The UPRG’s Frankie Gallagher protests, in the Sunday Life, that “This [loyalist] community now wants, and needs, to move on. But move on as equals, with equal opportunity and treatment, where they can shape and build – in Assembly terms – a ‘shared future’.” Perhaps he wasn’t expecting the recent intervention from another quarter. But the problem with Frankie’s argument is that we already know whose “opportunity and treatment” the UDA want equality with. And, as well as forgetting that progress towards an end to the UDA’s criminal and paramilitary activity was directly linked to the UPRG’s project from the beginning, he neglects to mention some of those who are to benefit personally, and potentially politically, from the funding. Meanwhile, last night’s pipe-bomb attack at a house belonging to a member of the Beyond Conflict group, which is linked to the breakaway South-East Antrim UDA, looks likely to be blamed on the “good guys in Carrickfergus”.Other reports point to two arrests after police moved into the area.
The final line of Frankie Gallagher’s article is worth considering too.
Decommissioning is the responsibility of two sovereign governments and the mechanism to achieve this lies in the Belfast Agreement.
Not for the invocation of the Belfast Agreement, but for the implicit appeal to the “two sovereign governments”.