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Johnny Adair

Johnny Adair (nickname: Mad Dog) was the leader of the loyalist paramilitary organisation Ulster Freedom Fighters (UDA/UFF), acting in opposition to those who want Northern Ireland to become part of the Irish Republic.

In January 1998, Adair was one of five Loyalist prisoners visited in the Maze prison by British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Mo Mowlam[?]. She persuaded them to drop their objection to their political representatives continuing the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement in April that year.

In 2002, Adair was a key part of an effort to forge stronger ties between the UDA/UFF and the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), the other major loyalist paramilitary organization in Northern Ireland. The most open declaration of this was a joint mural depicting Adair's UDA "C company" and the LVF. Other elements in the UDA/UFF strongly resisted these movements, and several shootings occurred. On 25 September 2002, Adair was expelled from the UDA/UFF along with close associate John White, and the organization came under severe pressure to split. There were attempts on Adair's and White's lives.

Adair returned to prison in January 2003, when his early release licence was revoked by Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Paul Murphy[?], on grounds of engaging in unlawful activity.

On February 1, 2003, UDA divisional leader John Gregg was shot dead along with another UDA member, a killing widely blamed on Adair's C Company - Gregg was one of those who expelled Adair from the UDA. On February 6, about 20 Adair supporters including White fled their homes for Scotland, widely seen as a response to severe intimidation: the graffiti "Johnny Adair and John White, Dead men walking" was seen in Belfast.

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