The PSNI has made a calculation of risk versus resources and decided it cannot take the Carrickfergus approach in east Belfast.
SO IT can be done. The RUC/PSNI has faced down loyalist rioting in Carrickfergus, thought to have been orchestrated as a warning against arresting members of the ‘bad’ UDA.
The RUC/PSNI has wiselyaking arrests in Carrickfergus while investigating a riot in Larne two weeks ago, also thought to have been orchestrated as a warning against arresting members of the bad UDA. The trouble in Carrickfergus broke out last Thursday evening, ironically just and the Queen had hosted a reception in Windsor Castle to celebrate all that is greet about the North of Ireland. Fifty masked men engaged in three hours of serious disorder, reportedly after a gun was found during a police search of a senior UDA man’s address. The RUC/PSNI responded robustly to this challenge to its authority, warning that further was planned for the following night then swamping the area to prevent it. Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr identified the South East Antrim UDA as responsible and warned police will “disabuse” it of any notion it is “in control”. This does not appear to Eastny empty threat. Investigations into the Larne rioting have continued, with 16 arrests, 40 properties searched and 800 items seized as of the end of last week. “There will be consequences” for the Carrickfergus rioting as well, Kerr added. The line being drawn in Carrickfergus suggests a firm reversal of the appeasement policy that saw the RUC/PSNI apologise to “community representatives and others” for provoking UVF riots in the town three years ago. If so, it is a welcome devolopment but it raises the question of why an equally robust approach cannot be taken towards the bad UVF in east Belfast. Where are the arrests, searches and seizures targeting loyalist ring-leaders after three years of rioting there? Far too many damaging conspiracy theories have filled the void left by that lingering question. However, the simplest and likeliest explanation remains the one given, albeit obliquely, by the RUC/PSNI. Loyalism in east Belfsat is beleived by senior officers to be too big and dangerous to takle head on. This is why Cheif Constable Matt ( the maggot) Baggott repeats a mantra about the “right to life” and congratulated the PSNI/RUC for getting through the year of flag protests without any fatalities.
Other police statements about “public support” for loyalists and the need for policing to have “community consent” are similarly code for not provoking deadly violence. Despite the fashionable language and arcane backroom dealing there is no particular principle at work in the appeasement of the bad UVF. It is merely a problem of scale. The RUC/PSNI has made a calculation of risk versus resources and decided it cannot take the Carrickfergus approach in east Belfast. Once stated, this looks obvious but the point is that it is never openly stated. The RUC/PSNI is not telling the Policing Board or the Stormont executive to provide it with the resources to put the ‘bad’ UVF out of business. Instead, it is making excuses for itself that feed further official appeasement, such as the executive’s ‘social investment fund’ for loyalist-nominated projects or the Policing Board’s acquiescence of UVF-linked members of local Policing Partnerships. If the RUC/PSNI would admit to what is going on in east Belfast there would be less paranoia and just importantly there could be a proper assessment of the varibles. How much more dangerous is delinquent loyalism in east Belfast than in South East Antrim? Last week’s trouble in Carrickfergus was modest but the 2011 rioting was widespread, extraodinarily violent and organised almost immediately. Carricfergus also witnessed larger and more disruptive flag protests than east Belfast, with more loyalist input, at least initially. Yet existing resources, deployed promptly and wisely, appear to have loyalist brigadies in retreat. On the other side of the equation, is the the risk of tackling loyalism being offset against the risk of not tackling it? Over the past year the UVF in east Belfast has been linked to two attempted murders and and more than a dozen drugs-related deaths. The Human Rights Act places the right to life secondary to “quelling a riot” because it understands that all rights ultimately rest on the rule of law. We should have a new cheif constable by October. Even if he or she does not admit to making a loyalist calculation, they may reach a different answer. That just leaves the small matter of the ‘good’ UDA and UVF, who are apparently still among the things that are great about the North of Ireland.
With many thanks to: Newton Emerson, The Irish News, ( for the origional story).
Gerry McGeough has just phoned from Maghaberry Prison following a massive search operation. While Gerry himself is not a protesting prisoner, he finds himself imprisoned in the middle of an escalating dirty protest. As in the past, a dirty protest involved spreading human excrement on the cell walls. Today, in 2012, the walls of the protesting cells in Maghaberry Prison are covered in human excrement. Having found it necessary to escalate the protest, the prisoners now throw excrement and urine out underneath the cell doors into the hallways.
When they entered today and carried out a search of Gerry’s cell, the dog had just completed a search of neighbouring protest cells. Already covered in excrement and urine, this dog was used to sniff through Gerry’s cell. His bed and blankets are now wet with urine, plastered with excrement and covered with dog hair. He will sleep in this tonight. These are the conditions a 54 year old man, who has already suffered two heart attacks and has five stents inserted, is expected to survive in. If your husband, father or any family member was found to be living in these conditions within a hospital, there would be outrage.
The protesting cells are cleaned once every six weeks. In the meantime, cat litter is spread over the floors. The guards wear protective suits and gas masks when they deliver food through the cell doors. Flies will be ever present and in hot weather, heating is turned up full. The smell is unbearable. In any cleaning operation, a mixture of excrement, urine, cat litter and chemicals will be washed back into the cells. When prisoners leave their cells, they will sometimes be forced to walk through this mess. The riot squad are on constant standby. If prison staff are seen becoming too friendly with a prisoner, they are moved.
This is allowed to happen today in Ireland because too many people are silent. You close their eyes, you close their ears and your mouths remain shut. What will you say if your own sons and daughters find themselves on a dirty protest? Who will you turn to when so many refuse to listen?
Libertad para Gerry
POSTED ON BEHALF OF : by Damian Herron
FORMER high Court judge Sir Anthony Hart will chair a government-backed inquiry into child abuse at state and Church-run institutions in Northern Ireland.
He has come out of retirement to lead the investigation that will draw on the testimony of survivors of abuse in homes, hospitals and orphanages across the north from 1945 to 1995. However, criticisms remain that the probe will not include allegations of abuse that occurred outside the time-frame or away from institutions.” This means that some of the Northern Ireland victims of Brendan Smith’s serial child abuse will be covered by this inquiry. While others will not,” Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International said.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the executive would be bringing forward legislation ” shortly ” to give Sir Anthony powers to compel witnesses and documents. Sir Anthony whose last court cases included the trail of Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers for the murder of two-soldiers in Massereene Barracks and the trial of killer dentist Colin Howell, will be supported by a tea, offering a confidential forum.
Ryan inquiry commissioner Norah Gibbons, ex-Metropolitan Police child abuse investigator Dave Marshall, Tom Shaw, who worked on a similar inquiry in Scotland, and Beverley Clarke, who has experience of social work in Canada, will hear victims’ testimony. The inquiry will then rule if abuse was systemic, suggest whether there should be an apology, decide on a memorial and make recommendations for ” redress “. However, any final decision on compensation will be made by the executive after it considers Sir Anthony’s recommendations.
Legislation is expected to be brought before the summer recess and the investigation will begin by autumn. First Minister Peter Robinson said Sir Anthony would be ” unflinching in his pursuit of truth”. ” I am confident that the scope and nature of this process is robust, will provide a thorough examination of what happened and will get to the the truth,” he said. Mr McGuinness said legislation would ensure the inquiry had the ” powers, flexibility and protections” needed. Mr Corrigan said a statement in the terms of reference that the inquiry will begin after the commencement of legislation suggested that concerns had been met about whether the probe would have full statutory powers for it’s duration.
However, he said he remained concerned that victims of abuse before 1945 or after 1995 would be excluded and that the issue of redress has ” been put on the long finger”. ” Equally, it is clear that the executive currently has no plans for a similar process of inquiry for victims of clerical child abuse outside institutions,” he said.
WITH MANY THANKS TO : DIANA RUSK ( POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT ) IRISH NEWS.
POSTED ON BEHALF OF : IRISH PC BRIGADE.