PSNI Det Supt Geddes: “It is my assessment at this stage and my belief that people who are members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder, but we will not speculate on at what level.”

The police held a press conference today on the on-going investigation into the murder of former Provisional IRA member Kevin McGuigan Sr in the Short Strand area of Belfast last week – he had reportedly been “warned by the police that he was under threat from republicans” following the murder of former PIRA commander Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison in May.  Of several arrests earlier this week one man has been charged with possession of a Glock pistol with intent to endanger life.

The BBC report has quotes from Det Supt Kevin Geddes

“Action Against Drugs as you may be aware made a public statement on 6 August that they would execute anybody who had any involvement or they believed had any involvement in the murder of Jock Davison,” he added.

“It is my assessment that Action Against Drugs are a group of individuals who are criminals, violent dissident republicans and former members of the Provisional IRA.

“They are dangerous, they are involved in violence and extortion of the nationalist and republican communities and they have a criminal agenda.

My assessment is that this is a separate group from the Provisional IRA. A major line of inquiry for this investigation is that members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder.

“I have no information at this stage to say whether that was sanctioned at a command level or not and I’m not prepared to speculate on that.” [added emphasis]

And the RTÉ report clarifies a significant point

When asked directly whether members of the IRA or “former” members were involved, Mr Geddes said: “It is my assessment at this stage and my belief that people who are members of the Provisional IRA were involved in this murder, but we will not speculate on at what level.”

In regard to the extent of PIRA involvement, he said: “I have no information at this stage to say whether this was sanctioned at command level or not and I am not prepared to speculate on that.” [added emphasis]

[What ‘command level’ would that be? – Ed]  Indeed.  As Henry McDonald asked in the Guardian on 13 August.

It all leaves [PSNI Chief Constable George] Hamilton with a huge question to answer: will he as chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland ask who was actually behind the killing of McGuigan? And does he think there is any connection between this latest murder and some of the republican veterans he addressed in west Belfast just a few weeks earlier?

The BBC also has some of the political reaction…

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  • Dan

    Are they going to insult our intelligence by pretending this isn’t an IRA murder?

  • Zig70

    Do you want it to be an IRA murder and by which IRA?

  • Gopher

    “The IRA is gone.” Gerry Adams 2014

    I think Dan means that IRA, you know the one that does not exist anymore

  • Zig70

    I get it, I was more curious about whether Dan wants the old enemy back and if there is comfort in that. Also how much commentators actually know about the state of the provos organisation or even what the chief constable knows. I don’t have a notion whether they have a command structure still in place. I wouldn’t be surprised if the chief constables intelligence amounts to heresay and I would also guess that Robbo hasn’t a notion how to play it apart from noisily. A spell in the wilderness feeds the failed state agenda.

  • the rich get richer

    In fairness the Copper was not very convincing.

    It would be hard to get a conviction with that fella flip flopping.

  • Gopher

    Not being funny but I think state inteligence is slightly better than hearsay, they did after all recover a couple of guns in short order not bad for just “hearsay”.

    The state of play I imagine is thus, the State and Peter like myself are reasonable people, no one expected PIRA to be able to demob right away (except Jim Allister) the threat that lacking central disicpline, activists would fall into dissident groups would be very real so everyone was prepared to look the other way while it wound down. Hence as I stated on another thread Gerrys backpedalling when Bobby and Marty sounded like they threatened that the IRA was active or could be activated. Unfortunately in the last couple of years the suspicion among the wider population and Peter is our reasonableness has been taken for a ride of late and the deactivation of PIRA has stalled and infact they are engaged in criminal activity. People have lost patience and are rightly saying its bloody 20 years after the ceasefire, begone.

  • chrisjones2

    So the suggestion is that those who killed him are members of PIRA and have access to guns that were supposed to be decommissioned. The argument seems to have shifted as to how high in the organisation the murder was authorised.

    That is not the point

    They lied when they said PIRA was disbanded

    They lied when they promised total decommissioning

    They are up to their necks in crime

    An the question for the rest of is, to we want our politicians to stay in Government with their Political Apologists who have lied to us. What trust is left? What is the point?

  • chrisjones2

    …from the man who was never a member, so how does he know?

  • hugh mccloy

    Will 1916 see the rebirth of the republican movement, the SF brand has gone stale.

  • Robin Keogh

    Its impossible for anybody to come to any conclusions based on the information at hand and it seems the police are saying just that. The cynics as usual are out of tge traps and praying that the IRA as they were are still intact and operational. That way of course they can justify their own habit of rejecting Sinn Fein’s participation in the democratic process. The inconvenient reality is that there is no evidence other than rumour that the IRA are still active as a cohesive organisation. It does not take a genius to work out that former IRA members may well have gone off the rails and cobbled together a dissident group of criminals bent on mayhem. As far as Shinners are concerned the RA are gone and whatever violence is present in the republican community is being perpetrated by those who are no more than ‘traitors to Ireland’ with nothing to offer their communities or the political process. The recent killings are disgusting and reflect the gang war style of community combat that is present in almost all British and Irish cities currently. People need to focus on reporting suspects to the police and watching out for the welfare of their friends families and neighbours rather than trying to invent connections between political republicanism and wayward psychopaths.

  • barnshee

    Where did the weapons come from?

  • Robin Keogh

    Are u seriously asking me that question? Honestly? Do u have any idea how easy it is for criminal gangs to get their hands on guns ? Maybe they got their hands on one of the thousands of ‘legally’ held peaceful guns licensed in the north? In short, i have no idea, i just want those people off the streets and in a cell where they belong.

  • 23×7

    Apparently the world stopped making guns after IRA decommissioning.

  • 23×7

    I’d suggest get in touch with the PSNI. You seem to have important details about the participants and the weapons used.

  • gendjinn

    Unionism doesn’t get to start another civil war over claims there’s an IRA running riot. Unionism started the Troubles in 1966 over their wild imaginations. They don’t get to do it again, 50 years later, over another IRA that doesn’t exist.

  • gendjinn

    What do you expect from one of our resident Unionist trolls? You’ll notice the only time Unionists care about the murder of a Catholic is when it can be used to hurt SF.

  • Zeno

    What a shocker Robin, members of the Provisional IRA or “The RA” as you fondly call them , turn out to be murderers and criminals.
    Stop defending them Robin , join the majority. The 50+% who don’t vote for sectarian parties.

  • Robin Keogh

    Ditch the strawman argument Zeno, quite clearly i am not defending anyone, i am simply rationally assesing the situation covered in the post. Try staying on topic for once.

  • Thomas Girvan

    Do you mean “formerly”?

  • SDLP supporter

    An impressive 107 death notices for Kevin McGuigan in Tuesday’s Irish News from strongly Sinn Fein-supporting Short Strand/Markets and numerous references to “a true republican”.
    People there have made up their own minds as to who did it, that is the Provos, and if local SF councillor from Short Strand, Niall O Donnghaile, who skimmed in in Ormiston in 2014 by 300 votes, were standing for election tomorrow, he would be toast. That SF seat is always on edge and they briefly lost it after the Robert McCartney murder when even their strongest supporters could not stomach the Sinn Fein lies.

  • USA

    That police statement is as clear as mud. He seems to be saying Action Against Drugs are dissidents but they didn’t carry out this murder?
    There are two parts to his “analysis” and they both seem wrong.
    1. AAD are not dissidents.
    2. AAD probably did carry out the murder.

    What part am I missing here?

  • USA

    Weapons manufacturers, probably Germany. Just a wild guess.

  • Dan

    I replied. It’s been deleted

  • Redstar2014

    Yes have to agree . Found the whole statement very double speak.

    First he said that those involved included EX Provos, then he said they were ( current) Provos.

    Personally I feel if it brings the Stormont sham down – so what.

    I doubt there will be many who notice

  • chrisjones2

    so its a pre decommissioning gun or did they rearm secretly after vdecommissioning

  • chrisjones2

    Evidence? Sheer sectarianism.

    Stick to the issue. Two men have been murdered. One was the local IRA leader. The other was an old Comrade who appears to have killed him and been murdered by PIRA. The police statement suggests PIRA is still active, still armed and still up to its neck in organised crime

  • chrisjones2

    …and the difficulty is that the PSNI assessment is driven by the evidence and intelligence they have gathered – probably including a lot from all the touts in the IRA

    And I note that they have recovered two guns and an individual is charged with firearms offences

  • chrisjones2

    How do you know it doest exits. Are / were you member? Were you there when they disbanded or do you just read An Phoblacht?

  • chrisjones2

    Has he had a park named after him yet?

  • chrisjones2

    Jock Davidson wasn’t a man “gone off the rails”. He has been eulogised by SF and the SF Mayor of Belfast snuck out to rename a local park in his memory. He was the hardest of hard core. And the police make clear that the nom de guerre group he was involved in was up to its neck in crime and extortion. PIRA hasnt gone away and it has rearmed. Why?

  • chrisjones2

    Not criminal gangs robin – hardcore PIRA who are criminals

  • chrisjones2

    He has the advantage of access to intelligence, evidence, possession of two guns and a person charged with allegedly related offences

    But dont let that disturb any prejudices. Put on a Dubliners CD and dream your dreams

  • mickfealty

    We don’t know Chris and we don’t know that the recovered weapon has anything to do with the crime.

  • Turgon

    According to news reports the weapons used were assault rifles. Such weapons are not especially easy to get for criminals in the UK or RoI. Simply they are of little use in robbing people, enforcing drug crime etc. as they are big, unwieldy and noticeable.

    What most criminals appear to value are small handgun typed things which can easily be concealed. As such ordinary criminals are unlikely to have access to nor want military typed weapons. As such less will be imported and less available etc.

    On the other hand paramilitary terrorist organisations want military typed weapons (such as assault rifles). Hence, the appearance of those sorts of firearms is itself suggestive though by no means conclusive of IRA involvement.

    However, when taken along with the known associations and claims about the deceased, the police assessments etc. one becomes very suspicious of IRA involvement.

    Anyhow I thought republicans now supported the police so if they say the IRA was involved then republicans should listen to them.

  • kensei

    Unless you decomission the people, the IRA can be reactivated at any time. It’s not like they have a central HQ they’ve sold off.

    Someone needs to clarify:
    1. Was this done under the AAD banner?
    2. Are the people former members of the IRA or current members?
    3. What does “current” member mean in terms of activity and structure?
    4. Was it carried out under PIRA orders and how far up does it go?

    Basically all those questions would need serious answers pointing to an active IRA before Sinn Fein is dragged in.

  • GEF

    Recently the UDA had an inner feud which ended in shooting each other. So whats the difference if a number of PIRA start bumping each other off in an inner feud?

    “A UDA source said the shooting was linked to a bitter internal feud within the UDA which had already left two men dead.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-157968/Senior-UDA-man-shot-dead-Belfast.html#ixzz3jR3pHKRZ

  • chrisjones2

    No Mick but, as reported in the Bel Tel, PSNI gave evidence on oath in a certain bail application yesterday that

    “he remains a suspect in the murder of Kevin McGuigan”

    and that the serial number of the gun had been ground off – presumably to stop it being traced

  • chrisjones2

    No I just read the PSNI statements and the evidence given in the bail application in the Court.

  • chrisjones2

    No difference. Both are crimes. Both should be prosecuted wherever possible. But the UDA isn’t linked to a political party in the same way PIRA is

  • Gopher

    A deputy first minister and three assembly departments I imagine. That I believe outside the enthusiasts would draw a certain distinction between SF/PIRA and UPRG/UDA. You have to actually be involved in the political process to subvert it and try as they might the electorate wont let the UPRG get a foot in that door.

  • chrisjones2

    I dont want any of them back. I want them to go away

  • Carlota martinez

    My, you have been a busy little gopher this morning.

    Pause for breakfast.

  • August Hampner

    Perhaps the DUP/British government will use this PIRA murder to their advantage and expel SF from Stormont but eventually allow them back in, but only if they accept the welfare reform. Crazy enough events have happened over the years.

  • chrisjones2

    From Todays Irish Times

    “However, Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly said last night that both killings were “absolutely wrong” and denied any IRA involvement, saying there were “no republicans involved in these killings”.

    “If it was the AAD, I am telling you it was a criminal gang,” he said. “Anyone that has any information about either of these killings needs to bring it forward, whoever is involved in these killings needs taken off the streets and the bereaved families need to bring some sort of closure, both bereaved families.””

    But SF seem rather confused.

    So if AAD was a criminal gang and Jock Davison was killed because of his membership and associated activities, why did SF immediately eulogize Jock with public statements, press notices and even naming a park in his honour? Why did they do this for a “criminal gang” member? Did they not know?

    And if Jock wasn’t an AAD member why has that organisation taken such offence at his murder?

  • Nevin

    “The Northern Ireland Office said as the murder was currently under investigation by the PSNI “it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage”.”

    Did the BBC not think it worthwhile to ask the Irish end of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Secretariat for a response? In light of past experience it’s likely that there has been a round table exchange involving representatives of the two governments and the PSNI. The PSNI IMO would not be permitted to operate outside parameters agreed by the two governments or by the UK government acting alone.

  • Dan

    So, PIRA members were in cahoots with the dissidents…….my goodness, I am shocked.
    Always were one and the same.

  • submariner

    We the UPRG don’t stand in elections so it’s pretty hard to vote for them

  • submariner

    The 50+% who don’t vote for sectarian parties. Zeno Alliance don’t get anywhere near 50% of the vote.

  • Steve Larson

    Will the Stoops be waiting eagerly for an order from the DUP to collapse the assembly.

  • kensei
  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    He said “don’t vote” which does not equate with vote for non sectarian parties.

  • barnshee

    Chieftons? -never heard of them

  • LighterSide…

    tuxedo’s and balaclavas. that would’ve been some fashion statement.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    4 up-votes for that – really?!?!
    The IRA didn’t exist in 1966, you’re saying, and it doesn’t exist now?
    As to 1966: any history of the IRA you care to read, take your pick, will indicate that the organisation was in existence for every day of 1966. Are you suggesting it had a gap year?
    As for its existence now, well, let’s see what the investigation uncovers, but it’s certainly not looking good for your assertion at the time of writing.

  • ranger1640

    Why did Davison get a shinner/provo funeral and why was there so many senior republicans falling over themselves to claim Davison was such a great republican and a community worker minutes after his murder if he was a member of AAD??? He is not a republican he is a common criminal.

    Why where none of the claims made above by Kelly about Davison on the lips of Sinn Fein/IRA at the scene of Davison’s shooting or at or after at his funeral.
    In fact Kelly and many other senior Sinn Fein/IRA personnel were at the funeral of Davison a non republican and common criminal.

    Even Alex Maskey is all confused. “Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey said: “What we have had here today is a very brutal killing of a local man.
    “He is a very well-known person in this area. His family are well-known and he is very well-regarded in this area as a long-standing republican.”

    “Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD extended his condolences to the family of the murdered man” Adams went on to say “This brutal act will be condemned by all sensible people. There can be no place today for such actions.”

    http://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/24973

    Is this how Sinn Fein/IRA now burry non republicans and criminals???
    “The 47-year-old was shot dead on Tuesday 5 May as he walked to work in the Markets Development Association when a lone gunman ambushed him.

    It was through those narrow streets of the Markets area in south Belfast, that Davison’s Tricolour-draped coffin, adorned with beret and gloves, was carried at the weekend. It was borne by his many friends and comrades and those who worked with him and knew the man for who he was: a defender and advocate for his community and for working-class people across the city.

    Senior Sinn Féin figures such as Gerry Kelly, Seán Murray, Bobby Storey and activists such as Eibhlin Glenholmes were present, as were many others from across the broad spectrum of republican politics and the community”.

    http://www.anphoblacht.com/contents/24985

    http://www.u.tv/News/2015/05/09/Funeral-for-ex-IRA-commander-murdered-in-Belfast-36934

  • ranger1640

    Guns you want guns.

    “Mike Logan I regret every gun I sent to an IRA leadership that sold me on Republican principles and they would be used in the war. In fact, they knew the war was over, that they would be “decommissioning the old, and heavier weaponry, and using the guns I sent for exactly what they have been used for, for 15 years. To control, threaten, and kill any opposition within their own communities. To instill fear and secure their positions of authority. Even it starts with a bar fight or a family fued. And the PSNI go through the motions…round up the usual suspects….and NOTHING ever happens. And never will”

    https://www.facebook.com/suzybreen/posts/10153588707301554?pnref=story

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/northern-ireland-news/post-ceasefire-and-agreement-senior-sf-figure-imported-guns-used-to-kill-1-5989232

  • kalista63

    Nowm there’s a funny thing. Alasdair McDonnell made a statement last night about dogs on the street (Yep Aliadair, those dogs say a lotta things) know its the Porovs etc.

    This morning and afternoon Dolores Kelly (not one to miss a chance to boot the shinners) hit brake, neutral and reverse. Same went for Colm Eastwood, a fella who is more aware of what is going on in the republican community.

    The surprise hero of the moment was Gregory Campbell who also wasn’t playing the game of tryingh to lay this at the feet of Sinn Fein and central republican command.

    Like USA, I haven’t a clue what the cop was on about and I’ve listened to it a few times. He doesn’t do conjecture but then came off with a bunch of it, it really was like he was channeling Barney Rowan, the king of unsubstantiated nonsense.

  • AidanMc

    Gerry “Pinocchio” Kelly has some neck going spewing that nonsense out in the Irish times – if he is so sure it was a criminal element why does he not get “Spike” and his wee mate Padraig to round the criminals up like they have done so many times in the past, before the Short Stand explodes?
    The real reason Gerry Kelly was spouting to the Irish Times is to try to protect their big fantasy dream of power in the south and to sanitise the mess before southern electorate add this to all the recent scandals surrounding Maria Cahill.
    Gerry your not fooling anyone mo chara the RA were up top their nuts in this and the Short Stand is seething with resentment, which could boil over at any time again

  • kalista63

    The claim is that it was AAD working with dissidents wo, as we know, have acquaired guns in more recent years, a Glock being very much the new black.

  • kalista63

    If one thinks the drugs trade is immoral, its got nothing on the weapons trade, from hoods on the street all they way up to HELLO celebs and governments.

  • Zeno

    14.7% of the Electorate vote SF
    Around 18% vote DUP ,TUV
    A few vote for other sectarian parties……
    The rest don’t vote for them and that is well over 50%

  • kalista63

    Bt the RA are there but in a post conflict sense, most notably in helping to find the disappeaed.

    Its funny that the dissident trolls are jumping on SF and the Provies, the very people who want more people killed. We also have the BBC sexually aroused by crapping on the IRA, ignoring the reasons for what happened, just as they do with anti GFA trolls who were active in dissident groups when they were killing and maiming PSNI officers.

  • kalista63

    Are you effin’ serious?

    Do you know what happened the last time someone played that silly game?

  • kalista63

    Do they mean the way a Provo is ternally bound by their oath, like one is bound by the Official Sectrets Act, as we saw with Saville and Smithwick inquiries?

    When Gregory Campbell say he doesn’t believe the IRA are actives, you have to wonder what the PSNI and media are at.

  • gendjinn

    In the same way that rolling a stop sign at 1mph is a moving violation.

    This is exactly the mentality that has Unionism saying “well we couldn’t possibly have dealt with NICRA or their demands because the IRA was involved.”

    Never, ever forget that Republicans tried the democratic & non-violent approach to resolving the “problems” in the North until the state had repeatedly and savagely attacked the Nationalist community.

    Unionism has not changed.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    if that’s true, why did Republican attacks on others in the Troubles dwarf in scale any ‘attacks by the state on the nationalist community’?

  • Kevin Breslin

    First he said that those involved included EX Provos, then he said they were ( current) Provos.

    I would assume he means the organisations his line of inquiry is involved in, includes both ex-Provos, and current Provos, heck possibly dissidents too. Just because you disagree over the Good Friday Agreement, doesn’t means you don’t all have the same hatred for a suspected drug dealer.

  • Kevin Breslin

    If Sinn Féin and the DUP can’t work together, the Executive is gone and the Assembly goes with it.

    How can Sinn Féin remain in an Assembly where no one trusts them, especially a cross-community executive without Unionist trust? Never mind anyone else’s i.e. Alliance and SDLP.

    There are no safeguards for the Assembly in place for the scenario that Sinn Féin or the PIRA would be connected to these attack, other than a walkout and collapse.

  • gendjinn

    Another Groundhog Day with MU – I’ll just refer you to your previous conversation with Carl Marks. It’s all there.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    It certainly is 🙂