Stormont to Uncle Andy: Careful now!

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So we hear that the Executive is cracking down on the UDA big time. Social Development minister Margaret Ritchie is threatening to cut off £1.2m in “conflict transformation” funding if the UDA don’t be good boys and stop criminality. Oh, and they have to make a show of being interested in decommissioning. The UDA has 60 days to improve itself if it wants to avoid a slap on the wrist.

The most obvious thing to say about this is that it’s a PR response to the UDA-orchestrated rioting in Carrick and Kilcooley. This immediately draws scrutiny on the “conflict transformation” package, which is going openly to the UDA as a carrot to bring it into the New Dispensation. A lot more money than that goes to loyalist areas in grants for “community projects”, a huge number of which are just the paramilitaries in suits. A serious audit of that spending might put the willies up the UDA.

Not to mention the fortune the UDA makes through being up to its oxters in organised crime, as reported [pdf] by the Brits’ own monitoring body. While this cash keeps rolling in, plus the community funding, the most the UDA have to fear is that Margaret Ritchie will be annoyed at them. Yeah, they’re really quaking in their bovver boots.

2 Comments

  1. Ciarán said,

    August 14, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    I had one of those surreal moments on Friday when I was reading the story in the Irish News about Frankie Gallagher pleading with Hugh Order not to have the plug pulled on the UDA’s financing, and that while he “understood” Orde wasn’t pleased about a cop being shot, it was no reason to go overboard.

    Then fast forward to today, where Thomas Devlin’s mother is criticising Bertie’s decision to give loyalists in Mount Vernon €4000, which is apparently for a mural to commemorate the Battle of the Somme.

    You read about madness like this and you can’t help but think that Del Boy is getting ready to kill a few catholics in a new get-rich-quick scheme.

  2. August 21, 2007 at 9:18 am

    […] again, we have the ongoing saga of Social Development minister Margaret Ritchie’s threat to stop a £1.2m state subvention to the […]


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