Friday 19 January 2018

The UDA kingpin who gained a President's trust

Sam Smyth

Imagine the First Gentleman in the áras, Senator Martin McAleese, being proposed as a presidential candidate by a self-styled 'Brigadier' in an illegal paramilitary organisation.

Picture a UDA leader sentenced to 10 years for extortion and blackmail partnering the President's spouse for 18 holes at the K Club, the preferred pleasure spa of billionaires.

Visualise the same loyalist desperado on a panel in west Belfast with Matt Baggott, the Chief Constable of the PSNI, and his predecessor Hugh Orde, now Britain's most influential policeman.

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