The IRA is going away, but the Loyalists aren’t…

As the IRA slowly cedes ground to the forces of law and justice, Brian Rowan reflects on the reality of life on the Shankill, where he says the paramilitaries just aren’t going away…

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  • AvalonSunset

    The unfortunate scenario is that there are certain places in this country where the paramilitaries were the only law and order, or else they were run by the “law and order”.

  • Shore Road Resident

    This story was widely reported and the conclusions reached in this article as no more than stating the obvious. Was this just another excuse for Brian Rowan to point out in his breathless sub-Cook Report style that he has great contacts in the criminal underworld?

  • Hold the front page! Hold the front page! Shocka: There are still UDA men up the Shankill!

  • Plum Duff

    Shore Road Res.

    ‘he has great contacts in the criminal underworld’

    Is that the one which tipped him in advance of the Great Stormont Raid?

  • Ingram

    It is time though that these criminals are dealt with and very openly.

    Ingram

  • Observer

    Loyalists need to be offered leadership and a reason to give up their criminal activities.

    The only reason they’re still ‘active’ is because the money is so good, and as someone points out, they are the law and order in areas of Northern Ireland, not the PSNI.

    Bring back the Assets Recovery agency!

  • Grassy Knoll

    Going away? Would that be standing down, disbanding or perhaps retiring to Alicante with the other drug barons I ask?

    To rid unionist areas from the malign influence of UDA/UVF/UFF/UYM/etc, etc…would be like removing the smell from the shite, not easy I’d say.

    Like the Mafia in Palermo, or the Latino gangs in LA they are an entrenched feature of those areas, part and parcel of the fabric of those unfortunate communities. They give the youth a sense of purpose in life, as well as selling them drugs.

    Above and beyond the local aspects, the unspoken threat of the “loyalist backlash” has always served the “mainstream” Unionist politicians well…nod, nod, wink, wink

  • P O’Neil

    I agree with Ingram,

    The Loyalist problem needs to be dealt with and publicly. However, we all know this will never happen, because the real criminals who stand to lose are the RUC/PSNI and unionist politicians who no doubt get their cut from their low-level (and expendable) foot-soldiers. If there ever was a serious attempt at dealing with problem, then the Loyalist death rates will go through the roof as those further up the ladder (RUC/politicians etc) try to save their collective arses.

    The Assets Recovery Agency was originally a good idea, although, I don’t think it proved to be cost effective. I’m sure what happened to the recovered assests, but no doubt Gordon got his cut. Any recovered assest in the future should be used to redevlope the deprived communities from which the assests originated.

    The next big question is who should investigate the Loyalists?? Can RUC/PSNI/UVF really be trusted?

    Personally, I think that those RUC SB ‘officers’ who were named in the O’Loan report should have their golden handshakes and pensions recovered and rediverted into an investigative fund, to uncover the true extent of their activities. Let’s begin with a £500,000 donation from Uncle Ron.

  • overhere

    Grassy knoll has something there though I agree as well with ingram.

    unionist politicians talk about the unionist paramilitaries in hushed tones rather like you would talk in a room where a child is sleeping. The last thing you want to do is wake the wee thing and it starts screaming.

    Perhaps they are afraid of the unionist paramilitaries waking up and saying you told us to do this you said it was ok

    will the cloak of respectibility turn out to be hiding something not so fragrant after all.

  • Nevin

    President McAleese apparently has more faith in the loyalist and reoublican paramilitary godfathers than some Sluggerettes.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5129194.stm

    Perhaps she could arrange a round of golf with a ‘celeb’ godfather.

  • overhere

    nevin

    she is doing nore that the unionist politicians that is for sure. Maybe they don’t have the same amount of dirt on the President that they do in the law abiding unionist politicians

  • Nevin

    “It is time though that these criminals are dealt with and very openly.”

    Fat chance, Ingram. These are the governments’ favoured agents of social control in many communities. They can keep the small fry in place in return for a few bob to paramilitary-led community projects and a little bit of blind-eye turning by agents of the UK state.

  • Nevin

    Overhere, IMO she is undermining the politicians from the UUP-SDLP spectrum.

  • Any recovered assest in the future should be used to redevlope the deprived communities from which the assests originated.

    Lack of money is not the reason for socially excluded communities in Northern Ireland. Throwing money at deprived communities is therefore not going to improve anything.

  • Burning Bushwhack

    The only way to lead the hard-bitten, embittered working class loyalists away from their bigoted, sectarian, ghettoised, going-nowhere-slowly lives and towards a prosperous, peaceful and enriching one, is to transform them into comfortable, middle-class citizens, like those living out the North Down Gold Coast, and do it by any means possible. In short, they must be loved out of their hatred.

    The working class loyalists have been the big losers in all this, and yet they never stopped voting for the charlatans who have screwed them over the proverbial Lambeg during the past 40 years…the DUPers and their cohorts. Read here an insight into this dynamic:
    The Loyalist Pastor and the Charlatans

    Somehow, the two governments must smash these ghettos, must ensure that the people receive education, jobs, hope for the future, so that they can leave their bitterness and hatred behind, and with that will disappear also the influence of the evil parasites of the UDA, UFF, LVF, UYM etc…

  • Barry McGuigan

    I am the only one who is glad that Mo Courtney got a hiding… I hope the b’stard is in pain.

  • ladysnowblood

    I missed the Mo Courtney beating , when did this happen ?

  • FairPlay

    Quote from the e-mail exchange (from post No 15 above and published in the Sunday Tribune)

    Ian Paisley Jr.: “We couldn’t kill them but we can destroy them and their ideology”

    Well now, if that isn’t an example of the mask slipping off to reveal the DUP balaclava….

  • Sean

    I think you give little ian jr. too much credit he doesnt have the stones to wear a Balaclava and he can only do a passable immitation of his father. its really kind of funny to watch him try and become something he isnt.

    He wont ever be a man of substance as he was raised in the life of priviledge and he was given a position instead of earning it. I do not like his father but atleast he pulled himself up instead of just tagging along on the coat tails

  • Dread Cthulhu

    BB: “Somehow, the two governments must smash these ghettos, must ensure that the people receive education, jobs, hope for the future, so that they can leave their bitterness and hatred behind, and with that will disappear also the influence of the evil parasites of the UDA, UFF, LVF, UYM etc… ”

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Likewise, you an lead a fella to school, but you can’t make him think.

    Your goal is a noble one, but you’re naive if you think the “alphabet-soup gangs” will simply lie down and let you love their followers out from under them.

  • Dr Strangelove

    ladysnowblood – “I missed the Mo Courtney beating , when did this happen ?”

    Read the link for the Barney Rowan article in the intro.

  • HereYeGo

    From the Belfast Telegraph:

    ” A senior figure in the UDA was “thumped” by a former Red Hand Commando prisoner.

    It was between the two of them, and there’s a complicated explanation about the background to the incident.

    But the point is not so much what happened, but what is now expected to happen.

    At the highest level of the UDA and Red Hand Commando there has been contact.

    The UDA wants the Red Hand Commando to “punish” or ” discipline ” the former prisoner who thumped ‘Mo’ Courtney, a one-time close associate of Johnny Adair. “

  • RadHandHandbags

    Red Hand Commando have responded that this was in fact “performance art”

  • Mario el argentino

    “Loyalists need to be offered leadership and a reason to give up their criminal activities. ”

    This makes no sense.

    If theyre criminals, than perhaps they should be locked up? If their raison d’être (the IRA) is now gone and disarmed, than they need to do the same or be put away.

    If you treat criminals with kid gloves they will only continue to grow and then it would be that much harder to be rid of them. As a South American, I can say, I speak from experience. Organized crime is a cancer, and it has to be crushed. Disguising these mafias as loyalists or unionists is a farce. True unionists should be marching demanding their arrest.

  • Forget all the utopian talk of hunting down criminal assets, these guys from both sides are not your ordinary criminals, they are (M+S Finest) Criminals with paramilitary background and for all the bloody “hang them high” talk they operate with impunity.

    To disconnect any paramilitary excuse from criminality Danegeld must be the offering.

    Time to break out the Dangeld, one last time.

    Six months to declare ill-gotten gains, in future tax is paid on this declaration.

    After cut off date any undeclared money will be treated as ordinary criminal assets.

    £20 million govt money for Frankie Gallagher, £20 million for Jackie McDonald, generous pensions for Ian and David Trimble.

    On the Republican side, they need not actual payments of Danegeld, but just be allowed to keep assets already acumilated.

    Tear up the sectarian Tax Demand of the the Murphy family, allow assets to be declared and allowed to move into the legal economy, rather than languish in the Black Economy.

    After the six month dealine, no more hiding behind the cloak of a political struggle.

    This way everyone knows the score, get caught after the dealine and you take your chance against the law (with top briefs)as others who choose criminality.

    The alternative is to allow these criminals to continue to hide behind the cloak of Political respectability, with the odd arrest for window dressing.

    A bitter pill yes, but it will draw a line in the sand from Paramilitary to conventional criminality.

  • Dr Strangelove

    Mario – “True unionists should be marching demanding their arrest.”

    Jaysus Mario, I think Unionists have enough marches.

    Anyway, if they Unionists were to march to get rid of their paramilitaries who would “police” this march ? It would be like turkeys voting for…..

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Art Hostage: “Time to break out the Dangeld, one last time. ”

    If you believe that, AH, you’ll believe any old thing… per Kipling:

    “And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane. “

  • You never get rid of the Dane. “

    But you can control the Dane, even if only for a short period of time.

    Time for transition to take place and during this time there could be a sharp downturn in some criminality.

    It is like the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when one says “It would be cheaper for the Railway to pay me, not to rob their trains”

    It would also be a “Hitting corks in a barrel approach” but this is the only way to finally seperate paramilitary from criminality.

    A criminal is a criminal full stop.

  • Furthermore, the media could help by not reffering to the political affiliation of someone charged with a crime.

    Everywhere else the media report Mr X from Y address was charged with criminality, they dont say

    Mr X from Y address was charged with criminality, and, he votes Labour.

    The constant reference to UDA, IRA, Republican area, Loyalist area, Sinn Fein, DUP, Orange Order etc in relation to crime just encourages division.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    AH: “But you can control the Dane, even if only for a short period of time. ”

    Not even really that, AH. All you do is perhaps whey his appetite for future paydays down the road.

    AH: “It is like the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when one says “It would be cheaper for the Railway to pay me, not to rob their trains” ”

    And yet, when offered the position of railroad company “detective,” Cassidy, iirc, turned down the position and continued robbing trains… which is about the same result as I expect out of this excercise.

    AH: “Furthermore, the media could help by not reffering to the political affiliation of someone charged with a crime.”

    Contrariwise, I think it more beneficial, not to mention transparent and honest, to announce the political / religious affiliation of someone charged with a crime… maybe even those associated with the victim, while we’re at it. At least that way we’ll know who is doing what to whom.

    AH: “The constant reference to UDA, IRA, Republican area, Loyalist area, Sinn Fein, DUP, Orange Order etc in relation to crime just encourages division.”

    These are less political affiliation and more like gang-colors.

  • lib2016

    While the constant attempt to minimise loyalist gangsterism by equating it with republicans who used unconventional means of raising funds for the cause is amusing it simply isn’t true.

    As McQuillan (ex-Special Branch and now leading ARA, and no friend of the IRA) has admitted ‘republicans didn’t do drugs’ just for a start.

    I’m a cynic and well aware of the motto ‘a pound for me and a pound for the organisation’ but the fact is that physical force republicans were, with some notable exceptions, better people.

  • P O’Neil

    I agree with Dread, the last thing that anyone wants to do is payoff the Loyalists – don’t they have enough illegal assets, without giving them a top-up. If they were given money chances are they’d just go out and more smack with it.

    What’s needed is for the Assets Recovery Agency and ‘Law Enforcement’ to grow a pair. I’m sure with the intelligence available across both agencies they should have a good idea of who the main movers and shakers are. The banks accounts of a fair number of these ‘individuals’ should be symataneously frozen. This should cause a certain amount of disruption and chaos. All that would be needed is sit back and watch them fight like rats in a sack. Whatever is left can be scraped of the road and put away for 15-20. Why police these thugs or try to clear off the streets when we can get them to do it for us…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    lib2016: “I’m a cynic and well aware of the motto ‘a pound for me and a pound for the organisation’ but the fact is that physical force republicans were, with some notable exceptions, better people. ”

    damning with faint praise, Lib… it’s not as if it was a hard hurdle to clear.

  • lib2016

    ‘..damning with faint praise,’

    Nah – just tired of foolish efforts to claim the moral high ground from the unionist punters on this site. It’s ground they have already lost so let’s move on and discuss the practicalities of where we go from here.

    The Black and Tans, the B Specials and the RUC – they share a disgusting record and no amount of denial will ever change that fact.

    Mick Collins was a bully and a two timer in his personal life but that’s the kind of character it takes to fight an underground war and history looks on him kindly. So too today’s republicans. Success excuses a lot!

  • Burning Bushwhacker

    “I think you give little ian jr. too much credit he doesnt have the stones to wear a Balaclava and he can only do a passable immitation of his father.”

    Brings to mind the world’s other great father-son political combo-act, the fantabulous, extrabulous
    Kim Il-Sung now deceased, and his son Kim-Jong Il.
    The father, self-made man, man of steel, builder of a sect-like personality-cult founded on the fear of outsiders, and insiders, and then the son, dorky, odd-ball psycho wanabee twat trying to hold a light to the daddy, but failing miserably….just like the Paisleys really. Keep this man away from power (and self-destruct buttons)!!!

  • aquifer

    Unionist politicians cannot say a thing for fear of getting a pipe bomb through their letterbox or worse, and then there are the ones who like to hold the hoods in reserve to boost the turnout for monster demonstrations. Frankly, its the government’s job to crush this tattoed pondlife. Time for the state to assert its monopoly of legally sanctioned force.

    The NIO conveniently ignore that most unionists had no time for loyalist paramilitaries for most of the time.

    Gangsters on the streets mean economic dispair for their communities and open plan internment for the rest of us.

    The NIO are effectively licensing a fascist state within a state.

    Close them down or stop taking our taxes.

  • BeardyBoy

    if these guys are not destroyed they will destroy their areas – simple as that – and why should the rest of us pay for that.

    Avoid the scenario in the first place.

    If the police were serious about the UDA/UVF et al they would have them rounded up in no time – after all they pay quite a lot of them it seems.

    If I was an ODC the police would raid my house as a matter of course and i would need to have a receipt for everything and a wage slip for every bank deposit.

    The old adage applies – if their is a will there is a way

  • Kes

    the reason why people are more concerned about the IRA than loyalist paramilitaries is simple.

    The IRA were actually a force with weapons, whereas the loyalists are just a bunch of rag-bag organisations who dont even know the meaning of “for god and ulster”

    They are common gangsters unlike the IRA who were a powerfull force. Everyone realises that they should disarm….no doubt about it….however the IRA are the real force that needed to be dealt with first, as lets face it the loyalist paramilataries (at the present moment in time) are more inot lifting weights and deealing drugs than kiling catholics