Talk:Ulster Defence Regiment/Archive 3

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Ulsterisation is mentioned twice in the article, and no information is given as to what it was. It was the reduction and withdrawal from the frontline of the regular British Army, to be replaced by local forces. According to Richard Bourke in Peace in Ireland: The War of Ideas pg.164 “British efforts would thus concentrate on the prosecution of a ‘dirty war’ while the security services of Ulster would bear the brunt of the front-line conflict: the open engagement of the IRA had been effectively ‘Ulsterised’.

This is a view shared by both Anthony Jennings in Justice Under Fire: The Abuse of Civil Liberties in Northern Ireland, and Liz Curtis in Ireland: The Propaganda War, The British Media and the Battle for the Hearts and Minds. The motivation of the policy is also very important, with the reduction in the numbers of British soldiers; there were also changes in the causality patterns. This was important from the point of view of the British Government, who wished to prevent any build-up of sentiment in Britain for a withdrawal. This is addressed by both David McKittrick and David McVea in Making Sense of the Troubles pg.123. In addition under the policy of Ulsterisation, the focus of complaint would shift away from the British Army and onto both the RUC and the UDR (Anthony Jennings pg.12), and this is also raised by Alan F. Parkinson in Ulster Loyalism and the British Media, who says that the UDR in particular received an even more hostile reaction from the British Media he suggests that the Panorama programme "Ulster’s Regiment- A question of Loyalty" arguably provided its coup de grace. In short, this needs to be addressed in the article. There is an abundance of material available, not least Martin Dillon’s The Dirty War, which I’m surprised, has not been used in this article because of the information on the UDR and their relationship with Loyalists for example

“The other organisation which has been seriously penetrated by Loyalist terror groups is the Ulster Defence Regiment. Like its predecessor, the B Specials, the UDR comprises men and women from the Protestant community; and like the RUC it has consistently failed to attract more than a small percentage of Catholics because of IRA threats and because of the regiment’s reputation as the B Specials under a different name. In 1989 it became clear that the UDR was like a sieve and that intelligence was being leaked by some of its members to Loyalist paramilitaries. The UDR gave Loyalist paramilitaries the opportunity to exploit its intelligence, to obtain military training through membership, and to have greater freedom of movement under the guise of acting in the capacity of members of the security forces. From its birth the UDR did not introduce tight enough controls to ensure that prospective recruits were not members of paramilitary groupings, and the problem was further compounded by the fact that dual membership of the UDR and UDA was acceptable to the military authorities.”

This is prompted by the two occasions in the article when the word ‘allegedly’ is used. --Domer48'fenian' 18:39, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Ulsterisation also meant that more British lives were spared as the UDR bore the brunt of IRA attacks against the security forces, serving as a form of living shield. Most people need to realise that to the British, the UDR and in fact the entire Protestant and Loyalist population of Northern Ireland was and still is regarded as Irish. Just as in World War I when the Irish regiments were put in the frontline of fire, after Ulsterisation the same thing occured in the North.--jeanne (talk) 06:25, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Ulsterisation meant that more British soldiers lives were spared as the UDR bore the brunt of IRA attacks. In addition under the policy of Ulsterisation, the focus of complaint would shift away from the British Army and onto UDR. You can not address Ulsterisation in isolation, it was part of a three part strategy not least of which was 'Criminalisation.' Criminalisation was meant to denie any acknowledgement of the political nature of the conflict and was desgined to change preceptions of the conflict to that of a campaign against criminal gangs. Placed in context, this strategy was to make it more difficult to attract more than a small percentage of Catholics. The fact that dual membership of the UDR and UDA was acceptable to the military authorities also played its part. The regiment’s reputation as the B Specials under a different name was confirmed when we see that the UDR gave Loyalist paramilitaries the opportunity to exploit its intelligence, to obtain military training through membership, and to have greater freedom of movement under the guise of acting in the capacity of members of the security forces. This in my opinion is lacking in the article. --Domer48'fenian' 07:59, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

There are some good points in what you're saying Domer but it seems to be a very partisan view of both the RUC and UDR. (particularly as the RUC had higher numbers of Catholics). The overwhelming bias in the text you've quoted is refuted elsewhere in the article. The inclusion of such material would only focus the article on collusion again which would create an imbalance and more argument here in my opinion. I think the subject is very well addressed at the moment with no attempt made to hide collusion, incidences of collusion quoted and incidences when it was found to be true or untrue. What could be a good, encyclopedic inclusion is the failure by command to address the issue of the UDA in the early days. The failure of UDR command to realise how badly it would affect Catholic recruiting. This is very much addressed in Attempts to prevent paramilitary infiltration but perhaps the article would benefit from additional information in several sections i.e Recruitment and Attitudes & Image. I think it would all very much depend on how it was worded. It would also be good to see opinions from third parties but for the moment perhaps the best thing to do would be to press ahead with editing and see how much it improves the article. The Thunderer (talk) 09:37, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps starting an item on Ulsterisation would be the key to what you're saying? I agree there's a hole in the article without it. The Thunderer (talk) 10:08, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I would agree with having a seperate article on Ulsterisation as it would take away from this one if included. Gavin Lisburn (talk) 11:51, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I would welcome an item on Ulsterisation and "The Way Ahead" as part of this article. What I'm trying to avoid is another piece about collusion just for the sake of it. If there's anything new then obviously it should be included but not if it's just another sweeping statement that the UDR was riddled with paramilitaries. We've already established there was an issue, how deep that issue went, what steps were taken to combat it and with what success/failure. The issue of perception by Catholics is covered, and so (I think) is the propaganda campaign by Republicans against the regiment, as is the comparison with the B Specials. As always, what all editors should be very aware of is the issues which might arise if you start to make the article look as if it contains pro Unionist or pro-Nationalist sentiment. We must maintain the neutral POV. The Thunderer (talk) 12:19, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I've started the category but have no info at hand to expand it until I get home from work. It would be great to see content from others. The Thunderer (talk) 12:43, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

In the section “Targeting by the IRA” no mention of Ulsterisation is made which would explain “As the IRA campaign continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the organisation increasingly targeted RUC officers and Ulster Defence Regiment servicemen.” In addition this sentence “Despite the fact that most of the IRA's security force victims by the late 1980s were locally recruited RUC or UDR personnel, the Provisional leadership maintained that the regular Army was its preferred target.” Surly this should mention Ulsterisation?

As an aside, in this section also there is what I would suggest to be some very partisan view in relation to ethnic cleansing. For example, Robert White, why is "The fact that the IRA killed Catholic members of the force at a slightly higher rate than their proportion of membership suggests that the IRA does not target Protestant members of the force” not included in the main body of the article? Is there not a bit of an imbalance when we include the views of Vincent McKenna, former Unionist MP and a major in the UDR, Ken Maginnis, the observations of 4 UDR HQ and Major John Furniss Potter. I mention this because in a previous section we read “The SDLP in particular carried out a campaign for the disbandment of the UDR from as early as 1974 using "propaganda" through the media,” “The use of the regiment as a "political football" was not confined to Nationalist political parties,” “the DUP opened a campaign of disinformation” “The malicious rumours contained: etc etc.” Would this not support the impression I’m getting? With the introduction of Ulsterisation into this section would it not appear more balanced? Observations of 4 UDR HQ for example would in my opinion contain a degree of bias, but that is just my opinion.--Domer48'fenian' 18:49, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

To your first paragraph I would say yes. The section would be more encyclopedic if it pointed out why the IRA killed more RUC and UDR members than British Army. It should be made clearer to the reader that Ulsterisation meant more UDR and RUC patrols to target. It would also be appropriate then to highlight the fact that it was the RUC who were in command of the IS situation after that point and not the army as it had been in the early 1970's. It would also be pertinent to point out that the regular army came under the local command of the UDR instead of the other way round as it had been. Of course what is also very notable is the fact that the RUC and UDR were easier targets as they didn't live in a protected barracks, many were part-time and could be targetted as a result of their, sometimes solitary, day jobs. Most UDR casualties were off-duty. The killing of Catholic UDR members at a higher rate by the IRA was obviously exacerbated by internment of Catholics who were suspected of terrorist involvment. No Protestants were interned at this time (if ever). The community and IRA backlash is now a matter of history and is perfectly understandable. That both the community and PIRA increased intimidation of Catholics in the regiment in the months following internment is pertinent. With a smaller number of Catholics in the regiment there were fewer opportunities after this period, although Catholic members continued to be killed.
With regards to your second paragraph of observations, my opinion would be this: the concept of Ethnic cleansing by PIRA has never been proven. It is an allegation. Made by politicians, academics and IRA turncoats. It may not be true. The HQ 4 UDR comments are accurate and unbiased but they don't make any claim, they are just the observations of the command staff at 4 UDR. The backwards movement of the line of pins close to the border could be explained by the simple fact that UDR men living close to the border were an easier target for cross border incursions. There is also the issue that local command in PIRA had their own agenda which did not always completely match that of the army Council. To point any of this out would be perfectly reasonable but it wouldn't be encyclopedic to try and prove or disprove what the various factions say or create a bias one way or the other. Ulsterisation wouldn't have that much of a bearing on the claims by 4 UDR. It would appear that the 2nd and 4th battalions (with 5 & 6 a close second) bore the brunt of the border campaign in the early days and if Ulsterisation made that worse then it doesn't show in the figures. The worst year for the UDR was 1972, 4 years before Ulsterisation. That the UDR was a "political football" is undeniable, as is the fact that most of the propaganda (or spin) was coming from the Nationalist/Republican side. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, anymore than the fact that the IRA killed more people than anyone else. That's just how it was. What MAY be surprising to some people is how the Unionists, DUP in particular, also used them as a kickabout when it suited them. The over-riding fact here is that they came under command of MOD and (in the most part) locally commanded by regular army officers after 1971. So while Ulsterisation may have removed regular soldiers from the streets, it didn't remove the fact that MOD in Whitehall were still in overall command of the UDR.
With regards to Potter's observations: his book is mostly a list of facts. In the cases where he defends the UDR or tries to give reasons for certain shortcomings it is fairly obvious. If he has a fault it is to dwell on the activities of 3 (Co Down) UDR too much. When you realise he was adjutant of 3 UDR for most of his service (after leaving the Royal Artillery) then you get the answer to that question. In many cases he is corroborated by Ryder in his book, although there are occasions when he comes right out and attacks Ryder. I have another book in my possesion which has just been published about the history of 5 UDR but I doubt that will provide any further light on the political questions as it is a "soldier's history" and my intention for that book is just to try and glean more verifiable facts about day-to-day life. If you feel like getting into editing some of the sections you've made observations on then I would welcome that. The only thing I would resent just now is getting back to the way it was with the article looking like a series of tit-for-tat claims.
with your comments we appear to be getting more into the nitty-gritty and away from the POV. whilst still cautious I personally welcome such observations and comments. The Thunderer (talk) 20:55, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Reply Paragraph 1. Agree, include Ulsterisation. British Army replaced by locally recruited forces. This would result in higher causalities for the locally recruited forces. Criticism of the Army would also be reduced and be deflected onto the local forces. Who controlled the UDR will have to be clarified. Mark Urban cited above says it was controlled by the British Army. Brigade commanders reported to the Commander Land Forces at Lisburn, who is a major general, above them is the General Officer Commanding.

It would also be appropriate then to highlight the fact that “the notion that the UDR and RUC contain men and women whose loyalty is to the principle of Protestant hegemony in Ulster rather than to the rule of law finds currency at many levels within the Army. During the early 1970s, soldiers often found that loyalist paramilitaries had been tipped off prior to raids…However, most of the disquiet both within the Army [British] and among Catholics surrounds the locally recruited soldiers of the UDR.” (Mark Urban pg.51) The Army’s classified training manual for intelligence specialists bound for Ulster in the late 1970s noted with a candour absent from its public pronouncements: ‘Units must be aware of the fact that, in some instances, the UDR has been penetrated by extremist loyalist organizations, and this will affect the permissible limit of intelligence dissemination, particularly in relation to Protestant extremist activities’” (Mark Urban pg.51) In addition, most British Army Officers believed that the RUC were more professional than the UDR. (Mark Urban pg.17) Urban suggest that there is a general consensus that the RUC maintained higher standards of professionalism and had more success keeping loyalists out of its ranks. (Mark Urban pg.51) It would also be pertinent to point this out don’t you think.

With regards to your second paragraph, I agree that the concept of ethnic cleansing by PIRA has never been proven. It is an allegation. Therefore there is a chose of one or two things;

  • Remove it altogether
  • Add some balance

Point two would include putting the note on White into the main body of the article. The addition of such previous allegations, particularly those by Peter Hart, and how they have been comprehensibly challenged by both academics, authors and journalists. There is also a great deal of information on ‘Black Propaganda’ in Liz Curtis’ book and some stuff by David McKittrick on the likes of Colin Wallace, Captain Fred Holroyd and Albert Baker. Martin Dillon is also very insightful on this subject. Also something on Republicanism and the non sectarian ethos would lend to balance. To point any of this out would be perfectly reasonable but it wouldn't be encyclopedic to try and prove or disprove what the various factions say or create a bias one way or the other. It is for that reason I would opt for option 1.

I disagree that “Ulsterisation wouldn't have that much of a bearing on the claims by 4 UDR.” You agree that “The backwards movement of the line of pins close to the border could be explained by the simple fact that UDR men living close to the border were an easier target for cross border incursions.”

Paragraph 3 & 4 With regards to Potter's observations I would simply suggest that they be attributed to him. This is a small section in the over all article, and as soon as we get agreement on the points raised, I’ll start to edit.--Domer48'fenian' 18:43, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

No problems up to who controlled the UDR. The uiltimate authority rested with the Defence Staff at Whitehall. Overall policy would have been agreed there. The defence staff includes the Minister of Defence as the people's (government) representative as well as the Chief of the General Staff, a Field Marshall (or more recently a full General) who was in overall command of the army. Policy is filtered down to the Commander Land Forces (CLF) who would be a Lt General or General and based in England, then the GOCNI (a Major General based in Lisburn - a Divisional commander if you like in that two or more brigades equal a division) who passes it to the brigade commanders at 3 Bde (South), 39 Bde (Belfast) and 8 BDE North and also to the "Commander UDR" who is also a brigadier. Instructions are then issued to each brigade and the battalions under their command (regular and UDR). After Ulsterisation tactical command rests with each UDR battalion HQ under the command of a Lt Col who takes his orders from Bde and UDR staff. Ergo regular army units on patrol will be under the tactical control of the UDR comcen. Requests for support for the RUC would come through BDE or Commander UDR. That might explain that?
As institutions I believe it is already clear that the RUC and UDR were dutiful to their superiors and obeyed orders even in the most difficult of circumstances. whilst I am sure there were people within the regiment whose loyalty was more towards Ulster I believe it would be impossible to create a blanket statement which showed that diluted their loyalty to the crown. As it was never effectively put to the test, beyond what can be historically proven, that will have to remain an unanswered speculation.
Intelligence The UDR did not have its own intelligence cells until after Ulsterisation so any suggestion of leaks about raids is speculation as they would not have been briefed on them. They did not carry out house searches until after Ulsterisation either. The speculation that the army did not trust the UDR in general because of paramilitary infiltration (primarily loyalist) would hold weight in the early 70's. After the introduction of UDR Int Cells and operational and tactical control though that theory wouldn't hold as much weight, but it would be fair to say that SOME suspicion could have remained.
Comparison with the RUC. It would be fair to say that the RUC had better pay and training and attracted more Catholics. It would also be fair to say that the UDR was less professional between 1970-75 than it was after training was expanded. It wouldn't be pertinent to say that the RUC were more professional than the UDR because you're comparing a police force with a military unit and the criteria are different. There is room to expand on the lack of discipline in the UDR compared with the Irish Guards as the agendas for the two were different. One concentrated more on constant duty in Northern Ireland as a part time force whilst the other was a highly disciplined, professional military unit. Post Ulsterisation comparisons would reflect better on the operational capabilities of the UDR but their parade ground skills would likely have fallen slightly short of regular line infantry. That's where your best comparisons lie.
Ethnic Cleansing. While it still remains unproven the allegations remain. I have speculated what could be argued and believe that could be included as balance - other editors may have a different view. I wouldn't advocate its removal. Some colour needs to remain to show how hard the border battalions suffered whilst units like 1 & 9 got off so lightly that their companies were redeployed to the border to support 2, 3, 4 5 and 6. It wouldn't be untoward in my opinion to include the "non-sectarian" Republican ethos. It would already be balanced by the inclusion of "turncoat" evidence. You disagree that Ulsterisation had no effect on the murder and displacement of 4 UDR soldiers along the border but most of this had already taken place by 1975 and I can find no evidence that it got any better or any worse after Ulsterisation. Therefore in my opinion (borne out by private observations from Austin Currie in conversations with him) there could have been an ethnic consideration in local PIRA operations against the UDR, whether condoned or not by Northern Command or the Army Council.
Potter. I can't see any harm in attributing statements to Potter. There may be occasions when I need to draw your attention to items if something appears glaringly obvious.
By and large a lot of what you're saying at the moment won't start to be clear until you commence editing. I suggest you do so in your own time. I for one will watch with great interest. If the article benefits from your work I'll be the first to buy you a pint. The Thunderer (talk) 21:53, 10 September 2008 (UTC)


“Within the last month, members of the UDR have appeared in court for raiding the armoury of their own base in Coleraine and, more recently, for keeping an arsenal in an attic for Paisley's Third Force and being a party to one of the Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy's murders.” An Phoblacht 19 March 1987

I would use this as an example to illustrate a point. In the article it says “In the wake of the Hillsborough Agreement the DUP opened a campaign of disinformation with the apparent motive of reducing morale in the regiment (and the RUC) and causing mass resignations by "undermining the confidence of soldiers in their officers". There was some speculation that this was a step in forming the "Third Force" under the name of Ulster Resistance which the DUP had been advocating for some time.”

The two statements are you will agree contradictory, or are they? One suggests that the UDR were assisting Paisley's Third Force, with some speculation that this was a step in forming the "Third Force" under the name of Ulster Resistance which the DUP had been advocating. Were the UDR themselves “reducing morale in the regiment (and the RUC) and causing mass resignations by ‘undermining the confidence of soldiers in their officers’.”?

What about these allegations and is the source acceptable? “A 1973 British Military Intelligence document, entitled Subversion in the UDR, claimed that up to 15%of UDR soldiers were also members of the UVF or UDA and that the regiment was the "best single source" of weaponry for the death squads.” An Phoblacht 18 May 2006

  • The weapon used in the 1989 killing of Pat Finucane came from the UDR.
  • UDR members implicated in murders carried out by Shankill Butchers.
  • In 1997 UDR members convicted of raiding armoury of their Coleraine base and of storing weapons for Paisley's Third Force.
  • In 1976 UDR members convicted in connection with the murders of members of the Miami Showband.

Weapon used in the Miami Showband killings came from a raid on the Lurgan UDR barracks and was also used in the murder of John Green.

  • In 1999 former UDR member David Jordan admitted being part of a patrol which murdered Tyrone Councillor Paddy Kelly in 1974. Jordan also implicated DUP member Oliver Gibson in the killing.
  • A gang consisting of members of the UDR, RUC and loyalist paramilitaries are believed responsible for dozens of murders, bombings and attacks on Catholics in and around South Armagh. These include the bombing of Donnelly's Bar in Silverbridge in 1975 which killed three men, and the murders of James and Gertrude Devlin. The same gang, said UDR corporal Robert McConnell, is also believed to have been responsible the murders of three members of the Reavey family in 1976 and three members of the O'Dowd family at the same time.
  • UDR members have been convicted in connection with, or are known to have colluded in, amongst others, the murders of: Paul Kelly (1985), Colm McCartney and John Farmer (1975), Adrian Carroll (1983), Loughlin Maginn (1989).
  • Aside from loyalist activities in the regiment, several hundred UDR/RIR men have been forced to resign or have been discharged for assault, sexual assault and rape, illegal drug use and theft; one of the worst records in the British army.

An Phoblacht 16 March 2006. --Domer48'fenian' 08:39, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Some of these allegations are already well covered. In general most, if not all of the items are mentioned in the Infiltration by paramilitaries section. One of the dangers of the teritory you're straying into is that the article then becomes dominated by a list of allegations against UDR members. Your above is also very coloured by quotes from An Phoblact. Could these be balanced by any complimentary comments from An Phoblact which praises the UDR for their successes? Perhaps a statement congratulating the regiment on the award of the CGC which contains observations of regret concerning the several hundred from the regiment who were killed? In the absence of balancing material it could be asserted that An Phoblact have never printed any material in favour of the regiment and simply use every opportunity to attack the UDR? In which case really we would need a section on Propaganda against the UDR and include this material there?
The validity of the British Intelligence document is not in question. It does however only refer to the 1970-72 period when the regiment was just in its formation and early days. What of the 1973-1992 period? There are also references to the fact that MOD and UDR made a huge effort to prevent paramilitary infiltration, particularly from loyalists post 1972. From where I'm sitting it looks as if that agenda is very well adressed.
These crimes you mention by individuals members of the UDR. Do you have any percentages (although I'm sure I do). The issue being: saying that the UDR had the worst record of any regiment in the BA is all very well but is there any qualifying material to tell the reader that the average British infantry regiment was 750-1500 men in those days with Royal Armoured Corps units standing at 550 men against the UDR's average of 7,500? Given the size of the regiment it would be more favourable, given that a brigade is normally around 3,000 men, to compare against the crime figures for 4 Brigade and 7 Brigade in Germany? Of course the reader would have to be told that these brigades were on Cold War duties in BAOR and not on constant active service for 22 years and under threat of IRA assassination as the UDR was? As for RIR figures, can you show their relevance against the UDR?
It is notable the weapons stolen from C Coy, 11 UDR armoury in Lurgan later turn up being used in crimes which members of C Coy, 11 UDR were involved in. There is no argument about that link and it is reasonable to assume that C Coy, 11 UDR had at least several UVF members in its ranks. One of whom was dismissed as a result of the armoury raid. Was there any further involvement by members of this company in similar crimes? Were all 5 companies of 11 UDR badly penetrated? If so then the reader would need to be made aware as, from the material currently available, it would appear the this particular company was either more deeply penetrated than others or that the nature of the UVF men who did manage to evade vetting was particularly evil - or a combination of both. As for the newspaper reoprts about the 5 UDR raid at Coleraine; the weapons were 100% recovered by 5 UDR within 24 hours and although it meant the prosecution of one or more of their own members it is very notable that the UDR themselves acted successfully and efficiently on that occasion. I was aware of this and have edited in information on the main article which could be expanded on to show how the UDR dealt with various arms raids. The percentages of weapons recovered etc etc. It's also interesting to note that some weapons stolen from the UDR or "passed on" were used to kill UDR men themselves or were recovered after attacks on the UDR (and the police and regular army). Of course most of these were used by Republican factions but SOME were used by loyalists.
Lots of nice balancing information there but I've omitted most of it thus far because I don't see any need to turn the article into a tit-for-tat record of propaganda and counter-propaganda. Would you agree? The Thunderer (talk) 10:17, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

On the "Targeting by the IRA" alot of the information is based on allegations by Vincent McKenna, former Unionist MP and a major in the UDR, Ken Maginnis, the observations of 4 UDR HQ and Major John Furniss Potter of the UDR. Allegations you yourself have said have never been proven. It is an allegation. Made by politicians, academics and IRA turncoats. Do you not think they are a bit "coloured?" Are you not straying into the teritory "that the article becomes dominated by a list of allegations against IRA." I used An Phoblacht to illustrate a point, your commets "Perhaps a statement congratulating the regiment on the award of the CGC which contains observations of regret concerning the several hundred from the regiment who were killed? In the absence of balancing material it could be asserted that An Phoblact have never printed any material in favour of the regiment and simply use every opportunity to attack the UDR?" have made the point for me. Regardless of the sources I've used above, any information not in a positive vein is being rejected. Now you have said that there is "Lots of nice balancing information there" but you've "omitted most of it thus far." I don't see any need to turn the article into a tit-for-tat record of propaganda and counter-propaganda, but you are unwilling to address the information thus far. --Domer48'fenian' 11:48, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

The information you are referring to was taken from another Wikipedia article. If it's good enough for that one, it's good enough for this one - agreed? Those allegations may well be coloured however it is made clear that they are allegations and I have already agreed that the PIRA non sectarian ethos could be mentioned as well as other mitigating factors. I haven't precluded any information which isn't in a postive vein. On the contrary I have seen me agree to much negative material in my considered and comprehensive replies to your discussion points over the last few days. I have also pointed out that other editors, who are no doubt following this discussion, may well have their own views which don't agree with mine. The information you refer to is largely already in the article. My fear is that flooding the article with more of the same will change the synthesis and that is what I'm pointing out. Your argument thus far is heavily weighed with Republican opinion. My editing and opinions are neutral and encyclopedic in my opinion. Perhaps you'd like a third party opinion from someone who isn't involved in either Republican or Unionist editing? The Thunderer (talk) 12:26, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Domer you state IRA turncoats I think you are giving McKenna far to much weight with that statement he was never a member of the IRA. BigDuncTalk 11:51, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
It was actually I who made that statement Dunc. You can't say for certain what McKenna was or wasn't. All you can say is the same as me or anyone else. McKenna claims to have been in the IRA and the IRA have refuted those claims. The Thunderer (talk) 12:26, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Stephen Travers

Seeing as Miami Showband survivor Stephen Travers has recently written a book describing the night of 31 July 1975, he insists that a British officer was present. Captain Fred Holroyd has always maintained that the officer in question was Nairac. Why does Nairac's name keep cropping up in regards to the Showband massacre and also to the Dublin bombings? It's obvious he had links to both the UDR and Loyalist paramilitaries. Where there's smokes there is always fire. I'm not saying Nairac wasn't a rogue agent, what I'm saying is there was a man "with a crisp English accent" present during the Showband killings, and he was, according to Travers, overseeing the entire operation and had told the UVF men to take down the names and addresses of the band members. Will the Stephen Travers book contents be included in the article? His recollections cannot be ignored.--jeanne (talk) 09:09, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't know enough about this to comment sensibly. My first instinct however would be to ask why an English officer would have allowed himself to be involved in the killing of members of an innocent music band by a gang of nutters? Steven Travers recollections belong in the Miami Showband article in my opinion. This article is about the Ulster Defence Regiment. The Thunderer (talk) 09:28, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

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Both Fixed. The Thunderer (talk) 12:55, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


I think we need a "stand alone section" on Collusion based on the number of sources available and the impact on the UDR of such claims/allegations. I would put this report forward as one such exampleand this one for the need to support the inclusion of such a section. I would also draw editors attention to this "The acquisition of UDR weapons by loyalist paramilitaries is a common theme across many Historical Enquiries Team (HET) reviews." I will put together some of these HET reviews. In addition I'm currently reading a recently released, Ministry of Defence document. This document discloses the "fact that there was knowledge at the highest British political and military levels" - of subversion in the UDR, as early as 1973.

Historical Enquiries Team report

On August 9 1973 gunmen fired from a bridge over the M2 motorway at a van carrying workmen back to Donegal. 16 year Henry Cunningham was sitting in the front of the van when he was shot. He died soon after. His older brother Herbert was injured in the attack was driving and another brother, Robert, sat behind with three other work colleagues. It is thought the van was targeted by the UVF because it carried southern number plates and the killers had presumed that the workmen were Catholic. In fact those in the van were both Presbyterian and Catholic. The some of the conclusions in the Historical Enquiries Team report state:


  • Two Sub machine guns were used in the attack, one was a homemade gun and another was a Sterling SMG, which was ‘stolen’ from the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve Centre (TAVR)/UDR in Lurgan on 23 October 1972. The UVF were responsible for stealing the Sterling SMG from the TAVR/UDR base. According to declassified documents discovered at the National Archive by the Pat Finucane Centre, the British Army view was that there was ‘strong’ evidence of collusion in the raid on the Lurgan base. This UDR weapon was also used in the double murder of two Catholic workmen in 1974. The homemade SMG was used in an attempted murder in 1973. Both weapons were recovered by the RUC in separate incidents in 1974. The HET have revealed that, despite being linked to a number of unsolved serious crimes, both weapons were destroyed by the RUC in 1976 and 1978. It would appear that internal guidelines on ballistic testing of murder weapons were not followed.


  • HET found evidence of collusion in relation to the ‘theft’ of the weapon from the TAVR/UDR base
  • “There were high level concerns regarding RUC elements ‘too close to the UVF’ and ‘too ready to hand over information’ and worries that loyalist extremists had heavily infiltrated the UDR.”
  • “The acquisition of UDR weapons by loyalist paramilitaries is a common theme across many HET reviews




The Panel examined 25 cases of suspected loyalist paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland during 1972-77. The 25 cases involve a total of 76 murders as well as attempted murders. In 24 of the 25 cases, involving 74 of the 76 murders, evidence suggests collusion by members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) or the Ulster Defense Regiment (UDR): [1]

The INTERNATIONAL PANEL interviewed family members and victims in the 25 cases listed below, of "alleged sectarian violence" against members of the Catholic community in the 1970s. The 25 cases included a total of 76 murders in addition to attempted murders. Most of the cases were believed to be connected with the “Glenanne group,” an "alleged band of violent Protestant extremists," by the Finucane Centre. This group is said to include members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (“RUC”) and the Ulster Defense Regiment (“UDR”). The dates shown are those of the crimes, where death was not immediate, the date of death is also given:

Patrick Connolly Oct. 4, 1972 Francis McCaughey Oct. 28, 1973 (died Nov. 8, 1973) Patrick Campbell Oct. 28, 1973 Boyle’s Bar Jan. 17, 1974 Traynor’s Bar Feb. 19, 1974 Dublin Monaghan Bombings May 17, 1974 Falls Bar (Falls) Nov. 20, 1974 John Francis Green Jan. 10, 1975 Owen Boyle April 11, 1975 (died April 22, 1975) Bowen home, Killyliss April 21, 1975 Bleary Dart’s Club April 27, 1975 Grew family May 24, 1975 Miami Showband July 31, 1975 Gilford Minibus August 1, 1975 McCartney and Farmer August 24, 1975 Peter and Jennie McKearney Oct. 23, 1975 Donnelly’s Bar, Silverbridge Dec. 19, 1975 Kay’s Tavern, Dundalk Dec. 19, 1975 Reavey Family Jan. 4, 1976 O’Dowd Family Jan. 4, 1976 Castleblayney Bomb March 7, 1976 Hillcrest Bar, Dungannon March 17, 1976 Eagle Bar, Charlemont May 15, 1976 Rock Bar, Keady June 5, 1976 Sgt. Joe Campbell Feb. 25, 1977

I will review the newspaper for each of the names listed above and use them as secondary source references in addition to the official reports published in each case. --Domer48'fenian' 10:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I would disagree. Collusion is a Republican term which implies wholesale co-operation by the regiment with loyalist paramilitaries. It was decided some time ago to rename that section Infiltration by paramilitaries to enable the article to be more balanced. With the weight of your most recent suggestions it is now appearing very much as if you want to change the synthesis of the article away from it being a general and encyclopedic record of the regiment's existence to one which contains an overwhelming amount of specific evidence which would indicate institutionalised collusion with loyalist paramilitaries and as such would provoke a rash of tit-for-tat allegations on the article. I can see this article and talk page degenerating into Unionist - v - Republican argument and that isn't what Wikipedia is about. I support any moves you make to improve the article and exploring new sources but what you're suggesting isn't either of those. You appear to want a general condemnation of the regiment by the weight of evidence against individual members and I wouldn't support that. Please see Wikipedia well poisoning. The Thunderer (talk) 12:04, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Collusion is not a Republican term, [2], [3], [4]. I Disagree that this article and talk page is degenerating into Unionist - v - Republican argument. In my opinion, including allegations is also a case of well poisoning. On a number of occasions you have indicated that there will be problems with the inclusion of some information "The inclusion of such material would only focus the article on collusion again which would create an imbalance and more argument here in my opinion," "all editors should be very aware of is the issues which might arise if you start to make the article look as if it contains pro Unionist or pro-Nationalist," "The only thing I would resent just now is getting back to the way it was with the article looking like a series of tit-for-tat claims,"would provoke a rash of tit-for-tat allegations," this is not productive. You can not just keep rejecting the sources I'm putting forward. I will put together a body of material on "Collusion" and ask again for it to be given its own section. All additions to this could be discussed on the talk page first to avoide any concerns you may have. --Domer48'fenian' 12:51, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I haven't rejected any sources. I've pointed out the futility of using An Phoblact as a reputable source on the UDR, for obvious reasons. I don't own this article so effectively you can edit what you like into it. If I disagree with it however I will take issue and invoke the inclusion of neutral, third party editors. Keep it reasonable and neutral and I'll support and defend your inclusions. The Thunderer (talk) 13:14, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Thunderer An Phoblacht is a reliable source, also you state invoke the inclusion of neutral, third party editors. this is IMO saying that Domer is not a neutral editor, he has discussed all changes he proposes to make on the talk page and should be commended for not just jumping in and making edits without discussion. I feel that he has shown enough verifiable and reliable sources for the inclusion of a section on collusion.BigDuncTalk 13:27, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I can't see An Phoblact being any more neutral than the right wing Belfast Newsletter. I would avoid quotes by either where possible except in support of a view that they are associated with. An Phoblact is Republican and anti-security forces so can't be relied upon to provide a neutral POV. I certainly agree that Domer has made strong representation to remove some information which is not sympathetic to the Republican POV and to add some information which shows the UDR as an institution which colluded with loyalist paramilitaries. I have engaged him in dialogue throughout with honest and considered replies. The Thunderer (talk) 15:03, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Can we really reject An Phoblact as a reputable source and accept the claims/allegations by active participants in the conflict such as those used in the "Targeting by the IRA" section. In my first post on Ulsterisation were I used a number of sources you said "it seems to be a very partisan view of both the RUC and UDR." You describide the quote by Martin Dillon as displaying "overwhelming bias" and suggest that it is "refuted elsewhere in the article." How can this be when Martin Dillon's views are not represented in the article at all? For example "In 1989 it became clear that the UDR was like a sieve and that intelligence was being leaked by some of its members to Loyalist paramilitaries. The UDR gave Loyalist paramilitaries the opportunity to exploit its intelligence, to obtain military training through membership, and to have greater freedom of movement under the guise of acting in the capacity of members of the security forces. From its birth the UDR did not introduce tight enough controls to ensure that prospective recruits were not members of paramilitary groupings, and the problem was further compounded by the fact that dual membership of the UDR and UDA was acceptable to the military authorities.” Were are these views in the article? I posed the question earlier why the note by Robert White is not included in the main body of the article? It has still not been answered? I raised the point on “The SDLP in particular carried out a campaign for the disbandment of the UDR from as early as 1974 using "propaganda" through the media,” and this is reflected by your own comments "That the UDR was a "political football" is undeniable, as is the fact that most of the propaganda (or spin) was coming from the Nationalist/Republican side." What UDR propaganda is presented in the article? Now could you reference this please "The use of the regiment as a "political football" was not confined to Nationalist political parties." In addition "In the wake of the Hillsborough Agreement the DUP opened a campaign of disinformation with the apparent motive of reducing morale in the regiment (and the RUC) and causing mass resignations by "undermining the confidence of soldiers in their officers". There was some speculation that this was a step in forming the "Third Force" under the name of Ulster Resistance which the DUP had been advocating for some time. The malicious rumours contained:" --Domer48'fenian' 14:08, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I certainly feel that a Republican newspaper which is guaranteed to be anti-security forces is an unreliable source for information on the UDR. The quote from Dillon contradicts itself in the first sentence "the UDR leaked like a sieve....some of its members passed intelligence" how many members of the UDR does it take to equate it to a sieve? My comments about the UDR are verifiable because they actually aren't my comments. They're from Potter and Doherty. My view is that this entry in the encyclopedia needs to contain verifiable information which, where possible, gives an accurate and quotable source on information about the UDR. To start using questionable sources and filling the article with accusations and allegations, many which are tracable to orchestrated Republican campaigns against the regiment wouldn't be encyclopedic unless they were contained in a section about Republican (and Unionist) propaganda. For that reason I would be prepared at this point to invite neutral third parties into the discussion to get opinions about the natire of the changes proposed. I kind of feel like the dog who's just pee'd on his master's leg and is fed a biscuit prior to being booted up the arse - if you get my drift. The two of you are welcome to keep on stroking my fur but I'm still looking to my rear. The Thunderer (talk) 15:13, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Hello gentlemen. I was asked by a third party to have a look at this article and offer an opinion in good faith, perhaps in an effort to find some middle ground. Based on what has been presented, I would argue that a section on "collusion" is not unreasonable, since there appears to be significant coverage of it. That said, neither should it be given undue weight - so it should be in proportion to the rest of the coverage of the article. Titling it "Collusion" or "Infiltration by paramilitaries" may not be the best idea, as both have implications for institutional intent. Perhaps something more neutral, like "Links to paramilitary organizations" would be best.
As for An Phoblacht. I think we should move away from blanket statements about something being a reliable source or not, and take a more nuanced approach. In the animal rights field, where I edit frequently, we cite AR publications such as Bite Back, Arkangel and No Compromise. Clearly these are not reliable sources in the strictest sense of the word, as they have obvious partisan associations. But they are the best source of information about AR issues and actions, much more so than mainstream publications with not stated political agenda. In this context, An Phoblacht - a self-stated partisan source - would be considered a reliable source for Republican activities. However, when reporting on the involvement of something that is clearly counter to the the aims of the publication (such as the British Army or Unionist groups) their reports can be used, if relevant, but should always be attributed. Rockpocket 18:11, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Rockpock for you input, and I will take what you said on board. --Domer48'fenian' 18:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Rockpocket. I agree with most of what you say except I do think the subject is serious enough to warrant the title "Infiltration by paramilitaries" because that's what happened. It's up to the reader then to draw a conclusion on how much infiltration took place and what was done to combat the problem. More or less what is in there now. To retitle it "Collusion" would, in my considered opinion, indicate intitutionalised co-operation with paramilitaries. I don't think we should shy away from the truth any more than we should egg the pudding'. The Thunderer (talk) 19:14, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

'Subversion in the UDR'

I would like to propose that the above title be considered as an alternative to "collusion." As this is the title used by the British Government, I hope it is an acceptable compromise. As a source, I consider the document will address the concerns of editors as it was produced by the the British Government. --Domer48'fenian' 19:27, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

That sounds like a good idea to me. Rockpocket 22:04, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
I disagree on the grounds that it was only used in the 1973 report and that use of it as a title gives too much credence to that report. The existing title is direct and to the point and enables the discussion to include other aspects of paramilitary infiltration including Republican elements. The Thunderer (talk) 08:58, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

It was not only used in the 1973. It is a very current title. The report is supported by a number or sources, which will be used in the section. This section will also include other aspects of paramilitary infiltration. So all your concerns are addressed. We have agreement that the issue warrents its own section, and as it stands at the moment the existing title is not direct and to the point, as it includes matters not applicable to this singular issue. I'm willing to accept the use of the official history of the UDR, with the sole condition that it is attributed to the Major, and dispite the fact it is given too much credence in the article. So I'm finding it difficult to understand how or why you would dismiss a report by the British Government? The author Martin Dillon, who you have also dismissed as a source, has proved to be correct in his account, and is supported by the reports contents. Now there is a world of difference between "infiltration" and "collusion" and I think I'm being reasonable to agree to both aspects to be included in the section titled 'Subversion in the UDR,' dispite my better judgment. --Domer48'fenian' 09:30, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

"Subversion in the UDR" is the name of the 1973 report and its subsequent pushing by Republican sources has resulted in the term being used from a Republican perspective. That means Republican POV. In its neutral form it is part of the wider problem of infiltration of the regiment by various paramilitary groupings, predominantly loyalist, and as such is well provided for in the current section which is well worded, well formatted and also deals with attempts by MOD, GOCNI and HQUDR to deal with the problem. There is a world of difference I agree. Collusion indicates institutionalised co-operation between HQUDR and paramilitaries. There is no evidence that occurred. For that reason it is not reasonable to refer to collusion without qualifying it as a Republican propaganda method and on the basis of that we do not have any agreement.The Thunderer (talk) 10:54, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I will start to put together the section provisionally titled "Subversion in the UDR." What information, and from what sections do editors suggest go into it? Bear in mind what the subject is about. The report titled "Subversion in the UDR" and the reactions to it will be included. The term "collusion" is going to be used, and what it means. So suggestions are welcome. --Domer48'fenian' 21:43, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
It's all already in there under "Infiltration by paramilitaries". It doesn't need a separate section and I will oppose such a move. My reason for that is simple. The 1973 document is only one part of a list of allegations of infiltration by paramilitary groupings. Mostly loyalist but also some republican. "Collusion" suggests institional co-operation with paramilitaries and there is no evidence to show that the UDR as an organisation "colluded" with anyone. The Thunderer (talk) 22:01, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Needs to be addressed

These are some issues we can address simply enough, I think?

  • Lead: "Even though intended to be non-partisan, and beginning with up to 18% Catholic recruits, the regiment's image problems with nationalists, as well as IRA attacks on Catholic UDR soldiers resulted in the Catholic membership declining." No mention of other causes?
  • Major John Furniss Potter's comments need to be attributed. This is agreed.
  • Ulsterisation needs to be incorporated into the Lead, History and sections dealing with casualties and criticisms. The section on Ulsterisation needs to be moved up the article for it to make sense. Partial agreement on “Targeting.”
  • "Subsequent Catholic recruitment" This needs to be referenced, "The Provisional IRA's policy of singling out UDR soldiers for targets, and Catholics in particular, also served as a deadly deterrent for those who lived in vulnerable areas." In light of what we now know on Ulsterisation.--Domer48'fenian' 14:36, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The lead is fine in my opinion. It is supposed to be a brief synopsis of the article and it is.
  • Potters comments are all in the reflist. Much would depend on the context in which comments are attributed to him.
  • Ulsterisation doesn't need to be in the lead in my opinion. I would be interested in your other proposals with regards to Ulsterisation.
  • Subsequent Catholic recruitment. Again, your edits would be interesting. The Thunderer (talk) 15:27, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

The Lead is you are correct, to be a brief synopsis of the article, that is why the other reasons need to be mentioned "IRA attacks" being only one, and not even the main one can not be used in isolation. Potter's comments are indeed in the reflist, that is not what I'm saying. When his opinions appear in the article, they have to be attribute to him. Ulsterisation is important enough a subject to be in the Lead. It lead to an increase in the number of local forces killed, and deflected negitive media attention onto the very same forces. "Subsequent Catholic recruitment" I requested a reference for it, cite a source or place a fact tag. --Domer48'fenian' 16:04, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't believe the lead needs to include Ulsterisation. There are many subjects contained within the article which you could argue into the lead. I think it's fine as it is. I suggest you invite other opinions. "Subsequent Catholic Reruitment" doesn't need further references. The Catholic casualty figures are already referenced at "33". You could remove "vulnerable areas" and replace it with "Catholic Housing Estates and Border areas" which is more correct but was dampened down by me. The Thunderer (talk) 16:15, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Ref Potter's opinions. I don't believe I included any. I would ordinarily be averse to something so obvious however if you think that to be the case then edit that qualification in and I can compare with his book to see if it's opinion or fact. The Thunderer (talk) 16:17, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

The reference you suggest "33" is Potter's. "The Provisional IRA's policy of singling out UDR soldiers for targets, and Catholics in particular, also served as a deadly deterrent for those who lived in vulnerable areas," this is Potters opinion. Is there a secondary source to support this? The reason I ask is according to the CAIN research project at the University of Ulster, CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths - extracts from Sutton's book 190 members from the Ulster Defence Regiment were killed by the IRA. About half the total of 500 or so British soldiers to die in the conflict were killed in the years 1971-1973. Brendan O'Brien, The Long War - The IRA and Sinn Féin p.135. In 1972 alone, the IRA killed 100 British soldiers and wounded 500 more. O'Brien, p.119. How dose this square with "The Provisional IRA's policy of singling out UDR soldiers for targets, and Catholics in particular"? When you add the opinion of Potter later on you read "The worst period was in the fourteen months following Internment when seven Catholic soldiers were killed by the IRA. In that period they numbered 7% of the regimental strength but in terms of the numbers of UDR soldiers killed by the IRA the percentage was 28%." When you include that Gerry Adams in an interview given in 1988, said it was, "vastly preferable" to target the British Army as it "removes the worst of the agony from Ireland" and "diffuses the sectarian aspects of the conflict because loyalists do not see it as an attack on their community", Peter Taylor, Provos - the IRA and Sinn Féin p.337. I would suggest that the use by Potter of this 14 month period is a bit selective. --Domer48'fenian' 18:33, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Selective in what way? You're actually agreeing with Potter. The 14 months following internment saw the regiment take more casualties than it did at any other point in the troubles with 1972 being the worst year ever. Bearing in mind the regiment hadn't reached it's full strength at that point. The number of Catholics killed at that juncture, along with Catholic dissatisfaction over the internment policy markedly reduced the number of Catholics applying to join and increased by far the number leaving. That's what the section says. So at least we agree on that. Thank you. The Thunderer (talk) 19:09, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Ok, please provide a quote from the source which this information "The Provisional IRA's policy of singling out UDR soldiers for targets, and Catholics in particular, also served as a deadly deterrent for those who lived in vulnerable areas" is attributed. The information is contradicted by the sources I have provided. --Domer48'fenian' 19:32, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Your sources don't contradict that. Furthermore, combined with the Intimidation section it is blatantly apparant that Catholics were under threat not to join. I can cite examples of death threats in the article but haven't done so until now because that one sentence deals with it all very effectively. The Thunderer (talk) 09:01, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


Already we're seeing what this agenda is Domer and it's not going to happen. You are selectively gathering quotes in order to slant the synthesis of the article to a deliberate and known Republican POV. The quote that the UDR was the Specials under a different name was first used by Bernadette Devlin in 1969 before the regiment was formed and continued to come from Nationalist sources right through the campaign. It is obvious it isn't true because the UDR did not have police powers and came under command of the Ministry of Defence. Therefore any assertion that is was the B Specials under a different name is propaganda and, in this case, well poisoning. Please keep your edits to a neutral POV. The Thunderer (talk) 09:16, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I feel I need to remind everyone that this article has just been checked as part of the Milhist appraisal and has been found to be accurate and reliable. The Thunderer (talk) 09:18, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm not going to respond to personal attacks. I'm not even going to revert you, dispite you removing referenced sources. On a number of occasions, you have told me what my "agenda" is, and I'm not even going to point you to assume good faith. What I am going to do is edit this article. What do you mean by "I feel that my in depth knowledge of the subject is invaluable." What "in depth knowledge?" You only quote one book. Now I willing to leave it to an independant third party, and I hope you will lose the attitude. --Domer48'fenian' 10:53, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I have extended good faith to you and will continue to do so. Some of your edits have been factually incorrect however and appear to be based on Republican POV. Whilst you may feel these are good faith edits I cannot condone factually incorrect material in the article and I have created a section which deals with the propaganda issues. It is not pertinent to fill the article with references to the UDR being seen as a "sectarian reincarnation of the B Specials". That subject is well covered and could be expanded on. The reader doesn't need to be reminded in every paragraph. This may well be the view you have formed through experience with the UDR or through books you have read but your edits appear to be very coloured. I note from previous discussions above that you consider the UDR to be a "discredited force". You are fully entitled to that view but in the world of encyclopedic knowledge, although your views must be given credence, so must the views of others and the over-riding concensus must be towards verifable accuracy as a whole, not just the views of a particular individual or group of individuals. You are quite welcome to edit the article and I am delighted to assist you as an amateur military historian with personal, first hand, experience of the Northern Ireland Troubles and as a former member of an Irish unit in the British Army with an intrinsic knowledge of command, control, tactics and deployment. My ambition, having succeeded in raising this article to "B" class is to further improve it so that it can be upgraded again to become a suitable and verifiable source of reference for Wikipedia users worldwide. I welcome your input, you seem to be a man who knows modern Irish history from a Nationalist perspective. Your views are most important and I am delighted to learn ANYTHING which you can teach me. The Thunderer (talk) 11:11, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Almost forgot. I apologise unreservedly for anything which appears to be a personal attack. I am certainly not doing that. Sometimes when one types quickly the intent of the message becomes unclear. I am not attacking you and if it ever appears to be so please do point it out and I will immediately recant and apologise. The Thunderer (talk) 11:13, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The information you removed was factually correct, and was both WP:V and WP:RS. Please respect our policies and guidlines, and I would ask you to reconsider your reversions of my edits. You can not use a link to a Wikipedia article as a reference as you did here. The sentence is referenced to the Major and should be attributed to him. Likewise, you can not use An Phoblacht articles as examples of propaganda, based on you opinions. That opinion must be attributed to a source that is both WP:V and WP:RS, that is my understanding of it at least? --Domer48'fenian' 11:27, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

It wasn't factually correct because both Potter and Ryder attributed the quote to the Belfast Telegraph. In the interest of balance I have now changed the reference to Ryder. If you come across anything else by Potter which you think is opinion rather than fact I'm happy to publish the entire quote here and discuss whether or not it should be attributed. Yes I can attribute An Phoblact's comments as propaganda because it is the official publication of Sinn Fein which is a political party aligned to the IRA and therefore the newspaper is not a neutral source. The same goes for any other publications controlled by political parties. They will espouse the party line and policy. The Thunderer (talk) 12:10, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
You can not just say it is propaganda that is POV as much as if I say that the majors book is propoganda you must attribute it. BigDuncTalk 12:16, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
The Major's book is an approved publication of an "Official" regimental history and is apolitical. An Phoblact is the newsletter of a policital party. The Thunderer (talk) 12:35, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
So using your logic is An Phoblacht to be taken as gospel on IRA pages it is official after all and I'm sure has the blessing of the army council in what it prints. BigDuncTalk 12:40, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm perplexed as to how you can reach that conclusion. We're comparing a book, based on official documents which are subject to stringent rules laid down over many centuries and which result in damaging documents being released like the 1973 report we keep seeing referred to, against a publication of a political party which is aligned to a paramilitary organisation whose stated aims of a "United Socialist Republic of Ireland" and "driving the British from our shores by any means" is espoused in its pages? Call me naive if you wish but I detect some sort of bias in the latter.The Thunderer (talk) 13:07, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Come on please

This is getting silly now Thunderer can you explain you recent reversion of Domer you have removed WP:V and WP:RS sources because you dont like them, I dont want to go down this name calling rubbish again so could you please WP:AGF i'm sure Domer could accuse you of having a POV too. BigDuncTalk 10:01, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

And now you revert me when I place a tag, you say only 2 sources I know but both from the major so the section relies on one source could you please put it back in and don't edit war thanks. BigDuncTalk 10:05, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Domer was making edits which were both incorrect (attributing Belfast Telegraph comments to Potter) and which appeared to be well poisoning. The object of this article is to provide an accurate source of reference for people all over the world. That aim will not be achieved by filling it full of references to show (incorrectly) that the UDR was a sectarian re-incarnation of the B Specials. There is an entire section of the article devoted to the influence of the B Specials in the UDR in the early days and their possible effect on recruitment of Catholics. There is a right way to do this and a wrong way and Domer is going about it the wrong way at the moment. I have extended good faith to him over the last few days and will continue to do so but I feel that my in depth knowledge of the subject is invaluable at this point in keeping the article free of POV whilst creating sections which allow for the views of Protestants, Unionists, Catholics, Nationalists, Republicans and moderates from both sides. You placed a tag on a section which had just been created and had only used two quotes from the regimental history along with a reference to another quote elsewhere in the article which can be supported by Hansard. I intended no disrespect to you by removing the tag and did so just as I was including another source, which was An Phoblact. I trust you both understand where I'm coming from. I'm not supporting the regiment or any religious or political faction. I'm aiming for the article to be a non-POV source of reference.The Thunderer (talk) 10:25, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The Official Regimental History

I note that much is being made of the use of the Official Regimental History as a source of reference. Why anyone would find that unusual is beyond me however I have now made a count and find that out of 106 references so far, only 42 are from Potter's book. That's 40% of the article references and doesn't include inline sources to various other websites. I find that perfectly reasonable. I would be prepared to change many of the quotes to "Instrument of Peace" by Chris Ryder but that will be done over time.The Thunderer (talk) 10:48, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Attribute the majors comments, and there is no problem. You say above about the 1973 "Official" report by the British Government that we can not give to much credence to that report, and yet we must accept the "Official" Regimental History, from a member of the UDR? Quoting articles by An Phoblacht is not a source or reference for propaganda. You must quote a source which says it. Like X says An Phoblacht has used propaganda such a Y and Z to undermine the UDR. --Domer48'fenian' 11:04, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
The purpose of an Official Regimental History is to give an official view of that regiment and it must be taken as gospel. If anything appears to be Potter's own opinion then it must be accredited to him but do bear in mind his book is compiled from the War Diaries, official records and signals logs of the regiment as well as the NIREP and interviews with many people. An Phoblact is the Official Organ of Sinn Fein - a Republican political party. Sinn Fein have former IRA Army Council members on its board. Ergo Sinn Fein is opposed to Northern Ireland remaining British and will engage in propaganda against any aspect of British institutions. Known, undeniable fact. The same goes for any publication produced by Unionist parties. Let's be realistic. The Thunderer (talk) 11:20, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The Official Regimental History "must be taken as gospel." Let's be realistic. Its the title of a book. --Domer48'fenian' 12:17, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

You cant be serious in saying must be taken as gospel come on please, so if I publish a book called the Real Official history it is gospel that is nonsense. BigDuncTalk 12:23, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes it is the title of a book, as any regimental history will be. It is however an abridged version of the "historical archive" of four volumes lodged with the Ministry of Defence, compiled by Potter at the request of the Colonel Commandant. The original four volumes contain official papers which have not yet been released under the terms of the Public Records Act. It is therefore the definitive official history of the regiment, published with the permission of the Colonel Commandant and the Ministry of Defence. Many facts in the book have had to be cleared for publication and are not in the public domain in their original form. Until they are or until another regimental history is published this remains the major source of official information on the UDR. If you publish a similar book without official permission then it will be treated as opinion.The Thunderer (talk) 12:27, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
With further reference to that, do you have access to:
  1. Watchkeepers logs?
  2. The NIREP
  3. Personnel records?
  4. War Diaries?
  5. Armoury records?
  6. Patrol reports?
  7. Intelligence reports?
Without these things, and more, no book can claim to be a "definitive regimental history" whether it be the UDR or the Queen's Own Deserters. The Thunderer (talk) 12:32, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

This discussion is going nowhere, I'm sorry. The book is a source like any other. In fact it should be used with a degree of caution as would be used with say An Phoblacht. --Domer48'fenian' 13:06, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm repeating this comment from a reply further up the page: We're comparing a book, based on official documents which are subject to stringent rules laid down over many centuries and which result in damaging documents being released like the 1973 report we keep seeing referred to, against a publication of a political party which is aligned to a paramilitary organisation whose stated aims of a "United Socialist Republic of Ireland" and "driving the British from our shores by any means" is espoused in its pages? Call me naive if you wish but I detect some sort of bias in the latter. Based on that premise I agree, this discussion is going nowhere because you're advocating the improper use of controversial sources which not only I would pick up on. A boy scout could see that An Phoblact is going to have a bias for God's sake. The Thunderer (talk) 13:10, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I dont recall anyone saying that it hadn't of course it has. BigDuncTalk 13:14, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
From what I can see of Domer's most recent points he is drawing heavily on An Phoblact as a source for certain opinions. We have a third party opinion on that which agrees that it isn't a neutral source for facts on the UDR. Now the validity of the Official Regimental History seems to have been drawn into question on the grounds that it too is biased. I have pointed out that it is an abridged version of a formal history lodged with MOD and is largely written around official documents. I have also pointed out that I do see Potter's own opinions surfacing from time-to-time and am cognisant that those opinions mustn't be taken as fact and (if used, although I don't believe I have used opinion) then must be qualified by a statement to that effect. One objection was the removal of a statement that the first two recruits being sworn in were a Protestant and a Catholic as it was attributed to Potter's opinion. I have pointed out that it wasn't, that in fact it was taken from a Belfast Telegraph report, that Ryder also mentions it word for word in his book and to pacify opinion I have changed the inline reference to Ryder. Now can any of you two gentlemen point out to me, in good faith, if you think my opinion and argument in this case is based on POV or a desire to restrict the article to facts which are devoid of POV? The Thunderer (talk) 13:37, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I have not use An Phoblacht as a source on this article. You are using it, not me. I'm saying you can not use An Phoblacht articles they way you are using them. You are trying to us them to illustrate a point you wish to make. You have removed three sources I have added, each one of which meets our policies on WP:V and WP:RS and you have called them Republican propaganda. they are David McKittrick & David McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles,Penguin Books 2001, ISBN 0 14 100305 7, pg.72, Martin Dillon, The Dirty War, Arrow 1991, ISBN 0 09 984520 2, pg. 210 and Mark Urban, Big Boy's Rules: The SAS and the Secret Struggle Against the IRA, Faber & Faber Ltd 1992, ISBN 0 571 16809 4, pg. 15-16, 50-51. Again I'm asking you to replace the referenced information. How about we ask is the Official Regimental History a neutral source for facts on the UDR and "must be taken as gospel?" --Domer48'fenian' 13:59, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

What I have done in fact is create an opportunity for you and every other editor to include various items of propaganda from all political parties. I have removed an incorrect assertion by you that the quote on the first two recruits was from Potter - it wasn't it was from the Belfast Telegraph and is now referenced using Ryder who quoted it in exactly the same way as Potter, as they both do in many cases. I removed several references to Catholics regarding the regiment as a "reincarnation of the B Specials" as they were over synthesising that point where you inserted them. If you read the section regarding the Influences of the B Specials and Subsequent Catholic Recruitment and also Attitudes, image and politics you'll see that this subject is very well dealt with using that very term "reincarnation of the B Specials". The article will not benefit from that fact being repeated over and over again throughout. It will slant the article towards a known and continuous Sinn Fein/An Phoblact assertion that the UDR was a "reincarnation of the B Specials". what you need to bear in mind here is that; no matter if Nationalists and Unionists agree on this point, MOD and HQUDR took very stringent steps to try and change this image. The article must reflect that as well as reflecting the opinions of all factions. You can say in observation that MOD and HQUDR failed in their attempts to change the image but you can't keep adding weight to one particular point (or set of points), no matter how good your sources are. It's not in keeping with the aims of Wikipedia. The Thunderer (talk) 14:20, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

You have removed referenced information. You have said that the lead is a summary of the article. There are a number of reasons why catholics left the UDR, and you only put in one. The one you have added, is not even the main reason. Are you not over synthesising a point where you inserted only one reason. You have referenced a statement to Potter and now Ryder and on both occasions I have attributed it to the source. If it was the Belfast Telegraph as you are now saying, then cite the Belfast Telegraph. Now it is pointless me addressing the addition of your opinion to discussions such as "It will slant the article towards a known and continuous Sinn Fein/An Phoblact assertion that the UDR was a "reincarnation of the B Specials". Sinn Fein/An Phoblact have not been used as sources, however David McKittrick & David McVea in Making Sense of the Troubles, Martin Dillon in The Dirty War, and Mark Urban in Big Boy's Rules: The SAS and the Secret Struggle Against the IRA, have been used, and you reverted them. I don't think your comment "you can't keep adding weight to one particular point (or set of points), no matter how good your sources are" is at all helpful. It indicates to me, first that the sources are good, that is they meet our policies on WP:V and WP:RS, and second you just will not accept them. Please stop reverting me, and use the talk page. --Domer48'fenian' 15:12, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I advised youhere at 12.20 that the quote was from the Belfast Telegraph. I also repeated the information minutes later in a reply to BigDunc. The inline citation indicates that Ryder used a quote from the Belfast Telegraph. This is what the line says. This is why I don't understand what you're doing. I'm not objecting to your referencres per se I am objecting to you wanting to include more statements which depict the UDR as a re-incarnation of the B Specials. I feel this is already well covered elsewhere in the article under specific headings which I've already provided to you.The Thunderer (talk) 15:26, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Contrived Edit War

Domer you are making changes against the existing concensus and your edits do not reflect the facts. where Potter has stated an opinion it is fine to say so but where he is stating facts, or where Ryder is stating facts then it is enough to have an inline reference. What you appear to be doing is contriving an edit war by making changes which you know aren't agreed, then making a complaint to 3RR. That's what's regarded as "Gaming" and isn't acceptable behaviour. I now await the obligatory warning on my talk page and the subsequent debate on whether or not I'm edit warring. The Thunderer (talk) 14:32, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Potter. I can't see any harm in attributing statements to Potter. There may be occasions when I need to draw your attention to items if something appears glaringly obvious. The Thunderer 21:53, 10 September 2008. Now this is what you agreeed. I have already said I'm not going to revert you, so there is no 3rr reports. I'm not going to accuse you of WP:OWN. I not even going to accuse you of "Gaming" when you claim I now need "concensus" to make changes, which you agreed too. I will not post any warnings about assuming good faith when you say I'm "contriving an edit war by making changes which [I] know aren't agreed." The reason I not doing any of this, is because I want to edit this article. It is obvious what your doing and you don't need me to tell you that. --Domer48'fenian' 14:53, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
What you're doing appears to me to have no validity in the article. If you were putting these qualifying statements to Potter's opinions then I would have no difficulty in accepting them but what you're doing instead is trying to attribute statements from the Belfast Telegraph to Potter and Ryder. Where facts are quoted it is enough to have an inline reference for those facts. Do you want the entire article to finish up with every inline reference qualified by "so and so says"? I'm coming from a common sense POV on this and I'm struggling to see where you're coming from. I can see no merit in this methodology at all. I've placed an RfC to get another opinion because I am honestly not trying to stop you editing the article. I am just failing to see the point of what you're doing. The Thunderer (talk) 15:05, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I glad you have dropped the "making changes against the existing concensus" claim against me. If you use Potter and Ryder to reference a statement, attribute it to them. If you reference a statement to the Belfast Telegraph then cite the Belfast Telegraph. You can not cite as a source one thing and reference it as something else. --Domer48'fenian' 15:30, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I have just stated that where either of these two authors quote someone else it is enough to put an inline reference to the page on their book where that quote can be found. As you and I have been discussing items I consider the results of our discussion concensus between you and I, which someone else is free to disagree with. If either of us then changes something which flies in the face of what appears to be concensus then of course the other will disagree. The Thunderer (talk) 16:21, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


RfC withdrawn

With all due respect, this is not about "several books" its about one, the Official Regimental History. You are under the impression that "The purpose of an Official Regimental History is to give an official view of that regiment and it must be taken as gospel." My view is no, it should not "be taken as gospel." This is not leading to editwarring, because I have said on three occasions now that I will not revert you, no matter how many time to remove the referenced sources I use. You see this one book as gospel and everything in it are "facts" I disagree. --Domer48'fenian' 15:55, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

My view on the book is actually very different to what you describe. If you look at the Ulsterisation discussion above you will see I actually state that With regards to Potter's observations: his book is mostly a list of facts. In the cases where he defends the UDR or tries to give reasons for certain shortcomings it is fairly obvious. Where he gives historical fact it must be considered definitive as far as the regiment is concerned as it is an official history. I have made it plain that I will not use any opinions from him without making it clear that they are opinions and qualifying them as such. Should you suspect that I have included opinion and draw it to my attention I have already stated above that I will provide the full quote for discussion and if it is opinion then it can be qualified as such on the article. Thus far all you've done it try and attribute quotes from the Belfast Telegraph to him even though the inline citation makes it clear where the reference to the Belfast Telegraph is contained in his book. The Thunderer (talk) 16:16, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Where he gives historical fact it must be considered definitive as far as the regiment is concerned as it is an official history. . Yes, I would tend to agree (though perhaps not "definitive", but certainly reliable). But when he analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed, since his perspective is clearly sympathetic to the regiment. Moreover, in the same way Republican sources can be used to criticise the regiment only when attributed, so can his comments involving Republicans be used, but only when attributed. See the section below for an example of this. On the Belfast Telegraph example, I don't really see why it needs to be attributed. Surely we have no reason to believe he is mis-quoting the newspaper? Therefore we can use his reproduction of their editorial without attributing it to him in the text. Rockpocket 17:43, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
You've put it better than me Rockpocket. I agree.The Thunderer (talk) 19:08, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks again Rockpock for your input. On the Belfast Telegraph I'd just like to explaine my reasons, to illustrate my good faith intensions:

From the Article, "According to the Belfast Telegraph the first two soldiers reported as signing up were a 19-year-old Catholic, James McAree and a 47-year-old Protestant, Albert Richmond. The Ulster Defence Regiment: An Instrument of Peace, Chris Ryder 1991 ISBN-10: 0413648001 p35

Now if it is "According to the Belfast Telegraph" then the reference I thought must be to the Belfast Telegraph. For the sentence to work I thought you put something like "Chris Ryder citing the Belfast Telegraph say the first two soldiers reported as signing up were a 19-year-old Catholic, James McAree and a 47-year-old Protestant, Albert Richmond." Ref: The Ulster Defence Regiment: An Instrument of Peace, Chris Ryder 1991 ISBN-10: 0413648001 p35 Ref. Now that would I thought be correctly attributed and referenced. Now I don't know weather or not the date of the paper should be included if you wanted to verify the information but thats the general idea. Now this was just my opinion, and my understanding and I'm more than happy to accept Rocks view. The only question I would have is, was it an article in the Paper, an editorial or a comment in a letters page. The reason I ask is I've had letters published in the Irish Times, so could you imagine something like "According to the Irish Times." Thats just my thoughts on it. I welcome the views on Potter as they have definitly cleared the air, and hope we can move on from here. --Domer48'fenian' 18:23, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Your date for the Belfast Telegraph report is 18th February 1970. I have no obejctions to it being included. The Thunderer (talk) 18:40, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Never mind, I've put it in for you. The Thunderer (talk) 21:25, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Criticism of the Regiment

Hello again. I've done some editing on the (now renamed) Criticism of the Regiment section. There are serious pejorative implications using the word "propaganda" without attribution, therefore unless someone is specifically describing it as such, we should go with the more neutral criticism. The other major issue is that comparative analysis needs to be attributed. For example:

Republican sources have consistently quoted these as much higher than they are without taking into account the size of the regiment or the fact that it was under the constant pressure of duty from 1970-1992.

This needs be attributed (presumably to this Potter chap), or else we are using his analysis as our own. We do not analyse, we document other's analysis. We should also describe briefly the major criticisms in the "Subversion in the UDR" document in this section. Rockpocket 17:35, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate your edits although as I've said before I don't always agree with them lol. What you maybe didn't notice was that items within the "Criticism" section were already referenced elsewhere in the article, I have just repeated them as requested.. I didn't see the point in repeating rhe content of the 1973 report so instead have put a link to the section where it is very visible. Once again I note that Domer is a little confused about what Major Potter quotes as fact and what is his opinion although on one occasion he has got it right in my opinion but it has meant removing other references to Potter where he's quoting absolute facts on behalf of the regiment. I think Domer could maybe contribute much to the "Criticism" section because, without being facetious, he knows his way round the Republican side of things much better than me. Perhaps he would like to fill in as many criticisms of the regiment as are currently doing the rounds and aren't covered elsewhere? If I can find proper sources for the propaganda theory then I'll include them but I might give it a rest after spending the day arguing minutae. The Thunderer (talk) 19:07, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I have attributed what the articles were covering in this section as they are not editorials it is not the paper talking but articles wrote about said events. Brilliant trees (talk) 19:09, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I think those are good constructive edits. Thank you for getting involved. Perhaps you'd maybe look at some of the other sections and see can you improve those too? The Thunderer (talk) 19:12, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I have perhaps not made myself clear, that when I say "attribution is needed," I mean in-line attribution of the comment, not just a citation. So to use the example above again:
Republican sources have consistently quoted these as much higher than they are without taking into account the size of the regiment or the fact that it was under the constant pressure of duty from 1970-1992.
Needs to be preceded by "Potter writes..." or "According to Potter...". Why is this? Well because we are making value judgments (we are essentially saying Republican sources are lying) and we are making an argument (Republicans say this, but they are being disingenuous because of these reasons). We, as an encyclopaedia, should not be doing either of these things ourselves. What we can do, is report that other notable publications make these arguments. To do that we have to explicitly note who is saying these things in the text. To be clear, we don't have to precede bald fact with attribution, because we trust reliable sources sufficiently to report the facts. However, one a source deviates from fact and makes an argument, a justification, a value judgment or criticism, then we have to explicitly attribute it. That goes for UDR-sympathetic sources and Republican-sympathetic sources alike.
Now, with regards to the "According to the Belfast Telegraph" comment above. Technically speaking, one could argue that we should use the primary source as the citation (in this case, cite the issue of the Belfast Telegraph). If that is available, then great. However, if it is not available, and all we have is a secondary source (in this case, Ryder's book) we need to ask ourselves a question: Is the secondary source considered reliable and neutral in this context? If it is, then we can probably use Ryder as a citation for what the Telegraph said without attributing it to Ryder directly. We trust him, his editor and his publisher to report facts. If there is some suspicion that Ryder may not be neutral in quoting the primary source (i.e. he is misquoting, or taking it out of context), then we should use the "Chris Ryder citing the Belfast Telegraph..." attribution. My gut feeling is that we don't need to attribute it to Ryder in this instance, but I'm not familiar with those sources so I may be wrong.
That all said, in a perfectly neutral world, we should probably attribute everything directly. But we have to strike a balance between readability and attribution, because then we get into situations where we have to write, "According to X, quoting Y's publication of Z's finding....", at the beginning of every sentence! So instead I strongly urge that we go through the entire article and parse out the reporting of fact from the argument/justification/value judgment/criticism then attribute the latter directly, while just sourcing the former. Rockpocket 20:58, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Reasoned and considered, thanks Rock. --Domer48'fenian' 21:03, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

This citing of Republican sources that quotes those numbers solves half the problem, but we are still left with Potter's justification of those numbers. I think keeping that in is important, since it establishes context, but it is also imperative that we make clear who is making that justification, which is why I added back the attribution. Rockpocket 22:26, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Those aren't Potter's words, they're mine. The figures for the regiment are easily established. CAIN has a list of the strength of the UDR right through the 22 years of its existence. They clearly show that the UDR strength rose from 1,400 in 1970 to 9,100 at its peak, averaging out at roughly 7,500. It's a simple matter to confirm that an infantry battalion in the British Army is 750 men (Cavalry/RAC 550). Some infantry rgeiments had only one battalion at that time, some had two, a very few had three so it is reasonable to advocate an average of two battalions per regiment equalling 1,500 men. Under normal field conditions an infantry brigade is two or more infantry battalions plus attached arms such as artillery, armour, engineers etc. Being generous with the figures I had gone for 3,000 men which means that the UDR was larger than two regular, field infantry brigades. How then can a comparison between regiments be accurate when the UDR has 11 battalions totalling 7,500 men (minimum) when the average infantry regiment has 1,500, or at absolute best, 2,250? In fact if you take those figures to the logical conclusion, the UDR operated at Divisonal strength - a division being two or more brigades. Can you see what I mean? The Thunderer (talk) 22:45, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Those aren't Potter's words, they're yours. You can not do that, its your opinion. Can you see what I mean? --Domer48'fenian' 22:54, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Could you remove your comment and opinion from the article please. Referencing your comment and opinion to another author is wrong, I may be wrong calling it WP:OR but what else can I call it? --Domer48'fenian' 23:03, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

My comment isn't referenced. The "fact" which is referred to is referenced. The Thunderer (talk) 23:10, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Your opinion is referenced to Potter. You said it was your opinion. --Domer48'fenian' 23:17, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The sentence is clear: "these figures do not take into account the size of the regiment or the fact that it was under the constant pressure of duty from 1970-1992." The fact is referenced to Potter's book. The Thunderer (talk) 23:39, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

If Potter (or some other reliable source) isn't making the argument with facts, X and Y, where "Republicans often cite this, but are not taking into account X and Y", then we can't use it. If he is making that argument with those two facts, then we must attribute that argument to him. I do understand your logical reasoning, Thunder, but the simple fact is, as an encyclopaedia, it is not our place to reason or justify. As it stands, it is a classic example, of WP:SYN: taking two facts and using them to advance a position. The odd thing about it is, though, that Potter obviously cites the Irish Information Partnership study. Why would he do that unless he is making the same argument that you are? Also, if we can't attribute that argument to Potter, we can't use the study as justification either (again per WP:SYN), since it has to be him that cites it as justification, we can't do it ourselves. Either way, if you can't directly attribute that reasoning (not just the facts) to a reliable source, then it has to go. I'll add the {{who}} request again (which means it either has to be deleted or attributed). Please do one or the other. Rockpocket 23:54, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I didn't deliberately synthesise the item. It was cobbled together this morning and under normal circumstances I would have had time to read and re-read it a few times before deciding what the final format would be. Unfortunately I've been otherwise occupied for most of the day. I've made some changes to the way it's worded and hopefully you'll think it's more appropriately laid out now. I will look at it again tomorrow however and possibly change one or two things if I have more time to find the correct quotes from Potter, Ryder or whoever. The Thunderer (talk) 00:39, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid your changes still hasn't addresses the core issue, which is that facts are being used to advance a position that, apparently, is not advanced in the sources cited so we can't attribute it. We still have "These figures do not take into account..." (by the way, how do you know that the size of the regiment isn't being taken "into account". Figures are figures, irrespective of the size of the sample? Its only the proportion that changes) and "Nor do the criticisms make any acknowledgement of..." Any sentence of this kind needs direct attribution and playing around with order isn't going to change that. I'm going to add back the {{who}} template a third time, please do not remove it with direct attribution or removing these arguments, as persistently removing templates without addressing the issue is often considered disruptive. Rockpocket 22:27, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I can certainly back up what I've said and will do so. Thanks. The Thunderer (talk) 09:17, 15 September 2008 (UTC)


I have gone through some sections of the article and parse out the reporting of fact from the argument/justification/value judgment/criticism and have attempted to attribute the latter directly. I have placed some {{who}} next to some analysis and comparisons as I don't know who is making these observations? For example:

"This equates to perhaps 30,000 to 35,000 people who enlisted into the UDR over their operational period of 1970 to 1992, although the regimental history gives the number as 40,000. Although these numbers may seem high it was only a small percentage of the male population of Northern Ireland who ever served with the Ulster Defence Regiment. Understandably it was a job with many risks associated with it which were not outweighed by a high wage or good working conditions."

I hope this gives an indication of were I'm confused as to who is making the comparisons? If I'm compleatly of the beaten track, please let me know and remove any mistakes I may have made through lack of understanding. Having my mistakes pointed out to me and explained, will prevent me doing it again, thanks. --Domer48'fenian' 08:29, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I'll get to this. It's the start of a new working week and I'm going to be pretty busy. I will give it attention. From what you've indicated it looks like the poor wording of the item is the problem. That's my fault for leaving certain things in when I should have simplified it. The Thunderer (talk) 09:20, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

In the Duties section, would it not be useful to note that members living in communities were also subject to certain other pressures, from the likes of the UVF? I could add it if it helps? --Domer48'fenian' 09:48, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

If you think it reads ok. Other aspects which haven't been explored are alcohol abuse as the result of stress and the number of suicides by members who held weapons at home. The Thunderer (talk) 10:25, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

It becomes unclear who is actually making the points after "After Ulsterisation began in 1976 ..." I placed the {{who}} tags just for the time being. Just tilll we know if it is Potter or Ryder? --Domer48'fenian' 10:20, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Some of your most recent edits need scrutinised more closely. In some cases where a quote has been used inline you are attributing the information to the authors of books although that information is available as a matter of public record, such as CAIN or Hansard. I'll get back to these later but expect some reversions. The Thunderer (talk) 10:25, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

There are no quotes? The information is referenced, but needs to be attributed? Could you pollibly explain what you mean by "where a quote has been used inline you are attributing the information to the authors of books?" Thanks--Domer48'fenian' 10:41, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Uniform, armament & equipment

Armaments. Small stocks of Riot Guns were also kept. These were used to fire plastic bullets to knock down doors and other obstacles during search operations. Could you possibly explaine this a bit better. The thought of been hit with a plastic bullet that could knock down a door sounds painful. LOL

"but Major Ken Maginnis acquired permission for UDR soldiers to purchase Browning 9&nnsp;mm pistols at £200 each. These were deemed to be more effective." I don't understand what this mens?--Domer48'fenian' 10:37, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Is the whole section attributable to "The Ulster Defence Regiment - An Instrument of Peace?" --Domer48'fenian' 10:51, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Please explain

Could you please explain both the edit summary and the reason for removing referenced information. I have ask you on three occasions now to revert your changes. --Domer48'fenian' 19:51, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

You added information concerning Nationalist opinion which has no bearing in the edit summary. Also, there is no need in my opinion to further clarify the Catholic position in the edit summary never mind introduce speculation on Nationalists. You keep wrongly attributing quotes to Major John Furniss Potter. Where facts are given they are facts - not opinion. As Rockpocket has already pointed out to you Furniss is to be considered an authority on the UDR and the facts from his book do not need to be qualified. Where I have cited opinion and you have qualified it I have let your edit remain untouched. You seem absolutely determined to fill this article full of references to "Major Potter said". I don't have any objections when you get it right but you'd hardly expect me to let you edit in erroneous information when I have Potter's book open beside me and can quickly reference it from the page quotations in the reflist? The Thunderer (talk) 20:00, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Potter is considered a reliable source, not an authority. Now you either attribute his comments if that is who is being referenced or remove the reference and place a cite tag. I have not mentioned Nationalist opinion in the edit summary you have. I asked you to explain what you meant by it. Your objection to the Lead is without foundation, and rather than revert, I’m asking you again to do so, or please explain your objections? There are a number of reasons why Catholics left. Internment was one of the major reasons, as was the perception that it was a reincarnation of the B Specials. It even states in the article that the majority of new recruits were ex-members. You even cite Bernadette Devlin in the house of commons. You wish to leave all this out and put it down to IRA attacks? And I am again asking why? Are you suggesting Nationalist opinion has no bearing in just the lead or the whole article? --Domer48'fenian' 20:16, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

The lead doesn't have to contain EVERYTHING. The reference to Nationalist was in fact in the history of the regiment and in the context of how you worded it there is no bearing on the UDR. You must specify Catholics, not Nationalists because not all Catholics are Nationalist. Only when specifically referring to Nationalist issues would it be appropriate to single them out. All of this is very well covered and it appears once again that your only objection is that it doesn't conform to a Nationalist or Republican POV. The Thunderer (talk) 20:34, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Comment on content and not the editor again accusations of POV pushing are being used this has to stop. BigDuncTalk 20:39, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I have been commenting on content all day whereas Domer has been busying himself posting incorrect information and demanding links for items which are already properly referenced. I haven't had as much fun in ages. The Thunderer (talk) 20:51, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

"The lead doesn't have to contain EVERYTHING." So you are being selective. Nationalist’s attitudes had everything to do with recruitment so your point is meaningless. Now once again, I will not respond to your assumptions, and I would request that you replace the text you have again removed. The authors as far as I know are not Nationalists or Republicans having read the books I can safely say they are not the latter. I will ensure that this article is not locked, and the best way is not to editwar so please stop reverting my edits and use the talk page. --Domer48'fenian' 20:57, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Nationalism is a political assumption which cannot be made against all Catholics. Simple as that. I have no intention of edit warring but removing incorrect information is not a breach of 3RR. You keep trying to attribute quotes to Major Potter when they are not his quotes. I suggest you go kick something and take a deep breath. The Thunderer (talk) 21:12, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Removing information that is referenced is editwarring, and is subject to 3rr. If a comment or statement is referenced to Potter it should be attributed to Potter. Now once again, and for the last time please comment on content and not the editor, this is not a warning just advice. --Domer48'fenian' 21:30, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Removing erroneous information is not edit warring. It is the removal of incorrect information. The Thunderer (talk) 22:05, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


What is next is the continuation of the good work all of you have done together. I can here expecting all out war, but instead found a surprisingly good article and a the major editors showing remarkable restraint under what I expect you are all finding trying conditions. More work needs to be done to a genuinely good, neutral and nuanced article, but it is well on its way and I think we can get there. But the only way that is going to happen is if you all continue to keep it polite and civil, continue to assume good faith of each other and appreciate that, in fact, everyone wants the same thing here. I am in a position to say that because I have heard pretty much the same thing from all of your privately. So lets all resist the urge to let frustrations spill over, and stay focused. I'll respond to each of you by email later today (or perhaps early tomorrow, GMT). Rockpocket 21:27, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Reasoned and considered, thanks again Rock. --Domer48'fenian' 21:34, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Comparisons with the B Specials

Domer you are requested to cease with this constant effort to try and portray the UDR as a re-incarnation of the B Specials during the time of its formation. The assertion is wrong for so many reasons. For a start the UDR was a military unit which did not have police powers - the comparison ends there. If what you're trying to say is that the UDR was an anti-Catholic milita, then that's also wrong. You can have your views and opinions, you can support them by sources if you wish but the intent in Lord Hunt's report is clear, as are the recruitment methods of the MOD and no source you can provide will adequately challenge that. The intent of the article is to be encyclopedic so it is fair to say there were "image problems" and I have even given you the opportunity to expand the section on B Specials and Catholic recruitment. In 1972 there was no such image problem, just a range of accusations by Catholic/Nationalist/Republican politicians. That's as far as it goes. The Thunderer (talk) 12:44, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

They are referenced sources which meet our policies on WP:V and WP:RS. Comparisons with the B Specials were made by a number of groups and individuals including British MP’s. That the vast majority of the new recruits were ex-members of the specials, a point raised in the house of commons and referenced by you supports this. Now it is a valid point to make that Nationalists perceptions were that it was a reincarnation of the specials. Now I have not commented on your motivation, for the hundred time stop commenting on editors perceived motivation and address the edits. --Domer48'fenian' 12:53, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

There are various sections in the article where you are able to expand on the views of Nationalist/Catholic/Republican politicans with regards to a number of issues concerning the UDR. It is not within policy for you to try and slant the history of the regiment to make it read as if Catholics regarded it as a "reincarnation of the B Specials" from the outset. Not only is that assertion incorrect but the figures for Catholics joining, even if you allow it to remain as low as 18% show that at least 17% more Catholics joined than were in the B Specials. So therefore your assertion is contradictory to the rest of the article, something which is borne out by more citations than you can shake a stick at. No personal attacks are being made but it is impossible to edit an article on Northern Ireland during the troubles without referring to Unionist and Republican POV. The Thunderer (talk) 13:06, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Enough said, leave it up to an outside party. --Domer48'fenian' 13:15, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Quite happy to do so. The Thunderer (talk) 13:42, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Now we seem to be getting somewhere. You appear to be grasping my logic of keeping various things in easy to read sections. As long as it's done that way you give the reader a chance to concentrate on a particular point. Within that B Specials section you have a chnce to fully expand on the Catholic/Nationalist/Republican perceptions of the Regiment, whereas in other sections it's possible to isolate aspects of "spin" by political parties. Therefore the entire article forms the debate - you don't have to keep bringing the same caggage up in every section. Go ahead now, fill your boots and I'll come up behind to check spelling and grammar and provide quotes if necessary. Just be careful of the POV. The Thunderer (talk) 15:49, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

It still needs to be clarified. --Domer48'fenian' 16:13, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

If you feel it does then go right ahead. I wouldn't want to see it in the lead however. There is a section for the B Specials and I think it could do with a lot more information. The effects their presence had on recruiting etc. It's a big part of the history as far as image and perceptions go so it should be a good interesting section if it's done correctly. If you don't mind me saying so, try and think outside the loop. Try not to make it look like an absolute condemnation of the B Specials or the UDR. There is a specific article on the USC and I've identified a couple of histories to buy which should make for interesting content. The Thunderer (talk) 19:18, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Needs looking up

The Thunderer you asked me here if I needed anything looked up. Well I do actually. Could you look up in the Chris Ryder Book you cite often that the incidence of crime among UDR members is greater than the population as a whole. I find it hard to believe it would be that high? I read it somewhere I just can't remember. If you find it could you add it to the article, as it would look better comming from you. --Domer48'fenian' 14:51, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Certainly. Ryder devotes a whole chapter from p150-p185 called "The Bad Apples". On page 173 he notes that the UDR acknowledges that 17 of its members were covicted of murder and that 12 of the 15 Catholics murdered were killed because they were Catholics or had suspected terror links. On page 184 he explores the Irish Information Partnership information which he gives as crime per 10.000 people. The UDR comes out top in this one with 9.1% against 5.9% for the community, 1.7% for the regular army and 0.9% for the RUC. To get the figures for age 187-25 bracket you have to consult Potter. He cites "Bruce" (Aberdeen University) on page 379 who states that for the age group 18-35 the figures for the civilian population rise to 23%. He bases that on the fact that the males serving in the UDR were between the ages of 18-35.
It has occurred to me that the two books between them carry comprehensive listings of crimes carried out by UDR personnel, including non-sectarian crime. In the interest of co-operation it may be worth your while to start a separate page, much like I've done for "operations" and "attacks against the UDR". I don't have any problems assisting as I know the Ryder book is out of print and hard to come by. The Thunderer (talk) 15:40, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I'll have the book hopefully by Thursday, its due back to me then. So I would be correct in saying that "the incidence of crime among UDR members was greater than the population as a whole." I'll include some of the incidence of crime in the subversion section, because in some of the cases a blind eye was shown leading to allagations of collusion. --Domer48'fenian' 15:51, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

On looking at the bare figures that's what it suggests. Bruce however breaks it down. By the time that report was done the average age of the UDR was 18-35 you see, the regular army would have been the same but the RUC would have had many members as old as 55 (some older I believe - I think the oldest killed was 60). So Bruce's contention is that the bare figures are a misrepresentation of the facts. The Thunderer (talk) 15:56, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

So Bruce's contention is that the bare figures are a misrepresentation of the facts by Ryder?--Domer48'fenian' 16:05, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

No Bruce's contention is that the bare facts themselves are a misrepresentation as they do not make it clear that the UDR members are between 18-35 whereas the figures presented compare them to the entire population. The Thunderer (talk) 16:08, 14 September 2008 (UTC)


My advice would be to move your most recent quotes into a separate section on the UDA, somewhere around the "Infiltration by paramilitaries" section. I can contribute very heavily with confirmation of what you've written from the official history, including the damning quotes from UDR officers and official acknowledgement of how and why the UDA presence was tolerated early in the history of the regiment. The Thunderer (talk) 15:53, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Nationalists concerns a valid, and UDA leaders telling their members to join would have effected their view. It can be expanded however in the section indicated. --Domer48'fenian' 16:07, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I would say it's Catholic concerns which are valid because not all Catholics are Nationalist and membership was open to Catholics, not just Nationalists. I totally agree that UDA members being in a unit would affect Catholic membership. It would increase tension, cold shouldering, sending to coventry, all the usual forms of intimidation which could be employed in these circumstances. Do bear in mind however that no cases of intimidation of Catholics in the UDR have ever come to light. Now I'm not stupid, and neither are you. We both know it MUST have went on. It's likely that Catholics who felt they had to leave because of this also felt it was pointless complaining to a battalion commader who was an ex B Man. The upshot of it is though that intimidation by Protestants within the regiment remains as speculation although I'm sure I have references to Catholics feeling uncomfortable having to report for duty in B Special drill halls. On the obverse side though you have to look at the high Catholic numbers in 3, 5 and 7 UDR respectively. Particularly 3. With 30% of Catholic members, Catholic officers and NCO's you have a complete reversal of the status quo as seen by Catholics. To the extent that Paisley and cronies complained that Protestants couldn't get promotion in 3 UDR because Catholics ran the battalion. Of course that opens another can of worms in that two incidents regarding weapons going astray to the IRA are attributed to 3 UDR and the Irish Freedom Fighters. The Thunderer (talk) 16:16, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually with hindsight, my statement above begs another question. With 5 UDR having a high number of B Men and a high number of Catholics, what were interpersonal relationships like there? There must have been incidences of mixed patrols as there were in 3 UDR, possibly with Catholic NCO's leading former B Men? The Thunderer (talk) 16:19, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

The Lead

Even though intended to be non-partisan, and beginning with 18% Catholic recruits,[1] IRA attacks on Catholic UDR soldiers and (to a lesser extent) disenchantment among Catholics because of sectarianism by Protestant members, Catholic membership would settle at around 3%.[2]

Now here is the source.

Forget about the fact that you left out "disenchantment among Catholics because of sectarianism by Protestant members" originally, why the qualifying statement by you of “(to a lesser extent).” That’s you adding this no one else. You cite no source or reference for it. So you have a regiment the majority of whom are ex-members of the B Specials, UDA leaders encouraging their members to join, and the ministry of defence have no problem with this, and you qualify this referenced source. Please explain what policy you are working of here. --Domer48'fenian' 18:08, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I have a statement from the official history which is very exact. It says that no cases of intimidation of Catholics by Protestant members have ever come to light. I have used that as the reference for the sentence I included. I don't think it reads particularly well but I can't see a better way of writing it at the moment, unless you can? I would have to say that, unless another author comes up with a specific example of intimidation of Catholics then everyone has to accept that there isn't any evidence. Should evidence come to light I would be in agreement with removing the statement from the official history as it is dated to 2001. I want to make room for what you're saying but another author saying there was intimidation without citing examples is not valid in my opinion. Perhaps Rockpocket could give us his considered opinion on it?
I am almost positive I can supply information from one of the two definitve books on how uncomfortable some Catholics felt in the presence of so many B Men. Would you accept me giving you this information and allowing you to work it into the recruitment section.
On this I agree with you 100%. There is no doubt that Catholic recruitment was one of the major failures of the regiment. The reasons why have to be included, Republican spin as well. Intimidation, fear, negative image, they;re all factors and I don't oppose the inclusion of any information which provides a good encyclopedic record of that. The Thunderer (talk) 18:31, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I've now read your source. Not that I ever doubted it, but all it says is that one sentence, "sectarianism by Protestant members." What sectarianism? Where are the examples? How did the author come by the information or is it speculation? As it stands I would have to say that it's pure speculation on behalf of the author and as I have an attributed quote from the Official Regimental History that throws the validity of the other quote in doubt. My personal view is that the information should be removed from the lead and examined as an allegation in the "Subsequent Catholic Recruitment" section along with supported quotes from other sources, including Potter and Ryder (if Ryder covers it). Other than that I can only say you're including information in the lead which isn't proven, but I'm not going to remove it. The Thunderer (talk) 18:38, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

The source is both WP:V and WP:RS. Get a third opinion, because the Major is hardly a third party source. --Domer48'fenian' 18:42, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't feel there's any merit in arguing this one any further. With the lead as the way it is now the information is balanced although I feel that because the subject matter is not properly established it doesn't carry enough weight for the lead and should be moved to the B Specials or Catholic Recruitment sections so that it can be fully detailed with whatever quotes we can both come up with. That's just my personal view however, you are welcome to disagree and I am not going to interfere with the lead any further unless new information comes to light, or you make some sort of edit which I vehemently diagree with - fair enough? The Thunderer (talk) 18:46, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Do you think we can move onto something else now? I feel we are actually achieving something today instead of just sabre rattling at each other. The Thunderer (talk) 18:50, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I think this is a little too detailed for the lead, and can be explained in more detail, with both claim and counterclaim attributed, in the body of the article. The reasons for the disenchantment isn't as important as the fact it turned out to be a highly partisan body. I would go with something like this for the lead:
The Regiment was intended to be nonpartisan, and it began with Catholic recruits accounting for 18% of membership. However, in time suspicion and disenchantment among the Catholic community grew, and Catholic membership settled at around 3%.
Rockpocket 23:58, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Rock, a reasonable suggestion. You are right of course, it can be explained in more detail, with both claim and counterclaim attributed, in the body of the article. --Domer48'fenian' 07:40, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

That is basically what I've been saying Domer. We don't need to explain every section in the lead. Just a basic overview. The sections have evolved in such a way as to give every editor the chance to include every point of view. My opposition isn't to what you've been editing in, it's very much down to style and synthesis in my opinion. Now that you appear to have settled into that format you will notice I have started to support you and help where possible? The Thunderer (talk) 09:25, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

We must have been taking at cross purposes then. I simply thought that only adding one reason out of many was selective? Rock has provided us with a way out of it, were no one issue is highlighted, and it can be addressed in detail in the article. So it is a case of all's well that ends well. --Domer48'fenian' 11:15, 15 September 2008 (UTC)




3. The UDR came into being on 1 April 1970. It was formed following the recommendations of the Hunt Report (in 1969) that the Ulster Special Constabulary ('B' Specials), who were 100% Protestant, should be disbanded and a new locally recruited, non-denominational, part time force, under the GOC Northern Ireland, be set up. In fact the percentage of Catholic members has continually declined since the formation of the regiment, and currently stands at just under 4% (see Annex A).

How should highlighted sections be addressed. --Domer48'fenian' 18:56, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I would leave that up to you, whether it be italics or bold. If you don't mind me making a couple of observations on what you've presented thus far? The B Specials weren't 100% Protestant. Surprising I know and I wasn't aware until about a month ago. Doherty's Thin Green Line has the info - I have the book. He doesn't give a percentage but I think it would be fair to say "almost 100% Protestant". If you look at the Ulster Special Constabulary article you'll also find a quote from Scarman which says that, in 1969 he doubted if any Catholic's application would have been accepted for the B Specials. Also, do you really want to repeat information which is already in two other places in the article, including the lead? (formation of the UDR and stuff). The Thunderer (talk) 19:26, 14 September 2008 (UTC)


I have started a new section to explore the question of the rank structure of the regiment. This should be an interesting exercise in exploring the influences of the B Specials in the early days of the regiment. None of it is referenced at the moment but all of it can be. Some editors, perhaps Domer, may want to chip in with information? The Thunderer (talk) 18:22, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

You need to say that future promotions were by way of training and skills uplifting, not on a 'status' or 'who you know' basis? Gavin Lisburn (talk) 09:05, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I fully agree Gavin. At the moment I've just included information on the formation of the regiment. It needs a lot more work and anything you put in would be welcome. Saves me looking it up. The Thunderer (talk) 09:27, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

It needs to be attributed, what book is it from, and if I have it I will do it for you. --Domer48'fenian' 11:01, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

None of it is taken directly from a book at the moment. It's all series of recollections from different books but you'll find some of it in Potter and some in Ryder as well as other sources. The number of officers and NCO's is based on what we know an average battalion staff should be. That's 5 companies, HQ, A, B, C & D. Each one needs a major to command plus a major to act as 2 i/c, plus captains as company 2 i/c's and one to act as adjutant. 5 platoons per rifle company commanded by lieutenants and backed up by sergeants, corporals and lance corporals. Ok, it can be argued that some UDR battalions finished up with up to 11 companies, but that was long after formation. The Thunderer (talk) 17:23, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Recent changes

I've been bold and made a start on the attributions in the article. I have attempted to place the sections in a chronology thats makes it more readable and amalgamation the information from various sections. While I don't think it is perfict by any means, it dose give us a working base. Any suggestions on improvement are welcome, and any problems can be addressed here. By identifying problems a section at a time, we should be able to move along quickly. --Domer48'fenian' 14:45, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I'll get a look at it later. The Thunderer (talk) 17:24, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Maths problem

By the end of March 1970 the number of accepted reruits was 2,440 including 1,423 ex B Specials and 946 Catholics. Effectively this mean [who?] that only 71 Protestants who had not been B Specials had applied for and been accepted. The breakdown for each area was:

By 1st April 1970 only 1,606 of the desired 4,000 men had been enlisted and the regiment began its duties much under strength.

Is this April Fools Day? Could someone sort this out who has the figures? --Domer48'fenian' 18:05, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Accepted and enlisted are two different things. So they had 2440 accepted but only 1606 enlisted. (sworn in). Does that make sense now? The Thunderer (talk) 12:58, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Request for Comment

I come to this article as a result of it being posted on the Request for Comment page. I am English. I suspect that it will be very difficult to get this article to a truely NPOV status, because the troubles are too recent and memories are too raw. Most editors are likely to be partisan on one side or the other. Catholic recruitment, into the Northern Irish security forces during the troubles was inevitably difficult, because the IRA regarded whose who enlisted as traitors and were liable to deal with them accordingly. I suspect that we will have to wait another decade or more until NPOV academic studies have been undertaken, before issues can be dealt with objectively. Peterkingiron (talk) 22:48, 15 September 2008 (UTC)


According to Rockpocket Where he gives historical fact it must be considered definitive as far as the regiment is concerned as it is an official history. . Yes, I would tend to agree (though perhaps not "definitive", but certainly reliable). But when he analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed, since his perspective is clearly sympathetic to the regiment. Moreover, in the same way Republican sources can be used to criticise the regiment only when attributed, so can his comments involving Republicans be used, but only when attributed. See the section below for an example of this. On the Belfast Telegraph example, I don't really see why it needs to be attributed. Surely we have no reason to believe he is mis-quoting the newspaper? Therefore we can use his reproduction of their editorial without attributing it to him in the text. Rockpocket 17:43, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

You are trying to attribute facts to Potter left, right and centre. They don't make sense and they shouldn't be included by Rockpocket's logic. The Thunderer (talk) 14:00, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

If Potter analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed, since his perspective is clearly sympathetic to the regiment. If you have references to Potter, you attribute it to him, or state otherwise. --Domer48'fenian' 14:37, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Here are representative examples. Please explaine why you don't think they need to be attributed. If you don't like these examples pick some yourself? --Domer48'fenian' 14:51, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Until 1976 the full-time cadre consisted only of a "conrate" (so called because they had a "consolidated rate of pay"). No Need to attribute.

The Ministry of Defence issued a statement Major Potter says, which said that Miskimmon's forms were to be ignored and only the official forms accepted as applications. They further stated he said, that any future letters of such a nature must be cleared with MOD. Needs to be attributed.

The 3rd (Co. Down) Battalion was, and remained, he notes, the unit with the highest percentage of Catholic members, beginning at 30% throughout the Troubles, with entire sections being made up of Catholics. This led he contends, to protests from the USC Association that in 3 UDR “preference for promotion and allocation of appointments was being given to Catholics”Needs to be attributed.

Without the former B Specials these figures would have been far worse and it is unlikely that the new force would have ever got off the ground. Needs to be attributed.

Potter is not "noting" or "saying" anything. He is quoting facts from official records therefore all it needs is an inline citation. The Thunderer (talk) 14:56, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Well quote the official records then. Even official records can be challanged. Please demonstrate your concerns using the examples I have provided, or cite examples yourself that illustrate the point you wish to make. --Domer48'fenian' 15:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Accoroding to Rockpocket, Potter is a reliable source on those matters concerning the UDR. Or do you disagree? The Thunderer (talk) 17:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Please address the issue by using the examples given. Potter's word is not fact when he analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions. --Domer48'fenian' 17:35, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I think it would be best if you ask Rockpocket to adjudicate. I don't want to give an opinion. The Thunderer (talk) 17:49, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

You have raised concerns, now lets address them? --Domer48'fenian' 17:53, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Here is one of your examples, which you reverted.

"The 3rd (Co. Down) Battalion was, and remained, the unit with the highest percentage of Catholic members, beginning at 30% throughout the Troubles, with entire sections being made up of Catholics. This led protests from the USC Association and loyalist politicians, that in 3 UDR “preference for promotion and allocation of appointments was being given to Catholics”

And here is another:"By the end of March 1970 the number of accepted reruits was 2,440 including 1,423 ex B Specials and 946 Catholics. Effectively this mean [who?] that only 71 Protestants who had not been B Specials had applied for and been accepted. The breakdown for each area was:"

Please explaine why they don't need attribution? Maybe I have it wrong, but unless you explaine it to me I will not know? --Domer48'fenian' 19:03, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Oh I think you can figure it out. As I've said though, perhaps you should ask for advice from a neutral 3rd party? The Thunderer (talk) 19:05, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Since your not willing to discuss your reversions, I suggest you stop removing attributions to authors. --Domer48'fenian' 19:08, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Nope. I've asked you to get a 3rd opinion because I believe you're misinterpreting Rockpocket's intentions. I'd ask you to leave out the attributions until that comes along. The Thunderer (talk) 20:01, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Rock was good enough to give an opinion. :If Potter analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed, since his perspective is clearly sympathetic to the regiment. If you have references to Potter, you attribute it to him, or state otherwise.--Domer48'fenian' 20:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

You're attributing everything to Potter. The Thunderer (talk) 20:29, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I have only attributed things to Potter, when he is used as a reference. If Potter analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed. Could you please use the examples above to illustrate your concerns, and we will address them. Your rational to date is very unclear, and I’m making every effort to work through this with you. --Domer48'fenian' 07:42, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok let me have a go. Using the examples above:

"The 3rd (Co. Down) Battalion was, and remained, the unit with the highest percentage of Catholic members, beginning at 30% throughout the Troubles, with entire sections being made up of Catholics." (This is a documentable fact, and Potter should be reliable as a source. No real need to attribute)" This led protests from the USC Association and loyalist politicians, that in 3 UDR “preference for promotion and allocation of appointments was being given to Catholics” (Here there is a problem. We are claiming Causality by saying X led to Y. This isn't a documentable fact, but instead is an analysis of the facts. Can Potter speak for the USC and politicians, so that we can take his understanding of the cause and effect as fact? I'm not sure he can, therefore to be safe this should probably be attributed to Potter. Moreover, we are quoting someone, but who? Potter or the "loyalist politicians"? That quote needs to be attributed).

"By the end of March 1970 the number of accepted reruits was 2,440 including 1,423 ex B Specials and 946 Catholics." (again, these are statistics, don't need to be attributed) "Effectively this means that only 71 Protestants who had not been B Specials had applied for and been accepted." (This is analysis because we are saying what something "means", needs to be attributed)

Does the difference between these types of sentences make sense as to why some needs attributed and some do not? Rockpocket 02:09, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes it makes sense, and thanks for clearing that up. --Domer48'fenian' 11:19, 19 September 2008 (UTC)


This article is in severe danger of becoming innacurate because of clever synthesis. It now requires an almost complete rewrite to rid it of certain things. Rest assured it will get it. The Thunderer (talk) 14:15, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Please, you must assume good faith, I'm going out of my way to be helpful, and your tone is not at all productive. Please outline your concerns here, and for example give examples of "innacurate because of clever synthesis."--Domer48'fenian' 14:43, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I have assumed good faith thoughout. You are making a definite synthesis however, perhaps inadvertantly. This was a well written and well formatted article and as far as I can see it is no longer that. It hasn't gained anything from the information you have added. All you appear to be doing is highlighting information which is detrimental to the regiment and its members. Something which didn't and doesn't need to be done as all the facts are already there. Trying to attrbute facts to just one man also smacks of trying to show that any positive information is only supplied by the regimental history. This is absolutely wrong. From where I am sitting it is a clever method of synthesising information and it needs to be rewritten in a more balanced and neutral way. Something I will do. The Thunderer (talk) 15:00, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Please explaine what is wrong with the format? If you could, please illustrate, with an example how or were I am making "a definite synthesis?" That is taking a point from x and a point from y and comming up with z. Are you suggesting that I only add information which is not detrimental to the regiment and its members? "Trying to attrbute facts to just one man also smacks of trying to show that any positive information is only supplied by the regimental history." A number of points: 1) I attributed information from a number of sources and authors not just Potter. 2) I only attributed statements to Potter, when the statement was referenced to him. 3) There is notting wrong with me attributing "positive information" to Potter, and 4) your comments about Potter "attrbute facts to just one man also smacks of trying to show that any positive information is only supplied by the regimental history" say more about your intensions than mine, in my opinion. --Domer48'fenian' 15:27, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Thunderer could you point out the specific parts you feel that synthesis has been used and this can be fixed by all editors concerned. To just make a statement without backing it up with specifics will IMO start more edit wars. And has been demonstrated by Domer and yourself that when you use the talk page edit wars are avoided thanks. BigDuncTalk 17:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
It's very kind of you to intervene Dunc and I appreciate your words. There's always a simple and non-controversial way to sort things out, I agree. I am in the process of doing so. Thanks again. The Thunderer (talk) 17:08, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Not being rude but that is not telling any editor where exactly the synthesis occured so could you point it out please for all editors to view thanks again. BigDuncTalk 17:12, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Could you please address the issues you have raised. --Domer48'fenian' 17:37, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm adressing them by editing. I've created a separate article for the extensive "Subversion in the UDR" report as its presence gives too much weight to the period 1970-1972. If it were to be kept in then I propose that the other separate pages showing UDR Operations and Attacks Against The UDR should be included too - for balance. The Thunderer (talk) 17:51, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

When you have it done let me know, and we can see about a move request. --Domer48'fenian' 17:54, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Could you explaine what you mean by ""Subversion in the UDR" report as its presence gives too much weight to the period 1970-1972?"--Domer48'fenian' 18:01, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

It's quote easy really. 1970-72 was just two years out of 22. The Thunderer (talk) 19:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Your point being? For balance, why not add Unionist reactions to the report? --Domer48'fenian' 19:18, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

You started this section with "This article is in severe danger of becoming innacurate because of clever synthesis. It now requires an almost complete rewrite to rid it of certain things." You then followed this up with "You are making a definite synthesis however, perhaps inadvertantly." Could you please tell me what information I'm making a definite synthesis however, perhaps inadvertantly. Now I assume the first comment was dirrected at me, based on the second, so could I yet again ask you to direct your comments to the edits and not the editor. Now is this disscussion about "synthesis" or "too much weight to the period 1970-1972" because I'm getting confused? --Domer48'fenian' 19:24, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Unionist reaction is of no consequence. What's important is how the UDR dealt with the issue. POV must be kept out of this. Also, by adding such a long piece on this 1973 document is putting too much weight on it. It was a draft document, you have no proof it went into circulation and it only applied to 1970-1972. So in other words it is only a tenth of the historical period you are covering over a piece of speculation. The Thunderer (talk) 20:05, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

"POV must be kept out of this." "This article is in severe danger of becoming innacurate because of clever synthesis." "You are making a definite synthesis however, perhaps inadvertantly." "All you appear to be doing is highlighting information which is detrimental to the regiment and its members." "Trying to attrbute facts to just one man also smacks of trying to show that any positive information is only supplied by the regimental history." "From where I am sitting it is a clever method of synthesising information and it needs to be rewritten in a more balanced and neutral way." ""Subversion in the UDR" report as its presence gives too much weight to the period 1970-1972." "by adding such a long piece on this 1973 document is putting too much weight on it."The Thunderer

As far as I can see, you have two issues, 1)"synthesis" and 2)"weight." If you could provide an example of were I may have added "definite synthesis," I will address it. On "weight" I'm less sure. I agree that it could be made shorter, but "Sorry - don't like it" as a rational for removing it is not productive.--Domer48'fenian' 07:56, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


The history section contains a lot of information that is in the body of the article. I would like to suggest, like the Lead Section, a lot of this information could be accommodated in the article were it could be addressed in full. I will look at it in more detail later, but suggestions are welcome. --Domer48'fenian' 09:17, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Just looking it over, the "History" is like a mini "Lead" and the bulk of the information is duplicated. I would like to place the duplicate information into the various sections and expand on the Hunt Report. This report is the real beginnings of the UDR and gets hardly a mention. By placing the origins into context, the reservations of the nationalist community become apparent. For example, what was it about the B Specials that precipitated such a reaction? We are told they were perceived as a partisan force, but no explanation is given. The question I would ask if I was reading the article is; was this an irrational suggestion, possibly politically inspired or manipulated or was it based on clearly attributable causes? Now I could quit easily answer those questions, having an interest in the subject but what of the average reader? So the proposal is, we amalgamate the history section and replace it with a section on the Hunt Report. It dose not have to be a complete run down, as we already have articles on both the Specials and Hunt. --Domer48'fenian' 17:37, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Unsourced pieces

I intend to remove all unsourced material from the article especially the parts tagged with {{cn}} tags. Could editors who have refs that could be used here insert them thanks. BigDuncTalk 09:20, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

As it is a working week, some of us don't have the time to devote to this. I suggest you wait until we do before removing anything which has only just been tagged. The Thunderer (talk) 12:30, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
Seen as your talking about removing content as I have stated I will be removing all unsourced content are you going to address it or shall I go ahead and remove. BigDuncTalk 18:46, 20 September 2008 (UTC)


Hello chaps. I just wanted to let you know that I haven't abandoned you, but unfortunately something came up at work that has kept me extremely busy for the last few days. I anticipate it being resolved by the end of this week, when I will be able to respond to your emails and have another look at this article. I had a quick look now and I would caution again that we should be careful to distinguish between the need to attribution (According to X...) and citation. When we are documenting facts a citation is sufficient, when we are offering opinion, justification of synthesis then it should be attributed. I would recommend using {{who}} for the former and {{cn}} for the latter. That way everyone knows what is being asked and what is required. Rockpocket 17:26, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

An excellent idea Rock thanks very much for that it would help quite a lot. I have in fact tried to do just that, on a number of occasions. When we talk about “facts” is where I run into problems. For every fact that is questioned or challenged, I would suggest the use of additional primary, secondary or third party sources to support such information. I have given some examples above were I have attributed the source of some information, which appears to have caused some confusion and hopefully by the time you get back the issue should be resolved? --Domer48'fenian' 17:49, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

This needs to be addressed

This needs to be addressed, I would request some input from editors.

The IRA's policy according to Thomas G. Mitchell, Native Vs. Settler: Ethnic Conflict in Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland and South Africa (Contributions in Military Studies),of singling out UDR soldiers for targets, and Catholics in particular, was an issue which affected recruitment. ref Native Vs. Settler: Ethnic Conflict in Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland and South Africa (Contributions in Military Studies) By Thomas G. Mitchell, 30 Aug 200, ISBN-10: 0313313571 p55 ref

The reason I ask, is because of the book here. It is a copy of the book cited above and is supposed to support the text above? Points:

  • No were dose it say "The IRA's policy"
  • or "of singling out UDR soldiers for targets, and Catholics in particular"

I have removed the text till we have this resolved. --Domer48'fenian' 18:45, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

It sounds like an attempt to summarize the section you link to. However, there is some synthesis (linking the info about the killing of UDR members with the tactics to stop recruitment. A better summary might be something like:
Thomas G. Mitchell writes [ref] that UDR's recruitment of Catholics was affected by both its member's prior association with the B-specials and by IRA intimidation tactics aimed at discouraging Catholics from joining.
Rockpocket 22:40, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

I can accept that, and will leave it at that. Thanks Rock, reasonable and considered. --Domer48'fenian' 23:01, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

In addition

There is this:

The killing of UDR soldiers in Fermanagh has been described by Professor Henry Patterson (Professor of Irish Politics) as ethnic cleansing. In his address to the Sixth International Conference of The Spanish Association for Irish Studies at the University of Valladolid in Spain, entitled "War of National Liberation or Ethnic Cleansing: IRA violence in Fermanagh during the Troubles" – Professor Patterson examined in detail the IRA campaign in that county, but also acknowledged that “There remains a major research agenda for contemporary historians to try and provide a factual and more objective truth without which this dreadful period will largely remain the province of ethnic entrepreneurs ransacking it for their conflicting political projects”. In 1980, Unionists described the IRA killings in Fermanagh as “genocide against the Protestant people”. Border Killings – Liberation Struggle or Ethnic Cleansing?


  • At no time dose Professor Henry Patterson described the killing of UDR soldiers in Fermanagh as ethnic cleansing.
  • The source says it was infact "Unionist leaders branded the IRA campaign in Fermanagh as “genocide against the Protestant people”.
  • Professor Henry Patterson actually says "Professor Patterson said: “No doubt many Provisionals then and now would sincerely and forcefully deny that their campaign in Fermanagh was a form of ethnic cleansing. As we have seen, most of the Protestants killed were in the security forces and Fermanagh did not experience the wholesale evacuation of Protestants that occurred in West Cork during the War of Independence.“Yet, that the killings struck at the Protestant community’s morale, sense of security and belonging in the area was undeniable. “It was being made clear to them that they could continue to live in Fermanagh but on terms defined by the Provisional IRA."

I have removed the text till we have this resolved.--Domer48'fenian' 19:11, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, this does need looks at. Its important that, when using such emotive descriptions, its scrupulously attributed the the person that said it. Rockpocket 01:47, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Infiltration by paramilitaries section

I have a question on this section. A Testimony to Courage - the Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment 1969 - 1992, Major John Furniss Potter, Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 2001, ISBN 0850528194 was published in 2001. The document entitled Subversion in the UDR was released in 2004 under the 'thirty year rule'. My question is, what source of information was Major Potter basing his findings on? As it could not have been the Subversion in the UDR report, under the 'thirty year rule', was there another report, and could it be cited? It just appears to me that Major Potter is basing his opinions on a report which had not yet been released?--Domer48'fenian' 10:12, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Is it possible that Potter had access to the report while it was still classified? Rockpocket 22:41, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

I had thought of that myself, but it still would have been covered under the 'thirty year rule', which would have prevented any publication of the details. --Domer48'fenian' 22:58, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Would you fancy attempting a prosecution under those circumstances? Hypothetically of course. The man had a reasonable level of seniority, it could be that he was conjecturing and put the pieces together correctly. I've read none of what you;re talking about by the way, just having a go.Traditional unionist (talk) 23:04, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Not only did he have field rank but he is also the official historian and as such has had access to just about everything, inlcuding documents which still haven't been released. The Thunderer (talk) 09:59, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Just a copule of observations: Because this is the first history of the UDR dose not make John Potter the official historian. The reason I say this is that the book title dose not say it is the official history. The author is described as John Potter and not Major John Furniss Potter. So the reference is incorrect. To illustrate my point, if you use a search for Major John Furniss Potter, you get no hits at all, except to this article? No were dose it say that the information includes information never published before by anyone. So could you please direct me to a source which says 1) John Potter is the official historian of the UDR, and 2)that the book is the official history. In addition, as the book is made up of 120 interviews with former members in addition to figures such as chief constables and senior generals, could you please indicate when John Potter is citing these individuals. If it is ok with you, I'll let you address the book reference to reflect the authors name i.e John Potter. If you provide a cite from the book were John Potter states that he is Major John Furniss Potter, I see no reason why we should have to change the attributions in the article. Others my have a different opinion? --Domer48'fenian' 11:14, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

The official history of the UDR is lodged with the Ministry of Defence in four volumes. It cannot be released as it contains information which is still classified. Potter has released a "potted" version (if you will forgive the pun) with official approval. It is made clear in the publishers notes that it contains information not previously released in 2001. I have sought third party advice on this and await confirmation of the position. The Thunderer (talk) 15:39, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
We generally don't use titles when referring to people in sources in in the text itself. Its fine to use Major the first time we name him in the text, but after that John Potter or just plain old Potter will suffice. In the source, John Potter is fine (for comparison, when we are citing scientific articles, we don't list all the authors as Dr. or Prof., even though most of them are). As for the "officiality" of the source. We would require something that states that it is "official" to state that explicitly ourselves. But whether it is official or not doesn't really change its reliability for our purposes. The guy is obviously a senior member of the Regiment and therefore will likely have access to all sorts of information that isn't generally available. Rockpocket 17:26, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Major John Furniss Potter was adjutant of 3 UDR between 1970-1983. He was Regimental Secretary (that is to say, the administrative chief of the Regimental Association) between 1984 and 1992. He was appointed as official historian by the Colonels Commandant. He was granted access to official documents and the historical papers of the UDR to do so. His Regimental History, the only one in existence for this regiment, has been vetted by the British Ministry of Defence. Therefore whilst the word "official" is not part of the title - he is the official historian and has compiled the official (still secret) history. The Thunderer (talk) 17:42, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
With respect, Thunderer, its great that you can tell us this (and I have no reason to believe its not 100% accurate), but for the purpose of establishing verifiability, we need more that your word for it. Is there anything published anywhere that describes him as the official historian of the regiment? Rockpocket 18:21, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Noted Rockpocket. Others have remarked on the absence of available info on Potter too. Unfortunately the rank of Major, whilst a field rank, is held by a lot of people. There may have been some press on Potter when his book came out but it isn't evident now so the only information I have on him is the publisher's notes and Potters own preface. The publisher notes Potter's pedigree and qualifications to write the book and also has a disclaimer in a flyleaf which acknowledges that the manuscript was vetted by MOD but contains a disclaimer which says that the MOD does not endorse the unofficial sources in the book - i.e. interviews and conjecture (I presume). Potter's preface carries the information that he was invited by the Colonels Commandant to "compile a historical archive of the regiment." which he goes on to say is comprised of official papers, is in four volumes and is held by the MOD and treated according to the Public Records Act and "emerging therefore in due course into the public domain". The Thunderer (talk) 11:50, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

This says the book was denounced by Britain's Ministry of Defence, likewise here and here. It also say that This book is not an official history..., and also here?

Those are sales pitches, are all the same and carry no official weight, nor are they useful as sources. What is it you;re trying to say? Are you disagreeing with the author's credentials? The Thunderer (talk) 12:57, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Would the publisher notes of Potter's pedigree and qualifications, also be sales pitches? --Domer48'fenian' 13:01, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

As the book is a published source you would have to find other sources to challenge or disprove the stated qualifications. The Thunderer (talk) 13:03, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Since you have to-date provided no sources on qualifications, having been ask too, I suggest you do so? --Domer48'fenian' 13:10, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I have provided a source. "A Testimony to Courage" by Major John Furniss Potter. The Thunderer (talk) 13:19, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Removing Incorrect Potter attributions

I am now removing incidences where facts have been attributed to Major Potter. I will list anything I remove here and the reason why.

  1. Recruitment. Potter does not say that the figures quoted by Ryder show that only a small percentage of the eligible male population ever served with the regiment. The figures speak for themselves, are attributed to Ryder and require no further attributiuon.
  2. Subsequent Catholic recruitment. It is being suggested that the attempts to halt the exodus of Catholic recruitment, appearance on Television by battalion commanders, appeals to political and religious leaders, facts about Brigadier Ormerod's background, and comments made by Brigadier Ormerod are all attributed to Potter. On pages 62 and 63 of his book he makes no conjecture, suggestion, synthesis or opinion on these facts. This is therefore considered to be a spurious attribution and will be removed.
  3. Subsequent Catholic recruitment. The figures quoted for recruitment are from official documents and are not Potter's opinion or synthesis. Therefore the attribution to him for the Catholic figures in 3 UDR is incorrect and is being removed.
  4. Subsequent Catholic recruitment. In the lead paragraph, figures and quotes from MOD are again attributed to Potter when it is obvious this is not Potter's opinion. He is reporting fact. The refences to Potter will be removed as they are not his quotes but taken from official sources.
  5. The killing of the first and last Catholic UDR soldiers cannot be attributed to Potter as they are a matter of public record and can be confirmed at the Palace Gardens Memorial site or CAIN. You may add these extra citations if you want to turn the article into a bigger link farm but as far as I can see one source is enough. Potter's attribution is being removed.
  6. Subsequent Catholic recruitment. Attribution is again being made to Potter for officials figures quoted for the number of Catholics from the regiment post-internment. This is an incorrect attribution and will be removed.
  7. Structure. Potter is not responsible for the structure of the battalions. They are a matter of record. The table adequately illustrates the dipsersal of companies. Nor does he need to be quoted with reference to the times and numbers of soldiers on duties. This is also a matter of official record. The matter of Greenfinches and husbands in the same units will be addressed.
  8. Annual Training Camps. The fact that part-time soldiers were required to attend training camps is not an opinion, synthesis or conclusion of John Potter. It is a fact.

The Thunderer (talk) 14:45, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

If Potter analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed, this has all been explained. --Domer48'fenian' 14:29, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

In none of the above cases is there any speculation, opinion, sythesisation or conclusion by Potter. In his book he simply reports the facts without embellishing them. That is why the attributions to him have been removed as per Rockpocket's recommendation. The Thunderer (talk) 14:33, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The British Government, the Ministry of Defence, the UDR Advisory Committee, successive Regimental Commanders (with exceptions) and the battalions themselves failed to properly to address the issue of low Catholic recruitment numbers.
  • Unionist politicians compounded this error by complaining that Catholics got preferential treatment for promotion in 3 UDR

These are "facts" according to who?--Domer48'fenian' 14:35, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I will change the wording to remove any apparant oppinion by Potter.The Thunderer (talk) 14:45, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

The only way you can do that is by removing the reference to Potter. Changing the wording changes nothing, were Potter analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed. Since you have cited / referenced Potter origionally, what your attempting will have to be addressed. --Domer48'fenian' 14:57, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

It's been addressed. What you have missed is the fact that, by including my own wording to try and make the text flow better, I had in fact corrupted the quotes. The Thunderer (talk) 15:01, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

That dose not change the fact that were Potter analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed. I've been unable to illustrate this point to you as has Rock, they may wish to try again but only by addressing your edits again will you get what is being asked of you. --Domer48'fenian' 15:06, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Where Potter analyses or sythesises it should be noted yes. Where he is reporting facts from official documents he is to be regarded as an authority on the regiment, as Rockpocket said. Where he is not opinionating, analysing, synthesising or concluding, it is not appropriate to attribute him - or for that matter, anyone else. Inline citations are often enough. It may be appropriate to make a section about Potter though to assist the reader. I may do so after I've removed all the quotes and facts which have been incorrectly attributed to him. I accept that some of these errors are caused by my own flowery writing style and apologise for it. The Thunderer (talk) 15:11, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Rockpocket did not say he is to be regarded as an authority on the regiment! This article is not about Potter so no section is nessary on him. If you use Potter as a reference, and if the sentence analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions it will be attributed to Potter. --Domer48'fenian' 15:20, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

He said that Potter is to be regarded as a "reliable source". You'll find a repeat of his words here Potter does not requriea ttribution unless he is synthesising, drawing conclusions, opinionating or in any other way altering the facts from official sources. The Thunderer (talk) 15:41, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Could you explain how with this addition, "It was alleged in the House of Cpmmons in Westminster that tThe SDLP carried out a campaign for the disbandment of the UDR from as early as 1974 through the media and by applying pressure through the Irish government." the media, and the Irish Government are not mentioned at all? In addition, should we not also include that it was also alleged by the same person that "that political maggots, namely Canavan, Mallon and Cooper, are responsible for the deaths of UDR men in Northern Ireland?" just to address the weight issue? I've reverted it untill this is addressed. --Domer48'fenian' 16:58, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

  • "Complaints were then received that Catholics got preferential treatment for promotion in 3 UDR." According to who?
  • "The dependency on former B Specials was unsettling for Catholic recruits..." According to who?
  • "although many women were unhappy with the semi-formal skirts" According to who?
  • The recruitment of women soldiers peaked in 1986 with 286 permanent cadre and 530 part timers but the establishment never dropped below 700 from 1978 onwards." According to who?--Domer48'fenian' 17:12, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Correction of items

In "The role of ex-B-Specials in the UDR and the effect on Catholic recruitment" the sentence is used - "Like its predecessor, the B Specials, it failed to attract more than a small percentage of Catholics due to IRA threats, and because of the regiment's reputation as the B Specials under a different name." As the regiment did not have a reputation when it was formed this sentence needs to be changed. What needs to be explained to a reader here is the image created in advance by Nationalist and Republican politiciansa who wished to discourage Catholics from joining to start the new forces off as Protestant only and defeat the British Government's objections. There is no point in finding citations and trying to make them fit. You must cite correctly what the circumstances were at any time and make the point clear to a reader. The Thunderer (talk) 13:02, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

The regiment did have a reputation when it was formed, as the B Specials under a different name. It was raised in the house of commons as cited by yourself. If you want I can expand on it to include additional sourses? --Domer48'fenian' 13:07, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

As mentioned above:

According to Graham Ellison & Jim Smyth in The Crowned Harp: Policing Northern Ireland, Nationalists feared that the UDR would simply be "the B Specials by another name" and this fear appeared to be confirmed when all the new battalion commanders were ex-B Specials and, in Co. Derry for example at least, half the recruits of the local UDR were ex-B Specials.

Bernadette Devlin MP later in the debate was to ask, "Do you really expect me or any other member or anybody in Northern Ireland to accept one solitary word of the whitewash and eyewash you have produced? Can you give me one concrete statement that it the UDR is not the USC under the guise of the British Army?" --Domer48'fenian' 13:20, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Reputation is gained - not attributed. Something which is new doesn't have a reputation, regardless of political, spin. See Wikipedia Reputation. The Thunderer (talk) 13:24, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Please do not change this item back to an assertion that the regiment had a "reputation" before it actually commenced duties. You are free to point out the fears of politicians that it might GAIN such a reputation and the reasons why. The Thunderer (talk) 13:27, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

They had a reputation before during and after. I just don't see the point you are trying to make?--Domer48'fenian' 13:33, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

You cannot have a reputation BEFORE you exist. Simple as that. If you do not leave the section alone it will have to be removed until a third party opinion is found.The Thunderer (talk) 13:42, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

It will not be removed, as it is correctly soursed. The B Specials had a reputation and they brought it with them. --Domer48'fenian' 13:45, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

The article is not about the B Specials. It is about the UDR and it did not and could not have a reputation before it existed. You cannot make the text fit the quote. You may have some time to reword the text to fit the qwuote but after that if it is not addressed it will be dealt with.The Thunderer (talk) 13:47, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

"Like its predecessor, the B Specials, it failed to attract more than a small percentage of Catholics due to IRA threats, and because of the regiment's reputation as the B Specials under a different name, according to Martin Dillon in The Diry War" Nah, it looks ok to me, and you have the context all wrong, this is about after they were founded. So like I said, before, during and after. --Domer48'fenian' 14:06, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

You are informing a reader that the regiment started life with a reputation. This cannot be true. The Thunderer (talk) 14:12, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
You need to make a distinction between the B Specials and the UDR. You need to note the political influences in the discussion over the UDR White Paper and you must not make a deliberate connection between the comments of politicians and reality. The assertion of the UDR being a "re-incarnation of the B Specials" is a political one which, along with inadvised deployments and other factors may have ultimately led to a Catholic perception of non-neutrality. You are at liberty to explain how that came about but you cannot use quotes which appear to suggest the regiment started life as a non-partisan force. The Thunderer (talk) 14:22, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

The information is correctly cited, soursed and referenced, the context is clear and relevent and I have illustrated all to you. Seek an outside opinion if you wish, thats really all I can sugest. --Domer48'fenian' 15:14, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm afraid it isn't correctly sourced and referenced. The sentence reads as if the UDR started with a reputation of being the B Specials under a different name. That is incorrect and must be addressed. The Thunderer (talk) 15:21, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Like I said, seek a third opinion. --Domer48'fenian' 15:29, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

The item has been tagged and if not addressed by you will either be removed or rewritten to reflect available sources. The Thunderer (talk) 15:38, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Tag removed as per above discussion. --Domer48'fenian' 17:30, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

The issue has not been addressed and until it is I will press for the removal of the material or the correction of the synthesis that the UDR started out as with a reputation. The Thunderer (talk) 18:33, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a verifiable reference saying just that as Domer says seek a third neutral opinion. BigDuncTalk 18:36, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
No-ne needs a third opinion to be able to rationalise that nothing starts with a reputation. Address the issue please in the context of the section otherwise the text will have to be removed. The Thunderer (talk) 18:41, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

You have been asked to stop, I have more than explained this to you. I've illustrated it. --Domer48'fenian' 18:45, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

You too were asked to stop and given a chance to address the issue. The problem was your chronology. I have reworked the section so that your quote fits in better with the timeline and also by including more of the debate in the House of Commons where all these quotes originated which reads much better as an informative piece on the use of B Men as recruits for the regiment. The Thunderer (talk) 19:07, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

"The problem was your chronology." Were did you say that during this discussion? --Domer48'fenian' 19:47, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I've said all along the issue is that you were inferring the regiment started with a reputation. That is chronology. When something has a track record it has a "reputation". I gave you every opportunity to correct this yourself. The Thunderer (talk) 19:52, 20 September 2008 (UTC)


In the section "Structure" it is being asserted that the expasnion of the full time element is "According to Tim Ripley and Mike Chappell". This is not correct. The expansion of the regiment is covered by Potter, Ryder and others and can be confirmed by Hansard as part of the "Ulsterisation" policy. In this instance the reporting of the facts is not a controversial issue and is deemed acceptable under Wikipedia policy. If another editors wishes to add further sources for this issue to the link farm, feel free to do so. Or editors are welcome to explain why Ripley & Chappell's comments are more important than official records. In the meantime the comment is being removed. The Thunderer (talk) 14:57, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Equally, the comments that "they say" the regiment was the first to have women members is not needed. There is no doubt that the UDR was the first army unit to integrate women into its structure. Further references can be added if anyone wishes but I do not see it as contrtoversial. The Thunderer (talk) 14:59, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Likewise comments about regular army units coming under command of the UDR is a matter of fact, not opinion and isn't influenced by training. Training needs a separate section to examine how bad it was at the start, how it improved and the use of Ballykinlar Training Centre. The Thunderer (talk) 15:04, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Time Out

I am calling for a time out here until a third party can intervene and calm the situation down. Please do not remove any further information from the article or revert my good faith edits until we have an opinion. The Thunderer (talk) 20:12, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Dont work like that I'm afraid you dont own the aticle and you and Domer are the only editors reverting. And Domer has already stated when I warned him on his talk page about 3RR that he will stop, but you on the other hand will only stop if no one else edits the article. BigDuncTalk 20:19, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I have called for a time out so that we all agree to wait for intervention. If that doesn't suit you then I can only apologise. My intentions are to ensure that everyone is treated the same. The Thunderer (talk) 20:21, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I've withdrawn from the article untill third party opinion is recived. --Domer48'fenian' 20:23, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Fully protected for a period of 1 week, after which the page will be automatically unprotected. - I've fully protected the article due to edit-warring. You know what to do, guys. I don't care who-thinks-what here, but you need to reach some sort of settlement here - Alison 20:29, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Edit Request

Would an admin please consider restoring the information deleted by User:BigDunc just before the edit protect went on so that the complete article can still be viewed by readers seeking a source of reference? I have references available to verify the information deleted but as today has been a rather busy and contentious one I haven't had time to place them inline yet. The Thunderer (talk) 20:44, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I would object to the addition of unsourced content to an article that is protected due to edit warring. This would be in breach of Is the request controversial? Administrators can only respond to requests which are either uncontroversial improvements (correcting typos or grammar, formatting references, etc in articles; BigDuncTalk 20:48, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I am happy to provide the copy with references. It has been there for a month now and the only reason it isn't referenced is because I haven't had the time due to the enormous effort required today to provide so many sources and rewrite so many parts of this article due to the activities of the past week. The Thunderer (talk) 20:55, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Too busy reverting other editors the tags weren't put on today I asked you earlier in the week to provide them and then I asked you again hours ago yet you edit war and then ask for this. BigDuncTalk 20:58, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid it takes time to get it right. Even when I think I've got it sorted one of the two of you objects. It's been an arduous week, work-wise and a difficult day edit-wise starting with the mother of all mistakes in formatting this morning. I've been working down the article and resolving issues as I go. The material you removed was below where I'd got to but would have been addressed eventually. Certainly before the weekend was out. Don't take any of this personally please. All of my edits are in good faith. They just don't appear to suit your POV and that could well be my fault for not being balanced enough. I am trying my best. The Thunderer (talk) 21:04, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
You are so hypocritical it is beyond belief, you mention good faith and then label an editor a POV pusher, the edits I made were good faith edits too. Not my fault if you dont like them says more about you than me. BigDuncTalk 21:10, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
I can only apologise and repeat that I had the references ready to put in when you deleted the information. It has been a difficult week and an even more difficult day. You two can be quite a handful when you start. The Thunderer (talk) 21:14, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Neutral administrator here, reviewing this request. It's unclear to me what you want to add in; the version currently protected was last edited by you, The Thunderer, and you were reverting from BigDunc's version. As such, because your request is so unclear, this request for an edit is refused. I have removed the tag. Risker (talk) 21:01, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Trying again

Would an admin please consider restoring the information deleted by User:BigDunc at [5]. I have the reference sources required and would like to see the information included as I believe it is important as a source of reference for the reader. I apologise for getting it wrong first time round but this is my first time having to make such a request and using this template. The Thunderer (talk) 21:07, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Could you post the exact refs here that you claim back up this section so I can see them, you have already used bad refs in the snipper section all the refs tell us is what a snipper is no mention in both refs of UDR, IRA or for that matter even Ireland. BigDuncTalk 21:13, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
The issue at stake with the "Sniper" section is the tactics used by snipers. How one man can tie down so many by firing one shot. That was all included in the refs I gave. I'll post the other refs in a minute for the section you deleted. The Thunderer (talk) 21:16, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

The Thunderer, the section you are requesting to be returned to the article is currently in the article. There is nothing for me to edit here. I suspect what you want is to take that section you indicate above and add the requested references. If my understanding is correct, then I suggest you copy-paste the section here (or on a subpage) and then add in the references. It can be discussed amongst the editors and consensus reached whether or not to replace a referenced section over the current section. Request denied again since there is nothing for me to do at this point. Risker (talk) 21:20, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

I need to apologise for wasting everyone's time. The information I wanted restored has been there all along but I couldn't see it for some reason. Perhaps it's snowblindness? In any case, I'm sorry. The Thunderer (talk) 21:56, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Recruitment/Subsequent Catholic recruitment

The second paragraph states (my emphasis): The 3rd (Co. Down) Battalion was, and remained, the unit with the highest percentage of Catholic members, beginning at 30% throughout the Troubles, with entire sections being made up of Catholics. This doesn't appear to make sense: should it read remaining at 30% throughout the Troubles or just beginning at 30%? Mooretwin (talk) 09:45, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

You're right, I hadn't noticed that. The wording should be "The 3rd (Co. Down) Battalion was, and remained, the unit with the highest percentage of Catholic members throughout the troubles, beginning with 30%. This led to some sections being totally comprised of Catholics." The Thunderer (talk) 11:13, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for clearing that up. Mooretwin (talk) 11:36, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Citation Tags

I intend to remove all unsourced content from this article and I will wait a week to allow editors to find sources for the article. I have tried but have been unable too. BigDuncTalk 11:14, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Without rancour I'm afraid I have to object. The removal of text from the article is counter productive unless there is a good reason for it. I fully intend to rewrite some of the text as the meaning of it has been lost by trying to attribute it to Potter erroneously in some cases and in doing so I will be using citations correctly. I don't have as much time at the moment as I had a few weeks ago so you're going to have to exercise some patience. As a gesture of good faith I have gone in and provided one citation just now as well as tidying one or two other things including removing an allegation against the Royal Irish Regiment which, should the editor concerned wish to use it, should be inserted in an appropriate place on the Royal Irish Regiment (1992) article. It would be equally appreciated if you would exercise patience until the links for various passages can be found. As you can see, although you haven't been successful, I am quite adept at searching for these things. The Thunderer (talk) 18:24, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Just a quick note that given the tensions around this article I think it would be an exceedingly good idea for any editor working on this article did not to add any further material that is not properly sourced. Policy supports the removal of unsourced material as violations of WP:V and WP:OR plus see the essay at WP:ONUS. That said I do think it would help to keep the temperature down if more time were given to find the sources. That shouldn't be a blank cheque to ignore the sourcing issue as any third opinion or article RFC would support the removal of unsourced material as a no-brainer exercise of policy. Please discuss but I think it would be helpful for the The Thunderer to be given a little more time to produce the sources but also for them to concentrate on doing this for the moment as that seems to be the main flashpoint in the article. If anyone is feeling revert happy please drop me an e-mail and I'll lock the article to give you all a chance to discuss matters without getting into further trouble. Spartaz Humbug! 05:35, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Spartaz on the 20th Sep. The Thunderer said that he had the sources for all the content that I removed, it is all still on the page so I feel another week is more than fair. But as a gesture of good faith I will leave for a bit longer not wanting to be the one to raise tempretures on this article BigDuncTalk 08:52, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the guidance Spartaz. I do have the sources but it takes tiome to thumb through books etc and I'm very preoccupied with another project at the moment. The Thunderer (talk) 09:55, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you both for your good faith and willingness to work together. Thunderer, Dunc is being very generous here and policy is with him. Next time Dunc asks to source it or lose it you will have to lose it. I'm sure I don't need to tell you this but I will consider reverting to restore unsourced content as disruption. The best way to avoid any unpleasantness would be to concentrate on the sourcing to satisfy Dunc's reasonable request. Spartaz Humbug! 17:38, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
I have already provided at least one source Spartaz. There are bigger issues however which are taking my time away from this. Not least Domer's attempt to turn the article into an essay on the sins of the B Specials and the Royal Irish Regiment. The Thunderer (talk) 18:03, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Royal Irish Regiment

All this stuff being added in "Criticism" about the UDR bringing it's habits, tradtions or whatever, to the RIR doesn't belong here. This article is about the UDR. Domer if you want to do a hatchet job on the RIR please do it on the correct page. Thank you. The Thunderer (talk) 10:01, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Thunderer please don't start with the assumptions of bad faith, lets work together on this article and no one will feel the need to edit war or name call. Accusing an editor of doing a hatchet job is far from helpful thanks. BigDuncTalk 12:02, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
It's not bad faith Dunc. We have to get this under control. The wiki isn't about putting the opinions of various different authors unless it is absolutely relevant to the subject matter. Filling this article with allegation and counter allegation is not the way forward. Whilst Domer may have implicit faith in his own edits there are occasions when quotes are being inserted which have no bearing on the UDR. This is one of them. If he wants to say that the Royal Irish Regiment (1992) was affected by habits or custom and practice from the UDR then the Royal Irish article is the place to say it. I don't edit there so he won't have any opposition from me. To be honest, if we come come to a concensus on certain things which are currently in a state of allegation and counter allegation I would be in agreement with their removal because they are contributing nothing. It's enough to include certain facts about the UDR, that is:
1. Their purpose.
2. Their usage, structure and operational history.
3. Exploration of the Catholic recruitment problems.
4. Political spin concerning the regiment.
For all that anyone can add information that the UDR were a shower of criminals, others amongst us can add information which challenges that. Surely you, and others, can see that isn't how an article should be written? The Thunderer (talk) 12:36, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

The addition I've made is absolutely relevant to the subject matter. If it will help I will add additional referenced information to support it if required. I will continue to assume good faith, despite the accusations and hope we can continue to improve the article together. --Domer48'fenian' 12:57, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Your addition is perhaps relevant in that it pertains to the UDR however you are once again introducing opinion which is only there to show how discredited the regiment was. This article is in great danger of being consumed by allegation and counter allegation and it is doing nothing to educate the reader or serve as a reliable work of reference. Whilst you may have complete confidence that you're doing the right thing, take a step back and consider how others may view this. How would you feel if you were to read an article on something you had an interest in only to find that you were reading nothing but accusation and counter accusation about the subject for half the content? We are not here to show how good or how bad the UDR were, our function is to provide a suitable encyclopedic reference piece. Can you not introduce some information on other aspects of the regiment other than Catholic or Nationalist opinion? The Thunderer (talk) 13:12, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

That you accept that the addition is relevant in that it pertains to the UDR, is a step forward. That the view expressed is a fact, and detailed in the BBC Northern Ireland Spotlight programme should not be considered or presented as an allegation. --Domer48'fenian' 13:54, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

You're missing my point however. This article is neither about the RIR or trying to continually present the UDR in a poor light. You must resist the temptation to put in material which is detrimental to the image because there are two schools of thought and as the other one comes from the majority community in Northern Ireland it's easier to find material which is favourable to the image. That is not conducive to a good article however. We don't need a whole list of opinions from journalists, authors and politicians which give opposing views. It's enough to include verifiable facts about the regiment and its history. Yes the opinions of Catholics and Nationalists should be noted but kept in the context with Protestant/Loyalist opinion. It's no good continually providing sourced quotes which favour one side of the argument. It's like one person saying that the war in Iraq is wrong - that is not correct because there are two schools of thought and no matter how much you bombard a reader with verifiable information to support the view that the war is wrong, someone else can come up with facts about why it is right. We should be working towards removing some of the argument and counter argument and concentrate on getting the core facts correct along with more historical insight into what this regiment actually did. In the total absence of any battle honours or unit actions we need to concentrate on the unusual facets or the regiment, its militia heritage - why it was so different from a regular infantry unit. The fact that it was controversial is important but we shouldn't give too much weight to the controversy because that's a matter of opinion. The Thunderer (talk) 14:24, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
IMO the whole idea is to let the reader decide by giving all facts so that they can make a judgement on the article. BigDuncTalk 16:04, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes - facts. We can easily establish the facts about the UDR by conventional wiki means without having to resort to putting in quotes from people who say how great the UDR was or how bad they were. You can put in a newspaper quote from someone who says they were beaten by rifle butts at a UDR checkpoint - proven or unproven - if a source is available. I can put one in where someone says they provided a Santa Claus and free helicopter rides for a group of disabled children. You put in one which says a UDR soldier gave his PPW to a loyalist hood. I counter that by putting in one that says a company donated £1,000 to Combat Cancer. What does that prove? It proves that you can make allegations and counters all day long and fill the article with cruft. What we need is a statement in the article which states once, and once only, that the UDR was not popular in Catholic and Nationalist circles and that various allegations were made against the regiment, some correct, some spurious, some politically motivated. We can note that Protestants saw them as their first line of defence against the IRA. We can note the proven crimes against UDR members. We can even include allegations such as the 1973 MI report, even though it's never been proven to be in circulation. What we can't do is continually battle between each other because it will be evident to a reader then that the article is full of personal views and opinions. There's a healthy balance somewhere but I'm not seeing it yet and I don't think I'm going to unless Domer, God bless his cotton socks, takes a step back and considers the implications of making what he genuinely considers to be good faith edits which are all critical of the regiment. Yes we need information and opinion to balance those which come from ex-British soldiers like me whose own views, again in good faith, could tend to be on the side of the army but we must have the common sense to see when enough is enough. The Thunderer (talk) 16:29, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah come on you cant equate a £1000 donation from the regiment with a member giving his weapon to be used in the execution of a murder or other crime. Also these are not accusations they are facts and need to be added. I have never added anything to this article that was a personal view as they are clearly irrelevant. BigDuncTalk 18:38, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
That was all hypothetical. The point is you can fill the article with all sorts of cruft about the regiment being bad and counter it with more cruft about the regiment being good. The end result is that you finish up with an article full of cruft. I'm going to have a look through the article at some point and delete a load of it and see what you guys think. If you agree with the way it's done then fine, if not I'll self revert to stop anyone getting sanctions. Sound fair? The Thunderer (talk) 09:28, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Why not propose what you want to delete here first, and we can all decide? --Domer48'fenian' 10:25, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I would agree with Domer post what you want to delete here and we can discuss it. BigDuncTalk 10:32, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
What I want to delete is a number of the accusations and counter accusations and reduce that particular content to a section which explains why Catholics, Nationalists and Republicans and their political parties would decry the UDR and also why Protestants, Unionists etc would support it. I want to take out repeated references to the SDLP, Sinn Fein or the fact that the regiment is being compared to the B Specials. I want to remove opinion where I think it's superfluous which says that the regiment was bad to Catholics or good to Protestants but leave in an instance, probably in the "Image" section which does feature those points. My reasons for this are to remove the constant argument throughout the article about how good it was or how bad it was and leave the reader with one clear section on opinions, criticism, political spin or whatever. That way the reader isn't constantly coming up against the same set of points throughout. It may require some rewriting or renaming of sections to achieve this and while I'm doing that I'll also slot in the refs required. The Thunderer (talk) 10:46, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually I think I can sum this up quite briefly. Can we agree the following points?
1. Protestants generally liked the UDR because they saw them as Protestant and as the defenders of Ulster?
2. Catholics generally disliked the UDR because it was Protestant dominated and because their political and church leaders criticised the regiment openly? The Thunderer (talk) 10:58, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

We have the actions of the B Specials, attacks on Nationalists / Civil Rights Association, broadcast around the world. Witnessed also by British MP’s, and raised in the House of Commons. We then have the disbandment of the B Specials, on the foot of everything witnessed. The UDR is then established to replace the B Specials, and Nationalists are informed that the UDR will be made up for the most part by the very same B Specials. Nationalists are not alleging anything, this is all factual. Now one again, please place any sourced and referenced text you wish to remove on the talk page first, were it can be discussed by editors. Point 2. of your suggestions, do not address the issue at all. --Domer48'fenian' 12:25, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

There is a section established which deals with the B Specials and their effect on various aspects of the regiment, including recruitment. Does this particular information require repeating throughout the article because if it is allowed to it becomes a sort of brainwashing. Neither does it address the issue that the B Specials were mostly older men and as time went by had to retire and were replaced by younger men who had never been in the B Specials. What about the men and women (there were no women in the B Specials) who joined the UDR as a career? What about addressing the issues of constant shortages of manpower because of poor career prospects expecially in the officer corps? Why just simply keep ramming it down the reader's throat that the UDR was a reincarnation of the B Specials? A fact which may have been largely evident in 1969/70 but what about 1979/80 and 1989/90? Where were the B Men then? The Thunderer (talk) 12:43, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


Would you guys have a look at Max's recent edits. In some cases his text has changed the item to the point where it no longer reflects the quote used. I also see in his last one he's inserted unsupported opinion. The Thunderer (talk) 10:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

History Section

While reading the History section, I was struck by a question: Why were the B Specials regarded as the strong arm of the State? In an attempt to address this, I added some information to clarify this. Would editors think I should add some of the British MP who witnessed the attacks or the RTE television crews who captured the actions of the Specials? --Domer48'fenian' 12:14, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Again, you're turning this into a dissertation on the B Specials. The information you are including should be on the B Specials page, not with the UDR. This article should not be used as a condemnation of anyone. The Thunderer (talk) 12:46, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
You should voluntarily remove all this cruft about the B Specials from the history section. You can put it in on the Ulster Special Constabulary where it belongs and pipelink, which in my opinion you should have done all along. The Thunderer (talk) 13:50, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Anyone reading this article would ask the same question I suggest above "Why were the B Specials regarded among Nationalists, as the strong arm of the State? I have addressed that. I will include it on the B Specials article, but will obviously expand upon it, as all I gave here was a brief summary. We have to assume that readers to the subject are new to it, and can not be expected to know the background. --Domer48'fenian' 14:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Anyone reading this article should be reading about the Ulster Defence Regiment, not the Ulster Special Constabulary. You're putting far too much in about the Specials and you've included information about the Royal Irish Regiment which isn't relevant either. From where I'm sitting, given as you haven't EVER included one positive fact about the Ulster Defence Regiment, I can only say that, despite exercising good faith towards you, it looks as if your sole purpose in editing this article is to get a message across to readers that this was a corrupt and discredited force. That isn't the purpose of the wiki and it isn't the purpose of this article. I'm reasoning with you now and giving you time to think about this but I'm going to be very direct as well and say that I am not going to let this situation prevail. If you don't moderate this pro-Nationalist editing style then I'm going to have to involve ArbCom -sorry but that's the way it is. My patience isn't infinite.The Thunderer (talk) 16:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I only add content that is relevant to the article. Now for the umpteenth time, please assume good faith and stop with the personal commentary. I have not, nor do I intend too comment on you or your motivation. I have inserted none of my own opinions into this article, as they are completely irrelevant. Now I have other articles which I’d like to work on, in addition to this, so I must limit my self on talk page posts. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.--Domer48'fenian' 16:38, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Nothing I have said is a personal attack. You may not realise it but your editing is appearing as pro Nationalist. It is also true that you have NEVER included one piece of information about the UDR itself. All you have ever posted is information which indicates they were anti-Catholic. I suggest you revert your edits and take a step back to think about your modus operandi because if you don't remove the information then I will take it further.The Thunderer (talk) 16:46, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I have raised your 1RR breaches and conduct here. --Domer48'fenian' 21:07, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


I've now made a start on thinning the cruft out of the article and have removed repetitious information, some allegations and counter allegations, even my own. In particlar I've removed a large section from "The Role of Ex B-Specials" which was a debate in the House of Commons in 1969 and was not contributing anything except large sections of text. The salient points from the debate have been kept. On all subjects I have left the facts in, properly explained, as original. None of this is an attempt at establishing a point of view, it's to make a leaner, stronger article. The Thunderer (talk) 10:24, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

The missing inline refs in the "Criticism" section will be sourced tomorrow. The Thunderer (talk) 14:44, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Following your lead and reasoning I have made some changes too. BigDuncTalk 18:17, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Changes which I largely agree with although I've restored several for the reasons given in the history. I'd be totally prepared to discuss the reasons for those restorations and provide a reference for the one on rural attacks. Perhaps you can see where I'm coming from now? There's been so much hassle over this article that we finished up with a lot of repetitions and cruft. It should be removed of course and we should work on making the article as solid as possible without having to revert to a load of accusations and counter accusations. Some accusations are very valid obviously, particularly the concerns about the B Specials in the early days and the loss of Catholic recruits. Perhaps if we can work together we can prune this article and refine the wording to make it a good encyclopedic piece? I'd like us to look at the section on "Criticism" if we can and get the cruft out of it. If you could leave the bare bones of it at the moment so we can decide what goes and what is relevant enough to stay in?The Thunderer (talk) 19:16, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Domer, you've made other additions to the article which are again simple accusations from Nationalists against the regiment. It's already established in the article that there is an issue in that area, it doesn't need constant repetition throughout. If you continue down this road it will appear as if you are trying to slant the article towards a Nationalist perspective. Can you try and introduce edits which are more neutral in perspective please and don't lean towards the Protestant/Catholic divide in Northern Ireland. That isn't what this article is about.The Thunderer (talk) 10:39, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Dunc, can we discuss the "Criticism" section please. What I'd like to do is to remove a lot of the cruft where allegations are made against Sinn Fein and the SDLP and replace them with a more concise form of wording. Perhaps the current references we have could still be useful and I have the refences in the regimental history about the SDLP campaign. What I'd like to see though is the information presented in a less wordy and more encyclopedic fashion. If you can't come up with anything I'll give it a go. The objective is to provide a more neutral style. The Thunderer (talk) 10:43, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Please stop removing sourced, referenced and relevant text based on a Wikipedia essay WP:CRUFT. I consider your comments IMO above and detailed by me as personal attacks. Please stop, and again as repeatedly asked by me assume good faith. --Domer48'fenian' 11:13, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

I am assuming good faith Domer but it increasingly obvious that you need to take guidance on how you edit. Perhaps you could get someone to mentor you? Your keen interest in Irish history is invaluable but in my opinion you must stop trying to make these points on this article. It isn't about getting the image of a poor downtrodden Nationalist community across. This is an article on a British Army regiment. Yes we must present the controversy but that presentation doesn't get any better by the constant repetition of opinions from authors or newspaper reporters about the Ulster Defence Regiment being anti-Catholic. BigDunc and I are trying our best to strip out the cruft and POV on the article but you're adding more - why is this? Are you on a mission? The Thunderer (talk) 11:22, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
It seems though the only cruft you are removing is the ones you don't like and you have reverted my edits and the edits of Domer in breach of the 1RR sanction that is on this article. BigDuncTalk 12:38, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Not at all. I've been going through it gradually and removing anything which is a repetition or cruft, inlcuding much of the stuff I put in to counter allegations. The two items I restored which you had removed were:
1. The information on ambush tactics. I feel this is very relevant to the operational function of the regiment. How they were attacked and how they would deal with it. If this were a regular (line) unit we would have battle honours to fall back on but we don't. The UDR were seen very much as the experts on anti terrorist soldiering in Northern Ireland after Ulsterisation and taught the regular army so I believe that passage to be of critical importance.
2. I restored information on the unusual aspect of having husbands and wifes serving together because this is very notable. It didn't happen (except on the rarest of circumstances) anywhere else in the British Armed Forces at the time and is something I think should be expanded on.
I'm certainly very happy to discuss any of this with you if you have doubts about what I'm rewording or removing. I have made some changes to the "Criticism" section (including a good portion of my own editing) and would welcome your views on how it stands at the moment with a view to further reducing the allegation and counter allegation situation. For the moment I am reading through the article slowly to find spelling, grammatical and repetition errors and have removed quite a bit of my own cruft.
Your own edits were useful last night as I wasn't being as observant as I could have been so, again, I welcome those. I've got some time today so I'm getting my head down and pressing on with a complete review of the article and I would be very pleased if you could assist. The Thunderer (talk) 13:13, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Almost forgot. One of the things I removed which Domer put in was an opinion that recruitment was handled by Stormont. I'm sure that was a good faith edit but it's totally blown out of the water by the picture included of an application form which carries a regular army crest. Other information in the article also makes it clear that recruitment and vetting was 100% handled by the regular army (to the chagrin of the Stormont administration). So I can't see how his quote could be true unless he's referring to the bogus application forms circulated by the USC commandant which were rejected by MOD. He hasn't ventured to discuss that particular issue. The Thunderer (talk) 13:18, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Why was sourced, referenced and relevant text removed? Removel based on a Wikipedia essay WP:CRUFT, is not a valid reason. Removing sourced, referenced and relevant text based on a edit summary "Removed as being POV opinion" is not a valid reason. Please give a policy based reason for its removal, and not a wikipedia essay or personal opinion. --Domer48'fenian' 21:00, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to sort out this mess

I'm about to go on a business trip and then it will be half term and I'm also bidding for my next job. I don't have time to babysit the article and I'm extremely concerned that the tension on this article remains. I have some suggestions to sort it all out that do not require the application of administrative fiat. I would also suggest an aggressive archiving of the talk page to leave only current ongoing discussions.

  1. I have previously seen an imposted set of rules of engagement work exceedingly well on an article - the one I'm referring to is Liancourt Rocks. You can see the terms on the article talk page. Would something here work similarly well?
  2. Editing might benefit from being slowed down with more discussion of individual points before changes and additions take place.
  3. Clear consensus on the scope and extent of the article would make it easier for everyone to work together.
  4. Consensus probably needs external input. I would suggest a proper RFC that gives everyone a chance to talk through the problems and flashpoints on the article agreeing the way forward. The first step is for everyone to list exactly what they think is currently wrong with the article and how they would like to see it resolved. A list of historical issues will not help so keep it current.

Article stability and consequent removal of tension will not happen until these issues are resolved. How about you guys stop editing for a bit and work on the talk page to try and thrash out these issues and at the very least agree a consensus on what you do agree with and what the areas of contention are? Spartaz Humbug! 15:37, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

As the article now sits I would agree with the above suggestions.Thunderer (talk) 15:47, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
As per reasoning above from Spartaz I have been bold and reverted back to before the latest round of additions and removals started so lets please discuss future additions and removals from this point on. BigDuncTalk 10:25, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Advice Received


Where he [Potter] gives historical fact it must be considered definitive as far as the regiment is concerned as it is an official history.Thunderer. Yes, I would tend to agree (though perhaps not "definitive", but certainly reliable). But when he analyzes or synthesizes information and draws conclusions, then it must be attributed, since his perspective is clearly sympathetic to the regiment. Moreover, in the same way Republican sources can be used to criticise the regiment only when attributed, so can his comments involving Republicans be used, but only when attributed. See the section below for an example of this. On the Belfast Telegraph example, I don't really see why it needs to be attributed. Surely we have no reason to believe he is mis-quoting the newspaper? Therefore we can use his reproduction of their editorial without attributing it to him in the text. Rockpocket 17:43, 13 September 2008 (UTC)


Just a quick note that given the tensions around this article I think it would be an exceedingly good idea for any editor working on this article did not to add any further material that is not properly sourced. Policy supports the removal of unsourced material as violations of WP:V and WP:OR plus see the essay at WP:ONUS. That said I do think it would help to keep the temperature down if more time were given to find the sources. That shouldn't be a blank cheque to ignore the sourcing issue as any third opinion or article RFC would support the removal of unsourced material as a no-brainer exercise of policy. Please discuss but I think it would be helpful for the The Thunderer to be given a little more time to produce the sources but also for them to concentrate on doing this for the moment as that seems to be the main flashpoint in the article. If anyone is feeling revert happy please drop me an e-mail and I'll lock the article to give you all a chance to discuss matters without getting into further trouble. Spartaz Humbug! 05:35, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Proposal, History section

I would like to make the following insertion:

The regiment was formed in 1970 after recommendations from the Hunt Report (1969),which suggested disbanding the part time "B Specials" an all Protestant police force,[3] membership of which heavily overlapped with the Orange Order,[4][5] and seen by Catholics as the strong arm of the "Protestant ascendancy".[6][7] Nationalists had been faced by official state forces that regarded them as hostile, and being attacked by irregular Protestant mobs, while the RUC and B Specials turned a blind eye, or were active participants.[8][9][10][11][12] They were to be replaced according to Hunt, with a force that would be "impartial in every sense and remove the responsibility of military style operations from the police force."[13]

My Rational would be that Nationalist concerns are not mentioned, only that that they had some. These concerns were very real, and will give context and background to their issues with the UDR on recruitment.--Domer48'fenian' 10:53, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I would agree that we need to know why the Nationalist community had reservations about this force. BigDuncTalk 11:13, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. I believe this sort of information belongs with the B Specials article. This article is about the Ulster Defence Regiment and as far as I can see the fears of the Catholic community are well addressed. Let's forget about Nationalists because they don't figure at that point in history so much as Civil Rights protesters. The Hunt Report is the basis on which the regiment was formed and that, along with the Ulster Special Constabulary article forms extra reading for anyone who wishes to delve more into the history.
On another matter, while you two are trying to figure out ways of getting more Nationalist material into the article, I've been writing a section on the Irish Citizens Militias which contains some good historical material and has been taked onto the very end. I am about to put the refs in now but had to delay whilst I wrote this. Your comments would be appreciated. Thunderer (talk) 11:26, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Could you please cite some examples from the article were the fears of the Catholic community are addressed. What were the fears of the Nationalist community, and cite examples from the article? I'll look over the Irish Citizens Militias, thanks. Please do not breech the 1RR, lets move forward through disscussion and agreement. --Domer48'fenian' 11:42, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

The fears of Nationalists are of no consequence. Nationalism is a political entity. What you must concentrate on is the reasons why Catholics would join the UDR or why they wouldn't. Inasmuch as that is already addressed there is no reason to introduce any fresh material to the article along those lines. The historical line is from the B Specials to the UDR. The UDR was a fresh start for the people of Northern Ireland and you must treat the article that way. Thunderer (talk) 11:50, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

That is the issue I'm trying to address, what reasons did Catholics have for not joining the UDR? There is no reasons mentioned other than their fears of it simply being the B Specials under a different name. What were their fears, there is no mention at all in the article? I simply and briefly outline what some of those fears were, and agree that we can add more detail on the B Specials Article. I disagree however that the UDR were seen by Catholics as a fresh start, you suggest as much in some of your edits. --Domer48'fenian' 12:09, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

I have introduced the above information into the History section. IMO it addresses the question posed above "what reasons did Catholics have for not joining the UDR?" It also sets out breifly, "What were their fears...?" Since no examples were cited, having asked for such, were this is addressed in the article, I have moved forward with my proposel. --Domer48'fenian' 07:42, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Also,I have reverted your edit which is introducing more on the B Specials. Overlapping membership of the B Specials with the Orange Order and confrontation of the B Specials with "Nationalist" mobs belongs on the B Specials article. This article is about the Ulster Defence Regiment. Please stick to the subject matter as shown at A2 above. There is also enough material on this article now about Protestants and Catholics to inform the reader about the issue. From now on I'd like to see us stick to the subject to get this article raised to A Class at Milhist. Thunderer (talk) 10:36, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

To be honest I don't quite see the objection to the text that Domer is trying to introduce. There needs to be sufficient background in this article to understand all the reasons behind the creation of the the new regiment, without having to go off and read too many other articles. David Underdown (talk) 11:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The objection is this: Domer is introducing text about flaws in the B Specials which are all about "Nationalist" perception (note "Nationalist - not "Catholic"). There's no balancing material to show how they were regarded by the Protestant community in Northern Ireland plus if there was you'd have to go into a long preamble about the Protestant/Catholic divide in Northern Ireland. That would consume the article. Various admins over the last few months have suggested that this be concised to the noteworthy comment that the B Specials were "overwhelmingly Protestant". Comments about the B Specials being Orangemen or about their disclipline and deployment firmly belong on the article at Ulster Special Constabulary so that this article remains factually accurate, neutral and focused on the main topic. Thunderer (talk) 11:40, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The perception of the B Specials by Protestants doesn't seem to be particualrly relevant to why they were being disbanded, or the reasoning behind why fresh start seemed necessary. It doesn't seem to undly stray from teh main topic of the article, but rather sets it in better context. Now the article has been shortened by hiving some content off to sub-articles, length is not such an issue. If the word "Nationalist" is the bugbear, then we can examine the proposed sources to see if Catholic is an adequate substitution. David Underdown (talk) 12:02, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Thunderer based on the above discussion, could you please consider reverting yourself. As I mentioned above please don't breech the WP:1RR. This is your second revert of this information since AE. Thanks --Domer48'fenian' 12:33, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't see this information as being relevant to the UDR. It's bringing too much emphasis to the article on the B Specials. There's enough as it is. If you want to expand on the riots of 1968 and 1969 or the perceptions of Catholics towards the almost 100% (not totally) Protestant B Men then it should be done on the Ulster Special Constabulary page. There are also other articles on the troubles where this sort of agenda can be explored in greater depth. There are more than several sections in this article which touch on Catholic fears about B Specials in the UDR, B Special commanders, B Special drill halls being used for the UDR and making Catholic recruits uncomfortable. The way the Catholics integrated with former B Specials in 3 UDR. It's B Special all the way - so nobody is making any attempt to hide the fact that the B Specials had an influence in the formation of the UDR and that Catholics were wary of their input, especially CAtholic and Nationalist politicians. All of this information is covered in a good neutral style (in the main). Start introducing allegations about "overlaping Orange Order membership" and involvment in riots as paticipants and it becomes exclusively B Special territory and belongs on the article about them. It's the same as information about the UDR bringing an influence into the Royal Irish Regiment - that doesn't belong here. If you don't agree, put in an RfC. Thunderer (talk) 13:01, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't work like that Thunderer it appears that consensus has been reached for the inclusion of this content. BigDuncTalk 13:19, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
No, concensus hasn't been reached. Furthermore I have requested that an admin look at this so please don't force the issue. Thunderer (talk) 13:30, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh but it has 3 editors agree that it should be added so that is consensus IMO. BigDuncTalk 13:33, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
As far as I can see there has been a discussion and no concensus has been reached. Of the three editors you mention, you and Domer are two of them and it is starting to look as if you are forcing the issue. David Underwood has expressed a view that the information doesn't appear to be harmful. That doesn't indicate any concensus and as I have already reminded you, I asked an admin much earlier in the day to look at this. If you aren't prepared to wait for that admin's opinion you are welcome to put in your own request for an RfC but I would caution against any moves in advance of administrative decisions because that will be a clear breach of sanctions. Thunderer (talk) 13:40, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
On the one hand, remember that admins generally have no special powers relating to article content, though I believe that there are specific Arbitration decisions that give some additional powers over certain articles, of which this is one. On the other, consensus isn't as simple as majority voting.
Simply saying that the B Specials were overwhelmingly Protestant and that a report had recommended that they be disbanded and replaced with an impartial force, immediately begs the question, why precisely were the B Specials not seen as ebing impartial, and who by? We've got to aim at the gneral English-speaking reader, who on balance of probabilities is not from these islands. A few brief examples of the types of allegations made against the B Specials puts this all into context (it should perhaps be noted that Scarman found that the worst allegations agaisnt the USC were not justified), and illustrates the pitfalls that the new unit was intended to avoid. David Underdown (talk) 14:06, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)I see where you're coming from but I feel that to include that and the Hunt arguments you're starting to digress from the subject matter. My point on this is that there is no short argument when you start to bring in the politics of Northern Ireland and it will, as it has done in the past, consume the article. To keep the heat of these arguments away from this (essentially military) article, I am mooting that we keep the emotive terms of author and politicans opinions out of it. Thunderer (talk) 14:12, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

But the decision to disband the USC and create the UDR was largley a political one. A few well focussed examples shouldn't lead to too much trouble. The political and the miltary are (or, optimistically, were) so entwined that it's impossible to entirely divorce them. Mentioning the Hunt report at all brings in politics, there then has to be sufficient context established that the article makes sense as a reasonably stand alone entity. David Underdown (talk) 15:24, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
And that is covered in the article. The Hunt Report basically said that Catholics should be encouraged to take part in the security of the state and that military affairs should be handled by a military unit which didn't get involved in crowd control and should not be under command of the police or the Stormont Administration. That's all in the article as it stands. Examples will do nothing to enhance the article all they'll do it bring the focus onto an earlier period of time and the B Specials which should be addressed on the B Specials page. Thunderer (talk) 15:29, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
But why did Catholics feel that way? It's a question that any reader taht comes fresh to this article, without any background will ant to see answered. They shouldn't have to go to the USC or Hunt report article to find the answer as it's an integral part of the reason the UDR was set up in the way that it was. Unless you can take a more collegial attitude to those working on the article, and try to emotionally distance yourself from it, you are not going to be abel to develop it in the way that you wish. You need to think about what's useful to the reader. I came here with some trepidation due to your request on the MILHIST page, adn nothing I've seen so far makes me be inclined to want to give much time to helping to improve this article. That's a shame because it's undoubtedly important to modern British (and Irish) history, and you obviously have a lot of knowledge. I'm not an admin (though as I said above, they have no particular powers over content issues), but I am a fresh pair of eyes on the article, moderately well-infomred on NI (or at least I'd like to think so), with no particular biases on the subject, save what's inevitable to some extent from my British upbringing, and go back a few generations and you'll find Ulster Scots amongst my realtions. David Underdown (talk) 15:50, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Why did Catholics feel that way about the entire infrastructure of the state, as well as the police and police reserve? The explanation for that is an article on its own and that's another good reason why we should keep the explanations to a factual minimum on the article rather than trying to write a thesis on the socio-political problems of Ireland and Northern Ireland, because that's what's required to fully understand the issue. Thunderer (talk) 16:28, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
There's obviously some truth in that - but I don't think we do have the bare minimum here yet. The current text raises as many questions as it answers. Looking it over again, I'm not sure the currently proposed wording is perfect, but something in that direction is still requred in my view. David Underdown (talk) 16:48, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I would certainly look at suggestions. What's been proposed up until now is far too POV and emotive for such a controversial subject IMO. Thunderer (talk) 16:52, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Could you please explain your comments on POV? The information is verifiable and reliably sourced to third party sources. The information is factually correct. Now if you want we can also include the Unionist response to the news of disbandment which was two days of rioting and the death of a policeman at the hands of loyalists. I will again ask you to self revert, this background information adds context and without it how are readers to understand the reservations of Nationalists? --Domer48'fenian' 17:18, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The article is much better off without any POV thank you. Your quotes can be as reliable as you want but they're no more factual than my arse is a coconut. They're author opinions and as such are sensational, because boring doesn't sell books. Keep the POV off the page please. Thunderer (talk) 20:21, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Let's keep the insults out of it can we? For those proposing the insertions in their current form, you may like to consider the words of User:EyeSerene on the GA review of Henry Chadwick (theologian) (largely "my" article): "Although it's cited to multiple sources, often the fact that so many sources are felt necessary to justify a statement is an indication that the statement itself needs recasting."
I'm not sure the notion of overlap with the Orange Order is going to be any more enlightening for those seeking basic background. Maybe just use the full Scarman quote as e.g. in an earlier enquiry into the actions fo the B-Specials, British judge, Lord Scarman wrote, "Totally distrusted by the Catholics, who saw them as the strong arm of the Protestant ascendancy", but also noted, "But the general case of a partisan force co-operating with Protestant mobs to attack Catholic people is devoid of substance, and we reject it utterly." I think we should also mention Nationalist intimidation (and worse) of those Catholics who did join the B-Specials, this also contributed to the lack of Catholic membership, and was naother problem the UDR was hoped to overcome. David Underdown (talk) 10:14, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes I would broadly agree with that. You will find some of that information on the "Recruitment" section which was ported to its own page but there is scope for giving an overview in the main article. Thunderer (talk) 10:18, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


Again Thunderer you are NOT assuming good faith on my behalf or Domers this has got to stop now. BigDuncTalk 11:37, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Domer please note that I have now objected twice to your block revert and I consider the use of such a tactic to be vandalism and under the terms of the Arbcom sanctions I have the right to revert it. If you try to pull such a stroke again I will request the article be protected to prevent edit-warring. I certainly do not want to invite sanctions upon myself.Thunderer (talk) 11:40, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

There was no vandalism on this article and you have clearly breached the 1RR sanctions on this article. BigDuncTalk 11:47, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Once I lodged an objection to the block revert any future reversions of that must be treated as either vandalism or edit-warring in my opinion. You have lodged a complaint so let the admins review it and make a decision.Thunderer (talk) 11:52, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Fresh start

Now that I'm unblocked I'm going to proceed with adding in new information on various aspects of the regiment which are non-controversial, i.e. communications etc. As far as the fears and concerns of the Catholic people of Northern Ireland I see that they are well addressed in the article as far as the Ulster Defence Regiment is concerned. There is a preamble about the B Specials being the precursor and about their effect on Catholic recruitment. There is no need to put in anything more. We don't need evidence of how well or how poorly the B Specials performed or were disciplined. what we need is information about how well the UDR performed - or how badly, and comments about their discipline.

I'm going to state now that anyone editing in information which appears to influence the reader towards any side of the political divide will be challenged and will be the subject of an RfC. If any editor wishes to ask for an RfC in view of my comments I will welcome a discussion with an interested third party.

My objective is to produce an article which deals with the subject matter and is devoid of POV, particularly political POV. Thunderer (talk) 12:02, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, that is a very good goal. :) You do need to split the article though; it's 117 kb long! You could try splitting off the "Formation" and "Recruitment" sections off...maybe. "Battalions and locations" can definitely be cut out and pasted into something along the lines of Battalions and locations of the Ulster Defence Regiment or something of the like. Cheers! —Ed 17 for President Vote for Ed 17:58, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
That's two excellent suggestions. I'll deal with that right away.Thunderer (talk) 21:57, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Good to see discussion is happening. Of course, the 1 RR sanction is in these two new articles as well, but right now, I'm not seeing anything to concern myself. Keep it up :) (edit:forgot to sign, and I shoulda known it was too good to be true) SirFozzie (talk) 18:19, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

New pages

As per the suggestions from User:the_ed17 I have created three new pages to reduce the size of the article. This is following a warning on the article edit page that it was getting too large and the comments made above are in response to a message left by me at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Military_history where I sought advice on splitting the article. The new pages are: Recruitment to the Ulster Defence Regiment‎ Battalions and locations of the Ulster Defence Regiment Criticisms of the Ulster Defence Regiment‎ I am working towards preparing this article to be moved up to "A" Class. The qualification for that is:

The article meets the following five criteria:
A1. The article is consistently referenced with an appropriate citation style, and all claims are verifiable against reputable sources, accurately represent the relevant body of published knowledge, and are supported with specific evidence and external citations as appropriate.
A2. The article is comprehensive, factually accurate, neutral and focused on the main topic; it neglects no major facts or details, presents views fairly and without bias, and does not go into unnecessary detail.
A3. The article has an appropriate structure of hierarchical headings, including a concise lead section that summarizes the topic and prepares the reader for the detail in the subsequent sections, and a substantial but not overwhelming table of contents.
A4. The article is written in concise and articulate English; its prose is clear, is in line with style guidelines, and does not require substantial copy-editing to be fully MoS-compliant.
A5. The article contains supporting visual materials, such as images or diagrams with succinct captions, and other media, where appropriate. See also the A-Class review & criteria FAQ.
I trust reviewing admins will agree with the changes and the objectives outlined by me. Thunderer (talk) 22:34, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Options for Change and amalgamation

In the above section title it mentions the hope that the process of amalgamation with the Rangers, coupled with the change of name, would be a fresh start. The question I have is, did this prove to be the case? Based on the BBC Northern Irelands Spotlight series titled Echoes of Home it would suggest otherwise. I would therfore suggest the text below, which was removed, as an attempt to address the question posed above. The formula of words can be changed according to editors suggestions.

"According to Larkin, it is clear that the Ulster Defence Regiment brought “all its old customs” into the newly amalgamated regiment. While directing a programme in Bosnia for BBC Northern Irelands Spotlight series titled Echoes of Home, they observed that the interiors of the tents in the bivouac area where the RIR were deployed were festooned with King Billy flags and other loyalist regalia. The British Army’s PR department, who had done an excellent job setting things up for them while in Bosnia, were horrified while watching a preview of the film when they returned home, to see the loyalist regalia in the background while interviewing the soldiers. They approached the Spotlight team, asking if they could do something about the flags, but they were unable to do so. The Army’s concern stemmed from the fact, Larkin says, because this came at a time when stories began to surface about recruits from the South of Ireland were being intimidated by UDR personal.[14]" --Domer48'fenian' 07:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

This information is not relevant to the UDR. It's about the Royal Irish Regiment. See A2 above. Can you put it in the Royal Irish Regiment article under "Home Service battalions". Thunderer (talk) 10:04, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Just one question. Was the amalgamation with the Rangers all that it was hoped to be? Thanks, --Domer48'fenian' 12:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I couldn't answer that accurately as far as Home Service is concerned. For the General Service battalion I can. In my experience in the last 4 years they've had an RSM from Dublin, and a Captain as Welfare Officer (later MTO) who was an ex RSM - also from the south. They have at least several commissioned officers from the Free State and the usual smattering of southern Irish in the ranks. Insomuch as who's Catholic and who's Protestant it's hard to know because they don't make an issue out of religion. You will find Ulster regalia in rooms but you'll also find the tricolour. They all mix together in the bars. In that respect they're very like the Irish Hussars which I served with. From a working point of view you'll probably find that more of the senior NCO and officer appointments within Home Service were filled by Rangers instead of guys from English, Scottish or Welsh units and that's where you're going to find the unusual situation that predominantly Protestant battalions would have had Catholic RSM's or Commanding Officers who could have come from the Falls Road or the South. How they dealt with that I don't know. Not that there weren't Irish Catholic NCO's or officer before amalgamation - there were. Some regular posts in the UDR were filled by Inniskilling Dragoons, Irish Hussars, Irish Guards as well as Irish Rangers. I know for a fact that 11 UDR had an Irish Hussar PSI as well as an Irish Ranger commanding officer. Were they Protestant or Catholic? Who knows, who cares. The army is the army and the religion of the man next to you is of no consequence, you depend on him when the chips are down just the same as he depends on you.Thunderer (talk) 12:45, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
There were also more than a few Irish in the 4/7th Dragoon Guards (originally 4th Royal Irish DG) and 16/5th Lancers (5th Royal Irish Lancers). They would have had people on attachment too. Thunderer (talk) 12:52, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

We mention in the article the hopes for the amalgamation, so I ask once again, was the amalgamation with the Rangers all that it was hoped to be? We know that the answer is no, so why can we not say it? While your experience is intresting, it dose not answer the question I raise. Now could you please give a policy based reason why the information can not be included. As an aside, I can provide a sourced reference which states that the display of the Tri-colour would not be tolerated. --Domer48'fenian' 17:32, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

My experience of these things doesn't mirror your source. I have seen with my own eyes many displays of tricolours in the barracks of Irish units of the British Army. I lived with it. I served with Catholics and Protestants, many of whom had been and were subsequently in the UDR, the British Police Forces, the Garda Siochana or Oglaigh na hEireann. I drink in Dublin with British and Irish soldiers and members of the Gardai, all of whom know who the other is. You don't understand the mentality of soldiers that's the problem here. Religion is of little or no importance to them, no matter how hard you try to prove otherwise. Furthermore if anyone suggests that the Home Service battalions had bad habits brought in by the UDR then that information belongs on the Royal Irish page but one thing's for sure - your source is quoting the General Service battalion, because Home Service guys didn't serve in Bosnia and if you're trying to make religion an aspect of the 1st Battalion you're on a hiding to nothing because I have had much and recent close contact with them and I know your source to be totally wrong.Thunderer (talk) 20:18, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Removal of Ronnie Gamble information

Can you please self revert on the Ronnie Gamble information please. You have deleted a link to an online version of his book, including the ISBN number. It is not a blog. Thunderer (talk) 13:55, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I dont need to seen as you have reverted my edits again. This adds nothing to the article as he is non notable and should be removed. Or will we add more names of ex members? BigDuncTalk 15:32, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I added new information, I didn't revert you. He is notable however. He wrote a book, a book which was funded by the National Lottery. That's very notable. It's his book which is online too - not a blog as you tried to assert. It's word-for-word ISBN 9780955806902. I will be adding the names of other ex-members too, because they were in the UDR and the article demands facts about the UDR. Thunderer (talk) 15:46, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
No you reverted again seems your block didn't change your editing patterns. BigDuncTalk 15:50, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
With the revised text relating to him, it seems worth leaving some mention of him in, particularly since his book is being used a reference elsewhere in the article, and it helps people to understand the reliability of that as a source. He's probably not notable enough for his own wikipedia article. The text might be improved if we could actually find something like a book review or similar describing him as a typical recruit - that does read a little like original research as it stands. David Underdown (talk) 15:54, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
His book is online and any relevant information from it can be used. It isn't all about him though and it does contain some opinion which I am opposed to using because opinions aren't what we need here. You're quite right as well David. It is totally different text to that which was reverted by BigDunc. I don't believe he's notable enough for writing one small book about the UDR to have his own article. Dunc, you need to exercise a little good faith.Thunderer (talk) 15:58, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Good faith about what? BigDuncTalk 16:02, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Well you removed an item which you called a blog, totally ignoring the inline text which said it was an online reproduction of a book.Thunderer (talk) 16:24, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
A book that Google book search and worldcat and LibraryThing have no returns on a search. BigDuncTalk 16:37, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) I have provided the ISBN, it isn't my fault if you can't find it. I have the book in front of me and I will put the front and back covers into the article as proof of you wish because I have written permission from the author to do so. Thunderer (talk) 16:42, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

In fact I have just done so. The back cover of the book is now in the article with the ISBN No clearly visible along with the author's name and the Lottery logo. I'll do the flyleaf as well if you'd like me to?Thunderer (talk) 16:54, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

London Gazette

David, that's an excellent addition to the article. I never thought of looking to see when officers were Gazetted. Thunderer (talk) 16:31, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The search facility isn't 100% reliable because the way the scanned image has been converted to machine readable text, but most things can be tracked down in the end. It helps if you know the persons full name (or at least their full initials). David Underdown (talk) 16:35, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
This is excellent material though. You're contributing something very relevant, factual and verifiable to the article. It's not political, it'not POV, it's not opinion. Just good solid information which enhances the article and puts it further down the road to A Class. Thunderer (talk) 16:40, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The Subversion in the UDR report

This is an extremely relevant document in relation to the UDR. It is subject specific and should not have been removed without prior discussion. I would now invite editor’s opinions on this section, and the other sections which have been removed. --Domer48'fenian' 17:50, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The report is one of the most import documents to come to light in relation to the UDR. The issue of collusion goes to the very hart of all that was wrong in relation to policing a divided society. The report was not a criticism of the UDR, but a condemnation as any book of Google search will attest. To disassociate this report from the main article would not lend itself to the reader’s knowledge of the regiment. To remove such vast sections in the absence of any prior discussion dose not lend its self to a productive editing environment. --Domer48'fenian' 19:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
With regards to discussion you should have discussed any proposal along these lines before trying any such moves. You were also informed by me that admin advice had been requested and you knew that I had drawn attention to all of this on the AE board. You two seem to be out of control at the moment and I'm leaving admins to deal with you. In the meantime the information has been restored to where it was left after discussion with people at the Milhist board. Thunderer (talk) 20:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Latest dispute

Ok, I'm here at work, so I can't dig fully, but let's TALK. Since usually when the usual folks talk to each other in the usual way, the dispute doesn't get resolved, completely ignore what the "other" side says. Talk to me, and only me.

Domer, from a quick look, it looks like the Subversion in the UDR report looks to be handled in the Criticism of the UDR article, is that not correct? SirFozzie (talk) 19:34, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I have outlined my rational above, and if you wish me to expand upon it I'll be more than happy in the section I opened on it. For now though, I would apply your rational of bold, revert, discuss. --Domer48'fenian' 19:42, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Where was the consensus for creating a criticism article? BigDuncTalk 19:47, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I find this section very perplexing when one reviews the recent edits on the article. Every edit I’ve made has been reverted. Every one. I have not reverted, but instead have gone to the talk page. In the section above titled “Proposal, History section” only one editor has disagreed with the views on the discussion, and reverted despite the opportunity provided on the talk page. To suddenly describe my edit, as “Latest Dispute” despite no comments on the talk page I find strange. Could Fozz possibly point me to this dispute? --Domer48'fenian' 19:59, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I was pointed at this by a request by Thunderer for more eyes on the article on AE. As for the consensus for creating a criticism article, Thunderer asked for more eyes on the article at the Military project sub-article, who indicated that the article was getting too big, and suggested creating sub pages for some of the larger sections. I happen to agree with it (speaking ONLY as an editor, not an administrator), the page was over 100K, which is not recommended for articles, and the main article links to the sub-pages in the articles). More later once I have a free moment. SirFozzie (talk) 20:07, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
And were did this discussion take place where consensus was reached to move pertinent sections of the article? BigDuncTalk 20:21, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

"Thunderer asked for more eyes on the article at the Military project sub-article." So was the discission made their on what sections to be removed were? That new "Criticism" article is nothing but a POV fork, it should be in the main article. It should have been discussed before it was removed, it was not. And Fozz you agree with this? --Domer48'fenian' 20:33, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

As I said previously, with my editor hat on, yes. It was a large section that deserved its own article in full, rather than filling an already bloated article. SirFozzie (talk) 20:37, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Were was the prior discussion? Even the editor from the Milhist who I don't know from Adam is getting tired of this editors attitude. You still have not addressed my view that the new "Criticism" article is nothing but a POV fork, which IMO it is. So you agree with this removal despite no discussion? --Domer48'fenian' 20:43, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Have you ever considered contributing something to this article other than criticism Domer? Surely with all the knowledge you've gleaned by now, especially what I've taught you, you must appreciate what a superb unit the UDR was and what a great job they did in such trying circumstances?Thunderer (talk) 20:47, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I dont think trying to goad another editor by patronising them is any way helpful so please stop it now. BigDuncTalk 21:03, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Seeing as 1RR hasn't made the desired effect? Perhaps 0-RR should be considered, as the revert button, can be too much of a temptation. GoodDay (talk) 21:08, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
But who is doing the reverting and no sanctions are being imposed I would agree to a 0RR on the article if admins are going to impose the sanctions that were set out. BigDuncTalk 21:14, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
It would also be helpful for all sanctioned editors, if they stayed away from the articles that they got sanctioned over. GoodDay (talk) 21:25, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Splitting out large sections is a standard applicaiton of WP:Summary style. Of course, it's important that the summary left in the original article is itself balanced and NPOV. There does need to be mentoin here of criticism from sources which are clearly not Nationalist. That includes the report mentioned here, and if possible something from the mainstream British press. David Underdown (talk) 10:17, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


Could you expalin Fozz what edit war? BigDuncTalk 20:20, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Not quite edit warring, but I'm not going to let one develop, especially. It was the best drop down from the menu. As I said, I'm working and can't watch it every free moment. I'm not going to let one start here. SirFozzie (talk) 20:22, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

New sanctions (see AE)

I have placed new Troubles-related sanctions on three of the parties in the recent dispute. Please see AE for the details. SirFozzie (talk) 21:29, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Another source

Some info in this document may be useful although this online version is hosted by the Pat Finucane Centre, the original docuemtn is a staff appreciation by the British Army of the lessons to be learnt from Operation Banner. It includes a good overview of the setting up of the UDR, and previous forces (mostly around chapter 3 p4-6.) David Underdown (talk) 14:09, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

That looks like an excellent document. I'll get a read at it later David. Thank you. Thunderer (talk) 15:17, 15 October 2008 (UTC)


I intend to challenge some of the refs that are taken from Testimony to Courage - the Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment. I will post here what I feel needs to be changed before I make any edits. BigDuncTalk 08:22, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

So I’ll make a start with this in the Awards, honours and decorations section

The man credited by the Regimental History as "the most decorated UDR soldier" is Corporal Eric Glass of the 4th (Co Fermanagh) Battalion who received both the Queen's Gallantry Medal and Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery. Potter pg.90 There is no mention of him on page 90 is the right page being used? BigDuncTalk 08:27, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Can we try to keep the language a bit more neutral please? "Query" would sound less agressive than "challenge". David Underdown (talk) 08:50, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
(editconflict)My apologies to all the sensitive souls reading this talk page I didn't have my thesaurus with me this morning so I will question, query and challenge the refs, strike through depending on your sensitivities. BigDuncTalk 09:01, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Given the previous history, we all need to make a bit of an effort to make this page rather less confrontational, and a try and get a bit more of a colelgial atmosphere, regardless from where we are comming from. David Underdown (talk) 09:09, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
It does look as if there maybe more than one edition of this book, Worldcat gives 2 different OCLCs, so we do need to clarify which edition is being used. David Underdown (talk) 08:59, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually Dunc is correct. The page numbers for that particlar quote are 366-369. There is also a plate opposite page 115 with that exact quote on it. I can change the ref if you want Dunc or I can let you do it?Thunderer (talk) 13:52, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
We still ought to give soem further indicaiton of the edition or hardback/paperback if possible. David Underdown (talk) 14:17, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
2001 (I suspect that's first edition) hardback.Thunderer (talk) 18:01, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)Page refs changed now.Thunderer (talk) 23:45, 26 October 2008 (UTC)


The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was an infantry regiment of the British Army formed as an anti-terrorist... - where on page 19 is the wording that sources that please? I cannot see it anywhere. BigDuncTalk 14:26, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Ask yourself the question - why were they formed? I will peruse the book later and check the quote. Thunderer (talk) 16:17, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
More pertinently, lets ask ourselves, per WP:TERRORIST, whether that can be explicitly qualified with a source. Rockpocket 16:44, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
That's why they were formed - specifically. I'll sort the quote. Thunderer (talk) 16:46, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Why I think the UDR was formed is not relevant, as I do not put my own opinions into articles. Whenever you're ready with that quote? BigDuncTalk 20:11, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Dunc, you appear to have the book, this process would appear less adversarial if you simply gave an alternative page number yourself. I expect most of this is down to copy-and-pasting of refs with insufficient regard for the page numbers included in them. Stop just playing gotcha and make a more positive contribution. David Underdown (talk) 10:41, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Thats the second time you have not shown me good faith. I am leaving it up to the editor who inserted the text to tell me the page number. As I said I cant find it on the page he listed. Will I just remove them all and start an edit war or ask the editor to clarify the page numbers. That is 2 now I don't know if there are any more. So have a read again of WP:AGF because it looks like you have forgotten about it. BigDuncTalk 10:51, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I've struck the final part of my comment above, which possibly did over-step the mark. As I said, it's a matter of apperance, yes the original author should have got the reference right, but when you have the reference available to you, it does seem rather negative to just say what appears (particulalry when it happens on more than one occasion) to be rather close to "Hah, you got it wrong, go away and look it up again", when with marginally more effort from yourself you could provide a viable alternative. It's little things like this, and more thought of choice of words in the first place (which obviously I'm now as guilty of as anyone) which will make working together far easier, and more likely to reach a broad consensus on the content and language of the article. For example, looking at other sources already in the article I can see that in his initial announcement of the formation of the UDR Hattersley, following the language of the Hunt Report spoke about its task being to meet "armed guerilla-type attacks" activities rather than specifcally anti-terrorist duties. So I agree, we do need to be very careful about sourcing for the specific use of the word "terrorist". This issue isn't specific to you, we all need to try and offer alternatives, rather than becoming entrenched in positions. Remember that I've no real history on this aricle (or other Troubles related articles-apart from attempting to expand some of the biographical articles about General Officers Commanding, NI-it may be worth you having a look over some of those too, as I'm more aware of available British sources, rather than "Nationalist" sources). David Underdown (talk) 11:41, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Myself and Thunderer are on 0RR on this article so if I ask questions about refs it is to clarify what the editor has inserted instead of removing text and starting edit wars. But I appreciate your striking out your comment. BigDuncTalk 11:49, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate why you're doing it, I'm just asking you (and everyone else) to think about how you are doing it. Saying (in effect) "well it's not where you said it was" (and which given the history between editors here could also be read by one of those editors as having the subtext "so you're lying") is a very closed statement, and is likely to lead to a defensive reaction form other. Whereas as saying "hmm doesn't actually seem to be on that page, would page blah cover what you are trying to say" invites dialogue, suggests that the point being made by the other author may have some worth, and doesn't carry the implicit, and unintended, implication. David Underdown (talk) 11:57, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
It's actually not why you think they were formed Dunc. It's a question of why they were formed. The article must reflect that. Why did the British Government and the Northern Ireland government feel they needed to raise a militia of 6,000 men in the pretty modern time of 1969? What was such a dire threat to sovereign territory to make such a move valid and desirable? David is right to an extent too. You could look this up yourself although I have a lot of index guides stuck in my copy to make it slightly easier to find these things. Have you also considered using Ronnie Gamble's book to check this - I know he offered you a free copy, did you take him up on this offer? Apart from anything else, with such a limited publication, it's likely to be quite a rare volume in the future. Thunderer (talk) 10:52, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Where have I gave any opinion on why they were formed? I have asked you to clarify the ref that you are using as it is not on the page you said it was. I do not put my opinion into articles. Also regarding Gamble, I asked for a second opinion on if it was a releiable source on Reliable sources/Noticeboard and I was informed that it wasn't so I would not be using it as a source. BigDuncTalk 11:13, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
If you're agreeing that they were formed as an anti terorist militia then the ref isn't needed, per se, although it seemed to be an issue in the first place which is why it was reffed. I don't have a problem scouring the books to find the correct page, or even one which closely matches it and changing the quote. What would you prefer to see happen? Do you have an issue with the claim that they were an anti terrorist militia? If you do, what would you prefer to see the wording changed to? Thunderer (talk) 11:19, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) I have removed the unreferenced material as I stated above I am not putting in why I think they were formed only interested in accurately reporting what reliable sources say it was formed. BigDuncTalk 12:13, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I have reverted you because this discussion is ongoing. There are several options open here as I described above. Firstly you can remove the ref. Secondly you can find the ref. Thirdly you can find a similar ref and change the wording which will suffice until get time to find the original ref I intended to place there. No-one's asking you to put your opinion there. What has been put forward by me is the reason why they were formed. They were not a regular infantry regiment, they were militia formed to carry out internal security to combat the threat from terrorism and insurgency from the IRA (specifically). The fact that they were also employed later against loyalist elements isn't relvant at this point because we're only talking about their "raising" or formation. This eventually became known as "Home Service" to comply with the national raising of a "Home Service" force of volunteers in the rest of the UK in 1992 when the regiment was amalgamated. None of this is controversial so at this point in time I wondering why it is you wish to remove the phrase and why you went ahead and did it without discussing it her first when discussion was actually ongoing. I would now ask you what it is you wish to do. I realise you can't go back in and revert but if I self revert to adjust the sentence to what is agreed then you won't be breaching sanctions and neither will I. I've taken a chance to revert the item just now because I feel that any admin looking in will understand you shouldn't have deleted the information before you and I had agreement on the point. Is all of that fair enough to you?Thunderer (talk) 13:42, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
See my comment below you have breached sanctions and you should self revert. So until you provide a source you haven't provided the reason they were formed, just added your own opinion as the ref does not back up your claim. BigDuncTalk 13:49, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
We do need a reference for the terms used given the contentiousness of labelling groups as terrorist (whatever our own views on the matter). If the phrase is not specifically mentioned i teh regimetnal history, it may be better to use the description that Hattersley used in the Commons in his announcement of the raisingin of the regiment. That said, as I had preivously pointed out on his talkpage I don't think it was helpful to remove the material whilst this discussion was ongoing, and with no prior notice that it was to be done, particularly given the opints I've been trying to make about everyone behaving in a postive fashon when trying to move this article on. David Underdown (talk) 13:56, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Dunc. Firstly you shouldn't have reverted the item. There's a 0RR on this article. Now I can overlook that - as I hope admin will, as long as we're in discussion. Although I will get you the ref for this later I'd be interested to know why you believe they were not an anti terrorist militia? They were formed to defend against "insurgency and terrorism" by the Official IRA and that is historical fact, easily obtained on the web. So why is it you want to see the information deleted?Thunderer (talk) 13:58, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Annual Training Camps

I think 'Lydd and Hythe, Cinque Ports, England' and 'Folkestone, England' may be the same camp with the first being the correct location? Gavin Lisburn (talk) 22:58, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

It's possible Gavin. I kept both in because I know that area is quite heavily used for military training. Feel free to amend. Thunderer (talk) 10:54, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Thunderer revert

Thunderer you have reverted this article in breach of sanction imposed in AE namely that BigDunc and Thunderer are under 0RR restriction until a mediator reports BigDunc and Thunderer have entered formal mediation. In doing so you have placed an incorrect ref into a contenstious matter. I have brought this to your attention yet you have not said were in the book it states that the UDR were set up as an anti-terrorist organisation. I am asking you to self revert. It is wp:synthesis what you are doing. BigDuncTalk 13:38, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

In actual fact Dunc you were the one who reverted material placed there by me. A deletion is a revert. I have placed an explanation above for your consideration and for the use of admins. In the circumstances I would ask admin not to invoke any sanctions on you because I believe you acted in good faith however, it would be better if we could agree the best way forward on this point before making any agreed change to the wording. I will bend over backwards to ensure that you are happy with the result but you haven't yet shown any reason why this non-controversial issue needs to be deleted.Thunderer (talk) 13:46, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
No I removed unreferenced controversial material that you first added here and when a citation tag was placed you provided a ref that doesn't support your claim here and I not interested in any more opinions or lengthy posts about why the UDR was formed, I'm only interested in what reliable sources say. BigDuncTalk 14:11, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Thunderer you really shouldn't have reverted, and there is a good case for a block - I was trying to persuade Dunc to sef-revert until you had either provided a ref, or an alternative form of wording had been agreed. Please all wait until agreement has been thrashed out here before making article changes. It's precisely this behaviour from everyone which has led to previous page protection and blocks. David Underdown (talk) 13:58, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I would take 0RR to apply to the state of the article at the point the restriction was applied, so it was Thunderer who made the revert. I've refactored the indenting slightly since my comment preceded Dunc's of 14:11, so shouldn't appear to be a reply to that. David Underdown (talk) 14:44, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I firmly believe the removal of information under discussion is a revert. I believe the sanctions allow me to restore the status quo and bring the matter back to the talk page. I don't want Dunc sanction for this, no more than I want to be sanctioned myself. I feel the best way forward is to get to the bottom of why Dunc wants this information removed, get him the correct ref if necessary and move forward on the basis of concensus. If Dunc is intending to check all the refs in the artcile I see that as very helpful. I don't want innacurate referencing any more than he does. I'm also in agreement to change any wording which appears POV or not useful to the article. If Dunc has the patience for that and I can help, then I'm fully behind him, as I am with you David. Your work on the article has been most helpful and of sterling quality.Thunderer (talk) 14:51, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
It's not helpful, but it's not a revert. Both of you should remember that there is no deadline, and whatever anyone else does, or doesn't do, please stick to trying to get concesnus here before editing the article, however "right" your actions may be. David Underdown (talk) 15:14, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
As per previous advice by admins David I think they will see it as a revert, certainly it's quite provocative to take this type of action in the middle of an ongoing discussion and this is what we need to avoid. If I was being obstructive or refusing to discuss the subject properly I would agree that Dunc had the right to fire ahead and make the change. As it is I want to accomodate him but not because I'm being intimidated - because we came to an agreement on the wording.Thunderer (talk) 15:19, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
From where I'm standing, neither of you is particulalry in the right. Can we draw a line under this, and as the new section below says, move on. David Underdown (talk) 15:24, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Nothing to be gained by finger pointing. It was a glitch and we move on - agreed Dunc?Thunderer (talk) 15:35, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Well I dont you are now attempting to find another source for the content as you know damn well that the ref you cited does not say such a thing but you still went against sanctions and reverted. How is that attempting to move on? BigDuncTalk 17:27, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
You were quick enough to accuse other of not assuming good faith earlier. That seems to be missing from this statement. I've given a clear indication that Thunderer should put up, or shut up, and proposed alternative wording, which is clearly supported by sources already used int eh article. Some indication of the unit's intended purpose should be in the lead so that it adequately summarises the article as a whole which is what the lead must do. The mediation case has also been accepted. Everyone needs to stop pointing the beam in the other's eye, and consider if there is any way they can improve the atmosphere around this article. David Underdown (talk) 17:34, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
There is a way, he stops reverting every single edit I make. Check the history and see how many times I have made an edit and he has reverted. You will find that if it is not all of them it is the overwhelming majority. I have asked him in September to provide refs he said he had and as yet almost November and still not in the article. I am met with stonewalling at every turn here and it is really starting to get on my tits. BigDuncTalk 17:50, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
There don't seem to be any outstanding citation requests, yes we're down to refining those citations, and clearing up the cut-and-paste errors which have resulted in incorrect page numbers but things have been moving on. Everyone needs to make more use of the talk page instead of diving into the article. Look at my proposed text below, see what comes out of the mediation. Lets draw a line here and try to move on from where we are. It takes two to edit war. David Underdown (talk) 18:15, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Moving on

Right, we're now bakc to the status quo ante, so how do we move forward? Thunderer, will you have time ot check the book tonight? If not, please indicate when you will be able to do this, if you can check it, please could you give the page number(s) here, and since I don't have access to the book, the relevant quote(s). If there is nothing in the book that directly characterises the UDR as an anti-terrorist militia, I suggest we instead use the description used by Roy Hattersley in his Commons announcement of the raising of the regiment and would propose the following wording:

formed on similar lines as other reserve forces with the operational task of countering "armed guerilla-type attacks".

Referenced to the existing Hansard ref ( David Underdown (talk) 15:23, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

David I'll make a point of getting it done tonight and I'll post the ref's here as requested with the exact wording. Hattersley's words are a good choice too, especially as in 1969 "counter insurgency" was quite relevant as "terrorist" action hadn't become a critical issue at that point. (there has been a temdancy to separate the two in modern military terminology - terrorism being seen as destruction of property etc whereas insurgency is open is open military style action).Thunderer (talk) 15:34, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm actually checking the book now and I see that the quote I used refers to "protecting the state and border from armed attack and sabotage". Sounds reasonable to me. Thunderer (talk) 18:43, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
So from that you make that it was set up as an anti-terrorist militia, please read WP:OR. BigDuncTalk 19:02, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
No, from my observations about terrorism in Northern Ireland in all the books I've read about the UDR, RUC and B Specials. Without sarcasm I would strongly suggest that attacks by uniformed insurgents calling themselves "freedom fighters" against members of the police, army, judiciary, MP's and other promient members of the state infrastructure and state/public/private property denote terrorism and any force set up to counter than is an "anti-terrorist" force. Would you say otherwise?Thunderer (talk) 19:13, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Also while your at it read WP:SYNTHESIS no disrepect but your opinions and observations mean nothing. It is verifiable and reliably sourced content is all I want to see on wiki. BigDuncTalk 19:17, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
There are times when you can take this too far and wikilawyering doesn't make the agenda look any better. It is absolutely reasonable and uncontroversial to assert that a force raised to combat existing terrorism and insurgency should be regarded as an anti-terrorist force. Not every sentence in an article needs a ref you know? Furthermore you should know by now that I don't write anything which isn't supported and in any case where I inadvertantly do so I will remove the text or reword it. I believe I've had to do so once thus far. You asked for a ref last week because I had put the wrong page number in. I gave you the correct page numbers and invited you to change the ref yourself. Two days passed and you had done nothing, although you were actively editing elsewhere, so I changed it for you myself. I told you I would find you refs for this one and in reply to David above you said you're still waiting on refs since September, notwithstanding the fact that all the refs were supplied except for refs for content which was later removed as being cruft (including my own edits). It wouldn't be difficult for an outsider looking in to accuse you of bad faith in this. At best it looks as if you are nitpicking, insisting on removing content rather than discussing it and finding a way forward. I'm not seeing that as reasonable.
Now with regards to the raising of the UDR as an anti-terrorist militia - I call your attention to page 217 of Gamble's book. The quote is Raising the UDR to support the RUC in dealing with terrorism proved to be the solution. Now, you might regard the book as an unreliable source but I've already had an admin inform me that he was easily able to find ISBN 978-0-9558069-0-2 on the WWW. As I have already posted the back cover of the book on the article as proof (before subsequently removing it at admin request) I believe I have firmly established that this book exists. If you still don't believe me the go here to Amazon and see how much one is selling for.
Am I getting through to you at all here?Thunderer (talk) 19:52, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
The quotes from the official history don't really seem to meet the case, and whilst the Gamble book may have its place for detialed accoutns of what individuals did, he's not a professional historian, and so we should be cautious in using him for the bigger picture. I thik we're probably better sticking to the Hattersley description. Can you both agree on that as a way forward? Thunderer, I really do think that Dunc is right on this one. Using personal knowledge is exactly what we have to try and avoid. Stick to waht can really be sourced, especially on a contentious topic like this. David Underdown (talk) 20:02, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Gambles book is not a reliable source accourding to second opinion on reliable source noticboard which said ...This is definitely not a mainstream history text as there is no copy in the British Library. It might be OK for non-contentious detail of the regiment - I mean things like what mascots they had - but not for anything that might be challenged. Certainly don't use anything from the chapter "Irish history". Also your links to Amazon are laughable you can buy almost any crap that was ever written online somewhere. Check WorldCat not found, Google book search not found, British Library not found.BigDuncTalk 20:09, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) There is a copy in the British Library and as I can find plenty of references to it on the web you're just going to have to accept it exists. Plus I can find plenty of references in every book I've got about "terrorism". Let's ask you again Dunc. If they weren't an anti-terrorist force - what were they? What were they raised to do? How would you advise the reader?Thunderer (talk) 20:15, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Well I can't find it maybe you can I tried here and here if you can find it here on British Library Site please post it for me. BigDuncTalk 20:25, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I've posted you a link above to show it's available on Amazon. You don't need a link from the British Library. Nor does he need to be a noted historian to have his book qualify as a source. He's published and that's good enough for the Wiki, and it's good enough for this uncontroversial item. Now I've asked you to explain to me several times how YOU would word the sentence. I haven't seen any suggestions yet. Can we please see your suggestion(s) for this other than deletion on your whim or say-so?Thunderer (talk) 20:31, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
It would appear that the Coleraine Times disgarees with your assessment of Mr Gamble not being a historian. They quite clearly say he is here.Thunderer (talk) 20:43, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward would love to work in that hotbed of international journalism. BigDuncTalk 20:49, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
It's infinitely more believable than that comic An Phoblacht.Thunderer (talk) 20:52, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps a change of method is in order? CAIN has a sizable bibliography of the Troubles. There must be books in there deal with the creation of the UDR, and surely something among them that everyone can agree on. Angus McLellan (Talk) 20:59, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Oh God how I wish it were true but reliable non POV material on the UDR is as rare as hobby horse shite. What I'm objecting to here is Dunc poo-pooing one local newspaper as a source but on the other hand defending others when it suits him, like An Phoblacct, or more recently, The Impartial Reporter. Thunderer (talk) 21:05, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Are you having a laugh you think because a local rag calls someone a historian it makes them so. Would you please cop on. I asked you before and you never replied is this another of MR. Gambles (Historian) weighty tomes here. I can see nothing wrong with the White Paper and Hattersley. BigDuncTalk 21:17, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
You seemed to think local rags were verifiable sources when used to quote RC's from Fermanagh with regards to the USC. So what makes the Coleraine Times different to that - is it because it doesn't suit your opinion and you want to denigrate Ronnie Gamble's published work so it can't be used as a verifiable source? BTW - We're all still waiting to hear why you disagree with the "anti-terrorist" statement and what your suggestion are?Thunderer (talk) 21:22, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I see that CAIN prefers to use the term "counter-insurgency" here. Would you like more examples or are you going to continue procrastinating on this until someone gives in to you? Thunderer (talk) 21:26, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
But Hansard says "anti-terrorist" "in support of the RUC" here. The links are coming thick and fast now - are you going to concede this point?Thunderer (talk) 21:30, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Cain link doesn't work and where in Hansard does it say the UDR were set up to be an anti-terrorist force?
It worked ok for me. Hansard says again here that they are an anti terrorist force in support of the RUC. Still waiting to hear why you don't like the current wording and what your suggestions are.Thunderer (talk) 21:47, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
So thats another ref you are using that is supposed to say they were set up as an anti-terrorist force and again it doesn't anyone seeing a pattern with how you use refs? You cant put your own words on what is said in a ref you obviously still haven't read WP:OR I wish you would. I want a reliable source and a verifiale one that says why they were formed, not your assumptions and experiences and more of your synthesis.BigDuncTalk 21:53, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) We're still awaiting your suggestions but all we're getting is your demands.Thunderer (talk) 22:11, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I want anti-terrorist removed why do you think I took it out. Which you then reverted in breach of AE sanctions knowing that the ref you were revrting too did not even support the statement it was put in there for. BigDuncTalk 22:22, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
It would reasonable and in line with policy to say something along the lines of "according to a statement by Sir Roger de Coverley in Hansard blah blah, the UDR was created blah, blah anti-terrorist blah blah". We don't say [anti-]terrorist, but we can certainly report when others do. Angus McLellan (Talk) 22:33, 29 October 2008 (UTC)


You can't justify the removal of the wording as they were clearly an anti-terorist unit. Even the US Department of Justice says so here. You're getting link after link and ref after ref proving the point but still you insist they weren't an anti terrorist unit. Whatever you're smoking I suggest you pack it in. Thunderer (talk) 22:28, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Yet another author ays they were an anti terrorist unit. here.Thunderer (talk) 22:31, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Where do any of the sources you provided state that they were formed as an anti-terrorist force? BigDuncTalk 22:34, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
The regimental history - page 1, paragraph 2. In that time a regiment which began as a largely untrained, amateur part-time body of volunteers, motivated by their duty to protect their country against terrorist attack......all of them regarded in their "anti-terrorist" role as the equals of the Regular Army.
Touché Thunderer (talk) 22:59, 29 October 2008 (UTC) It's gone very quiet in here ;) Thunderer (talk) 23:37, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
However much bolding etc gets used doesn't change the fact that the sourcing still really isn't quite there. Switch to using the language of the Hattersley annoncemnt and the problem goes away-everyone can read between the lines (in whatever way they wish), but it avoids the problem word. Preserve your force for the battles you can win, don't get bogged down over individual words. David Underdown (talk) 09:15, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
I honestly feel the case has been proven beyond doubt and can't see what the argument is now. It's not controversial and it's accurate. Thunderer (talk) 11:52, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Anything where you're labelling one side terrorist (which is implied if one side is an anti-terrorist force) is controversial. Let the situation speak for itself. Most of the references don't directly cte the UDR as anti-terrorist, they talk about it supporting the RUC's anti-terrorist work and similar, which arguably they could do without directly being invovled in anti-terror operations themselves. Stick to the language used by HAttersley, and there really isn't a problem. You know, and most readers will be able to read between the lines, but it's jsut not worth the fuss of pushing to directly incldue the word in the article. Show a little flexibility on this and progress on other areas of the article is likely to prove much easier. David Underdown (talk) 12:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
If it's the word "terrorist" which is the problem then I'd agree to change it to "counter-insurgency" which is equally accurate. That of course doesn't reflect the sources but in my opinion it's an item which is uncontroversial and doesn't really need to be reffed in any case. I think the entire world would agree that the state administrations in the involved coutnries regarded the IRA as a terrorist organisation and to me that should be the end of the matter. I'm not intransigent however so lets see if that is accetpable.Thunderer (talk) 12:27, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Anti-terrorist is not going in you have not provided a single source that states that the UDR were formed as an anti-terrorist force. Using the synthesis that you love so much I could make a claim that the regular army were formed as an anti-terrorist force too all of them regarded in their "anti-terrorist" role as the equals of the Regular Army. If they are equals then they must have been an anti-terrorist force too. How far would I be wrong with that, I think very far. As David has stated and I did yesterday the White paper and Hatersley are the only reliable sources so far provided and should be used. BigDuncTalk 16:01, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) do you actually read anything I post?Thunderer (talk) 17:05, 30 October 2008 (UTC)


BigDunc you are invited to seek mediation or mentorship to overcome this tendancy you have to remove items I have recently edited into this article. You are fully aware of a number of things. Firstly that I am still working on it, secondly that you should discuss changes of this nature and try and reach consensus before deleting content which someone else has worked hard on (in this case - me). Thirdly the section you were editing is not finished yet.Thunderer (talk) 15:19, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Non notable members

I have removed non notable members from the page. This is not a vanity piece were members are inserted because editors know them. BigDuncTalk 15:19, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

We certainly need some sources for them to stay-some examles of "typical" members seem to have some utility, even if they wouldn't be notable enough for a standalone article. Please come to talk first before making changes, or make use of User talk:SirFozzie/NI Article Discussions. You just diving in and removing things really isn't going to help move this article forward. David Underdown (talk) 15:24, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't know any of these people. They are there because an attempt is being made to show the background of male personnel, what their previous occupations were and what they did in the UDR. That is relevent. It is not an attempt at notability for any individual. I understand that most of these are now deceased. If you'd bothered discussing it before you removed it and had to be reverted then you would have understood. As advised above, discussion is the way forward, not deletion. You have asked for mediation - use it! Thunderer (talk) 15:26, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Equally, you really do need to provide some sources showing the relevance of these individuals being put up as typical, or it's all WP:OR. And it would be equally useful if you proposed changes here first before diving in to the article. David Underdown (talk) 15:31, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Why do I need sources to show that the soldiers of the regiment came from all sorts of different backgrounds David? This is different to a line infantry unit in that the vast majority of these UDR chaps were farmers or factory workers through the day - that's why a militia is very different and the very circumstances themselves are notable. All I've done so far is introduce a shedload of pictures into different sections which were already established, and I've added a little bit of biog about the background of each man. Gamble I know most about thus far because I'm in contact with him even though I dont know him. I need to ask too why you think we shouldn't allow the reader to see that the regiment had projectionists, cooks, clerks, arrest instructors etc etc? The idea of the wiki is to inform. Most people will consider that the UDR just had soldiers in platoons. Is it not viable to educate the reader other wise, that a farmer by day was a radio instructor or cook by night, rather than just a part-time rifleman?
My view is that we should be improving and adding - not dismantling and deleting. That doesn't give me the right to include cruft, I agree, but in the context of THIS regiment - things were different. Think MILITIA !Thunderer (talk) 15:44, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)What notability have the members I removed? Will we add Joe Bloggs from down the road who used to make tea in the barracks? So what distinguishes them from other members? BigDuncTalk 15:57, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Think MILITIA. This was not a regular army unit. It was a Citizen Militia - part-time. That in itself is notable, as is the fact that Joe Bloggs who made tea in the barracks at night may have been a factory worker by day. Other notable things are Peers of the Realm who were private soldiers and led by officers who, in some cases, were their employees by day - that's what's notable, not the people themselves. Thunderer (talk) 16:15, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
All you've done is give us unsupported names and info. Everything needs to be verifiable, did these people really exist, and when did they serve? Why should they be seen as being "typical". We need sources, we can't just ourselves say "these are typical". WP:OR, WP:RS and WP:NPOV require us to be able to say, such and such in this book (or other reliable source) has described x, y, and z as being typical members of the UDR, having had some previous military service etc etc.. Just listing names doesn't build the article at all. There has to be context. David Underdown (talk) 16:17, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Very much agree David. BigDuncTalk 16:20, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I can certainly provide sources for the inclusion of these people in Gamble's book - proof of receipt at the British Library has now been e-mailed to BugDunc and can be provided to anyone else who wants it - just in case anyone suggests it isn't a valid source. I'll do that later but Dunc, in the interim - discuss matters here first without going into the piece a second time, as you have done, and trying to delete content without discussion. David, your thoughts on my comments about MILITIA would be appreciated. Also I note you have removed the fact that the regiment was an "anti-terorist militia" - there was no concensus for that. I stand by my comments and refs that that is what they were - not a regular line infantry unit. They were raised by a separate act of parliament called the UDR ACT (1969). Thunderer (talk) 16:29, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Again the whole militia thing is your own spin on it. I can see where you're coming from, but the whole point of the way Wikiepdia works is that we cannot advance our own hypotheses. We've got to be able to point to reliable sources. If it's a simple matter of fact, then we can state it as such, if it's a matter of opinion, or drawing out conclusions from a set of facts, we need to be bael to point to a source which does the same. Since Gamble was himself in the UDR, and the book is essentially self-published, either in its online form, or via the regimental association, it's not really a third-aprty source. What we really need is a work by someone of the stature of Richard Holmes who has undoubted academic credentials. I'm beginning to wonder if you'd find it beneficial to move away from this article for a bit, and get some wider editing experience in less controversial areas, you don't yet seem to understand the level and type of sourcing that is required. Try looking at some of the articles within the military history which have already reached GA or FA status. As it stands this article would be torn to shreds if you tried to nominate for GA. I know you think Dunc is biased, but many of his points are valid. Equally, I don't think his method is actually going to help yo uunderstand where you are going wrong. As I had repeatedly said, the sourcing for anti-terrorist militia simply wasn't good enough. What we have now precises Hattersley's initial statement to the Commons and so is unassailable, and everyone will be able to read between the lines. I find it particualrly compelling that the Army staff doucemtn I linked to above does nto specifically mention that it was formed as an anti-terrorist force. Rember also that militia is a rather anachronous concept, militia, yeomanry and volunteer units were merged into the Territorial Force (later the TA) in 1908. Again we need really reliable sources to start drawing comparisons, the whole section "Comparison with the Irish citizen militias" is pretty dubious to my eye, I know you tried to fidn some additional sourcing, but the central hypothesis still seems to rest on Gamble, and we really need some further evidence as to why he should be regarded as a reliable source, book reviews in teh general press with a solid reviewer would be a good start. David Underdown (talk) 16:56, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Rather than me procrastinating about it - can I ask you what constitutes a militia and what constitutes a line regiment? Thunderer (talk) 17:23, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Clearly it's not a regualr regiment, but militia is, as I say, somewhat anachronous, part-time, volunteer, reserve, and so one would be more understandable for most people. I've tried to stick clsoely to the description which Hattersley actually gave when announcing the formation of the regiment, he was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland at the time, so he would seem to be as close to the horse's mouth as it is possible to get. It's not good enough to say what it is not, we need specific sources saying what it is. David Underdown (talk) 17:43, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe the wiki article on militia to be reasonably defining. This regiment was a part-time, volunteer unit, only for service within the borders of Northern Ireland and with a single purpose in mind - the defeat of insurgency and terrorism. Unlike the Home Service Force it had no links with the TA or Reserve. It was raised by a specific act of parliament which was only used for the raising of one regiment. It had no other committment than the defence of Northern Ireland. The term "Home Service" in relation to this regiment was never used until after amalgamation in 1992 - 10 years after the formation of the Home Sevice Force, therefore it is by definition a militia. In the absence of any other defining term would you not agree? If there were another term - I would use it.Thunderer (talk) 17:56, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Hattersley specifically points out that although a separate bill is being prepared, it was to be modelled after teh arrangements for existing reserve forces. Militia just muddies the waters, fine add the point about memebrs only being laible for service within Northern Ireland, but you'll only make life difficult for yourself if you start trying to introduce terms which are not found in the strongest avaialble sources. David Underdown (talk) 19:20, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I respect your judgement on this. I'll concede that point.Thunderer (talk) 11:39, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdent)Back to the issue of Ronnie Gamble and Roy Marshall what warrents the inclusion of these two members in the article. There is twice as much content on Gamble that on an ex commander and a Military cross winner. BigDuncTalk 20:57, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

As explained above. Regiments don't get raised every day, and certainly not regiments which depend on civilians with no military experience. Those who had PME were given appointments in training etc to help quickly raise the new force. The object in that section is to show, if possible, some of the different types of people who joined and were turned into soldiers by those who had been in the forces or police beforehand. The reason there's more on Ronnie Gamble than the rest of them is simple - I've got more info available on him at the moment. I am working on acquiring further information and pictures for that section through the UDR Association. Thunderer (talk) 11:39, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


This page is protected for 72 hours. Discuss your editing dispute on this page, not in edit summaries, please. I don't have time to sort out who was breaking the article sanctions right now, so will simply leave things protected; however, should another administrator have the opportunity to review the editing history more in-depth, one or more of you may be sanctioned. Risker (talk) 16:33, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

There isn't much reading needed. You can see from "mediation" downwards where the issue started and it started with BigDunc removing information without discussion which was firstly reverted by me, then restored by BigDunc, then reverted by David Underwood, then partially restored by BigDunc and again reverted by me. All of this whilst David and I were trying to engage him in discussion on the talk page. It's back to the old ways as far as BigDunc is concerned. He asked for mediation and can't be bothered to put in an opening statement to let User:Sunray get on with it because he says he doesn't have time, but he has enough time to come onto this article and cause trouble. I arrest my case. Thunderer (talk) 16:44, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I removed content as it was non notable and we had this discussion previously. It was partly reverted by David. I the removed the link to the online book that was in the main text of the article and a sentence that was now redudent as it stated During his time with 5 UDR he held various positions including: and nothing else as the rest of sentence was removed by David in his partial revert, this too was reverted by Thunderer so we now have a situation with this sentence left in because of a blind revert. BigDuncTalk 20:53, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Good point, in part. I think it is worth leaving the link to the online version in some form as a convenience link. It owuld be better if it were hosted somewhere other than geocities, but I'm happy that the book does exist in printed form (I did find a link on special:booksources which did actually have it). Probably the best thing to do is delete the sentence beginning "During his time...", and move the comment about an online version into the exisitng footnote. We can make can use {{editprotected}} to request this. However, it would have been better to continue the existing discussion about their inclusion rather than diving into the article-that's what sparked the new edit war and got the page protected again. David Underdown (talk) 09:36, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
David I asked for a second opinion regarding this book at WP:RSN and it was confirmed that it wasn't a relaible source. I have provided the links previously such as the one to the British Library which i'm sure you know search 10,000 pages on their main website, 14 million items in their collections and 9 million articles from 20,000 journals and it is returns not found. Also as you know you can buy any crap online if you look hard enough. So I can't seen any reason to link to a vanity piece by an ex member and not even a notable ex member on the page. BigDuncTalk 09:47, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
As I recall RSN said that it was a valid source for day-to-day happenings of the regiment, and its people, but shouldn't be considered as such for broader historical facts (see here). Whether the detail that Thunderere wishes to include falls the right side of that line is something that needs to be discussed here, certianly not written off on the basis of a single reply on RSN. On whether it's in the BL or not, I know from a friend of mine who's a librarian at one of the other copyright libraries that they are way behind in their cataloguing, and wouldn't be at all surprised to find that the same was true of the BL. David Underdown (talk) 14:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Would you also like a copy of the receipt from the British Library David? The author is also prepared to supply a limited number of free copies to anyone who is interested in using the book as a source for this article.Thunderer (talk) 14:43, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
BigDunc, you were sent the receipt from the British Library confirming that the book was lodged with them, just two days ago. David is correct though; you dived in without fully discussing the matter therefore potentially causing yet another edit war on this article.Thunderer (talk) 11:28, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
No you are the one who dived in and reverted they are non notable simple, and who did you send reciept to because I never got it? Not that it matters it is a vanity piece hosted on geocities and is not reliable. BigDuncTalk 14:39, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) There is no problem with discussing these issues beforehand. If you had done so you would have understood my intent on the item but no, you just go in and delete something without knowing why it's there. This is not one of your articles on the Irish Troubles. It's about an unusual regiment raised from ordinary citizens in modern times and this needs to be explained to the reader. This type of information is much more important that telling the reader that Sinn Fein supporters saw the regiment as being biased. Involve yourself in the mediation and learn something. Thunderer (talk) 14:51, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

As I said to Risker I have contributed to 3403 distinct pages on wikipedia doesn't sound like an editor who just sticks to troubles articles. You on the other hand have made 1527 of your 3184 edits to the UDR/USC pages so half of all your edits are on these 2 articles who is the one here stuck on an article because it is certainly not me. And the only one with ownership of articles is yourself and your edits prove that. BigDuncTalk 14:56, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
So what you're effectively saying is that I spend half my time away from these articles. Doesn't sound unreasonable and thanks for noting it. How many articles on unusual army regiments have you been involved in? Why do you feel an article on an unusual regiment needs to be filled with POV on how Nationalists hated it and regarded it biased but doesn't need information on the unusual circumstanes in which it was raised and the people who were in it? Furthermore, if I have made the UDR article a specific project, it's really of no concern of yours. I've done the same with 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars. Where's your input on that? What about Queen's Royal Irish Hussars? Or the Princess Victoria Disaster. How come you're just dogging me here? Why do you not feel my input on other military articles is POV?
In my opinion it comes down to the same thing. You're not getting the fact that this is a military article. You just address it as if it were an article on the Troubles. That isn't how to treat it in my opinion. Mediate! You started the case, use the opportunity to find out WHY I deem so many of your edits unsuitable for this article and take the advice which is given. Thunderer (talk) 15:08, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
We all know the answer to that Thunderer, they are not interested in other British Army regiments. Remember to keep your cool Thunderer, and above all don`t give up ! --Rockybiggs (talk) 15:48, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Rocky. Very nice of you to make comment but you'll no doubt appreciate that I don't wish to be drawn into any slagging matches. Faugh ah Ballagh! Thunderer (talk) 16:02, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Wow you made 141 edits to these 3 articles combined so around half a percent of your edits are on these 3 articles. So looks like you don't have much interest on them either. BigDuncTalk 18:23, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, so you're the editing police now? I didn't realise there was a quota. I'll try to do better next time. Are there any other articles I have edited you want to go through now that you've appointed yourself personal judge and jury of my contributions. All rather helpful while mediation regarding civility is going on I must say.Thunderer (talk) 18:46, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Thats exactly your problem articles of mine they are not your articles read WP:OWN. BigDuncTalk 18:50, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
    • ^ Graham Ellison & Jim Smyth, The Crowned Harp: Policing Northern Ireland, Pluto Press, 2000, ISBN 0745313930, 9780745313931, 138
    • ^ The Blackwell Companion to Modern Irish Culture, W. J. McCormack, Blackwell Publishing 1999, pp578
    • ^ CAIN
    • ^ Drumcree: The Orange Order's Last Stand, Chris Ryder & Vincent Kearney, Methuen Publishing London 2001, ISBN 0 413 76260 2, Pg.45
    • ^ Through the Minefield, David McKittrick, Blackstaff Press Ltd 1999, ISBN 0 85640 652, pg.30
    • ^ A Secret History of the IRA, Ed Moloney, Penguin Books, London 2002, ISBN 0 141 01041 x Invalid ISBN, pg. 39/43
    • ^
    • ^ A Secret History of the IRA, Ed Moloney, Penguin Books, London 2002, ISBN 0 141 01041 x Invalid ISBN, pg. 39,43,66,85,355,
    • ^ Martin Dillon, The Dirty War, Arrow 1991, ISBN 0 09 984520 2 pg.4,7-8
    • ^ The Secret Army: The IRA, J Bowyer Bell, Poolbeg Press Ltd. Ireland 1997 (revised Third Edition), ISBN 1 85371 813 0, pg.293-4,355,364,366
    • ^ The I.R.A., Tim Pat Coogan, HarperCollins Publishers London 2000 ((Fully Revised & Updated), ISBN 0 00 653155 5, pg. 39,160-62
    • ^ David McKittrick & David McVea, Making Sense of the Troubles, Penguin Books 2001, ISBN 0 14 100305 7, pg.11,14,48
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Hunt was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ A very British Jihad: Collusion, Conspiracy & Cover-up in Northern Ireland, Paul Larkin, Beyond the Pale Publications, Belfast 2004, ISBN 1 900960 25 7, pg.179