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October 2013

Stone painting

Graveyard killer Michael Stone painting raffled for Twaddell loyalist camp

A painting of cult killer Michael Stone is raffled to fund the Twaddell Avenue Loyalist protest camp in north Belfast.

Details of the loyalist fundraiser emerged during the weekly Woodvale protests on Saturday – where a high-ranking Orangeman vowed to protest ‘high-end’ against the decision to ban the Order from marching on Crumlin Road past the Ardoyne stores in North Belfast.

Pop art was on display as Grand County Secretary William Mawhinney said protests should be “civil disobedience”.

He said: “When the time comes, we will probably increase our protests, increase them to civil disobedience if that’s the right thing to do.”

The senior Orangeman addressed a crowd of around 500 as a number of people sold tickets to Stone’s art raffle to the multiple murderers.

Painted by the Milltown Cemetery Killer in Maghaberry Prison, the red, white, blue and gold piece is said to represent the ongoing dispute over the North Belfast Parades.

Against a black background, the work shows two women wearing sunglasses looking at a Union flag.

In their sunglasses is a reflection of two musicians playing the flute.

A ticket seller told Sunday Life: “The hair of the women represents the people, the flag represents Twaddell and underneath is the road that we are trying to go up. “

She added that all the money raised for the raffle would go to fund the Orange Order and the PUP-supported camp.

But Sunday Life can reveal that key figures in the camp were unaware yesterday that the UDA killer art was being drawn.

The embarrassing oversight will raise questions as to how he was exposed during yesterday’s protest.

Among those in attendance at yesterday’s weekly protest were Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland and North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds.

Asked about the stone painting, Mr Dodds said: “I haven’t seen it so I can’t comment.”

Stone was sentenced to nearly 700 years in prison for six murders, three of which were committed in a gun and grenade attack on an IRA funeral at Belfast’s Milltown Cemetery in 1988.

Outrage was expressed in 2001 after it emerged that Stone, who had learned to paint in prison, was selling his work for thousands of pounds.

In 2006, one of his paintings, titled Kneeling Nude on a Red Background, was auctioned for £ 10,000.

In August, the 58-year-old learned he would have to serve the remainder of a 30-year minimum sentence for six sectarian murders committed in the 1980s.

The former UDA man was released under the Good Friday deal in 2000, but was returned to prison in 2006 for attempting to kill Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in a failed attack in Stormont.


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