Allison Morris: Gilmore was part of deadly faction of UDA with long history of feuding

A UDA mural in the Glenfield estate in Carrickfergus

THE south-east Antrim UDA was considered the most deadly unit of the paramilitary organisation, continuing its activities long after other areas were said to be on ceasefire.

Under the command of John 'Grugg' Gregg, the unit that stretches from Rathcoole to Larne, taking in Carrickfergus and Antrim town, was responsible for numerous sectarian murders.

Gregg was also convicted of a gun attack on Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams in 1984.

However, in the late 1990s and early 2000s the south-east Antrim UDA became better known for internal feuding and criminality.

Gregg was murdered along with friend Rab Carson in 2003 after a long running dispute with 'C Company' boss Johnny Adair.

His killing sparked a chain of events that resulted in Adair and his supporters being expelled from the organisation and fleeing to exile in Scotland.

In 2007 the south-east Antrim UDA announced it was breaking from the mainstream organisation.

It gave protection to Andre and Ihab Shoukri, who commanded the neighbouring north Belfast 'brigade' before being expelled from the UDA in 2006.

Geordie Gilmore, the commander in Carrick until three years ago, was said to have ordered the murder and disappearance of Mark Gourley in 2009, a vulnerable man whose body has never been recovered.

Murder victim George Gilmore

In 2013 he was sentenced at Belfast Crown Court in relation to dishonestly obtaining a loan for a palatial property at Sullatober Square in Carrickfergus.

Shortly after he moved back to Glenfield estate, Gilmore was 'stood down' by the paramilitary group after questions were asked about the amount of drug money he was pocketing without declaring it to the 'brigadier' based in Rathcoole.

In June last year an altercation between a number of women escalated tensions and the house of a former UDA prisoner was attacked. A short time later around 100 men marched on Gilmore's home in an attempt to force him to leave.

He refused and just 24 hours before he was shot and fatally wounded posted on Facebook: "The days of the UDA putting people out of Carrick are over."

Gilmore posted a defiant message on Twitter just hours before he was murdered.



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