“explosion in the Castlederg area of County Tyrone”

According to a BBC report[new BBC NI link]

Reports are coming in of an explosion in the Castlederg area of County Tyrone. There are no further details at present.

I’ll update when details emerge. There was an earlier hoax alert in south Belfast. More from the BBC report – “It is thought that one person may have been injured. It is also believed a vehicle is being examined in relation to the incident.” Update from the BBC report, “It is understood that an off-duty police officer has been injured in the under-car booby trap explosion. It is believed he suffered serious leg injuries, but they are not thought to be life-threatening.”

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  • Mark McGregor

    With no real substance involved this blog seems a bit like ambulance chasing. But sure we’ll be kept informed.

  • McLiam

    People are already jumping to conclusions.

    I’ll wait until the news comes out before I comment further.

  • hmmm

    Off duty cop?
    Dissident own goal?
    Calorgas canister explodes en route to garage for refill?

    In reverse order of probability.

  • u105 listener

    U105 had Derek Hussey at the scene saying it was an undercar booby trap attack on an off duty cop…car was still on fire when he was talking.

  • Observer

    Where have all the nationalists/republicans gone? Very quiet here

  • Brian Boru

    Most likely dissident republicans involved.

  • Garibaldy

    Seeing as nobody has condemned this yet, allow me to be the first. Shame to think that at least one or two people are more interested in point-scoring than in the futile attempted murder.

  • Brian Boru

    Naturally I totally condemn this btw.

  • THIS is what results from letting unrepentant terrorist scum get their blood-stained hands on the levers of power!

  • Garibaldy

    The problem with that analysis David is that it ignores the fact this was happening long before the latest bout of devolution. This is what comes of some people clinging to violence because they have absolutely nothing else to offer – neither a political programme nor a strategy to unite the people of this island.

  • McLiam

    Your getting mixed up between the various IRAs there.

    Don’t worry, I find it hard myself sometimes, and I’m a Republican!

    To be blunt the ‘scum’ who have their ‘hands’ on the ‘levers of power’, aka the Provisional movement, have been a bit silly and put all their Semtex in concrete.

    In other words, they didn’t do this.

  • McLiam

    Well, that is if the IMC is telling the truth.

  • Just me

    HIS is what results from letting unrepentant terrorist scum get their blood-stained hands on the levers of power!
    Posted by David Vance on May 12, 2008 @ 11:48 PM

    – HOw so David, Republicans were doing this long before they got anywhre near Stormont.

  • I was referring to the so called ‘peace process’ in its entireity, not just the recent devolution.

    It simply demonstrates to the men of the bomb and bullet that they can gain power via a campaign of murder and slaughter.

  • McLiam

    And is it a good example, David, to hold on to power by gerrymandering and persecution?

  • Dewi

    Come on David – surely now’s the chance to finish the violence stuff ?

  • Debbie

    Lets hope the man is alright. I knew something was up, theres been sirens flying about all evening.

  • Garibaldy

    By the latest bout of devolution I meant that which began after the GFA. Which David reckons was achieved through the threat of force. A bit like our first example of devolution the mischevious part of me wants to say.

  • Brian Boru

    There are always going to be a few cranks that try to start things up again, but bringing the whole settlement down because of that will only make things ten times worse I’m afraid.

  • éireannach saolta

    So thats what the police have been out and about round the Lisburn road area stopping cars and there was me thinking it was just the good weather. This stuff may have something to do with the recent business conference i guess. Hopefully the police apprehend these subversives and let the justice system take its course

  • Steve

    THIS is what results from letting unrepentant terrorist scum get their blood-stained hands on the levers of power!

    Posted by David Vance on May 12, 2008 @ 11:48 PM

    Yeah Dave but you had to let the DUP join or it wouldnt have been fair

    by the way why bother people over here is it boring on your blog with the cadre of yes men and total stiffling of dissent

  • they havent gone away you know

    ireland unfree shall never be at peace….no matter what the collaborators say, you know

  • DM

    Hope the injured person makes a full and speedy recovery, a cowardly attack.

  • cynic

    “ireland unfree shall never be at peace”

    Dear They Havent Gone Away

    Shouldnt that be:

    “Ireland unfree to do what we tell them”

    PS if you are that devoted to it, its polite to spell it with a capital ‘I’

  • Provo bigwig Pat Doherty’s comment that it is an absolute outrage is absolutely funny. Doherty’s brother is a convicted mass killerIt is like Charles Manson being appalled at a schoolboy running is hands up a nun’s dress.

  • Dec

    Dave

    Just visited your website. My initial impression was that there weren’t nearly enough references to ‘fags’ in it.

  • crow

    local stores and shopping malls where warned of possible bomb threats on Saturday.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Note to Provisional Alliance supporters: If it was ever right, then it is still right. I’ll have to delay my application to join the crown forces for another while. And Dive O’Connell – Pat Doherty’s brother is not Pat Doherty no matter about your gutter press comparisons.

  • Steve

    Dec,

    lol. How do you be a political dissenter and stifle dissent on blogs?

    Is dissent only for this guy?

  • The bombers and their few supporters need to get themselves out of their 1970s timewarp fast.

    Meanwhile, I wish the injured police officer a full recovery and his colleagues full support in tracking and arresting the culprits. More at Belfast and Beyond.

  • Lenny

    I would like to join with those in wishing the injured officer a full and speedy recovery and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Fact: The overwhelming majority of the electorate on both sides of the border voted for the GFA, including the fact that partition will remain until NI votes itself out of the UK.

    Fact: Thirty years of republican terrorism failed to achieve a UI and has almost certainly delayed it.

    Fact: The dissidents have only a tiny fraction of the support the provos enjoyed/demanded and can only look forward to derision, infiltration and long prison sentences.

    Fact: The vast majority in NI have moved on, are enjoying prosperity and have better things to do than put up with a bunch of neanderthal arseholes who still think that blowing people’s legs off is going to ‘free Ireland.’

  • percy

    spot on Gerry,

    Its noteworthy how David Vance only gets excited when these events occur, rejoicing in the bloodthirstiness to score points.

    The rest of the time he condemns the peace process at every opportunity and bemoans and bewails progress towards a lasting settlement.

  • crone

    Note to Provisional Alliance supporters: If it was ever right, then it is still right.

    I’m not so sure about that. There was a time when it was ok to carpet bomb Dresden, but it would be frowned on now.

  • ALan

    “If it was ever right, then it is still right.”

    Which is why the rest of us have to work all the harder to ensure that these violent, political automata do not progress, because ending violence was ever right.

  • Ahem

    Superb point Crone, absolutely masterful. Can you go one teeny tiny step further, and see if you can work out all by yourself, what separates the Germany & Dresden of today, from say the Dresden & Germany of 1939-1945? Mull it over, consult wikipedia, ask a friend: the answer will come to you.

  • Marcus Fartlighterus

    “There was a time when it was ok to carpet bomb Dresden, but it would be frowned on now.”

    Maybe a certain poster would still be up for it?

  • There was a time when it was ok to carpet bomb Dresden, but it would be frowned on now.

    Would it, all other things being equal? I didn’t see anyone holding levers of power in either Britain or America applying the brakes before Fallujah happened.

  • pablo

    So, Ahern, because Germany was at war ( by that stage a war that they had lost ) and run by the nazis it was somehow acceptable to flatten a city full of civilians and wounded? Try typing ‘Bomber Harris’ into Google or Wikipedia and judge for yourself.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    There was a rumour that Martin had contacted Seamus Mallon to see if he would loan him his Book of Condemnatory Stoop Phrases as he foresees the time coming when they can be re-used. Remember ‘… these people have no support etc etc’

  • susan

    “If it was ever right, then it is still right.”–Pancho’s Horse

    Enough with the obtuseness, Pancho’s Horse. Do you think it is right to blow up a Catholic policeman’s legs out from under him while he’s driving, or don’t you? How about Rosemary Nelson’s? And if you do think it is right, have the balls — sorry, the ovaries — to say so directly.

    Are you an explosives expert yourself, Pancho’s Horse, or does it just bolster your self-image to cheer anonymously on the internet encouraging others who might potentially have lives worth living to travel on a path certain to bring death and/or dismemberment to their targets, and in all probabilty gaol, exile, death or dismemberment to themselves too?

    And yes, before anyone asks, i’ve no more use for someone blowing up off-duty Protestants than off-duty Catholics, but it does seem that off-duty Catholic officers (otherwise known as “crown forces” to the drama queens among us) are the targets lately. What is the great strategy behind that, O Steed of Pancho? Making sure if an underage Catholic is raped and beaten, or an elderly Catholic couple living near a peace line is burned out of their home by loyalists on the Twelfth, they have a better chance of encountering a UFO than a Catholic police officer coming to their aid?

    “If it was ever right, then it is still right.” Spend a few nights on the burn unit, Pancho’s Horse. It will come to yout.

  • Pablo

    The irony of McGuinness’strident condemnation of this attack is that it was carried out by people using exactly the same justification as used by the provies themselves in hundreds of similar attacks against ‘crown forces’.(once one of martin’s favourite terms for the peelers).
    Now that the RA have packed it in Martin should feel comfortable enough to go the whole hog and retrospectively condemn all these acts also as having been ‘idiotic’, ‘criminal’ and having contributed nothing towards the ‘attainment of a free Ireland’.Now that really would be burning bridges!

  • TAFKABO

    I disagree with the idea that the se people are in the same postion as martic mCguinness was when he used violence.
    I disagreed with his use of violence, but that doesn’t mean the two situations are the same.
    We are now in a situation where self determination has been exercised and the people of Ireland have voted overwhelmingly for the current political situation.

    My thoughts go out to the injured man and his family.

  • Pablo

    TAFKABO, The rationale used by these people is exactly the same as that used by McGuinness as a young man i.e. physical force republicanism as a means of achieving a united Ireland.The difference now of course is that Martin’s generation of physical force activists failed and that he is now in a position of ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’Let him explain how it was right for him and not right for others.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Susan,it doesn’t help when things have to be explained. I was merely noting the hypocrisy of the Provisional Alliance who justified bombing and killing for 30 years and now must, having painted themselves into a corner, rise to condemn Óglaigh na hÉireann. If they were crown forces and fair game then, what has changed? Nobody in any country can state categorically that they will never use force in pursuit of their objectives ever again and this will include maiming and killing – be it Arabs or PSNI. Like yourself, I think that the police officer’s religion has no relevance BUT they are paid servants of the British Crown and that, Susan, is why they are called Crown forces. An dtuigeann tú?

  • Dave

    They are the same in terms of the justification that was/is proffered by those who engaged in that activity, despite the obfuscation of those who formerly engaged in that activity that allows them to engaged in the politically expedient double-speak of condemning those who engage in that activity without condemning those who formerly engaged in it.

    Remember, that “self-determination” applied to the Irish people as a collective (being a collective and not an individual right). The Provos did not seek independence for Northern Ireland, nor claim that they had a right to self-determination that was based on being an ethnic group that was other than Irish. Since there is only one valid claim to self-determination per nation and the majority of Irish people had attained national self-determination and exercised self-determination in opposition to the murder campaign of those who had not yet attained national self-determination, that murder campaign never had any legitimacy. Indeed, the propaganda of the Provos is so masterful that they can act against self-determination (the will of the majority) and still pass themselves off as being pro self-determination!

    So, in terms of cosmetic exercises, such as the vote on both sides of the murder to support the GFA or a majority of Irish people within Northern Ireland voting for Sinn Fein, those cosmetic exercises don’t alter the underlying reality – just the perceptions of it in accordance with the agenda and the propaganda. Just to make it more obvious: it doesn’t matter if a majority of the Irish people in Northern Ireland support murder gangs since the right to self-determination applies to all Irish people, and the majority of Irish people did not support murder gangs – hence the Irish government, acting on behalf of Irish people, proscribed them and rightly criminalised their activity.

    The Deputy First Minister and other members of his favourite murder gang are as much a blackguard as the members of the gang who inflicted harm on the policeman in question: there is no difference between them.

  • Dave

    Err, the above post is in reply to:

    “I disagreed with his use of violence, but that doesn’t mean the two situations are the same.
    We are now in a situation where self determination has been exercised and the people of Ireland have voted overwhelmingly for the current political situation.” – TAFKABO

  • Pancho’s Horse

    ……..and what happened to that policeman should not have happened for the simple reason that it is pointless. If 30 years has shown us anything,surely it has shown us that.But neither me nor mine will spend any time in the crown forces as hired guns for HMG. I fail to see the relevance of the burns unit. Was that a threat?

  • Dave

    Susan is too gentle and pensive a soul to threaten you, Pancho. Her point was that familiarity with the reality of human pain serves to make a person less inclined to inflict suffering on others.

    That is a valid observation for normal people but somewhat ignores the reality that 3% of the population are psychopaths (finding a forum for their malign enterprise within murder gangs), and enjoy inflicting suffering on others because of the sense of empowerment they derive from it and other pathologies associated with their dismal condition.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Can Susan not see my point? Can she not answer for herself? And can you accept that a portion of that 3% find their way into the crown forces? ………for the reasons you give.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Pancho’s Horse: ‘I think that the police officer’s religion has no relevance BUT they are paid servants of the British Crown…’

    Does this make SF MLA’s ‘legitimate targets’ too?

  • but it does seem that off-duty Catholic officers (otherwise known as “crown forces” to the drama queens among us) are the targets lately

    The strategy behind that is that too many Catholic cops might mean a police force which has the sort of levels of acceptance among republicans in NI normal for most countries, which would remove a major source of friction between republicans and the state, which would only delay the inevitable socialist revolution to drive the Brits and Jaffas into the sea. Things have to get better before they get worse. You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

    Oh, and Catholic cops are ‘traitors’, so one can justify a level of brutality towards them that would not be acceptable if directed towards others.

    Hasta la victoria siempre, comrades.

  • Dave

    “And can you accept that a portion of that 3% find their way into the crown forces?” – Pancho’s Horse

    I sure do accept it. Bloody Sunday being a good example of it, along with hundreds of other examples. However, I doubt that many joined the RUC to kill or harass taigs (probably not even 0.5%) whereas 100% joined the Provos to kill and harass the other social group.

  • Garibaldy

    Eh, have the Real IRA, or any of the dissident groups, identified themselves as socialists? I believe not. They are old-fashioned nationalists. It amazes me that people who know better still continue with the red-baiting stuff when the real issues are sectarianism and nationalism bordering on fascism.

  • Pablo

    Dave, I am curious as to where you get your figures from…3% of this 0.5% of that..,but I digress.
    You could have a point about people joining the peelers for reasons other than sticking it to taigs- perhaps one of the highest rates of pay and bonuses of any police force in the world at the time may have been a factor,with anything else being a bonus – i.e.torturing taigs ( whether you doubt it or not )
    How do you equate the British Army as a social group +the udr and the ruc?

  • Reader

    Pablo: You could have a point about people joining the peelers for reasons other than sticking it to taigs
    Given the vast disparity of casualties between the casualties caused *to* the police/army/UDR and *by* the police/army/UDR, surely anyone motivated as you suggest would join some other organisation instead?

  • susan

    ……..and what happened to that policeman should not have happened for the simple reason that it is pointless. If 30 years has shown us anything,surely it has shown us that.But neither me nor mine will spend any time in the crown forces as hired guns for HMG. I fail to see the relevance of the burns unit. Was that a threat?

    Posted by Pancho’s Horse on May 13, 2008 @ 08:52 PM

    I’ve tried, pancho’s horse, but I don’t understand how you could fail to see the “relevance” of the burns unit to a discussion of the morality of a car bombing. Explosion + petrol = fire. However fiercely we might debate almost anything else, I’m certain all posters on this thread, very much including you, are grateful that at least the injured man was pulled from his vehicle by a passerby moments before it burst into flames. But as up until your 8:52 PM post you were expending posting energy condemning Martin McGuinness but not the car bomb, for clarity’s sake I wanted to know your explicit position on the attack on the off-duty policeman. Thank you for providing it.

    Nor am I sure how I could threaten you even if I wanted to, which I surely don’t — direct my telekinetic superpowers to make some swirly smoke come out of your keyboard? I recommended a few days “on the burns unit” — note, “on it,” not “in it,’ e.g., as a care-giver — because identifying the injured only as a member of the “crown forces” seems to me a way of artificially distancing the reality of a wounded man in a hospital bed.

    You state that the police remain only “crown forces” in 2008, and that you and yours will have no part in policing. What then do you and yours propose to do about the reality of crime, and just as importantly the reality of crime victims, a disproportionate number of whom are very young, very old, and/or impoverished? I assume, no doubt rightly, you would share my repugnance at going back to the old days of kneecapping, when a shot behind the kneecap was considered almost only a “warning,” while firing directly into a kneecap means the victims will still be driven to hydrotherapies, etc., etc. twenty years on.

    What then is to be done? If you do not want to support efforts to build a policing force representative and responsive to the whole of the population, who should come to the aid of crime victims? Who should punish criminals?

  • Pablo

    ‘Given the vast disparity of casualties between the casualties caused *to* the police/army/UDR and *by* the police/army/UDR, surely anyone motivated as you suggest would join some other organisation instead?’

    Reader,For a good number of them they had the best of both worlds when one considers that dual membership of the UDR/UDA was perfectly legal and acceptable until well into the troubles.Remember also that large amounts of RUC and british army intelligence documents regularly found their way to the UDA/UVF which were often cited by them as being a basis for killing many catholcs.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Thank you, Susan, for your wide-ranging reply. Most of it I agree with. My original point was that it is hypocrical to condemn attacks on the crown forces now when it was OK 30 years ago. Let he who wishes join the band of paid crown servants (MLAs included)but I will keep my head down until a non colonial system of government is in existence here. I have labelled no-one as a legitimate target nor do I wish to experience the pain of a victim. I accept that a police force is nesessary. I do not accept the right of the british government to be in control of MY country in any way.

  • RepublicanStones

    I would advise any young person who has an overwhelming desire to join the police, to go to Templemore. Hope the young fella makes a speedy recovery.

  • susan

    Tuigim, tá mé leat, Pancho. “I have labelled no-one as a legitimate target nor do I wish to experience the pain of a victim.” Well said. Where there is agreement on that there is a way forward.

  • Dave

    “Dave, I am curious as to where you get your figures from…3% of this 0.5% of that..” – Pablo

    Well, officially, psychopathy and sociopathy are considered obsolete terms by the WHO, being reclassified as ICD-10 category of mental and behavioural disorders – and even then, there are others who will dispute that a personality can even be disordered, so your guess is as good as mine. Those who still use the term vary in their estimates of what percentage of the population are psychopaths, with figures between 1% and 5% being bandied about (sans stats or universal diagnostic criteria), e.g. Dr. Martha Stout puts the figure at 4% and Dr. Robert Hare puts it at 1%. There is an assumption on my part that the figures for psychopaths in one jurisdiction will be representative of all jurisdictions. It’s possible that is not the case, and that the Yanks are crazier than the Irish or, indeed, vice versa.

    “How do you equate the British Army as a social group +the udr and the ruc?” – Pablo

    All of them are British – the same equation that Sinn Fein/IRA used when attacking them.

    “I do not accept the right of the british government to be in control of MY country in any way.”- Pancho’s Horse

    Neither do I on a moral level, actually. The valid claim to the territory lies with those who are Irish. But folks have shifted from the validity of self-determination as set out in Article 1, and have agreed to the legitimacy of British sovereignty in Northern Ireland, conceding (erroneously) that the valid claim lies with those who are British. Grandiosely renaming the Unionist Veto (over Irish self-determination) as the Principle of Consent means that the Irish people within Northern Ireland renounced their right to self-determination; and the Irish government followed suit by renouncing its claim to the territory of behalf of Irish people. So, that’s the legal situation even if the Irish in Northern Ireland were hoodwinked into renouncing their claim, believing that they were actually consolidating it (because Sinn Fein told a few porkies to them in order to get their bums into ministerial seats). It’s now a question of how you manage to get from that dismal situation into a united Ireland where Irish self-determination is restored when the GFA mandates the opposite. I haven’t a clue how that can be done.

  • Dave

    Let me see if I can make this point less obscure: A sovereign territorial nation state is the expedient entity in which a peoples exercise their right to self-determination. There can only be one valid claim to self-determination within a territory – two valid claims mandate two separate sovereign territorial nation states. So, in cases where a particular territory is disputed, one group must renounce its claim to self-determination (or be defeated in that claim). As the Irish people conceded the territory to the other claimant, they conceded that they did not have the valid claim to self-determination.

  • Dewi

    “There can only be one valid claim to self-determination within a territory”

    Perhaps successful a better word than valid.