Belfast Telegraph

Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair 'won't let UDA ruin funeral of drug death son

Former terror chief speaks out as drug death son is buried in Scotland

Writer Sean Hartnett’s work involved tracking the terror gangs trying to shoot Johnny Adair and who did kill David Caldwell
Writer Sean Hartnett’s work involved tracking the terror gangs trying to shoot Johnny Adair and who did kill David Caldwell
Johnny Adair
Jonathan Adair, who was found dead just days after being released from prison
Jonathan and his girlfriend Jasmine
From left, sisters Chloe and Natalie, mum and dad Gina and Johnny, and his younger brother Jay
Jonathan Adair as a teenager
Jonathan Adair, (second from right) at sister Natalie’s wedding

By Deborah McAleese

Former loyalist terror leader Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair has vowed not to let his enemies ruin his son's funeral.

Adair's son Jonathan Jr, is due to be buried in Troon, Scotland today following his death from an accidental overdose while celebrating his release from prison.

A number of Adair Sr's associates and supporters in Belfast were expected to travel to Troon for the funeral, despite warnings from loyalist paramilitaries to stay away.

Members of the UDA - the terror group that expelled Adair from Northern Ireland 13 years ago - recently threatened Adair's supporters with "repercussions" should they attend the funeral.

Speaking for the first time since his son's death Adair said he would not let his haters stop him from burying his son in peace and dignity.

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

"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 former UDA Shankill leader said his son's death has left him in a "bad place" and he wants to make sure he is buried in "peace and dignity".

Jonathan, nicknamed 'Mad Pup', was found dead near his father's home on the west coast of Scotland after a drugs binge.

UFF terror boss Johnny Adair pictured with his family
UFF terror boss Johnny Adair pictured with his family
Loyalist paramilitary leader Johnny Adair pictured with his wife Gina outside their Shankill Road home after he was released from prison
Loyalist leader Johnny Adair pictured at a mural on the Shankill Road

Ambulance crews were unable to revive the 32-year-old.

He had been photographed just hours earlier with his partner Jasmine Johnstone, the mother of his young son, celebrating his release from prison.

He had been jailed earlier this year for motoring offences at HMP Bowhouse in Kilmarnock.

The eldest son of Johnny and Gina Adair, Jonathan had been living in Templehill, Troon for a number of years.

He was 18 when he fled the Shankill with his parents in 2003 after his father was expelled from Northern Ireland by the UDA.

After a failed bid to take over the entire UDA resulted in a bloody feud, Adair Sr was ordered to leave Belfast or face execution at the hands of his former comrades.

Johnny Adair (far right), after his release from Maghaberry Prison in May 2002 is greeted outside jail by John White (left) and Jim Gray (second from left)
Johnny Adair (far right), after his release from Maghaberry Prison in May 2002 is greeted outside jail by John White (left) and Jim Gray (second from left)
Jonathon Adair, son of loyalist leader Johnny Adair.
Johnny Adair with former associate John White in the heart of loyalist Belfast in 2002

Adair Sr, who served a 16-year jail sentence for directing UDA terrorism, still has supporters in Belfast.

However, according to a loyalist source they were warned by members of the UDA not to attend the funeral. "A warning went out shortly after the death that there would be consequences for anyone who travelled to Troon for the funeral.

"They were told anyone travelling from Belfast would be put out of Belfast.

"It's a disgrace they are stopping people paying their respects," the source said.

However, Adair hit out at those behind the threats and accused them of being afraid of him.

"It'll be just a few individuals (warning people not to attend the funeral). Those individuals fear me," he said.

"I have no interest in those people whatsoever. They are just police informants.

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

He added: "If it's the case they are trying to stop people (going to the funeral) it just shows they have no intelligence or integrity.

"They have destroyed a good organisation from within. They are just a bunch of informants and backstabbers.

"They have more to fear of me than I have of them. They fear me regrouping and coming after them. My message to the volunteers back home, 'Stay away from them if you can'. They are nothing but informants."

Adair said he was expecting a big turnout for the funeral "going by the feedback".

"I just want to bury my son. I want to bury him with dignity and in peace," he said. "I am not in a good frame of mind to go into what happened right now.

"I am not in a good place at all."

Adair Jr had been in and out of jail ever since the family fled Northern Ireland. He served a five-year sentence for dealing heroin and crack cocaine.

Over the years he became heavily dependent on drugs.

In 2014 he was jailed for wrecking the flat of a reality TV star who refused to sell him cannabis.

The year before Jonathan had been cleared of a gun raid at a party and in 2012 was the target of a failed bomb plot. He was also facing trial later this year on drugs charges, and had been released from prison for motoring offences the day before his death.

He and his father were very close, often socialising together. However, when Adair Sr ruled the UDA in the lower Shankill he had Jonathan kneecapped for assaulting a shop assistant during a filling station robbery. This was after Adair had beaten him for stealing the purse of an 84-year-old woman during a burglary.

After the punishment shooting Adair denied ordering the attack saying: "What man in his own mind would do a thing like that to his own son? Had I known prior to this I would have had my son on a ferry away from here as fast as possible."

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