Crumlin Road Court House on fire…

Not sure what’s going on, but where I am sitting, it seems that the former Criminal Courthouse on the Crumlin Road is on fire… Hat tip to Gary who spotted it first…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Joe

    I am both shocked and stunned at this unprecedented occurance. Who would have thought that an enormous and expensive-to-renovate 19th century building on a prime development site, lying derelict and essentially unsecured, might catch fire like that?

  • The Raven

    Yes indeed, I spotted the plume of smoke as I was driving through town. My immediate thoughts were “gosh I thought all the listed buildings had already spontaneously combusted in this town…”

    I mean, there’s no explanation, given the tinder-dry weather we’ve been having for months….

  • moochin photoman

    Lets hope that none of the urbanex photographer s were caught in there…..
    The play Convictions in there was a fantastic peice of site specific theatre rightly winning awards but in the 7 years since then it has deteriated so much

  • picador

    Just drove down to take a look. The fire appeared to have been mainly towards the back of the courthouse. Not catastrophic in any case.

    This building needs to be reclaimed by the public and integrated into the Crumlin Road Jail ‘experience’.

    We don’t have much in this town but this is one of the few things we do have – so lets keep it.

  • veritas

    throughout the Troubles unscrupulous developers where known to have paid certain elements to attack buildings to circumvent those pesky planning laws…

  • Rory Carr

    While, like most of of you, I have no idea whatsoever of the causes of this fire I take heart from the Daily Mail who confidently blamed the horrendous King’s Cross Underground fire of 1987, in which 31 people perished, on a carelessly discarded, still burning cigarette while yet knowing that this was most certainly not true. The purpose instead of this shock/horror “fact” was to detract from the reality that the fire was caused in the main by the greed of investors in the drive for privatisation who had drastically cut back on cleaning and escalator maintenance services thus allowing a huge build-up of inflammable detritus benaeath the badly maintained escalators allowing friction heat to combust the uncleaned oil residue dripping onto the tinder below.

    But, there you go, while it is easy in the public imagination to whip up hate and to feel righteously judgemental over some old drunk carelessly tossing away a butt it is less easy to attach a blame of greed to some old dowager dame in Kensington & Chelsea protecting the interest on her millions via the ruthless social brutality of her paid agents.

    Not that property specalutors would ever consider deliberately using arson to maximise their position I might add. Such would be but a slur on their impeccable reputation for social concern above profit.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    A British Colonial Cattle Market on fire – Oh yeah!!!

  • Rory Carr

    Apologies for spelling mistakes above. I injured my typing finger while uncorking something for dinner.


  • Scaramoosh

    I heard that this was the first act of some new strain of the IRA “Glock na hÉireann”.

    In a statement just realised on Twitter a spokesperson for the new group said that they had struck a blow against an imperialist monument.

    Reports that the bandstand in Bangor’s Ward Park had also been torched, have as yet been unconfirmed.

  • joeCanuck

    Shame on you, at your age, Rory. Can’t open a bottle of wine without injury! Or was it the second bottle which might be excusable?

  • Pedro

    The CIRA have a perchant for the flame and have used the tactic of fire before. Weren’t there bin fires after the liquidation of the PSNI.

  • dunreavynonore

    Never had the misfortune to dwell there, visited a couple of times. Let it burn away and build something usefull for the local people.

  • iluvni

    Why cant we have one of these unfortunate and unplanned fires at the Maze Prison site as well.

  • Albert

    I thought listed buildings only went on firre in Manchester.

  • Pedro

    IRA “Glock na hÉireann”. Never heard of them either crap or a false flag proxy, like the Decca Mujahedeen and the Mumbai attack. I have heard of Oglaigh na hEireann

    The dissidents IRA groups have all taken a leaf out of Hamas playbook. Hamas have never had an original though in their life, what it does in the Mid East context is it destroys the peace process. Hamas want to unite all Palestinian groups under the structure of the PLO for co-ordinated operations.

    There are 250 dissidents active inside NI, the various groups have united under the one banner for a co-ordinate strategy via an asymmetrical manifesto without the need for the previous PIRA war committee. Quite simple there is no command structure, which counters surveillance and intelligence and HUMINT; they can start a low-level destabilization campaign an Intifada, without the need for the wide support base of the PIRA and Sinn Fein during the long war.

    It fact the NI organization do not even have a name such as the PLO or NILO etc., the UK should know they developed the doctrine for assassination Slobodan Milošević, which is why people claim conspiracy by 6 in regards to Princess Di. Other perfected the technical knowledge, which is why there are rumours Jorg Haider was assassinated now I fear the IRA knows how to do similar operations.


    “From where I am sitting”. Mick, I thought they had closed down all the cells in the jail? Now given the geography I would say C Company wouldn’t be too far away. Wasn’t it an ‘uppity Taig’ who wanted to redevelop the building, can’t have that in the Lower Shankill/Crumlin Road now can we? If a suspicious fire I would start looking for the culprits in the surrounding area. It’s not rocket science.

  • dunreavynomore

    “IRA “Glock na hÉireann”. Never heard of them either crap or a false flag proxy, like the Decca Mujahedeen and the Mumbai attack. I have heard of Oglaigh na hEireann”
    I don’t believe it, you’ve heard of Óglaigh na hÉireann but not of Glock na h Éireann, where have you been at all at all?? Sure they are the main ‘bandstand’ attackers in the world never mind this place. Scaramoosh is doing his post doc on them.

  • Rory (South Derry)

    Looks like my old friend Picador was at IT

  • picador

    I reckon the only reason that you have not been barred is because each time you post you are showing the moral, political and philosophical bankruptcy of the CIRA/RIRA cause.

    [keep it civil – edited moderator]


  • Rory (South Derry)


    You have now been proven to be a fraud!

    Pretending to be me and Martin Ingram (what a muppet)!

  • picador

    Luxury hotel on the Crumlin Road! Now that is a laugh?

    The courthouse should be brought back into public ownership and restored.

    Surely one of the lessons form these kids getting involved in paramilitaries is that there needs to be some kind of Museum of the Troubles. Kids need to be educated so they do not fall sway to propaganda that glorifies violence.

    I think north Belfast would be a great place to have such an exhibit.

  • picador

    Take it up with the mods. They can see the IP addresses.

  • USA

    Rory (South Derry),
    How are those Irish lessons going Rory?

  • Richard James

    As usual LUIRG sees that hands of themmums at work…

  • Gregory

    “Who would have thought that an enormous and expensive-to-renovate 19th century building on a prime development site, lying derelict and essentially unsecured, might catch fire like that?”

    It wasn’t even in the garment district.

  • Rory Carr

    Suspicion is now focussing on an over-zealous Johnny Cash fan grown maudlin on a surfeit of Bucky.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    UTV news says the building was bought for £1. Obviously the new owner couldn’t give too hoots about protecting his building.