olive branch | 

Loyalist gang dish out bad beating to young member after serious attack on UVF pensioner

“He ended up with a couple of broken bones as punishment for assaulting the old fella”

Gary Fisher

John Lee

The South East Antrim UDA has dished out a bad beating to one of its members for attacking a rival loyalist twice his age.

The hiding, sanctioned by SEA UDA leader Gary Fisher, is being seen as an olive branch to the UVF to reduce tensions between the paramilitary gangs.

Bad feeling between the groups has been growing in the Rathcoole estate in Newtownabbey following two recent assaults on UVF veterans by much younger SEA UDA members.

The latest occurred two weeks ago when a pensioner was battered by a convicted rioter after leaving the Fern Lodge bar. The grandfather’s injuries were so bad that an ambulance had to be called to take him to hospital.

The Fern Lodge at the entrance to Rathcoole

UVF bosses met with SEA UDA leaders calling for retribution and on Sunday, April 24 the gang caved in to the demands by beating its rioter in a pre-arranged ‘punishment’ attack.

“He ended up with a couple of broken bones as punishment for assaulting the old fella,” a loyalist source told us.

“He has also been put out of Rathcoole again by the SEA UDA, despite being a member.”

Insiders say SEA UDA chief Fisher had no option but to act because the rioter’s actions breached a long-standing agreement between the rival loyalist gangs not to attack each other.

“Fisher has no time for the UVF, but he had to do something because the attack breached the Monkstown Agreement,” our source added.

“He’s hoping this will calm things down in Rathcoole, where there is a lot of bad feeling between the groups. The SEA UDA has been blaming the UVF on touting to the peelers on its drug dealers in return for getting government grants for community projects — that’s what started all this trouble.”

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