Masked men join funeral as Loyalist feud victim is buried

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The Independent Online

Four masked men in paramilitary-style uniforms today accompanied the coffin at the funeral of loyalist Tommy English, murdered during bitter feuding in north Belfast this week.

Four masked men in paramilitary-style uniforms today accompanied the coffin at the funeral of loyalist Tommy English, murdered during bitter feuding in north Belfast this week.

A former leading member of the Ulster Defence Association, Mr English was shot dead on Tuesday night in front of his wife at his home in Newtownabbey.

Several hundred mourners - including Belfast Deputy Mayor Frank McCoubrey of the UDA-linked Ulster Democratic Party - gathered outside Mr English's mother's home for a private funeral service.

He is thought to have been killed in retaliation for the murder of Bertie Rice, a member of the Progressive Unionist Party, which speaks for the Ulster Volunteer Force.

Mr English's wife Doreen was pistol-whipped as she struggled with his killers.

The latest round of tit-for-tat attacks between the UDA and the UVF, which claimed four lives in five days, began with the murder of UDA member David Greer at Mountcollyer Street last Saturday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr Rice, 63, a voluntary worker in the PUP's north Belfast constituency office, was shot at his Canning Street home. The UVF retaliated a few hours later, killing Mr English, a former member of the UDP's talks team at Stormont.

The fourth victim was UVF member Mark Quail, who was murdered at his flat at Rathcoole in Newtownabbey on Wednesday night.

After the service, Mr English was buried at Carnmoney Cemetery in the northern outskirts of Belfast.

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