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.

09 August 2016
Former UDA Brigadier Was Aware He Was Under Threat - PSNI
Former UDA brigadier John Boreland was aware he was under threat after he was fatally shot in north Belfast on Sunday, 07 August, according to the police. The shooting attack happened in the Sunningdale Gardens area in Ballysillan at approximately 9.50pm. He died at the scene.
02 August 2016
Five People Escape Injury Following Petrol Bomb Attack In Carrickfergus
Five people, including three children, have escaped injury after a petrol bomb was thrown through the window of a house in Carrickfergus. The attack happened in the Oakwood Road area at around 11.30pm on Sunday, 31 July. The petrol bomb smashed through the window but failed to ignite. The item has been taken away for forensic examination.
17 August 2016
Drop In Number Of People Claiming Unemployment-Related Benefits
The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits has dropped by 600, according to new statistics. The unemployment rate fell to 6.0% however it still remains higher than the UK average, which stands at 4.9%.
12 August 2016
Police Renew Appeal After Woman Killed In Scrambler Collision
Police have renewed an appeal for witnesses after a woman was killed in a scrambler collision in west Belfast over three weeks ago. Valerie Armstrong, aged 35, died after being struck by the scrambler in Colin Glen Forest Park at around 6pm on Tuesday, 19 July.
28 July 2016
Police Granted More Time To Question Three People Over 'Suspicious' Death
Police have been granted an additional 36 hours to question three people arrested in connection with the suspicious death of a man in Newtownards, Co Down. Dessie Mee, aged 45, died in hospital following an incident at Millers House on Regent Street just before 7.50pm on Tuesday, 26 July.
17 August 2016
Call For Drivers Not To Flash Lights At Other Cars During PSNI Speed Checks
The PSNI are calling on motorists not to flash at other cars when they are carrying out speed checks as they may be warning drivers who are uninsured, disqualified or drivers of stolen cars. Police in Castlereagh are urging the public to support them in a bid to catch motorists who may also be drink/drug drivers or using cars to commit a crime.
09 August 2016
Book Of Condolence Opens For Former Bishop Edward Daly
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, has opened a Book of Condolence for former Bishop Edward Daly at the Guildhall in L'Derry. Dr Daly passed away on Monday, 08 August, after a long illness. He was pictured waving a blood-stained handkerchief over one of the Bloody Sunday victims in 1972. Ald.
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.
26 August 2016
Other News In Brief
Nursing Home Fined Following Data Breach Alliance East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has said "lessons must be learned" after a nursing home was fined following a data breach.
26 August 2016
Drugs Worth £80,000 Seized In Co Tyrone
Police have seized drugs worth an estimated £80,000 in Omagh, Co Tyrone. Herbal cannabis, diazepam tablets and a significant amount of cash were also uncovered during a house search on Wednesday, 24 August. A 23-year-old man has been charged in connection with the seizures.
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.
08 July 2016
Orange Order Unveils Mural In West Belfast
A mural, funded by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, reminding people of their alcohol intake during the Twelfth July celebrations, has been unveiled in west Belfast. The canvas painting at Ainsworth Street in the Woodvale area includes the slogan 'It's about the Battle, not the Bottle'.
06 July 2016
Man Dies In Co Armagh Collision
A 38-year-old man has died following a collision in Co Armagh. The crash happened on the Red Lion Road in Kilmore just after 1am on Wednesday, 06 July. A Red MG ZR var was involved in the crash.