Mum ‘living in fear’ after son picks up exploded pipe bomb in Derry

Co Derry’s Curlew Way where part of a pile bomb 💣 was found

The mother of a six-year-old boy who picked up part of a denoted pipe bomb has described the people who left the deadly device at her home as “vile human beings”.

It is understood the device could have been left at the property at Curlew Way in the Waterside area of Londonderry two or three days prior to its discovery.

Some residents recalled hearing a loud bang, but didn’t associate it with anything sinister.

The 26-year-old woman, who lives in the house with her six-year-old son and two-year-old twin daughters, had been away from the house for a few days and had just returned.

Too terrified to be identified, the woman explained how her son picked the detonated device up and showed it to his grandmother, who lives next door.

She said: “The children were out in the garden playing and my son showed this piece of copper with jagged bits to my mother.

“He came into me with it. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it looked dangerous because of all the jagged edges so I took it off him and put it up away out of his reach.

“I didn’t think for a second it was a pipe bomb, but I was talking to my mother and that’s what she thought it might have been.

“It was on my mind and it was after I put the three children to bed that I decided to ring the police who came out. It was then we found out it really was a pipe bomb.

“My son has no idea what it was and I am never going to tell him. I don’t want him frightened.

“I am still shaking at the very thought of what could have happened to him. I am sickened to think that some kind of a vile human being would do that.

“When I think of what could have happened to my son it makes me angry, but I am scared to be here now too. I haven’t stopped thinking about how much danger we were in.

“Why would anyone do this to us? I am a mother with three young children. It is disgusting.”

The woman suspects the attack was sectarian, as she has Catholic friends.

“I want to leave, I don’t want to live somewhere where it isn’t safe to have Catholic friends and Protestant friends because I can’t think of any other reason why someone would attack me,” she said.

Police investing the attack described it as “reckless”. Detective Inspector Michael Winters said: “Our enquiries are at an early stage. However, it appears the device had detonated prior to it being lifted by the young boy.

“While this was not a live device, the fact a young boy found it and lifted it shows the blatant disregard by those responsible for leaving it there. It was completely reckless.

“I also want to take this opportunity to remind the public if anyone comes across anything suspicious, please call police immediately.”

There was widespread political condemnation of the attack and appeals for information to be passed to the police.

DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said: “People in this area are angry that once again a young family has been targeted in this way because this is a very close community and an attack on one is an attack on everyone.

“It is particularly sinister in that this device was found by a six-year-old boy who was put in danger.

“At that stage the device had already exploded but the child would not have known that.

“We are very lucky we are not dealing with a real tragedy here because these devices have the capability to cause serious injury or death.”

SDLP councillor Martin Reilly is supporting the woman in her quest to be re-homed.

He said: “I spoke to this young mother who has been very badly shaken up by this incident. That was such a terrifying ordeal for her and there is no justification for putting a deadly device at the home of a young family.

“This isn’t the first time we have had an explosive device left in a built-up area. At the end of March we had an explosive device left at a home in nearby Montgomery Close.”

Sinn Fein councillor Sandra Duffy, who chairs the Derry and Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership, added her condemnation.

“It is clear that whoever carried out the attack had absolutely no concern for people living in the area and their only aim is to try and exert coercive control of the people residing there,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at Strand Road on 101, quoting reference number 2084 of 21/05/19.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Donna Feeney for the original story

New DUP councillor apologises after calling former Sinn Féin minister ‘dirty w*⃣ *⃣ *⃣ *⃣ *⃣’

DUP councillor Marc Collins with DUP leader Arlene Foster. Credit: Sunday Life

 

This is the newly elected DUP councillor who posted vile racist and sectarian messages on social media.

Marc Collins, who will sit on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, used racist language on his open social media site to refer to one friend as “c*** features”.

And he described an ex-Sinn Fein Stormont minister as a “dirty w*****”.

Mr Collins told Sunday Life he was embarrassed by the comments and apologised for making them.

The messages were posted by Collins on his publicly accessible Facebook page.

One post in February 2011 read: “Yo c*** features what time you getting back from the fenian valleys?”

In another from March that year he described former Sinn Fein education minister Caitriona Ruane as a “dirty w*****” after he said he had to shake her hand.

He explained in a comment beneath the post: “Silly b**** was at the awards ceremony and had to shake her hand. Dirty inbred fenian wench, shouldn’t even have been out of the kitchen in the first place.

A Facebook post from DUP councillor Marc Collins. Credit: Sunday Life

 

Collins, who is a member of the Carrickfergus Defenders flute band, also made sectarian remarks about the annual Ancient Order of Hibernians demonstration.

He posted: “Happy Hibernians day! Hopefully all the taigs enjoy their parades LOL jk (just kidding) hopefully they all drop dead” – this was followed by a smiley face.

Collins also engaged in an exchange about what appears to be a visit to a hospital in which he made both sectarian and racist remarks about the children he saw.

“The were five kids and we established that at least one was a taig, one was a pole and one had a tribe of gypsies at its bedside so we were in good company, ha ha.”

Collins, who was elected for the Knockagh area of south Antrim with 846 votes, works for East Antrim DUP MLA David Hilditch, who also acted as his election agent.

On his election leaflets he described himself as a “volunteer at the YMCA and Carrick Rangers” and as “passionate about creating opportunities for young people and reducing anti-social behaviour”.

Among those helping him on the campaign trail were East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson and DUP MLA Gordon Lyons.

In March, Collins was at Windsor Park for the launch of McDonald’s Fun Football academy and was pictured with Northern Ireland legend Pat Jennings and manager Michael O’Neill.

The same month he took part in a course at the YMCA in Carrickfergus on mental health hich included cyber-bullying.

He posted on his official councillor’s Facebook page: “Really useful course, covering a wide range of issues such as mental health, alcohol & drugs, sexual health, cyber bullying, peer pressure, etc. All topics which are prevalent in today’s society.”

In a statement, Mr Collins said: “Most of these comments were made when I was 16 years old. I’m embarrassed by them.

“They do not represent my views today and I recognise they were wholly unacceptable. I apologise to the people offended by them and apologise generally for making them.

“I’ve just been elected as a councillor. I will represent everyone and seek to give leadership to build a shared future for the next generation in my locality.

“I oppose all forms of bigotry or racism. We share this land and we are all the same regardless of religion or skin colour. I will ask the people to judge me on my work going forward rather than ill-judged comments made when I was much younger.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Christopher Woodhouse for the Sunday Life for the original story

Loyalist Co Armagh soccer club latest to be caught out chanting Anti-Catholic slogans caught on video

Hanover FC has apologized for “derogatory anti-Catholic singing by some supporters”

A Co Armagh soccer club which was recently honoured with a civic reception has apologised after a video emerged of anti-Catholic chants being sung by some supporters during celebrations of a league win.

Hanover FC, based in Portadown, said the matter has been dealt with internally and that it “wholeheartedly condemns all forms of sectarianism”.

The video, which was shared on social media but has since been removed, was taken at an event to mark the presentation of the Mid Ulster Intermediate League trophy to the club last Saturday.

On the clip, players, officials and supporters can be seen celebrating while the Tina Turner hit ‘Simply the Best’ plays in the background.

During the song’s chorus, some of those in the room can be clearly heard chanting ‘F**k the Pope and the IRA’.

Sinn Féin’s Paul Duffy, deputy mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, said it was “unbefitting” of any sports club to behave in such a way.

“The council held a civic reception for them just a few weeks ago, so it was very disappointing to watch this video, although they have since apologised,” he said.

“Politics should be left out of sport. There are an awful lot of teams playing each other across both communities all over the north and we need to create more equality and respect.”

He added: “As a party we condemned it when a bonfire in Lurgan burned a flag belonging to Hanover FC.”

In a statement Hanover FC said that as soon as it was made aware of the footage of “derogatory singing by some supporters in attendance”, officials had the video removed “and furthermore opened direct contact with Mid-Ulster Football League in order to apologise and work to resolve the issue”.

“We would hope not to be judged by the mindless actions of the few but by the hard work that we have put in as a club to build strong community ties and relationships with other clubs and organisations from all sides of the community,” it added.

Last month football fans wearing Northern Ireland replica shirts were captured on video singing “We hate Catholics, we hate Roman Catholics” to the tune of Tiffany’s ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’.

The video clip widely circulated on social media was recorded after Northern Ireland’s win against Belarus in a European Championship qualifier.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) said it would ban any fans participating in such behaviour.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Mairead Holland for the original story

UUP man criticises boycott over ‘We Hate Catholics’ song – but won’t condemn action of fans

Ulster Unionist councillor Derek Hussey

 

 

 

Relatives of bigoted Northern Ireland fans recorded in a video singing “We hate Catholics” have received threats, it has been claimed.In one case a business owned by one of the men in the video has also been subjected to online abuse.

Read More

‘We hate Catholics’ song woman Finlay faces Northern Ireland match ban
Northern Ireland fans’ ‘we hate Catholics’ video investigated by police

The video emerged last week showing a number of people in team shirts singing “We hate Catholics, we hate Roman Catholics” to the tune of Tommy James And The Shondels’ 1967 hit I Think We’re Alone Now, later recorded by Tiffany in the 1980s.

It was filmed in a Belfast bar after Northern Ireland defeated Belarus 2-1 in a Euro 2020 qualifier at Windsor Park.

Last Tuesday Castlederg-based Killen Rangers Football Club issued an apology over the vile singing and promised to take action if “deemed appropriate”.

Ulster Unionist councillor Derek Hussey, who had been in the bar with members of the football club earlier in the day, hit out at those on social media calling for people to boycott the local business.

However, when pressed by the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Hussey refused to condemn the actions of the people in the video.

Mr Hussey said that he travelled to the match independently and stopped off at the bar and spent time there prior to the singing.

“I didn’t travel with the supporters from Castlederg. I stopped with some of the people who were there for a short time and then moved on,” he said.

“I think something that people have got to realise… those involved know that was wrong.

“Nobody, but nobody, is addressing the issue that these families and their wider family circle and friends are facing.

“There has been vile and evil trolling. There have been threats and intimidation on a local business and all of that seems to have swept under the radar.

“Those are issues I am trying to address as a local elected representative and that’s all I have to say.”

A source in the Castlederg area said people from both communities were shocked and disgusted when the footage emerged.

It is understood customers – both Catholic and Protestant – of a local company associated with one of the people in the video have already ceased to trade with this business.

The source said: “That video appeared on Monday and when people saw who was in it, people – including people from the Protestant community – said they would not give that local business their custom again because they were disgusted by the video.”

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill described those involved in the sectarian singing as “mindless idiots”.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Donna Deeney for the original story

Bunting’s ‘veterans before immigrants’ election postrers in Belfast branded ‘racist’

Posters from independent unionist councillor Jolene Bunting. Credit: Sinn Féin

 

 

 

A number of candidates for Belfast City Council have criticised the content of independent unionist councillor Jolene Bunting’s election posters.

Posters from Ms Bunting have been erected in the Court Ward in west Belfast and include slogan’s like “veterans before immigrants” and “local homes for local people”.

Sinn Fein councillor Ciaran Beattie accused Ms Bunting of attempting to introduce “politics of hate” ahead of the local government elections on May 2.

He said that Ms Bunting was “plumbing the depths in her campaign”.

“This is a blatant and disgraceful attempt to inject the politics of hate into this election, something which has been typical of Jolene Bunting’s time on Belfast City Council,” Councillor Beattie said.

“This must be opposed by all right-minded citizens. There can be no place for discrimination and intolerance of any kind within our political system.”

Read More

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Belfast councillor subject of ‘unprecedented’ number of complaints, court hears

Ms Bunting was given an interim suspension from Belfast City Council last September for failing to comply with the Local Government code of conduct after 14 complaints against her were received.

She was suspended pending the outcome of a standards watchdog investigation.

Complaints against her included appearing at a rally with leaders of Britain First and a meme posted on social media which was described by other councillors as “racist and offensive”.

Last week a judge ruled that Councillor Bunting’s four month interim suspension from council should be upheld due to her attendance at events where anti-Islamic speeches were made.

Posters from independent unionist councillor Jolene bunting. Credit: Sinn Féin

Responding to Mr Beattie’s comments Ms Bunting said her policies were about “putting local people first” and that she was standing behind them.

“I believe that we should put natives first and that’s what they have an issue with, that I want to put people who were born in this country ahead of visitors to the country,” she said.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous to say that it’s racism, I just feel that we should put veterans before people coming into our country.”

Alliance Party candidate Micky Murray said that Ms Bunting’s posters were “blatant, everyday racism”.

“Disgusting behaviour from an elected representative,” he said.

His party colleague Councillor Kate Nicholl said that Ms Bunting’s “hateful words have very real consequences to people who are marginalised as it is”.

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Gareth Cross for the original story

‘We Hate Catholics’ song woman Leah Finlay faces North of Ireland match ban

Leah Finlay – IFA vow to hunt down people in the vile bigoted video

 

 

This is the vile bigot due to be banned by the Irish Football Association (IFA) after footage of North of Ireland fans singing “we hate Catholics” went viral on social media.

Sunday Life understands Leah Finlay from Castlederg, one of the fans identified from the video, will be issued with a ban in a joint effort between the IFA and the Amalgamation of North of Ireland Supporters’ Clubs (AONISC).

She was captured with friends on video as a group sang “we hate Catholics, everybody hates Roman Catholics” to the tune of Tiffany’s 1987 pop classic I think We’re Alone Now in a packed south Belfast bar last Sunday.

Wearing a replica North of Ireland jersey, Leah (right) can be seen dancing on a chair leading the hate-filled chanting with a smile on her face as fans around her enthusiastically join in.

In the footage other supporters can also be seen happily dancing on a chair as people belt out the bigoted alternative lyrics to the hit.

Sunday Life made a number of efforts to contact some of the people who could be identified from the video.

No one answered the door at Finlay’s home in Killen but a friend of the family approached our reporter and firstly told him to “clear off” and then shouted “f*** off”.

On her Twitter profile Finlay’s bio reads: “Live in killen .. Suport killen rangers thats all ya need ta no (sic)” and on her now deleted Facebook account, she claimed to have worked for the club.

Last week, Killen Rangers issued a statement slamming the behaviour of those associated with the club in the video and promised to take action if “deemed appropriate”.

The fans group AONISC said they were working with the IFA to ascertain the identity of all the individuals shown to be involved in sectarian singing in the video.

The body also added the investigation is “currently ongoing” and stated their intention to take “firm and appropriate action against those involved”.

AONISC chairman Gary McAllister confirmed the culprits would be prevented from getting tickets to future North of Ireland matches and voiced his support for the introduction of football banning orders here.

He said: “While we believe that the IFA cannot ultimately be held responsible for the idiotic behaviour of a small number of people away from the stadium, we recognise the very significant harm this incident has caused to the image and reputation of the Irish FA, North of Ireland fans and the North  Ireland football.

“With this in mind we’re in agreement that, once properly identified, those involved should be prevented from receiving tickets for future North of Ireland games.

“We believe it’s important to send out the clearest possible message that this behaviour is unwelcome and unacceptable.

“In response to calls for the introduction of banning orders in Northern Ireland the AONISC had made a submission on this issue in response to a North of Ireland Office consultation in 2009 and that the group would support their introduction but only under certain circumstances.

North of Ireland fan Leah finlay

 

“Based on the experience shared with us by supporters’ organisations in other parts of the UK, we believe that a two-tier approach to banning orders would be required, should they be introduced in North of Ireland. Banning orders carry very severe consequences for those who are convicted and we feel that their use is appropriate for serious incidents involving violent behaviour.

“A secondary option to include civil banning orders or voluntary banning orders could be considered for other types of serious misconduct within stadiums.

“Where some form of punishment is deemed necessary, however, the introduction of any sanction has to be proportionate to the offence.”

After the video was shared widely on Twitter last week, North of Ireland manager Michael O’Neill said: “That’s one or two mindless idiots to be honest and that’s not a reflection of 99.9% of the support.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and John Toner for the original story

BUSINESSMAN: I WASN’T SINGING ANTI-CATHOLIC SONG’S WORDS

EXCLUSIVE

My family threatened over false allegations, says pub video man

William Baxter on the left of the picture. Along with Stephen Rutledge on the right and beside Stephen on his left is Leah Finlay (wearing the NI top) she has also closed down her Facebook page after the video went viral.

A FOOTBALL fan caught up in an alleged sectarian chant storm has strenuously denied singing ‘We Hate Catholics’ -and said his life has been ruined as a result of the claims.

The Castlereag man seen dancing in the viral video taken in a loyalist pub in South Belfast says he was singing the original lyrics to Tiffany’s 1980s hit ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’. Speaking through his solicitors, the businessman says he has been “misidentified”. He claims he’s taking legal action against those who have ” wrongly identified ” him as singing sectarian lyrics. He says he “was unaware” such lyrics were being sung until he saw the video on social media. And he says as a result of being “misidentified” he and his family business “has been subjected to harassment and threats of violence”. In a statement issued on Friday afternoon he says: ” I categorically deny any involvement whatsoever in the singing of sectarian lyrics. A close examination of the video clearly demonstrates that I am singing the lyrics to the original song. “The incident took place in a noisy bar environment and I was unaware that offence lyrics were being sung by others until the video of events emerged on social media.

Ex-Linfield coach Tommy Harrison pictured at UVF march

“I unequivocally condemn sectarianism in all its forms and had I been aware of what was taking place around me I would have removed myself from the situation.” An online campaign run through Twitter and Facebook targeted the man’s family business urging Catholics to boycott it. He says he and his business have been subjected to harassment and threats of violence because of the campaign. “Unfortunately, I have been misidentified on social media and by some publishers as someone involved in singing sectarian lyrics. “As a result myself, members of my family business have been subjected to harassment and threats of violence. I have instructed my solicitor to take the appropriate legal action against those who have wrongly identified me,”The businessman took down his Facebook page during the week after receiving abuse when the video emerged. Two other football fans allegedly singing the song about “hating” Catholics in the video that went ‘viral’ have also closed their Facebook accounts due to the backlash. Football coach Leah Finlay and insurance salesman William Baxter are among the people filmed allegedly singing the offence tune. The incident has rocked the Co.Tyrone town of Castlereag which suffered greatly during the Troubles and has a roughly 65 per cent Catholic population.

BOYCOTT

An online boycott was started on social media against a business owned by the man pictured dancing in the center of the video. The Sunday World has learned some customers of the company closed their accounts in the wake of the storm. Killen Rangers FC responded on Tuesday apologising for any offence made and promising to take disciplinary action against any of its members identified in the video singing sectarian chant. Sources close to Leah Finlay saying she is “completely devastated” by the backlash. “Leah is not a bad girl at all and everyone is just very surprised that she has been caught up in this storm,” said a source. “She closed her Facebook account because she was getting terrible abuse. It was way over the top.”

William Baxter closed his Facebook page too after receiving abuse. The Sunday World understands he’s the son of a prominent Orangeman who has invested heavily in another local football club in the area. One Castledeag man in his 50s contacted the Sunday World this week and said: “Everyone is talking about it. People are disgusted that this happened in this day and age as people wanted to move on and they do this.” “People are disgusted that this is what these people think of our side of the community – that they hate Catholics. They have done a lot of damage to community relations.” Meanwhile another caller said people were considering whether they could continue doing business with the man alleged to have been involved. “We are very annoyed about what we’ve seen in this video. People are talking about not going there anymore. We are hoping it was just something that happened on that day and with the drink he got carried away.” The North of Ireland manager Michael O’Neill, a Catholic himself, said during the week there was “no place” for such behavior. “It’s disappointing but it’s a tiny minority of people. Whether it’s the influence of alcohol or not but certainly it was disappointing to see. “The NI team is for everyone.” [accurately speaking this is untrue a Catholic is not welcome in Windsor Park, when Celtic were playing there there fans were barred from buying tickets, how is that? It would never happen anywhere else in the world apart from here] Detective Inspector Keith Wilson said: “Police are aware of the video and we are currently working to identify those involved. “I would appeal to anyone with any information about those involved in the video, or if you are in the video and wish to come forward, to contact police in Musgrave on the non-emergency number on 101 quoting reference 1101 of 26/03/19.”

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Steven Moore for this Exclusive story –steven.moore@sundayworld.com – for the original story.