“and the role that they have played in creating the conditions in which anti-social behaviour thrives.”

The BBC report on the fire which destroyed the Twinbrook Social Club last night says “that the facility was extensively used by the local community but that people there had already vowed to rebuild.”

But the UTV report notes this comment from Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann – who claimed that the club had, at times, been a centre for anti-social behaviour. 

The fire has led to several people having no employment as a result which, in this economic climate, is extremely unfortunate,” [Jennifer McCann] said.

If there is to be a proposed rebuild of the social club at this site it must follow an in-depth consultation process with the local community.

“Without this the opinion locally is that we would prefer to have nothing on the site than a return to what was there before.

And that’s brought a stinging response from the committee of Twinbrook Social Club

“Any problems which this club may have had are no more or no less than any other licensed premises in west Belfast. High levels of anti social behaviour are regrettably all too common throughout West Belfast.

“Sinn Féin would do well to examine the underlying causes of the social malaise which afflicts the area and the role that they have played in creating the conditions in which anti-social behaviour thrives.”

  • A N Other

    It is often heard, even amongst those that did not support the provos, that at least they kept the drug dealers and the hoods at bay; whilst there is a sense of irony behind the notion, one can see the point. It is the paradox of peace.

  • Mark McGregor

    Was a Sticky club and a poorly run one at that so hardly surprising SF and the ‘committee’ are having words.

    Also not surprising that another sticky premises goes up in smoke just as rumours of a land sale surface.

  • stewart1

    Is Turf Lodge now the only Workers Party/Official IRA/Group B club still running?

  • Sean of the South

    I was there recently while on a visit to the area. Saw nothing out of the ordinary. There’s not much else in the area in terms of social outlets or bars. Provos probably just having a go because it’s one of the few places in the district that they don’t control.

  • Damian O’Loan

    A N Other,

    That’s a very old argument about the politics of repression v the politics of prevention that we really shouldn’t still be having. When we apply the same to health, the answer is clear. So why are people surprised at what happens in paramilitary-controlled areas? The idea that things are too bad now to go back is also centuries, if not millenia, old.

  • I think the main problem with the statement from Jennifer McCann is the suggestion that a club that has been in the area for nearly 40 years requires the approval of “we”, the “local community” if it is going to be rebuilt. This goes beyond the sort of sniping Mark is suggesting might be expected to reveal an extremely unhealthy attitude to those who don’t share the (political) views of the majority – I think it’s clear who she considers the local community to be: people who think like her. What does that make other residents? Guests whose presence is dependent upon the goodwill of the hosts? A very unhealthy attitude indeed.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    MMG is in fact correct. The Club is thought to have Sticky connexions.
    The Official IRA (which of course hasnt existed and doesnt exist……..as Sticky journaists tell us and they dont lie) is an extremely anti social group of people.

    The greatest achievement of Satan is convincing us he doesnt exist.
    Ms McCann is interesting. A few months ago she along with Arlene Foster co hosted Workers Memorial Day. …honouring people injured or killed at work.
    This was a strange thing for Ms McCann to do as she had actually shot someone at work (a policeman) and was sentenced to several years in prison.
    Some people might claim that shooting people at work is a bit……well……anti social.
    Still Ms McCann was only standing in for a party colleague at the Stormont event. Paul Butler. Who shot and killed a policeman.


  • BTW, there’s a good chance this thread will be derailed by someone with problems who derailed the Peter Hart thread with rantings and ravings, with the result that most of his posts were removed.

  • chewnicked

    Where do the profits from the Club go? It can’t be to fund a Workers Party election campaign as they don’t bother with that malarkey anymore.
    Still, I’m sure they managed to pay their insurance premium all the same.

  • socaire

    Is there anybody you DO like?

  • socaire

    They lost the support of the people when they called a halt to a campaign that was growing increasingly sectarian. What does that say about the people?

  • tacapall

    Did you just make that up – when did this happen.

  • socaire

    30th May 1972. Where have you been?

  • Alan Maskey

    The OIRA campaign was sectarian? They shot Ranger Best and could not stand the heat. They also had bad luck at the Paras. Where have you been Socaire?
    Good post and many good comments.

  • tacapall

    Not to worry anyway, they have plenty of other pubs and clubs, some of the busiest in the town and this one and the one in the turf were/are embarrassments to them, im sure it was well insured.

  • Pete Baker

    Indeed, Garibaldy.

    There is also an apparent lack of awareness, evident in some of the comments here, of “the role that they have played in creating the conditions in which anti-social behaviour thrives.”

  • tacapall

    What role was that Pete. Letting people get drunk on their premises. Is this now anti social behaviour, look at the sensationalizing Sinn Fein engaged in around the St James area, IBA a gang, ffs a bunch of kids writing lewd comments on a wall who couldn’t give a fk about voting or engaging with people who in the past have turned people on and off like water taps and are now calling them anti social elements and criminal gangs. Maybe the CRJ staff are under threat with cutbacks, have to keep the breathren happy, why not, every other government dept is under threat.

  • Pete Baker


    I think you might have misconstrued my comment. Take another look at the original post.

  • tacapall

    Indeed Pete, apoligies. At least I half got it right.

  • Dec

    I’d say they lost the sort of the people when they went around murdering people like Seamus Costelloe.

  • snowstorm

    FJH – its not that it was thought to have sticky connexions, it was a sticky club out and out. There are still one or two more in the city but thats all.

    This row is a good old fashioned Provo / Sticky clash. Haven’t seen one of them in years.

  • Oracle

    As regarding the fire that consumed the Twinbrook Social Club I’d like to state the loss of these premises is a gain for the local community.

    This Social Club operated outside of the normal rule of thumb for most licensed premises for decades, it and it’s kissing cousins TLSC (Turf Lodge Social Club) Cyprus Street (on the Grosvenor Road) and one in Short Strand (I think it was called the Melting pot) were all part of the same circuit of watering holes for the same clientele chiefly members of the Workers Party and their supporters (The Sticks)

    Unquestionably these social focal points came into existence due to the raw atmosphere and tensions in Nationalist areas between members and supporters of PIRA (provisional’s) and those of the OIRA (officials/sticks) after several bloodletting feuds.
    Whilst the Short Strand outlet and Cyprus Street were less than ideal in their organisation and running at least they followed a semblance of order and regulation.

    The TLSC was an appalling brick block situated at on a site at the top of the Turf Lodge estate and was not fit to house swine for market let alone entertain patrons; the TSC (Twinbrook Social Club) was even worse it was a part pre-fab part brick construction in the heart of the Twinbrook estate.
    Both outlets were insulated from the rest of the world with a ghettoized mindset and given carte blanche exceptions by the RUC/ political decision makers in the NIO as a gesture for their route of non violence (against the state that is) they was able to serve alcohol to Hotel timetables and was still serving when every other pub and club across the City was closed mopped and locked.
    Its lax restrictions/regulations meant that one man I’ll call “B” drank until he collapsed and died in the TLSC
    Indeed many Loyalist would come and be entertained in the club before being chauffer driven back to Snugville Street, Dee Street, Blacks road, Seymour Hill and the Old Warren estate in Lisburn.
    This had to do with the dividing of monies gained from building site intimidation and the 715’s between members of the OIRA and the Umbrella groupings of Loyalists, on one occasion a contractor was not forthcoming with his protection money for the Catholics on his building site that the combined delegation of extortionists (UFF and OIRA) sitting in a car decided to display their disproval and a member of the OIRA got out of the car and went into the site and executed a Catholic worker on the spot!
    This weapon was admitted in the coroners report that it was used in a feud with the PIRA years before the building site murder and again in another feud with the PIRA years after the building site murder, before being found by the RUC in the home of a Stick in Turf Lodge after a tip-off.

    I am only too aware that many patrons of the TLSC or the TSC were just ordinary people who frequented the hostelry due to familiarization, but the unabated attendance of everybody and anybody with a drink problem, burglars, drug-dealers, death-drivers, pimps, and extortionists and murderers heavily outweighs the requirement of provision of amenities for the few ordinary drinkers that don’t belong to one of the categories

    However I would like to state my complete opposition to McCann and SF thinking that they will decide who should and shouldn’t get permission to run a social club citing the community as an excuse!
    Perhaps SF have eyes on the site for the “Bobby Sands Memorial Social Club” with SF members working the bar, the FTA doing the taxi service, “Johnny no ops” people doing the security, and George Hegarty doing the books.

  • socaire

    How much of this is fact and how much is the Gospel according to Oracle?

  • Sean of the South

    Oracle the bomb in your avatar spells out clearly what you stand for. Like others of its ilk the whiff of Yankee dollars and the Queens Schilling cannot be far away.

  • Oracle

    Socaire except the final paragraph which is a swipe at SF every single f***ing word in the above text is Granite solid

  • Oracle

    would you like to rephrase that so that it may be understandable

  • Christy Walsh

    This sounds like years of knowledge coming out. How much is sour grapes because he has been cut out of the loop?

  • Christy Walsh

    Oracle, it is pretty clear what is being suggested.

  • Oracle

    It’s not clear to me, the guy doesn’t know me nor realise the Avatar is a satirical cartoon image to do with throwing grenades into threads on online debates… it was deliberately chosen as the old fused type so as not to be militaristic but perhaps it parted his hair on the way past the top of his head.

  • Needless to say socaire, the claims made above would be vigoriously disputed by those involved with the Twinbrook Social Club and elsewhere. As pointed out in the statement from the Twinbook Social Club committee,

    “There is a very strong community network in Twinbrook, including a community safety network which monitors anti-social behaviour in the area. Never once have any of these community organisations raised any matter of concern in relation to the Club. In addition, the local West Belfast media have for many years been reporting on anti-social behaviour trouble spots in West Belfast, again the club has never featured in any such report.”

    I think you can tell from the tenor of the claims made on slugger how objective they are. I’m not going to give the more outlandish ones any credence by responding to them.

  • The cynicism of the Offiocials is perhaps only matched by the cynicism of Sinn Fein.

    The two most pertinent political issues in the role of ‘Republicanism’ in Ireland are Stalinism and nationalism.

    The dead-end of, and obsession with, nihilistic political violence is the expression or outcome of the hollow political ideology of nationalism, and encouraged/influenced by the Stalinists.

    The Official wing of Irish Stalinism followed it’s own logic in becoming an armed gang of counter-revolutionaries inside the working class communities.

    The CPI wing of Stalinism continued as it always had; covering for nationalist myopia by giving a ‘left’ gloss to the petty bourgeois, anti-working class ideology of Adams,McGuinness, Kelly etc.

    Thus the weakness of James Connolly in adapting to Irish nationalism is lauded by the CPI.

    The issue is not to adapt to the threadbare theorising of Sinn Fein or any of their apologists; but to analyse the Irish situation as part of the world struggle to end the rotten profit system.

    The working class has no voice of its own in Ireland, only servants of the imperialists and their local bourgeois lackeys. The trade unions, the nationalists (of all stripes- ‘militant’ or not), the unionists, the so-called lefts of SWP, Socialist Party all play a role in protecting capitalism.

  • oracle

    Oh really Garibaldy,

    Tell me where in the above text I mentioned about the patrons of these clubs fighting on the street, breaking windows, vandalising peoples property you know the normal things that would warrant the involvement of

    “community safety network which monitors anti-social behavior”

    That was an attempt by you to imply that these premises had been given a clean bill of health by the communities around them when obviously they haven’t if SF is raising concerns about the rebuilding of the one destroyed by fire!
    The problem was never what went on outside the clubs but rather inside which made them undesirable as focal points for a normal community.

    Tell me Garibaldy would it be normal for you to expect members of a Social club to travel to North Korea in the 1980’s and tell them that they were the IRA and secured an arsenal of weaponry, would it also be common practice for a normal social club to be filled at night time with men in sleeping bags armed with assault rifles? And this wasn’t the feud of 1971 or 1975 but the possibility of a feud which didn’t materialize in the 1990’s
    Perhaps you would like me to name the taxi company who stopped picking up the patrons from one particular club due to the extraordinary high number of drivers reporting seats soaked on a regular basis or the three members two of them armed of the officials who made up a delegation to the same taxi company.

  • Christy Walsh

    Not clear to you or you refuse to consider that in the context of NI anyone could mistakenly misinterpret the reasons why you wish to associate with a bomb. In all honesty I thought it looked pretty gung-ho too.

  • What strikes me most about Jennifer McCann comment’s is how language like anti social elements and anti social behaviour slips so readily off the tongues of the shinner’s these days.

    It is as if they are keen to out do their ‘betters’ when it comes to criticising their core support base and encourage communities to turn in on their own. Rather than question why so many youngsters spend their days without work hanging out on street corners. For christ sake, one of the ways the old Unionist establishment used to demonise the nationalist unemployed was to call them workshy and corner boys, etc.

    SF have been part of the local and ‘national government’ of the north for some time now, and if yet another generation of working class youngsters are workless, and licence premises continue to disregard the licensing laws to the detriment of the local community, one might ask Ms McCann how is this possible on your watch? After all, what use is a politician who is unable to bring their hard hit constituents some respite from such things?

    Aping the language of English politicians who have implemented policies which have led to the impoverishment of many of their own working class constituents, is hardly going to help matters. If SF representatives wish to act like Tammany Hall politicos, they could at least roll the odd pork barrel home.