05 August 2005

Loyalists attack PSNI following feud raids - **PSNI shielding UVF leader

Daily Ireland

by Ciarán Barnes

Violence erupted in Belfast yesterday after a series of PSNI raids in connection with a feud between loyalist paramilitaries.
Three cars, a lorry and a bus were hijacked during the trouble which broke out in the Crumlin Road area at around 5.30pm.
A large number of petrol bombs and paint bombs were thrown during the disturbances, with reports that a number of petrol bombs were thrown at Catholic homes in the area.
The disturbances were connected to the arrest of six men yesterday during a PSNI operation linked to the ongoing paramilitary feud between the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Loyalist Volunteer Force.
The feud has claimed the lives of three men, the most recent being Stephen Paul, who was shot dead outside a house in Wheatfield Crescent on Saturday.
All three murders have been attributed to the UVF.
Local Sinn Féin councillor Margaret McClenaghan last night said the nationalist Ardoyne area had also been targeted during the violence.
“A number of petrol bombs and paint bombs were thrown from the loyalist Woodvale Road area into the Ardoyne,” she said.
“Loyalists were also trying to antagonise nationalists youths but community leaders have been out on the ground trying to keep the situation calm.”
Meanwhile, senior loyalists yesterday questioned why the leader of the UVF has not yet been questioned by detectives in connection with the ongoing feud.
The UVF leader has sanctioned three killings in recent weeks but has yet to be brought in for questioning.
Senior loyalists are now asking why the PSNI has not taken action against the Shankill Road man, who has been plagued by rumours that he is a police informer.
During the loyalist feuds of 2000 and 2003 involving the Ulster Defence Association, the group’s then leader, Johnny Adair, was taken in for questioning a number of times and sent to jail on two different occasions.
A loyalist source told Daily Ireland that the PSNI’s reluctance to confront the UVF boss, who is named as an informer in a report by human rights organisation British Irish Rights Watch, has added to rumours that he is a “tout”.
The source said: “This man has been in the UVF for 30 years, but he doesn’t even have a paramilitary conviction.
“Most people thought he was good at keeping a low-profile, but now even people in the UVF are asking questions.
“His organisation has killed three people in the last couple of weeks. Why has the PSNI not even brought him in for questioning?
“They jumped all over Johnny Adair and sent him back to jail during the last loyalist feuds. What’s the difference between Adair and this man?”

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