Spotlight on Harbinson again

Mark Harbinson, has been covered in depth on Slugger and is now facing serious charges of a very different nature to those normally leveled at him.

taking on board concerns that my personal feelings on the subject resulted in a very heavy handed blog I have made some major amends to my text while retaining the same links.

Note from Mick: I am closing commenting on this thread. Please note that we do not premoderate, but that if you have concerns about whether a particular comment has crossed a line, then please please do drop me a line and if necessary action will be taken…

  • Jim


    If proved and the PSNI have good evidence in terms of pictures of the young girl in MH phone from the IN story then of course he should be dealt with by our learned friends.

    I would love to get a comment from (Cowboy) Calvert. You give a dog a bad name Cecil? If proved this dog has rabies. What do we do with such dog?


  • skullion


    As yet Harbinson has been convicted of nothing.On a recent thread Francie Brolly was being accused of all sorts without a shred of evidence and i along with several others tried to defend him.Harbinson may well be an odious individual but let justice run its course before we condemn him.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Naturally you can imagine how much I wanted to put up just such a thread in the past week, but I thought it better not to given that charges have been made.

    Calvert’s but one of Harbinson’s associates. The Orange Order, Basil McCrea, Ronnie Crawford and many DUP members can be lined up with Cecil for their ‘associations’ with this individual in recent years.

    Let this one run its course; there’ll be plenty to come out in the wash thereafter….

  • west belfast

    As a resident of Crumlin I am delighted to see this scumbag finally end up in the dock.

    Its a pity it is not for the numerous sectarian crimes he has been associated with, one particularly heinous one in Crumlin springs to mind.

    I know we have to let due process take its course and we have to be mindful of the young children involved in this case but I hope he rots in jail and then in hell.

  • gmac

    Can we open another Kincora enquiry?

  • I know of Harbinson and his antics through the years and would think it would be a great thing if he were off the streets.

    That being said this post is extremely prejudicial and could conceivably have the opposite effect. Just ask Mary Harney – re her comments about Charlie Haughey which led to charges against him being set aside – if you’re wondering where I’m coming from.

    Let justice be done….

  • gordy

    I see we have a few keyboard warriors on this morning. Pity none of them have ever had the gonads to deal with Stoneyford loyalists face to face.

  • EOS

    Great that a dangerous sectarian bigot is off the streets. What about the many others on both sides… do we have to wait until they commit an alternative crime before bringing them to book?

  • Fabianus


    I’m sure many people hope this stalwart of the Orange Order and political ground worker for Unionism (both DUP and UUP) is taken off the streets for a very long time.

    If he’s sent to prison for a very long time it won’t be on account of child rape. Such crimes seem to be dealt with unusually leniently in Northern Ireland. Today’s Belfast Telegraph has a piece on this very thing, with one abuser being almost literally handed a get-out-of-jail card.

    I can’t help wonder why it is that some of our judges treat child abuse and child pornography in this way.

  • interested

    Is this guy not in the TUV?

  • Padraig

    [b]I see we have a few keyboard warriors on this morning. Pity none of them have ever had the gonads to deal with Stoneyford loyalists face to face. [/b]

    … that 13 year old girl did, to her cost.

    Brave men and true.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I think Concubhar is right, some rewording may be necessary, dont give this guy the excuse of getting of on a technicality.

    Completely setting aside any acusations that are or may come before the courts, from what i see in the public domain I get the impression he should have been thrown out of the OO a long time ago.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Interested, there is another guy called Harbinson in the TUV, please dont get them mixed up, this thread is on dodgey ground as it is.

  • gordy

    I think you need a biology lesson, Padraig.

  • alan56

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if he got off because of stuff said on slugger…. need to be very careful

  • Rory Carr

    I have no comment on the charges brought or on the individul charged as they would not be appropriate pending trial but I do wonder at the mindset of such as our correspondent, Gordy above and shake my head and sigh.

  • Fabianus


    Wouldn’t it be ironic if he got off because of stuff said on slugger…. need to be very careful

    You’re right. But I’m wondering “aloud” about done and dusted cases and about what lies behind/beneath over-lenient sentencing. Is it okay to wonder about some of our judges or am I guilty of thought crime?

    Gordy, please apologise or fuck off.

  • Comrade Stalin

    In fairness, there have been plenty of prejudicial comments on here about people following arrests eg. of suspects in relation to the Lurgan or Massereene barracks shootings. Mary Hungry’s problem wrt Haughey was probably more to do with the fact that she was Taniste at the time.

    It must be a record, though, to see Mark comment upon the outcome of a PSNI investigation without criticising it.

  • gordy

    ??? Speaking generally, and not about any particular case, the scourge of child abuse has afficted all part of society and has been perpetrated by evil people who have hid behind the mask of respectability provided by positions of responsibilty.

    In the same way as I do not condemn the entire Catholic Church due to the actions of paedophile priests, then I cannot condemn orangeism on the basis of the same alleged actions by members of that institution.

    On reflection, I aplogise if my earlier comments caused offence.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Oops, that should be Tánaiste. I thought something didn’t look right.

  • fin

    Gordy, isn’t it how organisations react to the actions of their members which matter?

    Not their ability to control the actions of their members.

  • gordy

    Fair comment, Fin-but only after convictions are secured.

  • Fabianus


    Thanks for the apology. Good man!

  • DC

    Perhaps the girl liked playing his flute.

    I like coming on here and reading all the moralistic statements from 11th hour republicans who having turned their backs on murder that took in killing children for the 10 hours or so before, now find it edifying to worry over the state of a 13 yo girl who is at least still alive.

  • Observer

    I think that this is a thread that requires immediate pulling. The standard and intemperate language of the original post by the moderator falls far short of the standards we expect on Slugger. We talk about playing the man and this post certainly started in that style.

    The alleged crime is obnoxious and people found guilty of such crimes deserve to be put away for a very long time but only after the due process of law has run its course. I have no sympathy with anyone accused of such offences but lets keep Slugger as a forum for robust debate and not use it as a place to denegrate anyone, however much we might detest that person even if we have every justifable reason to do so.

    A number of the posts are probably flying very close to the legal line and indeed some may already be over it.

    Pull this now!!

  • fin

    DC, the NI police have in the past shot children as have the British army (in fact the shooting and bombing of children continues in Afganistan (having recently end in Iraq) these organisations are controlled by HMG, HMG also imported weapons via Brian Nelson into NI – any children shot dead by those guns)

    I suppose the diffrence is that the IRA is not involved in this guys arrest and court case.

    Do I understand that as the state has/does murder children than it is hypocritical to have child abuse laws.

    Alternatively I suspect you will go abit red in the face in front of your PC and lecture me that dropping a bomb on a wedding party from 20,000 and killing a ozen kids is acceptable cos its perfectly legal.

  • DC

    At least there is a framework of sorts to use or an appropriate authority to blame which takes the heat fin.

    The IRA well with them everything was a tragedy that went wrong, but just who were they exactly????

    As far as I know it could be you!

  • Padraig

    [b]Perhaps the girl liked playing his flute.[/b]

    I find it amazing the:

    a} Someone can sink so very,very low as to make a comment like this about child rape.

    b} The sick comment was not removed instantly.

    c} The poster was not instantly banned from this forum forever and a public notification made to this effect.

  • DC

    Nee-naw nee-naw – thought police or maybe it’s another 11th hour republican to the moral rescue!!

    Life’s complicated I know Padraig but there are many things that sit outside the norm like this:

    I had sex with my brother but I don’t feel guilty
    A woman slept with her sibling for years and has good memories. Not many people understand their relationship, she says

    Every so often I would wonder what people would think if they found out, especially our parents, but it always felt so right and was so exciting that these concerns were never enough to stop me. Sometimes he initiated sex and sometimes I did, but in between times our relationship was as easy, relaxed and affectionate as ever, with the incredible passion of each encounter quietly banked away until the next time.


    Music teacher Helen Goddard jailed for lesbian affair with pupil

    As the interview continued, the teenager told officers how her teacher spoke to her about leaving her job so their relationship would not have to stop.

    She also spoke of the moment their affair came to light and how she urged the defendant to “lie and that they would get away with it”.

    Later she admitted “both of them knew what they were doing was legally wrong, but that it felt right”. Since then the matter had “made her miserable and destroyed her”.

    Of course I am speculating as this could be a very horrible physical rape or statutory rape, but I’m speculating in as much as Mark is!

  • fin

    DC, we’re now going way of topic, however, the names of those in the armed forces responsible for deaths are not in the public domain or can you provide a list of names for those who fired plastic bullets at the heads of young children? or the names of the RAF pilots who dropped bombs on wedding parties?

    Its in the public domain that the intelligence community arranged for South African weapons to be imported, any names?

  • DC

    True to a certain degree, but it might well change in that it is actually recoverable the information that is – as has happened with apologies and pay outs by governments in the past. If it isn’t recoverable then incompetence and pay outs should happen.

    Take for instance the reason why people here are going after Gaddafi, as we can’t get the actual pin-pullers to account here for their actions.

    So at least we know who is accountable via the sovereign powers that be but with the IRA who can tell?

    You’re asking me to consider measures towards governments which I agree with in that they should be answerable as it they who knows the who’s-who, but yet you fail to apply the same measure towards the IRA or at least those who spoke for them at the time.

  • fin

    DC, we seem to have gone off-topic, off-topic, I replied to your comment regarding republicans concern about child abuse but not the murder of children, but on that I think we are now on the same hymn-sheet.

    For some reason what also comes to mind is the unionist reaction to the murder of the Quinn children during the Drumcree disturbances, although the OO and many unionists at the time splashed around looking for other reasons, drugs etc, for the deaths.

    I wonder SHOULD he be convicted if the OO and those same unionists will also try to sully the childs/childrens name.

    However as the OO is now part funded by the state I hope their reaction is closely monitored and a failure to act immediately (without the usual pants excuses) will result in any DUP gained handouts been redrawn asap.

    The BBC are reporting that 2 indecent photos have been found, if proven to be his, I feel that that is more than enough for his expulsion from the OO

  • Comrade Stalin

    DC, that’s an insight into your mind that I’d rather not have had.

  • Rory

    One thing that does concern me about Mark’s introduction on this thread and that was the readiness to append the “paedophile” label. I suggest we must be really careful about falling into the trap of being party to this vile campaign so beloved of the red-top press to hurl this term around nilly-willy in a witch-hunting frenzy where all must brand their neigbours as witches for fear of being thought witches themselves.

    I do accept that that was not Mark’s intention and recognise how easily at times we can all be slipshod in this regard.

    Paedophilia consists of sexual attraction towards children who have not yet reached puberty and must not be conflated with any sexual act, however reprehensible, committed upon a person, albeit a minor, who has attained puberty. There are laws to deal with each category of offence and we must allow their just application in each case and not pander to mob rule.

  • DC

    8.”DC, that’s an insight into your mind that I’d rather not have had.”

    Hardly an insight – it’s the news mate and just because you can’t deal with it doesn’t mean I should care much.

    Interesting Rory you should bring that up as here is a little of clarification in what you are saying:

    As with sexual preference in general, it is not known what causes someone to be sexually interested in pubescent children rather than in adults.

    Sexology is the study of sexual interests, behavior, and function. In modern sexology, researchers apply tools from several academic fields, including biology, medicine, psychology, statistics, epidemiology, pedagogics, sociology, anthropology, and criminology….

    The term pedophilia or paedophilia has a range of definitions as found in psychology, law enforcement, and the popular vernacular.As a medical diagnosis, it is defined as a psychological disorder in which an adult experiences a sexual preference for prepubescent children….; hebephiles, in such samples, hebephilic men are midway between pedophilic men and teleiophilic men on average IQIntelligence quotient.

    It should be noted that hebephilia is not a recognized diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, and is not included in the DSM-IV TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

    But should Mark Harbinson be kicked out of the Orange Order? Yes! Absolutely. Didn’t he break his marriage vows and what about his wife and the unborn. You see Mark is suffering from what happens to politicians playing the moral religiously upright card using it to the full force on others while ignoring their own shortcomings – in the end you get found out eventually unless you have that integrity. And frankly it’s near impossible as society has moved from biblical times and even those who purport to follow it become angry, bitter and contorted little doubting conservatives who bring in laws in suspicion of others failures. Such people also tend to look down on others and take a negative outlook in life.

    Remember too Jeffrey Donaldson was only watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on pay per view. Yea right.

    Fin, re the state and murdering children, well that’s very complex. The problem is that the state has to deal with competing evils – if you like. The only thing I can say as I don’t have much time is that there is always a democratic competition held to legally take control of the sovereign right to protect the country by using arms. But in so doing there is that accountability and the ability to answer for the risks.

    The problem with the IRA was that it could never take responsibility for its risks, I mean that if it murdered wholesale – at times tragically – it would never ever be in a position to compensate those innocents. Basically the IRA had a strategy of going for broke with awful consequences, where as the state did use violence it was done so using a separation of powers with people being responsible. The state did not go for broke in that generally it tried not to murder but there were times in particular where it fell short, of course.

    I also firmly believe that Blair would have pressed for state answers to republican questions over state murders except republicans weren’t prepared to answer themselves as unfortunately they were too close to the pin-pullers and may have been taken out if they ‘fessed up.

    So while Blair agreed with the macro-historical analysis of British injustice and supported the peace process, the people here in NI are looking for the micro and explanations from Adams who feel IRA irresponsibility should not award him with the responsibility of governing.

    What we have are 11th hour republicans unable to answer appropriately for those previous hours beforehand. Both the DUP-SF are failing to go round the clock past 12, into the 21st century together because of this. If people aren’t able to answer then the likes of Adams should be removed and new people put in place to move on.

  • Dave

    DC, aren’t you taking this “think outside the box” and “don’t judge others or make value judgements” and “let’s dispense with outdated/old-fashioned/20th century thinking” lark that degraded liberals are fond of proffering a bit too far? Some things are wrong irrespective of fashion. Inbreeding and thereby producing genetically defective offspring is wrong, so parents generally discourage incest – no matter how fashionably liberal they are. Likewise, raping teenage girls is generally considered to be wrong, bizarre spin notwithstanding (something that Wittgenstein said about a “duckrabbit”)

  • Squig

    “In the same way as I do not condemn the entire Catholic Church due to the actions of paedophile priests, then I cannot condemn orangeism on the basis of the same alleged actions by members of that institution”

    So Gordy I assume that you’ll agree that the IRA weren’t responsible for the murders of Robert McCartney or Paul Quinn then?

  • Fabianus


    Is there something about the rape of children you not only condone but are turned on by?

    You sick fuck. Gordy behaved like a man, saw he’d overstepped the mark and apologised. Surprise me but I doubt if you could come even close to his sense of decency.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Fabianus, I doubt we’d even be able to get him to apologize for the copious, inpenetrable waffle he expels on here. I suspect we are dealing with someone who doesn’t get out much.

  • Fabianus

    Amen to that, Comrade.

    In the good ol’ days of newsgroups you could send gentlemen like that into a kill file so they and their impenetrable waffle would be invisible. Pity it can’t be done now.

  • DC

    Some things are “wrong” Dave from a point of principle as per the Bible, say.

    However, in terms of pyschological harm and those who it actually affects, looking at this in a subjective way, if such acts do not affect their mental balance or equilibrium and lead lives unaffected thereafter then it’s a matter for them and not the law. That is the law should be in place and available for them to use and rightly, but if both move on in time without concern then so be it too. The problem with right and wrong is the nuances in between.

    For instance, take the expenses scandal, it was wrong for Hazel Blears as a Labour MP (with that party’s value system) to take money, simply because she could, out of expenses paid for by the taxpayer to flip her property; yet she remains in her seat and in parliament. Even Gordon Brown said it was wrong in principle but in practice she is still there. So it’s all well and good saying it is wrong.

    Of course the biggest abusers are those not caught, some down to the fact of being clever and others like that piece in the Times because they don’t subscribe to the value systems as pyschologically it doesn’t bother them in a negative way. And as for the incest yes it is wrong and it shouldn’t happen for those reasons and that’s why it is in place but what of those who do it but don’t have children and are happy with that?

    It is like that Helen Goddard case, where pyschologically speaking the only harm between the two persons came as a result of the legal criminal justice system itself used against them in conjuction with the media scrum afterwards – than say actually as a result of their own actions.

    I remember Mick posted on here the murder the guy Cully from WIMPS carried out, who shot his wife using her police gun when she told him she was leaving him, personally I find that more reprehensible than the Goddard case – yet Cully was offered sympathies.

    I don’t believe in nihilism in that all actions have no merit but I think in today’s world where the state only has a certain utility in its services and capacity that the law should be applied to perpetrators who have caused serious and longlasting damage to people’s lives – or to help those people who turn up and report it as such looking for investigations to set things right for them.

    Arresting people on moral principle, who have not had contact offences for example or who have not offended people or caused upset or harm, might just be a waste of time when those doing large scale contact offences are getting off instead. And to give you an example of what I mean, say Mark Harbinson was caught *only* with those pictures of that girl – on a point of law because they were indecent he would do a custodial sentence even if no embarrassment or injury to feelings occurred.

    However, say that girl sent those pictures to a boy in her school and he circulated those about the school to embarrass or bribe or bully her, or posted on the net to Facebook or Bebo say then nothing really would happen despite the longterm and serious injury to feelings there with that action.

    Do you understand what I’m getting at?

  • gordy

    I do feel sick to the stomach with DC’s remarks. However I feel sicker about my own puerile and nasty comment on such a sensitive subject thst has destroyed the lives of so many people.A genuine apology to one and all and a lesson learnt which I’ll not forget in a long time.

  • DC

    Well I may be wrong but if I am I can only apologise for playing, in Biblical terms, the Devil’s advocate.

    But if you ask me what’s more indecent say that of a picture of a 13 yo on a phone, or a campaign of political violence involving the killing of children and any others caught up in the process, then I’d say political violence wins hands down every time in terms of indecency levels. State and non-state btw.

    So, there you have it.

    Now I’m off out to Halloween party to get shitfaced, you guys have fun and try not to get too spooked out with that.

  • Mark McGregor


    re your comment Oct 31, 2009 @ 02:43 PM.

    I don’t moderate comments, if you really have concerns over the legality of anything being said drop Mick a mail.

    I’ve already amended the original blog to remove the heated language my feelings on the accused resulted in. I regret I cannot amend the comment flow those misjudged words resulted in from others.

  • PM

    I think everyone has the right to voice an opinion about this guy but nearly everyone seems to be on a political agenda!

    If this person was such a prominent figure in the community going by what has been published in the news why has he not been put off the streets before this has happened!?

    Regardless of religious views or what anyone thinks of this guy the facts are:

    – He was found with indecent pictures on his phone
    – The victim was ONLY 13 ( how would you feel if your 13 yr old daughter was being bullied/manipulated in this situation)
    – He was caught in a car with the victim.. (going by what he has said he was trying to cover his tracks as he knew he was caught)

    I think everyone has to remember innocent until found guilty. Well the facts speak for themselves.

    This guy has abused his position in the community to feed his sexual habit.

    We can only imagine what his wife and new born baby is going through right now knowing that this has been going on under the families noses for so long…

    People that defend this guy should be ashamed of themselves.

    I hope justice will be served! this country has hidden its dirty little secrets behind politics/religion. The decent people of Northern Ireland deserve better.

  • Rory Carr

    No, PM, everyone does not “have a right to voice an opinion about this guy” for the simple reason that the man has been charged with serious offences and the matter is now sub judice. So please shut up and await the outcome of due process of law to which we are all entitled (at least now that the Special Powers Act is no more).

    You say, ” the facts are…” and then go on to list some very serious matters which, until and unless proven in court, remain mere allegations.

    “I hope justice will be served!” you say with feeling, just after telling us that “People that defend this guy should be ashamed of themselves.”

    I should have thought that everyone was entitled to a defence but perhaps you believe that all lawyers should be ashamed of themselves simply by virtue of their chosen profession – an appeal to the populist vote, hmmm?

  • PM

    What I mentioned previously has been released by the Media, Court Service and Police!! So from today onwards Rory says “No more press releases until a verdict has been reached”!! Sounds like one rule for one & one rule for another.. Or these bodies are lying to the public is what you are saying..?! Is this what runs Northern Ireland or the rest of the UK..

    Get in the real world! you sound like a government official….

    As for the comment that “lawyers should be ashamed of themselves” that being your interpretation..!! which you have a right to voice!!!!! what was ment was his supporters….

    I think this comment page should be deleted if you feel a few comments would harm any verdict…