Three generations of one catholic family targeted by loyalist gang in Stoneyford

The mixed village of Stoneyford is once again making the news following the latest series of attacks on catholic residents by a locally based loyalist gang. In the past fortnight, three generations of one catholic family have been targeted by loyalists. In the first attack, the windows of an elderly woman’s home were smashed; subsequently, her son-in-law received the latest death threat to be issued against catholic families residing in the area; and last evening, three loyalists targeted the 12-year old son and grandson of the previous victims (contrary to UTV reports, at 6:30pm and not 10:30pm), as well as another catholic child who was threatened by the men.The attacks come just weeks after a Sinn Fein delegation met with the Assistant Chief Constable, Duncan McCausland, to demand action be taken against the loyalists who have long held the mixed community to ransom. During the meeting, Mr. McCausland denied the accusation that the leader of this gang was protected due to his suspected status as a British/ Police agent.

The targeting of this particular family on this occasion has its roots in an earlier incident some time ago, when the gang’s ringleader issued a threat to two children playing in the village, one catholic and one protestant, because he objected to one of the children wearing a GAA shirt. Sinn Fein- and the PSNI- have been informed of several other similar incidents in which children and adults have been on the receiving end of such threats in the village, though due to the ‘charmed’ status of the culprit, most victims (and their parents) simply refuse to proceed with charges.

When this family reported the incident to the PSNI and indicated a desire to proceed with charges, they began to receive death threats. Subsequently, the family were then contacted by a very senior Ulster Unionist politician in the Lagan Valley constituency, who wanted to act in a mediating role between the loyalist gang leader and the family, suggesting a face to face meeting in a local business complex. Soon after, the family dropped the charges, believing it would mean an end to the threats.

But, of course, things didn’t work out that way.

During the past week, the PSNI held a coffee morning in a local Protestant church hall to encourage residents to come forward with information about those involved in the latest attacks as well as other incidents. During the course of the event, one of the leading loyalist’s henchmen based in the village entered the hall “to represent the loyalists” based in the village, a statement and development widely interpreted as an act of intimidation against locals seeking to share information with the PSNI, and PSNI officers subsequently removed him from the premises.

  • joeCanuck

    Another apparent example of how a few thugs can hold a whole community to ransom.
    Time for the “Softly, Softly” policy of the political masters of the PSNI to be abandoned.
    I propose Margaret Ritchie for Justice Minister.

  • Nevin

    Are you seconding my earlier proposal, Joe? Margaret seems to have gone a bit quiet recently.

    Sadly, the ‘not ruffling paramilitary feathers without political clearance’ strategy hasn’t gone away. In many areas, the hard men rule the roost and the agents of the state look impotent.

  • Dec

    I see the local DUP MLA described this as an issue between families (as opposed to sectarian intimidation carried out by a renowned loyalist gang) tonight on UTV. He then outdid himself by describing the targetting of a 12-year old boy as ‘regrettable’.

  • joeCanuck

    Sorry Nevin, I don’t remember you doing that.
    But, yes, certainly, I’m quite willing to be the seconder.

  • Rubicon

    Chris, you refer to “a very senior Ulster Unionist politician in the Lagan Valley constituency, who wanted to act in a mediating role between the loyalist gang leader and the family” – are you in a position to reveal the name of this politician? You use capital U’s so I guess it’s reasonable to assume a party political designation. There is only one UUP MLA in Lagan Valley and if your info is correct the electorate should be informed about their public representatives who intervene on behalf of paramilitaries. Don’t you think?

  • joeCanuck

    Fair request, Rubicon.
    Over to you Chris.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Rubicon

    I think it is obvious whom I am referring to. The Ulster Unionist politican concerned caused considerable anxiety within his own party by the manner in which he was seen to be ‘courting’ this individual in the past, though in the aftermath of the 11th Night Beacon threats, it’s safe to assume that those contacts have been truly cut.

    I also believe (though I stand to be corrected) that this information has already been in the public domain, albeit probably only in the local press.

    Even if it hasn’t, let’s just say it’s 100% accurate.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s not at all obvious to this Canadian/Irishman.
    But I guess that doesn’t really matter.

  • joeCanuck

    Seeing that I don’t have a vote, that is.

  • Harry Flashman

    Look folks we all wanted a nice touchy feely police ‘service’ full of fine warm fuzzy ideas about human rights and we got it.

    My solution? Bring back the RUC and bate the livin’ shite out of these toe-rags, but then I’m just an old dinosaur who thank God doesn’t live in Norn Iron any more.

  • joeCanuck

    It must be very damaging to the morale of the many fine men and women of the PSNI to have their hands tied in circumstances like this.
    But, sorry Harry, the old RUC who only bate the livin’ shite out of one section of the population ain’t coming back.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Here we go again … Chris Donnelly and his obsession with Stoneyford. Do you live there or something? Of course, any real threat against anyone in Stoneyford is to be condemned. But Sinn Fein IRA supporter Donnelly goes very quiet when there are attacks on Protestants across Northern Ireland. I guess he would describe them as ‘local disputes’. This is not surprising as his party/gang continues to justify the sectarian murders which were carried out against Protestants during the SF IRA terrorist campaign.

  • joeCanuck

    P&J;,

    “But” in circumstances like this is a very ugly word.
    Either this event should or shouldn’t be condemned (as you did).
    Attacks (justified or not) on Chris Donnelly’s integrity should be reserved for somewhere else.

  • Chris Donnelly

    PJ

    Quite apart from the rest of your diatribe, you are quite simply wrong about me not condemning attacks on Protestants- I fully acknowledge that such attacks occur, condemn them outright and would like to see any perpetrators of such despicable sectarian attacks brought to justice through the courts.

    Sectarianism is wrong no matter the victims.

    Now, anything of substance to contribute to the thread?

  • Rubicon

    Chris, I’m only asking for the name since without it I might blame the wrong person. What’s obvious to you is less obvious to others and the knowledge of ‘dogs in the street’ is all too often the basis of criticism against republicans that they complain of.

    The public should be told about their politicians who sidle up with paramilitaries. I don’t care much whether this politician has since had a break-up with his mates over a bonfire – I do care about a record of sectarian intimidation. The ballot paper has a list of names and it’s our responsibility who we give a tick to.

    If the electorate was ignorant of what this man truly represented then you’ve an opportunity to inform them. I can’t understand your reluctance in putting them straight.

  • PeaceandJustice

    So is Chris Donnelly now ready to apologise for all the attacks carried out by Sinn Fein IRA on Protestants during the ‘Troubles’? We’re still waiting for an apology that doesn’t involve weasel words. Was it right for Sinn Fein IRA to murder Protestant Unionist politicians? Was it right for Sinn Fein IRA to murder people selling sweets to the police? And then there are all the policemen and soldiers murdered by SF IRA death squads.

    Sorry Mr Donnelly, Unionists cannot take you seriously when you still give excuses for murders carried about by YOUR organisation, Sinn Fein IRA. It’s only 10 years ago when Sinn Fein IRA murdered two policemen walking down the street in Lurgan. All the families deserve an apology and justice.

  • Mark McGregor

    Though when senior staff associated with the local SF MLA are calling for the UDA to continue receiving funding through Stormont is it any surprise when the PSNI are flexible on the harassment of our neighbours, Chris?

  • Chris Donnelly

    In short, yes, Mark, as the two issues clearly aren’t linked.

    Funding or no for a loyalist-based community organisation in north/west Belfast, the loyalist paramilitaries still active in south Antrim need to be tackled by the PSNI.

    It will be in how the PSNI meet the legitimate expectations of nationalists in areas like this that they will either engender trust with the nationalist community or allow for disillusionment to set in.

  • Mark McGregor

    Chris,

    This is where we have to agree to disagree, I don’t see good and bad Loyalist gangs, fundable and non-fundable.

    I do see the PSNI letting an agent run amok today like yesterday and one now directing his gang towards my neighbours’ children.

    Did they tell Paul and pal they wouldn’t be giving him immunity over those tea and bickies in the barracks? Going to pull them on that lie?

    This thug has been getting away with it for years just like the Paddy got away with creating all that trouble while being an agent on the other side just a few miles up the road. Those kids chased, the bats used and he is still on the payroll too.

    Trust? Give me one reason?

  • USA

    PeaceandJustice,
    Your “whataboutary” is a disgrace. This thread is about organised intimidation and the police response.
    Paramilitary scum are attacking 12 year old children, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Agreed, the police need to take firm action, a pattern of imtimidaton is setting in. Also, if this guy is an agent and he is allowed to conduct himself in this manner it will look very bad for the PSNI..people will wonder if anything has really changed and may not be very willing to co-operate if they see the cops protecting the scumbags and not the children.

  • Billy

    USA

    Well said but you’re wasting your time.

    P&J;’s only interest in attacks on innocent Catholics is justifying them. He is an apologist for “loyalist” terrorism.

    As soon as I read Chris’s opening paragraphs, I would have bet my house on P&J;steaming in with a comment that only briefly mentions the threats on Catholics although that is the topic of this thread.

    Lo and Behold, in he comes – implying that there is no “real” threat against Catholics in Stoneyford (presumably those nasty Catholics made it all up – again!!).

    He then, as usual, goes on to spend 90%+ of his rant complaining about IRA attacks (not the topic of this particular thread) which he clearly uses as a justification of “loyalist” violence – as he always does.

    I think most intelligent posters on this site are wise to (the laughably named) “Peace&Justice;” by now.

    He clearly has no problem with “loyalist” terrorism and thinks that attacks on any old Catholic (man, woman or child) by “loyalist” paramilitaries are justified.

    Personally, I think that any decent person should unreservedly condemn all such attacks irrespective of the religion of the victim.

    That rules P&J;out then.

  • The Dubliner

    “…due to the ‘charmed’ status of the culprit, most victims (and their parents) simply refuse to proceed with charges.” – Chris Donnelly

    Which is exactly the complaint that the families of Robert McCartney, Paul Quinn, et al, make about members of PSF/PIRA.

    This brazen and blatant hyprocrisy from PSF has the unfortunate consequence of ensuring that the victims of protected thugs in Stoneyford are not helped by PSF drawing attention to their plight, since people will be too disgusted by the messengers to listen to the message, dismissing it as cynical manipulation irrespective of its merits.

  • mmmmmmmm

    basil brush is absolutely useless far too easily led to be a politician of any note. He would rather do something stupid and inadvisable just to be seen to be doing something.

  • The Great Slab

    Fekme Fekme its him again its him fekme boys its the The Dubliner getim getim hes gonna tell the truth again.Dont worry Chris i know where theres a shed big shed fekme feku fekme oh ye big shed big oh yes don worry boys. HMMM ring conner tell im to get ready oh yea oh yea he he hah hah oh yea bye for now yehee he he ha hah.

  • BonarLaw

    JoeCannuck

    “the old RUC who only bate the livin’ shite out of one section of the population ain’t coming back”

    FYI shite was beaten out of any section of the community that deserved it. Have you forgotten the less than sensitive policing at Druncree Bridge or at the Tunnel in Portadown? But that wouldn’t suit your version of history would it?

  • RepublicanStones

    the fact that the RUC was heavily biased in favour of one section of the community doesn’t seem to suit your version of history bonarlaw. thats fair enough, but your welcome to reality anytime you wanna visit !

  • We remember her.

    I assumed, perhaps wrongly, Bonerlaw, that you were referring to the pre-Direct Rule RUC.

  • the truth

    RepublicanStones Says the fact that the RUC was heavily biased in favour of one section of the community doesn’t seem to suit your version of history bonarlaw. thats fair enough, but your welcome to reality anytime you wanna visit. His new reality is poor Paul Quinn and that ugly oul bollox slab murphy ruling over us through smartie martie and connor murphy and the likes sort of like the new old ruc.

  • Comrade Stalin

    BonarLaw:

    FYI shite was beaten out of any section of the community that deserved it. Have you forgotten the less than sensitive policing at Druncree Bridge or at the Tunnel in Portadown? But that wouldn’t suit your version of history would it?

    Actually, I remember Drumcree 96 where the PSNI spent a week backing down to the loyalists, but when the march was forced through fired something like 3000 plastic bullets at the chuckies. I don’t hate the RUC (many loyalists were caught and put away, including Johnny Adair, the Shankill Butchers, etc) but they did leave a lot to be desired, and the claim that they applied the rough stuff across the board is very easily discredited.

    Very hypocritical of Sinn Fein to start talking about pleas for justice being ignored, right after they actively tried to disrupt and silence a public meeting aimed at achieving exactly that. On the other hand, I think the PSNI could do with approaching their job with a little more enthusiasm.

  • pfhl

    So is Chris Donnelly now ready to apologise for all the attacks carried out by Sinn Fein IRA on Protestants during the ‘Troubles’?

    P&J;, how can chris donnelly apologise for all the actions carried out by the IRA?

  • pfhl

    This brazen and blatant hyprocrisy from PSF has the unfortunate consequence of ensuring that the victims of protected thugs in Stoneyford are not helped by PSF drawing attention to their plight, since people will be too disgusted by the messengers to listen to the message, dismissing it as cynical manipulation irrespective of its merits.

    What was your answer Dubliner? Keep quiet about the attacks in stoneyford. The fact this has been mentioned has brought it to attention. Peolple have listened and unlike you many have not dismissed these sectarian attacks because complaints came from sinn fein. Most were disgusted by the intimidation of a 12 year old. Stop letting your hatred of sinn fein cloud your judgement or maybe your hatred of sinn fein is all you have to talk about.

  • keep it up

    Poor sinn fein misunderstood sinn fein victim sinn fein sinn fein its becoming a sickening mantra keep talking crap boys people are listening you know and they are not stupid.Many people now equate sinn fein with spin lies spin and more very nasty spin Paul Quin was a murder to far its finished boys your finished soon you will disapear living in the shadows made you strong but like the vampire that sucked the blood of its victems when it was brought into the light it shriveled and died.

  • RepublicanStones

    the truth, what happened to Paul Quinn was real, Slab ruling isn’t real, neither is the belief that the RUC were unbiased or ‘noble’. and what is the ‘new old RUC’?

  • Nevin

    From the frying pan of West Belfast to the fire of Stoneyford:

    “We moved out of west Belfast because we were not too happy with the way west Belfast was going to give ourselves a better way of life in the country.”

  • RepublicanStones

    holy shit get van helsing quick, there vampires runnin about south armagh !

  • keep it up

    RepublicanStones the new old ruc is made up of the great big brave boys of south armagh they will soon put you in your box (literaly) if you step out of line with slabs plans.
    The along come people like you the spinners for the shinners to make us all laugh or vomit depending.Keep it up YOUR BEATING YOURSELVES.A few more elections and you will be looking to join up with the bnp.

  • RepublicanStones

    presumably you have proof of slabs plans/ so what sort of uniform do this new old ruc wear?

  • pfhl

    We moved out of west Belfast because we were not too happy with the way west Belfast was going to give ourselves a better way of life in the country.

    Nevin, i am very glad you quoted this as the reason many dont like the way west belfast is going is because of the increase in anti social behaviour. It seems the PSNI is failing the people of west belfast. I apoligise as I have not been able to find the irish news feature i was referring to. What is your point here anyway? Are you justifying the attack because they are from west belfast? To me the shocking part of this story was a 12 year old being attacked not the fact the family didn’t like the way west belfast was going. Once again Nevin you fail to see what was wrong with a story because it does not suit your ignorance to do so.

  • The Dubliner

    “What was your answer Dubliner?”

    Why don’t you take a wild guess at it? Maybe it is along the lines of “Don’t vote for sectarian mass-murderers, gangsters and vicious thugs because they tend not to have any moral authority or credibility?” PSF are likely to be as much help as getting Beverley Allitt to endorse a new childcare day nursery.

  • steve

    Dubliner
    The loyalists have to vote for somebody

    And wee Ian is as good as any

  • RepublicanStones

    “Don’t vote for sectarian mass-murderers, gangsters and vicious thugs because they tend not to have any moral authority or credibility?” – Dubliner

    Rather like the US and UK administrations and their antics in Mesopotamia and those big 747’s which carry only a few people, with sevral bound and gagged.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Billy – “P&J;’s only interest in attacks on innocent Catholics is justifying them. He is an apologist for ‘loyalist’ terrorism.”

    I’ve already said that any real threat against anyone in Stoneyford is to be condemned. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it to you again: I challenge you to find any post from me which shows any supports for terrorism. Here’s a clue. You won’t.

    But it obviously annoys you greatly that I dare to challenge members of SF IRA on here. That says everything about you.

    SF IRA has no moral authority to talk about incidents in Stoneyford given their record of murder, torture and ethnic cleansing. Oh, and they’re not sorry about it.

  • BonarLaw

    Comrade Stalin

    you’d have a hard job remembering the PSNI doing anything in 1996. But, of course, an accurate recollection of the past dosn’t suit everyones’ current agenda does it?

  • pfhl

    “What was your answer Dubliner?”

    Why don’t you take a wild guess at it? Maybe it is along the lines of “Don’t vote for sectarian mass-murderers, gangsters and vicious thugs because they tend not to have any moral authority or credibility?” PSF are likely to be as much help as getting Beverley Allitt to endorse a new childcare day nursery.

    Posted by The Dubliner on Dec 16, 2007 @ 06:26 AM

    How will this help the 12 year old attacked in stoneyford? Please explain. Then again im guessing you don’t care about that as long as you can have an anti sinn fein rant.

  • catholic

    To pfhl. What is wrong with being anti sinn fein im anti sinnfeinn im anti dup im anti drugs anti murder anti mrsi anti poverty. In fact i was once anti thatcher but god love her the way she is now if anything i feel sorry for her.DO ANY OF THESE ANTIES MAKE ME A BAD HUMAN BEING.

  • pfhl

    catholic

    I am referring to the fact most of what the Dubliner says is directed towards sinn fein. In this point i felt the attack of a twelve year old boy was the deplorable bit of this thread. Maybe you do not see the problem with this sectarian attack. I did not call him a bad human geing, i questioned how attacking sinn fein helps to stop sectarian attacks in stoneyford. Maybe you could fill me in on this?

  • Billy

    P&J;You must think people are really stupid.

    It’s common knowledge on this site that I am not a Sinn Fein member, voter or supporter.

    What I am is consistent, I condemn ALL sectarian violence from ANY source and I DON’T EVER justify such attacks.

    If the thread in question is about attacks on Protestants, I will (and have) unreservedly condemn them as I do all attacks.

    ALL your comments are 90% about Republican attacks and “loyalist” attacks barely get a passing mention.

    You are vitriolic about Republicans and condemn all Sinn Fein voters as terrorists while overlooking the well-documented links between leading Unionist politicians and “loyalist” terrorists. You adopt a policy of denial about the clear links between the OO and “Loyalist” terrorism – do you actually think that you’re fooling anyone?

    Take this thread, this is about a 12 year old boy being terrorised by “loyalists” purely because he is a Catholic. Do you come on here and unreservedly condemn it? – Of course not – you never do when it’s “loyalist” terrorism.

    Instead you use the term “real” threat, implying that this Catholic family aren’t really being terrorised (although the PSNI seem to think that it’s real). And then, as usual, you go straight into whatboutery and spend 90% of your piece ranting about Republican terrorism (despite the thread being about a specific instance of “loyalist” terrorism).

    No surprise there because that’s what you always do.

    Your rants are ALWAYS about Republicans and “loyalist” violence is glossed over (to put it mildly).

    You clearly try to perpetuate the (long failed) “loyalist” myth about their violence being reactive and defensive.

    This crap never fooled decent people. It’s clear to all right minded people that they are drug dealing vermin who loved to torture/kill any easy taget Catholic thay could get their cowardly hands on while raking in the money from their criminal activities.

    I have no time for any terrorist or criminal, I despise them equally.

    It’s obvious from your posts that you don’t see “loyalist” terrorism being as bad as Republican.

    Hence, your constant whataboutery and using all threads to condemn Republican violence – even when the subject matter is an attack on an innocent Catholic lad.

    Frankly, I would rather have someone who just comes out and is honest about their prejudice than someone like you who insults people’s intelligence.

    You try (and fail miserably) to masquerade as a decent person who is opposed to violence. However, your prejudice constantly shines through in your whataboutery and your obvious different attitudes to “loyalist” and Republican violence.

  • Comrade Stalin

    BonarLaw:

    you’d have a hard job remembering the PSNI doing anything in 1996. But, of course, an accurate recollection of the past dosn’t suit everyones’ current agenda does it?

    Nor does nitpicking over a tiny error (especially when I said “RUC” in the next sentence). But I guess if it makes you feel smug and superior, you’ve achieved your objective in contributing in the first place.

  • al

    the old RUC who only bate the livin’ shite out of one section of the population
    Posted by joeCanuck on Dec 15, 2007 @ 12:38 AM

    Thanks for that quite amusing sentence…

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Billy – Your comments are 90% about Loyalists. Obviously you have different attitudes to Loyalist and “Republican” violence.

    I repeat, all real threats are to be condemned no matter which side they come from. You can rant all you like – I don’t support any sort of terrorism. While you say you are “not a Sinn Fein member, voter or supporter”, it certainly annoys you greatly if anyone dares to challenge them. Pan-Nationalism is alive and well.