“Policing here is still very much enshrined in politics.”

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.

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  • percy

    The reason this is slow is there’s a large amount of weaponary, a whole ethos, culture, mindset ( or lack of ) to be dealt with.
    A decommisioning issue?
    NIO/MI5 takes the view that dissident guns are more of a threat, because they’re targetted against the state, whereas loyalist guns are only involved in “ordinary crime”, and are anyway the “people’s guns” as peteb highlights.
    There is hypocrisy here for sure.

  • Dec

    Of most interest to me is Sheridan’s omission in detailing for how long the RUC/PSNI have known the locations of these weapon dumps.

  • unbelievable!

    lets give them a hint we know where they are!!!- maybe you should move them??? what kind of a police “service” do we really have?

  • matalan

    Sure the organisations are riddled with touts thats why the police know where their guns are in teh first place if they move them the police will still know where they are.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Special Branch seem to control the loyalists and the weapons. Exhibit A: Brian Nelson, Exhibit B: Mark Haddock. And there seems to be a substantial, often irrefutable, evidence from Nuala O’Loan and Stevens inquiry.

    After the Castlereagh break-in, Hugh Orde admitted that one line of enquiry was an “inside job” possibly involving “rogue elements” of the PSNI. It was, of course, said in a government statement to the House that the break-in was a “serious breach of National Security” and yet, the police are viewed as suspects by their own boss.

    Perhaps he has a good idea of the nature of many senior detectives within his own force. He should know -he did spend long enough investigating their more colourful ideas about upholding the law, after all.

    It remains one of the more remarkable admissions by a Chief Constable in the history of “our wee country”.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Special Branch seem to control the loyalists and the weapons. Exhibit A: Brian Nelson, Exhibit B: Mark Haddock.

    Indeed, and given exhibit C, Freddie Scap, and exhibit D, Denis Donaldson, you have to wonder how much of politics here they don’t control.

  • Comrade Stalin

    NIO/MI5 takes the view that dissident guns are more of a threat, because they’re targetted against the state, whereas loyalist guns are only involved in “ordinary crime”, and are anyway the “people’s guns” as peteb highlights.

    This is a bit daft, given that the loyalists have, in the recent past, been shooting at the police during various riot situations they’ve orchestrated. How could the police go soft on people who are trying to kill them ? And given that the dissidents are actively trying to kill police officers, it’s not unreasonable that they should receive some attention.

    The idea that we shouldn’t be cracking down on paramilitaries in order to assist the peace process wasn’t invented by the British, although they have obviously now adopted it as their policy.

  • Rapunsel

    Sorry! The Chief Constable is meeting members of the UDA inner council and here I was thinking that the UDA was an illegal organisation? In a normal society the only place the Chief Constable or any other copper would be meeting Jackie McDonald and colleagues would be in a holding cell. These pricks are trying to hold the rest of us to ransom with their bullshit about the peoples guns. When their bblackmail works and they recieve resources for ” community” projects then invariably and to the cost of working class loyalist communities nothing effective is delivered!

  • Comrade Stalin

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I’ve yet to hear any condemnation from our politicians about this. Which goes to show, Rapunsel, that you get what you vote for.

  • andy pandy

    Paul Goggins should ask the UDA to give the weapons back as they are the property of of the british govt. the Vast majority of Loyalist weapons were supplied by MI5 via South Africa in exchange for “stolen” blowpipe missile prototypes. some of the weapons were “recovered” by the RUC in Mid Ulster but the main shipment was squirrelled away and handed out to Loyalist death squads. and dont forget that our former first minister and present first minister were up to their red berets in all of this, so dont hold your breath waiting on local politicians to comdemn this meeting.

  • Marcus

    The UDA is a terrorist organisation and if the PSNI know who the leaders are (which they do as they have now met them) they should be rounded up and thrown into a prison cell if they refuse to decommision.

    PSNI: Lads i think its time you gave up the guns, what do you think?
    UDA: No we wont.
    PSNI: hmmmm okay then, we will ask you again in six months.
    UDA: Grand, but we will be giving you the same answer then as we are now… but cheers for giving us 6 more months of no hassle from yourselves.

  • andy pandy


    PRESENT Hugh Orde, Paul Goggins, Jackie Mc Donald, 4 people who wish to remain anon.

    APOLIGIES, Johnny Adair & John White.

    Goggins: ” Can we have our guns back lads”

    Mc Donald: ” No you cannot, we got them on a 99 year lease”

    Goggins : “Who arranged this deal?”

    Mc Donald:” I think it was the same guy that arranged the deal between Linfield and the N.I team.”

    Goggins :”Fair enough lads, we dont want anyone ending up in the courts for breach of contract, whats the next item on the agenda?”

    Orde ” I want to discuss the UDA’s involvement in the sale fake perfume, stolen vodka,pirate DVD’s drugs and prostitutes”

    Mc Donald: “Aye, what about it?”

    Orde: ” Well, with the condition of the global ecomony combined with overtime cuts, I was wondering if you will offer discount for bulk buying!”

  • Con

    What Sheridan really said to the UDA was, “Lads, we know where you keep the guns, so could you kindly move them somewhere else soon where we can’t find them?”

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “the people’s guns”

    ….was there a subscription?

    ….a penny a week from each household?

  • andy pandy

    Jackie Mc Donald was 100% correct when he described UDA weapons as “the people’s guns” they were paid for by the taxpayer.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I can understand why the Provies and their mouthpieces in SF would want to see UDA decommisioning – they wouldn’t want to be seen by their supporters in the nationalist community to be surrendering weapons without a reciprocal move from the UDA, widely regarded as the largest paramilitary organisation in Western Europe.

    However, ordinary nationalists should not get too alarmed that the UDA are opposed to decommisioning. Their guns are silent and offer no threat to anyone. The UDA are now a community organisation that wants to work towards improving socio-economic condiions for the loyalist working-class. They helped consolidate the peace by standing down the Ulster Freedom Fighters, the military wing of the Association.

    If there was a sustained attack on our community and way of life then I’m sure the UDA would, as in years gone by, become the last line of defence for the Ulster people against violent republicanism. However, God willing, this looks unlikely at the present time.

    I will sign off by saying a farewell to my fellow Sluggerites. I am sick and tired of reading the same revisionist, anti-British, anti-Protestant rhetoric on here. I may be back in the future, but I can’t see it. The site is swamped by republicans who stifle any form of debate by repeating over and over the same old spiel and using yesterday’s language, such as “occupiers”, “blow-ins” and “colonialy-minded” to reer to Protestnt/Unionist/Loyalist posters. I have better things to do than read and respond to sustained prejudice, so I’m off…

  • Concerned Loyalist

    I’ve got a problem with my keyboard:
    “colonially-minded”, “refer” and “Protestant” are all spelt incorrectly above.
    Now I’m really off…