De facto leader of the UDA, Jackie McDonald, has already signalled that organisation’s intention to hold onto “the peoples’ guns” even as that ‘train’ service prepares to be cancelled. Meanwhile, interesting timing for out-going Assistant Chief Constable Peter Sheridan to be making waves with his comments in the Irish News [subs req for now]. Helpfully, the Belfast Telegraph repeats them. Naturally there’s been a certain focus on the apparent admission that police already have intelligence on the location of loyalist paramilitary arms dumps. From the Irish News report – Asked whether police have intelligence in place to locate loyalist weaponry, Mr Sheridan says: “Well, the short answer to that is yes and then if the opportunity to arrest and prosecute is there, we will.” [Update Peter Sheridan has rejected the suggestion that police already know the locations saying he had said that they had intelligence systems in place to try to locate the arms dumps]. But of equal, if not more, interest is this further admission.
“Policing here is still very much enshrined in politics. No other police service has an IMC (Independent Monitoring Commission). No other police service has an IICD.”
Adds And according to a BBC report
Security Minister Paul Goggins and Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde met members of the [UDA’s] ruling “inner council” on Monday night. The NIO has confirmed Mr Goggins had private talks with the political representatives of the UDA and what it called “other leading loyalists”. The BBC understands they included the majority of the UDA’s inner council.