Loyalist faction decommissions small amount of guns…

THE BBC reports that a “tiny fraction” of the UDA’s murderous former South East Antrim brigade has started decommissioning, in a move overseen by the IICD. Chris Buckler reports: “Members of the South East Antrim faction of the UDA were present, however, many of its membership were not consulted and it is understood some are deeply unhappy about it. Some have even described the minor act of decommissioning as ‘treason’.” Brian Rowan reports in the Tele: “A loyalist told this newspaper that the number of weapons involved was between six and a dozen – rifles, handguns and homemade machineguns. He believes some of the guns had been “stolen”, that possibly three loyalists were involved in the decommissioning event, that one of them later “blabbed” , and that the weapons may have been destroyed at the Ballykinlar Army base.” The act seems comparable to the LVF’s ‘decommissioning’ move a few years ago, which was widely regarded as a gimmick, perhaps to try and get prisoners released early. It certainly made no difference to the group’s ability to get their hands on weapons. The move may add to pressure on the ‘mainstream’ UDA to begin disarming, as the organisation was expected to make an announcement on its future on Remembrance Sunday.

  • Slightly OT but is it just me finds the idea of UDA announcements taking place on Remembrance Sunday rather tasteless?

  • Now one has to wonder if this ‘decommissioning'(if it can even be called that) has anything to do with Minister Margaret Ritchie’s threat to withdraw all that money from loyalist projects?

  • DC

    The goodies trumped by the rebel baddies in the SEA brigade with a token measure of decommissioning. Token all the same but it still says to the ‘Mr Niceguys’ shows us all how nice you are and supposedly in control of the situation by taking the required leadership over a form of ‘regional-UDA’ decommissioning.

    One good stunt deserves another by the looks of it, but if nothing is done it will still look even worse than shallowness of a reciprocal form of ‘good’ decommissioning.

  • Cromwell


    UDA tasteless. Is that such a shock?

  • cut the bull

    I would hope that this is genuine and that members of the South East Antrim UDA, have’nt got mixed up after their last line of coke and put the weapons into Ballykinlar when they were really supposed to do the usual and steal them out of Ballykinlar.

  • cut the bull

    Will big Ian ask for photographic evidence. [edited by moderator – play the ball not the man]

  • young fella

    6 to a dozen rifle’s,yeah, thats sounds likes its worth a few million alright (….snigger)

  • Not a shock at all Cromwell, not at all….

  • harry

    and that the weapons may have been destroyed at the Ballykinlar Army base.”

    is this not just where the UDA store their weapons??
    do they just not go up, sign them out, shoot some “fucking fenian” and hand them back in again, in time for Cyril, the squaddie from Hants, to be back on patrol again??

  • Cromwell


    Is this not just where the IRA/MI5 store their weapons??
    Do they just not go up, sign them out, shoot some fucking prod/tout/racehorse and hand them back in again, in time for Sean, the provo informer/undercover alien visitor, from West Belfast (via that new planet those egghead boffins discovered the other day)to be back gettin’ “blacked” in the Felons Club again??

  • harry


    have you not heard, the IRA covered all thier weapons in concrete, now they only use nail studded clubs in haysheds outside Castleblaney.

  • Cromwell

    Speaking of studded clubs & haysheds outside Castleblayney……were the weapons covered in a concrete “Slab”?

  • Cadiz

    I think a former member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, was jailed in 1990 for 14 years for running the largest arms factory then found.

    The deal with decommissioning is that it is very easy to put twenty tons of gear (ANFO etc) out of circulation without actually really decommissioning.

    The RUC once uncovered over 30 Sten guns and parts for over 1,000 Uzi-type machine guns at a long term LEDU granted factory in Spa, Ballynahinch, Co. Down.

    Decommissioning a few AR15s, AKMs or high quality Brazilian handguns might be a sign that somebody on the loyalist side was turning over a new leaf.

    Turning in a few bits & pieces of home-made junk is not quite the same.

  • The Penguin

    I’m getting confused.

    Is the “good UDA” now the “bad UDA” and the “bad UDA” now the “good UDA”?
    Or are they now both “bad” UDAs or both “good” UDAs?
    And if it’s either of the latter two, how are we going to tell them apart?

  • Hogan

    It did just occur to me that perhaps we are seeing a realisation within loyalist paramilitaries that the political landscape has changed?

    Perhaps Lofty and his fellow UDA/NIO apologists could enlighten us a little?

    Since Margaret ritchie has done the decent thing and cut the cancer out of loyalist communities i.e. we will not give public funds in the abscence of real progress. Perhaps Kirkham et al. are trying to ensure they have some sort of a political future to be appointed into quangos in their areas? They are not regarded as the ‘good’ UDA but how quickly things can change?!

    They are trying to out manouvere Jackie and the boys and depending on just how much they are prepared to give over they might just pull it off?

    I must say, for a “godfather” i would have expected more from McDonald? The NIO must have collectively shat itself when he broadcast that shite about decommisioning not being on the radar!

    He gifted MR the perfect opportunity to start the process of re-examining the UDA dosh … sorry CTI funding.

    Tactical genius….? or misunderstood soul?

  • I wonder…

    I am surprised this happened without (apparently) jackie’s knowledge as it is suely exactly the sort of thing he must have held as a chip in negotiating.

  • I wonder…

    ANY sort of decommissioning recognises a way forward. How many times have we all seen those ancient vids of the LVF guns being chopped?

    BTW – what constituency made that whole business such a priority?

    It was clear to anyone that decommissioning fertiliser wasnt an issue. It was the mindset behind mixing it with other stuff..

    oh , sorry I’m being too obtuse for 99% of Unionists…or is that 1%..I’m so confused 😉

  • Frank Sinistra

    Between six and twelve? How hard is that?


    They can’t even count up to twelve? The IMC could have helped, maybe they will permit the use of fingers and toes as a monitoring mechanism when the UDA join in.

  • young fella

    …if they say “between”, it’s definitely the lesser side of the guestimate;but to be honest, even with 6 dozen weapons decommissioned, its still half of nothing!

  • Dread Cthulhu

    It’s six dozen rifles, give or take, weapons out of circulation. That is to say, it is what it is.

    Call it a stunt, call it a start. I call it six dozen weapons out of circulation. I wouldn’t suggest that this is the start of blue skies and airplanes, but it is a glimmer of light.

    Take it for what its worth and with a grain of salt, but it is what it is and to give credit where its due, it is more than the so-called “good” UDA have done to date.

  • dewi

    It.s between six and a dozen not six dozen.

  • Sean

    Thats what I thought as well Dewi but them i thought maybe my remembery was slipping

  • Turgon

    The fact that some illegally held weapons have been destroyed is extremely good news. It is particularly good that they have not been put beyond use, beyond reach or any other weasel words but appear to have been destroyed; though I would have preferred this to have been done publically.

    There is, however, a potential but. The but is that we must be certain that this act of mini decomissioning (or actually obeying the law as owning weapons is of course illegal), will not involve a quid pro quo. My slight fear is that this will be taken as some great act and as such the “bad” UDA (which is now becoming “good”?) will be allowed to continue their reign of terror in the working class unionist areas which they “own”.

    This is always the problem with acts such as this. The loyalist terrorists are not actually completely stupid. They may have done this to annoy the previously “good” (and now “bad”) UDA but this group will most likely expect the police to pay less attention to their criminal actions and their racketeering, drug dealing, prostitution etc. These criminals do not necessarily need all their guns to terrorise the communities they prey on; most recent paramilitary linked murders have been with weapons other than firearms (much less easy to trace).

    The only real gain which a terrorist organisation should gain from decomissioning their illegally held weapons is to not be prosecuted for that one specific crime of ownership of those particular weapons. No more, no less.

    So of course it is good that some weapons are off the streets. However, unless a given orgainsation is genuninely completely going away it is good but, it would have been better had the police found these weapons. Then the good, bad or indifferent UDA would not have been able to try to get something in exchange.

  • Dawkins

    “Loyalist faction decommissions small amount of guns…”

    Tsk tsk, Gonzo, shurely small number of guns.

    Standards, dontya know. Even Brian Rowan got it right :0)

  • longshot

    Any chance of the UVF handing in some?

  • Turgon

    It now appears that maybe the previously bad, now good UDA did not after all hand in weapons. I guess that makes them bad again

    I would also like to apologise for my last post.
    “…is to not be prosecuted ”
    This is a clear example of splitting the infinitive where it was not actually necessary to do so. My appologies.

  • Cut the bull

    Alright slugger I put my hands up I’m yellow carded.
    It’s hurting me but Iaccept it not happen again.

  • Danny D

    LVF, UVF, UDA, UFF, UDR, UVA, UTV… Oh my. Lets just decommission, its over

  • DK

    Didn’t the LVF already decommission?

  • Concerned Loyalist

    “THE BBC reports that a “tiny fraction” of the UDA’s murderous former South East Antrim brigade has started decommissioning, in a move overseen by the IICD”

    A cheap publicity stunt, nothing more or nothing less. Decommissioning is widely viewed as a symbolic, confidence-building mechanism that will consolidate the peace process. I’m undecided as to whether I believe that or whether it’s an irrelevant red herring, but, regardless of my thoughts, the individuals involved in this token act of destroying a handful of weapons have de-valued the symbolism of decommissioning and have made it harder for Loyalism to move forward in their transformation from paramiltarism to politicization because of the great feeling of anger towards them from within and outside Loyalism…

  • Turgon

    Concerned Loyalist,
    To an extent I agree with your above post in that the decomissioning (if indeed it did take place) was a publicity stunt.

    However, I find it interesting that you now tell us this “made it harder for Loyalism to move forward in their transformation from paramiltarism to politicization because of the great feeling of anger towards them from within and outside Loyalism…”

    Might I suggest that you are annoyed because the “bad” UDA now might look better. Would that make the “good” UDA look “bad”?

    Of course you have quite elegantly covered both options. Now if the “good” (possibly now “bad”) UDA do not decomission it is the fault of the “bad” (now possibly “good”) UDA. If on the other hand the “good” (now possibly “bad”) UDA do decomission that makes them “really good” because they were annoyed by the “bad” UDA decomissioning but still decomissioned. Hence clearly the now “really good” UDA must deserve more Danegeld because now they are “really good”. If given money will they go on to become “excellent” or “simply the best”?

    This is priceless. That is until one remembers what we are actually talking about a group of criminals, murderers, drug dealers, extortionists, pimps and oppressors of the most disadvantaged people in our community; who latterly were a group of sectarian murderers. Then it all becomes rather less amusing and rather disgusting.