UDA leader who ordered Belfast hit on Geordie Gilmore linked to 2003 murder of Adair sidekick
The south east Antrim UDA 'military commander' who ordered the murder of Geordie Gilmore in Carrick was the chief suspect in the assassination of Shankill UDA thug Alan McCullough.
The 21-year-old was once a foot soldier for Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair's infamous C Coy.
He was part of Adair's mob when the hardman leader of the SEA 'brigade' John 'Grug' Gregg was ambushed and shot dead in Belfast's docks after coming off the ferry following a Rangers match in Glasgow in February 2003.
Adair had been trying to take over control of the whole of the UDA at the time, and a feud was simmering being his group and the south east Antrim one.
Adair was held responsible for Gregg's Mafia-style murder.
McCullough fled afterwards.
But he was lured back by Shankill UDA members who didn't like Adair, and had forged an alliance with the SEA UDA.
Just three months later, back in west Belfast, he was picked up in a car by two UDA gangsters, one from north Belfast, the other from the Shankill.
A week later McCullough's body was found dumped in a shallow grave on the outskirts of Glengormley.
The two decoys who had driven him there were allegedly asking him to uncover an arms cache hidden away by Adair's mob.
But a third UDA man lay in wait.
It was him, according to sources, who delivered the coup de grace on McCullough in revenge for the killing of Gregg.
The cold-blooded assassin is now the commander of the SEA 'brigade'.
He's based in the Rathcoole estate, a UDA hotbed.
But a veteran loyalist source in Carrick, where Gilmore was murdered at lunchtime on Monday, claimed last night: "It was that military commander who gave the order that Gilmore had to go.
"Nothing gets done without passing through him. He's a real hard chaw. He's not the Flash Harry type.
"He's not a 'brigadier of bling' type.
"He does drive a top range car, a BMW. But that's as far as it goes.
"And he himself only answers to one man, the actual SEA brigadier."
Last night heavily armed police strategic support units in riot gear again swamped the tinderbox loyalist estates of Carrick in an attempt to prevent any revenge attacks from the Gilmore faction, and to quell any outbreaks of mob rule.
Ironically, again according to sources, the SEA 'brigadier' himself, a notorious drug dealer and gangster, was "hiding in plain sight".
He was holding court with his mob in a social club run by the UDA on his turf.
"They all feel they're untouchable in there: strength in numbers," said a source.
"They're saying that if any of Gilmore's supporters, or the cops, try to come and get them, they're waiting, willing and ready."
Ironically, the motto of Rangers Football Club, the team the assassinated SEA 'brigadier' Gregg supported, is 'Ready'.
But Gregg wasn't the first to be gunned down by his own.
That was another UDA godfather, Tommy Herron, the victim of one of the first internecine feuds way back in 1973.
The likes of 'brigadier of bling' Jim 'Doris Day' Gray and John 'Bonzer' Boreland, murdered just last August in yet another simmering feud, were to follow.
The UDA's motto is Quis Separabit: Who Shall Come Between Us.
Now, once again, they only have to look in the mirror to find the answer. Themselves.