LVF blamed for arson attacks
LVF blamed for arson attacks


A small loyalist paramilitary group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force, is believed to have been responsible for a firebomb attack that destroyed a car in a residential area of County Down this week.

The device exploded underneath a vehicle in the driveway of a house in the Larchwood Court area of Banbridge early on Friday.

A second firebomb placed at the same property under another car did not ignite. A third firebomb was used to destroy another vehicle in the same area.

Neighbours who helped prevent the blaze spreading from the car to a nearby house by using a garden hose were credited with helping to save lives.

Children were in the house when the car was set alight shortly before 3am yesterday. The front of the car was badly burned in the blaze, but the children escaped injury.

The LVF broke away from the larger UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) in 1996 and had been thought to be essentially defunct since the deaths of leaders Billy ‘King Rat’ Wright in 1997 and Mark ‘Swinger’ Fulton in 2002.


Meanwhile, UVF flags and other loyalist emblems have been erected at a new social housing development, as tenants have been moving into their new accommodation.

The flags appeared on every lamppost at Killynure Green, on the outskirts of Carryduff in an apparent attempt to mark out loyalist territory.

Nationalist residents said they were shocked by the flags. A Catholic man who had viewed and later rejected a home due to the loyalist emblems at the site said his wife and children had been left frightened by the presence of UVF flags, which multiplied in recent days.

SDLP councillor Brian Hanvey said it was “regrettable in this day and age”.

He said: “Things like this should be consigned to the past. Having lived in the area for 30 years I know this is in no way a reflection on the good people of Carryduff.”

In a possible reprisal, nationalists subsequently erected tricolours at Mill Road in Newtownabbey, north of Belfast.

Sinn Fein national chairman Declan Kearney condemned the Newtownabbey flags: “Erecting tricolours at Mill Road is sectarian intimidation and disrespects the national flag,” he said.

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