Loyalists stepping up campaign in Antrim

Whilst the media’s focus has been on the activities of dissident republicans in recent months, there are clear signs of a determined loyalist campaign targeting catholics in the town of Antrim.

Recently, numerous catholic homes were targeted by pipe-bombs in a co-ordinated attack accompanied by a threat to all catholics in the majority unionist town. Now the town’s two catholic primary schools have been targeted, with an eight year old pupil unwittingly picking up a device left at St Comgall’s PS.

Not much is known about the organisation laying claim to the attacks- the Real UFF- though perhaps a PSNI statement or subsequent IMC report could shed light on the background of those involved.

  • slug

    Shameful stuff and these sort of things should be a focus for the powershairng executive. The CSI strategy relaces to this very strongly.

  • parkantrim

    An absolute disgrace, who do these people think they represent? Certainly not me!

  • Big Maggie

    Is Ken Wilkinson (PUP) the only Unionist politician condemning these outrages?

    Shame on the rest. There are children’s lives on the line here. You’d think they’d care.

  • White Horse

    Have you ever noticed how cowardly these armed gangs are? From the British army to the IRA, cowardice seems to be the all encompassing characteristic. From Bloody Friday to Bloody Sunday, a bunch of cowards. It is little wonder that another bunch of cowards are now looking for attention.

  • Big Maggie

    White Horse,

    I put it down to fear. Men of true courage have no need of guns and bombs.

  • Stephen

    When you see an 8 year old child saying “I picked it up, and I knew it was a pipe bomb” there’s something seriously wrong.

  • White Horse

    Big Maggie

    How can you put it down to fear? The only thing to fear are these lunatics parading as human beings.

  • slug

    I hope they all do!

  • Drumlin Rock

    hold your horses maggie, this has been on the UUP website for hours.
    http://www.uup.org/news/policing-justice/policing-and-justice-archive/security-alert-perpetrators-beneath-contempt-.php

    quit playing petty games. They all condemn it outright i would be sure, but holding up a PUP rep. is just taking the mick.

  • JR

    It makes you sick to think these people would have rejoiced had this poor kid got his head blown off. The ATWG attitude and the soft target mentality is particularly disgusting.

    The republican dissidents are playing for an upsurg in loyalist violence.

  • slug

    I hope we can ALL agree with that.

  • Big Maggie

    Drumlin Rock,

    “hold your horses maggie, this has been on the UUP website for hours.”

    This may astonish you but I don’t rely on the UUP website for my news. In fact I’ve visited it only once before. Party websites leave me cold.

    But Chris’s post linked to an ongoing campaign, not just to this morning’s outrages. As far as I could see, Mr Wilkinson was the only Unionist politician quoted in the MSM.

  • Big Maggie

    White Horse,

    “How can you put it down to fear?”

    They fear reality. They wish to return to a long-flown past that exists only in their heads. They don’t really understand what it is to be human.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Maggie, when something appears on the UUP or any party website 99% of the time it has also been forwarded to the MSM at the same time, noboy can force them to carry the item. But I trust you will withdraw your accusation that they dont care, as the statement clearly shows otherwise.

  • Finbar

    Primary school kids??? Targeting schools??? I don’t understand what kind of human beings would perpetrate these foul acts. Sickening.

  • iluvni

    Absolutely horrific.

  • Glencoppagagh

    The reaction to this incident is quite understandable but can anyone remember the last time one of these so-called ‘viable devices’ actually did anyone any physical harm?

  • Big Maggie

    Drumlin,

    Willie McCrae cares.

    William McCrea, the Democratic Unionist Party MP for South Antrim, said the incident “was obscene and an utter disgrace”.

    He added: “It proves just how depraved some of those who want to drag Northern Ireland backwards are.

    “To target a primary school and to put innocent children at risk is plumbing new depths.”

    That’s to his credit. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • anne warren

    Are you suggesting it’s OK to terrorise psychologically and disrupt daily activities as long as no physical harm is done?

    Remember the story of the boy who called “wolf”?

  • Glencoppagagh

    I’m also wondering why the photo of the ‘diffused’ device in the Antrim Guardian is credited to the US Air Force.

  • Big Maggie

    Glencoppagagh,

    Could be they got the captions mixed up. I mean, anyone who can write “diffused” instead of “defused” must be a bit confused….

  • PaddyReilly

    Pipe bombs of these sort are well within the technological capabilites of a 13 year old. Wouldn’t be surprised if the kids were manufacturing them themselves, in the hope of getting a day off school.

  • Secret Squirrel

    Looks like the Antrim Guardian have used an archive foto and forgotten to change the caption. Looks like the same one here, pictured a few years ago.

    P.S
    ( Can we have the preview function back if possible Mick ? I can’t test my hyperthings.) 🙁

  • Realistic Idealist

    McGuinness stood up and was counted, in fact his “traitors” comment going further than virtually anyone thought he could or would, he has put his own life on the line and is under constant threat from the so-called dissident republicans.

    Is it time for Robinson to quit pretending loyalist paramilitaries are nothing to do with “proper” unionists – grow a set of balls and make the kind of courageous steps which McGuinness already has?

    An 8 year old child! Grow a set and step up!

  • Jay

    “To target a primary school and to put innocent children at risk is plumbing new depths.”

    Probably the first time I’ve ever agreed with Willie McCrea.

  • A.N.Other

    What words from loyalist legend, and Irish speaking man of peace Gusty Spence, who on 3 May 2007, warned that activities could “provoke another generation of loyalists toward armed resistance”?

  • Oracle

    I’m personally delighted that Loyalists were responsible for targeting the school, because if had this horrible feeling it was a bring and show day.

  • White Horse

    Realistic Idealist

    McGuinness doesn’t fear the dissidents because he knows that he still has sufficient manpower to do them real damage which will deter them from attacking him. You have to ask the question why he still lives unhindered in the Bogside area of Derry when others have been forced out by those same dissidents. Either he is playing a game of pretend or he is simply pointing guns back at the dissidents.

    Peter Robinson doesn’t have such luxuries.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Chris,

    What are the sectarian percentages in the town? Are there pressures on housing, expanding estates or just generally poor realtions all round?

  • jim

    havent heard mcguinness stand up and be counted about the wee girl in claudy.must be still out fishing

  • White Horse

    I think the focus should be on the cowardice of this and all the activities, past and present, of armed gangs. It seems when men get guns in their hands the pull of power makes them lose their humanity and their decency such that the only word that can adequately describe them is cowardly. And that goes for every last one of them.

  • Johnkingii

    Finiston state primary school The Bone North Belfast had this kind of terror visited upon all through the seventies by SF/PIRA eventually closed due to falling enrollment actually the entire Protestant Torrens estate closed due to falling enrollment. What was done today was abhorrently wrong and should rightly be condemned but as long as we sit our sectarian foxholes it will happen.

  • Glencoppagagh

    Thanks SS
    Looks like that’s where they got ‘diffused’ from as well.

  • Glencoppagagh

    And the last time someone was injured was when?

  • I cannot understand why the person/people responsible for this latest outrage have not been ‘advised’ by their friends that their best course of action is to hand themselves over to the police. If it was, as it seems to be loyalist dissidents, then they need to show they are not completely insane.

    Is it possible there is anyone, apart from the lunatic responsible, who thinks placing a pipe bomb for child to find is acceptable?

    Ive got say it, I put a picture of a school on my blog today, take a look, see what war does, and for those who care, the picture is of a school bombed in the second world war. Children died when that school was bombed, children would have died if the pipe bomb had gone off. Is that what anyone wants?

    The other thing that has me worried is that the child seemed to know what it was and whether or not it was viable. It really does seem to be a case social services should get involved in.

    Unbelievable!

  • Johnkingii

    It was Danny McNally there is more chance of someone moving into an empty house in a Kabul suburb than there is of someone raking an empty house in some estates in Antrim Nationalist Rathenraw is half demolished as is mixed Stiles Greystone a warzone Springfarm a drug dealer immigrant zone god help them the rest For God And Ulster Land apart from Ballycraigy which is The King Rats Gang few last hideouts.

  • Alan Maskey

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch5u8YbOyIE&feature=related

    Martin McGuinness has nothing to fear from Republucan hard liners. Rather, traitors should fear him as his own words in the video above make plain.

    One of the babes on the UUP site is pretty. Can’t say much about yours though.
    This must be a few young local bandsmen. I wonder will the OO shop them in.

  • Sean

    How bad is Greystone?

  • Hedley Lamarr

    Although there have been many pipe bombs planted there have been a handful of deaths (at least 3). I think the last death was in 2002. There were about a dozen people injured and one death by some of over 200 pipe bombs used by loyalists in 2001. And some since then. There are nearly always injuries when there are pipe bomb campaigns. Of course the more planted the more injuries and deaths- it is intimidation and causes fear even when those targeted escape injury.

  • Searlas

    It truly is sickening targeting a primary school. It really hits lower than low depths. But any group that targets anyone to kill or injure has no place in society.

  • White Horse

    Alan Maskey

    Clearly the traitor to traditional republican values is Martin McGuinness. Will he shoot himself?

  • Johnkingii

    Greystone is one of those NI anomalies caught between loyalist Ballycraigy and Republican Rathenraw a mixture of mixed marriages antisocial families and the poor sods who do not have the money to get out estate used as trench warfare by two tribes

  • Quincey

    First off this is uncatagorically wrong and a disgrace and has to be unreservadly condemmed. Totally. No room for if and buts and whataboutery at all on the actual attacks.

    What i would say however is that any attempts to somehow equate this with Republican dissident activity borders on farcical.

    Danger to individuals on each of these moronic antrim attacks, including the 8 year old this morning, has ben close to negligible.

    These ‘bombs’ are pipse packed with fireworks and a bloody fuse that has to be lit!!! When that fuse hasnt went off they are no more a danger than firworks sitting on shop shelves.

    To compare or mention in the same breah these with a widescale province wide dissident movement armed with high explosive and guns borders on stupidity and can only be regarded as attempted misinformation and propaganda.

  • Johnkingii

    Quincey I totally agree only problem is if you look back four five years in the news this is how dissident republicanism started off unfortunately it’s called a learning curve

  • Johnkingii

    In terms of who’s behind it let’s play cluedo a number of families relocated to south antrim town following the uvf/Lvf fallout some appeared in court due to an attempt to steal a legally held gun in the legoneil area during which as far as I am aware gunshot wounds were sustained the rest is up to you and some googleing.

  • Alan Maskey

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wQmdrx9uGY

    Maybe these guys will come out of retirement to shut them up. McGuinness has long regarded them as traitors and they do have good working links with the UVF etc.

  • mark

    Pip

    it really does seem a case social services should get invoved in,
    Unbelievable………….

    Why, because an eight year old can read and understand the news.
    mavbe you want detain the parents for seven days !

  • aquifer

    Disgraceful. Hope they can get some surveillance going and convict.

  • Johnkingii

    Alan Maskey there’s more chance of Pope John II coming out of retirement

  • USA

    The “wee girl” has a name – Kathryn Eakin. She was only 8 years old. A damned tragedy.
    Thirty years later, an eight year old boy finds a pipe bomb…etc etc etc.

  • USA

    Oracle, you don’t do funny very well, do you?

  • Mark

    The day any eight year old I know can tell if a pipe bomb is active is the day I call social services myself.

    There are young children in my family who I have no doubt watch the news as much (picture the scene) as any other child and Im happy to be able to tell you none of them have the least idea what a pipe bomb looks like, let alone if its active.

  • padraig

    ………..like the PSNI?

  • HeinzGuderian

    S’funny…………a few short weeks ago,our nat/rep friends were calling for talks with the diss/reps……………..will those same posters,now call for talks with the diss/loyalists ?? 🙁

  • Oracle

    Possibly not…… but I see you do with that name you use

  • Oracle

    Why are they lonely

  • Alan Maskey

    Actually, the Nazi general makes an interesting point unbeknownst perhaps to even himself. Somebody should talk to these idiots and, given there is a good idea who they are, someone probably is already talking to them in one language or another.

    PIRA have plenty of practice speaking to dissidents. Sure they started out that way themselves. They framed the IRSP for such things as Sallins, milked the INLA Volunters who died on hunger strike for their own narrow ends, belatedly and begrudgingly hijacked the IRSP’s electoral strategy, beat leading and respected IRSP leaders within an inch of their life, set up the IPLO to discredit and wipe out both the INLA and IRSP, then wiped out the IPLO, informed on both CIRA and RIRA, murdered RIRA members and then combined resources with and gave joint conferences with the RUC/PSNI.
    So, yes, they have form. But Loyalists politicians such as Willie Mad Dog McCrea or whatever LVF faction he supports now might be better intermediaries for this lot.

  • Sean

    You are a sick fuck

  • Alan Maskey

    I posted a link up yonder to the Official IRA song. It has a good tune. If you play it, do go and listen to
    The Bogside man by 7 year old Caroline Quigley. Voice of God.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL2g4_fMBZo&feature=related

    I have not listed OIRA as dissidents. However, PIRA whacked plenty of them too.

  • Bullitt

    erm, no… catch yourself on ffs!!

  • HeinzGuderian

    I would hope so !!!! 🙁

  • Munsterview

    Pip

    “…..Is it possible there is anyone, apart from the lunatic responsible, who thinks placing a pipe bomb for child to find is acceptable?…..”

    Once again this response just shows how regrettably uninformed you are about the conditions Catholics /Nationalists are living under in these interface areas.

    For some of these people and areas the GFA far form solving anything rather made them targets of more focused sectarianism and aggression.

    Anyone up there have figures for Catholics forced out of their homes in the past number of years….it is ongoing.

    There is a simple logic to that bomb in the school……… the usual intimidation’s, it taking place in Dublin, Galway or elsewhere would command banner newspaper headlines and a plethora of news cameras…… in certain areas up there like the one referred to intimidating a Catholic Family out of a home and business falls within the remit of ………’an acceptable of violence’

    Remember when our President’s family were intimidated out or their house and business almost four decades ago this practice too back then was commonplace and within the same ‘acceptable level of violence’ remit as the current activity is!

    When Asians and Poles were the target the people doing the intimidating were quickly dealt with as it attracted National and International press coverage but once they returned to the practice of intimidating Irish Catholic / Nationalists it again became a back burner issue. Republican dissidents get jail, these Loyalist ‘Community leaders’ get a few more hundred thousand thrown at them for ‘community projects’ every time they up the anti.

    When I see Unionists and Loyalists on slugger dissecting and discussing this aspect of Loyalism and the forces behind it like we on the republican / nationalist side have done with Dissident Republicanism, then we may at least get the extent of the problem out in the open, if nothing else !

    Some chance of that happening any time soon !

  • Munsterview

    Yes…. no problem what so ever with that…… or for having talks with the MI5 securitcats facilitating the operation of these ‘community leaders’

    Why is this linked to dissident activity West Of The Bann, anyway, this Loyalist activity is a problem for Loyalism and Unionism….. it is from the same source as the murder of an innocent catholic barman in 1966 and the Silent Valley explosion around the same period…. years before the civil rights marches and the Provos were heard of.

    It is time for Unionists to grasp this particular nettle, to examine the current sectarianism both in the current manifestation, and in it’s historical context.

  • MV

    Im not unaware of what is going on up north but the deliberate and premeditated attack on children is completely unacceptable and aught to be condemned by everyone.

    It may be a product of their environment but young children really should not be familiar with pipe bombs.

  • Munsterview

    I have filed this piece along with a few choice pieces of turgons !

    Will all and sundry who in any way give credence to this particular source please note; this diatribe is most definitely not indicative of views that are in any meaningful way representative of Catholicism, Nationalism, Republicanism or indeed any other ‘isms’ originating from this ethos.

    As a hate manifesto against Republican / Nationalism however it do indicate what the source opposes…. and is indicative of where true loyalties lie, well away from the ethos of both political philosophies !

  • Alan Maskey

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mng4IuKdoE4&feature=related
    They seem to be on the move in South Armagh too. Very worrying. Time to get Richard Behal’s granny on the case.

  • billy

    Not really all that surprising for loyalists, actually.

    Remember the Quinn children? Remember the hacking to death of 15 yr old Thomas Devlin, the beating to death of 15 yr old Michael McIlveen?

    A woman crossing a parade, a child in the wrong school uniform…all legit targets for a ‘culture’ that actively dehumanises those of the Catholic faith.

    What have the DUP said yet?

  • billy

    Aye, Glen, what are these fenians yapping about, eh?

    Stupid idiot.

  • billy

    Pip, what kind of moronic crap is that to come out with?

    And what’s with the obsession with the social services? Have you given up on getting them on to Adams, you twit?

  • billy

    Quincey, you are a reptile.

    A child with a pipe bomb is nothing to worry about?

    Of course not – it’s only a Catholic kid after all, eh?

  • billy

    Just for the record, folks, Heinz was a regular on the BBC Talk message board…he was also regularly dumped off the site for his comments – only to reemerge under another name each time.

    No doubt his poison will be tolerated much longer here, given the record of tolerance for anti-nationalist bile here on Slugger.

  • joeCanuck

    Just in case you didn’t know, Quincey, fireworks often blow fingers off. Especially ones that appear to be duds and which get picked up by the unwary, such as a child. In fact, usually a child.

  • billy

    Aye, Paddy, sure those Quinn kids in Ballymoney were probably playing with matches, eh?

    You sick, moronic reptile.

  • PaddyReilly

    Thank you. I would like to tell you of all the 12-14 year old pipe-bomb manufacturers I have known over the years, many of them unconnected to Erin’s green isle, but considerations of space….One of them is now a retired policeman- British police, never been to Ireland.

    It seems to be a pre-adolescent obsession, like aero-modelling or something. I’ve never known them as young as 8, but older brothers are always a possibility.

  • billy

    You think it is moronic to say it is wrong to leave a dangerous weapon where a child can find it, and that no child should know what a pipe bomb looks like or if it is active

    That says a lot about you, one of the things it says is you care more the argument than you do about children. Grow up.

  • PaddyReilly

    Thank you. Yes, matches are even more low tech, and yet they do the job. Did you read about the Scotman who spent years on death row for murder and arson, when it turned out his girlfriend’s daughter had an obsession with starting fires?

    Open minds, please gentlemen. All possibilities should be considered. Pipe bombs are the toys of quite a number of pre-adolescents. Even if it does turn out to be ‘loyalists’, it might only be one 13 year old psychopath.

  • anne warren

    The Elephant in the room: memories of the Holy Cross protest

    On 1 September 2001, the protest took a further violent twist when a loyalist threw a pipe bomb at PSNI officers as the children neared the school gates. The device exploded and injured two policemen and a police dog. After the incident the PUP’s Billy Hutchinson said he was ashamed to be a loyalist. However, he says he continued to stand with the protesters every morning to show leadership.
    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/interface/docs/heatley04.htm

  • PaddyReilly

    Welcome, fellow reptile! However, I should point out that I am one better than you, I am a sick moronic reptile.

    Yes, children play with matches. They abuse fireworks. The more adventurous get as far as making pipe-bombs. Our job is to keep a close eye on them and remove them before they do any damage.

    I well remember the day P. caused quite a substantial explosion in the Chemy Lab. What was remarkable was the way Mr F. the Chemistry master reacted, which was hardly at all. He’d seen it all before. This is the tactic of the successful educator.

    What in Liverpool are just known as ‘mad kids’ and the responsibility of Social Services become, in the sectarian atmosphere of Northern Ireland, mythical warriors in some apocalyptic race war. I suggest that we need to put things in context. Don’t panic! This is the age of CCTV. Don’t bring politics into it before you’re absolutely certain that it is necessary.

  • karlopolo

    Just like Gusty himself was ‘provoked’ into murdering a barman?

  • karlopolo

    ” No room for if and buts and whataboutery at all on the actual attacks.”

    ..there’s room for a ‘however’ though ..

  • disgusted

    i for one am disgusted that this is still happening.I would like to make a valid point tho,my partner is catholic,not republican and i am protestant,not loyalist.They all want money to behave and be left alone to fill these housing estates with drugs.They are all the same and if anyone with have a brain studied their history properly,they would know that collusion happened between rival factions also.Trying to say “oh one sides suffering more than the other” is pointless.Both sides are as bad as each other and dont be fooled,a mountain of money has been pumped into both comunities,as has been thrown at all these so called “heroes” who’ll talk to anyone for the right amount of money nowadays.If you see yourself as republican or loyalist,YOU are part of the problem.Its sad but true,face it!!