Friday, July 01, 2005


Fear of a Loyalist shooting war

Fears of a new shooting war between rival loyalist gangs on the streets of Belfast at the height of the Protestant marching season intensified tonight after the murder of a man in the east of the city.

The victim, Jameson Lockhart, aged in his late twenties, was sitting in the cab of a red lorry outside a demolished bar on the lower Newtownards Road at around 10.15am when a gunman opened fire on the left hand side.

Detective Chief Superintendent Phil Wright said at the scene of the shooting that police were looking at the possibility – as one line of inquiry – that he was the victim of a loyalist paramilitary feud.

"There is a lot of speculation in relation to a feud taking place," he said.

"I don’t know but I certainly hope not, and it is something we will have to look into."

Loyalist sources blamed the Ulster Volunteer Force for the killing and said the victim had been targeted before.

Graffiti about him was also recently scrawled on walls in the loyalist Shankill Road in west Belfast.

With a loyalist parade due to take place in east Belfast tonight, politicians were urging police to be vigilant.

They also expressed concern about the potential for violence in the run up to July 11 bonfires during the Protestant Orange Order’s Twelfth of July celebrations.


It seems that Loyalists are once again intent on raising tensions in Ireland's north. A shooting war would be a horrible thing to once again go through. With organisations like the Orange Order intent on celebrating the violence of the past, can we really say that the Orange Order is a harmless presence in modern society?

Let's just hope that there are no more murders.


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