| 12°C Dublin

fuel to the fire UDA commander Denis Cunningham 'furious' after petrol bomb attack on home

The attack only caused minor scorch damage, but sources say it was terrifying for Cunningham and his family inside as the flames were licking his bedroom window

Close

Target: Denis Cunningham

Target: Denis Cunningham

Target: Denis Cunningham

Petrol has been literally thrown on the fire of a simmering Shankill UDA feud after a bomb attack on a top commander.

Reported UDA ‘C’ Company chief Denis Cunningham is said to be “furious” but also “badly shaken” after a petrol bomb was chucked at his house this week.

Convicted terrorist Cunningham was in bed during the attack during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The attack only caused minor scorch damage, but sources say it was terrifying for Cunningham and his family inside as the flames were licking his bedroom window.

Now the Shankill awaits with bated breath to see if the brazen attack on a senior UDA chief will ignite into more violence.

Cunningham and his notorious ‘C’ Company outfit have many enemies, but fingers of blame will almost certainly point straight at former UDA Coke King David ‘Dee’ Jenkins.

The 41-year-old, who shifted tons of pure cocaine under the mantle ‘Mr P’, is currently in hiding and couldn’t be contacted by the Sunday World this week.

But two weeks ago Jenkins told this paper he’d take the fight to Cunningham after the UDA issued a ‘Fatwa’ on the convicted drug dealer and also threatened his family.

We can reveal a relative of Jenkins had the windows of their home put in last Thursday night – just three days before Cunningham’s house was petrol bombed.

Jenkins told us recently he still had plenty of supporters on the Shankill who would “do his dirty work” if needed.

“If this was Dee Jenkins or more likely one of his supporters, he’s made a big mistake,” said a Shankill source.

“They are going to target his family even more – that’s just how they roll. This only ends one way. If they can’t get Dee they’ll torture his family.”

Close

Signs of the attack can be clearly seen at Denis Cunningham’s home this week. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Signs of the attack can be clearly seen at Denis Cunningham’s home this week. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Signs of the attack can be clearly seen at Denis Cunningham’s home this week. Photo: Pacemaker Press

 

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Jenkins himself narrowly escaped a murder bid last month and an innocent man who was at his home when the gunman called was lucky to survive after he was shot.

Of course, there are others who have a beef with Cunningham, not least drug dealing brother Dee and Gary Coleman who were both put off the Shankill recently.

Now security sources and loyalists alike are waiting to see what the response will be, with many wondering if an aging Cunningham – who’s 68 years old – has the stomach for a feud.

Cunningham is regarded as a ‘ceasefire soldier’ having never been involved in the Troubles and having never fired a shot for the terror group which he only joined in 2000.

But he became a national joke when he was snared as a member of the Ulster Freedom Fighters – an even more violent offshoot of the UDA – in 2002 after he read out a prepared statement wearing a balaclava but was easily identified because he wore his glasses on the outside.

He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for membership of the UFF in what the judge described as a “grotesque spectacle”.

“Denis is terrified, he’s furious too but mainly he’s badly shaken by this attack,” said a source.

“Denis was a businessman. His rise up the ranks to ‘C’ Company boss is incredible but he’s a survivor.”

Sources say Cunningham is not keen on violence and is getting too old to be involved in that kind of stuff but rank-and-file members of the UDA are watching to see how he reacts to this attack.

“Chucking a petrol bomb at the UDA boss’s family home while they are bed is normally an act of suicide,” said a source.

“It’s unthinkable and back in the day you’d be shot dead so whoever was behind it may watch their back.

“But Denis has a big call to make to decide if he is going to let this go or if he’s going take action.”

The Sunday World understands the UDA are shocked at the attack and commanders met this week to discuss how to react.

It’s understood despite the attack Cunningham prefers a more peaceful resolution.

“Denis would rather they could settle their differences with Jenkins, but it won’t be his call as most of ‘C’ Company still want Jenkins dead,” added the source.

“To be honest Denis is probably wondering how has ended up in this position at his age.”

Confirming the attack on the loyalist’s home, a PSNI spokesperson told the Sunday World: “Police received a report on Tuesday morning (18th May) that a petrol bomb had been thrown at a property in the Agnes Street area of Belfast.

Close

A spectacle: Denis Cunningham

A spectacle: Denis Cunningham

A spectacle: Denis Cunningham

 

“Scorch and smoke damage was caused to the exterior front wall of the property. Inquiries are ongoing.”

We revealed a fortnight ago how the west Belfast UDA had issued a UK-wide ‘Fatwa’ on former Jenkins and are prepared to pay £500,000 for his head.

That’s the amount Jenkins bragged to the Sunday World he was making selling cocaine for the UDA every month.

He was speaking to us after it emerged the UDA had taken over his drug operation and he had survived an assassination bid.

It was that explosive interview with this paper which convinced his paranoid paramilitary ex-pals that he’d turned tout and was giving them all up to the Paramilitary Crime task Force and the National Crime Agency.

They were so desperate to get their man they offered exiled UDA men – forced to flee alongside Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair in 2003 – the cash or a free pass home if they can kill Jenkins, though that offer doesn’t extend to Adair himself.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy