Irish Republican News · December 19, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Born-again loyalist sued by victims
Born-again loyalist sued by victims

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A County Armagh loyalist linked to dozens of sectarian murders is set to be sued by the families of some victims.

Alan Oliver, who is also a suspected former British agent, has been named on a writ lodged with the High Court in Belfast.

The Portadown man is suspected of involvement in a series of loyalist murders in Mid-Ulster, including some of the most brutal witnessed during the conflict. It is thought to be the first time a suspected loyalist killer has been sued by relatives of victims.

Oliver, who is now a born-again Christian, continues to live in the Portadown area with his wife and two sons.

The legal action is being brought by the family of Charles Fox and his wife Tess, who were shot dead in their home outside the Moy by a UVF death squad in September 1992.

Their son Anthony (pictured), who delivered a writ to Oliver’s church last week, said the family intends to force the British Crown forces to hand over whatever information they hold.

“The state needs to admit what his role was and Alan Oliver needs to admit it,” he said. “He is born again who talks about his dark past -- tell us what the dark past has been.”

Mr Fox said his family is not motivated by revenge or money but merely wants to hear the truth.

“At the end of the day Alan Oliver was working for others, for MI5 and anybody else. We don’t want to see Alan Oliver in jail, if he had to go jail he would do two years.”

MORE KILLINGS

Oliver has also been linked to the gang that shot dead the murdered couple’s son-in-law Kevin McKearney and his 68-year-old uncle Jack in their butcher’s shop in Moy in January that year.

It is understood separate legal action is being considered by relatives of some of the three people killed in another notorious UVF gun attack on a mobile shop in Craigavon.

Teenagers Eileen Duffy and Katrina Rennie and 29-year-old Brian Frizzell were shot dead in the Drumbeg estate in March 1991. Nineteen-year-old Eileen was working in the shop when UVF gunmen struck, shooting her and Katrina in the head at point blank range.

Mr Frizzell was approaching the shop as the gunman, alleged to be Oliver, made his escape. After being ordered to lie on the pavement he was shot nine times. Two men were later convicted for their part in the attack.

The murders were claimed by the Protestant Action Force, a cover name for the UVF.

Brian Frizzell’s brother Pat called on Oliver to clear his conscience.

“He claims to have been saved and his faith returned to God,” he said. “If he is saved, let him show remorse and come forward and help the many hundreds of victims of his campaign, many who have lost faith in God because of his and his so-called tight unit’s actions.”

Mr Frizzell also called on Oliver to reveal what branch of the British intelligence services he was working for.

“Let him come forward and come clean about who was really behind their campaign,” he said.

AT THE HEART OF COLLUSION

Oliver is believed to have joined the Mid Ulster UVF in the mid-1980s, at a time when loyalist paramilitaries were stepping up their sectarian murder campaign.

Sharing of intelligence by members of the Crown forces was common, while MI5 helped supply killer gangs with weapons and double agents.

The Mid Ulster unit formed the backbone of the infamous Glenanne Gang, which included members of the British Army and RUC police. It is thought to have been responsible for killing around 120 people, mostly Catholics, in the 1970s.

Kevin Winters, of KRW Law, said the legal action against Oliver is “unprecedented”.

“On a wider front this is one of a series of cases in the Mid-Ulster region and we say all the cases bear the hallmarks of collusion,” he said. “It represents one of the most notorious cases touching upon the preservation and maintenance of the intelligence agenda.”

Relatives for Justice director Mark Thompson said some families have no option but to take civil action.

“In many of these killings there was never proper investigation despite ample evidence and thematic links that warranted prosecutions,” he said. “Such impunity inevitably gave rise to suspicions that those responsible were operating to a wider agenda of collusion.”

© 2015 Irish Republican News