FRU the Looking Glass

The Belfast Telegraph reports that “calls have been made for a specialist police unit to deal with dissident incidents”:

Sinn Fein Policing Board member Daithi McKay warned that people’s lives could be put at risk, and has called for a specialist unit to deal with difficult incidents.
“These are dangerous situations,” he said. “We saw the threat when a device went off in Newry. It could have done a lot of damage and killed people in the area.
“There is obviously public concern about police response times for some incidents, and there is a duty on the Chief Constable and the PSNI to look at these.
“If the PSNI is unable to adequately respond to these incidents, then it is worth considering looking at a specific unit or specially trained officers to deal with such issues. That could lead to better response times and decrease the risk to the public.”

  • Ulick

    There’s certainly a case for something along the lines of the Garda Regional Support Units.

  • Drumlins Rock

    yes there there definately is a need for a branch of the police to deal with these special situations, we couls call it the Special Situations Branch, but the SS wouls look bad so just cal it the Special Branch!

  • unsettled

    Did we not have a dedicated unit? Was it not called Special Branch? IIRC Daithi and his mentors did a hell of a lot of work to put Special Branch out of business and now they want it back???

  • Sometimes you just can’t make it up …

  • David Crookes

    The goodness of a good idea is not affected by the apparent incongruity of the person who proposes it. Most of us have voted for partnership government, and most of us want to leave the past behind.

    There are two sides to the looking-glass. When we read the history of the last few weeks we hear a spokesman for the Orange Order saying that Protestants no longer support the poice as they once did, and we hear a member of the TUV using the word ‘Gestapo’ in relation to the police.

    We want a society in which everyone supports the police. The question of who did what when must not occupy our attention in perpetuity. Real life in the adult world is far more like Alice in Wonderland than many people realize. Let us concern ourselves with the dangerous and difficult world that we live in today. It isn’t the same as the world that we lived in yesterday, partly because a lot of things that the armchair experts promised us would never happen have all happened.

  • Excellent idea and gets around a lot of the local (Nationalist) difficulty with MI5 which probably explains Diathí keeness about the idea.

    Of course it will be suggested, with some degree of truth, that many SF members have some expertise in both carrying out and being on the receiving end of this type of operational activity.

  • Ulick

    I may be wrong but I don’t remember Special Branch responding to ATM thefts in border areas. In the good old days everyone else was subservient to the Branch. I think what McKay is after is a unit to support the regular PSNI to provide a rapid response. But you knew all knew that anyway.

  • Dec

    Sometimes you just can’t make it up …


    What is it you actually want (other than some ferry in Ballygogivesashit)?

  • Dec, you just have to love the irony …

  • Kevsterino

    Northern Ireland has the richest proven irony deposits on the planet. Too bad you can’t export it.

  • Dec

    Dec, you just have to love the irony …


    You’ll find irony anywhere you choose to look, Nevin. Any chance of drawing a line in the sand and moving on?

  • No chance, Dec. I like the motto, “Don’t let the b*stards get you down”.

  • Time was any ‘dissident’ activity would have been dealt with ‘in house’. Dare I say it is a sign of maturity that some want the police to deal with it, or old age, perhaps they are the same…

    It looks as though some sort of specialist unit is necessary. I hope someone has the courage to make sure any such unit is set up and run from both sides of the border, with authority to operate on both sides of the border. After all that which brings us together, brings us together.

  • dodrade

    Slightly off topic, but does anyone know what Danny Kennedy was talking about saying the Army would be withdrawn from Northern Ireland by october?

  • old school

    Was only a week ago Daithi and Co. were honouring 3 killed by a “specialist unit” in Strabane.
    What people dont realise is that everytime Sinn Fein put their foot in their mouth, as Mc G did in calling Republicans “traitors”, they gain kudo from Unionists, but “dissidents” gain more disgruntled

  • Dissidents are traitors to Ireland, they do not want a united Ireland unless the north of the island is covered in blood first. As we have seen it does not have to be loyalist or unionist blood.

    If S/F had seen sense earlier we would be much closer to unification now. As it is we have to hope the peace will prevail and ‘romantics’ who admire thuggery, so long as it is not directed at them, will grow up.

  • old school

    And this new specialist group will not spill blood or use violence?
    The State uses thuggery, threats and violence also.
    Ive received a few death threats by well mannered, and uniformed thugs.
    The British Government killed more civilians in the first week of an unmandated and unsupported war in Iraq, than all the Republican groups combined over 40 years.
    Now you want us to get behind the British Government, and declare anyone who doesnt a “romantic thug”

  • By all means drag Iraq into this, at least it is not Cromwell.

    I do not want anyone to ‘get behind the British govt.’ I want us all to give the people of the north a chance to choose on merit.

    My own suggestion 13# was that any ‘special’ unit be a joint operation. It is not so far fetched to think it could happen, indeed I believe it is almost inevitable.

    Unionists would not fit well into the UK, their culture is almost the opposite of the UK. It would actually suit them far better to be part of Ireland, but they are never given the opportunity to learn.

  • it is not a sign of maturity but of idiocy, unless Daithi intends to push his panic button any time soon as he thinks the current PSNI cops cannot get to him in time to save him from the Irish hordes.

    Remind me how long has policing been devolved? Perhaps SF would do better to see how things work out before they get grandiose plans about expanding a British police force.

    Having said that, perhaps there is a need for a new police unit tracking pedophiles, as the regular one does not seemed to have lived up to expectations due to becoming confused about its main role.

  • Pippakin, surprised at your ‘traitors’ bit. Sadly, there will always be armed resistance to British occupation while Britain holds part of our Country…The last 800 yrs tells us that!

  • Mickhall

    If there is one thing the Police and the Garda have in common it is their apparently lamentable record on child abuse.

    As for any special unit to be a joint operation it actually makes more sense than not. It would not be an expansion, it would be a transfer from one duty to another.

    The days when the two forces were adversaries are long gone. I hope they can work together as and when the occasion demands. In fact we are already seeing firm signs of such cooperation.

    The point people seem to miss is: I dont care how we become a united Ireland as long as it is not violent, which since violence has never worked, should not be a problem.

  • Ardoyne Republican

    I was merely defending Mr McGuinness.

    How many more hundreds of years have to go by before we learn you get more with the carrot than the stick.

    Eight hundred years and someone still thinks they can kill their way to a united Ireland. How sick is that.

  • [quote][i]Sometimes you just can’t make it up [/i]…Posted by Nevin on Mar 10, 2010 @ 12:16 PM[/quote]

    I’ll assume that that is tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, Nevin, for that is exactly what they just do. It is just as simple as that.

    Sadly though do they not have the Intelligence to know where it will lead and what the consequences will be ……. and thus do we then have chaos and anarchy instead of law and order. Although there is SMART Program running betatests in a whole new System of Operations to Render the Uncertainty a Past Memory which does not Blight the Future.

  • Pippakin, surely for yourself to defend Mr. McGuinness? Sure he’s a bloody hypocrite condemning his proteges for taking armed actions up as he once did?

    I’ve no problem with an SDLP member saying traitors but McGuinness?? C’mon chara.

  • Alias

    “The point people seem to miss is: I dont care how we become a united Ireland as long as it is not violent, which since violence has never worked, should not be a problem.” – pippakin

    Violence did work. It persuaded the former nationalists within Northern Ireland to renounce their former right to national self-determination in return for a cessation of low-intensity terror campaign by state-sponsored murder gangs.

    Now you may not care how Ireland is united but do you care why it is united? The original purpose of unity was to extend the right to national self-determination to those who were denied it by partition by extending the Irish nation-state into the partitioned territory and thereby removing the veto that another nation and its state held over that nation. That was a nationalist agenda.

    That is no longer the purpose of unity, and unity is no longer a nationalist agenda. The new purpose of unity is to dismantle the Irish nation-state and to remove the right of the Irish nation to national self-determination, so that the veto that another nation holds over it in Northern Ireland can be extended to that nation in Ireland.

    Unity is now about a part of the British state – Northern Ireland – annexing Ireland under terms that were devised by Whitehall and endorsed by muppets under duress in return for a cessation of violence by state-sponsored murder gangs (and some home comforts for the non-sovereign catholic tribe within the legitimised British state) rather about Ireland annexing Northern Ireland.

    If those state-sponsored murder gangs did not use violence, then those former nationalists would not have been led to endorse the legitimacy of British sovereignty and to give up their right to live within an Irish nation-state, so its abject nonsense to claim that violence did not serve its purpose.

    The traitors are those who endorse the GFA and its rejection of Irish national rights, and not those who oppose it.

  • Ardoyne Republican

    And dont think it didnt hurt, talk about indigestion! The thing is I believe too many Irish people have died, most of them killed by Irish people, on both sides.

    Martin McGuinness seems to be doing alright. I believe we must give this a real chance to work. To see where all this ‘joined up thinking leads’.


    I disagree of course. To think of Ireland agreeing to be part of the UK again, what would that involve? At an absolute minimum a referendum here, which republicans would undoubtedly win. It is a non starter. The gradual joining we see binds the north closer to us, not the other way round.

  • While I also hate to see people of any nationality dying during wars and conflicts chara.

    I must say, historically speaking..the only way to stop political killings in Ireland is to stop the continued British occupation.

  • Alias

    Pip, of course. That must be why the UK now has undisputed sovereignty over NI and has extended its sovereignty into Ireland via the NSMC. The veto has been internalised, and the British state is using its nation to consolidate itself and its sovereignty by demanding that “parity of esteem” and an “Ireland of equals” should manifest itself – oddly enough – not in goodwill toward its nation but in goodwill toward itself, as expressed in irrevocable treaties and such like…

  • Alias

    One other point, pippakin, is it self-determination or selves-determination; and if it is the latter, how does that work? 😉

  • Reader

    Rusty Nail: FRU the Looking Glass
    And to all the others who seem to be suggesting that Daithi McKay is asking for a return of Special Branch or whatever.
    Hardly. He is asking for a special suicide squad to move in quickly before a bomb goes off. So he’s not moved on from the past all that much after all.

  • DerTer

    I should stop being amazed at the lack of any sense of irony on the part of SF spokespersons. Had someone said what Daithi McKay is reported as saying above as a response to Provisional IRA activity a few years back, SF would have dismissed her/him as a securocrat!

  • Democrat


    The Protestants in NI have freely chosen to be part of the UK rather than the RoI. They prefer the British Empire (as was) to the Vatican Empire (still, alas, extant). The UK is a secular state which favours no specific religion. The RoI became a Catholic theocracy as soon as it achieved independence from Britain. It imposed Catholic legislation on divorce, for example, in 1924, despite the strong objections of the Protestant minority and its cultural icon, WB Yeats. The RoI is only gradually asserting its sovereignty over the Vatican, as has been seen in the Murphy Report debacle and the recent attempts to prise the schools out of the grip of the Catholic church.

    Want a united Ireland? End Vatican control in the South. Make a secular state. Then the Protestants of the North might be willing to join, instead of being forced in by death squads.

  • Ardoyne Republican

    We both want the same thing but obviously disagree on the best way to get it. The thing I fear the most is a return to ‘private’ law. I think its what most are afraid of.


    The Brits do nothing without checking it through with the south first. For the south to join the UK it would need, at the very minimum, a referendum in the south, that is a non starter.


    End Vatican control, sure. It is already happening. Time for the north to kick the OO out of unionist politics.

  • darragh derry

    mc guinness has been britains jewel in the crown of british intelligence in ireland, hes been protected in every way possible especaily since his wife {girlfriend at the time} got explosives charges withdrawn againest her when everyone else in the same car got lenghty sentences ,the countless testimonys of touts in the derry brigade,the franko hegarty case,his family wealth as he hasnt worked a paid job since he was making sausages,his wifes restaurant,his bar in buncranas main st {the westend bar} now eire nua the 20 or so apartments above it[by the way the bar is under a relatives name in case it proved embrassing for him if it ever got out],his holiday home in donegal and not to mention his brother willies famous tourist bar in derry peadar o donnells,oh forgot to mention his semi detached home with a thirty thousand pound extension he just purchased last year across the street where he used to live,hes alot of explaining to do ,and for him to call anyone traitors with the muppets he had standing either side of him that image will go down in republican history as provisional sinn feins coup de gra to true republicanism

  • “The UK is a secular state which favours no specific religion”


    Please say you are being ironic?

    Darragh derry,

    If what you write is true, you should hang your head in shame, Martin is an example to us all in these harsh economic times, he has managed to build up his property portfolio, whilst like all SF elected officials, only drawing an average wage as his salary.

    It just shows what can be achieved on 24K per year.

  • darrahderry

    If Martin McGuinness got rich during the troubles, he was not the only one. If he played both ends against the middle he was not the only one.

    All I know is he appears to be doing his best now. It is not an easy path to walk, trying to keep the republicans on side, at the same time as trying to show unionists they have nothing more to fear.

    Republicans and dissidents need to look at what we have learned from these years. Children allegedly abused, girls allegedly raped. Men murdered. All done by people who had good reason to think they were above the law. We must not allow that to happen again. No dissident can afford to think they will do it better, history shows they will not.

    If there are ‘outstanding matters’ they will come to light and be dealt with but not at the expense of our children or our young people.

  • “what Daithi McKay is reported as saying”

    Would Conor Murphy be expected to speak from the same script in south Armagh?

    Is SF HQ exposing Daithi McKay to further risk of physical attack from former PRM ‘colleagues’ by using him as a spokesman for its about turn on not just policing and justice but also on ‘facing down the Unionists/protestants’?

  • Martin McGuinness and ferries have both got a mention on this thread. Perhaps Pete, our investigative blogger, could determine whether or not the Minister declared in the Register of Interests this unscheduled crossing of the publicly subsidised Rathlin Express for his personal benefit.

  • Skintown Lad

    I see Ardoyne Republican has the copy & paste working flat out on this thread. “For as long as there is British rule in Ireland..blah blah blah”. The Dissidents live their lives by one simplistic cliche; it hardly appears worth trying to reason with them.

  • Ardoyne republican, how do you intend to “stop the continued British occupation.”? Remove all the British (Unionist) people in coffins? You really are as stupid as your old man was if you think that is ever going to happen, though at least he was smart enough to realise that it was better to inform than be informed about!

  • old school

    Skintown, if it{s “simplistic cliches” you may ask members of the “Northern Irelnd Government” to refrain from reading the Easter Proclamation this month.
    Irish self determination is deemed a “fundamental right” in the Proclamation, not an aspiration, and the use of arms to assert that right is defended.
    If you listen carefully you may even catch Mc Guinness and Mc Kay utter thoe words. But as brass-necked hypocrites, the irony will b lost on them.