“The PSNI said it was the council who had removed the debris, “after consultation with the local community”.”

Three nights of disturbances in the Galliagh area of Londonderry, including an arson attack on a electricity sub-station, during which police have been attacked with petrol bombs and other items, have been blamed on a “hardcore” element by the PSNI.

A “youth worker” in the same BBC report concurs

Mr Connolly said: “It’s clearly been totally anti-social vandalism – no motive behind it all all – and people can use the excuse of a bonfire but it’s got nothing to do with a bonfire.”

And the Sinn Féin MLA, and noted plagiarist, Raymond McCartney has taken time off from his legal musings to also agree

…Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said he had visited the area in recent nights and agreed with Mr Connolly that the violence was “opportunistic”.

“There is absolutely no doubt that there are a number of anti-social elements who used the opportunity to simply visit wanton destruction and violence on the PSNI and on ordinary citizens driving through the Glengalliagh road, he said.

But the Irish Times report has some interesting background

The disturbances appear to be in response to the removal of material for a bonfire planned for Galliagh on August 15th. According to local SDLP councillor, Jimmy Carr, the annual bonfire is a long-standing tradition.

Last year, trouble erupted at the bonfire, including anti-social behaviour and allegations of a sexual assault.  Recent talks between community representatives, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the PSNI broke down, before a decision was made to clear away debris. [added emphasis]

“I sympathise with both sides,” Mr Carr said. “I can see why many of the older residents want any bonfire to be properly policed and regulated, because of last year’s trouble. I also sympathise with the young people in the area who want to keep up the tradition and feel that’s being denied them.”

The PSNI said it was the council who had removed the debris, “after consultation with the local community”.

A few questions arise.  Such as who exactly were involved in those talks, and what were they about?  And why did those talks “break down”?

Adds  As Nevin notes below, a Derry Journal report from Friday 20 July states

A meeting was held earlier this week between residents, the Housing Executive, the PSNI, youth agency Off The Streets, Community Restorative Justice and local councillors in order to find a way forward.

Following that meeting a spokesperson for the HE said they “would respect the real concerns of the residents and make every reasonable effort to remove the bonfire material gathered on the site.”

Although, the Housing Executive District Manager, Eddie Doherty, is also quoted describing that meeting as “positive”…

80 thoughts on ““The PSNI said it was the council who had removed the debris, “after consultation with the local community”.”

  1. Articles

    In fairness, you have to admire a man who can manipulate the murder of a young woman on here honeymoon in to a shinner bashing session

    Given that the blog is an exercise in man playing, I guess we’re all free to have a go

  2. “Such as who exactly were involved in those talks, and what were they about?”

    The Derry Journal provides no names but, as you might expect, is able to provide additional detail:

    A meeting was held earlier this week between residents, the Housing Executive, the PSNI, youth agency Off The Streets, Community Restorative Justice and local councillors in order to find a way forward.

    Following that meeting a spokesperson for the HE said they “would respect the real concerns of the residents and make every reasonable effort to remove the bonfire material gathered on the site.”

    .. Housing Executive District Manager, Eddie Doherty, said: “It was a positive meeting involving statutory and voluntary agencies with the residents whereby people were given the opportunity to voice their concerns or support for the bonfire in Bracken Park/Moss Park area. However, there was an overwhelming opinion expressed by the attendees that the bonfire should not proceed in this area.”

  3. Pete

    Regarding your questions:

    1. Who was involved in the talks: That was answered in the various quotes you used.
    2. What where they about: The bonfire DUH

    3. Why did the talks break down : How that is interesting as the Irish Times said they did but there is no reference to this in the BT


    Or the DJ


    But whilst the disgruntled youth else where are playing knick knack, kick the can etc here there seems to be a new game involving PSNI baiting.
    Perhaps it is time for the residents & local representatives to take ownership of this bonfire. May be the council could grant aid the thing with fizzy pop, baked potatoes and sausages on sticks. Green Fest

    Come on people get together & sort it out & at least control your children!!!!

    City of Drink Culture & possibly not alone in that respect in this country.

    New to this forum so forgive me if I make errors but there does seem to be a lot of back bitting going on.

  4. ‘A “youth worker” in the same BBC report concurs’

    I believe that ‘Youth worker’ you refer to is Martin Connolly, a Drugs and Alcohol Awareness Officer with Derry’s Community Drugs Awareness Project (CAP). But I’m sure he isn’t as qualified to talk on these matters, compared to a ‘journalist’ such as yourself.

  5. This is just a typical Republican excuse to riot. Orchestrated by dissident elements as part of their continuing campaign of violence. The fact one of the youths stated “the Protestants can have theirs, why cant we have ours” just shows the mentality and general lack of intelligence. Petrol bombs do not just appear so the “hardcore element” the PSNI speak of should be known to the community who could undoubtedly have prevented the violence continuing for 3 nights.

  6. Republican bonfires are a complete lack of class. Flattery to the highest degree. Glad to see the locals have some sense, suppose can’t expect the yobs to have any.

  7. The fact one of the youths stated “the Protestants can have theirs, why cant we have ours”

    You hit the nail on the head there Broc thats exactly why this orgy of anti social behaviour has been taking place, monkey see monkey do type of thing, the PSNI wont get involved in traditional rituals and the Housing Executive wont get involved unless the community want them to and the Shinners just do the talking for the community without actually asking them what their opinion is, and seeing as the Shinners are the government the bonfire gets removed and the local skip rats get annoyed and vent their anger, add in alcohol and drugs and its firewater to the Indians time they end up coming from miles away to join in.

  8. Broc

    Take a bottle, put in petrol, add sugar (if you want to cause injury) and put a soaked rag in the top. That’s all you have to do to make a petrol bomb.

    The hardest bit is getting glass bottles instead of the plastic ones that barrack busters come in.

  9. andnowwhat,

    Great public service ad for any kids reading.
    Now, you wouldn’t happen to have a recipe for napalm, would you?

  10. Yep Joe. Slugger is coming down with rioting types (I’m looking at you baker 🙂 ) Actually, I do have a recipe for Napalm as I do for how to make a nuclear bomb. It’s all on the interweb

  11. Jays’s Joe!! I was being sarcy about the napalm thing but there’s actually videos on Youtube. What the hell !!!!

  12. andnowwhat

    whos buying the petrol for these mindless thugs? They are a disgrace. Pointless violence

  13. Agreed but they’re the same sort of kids that did it when I was a kid and that do the same sort of thing in Toxteth, Souf Landan, Glasgy and Ballybeen.

    As for that access to petrol. Perhaps we should blame Francis Maude

  14. Right Broc, since I seem to be the one giving you the inner city social anthropology lesson; You don’t buy the petrol, you syphon it from a petrol tank of a car, motorbike or whatever

  15. Thanks andnowwhat im enjoying your “scumbags eye-view.” My petrol bomb point was that it had to be premeditated to a certain extent. How sad do you have to be to attack the emergency services?

  16. Broc

    Hardly a unique view. It’s just stuff you pick up when you live in NI but haven’t got your head up your own arse

  17. Broc what your actually trying to say is that other more sinister, or older people arranged the disturbances and supplied the petrol and the teenagers and children are either dissident republicans or controlled by them.

  18. I think it depends on whether or not you have been brought up or trailed up andnowwhat! It wasnt a bonfire that was removed merely a load of rubbish which as the report says was removed by the council so why attack the police? Never understood attacking or shooting police, fire or ambulance crews.

  19. Andnowwhat

    It’s not as easy now to syphon petrol as it was in the good old days. Most cars have a locking cover to the petrol tank filler cap. They have designed the pipework from the filler cap to the tank so syphoning from a modern car is not that

    “You don’t buy the petrol, you syphon it from a petrol tank of a car, motorbike”

    “it isnt worth syphoning fuel out of a modern motor the connections are not designed for this and you will probably die in a ball of fire”.


  20. Broc, I spent all my summers in my youth in Ontario, Canada. I’ve never thrown so much as a fit. That said, I’ve seen many a riot (my parent’s house looked on to the Falls Rd from the top of an adjacent road) and watched the news reports later which bore simply no relation the the events that happened. Most noticeably was the complete tosh that the press and peelers pushed that everything is always planned.

    BTW unionists, you’ve no high horse here. You owe the people of NI at least 5 lost summers

  21. andnowwhat

    Are you getting the heat wave there anw?

    “my parent’s house looked on to the Falls Rd from the top of an adjacent road”

    What road was that anw???

  22. Broc what you think and whats the truth, like you said, depends on whether or not you have been brought up or trailed up although its not unusual around the world for those who were “brought up” acting exactly the same, if not worse, as those who were trailed up.

  23. From a different report in the Londonderry Sentinel:

    Disorder in the Galliagh area first broke out on Thursday night when youths built a barricade in the middle of the road at Moss Park and set it on fire at about 10.30pm ..

    Two men aged 18 and 43 have already been charged to court. ..

    .. fire crews attending the scene of a small rubbish fire in the area of the electricity substation in Galliagh Park came under attack from youths.

    Much nonsense is talked about ‘giving leadership’ – especially from those who’d previously set a bad example to young people.

  24. Tapacall

    Indeed. Speaking about my old hood, I remember walking in to the house of a guy I went to school with and the first thing one saw was a picture of his deceased father in his RUC uniform. A very well raised family with a mother who was a real lady of the old style.

    Odd thing is that his younger brother is/was a very active volunteer of some renown. At the other end of the scale, I’ve a very well educated friend who was raised by a mother who was a Tennents Special swilling member of a breakaway group .

    The dragged up nonsense doesn’t hold water

  25. andnowwhat id love to know what you mean by “owing 5 summers” it wasnt a problem before 1995 so what changed?
    The nationalist/republican community became intolerant of their neighbours and they owe 40 years never mind 5.
    Tacapall those who have been brought up dont attack emergency services for a bitta craic at the weekend.

  26. Nevin

    On a national or all island scale, this is a scary generation. The culture of attacking emergency services is beyond our parochial concerns. I really don’t get it and it’s going on in Ireland, NI, Scotland, Wales and England but this is one scary generation.

    I listen to national radio and follow Southern based sites and the same crap about attacking emergency services is all over them. Something greater is afoot and like I said, it’s fucking scary.

    Maybe someone would like to do a blog on that rather than petty point scoring.

  27. Broc

    Used to be an issue to admit in mixed company that one was a nationalist (look at the unionist demonisation of Hume, Mallon et al) , never mind a republican. The default was that parades could go where they wanted etc. but a time came when it was more mainstream to be open. For years, in places like Carrick Hill, people were literally barricaded in to their areas to allow for unionist marching.

    In the 90’s came a time to say, I actually don’t want this in my area. Yeah, it was republicans led by some less than admirable types but they had the balls to do it. It would be far too scary for ordinary people to do so, as the reaction proved.

  28. andnowwhat the majority of parades will pass any given area in 15minutes with some exceptions eg the annual 12th July parades. That to me shows pure intolerance and again an excuse for the republican community to play their violins and as you have informed me syphon their petrol for petrol bombs. Parades are merely an excuse and an attempt to restrict the Protestant community of Northern Ireland from expressing their culture

  29. It only took some PIRA thugs 15 minutes to beat young Paul Quinn to death so that was alright then.

  30. Andnowwhat,

    “For years, in places like Carrick Hill, people were literally barricaded in to their areas to allow for unionist marching”.

    That is not strictly true.

    The barricades as you call them, at Unity Walk. I’m sure you remember why they were put up. They were to stop the republicans from Unity Walk attacking the parade.
    Not to allow Unionist to march, but to allow then to parade free form the threat of republican violence.

    As soon as the parade passed they were taken down and then when the parade was coming back they were put in place.

    As the nice man from Unity Walk or as they describe themselves now Carrickhill, has a better ring to it. What with all the violent connotations of Unity Walk. He said when he was interviewed the parades commission on the 14th July (I para phrase but it was something like this), “we let them walk in our area”.

    There’s another part of town I did not know was exclusively republican.

  31. Mister_Joe thats being quite exact with your information there? This is not a thread I am going to get into Republican murders on. But you feel free to rant away.
    As for andnowwhat I never mentioned the word “loyalist” so I dont even know what point your trying to make?

  32. First time in all the years on Slugger that I have been accused of having a rant.
    Motes and beams?

  33. Where do you want to go with that Joe? The shinner on Mc Cartney? Robinson entertaining the UVF, who shot Moffet in broad daylight, in the Stormont hotel last year? A PUP man covering the Thomas Devlin murderers? The CC standing up for the cops who manufactured lies about Mc Gurk’s?

    The whole thing is one sick fek’n joke. The whole lot of it!!

    Then, we’ve cops who are neither respected nor feared, cops who couldn’t take on a dissy checkpoint because some of them hadn’t done the apt gun course and others who’s certificates had (apparently) expired.

  34. Shinners, not shinner.

    That’s important for legal reasons. Wouldn’t want it implied that half of Belfast knows the craic

  35. andnowwhat,

    Don’t want to go anywhere. My comment was directed at “shure it’s only 15 minutes”.

  36. Now I know where your getting mixed up with the whole being brought up and trailed up line Broc maybe your just ignorant or just have a blinkered view of what pot calling the kettle black means. Have you ever counted up the cost in human lives, the majority catholic, and the destruction caused by Orangemen and their supporters throughout the years expressing that demand for unrestricted freedom to express that culture.

  37. AU

    Are you saying that republicans from Unity Walk were not allowed to object to loyalist parades?

  38. Firstly Joe its sure, not shure and you have put quotation marks even though you are not quoting anyone?? Then you bring up an issue which you all of a sudden don’t wish to discuss, poor judgement and poor taste.

  39. Andnowwhat.

    Do you work for MI5 you seem to know a lot. I did not know that anyone had been convicted for the murder of Bobby Moffet?

  40. Tacapall, I resent the accusation that Orangemen have caused any destruction? Could you clarify that statement please.

    Have you seen the actual human cost caused by Republicans? I think you should look at yourself before calling any kettles black

  41. ANW

    Not at all.

    They can sand there all day and “object” but just like up at the republican part of Ardoyne not with bricks, bottles and petrol bombs.

    Such intolerance from republicans every time they see or hear of an Orange Man or Band on parade, they rush (20 miles) all the way from Lurgan to get offended.

  42. andnowwhat, think this says it all,

    “Although the IMC has concluded that the murder of Moffett was extremely serious, it has decided not to recommend that the Northern Secretary Owen Patterson should “recategorise” the UVF as an organisation not on ceasefire.”

  43. Broc

    I think you get me wrong. See, I’d like to see a load of cops (possibly brought in from the rest of the UK and possibly with army back-up) go in and take the faux peace apart by busting dissident and loyalist doors in and taking these guys out of commission.

    The inaction over the things I cited is to keep the faux peace in place. In the meantime socially destructive crime is going on daily and such organisations are involved.

  44. .. they rush (20 miles) all the way from Lurgan to get offended.

    Yes, totally inexcusable. Should throw the book at that one if he is convicted.

  45. No one says Orangemen cant parade and be British just like Nationalist can feel Irish and pursue their aspiration for a United Ireland, it gets a bit blurry when situations occur where Human Rights apply equally to both sides a compromise must be found and a one way ticket is it.

  46. I dont think I have you that wrong andnowwhat. Same old republican/nationalist rhetoric thats been there for years.

    Your master plan would never materialize because your elected representatives would never allow it. Id be more than happy to see the end of the instability caused by dissidents.

  47. Tapacall you do realise a United Ireland is an unachievable, unrealistic and unsustainable, without significant economic support, notion. Whereas a celebration of culture could beenjoyed by both sides of the community as in the daysof our forefathers.

  48. Broc,

    Do you mean those days of lore when there were no “religious” gangs and nuns used to have tea stalls at the “Fields”.

  49. Broc whether its unachievable, urealistic or uneconomical to you others do believe different and thats up to them to convince you through peaceful means that it would be in your best interests to be in a United ireland, but you cant convince Nationalists to join the Orange culture or to support it by demanding we accept it.

  50. andnowwhat, I don’t know any threat posed by Loyalists to be honest. Mainstream on ceasefire and decommissioned. We’ve seen whats happening in Republican areas now that the Provos been beaten into submission where as the Loyalist paramilitaries have maintained a presence and hence why there is no “Loyalist Action Against Drugs” nonsense.

  51. Tacapall those where not my beliefs but in fact just the way it is. I would greatly love for you to explain how a United Ireland is in my best interest?
    I neither demand you join the Orange Culture or support it all I ask is that you allow us to celebrate it as we have done for generations.

  52. Broc,

    I have never condemned the OO. But times change. For generations we celebrated bull and bear baiting, cock fighting, bullfighting (still in a few places), public hangings etc.

  53. Loyalists have done pipebomb attacks against immigrants and we had one in E Belfast that seemed to be some internal stuff. Meanwhile, they are involved in crime, including drugs and I personally know what’s happening in regards to that in my own area. I also know that, as recently as last year, they still recruited.

    A year and a couple of weeks ago, we had 60-100 UVF men attack a nationalist area. Fortunately, the people of the Short Strand were well able to repel them.; I’m sure the Slugger anoraks can provide many more examples.

  54. Yes Joe I would never stop anyone expressing their opinion, but I assure you the Orange Order will continue to parade even if we are restricted to marching through hoops the way it seems the Parades Commission and republican community groups would prefer. Human Rights dont apply to the Orange Order obviously.

  55. I don’t know what point your trying to make regards recruiting? Neither the UVF or UDA have officially stood down as far as I am aware. I would like to know what evidence you have of Loyalist Paramilitaries drug dealing also?
    Oh yes…Short Strand again constant bricks block bottles and fireworks thrown at pensioners houses so the local UVF decided to tackle the matter. And yes, the Short Strand sniper was an excellent shot shooting that journo. It was the PSNI who intervened and then the residents attacked them…need I say more

  56. The OO have more rights than they are entitled to. They have also abused those rights.

    All we are doing is bringing things in to balance, bit by bit. As someone who was jumped on for walking between lodges, back in the 80’s, I ask you, what right do you think you have to do that Broc?

  57. You have no business entering a parade. End of.

    What right do republicans have to shout horrendous abuse at passing Junior Orangemen, Orange women, senior Orangemen or Band members when on parade, not to mention the bricks and bottles…

  58. andnowwhat,

    Something similar happened to me back in the seventies. I lived right on the Lisburn road but parked my car in a side street opposite because of the restrictions on parking on a main thoroughfare. I crossed between two lodges/bands to get to my car and was roundly verbally abused and threatened.

  59. Broc.

    I personally know that the UDA were recruiting last year. I know a kid that joined up and met his mate who also joined. The latter died due to the depression the drugs brought upon him.

    SF (according to Jim Wilson, no less) personally went to the cops and gave them the names of nationalists who were attacking local unionists. Take it up with the peelers.

    You talk of the sniper but what of the loyalist that almost shot a police woman on that very night and hit a police Landrover?

    It was a short that went off and hit the press photographer. Some dick clearly didn’t put the safety on.

    So concerned are the UVF about the local people that they painted over a mural dedicated with the Glens with a dark mural of men in masks with guns. That’s great for the chidren.

  60. Broc,

    My car belonged to my public employer and I was called out on an emergency. Are you seriously saying that I had no right to access my car but would have had to wait for hours to let the parade pass?

  61. Joe

    I looked to a police man who was watching. Sod all reaction. This is what I mean by the imbalance that they have. I’ve crossed the St Patrick’s Day parade and Pride and nothing, nadda.

    Look at Broc’s reply. Under what law can he say that?

  62. Broc

    The nationalist/republican community became intolerant of their neighbours and they owe 40 years never mind 5.

    We as nationalists could add a few hundred onto your 40… 🙂 🙂

  63. Joe, there are designated breaks in any parade but you appear to have been too blinded by your Orange bashing to have thought of that. Perhaps if you had of stood and watched for a while it would of done you some good or at least widened your horizons.

  64. Broc.

    You should retract that. Joe is no OO basher and you’re making a fool of yourself by saying he is.

  65. Broc

    hence why there is no “Loyalist Action Against Drugs” nonsense

    That would be to , pardon the pun, shoot one’s self in the foot… 🙂 🙂

  66. And if the emergency had been your house on fire with your children trapped upstairs? Broc, I am now believing that you are simply a troll. Nuff said.

  67. andnowwhat, I never suggested it was law, but you had no business being in a parade nonetheless.

    The UDA recruiting is not something I personally see as a bad thing, especially if it keeps areas under control and prevents rioting as seen in Londonderry.

    I know exactly which murals you are talking about, and I do agree it was a decision that was poorly made. Perhaps the tact taken in Sandy Row was a better idea.

  68. Mister_Joe a troll I am not and unlike you any point I bring up I will discuss, unlike your Paul Quinn statement earlier which was unrelate to anything mentioned before or since. For the record andnowwhat I shall not be retracting anything.

  69. Broc

    The UDA recruiting is not something I personally see as a bad thing

    What a statement. The British government has always believed that. And look where that strategy has gotten us!

    It’s funny that loyalists wanted rid of the provos, but would retain their own terrorists for a later date. The Orange Order is the central pin to this retention…

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