28 October 2005

UVF boss 'linked to string of murders'

Belfast Telegraph

Police protected informer, says Irish Labour leader

By David Gordon
28 October 2005

A leading Ulster loyalist was involved in a string of murders while working as a police Special Branch informer, it was alleged last night.

Mark Haddock from north Belfast was accused under parliamentary privilege in the Dail of being the UVF terrorist at the centre of a massive investigation by Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan.

A Shankill-based loyalist, John 'Bunter' Graham, was also named during the debate as a UVF chief.

The allegations were made by Pat Rabbitte, leader of the Irish Labour Party.

Thirty-nine-year-old Haddock is currently awaiting trial on a charge of attempting to murder a Co Antrim pub doorman in December, 2002.

During yesterday's Dail debate, Mr Rabbitte alleged that Haddock had been a long-standing Special Branch informer while involved in a number of murders with the Mount Vernon UVF in north Belfast.

He also stated that the UVF murder of ex-RAF airman Raymond McCord (22), in Newtownabbey in November 1997 was carried out on Haddock's orders.

Mr McCord's father Raymond Snr has alleged for years that a Special Branch agent was responsible for his son's murder.

His claims have been the subject of a major probe by the Police Ombudsman.

A report on the findings is believed to be near to completion.

Mr Rabbitte further alleged that Mr McCord Jnr was killed to prevent Shankill UVF chief John "Bunter" Graham finding out about Haddock's drug operations.

The TD also claimed that another Special Branch informer, whom he named as John Bond, was present at the murder.

Calling for an international public inquiry to be established once the Ombudsman's report is published, Mr Rabbitte said: "The central allegation is that Haddock was not charged with any crime because he was an informer who had to be protected.

"He was able to act with impunity, while the police effectively colluded in his crimes."

Mr Rabbitte also claimed that Haddock was linked to the murders of seven others while serving as a RUC police informer.

According to Mr Rabbitte, these murders were: Catholic builders Gary Convie and Eamon Fox in 1994; alleged informer Thomas Sheppard in 1996; Protestant clergyman, Rev David Templeton in 1997; Billy Harbison in 1997; former loyalist politician Tommy English in 2000 and David Greer in 2000.

Mr McCord Snr travelled down to Dublin for the Dail session.

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