16
Sep

The Shankill Butchers

   Posted by: Bozwell   in Bozwell, History, In The news

Will it ever end? This riotous behaviour in Dublin recently brings to mind some disturbing history–The Shankill Butchers were a law unto themselves, their roots were based from the Protestant side of the conflict, but none were safe. Loyal to nothing but the notion of savagry, both Catholics and Protestants became their victims. They were basically murderous thugs that would prey on the weak, and sometimes the not so weak. The Shankill Butchers were for all intents and purposes psychopathic terrorists that held Belfast in a pall of fear for many years.

The ring leader of the group was Hugh Leonard “Lenny” Murphy…

This guy is not someone you would desire to meet. Murphy’s thirst for blood and in particular his pathological hatred of Catholics was astonishing. His insane acts created unparalleled fear in the hearts of everyone–fully documented in the substantial list of murderous atrocities attributed to him. The Shankill Butchers thrived in the midst of all the sectarian violence of the late 60′s and 70′s in Northern Ireland. They had no interest in guns however, preferring a more hands on approach to their work–employing knives, axes and all manner of blunt instruments they delighted in the slow deaths of their victims.

Here are mugshots of some of this gaggle of sadists, each have their own story to tell…

Bobby Bates and Sam McAllister

John Townsley and Edward McIllwaine

William Moore and Norman Waugh

In one particularly brutal murder an elderly Catholic man was tortured over a six hour period and killed. The perpetrators of this crime were never brought to justice but it is believed to have been the handiwork of Murphy and his crew. 147 stab wounds were found on the corpse that had been suspended from a wooden beam by way of a noose around the victim’s neck. It was discovered that the man did not die from the stab wounds but rather from the slowly tightening noose strangling him. Murphy’s murderous rampage cloaked beneath the banner of a war-torn city continued…

It was only when the Butchers mistakenly left behind a living victim many years later (who was able to identify them), that the gang was brought to justice. Years after that upon his release from prison, Murphy was gunned down by a hit squad rumoured to be a coalition of Loyalist and IRA personnel thus eliminating a mutual problem. This has never been proven but it would not be surprising if it were true as The Shankill Butchers had managed to create many enemies on both sides of the conflict. So ruthless were they that everyone wanted them gone. Various other members of the gang were eliminated in similar fashion.

It is so saddening to see violence escalate once again in Northern Ireland.

I hope that it does not give rise to more gangs like The Shankill Butchers, or another Lenny Murphy.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 16th, 2005 at 7:14 pm and is filed under Bozwell, History, In The news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

942 comments so far

 1 

Interesting story Boz. I think maybe where ever there is a large amount of dissatisfaction among the people, this sort of filth prosper.
One of the sad things is that Gerry Adams who is a known associate (at least) of the IRA is treated like a hero when he visits here.

[Reply]

gerard Reply:

r u mad !! how can u compare gerry adams to these pscyhopaths , the butchers were sadistic in the most extreme way possible som victims 1 just 21yrs of age had his head almost decapitated , they knowingly and willingly killed there own people but catholics were ther prime targets , people lived in fear for years as these monsters toured the streets carving innocent catholics young and old at will

[Reply]

Paul Reply:

Perhaps a less blinkered view of the troubles in Ulster would enlighten you that Gerry Adams is alleged to be implicated in many murders. Bloody Friday (mass murder of innocents, catholic & protestant) and the abduction and murder of catholic mother Jean McConville all occurring when he was leader of the West Belfast battalion of the Provisional IRA, spring to mind.
He is further implicated in many other murders, protestants and catholics alike.
Age of victims was immaterial, the youngest being a 2 yr old baby killed in a bomb on the Shankill Road, incidentally, where Gerrys gang also plied their murderous trade.
No side has a monopoly on cruelty and sadism, both were as equally culpable, Gerry has just been able to rewrite history better with his lies and denials, but the ordinary decent people of Northern Ireland have not been hoodwinked. We know who the monsters are, some are dead, some are living and some are politicians in our government.
It is left now only for God to judge them.

Dedicated to the brave men and women of our security forces and the innocent civilians who lost their lives during 30 yrs of madness.

[Reply]

Micky Reply:

Brave security forces?! The RUC, FRU, MI5 were all involved in state murder and collusion in Northern Ireland and happily turned a blind eye to the killing of many innocent Catholic victims.

See the documentary by Stephen Nolan (incidently himself a Protestant from the Shankill) on the Shankill Butchers

The Loughinisland Massacre

The murders of;
Pat Finucane
Rosemary Nelson
Sharon McKenna
Sean McParland
Gerard Brady
John Harbinson

So let God judge the likes of them too

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Micky, make no mistake- i unequivically condemn the British security services disgraceful collusion with the murdering thugs of the UDA, and wish passionately for those responsible to be prosecuted- no matter high up! But that doesnt detract from Paul’s point- BOTH sides were guilty of the most apalling atrocities. To deny that fact is quite simply ridiculous.

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andy smith Reply:

ands there purpose was never achieved

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dunnchad Reply:

there were monsters in the RUC, the British Army, the Specials, the UDR and of course in the UDA, UVF, IRA, INLA and the others. But there WERE also brave, ethical men, however few and far between, in the RUC and British forces. Men who died trying to defuse bombs or trying to get civilians to safety. Even as one group of paras tasked with spying on Bernadette Devlin sat idly by, watching as gunmen kicked in the door and began firing in a house filled with children, it was a nearby patrol that heard the shots, ran in, offered medical treatment, then sent a man in a commandeered car to the nearest phone to call in a medical transport chopper, saving the lives of her and her husband. Every participant in the horrors is to blame, but among the wretches, one could always find a few decent human beings.

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September 17th, 2005 at 12:23 am
 2 

Such evil as this transcends political boundaries. Had such filth been born in the middle of an empty field they would most likely attempt to murder a clear blue sky. Brilliant story, albeit saddening and infuriating. I was under the impression that both Catholics and Protestants were Christian, hell I’m sure Moses would have something to say about the whole killing innocent people thing, something about Thou shalt not murder…

Generally when people are hung they die from complications of a severed spinal cord, something I’m familiar with. That guy’s death would have been excruciating. If you have a high-level spinal cord injury (which one generally sustains from being hung) you cannot feel anything. But if you sustained an injury below the lesion to your spinal cord, your nervous system goes into overdrive and gives you a headache that excruciating doesn’t even begin to describe. How the fuck do such people have the nerve to call themselves Christian? It’s beyond me.

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andy smith Reply:

i wonder what the people of omagh felt that faithful day

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September 17th, 2005 at 1:39 am
 3 

Great post, Boz! Scary fellas indeed.

Patrick, he’s been welcomed at the White House too, which makes me more than a little ill. Though I believe it was the Clinton WH, not the Bush.

Rachel….how indeed. Boggles the mind.

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September 17th, 2005 at 2:22 am
 4 

hey Boz, don’t Hugh Leonard “Lenny” Murphy look like Andy Scott from the Sweet?

http://www.thesweet.com/polygram.jpg

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September 18th, 2005 at 11:19 am
 5 

well, you might be right there Patrick. Dunno that Andy Scott would like that fact though!!!!

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September 18th, 2005 at 11:23 am
 6 

This butcher boy has nothing to do with any religion- he is a sociopath who used any reason to get his way.

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September 20th, 2005 at 2:36 pm
 7 

Patrick,

One of the sad things is that Gerry Adams who is a known associate (at least) of the IRA is treated like a hero when he visits here.

I was outraged by his last visit. The man should not have been let into the country.

Rachel,

How the fuck do such people have the nerve to call themselves Christian? It’s beyond me.

No different than Muslim extremists these dudes…hiding behind a religion that in their minds justifies what they do…although Murphy just hated everyone really and I’m not sure if he ever spent much time reading the bible!

Esther,

Great post, Boz! Scary fellas indeed.

Thanks for that, and yes…not the type of people you want to meet.

Skylark,

This butcher boy has nothing to do with any religion- he is a sociopath who used any reason to get his way.

My thoughts exactly.

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September 20th, 2005 at 2:44 pm
roisin
 8 

such people as the shankill butchers arnt even human let alone cristians wats wrong with gerry adams its the ira who suposedly killed murphy and lets face it he deservd it thses men (shankill butchers)make me sick and alll the people like them the ira do us justice not the police cus if it was then they wud b in jail now the victims were tortured in the bible eye 4 n eye life 4 a\ life

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September 29th, 2005 at 9:45 am
el guappo
 9 

“The Shankill Butchers were for all intents and purposes psychopathic terrorists who held the city of Dublin in a pall of fear for many years.”

wasnt Dublin it was Belfast…….dublin being the capital of the republic of ireland and belfast the capital of the north

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October 15th, 2005 at 12:49 am
 10 

el guappo,

I stand corrected. I don’t know what I was thinking, thanks for that I appreciate it (at least I got the country right:oops:)

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October 15th, 2005 at 10:30 am
 11 

The readers keep us on our toes thats for sure Boz. Thats the greatness of blogs. Unlike real paid op-ed writers, we are actually answerable for our stuff! :lol:

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October 15th, 2005 at 10:33 am
 12 

Very true mate!

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October 15th, 2005 at 10:35 am
 13 

El Guappo (Are you really handsome?)

Thats the greatness of blogs. Unlike real paid op-ed writers, we are actually answerable for our stuff!

Hear, hear!!!!!:smile:

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October 15th, 2005 at 10:36 am
Irish Protestant
 14 

Having grown up in Belfast at the time of the Shankill Butchers mayhem and depravity, I am so ashamed to call such animals fellow countrymen.
Pure and simple Physcopathic killers hiding behind the mask at the time of a political actions, who in ‘normal’ times would be locked up and the keys thrown away.

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shankill honest Reply:

these ***tards killed as many protestants as they did Catholics, simply coz they liked it. there are those who hero worship them but the majority of people are decent and are as disgusted as the rest of the world. I hope they live forever hearing the screams of their victims during the long nights alone. scum of the earth

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December 21st, 2005 at 3:55 am
 15 

I.P,

I am sure you are not alone in your condemnation of these bastards. I think that history has already judged them as being imposters and their existence in no way tarnishes yours or anyone elses reputation.

Thanks for commenting.

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December 21st, 2005 at 3:46 pm
Scandinavian
 16 

I know that the IRA-member, Bik McFarlane’s, bombing of a protestant bar (where five people were killed) in the time of the shankill butchers raid in Belfast was a reaction to the killings and an attempt to hit the leaders of the gang. But does anyone know if he succeded in hitting any SB-/UVF-members or if the five dead were innocent, protestant civilians? Unfortunately I didn’t catch that (or perhaps I’ve just forgot), when I had the chance to talk to him.

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Willie Mac Reply:

Scandinavian,

Sadly you have been the victim of misleading IRA propaganda.

The bomb and gun attack on the Bayardo Bar was carried out in August 1975, some months before the Shankill Butchers commenced their campaign of adbuction and murder.

I don’t suppose Bik mentioned the fact that he killed an old man and a teenage girl or that whilst driving away he fired shots at ordinary civilians standing in a bus queue?

Thought not. Freedom fighter? Bigoted, sectarian murderer more like.

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michael Reply:

willie get youre facts right i think you will find the shots fired at civilians in bus queue was misleading propaganda by people like you.

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Willie Mac Reply:

Oh dear, it seems a bigot is upset that someone had the audacity to expose a piece of republican spin as a lie.

I assume from your post that you deny that the random shooting took place?

Do you seek to justify the sectarian murder of a pensioner and a number of other ‘non combatants’ (as definied by the IRA) in that particular incident?

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michael Reply:

i am not a bigot,the attack did happen but shots fired at people standing at bus stop did not,remember it was before youre time.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Michael,

What exactly do you mean by the term ‘people like you’?

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michael Reply:

people who read or believe everthing they are told.

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MICK Reply:

To the best of my knowledge only one known member of the UVF was killed in the Bayardo attack, the other victims were uninvolved. Not sure if Bik did the subsequent shooting, I thought he was the driver ( and team leader) but I might be wrong. Other high profile members of the unit included subsequent Maze escapee Seamus Clarke, a brother of the late Terence ‘Cleaky’ Clarke; one member escaped a life sentence because Lord Chief Justice Jones ruled that he had made admissions under torture at Castlereagh, so he got off with a couple of years on remand and a recorded conviction for IRA membership ( this was Francis Bannon-see details in Peter Taylor’s book ‘Beating The Terrorists’). The Bayardo attack was entirely sectarian and of a ‘tit for tat’ nature, the excuse that the bar was frequented by UVF personnel was spurious.

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Willie Mac Reply:

Would I be correct in saying that this attack took place when the Provos were officially supposed to be on a ceasefire?

If that’s the case, then I think one can draw their own conclusions about just how sectarian and intolerant the perpetrators of the Bayardo attack were.

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bill Reply:

The Bayardo was well known as being a favourite haunt of people with close connections to the UVF. Let’s be clear about that; there’s no point in saying otherwise. But in attacking it, there was every chance that the Provos were going to kill or injure people who were not connected to any paramilitary organisation. That’s what happened and ordinary people were cut down.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Correct. The date of the Bayardo attack was 13 August 1975. There was an IRA ceasefire that year-I am not sure of its duration-but it was heavily qualified by a statement in April authorising retaliatory attacks, which is what this was deemed to be. One of the four man Ardoyne team that carried it out ( I have identified three of them above, the other name temporarily eludes me) had a list in his home of pubs linked to loyalist paramilitaries, with the Bayardo at the top of it. That unit would have been under considerable local pressure at the time to do something, especially following a similar attack on an Ardoyne bar shortly before. The indiscriminate nature of the attack was bound to result in civilian death and injury and the Provos, particularly their political elements, were embarrassed by the accusations of sectarianism which ensued ( they sought to deny involvement originally). I do not think Bik has ever spoken publicly about it, despite his high media profile in the wake of the 1981 hunger strikes, the 1983 Maze escape and various other capers.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

The Bayardo atrocity unfolded as a gun attack on two men in their 50s/60s who were standing at a bus stop at the corner of the Bayardo Bar (Aberdeen St) and Shankill Road. Both were killed. Then one of the three Provos left a bomb in the entrance of the bar and it exploded, killing three people. One of them was a UVF man and the other two young women, one of whom died later.

McFarlane was the driver of the get-away car. He was arrested later that evening in the car with the Armalite gun used to kill the two men outside the bar.

This attack took place before the Shankill Butchers were active and I won’t be commenting furthter on it.

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Willie Mac Reply:

The last sentence isn’t like you, Bill?

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bill Reply:

What I meant Willie is that this thread is about the Butchers and not every terrorist attack carried out in Northern Ireland. The Bayrdo has been covered sufficiently here, I think, but this is a free forum and people can post to their hearts content

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April 15th, 2006 at 5:59 am
curious girl
 17 

In Martin Dillon’s book “The Shankill Butchers” Mr X is mentioned. Has he ever been identified?

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January 12th, 2007 at 7:57 pm
Pieter
 18 

Mr X was in fact Lenny Murphy himself. He was also called “Master Butcher”.

Mr A and Mr B were never identified, but i believe they were Lenny’s brothers.

Greetz,

Pieter

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February 23rd, 2007 at 9:34 pm
owen
 19 

i read books that told the story of these animals .and would you believe it they belonged to a group called the uvf this stands for ulster voulnteer force.and guess what there motto is,for god and for ulster.and to make matters worse these people to this day are regarded as heros to the loyalists in northern ireland..it is clear to me or any right thinking human being that they were phycopathic killers..and to them it was easy to pull peoples teeth out with pliers or hang them up and skin them alive….and why you might ask ..let me point out a few facts ..loyalists are taught from an early age that catholics are vermin so to see a race of people to be inferior to them then it makes it alot easier to carry out these kind of crimes..and these people call themselves soldiers..they are a disgrace to the human race..owen

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March 8th, 2007 at 2:47 pm
 20 

Strong words Owen.

We can very clearly see similarities between those vermin and the current situation with muzzie terrorists.

They are indoctrinated from birth to hate Jews and now the rest of us as well. I guess that makes it easy for them to rape, burn, slaughter infidels.

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March 9th, 2007 at 1:15 pm
 21 

I have always found the Irish saga fascinating, although I must admit I haven’t studied it in too much detail. I have read a few novels that use the conflict as a backdrop, namely “Jig” and “Jigsaw” by Campbell Armstrong, and I am now currently reading Leon Uris’ (one of my favorite authors, famous for his historical research) “Trinity”, and it seems that the tragedy of Irish history is more about (sorry for using Marxist terminology) socio-economic struggle and oppression than religion. It is truly sad that the needless violence has been going on for nearly 500 years.

These guys are just sick, twisted animals. No, that’s wrong. Animals don’t kill for pleasure.

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March 9th, 2007 at 2:50 pm
Michael
 22 

Mr. A. seemingly was Lennys brother John Murphy.

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July 7th, 2007 at 10:41 am
belfast nick
 23 

my mate was lenny murphys cell mate for a while

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Did he offer any thoughts on what Murphy was like?

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belfast nick Reply:

well he just said he was a mad bastard and once he tried to kill someone in jail so he waited untill dinner was geting served and poisoned the whole table just to make sure he got his guy

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Willie Mac Reply:

I think I read about that, apparently there was so much poison in the custard it turned blue.

Mad bastard is right.

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belfast nick Reply:

so weird you would reply i posted like 3 years ago and only got that reply the other day lol so what has you interested in the butchers

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Live in the area and was fascinated as a kid that something like that could happen in your own area.

Was just reading through old posts on the thread, they only recently added a reply facility!

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August 2nd, 2007 at 6:57 am
andy
 24 

I personally know one of the butchers as he drinks in a pub i frequent in belfast. I have also met 2 others over the past few years. Most people do not realise they are all free men now, released as part of the peace process in the mid to late 90s, though robert basher bates was murdered by the UDA on his realease, i believe by the family of someone the butcher gang had murdered in the 70s

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August 7th, 2007 at 12:13 am
carole b
 25 

On my recent visit to Belfast, i noticed a certian air of excitement – this city has been turned around and is one of the most exciting in Europe….well done everyone, be proud.

We visited the Shankill road and its hard to believe that so many serial killers lived in such close quarters. James Nesbit loos like Lenny Murphy so anyone wanting to profit by the atrocoties should give him the lead part.

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August 7th, 2007 at 3:31 am
Anna (Scotland)
 26 

Well I get so angry when people use the excuse of religion being the reasons for their actions!!!!! They get in to whatever wil be the best and easiest way 2 carry out the sick crimes…U cant learn to be a killer or a psychopath it’s in the blood and to blame childhood or religion etc is their cowardly excuse to get the min punishment.. Clearly this man was nothing but a psycho!!!!!!!!!!

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August 16th, 2007 at 7:52 am
John
 27 

Excuse me but every war or massacre in history has had the blessing of one religion or another. Christian crusades were carried out slaughtering millions with the battle cry ‘kill the savage to save the soul!’ Muslims it seems are still trying to continue the crusade years witha war cry “kill the infidel!”

Northern Ireland was not an actual religious war other than those of one political faction had historic connections to one of two religions (both christain). However one side was excluded from all civil and social involvment and thus the civil rights campaign began ”one man one vote” etc. It took thirty bloody years for Unionist domination to be defeated.

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August 17th, 2007 at 8:01 pm
mark
 28 

look i live on the shankill and have to say dont beileve evrything you read as i think i would no more about stuff like this than any of youse so wise up forget the past the futher is now

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November 13th, 2007 at 4:39 am
Francoise
 29 

As someone born of an Orange-Green union, I have no axe to grind with either side. Atrocities were committed by both denominations- all are guilty of murder if they take an innocent life, regardless of the method.

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November 19th, 2007 at 6:03 am
John Knox
 30 

The Shankill Butchers do not represent the vast majority of peace loving Protestants in Northern Ireland, they were evil evil Men.

Infact they were just like the evil men/women who perpetuated Roman Catholic/IRA violence.

Its amazing how easily people forget the atrocities carried out in the name of the IRA, like walking into a Gospel hall and shooting dead 6 people, the Enniskillen bombing where they murdered Protestant men. woman and children, who’s only crime was remembering the war dead of tw world wars, or indeed the Shankill fish shop where the ira man killed himself along with 9 other innocent Protestants while planting the bomb, or the Kingsmill massacre where 10 Protestant workmen were taken from a van and murdered in cold blood, while they let the 11 man away because he was a Roman Catholic.

Yes the Shankill Butchers were filth, but so were the men/woman of the IRA.

Its now time to put the past beind us and move on.

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December 1st, 2007 at 5:22 pm
Bill
 31 

Mr A and Mr B were indeed Lenny Murphy’s brothers William and John.

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kingo Reply:

Did Mr A and Mr B put Here lies a Soldier and For God and Ulster on Murphys stone. What an insult to Ulstermen and women everywhere. Take it down!

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May 4th, 2008 at 2:43 am
billy wright scotland
 32 

lenny n wee billy moore didn’t get enough o the taig bastards{papes} you yanks ain’t got a clue

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Tony scotland Reply:

I’m just glad I don’t know you personally billy, if you were to spout that sort of shite in my presence I dont think I could resist reacting in a heavy way. I hope people reading this don’t actually think you represent the real people of scotland. Youre just one of the wasters who falls out of a Glasgow pub when you’ve lost at football and use it as an excuse to hit someone smaller than yourself using an excuse. What a twat you are.

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Derek R Reply:

I second that, Tony. I’m from Northern Ireland and grew up there during ‘The Troubles’, but have lived in Scotland for the last nine years. I, and I’m sure any other reasonably-minded person, knows that the views of the other poster aren’t representative of Scottish people.

I’m a unionist and can say unequivocally that what the Shankill Butchers did disgusts me. Their barbarity remains beyond belief.

I do remember what it was like, particularly in the 1980s & ’90s, to be constantly bombarded by stories about people being killed or injured. I’m not ashamed to say that – in my teens – I would’ve supported the anti-nationalist paramilitary organisations.

In my twenties, I went to university and got a degree in politics and sociology and, with what I learned, I can now look back and understand how it was possible for people to get involved with terrorist gangs (on either side).

Neither the unionist nor the Irish nationalist paramilitaries were paragons of virtue. Nor were they “freedom fighters”. The Shankill Butchers, though, were something different, I think. The deliberate sadism of their deeds is almost too grisly, too horrific and too revolting to imagine or understand.

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Derek R Reply:

You, Sir, are a fucking tool.

You should be ashamed of your idiocy, but I doubt that you are.

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May 9th, 2008 at 5:25 am
Bill
 33 

“Billy Wright” Scotland…

Q: What’s the difference between Billy Wright and a Shankill taxi

A: Billy couldn’t take six in the back.

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May 13th, 2008 at 8:23 pm
billy wright scotland
 34 

old hat joke bill bit like askin bobby sands if he could go a chicken supper billy ran mid ulster bit like lenny fought terror wi terror heads on railings scare terrorists fgau

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May 17th, 2008 at 5:42 am
Pat McDermott
 35 

RE comment 1 from Patrick, yes Gerry Adams is thought of as a hero to his people, ask anyone in Ballmurphy and they will explain how he works for people in Belfast and yes he was in the IRA as were a good many people back in the day – your comment smacks of American , havent got a clue muppetry. Lenny Murphy was a sectarian mudering cunt who used the events of the day to murder innocent Catholics. Read some history Patrick or talk to people before talking shite.

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August 11th, 2008 at 10:14 am
 36 

What a typically ignorant comment Pat. First up, I am Australian. Second, I made no mention of how HIS people see him, I mentioned how he is (disgracefully) treated as a hero when he visits here, Australia.

You tell me to read some history….How about you simply learn to read.

PS…there are still those who claim Hitler was a good man too.

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August 11th, 2008 at 10:53 am
billy wright scotland
 37 

pat mc derrmotts talkin more sense than u patrick ya clown even though a dont agree wi him on all he says stick to huntin kangaroos

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August 26th, 2008 at 4:52 am
 38 

Yeah I’ll be sure and take advice from a haggis munchin illiterate. :roll:

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August 27th, 2008 at 4:41 am
Irish Protestant
 39 

I see that reactionary illiterate human beings are still alive and well, with Mr Billy wright’s inane comments on the Shankill butchers, whomever he or she may be.

Having grown up in Belfast at that time, I guess ignorance and lack of human compassion for fellow human beings haven’t progressed much in some areas of the world, with the passage of time.

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December 10th, 2008 at 5:50 am
andersonstown lad
 40 

You can’t reason with some people IP. Coming from Belfast myself, though living abroad these last few years, hearing this sectarian bile is like listening to the stone ages.

The people of the North have no stomach for fighting anymore, every time i go back home im impressed with the new positive attitude in the city. Long may it last.

Slainte

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December 29th, 2008 at 11:37 am
andrew wylie
 41 

i worked with and consider william moore a friend, yes he was part of and ran the group in murphys periods being locked up, i would like to say that i miss my friend as i have not seen him in some time now but wish him and his wife all the best. a lot is made of this group and yes i agree some of it was barbaric but take a look at what the scum of the earth the i.r.a. have done over the years in belfast and on the mainland, they to a to this day continue with their punishment beatings, knee capping, and murder and have killed more inocent people than i can imagine, and yes gerry adams (quatermaster) for the ira and that ginger scum mcguiness lord around the place and are treat like heroes, its a shame the bullits and the grenades that wonderfull day in milltown cemetry did not take out these 2 evil men. to all the soldiers of that war and it was a war should be honoured every year and thought of with pride in your heart always loyal to the queen and country. those animals have the south let them go there and stay and peace and luck to them but today and for all time if they remain in the north they are in britain so have some respect please.

[Reply]

Mrs Ireland Reply:

How sad to read your comments, that you believe that drunken men picking up innocent men and women walking home is a soliders job, and bringing them back to their drinking dens is what being a solider is, the soliders who have died in Afganistan etc would disagree as I’m sure would the MOD and their families. You are a sad sad person with only secterian hatred in your heart. But unfortunately the Shankill Road is over run with people like you. Please don’t use real soliders to justify the actions of physcopaths who just loved to kill catholics, pulling out mens teeth, hanging them up on hooks and skinning them alive is not what a TRUE solider of any country do, the British army would be disgraced to be associated with these animals and their associates. What kind of mothers brought them into the worl? I shudder to think what their mothers and families must have been like to rise such brutal people. But God had his revenge and now they are roasting in hell. God Bless the innocent victims of the Butchers and all innocent victims of the troubles.

[Reply]

January 13th, 2009 at 11:12 pm
andrew wylie
 42 

i would just also like to add after re reading some of the comments on here, these people had to fight every day of their lives and where witness to the acts of the other side first hand, not what you read in the papers as that is a tiny percentage of what went on in belfast which to any reader is a fantastic city and a place where you will be welcomed with open arms by the people there, except places like the markets where they are still all dirty living in the past scum who wont get on and try to keep the future peacfull, i have gone off on one a bit sorry, today we should be thinking of the good things that are and have happened let the past be the and stay the past, it does not need to be dragged up for people to got through again, remember there are sons and daughters mothers and fathers brothers and sisters alive today who will have been affected by what went on there, on both sides. keep up the peace but always remember if the south of irelands government ever want a fight they no what to do, but they did not and never will so to all the taigs out the sorry i mean catholics just remember that the government in the south did nothing to try and regain the north, it is ours! and if you want it you will have another fight on your hands that you cant possibly dream of winning

[Reply]

Derek R Reply:

People like you make me ashamed to call myself a unionist, you ignorant, sectarian fuckwit.

[Reply]

Andie03 Reply:

I have to agree with u Derek. Absolute disgrace. Is it any wonder there is trouble with someone like this posting disgusting comments.

[Reply]

January 13th, 2009 at 11:26 pm
Irish Protestant
 43 

Anderstown Lad,
Ditto!!
I am from the North originally and I am a protesatnt by birth, but there is no getting away from the Fact that I am Irish by definition being born on the island of Ireland.

NI was always an anachronism, a false premise, kept alive by the British to keep the two groups separate fro economic reasons.

Wylie, get with the program and come into the 21st Century

Slan!

[Reply]

Derek R Reply:

“NI was always an anachronism, a false premise.”

All nations are social constructed; they are not naturally-occurring phenomena. Northern Ireland is no more “a false premise” than any other national territory.

[Reply]

February 4th, 2009 at 6:09 am
curious girl
 44 

did Sam McAllister have family such as brothers sisters parnts and is he still a recluse. How were the members of the butchers generally received on their release within their community

[Reply]

March 23rd, 2009 at 12:20 am
scots potestant
 45 

“Spud” Moore was invited over to Scotland as a guest of honour a few years ago. His hosts were a violent drug gang, hoping Moore’s reputation would cow any local rivals. The gang was eventually broken up and convicted by the authorities.

[Reply]

April 5th, 2009 at 9:08 am
noel cassidy
 46 

it a pity moore got a heart atteck it should have been ripped out of him the can close hell now

[Reply]

Next Stop, up some dark entry... Reply:

Is it safe to assume that you’re related to one of the victims?

[Reply]

May 20th, 2009 at 9:40 am
Equality man
 47 

William Moore is now dead and his family will miss him. No-one else however will shed a tear for the loss of a cruel, sadistic and sectarian murderer. As someone who grew up in the area and at the time these evil people were on their killing spree, I am glad he has gone as he represented much of what is wrong with this country. Sadly, before he died, he was still held in esteem by the new generation of sectarian, murderous bigots who just a couple of years ago carried out a similar murder of an innocent 14 year old lad – simply because they knew he was Catholic. The people who did this were from the very place that Moore had been living for several years. I wonder was this senseless muder some sort of hero worship. If so, the sooner the rest of the Butchers die, the better.

[Reply]

May 22nd, 2009 at 7:20 am
Bill
 48 

Sam McAllister’s parents are/were decent people and disowned him as a teenager.

[Reply]

May 23rd, 2009 at 12:14 am
Watcher
 49 

Desperate days indeed. Terrible as these events were, they can’t be taken out of context. Loyalists were fighting to the death to keep Ulster British – they were the majority after all. The IRA were murdering all around the place – babies scraped of the streets into plastic bags, women, children and old men slaughtered without mercy. This is what Loyalists were responding too. Some might have gone too far, who’s to say? Some were literally driven out of their minds by The IRA onslaught.

To those who take the moral highground on here, I would ask the simple question – what would you have to done to uphold democracy, to destroy The IRA and to keep The British flag flying? I am sincerely interested in your answers.

Peace is here and Ulster is still part of The UK. The line held. Remember those who stood in the gap as the lights of freedom were going out one by one – whoever they may have been.

God Save The Queen.

[Reply]

Mrs Ireland Reply:

Well I wouldn’t have pulled out mens teeth, I wouldn’t have hung people up by their skin or skinned them alive. Do you really belive that these murders were justified? They horrified the world! Yes there was terrible things done by the IRA etc but the nature of the Butcher crimes surpassed all the other terrible things going on, they were the worse crimes through all the Troubles if you can’t see that like the rest of the world, then there truely is no hope for you, allI can do is say a wee prayer for you, Jesus, Mary and Josephy you need it

[Reply]

Intrigued Reply:

Mrs Ireland- I agree! These fellas were cowards using a black taxi to lure often drunk, vulnerable, old and defenseless victims to their death. Just like a bully they preyed on the weak.

Taking on the IRA was not on the agenda for those weakminded individuals. WHY?

Sure we all know bullies only prey on weaker individuals.

[Reply]

amusedreader Reply:

You’re dead right mate – ask The Provos – they specialised in blowing children to bits.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Some might have gone too far, who’s to say?? I think most sane people would consider sadistically torturing people to death simply because they’re catholic “going too far” wouldnt you?

[Reply]

May 23rd, 2009 at 3:28 am
 50 

i was a friend of billy moore and he is nothing like what he is being made out to be i have known him from i was little and he has been nothing but kind to me everyone deserves a second chance and unless u personally knew him dont judge him.he is dead now think of his family before yous say anything else.you wouldnt like it if it was your family being talked about like this.

[Reply]

P. Walsh Reply:

andrea…..hope the****rots in hell for what he did.and you are obviously a stupid bigot if you would class that scum bag as a friend…To kill someone in a war is one thing but to torture someone to death is another….

comment edited of unnecessarily offensive terms
Admin

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Admin, please be aware that the phrase ‘hun’is an offensive one and is used as an abusive term towards Protestants in Northern Ireland and the ‘N’ word would be towards a black person.

The words ‘fenian’ and ‘taig’ are also terms of abuse towards Catholics and none should be allowed in this blog.

[Reply]

Patrick Reply:

Thank you Willie Mac for pointing that out. I have edited the comment slightly to remove the slur.

Thus far this has been a lengthy discussion on a very emotive topic, lets keep the standard acceptable to all shall we?

[Reply]

Patrick Carroll Reply:

I already edited language out of it and decided to put the rest through! I might ban that guy if he tries it again.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Thank you admin. It is indeed an emotive issue, as are many similar topics related to Northern Ireland.

Most of the contributions have been informed and sensible, and enjoyable to be part of.

[Reply]

May 23rd, 2009 at 7:15 am
BELFAST BOY DAVID
 51 

Your comment is awaiting moderation.
i agree with andrea that everyone deserves a second chance and you all would like anyone in your family to be talked about like this

I was a friend of Billy Moore and he was like a uncle to me and the time i knew him he was a great man and he is been given a bad name you all dont know him as people like me and andrea and andrew wylie do. He was a great man and my heart goes to his wife joy and his family. So give poor billy a second chance.

Look at wot the rira has don e killed a pocile officer and 2 soldiers so no one his good.

RIP BILLY MOORE UR A GREAT MAN I AM GOING TO MISS YOU

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

[Reply]

May 24th, 2009 at 12:53 pm
Equality man
 52 

Let’s be absolutely honest here! With yourselves as much as the rest of us. Billy Moore was NOT a great man. He was a coward who carried out heinous murders of innocent people simply because they were brought up as Catholics. This Nazi -like intolerance of other groups is not great and is not something to be celebrated. That said, he was the product of a sick society where life became very cheap and he was only one of many who took lives for one cause or another. Had Billy Moore and his cohort attacked the IRA (the people responsible for the murders of innocent Protestants – and Catholics for that matter) then you may have the right to regard his actions differently. The fact is however that he didn’t. He attacked people as they walked home late at night. He and the others beat the victims senseless and bundled them into cars. They took them to a loyalist club or a Shankill entry and cut their throats to the point were they almost severed their heads. These are NOT the actions of a great man! These are the actions of scum. That I’m sorry to say is what Billy was – scum, nothing more. The world would have been a safer place if he had not been born so therefore his passing should not be regretted by anyone – including his family. You will predictably start swearing at this point and you will probably make a sectarian comment “F—- B——”. If so, I ask you a question, are you any better than Billy and the others? One thing is for sure, the people who carried out the murder in Coleraine this week were not as no-one who takes the life of an innocent person or who condones this is better than Billy i.e. each of them is scum. One final thing, if there is a God, Billy will not be sitting at his right hand side so forget about ‘rest in peace’. Heaven must surely be for those who didn’t use the excuses that Billy did to kill innocent people. Excuses sadly that still seem to be acceptable to some.

[Reply]

May 27th, 2009 at 9:08 am
american&proud
 53 

I don’t understand how anyone can call a mass murderer a good man, pretty sick. You need a clue, ignrance breeds ignorance stop the cycle, on both sides. I didn’t live it and don’t claim to understand it. The British are invaders and have no claim to Irish land and to the person who stated the Northern Irish should go South well if you want to live in Britan go there. Hate breeds hate stop breeding!

[Reply]

Frankie Reply:

(The British are invaders and have no claim to Irish land and to the person who stated the Northern Irish should go South well if you want to live in Britan go there. Hate breeds hate stop breeding!)

So much for not being an ignorant yank cunt, Northern Ireland was set up after the formation of the Free State as it was known then. Both Protestants and Catholics moved up North believing they would have a better life than in a newly formed country! Why don’t you give the USA back to the Indians!

[Reply]

May 27th, 2009 at 1:02 pm
Watcher
 54 

EQUALITY MAN -

I’m still waiting an answer to what you would have done to insure democracy prevailed and Ulster’s place within The UK maintained as was the wish of the majority. Or alternatively you can tell me what you actually did?

[Reply]

June 3rd, 2009 at 8:21 am
Equality man
 55 

Dear Watcher.
What I did not do was take the life of innocent people who had not raised either a fist or a gun to harm Protestants. I worked to help reform the rotten state that NI was. I did it peacefully and within democartic rules. In this way, I hoped Nationalists would move from support for the IRA to support for democratic Nationalists. My role was also to ensure that supporters of violence saw what it resulted in – hurt and death. The problem was that these efforts were not supported by many Unionists who held the view (and some still sadly do) that one Catholic with an education and a job was one too many and that any political or economic gains by ordinary Catholics equated to a loss by Protestants or Unionists. This was the mentality that ensured that nationalists gave support to the IRA. As a footnote, my son is revising Irish History for school at the moment and he just asked “would Catholics have jobs and good houses if it wasn’t for IRA violence?” Very sadly, I had to say they wouldn’t as the Unionist majority were not far sighted enough or were too bigoted to understand their one party state couldn’t last forever. That is what I would have done to keep the flag flying and if others had done this also, thousands of people would not have lost their lives. As it is, we have arrived back at the point that we arrived at in the early 70s with Unionists and Nationalists sharing power. Difference is, this time the Paislyites have accepted the inevitable compromise – as someone cleverly put our current situation “Sunningdale for slow learners“.

[Reply]

June 5th, 2009 at 1:49 am
gerard
 56 

I am sickened by a few of the comments from the ‘billy moore’ brigade. How can anyone say he is good man after what he did. Did you read the book? Obviously not. Says alot about you as well making excuses for that animal

He deserved a 2nd chance?! did stephen mccann a young 21 year old student who had no political allegiance deserve to be slaughtered and left decapitated by moore and his sick depraved mates? Have any of you idiots thought about the pain his family endured and are still enduring.

What about francis mccrossan or any of the many victims who were innocent normal men and women with no bigotry in them?

There is one thing that I cannnot get my head round is that Mr A and Mr B, who could not be named in the book for legal reasons, still wander the streets. How they havent ‘been got’ is beyond me.

[Reply]

June 13th, 2009 at 8:49 pm
Watcher
 57 

FAO EQUALITY MAN

Thankyou for your kind reply.

Your comment about innocent people being killed is interesting. Let me explain to you the facts of life as they applied in Ulster during ‘The Troubles’. The IRA and their fellow travellors refused to wear uniforms or other clear markings (as demanded by The Geneva Convention) when involved in military engagement. As a result it was impossible for the police and army to bring to bare their overwhelming military superiority. Thus the rules of engagement were set by Republicans. This being the case Loyalist paramilitaries felt they had no option but to target The Nationalist support base of The IRA with a view to forcing The Nationalist community to bring pressure to bare on militant Republicans to call off their campaign. Had they not taken this course of action it is possible, if not likely, that the war would have been lost, democracy overthrown and a United Ireland created. Whilst I, like you, deeply regret the loss of any human lives, the responsibility for all the deaths that occurred resides firmly with The Republican movement. It is also worth baring in mind that The IRA had substantial support within The Nationalist community and that this was not limited to them voting in large numbers for The IRA’s military wing, Sinn Fein.

You make a number of points about the nature of Northern Ireland (or British Ulster if you prefer) society, which I’ll now address. Firstly, both The Irish Free State and Northern Ireland were born in blood. The legacy of this was to create two states which were less than friendly to their respective minorities. The long term results of this was violence in Ulster and a massive decline of The Protestant population in The Free State. Both cultures were to be condemned, but it should be taken within the context of that time. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can justify The IRA’s onslaught against Ulster and indeed elsewhere. I also note that you talk about a one party state. This suggests something anti-democratic. The truth was that all elections to The Northern Ireland parliament were based upon a universal suffrage from the start. As regards Catholics getting good jobs and houses as a result of IRA violence, I wonder can you explain then why all civil rights legislation was imposed by Westminster in the early seventies, but that The IRA continued their campaign until the early nineties? Civil rights was never The IRA’s motivator, only the creation of a United Ireland against the will of the majority who lived there.

By the way, your final comment is laughable: “Sunningdale for slow learners”. The IRA campaign was at it’s violent height at the time of Sunningdale and they had no interest in it. Perhaps that comment isn’t that clever after all?

[Reply]

Jake Kelly Reply:

‘Thus the rules of engagement were set by Republicans’ Nonsense. The UVF were prowling the streets during the Summer of 1966 murdering two Catholic men and planting bombs. The IRA was not active during that period. Get your facts straight. Protestant Fundamentalists started the troubles lead by the Mad Reverend and his sidekick an arch bigot and well known lawyer. Spence and co were the cannon fodder.

[Reply]

June 16th, 2009 at 6:55 am
Bill
 58 

To Gerard: Messrs “A” and “B” are not both alive. Mr “B”, Lenny Murphy’s next older brother [John], died in a car accident in 1997. Mr “A”, Lenny’s closest confidant, whose identity is well known, is still alive and frequents his old stomping grounds on the Shankill. His 60th birthday is coming up in about two months.

[Reply]

June 18th, 2009 at 8:35 am
SeanPatrick
 59 

Seems to me as soon as the Catholic population started getting work and being treated fairly on the political level their violence stopped, this Island is called Northern Ireland, not Northern England. Years of repression were frustrating the Catholics and as soon as they saw progress on the social level they calmed down..Of course you have the wankers down in Armagh that will never be happy till all the Brits are out but they are few and far between these days.

[Reply]

June 19th, 2009 at 6:32 am
Brendan from Belfast.
 60 

again, sadly, the Americans have some twisted view that these guys are acting in the name of God and religion, Bullshit, you know nothing, nothing at all about the conflict in the North it seems. These people murdered for Queen and Country, and were sponsored by the British Army no less! As was Michael Stone the Milltown Cemetary murderer.

And IR civilian casualties are nothing compared to the CO-Alitions, so dont go throwing stones yanks. Worry about your own terrorists.

[Reply]

June 25th, 2009 at 9:51 pm
Michael
 61 

Seemingly Mr. A is Lennys brother William

[Reply]

July 12th, 2009 at 12:06 pm
Bill
 62 

>Seemingly Mr. A is Lennys brother William

Yep

[Reply]

July 14th, 2009 at 3:04 am
Equality man
 63 

FAO Watcher.

Don’t you just love revisionist histories! Loyalist violence was not really a mindless bloodlust based on an in-bred pathological hatred of Catholics, it was instead a reaction to years of IRA violence and would never have occured if the security forces had been allowed to take on the IRA (or had the IRA done the honest thing and worn a uniform as you would say). Loyalists ‘had no option than to target Nationalists’ because of the IRA onslaught is what you say, that being the case, one simple question; if Loyalist violence / murder was a direct response to IRA violence / murder, can you please explain your defence of the actions of Gusty Spence who in 1966 as a UVF activist murdered an innocent Catholic for no other reason than his religion? This person, most people would accept, is the Father of militant loyalism. Where exactly was the threat from the IRA at that point?

You miss my point on Sunningdale. Of course the IRA were not supportive. It didn’t give them what they wanted. However, if what Unionists wanted was peace and both communities committed to working this place then that was their best chance prior to now. Had Sunningdale been accepted by loyalism, the IRA’s support base would have dwindled. As it is, because the chance wasn’t taken, middle ground Nationalism is probably dead for all time.

BTW – Discourses like these are important – even if we will never agree.

[Reply]

July 16th, 2009 at 12:40 am
 64 

You blue noses (prods) are so ignorant… At the end of the day, when all is said and done, Northern Ireland will never be a part of Britain! I’s a geographical fact. It is a separate piece of the world. I think it’s funny that you Orange Wankers celebrate a war that was won hundreds of yrs ago – “By a Duchman” by the way” NOT an English wanker. You can diss the IRA as much as you want, but their actions are fuelled by years of opression.. The stories i’ve heard are horrific. Andrew Wylie and friends, you are pathetic. I was born in Australia, but went to Belfast last year and did a lot of research as my father was born there. I went to the Falls area and the Shankhill to. You know what! The Catholics have so much culture and you prods are just plain boring….

[Reply]

July 18th, 2009 at 1:30 am
Belfast Born
 65 

Roisin – I feel compelled to respond to your post. The oppression you speak of affected catholics and protestants alike. I am a protestant born and raised and proud of the fact. I enjoy a wonderful culture and am proud to pass this on to my children. I married a catholic and my husband and I ensure that they learn and experience both of our cultures. The troubles were kept going by murderers and criminals who killed and maimed fellow countrymen (regardless of religion we are bound together by that fact). The vast majority of right thinking people from Northern Ireland are appalled at our recent history and eternally grateful for the (generally) peaceful times that we live in. I am pleased that you are proud of your Irish roots and researched our history however I feel that you are romanticising your view of the IRA – all paramilitary organisations have killed and maimed and no one organisation was right to do so, arms have been decommissioned by all the main paramilitary organisations and Northern Ireland is becoming like any other country which is fantastic. I hope that you never have to live in fear of becoming an innocent victim as I and most people around me have. During the troubles we lived in fear – of being caught in the crossfire or blew up on the bus going shopping. We were innocent people trying to live our lives.
Many people in Northern Ireland are aiming for a United Ireland (my husband being one) but now they are fighting through peaceful, democratic means.

[Reply]

July 20th, 2009 at 10:07 am
Simon
 66 

People… we digress. Anyone any new info on the shankill butchers? I found this out about Lenny’s nephew;

http://www.courtsni.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/3993D351-678C-4989-8061-7E2FD3905193/0/j_j_2008NILST7.htm

It seems being a sadistic mudering thug runs in the family. ‘Mr.A’ must be very proud.

[Reply]

July 21st, 2009 at 12:50 am
Watcher
 67 

FAO Equality Man

Greetings,

Don’t you just love revisionist histories! Loyalist violence was not really a mindless bloodlust based on an in-bred pathological hatred of Catholics, it was instead a reaction to years of IRA violence and would never have occured if the security forces had been allowed to take on the IRA (or had the IRA done the honest thing and worn a uniform as you would say).

That is correct. You see Equality Man, if Loyalist violence was due to an uncontrollable bloodlust as you hint at, you would need to explain how it could be switched on and off so easily. Loyalist violence peeked in the years 72-76 when there was real concern amongst The Ulster British about both the level of IRA activity and especially about the constitutional position. Following this there was much reduced activity, tracking down The IRA’s military threat. Also, following this period, The Conservative Party was firmly in control in Westminster and took a much more forceful attitude to The Republican enemy, as during the hunger strikes and in a number of ‘shoot to kill’ operations such as Loughall, when eight IRA men on their way to kill policemen were taken out by The SAS. When Thatcher was replaced by Major and rumours of a possible IRA surrender began to circulate Loyalists once again began to ruthlessly prosecute their war against The IRA and their support base – the so called ‘fight for peace’. Once the constitutional uncertainty was clarified Loyalists called a cease-fire and ceased all offensive operations. They are currently in the process of decommissioning. None of this describes the strategy of organisations populated with volunteers suffering ‘a mindless bloodlust based on an in-bred pathological hatred of Catholics’ does it?

Loyalists ‘had no option than to target Nationalists’ because of the IRA onslaught is what you say, that being the case, one simple question; if Loyalist violence / murder was a direct response to IRA violence / murder, can you please explain your defence of the actions of Gusty Spence who in 1966 as a UVF activist murdered an innocent Catholic for no other reason than his religion? This person, most people would accept, is the Father of militant loyalism. Where exactly was the threat from the IRA at that point?

You like to choose this event presumably because it preceded 1968/69? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there had been IRA campaigns in every decade following partition and in fact the previous one (The ‘Border Campaign’), in which several people were killed by The IRA, had only ended in 1962. This is the back drop in which The UVF carried out The 1966 killings.

You miss my point on Sunningdale. Of course the IRA were not supportive. It didn’t give them what they wanted. However, if what Unionists wanted was peace and both communities committed to working this place then that was their best chance prior to now. Had Sunningdale been accepted by loyalism, the IRA’s support base would have dwindled. As it is, because the chance wasn’t taken, middle ground Nationalism is probably dead for all time.

We really don’t know what The IRA would have done, do we? Perhaps they’d have escalated their campaign, or even assassinated Nationalists who accepted and implemented Sunningdale? This would have been their mind set at that time. As for your comment about middle ground Nationalism – I suspect that role is now played by SF. :lol:

[Reply]

July 21st, 2009 at 2:35 am
 68 

Thankyou Belfast Born for your articulate and heartfelt reply. I did not mean to suggest that innocent and proud “Irishmen” who are Protestant are included in my view of ignorant and cultureless Northern Irish. Yes, my post was fuelled by the previous comments made by the afforementioned people with whom I met plenty of when I was in Belfast. I still have to take a stance on the whole Orange Order thing. I believe these people to be nothing less than “pathetic”. Because they refuse to adopt a wonderful Irish culture that includes music, dancing, Gaelic football and hurling just to name a few, they have nothing in their lives to fill that void. Belfast born, the likes of these people are holding on to a war that was won hundreds of yrs ago by a Dutchman!! Is that cultural? I applaud your attitude and half of my family in Belfast have also married Protestants. I fell in love with Belfast and am lucky to be able to live over there if I wish to. They to hold a similar opinion on things. You are right about me romantisising the I.R.A, however I was merely pointing out that had there been no opression (which you can not deny) towards the Catholics by the British, there surely would never have been an I.R.A etc. I want to also point out – which I spoke of in my last post, that Ireland is a country to itself. Separated by water and taken by the savagery of the crown and inflicted with horrific treatment for hundreds of years. (That is fact). I just don’t know how you could be proud to be Protestant, or what you define as normal Protestant culture.

[Reply]

July 22nd, 2009 at 3:53 pm
bill
 69 

[Simon: People… we digress. Anyone any new info on the shankill butchers? I found this out about Lenny’s nephew;

http://www.courtsni.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/3993D351-678C-4989-8061-7E2FD3905193/0/j_j_2008NILST7.htm

It seems being a sadistic mudering thug runs in the family. ‘Mr.A’ must be very proud.]

Yes indeed Simon; William Murphy Jun didn’t have far to look for inspiration (quite apart from his two uncles)

[Reply]

July 23rd, 2009 at 7:53 am
Simon
 70 

Bill, a murder the butchers were involved, Daniel Mackin 26 June 1976

Wasn’t in the book.

The Rosaleen O’Kane murder sept ’76 is well documented.

[Reply]

July 27th, 2009 at 11:17 am
bill
 71 

Simon: “a murder the butchers were involved, Daniel Mackin 26 June 1976 – Wasn’t in the book.”

No evidence the Butchers were involved in this, although the politics.ie site lists it [I don't know why]

“Rosaleen O’Kane” – PSNI were to investigate this but I heard nothing more about it.

[Reply]

July 29th, 2009 at 7:57 am
 72 

Can anybody explain to me the Protestant culture?????

[Reply]

August 4th, 2009 at 10:15 pm
Watcher
 73 

FAO Roisin,

Hi,

You ask about Protestant culture? Well which Protestant culture do you mean? Do you mean the culture of Protestants in Spain, Germany, Brazil, England? You see Roisin, Protestantism is a religion (Reformed Christianity) and has no specific culture attached to it. If you mean the culture of Protestants in Ulster, then again, how can one generalise? Some Protestants enjoy Orange parades and Loyalist music, others aren’t interested. Some enjoy football and rugby, others aren’t interested. Some enjoy so called ‘Ulster Scots’ culture, history and language, others aren’t interested. Quite varied really. I think Roisin that you have a very narrow view of culture – Irish dancing, Irish language, Gaelic games, etc. The reality is that in the modern world these activities are side shows amongst Irish Nationalists, both North and South of the border. Irish culture (and Ulster British culture) as lived on a day to day basis are almost identical to mainland British culture, such is the miracle of a ‘small world’ reality.

As regards your comments about ‘blue nose prods’, I think you need to get up to the mark on contemporary Republican thinking – it’s bad form to use that sort of sectarian language (in public at least) – ask SF! :mrgreen:

You’re right about Northern Ireland not being part of Britain – no Unionist ever claimed it was. It is, of course, part of The UK.

Also, William’s victory at The Boyne is not celebrated because of his nationality, but because of his advancement of civil and religious freedom.

And yes, I am aware that The IRA slaughtered children because of housing and other social problems in Ulster (or at least that’s one story Republicans spin). The words lack of proportionality spring to mind. Interesting that American blacks achieved their goals peacefully. :roll:

Anyway Roisin (is that a girl’s name?), if you need anymore help, just let me know. ;-)

[Reply]

michael Reply:

do you know any males called roisin numb nuts

[Reply]

August 5th, 2009 at 9:38 pm
Jon
 74 

Robert Basher Bates is a relative of mine.
My family know about him but have always kept quiet about any connection.
The Bates family had lived in the Shankill since the 19th century, they used to own a fruit stall in Smithfield market as well as a couple of shops in Peter’s Hill and Gardiner Street and shops in Londonderry and Coleraine.
There are quite a few Bates in Belfast, all related.
My Great-Great Grandfather had 22 children although others had much less though everyone seemed to call their sons either Robert, George or Thomas so there are many Robert Bates’, alas Basher is one of them.
I have been told he is a cousin, although i am not too sure how many times removed.
Sadly, he is not the only murderer in the family, a 5x Great Uncle was hung in 1795 for murder.
I had been surfing online and came across this site, how come there is no Wiki page for him whilst there is for Lennie Murphy and a couple others?
I do not wish to celebrate his infamy but i am interested in his story as a family historian.

[Reply]

Ms Carol Peck Reply:

Dear Sir I started researching my family history about 25 yrs ago as the same family Bates we seem to be related too few years back I found some news articles on this person Robert Basher Bates and was so sick I stopped researching I do not know if he is related but from what you say some how we must be I am an Australian and the Bates are from my mothers mothers side I am not sure where this fellow fits in but one skeleton in the closet is bad enough but this is like mind blowing what do i write or do i stop most of my distant cousins in Belfast I have not dared to ask about this criminal as they are lovely people and just getting a bit of family history from them was near impossible i had to do most on my own except for my departed aunt I went to Belfast once and Antrim as my ancestors are from there funny thing is my family there have both religions in their passed but seem to think it best kept under the carpet time to move on people its the 21st century please contact me i would be interested in knowing how we fit in the family line cp :oops:

[Reply]

September 4th, 2009 at 8:08 am
bill
 75 

Jon,

Robert Bates was from the middle Shankill. He had one sister only, so stories of his being a brother of “Ace Bates” who hires out skips for building, etc. are incorrect.

Why don’t you create a wiki page for him if there isn’t one?

[Reply]

John Reply:

Was Robert Bates the only member of the gang to show remorse for his actions. I understand that after his release he visited schools in the Shankill to warn youngsters against becoming involved with paramilitary organisations such as the UVF.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Well John, Basher eventually came round to the realisation that violence was only embittering people and creating no future for young people. It took a very long time indeed for the ‘remorse’ you mention to come to the surface [if it was genuine remorse and not pragmatism], driven perhaps by Bates’ conversion to the way of the bible. He had very close marital links to the Free Presbyterians and became one himself in prison. I’m not knocking the FPs, BTW, as this place is a broad church.

I’ve never heard of any of the Butchers showing remorse publicly.

[Reply]

John Reply:

Bill, I know that in his book Dillon was fairly cynical about Basher having found God. David McKittrick on the other hand ran a story in 1993 that Bates had renounced his paramilitary connections and was part of a Christian grouping within Maghaberry. The others apparently believed his conversion to be genuine. At that time he ran the unit which converted childrens books into braille. I’m sure I also read that towards the end of his days, Basher had also been involved in some cross community projects and Sister Genevieve had been quoted as saying that she admired his courage for having confronted his past. It made me wonder how his former comrades may have viewed him at that point.

[Reply]

September 4th, 2009 at 7:47 pm
 76 

i think lenny murphy is a sick……….

Content deleted coz we are trying to keep it civil. Feel free to repost without the vulgarities.

Patrick

[Reply]

jan Reply:

it was hard times then and each other parts are just as bad people done wot had to be done so is jerry adams and his bro kiddie fiddler

[Reply]

September 18th, 2009 at 12:52 am
lest we forget
 77 

I’m a staunch supporter of the old country, but in regards to Ireland, i’m sorry, but they’re wrong. The history of the Crown’s treatment of Ireland is appalling, and the annual Orange March is an act of perpetual humiliation. To make a poor comparison, it would be like the Japanese community here in Australia marching through our streets, commemorating the fall of singapore and the capitulation of our forces there. I do not condone the actions of IRA but if you have any idea of your history, you should at least feel some of the bitterness and frustration of the Irish

[Reply]

September 19th, 2009 at 12:15 am
Bill
 78 

I see that a Wiki page has been created for Robert Bates. Four of the Butchers now have that “privilege”.

[Reply]

October 16th, 2009 at 6:40 am
Simon
 79 

So it was the son of James Moorehead who shot basher dead then.

I recently seen a photo of Noel Shaw lying dead in a laundry basket recently, quite horrific. But there really doesn’t seem to be a lot of photos relating to the butchers, just the mugshots and that from pacemaker used in the book.

[Reply]

October 18th, 2009 at 11:45 am
stevie.
 80 

Last year I visited Belfast and had a pint in a pub on the Shankill Rd. I then walked over to the lower Falls Rd and had another drink in a bar there. My question is this…. did i make history by doing this?? Answers please.

[Reply]

November 14th, 2009 at 8:06 am
Bill
 81 

“I recently seen a photo of Noel Shaw lying dead in a laundry basket recently, quite horrific. But there really doesn’t seem to be a lot of photos relating to the butchers, just the mugshots and that from pacemaker used in the book.”

Yes, that’s right. And those above for Townsley and McIlwaine are in the wrong order! Bell and Edwards are in the Dillon book. Lenny Murphy’s brothers are conspicuously absent.

[Reply]

November 17th, 2009 at 9:17 am
Bill
 82 

“I recently seen a photo of Noel Shaw lying dead in a laundry basket recently, quite horrific. But there really doesn’t seem to be a lot of photos relating to the butchers, just the mugshots and that from pacemaker used in the book.”

Yes, that’s right. And those above for Townsley and McIlwaine are in the wrong order! Bell and Edwards are in the Dillon book. Lenny Murphy’s brothers are conspicuously absent.

And I believe the infamous pic. of Lenny (above) was taken in 1982, when he was 30.

[Reply]

November 17th, 2009 at 9:21 am
Willie Mac
 83 

Any one want to try and name the other anonymous people in the Shankill Butchers book i.e. Mr C etc???

[Reply]

January 29th, 2010 at 10:40 am
bill
 84 

Well, Mr C’s second name is fairly common in N. Ireland amongst both communities… and it’s not Murphy

[Reply]

January 31st, 2010 at 10:22 am
Willie Mac
 85 

Thanks for the reply Bill. I’m intrigued mate.

I’ve read the book and from a bit of homework and local legend I reckon I know D, G and M.

F is obviously given away in the book itself.

[Reply]

February 3rd, 2010 at 1:04 am
Willie Mac
 86 

Has Mr C since died?

[Reply]

February 8th, 2010 at 1:09 am
bill
 87 

D is mentioned by Dillon on a number of occasions; heard that was supposed to have been shot dead later (LVF connections??) but I’ve never come across hard evidence for this

G = mentioned several times and held a platoon command

M = no longer with us; shot by “former comrades” in 1996; killed Joe Donegan

F = JG

Mr C is still alive as far as I know. Guy with same surname also in Shankill UVF (brother?)

[Reply]

February 9th, 2010 at 11:00 am
Willie Mac
 88 

I think I narrowed D down to two people, based on the holiday with Mr X’s estranged wife.

D and G may have had a similar relationship to that of A and B. M, I had worked out, C is a difficult one.

You know your stuff Bill.

[Reply]

February 10th, 2010 at 11:15 pm
bill
 89 

Willie Mac: your point about D being one of two is very interesting. Initially I believed it was indeed the person you correctly identify as having a very close relationship to G (and who took MM away on hols). But I’ve come more to thinking that it was the other person about whom it’s said that he was later shot dead for LVF connections – a story as yet unconfirmed here.

[Reply]

February 17th, 2010 at 8:55 am
Willie Mac
 90 

Bill,

I based my guess on who MM ended up with in later life but you could also be right, there’s been a lot of speculation elsewhere that D may be the other person named in various parts of the book.

C is still a puzzle though – I wish there was a PM facility on this site :smile:

[Reply]

February 18th, 2010 at 5:46 am
Willie Mac
 91 

I’ve checked a few sources and I haven’t seen anything which says that one of the possible Mr D’s was shot dead.

[Reply]

February 18th, 2010 at 6:16 am
bill
 92 

Since this forum has unmasked “A” as William Murphy, I believe it’s fair enough to state my belief that “D” was Roy Stewart and not Colin Berry, Chuck’s brother. “M” was Thomas Stewart from Ballysillan: any relation to Roy? Where “elsewhere” did you come across speculation, Willie, about who “D” was or him still being with us? He wasn’t party to any of the cut-throatings but was involved in the Chloraine bar attack.

[Reply]

February 19th, 2010 at 8:39 am
Willie Mac
 93 

On other parts of the net, Bill and picking the brains of a few poeple who would’ve been around at that time.

Also, other than Tommy Stewart, there hasn’t been anyone else by that surname killed by loyalists since the LVF came to being in the mid-90s. Got that from ‘ Lost Lives’.

[Reply]

February 19th, 2010 at 9:22 pm
Willie Mac
 94 

Are you there Bill?!?! ;-)

[Reply]

March 25th, 2010 at 10:37 am
bill
 95 

Yes, still checking in and out of here now and again.

[Reply]

March 28th, 2010 at 1:47 am
Willie Mac
 96 

I’m told that Mr D (Roy Stewart) moved to South Africa a number of years ago.

[Reply]

April 2nd, 2010 at 5:25 am
bill
 97 

If Roy Stewart did indeed move to SA, that would explain why there’s no record of a person of that name having been killed.

[Reply]

April 3rd, 2010 at 9:01 am
Willie Mac
 98 

It’s all pretty fascinating. C remains a mystery though. I doubt Dillon will ever reveal any of the real names.

[Reply]

April 5th, 2010 at 11:08 pm
michael
 99 

hi has john murphy any family.

[Reply]

April 7th, 2010 at 12:38 am
bill
 100 

I recall reading somewhere that Dillon won’t reveal the identity of “A” while that person is alive [good sense, I'd say]; I suppose the same goes for “C”.

[Reply]

April 7th, 2010 at 2:05 am
Ellie
 101 

What puzzles me is they were said to guilty of more murders than proven…why dont the historical enquiries team dig into these. Wouldn’t it help with closure if some families weren’t still left in limbo. Also is there any truth that Lenny Murphy was linked to Kenny McClinton. It has been said that McClinton was Murphy’d look out in the summer of 1972.

[Reply]

April 7th, 2010 at 10:53 pm
bill
 102 

I think the two knew each other very well, both outside and inside prison. McClinton was UFF, not UVF, but in the early days there was a fair degree of overlap as the various “defence committees” were established. A case in point was Joe McAllister, a UDA man and possibly Sam’s brother as he came from the same street [anyone any info. on this?], who was convicted of the Moane murder in mid-1972.

As to other murders the Butchers allegedly did, I don’t know of any. A Butchers link to Rosaleen O’Kane is often claimed but I don’t believe it was.

What is true, though, is that by no means all the Butchers were caught/charged with the various crimes they committed – to the eternal shame of the RUC.

[Reply]

TheTruth Reply:

To the eternal shame of The RUC? Hmmmm.

They never got those responsible for Kingsmill either, did they? (http://www.iraatrocities.fsnet.co.uk/kingsmill.htm)

Perhaps The RUC and The British Army should have been given stronger powers?

[Reply]

April 9th, 2010 at 1:46 am
bill
 103 

To Michael: yes, John Murphy “Mr B” was married (to LG) and had three children. He was killed in a car crash in 1997.

[Reply]

April 9th, 2010 at 1:48 am
Willie Mac
 104 

Ellie,

It’s difficult to know. McClinton and Lenny Murphy were in different organisations although in 1972 there was more of a crossover between both and it could be possible.

The thing is, I believe there was a lot of things on Murphy that Dillon did not know, his book used only a few sources and police statements.

Whilst it is a good reference regarding the activities of the ‘Butchers’ it isn’t definitive and some of it is based on guesswork by the author.

[Reply]

April 9th, 2010 at 7:29 am
michael
 105 

thanks bill,do you know if he has a son called lenny.

[Reply]

April 9th, 2010 at 8:32 am
Willie Mac
 106 

John Murphy did not have a son named Lenny, but there is a Lenny Murphy in the family named after the ‘original’ one though.

[Reply]

April 11th, 2010 at 2:38 am
bill
 107 

To Willie Mac: Dillon had access to all police records on the Butchers but it is indeed likely that some of their non-murderous activities were not documented, since they were not mentioned to police. But Dillon had his own sources and I don’t accept your use of “guesswork”. There are errors in dates and geography of Belfast but what he wrote was factual, IMHO.

To Michael: no, John Murphy had three daughters, I believe. “Len Murphy” could be their cousin, one of the three sons of William Murphy (Mr A).

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

One of William (Mr A) Murphy’s sons is called Glen.

[Reply]

thedarkside Reply:

The son is most definitely called Len after his uncle. I know the bloke.

[Reply]

April 11th, 2010 at 6:18 am
michael
 108 

thanks bill and willie mac,do you know if lenny murphys parents are still alive and if they are do you know if they where ashamed of lenny and his two brothers also do you know how many children lenny had thanks.

[Reply]

April 11th, 2010 at 8:37 pm
bill
 109 

To Michael: why all the questions and no answers/information from you?

[Reply]

April 12th, 2010 at 1:54 am
Willie Mac
 110 

Bill,

I say ‘guesswork’ because Dillon guesses why Moore was arrested and seems to dispute the reason offered by the RUC.

Also, I think he surmises that Moore returned to the scene of the Cassidy murder after the victim was originally dumped. The timelines make it very tight for him to have left the scene, driven down the Shankill to drop off his accomplices, return to the scene, use the knife and leave – all before the police arrived.

Not totally impossible but in my opinion unlikely.

Michael: Lenny Murphy had one daughter, some people suggest there were illegitimate children but this has never been proven.

I think the comments attributed to his mother at the time of his death would suggest they were in denial about his activities.

[Reply]

April 12th, 2010 at 3:09 am
Willie Mac
 111 

Good point Bill.

[Reply]

April 12th, 2010 at 9:19 am
michael
 112 

i am sorry for all the questions,i am just interested about it all i will try and find some information on the subject in the mean time if you want to ask me any questions you are welcome.

[Reply]

April 12th, 2010 at 9:50 pm
Irish Protestant (actually Atheist)
 113 

The injustices of the Catholic church over many centuries and many injustices of the British government with their divide and conquer stategy created the vacuum in NI at the time which created the Shankill butcher monsters and many like them.
Ireland is very differnt country today from the 70s’ amd 80s when these blood thirsty bastards were wreaking their mayhem on innocent civilians.
The way forward for Ireland is to diminish the role of the religious zealots on both sides and move forward as modern socialist European democracy, a la seapartion of church and state as per the US constitution, which is the way things appear to be headed, Thank goodnes for that!!!

[Reply]

April 14th, 2010 at 1:15 am
Willie Mac
 114 

Thanks for that.

And now for the weather……

[Reply]

April 14th, 2010 at 7:57 am
Stevo
 115 

The Historical Enquiries team seem intent on just bringing the Mount Vernon North Belfast UVF unit to justice, that’s fair enough, though I’m astonished they are not pursuing some of the still alive prominent figures in this case with equal vigour. Considering the evidence. Martin Dillon in many ways has handed it on a plate to them in his book. Afterall, the ‘butchers’ crimes were undoubtedly the most vile and depraved in Northern Ireland’s history.

I wouldn’t hold my breath though. It seems ‘peace’ has been achieved at a price.

[Reply]

TheTruth Reply:

I wonder if they’ll pursue any of the ‘prominent figures’ in Stormont?

[Reply]

April 16th, 2010 at 11:57 am
Ellie
 116 

The Historical Enquiries Team has said recently in a Resolution Report over a certain 70′s murder that the reason for certain cars being parked in the vacinity of the entrance to Glencairn Park on Glencairn Road one night , was that this area was a popular area for courting couples but in those days, weren’t people maybe too afraid to venture to certain areas?

[Reply]

April 18th, 2010 at 12:43 am
DJ
 117 

Is the Brown Bear or Windsor Pub still in existence?

[Reply]

May 3rd, 2010 at 10:10 am
Willie Mac
 118 

The Brown Bear was demolished, a group of people wanted to rebuild a new pub on it as a business concern in the early 1990′s but the authorities wouldn’t support the dormant license being reactivated for the site.

The Windsor Bar later became a gents’ hairdressers but is now unused. The Lawnbrook Club lost its’ license in the late 80′s/early 90s and is now dissused.

On another point, and maybe Bill can help with this one, the young guy Easton beaten to death by Sam McAllister – at which club did the original fight take place?

I had assumed that it was the old Paisley Park but, the location where the body was dumped was quite a distance from there. It made me wonder was it in another place at Forthriver itself?

[Reply]

May 3rd, 2010 at 10:29 pm
bill
 119 

Willie: Thomas Easton was beaten to death by Sam McAllister on 20-21 Dec. ’76 outside Glencairn Social Club, a UDA den. His badly beaten body was found in St Andrew’s Church. Forthriver Rd and his boots had been removed (explain that to me, someone). From pictures in the press at the time, Easton appeared to be a small man and no match for the hulking McAllister. Sam, from a good family originally, seems to have been a lowlife who never expressed real remorse for his actions, although his (Catholic) solicitor, now a judge, said the reverse.

Lawnbrook club: wasn’t it closed earlier than late 80s (due to connections with Butcher gang activities).

Ellie: in 70s Belfast, no one ventured far from home on foot.

[Reply]

May 3rd, 2010 at 11:51 pm
ellie
 120 

bill,
you are quite right, no-one ventured there on foot – sorry, but did anyone ever drive and park there? The reason I ask is that the HET were adamant that the car that was parked at the entrance to the park at 6.15am on the morning one of the bodies was found in 1972 belonged to a courting couple even though one of the officers let slip it was said to be occupied by a certain loyalist and also that there were two other cars there about 4.00am. As recent as last summer, the ex girlfriend of mr x said they had been in a chinese restaurant that night on the Woodvale Road until 12.45 before driving to Glencairn to talk, falling asleep until they were woken by the police at 6.15 am when a member of the public found the dying man and flagged down the police who called an ambulance and began searching the area.

Ellie

[Reply]

May 4th, 2010 at 8:20 am
bill
 121 

What murder are you referring to Ellie?

[Reply]

May 4th, 2010 at 9:26 am
DJ
 122 

How about the Bayardo or Long Bar – Still around?

Any pictures anywhere of Lenny Murphy’s brothers?

Willie Mac and Bill – you seem to have a lot of info… very interesting reading your blogs. Trying to put together some recently discovered info myself …..

DJ (Dara)

[Reply]

May 4th, 2010 at 2:40 pm
bill
 123 

The Bayardo and Long Bars are no longer there. Bayardo was demolished years ago and there is a memoral there (at corner of Aberdeen St) to the Provo attack of 1975 when 5 people were killed. Brendan “Bic” McFarlane was jailed for that.

Building that used to be the Long Bar is still there but used for a different purpose or is bricked up. Will have a look.

Pics of William and John Murphy are non-existent.

Looking forward to hearing what news you have unearthed DJ.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

There will be police pics of William Murphy(aka ‘Winkie’ or ‘Mr A’) and John Alexander Murphy (aka ‘Alex’ or ‘Mr B’) as both have criminal records. William’s house at 112 Battenberg Street was raided in 1997 when his teenage son William junior was convicted of torturing and murdering a pensioner in his own street (see link at post 66 above) and bullets found-he got a two year suspended sentence, years after escaping conviction for the Butchers crimes. John aka Alex got two years for assault (see Dillon’s book) and I recall him also getting a conviction for setting fire to a rival area’s Twelfth bonfire prematurely.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

William Murphy Snr is not the “Winkie” involved in the murder of Mr Cassidy. And I’ve never heard John Murphy referred to as “Alex”. As to pics of them, you won’t get them – no chance.

[Reply]

Spike Reply:

Bill

Why so sure on no pictures of William and John. There must be pictures out there, from family gatherings, events etc. Some will surely turn up at some point. Don’t you agree ?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Yep, I can see the wider Murphy family falling over each other to be the first to post pictures of two notorious terrorists…

[Reply]

spike Reply:

Pretty sarcy post Bill, but my point is that there are pictures out there of William and John and yes there will be people even within the family that will be more than happy to profit from family pictures when the time is right.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

One of the Murphy brothers (not sure which one) bore a very strong resemblance to Lenny and played darts for the Lawnbrook darts team. William, aka Winkie, is the only surviving one now and is a pensioner in his early 60s, but he must be well known locally. I cannot imagine him living outside the Shankill, as has been suggested elsewhere here-he must have been looking over his shoulder every day of his life since Dillon’s book was published. The press took their eye off the ball not getting a photo of him when he was convicted in 1998 of possession of bullets ( found in his murderer son’s bedroom) and also at Billy Moore’s funeral this year ( who knows what crawled out of the sewers for that one), though I appreciate that there were a lot of knuckle-draggers doing security and one ambitious cameraman got a hiding and his equipment confiscated.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick: that was William Murphy who played darts for the Lawnbrook team.

I reckon he’s long past all forms of “retribution” from any party.

When convicted in 1998, he played the “I was pressurised to do it” card, which the RUC swallowed. Very little publicity about it, though.

[Reply]

spike Reply:

Well there you go Bill ! – Sunday Life 3rd April 2011. Pictures !

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Quite right Spike! Happily, I stand corrected! Now let’s get a pic or pics of the middle brother in that lovely family…

[Reply]

May 4th, 2010 at 5:20 pm
Stevo
 124 

I believe the Lawnbrook social club was still operational as late as 1992, but closed soon after.

For anyone who hasn’t yet seen the ‘Loyalists’ documentary from 1999, it’s on youtube. The butchers’ footage starts at about the 5:35min mark of this part, and continues into the next;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5VkopNPCQ8&feature=related

I’ve always been curious to know which murder the footage is taken from at the beginning of the clip, though I suspect it’s the Donegan murder. Having said that, the footage looks more like mid 70s than early 80s.

[Reply]

May 4th, 2010 at 9:51 pm
ellie
 125 

bill

the scottish man who was mistaken for a Catholic

Ellie

[Reply]

May 5th, 2010 at 12:47 am
ellie
 126 

Bill, is there a likelihood that what mr x said was true, was the entrance to Glencairn Park used as a meeting place for lovers – because it just doesnt ring true to me – Karin

[Reply]

May 5th, 2010 at 12:52 am
Willie Mac
 127 

I thought the Lawnbrook club operated until the late 80s, though I was never in it and couldn’t say for sure.

Bill: Thanks for the info regarding the Easton murder. Someone told me the fight was in Paisley Park, but there was no way the body would have been carried that distance!

I heard that there was a place called ‘Groucho’s’ which was a UDA drinking club off Forthriver Road. Had never heard tell of it until about 3 years ago, when I heard that and re-read the book I thought it was a more likely option.

Thanks for your replies Bill. Although a very gruesome subject I’ve always had a fascination with the subject. Much as the book is a good read, I felt it could have told us more about the innocent victims.

[Reply]

May 5th, 2010 at 5:36 am
ellie
 128 

Bill

in reference to last post, I had to stop mid sentence. Karin is Jimmy’s daughter the man killed in Glencairn on 20.08.72 (gone missing at Berlin Street)and it was via her I saw the resolution report. The family is very confused as they didnt know what happened until recently, then one ofiicer says one thing naming a certain person we all know but then the other officers say he has lied. Martin Dillon has refused to co-operate with the police. I am just trying to help them because they don’t know where to start to get answers.

Ellie

[Reply]

May 5th, 2010 at 7:15 am
Willie Mac
 129 

Ellie,

I believe you are referring to the murder of James(?) Lindsay who was Scottish and lived at Danube Street?

It is possible that young couples would drive up the Glencairn Road, although the Forthriver Road is a main thoroughfare and I would have thought not somewhere people would go to if they were seeking ‘intimacy’.

Disappointing that Martin Dillon did not co-operate, (if that’s true and I have no reason to doubt you) since he had a lot to say about people being at large etc.

[Reply]

May 6th, 2010 at 5:44 am
bill
 130 

Karin: I am sorry for the loss of your father all those years ago but am unaware of a Butchers link to his killing. If Lenny Murphy is believed to have ben involved, Martin Dillon (if he ws aware of it) would have said so. If he’s efusing to cooperate, is it because the “Mr X” you mention is not Lenny but somone else (William?).

As to your ref. to a Scotsman who was mistaken for a Catholic, the only one I know of is a fellow called Donnelly who was killed in 1976. But he wsa murdered in the Windsor Bar and dumped not far off, with no connection to the Forthriver/Glencairn area.

[Reply]

May 6th, 2010 at 8:08 am
bill
 131 

Further to last post: James Lindsay being miistaken for a Catholic. If so, this doesn’t quite ring true. He lived in Danube St and would be known to local people, so I assume he must have been kidnapped in Berlin St and killed by the UVF who suspected he was a Catholic. Another possible explanation is that he fell out with certain people. Tragic as it was, what Butchers connection can you bring to our attention?

[Reply]

May 6th, 2010 at 8:20 am
Willie Mac
 132 

Bill/Ellie: According to ‘Lost Lives’, the girlfriend or former girlfriend of James Lindsay was a Catholic and said that he had been warned to ‘stay away’ from her, although it does not say by whom.

May I also add my sympathies to those expressed by Bill.

Stevo: I would say the footage is from either the Crossan or Rice murders. The others weren’t dumped in back entrys, whereas Crossan and Rice were.

Although the area has changed quite a bit in terms of the style of housing, it doesn’t look like Mayo Street (where Rice was murdered) more like Twickenham/Bisley Street where the first murder took place.

There is, I believe, footage of Donegan’s body being taken away elsewhere on Youtube.

[Reply]

May 6th, 2010 at 9:25 am
ellie
 133 

James Lindsay was last seen alive at the corner of Berlin Street at 11.30pm on Sat 20.08.72. A witness in West Way drive heard gunshots at 1.55am from the Glencairn Road area and saw a car parked at the entrance to Glencairn Park. The lights came on and it drove at walking pace along Glencairn Road to Forthriver taking approximately 4.5 minutes to get there and it is assumed that the car travelled out along Ballygomartin Road and then perhaps up WestWay Drive itself.
At 6.00am the same witness could not rest and went for a walk to see if someone had been hurt. James was unconscious but alive. The witness then ran to find a telephone box but saw the police driving down Glencairn Road. An ambulance was called and James died on the way to hospital.
The police did an immediate search of the area and found a dark purple cortina parked at the entrance to Glencairn park with a man and woman in it. He was already known to police. Later in the day he was visited and said he had been in a restaurant with her until 12.45 before driving to Glencairn and talking with his girlfriend until they fell asleep. He said that a police man wrapped the window of the car around 4.00am at which time there were two other cars – an Austin and light Cortina which left after this.
This man was considered a suspect at the time and so much so that when the HET re-opened the enquiry the girlfriend was traced and interviewed. She gave a basic witness account to support him but said she did not want to get involved.
This man or his interest to the police was never known to the family until one of the officers slipped up and said that a man was seen in the area 20-30min before the murder stoppped and released by police but the girlfriend was tracked down as they were interested in him, especially in view of him being later convicted of sectarian related murders. The family had their suspicions but put their faith in the HET. Martin Dillon was emailed in America to try and give help but chose not to. The family did not automatically think it was the Butchers but a number of people persuaded them to reconsider their view – there was a possibility he was on his way to visit his commonlaw wife and child and may have been mistaken for a CAtholic so he could have disappeared in the same area and also that he was found in the same area as some of their victims. Whilst his body was not abused like some of the others there were marks on him – his body and face to suggest what the coroner said ‘rough handling’.
When the HET were preparing to give the Resolution Report there were asked by the family about the suspect and this was denied. James daughter named who she thought the suspect was and this was entirely supposition. The officer continued to deny it was him but then admitted and named him by name that he was there that night.
The HET have said they have no plans to interview him and the case has been left unsolved.
Mr x was not a Butcher but some people say he was sympathetic to their cause and was just as vicious. This is why some of the family have wondered was he Murphy’s look out man. The family firmly believe there is certain detail that has been held back by the police.

Ellie

[Reply]

May 7th, 2010 at 6:03 am
bill
 134 

Ellie: previous posts to this forum referred to Kenny McClinton as Lenny Murphy’s lookout man. But as James Lindsay was killed by the UVF, this dos not add credence to McClinton’s involvement.

But I’m clear in my mind that there is *no Butchers link to this killing.* Murphy was active in 1972 but he didn’t form his gang until 1974.

[Reply]

May 7th, 2010 at 6:37 pm
bill
 135 

Stevo/Willie: I went through the Peter Taylor documentray very carefully some time ago and the footage you refer to is definitely of the Crossen killing (note correct spelling of his surname).

There appears to be two locations shown where victims were dumped but they’re actually the same place. The footage shows two views of the junction of two entries/alleys where Mr Crossen was killed. (1) From the Matchett St end of Wimbledon St looking up a short entry between it and Bisley St; (2) along the entry from the other end (Ambleside St) of, and behind, Wimbledon St, if you see what I mean. Bisley St is the street to the right of where the second clip was shot. In plains terms then, the long alley shown in the second clip runs between Wimbledon St (on left) and Bisley St (on right).

That’s one of only two “locations” in that programme that are relevant to the Butchers. The other is a view of Emerson St (and the doctor’s surgery where McLaverty was brought). The clip that shows a view of Carnan St (IIRC) isn’t relevant to the Butchers.

The Rice killing (Mayo St/Esmond St) is not shown.

[Reply]

May 7th, 2010 at 6:51 pm
Ellie
 136 

bill

no-one claimed responsibility for James death and we are not completely sure about Butcher links so we cant say the UVF killed him or anyone else for sure. We are exploring all possibilities but Kenny McClinton’s name was definitely mentioned by HET. Either way given the fact the HET re-opened old wounds it has now prompted the family to pursue the matter.

One question, how can you be clear in your mind that there was no Butcher link? Are you going on the same information that is in the public domain? I am aware that not all the relevant informatin was made public.

Ellie

[Reply]

May 9th, 2010 at 1:14 am
Ellie
 137 

Willie Mac

with regards the entrance to Glencairn Park in 1972 – do you know if it had a reputation for people ‘courting’ or as a member of the HET put it ‘shaggers lane’?

Ellie

[Reply]

May 9th, 2010 at 1:16 am
Willie Mac
 138 

Ellie: I wasn’t around in 1972, but certainly when I was growing up it had a certain ‘reputation’…. ;-)

[Reply]

May 9th, 2010 at 3:44 am
bill
 139 

Ellie: under Lenny Murphy’s leadership, the Shankill Butchers began their operations in the latter part of *1974, their aim being to terrorise the Catholic population, not to kill Protestants. While they did indeed kill a number of their co-religionists, these were mainly through feuds and because of attacks on Catholics that went wrong. Quite simply, the Butchers as a gang were not active in 1972. That my last word on a Butchers connection to Mr Lindsay’s death.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

I meant to say “1975″ instead of 1974 in this post and no. 134

[Reply]

May 9th, 2010 at 5:36 am
bill
 140 

DJ: a doctor’s surgery is where the Long Bar used to be – just below Northumberland St.

[Reply]

May 9th, 2010 at 5:37 am
michael
 141 

ellie it could have been the shankill butchers before they were known as the shankill butchers if you crossd them they did not care what religion you were

[Reply]

May 9th, 2010 at 7:14 am
Willie Mac
 142 

Bill,

How did Martin Dillon get access to police statements, particularly those which never saw the light of day until they were reproduced in his book?

Obviously, you may not know the definitive answer but it’s something I’ve been curious about.

[Reply]

May 9th, 2010 at 9:52 pm
bill
 143 

Willie: in his book, Martin Dillon says he was given open access to the RUC files on the Butchers and thanked the relevant people for this. I suppose it was done on the understanding that he would abide by the wider law on not naming anyone who was not charged with a specific offence – which he clearly did.

[Reply]

May 9th, 2010 at 11:19 pm
Willie Mac
 144 

Another thing which I’ve often wondered was did the RUC suspect that they knew who the perpetrators of the cut-throat killings were but felt they did not have enough to have someone charged with the killings?

They say that Nesbitt suspected Murphy and that Murphy was quizzed about sectarian murders before his arrest for the Cliftonville Road attempted murders, but that there was no record of this.

It was curious that they managed to keep their cut-throat actvities quiet from virtually everyone else including members of their own organsiation and even those within the same offical ‘units’ of the UVF.

Having two women with them when they killed Fra Rice and also someone (Mr C) who it would appear was a member of or associated with the seemingly rival Windsor Bar ‘team.

All a little curious in some ways, but I for one most certainly don’t buy into the collusion/conspiracy theories that some Nationalists would suggest regarding the whole episode.

What’s your thoughts on the above folks?

[Reply]

May 10th, 2010 at 11:11 pm
DJ
 145 

Thanks for the info Bill. I’ll be spending the summer in the area – sounds like a lot has changed from the ‘old days’

Dara J

[Reply]

May 17th, 2010 at 3:23 am
GT
 146 

What ever became of Benjamin Edwards. I have been led to beleive he is the step son of one of my relatives.

[Reply]

May 20th, 2010 at 7:04 am
michael
 147 

sorry to hear that dj you must have drew the short straw, what did the winner get 6 months in jail.

[Reply]

May 20th, 2010 at 8:18 am
Willie Mac
 148 

Benny Edwards settled into family life on his release from prison and did not re-engage in paramilitary activity.

At times you look at people and how they live their lives now and ask yourself: “What the hell were you thinking???”

[Reply]

May 21st, 2010 at 9:24 am
bill
 149 

Willie: I believe that the UVF did not accept back into the ranks anyone who had served a life sentence for murder. Benny Edwards was released about 1993, I think. He’s about 60 now.

I never heard that he had renounced his paramilitary past or expressed any regret for his actions.

[Reply]

May 22nd, 2010 at 1:11 am
Willie Mac
 150 

Bill,

Don’t know if he did renounce his past or express regret.

I think to some extent he may have realised that the actions of the Shankill Butchers did nothing to help their perceived cause.

But I don’t quite think he began a whole new life in the way that many former paramilitaries did.

[Reply]

May 22nd, 2010 at 8:34 am
Willie Mac
 151 

Bill,

Would I be right in saying that Lenny Murphy’s name does not appear on any of the UVF murals or ‘Rolls of Honour’?

Would you attribute this to embarassment on the part of that orgnisation at many of his actions?

[Reply]

May 31st, 2010 at 11:26 pm
bill
 152 

Willie: I’m almost certain that Murphy features on a number of rolls of honour and possibly on a few murals (which are nowhere near as numerous as when the Troubles were in full swing).

IIRC, he appears on a platoon/unit one a few streets below where he lived after the family moved from the Lower Shankill in 1974 (when he was inside). It refers or referred to platoon no. 4 or 5, the [Butchers] one he commanded at one stage.

I don’t know if the *official UVF roll of honour exists on the Net, although you can find quite a few and numerous ones celebrated in songs and on Bebo.

I believe that Murphy didn’t so much cause “embarrassment” to the UVF hierarchy: it was a case that he was seen as being out of control and certain to be killed sooner rather than later. Bobby Moffett might fall into the same category to a degree.

His death was a relief, I think, to some of the Shankill leadership. Still, there’s a story that Murphy’s picture was displayed in the UVF headquarters above the Eagle for years and years.

[Reply]

June 4th, 2010 at 7:17 am
Willie Mac
 153 

Hi Bill,

Thanks for that info. I´m not sure if his name is on that mural, I´m thinking you might be referring to the one at Conway Sreet. I know that Noel Shaw´s name is on it but I´ll have to check that one out.

Also, I think you could be right regarding the photo in the Eagle. Think I had heard that, but have never been in there to verify (nor do I ever plan to!) :shock:

I just wondered what you thought of how he was perceived by the rest of the organisation and would agree that it was probably a real hot potato for them.

I´m assuming that you were around the Shankill at the time? What was the attitude of the community to the Butchers activities at the time it was taking place?

[Reply]

June 6th, 2010 at 11:50 pm
nic belfast girl
 154 

I knew billy when i was younger he was always nice and kind second chances should be aloud

People need to remember that it was not a simple life then some things became a way of living and for most peopl e that includes fear

there was worng on both sides but why spend all your time a nd energy biching about the past and how wrong these men were when you have scum like Adams going around like a god seaking Irish in on tv in a british speaking country maners and respect are dearly missed there

[Reply]

June 9th, 2010 at 8:28 pm
michael
 155 

i don’t think it’s right to compare gerry adams to convicted criminals,gerry adams has never serve time for any paramilitary organization.

[Reply]

TheTruth Reply:

That’s what happens when you work for The Crown.

[Reply]

June 11th, 2010 at 3:55 am
bill
 156 

Thanks for that.

And now for the weather……

[Reply]

June 11th, 2010 at 6:27 am
bill
 157 

Willie: “a real hot potato for them” is not a bad way of putting it. Lenny was too hot to handle internally by anyone in the UVF or UDA. Even Jim Craig had to enlist the Provies to eliminate him.

[Reply]

June 11th, 2010 at 6:32 am
Spike
 158 

Does William Murphy live ‘normally’ in the community. I presume that his reputation goes before him and he would be a known face. I’m curious as to how the people on the Shankill and of Belfast react to him. I appreciate that for many it’s now in the distant past.

[Reply]

June 11th, 2010 at 8:31 pm
michael
 159 

although it’s not as bad as comparing bobby moffett to lenny murphy.

[Reply]

June 12th, 2010 at 3:39 am
bill
 160 

Yes he does. Many people on the Shankill know who he is and that he has a past. Characters like that tend to be given a widish berth – not that he’s ever been one for the limelight.

But I can’t say that he’s known much outside the Shankill, tbh, though that’s a hard one to comment on. And remember, he’s 60 now.

[Reply]

June 12th, 2010 at 7:42 am
Willie Mac
 161 

Spike: Not sure tbh, I have absolutely no idea what he looks like though and I live in the Greater Shankill but I would say that if I knew who he was I would probably be bricking it!

[Reply]

June 12th, 2010 at 8:50 am
spike
 162 

last Summer I was with my wife, it was our first time in Ireland. I was staying in Belfast City Centre and we went for a walk. We ending up in the Falls. I asked the first gentleman that we came across if he could direct me to the Shankill. The man couldn’t have been more helpful. We spent the next few hours in the company of the locals in the Rangers Club and then several other bars down the Shankill back to the city centre. A wonderful day and without any fear or intimidation. Was I blinded or oblivious to any threat … or is Belfast a great place for a day out ?

[Reply]

June 12th, 2010 at 10:32 am
Stevo
 163 

I remember reading on a Belfast forum somewhere how the butchers were applauded out of the Lawnbrook before each killing, dunno if that was from a reliable source but I have no doubt the ordinary people on the Shankill were disgusted by their actions. Lets face it, their psychopathic behaviour done more harm than good to the Loyalist cause and in fact fuelled IRA membership in Belfast and elsewhere.

Bill and Willie Mac your knowledge of the case is fascinating, I wish I had more to offer, working on it, keep it coming! Nic belfast girl this is merely a discussion on some facts of the case that Martin Dillon was prohibited by law from publishing in his book. This is an anonymous internet forum.

[Reply]

June 14th, 2010 at 1:03 pm
Willie Mac
 164 

Hi Stevo,

I very much doubt that the source regarding the Butchers being applauded out of the Lawnbrook Club would be accurate since they seemed to keep their activities secretive.

Having said that, after reading the book they took a chance on at least one occcasion, when they had two females accompanying them along with someone (Mr C) who it would seem was allied to the seemingly ‘rival’ Windsor Bar unit of the UVF.

[Reply]

June 15th, 2010 at 12:20 am
 165 

Id like to sincerely thank Willie Mac & bill for sharing their extensive knowledge with the rest of us on here- truely fascinating guys! Re the puzzle of Mr C’s identity, im fairly sure HE was Colin Berry- brother of Chuck- not Mr D, who as you stated bill was probably Roy Stewart

[Reply]

June 17th, 2010 at 2:01 pm
Willie Mac
 166 

Hi Brian,

That’s interesting, as I was told the identity of one of the females in the taxi when Francis Rice was abducted and subsequently murdered.

I’m led to believe one of the women was at one time ‘closely linked’ to one of those who was not named in the book but identified by a letter of the alphabet.

[Reply]

June 17th, 2010 at 11:48 pm
Willie Mac
 167 

Bill,

I’m curious about the theft of Nat Cush’s car and its abandonment at Forthriver on the day of the murder of the JP Corry workers at Cambrai Street.

Would the police, or indeed people in the community, have linked this to the murders or did people really believe it was the Provos at the time?

[Reply]

June 17th, 2010 at 11:50 pm
 168 

Hi willie mac,
i presume youv read Dillons “Triggermen”? Though he doesnt name Mr C or the two women in the taxi during Rice’s murder, he goes far further in hinting who they are than in his original book. Indeed, id b very suprised if Mr C wasnt Colin Berry & if one of the women wasnt in fact MM- Lennys ex and Colin Berrys current partner! As she also had a relationship with Mr D, all i can say is she had a VERY bad choice in men lol.
Having said that, if my supposition is wrong please tell me. Ur posts have shown your knowledge on this subject is far above mine- im just an interested amateur on this subject in particular and the NI troubles generally.
Regards

[Reply]

June 18th, 2010 at 11:54 am
Willie Mac
 169 

Hi Brian,

I hadn’t heard of that book, but I’ll make a point of reading it.

I don’t know if MM was one of the women in the taxi, I’m led to believe it was another woman who was very close to Mr G. But you could be right.

The other woman’s name I don’t know but in the book it says she now lives in Canada, which I believe to be the case.

[Reply]

June 18th, 2010 at 9:47 pm
bill
 170 

@Willie: I’ve a feeling that the police had an open mind from an early stage about the shooting outside Adair’s and that people knew it was a loyalist attack that had gone wrong. The Provos didn’t claim responsibility for the shooting and wasn’t the car burnt before the participants “scattered” to go about their daily duties – hardly somethig the IRA would do in “Indian territory!”

Stevo: make no mistake, the Lawnbrook was a UVF shebeen and few in there would have had major problems with the Murphys’ activities. I doubt very much that extended as far as lining up to applaud the various teams in and out of the premises for the throat slashings but doubtless a few pints were bought to celebrate various “hits”.

@ Brian: I have no knowledge of the identity of the two women who were in the front seat of the taxi, nor have I sought to find out. Dillon said that one of them subsequently went to Canada. Presumably that person was *not Margaret Murphy (Margaret Gillespie as she was). Although she had an affair with Roy Stewart (“Mr D” – no doubts), she soon switched affections to Colin Berry and, to the best of my knowledge – remained in Belfast with him. But the other woman could have been MM.

Do you want to post the excerpt from “Trigger Men” in case it sheds more light on who was who?

[Reply]

Sarah Reply:

Hi Bill. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge on here..I had wondered if many of Murphy’s relatives still live on the Shankill road. Also regarding Lenny’s ex-wife, does she still live there? Is there any info on her position in relation to his crimes etc. or any photos etc.? -Sarah

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Sarah, this blog is full of stuff about the Murphy family that still lives in the Shankill area.

FWIW, I think that Margaret Gillespie/Murphy knew full well what Lenny was up to and turned a blind eye to it.

[Reply]

June 19th, 2010 at 9:14 am
Willie Mac
 171 

Bill,

Thanks for your thoughts regarding the JP Corry shootings.

One thing that puzzles me is that according to Dillon, there were reports in the media that the workers’ lorry was followed by a black taxi and the Catholics who previously used the lorry got cold feet and stopped travelling by this method.

This report is said to have been dismissed even though the lorry was tracked by the taxi.

I had also heard a story, never mentioned publicly, that the JP Corry shootings were an ‘inside job’ gone wrong, in that Murphy didn’t just come up with the idea that the occupants were Catholic, that someone gave him initial information but that it went wrong.

[Reply]

June 20th, 2010 at 2:49 am
bill
 172 

Willie: the Corry lorry shoorings were obviously an inside job. Dillon says so specifically, and that’s logically the case. So It’s common knowledge.

As to media suggestions about the Catholic workers having had cold feet because they had spotted the taxi

I think I was wrong to say that Cush’s car was left burnt out in Glencairn.

[Reply]

June 20th, 2010 at 4:42 am
bill
 173 

Willie: the Corry lorry shoorings were obviously an inside job. Dillon says so specifically, and that’s logically the case. So It’s common knowledge.

As to media suggestions about the Catholic workers having had cold feet because they had spotted the taxi, it’s strange that Dillon dismisses this. But he’s usually close to the mark.

I think I was wrong to say that Cush’s car was left burnt out in Glencairn.

[Reply]

June 20th, 2010 at 4:44 am
Willie Mac
 174 

Bill,

Although it is not mentioned in the book, I was told by someone that allegedly a second JP Corry lorry ferrying Catholic employees broke down on the Limestone Road the morning of the Cambrai Street murders.

This could well be fanciful, however it was an interesting theory.

It seems Murphy and his cohorts got very little ‘right’ or as is more likely didn’t care if they got it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. I should add that I’m not advocating violence by saying that.

[Reply]

June 21st, 2010 at 1:16 am
Willie Mac
 175 

Bill,

Re-read that section of the book and you are quite right, Dillon does mention that Murphy received info from an associate in Corry’s.

I did hear a whisper about who it may have been, but it could never be proven and would probably be too controversial to mention on here to be honest.

Having thought over my above post, Murphy knew what lorry he was targetting, but obviously his associate did not pass further information on.

A very sorry episode among many.

[Reply]

June 21st, 2010 at 11:40 pm
Brian Warner
 176 

Bill & Willie Mac,
Triggermen currently on loan im afraid, but to paraphrase Dillon he states that the woman in the taxi who didnt go to Canada was “well known” to Lenny Murphy & in the next sentence that Mr C “fancied Lennys young wife but was careful to keep it secret from him”. Then to conclude he says that Mr C was the brother of a “prominent associate of the shankhill butchers who sometimes operated alongside them.”Throughout the chapter he also does everything but formally name Mr A as William Murphy.
Not evidence that’d stand up in court i grant you, but i can think of no other inference dillon can be hinting at- save that Mr C is Colin Berry and the woman in the taxi who didnt go to Canada is Margeret Murphy/Gillespie. If either of you get a chance to read the book, please let me know what you think but 1 thing i know for definite- Dillons obviously itching to name those he currently cant, especially Mr A, and as soon as hes able he will do so all these people will be revealed eventually!

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Sources indicate that the two women brought along by Murphy, Moore, Bates and Mr.C (at Murphy’s instigation) as spectators in the torture and murder of Francis Rice were Heather McFarlane and Margaret Murphy. Lenny certainly knew how to show a girl a good time. In my day we used to take them to the pictures.

[Reply]

Bill Reply:

I assume that’s from your own sources Mick, as I’ve never seen Heather’s’ name before in this connection.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill

Yes, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s lurking on the net somewhere or other. Last I heard, she did indeed leave the country as Dillon stated and I have no information on her beyond that. Drunk as the girls ( as they were then) no doubt were on the night, it is impossible to imagine them not sobering up very quickly after witnessing what they witnessed.

[Reply]

June 24th, 2010 at 5:57 pm
Bill
 177 

Problem for Dillon is that the law in the UK preventing him for naming William Murphy and Mr C (interesting stuff being written about Mr C on here) publicly remains. Neither was charged with any crimes the rest were up on, so they can’t be named publicly – that’s the key word, meaning it would be clear who reveals their name and in what forum.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill,

I’m assuming from earlier posts that you did not have Colin Berry down as being ‘Mr C’ in the book?

[Reply]

Bill Reply:

Yes Willie and I maintain that position

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill,

Without naming Mr C, would he have been ‘prominent’?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

No

[Reply]

June 25th, 2010 at 3:51 am
 178 

Exactly bill. Dillon concludes the shankhill butchers chapter in Triggermen by saying “when the legal impediment preventing me from naming Mr. A is removed this story will become a lot more frightening.”
Id bet a large amount of money therefore that when William Murphy dies he will reissue the original book, this time naming John & William Murphy and anyone else he is legally able to. In Triggermen he does name John Murphy as Mr B- as you say bill, the dead cant sue.

[Reply]

June 25th, 2010 at 9:15 am
Willie Mac
 179 

Bill and Brian,

One of the people I spoke to told me the name of the women in the taxi. One had the initials MB, although it wasn’t the person we’ve been referring to as MM.

Having thought about this, it could have been the person that Brian has said as the person telling me may have got their names mixed up.

It shocks me that a female could be party to such an horrific act, although in saying that I’ve been reading and watching footage on Mairead Farrell this week and that’s probably the perfect example of how evil a woman can be.

[Reply]

June 25th, 2010 at 8:32 pm
Willie Mac
 180 

Bill,

I looked at a photo on the net of the UVF mural at Conway Walk.

Noel Shaw and Stewart Robinson are named on the mural, which is dedicated to ‘Number 5 Platoon’.

There is no mention of Murphy, I’m assuming that was the mural you were thinking of Bill?

Also on the same site, there are photos of many victims of the Troubles, including some of the Butchers’ victims.

I always wondered which of the victims were pictured on the cover of the book, I knew that Rice was the blonde-haired guy laughing but was never sure who the other one was. It was in actual fact Francis Crossen. There is also a picture of Joe Donnegan on the site.

It makes the whole thing a lot more vivid when you actually see what the people looked like….

[Reply]

June 26th, 2010 at 10:37 am
bill
 181 

Willie: I could have sworn that I’ve seen Murphy’s name on a dedication somewhere but it might have been on the Net only, right enough.

Yes, that’s Crossen and Rice on the front cover of the book. It came out in hardback only originally and that version had a picture of Mr Crossen in the centre pages. Subsequent paperback editions don’t contain it, possibly at his family’s request.

Brian: it’s highly likely that one of the women in the taxi was Margeret Gillespie/Murphy. I can reveal that the two women were drunk and not active particpants in what happened to Francis Rice.

[Reply]

June 26th, 2010 at 10:43 pm
 182 

Thanks for confirming my hunch bill. I was wondering if you or Willie Mac had any thoughts on other unamed people in the book? I was thinking of E, 1 of Murphys accomplices on the night he was arrested for attempted murder and eventually convicted of firearms charges, the senior UVF figures invllved in planning the Chlorane bar shooting F, H, I & J- and finally K & L, two of the brown bear team responsible for the apalling Easter bomb blast which killed the 10 year old boy.
Like 1 of the earlier posts i find it incomprehensible that people widely known to be guilty of such disgusting crimes can not only escape justice, but also walk around freely without being “got at”. Though of course saying that, law of averages would dictate that at least some of them wouldv been killed at a later date or imprisoned for other crimes.

[Reply]

TheTruth Reply:

It’s what SF/IRA wanted and what The UK State chose to give them in order to buy peace.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Sorry, you’ve lost me. Why would SF/IRA or the “UK state” want any of the shankill butchers to remain free? If your comment is a dig at the early release of prisoners under the Good Friday agreement, i agree that some of the releases left a bitter taste in the mouth- but the crimes we’re discussing here happened over 20 years previously. The Uk goverment were’nt negotiating with the IRA then as far as im aware!

[Reply]

June 27th, 2010 at 5:19 pm
Willie Mac
 183 

Bill,

From what I’ve read on the ‘net it would seem that the Nationalist community did not/does not take a favourable view towards the book.

Although clearly Dillon interviewed one or two people connected to the various victims, I think it’s notable that there is not a great deal of input (into the book) in that regard.

Also, maybe worth a mention is that a photo of Ted McQuaid (shot by Murphy on the Cliftonville Road) appears on the site which has photos of many of the victims of the Troubles.

It seems that he was murdered just after leaving a party which was organised to celebrate his promotion to a more senior position within the DHSS, where he worked.

[Reply]

June 27th, 2010 at 9:22 pm
Willie Mac
 184 

Bill,

Where there any other photos or parts of the book which were in the hardback edition but not the paperback?

[Reply]

June 27th, 2010 at 9:25 pm
Intrigued
 185 

Does anyone know how many years Townsley received or what became of him in later life?

[Reply]

June 27th, 2010 at 10:15 pm
Stevo
 186 

Willie is it the Cain site you refer to? I have to say some of their photos are not accurate. The McQuaid photo you mentioned looks far too recent, and there are 2 photos of Joe Donegan, one under the right name & the other under the next entry, a Peter Corrigan. Also, the Francis Rice pic on the book cover is used with a different Francis Rice, killed May ’75 in Castlewellan.

Seen a photo of Gerard McLaverty posing with the mentioned hardback version of the book, quite bizarre. Almost like he’s the proud author. In the same book (Hugh Jordan’s ‘Milestones In Murder’) there is a pretty graphic photo of Noel Shaw’s body in a laundry basket. To my knowledge no other photos of the butchers’ victim’s bodies have ever been released, thank god. I know I couldn’t look at them (I think Dillon stated his desire to write the book in the first place came after viewing police photos of Stephen McCann’s body). Though I would like to see more photos of the people involved. Maybe Bill or Willie could help?

[Reply]

June 27th, 2010 at 10:49 pm
Willie Mac
 187 

Intrigued: From what little I know of Townsley, I don’t think he became a ‘model citizen’.

Stevo: Yes, that’s the site mate. Funny you should mention the photo of Francis Rice.

I thought the site had the photo in the for the wrong one, but I also think it’s a different picture from the one on the cover of the book.

On the photo of Noel Shaw, someone I know came upon some of the original scene of crime photos some years ago.

They were left in a drawer of a desk by the security forces which was subsequently left out to be dumped (the desk). They obviously did not check the desk before they dumped it!

The person disposed of the photos soon after finding them.

[Reply]

June 28th, 2010 at 8:30 am
bill
 188 

Willie: IIRC, only Crossen and Rice were missing from the paperback version. Mr Crossen’s photo was a full page one, a pleasant looking man in his 30s with longish hair at the back.

I’ve a feeling that I’ve seen a pic. somewhere of Ted McQuade in a dress suit, pictured at a wedding maybe.

Townsley is living in the lower Woodvale area. I’ve a feeling he served about 13 years.

As to some of the other aliases used, “Mr E” I don’t know but think Dillon also makes a mistake in referring to him as “Mr H”. He wasn’t part of the Lawnbrook/Brown Bear team.

“Mr F” was John Graham, current UVF Chief of Staff.

“Mr G” was Chuck Berry.

“Mr M” was Tommy Stewart.

And here’s a biggie: “Mr I”, the commander of the 1st battalion of the UVF who provided the guns used in the Chloraine Bar shooting, was Hugh Casement, from Agnes St, I think.

[Reply]

June 28th, 2010 at 9:06 am
Willie Mac
 189 

That’s very interesting Bill, thanks.

I was actually told a story recently by a loyalist source that not everything in the statements made by the Butchers’ was true and that in actual fact on some occasions the knives and guns weren’t provided by Mr A.

Not sure if this is at all correct, but I might go back and ask about this in more detail at some point.

[Reply]

June 28th, 2010 at 10:48 am
Willie Mac
 190 

Bill,

Just a thought, but could E have been Dessie Balmer since he was a known ‘operator’ to use paramilitary parlance and was closely involved with Chuck Berry and Roy Stewart it would seem.

[Reply]

June 28th, 2010 at 10:51 am
 191 

You guys seem to be having a good old chat here, thats cool. I was wonderin if I might interrupt to ask what you think of the “threaded comments” thing. ?

[Reply]

Patrick Carroll Reply:

I like it a lot, another genius move Patrick!

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

It’s a welcome move as a lot of other forums include this feature.

[Reply]

Bill Reply:

Yes Patrick, this is a welcome addition to the forum and well done on adding it.

It can only enhance what is by some way the premier discussion thread on the Net about this particular topic. Thanks for keeping it open.

[Reply]

Patrick Reply:

Thanks for the compliment Bill, I’m sure the other Patrick who posted this is well pleased with his creation.

Perhaps this thread will attract even more attention if/when a movie about it all comes out.

[Reply]

Patrick Carroll Reply:

Indeed, I’m well pleased with this. I have been following it with interest from the beginning. This was one of my very first posts on this blog!

Long may this continue!

[Reply]

June 29th, 2010 at 5:07 pm
Intrigued
 192 

It’s hard to believe that the Butcher’s code of silence was so strong that many of the initials mentioned in the bookwere never brought to justice.

[Reply]

July 1st, 2010 at 7:32 am
Intrigued
 193 

Does the Murphy family still live in and around Brookmount street?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

> It’s hard to believe that the Butcher’s code of silence was so strong that many of the initials mentioned in the bookwere never brought to justice.

Not really that, more so that people were sh*t scared of the Murphy brothers. And some of those not charged (like “Mr C”) escaped due to RUC incompetence/lack of resolution in oursuing the case. Others got off for lack of evidence good enough for court. And others were UVF top dogs.

AFAIK, only a niece of Lenny lives in the area now.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

At the time William Murphy junior murdered a pensioner in his own street(1997-he was a teenager at the time) during a burglary, he lived with his father (Mr A) at 112 Battenberg Street. Joyce and Bill Murphy lived at 2 Brookmount Street.

[Reply]

unkown Reply:

theres more than the niece lives in the erea and thats a fact

[Reply]

July 1st, 2010 at 7:34 am
bill
 194 

Correction to the info. I gave about Townsley: he is, or was until recently, living off Lawnbrook Avenue.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

And was working in the paint shop at Short’s.

[Reply]

July 2nd, 2010 at 11:50 pm
Stevo
 195 

BBC making a documentary on the Shankill Butchers, to be screened late this year or early 2011.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

How did you hear about this Stevo?

[Reply]

July 4th, 2010 at 1:49 am
Stevo
 196 

Why erase my comments? All I said was the BBC are doing a documentary on the shankill butchers case… to be broadcast soon.

[Reply]

July 4th, 2010 at 10:02 am
 197 

Nobody erased your comments Stevo. It’s comment 195.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

I apologise patrick…. sorry it went from ‘this comment is awaiting moderation’ then vanished, then reappeared. Thought it had been censored.

Back to the subject… Bill scroll onto page 13 of this pdf document, there’s mention. Hopefully should uncover some facts we’ve all been hazy on.

[Reply]

July 4th, 2010 at 10:23 am
Willie Mac
 198 

Bill,

I must admit that your knowledge on this subject is extremely impressive.

To your knowledge, what is the highest rank that Lenny Murphy held within the UVF?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

This is a very good question Willie. Getting military equivalents of the UVF command structure is not easy but I’d say that Murphy held the rank of captain. As one of five platoon commanders in “A” Company, he’d have been a lieutenant, I believe. When he came out of prison in 1982, wasn’t he more senior, though perhaps not as high up as, say, Frenchie Marchant? The latter was later to hold the rank of major as no. 2 in the 1st battalion.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill,

I was led to believe that he held the rank of Batallion Commander or possibly a member of ‘Brigade Staff’ at some point, although I don’t know if this was in the 1970s or when he was released from prison in 1982.

I think someone said he was Batallion Commander for around a year, which would have had to have been in the mid-1970s.

My guess, and taking into account your knowledge, I would agree it was most likely in 1982.

I think within UVF structures, a ‘Company Commander’ holds rank of Major, though this could be wrong. It could well be Captain.

As you say, a Platoon Commander isn’t a Company Commander although some platoons may well have as many members as other ‘Companies’.

Stange that they would have him in such a senior position though when by all accounts he was a complete maverick.

He seemed to have gone completely off the rails in the few months between being released from prison and his death.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie: I would def. bow to your superior knowledge of UVF command structures.

Working from the top down, let’s see what we come up with.

Chief of Staff = brigadier-general (that’s definite)

Other top dogs (say Billy Hutchinson) full colonel

Brigade Staff members = lieutenant-colonel (e.g. Trevor King, who represented West Belfast on the Brigade Staff)

Battalion commander: probably also a lieutenant-colonel

Battalion ADC (e.g. Marchant): major

Company commander: either major or captain

Platoon commander: captain or lieutenant

Captain is one rank that you see only rarely in the modern UVF. The only one I know of is a fellow from East Belfast who blew himself up near the Docks area in 1977, I think.

Putting that all together, I can see that Murphy might have gone as high as a major but I don’t think any higher. And that UVF probably awarded equivalent ranks to senior figures who didn’t hold command responsibility but were long-time members – like Murphy.

I’d be fairly sure that Murphy’s seniority must have been at the time when he’d been in the UVF for the longest, i.e. 1982.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill

Interestingly, Lenny’s closest friend during the last five months of his life when he was released in July 1982 prior to being killed in November of the same year, held the rank of Provost Marshal of the UVF, ie the late James ‘Nigger’ Irvine. If any credence can be given to the evidence of former UVF supergrass William ‘Budgie’ Allen, Lenny and ‘Nigger’ were supposed to kneecap the late Rab Robinson ( a UVF man, like his late son Brian Robinson, and engaged at the time to Budgie’s sister) in October 1982 but were too drunk at the time so a couple of foot soldiers did it on their instructions. The foot soldiers-John Tweedie and Robert Spence, a nephew of Gusty-got done for malicious wounding, possession of firearms with intent and UVF membership, so in theory anyway Lenny could have been back in jail rather than shot dead in November 1982.

[Reply]

Intrigued Reply:

If others held a position/rank much superior to his why was his behaviour tolerated for so long? I have read that even Gusty Spence (O.C at the time in the Maze) had problems over his compliance to rules and regulations.

[Reply]

July 4th, 2010 at 12:11 pm
Intrigued
 199 

I guess the documentary will be based largely on the book as it would not be able to make inferences regarding the other participants.

I wonder why after so many years the BBC are interested in making such a documentary?

It’s not exactly a pleasant thing for the families of the innocent victims to be trawled through again.

[Reply]

July 4th, 2010 at 9:38 pm
Willie Mac
 200 

Bill,

Murphy seemed to have gone completely off the rails in 1982 (to be fair, he was probably never on them to start with…)

In the weeks between the murder of Joe Donegan and Murphy’s own demise, he seemed to have been inactive. Dillon puts this down to Murphy becoming very security conscious.

Is there a possibility that he may have been disciplined by the UVF or warned about his activities by his own organisation at that point?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Willie Mac,
Its clear that in the weeks leading up to his death it was certainly made clear to Murphy by some senior UVF figures that he was “no longer in favour” at the very least. But there was another reason he knew the end was approaching; apparently the IRA- well aware of the identity of “Mr X the master butcher”- were making telephone death threats to him. At 1 stage he had the audacity to phone the police to ask for protection, believe it or not! Wish i could remember where id picked up that gem- it was in some book, not off the net…..

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

That’s very interesting Brian, thank you.

I was also led to believe that he had been ‘disciplined’ at some point by the UVF, although not sure at which point in 1982 this was.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

It was ‘Murder Madness, by Alan Simpson, former senior CID man who had another book our recently.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

I think that Lenny Murphy inspired fear in most people he met and that “disciplining him” was easier said that done. Murphy’s brothers, who were middle rankers after all, and possibly other sympathisers in the UVF hierarchy, closed ranks and prevented any action being against him – even when he was “going off the rails” in 1982, as Willie says.

Yes, he was relatively quiet in the period up to his death but that was only 3 weeks after Mr Donegan was killed.

I believe, too, that a fair section of the UVF leadership didn’t want a return to the grisly sectarian war that seemed inevitable with Murphy on the loose again, and was relieved when he was killed. Giving him a hero’s send-off had to be done to save face with the rank and file.

Didn’t Dillon mention a dispute with some of the leadership of his MO in 1982?

Brian: the titbit about Lenny phoning the police to say that he had received a call saying: “Leonard, we’re coming to get you”, is from Alan Simpson’s book “Murder Madness”.

That Lenny was known to be the “Master Butcher” was no secret, certainly not up the Shankill and clearly not in Republican circles either. And the Sunday World kept referring to him indirectly from the late 70s right up to his death.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

I meant to say “about his MO in 1982″, i.e. over the way he was going about things.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Has anyone managed to turn up any info regarding Murphy being disciplined by the UVF in 1982?

I am led to believe it was not for anything related to the murder of Donegan or other such murderous activites…

[Reply]

July 8th, 2010 at 8:37 am
Willie Mac
 201 

Bill,

Is the killing of Jimmy Galway by Murphy in September 1982 mentioned in any of the versions of the book?

It doesn’t get a mention in the version I have.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

This is the first time I’ve seen the name of the man from the Ballymena area Murphy supposedly killed in autumn 1982 (another personal; disptute, wasn’t it?). I think it might have been the journalist Jim Cusack who first reported this story but there’s not much about it on the Net and I don’t recall the incident in any book I’ve ever read.

[Reply]

July 17th, 2010 at 8:43 am
Willie Mac
 202 

Jimmy Galway was from the Lower Shankill, he was asked by Murphy to accompany him to Brougshane, where they went to a building site.

Upon their arrival, Murphy produced a gun and shot Galway point-blank in the head and had him buried on the site. The body was found more than a year later.

Jimmy Galway was said to be involved or had been involved in the UVF and it is alleged by loyalist sources that it had been discovered that he was working for the police.

Upon his release from jail, Murphy was told about this and decided to kill Galway, since he was killing people at the drop of a hat at that stage…

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie: well done on bringing this to our attention. To expand slightly on what you wrote, Murphy did indeed kill Galway (33), from Shankill Parade. The victim seems to have travelled willingly (?) with Murphy to Broughshane in late August 1982. The man without a soul then shot him immediately in the head (as he had done with Pavis ten years before). Galway’s decayed body was found after several days’ search of the site in Oct. 83, following info. provided by someone already in custody for other charges [possibly named by one of the early supergrasses]. I surmise that the informant only acted with it being fairly safe to do so as Lenny had met his end by that stage. Interestingly, Galway’s disappearance may never have officially been reported to the police, although the family contacted loyalist groups and were advised to do just that. That could suggest that they knew, or were told, of Murphy’s involvement in Jimmy’s murder but (sensibly) were afraid to do anythng about it. But why not act after Murphy was killed?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I’m led to believe that Galway confessed to his working for the police, but those who obtained the confession did not act upon this admission.

At which point this confession was made and why the UVF did not act at that time, I do not know. Not advocating that he should have been killed, by the way.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

As the UVF was always riddled with people working for the police, etc, suspicion of being an informer wouldn’t have been enough to see him killed unless his actions had led to the death of others or weapons seized or men arrested. To illustrate this, the UVF chief of staff himself, Jim Hanna, was killed by a kangaroo court in April 1974 after it was discovered he had given the police info. about weapons which led to arrests, inc. Joe Bennett. Furthermore, Colin Craig, shot dead in the ambush that also killed Trevor King in the 90s, was later obliterated from UVF rolls of honour etc. But although suspected of being an informer, at the time of his death he was free enough to walk abut the Shankill although under so-called “house arrest” from the UVF. I’d say that his posthumous removal from favour was the UVF being high and mighty about informers, even though he obviously had no part in his own death at the hands of republicans.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill,

I wasn’t aware that Jim Hanna was actually the head of the UVF. That must have been a ‘big event’ in the Shankill at that time.

According to Lost Lives, it was speculated that he was killed by ‘Frenchie’ Marchant, although the book ‘The Red Hand’ by Professor Steve Bruce, I think, suggested that he was shot by someone known as ‘The Dog’.

Must try and look that book out again.

[Reply]

July 18th, 2010 at 1:01 am
michael
 203 

i think MR A has a third son called lenny. i think he works in a factory on the springfield road.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Yep, that could very well be true (middle of three boys of William Snr). Older brother in prison for murder, younger brother’s first name starts with K. Hopefuly the younger boys will avoid the ways of their elders, even if it’s in the genes.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Hi bill, your last comment’s got me pondering that age old question of nature vs nurture. Offhand its difficult to think of a family more rotten to the core than the Murphys, with the possible exception of lennys reclusive father. I was just thinking that lenny murphy is probably unique in that iv NEVER heard a single good word said about him by anyone not related to him- even Fred West managed a few comments on the lines of “He seemed so charming, we’d never have guessed he was a killer!”
It’d be fascinatiing to know a) how he got to be the way he was and b) how he was as a man day to day, ie when not sadistically killing people

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Brian,

That is that bit that fascinates me, too.

We know what’s in the book, but what do we know about what’s not in the book.

I don’t dispute most of Dillon’s assertions and it’s a good book but there are things which aren’t known by the author.

One thing that has got me thinking, Billy Moore said he threw the knife away after killing Francis Cassidy. The knife it seems was never found.

Are we to assume that Moore was lying and that the knife was returned to Mr A, who got rid of it when he heard that his cohorts were arrsted?

Or did Moore really throw it away with the intention of bringing the throat cuttings to and end?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Actually, I did hear someone say a good word of Murphy, but he too was a convicted killer so it was hardly a great endorsement….

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Brian

When Lenny’s funeral was covered in the Sunday News ( precursor of the Sunday Life), one journalist made the comment that Lenny was good with children. She subsequently told me that they made that up, because they could not find anything credibly good to say about him! Despite Lenny’s popularity with young loyalist Turks and certain women, he and his team were widely disliked within the UVF itself and the reason they used knives was, on occasions anyway, that the UVF hierarchy refused to give them access to guns.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

If you read the link at post 66 above, the trial transcript reveals that William Murphy had a son called Glen, who was younger than convicted murderer William junior. That was in 1997, when they lived at 112 Battenberg Street (don’t know if they still do). I think William junior is out of jail now-someone of the same name and age with a Shankill address was sacked a while ago from a security job at the Victoria Centre, Belfast, for grossly sectarian behaviour. He took an unfair dismissal case to an Industrial Tribunal and won it on a technicality ( correct procedures were not followed) but did not receive a penny in compensation. As regards the late Lenny-he had a certain charisma,as sociopaths often do.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

William Murphy is still in prison and the younger brother is named Len, not Glen.

I don’t think that Mr A had a third son, only two.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

No Willie, there is definitely a third son, the youngest boy. See my post above.

Mick: Wm Murphy Snr no longer lives at 112 Battenberg St – again see my earlier posts on this.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

Very interesting Mick. Though it does sound remarkably similar to the recent Billy Hunter/Asda case. Is it a reliable source you got the info from?

William Murphy jr was sentenced to 17 years in 1999 for the pensioner’s murder, but take away time spent on remand and for good behavior etc. it is conceivable he may have already been released.

Incidentally, I believe RTE screened a half hour program on the murder of Andrew Spence back in 2000, and showed how police gathered the evidence that convicted Murphy, did anybody catch this at the time?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

The industrial tribunal case taken by William Murphy was covered in the Sunday Life on 7 February 2010( it’s on the web) and it can be read in full by members of the public at the industrial tribunal office at its new office in the old Gasworks site, Belfast (address is in phone book). He was only in the job just over a year so could well be the murderer out early, as surmised. Could it also be the ame William Murphy, similar age, of Snugville Street who was done for benefit fraud a while before this?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill/Mick,

Have done a bit of research, the Murphy beginning with a ‘K’ is actually Mr A’s grandson.

[Reply]

July 26th, 2010 at 12:21 am
michael
 204 

i think catholics who worked with murphy when he drove a van for a glass company on the shankill thought murphy was a nice guy,little did they know if he met them outside off work he would have slashed their throats.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Michael,
thanks for that titbit. I can well imagine that, like most psychopaths, Lenny could be charm personified when it suited him. As Dillon states, when playing his “man about town” role he was a popular guy in Belfasts bars and clubs.
Willie Mac,
As you say, who can definitively answer the question of the missing knife? But perhaps another indicator that Moore was tiring of the bloodshed was him leaving MacLaverty alive! Somehow I cant imagine Murphy doing the same, can you?
And in comparison to the others he did fold relatively quickly under police interrogation….
I dont want anybody to misunderstand, William Moore was clearly a sadistic, evil murderer! But unlike Lenny he seemed to realise deep down how repulsive his actions were- maybe that makes him worse in a way!

[Reply]

July 29th, 2010 at 5:49 pm
Willie Mac
 205 

Brian,

I tend to agree with that in some ways.

The length of time spent holding Gerry McLaverty seemed unusual as the Moore and his cronies usually picked the victim up, viciously beat the person and killed them in a relatively short space of time.

The whole thing of beating him with sticks, choking him with a bootlace and cutting his wrists (not to mention the offer of tea) seems bizarre in comparison to their other abductions.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Willie Mac,
I agree re the entire Maclaverty abduction- & iv just thought of something else. In all 3 of Moore’s throat cuttings he appeared noticably reluctant to do it whilst the victim was still alive, in stark contrast again to Murphy!
It was as if that was a final taboo he felt uncomfortable breaking.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I thought that too, although he did leave Stephen McCann in an horrific state despite shooting him before cutting his throat.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

The Butchers trial came to the conclusion that Moore instigated numberous prolonged and excruciating torture sessions-he was the driving force for this modus operandi in Murphy’s absence while he was in jail. Moore was diagnosed as an agressive psychopath but this was not made public at the time,according to Martin Dillon. He died a painful death, apparently-pancreatic rupture, caused by alcoholism. According to the Sunday World, Eddie McIlwaine was operated on for stomach cancer recently, having been jailed again for driving offences and shot in the arm by an IPLO hitman since his release from jail for his Butchers activities. Dead, of course, are two Murphy brothers, Bates, Mr. M ( Tommy Stewart, shot by the UVF when he defected to the LVF) and I think Hugh Casement (Mr. I in Dillon’s book); Winkie Murphy is since his suspended sentence in 1998 a convicted criminal, despite his success in avoiding justice for the Butchers activities, and his son is a convicted murderer; Mr. C ( Colin Berry), of the old Windsor Bar team but an accomplice in some of the Butchers atrocities, was exposed and photographed in the Sunday World for something or other not so long ago; John ‘Bunter’ Graham ( Mr F) has of course been exposed as a paid tout since he rose to Chief of Staff of the tout-ridden UVF, and photographed in the Sunday World; William Townsley is living in Lawnbrook Avenue and working in the paint shop at Shorts;Sam McAllister remains reclusive since being beaten to almost an inch of his life by some UDA associates of Curtis Moorehead, whose father was murdered by McAllister, Bates and Moore and who is reputed to have shot Bates ( whose grandson was recently run out of the Shankill for paedophile activities) but Sam is still seen sometimes in the Rex Bar and new Lawnbrook Club, I hear. James ‘Tonto’ Watt has reportedly turned to God and married some other nouveau Christian ex-jailbird. Benny Edwards married a woman called Rose, I hear, but don’t know where thet are right now. Any news of any of the other lowlifes, eg Artie McClay, David Bell,etc. or any of the unidentfied members of Martin Dillon’s alphabet soup ( Mr. K, Mr. L, etc? Or Margaret Murphy ( now with Colin Berry), or her daughter Lynn? Or players not in Dillon’s book, such as Gorman McMullan, a member of Murphy’s team (who told Peter Taylor when interviewed for his book ‘Loyalists’ that the Butchers were ‘nice lads’), who now sometimes lectures on the Somme? The Sunday World says he is now living in East Belfast and claimed he was the UVF gunman in the Louhinisland bar massacre. Or Samuel ‘Mambo’ Carroll, driver of the car containing Brian Smyth when he was being set up for murder by Murphy, and a chief suspect in the murder of Seamus Ludlow as well as a jailbird in England for GBH since fleeing there?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Benny Edwards wife is not named ‘Rose’, Mick.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie, at one stage he was definitely married to or living with a girl named Rose; but things may have changed.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I don’t think that is the case now, but I accept that you’re right. :grin:

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

I hear he had an address in Lawnbrook Avenue in recent times (no. 84)….don’t know if he’s still there.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I’m pretty sure he’s living elsewhere in the Shankill these days.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

I heard his partner is called June now. I’ll dig out his current address and those of the other surviving Butchers sometime when I get a chance. I understand that some at least have not wandered far from their roots but one no-one seems to know anything about these days is Artie McClay. Presumably he disappeared back to Antrim, but I’ll make some enquiries in due course.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

The murder of Jospeh Morrissey was a throat-cutting, however the books states that this was only because Moore was unable to obtain a gun from Mr. A.

Otherwise it’s likely that Moore would’ve shot the victim first. This is, of course, an assumption on my part.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Willie Mac

The quickest death of the Butchers’ torture victims-that of Francis Crossen- took an hour and a half, according (I think) to Benny Edwards, some of the others were a lot more prolonged and gruesome. Other paramilitaries attracted psychos with a relish for torture killings also-the UDA had the likes of Albert ‘Ginger’ Baker, Ned McCreery, and others too numerous to mention; the Red Hand Commando founder John McKeague, a homosexual paedophile, encouraged his entourage of assorted catamites and borderline retards from the old Tartan gangs to torture their victims; the Provos had their ‘nutting squads’ consisting of the most vicious goons on the books, most often, and the INLA the likes of Dessie The Border Fox’ O’Hare…..and so on.
Popular opinion would put the likes of Lenny Murphy and Billy Moore at the top of this virulent tree, however, with their predilection for the use of knives, hatchets, blow torches, nail-studded clubs, etc. One myth concerns the use of pliers by Lenny in the torture and murder of Joe Donegan; according to Alan Simpson in his highly credible book ‘Murder Madness’, the victims teeth were knocked out by the ferocity of the attack by the spade wielding Tommy Stewart ( who went on to lead the North Belfast UVF before being shot by them for aligning himself with the LVF during one of the feuds)>

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

The shortest an hour and a half Mick? If that is true then that is by far the most horrific fact I’ve ever read about the butchers. Sorta wish I didn’t know that now. I would’ve thought the time from snatching the victims to collecting the murder weapon from Mr A then to dumping the body wouldn’t have taken no more than half an hour. That is truely chilling… something which Dillon never stated in the book. RIP the poor victims.

Dillon does state that when when Joe Donegan’s body was found, tv cameras recorded the scene around Brookmount Street and showed Murphy along with other spectators looking down the alleyway. I wonder if that footage is still obtainable from the archives.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Stevo

My source for the hour and a half being the shortest time for a Butchers abductee to die was Dillon in his book ‘The Trigger Men’. It was actually Cassidy rather than Crossen who had that dubious distinction and the information was corroborated according to Dillon by various Butcher gang members when they were grassing each other up under interrogation, in very unsoldierly fashion.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Not sure if this is right as Stephen McCann’s body was found less than one hour after he was snatched while walking with his girlfriend.

Where is the ‘torture’ supposed to have happened? I’m assuming that it took place in the rear of the vehicle in which the victims were being held?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Willie Mac: fair point re Stephen McCann, his murder was as cruel, obscene and pointless as any of the others-he was little more than a boy at the time, and his then girlfriend was traumatised for life-but going by Dillon’s account, it all took less than an hour. I made a mistake re my source, it wasn’t ‘The Trigger Men’ but a book entitled ‘UVF:The Endgame’ by Jim Cusack and Henry McDonald. Both authors are eminent journalists with high level contacts in the UVF and other paramilitary organisations. At page 181 of the Poolbeg paperback edition it states: “In statement evidence later, the Butchers confirmed that Cassidy’s was the quickest death. The abduction, beating, torture, shooting and near decapitation with a butcher’s knife took place in under ninety minutes. The others’ torture lasted longer.”

[Reply]

July 30th, 2010 at 9:19 pm
bill
 206 

I’m convinced Sam Carroll set up Bryan Smyth for shooting by Lenny Murphy in 1982.

Thanks Mick for the summary of much of what’s already on this blog + some new titbits.

I repeat, though, what I said about the “Winkie” involved in the abduction and murder of Mr Cassidy *not being William Murphy Snr and that Mr C is *not Colin Berry.

And I’m pretty sure thar Mr E/H (Dillon gets the same person confused) was not Dessie Balmer. A reliable source tells me he was called Roy or Ray.

Spike@ can’t believe that William and John Murphy’s pictures will appear on the Net during the former’s lifetime.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill

I agree that Dessie Balmer ( now dead) was not Mr. E/H but Dillon at least is convinced that Mr. C was Colin Berry. William ‘Winkie’ Murphy was involved in the Cassidy murder through supplying the knife and gun used even if he was not the ‘Winkie’ in the car, but it is difficult to imagine anyone outside the Murphy clan inspiring such fear in Moore and the others that they would not name him, even whilst singing like a canary. Some interesting insights into Lenny in a couple of books, incidentally-’Murder Madness’ by Alan Simpson, mentioned in previous posts, and ‘Killing for Britain’ by ‘John Black’ ( rumoured to be a pseudonym for the late UVF supergrass Joe Bennett). On William Murphy junior-technically he could be out of jail by now, I am just curious as to how many rancid bigots of that name could feasibly be resident in the Shankill. The benefits fraud case could have been Sydney Street rather than Snugville-not 100% sure.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick, I assume we’re talking abour Balmer Jnr, not Snr? Wasn’t the former, a UVF man like his da, done or tried for the murder of Shore Road UVF man Sandy Frame in 1976, even though it was a UDA man (Symth) that started the rqw that led to Frame’s death on the Shankill?

I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that the Mr C whom Dillon all but named as Colin Berry in the “Trigger Men” book is different from the Mr C in his book about the Butchers. So Dillon got completely the wrong end of the stick in that regard. Why, is a question only Dillon can answer, though it’s possible that his memory failed him over the years – as other errors in Trigger men might indicate.

I, too, have wondered if the Winkie in the car for the Cassidy killing was indeed William Murphy but why then invent the charade of saying they called at his house in Brookmount St to collect a knife and gun? He’d have been guilty of murder either way.

“Killing for Britain” is the biggest load of bal*s ever written, with barely a grain of truth in it. If you’ve a coal fire, burn it.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

bill,
I respect Dillon as an author and i journalist, but i must concur with you that he does to make errors here and there. The Mr E/H mix up you’ve already mentioned, and in Triggermen he seemed to be confusing C and D at 1 point- in Shankhill butchers it was Mr D who went off with MM as soon as Lenny was sent down, but in triggermen it was Mr C! I accepted that error as MM did eventually end up with Colin Berry (who i assumed from triggermen to be Mr C as you know!). But thinking about it iv a feeling you’re right- Dillons memory has failed him and hes confused some things/people.
Re the debate about wether the “Winkie” involved in Cassidys murder was in fact William Murphy, i sincerely doubt it. It was hardly an unusual nickname, & more crucially William Murphy strikes me as the classic middleman- he took great care never to be directly involved in the cutthroat murders, which is probably why he got away with it! A most chilling character when you think about it- not blinded by bloodlust like Murphy or a standout thug like Bates or MacAllister, but cool, resourceful yet utterly devoid of any conscience! It wouldnt suprise me if he attained a fairly high position in the UVF

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Brian

I do not know what rank William Murphy attained in the UVF but he did have links, I understand, with Robin ‘The Jackal’ Jackson in mid-Ulster as well as the Shankill Road hierarchy and was rumoured to have been approached by ‘The Jackal’ about having Jim Campbell ( former Sunday World editor) shot. I have never quite worked out how William and John allowed a younger sibling to be top dog but both were ‘hands on’ at times in murders ( eg Noel Shaw, Norman Maxwell,etc) not to mention the various romperings that made the back room of the old Lawnbrook resemble an abattoir. So he certainly was, and presumably still is, a vicious thug, even if more calculating and less brash than some of the other sickos. As he was always something of a loner outside the Butcher gang, he must be even more so now with both brothers dead and an expectation of retribution coming his way sooner or later. Reading the link at post 66 above, it strikes me that he could have been convicted for perjury along with other family members if William junior had persisted with the lies he originally told the police when arrested. The bare-faced nature of the lies was very similar to that exhibited by the William Murphy in the industrial tribunal case mentioned earlier, but others are saying it’s not the same William Murphy. If not, has the latter some other connection to this family from hell?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Hi Mick,
My impression of William Murphy senior was that he had no desire to be “top dog”- if he had he would’ve became the leader of the butchers after Lennys prison sentence in ’76. His relationship to Lenny appears to have been that of Peter Mandelson to Tony Blair, if you’ll permit the analogy :). Dillon certainly makes clear throughout his book that “Mr A” is the only person who’s opinions & advice matter to Lenny.
As for John Murphy, he seems a bit of a non-entity compared to his brothers. Without them i think he’d’ve been just another UVF thug.
Of course, some of this is pure conjecture on my part. It’d be fascinating if someone who actually knows (or knew) the family from hell could come on here and comment.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

One curious point about William ‘Winkie’ Murphy aka Mr.A; even though he somehow managed to avoid jail himself, when you tot up the number of prison visits he had to make to family members including Lenny, who spent most of his adult life behind bars but managed an astonishing career of gratuitously sadistic murder, torture, maiming and mayhem in what comparatively little time he spent as a free man, plus John who did at least a couple of years even if he did avoid conviction for any of the Butchers’ atrocities, and William junior, who got life for torturing and murdering a pensioner in his own street for the sake of £11 taken in a burglary, that means that William senior must have spent the equivalent of a couple of life sentences traipsing back and forth from prisons. I’d feel sorry for most people subjected to that but I’ll make an exception in this case.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

like i said earlier- its hard to think of an entire family more rotten to the core than the Murphys! Especially if Alan Simpsons book is to be believed, its obvious lenny’s mother knew perfectly well what her son who “wouldnt hurt a fly” was up to

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Correct-most mothers would raise an eyebrow at a son just out of jail for the second time and with the unavoidable sobriquet of the ‘Shankill Butcher’ running around her house covered with blood in the middle of the night, or another son ( John) brandishing meat cleavers about the place in the same small hours. Not Joyce….I’m surprised William ‘Wingnut’ Cowan’s testimony on this did not land her in the dock. Some of her quotes defy parody, they’re like something out of ‘Viz’ comic. I liked her comment about not knowing whether Lenny was in the UVF or not, and her depiction of him as a plain spoken man ( translation: ranting bigot) with ‘a stake in this country’, but my favourite of the lot has to be: ‘ I honestly do not believe that he was a bad man.’

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Yeah, someone shouldve pointed out to her that if your tombstone says on it “UVF- Here lies a soldier”, thats fairly conclusive proof you are a member of said organization ;-)

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

More info on the elusive ‘Mr.A’, aka William Murphy senior. If you read the link at post 66 above, his son William Murphy junior (the convicted murderer), resident with his parents and younger brother at 112 Battenberg Street, talks of visiting his uncle at 46 Battenberg Street. At that time( 1997) no.46 was listed in the name of Charlotte Townsley, who therefore had to be either a sister of William senior’s wife Ann, with a partner who would have been William junior’s uncle, or the wife of John Murphy, who died in a car crash later that year. The former is more likely if Bill, whose contributions on this thread have been helpful, is correct that John Murphy married a woman with the initials ‘LG’. So, if Charlotte and Ann were sisters of William Townsley, which is what I have heard ( another alternative possibility of course would be that Charlotte was William Townsley’s wife), it would explain why William Townsley-a Butcher gang member at 14, a murderer at 16-was so resilient under interrogation and did not name ‘Mr.A’ at any time despite eventually naming some others.It goes to show that the Butcher gang was even more tightly knit than previously surmised if Winkie and Townsley are in fact brothers-in -law! Some more titbits: no.2 Brookmount Street, named by William Murphy junior in the link at post 66 as the residence of his granny ( Joyce Murphy), was in the name of Karen Murphy at that time-I am assuming she must be a daughter of John Murphy. The house in previous years was listed in the various names of Joyce Murphy, W Murphy and Harriet Murphy. Kathleen Bates ( Basher’s wife?) lived at 23 Battenberg Street; I have no info on Edward Leckey at that time though Dillon has him as a resident of Battenberg Street at the time of the original Butchers gang operations. A certain Margaret Murphy ( don’t know if it was Lenny’s ex-missus) had an address at 174 Snugville Street for a time in the 90s at least. David Bell may have been in the Silverstream area but I’m still checking this out.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Charlotte is the wife of William Townsley.

bill Reply:

Yes Mick, John Murphy’s wife is Linda Gaston (from Carlow St, IIRC). Karen is indeed their daughter. Harriett Murphy is Joyce Murphy (full name). Basher’s wife was Carole Chambers, IIRC. Sorry for the IIRCs but I’m in from a night out! The marriage connection between the Murphys and John (i.e. William) Townsley is interesting and something I didn’t know about. But as Townsley was only a boy in 1977, your point about the interrogation doesn’t really hold water unless he was already in a relationship with Charlotte at that time – unlikely, I’d say, but you never know.

Intrigued Reply:

Why do you think the author of the book- Dillon do not publish these details? As an investigative author he should have been able to uncover what you guys have found. This would have added another more to the book when details and family connections such as this are revealed.

Stevo Reply:

I would like to ask a favour… I bought ‘Killing for Britain’ on Mick’s advice, sorta wish I hadn’t now…. it really is a load of balls as Bill said. As for Alan Simpson’s ‘Murder Madness’ (which seems to be credible) the copies are goin for £20 second hand. I can’t afford that. Would anybody be so good as to summarise the butchers info on this blog. I’d be ever so gratefull.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Stevo

It would take a disproportionate amount of time and space to cover it all here but any public library should be able to get you a copy of ‘Murder Madness.’ As regards ‘Killing for Britain’, I do not not know anyone who takes it all seriously. Much of it, clearly, is pure fantasy, which would lend credence to the theory that the late Joe Bennett was the ‘John Black’ to whom authorship is attributed. That said, the stuff on Murphy and the practices in the romper rooms of the 70s seems accurate enough.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill

Regarding Mr. E/H, I wonder could that have been Ray Glover? He was the driver for the UVF team that assassinated a man called John Crawford in west Belfast and was subsequently imprisoned for it. The rest of the team consisted of Billy Moore, Jimmy McKenna ( a Catholic ex-British Army soldier who was reputedly run by Special Branch) and a veteran UVF triggerman from Ligoniel whose name is not known to me.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick: Glover, possibly. What age would he have been in 1976 and when was he jailed for the Crawford murder?

As to Billy Moore being part of Jimmy McKenna’s team in early 1974, I don’t accept that.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick update: I’m 99% sure that Mr E/H was *not Raymond Glover. Anyhow, he was too young to be the driver of the taxi in the Chloraine bar shootings.

As to Billy Moore and the Crawford shooting, the Andersontown News story is not entirely accurate.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Looks like ‘Mr. E/H’ is going to be a difficult one in terms of identification but most of the alphabetical characters in Dillon’s book have been pinned down now. I note that ‘Mr. J’ is described in the book as Provost Marshal of the UVF. Jackie ‘Nigger Irvine’ held that rank in 1982, according to supergrass ‘Budgie’ Allen, but I do not know if he held it in 1976-if he did, then another supergrass, Joe Bennett, who had him lifted and brought before a court in late 1982 probably alleged as much in his statements. By the way, Bill, I totally agree with the points made in your post no. 209. It would be heartening indeed to see individuals emerging from these families becoming known for doing something good, or just living decent lives. I do not know if any of the surviving Butchers are now genuinely reformed characters or in any way given to reflection, though some of them are reportedly prone to depression and alcoholism ( eg McIlwaine and McAllister, also I read somewhere that Moore was drinking two bottles of vodka a day towards the end of his life last year).

[Reply]

August 4th, 2010 at 6:34 am
bill
 207 

The various “William Murphys” referred to in recent posts about IT cases and benefit fraud (don’t think the Murphy family is living in Snugville St area) are not the William Murphy Jnr in question. So I believe Willie Mac is correct when he says that person’s still in jail.

Murphy Jnr’s 17-year *minimum tariff for the Spence murder was confirmed in 2008. That period includes time on remand = from late Jan. 97. So he’s not set to be freed until late Jan. 2014. Enough about him.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Hi is still in prison, trust my sources ;-)

As Bill said, say no more about him.

[Reply]

August 4th, 2010 at 11:49 pm
Willie Mac
 208 

Bill,

I read the section of the book about the murder of Moorhead in the Windsor Bar.

There was little information in the Butchers’ statements about the killing, i.e. motivation.

I’m purely speculating here, but could it be that this was related to the murder of the lad Easton at Forthriver?

It mentions that Moorhead was a senior UDA man in West Belfast. Might he have been prominent in pushing for Sam McAllister being punished for the killing of Easton?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie, as the two killings occurred within 5 weeks of each other, your idea might hold water. I have no knowledge about this, though, but it is certainly a distinct possibility.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Willie Mac,
great minds must think alike ;-) On first reading the Shankhill butchers (and bearing in mind that by this stage they werent exactly killing discriminately lol!) i thought re Mooreheads murder “but WHY did they do it??”
Dillon does hint at a possible racist motive, and i cant imagine the butchers being particularly enlightend in that regard, but i thought there must be more to it

[Reply]

August 5th, 2010 at 11:05 pm
bill
 209 

[Intrigued Reply, August 18th, 2010 at 7:57 pm: why do you think the author of the book- Dillon do not publish these details? As an investigative author he should have been able to uncover what you guys have found. This would have added another more to the book when details and family connections such as this are revealed.]

Rem. that Dillon and other writers are bound by the UK’s very strict privacy laws with regard to not naming people who were never charged with a specific crime.

And some of the details on here, interesting as they are, have emerged since he wrote the Butchers book.

I suppose a point to bear in mind is one I brought up in a fairly recent post. Most people would hope that the next generation of Murphys and other families connected to the gang will avoid the sins of their elders. We should therefore give them the chance to do so by not tarring them all with the same brush.

Of course, those who were involved in paramilitary activities at the time, or witnessed some of the Butchers activities (like Margaret Gillespie and Heather McFarlane), are not exempt and have been unmasked thanks to the anonymity this site provides. They are fair game.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill

If Lenny’s ‘Lawnbrook Platoon’ numbered about 20, then we know most of them by now-the 11 convicted for the Butchers murders plus three Murphy brothers, the two Green brothers, Gorman McMullan, James Potts (almost certainly), but we don’t have any hard evidence re Mr. E/H, Mr. K or Mr.L, never mind the elusive ‘Winkie’ (though a certain Red Hand Commando leader was mentioned to me as a possibility the other night) and you say the original Mr.C is not Colin Berry, unlike the Mr.C from ‘The Triggermen’ who clearly is. Lenny’s 1982 team included Noel Large, William ‘Wingnut’ Cowan, Tommy Stewart aka Mr. M, William Mahood, Sam ‘Mambo’ Carroll, Sammy Adams (who as a 21 year old got done for the attempted murder of then Sunday World editor Jim Campbell) and others.

This is pure speculation on my part but do you think UVF supergrass ‘Budgie’Allen was ever involved in any Butchers operations? He told IRA supergrass Eamon Collins (see the Collins book ‘Killing Rage’, page 300 of Granta hardback edition): ‘I seen one guy, after hours of torture and beatings-a middle aged Catholic picked up on his way home drunk from the pub-having his head cut off with a garden hoe.’ The murder this most closely accords to is that of Joe Donegan but Dillon does not mention ‘Budgie,’ all the assailants are known.
‘Budgie’ was attached to no.2 platoon of Shankill’s ‘A’ Company ( not the ‘Lawnbrook Platoon’ ) but is on record in his supergrass evidence as suggesting at a UVF meeting after Lenny Murphy was shot in 1982 that a Catholic should be abducted and killed in Butchers style, to show people that ‘The Shankill Butcher’ was still alive, and he claimed that he and some UVF associates subsequently did abduct two Catholics with that intent but they managed to get away.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick: Winkie Rea was never part of the Butchers team, as he was in custody from 1973 to about 78. I can’t believe he’s the Winkie in question and, anyhow, that person can’t have been part of Lenny’s team as we know what its hierarchy was.

Nor do I believe that Gorman McMullan was one of the Murphy men. He was in the UVF but attached to a different platoon.

Jim Potts was UDA, like his sons/nephews.

Sam Carroll – again, I don’t think he was an integral part of Murphy’s team in ’82 but made himself available for this and that (esp. the Smyth killing).

Sammy Adams is a new name to me, tbh.

I don’t believe Budgie Allen was ever involved with the Butchers in the 70s or with Lenny in 1982. What you say about Joe Donegan is interesting but strikes me as referring to an episode from earlier in the 70s unless Allen mentioned Murphy’s name.

Lenny’s 70s platoon was no. 4, I think, though Allen was in no. 2. And after Lenny’s death, the UVF “generally” wanted a response and this doesn’t necessarily indicate a connection with Murphy’s team of the time.

E/H was more closely attached to the Windsor Bar team.

K/L always struck me as peripheral figures who were probably from other teams, as the deal from the leadership was probably that William and John Murphy had to involve others (that the leadership could trust or nominate) in the operation.

Some of the above is speculation, if well informed (I hope!)

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Jim Potts was definitely a UVF memebr and served time for them.

The Jim Potts in the book doesn’t have any sons.

This isn’t the Glenbryn Jim Potts btw

[Reply]

Bill Reply:

Ah, I see: I assumed the Jim Potts in the Dillon book was the father or uncle of the two Potts who gained notoriety at the time of the school protest.

My reasoning was that the JP in question was from the lower Shankill, a DA stronghold, and the Potts Jnrs were later DA, too.

As his statment said he was drinking with “mates” in the Brown Bear, we must assume that Mick is correct to say he was part of the Murphy team.

I can’t connect him to any other activities, though, and he wasn’t Mr C.

[Reply]

interested Reply:

jim potts has 3 sons and a daughter. his children where born in the 80′s. i know jim potts i have drank with him plenty of times. his sons are UDA and he hate’s this. pottsy was always UVF and in his words “the UDA r all b*stards” He is an alcholic and is always leaving his wife and then back in with her every other week.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

I take it he’s still resident in the Shankill area? I had a couple of addresses suggested to me. I hear also that Joyce Murphy is still knocking about, at 14 Lawnbrook Avenue; William Townsley, I was told, is at 10 Lawnbrook Drive; Norman Waugh at 143 Sydney Street West; Benny Edwards at 19 Ainsworth Street; Edward Leckey, David Bell and James ‘Tonto’ Watt, possibly, are still in the Shankill area, again a number of addresses have been suggested; last known address for the now seriously ill McIlwaine was in the Woodvale area.

[Reply]

interested Reply:

Potts has moved away from the shankill and now lives in Sallagh park, Larne. He has never spoke of being involved in anything other than that one kicking in Dillions book which he got two years for. Does anybody know of anything else he was involved in?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Jim Potts does not live in Larne.

[Reply]

interested Reply:

jim potts does life in larne and he has for years. he ran about with my granda for years and i have drunk with him in larne rangers club many times

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I’m sorry, but I dispute that.

He may have lived in Larne at some point in the past, but he lives in North Belfast now.

Did the book not state that he received a suspended sentence for his part in the assault – must check that.

bill Reply:

Willie: he got two years, not suspended. John Murphy got three years for the same attack on Mr Underwood. Difference was that Potts admitted his guilt while Murphy denied his but was found guilty.

I assume Potts was sent down for other UVF activities in the late 70s or 80s (what you refer to as doing time for the UVF?)

interested Reply:

Willie Mac: jim potts lives in larne im not going to argue about that. its obvious u know alot about the shankill butchers but u r not right about this, sorry.
Does any1 know off anything else Potts was involved in?

MICK Reply:

Bill

Re Gorman McMullan-he lived at 111 Lawnbrook Avenue in the 70s when the original Butchers gang was on the rampage, also his comments to Peter Taylor in ‘Loyalists’ suggested he was in Lenny’s so-called ‘Lawnbrook Platoon.’ He’s now at 10 Kathleen Court in east Belfast, as the Sunday World revealed when accusing him of being the gunman in the Loughinisland pub massacre ( with help from some of Mark Haddock’s crew in Mount Vermin, as it is colloquially known).

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick: while I recall McMullan described as part of “their platoon”, that could easily have been Taylor meaning that he was part of the same UVF company and knew them well (the latter seems to be the case).

Whether Taylor was aware of the intricacies of the UVF structure and units is not clear.

Even though I’ve only ever heard of his name in connection with the Taylor documentary, I see why you think McMullan may have been one of Lenny Murphy’s men. I wouldn’t read too much into living on Lawnbrook Avenue. Artie McKay wsa from Winchester St, a fair bit away from the upper Shankill. He had previous paramilitary form and was almost convicted of a possession in suspicious circumstances charge before becoming involved with the Butchers.

And didn’t Dillon write that it was almost impossible to get anyone connected to the gang to speak about Lenny and the others? That’s why I have my doubts about McMullan’s role in the 70s.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

That’s interesting ( and new) info on Artie ( McClay?) re his previous form. I’ve drawn a blank on him so far as to his actual or possible whereabouts. Some of the Butchers tended to live within a tight area of a few adjacent streets ( McMullan was actually at 111 Lawnbrook Square, not Avenue-my mistake. Margaret Murphy was at no.31 for a time while Lenny was in jail). John Murphy lived at 17 Mountjoy Street, at the corner of which lurked the Brown Bear…don’t know if wife Linda is still there. The Long Bar was probably her original local if she was from Carlow Street. Brookmount Street was a couple of streets down from Mountjoy, of course, with the old Lawnbrook shebeen a stone’s throw away, likewise Battenberg Street which at various times hosted Edward Leckey at no.99 and Winkie ‘Mr. A’ Murphy at no.112. McAllister lived in the nearby Lawnmount Street, I believe. Incidentally, I have heard that the owner of the Brown Bear ended up hanging himself due to insurmountable debt problems. May well have been down to the Butchers treating the place like their own property, never paying for drinks and driving the decent locals out of the place.

[Reply]

lmi Reply:

http://www.facebook.com/margaret.berry.330

[Reply]

August 19th, 2010 at 9:58 pm
interested
 210 

I take it the town in Antrim where Gerald Mclaverty goes after he let out of hospital is Larne?

[Reply]

interested Reply:

sorry gerard mclaverty

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I thought it was Crumlin, the villge where he died although I may have read somewhere that it was Carrick before Crumlin.

[Reply]

interested Reply:

i know his brother lives in larne and i seen Gerard about a few times so i thought it was larne he came to. His brother was grounds man or a stewart for Larne FC

[Reply]

August 26th, 2010 at 9:22 am
Stevo
 211 

Any whereabouts on big Sam? Very little on the net apart from the hiding he took back in 2000 & meetin Andy Goram;

http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/2699204/Andy-Gorams-explosive-biography-serialised-in-The-Scottish-Sun.html

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Stevo

That was a very contrived story from Goram’s ghost writer! McAllister had a flat in Lisburn when he got out of jail-it was used for the beating of Andrew Peden by some UVF goons that ended up with both of Peden’s legs having to be amputated. Sam did get indeed get ‘ a bit of a digging’ ( ie beaten to a pulp, hands broken with hammers, hospitalised, etc), to use his own admirably understated parlance, from some young south Belfast UDA grunts in 2000 and has reportedly been something of a recluse since, living in fear no doubt of a ‘nut job’ as administered to Basher by Curtis Moorehead. The Sunday Life did carry an amusing story since that about him being shunned by a female pen-pal who read Dillon’s book and was suitably horrified, much to the petulant chagrin of Sam, but I do not know where he’s living now though I think he’s back on the Shankill somewhere. I know he’s been seen in the Rex and the new Lawnbrook occasionally. You could try knocking at the door of 24 Paris Street and asking John ‘Bunter’ Graham, aka ‘Mr.F’….you’d think the Chief of Staff should know. Snag is, ‘Bunter’ has been used for many years now to receiving payment for offering information, so he might demand a cheque.

[Reply]

September 9th, 2010 at 12:03 pm
Willie Mac
 212 

I’d forgotten a story that a friend of mine told me some years ago.

He said that as a teenager, he and his mates were sitting out during the night with the bonfire wood at Hopewell in the Lower Shankill, probably just above Carlisle Circus.

He said that not far from them, a black taxi stopped and threw a man out onto the waste ground and that the victim was badly beaten.

The man was Protestant and a member of the UDR. My friend said that on reflection he thought it was the Shankill Butchers, who upon discovering they had a Protestant, dumped him out of the vehicle. He suggested that they may have found his UDR pass.

I have no reason to disbelieve my friend, in fact I’ll ask him about it again, but do other posters on here think he could have been right and it also begs the question ‘how many times did Murphy and/or the other Butchers set out in search of a victim only to return empty-handed?’

[Reply]

October 5th, 2010 at 9:27 am
bill
 213 

Willie: IIRC, didn’t the gang sometimes come up empty handed in their attempts to snatch a victim off the streets? I seem to recall Moore and Bell cruising the Falls, unsuccessfully, in spring 1977. Only two of them was asking for trouble had they tackled someone able to look after himself.

As to your friend’s story: this can’t have been later than early July 1976. Do you want to check the date with him? I don’t think that incident was the Butchers (if my dates are correct). Reason is: after the Rice killing (I think), didn’t Lenny tell Moore to dispose of his taxi? So using a taxi would have been a revert to previous MO, which is highly unlikely. And Lenny was in custody at that stage, keeping quiet until he worked out how to put the police off his trail – if Dillon is correct about this being a deliberate strategy on Lenny’s part. What is certain is that the cut-throatings didn’t restart until October and finished at the end of March ’77.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I had given this further thought and cam eup with the same questions Bill.

Having thought about it carefully, I’m dubious that it was the Butchers, but I’ll speak to him about it.

[Reply]

October 6th, 2010 at 4:44 am
interested
 214 

how long did the shankill butchers operate for?

[Reply]

interested Reply:

and how long where the breaks inbetween the butchering’s?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

The gang, i.e. those that were caught…. was active from October 1975 to May 1977.

The ‘butcherings’ occurred on: 25 Nov. ’75, 7 and 22 Feb. ’76, 2 August ’76, 30 October ‘ 76, 3 Feb. ’77 and 30 March ’77. The Aug. ’76 killing was that of Mr Neeson with a hatchet

[Reply]

interested Reply:

why is there a picture taken from the belfast telegraph troubles gallery dated 25/10/82 of a dead catholic man lying in an alley of the shankill road saying he was a victim of the shankill butchers? Who is this victim?

[Reply]

interested Reply:

is that Donnegan?

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Willie Mac Reply:

It is Joe Donnegan. His body was wrapped in a blanket and dumped in the entry by two of Murphy’s accomplices.

According to the book, the intention was to dump the body at an unspecified location but that they dropped the body and ran off when they thought they’d been spotted.

[Reply]

October 6th, 2010 at 2:29 pm
Willie Mac
 215 

I read a comment on an internet forum where a guy claimed that the Butchers ‘cut out his uncle’s eye and cut off his penis’, to quote him.

I don’t know if this claim is genuine, but it made me wonder if many of the details of the murders were not revealed by Dillon.

For example, it was through this forum that I learned that Benny Edwards admitted that victims were tortured for up to an hour and a half before being killed. I had always assumed that the victims were picked up and killed in a short space of time.

Did Dillon not reveal the full gruesome details in some cases?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie: you evidently have information on Edwards the source of which you did not state (which is fair enough), But what he’s supposed to have said contradicts what Dillon wrote, e.g. Stephen McCann was dead within an hour or so of being abducted. It may be, though, that Edwards was referring to the two cut-throatings he was party to – Crossen and Quinn, the first two victims, who received merciless beatings, esp. Crossen. That they were tortured, though, I don’t think so.

Allegations of sado-masochism are totally unfounded, I believe. Dillon revealed the barbarity of what happened – read the report on Mr Morrissey’s death, for instance.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill,

I was referring to a couple of posts on the thread made some weeks ago.

I thought that someone said it was in a book by Henry McDonald or someone?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Willie Mac/Bill,

Yes, see my post of 11 August above. The source was ‘UVF: The Endgame’ by Jim Cusack and Henry McDonald, page and actual quote identified in that post.

To revisit the James Potts debate earlier- I am told that there are two guys of that name in Sallagh Park, Larne, could be a father and son. I was given an address in Hopewell Avenue of another James Potts and told he was UVF, so I am none the wiser at the moment as to the definite whereabouts of the Butchers associate who did time for assaulting Mr. Underwood all those years ago. Maybe there are two ex UVF jailbirds of that name?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Mick,

Not trying to be a ‘know all’, but the Jim Potts I know is from Dover Street originally and now lives in North Belfast (don’t want to be specific).

I asked him was he the one named in the book and he told me he was. He later served time for other offences, although this may have only been on remand during one of the ‘Supergrass’ affairs.

I haven’t seen him for several weeks now, but if I do bump into him again I’ll check a few thing with him!

[Reply]

interested Reply:

you are right. there are two james potts in sallagh park and it is father and son. James Potts senior who im obviously talking about is from the shankill area and it is well known around the town, that he is mentioned in the shankill butchers book. i know this does not mean that they are correct and he is 100% the james potts mentioned in the book but to talk to him and listen to the way he talks its hard not to believe it is him. he is 100% from the shankill area, he personally know’s the UVF brigade staff, and he was a member of the UVF around the late 70′s early 80′s they are definite facts. The next time i see pottsy apart from the obvious what could i ask him to prove if he is the one mentioned or not?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

It’d be most interesting to hear his opinions in the individual butchers, especially the Murphy brothers!

[Reply]

John Reply:

Brian

When reading The Shankill Butchers book one thing that intrigued me was what the members of Murphy’s original gang would have thought when he was released in 1982 and quickly assembled another murder gang, particularly the natural “lifers” such as Moore and “Bates”. There was Lenny on the outside with these 2 destined to spend the rest of their lives behind bars. I may be wrong, but somehow I wouldn’t have inagined Murphy making regular visits to check up on the welfare of his old team.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Agreed-it would be interesting to get a perspective from a survivor, now on the outside. Certainly Winkie ‘Mr.A’ Murphy, for instance, seems to have given Moore and one or two others a wide berth, even after they eventually were freed-probably because they spilled all about him, Lenny and John, prior to retracting it. James Potts was described by Dillon as being from Wigton Street, but that street consisted mostly of unoccupied houses in the mid 70s, IIRC, (though ‘Bunter’ Graham did live there for a time in the 80s, coincidentally), so he may well have been from Dover Street-Dillon did get a few things wrong, eg David Bell was from Pernau Street not Cupar Street, McAllister was from Lawnmount Street not Lawnbrook, etc. I have had yet another steer re the James Potts in Dillon’s book, ie that he is now a community worker….it would be helpful to clear this one up!

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

John,
Like you i cant imagine Lenny playing the concerned visitor to his former cohorts! As for their opinion of him, its obvious from the statements made by both Bates and Moore to the police when arrested that they had little affection for Murphy even before their trial and eventual incarceration.
Of course, confirming Lenny as the much feared “master butcher” was partly a tactical move to try and lessen their own culpability- but Moores description of Murphy as “that bastard” and Bates account of the murders of Shaw and Rice clearly show that their initial hero worship of Lenny had long since dissipated. As Dillon states, without his brothers guarding his back it is highly probable that Lenny wouldnt have escaped justice for so long.
Does anyone have any info on the activities of Thomas Stewart (Mr M in the book) between 1982 and his death in ’96? I thought his murder of Donnegan was particularly cruel and repulsive even by the butcher’s standards!

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Brian

In the book I referred to above ( ‘UVF: The Endgame’) the authors ascribe the murder of Sean Browne, an elderly man who was prominent in the running of his local GAA club, to two brothers originally from Ballysillan who defected from the UVF to the LVF and subsequently relocated to Antrim for their own safety. This has to mean Tommy Stewart and his brother ( who may or may not be Roy Stewart, one of the old Windsor Bar team who killed Butchers member Archie Waller-there was some speculation about this earlier on this thread, but I have no knowledge as to the accuracy or otherwise of it). Sean Browne was tortured before he was killed, his body bore multiple stab wounds and burn marks.

Tommy Stewart was of course eventually shot dead by his former comrades in 1996 but he did lead the North Belfast UVF at one time. He was one of a number of young men who teamed up with Lenny Murphy on his release in 1982-like at least some of the other new gang members, he clearly had similar psychopathic tendencies, as witnessed by his savagery in the murder of Joe Donegan. Alan Simpson, in his book ‘Murder Madness’, revealed that Donegan’s teeth were battered out of his head by a spade wielded by Stewart, not extracted by pliers by Lenny as alleged by Dillon. That book also features a witness statement to the effect that Stewart was coolly driving around still covered in blood the next day, almost as if he considered this some sort of badge of honour-he seems to have shared Lenny’s penchant for recklessness as well as sadism. In his most recent book, I cannot recall the name of it offhand, Simpson ( a former top CID man) recounts hauling Stewart’s then girlfriend in along with him to tell them some home truths about where they were heading if Stewart did not abandon his activities, but it had no effect.

On an entirely separate note, I now have a definite current address for William ‘Mr A’ Murphy. As I suspected, he has never strayed far from his roots. He’s living with his wife Ann at 18 Centurion Way, Belfast-literally a stone’s throw from the location of the old Lawnbrook shebeen as well as his old addresses at Battenberg Street and Brookmount Street. And, indeed, across the Cupar Street divide, Bombay Street, which he will have nostalgic memories of, as he and his brothers were part of the mob that burned out the local residents there all those years ago.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

I doubt very much that Roy Stewart was Tommy’s brother, though he could have been a relative. I’d say that Roy would have been at least 14 years older than Tommy.

And didn’t someone say on here that Roy left for South Africa years ago?

bill Reply:

And, yes, Roy Stewart was one of the three gunmen that killed Archie Waller (Dessie Balmer Jnr and Nogi Shaw – the actual shooter – were the others). Lenny was wary of shooting Stewart because he was Chuck’s right-hand man, so he escaped “justice”. Balmer was seriously wounded when Bates, etc. found and shot him, and we know what happened to Shaw.

bill Reply:

I now know that Tommy Stewart’s brother is/was Wesley, who was 3 or 4 years older than Tommy and also in the UVF. So here is no evidence of any connection between Tommy and Roy. Stewart is a common enough name in Belfast, after all.

Willie Mac Reply:

Mick,

Interesting that Simpson challenges Dilon’s version of events re Joe Donegan losing teeth.

How did Dillon come to that conclusion – I would have assumed he took it from the statements of those convicted?

Kelly Al-Saleh Reply:

My mum (Surname: Stewart, from Shankill Road, Ballygomartin) told me about her cousin Roy who had fled to South Africa and the family don’t discuss him. I’ll have to get this book as I want to know how deeply involved he was in all this. It’s all new to me and quite a shock, I grew up in Kuwait with my Palestinian dad so wasn’t aware of this side of the family.

BTW: I have Catholic, Jewish and Israeli pals so please no ‘hate politics’.

bill Reply:

Willie: “your” Jim Potts must be the JP Dillon mentioned, as Wigton St was very close to Dover St and he was living there in 1977. Sounds like there are two people of that name, though I don’t believe the “real” JP was a big player.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Willie Mac

I have no knowledge as to how Dillon came up with that story about the pliers in the Donegan murder. Simpson’s credibility lies with his rank ( no. 2 in the CID), a reputation for being straight and a personal knowledge of Murphy, Tommy Stewart and others, whom he interviewed at length. On balance, I would personally be more inclined to believe his version, though others may differ and I would put nothing past Murphy given his psychopathic and sadistic tendencies.

[Reply]

October 7th, 2010 at 4:43 am
Willie Mac
 216 

The brothers who were involved in the LVF were not Tommy and Roy Stewart. I think it was another well-known, and arguably more prominent, loyalist family.

Tommy Stewart was killed before the Browne shooting and Roy Stewart, I understand, has lived in South Africa for several years.

No-one has produced evidence that Roy and Tommy Stewart were related. It may simply be a coincidental thing.

Whatever became of Anthony ‘Chuck’ Berry?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Mick, thanks for that information- i have read Murder Madness but it was years ago and id forgotten those titbits on Stewart!
Willie Mac, although i believe Bill when he says Dillon was incorrect in all but naming Colin Berry as Mr C in Triggermen when the Mr C in the original book was someone else i think we can all agree that Colin Berry was the man Dillon was hinting at in Triggermen.
So presuming this to be the case, Dillon states that Colin Berry faded from the scene (and of course ended up with MM!) but his brother- ie Chuck- “remained active whilst living off the earnings of a prostitute!”
I presume he’s still alive as iv found no mention of him whatever online apart from quotes from the book, even on any UVF “rolls of honour”.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie: surely the family you’re referring to are the Mahoods?

Chuck had a long and eventful career in the UVF, AFAIK largely escaping justice for his many actions – inc. the Chloraine Bar

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Willie Mac,

Anecdotal evidence has linked the late LVF leader Mark ‘Swinger’ Fulton with the murder of Mr. Browne -’Swinger’ was certainly a bit of a psycho, as was (his cousin?) Jim Fulton, currently serving 25 years, and Gary Fulton ( not sure if he’s a brother or cousin) whose status as a free man despite being lifted many times for numerous serious crimes may not be entirely unconnected with the widespread view in mid-Ulster that he is a tout. However, the Fultons would not match the description given in the book by Cusack and McDonald so the jury must remain out on that one for the time being.

In his book ‘The Triggermen’, Dillon hints that Anthony ‘Chuck’ Berry opted eventually for a career in conventional organised crime, as a more lucrative and less risky alternative to being a high level UVF target-Dillon suggested without naming him directly that ‘Chuck’ was living off a prostitute ( could have been a lady with the initials ‘LF’), but his name is not mentioned much these days and he appears to have done an effective disappearing act. Likewise his brother Colin, though the Sunday World did do a story on him maybe a year or two ago-I do not recall the details of it.

[Reply]

October 18th, 2010 at 2:41 am
Willie Mac
 217 

I think Chuck Berry is in England, although don’t know where, when or why.

Bill, wasn’t referring to the Mahoods, but could be wrong. I think it’s a family of which the father and sons have both been ‘involved’.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

The Warnocks,possibly?

[Reply]

October 18th, 2010 at 11:14 pm
Jackie M
 218 

Or the Kincaids? Or what about the Watsons, if they have moved like it says in the book? One of them ( some funny name, like Dilbert) has always escaped serious sentencing, that’s because like Garry Fulton he is a tout. He idolised Lenny Murphy and is said to have done unspeakable things to a 16 year old victim called John Morgan but only his companion, a simpleton called Norman Coopey, got done for it. Swinger is supposed to have done the reccy for the Brown job, that would have been before the Watsons fell out with some of the other lvf hoods in mid ulster.

Does anybody know Benny Edwards of the butchers? I was driving past that address given for him at 19 Ainsworth St a while ago and saw some old guy who looked like a dwarf coming out the door. Could that be him? If it is he’s smaller even than Johnnie Adair.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Yes, that’s probably him.

Other than McAllister, and Waugh and Townsley (who weren’t that prominent), many of the Butchers were small men – none over 5′ 6.5″. This was a bit below the average of 5′ 8″ (which is now 5′ 9″). So the idea of a gang of giants terrorising the streets was wrong.

Basher was 5′ 3″, Moore no more than 5′ 6.5″, slightly taller than Lenny Murphy, McKay not that tall (I stand to be corrected on that) and Edwards around Basher’s height.

I don’t know about Bell or Waller. I have a picture of Waller I must post somewhere.

William and Johnny Murphy were tallish, though.

[Reply]

The Grave Digger Reply:

Jackie M.

Delbert Watson is the man in question who is a tout but it was a Darren Watson who salughtered the young lad from Castlewellan and Copper went down for it. Darren seems to have got away with a lot of things in the South east Down area with little consequences. Delbert has been a tout since the 80′s and got his own nutter of a brother killed- who by the way was a killer himself (Terry McMullan & his 70 yold mother in Ballynahinch). The other guy involved with that ran away to America and very quickly got married to get staying there, he used to drive an ice-cream van in the district. Does anyone know who Gorman McMullans mate is (Tank)?

Also who pocked some of the money from the Northern bank raid in Portadown in the late 80′s.

Darren Watsons older brother was involved in the Loughinisland slaughter of innocent guys watching football along with a nasty guy called Twizzel- Ron or Ronnie I think his name is and the Liverpool supporter, a plumber.

Haddock and the Mount Vernon crew have been implicated in some way but this was Twizzels own baby, basically to show the Watson clan when the tout was ousted no one stood in their way of a big strick. Delbert & Twizzel tired to shot a provo near Newcastle in the mid 80′s but Watson missed an hit him on the ear – again no one went down, that shows you just how long Delbert was a tout for. However Loughinisland was a strike at a very easy rural target where 3 Protestant farmers and several prods had been for a drink on their way out for a night craic. There are several families of Watson in the district so they must not be mixed up and even then there are several members of Delberts family are very very decent hard working people-he was just a waster. Delbert was Norman Coopeys bro-in-law but it was Stanley-Delberts brothey who guided them to dump the young lad in. Coopey other b-in-law power washed his car out to remove the blood and destroy evidence and was never even questioned- they where all on special branch’s pay roll.

[Reply]

Jackie M Reply:

I looked some of these guys up on the internet and talked to a girl from Ballynahinch who told me Darren Watson should be in jail and the key thrown away. She knew him years ago as she lived close to Kinelarty Walk in the town which is where he was from at the time and said everybody in the neighbourhood was afraid of him because he was always drunk and aggressive. As well as killing Morgan using hammers and knives, he did 5 years for a hammer attack on a man from Ballynahinch who was left permanently disabled and was caught with a gun in a car only 2 months after his release. Normally you’d do time for that but he got off with a 2yr suspended sentence even though he had other convictions for GBH, assault, criminal damage, riotous behaviour, indecency,burglary, theft and numerous motoring offences. The word is he is definitely a tout and so is his relative Delbert who got done for murdering Paddy Kielty’s father. I do not know anybody who knows who Twizzel or Tank are but Gorman McMullan got named by the Sunday World as one of the Loughinisland gunmen.

[Reply]

The Grave Digger Reply:

Jackie, regarding Darren Watson indeed the key should be thrown away- and givin all he has done and got away with most of it dosnt lead to anyother conclusion. I was talking to a highly respected elderly neighbour a few years back who told me that Kielty’s da was a closet provo because he followed him in the early 70′s to a prove hide in the Soputh Down area. there was 3 local men (scum) involved in the Loughinisland tradegy. They have all been arrested at least twice and one of them was arrested 3 times. I know the district longs for the day that Twizzel peeps out from behind the bars of Magheberry. Merry Xmas

[Reply]

October 30th, 2010 at 9:44 pm
John Oak
 219 

Edwards is a closer to 5,10 than 5,3.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Really? I must be mixing him up with Bell or McClay, then, from what I can recall. Sorry for posting McClay as McKay once or twice above. Info on Moore, Basher and Lenny correct, no doubt. And Eddy McIlwaine, though not really one of the gang, isn’t that tall.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill

You are correct re Edwards, he is a porg ( person of restricted growth), in the tradition of other celebrity terrorists you have named and other vertically challenged republican counterparts such as the late IRA supergrass Eamon Collins and the late Denis Donaldson, former IRA prisoner and a but the res rising star in Sinn Fein until exposed as a tout and shot. Dillon’s book confirms the details on the Murphy brothers but the rest is interesting-I’d heard Moore was average height but always pictured Bates and McClay as hulking thugs, and I thought McIlwaine was taller. Edwards would be 61 now and was sentenced to 20 years in jail so if he still has a nickname it will hardly still be ‘Pretty Boy’-it probably was him that Jackie saw. On the other matter, Delbert Watson was mentioned in one of the local Sunday papers as one of the men convicted of murdering comedian Paddy Kielty’s father Jack, he’s a known psycho who has repeatedly been in trouble since being released and is indeed rumoured to be a tout. I do not wish to speculate further on the Browne murder but I believe re the other one allegedly involving one of th Watsons that the police know who it was, because Norman Coopey-an ESN whose father Charlie, a prominent local Orangeman persuaded Norman to give himself up-told them everything. By then there was allegedly insufficient evidence to convict.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

So who was right about Benny Edwards being quite a small man – me or John? It’s not that important, I suppose.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill

As I said, you are right re Edwards ( who is 59, by the way, not 61 as I said earlier)-this has been confirmed by impeccable sources, also page 239 of the paperback version of Dillon’s book has Butchers’ victim and survivor Gerard McLaverty’s evidence describing him as ‘ a small man of slight build wearing a white jacket.’

On another matter-some interesting death notices in the Belfast Telegraph last night ( Tuesday 2nd November) for former Shankill Road man Danny Watson. They included one from William and Ann Murphy and sons William and Len, as well as one from ‘Bunter’ Graham( aka ‘John, Carol and family’, as per usual), the LPA, Eagle Advice Centre, PUP and various other UVF related fronts. Funeral was at 9.30am this morning at Woodvale Funeral Services, burial at Carnmoney-no death notices in for any of the other Butchers though apart from ‘Mr. A’, who clearly prefers different company these days. No doubt he was at the funeral.

I’d be interested to see the picture you mention of the late Archie Waller. I recall his son Stephen dying young also-he joined the British Army and was shot by either the Provos or INLA, can’t remember which, while home on leave. I do not know if he followed his father into the UVF.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Benny Edwards is most definitely not 5’3.

I would say 5’8 to 5’10 and I’ve seen him up close.

[Reply]

November 1st, 2010 at 2:08 am
Willie Mac
 220 

I’ve seen a photo of Archie Waller from the Telegraph the day after he was shot dead.

Young looking guy with a curious moustache.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

That’s the one I’m referring to Willie – will see if I can find it and upload to flickr, maybe.

[Reply]

November 4th, 2010 at 9:53 am
bill
 221 

Ok, “Mr C” has escaped ‘justice’ long enough (it’s now 00.02 on Fri. 5 Nov, 2010)

The “Mr C” named by Martin Dillon as one of the cut-throat killers of Francis Rice was David McVeigh, nicknamed “Spider”.

He was one of the Windsor Bar team. I don’t know if he is still alive.

Dillon also correctly named the same “Mr C” as one of the UVF team that carried out the Chloraine Bar shooting in June of that year.

But over the years his memory (or notes) has failed him, since he mixed McVeigh up with Colin Berry – see postings above about this.

[Reply]

November 5th, 2010 at 10:01 am
spike
 222 

I came across a song on the Net, ‘Battalion of the Dead’ which commemorates, among others, Lenny Murphy. I take it he is still revered in some circles.

[Reply]

November 5th, 2010 at 9:04 pm
Willie Mac
 223 

I believe Spider McVeigh is still alive, I’ve heard some interesting stories about him over the years.

Thanks for finally revealing that info Bill

[Reply]

November 5th, 2010 at 10:25 pm
bill
 224 

As I don’t know how to upload pics on here (unless Admin can do so for me and acknowledge their source), small pics of Archie Waller and Noel Shaw are available on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55555977@N03/

Patrick – I hope it’s ok to link to an external source for this.

Admin Edit…

Here are the pics.

[Reply]

Patrick Reply:

I hope thats what you had in mind Bill. If not, just let me know and I will remove them.

External links are fine.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Many thanks Patrick. Those are pics of Waller and Shaw.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Fascinating stuff! Archie Waller looks kind of weird not because of the moustache ( bands such as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath pioneered the look) but because of the incongruous combination of the moustache with short hair, which very definitely was not fashionable in the 70s. There are many similar poorly educated nonentities like him and Shaw running around the Shankill today, the difference is that the Troubles are over and their modern day counterparts will live ordinary and comparatively uneventful lives free from the spectres of ignominy and an early grave.

But that’s enough sociology. The unmasking of David ‘Spider’ McVeigh is to be applauded-we now have the full team, including the two women, involved in the murder of Francis Rice. I do not envisage any of them making a fuss about being named here as the last thing any of them will want is to have to face an open court.

I hear the sands of time are rapidly running out for at least one of the Chlorane Bar hit squad, namely UVF Chief of Staff John ‘Bunter’ Graham. ‘Bunter’ rose to his current prominence on the back of his reputation as a prolific mass murderer and his unusual longevity at the top of the organisation is widely ascribed to the fact that he is a paid informer whose every move has been dictated by his handlers. He has now more or less served his purpose and it is doubtful at this point if the spooks who have been running him could save him even if they wanted to, what with his sanctioning of the Bobby Moffett murder and some devastating hard evidence reportedly emanating from the latest UVF supergrasses, the Stewart brothers and Gary Hegarty. Do not expect ‘Bunter’ to be resident at 24 Paris Street much longer, likewise his henchmates Harry Stockman of 4 Canmore Court and Joe McCaw of 7 Bromley Street. Cold prison cells await….

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

How long would you say John Graham has been the leader of the UVF?

Also, interesting that he was ‘unmasked’ by the BBC this week with some old footage of him speaking after the Supergrass trials.

Where would the names of those who faced trial on the UVF Supergrass trials be found, if anywhere?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

AFAIK ‘Bunter’ has been Brigadier General for around 30 years. He was named as such by UVF supergrass Joe Bennett as far back as 1982, indeed that old footage of him on ‘Spotlight’ that you mention was taken I think in 1984 after he was released along with most of the others Bennett had fingered-the supergrass evidence wasn’t strong enough then for many convictions but it did keep some dangerous people off the streets and on remand for a couple of years. The local papers used to record the names of those accused, you could check these out in a library if you know the dates. This publicity, at the height of the Troubles, led to a lot of people being identified and targeted-’Bunter’ survived a few murder bids, others were not so fortunate,eg John Bingham, William ‘Frenchie’ Marchant, Fred Ottley, Robert ‘Squeak’ Seymour, etc. The best book I have seen to date on the subject is ‘Supergrasses: Informers and Anti-Terrorist Law Enforcement in Northern Ireland’ by Steven Greer. Lots of interesting detail,some of which has been posted earlier.

[Reply]

November 6th, 2010 at 3:07 am
bill
 225 

I don’t think Bunter Graham has been top dog for quite as long as three decades, which the BBC says. Didn’t the Sunday World say about 2.5 years ago, when it printed photos of him, that he’d been in charge sicne the 80s?

The pics of him on that documentary are great and I’ll see if I can get copies.

I wonder who the top man was when Lenny Murphy was running amok? Tommy West comes to mind but I haven’t quite worked that one out yet.

Harry Stockman, the 1st battalion’s present commander, apparently, has had a long career in the UVF and knew Murphy well.

As to the list of those named by supergrasses, I’ve never seen one as such but I suppose you could plough through the Tele, etc. from the time. IIRC, some of the Shankill figures named were Norman Sayers (top notcher), Sam Austin and John Irvine (was he from the lower Woodvale, does anyone know?). There were others from Tynedale like Bingham and Nesbitt, Sandy Row and Rathcoole/E. Antrim.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill,

Did you ever get any further with finding out who the ‘Brigadier General’ was before the current incumbent?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie/Mick: here is an approx. chronological list of [some of] the people I believe were UVF CoS from the late 60s onwards: Gusty Spence/Billy Spence, Samuel Stevenson, (Sam) Bo McClelland, Jim Hanna, Ken Gibson, Tommy West (possibly more than once), “Mr Smith (am working on that), John Graham.

I don’t know if the Smith fellow – if the name is correct – was CoS when a hawkish leadership was in place for a month or so in the autumn of 1975, or if he was the CoS when the “hawks” overthrew the previous leadership, or if he became CoS when the hawks were overthrown. Incidentally, Billy Hutchinson is believed to have been one of the hawks. And, contrary to what I said earlier, it seems as if Bunter may indeed have taken over some time in 1976 whne the then CoS (Smith?) was arrested for kidnapping.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I understand his name was ‘Harding Smith’, which I naturally thought was an error since there was a leading WDA man named Charles Harding-Smith in the early 70s – but apparently it’s right.

He was said to be quite corrupt and was ousted in the aftermath of the abduction and murder of UDA members McVeigh and Douglas in the mid-70s.

[Reply]

November 12th, 2010 at 10:07 pm
bill
 226 

I’ve added two pics of Bunter to flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/55555977@N03/

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill

The pics are excellent. ‘Bunter’ reportedly hates that one the Sunday World got of him at Billy ‘Dinger’ Bell’s funeral, where his idea of a disguise was a pair of glasses. Not unlike Lenny driving around the Shankill in a mustard coloured Rover wearing a pair of sunglasses in 1982, I suppose. The UVF was noted for its secrecy and tight security prior to the supergrass era but the likes of ‘Bunter’ and Bingham rashly doing TV interviews suddenly gave the organisation a face or two.

I think you are right re Tommy West but I’ll check that out myself. Stockman was I think a cousin of Basher Bates so would have presumably known all the Butchers. He has now been named by both the Sunday World and Spotlight as the instigator of the Moffett murder and his days appear to be numbered. The UVF has continued to operate like a back street Mafia, not above shooting malcontents in the face in broad daylight when it suits them, despite the war being over and ‘Bunter’ and the 5 out of his 7 Brigadiers who like himself are paid agents being repeatedly ordered to wind it down. The days of immunity for paid agents is over, has been since the Police Ombudsman revelations re Mark Haddock et al.

The old newspapers remain an accurate source of names in the supergrass trials of yesteryear but the book I mentioned above picks up many of the main ones. Norman Sayers ( now dead) was named by ‘Budgie’ Allen, Sayers was I think Provost Marshall after John ( aka ;’Jackie, aka ‘Nigger’) Irvine. Sam Austin snr was a Shankill commander as is his son of the same name now ( like William ‘Mr A’ Murphy, ‘Bunter’, the officers of the Lawnbrook Club,etc, Sam jnr and his wife Liz had a death notice in the Telegraph for Danny Watson on 2nd November). Nesbitt was a fairly senior UVF figure and a renowned street fighter.

Significant day coming up next Tuesday (16th November)-28th anniversary of Lenny Murphy’s death. He’d be 58 if he was alive.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I hadn’t heard of the name Tommy West before, obviously more familiar to the ‘older school’ on here.

As mentioned before, I didn’t know that Jim Hanna was the Brigadier General, to use UVF ranking ‘parlance’.

But I’d also heard another name, someone called Smith whom I was led to believe John Graham replaced at some point in the mid to late 70s.

I’ll bow to the more learned minds on here!

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Mick,

Did you ever get any further with finding out who the ‘top dog’ would have been in the years before JG?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Willie Mac,

I’m fairly sure it was West, though ‘Bunter’ seems to have been around for ever.

Here’s a titbit re Malcolm Nesbitt, mentioned by myself and Bill in passing in posts above. Nesbitt, who claimed to hold
the rare rank of Major ( see previous posts by Bill on this subject) in the UVF, was an accomplished brawler, as stated previously, but he actually hated fighting. The reason being that whenever some knuckle-dragger called him out for a ‘fair dig’, it was invariably when he was in bed nursing a hangover! In those days you had to go, though, and assert your authority-you couldn’t cower behind the curtains as Harry Stockman and Joe McCaw did recently while somebody called you yellow, hammered at your windows or torched your car, nor could you send a couple of goons out with shotguns to blow an aggressor’s head off their shoulders for demanding a ‘fair dig.’ It seems that this old macho tradition has now died a death along with Bobby Moffett.

[Reply]

November 13th, 2010 at 12:32 am
Willie Mac
 227 

When Murphy got done for shooting the two girls on the Cliftonville Road, he was with members of the Windsor Bar ‘platoon’, although Bates was involved too.

This was only a few months after the Lawnbrook and Windsor teams had killed members of one another’s units.

I find it very surprising that there was not bad blood between Murphy and the Windsor Bar ‘team’, which would have made such co-operation unlikely.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Willie Mac,
As soon as yourself and Bill unmasked Mr D as Roy Stewart, i thought the exact same thing- why would a sworn enemy of Lennys only a short time ago accompany him on a job? Then i realised something…..
As Dillon states, the conflict in NI gave malcontents like Murphy and others a kind of false legitimacy for their crimes- ie they were viewed as terrorists rather than psychopathic serial killers or common criminals. And guess how the common criminals in my hometown behave? They spend most of the time getting drunk in various pubs mouthing off or getting into fights- but they have such short attention spans that the guy they beat the s**t out of one week might be their best friend next week!
Is it just me, or does this sound exactly like the behaviour of he shankill butchers? :smile:

[Reply]

Jasper Reply:

Sounds like The British Army.

[Reply]

November 16th, 2010 at 5:25 am
Tom
 228 

very interestin i read the book myself and was sickened… would love to know more about the UDA IRA and INLA torture men previously mentioned if anybody knows ?

[Reply]

November 17th, 2010 at 1:10 am
bill
 229 

I’ve posted the note separately as it covers a few items.

Judging by the dates surrounding the killing of the UDA men in ’75 that led to the ousting of “Smith”, I think he could have been the CoS overthrown by the hardliners in Sep. 75. The UDA men were abducted and killed in April but not found until Sep. That, coupled with some ‘own goals’ already referred to here (for instance the Freeman bomb fiasco), suggests Smith was the boss ousted in autumn ’75. “Beyond the Grave” says that the deposed CoS had to flee the country for his safety.

It also argues that the hawks could not have taken over (easily) if Lenny Murphy was opposed to them – which I agree with.

And it also goes through the UVF command structure, which closely resembles the guesswork some of us created here some time ago. But I’ve never heard of the command staff it refers to, which is the 7-8 members of the Brigade Staff plus the battalion commanders.

Another titbit from that book is David Ervine saying that the Butchers got away with so much do to the “personalities involved” – i.e. the leadership being wary of not just Lenny but William and John Murphy. Gusty Spence said much the same thing years ago.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Very interesting Bill, thanks for that.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Interesting point earlier re Billy Hutchinson being one of the ‘hawks’….I heard a year or two ago from someone with a close insight into the thinking of the UVF, as the journalists used to put it, that he has risen to third in command of the organisation.

The point about the Murphy brothers makes sense. William and Lenny recruited around 20 of a team off their own bat by touring the likes of the Brown Bear and sounding out various thugs and morons-no mean feat. John was described by Dillon in ‘The Triggermen’ as being equally as bad as Lenny and was the organiser of the homecoming party for him in the Loyalist Club in Rumford Street at which Norman Maxwell was battered to death by Lenny and William. Of course any leadership would be wary of such ‘personalities’ and their power base, and particularly of the uncontrollable loose cannon that was Lenny.

Incidentally, I see there have been some properties for sale recently in Centurion Way, off the Shankill, where William Murphy now lives at no. 18. No. 14 is off the market now but looked a nice house, with interior and exterior photos supplied on internet sites as well as full specifications. I think no.11 is still on the market. Such houses would fetch twice the asking prices in the leafy suburbs of South Belfast but you would not in all probability have such colourful neighbours. As well as the malign presence of ‘Mr.A’, one of the country’s most successful ever serial killers, another near neighbour is a notorious thief and trouble- maker with a long history of serious anti-social behaviour. However, AFAIK this does not include torture or murder so I will refrain from publishing his name and address here.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill,

Why do you refer to the ‘Freeman bomb fiasco’?

Just curious.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie – my point was that, from a UVF leadership POV, the bombing mission on which Freeman and three other men was killed (2 October) was a disaster. It is supposed to have heaped the pressure on that “hawkish” group of top notchers who had been in charge for a short period and contributed to their overthrow not long after.

[Reply]

December 5th, 2010 at 9:30 pm
 230 

These people where pure evil and should not be given the time of day but lets not forget the things the IRA have done (savage killing with knives,bombs,guns etc) Living in the heart of North Belfast I have seen and heard of a story about both sides that makes my skin crawl. I know of one man who was from the Ardoynne (prod)and was abucted by the IRA and his tattoo which was on his arm was posted back to his Mum. What about the missing who where totured and buried and their families are still looking their bodies, priests abusing children and taking parts in bombing innocent people. I always have experienced bullying from the UVF & UDA how show hang their heads in shame for the way they treat their own communities. As we all start to move on a few people what to bring us back to the dark days and this should not happen, lets remember that most of these MEN & WOMEN who want to carry on wars the people they looked up to all turned out to be touts/police informers and more names will come out soon we all know that high profile names who should have been brought out years ago but the goverment are hidding it to keep peace, use your heads both sides full of touts and drug dealing killers who only look out for themselves not us decent people who are out working and looking after our families and paying our taxes mortgages cars etc etc. I can at least say my husband and I an at least sleep soundly in our bed at night can they?

[Reply]

Jackie M Reply:

I agree with all of that but I am interested in what some of these guys might be like now. Are they as twisted? A guy from the Shankill I used to work with years ago told me that Sam McAllister is now living in Batenberg St. and hardly ever goes out. He also said that Lenny Murphy led a Shankill tartan gang in his teens and was feared as a psycho even then who used to carry a hatchet about with him. He says he is doubtful about Townsley working in Shorts as said earlier here, he thinks that might be somebody of the same name from the lower Shankill, but the other info on him about the Lawnbrook address is dead on.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Might be right re Townsley, though there are certainly still some unpleasant and dangerous people with paramilitary backgrounds working in Shorts/ Bombardier, including Harry Stockman.

Spoke to a Shankill acquaintance myself recently. He described the old Lawnbrook as one of the grimmest shebeens he’d ever been in during the Troubles-dingy outside, as in the photos available on the net, narrow and quite small inside, populated entirely by growlers with little or no women normally present. There was a jukebox, might have been handy for drowning out the screams of the torture victims. On the plus side, the drink was very cheap.

[Reply]

December 12th, 2010 at 7:49 am
bill
 231 

Does anyone know who a fellow nicknamed “Hitch” is? Apparently was a player in the UVF at the time, possibly with strong Windsor Bar connections?

And where I said above in 229 about the “hawks” taking over (in Oct. 75), I meant to write the “moderates” – though the terminology is relative. The latter overthrew those hardliners (headed by Harding Smith, if Willie is right about the name) who had been in power for about a year and a half.

I’ve also discovered that Bo McClelland was CoS, for at least the second time, in 1983, possibly because Bunter was on remand under supergrass evidence.

What Jackie M said above re Lenny Murphy heading up a *tartan gang* might be plausible except that the tartans didn’t start until about mid-71 at the earliest, when Murphy was 19 and already a UVF member for several years.
But I wouldn’t doubt that he was known for carrying a knife or hatchet.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I will make discreet enquiries ;-)

Bill, in part of the book, it stated that some people managed to ‘fight off’ attempted abduction by the Butchers.

Where do you think that fits in with the eventual capture of the Butchers, i.e. were the police close to identifying them anyway, I wonder?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie: that question has often occupied my mind. For instance, McAllister must have been very well known to the RUC. Although the murder charge for the Stewart Robinson killing was dropped, for example. he’s bound to have been known as a player. And a description of the man running away from the Neeson attack, if passed on to Nesbitt by his colleagues on the Antrim Road, would surely have alerted Nesbitt to who it might well have been (think about it – a big fat man jumping into a taxi heading along Manor St towards the Shankill). Of course, that wouldn’t tie that person or anyone else to the Butcher killings but might have led to a closer eye being kept on McAllister and his associates, esp. Moore who had come to police attention for other criminality.

I think I’ve said in previous discussion that the RUC ****ed up big time over this.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

I used to work with a fella who was a victim of the butchers, but managed to escape with his life. I’d heard it mentioned by a mutual friend and so I decided to ask him. Bear in mind this guy is 100% believable. He spoke briefly about it, saying two men had tried to pull him into a car one night and he fought for his life and managed to run away. He spent two weeks in IC and actually pulled up his shirt to show me what appeared to be knife wounds on his back and shoulder. Really horrific. I did notice him then becoming uncomfortable talking about it so just changed the subject.

I wonder if there are others. I believe the above incident happened probably the early part of ’77 when Moore was becoming more daring/careless.

[Reply]

January 6th, 2011 at 3:06 am
Willie Mac
 232 

Followers of this blog my be interested to learn that Paul Morrissey, son of Butchers’ victim Joseph Morrissey, died of swine flu as reported by the BBC.

You may recall that he spoke about the events surrounding his father’s death on the Peter Taylor documentary, ‘Loyalists’.

There is a link to that interview in another post on this blog.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

RIP Paul… I seen his daughters talking on the news recently.

It’s safe to say he was psychologically scarred for life after viewing his father’s body all those years ago in 1977. I think it was disgraceful that the RUC let Joe’s son (what age would Paul have been, 16 or 17?) view the body. Surely someone else could have done it.

[Reply]

January 9th, 2011 at 2:05 am
Tony scotland
 233 

It’s very sad to see that in some places these bunch of psychopaths are hero worshipped. It sickens me that they had the cheek to put here lies a soldier on his (Lennygrave. So many wrongs were commited on all sides in the Northern Ireland conflict, Catholic, Protestant and British Forces. Its even sadder that most people caught in the middle of it all had no desire for any of it to happen at all, but had to see it all happening anyway.

[Reply]

January 11th, 2011 at 3:44 am
Willie Mac
 234 

Some things intrigue me about the case -things we’ll never know the answer to.

For example, why did Stephen McCann’s girlfriend not go to North Queen Street immediately when she ran from Millfield?

Also, where was Francis Crossen going for a taxi that took him into Library Street – I would have assumed that he passed other depots especially in Clifton Street?

We can only speculate, the answers will never be known.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie: I think Mr McCann’s girlfriend ran to the army sangar at the corner of Unity Flats and Peter’s Hill. Didn’t Dillon, whose knowledge of the geography of Belfast wasn’t advanced, say she met some soldiers within a few minutes – surely the sangar? N. Queen St RUC station was another 5 mins from there. From the corner of Brown St to the sangar is only about 150 yards but unless soldiers were out and about, even the time for her to get there and make the army take action was ample for Moore’s team to get safely up the Shankill maybe via Townsend St. That was them unless stopped by security forces.

Contrary to posts on some republican forums, there wasn’t a clear line of sight from the sangar along Millfield to where Stephen McCann was abducted. Only troops outside the sanager *could have had a chance to see something ontowards happening. But rem. the abduction took maybe 20 seconds before the car sped off?

Francis Crossen must have been heading down towards Royal Avenue to avoid crossing Peter’s Hill and heading into Millfield. Surely that was regarded as an interface, and going via Gresham St and Smithfield towards Divis St for a *black taxi to west Belfast was safer? The security gates into Royal Avenue past North St were locked so his options were limited.

Private taxis in the 70s weren’t as common as today, Willie, and money not as plentiful (generally).

I believe his route was logical enough, actually. One thing I doubt very much, though, is that he walked from Ardoyne down the Crumlin Road towards Carlisle Circus. I reckon his route took him through the Oldpark/Rosapenna/Cliftonville on to the Antrim Road and maybe through the New Lodge towards Clifton St.

No clues about our friend “Hitch”?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Hi Bill,

I think you may be getting confused, in that McCann’s girlfriend ran to a friend’s house (haven’t looked at a map to see where the named street is).

The cyclist who saw the taxi outside the Chlorane went to the army sangar, I think.

Also, I think your point is valid re Crossen. Walking right down the Crumlin or even the Oldpark Road would have been extremely risky in itself.

Re ‘Hitch’, haven’t seen the right people to ask as yet. Will do though ;-)

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie: you’re quite right. I reread the McCann kidnapping information again in Dillon and his girlfriend didn’t appear to stop at the sangar at Unity Flats. In fact, it she had to run all the way to a friend’s house near St Malachy’s College on the lower Antrim Road, having been ignored by a number of cars she tried to stop. That trip takes anyone at least 10 minutes. So the police at N. Queen St weren’t alerted about this until well after 3 pm. Had the poor girl stopped at the sangar or gone to NQS station right away, there’s an outside chance Moore’s team might have been intercepted at Glencairn but only if officers knew to head there at speed and had, by chance, seen anything suspicious. But it was a long, long shot.

This reinforces my impression that stuff I saw somewhere that the army/police should have seen this abduction and moved more quickly is nonsense.

I think that what I saw in that source got me confused on the version of events that night after Mr McCann was abducted.

I can’t remember what republican site
I was referring to or maybe it was in a book. Have a feeling it was on the Net, though, and one of those ****** dissidents ones, too. Google “Shankill butchers” and see if you can get it – inasmuch as any so-called republican website is relevant in 2011.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Bill,

Also meant to ask – what other sites would this subject be discussed on (including Republican ones?)

Cheers

[Reply]

January 25th, 2011 at 12:04 am
MICK
 235 

Anyone see the Sunday World yesterday ( 23rd January)? There was an interesting article on Gorman McMullan, former Shankill UVF man now living in east Belast ( address identified in an earlier post), who is thought by senior security sources to have been one of the gunmen in the bar massacre in Loughinisland some years ago. The paper described him as being one of Lenny Murphy’s ‘Lawnbrook platoon’, thought to have been involved with Murphy in a number of murders, though others have previously expressed a view that he might have been in a different unit. He did describe the Butchers as a ‘decent bunch of lads’ a number of years ago when interviewed by Peter Taylor for his ‘Loyalists’ book and documentary.

Anyone know who the recently deceased George ‘Buster’ Adams, late of Bootle Street in the Shankill, was? Was he involved in any way with the Butchers? There was a death notice for him in the Belfast Telegraph very recently from John and Charlotte Townsley and family, as well as ‘Bunter’ Graham ( aka ‘John, Carol and family’) and other UVF people.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

This is interesting Mick. One thing that’s odd, though, is *what murders that Lennie did was he party to? I think they can only have been ones that Dillon didn’t record.

This forum has identified many of the people who couldn’t be identified by Dillon and, barring one person, we know everyone who was involved in the Butcher killings.

If he was part of the Lawnbrok team, McMullan might have been one of those individuals named K or L who planted a bomb that killed a boy on the Falls. But Dillon says they had not been involved in anything he had mentioned so far.

Logically, then, McMullan can only have been involved with Lenny Murphy in the early 70s – if, as the paper says he had assisted Murphy with murders. And at that stage the Lawnbrook team hadn’t been formed. He may also have caught up with him again in 1982? Or did he remain part of that team during the Butcher killings, although not directly involved with them?

Something that would advance this argument is knowledge of when, if at all, McMullan was in custody for any length of time and/or if he associated closely with the Butchers in prison?

I remain to be convinced, though. Always take the Sunday World with some caution, as they’ve good intelligence but often aren’t that accurate with facts.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

Bill, I read the article in the Sunday World as well, IIRC (Mick you can back me up on this) it stated McMullan was questioned in September 1977 by the RUC about the UVF killings at Casey’s bottling plant in Oct.’75 by Murphy’s unit.

The SW gave McMullan’s age as 47, obviously a mistake as that would make 11 or 12 years old during the Butchers’ killing spree.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

This is a very interesting titbit Stevo, as Dillon’s account of the shooting at Casey’s does not mention McMullan or refer to anyone as an alias. The four people he says carried out the killings were Lenny Murphy, William Moore and the two Green brothers. IIRC, they came from Riga St. There was no fifth man. But it’s possible that McMullan either hijacked the van used by the killers or held its owner captive during the shooting, both of which Dillon does mention.

Have to admit that this strengthens the case a bit for McMullan being one of Murphy’s team. But it’s very unusual that he wasn’t suspected of involvement in anything else they did, unless he was in custody at the time.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill/Stevo

McMullan did a few years at least for armed robbery ( not sure of the dates) but was strongly suspected of involvement in the Caseys operation, though he did not crack under interrogation. If a member of Lenny’s ‘Lawnbrook Platoon’, he may well have been an accessory to the murder of Noel Shaw, as the whole team was summoned to the Lawnbrook for that one, also that of Norman Maxwell if he was out of jail in 1982, plus others not picked up by Dillon.

Re the Green brothers, I wonder was one of them ( Thomas) the same guy subsequently convicted many years later for the murder of Catholic man John O’Neill at a north Belfast UVF club?

Re the Sunday World, yes it has good informants and yes, it makes mistakes ( eg constantly referring to Joe McCaw as ‘McGaw’, etc.) Recently it has taken to describing Jackie Anderson as no. 2 in the UVF but previously it ascribed that role to a ‘ceasefire soldier’ who lacked ‘military’ kudos-presumably because he had never killed anybody-but was fast tracked for promotion by ‘Bunter’ Graham due to his ability to rake in money for the organisation. I assume this was Gerry Verner ( Anderson was I think a former Red Hand Commando prisoner). I wonder was Verner the top player who resigned in protest at the Bobby Moffett murder?

A final thought-Dennis Bradley and Archbishop Robin Eames, when doing their ill-fated report in recent times, had unprecedented access to a plethora of top secret security files. Eames was reportedly stunned at the levels of collusion uncovered and the extent of State manipulation of the Troubles. Even the more streetwise Bradley was shocked to discover that 5 out of the UVF’s 7 Brigadiers, including the Chief of Staff, were paid agents. Me? I’m just surprised to learn that there were 2 who weren’t.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick, very enlightening about our friend McMullan.

Willie: could your “right people” give some clarity on whether McM was one of the Lawnbrook team. As I mentioned before, his prison dates could be illuminating.

Mick: I’m fairly sure that the Thomas Green you refer to re John O’Neill was not one of the brothers we know to have been part of Lenny’s team in 1975. And TG is unlikely to have been released by 1986, if the 13 years for killing a civilan was applied [in 1976] (and rem. that the Casey attack led to four deaths and maybe a longer sentence, I don’t recall).

Can anyone, regardless of their background in N. Ireland, be surprised at the level of ‘insight’ the security forces had into loyalist activites(and Republican to a lesser degree) and that they exercised significant control over what went on? I exclude the Butchers activities from this statement, though.

[Reply]

January 25th, 2011 at 12:50 am
Willie Mac
 236 

He did time for the UVF, I believe, but latterly worked as a barman in two social clubs, one of them a UDA club.

Not sure of any Butchers link, though.

[Reply]

January 26th, 2011 at 12:22 am
Willie Mac
 237 

Maybe a morbid thing to say, however I was driving off the Westlink onto Clifton Street at the weekend after dark and an extremely drunk man was staggering down Clifton Street towards Carrick Hill/Donegall Street.

Once upon a time that would have been a very risky thing to do.

No doubt it happens all the time, just a little ironic that after discussing Francis Crossen’s route, it should happen within a few days…

[Reply]

February 1st, 2011 at 12:13 am
 238 

This message is for everyone who contributes to this thread…

I am the author of the original article “The Shankill Butchers” and am also one of the two administrators of this blog.

Very recently, I have noticed some of the abusive comments that have been made and I wish to remind you all that this will not be tolerated for much longer.

Please understand that we will delete and eventually ban individual contributors who continue to submit offensive comments.

I realise that this is an emotive topic but nevertheless, I urge everyone to try their best to remain civil.

If any of you are confused about this blog’s policy, please refer to our disclaimer above the comments box.

Many thanks and long may this discussion continue,

Patrick Carroll.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Yes, Patrick, well said. And the same goes for those individuals, not too many thank goodness, who add inane comments about the British Army or politicians at Stormont who have – hopefully – put their past behind them.

[Reply]

Patrick Carroll Reply:

Hi Bill,

Thanks for that and remember, for you or anyone else that reads this, the best way to let us know if you ever have an issue is to contact us directly through clicking on “contact” at the top of the page.

Please remember that whilst we do our best to monitor each an every comment that comes through, even “experts” :roll: like us will sometimes make mistakes!

Never hesitate to let us know!

[Reply]

February 15th, 2011 at 7:42 pm
Irish protestant
 239 

Surely the deeds and actions of the “Shankill Butchers” are definitive evidence that God does not exist, because if he or she did, they surely would have plucked these miserable excuses for human beings from the face of the earth before they could continue their mayhem. :|

[Reply]

February 18th, 2011 at 9:33 am
Joed
 240 

Having read Martin Dillons account of the Butcher killings on many occasions, I find I still have lots of questions. I am delighted to have discovered this excellent forum and even more delighted to see a lot of my questioned answered.Would any of the contributors to the forum have any old photos of some of the many Shankill bars which figure so prominently in the horrific saga of the butchers.? Can these pics be posted on the forum?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Don’t know about the Brown Bear , Burning Bush and others no longer in existence but there are photos of the now equally defunct old Lawnbrook and the Windsor Bar on the web. Dank, delapidated, decaying places…..and you couldn’t very well go into town to cheer yourself up, as it was emptied by six o’clock and in any event surrouded by a ring of steel in those dark days. Hence, many people led very stunted lives, never meeting new people outside the ghetto, being stuck within a few gloomy streets for most of their natural. No wonder the likes of Lenny Murphy was seen by certain women in low paid dead end jobs, or no jobs, as presenting danger and excitement in such a hideously grim and incestuous domain…there would have been little in the way of normal social life in such an environment.

Here’s a titbit-remember former Linfield, Newcastle United and Northern Ireland left back Alfie McMichael? Apparently he went back to live on his native Shankill after he retired, and is a regularin the new Lawnbrook these days.He would be quite an old man by now.

[Reply]

Next Stop, up some dark entry... Reply:

Really?

I know it struggles for customers, but you’d think they’d draw the line at someone who’s been dead for more than five years… :lol:

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Well, they didn’t use to draw the line at much in the Lawnbrook, including the presence of the odd corpse, but you’re right about Alfie ( died January 2006)-must have been five years since I spoke to my source for that one. I stand corrected!

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Here’s one of the “Brown Bear”, though the quality isn’t great.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55555977@N03/5590394918/

[Reply]

February 23rd, 2011 at 8:50 am
Joed..
 241 

THe murder of Moorhead by Bates, Mc Allister & Moore in the toilets of the Windsor Bar in Jan of 77 troubles me! As told by Dillon the culprits were standing at the bar in the Windsor when the victim walked in and were watching Match of the Day. My question is this…. Given the subterfuge employed by Murphy to conceal the Brown Bear units summary execution of Noel Shaw from Chuck Berry the leader of the Windsor Bar unit in 75, how were 3 of Murphys people, IN HIS ABSENCE able to operate with impunity in the Windsor , killing not only a man but a senior member of the UDA on Chucks territory, thereby potentially bringing Chuck into danger. Dillon says they also had the authority to order the barman to close up and tell the other drinkers to go home and left the exposed body in the yard all day Sunday. Where was Chuck and his Windsor Bar unit while all of this was going on? Something has to be wrong here!!!!!! What do you think?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

There was some debate about this earlier on this thread. I do not have the answer to this but suspect, as others have done, that Moorehead may have been involved in the demands for the punishment shooting of Sam McAllister as revenge for the murder of the UDA man who was beaten to death with a breeze block by McAllister ( details in Dillon’s book). There was certainly bad blood between the UVF and UDA from time to time and of course the revenge murder of Basher Bates many years later has been widely attributed to Curtis Moorehead.

On another topic-the Sunday World had an interesting article a week ago on the death of Peter ‘Skeet’ Hamilton, the fourth member of the IRA team which bombed the Bayardo Bar on the Shankill in August 1975 ( other three were identified earlier on this thread). ‘Skeet’, who planted the actual bomb in that operation, died recently of cancer at the age of 57, having settled in Dundalk. He was one of the Maze jailbreakers in September 1983, along with fellow Bayardo attackers Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane and Seamus Clarke. With many senior Provos at his funeral, the Sunday World spoke of a fraught and tense atmosphere at the funeral as it coincided with that of the mother of a ‘senior loyalist’, as the paper put it, taking place at Roselawn at the same time. There were staring matches but no violence and the Sunday World did not name the ‘senior loyalist’.

Step forward Uel Cooke, knife wielding UVF psychopath and sometime east Belfast UVF commander, who was attending the funeral of his mother Margaret from the Cregagh Road. Cooke got life some years ago for the murder of Catholic girl Amnne- Marie Smyth who was found dead on a patch of waste ground with her throat slashed, having been badly beaten first-she had been lured from the Hillfoot Glentoran Supporters Club by Cooke and his cohorts on the pretext of going to a party. The gang smirked and jeered at Anne-Marie’s parents from the dock when they were caught and jailed and were allowed into the UVF compound only after a very narrowly won vote amongst the UVF prisoners, such was the revulsion at their crime amongst many of them. Cooke was widely regarded as arguably the most vicious thug the UVF had produced since Lenny Murphy and was said to have killed a number of men in frenzied knife attacks as a young man on his way up the UVF ranks.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

I suppose it could have been a case of the UVF closing ranks and sticking up for their own, even a rival unit- relations between the UDA and UVF were afterall tense at the best of times! But i must concur with you that im very suprised “Chuck” didnt see it as taking liberties.

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March 12th, 2011 at 7:52 am
 242 

And re Shaws execution, although Murphy didnt advertise that he was guilty of Shaws murder- to do so would’ve invited all out war with the Windsor bar team because they would’ve HAD to have responded- unless he was a complete halfwit “Chuck” Berry must surely have known that Lenny was the likely culprit. Indeed, Dillon states that Shaw and Balmer were seen as expendable but that “Chuck” wouldnt have stood for Stewart being harmed whether Murphy flaunted it or not.
In fact, since this forum has unmasked Mr D as Roy Stewart, it adds a new spin on the saga: namely that Lenny clearly DID fear Chuck Berry and the Widsor Bar unit, because he still wouldnt touch Stewart even after he ran off with his wife!

[Reply]

March 13th, 2011 at 10:08 am
Willie Mac
 243 

On the killing of Galway by Murphy in 1982, I’m led to believe that Galway had earlier confessed to being in the pay of the security forces but that the UVF ‘team’ that questioned him did not take further action – very strange in itself.

On Murphy’s release, the same people subsequently told Murphy of the confession and he then took the matter into his own hands…..

[Reply]

March 14th, 2011 at 1:25 am
Joed..
 244 

Ok, but if Mr CM was responsible for the offing of Mr Bates why did he or others not address the other well known participants in the affair in the same summary fashion.
Q for Willie Mac… Killing of Galway?
Gormie seems to have gained a liitle bit of kudos in his receipt of the award from the honorary Polish Consul for his Unite Against Hate sympathy re the death of the Polish President. Does Gormie know the persuasion in general of the people of Poland???

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Moore was still in custody when Bates was killed, while McAllister was lying fairly low. That CM singled out Bates, an easy enough target, for revenge tells me that he regarded him as the prime mover in the killing of his father. Moreover, it indicates that Bates’ statement to police on the matter, like much of what he said, bore only a passing resemblance to the truth. Dillon got a few things wrong but I agree with him on that point. Many years were to pass before Bates changed.

Galway – I think Willie’s spot on with this. As per previous discussion, being an informant wasn’t necessrily a death sentence within the UVF.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bates certainly had form before he joined the Butchers-he was in another gang, according to Dillon, was already an ex-jailbird and was known for having a hair trigger temper and penchant for extreme violence, eg glassing and bottling people in pubs. In the recently published book ‘Beyond The Grave’, which was discussed earlier in this forum with reference to David Ervine’s revelations about the Butchers and other UVF related matters, the late IRA leader Brendan ‘Darkie’ Hughes describes Bates as someone who did change in prison and actually tipped Hughes off about an impending attempt on his life by other UVF inmates ( this is also mentioned in Dillon’s book). Bates is said to have been fascinated by the ethos of republicanism, something he was totally ignorant of throughout his career of sectarian murder. When challenged by Hughes about the Butchers murders, he claimed not to have been a natural born killer and thought that very few paramilitaries actually were, though Lenny Murphy was a notable exception. When quizzed by Hughes on his motivation for getting involved with the Butchers, he cited ‘drink, drugs and company’. Another journalist, Susan McKay, mentioned his uncle Ernest Bates being blown up in the bombing of the former Four Step Inn on the Shankill. I think Bates may well have changed by the time he got out-he spent his later life warning youngsters away from paramilitaries, unlike for instance Billy Moore, who resumed some criminal activity, and Sam McAllister, who still acted the bully until he got that hiding from the South Belfast UDA in 2000, quite possibly on the orders of Curtis Moorehead.

One characteristic of the Butchers was the fact that they were equal opportunity killers, nothing if not ecumenical in their choice of victims. Dillon lists no fewer than a dozen Protestants murdered by them, if you include the Chlorane Bar massacre in which Bates was involved ( Connor, Shaw, Maxwell, Robinson, Moorehead, McNeill, Smyth, Corr, Martin, Easton, Hanna and Carlisle) and that’s not counting Galway and any others not known about, or the various near fatal assaults, such as that on Harold Underwood.

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TRD Reply:

It is in the same book that the late David Irvine confirms that John ‘Bunter’ Graham became UVF COS in 1976. Irvine and the author pretty much say that there was a coup in that year. I forget what page it is on, but its in the chapter where Irvine discusses the Butchers, apparently as Irvine says (Can’t mind the actual words) it wouldn’t happened without Murphys permission?

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TRD Reply:

That’s the book titled Voices Beyond The Grave.

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SPON Reply:

I’ve always been a bit curious about the “drink, drugs and company” comment.

My understanding was that there wasn’t really any drugs available in Belfast in the 1970s, except for maybe a bit of hash – not exactly the kind of drug that makes you want to kill people.

Anyone got anything to add?

Also, wouldn’t the UVF leadership have clamped down hard on drugs in the 70s?

[Reply]

March 14th, 2011 at 9:44 am
Willie Mac
 245 

BBC One NI to show the documentary which was mentioned on here, hosted by Stephen Nolan. Next Monday ay 9pm.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Yes Willie, unfortunately in England it wont be on- instead we’ll probably get a riveting debate about Jordans tits! Just have to hope its on i player :)

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

There’s a short trailer of the documentary at this link, looks interesting;

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Stevo Reply:

Sorry, here is link this time, not sure what happened there;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00fv7gz

Can’t imagine this doc telling us anything we didn’t know before, or showing us anything we haven’t seen before.

And I certainly can’t imagine Stephen Nolan hammering on Mr.A’s door with the cameras running asking him for some comment.

Should be interesting nonetheless.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Interestig not least for the views of Belfast and the Shankill some of us older folks here remember

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bill Reply:

Stevo: I assume this is the link you mean (BBC):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zx9x2

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J Reply:

aye thats what brought me here. What is this page? Is it just a random page in someone’s blog thats been commandeered by shankill butchers investigators or what?

Also, seems that most of the lads on this page are of the unionist persuasion and I’ve got a question for you: why were there no falls road butchers? Yeah, yeah I know Gerry Adams Jean Mc Conville Bik Mc Farlane Bayardo bar and so on but there is a difference between pulling up in a car and shooting into a bar and a group of people systematically and sadistically torturing men and women to death with meat cleavers. I understand killing civilians is killing civilians, but it really takes a different sort of hatred to do what they did.

I’m not trying to get at anyone either and I’m genuinely not bitter I know some of the dissident republicans now and they’re scum. Local hard men who want everyone to know it and who the world would be better off without. I can imagine what a lot of the provis were like. I also feel more in common with fellow ulstermen of any background than with the southerners, who I can’t help but feel really distant from, despite the fact I’m supposed to celebrate the idea of a united Ireland.

I’m a 21 year old catholic and I grew up in North Belfast but I went to a mixed school, there was about 20 of us who became mates from 2nd/3rd year onwards(about 13 protestant, 7 catholic) and we all got on well. Most of us came from nationalist/unionist estates in the city as well. We were all good mates and used to go drinking the odd weekend in neutral areas around Belfast. But they did used to laugh at and feel proud about the same sort of things that made me ashamed to be a nationalist. The same sense of shame I had about bloody Friday/shankill road bombing and events like that just wasn’t there with them and events like the shankill butcher murders, loughinisland etc. They were in awe of the men who had did these things. They’d have bought them a pint if they’d walked into the local. There was sort of a swaggering cruelty about the whole thing. I think its partly because they didn’t feel they really had anything except the murder of civilians to grab onto and they were used to it, but it was something deeper as well.

I think one of the main things is that where nationalists look forward to the future, unionists fear it. Fear is one of the key things that makes people hate. I think nationalists benefit from the ability to hope for the future every once in a while, but most protestants I know seem to go for the jugular every time someone threatens to change anything. It feels like a cornered animal sort of thing. When you feel like your backs against the wall for long enough you’ll turn that panic and fear into staunch bitterness and hate. Some of my mates in school let slip with some really bitter shit that I never once heard any of the catholics come off with, even when they weren’t around. It was like we were cautious of them but underneath I got the feeling most of them were a lot more than cautious of us. We’d all have a bit of banter about king billy/orange marches and us being fenian bastards around summer time, but if anyone flashed a picture of bobby sands the atmosphere changed and some of them would screw up their face and look at you like you were a rat before they could stop themselves.

Anyway, food for thought. That was much longer than I meant it to be. Let the rage begin. And do me a favour and read it over again before you jump down my throat because you think I’ve slandered against your tribe. Really think about it. Do you recognise any of this? I also don’t think its a bad thing its understandable, but I do think the loyalist/unionist community is more afraid of the future (never,never,never is the stand out unionist quote, and it doesn’t really get more negative) and a lot of that turns into bitterness(understandably).

[Reply]

realist Reply:

Hi J,

I’m a Dublin man, so I can’t claim to speak for Unionism, but I can give you some thoughts from someone who’s been around the block a bit!

Also, seems that most of the lads on this page are of the unionist persuasion and I’ve got a question for you: why were there no falls road butchers? Yeah, yeah I know Gerry Adams Jean Mc Conville Bik Mc Farlane Bayardo bar and so on but there is a difference between pulling up in a car and shooting into a bar and a group of people systematically and sadistically torturing men and women to death with meat cleavers. I understand killing civilians is killing civilians, but it really takes a different sort of hatred to do what they did.

But Republicans did torture people – they tortured many an ‘informer’ (not the highest placed ones though – LOL) and they smashed the limbs of many a young lad with breeze blocks and hurley sticks, as well as shooting them in the knees. Some of these kids died or lost their legs. Would that not count as torture?

Then there were those that crawled away from bombed buildings with their insides hanging out, or with their faces cut to shreds by flying glass – some to die in agony over a few minutes, some to die slowly over weeks, months, or years. Would that not count as torture?

Or what about the mental torture endured by a young police widow and her two or three small children who have watched their father murdered in front of them at the breakfast table (unarmed – of course) and have to spend the rest of their lives without him? Would that not count as torture?

I can’t help but feel that you have received a sanitised version of The Troubles that due to your age, you’ve perhaps been too willing to accept at face value?

I’m a 21 year old catholic and I grew up in North Belfast but I went to a mixed school, there was about 20 of us who became mates from 2nd/3rd year onwards(about 13 protestant, 7 catholic) and we all got on well. Most of us came from nationalist/unionist estates in the city as well. We were all good mates and used to go drinking the odd weekend in neutral areas around Belfast. But they did used to laugh at and feel proud about the same sort of things that made me ashamed to be a nationalist. The same sense of shame I had about bloody Friday/shankill road bombing and events like that just wasn’t there with them and events like the shankill butcher murders, loughinisland etc. They were in awe of the men who had did these things. They’d have bought them a pint if they’d walked into the local. There was sort of a swaggering cruelty about the whole thing. I think its partly because they didn’t feel they really had anything except the murder of civilians to grab onto and they were used to it, but it was something deeper as well.

I once watched a documentary about British bomber pilots meeting German civilians from Dresden after the war and the way the conversation went you’d have thought The Germans were apologising to The British! Now my take on this is two fold. Firstly, The British had won the war and secondly, The Germans realised they’d fought an evil war of aggression. Could this explain the difference between you and your Loyalist friends, in the sense that they had won and Nationalists had fought a war of aggression against democracy? Could this explain your shame?

As regards Loyalists killing civilians, well perhaps your Loyalist friends realised that many Nationalists supported The IRA and even helped them? Perhaps they knew that The IRA didn’t wear uniforms or openly display their weapons in clear breech of The Geneva Convention? Perhaps they thought that if Republicans ignored the rules of war then it was acceptable for Loyalists to do likewise?

Anyway, that’s my two cents worth. Let’s hope those days never return and The people of The Irish Republic and those of The UK (including The Irish bit!) can get on as good neighbours should.

[Reply]

joe Reply:

Nah no sanitized version bro I was forced off a bus when I was 6 with my ma by a group of loyalists armed with knives and bats during drumcree, they let us walk home and hijacked the bus, but there were crowds of people lining the street cheerin and spitting at us calling us fenian bastards. They tried to get in to the area later on that night, blast bombs, pipe bombs etc, it was bad. My mates sister also went to holy cross, they didn’t try and get her to school but the rest of the girls in her school had live bombs and balloons filled with piss thrown at them. I had a friend who was hit with a hatchet by the INLA when he was 15, and local dissident republicans are shooting people because they knocked the wrong person out in a fair dig. I know exactly what hate is and I know exactly what NI is like. I just can’t help but feel you’ve learned everything you know about Northern Ireland from documentaries and news reports. In terms of this OH MY GOD THEY USED TO BEAT KIDS, some of the mad bastards used to get shoot here tattooed on their kneecaps then be out robbing ,raping and dealing the day they were released from hospital, and I know them. You got any more wisdom for me my southern friend? Any quotes from the great Patrick pearse (or whatever you called that melodramatic rentboy). Because I love getting advice from people who actually lived through it. Hows things in dear old dublin anyway? I hear theres SO much culture and some really nice history about a genuine WAR that happened down there(I bet the yanks love that) and the women and the music are great.

Anyway, about this aggression shite. Have you been sniffing glue? The loyalists started killing catholics in 1966, 3 years before the start of the troubles and 4 years before the provos fired a single shot. They also killed the first police officer in the conflict. And whats the craic with the IRA killing people who were “unarmed–of course”? what does that have to do with it? Are you defending loyalists paramilitaries by saying “the IRA used to kill unarmed civilians, and thats not very nice”? You need to watch better documentaries man your head is lit. But that was all before my time, and I can imagine why they would feel threatened. I can only go on what I know.

I don’t know man I still think a lot of loyalists are being brought up thinking (or feeling forced to pretend )that every taig is the same, and that we need to be crushed like cockroaches if we get out of line, and people like that are in the minority in the republican area I come from. And they’re usually the same scum who rob houses and steal cars then convert to republicanism, and those boys don’t seem to advance above footsoldier. Racism is a real problem as well, I know a couple of prods with SS/Nazi symbols tattooed on them, and one of my mates was nearly fucked out of school for having “there ain’t no black in the union jack so pull that trigger and shoot that nigger” wrote on his schoolbag. Most of the ex provos won’t let kids anywhere near the interfaces, and spend all their time talking shite about broken street lights and a shared future in sinn fein meetings. I think the dissidents now resemble the loyalists as they were when I was growing up, and from what I hear they were different from loyalists in the 70s. They’re both into personal power, drugs, crime, and all the other hobbies you pursue when you’re hard as fuck and you want everyone to know it. And here, in terms of that old war cry of DEMOCRACY, if martin mc Guinness is elected as first minister as the leader of the largest party in NI (SF) in May, I think a lot of unionists might fall out with democracy for a while. Probably nothing too serious though, hopefully anyway.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

If you’ll allow me my two pence worth, as a secular Englishman, this question of “which side was worse?” is unanswerable- too much depends on personal opinion and/or experience. What is beyond dispute is that BOTH the republican and loyalist paramilitaries have behaved abominably throughout the 30 years of the troubles, by any civilised standards, and the security services havent exactly coverd themselves in glory at all times either!
But i think the Shankill butchers were a case apart, not because they were “loyalist”, but because of the unique ferocity of their modus operendi. As has been stated many times already, they were serial killers rather than terrorists.
There is an excellent modern day comparison to lenny murphy and 1970s Belfast- think the recent Iraq conflict. Heavy handed security forces, vicious rival sunni and shiite militias- but unrivalled in evil on either side was Abu Musab Al Zaquarwi, whose preffered method of killing those he considerd subhuman due to their religon was beheading (sound familiar?) and posting the results online! Does anyone doubt that lenny murphy would have done exactly the same thing, technology permitting?

[Reply]

realist Reply:

Hi Joe,

Thanks for getting back to me, just a few comments on your comments as we Irish say (LOL)

Nah no sanitized version bro I was forced off a bus when I was 6 with my ma by a group of loyalists armed with knives and bats during drumcree, they let us walk home and hijacked the bus, but there were crowds of people lining the street cheerin and spitting at us calling us fenian bastards. They tried to get in to the area later on that night, blast bombs, pipe bombs etc, it was bad. My mates sister also went to holy cross, they didn’t try and get her to school but the rest of the girls in her school had live bombs and balloons filled with piss thrown at them.

Ah, but sure there’s two sides to every argument. I met a crowd of Unionists on holiday a few years back and they seemed wonderful people. We got to talking and these two issues were brought up. Their attitude to Drumcree was that The Orange were only after walking down a road and that The SF crowd were the ones causing the problem. Same with The Holy Cross incident. Protestants were being attacked on almost a daily basis in the lead up and in any case what sort of Mother exposes her child to such a carry on? As I say, two sides and all that.

In terms of this OH MY GOD THEY USED TO BEAT KIDS, some of the mad bastards used to get shoot here tattooed on their kneecaps then be out robbing ,raping and dealing the day they were released from hospital, and I know them.

My God, surely you’re not for excusing the IRA torturing young lads are you? It’s the like of that behaviour that turns people down here off a United Ireland. Do you think the decent people down here want that sort of carry on?

Anyway, about this aggression shite. Have you been sniffing glue? The loyalists started killing catholics in 1966, 3 years before the start of the troubles and 4 years before the provos fired a single shot.

Oh for God’s sake lad, are you not showing your age? Sure wasn’t there IRA activity every decade following partition? Didn’t they hang Williams in the forties? What about the oul border campaign which only ended in the early sixties? Are you forgetting all that?

And whats the craic with the IRA killing people who were “unarmed–of course”? what does that have to do with it? Are you defending loyalists paramilitaries by saying “the IRA used to kill unarmed civilians, and thats not very nice”? You need to watch better documentaries man your head is lit.

All I’m saying is that in those dark days, PIRA slaughtered civilians and The Orange boys did the same. Can you not be man enough to see the connection?

Racism is a real problem as well, I know a couple of prods with SS/Nazi symbols tattooed on them, and one of my mates was nearly fucked out of school for having “there ain’t no black in the union jack so pull that trigger and shoot that nigger” wrote on his schoolbag.

Are you not at the generalisations again? Sure haven’t The PUP and others spoken out on these issues. Didn’t Loyalists fight The Huns in both the wars, whilst old Dev smarmed all over The Nazi rogues? My God, we Irish are in no position to preach on this matter to be sure.

And here, in terms of that old war cry of DEMOCRACY, if martin mc Guinness is elected as first minister as the leader of the largest party in NI (SF) in May, I think a lot of unionists might fall out with democracy for a while. Probably nothing too serious though, hopefully anyway.

Mary, Jesus and Joseph. Are we Irish in a position to play the holy roller? Did not The Provos laugh at the ballot box for years until Gerry was made General? Is it any wonder that The Orange are looking to play the same game?

The way I see it my friend (and forgive me for poking the oul nose in), is that you fellows up North in The Nationalist community are never stopping with the complaints. Sure, if it isn’t this, it’s that! PIRA caused most of the murders yet according to youngsters like you it was all the fault of The Orange. That’s why I say to you – get the oul history books out and learn the facts going back a while, you’ll find out that what the priests have told you isn’t the end of it!

Good luck now.

[Reply]

joe Reply:

Jesus Christ man what are you talking about? The attempted murder of young girls walking to school was justified because of tit-for-tat stone throwing? The holy cross protest was naked sectarian hatred, that’s all it was, no excuses.
What sort of mother puts her child through it? Your argument is that the parents of the young children who were attacked with live bombs and balloons filled with piss were at fault for making a stand against organised naked sectarian hatred involving the education of schoolchildren? If everyone on this planet was as ball-less as you African Americans would still be stuck working the fields, never mind getting a decent education.
The RA tortured young people, but the reality is it was the community who were the biggest drivers for that action, it wasn’t a top down strategy. I was talking to a man from tallaght the other day, he said they needed the RA down there to sort the scumbags out. What can I say, some people like rough justice. I hate it myself, I’m training to be a lawyer, but thats just the way it is all over the world. The other reality is while you’re in control of an area you have to police it, you break it you buy it. There was HUGE pressure on the RA/UDA to take care of hoods, and if you come to republican/loyalist areas in Belfast, even today when we have a police force that can go anywhere and arrest anyone, there is still a massive amount of support for paramilitary justice. A lot of people on both sides talk about paramilitary justice as if its the way justice should be.
As for racism in loyalist areas, they’ve spoken out on it, but its not getting any better, trust me. There is sporadic playground style racism in nationalist areas; but the racism in loyalist areas and among loyalist youth is institutional and endemic, links with far right groups and a history of feeling ethnically superior to another group have both contributed.
To youngsters like me the conflict was just that, a conflict. You need to put down the action man mate. What were you talking about in your last post? O aye, the IRA didn’t follow the GENEVA convention, what are you talking about man? You’re telling me to read history books and you think the world works according to the Geneva convention? Listen to me kid, I’m going to tell you how the world really works. War breaks out with China tomorrow; the Geneva convention is ripped up by America and NATO and thrown out the fucking window. They do what they have to do to win. Same thing they always have done. You mentioned Dresden, how many little newborn babies do you think screamed and screamed for help until their lungs burst as the fires raged around them in the hospitals of Dresden? Fires started by noble and brave allied bomber pilots. So it goes.
End of the day, nationalists in Northern Ireland were systematically oppressed by the unionist majority for decades. The IRA border campaigns had no support up here, nobody cared. The thing catholics were marching for in N.I in the 1960s was fair treatment, ask people who grew up back then and they will tell you most catholics were massively ignorant and apathetic about Irish history and the possibility of unification. It was from the huge overreaction of the Unionist state to demands of fair and equal treatment by people who were treated like dogs in their own country that directly led to the foundation of the provisional IRA. Unionists were mobilised because they feared becoming the second class citizens that catholics were in their country in a new united Ireland, and they started to fight. Round and round we go. Simple as.

We in the north are never done complaining? Nationalists fought for 30 years without support or charity while you sat down there reading your history books about how brave daddy was when he used to fight those evil Brits(again, I bet the yanks love that)and learning the Irish language because daddy told you it would make you a really good wee Irishman.

“That’s why I say to you – get the oul history books out and learn the facts going back a while, you’ll find out that what the priests have told you isn’t the end of it!”
Right, come on now man. You’re a yank or a loyalist in disguise. Thats like the yanks you see who say things like “ I HEARD PROTESTANTS AND CATHOLICS COME TOGETHER AROUND CHRISTMAS AND SING CAROLS IN THE STREETS OF BELFAST, IS THIS TRUE?”, or try to scare us with: “I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS AND I’M SURE GOD DOESNT EITHER!!!!”. If you know anything about the N.I conflict you know religion was a junior partner to the political, ethnic, and cultural factors that made it what it was. I’ve been to mass 5-6 times in my life, each one was a christening or a wedding. Would be very common in republican/loyalist areas in N.I. One of the problems with getting all your info from TV is you end up not knowing what you’re talking about. I promise you you would have been more likely to find republicans/loyalists in bed, in the pub or at a house party still drunk/drugged out from the night before than at any sort of religious service on a Sunday morning. “what the priests have told you”, jesus Christ man thats nuts I thought you at least had a rough idea what you were talking about, you don’t have a clue do you?

To the Englishman, aye go ahead man and thats a good analogy. What I was saying is that the IRA had a political strategy(despite murdering hundreds of civilians) while the loyalists exclusively murdered catholic civilians as a “strategy”; because a lot of loyalists genuinely believed catholics were sort of sub human animals who had to be kept in check, and I believe this attitude contributed to the sort of blind hatred that leads to serial killing of this nature.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

And breathe…..!

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j Reply:

I know man, spent an hour writing that like a sad bastard… Need to get out more.

[Reply]

Captain Black Reply:

FAO Joe,

Loyalists did have a strategy – keep killing members of the nationalist community until The IRA call their campaign off. I suspect it eventually worked.

As you say yourself above – who gives a toss about The Geneva Convention these days? Certainly not The IRA, so why should Loyalists?

Your words:

“They do what they have to do to win”

[Reply]

March 23rd, 2011 at 11:30 pm
Willie Mac
 246 

For the ITN news report on Lenny Murphy’s death at the hands of the IRA, you can go onto itnsource.come and type his name into the search engine.

There are also other related clips if you play about with the search feature.

[Reply]

jan Reply:

watching lennys documentry now on tv

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bill Reply:

brilliant Willie – I’ll see if I can get any stills of the people most prominent in the cortege. Maybe William Murphy’s face will be revealed after all?!

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I also wondered if Lenny Murphy could be seen among the crowd hanging around as Joe Donegan’s corpse is taken away by police.

It said in the book that a senior police officer recognised him in the onlookers when watching the evening news.

If you put in Joesph Donegan a few relevant clips appear.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Don’t think so Willie as three men were arrested that morning – to contradict what Dillon says (which you quoted).

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Unfortunately, stills of Murphy’s funeral and burial don’t give any clear views of faces! Still, Mr A we now know to be Lenny’s virtual double

[Reply]

March 27th, 2011 at 10:21 pm
Montpelier
 247 

William Cowan.
What was his role?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

!”Wingnut” Cowan was one of Murphy’s gang in 1982. He drove the taxi in which Joe Donegan was abducted and was later jailed for life for that murder and one or two others. He was from Tiger’s Bay originally, I think, and possibly joined the UVF in prison.

[Reply]

Montpelier Reply:

Thank you Bill.
I met Cowan in 2002/3 when he was working as a street missionary in Belfast City Centre. I think he was with the Belfast City Mission. I was told by a friend then that he was involved but never investigated myself. I must have met him 5 times. I don’t know what to say.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

On checking my sources again, Cowan not from Tiger’s Bay (that was Mahood, another of the ’82 gang). But Cowan def. given at least two life sentences for murder.

[Reply]

March 29th, 2011 at 7:51 am
jan
 248 

all am saying is we are as bad as each other on theses matters

[Reply]

March 29th, 2011 at 7:59 am
northsider
 249 

Interesting comments. I have loads of questions.

1) L. Murphy was released from Internment in the spring of 75. Did he really wait until October before killing someone?

2) What is known of L. Murphy’s career before he was charged with the killing of Pavis? What platoon was he involved with? and how many kills did he have to his name?

3) How many other victims did the Butchers claim before they were caught?

4) What were the circumstances surrounding the attack on Mr Underwood?

5) How many others escaped their clutches?

[Reply]

March 29th, 2011 at 8:42 am
Interested
 250 

Could some kind soul with the technical know-how please upload the BBC documentary onto youtube?

I live in Scotland, and have checked the BBC site several times this evening since the programme aired, but it doesn’t seem to be watchable using i-player.

I have a special interest in seeing this documentary: my dad worked on Berlin St., just off the Shankill until his untimely death in 1977.

[Reply]

March 29th, 2011 at 8:51 am
belfast lad
 251 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00zx9x2/Shankill_Butchers/

bbc iplayer link to program

[Reply]

March 29th, 2011 at 6:45 pm
Stevo
 252 

For those not in NI last night’s documentary is up on youtube, here’s link to first part;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScuNRlW6bEg

Enjoyed it, though as I said before it was never gonna tell me anything I didn’t know, this page is the place for that!

It was very poignant at times with the victim’s family interviews, and especially when it showed photos of Stephen McCann. Jimmy Nesbitt didn’t really come out of it well, Nolan was a bit harsh with him IMO.

Not one mention of Mr.A however? Hopefully the Historical Enquiries team will fix that.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

I agree Stevo, and in fact i’ll go further- i thought the hatchet job Nolan did on Jim Nesbitt was apalling! Throughout the doc he tried to imply that Nesbitt & other cops, the security services & the UVF MUST’ve known what Murphy was up to. Now the UVF may well have known, or at least suspected, that Murphy and his gang were the butchers, but re anyone else supposedly knowing this lets consider the facts…..
Nolans constant refrain was “how did Murphy get away with it for so long?” How long is “so long?” Unless i’ve got my timelines completely wrong, from 1972 until his death in ’82 Lenny was barely out of prison- and Moore & the rest were arrested in 77. So the “so long” Nolan kept spouting off about re the 6 cutthroat murders- and remember Murphy only did the 1st 3, Moore did the rest while he was in prison which surely would’ve initially threw any detective, not just Nesbitt- was actually just over a year!
Now, of COURSE thats 1 year too long & 6 murders too many- that shouldnt even need to be said. But compare that timeline with how long Peter Sutcliffe managed to evade capture, and compare the resources on hand to Nesbitts overworked squad (dealing with numerous other paramilitary activity as well as the butchers lets remember) with the vast resources on hand for the ripper investigation- and i think Nesbitt deserves respect rather than censure!

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

The documentary mentioned 4 who effectively got away with it….among the 4 were the 2 other Murphy brothers obviously ( Mr A and Mr B), though the latter was jailed for 3 yrs, around the same time as those convicted of the Butchers crimes, for the assault on Harold Underwood which took place the day after the bombing operation in West Belfast (organised by Mr A) which resulted in the death of the 10 yr. old child-presumably Moore and Townsley who along with James Potts and Mr B were the protagonists had concurrent 2 yr. sentences for the Underwood attack attached to their Butchers sentences. John Murphy (Mr B) got an extra year for not admitting he was involved. Who were the other 2? Mr K and Mr L, perhaps? Or James Potts..maybe Gorman McMullan? Perhaps the HET will tell us.

I didn’t expect Nolan to doorstep Mr A at 18 Centurion Way, incidentally-even Donal McIntyre probably wouldn’t have had the balls for that, you’d have to hire Raymond McCord for such a job-but I have heard that the lone surviving Murphy brother looked like a bigger and taller version of Lenny when he was younger. I do not know if that is still the case.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Mick, As the programme was almost exclusively concerned with the cut throat murders rather than the butchers many other unsavory activities, i presume the 4 people who “got away with it” were William & John Murphy, David McVeigh ( revealed by Bill as Mr C in Dillons book) & lenny the master butcher himself- incredibly never charged with a single murder!

[Reply]

March 30th, 2011 at 2:47 am
michael
 253 

do you know if the murphys parents living or dead.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Re whether the Murphy parents are alive or dead-Joyce at least is very much alive and I posted her address in Lawnbrook Avenue earlier on this thread, along with some others. She recently signed the nomination form for an Alliance Party candidate in the forthcoming Assembly elections on 5 May ( this is 100% true, though she didn’t know the guy nor he her), claiming that she would never vote for the unionist parties again as they ‘ are all on the take’ ( her words-this happened very recently in McDowells chemists on the Shankill, where Joyce is a regular customer).

On reflection re my previous post, the three Murphy brothers were clearly amongst the four gang members never convicted ( I forgot Lenny never was) and the biggest fish to escape the net. Fourth could have been David ‘Spider’McVeigh or any of the others I mentioned-lots of others were accessories to murder of course.

[Reply]

michael Reply:

thanks mick just wondering if she was in hell yet.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Joyce (now 80) reiterated her defence of Lenny in yesterday’s Sunday Life and said that others, presumably the Provos, did worse. She said she’d been asked to take part in the Nolan documentary but refused, althoiugh she did watch it.

[Reply]

March 31st, 2011 at 5:59 am
bill
 254 

I haven’t seen the TV programme yet but the BBC Iplayer or podcasts page has the “Nolan Show” (radio) of 29 and 30 March, with huge reaction to the documentary.

The Iplayer isn’t working for me but the podcasts do:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/nolan

Here’s a few things that came out of those two broadcasts.

The first one begins with a harrowing account by Charlotte Morrissey of the affect her father’s death had on the family. She mentioned Bates as one of her dad’s killers but that detail is wrong.

Another caller said she knew Bates (in later years) as a good Christian man who had turned his life over to God. She sounded sincere. And a man from the Newtownards Road, who said the same about Bates, claimed he knew for a fact that the UVF leadership didn’t know who was carrying out the killings. That came from his time as a loyalist internee.

There is evidence of other attempted abductions, including a man on the Cliftonville Road who turned out to be a Protestant from the Westland and was terrified that loyalists would get his name. Two callers claimed that police reaction to these incidents was far too blasé.

One that rings true was another attempted abduction on the Cliftonville on 9 May 1976 that ended when people intervened. Two callers, on the line at the same time, spoke about this. One of the gang missed getting back into a taxi and ran off down Cliftonpark Avenue towards the Crumlin Road.

I’ve a doubt about one of the callers, who described a man (Moore) getting into the *back seat of a black taxi, again on the Cliftonville, when a potential abduction was abandoned.

And another caller claimed that the Butchers attacked him in 1974 – but the dates don’t tally.

And a woman said that her dad fought off an abduction near the chapel in Donegall St – the night that another victim was claimed.

One man from Donaghadee said that the Butchers’ activities were “in retaliation for what was happening to their community”.

Four ex-policeman said that the chaotic situation in North Belfast, with police being overwhelmed, needs to be taken into account. Two of them spoke highly of Jimmy Nesbitt, whom they knew. Kevin Sheehy, a former top cop from North Queen St, said the same, and that Nesbitt gave his life to that investigation. He also said that there was no forensic evidence linking the players in the various organisations, who well known to police, to any of these murders. And he totally refuted any suggestion that the intelligence people or Special Branch knew about the Butchers or assisted them.

One woman contradicted May Blood’s assertion that stacks of people on the Road knew who the Butchers were.

Sounds like John Murphy was a hood, as Dillon says. He was involved in the assault on a fellow named Donnelly in June ’75.

And the HET team issued a statement saying that its remit covers all cases.

[Reply]

March 31st, 2011 at 8:23 am
ironmike
 255 

Hi Art,

Are you a Loyalist trying to make The Irish look like thick bigots?

[Reply]

April 1st, 2011 at 12:07 am
Revealed
 256 

From what I hear the upcoming edition of the Sunday Life will have new photos of Lenny Murphy, William Murphy, Colin Berry, Bunter Graham, Dessie Balmer from the mid 70s before the Brown Bear and Windsor Bar feud.
Should be interesting.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

Great photo Revealed, thanks for the heads up.

For those who haven’t seen it yet, it’s a group photo taken in the Rumford Street Loyalist club in summer ’75 and shows Dessie Balmer, William Murphy, Lenny Murphy, Colin Berry, Noel Shaw & Bunter Graham. Lenny and Colin holding some sort of trophy.

I’m sure William Murphy is furious about it’s publication, it’s the first time he’s been pictured in public.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

See below for this.

[Reply]

April 1st, 2011 at 2:40 am
Willie Mac
 257 

Watched the programme with great interest, as you’d imagine.

The one thing that struck me was that it gave a voice to the victims’ families. That, for me, was a big thing.

Rather than just being faceless people in a book, people that we knew little about, instead faces were put to names and we heard about the hurt felt by the families left behind.

The sadness of the McCann family was especially poignant.

That was a totally new perspective for me as a person who has an interest in the subject. I think I said before that the book lacked that perspective, although it is of course a good book.

There were a few things which raised questions, and no doubt they’ll be debated on here and some have been mentioned.

One that came to my mind was that the guy Brown who ran the social club said that he waved Thomas Quinn goodnight before he left and was subsequently abducted and killed.

The book says that no-one responded to public appeals by the RUC to tell them that they’d seen Quinn in the hours before his murder.

How did the Nationalist community think the police could solve the crimes if they didn’t try to help in a circumstance like that?

I think that some of it was the revert-to-type mindset that the police were in some way ‘in on it’.

And if Nolan’s phone-in is anything to go by, then it seems the Shankill Butchers attempted to abduct every other Nationalist in North Belfast judging by the number of lucky escapes people had ‘unquestionably’ at the hands of the gang……

[Reply]

bill Reply:

It’s no secret that Catholics, generally, were somewhat reluctant to cooperate with the RUC, because they regarded it as a sectarian force. That terminology was often heard through the Torubles. (And fear of the IRA must have been part of the equation).

I’m guessing that much of the force was tarred with the same brush, you know, a perceived bias and hostility from uniformed officers being automatically hung on the CID men who investigated serious crime – like Mr Quinn’s murder.

But if Dillon is right about the RUC not getting an early information on Quinn’s movements before his death, then Willie is right to say that it wouldn’t have helped Nesbitt’s efforts to pinpoint – as far as possible – where that victim met his killers.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

Very one-sided view there Willie.

Always like reading your posts chief, certainly not this one though.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Stevo,

Not sure how you think my views were one-sided as I’ve tried to show a lot of empathy with the families who had to re-tell of their suffering. I felt genuine sadness at their grief.

I accept that Nationalists were very wary of the RUC, however I can only offer my views as a Unionist watching the show and my reaction to it much in the same way that many viewers would be alarmed at the thought of almost half the Shankill knowing who was behind the killings.

I believe May Blood’s statement was wrong wrong and reflected badly on that community.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Willie,
As i’ve stated earlier, i thought it both wrong and irresponsible for Nolan to kep pushing the line that the police/security services and/or wider shankill community knew who was behind the butcherings.
The “40%” comment by May Blood is inconceivable even at the level of simple logic- because if 40% of the shankill knew, how would it be possible for that knowledge not to have spread all over Belfast? Once the knowledge was TRUELY out about Mr X’s identity, if you’ll recall, he was basically a dead man walking- & shunned even by the majority of the UVF as an embarrasment. To me, that marked change in attitude to Murphy post the trial and conviction of the rest of the butchers conclusively proves that his identity was NOT widely known beforehand. End of arguement.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Now, having said that im sure certain parties in the UVF and the ordinary shankill community SUSPECTED Murphy and his unit of being the culprits- and i doubt anyone was particularly amazed when they were indeed revealed to be the killers. But thats a big difference from knowing for certain it was them! They werent the only bad boys on the block afterall- look at the activities of the Windsor bar unit & the local UDA…..

[Reply]

michael Reply:

it looked like half of the shankill showed up for murphys big day making sure the cameras did’nt get any pictures of william and john some of those oul dolls would have made good butchers.

[Reply]

April 1st, 2011 at 6:25 am
northsider
 258 

Willie Mac

IIRC Dillon reported Thomas Quinn as being last heard of leaving a bar in the city-centre.

Re: the reported abductions we can rule the 1974 guy out as clearly he was assaulted by another gang. We know the guy from the Strand was telling the truth because there was a court case. We also know about the attack on Underwood. The callers who reported attempted abductions on the Cliftonville Road in 1976 were both highly plausible and both reported the incidents to the police at the time. As for the lady who phoned in about her father – it’s harder to tell. Mr Brown on the documentary described another attempted abduction in the Library St area. Incidentally I have heard anecdotally about another attempted abduction in n Belfast from a source I consider reliable.

You are a wealth of information on this grizzly subject, Willie. Can you shed any light on any of the questions I asked above?

Regards
n’sider

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie can reply for himself but it’s clear that abductions and attempted abductions did take place. For instance, a man called Dan Mackin was dumped, stabbed to death, from a car in the Cliftonville Road during the time the Butchers were active. And didn’t Gerry Fitt (the MP for West Belfast – who lived on the Anrim Road – say he’d evidence of attempted abductions in the Millfield area at that time, too. How many of these attempts were made by the Butchers, will anyone ever know?

IIRC, Dillon said something about unsuccessful efforts the gang made to snatch people off the streets.

Willie’s point about a degree of paranoia amongst Catholics is understandable but I wouldn’t underestimate the fear the Butchers created. That probably contributed to a later belief that they were behind every abduction attempt or potential attempt made.

And people forget that the gang stopped using a taxi in Feb. 76, after the killing of Francis Rice, meaning that sightings of a taxi involved in dodgy behaviour can’t necessarily be pinned on the gang.

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

Did Moore get rid of the taxi straight away? If the accounts of the callers to the radio show and of Mr Brown in the documentary (and I found them credible) are to believed Moore did not dispose of the taxi right away – or else the gang had access to another taxi. Bear in mind that Moore drove a taxi for a living.

[Reply]

April 2nd, 2011 at 6:01 am
aidan
 259 

being from north belfast, i think its a disgace that most of the shankill road knew who the butchers were from the start, but didnt think to tell the scum(/psni), they use the pathetic excuse of being ‘scared’ lol, do me a favour for fuck sake, most of the shankill applauded the butchers, the scum knew too!!! but because it became a serial killer crime the cops thought, ‘let this go on for a bit, and we’l get great applause for catching them once it gets too far and take a few more fenians of the street! the IRA mostly set out for loyalist targets, there was obvious collateral damage, but the shankill road should hold their head in shame, to me, alot of them had a hand in the brutal slaying of catholics(and prodesants), so their either cowardly bastards, or just enjoy seeing people butchered…
I dont just blame the shankil, after all they were in colusion with the ruc , what ya expect!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Reply]

April 2nd, 2011 at 1:25 pm
Willie Mac
 260 

From a pig, comes a grunt…..

[Reply]

April 3rd, 2011 at 4:31 am
northsider
 261 

Murders which should be considered as attributable to the butchers are:
Margaret Gamble 4.4.76
Daniel Mackin 26.6.76
John Patch 13.11.76

[Reply]

bill Reply:

No, definitely not Mackin or Patch. Mackin, who I mentioned above, was killed by a different UVF gang and Patch by the UFF. A well-known UDA man, who was on tv a few years ago, did that killing.

Margaret Gilmore is new to me but there is no evidence that the gang was involved and the circumstances of her death wasn’t the Butchers’ MO, anyhow.

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

All these murders involved knives. Margaret Gamble was stabbed to death as she walked down the Antrim Road. Daniel Mackin was stabbed to death in the Ciftonville Road area and John Patch was abducted from the Cliftonville Road area and stabbed to death.

As we have seem the Butcher’s MO varied, e.g the murder of Con Neeson on the Cliftonville Road.

How can you be certain these murders were not the work of the Butchers?

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

Another possible case is that of 17 yr-old Cornelius McCrory abducted (not sure where) beaten and shot at Glencairn on 4.4.76 (less than a week after the murder of Stephen McCann)

[Reply]

April 3rd, 2011 at 11:34 am
Willie Mac
 262 

Some loyalist sources ‘pinned’ the Gamble murder on Murphy as a solo effort, but he was in custody at that time.

There was a similar myth that Murphy shot dead a milkman on a lone mission, but Lost Lives said that UDA sources accepted one of their gangs were responsible.

There’s no doubt that Murphy was a complete psycopath, but there’s an element of ‘urban legend’ in that he is possibly attributed to crimes he did not commit, due to his notoriety.

Billy Wright, Eddie Copeland and Jonny Adair attained similar ‘bogeyman’ status in the 90s.

[Reply]

April 3rd, 2011 at 10:42 pm
bill
 263 

Here is a link to the pics on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55555977@N03/

It was a very long pic. so I’ve included it in various formats.

Admin: I think patrons would be very grateful if you could upload the following pics here, with these captions –

(i) http://www.flickr.com/photos/55555977@N03/5584773589/

“Members of Lawnbrook and Windsor Bar UVF teams with future CoS John Graham, summer 1975″.

(ii) http://www.flickr.com/photos/55555977@N03/5584773895/

“William Murphy (“Mr A”) and Lenny Murphy, summer 1975″

[Reply]

bill Reply:

And one of the Brown Bear; search for that string above.

[Reply]

April 4th, 2011 at 12:49 am
Bobby
 264 

Can anyone put a name to this guy. On the 23th of Oct 1982 I was at the back of the city hall And Lenny Murphy was standing at the back gate, wearing a camouflage jacket and a flat paddy cap. (someone told me he was waiting for george seawright, not sure if thats true) A gray/sliver granada pulled up a a guy now I’m 5ft 6″ tall he had to be 6ft or a little under well built with sandy/blond hair get out and talk to Lenny and they both headed for the car as the guy was getting in the back seat he said to me right mate and spat on the ground is this mr M as Joseph Donegan was picked up that night.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Bobby, “Mr M” was Tommy Stewart, later UVF leader in Ballysillan, If the guy you saw was in his late teens, that could have been him.

Stewart was not a nice guy. You don’t move up the hierarchy by taking old ladies on days trips.

[Reply]

Bobby Reply:

Thanks for the reply Bill, it could have been Tommy Stewart, if I remember right this guy looked to be in his mid twenty’s, do you no of a photo on the net of Stewart? I no he’s dead now, I looked and cant find one.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Tommy Stewart would only have been about 18 in 1982 (and a murderer at an even younger age than his hero Lenny). I’ve never seen a photo of him – no big loss there.

[Reply]

April 4th, 2011 at 3:54 am
northsider
 265 

Other possibilities:
Patrick Quail 24.1.76
Edmund McNeill 20.6.76
Patrick Cunnigham 2.9.76
Bernard McCarron 17.10.76

[Reply]

bill Reply:

It looks like you’re digging out every violent knife/beating death from that period and trying to attribute it to the Butchers! They weren’t the only Loyalist team in action at the time.

Why am I so sure about, for instance, Mackin and Patch? Beacuse, as I said above, Mackin was killed by a different UVF gang and Patch by the UFF. What’s unclear about that?

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

Bill, I’m not trying to attribute them to the Butchers. I’m asking can they be attributed to the Butchers, which is subtley different.

That other gangs may have been involved in such activities raises a wider question? Was there a conscious decision among loyalists to engage in knifings / ‘romperings’ at that time? Were other gangs consciously trying to emulate the Butchers?

In regards to the Mackin killing which gang was responsible? I am not asking you to name names (mind you I’m not asking not to name names either!)

With regard to Patch – would this have been the work of the same gang who killed McNeill on 20.6.76? And was the UDA man DP?

[Reply]

April 4th, 2011 at 5:51 am
MICK
 266 

The Sunday Life went to town this week on the Butchers-apart from that marvellous pic, they had one of William ‘Wingnut’ Cowan and an interview with him on the following page, also excerpts from the Irish News interview with Joyce Murphy the previous day ( she’s as mad and delusional as ever, some quotes bordering on the surreal including one about what a good son Lenny was, ‘he’d go to Hell or Connaught for you.’ I’m not so sure about Connaught, Joyce….).

The main pic from 1975 looks like a tribute band for the Sweet at first glance,then you relise it’s a group of serial killers, some very infamous, a couple just bottom feeders ( Balmer and Shaw). Colin Berry could have passed for a woman if they’d just showed the head shot. A lot of double chins and beer bellies for young guys in their 20s, though Bunter has never looked young even when he was. Hard to tell heights-Lenny looks a similar height to Mr A beside him, but may have been wearing platform shoes, which were the norm in 1975.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

Yep Mick, was a great photo, could never have imagined something like that being made public. Who knows, there may be more on the way! The Nolan doc has certainly brought a lot of new interest to the case.

You can see the similarities between Lenny and William (though William looking very much on the beefy side & Lenny quite slim), but as a now 62 year old William would probably be unrecognisable to the man in that pic.

One other thing, the mugshot of Lenny on the left-hand side of the ’75 pic spread, never seen that before. It’s sort of similar to the main infamous one at the top of this page, but he looks slightly younger. Don’t think I’ve seen such an evil expression in my life. You can tell from that pic alone that there was somethin very wrong with that fella.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Stevo

You’re probably right re William Murphy, if he was running to fat at 27, his age in 1975-which he plainly was-he’s probably a total lardbucket by now, could have lost some or all hair, etc. but this is just speculation on my part. Remind me to call round at 18 Centurion Way some time and find out. I’m sure there’s nothing he’d like better than a squad of strangers dropping round some night with a carry-out, to discuss old times. He didn’t look much like Dillon’s description of him, ie a cold aloof loner, but appearances can be deceptive. The trophy they were posing with could have been for darts-Mr A was reputedly a half decent player for the Lawnbrook darts team, when he wasn’t busy participating in the torture and murder of random individuals.

I hear Joyce Murphy has been doped up to the eyeballs on diazepram for many years which would explain the madness of her comments in the interviews done with her. She also claims to be ‘disabled, blind…and not even getting a home help.’

I have seen the other picture of Lenny before, he was older than his 1975 rock star look and a bit younger than the James Nesbitt ( the actor, not the policeman) lookalike he became towards the end of his brief and eventful life at 30. Some considered him handsome, but the same could be said of other psychopathic serial killers such as Moors murderer Ian Brady and American slayer Ted Bundy. Unfortunately these fellows didn’t go around sprouting horns and tails… you would not have suspected the darkness lurking within if you’d just met them in some normal setting.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick – John was the tallest of the three Murphy brothers. Someone on the Nolan phone-in, commenting on the attack on Donnelly in June 1975, said he was a “big fella”. Other than Colin Berry, I don’t think that any of the group in the Loyalist was tallish. Shaw wasnt, thaty’s for sure. The pic. of him dumped into a bin after being shot by Lenny shows that.

[Reply]

April 6th, 2011 at 2:12 am
Willie Mac
 267 

I’ve been wondering what the trophy was for in the photo.

As Mick said, could be for darts, but Balmer and Lenny Murphy were also said to be talented footballers.

[Reply]

April 8th, 2011 at 9:34 pm
 268 

A question for Bill/ Willie/ Mick- or indeed anyone in a position to answer:
Seeing that picture including Colin Berrys got me thinking…. It was established earlier on this thread that Dillon got mixed up and strongly hinted at Colin Berry being Mr C, a participant in the torture and murder of Rice, wheras Bill- who clearly knows his stuff- has stated that Spider McVeigh is in fact Mr C. For dillon to get mixed up, is Colin Berry one of the as yet unidentified letters of the alphabet in the book instead of Mr C? Mr E perhaps? Dillon clearly got his name from somewhere, and as the picture shows he was certainly neck deep in the UVF.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

What role Colin Berry played is indeed an intriguing question. You’d think that as Chuck’s brother, he’d be the no. 2 in that team but he wasn’t – that was Roy Stewart’s role. Colin wasn’t involved in any of the cut-throat killings nor the Windsor Bar team attack on the Chlorane Bar in which Bates took part (Mr E was someone else). But he was bound to have been involved in other UVF activities, though I don’t recall any court appearances for him (maybe Mick or Willlie can help out with this).

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Brian-this occurred to me also. CB was certainly an active UVF member and close associate of Lenny as well as brother of Windsor Bar team leader ‘Chuck’… the ‘Mr C’ confusion inspired by ‘The Triggermen’ has not been helpful.

Willie Mac- I read somewhere that Balmer was a talented footballer, might have been a comment in amongst his death notices, which are available on the web ( one was from Wesley Stewart, whom Bill has identified previously as a brother of Tommy ‘Mr M’ Stewart-if it’s the same one). He looked well out of condition in the 1975 photo.I wasn’t aware of Lenny’s prowess with his feet, though he was known to repeatedly kick and stamp on his victims’ heads in a frenzied manner even after they were dead. If you saw the Sunday World yesterday, there was a photo of Noel ‘Nogi’ Shaw’s corpse in the basket after Lenny had beaten, kicked, and pistol whipped him for at least an hour in the Lawnbrook, before shooting him-a grisly sight. An eye witness claimed that there were around 200 witnesses originally, as there was a function on, but they were all too frightened to talk.

[Reply]

April 9th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
bill
 269 

Who do people think the “leading Loyalist” was that supplied the Sunday Life with that brilliant picture taken inside the Loyalist in 1975?

What about Chuck, conspicuously absent from the group of 6, or what about Colin Berry himself? You’d think he might have got a copy for keepsake.

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

Do you have any thoughts on this yourself?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Its clearly someone who hasnt got a lot of time for John “Bunter” Graham. As the Sunday Life said, somewhat embarrasing for a man who claims that he “barely knew” Lenny Murphy :)

[Reply]

April 11th, 2011 at 1:29 am
spike
 270 

Lenny Murphy’s gravestone in Carnmoney Cemetery also has a later inscription, for Billy died 23rd March 1990. This would be his father, William Murphy who only survived him by 8 years ?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Spike-yes, that is the father. I note that the old Northern Ireland Street Directories of the 1970s listed him as a fitter by trade, presumably that was his job on the docks.

Bill-I suspect Colin Berry of releasing the photo because the only other two in it left alive are Bunter ( whom the 1975 rogues’ gallery was used to attack) and Mr A, the notoriously secretive William Murphy who has survived until now without being pictured in the media. CB featured in a Sunday World story a couple of years ago, I think-he was pictured, a big burly guy with short hair now rather than the somewhat effeminate looking youth of yesteryear. The story was not flattering, I think it centred around some illegality he was up to. He did manage to persuade Margaret ( Murphy, as was) to stop talking to Martin Dillon, mind you-Dillon got about two hours of interview from her he couldn’t use.

On another topic-if you read the Irish News last Friday ( 8th April), the front page story was an angry and upset reaction from Gerard McLaverty’s family to the paper’s earlier interview with Joyce Murphy mentioned previously on this thread. I feel some pity for the old girl-she may well have been a toxic bigot when younger and brought her sons up in her image, but as I said earlier, she has been heavily medicated for many years now and reputedly does not know what she is doing or saying most of the time.

[Reply]

April 13th, 2011 at 1:23 am
northsider
 271 

According to what’s posted here Lenny’s wife took up with first Roy Stewart and then Colin Berry after Lenny went to prison. So how come he or his brothers never went after them looking for revenge?

[Reply]

April 13th, 2011 at 10:23 am
Liam Og
 272 

Are there any links to the photo’s discussed above other than the ones contained in the posts.? Having read a fair amount of material on the Troubles, I find this forum fascinating as it has shed light on some gray area’s. What, if any, would be Albert Walker Bakers’ involvement in any of these killings? He made some serious admissions/allegations to his involvement with pseudo gangs etc. Was he a Windsor Bar member of Butcher tag along?

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

No Baker was a leady member of Ned and Tommy McCreery’s gang which operated in east Belfast. During 72-3 they were guily of torture murders just as gruesome as those carried out by the Butchers. T McCreery later ran a gang called the Window Cleaners which specialised in breaking into people’s homes in the middle of the night and murdering them in their beds. This gang was active in north Belfast at the same time as the Butchers were on the rampage – the fear must have been enormous.

[Reply]

Marching on Together Reply:

Northsider, wasnt Tommy McCreery the brother of Dee Mcreery the footballer (or was it Rab). I also heard that another member of Bakers gang was a very well know irish league footballer and NI intl from the 80s?

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

I honestly don’t know

[Reply]

April 13th, 2011 at 10:31 pm
Joed..
 273 

In looking at the superb photo of the Shankill UVF circa 1975 gathered in the Rumford St club, it is ironic that Noel Shaw is only separated by Colin Berry from the man who only a scant few months later, would personally publicly torture and brutally murder him, in the Lawnbrook Club. I wonder how well did these people actually know each other? Did they grow up or attend school together? Would for example, Noel Shaw have known Archie Waller socially prior to murdering him? I apologise if i sound very innocent but given that they were all from the same side of the Tower of Babel, if the answers to my questions is Yes! well exactly what did being a loyalist and UVF member count for.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

As the Windsor bar and brown bear UVF teams were permanently in and around the same few drinking clubs and indeed teamed up for several operations they clearly all knew each other well! That they were friends one minute then at each others throats the next is no surprise- strip away all the “for god and ulster” guff and consider them a bunch of criminal thugs. Their behaviour during the windsor/brown bear feud is the same sort of pissing contest that goes on between gangsters in every UK city if you think about it.

[Reply]

April 14th, 2011 at 6:02 am
Liam Og
 274 

is there a link to the Sunday Life articles mentioned above, I can’t seem to find them

[Reply]

April 15th, 2011 at 11:50 pm
Willie Mac
 275 

I wasn’t aware that Sam ‘Mambo’ Carroll, who was present when Brian Smyth was murdered, was also named as the main suspect for the murder of Seamus Ludlow in the Barron Report….

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Willie Mac-yes, the Sunday Life did an article some time ago naming ‘Mambo’ as such, he claimed when interviewed to be a close friend of the Shankill Butchers leadership. There was also a TV documentary-Ludlow’s killers are all known but have somehow evaded justice for it up to now. I alluded to this earlier on this thread. In Alan Simpson’s book ‘Murder Madness’, Carroll is also identified as being present in the house of Lenny Murphy’s 1982 girlfriend ( Hilary Thompson of Forthriver Park, IIRC?) when Simpson went there to quiz Murphy.

Re the earlier query above on Tommy McCreery-he was an uncle I think of David ‘Dee’ McCreery, the footballer. Former leader of the notorious ‘window cleaner’ UDA murder gang mentioned above, he is now holed up in Spain in a high security villa he partly built himself, fearful of former colleagues he fell out with tears ago coming after him. His brother Ned was a psychopath as violent and sadistic as Lenny Murphy-he was once a very senior figure in the simian underworld of loyalism. He was shot dead by profilic UDA killer Geordie Legge from Island Street, who was tortured to death in the Bunch of Grapes pub ( formerly the Castle Inn, where Jim Craig, who set up Lenny for assassination, was himself shot dead) by a gang led by Jim ‘Doris Day’ Gray, who in turn was reputedly shot dead by his erstwhile best mate Gary Matthews. Wonderful bunch of people, eh? You couldn’t make them up.

I do not know who the NI international attached to the East Belfast UDA was, though it might have been an ex-Glentoran midfielder at that time called Johnny Jamison, who once won one cap against Norway in a friendly-he had some paramilitary connections and lost an eye in later life due to ‘a bit of a digging’ he received.

Three McCreerys-Rab, Ron and Paul-all played for Glentoran,were all said to be in the UDA and were cousins of ‘Wee Dee’. Some of them got done for robbing the’Clock Shop’ once-when it was a Glentoran sponsor!

[Reply]

Marching on Together Reply:

Thanks Mick, like the Clock Shop story too!

[Reply]

John Reply:

Mick – Colin McCurdy the ex Linfield, Crusaders & Cliftonville forward who was capped by NI in 1980, did time, I believe for UDA activities. Not sure if he was attached to East Belfast UDA as I thought he was from the Village area. Ron McCreery had a trial with Man Utd in late 70s,playing some games in the A team (equivalent of third team) but was not offered terms.

[Reply]

Marching on Together Reply:

John, I dont want to mention the name of the player i heard was connected to the Baker gang as the rumour may have no foundation but he was a goalie – as an aside i also heard of McCurdy criticised some hooligans who vandalised the Windsor pitch overnight with Loyalist slogans in spraypaint (“if i could get my hands on them”) before it was found out to have been him!

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I thought Colin McCurdy was a policeman, must have got that wrong!

[Reply]

Marching on Together Reply:

not sure if McCurdy is, but the ex goalie I refer to definitely is!

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Think that one answers itself without naming the goalkeeper :D

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Also, the story about the pitch vandalism I’d heard over the years was that he went around ‘The Village’ in an RUC landrover picking out the ‘culprits’.

That must have been where I got the notion that he was in the police.

[Reply]

John Reply:

Willie Mac – You may be thinking of Mark Caughey ex RUC who joined Linfield in the mid 80s, was capped twice by NI before joining Hibernian.

[Reply]

April 19th, 2011 at 4:11 am
Allister
 276 

The man in the photo in the Sunday life standing beside colin berry isn’t Noel Shaw. They’ve got that wrong. Or the person who supplied the photo mustn’t have knew them that well.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Are you sure? It could be Shaw without his glasses. And if it isn’t Shaw, who is it?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

So who was that person then?

[Reply]

Revealed Reply:

Are you sure about that?
They are the spittin image of each other.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Further to my last post, that is Shaw, I’ve doubt about it. Look at the face in the earlier pic. of him above – it’s the same guy. Unless you know better, Allister, and can enlighten us as to who it is, in which I’m happy to stand corected.

Shaw didn’t look so good a few months later after Lenny Murphy had finished with him.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/55555977@N03/with/5646182584/

[Reply]

Allister Reply:

I’m 100% that the guy in the Sunday Life wasn’t Nogi as I knew him all his life. I also know the guy in the photo. He is still alive and well today although not as young looking and certainly not as slim!!

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Allister, i must concur with Bill- if the man in the pic isnt Noel Shaw he’s his identical twin! But you seem certain & iv no reason to disbelieve you: could you name the man who YOU are convinced it is?

[Reply]

April 21st, 2011 at 1:54 am
shawsy
 277 

who the fuck give this picture out is there no respect for the family of the man who was murdered.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

The pic. is already in the public domain – read the blog an you’ll see that. Posting it illustrates Lenny Murphy’s savagery and how being a loyalist paramilitary could be dangerous. Not only had they to face the IRA, INLA, etc. but their own “mates”.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I agree mate, it was totally sickening that it was published by the Sunday World a couple of weeks ago.

In the past it was printed with the face blacked out, which was bad enough. This is obviously a police photo from the crime scene – so how did it come into the hands of a local newspaper.

Disgraceful.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie: the Shaw pic. I posted on Flickr is a scan from Hugh Jordan’s “Murder Madness”, as mentioned some time ago. I didn’t know the SW had printed it. What was the article it appeared in about?

[Reply]

April 24th, 2011 at 10:40 am
Willie Mac
 278 

Bill,

It was claimed about two weeks ago that Shaw was murdered by Murphy in front of 200 witnesses as a function was taking place in the Lawnbrook at the time – which is at variance with Dillon’s account.

The claims were in quotes attributed to someone who claimed to have been there, that Murphy beat young ‘Nogi’ for over an hour and at one point left him lying unconscious on the stage, before shooting him.

All very upsetting for any family member or friend who would have to read this new account, even though some may have an uncharitable view towards the victim due to his own involvement.

Personally, I think it was yet more barbarism by Murphy and ridiculous that he went unpunished for that at alone.

[Reply]

April 25th, 2011 at 6:45 am
bill
 279 

On checking again, I think the pic. of the Brown Bear I uploaded to Flickr might be the Bricklayers or possibly the Stadium Bar. I don’t think it’s the Stadium, though. Mountjoy St has been one way for as long as I can remember, but a “no entry” sign isn’t visible it the corner of the pub. And the road probably doesn’t slope down enough to make it fit that location. I can’t remember the BB too well, other than it was white outside (I think!). Any ideas (Mick, maybe)?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill-I’m not sure re the Brown Bear, I just know it was at the corner of Mountjoy Street.

Re Colin McCurdy-he was from Soudan Street in the Village and was some sort of officer in the UDA there when he returned from a not very successful spell with Fulham. It was Seaview he vandalised ( Crusaders pitch-he was playing for them at the time! If that was the officer class, the mind boggles as to the mentality of the rankl and file). A former Glentoran goalkeeper, Dennis Matthews, was done in the 80s for paramilitary offences but I thought he was small fry, certainly not in the same league of sadistic torturers and murderers like Ned McCreery or Albert ‘Ginger’ Baker. Mark Caughey is unlikely to have had any paramilitary connections-Linfield signed him from the RUC, and he was renowned for getting stuck in with a baton irrespective of the political persuasion of its recipients.

Re ‘Mr C’, aka David ‘Spider’ McVeigh…. the Sunday World a couple of days ago ( 24th April) did a story on the teabagging of Harry Stockman at Tesco by Dee Madine. It revealed among other things that Stockman, who had a father of the same name in the UVF, was a nephew of Basher Bates and started out as ‘ a chief bottle collector’ in a loyalist club where he skivvied for leading UVF personnel ( quote: ‘All the top UVF men-’Bunter’ Graham, Norman Sayers, Spider and a few others would sit round a table with a 40 glass bottle of vodka. It was Harry’s job to keep the glasses filled and take away the empties.’

There was also a death notice in the Belfast Telegraph last Friday (22nd April) from ‘Spider, Mary, James, Wayne and Janine’ for John ‘Paddy’ Patterson, formerly of UDA ‘C’ Company, who seemed to have had friends in the UVF also, possibly through family connections. Other death notices included one fro Chuck Berry and one from the officers and members of the Windsor Bar. Could this be the elusive ‘Mr C’ in either instance?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

That’s bound to be David McVeigh, Mick, and evidence that Willie was right to think he’s alive and kicking – with a wife and three kids. Wonder if they know their husband/dad was involved in a cut-throat killing?

[Reply]

John Reply:

Mick – Just to clarify one point on my earlier post re Mark Caughey. I wasn’t suggesting that had paramilitary connections but that it might have been him that Willie Mac was thinking of as the policeman who played for Linfield in the mid 80′s.

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

Bill, the Brown Bear appears briefly but distinctly in the opening montage of Stephen Nolan’s recent documentary.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Thanks! I’ve uploaded three screen shots on Flickr showing marginally different views of the bar. They don’t it that clearly, tbh, though the sign is obvious enough! What a rough place it looked – and that’s just downstairs. Heaven knows what went on upstairs.

The earlier pic. of what I thought was the BB is, I now believe – from a process of elimination and fading memory! – the Top House bar at the corner of Tennent St. It was just up and across from the BB.

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

Was there not a picture of the Brown Bear in Dillon’s book?

[Reply]

April 26th, 2011 at 4:59 am
Liam Og
 280 

Were Walker Baker and McCreery part of the “Windsor bar ” team or were they a separate entity. I am confused on that point. What about Kenny McClinton ? This type of savagery seems to be his MO a well?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Liam Og-Albert Walker Baker, known as ‘Ginger’ after the drummer in Cream ( Eric Clapton’s band of that era) and Ned McCreery were in the East Belfast UDA, not UVF or Shankill connected. The latter was one of their most senior leaders for many years after beating the rap for a torture killing he was involved in during the early 70s and ran the Belvoir Bar, a UDA pub on the Newtownards Road, up until his murder by one of his associates. Kenny McClinton was also UDA but in West Belfast-he was from the Shankill and a close friend of Lenny Murphy, with whom he was fond of discussing decapitating ‘taigs’ and sticking the heads on spikes in public parks. Lovely people. McClinton is some sort of Pastor now, of course.

As is William ‘Wingnut’ Cowan, pictured and interviewed in the Sunday Life a few weeks ago. ‘Wingnut’ is best known for his part in the gruesome murder of Joe Donegan, as one of Lenny Murphy’s accomplices then, but in fact he served life for three murders he admitted to. The other two were a teenage boy, Stephen Murphy, in Ardoyne and Trevor Close, a milkman, on the Cliftonville Road. ‘Wingnut’ was grassed up by William ‘Budgie’ Allen in 1983 and one was one of the very few named by that particular supergrass who actually did time, the reason being that he signed a confession.

Finally, re the Linfield goalkeeper who was also a policeman…..Ken Barclay and George Dunlop spring to mind, the latter was also a Northern Ireland international I think, but I was not aware of any paramilitary connections.

[Reply]

April 28th, 2011 at 3:02 am
Liam Og
 281 

Does Kenny McClinton fit into any of this discussion? Like baker, his MO seems to be similar

[Reply]

May 12th, 2011 at 8:49 pm
MICK
 282 

Kenny McClinton served around 20 years for two murders-of Daniel Carville, a Catholic, and Harold Bradshaw, a Protestant bus driver whom he shot dead for having the temerity to work during a UWC strike. When he ‘found God’ in prison, he admitted to numerous other offences for which he served concurrent sentences. Previously he had eight convictions for violent offences during his career as a merchant seaman-he had a rough background with an abusive alcoholic father, etc. He cut his links with the UDA while in jail but retained hardline views.On his release he became close to the LVF and gave the oration at Billy Wright’s funeral. He has no particular connection with the Butchers beyond his friendship with Lenny Murphy and maybe one or two of the others, though he was certainly a vicious thug himself.

Just been watching the Nolan documentary again. Has there ever been a more preposterous buffoon in the annals of loyalist terrorism than Sam McAllister? Not only did the ‘big fat fucker’, as Gerard McLaverty accurately described him to the police, offer McLaverty a cup of tea in the middle of a torture session which he was informed was a preliminary to his murder, he also showed him unmistakeable identification marks-ie bullet marks in both arms. ‘See those, ya Fenian bastard? War wounds!’ McAllister had bawled. Not exactly, Sam-those were from a punishment shooting you got for murdering UDA man Thomas Easton with a breeze block after a drunken brawl! No doubt McAllister had time to reflect on his own stupidity while he blubbered like a baby and grassed up his mates under police interrogation, then festered behind bars fot the next 20 years. l

[Reply]

DEC Reply:

I think you do a service Mick by removing some of the aura that has surrounded the Murphy gang. It’s difficult when confronted with such wanton sadism to see one part of the truth, which is that they were all preposterous buffoons. McAllister had fierce competition from Moore for example who allowed his taxi to become a temporary charnel house which could have seen him jailed much earlier than he was. These self styled ‘soldiers’ were reportedly denied guns since they were recognised by their equally self-styled ‘brigadiers’as being a bunch of halfwits.
Their political ‘vision’ appears to have been that the random murder of innocent Catholics would evaporate support for the IRA. This is akin to their contemporary killer Peter Sutcliffe’s belief that murdering prostitutes, and eventually any woman ouit at night, would somehow eradicate prostitution from Bradford.

The reported stories from a radio phone-in about failed attacks rings true to me: half the time they must have been intoxicated and incapable of reacting to unexpected resistance. The story that one butcher was abandoned after a failed attack and had to run down the Crumlin? Road probably is a pretty accurate picture of their abilities.
And when you consider they killed so many from their own community, a community that they were claiming to defend, then I dont think prepesterous buffoon is too severe a judgment.

[Reply]

May 13th, 2011 at 7:02 pm
Willie Mac
 283 

Anyone able to put names to some of the old guard’ UVF members shown in the slightly-out-of-focus photo from Long Kesh in 1972 which appeared in the Sunday World?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie, I didn’t see this but might be able to get a copy in work today and will scan it for investigation.

No word yet on our friend “Hitch”?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

The pic. is very out of focus (deliberately, I’d say, from a legal pov) and scanning it makes no sense then. In the back row, one from left may have been Frankie “Pigface” Curry, then two across to Jim McDonald – the most opaque of all the faces – then possibly Jim Hanna far right.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

That’s not Jim McDonald, I don’t believe he was interned or served any time in fact.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Was a bit of a guess Willie as that part of the picture is very unclear indeed.

Others likely to be in it are Ken Gibson, Bo McClelland (smallish man) and Tommy West. I’ve never seen pics of Gibson or West.

As to Jim Hanna, on reflection he may not have been there as it was around that time that he was CoS (presumably when all the top leadership was inside). The pic. was mid-73 at the earliest, as the first Loyalists weren’t interned until early that year – 2 UDA men suspected of a killing in the New Lodge.

[Reply]

May 16th, 2011 at 9:11 am
DEC
 284 

Like many here most of my information about the case came from Martin Dillon’s book, and I wonder if the dynamics within the Shankill Butcher gang is accurately reflected there. Dillon’s inablity to effectively identify Mr A and Mr B and his reliance on police interviews with the foot soldiers sees Lenny Murphy emerge as the ‘leader’ of the gang.

I have never understood how two older siblings and guys like Bates and Moore would come under the sway of someone scarcely out of his teens. No doubt Lenny Murphy was a forceful character who was not be crossed, but he could hardly have had the clout to scour the dregs of Belfast drinking dens and put together his gang.

To Moore and Bates he was the sergeant major, and a fearsome one no doubt; this is reflected in their original statements I think. But was Murphy’s life not largely that of a small man trying to impress all as a big man, someone who constantly had to impress his brothers that he was as tough as them?

My own suspicion is that Mr A was really the leader and Mr B his deputy. Lenny Murphy was in charge on the ground, and only too eager to get his hands dirty. When the gang was apprehended it suited everyone, both foot soldiers and officers, to present Lenny Murphy as the leader. He was the driving force no doubt, but I doubt that he was the leader in the way Dillon suggests.

[Reply]

May 17th, 2011 at 4:36 am
bill
 285 

DEC that is a very interesting and thought-provoking post. My own view is that Lenny’s brothers were possibly of greater seniority within the UVF but that he was indeed the leader of the Lawnbrook platoon and the Butchers, and the driving-force behind their activities.

For your thesis to be valid, William Murphy
waited for two and a half years for Lenny to be released from custody before he felt secure enough – with Lenny to do the dirty work – to order the cut-throat killings to begin.

And if you examine how they were carried out, there wasn’t much advanced planning. Typically, after a bout of drinking, Lenny and his associates kidnapped some unfortunate Catholic, beat him unmercifully and slashed his throat. William Murphy is not recorded as being involved directly in any of the six killings.

And, most of all, he *was named in Moore and Bates’ statements to the RUC, along with Lenny and John. To me, this says that he wasn’t the actual leader.

Finally, have no doubt that Lenny Murphy was a major player and a man to be feared, despite his relative lack of height. Qith his brothers’ help, getting 20 or so low-lifes together was not a problem.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Possibly the lid has yet to be lifted on the full range of activities of the other two Murphy brothers, though Dillon has stated that John was every bit as bad as Lenny and William was the main recruiter, along with Lenny, of the gang as well as the facilitator of a litany of foul murders while Lenny was in jail. Both participated in some murders, eg Shaw, Maxwell, Donegan, the 10 yr old child Kevin McMenamin, the Protestant workmen from Corrys, maybe some romper room murders,etc but there is little known about them personally in the public domain, such as even basic things like what they did for a living, etc. They may well have been involved in other mainstream UVF operations. Overall, though, Lenny provided the main leadership dynamic in the gang, I think he was without doubt the icon for the weaker characters he attracted around him.

None of these guys were what you’d call intellectuals. If you wanted to sip absinthe of an evening and discuss existentialist philosophy, or the respective merits of Shakespeare’s sonnets, you would not have chosen the Lawnbrook or the Brown Bear as a venue. If on the other hand you were a moron without a political thought in your head, driven by blind sectarian hatred and willing to take direction from a psychopath, you would have fitted right in. One detail that still sticks in my head from Dillon’s book is that of the knives, hatchets and other tools of torture and murder being found protruding from the floor boards under Sam McAllister’s bed when the police raided his house, ‘Mr A’ having shrewdly given them to him to keep rather than harbour them in his own back yard. My first thought being-what the hell sort of a wife must McAllister have had, to permit that? An ESN, presumably, but all the same…!

[Reply]

DEC Reply:

Thanks for your replies Bill and Mike. And thanks also for all your previous posts which have rekindled my interest in this case.
I accept the logic that Lenny Murphy was the main player in the killings and that without him they were unlikely to have ever occurred. He took the perverted theatre of the ‘romper room’ out onto the streets and it’s probably true that neither Mr A nor Mr B would have so reckless as to do that.
However the brothers were crucial to the forming of the gang as I think we agree; the likes of Bates, Moore and McAllister probably needed the imprimatur of Mr A before they would have thrown their lot in with a younger man. Once in of course they were trapped – and expendable. It’s astonishing that none of the three Murphy brothers was ever so much as charged with a ‘butcher’ killing! Yet others were put away for life.
I still tend to see Lenny Murphy as a “mad” Frankie Fraser character, someone who steps over the boundaries in order to prove himself whilst the fear he generates is useful to the Albert Dimes type Mr A and Mr B who rarely see the inside of a cell. (Sorry for my 60s gangster allusions)

But now I’m started I’ll continue. The Krays were successful partly because (and there were three of them as well) they knew they could depend on 100% unconditional support from each other. Lenny Murphy according to Dillon recognised this unbreakable bond as early as primary school. Many older brothers would have said, ‘You started the fight so finish it yourself.’ But this does not appear to have happened with the Murphys. Was the problem of their family name part of a binding process which led to such horror?

But even then where did the bloodlust and sadism come from?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Your comparison with the Krays is an interesting one- and valid in many respects i feel. One striking simularity is the role of lennys mother- from what i’ve read she seems a dead ringer personalitywise for Violet Kray!
I tend to agree with Bill that Lenny was the leader and prime mover in the butcher gang, simply because he was the most violent, sadistic and (it must be admitted) charismatic of the three. Also, if William Murphy had indeed been the leader Dillon or someone else would have discoverd that fact- Bates and Moore were fairly candid about all 3 Murphy brothers before changing their minds and withdrawing their statements.
But your broader point that the the two elder brothers played a pivotal role is doubtless correct- while Lenny was the leader of the butcher gang, William as the oldest brother clearly had a certain seniority over his siblings: Throughout his book Dillon emphasises that “Mr A” is Lennys closest confidante, & the only one who he’ll take any advice from. And the story of the easter sunday parade bombing is the biggest indicator of William Murphys dominant & cunning personality- taking over the entire running of the operation whilst letting others do the dirty work of planting the bomb!
John Murphy, though feared & clearly a hard and ruthless thug, does seem to suffer from the classic “middle chilld” syndrome- his personality somewhat subsumed by the cold & calculating William on the one hand (by virtue of his age the senior of the 3 since childhood, naturally), and the sheer sadistic viciousness of Lenny on the other (the classic spoilt, narcissistic youngest sibling!).

[Reply]

May 18th, 2011 at 1:53 am
justasking
 286 

Hi lads,

We’ve just seen The Queen tossing wreaths on old time IRA gangster/murderer graves, which begs the question, in a hundred years time will some Irish president be paying his respects at the graves of UVF heroes like Murphy and his team?

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

[Reply]

May 22nd, 2011 at 4:27 am
DEC
 287 

Brian,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I think Mrs Murphy did indeed offer an extreme form of unconditional love in line with that of Violet Kray. Like Mrs Kray she seems to have been the dominant character in the household with a shiftless husband resembling, according to Dillon, Mr Murphy. Having her name changed to Murphy may have been a defining moment in her life.
The photo on this site is interesting: William Murphy is a run of the mill boozer,fast attaining a double chin and beer belly at the age of 27. I am sure Belfast has many such characters. Lenny Murphy on the other hand is obviously a dandy, very image aware and his eyes are glittering with evil. Or at least full of passionate intensity. He is a driven man. That is what his face says to me.

Whether he really had a visceral hatred of Catholics I dont know. Reportedly Catholics he worked with quite liked him. I suspect he was intent on securing the status of a ‘superprod’ and was desperate for the approval of his older brothers (who may have been more anti-catholic than he was) and the wider Protestant comunity.

Of course the hellish situation in Northern Ireland was a major factor in his development; I doubt if he would have strayed much beyond a vicious bar room brawl if he had been born in the UK. And even then there is no evidence that he could even fight: Bates and McAllister had been scrappers since their schooldays according to Dillon, but there is record of Lenny Murphy standing toe to toe with anyone.

As you say probably an indulged youngest son, who fed off his brothers’ reputation. In his entire life it is unlikely he ever did anything meaningful without his brothers or a gang around him. The classic psychopathic inadequate.

BTW I know my name seems Catholic but I am actually a Scottish Protestant who thinks that the Protestant community in NE has an unfailing ability to allow the worst elements of that society to speak on their behalf. Even when Ulster hardmen like Gusty Spence or John McMichael see the light they are either marginalised or killed by their own people.

It’s a very sad story.

[Reply]

chuckler Reply:

Hiya DEC,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I think Mrs Murphy did indeed offer an extreme form of unconditional love in line with that of Violet Kray. Like Mrs Kray she seems to have been the dominant character in the household with a shiftless husband resembling, according to Dillon, Mr Murphy. Having her name changed to Murphy may have been a defining moment in her life.

Imagine the effect of having a paedophile as a father like Gerry Adams did. Explains a lot.

The photo on this site is interesting: William Murphy is a run of the mill boozer,fast attaining a double chin and beer belly at the age of 27. I am sure Belfast has many such characters. Lenny Murphy on the other hand is obviously a dandy, very image aware and his eyes are glittering with evil. Or at least full of passionate intensity. He is a driven man. That is what his face says to me.

All from a photograph? I stand in awe.

As you say probably an indulged youngest son, who fed off his brothers’ reputation. In his entire life it is unlikely he ever did anything meaningful without his brothers or a gang around him.

Well, he did spread terror through his enemy’s community – with a vengeance.

BTW I know my name seems Catholic but I am actually a Scottish Protestant who thinks that the Protestant community in NE has an unfailing ability to allow the worst elements of that society to speak on their behalf.

As opposed to The Catholic community actually electing numerous members of PIRA you mean? LOL

Even when Ulster hardmen like Gusty Spence or John McMichael see the light they are either marginalised or killed by their own people.

Neither Spence nor McMichael ‘saw the light’, were marginalised or killed by their own people. Spence spent most of his adult life in jail and McMichael was blown to bits by PIRA.

I am surprised that you as a Scottish Protestant knows less about these things than me, as an Irish Catholic.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Chuckler, i find your rather snarky attack on DEC’s reasonable and balanced post rather baffling- not to mention riddled with errors!
1) DECS description of the pic of William and Lenny Murphy is accurate- William does look somewhat out of shape for 27, and Lenny definitely has the look of menace about him common to most psychopaths. No need to “be in awe”- just use your eyes and look at the picture :).
2) I dont see what your point is re catholics electing PIRA members and Gerry Adams’ father- how is this relevant to the discussion in any way? Noone on here has denied that former PIRA members are now in the goverment have they??
3) Gusty Spence did see the light whilst in prison- he condemned sectarian killings unequivically wheras previously he’d carried them out! And also, he was one of the former UVF terrorists pushing hardest for the ceasefire upon his release.
4) PIRA did indeed kill John McMichael, but it is widely believed that they were aided and abetted by UDA leader Jim Craig because McMichael apparently dissaproved of his widespread racketeering. According to Dillon, Craig had a simular hand in Lenny Murphy’s murder too.
So, may i end this reply by saying i am suprised that you as an Irish Catholic know less about these things than me, as an agnostic Englishman :)

[Reply]

Chuckler Reply:

Hi Brian,

1) DECS description of the pic of William and Lenny Murphy is accurate- William does look somewhat out of shape for 27, and Lenny definitely has the look of menace about him common to most psychopaths. No need to “be in awe”- just use your eyes and look at the picture .

LOL. You should get a job working for CID or The US FBI. I don’t believe that facial appearance has been useful as a guide to criminal tendencies since The 19th century. LOL

3) Gusty Spence did see the light whilst in prison- he condemned sectarian killings unequivically wheras previously he’d carried them out! And also, he was one of the former UVF terrorists pushing hardest for the ceasefire upon his release.

LOL. Spence spent a long time in jail and upon release we have no idea why he said the things he did (if you get my drift). Northern Ireland leaders have a history of talking out of both sides of their mouths. As for the ceasefire, a lot of Loyalists saw The Belfast Agreement as a victory, perhaps Gusty was one of them? By the way, he claims he was innocent of the crime he was convicted off – were you aware of that?

4) PIRA did indeed kill John McMichael, but it is widely believed that they were aided and abetted by UDA leader Jim Craig because McMichael apparently dissaproved of his widespread racketeering. According to Dillon, Craig had a simular hand in Lenny Murphy’s murder too.

He He. The fact that Craig may have been involved in McMichael’s death was not a reflection on how the broader Loyalist community felt about McMichael – far from it. Likewise if Craig had any role in Murphy’s death. McMichael was working with guys like Stone right up to the end.

So, may i end this reply by saying i am suprised that you as an Irish Catholic know less about these things than me, as an agnostic Englishman

LOL. I think I’ve proved otherwise.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Chuckler, theres no polite way of saying this, are you on mind altering drugs??
I never said “facial appearance was a useful giude to criminal tendencies.” Having had a hand in the murder of up to 20 people is though, wouldnt you say? And i note that you avoided my comment on William Murphy- or am I, DEC and everyone else wrong on that too and he’s actually a superb physical specimen? :)
I was aware that Spence claims to be innocent of murder, and im sure he did see the Belfast agreement as an opportunity (or maybe as you say even a kind’ve victory). So what? Im not claiming hes become some saintly mother theresa figure, anymore than Adams or McGuiness has- merely that in later life he seems to have taken a more considerd, moderate position. Also you say “we have no idea why he said the things he said.” Ok, fine- so what makes you the one person uniquely qualified to have a opinion on it?
Likewise re McMichael, where did i claim that Craigs involvement in McMichaels murder was “a reflection on how the broader loyalist community felt about McMichael?” I specifically said why Craig was thought to have a hand in it, and only brought it up because of your comment that he was killed by PIRA NOT a fellow loyalist!
You’re the kindve guy that would create an argument in an empty room :)

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

What was Lenny Murphy’s occupation and what evidence is there that he worked with Catholics or that the Catholics he worked with found him likeable?

IIRC Dillon’s book mentioned he was employed at one stage as a lorry driver by Smyth’s Haulage on the Shankill (is this anything to do with Hugh Smyth?). Presumably there would not have been too many Catholics working there in the mid-70s!?

[Reply]

May 23rd, 2011 at 6:59 am
DEC
 288 

Chuckler,

I’m sure I know a lot less about NI politics than someone who has lived there. And the track record of UK citizens who try to ‘grasp’ the problem has never been very glorious. But I’ll do my best.

I think Spence and McMichael did show some awareness later in their lives that the status quo was not a runner and that without embracing Catholic people who lived in NI there could never be a proper settlement. This does not mean they ever completely gave up their paramilitary activities but sometimes you probably have to thank God for small mercies.

Spence was attacked in recent times by hard line Unionists who surrounded his home, whilst McMichael’s death at the hands of PIRA is no more clear cut than Lenny Murphy’s own demise at the hands of the same organisation. It’s widely accepted there may have been internal collusion.

The quality of politician may not be great anywhere in the world but the Republican side can at least point to some continuity. Adams and McGuiness were part of the 1972 delegation which was granted an audience with William Whitelaw and are still active of course in NI politics. Longevity is no gaurantee of quality for sure, but it suggests that the Republican side has had a clearer sense of where it wanted to go in terms of the NI community. The contrast with the UDA/UVF has ben made earlier on this site, with a roll call of leading players who have met an early death. I think the contributor said that you could not make this stuff up, all the way from Tommy Herron to Jim Grey and Johnny Adair.

I’m no expert on photography and my comments really amounted to no more than mere musings spiced up with the knowledge of hindsight. But I still think Lenny Murphy does not look part of a Shankill darts team while all the rest do. He looks like he belongs somewhere else.

Gerry Adams comes across as sanctimonious, self serving and at times stalinist in his determination to see off opposition within Sin Fein. And I would not doubt that he has sanctioned, if not participated, in murder. But I cant really see the connection between his family life and the political route he has taken.

To compare Adams and Murphy is to compare two very different types of person in any case. Notwithstanding their family background over which neither had control, both plunged themselves into the maelstrom that was NI politics from the late 60s onwards. One occupied a high position within a paramilitary regime while the other was a free lance foot soldier who, rather like Mr Kurtz in Heart of Darkness, had thrown off any remnants of moral restraint. And I think the term soldier is more than generous in his case.

Politics is a filthy business but not so filthy that Lenny Murphy would ever have been part of any negotiating team on behalf of the Unionsit community. He was clearly a man who had long lost any moral compass he might have once possessed, and I think this site is interested in why this came about.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Very good, mature and well-considered post, Dec, which I enjoyed reading.

[Reply]

May 31st, 2011 at 7:47 am
bill
 289 

Well said Brian and Dec. Free speech sometimes results in inanities from those armchair experts who pop in and lecture us (rarely staying on topic). I don’t normally comment on drivel but felt I should this time.

[Reply]

Chuckler Reply:

How amusing! You’re not their headmaster are you?

[Reply]

June 1st, 2011 at 9:48 am
Chuckler
 290 

Hi DEC,

I think Spence and McMichael did show some awareness later in their lives that the status quo was not a runner and that without embracing Catholic people who lived in NI there could never be a proper settlement.

Later in their lives? Stormont was killed in 1972 and was never coming back without power sharing. It didn’t take a genius to see the choice was between direct rule and ‘embracing’ Catholic people.

Spence was attacked in recent times by hard line Unionists who surrounded his home,

Eh? When was this? If you’re talking about The Shankill feud years back, that had nothing to do with politics and was all about egos.

whilst McMichael’s death at the hands of PIRA is no more clear cut than Lenny Murphy’s own demise at the hands of the same organisation. It’s widely accepted there may have been internal collusion.

But had absolutely nothing to do with any
supposed softening in McMichael’s views or the reaction of The Loyalist community to those supposed views.

The quality of politician may not be great anywhere in the world but the Republican side can at least point to some continuity. Adams and McGuiness were part of the 1972 delegation which was granted an audience with William Whitelaw and are still active of course in NI politics.

Perhaps they were both turned? LOL. The protected stayed alive.

Longevity is no gaurantee of quality for sure, but it suggests that the Republican side has had a clearer sense of where it wanted to go in terms of the NI community.

Both sides knew exactly where they wanted to go from day one – just in opposite directions.

The contrast with the UDA/UVF has ben made earlier on this site, with a roll call of leading players who have met an early death. I think the contributor said that you could not make this stuff up, all the way from Tommy Herron to Jim Grey and Johnny Adair.

I’m afraid you fail to understand the separation between politicos and militants on The Unionist side of the fence. Paisley’s still alive. As for Loyalist deaths, the surprising thing about ‘the troubles’ is how few Loyalists were actually killed, not how many. It’s estimated as many as 100 000 may have passed through the ranks of Loyalist paramilitaries with only a handful meeting an early death. Adair’s still alive by the way. LOL

One occupied a high position within a paramilitary regime while the other was a free lance foot soldier who, rather like Mr Kurtz in Heart of Darkness, had thrown off any remnants of moral restraint. And I think the term soldier is more than generous in his case.

I think you misunderstand the nature of pro-state terror and what makes it effective.

Politics is a filthy business but not so filthy that Lenny Murphy would ever have been part of any negotiating team on behalf of the Unionsit community.

LOL. That completely misunderstand the nature of counter-terror organisations. Of course Murphy would never have sat at any negotiating table. That wasn’t his role. Terror was.

[Reply]

June 11th, 2011 at 12:47 am
DEC
 291 

Hi Chuckler,

I can assure you that neither Brian or Willie Mac were my headmaster; I was born in the same year as Lenny Murphy so they would be in their dotage if they had ever taught me.

I think the dominant tone in your posts has been cynism; not scepticism, which is usually healthy, but nihilistic cynicism. You do not seem to have a good word to say about anyone on the Loyalist or the Republican side. Was there no one in 30 years who actually represented anything worthwhile on either front? Apart from yourself can you name one NI political/paramilitary figure for whom you had a modicum of respect?

You seem to have bought into the Brigadier Kitson strategy that Lenny Murphy was part of a state sanctioned murder gang. It’s a seductive idea for any aspiring novelist wanting to document ‘The Troubles’ but for goodness sake no government agency is ever going to stoop to the level of employing a loose canon like Lenny Murphy. No doubt Davy Payne and Jackson were considered but Lenny Murphy? Please!! Basher Bates? Willie Moore? You cant be serious.

As was pointed out earlier in this blog these attacks were random and totally out of proportion to any imagined slight on the Loyalst community. Their effectiveness can be guaged by the response of Loyalists when Lenny Murphy enjoyed his ‘Prague Spring” after being released from prison. They wanted him killed. Why did the almighty British state apparatus not stop his execution if Murphy was so vital to their cause? (Having lain dormant for a number of years)

Your main point seems to be that both the Loyalisit and Republican leaders ‘sold out.’ you dont make clear what your own negotiating position would have been. Can you share this with us?

This is also hard to comprehend: I could encountenance either one side or the other being bought over for material/political gain: but both? Simultaneously? And for what? Money? Position? A footnote in history?

And you claim this sell out happpened as long long ago as 1972 in the case of the Republicans? Yet they were, incredibly, given carte blanche to bomb much of Belfast, Derry and London for the next 25 years!! It makes no sense. Unless there is some grand masterplan that you are privy to and the rest of us are not.

BTW it was you who drew parallels between Murphy and PIRA activists like McGuiness;so there is little to be gained by now disavowing your earlier statement. If, as you claim, Murphy was simply about ‘terror’ then logically it follows that McGuiness and Adams were about something else. Which is what I suggested in my earlier post. Can you clarify?

[Reply]

June 11th, 2011 at 8:07 am
MICK
 292 

I hear that Heather McFarland, one of the two women the Butchers took along as spectators to the savage murder of Francis Rice, did not stay in Canada, where she initially fled afterwards, but settled in Scotland with her husband, who was a UDR man. I do not know if they are still there.

I hear also that there were sighs of relief at Alliance Party HQ when they realised that Joyce Murphy, who is currently resident at 14 Lawnbrook Avenue, was not on the electoral register. This meant she was automatically ineligible to endorse the candidature of their hopeful for the Court ward in the recent Council elections. As I reported previously, she had signed his nomination form at McDowell’s chemists on the Shankill, where she goes on a regular basis to collect industrial quantities of diazepam which leave her in a perpetual state of befuddlement. She told the ‘Irish News’ she had signed no such thing but the truth was that she did-she simply didn’t realise what it was. The Alliance Party were horrified when they realised that the mother of the Shankill Butcher had put her name to the nomination of their candidate ( not a local man-he did not know who Joyce was, and vice versa) and how that might play in the press, and were mightily relieved at her fading memory and her absence from the electoral roll. That said, the ‘Irish News’ did get an amazing, rambling interview with her on the back of it-the first since Lenny’s funeral in 1982, I think.

[Reply]

June 18th, 2011 at 7:49 pm
Alan Da Niao
 293 

As this thread has included one or two mentions of Albert (Ginger) Baker, you may be interested in this press cutting. It’s from Private Eye – so not British establishment – no 699, 30 Sep 1988. “One of the longest serving prisoners in Britain is Albert “Ginger” Baker. Baker deserted from the British Army in 1971 and returned to his native Ulster to kill Catholics.
His knowledge of weapons and military matters generally served him in good stead among Protestant extremist orgaisations and before long he was an influential member of the UDA engaged in routine assassinations. Baker murdered so openly that he was finally caught red-handed, arrested in 1972 and charged.
For a time Baker put it around that he would plead not guilty to the murder charage and provide in his defence evidence of army and police involvement in sectarian assassinations. He was even heard to mutter the dreaded word “Kincora” and to indicate that he knew rather a lot about what was going on at the boys’ home in Belfast.
These suggestions caused a bit of a stir in high places. Baker was urged to plead guilty and take his punishment like a man. At the most, he was assured, he would serve 10 years for crimes which would carry the life sentence. Baker wanted proof and demanded that a British minister appear in prison and give him the “no more than 10 years” assurance himself.
The minister came. He gave the assurance. Baker pleaded guilty. Nothing embarrassing came out, and he was sent to prison for life.
He has now served 16 years. He is in Frankland prison near Durham and wants at least to be sent to a prison in Northern Ireland. But for some reason no-one in the Home Office will listen to him.”

The article appears to be a singleton – I’ve found no follow-up article or letter. Some obvious questions: was he released? If uring the good friday agreement amnesty? (I vaguely seem to recall that prisoners in English jails were not included.) Where is he now? One intriguing mention is of the Kincora scandal. P Eye were as far as I can tell the only national press outlet to carry this story consistently but there seems a lot more to be said. What makes it especially intriguing is that it’s a mirror image of the Catholic child abuse scandals which emerged much later. Given the publicity that that generated, did anyone re-open the Kincora scandal?

[Reply]

June 28th, 2011 at 2:01 am
Willie Mac
 294 

I read a quote which appeared in the Irish Times when Murphy was murdered. It said:

“He never really did his community any good.”

I think that would be a lot more apt for the headstone than ‘Here Lies a Soldier’….

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Yes Willie, that’s what much of this thread is about: the devastating affect that one man, closely aided by his brothers, had on his own community and many others in Belfast – and arguably beyond.

[Reply]

June 28th, 2011 at 8:21 am
MICK
 295 

There was an interesting article in the Belfast Telegraph on Thursday (30th June) on the loyalist underworld by the journalist Kevin Myers. Here’s an extract from it:

‘There is a congenial, indeed government-backed myth, in both Scotland and Ireland, that ‘one side is as bad as another’: that Sinn Fein/ IRA are pretty much the same as the UDA/ UVF.

This is simply untrue. There is no republican equivalent to the romper rooms of the UDA, wherein men were routinely beaten to a pulp by loyalist thugs and from which both the term and the practice became celebrated.

And then there was Lenny Murphy and his merry gang, the Shankill Butchers, who for years in the mid-1970s abducted, tortured and murdered Catholics-usually by cutting their throats.

This culture did not emerge simply as a response to IRA violence. It was there already. It was feckless, violent, drunken, lost, lumpen proletarians for whom a perverted tribal identity conjoined with a godlessly Calvinist sense of superiority, even as they stewed in their ghettoes of suffocating illiteracy and economic failure.

But they were, nonetheless, elevated by the insane delusion that they are the chosen people, who have been deprived of their birthright by some vast conspiracy between the Catholic Church and the British government.

This psychiatric condition affects almost an entire under-caste, thereby placing their minds and aspirations almost beyond ordinary analysis.’

I wouldn’t argue with much of that. The romper rooms were of course pioneered by the late UDA psychopath Davy Payne, a notorious sadist known for his relish in using knives in the slow torture of his victims, and populated in later years by the likes of Albert ‘Ginger’ Baker ( mentioned above re the Private Eye piece), who was said to have castrated at least one of his abductees, Ned McCreery and Lenny Murphy.

One would almost get the impression that the UVF miss those wonderful times so much that they are trying to re-ignite the Troubles. ‘Bunter’ Graham himself, now an old man and reputedly suffering from some form of cancer, was seen on the streets of east Belfast during the recent UVF orchestrated violence in the company of local ‘brigadier’ Stephen Matthews, aka ‘Ugly Doris’, aka ‘The Beast Of The East.’ You won’t divert the HET teams with that sort of caper, Bunter…..your supergrasses have spilled all the beans!

[Reply]

Liam Og Reply:

Would Payne, McCreery and Baker be in their own gruop or were they part of the Windsor Bar team? Would Graham be a part of either that group or Murphy’s? has there been an official justification of why Baker has not been trandferred to NI? This just seems to be a nother part of what Dillon terms the dirt war

[Reply]

RealIrishMan Reply:

I stand in awe Mick at your cool headed and well informed appraisal.

By the way, The IRA’s speciality was blowing the arms and legs of women and children wherever they could find them. I know that’s not as ‘sexy’ as what The Butchers did – but it was every bit as traumatic to the victims and their families.

[Reply]

July 2nd, 2011 at 11:37 pm
MICK
 296 

Liam Og

See my response to you of 28th April above. The Windsor Bar team was the main UVF unit on the Shankill Road-what little connection they had with the UDA would have been via drinking sessions in the like of the old Loyalist Club in Rumford Street, a UVF shebeen across the road from the Windsor Bar ( which was in Downing Street). The Loyalist was set up and run by ‘Chuck’ Berry, the Windsor Bar team commander, but frequented by members of other loyalist paramilitary organisations as well as the UVF. As I mentioned previously, McCreery and Baker were east Belfast UDA… I believe the full facts about Baker have yet to surface but they will be interesting if they ever do.

Davy Payne was second in command of the Shankill UDA in the 70s and established what was later known as ‘C’ Company ( Johnny Adair’s unit in later life). The first in command was John ‘Coco’ White, who got life for the frenzied knife murder of SDLP man Paddy Wilson and Irene Andrews in 1973, though it is common knowledge that ‘Coco’ was just the driver on that job and the actual knifeman was Payne. Payne was promoted to Brigadier by the UDA in the 80s and was suspected of large scale theft of the organisation’s funds. When he was arrested in 1988 with a consignment of guns in Portadown, he was widely believed to have been set up by associates. He got 19 years for that and was lucky never to have been prosecuted for his involvement in many other atrocities such as romper room killings and the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan bomb attacks, which killed 33 people. He died in 2003 of a heart attack, aged only 54.

‘Bunter’ Graham has headed the UVF for decades now ( see earlier comments on his career on this thread), though he was ‘stood down’ twice in his younger days by Shankill commander Billy ‘Dog’ Madine. Ironically, ‘Dog’ was the father of Dee Madine, currently on remand for knifing Bunter’s second in command Harry Stockman almost to death recently. Stockman is a nephew of Basher Bates of the Butchers-Graham knew, operated with and controlled numerous UVF men over the course of his inglorious life. He knew all of the Butchers well. He has survived so long himself purely because of his Special Branch and MI5 protectors.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick, that is an interestuing titbit from you on Billy “The Dog” Madine. In combination with an observation earlier in this blog by Willie, we can now state that it was Madine who reputedly executed disgraced CoS (or former CoS) Jim Hanna on 1 April 1974 after a brief court-marshal.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

There was another UVF known as ‘The Dog’, who died in Carrick in recent years. Not sure what his pedigree was though – pardon the pun – in terms of involvement.

Another source suggested ‘Frenchy’ Marchant was the trigger man when Hanna was killed. My source was the book, ‘The Red Hand’ by Prof. Steve Bruce.

[Reply]

RealIrishMan Reply:

Hi Liam,

Interesting stuff about MI5 and Special Branch protecting UVF leaders. Do you have available the full list of SF/IRA leaders who were also ‘ran’ by The UK Security Forces? I understand that it runs to several pages and includes ex-members of The IRA’s Army Council including several SF politicians…

[Reply]

July 16th, 2011 at 9:37 pm
Willie Mac
 297 

On another note, in the Buthers documentary some months ago, there was mention of a social club off Library Street. One of the owners was interviewed.

I wonder did the Butchers know of its existence and did they target patrons leaving it.

Purely speculative but:

1. Francis Crossen was headed in that direction. Probably heading for a taxi, but perhaps stopping for ‘one for the road’?

2. Thomas Quinn left it to walk home (where he was grabbed was never stated definitively)

3. Francis Rice was said to have been playing snooker in a Nationalist drinking club close to the city centre – was this the same place?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

!. FC could possibly have been heading for that Club but it was already about 12.40 when he was abducted.

2. TQ was attacked at almost the same spot as FQ, though he was going up Library St to his home across the road while FC was walking down the street towards Royal Ave.

3. I’m fairly sure FR had been playing snooker in St Patrick’s in Coar’s Lane off Curtis St (Academy St area).

[Reply]

July 17th, 2011 at 10:46 pm
Liam Og
 298 

Thank you for your replys, I apoogize for the repetitive questions

[Reply]

July 18th, 2011 at 8:50 pm
Jon
 299 

Hi. I read the book the Shankill Butchers about 10 years ago. It was actually given to me by a lass who was in her early thirties (ie born circa 1975). She was definitely of northern Irish background though, like me was an australian . Anyway after I returned the book to her she said that Lenny Murphy was her father! She then retracted the claim. This happened back in 2002 when I was living in western Australia. She seemed estranged from her family and frankly was abit of a weird one. Could this have been Lenny murphys daughter?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Lenny’s daughter Lyne (Gillespie or Murphy) was born in early 1973. Others on here may know if she spent time down under or if she didn’t get on with her family.

Can’t you say if there was a resemblance to Lenny?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

On reflection, like our friend that is adamant the pic of Shaw isn’t him, this sounds like a load of bolloc*s to me. In 2001, Lenny’s daughter would have been 28, not in her 30s.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

I think we can safely say that the woman in question wasnt Lennys daughter Lyne- as Bill says the timeline doesnt fit. But i suppose its possible she might be one of his many rumoured illegitimate children- i’ve heard from many different sources that he was constantly surrounded by adoring women!
But as theres a) no way of definitively proving it one way or the other, b) she retracted the story and c) she was “a bit of a weird one” you have to conclude that it may indeed be a load of bolloc*s ;-) .

[Reply]

July 29th, 2011 at 5:29 am
Irish_American
 300 

:!: He most certainly had a daughter, which he hardly knew, but I can tell you from growing up in Belfast at that time, that is most definitely one gene pool t0 stay clear off!!!

[Reply]

July 31st, 2011 at 4:00 am
northsider
 301 

I see the Irish News is running with a story, based on contemporaneous MOD documents, that the Belfast Battallion of the UDR was heavily infiltrated by the UVF and that two UDR companies based at Girdwood barracks were regarded as finance and supply departments of the UVF with up to seventy soldiers said to have paramilitary links, one of whom was Eddie McIlwaine of Butchers fame.

Did McIlwaine have a prominent role in: the UVF? the Butchers gang?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

It appears not. McIlwaine, whom Dillon describes as a “waster”, was only party to the kidnapping of Gerard McLaverty. To the best of our knowledge, he had a less prominent role than others in the attack on McLaverty in the doctor’s surgery at the corner of Emerson St. I don’t think McIlwaine was even in the UVF, though he had/has major Orange links AFAIK.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

McIlwaine was only convicted of the McLaverty attempted murder but may well have been involved in other operations as a loyal foot soldier, aka stooge, for the Butchers leadership. He was certainly a waster and an alcoholic-he has attracted attention in the press in recent years for his membership of an Orange Lodge in the Shankill and for motoring offences but was in hospital not so long ago….stomach cancer, I think ( ‘Butcher goes under the knife’ was the less than empathic headline in the Sunday World).

Re Lenny’s daughter, I do not know where she is now but he is rumoured to have fathered up to six illegitimate children during his brief sojourns out of jail. This is just about credible-like other alpha males from paramilitary gangs operating out of ghettos such as the Shankill, which has a disturbingly high incidence of teenage pregnancies even to this day, he had a reputation that way and considered himself irresistable to women ( as does the likes of Johnny Adair -one would suspect the characteristic narcissism of the serial killer were it not for copious evidence). The likes of Adair, Stevie ‘Top Gun’ McKeag, Malcolm Nesbitt, etc, not all of them oil paintings, so to speak, have all had children to various mothers. I will check out the Murphy gene pool when time allows-I have heard one or two interesting suggestions.

[Reply]

August 5th, 2011 at 10:01 am
Dara
 302 

Is it true that the only surviving senior member of the “Butchers” is William? By the way, Do not go and visit the neighborhood on Centurion way off Lawnbrook looking for him out of curiousity …. Me and friend did and were literally “stoned” by a six year old child all the way down Lawnbrook to the Shankill Road, while he screamed “fire” and pelted us with rocks – seriously. It was funny at first – until ten minutes later we were thinking, “What the Fuck?” running with our purses and likes idiots wondering if we were on “Punked” . Yeah, we were sure we were being played until we both got hit in the face with stones… Got a bruise on my face to show for it. It was surreal…and we were just walking around minding our own business. I’m sure someone from the neighborhood put him up to it and was having a laff, but I certainly won’t go back … for a while…….
Dara
By the way, I post because I have a deceased husband who was “involved” in paramilitary activities at the time, and before he died in 2008, he confessed several “sins” he was trying to work out. I’m trying to put the pieces together and this website has helped a lot

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Yes Dara, William Murphy is the only top-notcher left. The other four key players, Lenny Murphy and John Murphy, and Billy Moore and Bobby Bates are all dead.

This forum has suggested that William was Lenny’s equal, certaintly in terms of strategy – if not getting his hands dirty.

[Reply]

TRD Reply:

Are you sure he is the only “top notcher” left? I personally spoke to Martin Dillon about other culprits, and he told me more would come out when TWO key players in the Butcher murders had passed away. Apparently it gets even more twisted and gruesome. I said to Martin I was aware that Mr. A was alive and well on the Shankill, but I was confused by the second person he mentioned as a key player. Having read this blog again its probably Berry? Was he not much of a major player in the butcher murders? I thought he wasn’t…

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Well, a member of Chuck’s team – David McVeigh – was unmasked here as ‘Mr C’ and involved in the murder of Francis Rice. Chuck Berry himself, though, was not directly party to any of the six killings. At least there is nothing in what Dillon wrote to suggest that’s the case.

The other top dog never identified was the person called ‘Winkie’ who was in the car in which Francis Cassidy was abducted. Mick on here thinks he is William Murphy: I don’t, for the simple reason that various statements mention the killers calling at Murphy’s house on the way to the murder scene and him coming to the door.

This Winkie has been discussed on the Blog and no consensus to his identity emerges. Maybe he is someone now prominent in the peace process who has left his violent/paramilitary past, like Jackie Hewitt has, creditably.

[Reply]

August 21st, 2011 at 6:01 pm
Dara
 303 

This website is great! Sooo much information and so many intelligent, knowledgeable comments. Willie Mac, Bill, etc. You are obviously well-versed in the subject. I’m impressed with your knowledge and expression on the subject. Too bad we all have to remain anonymous… Wouldn’t it be lovely to to have a “sit down” and discuss?? Just saying… I know that is not the purpose of this website, but the thought still intrigues me! alas….
Dara

[Reply]

August 23rd, 2011 at 3:40 pm
 304 

Hello, I found this particular thread fascinating as our families have been campaigning for nearly 40 years for the truth about the McGurk’s Bar Massacre. A family member of mine runs the campaign website, http://www.themcgurksbarmassacre.com, and has been researching the early part of the Troubles for years.
The name Billy Mitchell was always in the frame for ordering the bomb attack from the Shankill that night and, of course, many many years later Jimmy Campbell was sent down for it. The families obviously have others named too.
Would you have any other information regarding the attack? As you will know from the McGurk’s Campaign – the families are still fighting for the truth plain and simple. A survivor even knocked on Jimmy Campbell’s door recently as was allowed in so it is not for bad reasons.
If you want you can send an email in confidence to info@themcgurksbarmassacre.com. Ive sent a link to him so he knows to expect you.
Many thanks

[Reply]

August 25th, 2011 at 6:46 am
MICK
 305 

Interesting notice in a free newspaper that came through my door this week. Among the applications for renewals of entertainments licences was one for the Cosy Bar, a well known UVF watering hole off the Woodstock Road. Contact person was listed as William Townsley…..I wonder could this be the Butcher boy?

Dara-and any others tempted to go on Butcherwatch at any of the addresses listed on this site-please pick your times carefully, look as inconspicuous as possible and preferably use a motorised vehicle rather than go on foot. There are greater potential menaces than feral children to beware of in some of these areas. You are not likely to be tortured, mutilated and murdered in the back room of some hellish shebeen or disused doctor’s surgery these days but you may encounter some dangerous people, so better safe than sorry.

Re the McGurk’s Bar massacre in 1971, Billy Mitchell almost certainly ordered it, only Robert James Campbell was convicted of it, virtually by accident, but I think all of the team involved has been identified by now. Most of them are dead. ‘Jimmy’ Campbell looks an old and forlorn man-I saw the interview with him in the Sunday Life a while back. A bad case of collusion there, the families are right to pursue Matt Baggott and the first Police Ombudsman’s report on it was a disgrace.

[Reply]

Dara Reply:

Thank for the advice Mick! I was hoping to get that same point across with my story. Your comments are well-written and well-informed. As for being inconspicuous, I guess I shouldn’t have worn my pink catsuit and carried my gigantic leopard skin handbag with me…JK. ;-)

[Reply]

John Reply:

Mick,
Re: McGurk’s: We have the Scottish connection in Big Bill Campbell who was named by Scottish police and ignored by the RUC. We assume he brought the geli over (although Billy mitchell had his links too). Billy Cousins was named by the Sunday World although he had not been on our radar.
What other names did you have – email us at info@themcgurksbarmassacre.com if you do not want to post. For example, the family member of one of the team that night is still high up in B Coy 1 Batt UVF.
And, yes, we are beginning proceedings for a Judicial Review against Mr Baggott – heaven forbid if the police believed they had primacy again.
J

[Reply]

September 2nd, 2011 at 10:08 pm
butcher
 306 

do any bars still exist in the shankill anymore? and are they frequented by paramilitary uvf/uda to the same level and extent that they did 20 years ago?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Bill, Willie Mac or Mick would be able to answer you definitively, but i’d put a sizeable amount of money on it! A few years ago i rather unwisely went on a pub crawl in Lisburn and inadvertently found myself in a UDA drinking den. I was threatend with a severe beating if i didnt leave forthwith and run out of the pub! It was one of the most frightening experiences of my life, and though Lisburn is a hardline protestant area the paramilitaries must surely be more prominent on the shankill.
Recalling the experience, i’d like to echo Micks earlier warning- its really not advisable for outsiders to casually go exploring these areas or pubs.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

There are nowhere near as many bars and clubs in the Shankill nowadays as there were in the 70s and 80s. Many of those listed in the Dillon book have closed, and new housing has heralded the death of many more particularly in the Lower Shankill.

The Road is much safer now than then. Strangers still stand out, though, so I would be careful but not paranoid if visiting the areas.

There are a number of bars and clubs that the paramilitaries and ex-paramilitaries still frequent, of course.

[Reply]

shankill road man Reply:

your right its a lot safer and yes outsiders would be safe there are many outsiders and strangers i know this i live on the road and have do for just over 20 years its a good changed place

[Reply]

September 12th, 2011 at 2:43 pm
Willie Mac
 307 

A lot of questions were, and still are, raised by Nationalists as to the RUC’s competence in apprehending the Butchers.

One question arose in my mind recently.

Nesbitt was sure he had the culprit when Murphy was behind bars (why he thought this was never explained).

In subsequent cut-throat murders, two of the victims were shot first – something which had not previously featured.

Would it not have crossed Nesbitt’s mind that it may have been another person committing the later murders.

I maintain that Moore was not as keen to cut the throat of the victim while they remained alive, preferring to shoot them before wielding the knife.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Willie, i think the reason Nesbitt felt sure that Murphy was the killer was because after 3 cutthroat murders in relatively quick succesion they abruptly ceased once he was in custody. Also his cocky demeanour when questioned- “if you can prove it, charge me”- would have attracted attention. Add to that good old fashioned gut feeling- Lenny was already known was a psychopathic killer, ruthless even by comparison with the many other terrorists in those violent times.
Re Nesbitt not picking up the different MO of 2 of the 3 subsequent cutthroat killings you make a valid point. But i was recently reading the psychologist Paul Brittains book about serial offenders/killers- and he states that such murderers by no means always kill in EXACTLY the same way each time, its just that the simularities usually far outweigh the differences. And the cutting of the throats preceeded by lengthy drawn out torture were the simularities.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie, you have asked a very interesting question about Jimmy Nesbitt, one we’ll probably never know the answer to.

IMHO, he knew that the first three throat-slashings (committed by Murphy) were lnked. But other people were killed and dumped in the Shankill in the same way and I believe that – over time – the RUC were unable to pin each killing exactly to the same gang or organisation likely to have been involved. Hence the waters got muddier, although Nesbitt cannt be absolved of blame in this regard.

As to Morre: you are correct in that he preferred to slash a throat after the person had been shot dead (McCann and Cassidy). But let’s remember that he was in charge of the team that inflicted hideous injuries on Mr Morrissey – even more savage than Mr Crossen received from Murphy, if that’s possible. Like McClay who attacked Morrissey with a hatchet in the abduction car, Moore used the hatchet later to hasten Mr Morrissey’s death. He inflicted at least one injury that would have done so independent of the knife. No gun was involved in that poor man’s death.

So when it comes to degrees of barbarism and savagery, Lenny Murphy gets 100 and Billy Moore 99.

Over time, the violence and horror of these six deaths can be forgotten somewhat. Growing up at the time, though, it’s hard to forget them.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

The biggest scandal in the entire horror show that was Lenny Murphy’s terrorist career was the failure to pin the Mervyn Connor murder on him, coupled with the unaccountable disappearance of Major Mullen’s report on that murder. If he’d been nipped in the bud then and put away on the life sentence he deserved, a lot more people would be alive today. By the time Murphy got out of jail in the summer of 1975 and was pictured as a smiling young Jack-the Lad in his early 20s with other desperados in the Loyalist Club ( see Sunday Life photo posted earlier on this site) he was already a multiple murderer with four romper room torture murders to his name, plus Pavis and Connor, not to mention the UVF prisoner who witnessed the Connor murder and was subsequently beaten to death in jail after talking privately to Major Mullen, and God knows how many more. No wonder the guy thought he was invincible and was subsequently able to embark on the reign of terror that still has him talked about to this day. The squad of low level pondlife he assembled around him may well have remained just petty criminals, Borstal boys, etc were it not for his malign and controlling influence. A base like the Brown Bear obviously helped-it used to be like something out of the wild west in the 70s, with visiting off duty RUC and UDR men routinely asked if they were ‘carrying’, and if so requested to leave their guns behind the bar for the duration of their stay. It was not unusual for half a dozen firearms to be tucked beneath the bar at any given time.

Moore was a different kettle of fish, a taciturn dullard who would not have been readily identifiable as an aggressive psychopath ( which he was- he was diagnosed as such after his capture) but certainly a kindred spirit to Murphy in terms of the vicious thrills he got out of torturing his victims. He actively encouraged torture when in charge of the unit and was clearly one of those dangerous sadists within the paramilitary world for whom the ‘Troubles’ were a godsend, because they opened up all sorts of possibilities for behaviour that in less dysfunctional times would have had them consigned to Broadmoor or its equivalent for most if not all of their natural lives. I heard recently that Moore was very friendly in his younger days with Raymond Glover, another UVF man from the Woodvale area who was a butcher by trade and may have worked with Moore in Woodvale Meats. Moore certainly kept a low profile on his release-he was suspected of drug running and other illegalities but few outside Mount Vernon were aware that he was holed up there, living in a flat with a woman and reputedly drinking two bottles of vodka a day prior to his unlamented death at the age of 60 in recent years. He would of course have had to have the okay from more modern day UVF psychopaths like Mark Haddock and David ‘Reggie’ Millar ( so-called after one of the Kray twins) to settle there.

[Reply]

Dara Reply:

Well said! And you are a good writer. You should write your own book, Mick! Find a good pseudonym…

[Reply]

September 15th, 2011 at 7:35 am
Liam Og
 308 

Considering all the informers running about, it seems a bit incredulous that the police didn’t have some leads that pointed to Murphy and his gang

[Reply]

Dara Reply:

Watch the documentary and decide for yourself…. That question is asked and addressed by various interesting persons with different perspectives….

[Reply]

September 21st, 2011 at 3:32 am
butcher
 309 

one part in the book im not sure on is when the two policemen get marched into a bar on the shankill road and are made to bark like dogs, eat shit etc…
once they let them go why didnt they come back with 50 more cops and arrest those responsible..? just seems weird that they let them go and that was the end of it…..
can anyone explain? were the police that scared of the paramilitaries that this could happen?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

According to the account of that event, I’m told that the police and army did return and got their pound of flesh from the patrons, so to speak.

[Reply]

Dara Reply:

Really? Wish Dylan could have written about that in his book….. But they still quit anyway?
Do tell!

[Reply]

Dara Reply:

Shit…I meant “Dillon” My bad…

[Reply]

September 21st, 2011 at 4:10 pm
MICK
 310 

John-I have heard only rumours, nothing definite, re the other McGurks bar bombers. Billy Cousins has been mentioned before, like William ‘Mr A’ Murphy he led a charmed life in terms of avoiding jail. He is dead now as are Mitchell and others.

Butcher-I have yet to find a source to corroborate that story about the policemen, many indeed have ridiculed it. Does sound like a jackanory!

[Reply]

October 4th, 2011 at 3:00 am
oz
 311 

great site. i read somewhere that the jackal robin jackson may have been present at some of the butcher killings. can anyone comfirm this?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Nonsense

[Reply]

October 6th, 2011 at 1:48 am
InTheRealWorld
 312 

Can anyone tell me the meaning of the words:

LIVING VICARIOUSLY

as applied to this forum?

Also, does anyone know what a GHOUL is?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

None of the regular contributors to this thread are “living vicariously” through these disgusting killings. In fact, theyve provided an invaluable source of information on Belfast at the time, and identified a number of murderers who are disgracefully still free! A “ghoul” is someone who thrives on the misfortune or grief of others- can you point me to a post by any of the regular contributors to this thread who fits that description??

[Reply]

Dara Reply:

Agreed! I have found this blog to be very well-monitored and useful and historically accurate. I’m very impressed with the knowledgeable contributors and their insights. Let’s keep it that way….

[Reply]

October 7th, 2011 at 2:59 am
Stevo
 313 

InTheRealWorld, do you know what a TROLL is?

Do one!

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Dont feed the troll, Stevo!

[Reply]

October 9th, 2011 at 11:18 pm
MICK
 314 

Some death notices in the Belfast Telegraph last week for one Thomas James Potts, known as Jim Potts, late of Old Westland Road….anyone know if this was the Butchers’ associate jailed for the near fatal assault ( his accomplices were Moore, Townsley and John Murphy) on Harold Underwood years ago ?
The only obvious UVF link in the death notices was one from the ‘Officers and Members of the Long Bar Social Club.’ Strange how the likes of the Long Bar, Lawnbrook and Windsor Bar still have ‘officers and members’ even though these drinking establishments no longer exist. Presumably they are ‘Old Boys’ clubs for the survivors from the UVF teams that used to frequent these dens.

[Reply]

October 22nd, 2011 at 10:39 pm
Willie Mac
 315 

Yes, it’s the same person, to whom I had mentioned in previous posts and had spoken to on occasions.

I believe the references to now defunct drinking places relates to the various ‘platoons’ within A Company, 1st Batallion of the UVF and the places from which they operated.

[Reply]

Interested Reply:

Does jim Potts have any brothers that are involved in any paramilitaries?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

No idea. Knew him to talk to you, but wouldn’t claim to know much about him.

[Reply]

October 24th, 2011 at 12:32 am
Willie Mac
 316 

One thing still puzzles me.

The murder of Joe Donegan in November 1982. Dillon claimed that the teeth were pulled out with pliers by Murphy, seemingly there was a reference to Murphy bringing pliers and a spade from his then current home to his former one, where Donegan was being held.

It’s aternatively suggested in another book by a former RUC officer (Simpson?) that the teeth were knocked out by Stewart/Mr M with the spade as he beat the guy to death.

However, as the fatal element of the beating occured in the rear yard, it was also said that there were teeth in the kitchen as claimed to have been seen in photos by Dillon.

One of them has to be wrong, in that case – so who do you believe?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie, I believe Simpson and don’t know where Dillon got that bit about the pliers (a UVF informant, maybe, out to discredit Murphy – [not hard to do])?

Dillon had access to police notes for much of his work but this may have been one of the many errors he made in the book despite getting the main points correct.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Willie Mac / Bill

As I mentioned earlier on this thread, I am inclined to believe Simpson. The injuries to Donegan were consistent with a frenzied attack rather than a slow ‘Romper Room’ type murder. His face was unrecognisable after it and the police had to use his wrist watch and a bracelet for his family to identify him. Among the multiple injuries inflicted were heavy blows to the neck and throat, which would have caused respiratory difficulties. This was a speciality of Lenny Murphy’s-I know a guy who was seriously assaulted by him and some of his goons in jail in this way. The guy was an ODC doing a short sentence for attacking a man he found in bed with his wife-he was a Protestant from North Belfast but because his name was Michael and he was critical of sectarianism, Lenny took him to be a ‘Taig’ and almost killed him.

The only actual witnesses to the pliers incident, according to Dillon, were William ‘Wingnut’ Cowan and the spade wielding Tommy ‘Mr M’ Stewart, who was shot dead by former UVF comrades in 1996, though others were involved also including William Mahood, Noel Large and-inevitably- William ‘Mr A’ Murphy. Cowan is now a Pastor with Belfast City Mission and when interviewed by the Sunday Life at his church in Kimberley Street off the Ormeau Road on 3 April last offered to meet the Donegan family and come clean about all the facts, but would not talk about it to the press. Cowan got 15 years for this and two other murders ( Stephen Murphy and Trevor Close) after being grassed up by ‘Budgie’ Allen, Mahood also did time as did Large, who I understand is in the PUP now and involved in community work in the Shankill Road. ‘Mr A’ yet again walked free, ‘Wingnut’ and the others being too terrified to implicate him, as happened with the original Butchers gang.

[Reply]

November 11th, 2011 at 12:53 am
Steve
 317 

Some people really do need to get a life, i can understand people wanting to know more about the past and what happened (as the original book is widely believed to be poorly investigated, one sided and untruthful in parts)

But why are people so concerned to know addresses and information on family members etc?

A few people on this blog have been praised on their knowledge yet the whole way through it a lot of their info has turned out to be wrong, infact some of it is laughable.

We keep hearing people in this wee country talk about moving on and leaving our past behind us, not much chance of that happening when people like have posted on this blog wont let people move on.

One final thing, one of the so called experts has mentioned a few times on different posts about a “new lawnbrook club”, would like like to say where it is because nobody on the Shankill can seem to find it :lol:

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Would think the guy was referring to the Rangers, which would be a ‘new’ Azamor Street Rangers maybe, but not a ‘new’ Lawnbrook.

While you’re at it, you might want to point out the ‘laughable’ info?

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

Steve- although an avid follower of this blog i will partially accept what you say. There is an element of morbid ciriousity in all of us- to use that old cliche, who doesnt at least look when driving past a road accident?
However, the only adress i can recall being published here is that of William Murphy- a psychopath who has disgracefully got away with numerous crimes including murder. Why shouldnt he be identified and shamed?

[Reply]

Dara Reply:

Regarding the “Ghoul” accusation.. Of course there will be those who are interested in the gruesomeness of the Shankill Butchers’ crimes. Anybody looking for death and torture and the grotesque has a plethora of websites from which to chose. However, I believe those types of individuals who post on this website stand out from the rest of the serious contributors on this and their post should be dismissed. The Shankill Butchers operated during an important part of NI’s history and will always generate curiosity, not to mention those interested in violent crime in general. But there are those, like myself, whose interest is personal and relates directly to my family. I do want to know more to relieve certain suspicions and understand more….. enough said. It’s like having a child go missing and you just want to know what happened to them at all costs. It may not have a good ending but just knowing helps put things into perspective. OMG, I just realized I reacted to a troll about being a Ghoul.

[Reply]

November 16th, 2011 at 7:28 pm
Jeanne Boleyn
 318 

Does anyone believe as I do that Lenny Murphy formed the Shankill Butchers gang after one of is favourite drinking haunt, the Bayardo Bar was attacked in August 1975 by the IRA? According to Jonathan Stevenson in his ”We Wrecked the Place”, Murphy claimed to have left theBayardo just ten minutes before the IRA unit arrived.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

That’s an interesting theory, and quite possible.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

I think the Butchers gang was up and running before August 1975 and certainly Lenny was a confirmed serial killer before then, though doubtless he would have been incensed by the Bayardo attack ( details of which are dealt with comprehensively earlier on this thread). I have not read the book by Jonathan Stevenson, who is an American writer and not the former SDLP Chairman of the same name, but will do so when time allows.
On another topic-the Sunday World yesterday had a full page devoted to a story about an extremely drunken Sam McAllister being jeered out of the Rex Bar on the Shankill by Sam Austin snr and other UVF hoods. ‘Fat Sam’ reportedly lost it completely and started ranting about his tormentors all being ‘touts and cowards’-factually correct, perhaps, but a bit rich coming from someone who grassed up all his Butcher mates and blubbered like a baby, according to police sources, as he did so. The Sunday World source commented that Sam would once have murdered you for looking sideways at you or spilling his pint and no-one would have dared speak to him like that because of who he was and who his friends were. Not so in the post-Lenny Murphy era….the source observed Sam’s utter humiliation and said that he would almost have felt sorry for him if he wasn’t such a murdering psycho. The paper also confirmed that McAllister had remained a virtual recluse since getting a couple of very serious ‘diggings’ from both UDA and UVF members in 2000 and 2004 respectively but claimed he had expressed remorse for his former crimes to friends. If he did, it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

[Reply]

Brian Warner Reply:

That was very possibly one of the reasons he GAVE for forming the butcher gang. But lets remember that Murphy had already commited at least 3 murders years before, and the factors that made him a sadistic murderer- be they genetic or societal- were already firmly in place.
Put it this way, if the Bayardo hadnt been attacked by the IRA i’d be very suprised if lennny, Moore and the rest would have behaved differently in any way whatsoever

[Reply]

bill Reply:

One thing that strikes me as odd is the claim that Lenny Murphy told an IRA member anything – as if they fraternised in the Maze (I assume it was in the Maze). Clearly there was a degree of contact but that prison was highly segregrated. The Crum wasn’t but does anyone else find this story more than a little fishy? Jeanne is an authority on Loyalists but I wouldnt put my mortgage on this one being anything more than a figment of someone’s imagination.

[Reply]

November 17th, 2011 at 8:22 pm
bill
 319 

That info. about Murphy and an IRA man is sth I read somewhere else (is in the Stevenson book, maybe)

[Reply]

November 30th, 2011 at 9:40 am
northsider
 320 

Dillon’s book quotes an ‘impeccable’ police source as saying L Murphy was involved in the torture and murder of an unnamed victim in a lock-up garage between Shankill and Springfield Roads in the summer of 72. The man was beaten, stabbed and shot before his body was dumped. Can anyone put a name to the corpse?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I’ve tried to look that one up, must have another look.

Was a garden hoe mentioned or am I getting that idea from somewhere elese???

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie, I think it was a spade that Thomas Stewart used to beat Mr Donegan to death with.

And I was totally unable to find any deaths in the summer of 1972 that came anywhere near the circumstances of the garage one referred to.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Bill / Willie Mac

It was indeed a spade that the late Tommy ‘Mr M’ Stewart used to batter Joe Donegan to death . The reference to the garden hoe came from loyalist supergrass William ‘Budgie’ Allen, describing a particularly brutal murder he claimed to have witnessed and criticised as ‘wrong’ in a conversation with republican supergrass Eamon Collins. The men were locked up together in a special jail section reserved for supergrasses for their own safety in the 80s and the details are in the book ‘Killing Rage’ written by Collins prior to his death at the hands of the Provos ( this is covered in an earlier post by myself on this thread). Both men have been described as fantasists, however, and anything attributed to either would need to be taken with a pinch of salt in the absence of hard evidence.

[Reply]

December 6th, 2011 at 12:50 pm
bill
 321 

Willie, did you ever get any info. on who our friend “Hitch” was?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I’ll make a few enquiries -had forgotten about that one!

[Reply]

December 12th, 2011 at 4:44 am
MICK
 322 

I am currently reading the book ‘We Wrecked The Place’ by Jonathan Stevenson, referred to above. Very interesting stuff-it was published in 1996, when interviewees such as Billy Mitchell and Billy Giles ( both UVF) were still alive, Alex ‘Ouzo’Calderwood ( UDA) was masquerading as a born again Christian prior to being jailed in England in recent times for criminal offences there and the concept of Carol Cullen ( alias Caral Ni Chulain) becoming a Minister in a future NI Executive had probably never occurred to anyboby.

The quote attributed to Lenny Murphy in 1976 when he was in prison re the UVF meeting in the Bayardo which ended 10 minutes before the August 1975 bomb and gun attack came from Gary Roberts, a former IRA prisoner originally from the Short Strand who lost a relative in the McGurks Bar bomb and went on to get a university degree in jail, as many of Stevenson’s interviewees did. Stevenson was sceptical about the claim-only one known UVF member, 21 year old Hugh Harris, died in the Bayardo attack, though there was speculation about another, a doorman who I think was called Samuel Gunning-but I think it is just about plausible. The Bayardo was after all at the corner of Aberdeen Street, just across the road from UVF HQ, so would have been convenient for meetings of senior personnel and if the idea of Lenny Murphy conversing with ‘Taigs’ of any ilk never mind IRA men is surprising, let’s not forget the friendship that developed in prison between Basher Bates and Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes. Basher even tipped Hughes off about a plot to kill him-a fact verified not just by Dillon but by Hughes himself in that ‘Voices Beyond The Grave’ book.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Mick, this claim about Murphy conversing with an IRA man and effectively confessing that he was the leader of the Butchers can only be the biggest load of ba*ls we’ve ever heard.

[Reply]

December 14th, 2011 at 10:10 pm
Jeanne Boleyn
 323 

Why was the Chlorane Bar blown up ten days after the gun attack and who was responsible for planting the bomb?

[Reply]

December 20th, 2011 at 5:55 pm
John
 324 

I know there was certain cross-over between the likes of the UDA and UVF at times but what has always confused me was:
The relationship of Davey Payne to the likes of the Protestant Action Group/Force and Dublin and Monaghan even though he was UDA.
Also, Tommy McCreery’s name comes up in a couple of PAF killings with John Bingham in North Belfast in 74, even though McCreery (I’m assuming it’s the one and the same) is UDA.
What woulod the dynamic be? Would they just be “out for the night” and go along for the ride?

[Reply]

January 19th, 2012 at 11:51 pm
Willie Mac
 325 

Possibly drinking together – a shebeen maybe? before embarking on a drunken escapade.

Has been known to happen.

[Reply]

January 23rd, 2012 at 2:52 am
John
 326 

Gents,
Are John and James Irvine the one and the same – I see both christian names are used above. Or are they brothers and has a mistake been made above?

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Same person, I believe-ie former UVF Provost Marshal ‘Nigger’ Irvine, as he was better known. He was a close friend of Lenny Murphy in 1982 after Lenny got out of jail ( same year Lenny was shot dead), before being arrested on the word of supergrass Joe Bennett in that year. He was eventually shot dead himself. He had a fearsome reputation but is said to have expressed remorse for his crimes sometime before he was murdered.

Re Davy Payne and the Dublin / Monaghan bombings, Payne was I think the only UDA man named as being involved in the Barron Report, others were UVF,though I believe there is a book imminent on the subject by a former Irish Army officer which may be even more revealing.

Interestingly, Payne was a former British Army paratrooper as well as a vicious psychopath who delighted in cutting people up slowly in romper rooms, shooting women in the face, etc. He was only 53 when he died of a heart attack but by that stage was an obese bespectacled buffoon to look at. Maybe he had help from Army contacts with the bombs…?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

I believe they certainly are different people – and probably brothers.

[Reply]

John Reply:

Actually, Bill and Mick, I see from the Budgie Allen reporting in 83 that a John and a James Irvine are indicted. I wonder if they are brothers – from Disraeli street?
We had heard of an Irvine connection with the McGurk’s Bar Bombing, you see – hence why the interest in being sure which is which (James would have been very young at the time of McGurk’s in 71). John was killed by the IRA in North Belfast in the late 80s. Apparently, they both shared the nickname “Nigger”, though. No doubt relatives of the current head of B Company, 1 Batt UVF.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

That makes sense, as Disraeli St is in the Woodvale area where UVF B company, 1st Batt. operates

[Reply]

January 24th, 2012 at 12:06 am
J. Rainey
 327 

Bill…One thing that strikes me as odd is the claim that Lenny Murphy told an IRA member anything – as if they fraternised in the Maze (I assume it was in the Maze). Clearly there was a degree of contact but that prison was highly segregrated. The Crum wasn’t but does anyone else find this story more than a little fishy?

Mick…. ‘if the idea of Lenny Murphy conversing with ‘Taigs’ of any ilk never mind IRA men is surprising, let’s not forget the friendship that developed in prison between Basher Bates and Brendan ‘The Dark’ Hughes’

I have been following this thread for quite some time now and the above observations have prompted me to mention some of my own recollections of the period and indeed my own experience of Murphy himself. In the spring of 1981 I was in H 6 in Long Kesh, (or Maze if you prefer) serving a ten year sentence for arms possession. I was appealing against the sentence which meant that over and above the normal visiting arrangements I was entitled to receive a 15 minute ‘appeal visit’ every day. In essence to discuss the case but for me it was a good opportunity to get out of the cell for a while as we were on 24 hour lock-up on the blanket protest. Blanket protesters had to have an individual escort to and from the visiting area, which was a 15-minute walk from H6 at that time. On one of my first excursions outside the block (with the screw in tow) I passed a guy, obviously a prison orderly, holding a pair of garden shears tending to the flowers and shrubs in the raised bed that was a feature outside all of the blocks. First impressions led me to assume that he was a ‘gypsy’ or itinerant. He had a swarthy look about him and he was stripped to the waist and brown as a berry from the hot weather at the time. As I passed he caught my eye and we both nodded to each other (a mutual show of respect familiar to most prisoners) Over the following weeks I would see him regularly outside H6 but it never got beyond the nodding phase. However on my way back one day he asked me if Eddie ##### from Derry was in the block. I replied that he was and he said, “ Tell him Murph was asking, he’ll know who you mean” Back in the block my screw escort said to me “ Do you not know who that was?” I said “No” “That was Lenny Murphy” he said. Of course I had heard of Murphy and his reputation by then but it was still a bit of a surprise to learn that he had been the guy who I had been on nodding terms with for quite a while. Eddie##### confirmed that he knew Murphy and that he had been on a mixed wing ( loyalist & republican) with him before he had joined the blanket protest and he also told me that Murphy was “sound as a pound” An assessment that I could perhaps understand given that from what little dealings I’d had with Murphy he had always come across as being a pleasant and, dare I say it, a likeable sort of character. He obviously knew that I was a protesting Republican prisoner and on a one to one basis he certainly didn’t fit the bill of the notoriously rabid taig hater ( although his deeds doubtless suggested otherwise) but I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to test that theory on a dark night somewhere in Belfast!
Prior to the hunger strikes and the segregation that followed, there were indeed parts of the prison where prisoners from both sides were kept. These conforming wings housed all sorts who got on together in the interests of getting their time in without any hassle. As I have described here Murphy had no problems with getting along with ‘taigs’ and republicans while in prison but I would contend that Murphy being the shrewd operator that he was, was cute enough to perhaps understand the maxim-
‘ Know thine enemy’.
Later that year I had to visit the prison dentist but as this was in the administration part of the prison you had to be taken in a blacked out van as a security measure. It was common practice for the van to go round the various blocks( protesting and non protesting) to make multiple pick-ups for prisoners with business in the administration area including prisoners going out on parole as part of their pre-release scheme. The other prisoner being picked up by my van that morning was Lenny Murphy and we recognised each other immediately as soon as he hopped into the van. As I’ve previously stated this guy had a good way with him and even though there was just the pair of us in the back of the van there was no awkwardness or nervousness among either of us as we made small talk on the short trip to the gates of the admin. area. He was in good form and he told me he was on his way out for a few days parole ahead of his upcoming release. I remember saying to him, perhaps stating the obvious “ You’d need to watch yourself ” and he replied that he f—– knew it but he wasn’t worried as much about the provies as he was of ‘them other INLA headers’. Anyway that was my last brush with him.
On the point of going ‘ butcherwatch’ as mentioned above I would also like to advise caution in this matter. I was on the Shankill getting petrol a few months back ( the cheapest there is! And me from the Falls too!) and I decided to take a drive to Battenberg street entry to see the site where Joe Donegan was found. I was taking a photo from my car to compare it with the location photo in Dillon’s book when I saw a bloke who had been walking past stopping and making it obvious that he was giving me the once over. I calmly drove off in the direction of Lawnbrook Avenue, turned right instead of left and ended up in a cul de sac which again drew attention to me from a few of the locals. It seems to be ‘neighbourhood watch’ in overdrive in that part of the Shankill! I’ll stick to Google Earth from now on.
An fearmór.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Thank you for that enlightening personal recollection of your time in Crumlin Road where you met Lenny Murphy. It was instructive.

I don’t doubt that Murphy had encounters with prisoners from a Catholic background but will never accept that he’d ever discuss his own activities with anyone outside his trusted circle, much less with a Catholic prisoner.

[Reply]

J rainey Reply:

Bill, I agree with you completely that Murphy wouldn’t have discussed his business with Catholic/Republican prisoners or indeed I would imagine with too many from his own side. He may have been many things but he was no fool. By this stage his reputation and notoriety had preceded him and there were plenty of other people willing to add to his narrative without he himself having to “bang his own drum” as it were.

In the conforming wings of the Kesh where Murphy served his sentence both loyalist and republican prisoners and indeed much of the prison staff held him in awe. This ‘VIP’ status was perhaps reflected in the type of prison job that he got landed with –tending flowerbeds around the various blocks-which would have been seen as a very handy number within the range of prison work that conforming prisoners had to do.

Murphy was well aware of all of these things and to a certain extent I would say that he enjoyed his “celebrity status”. He was a big personality and if indeed he did mention (mischievously perhaps?) to a republican prisoner that he had just left the Bayardo bar minutes before it was hit –whether true or not- it just served to add to the myths and tales of bravado that he was aware that surrounded him at that time (similarly a tale circulated in republican areas just after the Frizzells fishmonger bombing on the Shankill that Adair and others had just left a meeting above the shop minutes before and, as above, it must be stressed, whether true or not, this just added to the ‘Johnny Adair legend’)

An fearmór.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

J. Rainey/An fearmór (I googled that and think it means ‘Big Fella’ in Gaelic, does it!)

Anyhow, reading your posts again, it’s not quite clear to me whether it was known, explicitly, in the Maze/Long Kesh that Murphy was the leader of the Butchers or at least strongly connected to them?

You say that he was held in awe by other prisoners. Was it because he was a known Loyalist hard man, or because he had escaped justice for the Butcher killings – which he had commited himself?

What was known about him amongst:
(i) Republican prisoners
(ii) ODCs of whatever background
(iii) Loyalist prisoners, do you know?

What I’m asking, then, is: was it known/rumoured widely that Murphy was *The* ‘Shankill Butcher’?

Thanks,

Bill

[Reply]

j rainey Reply:

Bill,
the short answer to your questions would have to be simply Yes. To my mind everybody by that stage had heard of murphy and his exploits. After the butcher gang had been jailed there was much talk in the press of the ‘ master butcher’who had escaped the net. The peelers were happy to leak info. on him but this was hardly necessary as the ‘jungle telegraph’ in both communities meant that anyone with half an interest knew the score.i haven’t been on this forum for a while ( been very busy ) but shortly i would like to put it out there about how strong the belief is that murphy was set up by his own crowd ( wasn’t jim craig blamed? )
By the way Bill, close enough with the google translation. it literally means big man but big lad or big fella would be the accepted meaning. Nice to see you are exploring your culture keep it up! if it hadn’t been for the work of Ulster presbyterians to preserve it irish would probably have died out in the North-just thought you’d find that interesting!

an fearmór.

[Reply]

northsider Reply:

Worth noting that Murphy and his brother battered a man to death on the very day he was released from prison.

That’s how ‘sound as a pound’ as a pound he was.

[Reply]

February 3rd, 2012 at 6:44 am
Willie Mac
 328 

Very interesting insight, thank you for sharing that.

[Reply]

February 4th, 2012 at 5:26 am
MICK
 329 

Fascinating stuff! I’ve just read that ‘Voices From The Grave’ book featuring lengthy interviews with Brendan Hughes and David Ervine-one of the most remarkable stories in it concerns the friendship that developed between Hughes and Basher Bates in prison. Both men were experiencing family problems at the time arising from their incarceration and Hughes ended up seeing Bates as very much an ordinary guy whose background and environment had turned him into the vicious mass murderer he became. Bates himself repeatedly cited the influence of Lenny Murphy.

There may yet be a knock at the door of 18 Centurion Way coming from the long arm of the law for William ‘Mr A’ Murphy, by the way. UTV Live last week confirmed that the family of Butchers’ victim Joseph Morrissey ( this was one of the Butchers’ most gruesome hits, the gang members responsible were Moore, McClay and McAllister who all then had a change of blood-soaked clothing at the house of ‘Mr A’, who took care of the knife and hatchet used in the murder) has issued legal proceedings agaainst the police for failing to stop the Butchers early on. They have allegedly seen documents confirming that the police knew Lenny Murphy was a murderer since 1973 and that it was known by them for a long time that he was using ‘Mr A’ and to a lesser extent ‘Mr B’ ( John Murphy) as conduits for passing instuctions on to the Butcher gang outside when he was in jail himself.

Should be interesting. ‘Mr A’ is in his 60s now, has only ever had one photograph of himself ( in his late 20s at the time) in the public domain-it’s on this website, though if anyone out on Butcherwatch can get a more contemporary one, they should post it here-and has never to my knowledge served any time yet for anything he has done. Though he has spent decades visiting Lenny , John and his son William junior in prisons, of course.

[Reply]

Stevo Reply:

UTV News report of the Morrissey family developement;

http://www.u.tv/News/Family-sue-police-over-Shankill-butchers/1a4c4d91-ca27-4d7b-8429-1ae770743b6f

[Reply]

bill Reply:

What is the ‘smoking gun’ in the dossier the news report refers to (information given to the RUC that apparently named the main players). If it’s only Jimmy Nesbitt’s assertion in 1973 that Lenny Murphy was a known killer [which Dillon mentions], then I feel the Morrissey family – grievous as their suffering has been – are being given bad advice in this matter. Only a ‘smoking gun’ is likely to open the possibility of the RUC’s conduct of the Butcher murders being investigated. Mistakes were made, we all know that, but what new evidence has been unearthed?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I would agree with Bill here. It will be interesting as to what emerges in court in terms of evidence on this case.

We already know that the RUC quizzed Murphy about the killings when he was caught with the gun at Lowood. Murphy laughed the allegations off.

If memory served me right, back in those days a person either needed to be caught in the act or make an admission of guilt before they could be convicted?

This would have been pre-supergrass.

It’s only in more recent times that police have been able to hold people without an admission or some evidence.

Advances in the ability to use DNA evidence may have helped to catch the Butchers if they had never been convicted, but as those who were present at Joe Morrisey’s murder have already been convicted, it’s difficult to see where this will lead to.

[Reply]

February 5th, 2012 at 12:10 am
butcher
 330 

on google st view you can see someone standing in the window at 18 centurion way.
mr murphy perhaps?
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=18+Centurion+Way+belfast&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=15453l28219l0l28687l14l12l2l0l0l0l391l3172l2-6.4l13l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1680&bih=882&wrapid=tlif132852758954610&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x48610864362633db:0x6d00ba5f13d75c73,18+Centurion+Way,+Belfast+BT13+3BA,+UK&ei=CbkvT8-sNo-XiQf54_GACA&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CB8Q8gEwAA

[Reply]

February 6th, 2012 at 9:32 pm
Willie Mac
 331 

I believe that to be him!

[Reply]

bill Reply:

That’s not no. 18, so there’s no reason why the face in the window should be William Murphy (Snr). No. 18 is a few doors further up – on the left as you look.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Reminds me of that old ‘Candid Camera’ strap-line: ” Watchingyou….watching us…watching you!”

Re the ‘smoking gun’ referred to by Bill, only the solicitors for the Morrissey family will know what that is at this point in time. Dillon must have seen some documentary evidence to be able to assert that ‘Mr A’ was passing on Lenny’s orders. The UVF has always been riddled with informers, none more highly placed than ‘Bunter’ Graham who I see has moved to Denmark Street now. ‘Bunter’ was a military commander in the mid 70s and ordered Basher Bates among others to hit the Chlorane Bar. His meteoric rise through the ranks to the Chief of Staff position, and the unprecedented length of time he has remained in it, have been largely attributed to the machinations of his handlers. Nothing ever happened on the Shankill without Bunter and the spooks who ran him knowing about it. He must be a possibility as the source of any ‘smoking gun’, should such a thing exist.

[Reply]

February 13th, 2012 at 6:49 am
DEC
 332 

‘A pleasant and somewhat likeable character… sound as a pound.’
I think J Rainey’s interesting post hits upon the enigma that was Lennie Murphy. He could never have wielded the authority he did, either inside or outside of prison, without some form of engaging personality.
Of course we mostly see this in the form of an uber protestant who can spellbind his followers by dint of his ruthless ferocity against Catholics.
But the depressing reality may also be that he was a good friend, good company and someone who made those around him feel better about themselves even when not engaged in his nefarious activities.

I’ve felt since reading Dillon’s book many years ago that Murphy has several similarities to Joseph Stalin: the ruthlessness and vicious desire to inflict upon the enemy are unmistakable; but also the easy charm and ability to engage those in his company. There is even a physical resememblance I think.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I think that could be a fairly accurate summary of Murphy.

Two people with loyalist connections and to whom I’ve spoken have described him as ‘an animal’ and ‘a dead on fella’. The first never met him, the second spent time in prison with him.

Another told me he could be personable etc but that at the sam you couldn’t tell what was going on in his head which would have made people wary of him – knowing his capability to commit extreme violence.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

*same time

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Seeing the ‘Billy’ plays set in Belfast and starring Kenneth Branagh, James Ellis and others repeated recently on BBC2 reminded me of a play on TV around the same time set in Northern Ireland but I cannot recall the name of it off the top of my head. It featured local actor Ian McElhinney ( who is married to local playwright Marie Jones) as a loyalist prisoner called McMaster. McElhinney researched the role by posing as a prison visitor and closely observing the behaviour of Lenny Murphy in jail.

In the play, the McMaster character struts about arrogantly stripped to the waist ( as Murphy was observed to do by J Rainey and also Alan Simpson in the book ‘Murder Madness’), is surrounded by awestruck young followers whom he orders about like servants and shows an insolent contempt for authority ( at one point he refuses to talk to one prison visitor because he has the ‘smell of a Fenian’ about him). He also uses casually chilling throwaway sectarian comments like ‘Go to work on a Taig….’ ( pun on the TV ad at the time, ‘Go to work on an egg’) and at one point tries to seduce a female prison visitor with some rough-edged humour and an in-your -face approach. All of which was probaly a very accurate depiction ( McElhinney was, and is, a very good actor). Anyone remember the name of the play?n

[Reply]

February 19th, 2012 at 10:44 am
Willie Mac
 333 

With the advances in forensic science, one wonders if any DNA would be present on the blanket which Joe Donegan’s body was wrapped in?

Bearing in mind that a UFF gunman was convicted last year for a murder committed in 1973 based on a palm print found on a door at the murder scene.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie, assuming the RUC still have it – which I’d say is doubtful – DNA could point to Lenny Murphy (dead), William Murphy (alive), Thomas Stewart (dead) and Noel Large (alive – he too has paid, and hopefully atoned for, his crimes). It’s highly unlikely anyone except William Murphy could be targeted for prosecution, but that seems unlikely, regrettably. And wouldn’t it be hard, if not impossible, for the police to discount William Murphy saying that as a frequent visitor to the house owned by Lenny, he lifted that blanket more than once when tidying up, etc?

Still no word on our friend Hitch?

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

Need to see the right person.

Need tose the right person and remember to ask them!

:grin:

[Reply]

February 24th, 2012 at 10:56 am
Jeanne Boleyn
 334 

Would anyone happen to know what role Davy Payne played in the 1974 Dublin bombings? Billy Hanna personally chose the bomb team for both Dublin and MonaGHAN based on their respective skills.

[Reply]

February 25th, 2012 at 7:14 pm
TRD
 335 

Is David Bell the same guy listed on the Belfast Christian Missionary website? That would be 2 convicted Butchers working preaching compassion and love for your fellow man.

[Reply]

TRD Reply:

http://www.belfastcitymission.org.uk/index_files/Page1459.htm

There is a link to a photo of the David Bell I was referring to. Whilst I would not accuse anyone of being a Butcher, if I was to hedge a bet, he does resemble the David Bell that appears in the photos of the Butcher book.

Someone correct me if I am barking up the wrong tree though.

[Reply]

February 27th, 2012 at 10:15 am
TRD
 336 

Also, does anyone know if Sam McAllister still lives in Lisburn? I know there is a Sam McAllister that lives in the Ballysillan area. The person who contacted this house had the phone answered by a woman, who told the Sam McAllister there to put the phone down (he didn’t say anything, so he was obvious listening in on another extension).

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Sam McAllister is a long time out of Lisburn. A full page article about him in the Sunday World on 27/11/2011 (‘Butcher On The Block’) confirmed that he did live there for a time. He got out of jail in 1995, having served 17 yrs of his 20 yr sentence, lived in Lisburn and got involved with some UVF pondlife there. He was arrested, then released, following an incident involving a gun. He moved to a flat in Glencairn where a man called Andrew Peden received such a beating from UVF thugs that he subsequently had to have both legs amputated. Again, McAllister was arrested but released.’Fat Sam’ got a ‘ bit of a digging’ himself in 2000 from UDA grunts who attacked him with a hatchet among other implements and hospitalised him with serious injuries, particularly to his hands. In 2004, he got another ‘bit of a digging’ from a gang of feral UVF teenagers in his own street, who broke his arms and legs. All of which couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke. He is said to have lived in ‘a UVF enclave in Belfast’, as the Sunday World put it, for some time ( could be Ballysillan-I will find out from contacts). He is also said to be a recluse these days, paranoid about everyone being out to get him. I wouldn’t call that paranoid myself, just well informed. The newspaper article ( covered earlier in this thread) referred to him being jeered out of the Rex Bar on the Shankill Road last November by other UVF hoods, so I guess life generally has been less than a bag of laughs for this colourful rogue, who like his now dead Butcher friend Billy Moore has been rumoured to have his problems with alcoholism and depression.

Re David Bell, I do not think that is him in the photo. I heard he was living in Colombia Street in the Shankill ( I was given the house number but have not checked it out yet), coincidentally so was Karen Murphy, a daughter of the late John Murphy, aka ‘Mr B’, at another house there. The one surviving Butcher I have so far been unable to get a trace on is Artie McClay, who I heard was still in or around the Shankill but that’s all I’ve heard. Anyone know anything about him now?

[Reply]

February 28th, 2012 at 3:44 am
j rainey
 337 

check out this one http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/images/cinema/nimovies.htm#nothing personal…

Title: Nothing Personal
Country of Origin: Ireland / Britain
Year of Production: 1995
Running Time: 87 mins
Director: Thaddeus O’Sullivan
Producer: John Cavendish, Tracey Seaward
Screenplay/Script: Daniel Mornin (based on his novel All our Fault)
Cast: John Lynch, James Frain, Ian Hart, Gary Lydon, Michael Gambon, Jennifer Courtney
Location: Belfast
Production Company: Channel Four; Little Bird; Bord Scannán na hÉireann
Abstract: A raw depiction of the Belfast ‘troubles’ as savage tribal warfare. Set shortly after the 1975 cease fire, the film focuses on the tribulations of Kenny, Protestant leader of a group of Shankill Road Loyalists, and his one-time friend Liam, a Catholic.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

I have ‘ Nothing Personal’ on DVD. It’s not at all bad, James Frain is a passable Lenny Murphy lookalike but cannot wholly disguise his English accent, a flaw with some of the other characters also. I thought Ian Hart, a local actor, was outstanding as ‘Ginger’, a vicious Billy Moore type henchman to ‘Kenny.’

Better I thought was ‘Resurrection Man’, the film from the book of the same name by Eoin McNamee, with Stuart Townsend as the Lenny Murphy clone and local actors featuring prominently, including the likes of James Nesbitt and B J Hogg. Townsend is a Dubliner but you wouldn’t know it here.

[Reply]

March 18th, 2012 at 12:06 am
S1979
 338 

This has been very fascinating.

Could you guys leave links to the articles mentioned, please?

And also the photos mentioned?

[Reply]

bill Reply:

All links that I’m aware of have already been posted on this blog. It takes a bit of time to read through it but do so and you’ll know more.

[Reply]

S1979 Reply:

Thanks Bill, I checked out the photos. I’d be interested to read the interviews with Joyce Murphy and the other newspaper articles, if anyone can provide them?

[Reply]

March 25th, 2012 at 7:42 am
Liam Og
 339 

Is there any new information on Albert Walker Baker and any of his allegations

[Reply]

March 28th, 2012 at 4:34 am
MICK
 340 

Re my post on David Bell above, a different source tells me that he is living in the Shankill all right but not Colombia Street ( nor is Karen Murphy, apparently, who is in Caledon Street), same source is convinced that Sam McAllister is also back on the Shankill and suggested an address. Might be an opportune time to send a couple of Butcherwatch patrol cars out to tour the area, see if any verifiable sightings can be reported.

Just been watching ‘Nothing Personal’ again- Ian Hart, who plays a character who is a cross between Billy Moore and Basher Bates, is actually an English actor, as is James Frain who plays the ‘Kenny’ character clearly based on Lenny Murphy. So too is Michael Gambon, who plays a loyalist leader (‘Leonard Wilson’) bearing a striking resemblance to Bunter Graham. Talking of whom, I see the Sunday World today is confident that Bunter and at least some of his handlers are going to go to jail on the back of Gary Hegarty’s evidence at his forthcoming supergrass trial. He is rumoured to be a much higher calibre witness than the Stewart brothers, not that that would be difficult.

[Reply]

April 2nd, 2012 at 12:12 am
bill
 341 

Friends, I’m wondering if there is much life left in this blog? The two Patricks have been very accommodatnig towards the hundreds of people that have posted on here, inc. a group of regular contributors.

Over the years much information, some of it new to the public domain, has been unearthed here; and the identities of various miscreants, thugs and killers have been revealed.

Without this blog, much less would be known about the Shankill Butchers than was the case in 2005 (eeek!) when it started.

Still, I struggle a little to see how much more real news can be made here. Far be it for me, though, to deny anyone the right to have their say as long as it’s not rehashing old stuff or asking questions about matters that are covered in some detail already.

[Reply]

April 19th, 2012 at 10:59 pm
Jeanne Boleyn
 342 

I would be sorry to see this blog closed. It’s far more informative than most blogs relating to the Troubles and Butchers. Another thing, the people who post here are definitely display more civility than one normally finds on forums. :sad:

[Reply]

April 22nd, 2012 at 2:44 am
Willie Mac
 343 

I have further information that I will add eventually, perhaps not anytime soon.

Not wishing to compromise my own identity, since some of it is information which I believe very few people would be aware of, hence the delay.

Perhaps not earth shattering, but possibly interesting nonetheless.

[Reply]

April 23rd, 2012 at 2:52 am
Willie Mac
 344 

I’ll add two questions, to freshen things up although referring back to one asked previously which was never really answered.

Firstly, did anyone ever shed any light on whether Lenny Murphy was disciplined by the UVF in 1982?

Secondly, which ‘senior UVF figures’ did Murphy argue with in the Loyalist Club when he first suggested the idea of abducting a Catholic (it turned out to be Joe Donegan)?

[Reply]

Brian Reply:

According to Dillon, Lenny was too dominant a character with too big a following to be formerly disciplined- which makes sense when you consider what we know the leadership turned a blind eye to! Its clear however that post his unmasking as “the master butcher” he was frozen out by the leadership to an extent, and elements within the UDA & UVF obviously wanted rid…..

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Willie, I think that what Brian says about Murphy’s status is probably not far off and that disciplinging him was easier said than done.

If Dillon is correct about senior UVF figures having had a barney with Murphy in October 82, before Joe Donegan Donegan was killed: well, Bunter wasn’t one of them, that’s for sure. He had been lifted in June that year and held on supergrass evidence. Bo McClelland was (temporary) CoS in the autumn of ’82. He died in May ’83.

I can’t shed any other light on the UVF prominences that *may not have been overjoyed to see Murphy back on the Shankill that summer.

[Reply]

Jeanne Boleyn Reply:

I’d say nobody on the Brigade Staff wanted to have Murphy back causing trouble and attracting RUC attention

[Reply]

gary Reply:

could it be true that murphy was set up bye one of his higher members after all most top uvf men saw murphy as a threat and a man who was out of controle just my opinon how come murphys adress was handed over i think that could have been a uvf man who know murphy and of his were abouts and passed the info on to the other side mybe in jail ?

[Reply]

April 23rd, 2012 at 3:06 am
Willie Mac
 345 

As to the question if the person depicted in the window in the house in Centurion Way was indeed ‘Mr A’, it most definitely wasn’t.

‘Mr A’ is bearded nowadays and bears little resemblance to the beer-bellied, double-chinned figure picture in the mid-70s.

[Reply]

TRD Reply:

Has he lost the weight then Willie? Is he regularly seen around The Shankill? I wonder if he ventures far from the area, and how local people perceive him.

[Reply]

MICK Reply:

Have you seen him, Willie, or is this info that was passed on to you? If we had better details, there would be more chance of someone out on Butcherwatch getting a photo of him to put on here. I suspect he doesn’t wander far from Centurion Way mostly though presumably he still visits his mother just up the strret at Lawnbrook Avenue. I do not know where he socialises, who with or if he is still working ( or ever did). Still the most elusive of the Butchers, I guess.

[Reply]

Willie Mac Reply:

I know very little of him, but I do know one or two relatives on sight and Mr A was accompanying one of them when I saw him.

His physique hasn’t really changed although he’s bearded now. Hair and beard are grey, still got the gut.

[Reply]

May 3rd, 2012 at 5:59 am
RAFA
 346 

Hi;
I´m from Madrid (spanish state) I´m interesting in the history of the Shankill Butchers, especially the biography of Sam McAllister.

And anothe question, is Dillon alive today????
Thanks in advance, and sorry for my poor english.

[Reply]

bill Reply:

Rafa, like any visitor to this site you’ll have to read through the blog from top to bottom!

Martin Dillon is indeed alive. He lives in Nwe York.

Your English is ok – better than some ‘native’ speakers on here!

[Reply]

RAFA Reply:

Thanks Bill.

[Reply]

j rainey Reply:

bienvenido Rafa! o si quieres, Tá fáilte romhat!

An fearmór.

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RAFA Reply:

Gracias j rainey, Go raibh maith agat, a chara! ;-)

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May 16th, 2012 at 11:16 am
northsider
 347 

For someone involved in major crimes Mr A has lived a relatively charmed life. What odds he was an asset of a state-agency?

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Willie Mac Reply:

Not sure about that.

The activities of the Lawnbrook (No 5?) Platoon were at a distance from the more mainstream/sanctioned UVF operations and deliberately so, which would make it difficult for an informant to gain access to information of use to the security forces.

Also, it would seem that the actions of the Lawnbrook team were rarely compromised and Mr A retreated into relative paramilitary obscurity rather quickly once Lenny met his maker, making his usefulness questionable.

It doesn’t sound like he was very ‘active’, rather he skirted around the periphery of his brother’s blood-soaked murder spree.

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