UVF link has killed off the PUP…

That’s what Alex Kane thinks, and it has been an open secret within party circles that the link with a paramilitary which much huge limit on the size of the PUP’s vote. The toleration of armed militias for political purposes is nothing new in Irish society. But for Kane the murder of Bobby Moffett was just one Rubicon too far:

An armed and clearly active terrorist organisation killed a man: and killed him very brutally, very deliberately and very publicly.

It’s a killing that would have been discussed and then noddedthrough by a group of men in the backroom of a pub or safe house. And some of those men would, at the same time, have been briefng journalists, the NIO and PUP offcials that the UVF was making ‘signifcant progress’ towards community politics and civilianisation.

It’s a killing that comes on the back of a growing list of IMC reports – 24 so far – indicating that the UVF was taking an incredibly long time to sort itself out, decommission and stand down. Indeed, from 2004 to 2008 the UVF had been ‘specifed’ by the secretary of state and was only de-specifed, on a recommendation from the IMC, in July 2008.

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