“The taxi driver got out [of the car] and shouted ‘It’s a bomb, it’s a bomb!'”

No doubt timed to coincide with the transfer of justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Real IRA have claimed responsibility for last night’s car bomb attack on MI5’s regional headquarters in Holywood, County Down. A taxi driver was reportedly forced to drive the bomb to Palace Baracks while his family were held hostage in their own home. As Henry McDonald notes in The Guardian

In planning their attack on the MI5 regional HQ – the largest outside the security services’ national headquarters in London – the Real IRA is following the terror tactics of the Provisional IRA at the height of the Troubles. The IRA selected high profile targets such as the City of London in its bombing campaign during the 1980s and 1990s.

  • jeepers creepers

  • pinni

    Echoes of a terrible past. When will these idiots recognise that the war is over?

  • When will these idiots recognise that the war is over?

    Is it though?

  • percy

    fortunate timing though peteb as you have an excuse not to post a thread
    exclusively on the devoltion of policing and justice.
    up the ra eh! or is it up the rira! you tell me?

  • Greenflag

    Well done the idiots . Brilliant timing . It should certainly encourage a huge turnout in votes for ALL the Unionist parties. If I were a Unionist it would certainly put to rest any thought of staying at home and not voting as a protest against either the DUP or UCUNF .

    It should also help SF and the SDLP to turn out the vote .


    ‘When will these idiots recognise that the war is over?

    You assume an ability to rationalise which is notably absent from these ghouls. They do not recognise the GFA nor do they recognise the votes of ALL the people on this island for the present accomodation which we all recognise as being imperfect but which is about all that is possible given the political facts of life and present circumstances .

    There is a reason they are not putting forward candidates for elections . The people don’t want them .

  • PaddyReilly

    Great news! Wonderful! Just what we need to make the political system work.

    The Second Earl Russell went through a lot of wives, and his aunt never approved of the most recent one, spending her time feeling sorry for the one before. Eventually he said to her, “Auntie, you are always a wife behind”, which she thought was a great witticism.

    This is of course the problem of Unionists in general and Pete Baker in particular.

    It’s a strange auld world. I mind the time when the Unionists, the whole lot of them, were prepared to bring the entire province to its knees rather than have Gerry Fitt in the cabinet. I don’t know what was wrong with him. Maybe he slurped his soup or something.

    Then later that sort of person is no problem. The SDLP is all right by us. They are welcome: in fact we want them. Actually they’re Unionists. It’s SF/IRA/666/Antichrist who we are not prepared to sit down with.

    Quentin Crisp put it so well: In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.

    Gerry Adams’ usefulness was that he was able to bring the whole Republican Movement to an armistice, a miracle worthy of canonisation in anyone’s books. Unionists thought that they could then dispose of him by invoking his past sins, real or imaginary.

    And of course what we end up with is Gerry Adams plus no effective armistice.

    How are the property prices reacting? I might just consider buying a flat now.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Yet another brave act by the selfless lads of the RM — fearlessly hold some poor sod’s family hostage while he drives a bomb to a chosen destination.
    At least Al-Qaeda ‘operatives’ have the decency to blow themselves up — this lot don’t even have the balls to turn up to the scene of the explosion.

    As mentioned above, this will merely increase the electoral turn out next month and bed in the GFA. Nice one lads.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Somehow, I thought the peace would be less… punctuated by explosions.

  • I dont know, you feed, clothe and water them. You send them to school, you even, in the absence of velcro, tie their shoe laces for them, and what do they do, like a bug in a bed they bite the arse of the unsuspecting.

    Regrettably in this case the unsuspecting was a taxi driver, and of course his completely innocent, family. The actual target was probably watching the action on satelite tv. What an archaic, some might say prehistoric bunch of philistines, or they would if it were not an insult to the philistines for which I apologise.

  • Albert

    I love how news people are sexing up this story by including ‘MI5’. It was an attack on Palace Barracks. The only army barracks left in Belfast.

  • Davros

    And like thats even the real MI5 base…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Now, now, Albert and Davros, it is the thought that counts…

    … and a body can end up just as dead, regardless of whether or not the bomb was delivered to the right address.

  • USA

    1. MI5 have built a state of the art facility at Palace Barracks probably employing a couple of hundred people.
    2. Palace Barracks is in Hollywood, Co. Down. It is not “the only army barracks left in Belfast”.

  • Albert

    It’s as good as in Belfast and would probably have been attacked by dissidents whether MI5 were there or not.

  • I know its good PR and I know the Brits like the idea that seeing is believing, and it is a barracks after all. But if I were looking for MI5 or 6 I dont think I would waste my time looking for them where the Brits said they were.

  • al

    Given the fact the bomb detonated 15mins or so after the taxi got to barricks you would have to assume it was on a timer which is a scary thought considering the taxi would have been driven through the city centre on the way to Hollywood.

  • Ramzi Nohra

    pippakin – so those big buildings by the Thames are decoys too? 🙂

    I would however agree with your general sledging of this act though. Absolutely pointless -running a provo like campaign with a fraction of their manpower/resources/backing.

  • Skintown Lad

    Where are the usual apologists like Ardoyne Republican? At this point I would have expected them to trot out the tired ‘as long as there is a British presence in Ireland…’. Maybe they’re not keen on the proxy bombs.

  • Garza

    How cowardly can you get? They are not even man enough to drive their own bomb to its own destination. They have to pull a gun on a wife and kids to get a man to do it. Freedom fighters my arse.

  • RamziNohra

    I think it is a big office building which may or may not contain various ‘devices’. I seriously doubt it is the home of ‘spies’, just, maybe the home of the spies pen pushers.

  • Keithbelfast

    How many taxi drivers are there in west/north Belfast? great way to forge community support…

  • Alias

    As depraved as it is, at least they didn’t strap the taxi driver into his cab and force him to become a involuntary suicide bomber. The inventor of the human bomb has been duly rewarded with the post of Deputy First Minister, so these guys are just amateurs.

  • Seosamh913

    Cowardice, desperation, whatever. Let these pathetic lumpen nationalist death cultists put forward someone to face the public and then we can laugh long into the evening at their utter lack of political insight, attack them full on for the the poverty of their ideas once we get beyond 5th form common room spray-can sloganeering, genuinely scorn their self-pitying oppression illusions.

    Who cares whether they believe what they do is politically motivated – we’ll be the judge of whether what they do that contitutes a crime or not and, as such, whether their prisoners are entitled to anything that ODCs aren’t. Nothing more nothing less would be my view.

  • Alias

    If the peace fails and we have forty years of murder and mayhem, what then, which of todays would be bombers will rise through the ‘ranks’ and what will the ‘lucky activist’ do with his ‘power’…

  • old school

    All the talk about the taxi driver, yet no one noticed that the British Army insist on building their bases slap bang in the middle of residential areas (in the recent past, on top of flats, hospitals, schools etc).
    Saddam Hussein did the same, and the British media accused him of using “human shields”.
    Maybe the “Overclass” in Holywood as FJH refers to them, should politely ask them to rehouse.

  • And still David Ford is the P&J minister, just what exactly have these ‘activists’ achieved, they are a sad, unwanted remnant, of what has beome a largely discredited past.

    old school

    I agree with you no one should deliberately place a target in a residential area. Would its removal to somewhere else have saved the taxi driver or his family from the trauma. This was not about hurting the Brits. This (yet again) was about instilling fear in the community.

  • old school

    David Ford is a talking head, window dressing for the Brits, a. P.R spokesman. The British Comical Ali.
    He has ZERO influence over how the the British conduct their Military or Intelligence strategies.

  • Keithbelfast

    ‘the brits’ – is this term maknig a fashionable comeback then?

  • Keithbelfast

    The Sun likes it it fits the headlines you see.

    old school

    The role will in the end be whatever David Ford makes of it. I hope he has the courage to stand up to any er, interference.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    pippakin: “I agree with you no one should deliberately place a target in a residential area. ”

    Y’mean like pubs and stores, pippakin? It isn’t like these mooks are always all that picky about what they blow up.

    pippakin: “Would its removal to somewhere else have saved the taxi driver or his family from the trauma. This was not about hurting the Brits. This (yet again) was about instilling fear in the community. ”

    Sure — it is, of course, easier to whine about being oppressed when your antics undercut their own side’s politicians and motivates their opposition…

  • Michaelhenry

    the real are just another toy for some journalists to play with, they never say that the real have killed no cops in there 12 year history, some coax the dissident spokes people to derite sinn fein and in return the dissident spokes people are never asked why the real have never killed any cops. the real, the real cop lovers,

  • Alias

    “If the peace fails and we have forty years of murder and mayhem, what then, which of todays would be bombers will rise through the ‘ranks’ and what will the ‘lucky activist’ do with his ‘power’… ” – pippakin

    There isn’t any peace. There is simply an end of violent activity by a number of murder gangs. The underlying dynamics have not been resolved, and I don’t see how they will ever be resolved as long as individuals take the view that the right to self-determination is inalienable right and, ergo, that the collective has no right to renounce its right to self-determination. My view is that the right to self-determination includes the right to renounce the right to self-determination, so if the collective wants to convert itself into a non-sovereign nation, albeit unwittingly or under duress from state-sponsored murder gangs, then the individuals will be duly deprived of their former right to self-determination by that collective. But that isn’t a universal view. The Americans, for example, take the opposite view.

    Also, I don’t think that another 30 years of state-sponsored murder gangs is the inevitable outcome of rejecting British sovereignty. It’s true that the British state would try to force that outcome, but that’s a different matter.

  • old school

    Can someone decypher Michaels post please?
    I left my Enigma machine at home.

  • lamhdearg

    The latest branch of the ira get more “any brit will do” with every attack, mcdonald claims “in planning their attack on MI5” what cobblers.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    I thought I had made my opinion of the would be bombers very clear. I do believe it is inappropriate to place or utilize buildings, which may be a target, in a residential area.

    The antics of these ‘activists’ will not undermine S/F or other groups. People have seen the results of allowing private ‘armies’ to control their communities. I do not believe anyone will fall for it twice.

  • Fabianus

    old school,

    “Can someone decypher Michaels post please?”

    I was about to make the same comment when my browser crashed.

    Michael, are you a covert Turk or at any rate a speaker of English as a Second Language? I’m no pedant but do appreciate when a modicum of care is taken with a comment.

    You’re doing yourself no favours. Why comment if no one can read it?

  • Alias

    I think I get it… However since I believe in the vote and democracy I think we will get a united Ireland in the not too distant future, and without allowing alleged perverts to roam and control our streets.

  • Dread Cthulhu


    And I’m saying its a moot point, insofar as the bombers haven’t historically limited themselves to politically appropriate targets. Lacking a legitimate target (using their political definitions), they’ve been known to blow up pubs and other non-military, non-police residential / public places. Additionally, to the RIRA, police stations are legitimate targets — you want those removed from the neighborhoods, too?

  • old school and Fabianus

    You have so much in common! However you miss the point Mr Henry or as it may be Ms Kathleen is going to considerable trouble, and doubtless difficulty to write as he/she does. Credit where it is due, you both tried to read it…

  • old school

    “Sinn Fein denounces Real IRA attack on MI5 Headquarters”.
    Is this the real reason Lambdearg is miffed at Mac Donalds report??
    Are you saying Sinn Fain didn’t condemn, the RIRA weren’t responsible, or it wasn’t the MI5 H.Q?
    Seems factually correct to me, and like Mc Guinness’s “traitor” remarks will lead to another slew of Shinners getting off the fence.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    The point is if you want to be seen as better than the, in this case, would be terrorists, you actually do have to be seen to be better.

  • old school

    Dread Cthulhu only disagrees with “human shields” when the Sun or Sky News mentions of it’s use under Saddam.
    It’s fine in leafy Holywood though.

  • lamhdearg

    old school
    it did not get close to MI5, mcdonalds acersion that it was an attack on them only BIG UP’S the ira, what he and every other commentator should be taking about is how the ira have put a car bomb in an area where everyday joes live (thats men women and children).

  • jtwo
  • old school

    So like Moloney and Breen, you want Mac Donald to write Sinn Fein friendly articles?
    Is Mac Donald a “dissident journalist” now also.
    By the way, who received the IRA claim of responsibility, and will they too be arrested like Suzanne Breen??

  • Driftwood

    Well Gerry was the RIRA pathfinder:


    But Palace Barracks is simply squaddie accomodation and facilities. The Grenadier Guards are currently stationed there. With recruitment centre for all 3 services and sports fields. The main operational (Army) and logistics base is across the road at Camp Kinnegar.

    The only Army camp that isn’t in a residential area is Ballykinlar, which contains the Special Forces only area called ‘The Hollow’ close to the firing ranges. The simple fact is that these camps have been here for over 100 years and pre- date partition. Part of our (Irish) history.

    I’m sure Gerry would agree.

  • Fabianus


    “Mr Henry or as it may be Ms Kathleen is going to considerable trouble, and doubtless difficulty to write as he/she does.”

    How would you know? And WTF is “Ms Kathleen”?

  • Comrade Stalin

    An outrageous act. The people behind this need to be caught and locked up permanently.

  • Michaelhenry

    mcguinness`s traitor remark, old school 15, whats wrong with calling the real, cop lovers traitors, they have never killed any cops in there 12 year history, the truth hurts.

  • Fabianus

    What can I say Mr Henry complained that he had been called Kathleen three times on other threads…

  • Brian MacAodh


    Do you know why they haven’t killed any cops?

    If they did kill cops would they still be “traitors” in your mind?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Again, old school, if that is truly you belief, are you going to advocate removing police stations from neighborhoods? The RIRA haven’t exactly been discriminating in their targeting, iirc.

  • Reader

    pippakin: I agree with you no one should deliberately place a target in a residential area.
    The Barracks were there before the houses. And I expect that the MI5 building is not particularly close to the perimeter fence.
    And, since the dissidents regard *people* as targets, does that mean you think Peadar Heffron shouldn’t have been living in a residential area?

  • Reader

    I hope it means we should all do the best we can to ensure no one gets hurt. If a building is an obvious target and it is in a residential area, the thing to do is make it less of a target.

    I am not excusing or supporting the would be terrorists, not at all. I am not even saying the removal of the target would save innocent lives, but it would expose guilty excuses.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Ah, but when the target pre-exists the residential structures that grew up around it, it isn’t, as old school would suggest, a case of the the powers that be taking “human shields,” now is it?

  • Michaelhenry

    no i do not know why the real have killed no cops brian mcaodh, put you can bet your house at the bookies that no jornalist will ever ask a dissident spokesperson that question, they have been traitors for 12 years now, how can you change that history.

  • Fabianus


    Better. Joined-up too. Honestly, when you wrote “spokes” last time my first thought was that you meant “spooks”. The context was MI5 after all.

  • Michaelhenry

    its a bit like texting or sex, the quicker the better, i will try to slow down fabianus.

  • Fabianus


    “its a bit like texting or sex, the quicker the better”

    LOL! I meant well. Honestly. I hate pedants.

  • Michaelhenry

    I dont care what sex you are, you need to rethink your approach, if not to texting then definitely to er, the other thing!

  • joeCanuck

    Can someone decypher Michaels post please?

    Not even Michael is capable of that, even on his (her?) best days.