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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Men jailed for paramilitary links
Roy Barwise and John Irwin
Barwise and Irwin admitted membership of the UVF
Two men have been jailed for being members of the loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Roy Barwise, 47, and John Irwin, 43, admitted membership of a proscribed organisation, the UVF.

Barwise was sentenced to four years and two months and Irwin to two and a half years at Manchester Crown Court.

The men, both from Liverpool, were arrested last July in police raids following an attempt to harm loyalist Johnny Adair in Bolton.

Barwise, of Cardigan Way, Anfield, was jailed for being a member of a banned organisation and nine firearms offences.

Weapons seized in a police raid
A weapons haul was discovered in police raids
Irwin, from Scarsdale Road in Norris Green, was jailed for his UVF membership.

Both were former Territorial Army soldiers and part of the Liverpool Battalion of the UVF.

Explosives, a machine gun, pistols, shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found in the raids on Merseyside.

The convictions were led by Greater Manchester Police's Anti-Terrorism Unit which carried out an in-depth investigation into loyalist terrorism.

Addresses were searched across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Northern Ireland as part of the same operation.

The court was told they used membership of one of the 50 Orange Lodges in the Merseyside area as a cloak for their activities.

Both men's lawyers said there was no evidence that either had encouraged or supported acts of terrorism above simply being members of the organisation.

Two men admit paramilitary links
04 Jul 06 |  Manchester

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