News ID: 260297
Published: 0630 GMT October 15, 2019

UVF Terror group leader was Police and Army 'secret agent'

UVF Terror group leader was Police and Army 'secret agent'

In the latest revelation on collusion between Loyalist terror groups and the British state during the Northern Ireland troubles (1968-1998), it has been revealed that a former Loyalist terror leader collaborated with both the police and the army.

According to the sixth episode of the BBC Spotlight documentary, the notorious Loyalist terrorist leader, Billy Wright, regularly received intelligence from police sources, which his group would then use to murder political and sectarian opponents.

The revelations are made by Wright’s former associate, the convicted murderer Laurence Maguire, Presstv Reported.

The same programme cites two senior security sources as claiming that Wright was a "secret agent" working for both the Special Branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC – Northern Ireland’s Police force from 1922 to 2001) and the intelligence arm of the British army in Northern Ireland.

The terror group that Wright commanded, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), was responsible for at least 40 murders during the troubles.

Almost all of their victims had connections to the Irish Republican movement, and at least half were directly tied to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and its political wing at the time, Sinn Féin.

Wright, who was nicknamed King Rat, was himself murdered in the Maze prison in December 1997.

In shocking new revelations it has become clear that whilst one part of the RUC worked closely with Wright, another part was turning a blind eye to sectarian and politically-motivated killings.

Retired Detective Chief Inspector David Hoare, part of the Historical Inquiries Team, claims that evidence suggests that the RUC didn’t try hard enough to stop the UVF’s murderous activities.

“Forty odd murders and so few people convicted – to me it tells a tale in itself”, Hoare says in the documentary.  

The latest revelations on collusion centred on Wright’s gang may be shocking but they come as no big surprise to Irish Republican activists.

The Belfast Telegraph reported on November 20, 2013, that the RUC Special Branch was aware of the Wright gang’s murder spree, including the targeted killing of 76-year-old Dungannon pensioner, Roseann Mallon.

Irish Republicans of all stripes accuse the British establishment of inadequately investigating collusion between the security forces and Loyalist terror groups during the troubles.

In one of the most notorious cases of collusion, Pat Finucane, a highly successful human rights lawyer (and Republican sympathizer) was murdered by the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) terrorist group in February 1989.

The UFF was an outgrowth of the larger Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the main Loyalist terror group.

In June 1999, a former UDA quartermaster and ex-RUC Special Branch covert agent, William Stobie, was charged with murdering Finucane.

But the court case against Stobie collapsed due to the refusal of a key witness to give evidence. Stobie walked free but was shot dead weeks later by Loyalist gunmen.  

In 2012, a review by former United Nations war crimes prosecutor, Sir Desmond de Silva, concluded that “agents” of the British state were involved in Finucane’s murder and that the assassination should have been prevented.

 

 

   
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