UK news Winston 'Winkie' Rea sparked IRA feud after botched assassination run, court told last news
MetiNews.Com - A one-time leader of the outlawed loyalist Red Hand Commando inadvertently sparked an IRA feud in the early 1970s, Belfast Crown Court has been told.
Breaking News ! "A one-time leader of the outlawed loyalist Red Hand Commando inadvertently sparked an IRA feud in the early 1970s, Belfast Crown Court has been told. The trial of Winston Churchill Rea, who denies being that Red Hand commander, also heard how some Catholic shopkeepers targeted for selling the IRA paper An Phoblacht “unfortunately lost their lives”.The admissions are contained within a set of tapes the 69-year-old pensioner allegedly made during interviews for the Boston College for their “Belfast Project”.The prosecution claim that Mr Rea, AKA ‘Winkie Rea’, from the Springwell Road in Groomsport, Co Down, is the voice behind the interviews, and on which they have grounded the 19 charges, including involvement in murder, he denies.On Monday initially the court listened how the interviewee, allegedly Mr Rea, became a taxi driver after paying ‘a tenner’ for a driving licence after coming out of jail, before he “re-engaged” with the RHC, becoming its leader on the Shankill Road which he reorganised into three-men cells.The tapes went on to detail how he personally “introduced” the targeting of shopkeepers for the same reasons he felt that people making donations outside Mass should also be set up.“Again the philosophy and the policy was that these people were selling IRA papers with the profits going to the IRA... so they’re just as guilty, so I viewed them as legitimate targets, and there was people who sold An Phoblacht who unfortunately lost their lives”.His Diplock-style no-jury trial before Mr Justice McAlinden then heard how the first assassination run of the speaker, identified as “Interviewee L”, ended up with his gun jamming, and the start of a feud between the then newly formed Provisional IRA and the Official IRA.‘L’ claimed that ‘one Monday morning’ before going into jail he went with others on an assassination run on the nationalist Falls Road.“I was to be the gunman,” said ‘L’, and that they initially spent the time driving up and down before deciding on their victim, “who was probably going to work”.
.The speaker said the only thing he could do “was smack him over the head with the gun”, and that it later transpired the would-be target “was an Official IRA man” and they “thought it was the Provos who tried to kill him, and as a result of that it started a feud between the Officials and the Provos. That’s true”.However, in later years ‘L’ revealed that while some in the loyalist community “were gloating” over the deaths of the hunger strikers, he “didn’t gloat ... I salute these people” because in following their ‘beliefs’ to the grave was “something I just could not do”.He went on to add that he did not think that those loyalists in jail with him would also be prepared to go to the same lengths of the republican ‘hunger-strikers”.‘L’ told his interviewer he would have to “say in all honesty, there’s not one of them ones that would have gone that far”.Turning to the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the protests mounted by the Rev Ian Paisley and his so called ‘Carson Trial”, ‘L’ said he decided to go on TV to tell people: “Don’t be fooled by this man”.At one stage the UTV presenter David Dunseith asked him why he had come forward to make the programme.He replied: “My conscience more than anything”, because he had fallen “for Paisley’s traps years and years and years before” and he wanted to warn other younger men “Don’t fall for this”."
Source = MetiNews.Com