Adair pictured back on Shankill

Johnny Adair returned to Northern Ireland

Convicted loyalist leader Johnny Adair has been in Northern Ireland, several weeks after being freed from Maghaberry prison.

Adair was photographed on Belfast's Shankill Road and was also seen elsewehere on Thursday.

The UDA became aware of his presence and sent men to Portadown.

A UDA leadership source described the situation as volatile. However, it is understood Adair has since left Northern Ireland.

After being released from prison in January, Adair joined his family who settled in Bolton after fleeing Northern Ireland during a loyalist paramilitary feud two years ago.

The former leader of the Ulster Freedom Fighters had served two-thirds of a 16-year sentence for directing terrorism on behalf of that organisation.

He was expelled by the leadership of the Ulster Defence Association, of which the UFF is a part, in late 2002.


Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy ordered Adair to be sent back to prison in January 2003 at the height of a vicious power-struggle between his "C Company" faction and the rest of the UDA.

Members of Adair's brigade blamed for the killing of rival UDA leader John Gregg were later routed and forced to flee their Shankill Road powerbase.

Adair was photographed on the Shankill Road on Thursday by the Sunday Life. The newspaper says it did not pay any money for the photographs.

Adair's wife Gina, who confimred on Thursday morning that her husband was in Northern Ireland, later said she knew nothing.

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