Quote of the Day

From associate of Irish President Mary McAleese, and de facto leader of the UDA inner council, Jackie McDonald.  He was being interviewed on Talkback today following the wreath laying ceremony at the Irish War Memorial at Islandbridge – where UTV’s Ken Reid notes McDonald was introduced to Queen Elizabeth II walked past McDonald.  [Approx 1 hour 15 mins in]

“I’m no more a member of the UDA than Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA.” [Jackie McDonald]


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  • Cynic2

    What a wonderful comparison

  • Cynic2

    “Are Unionists comfortable with Queen bowing to Irish rebels?”

    Eamonn Mallie

    Errr ……….. Eamonn, I am sorry to disappoint but I think you will find that at a religious event like that the Queen would be bowing before God, as would the President

  • Rory Carr

    That would work, Cynic, had it been a religious event, which it most certainly was not.

    It was a decidedly secular state occasion when those present bowed their heads in the traditional sign of respect for the dead, who just happened upon this occasion to be those who gave their lives for Irish freedom from British rule. So when Queen Elizabeth II bowed her head yesterday at the Garden of Rememberance she did so as a mark of respect for… Irish rebels.

  • Rory Carr

    p.s. On topic, McDonald’s quip deserves the accolade of “Quote of the Day”, but that’s about all it deserves.

  • Skinner

    A senseless comment from a man who waged a senseless killing campaign. Not worthy of the invite to Dublin, not worthy of his stupid comments being reported.

  • perseus

    the day is not yet done,
    I expect a quote from the Queen’s speech will easily upstage this
    throw-away line from Mr.McDonald.

  • ranger1640

    We have a hierarchy of victims, were republicans victims are elevated above that of Unionist victims. Now we seem to be getting a hierarchy of terrorists, were the republican terrorist was not as bad as Loyalist terrorist. Quite sad really.

  • iluvni

    I think I heard McDonald praising himself for the tireless work he had done representing ‘his constituency’ in the peace process.
    I think he indeed does see himself as some sort of hero. Well, he needn’t include me in ‘his constituency’.
    His presence at Islandbridge today was an appalling affront to decency.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Rory Carr

    “those who gave their lives for Irish freedom”; some did, more didn’t. Most of them had their lives taken.

  • anne warren

    Ranger 1640 wrote:
    “We have a hierarchy of victims, were republicans victims are elevated above that of Unionist victims. Now we seem to be getting a hierarchy of terrorists, were the republican terrorist was not as bad as Loyalist terrorist. Quite sad really.”
    It is quite sad really that people in NI, who recognize as their own British values, fail to see the difference between a legitmate political aspiration (as recognized by the GFA/Belfast Agreement) and sectarian murders (as carried out by Loyalists).

  • granni trixie

    None so blind…what McDonald has in common with IRA ex prisoners is in volalising a self belief that they brought about peace and do not see why it is not appreciated by all. Today for McDonald was recogtnition of this “fact”.

    I have been surprised how widespread in NGO land also the narrative in which prisoners-as-hero of the peace process is accepted. Not in my book. I looked on the part prisoners/ex prisoners played as being their opportunbity to put things right and the GFA gave them an opportunity to make a new start. But that isnt enough for some.

  • I see little difference between the UDA and PIRA, most of the people those gangs terrorised were from their own communities. If Jackie McDonald is comparing himself to Gerry Adams and not seeing much difference, he is not alone.

  • lover not a fighter

    Probably the most striking aspect of the Queens visit is the acknowledgement of the British establishment of their terrorists.

    Is this a maturity that we are getting from the British establishment.

  • ranger1640

    anne warren:

    are you suggesting that the IRA, INLA and other republican terrorists never murdered Protestants, and if they did they were not sectarian??? Therefore Anne taking your thinking to its logical concussion, the killing of Protestants was justified because it was for a united Ireland????

    As I said Anne a hierarchy of terrorist!!!

  • RedTurtle

    @anne warren

    I think you’re drawing a distinction without a difference. Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK forever is a legitmate political aspiration. Forcing Northern Ireland into a union with the Republic without consent is not legitimate.

    True that 70% of loyalist terrorist killings were sectarian murders, often deliberately linked to IRA / INLA / IPLO killings of Protestants in a directly tit for tat manner, and a large chunk of the rest were them killing themselves.

    On the other hand the sectarianism of the IRA was occasionally overt as in Kingsmill but more often constructed underneath a patina of “legitimate target”-ery. As Steve Bruce put it,

    “Furthermore, the range of people who can be defined by an anti-state organization as ‘legitimate’ targets is extremely wide. Not only the security forces but anyone who assists them can, with varying degrees of acceptance by the supporting population, be described as legitimate. Where, as in the Ulster case, one has a majority population who are not just acquiescent but active supporters of the status quo, there is a huge population of legitimate targets. First it is policemen who are killed when their station is mortared. Then it is the builders who accept the contracts to rebuild those stations. Then it is public utility engineers who repair services to the stations. Finally, the IRA adds the men who deliver the bread and the milk. When one includes those who do not refuse to serve members of the security forces (the owners of the Dropping Well pub in Ballykelly, for example), then one has defined almost all Protestants (with the possible general exception of women and children) as legitimate targets. Even old age does not exclude someone who has earlier been in one of these categories.”

    Casuistry is not genuine morality though, even if we admit such nonsense was not quite as sectarian as the immoral but more often honest slaughter of the UDA and UVF. At least the loyalist terrorists had the moral aim, if they had just stuck to marches and sit-ins. I don’t think that being a notch less sectarian gives the IRA much of a pass when their aim itself (united Ireland without consent) wasn’t moral in the first place.

  • RedTurtle

    As well as that, speaking purely of violent actors, the IRA were largely the cause and the loyalist terrorists largely an effect of the IRA. The IRA were killing people in pursuit of an ideological goal. The UVF and UDA were killing people largely because the IRA were killing people, out of revenge, a desire to put a lid on the activity of the IRA or thwarting their aims by showing that a united Ireland would be no more peaceful than what was occurring.

    Hence why London and Dublin negotiated with the IRA to stop the troubles and not with the loyalist terrorists, who they (correctly) assumed would stop if the IRA did.

    In that sense the IRA bears more responsibility for the whole thing. They also bear more responsibility in that they numerically killed a lot more people and destroyed many times the amount of property than the loyalist terrorists did.

    For those reasons, while they both have much that they need to apologise for, loyalist terrorists owe more of an apology to their actual victims, while the IRA owes more of an apology to society as a whole.

  • joeCanuck

    Red turtle,

    You need to read up on your history. The first murder gang of the recent “troubles” was formed by Gusty Spence and styled themselves the UVF.
    From BBC archives:
    Their first three victims, a Protestant woman and two Catholic men, had no connections with the IRA.

    It was the murder of barman Peter Ward, the third victim, which brought the UVF and its leader Gusty Spence to public attention. Spence was convicted of Ward’s murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

    The new UVF opposed the liberal reforms being introduced by PM O’Neill. In March and April 1969 they bombed water and electricity installations as part of a broader political campaign to force O’Neill to resign.

  • ranger1640

    Guys as I said it does not matter if the terror was orange or green it was wrong. We should not have a hierarchy of terrorist.

    Terror is terror not an objective for ideology.

  • Hedley Lamarr

    Red Turtle- where did you get your figure of 70% of Loyalist killings were sectarian? Can you reference that?

    ‘Sutton’s Index of Deaths 1969-1993’ puts it at 78%. 8% difference between Sutton and yourself may not seem like much but that is excluding a further 3.5% who were nationalist political activists. That makes 81.5% in my book.

    3% of the total were members of a Republican terrorist group and the rest were 1.3% security forces,1.7% informers, 3.5% unintended killings, 5% feud killings and 3.5% others.

    ‘Lost Lives’ on the other hand doesn’t give analogous figures but states that 395 Republicans were killed during the years 1966-2006. Loyalists killed 1112 people in the years 1966-2006. So excluding the 151 Republicans the IRA killed and the 125 the security forces killed how many random Catholics did loyalists kill and how many Republican Terrorists?

  • Aontachtach

    I can’t believe that anyone thinks that the Provo’s never carried out sectarian murders. I can remember the Four Step Inn, Bayardo Bar, Balmoral showrooms(baby Tracey Munn), Frizells Fish Shop. All sectarian murders comitted by the Provos on the Shankill rd. Then there was the sectarian killing of the protestant “good samaritan from the Shankill who went to the aid of catholics on the Springfield rd. His crime was to take hardboard from his Hardware shop to help them board up their windows after a bomb went off. I think his name was lewellyn. Some of these murders were committed when I was a lad but they are still fresh in my memory. These murders, along with many more ie: La Mon, Enniskillen, Kingsmill were carried out by sectarian killer gangs in the name of Irish unity. Get real!

  • joeCanuck

    At his trial for murder, Gusty Spence said the he told his fellow murderers that if they went on a mission to kill a “known” IRA man and couldn’t find him, then any taig would do.

  • Talking of quotes the queen just opened her speech in Irish… I think Mr McDonald could learn from her example.

  • I think the Queen’s opening line tonight truly earns the title Pete has prematurely awarded to the terrorist.

  • Aontachtach

    Good on the Queen. She really has went out of the way to reach out the hand of friendship to Irish nationalists. It’s a shame SF didn’t go to show Unionists that they are genuine in reaching out the hand of friendship to them.

    Look forward to the day an Irish President places a wreath at the cenotaph in london or indeed Belfast. That will be a truly symbolic day.

  • tacapall

    A lot of talk about not letting the past control the future and forgetting about old grudges and pass misdeeds, well for one side anyway. The very same people who tell us to forget are the very ones who use the past and its laws for revenge for those who disagree. The, lets wipe our slate clean but not yours as thats a good beating stick we can use in a million ways to punish you clause for Irish people is evident.

  • Alias

    “I’m no more a member of the UDA than Gerry Adams was a member of the IRA.”

    Presumably he is lying to spare his queen the blushes of meeting with the most senior member of an illegal organisation, and thereby offering support to same in contravention of the Terrorism Act 2006.

    At least he hasn’t denied being a pimp, a drug-pusher or an extortionist.

  • Joe Bloggs

    Where are all these much talked about UDA brothels??

    I’ve never, ever heard of or seen one.

  • If we’re talking about generic quotes of the day – perhaps Ken Reid referring to the Pope as ‘she’ twice in a live interview must be up there:)

  • Pete Baker

    Alias et al

    He’s taking the piss with an interviewer.

    If Adams can claim non-membership of his organisation, then why can’t McDonald? That’s what he’s saying.

    And with official sanction of the ‘good’ UDA [from, amongst others, the Irish President], or, for that matter, official sanction of the ‘good’ Provisional IRA, who’s going to challenge that claim?

  • joeCanuck

    Joe Bloggs,

    You don’t have to work in a brothel to be a whore, even a cute one!

  • Alias

    Joe Bloggs, ask Jackie where they are. He might even give you a discount. Or ask Liam Clarke. One of the problems that NI justice minister David Ford identified in accounting for the number of women involved in prostitution in NI is the same problem you are having… finding them, since they have been moved off the streets and into brothels.

  • Alias

    “And with official sanction of the ‘good’ UDA [from, amongst others, the Irish President], or, for that matter, official sanction of the ‘good’ Provisional IRA, who’s going to challenge that claim?”

    Nobody, and he knows it. For either state to link him to the serious crimes he profits from would be an exercise in self-embarrassment by either state. He has a virtual licence now to continue to enage in criminality.

  • joeCanuck

    And when does the State bullshit end? How difficult can it be to haul a self-described “brigadier” of a proscribed organisation before the Courts. Oh, sorry, he has an equivalent position to the SF President, never having been a member of such an organistion. My bad!

  • PJ Maybe

    Our terrorists fought a legitimate campaign, unlike themmums
    No they didn’t. Our terrorists fought a legitimate campaign, unlike your lot.
    Yes they did.
    No they didn’t.
    Yes they did.
    No they didn’t
    Yes they did
    No they didn’t
    Random off topic aside
    Yes they did
    No they didn’t
    Restatement of off topic aside. Someone responds.
    Pedantic correction of restatement.
    Yes they did.
    Warning issued about playing the man
    Debate about rules
    Some other glittering minutia comes along to vex people for ten minutes. Followed 10 minutes later by something else.
    Topic vanishes to bottom of page.
    Repeat until Hell is rebranded as quaint little winter sports resort.

  • Joe Bloggs

    Honestly, I’ve lived in what would be classed as UDA areas of Belfast for 30 years and have never heard of or seen a brothel.

    Have any known UDA members ever been charged with running a prostitution racket?

  • Scáth Shéamais

    The media have no problem referring to McDonald as an/the UDA leader, they wouldn’t try the same with Adams though.

  • RedTurtle


    You need to read up on your history. The first murder gang of the recent “troubles” was formed by Gusty Spence and styled themselves the UVF.
    From BBC archives:
    Their first three victims, a Protestant woman and two Catholic men, had no connections with the IRA.

    My point still stands though that the IRA were the cause of the troubles, in the sense that they were the only group of violent actors who could bring them to an end. We all know this so let’s admit it. When John Hume wanted to sue for peace did he have secret talks with Johnny Adair? No, of course not. The UVF and UDA stopping would have no effect on the IRA. The IRA stopping would stop the UVF and UDA. John Hume knew that, John Major knew that, Bertie Ahern knew that, I know that and you know that. In that context bringing up Gusty Spence and his mates from down the pub killing people in 1966, with a four year gap from the last IRA action of the border campaign in 1962, is merely a factoid.

  • circles

    Red, your point doesn’t sdtand at all because it makes no sense. Water can put out a fire but nobody in their right mind would say water was the cause of the fire.

    Another aditional point of complete and utter nonsense in your post is the “When John Hume wanted to sue for peace …” section. This did not happen. It simply did not happen. Its not even “merely a factoid”, it is blatant rubbish.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Worth referencing Anthony McIntyre’s 20th April 2011 Brendan Highes debate speech here:

    “Along with Gerry Adams and Ivor Bell he helped rescue the IRA from the jaws of defeat and put in place a long war strategy. During the early days of that initiative the IRA almost lost him to the ranks of the INLA, so disillusioned had he become with the truce leadership and its sectarian strategy of targeting the Protestant community. After ten Protestant workmen were lined up and killed in South Armagh he wrote to the leadership appealing to it to abandon its strategy of sectarian killings. He went as far as to advocate shooting the Belfast leadership but was hauled back to his senses by Ivor Bell and Gerry Adams”.

    ” At the outbreak of political violence in 1969 The Dark referred to the mixed emotions he had as he marched as part of a nationalist mob towards a Protestant enclave in the Grosvenor Road. He was ultimately glad that the Official IRA had stopped it burning the Protestant homes they were intent on torching in response to the same from Loyalists in the Shankill”.

    “Later he would most strongly oppose the IRA’s campaign of targeting the Protestant community. The Whitecross killing of ten Protestant workmen brought him to the verge of leaving the IRA. He was dismayed by the influx of young volunteers like [McIntyre] to the prisons on charges of sectarian killings”

    The whole speech can be found here: