Northern Ireland news

Suspected killer Oliver gave testimony about violent past

A UVF wall mural
Connla Young

A recorded interview given by Alan Oliver offers a unique insight into the life of the suspected loyalist killer.

The Portadown man is believed to have been a key member of the UVF’s ruthless Mid Ulster unit for around a decade.

It murdered dozens of innocent Catholics in the late 1980s and early '90s.

A revealing testimony is believed to have been given to members of his church in Portadown and was later posted online.

A second testimony was given in April 2013 at a church in the Moy, a short distance from the spot where he Tess and Charlie Fox were gunned down almost 21 years earlier.

In this, Oliver says he spent part of his childhood on the lower end of the nationalist Garvaghy Road where he claims his family was targeted in a bomb attack before fleeing the area.

He tells how the experiences left him “very, very angry and I didn’t need a lot of persuasion as a young man to hit back and to get involved in those things”.

He said he became involved with "political violence" in the mid 1980s around the time that nationalists objected to loyalists marching through the Obin Street district of Portadown.

The crisis sparked violent clashes between loyalists and the RUC.

“That started off with stone throwing and basic public disorder and progressed into something more organised and the next 10 years of my life I was heavily involved in organised crime and political violence,” he said.

He admits that during this time his “employment was to bring destruction”, before he started to question his role in the mid 1990s.

“I started in my own mind to be challenged by this stuff and I didn’t know where this challenge was coming from,” he said.

“But I started to think about the path I was on and it was during a time of relative stability I had got married and we had been blessed with two young children.”

Oliver said he became disillusioned by loyalism during the Drumcree parading crisis in Portadown in the mid-1990s.

“It was at a time that I saw street violence even in and around the area I lived in, again around parading issues, that I started to wonder what was it all about,” he said.

He eventually turned to religion.

“The encounter I had with Jesus was and is so real, that I was just being foolish. Not believing and not wanting to believe but the answers were there before me.

“I was filled with hatred and Jesus brought love. I was filled with fear and he brought comfort. I was filled with unforgiveness and he brings forgiveness.”

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