Sunday Life

Loyalists at war: Provo links sealed Craig's fate
The damning dossier

Adaptation by Ciaran McGuigan
26 September 2004

NOTE: For legal reasons, some individuals are referred to by initials.

THE most dangerous development of all was the relationship between Craig and 'L', on the one hand, 'A' and 'B' on the other.

At first, this relationship was confined to building-site extortion and tax-exemption racketeering, but was later to have lethal consequences for (UDA member) Bucky McCullough - the first of the collusion victims. He was shot dead by the INLA at his Shankill home, in October 1981.

McCullough had been making allegations about missing money, which were later to be found to be true.

After Craig's trial collapsed and he was released, he resumed his partnership with 'L', 'A' and 'B'.

Around this time, he also engineered the removal of John McClatchey as west Belfast UDA commander.

It was Craig's information on site income which was to prove to be McClatchey's downfall.

In 1982, a mysterious person called Joe started making contact with Craig, through phonecalls to the UDA Shankill Road HQ.

It later emerged Joe was a Provo, and is believed to have been the same man who provided 'L' with poison to use against the supergrasses.

Meetings with Joe were only attended by Craig, or 'L', and took place in the Capstan, Royal and King Arthur bars. All this went on with Andy Tyrie's knowledge, who called off the proposed shooting of 'A', claiming 'A' was working on intelligence with 'L'.

The PIRA contacted Craig after Gerry Adams was shot and asked him what was going on, and what about the agreement regarding top men.

The people who knew about Lenny Murphy's death have no doubt who set him up.

Craig and 'L' set him up using 'D', a Ligoneil Protestant married to a Catholic, as a contact man.

In 1987, Davy Payne claimed the machine-gun used in the shooting had been dug up in Silverstream and that 'I' had burned the van used. 'I' belonged to 'L's team.

Craig himself provided the most damning evidence, telling a number of people of his part in the killing, including A. Fee (Artie Fee, a Shankill UDA man), T. (Tommy) Lyttle and 'S', among others.

Craig conned UDA people in Glencairn into showing him where Murphy lived and where he parked his car.

All through the 1980s, the Craig-'L'-'A'-'B'-'G' relationship continued, though some people began to get worried.

'L' complained to Tyrie that Craig was divulging all the information to 'G' and getting nothing in return.

'L' also revealed that the Provisionals had asked for a meeting with Tyrie who refused, suggesting to Craig and 'L' that they ask John McMichael instead.

McMichael blew his top when this was suggested to him, and told Craig to drop all contact with republicans.

But McMichael was not aware that the contact had moved up a scale to a far more dangerous level.

Despite McMichael's warning, Craig continued to meet PIRA and INLA-IPLO people.

Although the row before Christmas 1987 probably hastened McMichael's death, it in itself did not bring it about.

McMichael had confided in close colleagues that he knew Craig had warned PIRA that 'M' (the IRA's OC in Belfast) was a UFF target.

McMichael had also told UFF intelligence to drop info that Craig could (then) put up - the idea being to watch for the info coming back.

By the summer of 1988 (six months after the murder of John McMichael), it had been established that Craig had supplied the colour, make and number of McMichael's car, as well as information on a place where it would be parked, for a certain period.

Within limits, Craig had been under almost constant observation and investigation since last Christmas.

All of Craig's taxi journeys were monitored and the drivers questioned. The areas he was dropped off at include lower Ormeau Road, Markets, Short Strand and (Unity) Flats.

Probably his last act of treachery was to tell leading Markets Provo 'Q' that a Protestant builder 'R' was carrying out work for the security forces up the country. Craig had fallen out with 'R' after 'R' refused to pay him.

Although there is nothing to link Craig to the death of John Bingham, coincidence is stretched to the limit regarding the deaths of Frenchie Marchant, George Seawright and Fred Otley.

On the day of Marchant's death, Craig had arranged to meet him.

Instead of Craig getting out of the car outside the Eagle (bar) to meet Frenchie, he got out at the corner of Conway Street and stood talking for five minutes. Inside that five minutes, 50 yards away, Marchant was murdered by PIRA.

On the day George Seawright was murdered, Craig brought two other UDA men to a meeting in Shankill Leisure Centre.

While they were sitting in the car park, Seawright was shot 50 yards away.

Fred Otley was shot at about 9.45am in his shop at the corner of Agnes Street and Shankill Road.

During the shooting, Craig was sitting in Mikhala's cafe, 20 yards away across the Shankill Road.

Others can be the judge of whether these three events were coincidence.

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