concerns | 

Portrait of murdered UDA boss to replace Cuchulainn mural at Belfast’s Freedom Corner

It is believed 35-year-old Herron was executed by UDA colleagues who suspected he was feathering his own nest

Tommy Herron

Freedom Corner has been painted white ahead of the new mural

Sunday World

A portrait of murdered UDA boss Tommy Herron is to replace Cuchulainn on the so-called ‘Freedom Corner’ wall in east Belfast.

Herron, the leader of the loyalist terror group in east Belfast, was shot dead in September 1973 after leaving the organisation’s HQ on the Newtownards Road.

It is believed 35-year-old Herron was executed by UDA colleagues who had accused him of using the organisation to feather his own nest.

His body was found lying in a ditch near Drumbo, Co Down, with a single bullet wound to his head.

Freedom Corner has been painted white ahead of the new mural

Three thousand pounds in cash was found in his pocket and a personal protection weapon was still in its holster.

A largely forgotten figure for decades, Herron is soon to be remembered on a mural currently being painted in east Belfast.

The so-called ‘Freedom Corner’ is on the lower Newtownards Road in the shadow of the former Harland and Wolff shipyard.

A posed ‘thinking’ image of a Herron will be etched over a previous mural of Cuchulainn, the mythical defender of Ulster.

Earlier this week, east Belfast residents had speculated about what would replace the ‘Defenders of Ulster’ mural.

Men appeared at the site with rollers and large tins of white paint, before setting about erasing the mural which had been on the wall for well over 30 years.

But they remained tight-lipped when locals asked them about its replacement.

Yesterday, some Newtownards Road veterans voiced concerns over plans to portray Herron as some sort of role model and someone to look up to.

One elderly resident said: “We are old enough to remember Tommy Herron. He wasn’t the kind of man for young people to look upon as a hero.

“Perhaps we were being naive, but we honestly hoped it was time for the paramilitaries to leave the stage."

“The UDA on Sandy Row replaced two hooded men with a King Billy mural which is excellent,” she said.

She added: “But what do we get? A gangster who was murdered by his own!”

On Friday morning a poster was displayed on the site informing locals a portrait of Tommy Herron will soon be appearing.

No one was ever convicted for the murder of Tommy Herron and the crime remains unsolved but two men suspected of his killing were later murdered by the UDA.

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