Johnny Adair

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Jonathan Adair, better known as Johnny "Mad Dog" Adair (born 27 October 1963 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is the former leader of "C Company" of the Ulster Loyalist paramilitary organisation Ulster Freedom Fighters, a cover name of the Ulster Defence Association. Adair was expelled from the organisation in 2002 following a violent power struggle. Since 2003, he, his family and a number of supporters have been forced to leave Northern Ireland by other loyalists.


Early life

Johnny Adair was born into a loyalist background and raised in Belfast. He grew up in the Lower Oldpark area, a site of many sectarian clashes and riots during The Troubles. He had little parental supervision, and did not attend school regularly.[1] He took to the streets, forming a skinhead street gang with a group of young loyalist friends, who "got involved initially in petty then increasingly violent crime".[1] Eventually, Adair started a rock band called Offensive Weapon which openly espoused support for the National Front.[1]

While still in his teens, he was threatened with knee-capping by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) after assaulting an old age pensioner but was given the option of joining the UDA's young wing, the Ulster Young Militants, instead.[1] He joined the Ulster Young Militants, and later the UDA - a loyalist paramilitary organisation which also called itself the Ulster Freedom Fighters.[1]

Paramilitary activities

By the early 1990s, Adair had established himself as head of the UDA/UFF's "C Company" based on the Shankill Road. When Adair was charged with terrorist offences in 1995, he admitted that he had been a UDA commander for three years up to 1994. During this time, Adair and his colleagues were involved in multiple and random murders of Catholic civilians. At Adair's trial in 1995, the prosecuting lawyer said he was dedicated to his cause against those whom he "regarded as militant republicans - among whom he had lumped almost the entire Roman Catholic population".[2] Royal Ulster Constabulary Detectives believe his unit killed up to 40 people in this period.[3] Adair once remarked to a Catholic journalist from the Republic of Ireland upon the discovery of her being Catholic, that normally Catholics travelled in the boot of his car.[4] According to a press report in 2003, Adair was handed details of republican suspects by British Army intelligence, and was even invited for dinner in the early 1990s.[5] In his autobiography, he claimed he was frequently passed information by sympathetic British army members, while his own whereabouts were passed to republican paramilitaries by the RUC Special Branch, who, he claimed, hated him.[6]

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