“no support in the community..”

I had added a report on the pipe-bomb attack on the Strabane police station last night onto this earlier post, but there’s more detail in the BBC report [RealPlayer file].. which notes the local Sinn Féin councillor’s comments

Sinn Fein Councillor Brian McMahon said there was no appetite in the community for any sort of attack and the group behind the attack should “wake up to that”. “There’s no support in the community for this grouping and they should stop right away,” he said.

Yeah.. that’s why they should stop.. The BBC report also notes that police received a warning that another device was abandoned near Strabane. Adds Cllr McMahon’s comments in the linked video report in full

“There is no appetite in the community for any type of attacks and it’s about time these people woke up to that. There’s no support in the community for this grouping and they should stop right away.”

Update Cllr McMahon was on Radio Ulster’s Evening Extra [link to archived show]. The phone interview starts approx 8 minutes in, and at the end, around 10 minutes in, presenter Karen Patterson asked him – “Would you ask members of the community who see anything suspicious to go to the police?” His answer below the foldCllr McMahon’s response, as best as I can transcribe it, was as follows

Cllr McMahon: “A colleague put that to me this morning. What I would say, if people have whatever information then use their own recourse. I’ll not be a judge and jury on how they dispense of that.”

Presenter: “So you’re not making that direct call to the public?”

Cllr McMahon: “No. And myself, how I would use it, would be my own personal business.”

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  • Sean

    Pete

    Let me get this straight, Sinn Fein is telling people to quit the bombing and violence so now you have to complain about what words they use?

    Catch yourself on its a big step and should be encouraged not sh*t on because you don’t like their phrasing

    Atleast they didnt build a giant bonfire and decorate it with union jacks and names of dead children and pictures of the queen and burn it all up in a giant environmental dissaster

  • Pete Baker

    It’s not the phrasing that I “don’t like”, Sean, it’s the argument behind it.

  • willowfield

    Indeed, Pete. The implication is that if, say, there was support for dissidents in “the community” (presumably the Strabane nationalist community), then the attack would be acceptable.

  • parcifal

    the same could be said to Bliar re Iraq

    said there was no appetite in the community for any sort of attack and the group behind the attack should “wake up to that”. “There’s no support in the community for this grouping and they should stop right away,” he said.

    once againg peteb reveals his bigoted thinking, now telling us there’s good wars and bad wars, and he decides which is which.

    cue: I disagree with your assumptions parci

    cue: piss off pete your mind is not so hard to read, pack it in.

  • willowfield

    ???

    Yeah, parcifal, that makes a lot of sense.

  • Jp

    Will Sinn Fein be encouraging people to contact the police with information,

    a sure indication of the level of approval this sort of behaviour meets within the party.

  • Irish Republican in America

    Yaaaawwn

  • Elvis Parker

    There was no majority support in the nationalist community for the IRA’s campaign either!
    How much support do you need to be ‘justified’ – disisdents might have 2-5% support – clearly not enough. If they had 10% would that make it okay?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Local councillors’ statements leave a lot to be desired. For example, Belfast Lord Mayor Jim ‘Rentaquote’ Rodgers commented on the recent murder of a homeless man in the city centre that it would have a bad effect on tourism. And after firefighters were attacked while dealing with bonfires the other night, he noted that there was a role for the schools here (maybe he’s right, if the parents aren’t doing the job, but then politicians like Jim are never going to criticise them or anyone around a bonfire).

    Equally, Pete is absolutely right to point out this SF councillor’s weak argument too. In neither case was there any real ‘leadership’ shown. Both councillors have, in their statements, abdicated the responsibility of leadership to what they believe is acceptable to ‘their’ community.

  • parcifal

    BG
    He’s handled it well, you get no direct condemnation from themmuns either.
    Most of us would rather load a pipe and get bombed, but there was a time when political violence was justified.

    cue: sneers

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Can the Shinner Mr. McMahon (who incidentally is an insignificant little upstart) explain why he can still call himself a republican given that the phrase “Republican” is historically someone who will take up arms to remove the British presence from Ireland!

    An Army of Cowards sold out Republicanism cause they lost the stomach for the fight and adopted the Capitalist approach (Gangsters)!

    Someone must carry on the fight – The appaulse must go out to those who continue unbaited!

    Go get a proper job Mr McMahon!

    Oglaigh Na hEireann Abu!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Pete Baker: “It’s not the phrasing that I “don’t like”, Sean, it’s the argument behind it.”

    On the other side of the coin, Pete, look at it this way — how far must things have progressed if we are discussing the “why” behind SF telling folks not to set off bombs, rather than celebrating the simple fact that they said they against bombings?

    Obviously, methinks we must be right out of ‘gators, since we’re complaining about the swamp…

    Belfast Gonzo: “Equally, Pete is absolutely right to point out this SF councillor’s weak argument too. In neither case was there any real ‘leadership’ shown. Both councillors have, in their statements, abdicated the responsibility of leadership to what they believe is acceptable to ‘their’ community. ”

    It would depend on the intended consumer for the councillor’s comment. I’m am left with the impression that it was directed at the bombers and not necessarily the whole of his rationale for saying the time for bombs has passed.

    The downside of politics is that the politician, once elected, starts considering re-election. This inhibits clear speech. He has told those who are setting off the bombs that that time has past — again, BG, how far must we have travelled that the kvetch in question is about the “why” of this, rather than the “what?”

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Rory (SD): “Someone must carry on the fight – The appaulse must go out to those who continue unbaited! ”

    Well, there’s always a couple who don’t get the memo…

  • “There’s no support in the community for this grouping and they should stop right away,”

    If you note the use of the conjunction you will realise he did not say that because there is no support in the community they should cease, he said there is no support AND they should stop.

    Pretty thin fabric for a criticism.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Robert,

    My understanding would be the same as yours. Two separate and distinct points.

    An incredibly flimsy basis for complaint.

    But if you are looking to complain the word AND can be enough it seems.

  • kensei

    “It’s not the phrasing that I “don’t like”, Sean, it’s the argument behind it.”

    On the other hand Pete, if they came out and said “This is wrong” or whatever, you’d come back with some trite comment about how they couldn’t have realised this earlier.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • parcifal

    peteb *ducks* for cover. lol 😉

    Rory ( SD ), McMahon is not on this thread

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Rory(SD): “Rory (SD): “Someone must carry on the fight – The appaulse must go out to those who continue unbaited!”

    A notion which you support, hook like and sinker?

  • The Third Policeman

    A very petty reason for criticism here. Even without the conjunction ‘and’ in the statement it still remains that surely a far more effective way of preventing dissident attacks is to point out that the vast majority of the nationalist community are against them, rather than a simple condemnation of attacks on police. Dissident republicans, I imagine, are more likely to respond to the wishes of the nationalist community than to a SF cllr simply telling them to support law and order. The question is Peteb, do you want SF to use the wording which has the greatest effect on dissidents (Granted it won’t be mush of an effect but still the greatest), or do you want them to use these statements to tow the line for support for the police?

  • Cruimh

    If the boot was on the other foot and a DUP man came out with ” there isn’t support in the community for this sort of thing (unsaid but implicit – “any more” )nowadays” after an attack on a GAA club or a SF office wld our nationalist brethren be moaning?

    You bet.

  • Sean

    Cruimb
    Why don’t you get davey to build you a better kennel

  • Cruimh

    On the plus side – congratulations to both communities for such a well behaved twelfth. OK, we had the Coleraine disgrace and the attack on a bus in Armagh – but it really does look as if we may have turned a corner in this God-forsaken hole. I hope my community show their appreciation by reciprocating and showing good will to the nationalist community.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Cruimh: “On the plus side – congratulations to both communities for such a well behaved twelfth. OK, we had the Coleraine disgrace and the attack on a bus in Armagh – but it really does look as if we may have turned a corner in this God-forsaken hole.”

    Hope y’all didn’t just jinx it, Cruimh…

    It was good to see the badness held down to a dull roar, truth be told…

    Cruimh: “If the boot was on the other foot and a DUP man came out with “ there isn’t support in the community for this sort of thing (unsaid but implicit – “any more” )nowadays” after an attack on a GAA club or a SF office wld our nationalist brethren be moaning? ”

    Same answer as I had above — if nothing else, it is a sign of how far things have come. If it is a complaint, it is a far pettier matter than observing the DUP apparent ignorance / tolerance for these events in years past.

  • Rory

    Pete B’s negative criticism of Cllr McMahon’s remarks are simply crass and Robert Keogh above has already capably demolished its flimsy premise.

    My namesake, Rory, from South Derry would be a cheerleader encouraging young men and women to renew armed struggle Will he lead by example I wonder and might we expect to see his name shortly joining the list of “martyred dead”?

    We should all so miss his contributions and must urge him to rethink such selfless sacrifice. Cllr McMahon is right, Rory, we have all had enough. No more glorious dead and no more victims of unthinking zealotry.

    And what is the great military strategy which would advance this cause in the teeth of local, national and world disapproval? Lob and run pipe bombs chucked at reinforced police stations! Whatever next – drench off-duty police officers with water pistols and hope they succumb to pneumonia?

  • Pete Baker

    I see there’s a seeming consensus among some commenters that Cllr McMahon was making “separate and distinct” points.

    Needless to say I disagree.

    But his comments, in full, and his subsequent comments on Evening Extra are now in the public domain [and are transcribed above] for everyone to come to their own conclusions.

  • parcifal

    the prods’ll go for a UI when someone turns up with the vision to charm them into it. personalities not politics; for the war, a draw and politics achieved equality.

  • Northsider

    Pete’s right. The councillor is a dick and the garbled message he has delivered, in the wake of SF’s endorsement of the PSNI is narrow-minded, self-serving and utterly pathetic.

    Methinks he might be ‘hauled into line’ very soon.

    Good to see the Real MI5 do irony – bombing the house of a republican hero. And for what? Maybe the sight of the Twelfth on the TV drove them to it… Maybe they, like the councillor are just dicks also – it seems an apt description, sorry for the bad language.

  • I see there’s a seeming consensus among some commenters that Cllr McMahon was making “separate and distinct” points.

    Needless to say I disagree.

    No Pete, the consensus is pointing out your assumption that the first clause is the reasoning for the second is flawed.

    Even if your assumption is correct, why is the condemnation of the community affected not a valid reason for the attacks to stop?

    It’s just terrible how Sinn Fein’s condemnations don’t employ the precise wording unionists dictate to them. Terribly uppity of them altogether. How dare they not condemn the “right way”.

    Sheesh.

  • Pete Baker

    Robert

    “No Pete, the consensus is pointing out your assumption that the first clause is the reasoning for the second is flawed.”

    As I said, the full commments are in the public domain – as they were when the original post was made, via the linked video report. The original post has been updated to transcribe those comments in full.

    The councillor’s subsequent comments, on Evening Extra, are now there too.

    Everyone can come to their own conclusions on the basis of the comments made by Cllr McMahon.

  • Liam

    “Rory (SD): “Someone must carry on the fight – The appaulse must go out to those who continue unbaited!”

    Hah, a bunch of bigots who bomb B&Q stores and garden centres and leave devices in police stations. Some fight.

  • Snude

    Someone must carry on the fight – The appaulse must go out to those who continue unbaited!

    Unabaited, are you fucking serious Rory?

    Care to list the casualty number that the unabaited Oglachs have inflicted on military targets?

    Slipping the odd tin of lighter fuel into the pocket of some jacket in a clothes shop or throwing a pipe filled with shotgun cartridge powder at the perimiter wall of a peeler station every now and again in order to jusify your existence and calling it unabaited armed struggle is extreme delusions of grandeur.

    Issuing death threat to Republicans like Harry Maguire, unabated continuity?

    I don’t know weither you should stay off or keep taking the tablets.

  • Kevster

    To be candid, I don’t really see where this guy went off the mark. Formerly, there was sufficient support in the republican community to maintain organised political violence for many years. That is over and has been for years now. He stated his appeal to cease and desist in a manner he thought had the best chance to persuade those who have not taken that on board to rethink their position.

    As far as telling people to go to the police, he told them to follow their consciences. Depending on an individual’s standing in the community, going to the police might not be the best way to stop this sort of thing. It might be more effective for those around these perpetrators to convince them to stop.

  • Ian

    “As far as telling people to go to the police, he told them to follow their consciences. Depending on an individual’s standing in the community, going to the police might not be the best way to stop this sort of thing. It might be more effective for those around these perpetrators to convince them to stop.”

    Is that not analogous to the weaselly words of the UUP Councillor in Antrim, who couldn’t bring himself to condemn the 10,000 tyre bonfire at Ballycraigy and demand that the authorities demolish it before it’s set alight? Rather, he’s trying to ‘persuade’ the nice loyalists if they wouldn’t mind not repeating the disgraceful environmental disaster next year if that’s alright with them if it’s not too much trouble?

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Snude

    Get of your PROVO high horse!

    Armed Struggle suited you bunch of Bank Robbing Extortionists not that long ago!

    Did Danny Morrison not once say “By the Armalite & the Ballot Box!” OR have we all spent the last 30 years dreaming?

    Bombing Commercial targets got you muppets where you assume you are today diddn’t it?

    Also with regards to talking to the police – wasn’t that called “Touting & Informing” not that long ago. Punishable by Death!

  • Sean

    Not that long ago it was acceptable to burn the houses of the mothers of “suspected” IRA men, is it still?

    Things have moved on you can gurn away or you can take opportunities afforded you and get on with life

  • Kevster

    Ian, in my opinion, the difference between what the Sinn Feiner said and what the UUPer said is that McMahon told the arsonists that what they were had no support in the community and they must stop doing it. I heard no such argument from the UUP man.

  • Snude

    Get off your PROVO high horse!

    Sorry Ro but you must be confusing me with someone else.

    Sure, armed struggle suited the Oglaigh but all that is soooooo twentieth century. There is no longer an appetite for it just ask Mrs Devine.

    No amount of obfuscation on your behalf can detract from the fact that those disparate malcontents who you claim “continue unbaited” are Mickey Mouse ametuers when it comes to military actions.

    Care to list the casualty rate that the unabated Oglachs have inflicted on military targets?.

  • ffs

    To the councillor – it’s NOT a personal matter whether you would tell the police about acts of terrorism in your town – you’re a PUBLIC REPRESENTATIVE, YOU *DICK*, FOR A PARTY WHO SAY THEY SUPPORT THE POLICE.

  • Thegull

    parcifal

    “the prods’ll go for a UI when someone turns up with the vision to charm them into it.”

    No they wont. There’s more chance of converting the nationalist community to be loyal British subjects of the Queen. Just forget about it and deal with the fact that it’s not going to happen. Much better for everyone’s mental health in the long run.