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Loyalist hits out at East Belfast mob 'torturing the Protestant people'

The curator of a loyalist museum has branded leaders of the East Belfast UVF drug dealers and said they should hang their heads in shame.

William McCaughey, who runs the Ballymac Friendship Centre off the Newtownards Road, also accused the terror gang of "torturing the Protestant people".

The community worker made the comments in a social media video detailing UVF memorabilia on show at the centre's museum.

He says at the end of the clip: "People usually ask me, what has the modern-day East Belfast UVF got to do with this museum? My answer has to be absolutely nothing.

"Why? What has cocaine strapping (loaning), criminality, hiking of bills, general torture of the Protestant population... what has that got to do with all this rich history?

"Why use those three letters and live on the backs of the people in this museum, the Ulstermen who have defended every part of Ulster for hundreds of years? Hang your heads in shame."

East Belfast UVF sources dismissed his claims as "irrelevant" and not reflective of community feeling.

Mr McCaughey's criticisms come after members of the mob murdered dad-of-two Ian Ogle, who was stabbed to death outside his home in Cluan Place last year after suffering 18 months of intimidation. The East Belfast UVF said the attack was not sanctioned at a leadership level.

Two months after the murder, a dozen people were charged in connection with an East Belfast UVF cocaine dealing investigation.

Both these incidents caused major internal tension within the wider terror gang.

The East Belfast UVF is a major target for the Paramilitary Crime Task Force - involving officers from the PSNI, the National Crime Agency and HM Revenue & Customs - which has made a number of raids and arrests aimed at breaking the gang's lucrative criminal empire.

Belfast Telegraph