Northern Ireland news

Former Taoiseach Haughey sent Christmas card by UDA

Charles Haughey was sent a Christmas card by the UDA in the late 1980s
Gareth McKeown

FORMER Taoiseach Charles Haughey received a Christmas card from the UDA in the 1980s, it has been revealed.

The card, was discovered among the late Fianna Fáil politician's personal papers and is believed to have been sent during his third term as Taoiseach in the late 1980s.

According to The Sunday Times it was sent to Haughey's home in Kisealy on Dublin's northside and the front of the card was illustrated with a holly wreath and the UDA's red hand of Ulster badge.

Alongside a printed message, which reads: "A merry Christmas and a happy new year", inside there is also a handwritten note, which adds: "Season's greetings from the Ulster Defence Association."

The card is the second correspondence to emerge between the former Taoiseach, who died in 2006, and loyalist paramilitaries in recent years.

In December 2017 it was revealed in declassified state papers that Haughey was warned by the UVF that MI5 ordered his assassination

Records from his office while he was Taoiseach in 1987 reveal that the UVF wrote to him to tell him that British intelligence also launched a smear campaign against him.

"In 1985 we were approached by a MI5 officer attached to the NIO (Northern Ireland Office) and based in Lisburn, Alex Jones was his supposed name," the UVF said.

"He asked us to execute you."

The previously secret letter showed the loyalists told Mr Haughey that the MI5 operative gave details of his cars, photographs of his home, his island, Inishvickillane, and his yacht, Celtic Mist.

"We refused to do it, we were asked would we accept responsibility if you were killed we refused," the UVF said in the letter.

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