Jackie earns his payout after bloodless expulsion…

THE UDA feud appears to be over. After the flight of Shoukri supporter Alan McClean to England last night, the remnants of the north Belfast ‘dissidents’ were accepted back by the ‘inner council’.

  • harpo

    ‘THE UDA feud appears to be over’

    I love a happy ending.

    We all know that Northern Ireland will be a better place with a united UDA that’s isn’t engaged in factional infighting.

    Don’t we?

    Now they can get back to normal business.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Harpo: “We all know that Northern Ireland will be a better place with a united UDA that’s isn’t engaged in factional infighting.

    Don’t we? ”

    Sure we do — that many fewer stray bullets to get hit by…

  • Pete Baker

    I’d suggest that it’s a premature verdict, Gonzo, and it’s a verdict from those who arranged last night’s massing on the streets – complete with the threats of violence and weaponry on display.

    McLean’s exit was already noted… as was Brian Feeney’s late arrival on the scene..

  • bertie

    I know that we have to know what these bastards are up to but I hate the pleasure that they will take in the fact that we do!

  • alan

    curious as to why the dig at Brian Feeney, Pete?

  • Pete Baker

    It’s not a dig at Brian Feeney, alan, the article is linked and commented on in my earlier post.

  • alan

    apologies Pete-missed the link first time.

  • loftholdingswood

    “I’d suggest that it’s a premature verdict, Gonzo, and it’s a verdict from those who arranged last night’s massing on the streets – complete with the threats of violence and weaponry on display”

    Pete, I was there. There were no weapons on display. In fact it was calm and orderly if not a little bizarre due to the proximity of local Sinn Fein reps being reassured by our reps that nothing untoward was going to happen!. It was cold though.

  • Pete Baker

    lofty

    I trust you’re not contradicting the word of the Rev Brian Madden? Who stated that loaded weapons were being passed around in the house in which he was having talks with the ‘good’ UDA faction.

  • frank

    I wonder how well the political and UDA leadership in South-East Antrim will sleep tonight?

  • loftholdingswood

    “I trust you’re not contradicting the word of the Rev Brian Madden? Who stated that loaded weapons were being passed around in the house in which he was having talks with the ‘good’ UDA faction.”

    No,no you misunderstand. Rev Madden was in talks in the holed up “house” of the “bad” ones and stated that they were passing guns and ammo around. He was trying to broker the deal but no one in the “good” side was actually present there if you see what I mean. All those outside were holding a peaceful protest. Not a beer bottle or club or rock in sight and you’ll find that can be verified by the SF reps who were standing less than a stones throw away and did indeed talk to reps from the protesting group.

  • Pete Baker

    My apologies, lofty, Brian Madden’s comments related to the ‘bad’ UDA faction last night.

    Of course the ‘good’ UDA faction wouldn’t have had any guns around…

  • Pete Baker

    As I was just about to say, lofty…

  • loftholdingswood

    Apology accepted Pete. So hard to tell the difference I’m sure!. Suffice to say it all ended peacefully and we can all be chums again.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pete

    McClean wasn’t mentioned in your blog entry, although his exit was in a BBC story you linked to – which I hadn’t clicked.

    I just wanted to make it clear to casual readers who don’t click every single link that there had been a major development.

    I certainly wouldn’t have guessed from your entry which led off about the Ballysillan meeting that the feud was virtually over.

    The issue du jour was *ahem* buried.

    /pedantic [off]

  • Pete Baker

    Well the exiting convoy was mentioned in the extract I used, although McLean’s name doesn’t appear.

    In any case, the major development is an announcement by the ‘good’ UDA faction… an issue I’ve, previously, dealt with extensively.. whether the casual reader would appreciate the difference is entirely a different matter.

  • Dualta

    Aye, fair play to the UPRG.

    This signals that they have established their authority within the UDA. According to Davy Nicholl they want to see engagement with the decommissioning commission and has said this about the broad political process:

    [i]There is one agreement. People must sign up to it. The Good Friday Agreement is the only way forward.[/i]

    That’s progressive stuff from coming from UDA aligned people. Good luck to them.

  • bertie

    “Aye, fair play to the UPRG.

    This signals that they have established their authority within the UDA.”

    A plague on the lot of them! but then that are already diseased.

  • Pete Baker

    The only thing it signals, Dualta, is possibly fewer uncomfortable headlines for those other interested parties.. for a while.

  • Dualta

    Bertie, fair point. The UPRG are, after all, linked to violence and criminality through their association with the UDA who are a plague on this society.

    But if the UPRG can bring about a situation where the group does address the violence issue and the endemic criminality then more power to their elbow.

  • Dualta

    That’s a cynical view to take Pete, but a giggle nonetheless.

    I think the moves being made towards the UDA from across the border are the very sort of moves Nationalists need to be making to move things forward.

    A senior UDA man once said to me, and I was very shocked when he said it, that if Nationalists were court Unionists and offer them a viable alternative to the Union then they’d be surprised at the response.

    “Many Prods reckon a UI is inevitable and could live with it if we were treated right, but we’ll not be murdered into it by the IRA.”

    That’s what he said.

  • bertie

    Having a situation where any of these thugs are putting on a mask of decency, is bad enough but having people lap it up is dangerous. Yet again real decency is sidelined.

    These people just want to make sure that any criminality that goes on is under their control.

  • Pete Baker

    Not cynical, Dualta, sceptical..

    As for being “a giggle”..

    You may think so.. there are, of course, other views on just that sort of approach.

  • Aha…but where is this money going to go?

  • Dualta

    Pete,

    It all comes back to the same central question. How do we deal with paramilitary groups and their close-knit community support structures?

    They are a cultural entity. They are the way large amounts of people in our society live. They derive things like their identities, social standing, personal-esteem, reason for getting up in the morning and their weekly wages from being involved in them. Therefore, these organisations will not go away easily.

    Those involved in trying to lead paramilitary groups away from violence and criminality see that they have got to first help those involved find ways of getting these things.

    A new group is now leading the UDA. There will be pay-offs in the shape of funding for community development initiatives. That means jobs for the boys of course, but if it promotes pro-social activity within their ranks then great.

    Those within that group are moving in new circles. They are meeting political and economic leaders, movers and shakers, and they are deriving a new sense of self-esteem and social standing from that. Their supporters will see that these men are able to move in these circles and deliver political and economic benefits to their community and their positions will be solidified and the process of their transformation will, hopefully, be bedded down.

    This strategy is, of course, risky. It is also very difficult for many people to watch those who have terrorised us to be treated in such as way. They as individuals and organisations just don’t seem to deserve it.

    But what is the alternative? If it delivers a better society then it will have been worthwhile.

    The big stick might well make matters worse. It usually does.

  • bertie

    The answer is to ficus support on their victims not them. We need to be asking them what they need to get these guys off their backs.

  • Moochin photoman

    Can someone tell me………. Just what is the UDA defending?

  • bertie

    defending? Hmmmmm

    Think protecting, think protection!

  • darth rumsfeld

    G & T’s all round in the K club tonight then. Let’s see in eighteen months or so who of the current crop of spokesmen of brigadiers is next to be turned on and suddenly be outed as “bad” UDA by the “good” UDA. You couldn’t make it up

  • Peking

    “Their supporters will see that these men are able to move in these circles and deliver political and economic benefits to their community and their positions will be solidified and the process of their transformation will, hopefully, be bedded down.”

    Yeah sure.
    Look how well it has worked where the PUP and UVF are concerned.

  • Pete Baker

    Dualta

    “It all comes back to the same central question. How do we deal with paramilitary groups and their close-knit community support structures?”

    Here’s a good way to start..

    “First of all, we should not get snookered by their rhetoric, and the pretence that they’re still bona fide terrorists with a cause. You need to treat them like criminals. That may mean, for example, not cutting peace deals with them. Or territorial deals. It means rounding them up and arresting them as you would any other criminal gangs.”

    And a new group is now leading the UDA? Like?.. oh yeah, Jackie MacDonald… full of rhetoric.

  • Padraig Óg

    WHy do these fannies always run over here?

    You scumbags aren’t wanted over here plagueing commnunities with your drugs

    f**k off

  • heres hoping

    Its interesting how when people within the UDA fall out with Jackie Mc Donald they either end up dead, in jail or removed from the country with the help of the PSNI. Whose agenda is being served. If I were a UDA foot soldier I would be wary of crossing Jackie or his friends will deal with you.

    Is Jackie McDonald a brussel?

  • eastbelfastloyalist

    “Is Jackie McDonald a brussel?”

    Of course he is. That’s why S E Antrim have left the inner council. The ones around McDonald are either too stupid to twig on or couldnt care less as long as their making money and getting rank.

  • tra g

    A brussel? dunno but he’s certainly a vegetable of some descripion…
    I would imagine that Jackie will soon find an issue of some sort which he’ll use to flex his muscles on to show that he’s still the hardman.
    Probably won’t be an internal issue (is there anyone left?)but rather something populist like the siting of flags or a parade in a sensitive area. Then again the football season’s starting again-when do Donegal Celtic go to Windsor Park?

  • Dualta

    Peking,

    The UVF are still a threat to society, there is no doubt about that, but they are not the threat they once were. They are changing. As I said earlier, this is a cultural issue. These ways of living are deeply ingrained in our society and they will take time to change. But there can be no doubt that the UVF and their supporters have changed since the start of the peace process, for the better.

    Pete,

    If people break the law they should be tried and sentenced. That’s pretty straight forward. However, treating political activists purely as criminals has been tried and tested here before and has failed utterly.

  • tra g

    If the two Governments introduce some form of joint authority after the November devolution deadline passes, is there scope for a physical force response from the UDA and UVF?

  • Peking

    “But there can be no doubt that the UVF and their supporters have changed since the start of the peace process, for the better.”

    The UVF have killed at least 30 people since the start of the peace process. Far more than they killed in the years leading up to it. Off the top of my head, we have had Garneville, Whiterock and last weeks brutal killing of the Scottish man all in the last year or so. All the work of the UVF.
    This should teach us that if you let these kind of people think they can do just as they like – then thats exactly what they will do, anything they like.

  • Pete Baker

    “political activists”?

    More rhetoric, dualta – see previous comment.

    If they are political activists let them stand in elections.. oh, hang on, they already tried that, as the UDP

    The current approach being taken by the governments is to grant them more political capital, and more money, for the same group to stand in elections again.

    What was it Einstein is reputed to have said..?

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”

  • Moochin photoman

    Ok so what have the UVF got to do with this now?I thought this was all about the UDA?
    Just trying to clarify the link srry guys not up to speed with all this(no pun intended!)

  • Dualta

    Pete,

    You don’t have to engage in electoral politics to be a political activist. Party politics is only one type of political activity.

    My argument remains the same and no-one has provided me with a viable alternative on this thread.

    This approach by the British and Irish goverments is the best way to deal with the problem of paramilitarism in our society.

    Policing is, of course, necessary to prevent violence, but political problems require political solutions.

  • The Dub

    Well now that this is over the UDA can get back to selling drugs, pimping women, extortion, and intimidation of the Catholic community well until the next feud. When will people this organisation is strangling the protestant community. They are un-elected thugs simple as that

  • Ian

    “But there can be no doubt that the UVF and their supporters have changed since the start of the peace process, for the better.”

    So what was their behaviour last September at Whiterock all about then?

    Actually, I’ll answer that myself – it was about the UVF LOSING in their feud with the LVF. Think that sounds ridiculous? Read on:

    The whole raison detre of the LVF was that Billy Wright wanted to break the UVF ceasefire in order to try and force an Orange march through a Catholic neighbourhood (in that case Drumcree). When he sent out his minions to murder Michael McGoldrick and was consequently thrown out of the UVF, he set up the LVF and the feud between the two organisations simmered ever since.

    That was until last September, when the Secretary of State ruled the UVF’s ceasefire was over after they had fired at the police and army in order to try and force an Orange march through a Catholic neighbourhood (Springfield Road this time).

    One month after the de-recognition of the UVF ceasefire, the LVF announced it was disbanding. Or rather retiring, job done.

    Thus at the end of the day, the LVF won the argument with the UVF and therefore won the feud.

  • mickhall

    I just love it when those who support the established Unionist Party’s like the UU and DUP act towards the UDA as if their own sh– does not stink. They were quite happy to turn a blind eye or walk down the road arm in arm with leading loyalist paramilitaries when it suited their agenda.

    What did these unionist party’s do for the loyalist working class areas, people did not wake up one morning to find the UDA/UVF in control. It was a slow process and the arm lock the loyalist paramilitaries have in some Working class communities came about due to the blind eye turned and the active encouragement of the security services, RUC, British government, Ian Paisley and a number of UUP leaders down the years.

    Dualta is spot on, indeed many of us have thought for years that the more political loyalists have more in common with Republicanism than they do with those like Paisley.
    Working class loyalist communities are some of the most neglected parts of the north, the schools and social services, lack of employment prospects are well below the average for the north and this can only be because the established party’s have failed these communities.

    These communities need to be targeted by politicians, for only when the aforementioned standards are improved and alternatives to membership of paramilitaries are created, will the community as a whole turn their backs on paramilitaries, for they will then no longer be needed it to justify the sorry state of their community or protect them from a non existent threat.

  • Daisy

    Was this the feud to end all feuds? How do we know there won’t be another one just round the corner? It’s all the UDA knows how to do, so why should we trust them now?

  • seanniee

    What is the qualification to be a uda brigadier?.

  • Peking

    mickhall
    These working class communities you talk about as if, a) you know anything about them, and b) you actually give a shit about them, would these be the same ones that those other working class heroes that you rabidly supported for years, the provos, bombed and shot at for 30 years?
    You weren’t too interested in working class solidarity then, were you.

  • mickhall

    peking

    I see you once again duck the issues I mentioned in my post, such as sub standard educational opportunities, high unemployment, low incomes and the toll de-industrialization has taken within many of the norths working class loyalist communities. Have you anything to offer beyond personal insults?
    Fortunately not all loyalist are as bitter as you and last year i was given the opportunity by some of them to look at the educational opportunities, or rather lack of them within certain working class loyalist areas of Belfast and write an article on this subject.

    That this piece was published without being censored in a magazine which was jointly run by ex loyalist prisoners made me reassess many of my previous assumptions and yes prejudices.

    I mention this because the man who co edited that magazine was Billy Mitchell, who recently died. when i read snide comments like that which peking made, I think of ex loyalist paramilitaries like Billy, an intellectual by anyone’s standards. A man who eventually became able to argue and debate with all and through that example taught some of us to do the same, not to concede what we believed, far from it, Billy himself always stood for the Union. But to search out a way so that differences do not always have to descend into hatred and violence.

    An obit of Billy Mitchell by a Republican can be found here

  • mickhall
  • Peking

    “… an intellectual by anyone’s standards.”

    I didn’t know the man so can’t possibly comment on his intellectualism. But lets be honest Mick, if you were judging him against your own brain power he wouldn’t have to be Einstein now would he.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Peking: “I didn’t know the man so can’t possibly comment on his intellectualism. But lets be honest Mick, if you were judging him against your own brain power he wouldn’t have to be Einstein now would he. ”

    And this is “playing the ball” how, Peking?

  • Raised eyebrow

    Peking,

    You obviously didn’t know Billy Mitchell.
    You appear to know little of what it takes to bring about change in Loyalist communities.

    Republicans sitting at a senior ex UVF man’s funeral in Carrick?!

    The world is changing.

    Try to join in!

  • canwebanulstermanplease

    this thread was getting interesting then someone went and spoilt it.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    THE UDA feud appears to be over. After the flight of Shoukri supporter Alan McClean to England last night, the remnants of the north Belfast ‘dissidents’ were accepted back by the ‘inner council’.

    Belfast Gonzo @ 08:40 PM

    Proof, if ever it was needed, that the UDA has indeed travelled a long way since the murder of John Gregg in February 2003, which effectively spelt the end of Adair’s “management” of C Company when his supporters fled Ulster. Seven lives were lost due to Adair’s intransigence and refusal to accept the UDA Inner Council’s decision to depose him as West Belfast’s Brigadier and to expel him from the UDA altogether. His expulsion came about because of his continual tarnishing of the UDA’s name by his involvement in criminality through his association with the criminal and now defunct Loyalist Volunteer Force.
    Recently, in an almost mirror-image to Adair’s fall, the Shoukris were expelled from the UDA, but although there were a few cases of civil unrest there were no lives lost as North Belfast’s criminal element realised the game was up and left without much of a fight.

    The UDA realise that the sword is sharper, but the pen is mightier…

  • ladysnowblood

    technically it’s not over until we know what the two shoukri brothers do. They are in prison now, but when they are released they may not be prepared to leave belfast simply because the UDA , or more precisely jackie McDonald, has told them to bugger off. Not all the brigades supported their expulsion so lts wait and see what happens.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    technically it’s not over until we know what the two shoukri brothers do. They are in prison now, but when they are released they may not be prepared to leave belfast simply because the UDA , or more precisely jackie McDonald, has told them to bugger off. Not all the brigades supported their expulsion so lts wait and see what happens.

    Posted by ladysnowblood on Aug 07, 2006 @ 04:40 PM

    They don’t have the support of the membership – the grass-roots at Volunteer level, or at Officer level either, so the game’s up as far as I’m concerned. S.E.A. may not have made contact with the Inner Council for a month but this doesn’t mean they support the Shoukris or want criminality within the organisation to continue. They are sorting out issues within their brigade and as with anything, these things are better not rushed. Unlike the UVF, who are centrally controlled from the Shankill Road, each of the six brigades of the UDA have a degree of autonomy. This makes the organisation more democratic than the blacknecks and means each brigade can address local issues without unwelcome “outsiders” getting involved, but it also can be a bit of a hinderence at times when the D.A. is trying to move forward as a cohesive organisation away from criminality and violence, and down the path of political progress, as was seen in the cases of Sad Dog Adair, Doris Day Gray and the Shoukris/McClean. Things nowadays are still preferable to the old hierarchy, when there was one man sitting at a big chair (Supreme Commander) with six smaller chairs around him (Brigadiers)…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    CL: “They don’t have the support of the membership – the grass-roots at Volunteer level, or at Officer level either, so the game’s up as far as I’m concerned.”

    And the importance of your opinion over matters as a whole is precisely *what?*

    CL: “S.E.A. may not have made contact with the Inner Council for a month but this doesn’t mean they support the Shoukris or want criminality within the organisation to continue.”

    The Shoukri’s primary sin was not criminality, but being caught at criminality. The UDA’s funding operations are more like funguses than plants — they don’t like or want the light of day.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    D-C,
    There is no point in even attempting to change the mindsets of people like you. You have a one-eyed perspective on loyalism and won’t entertain even the possibilty that the loyalist paramilitaries are involved in a transition of change from violence to politics…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    CL: “There is no point in even attempting to change the mindsets of people like you. You have a one-eyed perspective on loyalism and won’t entertain even the possibilty that the loyalist paramilitaries are involved in a transition of change from violence to politics… ”

    Simply applying the Paisley principle, CL — I’ll believe when I see it… or maybe I won’t.

    That said, if you honestly believe a cudgel-wielding mob marching on the Shoukri’s turf constitutes “politics,” I’d say you have a ways to go, starting with a trip to the bookstore for a good dictionary.

    Do you honestly think that if the Shoukri Bros. kept a nice, low profile and didn’t gamble (and lose)like drunken sailors back from six months at sea that their leadership would even be an issue? Likewise, if you think its only the Shoukris who are sour, then you’re fooling yourself.

  • joe

    Loyalist & unionist areas have been totally swamped with drugs over the last number of years and the uda have been the main culprits.

    The leadership of the organisation are involved in, and control huge parts of the drug market in northern ireland.

    Go into any loyalist bar/club/shebeen over the weekend and watch the uff foot soldiers selling class a drugs to kids as young as 13 while their commanders and brigadiers look on.

    Shoukri or McDonald are one in the same, controllers of an illegal drugs cartel called the uda/uff/uprg.

  • Greenflag

    Newsletter style ?

    ‘A large crowd then left the meeting and stood outside the home of an interim brigadier.
    Hours after the meeting families associated with the breakaway faction were peacefully moved out of Ulster.

    Does the Newsletter not recognise the Northern Ireland State ?

    Is ‘peacefully moved out’ another word for self ethnic cleansing ?