“I hope he is given the chance to do a good job”

UTV Live piece from last night on the elevation of Sean McGlinchey, former IRA man who bombed Coleraine back thirty eight years ago, as Mayor of Limavady… The quote above is from Jean Jefferson, whose aunt was killed in the bombing, and father seriously injured….

Others are somewhat less understanding…


  • aquifer

    The question has to be is this a natural progression of a career of public service by a rehabilitated offender or a centrally directed wind-up by Sinn Fein?

    I have to assume that Sean deserves a chance to do the job well.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Fair play to her – very magnanimous.

    So do we think the Irish News and Talkback will run this story for a fortnight?

  • pippakin

    Another one, Sinn Fein are letting their hair down. No sense, no feeling, but who knows perhaps Mr McGlinchy is a born again human.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Pipp – youre politically savvy – ask yourself why they are doing this? Is it just the media are beginning to notice or is this SF putting former combatants into places of influence?

    Hasnt that always happened? If not – why now?

  • PaulT

    Mr Crumlin, could it be happening now because these people have spent the last decade progressing through the party to reach these roles today?

    Fair play to Jean, if there were more people on both sides like her the world would be a better place.

  • Mr Crumlin

    PaulT – possibly, I dont know. I personally have no problem with ex-combatants playing leading roles in SF – if Im honest I welcome it.

    I vote SF – I know who they are when I put my X on the ballot paper. I find it interesting that others seem all of a sudden surprised to learn that quite a few Shinners were in the RA.

    Agree with your point on Mrs Jefferson – however each person who has suffered has the right to feel and say whatever they want to IMO.

  • joeCanuck

    I’ve searched for the information but couldn’t find it. Does anyone know the total number of people convicted of terrorism related offences from 1965 say?

  • joeCanuck

    And separately but related, anyone know the number of charges laid as a result of the HET inquiries?

  • Mr Crumlin

    Joe – Im pretty sure around 18,000 people went to prison for paramilitary related offences. Let me check.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Joe – 19,500.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks Mr.C. That’s a lot of people. I expect the vast majority are now leading productive lives.

  • andnowwhat

    Some people get it, some people don’t and others choose not to get it.

    BTW, very good point Mr Crumlin about the news and Talkback etc

  • Mr Crumlin

    Joe – I’ve always believed the vast majorityof those imprisoned would not have ended up in jail in a normal society. If they were all ‘psychos etc’ that says more about our society than anything else.

    There is no doubt some would have ended up in jail no matter what (Johnny Adair springs to mind).

    If we also accept that many people involved in paramilitarism did not get caught then that means an awful lot of people were in a proscribed organisation at one stage or another.

  • andnowwhat

    I know a fair few ex prisoners and not one of them ever bothered with anything after their release save for in a political sense.

    Having said that, all of them were involved in the early 70’s.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes Mr.C.

    The number means that an average person in N.I. probably has at least a nodding acquaintance with 3 or 4 convicted people. And if you apply the 6 degrees of separation concept….

  • Mr Crumlin


    I can only speak from my experience. I am from west belfast and I do know quite a few ex-prisoners. They are all decent fellas, whether wider society believes that or not is neither here nor there – thats just my experience.

    I have also met former members of the security forces (including the Branch men) – I have to say they seemed decent fellas too (I was a bit gutted to have to admit that!).

    All in all our society plunged itself into a spiral of violence and good (and some bad) people got involved – not psychopaths I’m afraid – just ordinary people in extraordinary times.

    Thankfully many people found a way out of the seemingly endless cycle of violence and I for one, am grateful for that.

    I hardly think a Shinner being Mayor is a bad thing – infact its a brilliant thing – it shows the immense progress that we have all made. The next step is when this sort of thing doesnt raise an eyebrow, never mind get a headline.

  • Limerick

    Mr Crumlin,

    I remember watching a documentary about Loyalists (Peter taylor I think) in which one of the contributors said the Shankill Butchers were a great bunch of lads. Just his experience of course.

  • pippakin

    Mr Crumlin

    Why stop at Johnny Adair, did the murderer/s of Robert McCartney or Paul Quinn not cross your mind? .

    Psychopath means lacking the ability to empathise but often being able to disguise that lack by appearing normal.

    Sinn Fein will not lose their core vote but they will not progress beyond them either and to gain a UI democratically they are going to have to appeal to the majority, not just their sheep.

  • qwerty12345

    Pippakin wrote: Sinn Fein will not lose their core vote but they will not progress beyond them either and to gain a UI democratically they are going to have to appeal to the majority, not just their sheep.

    1. Sinn fein HAS gone beyond their “core” vote – a look at elections since 1981 will confirm this. Thats why they are a larger party than the SDLP. Have you been asleep?

    As for the sheep comment, oh dear.

  • qwerty12345

    You have to take your hat off to Jean Jefferson. I doubt if I would be so forgiving.

  • pippakin


    The point is not if I’m sleeping but how far can SF grow? I think its close to its maximum now. As for sheep ? If its woolly headed and baas like a lamb…


    Not worthy of you.

  • lamhdearg

    Jonny adair was a rascal as a child, but the troubles made him what he became.
    Robert mcCartney, anyone (hacks) get a quote from his sister, on our new lord mayor yet?.
    Lord mayors, have any convicted murderers from the u.v.f./u.d.a. been elected to this post?.
    Torrens knight new mayor for coleraine, there my be a little fuss.

  • Mr Crumlin

    Pipp – hence my good (and bad) comment.

    You name a few – all I am saying is I know quite a few not from that list – all decent men.

    Lamhdearg – if Torrens Knight gets elected he could be – like the UDA man from the Shankill or Hugh Smyth from the PUP.

  • qwerty12345

    Pip perhaps SF are near their maximum, I dont know. What I would wager is that you would probably have been saying the same thing hopefully in every election since 1981.

    In any case that still leaves them as the largest nationalist party in both Belfast and the north.

    I’ll be honest I find your characterisation of the majority of nationalists in the north as sheep rather worrying coming from someone who purports to be both a democrat and an advocate of a united Ireland.

    People vote Sinn fein for a variety of reasons and I think your comments say more about you than them.

  • qwerty12345

    BTW I know at least one protestant lady who votes Sinn Fein after one of their MLA’s applied pressure and got her admitted to hospital for treatment she needed. Other public reps didnt manage the same.

    Perhaps shes a sheep too.

  • lamhdearg

    mr crumlin “like the uda man from the shankill” at least do a little research, if you mean frank mcCoubrey, i dont think he (or hugh smyth) has a criminal record, never mind a conviction for mass murder. so your comparison

  • pippakin


    I certainly don’t think of the majority of republicans or nationalists as sheep, only the hear, see and speak no evil of some shinner supporters.

    It sounds to me as though you are attempting to spread the net it won’t work. Not all republicans support violence, not all republicans support SF as its current leadership run it.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Ms Jefferson is yet another in a long tradition of good people that found themselves victims of Irish Republicanism’s blood-lust. They stretch back to Gordon Wilson and beyond and their forgiving humane attitudes are humbling. Unfortunately their counterparts from within the Republican and Nationalist community hurt by the state or loyalists simply demand more blood and vengeance.

    As to the “ex-combatant ” McGlinchey, well what’s to be said? His battlefield foes were several of Her Majesty’s Royal Regiment of Pensioners deployed into Coleraine on shopping manoeuvres. Another proud day for the Bold Fenian Men!

  • qwerty12345

    Pippakin, come come, I think you are being disingenuous. If you think the majority of nationalists in the north are sheep dont be afraid to say so.

    I have no idea what net you are talking about, but thanks for your explanation of the broad church that is republicanism. I feel politically enlightened.

  • qwerty12345

    Strongbow what are you on about? Republicans and nationalists demanding blood and vengeance? Apart from the very small numbers of supporters of dissident republicanism I have no idea what the hell you are talking about.

  • PaulT

    “Lord mayors, have any convicted murderers from the u.v.f./u.d.a. been elected to this post?.”

    Indeed, which is why I would like to campaign for the soldiers from bloody sunday to be given a shot *ahem* at been Lord Mayor of Derry (sorry LondonDerry) cos they’ve never been convicted of anything, perhaps some of those involved in Ballymurphy will consider running next time in Belfast,

    Perhaps Lurgan will select one of those nice RUC officers fron the Nelson report.

    Well come on you wouldn’t vote for someone with a parking fine ….would you

  • Limerick

    “Indeed, which is why I would like to campaign for the soldiers from bloody sunday to be given a shot *ahem* at been Lord Mayor of Derry (sorry LondonDerry) cos they’ve never been convicted of anything, perhaps some of those involved in Ballymurphy will consider running next time in Belfast, ”


    I think that is an excellent idea and I know we would all look forward to the magnamity with which the nationalist community would accept their elections.

  • Cackle Daily

    The point has been made elsewhere that if a former paramilitary joins the democratic process, gains a mandate – we do have a responsibility to respect that. We may wish that people didn’t vote the way they did but wishing doesn’t make a thing so.

    Consider this – When people elect a councillor from a party allied to paramilitaries; I shrug my shoulders and say ‘fair enough’. When those councillors obtain high office with the support of non-paramilitary linked parties –even though that particular organisation has continued with criminality and murder I say “oh that’s disappointing”.

    But, hey, Hugh Smyth had a mandate and we were bound to respect it.

  • HeinzGuderian

    andnowwhat 😉

    Are you saying Robert McCartney deserved what he got ?

    I’m surprised Pip and Joe,(our voices of reason),just let that scurrilous post go unchallenged !!

  • lamhdearg

    pip did not, see above

    Not worthy of you”

  • joeCanuck

    And I thought Pip’s comment said it all. As many of our Mums said (approximately), if you cannot speak good of the dead, keep your mouth shut.

  • joeCanuck

    And, yes it was a scurrilous comment and I’m surprised that Mick did not remove it, let alone give a card.
    Nobody, NOBODY deserves to be murdered let alone butally murdered in what was, at most, a street brawl.

  • The Jaundiced Eye

    Well, here we go again. That bane of Ireland – the flag (in fact, with a weary predictability, two of them) – has made the news this week. The first, a tricolour flown by Irish volunteers over the Dublin GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising has been loaned to the American Irish Historical Society in New York. The flag was captured by British soldiers after the surrender and is now in the possession of the family of John Sweetman, a renowned Irish nationalist and one of the founders of Sinn Fein. The flag will be a focal point for the American commemorations of the Centenary of the Rising in 2016. In a wholly unconnected incident – but seemingly bizarre comic counterpoint – the second, a Union flag, made its appearance at a Limavady Borough Council meeting on Tuesday. The council, which has a no flags policy, suspended proceedings after Councillor Boyd Douglas, who had placed the miniature flag on his desk, refused to remove it, thereby putting at risk a local breast cancer charity event which had been under discussion. It would make you weep.