“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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