20 August 2005

McCord murder bid claim

Daily Ireland

BY CIARAN BARNES

A Belfast man who has waged an eight-year campaign to bring his son’s loyalist killers to justice was the subject of an attempted murder bid on Thursday, Daily Ireland can reveal.
The Ulster Volunteer Force, whose members beat Raymond McCord Jnr to death in 1997, planned to kill his father, Raymond McCord Snr, in the Tiger’s Bay area of north Belfast.
Mr McCord, an outspoken critic of the UVF, was on his way to visit a relative in the staunchly loyalist district.
However, he received a phone call warning him that two UVF men were cruising the area on a motorcycle.
One of those on the motorcycle was the paramilitary boss he claims murdered his son.
The man, from Newtownabbey on the outskirts of north Belfast, was also allegedly involved in the attempted murder of leading loyalist Lawrence ‘Duffer’ Kincaid at the end of July.
Mr McCord says that he has been targeted four times by the UVF in the last two weeks.
He has also been told by the PSNI that he is on a UVF death list.
He is convinced the organisation, which is currently involved in a bitter dispute with the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force, will use the current ongoing feud as an excuse to murder him.
Since July 1 the UVF has killed four men, Jameson Lockhart, Craig McCausland, Stephen Paul and Mick Green.
None of the men were in the LVF, although Mr Lockhart and Mr Paul had LVF connections.
Mr McCord believes he is in more danger now than he has ever been.
He said: “The UVF has tried to kill me on a couple of occasions during the last week.
“The attempt on Thursday in Tiger’s Bay was probably their most focused effort.
“They don’t like how I stand up to them and how I am not afraid to say that they are a group of criminals, drug dealers and informers.”
At the end of the year respected human rights organisation British Irish Rights Watch (BIRW) is to publish a report into the murder of Raymond McCord Jnr.
The report will name the UVF informers involved in his killing and the RUC/PSNI Special Branch personnel who allowed the same informers to commit murders in return for providing information on the UVF.
The current head of the UVF is also named as a long time British army agent in the report which has been sent to the Police Ombudsman, Secretary of State, American Congress and European Parliament.
Mr McCord believes the UVF will step up its efforts to kill him once the BIRW document is published.
He added: “The UVF want me dead, in its eyes the quicker it gets rid of me the better.”
Later in the year, the Police Ombudsman's office will also publish its findings into allegations detectives did not properly investigate Raymond McCord Jnr’s murder.

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