Concern at loyalist paramilitary split

Published Thursday, 05 December 2013
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Chief Constable Matt Baggott has warned of a potentially volatile situation emerging among loyalist paramilitaries.

His latest security assessment was delivered at a meeting of the Policing Board on Thursday, and comes just after a major split within the UDA in Belfast.

Matt Baggott confirmed that members of that organisation were behind a number of recent paramilitary shootings in north Antrim.

He also said that members of the UVF in east Belfast were responsible for shooting of 24-year-old Gemma McGrath in September.

The Chief Constable explained: "At present we are concerned about developments within loyalist paramilitary groups. Our assessment is that they are fragmenting or have been fragmenting and we have seen a number of competing agendas."

On the shooting of Gemma McGrath, who was hit as many as five times when she was attacked at Lord Street Mews in east Belfast, Mr Baggott continued: "Our intelligence indicates it was individuals linked to the east Belfast UVF who were responsible.

"There are no indications that this was sanctioned by the overall UVF leadership and it is believed to be carried out by individuals linked to a single unit acting on its own accord."

On paramilitary activity in north Antrim, he said: "They are attributable to the UDA in the north Antrim area. Once again there is no reporting to indicate that those attacks were sanctioned by the overall leadership of the UDA."

Matt Baggott stressed that the PSNI will continue its investigations into catching the "parasites" involved in bringing this sort of crime to Northern Ireland's streets.

He said: "We will continue to relentlessly pursue people who break the law and bring crime to our streets - there is absolutely no going soft on these groups and my view is that those who bring crime to the streets are parasites who will be brought before the courts."

© UTV News
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42 Comments
Thompson in Derry in Derry wrote (130 days ago):
I was being sarkastik
Larry in Belfast wrote (131 days ago):
It seems nobody gives a toss about any splits - all they think about is being able to spell. It shows how pathetic we in Northern Ireland are, when a subject which is potentially serious is treated with contempt by most of your readers making comments.
We don't need religion in Belfast wrote (131 days ago):
Why dosnt baggot mention the dissidents, why dont unionists condem loyalists why dont sf condem republicans, it takes me back to primary school every single day!!!!! Unionists/loyalists, nationlists/republicans all need to take the blinkers of and grow up, ask yourselves this, is anyone side worse than the other, i mean really? And you'll need the blinkers off to answer, as for present day paramilitarys, theyre just gangs pretending to have a cause being led by the leaders like lambs to the slaughter to fill there own ends.
Ciaran in The Walled City wrote (131 days ago):
Such a sustained attack on grammar and spelling from the UTV forum grammar police ! Whoooosh ! Anyway, in the beginning there was the official IRA(mostly southerners) which was seen by some to not be hardline enough by you northern members and some southerners and there was a split which created a "dissident" faction which became commonly referred too as the provisional IRA "Provos". After the GFA(which was seen by some older members as well as the new and more hardline members as a sell out)there was once again a dissident split and they became the "dissidents" of today. They can make the bombs because some of the guys that where doing it in the 80's are still there...but it isn't the IRA of the Sinn Fein era, they are gone, disbanded, retired etc. (that was for all those people that still can't comprehend the definition of "dissident" and still say "SF/IRA".) As for the UVF/UDA split... every time there is a split with in Loyalist factions there is a up surge in murders, assassinations and violence. Since the days of "mad dog" and the C company it has never been about Ulster, it has been turf wars over money and drugs let's be honest.
Thomas in Co Antrim wrote (132 days ago):
Michael in Belfast - cry me river, persecuted were you? Baggot is a puppet.
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