Disclaimer – The views and opinions expressed in these documentary are soley intended to educate and provide background information to those interested in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. They in no way reflect my own opinions and I take no responsibility for any inaccuracies or factual errors.
Hunting the IRA
This 1992 documentary focuses on the escalating number of anti-IRA, counter-terrorist operations being carried out by the Loyalist paramilitary group UDA (Ulster Defence Association).
For over twenty years the catholic fundamentalist terrorist gang (the Irish Republican Army) had been murdering protestant civilians in Northern Ireland on a daily basis. The British government had refused to crack down on this far-right extremist group, so protestants took it upon themselves to form vigilante groups to try to halt the IRA religious murders.
The three main protestant counter-terrorist groups were the Ulster Defence Association (who also used the name ‘Ulster Freedom Fighters’ on occasion), the Ulster Volunteer Force and a smaller, more elite group called the Red Hand Commando.
Originally these groups were formed to stop IRA drive-by shootings in protestant areas but, as the IRA attacks became more deadly and targeted against civilians, these groups armed themselves and began hunting down and executing IRA terrorists in their own homes. By 1992, the Loyalist groups had the IRA on the run with a UDA group based in the Shankill Road are of west Belfast being particularly successful. This group contained Loyalists such as Stevie ‘Top Gun’ McKeag, Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair, Sam ‘Skelly’ McCrory and Gary ‘Smickers’ Smyth.
By 1994 the IRA had surrendered and within a few years had given over all of their illegal arms to be destroyed by the British government.
The Loyalists’ counter-terrorism campaign had been successful.