This book provides a unique insight into the beliefs and political ideology of the Ulster Defence Assocation (UDA) and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF). Featuring interviews with key members of these paramilitary groups, many conducted inside the Maze prison, Colin Crawford presents a thorough analysis of Loyalism and the role that Loyalist paramilitary groups continue to play in Northern Ireland’s troubles. He also provides an insider’s account of the workings of state-sponsored terrorism.
This book comes at a particularly challenging time for Loyalist politics, and for the UDA in particular. There have been several Loyalist feuds, and since the expulsion of Johnny Adair from the UDA in 2002 volunteers have turned upon each other — these killings have made international headlines.
Crawford explores these tensions and assesses the difficulties that the UDA faces in the wake of the Good Friday Agreement. He analyses the Ulster Democratic Party’s failure to win seats in the 1998 elections, and he examines the conflict between those who are motivated by the profits of crime and drug trafficking, and those motivated by political ideals.
The book makes disturbing and often heartbreaking reading, and it marks an important step forward in understanding the Loyalist position — for it is only through improving our understanding of the experience of all citizens in Northern Ireland that lasting peace can be achieved.