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By David Vance On April 29th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

White van abandoned on Fathom Line

Just more of the same, really.

A van bomb found near the border contained 600lbs of homemade explosive and was “ready to go”, police revealed today. A senior officer confirmed the device was larger than had originally been estimated and could have caused devastation.

The white Citroen Berlingo van was spotted by a member of the public on Thursday evening after it was abandoned on a border road outside Newry in Northern Ireland. The security operation on the vehicle only ended late last night and District Commander Chief Superintendent Alasdair Robinson today said it could have caused major loss of life had it detonated. “The device contained two blue barrels with 125kg of homemade explosives in each one, and a detonator – all the equipment which meant this device was ready to go,” he said. “This was a very significant device. If this had exploded it would have caused devastation.”

Erm, I think that was the general idea, Superintendent.

What we must do is send the resounding signal that violence does not pay. Who better to do this with just the right level of moral authority than convicted IRA bomber and MLA Gerry Kelly? Alternatively, our much loved Co First Minister Martin McGuinness could explain to these Irish republican terrorist scum that killing innocents is unlikely to get them into government, even IF it did work for the IRA – an organisation Mr McGuinness knows little, if anything about, despite his years as a senior Commander. There noe – what could be more simple?


By David Vance On April 28th, 2012 at 9:18 am

Interesting to see that the Irish republican leopard does not change its spots;

A GAA road safety event had to be cancelled when members objected to the involvement of the police. The ‘Live to Play’ event in Co Tyrone was called off when some host club members threatened to hold a picket when the PSNI was due to take part in the Ulster Council Scheme. The scheme was set up following the deaths of a number of road deaths involving GAA members and aims to encourage young players to drive safely. The road safety drive involves the Fire and Rescue Service and the PSNI and was to take place at the grounds of the Derrydresk GAC near Coalisland on Monday.

I can’t say that I am that surprised. Rather than engage in ways to save lives of GAA members on our roads, these proud denizens of Tyrone would rather protest at the Police. Aren’t they a sad lot?


By David Vance On April 22nd, 2012 at 9:03 am

I see that that there have been calls for the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood to be removed from his Stormont justice committee post after taking part in a republican funeral which saw a Real IRA gunman allegedly fire shots. That’s Mr Eastwood in pole position on the left hand side of the coffin.

 The father of a victim of the Real IRA Omagh bomb and politicians voiced concern after the former mayor of Londonderry carried a coffin while flanked by men in full paramilitary uniform. The Foyle MLA has defended his actions at the funeral of former Official IRA and INLA man Seamus Coyle in the city on Tuesday. He carried his friend’s coffin, and later a masked member of the Real IRA fired up to a dozen shots from an automatic rifle. Alliance Justice spokesman Stewart Dickson MLA called on Mr Eastwood to be removed from his position on the Assembly’s Justice Committee. And Michael Gallagher, whose son was killed in the Omagh bomb, said the SDLP man should have considered the ramifications of attending the funeral of a former paramilitary. TUV leader Jim Allister and the DUP were also critical after the young politician was pictured carrying the flag-draped coffin. “In my view a paramilitary funeral is no place for anyone who espouses the principles of a liberal democracy,” Mr Allister said

Jim is right, of course, but carrying the coffin on terrorists has never hurt some people.

Here’s well known barman Gerry Adams (never IN the IRA, you know) carrying the coffin of IRA Bomber Thomas Begley, he who murdered ten people in  one bombing in 1993.

Here’s Comrade McGuinness attending the burial of a fallen fellow IRA terrorist.  (Of course he left the IRA shortly afterwards and definitely wasn’t in it as it went on to slaughter some 1800 people.)

Now then, Colum Eastwood is not in the IRA, the INLA or even I Can’t believe it’s not the IRA. He is a democratic politician from a party which abhors violence. So his startling lack of judgement in this regard brings dishonour on his Party, the SDLP, and shame on him.  Why has he not been disciplined? Why does the SDLP sit back and watch all this with NO comment? Where is the sanction?


By David Vance On April 20th, 2012 at 9:27 am

Had to laugh at this;

Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle has once again hit the headlines because of her distinctive Londonderry accent. Currently appearing as a guest judge on reality US TV show America’s Next Top Model, her strong Derry dialect has led to her being subtitled for the American audience.

I have heard Nadine speak and I would need subtitles to understand her. She has an incredibly thick “Derry” accent. But I have to be honest and say that I suggest people aren’t really that bothered about what she is saying…..here she is trying out the NEW PSNI uniform.

Next move for Nadine Coyle after Thornhill College is Girls Aloud

PS Before I am accused of being anti-that accent, my wife was born and bred in the Maiden City!


By David Vance On April 18th, 2012 at 7:06 am

Meanwhile, back in peace process land…

A row has broken out over a request to rename a Belfast street in memory of 15 people who were killed in a UVF bombing.  Unionists on Belfast City Council have been accused of playing political football with a proposal to change Fishers Court, off North Queen Street in the north of the city, to McGurk’s Way — after the 1971 explosion in McGurk’s Bar in which 15 Catholic civilians died.

No problem. But I would like to see Oxford Street renamed Bloody Friday Avenue (in memory of the IRA slaughter of the innocents that took place there in 1972). Then could we also rename Castle Lane in Belfast Centre Abercorn Way to remind us of the innocents the IRA blew to pieces on 1972 as they sat in the Abercorn Restaurant.  I am sure all those fair minded republicans behind the McGurk’s Way wheeze will support my suggestions….


By David Vance On April 17th, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Health Minister Edwin Poots was wrong to call a fellow assembly member a 'village idiot' during a heated debate

Toytown politics;

Stormont Health Minister Edwin Poots was wrong to say a rival Assembly member was acting as “the village idiot” during a heated debate on patient care, it has been ruled. But Assembly Speaker Willie Hay revealed that the victim of the verbal volley failed to turn up to receive an apology from the minister.

So, an MLA is called an idiot and he becomes a victim. The MLA who made the accusation is then a victim because his victim does not turn up. However in another twist we discover that the victim wanted a public, not private, apology. This is what is called joined up politics in Northern Ireland.   They are all village idiots, some might think.


By David Vance On April 16th, 2012 at 8:02 pm

As our wonderful Executive at Stormont settles into their second year of their second term in power, HOW are we doing?

“The UK’s set of PMI surveys all exceeded City expectations and pointed to a further acceleration in business output growth in March. Meanwhile, the composite survey (comprising of all sectors) for the Republic of Ireland is also improving, and posted its second successive month of positive growth last month. However, unlike its counterparts in GB and the RoI, the latest PMI survey for Northern Ireland is not encouraging. According to data gathered from businesses about their performance, Northern Ireland’s private sector experienced a further deterioration in business conditions across all sectors last month. There were steep falls in both business output and new orders, with private sector firms indicating that they have reduced employment levels for the fourth month in a row.”

Oh well, they do their best, right? Quick, keep pushing the public sector, what can go wrong?


By David Vance On April 13th, 2012 at 8:18 am

First the proposition;

Coalition ministers yesterday declared 24 ‘enterprise zones’ around the country to be open for business, aimed at creating tens of thousands of new jobs. There will be rate discounts, tax breaks and relaxed planning laws for new businesses.

and the local reaction?

“Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has dismissed Westminster’s calls for a business-friendly enterprise zone to be set up in Northern Ireland. Mr Wilson said a Northern Ireland-wide zone, championed by Secretary of State Owen Paterson, would be a “nonsense”.

No need to wonder why unemployment here is crippling and we remain mired in recession.


By David Vance On April 11th, 2012 at 9:01 am

Had to laugh at the sheer gall of this.

An Assembly Member has said it would have been “negligent” not to travel to the United States on a trip which cost the taxpayer nearly £8,000.

Alban Maginness visited Washington for a major US economic conference with an official in October 2010. The three-day trip cost £7,994, including £6,278 for business class flights. But Mr Maginness, who chairs the enterprise committee at Stormont, said the visit was value for money. “I was invited by the US Secretary of State to attend the economic conference which was organised by the American government in co-operation with the Executive,” he said. “It would have been absolutely negligent on the part of myself if I hadn’t accepted that invitation,” he said.



By David Vance On April 10th, 2012 at 7:16 pm

You have to laugh at the stupidity of it all.

Parents should have the right to send their children across the border to school in the Irish Republic, Education Minister John O’Dowd has said. Mr O’Dowd was speaking to the Irish National Teachers Organisation’s annual conference in Killarney. He said parents should have the right to choose and the border should not be an issue. “People are not emigrating, they are moving across a line on a map,” he said. “Their social connections, their economic connections, their community connections, their heritage, their cultural connections all remain the same.”

Just a few points that the Minister has overlooked;

1. The curriculum is different North and South.

2. The Irish taxpayer should not be asked to pick up the bill for educating children from a different country.

3. The families wanting to send their children south should, of course, pay for it. Under no circumstances should the UK taxpayer fund their nationalist idyll.