Police attacked at security alert in Lurgan

A short BBC report notes

A blast bomb and petrol bombs have been thrown at police dealing with a security alert in Lurgan, County Armagh.

A number of other missiles have been thrown at officers at the scene of the alert in Lake Street. There are no reports of any injuries Six police officers suffered minor injuries.

Update UTV adds that riot police have been deployed. Further I’ve amended the quote to reflect the updated BBC report

Police have advised people to avoid the area.

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  • fitzjameshorse1745

    This would probably follow the arrest and detention of a man at the weekend.
    With several people from the area already in custody on serious charges, its the usual response.
    No doubt some eejit of an apologist for dissidents is going to issue a statement (in true Blue Peter style…it will be one he prepared earlier) condemning riot police..

    The sooner some ASBOs are handed out…..and perhaps a small prison set up for dissident republican youths (aged 10-14) the sooner the residents of Lake Street and Kilwilkie will be able to get on with their lives as the rest of us have been able to do.

  • Cynic

    Is that their biological or mental age?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Both.
    I did however notice from the BBC report that it seems to be happening outside Clann Éireann GAA club which of course has been helping and working with the youth of the Kilwilkie area for so many years.
    This is of course the difference between what decent people can and do offer the Community.
    And what the dissident scum can offer.

  • joeCanuck

    Why is it that Lurgan is continually the scene of such disorder? Is it that there are more teenage louts there or is there some organization behind it?

  • al

    Well they don’t organise themselves joe. It’s a bit of both.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The proximity of the “legitimate target” of railway level crossings in the Catholic areas of Kilwilkie and Lake Street doesnt help. Nor does the general landscape.
    Lurgan is peculiar in many ways. It was the only place outside Belfast circa 1969-70 which had a “republican split” …there was always an element of Provo/Sticky and it is amplified in the 2010 SF/Dissident scenario.
    Lurgan is also a frontline where the two communities are roughly evenly matched in numbers and perhaps on the very real border between the Nationalist west (Derry Tyrone Fermanagh) and the unionist East.
    Its also a very geographically divided town.
    The border is Castle Street/Carnegie Street which effectively means that the communities can ignore each other and act out battles within nationalism and unionism.

    The area has been appallingly policed in the 1970s and 1980s which has led to a siege mentality. The current folks in charge in Lurgan PSNI seem to have got the balance right.
    Arguably many of the old Lurgan republican community from the 1950s onwards have died recently and a certain vaccuum has been created which has been filled by dissident elements although I understand they have been badly damaged recently (mostly thru the help of the community).
    There is also frankly a major alcohol problem in Lurgan with a teenage drinking culture. Sadly that Buckfast cliché is true.
    Drugs less a problem than previously.
    Cheap drink and dissident scum……a bad combination.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks for your insight, FJH. It would seem that parents are not doing an adequate job in teaching their kids to have respect for others and their property.

  • Cynic

    Newt Emerson got it about right in the late lamented Portadown News. The whole area if like a giant backside. Portadown is one cheek, Lurgan the other and Craigavon in the middle

  • joeCanuck

    Have a look at a map of southwestern Ontario when you get a chance and try to figure out why the City of Owen Sound is known as the elephant’s arsehole.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Mr Canuck,
    I would not want to be so negative. As always its a minority of parents. Lurgan is in many ways a success story.
    A thriving Gaelic language primary school and a highly rated comprehensive school and indeed an integrated Secondary school point to the other side of the coin.
    Within Lurgan itself…..it should not be forgotten that there are three very successful underage GAA clubs Clann Éireann as I mentioned, St Peters and Clann na Gael as well as St Pauls and Éire Óg at Craigavon. These excellent folks may not get the same publicity as the dissident scum who play off the vulnerability of youth but they are much more representative of the town of Lurgan than the abusers of children in the dissident ranks.
    Yes encouraging children into breaking the law IS an abuse.

    As for Newt Emerson…..yea well………aint he hilarious?
    Craigavon was meant to actually encompass Lurgan and Portadown. Not just be the bit in the middle. Very few Lurgan or Portadown people refer to living in Craigavon.
    A Planners dream which went sour.
    Paying people to move from Belfast or indeed England to “Craigavon” or Antrim just wasnt a very good idea and imported more problems than it ever solved.

  • joeCanuck

    Fair enough, fitzjameshorse1745, but Lurgan seems to have more than its share of weekend hooliganism and reports always seem to stress that the perpetrators are youngsters.

  • Squall23

    The situation is that a few unemployed 40-odd men are getting the youth to carry out their handywork. Such bomb alerts are simply ploys to get the police up for a bit of a riot. Unfortunately the majority of those involved are the young and unemployed, many of whom dare i say could hardly spell Ireland never mind know what a United Ireland would entail.

  • Squall23

    The particular area is awash with CIRA men.

  • Some people never learn. It seems even the last forty years, never mind the hundreds of years before are not enough to teach them: violence is not the way.

    It seems more ASBOs are in order in and around Lurgan.

  • I grew up in the area and much as I would love to be able to say something positive about Lurgan, I can’t think of anything significant. The town ain’t pretty, the shops are rubbish, night life is dismal and there is a high degree of sour-pussery amongst the locals. Same goes for Portadown which is just Lurgan with a mortgage. Hello to all you “Bellyhennin” people out there, by the way.
    Cynic is right, the Portadown News had it spot on. Luckily, the old editions are still online:
    http://www.portadownnews.com/archive.htm

  • Spot on, Pippakin.

  • Brian MacAodh

    “The area has been appallingly policed in the 1970s and 1980s which has led to a siege mentality”

    What do you mean? All nationalists treated like Shinners?

    What is the “buckfast” cliche, btw.

    Thanks

  • Buckfast or “Bucky” or “wiiiiiine” or “Lurgan Champagne” is a fortified wine made by monks in England. Despite being manufactured by Monks, it is a favoured tipple of both RC & P adolescent males in the area. Buckfast can be bought already pre-wrapped in brown paper bags in some of the more salubrious offies in town. The stereotypical Lurgan youth drinks the stuff to excess and becomes violent and/or sick, adding a somewhat unpredictable and sinister air to his already intimidating manner. Sometimes he drinks it at home, but he may often be seen consuming the stuff al fresco in the park or on street corners. Hope that helps.

  • One more thing. I don’t know if it still exists, but in years gone by, a private operator used to run a bus between Banbridge (local nightlife hotspot) and Lurgan of a Saturday night. The bus was known to everyone, including its passengers as “The Buckfast Express”.

  • Mrazik

    Was it not always a bit renegade given a large INLA presence?

  • Squall23

    Nope its just the council who run the bus’ now for the lawless jungle that is lurgan on a Saturday night.

  • B O O

    What on earth is a sane person doing here???

    Not sure about the bus service (my what an adventurous youth you had) but Buckfast Abby is untouched by anything but time.

  • slug

    Are there facilities, sports centres, arts and cultural activities for young people there?

    I can’t help but feel that we are failing this generation of children. Are the local schools failing?

  • Sanity is relative, Pippakin 🙂
    The bus was actually fun – lots of singing (non-sectarian songs). I only got it a few times and there were no problems.

  • B O O

    I remember similar bus rides in Dublin, wonderful voices we all had too.

    slug

    Sad to say we have been failing our children for decades.

  • Slug,
    I don’t know about the schools, but i imagine that some parents are failing – just like anywhere else. As for the rest, I have no idea. when i was young we went outside and played football and that was it.
    Pippakin – I am glad I don’t have recordings of our sining on those evenings on the way home to Lurgan.
    Goodnight all.

  • ….another piece of my youth turns to ashes….

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    It would be wrong to tar Lurgans youth with the bad image projected by republican dissident child abusers.
    As far as I am aware (and I am a regular visitor to Lurgan for family reasons) most of Lurgans youth is no better or worse than anywhere else…….but alcohol is a major problem.
    As it no doubt is in Cultra as well.
    There is certainly a much used sports centre at Brownlow, several (soccer) pitches near the Glenavon FC ground (dont recall the name of the pitches). There are swimming facilities in both Brownlow and Lurgan.
    As I recall it even has a ski slope…….dont know if its still operational.
    A non-posh Golf Club and a Driving range.
    The town has at least three GAA clubs….Clann Éireann and St Peters both serve the genearl Kilwilkie area. Clan na Gael operates near the Shankill area and St Pauls is in Taghnevan. Éire Óg is no more than two miles from the town centre. All have thriving “under age” football teams. for boys and girls.
    The schools Lismore, St Michaels, St Marys and St Pauls are all pretty decent as is the Brownlow Integrated.
    Theres also thriving soccer leagues at junior level and pretty good cricket facilities in and around the town.
    Having checked with a local, I am advised that there is no longer a cinema but there is a ten pin bowling place.

    Sincere kudos to all those (including of course parents) who make the place good for kids to live. Really the petty arsonist, child abuse victims of the republican dissidents do NOT have the “theres nothing to do here” excuse.

  • jim

    these free range childer dont know anybetter.most areas represented by sf are like this

  • old school

    Insight??
    Utter rubbis was posted.
    He blamed a blast bomb attack on Buckfast wine ffs!!!

  • old school

    What rubbish this thread. I thought Slugger had some politically analytical minds.
    Republicans are attacking the State Forces as they have for generations.
    All we had here was hysterical nonsense with reasons for the blast bombs given as “buckfast related” with “young men misled by evil men lurking in the shadows”. So 1970s with the cliches.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Old school,
    many would find your savage attack on the decent young people in Lurgan as deeply offensive.
    Im sorry that you cannot agree that young people would do such evil things as riot, without the direction of “dissident” adults.

  • Observer

    St Paul’s ‘pretty decent’? You’re joking, the place is a mad house! Don’t forget the controlled sector of the Dickson Plan in Lurgan which produces better results than the equivalent grammar and secondary schools across the province. It also enjoys a high degree of support from parents.

  • darragh derry

    i agree old school what bullshit and utter spew is being peddled by some members of these threads, i too have visited lurgan and have very good friends not policially motivated in any way and they tell me that nothing has changed for the people of kilwilkie estate,infact whilst i stayed there one weekend it was like going back in time in derry in the mid eighties, with almost every young male getting stopped some made to take their shoes and socks off, the same youngsters stopped 10 mins later with the same cops going through the same procedure in a good old hostile ruc way doors being kicked in and raided with women and children screaming ,yes this is the new peaceful ireland.,and for people to come on here and blame drunken youths”drinking buckfast”and these dark men in the background directing them,is only trying to hide the fact that the community has had enough and are fighting back,time has stayed still in kilwilkie as regard “peace process”.The only scum in kilwilkie are in landrovers putting their ruc/psni boot into the people.

  • Kevin Barry

    Having grown up in the general area I find it incredible that what goes on in Kilwilkie is some how being extrapolated as being typical of the whole area.

    As noted, the vast majority of the youth in the Lurgan area are not out rioting but are more than likely watching tv, with their friends or studying.

    Perhaps the reason the Kilwilkie area is disproportionately in the news, apart from having a large number of dissidents is that the estate is in close proximity to the main Belfast to Dublin railway line, thus guaranteeing massive exposure and disruption for any action carried out?

    Definitely agree that ‘Wine’ is definitely a massive problem in Lurgan. It’s not the reason people are doing what they are doing but when it’s common for all of your mates to be drinking a tonic wine with masses of caffeine in it, sense is likely to go out the window.

  • NIR Commuter

    Disruptions on the railway line are irritating, but I wouldn’t get too carried away about how grim Lurgan is. Yes it has it’s problems, but it really does have some nice features too. Honest.

    The main street is architectually rather nice if you look up above the shop facades; Lurgan Park has to be one of the largest and best laid out public parks on the island; you can even pop across for a cup of coffee in Brownlow House, and a bit further out there’s another really nice park at Tannaghmore with a free open farm.

    Also, while you wouldn’t let the planners who conceived Craigavon ‘make over’ your broom cupboard, they did factor in plenty of open space and mile after mile of cycle paths and sports facilities. Lurgan also has more than its fair share of really good churches who put on a lot of activities and do a lot of work acrsoo the community.

    It’s not the quite the urban wasteland percevied wisdom makes it ou to be.

  • Squall23

    It should be stressed that those involved are a small minority concentrated around the main estates, both nationalist and unionist. The social pillar is as good/bad as any other NI town. Although the town itself is in dire need for economic regeneration, but then again which town isn’t?

  • Squall23

    Hear Hear!

  • Finn McCool

    Kilwilkie does seem to be unique, Shankill estate has a growing number of families wreaking havoc, as a local shopkeeper was keen to point out recently. Then there’s Taghnaven, the largest estate which sees no rioting. What I did notice was that many republicans moved into Kilwilkie around the time of the ceasefires, though I’m not sure why.

    I drove past Kilwilkie last night on my way to Aghagallon, I waited at the railway crossing along with about 15 other cars, watching a number of youths chatting to police in a landrover, then their mates started throwing bricks and bottles. When the gates were lifted and the police began moving a barrage of missiles were thrown, hitting some of the cars in front of me. The police would have a hard job of identifying them, as they all wore white tracksuits but the parents must know what their kids are getting up to, this is happening in full view of peoples houses in the estate, maybe it’s just something they did it themselves in the past.

    Lurgan like many towns has a drink culture, binge drinking is like a sport, with people bragging about how ‘out of it’ they get at the weekends. It’s a vicious cycle which seems unlikely to be broken anytime soon, even the deaths of many young men from alcoholism/suicide doesn’t seem to register. Most estates have an off licence and pub, who’s owners are making a lot of money of peoples addictions. They serve youngmen who can hardly walk and are colored yellow from liver poisoning, maybe 6 times a day, right up until they die, then they attend their funeral. It’s not normal.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Well said to both Finn McCool and Kevin Barry.
    The vast majority of kids are ok.
    The Bells Row level crossing was always a major problem.
    And cars waiting for the train to pass are as likely to be hit by the thugs on the other side of the barrier.
    Its “recreational rioting” and not done for any political purpose at all and the “sport” is encouraged by adults who are happy to hide behind the kids. Thats how they are.
    Of course what the republican dissidents are praying for is some kid to get run over by an PSNI landrover or get hit by a passing motorist.
    Theyd love a martyr…..prefereably a young one……and preferably not themselves.
    Then of course Slugger O’Toole will be inundated with dissident apologists crying crocodile tears. The exploitation/abuse is that cynical.
    For several years, the PSNI have been listening to community advice and (unfortunately for the dissident mindset) have not over reacted.
    This is of course in marked contrast to the 1980s when Lurgan police were notoriously bad…..at everything.

    Alcohol and Cigarettes carry health warnings.
    So should having anything to do with dissidents.
    Three kinds of poison.

  • VI Lurgan

    Great to read views of Lurgan. Many right unfortunately.

    Drinking is seen as a sport and weekends in Lurgan all involve alcohol. There is little else to do. No good restaurants, no cinema, no shows, just pubs and drinking.

    History has also encouraged rioting as a social pastime. That message still exists today and is difficult to change although efforts are being made to change it.

    There are a number of GAA clubs, numerous soccer clubs as well as good rugby and cricket clubs. Unfortunately education is still heavily segregated as is the town geographically. There is little movement across the ‘peaceline’ that is the Castle Lane/Carnegie Street junction.

    There are many excellent young people and many excellent community organisations supporting them. But all you have to do is look at local Borough Council to understand that history and division still remain in the Craigavon area and when this is the example we set for young people, can we really blame them alone.

  • jim

    nobodys pouring the wine down their throats.these scroats have watched their mostly 1 parent familys drinking day in day out n know no better.all benifits should be stopped on this estate and estates like it.yellow coats n brushes supplied make them work.maybe the conservetives will start this idea up soon.

  • Kevin Barry

    Let’s not tar everyone on this estate with the same brush, however, lets hope that the community in the greater Nationalist Lurgan can try to sort this out.

    Taking people’s benefits isn’t really a solution, it will merely push them even further towards the dissidents