Adair defies UDA death threat

Notorious unionist paramilitary Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair returned to the North this week as former colleagues in the UDA stepped up their efforts to kill him.

It is just over a month since Adair’s release from Maghaberry jail in County Antrim when a British army helicopter was used to fly him to England amid fears of a UDA murder bid.

Adair brazenly went to the door of bitter enemy and top UDA man Jim Spence in a photo-opportunity for the press. He also briefly returned to the Shankill Road, the loyalist stronghold from which he was ousted last year.

Said Adair: “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - I will be making visits to the cowards who tried to kill my family, and placed me under a death-threat.

“The UDA doesn’t know what I’m going to do next.

“Talk is cheap - but actions speak louder than words.”

‘Mad Dog’ also paid a visit to Portadown, where the town’s nationalist community have long suffered the terror campaign of Adair’s supporters in the breakaway LVF.

Asked about the reduced size of his entourage since he led hundreds of supporters down Drumcree Hill in Portadown in support of an Orange Order march five years ago, the former UDA leader said: “It’s quality rather than quantity when it comes to Johnny Adair and his supporters.

“People know the real thing when they see it.”

Adair said he had been warmly welcomed back on the Shankill.

“People came out and shook my hand and told me they were glad I had come back,” he said.

“I told them it was only a flying visit but it wouldn’t be too long before I was back for good.”

* Meanwhile, Ken Barrett, the only man convicted of defence lawyer Pat Finucane’s murder, was secretly flown back to Maghaberry prison on Tuesday.

He can now apply for early release under the Good Friday Agreement.

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