Violent attack at UVF funeral
Violent attack at UVF funeral

A press photographer was badly beaten at a unionist paramilitary funeral for a notorious mass murderer on Thursday afternoon.

William Moore, a member of the ‘Shankill Butchers’ murder gang was given a full UVF funeral in his loyalist Rathcoole estate outside north Belfast.

The notoriously savage killer was discovered dead in his flat in the Mount Vernon area on Sunday morning. He had been expected to face questioning by the PSNI’s Historical Enquiries Team.

A few hundred mourners, including senior UVF figures, gathered for the funeral as parts of the Rathcoole estate were ‘patrolled’ by loyalist gang members.

The PSNI police avoided the funeral, but passed on warnings to members of the media that they would be attacked if found in the area.

The photographer, who did not want to be identified, was using a long-range lens when he was discovered and beaten by a gang of six men. He has since been hospitalised where he is in a stable condition.

The UVF remains active, particularly in north Belfast, and has refused to decommission any weapons. A number of prominent UVF figures have been controversially awarded peace funds to engage in community development work.

The Butchers’ notoriety came from late-night abduction, torture and killings (by throat slashing) of random members of the Catholic community. They killed upwards of 30 people, including a number of Protestants, in sectarian attacks, paramilitary feuds, personal grudges and bombing raids.

A butcher by trade, Moore supplied the knives used by the UVF men to mutilate their victims.

Moore also drove a black taxi used by the gang to cruise the streets of Belfast seeking Catholics to kill. Some were intercepted merely because they were walking “in the wrong direction” towards Catholic parts of the city.

Following the jailing of gang leader Lenny Murphy in 1977, Moore took command of the gang abducting, torturing and killing a further three victims.

After a victim escaped alive, the Shankill Butchers were rounded up and most of them broke down and confessed, although they were too terrified to implicate Lenny Murphy. They stood trial in February 1979.

During his trial the court was told that Moore committed the throat cuttings himself, encouraging the rest of the gang to torture the victims.

He was released from prison in 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement having served 21 years in jail.

In recent years Moore was reportedly involved in many types of criminality, including drug dealing. He is believed to have been running a drugs ring with the help of a drugs gang in Scotland.

Moore was due to be questioned by the Historical Enquiries Team about the murder of a west Belfast man in 1974, one year before the Shankill Butchers officially began their killing spree.


A PSNI police base in County Fermanagh is being shrouded in armour in response to the increasing activity of breakaway IRA groups.

New protective steel fencing is to be erected around Lisnaskea PSNI base following reports of a sniper attack on the base four months ago.

The PSNI also intend to build extra fences surrounding the entrance area of the station, which is located in an area of County Fermanagh that is considered a relative stronghold of the ‘dissidents’.

The plan marks a reversal of the PSNI’s ‘normalisation’ strategy that began in 2004 and has seen heavily fortified stations stripped down across the North.

There have been several attacks on the PSNI over the past year, including the detonation of a roadside land mine and a rocket-propelled grenade attack.

Last week, parts of a “very large” bomb were found in a hedge near a border country lane in the area. Reports indicated that the bomb in the townland of Cortrasna contained around 100lb of fertiliser.

It was finally removed six weeks after the Continuity IRA rang a newspaper warning that a landmine had been abandoned on the B36 Donagh to Roslea road.

The PSNI waited two weeks before mounting a three-day operation that led to 18 homes being evacuated in the area. They claimed that they had still been unable to locate the device as it was “outside the perimeter of [their] search area”.


The PSNI came under attack from nationalist youths in Derry on a number of occasions this week as stones and missiles were thrown at the interface in the Fountain Street area of the city.

At least a dozen petrol bombs were thrown during the trouble at the city’s most troubled ‘peace line’.

Violent exchanges have taken place every night for the past seven nights at the interface with the staunchly loyalist Fountain estate. The PSNI said one of its members was injured earlier in the week.

Community workers trying to quell tensions at the notorious sectarian interface on the edge of the city centre had complained of ‘harassment’ by ‘anti-social thugs’.

Sinn Féin’s Maeve McLaughlin says it is time for the entire community to give its “full support” to the peace volunteers working the Bishop Street/Fountain flashpoint.

“This activity is taking place, purely and simply, for the amusement and entertainment of the people involved,” she said.

“It is local people who are suffering and their lives which are being disrupted by these senseless incidents - they only heighten tensions as we approach the summer months in and around the greater Bishop Street area and that is something no one wants.”

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© 2009 Irish Republican News