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Winston 'Winkie' Irvine has resigned as a trustee of a west Belfast housing association

Prominent loyalist Winston 'Winkie' Irvine
Connla Young

Prominent loyalist Winston 'Winkie' Irvine has resigned from the board of a west Belfast housing association.

Woodvale and Shankill Community Housing Association (WSCHA) confirmed last night that Mr Irvine is no longer a board member or director of its subsidiaries.

The development comes after SDLP councillor Carl Whyte, whose grandmother Peggy White was killed in a UVF bomb blast in 1984, called for the loyalist to be removed as a trustee.

Mr Irvine was one of two men arrested earlier this month by police investigating a hoax bomb alert targeting Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney in north Belfast in March.

He later appeared in court charged with several offences including possession of a firearm and ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

In a statement, WSCHA said that following a board meeting on Monday "Winston Irvine is no longer a board member of the association nor a director in any of the association’s subsidiaries".

"His resignation from all boards was accepted by the meeting," it added.

Mr Whyte last night said: "It’s absolutely right that Winston Irvine no longer holds these positions of influence given the seriousness of the charges against him.

"His position was untenable and I welcome the resignations following our calls for action.”

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