In January 1994 the UDA produced a document which analysed the likely situation after a British withdrawal or the acceptance by London of "Pan Nationalist Front conditions for a United Ireland". In such a situation, the document argued, the UDA's objective would be to "establish an ethnic Protestant Homeland" through the repartition of Northern Ireland.
Despite the bravado of the UDA and other loyalist terrorists about 'Ulster', it is clear that they considered that around half of Northern Ireland was 'lost'. Their document stated that "British military intelligence suggests that at least two and probably three counties in Ulster are already lost. Surrendering two or three counties to the Irish Republic would alleviate much of the security problem". One assumes that these two or three counties were in addition to the three Ulster counties that had already been 'surrendered' in 1921?
The UDA's intentions for the Catholic population left in their new, truncated, Northern Ireland were sinister. The Catholic population left on the 'Protestant' side of the Orange Line was to be "expelled, nullified or interned". 'Nullification' was a euphemism for massacre. Those 'interned' were to be used, effectively, as hostages or 'useful bargaining chips' in possible negotiations.
The UDA's document was published in the Sunday Independent newspaper in 1994, unfortunately just before the internet started to provide an accessible archive, so while the document itself remains out of reach to this blog, its theoretical underpinnings do not.
The Orange Line that the UDA hoped to draw across Northern Ireland was based on the work of Liam Kennedy, author of the 1986 book Two Ulsters; A Case for Repartition. Although Kennedy was reportedly unhappy about the UDA's use of his work, others were less unhappy. Sammy Wilson, currently a DUP MP, Belfast City councillor and from today, Minister of Finance in the Northern Ireland Executive described the UDA's plans for mass murder and ethnic cleansing as a "very valuable return to reality" and that it showed "that some loyalist paramilitaries are looking ahead and contemplating what needs to be done to maintain our separate Ulster identity". Slobodan Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic would, no doubt agree, but unfortunately for the DUP such things are defined as crimes against humanity under the statutes of both International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
The map that Liam Kennedy suggested, and that the UDA adopted, was this one:
It includes three categories of area: (1) the core 'British Ulster' area, (2) an extension down the east bank of the Foyle and as far as Omagh, and (3) an island of Protestant majority territory in Fermanagh.
Clearly these boundaries could not have been used as viable boundaries for a besieged people. To hold even the 'core' area would be a serious challenge without some adjustments – there are too many corridors and near-enclaves. But of course the UDA may have hoped to resolve these by their preferred means – mass murder.
The Bosnian war showed that, eventually, the world would not accept mass murder and ethnic cleansing. If this was true in a region of south-eastern Europe without many ties to the US (who were the ones who acted against the Serbs after years of European dithering), imagine how deafening the calls from Irish-America would have been if the UDA were to try something similar in Ireland? The UDA would have found themselves at the receiving end of the US Airforce, and their leaders would have found themselves in front of the International Criminal Court in the Hague accused of war crimes.
[Next post: the current situation]