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Monday, 28 February, 2000, 15:41 GMT
'End feud' loyalist politician appeals

The LVF split from the UVF as a rival organisation
The LVF split from the UVF as a rival organisation

The leader of the Ulster Democratic Party has repeated calls for an end to a feud between loyalist paramilitaries in Portadown, County Armagh.

Gary McMichael has called on the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) to stop the wave of "internecine violence in the loyalist community".

Mr McMichael's party is linked to the loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Freedom Fighters, which released a statement on Friday calling for an end to the feud.

He said: "The UFF took a leadership role on Friday when it called for an end to internal violence but only hours later a murder attempt took place in Portadown and there are newspaper reports of LVF threats against the UVF.

"There will be no winners in this cycle of violence and those responsible should understand the damage they are doing to their own community."

'Fear and anxiety'

Mr McMichael added: "Three people have been murdered and another wounded in the past month.

UDP leader Gary McMichael McMichael: Internecine violence causing fear in loyalist community
"All these actions are equally wrong and equally damaging.

"This violence is causing extreme fear and anxiety in the community and people are sick of it. It is time for an end to this."

His statement followed that from the UFF which said that there was growing resentment throughout the community that since the 1994 paramilitary ceasefires, the majority of violent deaths of Protestants had been carried out, not by republicans, but by other loyalists.

"While such effort and determination has been spent in the past five years to remove conflict, the greatest threat to the Protestant community now comes from within," the UUF said.

The loyalist organisation's statement was believed to have aimed at the Ulster Volunteer Force.

UVF and LVF in Portadown power struggle UVF and LVF in Portadown power struggle
The family of Richard Jameson, a UVF commander in Portadown, spent time painting out LVF mural slogans after he was shot dead outside his home in January.

And on Saturday the victim of an attempted murder in Portadown, who was shot in the arm, thumb and back as he drove up to his brother's house said he was an "innocent victim" caught up in the feud.

Martin McClean said he was an innocent victim caught up the in feud Martin McClean said he was an innocent victim caught up the in feud
Martin McClean, 33, said he believed he was targeted because his brother was on a UVF death list. He also called for an end to the feud.

The dispute between the UVF and the LVF dates back to 1996 when the UVF leadership stood down their unit led by Billy Wright in Portadown.

The LVF emerged headed by Wright during the internal row over the unsanctioned killing of a Catholic taxi driver Michael McGoldrick which broke the ceasefire by the Combined Loyalist Military Command.

Since Wright's murder in the Maze prison by a republican splinter group, the UVF has been recruiting around Portadown and has moved to try to re-establish itself as the dominant paramilitary force in the area.

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See also:
26 Feb 00 |  Northern Ireland
'End loyalist feud' victim appeals
25 Feb 00 |  Northern Ireland
'End violence' calls after shooting
25 Feb 00 |  Northern Ireland
UFF demands end to loyalist feuding
11 Jan 00 |  Northern Ireland
Murder as loyalist feud boils over

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