Russel Watton a convicted UVF terrorist elected to RBL commi

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by BuggerAll, Jan 19, 2006.

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  1. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Source: MoD Oracle

    It would appear that Russell Watton, a convicted UVF Terrorist, has been elected to the committee of the Co Londonderry Branch of the Royal British Legion.

    This is being discussed in our forum now.

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  2. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    This is from the Belfast telegraph on the same issue: 0

    There was uproar last night after it emerged that a convicted UVF terrorist has been elected as a committee member of a Co Londonderry branch of the Royal British Legion.

    An enraged member of the legion - the UK's leading charity providing financial, social and emotional support to the millions who have served and are currently serving in the armed forces - contacted the Belfast Telegraph to complain that Russell Watton had been elected to the position of assistant secretary of the Coleraine branch.

    "I think it's an absolute disgrace. I've been a member for years, but I'll not be back," said the man, who did not want to be identified.

    In June 1977, Watton was sentenced to life imprisonment after pleading guilty to wounding three men with intent during a gun attack on a bar in Dunloy.

    A spokesman for the Royal British Legion refused to say whether Watton was a member of the organisation, and added: "We do not comment on anonymous claims. If anyone is unhappy about membership, they should be coming to us and not the Press."

    But when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph, Watton confirmed his position as assistant secretary of the Coleraine branch.

    He said: "Whoever complained has little to do with their time. I was in trouble 30 years ago, and there are other ex-prisoners in the legion.

    "I have been a member for 12 or 13 years and this year I was asked to stand, and I won a democratic vote, 36 votes to 24.

    "I am married with a child and a mortgage like everyone else and I'm trying to move on, but I'm never going to get away from it."

    However, East Londonderry MLA John Dallat has called for Watton to be immediately ousted from the organisation.

    "He should never have been allowed in the door, never mind be allowed to take up a high-profile position," said Mr Dallat.

    "This type of disclosure runs totally against the efforts of people who want to develop the British Legion as unconnected to elements which badly tarnished its image in the past, in particular, I am thinking of when UFF killer Torrens Knight wore a poppy when coming out of court.

    "To find a high-profile terrorist of this kind is not only a member of the legion, but occupies a position on the committee, is something that needs to be addressed as it certainly makes it difficult for Catholics to embrace the efforts of the legion to portray itself as politically neutral."

    Passing sentence on Watton in 1977, Judge Higgins described his UVF group as a "nest of terrorists" who had been responsible for grave and wicked crimes during 1975 and 1976, including the burning of Catholic-owned premises, the armed robbery of two post offices and bomb attacks on three bars.

    The judge also said that Watton was responsible for planning the offences and involving others in them.
  3. Hmmm, Interesting that Mr Dallat thinks it is ok for terrorists to hold posts in government, but not the RBL.

    This is my old branch, see why I left?
  4. I remember sinking a few one night in the not-so free Derry RBL. It's not exactly a surprise that the local proddies migh just turn out to be a tad militant (the big hint being the RWB kerbstones and the "No Surrender"end of house murals).

    Interesting point BBR, what is the RBL's viewon having a terr as a committee member?
  5. Get ya lad on the Committe and slowly very slowly ya can change 'Official Committe' policy.
    Off white Lesbian single mothers HAVE much to answer for.
  6. This is wrong - he is a terrorist and should be kicked out of the RBL and prefereably back into gaol. However, in Tonyblairland, he could also be an MP.
  7. He was right on one point though, he's a long way off being the only terr. involved in the Legion in N.I
  8. Indeed he is, Coleraine Branch has a few unsavory characters as members.

    The majority however are pretty much the same as legions everywhere.

    Personally I have little time for it as an organisation after the NI veterans fiasco.
  9. While I don't know the details , there is something a little disturbing about kicking someone out of the RBL purely for being an ex member of the UVF, particularly if he has been caught tried and punished.

    - If he is a member of the RBL then he is contributing towards welfare of ex servicemen and their dependents. Surely thats reconciliation and some penance of the best sort?

    - Its a little inconsistant to kick one ex UVF terrorist out while praising the memory of the 20,000 UVF that formed the basis of the 36th Ulster Division in the Great War. Which ex terroists are acceptable to be associated with?

    - Its not exactly in the spirit of the peace process.

    Clearly, if he is still a member of a proccribed organisation and infiltrating the branch as a cover for some evil purpose the OK.
  10. You German?? How exactly were those who fought at the Somme terrorists.....
  11. First Brit squaddei killed in NI (69 onward troubles) was shot by a Loyalist in a Belfast riot. A gunner RA memory says.
  12. So was the first RUC officer murdered in the most recent troubles.
  13. The first and last RUC GC officers to be killed, were killed by Loyalist paramilitaries, as were a few more inbetween.
  14. Why such the big commotion? was not the last Mayor Of Belfast a Republican, and Sinn Fein Councilor.!!