It may have been the prospect of the next IMC report containing a separate chapter entitled “South East Antrim UDA”.. or a misguided attempt to convince the actual political representatives that they are dealing with criminality.. if not decommissioning.. or just the latest outworkings of an internal power struggle.. but there have been more omnious rumblings from that ‘good’ UDA – who look at Jackie McDonald for its de facto leadership. Whatever the reasoning, via Brain Rowan in the Belfast Telegraph comes news that the ‘mainstream’ UDA have “[appointed] an interim leadership, including a brigadier and brigade staff [in South East Antrim].” And there’s another [not so] veiled threat..
The “interim leadership” is a kind of rallying call, and a move by the inner council to bring as many members in south east Antrim back into the mainstream organisation. A source close to the organisation’s leadership said the wish was to achieve this without violence, but warned the inner council “will stand with their members if they are under threat”.
According to the report
A statement from the mainstream UDA leadership read:
“After months of consultation with members of south east Antrim, a decision has been made to appoint an interim leadership, including a brigadier and brigade staff.
“As a result of this decision the south east Antrim brigade have asked the council to expel the commander in charge of Carrickfergus and Larne from the organisation.
“The UDA, in support of the interim brigade staff, call on all south east Antrim members to support this new brigade as we continue the fight to stop our communities being destroyed by crime, criminality and drug dealers.”
Hmm.. Perhaps the police could just talk to “those who have influence..”