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‘Billy Buttons’ graffiti slur appears after man has nose bitten off in Rathcoole


William 'Billy Buttons' Montgomery

William 'Billy Buttons' Montgomery

William 'Billy Buttons' Montgomery

A LEADING loyalist has found himself at the centre of a violent feud between warring UDA and UVF members.

William ‘Billy Buttons’ Montgomery — who was once kneecapped on the orders of UVF serial killer turned supergrass Gary Haggarty — has been targeted in graffiti falsely linking him to Provos.

The slogans are in response to him working at a construction site in the loyalist Rathcoole estate where Catholic builders were recently subjected to South East Antrim UDA death threats.

Montgomery, who was arrested by cold case cops in 2014 acting on Haggarty’s confessions before being freed without charge, was singled out after a UVF associate bit the nose off a SEA UDA member. It must be stressed that the 60-year-old had no connection to the violence.

A Rathcoole source said: “One group of UVF members are feuding with another gang of SEA UDA men. It has become really serious, with one fella having his nose bitten off during a fight.

“Billy Buttons has been dragged into it because he is close to the guy who did the biting.”

The sickening assault occurred after a father and son, who are both SEA UDA members, attempted to confront the UVF man at his Rathcoole home.

He was not there at the time, and he later called to the older man’s house and beat him unconscious. It was then, while the SEA UDA veteran was lying helpless, that he had his nose bitten off.

Our source added: “The police were phoned but no one has been charged. The SEA UDA have been embarrassed by this, it has made them look weak and they are demanding the UVF at the very least break their member’s arms as a punishment.”

The frightening episode comes amid rising tension in the estate between the loyalist paramilitary gangs.

The SEA UDA is by far the dominant force in Rathcoole, but intensive targeting and dozens of arrests by the PSNI Paramilitary Crime Task Force has made its leadership reluctant to sanction any retaliatory violence.

Revenge attacks would also mean SEA UDA leader Gary Fisher breaking a vow to end punishment beatings made after its members murdered terminally-ill Glenn Quinn in Carrickfergus two years ago.

“UDA members in Rathcoole are looking any reason to get stuck into the UVF at the moment,” said another insider.

“They blame the UVF on touting to the police and having its drug dealers arrested. A UVF member biting the nose off a UDA man gives it the perfect excuse to hit back.”

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