Try again, fail again, fail better.

I’ll add the UTV report from Ivan Little when it’s online.. and it’s worth watching, not least for the moment when UPRG spokesman Frankie Gallagher corrects the description, carried elsewhere, of those gathered in the non-descript carpark as being members of the UDA Inner Council.. by adding the word “allegedly”. In any event, it’s the second attempt in the same week by Frankie Gallagher to clarify the statement from the UDA about their installation of a new leadership in South East Antrim. And until we hear from that former UDA leadership in South East Antrim I’d suggest the headline here is somewhat premature. Btw, I might have missed it.. but I didn’t see a certain prominent member of the UDA at that selected press conference. [No doubt the NIO had been informed in advance.. again.. – Ed] Adds Regular commenter Loftholdingswood informs me that Jackie McDonald was there. Update Or maybe not.. Added Photo from today’s Irish News report, which correctly describes it as a ‘show of strength’, also names the attendees at the UPRG press conference in the car-park outside Larne.. so you don’t have to. Left to right – Sammy Duddy, Billy McFarlane, Paul Hill, John Bunting, Jackie McDonald and Colin Haliday.

The Irish News report includes quotes from Frankie Gallagher [subs req]

Mr Gallagher denied that the ‘show of strength’ was designed to intimidate or spark a feud with his former colleagues.

“Feuds are not an option, violence is not an option. The UPRG has resounding support from the UDA that the ballot box must be its most powerful weapon.

“The people that came here today were… showing that they are no longer prepared to have their communities turned into ghettoes.”

And who elected them, Frankie? [“most powerful weapon”? but not its only one.. – Ed]

, , ,

  • loftholdingswood


    I am afraid that you are mistaken. Jackie McDonald was at the press conference.

  • Pete Baker


    He may have been, and I’ll update to acknowledge that. But I didn’t see him in the to-camera piece by Frankie Gallagher.

  • parcifal

    so long as unionist leaders refuse to acknowlege the link between themselves and these guys, there’ll be no solution.
    Y’all remember ian Paisley jnr’s emails to a certain chap last Xmas …..
    am I right or am I right peteb?

  • loftholdingswood

    The UTV piece showed him and then it cut to the press conference with the UPRG representatives that could make it at short notice (hence a few faces absent). What is far more interesting (if you follow these sort of things) is who was there and prepared to be seen supporting this move. That in itself will unite supporters who assumed that he was sitting on the fence awaiting developments. His specific inclusion (and appearance on camera, albeit on the periphery) spoke volumes to me.

  • Pete Baker

    “What is far more interesting..”?

    Given the statement in the Sunday press from the UDA [linked in the original post] what extra does this add, Lofty?

    In fact, the former South East Antrim UDA leadership have already stated their opposition to criminality…

  • parcifal

    pissing in the wind, until we get some honesty

  • loftholdingswood

    You misunderstand me Pete but sadly I can’t go further. When the UTV piece goes online and assuming it shows the original piece that was broadcast at 6pm tonight eagle eyed viewers will see someone who it was felt was sitting on the sidelines awaiting things. His very presence changes certain assumptions and therefore you will find that this little impasse will now end very quickly indeed. With no violence of course.

  • Pete Baker

    “His very presence changes certain assumptions..”

    You mean that the previously released statements might not have been authorised by Jackie McDonald?

    Highly unlikely. Sadly I can’t go further..

    As for the “no violence of course”.

    The entire charade of an exchange of public statements contains the implicit threat of violence if those whom the message is directed at don’t comply. You know that, I know that and anyone reading this knows that.

    Frankie has been clarifying that initial statement all week. This is the latest example.

  • loftholdingswood

    No, you misunderstand again. I do not mean Jackie McDonald. The appearance of a well known Loyalist from North Antrim is highly significant.

  • Pete Baker


    Perhaps it would be better if you identified those who, as you understand it, did attend the press conference in the carpark?

  • Pete Baker

    And, specifically, did that include Jackie McDonald?

  • loftholdingswood

    I’ll sign off for the night but it is always worth noting not just who was there but the language used and the phraseology of the statements. Changes are clearly afoot and I also understand that there are power plays within not just the so called inner circle but also within CTI that will see significant alterations and a wide ranging re-imaging. Boring for most people but much fun for journalists and the cognoscenti.

    I’m sure Lindy McDowell is at the typewriter as we speak.

  • loftholdingswood

    Sorry Pete, our posts crossed. I think the PSNI would be very happy for me to list who attended the press conference!. I’ll pass if you don’t mind. When you see the original UTV piece you initially see some people walking along the car park. Then it cuts to the ‘press conference’ which was Frankie Gallagher and other UPRG representatives. I place significance on the fact that I saw a united 5 areas. The sixth will now follow because the 5 are united. That is my point.

  • the doc

    are you talking about the mexican

  • loftholdingswood

    the doc,


  • Bemused

    Nice one Leftholdingyourwood, – your breathless tone really makes me want to puke. You talk about this risible gathering of strutting scum as if describing the Yalta conference. Small group of illiterate, parisitic scum gather in car park to trot out laughable guff – who, but you, gives a flying fuck?

  • loftholdingswood

    Well clearly you do as you posted on the thread. That is two threads now where you come on and resort to insults and complain that no gives a toss about these things. Back to bed and a play on the Playstation then if you are sleepless and let the adults have their silly debate.

  • parcifal


  • the doc

    I hope you are right and this thing gets sorted out without a single drop of blood being spilled.The last thing that this place needs is another feud within the loyalist community.I also hope it means that the egyptian connection will take their drugs and piss off.

  • Yeah the UDA are cracking down on criminality and jolly good for them. It’s just about 30 years too late.

    Are we supposed to cheer on people for chosing to do what every other citizen, Irish or British are expected to do or lose their freedom? Fuck em and anyone who looks like em. Bunch of sanctimonous assholes.

  • Sean

    lol the UDA has as much intention of fading into the sunset as I do of trying to pass myself off as a midget

    there is something afoot alright

    just wonder whos going to end up paying the killers

    and whos going to end up dead

  • mexican wave

    What about the drugs and weapons seized last week in the North Antrim Brigade area? I understand that this was linked to the ‘mainstream UDA-Any comments, LHW?

  • Otto

    The very fact that these scum have been given respectibility by the media proves how sick our society has become. I contend that the troubles would have been over very quickly if the RUC and UDR had been allowed to adopt a zero tolerance policy towards to any IRA or UDA vermin they came across…..they should have been killed on sight if they were known members of any terrorist organisation. The dead of Enniskillen, La Mon, Greysteel and other countless atrocities cry out for justice from their early graves.

  • The Penguin

    “I think the PSNI would be very happy for me to list who attended the press conference!. I’ll pass if you don’t mind.”

    Yes, as if they don’t know already. What’s wrong, can the PSNI not get UTV? Anyway, it hardly matters if the PSNI watch UTV as at least two of those there yesterday have been working for them for years, apparently.

    Such a strange, ragbag collection of creatures you never saw in your life. Standing there all serious-faced, kidding themselves that anyone actually gives them credibility or takes them the slightest bit seriously.

    BTW, I too was struck by your breathless, over-excited tone. The ‘I’m in the know…’ sort of stuff. You don’t by any chance happen to work for the NIO, do you?

  • T.Ruth

    Imagine how Unionists feel-at least these folk are not in the government. Unionists have to deal with Martin McGuiness as DFM,Catriona ” the Colombian 3 are innocent” Ruane as Minister of Education, and the possibility of Gerry Kelly,well known bomber and jailbreaker as Minister for Policing and Justice. It is for those who endorsed violence and criminality by supporting terrorist groups in the past to live with the blood of thousands on their hands and consciences.
    If Loyalist paramilitaries are showing a desire to break out of the criminal mode they should be facilitated just as vigourously as was the case with Republicanism.

  • mchinadog

    To Otto

    I agree with everything you have written the URPG and the people behind them, except they should not have been shot by the security forces they should have been left to be dealt with by the relatives of those they killed and mutilated. The URPG/UDA will do anything to get their hands on Peter Hain’s promised thousands to boost their coffers. Do they really think people do not see through their charades, obviously not, as they need to keep reminding us they are no longer engaged in extortion , drug dealing and all their other activities. They are parasites to the Unionist community just as the Provo’s are to the Nationalist community although they do not need any money they still have most of the 26 million from the Northern Bank which should see them over the next lot of years. I really do not care who was at the car park they are still the same scum whether there or not.

  • Otto

    “If Loyalist paramilitaries are showing a desire to break out of the criminal mode they should be facilitated just as vigourously as was the case with Republicanism.”

    So we should reward cowardly sectarian killers because they pledge to kill no more? I don`t believe that bribing scum like the UDA, or for that matter the IRA, to stop them from following their criminal instincts works in the long run.. I believe that killing them on sight or treating them with utter ruthlessness in the courts would be way more effective in addressing our terrorist problem. Like I said before…the dead of Enniskillen and Greysteel cry out for justice from their graves!

  • ladysnowblood

    spare a thought for poor ihab, this summer he’s going to be mocked and called billy no mates

  • s.truth

    If anyone works for the NIO it looks like you ‘The Penguin’ with the neatly added ‘two work for the police’ little comment designed to titillate the masses. Care to share who works for who then? or are you just slinging the mud out of frustration?

    Any efforts to rid our society of all this type of activity should be welcomed, whoever was there and whoever was not there and whoever tries at least to help move things on.

  • The Penguin

    ‘two work for the police’

    Interesting and very informative that out of all the invective unleashed here, those few words rattled you the most.

    When I said two, I was being a touch vague. I should have said at least two of the so-called ‘Inner Council’ members there yesterday are agents, though it would be miraculous if that were all. And they have been double-dealers for a very long time.

    I have no idea how many among the assembled non-inner council rabble are also agents, but would guess a good few.

    Don’t you agree.

  • loftholdingswood

    As I stated last night to you Pete (and it is confirmed by the photograph), Jackie McDonald was in attendance.

    As you seem to be so knowledgeable Mr Penguin of all of this I’ll sit back and await your next ‘claim’. So far you are batting 0/2 but please keep going – you will strike lucky at some point.

  • Pete Baker


    Yes. I wasn’t able to re-view the UTV clip but if he did appear there it was only briefly – hence the confusion.

    Anyway. The updated post has the relevant details. And the names.

  • ladysnowblood

    Had a good look at the picture recently supplied, above,old men in tight trousers , not good .

  • Comrade Stalin

    The photograph at the top of this article is depicting a meeting between members of a proscribed criminal organization. Why weren’t they arrested ?

    Law and order in this country continues to be a pathetic farce. See this article about Magherafelt last night, for example, where police “[appealed] for those who have influence within the community to use that influence”. Don’t the police have influence in the form of the power to arrest and prosecute people who attack them and endanger lives and property ? If it were me I’d have baton charged this crowd and lifted the lot of them. People don’t want to see faceless “community leaders” routinely failing to stop the law being broken; they want to see the law upheld and enforced.

    T.Ruth :

    Imagine how Unionists feel-at least these folk are not in the government.

    Can you explain why unionists keep electing politicians like William McCrea who have in the past been so keen to align themselves with politicians like Billy Wright, then ? Our government minister Nigel Dodds wrote to PSNI Chief Constable to complain when they broke up a UDA rehearsal for a show of strength at a bar in North Belfast. Why did he do that ?

    Stop the lies, T.Ruth. Start telling the truth. Secretly you admire these tough guys. You just can’t bring yourself to admit it.

  • Cruimh

    CS – was that a typo, describing Wright as a politician?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: “The photograph at the top of this article is depicting a meeting between members of a proscribed criminal organization. Why weren’t they arrested ? ”

    Because the PSNI isn’t even decorative, let alone useful.

    As for the rest — just let lofty keep spinning — eventually he’ll run out of momentum and left twisting in the wind by his hoodlum fellows.

  • bertie

    Why didn’t I become a terrorist? I wonder is it too late to get started? I could do with a bit of money to sort the bathroom out. Oh and the bit about people pandering to every wee sound I make that I might start taking on the behaviour of a half decent human being, would also be quite nice!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Cruimh, it was indeed a typo. But an interesting typo nonetheless. defines a politician as “a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles.”

    Dread, I don’t think Lofty sounds like a bad person. He’s just wrong.

  • DC

    It appears that the UDA are making good on their promise to form a new SEA leadership – as rumours coming through the grapevine suggest that rumbles are taking place from Newtownabbey to Carrick, closely monitored by a high in the sky reciprocating helicopter.

    Sit back for the fireworks.

  • s.truth

    Shots fired and things are getting serious.

  • DC

    Leisure-wear Dogs – The Battle for Millions of Public Money Instead of Working.

    Coming to streets near you!

  • bpower

    “the UDA are cracking down on criminality”

    “the DUP cracking down on bigotry”

    “the IRA cracking down on violent revolution” etc,etc…

  • Twelve Monkeys

    So it looks like things have esacalted.

    “A police officer has been shot during loyalist violence in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, police have said. It is believed the incidents are connected to tensions in the loyalist community in south east Antrim”

  • Comrade Stalin

    A police officer has been shot during loyalist violence in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, police have said. It is believed the incidents are connected to tensions in the loyalist community in south east Antrim

    Lift all the bastards and do them with possession of firearms and membership of a proscribed organization. How hard can it flipping be ?

  • bertie


    It is infuruating. What the hell do you have to do to get arrested?

    But no we must pander to them.

  • I wonder…

    “If Loyalist paramilitaries are showing a desire to break out of the criminal mode they should be facilitated just as vigourously as was the case with Republicanism.”


    Facilitating the exodus from criminality is cost effective. Some appear to think that the only way to deal with violent paramilitaries is to kill them or jail them. To do ANYTHING else is somehow, moral equivocation.

    I think we all need to look at how the killing and jailing options functioned in the past (e.g.: the revitalised “shoot to kill” controversy from 1982) to see what arises from exercising those options. I am in no sense a terrorist supporter or *terrorist enabler* – whatever that means. I simply reflect on how things have been during my lifetime and see how actions – all actions – have repercussions.

  • sean1

    These guys are more like ‘Last of the Summer Wine characters, shouldn’t they be at a Bingo Hall or something!!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: “Dread, I don’t think Lofty sounds like a bad person. He’s just wrong. ”

    To be wholly honest, I don’t think he’s a bad person either — being naive is not the worst failing in the world. But, as events have shown, he’s a cheerleader for a group of hoods whose actions have given lie to Lofty’s words.