Tag Archives: lvf

Mark "Swinger" Fulton: Life and Death

Mark “Swinger” Fulton (c. 1961 – 10 June 2002) was a Northern Irish loyalist. He was the leader of the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), having taken over its command following the assassination of Billy Wright in the Maze Prison in 1997 by members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).

Image result for Mark "Swinger" Fulton

Fulton was alleged by journalist Susan McKay to have carried out a dozen sectarian killings in the 1990s. He also allegedly organized the murder of a Catholic lawyer, Rosemary Nelson, in 1999 while he was out of prison on compassionate leave. In 2002, he was found hanged in his cell at Maghaberry Prison, an apparent suicide. He was awaiting trial having been charged with conspiracy to murder a man from a rival loyalist paramilitary organisation. At the time of his death, Fulton was married with two children

– Disclaimer –

The views and opinions expressed in these blog post/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

Early years

Mark Fulton was born in PortadownCounty Armagh in 1961, one of the children of Jim Fulton, a former British soldier who worked as a window cleaner. His mother, Sylvia (née Prentice), came from a family of wealthy car dealers. Fulton grew up in the working-class Protestant Killycomain area. A childhood friend described Fulton as “a lovely, sweet wee boy”.

Following the outbreak of the Troubles in the late 1960s, Fulton’s father became a member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). According to journalist Susan McKay, senior Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) members Robin “the Jackal” Jackson and Harris Boyle were frequent visitors to the Fulton home in the early 1970s.

Jackson, one of the alleged leaders of the gang which carried out the 1974 Dublin car bombings, became the commander of the UVF’s Mid-Ulster Brigade in July 1975. Four days later, Boyle was blown up after placing a bomb on the Miami Showband’s minibus after the band was stopped at a bogus checkpoint by UVF gunmen, and three band members shot dead.

Ulster Volunteer Force

Fulton left school early and promptly joined the Mid-Ulster UVF, being sworn in at the age of 15.[3] According to Sean McPhilemy, Fulton’s early activity included being part of the UVF gang that opened fire on a Craigavon mobile sweetshop on 28 March 1991, killing two teenaged girls and one man, all Catholics. The attack was allegedly planned by Robin Jackson.

In the early 1990s, Billy Wright, also from Portadown, took over command of the UVF Mid-Ulster Brigade from Jackson. The Mid-Ulster Brigade, founded in 1972 by its first commander, Billy Hanna, operated mainly in the Lurgan and Portadown areas. Fulton soon became Wright’s closest associate and right-hand man and had an “extreme fixation and obsession over Wright; he even had an image of Wright tattooed over his heart.

Fulton was alleged to have perpetrated twelve sectarian killings in the 1990s, and reportedly was implicated in many other attacks. His victims were often questioned about their religion prior to their killings, and sometimes they were killed in front of their families.

He was very violent and had a quick temper. Wright was the only person who was able to control him. A Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) detective who knew both of them said that whenever they were stopped by the police in the 1990s, Wright was “coolness personified”, while Fulton would rage, shout and make threats.

Although he was brought up in the Church of Ireland religion, Fulton was a follower of the Reverend Ian Paisley, founder and moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.  In appearance Fulton was heavily tattooed and was known for his habit of always wearing a waistcoat.

The Mid-Ulster Brigade called themselves the “Brat Pack”, which journalist Martin O’Hagan of the Sunday World altered to “Rat Pack”. After the nickname of “King Rat” was given to Wright by local Ulster Defence Association (UDA) commander Robert John Kerr as a form of pub bantering, O’Hagan took to describing Wright by that term.

This soubriquet was thereafter used by the media, much to Wright’s fury. This led him to issue threats against O’Hagan and all journalists who worked for the newspaper. The unit initially welcomed the Combined Loyalist Military Command ceasefire in October 1994; however, things were to change drastically over the next few years.

Loyalist Volunteer Force

Following the order given in August 1996 by the UVF’s Brigade Staff (Belfast leadership) for Wright and the Portadown unit of the Mid-Ulster Brigade to stand down, Fulton remained loyal to Wright and defied the order. This came after the Mid-Ulster UVF’s killing of a Catholic taxi driver, Michael McGoldrick, while the UVF were on ceasefire. Fulton was close to Alex Kerr, the sometime South Befast brigadier of the Ulster Defence Association who had become an ally of Wright during the Drumcree conflict and had been expelled by the UDA at the same time Wright was removed from the UVF.

After Wright defied a UVF order to leave Northern Ireland, he formed the breakaway Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), taking the members of the officially-disbanded Portadown unit with him, including Fulton. Fulton acted as an adviser to Kerr during the emergence of the LVF as a separate group and told both Kerr and Wright that the LVF should seek a closer relationship with the UDA in order to more fully oppose the UVF.

Fulton, as Wright’s deputy, assumed effective control of the LVF when Wright was sent to the Maze Prison in March 1997, and his relationship with Kerr, who had relocated to the LVF’s Portadown stronghold, soon ended. Fulton, who continued to advocate a closer alliance with the UDA, reasoned that the group would be more prepared to co-operate with the LVF if their dissident former brigadier was not involved and so before long Fulton and his cousin Gary, also a leading LVF member, began to threaten Kerr, resulting in the Kerr family fleeing to England.

Not long after this, on 13 May, Fulton was said by McPhilemy to have been responsible for the abduction and murder of 61 year-old civil servant and GAA official Séan Brown, who was kidnapped in Bellaghy before being murdered in Randalstown.

When Wright was shot dead by the INLA in December 1997, in a prison van while being taken to the Maze’s visitor block, Fulton assumed control of the LVF. In the immediate aftermath he attempted to minimise local violence as youths sympathetic to Wright amassed on Portadown’s loyalist estates preparing to riot in protest at the killing of their leader and local hero.[12] Unlike Wright, Fulton had always been on good personal terms with UDA chief Johnny Adair as the two had socialized together on and off since the early 1990s.

 The alliance was sealed soon afterwards when Mark and Gary Fulton arrived at the Maze prison,ostensibly to visit a friend, but instead sat at Adair’s table in the visiting room. Fulton was deeply affected by Wright’s death, and reportedly spent many nights alone by his grave.

The LVF published a magazine, Leading the Way. The special 1998 edition, commemorating Billy Wright, was edited by and written almost exclusively by Fulton. In an article, “Have Faith”, he advised loyalists to refuse the notion of extending the hand of friendship to “those who are genetically violent, inherent in the Catholic Church, a church as sly as a fox and vicious as a tiger”, citing historic examples of persecution of Protestants by Catholics. In May 1998, the LVF called a ceasefire. It was accepted by the Northern Ireland Office six months later.

See : Who are the Loyalist Volunteer Force

Rosemary Nelson killing

Fulton was arrested in 1998 after shooting at an off-duty soldier in Portadown. He was heavily intoxicated at the time and sentenced to four years imprisonment. While he was out on compassionate leave in early 1999, he allegedly organised the killing of Catholic human rights lawyer Rosemary Nelson. During the Drumcree standoff, Nelson had represented the Catholic Portadown residents who opposed the Orange Order‘s march through the predominantly nationalist Garvaghy area. She was blown up by a car bomb on 15 March 1999 outside her home in Lurgan. The bomb was allegedly made by a man from the Belfast UDA but planted by Fulton’s associates acting on his orders.

Colin Port, the Deputy Chief Constable of Norfolk Constabulary who headed the investigation into her death, said “without question” Fulton was the person who had masterminded her killing. Although he was back in prison at the time, he was excited when he heard the news of her death on the radio. He was linked to the killing by police informers but not forensics. It was also revealed that prior to his own death, Wright had threatened to kill Nelson in the belief she had defended IRA volunteers.

See: Rosemary Nelson – September 1958 – March 1999

Fulton was released from prison in April 2001.

Death

On 10 June 2002, Fulton, who was being held on remand in HMP Maghaberry since December 2001, was found dead in his prison cell with a leather belt around his neck. Fulton was found on his bed rather than hanging from the ceiling, leading to speculation that he has death had been accidentally caused by autoerotic asphyxiation.

 Friends claimed he had expressed suicidal thoughts due to both his failure to recover from his close friend Wright’s death, as well as fears he had that he was suffering from stomach cancer. Some reports suggested his unstable mental state had seen him stood down as leader several weeks before his death, with the LVF’s power base transferred to Belfast. He was also afraid that rival loyalist inmates wished to kill him inside the prison.

At the time of his death, Fulton had been awaiting trial, having been charged with conspiracy to murder Rodney Jennett, a member of a rival loyalist paramilitary organisation, in connection with an ongoing feud. He left behind his wife, Louise and two children, Lee and Alana. His funeral was attended by 500 mourners, including a number of senior loyalist paramilitaries, including Johnny Adair and John White, who acted as pallbearers alongside Fulton’s brother Jim and son, Lee. After a service at St Columba’s Parish Church, he was interred in Kernan Cemetery in Portadown. Among the tributes placed in the Belfast Telegraph was one which described Fulton as “Never selfish/Always kind”.

See: The Rise & Fall of UDA Brigadier of Bling James Gray – AKA ” Doris Day

Major events in the Troubles

See : Billy Wright

See:  Robin “the Jackal” Jackson 

See: Deaths in the Troubles 10th Feb

8 th August – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

8th August

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Friday 8 August 1969

James Chichester-Clark, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, held a meeting with James Callaghan, then British Home Secretary, in London. Callaghan agreed to an increase in the number of security force personnel.

It was also decided to allow the annual Apprentice Boys parade to go ahead in Derry.

Sunday 8 August 1976

A number of rallies were held to mark the fifth anniversary of the introduction of internment.

Máire Drumm, then Vice-President of Sinn Féin (SF), addressed one of the rallies and said that the campaign for the reintroduction of special category status would continue.

Drumm is reported as saying that Belfast would “come down stone by stone, and if necessary other towns will come down, and some in England too” as part of the campaign.

A group of Republican demonstrators broke into the home of Gerry Fitt, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), who had to use his gun, issued for personal protection, to protect himself and members of his family and to force the crowd to leave the house.

Friday 8 August 1980

There was widespread violence following commemorations of the ninth anniversary of the introduction of Internment.

Saturday 8 August 1981

Ninth Hunger Striker Died

Thomas McElwee

Thomas McElwee (23) died after 62 days on hunger strike. This weekend marked the tenth Anniversary of the introduction of Internment and there were widespread riots in Republican areas.

Three people were killed during disturbances over the weekend.

Sunday 8 August 1982

At an Internment anniversary rally in west Belfast representatives of Noraid and the People’s Liberation Organisation (PLO) addressed the crowd.

Monday 8 August 1988

Two Catholic men were killed by the Protestant Action Force (PAF).

A British soldier died from injuries received three weeks earlier.

Sunday 8 August 1993

Sean Lavery (21), a Catholic civilian, was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name (pseudonym) used by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), in a gun attack on the Lavery home.

Sean’s father, Bobby Lavery, was a Sinn Féin (SF) councillor.

Monday 8 August 1994

Trelford Withers (46), a part-time member of the Royal Irish Regiment (RIR), was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). He was off duty at the time and was killed at his shop, Downpatrick Street, Crossgar, County Down.

Tuesday 8 August 1995

Members of the Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD) threatened to prevent Catholics from attending church if Loyal Order parades were rerouted away from Nationalist areas.

Friday 8 August 1997

Nationalist residents of Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, gathered outside the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police station to protest at a Royal Black Preceptory march planned for the village on 9 August 1997.

Ruairí O Brádaigh, then President of Republican Sinn Féin (RSF), was refused a visa by the Canadian government.

Saturday 8 August 1998

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) issued a statement which stated that as far as the grouping was concerned the “war is over”.

Many people expressed doubts about the real intentions of the LVF.

This was a follow-up to the announcement of a ceasefire on 15 May 1998. It was thought that the statement was a response to the fact that LVF prisoners had not been included on the list of those eligible for release that was presented on 28 July 1998.

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), told a meeting in west Belfast that he would not be pressured into uttering the words “the war is over” to satisfy Unionists.

There were disturbances in Derry following the annual Apprentice Boys of Derry parade.

Sunday 8 August 1999

INLA Stated that War is Over

There was a report in The Sunday Times (a London based newspaper) that the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) had confirmed its view of the futility of continuing the “armed struggle” and had declared that the “war is over”.

The INLA was the first paramilitary organisation to make this declaration. However, the organisation insisted that it was not about to begin decommissioning its weapons.

A man from Newtownabbey, County Antrim, was shot in a paramilitary ‘punishment’ attack.

Two petrol bombs were thrown at the house of a Catholic man living in Larne, County Antrim.

There were sectarian arson attacks on an Orange hall in Ballymoney, County Antrim, a Presbyterian church hall in Rathfriland, County Down, and a Free Presbyterian church hall in Moneyslane.

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Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Victims  Collage

Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the follow  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live  forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

“There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

10 people lost their lives on the 8th August between 1971   – 1994

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 08 August 1971


   Malcolm   Hatton,  (21) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Brompton Park, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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 08 August 1974

  Terence Miskimmin,   (24)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Association (UDA),

Killed by: Ulster Defence Association (UDA)
Found shot, Seaview Drive, off Shore Road, Belfast. Internal Ulster Defence Association dispute.

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08 August 1976
James Borucki,   (19) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by bomb attached to abandoned bicycle while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, The Square, Crossmaglen, County Armagh.

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 08 August 1981

Thomas McElwee,   (23)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: not known (nk)
Died on the 62nd day of hunger strike, Long Kesh / Maze Prison, County Down.

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 08 August 1984

Brendan Watters,   (24)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died in premature bomb explosion in house, Barcroft Park, Newry, County Down.

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 08 August 1988
Alexander Bannister,  (21) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died three weeks after being shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, outside New Barnsley British Army (BA) base, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

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 08 August 1988

Seamus Morris,   (18)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Shot from passing car while walking along Brompton Park, Ardoyne, Belfast

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08 August 1988
Peter Dolan, (25) Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Protestant Action Force (PAF)
Shot from passing car while walking along Etna Drive, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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08 August 1993

Sean Lavery,  (21)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun attack on his home, Antrim Road, New Lodge, Belfast. His father a Sinn Fein (SF) councillor.

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08 August 1994

Trelford Withers,   (46)

Protestant
Status: Royal Irish Regiment (RIR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot at his shop, Downpatrick Street, Crossgar, County Down.

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5th August – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

5th August

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Thursday 5 August 1971

There was a debate at Westminster on the situation in Northern Ireland. Brian Faulkner, then Northern Ireland Prime Minister, met with Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, and Harry Tuzo, then General Officer Commanding the British Army (BA), in London to discuss the security situation.

5th August 1969

The UVF planted their first bomb in the Republic of Ireland , damaging the RTE Television Centre in Dublin

 

Sunday 5 August 1973

        

Francis & Bernadette Mullen

A Catholic husband and wife, Francis Mullan (59) and Bernadette Mullan (39), were found shot dead at their farmhouse near Moy, County Tyrone.

They had been killed by an unidentified Loyalist paramilitary group.

Friday 5 August 1977

There was a series of fire bomb attacks in Belfast and Lisburn, County Antrim.

Wednesday 5 August 1981

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out a series of car bomb and incendiary bomb attacks in seven areas of Northern Ireland including Belfast, Derry and Lisburn. The attacks caused serious damage to property and minor injuries to a number of people.

Friday 5 August 1983

The ‘supergrass’ trial of 38 alleged members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ended in Belfast. The trial had lasted 120 days with most of the evidence being offered by IRA supergrass Christopher Black.

I.R.A supergrass Christopher Black

The judge jailed 22 of the accused to sentences totalling more that 4,000 years. Four people were acquitted and others received suspended sentences.

In 1986, 18 of the 22 who received prison sentences had their convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Tuesday 5 August 1986

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) issued another warning that contractors who were carrying out work for the security services in Northern Ireland would be considered ‘part of the war machine’ and would be ‘treated as collaborators’.

Monday 5 August 1996

A meeting between the Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Bogside Residents Association ended without agreement about the march due to take place on 10 August 1996. A series of meetings between the two groups had been chaired by the local Member of Parliament John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Tuesday 5 August 1997

A Catholic taxi driver survived an attempt to kill him when the gun being used by a Loyalist paramilitary jammed.

The attack occurred in the Parkmore estate in Lurgan.

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) later claimed responsibility for the attack.

A hoax bomb was sent to Sammy Wilson, then a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor, at Belfast City Hall.

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, held her first meeting with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), since the Irish Republican Army (IRA) announced its renewed ceasefire.

The Irish Times carried a report that John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), was considering accepting the position of President of the Republic of Ireland as an agreed all-party candidate. Hume did not comment on the story.

The Bogside Residents Group (BRG) gave agreement to the planned Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABD) march in the city on 9 August 1997. This followed the news that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) would reroute a number of ABD ‘feeder’ parades in other Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland.

Thursday 5 August 1999

Two pipe-bombs were discovered by the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in a hedge in Glengormley, County Antrim. Police made the discovery at 2.45am during a search carried out at the junction between Elmfield Crescent and Elmfield Road in the town.

A report of the Victims’ Commission, established by the Irish government, into the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bombings recommended the appointment of a former Supreme Court judge to inquire privately into events surrounding the bombings which killed 33 people and injured over 400.

Although it was intended that the findings would eventually be made public, the families of the victims wanted the immediate establishment of a public tribunal of Inquiry.

Other recommendations of the report were that a similar Inquiry be established into the killing of Seamus Ludlow on 2 May 1976, and that the Irish government should make a £10,000 payment to the 150 families affected by the bombings.

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Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To the Paramilitaries –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

5  People lost their lives on the 5th August   between 1973 – 1994

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 05 August 1973

Francis Mullen,   (59)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot at his farmhouse, Gorestown, near Moy, County Tyrone.

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 05 August 1973

Bernadette Mullen,   (39)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot at her farmhouse, Gorestown, near Moy, County Tyrone.

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 05 August 1974

Martha Lavery,   (67)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot while in her home during gun battle between Irish Republican Army (IRA) and British Army (BA), Jamaica Street, Ardoyne, Belfast.

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 05 August 1991

Eric Boyd,  (42)

Protestant
Status: ex-Ulster Defence Regiment (xUDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot shortly after leaving his workplace, while driving along Altmore Road, Cappagh, County Tyrone.

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 05 August 1994

David Thompson,  (48)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Found shot, Ballyhill Lane, Nutts Corner, near Crumlin, County Antrim.

30th August – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

30th of  August

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

Saturday 30 August 1975

Two Catholic civilians died as a result of injuries received during a gun and bomb attack on the Harp Bar, Hill Street, Belfast. The attack was carried out by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), a cover name used by the Ulster Defence Association

(UDA). Stephen Geddis (10) a Catholic boy died two days after being hit by a rubber bullet fired by a British soldier. An off-duty member of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) near Whitecross, County Armagh. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) planted a time bomb in High Holborn, London. No one was injured in the explosion.

Tuesday 30 August 1977

Jimmy Carter, then President of the USA, gave a keynote speech on Northern Ireland. In the speech he said that the American government would support any initiative that led to a form of government in Northern Ireland which had the support of both sections of the community. In particular the support would take the form of trying to create additional jobs in the region. He also called on Americans not to provide financial and other support for groups using violence in Northern Ireland.

Thursday 30 August 1979

A decision was taken by the British government to increase the size of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) by 1,000 officers to 7,500

. [This reflected a continuation of the policy of ‘Ulsterisation’ or ‘police primacy’. There was some continuing friction between the British Army (BA) and the RUC over this policy. On 2 October 1979 a new post of security Co-ordinator for Northern Ireland was created to try to improve relations between the BA and the RUC.]

Friday 30 August 1985

James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), and Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), attended a meeting at Downing Street, London, with Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister. The two Unionist leaders had asked for the meeting to protest at the continuing Anglo-Irish talks between the two governments.

Tuesday 30 August 1988

Three members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were shot dead by soldiers of the Special Air Force (SAS) near Drumnakilly, County Tyrone.

Last in a series meetings between John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Gerry Adams, then leader of Sinn Fein (SF). A joint statement was issued following the meeting.

Wednesday 30 August 1995

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that his party would consider constructively any proposals which addressed the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. However, Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of SF, ruled out the possibility of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning any weapons as a way of overcoming the deadlock in the peace process.

Wednesday 30 August 1995

Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), said that his party would consider constructively any proposals which addressed the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. However, Martin McGuinness, then Vice-President of SF, ruled out the possibility of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning any weapons as a way of overcoming the deadlock in the peace process.

Friday 30 August 1996

Following a series of interviews the Police Authority of Northern Ireland announced that Ronnie Flanagan was to be appointed as the new Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) Chief Constable. Ronnie Flanagan took over from Hugh Annesley in November 1996.

Saturday 30 August 1997

The New Barnsley Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) police station in west Belfast was attacked by a crowd of people who threw petrol bombs and set a lookout post on fire. The RUC responded by firing plastic baton rounds. The Royal Black Preceptory cancelled or rerouted planned parades in Strabane and Pomeroy, County Tyrone, and Bellaghy, County Derry.

Monday 30 August 1999

The LVF announced that it intended to engage in a second handover of weapons following an earlier initiative on 18 December 1998.

Thursday 30 August 2001

A man was shot and wounded during a gun attack at Bellavale Terrace, Coalisland, County Tyrone. He managed to drive off before being taken to Dungannon Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station where he received initial treatment for his wounds. He was later taken on to Craigavon hospital.

[Vincent Currie, then a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) councillor, claimed that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were responsible for the attack. The Red Hand Defenders (RHD), a Loyalist paramilitary group, later claimed responsibility for the attack but this was dismissed as unlikely by most commentators.]

The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) stated that Loyalist paramilitaries had carried out 129 pipe-bomb attacks so far this year. Of these 53 had exploded and 89 were defused. Mitchel McLaughlin, then Sinn Féin Chairman, accused John Reid, then Secretary of State, of turning a blind eye to ongoing Loyalist attacks.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) published its Annual Report which marked the 30th anniversary since it was established in 1971. The report showed that a total of 22,000 people were on the public sector housing waiting list and of these 10,366 were classified as being in urgent need. According to the report there were 44,000 dwellings unfit for human habitation in Northern Ireland.


Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the follow  people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will life forever

– To  the Paramilitaries  –

“There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

13 People lost their lives on the 29th of  August between 1972 – 1993

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30 August 1972


David Griffiths,  (20) nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Shot by sniper while on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Clonard Street, Lower Falls, Belfast

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30 August 1972


Roy Christopher,  (20) nfNI

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died 12 days after being injured in bomb attack on British Army (BA) foot patrol, Cupar Street, Belfast.

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30 August 1973


Ronald Beckett,   (36) nfNI

Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed attempting to defuse bomb at Tullyhomman Post Office, near Pettigoe, County Fermanagh.

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30 August 1973


Francis Hall,  (29)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died one week after being injured in premature bomb explosion in house, Elaine Street, Stranmillis, Belfast

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30 August 1975


Stephen Geddis,   (10)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Died two days after being hit by plastic bullet, Divis Flats, Belfast.

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30 August 1975


Robert Frazer,   (50)

Protestant
Status: Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot while driving away from friend’s farm, Ballymoyer, near Whitecross, County Armagh.

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30 August 1975


Denis McAuley,  (30)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot during gun and bomb attack on Harp Bar, Hill Street, Belfast

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30 August 1975


John Doherty,  (28)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Injured during gun and bomb attack on Harp Bar, Hill Street, Belfast. He died 10 September 1975

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30 August 1987


Winston Finlay,  (44)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Off duty. Shot outside his home, Ballyronan, County Derry.

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30 August 1988


Gerard Harte,  (29)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, while approaching abandoned lorry, Drumnakilly, near Carrickmore, County Tyrone.

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30 August 1988


Martin Harte,   (21)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, while approaching abandoned lorry, Drumnakilly, near Carrickmore, County Tyrone.

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30 August 1988


Brain Mullin,   (26)

Catholic
Status: Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Killed by: British Army (BA)
Shot by undercover British Army (BA) members, while approaching abandoned lorry, Drumnakilly, near Carrickmore, County Tyrone.

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30 August 1993


Teresa Dowds De Mogollan,   (48)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)
Shot at her home, Fortwilliam Park, Mount Vernon, Belfast.


Main source CAIN Web Service

See: SAS killed eight Irish terrorists

Loyalist Feuds – Past & Present

Loyalist Feuds

A loyalist feud refers to any of the sporadic feuds which have erupted almost routinely between Northern Ireland‘s various loyalist paramilitary groups during and after the ethno-political conflict known as the Troubles broke out in the late 1960s. The feuds have frequently involved problems between and within the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) as well as, later, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

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The views and opinions expressed in this page and  documentaries 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.

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UDA-UVF feuds

See UDA Page

See UVF Page

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UDA-UVF Feud,

Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair, Former UDA & UFF Loyalist Commander Talks About His Life.

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U.V.F Logo
U.V.F Logo

Although the UDA and UVF have frequently co-operated and generally co-existed, the two groups have clashed. Two particular feuds stood out for their bloody nature.

1974-1975

UDA Logo
UDA Logo

A feud in the winter of 1974-75 broke out between the UDA and the UVF, the two main loyalist paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland. The bad blood originated from an incident in the Ulster Workers’ Council strike of May 1974 when the two groups were co-operating in support of the Ulster Workers’ Council.

Ulster Workers’ Council strike

That support the UDA & UVF members were giving involved shutting down their own social clubs & pubs due to complaints from loyalist wives of the striking men, the reason for this was with the men not working & funds being tight the wives saw what little money they did have being spent at the pubs & social clubs controlled by UDA/UVF, therefore the wives put pressure on the leaders of both groups to shut them down for the duration of the strike & after consultation they agreed.

All shut down except for a lone UVF affiliated pub on the shankill road. On a November night in 1974, a UVF man named Joe Shaw visited the pub for a drink. While there, he was “ribbed by the regulars about having allowed his local to be closed”.[2] A few pints later Shaw and some friends returned to their local, on North Queen St., and open it up. UDA men patrolling the area had seen the pubs lights on and ordered Shaw and his friends to close the place down & go home. Shaw refused, and the UDA men left, but they returned a short while later with a shotgun, determined to close the pub down.

Stephen Goatley

In the brawl that developed Shaw was fatally shot. A joint statement described it as a tragic accident although a subsequent UVF inquiry put the blame on Stephen Goatley and John Fulton, both UDA men. With antagonism grown another man was killed in a drunken brawl on 21 February 1975, this time the UDA’s Robert Thompson. This was followed by another pub fight in North Belfast in March and this time the UVF members returned armed and shot and killed both Goatley and Fulton, who had been involved in the earlier fight.

The following month UDA Colonel Hugh McVeigh and his aide David Douglas were the next to die, kidnapped by the UVF on the Shankill Road and taken to Carrickfergus where they were beaten before being killed near Islandmagee.

The UDA retaliated in East Belfast by attempting to kill UVF leader Ken Gibson who in turn ordered the UDA’s headquarters in the east of the city to be blown up, although this attack also failed. The feud rumbled on for several months in 1976 with a number of people, mostly UDA members, being killed before eventually the two groups came to an uneasy truce.

2000

Although the two organisations had worked together under the umbrella of the Combined Loyalist Military Command, the body crumbled in 1997 and tensions simmered between West Belfast UDA Brigadier Johnny Adair, who had grown weary of the Northern Ireland peace process and the Good Friday Agreement, and the UVF leadership. Adair by this time had forged close links with the dissident LVF, a group which the UVF had been on poor terms with since its foundation.

Amidst an atmosphere of increasing tension in the area, Adair decided to host a “Loyalist Day of Culture” on the Shankill on Saturday 19 August 2000, which saw thousands of UDA members from across Northern Ireland descend on his Lower Shankill stronghold, where a series of newly commissioned murals were officially unveiled on a day which also featured a huge UDA/UFF parade and armed UDA/UFF show of strength.

Unknown to the UVF leadership, who had sought and been given assurances that no LVF regalia would be displayed on the Shankill on the day of the procession, as well as the rest of the UDA outside of Adair’s “C Company”, Adair had an LVF flag delivered to the Lower Shankill on the morning of the celebrations, which he planned to have unfurled as the procession passed the Rex Bar, a UVF haunt, in order to antagonise the UVF and try and drag it into conflict with as much of the UDA as possible.

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The Rex Bar – Shankill

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Adair waited until the bulk of the parade of UDA men had made its way up into the heart of the Shankill before initiating the provocative gesture. When it happened skirmishes broke out between UVF men who had been standing outside the Rex watching the procession and the group involved in unfurling the contentious flag, which had been discreetly concealed near the tail end of the parade. Prior to this the atmosphere at the Rex had been jovial, with the UVF spectators even joining in to sing UDA songs along to the tunes of the UDA-aligned flute bands which accompanied the approximately ten thousand UDA men on their parade up the Shankill Road.

But vicious fighting ensued, with a roughly three hundred-strong C Company (the name given to the Lower Shankill unit of the UDA’s West Belfast Brigade, which contained Adair’s most loyal men) mob attacking the patrons of the Rex, initially with hand weapons such as bats and iron bars, before they shot up the bar as its patrons barricaded themselves inside.

Also shot up was the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) headquarters which faced the pub. C Company then went on the rampage in the Lower Shankill, attacking the houses of known UVF members and their families, including the home of veteran UVF leader Gusty Spence, and evicting the inhabitants at gunpoint as they wrecked and stole property and set fire to homes. By the end of the day nearly all those with UVF associations had been driven from the Lower Shankill.

Later that night C Company gunmen shot up the Rex again, this time from a passing car. While most of the UDA guests at Adair’s carnival had duly left for home when it became apparent that he was using it to engineer violent conflict with the UVF, festivities nonetheless continued late into the night on the Lower Shankill, where Adair hosted an open air rave party and fireworks display.

The UVF struck back on Monday morning, shooting dead two Adair associates, Jackie Coulter and Bobby Mahood, as they sat in a Range Rover on the Crumlin Road. The UVF also shot up the Ulster Democratic Party headquarters on the Middle Shankill. An hour later Adair’s unit burned down the PUP’s offices close to Agnes Street, the de facto border between the UVF-dominated Middle and Upper Shankill and the UDA-dominated Lower Shankill. The UVF responded by blowing up the UDP headquarters on the Middle Shankill. Adair was returned to prison by the Secretary of State on 14 September, although the feud continued with four more killed before the end of the year.

Violence also spread to North Belfast, where members of the UVF’s Mount Vernon unit shot and killed a UDA member, David Greer, in the Tiger’s Bay area, sparking a series of killings in that part of the city. In another incident the County Londonderry town of Coleraine saw tumult in the form of an attempted expulsion of UVF members by UDA members, which was successfully resisted by the UVF.

But aside from these exceptions Adair’s attempt to ignite a full-scale war between the two organisations failed, as both the UVF and UDA leaderships moved decisively to contain the trouble within the Shankill area, where hundreds of families had been displaced, and focused on dealing with its source as well as its containment. To Adair’s indignation even the “A” and “B” Companies of his West Belfast Brigade of the UDA declined to get involved in C Company’s war with the UVF.

Eventually a ceasefire was reluctantly agreed upon by the majority of those involved in the feuding after new procedures were established with the aim of preventing the escalation of any future problems between the two organisations, and after consideration was paid to the advice of Gary McMichael and David Ervine, the then leaders of the two political wings of loyalism.

UVF-LVF feuds

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Loyalist Feud in Portadown, March 2000

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The nature of the LVF, which was founded by Billy Wright when he, along with the Portadown unit of the UVF Mid-Ulster Brigade, was stood down by the UVF leadership on 2 August 1996 for breaking the ceasefire has led to frequent battles between the two movements. This had come about when Wright’s unit killed a Catholic taxi-driver during the Drumcree standoff.

Although Wright had been expelled from the UVF, threatened with execution and an order to leave Northern Ireland, which he defied, the feud was largely contained during his life and the two major eruptions came after his death.

1999-2001

Simmering tensions boiled over in a December 1999 incident involving LVF members and UVF Mid-Ulster brigadier Richard Jameson and his men at the Portadown F.C. social club in which the LVF supporters were severely beaten. The LVF members swore revenge and on 10 January 2000 they took it by shooting Jameson dead on the outskirts of Portadown.[14] The UVF retaliated by killing two Protestant teenagers suspected of LVF membership and involvement in Jameson’s death. As it turned out, the victims, Andrew Robb and David McIlwaine, were not part of any loyalist paramilitary organisation.

The UDA’s Johnny Adair supported the LVF and used the feud to stoke up the troubles that eventually flared in his feud with the UVF later that year. Meanwhile the UVF attempted to kill the hitman responsible for Jameson, unsuccessfully, before the LVF struck again on 26 May, killing PUP man Martin Taylor in Ballysillan. The LVF then linked up with Johnny Adair’s C Company for a time as their feud with the UVF took centre stage.

However the UVF saw fit to continue the battle in 2001, using its satellite group the Red Hand Commando to kill two of the LVF’s leading figures, Adrian Porter and Stephen Warnock. Adair however convinced the LVF that the latter killing was the work of one of his rivals in the UDA, Jim Gray, who the LVF then unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate.

See: Jim Gray – aka Doris Day

2005

In July 2005 the feud came to a conclusion as the UVF made a final move against its rival organisation. The resulting activity led to the deaths of at least four people, all associated with the LVF. As a result of these attacks on 30 October 2005 the LVF announced that its units had been ordered to cease their activity and that it was disbanding. In February 2006, the Independent Monitoring Commission reported that this feud had come to an end.

UDA internal feuds

The UDA, the largest of the loyalist paramilitary groups, has seen a number of internal struggles within its history.

Gangsters At War – Loyalist Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland

1972-1974

From its beginnings the UDA was wracked by internal problems and in 1972, the movement’s first full year of existence, three members, Ingram Beckett, John Brown and Ernest Elliott were killed by other UDA members. The main problems were between East Belfast chief Tommy Herron and Charles Harding Smith, his rival in the west of the city, over who controlled the movement. Although they had agreed to make compromise candidate Andy Tyrie the leader, each man considered himself the true leader. Herron was killed in September 1973 in an attack that remains unsolved.

Andy Tyrie

However with confirmed in overall control of the UDA Harding Smith initially remained silent until in 1974 he declared that the West Belfast brigade of the movement was splitting from the mainstream UDA on the pretext of a visit to Libya organised by Tyrie in a failed attempt to procure arms from Colonel Qadaffi. The trip had been roundly criticised by the Unionist establishment and raised cries that the UDA was adopting socialism, and so Harding Smith used it re-ignite his attempts to take charge.

Harding Smith survived two separate shootings but crucially lost the support of other leading Shankill Road UDA figures and eventually left Belfast after being visited by North Belfast Brigadier Davy Payne, who warned him that he would not survive a third attack.

1987-1989

South Belfast Brigadier John McMichael was killed by the Provisional IRA in December 1987 but it was later admitted that UDA member James Pratt Craig, a rival of McMichael’s within the movement, had played a role in planning the murder. A new generation of leaders emerged at this time and decided that the woes facing the UDA, including a lack of arms and perceived poor leadership by ageing brigadiers, were being caused by the continuing leadership of Andy Tyrie.

Tyrie was forced to resign in March 1988 and the new men, most of whom had been trained up by McMichael, turned on some of the veterans whom Tyrie had protected. Craig was killed, Tommy Lyttle was declared persona non grata and various brigadiers were removed from office, with the likes of Jackie McDonald, Joe English and Jim Gray taking their places.

2002-2003

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JOHN GREGG UDA- LEADERS FUNERAL

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A second internal feud arose in 2002 when Johnny Adair and former politician John White were expelled from the UDA. Many members of the 2nd Battalion Shankill Road West Belfast Brigade, commonly known as ‘C’ Company, stood by Adair and White, while the rest of the organisation were involved with attacks on these groups and vice versa. There were four murders; the first victim being a nephew of a leading loyalist opposed to Adair, Jonathon Stewart, killed at a party on 26 December 2002.

Roy Green was killed in retaliation. The last victims were John ‘Grug’ Gregg (noted for a failed attempt on the life of Gerry Adams) and Robert Carson, another Loyalist. Adair’s time as leader came to an end on 6 February 2003 when south Belfast brigadier Jackie McDonald led a force of around 100 men onto the Shankill to oust Adair, who promptly fled to England. Adair’s former ally Mo Courtney, who had returned to the mainstream UDA immediately before the attack, was appointed the new West Belfast brigadier, ending the feud.

UVF internal feuds

The feud between the UVF and the LVF began as an internal feud but quickly changed when Billy Wright established the LVF as a separate organisation. Beyond this the UVF has largely avoided violent internal strife, with only two killings that can be described as being part of an internal feud taking place on Belfast’s Shankill Road in late November 1975, with Archibald Waller and Noel Shaw being the two men killed. Several months prior to these killings, Mid-Ulster Brigadier Billy Hanna was shot dead outside his Lurgan home on 27 July 1975, allegedly by his successor, Robin Jackson. This killing, however, was not part of a feud but instead carried out as a form of internal discipline from within the Mid-Ulster Brigade.

See : Robin Jackson

See also