Police return fire after attack in Fermanagh

The BBC have a brief report online of police returning fire after coming under attack this evening in the village of Garrison, County Fermanagh. Update Three Four arrested on both sides of the border in connection with the attack, and there was also a 400lb car bomb which partially exploded after being driven through the security barriers at the Policing Board headquarters last night. Adds On Thursday Army technical officers made safe a “horizontal mortar type device” discovered in Armagh. And According to a BBC report undercover police foiled the attack in Garrison. And there’s a security alert in Armagh.

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  • Bert

    i see the british/english/unionist paramilitarys are at it again. trying to frame the irish. get over it!!! you british people are NOT going to get the english army back on the streets in ireland.

    i hope the police involved are ok though…

  • Ernie

    Hopefully they will be enjoying some cookies back in the station. Bit of a shocker for the republicans though. Getting shot back at and all.

  • Turgon

    There are clearly significant security problems in Fermanagh. Many have centred on south Fermanagh especially Rosslea and Derrylin. However, this is in north west Fermanagh which shows that many parts of the county are affected by these problems or that the terrorists feel able to travel large distances to commit crimes. Either way it shows the folly of decisions like ending the police reserve. For Baggot to have scrapped the reserve in the teeth of the continuing terrorist threat was an inept decision which smacks of an excessive and politically motivated clinging to Patten.

  • drunk as a rule

    I’m wondering who is best placed to face this threat at the minute.

    Someone who has been in an office and forced back onto the streets or someone who has been involved with facing the security issue for the last 20 years albeit with an ‘R’ on their shoulder.

    Answers on a postcard please.

  • 6countyprod

    Bring back the ‘B’ Specials!

  • NCM

    “Fermanagh similar to Afghanistan.” — title of recent Slugger post…

  • drunk as a rule

    I think consideration will need to be given to those police officers currently serving being acknowledged with a peace time Operational Service Medal if this hostility continues.

    This is above and beyond what is expected of a ‘normalised’ police service.

  • smcgiff

    ‘Bring back the ‘B’ Specials!’

    Lets not go straight for the Nuclear option, lets try something more palatable first, such as the Black & Tans.

    With that said, I hope they catch these losers.

  • I have to say, as a nationalist, I wouldn’t lose any sleep if a couple of these dissers caught some buckshot tonight. I hope the Gardai on the other side of the border are armed and ready to use appropriate force when necessary. These clowns need to be taken out of circulation before some child won’t have a parent for Christmas.

  • austin

    The dreary steeples…..

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Quite surprised by how off-hand a lot of posters on this site are. Basically, the border counties are turning into the wild west. Obvisouly we don’t want to go down the road of having the army on the streets again but something has to be done to protect the police.

  • greagoir o frainclin

    Look, the PSNI should be well capable of apprehending a couple of raggedy arsed halfwit renegades. There are not many of them according to the PSNI reports. Troops are coming home dead from Afghanistan yet this incident seems to get more attention on the news. Are folk gonna inflate the image of such disadents. Then again if they pose such a threat, how about a scorched earth policy for Fermanagh? Napalm was effectively used in the Vietnam War.

    Gas how this shoot-up comes at a time when Robinson stalls the policing issue.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    hmmm, these would be the same halfwit renegades that shot dead a police officer and 2 soldiers last year? Perhaps you should go around to their families and tell them how piss poor these ‘freedom fighters’ are.
    Afghanistan is a was zone, NI is ‘meant’ to be at ‘peace’. I think it is very newsworthy when the police get shot at. Indeed, I would go as far as saying that these incidents are being under-played. It is only time before someone else gets murdered – I wonder how many more dead cops are required before something is done about it…

  • Panic, These Ones Likes It Up Em.

    Hopefully the police on both sides of the border can arrest these idiots and lock them up.

  • halfer

    My my my…. I don’t know where to start.

    Getting past the confusion of who these British people that Bert refers to are, I sincerely hope that the other posts of ‘hang em high’, ‘bring back the B specials’, are in jest. Or would some of you actually relish the thought? Maybe the police forces should arrest them and tie them to a log in Ballyseedy. That worked before didn’t it?

    From what position are you opposing this armed attack? It certainly doesn’t come from a moralistic opposition to violence.

  • greagoir o frainclin

    the future’s bright, the future’s orange…. please stop moping!

  • GavBelfast

    Sooner or later, a ‘dissident’ terrorist is surely bound to be killed by security forces.

    Sinn Fein’s response will be interesting, for it will be time to piss or get off the pot.

  • LabourNIman

    greagoir o frainclin – the PSNI are a police force – not a territorial army. They shouldn’t have to deal with terrorists shooting at them (and good for them being able to shot back).

    Any other part of the civilised world would have an army presence there asap but alas…

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    the freedom fighters are at it again…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8372713.stm

    Dissident republicans have been blamed for leaving a car containing a 400lb bomb outside the Policing Board’s headquarters in Belfast.

    The device in the car, which earlier on Saturday night had been driven through a barrier by two men who then ran off, partially exploded.

    Meanwhile, four men have been arrested following a gun attack on police officers in Garrison, County Fermanagh.

  • greagoir o frainclin

    “Meanwhile, four men have been arrested following a gun attack on police officers in Garrison, County Fermanagh.”

    Good stuff!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Turgon,

    For Baggot to have scrapped the reserve in the teeth of the continuing terrorist threat was an inept decision which smacks of an excessive and politically motivated clinging to Patten.

    I’m looking for evidence that the Reserves have some role in stopping terrorist attacks, and last night suggests that there isn’t any.

  • picador

    The Gardaí arrested another man a short distance away in county Leitrim.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Turgon,

    I agree, although no one involved is likely to admit it – the scrapping of the reserve indeed does look like a “politically motivated clinging to Patten”.

    This is however, surely the right decision in the long term, as is having “terrorists” in government. Although Unionists such as yourself and many more in the UUP and DUP will never agree – we are in the middle of both a peace process and a political process that has to be gone through as per the results of the referenda in both parts of Ireland and the declared will of both governments even, and perhaps especially so, in the face of sporadic outbreaks of violence.

  • joeCanuck

    During the IRA “campaign” although they had some spectacular bomb “successes” (only for those who think that blowing innocent people to bits is a success), they also had quite a few duds. It was put about at the time that some of these duds were bombs rendered ineffective by inside agents “tampering” with them. Hope that is why the bomb didn’t explode.
    Quick arrests too; hope due to infiltration .

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    joeCancuk,

    re. “During the IRA “campaign” although they had some spectacular bomb “successes” (only for those who think that blowing innocent people to bits is a success”

    Does the British “successes” in their bombing campaign in Iraq also spring to mind?

  • joeCanuck

    They could do, Sammy, and the US drone attacks in Pakistan too, but hardly relevant to this thread.

  • igor

    “I’m looking for evidence that the Reserves have some role in stopping terrorist attacks, and last night suggests that there isn’t any.”

    If a few of them had been standing at that barrier last night would the brave volunteers have driven through? Perhaps not.

  • joeCanuck

    Igor, the CC says he has enough policemen and women to counteract the dissidents without using the Reserve and surely he knows. If he made a pitch to roll them into the regular complement I’m sure he would be listened to; but he hasn’t.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    joeCanuck,

    re. “They could do, Sammy, and the US drone attacks in Pakistan too, but hardly relevant to this thread”

    You are right there Joe, and that’s exactly what I was thinking as well when I read your remarks about the “only for those who think that blowing innocent people to bits is a success”.

    It is just so easy to stray off topic is it not?

  • joeCanuck

    I detect a slight rebuke there, Sammy. However, the blog did reference a bomb which failed to detonate. Had it gone off, I am sure some (not yourself) would consider it a success regardless of innocent victims.

  • Trev

    The dismissive tone of certain posters to these murderous attacks is appalling.

    ‘Tut, tut them boyos are little rascals’ pretty much sums up Republicans’ attitude to terrorism and murder, or is that “armed struggle” against “legitimate targets”?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    JoeCanuck,

    as per your astute observations on the Belle de Jour thread on whoring you are again spot on the money when you suggest that it was my indeed my intention to aim a slight rebuke at your goodself.

    As per your remarks below which speculated on what constituted a success in the unrelated “IRA campaign” were off-topic it was therefore reasonable for me to carry on in the same fashion as yourself and consider another unrelated campaign conducted by the British which also resulted in many (in fact far far more ) civilian casualties. If you go wandering off topic and others join you it is extremely poor posting etiquette to remonstrate with them.

    “During the IRA “campaign” although they had some spectacular bomb “successes” (only for those who think that blowing innocent people to bits is a success”

    Back on topic again, I hope the people involved are rounded up and convicted as soon as possible.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: “I’m looking for evidence that the Reserves have some role in stopping terrorist attacks, and last night suggests that there isn’t any.”

    Sure they have a potential role — take up the slack in more mundane areas of law enforcement, releasing permanent officers to address the terrorist issue.

    IWSMWDI: “This is however, surely the right decision in the long term, as is having “terrorists” in government.”

    Sure it is — if only to permit full employment for political commentators and cartoonists.

    Terrorists is government — no need for inverted commas — is an unfortunate consequence of the choices of both sides of the conflict. Dissolving the Reserve, however, would seem to be pre-mature, all things considered.

    Building mutual confidence is a delicate process — this looks and feels to some more like a concession / capitulation — it doesn’t make sense on its face, given current events. Airy comments on the “long term” benefits, which you don’t bother to enumerate or do more than allude to — don’t sell the bad idea.

  • joeCanuck

    With respect, we’ll just have to disagree, Sammy. I think, taken in the whole, that my comments were on-topic.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    joeCanuck: “I think, taken in the whole, that my comments were on-topic.”

    Aye, mayhap… but they didn’t support Sammy’s preferred outcome and harken back to “regrettable” truths that some would prefer forgotten.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    joeCanuck,

    I have my beady eye on you – you slippery fecker.

    Dread Cthulhu,

    re. “Airy comments”. I have pointed out, as has Turgon, that the reserve was part of the Patten proposal which itself is part of the wider peace and politcal process which has delievered us 10 years of reasonable peace – there is nothing airy about that and we should stick to the deals we make unless the following 2 conditions are met. Firstly, their is overwhelming evidence that it is advantageous to do otherwise and secondly, political consensus exists between both communities to do otherwise.

    Clealy in this case neither the second of those condicitons is not met and the first one is disputed by many even if dont include the Chief Constable.

  • Oursoel

    Is it just me or is Northern Ireland full of ‘arm chair generals’? How about we leave the decision about the Army or the Reserves to the person who actually gets paid to make it and who is in a much better position to say what the PSNI need. I think we need to all stand with Mr Baggot and every other Police Officer to help take these ‘morons’ off our streets.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    correction last para:

    Clealy, in this case, the second of those conditions is not met and the first one is disputed by many even if we dont include the Chief Constable views.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    correction last para:

    Clealy, in this case, the second of those conditions is not met and the first one is disputed by many even if we dont include the Chief Constable views.

  • joeCanuck

    I have my beady eye on you

    Your chances of finding me are slim, Sammy.
    I spend most of my time under the bed with the dawg for protection from all those asteroids etc that Pete B keeps reminding us about.

  • Freddie

    Sounds very like an SRR ambush to me.

  • rapunsel

    Afraid the peelers need to bite the bullet and bad as it seems be prepared to get killed to deal with the dissidents. Same as the soldiers in iraq etc. That’s part of what they get paid for and part of why many of them join. Ni is not at peace and won’t be for a long time yet. That means on the ground policing in the areas where it is hard and taking the dissidents on when possible. Firing one shot back is hardly a good response. I ‘ll bet that not too many nationalists in fermanagh would shed tears when shots fired were answered with overwhelming force and a rapid response( assuming innocent people were not at risk). Where were the helicopters etc last night? In respect of the bomb, hard not to beieve that it was a dud . But only takes one success and I fear another Omagh before long.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    JoeCanuck,

    re. ” spend most of my time under the bed with the dawg for protection from all those asteroids etc that Pete B keeps reminding us about. ”

    As soon as new release of Google Earth comes out I’ll ‘ave ye.

  • Grassy Noel

    From what position are you opposing this armed attack? It certainly doesn’t come from a moralistic opposition to violence.

    And from what position do you oppose it? If indeed, you do. Let’s here it, friend. And I say friend and mean it, as you seem a decent fella, and I was harsh in debating with you before on this site, and for that I spologise, but now, I’d like you to come clean and state whether you believe restarting the ‘war’ is something you agree with, or don’t.

  • Freddie

    Rapunsel,

    They nabbed them red handed. What more would you like? A Loughall scenario? Endless terrible ballads?

  • barnshee

    These are Irish Freedom fighters in what way are they different from Marty Gerry etc..

  • joeCanuck

    The difference, Barnshee, is that the population, North and South, finally got to vote on the new dispensation and endorsed it overwhelmingly. Prior to that, they had no real chance to say what they thought of the “campaign”. A minority, very small minority indeed, have no moral right to try to enforce their narrow views on the vast majority. That was true of the PIRA “war” and is even more true now.
    So, go away and suck or sulk.

  • Cordite sniffer

    Returned fire??

    Is this for real?

    You sure this isn’t a nipsie invention to make themselves sound hard.

  • rapunsel

    Freddie

    Yes, I was wrong there and was commenting based only on what the early media reports were. From papers today looks like caught red handed and can’t get better than that. Thank god

  • Comrade Stalin

    It appears that they were more than caught red handed. The BBC is suggesting that the police had intelligence that the attack would take place and were waiting undercover for them.

    It’ll be interesting to see if there are charges.

  • halfer

    Grassy Noel

    As I lived through the latter half of the conflict and am bearing the trauma that it had on me, I can tell you that I don’t want the war to start again.

    I may be against the current political scenario and the framework that sets it, but Im not stupid enough to believe that sending young, idealistic men and women up country lanes with firearms is the way that will change it.

    I am however appalled at the social luddites on this blog who spill their crisps in indignation when these things happen from their subjective position of moral authority and call for the return of certain measures that caused and accelerated the conflict here in the North.

    These two failed attempts are not indicative of a mass armed campaign by oppositional republicans yet…..but they are a symptom of disgusting partition of this country. I would strongly argue that unless there is a serious political addressing of this, then violence will spread…and who wants this?

    Turgon only underlines how off the mark his brand of unionism is by wrestling with the non argument of a 500 man reserve whilst the main issue goes much much deeper.

  • couldn’t comment shouldn’t

    One question for all bloggers – had the PSNI officers involved on Friday evening shot the “Terrorists” involved would this have amounted to a shoot to kill policy?

    In the event of shots being fired at PSNI officers in this new dispensation will NAtionalists/Republicans support the use of lethal force in such circumstances?

    Unionists broadly do and have always done – so have Nationalist/Republican attitudes really chnaged?

  • Grassy Noel

    Well said, Halfer. I lived through the latter half of the conflict and feel exactly the same way – and I also take your point about the hang them, flog them brigade on here.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    IWSMWDI: “I have pointed out, as has Turgon, that the reserve was part of the Patten proposal which itself is part of the wider peace and politcal process which has delievered us 10 years of reasonable peace – there is nothing airy about that and we should stick to the deals we make unless the following 2 conditions are met. Firstly, their is overwhelming evidence that it is advantageous to do otherwise and secondly, political consensus exists between both communities to do otherwise.”

    Agreements, sadly, only work if both sides are keeping up their ends of the bargain — what you call a “reasonable peace” seems to have been punctuated with such “reasonable” acts involving shot cops, shot soldiers and bombings, both successful and failed.

    The clinging to schedules that do no recognize the facts on the ground may be an act of faith, but it will do nothing to stop the bombings and shootings, sad to say — no matter how hard you click your heels and chant, you’re still stuck in Oz amongst the little people.

  • Skintown Lad

    I would like to hear from Republicans with their proposals for dealing with the dissident terrorist threat. I don’t want to hear what not to do; that doesn’t get us very far. And I don’t want to hear the usual “British withdrawal” shyte, as if a million Irish Brits are suddenly going to pretend they’re not Brits.

    So let’s hear you, what are we (together) going to do?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Skintown Lad,

    as an alleged ‘water carrier’ (as alleged by half-retraction-man Dread Cthulhu above ) I go with what the SOS (presumably another water carrier?) says that the best way to undermine the disers is to complete the peace/political process – it will be a long fight and will be won politically as well as by good police work which seems to have taken place last night.

    But some Unionists, and those who use some arguements typical of Unionists e.g. half-retraction-man Dread Cthulhu, seem to have difficulty accepting that it will take this twin approach.

  • Skintown Lad

    Sammy

    1. By peace/political process, I assume you mean (mostly) the devolution of policing and justice. I agree it would be good to get this settled but appreciate people’s concerns when Sinn Fein wade into criminal investigations such as the Hughes arrest. Sinn Fein don’t inspire confidence that they are against ALL crime. They give the impression they are against crime so long as the criminal isn’t one of their own.

    2. I am glad you mentioned good police work. what was it about the police work last night that you praise? What made it a success?

    I’m not leading you into anything here – I am interested in your views.

  • joeCanuck

    What made it a success?

    Skintown Lad,
    Seems like it was inside information that led to the success. Thanks to the lads and lasses of MI5?

  • halfer

    Skintown lad,

    I believe that a timetable for an all Ireland Constitutional referendum is scheduled without external preconditions nor the minority unionist veto.

    If this is the case then we may have progressive politics on this island rather than the zero sum, backwater politics of division.

  • DK

    halfer’s version of democracy: 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

    The unionist tried it and it didn’t work, and it ain’t gonna work the other way round either.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    halfer: “I believe that a timetable for an all Ireland Constitutional referendum is scheduled without external preconditions nor the minority unionist veto.”

    Ain’t it funny that Republicans expect Unionists to follow their political agreements to the letter, yet, when defenstrating the very same agreements is perceived to their benefit, advocate doing so?

    Funny ol’ world, innit?

  • Skintown Lad

    Er, thanks for that halfer…very progressive!

  • halfer

    ……and a minority holding sway over an entire nation is progressive then?? I see.

    Sorry for a second there I thought I was living in a self perpetuating political backwater where climate change deniers, homophobic fundamental christians… (example; DUP’s Maurice Mills explaining Hurrucane Katrina as an act of God, designed to punish the practice sodomy in New Orleans)are the main partners in an arse-achingly inept, stagnant consociationalist assembly that administers a pre-designed agenda set by a load of politicians, in another country, without a local mandate.

    The people of this country voted for progress and hope 11 years ago. 11 f*cking years. This situation is not progress nor hope and it’s time it was given a serious look at.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    halfer: “The people of this country voted for progress and hope 11 years ago. 11 f*cking years. This situation is not progress nor hope and it’s time it was given a serious look at. ”

    What, you thought politics was quick and easy?

    No one had to stomach to grasp the nettle back in the day an’ you thought y’all could wave a wand and make it all better, for one-eyed definitions of “all better?”

    Eleven years is not that long a time in politics, especially given all the water and blood under the bridge.

  • halfer

    11 years isn’t a long time in politics?

    with all respect Dread….thats utter bullshit.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    halfer: “11 years isn’t a long time in politics?

    with all respect Dread….thats utter bullshit. ”

    Is it? How long did it take to de-partition the Germanies? How about the Koreas?

    Neither the Irish Free State nor the British Empire had an answer for the final status of Northern Ireland and they punted. There has been a lot of water and blood under the bridge since they punted, hardening the hearts and the partition.

    Societal progress is a little like turning a super-tanker… no matter how fast you turn the wheel, the damn thing will only turn so fast.

    Actually, its worse than a super-tanker — with a super-tanker, half the crew doesn’t bitch about the rate or direction of the turn.