“no more and no less..”

The Belfast Telegraph is reporting a meeting between John de Chastelain and the UDA. And with the UDA issuing a statement claiming to be keeping to its own timetable, although the reported statement seems somewhat incomplete on its objective – “It will adhere to that timetable – no more and no less.” – it’s worth remembering what their de facto leader, Jackie McDonald, has said on the subject. And what one of those employed under that UPRG project has said as well. Meanwhile the deadline remains the same. Adds Mark Devenport spotted the same incompleteness in that UDA statement and asks – “Are they being deliberately delphic? Or are there some words missing?” Also added RTÉ report

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  • thetruthrevealed

    Whilst the public statements seem to show a huge gap between what is required and what is being offered I understand that behind the scenes work is continuing to good effect. Very interesting to hear that the people meeting the General today do not include Frankie Gallagher, who I am being strongly told will be gradually sidelined after these events. The General will report to the Minister in due course and it is that report that will make or break this. I believe it will just be enough to allow things to run.

  • URQUHART

    Hold your nerve girl.

    All the old snakes are coming out of the woodwork and all the old tricks are being employed to put her under pressure. Did anyone see Hearts and Minds last night? Frankie Gallagher was allowed to claim that the only reason MR aws doing this was because of the Westminster election.

    Now I don’t expect much of Gallagher, but surely BBC’s Andy Martin or Noel Thompson could have corrected the report (this is after all supposed to be ‘news’) and pointed out that Margaret Ritchie is not running for Westminster??

    Instead we got a po-face Noel Thompson bleating that ‘Margaret Ritchie refused to participate in the report’.

    Hold you nerve – you’re doing the right thing.

  • K man

    This will be a slow process, the Government need to be careful that they do not end up holding ordinary people in these areas to ransom.

    The problem with the UDA is its fragmented and splintered structure. Bear in mind that the UDA at the time of its formation was a collection of smaller “Associations” in loyalist areas amalgamating under one banner, so to speak.

    Convincing tribal war lords, albeit warlords with minimal influence outside their own areas, to relinquish their guns will be difficult. The old saying “I only had it on me to make me feel safe” will be put to good effect by many UDA quarter masters, keen to retain their power. Throw in the criminal element and things get frustrated even further.

    Lets hope strong behind the scenes negotiations are fruitful, and the criminal element in loyalism can be removed permanently.

  • Dirty Harry

    “Convincing tribal war lords, albeit warlords with minimal influence outside their own areas, to relinquish their guns will be difficult.”

    FFS. How about the police arresting a few of the fuckers?

  • justthoughtidask

    URQUHART

    Yes, I watched H&M last night and was struck by exactly what you have outlined.

    We shouldn’t be surprised, the attitude taken by the BBC in these kinds of things always reflects the government’s position.

  • Rapunsel

    Margaret Ritchie will hold her nerve and make the right decision whatever that might be.

    The removal of funds from this project should that be the decision will not be holding loyalist communities to ransom.

    It’s the UDA that are doing that.

    I’ve said it before and will say it here again. All of the available evidence of the UDA involvement in communirty projects shows that you can’t polish a turd. No amount of money to an organisation that does not have community support and which can’t engage in grass roots community work and deliver initiatives to meet local need will turn it into an effective community organisation. Look at the malign influence of the UDA on community projects in inner east belfast, lower Shankill, Carrickfergus , all total failures with the people living there no better off as a result. This funding was not allocated on the merit of the project proposed, it was a sweetener agreed by the British government , I have a fair idea that the DSD offficials involved went along uncritically and were surprised by Margaret Ritchie’s determination on this issue.

    There is a need and opportunity to facilitate inclusive engagement of all people living in disadvantaged loyalist communities, not trying to tramnsmute the UDA into the voice of the people and allow it to continue it’s stranglehold in another guise.

  • Turgon

    Although I believe that Ritchie wants to deal with this and face down the UDA I am a bit worried at de Chastelain’s involvement. He has always seemed too lenient and accepting of the word of the terrorists of “both sides”. I am reminded of Ken Maginess’s comment about how could people doubt this former general. I do not want to make inappropriate accusations but I seem to remember his time in Somalia with the UN ended under something of a cloud, something which is rarely commented on in Northern Ireland.

    I would not necessarily trust this man not to help get the UDA of the hook.

  • Sean

    De Chastelain’s time did not end under a cloud some Canadian soldiers were responsible for some crimes and he didnt try to cover it up he exposed it and held his head high

    Of course they were only guilty of the same kind of crimes the squaddies got medals for in Northern Ireland

  • June 76

    “Convincing tribal war lords, albeit warlords with minimal influence outside their own areas, to relinquish their guns will be difficult.”

    Would that it was true that these guys have minimal influence outside their own areas. They were established, trained, funded and maintained by mainstream elements within the british establishment, both here and over the water. If they were anything less then they could be rolled up in a heartbeat. The fact that they are tolerated by the “authorities” has nothing to do with any degree of support from within their communities, but everything to do with the stories they could (and would) tell if pushed too hard.

  • the serpent

    Twice in one nght!!

    agree with rapunsel…

    “have a fair idea that the DSD offficials involved went along uncritically and were surprised by Margaret Ritchie’s determination on this issue”

    uh huh!!!

    on head nail hit …..rearrange as appropriate

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “Instead we got a po-face Noel Thompson bleating that ‘Margaret Ritchie refused to participate in the report’.”

    She’s running scared, she knows that she’s jeopardising the regeneration of Loyalist communities and the de-miltarization and politicization of the people within those communities…

    Sectarian
    Demonisation
    Loyalist
    People

  • Turgon

    Concerned Loyalist,
    “jeopardising the regeneration of Loyalist communities”

    I thought the above was a pretty good description of the effect that the existence of loyalist paramilitaries has on their own communities.

    It is funny how you define the politicisation of loyalist communities. People in loyalist communities do vote and some are political, what distresses you is that they do not vote for the loyalist political groups in any significant numbers.

    In terms of de-militaristaion that is a rather grandiose way of describing criminals with illegal weapons.

    Essentially what you are asking for is money for your own pet projects in exchange for obeying the law. The Danegeld demands are back.