Another funeral, another promise of revenge

Jackie Coulter's funeral began with the playing of Celine Dion's "The Power of Love" and ended with threats of retribution among the crowd that had turned up in a menacing show of paramilitary strength.

Jackie Coulter's funeral began with the playing of Celine Dion's "The Power of Love" and ended with threats of retribution among the crowd that had turned up in a menacing show of paramilitary strength.

Some of the most notorious figures from Ulster's loyalist terror groups turned up to bury Mr Coulter, a friend of Johnny Adair. News that police found explosives, arms and ammunition in the loyalist Shankill area of Belfast added to the tension.

It is thought that the explosives were the property of the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), to be used for making pipe bombs, security sources said. The guns were said to belong to the rival Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). Police say both sides are rearming.

As they drifted away from the funeral, UFF members vowed vengeance for Jackie Coulter. One senior figure from the Lower Shankhill said: "The score is still 2-1 to the UVF. They started the killings and there are bound to be consequences."

Another said: "We are in a war and it can't stop now. Jackie was a good man and his killer should not and will not get away with it. Of course, Jackie's friends will hit back. I can assure you he will be avenged."

Mr Coulter was shot with a companion, Bobby Mahood, 48, in the Crumlin Road on Monday. The killings were blamed on the UVF. Mr Mahood's low- key funeral was on Thursday. There is a feeling Mr Mahood, not believed to be directly linked to violence and who had connections with the UVF, was killed by mistake and that the real target was Mr Coulter.

Mr Coulter's funeral was a full paramilitary affair, attended by 1,000 men from all six "brigades" of the UFF. There were wreaths from the organisation and its parent body, the Ulster Defence Association. Also displayed were tributes from the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), a UVF breakaway group which had been forging an alliance with the UFF for what is seen as a showdown for supremacy in the world of loyalist terror.

The LVF wreath was brought by Gary Fulton, said to be leader in succession to the murdered Billy "King Rat" Wright. Also present at the service, held at the Coulter home in the Shankill area, was Winky Dodds, reputed to be running UFF operations since the rearrest of Adair.

Before the funeral, a loudspeaker in the garden of the house in St Mary's Court belted out sugary pop songs as tattooed men in uniform white shirts, black ties and sunglasses took up position outside the house.

"The Last Post" was played by a lone bugler as the coffin was carried out. Mr Coulter's widow, Agnes, his son and three daughters walked part of the way behind the coffin. Almost everyone else in the procession appeared to be UFF members.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there