Second car bomb attack on Newtownhamilton police station

Two people have been treated in hospital after being injured in the second car bomb attack on the police station in Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, in as many weeks. And from the Guardian report 

Last weekend the Guardian revealed concerns within the security community in Northern Ireland about “an intelligence gap” within the PSNI regarding the dissidents. Security sources said that there was a dearth of information within the police about the growth in dissident violence.

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  • Well done those brave dissidents, they have managed to injure two senior citizens. Take a lot of planning did it???

  • Neil

    Intelligence gap in the PSNI eh? I reckon there is an intelligence gap, given that every night in life about 50 yards from Woodbourne PSNI station a gang of drinkers congregate where they burn whatever they can get their hands and regularly attack people for having long hair for example, or being a bit old and pissed and easy to beat.

    Then when they eventually get round to beating someone to death, which was totally inevitable, the PSNI fail to do anything about it even though the murder occurs within 10 yards of aforementioned PSNI station, one which is festooned with about 5,000 cameras due to it’s location in the middle of West Belfast. I’d say there’s an intelligence gap.

    What are the minimum requirements to join the PSNI anyway? There aren’t any? Oh right. That explains the intelligence gap then.

  • dingdong

    When will our idiot politicians realise, the dissidents don’t care how representative the police force is, nor how representative the assembly is, nor how many parties are squeezed into the executive.

    They believe the Northern Ireland state is unacceptable, that Sinn Fein and the main republican movement have taken the soup (and to be honest they have) so they have taken up the mantle of what they believe to be the true Republican inheritors.

    In a manner they have. We mightn’t like it – we probably think it is repulsive, but the majority of us thought that about the Provos.

    The real question is, will Gerry and Marty be as brave as De Valera and order whatever action is required to clear these groups out? And how far are they prepared to go to do so?

    Dev went as far as internment and executions. I’m not advocating that, but it proved how determined he was – are Gerry and Marty made of the same stuff?

  • gfh

    I (naively) assumed that unmanned Police stations were monitored by CCTV from some sort of central command unit. Newtownhamilton is a small town with only a certain number of routes in/out (even including back-roads /country lanes etc).

    Surely then an armed response unit ( heavily armed) should have been sent to secure all possible escape routes as soon as a suspicious vehicle was abandoned and shots were fired. How heavily armed could the gang that left the bomb have been? Surely this is basic policing?

    As a taxpayer and rate payer from Co.Armagh I challenge the PSNI to explain their complete lack of action on any level!

  • Greenflag

    ding dong ,

    ‘Dev went as far as internment and executions. ‘

    That’s why I recommended a while back that having an SF Peace& Justice Minister would have been a better move for the Assembly Executive . It may well take ‘internment’ and ‘executions’ to put an end to these dissidents and no other party in NI has had such first hand experience of both of these ‘policy options ‘ than SF in it’s pre power sharing days .

    Mr Ford of the AP is I’m sure an honourable man but will he have the same ‘deterrent’ power as P& J Minister as say an Alex Maskey ?

  • the blow – in

    I made more or less the exact same point as Greenflag above, on this site a few months ago. Any other party sticking the boot into the dissidents will be attacked by Sinn Fein, if not at Stormont then certainly on the ground.

    The process now needs a Kevin O Higgins/ Michael Collins type figure to stamp down hard on the dissidents before they reach a ‘critical mass’

  • Anonin

    Boy, I sure feel for all those parading around that “Full of touts” line. Not looking too bright right about now, are ye?

  • dingdong

    Not my normal but to a certain extent I agree a “nice” liberal,tree hugging, vegetarian, be nice tothe dolphins, minister of justice is not what we need – but its what we got.

    So either the Shinners swallow hard and tell Davey (I’ve never had a car with leather seats) to put the boot in, and he does or this will rumble on with the potential to cause mayhem!

    All in all its over to republicans to give the executive the licence to deal with this!

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Do any of these so called dissidents have any idea what they hope to achieve? If anything the provos managed to make the prospect of a UI more remote — this crowd apparently want to pick up where they left off.

    Blow up a police station and surrounding buildings — result — the taxpayer forks out to rebuild them, the local community become pissed off, and more likely than not several people end up doing a long stretch in Maghaberry while the rest of the world fails to give a shit. Nice work.

    Seriously can anyone justify this stuff? Anyone?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Seriously can anyone justify this stuff? Anyone?

    I think the dissers might have a better chance of more people agreeing/justifying this activity if they had actually some chance of success but hardly anybody (including those responsible) can believe that this campaign will do anything but gradually die out.

  • I wonder if part of the reason for the continued problems are that some republicans, the dissidents, have nothing else. People talk about Republican families, well quite apart from the slightly repugnant idea that an entire family grows up thinking the same thing and voting the identical way for generations, what else do these families have?

    I mean do none of them grow up to be ‘Green’ voters, to be conservative. Are there any accountants out there? how about swapping religions. Is that out of the question? It is almost as if there is an alien race out there…

  • halfer


    The dissidents are trying to achieve a 32County Republic of some form.

    Are they making headway with these armed actions? Not much if at all.

    Kinda similar to the British Government/Army in Afghanistan. Have an idea what they want but the armed actions aren’t achieving much.

  • Knew it would not be long before Iraq and Afghanistan appeared. You did not mention the Americans. This is a regular with some people.

  • sdelaneys

    It’s interesting that the local people speaking to journalists are mainly castigating the psni, not the republicans, for their plight.

  • Im not surprised, looks like Key Stone Cops were late to the party. Not sure about the cameras though, I would be surprised if the ones who drove up are not on film somewhere…

    Makes you wonder why the police took so long, was someone watching and decided it was not a big enough deal?

  • sdelaneys

    Who knows, Pipakin, who knows, in fact does anyone know what is going on at the moment and what is at the root?

  • I sure dont! Did the police not respond because they were having tea and did not want it to go cold, or could someone somewhere have been watching a car driving home…

  • Sorry, I forgot. If Google can show your back yard, and mine…

  • slappymcgroundout

    This was all fairly predictable. While Willie Frazer was busy putting up videos speaking to Slab’s well-oiled PIRA killing machine, and NI and the ROI had visions of euro($) fairies dancing in their heads, well, some might try reading Wikipedia instead:

    In 1997, several members of the South Armagh Brigade, based in Jonesborough and Drumintee, following Michael McKevitt, left the Provisional IRA because of its acceptance of the Mitchell Principles of non-violence at a General Army Convention in October of that year and formed a dissident grouping, the Real IRA, which rejected the peace process. Their discontent was deepened by Sinn Féin’s signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Most of the South Armagh IRA stayed within the Provisional movement, but there were reports of them aiding the dissidents throughout 1998.[26] The Omagh bombing of August 1998, a botched RIRA operation which killed 29 civilians, was prepared by dissident republicans in South Armagh.[27] Thomas Murphy and the leadership of the IRA in the area have since re-asserted their control, expelling dissidents from the district under threat of death. Michael McKevitt and his wife Bernadette were evicted from their home near Dundalk.[28]

    So, glad to see that instead of dealing with the RIRA, Slab & Co must deal with Willie and some others. Willie has the IQ of a peanut, and so what is the excuse for those not psychologically damaged like him? Nice that you neither like nor want smuggling, but so long as that border is there, smuggling will be (like the sun rising and setting), and so ask yourself, if there must be smuggling, maybe the guy putting the boot on the RIRA might be the one you want doing the smuggling (here’s where Willie chimes in with his standard, “they’re all the one”).

    Lastly, some need a basic primer on things martial. As for why they wait, well, maybe, just maybe, what you think is the intended target isn’t the intended target. Why get shot attacking a fortified police station when you can shoot up a not fortified relief force instead? So they make sure the area is clear lest they drive/walk into the kill zone. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, you’re kinda between the rock and the hard place on this one. They are police and not an army, so presumably they are not equipped to deal with the threat. However, should the BA appear on the scene… And so, thank you, Willie, for not seeing the obvious re the necessity of Slab & Co. here (oh, and Willie, contrary to your recent assertions, you didn’t prevail, as the BA abandoned the roads to the South Armagh Brigade and traveled and resupplied via helicopter instead)(in other words, in that respect, chalk one up to the South Armagh Brigade).

    Almost forgot, but re the absurd notion of internment, how long can you hold now, and wasn’t that amount of time relatively recently extended? Correlate that with the recent spate of violence. So reap the whirlwind my friends. And if it comes to pass, never say that Slappy didn’t tell you so, as I just did. Back in the day, the BA objected to internment on the ground that they lacked the intelligence to know just who to pick up and intern. So the players escaped whereas the innocent were rounded up and then penned like cattle, and that made some angry and so they picked up a rifle and started shooting. Won’t that be a hoot the 2nd time round. So instead of that, unleasheth the Slab (give some of the money back, tell him that he can be on his way, and that it would be appreciated if he kept the area calm and peaceful…).

  • West Sider

    Someone once made the point that this ‘campaign’ is similar to the Border Campaign – Operation Harvest of the late 50s/early 60s.

    Another commentator drew a more pertinent parallel: it is like the IRA campaign between February 1996 and July 1997: described by a senior RUC man as a ‘pathetic, squalid, grubby little war’

    I think it McIntyre who drew the latter parallel.

    Sadly, it’s only going to end with another Omagh. That is what is going to happen as surely as day becomes night.

    Imagine that taxi driver taking the bomb to Palace barracks being caught in a roadblock, or traffic, or losing his way? Imagine the Newry bomb not being cleared in time. Imagine the fire brigade didn’t get to Newtownhamilton before the cops…

    I remember 1997-1998 – and it only took one error – and then carnage.

    Irish people slaughtered on a mass scale.

  • West Sider


    And then they’ll skulk off again, with the blood of kids, and unborn babies on their hands, and as close to realising thier aims as their fellow traveller Jim Allister.

    And what of their contribution to the ‘proud tradition of republicanism’?

    Murderers of innocents – maybe they could join the Israeli Defence Forces?

  • Alias

    These state-sponsored terror groups are very civilised compared to the real thing. And see Iraq for an example of the real thing.

  • I completely agree with you.

  • Or you could look at Palestine for the real thing…

  • Pete Baker


    Try to focus on the actual topic.

  • West Sider

    @Pete Baker

    I thought I was focusing on the topic?

  • Since you mention is – I doubt there is a security gap, there may well be decisions being taken about what may or may not be allowed to blow up. It is moving, again, to a very dirty little campaign.

  • sdelaneys

    I see in today’s Irish News that Willie is claiming to have found what may be the getaway car used by the bombers. He claims it is near Meigh and was burned out shortly after the car bomb was left in Newtown.
    Very strange how Willie finds all these things.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Have you contacted the PSNI to ask them?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The apologists for Republican dissidents never comment on this kinda thread. They would much rather start threads extolling the virtues of Éirigi, brave “republicans” in Magaberry and useless no-marks standing on white lines on the Falls Road.