Sunday Life

Wanderers' return?
UDA in bid to persuade some Shankill exiles back home

By Stephen Breen

07 December 2003
LOYALIST godfathers are planning to lure some of the exiled 'Bolton Wanderers' back to Ulster, Sunday Life can reveal.

Senior loyalist sources told us that UDA chiefs, in west Belfast, have been contacting members of Johnny Adair's notorious UFF 'C' company, in a bid to persuade them to abandon Mad Dog.

One of Adair's exiled pals has already returned to the province, after the UDA assured him he was not under threat.

The man was told to supply information on Adair's gang, in exchange for his safety.

It is understood the UDA obtained the mobile phone numbers of the Shankill exiles from him, before contacting them.

The latest development comes, after it emerged, this week, that Adair's wife, Gina, and some of the other exiles, were warned by cops they were actively being targeted.

The UDA vowed to step up its efforts to kill the exiles, after learning they had been making frequent visits home - despite the death-threats against them.

But, there are now fears the man - believed to be a relative of 'Bolton Wanderer' Ian Truesdale - could end up like Adair's former military commander, Alan McCullough.

He was murdered in revenge for the killing of south east Antrim terror boss, John Gregg, in June.

Although the 21-year-old was told he would be safe if he returned from exile, he was shot dead, for supporting Adair during the UDA feud.

Adair's main ally in Bolton, Gary 'Smickers' Smith, has warned the exiles not to have any contact with the UDA.

Said a senior source: "The UDA has already got this man to come back, and he knows what he had to do - give up Truesdale, and the other exiles, for good.

"The UDA managed to turn this guy against Adair and the others, but people on the ground are thinking he could end up just like Alan McCullough.

"During the feud, the UDA threatened to cut this man up, just because they couldn't get to Truesdale.

"They may have managed to get one of the exiles back, but that won't stop them trying to get the others back, in exchange for information. They are trying to isolate Johnny as much as possible.

"UDA leaders, in west Belfast, are obviously angry that the exiles have been slipping back into Northern Ireland every now and again, when they have been told to keep out."

In a separate development, sources also told Sunday Life the terror group has set up a 'special unit', to investigate rumours one of the UDA's most senior figures, during the 1980s and 1990s, was a top Special Branch agent.


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