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Sunday Life

UDA thug on terrorism charge days after DUP meet loyalists

Party slammed for its audience with loyalist thugs

Desmond 'Desy' Lundy
Desmond 'Desy' Lundy
Ciaran Barnes

By Ciaran Barnes

A woman-beating UDA thug pleaded guilty to having items likely to be of use to terrorists the day after it emerged the DUP met with the terror gang's leaders to discuss Brexit.

Desy Lundy's guilty plea makes a mockery of the paramilitary group's recent claims that it supports peace and rejects criminality.

Alliance's Stephen Farry also believes it calls into question the wisdom of DUP leader Arlene Foster's decision to sound-out UDA bosses on Brexit and a possible loyalist backlash.

The North Down MLA said: "While the authorities rightly continue to bring the UDA and others to justice, it is sad and sickening the DUP still meet with unrepentant terror organisations. Any DUP member taking part in these discussions needs to search their conscience, while paramilitary violence continues."

Referencing its UDA meeting, a DUP spokesman said: "The party engages with a range of stakeholders about a range of matters on an ongoing basis in the interests of moving Northern Ireland forward."

Lundy, and co-accused Brian David Dean, were in the dock of Belfast Crown Court last Wednesday to confess to having a haul of balaclavas, gloves and UDA-branded jackets.

The paramilitary pair also admitted possessing documents in preparation for an act of terrorism that included a UDA code of conduct.

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This was 24 hours after it emerged DUP leader Arlene Foster met UDA bosses Jackie McDonald, Jimmy Birch and Matt Kincaid to hear their feelings on Brexit.

Lundy and Dean were arrested during police anti-terror raids in September 2016 targeting the North Belfast UDA. A third charge of UDA membership against Lundy (41) and Dean (52) was left on the books.

Loyalist sources told Sunday Life that the pair have only been members of the terror gang for a short time, having been recruited in 2016 to "make up numbers" after splits in the North Belfast UDA left it decimated.

UDA Leader Jackie McDonald (left) with Jimmy Birch.
UDA Leader Jackie McDonald (left) with Jimmy Birch.
Alliance MLA Stephen Farry

The paramilitary chief who welcomed them into the organisation is the area's puppet 'brigadier' and convicted extortionist Sam 'Bib' Blair - a compulsive gambler who was once kneecapped by the UDA for 'treason'. He was not invited to the meeting with Arlene Foster as he is considered an embarrassment.

An insider said: "Desy Lundy and Brian Dean really are the dregs of loyalism. Bib was so desperate to bring in new members he allowed them to join, even though they are two scumbags."

Lundy, who has a huge UDA tattoo on his stomach, has more than 40 criminal convictions which include beating up an ex-girlfriend, stamping on her head, choking her with a shower hose, and threatening to kill her.

He was jailed for a year for what a judge described as a "persistent, vicious and degrading" assault during which he screamed at his victim: "You are not getting out of here, I will f*****g kill you."

Following his release from prison, Lundy invented a military service record and carried out volunteer work for the Beyond the Battlefield ex-soldiers' charity.

But he was kicked out of the organisation by furious members when it emerged his claims about fighting in Bosnia and Kosovo with the Royal Irish Regiment were false.

Lundy's pal Dean's criminal record is also appalling, with convictions for armed robbery and possessing ammunition for which he served a three-year prison sentence.

Our loyalist source added: "It's embarrassing for the DUP that the day after it came out how Arlene Foster had met the UDA to discuss Brexit, these two were in court to admit having items likely to be of use to terrorists. The DUP should be taking nothing to do with the UDA. Most of the men want the organisation to shut down so we can get on with our lives. The only ones who keep it going are the bosses because they make so much money from drug dealing and other rackets."

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