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Loyalist Volunteer Force

The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) are an extremist Loyalist terror grouping in Northern Ireland which broke away from the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)and was led by the late Billy Wright.

Billy Wright was the charismatic leader of the mid-Ulster brigade of the UVF. Internal differences between Wright and the UVF's brigade staff in Belfast came to a head in July 1996 during the Drumcree dispute. The body of a Roman Catholic taxi driver was found dumped a few miles from Lurgan. Although no grouping claimed the murder, there was little doubt that it was Wright's UVF. The mid-Ulster unit was stood down - Wright took most of the unit's members with him and set up the LVF.

Although believed to be behind many atrocities in the mid-Ulster area – centred on Lurgan/Portadown, Wright was finally charged with menacing behaviour and sentenced to eight years at the Maze prison. There he demanded a separate wing for the LVF prisoners. The authorities agreed and the wing became a gathering point for various dissident shades of loyalist terrorist.

Wright was murdered on the 27th December 1997 by members of the INLA housed in an adjacent wing of the prison, as he sat in a van waiting to be taken for a visit.

Wright’s death in essence finished the LVF as a viable terror gang. The organisation latched itself onto Johnny Adair’s UFF.