Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin- Mr Robinson 

 Peter Robinson had a soft landing on his return from his luxury holiday, courtesy of the Belfast Telegraph. Rather than opening himself up to an interview, where he could be asked difficult questions, the Belfast Telegraph- which is rapidly becoming the DUP’s version of An Phoblacht- presented the illustrious leader with a free ride to write his own opinion piece. No questions asked, and unsurprisingly none answered.

The DUP leader devoted much of his “opinion piece” to attacking the Ulster Unionist Party, clearly feeling the pressure after Mike Nesbitt blind-sighted them. The DUP have filled the media with condemnation of the UUP for the past few days. The bluff and bluster from the DUP is a transparent attempt to muddy the waters and buy them time- time to think how they can somehow create enough ambiguity or find some mechanism that will allow them to cling to power alongside the IRA surrogates, Sinn Fein. How ironic is it that the same DUP that hounded David Trimble from office over disputes around IRA decommissioning, is now poised to take another Executive ministry, courtesy of an IRA murder.

The “opinion piece” does however prove one piece of advice, that you would normally hear from your grandparents- liars need to have a good memory. It is worth reprinting an extract from Peter Robinson’s piece where he describes, in his own words, what was agreed at Stormont House;

“The agreement covered welfare reform, the budget and corporation tax. It dealt with parades, flags and the past. In addition it set out changes in the way both the Assembly and the Executive operate including arrangements for forming an official opposition.”

In the midst of waxing lyrical about the Stormont House agreement, and lamenting the failure to implement it, Robinson has let the cat out of the bag. On the 17 February 2015 the BBC carried a story with the headline- attributed to a quote from Peter Robinson- saying “DUP did not negotiate parades during talks.” The First Minister is further quoted within the same story saying “There were no negotiations on parading, that’s why the Government had to put forward their own proposal.” The DUP also took a swipe at TUV leader Jim Allister, who had joined with the PUP, UKIP and independent Loyalists in questioning whether the DUP and UUP had been “double dealing” on the issue of parades. Robinson described this suggestion as “silly”.

It is remarkable to simply contrast the BBC interview with today’s opinion piece. It illuminates the sheer duplicity at the heart of the DUP approach to Government and it also shows the contempt with which the DUP hold ordinary grassroots Unionists and loyalists.

In a recent opinion piece I wrote for the Long Kesh Inside Out website, in relation to the IRA murder of Kevin McGuigan, I referred to a litany of examples of IRA activity that had previously been denied by Sinn Fein, added the McGuigan murder to the list and remarked “no one believed them then, and no one believes them now.” The very same words could be said of the DUP, who along with Sinn Fein prop up an Assembly based upon murder, lies and appeasement. Fine bedfellows, they do make. 

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Peter Robinson has proved- by his own words- that the DUP are engaging in side deals and blatantly lying to their own electorate. They betrayed the grassroots loyalist community over North Belfast. Robinson asked the Secretary of State to announce some form of “inquiry” into parading to allow him leverage to enter the Stormont House talks. Little over twenty four hours after the talks concluded, the Secretary of State withdrew the parading proposal. Of course, the DUP knew this was going to happen, and all the bluff and bluster in the world couldn’t pull the wool over people’s eyes.

Suzanne Breen recalled in her Sunday Life column yesterday how the DUP stood outside the Waterfront Hall in 2000 and sang “What shall we do with the traitor Trimble, early in the morning. Burn, burn, burn the traitor…” What a remarkable turnaround less than two decades later.

Today’s memory lapse by the First Minister is uncharacteristic, usually the DUP leader is a master at covering his own tracks and cloaking his lies in enough spin to make his alternative version of how he came to lie, sound plausible. Today the old saying “a liar needs a good memory” epitomises Peter Robinson’s propaganda column in the Belfast Telegraph.

Perhaps the memory lapse by Robinson is indicative of the pressure he is feeling. David Trimble suffered from the same strains as his political career came to an end. There is, however, one difference between Peter Robinson and David Trimble. The DUP used every trick in the book to blacken David Trimble’s name and hound him from office. Peter Robinson has put the noose around his own neck.

As the NAMA storm comes hurtling at a rate of knots towards DUP Headquarters, with a deepening political crisis coming from the other direction, Peter Robinson is in danger of finding himself smack-bang in the middle of a perfect storm.

The UUP are doing to Robinson what he done to them. Internal opponents within his own party are rapidly boxing him in; they will-sooner rather than later- do to him what he done to Ian Paisley. To add to Robinson’s crisis, his business associates and ‘fixers’ are running for the hills and sticking the knives in each other’s back in a bid to wash their hands of NAMA and other dealings they have benefited from.

The House of Cards is about to come tumbling down in Biblical fashion and one can imagine that the founding father of the DUP, if he were still here, would have a few words for his former friend who betrayed him so unmercilessly. The “Big man” would most likely lean back in his chair, chuckle and simply say “what one sows, so shall they reap. It’s biblical.”

Mene, Mene, tekel, upharsin- Mr Robinson.

 

 

 

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The hypocritical merry-go round of the Belfast Agreement implementers! 

The DUP yesterday lambasted the UUP, claiming that it is the height of hypocrisy for them to withdraw from the Executive, when it was they who initially endorsed the shameful Belfast Agreement. 

Of course, on this point they are correct. The UUP know they are vulnerable on this point, hence why Nesbitt ensured he included within his announcement a declaration that the UUP are still totally committed to the 1998 Agreement. Of course, there was an obvious failure to admit that the Belfast Agreement was based upon a tissue of lies. 

The DUP, who now scream hypocrisy at the UUP, opposed the Belfast Agreement and refused to take their seats around the Executive due to the presence of an armed IRA. Now, just short of two decades later, the DUP are desperate to remain in an Executive which is propped up alongside the same Sinn Fein that they refused to sit with in 1998. 

One wonders what has changed? The IRA are still engaged in violence. They still have a command structure. And yet it is a very real possibility that not only will the DUP cling to power alongside the IRA’s surrogates, but they may even take an extra ministry- courtesy of an IRA murder. 

The hypocrisy from the cheerleaders of the Belfast Agreement is breathtaking. Many of those who championed that perverse agreement are now jumping up and down demanding an end to the power sharing arrangements. Let it not be forgotten who put the IRA in Government in the first place. 

The DUP position is somewhat remarkable. From taking a principled stand against the agreement they have gone the opposite direction and are now the chief implementers of all the main architecture of the same agreement- desperate to cling to power alongside Sinn Fein- at any cost. 

The DUP have a cheek to call anyone hypocritical. Seldom has politics known such a remarkable reversal of core principles as they have displayed. 

The DUP and UUP are on the same merry-go round. Both bear responsibility for gifting the IRA a place at the heart of Government. The fact that they happen to be at opposite ends of the merry-go round makes little difference. They have both followed the same iniquitous path. 

The UUP would gain so much more credibility if they had the bravery to stand up and admit that the Belfast Agreement was wrong and that it has been responsible for a great erosion of our culture, and furthermore that it has allowed Sinn Fein/IRA- whose stated desire is the destruction of our British sovereignty -to infiltrate every area of policing, justice, politics and civic society. 

The DUP on the other hand can lambast the UUP until they are hoarse. The overwhelming majority of the Unionist people have finally woken up to the sheer folly of this mandatory coalition power sharing arrangement and no amount of DUP spin will be able to pull the wool over people’s eyes this time. 

The DUP have a choice to make- do they take a principled stand beside their own Unionist people or- as I suspect- do they try and devise a way to cling to power alongside their partners in Government- The surrogates of the IRA that they promised would wear sackcloth and ashes! 

Response to DFP committee #NAMA

28 August 2015

Mr Daithi McKay MLA

Chairperson

Finance and Personnel committee

Northern Ireland Assembly

 

 

Dear Mr McKay

 

 

I received your email correspondence, on behalf of the DFP Committee, on 27 August 2015. I thank the committee for their prompt response to my letter, which you point out, was considered at the DFP committee meeting on 20 August 2015.

 

I have looked closely at the terms of reference that you have helpfully included in your correspondence. There is a great deal of the evidence that is within my possession that is entirely relevant and within the terms of reference.

 

I wish to place on record that if the committee do decide to call me, as I firmly believe it is their duty to do so, then I will remain firmly within the terms of reference and the parameters laid down by said terms. There is other evidence within my possession that falls outside the terms of reference and I am quite sure it would be argued that all of that evidence would be relevant to the NCA investigation. I do not intend to stray into those areas in any evidence provided before the committee, however much of that evidence will be included in the forthcoming publication of a book that I am publishing on the NAMA sale of the Northern Ireland portfolio.

 

I am not prepared to engage in a protracted process of written correspondence with the committee because quite frankly, such a process would be used by some as a fishing expedition to try and find out exactly what evidence that I hold. I have provided below some bullet points of relevant pieces of information I can provide to the committee.

 

• The relationship between former Finance Minister Sammy Wilson and Frank Cushnahan and taped telephone conversations that provided the genesis for the DUP lobbying for representatives on the Northern Ireland NAMA advisory committee.

• The relationship between First Minister, Peter Robinson and Frank Cushnahan. In this regard details of meetings and discussions that took place between the aforementioned during the process of the sale of the NAMA portfolio.

• Details of the lobbying undertaken, at the insistence of and also by the DUP, for special treatment to be given to a select number of property developers including Adam Armstrong, Noel Murphy, Paddy Kearney and the Lagan brothers once the sale of the NAMA portfolio had been completed. Former Finance Minister Simon Hamilton was involved in this lobbying whilst serving as the Finance Minister.

• The lobbying involvement of former RUC officer Alan Mains who acted as a go-between from the DUP to potential buyers of the NAMA portfolio, seeking to arrange favourable deals for aforementioned property developers once the purchase had been completed.

• The planned breakdown of the cash that was transferred by Ian Coulter into an off shore account.

 

 

 

The above bullet points provide an outline around some of the evidence that I am capable of providing before the committee. I believe the onus is now on the committee to accept the bona fides of my evidence and call me before the committee to give public evidence or to reject it outright. As previously stated I have no intention of engaging in a protracted written process of correspondence with the committee whereby some within the committee will try and stall the subject, on behalf of their party, by insisting on more information each time in the hope of firstly gleaning what they can from my written correspondence so as to assist their party in developing a containment strategy and secondly burying the question of whether the committee should hear my evidence under a protracted process of correspondence.

 

To be frank, if the finance committee wish to hear the evidence that I hold then I am ready and willing, at a date and time of your convenience, to provide a comprehensive presentation of evidence within the scope of the Terms of Reference. If the committee chose not to respond to this correspondence with a date on which they wish me to attend then unfortunately I feel my engagement with the committee will halt at this stage.

 

I thank you for your initial response and look forward to hearing from you.

 

Jamie Bryson

 

 

 

Murder, Lies & Appeasement- PSNI politicking to save the peace process 

The recent statement by PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton has illuminated the fact that the PSNI now willingly inhibit the political sphere. 

Rather than dealing with the facts and facing up to the uncomfortable fact that the IRA Belfast Brigade leadership has sanctioned the murder of a man, the Chief Constable has sought to give a political analysis and cloak his statement in enough ambiguity to provide a ‘way out’. 

George Hamilton effectively issued a OTR letter to the IRA in a nakedly obvious attempt to save the failed peace process. 

It is almost beyond belief that the Chief Constable has almost found himself providing justification for the continued existence of the IRA- ‘in some form’ and has accepted the ‘geniune assurances’ of Sinn Fein that they are wedded to non violent and non criminal methods. 

With this very statement the Chief Constable has absolved the IRA of the murder of Paul Quinn, Robert McCartney, the robbery of the Northern Bank, the Columbia three and more recently their Florida gunrunning expeditions. 

This is before we even mention the contributed criminality, use of IRA guns and Semtex for dissident terrorism- guns that were ‘decommissioned ‘- and the recent slaying of Kevin McGuigan. 
The Chief Constable says he believes Sinn Fein- yet the PSNI have arrested a number of Sinn Fein members and one is charged with possession of a firearm- a Glock- just the same as those brought in from Florida by Sean Murray. 

The contradiction between ‘believing’ Sinn Fein is wedded to non-violence and then arresting their members in connection with a murder investigation is startling. 
It is equally startling that the Chief Constable continues to peddle the AAD line- albeit in a less forceful manner than the earlier PSNI statement. 

The PSNI know this had nothing to do with AAD- they know the calibre of that group of low level criminals- so therefore the only logical reason as to why the PSNI would continue to dangle them out as bait, is to provide a fall guy to cover the IRA and thus provide the yellow bellied DUP with another way to wriggle out of standing up to the fact that they have sold the Unionist people a pup. 
It is clear to any half sensible person that the IRA exist and will continue to exist. It is clear they killed Kevin McGuigan, just in the same way they robbed the Northern Bank. 

The only people who seem blinded to this most obvious truth are those with a vested interest in protecting the peace process- a process that is built upon murder, lies and appeasement. 

Felon setting- how AAD are being stitched up to ‘protect the process’! 

An increasing theme running throughout this murder investigation is blame being attributed to ‘AAD’. A group of less than five low level hoods who apparently were responsible for such a professional ‘hit’, in conjunction with former IRA members. The thought that experienced IRA gunmen would need the assistance of a couple of low level hoods is almost beyond the realms of fantasy. 

AAD entered into the plot with a statement- threatening revenge for the murder of Jock Davison. Unless AAD are complete imbeciles- which they aren’t if they carried out such a professional hit as the one on McGuigan- then there is no rhyme nor reason for them to issue such a statement. Someone needs to explain if they did, why they did. 

Then we had the PSNI today blaming IRA members for being involved but maliciously blaming AAD as an organisation, and making clear they were a seperate entity from the IRA, so as to conveniently give Sinn Fein angles of deniability and thus providing the DUP with a way out- namely that the IRA didn’t ‘sanction’ the operation. 

And then came the Sinn Fein statement. They too jumped on the AAD bandwagon. 

This is a malicious and contrived case of felon setting, all to protect the political process and ensure that Sinn Fein and the DUP can’t proceed propping up institutions that have been on life support for quite some time. 

It just doesn’t add up, the PSNI know AAD couldn’t have carried out the hit, Sinn Fein know it and the dogs on the street know it- yet all are keen to firstly build this low level group of petty criminals up into some major criminal outfit, and secondly to fix the blame on them for carrying out a murder that could bring down the peace process, if it was found out who really planned it, ordered it and carried it out. 

The PSNI are showing a callous disregard for human life. There is every chance that some low level petty criminal will end up dead- all because of these dangerous games of felon setting, designed to protect the political process. 

It is beyond doubt that some innocent player in all this, probably connected to AAD, will be made the scapegoat for all of this and they will either be buried along with any political ramifications that could have arisen or they will be locked away for a long time having been fitted up for soemthing they did not do. 

This all leaves us in strange position. The DUP need NAMA to go away and Sinn Fein need this murder to go away- and there lies the basis for the mutual veto on progress, a veto that if overcome will lay the basis for the continuation of the Assembly. 

Buried underneath could well be the bodies of innocent people who were built up, blamed and sacrificed- all to ‘protect the process’! 

Smoke and mirrors- The IRA murder of Kevin McGuigan 

The murder of Kevin McGuigan has brought into the public consciousness the very real problems with Policing and justice in Northern Ireland. 
Policing decisions, statements and arrests have to be carefully weighted between pursuing justice and protecting the fragile political process. 

Sinn Fein have already warned it would be ‘unhelpful’ to suggest IRA involvement. They made similar statements following the Columnia three, Robert McCartney & Paul Quinn murders- and the Northern Bank robbery. No one believed them then, and no one believes them now. 

The majority of those arrested as part of the PSNI murder investigation are members of Sinn Fein. All are IRA members. 

Shankill Bomber Sean Kelly, whose life licence appears to be made of Teflon, is a Sinn Fein member and helped with Gerry Kelly’s election campaign. 

The man charged today with possesion of a firearm, Patrick Fitzpatrick, is a member of Sinn Fein. 

One of those who is widely believed to have been the gunman- Sean Clinton from Short Strand- is a Sinn Fein member and is still in police custody. 

The PSNI have today admitted what everyone knew a week ago- IRA members were involved- but in typical ‘protect the process’ style, the PSNI have added the caveat that ‘it was not sanctioned at command level’. 

This is a ludicrous statement, how would the PSNI assess if it was issued at a command level when we are expected to believe the IRA do not exist? Did they make the assessment of a non-existent command structure and decide they couldn’t find any evidence the very same non-existent structure had sanctioned the murder? 

Or are the PSNI accepting that some resemblance of the old IRA command structure still exists? Given the murder was ordered by what would have been the Belfast Brigade staff, does this mean that the PSNI are just simply keeping up appearances by letting on ‘they have gone away’? The PSNI assessment leads to questions around exactly what command structure they assessed? 

Sinn Fein could not stop this murder, it was happening whether they liked it or not, so instead of actually falling out with the hardliners- they will pretend in political and security circles, that they are furious.

 In reality Sinn Fein accepted the reality of the situation and will now manipulate it to present a ‘serious situation’ to the British government and claim that ‘big players’ could go dissident. This will be Sinn Fein’s latest leverage when it comes to extracting concessions. 

Of course Peter Robinson threatened consequences if the IRA were found to be involved. Much like the DUP’s partner in government, Sinn Fein, no one really pays much attention to the threats or denials anymore- it is usually just a tissue of lies designed to mislead and cover the tracks of their associates- in Sinn Fein’s case their terrorist assosicates, in Peter Robinsons his higher class of white collar criminal associates. Fine bedfellows in OFMDFM. 

Comments following #NAMA DFP committee meeting 

20/08/2015

Comments following this mornings finance committee meeting in which the committee agreed to write to me, in relation to evidence I hold about the NAMA scheme: 

I look forward to hearing from the committee. I understand they are to send me the Terms of reference of their inquiry and ask me to respond giving an indication of whether my factual evidence will be relevant. 

I will study the terms of reference carefully and provide factual evidence within those parameters. 

It is my intention to provide the committee with an indication of what evidence I hold and how this is relevant to the terms of reference. I will release this correspondence into the public domain to ensure there is no attempt to create a veil of secrecy around the process. 

It will then be up to the committee to decide if they wish to ask me to appear as a witness or if they wish to receive further written evidence. 

I am not keen to engage in private correspondence or written evidence with the committee beyond responding to their initial queries. I believe this issue needs to be addressed publicly before the committee, where members would have the opportunity to examine my evidence and-for want of a better word -‘interrogate’ me. This would allow for a robust challenge of my evidence to ensure that it stands up to scrutiny. 

I have no intention of turning any potential appearance before the committee into a circus. To do so would be not only be wholly irresponsible but furthermore it would allow those- who very clearly have serious questions to answer around NAMA- to distract from the factual, explosive and damming evidence that I will provide. 

My evidence before the committee, if I appear as a witness, will be within the parameters of the terms of reference and will deal in factual evidence and information. 

What I have to say and show will be shocking, explosive and it is no exaggeration to say that it could- and should- end some big political careers. 


#NAMA- The ‘smoking gun’ tapes

It can now be revealed that over thirty hours of secretly taped recordings are what holds the key to proving the illegal dealings of a number of high profile property developers, bankers and politicians. The true story behind the ‘smoking gun’ tapes can now be revealed. 

Peter Robinson and Sammy Wilson are among those who feature on the tapes and their ‘discussions’ are a damming indictment of the cash for influence culture that is rife within Northern Ireland. 

Other high profile political figures are included on the tapes along with major property developers from within Peter Robinson’s ‘charmed circle’. All of Robinson’s circle of white collar gangsters would later benefit from sweetheart Cerebus deals to wipe clear their considerable debts. What a coincidence. 

The Lagan bothers, Noel Murphy, Adam Armstrong and Paddy Kearney are just some of those whose names and personal contributions feature on the tapes. 
In 2008 Frank Cushnahan- one of those who was to benefit, to the tune of £5 Million, for his part in the NAMA scheme- approached Graham’s bookmakers and offered his ‘services’. His terms included a 5-10% cut of profits and the use of office space.

Graham’s came to an arrangement with Cushnahan and he subsequently moved into office space within their Belfast head office. 

Some time later Graham’s terminated Frank Cushnahans contract. An angry Cushnahan demanded a severance ‘payment’, until he was informed that- as is common practice within a bookmakers- all incoming and outgoing calls are recorded. Cushnahan promptly left with his tail between his legs. 

The recordings, which include discussions about corrupt ‘deals’ and serious fraud, were handed to a Belfast solicitors and other copies were made for a ‘rainy day’. 

A few years later Graham’s loan was transferred to NAMA- which of course had Frank Cushanhan, at the recommendation of Peter Robinson and Sammy Wilson, on their NI advisory committee- and was later sold on to Cerebus in July 2014 as part of project eagle. 

Peter Robinson, through Alan Mains, negotiated the previously exposed sweetheart deals with Cerebus for his charmed circle of white collar crooks. 

Paddy Kearney, Noel Murphy, Adam Armstrong and the Lagan brothers all benefited greatly from a sweetheart Cerebus deal. Paddy Kearney showed his appreciation to Alan Mains by buying him an £80,000 Mercedes. 

But what about Graham’s loan, the company who held the tapes that could well land so many big players in prison? 

Graham’s approached Cerebus and offered an 80% repayment on their loan- which would have seen Cerebus make a considerable profit. This was turned down and instead Cerebus appointed receivers. 

Graham’s issued legal proceedings against Cerebus for the receivers appointment, on the basis that all interest was fully up to date and their loan terms had been met. This case is due to be heard in Belfast High Court early next year. 

I have written to the finance committee offering to provide evidence that will be damming and will expose the whole NAMA scandal and much more. 

The finance committee are obliged to consider my correspondence tomorrow, this should be in public session given it is not only within the Public Interest but it also contains nothing that would require it to be hidden from public view.

 It would be somewhat concerning if the finance committee contribute to the ring of secrecy being thrown around the NAMA scheme by dealing with a simple matter of correspondence in private session. 

If the finance committee want to know what really went on in regard to NAMA and indeed want the location of the tapes, then they should accede to my request to provide evidence.

 If I am a liar I will be easily exposed as such, but if they attempt to gag me then I am sure it will be blatantly obvious that they know what I am saying is true and they want to avoid a political earthquake at this ‘delicate’ time. 

Of course following his stint in Graham’s, Frank Cushnahan took up office in Tughan’s. Perhaps there is a second set of tapes, held by Tughans themselves. 

More to follow including the location of the ‘smoking gun’ tapes which are locked in a safe in the Belfast area. 

#NAMA The corrupt property developers favourite banker- Ciaran McAreavey

Today we will look at another character in the corrupt world of property, banking and politics. 
A recent appointments notice in the Irish News concerning Ciaran McAreavey states that he has “become managing director of Close Brothers finance.” It also notes that McAreavey spent eleven years working at the Ulster Bank. 
What is not noted is that he left Ulster Bank nine years ago, so what has he been doing since? 
In 2006 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Anglo Irish Bank Northern Ireland branch. He replaced Neil Adair, who joined up with Paddy Kearney- who of course was to benefit from the sweetheart Cerberus deal- and formed a company named PBM Ltd, this company would later become Kilmona holdings Ltd. 
PBM became extremely active and it was McAreavey- thought the Anglo Irish bank- that funded most of his friends, Kearney and Adair’s, dodgy deals to the tune of almost £260 million. 
By the end of 2009 the companies debt had reached £317 million- and low and behold £200 million of that debt was subsequently written off by Anglo Irish Bank/NAMA- with the help of our First Minister Peter Robinson and his ‘fixer’ Alan Mains who negotiated a sweetheart did with the head of Cerberus Europe- former MI5 man Ranald O Coggle. 
When McAreavey took up post with Anglo their Northern Ireland loan book quadrupled and it has been suggested- not without merit- that the reckless lending of McAreavey, to his corrupt property developer pals, was what created the property collapse in Northern Ireland. 
Ciaran McAreaveys biggest customers at Anglo were the Lagan’s, Creighton & Boyd and Adam Armstrong, Noel Murphy and William Rushe. 
Of course McAreavey was the man that funded the Millmount development- which is now at the centre of yet another NAMA scandal. (See earlier blogs) 
McAreavey reported to a man called Pat Whelan at Anglos Dublin Branch. Last year Whelan was convicted of a Criminal offence in Dublins criminal court and is awaiting a further trial in 2016 for fraud. 
When Anglo closed it’s Belfast branch- laying off the majority of staff- McAreavey was transferred to Dublin and worked in the Banks recovery department. He specialised in bankrupting his former customers- except of course the charmed circle such as Armstrong, Murphy, Lagan’s and Paddy Kearney.  
McAreavey also overseen the overcharging of Anglo borrowers, which some recent newspaper reports have estimated was in the region of a staggering £1 billion. 
So now we know what Ciaran McAreavey has been up to for those missing nine years- does reputable firm Close Brothers, his new employers, know about the shady and murky past of their new managing director? 

#NAMA- The genesis of the swish family Robinson era of ‘influence’ 

As we progress the story of Peter Robinson and his property development scandals it is important to understand where he came from and who worked hand in glove with him via give and take arrangements. 
Fred Fraser (deceased) was a key player in the rise of Peter Robinson. A shrewd man, Fraser saw the potential in a relationship with Robinson who was a ruthless political operator, destined for a future of influence. 

When Robinson first entered politics he was a clerk in an estate agents (McConnell-Martin) and was earning in the region of £40 per week. 

Following his first successful election Robinson bought a dilapidated 1200 sq. ft. bungalow behind where the Ice Bowl is now located. Robinson and the Ice Bowls fate would cross in future years, but more of that in the coming days. 

David Harper was an architect who worked for Fred and Bill Fraser. On the instructions of Fred, David Harper designed a 2500 sq. ft. extension for Robinson’s bungalow. There was never an invoice passed between Peter Robinson and Fred Fraser and thus a long working relationship began. 

Many years later Brian Patterson, an estate agent in Hollywood and once of McKibben and Co., heard in advance- but at very short notice- about plans to build in the Glenmachin area of the Green belt. Patterson understandably tried to capitalise on this ‘insider’ intelligence and thus he travelled widely over a number of days trying to quickly purchase any land within the green belt area. 

Brian Patterson discovered that no land was available and that coincidently Peter Robinson’s friend Fred Fraser had bought up all the land and options six to eight months earlier. 

Housing development in the Castlereagh green belt area quadrupled during Robinson’s era of planning influence and the benefactor quite often was none other than Mr Fred Fraser, the man who designed that extension away back at the start ‘in kind’. 

A noticeable trend, if one checks back through records, is that during this era of development Peter Robinson would regularly complain to the DoE about sewers and water supplies saying that the service in this particular area was inadequate and that he has had complains. 

Such complaints brought around £1m expenditure on a new sewer that ran along the dual carriageway from Cherry Hill to Quarry Corner in Dundonald. 

All of the above just scratches the surface of Robinson’s activities during one era of his political career- as we will see in coming days and weeks- the corruption became worse and the greed became greater as Robinson’s influence grew. 

When one thinks of cash or gifts for influence there stands out one particular incident. 

Gilbert Graham had been involved in organising the Sainsbury development of the Supermac site and wanted the influence of the then MP and Councillor, Peter Robinson. He had heard that Robinson found a certain amount of bribery ‘useful’ but Mr Graham was unsure how to approach this with the MP. 

A meeting was arranged in Gilbert’s boardroom and after the meeting Robinson admired the boardroom table saying that he and Iris had always wanted such a table for their home. 

Within 48/72 hours the said table was packed and delivered to the Robinson home. It then took pride of place in the Robinson household. 

Today’s revelations are minor compared to what is coming. I revived a call for a DUP old timer at the weekend who said he knew “many incidents from way back” and he wanted to chat to me about them in return for his name being left out of the increasing wave of revelations that have- in the words of one high level DUP insider- left the Robinson camp “pulling their hair out” trying to identify the leaks. 

It has also lead to Alan Mains, one of the key hidden hands in the NAMA scandal, to seek out the assistance of private investigators. 

And of course yesterday we discussed Witness A- who of course was linked to Fred Fraser as part of a major political cash and sex scandal – and who was involved in a bizarre Court case whereby he was blackmailed himself by PSNI special branch to give evidence against CIRA members blackmailing him. A convenient way to permanently get rid of this man, who was a political embarrassment, and ensure he would languish forever in witness protection. Out of sight out of mind. 

Oh what a tangled web we weave….