What about Loyalist guns?

The Derry Journal asks what stratagems have been put in place to handle the surrender of Loyalist guns?

  • maca

    Option 1: The Iraq Plan – give them cash for the weapons – they can buy more drugs and hopefully a few of them will OD or die in a drug war

    Option 2: The Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Plan – organise a shooting competition, not only will they waste valuable ammunition during the competition but you have a chance to catch them before they leave

    Option 3: The How The West Was Won Plan – put big signs outside each town in NI that all arms must be handed over to the sherriff before entering the town. Failure to do so will result in the townfolk singing Paint Your Kerbstones (…or was that wagons?)

    Option 4: Tell George Bush they are hiding Osama, then sit back and watch the fireworkifications

    Option 5: The Microsoft Plan – tell them the weapons run on Microsoft XP-Provo and need to be handed in for an important security upgrade

  • Panda

    Option 6: Prove to them with reason and logic that if the Republicans no longer have the need for weapons neither do they.
    On second thoughts, reason and logic is a non-starter, revert back to any of the 5 previously mentioned.

  • Millie

    While you have to admire David Ervine’s resolve on the arms issue, I think he’s being a little disingenuous over the reasons loyalist have arms in the first place. The history books tell us that the modern day UVF, of which he’s a political spokeman, was re-formed by Gusty Spence in 1966, 4 full years before the Provos were even a gleam in Stormont’s eye.

    In the last few weeks alone there has been punishment shootings in Monkstown and Newtownabbey, not to mention the feud in Derry, but none of these acts have warranted a mention in the whole decommisioning and disbanding saga. Anyone who wants to see a relatively peaceful and stable NI has to be campaigning for the removal of weapons on all sides, and yes that must eventually include the security forces.

  • Davros

    Millie…why were the UVF re-formed in 1966 ?
    Because of republican sabre-rattling, 1966 being a rather significant anniversary for one section of the population and because the republican clubs were re-activating and, rightly or wrongly, were deemed a threat.

  • James

    “Because of republican sabre-rattling, 1966 being a rather significant anniversary for one section of the population and because the republican clubs were re-activating and, rightly or wrongly, were deemed a threat.”

    If only it had been nipped in the bud.

    How widely was that perception held? Amongst the three or four guys Spense recruited and the Paisleyites or did it encompass a wider venue?

    Additionally, did this resurgence of paranoia precede or antecede the announcement of O’Neal’s proposed reforms?

  • Christopher Stalford

    Perhaps some of our UUP commentators would care to offer an opinion on the speculation that the Ulster Unionist Party are courting David Ervine in order to get their mits on another government ministry, which Mr. Ervine will take.

  • Davros

    I was only a youngster although I remember the tension. The Border Campaign wasn’t long over and it was a time of chaos and uncertainty. After all the IRA were still around and they had weapons cached.
    None of which excuses the wrongs that were done or the crimes that were committed. But it’s important to realise that Spence and cronies didn’t decide to re-form the UVF on a whim or in a vacuum.

  • Davros

    Eheu Christopher ! Guns for Government ?
    Sad day if it happens.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    For the UUP to accept Ervine on board when the UVF hasn’t even started decommissioning would make their decision to walk out of an Executive after the IRA had made significant moves on weapons makes their previous position look completely hypocritical.

    Mind you, the DUP lecturing any other party on courting paramilitaries is a little bit hard to take.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “it’s important to realise that Spence and cronies didn’t decide to re-form the UVF on a whim or in a vacuum”

    True, but the context in which the UVF was formed in 1966 was one of sheer paranoia. If you understand the paranoia of the unionist community then you can understand why a re-formed UVF was able to gain some traction.

    But the point has to be made again and again and again. In 1966 unionist paranoia existed in a vacuum. As a result of an anniversary and a big marchg in Dublin unionism lost the run of itself.

    The solution was to stop being so bloody paranoid. Still waiting on that one…

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “For the UUP to accept Ervine on board when the UVF hasn’t even started decommissioning would make their decision to walk out of an Executive after the IRA had made significant moves on weapons makes their previous position look completely hypocritical.”

    Make no mistake Gonzo, it would BE completely hypocritical. It would also hint very strongly at something nationalists have long suspected – the UUPs hokey cokey act had nothing to do with IRA guns.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “For the UUP to accept Ervine on board when the UVF hasn’t even started decommissioning would make their decision to walk out of an Executive after the IRA had made significant moves on weapons makes their previous position look completely hypocritical.”

    While I dispute entirely your use of the word “significant” – remember how De Chastelain defined 1% as significant – I agree with everything else you say.

    Funny none of the UUP hacks seem to want to offer an opinion.

  • Millie

    If Special Branch had done its job, it would have known that the IRA had reassessed its own relevance and, ironically, had chosen to ditch militarism in favour of social and political agitation. In any case IRA scare stories were the stuff of legend before ’69, so whether there was a genuine republican threat or not was usually besides the point.

    Anyway, it was the reforming zeal of O’Neill and the reapprochement between north and south (not to mention Paisley’s stomping about the country crying betrayal) that reactivated the UVF. It’s also indicative of the nature of northern society at the time that something as uncontroversial as basic civil rights and cross-border co-operation between two economically knackered states could be painted as a republican resurgence. Decades of unionist dominance had virtually guaranteed that being catholic in NI was synonymous with being in the IRA.

  • Christopher Stalford

    “Anyway, it was the reforming zeal of O’Neill and the reapprochement between north and south (not to mention Paisley’s stomping about the country crying betrayal) that reactivated the UVF.”

    Two words – Scarman Report.

  • Davros

    On that we will have to disagree Billy. Paranoia implies that Unionism and unionists had no reason to be wary of the ROI and NI republicans. There was a lot of water still to flow under the bridge before we can say,as we can today, that Unionism and unionists have nothing to fear from the 26 counties.

    Was there no republican Violence in 1966 ?
    Saor Uladh ? March 1966 ring any bells ?

  • Fraggle

    christopher, care to specify swich part of the report you are referring to?

  • Davros

    Millie – March 1966 rather damages your case.

  • Christopher Stalford

    Fraggle

    The part which found that Ian Paisley was not responsible for the outbreak of the so-called “Troubles” and the part which found that the NICRA had been infiltrated by leading figures in the IRA.

  • Christopher Stalford

    I’m off. Au revoir.

  • Declan

    If Scarman was along the same vein as Widgery, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  • Millie

    So the assumption is that NICRA was dodgy because IRA figures had infiltrated it? So basically the IRA can’t win. On the one hand if they decide to go down the constitutional route and agitate via NICRA – which is more or less what they’re being asked to do today – then it’s all a republican plot to overthrow NI, completely ignoring why people in NI had to march and protest for civil rights in the first place. But if the Provos had been around in the 60’s then it’s unlikely that the events of August ’69 would have occured, which means the Provos would never have been born…is this what’s known in time travel as a paradox?

    March ’66, was that the blowing up of monument in Dublin? Like I said, it really didn’t take much to wind up Protestant paranoia in the north at that time. After all, if the right-wing
    of the Unionist govt and a ‘churchman’ like Paisley can incite crowds with crude anti-catholic bigotry and convince the Protestant faithful that unashamed Protestant supremacy was of more importance than equality between the two communities, then NI was a well and truly f***** up place.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,
    perhaps you can explain how the murder of a Catholic barman in 1966 was as a result of unionist paranoia or IRA sabre rattling. Exactly what threat did he pose?
    One of those who was convicted of the crime (Mc Clean) stated that he wished he had never heard of that man Paisley. Blows a hole in your IRA theory, sorry.

  • Davros

    Pat, I have no intention of discussing anything with you. You have zero credibility. You misrepresent my posts and tell lies.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Jesus, what happened between you two?

  • Davros

    “March ’66, was that the blowing up of monument in Dublin? Like I said, it really didn’t take much to wind up Protestant paranoia in the north at that time.”

    The blowing up of a monument sent a clear message.
    No place for Brits in Nua

  • ShayPaul

    Cut the bullshit tantrum Davros and answer the questions :

    Explain how the murder of a Catholic barman in 1966 was as a result of unionist paranoia or IRA sabre rattling. Exactly what threat did he pose?
    One of those who was convicted of the crime (Mc Clean) stated that he wished he had never heard of that man Paisley ?

    And don’t start trading attrocities it makes you look small.

    As for the “my community line” ……………

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “Would republicans swallow commemoration of the Shankill Butchers in Belfast and Dublin as a price for peace?

    Not good enough Davros. Of course any halfway sentient unionist would be only too willing to be disassociated from the illiterate thugs of loyalism. But your side had the forces of the state as back up too. Jeffrey Donaldson, to take just one example, was a combatant in our conflict and he is honoured for his service. Remember that nationalists’ stomachs are turned by the armed forces of the state too.

    “My community by and large refuses to legitimise loyalist terrorists retrospectively in the polling boths.”

    Are you implying that the nationalist community votes for Sinn Fein because they want to legitimise past atrocities? Let me assure you this is not the case. Very few nationalists voted for Sinn Fein before the ceasefire. Large numbers now vote for Sinn Fein not to legitimise the past actions of party members and associates but because they are far more professional, adept and offer a far more appealing narrative than the other nationalist party.

    Just like when unionists vote DUP, they’re not voting for Ulster Resistance. (Or at least very few are…)

  • Davros

    Unpalatable truths 🙂

    Man not ball Shay ? tut tut.

    No bullshit. You may not like it but I’ll repeat it-

    Bottom line here – because what the UVF did was WRONG does NOT make what the IRA did RIGHT.

  • Davros

    “Are you implying that the nationalist community votes for Sinn Fein because they want to legitimise past atrocities?”

    I know it’s not the case Billy. However speaking personally I will not, and never have, vote for a terrorist. The DUP are hypocrites for having convicted terrorists as candidates.

    There is an attempt to sanitise the past. I don’t want to see the likes of Dominic McGlinchey treated in any way differently than I would personally treat the Shankill Butchers.

    IMO David Ervine and Gerry Kelly should not be allowed to stand for election. There is NO difference.

    Wry smile at the feigned outrage from our more militant republicans. I was reading “That” comment in an Phoblacht in respect of 9/11 a few days ago.
    I thought they were correct in what they said.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The fact of the matter is that there is no strategy in place for dealing with unionist guns simply because of the inherent sectarianism of the political unionism. A unionism that has used these people when it suited them and sat in smug silence while they carried out what they did best.

    One only has to look at the continuing attacks on ethnic minorities in STH Belfast to have an idea of what is going on in political unionism as regards the UDA/UVF et al.
    Brian Feeney in yesterdays’ Irish News carried an excellent expose on the ramblings of Michael Mc Gimpsey (living in denial, what violence?) and Ruth Patterson (yes we’re bigots but we don’t care).

    The problem of violence emanating from within the unionist community is ignored and real or imagined republican actions are exaggerated and magnified. But as is increasingly the case that hypocricy is starting to catch up on the wider unionist community. The incestuous killing that devoured the Lower Shankill is permeating housing estates from Bangor to Derry.
    As the Brigadiers seek to add a few more pounds to their ‘war chests’ it is kids from unionist areas that are paying the price for the drugs profits and it is unionist builders who are crippled by the extortion demands.
    Of course they still do try to wrap the ragged Butchers Apron around them from time to time in order to validate their loyalist credentials. The odd stabbing here and there. But by and large it is their own people paying the price for the holidays in Thailand and Dubai.
    But then again Michael can’t see it happening and Ruth doesn’t really care who knows about it.

  • chunkyguy

    also after reading gusty spences autobiographical book entitled gusty(suprise suprise)- its apparent that the reason he re-formed the uvf and started killing innocent catholics was not in anyway counter active to republican violence but more in response to the civil rights campaign and paisleys scaremongering- after a period of self education in prison gusty realises how wrong this was and wishes he go back in time and make sure heit didnt occur!!

  • ShayPaul

    “No bullshit. You may not like it but I’ll repeat it-

    Posted by: Davros at October 13, 2004 08:10 PM”

    Well we are pretty used to you repeating bullshit.

    Spence was a lot more honest about the reality of 1966 when you were a youngster “I remember the tension” or was that just feeling the same again without the bull for filling the nappies.

    You might be too young to remember who created that tension – it was the the same bigots playing the same orange card.

    Seriously Davros, who tried to say that this was RIGHT because that was WRONG.

    It’s not a zero sum game.

    History is history and it’s history. Now what do you think are the “stratagems in place to handle the surrender of loyalist guns?”.

    Do you think it’s a serious problem?

    Before giving a glib “I like many in my community … abhor the existence ….. and have never voted for …. crap”.

    How does Unionism propose to deal with Loyalism ?

    Disdain for the boys that do the dirty work isn’t enough, are you prepared to stand up to them, to talk to them, to deal with them, to persuade them to move on ?

  • Davros

    Ball not Man Please Shay and I might deign to answer some of your questions .

  • willowfield

    Note to contributors: the UVF wasn’t re-formed in 1966.

    An entirely new, separate and different organization, which stole the name UVF, was formed in 1966.

  • ShayPaul

    Davros,

    When you re-read the post you’ll see who took his eye of the ball.

    Now let’s see :

    History is history and it’s history. Now what do you think are the “stratagems in place to handle the surrender of loyalist guns?”.

    Do you think it’s a serious problem?

    Before giving a glib “I like many in my community … abhor the existence ….. and have never voted for …. crap”.

    How does Unionism propose to deal with Loyalism ?

    Disdain for the boys that do the dirty work isn’t enough, are you prepared to stand up to them, to talk to them, to deal with them, to persuade them to move on ?

    Willowfield :

    “An entirely new, separate and different organization, which stole the name UVF, was formed in 1966.”

    Agree with that, but at the time what was the Unionist attitude to the theft ?

    Do you believe the original UVF was a glorious organisation ?

  • Davros

    Shay, you know the deal. Ask nice and I’ll answer.
    I’m tired of shinner poison.

  • ShayPaul

    Back to putting people in boxes eh ?

  • ShayPaul

    Hello white boss der (pulls on forelock) would you be up t’answering ma question der, have ye had nuff time to think up de answer der, boss sir ?

  • ShayPaul

    Here is der question again fer ye :

    History is history and it’s history. Now what do you think are the “stratagems in place to handle the surrender of loyalist guns?”.

    Do you think it’s a serious problem?

    Before giving a glib “I like many in my community … abhor the existence ….. and have never voted for …. crap”.

    How does Unionism propose to deal with Loyalism ?

    Disdain for the boys that do the dirty work isn’t enough, are you prepared to stand up to them, to talk to them, to deal with them, to persuade them to move on ?

  • Davros

    ‘glib’ and ‘crap’ ain’t asking nice Shay.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “An entirely new, separate and different organization, which stole the name UVF, was formed in 1966.”

    But took like a duck to water in copying its’ methodology.