Sunday Life

Loyalists on brink of feud

By Alan Murray
10 October 2004

The bloody feud between the UVF and the LVF is ready to erupt again following an incident in north Belfast last weekend.

Loyalist sources claim the son of a leading ex-UVF man was attacked by LVF men, after being caught breaking into pensioners homes.

LVF bosses are now bracing themselves for revenge attacks, and have warned they will respond with deadly attacks on top UVF men.

It is the biggest crisis between the two group since the UVF shot dead LVF leader Brian Stewart, in east Belfast earlier this year.

Loyalist sources say it began last weekend after two LVF men attacked a burglar, who was breaking into the homes of pensioners.

The thief, whose father was a former leading figure in the UVF in Ballysillan, then went to the local organisation's leader seeking help to attack his LVF assailants.

There is concern that the younger UVF leadership in Ballysillan will mount attacks against LVF targets.

One senior LVF figure told the Sunday Life: "I hope the UVF doesn't make a really big mistake here, in assuming that because we didn't respond to the murder of Brian Stewart, that we will adopt the same attitude this time.

"A man lost his life in May because of activities we couldn't defend, carried out by stupid people. This is different.

"A thief who targets pensioners was spotted coming out of houses and he was tackled.

"If the UVF backs this crook and comes at any of our people, then they will get back more than they will be able to take. If they bring it on in North Belfast we will hit back hard this time," the LVF leader warned.

But a UVF source denied that the organisation was protecting a thief, and gave a very different version of events.

"A former UVF prisoner saw this guy being beaten and said to the two LVF heads, 'look that's enough'.

"They then turned on him and said they'd shoot him dead. They threatened to kill a UVF man and the UVF won't accept that.

"The LVF should address their efforts to curtail the wee hoods they've recruited in Ballysillan, who torture the local people all night with their anti-social activities and crime," the UVF man said.

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