Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK: Northern Ireland
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

David Ervine, Progressive Unionist Party
"Very shocked and deeply disturbed"
 real 28k

BBC NI's Jeremy Mitchell
Local politicians fear UVF retaliation
 real 28k

The BBC's Sinead Rocks reports
"Security sources say he was the leader of the UVF in the Portadown area"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 11 January, 2000, 08:30 GMT
Police hunt loyalist's killer

The dead man was a prominent member of the UVF

Police in Northern Ireland are hunting a gunman who shot dead a leading member of a loyalist paramilitary group.

The victim, Richard Jameson, is understood to have been a senior member of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

The Search for Peace
More related to this story
Link to Loyalist splinter threat
Link to David Ervine
Link to David Trimble
Link to Good Friday Agreement
The incident happened on the Derryletiff Road, about five miles outside Portadown in County Armagh, at 1840 GMT on Monday.

It is understood the 46-year-old victim was shot several times at close range through the window of his jeep as he arrived home.

The gunman then got into another car which drove off towards the Moy Road.

Mr Jameson was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital where he died shortly after admission.

Security sources said he was the leader of one of the largest loyalist paramilitary groupings, the Ulster Volunteer Force, in the Portadown area.

Police have said the death was not sectarian.

David Ervine of the Progressive Unionist Party, which has links to the UVF, believes the murder was carried out by loyalists involved in drug dealing.

David Ervine: Victim was respected in local community David Ervine: Victim was respected in local community
He said: "I think it's probably a disparate loyalist group or a disparate group masquerading as loyalists.

"But essentially they masquerade as loyalists simply to give cover to the nefarious trade of drug dealing."

He described the shooting as an "absolute tragedy" and expressed sympathy to the victim's family.

Mr Ervine said the dead man had been a bulwark in his community against such activities.

He said: "He was an honourable man. Someone who is highly respected within the unionist community has been murdered unceremoniously by those whom he stood against.

Dispute between paramilitaries

There has been a bitter dispute between loyalist factions in the Portadown area for some time, namely the UVF and the smaller, splinter group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF).

I'm horrified at this news. This is the sort of action we thought was behind us for good
First Minister David Trimble
Mr Jameson is believed to have been one of 12 people injured when tension between UVF and LVF supporters erupted into trouble at the end of a football match at Shamrock Park Social Club in Portadown, just after Christmas.

Local Democratic Unionist Party Assemblyman Paul Berry said Mr Jameson had tried to calm the situation.

He said: "There has been an on-going problem in this area between two paramilitary groups.

"He tried to keep a lid on the whole thing and to intervene in this problem, but sadly he has become a victim of this problem."

The Mayor of Craigavon, Delores Kelly, appealed against retaliation.

She said: "I would ask that there is no retaliation, that people think of the benefits to the whole community in terms of the peace dividend and that we redouble our efforts to bring again community cohesion."

Northern Ireland's First Minister and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, David Trimble, who is also MP for the area, expressed his shock at the murder.

"I'm horrified at this news," he said. "This is the sort of action we thought was behind us for good."

Agriculture Minister Brid Rodgers of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, and in whose Upper Bann constituency the murder took place, also condemned the killing.

"Murder is murder and there is never any justification for it," she said.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
28 Dec 99 |  Northern Ireland
Loyalist tension blamed for violence

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Northern Ireland stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Northern Ireland stories