Top music streaming sites pull 'disgusting' UDA album

The UDA album's track listing on Spotify before it was removed by the music streaming service.
Paul Ainsworth

TWO major music streaming services have removed an album of loyalist songs glorifying the UDA.

An album of tracks titled ‘Loyalist Prisoners Aid’ was removed yesterday from Apple iTunes and Spotify after the services judged the content to breach their terms of use.

The 15-song LP, which both streaming sites had listed by artist name ‘Ulster Defence Association’, dates from 1975 and features songs dedicated to acts carried out by the outlawed paramilitary group, which was responsible for around 400 murders.

One song titled ‘In Memory of Sgt. Lindsay Mooney’ is in honour of a UDA volunteer killed by his own bomb in 1973 when the device he was taking to a Co Donegal pub packed with St Patrick’s Day revellers exploded prematurely.

The lyrics describe Mooney as a “brave young comrade” who “sacrificed his life for Ulster”.

Meanwhile, the song ‘The Volunteer from Ballybeen’ pays tribute to a Belfast UDA member shot dead by the IRA, while another track, ‘We’ll fight in the Bogside’, rhymes off threats by loyalists battling in nationalist areas including Derry’s Creggan and Belfast’s Ardoyne.

“We’ll not be mastered by no treacherous rebels; so come all ye lads when the UDA calls,” the lyrics proclaim to accompanying accordion music.

The album, published by Irish Music Licensing Ltd, was described as “disgusting” by SDLP MLA for East Derry, John Dallat.

“This unfortunately serves as a stark reminder that there are people linked to the UDA out there who have yet to accept that killing Catholics was a crime as was similar activities of all other so-called paramilitaries,” Mr Dallat said.

“How else could such a marketing tool exist to promote naked sectarian music?”

The row comes amid criticism of the DUP and calls for it to distance itself from the UDA after Westminster electoral backing from a body representing loyalist paramilitaries.

Mr Dallat called for the DUP to create “clear blue water” between them and the UDA, and said that should the Stormont Executive get up and running moves should be made to “deal with this kind of propaganda glorifying past genocide”.

A spokesman for Spotify, which streams songs to more than 50 million paying users, said it was issuing an “immediate takedown” order on the album after it was brought to its attention.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Apple, whose iTunes service has 800 million users, confirmed the album had been removed as it breached the services terms of use, which state content must not encourage “unlawful conduct, or otherwise be obscene, objectionable, or in poor taste”.

The Irish News contacted Irish music Licensing Ltd for a comment, but no-one was available.

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