Allison Morris: UDA will not disband through gentle persuasion

Police flood the area around the Sainsbury's car park in Bangor, Co Down following the shooting of a Colin Horner in front of horrified shoppers on Sunday.

COLIN Horner's murder, in a carpark of a busy supermarket, is notable for the brutality of the killing, carried out in front of his terrified three-year-old son.

However, this latest murder is not an isolated act but a symptom of a fractured and unstable loyalism, lacking in any real leadership or political direction.

In the last 10 years, the UDA and to a lesser extent the UVF has split from an organisation into individual fiefdoms, controlled at a local level by a leadership answerable to no one but themselves.

Those who wished to move away from violence and involve themselves in politics or peace building did so a long time ago.

What is left is a collection of people desperate to hang onto whatever power and control they can, to protect territory and criminal money making enterprises at all costs.

Family of Colin Horner, who was shot dead in front of his three-year-old son, have left floral tributes at the scene of the attack. picture by Hugh Russell.

This has inevitably led to fracturing and falls outs that have ended in loss of life.

In March Geordie Gilmore, a one time UDA commander with a flash lifestyle and a loyal following, was shot dead in a street in Carrickfergus.

In August last year John Boreland, also a former UDA commander was shot dead outside his north Belfast home.

Colin Horner was shot dead in front of his three-year-old son 

It has become increasingly clear the lofty promises of the Loyalist Communities Council, launched in October 2015, are simply unattainable and the various UDA factions have no intention of disbanding or leaving the stage through gentle persuasion.

This is now a policing problem, and political unionism, most specifically the DUP - who have defended the funding of UDA linked groups in the past - now need to use their influence to ensure that murderous criminality is no longer given political cover.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access