17/12/2009

UDA Halts McGuinness Talks

Loyalist paramilitaries cancelled historic talks with Martin McGuiness yesterday, after details of the meeting were leaked to the media.

According to reports in the Belfast Telegraph, a four-man delegation from the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) was due to meet the Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister at his Stormont offices.

However, the newspaper has claimed the group, which included 'brigadier' Jackie McDonald, (pictured) were angry when their plans became public.

Members of the UDA's so-called 'inner council' had just returned to the province following two days of talks in Brussels.

It is believed the meeting with Mr McGuinness was regarding progress on the paramilitary group's commitment to decommissioning.

Senior members have already met with Independent Monitoring Commission chair John de Chastelain and DUP First Minister Peter Robinson in a series of background talks.

Yesterday the UDA reportedly told Mr McGuinness's office: "We want to do a meeting, but we don't want to do it now."

The local press had flocked to Stormont Castle unaware the loyalist leadership had pulled out at the last minute.

Reports have pointed to a fall-out over 'egos' within the paramilitary group, which subsequently halted the decision to meet with senior Sinn Féin representatives.

However, a loyalist source told the Belfast Telegraph they are "very confident" discussions will take place at a later date.

(PR/BMcC)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 June 2022
UK Finance Ministers Meet To Discuss Cost-Of-Living Crisis
Northern Ireland's Finance Minister Conor Murphy has met with his counterparts from across the UK to discuss how to support people and businesses "with soaring bills". The price of food, fuel, energy, clothes, travel costs and rent continue to go up as inflation rises.
16 June 2022
DUP 'Making It Impossible To Deliver Support' – SDLP
The refusal of the DUP to re-enter the Executive is making it impossible to deliver the support that people need to cope with the cost-of-living emergency, SDLP Foyle MLA Mark Durkan has said.
21 June 2022
Cookstown Murder Accused Appears In Court
A 45-year-old man has appeared before Omagh Magistrates' Court charged in connection with the murder of a 77-year-old woman in Cookstown, Co Tyrone. According to reports, the elderly woman is the mother of the accused. She was found murdered in her home in Ratheen Avenue in the town on Sunday 19 June. The accused was arrested at the scene.
08 April 2008
UDA 'Isn't Going Away'
While the IRA "haven't gone away, you know" - as infamously declared by the Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams - a Belfast court case this week appears to point towards the loyalist paramilitary group, the UDA doing - or "not doing" the same thing.
11 October 2005
Funeral takes place of former UDA chief
The funeral of former UDA chief Jim Gray has taken place in Belfast on Tuesday. Gray, 47, the former UDA 'brigadier' in east Belfast, was shot dead outside his father's home last week. Tuesday's service took place at his father's home with members of the UDA told to stay away from the house.