“Government sources had suggested it was unlikely to be extended.”

The only reason I can see for any surprise at the BBC headline – “Decommissioning deadline extended” – is the referenced briefings earlier this year by “Government sources”. Mark Devenport implies similar briefings too – and the Northern Ireland Secretary of State’s statement is here. Clearly I didn’t get the memo when, in July this year, I identified the date for the termination of that service as Feb 2010.. Meanwhile police have linked unidentified loyalist paramilitaries to four blast bombs in south Belfast..

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  • Justin

    To take part in continued talks all weapons must be decommissioned and the inner council must be disbanded…Oh wait…

    More of the same mollycoddling of the Loyalists, what do you know?

  • ulsterfan

    The failure to get rid of arms rests with the government and the insulting bribe it has to offer.
    More money on the table for these so called loyalists and their communities might bring about a positive result.

  • Ian

    February 2010 is when the sunset clause in the decommissioning legislation kicks in, so primary legislation would be needed to extend the deadline beyond that (as opposed to statutory instruments that have been used for the annual renewals). So anyone surprised that the deadline has been extended from 2009 to 2010, hasn’t been paying attention to the detail.

    With devolution of justice likely sometime in 2009, the possibility of a breakdown of the devolution project leading to ‘Plan B’ (some form of joint authority) further recedes, thus removing a futher excuse for loyalist prevarication on decommissioning in time for the 2010 deadline.

  • cut the bull

    just watched a clip on the BBC news of iraeli cops and army forcibly removing jewish settlers in the town of hebron.
    The settlers failed to move on a date which was stipulated by the Government so the muscle was sent in and some of them got a bit of a slapping. Settlers opened fire on the cops and army.
    Could we possibly see a similar situation developing here against loyalists who refuse to hand over their weapons.
    Surely sooner or later the Brit Govt will get pissed off and send in the PSNI as their problem solver.It was on the walls in East Belfast last year “Police Serving Nationalist Interests”. Do loyalists believe this is sign if things to come or was this just the work of some half wit with a paint brush.
    I noticed a banner which the settlers were waving with the message “God save israel for the jew”. Hopefully he’ll have time of because as far as I’m led to believe hes rather busy with the “for God and ulster” business.