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Charity refuses money raised at Michael Stone art exhibition

A charity has refused money raised at an art show for loyalist killer Michael Stone.

tone, on his release from prison, attended an art exhibition in east Belfast last month that featured his own work and that of his wife Karen whom he married in prison two years ago .

The exhibition features more than 20 paintings primarily focused on Loyalist themes. The Milestones exhibit was organized as part of the East Belfast Reach UK Community Project, which was set up by former members of the paramilitary group Red Hand Commando.

Organizers said 33% of proceeds raised from the event would go to the Muscular Dystrophy UK charity, with the remainder going to Stone and his family.

However, when the charity learned how the money was raised, it decided to refuse the funds.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “We were not aware that Mr Stone had exhibited any work at the Milestones exhibition. We understand the sensitivities in Northern Ireland about an exhibition including his paintings.

“After careful consideration, we will decline the money raised at the event.”

Former UDA man Michael Stone rose to prominence for his bloody pistol and bomb attack on Milltown Cemetery in March 1988, when he attacked the funerals of three IRA members , firing and throwing grenades into the crowd.

Three people died in the attack, with Stone admitting to three more murders after being arrested.

He was released in 2000 under the Good Friday Agreement, but was jailed again in 2006 after attempting to kill Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness in Stormont, and is currently serving the remainder of the minimum jail sentence of 20 years that was inflicted on him in 1988.

As his release date approaches, he’s eligible for a 24-hour unsupervised daytime outing every four weeks in advance.

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Charles T. Gallegos

The author Charles T. Gallegos

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