“This train is leaving the station..”

A couple of points to note from the BBC report on Northern Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward’s speech at Queen’s University today. The obvious one is his message to the recently de-specified UVF and, undoubtedly, to Jackie McDonald’s UDA about the Independent International Body on Decommissioning.

“Take very careful note of what I’m saying, these structures are now time-limited, they are not here forever,” he said. “This train is leaving the station, the question is whether these organisations are going to be on board or be left behind in the past. “Legal routes to decommissioning, sooner rather than later, will go.”

Shaun Woodward doesn’t explain what happens then.. perhaps there’ll be fewer handshakes and photo-ops and a greater reluctance on the part of the police to negotiate with “those who have influence”. The second point to note is his comment on the devolution of policing and justice powers

Mr Woodward also said the assembly should set a date for the devolution of policing and justice.

They are the only ones who can, after all. Adds From the Northern Ireland Secretary of State’s statement

“The British Government pledged in the St Andrews Agreement we would be ready to transfer powers one year after the new Assembly was elected. We have kept that promise. So now this is a matter for the politicians here to reach agreement between themselves.”

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  • hiro protagonist

    Presumably it means that once the IICD have gone home there would be no legal methodology for handing over weapons, no form of amnesty.

    But assuming nothing happens and the IICD are sent home, if a year down the line an organisation holding weapons contacted the government and said “we would like to dispose of all of our weapons will you take them.” surely to God the government/s would find some way of removing them anyway

    ???????

    By the way, no one should have guns period. Lets not get into that argument, but people do have them, so where do we realistically go from here?

  • Hogan

    Jaysus lads its a big departure from the previous attempts to buy them off them!

    Hat tip to Margaret Ritchie for showing the NIO the road ahead.

    Who would’ve predicted we might actually land a Labour Secretary of State with a spine? (Mo excepted!)

    Well i suppose its early days?

  • gareth mccord

    surely the main point of getting the guns is to get them for dna or any evidence into murders not to destroy critical evidence. but again that would be against any fights for justice which our government clearly would prefer.

  • Oh god – not ANOTHER the train is leaving the station cliche from the NIO? More peace trains here than rails to go off – and furthermore once one set of terrorist thugs are rewarded, what is the moral basis for not rewarding more? Interesting to see Queen’s University become such a centre of gravity for the peace processors.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    BBC
    Protestant flees dissident threat

    “A Protestant man has fled his home in Londonderry after receiving death threats from dissident republicans.

    He recently moved to the city from the Greater Belfast area, and believes he was attacked for being “a Protestant living in a republican area”.

  • A N Other

    I agree with points 1 – 4 raised above.

    Not that I don’t fully sympathise with the guy’s plight raised in the 5th comment, but I don’t like feeding trolls – of any political persuasion.

    I’m sure the poor guy in question is heartened by UMH’s attempt to use his plight as an sincere attempt at “whataboutery”…

    Anyone else think it’s ironic that slugger are advertising training courses from the “Firearms Training Institute” on the opening page of the site?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    UTV
    WEDNESDAY 21/05/2008 17:33:03

    Firebombs planted in baby-changing room
    A firebomb partially exploded in a baby-changing room in a fast food restaurant, police said.

    Two incendiary devices were found in a McDonald`s outlet in Cookstown, County Tyrone, on Wednesday morning.

    Restaurant staff found the devices inside a bin in the changing room.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    IRA dissidents blamed for planting 2 firebombs in McDonald’s restaurant in Northern Ireland
    May 21, 2008

    DUBLIN, Ireland: Workers at a McDonald’s restaurant in Northern Ireland discovered two firebombs Wednesday in the latest effort by IRA dissidents to undermine peace in the British territory, police said.

    Police Inspector Sue Steen said both firebombs were hidden Tuesday night in the diaper-changing room of the restaurant in the central Northern Ireland town of Cookstown.

    Staff members were alerted to the location of the firebombs because one partly ignited overnight in a garbage can. The other apparently was a dud.

    “It doesn’t bear thinking about what might have happened if the restaurant had been filled with people, or someone was in the room with a baby, when they went off,” Steen said.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    BBC May 12 Officer hurt in booby-trap bomb

    “There has been an explosion in the County Tyrone village of Spamount, outside Castlederg.

    An off-duty police officer was injured in what is understood to have been an under-car booby-trap explosion at Drumnabay Road at 2130 BST on Monday.

    It is believed the officer suffered serious leg injuries, but was able to speak to doctors and his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

    Dissident republicans are being blamed for the attack.”

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Time to bring back the B-specials?

  • joeCanuck

    There isn’t a lot of point in making threats unless the threat is real. The PSNI need to make a concerted effort to find some illegal arms and for the courts, on conviction, to hand out some hefty sentences. Presumably anyone caught with an illegal weapon and who was freed under licence by the GFA would have their freedom revoked in addition. It would help if the sentences would then run consecutively.

  • Steve

    UMH

    I assume you posted these to justify unionist terrorists retaining their murder weapons?

    As for the bspecials by all means bring them back but you might want to give the hospitals a year or two to expand their casualty centres before you do

    [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Steve [i]”As for the bspecials by all means bring them back but you might want to give the hospitals a year or two to expand their casualty centres before you do “[/i]

    Is the hospital jib a threat? I hope it’s not because that would be sick. While N.Ireland is experiencing a wave of Republican violence we need a task force to deal with these republicans terrorists

  • Comrade Stalin

    UMH,

    While N.Ireland is experiencing a wave of Republican violence we need a task force to deal with these republicans terrorists

    It already exists, it’s called the PSNI.

  • percy

    UMH
    The thread is about what to do with loyalist terrorists, or are you suggesting the PSNI subcontract out to the UDA Death squads like the old days to deal with the threat of dissident republicans?
    So break the law to enforce the law.
    Oh sorry UDA are loyal defenders, now I see.
    Not terrorists at all, ahh I get it.

    But wait doesn’t that make dissidents republicans freedom fighters?

    Just about sums up your twisted logic and whataboutery on this thread.

  • Ulster’s my homeland, I hope you’ll be showing your love for the 40% of Ulster’s landmass in the Irish Republic, or is it only the mythical Pradhestunt Loyal “Ulster” that you show your love for?

  • Driftwood

    Comrade Stalin, we could do with these guys back helping the PSNI
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7415482.stm
    Nice to see them getting recognition at least

  • Ulsters my homleand

    “The thread is about what to do with loyalist terrorists, or are you suggesting the PSNI subcontract out to the UDA Death squads like the old days to deal with the threat of dissident republicans
    So break the law to enforce the law.
    Oh sorry UDA are loyal defenders, now I see.
    Not terrorists at all, ahh I get it.”

    Perry, they see themselves as defenders. That is how the problem arose, the British army failed to maintain a task force to deal with the PIRA, so the UDA was emerged.

    “But wait doesn’t that make dissidents republicans freedom fighters?

    Just about sums up your twisted logic and whataboutery on this thread.”

    what are you on about Perry? I never said I supported such groups, I’m discussing how they emerge.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “Ulster’s my homeland, I hope you’ll be showing your love for the 40% of Ulster’s landmass in the Irish Republic, or is it only the mythical Pradhestunt Loyal “Ulster” that you show your love for?

    Posted by dave on May

    Hello dave,

    as for Ulster’s extra land, as long as the people consider themselves Ulstermen/women, they are entitled to be Ulstermen/Women.

  • Mark Fartlighter

    Loyalists will never decommision nor will there ever be any particular effort to make them decommision from unionists.

    The reality is that those guns will be used as a disincentment to southern Irish people to support unity.

    And in the senario where a majority votes for a unitied Ireland to provide leverage for a smaller more ethnically pure Northern Ireland.

  • Steve

    Is the hospital jib a threat? I hope it’s not because that would be sick. While N.Ireland is experiencing a wave of Republican violence we need a task force to deal with these republicans terrorists

    Posted by Ulsters my homeland on May 22, 2008 @ 06:40 PM

    No UMH its accepting the reality that the bspecials were an out of control, albeit sanctioned, terrorist force and their re-emergence will only lead to republican backlash and a return to the height of the troubles.

    Perry, they see themselves as defenders. That is how the problem arose, the British army failed to maintain a task force to deal with the PIRA, so the UDA was emerged.

    This is such complete revisionist tripe that it does not bear witness to even the smallest of truths.

  • Dewi

    Sorry Pete – but are you watching Crewe?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    UMH: “Perry, they see themselves as defenders.”

    And that precisely amounts to nothing, or should, in the eyes of the law. They are not defenders, nor are they legitimate law enforcement entities.

    Quit making excuses for the hoods, quit permitting the state to make excuses for the hoods and see where that leads.

    UMH: “I never said I supported such groups, I’m discussing how they emerge. ”

    No, you’re cutting and pasting a few headlines, making a few excuses for the hoods and discussing very little, UMH, along with throwing the odd metaphorical bomb.

    The B-Specials were a collection of state-sanctioned thugs. The UDA, UVF, LVF and the rest of the Protestant / Unionist / Loyalist alphabet soup gangs didn’t even have that much going for them. If they wanted to “defend Ulster,” there were legitimate formations they could have joined, rather than upping with these street-gangs.

  • Dewi

    “That is how the problem arose, the British army failed to maintain a task force to deal with the PIRA, so the UDA was emerged”

    Not quite historically accurate I’m afraid.

  • Shawshank

    UMH I presume your one of those unionist types who demand that Irish Republicans follow the letter of British Law. So why do you think it acceptable for a large group of drug dealing killers like loyalists to retain their weapons?

    Look at the example of Tigers Bay, how are you defending your community when you are selling poison to the kids.

    Could it be a Unionist defending an illogical contradictory position, shock horror.

  • ZoonPol

    Its no longer called the peace train but more like a gravy train.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [b]Dread Cthulhu[/b]

    “The B-Specials were a collection of state-sanctioned thugs. ”

    The B-specials protected the country from a bunch of evil, murdering Republicans who were quite happy killing innocent Protestants and even Catholics because they believed a 32 county Republican Roman Catholic country was worth killing over. The real thugs were the Republican death organisations, but true to form their propaganda campaign makes out that the B-Specials were the thugs.

  • Shawshank

    “The B-specials protected the country from a bunch of evil, murdering Republicans who were quite happy killing innocent Protestants and even Catholics because they believed a 32 county Republican Roman Catholic country was worth killing over. The real thugs were the Republican death organisations, but true to form their propaganda campaign makes out that the B-Specials were the thugs.”

    Do you know the old saying “by acting like your enemy you become your enemy”? I guess irony is yet another of the qualities loyalism lacks. You berate Republicans for taking up arms to secure their goals yet support loyalists for doing the same.

    You still didn’t answer my question on loyalists paramilitaries. You say the UDA where formed to defend the community, how exactly do you accomplish that by selling drugs to kids? How are you safe guarding locals while holding the local shops and services the community relies on to ransom?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Shawshank

    “You berate Republicans for taking up arms to secure their goals yet support loyalists for doing the same.”

    I never said I support loyalists taking up arms, yet again you’ve quoted me in the wrong.

    “You still didn’t answer my question on loyalists paramilitaries. You say the UDA where formed to defend the community, how exactly do you accomplish that by selling drugs to kids?”

    I said they see themselves as defenders, primarily because Republicans are still bombing and shooting. The actions of so-called ‘dissident’ Republicans are giving the UDA some form of legitimacy to hold onto arms.

    As for the drug dealing, they’re scum.

    “How are [b]you safe guarding locals[/b] while holding the local shops and services the community relies on to ransom?”

    I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to associate me with thugs when you ask questions.

  • Mayoman

    The question is UMH, not what THEY see themselves as, but what YOU see them as. If you don’t see them as an in any way ‘legitimate’, why do you offer second-hand justifications for their existence? In light of you not being brave enough do define your true view, forgive me for thinking you are just another mealy-mouthed unionist apologist for loyalists murderers.

  • Mayoman

    *loyalist murderers

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Mayoman

    “The question is UMH, not what THEY see themselves as, but what YOU see them as. If you don’t see them as an in any way ‘legitimate’, why do you offer second-hand justifications for their existence?”

    I’ve never offered second-hand justifications. They said themselves that they were created to defend the Protestant communities and are continuing to hold onto weapons because they fear dissident Republicans and other groups. This is their words, so get your facts right.

    “In light of you not being brave enough do define your true view, forgive me for thinking you are just another mealy-mouthed unionist apologist for loyalists murderers.”

    Call me all the names you want, but you’ll never get me voting for Loyalists parimilitary parties in the same way Catholics vote for IRA/Sinn Fein. Shame on them, now direct your finger-pointing somwhere else Mayo

  • Steve

    UMH

    If you voted dup or uup then your voting record is no better than a voter for SF

  • Mayoman

    Absolutely agree with you Steve. For too long unionists have got away with hiding behind the one-step-away shield of cowardice. Its ok to support and arm a movement as long as you don’t pull the trigger. As UMH would say, shame on them! At least members of SF are honest. It seems that may be the only difference.

    UMH, you repeat the second-hand justification and still no answer on what YOU see them as. I can find out what THEY (laughably) see themselves as on wikipedia! I thougt this was a blog! Why are you so scared of giving a personal opinion? I think I know the answer!