Lord Laird and Pensions

Never a man to avoid controversy, Lord Laird has written to the Secretary of State asking him to investigate the apparent allegation that a blind eye is being turned to smuggling activity and investment of illegally obtained assets by republican paramilitaries. His list of questions seems very general and as such is unlikely to turn up a great deal; the initial NIO response is predictably bland. He is, however, also considering using Parliamentary Privilege to name alleged smugglers.

  • Mark McGregor

    I can’t help but think the Reynolds judgment would and should have lead to more attempts to challenge the notion of qualified privilege by the press that have often not been pursued through overdue concentration on the Murphy action.

  • heck

    can he name me

    the last time I drove from dublin airport we filled up in dundalk before we crossed the border

    please name me –please

  • It was Sammy McNally what done it

    Timing here may relate to trying to embarass the DUP about handing over law and order to those not complying with it.

    Wee Reggie may be waiting in the wings with follow up statement “…in the light of the inadequate response by SOS to etc…now is not a good time to give power to those with alleged links to….”

  • Henry94

    Have unionists ever gained anything from their habit of naming people in the British parliament? It constitutes proof of nothing but is more like a licence to gossip. It makes them look ridiculous.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Sinn Fein PIRA have built up considerable assets from criminal activities. Therefore, it’s very curious that they have not been investigated with much rigour. Many Unionists assume it’s because some of these criminals are now in Government – so it’s a political decision. After all, even the DUP didn’t cause much of fuss about Sinn Fein PIRA keeping the money from the Northern Bank robbery while in power – again a political decision. And the majority of Roman Catholics seem content to vote for such criminals – including several prominent priests.

    While most citizens face the full force of the law for the most minor offence, Sinn Fein PIRA gangsters in the Government seem to be untouchable while sitting on millions of pounds of illegal assets.

  • barnshee

    “Therefore, it’s very curious that they have not been investigated with much rigour.

    Not really –the tax system concentates on soft or softish targets who either cooperate (after a fashion) and with the help of accountants etc negotiate a settlement.

    Those who live in (ahem) certain areas and the determinedly uncoperative are much harder to deal with. It takes substantial skills, technical knowledge and determination, attributes not present in any quantity currently in Tax departments in N Ireland.

    Add in threats to Tax staff who are after all just the poor bloody infantry and in the case of Fuel duty, the connivance of a bordering state and then its not at all ” curious that they have not been investigated with much rigour”

  • PeaceandJustice

    barnshee, that’s why we have the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). But the political will needs to be there to recover the criminal assets held by Sinn Fein PIRA.

  • DO I detect notes of jealousy in some of the posts.I think that some people would like to be able to get away with what other more inventive people are already getting away with.

  • PeaceandJustice

    to blinding – it’s about justice. You obviously have an admiration for “inventive people”. Whether they are “inventive” or not, political considerations should not hold back any investigations.

  • waffler

    As another hoodwinked republican who voted for the GFA I would like to point out that this should now be OUR economy.
    For thirty years the general consensus amongst republicans was that by not taxing cars ,paying TV licenses etc you were draining money from the British economy and deemed as another expense to the British tax payer for the war.
    Yet since the GFA we find that we actually have to pay for it all now in that our infrastructure was the real victim.
    I seem to remember a certain rents and rates strike which was then used by the republican leadership to pour scorn and allegation of incompancy on another nationalist party.
    However we now have so called republicans in government readily prepared to enforce yet more financial burden on all of its citizens in order to recuperate the deficit.
    One they had a big part in creating.
    I have no doubt the army council can not be removed as whilst dodgy money has yet to be cleaned and remains in circulation Sinn Fein need to retain the comfort zone in the old rebuttal of you’d need to talk to the army council about that.
    So effectively we have a government who have their eye on 2 economies.

  • joeCanuck

    I trust you have given your evidence to the PSNI, P&J;.

  • barnshee

    P&J;Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). is essentially a joke, staffed by ex (failed) Tax inspectors, Vat inspectors and cops (not a bunch highly regarded as intellectuals)>

    It has picked off a few softies. It has already cost more than it has recovered. Very poor value

  • To peace and justice,you are probably right but there are so many crooks in goverment nowadays and the goverment and local councils behaving like the mafia by charging us more for reduced sevices(would the mafia take as big a cut from fuel if they were supplying it,also goverment and local councils are monopolies)it is hard on my anarchic days not to have a sneaking respect for people(of whatever persuasion) that have not fallen for the good citizen routine.Maybe its us the law abiding and taxpaying that are wrong.Do you never think that you are being taken for mug by the lot of them.

  • PeaceandJustice

    To joeCanuck – even the dogs in the street know about Sinn Fein PIRA criminal activity ..

  • heck


    maybe smuggling is just a form of non violent civil disobedience.

    at worse it is a victimless crime and the only reason unionists get worked up about it is because it is carried out be fenians along the border.

    let’s see if lord nut job names any drug dealers

  • OC

    From what I’ve read, “republican” and “loyalist” gangs are all involved in organized crime.

    Are they basically mirror images of each other, or does each have its own specialty, like one specializes in diamond thefts, and the other in stealing radioactive material?

    How much behind-the-scenes cooperation might actually be occurring between the two “factions”?

  • Where’s The Law


    I agree with you 100%

    What is galling is how the DUP never mention PIRA assets.

    And just look at that high profile case collapsing in Dungannon recently.

    It’s all disgusting.

    Political expediency.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Maybe Laird will even get all the names right this time.

  • Seimi

    ‘What is galling is how the DUP never mention PIRA assets.’

    Whoah! Whoah! You’re jumping way ahead, Where’s the Law. That’s hoop number 15 for the Republican movement to jump through, which is followed by;

    16 – Where is Shergar?
    17 – How DO they get the figs into Fig Rolls?
    18 – What IS the secret of the Black Magic Box?
    19 – In Family Guy, can the rest of the family actually hear what the baby is saying?

    It goes on. And on…

  • Red Diesel Republican

    Peace and Justice, you have more of a point than you probably know. The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) never had the sort of success the Criminal Assets Bureau in the south enjoyed, and never had the legal powers either, but it did a reasonable job under Alan McQuillan. There are good reasons to believe that the abolition of the ARA, thinly disguised as integration into London-based SOCA, was negotiated by Sinn Fein on the fringes of the St Andrews conference,yet another goody bag along with funding for CRJI and so on. During some of these talks, Sinn Fein are said to have put forward the view of the Army Council that its members should be allowed to retain their recently acquired wealth as ‘legitimate war booty’. In fact, some insiders believe that the flat rejection by the British of the war booty idea led directly to the Northern Bank robbery a few weeks later. It was a simple threat: do us a deal or you’ll see what we can do. The ARA, locally controlled and lead, was gone in no time. SOCA will never catch up. All the money has long since been laundered and relaundered into fully legitimate businesses. More importantly, war funds that were held in arms-length businesses are now being retrenched back into the hands of key Provos and their families, and in many cases the businesses – building contractors, some prominent electrical contractors, more than a dozen pubs in South Armagh and Louth alone – are also passing into the hands of family members. they are generally getting out of diesel laundering and franchising it out on a half-cut basis, but they continue to be heavily in fuel smuggling – but hey, that’s not really illegal, is it?

    The CAB have an altogether more rigorous approach. When they went to arrest Slab Murphy outside Dundalk he locked the doors and windows of his car. So they smashed the passenger window with a sub-machine gun and dragged him out through it. Then they shifted his prosecution for tax evasion to the non-jury Special Criminal Court.

  • Where’sthelaw

    So I suspect we just have to accept this.

    Laird is the only Unionist who seems to have an interest in this. It is blatantly obvious that a deal has been done with the mute silence of Donaldson and co.

  • ciaran

    I see that old chestnut the northern bank is back.We don’t know yet who robbed it. There is no evidence that it was the ira.And red diesel, what a load of rubbish.Unless of course you can prove your fairey tale. I am not saying that the ira never robbed or stole anything but for christs sake try and stick to reality and not the twilight zone.

  • Billy


    Do you think there are any “loyalist” terrorists who have amassed fortunes through drug dealing, prostitution, extortion, smuggling etc?

    Do you think Lard may name any of them under the cowardly cover of the House of Lords?

    I just wondered since, as usual, neither you nor he seem to have any interest in these illegal activities when they are carried out by “loyalists”.

  • Big Maggie

    Laird is such a buffoon. Has he ever done anything of worth? Oh my mistake, he must have done if some PM or other put his name forward for a peerage.

  • Tochais Si­orai­

    Let’s hope he has better information than his fellow citizen of planet clown Ian Paisley who named the completely innocent Reaveys as being involved in Kingsmills.