Empey: a welcome development…

A lot of callers into RTE in Dublin are cock a hoop at the General’s verdict and have expressed the opinion that Unionists must now take the initiative. “It represents progress and it also represents a massive U Turn on the part of the Republican movement”. He also believes that Loyalist paramilitaries must now decommission, not least because the General has committed to keeping the IRA inventory secret until they reciprocate. He reserves his opinion on the outcome of the next IMC reports. But he called it a welcome development.

  • smcgiff

    Fair play, Reg.

    And it could be a crafty move. By being generous, it shows the UUP in a positive light regarding the decom process. If the DUP carp from the sidelines, it will look as if Decom is a UUP legacy.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I know already what the generic nationalist/republican response will be before I even post, but I’ll say it anyway.

    I, like many other Unionists/Loyalists don’t believe a word the IRA, or their political wing SF say. Call it male intuition after all these years of lies, spin and a few thousand bombings and shootings thrown in for good measure.

    Do the people of Northern Ireland and throughout the world really believe that P.O’Neill and his mates have decommissioned every weapon in the IRA’s armoury? Even if this was miraculously the case, how many new weapons could the Provos buy with the £26.5 million they robbed from the Northern Bank anyway, if they felt the urge? Enough to re-arm themselves with better, more up-to-date weaponry, that’s for sure!

  • Henry94

    Concerned Loyalist

    I think you are going to find the IRA arms harder to let go of than any republican.

    The decommissioning demand kept unionism united. Now the split between those who are willing to share power and those who are not will have to happen.

  • Baluba

    I thought ‘many other loyalists/unionists’ were laughing at the IRAs stupidity in stealing unusable money? Or is it now usable, gun and semtex buying money?

    Take a leap of faith Concerned Loyalist, please!

    How much weaponry do you really think they had that there can be ‘massive’ decommissioning, but they still have more stashed away? Can they get more, yes. Will they, no. Why would they?

  • Baluba

    Sorry, I forgot about the issue at hand.

    Well done Reg. That’s the best thing that’s come out of your mouth in quite a while.

    Please sir, can I have some more?

  • Ringo

    CL –

    There is no way of being certain of those scenarios, ever, so where are you going to draw the line? If in 1994 (I know, you were only a young fella), you were offered the destruction of all the IRA arms that the security forces on both sides of the border thought to be in existance, monitored by an international committee headed by a Canadian General and a former Methodist Church leader wouldn’t you have grabbed it with both hands and seen it as a massive achievement?

    If you ask me what makes me believe that the IRA has decommissioned fully, it is simply that it is in their interests to do so.

  • Betty Boo

    Concerned Loyalist

    It is difficult to argue with you about your position taken. Not because your questions were any good but because you wouldn’t even consider that every war fought is aimed at ending the war. And this one is over.
    And now you can call me predictable.

  • martin

    Well said Sir Reg–keep up the good work

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Criminality is what I’ve always been concerned with. Will the IRA cease “fundraising” through “procuring” millions through bank and post-office robberies and “protection” rackets. Will they cease the cultural and ethnic cleansing agenda they are currently employing? Will there be any more McCartney cases? Will there be any more break-ins, such as Castlereagh, to steal files on security personnel and Loyalists? So many questions and not enough answers…

    Personally I’ve always believed that decommissioning was a bit of a red herring, but on the other hand I did understand why some Unionist politicians wanted it so badly as a confidence-building measure. It was what they believed it symbolised, the IRA admitting that they couldn’t coerce the Protestant/Loyalist people into a United Ireland. Unfortunately I don’t think it has lived up to expectations-no photos and no detailed inventory mean no deal as far as I’m concerned…

  • martin

    my comment went through twice–because it got stopped the first time and Iwas asked to try again later–then both went trough.

  • Mike


    “The decommissioning demand kept unionism united. Now the split between those who are willing to share power and those who are not will have to happen.”

    Surely you haven’t forgotten the events of 1999, 2000 and 2001?

  • martin

    Concerned Loyalist,

    Why would you not be prepared to take the word of the Protestant Church minister who witnessed the decommissioning–why do you think he would lie to you?–

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Under duress perhaps-they could have threatened his family? Remember, these are the same murdering dregs of society that blew up innocent people in La Mon, Enniskillen, The Abercorn and the Shankill to name but a few…

  • Ringo

    Unfortunately I don’t think it has lived up to expectations-no photos and no detailed inventory mean no deal as far as I’m concerned

    1) The only way you’ll get a detailed inventory, is as Reg Empey said, when the Loyalists have decommissioned – then the inventories will be made public. I take it you’re all for this?

    2) If there are no photo’s, yet the deed is done, the DUP is in a very tricky situation. Nigel Dodds repeatedly dodged the question this morning regarding government without visual evidence, and that means only one thing – the DUP realise they cannot use it as a show stopper.

  • smcgiff

    Concerned Loyalist,

    There is nothing the IRA could have done to change your mind regarding decommissioning. Therefore the process wasn’t aimed at you, and was carried out despite this.

    Did ANYONE expect the IRA to believe that unionism was going to fall all over the IRA because of this? I don’t expect so.

  • smcgiff

    I heard that interview also, Ringo, and came to the same conclusion as you did.

  • drumcree

    Ulster Unionist’s should take some pride that todays events are a direct result of their negotations resulting in the Belfast Agreement. My only sadness is that it couldn’t have taken place ten years ago.

    Add this to the success of the removal of the Irish Republic’s territorial claim in Articles 2 & 3, and the fact that we now have Sinn Fein willingly prepared to administer British rule in Nothern Ireland in conjunction with Unionists, and this can only be described as a comprehensive success for the Ulster Unionist Party.

    Paisley and the DUP are at sea, now shown to be completely powerless, with no cogent response to Sinn Fein strategy. There have been more concessions to Republican’s on their watch eg Sean Kelly (aka scar face) being arrested and released without reference to the DUP. East Belfast also lies in ruins.

    Unionists – wake up and smell the turkey – our strategy has been a success. We may been severely electorally damaged in May, with the connivance of Blair and Sinn Fein, however if we continue to hold our nerve, the DUP will once again prove that Dr Paisley is the Grand Old Duke of York marching his merry band of loyalists up the hill only to desert them when the going gets tough.

    The Ulster Unionist Party’s renewal begins today!

  • The Watchman


    Have you been seeing Kate Moss’s supplier?

  • Keith M

    The irrelevant talkng about the insignificant.

  • aquifer

    Why would you not be prepared to take the word of the Protestant Church minister?

    Concerned loyalist:

    “Under duress perhaps-they could have threatened his family?”

    The Rev Good spoke at length and did not seem under stress at all.

  • Brian Boru

    Concerned Loyalist, how many weapons have the UDA and UVF decommissioned?

  • David Vance

    Sir Reg ably demonstrates why Unionism puts next to no trust in the competency of his Party to represent Unionism. I trust other unionists listened to Alan McFarland’s lapdog response. The “New” UUP leadership makes Trimble seem a political giant….next election the UUP meltdown will continue apace….

  • darthrumsfeld

    Four witnesses to a crime brag about their inside knowledge to anyone who will listen . Then someone says “will you give evidence in court?”
    All of the witnesses produce excuses for being unable to do so. And we’re supposed to trust them???????!!!!!!!

  • tiny

    The Dupes are boxing themselves into a corner, an inventorary is useless without something to compare it with yet that is what the General can claim to have, the security services estimate and a list of his own, looks like the Dupes are going to have to come of the fence and either put up or shut up, either accept the word of the General and his associates and the two clerics or accuse them of being fools and liars.

  • Brian Boru

    If a Catholic said the world was round, Paisley would demand to be taken into space as proof.

  • David

    The claim is repeatedly being made that all IRA weapons have been decommissioned. That claim is almost certainly false.

    It is almost certainly true that a lot of IRA weapons have been decommissioned. Unfortunately, for the short term political advantage of the IRA, this decommissioning has taken place in secrecy without any transparency. The witnesses to the act seem to be sworn to secrecy when it comes to verifying the amounts publically.

    The claim that all weapons have been decommissioned will be refuted if at any stage in the future the IRA use or are caught in possession of any weapon. It seems highly likely that this will happen at some stage.

    A false claim is being made and the falsity of the claim is likely to become apparent at some stage in the near future.

    A more transparent process would, ironically, be much less open to simple refutation. If people saw a large number of weapons being destroyed on the TV they would be less worried if it was later discovered that (deliberately or otherwise) some were missed.

    The secrecy of the process seems to me to have virtually guaranteed its failure.

  • Headmelter

    Possibly a canny move by Reg. He probably sees the DUPes will be flogging a dead horse with their paranoiac nonsense in the coming weeks. If he has his head screwed on he should try and turn this to his advantage and magnify the positives this move has for the unionist community.
    After the bucket of shite he fell into last week siding with the DUPers over the loyalist violence he could come out smelling of roses.

  • darthrumsfeld

    If a Catholic said the world was round, Paisley would demand to be taken into space as proof.

    Posted by: Brian Boru at September 27, 2005 01:44 AM

    And if Gerry Adams said he was in the IRA, he’d have to shoot brian boru before he would believe it!

  • middle-class taig

    fairplay2u reg

  • steve48

    The DUP’s demands for either their own witness or photographic evidence would not have actually changed anything about the circumstances of the event. It would not have answered any questions about what is left or what has been imported in recent years so therefore the issue is actually redundant. what is more interesting is how long the DUP will wait before seeking power with Sinn Fein, after all in December Paisley said that all had been agreed except the photos. Now that they are no longer an issue are the DUP going to tell us what was in their deal with SF or are they going to try and blame it all on the UUP.

  • willowfield

    Unionists should surely be claiming victory over decommissioning and rubbing the Provos’ noses in it.

    Their response so far gives the impression that it is the Provos who are winning instead of surrendering to a unionist demand.

    No wonder unionist communities feel like they are “in crisis” when their leaders tell them that victories are defeats.

    Positive unionism please!

  • willowfield

    Decommissioning ticked off, now on to criminality.

    Close down the crime gangs, please.

    We’ll make law-abiding democrats of these people yet!

  • Robert Keogh

    After selling the nationalist community on the end of the IRA as a victory it’s going to be pretty straightforward selling a united Ireland to unionists.

  • willowfield

    Not sure if I understand that.

    The Provos spinning to their own electorate is one thing, selling a so-called “united Ireland” to unionists is quite another.

  • Robert Keogh


    Would you have ever believed the nationalist or republican community would be celebrating the end of the IRA while unionism griped? I mean if pigs are flying and all….

    There’s no real need to sell a united Ireland, it sells itself. Don’t believe me – I know you won’t – but look at the trends. In the 80s you’d rarely see a northern registered car in Dublin – now they are everywhere. Professional organisations are organising on an all Ireland basis. The business and personal ties that unite a country are slowly but surely accumulating and deepening across the length and breadth of the island. Ties that will only hasten the realisation that unionist fears are groundless. Those are the fears and suspicions that fuel opposition to a united Ireland.

    As I can see it there are only two questions left to be answered –
    1. the date unification occurs and
    2. how many people loyalists will kill before then

  • Tiny

    Why is an inventory so important ot the DUP, afterall do they know for certain how many guns the IRA has/had, what would they compare the inventory with?

  • tom

    “We’ll make law-abiding democrats of these people yet!”

    Pheww !!

    I thought you were talking about big Ian and the ulster resistance boys, for a minute ??