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November 12, 2007

Key Questions For UDA Chiefs

News about Ireland & the Irish

BT 11/12/07 Key Questions For UDA Chiefs
BT 11/12/07 The UDA's Killer Wing: Murder Goes By Any Name
BT 11/12/07 Prove To Us You're Serious
BT 11/12/07 Statement 'Meaningless', Says Murdered Postman's Mum


Key Questions For UDA Chiefs

[Published: Monday 12, November 2007 - 10:26]
By Deborah McAleese

Pressure is mounting on the UDA to follow its words with actions.
With the UFF stood down and its members ordered to end all
criminality, the UDA has now been urged to spell out exactly what
its new role is.

Victims' relatives, security forces and politicians from all
sides told the UDA that words are not enough, and they asked a
number questions of the group's leadership:

* Will you engage with the decommissioning body, hand over your
guns and disband?
* Who holds your weapons now?
* Will you report the drug dealers and the extortionists to the
* Do you have the support of the rank and file?
* When will you apologise to your victims?

Yesterday the UDA brigadier Jackie McDonald said that all
weaponry would be put beyond use, but added that the guns would
not be given up because they are not the UDA's guns, they are
"the people's guns." He added that the people don't want to give
the guns up "because they don't trust people yet."

McDonald also said an order had been given to end all criminality
and urged the community to "shop" drug dealers.

"The drug dealers must go. If you can't shoot them, shop them.
Don't think anybody is an informer if they tell the PSNI where
the drug dealers are," he said.

It is understood that the UDA announcement is not going to make
any difference to Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie's
recent decision to withdraw funding to loyalist organisations
because the UDA had not decommissioned its weapons.

Ms Ritchie said that while she welcomed "the positive aspects of
the statement" she was disappointed that "there is still no
intention on the part of the UDA to decommission its weapons".

Victims, politicians and security sources said that the UDA's
statement is not enough and it will have to give up its guns.

The DUP's Gregory Campbell said he believed the UDA has a lot to
do to prove what they say.

"If the statement takes them closer to where they need to get to
that is fine, but they are going to have to get rid of their
guns. People will remember that with the provisionals it only got
to the point of moving forward when they agreed to get rid of
their guns. It is exactly the same for the UDA."

Mr Campbell added that it would be "worthwhile if a meaningful
step was taken to apologise to their victims and not follow that
apology creating more victims".

His party colleague Jeffrey Donaldson said he believed the UDA
leadership had the support of the rank and file.

He added: "I welcome the statement that has been made. I think it
is a clear step forward in the right direction. However, as we
have done with all paramilitary groups we will judge the progress
that is made by the activities that occur following the statement
and that has to include an end to both criminal and paramilitary

"I welcome the leadership that has been shown. Hopefully it will
follow through with the commitment that has been given."

A senior security source told the Belfast Telegraph: "It's the
next bit that's important. They have a lot to prove on this.
There's a lot more to be done."

The mother of UDA murder victim Daniel McColgan (22), a postman
shot dead by loyalist gunmen as he arrived for work five years
ago, called the statement " meaningless words".

However, Kathleen Tracey, whose brother Charlie McCafferty was
one of five victims in the Annie's Bar massacre by the UFF at Top
of the Hill in Londonderry in 1972, welcomed the move.

The 31-year-old refrigeration plant worker was enjoying a drink
with his brother-in-law when two gunmen burst in and shot him and
four other men.

"I suppose it's for the good. If it does any good, that's all
we're looking for. If it takes things forward, we need to keep
going forward, not going back, there's no point in going back,"
she said.

Johnny Donaghy, who speaks on behalf of the relatives of the
Castlerock massacre when four Catholic workmen were shot dead in
1993 at a building site in the seaside town, said: "The fact that
the UFF were allowed to keep on killing for so long has still not
been addressed. This comes far too late for a lot of families and
there are still many questions to be answered."

© Belfast Telegraph


The UDA's Killer Wing: Murder Goes By Any Name

[Published: Monday 12, November 2007 - 07:38]

The UFF was the cover name used by UDA killers responsible for
murders and attacks stretching over more than three decades in
Northern Ireland's bloody past.

The UDA was formed in 1971 as an umbrella for loyalist vigilante
groups which claimed to defend Protestant communities from IRA
violence. In 1972, which had the highest death toll of any year
in the Troubles, the organisation claimed 71 victims.

By the following year the UFF name emerged as a cover for the
UDA, which was considered a legal organisation until 1992.

The UDA/UFF campaign of violence raged throughout the 1970s. One
of the most infamous cases was the murder of SDLP politician
Paddy Wilson in June 1973. Mr Wilson and a female companion were
shot and stabbed repeatedly in what a judge described as a
"psychotic outburst". The UFF claimed the murder and UDA member
John White was later convicted; years later he was to become a
high profile political figure within the organisation and a key
ally of Johnny Adair.

At its peak in the mid-1970s the UDA was believed to have between
40,000 and 50,000 members and was directly involved in the Ulster
Workers' Strike in 1974 which brought down the Sunningdale

John McMichael soon emerged as the most prominent figure in the
UDA. Through 1980 and 1981 a number of republican targets hand-
picked by McMichael were assassinated by UFF gunmen. McMichael
himself was later killed by a car bomb at his home in Lisburn in

For many years the UDA/UFF was not well armed, but this changed
in 1988 when they benefited from a major shipment of weapons from
South Africa, including rocket launchers, rifles, pistols and

The same year UDA member Michael Stone murdered three Catholics
and injured 60 at a republican funeral in Milltown Cemetery.
Stone attacked the crowd with grenades and a pistol. He was
convicted and later released as part of the Good Friday
Agreement, but was rearrested last year following his botched
Stormont raid.

In 1989 the UDA/UFF carried out a notorious murder which gave
rise to long-running allegations of collusion which still resound
today. Catholic lawyer Pat Finucane was shot dead in front of his
family as he had dinner in his north Belfast home.

Brian Nelson, a British intelligence agent operating as the
intelligence chief of the UDA later claimed he had been asked by
the UDA to compile information about the lawyer's movements and
said he told his Army handlers about the matter.

In the early 1990s the UDA carried out two of the most notorious
massacres in Ulster's history. On February 5, 1992, UFF gunmen
attacked the Sean Graham bookmakers' shop on the Ormeau Road.
Five Catholics were killed and seven others injured. At least 44
shots were fired at the 15 customers and staff. The massacre was
carried out in retaliation for the IRA bombing which killed eight
Protestant civilians at Teebane.

The next year two UDA gunmen launched a Halloween attack on the
Rising Sun bar in the predominantly Catholic village of
Greysteel, Co Londonderry killing eight and injuring 19. It said
the attack was in reprisal for the IRA Shankill bombing which
killed nine a few days before.

The UDA announced its first ceasefire in 1994. But it remained
active with its members becoming more involved in criminality and
internal conflicts.

This period saw the rise within the UDA of the celebrity
gangsters, revelling in their ill-gotten gains, notoriety and
street-level power. The most notorious of these was Johnny Adair
who established himself as the head of UDA/UFF's 'C Company'
based on the Shankill. He was jailed for directing terrorism in
1995 and was one of the loyalist leaders who met then Secretary
of State Mo Mowlam when she went into the Maze. He was later
freed under the Good Friday Agreement.

© Belfast Telegraph


Prove To Us You're Serious

[Published: Monday 12, November 2007 - 07:30]
By Brian Rowan

The UDA still has "a lot to prove" after its Remembrance Sunday
announcement that "the military war is over", a senior security
source said last night.

Speaking just hours after the statement was made, the source
described the statement as "a good start", but added: "It's the
next bit that is important."

The Independent Monitoring Commission - the ceasefire watchdog -
will give its first response at a news conference today.

Yesterday the paramilitary leadership set a new direction for the

It stipulated that:

* All active service units of the UFF would be stood down at
midnight on Sunday;
* All military intelligence destroyed;
* All weaponry will be put beyond use;
* And, orders have been given to all members not to be involved
in crime.

"It's words," the senior security source said. "Paper refuses

"When the emotion goes out of this, what happens next?" he asked.
" They have a lot to prove on this. There's a lot more to be
done," he continued.

The UDA brigadier Jackie McDonald moved quickly yesterday to
clarify what putting weapons beyond use meant.

It does not mean decommissioning, although the paramilitary
organisation will continue its contacts with the de Chastelain

McDonald claimed: "Ninety nine per cent of the people we
represent in the loyalist community won't hear tell of

He was speaking at a UDA Remembrance Sunday event at Sandy Row in
south Belfast - where Colin Halliday of the Ulster Political
Research Group read a four-page statement from the leadership.

That statement was also read in other "brigade" areas - its main
message was the order to stand down "all active service units of
Ulster Freedom Fighters", the military wing of the UDA.

The UFF was behind hundreds of killings, including the gun
attacks on a bookmaker's shop on the Ormeau Road in Belfast in
1992 and the Rising Sun pub in Greysteel in 1993.

"It was these freedom fighters who brought the enemy to the peace
table and established the first ceasefires in 1994," yesterday's
statement read.

The police and the IMC will now monitor developments - looking
for evidence in the intelligence picture that the UDA is
dismantling its military structure.

Yesterday Jackie McDonald spoke in support of the devolved
government at Stormont: "I agree with what Ian Paisley is doing,"
he said.

"He has to do it. I know a lot of people aren't happy. He has to
make progress. We have to have an Assembly. We have to have
devolved government. Whatever the price, we have to have it and
we have to move on."

© Belfast Telegraph


Statement 'Meaningless', Says Murdered Postman's Mum

[Published: Monday 12, November 2007 - 07:34]
By Jonathan McCambridge

The mother of a UDA murder victim has dismissed the announcement
that the terror group is standing down part of its organisation
as "meaningless words".

Twenty-year-old postman Daniel McColgan was shot dead by loyalist
gunmen as he arrived for work at a sorting office on the
outskirts of Belfast five years ago. Nobody has ever been
convicted of his murder.

His mother Marie told the Belfast Telegraph that she refused to
believe that the UFF has gone out of business, despite the UDA's
Remembrance Day statement.

Marie said: "I don't believe and I don't trust anything that
those people have to say. It is all just meaningless words and we
have heard it all before.

"I don't know how anyone can have any faith in this statement or
anything the UDA has to say. No matter what they say it will
never bring Daniel back."

Marie McColgan said that she would not believe the UDA was
genuine unless it handed over the men who murdered her son.

"The only thing I want to hear from them is that they are handing
over Danny's killers. Perhaps they should think about some of the

"You know that in the background the same people will be doing
all of the same old stuff on the streets."

However, there was a broad welcome for the UDA statement from
political leaders.

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said: "The commitments to stand-down
the UFF in its entirety and to put all weaponry

beyond use are to be welcomed. The condemnation of crime and
criminality is also important, including the recognition of the
damage done to loyalist communities by those engaged in drug-

"This statement is significant and hopefully signals a further
step towards the ending of all paramilitarism in Northern

Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward welcomed the UDA
statement as " very important" - but said it needed to lead on to
decommissioning of the paramilitary group's weapons.

© Belfast Telegraph

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