A breakaway faction of the UDA has embarked on a campaign of intimidation in north Belfast to force residents from their homes. The faction, which emerged during the loyalist flag protests in 2012, are reported to have “taken control” of the Tigers Bay and nearby areas.
Some members of the group were pictured at an anti-refugee protest held at Belfast city hall last Saturday organised by the Protestant Coalition.
Earlier this month a threatening leaflet (pictured) was posted in loyalist areas warned that “no mercy will be shown or second chances given” to rivals accused of criminal acts.
The leaflet, issued in the name of the ‘North Belfast UDA’, stated: “We will show no leniency in carrying out the punishment your depraved actions deserve. We have already names and this will be acted on”.
The statement sparked a further escalation in feuding between loyalist factions in the area.
On Sunday evening, a pregnant woman was intimidated from her home in the Glenbryn area by the UDA gang. The house was smashed up with many of the householder’s possessions destroyed. A second woman was also threatened and ordered to leave the area.
The families, including small children, were given a PSNI escort from the area.
In the early hours of Monday morning a car was set alight outside the home of a relative of a man linked to the group in what is thought to have been an act of retaliation. On Monday night a house close to Ligoniel Road was set on fire and the male resident assaulted.
Associates of the gang claimed to have met with PSNI last Thursday and made them aware attacks were imminent.
A social media page linked to the gang, said: “We stressed that those we represent will not sit back and let this continue and if the PSNI area unable, due to a lack of resources, to deal with these vermin then there are those who will”.
Meanwhile, the former home of a Catholic family forced to flee after a UDA attack in County Antrim has been targeted for a second time after it was re-allocated to a Catholic woman.
Local independent councillor Padraig McShane said the words ‘Taig’s Out’ were sprayed on a wall at the house at Cape Castle, which is close to Ballycastle.
There was condemnation earlier this year when a car parked outside the same house was set alight. Flames from the blaze caused damage to the nearby house. The words ‘Taig’s Out’ were also sprayed on the gable wall of the house on that occasion.
“The UDA affiliates have the clout to alter the allocation of homes through brute force, sectarian innuendo and attempts to instil fear in the community,” said Mr McShane. “This is simply an attempt to circumvent the homes allocation system.”