Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Struggle for power within UDA

THE UDA has a long history of ousting leading figures who fall out of favour - by one means or another.

THE UDA has a long history of ousting leading figures who fall out of favour - by one means or another.

Some have murdered by their own men while others have been set up for assassination by republican terrorists.

Others have been set up for arrest, or, simply sidelined.

In December 1987, south Belfast brigadier JOHN McMICHAEL, was killed by an IRA car bomb. Though killed by republicans, it is believed he was set up by UDA racketeer Jim Craig.

McMichael's murder paved the way for UDA Chairman ANDY TYRIE to be voted out of his position as UDA leader. Hardliners voted him out in March 1988, but only after he survived an attempt to kill him in a car bomb attack.

North Belfast brigadier DAVEY PAYNE, was arrested by police while transporting the UDA's share of a large shipment of weapons from South Africa. It is believed that UDA rivals set him up, and they stood him down shortly after his arrest, in January 1988.

Racketeer JIM CRAIG was gunned down in an east Belfast bar, in October 1988. He had been exposed as a 'mole' working with IRA intelligence, and killed by the UDA's previously unheard of Special Assignment Section.

Another victim of the Special Assignment Section was notorious assassin NED McCREERY, gunned down in April 1992. McCreery, a founding member of the UDA was believed to have been behind the killing of former UDA commander, TOMMY HERRON, in September 1973.

Herron's body was found dumped in a country lane in Co Down, and the finger of blame pointed at UDA rivals, including McCreery.

In 1972 UDA hardman ERNIE "DUKE" ELLIOT - one of the group's first leaders - was shot dead and bundled into the boot of a car in south Belfast, in a dispute over weapons.

In January 1973, English-born UDA chief DAVE FOGEL, fled Ulster fearing he would meet the same fate as his pal Elliot.

West Belfast UDA leader, CHARLES HARDING SMITH survived two murder bids around the same time, before, like Fogel, he too sought refuge in England, where he died from natural causes.

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