Bookmark and Share
16/01/2002

Red Hand Defenders to disband following UFF order

The Red Hand Defenders is set to disband as a result of a direct order from the Ulster Defence Association leadership.

In a statement on Tuesday January 15, the UDA/Ulster Freedom Fighters said it “unreservedly” condemned the death threats issued by the Red Hand Defenders, against Catholic schoolteachers and postal workers last weekend and that it was ordering the Red Hand Defenders to stand down within 14 days.

In response to this order, a statement was issued to the BBC on Wednesday morning under the Red Hand Defenders name, detailing the order to its members. It said: “From midnight tonight [Wednesday] the Red Hand Defenders will stand down as the UFF ordered.”

However, the Red Hand Defenders is widely acknowledged as being a cover name used by elements of the UDA.

Initially the Red Hand Defenders claimed responsibility for the murder of 20-year-old postman Danny McColgan last Saturday morning. However, the East Antrim UDA brigade later admitted that it was responsible for his murder.

SDLP assembly member for west Belfast Alex Attwood said he would be treating the Red Hand Defenders statement with caution. He said: “They are trying to cover their tracks and distance themselves from what is happening because everybody knows the UFF, the UDA, the Red Hand Defenders are the one and the same group of people whatever name they call themselves. Given that it is the same people, this does not change anything and people will treat their claims with caution.”

Meanwhile postmen and women have voted to return to work, starting from midnight on Wednesday. The move to return was taken at a lunchtime meeting between staff and union representatives who recommended they go back to work. (AMcE)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 April 2016
Police Release Images Of Two People Over Robbery In North Belfast
Police investigating a robbery in north Belfast have released images of two people they would like to speak to. The armed robbery happened at a shop on the Antrim road on Saturday 31 October last year. A man entered the shop armed with a claw hammer and threatened female staff members. He made off with a sum of cash in the direction of Grey's Lane.
21 April 2016
Increase In Number Of People Claiming Unemployment Benefits In NI
Unemployment in Northern Ireland has increased over the past month, according to the latest figures. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose by 200.
19 April 2016
Other News In Brief
Green New Deal Scheme Would Create 15,000 Jobs - Agnew The Green New Deal home energy efficiency scheme would create 15,000 jobs, reduce fuel bills and cut carbon emissions, according to party leader Steven Agnew. Mr Agnew, the Green Party's North Down candidate, said it is "unacceptable" that 40% of people in NI are living in fuel poverty.
19 April 2016
Michael McGibbon Murder: Man Released
A man arrested in connection with the murder of Michael McGibbon has been released. Mr McGibbon, 33, died after he was shot a number of times in an alleyway in Butler Place, north Belfast, on Friday. The 34-year-old male arrested in connection with the killing has been released unconditionally.
12 December 2001
Stobie murder claimed by Red Hand Defenders
Former loyalist police agent William Stobie, who had been recently been acquitted of charges brought against him over the murder of solicitor Pat Finucane, has been shot dead in north Belfast. The Red Hand Defenders, a cover name which has been used in the past for the UDA and UFF, has claimed responsibility for his murder.
27 July 2007
Parades restricted in Downpatrick
A loyalist parade has been banned from entering the predominantly nationalist town of Downpatrick in County Down. The proposed march on 6th August 2007 by the Red Hand Defenders has had conditions imposed by the Parades Commission this morning.
24 February 2016
Armagh Firm Fined After Construction Worker Seriously Injured
An Armagh firm has been fined for two health and safety breaches at Laganside Crown Court. Raptic Limited was fined £2,400 plus costs of £1,780.14 after a construction worker fell from a height on 05 September 2014. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) launched an investigation following the incident.
18 February 2016
Bombardier Job Losses 'Deeply Disappointing'
The news that Bombardier is to reduce its workforce in Northern Ireland have been described as "deeply disappointing" and "extremely regrettable", by Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell and Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Stephen Farry.
07 June 2007
Cummings murder inquest begins
An inquest at Belfast Coroners Court into the shooting dead of a 19-year-old Catholic man in Antrim in July 2001 has heard that rival loyalist paramilitaries may have been involved. Ciaran Cummings, 19, was shot twice with a sawn off shotgun as he waited for a lift at the Greystone Road roundabout.
03 December 2001
Man questioned in relation to Rosemary Nelson’s murder
Officers investigating the murder of Lurgan solicitor Rosemary Nelson have arrested a man in County Armagh. The 41-year-old man was taken from his home in Portadown for questioning about serious terrorist offences on Monday December 3. Rosemary Nelson, a Catholic mother-of-three, died in a booby-trap car bomb near her home on 15 March 1999.
25 February 2016
Appeal For Missing Man Jonathan Irszak
Police are appealing for information to help trace missing man Jonathan Irszak. Mr Irszak, 35, was last seen leaving his home on the Blackskull Road in Banbridge at around 7am on Tuesday, 23 February. He was expected to arrive at work shortly after, however he never arrived.
09 February 2016
Over 10,000 People Hospitalised For Respiratory Problems Every Year
Over 10,000 people from Northern Ireland are admitted to hospital for respiratory problems every year, according to the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA). Around 2,000 people will die from a respiratory condition, accounting for around one in seven of all deaths.
27 January 2016
Three People Injured In Crash On Westlink
Three people are receiving hospital treatment following a six-vehicle collision on the Westlink in Belfast. The crash, which involved two lorries and four other vehicles, occurred at around 4am on Wednesday. The Westlink was closed , however the vehicles have been removed and it has been reopened.
26 January 2016
Three People Receive Hospital Treatment Following Ammonia Spill In L'Derry
Three people have been taken to hospital following an ammonia spill at Ballyrashane Creamery in L'Derry. Emergency services attended the scene at Creamery Road on Monday morning. A leak was isolated and a second leak was also discovered. It has since been isolated.
20 January 2016
Drop In Number Of People Claiming Unemployment Benefits
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Northern Ireland has dropped to 38,700, a decrease of 500 over the month. New figures released for the period September to November 2015 show that the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey unemployment rate was 5.9%, a drop of 0.1% over the quarter.