The UDA to hit Dublin. Only victims this time are morality and good taste

I held on to see if Mr Mallie would blog this on here himself:

The UDA’s five brigadiers and 4/5 representatives of their respective districts have been extended invitations to a wreath laying ceremony by Queen Elizabeth at Islandbridge in honour of the war dead.

My first knee-jerk reaction is that this is a calculated insult.

It isn’t, of course.

That is to say it isn’t “calculated”- but ‘insult’ it most certainly is to at least three different parties:

1.  To all those who lost loved ones to the UDA or any of the associated murder gangs which operated under its umbrella.

2. To the war-dead and their families. It should be a basic rule of thumb that fascists should not be permitted anywhere near commemorations of the victims of (or those who fought) fascism.

3. The working-class communities that the likes of McDonald and his “brigadiers” dare to claim they represent. 

Eamonn euphemistically (I hope) has attempted to justify it thus:

“ President Mary McAleese’s husband Martin has been involved with UDA leaders in community work for several years. “

“Community work”? The UDA?  Seriously?

  • Reader

    oneill: My first knee-jerk reaction is that this is a calculated insult. It isn’t, of course.
    It’s baffling. GUBU in fact. I think it should be a show-stopper.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    I think he meant to say that Martin McAleese has been involved in helping to buy off the UDA for several years.

  • Dina Shea

    @oneill: the title of your post says it all.

    @mallie: trust your first reaction; its calculated.

  • ayeYerMa

    No one who supports the “peace process” here has any grounds to lecture anyone on “morality”.

  • joeCanuck


    Hear hear. It’s disgusting.

  • patio dev

    Who are they representing during their visit? It would appear, they don’t want to be a political force; didn’t stand for election. So who/what does the UDA represent. The Past?

  • John Ó Néill

    We’re still a bit light on detail here. Will they be in uniform? And, if so, will they be representing a branch of HMGs armed forces? If so, that would be a fairly significant development. Of sorts.

    Otherwise, given some of the sensitivities around the whole event, the optics aren’t exactly great. One theme among those objecting to the visit was the failure of the UK government to engage with the Dublin-Monaghan bombing investigations (personally, I think that this is an issue for Cameron to deal with, not his Queen). In that light, though, the invitation borders on the absurd.

  • carl marks

    his is a copy of my post on alans blogg

    cant help thinking this tastes bad but if it helps in stopping the udas criminal activities and turns them away from sectarnism then give it a go alas this is just one of many attempts to start them on a new road maybe it will work we will never know till its tried. in the past these people have controlled the gangs who murdered family and friends of mine and im willing to give anything a go that could result in my children not going through that

  • anne warren

    Here’s what I wrote on the other thread.
    Checked the UK govt website. Hope this information is up to date

    The UDA is a proscribed terrorist group which is outlawed in the UK
    Page 1: Proscribed terrorist groups
    These terrorist organisations are currently proscribed under UK legislation, and therefore outlawed in the UK.
    Last page:
    Proscribed Irish groups
    Continuity Army Council Cumann na mBan Fianna na hEireann Irish National Liberation Army Irish People’s Liberation Organisation Irish Republican Army Loyalist Volunteer Force Orange Volunteers Red Hand Commando Red Hand Defenders Saor Eire Ulster Defence Association Ulster Freedom Fighters Ulster Volunteer Force

    Why will Her Majesty and the President of her host EU country be meeting members of an organisation Her Majesty’s Government has proscribed?

  • Its a disgrace but thugs and murderers being given undeserved recognition is nothing new here.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I can’t actually believe this, UDA commanders meeting the Queen in Dublin is bad enough, but at the war memorial is even more sickening, I will assure you to say it disgusts me is an understatement. I believe most Unionist will feel the same about this, I can’t see how it would make any real difference to UDA activity on the ground, but it would need to be something massive to warrant this stunt.

  • Heres my take on things before the announcement of the UDA visit

  • Mick Fealty


    The detail would be telling. A wikileak or two would be handy. You’d have to suspect the Aras had a hand in getting the ‘good’ UDA an invite (which would be extraordinarily inept of them). Can’t believe Cam was naive enough to let this one through.

    There’s nothing in this but public diplomatic pain for Her Maj.

  • “There’s nothing in this but public diplomatic pain for Her Maj.”

    The Queen will feel no pain she has smiled graciously and shook carefully gloved hands with the likes of Idi Amin. As I recall the taste in uniforms of the leaders of some dictatorships involved a lot of glitter.

  • Henry94

    To paraphrase Meatloaf, I’d do anything for the peace process but I won’t do that. My main concern is the message it sends to the dissidents. You don’t need a mandate or decommissioning or even very much seriousness. A couple of games of golf with a useful idiot and you are deemed respectable.

    This is a test for Enda Kenny. He needs to reverse this decision and put McAleese back in her box fast.

  • lover not a fighter

    This invite of the UDA leaders is an acknowledgement that the British used every bit as nasty tactics as their adversaries during the dirty war.

    It is to be welcomed that the British are now willing to admit that they also used terrorism to further their political agenda.

  • Zachariah Tiffins Foot

    Disgraceful. Who is responsible for this? Is it the Dublin Government or the Irish President’s office?

    If the Southern authorities believe that this is a sop to unionist public opinion it merely serves to underline the lack of understanding of unionism that must exist in Dublin.

    Either that or it illustrates Dublin’s comfort in flirting with paramilitary thugs and perhaps a desire to make the Queen’s visit as disagreeable as possible.

  • iluvni

    I wouldnt mind meeting the Queen at some stage in my life but no matter how decent I try to be, loyal to the crown, support my country, helping old ladies cross the road, cutting the grass for the infirm neighbours, I just cant get an invite…
    Should I become a sectarian terrorist thug, sell some drugs, kill someone…would that help?

  • Cynic2

    If true this is barking mad. But then given what has been done to laud other murderers I wont be surprised.

    Anyway, if the UDA do go south, look on the positives. The competition will probably do wonders for the price of cannabis and cocaine in Dublin and those boys in Limerick will look like pussy cats

  • Do I detect collusion between the British and Irish ‘foreign’ departments? To borrow golf terminology, it would be par for the course, the ‘peace process’ course that is. The departments of justice show a little more circumspection; they have to pick up the pieces when our paramilitary godfathers, ‘good’ and ‘bad’, extend their operations beyond Northern Ireland.

  • Dina Shea

    @anne warren Good post!

    Marian Price is charged for standing with a member of a proscribed organization during a commemoration on Easter Sunday.

    Will Windsor be charged at the Garden of Remembrance when the UDA show up?

  • latcheeco

    Why should the people who loyally implemented British policy in Ireland be kept off the guest list for the Queen’s visit? Hard to see why unionists would be upset.

    Although it’s possible the long thinking here might be more about endgame and assimilation. After all unionist protests were always damp squibs without the organizational muscle of Uncle Andy.

    As for nationalists, this is a major gesture it might be hard to get used to especially as episodes like this stick in the craw but the elephant in the room for us is that after eight hundred years we’re all a little bit British. That’s true whether we support Liverpool or United, watch Eastenders or Coronation Street, have family in Hackney or Bolton, or pass the Worchestershire or HP Sauce. That doesn’t mean that we are any less Irish or that the ideal of an Irish Republic is any less imperative, it just means that we are not the Ireland of fairy tales and a drop of HP Sauce makes Irish stew taste better for a lot of our family. Fair enough; the more the merrier. It won’t be the end of the world and it doesn’t make us any less Irish. Now if only Celtic and

  • latcheeco

    Rangers would (for want of better words) go their merry way.

  • Alias

    The symbolism of inviting the queen of the UK to the Garden of Remembrance (a memorial to those who lost their lives in the cause of Irish self-determinaton) is not to assert Irish self-determinaton but to further undermine it. It is to further promote the concept of the non-sovereign Irish, wherein the nation is not deemed to require a nation-state to promote and protect its culture. So we see the queen (who now rules over vital economic, cultural and political institutions of the Irish state via derogation of them to a supranational agency created in a treaty between the United Kingdom and Ireland) ‘respect’ the Irish nation that partly rules over, and thereby foster the bogus impression that Irish self-determinaton would not be incompatible with the queen as head of the Irish state and nor would Irish culture be undermined by it. As for the UDA, well they won the ‘war’ against the defeated provos so while the UDA may gloat, the Shinners will have to recognise that they signed up to the legitimacy of British rule and now assist in its internal administration.

  • andnowwhat

    Let’s not forget that there is no past tense in relationship to the UDA.

    They are still very active and we all know in what way.

    Are the Limmerick gangsters invites too?

  • latcheeco

    Nobody in their right mind is suggesting that the visit of the Queen foreshadows entry to the Commonwealth. You are implying that there are no strategic dividends in this for nationalists and it’s really just kowtowing to a nation that occupies part of our territory and understandably many people feel that way. But it’s not 1911. Look at the latest electoral maps of the North. Tick tock. At the end of the day unionists are going to have to feel like the Ireland we are heading for is their Ireland too. If constantly repeating legal arguments on self-determination would work we’d have done it. It would have been a lot easier and the Garden of Remembrance would have been emptier.

  • between the bridges

    Terrorist should only become acceptable when, enough of the population that they claim to ‘represent’ vote for them…

  • Alias

    “If constantly repeating legal arguments on self-determination would work we’d have done it.”

    As opposed to doing what? Signing up to the constitutional legitimacy of British rule as it existed prior to the Shinners, and as its acceptance was demanded of the catholics in that part of the UK by the British state prior to the that state using its murder gangs to deliver that acceptance?

    The only constitutional difference between then and now is the catholics dismissed NI’s pseudo right to ‘self-determination’ as illegitimate and a ‘Unionist Veto’, whereas now they have endorsed it and elevated it to the status of a principle, downgrading their former right to self-determination to the status of an aspiration.

    Also, if you think that the GFA is simply an alernative route to an Irish nation-state then you haven’t read the British Irish Agreement or, indeed, Mr Adams in an artcle linked by Brian Walker on another thread. The “new Ireland” is to be a bi-national state where British nationalism is to be given constitutional ‘parity of esteem’ with Irish nationlism, thereby dismantling the Irish nation-state and replacing it with a replica of NI. That rules out self-determination for the Irish nation, subjecting it to an internalised veto that is to be held by British nationalists.

    Stooges do as their handlers instruct, and that’s whose agenda they deliver on.

  • Turgon

    It is difficult not to suspect this is a spoof. It is almost beyond belief that UDA “brigadiers” would be allowed to parade publicly let alone meet the Queen.

    Since membership of the UDA is a criminal offence anyone present at this meeting as a UDA representative is openly stating their UDA membership. As such if this nonsense happens, these people should be arrested and prosecuted once they get back across the border.

    It is an almost unfeasibly bizarre publicity stunt from McAleese. To be fair, however, McAleese has a track record of weird decisions and actions. If this is all true it must be remembered that this woman who now invites the godfathers of murder to meet the Queen was also the same woman who banned God Save the Queen and the RUC band from QUB’s graduation and also made the famous Prods were Nazis typed comments.

  • anne warren

    It does not appear to be a spoof Turgon.

    (AFP) – 1 day ago

    BELFAST — A Northern Ireland paramilitary group said Saturday it has been invited by the Irish president to a wreath-laying ceremony during Queen Elizabeth II’s state visit to Ireland.

    Five brigadiers from the loyalist Ulster Defence Association (UDA) have been invited to Wednesday’s event commemorating the Irish soldiers who died in World War I serving in the British armed forces.

    Loyalists are Protestants who want Northern Ireland to remain part of Britain.

    The UDA, which stood down its armed campaign in 2007, is listed on the website of Britain’s Home Office interior ministry as a banned terrorist organisation.

    It was responsible for many deaths during “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland, the three decades of sectarian strife which was largely ended by the 1998 Good Friday peace accords.

    The UDA brigadiers and around 30 others drawn from their respective districts have been invited to the ceremony through the office of Irish President Mary McAleese.

    The news appears to come from the guests themselves – the 5 “brigadiers” of the UDA
    As you surmised, and as Lamhdearg repeatedly asked, here or on the other thread, it seems to have come from the “office of the Irish President”

    I am no lawyer but the legal ramifications appear incredible
    if there is a lawyer in the house could he or she please answer some very obvious questions?
    1) Is the UDA a proscribed organisation in the EU?
    2) Can the PSNI arrest these people as they set off from Belfast?
    3) Can the Gardai arrest them as they cross the border?
    4) Is mary Mc Alesse supporting a terrorist organisation?
    5) Her majesty’s Government has proscribed the UDA? What position is Her Majesty being put into?

  • joeCanuck

    If this has not been discussed with Westminster and agreed to by the Palace, I just can’t see the visit going ahead. It will be too embarrassing to her Majesty. Perhaps she might have a diplomatic illness.
    It’s incredibly stupid of McAleese.

  • latcheeco

    I’m not totally unsympathetic to what you are saying because Northern nationalists already know all that, but words without thoughts never to heaven go. All strategies are gambles and the gamble now is whether or not the current stability is in the interest of nationalists or whether it gives longevity to the northern state. We’ll see. But carparking cities and towns for forty years didn’t really work and its failure to end partition wasn’t (as you often suggest) down to the brilliance of British spooks. Equally, there’s no appetite for mass civil disobedience on a scale that might effect constitutional change and even if it did the final deal would be unlikely not to involve huge accomodation with unionism. So, if partition couldn’t end with a bang it has to end with a whimper. Your arguments are reminiscent of the orders not to recognize the courts in the 70’s. Maybe sound in principle, but ultimately benfitting the other side much more.

    I don’t wish to sidetrack but nationalists worked just as hard for their degrees as you did. Most Queen’s graduates were nationalists and were entitled to enjoy their graduation without being goaded by sectarian displays of insecurity. If anything the examples you give point to the President being essentially fair and given what her family went through at the hands of unionists, sets her apart from the rest of us.

  • joeCanuck

    Anyone know if the last members of the IRA Army Council have been invited too. Maybe one of Conor Murphy’s friends could tell us.

  • andnowwhat

    Ahh Joe, you just gave me an idea. They should invite Erigi to the do and then they can’t protest.

    Why not given who are coming already?

  • Stephen Blacker

    The visit of The Queen has annoyed a lot of people but to add in paramilitaries is disgracful. There is no justification to add these people to the list of this event, maybe if it was a collective of combatants in a Peace and Reconciliation event or project that would be different but not on this occasion.

  • Mike the First

    I find the invitation to this bunch of criminal thugs pretty damn disgusting, as I’m sure will the great majority of unionists.

  • A few months ago the School of Ecumenics at Antrim Road, Belfast hosted a series of lectures on the upcoming centenaries. I attended this series.
    At one an was mentioned that ex-loyalist prisoners had gone to Dublin to visit WW1 memorials at I believe Islandbridge and had also been hosted by people of other persuasions in Dublin.
    “Ex-prisoners” of both sides are regular attendees at vol au vent buffets of the Conflict Resolution/Peace “industry”.

    It can hardly be a surprise that they may be attending the ultimate “vol au vent” experience.
    Surely the visit of Mrs Windsor is an important piece of the whole “centenary” choreography which is enthusiastically championed in some quarters.

  • joeCanuck

    No, FJH. As I queried, are the IRA Army Council invited? A curse on all those who gave us 30 years of misery and ongoing in some cases.