DUP MPs Jeffrey Donaldson and Ian Paisley Jnr have been in what Suzanne Breen in the Sunday Tribune has referred to as ‘bizarre correspondences’ with convicted loyalist killer, Pastor Kenny McClinton, over the St. Andrews Agreement.
The loyalist figure, who represented the LVF in dealings with the decommissioning body headed by Gen John De Chastelain, expressed his opposition to the deal in the correspondences which he released to the Sunday Tribune. Most significantly, however, is the content of the responses from the two leading DUP figures.
In his email, Paisley Jnr remarks, “We couldn’t kill them but we can destroy them and their ideology.” In his email, Donaldson addresses McClinton as “a brother in the Lord.”
Excerpts from the article are carried below.In one email, Paisley jnr states: “We couldn’t kill them but we can destroy them and their ideology.” A republican who accepts the police is no longer a republican, he says.
In his email, Donaldson addresses the convicted loyalist paramilitary as “a brother in the Lord”.
“It is clear Sinn Fein/IRA are under serious internal pressure and may well be incapable of delivering on what is required in terms of support for participation in British democracy, support for a British Police Service and recognition of British Courts and British Justice.
All of this with no prospect of a United Ireland in our lifetime. No wonder their rank and file are deeply concerned.
“These decisions are a million miles away from 1916 and the declaration of a 32-county republic. In short, the IRA has lost the battle for a United Ireland.”
The article continues with Jeffrey Donaldson warning that a unionist rejection of what’s on offer will see the British government proceed with a “deeply green Plan B”, including joint sovereignty. He then asked the ex-loyalist paramilitary, “Is this what you fought for, Kenny?”
McClinton was clearly angered by the St Andrews Deal and the tone and content of the emails from the DUP leaders. In his email to Ian Paisley jnr, McClinton accuses the leadership of “playing party politics with your groupies, flatterers, and ‘YES’ men”.
“And while we are at it YOUNG MAN, don’t you ever in your life question my loyalty or commitment to the country I love! There’s more loyalty in my big toe than you have in your entire body!
“Where were whippersnappers like YOU when I was walking the wings of the Hblocks stark naked on the loyalist blanket protest? Where were you then, BOY?
“How dare you throw snide remarks at me. I went out on the 10th May 1977 and shot a man DEAD to take all public transport off the roads of Ulster . . . why? Because I was into shooting people dead? No!
In an attempt to back up your father’s less than popular call for a strike.
“Like the rest of you political clowns, you make plenty of TALK but actually do nothing but draw wages. I’m finished with you, and your party.”
In his response to Donaldson, McClinton claims ex-loyalist prisoners are “treated like something scraped off the sole of someone’s shoe; unemployable; living on social security benefits” while
“DUP politicians and their sons. . . were put into good, high-paid jobs, amass large bank balances over years and years of our poverty, and wined and dined by the so-called ‘great and the good’ whose company the DUP now seem to covet while ex-Loyalist combatants are treated as scum.
Are these, perhaps, what I ‘fought for’, Jeffrey?”
Jeffrey Donaldson asserts in the article that “Kenny McClinton is someone with a terrorist background who has himself stood for election and failed to achieve a mandate. He is mistaken if he thinks by publishing these emails he will embarrass the DUP. I’m happy to stand by everything I wrote.” He further accused McClinton of behaviour which was “very unChristian [for] someone who professes to be a brother in the Lord”.
Ian Paisley jnr’s response was “My emails speak for themselves.
I’ve no difficulty with their publication . . . indeed, given the person I was dealing with, it’s not unexpected. Kenny had no problems begging me to help get him a visa to the US where he wants to ‘preach The Word’.
“He has a lot more to lose from the publication of these emails than me. By his actions, he is undermining unionism.
It’s Sinn Fein which will be celebrating the actions of Kenny McClinton.”