Fishing with those whom we ‘know of’….

The controversy surrounding the yet-to-be-rebuilt Giants Causeway Visitors Centre (here, here and here ) was revived today as Ian Paisley Junior, the North Antrim MLA who claims that he “knew of” the property developer and fellow DUP member, Seymour Sweeney, from whom he purchased a home, has now conceded that he went lobster fishing with Seymour Sweeney, and lobbied alongside his father for a drift net licence on behalf of a fisherman whose crew included Mr. Sweeney.

  • Mick Fealty

    I saw this one, and thought it odd that they were majoring so heavily on junior, instead of the fact that two of Mr Sweeney’s public statements have been conclusively refuted by the people he referenced in them: John Dallat and now Dr Mechtild Rossler.

    An unerring instinct for looking in the wrong place? Or lull before a storm?

  • Chris Donnelly


    We’ll soon find out. In any case, certainly a lot of frantic activity going on in the background.

  • jone

    I’m pretty sute the beeb reported last week that John Dallat didn’t consider Sweeney a friend and hadn’t lobbied for him, despite Sweeney’s claim.

    Still, Arlene’s committee apperance tomorrow should be interesting given that Nigel’s performance earlier this week seemed to say he was only acting in light of her decision.

  • slug

    Surprised Chris didn’t go for the “something fishy about this” or “I smell a fish” line. Clearly not a journalist.

  • Pete Baker

    As I said on a earlier thread when this was mentioned

    A note of caution should be adopted in assessing these revelations.

    For example – What exactly do they reveal?

    There’s still no trail to the Causeway development.

    Just a set of circumstantial evidence that points to Paisley Jnr being disingenuous on the Nolan Show.

    Not that it’s a surprise to discover disingenuosity on the Nolan Show…

  • wild turkey

    I’m from New England. We don’t go lobster fishing… we pull traps. It is laborious and tedious work. As a result the craic, as they say, ‘flows’

    It strains credulity that anyone could pull lobster traps with others and at the end of the day merely claim to ‘know of’ his/her fellow comrades.

    I respect Petes note of caution. Therefore simple questions.
    In the general scheme of things, are the lobster trapping and associated fishing referred to usually carried for personal or business purposes?
    Were the lobsters and fish caught for personal consumption or did they end up on the menu of any North Coast gastro pubs?

    Simple questions which may narrow the range of circumstantial evidence… yeah?

  • jone


    I suspect it reveals very little. But it makes Jnr look like a slippery, disingenuous div. Which is just fine.

    By the way did I really hear the word c*nt on Nolan today?

  • Chris Donnelly


    Thought that ‘fishy’ line a bit too obvious….

  • páid

    ….nach fánach an áit a bhfaightear an gliomach

  • I was once told that the best revenge on a Bank (customers of Northern Rock, please note) was to take one large, fresh salmon; rent a bank deposit box; deposit one into the other; take a long, deserved holiday.

    There is a distinct whiff off this one, too.

    As I have said elsewhere, my memory goes back many years to being home from University, and scanning my Dad’s copy of the Daily Express. I could not understand why two trivial items were prominent side-by-side on the front page. One was about an unknown model, Miss Christine Keeler, and the other concerned an equally obscure West Indian drug dealer. Somehow the symmetry and sub-editing seemed to be saying more that the text. Subsequent events told me to (as ‘Dewey Finn’ says in School of Rock) read between the lines.

    It seems to me, without entering the world of conspiracy theory, that the way this one is dribbling out says someone, somewhere, knows where the bodies are buried, and is playing with us.

    Despite Mr P. Baker’s warnings not to walk on the grass, I rely on Sluggerdom to grass fully, and keep the rest of us ahead of the news.

  • Nevin

    Malcolm, information has been coming to me on a piece-meal basis from a wide range of sources. I’ve also googled government and local government websites. I can check the accounts of two or more people who participated in the same event.

    Journalists will have gained some of their information from the debate on Slugger; they will have built on that information; they will have been given or tracked down information from other sources.

    My lobster fishing story will most likely have come from a different source from the BBC’s.

    Ian Paisley jnr’s ‘I know of him, yes’ remark is so far at variance with what the dogs in the streets of Moyle know that journalists can net a huge haul with only a limited amount of bait and/or a small net.

    There’s also the possibility of official leaks as anxious punters scramble to protect their butts.

    Pete’s advice is apposite even if I disagree with his focus.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The fact that Paisley Jnr was reticient to conceding the nature of his relationship with Sweeney is a central matter here, and is the reason why this business is so controversial. People will be asking, why did he feel the need to be so pointedly economical with truth ?

  • McGrath

    One does not “fish” for lobster. To state such infers a further concealment of the truth. Actually, harvesting Lobster is a hard days work, something Junior may be unfamiliar with.

    The fabrication of excuses is more disingenuous that the original infraction.

    Lobster-gate, you heard it here first.

  • Nevin

    McGrath, is the lobster buoy hitch coming loose?

    There appears to be some clear blue water between the developer’s public statements and the politician’s early coyness.

    Whatever happened to Pól Lobster Pot? Did he treat his Mary Anne to some dulse and yellowman? 😉

  • Reg Empty

    All businessmen and women should not be allowed to become party members, hell why not ban them from voting too.

  • Reg Empty

    Ban all lobster Fishermen who are in political parties.

  • Buile Suibhne

    Misread the BBC headline and thought it said. “Paisley finished with developer”. Wishfull thinking I know given the DUP’s attraction to such rare and exotic species.

  • Nevin

    Chris, has the Sinner fighting dog been neutered? Why hasn’t it barked let alone got its teeth into some very soft flesh?

  • gram

    Has anyone considered that maybe Ian Og is telling the truth. It could have been a very large boat.

  • Nevin

    Papa Doc is the farmer’s friend; Puppy Doc is the fisherman’s friend but where were they when the fishermen (and others) lost their right-of-way through the grounds of Runkerry House to the boat slip and fisherman’s cottage?

    What do they plan to do about the ‘blot on the landscape‘ and the bollards on the Sand Rodden?

  • ulsterfan

    Lets not forget the main objective—–to keep the Causeway development in public hands as speculation might be a distraction.

  • Sir Reg running on Empty

    Papa and baby Doc need to take lessons from the Irish in how to manage dodgy fishing deals.

    from the Ecologist online:

    Atlantic Dawn

    Dirty deals between the European Commission and Ireland have enabled the world’s biggest trawler to plunder African fish stocks.

  • Nevin

    Ulsterfan, I think that objective is probably back on track. The Ministers turned into a cul-de-sac; they’ll wise up – eventually.