“community punishment”?

Those “threats from the past” were evidenced today at the west Belfast New Barnsley Police Station where a “coffee jar bomb” was found after a security alert. Meanwhile, in Strabane, where police patrols were attacked at the weekend amidst a number of alerts, including one near a Sinn Féin office in Cookstown – and other sectarian attacks elsewhere – the Sinn Féin chairman of Strabane District Council, Cllr Jarlath McNulty, has criticised police for being “heavy-handed and cavalier”. He also claimed they had subjected residents to ‘policing akin to the “worst excesses of the RUC during the 1980s and early 1990s”‘ and of imposing “community punishment”. His party colleague, Cllr Brian McMahon, has also claimed officers had displayed a “hostile approach” towards residents. Of the two, Cllr McMahon was one of the few Strabane Sinn Féin councillors who did take a seat on the local DPP. Cllr McNulty declined at the time – without censure from his party, as Fermanagh Cllr Bernice Swift pointed out. Perhaps that’s an area for the new Process™ to consider..

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  • Damien Okado-Gough

    If Jarlath McNulty and Brian McMahon are criticising the police then their concerns should be taken seriously. They’re both good people and good public representatives. Maybe there are some in the PSNI in that area who think that they won the war and can rub a few noses in it. If that’s the case, then they need to be taken to task.

  • Dec

    Meanwhile, in Strabane, where police patrols were attacked at the weekend amidst a number of alerts

    Just to clarify, none of the alerts that Peter supplied links to occured in Strabane. Hopefully he will update the thread to clarify why he has inferred a linkage between apparently unconnected events in different locations. Personally I doubt this was just another SF-bashing thread dressed up as a news story.

  • Pete Baker


    “Just to clarify, none of the alerts that Peter supplied links to occured in Strabane”

    The “number of alerts” link doesn’t specifically mention the security alert in Strabane. But other links do.

    Unless you’re suggesting there wasn’t a security alert in Strabane?

  • Dec

    The fact of the matter was that a PSNI ‘patrol’ was attacked, two local councillors criticised PSNI behaviour leading up to this attack and you started linking that to bomb scares in Newry and Cookstown (including one near a SF office – I mean, the ingratitude). Perhaps you should come clean and tell us what’s annoying you here? Criticism of the PSNI or SF criticism of the PSNI?

  • darth rumsfeld

    ..er, just why are the police always “heavyhanded and cavalier”? Surely the cavaliers were the good guys, and the dastardly roundheads and Cromwell the baddies?

  • dunreavynomore

    An there was wee me thinking that s.f. were fully behind the psni! not so long ago connor murphy was boasting that he was the man who ‘introduced the psni to crossmaglen!’ Connor and co are discovering that attempting to ride two horses, pro and anti psni at the same time, is a dificult task and best left to circus performers. do s.f. want us to support the new ruc or not?? is it only when the psni are dealing with “dissidents” that s.f. supports them? s.f. certainly did not like their own people being arrested and questioned about murder in sth armagh’sth monaghan. some are supposed to be untouchable!

  • michael

    Just because Sinn Féin signed up to policing doesn’t mean they have to endorse every action by the PSNI or lose the right to be critical of the police. In fact, signing up to policing, joining the policing board, and taking seats on DPPs strengthened Sinn Féin’s position when it comes to voicing concerns about policing matters.
    Martina Anderson has demonstrated this through her membership of the Policing Board by raising numerous issues including CS spray use, TASERs, and more recently, her relevation about the number of PSNI officers suspended because of criminal allegations. She has used powers which already existed in the Policing Board which other members, including the SDLP, had failed to use prior to Sinn Féin taking their seats.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    “Just because Sinn Féin signed up to policing”

    That signing up was linked to transfer of Police Powers. Given the DUP behaviour in trying to delay this and the cover given to them by the likes of Pete Baker it’s a bit rich Pete or fellow DUP apologists coming over all outraged and suprised and lecturing SF members on this issue.

  • dunreavynomore

    would it not have been wiser for s.f. to wait for the powers before signing up?? they still haven’t got the powers yet and who knows when the powers will be devolved. Some would call this ‘buying a pig in a poke’. (no pun intended re pigs and p and j powers)

    So Martina has raised a number of issues; Has anything come from this? Is C.S. banned, for instance?

  • Earnan

    There is only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    It might well have been for a public relations point of view – but so long as the DUP move along as required in the right direction there is no point in beating them across the arse with a political stick. As was pointed out to the DUP by SOS their tardiness in getting their act together has in turn slowed down the process of getting full support behind the PSNI.

    P.S. I have been away for a few days – have we had any word from – “Not in a politcal lifetime Dodsie” or has Robbo still got him locked up somewhere?

  • michael

    CS spray may still be in use but highlighting its misuse ensure debate will continue on the subject. If Policing Board members did not raise this and other issues it woul dbecome the norm.

  • dunreavynomore

    yes indeed such issues should be raised but that is a long way off being able to do anything about it and certain parties pretending that they will be in total control of p and j. Does anyone know what these ‘powers’ will be when they do arrive? Will Stormont have the power to ban C.S. gas or tasers for instance?? will it need cross community support?? Will these powers have any effect on day to day policing at all?? The old Nationalist party was able to ‘raise’ issue in Stormont but damn all else. So many questions, so many promises, so much posturing from the parties and so little product beyond extending the begging bowl again. Alas, it’s hard to be a republican today.

  • Rory

    A democracy can be gauged by precisely by the amount of critical vigilance given to the state forces, judiciary, police and military, by its elected representatives.

    Those judges, police and military who see their role as being primarily in defence of democracy understand the necessity for such vigilance however irksome it may be in practice.

    It is strange to find that a goodly portion of those self-confessed organs of democracy, the press, often seem not to understand this necessity and urge their readers to ignore it as well.

    Some readers appear to have been won over to this point of view. Wouldn’t you say, Pete?

  • Pete Baker

    Mind-reading again, Rory?

    It doesn’t work you know.

    Ask Sammy Mac.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it


    I think what Pete is trying to say is that you should not draw any conclusions about his views based on his far from imparital postings.

    P.S. He may well call Mick in to remove any such outrageous suggestions – as happened earlier today. lol.

  • Rory

    I don’t do mind reading, Pete, I have difficulty reading my own betimes.

    I was thinking more along the lines of ‘textual analysis’.

    If I remember correctly it was called the ‘reading’ part of the ‘reading ‘n’ writing’ business when I was younger. A bit like later on when ‘crude empirical observation’ was in vogue for defining such simple observations as, “Well now, it seems to me…”. I think.


    Don’t worry Sammy Mac. Always remember, “He who laughs laughs, laughs laughs.” Or something like that.

    It is quite exquisite to watch the masterly long game being played out by SF, admittedly assisted ably by the umpire(s) and the cheering approval of the Rest of the World vs. “Ulster”.

  • Dave

    “It is quite exquisite to watch the masterly long game being played out by SF…” – Rory

    Pure comedic gold. After the inital laughter, I left sublimely pondering which windswept and forlorn lunatic asylum you escaped from. Buddy, if you really see the Shinners winning from here, then you need to check the guarantee on your crystal ball because, like the Shinners ‘game plan’ of conceding all of the enemy’s demands in return for permission to assist in a minor role in the administration of British rule under terms of a Whitehall-devised GFA agreement or rolling over and playing dead as a cunning ruse to trick the enemy into complacency, said crystal ball obviously isn’t working.