A sad day for art

In a shocking and surprising judgement Crown Court Judge (and clearly artistic philistine) Mr Justice Deeny rejected the almost certain Turner Prize winning Michael Stone’s explanation for his performance art attack on Stormont. Mr. Deeny described Stone as “a wholly unreliable and unconvincing witness whose testimony… is wholly undeserving of belief.” Little wonder Belfast failed to win European City of Culture. Or does this whole episode strengthen Stone’s case for an art prize.

Okay in actual fact, thankfully at least one ghastly murderer from the past is back behind bars where he should always have been kept.

  • I wonder how many years in total have been (or will be) spent beyond behind bars by people trying to kill Gerry Adams?

    And Stone … ? He has nine kids … ! Do women find him attractive? Yuck!

  • Mark McGregor

    His licence will have been revoked. His original tariff was 30 years and he had served 12 when he was released so he is facing at least 18 years before the sentence.

  • William

    Turgon….what makes it more disgusting is that this arts philistine, Mr. Justice Deeny, when plain Mr. Donal Deeny QC he was Chairman of the Northern Ireland Arts Council.

    Whatever happened to Justice Deeny that he didn’t recognise the artistic content within Stone’s performance.

    Ah well, Michael will be one of the wealthiest cons inside, after selling some of his art pieces for £25k +

  • William

    Mark….and just think Eds: removed

  • Is that not libelous? Turgon … ? Mick ….?

  • And he had no actual prospect of killing Adams and McGuinness. He was wet and exhausted. He had arthirtis. He had an imitation gun and explosives that didn’t go off when he lit them. He may have seen himself in his fantasies, storming into the chamber and garroting the members for West Belfast and Mid Ulster but that was never going to happen in the real world.
    In a sense his defence, that this was an art work, stacks up; it was nothing but show. Stone is a sadly deluded and damaged man who dreams of being Rambo.

  • Big Maggie

    Mr Turgon

    Oh it’s only the lunatic Stone. On seeing the heading I imagined you’d be blogging George Best as Christ by Michael Browne. Or did you blog this already?

  • Jimmy

    What baffles me is that Stones defence team actually put forward the ‘Performance art’ as an actual defence. Did they not think of thier integrity as Defence lawyers and refuse that line as detremental to thier clients chances and an insult to thier own profession?

  • Big Maggie


    I hardly think the words ‘integrity’ and ‘lawyers’ belong in the same sentence.

  • Llamedos

    The great problem with so called Modern Art is its manifestation of the total lack of Education given the present day perpetrators of the genre. Tate Modern is full of the most crass colection of goods no doubt stolen from a recycling skip and thrown in the air by people like Tracy Vermin who looks in need of a good decontaminating fumigation. However now the slump is here and all the silly money people have no funds the market for this trash will collapse;and Jay Jopling and his ilk of bric a brac dealers, who however are retail geniuses for charging such completely sky high prices for other peoples’ detritus, will find themselves with unsold product; and be forced to change market areas or find a diifferent set of merchandise to screw the public with. There is one redeeming feature to this trade the taxman receives Vat and three tranches of income tax Hopefully or he could well be accused of being susceptible to creative accounting.
    The problem of the dirth of talent is that there are two many mediocre schools educating these artistes , no Romano Greek history and language, no English Literature,History, Mathematics,Adequate Art History, European Languages,Architectural Appreciation combined with little physical and team building sports. I used to teach my post graduate courses at the RCA that there is no original thought left on this planet only the ability to adapt,modify and portray in a fresh light.

  • Big Maggie


    Do you think drawing should be given more prominence? Would that help things along?

  • ….the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.

  • NP

    One less psycho on the streets.

  • wild turkey

    ‘I hardly think the words ‘integrity’ and ‘lawyers’ belong in the same sentence. ‘

    quote of the week goes to big maggie.

    mags, do you mind if I substitute ‘integrity’ with ‘performance’ and ‘lawyers’ with ‘stormont’?

  • wild turkey

    ‘I used to teach my post graduate courses at the RCA that there is no original thought left on this planet only the ability to adapt,modify and portray in a fresh light. ‘

    Ah c’mon Llamedos lighten up. Obviously you have never met my 8 year old son or 9 year old daughter… or thousands and thousands and thousands like them. Maybe by the time the gifted students get to THE RCA they have been already fitted with their straightjackets…and have their accountants on retainer.

    Buy the ticket…and take the ride Llamedos.

  • NP

    Time was id see Michael walking up the ring road to Conlig. Those were the days. With his plat & sureal painting, he was the man !

    little did we realise that he was a homicidal cunt of the first order.

  • Glencoppagagh

    “thankfully at least one ghastly murderer from the past is back behind bars where he should always have been kept”

    In some ways you’re untypical of your tribe in that you appear to have suspect pastimes like reading books.
    However, you obviously share respectable rural Unionism’s reflexive, self-righteous distaste for loyalist paramilitaries.
    Presumably the ghastly murder you had in mind was the Milltown Cemetery attack. I’m sure the memory of it still causes you enormous grief.

  • mick cooper

    The bould Mick should be given credit for his performance, maybe a statue outside Stormont titled “Cast in Stone”

  • aquifer

    Waving guns about and threatening people -hardly original.

    Locking up someone dangerously lacking in self control but with some limited artistic talent – inspired.

    I’d rather have some bad art than him on the news in Rambo mode.

    Have the irish separatist hoodlums any more bad poets who need to polish their lines inside?

  • Does it count for nothing that he had no chance of success? Michael Stone is the most incompetent terrorist – you’d be mad to have him on your gang – but he is a rank exhibitionist.
    He had no more chance of killing Adams and McGuinness than I would of breaking into a night safe with a tin opener.
    He was putting on a show, suicidally, indulgently, ludicrously, but just a show …

  • bollix

    regarding the point on integrity and lawyers – his original legal team did resign as it was “impossible for them to continue”. which normally means he was telling them fibs or he told them to present a case which he accepted wasn’t true.

    anyway, its not for his lawyers to decide if his case his ludicrous, that is for the judge / jury. it is for the defendant to give evidence and state what his story is, his lawyers must then present that in the best light. the lawyers aren’t allowed to “make up” a story. and if a story which is plainly ludicrous is given to them and the defendant is adamant on it, they can’t decide that he is lying and therefore deny him a chance to have his story heard.

  • Harry Flashman

    I’m inclined to agree with Malachi, this was a stunt, nothing more, there wasn’t the slightest chance of Stone getting within an ass’s roar of killing the Sinn Fein leaders.

    However Stone is a multiple murderer, he only served 12 years in prison, he was released on licence and he was a fool to think that he could simply pull such a stunt and not face the consequences. My dearest wish would be that all the mass murderers who got out on licence would pull similar stunts and they could all be rounded up and sent back to the slammer which is their rightful abode.

    I know I’m a dreamer, but it would be nice if it happened, but then again I suppose I’m just a vindictive fucker be times.

  • Big Maggie


    ‘Regarding the point on integrity and lawyers’, I give you the Bloody Sunday inquiry:

    The Government, which has spent more than £181 million of taxpayers’ money on the inquiry – half of that on lawyers’ fees – is furious about the length of time that it has taken. Christopher Clarke, QC, counsel to the inquiry, was paid more than £4 million. One lawyer admitted off the record that “this has been a financial godsend”.

    Prompting a reprise of the old joke:

    Q. What’s the difference between a hooker and a lawyer?

    A. A hooker won’t screw you when you’re dead.

  • Padraig

    [b]thankfully at least one ghastly murderer from the past is back behind bars where he should always have been kept. [/b]

    Many ghastly murderers were never put behind bars and were, in fact well paid and rewarded for theirs services and a few even got Knighthoods, the British Parachute Regiment, the SAS, the RUC Special Branch, the UDR ……

    Stones real crime was that he did not get the nod from a Special Branch/MI5 handler or the British Government as many of the rest did.

    MI5 have, of course, been past masters in ‘performance art’ here and pretty well else in the world.

  • Brian Walker

    In this as in most cases, you’re at a disadvantage if you don’t hear all the evidence but like Malachi and others I was surprised at the verdict. The judge was prepared to discuss the “performance art” claim.

    “The judge added that even if Stone was acting, that was no justification for criminal behaviour.

    It is clear to me that a claim that some actions constitute performance art cannot justify the use of violence, the threat of violence or putting others at risk of violence,” he said.

    “A desire to shock in the sense of surprise should never prompt that fear. It might be thought that it was antithetical to the very nature of art, however, defined.”

    Judge Deeney said he was satisfied with the evidence of explosives experts that nail bombs and incendiary devices carried by Stone were viable. ”

    I presume the latter point was decisive, given Stone’s record. But the sight of a man restrained by a plucky middle aged security man and a woman at the Stormont doors hardly looked like a mortal threat. (easy to say when you’re just looking at the TV of course..)

  • William

    Mark….and just think Eds: removed

    Posted by William on Nov 14, 2008 @ 07:12 PM


  • Tazia Doll

    Looking at the TV? It was wrong to film it, in my view, privacy, protected by Article 8, must be balanced against free speech, guaranteed by Article 10,

    and I think the judge, got the balance wrong. He didn’t even have any prostituted women in tow, I mean where is it going to end? He wasn’t even stark naked.

  • joeCanuck

    The lawyers do deserve top marks for ingenuity.