A pair of slappers

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I’ve come across two stories about guns over the past twenty-four hours. Of course in one sense the finger-pointing about the IRA and its existence/non-existence has at its heart the possibility that guns are out there and can be used to deadly effect. But these two stories are slightly different from that.

Thanks to the paper of record  the Irish Times. there’s a story about guns that goes back to 2005. The former US envoy, Mitchell Reiss, says he never expected at the time that decommissioning would eliminate every last weapon but that decommissioning was still a very potent symbol that the war was over. The American envoy adds that before decommissioning, Gerry Adams put in a last-minute request for some guns to be retained for republicans to use to defend themselves against possible dissident republican attacks. However, although Reiss says he could see Adams’s “legitimate fears”, the promptings of Michael McDowell of the PDs meant that the request was refused.

The second is in sharp contrast. It was published in the Belfast Telegraph in 2013 and concerns guns and leisure in Bangor. Apparently there was a bit of a row in the council back then because some former B Specials wanted to have a bit of public money to fund a private gun club. Not everybody thought that a great idea. North Down independent councillor Brian Wilson was reported as believing that for the Clandeboye and District Ulster Special Constabulary Pistol and Rifle Club to be funded from the public pocket would be “economically, socially and morally wrong”. The council at the time were planning to put £1,294,000 into building a new community centre. So when the matter went to the vote, the council agreed that a further £442,000 should be added to cover the cost of a gun club in the basement.

Some stories, I find, merit parsing and analysis to bring home their full import; others jump out and slap you across the face. It’s safe to say these two guns stories are a pair of slappers.

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7 Responses to A pair of slappers

  1. Iolar August 26, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    “It is not shame to be deceived; it is to stay in the deception.” Olivia

    There is a lot to be said for a continental breakfast. A staple diet of fresh assessments and current provisionals, no longer seems to whet the appetite. Be careful if you choose a ‘fresh assessment.’ Check the ‘best used before date’ with care. Trades Descriptions Officers are bracing themselves for a flood of counterfeit assessments in the run up to the festive season. Government sources are also playing down reports of the ghost of Hamlet pursuing Ophelia towards pastures green, given the lack of evidence of paranormal activity.

  2. Séamus Ó Néill August 26, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    I think that maybe a little dose of reality and a lot of pertinent questions are needed ….if certain people want to pour petrol on a hornets nest when no nest exists then we’re entitled to ask why . A vast arsenal of weapons remains in the Unionist community …Why? The armed and “still recruiting drug-dealing”UDA,UVF UFF etc,etc exist and are constantly terrifying and murdering ,to the point of crucifixion, the people here without an eyebrow being raised by the hypocrites on both the “6” , the “26” and Britain ….Why? The RUC ,at fulll strength, had approx 8500 , mainly Unionist members…The UDR had almost 5500 part and full time Unionist members…. Were they all issued with “Personal Protection Firearms”? ,do the still have them ? They double-jobbed by also enlisting in the Unionist paramilitaries to engage in murder and carnage..Why?….If you bloody hypocrites want answers to surreal questions , I want answers to real questions

  3. Belfastdan August 26, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    Good point Séamus. Does anyone actually know how many legally held guns there are in these 6 counties, who holds them, the type of weapon held, for what reason do they hold them and what is the breakdown of gun ownership between nationalists and unionists?

    • Ryan August 27, 2015 at 12:35 am #

      That’s a good suggestion Belfastdan and one Sinn Fein should take up. How many “legally” held firearms are there in the 6 counties? Whats the breakdown of gun ownership between Unionist and Nationalist? What types of weapons held, etc.

      I remember a news article that stated that the DUP’s Edwin Poots had a legal firearm. Why? Why would he require one? and for what purpose? Its also important to remember this is the same Edwin Poots whose son, Luke Poots, just “accidently” wandered into a parade remembering two UDA terrorists who were executed by the IRA. That same parade, which occurs every year in a MIXED area of South Belfast (its incredible, absolutely incredible, that the Parades Commission allows this to happen and the local residents sit back and let it) none other than the DUP’s Ruth Patterson attended this year. So it seems the DUP has a representative attend every year for terrorist Joe Bratty and Raymond Elders memorial parade. Again this sheer hypocrisy and double standards of Unionism gets ignored by the media.

  4. Perkin Warbeck August 26, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Desptie repeated assurances to the contrary, Esteemed Blogmeister, the poodles in the privet-hedge purlieus of Palmerston, Dublin 6 know somrthing full well. That the PDs, albeit in the inert and freeze-dried husk of their former leader, have not gone away from the Free Southern Stateen.

    In the General Election of 2007 after he and his party were hockeyed Michael McDowell the Unelectable (for it is he !) abruptly resigned as leader and announced his immediate retirement from public life. All done in the benign and horse-dropping scented surroundings of the Royal Dublin Society.

    Well, now.

    In the equally benign s. of The Unionist Times he is gifted today a vast prairie of print space to further emphasise this ‘retirement’. The piece is not headed ‘Guns and Poses’ though it might well have been, for the Bashful Barrister is not unacquainted with either the spiking of one and the striking of the other’.

    While he is blessed in the eminence of his illustrious ancestors (see below), a fact he was never slow to reveal during his all too short stint in public life), there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate he is related to the most famous jewellers on Dublin’s Sackville Street, as famous indeed as Clery’s (which has gone away, t’s agat): McDowell’s by the Pillar.

    One wonders.

    Known to generations as ‘The Happy Ring House’ it was compelled to drop the ‘By the Pillar’ addendum due to certain urban renewal works undertaken in 1966.

    One mentions this for today’s opinionated piece is a velvet covered tray of gemstones, sparklers, pearls and baubles. Take this:

    -‘It was absolutely non-negotiable as far as I was concerned, as Minister of Justice, that the only weapons on this island would be legally held weapons and that the only armed security services would be the Gardai and the PSNI’.

    If you think that’s rich, try polishing it and then you’ll see just how rich a rare a cargo it actually is. Be sure to wear industrial strength welder’s goggles on the second gawk as this blue shirty sentence exudes an ultraviolet light which might result blindness. The reader could then end up being branded (gulp) a McDowell.

    In the land of the bland McDowell is ring-king.

    One will risk another gem: which is as rare as it is rich: ‘But the Party people who ‘doughnut’ him at press conferences don’t question Adams how he can be so authoritative’.

    Doughnut ? As a verb? Perkie’s inner philologist drew into the Rodin Halting Site and went into Thinker mode. Before coming up with this possible etymology: could it be that it was prompted by Macker’s being, erm, doughnuted as Leader of the PD’s by Mary Before and Marty After?

    The Diva of Doughnuts, perhaps, is the only one who might riddle us that particular one.

    One of the Bashful Barrister’s illustrious ancestors and which in an occasional burst of FG (Folie de Grandeur) he chooses to remind us of,was (gulp) Grandpops: Eoin the Countermander McNeill.

    Less well known if his his Uncle Hugo the Ready.

    On December 8, 1922 four Anti-Treaty prisoners, each representing a different province in a lesson- teaching exercise, . were taken from their cells and summarily executed. The Pro-Treaty Officer who gave the 20-strong Firing Squad the Ready, Aim, Fire ! order was (gulp) Uncle Hugo McNeill.

    While the other three were peppered to instantaneous death, the Ulster representative, Joe McKelvey, while perforated, was not quite dead. Uncle Hugo the Ready lived up to his sobriquet and took immediate and terminal action.

    Colonel Hugo McNeill walked smartly over to the stricken Belfast man, was seen to kneel down, pull the trigger and fire a democratic bullet first into the heart of the Anti-Treatite prisoner and then aiming carefully his pistol at the head of the dying man, pulled a progressively democratic trigger for the second time in a matter of seconds.

  5. ANOTHER JUDE August 26, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    Imagine the outcry if ex members of the IRA asked for public money to fund a shooting range, the Belfast Telegraph would go into meltdown. Nationalists are expected to just lump it when the B men go looking for money. How much dosh do the RUC and UDR and the screws want? They have been handed a fortune and they are still bitching.A pile of them either received or asked for compensation for `going deaf`. God give me strength. If the B men want to practise their shooting, they can go into a closed room wearing blindfolds and let off a few hundred rounds.

  6. Ryan August 26, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

    I read the Belfast Telegraph article that Jude is referring to in this blog. So a bunch of ex B-Specials got together, started a gun club and want nearly half a million pounds of public money to fund this private gun club, which was founded just after the B-Specials was abolished.

    I don’t know about others but to me this gun club sounds more like a B-Special training ground and we all know there was/is very little difference between the likes of the UVF/UDA and B-Specials. I wonder how many Loyalist paramilitary members or sympathizers were/are apart of this gun club? I know, its a stupid question, a bit like asking how many members of the Congress of Soviets were Communist.

    Can you imagine the Unionist uproar if a private Gun club was started in West Belfast and was getting public money? This B-Special Gun club shouldn’t be getting public money.