The Ulster Defense Association, a loyalist paramilitary, sent hit squads to detain, or if need be, shoot Michael Stone who they’d learned had gone off his trolley and was going to attack Stormont, thus possibly jeopardizing the Northern Ireland peace process. Thus, groups at least nominally on the same side as Stone wanted badly to stop him.
Stone in fact did bring bombs to Stormont, got nowhere, and will no doubt spend the rest of his life in prison. (He was on parole for murdering three people at an IRA funeral, so this parole violation alone may get him at least eighteen more years.)
At times like this, I always go to Slugger O’Toole, “Notes on Northern Ireland politics and culture,” for an on-the-ground view of what’s happening. They thought the whole thing veered somewhere between high farce and low farce. You can’t tell the players without a scorecard, and the Slugger is the best site I’ve found for following and attempting to understand the often incomprehensible to outsiders world of Northern Ireland politics.
Now if I could only find a site like Slugger O’Toole that dealt with the politics of Lebanon…