'Mad Dog' Adair hits out at Celtic parcel bombers

Tim McKenzie

INFAMOUS Ulster loyalist Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair has appealed for no more terror attacks to be directed at Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

The ex-leader of the Ulster Defence Association's notorious 'C' Company murder gang said the recent parcel bomb plot directed at Lennon was "wrong and a thing of the past."

Two Scottish men -- Trevor Muirhead (44) and Neil McKenzie (42) -- face lengthy jail terms after a Glasgow court last month found them guilty of sending five devices packed with nails to Lennon, the late lawyer Paul McBride, the senior Scottish politician Trish Godman and republican campaigners last year.

Their five-week trial heard that both men were committed Rangers fans while Muirhead was a supporter of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Adair said that while the Celtic boss was "not my favourite human being", the targeting of him and others was "completely wrong."

The former UDA paramilitary commander said: "Yes, Neil Lennon is a bit of a hate figure with Protestants and Rangers fans in Scotland and Ulster. He is a Catholic from Lurgan, he is often outspoken during Old Firm matches, says the wrong things and he has red hair!

"But in the end this is only about football and a reaction like that is extreme. That might sound a bit rich coming from the likes of me but as far as I am concerned football is not worth this. The war is over and the peace process is working.

"No-one wants to see the things I saw growing up to end up in Scotland."

Now living on the Ayrshire coast having been exiled from Northern Ireland at gunpoint during an internal UDA feud nearly a decade ago, Adair said he hoped the parcel bomb plot was "a one off."

Adair said he had never been happier in his new life in Scotland now that he has a new partner and an eight-month old son called Riley.

He also called for both loyalist paramilitary organisations -- the UDA and the UVF -- to dissolve and go out of existence.

"The people don't need these organisations anymore. They promised the people they would turn towards community politics but they have yet to do so. They should go away for good."

The terrorist leader, whose gang was extremely active in the UDA's murder campaigns of the 1990s, said he still backed the power-sharing settlement in the North.