out of control | 

Loyalist feud: Crime boss Adrian Price orders 50 gang members to converge on estate

The besieged mobster has ordered his men to leave their homes and converge on Weavers Grange near Newtownards’ West Winds estate

Mobster Adrian Price, right, with his son Ryan ‘Buster’

Jackie McDonald

Jackie McDonald and Bunter Graham (pictured) have washed their hands of the rival loyalist factions

PACEMAKER BELFAST 30/03/2023 A house in Donaghadee has been petrol bombed as part of a feud between rival drug gangs in County Down, police have said. The incident occurred shortly before 21:50 GMT on Wednesday in Beechfield Drive. The fire was extinguished and no-one was in the property at the time of the attack. It comes amid a spate of attacks thought to be linked to a dispute between rival factions of the UDA. There has been a large police presence in Ards and north Down. On Tuesday a house was petrol bombed in Ballyferris Walk, Bangor. Officers then received a report of damage to a property in Glenbrook Road in Newtownards.

Damaged houses

Damaged houses

Masked men in Newtownards last Thursday shocked local residents and beyond© Kevin Scott

Scene of a suspected pipe bomb attack at Newtownards

Graffiti in Kilcooley estate

Richard SullivanSunday World

Crime boss Adrian Price has barricaded himself into his Newtownards bolthole ready for a backs-to-the-wall fight for survival.

The Sunday Worldcan reveal that the besieged mobster has ordered his men to leave their homes and converge on Weavers Grange near Newtownards’ West Winds estate.

Some 50 or more gang members are believed to be bunkered down in the area which has become the focal point of the feud.

Sources say it is a fight he has no hope of winning.

Graffiti in Kilcooley estate

There is already discontent among some of his men, unhappy at putting themselves on the line for Price, and sources say that some are looking for a way out.

This week a defiant Price, who has assumed the title Real UFF for this beleaguered drug gang, was telling anyone willing to listen that he was hell-bent on revenge after resisting orders from North Down UFF to quit the area.

According to well-placed sources some of his people have left the estate and, with the rival North Down faction allegedly headed by loyalist veteran Dickie Barry threatening to turn the screw, Price is facing his Alamo.

He has adopted the name of the Real UFF, a renegade group believed to have been responsible for a number of murders between 2009 and 2011.

In reality Price has not been a full, paid-up member and only has his association to South East Antrim to whom he pays protection money to back up his UDA credentials.

In a statement, a prominent source close to Barry told theSunday World the feud was not a drugs turf war.

Masked men in Newtownards last Thursday shocked local residents and beyond© Kevin Scott

The faction headed by alleged former UDA D Company Dickie Barry said they moved against Price’s mob as a result of “eight months” of rising tensions.

A source close to the group said there had been a number of confrontations including an early morning bust-up at the home of a senior UDA figure, and an allegation that a prominent member and someone close to Price pistol-whipped his then girlfriend, the daughter of a UVF veteran.

“Up until then Aidso had the protection of South East Antrim UDA which has about 2,000 members in Rathcoole and Carrick, when the UVF went to the SEA leadership he was cut loose.

“For the past year they bullied and tortured the community with house breaking, extortion and bringing crack cocaine and the brown stuff (heroin) onto the streets.”

The mainstream UVF and UDA have resisted calls to intervene and, according to sources, in a meeting UDA Brigadier Jackie McDonald and UVF Chief of Staff John ‘Bunter’ Graham agreed it had nothing to do with them.

The meeting is believed to have resulted in the statement from paramilitary group the Loyalist Communities Council saying the feud had nothing to do with them and that anyone dealing in drugs could not be considered a loyalist.

Other sources in North Down say the feud is “out of control” and that unless a solution is found there will be serious injury or worse.

Scene of a suspected pipe bomb attack at Newtownards

One source said it was time for the mainstream UDA to step in.

“There is no command structure, you have people running about with machetes and chucking pipe bombs, most of the time into the wrong houses,” he said.

“If an innocent person is killed the UVF and UDA may not have a choice but to get involved, the community will be looking to them to sort these mobs out.”

Price’s gang is made up of a number of people forced out of the UDA in other areas and who sought sanctuary in Newtownards. Price sought protection from the Gary Fisher’s SEA which was granted in return for a slice of drug profits.

Price showed his loyalty with his involvement in the murder of Colin Horner in Bangor in 2017 as a result of a previous loyalist feud in Carrick.

On the other side, UDA D Company was forced off the Shankill after a drugs bust-up with UFF narco king Mo Courtney.

Damaged houses

As the feud enters its second week there have been more than a dozen attacks on individuals and homes across Newtownards, Bangor, Dongahadee and Ballywalter, and 14 arrests.

The latest assault was on Friday when four masked men were scooped after an assault at Ards Shopping Centre.

The victim was attacked around 3.30pm. Alerted by a member of the public, police intercepted a black BMW on the Kempe Stones Road and four men were taken into custody.

It is believed a number of the arrested men are associates Ryan ‘Buster’ Johnston, the Maseratti-driving son of gang boss Price.

Along with his father he has featured in graffiti in Newtownards describing them as “dead men walking”.

Buster has no paramilitary convictions and is regarded as “extremely loyal and close’’ to his father.

The Sunday Worldis aware of the identity of the assault victim who is on bail facing serious criminal charges.

He is linked to the Price faction but was targeted for his refusal to become involved.

There is video footage of the four alleged attackers making their escape past shocked shoppers.

Once again there was a considerable police presence on the ground in Newtownards and Bangor with the Tactical Support Group backing regular officers.

But there is concern that police resources, already stretched with a renewed dissident threat, may reach breaking point.

With feud attacks in recent days across North Down and the Ards Peninsular, it is a large area to police and security chiefs are concerned that they cannot maintain the current level of operation.

Last night a spokesman for Dickie Barry dismissed claims his client was a member of the UDA.

“Mr Barry, who is not a public figure, entirely refutes any allegations of involvement in criminality and allegations of membership, either in the past or present, of any proscribed organisation.”

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