Belfast Telegraph

Jim McDowell: Social media attacks on UDA gang resulted in second feud killing

By Jim McDowell

Colin Horner paid the same price for badmouthing his one-time UDA godfathers as his own former south east Antrim UDA boss Geordie Gilmore.

He paid with his life.

Gilmore was gunned down in cold blood in Carrick in March just hours after criticising the breakaway south east Antrim (SEA) brigade on Facebook.

A former 'commander' of the SEA brigade, Gilmore slagged off the drugs mob and their leaders on a Sunday night.

By Monday lunchtime he was staring down the barrel of a gun that spat out the bullets which killed him.

Ditto Horner yesterday.

Sources said last night he had to flee Carrick because of his "devoted" support for paramilitary pal Gilmore.

He was living just across Belfast Lough in Bangor, where he was assassinated in a retail mall car park in front of young kids in broad daylight yesterday afternoon.

But he had also been posting online jags at the SEA brigade in the wake of Gilmore's murder.

Sources say some of those came very close to pointing the finger at and identifying those who carried out the slaying of Gilmore.

Said one source: "Colin continued to badmouth the leadership of the SEA brigade, just like Geordie Gilmore before him.

"They took their time in catching up with him. But they had vowed to shut him up, too.

"Like Gilmore, he knew the SEA brigade leadership inside out.

"And he knew who pulled the trigger on his old 'commander' and close friend, too."

One of Horner's least barbed online postings referred to Gilmore.

It read simply: "Still miss the big lad."

It was that close affiliation with 'the big lad' that led to Horner meeting the same fate as Gilmore, gunned down in cold blood with up to six bullets, according to reports from the scene outside Sainsbury's. Last night sources were also suggesting the gang that carried out yesterday's murder may not even live in Carrick anymore.

They said that some SEA brigade members had to get out of the Co Antrim town themselves after the Gilmore killing because of the heat put on them by the police investigating that outrage.

Some of the mob that moved are now believed to be living in Newtownards, just a few miles from Bangor and the Balloo retail park where Horner was cut down in cold blood yesterday.

One source said: "It may even have been members of that rump of the SEA brigade now living in Newtownards who were ordered by their bosses still across the lough in Carrick to carry out the Horner killing."

And once again, it seems that Facebook postings may have played a part in yet another savage feud murder.

In March, on the day before his assassination, Gilmore had defiantly posted: "The day of the UDA putting people out of Carrick are over…"

Horner is said to have been one of Gilmore's supporters "put out" of the town who fled to Bangor.

But it now seems he didn't flee far enough, and the bloodlusting SEA brigade took their time in tracking him, gunning him down in a copycat killing to that of his former paramilitary boss and buddy.

Meantime, the catalogue of loyalist terror gang internal feud killings continues to escalate. Just last August former UDA heavy John 'Bonzer' Boreland was the victim of a point-blank assassination as part of another vendetta.

Boreland and fellow convicted criminal Andre 'The Bookie's Brigadier' Shoukri were both kicked out of the mainstream UDA and were taken under the wing of the SEA brigade, who had already split from the loyalist terror gang's so-called 'inner council'.

It is believed Boreland's continued allegiance to the SEA brigade was one of the prime motives for his murder.

But the fact remains that the file of 'get-away-with-it' loyalist feud murders continues to grow, dating back to the UVF killing of Bobby Moffett on Belfast's Shankill Road in May, 2010, and before that to the shooting dead of UDA godfather Jim 'Doris Day' Gray in east Belfast in October 2005, among other blatant killings that are still on the books and still not solved.

And there is no sign of a let-up in such grudge murders, especially among the now fragmented factions of the once unified UDA.

Its motto of Quis Separabit means 'Who shall separate us'.

Throughout decades of bitter infighting and killer feuds, the answer has always been: themselves.

After yesterday's savage Sabbath assassination in a crowded shopping mall, it seems nothing has changed.

Belfast Telegraph

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