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Report is joke says McCord

(Andrea McKernon, Irelandclick.com)

Father of man murdered by UVF hits out as IMC fails to mention UVF drug dealing.

The father of a man murdered by the UVF has branded today's Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) report "a joke" after it failed to mention UVF drug dealing.

Referring to the "LVF's involvement in drugs" in detail, the IMC had no mention of any UVF drug dealing, although later in the report it cited PSNI "successes" against both groups, including drug running.

Raymond McCord, whose son Raymond was murdered by the UVF in 1997, said he was astonished that there was no mention of UVF drug dealing by the IMC.

"The UVF is heavily involved in drug dealing, extortion and racketeering. They have murdered four innocent men in their feud. I don't know why there is no mention of UVF drug dealing (along) with the LVF when everyone knows there was £1m worth of drugs delivered to the UVF in Mount Vernon a couple of years ago. The UVF moved in on the LVF in Garnerville to take over their drugs in East Belfast in July.

"If they were saying they were moving in on the LVF for drug dealing then why didn't they move in on the UDA in East Belfast before that? Why is there any need for the UVF other than drugs."

David Ervine of the UVF-linked PUP today said he had "nothing to say" about the report. The IMC also said it believed the murder of Somerton schoolboy Thomas Devlin was not carried out on behalf of a paramilitary organisation.

In its sixth report exclusively on the recent loyalist feud the IMC admitted it was only dealing with the UVF/LVF bloodletting and not ongoing sectarian attacks.

It said it would produce a report on these in October when it would also report on the aftermath of the IRA statement on July 28 that told all units to stand down.

It said the UVF had carried out five murders, four since July 1. There had also been 17 attempted murders by the UVF and two committed by the LVF. There were six incidents of shooting both at people and buildings, 18 bombings, and three other incidents.

It said there had been 45 arrests by the PSNI and 13 charges, although it failed to say if any were in connection with feud murders.

"The PSNI continue to have successes against organised crime involving both the UVF and LVF, for example in relation to drugs, robber and extortion," the report said.

"This feud has erupted in bloodthirsty thuggery between paramilitary groups, the history of rivalry and hatred, personal animosity, the LVF's involvement in drugs. Allegations and counter allegations about treachery, criminal competition, greed and power."

On the widely publicised scenes of "the forced departure of families in Garnerville in July 2005," (while the PSNI looked on) the report said it was just one of a number of incidents including attacks on North Belfast taxi companies.

September 24, 2005

This article appeared first on the Irelandclick.com web site on DATE, September 23.