Sunday 17 December 2017

UVF chiefs ordered Shankill killing

Bobby Moffett was shot dead on Belfast's Shankill Road
Bobby Moffett was shot dead on Belfast's Shankill Road

Tom Brady Security Editor

The central leadership of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), which is meant to be on ceasefire, sanctioned the murder of leading loyalist Bobby Moffett in Belfast in May. This is the key finding of an investigation by the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC).

Moffett (44) was gunned down by two masked UVF men in broad daylight on the busy Shankill Road on May 28.

His murder was witnessed by a large group of passers-by. The killing was described by police as a public execution by the UVF. It followed an incident in which Moffett had challenged a paramilitary leader to a fist fight.

The IMC has found that the UVF leadership decided Moffett should be shot to eliminate the threat he posed to individual members of the organisation and to send a wider message to the loyalist community that the UVF would not tolerate its authority being flouted.

Moffett had been a leading member of the UVF, as well as the Red Hand Commando. Both organisations had been involved in a string of murders of Catholics during the Troubles.

Although the IMC has concluded that the murder of Moffett was extremely serious, it has decided not to recommend that the Northern Secretary Owen Patterson should "recategorise" the UVF as an organisation not on ceasefire.

However, it has decided to keep the group under review.

Irish Independent

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