Former Mount Vernon UVF leader Mark Haddock

Former Mount Vernon UVF leader Mark Haddock

‘WAKING The Dead’ detectives have charged a suspect they believe to be the “triggerman” in the murders of two Catholic workmen in north Belfast 20 years ago.

It is understood the 48-year-old was fingered as the gunman on the word of UVF ‘supergrass’ Gary Haggarty.

Gary Convie (24) and Eamon Fox (44) were sitting in their car at a building site in North Queen Street on 17 May 1994 when a gunman opened fire with a submachine gun.

The suspect was arrested earlier this week at his home in the Glencairn area of north Belfast shortly before 9 am.

It is understood he was alerted 24 hours earlier by the UVF leadership that detectives were planning to arrest him on Wednesday morning at his home.

On Thursday night, detectives from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit charged the man with two sectarian murders.

He was further charged with one count of attempted murder and also possession of a firearm.

The suspect is to appear at Belfast Magistrates’ Court this morning

Around the same time of his detention, another PSNI team was arresting a 41-year-old woman for questioning about the killings.

She was released on Thursday night pending a report to the PPS.

While she was being held at the serious crime suite in Antrim, over 100 loyalists held a protest outside the station gates.

It is understood she is the daughter of a veteran UVF from north Belfast.

As part of the probe, three suspects, aged 43, 52 and 65 were arrested in Templepatrick, Newtownabbey and Antrim by officers from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit.

This week’s arrests are part of Operation Stafford, an investigation into a series of murders and other serious crimes by the UVF in north Belfast.

One man has already been convicted and jailed for his part in the murders.

A second man was remanded in custody in January following a renewed probe in the killings.

Mark Campbell, of Canning Place, denies the charges.

Police believe the killings were ordered on the word of UVF Mount Vernon commander and Special Branch informant Mark Haddock.

It is believed the new probe follows statements provided by a one time close friend of Haddock’s turned ‘supergrass’ Gary Haggarty.

He is currently living in a witness protection scheme ahead of his trial for murdering John Harbinson on FA Cup final day in May 1997.

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