‘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


Police incease in ‘Public Interest Immunity’ material linked to LVF murder of Seamas Dillon had not been completed eight-years-ago the coroner Court was told.


#SayNoToPII #JusticeForNoahDonohoe

West Belfast UDA expansion is pushing the organisation to the brink of destruction

THE UDA is falling apart as the organisation is riven with internal and external feuds.

Follow this link to find out more: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3250949564984795&id=100002093504519&set=a.439170419496071&source=48

The terror gang is once again locked in an internal stand-off as command structure continues to crumble. The organisation has become embroiled in a number of confrontations with rival groups but also internally, and the Sunday World understands there are growing concerns over the increasingly aggressive West Belfast UDA. The organised crime gang is now at loggerheads with North Antrim UDA as they try to muscle in on the drugs trade in Ballymoney and Antrim town. Upwards of 30-40 people were involved in a tense stand-off in the village of Dervock last Sunday evening which came on the back of a series of attacks on property and cars. There was a similar stand-off the following night which was broken up by police, and the tensions between the rival groups are said to be high. West Belfast UDA has been actively expanding, having moved in on the drugs trade in neighbouring North Belfast as well as setting up cells in Holywood and North Down.

Billy Wright LVF commander Portadown and South Armagh

It has brought them into conflict with South East Antrim UDA which has a militant group in Newtownards, which sources claim, is under the stewardship of a man in his late 30s and also the LVF in the north of the city which spilled over into violence on the 11th Night. It is understood West Belfast has moved into North Antrim, establishing a presence in the village of Dervock and flooding the area with drugs. The invasive bullying move breaks every rule in the UDA’s book, with many insiders claiming the Belfast group is aiming to take control of the organisation across the North of Ireland. The Inner Council which once ran the UDA exists only in name and hasn’t met in years. The command structure no longer exists as the organisation transactions from paramilitary protectors to organised crime gang. There is no longer any loyalty to God And Ulster. The recent confrontations in Dervock and North Belfast signal a ruthless determination on the part of West Belfast to take control of the organisation’s criminal enterprises.

Larne Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF)

The loyalist heartland of the Shankill Road has become the epicentre of the UDA drug rackets. Convicted killer Mo Courtney (pictured in the link above) heads up the UFF C Company (Johnny Adair’s old Shankill Road hunting ground) operation in the Lower Shankill and is believed to be directly answerable to UDA commander Jim Spence. Spence is alleged to have taken control of the organisation’s criminal operation, although he denies any involvement.

Loyalist Jim Spence an old photograph when he had a moustache

The organisation has set about expanding its criminal empire, with North Antrim being the latest target. Insider sources the next target is Coleraine. The West Belfast leadership are silent partners in the whole operation, resisting all calls to move against the drug dealers, preferring to sit back and watch the cash roll in. They have alleged Woodvale Commander Spence who, along with his Second in Command ‘Winkie’ Irvine who, sources claim, has masterminded the terror group’s expansion. “West Belfast has moved in on North Antrim,” said our source, “it will cause problems but they [West] seem to have the manpower and there will be plenty who will be happy to fall into line. “It’s a takeover bid, simple as that, and the organisation is so badly split that they don’t have the strength or the will to take them on.” It is understood Spence’s man in North Antrim is veteran Brian Dean. Known as The Breaker, he was convicted last November of having articles and documents linked to the UDA. Judge Neil Rafferty told Dean and fellow accused Desmond Lunday to “grow up”. The Crown Court judge said “terrorism, from whatever extreme, from either side, is a scourge and blight on our community. Those who continue are wrong, and wrong-headed”.

Brian David Dean
North Antrim UDA veteran Brian David Dean, known as The Breaker

As he came to sentence Desmond John William Lundy (41) and Brian David Dean (52), Judge Rafferty told them “to grow up and put away childish things”, adding: “Such days are in the past and in the past must remain.” The pair had initially been charged with being, or purporting to be, members of the UDA, but this was not proceeded with after (Desmond Lundy was a former soldier and it would have looked bad on the British army having been convicted as a loyalist terrorist) they pleaded guilty to possessing articles and documents useful to terrorists (There were also restrictions placed on the media on showing his photograph). These included balaclavas, gloves and jackets with UDA emblems, and documents, some to be used in a form of ‘swearing-in’ ceremony, which Judge Rafferty described as “almost laughable”.

Armed members of the UDA ‘We haven’t gone away you know’

Lundy and Dean’s fingerprints were found on the documents which included a ‘Code of Conduct of the Ulster Defence Association’ (UDA). Lundy, now of Abbey Ring, Holywood, who had possessed balaclavas, pairs of black gloves and multiple UDA emblemed jackets, in addition to the documents, was sentenced to 15 months, split equally between custody and parole. Dean, from Ainsworth Avenue, Belfast, who had balaclavas and documents, had his nine-month jail term suspended for three years. Council for both men said the offences dated back to September 2016 and their guilty pleas were an indication of their remorse and regret. Last night a spokesperson for Spence said he denied any involvement in criminal activity. A PSNI/RUC spokesperson commented: “Police received a report of a number of males acting suspiciously at the junction of the Carncullagh Road and Station Road area of Dervock on Monday 20th July. “Officers spoke to the men and enquiries are continuing regarding the incident.”

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


Follow these links to find out more: https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/belfast-news/men-caught-uda-documents-balaclavas-17227752

(2)-: https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/grow-up-judge-tells-pair-sentenced-over-uda-items-38674554.html

(3)-: http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/northernirelandnews/2018/11/23/news/ex-soldier-jailed-for-hammer-attack-in-north-belfast-1491197/content.html

(4)-: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/former-soldier-jailed-his-part-hammer-attack-205638

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