Sunday Life

Johnny Adair returns to the Shankill Road to thumb his nose at his old enemy

by Stephen Breen
27 February 2005

This is the dramatic moment when ousted terror chief Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair went to the door of bitter enemy and top UDA man Jim Spence.

The ousted terror chief appeared outside the detached home of suspected MI5 double-agent Spence - who denies being the equivalent of IRA superspy 'Stakeknife' - minutes after the Shankill man posed for pics outside his old home, in Boundary Way.

The notorious loyalist's brief return to the province on Thursday sparked outrage among the UDA leadership, who have vowed to step up their efforts to kill him.

Adair was driven to the west Belfast home of Spence, who is suspected of being a spy for the security services by a burly minder and sidekick Gary 'Smickers' Smith.

As soon as the former terror boss had arrived, he stood outside the property in a defiant gesture to his former pal, and the west Belfast UDA leadership.

But when Spence did not respond to his ex-friend's taunts, Adair was soon back in his car again, and on the road to Portadown.

It is not clear if Spence was aware of Adair's presence outside his home.

The pair have been involved in a series of rows, after Adair accused Spence of being a top informer.

But Spence angrily denied the claims, and insisted Adair fabricated the story after Spence refused to back him in his war with the UDA leadership.

Adair also told how the pair exchanged a series of threatening phonecalls, in recent weeks.

Said Adair: "I have said all along that I would visit the homes of the top UDA men to show them that I wasn't afraid to confront them.

"I decided to start at the top with my first visit, and that's why I went to Spence's home.

"There wasn't a peep out of him, and I don't know if he knew I was outside his home.

"Spence has a lot of questions to answer about his role as a double-agent, but I know he won't meet me. He even refused to answer the letters I sent him from prison.

"I went to his home on my own, yet he brought over 40 men with him when he heard I was in Portadown.

"If Spence has nothing to hide, then why can't he meet me and answer the questions I will put to him? He knows I know the truth."

Adair also vowed that he would be making more visits to UDA leaders over the coming months.

Added Adair: "I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I will be making visits to the cowards who tried to kill my family, and placed me under a death-threat.

"The UDA doesn't know what I'm going to do next.

"Talk is cheap - but actions speak louder than words."

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