“The police are not going to give up on this.”

On the second anniversary of the murder of 15-year-old Thomas Devlin his parents have written to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern criticising the €4,000 grant his office provided “to assist and encourage the development of local organisations” in the Mount Vernon estate. The police have also launched a poster campaign specifically directed at the area. From the BBC report Adds Video report here [Realplayer file]

Ms Holloway said: “It is wrong that this money from the taoiseach is being used to give the impression this community has changed. We wrote to him because we felt the taoiseach was legitimising the actions of some of the people in Mount Vernon, who are hiding, protecting and harbouring Thomas’s killers.”

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  • Dawkins

    >>But loyalist spokesman Billy Hutchinson, who works on the estate, insisted people had co-operated with police in the murder inquiry.

    He said he rejected any suggestion that local people were withholding information.<

  • Pounder

    I do think it’s unfair to judge a whole area by the actions of a few. Many people are just trying to get along in world and keep their heads down, staying well away from the wooley face brigade. That said it is a disgrace that the murderers of young Thomas are still at large. One can only wonder what kind of threat a 15 year old boy was to the loyal sons of ulster.

  • Shore Road Resident

    I wonder how much longer the family can maintain their faith in the PSNI.
    The investigation has been a joke from day one.

  • lib2016

    Be fair – the police are a force in transition. I opposed the behaviour of the RUC as much as anyone but it will take time to sort things out and there were and probably still are forces active in Mount Vernon with far more authority than the ordinary detective.

  • Sean the troll

    How come this story about a wee lad murdered by a loyalist mob in his infancy never gets any media play but the story of a middle aged drunk dying in a bar brawl is the media darling.

    And we havent even mentioned all the other catholic youths murdered and maimed by unionist mobs in the l;ast 3 years

  • observer

    That said it is a disgrace that the murderers of young Thomas are still at large.
    Posted by Pounder on Aug 13, 2007 @ 03:31 PM

    Given that many murderous catholics are still at large this isnt suprising

  • nmc

    Whataboutery aside, I don’t think the “murderous” catholics have much impact on my level of surprise at the fact that these other murderers haven’t been caught.

    Maybe something like: given the inept, pathetic excuse of a police force, the fact that these killers are still at large is unsurprising.

    Or perhaps the murderous protestants may have had something to do with it?

  • Dawkins

    Lib2016,

    “Be fair – the police are a force in transition.”

    What are they in transit to? to being half-competent?

    Two years to solve a murder in a small estate is way too long by any standards of policing. It’s not as if they had to mount an islandwide investigation.

  • Dawkins

    I meant to ask Sean the Troll: who’s the “middle aged drunk dying in a bar brawl”?

  • Sean the troll

    McCartney

  • lib2016

    Dawkins,

    The loyalists in Mount Vernon operated for a very long time with official protection. Neither an ordinary resident nor a policeman who wasn’t part of the Branch would feel very safe probing too deep as to what went on there.

    Changing that will take time, and has already started. Orde has been sending out public warnings lately and that’s a good sign.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Christ.

  • Dec

    Observer

    You are a tactless idiot.

    SRR

    The original investigation was a joke, however that should not detract from the fact that a lot of people in Mount Vernon are sheltering two child killers.

  • Sean

    You called SRR

  • Dawkins

    Sean the (aptly named) Troll,

    If you mean Robert McCartney, he wasn’t a drunk, nor was it a brawl in bar. He was followed outside and brutally slaughtered. It was premeditated murder.

  • lib2016

    SRR,

    If that’s directed at my post please elucidate. I genuinely think that the cultures of both main communities here are changing.

    The old Catholic ‘Ireland for the Irish’ thing is defunct and the Orange version is changing fast. Being ‘Simply British’ was rather too redolent of Major and his ‘Back to Basics’ nonsense.

    The RUC, though I disagreed with much of what they did weren’t monsters for the most part. One has to remember that most of the current senior officers have learned their trade in a wartime environment.

  • lib2016

    Dawkins,

    I don’t know much about McCartney but on the day he died he had spent most of the day in a bar with a convicted drug dealer. He was certainly known locally as a ‘hard man’ and the Short Strand is a tough area.

    Not many back street hard men get mentioned by an American President after their death. It’s pointless to pretend that the case wasn’t manipulated politically to embarrass the republicans since every one knows it was and you’re familiar with the situation here.

  • Sean the non Troll

    Here are SRR and others giving a fiar and liberal snap on this murder. And Lib2016 praising the RUC. Next Lib2016, will you praise the DMP and the RIC and the B Specials?
    To tell the truth, I cannot remember this kid geting whacked. There have been so many they blur. I do remember McCartney though. Anyone doing time over that yet?

    LLib2016, what is your take on RIRA prisoners? Do they deserve political status?

  • willowfield

    The original investigation was a joke

    How do you know?

  • Dawkins

    Lib2016,

    “It’s pointless to pretend that the case wasn’t manipulated politically to embarrass the republicans since every one knows it was and you’re familiar with the situation here.”

    I don’t pretend otherwise. It’s just that I found Sean the Troll’s remarks insensitive towards Robert’s sisters who are still campaigning for truth. First I heard he was “a drunk”.

    And while I’m on the subject of insensitivity, perhaps Sean the non Troll can temper his language too. Thomas wasn’t “whacked”. He died of multiple stab wounds, a death I wouldn’t wish on any child.

  • mchinadog

    Dec

    I sympathise with the family of this young man and am not able to say whether the police have failed to bring the perpetrators of his murder to justice because the community of Mount Vernon is hiding his killers from justice perhaps you have inside information. If you are saying that all Unionists are harbouring the Loyalists of the UDA/UFF then you are bunching most of those people of Northern Ireland as harbouring murderers, surely that is not right. The logic of your statement is also, and must be, that most Nationalists are harbouring all the murdering gangs of the IRA, INLA and the PROVO’s. and I do not accede to that statement being correct. I resent your blog very much as I have never either condoned or harboured any murderer, conman or extortionist and I am a Unionist so please be more circumspect when making these innuendoes and lumping all people’s as perpetrators.

  • oldruss

    Thomas Devlin and Michael “Mickey-bo” McIlveen are two teenagers who did not deserve to die when they did, nor how they did; and no amount of whataboutry can begin to excuse their deaths.

    At a time when the violence seems to be lessening, and the PIRA have decommissioned, I cannot understand why it continues to be necessary (as if it ever were necessary) for the unionist community to be protected by paramilitaries such as the UDA and UVF. Exactly from whom or what are they being protected?

    Just as the republicans are expected to give up the killers of Robt. McCartney, as well they should, why is there not the same drive on to force those complicit in the murders of Thomas Devlin and Michael “Mickey-bo” McIveen to be brought to justice? And going back a few years, why have the killers of Raymond McCord Jnr not yet been brought to justice?

    But then, we have the fine example of justice served in the murder of Peter McBride; so what difference does it really make if these murderers are finally outed or not, except possibly to their individual families?!

  • Sean

    Dawkins
    I assume we have a failure to communicate

    when I said drunk you assumed I meant a long term sot instead of a binge drinker

    But I did assume several facts not in evidence. Just because he spent all day in the bar would not necesarily mean he was drunk or even drinking and just because every bar brawl I have ever seen was started by a drunk doesnt mean McCartney was drunk when he started this one

    I hope this clears up any inconsitancies

  • Dawkins

    Sure, Sean. Thanks for that.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    oldruss: “Thomas Devlin and Michael “Mickey-bo” McIlveen are two teenagers who did not deserve to die when they did, nor how they did; and no amount of whataboutry can begin to excuse their deaths. ”

    Not that there hasn’t been a double-effort in some quarters to do just that…

    oldruss: “At a time when the violence seems to be lessening, and the PIRA have decommissioned, I cannot understand why it continues to be necessary (as if it ever were necessary) for the unionist community to be protected by paramilitaries such as the UDA and UVF. Exactly from whom or what are they being protected? ”

    From the back-breaking weight of their own money, their own rights, etc. Besides, what would the spides do without a reliable supply of nose candy?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Despite Billy Hutchinson’s vigorous commentary to the contrary, communities all across UK and Ireland are, right now, sheltering people who participated in death in this place.

    There are two main reasons why they do; the first one is a fear of reprisal, and the second one, sadly in many cases, is a degree of support at least for the organization who the killers were a member of (if not direct support for the actions of the killers in a particular incident). That support exists in Mount Vernon, and it also exists in the Short Strand vis. the McCartney murder, and we saw it in action when the family and relatives of McCartney were put out of the area.

    These factors will continue to be a problem for as long as our politicians collectively continue to ignore the paramilitarism in our midst. Throughout today all I’ve heard has been Billy Hutchinson; I’ve not heard a thing from an actual elected unionist representative. This family has been left out in the cold by an ineffective police investigation and a political community that does not care about random premeditated murders.

  • Darby O Gill

    the standard of postinf under this heading has been some of the lowest quality I have encountered on this site. I agree with the poster above that alot of the people posting need to really look at themselves and the language they use, but also the posters of different replies which have taken the thread into pointless territory.

  • chewnic

    I thought Hutchinson was extremely belligerent and agressive towards the bereaved family during his interview on the Nolan Show.

  • Dec

    WF

    It is common knowledge in north Belfast that the PSNI wasted the first two days of the murder investigation by pursuing the wrong suspects thus allowing the destruction of all potential forensic evidence by the real culprits.

    mchinadog

    The logic of your statement is also, and must be, that most Nationalists are harbouring all the murdering gangs of the IRA, INLA and the PROVO’s. and I do not accede to that statement being correct.

    Spare me the sickening whataboutery. What the hell have the the IRA to do with this? What on earth was political about this murder?
    A fifteen year old child was stabbed in the back by a sectarian animal and yet he remains unconvicted because several people in that estate are providing him with an alibi. Those people seem trapped in the same ‘our tribe’ logic as you seem to be – ie ‘ he’s one of ours. themmuns are worse’.

  • Dec

    and we saw it in action when the family and relatives of McCartney were put out of the area.

    BTW Comrade that is bullshit. Simply repeating it doesn’t make it true. Comparison of this case with Robert McCartney is inappropriate as as far as I am aware Thomas Devlin had not spent the entire day in a bar boozing with a renowned violent criminal and coke fiend, insulting women and nor did his friends smash a glass into a man’s face who asked them to stop insulting female patrons. Equally importantly, he was only 15 years old.

  • Miser

    What a waste of tax payers money – how is this really helping “to assist and encourage the development of local organisations” and why? NI is doing a good enough job of bleeding the Brtish Exchequer dry…no need for the same to happen to Dublin’s.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Dec

    I read Comrade’s post as being about what happened in the aftermath of both murders, not the lead-up.

  • Comrade Stalin

    BTW Comrade that is bullshit.

    No it isn’t.

    Comparison of this case

    (I didn’t actually draw any comparisons)

    with Robert McCartney is inappropriate as as far as I am aware Thomas Devlin had not spent the entire day in a bar boozing with a renowned violent criminal and coke fiend

    So he got what was coming to him, right ?

    insulting women and nor did his friends smash a glass into a man’s face who asked them to stop insulting female patrons

    You chucks never cease to amaze me. You’ll go on hunger strike over the issue of what clothes to wear in prison, but simultaneously you’ll sit there and defend a man getting stabbed to death. Surely a good kicking would have been all that a man behaving like that would need. Why slice him up and leave him to bleed to death ?

  • Pete Baker

    And getting back to the actual topic..

  • Great work from the all shining, fully professional police service. Cuts down on the paperwork and that other boring but time consuming item, investigation. If the poster campaign works on contempitable, dispicable and brutal murder of this innocent 15 years old kid, what next – a TV campaign for all bad-uns to come clean. Classic, fucking classic

  • Dawkins

    Parnell,

    I’m waiting for an admirer of the old RUC to post something like:

    “So you don’t think much of the PSNI? Well, what did you expect? We had a perfectly fine police force until certain peeps brought pressure on the government to pull its teeth and give us these clowns instead.”

  • Dawkins,
    Don’t think you’ll fine many admirers. I’m not saying they where all sectarian supporter/murderers, there again!!!. We wanted a fully answerable,accountable police service? The PSNI? Must have been a Whitehall committee decided that. Still t heres always, Kit Chivers>

  • Sorry Dawkins I meant, Kit: The, Criminal Justice Inspectorate. He’ll sort it out, (Hell Sort It Out).

  • pauljames

    Peteb

    How much rope are you going to allow our friend sean? the sectarian poison he injects into each thread is a deliberate policy to disrupt slugger,

    Wiki- “More specifically a troll is an insult or accusation made against a poster. It would be highly unusual for any internet poster to claim the title of troll, rather a community member may try to deflate a post that is controversial or thought provoking by referring to it as a “troll”. In usage troll is more of an insult like “jerk”.

    thought provoking, I wish