DPP posts in Strabane – redux

According to the updated BBC report on the under-car booby trap attack on a police officer near Castlederg, County Tyrone, yesterday

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness has paid a private visit to an injured police officer at Altnagelvin hospital.

A sceptic might suggest that the deputy First Minister would be better employed paying a visit to his party’s councillors in the area.. especially since the sudden death of one of the few Sinn Féin councillors to actually take up a seat on the Strabane District Policing Partnership..

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  • pfhl


    It’s a good job you are not ever sceptical about sinn fein’s intentions then. Surely Marty giving the middle finger to the effort of dissidents is a good thing. He will also with this gesture show local councillors in Strabane that Sinn Fein are a firmly behind the efforts of the PSNI in stamping out dissident activity. How much more of a sign do they need to see the rest of their party is behind the PSNI?

  • Dewi

    Pete – that is cynical even by your fine standards. Me, I think it’s extremely positive. SF making it clear that they support policing.

  • Jer

    I have to weight in with support for the first two comments. I think Pete that you set a will-o-the-wisp standard for Sinn Fein in all dealings. While you are an impartial observer you just haven’t got around to being as impartial with the other parties in the north.

  • Dec

    Rest assured that if Martin McGuinness had visited his party’s councillors in the area the thread would have read:

    A sceptic might suggest that the deputy First Minister would be better employed paying a visit to an injured police officer at Altnagelvin hospital.

  • Ahem

    Yeah, after surviving a Republican bomb attack, the thing you really want to see at the end of your hospital bed is Murderin’ Mart. What sort of card is he going to leave? “Sorry to see you’re still alive”?

  • mark doyle

    I hear he brought the injured officer some fresh fruit and the latest copy of an Phoblacht.

  • Rory

    Dec hits the nail. As far as Sinn Fén goes with Pete it is “Damned if they do and damned if they don’t”.

    SF’s immediate and unqualified condemnation of this attack and the DFM’s visit to the wounded officer are examples of the very leadership that is more likely to estrange the dissidents from the nationalist community and to highlight that community’s repugnance at their actions. Whereas the grudging cynicism displayed against SF’s motives in this post is an example of the unionist mistrust that allows these deluded thugs a measure of self-justification for their actions.

  • Briso

    “A sceptic might suggest that the deputy First Minister would be better employed paying a visit to his party’s councillors in the area..”

    What a silly sceptic he would be.

  • percy

    well said rory, the leopard shows its spots

  • Garibaldy

    Mc Guiness definitely deserves credit for this. He’s been strong in providing clear criticism of dissident terrorism, and in clearly throwing his weight behind the PSNI. Having said that, I don’t think it’s illegitimate of Pete to raise the issue that local representatives are not doing the same thing.

  • ulidian

    folks – some nationalists and republicans might find this hard to accept but after the republicans murdering nearly 300 police officers for a United Ireland encouraged and supported by the Sinn Fein leadership, we do find it hard to stomach the DFM rolling up with tea and sympathy for this police officer.

    Whether we all like it or not, Unionists see no difference between the dissidents belief in physical force republicanism 2008 than physical force republicanism 1978, 1988 or 1998. The results are/were the same dead and injured policemen.

    Sinn Fein has never said it was wrong to kill policemen in 1978, 1988 or 1998 so we find it hypocritical to suddenly condemn it in 2008.

    Cynical yes but that’s the way it is and will be for a long time or until some Sinn Feiner stands up and says it is wrong and more importantly that it was wrong

    This might mean we are bad “peace process people” but at least we are honest!

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    I think the boy Marty done good on this one. You may be underestimating the DFM – he is probably well capable of visiting the policeman in hospital AND discussing police policy with local councillors – to link these two things together might open you to claims of trying to turn a positive story (from almost every angle you look at it ) about Marty into a negative one.

  • Prionsa Eoghan


    You do the many salient points put up previously a disservice. No-one is criticising the point made about local representatives. More the obsessive compulsive nature that drives Pete to attack MMcG and SF. Even when there seems little room to find anything to criticise.

  • westtyrone

    I think MMcG (and Pat Doherty too) may have been sending a message (subtle or otherwise) to some of the local bogtrotters in West Tyrone with their statements.

    I was surprised at Doherty’s very first comment when interviewed. It was that “we’re 100% behind the police” (paraphrase) and didn’t actually seem strictly necessary given the question. I suspect SF will be pressing some of the harder to shift locals, but they don’t tend to do their internal workings in public (unlike the unionist parties in particular).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a greater move on the DPP from the Strabane shinners in the future.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ve a piece coming up on CIF which highlights not just Martin’s words (which are significant) but Pat Doherty’s as well (which are no less significant).

    But in yet another “commenter over reaction” some of you are ignoring the import of Pete’s post. I know some of you don’t like reading his back links, but a little bit of industry would pay dividends.

    Strabane appears to be a focal point for the most effective dissident paramilitary effort over the last year or so. On February 15 young man called Andrew Burns was abducted from Strabane and murdered between Clady village and Castlefinn in Donegal.

    There is a relatively effective if low level campaign against the PSNI in the area. The significance of this particular attack indicates a level of sophistication rarely seen in previous dissident activity.

    And five out of a possibly eight SF councillors refuse to sit on the DPPs. With the death of one of the three who were prepared to take their seats, that leaves the party with a bigger headache.

    As I have said many times before, the devil is always in the detail.

  • the original sam maguire

    “With the death of one of the three who were prepared to take their seats, that leaves the party with a bigger headache.”

    Not really, one would assume that whomever is (without being presumptuous) co-opted or standing in a by-election will be taking a seat on the DPP.

  • Mick Fealty

    Glad to hear someone so confident, but given the context that is one hell of an assumption/presumption.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    I never thought it would happen, but I have to applaud wee Martin for once.

    He’s mildly impressed recently in his dazzling role as Paisley’s sidekick, and given the bould Catriona’s performance, we can now see what a great education minister he was, but visiting this man in hospital is an impressive, and dare I say, courageous move. Credit where it’s due.

  • McGrath

    This is evidence of intricate schism management by Mr McGuinness and maybe a new tactic.

    He visits a injured police officer showing support for the PNSI and in turn the policing boards. At the same he knows the 5 SF members who have not taken their places on the policing board, who themselves probably know details of noOglaigh na hEireann, the same people who caused Mr McGuinness to visit the injured police officer in the first place.

    While I remain sceptical of Mr McGuinness in general, this is definately a big public finger in the face to Oglaigh na hEireann and brings public pressure on the 5 SF members is question.

    His action seems to have brought effect on two aspects, how could this be a bad thing?

  • percy

    “As I have said many times before, the devil is always in the detail”

    Trouble is Mick, if all you’re looking for is devils, that’s all you’ll find.

    And if you can’t find them you start creating them , as in this post. kapiche?

    Not sure if your tag-wrestling approach to sluggers has much to offer; but we’ll see won’t we!

  • the original sam maguire

    Not really Mick, despite the context, SF are a big enough entity in Strabane and the surrounding areas to find at least one member / associate that is bound to be willing to go on the DPP. In my humble opinion, the big challenge will getting someone from the Derg ward to go forward in future years, as it may not be politically expedient in a re-election context to do so.

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    Can anyone recall over the past years during the peace process…has mcguiness gone to the bed side of Catholics who have been beatened by loyalist gangs? I remember reading about several beatings over the years and even pictures of victims in the republican newspaper…but I don’t recall marty mcguiness going to their bedside?

  • Steve


    the only reason unionist politicians go to republican victims bedsides is for the photo op and the opportunity to point out how horrible themuns are.

    As a tactic its not really meant to comfort the victim but to show your face in the press

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi Steve,
    you had me chuckling…did you mean it as a pun that McGuiness is a loyalist….in some ways he does lately appear more unionist/loyalist than republican. Actually I wanted to find out if martin mcguiness ever went to the bedside of a poor catholic who was beat up by the protestants? There have been several over the years during the peace process…I just wanted to know if he vistied the Catholics or does his hospital visits just include loyalist policemen?

  • Steve

    No Kathy I meant it is a favourite tactic of loyalist politicians to show up at the bed side of republican victims with press in tow….. some how there is never a photo op when it comes to loyalist victims.

    The SF have never really participated in this crass usems is better than themuns photo op business

    This was meant more as a statement and not a political point score, hopefully the disidents will get the message but I seriously doubt it

  • Mick Fealty

    You have evidence of this one-sided sinning steve? Or are you working off some supernatural belief?

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    I just saw in the SF Republican paper about the Catholic man…Paul O’Neil being beat up by cars of loyalist in Ian Paisly’s town of Ballymena. I didn’t see anything in the report that Martin McGuiness went to visit the Catholic Man…oh yeah…Silly me…Ballymena is the home town of marty’s friend Ian…and even though 2 car load of loyalist thugs stopped their car infront of Paul O’Neil’s and then another car stopped behind him…so they could pull him out and beat him up…yep…marty mcguniess wasn’t at the Catholic Irish man’s home or bed side….hey…tactics like the loyalist used on Mr. O’Neil are very similiar if not the exact as what the KKK did to blacks here in the US….

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    I just read what I wrote and thought about martin mcguiness…the croppy who laid down