise that it grants the same anonymity as any other.
    “…is a cloak for those afraid to stand up and be who they are. I’m nt anonymous, but I am a little cautious of freaks and eejits who populate the web. “

    You’re as anonymous as most other posters to this site. Thus making you, me and anyone else who doesn’t sign in with their real name the same kind of implied freak and/or eejit.

  • Miss Fitz

    Apart from the fact that I wont sleep tonight, since I have disappointed you….

    Its perhaps worth pointing out that the statement from Brian Rowan is on the family website, and is there as an indicator of the reflection of the family on this issue,

    As someone has said, it probably matters little to the family whether or not its sectarian, the fact remains that in the counting game that passes for reality here, it matters in terms of the larger picture.

    As I said clearly in the thread, the subject of a sectarian motive in this case has never been clearly adjudicated one way or the other.

  • Justin

    Thank you for the clarification lib2016. I mistakenly believed he was up for a real debate. I will remember to not feed him in the future.


  • Miss Fitz

    Just before I delete these comments, I want to make it clear that I have never had any hesitation in identifying myself to anyone who has contacted me. I am sure that there are dozens of posters who can attest to this, so my use of a handle for posting is convenient. One of the main reasons for using it, is the fact that I have children and it protects them to some degree.

    You’ve totally lost me in the points you were making about my use of a different name on any other site. I have never blogged/posted/joined in discussion groups before I started doing this Slugger thing. (One exception was an AOL group about 6 years ago for a few months.)

    If you have something to say, spit it out, but try to get your tongue untied first.

  • I, of course, think the killing of Thomas is a disgrace. I utter condem this and any killing. I have nothing but sympathy for the family and friends of the Thomas.

    I think his killers, and all killers, should be investigate to the fullest extent of the law.

    I think that the forth pillar should report all news with an independant and unbiased attitude.

    I think all posts on this site should be mannerly, respectful and thought out otherwise they should be removed by the Blog Master.

    I think that diverting a thread on this site is disgraceful and should be recognised and highlighted. I don’t think I’m guilty of that; to the contrary, other might be.

    Moochin what was that post of yours about?

  • Garibaldy


    Read the story linked to the word “considered”. You’ll see that Thomas Devlin’s mother says that she does not believe the murder to be sectarian as the attack was made on two boys, one Catholic, one Protestant. The area where the attack took place, as you may know, is middle class and mixed.

    I don’t think this is the place to be trying to score points against Brian Rowan. There’s plenty of other threads linking him where his professionalism etc can be questioned. I don’t think all these other arguments are liable to be of any use to the family.

  • lib2016

    Miss Fitz,

    Be brave, you’ll get over it! 😉 You’re usually one of the better posters so I’ll forgive you this time.

    My point is that Brian Rowan claims that the murder was non-sectarian and unplanned but gives us no evidence for his conclusions. Of course it’s what one would expect from anyone connected with BBC NI – a serious level of misreporting by anyone’s standards.

  • lib2016


    The attackers came from a hardline loyalist area into a mixed area and attacked two lads who had approached from a ‘mixed’ i.e. fenian area.

    As Mrs. Devlin pointed out they had come armed because they planned such an attack.

    Why are you making points about Brian Rowan if you don’t think this is the place for it?

  • Moochin photoman

    ooops, less haste more speed on my part my last post was actually about your comments anon and the fact that u hadnt condoned the murder and that ure comments were meaningless as a consequence.
    Sorry buddy but u didnt do ureself any favours with this thread at all.
    Hope that clarifies it for you

    i know ure not my buddy just being nice

  • Garibaldy


    I appreciate your point of view. But I’m not going to debate this issue. The parents are friends of my parents, and it’s difficult enough without those of us not directly involved point-scoring on the issue, particularly on the day that’s in it.

  • Crataegus

    The arrests are potentially good news and follow on from other good news in that quarter.

    This development is important as there are allegations that the PSNI failed to proceed with due diligence in order to protect the aggressor. If one tenth the rumours are true there is a web of deceit in that part of the city and it will be very interesting if it starts to unravel.

    As for BBC news coverage, perhaps it is just simply lazy journalism, a common trait, but peripheral to the real meat at the heart of this issue.

    Like Miss Fitz I have friends who live in North Belfast and I would comment the Devlin family for their persistence and if their endeavours help uncover some unpleasant truths then we are all indebted to them, but at what an appalling cost. Sad really really sad.

  • Garibaldy


    Was wondering where you’d got to. Less sense being talked on here than ususal.

  • Crataegus

    Sorry ABOVE

    commend not comment

    (jet lag and unbelievable degrees of hassle getting back )

  • Crataegus


    Was in India (bombs there) and was meant to come back through Beirut but that’s another storey and what a lot of fuss today. Can’t seem to escape from madness!

  • Garibaldy

    Quite literally around the world for a shortcut.

  • Moochin photoman

    “u hadnt condoned the murder” my 5:50 post

    mistake shud have read “condemn”.

    long day i’m orf for a pint.

  • Peter Fallow

    Any journalist who takes the word of David Ervine over all other’s SO slavishly should be disregarded – in this case, and in general.

  • Miss Fitz

    This is a thread about the arrest of 2 people in relation to the murder of Thomas Devlin.

    Please abide by the Slugger rules, and your posts will remain for others to read.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

  • Marcus

    John Maynard


    I have lived abroad for many years but continue to watch NI events keenly.

    When I was growing up in NI both the RUC and BBC NI were very slow to label the murders of Catholics as sectarian (the RUC tried to say that McGurks bar was blown up by an IRA man making a bomb – this was only withdrawn because of overwhelming evidence proving that it was the UVF). It did not and still does not suit the Unionist agenda to highlight the sectarian murder of innocent Catholics – much better to try and perpetuate the myth that nearly all murders are committed by the IRA and that “Loyalist” activity is a response. It doesn’t do to point out that innocent Catholics are killed purely out of pure sectarian hatred.

    I can certainly tell you that the murder of Robert McCartney got MUCH more publicity than that of Lisa Dorrian, MickyBo or Thomas Devlin because the UK govt and the Unionists wanted to use it to score political points over Sinn Fein. BBC NI hardly, if ever, mentioned Lisa Dorrian’s religion and really tried to portray her murder as not being related to her religion.

    I unreservedly condemn ALL murders and anyone with any related information should give it to the authorities.

    However, it sickens me to see the Media and political parties giving a lot more publicity to specific murders just because it suits their purposes.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Go do a content analysis and then get back to us with some hard evidence to prove your case, instead of the hearsay we’re being fed with. I can’t remember the Dorrian murder being described as ‘sectarian’ by anyone, for example.

  • willowfield

    Someone is asking why the Robert McCartney murder got so much publicity.

    The reason is because of its political implications. McCartney was murdered by the Provisional movement which is poised to participate in the government of Northern Ireland if it can convince society that it has left its murderous past behind. Obviously the fact that they carried out this murder had very serious political implications.

    The organisations or “movements” (if any) who murdered Thomas Devlin or “Mickey Bo” or Lisa Dorrian are not poised to participate in government, and therefore these murders do not have such immediate or significant political implications.

    Isn’t that obvious? Or do people just enjoy trying to identify sectarian conspiracy theories?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    While not disagreeing with everything Willowfield says, I think we need to consider that some families have launched justice campaigns, which use publicity, while others have chosen other routes.

    They do so for their own reasons, but if victims’ families create news, it will get covered. Fact. If they prefer an alternative means of seeking justice, they won’t be in the news every day.

    This is why it is unfair to compare the level of coverage certain murder cases have received. I doubt if the four local daily newspapers, the radio and TV stations haven’t covered each and every development in any of the murder cases mentioned. When public figures piggy-back on these campaigns or are criticised by them, these are usually newsworthy (the McCord/Ervine argument at the West Belfast Festival being the latest example) for different reasons, but the politicians can affect a story’s treatment to a degree.

    It would be naive to think that each media outlet doesn’t apply its own values to a story (consciously or unconsciously), but I think people have very selective memories when it comes to these matters. Other factors, such as legal impositions, also contribute to the level of coverage.

    On anonymous sources, well, you use your own judgment on that, whether reader or journalist. It’s a matter of trust, so you have to make your own mind up. You can’t be sure, but one word: ‘Watergate’.

  • Nevin

    Devlin and other appeals. Murder is murder but some murders and attempted murders appear to attract more media and other attention than others. Isn’t this unfair and cruel to the families and friends of the victims?

  • Marcus

    Belfast Gonzo

    I assume that your comment about a content analysis is aimed at me.

    1. Anyone (like me) who was around at the time of McGurks bar remembers what happened. The story is well documented – go to google or yahoo and put in McGurks bar – even someone with your journalistic skills should find it.

    2. As I am based on the other side of the world and travel through Asia on business, I see how NI stories are portrayed over here (especially via the BBC). Therefore, I think that I can confidently say that I know a LOT more about the subject than you. The McCartney murder (as with all others) was disgraceful – however, my VALID point was that it got a hell of a lot more coverage than did the other murders that I mentioned.

    3. So you never heard anyone describe Lisa Dorrian’s murder as sectrian – you should change your name to Mars Gonzo!!. From 13,000 miles away, I am aware that the LVF are widely believed to have been responsible – this claim has been made by leading figures in the Loyalist community. Let me see – the LVF murder a Catholic girl and dump her body – couldn’t possibly be a sectarian killing then.

    I read a lot of things on this site that I disagree with but I’m usually pretty calm about it. However, your arrogant and dismissive tone is too much – it would be hard to take from a good journalist – and you certainly aren’t that.

  • Miss Fitz

    The simple fact of one person killing someone from another religious group does not neccesarily mean it is a sectarian killing. From the wide publicity of the Dorrian case, it was always clear that there was a drug party in progress, and the killing happened during/after that party. The fact that participants at the party were of differing religions means nothing.

    As with Thomas Devlin. It was a palnned attack, but in the words of the detective, ‘sheer badness’.

    Maturity in Northern Ireland on both sides will mean that we start to accept that in addition to them and us, there is a third element of evil that we have closed our eyes to for far too long and allowed to grow into a strong force in our society.

    We must stop apportioning blame to the ‘other side’ and look into the type of world we are creating by doing this. Evil acts happen all over the world, and have nothing to do with religion. We need to recognise that here, and we may have some hope of helping ourselves to build a better society

  • Dec

    As with Thomas Devlin. It was a planned attack, but in the words of the detective, ‘sheer badness’.

    Miss Fitz

    Perhaps the PSNI can explain why two loyalists from Mount Vernon, if they had ‘pure badness’ in mind, decided to walk all the way up to the (pre-dominantly Catholic) Somerton Road to carry out this attack (incidentally, outside a Catholic school and Church). Or was it just coincidence?

  • Miss Fitz

    Tell me this. The other child in the group was a Protestant. If God forbid he had been killed, what would that have made it?

    Although I dont live there, I know that area is very mixed, indeed it is also where the Synagogue is located.

    I think that your argument underscores what I am trying to point out. We are so fixated on religion, we cant see evil in our midst.

  • Dec

    Miss Fitz

    The area where the attack took place is not very mixed. It is over-whelmingly catholic and is the location of 3 Catholic schools, a Catholic church and the residence of the Bishop of Down and Connor. The actual religion of the children can be irrelevant. It is the sometimes the perceived religion that matters.

    We are so fixated on religion, we cant see evil in our midst.

    I have no idea what point you are trying to make. Is the work of a sectarian killer any less evil than the work of a serial killer?

  • Miss Fitz

    All I am saying is that when people fixate on the sectarian motive, we can stand back and say…. ‘Ah yes, what would you exepct, its the murderous fenians attacking us as they have done for centuries’ OR ‘Ah yes, what would you expect, it’s the murderous huns attacking us as they have done for decades, and depriving us of our religious and civil liberty’

    All I’m saying is that its time to change the tune.

    A young child buying sweets was brutally murdered in cold blood. Forget the whys, wherefores, connections, implications, godfathers and conduct a full and fair forensic examination of the scene.

    Arrest the sons of bitches and take them off the street. This is thuggery and psychopathic behaviour masquerading as something else. Calling it sectarian almost glorifies it, or gives it purpose. That is what we need to deconstruct here, and call it like it is.

  • Rubicon

    That this murder may be all you say it is Miss Fitz – it may also have been sectarian.

    If the police are so sure that the murder wasn’t sectarian they must know a great deal about the motivations of the perpetrators. It seems strange then that it took so long for these arrests to occur.

  • Garibaldy

    Arrests were made shortly afterwards. Without witnesses and physical evidence, you are reliant on breaking suspects. And it seems that the police have been unable to do so in this case.

    This is a distressing case all round. But not helped by people’s attempts at partisan point scoring, both on Slugger and in wider society.

  • Miss Fitz

    I’m really not trying to make an issue over the motive, cant you see that?

    I’m only trying to say that we have to see violence without green or orange glasses, we have to see it as violence. If we label it as sectarian in an easy fashion, we fail to see the underlying problems in society. We walk away too easily when we can lay blame, and that ultimately undermines law and order.

  • willis

    Miss Fitz

    I think you have tried very hard to keep this thread on track.

    The problem here is that a semantic arguement over sectarianism is clouding the real need to move to a normal society.

    We seem to have at least 3 police forces at the moment.

    PSNI1 Still running paramilitary informants and pursuing anti-terror agenda.

    PSNI2 Attempting normal policing

    Police Ombudsman Attempting to uncover the misdeeds of PSNI1

    To be fair to PSNI2, When an area has been terrorised for 20+ Years by psychopaths (With or without PSNI1 help) even brave and decent people will think long and hard before coming forward.

    The power of paramilitaries over their local area and hinterland must be broken. Sadly this requires a will on the part of politicians and the electorate which currently they do not possess.

  • Rubicon

    Willis – I generally agree with your point. Our local politicians do not appear to be any better than the British or Irish governments in trying to tackle this problem. Trimble made this mistake in damning the agreement by faint praise through contaminating it with issues best left to criminal justice.

    It’s rare you hear a politician asking what can be done to modify or change laws that can make the criminal justice system more effective. Instead we see a general trend to ‘engage’ with those breaking the law.

    Miss Fitz – I see your point and in this society it can appear that a sectarian motive does distract from the wickedness of the crime. That however is a reflection on us – not the facts. Those complaining about the McCartney publicity could have hardly undermined their MOPE more eloquently.

    I’m far from convinced that this crime was not sectarian though – for the very reasons Garibaldy pointed to. There is a fear that thwarts this investigation and that fear is generated by sectarian, violent, murderous and criminal organisations. The MOPEs are correct in bringing attention to the McCartney case (attention they attribute to be everyone elses fault but their own). Murder does not need to be sectarian for it to be foul. Organisations that contribute to thwarting the justice system don’t need to be sectarian either – but they are foul none the less.

    I think the challenge you’ve put forward is a good one – murder is murder. Whether we view it as orange or green should not infect our judgement of it and I’d not be as concerned about whether it was sectarian or not.

    In favour of your view though is the clear evidence given by the McCartney MOPEs that you are correct. To some the foulness of the deed cannot be assessed before the score is first counted.

  • caulfield

    Miss Fitz
    A voice of sanity in a sea of madness

  • lib2016

    Surely the point Miss Fitz should be making is that sectarianism is wrong wherever it comes from? Ignoring religious sectarianism isn’t helpful whereas condemning it wherever we find it is slowly changing the acceptable norms of our society, just as racism has been tackled in other parts of the world.

    It’s not an easy task nor will we be successful in the short term but I’d rather condemn both racism and sectarianism than have a guilty conscience for standing back saying nothing. Just to clarify my point – a sectarian motive makes a crime more serious IMO and I believe in the idea of prosecuting those responsible for for ‘hate crimes’.

  • Jo

    Does anyone else feel that the timing of arrests on the exact anniversary of the murder was really a PSNI signal to those arrested (and to others) that they really are in the sights for this dreadful killing. I think the timing as significiant as anything – particularly if they were questioned previously.

  • lib2016

    ‘I think the timing (is) as significant as anything’

    Let’s hope so – there’s no doubt that we are moving towards a more widely accepted police service.