Orangemen want ‘warm house’, not a blazing one…

THOSE who doubt that there’s some kind of campaign of sectarian destruction against Orange halls might like to consider that, according to the Order, one in four Orange halls in the Portadown district have been attacked in the last six months. Over the new year, a number of attacks provoked a flurry of headlines. Understandably, feelings seem to be running high in the Order, particularly when the police have zero interest in the problem – which exactly mirrors their conviction rate – and there are difficulties getting compensation after arson attacks. If allowed to fester, some feel it’s inevitable that Orange sympathisers will take the law into their own hands or retaliate in kind.

  • Just wondering

    Given that OO claim an often disputed figure of a membership of over 100,000 brethren, could I suggest the following;

    That,in liaison with the PSNI, the Order sets up “community watch teams” drawn from its own membership around the vicinity of Orange halls to deter such attacks, and other criminal activity in their neighbourhoods. I have no doubt that the Order would have the blessing of the PSNI and of unionist politicians in doing this as it would ensure that the reduced numbers of personnel within the overall ranks of the PSNI would receive the community help and assistance they so frequently ask for.

    If my memory serves me right, the Order set up a similar initiative in the late 70’s to protect their premises and members from IRA attacks at the height of the PIRA campaign. If they could do it then, why can’t they do it now?

    Maybe for two reasons.

    1 – The Order does not have the number of members it claims to have.

    2. Perhaps, the Order senses, but will not say, that nationalists,Fenians/Taigs/Republicans aren’t behind all of these attacks. Antagonism between various lodges and certain loyalist bands and their supporters comes to mind.

    Who really knows?

  • The Dubliner

    “THE sectarian attacks on Orange halls are deliberately planned by republicans to provoke a violent response from loyalists and both the Government and the police have got to get real about tracking down those responsible.”

    There is no evidence to support that assumption by The Newsletter. Although it’s pretty obvious why Orangemen are keen to give that impression:

    “PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has to sign off an official certificate accepting that the damage to Orange halls was caused by a terror group before compensation money can be paid…”

    It’s possible that the attacks are the work of a single arsonist with a grudge against the OO. Jumping to the wrong conclusion may help the OO but it does so at the expense of the taxpayer. If they are not entitled to compensation then they shouldn’t get it. If they are, then they need to prove their claim.

    Also, I wouldn’t recommend a ‘vigilante’ approach to guarding these halls. Sleeping in a building that may be set on fire isn’t advisable.

  • McGrath

    Why target the GAA (or the Hibernians)? That’s a bit like assuming those who target GAA halls etc are Orangemen.

    Its highly likely that members of the local community know who these vandalous little thugs are because I’m sure the same morons cant help but brag about it. The focus on solving this should be on persuading the community to cooperate with the police.

  • willis

    “Most of the recent arson attacks have
    been concentrated in Co Armagh, in
    unionist heartlands where the population
    is overwhelmingly Protestant, and it is
    clear that the strategy is to heighten tension
    and create community division.”

    News Letter

    A bit of wishful thinking there boys.

    Check for yourselves.

    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/ni/religion.htm#ni-rel-02

  • harry

    could somebody tell the last OO hall burnt in what could be considered a rural republican heartland?

    i am thinking of those halls along the border in south armagh, tyrone and fermanagh.

    if the catholics/nationalists/republicans were burning these halls, why do they not burnt these soft targets? why has most of halls burnt being in high concentrated unionist areas?

    if i was going to to burn a hall in tandragee, i would’nt feel very comfortable as i wouldnt know the area at all, but there is a wee hall a mile up road from me, in a relatively sparsely populated area of south armagh, and a ten min drive would take me over the border. that would make a much more comfortable option.

    yet that hall has sat there as long as it has been built, 60-70yrs, and nobody has ever touched it. nor would anybody touch it. despite being surrounded by fenians. and this area has seen alot of action against the Brits, and votes heavily for SF.

    so i cannot see why catholic/nationalist/republicans would put themselves to the trouble of going to areas they dont really know to burn oo halls.

    and surely if the C/n/R were to burn the rural isolated oo halls along the border, that would lend more creedence to the bulshit arguement that they are engaged in low level ethnic cleansing.

    i think people should focus more on the “compo”.

  • Turgon

    Harry,

    This idea that orangemen are seeking compensation by attacking their halls is fairly offensive. I suspect if a GAA halls (or any other buildings frequented by the nationalist community) were regularly being burned down and lots of unionists came on here and said it was all for compensation there would (rightly) be an outcry from nationalists. I doubt you would want to destroy a building in which you had invested considerable emotional capital.

    Furthermore orange halls contain lots of old banners and other things seen by orangemen as of cultural and historical importance. To destroy all these things for compensation would be a very odd thing for an organisation so interested in heritage to do.

    Next, clearly there are difficulties getting compensation. Now even if orangemen were by chance trying to get compensation, they would presumably have the good sense to wait until compensation has been agreed for other halls before they started burning many halls.

    Just wondering,
    So you suggest that local antagonisms between lodges and bands are behind this. Although mild antagonisms do exist between lodges and bands they are usually pretty mild. A lot more mild that the antagonisms between say neighbouring soccer or GAA clubs or indeed any neighbouring sports clubs. I would never be so daft as to suggest, however, that one team’s members would attack another team’s meeting place.

    In terms of The Dubliner’s theory of a single arsonist, well he or she would have to be extremely busy considering the number attacked. Suggesting people do not sleep in halls which might be attacked is, however, extremely sensible.

    In summary there is a very small possibility that one of the above theories explains these attacks. There is also the much greater probability that these attacks are by people who would claim to be republicans, and that there are a number of them involved.

  • harry

    but why do they operate in unionist areas? and leave the those oo halls in nationalist halls alone?

    i dont understand why the border oo halls are not be attacked, and those halls in the likes of portadown and tandragee are.

  • RepublicanStones

    whilst the possibility that these attacks are carried out ‘in-house’ (and lord knows unionism/loyalism has plenty of form in that respect) is a valid point. most of these attacks are probably celtic jersey wearing ‘republicans’ with a bottle of buckfast in one hand and a zippo in the other !
    it is understandable why one might feel enmity towards the OO, given its rather dubious associations with loyalism and open anti-catholicism, but cherishing….this is not !

  • Turgon

    I am not from around there but I would suggest that tensions between the orange order and local republicans would be higher there than in other areas. After all Drumcree etc. was there was not it? Orangemen in South Fermanagh and South Armagh tend to very much keep their heads down (those who still live there). Also I believe there have been attacks though I agree smaller in number in other areas.

    The people doing this (in my opinion people who would call themselves republicans) may be larger in number and more organised in North Armagh.

    If it was compensation related as you try to claim, why would it be mainly orangemen in North Armagh who would be after compensation? You also have not answered any of my points about the compensation not being so far forth coming yet the attacks continuing, the importance which orangemen attach to halls which you claim they are burning down themselves or the fact that if this argument was turned around the other way republicans would (rightly) be extremely offended by people like me claiming that nationalists burn down GAA halls and the like for compensation.

  • Cromwell

    Because harry it would be too f*cking obvious, use your loaf.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    harry

    They don’t leave halls in nationalist areas alone. It’s just that a high proportion of halls in a particular area have been attacked recently.

    However, Rasharkin and Crumlin are just two areas off the top of my head I can think of where halls have been attacked lately as well, and they are ‘nationalist’.

    I think it would be daft for loyalists to be burning their own halls while they’re in the middle of negotiating a compensation scheme with the NIO. I know plenty of them are stupid, but I doubt if even the knuckledraggers want to see irreplaceable aspects of their heritage go up in flames.

    While I’m no particular fan of Orangeism, I have to say that the denial some people are in on this thread is quite astounding. I swear to God, if someone had suggested it was martians behind the attacks, you’d have nodded in knowing agreement just to avoid accepting that there are sectarian scum amongst ‘our lot’.

  • john

    Good to see the anti-OO commentators on this thread.

    If it was GAA halls it would be a big issue with lots of government action.

    The PSNI dont care about prods anymore.

  • billy

    I suspect its dissident republicans trying to case bother.

    Disgraceful!

  • Comrade Stalin

    These attacks are a disgrace. There is clearly orchestration going on here. I agree with Dubliner, that orchestration doesn’t necessarily imply something that has military precision; but maybe two or three people with a car and a supply of petrol and glass bottles. I am quite sure that those people would be more than happy to provoke a retaliatory attack from loyalist paramilitaries; they want to stir things up, and setting off tit for tat attacks would suit them just fine.

    The Orangemen are entitled to assistance with repairing their property and I hope they receive it speedily, even if for no reason other than to show the people who are engaged in these attacks that they can’t win.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The PSNI dont care about prods anymore.

    That’s not quite it. The PSNI, for some reason, are not that interested in pursuing crime anymore. Their response to crime in general is very disappointing.

  • Turgon

    RepublicanStones,

    Once again it is my sad duty to slightly agree with you (do not worry only slightly lest both our credibilities be destroyed).

    I suspect tat these attacks require some organisation. They are, as has been noted, largely in rural Protestant areas. It is presumably necessary to work out where the halls are. Possibly a drive past a few days before or even an Ordnance Survey map. Actually burning down buildings does, however, definitely require getting to the building. Because of where they are that will require a car, a little difficult if too much of the perpetrators “republican zeal” has been acquired through Buckfast. Also our “zealous” friends would require petrol or paraffin, rags etc.

    Now this does not require the bird watching skills of the Colombian Three and I doubt if there is a big map in the IRA Army Council’s headquarters with the location of every orange hall in the occupied six counties on it (with little pins dependent on whether it has been destroyed). I also doubt the chief staff (presumably with handlebar moustache) announces to the assorted football top wearing “heroes”: Gentlemen; your target for tonight is….

    These attacks do, however, require a little more organisation than your suggestion allows for.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Sadly the usual begrudgery and paranoia is never far from threads to do with Orangeism. No exception here.

    A few foxes to be shot.

    Firstly, we don’t claim 100,000 members. We make no public comment about membership, though it’s no secret that it has never been at that level. However halls don’t just belong to orangemen- often literally, as they are on land gifted by farmers or local gentry- and they are used as often by bands , credit unions, and community groups, for whom they are a vital part of community infrastructure, and families of lodge members use them for creches, classes,functions, parties etc. So those with a stake in halls is probably about that number.

    Secondly, we don’t believe that one of the chuckle brothers has a big map with pins in it in his Stormont office targetting the next unfortunate site for his ex(?)colleagues to hit. We accept that there may well be some copycat atacks. But the coordination and focus on particular areas- South Londonderry last summer, Craigavon now- is clearly more than the Buckfast loyal Cellick supporters’ club having a few jollies after chucking out time. It is directed and planned.

    In the past the police were quite able to issue Chief Constable certificates for compensation for identical attacks because they had intelligence that the Provos were blooding youngsters, but strangely this intelligence dried up just about the time of the ceasefires. Investigations are now perfunctory, and left to local plod, not the central/CID effort there was in the past. And everyone knows this makes it impossible to claim from the NIO, and insurers are loath to underwrite prime targets.

    The reason these attacks don’t happen in nationalist/border areas is also obvious. If you want to provoke a reaction , why kick a community that’s too weak to kick back? If Crossmaglen had an orange hall, you could burn it every week, and there wouldn’t be enough orangemen in the area to be annoyed enough to respond. Plus we know it doesn’s suit the chuckle brother to annoy the DUP voter base at present- though it has in the past, and may again. Hence the strange silence of the residents’ groups last year.

    Because it’s now so common, this campaign is hardly newsworthy outside the local area, and the police have zero interest in turning over stones in case they find they have to confront elements in the nationalist community. This is simply a repeat of the police and NIO disinterest in anti-Unionist sectarianism in Londonderry for the past 20 years.Don’t enforce the law if the locals don’t really want you to seems to be the strategy.

    To be fair, Unionist politicians’ calls for the republican community to give up the perpetrators is also unrealistic. However, republican disapproval could be more proactive. Rememember when the OO grand master stood outside Harryville chapel during mass? At one level dismissed as a stunt, but it was a brave gesture, appreciated by the parishioners, and it took real courage.It was a gamble, but not one lodge expressed any opposition. I would go so far as to call it one of Saulters’ finest hours. When the chapel in Aldergove was attacked Jim Molyneaux was one of the first to open his wallet to help.

    We’re still waiting more than platitudes from the SF leadership in response. Saying it’s wrong is as useful as telling us we shouldn’t drink and drive . We already know this. Talk is cheap.

  • harry

    there has been attacks in the south armagh area on targets that could be considered “nationalist” for example Clady rc church and Madden GFC hall. admittedly they happened at a time when Drumcree was at a height, but to dismiss the orange community in south armagh too weak to respond is clearly not the whole story.

    i can sit my garden on a summer evening and listen to the bandsmen of the Temple and Crosskeys a couple of fields over, bang away to their hearts content. they dont seem like weak community who keep their heads down

    nor should they.

  • Turgon

    harry,

    I do not think that a band practising necessarily means that the community is not trying to keep its head down.

    Trying to turn this round into a discussion of attacks on perceived nationalist premises 10 years ago is also simply a rather poor attempt at distraction. What we are discussing is attacks in the present and recent past.

    Though lest anyone try to pretend otherwise I utterly condemn any attack on any person or property in the past, present or future.

  • Bemused

    Have to concur with what a lot of Darth says but still feel there’s ‘something not quite right’ about these attacks. I don’t think anyone’s seriously suggesting that the Shinners/Provos are involved. Looks to me far more likely that we’re dealing here with (a) assorted flat-earth, dissident, let’s-set-fire-to-everyting-including-furniture-shops bogman types or (b) some form of loyalist/MI5 black operation. Unfortunately, given the disgraceful antics of the Orange Order over the last ten years most people couldn’t give a flying fuck whether every one of their halls were vapourised overnight – unpalatable but true I’m afraid.

  • RepublicanStones

    im afraid i have to disagree Bemused, because while i hold no great love for orangeism, it is still a part of the colourful tapestry of Ireland, and to wish harm or worse still ‘vapourisation’ of the orange culture, is akin to cutting off one third of the tricolour, and conflicts with the ideals many of us hold dear.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Great post, Darth. It would be a sign of the times if McGuinness went to visit the burnt-out halls.

  • Will a slow down or cessation of attacks on Orange Halls be part of the confidence that Ian Paisley Junior said today was necessary for policing and justice to be devolved?

  • joeCanuck

    Well said Darth.

  • Twinbrook resident

    I remember the furore over the alledged Republican bombing campaign in the late sixties which was then proved to be the work of the UVF…..
    Now I am not saying that the UVF is involved here but something smells funny…
    Whoever is doing it is attempting to heighten sectarian tensions, now the question is who and why?
    Has to be condemned and stopped immediately.
    The right to free speech and freedom of bworship IS paramount.

  • joeCanuck

    You might consider counselling, Twinbrook, to deal with your paranoia/denial.
    Your last two sentences are totally negated by your first three.
    Shame.

  • Ben

    There’s an interesting article by Sheena McGrellis entitled “Pure and Bitter Spaces: Gender, Identity and Territory in Northern Irish Youth Transitions.” She notes that women circulate more freely than men in sectarian spaces associated with the other side. So maybe it’s women burning OO Halls in Unionist areas…? But wait! Doesn’t have to be republican women, perhaps it’s unionist women who want their men t’home. Or the wains….

    NB – McGrellis’ piece is serious academic work, no stick to her for my messing about! Cheers, Ben

  • McGrath

    A cash reward offered for information leading the the the arrest and conviction of the morons doing this seems like it would break some tongues loose. Contributions towards that cash reward by local GAA clubs and or republican organizations would be a step in the right direction.

    Mind you if evidence clearly identifying who is doing this was handed to the PNSI/DPP on a plate, they would probably fuck it up.

  • joeCanuck

    There should be absolutely no quibbles about compensation to repair damages.
    The civil law requirement of “more likely than not” should be applied rather than criminal law of “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
    If the Chief Constable is unwilling to sign the necessary certificates, then the only conclusion I can draw is that he is being leaned upon and that political policing is alive and well.

  • Twinbrook resident

    “You might consider counselling, Twinbrook, to deal with your paranoia/denial.”
    Now now…
    If History teaches anything………to get to the truth…..scrape the surface and question everything…..discard nothing until proven otherwise..

  • joeCanuck

    I do apologise, Twinbrook, for my opening remark.
    It was ill-considered of me.

  • aquifer

    A cash reward is a great idea. Electronic surveillance is also a lot cheaper than it was. If the PSNI really wanted to apprehend someone silent radio alarms, infra red CCTV, dye sprays, heat & smoke alarms could all be tried. Paramilitary connected bands should not be presumed innocent either. Individuals can be presumed innocent, but members of sectarian consipiracies of any colour are worth a second look.

  • Youse are all slow this weather. Maybe its the snow.

    Why would anyone concentrate their fire on Portadown District, well known to be the most pig-headed and volatile part of the Orange Order?

    Could it be because they wanted to provoke a reaction and thereby undermine the peace process and through it the leadership faction in Republicanism?

    And if that were the reason, which North Armagh town has probably the biggest concentration of flat earth dissoes in the North? If you still haven’t worked it out, I’ll give you a clue – it starts with ‘L’.

  • Steve

    When the grand poobah of the orange order said “the government should rebuild this halls bigger and better than before” he gave the whole game away

    Obviously its an oo plot to have the government build them fancy new halls

  • Oh No

    “Obviously its an oo plot to have the government build them fancy new halls”
    Posted by Steve on Jan 05, 2008 @ 06:40 PM

    If what you say is true, then insurance fraud is a serious crime and the cheaters would be getting away with taxpayers’ money.

  • Intelligence Insider

    twinbrook resident,
    Thankfully we can always rely on sf/ira to provide the truth. Such truths as the Enniskillen bomb was actually set off by the British, that Adams was never a member of the ira, that they had nothing to do with murdering Garda McCabe, the Columbian Three, the “Disappeared”, the Northern Bank robbery, etc,etc.

  • K man

    Twinbrook,
    “Theres something fishy going on” is neither a logical nor viable argument. If you dont believe me ask the mi5 team hiding in your wall cavity listening to your every thought…

    Isolated and poorly secured rural buildings are soft targets for those with enough bigotry to do someting about it.

  • Chris Donnelly

    A number of points on this one.

    Firstly, it is important that republican leaders have been very vocal and forthright in condemning the sectarian campaign underway against Orange properties. Some unionist commenters here may begrudge that fact, but even the Newsletter has given prominence to condemnations and appeals from Sinn Fein to those from within the nationalist community engaged in this campaign to halt immediately.

    Secondly, attempts by individuals to deny the existence of this campaign are wrong and (correctly) viewed as offensive by those on the receiving end within the Loyal Order institutions. Recently, I strongly objected to Mick Fealty’s suggestion that mainstream republicans could be behind death threats against Sinn Fein figures on precisely the same grounds; denying or downplaying the hurt felt by people on the recieving end of threats and/ or violent attacks on properties can be deeply offensive and cause much angst.

    Thirdly, It is worrying that at least one leading Orange figure- and Reg Empey, no less- have felt compelled to bring Hibernian and GAA Halls into the equation, knowing that there are plenty of hot-headed loyalists who will interpret that not as some kind of ‘fear’ but as a green light to proceed with a ‘retaliatory’ campaign. Unionist leaders, throughout the conflict of the past 35 years, regularly sought to label unionist/ loyalist violence as retaliatory- the insinuation being that it wouldn’t have happened if the catholics hadn’t started it…a dangerous road to go down.

    There has been one Sinn Fein office burnt down in the past year in Fermanagh and a number of representatives on the recieving end of death threats and attacks on their properties across the north. It would be equally wrong for republicans to hold out the fear that specified unionist political parties ‘might’ be targeted in a ‘retaliatory’ campaign.

  • joeCanuck

    Hey, Chris.
    We haven’t seen you around for quite a while. Where have you been hiding?
    I know you have your own blog but I forget the name.
    I enjoyed your posts here even though I didn’t always agree with you.
    We need all perspectives to get good debates going.

    Regards,
    Joe

  • Intelligence Insider

    Chris,
    Given the number of attacks on Orange Order/Protestant premises is disproportionately more than those against those on roman catholic/nationalist premises, surely you would agree that a rise in attacks would therefore be retaliatory? I would hate to see roman catholic churches and property in places such as Newtownards, Bangor, Carrickfergus,. etc being burned down and would condemn such attacks with every bit as much conviction as sinn fein have condemned attacks on Protestant property.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Joe
    Thanks for the comments, though I think you have me mixed up with Chris Gaskin, who runs his own blog (my only blogging experience is on our own, beloved Slugger.)

    Alas, my time for blogging has been squeezed by other commitments at home and work, but one of my New Year resolutions is to find more time for Slugger.

    II
    I’m rather uncomfortable with the whole retaliatory line because it merely feeds a victim mentality (on any and all sides) and is too often the recourse of those seeking one-upmanship.

    It’s undeniably true that the Orange Order are on the receiving end of attacks across the north right now, and have been for the past several months. That must be condemned and addressed in its own right, and the fact that there is a broad political consensus vocally in solidarity with the Order on this one should be something that is welcomed and acknowledged.

    But when individuals start to speculate about possible retaliatory targets then that is a dangerous road to go down. As I stated above, it would have been like republicans speculating about possible retaliatory targets following the burning of Sinn Fein offices in Fermanagh or in the aftermath of numerous republicans receiving threats on their lives this year.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, Chris. I have mixed you up with Chris Gaskin, but my comments still stand.

    Regards.

  • Craigavoner

    I’d guess it’s dissident republicans from Craigavon carrying out these attacks, they are still livid about the psni crackdown on them recently and also there has been very little confrontation between both and no rioting for a couple of months now so they have turned their attention to easy targets for if the psni lift anymore of them it’ll be a one man army.

  • Jo

    Attention is drawn to day to the men that were killed at Kingsmills 20 years ago.

    Although, in the current climate, this mass murder is drawn to public attention to excite mass opposition to the cross-community government that exists today (by decree of Her Majestys Government) I would like to draw attention to the fact that past mass murder is only drawn nowadays to our attention by those = David Vance – Donaghcloney who would advocate mass murder and indeed the end of the world. They are *saved*)

    Can we agree, in 2008, to tell them, to *fuck off*??

  • Outsider

    Most of the comments on here are a disgrace, first of all Sluggerites first of all failed to accept there was a campaign against the Order, now its simply Orangemen and women waging this campaign, pathetic.

  • Just wondering

    I still stand by my original post on this thread:

    Given that the OO claim an often disputed figure of a membership of over 100,000 brethren, could I suggest the following;

    That,in liaison with the PSNI, the Order sets up “community watch teams” drawn from its own membership around the vicinity of Orange halls to deter such attacks, and other criminal activity in their neighbourhoods. I have no doubt that the Order would have the blessing of the PSNI and of unionist politicians in doing this as it would ensure that the reduced numbers of personnel within the overall ranks of the PSNI would receive the community help and assistance they so frequently ask for.

    If my memory serves me right, the Order set up a similar initiative in the late 70’s to protect their premises and members from IRA attacks at the height of the PIRA campaign. If they could do it then, why can’t they do it now?
    Maybe for two reasons.

    1 – The Order does not have the number of members it claims to have.
    2. Perhaps, the Order senses, but will not say, that nationalists,Fenians/Taigs/Republicans aren’t behind all of these attacks. Antagonism between various lodges and certain loyalist bands and their supporters comes to mind.

    Who really knows?

    darth rumsfeld: I accept that the figure of 100,000 was not a GOLI one, but the Patten Report officially put the Order’s membership at 60,000.

    To all those trying to point a finger of blame:

    Could I suggest that you analyse the number of LVF-inspired beatings, assaults, petrol bombings , pipe bombings and even gun attacks on individual Protestants and the homes of Protestant families in Lurgan, Portadown, Waringstown, Tandragee, Dollinstown and Craigavon which have ocurred during the same recent period as the attacks on Orange halls. While some of these LVF attacks on other Protestants and Protestant homes have been reported in the media – the majority of them have not. (See below)

  • Just wondering

    Some of the minority of incidents reported by the media

    From the Belfast Tele:
    Thursday, January 03, 2008
    A couple targeted in an overnight petrol bomb attack are blaming the LVF.They say they will not be forced from their home and are asking for more police protection.The attack took place in the strongly loyalist Mourneview estate in Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

    There has been a spate of related incidents there over past months.

    A 7-month-old baby was asleep when the house when two petrol bombs were thrown.One, thrown at the front of the house failed to ignite and a second thrown at the rear was extinguished.

    The family said that police warned them on Wednesday night about an impending attack but say little was done to protect them.
    …………………
    LVF orders families out (Lurgan Mail – November)

    THE LVF has ordered two families to leave the town – or face the consequences.
    This is the latest incident in a feud between rival loyalist families in the Mourneview estate.

    Police visited the homes of two families in Mourneview’s Gray Estate late on Friday night and warned them they were under threat from the LVF.

    Although neither families has links with any loyalist paramilitary organisations both are friends with the Watsons whose Mourneview home was attacked by the LVF.

    It is believed one of the families has a six-month-old child.

    Trouble has been ongoing in the estate for some time between the rival factions, accusations have been directed at both sides over inappropriate behaviour.

    Graffiti denouncing the Watson family was daubed on walls near their home and a sinister death threat against Steve Watson and one of his sons was posted on the internet.
    ……………
    Hospital leak linked to witness in LVF case
    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    By Ciaran McGuigan and Mick Browne

    Cops probing suspected leaks of medical records at a top Ulster hospital believe they may be linked to the intimidation of witnesses in a loyalist terror case.

    It’s understood that an investigation into suspected breaches of confidentially at the Craigavon Area Hospital is directly linked to a series of threatening emails received by people who have given evidence against a notorious LVF gang.

    Sunday Life understands that information contained in a number of emails received by a victim of intimidation included material that could only have been discovered by someone with access to her medical files.
    Three weeks ago Watson’s car was torched and a pipe-bomb was left in his garden under the bedroom where his daughter sleeps.
    ……………………
    Bomb may be LVF bid to silence witnesses
    Sunday, October 28, 2007
    A sick pipe-bomb attack on a family home may be linked to a campaign to intimidate witnesses in a loyalist terror case.
    Sunday Life understands that the targets of the attack in Lurgan early yesterday are due to give evidence against a notorious LVF gang in relation to alleged assaults and alleged threats to kill made last December.

  • Just wondering

    ……………………………..
    Mob rule in Lurgan
    (Lurgan Mail, October 2007)
    THE FAMILY being intimated by loyalist thugs appear to have been driven from their home.
    The family living in the Mourneview estate have been embroiled in a disputed between loyalists for some time, at the weekend two men from the family were assaulted hours after a pipe bomb was found at their home.
    Neighbours have said their is an ‘errie silence’ hovering over the house and the family have not been seen since the events over the weekend.
    The men were attacked with baseball bats by a group of around 15 men as they went to the shop in Pollack Drive, Mourneview, on Saturday Afternoon.
    They were taken to hospital as a result of their injuries.
    They were set upon by the gang a few hundred yards away from their home were a pipe bomb was found in the early hours of Saturday.
    Several houses in the Princeton Avenue area were evacuated as army bomb experts dealt with the device.
    It was discovered around 1am as firefighters dealt with a car which was set on fire deliberately outside the house.
    A nine-year-old child was sleeping in the room directly above where the bomb was found.
    Army technical experts removed the device and a number of other items for examination, it is believed these incidents are part of a long running dispute in the area.
    A large group of well-wishers gathered in the area during Saturday to show their support for the family who have been the victims of an apparent hate campaign.
    It is understood those targeted are due to give evidence against a notorious LVF gang in relation to alleged assaults and alleged threats to kill made last December.
    A number of witnesses claimed an LVF ‘Kingpin’ was among the gang who attacked the two men as they made their way to the shops.
    The police maintained a presence in the area throughout the entire weekend.
    Residents expressed their outrage over the events of the weekend.
    “We are shocked at what is happening to this family, there are many rumours circulating about the events but you just do not know what is going on,” said one concerned resident.
    “Last week there was graffiti daubed on the wall across from the house about the family and the householder himself scrubbed it off.
    “The people conducting these attacks live within our community it is sickening they can do this.”

  • Just wondering

    Why are all shades of unionist opinion silent about these attacks? Yet, if you left any local paper down here, the ongoing feud is obvious. Just this week, one paper reported on a courtcase where two men appeared on a charge of attacking the home of an unknown male in Portadown.

  • Just wondering

    My last post should have read “Yet, if you lift any local paper down here” not “left”

  • Craigavoner

    You forgot to mention that these LVF members tend to get off when brought to court about these attacks, probably due to the fact some are in the psni pay and some are hooked up with policemen’s daughters.

  • aquifer

    “If allowed to fester, some feel it’s inevitable that Orange sympathisers will take the law into their own hands or retaliate in kind”

    CMon, Gonzo, you’re beginning to sound like Reg Empty now, Orange ping to PIRA pong, or just witless. Provo can be short for both Provisional and Provocation, just as TUAS can stand for Totally UnArmed Strategy and Tactical Use of Armed Struggle. Revolutionary manuals are probably out of print but someone may still be reading off an old script. Overreaction is manna to dangerous deadheads of any colour so sober up. Its bad that halls are being attacked but they can be fixed easier than bomb victims.

    Interesting about the LVF. Begs the question. What wouldn’t they do, if only for the Craic?