Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

30 Protestants murdered by UVF terror thugs since Northern Ireland ceasefire

Loyalist thugs the most prominent killers since the end of the Troubles

By Sarah Henderson

The murder of Ian Ogle is believed to be the 30th killing of a Protestant by the UVF since the loyalist terror group declared its ceasefire in 1994.

Despite the vow to give up dispensing so-called justice from the barrel of a gun, money, drugs and bruised egos have made it the most prolific murder gang since the end of the Troubles.

In 2005, its killing spree led the British Government to state it no longer recognised the UVF ceasefire. Three years later it reversed that decision but the bloodshed has continued.

Just under a year after the end of their armed campaign was announced by former UVF leader Gusty Spence, the gang murdered Billy Elliott (below) in Bangor for his role in the shockingly brutal murder of Margaret Wright.

Elliott allegedly ordered his men to savagely beat and shoot the 31-year-old Protestant to death in a band hall in south Belfast in April 1994, believing she was a Catholic or an RUC informant.

He was shot dead by gunmen near a friend's home in Bangor in September 1995 by gunmen from the UVF-linked Red Hand Commando - including Frankie Curry, who was himself murdered by the UVF in March 1999.

The most high-profile UVF killing since its supposed ceasefire was the murder of Raymond McCord Jnr by men from the Mount Vernon UVF.

The 22-year-old was beaten to death with breeze blocks on the orders of Mount Vernon commander Mark Haddock in November 1997.

His father, Raymond McCord, has tirelessly campaigned to uncover collusion between the UVF and the RUC, for which Haddock was an informer.

Mr McCord told Sunday Life yesterday that following the killing of Ian Ogle, he wants to hear unionist leaders call for the arrest of the UVF leadership.

He also questioned the length of time it took for the police to say the Ogle killing may be linked to the East Belfast UVF.

"Why did it take them four days when two minutes after the murder everybody knew who did it?" he said.

Before last Sunday's brutal murder, the most recent killing carried out by the gang was the brazen slaying of Bobby Moffett, a former Red Hand Commando prisoner.

Mr Moffett was gunned down in broad daylight in front of hundreds of people on the Shankill Road in west Belfast in May 2010. The 44-year-old was killed by two men dressed as workmen as he made his way to meet UVF chiefs to resolve issues following a row with members.

The Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) later ruled that UVF bosses sanctioned the murder of Mr Moffett, although they were meant to be on ceasefire. The body said it had been a "public execution" sanctioned by UVF leaders.

In the summer of 2005 the gang shot dead Jameson Lockhart (25), Stephen Paul (28) and Michael Green (42) in a seven-week period as it feuded with the rival Loyalist Volunteer Force.

That same year, Craig McCausland (20) was shot dead in the Woodvale area of west Belfast, 18 years after his mother was raped and beaten to death at a loyalist drinking club in north Belfast.

In 2000 at least seven people were killed during the feud between the UVF and the UDA's Shankill Road 'C Company', including UDA men Jackie Coulter and Bobby Mahood.

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