Northern Ireland

Jamie Bryson 'won't be bullied' after receiving 'Real UFF' threat

Loyalist Jamie Bryson has claimed he received a death threat from members of the so-called Real UFF gang.
Loyalist Jamie Bryson has claimed he received a death threat from members of the so-called Real UFF gang. Loyalist Jamie Bryson has claimed he received a death threat from members of the so-called Real UFF gang.

LOYALIST Jamie Bryson has said he and his family have received a death threat from members of the 'Real UFF' gang involved in the ongoing drug feud in Co Down.

The loyalist activist, who was among hundreds to take part in a "community safety walkabout" in the West Winds estate in Ards last week in protest at activity by the so-called Real UFF gang, said on Monday he was the target of a threat.

Police are continuing to investigate attacks on individuals and property linked to the feud, involving former members of the South East Antrim UDA, who have dubbed themselves the 'Real UFF', and members of a rival drugs faction expelled from the West Belfast UDA.

Arrests have been made and a number of people charged over incidents linked to the dispute, while last week saw up to 50 people enter the Weavers Grange area in Ards and remove insignia related to the South East Antrim UDA.

Neither gang is affiliated to the mainstream UDA/UFF, and up to 10 people have fled their homes in the West Winds estate in Ards since the feud began.

The walkabout event in Ards last week is understood to have involved mainstream loyalists.

In a Twitter post, Mr Bryson said on Monday: "Tonight both I, and my family, have received death threats from a criminal gang who call themselves the ‘Real UFF’. This threat is being traced by PSNI. I will never be intimidated by a ragtag bunch of drug dealing, house breaking criminals who are not loyalists.

"Mainstream loyalism has, and will continue to, peacefully oppose these thugs who are a cancer on the community. If they think mainstream loyalism will be intimidated by these lowlifes, they have another thing coming."

Mr Bryson said those behind the threat were "cowards and gangsters", adding: "They won’t be bullying me or any genuine loyalist."

He said he was "engaging with the PSNI" over the threat.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "We do not discuss the security of individuals and no inference should be drawn from this.

"However, we want to reassure the public that we will take the appropriate action when made aware of anything that may put an individual at risk."

In a tweet on Monday evening, TUV leader Jim Allister, who has shared platforms with Mr Bryson at anti-Northern Ireland Protocol rallies, said: "Continuing threats and posturing by gangsters of proclaimed Real UFF must be faced down by PSNI.

"Paramilitaries pandered to for years under phoney ‘transition aegis’ think they are untouchable. Are they?"

The MLA added it was a question police and government "must answer".