“I respect Margaret looking for an answer to this.”

The BBC are reporting shots fired in a second attack in Carrickfergus linked to the good/bad UDA. We’ve also had Methodist minister the Rev Harold Good giving his view to the Irish Times [subs req] – “I was told that the UDA is planning something significant for Remembrance Day on November 11th, which could be put on hold if the Minister pulls the funding” – [yes, we’ve already heard that, Harold – Ed] and Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward, MP, has spoken about the 9 October deadline. Added PA report

Mr Woodward told the BBC: “You have to understand that those communities that have been in the grip of this kind of paramilitary activity need help to get out of it. What Margaret has got to do… is make a decision about whether there is a better way of using that money. I respect Margaret looking for an answer to this.”

Oh, and the UPRG’s Frankie Gallagher, who is reported to be one of those employed under that publicly funded scheme, has added his opinion of the recent violence [scroll down]

However, Frankie Gallagher from the Ulster Political Research Group – which gives political analysis to the UDA – said it was not responsible for Saturday night’s attack.

He said recent violence in Carrickfergus was the result of the UDA’s attempts to deal with crime.

In response to which here’s a handy quote – “The criminals must be dealt with by the PSNI.”

, , ,

  • PeaceandJustice

    Pan-Nationalists were quite happy for Sinn Fein IRA terrorists to be bought off with money and power – even though they were involved in murder, torture, ethnic cleansing, outsourced drug dealing, robberies, money laundering etc. Should different rules apply to the UDA?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pete

    How do you read Woodward’s statement?

    It’s ambiguous enough, but he seems to me to imply that there isn’t a better way to spend the money than hand the money over, as he believes that “those communities that have been in the grip of this kind of paramilitary activity need help to get out of it”.

    This, of course, is what the NIO was going to do, no matter what the UDA did, so it wouldn’t represent any change in policy.

    The problem is, that by suggesting that handing funding over to anyone other than the group backed by the UDA is a worse decision than giving it to the group, Woody is sticking his nose into business that is now outside his remit.

    The reason we have devolution is partly so that the Direct Rulers don’t interfere in these matters. Ritchie should be free to make her own choice without Woodward’s ‘help’ or ‘support’.

    PS: Looks like this latest shooting was what led to last night’s rumour that Ihab had been slotted.

  • Pete Baker

    Gonzo

    The headline on the linked PA report gets it right IMO.

    I take your point about Woodward and his remit, but it looks more like a response to Frankie Gallagher’s appeal to the “two sovereign governments” yesterday – rather than a suggestion “that handing funding over to anyone other than the group backed by the UDA is a worse decision than giving it to the group”.

  • Pounder

    P&J do you just copy and paste comments from a word document.

    The difference seems to be to me that the IRA did decomission, their weapons are beyond use and, here’s the kicker, they aren’t running round the place shooting cops in the back unlike the UDA. Can you point out to me where the IRA had direct goverment funding for one of their pet projects a project where the employees did feck all except cash the goverment cheques and sit in the office?

    I don’t have a lot of nice things to say about the Republican movement but atleast their community organisations actually do something for their community beyond terrorisming them.

  • The Penguin

    I really do wonder sometimes which is the bigger problem, the gangsters themselves or the well-meaning, useful idots like Rev Harold Good who believe everything that they are told, and then parrot it out to the rest of us.

  • BogExile

    ‘He said recent violence in Carrickfergus was the result of the UDA’s attempts to deal with crime.’

    That’s what happens when you fight fire with petrol.

    Mr Wooster, with the new and attractive insulation on his responsibilities is clearly now irked that money he would have given out anyway is being considered as an antidote to the last dismal rump of loyalist gansterism. It’s a bit like curing a heroin addict with crack.

    What these people need, to paraphrase my father, is a taste of the stick or in more acceptable longhand, for criminal justice agencies to actually join up and do something effective to rid unionism of this cancer in our midst.

    Al Capone was not defeated by Government handouts. Billy Capone won’t be either.

    Oh, and is this a good time to refer you to this:

    http://legitimatetangent.blogspot.com/

    It’s a bit of a laugh but rather like onanism unless I get some comments!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pete

    Hope you’re right, but keep an eye on statements from Woody and Goggins in the run-up to the deadline.

    Penguin

    Would you say the same about Fr Alec Reid?

  • ladysnowblood

    Who’s house was shot at on sunday ?

  • The Penguin

    “Penguin
    Would you say the same about Fr Alec Reid?”

    Yes, I would.
    (I’ll leave to one side his specific contribution on Unionists and Nazis)

    These people have their uses and have helped on ocassion but they really have no idea when they are being used.
    They take everything they are told at face value and then repeat it publicly for the gangsters.
    The gangsters then point to Father or Rev so-and-so’s statement as a legitimisation of their position. It’s like sending Bambi to negotiate with a pack of wolves.

    If Ritchie backs down on this, and she is coming under enormous pressure to do so, then these people will know for sure they can do and demand whatever they like.

    Anybody who cares to check back on the BBC will find that there have been promises for a few years now that a “significant statement” would be issued on remembrance day. We’re still waiting for it.

  • Turgon

    The Penguin,
    “If Ritchie backs down on this, and she is coming under enormous pressure to do so, then these people will know for sure they can do and demand whatever they like. ”

    I agree. The only thing I wonder is will the government find a way to back down without Ritchie backing down. That would be a very bad sign but one I would not rule out.

    As a slight aside does anyone else find it particularly loathsome that the loyalist paramilitaries tell us they are gloing to make an announcement on Rememberance Sunday. It is again them trying to imply they are some sort of heros. I do not like speaking ill of the dead but I remember David Irvine debating with a DUP politician and saying that he (Irvine) was willing do die for his country. The reality is of course the opposite, he was willing to cause other people to die for his cause not himself.

    On Rememberance Sunday I will remember the sacrifice of those who died defending this country in the First and Second World wars and numerous other conflicts. I will remember members of my family who served and were affected in one way or another. I will also remember those who died in the troubles. It greatly aggrieves me that these criminals and thugs are trying to misappropriate this day to themselves.

  • The Penguin

    Turgon
    I agree wholeheartedly.
    Regardless of what any of us think of what led to the sacrifices of the world wars, it is and always has been an obscenity that these gangsters attach themselves to remembrance day, as though there is some equivalence between what they have done and the sacrifices made by generations past.

  • Andy Tyranny

    I rather think that both sets of UDA paramilitaries in Carricfergus deserve each other.
    As the self-appointed ‘protectors’ of the Protestant people, how ironic that the biggest threat that they now face is from fellow loyalist terrorists.

  • ladysnowblood

    Yes , but who was the intended target of sundays house shooting ?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Andy Tyranny: “I rather think that both sets of UDA paramilitaries in Carricfergus deserve each other. ”

    Be that as it may, what has the rest of the neighborhood done to deserve either of them, other than have the lack of foresight to allow the bad seed to take root in the first place?

    Andy Tyranny: “As the self-appointed ‘protectors’ of the Protestant people, how ironic that the biggest threat that they now face is from fellow loyalist terrorists. ”

    Precious little irony, really. They’re not political — never have been on any credible scale — and never built up the popular support that some other organizations have. Furthermore, being hoods, they are unwilling to give up their drug-turf and their extortion rackets. In-fighting was likely inevitable, once the IRA quit the field — without violent conflict, what are the hard men to do?

  • Tkmaxx

    It seems incredible that while the mainstream unionist community are behind Margaret Ritchie on her current stance – the support has been less than forthcoming from her Cabinet colleagues -particularly from the unionists.

    The woman has not said she would withdraw funding from loyalist areas- only that if the URPG – don’t or can’t deliver -the conduits for such funding will be found elsewhere. It’s interesting that Sammy Wilson and Gregory Campbell appear to have been of this opinion for quite a while.

    Harold Good is well meaning but is being used – the thought of the gangsters and sectarian scum of the UDA trying to link an end to their murderous campaign to Remembrance Sunday is an affront to those who died in two world wars.

    It’s time the hypocrisy of NIO position should be brought to attention of the constituencies of both Woodward and Goggins -who if there is an election are likely to try to play up their law and order credentials.

    No doubt a shot policeman, a pipe bomb attack and gangsters using illegal guns being involved in ‘internal house-keeping’ would go down a treat on the doors of their constituents. The peace process was corrupted from the start but the one thing the DUP seemed intent on doing was cleaning up the mistakes of that corruption- now some seem to be in full scale retreat. I dont mind ‘u- turns’ when a politican believes a past position was a mistake – but when they set aside principles for power its a slippery slope!

  • The Penguin

    Yes, if you think about it for more than a few seconds it’s really amazing that we’re having to have this debate.

    That the likes of Gallagher and McDonald, without a single vote between them, could be dictating to a duly elected government, is bad enough. But that they’re doing so on behalf of gangsters, hoods, drug dealers and the general scum of society, is unbelievable. The fools at the NIO have an awful lot to answer for.

  • Billy

    Turgon

    “On Rememberance Sunday I will remember the sacrifice of those who died defending this country in the First and Second World wars and numerous other conflicts. I will remember members of my family who served and were affected in one way or another. I will also remember those who died in the troubles. It greatly aggrieves me that these criminals and thugs are trying to misappropriate this day to themselves.”

    I couldn’t agree more. The sacrifice of those (of all religions and none) who died defending this country MUST not be allowed to be tarnished by these drug dealing scumbags.

    As one of many who lost family during the war, I am truly sickened by these people with their self appointed military titles “brigadier” etc.

    It is equally sickening to hear them talk of “standing down” on Remembrance Sunday. They try to equate themselves with the folk who truly put their lives on the line defending democracy.

    They are cowards whose “bravery” was shooting innocent men,women and children simply because of their religion. Not to mention their drug dealing, racketeering and prostitution.

    These scum might fool themselves but they are not fooling anyone else.

    Their attempts to associate themselves with Remembrance Sunday etc are an insult to the memories of those who genuinely deserve our gratitude and respect.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    tkmaxx: “No doubt a shot policeman, a pipe bomb attack and gangsters using illegal guns being involved in ‘internal house-keeping’ would go down a treat on the doors of their constituents. The peace process was corrupted from the start but the one thing the DUP seemed intent on doing was cleaning up the mistakes of that corruption- now some seem to be in full scale retreat.”

    There is the small matter of which bull is doing the goring, tkmaxx… addressing nationalist corruption and holding the IRA’s collective feet to the fire — that was something that had no cost to the DUP. Now, extracting the UDA’s fangs… that may be a whole different kettle of fish. Who knows what back-alley deals have been made, over the years and where the skeletons were hid afterwords — metaphorically speaking, of course… it MAY be that bringing the UDA to heel has a higher political price-tag than the DUP is prepared to pay.

  • Comrade Stalin (in Las Vegas airport)

    Dread:

    it MAY be that bringing the UDA to heel has a higher political price-tag than the DUP is prepared to pay.

    The DUP’s relationship with loyalist paramilitaries is as fascinating as it is complex. Note the response of Sammy Wilson to the incidents in South East Antrim (from BBC) :

    “People are still getting houses pipe-bombed, shots fired at their houses and confrontations in estates and confrontations with the police,” he said.

    “They have got to ask themselves first off how much control do they have and secondly is their work being undermined by people within the same grouping.”

    Specifically, observe the absence of :

    1. Condemnation
    2. Calls on funding to be withdrawn
    3. Calls for the PSNI/army to squash the problem
    4. Calls for the exclusion of UPRG politicians from any kind of talks

    All four of the above would have been presented in unequivocal terms had we been talking about activity linked to the IRA.

    The DUP clearly aren’t stupid. They know their electorate, and they obviously think that there is no electoral benefit to condemning loyalist paramilitaries; this could only be the case if those paramilitaries had some kind of support on the ground. Aren’t the DUP supposed to be opposed to terrorism ?

    No wonder the PSNI won’t go on the offensive – they’ve no support among the politicians or the community to do so. This feuding will cost jobs and damage the economy in South East Antrim. When that happens, make sure you speak to the DUP to find out why.

  • Dawkins (in Sam’s Gambling Den, Lisburn)

    Comrade Stalin (in Las Vegas airport),

    Spot on. I’d wondered about the silence from various otherwise vocal members of the DUP.

  • Billy

    Comrade Stalin (in Las Vegas airport)

    Excellent post, a clear example of DUP hypocrisy.

  • Tkmaxx

    Dread, Comrade Stalin and Dawkin – I could not agree more. Law and order seems a secondary issue for many unionists now but it is important to make this point and if there is duplicity then let it stand exposed

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Pete

    This version of the story is more complete. I still think there’s something odd about Woodward’s choice of words. It seems a softer, more qualified line anyway.

    Stormont Minister Margaret Ritchie was today backed over her October 9 deadline for loyalist Ulster Defence Association disarmament.

    But as Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward prepared to make his first speech to the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth, he insisted that all sides must work to help loyalist communities in the grip of paramilitarism to free themselves its shackles.

    Mr Woodward, who condemned a pipe bomb attack linked to an ongoing feud between rival loyalist factions in Carrickfergus, said: “Nobody should ever be complacent about any act of violence.

    “There should be no more paramilitarism from any quarter and I would like to see the decommissioning of all weapons now, not just October 9.

    “I admire the leadership of Margaret Ritchie. It is important to show such leadership.

    “It is also important that we help as many people who have been in the grip of the consequences of what the paramilitaries have been doing to escape that.”

    Since becoming Social Development Minister, Miss Ritchie, of the nationalist SDLP, has warned that a fund for helping loyalist communities to regenerate themselves economically and socially could be withdrawn if the UDA does not step back from violence and disarmament.

    Mr Woodward’s predecessor as Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Hain, originally pledged more than £1 million to the conflict transformation initiative for loyalist communities which had been supported by the UDA’s political advisers in the Ulster Political Research Group.

    Mr Woodward said: “Whilst it is very clear that it is now a devolved matter, my predecessor put in place a means to help people in communities who were in the grip and are still in the grip of paramilitary activity to get out of that paramilitary grip.

    “Essentially the Government provided a new ladder of opportunity for those people looking for a way out.

    “We owe it to the family who were attacked on Saturday night to help them out of that grip on their community.”

    Mr Woodward said it was important that, while a deadline had been set of October 9 by the SDLP minister, people also focused on the achievement of UDA disarmament as an end in itself.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Comrade Stalin: “The DUP clearly aren’t stupid. They know their electorate, and they obviously think that there is no electoral benefit to condemning loyalist paramilitaries; this could only be the case if those paramilitaries had some kind of support on the ground. Aren’t the DUP supposed to be opposed to terrorism ? ”

    Ah, but they are politicians, which brings to the fore all sorts of things — venality, weasel-wording and a deep desire to ignore those thing that cost them votes.

    Another interesting question would be is this “really” terrorism… the tools and tricks of a gang turf war and those of terrorism are remarkably similar. Likewise, if it is terrorism, what was the intended end they sought to achieve? Frankly, we may be giving these acts a bit too much credit of planning and forethought by calling them “terrorism.”

    Comrade Stalin: “No wonder the PSNI won’t go on the offensive – they’ve no support among the politicians or the community to do so. This feuding will cost jobs and damage the economy in South East Antrim. When that happens, make sure you speak to the DUP to find out why. ”

    Why, so they can tell a few more pork pies?

    Politicians, alas and alack, seldom think much past the next election — their first job after getting elected is getting re-elected. As such, they’re planning does not extend beyond a fixed point. As a consequence, most politicians don’t have the stomach to create short-term to mid-term discomfit in the name of long-term gain.

    As for Vegas, you coming or going?

    Had a great uncle known for going to the casinos in a Caddie and coming home in a bus, except when it was the other way around.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dread:

    Ah, but they are politicians, which brings to the fore all sorts of things—venality, weasel-wording and a deep desire to ignore those thing that cost them votes.

    And that’s a problem that really bugs me. Why are the DUP afraid that unequivocal condemnation of paramilitarism would hurt them ? Especially considering that they are already brave enough to go into govt with SF.

    Another interesting question would be is this “really” terrorism… the tools and tricks of a gang turf war and those of terrorism are remarkably similar. Likewise, if it is terrorism, what was the intended end they sought to achieve? Frankly, we may be giving these acts a bit too much credit of planning and forethought by calling them “terrorism.”

    Doesn’t really matter whether it’s terrorism or just regular organized crime. Either way, the DUP seem to take care to choose their words carefully. To me, this creates issues which are associated with the ministerial code.

    As for Vegas, you coming or going?

    I was leaving. Waiting in the airport for my plane, so decided to see what the crack was on Slugger.