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Colin 'Crazy' Craig was a UVF informer, book claims

Armed member of the UVF
Connla Young

A trusted UVF member gunned down by the INLA was later unmasked as an informer.

Colin ‘Crazy’ Craig was one of three UVF men shot dead on the Sahnkill Road in June 1994.

He was standing with west Belfast UVF commander Trevor King and another loyalist David Hamilton when a lone INLA gunman struck.

Craig died instantly while Hamilton passed away the following day.

King, who was originally from the Bone area of Ardoyne, succumbed to his injuries three weeks later.

One of Craig’s duties was to act as Trevor King’s driver.

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While Craig was suspected of being an informer, author Aaron Edwards sheds fresh light on his activities.

The book reveals that the 31-year-old was given a UVF funeral and lauded as a “true soldier of Ulster” after his death.

Within hours of the attack a UVF “honour guard” formed on the Shankill Road and fired a volley of shots in tribute to the Craig and his two colleagues.

The book also reveals that a member of the UVF’s ‘Brigade Staff’ who gave an oration at his graveside claimed Craig has an “extensive illustrious and greatly valued war record”.

However, within weeks of the showpiece paramilitary funeral details of Craig’s double life as an informer began to surface.

It has now emerged that at the time of his death the UVF had been investigating the deaths of several members and operations that had gone wrong.

The UVF was also suspicious after several weapons, including an RPG rocket launcher, malfunctioned.

There was also concern about the seizure of a smuggled shipment of weapons was in England.

“As the net closed further, one individual’s name kept coming up, time and time again: Colin ‘Crazy’ Craig,” the book reveals.

According to the author Craig joined the UVF in Ardoyne in 1984 before claiming he and his wife had won a holiday competition and later disappeared for several years.

It was later discovered that he had joined the British army.

The book claims that Craig “pushed and pushed” for the UVF to kill Catholic man Paddy McKenna on the Crumlin Road August 1989.

Minutes after that attack his killer Brain Robinson was himself shot dead by undercover British soldiers as he made his escape with another man.

The book claims that after Craig’s death someone close to him walked into the UVF’s headquarters on the Shankill Road and presented senior UVF members with evidence that he had over £27,000 in a bank account.

The UVF believe he met his handlers in the car park of a Tesco in Newtownabbey once a week to brief them on the activities of the group.

It has also been claimed that minutes after he was shot a senior UVF figure discovered an “early warning system” - believed to be a panic button - on his body but removed it “to prevent his father from knowing about his son’s duplicity”.

In the weeks after the INLA attack the UVF killed several Catholics including six men in the Heights Bar in Loughinisland in Co Down as they watched a world cup game.

The group also shot two Protestant men dead in the mistaken belief they were Catholics.

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