“The gunman was on a hill”

Or was it a grassy knoll.. ANYway, the implication of the de facto leader of the ‘good’ UDA Jackie McDonald’s eye-witness account of the shooting of the policeman on Saturday night is that, of course, he was the actual target. But the key description of the evening in the piece is this

Saturday’s night’s violence is linked to the long-running power struggle between the mainstream UDA and a faction in south east Antrim recently expelled from the organisation. Those expelled include the paramilitary ‘brigadier’ Gary Fisher, political adviser Tommy Kirkham, and the ‘commander’ in Carrickfergus and Larne.
UDA men loyal to the inner council leadership travelled to Carrickfergus on Saturday night to look for him after what McDonald described as “a day-long process of intimidation”. A stand-off developed with police between rival UDA gangs.

Meanwhile there is an accompanying report describing how another member of the ‘good’ UDA leadership, pictured here, has apparently been warned of threats to his life.. Adds BBC report has the latest statements – including the response from the “not so good” UDA [added link], more below the fold.

George Gilmore, a member of the group Beyond Conflict – linked to the South East Antrim UDA – told the BBC: “The mainstream UDA have got funding from the government and they are being told that they need the full six brigadiers.

“They need the UDA as a whole or they are not getting their funding – this is down to money, that all that this is down to.”

On Monday afternoon, a press conference by the spokesmen for the South East Antrim UDA raised the prospect of mediation.

Spokesman Jon McDowell said: “If there is a positive way forward, then we see the involvement of a third party as a first step in this process.

“This would help to dispel the rumours and bring some clarity to the situation.”

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  • Rory

    ” Those expelled include the paramilitary ‘brigadier’ Gary Fisher, political adviser Tommy Kirkham, and the ‘commander’ in Carrickfergus and Larne.
    UDA men loyal to the inner council leadership travelled to Carrickfergus on Saturday night to look for him”

    Do we know which of the three “hims” was the “him” they were looking for, Pete. Or is this a manifestation of the Divine Trinity in the South Antrim “not really very good at all ” UDA?

  • Turgon

    I find it fascinating that even the “bad” UDA have a political advisor. Since when they were united their political advisors and politicians were so hopless they could not get elected, what is the purpose of the minority “bad” lot having an advisor? How incompetent would a UDA political advisor “good” or “bad” have to be to get sacked?

  • The Penguin

    I suppose it is beyond hope that the media might ask what on earth people who had declared their dedication to the rule of law and order only the day before, were doing travelling to Carrickfergus to take the law into their own hands.

    Or is that too awkward a question to be levelled at the “good” UDA?

  • Pete Baker

    I’d suggest the latter of the trio, rory.. but who knows/cares?

    Indeed, Penguin. It’s the right question to ask.

    Of course, it wasn’t just those “loyal to the inner council leadership” as the report puts it.. it was the leadership themselves/himself.

    So much for Frankie Gallagher’s declaration that the recent flurry of activity wasn’t about putting people onto the streets..

  • Rory

    Why am I not surprised that despite three hours having elapsed since this thread was posted we have had no racous cries for those within the loyalist community to do their civic duty and hand the shooter over to the process of law and order?

    Is it that, as some from the nationalist community will not trust the PSNI as being different from the old sectarian RUC, there are those within the loyalist community that distrust them precisely because they cannot be trusted to act as the RUC and give the nod and the wink to loyalist “high spirits”?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Rory: “Why am I not surprised that despite three hours having elapsed since this thread was posted we have had no racous cries for those within the loyalist community to do their civic duty and hand the shooter over to the process of law and order? ”

    Political predisposition?

    Rory: “Is it that, as some from the nationalist community will not trust the PSNI as being different from the old sectarian RUC, there are those within the loyalist community that distrust them precisely because they cannot be trusted to act as the RUC and give the nod and the wink to loyalist “high spirits”? ”

    No, I suspect it’s not that complicated — why suggest conspiracy when ineffectuality covers the territory? The spineless pols are so enthused about engaging these hoods, offering them danegeld, that the police don’t have much impetus, lest they offend the hoods, who might up their price.

    For all that some say there needs to be an effort to build the confidence of the hoods, it would be better still for the police to level the hoods and build the confidence of the ordinary citizen in the Loyalist neighborhoods.

  • huge airy

    slightly off topic, but it seems there is a God after all

    http://www2.b3ta.com/host/creative/48296/1185210103/eireunited.jpg

  • skinbop

    HA – assuming this is the result of global warming or something?

    Though your jpeg is a little misleading “eireunited” – think you will find the two colours are still different. 😉

  • DK

    Rory/Dread – loyalists have never been fans of the police, whether as RUC or PSNI. Remember that towards the end of the troubles there were more loyalists locked up in Northern Ireland’s jails than republicans.

    Today, you will see FTPSNI as often in loyalist as republican areas.

    And before you two get too carried away in bashing the police, lets remember it was a cop who was shot as the police tried to prevent two loyalist gangs fighting each other.

  • The cops should have let them shoot the shit out of each other. This is what intelligent people call Darwinism. Hopefully the animals wipe each other out.

  • Comrade Stalin

    DK, that is certainly true. I’ve a picture book here showing graffiti reading “Hermon’s Vermin” in a loyalist estate somewhere around Craigavon.

  • Ian

    “George Gilmore, a member of the group Beyond Conflict – linked to the South East Antrim UDA – told the BBC”

    Pete, could this be the same George Gilmore as was mentioned here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3227192.stm

    Presumably a relative of Thompson Gilmore, who was charged at the same time and was recently ‘expelled’ as UDA commander for Carrickfergus and Larne:

    http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/irish_news/arts2007/jul18_Loyalist_denies_dissidents_threat.php

  • Pete Baker

    Given the nature of the Beyond Conflict group, Ian, (a) is very likely.. don’t know about (b) though.

    Here’s the first post I can remember on that Beyond Conflict group.

    and my [not difficult to predict] opening line from it

    “If the PA report is confirmed it could prove to be a headache for The Processorsâ„¢.”

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DK: “loyalists have never been fans of the police, whether as RUC or PSNI. Remember that towards the end of the troubles there were more loyalists locked up in Northern Ireland’s jails than republicans. ”

    Ah, there was the small matter of the feuds and turf wars, DK…

    DK: “And before you two get too carried away in bashing the police, lets remember it was a cop who was shot as the police tried to prevent two loyalist gangs fighting each other. ”

    Actually, DK, if you read closely and for comprehension, I identified the problem as the politicians, not the police. If the politicians had the backbone to take the heat, the police could be released to do their job. While their are no doubt some Loyalist sympathizers amongst the police — hold-overs from the bad old days and new bad apples — I have little doubt that, given permission and adequate political support, the police would be in a place to do their jobs.