He hit out as specialist cops busted a suspected drugs ring linked to the gang. Loyalist community worker William McCaughey, curator of a museum dedicated to the UVF, laid into the current paramilitary goons for “torturing” the Protestant people. He accused them of criminality and cocaine dealing saying they should “hang their heads in shame”.
UVF HISTORIAN SLAMS SECTARIAN TERROR GROUP FOR THE TORTURE OF PROTESTANTS AND TELLS THEM: YOU’RE COKE DEALING THUGS’
EAST Belfast UVF has been accused of “torturing the Protestant population” in the heart of East Belfast.
Respected community worker and UVF historian William McCaughey laid into the current UVF mob who were targeted in yet another anti-drugs sting the weekend last. McCaughey is the curator of the Ballymac Museum which is smack in the heart of what has for years been the heartland of the East Belfast UVF – making the outspoken dressing down even more unusual. And his brave outburst came as police revealed on Saturday 20th June they had busted a suspected East Belfast UVF drug gang. Officers from the Paramilitary Crime Task Force announced they had searched properties in Dundonald and believe drugs and cash found were linked to the East Belfast UVF. A 40-year-old man has been charged with drug offences and two women were reported to the PPS. The Sunday World understands the raid is highly significant and is closely linked to one of the terror group’s top bosses. A top cop said afterwards the local community “utterly supports” their efforts to disrupt East Belfast UVF. Detective Inspector Hamilton said: “Paramilitaries are not defenders of their communities, instead they are criminals who pretty on vulnerable people and exploit any circumstances they can for their own gain.”
And during a five-minute video posted on the Ballymac Friendship Centre’s Facebook page this week, William McCaughey (49) describes the current East Belfast UVF in less flattering terms. The clip entitled ‘Ballymac Museum Tour Part 3’ sees William, who’s listed in the credits as curator of the museum, complete his tour of the museum which largely includes artefacts collected from the Troubles. Having shown us various weapons and trinkets made in Long Kesh prison by UVF prisoners like David Ervine and Gusty Spence, he out-of-the-blue lets rip at the present day UVF. While a music box, made in Long Kesh, plays in the background he says: “It’s usually at this stage of the tour people ask me what has the East Belfast UVF got to do with the museum and my answer has to be, absolutely nothing. “Why? What has cocaine [word inedible], criminality, hiking of bills and general torture of the Protestant population, what’s that got to do with all this rich history?”
But he doesn’t stop his impassioned speech there and even tells the current East Belfast UVF criminal element they should be ashamed. He continues: “Why use them three letters [UVF] and live on the backs of the people in this museum – the Ulstermen who have defended their wee part of Ulster for hundreds of years? “Hang your heads in shame!” The video was uploaded to the museum’s Facebook page on Monday 15th June and seems to have been done to coincide with the 22nd anniversary of the murder of local UVF hero Robert ‘Squeak’ Seymour. McCaughey adds: “And from a time when East Belfast UVF were the ‘People’s Army’ – Volunteer Robert Squeak Seymour 15th June 1988.” Seymour became a UVF legend during the Troubles for murdering senior IRA man James ‘Skipper’ Burns, for which he was convicted of killing in 1981, though he was later cleared on appeal as he’d been convicted on ‘supergrass’ testimony. Until 2011, Seymour’s image featured on a mural on a gable in the nearby Ballymacarrett Road.
McCaughey’s sideswipe is being supported by many loyalists. This paper has written extensively about paramilitary drug lords in East Belfast UVF. Many of the old UVF guard have been reported to be ashamed of the actions of the current crop of paramilitary leaders. The Sunday World asked Mr McCaughey for a comment on his statement but we were told by the centre: “Unfortunately at this time William is unavailable for comment.” Sources in East Belfast say the outburst from the community worker, who was until recently was listed as a director of the Ballymac Friendship Centre, shows how sections of East Belfast have turned on the current UVF.
And the positive feedback left by supporters of the museum show many people are fed up with East Belfast UVF. The video clip has been viewed over 7,000 times and been shared 83 times and attracted completely positive comments. One person wrote: “Brilliant William, well said and very well concluded.” Another supporter wrote: “Well said you can’t be a true loyalist and a drug dealer.” Another fan commented: “Thank God someone has had the courage to speak out x.” Things have been going wrong for the East Belfast UVF for a few years but those problems have accelerated following the murder of popular community worker Ian Ogle last year. The Ballymac Museum was started after loyalists got fed up with ‘their’ history being told through the eyes of republicans. In 2015 it received just over £200,000 in public funding to have the centre refurbished.
A year later Mr McCaughey was quoted in a number of newspaper articles as he gave tours round the new museum, though he was never pictured himself. He said of the UVF memorabilia: “It’s not about glorifying anything, but it’s about the fact you shouldn’t forget about it either, it’s a part of our history here, a part of the history of this area that’s being kept alive. “There’s been Americans in and once they started to realise the conflict here was more complicated that the Irish against British, they were absolutely fasinacinated. It’s also been great for young people in the area who maybe label themselves as loyalist or whatever, but don’t really know what that means. “The history in here helps them understand what their history is. Loyalism, the term, it’s often seen in a bad light, but this is helping show there’s more to it than just the Troubles. It’s a social history and it’s important it’s not forgotten.”
A police spokesman said on Saturday June 2oth 2020 of the latest raids targeting the East Belfast UVF: “Following this proactive policing operation a quantity of suspected class A, B and C controlled drugs, cutting agent, bags and scales and a significant amount of cash were seized. “Two women are to be reported to the PPS on suspicion of drugs offences.” Detective Inspector Hamilton said: “We know that the communities most affected utterly support our ongoing efforts and want to work with us to end the harm caused by the criminal activity of paramilitaries.
” And late on Saturday June 20th 2020, the police confirmed the 40-year-old had been charged “with possession of a class A controlled drug, with intent to supply, possession of a Class B controlled drug, possession of a class C controlled drug and firearms licensing offences,” said a spokesperson. “He is due to appear at Newtownardes Magistrates Court via vidolink on Thursday July 16th 2020. As is normal procedure, all charges are reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).”
.With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Steven Moore for the EXCLUSIVE original story – firstname.lastname@example.org
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