It was for real

The bombs used in the attack upon Stormont were genuine. UPDATE The gun was an imitation (hat tip to observer). From the photographs of the incident at Stormont it looks like a version of the Colt Military Model 1911.

  • Terror strikes at the seat of Northern Ireland Government
    It would be farcical if it wasn’t such a serious situation.

  • Click the genuine link, it shows Michael Stone in all his Demonic glory !!

    Just when the threat was thought to come from Dissident Republicans, we are thrown a curve ball by Dissident Loyalists.

    A time for cool heads.

    I hope all those involved from both sides will publicaly urge no more attacks, otherwise this really could spiral out of control, and provide another opportunity to delay any progress.

    The quote:
    “Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” was applied to Palestinians,

    I hope it is never re-applied to Loyalists/Republicans in Ireland.

  • Truth and Justice

    This terrible act only goes to show that we need to move from the past it was pathetic and wrong and shows why unionism needs to be strong and support the St Andrews Agreement.

  • bertie

    It goes to show that this guy and his ilk should never have been released from prison.

  • miss fitz

    Last night on Hearts and Minds, Naomi Long said she wished the Super Nanny could come and put all the MLA’s out on the steps of Stormont and make them think about one bad thing they had done.

    As I watched the ffotage this evening, it was David Ford saying ‘This should be stopped’ when the chamber was evacuated.

    Fair dues to Alliance for prescience!

    On a more serious note, I object to anyone calling this a farce, it was an attempt at mass murder. This is not funny, we are all just so jaded we can think its funny, but its deadly serious. Only the valiant efforts of Stormont Security have allowed us the privilege of not anticipating funerals over the next days ahead.

    And yes, it is that easy to get into Stormont on foot. Perhaps Stone has ensured it will never be that accesible again

  • Jeremy

    Its funny in a surreal sense. If the gun can hold 8-10 rounds was it 4-5 for the Nationalists and 4-5 for the DUPers. If that maniac could meander about the grounds unmolested then could he not have easily set up a sniper position and actually killed someone.

  • miss fitz

    Actually, it would be very difficult to snipe, as you would have to take up a stand in the car park where there is a security hut. There has not been a presence just outside the building, hence his ability to spray paint what he did. Maximum damage would have been caused by shooting his way in and detonating his 8 bombs. Hugh Orde has called him a lunatic, but a dangerous murderous one, it has to be added.

  • rapunsel

    Last time I was up at Stormont to meet an MLA just got waved on through at Security– not so much of even a cursory car search

  • dpef

    I hope he enjoys serving the remaining 20 years of his 30 year tarrif.

    All for nothing and it only took a woman to stop him.

    Sleep well Michael Stone, we won’t have to endure you again. You are dying in gaol.

  • Plum Duff

    Given the well known antipathy between Stone and Mad Dog Adair, life in Maghaberry Prison seems set for an interesting uplift.

  • Rubicon

    I’ve just got home from this fiasco. I’ve not yet had time to think about what could have happened today. Thank God it didn’t.

    On a point of information – I’ve talked to some of the door-keepers on duty today. None of them were at the front door but had heard details from their colleagues.

    Stone told one of the door-keepers who’d held him, “if that was a real gun I’d have blown your fucking head off”.

    Those door-keepers are not even recognised as security staff and are paid little more than the minimum wage.

    Meanwhile, the media has spouted poison about the money the Assembly costs. Who but the media has been giving Stone attention?

    A number of questions come out of this. We have the time to reflect on them – given us by some selfless people. Unfortunately the MLAs who blocked the west door and stopped the evacuation of the building (the DUP and 1 SF MLA) may hold their heads in shame. Their getting wet was more important than the threat to the life of others.

  • dpef

    Miss Fitz,

    “On a more serious note, I object to anyone calling this a farce, it was an attempt at mass murder. This is not funny, we are all just so jaded we can think its funny, but its deadly serious. Only the valiant efforts of Stormont Security have allowed us the privilege of not anticipating funerals over the next days ahead.”

    A point I made on the jaded and objectionable entry made by this blog’s owner.

  • Notbymight

    Mark Durkan was interviewed about it and he commented that he had spotted Stone in the carpark earlier in the day shouting various slogans – surely an effort could have been made then to shift him.

  • ffs

    FFS, if this was a serious attempt at mass murder, would he have stopped to spray graffitti on the front door before hobbling in?!
    Of course it wasn’t. It was the actions of a delusional attention seeker, the paramilitary equivalent of that crazy priest who attacks marathon runners.
    Fair play to the bird who smashed the butt down on his head. He will undoubtedly be claiming for that.
    If that gun is real, I am a banana.

  • B.Murphy

    When interviewed, Hugh Orde did`nt seem too bothered about the whole thing, saying that he thought it was just carried out as a publicty stunt, I suppose nobody knows publicty stunts at stormont better than the boul Hugh.

  • Cahal

    Those door keepers were amazing today. Whether or not that gun is real, how many people getting paid the minimum wage have the balls to wrestle a gun from a maniac. Both of them deserve medals.

  • English

    It was a set up, collusion between the PSNI, Stone and possibly some members of the DUP!

  • Rubicon

    English – would you please get a life! Perhaps Cahal’s comment may have been something you could have supported – but no.

    If English describes you – is it any wonder that you are thought arseholes?

  • I wonder…

    It does NOT show that early release was wrong, what will be shown very shortly is that the licence system works as we won’t be seeing this man’s ugly mug for a very long time. No bad thing.

  • Cynical

    i’m not usually one for conspiracy theories but it does seem like very convenient timing for the DUP and Stone was supposed to be born again christian, an artist and a pacifist etc

    Just strikes me as odd, thats all.

  • austin

    ‘If this was a serious attempt at mass murder,
    Of course it wasn’t.’

    Yeah your incisive argument might hold some weight,ffs, apart from the small matter of the 6 or 8 explosive devices he was carrying.

    Stop finding excuses for this man of violence.

  • ffs

    Yes, this arthritic cripple, who stopped for some leisurely graffitti spraying on his way to commit ‘mass murder’, was going to do so with a replica hand gun and a few crap pipe bombs that wouldn’t be out of place in an Elmer Fudd cartoon. You sound hysterical, dear.

  • ffs

    Pipe bombs only kill when they are held at head height. I doubt the canny Mr Stone would have been able to persuade anyone to co-operate with that requirement. But please, don’t let me stop you blowing this out of all proportion.

  • mickyfin

    who would have beleived micky stone disarmed by bet lynch, i heard the man that helped put him down was a polish immigrant

  • pauljames

    replica gun, firework bombs, only a soldier carrying the fight to the provos, someone grant this institutionalised fool his wish and put him away for good
    respect to the security staff

  • austin

    ‘But please, don’t let me stop you blowing this out of all proportion’

    Oh Dear ffs-rather an unforunate phrase that adds to the comedy value of your amusing stance on this issue.

    Stone may have given everyone a great laugh tonight because he ‘s managed to put himself back in the clink for another 20 years after being made to look the complete twat that he is by an elite team of Maybin Security Guards.
    However just because he made a complete arse of himself doesn’t take away from the fact that he has killed many times before and of course he had the potential to do so again today.

    I nearly died laughing anyway…

  • Dr Strangelove

    “I heard the man that helped put him down was a polish immigrant”

    Nice one, the mighty loyalist killer taken down by a Papist !

  • English

    Rubicon,

    Do you have to be so rude? You can slag the English, but you should look a bit closer to home!

    I was being serious – collusion is possible in this instance, how on earth did security let him get so far? NI has a long and shameful history of collusion between the likes of the DUP, police, security forces anf Loyalists like Mr Stone.

    Why did Stormont collapse last time, wasn’t it securicrat collusion?

  • loftholdingswood

    Sadly Michael has let himself down. I can only put it down to the demons in his head and the pain in his body that has so afflicted him. This in no way detracts from the work being done on the ground in Loyalist areas where we seek to move forward in a non violent way.

  • austin

    I think that the Young Newton Massive should restore that splendid mural of their hero that they used to have on Templemore Avenue-Do you remember it? The one that made him look like yer man out of Cannon and Ball.

    Although to be fair, Bobby Ball never got as many laughs as Stone managed today

    -ROCK ON TOMMY!

  • ffs

    Austin, his ‘potential to kill’ today was tiny and from the way he went about this ludicrous stunt / ‘operation’, his intention to kill was obviously non-existent.

  • paddyjoe

    The revolving doors in stormont have been fixed…….Apparently there was a fucking big STONE stuck in them

  • Door Store

    Has he still got the pony tail?

    He certainly made a horse’s arse of himself, anyway.

    Is this what the loyal sons of Ulster risked their lives for?

  • Yokel

    I guessed it was a Browning meself

  • Kensit

    English’s comment is the most interesting of all here. Most of the posters today seem to be above making serious comment, but surely any delays are good for the DUP as they keep the Republicans out of government in the North. Was it really a possibility that Ian Paisley was going to participate in an event that would see him working with Martin McGuinness?

  • vint

    East Belfast has produced some great heroes over the years.

    Michael Stone, Jim Gray, Andy Tyrie, John McKeague…

    cripples to Peadophile’s.

    That would be an interesting mural !!!

  • kensei

    It was for real? Let’s think this through. Stone marches up to Stormont with live rounds and a bomb. So, are you seriously trying to tell me he was going to get past the guards, plant the bomb, leave without being noticed and detonate it? Even with the “random bullets” option, he was never getting into the chamber. He’s not exactly unknown.

    It was quite clearly a stunt. One of which I am glad of, because it puts that psychopath Stone back in prison and the spotlight right on loyalist violence which in all this utter nonsense about oaths has been seemingly missed.

  • George

    ffs,
    the law can work does to protect society from people like Stone.

    The male and female security guards who bravely took Stone out at Stormont didn’t know that his gun wasn’t real (if that is true I haven’t heard anything).

    They believed their lives were in immediate danger so Stone will have to answer to that. It wouldn’t matter if he had a banana.

    Secondly, you say the chances of him killing people with his pipe bombs were miniscule. That is also irrelevant.

    The question is whether he intended to kill people with his pipe bombs and whether that was possible.

    On the evidence given so far, he intended to kill people and the devices were viable. That’s attempted murder.

    I would like to hear his defence on that charge.

  • kensei

    Oh, I’m not defending Stone in anyway, fair play to the guards and at a minimunm, there was a great danger of someone getting hurt by accident. As I said, it’ll mean him back in prison and I’m delighted.

    But let’s also be clear: this was a stunt. Instead of giving Stone the media oxygen he wants, use it as a way to put the heat back on Loyalism, focus on the matters at hand and make it a totally futile exercise.

  • Rubicon

    English – I’m not sure if you are a novice sucking your thumb or part of the NIO that thinks all Paddy’s thick.

    You think I was rude? Well – pardom me!

    If you are as ignorant as you claim you’ll easily determine that security to the building is the NIO responsibiliy. Inquire further and you’ll find that this situation has been complained about bitterly. The door-keepers don’t get paid properly because NIO is looking after security.

    Well – there you have it ‘English’. You demonstrated your responsibilities in no less a way than any Irishman would have expected!

    You ask why Stormont collapsed? Typicial English attitude! There’s one law for us Paddies – but you’d not have it yourselves!

    There was no judicial process that could in any way demonstrate why our legislature was taken down in 2002. The charges were dropped – by who?

    Sorry if I’m blunt – but – you really seem to know nothing about the issue. That probably qualifies you for high office in the NIO – but still leaves you ignorant.

  • ffs

    JESUS: I’m not justifying this maniac’s actions, I am pointing out that he wasn’t on a ‘mission’ to kill people. Otherwise he would have.
    It was a stunt. A most unpleasant one at that, but a stunt nonetheless.
    The security guards deserve medals, no doubt. They acted in an exemplary and highly courageous manner and nothing I have said is intended to detract from that.
    But this was a nasty stunt by a self-publicising lunatic, not a serious effort to kill people.

  • George

    ffas,
    how do you know it was a stunt?

    From what I can see a known murderer has just attempted to carry out a similar killing spree as before.

    It is not a stunt, it’s attempted murder. Are you saying he had no targets?

    Are you saying you know that if Stone had the chance he would have declined the opportunity to kill one of his targets?

    The man had the means and, from what I can see, the intent to commit mass murder.

    On what do you base this theory of yours that this was a stunt?

  • Rubicon

    ffs – and that understanding is exactly what drives the interpretation of Alderdice’s reports?

    Get a grip! I mean it – unionism shamed itself today. You are guilty by association.

    The UUP signed up with the UVF and the DUP can’t have forgotten where they left their red berets. What a laugh!

    But it’s not – you have nutters you’ve encouraged and now want to distance yourself from. Sure – Stone may be easy – and ‘republicans’ masy be no better – it is still true that the paramilary forces in NI are loyalist.

    Unionism argues that they’ve no control over violent loyalism (but still manage to get them to ‘police’ their marches). Even if unionism is taken at its word – is it more than a declaration of incompentence while retsining the option to use violence (but blame it on grunts)?

    Can unionism declare itself incompetent or deal with the issues it raises in a fair way?

    I suspect neither.

  • ffs

    “unionism shamed itself today.”

    I like the way your sectarian binary mindset autmoatically assumes I am a unionist. I most certainly am not. I am stating the bleedin’ obvious.
    Whatever points you make about Ulster Resistance, the PUP and UUP or indeed the Plantation of Ulster, they are irrelevant: today was a stunt by a crank. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • George

    ffs,
    I ask again: On what do you base your idea that this was merely a stunt?

    On the fact that the last time Stone did something similar, three people were murdered?

    On the fact that he only had a load of pipe bombs?

    On the fact that he had a gun?

    What evidence do you have that he wasn’t intending to kill people when he arrived with a bag full of bombs and a gun?

    The last time he arrived with a bag full of bombs and a gun he killed people.

  • Rubicon

    OK ffs I apologise – I should not have had a go at you; it was your views I disagreed with and responded to.

    So – today was a stunt?

    Can I measure it in feet? How many feet are you granting violent loyalism? Are you regretting Stone didn’t get through to the Chamber? Are you pleased he was stopped?

    I’m sure you like to think yourself clear of this. Sure – the mad loyalists have nothing to do with “you” (I mean “you” as the unionist view-point – but in saying this I’m tarring too many).

    Put straight, unionists saved today and unionism made a monumental arse of itself. Ask FD – the DUP don’t know where they are – but it’s not a good day to have a go at ‘republican’ criminality.

    Unfortunately, Paisley and his ilk aren’t the only ones paying the piper.

    Here’s a suggestion – can the DUP sell more than sand to Arabs? My own view is that there’s too many of them who need to negotiate with guns under the table. Paisley took them there.

    If Paisley has changed his mind – no Taig will demand sackcloth – just clarity. His own 5th column fascists (12 – so far) are under his control.

    Aren’t they? Or is he blameless again?

  • ffs

    I’ve already explained just why it is absurd that this was a serious attempt at mass murder, please refer to my previous posts on the matter.
    If you really want to see it in those terms, as apparently you and other posters of a particular perpective are determined to, then there’s nothing I can do to persuade you otherwise.
    People in this place just love blowing things out of proportion, especially if they can score tedious sectarian points.
    Today’s event makes not one iota of difference to the overall picture, it was an abberation born of the actions of a lunatic. But please wallow in aspirational victimhood if it gives you a tribal hard-on, by all means.

  • ffs

    Rubicon, I’d have been happier if that female security guard had been able to grab his gun – and that it was a real one – and shot him in the head on the spot. And been given the keys of the city as a result.

  • roisin

    His only crime was loyalty. Amd that he didn’t get in and dispatch a few windbags. Belfast was much better with the Troubles. People had purpose to their lives. Now all we have is drug dealing and Martin McGuinness looking for attention. Is Vincent McKenna out of jail yet?

  • ffs

    “Is Vincent McKenna out of jail yet?”

    LOL, literally.

  • absolutelyhadenough

    What this does expose is the NI media’s pathetic pathetic pathetic fawning of (ex?) terrorists.

    We’ve had this for donkeys years now – most recently remember the Bishop Tutu nonsense with Mr Deep and Meaningful Feargal Keane. Stone played them all brilliantly – he milked every media opportunity he’s ever got and the luvvie media bought it hook line and sinker.

    Wonder when they’re going to show the “At Home with Robert Mugabe” 6 part soft focus series where we find out which fucker broke the eagle eyes feature on Robert’s toy Action Man and bit the rubber fingers off.

    Even tonight UTV (HOW MUCH plastic surgery has Lynda Bryans had anyway?) were showing a recent interview with Stone talking about his regrets blah blah blah.

    THESE PEOPLE ARE EFFING MURDERERS!!! MOWLAM CALLED STONE “AN UNSUNG HERO OF THE PEACE PROCESS”!!!!

    And then Adams with his harem of Mary Lou and Catriona et al outside Stormont doing a press conference saying “My God there was an armed man in there” – LIKE YOU’VE NEVER FUCKING SEEN ONE OF THEM BEFORE??!!!

    CAN SOMEBODY GET THE EMPEROR SOME CLOTHES??!!

    I’m off to bed. Maybe tomorrow will be better… no hang on, I need to phone Pobal to get my street name translated into Gaeilge so I’m ready for when the Irish Language Act comes in.

  • Wilde Rover

    Perhaps this event may afford General de Chastelain the right to end his role in the charade the Decommissioning Commission has become. It is clear that loyalism will remain armed and that no effective pressure will be brought to bear on them.

    Maybe he could just pull a sickie after Christmas.

  • Yesterdays events were a smoke screen. Stone’s actions were those of a psychopath unable to adjust to life in a normalised society. Yesterdays big story was Ian Paisley accepting power sharing with Sinn Fein (with conditions). Who would have guessed it?

  • bertie

    “What this does expose is the NI media’s pathetic pathetic pathetic fawning of (ex?) terrorists. ”

    absolutley!

  • Rory

    What isn’t clear is whether Stone was pitching for absolute consolidation in the Loyalist Murder Hall of Fame or whether he was auditioning for a Woody Allen film. Charlize Theron and George Clooney are rumored to have already signed up to play the heroic doorkeepers and provide the love interest while Woody will direct and play Peter Robinson.

  • George

    ffs,
    you may not think it was attempted murder but that’s exactly what Stone has just been charged with.

    In your view, the man is innocent of these charges?

  • MICKYFIN

    LETS FACE IT HE,S A BUNGLING ASSASIN,WHO WAS BROUGHT TO HIS KNEES AND BEAT AROUND THE HEAD(WITH HIS OWN GUN) BY UN ARMED USHERS.HE COULD NT EVEN FINISH THE SLOGAN HE WAS WRITING OUTSIDE.AT LEAST HE HAD THE DECENCY TO GET RID OF THE MULLET. HE NOW LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THE THREE STOOGIES

  • cynical

    Well very clearly the man is guilty beyond any doubt of attempted murder. I don’t think anyone is trying to claim otherwise.

    What is more interesting than the immediately obvious is the question why he did it. Again obviously he is a physco but the general thoughts within loyalism was in support of the Assembly and who did his actions benefit?

    I think there is much more to it than the bland “He is guilty of attempted murder”. Thats obvious, whats not is the sequence of events that led him to do it.

  • Observer

    Apparently Stone was wielding an imitation firearm and is facing five charges of attempted murder.

    The Guardian has the story here.

  • ffs

    “In your view, the man is innocent of these charges?”

    Im my view, the man must be presumed innocent until he has had due legal process.
    I note that I was correct about the gun being a fake.
    With any luck he will be sectioned.

  • Confused

    Stone has been found guilty of serious crimes and will probably stand trial for more crimes.Some mlas inside the chamber have committed murder or attemted murder——–so what’s the difference.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree with the comments about the security staff. There’s no way they could have known whether the devices Stone had were dangerous, or whether the gun he was carrying was real. The police have described the devices as “amateur” but, critically, they did not describe them as hoaxes – which surely means that they were probably intended to do damage of not kill, and if not for the incompetence of the person who built them, probably would have succeeded.

    I see the police are saying that Stone is being charged with the attempted murder of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. Since the police cannot have known who the targets really were, I suspect stone has written a statement declaring that the death of these two men was his intention.

    I ain’t a psychologist, but I suspect Stone has a severe case of narcissistic personality disorder – there is a clear pattern to his behaviour, launching these huge, disorganized stunts which he likely believes win him kudos amongst the loyalist community. The man loves publicity, has several books out and the effing Sunday World is constantly asking him for his hard-man views which undoubtedly only makes things worse.

    This deranged, dangerous maniac should not be in jail but in a mental asylum.

  • rodney

    ‘Im my view, the man must be presumed innocent until he has had due legal process.’

    very noble and quite right too ffs.

    However I understand that the bombs were viable devices consisting of petrol,gas and exposive substances.-not to mention the knives ets.

    As this man had considerable previous form, it is evident that he was quite willing and capable of committing further murders if he had gained access to the main hall.

  • frank

    I wonder how senior Belfast Orangeman Billy Mawhinney would have reacted to Stone, had he been on the door at Stormont yesterday ?

    Mawhinney was suspended from his job as a Stormont doorman when he said that the uvf & uda were an integral part of the unionist community and were the protectors of the protestant people.

    If the likes of Mawhinney are still employed at Stormont then there is a security problem.

  • English

    Rubicon,

    I have never been to Stormont, but even I know that it is not straightforward to gain access, security is present and you need ID etc. It it highly unusual that anyone can get in who shouldn’t – let alone, probably one of this country’s most infamous terrorists. Not only this he was able to daub grafitti on it’s walls and try to get in with a gun and pipe bombs.

    There are too many people in Northern Ireland who do not like the likes of Gerry Adams, and plenty of people who would never want to see them in power. Somebody in an official capacity co-operated with Stone to get him that far – who that was remains to be seen. That it my opinion, like it or lump it! I do not understand why you are so offended by this view, it is commonsense!

  • miss fitz

    English
    You really need to have a better understanding of the Stormont Estate to make the assumption that the security would prove a dterrent as opposed to a recording mechansim.

    There are 3 entrances to Stormont on Massey Avenue, Stoney Road and N’ards Road. There are security stands at each of these and cars are stopped on entry and a valid reason for entry is given. Pedestrian entry is not restricted at all.

    In addition to Parliament buidlings, there are at least 6 departments on site with thousands of civil servants on site. Although there are no public offices per se, ie jobs and benefits, agencies like the Department of Agriculture often have members of the public in attendance.

    Finally, there are the playing grounds and sports pavillion on the site, open to all members.

    So you idea that this is a secure area is a non runner, and the conspiracy theories surrounding this idea are non starters.

    Security could probably be increased, but I assume that would entail a severe curtailment on pedestrian access as well buidling some barriers between Stormont Castle and the lower part of the estate.

    In my own opinion, the fact that Stone did not gain access shows that the internal security was adequate. However, in the time it took to spray paint the buidling, it would have been possible to position explosive devices undetected. Perhaps a permanent outside presence on the building perimeter, or indeed CCTV with monitoring is now what is required.

  • Rubicon

    English – from Miss Fitz reply you may get a better picture of the security situation surrounding Parliament Buildings. It is perfectly possible for Stone to have walked in to the estate without being checked – 100’s do each day walking their dogs or just to take a stroll. Stone himself has been interviewed by his media buddies within the Stormont grounds.

    As for your suspicion that he’d an official collaborator – at what point would this collaboration have occurred? Assembly security begins at the doors to the building – the point where Stone was stopped.

    No doubt security will be strengthened after this. I think CCTV is already in place and the building regularly patrolled. Whatever those changes are, I hope they don’t distance the people from their legislature where differences are to be debated and resolved peacefully. Perhaps Stone reminded a few MLAs of the bad old days and the pressing need to make their chamber work.

  • English

    I take your points on board – it just seems backwards to me that this sort of thing would be allowed to happen on such a big day (indeed any day) at Stormont. It wouldn’t happen at Westminster I imagine!

  • miss fitz

    Yeah but Westminster is an entirely different set up. This is a huge site with multiple departments and agencies in dozens of buildings. Stormont Castle is a different building to Parliament Buidlings and has a very different security arrangement. There is no way to access the castle without prior permission. Paliament Buildings have a fascinating history and if you ever come over you should take advatnage of the guided tour of the buidlings.

    Last week I was privileged to be invited to a cross-community attended Ba’hai devotional service in Stormont. Eileen Bell was making the point on that occasion that she wanted the buidlings to be as public and accesible as possible, but i think we may be reversing that trend pretty soon. Its a shame that ‘lunatics’ such as Stone destroy this ability for people to access their parliament

  • ffs

    English, you can get a f*cking bus into Stormont.
    There was no conspiracy. Wise, as we say, up.