Loyalist Volunteer Force

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The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) is a loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland. It was formed by Billy Wright when the Mid-Ulster brigade of the UVF, which he commanded, was stood down by that organisation's leadership in Belfast. Wright subsequently broke away from the UVF to form a new rival organisation. The LVF is outlawed as a terrorist organization in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The United States has designated it a terrorist organisation also.[5] The LVF have killed 18 people. 13 were civilians, 1 was a former Provisional IRA member, and 3 were UVF members. The LVF have also killed one of its own members.

Contents

History

Early days

Billy Wright was the leader of the Mid Ulster Brigade of the UVF.[6] In October 1994, the UVF and other loyalist paramilitary groups called a ceasefire. Internal differences between Wright and the UVF's brigade staff in Belfast came to a head in July 1996, during the Drumcree parade dispute. The Orange Order was being stopped from marching through the nationalist Garvaghy area of Portadown. There was a standoff at Drumcree Church between thousands of Orangemen and their supporters on one side, and the security forces on the other. Wright was angered that the parade was being blocked, and was often to be seen at Drumcree with Harold Gracey, head of the Portadown Orange Lodge.[7] On 7 July, a day into the standoff, members of Wright's brigade[7][8] shot dead a Catholic taxi driver near Aghagallon. Wright's brigade smuggled homemade weaponry to Drumcree, apparently unhindered by the Orangemen.[7] Allegedly, the brigade also had plans to drive petrol tankers into the nationalist housing estates and then ignite them.[9]

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