“All Ordnance has been put beyond reach..”

The BBC report links the weapons found in Belfast with the recently de-specified UVF – weapons which they had claimed had been “put beyond reach”. Adds Guardian report.

Police officers went to the Ballysillan area of north Belfast to investigate the death of a man at the weekend. It is believed he took his own life. In follow-up searches of his house, more than 70 guns – mostly handguns – and ammunition were discovered.

About 10 more guns were seized from a nearby lock-up premises. The guns are thought to be linked to the UVF. All the weapons have been removed for examination and police inquiries.

More From an updated BBC report

PUP member Billy Hutchinson, who has represented the UVF at meetings with the international decommissioning body, said he was “confident the guns would not be traced to the UVF”. “I think there has been enough soul-searching, enough investigation going on to ensure that nobody was connected to his man,” he said. “My understanding is that he ran some sort of combat company. I think that’s where the police should be looking.”

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  • Alan

    Will be very interesting to hear Hutch statement later. Wonder did Albert arrange this with Gusty last week?

  • Mike C

    Any comment yet from Dawn Purvis? No? Thought not.

  • The ulsterior motive

    Obviously this alludes to the stature of the UVF. they are in fact all midgets, and to them putting the guns beyond reach infact means stashing them in the attic.

  • Greagoir O’ Frainclin

    ….I suppose these weapons are a part of “the people’s guns”

  • well i think we can at least all agree that it is good news rather than bad nws. Progress of sorts.

  • Billy Sillan

    Dawn doesn’t need to say a word. Nor do the UVF. The only people who need to comment are the decent people who have issues with some but not all of the guns, some but not all of the time.

  • ulsterfan

    I suppose that’s decommissioning dealt with.

  • Rory

    A note found at Bell’s home earlier this week led the Northern Ireland police service to the haul.

    Which might indicate that this poor, wretched man attempted to do the right thing before committing this dreadful act of self destruction. Whatever the misdeeds of his past, my heart goes out to him in those awful last moments and I offer my condolences to his family.

  • Turgon

    I think Greagoir is a bit unfair: of course they are “the people’s guns.” Many of “the people” were killed and injured by these guns. Not maybe what the weasel worded statement from the alphabet soup meant but closer to the truth.

    Hopefully this is the begining of the end of “the people’s guns.” I also hope that these weapons will be examined and we will be told if they can be linked to murders. In addition hopefully prosecutions will follow both for possession of and for any other crimes linked to these weapons.

    I think it is important that unionists celebrate the removal of these guns from circulation. A message needs to be sent that the overwhelming majority of the unionist community, including the working class unionist community have absolutely no time for these criminals and support the ending of their reign of terror over people’s lives.

  • Harry Flashman

    Good man, Rory.

  • … Whatever the misdeeds of his past, my heart goes out to him in those awful last moments …

    That’s very Catholic of you, Rory! The idea that his death-bed repentance cancels out whatever he did throughout his life. I say ‘bollox’ to that. While he was alive and well he neither regretted his actions nor walked away from his brotherhood of murder, despite always having had the opportunity to do both.

    He willingly participated in a criminal conspiracy to murder innocent people, purely on account of their religion. He may even have pulled the trigger, or wielded the knife. He certainly knew who did, yet he neither turned them in nor showed any sympathy for the grieving families of the victims, let alone for the poor victims themselves.

    All in all, he was a monster, and my heart does not go out for him, it goes out for all of his poor victims.

  • Well said Turgon.

  • frustrated democrat

    I don’t believe people who have done what all these groups have, when they say anything…..so I am not surprised nor would I be at any guns that turn up from whatever source.

  • Peter Brown

    Why has no-one called for the UUP / PUP to be excluded from the Executive????

  • Rory

    “All in all, he was a monster, and my heart does not go out for him, it goes out for all of his poor victims.”

    Compassion has no limitation, Horseman, and to deny the possibility of repentance to any man, whatever he may have done, is to deny it to ourselves.

  • Rory,

    I see his ‘repentance’ as entirely false. When he had a chance to do something good through changing his mind, he did not do it, and his guns kept killing people. Just before he got culled by the Big C, he decided to hedge his bets, just in case there was a god. So he’s a cynical opportunist as well as a murderer!

    I hope there is a god, because he would not be judged favourably! However, I believe that there is not, so his death-bed repentance remains worthless, except insofar as it took 70 guns out of murdering hands.

  • fin

    poor bugger, if you can’t say anything good about an individual in circumstances like this, out of respect, its best to say nothing.

    Can’t help but wonder if the note was actually intented for the police, surely, if it was he would have posted it before doing the deed, could it have been intented for his comrades instead?

    Who found it, the police? or did a member of his family hand it over?

    Who else lived there, that amount of munitions takes up a bit of space and would be difficult to conceal, as would moving weapons in and out of the house.

    It says little for the police that a known member of the UVF was comfortable keeping such a haul of weapons in his own home.

    Put pressure on the politicians and the UVF if you like, however, this must be an opportunity to wipeout the UVF, 70 weapons I imagine will be covered in fingerprints, and ballistics will show where they’ve been use. This event also entitles the police to raid the premises of every known/suspected member of the UVF.

    I think ordinary decent folk can expect to see a lot of police activity, arrests and long long prison sentences.

  • Rory

    As you will, Horseman. You speak according to your lights, I speak according to mine.

  • I’d hold fire on this for a while, no pun intended.
    Bell owns a combat games range out in Crumlin, what’s the betting these guns are imitations?

  • neil

    Getting ahead of ourselves a touch I feel. Speculating on the intentions and final thoughts of a man who was intent on ending his own life is pointless. Maybe he repented and that’s why he ended his life.

    Maybe someone screwed his missus and he’s bent on revenge. Maybe a whole lot of things.

  • Ian Og Parsley

    Maybe now the so called PSNI will address the Unionist guns that are still a threat. I don’t believe that Sein Fein should go back into government until the DUP decommission its weapons and wear sack cloth and ashes!

  • LURIG

    What’s that…………………………………………………………………? The long drawn out silence from mainstream Unionism! Have yet to hear either the DUP or UUP comment on this. If this had been Ballymurphy or East Tyrone Unionists would have been beating each other over the head to get on the airwaves. Plus ca change! Just like the murder of Raymond McCord jnr there is NO political capital to be made for Unionists and they won’t utter a word until absolutely forced to, plus many of them don’t see Loyalists as terrorists. What about sitting in Stormont and local government with the PUP, surely in DUP/UUP speak, now apologists for unreformed UVF terrorists. I look forward to Robinson, Donaldson, Campbell, Dodds, Empey, McNarry demanding the expulsion of Dawn Purvis from the Assembly AND refusing to work with her. Then again here comes a googled up pig flying over the hill! They will get away with their hypocrisy of course because the 2 weak and incompetent Nationalist parties will let them. Thanks Fin, you gave me a laugh there on a Friday afternoon. There’s as much chance of mass loyalist arrests & prosections as there is of me winning the lottery tonight AND tomorrow night.

  • fin

    I hear you Lurig, I hear you, and yes I fully expect “the examination” of weapons to take awhile (a very long while) lots of goods will probably have been moved around by now.

    Its strange that politicans,reporters and bloggers keep their imaginations in check when dealing with militant unionism, what fanciful stories would 70 weapons found in a republicans home have generated.

    Similarily I hear no mention from the police regarding what these weapons were to be used for, a common feature of incidents involving republicans.

    Shame it happened at this moment in time, at a future date, Gerry Kelly, the minister for P&J;could have been reassuring the decent folk of NI that the police would swamp north belfast and pull in anyone suspected of been involved in this……..happy days,

  • dosser

    Billy Hutchinson has just appeared on BBCNI to state that the guns did not belong to the UVF; instead, they were part of the personal collection of the dead man.

    That clears that up. And in other news, Lord Lucan has been seen procuring semtex to the RIRA.

  • Big Maggie

    Billy Hutchinson has just appeared on BBCNI to state that the guns did not belong to the UVF; instead, they were part of the personal collection of the dead man.

    What, the dead man was a member of the NRA? Is that the best Billy can do? Won’t he be a touch embarrassed when forensic tests prove him wrong?

    The last are rhetorical questions of course.

  • William

    The usual suspects are baying that this guy who died and in whose home and lock up premises, some 70 guns and thousands of rounds of ammo were found is a UVF member. I heard on tonight’s TV news that it is accepted that he isn’t a member of any paramilitary grouping and this was confirmed by a member of Sinn Fein who knew the man well. It appears he ran a Paint Balling game company and these are guns that fire ‘paint ball’ rounds.
    It would be better if those ‘hate mongers’ awaited the outcome of ballistic tests on the weapons before apportioning blame on any group or anyone, especially the late victim.

  • ciaran

    why do you need ballistic tests on paintball guns? I cannot remember the last time I heard of a punishment painting or someone being painted to death.

  • wee slabber

    Can’t wait to see what the Sundays do with this. I can imagine though: “Republican sources say they had just paid for the guns, with money from the Northern Bank robbery, because Slab is hurting and wants to get even. Other well known republican sources, very, very close to Gerry Adams, said “we’d paid good cash for those. The UVF wanted rid of them, we want new ones, cos Slab wants to kick ass. Now we’ll have to go elsewhere, and we won’t get our money back. That’s not fair in these hard economic times”. Polic sources say PIRA is itching to get back at for Slab, and the UVF thought this was a good way to get rid of hot guns and make some pension money. But it all went pear shape; this time…” Wadda reckon; could I be a Sunday newspaper pundit?

  • lee

    News reports today suggest that there was a significant paramilitary presence at the funeral and that camera crews, photographers and reporters were threatened by mourners not to film or photgraph those attending the funeral.

    Strange behaviour.

  • dunreavynomore

    personal repentance is just that, personal, and death bed repentance may have more to do with some fear that there might be an afterlife and possibly punishment rather than a genuine remorse. that said we have no idea what was in this man’s mind before he died and cannot use our impressiona of what may have been to suit our own political, religious or moral agendas. as a person raised a catholic (but having escaped all religions) fear of god and fear of hell were was given to me as a reason to be moral! as our american cousins would say, “what a crock!!!”
    how much shouting would there have been if these weapons had been found in a republican area?

  • borderline

    We can argue all we like, the Big C will decommission half of us.

    Or, most likely, your pump will pack in.

    I’m glad I’m a Catholic because 5 minutes after I die I’ll be drinking free Guinness in heaven looking down at prods basting and roasting.

    Pass me the Taytos there, Gráinne.