Prelude to the UVF’s long goodbye?

ON Saturday David Ervine, noted that Friday marked more than Ian and Eileen Paisley’s wedding anniversary but also the 12th Anniversary of the Loyalist Ceasefires. He points to unfinished business on the Loyalist side of the fence.From David Ervine:

The agreement in St Andrews shares an anniversary with not only Ian and Eileen Paisley but the 12th Anniversary of the Loyalist Ceasefires. That ceasefire created the atmosphere where debate and negotiation could take place, not everyone was ready for that debate, some were stuck in the jungle, others fought their way out. However, I am glad that now all parties are at the table.”

“This deal will mean that the provisionals will be in Government, both Republican and Unionist Provisionals.”

“If you look back at PUP submissions to all negotiations going back decades, almost everything we advocated has come to pass and the UUP cartel joined our position then Sinn Fein and now the DUP. There is only one person better at deals than the PUP and that is Jeffrey Donaldson, everywhere he goes a deal happens, I wonder if he will stay where he is or try and find a new deal?.”

“I would like to congratulate Ian Paisley on doing a deal, not only as a human being and an individual, but for the benefit it will bring to our children. It was ‘Never! Never! Never!’ and people didn’t think this would Ever! Ever! Ever! happen.”

“Unionism is for the first time doing what is in its own best interests.”

“We have a choice; to wallow in the fact that the DUP are now walking the ground that we broke, some people say we are on our knees as a party, they are right!, in fact sometimes I think that being in the PUP is about wearing knee pads and using a club hammer to break the ground for our politicians to walk on, Trimble and now Paisley. But no more, we are going to stand on our feet, get on the streets and make a difference.”

“We shouldn’t be afraid to deal with and talk about the UVF and RHC. Right is right and wrong is wrong and times change, everyday that passes is a day closer to the end of their existence. It is important that they have support from us to help them off the stage because our lives need to change, Northern Ireland needs to take its society back from all paramilitaries. The UVF/RHC can see this society changing and want to be part of it, we need to facilitate and make room for this to happen.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty