Ulster Volunteer Force

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The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) is a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland.[1]

The modern UVF was founded in 1966. It adopted the name of the original UVF formed in 1912 to oppose Home Rule for Ireland.[2]

Loughinisland Massacre

In June 1994 a UVF gang shot six people while they were watching a Republic of Ireland World Cup match at a pub in Loughinisland, Co Down. According to press reports, a number of police informers were linked to the killings.[3]


The UVF and the Red Hand Commando carried out a major act of decommissioning in June 2009 which was reported to involve all of the arms under the UVF leadership's control. According to the Belfast Telegraph, Loyalist leaders John Graham and Winston Rea were key players in this move as was decommissioning interlocutor Billy Hutchinson'.[4]

McCord Allegations

In testimony to the US Congress on 22 October 2009, Raymond McCord Sr. named a number of UVF members as informers, claiming that "Supreme Commander, John “Bunter” Graham has been an agent of the State for years."[5]

2011 Short Strand riots

The Belfast Telegraph reported on 16 June 2011 that the UVF ceasefire was under threat:

On the question of continuing investigations into pre-ceasefire and pre-Good Friday Agreement violence, a paramilitary leadership figure said: “Everybody is worried about the HET.
“It needs to be looked at.”
Asked was there a specific nervousness within the UVF about these investigations, he replied: “There definitely is.”
The paramilitary source said the organisation also had internal problems at leadership level, particularly in east Belfast.
“He’s just doing his own thing,” the source said, in a reference to the UVF leader in that part of the city.
There was an example of this in the period leading up to the recent Stormont and local government elections when two UVF murals were painted on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast.
They showed men in balaclavas carrying guns — paintings designed to deliver a war message.[6]

Chief Superintendent Alan McCrum of the Police Service of Northern Ireland blamed the East Belfast UVF for attack on the nationalist Short Strand enclave which began on 20 June 2011:

"It would be a line of investigation to establish whether that was a co-ordinated and organised 'organisational' position (by the UVF leadership)," he said.
"But at this point we are satisfied that at the very least members of east Belfast UVF were involved in organising the disorder."[7]


Chiefs of Staff

External Resources


  1. Abstracts of Organisations - 'U', CAIN Web Service, University of Ulster, accessed 25 November 2009.
  2. Abstracts of Organisations - 'U', CAIN Web Service, University of Ulster, accessed 25 November 2009.
  3. Henry McDonald, RUC informers 'knew about Loughinisland shootings', The Observer, 13 September 2009.
  4. Brian Rowan, Arms body confirms ‘major decommissioning by UVF’, Belfast Telegraph, 29 June 2009.
  5. Written Testimony of Raymond Mc Cord Sr (pdf). House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, October 22, 2009.
  6. Brian Rowan, Fear Over Loyalist Ceasefire, Belfast Telegraph, 16 June 2011.
  7. Short Strand: Police say riot was "orchestrated" by UVF, BBC News, 21 June 2011.
  8. Jim Cusack and Henry McDonald, UVF: The Endgame, Poolbeg, 2008, p.21.
  9. Martin Dillon, The Dirty War, Arrow, 1991, p.277.
  10. Tim pat Coogan, The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal and the Search for Peace, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, p.209.
  11. Carolyn Gallaher, After the Peace: Loyalist Paramilitaries in Post-Accord Northern Ireland, Cornell University Press, 2007, p.134.
  12. David Gordon, The untouchable informers facing exposure at last, Belfast Telegraph, 18 January 2007.