Loyalist double agent Haggarty to give evidence
Loyalist double agent Haggarty to give evidence


A senior UVF figure is to be the key prosecution witness in the trial of a man charged with the murders of two Catholics by the UVF in Belfast city centre in May 1994.

Gary Haggarty, a former UVF commander, was working as an agent for the RUC police Special Branch at the time he was involved in the murders of Gary Convie, a 24-year-old father-of-one and father-of-six Eamon Fox, aged 41 (pictured, left to right).

Both were shot dead while eating their lunch in a car beside a building site where they worked in a loyalist area of the city.

They were killed when a gunman fired at least 15 shots from a machine-gun through railings in a children’s playground. A third person in the car escaped uninjured.

Six years ago, Haggarty pleaded guilty to 200 charges, including involvement in the murders. He also admitted three other murders, five attempted murders, and 23 conspiracies to murder. However, he was controversially given a significantly reduced sentence in return for agreeing to give evidence against his former colleagues in the UVF.

He is currently living under a secret identity at a secret address outside of Ireland with the support of his MI5 handlers.

James ‘Shades’ Smyth appeared at Belfast Crown Court this week charged with the murders of the two innocent workmen.

He is also charged with the attempted murder of the third man in the car, possession of a machine-gun and ammunition with intent to endanger life and membership of the UVF.

The court heard Haggarty supplied and tested the gun used, attended a meeting where the plan for the attack was prepared and led Smyth to the firing point.

Prior to the shooting, a hole had been cut in a fence which gave access to the gunman who was seen fleeing across the playground after the shooting and who was heard shouting: “Up the UVF.”

A prosecution lawyer said Haggarty met Smyth after the shooting and he been “excited, hyper and really pleased” about what he had done, telling him he had fired the gun “until it was empty”.

Relatives of the two victims were in court and a number of others listened via video link as statements from a number of those witnesses were read.

Haggarty is due to give evidence in the third week of the trial.

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