RealNews

Too many chiefs led to loyalist bloodshed

As one Ulster Defence Association brigade is blamed for murdering another’s commander, one could be forgiven for forgetting that the UDA had any political roots, and assuming it is merely a collection of bloodthirsty gangland warlords. It is hard to imagine that this organisation, formed from Protestant vigilante groups in 1971, organised along military lines and dedicated to defending Ulster from republican terrorism, once boasted 40,000 members and the motto “Law Before Violence”. In 1994 it joined with the Ulster Volunteer Force to declare a ceasefire, and the former Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam saw its support for the peace process as crucial when she visited Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair in the Maze prison. Full Story

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