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UDR 'would have aided loyalists in event of civil war', says former RUC officer

By Sara Neill

Published 16/06/2015

A former RUC officer who was a member of one of the most murderous gangs of the Troubles has said he believed loyalist paramilitaries would have the backing of the security forces in the event of a civil war
A former RUC officer who was a member of one of the most murderous gangs of the Troubles has said he believed loyalist paramilitaries would have the backing of the security forces in the event of a civil war

A former RUC officer who was a member of one of the most murderous gangs of the Troubles has said he believed loyalist paramilitaries would have the backing of the security forces in the event of a civil war.

John Weir served in the police but also took part in terrorist activity carried out by the notorious Glenanne gang in south Armagh in the 1970s.

But he told the RTE documentary Collusion that the threat of all-out war at the height of the violence was not a concern.

"If there was a civil war, we would have had the UDR behind us, and their guns," he said. "That gave us the confidence that it was in our favour. We could crush the other side."

There were also claims the UDR was lending weapons to the UDA, and ex-Historical Enquiries Team chief Dave Cox said there was a "serious problem" within the former regiment.

Michael Finucane, son of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane, told the programme that the British Government was "bankrupt on the credibility scale" when it came to denials of collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries

Elsewhere, the PSNI Chief Constable has apologised to families of those killed by UFF gunmen at Sean Graham's bookmakers in 1992, after the murder weapon was discovered in a museum.

A BBC Panorama programme had revealed the murder weapon had been exhibited in the Imperial War Museum in London, not officially "disposed of" as the families had been told.

George Hamilton met the families, who described his apology as "heartfelt", and promised the PSNI would fully cooperate with the Police Ombudsman's investigation.

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