Pressure is on Ritchie to stand firm on UDA decommissioning deadline

Alliance Chief Whip Kieran McCarthy MLA has demanded that Social Development Margaret Ritchie stand firm on the deadline she made on UDA decommissioning and conflict transformation funding. He stated that if no decommissioning takes place before the Tuesday 9 October deadline, the funding must be stopped immediately.

Opposition MLA Kieran McCarthy said: “I want to appeal to the Minister Margaret Ritchie to take a tough stance and stick to the UDA decommissioning deadline. If the UDA do not do what is necessary then the plug must pulled immediately on the conflict transformation funding.

“The signs are not positive about UDA starting decommissioning before Margaret Ritchie’s deadline on Tuesday. She must stand firm on this deadline.

“In recent weeks we have seen UDA feud-related violence and intimidation in Carrickfergus. There is no such thing as a ‘good’ UDA who are trying to get rid of bad individuals. They are all the same and they pose the same threat to the whole community.

“This conflict transformation funding was wrong in the first place. Direct Rule Ministers should never even have considered providing such funding, let along sanctioning it.

“All eyes will be on the Minister on Tuesday and she must make the right decision.”


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