The PSNI, illegal road blocking charges and prospective New Year’s resolutions

Question: When is illegal road blocking not an offence?
Answer: When the road blockers are of a unionist persuasion, it would appear.

The news that 26 individuals have received fines of £400 plus for staging a sit down protest in advance of the loyalist 12th July parade along the Crumlin Road earlier in the year is newsworthy for the fact that it represents a departure from how the PSNI and judiciary have previously- and subsequently- dealt with those who illegally blocked roads to make political statements; the difference being that those traditionally associated with road blocking have been of a loyalist persuasion.

As the Irish News noted in an article last week, loyalists have been known to block roads for a variety of reasons without facing similar charges from the PSNI. For example, in July 2010 loyalists in north Belfast blocked access to ASDA after a convicted loyalist member of staff had been suspended for making inappropriate comments to customers.

Just a matter of weeks ago, loyalists blocked the road in front of Belfast city hall during a protest which also involved kicking cars belonging to nationalist elected representatives. Again, no arrests were made in relation to this incident.

Ironically, loyalists in north Belfast have been quick to block roads when parade routes have been curtailed by Parades Commission determinations in the past- again, without facing similar charges from the PSNI.

In June 2011, loyalists blocked Twaddell Avenue as part of a parade protest in relation to the controversial Tour of the North parade. That illegal road blocking incident was described as  “disciplined and |dignified” by the North Belfast DUP MLA William Humphrey.

Again, no charges were brought by the PSNI in relation to this illegal road blocking incident.

Perhaps this marks a new departure for the PSNI, though the evidence would suggest otherwise, given that these charges were brought in relation to a parade in July but were not subsequently followed through in relation to loyalist road blockers at Belfast city hall a matter of weeks ago or previous to that incident at Twaddell Avenue.

Perhaps the PSNI need to realise that the consistent application of the law (a theme already visited earlier in the year) is an infinitely more preferable and effective strategy to convince people of the sincerity of their intentions than, for example, seeking to engage in PR visits to catholic schools.

Perhaps there’s the basis of a good New Year’s resolution for Matt Baggott and his team in there somewhere……

  • Chris,

    I obviously do not know specific details of the incidents you specify. I do think there is a difference between people congregating on a road and interfering with traffic flow, but not stopping it, and people sitting down on the road and totally blocking traffic flow. But your basic premise is sound. It is essential that identical “offences” be treated in exactly the same manner. Anything less would bring the police into disrepute and, with the efforts to have impartial policing a cornerstone of the new dispensation, that would be sad indeed.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Joe
    You’re correct to point out the distinction but it did not apply in the cases referenced above which all involved traffic flow being halted due to protests- whether individuals involved were sitting it standing is immaterial.

  • babyface finlayson

    Chris
    Just for clarity, as I recall the ASDA protest did not block the road I think.
    On your general point, of course such offences need to be treated the same.

  • Pete Baker

    Joe

    The key point being “identical” offences. And none of the incidents Chris lists as ‘evidence’ are identical.

    In the particular case of those 26 ‘protesters’ fined, they were preventing the implementation of a Parades Commission ruling on a contentious parade and had to be forceably removed, ie arrested, to allow that to happen.

    But if Chris wants the police to wade in on every street protest, that’s a position he’ll have to defend.

    Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the Dark Side, eh Chris?

  • BryanS

    Sure why worry. They wont pay the fine anyway

  • Drumlins Rock

    MOPE
    MOPE
    MOPE
    MOPE

  • sonofstrongbow

    and may I add,

    MOPE, MOPE, and, MOPE.

  • Old Mortality

    There’s only one solution: disband the PSNI and create a new democratic, accountable etc etc.

  • dwatch

    Better still disband the PSNI and go back to the old name of RUC.

  • iluvni

    or better still, instead of £400, fine the arseholes the cost of the policing operation.

  • Cynic2

    Chris

    It is a real pity that the SF reps on the Policing Board are so ineffective that they cannot hold the police to account on this. What happened to ‘putting manners on the police’

    Can you point me to where they have raised this in the Board?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Chris,

    I stood across the road from that city hall protest. The road was not blocked. The police marshalled the protest and it was partially, but not completely, on the road.

    The Asda protest was a group of about 20 morons stationed around the front gate of the shop. No roads were blocked there either.

    I don’t see how posting blogs that are patently untrue helps to support your case.

    But the Police Ombudsman are there to investigate instances where the police failed to uphold the law. I’m sure a complaint has been made ?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Chris,

    in relation to the Twadell protest, at the time the PSNI stated it was they who blocked the road, not the loyalists. They just happened to congregate beside the PSNI.
    For some reason the loyalists insisted that some of those on protest (who hadn’t been blocking the road) be allowed onto the island at the main junction.
    In order to facilitate this request the PSNI asked SF councillor Gerry Mc Cabe if this would be okay. When informed that this would inflame the situation, as crowds were gathering, the PSNI then decided to circumvent the SF councillor and then asked the Chairperson of CARA. They were then told the very same thing.

    At that the PSNI moved their vehicles to face the Ardoyne residents who had gathered. Riot police were then deployed, again to face the Ardoyne residents. Over at Twadelll the PSNI were deployed in normal uniform and flourescent jackets. They chatted quite amiably with the UVF and UDA members who had gathered.
    The PSNI then formed a phalanx and allowed the 7 women on protest (who hadn’t blocked the road) to assemble on the island adjacent to the Ardoyne shops.

    The PSNI could not have been more accommodating in facilitating the protests by the UVF and UDA.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Let me get you right Pat, your acusing those 7 women of being UDA UVF ?

    Thats irrelevant of course as you say they did not block the road, and the ASDA protest did not block the road, and the city Hall protest did not block the road…

    You can do better than that Chris surely if your making such a serious allegation, ah but then you did put in your wee caveat “it would appear” so you can lie all you want after that.

  • Cynic2

    “I don’t see how posting blogs that are patently untrue helps to support your case.”

    ….it just highlights the sectarianism of your position by the suggestion that Loyalists have no rights at all

  • Decimus

    When informed that this would inflame the situation, as crowds were gathering, the PSNI then decided to circumvent the SF councillor and then asked the Chairperson of CARA. They were then told the very same thing.

    At that the PSNI moved their vehicles to face the Ardoyne residents who had gathered.

    Pat,

    So both the Sinner Councillor and the CARA punter told the police that the republicans were likely to kick off. The police then deployed to prevent them from attacking the peaceful protest.

    What do you see wrong with that?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    DR,

    let me be quite clear, that is if you are genuinely confused. An ad hoc protest was called. No notification was given. At the PSNI lines at Twadell were numbers of UVF and UDA members.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    you obviously have a problem with your ability to read.

  • Pete Baker

    This previous post seems appropriate, again – “Help, help, I’m being repressed”

  • Decimus

    Decimus,

    you obviously have a problem with your ability to read.

    Pat,

    I am fairly confident that my reading skills are okay. What do you think the Sinner and the dissident meant when they said “likely to inflame the situation”? In my experience an ‘inflamed situation’ in that part of the world tends to lead to large lumps of concrete being dropped on people’s heads.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    Sinner? Is that juvenile terminology still being used? You display your ignorance of the topic by referring to the Chairperson of CARA as a dissident? You are quite evidently trolling here and will be treated as such from here on in.

  • Roy Walsh

    A number of points, based on fact,
    1) The ‘protest’ at the back of City Hall was, unlike the BBC report, not peaceful, further if protesters were on the road they were at least guilty of jaywalking and in attacking others guilty of Affray, Criminal Damage and Assault & Battery, have the Police Service yet proferred charges against any of these individuals?
    2) To the best of my knowledge, unlike Britain, Unlawful Assembly is still an offence here, which I was often threatened with by the Police Service’s predecessors, might this charge also not be brought against any protester?
    The point in the post is surely about equality, I would be keen to see the Police press any available charge against any protester who caused the highway to be hindered, but it does appear they have a different approach to dealing with Unionists, how then ought Nationalists respond to our new police force.
    Some months past the Orange Order at Drumcree ignored a Parades Commission decision due to the curious absence of the police, have any of these people been charged yet?
    We cannot have one rule for one and one for another, as above, what are SF doing about it in their paid positions?

  • Decimus

    Pat,

    There is no trolling on my part. I am simply pointing out that based on the evidence which you provided it is absolutely clear that the police actions in this case were correct. If the warnings given by the two persons you mention (call them what you please) had turned out to be correct then the police would have been extremely foolish not to deploy themselves to deal with an ‘inflamed situation’. As I pointed out ‘inflamed situations’ in that area tend to lead to attacks on the police.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Ok, let’s deal in a case by case manner…

    PeteB
    Loyalists blocking cars from passing along the road differs little from the activities of those involved in this protest.

    I see you’ve trawled through your archive to find a clip from the Python boys. Funny stuff……

    With regard to the allegations of MOPEry, it is really a simple matter of ensuring that a PSNI which seeks to gain the respect and allegiance of everyone within the community acts in a manner which is likely to ensure that will happen.

    As Pat outlines, it is clear that the PSNI have not dealt with loyalist protests in a similar vein in this part of north Belfast.

    Comrade
    The radio reports on the day of the city hall protest clearly stated that the road was blocked due to a protest, and of course there were claims that cars were attacked by the loyalists as they departed the city hall.

    Cynic
    In the midst of your infantile waffling (who on earth suggested loyalists have no rights at all?), you actually make a good point. Sinn Fein reps should be considerably more assertive and active on these issues, not least if they are to win the battle for hearts and minds in interface communities, where the residual RUC mentality still lingers in the actions of many within the PSNI.

    iluvni
    or better still, instead of £400, fine the arseholes the cost of the policing operation.

    Finally, a great suggestion! But I can’t imagine the loyalists welcoming your proposal to make them pick up the tab for their efforts…..

  • Good to see Slugger through Chris try and tackle this blatant example of the continuation of political and partial Policing…

    The reality for Ardoyne and it’s residents is that unwelcome sectarian marches and militarised curfews are forced upon our community at regular intervals every year. No one and I mean no one has been made accountable for these unwanted incursions into our area. However, when local people take action in a peaceful demonstration they are arrested, charged and dragged through the Court system!

    Previous protests by Loyalists have been ignored by the State, RUC-PSNI and their supporters. The so-called ‘new’ civil Police have repeatedly failed to pass the test laid by Nationalist Political Parties and instead of holding the RUC-PSNI to account they hide away until the dust settles. These Parties have done nothing to question political and secterian tactics by Matt Baggot and his charges and the shame is on them!

    Finally, Pat Mc Larnon fails to address why a senior member of the RUC-PSNI told the recent Court case; ‘that without the active help of a number of community and political representatives, we would not have been able to identify protesters’. Is this account truthful and if so, why have the same people not identied Loyalist protesters at Twaddell, Asda or the City Hall?

  • Chris Donnelly

    C Stalin
    From Irish News, December 24th (p7)

    “Around 200 loyalists gathered at the city hall and while most dispersed peacefully a number attacked cars as councillors left the monthly meeting, blocking off nearby May Street for a time.
    To date no charges have been brought in relation to the loyalist protest.
    In 2010 loyalist protesters blocked the entrance to the Shore Road branch of Asda supermarket for several days in support of convicted killer and Asda employee Billy Hunter, who was sacked for making an allegedly sectarian comment.
    Mr Hunter was later reinstated and no one was charged in connection with the blockade.”

  • iluvni

    What age do you think you’ll grow out of this nonsense?

  • Decimus

    However, when local people take action in a peaceful demonstration they are arrested, charged and dragged through the Court system!

    I know that Northern Ireland is quite a small place, but surely Omagh, Londonderry and er, Spain are not regarded as being local to Ardoyne?

  • I can categorically state that no-one from Spain was ever arrested, charged or for that matter ‘convicted’ of partaking in a peaceful protest in Ardoyne on July 12th, 2010…

    The other guys from Derry and Omagh have relatives living in the locality and were visiting them when the protest occurred…

    BTW, where exactly are the Loyalist bands, Orangemen and of course the RUC/PSNI stormtroopers from – certainly NOT from Ardoyne chara?

  • Drumlins Rock

    “chara”

    AR, you certainly know how to promote the language and make it appealing to Unionists by sticking it onto the end of your attack. Well done mate : )

  • DR, I guess the names ‘Northern Ireland and Londonderry are NOT used to annoy people?

    As for chara, broken Irish is better than broken English don’t U agree?

  • Drumlins Rock

    They are most definately not AR, and it just shows how warped you thinking is to even imagine that. I’m sure Chis appreciate your support in his fantasy quest but your doing more harm than good.

    As a matter of interest do you think “all the above” should be brought before the courts or “none of the above” ?

  • redhugh78

    Ardeoin,

    Why would the psni need commmunity elected reps to tell them anything?, they had hand held video recorders on the day.

  • Decimus

    The other guys from Derry and Omagh have relatives living in the locality and were visiting them when the protest occurred…

    Pull the other one chara. It’s got bells on.

  • Red Hugh, I forgot that the RUC/PSNI have the ‘best’ investigations units in the world…lol

    Maybe someone would care to explain how it took a specific Dentist to admit to murder before they actually investigated a double killing….

    Would U care to explain Mark Hamilton’s (RUC/PSNI) comments to the Court then? Another figment of my imagination, I guess?

  • Fair Deal

    You omit the detail of a parades commission ruling applied to the protest on which charges were made unlike the other examples.

    Also there is the matter of the first minister and a DUP councillor being convicted of this offence a number of years ago but that wouldn’ fit the story very well would it? Was that case a shift in psni policy?

    I realise that Sinn Fein in the city are trying to ‘toughen up’ their image to counteract the dissidents but a lesson the DUP learned from tackling the TUV is that such approaches are the wrong path.

  • Chris Donnelly

    F D

    I’m most particularly interested in ensuring that the PSNI adopt the same approach to protests involving the blocking of roads regardless of the political affiliations of those involved.

    The faux outrage of your fellow unionist councillors on Belfast city hall which precipitated the sectarian loyalist protests referenced above suggest that it is more a case of the DUP/UUP alliance in city hall seeking to stoke sectarian flames in the city in an effort to win back protestant votes from Alliance (and no doubt shake many non-voters from their apathy.) Hence the Irish language insults within the chamber and petulant whinge regarding the Nollaig Shona Duit sign.

    Thankfully, I believe you’re onto a loser with that strategy.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    you have been less than honest in your contributions to this thread. You alone brought up the threat of ‘republican violence’, yet fail to support this with any facts.

    You then label the chair of the democratically elected CARA a ‘dissident’ (whatever that means). So quite clearly you are trolling the thread.

  • Decimus

    you have been less than honest in your contributions to this thread. You alone brought up the threat of ‘republican violence’, yet fail to support this with any facts.

    Pat,

    When you said that the protestors moving onto a traffic island would ‘inflame the situation’ according to the two people you mentioned what do you think that would have entailed? In the past, and indeed on that occasion, it has involved serious rioting.

    You then label the chair of the democratically elected CARA a ‘dissident’ (whatever that means). So quite clearly you are trolling the thread.

    I’m deeply sorry, but I find it hard to keep track of all of these ‘oppressed’ organisations. I didn’t realise that the police were speaking to two sides of the same coin. How does that equal ‘trolling the thread’?

    I get the distinct feeling that you are trying to shut me up because you don’t like your nonsense being challenged.

  • Fair Deal

    CD

    If you are so interested how did such a prominent case slip your mind? The twaddell protest occurred after a number of white line pickets on the crumlin road by republicans so the psni bascially facilitated two sides of an argument to protest rather than discriminate against anyone. Never mind the disjoint of repulicans sharing power at stormont but can’t share a roundabout on the crumlin road.

    Your stuff is so much better when you don’t parrot connolly house lines. There was nothing faux about the anger at an act of political discrimination against a child by a mayor under orders from party superiors. The claim this is to get alliance votes back really is from another planet without the first clue about non-nationalist voting patterns in the city. Just shows how the unionist outreach has made zero impact on republican analysis with the same tired and wrong conclusions reached.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    As stated the ‘protest’ was not filed for. It was ‘spontaneous’ and as I also stated it involved numbers of UDA and UVF personnel. Bringing these people onto the streets for whatever reason does lead to violence. The UVF violence at the same time, when they attacked the Short Strand was clear evidence of that.

    You simply lied when you labelled the Chairperson of CARA a dissident, suck it up and move on.

    I have no interest in shutting you up. Your ignorance on this subject is akin to an open goal, keep on posting til your hearts content.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Chris,

    The Irish News article is at odds with what I saw. I know for a fact that the Asda on Shore Road was not “blocked off”. My parents do their shopping there. They saw the protest but were not prevented from entering.

    I passed the city hall protest when the cars were being attacked on their way out and the road wasn’t “blocked” – cars were passing up May St, albeit slowly.

    I thought the unionist complaining about the Irish language sign was distinctly muted, more muted than I would have expected. I’m not sure whether this was because the unionist group on the council thought they had pushed the Lord Mayor protest thing a bit too far, or whether there has been a lesson learned that there is no point shouting defeatism from the rooftops – I suspect a bit of both.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Hold the bleedin phone! Where do I join up for this polis-watch thingy?

    A little while back I was caught doing 50 in a (just entered) 40mph zone. Bad I know and I took my fine and penalty points on the chin.

    Now here’s the thing, whereas my name ain’t Mason Boyne it does have the Mark of Calvin about it. So I was perturbed when earlier this evening during a conversation with an acquaintance of the Roman Catholic persuasion, with a very ‘Irish’ name to boot, he recounts his tale of being stopped by the police having been nabbed at 49 in a 40. He gets away with ‘advice and warning’!

    So there you are Chris lad the cops are rotten to the core. You’ve got them bang-to-rights, and I speak as a victim of the PSNI’s partisan political policing.

    Now where can I buy one of those Irish-name changing kits mo chara?

  • Decimus

    Decimus,

    As stated the ‘protest’ was not filed for. It was ‘spontaneous’ and as I also stated it involved numbers of UDA and UVF personnel. Bringing these people onto the streets for whatever reason does lead to violence.

    Pat,

    Why are you failing to point out that the republican protests in that same area involve numbers of the various types of IRA personnel? Surely you must agree that bringing them onto the streets does indeed lead to violence and that therefore the police tactics on the day were entirely justified.

    You simply lied when you labelled the Chairperson of CARA a dissident, suck it up and move on.

    If someone makes a genuine mistake then it is not a lie. As I have pointed out there are so many of these professional MOPEry organisations out there that it is difficult to keep track of which particular split they emanated from. I had no idea that the police were talking to two sides of the same coin.

  • Into the west

    strongbow
    Yeah get yourself some irish ID, see how useful it is !
    Me I’ve got this reversible hat “tricolour to unionjack”
    Its a very handy item indeed 😉

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    you seem to want to bring the IRA or ‘dissidents’ into a discussion around a unionist protest at Twadell that involved both the UDA and UVF. You seem to be ignorant of the subject matter and seem keen to move the debate onto anything but the unionist protest and its participants.

    As I pointed out earlier it is known as trolling.

  • Comrade Stalin you said your parents weren’t prevented from entering ASDA…

    How was it that the store lost tens of thousands of pounds in custom due to the store being blocked?

    Is your acceptence at the RUC/PSNI Operation on the Twelfth (2010) and the Court convictions based on the stopping of traffic on the Crumlin Road?

  • Decimus

    you seem to want to bring the IRA or ‘dissidents’ into a discussion around a unionist protest at Twadell that involved both the UDA and UVF. You seem to be ignorant of the subject matter and seem keen to move the debate onto anything but the unionist protest and its participants.

    Pat,

    I have merely pointed out to you that the police took the correct action after they were warned by a Sinn Fein* Councillor and a member of a group closely associated with Sinn Fein* that the situation was about to be inflamed. You effectively derailed whatever argument you were trying to make by tellling us that. Pointing that out is not trolling.

    *The political wing of the Provisional IRA.

  • Pat McLarnon you stated in an earlier post that;
    ‘the chair of the democratically elected CARA’…

    Who was he elected by? Was it the whole community in Greater Ardoyne? If so, where and when did this election take place? Likewise, just how many members of CARA are also members of Provisional Sinn Fein?

    After all, the above questions are in the interests of fair play and of course community accountability!

  • Chris Donnelly

    Never mind the disjoint of repulicans sharing power at stormont but can’t share a roundabout on the crumlin road.

    FairDeal
    1. With regard to sharing roundabouts, I believe we’ve been over this ground before but now that you’re an elected representative for the area, then perhaps you can outline now for us on Slugger whether or not you’d be willing to support a republican parade from Ligoneil down through Ballysillan and into Ardoyne? After all, it’d only involve sharing a wee stretch of road…..

    2. Regarding unionist attitudes to the Mayor’s action, I’d imagine those attitudes were similar to nationalist attitudes to Sammy Wilson’s DUP Conference remarks and the similarly offensive remarks attributed to a unionist councillor in Belfast regarding the Irish language.

    The key difference is that the nationalist political parties did not proceed to ratchet up the issue by their subsequent actions, including supporting protests which proved to be sectarian and violent in character.

    Oh, and at least the Mayor had the decency to apologise for his regrettable actions. We’re still awaiting similar expressions of remorse from Sammy and that Belfast unionist councillor.

    Perhaps you can share with us whether you’d like to call on such statements of remorse at this time? After all, there hardly consistent with your party leaders expressed support for a unionism capable of garnering support from beyond the core PUL base of which you are so familiar……

  • Fair Deal,

    Good to see you back contributing. Any chance of blogging again?

  • Cynic2

    “In the midst of your infantile waffling” …. there you go again playing the man not the issue when you cannot cope, Perhaps my post was infantile in point out that your Party Reps haven’t even raised this. Are they too lazy or is it just not an issue. Your post suggests the former. Better be careful or you may get a visit for , what shall we say, ‘teacher training’ for being off message

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    if you believe that the PSNI took the right decision at the behest of the UVF and UDA then that is a matter for yourself, leave me out of that particular scenario. It least it throws a bit of light of where you are coming from.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Cynic
    There’s no need to spit the dummy out now. It is hardly man playing to point out that the accusation that I am against any rights for loyalists is utterly ridiculous, not least when the issue at hand is one of seeking to ensure that both communities are treated in precisely the same manner by the authorities.

    Thankfully I am less sensitive than you as, judging by your criteria, I could have labelled multiple contributions on this thread directed at myself as man-playing.

    Perhaps a thicker skin is required from the New Year sales? ;>

  • I’ll have to repost the same post I typed yesterday because Pat McLarnon has yet to answer….Wonder why?

    “Pat McLarnon you stated in an earlier post that;
    ‘the chair of the democratically elected CARA’…

    Who was he elected by? Was it the whole community in Greater Ardoyne? If so, where and when did this election take place? Likewise, just how many members of CARA are also members of Provisional Sinn Fein?

    After all, the above questions are in the interests of fair play and of course community accountability!”

  • Decimus

    Decimus,

    if you believe that the PSNI took the right decision at the behest of the UVF and UDA then that is a matter for yourself, leave me out of that particular scenario. It least it throws a bit of light of where you are coming from.

    Pat,

    Clearly the UVF and UDA had nothing to do with the decision. The took their decision based on information given to them by the political wing of PIRA. You explained that earlier.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    it was a protest organised by the unionist paramilitary UDA and UVF and the PSNI helped to facilitate it with use of force.

    This was on the 16th of June and a few days later one party to the protest, the unionist UVF, launched their sectarian attack on the Short Strand. The PSNI displayed a traditional appeasing role to the unionist paramilitaries. Something that some of us are working to end.

  • Cynic2

    “both communities are treated in precisely the same manner by the authorities”

    …but as others have pointed out you were trying to compare apples with pears and challenge the right of Loyalists to protest LAWFULLY and peacefully

  • Decimus

    Pat,

    For the purpose of continuity I think it would be helpful at this stage to remind ourselves of the sequence of events which you outlined for us earlier in this thread.

    For some reason the loyalists insisted that some of those on protest (who hadn’t been blocking the road) be allowed onto the island at the main junction.
    In order to facilitate this request the PSNI asked SF councillor Gerry Mc Cabe if this would be okay. When informed that this would inflame the situation, as crowds were gathering, the PSNI then decided to circumvent the SF councillor and then asked the Chairperson of CARA. They were then told the very same thing.

    At that the PSNI moved their vehicles to face the Ardoyne residents who had gathered. Riot police were then deployed, again to face the Ardoyne residents.

    So just to be clear the Sinner councillor and the chairperson of ‘CARA’ informed the police that the situation was about to become inflamed. The police then very sensibly deployed their officers in order to ensure that any inflamed situation could be dealt with without unneccesary casualties.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    Your dishonesty is now becoming quite ridiculous. Having been pulled up on a blatant lie about the Chairperson of CARA it appears that rather than actually discuss the subject you maintain your dishonesty. Not very bright, but at least consistent.

    The unionist UDA and UVF brought their members and camp followers to that junction. That in itself inflamed the situation. They sought to inflame the situation by having their unionist camp followers at the roundabout.

    The capitulation by the PSNI emboldened the UVF in particular and they responded in type a few days later at Short Strand.

  • Fair Deal

    Joe

    No I don’t have the time.

    CD

    Ignoring my questions and challenges and then trying to shift the topic, I wonder why? Care to respond to why the Robinson case slipped your mind and why the different attitudes at Stormont and Ardoyne?

    No it wasn’t the same as Sammy’s conference speech a living breathing actual child was discriminated against.

    “at least the Mayor had the decency to apologise for his regrettable actions”

    Sorry the Lord Mayor took days to apologise (after SF had publicly said he wouldn’t) and did it so hamfistedly the first time he had to issue a second one. On the same day as the apology he told a journalist he wouldn’t rule doing the same again (cutting the legs from under the apology).

    Asked three days later to say he wouldn’t behave the same way he refused and his group leader said to ask him to do so was to ask him to become a Unionist. Yet the next morning his group leader promised on the radio the Lord Mayor would not do the same again (this was mysteriously achieved without him changing into a Unionist) so what was too much to ask the night before became possible within hours. This was a SF media mess not a Unionist conspiracy.

  • Reader

    Fair Deal: This was a SF media mess not a Unionist conspiracy.
    To be fair, though, SF have been a lot less sure-footed ever since the Blairites left.

  • Decimus

    The unionist UDA and UVF brought their members and camp followers to that junction. That in itself inflamed the situation. They sought to inflame the situation by having their unionist camp followers at the roundabout.

    Pat,

    The only threat of violence the police were facing was from republicans. The Sinner rep and the CARA rep both made that clear to them as you have highlighted above. Therefore the police deployed in order to face that threat. An extremely sensible precaution given what they had been told.

    The capitulation by the PSNI emboldened the UVF in particular and they responded in type a few days later at Short Strand.

    There was no capitulation. The police successfully faced the threat down. Just as they successfully dealt with the mobs, from both sides, at Short Strand.

  • Decimus

    To be fair, though, SF have been a lot less sure-footed ever since the Blairites left.

    Specifically since Jonathon Powell stopped writing the script for them.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Fair Deal

    I take it from your unwillingness to state a position on a republican parade from Ligoneil to Ardoyne that you would be opposed to sharing ‘that’ stretch of road, yet are quite happy to moan about republicans not sharing the bit of the Crumlin Road just down from Ballysillan.

    That tells us all we need to know about the willingness of unionist politicians to create genuinely shared space.

    Your stance regarding the mayor’s apology and Sammy Wilson’s non-apology is completely hypocritical. All the waffle about the extent and nature of the Mayor’s apology doesn’t detract from the fact that at least he had the decency to so do, unlike Sammy Wilson who used the Stormont assembly to further boast about his ability to make sectarian comments to annoy the ‘other.’ Again, please explain how this is consistent with Peter’s stance on attracting non-protestants to the Union?

    Oh, and what of your fellow unionist councillor’s remarks about the Irish language in the Belfast council chamber? Do you condemn such remarks and call on him to be even more unequivocal than you believe the Mayor was in expressing his regret?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Decimus,

    “The only threat of violence the police were facing was from republicans. The Sinner rep and the CARA rep both made that clear to them as you have highlighted above.”

    Your resort to lying is now reaching the point of cringeworthy. The SF rep and the CARA Chairperson explained that the unionist UVF and UDA were there for violence. At no stage was republican violence mentioned. You have invented that and it can be added to your ever growing list of lies.

    The unionists faced down the PSNI and this emboldened those very same unionists to launch attacks on the Short Strand.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    FD

    “No it wasn’t the same as Sammy’s conference speech a living breathing actual child was discriminated against.”

    Discriminated against? In the list of unionist hyperbole and fury this is right up there.

    The family of the girl accepted the apology. Unionists decided to run with the issue despite that and as on previous occasions the UVF attack dogs were sent onto the streets. Cue attacks on cars at the City Hall.

  • Decimus

    Your resort to lying is now reaching the point of cringeworthy. The SF rep and the CARA Chairperson explained that the unionist UVF and UDA were there for violence. At no stage was republican violence mentioned. You have invented that and it can be added to your ever growing list of lies.

    Pat,

    So now you are saying that the Sinner and the CARA punter were warning the police that allowing the loyalists to stage a small protest on a traffic island would result in the said loyalists using violence? Really? How exactly does that work in your head?