Stone only wanted back into jail…

The attempt on Stormont had the potential to be life threatening, even if it looked farcical at the time. The devices were real enough, and witnesses reported that the bag was smoking at the time. One thing missed out of many of the early reports though was that Stone himself is a virtual cripple these days, which is one obvious reason why he got caught in the revolving doors (another metaphor for our arthritic Peace Process™?). But, Liam Clarke reports, he was less intent on sowing mayhem than just getting back into jail. It seems he had four paramilitary squads on his tail at the time.

  • The UDA sent four squads to stop him, but somehow failed to find him as he made his way into Stormont??? Give me a break. This is just a way for UDA to have it both ways. It favored the melodrama – what would give the Doc an excuse for his ‘wobbling’- while having an excuse for it having happened.

    And Stone simply wants to get back safely to prison where Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright was disposed of??? And the attack on Stormont was just a reenactment of what he did back in 1988.

    Unfortunately, what Stone did in the Milltown cemetery on March 16, 1988 was just a continuation of what the FRU, ‘Steak Knife’ aka ‘John Oakes’, Sergeant Margaret Walshaw aka Mairead Farrell had done on The Rock ten days earlier – kill Provo ‘gangsters’ no matter where, what their behavior, or paramilitary status.

    [Play the ball!!! – moderator]

  • Tom Strong

    My God-read about Stone’s original actions in Australia and could barely believe it. Now to hear that he was released and tried again.
    Funny-why did all the Unionist who wrote on Slugger about the prisoner release never commented on him and said he should never be released.
    It is becoming obvious to me, the descendant of Irish Unionist with 2 Orangemen as grandfathers, thatany excuse will do to prevent power sharing
    and since Stone was regarded, while in jail,as a Unionist icon-the mind boggles.
    To think that he and others refered to SinnFein as sinners. I guess it would have been too dangerous in Belfast to comment adversely on him and his supporters.

  • [Play the ball – moderator]

  • While I cannot remember exactly what I said at the end of my e-mail which received such a pointed rejoinder, and excision by the moderator – making it seem like I said something terrible and libellous about others in the process [Exactly. And that’s a yellow for its repetition – moderator]

  • miss fitz

    I find these reports on Stone’s arthritis a bit nauseating. A different perspective was that he was pinned in the door by security to prevent him coming fully into the foyer. His arthritis obviously didnt stop him from either walking the mile up to Stormont or parking in the visitors car park and hiking the rest of the way down to the entrance.

    I really cannot buy the ‘virtual cripple’ story

  • Mick Fealty

    There seems to have been an outbreak of rather nasty man playing here. Guys, the rules are simple and relatively easy to keep to: play the ball and not the man!

    If you want to comment on Slugger (and no one is forcing you to do so), please make an effort at addressing arguments and fact, rather than slicing deliberately into the man you wish to take out of the game.

  • What do I have to do to get a red?

    You are just engaging in censorship to protect people who are principals in the matter rather than just irrelevant innocents.

  • Mick Fealty

    And you are being disingenuous.

    We have been here before Trow. I am happy for you to put information in the public domain. I am happy for you to fact check and falsify. But that requires effort and research.

    If you are still unsure of the rules here: go and check them again.

  • While I am not being disingenuous, you, Mick, are simply stopping my explanatory posts, as you just demonstrated.

    Don’t worry about any others, as I can giving myself the red!

  • michael Morgan

    Very un-pc to refer to Stone or anybody else these days as cripple, whether virtual or otherwise. Mobility-impaired is preferred term or simply disabled. Read the NUJ Disabled Members Council guide to media reporting on disability. Red cards all round…

  • Henry94

    I wonder if a former republican prisoner had pulled a stunt like that would it be downplayed in the same way?

    I think we can say that unionist politicians and local branch of the World Press would be working themselves into a frenzy and blaming the Sinn Fein leaders.

  • bertie

    Ton Strong

    “Funny-why did all the Unionist who wrote on Slugger about the prisoner release never commented on him and said he should never be released.”

    Firstly, if you actually mean Unionists as opposed to unionists (and I will assume the plural) I will let them answer for themselves. If you mean unionists, I doubt very much of he wasn’t commented on at some stage. Have you read every single comment on the subject on Slugger?

    Secondly, why would specific mention of him be relevant? If you condemn the release of terrorists, that includes him.

  • Officer Dibble

    “So four teams were sent out to find him and they were armed. If Stone resisted arrest, he would have been shot. That was how serious they were taking the threat
    One of the units looking for Stone was seen on Belfast’s Ormeau Road, driving erratically on the Ballynafeigh side of the river Lagan. Eyewitnesses told The Observer they had a police-style siren in the front of the car to alert motorists that they were undercover police”

    Could someone please tell me what the police were doing on Friday. If it was some buck eejit double parked or doing 35mph in a 40 zone no doubt they would have been apprehended, but an armed killer gang, impersonating the police and intent on ‘arresting’ or shooting a disaffected member…. all offficers seemed to be on an extended tea break which hadn’t finished by the time the deranged psychopath the pseudo cops were looking for ‘attacked’ the local parlaiment with a few homemade pipe bombs.

    Maybe the cops were just so relaxed because they knew their ‘undercover squad’ were on the job.

  • Rubicon

    Stone’s mobility (or the lack of it) struck me as strange – but I wonder if are more obvious explanations;

    a) He’s just another DLA fraud?
    b) He has a legit ailment but pumped himself full of drugs?

    If his arthritis makes his attempt on Stormont a farce and no surprise why he got caught in the revolving doors – what does it say for these 4 paramilitary squads? Should we be keeping an eye out for loyalists sporting zimmerframes?

  • Comrade Stalin

    These reports about a UDA “police force” sound like total nonsense and, as usual, come across as the UDA trying to legitimize itself.

    I’d say the UDA had no idea about this crazy plan and, at the end of the day, it doesn’t take a lot to do what Stone did. Build a few incendiary devices, stick a gun in your pocket and dander up to Stormont. I don’t believe anyone was aware of what he was up to.

    I also don’t understand why people are saying that Paisley wobbled due to Stone’s behaviour. Paisley didn’t get a chance to wobble, the assembly was evacuated was it not ? Paisley’s statement surely came before the evacuation and therefore before anyone knew that Stone was there ?

    And, surely jail is the worst place for someone who has a physical disability ? If this is the case Stone could almost certainly be claiming disability living benefits off the dole, as well as his undoubtedly lucrative income from selling books and silly stories to that chronicle of our paramilitary times, the Sunday Life.

  • bertie

    “And, surely jail is the worst place for someone who has a physical disability ? ”

    It may be the only place someone with what would appear to be his mental disability can function.

    Maybe he just wanted a riviting final chapter for his next book or the lecture toor that he thinks that this might secure him when he gets out.

  • roisin

    The Milltown attack makes no sense unless, as many believe, the peelers were in on it. Stone was a bottom end feeder, like the rest of the Loyalists in the pay of the Crown. He was nowehere in the league of King Rat or the Jackal and painting him out as a Loyalist hero does seem like a put up.

  • youcouldn’tmakeitup

    No less than four UDA hit squads, armed to the teeth, tearing their way through the back streets of Belfast in a desparate attempt to save the peace process. Honestly, this is the stuff of Hollywood make believe.

    [ball please – moderator]

  • Brendan

    Even Johnny Adair (wheres your hair) has come out of his Bolton bolthole and called Stone a “head the ball”, and that he should be “locked up in a padded cell”.
    Exactly what I was thinking Johnny boy.

  • The Devil

    This is a story that should make everybody on Slugger sit up and think.

    “4 car loads of UDA armed gunmen with the orders to kill if need be”

    This story has appeared in a higher quality newspaper and through it’s printing in that paper has passed it’s management product control and has been assessed fit for public consumption.
    It has been posted on Sluggero’toole by Mick Fealty himself and therefore has been deemed fit for debate and discussion on this public forum.

    Now here comes the dilemma of this story because it raises some questions that need to be answered.
    Those of us who have lived through the conflict in Northern Ireland would find it incredulous that the U.D.A would even be remotely interested in the welfare of its past or present members, never mind the organisation of an armed inner guard to safeguard the Stormont Agreement.
    I personally cannot entertain the idea that an organisation who throughout decades of sporadic violence have exhibited time and time again that they were incapable of anything other than singular ram shackled attacks on pubs clubs bookies or drunk pedestrians suddenly acquiring the ability to at short notice amass four car loads of armed members with a coherent strategy which would be implemented on the apprehension of their deemed target..

    So the question is this if Henry McDonalds story is accurate and truthful the UDA has broken the Stormont Agreement which restricted them to the path of peace, and would mean they would not be entitled to any financial package for their rather large begging bowl, and that at least sixteen of its members should now be sought by the P.S.N.I for questioning about the conspiracy to murder Michael Stone and possession of a weapon and ammunition with intent.

    If Henry McDonalds story is inaccurate and untruthful I would think he could have his own answers to find to several different corners at the same time

  • qubol

    Are we really expected to believe that the UDA sent out four teams to apprehend Stone and British Intelligence or the PSNI didn’t know about it???
    And just by coincidence they don’t think it necessary to step up security at Stormont?
    The whole thing stinks of a set-up.

  • jone

    “This story has appeared in a higher quality newspaper and through it’s printing in that paper has passed it’s management product control and has been assessed fit for public consumption. ”

    Let’s remember the Obs also published a load of half stood-up bollocks about the circumstances of Liam Lawlor’s death.

    Without meaning to play the man here this is a classic of Sunday paper security stories – it’s a fairly risible attempt to give a new top line to a story that’s 48 hours old. No one is going to be able to prove whether this 4 car loads of crack UFF goons story is genuine or not, least of all the hack who put his byline to it.

  • PaddyReilly

    Stone in his autobiography mentions fellow UDA members who were so haunted by the apparitions of the men they had murdered, they were quite relieved to be lifted in the end because there was a serious risk of them shooting members of their own family. He himself tried to cut down on this syndrome by only topping people when the circumstances were exactly right: not in the presence of members of their family, for example. Perhaps, though, this shows that his actions got to him in the end? The man seems to want to be jailed, that’s for sure.

  • Rubicon

    The logic in this thread escapes me. We’re told that Stone was being hunted for intending to attack the peace process and so Stone attacked the Assembly to go back to prison ‘cos his old mates were about to top him.

    Does this make sense to anyone?

    The journalist(s) concerned (and their editorial control) fail to explain this contradiction. They have done themselves no service and deserve harsh criticism (though perhaps Mike still needs to defend us from having to delve deeper in our pockets to pay out on a legal suit).

  • Mick Fealty

    Hmmm… The Irish Times reckons it holds enough water to give it a mention.

  • youcouldn’tmakeitup


    The point is the Irish Times are quoting the original piece in the Observer and therefore taking it on trust. Their thinking probably runs along the lines of “well if it’s in the Observer it must be true”.

    This is precisely the problem. Everything is reliant on the Observer story and the Observer journo’s integrity in telling it. But is he? it is only the latest in a long series of UDA stories written by the same journo that have subsequently found to be untrue.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Personally I thought the Observer story sounded highly unlikely.

    For a start – if you’re going to try and catch someone who is travelling to Stormont at a time and date that you are well aware of – would it not be more sensible to have your ‘teams’ at Stormont (after all there are only two routes up to the building) rather than have your goons driving erratically around Balllynafeigh with fake police sirens blaring?!

    This sounds like the tales of saloon bar fantasists and as such the Observer’s hack and/or his editor should not have run with it.

  • McGrath

    It doesn’t matter if it is true or not, nor does it matter if there were 64 UDA men or 16. For the same reasons Micheal Stone was able to walk into Stormont, nothing will be done about it.

    To do something about it is too risky, it could be the catalyst that starts the UDA giving the newspapers something seriously interesting to print, like substantiating where the weapons from the Milltown attack came from! Its still easier for the British Government to sell off chucks of Northern Irelands community property to pay the gangsters off.

  • time will tell

    will the observer reporter now be under observation

  • At the risk of Mick red-carding me himself, I must say that Liam Clarke’s article is just as bad as Henry McDonald’s.

    If Michael Stone simply wanted to serve out the rest of his sentence in jail, he could have simply returned to its gate, and demanded that it take him back in.

    And the ‘attack’ on Stormont Castle was nowhere near what Stone did back in Milltown cemetery on March 16, 1988 when the unarmed volunteers, Mairéad Farrell, David McCann and Séan Savage were buried, and mouners Kevin Brady, John Murray, and Thomas McErlean were gunned down by Stone.

    Thanks to the set-up that the FRU’s Sergeant Margaret Walshaw aka ‘Mad Maggie’ and Mairéad Farrell had arranged with ‘Steak Knife’ aka ‘John Oakes’, DUKE, etc., on The Rock, the overkill revived the war with the Provisionals in spades since ‘Oakes’ realized that he had been set up my another ‘Mad Maggie’ aka Margaret Thatcher.

    Instead of ‘Oakes’ going down the tubes ultimately, she did, along with her other mindless Conservatives.


    Surprise surprise, looks like the UDA has rubbished Henry McDonalds story. I think anyone who attacked this story have been completely vindicated.