Loyalist paramilitaries begin decommissioning…

At long last… it seems there’s word of loyalist paramilitaries decommissioning… UTV’s senior political correspondent has broken the news (such as it is) on U105… it follows months of contact between mainstream unionist parties, the British government, and the paramilitaries. Reid reports:

“I think that the intention would be that it would be completed during the course of the summer – maybe as early as July. My understanding is that the process has started.”

With so much contact between government’s parties and the mainstream media it will make this afternoon’s judgement in the case against Suzanne Breen all the more interesting….

Update: Gerry Kelly’s just released a statement suggesting it may only be the UVF that’s involved (below the fold… Update 2: James points to Henry McDonald in Sunday’s Observer

“The IRA dealt with the issue of arms in a decisive way four years ago. If these reports prove to be true and the UVF have now followed suit then that would obviously be a welcome move. It is also important that other armed organisations go down this road. Politics is now working and there is no basis for any organisation holding onto arms.”

We await some details from someone who actually knows… The IICD for instance?

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty