Authorities must sort out Loyalists

Susan McKay argues that now the IRA is on it’s way out as an active player in politics, the criminality in Loyalist areas should be left to the police and the Assets Recovery Agency to deal with.

  • slug

    Susan is a great expert on Northern Ireland protestants.

  • Brian Boru

    Yes slug especially as she is one.

  • slug

    Yes, she has also written a good book “Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People”.

  • fair_deal

    Bog standard republican analysis that gets no better with repetition.

  • Mick Fealty

    Well done FD for being the first to address the ball!

  • slug

    “The leaders of loyalist paramilitarism are, in fact, serious criminals.”

    Good point by Susan McKay. Astute analysis.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I’m going to be honest here. I DETEST Susan McKay. I am not trying to play the WOman and not the ball, (she probably has a wonderful personality) my reasons for disliking her intensely are purely political.

    I believe she was born into the Protestant faith, but even though this is the case I feel that she has no real grasp of the Protestant/Loyalist mindset. I haven’t read “Northern Protestants…”, but intend to. I base this solely on her television appearances and newspaper articles where I abhorred her choice of language and her complete and utter misrepresentation of the Loyalist cause.

  • slug

    I think the contribution of Susan McKey here is very valid – to point out that loyalist paramilitaries are into serious crime and should be investigated by the police and the ARA.

    It is very important to recognise that the loyalist paramilitaries are into crime – serious crime. That crime must be investigated in the usual way.

  • Brian Boru

    Concerned Loyalist, here is an extract from the CAIN website about the book which you might find useful. An extract from the book is contained there. Perhaps you can better inform yourself from reading this.

    “I believe she was born into the Protestant faith, but even though this is the case I feel that she has no real grasp of the Protestant/Loyalist mindset. I haven’t read “Northern Protestants…”, but intend to. I base this solely on her television appearances and newspaper articles where I abhorred her choice of language and her complete and utter misrepresentation of the Loyalist cause. ”

    Well it seems to me that the self-critical tradition is much stronger within Irish nationalism on the island e.g. Eoghan Harris, than within Unionism. Maybe it’s about time someone from the Northern Protestant community erred from the standard and well-worn Orange script for once.

  • DaithiO

    Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t these paramilitary groups still proscribed ? Yes, I thought so, so that makes it illegal to be a member SO… if the names of so called “Brigadiers” are known then why aren’t they arrested for membership instead of being lauded as celebrities.

    Too much has been made about who may or may not be on the PIRA Army Council, and nothing of the fact that directors of “loyalist” gangs are free to enjoy their ill gotten gains through their illegal money making ventures, whilst the communities they claim to represent crumble !

  • idunnomeself


    Paramilitaries are criminals?


    I suppose the answer to her question is that Republicans are serious criminals too, and they put on suits and meet Tony Blair all the time. I didn’t notice Susan applauding the police for arresting republicans in connection with the Northern heist. I suppose people become used to equivalence.

    Incidentally there are more UDA men in jail now than there were before the ceasefires. I think Susan is guilty of implying that they are currently being given free reign. They aren’t. The full force of the PSNI and the ARA is being landed on them and has been for a long time now. It suits the republican ‘collusion’ diatribe to imply that this isn’t so.

    Baroness Blood’s comments are very interesting, my instinct would be to agree with her.

  • fair_deal


    Would you do me the favour of emailing the stats and source on GB to NI migration and local attendance growth to Universities you used on a thread a few months back? I can’t find the relevant thread.

  • slug

    Will do FD – this evening as I’m at work.

    By the way some new stats out today:

    NI employment up 5% in the year.
    NI average earnings up 5% in the year.

    Putting those two figures together implies total earned income growth in the year of more than 10%. That is a really good – tiger level – economic performance in 2005 for NI.

  • DaithiO


    If you was arrested for the Northern Bank robbery would that make you guilty or would you expect the judicial process to take place first ?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    If the PSNI were to arrest known UDA and UVF leaders they would have to arrest Sinn Fein representatives Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Martin Ferris, who up until recently were 3 of the 7 men on the Provo Army Council.

    This is not going to happen due to political pressure from HMG, so the PSNI cannot act against Loyalists as it would be descriminatory and they would be seen to be working to a nationalist agenda.

  • fair_deal



  • Concerned Loyalist

    You compare our apparent economic growth in the past year with the “celtic tiger” in the Irish Republic. What about the name “Rangers revival” to describe economic success in Northern Ireland? (Parity of esteem and all that). Not only do we need a boost for our economy, but the football team could be doing with better results too!

  • DaithiO

    CL don’t hold your breath for this week ;))

  • Idunnomeself,

    That’s a very intersting stat regarding UDA prisoners, if it’s true of course.
    What is your source?

  • Brian Boru

    “NI employment up 5% in the year.
    NI average earnings up 5% in the year.

    Putting those two figures together implies total earned income growth in the year of more than 10%. That is a really good – tiger level – economic performance in 2005 for NI. ”

    Shame though it isn’t as high as 13% like in the Republic from 2003-4. 🙁



    All in all, I think the process is entering a new phase that will finally see some rewards for the ordinary punter in the street.And by that I mean that the police may be freed from security concerns and political pressure, and be able to concentrate their energies upon dealing with organised crime.

    Their remains the anomaly of one political party and their attitude to policing, but hopefully this can be sorted out.
    Ultimately I’d like to see republican and nationalist confidence in the police built upo the foundation of republican and nationalist policemen helping to deal with organised criminals who their communities might feel threatened by.

  • Jo

    I thought that this was a typically astute piece by Susan. I know her personally and it never ceases to amaze me that whatever she writes is dismissed as lacking insight into the Unionis/Protestant mindset. It seems that those who dont write critcially acclaimed books and provide consistent and intuitively accurate analysis are to be aluded whereas people like Susan are, in whatever language one chooses, are described and regarded as “Lundys”. She is spot on in her analysis of Loyalist paramilitaries as “useful fools” whose utility to successive governments is now at an end.

  • George

    but the job creation is driven by the public sector, in other words not wealth creating, while, as I type, Northern Ireland is shedding a greater proportion of manufacturing jobs, in other words wealth creating ones, than anywhere else in the UK. That was announced this week too.

    Public spending is now at 64% of GDP in Northern Ireland, what Business Online calls “the kind of number associated with a miserable People’s Republic of the 1970s”.

    It goes on:
    “But it’s not all thin gruel in Dependency Britain: a new public-sector haute-bourgeoisie has emerged, which pays itself six-figure salaries, preens itself as it flouts its new social status and awards itself final salary pensions for 35-hour weeks spent on often useless, even destructive tasks.”

    That’s a sentence that sums it up beautifully, in my view.

    Remember there are over three times as many civil servants on 100k+ in NI than Wales, which has twice the population. And their wages go up every year.

    I’m glad wages are going up though. The good people of Northern Ireland will need them to pay for the rate increases, and the road repair budget which the NIO has slashed.

    Have a read, it’s an interesting piece on wealth-creating Britain: new Two Nations of Britain&StoryID=E362160A-AC33-4C6E-8165-EAF7FA74C505&SectionID=803597D7-4BD5-45D5-BF88-E1AC85BF7FDF

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I don’t agree with you. Going off subject I know, but if Rangers don’t get 7 points from their next 3 matches against Celtic, Porto and Hibernian, Glasgow Rangers and Alex McLeish will part company. That stark reality will give the players a shot in the arm and they will beat Celtic and Hibs and get at least a draw in Oporto…here’s hoping!

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I believe Peter Taylor, David McKittrick, Jim Cusack and Henry McDonald all understand what it is that make Loyalists tick. Unfortunately I don’t feel McKay deserves to be held in the same regard as these expert sources on Loyalism.

    The aforementioned four authors have a deep understanding of the ideals and aspirations of Loyalism and it’s actors in Protestant/Unionist/Loyalist communities, whereas McKay clearly does not…

  • seabhac siulach

    Nice post, George…

    Never hurts to remind people of what a basket case the 6 county ‘economy’ is…a topic close to my heart!

  • mnob

    George, thanks for that reference.

    On the whole it makes interesting and thought provoking reading – e.g. the thesis of benefits based on the expense of living in a region is interesting – though in Northern Ireland it might actually lead to an increase in benefits.

    Interesting as well in that it doesn’t promote London becoming an independant state and jetisoning the less productive parts of the Union (i.e. everyone else).

    That NI is more dependant on the civil service than any other region is not surprising or even damning given our recent past.

  • finn69

    wow four posts before republicans were mentioned and a whole 11 before some good whataboutery.

    bloody hell concerned loyalist I sure the PSNI said they had only just rejoined the army council, you just can’t get the staff any more

  • idunnomeself

    paul panther,

    I got it from someone I know who locks up loyalists for a living, but if you went looking on teh NIO website you could probably find the figures. I’ve also seen them in various newspaper reports.

    Don’t have time to dig around for you, sorry

  • Jo


    I think DMcK is very good, did you know he originally wrote a Masters on the UDA? It must be one of the earliest pieces of academic research on Loyalist paramilitaries. What do you think he has that Susan hasn’t (in writing terms, I mean!)

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Objectivity is what McKittrick has that Susan McKay doesn’t. Do you know where i could access McKittrick’s thesis on the D.A.?

  • Jo

    I remember seeing it at Queens. You could try inter-library loan service? It was 1973 or 94 M.A.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I’m a student at University of Ulster. I know I can apply for an inter-campus loan but I don’t know if there is anything in place for inter-university loans.

  • Scotsman

    I thought Mackay’s “Unsettled people” book was worth reading. And I find it hard to argue with the idea that the police should get stuck into the loyalists.

    So what’s the problem?

  • Jo

    CL: Check it out, it may of course have gone *missing* given his success in more recent times! In the meantime re-read Susan McKay 🙂

  • George

    seabhac siulach,
    it’s one of mine too because we were there ourselves not so long ago.

    actually if I was your average Englishman reading that article, jettisoning would be exactly what I’d be thinking but maybe I do them a disservice.

    I agree it isn’t suggested. It’s more a call for some inventive thinking to address the issue. The conclusion is to slash state spending and minimise government involvement in every aspect of life.

    My criticism of Northern Ireland is not that it found itself in a mess and dependant on handouts at the end of the “Troubles”, but that it hasn’t done anything of economic consequence to address it since.

    Why? Because ongoing state spending meant it didn’t have to address the economic elephant in the room and all the parties were playing politics.

    It has got just 1% of the Foreign Direct Investment the Irish Republic has got in the last 10 years. That is a thundering disgrace. Anybody pulled up on the fact that the Republic got 100 times more investment? Not on your nelly.

    This well is now drying up and who knows if there will be another chance. There are around 100,000 more people on incapacity benefit now than 7 years ago. No wonder the unemployment rate is going down.

    The reason this annoys me so much is because my first mature economic memory (old enough to think I understood) was Ray McSharry’s Mac the Knife budget speech of 1987 when the Republic was going down the toilet.

    “It is evident that conditions are extremely difficult and that there is no room at all for soft options… There can be no concessions to interest groups and all sections of the community will have to bear some of the burden…”

    “We simply cannot afford our present level of public services. For as long as public expenditure and, in consequence, taxation and borrowings remain at their present levels, productive activity in the economy will be stifled and we will not achieve the recovery in output and employment that this Government are determined to bring about.”

    Read it and you will see the honesty necessary to implement change. Northern Ireland needs someone like him and opposition leader Alan Dukes who supported it for the greater good.

    The population of Northern should demand it. The budgetary situation is similar.

    Apologies for the off-topic nature of this post.

  • Mick O’Tick

    Concerned Loyalist

    “I believe she was born into the Protestant faith, but even though this is the case I feel that she has no real grasp of the Protestant/Loyalist mindset.”

    You mean she doesn’t wear her bigotry or sectarianism on her sleeve?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Speaking of “concerned loyalists” and paramilitary thugs, seems that for all the hooting and hollering about “IRA Spying,” its the RIR and the loyalist thugs who are still in bed together.

    “Police have warned dozens of republicans, including Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, their lives are under threat from loyalist paramilitaries.
    It is linked to the discovery of a document believed to have been taken from an Army office in the Castlereagh security complex last year.

    More than 20 soldiers were moved to “less sensitive” duties while the probe into the missing document began.

    The republicans were told their details were found in paramilitary hands.”

    For the full text, see below:

  • Jo


    One of the defining characteristics of Loyalist is the premium attached to loyalty, unconditional and unquestioning.

    It is, I believe a quality omnipresent within the DUP, maintained and maintainable for the lifespan of its founder. True dissent as represented by many generations of Ulster Protestantism, has been severely submereged for some time (since the inception of the NI state?) but those of us who maintain this honourable tradition still have to face the loathing and intolerance of those who still adhere to the citadel.

    Susan is neither bigoted nor sectarian, perhaps there is something of the zeal of the convert detectable in some things she writes, but that does not preclude it from being true. I for one am not cursing at the mirror she holds up. The accuracy and insight she offers are acknowledged in the heart and also in the venom and personal abuse she has suffered here and elsewhere.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Dread Cthulhu. You said:
    “speaking of “concerned loyalists” and paramilitary thugs…”

    Are you labelling me a thug and/or a paramilitary?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    CL: “Are you labelling me a thug and/or a paramilitary?”

    Not that I was aware of… what’s the matter? Guilty conscience? O:)

    Seriously, tho, it was a lame pun (rational below). If I meant you, I would have a) quoted and b) capitalized, since your’s is a handle / name and not a generic concept.

    The Loyalist paramilitaries (and their apologists) try to portray them as naught more than “neighborhodd defense” groups — think American “neighborhood watches” with automatic weapons — just “concerned loyalists” trying to defend their ‘hood. To be fair, its the same fig-leaf that PIRA tried to use. I do find the fact that the NI security apparatus tried to cover-up the transfer of sensitive information to the Loyalist paramilitaries curious. Seems that it will take a crowbar to get the cops out of the loyalist thug’s bed.