27 January 2005 Edition

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Unionist paramilitary in-fighting erupts on Shankill

In-fighting between unionist paramilitary groups erupted along the loyalist Shankill Road at the weekend, when the UVF torched up to ten taxis from the Call-A-Cab depot, while a mother of three was attacked in her home by masked men in a connected incident.

It was revealed at the weekend that the UDA targeted and threatened to kill a former Presbyterian deaconess who ministered to the family of loyalist Alan McCullough, shot dead in internecine loyalist feuding in June 2003.

In the UVF attacks directed at the taxi firm belonging to Jackie Mahood, a former member of the PUP and UVF, a number of cars were hijacked at gunpoint and burned out.

One of the drivers suffered a broken cheekbone after he was beaten about the head by masked and armed men.

The hijackings in followed reports that loyalist feuding on the Shankill has been re-ignited, with shots being fired in the Ballysillan area earlier on Saturday.

In November 1997, Mohood was shot twice in the head in the offices of his taxi firm. Less than three years later, the UVF fired a number of shots at his car in North Belfast and his business was pipe bombed.

Mahood's brother Bobby was shot dead as he sat in a car with UDA man Jackie Coulter in August, as violence between the UDA and UVF erupted along the Lower Shankill. The UVF carried out the killings.

On Sunday night 23 January, Shankill Road woman Louise McKay was attacked when three masked and armed men burst into her Hopewell Crescent home and threw black paint around her and her aunt before ransacking the house. She was given 12 hours to leave the area.

A loyalist source said the attack had been carried out by the UVF and that the incident was related to LVF/UVF tensions in the area.

Meanwhile, former Presbyterian deaconess Ruth Petticrew said the UDA threatened to kill her because she provides pastoral care to the family of Alan McCullough, who was killed by the UDA during a loyalist feud in 2003.

Petticrew, now an outreach worker for the Christian Fellowship Church near the Shankill Road, decided to speak out after her car was petrol bombed outside her East Belfast home in the early hours of Monday 17 January.

Petticrew said the threats started in November 2004 when she was told "to watch her back".

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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