UDA blamed for intimidation…

NOT so long ago, a Prime Minister got into quite a bit of trouble for claiming that Saddam Hussein could launch a chemical attack on coalition forces within 45 minutes of the order being given. Last night the UDA went one further, and launched a bitumen attack on a car within 45 minutes of its ceasefire being recognised by the Government.

The mother of an SDLP councillor in Larne has blamed the UDA – who have a track record in attacking her family – for intimidating her and her son last night. So, just to be clear, 45 minutes after the UDA was officially despecified, it was allegedly intimidating nationalists in Larne. Officialy, that is a ceasefire breach, and in breach of Paragraph 13 of the Joint Declaration. It won’t be treated as such, because it would make the Government look stupid for trusting the UDA. I wonder if the Secretary of State referred to this in his speech to the Commons today?

  • peteb

    Did he mention it Gonzo? Did he f**k!

    The quote that most of the media are using in reports of his speech today is when Paul Murphy explained that he ‘recognised’ the UDA ceasefire because it was “holding and genuine”.

    How he arrives at that assessment after the IMC report and the attack this morning is anyone’s guess.

  • David Vance

    Why be surprised? The entire illusion of paramilitary ceasefires is cast by Government in order to disguise their gutless appeasement of these gangsters. The UDA like the IRA and UVF, has finally discovered that empty words are all that matters – so they can go about their criminality without fear of censure – why it’s just one more “risk for peace”. It’s what pro-Agreement people voted for.

  • peteb

    David

    If you had been paying attention you’d see that I noted a similar point in a previous post – but I disagree that, as you put it, that “is what pro-Agreement people voted for”.

  • Davros

    What I would like to mention is that a LHW was used in this incident…. not by the terrorists.
    But by a Catholic to defend himself.
    As with the only other time I can remember a LHW being used – in Derry, by a Catholic, to defend himself against terrorists.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Sectarianism in places like Larne seems to be endemic. That being the case it is best to get a few facts on the case before passing judgement. While the UDA were undoubtedly behind the pipebombs that plagued the area, any scumbag can get a can of paint and attack a car. Especially on the car of a well known political figure in that area.

  • David Vance

    Hi Pete,

    My My, I am rebuked for missing one of your previous posts – does this rule apply to other Slugger contributors? Are we required to dwell on every item before commenting? If so, how illiberal of this bastion of liberalism.

    If what is happening – the “political chcicanery” as you rightly call it is NOT what pro-Agreement voters wanted – it sure as hell is what they got. And some of us said so at the time. Perhaps cooler heads back in 1998 would have ensured that killers stayed where they belong – behind bars?

    The underlying basis of the so-called peace process is fraudulent and yet it is frequently touted as “the only show in town” by Government, Nationalism, Republicanism, and terrorism. Strange bedfellows.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    David

    It is not fair to say that pro-Agreement voters voted for terrorism. I’m sure you noticed that, while paramilitarism is still around, so are a great many more people who would otherwise be dead if the Agreement hadn’t been around…

    Or are you asking people to die for your principles?

  • peteb

    Hi David

    Does it apply to other posters?

    No.. just you :o)

    and I’ve never described myself as a liberal.

    But what we have now is the result of decisions taken by the Government since the Agreement was signed – and I’d point out the ‘internal house-keeping’ reference I used previously as an example of that.

    I realise that you would prefer to be able to say “I told you so”, but by ignoring the Government’s responsibility for their decisions since the Agreement, and in particular this latest one, you are letting them off the hook.

    BTW I have always preferred to call it a political process

  • David Vance

    Belfast Gonzo,

    It may not “be fair” but it sure is accurate. Those who voted for a political Agreement that saw killers set free, saw the forces of law and order decimimated, saw paramilitary proxies installed in power, cannot now turn around and say – oops – that’s not what we voted for!

    Pro-Agreement voters may have been misled but they cannot claim that they were not TOLD the reality of what they were supporting. They just got it badly wrong.

    Pete,

    I know you haven’t described yourself as a liberal – but that doesn’t stop you being a liberal! Gerry Adams doesn’t describe himself as a terrorist proxy, does he?

    Second, if I say “I told you so that would be;

    a/Because I did so in the teeth of vitriolic vilification from drippy pro-Agreement stooges everywhere. Now they want absolution – forgettit.

    b/Because everything since then has validated what those of us who opposed the Agreement said.

    Last of all, I’m not letting anyone of the hook -yourself included.

  • peteb

    You should ease back on the caffeine intake, David.

  • David Vance

    peteb,

    I take my coffee caffeine-free. Chill, man.

  • ulsterman

    It is Danny O’Connor rather than the UDA that stirs sectarian hatred in the Protestant town of Larne. Ever since he was elected he and the Papish Church have waged a war on the Protestant people of Larne.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Much more of that Ulsterman, and you’ll find out that this board isn’t uncensored after all.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Re: the comments of Belfast Gonzo and the other “doubting Thomas’ “
    I think the people of Northern Ireland and the British and Irish governments should support and encourage the UDA and their political analysts, the U.P.R.G. By engaging in meaningful dialogue with the said organisation, the opportunity is there to influence them and their aspirations, re-directing them towards “maintaining the peace” and not “waging war”. It will not be easy, as the organisation numbers somewhere between 30 and 40,000, with powerbases in Northern England and throughout Scotland, as well as in every county of Northern Ireland. Unlike the UVF, for example, where there is central command, with everything having to go through the Shankill Road in West Belfast, each of the six Ulster brigades of the UDA have a certain degree of autonomy. This is due to the fact that the organisation came into existence as an umbrella organisation for the different “defence associations” which cropped up in Loyalist areas from 1969 onwards, to defend our people from the IRA’s vicious, sectarian attacks. The fact that there is a degree of autonomy makes the organisation less dictatorial and more democratic than say, the UVF, but it also leaves the door open, for the “hawks” to sanction attacks without the say-so of the six man “Inner Council”. Discipline is the key to a succesful ceasefire, and it is up to the local commanders and the six brigadiers to move the grassroots into community re-development and re-generation, and away from military actions, which the grassroots will argue proved successful in the past, as the UFF in no small part brought the first ceasefires by targeting and subduing the Provos and the INLA, causing them to call their August ’94 ceasefires. It will be a difficult path to take, but the organisation owes it to the both communities of our beautiful and diverse land, or should I say, all communities, as we have a growing trend of migrant workers coming to work in Ulster. FOR PEACE… Quis ~ Separabit

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “ulsterman”, all you are doing is exacerbating Roman Catholic’s beliefs that our community are sectarian and narrow-minded. The Ulster conflict is a question of nationality, not religious beliefs. Have pride in your religion, but not prejudice. I am proud to be a Protestant, but first and foremost, I am a Loyalist, and have only qualms with republicans, not ordinary, law-abiding Roman Catholics!

  • Mick Fealty

    We’ve reached this stage on Slugger before, where the temptation to resort to insult rather to follow argument has been too much for some of us.

    That the temptation exists is entirely understandable. Many of us (on all sides of the argument) have direct and personal experience of the subject under consideration. But the only effect of resorting to insult is likely to be the closing down (and not necessarily by the editor) of an interesting and potentially important discussion.

    Please challenge each others povs, but remember to play the ball!

  • davidbrew

    I admire Danny O’Connor’s courage in representing his community in the face of intolerable harassment. He has greater integrity in my mind than the SoS who is party to an attempt to bribe terrorists and criminals of all shades. I don’t know who carried out the attack ,but if Murphy says it wasn’t the UDA and O’Connor says it was, I know who I believe.

    A true “ULsterman” as opposed to an “Ulstermouse” would never have posted such an offensive comment.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    In response to “david brew”, I would like to point out the fact that “terrorist” is a very loaded term to use. There is an age-old saying that you have probably come across before, David; “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. As the name of the UDA’s military wing suggests, the Ulster Freedom Fighters were formed in 1973 as a more refined edge, a more streamlined grouping if you like, to concentrate on the intelligence-gathering and targeting of republicans, who were causing the Protestant and Loyalist communities across the whole island of Ireland, and our fellow British citizens on the mainland, to live in constant threat of sectarian attack. I would view the Loyalists, with the exception of the LVF, who haven’t got a political bone in their collective bodies by the way, as COUNTER-terrorists, or FREEDOM-fighters, if you will. Regarding Danny O’Connor, of course I don’t condone the mindless attack on his home, but I agree with, and believe the Ulster Political Research Group’s Tommy Kirkham, who lives in the South-East Antrim area, when he says that he is “1,000 per cent sure it wasn’t carried out by the UDA”. It could just as easily have been young hoods, who terrorise housing estates in my own local area, the North or Causeway Coast, whichever you prefer, with Ballysally in Coleraine, and Dhu-Varren in Portrush, to name but two.

  • davidbrew

    freedom fighters don’t deal drugs.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Your educated insight is correct “david brew”, Freedom Fighters don’t deal drugs, criminals do. What you have to understand is that 99.9 per cent of the organisation is not involved in criminal activities, such as dealing drugs, just the small minority I have highlighted.

    The criminalization of loyalism by the two governments, and by yourself, is a major cause of hurt in Loyalist communities throughout our native land. How are Loyalists “criminals”, while the IRA and their political proxies Sinn Fein are treated as veritable statesmen?

    The republican movement have been involved in major criminal activity, such as the Castlereagh break-in, the training of F.A.R.C. guerillas in Colombia, gun-running in Florida, the abduction of dissident republicans, such as Bobby Tohill, and the recent heist at Makro, near Dunmurry, where they got away with millions of pounds.

    Where is the consistency, I ask you? I eagerly anticipate your answer!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    In a country that was teetering on the edge of an all-out bloody war, the death of non-combatants is regrettable, but ts unfortunately the norm and not the exception.
    The worst case of indescriminate murder would have to be the “Real” IRA’s bombing of Omagh in 1998, in which 29 people, including unborn children, were murdered.
    No side has the moral high-ground, but genocide like this, Abercorn, La Mon and Teebane, caused members of my community to say enough is enough, we can’t let these animals continue to act with impunity! “You reap what you sow” and “Show no mercy and expect none shown to you” are a couple of sayings that republicans should have thought of before their sectarian pogrom in Ulster! Give the D.A. a chance- they are genuine this time… Quis ~ Separabit

  • Peter Brown

    Danny O Connor’s only mistake was to aim too high when he fired over their heads…and most members of the unionist community particularly those afflicted by the tiny minority (sic) of so called loyalists who oppress their own people would agree

  • groucho

    I wonder who the UVF were defending when they bombed the Silent Valley reservoir in 1966. that was before their fearless murder of a Catholic barman at Malvern St.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    While I don’t particularly see eye to eye with Concerned Loyalist, I hope he continues to contribute…

    Thanks.

  • willowfield

    Davros

    What I would like to mention is that a LHW was used in this incident…. not by the terrorists.
    But by a Catholic to defend himself.

    Good point, Davros, the Provos would have Mr O’Connor’s weapon removed from him.

  • Davros

    WF- I know of 3 uses of LHWs .

    1) Handgun PPW by Gerry Fitt vs Republicans years ago.

    2) Shotgun (leisure use) by McCloskey of Derry vs Republicans

    3) Reported as shotgun, but not sure, by Mr O’Connor vs Loyalists.

    Now, I would regard PPWs as different from LHWs.
    Obviously when the conflict is over PPWs will no longer be needed. They are handguns with which I’m unhappy.

  • willowfield

    Why happy with shotguns but not handguns?

  • Davros

    Shotguns have legitimate uses outside of a conflict situation. Handguns are more problematic. Their only legitimate leisure use is target shooting which is a sport enjoyed by very, very few.

    There’s a lack of knowledge about this issue that I would like to address.

    Handguns – Target shooters can use single shot weapons which are very specialised. However the “ordinary ” pistol is multi-round.It is also very easily concealable.

    Shotguns- a lot of people hear shotguns and think of the military short barrel, short/folding stock semi-automatic with a large shell capacity , or the sawn-off variety. Both of these can be relatively easily concealed. However these weapons don’t have legitimate or leisure uses for Joe public and COULDN’T be LHWs as there are minimum Barrel and stock lengths. Try walking around with the shortest legal length shotgun (barrel length 26″ unless it has changed ) in your trouser band ….. Shotguns have an absolute maximum cartidge capacity of 3 shells for pump and semi-automatic ( useful for vermin control) and these are more tightly controlled than single or double barrel weapons ( Side by Side or Over and Under ) which hold one or two cartridges respectively.

    Very, very few weapons outside of shotguns. It’s very difficult to get a rifled barrel weapon and certain calibres are off limits. Gamekeepers can get rifles for Fox control. Veterinary surgeons can get weapons for shooting injured animals and horses on humane grounds. Usually single shot and often a different shape from a psitol eg
    Scroll down. Some , eg for cattle are captive bolt where the projectile remains attached to the weapon,others for Horses have to be free bolt – ie a bullet.

    Obviously abbatoirs have these. Deer Farmers used to be able to get rifles , as Deer are not easily killed in abbatoirs. More humane to shoot in field. And I understand there are a few weapons held by enthusiasts of Deer stalking and Game hunting abroad. Very difficult to get license and very tight security and storage requirements.

  • Weapons Of Crass Instruction

    Davros – “I know of 3 uses of LHWs”

    Yeah?, well here’s a fourth Davros. The one ‘stolen’ from a UDR mans house in east Belfast and then used to murder Terry Enright.

  • willowfield

    So Danny O’Connor should have his removed because of that incident?

  • Davros

    WOCI- once stolen it ceased to be a LHW….

  • James

    “Why happy with shotguns but not handguns?”

    Meself, because I’m just not partial to them.

    Handguns are too portable, too easy to conceal whereas you might think twice about toting a shotgun or rifle down the street to deal with someone who needs killin’.

    Handguns just don’t have the sight radius for decent accuracy, especially in the heat of passion. I can do great groups at 20 feet and I can hit man-sized objects at 50 feet but beyond that misses are increasingly probable.

    Which brings me to the most important point, the misses: Handgun rounds can go through two or three houses here before they lodge in something. If you miss while “protecting your home” you can very easily kill the kid next door in his bed. Several years ago the San Jose cops were in a gun battle with the bad guys and a woman in a nearby appartment got a police slug in her rump while she was eating her cornflakes.

    A shotgun will not likely get outside your house unless you use slugs. It is a great weapon for the unskilled and scared: Just point the open end toward the threat and keep pulling the trigger until you run out of ammo. Lastly, it is far more intimidating than a pistol and this alone might keep you from taking a life: I was at one demo where the lights were turned out and the instructor worked the slide on a .45, click-click, ho hum; Then he cycled a pump shotgun we all found that we had sphincters.

  • Davros

    A shotgun will not likely get outside your house unless you use slugs.

    As far as I know , Single ball cartridges are not legal for Joe Public in UK James. Add to that that with the exception of multi-chokes, many if not most of our shotguns would be too tightly choked to allow their use.

  • James

    “As far as I know , Single ball cartridges are not legal for Joe Public in UK”

    Is deer hunting legal in the UK?

    The shotgun slug (smoothbore or rifled barrel) is mandatory in some Eastern US states because of the hazard centerfire cartridges pose in areas with so little wilderness. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the only other weapons they authorize are bows as well as muzzle-loaders. (The odd part of that code is that they throw all restrictions out the door when hunting woodchucks. Perhaps saber-toothed woodchucks inhabit Penn’s Woods.)

    PS. Has anyone bagged that elusive Antrim cougar yet?

  • Davros

    Deer hunting is legal but very restricted. Has to be a rifle and has to be specified calibres. eg it would be illegal to shoot red deer with a .22

    This might interest you –

    BASC Deer Stalking Code of Practice

    Years ago I was given a single ball cartridge by a collector, but handed it in when I realised it was illegal. They were used in military shotguns carried by USC at Roadblocks. One or two for putting into engine blocks if a car refused to stop, with the rest of the magaxine having something like number 3 shot.

  • James

    Thanks, that was interesting.

  • Weapons Of Crass Instruction

    “WOCI- once stolen it ceased to be a LHW….”

    Ergo the crux of the point Davros.

    When does a legally held weapon begin to be an illegally held weapon?. At the point of “theft” and disappearance or only when it turns up at a murder scene?.