Sunday Life

I'll tell it all
--By Stephen Breen

CAGED loyalist Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair last night vowed to reveal his dark secrets as a UFF godfather, to any 'Truth Commission' established in Ulster.

In an exclusive behind-bars interview with Sunday Life, the ousted UDA chief said: "Give me an amnesty - and I'll tell you everything".

Adair promised to break his silence about his role as leader of the UFF's Shankill murder machine, during the 1980s and 1990s, after Policing Board chairman, Professor Des Rea, called for a truth commission to be established in the province.

The Shankill Road man told us he would only participate in a South African-style reconciliation initiative, if an amnesty was in place.

But he said his participation in the scheme would also depend on whether or not informers and Special Branch handlers would be called, to provide details of their roles in the murky world of counter-terrorism.

Said Adair: "If they provide an amnesty for people like me, who were involved in the conflict - I'll tell any truth commission everything I know.

"I am in favour of this project, if it helps us take another inch and mile towards peace - it is something I definitely wouldn't fear. The only people who would oppose it are informers, and their handlers.

"If I knew that touts and people in Special Branch, who were central to the conflict here, would appear at a truth commission, then I would have no problem in appearing myself.

"These are the people who need to come forward and come clean about the activities they were involved in. Informers have been the only winners in this conflict, because they are still able to lead a life of luxury.

"It could take a long time, but the dirty dealing between informers and their handlers needs to be exposed, and maybe the truth commission is the way to go about this."

West Belfast SDLP Assemblyman, Alex Attwood, told Sunday Life Adair would only use a truth commission for his "own ends".

Added Mr Attwood: "The truth commission should place its emphasis on the victims, and not perpetrators of violence, like Adair.

"But if some of the victims would consider meeting people like Adair, in a bid to have a greater sense of understanding, then I would have to support it.

"I fear Adair may only be advocating a truth commission for his own personal reasons, and not for the victims."

Adair also claimed he had "nothing to say" about the murder of Pat Finucane.

"I was questioned about the Finucane murder, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it. It was the intelligence spooks who arranged the killing," he added.

"I may be forced to go to a public inquiry, but what else can I tell them that they don't already know?"

Campaign of terror

IN the early 1990s, Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair orchestrated a campaign of terror in nationalist areas of Belfast, from his powerbase in the Shankill.

Before his conviction for directing terrorism in 1995, Adair's notorious UFF 'C' company were responsible for dozens of murders, bombings, shootings and rocket attacks across the city.

Adair's units are believed to have murdered 22 people in Belfast during 1992 and 1993, and carried out countless other attacks.

During that period, his men were killing more people than the IRA.

Adair sent his men into the heart of republican west Belfast, mounting attacks on the Falls Road and Andersonstown.

Among the terrorist operations he helped mastermind were RPG-rocket attacks on Sinn Fein HQ at Connolly House, and two attempts on the life of former Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey, who later became Lord Mayor of Belfast.

Some of the people murdered by Adair's men included west Belfast barber, Sean Hughes, and mechanic, Ben Hughes.

Adair continued to wield power from behind bars, and his men were responsible for the murder of cross-community worker, Terry Enright, in 1998.

He was also at the heart of the UDA-UVF feud in 2001, and was involved in a bitter dispute with his former comrades in the UDA.

If a truth commission is established, and Adair does take to the stand, the families of those his men murdered will hear his justification for killing their loved ones.

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