Branch of political wing of UDA calls for Good Friday Agreement to be scrapped

A branch of the UPRG, the political wing of the UDA, has called for the Good Friday Agreement to be scrapped. Picture by Mal McCann

A GROUP linked to the UDA has called for the Good Friday Agreement to be scrapped and direct rule to be returned.

The West Belfast branch of the Ulster Political Research Group, which offers political advice to the UDA, has called for an end to devolution in a series of posts on social media.

In January 1987, the late UDA leader John McMichael issued the 'Common Sense' document, advocating a power-sharing administration for Northern Ireland without an Irish dimension.

Despite serious reservations, the UDA supported its then political wing, the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP), when it backed the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

However, in 2001, the UFF stated that it was withdrawing its support for the Agreement and many of the UDA's members have expressed misgivings about the prospects of power-sharing ever since.

In January 2010 the UDA announced that it had decommissioned its weapons.

Describing the Good Friday Agreement as "dead in the water", the West Belfast UPRG said that republicans had "ruined this agreement when it was signed with their side deals".

In one tweet, the group wrote: "A sustained period of direct rule from London is required !! After all SFIRA will refuse to govern with DUP, no point in elections is there."

It added: "No self respecting unionist will enter into negotiations with SFIRA after #AE17 unless everything is on the table including GFA. #SayNo2SFIRA"

The hardline North Antrim branch of the UPRG - which has traditionally been anti-agreement - tweeted: "Leaving European union shortly. Good Friday Agreement unravelling. Things can only get better."

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