NI Justice Minister: “This is exactly the type of news Northern Ireland needs to avoid.”

Army bomb experts have made safe a viable device containing over 40kg of homemade explosive material after a two-day security alert in Lurgan.

And a second explosive device has been found inside a vehicle at the long-stay car park at Belfast International airport.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan McCausland said both devices “had the potential to cause injury and damage”.

“They were left in places used by the public and with no regard for the public; it is thanks to the vigilance of individuals that no serious harm has been done,” he said.

“In recent days police have stepped up their measures to counter the threat posed by misguided individuals and groups who seek to drag the country back to mayhem and misery.

“Our efforts will continue and we would ask everyone in the community to be vigilant about their surroundings as they go about their daily business.”

, , , ,

  • Alan Maskey

    RUC man Murphy said the attack was cowardly. It was certainly stupid. More North Armagh men .looking at jail stretches for achieivng sweet f.a.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    It is silly to have two organisations PSNI and MI5 working on catching the dissidents and Ford should have the balls to say so.

    Given the obvious propaganda value that MI5 offer the disidents an expansion of the role of the PSNI is far more preferable. In practical terms it is a nonsense to have two different groups of people doing the same job.

    Nobody would suggest there should one set of police officers walking up one side of the road and a bunch of MI5ers walking up the other – and the same applies to hiding in the bushes.

  • Seymour Major

    Sammy,

    The PSNI need MI5 because they have essential resources which the PSNI do not have.

    Is not your last comment a thinly veiled disguise of your ideological opposition to the presence of MI5 in NI per se?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    SM,

    Is not your last comment a thinly veiled disguise of your ideological opposition to the presence of MI5 in NI per se?

    I wasnt intended to disguise anything – ideologically I am opposed to MI5. The arguements against their presence are both practical and ideological.

    They are more counter prodcutive than counter insurgency – do you not agree? The biggest losers from their dispapearance would be the dissers – the very people they are are visitng here to defeat. If they make a serious mistake (ie shoot someone for example) it would have the potential to destabilise Stormo.

  • joeCanuck

    Sammy,

    With due respect, that’s nonsense. Ford says we need to avoid news like this. We cannot avoid it; we have to actively STOP it. MI5 play a valuable role. They are not men in suits from England. There are many N.I. men and women gathering information. Don’t you ever wonder why so many would be bombing attacks have failed?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    joeCanuck,

    ” Don’t you ever wonder why so many would be bombing attacks have failed?

    Instead of asking you a question that you connot possibly answer – I’ll ask you a few that perhaps you can. And remember play the ball my transatlantic amigo.

    Are MI5 under complete operational control of the Police?

    Do you not agree that there presense is counter-productive?

    Do you not agree that it is a reasonable statment that MI5 were involved in the political killing that went on during the troubles.

    Do you not agree that the other combatants, with the exception of MI5 have either put their arms down (PIRA, UVF) or been reformed (PSNI)?

    What makes you think the PSNI cannot perform their role more effecitively.

  • Comrade Stalin

    It is silly to have two organisations PSNI and MI5 working on catching the dissidents

    Nonsense, intelligence and policing services often work separately on the same things, sharing intelligence where appropriate.

  • pippakin

    The north teeters on the brink of destruction again. I hope wiser heads prevail and these dissident groups recognise the past forty years for what it was – failure in a military sense. It won equality and recognition for nationalist politicians but the ‘war’ was not on the brink of being ‘won’, rather it was on the brink of being lost!

    There will be no sympathy for dissidents outside the few they gain in Ireland (north and south). No one to fund raise for them. Not if there is an American who recognises who his friends are. Sure even the Yanks cannot condemn terrorism in one breath and support it in another.

    Those days are gone.

  • Halfer

    What are you trying to add here? I’m not being vindictive Pip but your posts are pretty much all the same “no going back”. It’s an opinion to hold but to repeat it over and over and over doesn’t add dynamic to the discourse.

  • joeCanuck

    Sammy,
    Why do you think I “played” you and not your argument?
    In answer to your questions:
    No.
    No.
    Don’t know.
    No.
    They don’t have the resources and every country needs a secret service who can operate under the law but in the shadows.

  • joeCanuck

    Those days are gone.

    Yep, 9/11 ended the ambiguity in most American minds.

  • pippakin

    Halfer

    I could, in all seriousness, say the same of you, or most of the ‘regular’ commenters. I followed your comments on another thread, more of the same, repeated again and again, neither solution or alternative just a repetition of the same old refusal.

    You have not broached the subject so this is a purely personal dig at me, and that in this context is fine. I have seen worse! and I have the satisfaction of knowing that a republican has read the pacifist comment, that is something in itself.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Joe,

    If I understand you correctly you are happy that an organisation that you agree that you ‘dont know’ if they were involved in political killings operates independently of the police?

    Are you suggesting that you do not understand how counter productive it is to have an organisation with such questions marks over its behaviour (putting it as mildly as possible ) playing a lead role in counter terrorism?. And this against the background of recent and not so recent Irish history. For fecks sake Joe are you really serious?

    In relation to your statement “They are not men in suits from England. There are many N.I. men and women gathering information”

    I presumed, that on the basis of the law of averages, that a British organisation would only have a small percentage of people from Norn Iron – can you let me know the source for your contention suggesting otherwise as to the detailed composition of this force.

  • 6crealist

    Sammy/Moderate Unionist

    You’re the last person on this site with the right to insist on supporting evidence from other contributors.

  • joeCanuck

    Sammy,

    I’ll return your serve. Which political killings did MI5 carry out?
    And do you think that the peeler on the beat (if there still is such a being) can conduct sophisticated eavesdropping, for example. The outcome of your suggestion would have to be a new police division, call it Special Branch perhaps. Is that what you really want?

  • Halfer

    Pippakin, it was an open question and not a dig. I wanted to know where your coming from.

    Politics is a spiky animal, particularly here in the north east and you seem to want to put pacifist fluff around the spiky issues. Political violence is a feature here in the north from british and Irish states as well as paramilitary factions. Rather than approaching this from an alternative angle that questions the origins of the violence or the reasoning, you just outpour the usual handwringing.

    The danger of this for me is that is nullifies the debate, turning the discourse into a patronizing labeling exercise that doesn’t get to chew on the cud. Notice how you wrote “I have the satisfaction of knowing that a republican has read the pacifist comment”. The connotations of that sentence is that ALL Republicans, particularly Republicans like me who disagree with current set up, are war hungry head cases who need civilizing with your peace people mantra. This just isn’t true.

    Joe,

    Its true that 911 changed the view of violent insurgency. Yet, 911 was used by the neo right in the US as a platform for a new wave of violence against third world nations in pursuit of hegemonic global dominance. This line of thought holds that mass force cannot be exercised by non state forces yet state forces can unleash terrible violence on a massively larger scale than 911 on civilians in poorer nations in the way of global interests. It’s morally hypocritical.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    You’re the last person on this site with the right to insist on supporting evidence from other contributors

    Presuambly given the subject matter of your post that you are about to offer “supporting evidence ” for that remark?

  • joeCanuck

    It’s morally hypocritical.

    Absolutely. But we’ve got our share of moral hypocrites too.

  • chewnicked

    We’ll take that as a ‘don’t know’ to Sammy’s question then, Joe?
    The bullshit mountain being bulit by Joe on this site is way higher than an old EEC Butter Mountain

  • 6crealist

    For starters, how about some evidence to support your assertion that “most Nationlaists agree with the SF policy and dont agree with Unionist parties, like Alliance, in their approach to the British parliament”?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Joe,

    That is a disappointing reply- I asked you how you can fail to realise that an organisation with such serious question marks over it would not be counter productive to be in charge of counter-insurgency and you have ignored that.

    I also asked you how you know the composition of this secret (paramilitary) organisation MI5 and you ignored that.

    How about having another try?

    In relation to your question regarding evidence of MI5 involvment in political killing. I dont mind putting it up here – but try searching for it in Google for yourself – there is loads of stuff – and not just from Connolly house.

    If you have no luck let me know and I’ll lend you a hand.

    In relation to your second question regarding a ew ‘Special Branch’ – that is exactly what is required.

  • pippakin

    Halfer

    I said what I said and not what you read into it. I’m not patronising, nor did I suggest that anyone is a war hungry head case!

    I do believe there are some who think ‘just one more push’ will do it. I also believe there is a tendency to overlook the trauma violence can cause, often lasting years after the violence has ended.. I’m not suggesting this is exclusively republican. If anything I think it is a mindset of youth and inexperience and applies to both sides.

    “Nullifies the debate” How, by advocating debate instead of violence?

    It is one thing to disagree with the process. If that is the case organise and take part in elections, that’s what they are for.

    I want to put “pacifist fluff around the spiky issues.” If only…

  • Wasted Ballot

    Just let Sammy ramble. Remember some people in NI are still in the mind set that the pira should have been allowed to blow the shit out of us and nothing be done to stop them.

    MI5 are here and regardless of the whispers and anti anything British we need a secret service to help protect us.

  • joeCanuck

    That wouldn’t be playing the man, would it? Do you have nothing to contribute?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    6crealist,

    Nationalists have a choice vote for a ‘Republican’ view of Norn Iron (and all that it means) or for a ‘Nationalist’ view and they choose the former. There are now 5 abstensionist MPs and 3 who take their seats.

    I am not saying that it is ‘proof – but a resonable working assumption – wouldnt you agree?

  • joeCanuck

    Sammy,

    You may have watched too many James Bond movies. There aren’t any licences to kill.

  • 6crealist

    No, I wouldn’t.

    In any case, your wilful disregard of the southern electorate is interesting: there are more nationalists/republicans down there than up here.

  • Halfer

    Your not providing any basis for your thoughts pip. Incidentally, what you said was patronizing, no matter how it was read.

    Joe,

    So what did you make the throw away comment?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Joe,

    “You may have watched too many James Bond movies. There aren’t any licences to kill.”

    Now I did ask you earlier to concentrate on the ball.

    Returnng to the topic – a little something for you to read.

    http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/Sunday_Tribune/arts2006/nov26_MI5s_dangerous_ascendancy__SBreen.php

  • pippakin

    Halfer

    Your not providing any basis for your thoughts pip. Incidentally, what you said was patronizing, no matter how it was read.

    I would have thought the past forty years was basis enough for advocating peace.

    No it was not patronising. It was a statement of fact: violence has not worked. The agreement has delivered more in the past decade than could have been achieved by violence. It has saved Irish lives.

  • tacapall

    Well Joe there is well publised allegations that MI5 wereinvolved in the murder of a dissident republican from Derry recently, in fact his family recently meet those who control that organisation.

  • Halfer

    Typing peace over and over and over again will not peace make in the real world.

    You state that there are those who believe “one more push”. What do you base that upon? Why is there still political violence in 2010? Youthful exuberance? Why do you think that?

    Why are there more peace walls now than in 1998? Why are the powers in Stormont content with separate but equal communities?

    Why is there so much structural violence suffered every day by poor people across this island? And how come there is a direct connection between social deprivation and political violence?

    More importantly Pip? How do we find a way out of this self sustaining sectarian setup? For me, it’s to question the present setups ability to provide an adequately harmonious society by challenging those who believe in it.

  • John K Lund

    Over the last two years I have written to the Great and the Good.telling them that Kilwilkie was being allowed to develop as an incubator for armed insurrection by dissident republican elements. I have detailed my anxieties and particular Victims Dilemmas to the normal people i.e. The SOS’s, both Paterson and Woodward, the last and present Chief Constables,Politicians including David Forde, The Permanent Secretaries of the NIO both past and present and my pleas have been largely ignored except by the Lurgan Police who are it appears are not being given adequate support from the top.
    The local Politicos have behaved like Eunuchs and seem to be devoid of any ability or in fact will to resolve this totally diabolical state of affairs.
    It behoves for all democratically elected representatives to put all political differences aside and to jointly help all the forces of law and order to identify these terrorists and lock them up to protect the rest of the population. These gangsters terrify their own communities into tacit silence and thus unintentional support of their activities. Every one should report any unusual suspicions or indeed knowledge thereof either to the PSNI or at the very least to their locally elected representatives.

  • Dr Concitor

    I take it Sammy, you want a PSNI ‘Special Branch’ set to take over from MI5. This would be under scrutiny from what passes for a democratic assembly at Stormont. I personally would rather entrust my safety in these matters to MI5 who are held to account at Westminster. You, like many nationalists have great difficulties in accepting this. I can appreciate that, but that’s the way it is. Just a thought, but maybe SF MPs could go to London and play their part in all this.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dr Concitor,

    “I take it Sammy, you want a PSNI ‘Special Branch’ set to take over from MI5.”

    ” You, like many nationalists have great difficulties in accepting this.”

    On the nose x2.

  • pippakin

    Halfer

    I completely agree the present set up should be questioned and dissected as much and as often as possible. Peacefully!

    It is not a question of typing ‘peace’ all the time. It is about pointing out the failure of violence.

    I believe the young are vulnerable to the ‘attraction’ of violent activity because they have, to a degree, missed the real horror of the past.

    There has always been a link between social deprivation and political violence, and that is on both sides. One of the biggest problems imo is that whilst there are pockets of deprivation on both sides those sides are not fighting a common cause. Instead they are fighting each other.

    I too believe in challenging the establishment in every way except violence.

  • joeCanuck

    Sammy,
    It’s all moot anyway. Perhaps our debate has been wasted time. MI5 aren’t going away you know,. Least not until the Union Flag is run down and a redesigned Irish one run up.

  • Driftwood

    Is it not possible to declare Lurgan a separate state from NI? Some wee tax exempt entity like San Marino or Monaco. As no-one in Lurgan pays any taxes this would be cost free.
    Just control all the exits from the shithole and drop in Buckfast and fags and scratchcards from a catapult daily.

    Then just move the railway line and declare any trouble there nothing to do with us here in Northern Ireland guv.

    The simplest solutions are usually the most workable.

  • joeCanuck

    Talk to Greenflag; he has some ideas on repartition.

  • Dr Concitor

    Sammy, my difficulty with this is that the assembly has shown its self to be less than capable of running anything.

  • joeCanuck

    Valid point. I would do away with that institution and instead have 7 super councils; one for each county (roughly) and one for Greater Belfast.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    joeC,

    “MI5 aren’t going away you know”

    We shall see – perhaps the the Englezes will realise the stupidity of allowing MI5 a role when their very presnece makes the situation worse and of course many said the same thing about the Orange State i.e. Stomo Mark1 and more recently about the transfer of Police i.e. not in a political lifetime.

    But why are you are still avoiding the 2 questions put to you?

  • joeCanuck

    Because it’s a waste of time, Sammy. Neither of us is going to convince the other.

  • International organised crimefighter Sammy McNally giving his two cents there.

    In reality the ‘justice minister’ is too involved in dealing with the drinking habits of pesky football supporters to deal with the republican threat.

    Apparently Mr Ford thinks his portfolio is really just a borough council anti social behaviour unit.

  • or to extrapolate that oft-used Shinner vague threat of more violence (‘just from someone else this time’) further, if da Brits would only get out then there’d be no violence at all.

    Honestly it gets a bit tiresome listening to the same arguments after the 1st 100 years.

  • Do you not agree that the other combatants, with the exception of MI5 have either put their arms down (PIRA, UVF) or been reformed (PSNI)?

    That’s an interesting one alright. Where is the bomb making equipment coming from Mr McNally? Similarly the UVF weapon on show last week? Surely the terrorists weren’t lying to us?

  • mark

    jaysus sammy , they are all having a pop tonight man !

  • DC

    Ah no not that topic.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    JoeC,
    That is pretty poor stuff – you make a statement regarding the suitability of MI5 and then admit that you dont know if they have been involved in acts of political killing.

    You also claim to have some knowledge of the composition of the MI5 but cant provide the basis for your knowledge.

    Attitude change (“convincing the other “) is often a little too much to hope for on Slugger but most normally stretch to trying to at least backup their contentions.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Driftwood,

    Interesting idea, I wonder would it be as popular, if put to the vote, as locking up wing-lunatics who clealry get off on their own fascist fantasies?

  • joeCanuck

    Yeah Sammy; you’re an expert at backing up your contentions or theories. Give my head peace, would you.

  • joeCanuck

    Tell you what, Sammy; if you can give all of us a convincing explanation as to why you posed for a few months as a moderate unionist and lied to us, then I will answer the two questions that you desperately need an answer to. Otherwise I have no further reason to debate you on this thread.

  • Dr Concitor

    Joe, I think the 7 council idea is the best way forward.

  • Seymour Major

    This post has been up since 1.27 pm today. It is now 23.34 pm and this is still the latest post.

    That is exactly the type of News that Northern Ireland’s slugger users need to avoid.

  • joeCanuck

    Well, at least Sammy went quiet. Wonder why?

  • pippakin

    What is the point in ‘double commenting’? Sammy has always seemed a committed republican. Moderate Unionist was just that, so what is the point? Like most of us neither opinion would be likely to change minds.

    It is not the first time people have been accused, if that is the right word, of double commenting. It may be that opposing views use the same computer but different aliases. It’s certainly not impossible in, for example, my own family. So if someone turns up on Slugger with my IP address and firm, almost rabid, republican sympathies, you can complain to me if you like but they are too old for me to confiscate the computer! So I will just have to put up with it until they go home.

    Or is it an ‘educated’ guess on the part of the accuser?

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    pippakin,

    I withdrew Sammy to his agricultural duties on his farm for a number of months due to the continuous ‘attention’ from another poster – this ‘attention’ being highlighted many times by many other posters as extrmely unhealthy.

    In the interim I had some fun with Moderate Unionst as an ideological trojan horse for the boul Sammy.

    JoeC,

    As I suggested at the start of this thread you should “remember play the ball my transatlantic amigo”.

  • pippakin

    Sammy

    You invented an entire family for moderate unionist. Silly, just write the book!

  • Comrade Stalin

    I take it Sammy, you want a PSNI ‘Special Branch’ set to take over from MI5. This would be under scrutiny from what passes for a democratic assembly at Stormont.

    The British will never, ever allow any politicians from any of the devolved administrations to touch any part of their national security apparatus. The removal of this responsibility from Special Branch in the run up to the devolution of policing and justice powers was carefully timed and very, very deliberate.

    I personally would rather entrust my safety in these matters to MI5 who are held to account at Westminster.

    I am not convinced that MI5 see national security in the same way that unionists do, with specific issues around the definition of “national” that they would use. I’m sure a lot of them are asking themselves why they are “still in Ireland”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    You’re madder than a march hatter if you think there is any way that the British will allow local politicians of any hue to get a sniff of national security matters.

  • Reader

    pippakin: Sammy has always seemed a committed republican. Moderate Unionist was just that, so what is the point?
    “Moderate Unionist” was a false flag operation and Sammy was utterly unable to stay in character, sliding from crypto-orange bigot to dayglo-green within a couple of weeks.

  • pippakin

    Reader

    I must confess I did not read every comment but those I read on either side seemed clear enough.

    I just don’t understand why anyone would do it! For fun? what fun is there in promoting the view opposite to your own. It may be some form of narcissism I can think of no other plausible explanation.

  • Reader

    pippakin: I just don’t understand why anyone would do it! For fun? what fun is there in promoting the view opposite to your own.
    There would be no fun at all in doing a good job. He may have perceived political advantage in doing a bad job. If “Moderate Unionist’s” initial posts played to your existing prejudices, you may not have noticed how immoderate some of them actually were.