You would imagine these guys are on a one way ticket to prison, but the overweening and assumptive actions of paramilitaries of all descriptions in Northern Ireland has to be the abiding failure of the culture of the Peace Process™. Over the weekend, the UDA [would that be the good or the bad ones? – Ed] ran amok in Larne:
A police vehicle was damaged as officers attempted to deal with up to 100 people who had gathered in Sallagh Park just before 21:00 BST.
A resident is in a stable condition in hospital and a police officer needed treatment.
The Democratic Unionist Party said the attacks were linked to recent arrests.
Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton condemned the disturbances, describing the attacks as a “rampage”.
“This group of somewhere between 60 and 100 people, many of them masked, who we believe to be members of south-east Antrim UDA, decided that they would take the law into their own hands,” he said.
“There’s obviously some tension and disputes that the group has with some individuals and households in the Larne area.
“They have absolutely no legitimacy to do any of this. They are acting outside of the law, it is simple criminality and we will be seeking to bring them to justice for this.”
Clearly, they think they do. I wonder who gave them the idea that somehow they were above the law?
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