UVF: Peter Robinson and the DUP’s preferred ‘terrorists’?

Today’s Irish News reports a deal to resolve the ongoing dispute in Magheraberry gaol between prison authorities and Republican inmates, meant to have been resolved a year ago, has yet again fallen apart. This time the dispute was unresolved due to intransigence from Peter Robinson and the DUP:

Sources say the Department of Justice agreed to the compromise in principle and the proposal was put to OFMDFM.

Sinn Fein Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is also believed to have agreed to the compromise.

However, it was abandoned at the last hour after Peter Robinson’s office said it would not compromise with dissident paramilitary groups in the present climate.

This is the same Peter Robinson and DUP that directly met UVF leaders barely hours after riots the PSNI declared:

at the very least members of east Belfast UVF were involved in organising…

So Mr Robinson and the DUP won’t negotiate even indirectly with imprisoned Republicans but will negotiate face-to-face with Loyalists actively engaged in criminality, sectarianism and violence?

Nothing ever really changes does it?

, ,

  • Los Lobos

    This is the same man who wrote to the then Environment Minister, Arlene Foster with regard to a proposed development at Knock Golf Club in East Belfast, asking her to “investigate the matter and see if it can be expedited”! The man has more faces than the town hall clock when it comes to fair play. That he presides over a Party that is a mirror image of Sinn Fein in terms of abusing people (usually from the area where they get their mandate) is not surprising – what is, is the fact that the little bit of humility he learned when baring his soul to the public not that long ago, seems to all but have vanished now he is back at the helm. What next – a day trip to a small village in Co Monaghan where those pesky Guards need taught manners third force style?

  • Reader

    The DUP would reckon they have been talking to terrorists since at the St Andrews Agreement – so plainly some level of compromise is possible. However, the differences between the dissident convicts and presumed UVF godfathers are 1) One lot (the dissies) is convicted and 2) talks had been ongoing with that first group so why not with the second? and 3) that first organisation is actively trying to shoot people across NI, and 4) that same first group may be a splinter off the planks that actually managed to shoot 3 people a couple of weeks ago, and were congratulated on Slugger as a result, if I recall correctly. Not a great moment to seek special privileges!
    But, Mark, if you can sort out the PFJ and JPF splitters for me, I may well be ready to withdraw the 3rd and 4th points of distinction

  • Tweedybird

    Spot on Mark, ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hounds,’ sums Peter Robinson up…

  • Comrade Stalin

    Reader, surprised to see you doing the mealy-mouthed thing. There is a very clear double standard here, as there always has been. You may well think it appropriate to come out of a complex set of ambiguously defined rules which conveniently permit talking to loyalists but not republicans, but most people will see it as pure hypocrisy.

    I am sure the report commissioned by the justice minister contains proposals which would sort out the problems up at Maghaberry, I was surprised to hear that it had not been implemented. This could have been put in place nice and quietly, now by the sound of things it will not be.

  • Jack2

    The message thats coming across is terrorists are Ok to meet with as long as they are attacking or killing Catholics.

    Robinson will dance to the UVF’s tune after they attack Catholic homes.

    Dawn Purvis saw fit to join the PUP at the time the UVF murdered six at Loughinisland.
    Yet when the UVF kill a Protestant man on the Shankill thats her queue to jump ship.

  • PaulT

    Surelt he’s not acting tough because of Jimbo living up to his billing as an MLA, if he is, gotta say it doesn’t take much.

    Or is it a 12th of July bone thrown to unhappy ex-UVF in north Belfast and assorted other hard-liners.

    Or with so much going on, is he holding that card as part of a later deal, there are lots of loose ends at the moment, I magine after the marching season there will be a settling up and hostage exchange.

    A deal involving prisoners and ‘returned to jail’ prisoners will balance a deal about ex-prisoners i

  • Reader

    Comrade Stalin: Reader, surprised to see you doing the mealy-mouthed thing.
    I’m willing to have a go at being devil’s advocate, especially since the devil seems so inept in that part of his job. And it helps a lot that I don’t think the distinctions I made are false.br>
    Comrade Stalin: conveniently permit talking to loyalists but not republicans, but most people will see it as pure hypocrisy.
    But Comrade – the talking *has* taken place in both cases (apparently). The issue is over the outcome of the talks. What concessions have been granted to the dissidents so far? None. What concessions have been granted to the UVF so far? Over to you…

  • between the bridges

    McMG surely your point is petey won’t meet with ‘dissenters’? or could the title have been, ‘petey the politician goes where the headline is…’

  • Skinner

    Hang on. Robbo’s office said he would not COMPROMISE with the dissers. That’s different from refusing to meet with them. He may also refuse to COMPROMISE with the UVF, in which case his position is entirely consistent, even though he is prepared to meet with them and tell them to stop. Chris, can you make clear whether this is just another of your spinny posts or whether you have just drafted it badly. It’s one or the other.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Chris, can you make clear whether this is just another of your spinny posts or whether you have just drafted it badly. It’s one or the other.

    Skinner
    Or, maybe, there’s a third option: I’m not the author of the post…..apology accepted ;>

  • Skinner

    Apology retrospectively granted. Dr Freud has raised a knowing eyebrow.

  • Comrade Stalin

    And it helps a lot that I don’t think the distinctions I made are false

    I think they are. For example, that idea that it’s OK to talk to people who haven’t been convicted of anything did not apply back in the day when unionists would refuse to talk to Gerry Adams (never convicted). The “we may as well talk to that lot since we are already talking to the other lot” didn’t apply either, as unionist politicians had close links with loyalist paramilitaries while still publicly proclaiming that they would never talk to terrorists.

    What concessions have been granted to the UVF so far? Over to you…

    I can’t say, because I wasn’t present at the private talks. Either way there is a precedent for concessions being granted to loyalists whenever they stir up trouble. Didn’t the Holy Cross “protest” lead to some sort of subsequent major cash injection ?

  • Reader

    Comrade Stalin: …didn’t apply either, as unionist politicians had close links with loyalist paramilitaries while still publicly proclaiming that they would never talk to terrorists.
    And that was hypocritical where it happened. Unionist politicians should have adopted the Hume approach from the start.
    I had thought of responding to Jack2’s comment above: “Robinson will dance to the UVF’s tune after they attack Catholic homes.”with “and who would have thought he cared?”
    So it wasn’t a sign of weakness that they held talks – the problem is that the DUP can’t communicate nuance, they recycle the same old slogans, and reveal themselves to be hypocritical, prideful and inconsistent. I would be sorry for them if they weren’t so irritating.