‘King Rat’ – Billy Wright’s rise as a loyalist icon and LVF chief (Part One)

December 26th, 2022.


Thousands of people involved themselves in paramilitaries during the Troubles, taking thousands of lives.

The names of those gunmen are unknown or mostly forgotten but a handful live on in infamy, one of them is Billy Wright, aka ‘King Rat’.

Charismatic, religious, ruthless, cold, Billy Wright was feared by most people but respected by some people in Portadown for ‘taking the war to the IRA’.

Where did King Rat come from, how did he live his life and why did he take others’ lives.

The Belfast Telegraph’s security correspondent Allison Morris joined Ciarán Dunbar to discuss the notorious loyalist leader.

This podcast was originally released in August 2022.


Billy Wright’s rise as a loyalist icon


Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) flags prompt feud fear

Billy Wright leader of the Loyaist Ulster Volunteer Force the (LVF)

FEARS are growing of another loyalist feud erupting in a Co Antrim town. Tensions are running high after the recent erection of LVF flags in Ballymena.

The flags have been put up on lampposts in the Doury Road estate, an area regarded locally as a UDA stronghold. The LVF flags were put up in the Camberwell Way part of the estate. The move is being blamed on an LVF faction who recently moved from Co Antrim. “They are blow ins,” revealed our source. “Whether they moved of their own free will or where put out no one knows. “But there is no way the UDA will put up with that.


“Doury Road has always been an area with big support for the UDA.” There are fears that the actions will antagonise UDA members into action. “It is only a small group but I’ve been told more are expected to arrive from Antrim,” added our source. “Hopefully nothing kicks off but people with authority in the organisation are monitoring the situation closely.”

There has been no love lost between the rival paramilitary organisations over the years. The LVF built up a strong affiliation with Johnny Adair’s Shankill Road UFF unit. And it was the unveiling of an LVF flag outside a bar during a show of strength which sparked the vicious feud which ultimately led to Adair’s exile. Now there are fears that Ballymena could be about to become the centre of another violent loyalist dispute.

With many thanks to the: Sunday World and Richard Sullivan for the original story.

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