Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Struggle for power within UDA

Published 15/09/2002

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.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph