Interesting to note that the DUP leader Peter Robinson and UUP leader Mike Nesbitt have agreed a joint “Unionist Unity” candidate, Nigel Lutton, for the Mid-Ulster by-election, and the furore that has emerged around it. Lutton is a former liaison-officer with the Northern Ireland Police Fund, a former volunteer with the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (run by the British Ministry of Defence), a former British Army reserve soldier, a co-ordinator with the group South Down Action for Healing Wounds, a member of the Orange Order (the anti-Catholic, Protestant fundamentalist society) and a former researcher with the DUP.
He is also the son of Frederick “Eric” Lutton, a former member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary or RUC, the British paramilitary police force in the North of Ireland disbanded under the Irish-British Peace Process and the Belfast Agreement of 1998. Frederick Lutton had resigned from the RUC shortly before he was shot dead by the Irish Republican Army in May of 1979. Around the time of his killing rumours in the local Irish Nationalist community insisted that Lutton had been forced to resign by RUC management due to concerns about his family connections.
In fact his brother, Joey Lutton, was a British Army soldier with the Ulster Defence Regiment or UDR during the same period, a militia raised from within the British Unionist community (and also disbanded in the wake of the Belfast Agreement). This particular Lutton was convicted in 1979 of participating in a number of terrorist atrocities carried out by a British terror group known colloquially as the Glenanne Gang. It was made up of members of several British terrorist organisations, principally the UVF and UDA-UFF, most of whom were also former or serving soldiers and police officers with the British Army, UDR and RUC.
Joey Lutton’s offences included his involvement in the May 1976 bomb-attack on Clancy’s Bar that left three Irish civilians (Felix Clancy, Sean O’Hagan and Robert McCullough) dead and several others wounded, and a subsequent gun-attack on the nearby Eagle Bar resulting in the murder of Frederick McLaughlin and the wounding of numerous others. Lutton was widely suspected of involvement in a number of other murders in the Armagh region, many of which were carried out using ammunition and weapons later traced back to British Army stocks.
In 2007 the DUP MP David Simpson, who is a cousin and close associate of the “Unionist Unity” candidate Nigel Lutton (as well as an Orange Order member and proponent of “Creationism”), used legal immunity granted by the British parliament to claim in the House of Commons that prominent Sinn Féin politician, Francie Molly, was suspected of involvement in the assassination of Nigel Lutton’s father, Frederick.
Francie Molly is the Sinn Féin candidate in Mid-Ulster and Nigel Lutton’s opponent.
A “Unionist Unity” candidate is just about right.