Shooting at army base

The BBC are reporting that soldiers were fired on during a drive by shooting at the Massereene Army base in Antrim. Unconfirmed reports said one person was feared dead and five others wounded, but it is not clear if they were civilians or military personnel.

Update:
The BBC are now reporting two dead and up to five injured whilst UTV suggest two soldiers have been killed and four people (two soldiers, two civilians) have been injured.

  • not impressed

    without doing the captain obvious impression…

    it’s a military base…

  • jone

    Have you been reading the thread fuck-knuckle?

    There was speculation some of the injured could have been the attackers

  • Dan Breen’s Revolver

    I wonder when someone will claim responsibility.

    Although many of these dissident groups are infiltrated on just about every level according to what I have read, this murder operation didn’t need to involve more than 4 or 5 people I don’t think.

    I have no idea what these people think they will accomplish

  • LURIG

    Not impressed

    I am a bit unclear regarding your comments. Were they lifted and repeated from someone else or are they your own thoughts? Do you concur that Loyalists have the right to ‘return the serve’ as David Ervine might have said? I might be reading you wrong but it sounds as if you wouldn’t be too disturbed if C Comapany and the rest of the drug dealing Bicardi Brigadiers replied in kind. A bit of clarity would be welcome. Do you believe that Loyalists have the right to murder innocent Catholics if British Forces don’t kill dissident Republicans?

  • LURIG

    Not impressed

    I am a bit unclear regarding your comments. Were they lifted and repeated from someone else or are they your own thoughts? Do you concur that Loyalists have the right to ‘return the serve’ as David Ervine might have said? I might be reading you wrong but it sounds as if you wouldn’t be too disturbed if C Comapany and the rest of the drug dealing Bicardi Brigadiers replied in kind. A bit of clarity would be welcome. Do you believe that Loyalists have the right to murder innocent Catholics if British Forces don’t kill dissident Republicans?

  • picador

    Dan.

    Did it ever occur to you that your moniker is somewhat tasteless?

  • Dan Breen’s Revolver

    picador-no

    CNN just put this story on their front page

  • not impressed

    pointing out what may happen if others in positions of actual power arse about and don’t take action. it will open the door for equally deranged numpties on the loyalist side to say it’s fair game.

    i fear however we’ll get an impotent response which is to be expected when you have a local government incapable of any sort of decision making or action and a national government probably more interested in which bank they should buy next than the overstretched military who don’t even have the capacity to do much here anymore.

    i’m sure we’ll wake up tomorrow and see cheap words from politicians local and national making sure they don’t upset “the process”. or trash about “isolated incident” and equally easy words talking about “heart felt sympathy”.

    it’s clear there was intelligence floating around about possible attacks, SF were quick to moan about that. unfortunately this attack hasn’t been or wasn’t able to be stopped.

    i didn’t offer any view on whether loyalists would be “right” to respond. i can say now that i don’t because it’s not going to help anyone. as i said we all know where the road of tit for tat leads to. hopefully that clears up your problem.

    i dont think anyone was talking about “innocent catholics” you’re taking a bit of a strange angle with that one.

  • 2050

    Condolences to the families. Needless & Pointless loss of life.

    Senseless attack which defies any kind of logic and will achieve nothing.

    Building upon the years of progress on the peace process & indeed strengthening would be the best response to anyone who things violence & murder will advance their aims.

  • picador

    Meanwhile RTE website leading on:

    “Administrator appointed to Cloyne diocese”

    The funds were just resting in my account.

  • 2050

    Condolences to the families. Needless & Pointless loss of life.

    Senseless attack which defies any kind of logic and will achieve nothing.

    Building upon the years of progress on the peace process & indeed strengthening would be the best response to anyone who thinks violence & murder will advance their aims.

  • Harry Flashman

    picador I pointed that out at 1.25am, it’s now what almost 3am Irish time and still no update on the RTE website beyond a brief report from 10pm “of shots being fired outside an army base”, is there no staff reporter on duty at RTE over the weekend?

  • NCM

    In the US a shooting incident like this would be considered just another typical day at school.

  • joeCanuck

    BBC World News has devoted the first 12 minutes of its broadcast to this horrible incident. SDLP has roundly condemned it. No word yet from SF.

  • Conor

    There is simply no reason for the justification of any political-orientated killings in this wee province of ours in the year 2009. I’m not saying taking life can never be justified, I would have supported guerilla tactics against any German invasion during, or more terrifyingly, after World War 2. I take it few Unionists on this site would have had many qualms with it either.

    In the same way I would have justified guerrilla tactics against the British up until around the early-nineties, when I believed Catholics were starting to become equal citizens in this land.

    But whether you agree with me or not, It’s over! No-one can say Catholics or Nationalists are discriminated against in the North on an institutional level and keep a straight face. Discrimination can still arise at micro-level but I’m sure it happens on both sides.

    What happened to the British soldiers last night was needless slaughter, not political action. It needs to be condemned by everyone who wants any kind of stability for themselves, their children and their grand-children

    I want a United Ireland but I wouldn’t accept one single life in return for it because is it no longer resistance to oppression but merely political preference. No-one needs to die for that, we should sort it out in the political arena we have available to us.

    For anyone wishing retaliation, I hope you will be happy with the consequences. For anyone interested in justice (and this from a republican), help the proper authorities (yes, I do mean the PSNI) in any way you can to take these people off our streets once and for all.

  • Dave

    Nice sermon, Conor, but it misses the point. Their objection is not to how well or otherwise that British rule is administered in Ireland; their objection is to British rule being administered in Ireland at all. So, in that regard, an internal settlement that was based on the British government supplying the Irish with home comforts is doubtless pleasant for those who are enjoying those comforts but, as far as the dissidents are concerned, it doesn’t remove British rule or even provide a mechanism for doing so, so it doesn’t solve the core problem. That was always the flaw that couldn’t be fudged. But, I think, there will never be a return to the violence on anything like the level there was before because most of the people of NI just want those home comforts, and other concepts and ideals are secondary to that. They always were.

  • Conor

    Dave,

    Didn’t mean to sound like a sermon, I’m certainly in no position to give one. But for a lot of original modern day republicans (i.e those who joined in the late sixties/early seventies) their motivation was mainly the defence of Catholic areas and fair and equal treatment.

    The removal of the British only topped the agenda after events such as the Falls Curfew, Internment and Bloody Sunday, when the British Army presence was staring you out the window.

    The reason for my ‘sermon’ is we were getting rid of that ‘occupied’ feeling and that’s why most people were happy with what we have now. I know there will always be an element of armed force republicanism no matter what the circumstances, but wanted to point out that no-one in Sinn Fein is sniggering down their sleeves as someone aluded to earlier.

    As you say, we like spending Saturday afternoons shopping in the city centre. The majority of Republicans see no reason to return to civil conflict. Hence my comment about doing everything we can to rid those hell-bent on destroying everything that was achieved by the organisation we all sat down and agreed should handle these things, namely the PSNI and NOT a Special Forces Unit.

  • Mick Fealty

    Durkan from last night:

    “So-called dissident republicans are not proving anything that we don’t know.

    “We know they are opposed to peace and we know their capacity to attack, threaten, disrupt and even to kill.

    “They need to understand this is not an attack on British army but the Irish people who have voted for and value above all else peaceful politics and democratic accommodation.”

  • politico

    if 38 engineers haven’t already left they are due to deploy to Iraq shortly.

    The fact is that with a limited number of military bases left in Northern Ireland Massereene is probably the most vulnerable to attack.

    without knowing the facts as yet the security team at the gate will have been civilian

  • Mick Fealty

    Belfast Telegraph: http://tinyurl.com/c9r6yr

  • Gaz

    Police news conference now on Sky: two of the injured were pizza delivery men. ‘Pre-planned attack at mass murder’.

  • Gaz

    Just to add to what the police have just said on Sky News:

    At 9.20pm two separate pizza orders were received by Dominos Pizza. Two separate delivery men were sent to the barracks. As they arrived, soldiers moved towards the entrance to the barracks to collect the delivery and gunmen opened fire.

    The pizza men were victims of the attack and were in no way involved in it.

    One car carrying a driver and two gunmen with automatic weapons.

    Police examining a car which was abandoned in Randalstown.

  • Harry Flashman

    So Mick’s early suggestion that the Pizza men might be innocent victims too seems to be correct meanwhile the mainstream media is still leading with the “gunmen disguised as Pizza delivery men” angle and wonders will never cease, it seems that the boys down at RTE have finally woken up.

    Well done Mick, you’ve proven the worth of blogs and SO’T in particular as a good conduit of up to date information and breaking news while the ‘professionals’ slumbered through a long Saturday night.

  • X

    IN the recent past republicans killed a young man in SouthArmagh and the political class for their own self interest swept that murder under the carpet.

    Now we have the murder of two soldiers, it will be interesting to watch the response now.

    Sinn Fein in the Armagh area we totally let of the hook with the DUP aquiescing because to them it was an internal republican matter. but the end esult was republicans were able to murder without consequence – and with no real pressure to deliver up those that were responsible. it will be interesting to see what happens now.

    Kevin Toolis the author has pointed out on BBC News 24 that it is likely the culprit come from families that were previously supportive of physical force republicanism, that being the case the republican community will quickly know who were involved.

    Lets see if the new dispensation enables republicans to deliver up those that carried out this crime

    What now?

  • The Impartial Observer

    Very sad news and the sort of event we hoped was behind us, also a glimpse of what this site may have looked like had the internet existed 30 years ago. My sympathy goes to the families of the 2 dead personnel and I hope the injured make a full recovery.

    There is also going to be some serious political repercussions from this and with that I’m mind I’m frankly stunned that to date there’s been no reaction from SF. They must have known that an incident like this was bound to happen and they should have had a contingency worked out. The longer they leave it now, the worse it looks for them.

  • Expenses

    Where are Sinn Fein condemning this?

  • Dave Hartin

    Adams’ statement reported on BBC News and RTE – “…wrong and counter productive…”

  • Harry Flashman

    “Adams’ statement reported on BBC News and RTE – “…wrong and counter productive…” ”

    Fourteen hours after the event, a day late and a dollar short?

  • Expenses

    The fact that Sinn Fein took so long to issue a statement tells its own story. These guys should be pulled out the Assembly.

  • Harris

    Referring to the IRA, an earlier post stated: “It solved nothing for 35 years and will solve nothing for another 35.” Well,there are many on the island that would completely disagree with this comment, as they feel the IRA served its purpose.

    One needs to look at the undertones of what took place last night.

  • fair_deal

    My sympathies to the families

  • Why is it that whenever Sinn Fein are in trouble on an issue and need backing, they get it from the dissidents? There is a pattern emerging…

  • Harry Flashman

    In fairness I was listening to Willie McCrea on the BBC website condemning the attack and it seemed like I was back twenty years ago but then there seemed to be something missing, of course he was condemning the murders in the strongest possible terms but it was unlike the usual stuff that the DUP came out with in the past.

    And then it struck me, of course, there was none of the old “the government are to blame, they’re not doing enough, why don’t they etc etc etc” the main part of the DUP’s stock in trade for thirty years was gone, he was speaking more in sadness rather than the usual old anger.

    Why? Well of course, the DUP is now the government, it’s up to them now, they and their partners Sinn Fein (and it still takes a while for that phrase to sink in) are the people who have the responsibility for sorting this mess out and suddenly the ghosts of British Secretaries of State from the ’70s and ’80s must have muttered a silent “It ain’t that easy after all, is it?”

  • Claudius Pulcher

    The flaw in your critique of the MSM Flashman is that ninety-nine per cent of the information on this site came from there.

  • Expenses

    John O’Connell

    You are like Jim Allister. You are dreaming up things to say that gives people ideas. If you have no evidence to back up what your daying then do us a favour and shut up

  • Expenses

    Anyone with an eye can see that when the going gets tough for Sinn Fein, the dissidents up their attacks. This was very clear during the the five months period without government when the dissident campaign stepped up to increase pressure on Sinn Fein’s opponents in the DUP and Brit Gov. Last night it was to do with the Special Forces announcement.

    For all the animosity between Sinn Fein and the dissidents there has been very little in the way of targeting Sinn Fein, who are supposed to be traitors.

  • Harry Flashman

    “The flaw in your critique of the MSM Flashman is that ninety-nine per cent of the information on this site came from there. ”

    Well no actually a fair amount of the information I found interesting came from people who knew a bit about the circumstances of the particular barracks and the security issues involved.

    But beyond that I agree that most of the info came from the MSM but it took sites like Slugger to coalesce them. For instance if all you had was the BBC or SKY then from about midnight until 8am you would have got no new info, if you were reliant solely on Ireland’s main state run news agency RTE you simply wouldn’t have had a clue what happened or what was going on.

    I am not saying there is no need for the big news agencies but if you want to find out the real story you’ll have to hit the blogs I’m afraid.

    In the old days all you got was the hourly radio news bulletins and the two evening TV news programmes, in the meantime all sorts of awful rumours circulated and often caused dreadful consequences. Now an issue can be discussed instantly and any wild nonsense can get damped down quickly thanks to the internet.

    I’ll give credit for the MSM people who went out on the street and got the facts and details out to the public and the internet which allowed them to do so. In the meantime the fat lazy institutionalized “journos” who spent Saturday night in the pub and who sneer at and dismiss the blogs are looking like the dinosaurs that they are.

  • jone

    BBC online was still updating after 2am. If you look back through the thread most of the stuff which isn’t either speculation or deep background came from the BBC and SKY. While RTE were in the pub.

  • Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace.

    @ Mr O’Connell: Tread very carefully with that argument.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Well maybe these killers felt good about themselves this morning for getting in the news and killing two young lads clad in a British army uniform, but in reality they exposed a horrible stupidity still present at the heart of many Republican circles in the north. Violence won’t unify Ireland; so why engage in these acts of wonten murder.

    Harry,

    BBC and Sky have 24 hour news channels. So obviously they are prepared and ready for events at any hour, unlike RTE, who probably have dim-wits working during a Saturday evening.

    Though for it not to even be on the website more than an hour after the event is worthy of strong complaint from viewers in any part of the island.

  • RG Cuan

    RTÉ have always been very slack at the weekends.

    Whoever carried out this attack (be it a Republican group or some sort of intelligence service), it serves nobody. All our political parties have condemned it and there are no political points to be scored.

    Violence gets us nowhere.

  • RG Cuan arís

    REPUBLIC OF CONNACHT

    but in reality they exposed a horrible stupidity still present at the heart of many Republican circles in the north.

    Really? I think you need to frequent more ‘Republican circles’. The vast majority of people, Republican and other, are against this attack and have condemned it.

    If it is a Republican group who are responsible, they have very limited support and no political platform.

  • Erin go Bragh

    Having read most of the posts, I feel that some clarification is required as most of the posts seem to be quite “one sided,” thus lack and understanding…

    The following is NOT my opinion, but clarification / explanation to those not from the North…

    The soldiers are deemed as “legitimate targets,” therefore such an operation would be justified from a Republican perspective. It is irrelevant if they were local or from the mainland, once in uniform they became “legitimate targets.”

    Obviously, depending upon a persons political belief’s, the definition of the action would change from “murdered,” to “executed…” by “paramilitaries” to “freedom fighters.” Therefore ones beliefs affect the parameters of the incident.

    The media and “new” Sinn Fein coined the ridiculous phrase, “dissident.” Let’s not ignore the fact that it was Sinn Fein that turned its back upon traditional Republican ideologies:

    – Supporting the British Occupation via the Executive
    – Supporting / acknowledging the PSNI (effectively rubber stamping the existence of N.I.)

    Therefore it was only a matter of time before “True” Republicans mounted a backlash…

    In terms of:
    post 24: Oglaigh na Eireann is the Gaelic name of the IRA.
    post 22: The pizza delivery men were providing a service to British personnal, therefore could be deemed as “legitimate targets.”

    One only has to look over Irish history to realise that once Republicanism obtains a political voice / mandate, then such groups eventually move away from traditional republican ideologies. Eventually, these are replaced by others, thus the cycle continues…

  • robo

    Hold on a minute,

    The purpose of (the dissident repulican movement) have been the same as the main stream repulican movement!

  • The BNP (yeah I know, I know) are using this attack to call for the return of capital punishment:

    http://bnp.org.uk/2009/03/county-antrim-killings-“justification-for-return-of-the-death-penalty”-says-bnp-defence-spokesman/

  • Erin go Bragh

    RESPONSE TO No 19: Hold on a minute, The purpose of (the dissident repulican movement) have been the same as the main stream repulican movement!
    Posted by robo on Mar 08, 2009 @ 03:47 PM

    Well yeah… Whenever Sinn Fein / PIRA decided to turn their backs upon traditional Republican ideologies, then it was only a matter of time before another groups emerged to fill that void…

    True Irish republicanism has always resorted to the “Armed stuggle,” eg:

    United Irishman
    IRB
    Fenians
    ICA
    Irish Volunteers
    IRA

  • earnan

    Killing two young soldiers and injuring others, included some poor, young pizza delivery boy is not “repulicanism”. It is murder done by deluded, dysfunctional, nihilistic men who have nothing in their life other than delusions of grandeour.

  • picador

    True Irish republicanism has always resorted to the “Armed stuggle,”

    Ah, the cult of the gun. (shakes head)

    When the means of pursuing the struggle, i.e. physical force, takes on more importance than the end of the struggle, i.e. the Republic, then the struggle is lost and the people who pursuing it are little more than psycopaths.

    Armed struggle is not an end in itself. It is only a tactic; and it is a tactic that failed spectacularly between 1971 and 1997 – thus the North remains under British jurisdiction.

    You seem to be a bit of an Internet hero e.g.b. Why don’t you put your money words into action and join the freedom-fighters?

  • Catholic observer

    Why would the master tread carefully?

  • Erin go Bragh

    The RIRA issued a statement in 2003:

    “The British continue to claim sovereignty over part of our country and while that is the case armed struggle will always be justified.”

    the Armed struggle may not necessarily be an, “end in itself,” but one only has to look at the gains made by Sinn Fein / PIRA to see that such a tactic worked in the past.

    the very fact that PICADOR indicates, “thus the North remains under British jurisdaiction,” is the only reason ‘True / Traditional’ Republicans need…

    As Gregory stated on another post, “there would not be many tears shed in the Nationalist community due as a result of the killing of British soldiers.” The point is, he is stating the truth, as although there may never be a return to full scale violence, resentment still exists underneath the surface.

  • Erin go Bragh

    The RIRA issued a statement in 2003:

    “The British continue to claim sovereignty over part of our country and while that is the case armed struggle will always be justified.”

    the Armed struggle may not necessarily be an, “end in itself,” but one only has to look at the gains made by Sinn Fein / PIRA to see that such a tactic worked in the past.

    the very fact that PICADOR indicates, “thus the North remains under British jurisdiction,” is the only reason ‘True / Traditional’ Republicans need…

    As Gregory stated on another post, “there would not be many tears shed in the Nationalist community due as a result of the killing of British soldiers.” The point is, he is stating the truth, as although there may never be a return to full scale violence, resentment still exists underneath the surface.

  • eranu

    i wonder would anyone in NI be too bothered if the small number of dissidents were just killed off?
    its 2009, we’re talking mid 90s for an end to most terrorist killings. end of 90s for a political agreement. thats a long time ago. the people who are involved in these killings will be alive for the next 40-50 years. do we really want to live with the threat of one man with a gun doing this again? its not like society hasnt over looked many murders for the sake of peace. hard thoughts…

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Well it’s certainly worked well in the past, hasn’t it? Apart from the fact that it’s illegal, creates ‘martyrs’, which in turn leads to more and more people following in their footsteps. Oh, and don’t forget the inquiries that inevitably follow, the investigations that are carried out, the poisoning of community relations and the sheer immorality of the state sidestepping its own law.

    Aside from that, a brilliant idea.