Orange alliance with UDA
Portadown Orangemen have entered a secret alliance with Johnny ``Mad Dog'' Adair. The ex-loyalist prisoner will join the Orange Order's standoff in Drumcree if their march is re-routed away from the Garvaghy Road this July in Portadown.
Secret discussions have been held between Adair and senior members of Portadown's Orange Lodge, during which he has agreed to support them.
In past years, the Portadown Lodge has been actively backed by loyalist death squads, but this is the first time that the alliance has been formalised in such a way.
Adair has forged links with the LVF in the town and is eager to assume the mantle of Billy Wright.
The prospect of such a deadly alliance comes at a time when tensions are deepening between the UDA and the UVF in Portadown following the killing of UVF commander Richard Jameson. UDA groups in West Belfast have also been giving political support and cover to the LVF in their feud with the UVF.
LVF leaders in Portadown have asked the UDA in West and North Belfast to help them orchestrate a campaign of violence should the Orange Order be re-routed away from the Garvaghy Road.
The threat of such an organised campaign is fuelling tensions and fear at a time of great uncertainty for the nationalist residents of the town.