Having stuck the boot into Carole Malone, it’s worth pointing out that people much nearer the action have got the Taughmonagh situation arse about face. From the estimable Newton Emerson, who actually does know what’s going on, in Saturday’s Irish News:
The Independent Monitoring Commission says the UDA is “heavily engaged” in drug dealing. South Belfast UDA ‘Brigadier’ Jackie McDonald has a conviction for extortion. This is, of course, in no way connected to any extorting effect the tarring and feathering of an alleged drug dealer in south Belfast might have on social development minister Margaret Ritchie.
Mr McDonald claims the incident only occurred because the UDA felt unable to help when residents complained about an (unlicensed) drug dealer. But sure, that’s nothing a little ‘community funding’ wouldn’t fix.
Quite so. Newt further observes:
Belfast DUP councillor Ruth Patterson told reporters that the tarring and feathering was “regrettable” but “I do understand the frustrations of that local community”. Isn’t this what Sinn Féin used to say after IRA punishment beatings? Councillor Patterson is chairperson of the south Belfast partnership board, chairperson of the south Belfast district policing partnership and chairperson of Taughmonagh community forum. So if she doesn’t think the whole thing was a UDA stunt then it must be true. Mustn’t it?
Curious, isn’t it, this total reluctance by a huge whack of our body politic to say the UDA is doing the things everybody knows the UDA does. And thanks to Newt for saying it like it is.
Hat tip: Slugger.