The Billy Boy

The Life and Death of LVF Leader Billy Wright
by Tim Pat Coogan (Foreword), Chris Anderson
EUR24.99 ($27.99)
Revered and respected by loyalists, despised and feared by nationalists, Wright is reputed to have been involved in a number of sectarian murders before he himself was shot dead by republican gunmen inside the Maze Prison in 1997. This book charts his chequered early life and details his involvement with loyalist paramilitaries, which began at the age of 16 when he joined the UVF's junior wing. It traces his footsteps to the early 1990's, when he emerged as the UVF Commander in the Mid-Ulster area and, through a deliberate policy of "taking the war to the enemy", effectively neutered the IRA East Tyrone and North Armagh units. It also documents Wright's role in the Drumcree dispute of 1995-96 and his split from the UVF, recounting how he ignored both a death threat and an order to leave Northern Ireland within 72 hours, only to remain in Portadown and form the Loyalist Volunteer Force. It covers Wright's trial and subsequent imprisonment for a crime it has been claimed was set up by the state, recounts the circumstances of his killing inside a top security prison and investigates the allegations of state collusion in Wright's death.
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