No link between Cork money and Belfast heist…

Our Republican commenters have been adamant that there was and has been no connection between the money lifted in bags out of a garden in Cork, and the Northern Bank robbery. It’s a view that if not exactly confirmed by yesterday’s announcement that there is still no evidential link between them, certainly throws up questions about assertions from ministers (here and here) that there was a connection. Even Noel Conroy was convinced in October last year that a link would be proven. In fairness, he still is. Hmmm…

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  • Unionist Mindset

    Quite a fair amount of people; Garda, Senior Ministers and some Republicans know damn well that money is NOT the NB money. Of course it will not be til after the election that the truth wil be established.

    I would stil love to know what did happen to that white van?

  • Mick Fealty

    Why just the white van?

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    That very brief note you linked on yesterday’s meeting doesn’t exactly reflect the actual quotes reported from Noel Conroy

    Mr Conroy, who was in Limavady, Co Londonderry, for the launch of a new cross-border crime assessment, also gave new detail on how his detectives have linked cash seized in the Irish Republic from the IRA’s €26.5 million raid on the Northern Bank’s Belfast HQ in December 2004.

    There are areas which the forensics plus the number of witnesses that have been interviewed are indicating without doubt that the money came from that robbery,” he said.

  • Henry94

    Vindication once again.

  • circles

    Ach the amount of evidence will depend on the direction of the politial wind, until this story just dries up. Sometimes it helps if it was the RA, sometimes it hinders, so depending on whats needed, statements will be issued.
    Lot of oul nonsense. The people will never know, and the cops are too busy serving politics to have a real look at the thing.

  • circles

    “There are areas which the forensics plus the number of witnesses that have been interviewed are indicating without doubt that the money came from that robbery,”

    What? Did the witnesses recognise the notes? “Oh I saw that one before in the northern in belfast just before the robbery”.
    Regarding the forensics – has anyone actually stated what this evidence might be?
    All the statements regarding this robbery are so wobbly none of them can be believed.

  • Paul

    The twists and turns of reps (in public) on this issue are tiresome. Everyone knows it was the PIRA, denials are purely debating points. They are good at robbing banks, they are good at destroying forensic evidence, they are good at keeping security, they are good at not cracking under questioning, they are disciplined, they get away with things. Nobody but a fool thinks it was anyone else though, and Circles and Henry94 are not fools. I remember PIRA apologists getting excited about that copycat heist in England , “look see, anyone can do it!” trouble is, the peelers rounded up that gang and the dosh within weeks, it takes good intelligence, good organisation and good discipline (like with an army) to get away with it, ODCs just don’t have it.

  • DerryTerry

    If there was a link it would have been proven. It hasn’t been because there obviously isn’t and no amount of waffle can cover this up.

  • Unionist Mindset

    Mick, re the white van.

    I am genuinely amazed that the van, which went on two trips, was only picked up on security or traffic cameras once.

    Surely with the amount of security cameras on fixed sites in the city, including the police stations and army facilities, there is no way the van could have slipped through the net to some unknown destination; suburb or town.

    Has anyone tried mapping a route to anywhere outside of belfast city centre without passing a camera?

    If they can allegdly find the banknotes in a house in cork, is it not too much to ask what happened to the van???

  • Unionist Mindset

    Paul,

    I like you do not know who robbed the NB. I accept the potential of the IRA to have done it. But do you not accept that a possible reason for the abscene of proof, evidence anything is because the police are looking in the wrong place?

  • circles

    Paul – I didn’t say the IRA did or did not do it.
    I said that it has all become just another political football as to make what really happened irrelevant – one day they did, the next they didn’t, then a week later maybe they did again – and yet not a whiff of evidence either way. Now it hardly gives an impression of professional police work does it – in fact its all about as reliable as somebody saying that the Ra did it, simply because they can do this sort of thing.

  • JD

    In the absence of any evidence,the strategy of stroking republican egos about IRA capabilities does not wash. It is very similar to earlier arguments that he had to be them because who else could it be, must do better. After his early attribution has anybody on the Policing Board thought it worthwhile to ask Hugh Orde how close is he to proving his days old assertion…. didn’t think so.

  • Paul

    I’m not sure it matters anymore anyway. I believe the IMC when they say the PIRA are no longer functioning. The NB job was one of their last hurrahs. Just another thing the rest of us have to forget about.
    Circles, Unionist Mindset, I think the PIRA did a very professional job, in their terms, on this. If you are well enough organised and have very good discipline you can get away with things. As regards looking in the wrong place, nearly two years after the deed noone has come up with any other possibles. Even SF stopped pushing the maverick securocrat line when people started laughing.

  • POL

    From what i remember the white van briefly disappeared of the radar at the grosvenor rd west link,then briefly reappeared close to Thievpal Barracks Lisburn. Is there a conspiracy theory in this somewhere.

    I tend to agree that Pira were professional enough to carry out the operation but too much has not been said to attribute any real plausible evidence to any particular grouping.

    Its the non-stories that tend to get me wondering,like the only cash actually recovered from the heist was found in the cistern of a toilet in a police recreational facility.But the story kind of disapeared too quickly for my liking.

  • Paul

    JD, if there was another group capable of operating in West Belfast,gathering intelligence, organising a large body of men at a number of different sites, pulling off this robbery and disposing of the money we would know about it. NI is a small place, West Belfast even smaller. Listening to some people on this site you would think a local darts team could have done for a laugh, and said nothing to nobody.
    The implication of the logic of DerryTerry, Henry94 and Circles is this, since nobody has been charged and convicted then nobody did it.
    To be honest, I’m not even that bothered about the robbery anymore, although subjecting people to terror and violence to get money is a sign of psychopathy, but listening to people arguing black is white is annoying.

  • circles

    Paul – its just a good thing that the legal system works on evidence rather than faith and opinion.
    The impact of this robbery was foreseeable, and was not unlike the Stormontgate affair. And whilst the unionists were screaming with righteous indignation in stormont back then we all kow how that particular fiasco panned out.
    So really, in this wee dirty corner of ours, nothing would surprise me. If takes “it takes good intelligence, good organisation and good discipline” for something like this (not to mention good luck) the I can think of at least on other group in the north alone who were able for this.
    Anyway, this argument has been done to death.

  • circles

    Paul – you seem to have a logic glitch. The implication of the logic of DerryTerry, Henry94 and Circles is this, since nobody has been charged and convicted then THE COPS AND NOBODY ELSE CAN PROVE WHO DID IT (i.e. they do not know).

    Now if you can convince me otherwise, I’d appreciate stronger evidence than your own personal opinion.

  • heres hoping

    the good thing about this job is when the film is made the “good guys” will lose and the “baddies” will win, i always support the baddies….

    if the IRA did do it what a way to go out and the peelers must be still sick thinking about it… ye ha

  • Henry94

    Paul

    The implication of the logic of DerryTerry, Henry94 and Circles is this, since nobody has been charged and convicted then nobody did it.

    Let’s stipulate that somebody did it. I don’t mind if you think it was the IRA. You are entitled to your opinion. But when evidence or claims of evidence are put forward then they are open to question.

    This thread concerns the specific question of the Cork money which was linked to Sinn Fein by the arrest of a councilor several miles from any money. He was later released without charge.

    We were then told as a fact that the money would be linked to the NB forensically and definitively.

    Those of us who questioned that assertion were shown to be correct.

  • kensei

    “The twists and turns of reps (in public) on this issue are tiresome. Everyone knows it was the PIRA, denials are purely debating points. They are good at robbing banks, they are good at destroying forensic evidence, they are good at keeping security, they are good at not cracking under questioning, they are disciplined, they get away with things. Nobody but a fool thinks it was anyone else though, and Circles and Henry94 are not fools. I remember PIRA apologists getting excited about that copycat heist in England , “look see, anyone can do it!” trouble is, the peelers rounded up that gang and the dosh within weeks, it takes good intelligence, good organisation and good discipline (like with an army) to get away with it, ODCs just don’t have it.”

    So, what you are saying here is that the fact that there is no evidence proves it was the IRA. This is precisely the same reasoning that got the US into Iraq.

    Could have been the IRA? Surely. Until there is actually any evidence, however, it isn’t.

  • Henry94

    kensei

    The IRAs “trademark absence of forensic evidence” was put forward at the time as a reason for suspecting them!

    Later, when forensic evidence was allegedly found on a hat at one of the crime scenes it was inexplicably not enough to prove they didn’t do it.

    On this case people want to have their forensic cake and eat it.

  • JD

    “although subjecting people to terror and violence to get money is a sign of psychopathy, but listening to people arguing black is white is annoying.”

    There seems to have been an extremely careful and sophisticated use of terror, that is you obviously need someone scared enough that they will do what you ask but not scared enough that they cannot do it without suspicion in a work environment. Therefore the quick flash of the gun to the bank employee as he is being bundled in the car was suffice (see spotlight). This is undoubtedly similar to tactics learned in the Great Escape of 1981, however why is a black operation by British security services so riduculous. They certainly have all the capabilities and know how that you outlined Paul and much as you give acknowledgement to the potential capabilities of the IRA, the fact that nothing of substance has been produced ofter so long stretches their credibility, even they are not that good.

  • Paul

    Kensei, the lack of evidence does not prove the PIRA did it, just that someone extremely well organised and experienced in these matters was involved. What points to the PIRA is the size of the operation and the ability to take over a house and occupants in Poleglass, for the best part of a night/day, with no worries about being found out.
    Also, everyone privy to PSNI and Garda intelligence, including people like Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair, both desperate for the agreement to work, were 100% convinced by that intelligence as to who the culprits were. We know now how deeply infiltrated SF are, so the intelligence was certainly accurate. As I remember, Bertie was furious at SF’s duplicity and lies – they had been negotiating, apparently in good faith, at Leeds Castle just days before the robbery. His anger was not false and he had no doubts whatever as to who had committed the robbery.
    No, not enough to convict in a court of law but enough for me.

  • Henry94

    Paul

    His anger was not false

    At last somebody who can read Bertie’s mind. Were his tears real as he explained how he took the cash from his friends?

    On that subject Eoughan Harris leapt to Bertie’s defense because he said Bertie shafted Sinn Fein in the south.

    What do you think he was referring to?

    The rest of your argument is a restatement of the old “it had to be them because it had to be” point.

  • POL

    Paul,

    Listening to some people on this site you would think a local darts team could have done for a laugh, and said nothing to nobody.

    Funny you said that Paul cos one of those arrested played for a local darts team Hmmmmmmmmmmm.Do you know something we dont,cos a mate of mine plays for the same team and he bought a round of drinks not long after this heist took place.

  • heres hoping

    i agree d from w grown men and women chucking spears at a defencless board is no way to behave in this day and age…

    if you had the money what would you do with it..i would give it back to its rightful owners yee ha

    fed up with these threads the moneys gone and the keystone guy will never get it back fet over it

  • POL

    #

    I think it disgraceful and hope that the authorities do something about it.
    Posted by Disgusted from Waterford on Oct 10, 2006 @ 03:26 PM

    Hmmmm what if the authorities carried it out.It did happen at a time when agreement on the political front was pretty close.Funny that, similiar scandals have also appeared at other times of unionist uneasiness with the political process.
    Maybe it was a DUP job, Wee Willie and Peter Robinson being the brains behind it.They could`ve used the well oiled machine of Ulster Resistance led by the big doc,whereas the Ulster Scots agency could`ve laundered the money riviving the language.Could have sworn i saw wee Sammy spending northern bank notes by the dozen doing his Harley up.

  • Paul

    POL, At least you are offering up a suggestion as to who would have gained from setting up the PIRA. Bercause,apart from the DUP, everyone else wanted the agreement to work, even the late David Trimble. If it wasn’t “wee Sammy” and the rest who kidnapped and terrorised two families (using his extensive contacts in Poleglass)in two different locations, drove the van to W.Belfast (obviously he would have a safe house there) and then organised the laundering of the money, using the experience and contacts gained in previous bank robberies and criminal activities, then who was it? Perhaps a gang of 25-30 disgruntled securocrats were so pissed off at the idea of Gerry Kelly being Minister for Drains in a devolved local government that they decided to risk careers, pensions, reputations and liberty to thwart SF? Get real. It was the provos and the motive was greed. As to reading Bertie’s mind, genuine anger is hard to fake, a settlement in N.I. would be a feather in their caps, why would Bertie and Tony pull the plug unless the intelligence evidence was so overwhelming they had no choice, after all they turned a blind eye to other provo criminality, murders and maimings?

  • Colin

    just to clarify, in case i missed something….

    the only notes traced back to the robbery wee found in a PSNI sports club, correct?

    and the only people charged in connection to the robbery have no previous documented PIRA links, correct?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Poor Pete is clutching at straws. His quote from Noel Conroy says nothing that isn’t contradicted in Mick’s post. If there’s forensics, if there’s witness statements, then it’s time to charge someone. OR ELSE SHUT THE FUCK UP. I’m more than tired at the constant refrain from Pete and the Fellow Travellers about the Cork money, about the Northern Bank job. Just an ounce of evidence would be enough for now to satisfy me….go on do us all a favour OR ELSE DO AS SUGGESTED ABOVE…..

  • Oillibhear Chromaill

    Tell us, Pete, please, what part of the news report beneath don’t you understand? Is it not clear enough? It is in the Irish Indo, not a noted fan of the Republican Movement?


    THE Garda Commissioner admitted yesterday that money found in Co Cork in the wake of searches following the stg£26m (€38.5m) Northern Bank robbery in Belfast almost two years ago has still not been forensically linked to the heist.

    The PSNI and the gardai believe the Provisional IRA carried out the robbery from a bank in 2004.

    At a cross-border conference on policing in Limavady, Co Derry, Commissioner Noel Conroy said he believed the money found would ultimately be linked to the crime.

  • Glen Taisie

    Some of the money was so clean they burnt it!!!!!

    Adams KNEW.

  • June76

    What a fascinating thing personal logic is. You can make it do almost anything.

    According to some the IRA robbed the Northern Bank because…..the IRA were one of the few groups that had the capability. Yet the same people also claim that the IRA broke into one of the most secure police stations in Northern Ireland to steal files (long after the ceasefire) even though such an action would represent a very significant uplift in their capability.

    Makes you wonder why they spent all those years lobbing bombs over the walls when they could just as easily have carried them in.

  • Q. why not just carry them in ?

    A. Lobbing bombs over walls is much more fun !

  • Unionist Mindset

    Paul, you said “drove the van to W.Belfast”

    How do you know this?