Wrightbus manager arrested on terrorist charges

This is not welcome news for a company that has just landed a lucrative contract with Dublinbus. Darren Leslie Richardson, a factory manager at Wrightbus in Ballymena has been arrested and “charged with the possession of documents likely to be of use to terrorists and possession of a quantity of 9mm ammunition at the Wrightbus plant at Galgorm outside Ballymena, Co Antrim between a date unknown and the 11 April”.

Update: See statement from the company below:

Wrightbus Limited confirms that one of its employees has today faced serious charges in Larne Magistrates Court.

Having received information from an anonymous source, Wrightbus immediately requested police involvement and has given every assistance to the police throughout this investigation.

Wrightbus has an active policy of promoting a neutral working environment for all its employees and the company’s senior management continues in its determination to ensure that this policy is put into practice.

As the matter is now subject to legal proceedings, Wrightbus will be issuing no further statements nor making further comment at this time.

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  • fair_deal

    “I find it amusing you have two standards”

    If the IMC says an illegal loyalist paramilitary group did something on the basis of intelligence I have no difficulty in accepting that so no dual standards.

    “And, yet, we have to listen to the broad rationalizations that pay-offs to the Loyalists aren’t danegeld?”

    1. IIRC I have not made such a rationalistion about the NIO announcement and Hain’s defence of them.
    2. LMAO. As a sceptic about this entire process from the beginning I would point out it has been built on danegeld of various forms. So sorry if I have little sympathy for those who were happy to be mute when it was people they liked getting the danegeld but are now filled with moral outrage because now they don’t. The risk that occurs when you concede a principle for short-term gain is that it often comes back and bites you on the ass.

  • Cahal

    “If the IMC says an illegal loyalist paramilitary group did something on the basis of intelligence I have no difficulty in accepting that ”

    Fair Deal, may I suggest you try to develop a bit of healthy cynicism wrt information from the “intelligence” agencies and in particular from a politically motivated quango.

    Otherwise we’ll be in Iran next.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Darren

    Is there a factual basis for these allegations, or is it just more sectarian bile?

    Sean

    Why exactly would you want to point them out in connection with Wrights?

    Roisin

    Good of you to have a complete turn around and recognise that things HAVE changed, the question arising from your earlier posts is have you or are you still mired in the past?

    No has even attempted to answer about the c. 150 employees in Wrights who are Catholics. Do their
    opinions not matter?

  • fair_deal

    Cahal

    I have no problem accepting that intelligence information can be proved wrong and anyone relying on it must be fully prepared to reverse the position when new information comes to light.

    Then again criminal convictions, while safer ground than intelligence, aren’t surefire either, miscarriages of justice and all that.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: “1. IIRC I have not made such a rationalistion about the NIO announcement and Hain’s defence of them. ”

    I did say “we,” didn’t I?

    FD: “So sorry if I have little sympathy for those who were happy to be mute when it was people they liked getting the danegeld but are now filled with moral outrage because now they don’t.”

    Go peddle your papers elsewhere, FD– Find me a quote, as you have been apt to say, where I have approved of Danegeld for either party or that the thugs of either side should be treated as anything other than thugs. Put up or shut up. I work for my money and the thought of the gov’t as middleman in what amounts to a protection racket in anathema, whilst coddling crooks only encourages more of the same.

    FD: “The risk that occurs when you concede a principle for short-term gain is that it often comes back and bites you on the ass. ”

    You might want to buy yourself a blow up “life-preserver,” if that is the case.

    FD: “I have no problem accepting that intelligence information can be proved wrong and anyone relying on it must be fully prepared to reverse the position when new information comes to light. ”

    But, despite all previous failures, you accept it at face value, when it suits your political preferences, all the while, decrying others of the same priviledge…

  • fair_deal

    DC

    As you point out you used ‘we’ and I should have noticed that, I used ‘those’ and ‘they’.

    “But, despite all previous failures, you accept it at face value, when it suits your political preferences, all the while, decrying others of the same priviledge…”

    I am sorry but you seem confused. I say I will accept at face value intelligence information whoever it applies too, loyalist and republican paramilitaries. So there is no ‘suiting’ my preferences. It is those who want to get picky are more likely to end up in trouble. I would remind you in my piece about the O’Loan report I criticised Unionists who got picky about intelligence information. Below is the relevant quote

    “The main assault on the report is that it lacks ‘evidence’ as it is based on intelligence. Yes it is. However, it is based on multiple sources of the full range of reliability over a sustained period. This is not a ‘one’ source story or sole informant. It may fail the beyond reasonable doubt test but that does not mean it is without credibility.

    On the basis of intelligence information not convictions, the government blamed the IRA or its members for DADD murders, the Northern bank and other robberies, Stormontgate, McCartney murder etc. It was on the basis of intelligence from multiple sources of the full range of reliability over a sustained period that Unionism has refused to share power with Sinn Fein. Similarly one of the tests for the republican movement is the International Monitoring Commission and its reports. Reports almost entirely based upon intelligence from multiple sources of the full range of reliability over a sustained period. Unionism cannot credibly attack the report because it is based upon intelligence.”

    So I don’t ignore it if I have grounds for not liking the conclusion and I criticise those who try to do so.

  • darren

    frustrated democrat

    From the Irish News June 16th 2001 regarding the arrest of 26 men in Ballymena….

    “During the protest police arrested 26 men, all of whom worked at a local coach-building company, after they took down Tricolours”

    Police seized cudgels,sticks,iron bars & other items from the 6 cars belonging to the Wrightbus employees as it left the Fisherwick Estate.

    Outside the court on the day of the Wrightbus employees appearance in court a group of about 20 loyalist supporters staged a picket, led by uvf convicted murderer Billy McCaughey, who waved a Union flag.” He explained: “This is not a protest – we are here to show our sympathy for our boys.” “this is Northern Ireland and the loyal flags are the flags of the country.”

  • Comrade Stalin

    Cahal:

    “I wonder if the same people who are calling for the contract to be cancelled now, without any court hearing or conviction”

    Who has called for this?

    Read some of the earlier contributions in this very thread.

    I think it is the application of double standards by unionists that is annoying the chuckies here. In this case we are being lectured on due process. Where was the due process at stormontgate, northern bank, donaldson. You can’t have it both ways.

    I won’t defend the blatant double standards coming from unionism in general, although I see none of it on this thread which is why I didn’t get into the whataboutery that you have just engage in. As usual in cases like this where loyalist paramilitaries are involved, unionist politicians are silent. At the very least it would be constructive to hear comments of support for the Wrightbus management for doing the right thing to root out paramilitarism, or praise for the police for pursuing the investigation – getting someone charged in court is a good achievement considering the DPP has to be persuaded to take the case on. But no; any time loyalist paramilitarism comes up, you get tumbleweeds in the unionist camp.

    My problem is that I find it a bit rich that given republicans have assumed the mantle of fighting problems with inequality, accusations without due process, kneejerk decisions, diplock courts etc etc and other things, that they should so quickly jump to conclusions themselves. If these exact same events had taken place on the Falls Road, the same contributors of the thread would be here talking about PSNI interference in the political process, securocrats, shady figures against the peace process, and so on. What’s depressing is how utterly predictable it all is.

  • páid

    If Wrightbus employees had shot Martin Cullen last week, it would have had been a much quicker, simpler and cheaper way of helping to solve the republic’s transport congestion problems than building bloody buses.

  • Cahal

    Comrade Stalin, personally I don’t see what more Wright bus could do here.

    They don’t seem to have broken any laws in this case; infact it looks like they are being more than cooperative with the PSNI. If the same thing happended on the falls road, I’d draw the same conclusions.

    Unfortunately, we all know unionist politicians are a bit cagey when it comes to loyalist activities. At least you know where you stand with the Shinners.

  • I wonder…

    Ian shares power with Marty.

    Arthur would be proud.

    2 kingdoms. Needless dead. Let us remember Paddy and Billy

    Reflect.

  • Peter Brown

    Darren

    As someone with a professional involvement in that case I am at the same time best placed and yet in a professional predicament about whther to refute the lies you have told and then repated on this thread. From what is in the public domain and not subject to professional privilege…

    “I wonder was Richardson one of the 27 Wright employees who were given permission to down tools and travel in convoy to remove a tricolour put up by nationalists in the Fisherwick estate in Ballymena several years ago ?

    So a large number of wrightbus workers being given permission to leave work to travel to the nationalist fisherwick estate in Ballymena and attempt to remove Irish tricolours while armed with cudgels and other weapons is deemed normal.

    Where any of the 27 wrightbus workers arrested by the psni suspended during the police investigation into the organised assault ?

    Do most private companies have a ‘mobile’ sectarian brigade?”

    From memory he was not one of the 27 but no-one was given permission to down tools and no-one did so as the incident took place outside. the factory’s operating hours and therefore none of those involved could have been subjected to employee discipline. Interestingly none of the allegations contained in your posts are included in the Irish news article as none are correct.

    I’m tempted to say with some authority that you couldn’t make this up but obviously that is exactly what you did. You should also note that in the context of this thread that no-one was convicted of any offence regarding that incident and certainly not assault. Innocent until proven guilty remember….

  • Comrade Stalin

    Cahal,

    They don’t seem to have broken any laws in this case; infact it looks like they are being more than cooperative with the PSNI. If the same thing happended on the falls road, I’d draw the same conclusions.

    A very fair assessment, and I agree.

    Unfortunately, we all know unionist politicians are a bit cagey when it comes to loyalist activities. At least you know where you stand with the Shinners.

    Well, I’m not sure about that. It’s like the way they oppose capital/corporal punishment, but (up until recently) would blow someone’s kneecaps off for anti-social behaviour, or shoot dead drug dealers. You never really know where you stand with Sinn Fein, that’s the problem. I agree though that it’s even worse with unionists, who lecture everyone about being democrats and then defend the activities of loyalist paramilitaries in public, and apparently get away with it.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Darren

    You said they had been given permission by management to leave the Wright’s factory….what evidence do you have for that statement?

    NONE since it is totally incorrect!

    Just sectarian bile against a successful company that employs c.150 Catholics

  • Ziznivy

    It really does make me chuckle that the justification for a thread full of rabid sectarian bile from republicans is that assuming the guilt of a terrorist organisation based on agreement from both governments, the security services and intelligence services is equivalent to deducing that a coach-building firm is guilty of involvement in militant loyalism due to a half-baked story concerning one line-manager.

  • Ziznivy

    Actually I think this thread neatly sums up why a lot of unionists feel all pretence of sober analysis or sensible comment has gone from Slugger and all that is left is a shitstorm of republican propaganda.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: ““So sorry if I have little sympathy for those who were happy to be mute when it was people they liked getting the danegeld but are now filled with moral outrage because now they don’t.” ”

    Found the quote yet?

  • fair_deal

    DC

    I already answered that point

    “As you point out you used ‘we’ and I should have noticed that, I used ‘those’ and ‘they’.”

  • Dread Cthulhu

    FD: ““As you point out you used ‘we’ and I should have noticed that, I used ‘those’ and ‘they’.” ”

    Point two, not point one.

  • fair_deal

    That refers to point 2. You pointed out I had taken personal objection to a general comment. I was pointing out that the same had occured in reverse with the comment you highlighted.

  • merrie

    Has any of this been reported in mainstream British newspapers (for example London Times, London Telegraph, Guardian, London Independent, BBC UK, Evening Standard, the Metro)?

    I haven’t found any news of this but maybe that’s because if it has been reported its buried deep down some web page.

    I have noticed in the past that if the person charged had been a republican there would have been much more coverage in the UK’s big island, in your face special reports, aspersions cast, etc. etc.

    There is definitely a different approach to republican activities. Loyalist activities just do not rate, I’m afraid. Somehow they are not deemed to sell newspapers. Or there could be other reasons for this absence of reporting.

  • Roisin

    Frustrated Democrat,

    [i]No has even attempted to answer about the c. 150 employees in Wrights who are Catholics.
    Do their
    opinions not matter?[/i]

    Depends on the circumstances, and to what extent. The opinions of discriminated/harassed groups of employees always matter, but not to the extent that discrimination/harassment is permitted to continue. Do you happen to know their opinions, by the way?

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Roisin

    If your question is do I know the opinions of all Catholics who work in Wright’s the answer is no.

    The ones whom I know, albeit a very limited number, are happy to work there and do not feel intimidated and have no intention of moving anywhere else.

    However if you had your way ‘hopefully the contract can be cancelled’ Wright’s would get no business and would have to shut putting almost 1,000 people out of work including c. 150 Catholics.

    Whether you like it or not you are exhibiting the opinions of a sectarian bigot, who is interested in bile against loyalism not in looking at the truth and the interests of all the workers – you just do not seem capable of moving on from the past.

  • RS

    Roisin,
    So you think that half of Wrightbus employees could be charged with UVF membership. Nice to see that you have concerns about people be involved in parimilitaries. Would these concerns also be labelled against the bombers and murderers that belong to Sinn Fein / IRA and who are now ready to take their seats in the government of this land. I look forward to seeing you publicly denounce these people for what they are. Surely if you hold these opinions about Wrightbus, because of the alledged actions of one employee, who is innocent until proven guilty, then you must also be very worried about the entry of terrorists into the government of this beloved land of Northern Ireland. Come on Roisin show us you are not just a bigot.

  • fair_deal

    DC

    Thanks for the emails. I am sorry for any offence my earlier comment has caused you it was not my intention. I am happy to accept and acknowledge that you object to ‘danegeld’ regardless of the beneficiary.

    Kind regards
    FD

  • Roisin

    Frustrated Democrat,

    My opinion is the same as that expressed on the Translink/Ulsterbus thread. Companies who fail to meet standards around harassment and discrimination should be punished, and more so than the paltry compensation amounts that are handed out to the individuals who suffer as a result. No pain, no gain. This company did not have a clean bill of health prior to the discovery of ammunition at its premises. This is not any employee arrested and charged, this is a management employee arrested and charged. This raises even more serious questions about the suitability of this company for anyone to be doing business with. They clearly require a decontamination period, at least. If that makes me a bigot in your opinion, so be it. It’s not like there’ll be any love lost.

    RS,

    My sincerest apologies, but I don’t do remedial level.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    You can of course stay as you are, it’s just that your opinions are hence forth devalued as a sectarian bigot and not worthy of note.

  • eyes of garnet

    RS

    Rosin asks valid questions about the conduct of managment, staff and indeed the owners of Wrightbus.
    In turn, you suggest that she is a bigot.

    Could it be that you throw about these accusations to hide a streak of said disease yourself?

  • EoG

    She keeps asking invalid questions to which she has nonetheless been given the answers = accusation

  • Roisin

    [i]She keeps asking invalid questions to which she has nonetheless been given the answers = accusation[/i]

    You’re denying this company has been the subject of past discrimination and harassment allegations? You’re denying this company has been the subject of allegations concerning the conduct of a substantial number of its employees in relation to organised sectarian thuggery? You’re denying a management employee at this company has just been arrested and charged with serious terrorist related offences? You’re denying ammunition has just been recovered at this company’s premises?

    These are serious concerns. It’s heartwarming to see how seriously they are taken by some.

  • RS

    Roisin
    Still waiting to hear what your thoughts are on terrorists in government. Is this a question you want to avoid as maybe you have no problem with these terrorists? Go ahead and answer this question and please do not worry if you answer above remedial level as I can always get someone to explain your answer to me.

  • Peter Brown

    You’re denying this company has been the subject of past discrimination and harassment allegations?

    Yes because no proof has been provided of this – quite the contrary in that the Equlaity Commission has expressed satisfaction with it

    You’re denying this company has been the subject of allegations concerning the conduct of a substantial number of its employees in relation to organised sectarian thuggery?

    Yes again – where is the proof

    You’re denying a management employee at this company has just been arrested and charged with serious terrorist related offences?

    No that is true but so have the employees of hundreds of other companies both North and South have been convicted and you don’t appear to be berating them on the basis that one bad apple….

    You’re denying ammunition has just been recovered at this company’s premises?

    See above

    Why is Wrightbus being singled out? How is it different from Sinn Fein?

  • Roisin

    Peter Brown,

    [i]Why is Wrightbus being singled out? How is it different from Sinn Fein?[/i]

    Are you RS’s daddy by any chance? One’s a commercial company, the other’s a political party with members elected by the majority of the nationalist/republican community in the north. You think they’re comparable because* … ??

    * resisted temptation to put in ‘delete as applicable’ multiple choice there.

  • Peter Brown

    Might need an eye test there Roisin – there were 4 points I made which you have not dealt with – like watching one of those interviews with anyone trained by RMcC – if you don’t like the question answera different one you do like!!!!

    As for my comparison substitute contracts for government and tell me which of the following doesn’t apply to SF

    “Companies who fail to meet standards around harassment and discrimination should be punished, and more so than the paltry compensation amounts that are handed out to the individuals who suffer as a result. No pain, no gain. This company did not have a clean bill of health prior to the discovery of ammunition at its premises. This is not any employee arrested and charged, this is a management employee arrested and charged. This raises even more serious questions about the suitability of this company for anyone to be doing business with. They clearly require a decontamination period, at least”

    You might not like it but it is still a valid point – electoral support is not decontaminating – ask the Nazis!

  • Roisin

    Read the contract, Peter. Whoever nats/reps vote for, that’s who unionists get to share power with. Like it or lump it. Paisley decided he liked it more than lumping it. You’ll get over it too.

  • Peter Brown

    Read the post Roisin – once agian there was more than one question and if you simply ignore those you don’t like you can’t pass the exam!

  • SuperSoupy

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article2466795.ece

    Any guesses which South Derry business had so many workers targeted?

  • RS

    Roisin
    Why will you not answer my question about terrorists in government. I note from the times your comments are posted at that many of them are in the early hours of the morning. Perhaps maybe your eyes are heavy and you conveniently only see what you want to see thus allowing you to avoid awkward questions. May I suggest an early night and when refreshed have another go at answering this question as your obvious attempts at avoiding it is becoming rather wearisome.

  • frank

    Same old story

    rir/uvf/loyalist bands = continuing terrorism

    No doubt we will have the new Richardson loyal Flute Band appearing at this years 12th marches

  • Roisin

    [i]Read the post Roisin – once agian there was more than one question and if you simply ignore those you don’t like you can’t pass the exam![/i]

    You’re setting an exam for me, Peter? What a quaint notion.

    As a matter of fact, I asked four questions, along the lines of “are you denying”, and you responded by denying the first two dealing with discrimination and sectarian thuggery by employees at Wrightbus, and acknowledging the last two dealing with loyalist paramilitary activity by a management employee, in a manner that suggested it was par for the course in businesses everywhere. I suggest it’s you who needs to reread.

    I further suggest you expend more effort eliminating discrimination and sectarian harassment, and work towards creating an environment where management employees will not feel their workplace provides a haven for them to conduct their unlawful terrorist activities at your company(?), than you do trying to build straw men arguments and making idiotic comparisons between commercial companies and political parties.

    Can I take it the threshold for management qualification isn’t too high at Wrightbus?

    RS,

    *yawn*

  • Peter Brown

    Seriously McAuley should use your replies as a tutorial example – I answered all 4 of your questions individually two that the allegations you made were not true and asked you to poroduce evidence to back upo your balder than McGimp assertions which you have so far chosen not to do and two on the basis that unfortuatyely for you one bad employee out of 400+ does not mean a bad company – what do you take issue with there?

    Have you or Darren for that matter any evidence to back up allegations about Wrights other than Richardson who was reported to the police by his employer? If not don’t make such assertions….