Barbaric attack on couple

Barbaric seems an inadequate adjective to describe this attack on a couple near Keady, County Armagh in which they were doused in flammable liquid and set on fire. The 21 year old woman is critically ill, the 33 year old man in a serious but stable condition, and the house gutted. And while there is little official indication yet of the “definite line of inquiry” the police are following, there was a suggestion on a UTV news report – not online – that the assault, or rather attempted murder, by a gang of up to six men, was not sectarian nor racist.. but might have been a so-called punishment attack. Adds The same suggestion is made by a local councillor on RTÉ radio[Realplayer audio] More Belfast Telegraph report – “Local people today blamed self-styled vigilantes for the attack” Update The RTÉ report has been updated and there’s not one, but two short Six One News reports[RealPlayer video] More BBC report update


  • icedink

    A very sobering report, but do people in the media still say “punishment attack”, even though it is qualified with a “so-called”? This has always seemed a very strange thing to me. Even with qualification, it is a kind of newspeak (although, happily, it now seems to be going out of fashion) that lends legitimacy to criminality and cruelty.

  • Pete Baker


    I understand the concern about the use of language, but it was certainly not my intention to lend legitimacy to any aspect of the attack.

  • This is the work of savages.

  • joeCanuck

    The depth to which some psychopaths will stoop seems to have no bottom.

  • kadenza

    wow, thats nasty. what was it that these people were suspected of. I mean to set someone alight takes either real real hatred or your a fukcing psycho.

  • joeCanuck


    The really scary thing about this is that psychopaths usually work alone. But this was a gang of 5 or6.

    Did not one of them have a shred of humanity?

  • nmc

    They are deserving of the punishment they dish out. One can only hope that they get the lives, and deaths they deserve.

  • strangerdanger

    dont the people in south armagh vote for people who did things like this ?

  • joeCanuck

    Shame on you strangerdanger.

  • Rory

    “…dont the people in south armagh vote for people who did things like this ? -Strangerdanger.

    I wouldn’t know about that, but I can say with absolute certainty that the people of the UK and the US most certainly vote for leaders who order and sanction such merciless immolation of hapless civilians. Unfortunately there is no sanction against these thugs nor any possibility, in this life at least, of any justice for their victims.

  • Brenda

    It turned my stomach when I heard it. Words fail- how could anyone recover psychologically from an attack like that? Or live with themselves after doing it.

    Stomach churning…..sick.

  • jim

    RTE are reporting that 4 brothers who arrived at Dundalk hospital last night with serious burns may have a connection to the incident.

  • realist

    “dont the people in south armagh vote for people who did things like this ?”

    Why shame on anyone for pointing out the obvious?
    The people of South Armagh repeatedly vote en masse for the organisation who incinerated hundreds of Prods…why is this somehow different? Except perhaps that in this case the victims are alive.

  • aquifer

    When they use the term ‘punishment attacks’ journalists allow themselves to be used to carry terrorist propaganda. They were ever the suckers for terrorist ‘spectaculars’, awarding armed cliques acres of newsprint for cold blooded murder. Victims were largely ignored, used as human post-it notes for someone’s adolescent political and sectarian daubings. In many ways, they have been repeatedly serving up the same old religious conflict story, spiced up with a big of gore from time to time to get it down the necks of their public.

  • againstthehead

    i guess with no trustworthy police force this type of action is acceptable in south armagh

  • Yokel

    The cops were apparently going down a definte line of enquiry. It wasnt sectarian or racist, it wasn’t robbery but the cops won’t say what that definite line is which suggests:

    a) They can’t say
    b) They can say but its who was involved

    If 4 people involved turn up south of the border who have been involved then they’ll have to be extradited I assume.

  • starbuck

    only going on news reports here but the 4 people are allegedly from the Markethill area so it would seem that they totally messed up in their beating/scare tactics and set the victims either accidently/purposefully and themselves on fire and others in the group received burns trying to rescue them

    looks like a horrible domestic unfortunately

    very sad

  • joeCanuck

    Shame on you too realist for trying to tar (some of) the voters of South Armagh with culpability for this horrific act.
    Sometimes I get sick of the naked sectarianism displayed by some commentators on this site.

  • stanger danger

    what a laugh,
    the people in south Armagh vote in the over whelming majority for the sinn fein party, to suggest that this incident is somehow more horrific than those perpetrated by the ira in the same area strikes me as disingenuous
    please tell me the difference between this and the hundreds of murders in south Armagh perpetrated by a political/ paramilitary group electorially endorsed by south Armagh’s sinn fein voters.
    or the thousands of punishment attacks carried out by the same interrelated groups….

    explain to me why my comparison is not valid and why you felt the need to make such a knee jerk, personal reaction to it.

    explain to me how you can with good conscience condemn one group of murders and then vote for another.

    or is it that “murder isn’t murder” when you aprove of its motives.

    shame on south armagh for its hypocrisy in presuming it can condemn some men for what it rewards others for doing.

  • joeCanuck

    I’ve never voted for Sinn Fein nor condoned the horrible murders carried out by any terrorist group.
    You are to be shamed for condemning a whole group of people for the actions of a few psychopaths.

  • Butterknife

    Is there any truth that the female victim is a relative of the late Harold Gracey?

  • sd

    “You are to be shamed ” – gosh sounds like im for a good ol’ south Armagh tar and feathering…..

    is south Armagh or is it not an area of vast ira support ?

    is the supported organisation not responsible for crimes as bad as the above ?

    is it not fair to question the anomaly of an area where elected political representatives can condemn the above incident whilst representing a body which did far worse and never even apologised ? never mind submitted to justice ?

    is this not an anomaly ?

  • PFM

    In the absence of a trusted policing service, for whatever reason, vigilante attacks will happen (obviously the extent of this was not intended). You cannot judge about ‘psychopaths’ without knowing detail or motive.