UTV news just carried a report on a St Patrick’s breakfast held at the La Mon hotel. Whilst one of the speakers was DUP leader Ian Paisley the notable part of the report was an interview with one of the guests, UDA leader Jackie McDonald. And we got the rare sight of McDonald commenting publicly on the UDA. But the point to note was not, as the report suggests, his urging of the DUP to go into government with SF, it was his ruling out of UDA decommissioning until “they get what Sinn Féin and the IRA got”. [Are you listening Mr Hain? – Ed] No doubt that message has already been received by those in more regular contact with Mr McDonald. Seems like the Process™ still has some way to go on those poisonous foundations. Updated below Final UpdateThe quote above, while accurately capturing what Jackie McDonald said, does paraphrase what he said. I had one hearing to get the gist of it since the report was not online. Hearing it again, in the 6pm programme, I’ve had a chance to try to note the actual quote, on when the UDA would decommission.
“Whenever they’re afforded the luxuries that Sinn Féin and the IRA were afforded.. whenever they get what the IRA got.. maybe then.”
Again I’m open to correction on that quote.. the report [15th March] will be online, at some point, here
Final Update Now that the report is online I’ve been able to get the full quote – the relevant section is about halfway through the show.
“Whenever they’re afforded all the luxuries that Sinn Féin and the IRA were afforded, and they’re given some of the things that the IRA got, then perhaps it could be at the horizon but it’s not on the radar at the minute.”