Gusty Spence Roy Garland

ISBN: 9780856407109

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Gusty Spence  by  Roy Garland

Gusty Spence by Roy Garland
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Gusty Spence, one of the most famous hard men of the Northern Ireland conflict, started life in the 1930s in the tough Hammer district of Belfasts lower Shankill. After serving in Cyprus with the Royal Ulster Rifles during the EOKA campaign, heMoreGusty Spence, one of the most famous hard men of the Northern Ireland conflict, started life in the 1930s in the tough Hammer district of Belfasts lower Shankill. After serving in Cyprus with the Royal Ulster Rifles during the EOKA campaign, he became leader of the Shankill Ulster Volunteer Force, a dormant paramilitary organisation which was reactivated in 1965 in a climate of growing loyalist disquiet.

In 1966 he was sentenced to a minimum of twenty years imprisonment for the murder of a Catholic barman, a charge he has always denied. Among militant loyalists on the Shankill he became a local hero, focus of a long campaign which claimed that his only crime was loyalty. In 1977, as UVF commander inside the Maze prison, he issued a message supporting reconciliation and attacking violence as counter-productive. Released in 1983, he devoted himself to community politics and became a key strategist with the Progressive Unionist Party, playing a very significant role in the developing peace process.

His central role was underlined in 1994 at a Combined Loyalist Military Command press conference, when he announced a loyalist ceasefire, and offered abject and true remorse to innocent victims.--BOOK JACKET.



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