Feeney: Police 20 years late with UVF warning

Posted By: November 30, 2016

Gang led by informer tried to kill Irish News columnist

Allison Morris. Irish News (Belfast). Wednesday, November 30, 2016

IRISH News columnist Brian Feeney has revealed that police only told him he had been under threat from an informer led UVF gang more than 20 years after loyalists tried to kill him.

UVF supergrass Gary Haggarty, pictured, admitted during extensive debriefs that the paramilitary group was plotting to murder the political historian between 1993 and 1995.

Mr. Feeney, pictured, was among several figures accused of being part of a ‘pan-

nationalist front’ who were targeted by loyalists at the time.

He started working for The Irish News as a columnist in 1993 after leaving politics as an SDLP councilor.

Haggarty has been charged with more than 200 offenses including murders but signed an agreement in 2010 to become an ‘assisting offender’ and give evidence against former associates in the notorious Mount Vernon UVF.

A charge of plotting to kill Mr. Feeney is among 300 other offenses linked to his lengthy paramilitary career which is also being ‘taken into


Mr. Feeney said that given the top-level agents in the paramilitary organization at the time, the RUC “should have been aware” that the UVF was trying to kill him.

However, despite the fact that he lived close to the Mount Vernon estate at the time and was subjected to two attempts on his life, police did not tell him of the UVF plot until last year.

“I knew the UDA were trying to kill me at that time because they phoned me up and told me they were going to kill me and then bombed my house, but was never told about the UVF,” he said.

“The first bomb attempt was fairly amateur but the second was an under-car device and was much more sophisticated – I wonder now, was that the work of the UVF?

“The RUC should have known given they were running informers in the UVF at the time and they should have told me.”