Pro-British paramilitary agent carries explosives into Northern Ireland assembly

Explosives inside Stormont

Security alert ... Stormont evacuated. Michael Stone is a Loyalist (pro-British) soldier who has carried out attacks against the IRA - once killing three mourners at a funeral for dead IRA members. Before being found with a suspect package inside the Northern Ireland assembly building, he daubed the words "Sinn Fein/IRA scum" on a pillar at the building's entrance. The explosives were made safe by the British Army.

NOVEMBER 24, 2006

SIX to eight explosive devices were made safe by the British Army tonight after notorious Protestant extremist Michael Stone stormed Stormont during an Assembly debate.

Northern Ireland’s chief constable, Sir Hugh Orde, said they were “viable” devices.

He said their potential for causing damage, death and injury was being assessed.

He added: “They are fairly amateurish in design, that does not make them any less dangerous.”

Sir Hugh, speaking at a press conference at police headquarters just over a mile from Stormont, said a gun and a knife had also been recovered.

Stone was being questioned by police tonight about what the chief constable branded “a sad publicity act by a very sad individual.”

Stone tryed to storm into the building at around 11am but was wrestled to the ground and arrested.

The Rev Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams were among dozens of politicians who were hurriedly evacuated from Stormont when Stone - the Loyalist who in 1988 opened fire on mourners at an IRA funeral, killing three people - tossed a package into the building.

Witnesses claimed the former Ulster Freedom Fighters prisoner barged his way through the revolving doors of Parliament Building, shouting “no surrender.”

Security staff immediately reacted, grappling with him and eventually pinning him to the ground.

Witnesses also claimed the Loyalist warned that he had a device with him.

The security alarm was pushed as Assembly members responded to the latest attempt to move Northern Ireland towards power sharing.

Cross-community Alliance Party leader David Ford’s speech was interrupted by the alarm but he continued speaking until Assembly Speaker Eileen Bell ordered MLAs to evacuate the building after 40 minutes of the sitting.

Arrested ... Michael Stone

Stone was seen with a firearm as he was wrestled to the ground by security staff. But it was not clear if the gun, possibly a 9mm pistol, was real or imitation.

Earlier he had daubed in red paint on one of the pillars outside the main entrance a slogan proclaiming: “Sinn Fein/IRA scum.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain today ordered an urgent report from chief constable Sir Hugh Orde into the breach of security at Stormont.

Handgun ... Michael Stone

Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern said in Dublin: “It seems that Michael Stone has gone on the rampage again, in a very dangerous way. But he was stopped.

“It just shows you exactly what we are trying to get away from in Northern Ireland.”

Prime Minister Tony Blair said in London that the extremist’s attack should make politicians more determined to make progress.

Michael Stone's history

Michael Stone is a Loyalist (pro-British) soldier who once detonated a bomb that killed mourners at a funeral for dead IRA members

STONE is a well known Loyalist paramilitary who carried out the "Milltown Massacre," an attack on mourners at the funeral of three IRA members in 1988 at the predominantly Catholic Milltown Cemetery in Belfast.

Stone, intending to kill top Republicans such as Gerry Adams, attacked the crowd with grenades and a gun.

An IRA member and two civilians were killed. He injured 60 others before being arrested.

He was given a massive 684-year sentence in 1989 for six murders and five attempted murders.

Stone, from Belfast, was released from Maze Prison under the 1998 Good Friday agreement.

While he is was in jail he became the leader of the Ulster Freedom Fighters and met Mo Mowlam during the negotiations the Government held with paramilitaries during the peace negotiations in the mid-1990s.

Once a free man again he embraced the IRA and Loyalist ceasefires, - and the developing peace process - but refused to apologise for his past.

He once declared: “If I was to say sorry, I believe it would fall on deaf ears. Those operations were military operations. I do not regret any fatalities that have occurred.”

He has nine children from two failed marriages, and at least three grandchildren.

At the time of Milltown, his status among Loyalists was almost iconic but since his release, his standing has dropped.
Last edited by Blackleaf; Nov 24th, 2006 at 01:30 PM..
See, the problem I have with this is if you read certain foreign media, you would automatically assume it is the natural right, if not a pre-curser that ireland be united.

when in fact there are a lot of people.....a lot of nutters as well, who consider themselves British and will never surrender their Britishness and to remove them will effectivly be ethnic cleansing.
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