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Senior loyalists join family at small service as Adair says last goodbye to son

Former UDA chiefs John White and Sam McCrory travel to Scotland for funeral despite paramilitary ‘threats’ to mourners

By Staff Reporter

Published 24/09/2016

Former terror boss Johnny Adair at the funeral of his son Jonathan
Former terror boss Johnny Adair at the funeral of his son Jonathan
Adair’s loyalist colleague John White carries the coffin. Right, Gina Adair at the hearse. Far right, a young relative carries the coffin
Gina Adair at the hearse
A young relative carries the coffin
The funeral of Jonathan Adair
Former terror boss Johnny Adair at the funeral of his son Jonathan
Johnny Adair’s son Jonathan, who was cremated in Scotland yesterday

Former loyalist terror boss Johnny Adair said a poignant goodbye to his eldest son at his funeral in Scotland yesterday.

Around 100 people, including a number of high-profile loyalists, attended the ceremony at a crematorium at Dreghorn, outside Irvine.

Jonathan Adair Jnr (32) was found dead at a property in Templehill, Troon, South Ayrshire, on September 10.

The death was initially treated as unexplained by police but it is understood he died from an accidental drugs overdose after being released from prison for motoring offences.

His funeral was held at Holmsford Bridge crematorium near Irvine, North Ayrshire.

Today's exclusive Belfast Telegraph pictures from the funeral in Scotland reveal a small and low-key event.

There was no religious aspect to the service, which lasted for just under an hour.

Joining Adair Snr and his former wife Gina - the mother of Jonathan Jnr and three other children, Natalie, Chloe and Jay - were senior loyalist figures, including former UDA leaders and convicted killers John White and Sam McCrory.

Both men spoke at the crematorium service, paying their respects to Adair Jnr.

Coldplay's Yellow, from the year 2000 album, Parachutes, was played in tribute.

The hearse carrying the coffin had flowers spelling out dad, son and brother.

A number of Adair Snr's associates and supporters from Belfast travelled to Scotland for the funeral despite "warnings" from loyalist paramilitaries to stay away.

Adair Snr told the Belfast Telegraph newspaper earlier this week: "I just want to bury my son. I want to bury him with dignity and in peace.

"The support I have had from back home has been overwhelming.

"If a few individuals are trying to stop people attending (the funeral), it's because they are afraid of me. They are afraid of me regrouping and coming after them."

The funeral passed off without incident.

Adair Snr was a leading figure in the UDA during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, but his reign ended in a feud.

He moved to Scotland with his family after being released from prison as part of the Good Friday Agreement and has lived in Ayrshire for a number of years.

Both Adair Snr and Sam McCrory had fled across the Irish Sea a decade ago after Adair tried to take control of the UDA when he was released from prison as part of the Good Friday Agreement.

The fallout led to a deadly internal UDA feud and the pair were forced from their old Shankill Road stronghold in west Belfast.

Adair Snr eventually settled in the port town of Troon with a new girlfriend, while ex-gunman McCrory, moved to Ayrshire.

Last year, four men were arrested in Glasgow and charged with plotting to kill McCrory and Adair Snr.

Charges against one of the accused were subsequently dropped. The three other defendants, Anton Duffy, Martin Hughes and Paul Sands were convicted of the plot in July 2015.

Belfast Telegraph

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