“They’ll be seen going in and out of the house..”

I had asked previously, “Whatever happened to..” [community restorative justice]. Well, coincidentally, the first ten minutes of Radio 4’s Law in Action programme today dealt with “Justice Belfast style”. The audio [RealPlayer file] is accompanied by an online article specifically about the Belfast report. There’s no mention of funding in either report, nor of the “volunteers patrolling” west Belfast, but the case used as an example of the work they do is worth noting. With no statement being made to the police, about an attempted extortion of £10,000 by armed men describing themselves as being from “the republican movement”, the response of the Restorative Justice group took this form – Firstly Jim McCarthy, “one of the leading lights of CRJ”, assures the victim that “mainstream republicans” were not involved and, he tells the reporter,

“Different well-known people in the community will visit Margaret and Barry’s house today and tomorrow. They’ll be seen going in and out of the house. Just showing community support.”

Or, as the online report puts it

Margaret left CRJ’s Twinbrook office that morning feeling safer. Jim McCarthy had arranged for a number of well-known Republicans to drop in on her family at home. They hoped these public visits would scare away the extortionists.

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  • waffler

    Margret and Barry should be really careful as to whom they let into their house.
    Especially as same have not secured funding yet.

  • So what role(s) did Jim McCarthy play in the PRM? Is he a fit and proper person to be involved in the justice process?

  • Steve

    Apparently Jim McCarthy and the uald Ira are 100% more effective then all the RUC combined

    Thanks for sharing Pete

  • Chris Donnelly

    “If you look at what’s been achieved in a short space of time it’s nothing short of impressive.”

    The words of Lisburn’s PSNI Sgt Peter Brannigan in relation to the work being conducted by CRJ in the Colin area in conjunction with the PSNI.

    That would appear to be ‘the story’ to me, Pete….

  • Motley

    Cool. I think I will join some Loyalist paramilitary group and see if I can walk in and out of people’s houses up here in Ballymoney.

    Seems to be good enough for West Belfast! Should be good enough for the other side too! In fact, I say, let’s just ditch the police and we’ll all take on this role.

    Funding, did I hear you say? Excellent – you mean we might get paid for being a “high-ranking” paramilitary too?? (I mean, like, a proper wage instead of having to do all that nasty criminal – excuse me – political work)

    The fun never stops!

  • Steve

    Motley

    I would think being in a loyalist paramilitary and wandering in and out of someones house would tend to make people associate the residents as part and parcel of the criminality. Surely their neighbours would start to worry when the drugs turf war would begin?

  • McGrath

    Of more alarm seems to be the “make up the RJ implementation as we go along”. I mean this doesn’t strike me as CRJ by any definition I have read. It seams more like making use of any thuggery left in “retired republicans”.

    “Thuggery Justice Position”, imagine the recruitment ad requirements for one of these positions:

    (1) Must be a thug.
    (2) Previous time served for violent crime desired.

  • Or taking an order for 700 litres heating oil refined from South Armagh crude, Steve.

  • Dec

    Your latest balanced thread missed this titbit:

    Margaret did not consider calling the police after she and her family were threatened by those two armed men.

    Like many in this part of Belfast, she is deeply mistrustful of the police. Instead, Margaret rang Jim McCarthy – one of the leading lights of CRJ.

  • Chris, it’s rather sad to hear a police officer laud the boys and their baseball bats with the blue flashing lights. I suppose its part and parcel of political policing ie the devolution of justice to the biggest thug in the block.

  • Dec

    Nevin

    You’re clearly well-versed in libel law.

  • cynic

    “it’s rather sad to hear a police officer laud the boys and their baseball bats with the blue flashing lights. I suppose its part and parcel of political policing ”

    Nawwww…. I suspect that its much simpler. From the cops standpoint

    1 if CRJ do it, its just fewer pointless forms to fill in

    2 all that faffing about with victims keeps the ex-ra busy and out of mischief

    3 the cops know that most of these cases are a bit of a lost cause so why not let CRJ carry the can when the victims get fed up with nothing happening

    Anyway, wasnt it great that Margaret and Barry happened to become victims on a day when there was a reporter there and that the crime had been committed by people ‘from the republican movement’ but who werent ‘mainstream’. Helped get several SF messages across at the one time.

  • Choreography, cynic? Never.

  • Motley

    Steve – that is part of my point indeed.

    Oh look! The rest of the story!

    “Like many in this part of Belfast, she is deeply mistrustful of the police. Instead, Margaret rang Jim McCarthy – one of the leading lights of CRJ.”

    Well heck, I guess that just makes everything all white, I mean, all right then, doesn’t it?

    Next time me car gets ding-ed by some young scallywags, I’m going to call some thugs that live down the road to visibly panel-beat it in front of the neighbours! Yeah, that’ll send the message out not to fuck with Motley.

    And sure if we catch the scallys, we could have a “conference” whereupon I will tell them they were naughty boys, and that we’ll be telling their parents, and that we’ll send them on an outward course at Corrymeela.

    That should do the trick!

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh I understand it now, so Community Restorative Justice means calling in the uber-hoods if some low-level hoods threaten you?

    It all seems so simple now.

  • Steve

    Nice try but these aren5t uber hoods, the uber hoods were the ones who tried the shakedown

    What parading the local republicans in and out does is send the message that these nice people have community support and your bluff has been called. The wannabe thugs will have gotten the message loud and clear, mess with these two its mess with the whole community. whether Petey likes to admit it or not these people do a much better than the ruc/psni have ever accomplished

    Or taking an order for 700 litres heating oil refined from South Armagh crude, Steve.

    Posted by Nevin on Mar 25, 2008 @ 11:01 PM

    Surely nevin as a good british citizen you arent against a little free enterprise? I mean surely you support market driven pricing?

  • McGrath

    Surely nevin as a good british citizen you arent against a little free enterprise? I mean surely you support market driven pricing?

    Posted by Steve on Mar 26, 2008 @ 03:34 AM

    Ah, but the quality is suspect.

  • elvis parker

    If CRJ is so effective in West Belfast why was Mr McGreevy murdered – given in was a former Provie I’m sure that well known Republicans were in and out of his house all the time?
    CRJ = law of the provie jungle – but without the threat of violence is no longer works.
    Support the police or resign yourself to a downward spiral of criminality – its an equation everyone else can make why not West Belfast. And spare me the ‘distrust of the police’ shit

  • Steve

    McGrath

    Whenever you are getting a bargain you should suspect the quality

  • “you arent against a little free enterprise”

    Well, Steve, I have drawn attention to the ‘free entreprise’ restorative surgery (OOPS) justice schemes that aren’t and wouldn’t be introduced in the rest of these two islands by the UK or Ireland governments.

  • “Support the police or resign yourself to a downward spiral of criminality”

    Elvis, perhaps we need to expose the two Governments who are forcing the police (and other agents of government) to go along with these paramilitary led projects.

    As I’ve pointed out previously, there has been a policy of not ruffling paramilitary without political clearance; police could watch paramilitaries breaking the law but needed permission to carry out their prescribed duties.

  • Steve

    Nevin

    Are you sure about that? Both governments seem to be more than willing to go along with dodgy schemes and even murder, as long as they get to hand pick the targets

  • Motley

    Excellent! It took less than 23 posts to move from CRJ to a diatribe about the past.

  • Steve

    Who’s diatribing Motley?

    It would seem to me the whole point to the post is a diatribe about the past, no need to move to it, it started there

  • the oak grove

    hey there, this is totally way off the subject, but did notknow any where else to look. i was watching the quiet man with john wayne, and was wondering could anyone tell me verbatim what maureen o’hara said to ward bond. it was in irish, and unfortunately my irish is terrible. if anyone could point me in the right direction it would be appreciated. sorry to get off the thread.

  • Dewi

    “What Maureen O’Hara said to Ward Bond” – Get off your horse and drink your milk ? Or am I missing something…

    On topic I remember at one of those “village hall” meetings Sinn Fein held re: policing Gerry A was asked if he would advise the questioner’s son to join the Police. Really can’t recall the answer – but a good question.

  • Steve, you can look at restorative justice systems in the rest of these two islands and you’ll probably find that they’re all controlled directly by state agencies. The roles played by our paramilitaries wouldn’t be acceptable.

  • the oak grove

    yeah whatever.

  • dewi
  • Dewi
  • Motley

    Oh. Oh right.

    I thought it started with a bunch of republicans replacing the brand new police force we’d paid millions for.

  • cynic

    Elsewhere CRJ is usually about:-

    ~ complementing the conventional Criminal Justice system
    ~ working with young offenders to stop reoffending
    ~ dealing with the real problems in communities
    ~ breaking down the fear of crime by letting victims see that their burglar was a 15 year old from a broken home, who has acne and a drug habit and isnt a 7ft tall axe murderer
    ~ respecting the rights of all those involved
    ~ persuading young offenders there is an alternative life

    In norn iron sadly a lot of it is about:-

    ~ offering an alternative to the conventional Criminal Justice System
    ~ working over rather than working with young offenders (until it became unfashionable after a few died / suffered horrendous injuries)
    ~ dealing with the real problems of paramilitaries like offenders who arent carrying out ‘approved’ crimes or who are invading ‘approved’ turfs
    ~ enforcing control by dealing with ‘anti-social’ behaviour. This can range from real anti-social behaviour to doing things that arent ‘acceptable to the community’ (ie not doing what they are told by the paramilitaries)
    ~ respecting the rights of the paramilitaries to protect their position and dominate their communities
    ~ persuading young offenders there’s no alternative

    This seems to vary from area to area and perhaps its improving but why are Government pouring money into it?

  • Steve

    Nevin

    What happens in the rest of the 2 islands really has no bearing on what happens in nIreland

    For one side of the community compromising nearly half the population has virtually no positive interaction with any government agency.

    Unless you consider parades forced into areas they are not wanted by dint of military force as a positive interaction

  • “What happens in the rest of the 2 islands really has no bearing on what happens in nIreland”

    You cannot be serious, Steve 🙂

    The threat to the major centres of power – London and Dublin – led to the nimby approach and its associated appeasement of loyalist and republican paramilitary godfathers. It didn’t really matter that much to the two Governments that the needs of the victims and the SDLP-UUP spectrum would be swept aside.

  • Steve

    Nevin

    Whats that got to do with CRJ,thats the topic we were discussing not the over all political settlement vis a vis nIreland

  • “Whats that got to do with CRJ”

    Steve, the toleration of paramilitary led restorative justice programs was part of the appeasement process.

    I wonder how many parties at Stormont or in local councils are prepared to confront the two Governments publicly on this scandal because it’s nothing short of a scandal.

    You might remember the quote I lifted the other day from an SDLP document which indicated that these side deals were a necessary part of the peace process [my summary].

  • Garibaldy

    Steve says “For one side of the community compromising nearly half the population has virtually no positive interaction with any government agency.”

    NHS? Education system? Welfare system? Minor details like that don’t count then.

  • “no positive interaction”

    Steve, that’s a bit like saying that Nationalists walked out of the house and Unionists shut and barred the door.

  • Steve

    only if you consider them positive garibaldy

    Nevin nationalists were locked in the closset and occasionally thrown a crust

  • Steve, you may have missed the account of Nationalist councils ‘affiliating’ to the Dail and commissioners being sent in.

    Cardinal Brady has associated himself with the phrase, ‘a society within a society’ and that’s a form of self-imposed apartheid.

    The Unionist and Nationalist families have each been plagued by an ourselves alone mindset.

  • Steve

    Nevin

    Next you will be telling me Gerymandering was the nationalists idea!

  • Garibaldy

    Yes Steve, we can see the widespread rejection of free healthcare, education and a welfare state by nationalists. Oh wait, we can’t. Because everyone acknowledges them as positives. There’s being contrary, wilfully blind, and then plain silly.

  • Steve

    Yes there is Garibaldy sort of like classing NHS and RUC as the same thing.

  • Garibaldy

    Government agencies was the phrase used. If you meant the security forces you should have said so. Then we could have a serious conversation about acceptance rates of the RUC and subsequently the PSNI for ordinary crime etc.

  • Steve

    Ah I see you are one of those that will try to claim a victory in the debate because I didn’t define my terms of reference narrowly enough for you

    Congratulations I am put in my place.

    next time I will have the firms lawyer go through my post to ensure the terms are narrow enough so that the point is unexpandable

  • I dealt with that one the other day, Steve. Just do a little search with gerrymander/gerrymandering …

  • Garibaldy

    Steve,

    It was about reacting to hyperbole. And keeping a perspective on what things have been like here, and how they compare to elsewhere.

  • Steve

    Garibaldy

    or it was about reacting with pedantry

    Nevin why would I research your opinion on gerrymanderig? if you wish to defend it put it up on the screen son. But I am guessing your defense is more along the lines of denial of gerrymandering