Gay UDA gunman tells of conversion from homophobic paramilitary hitman to gay rights campaigner
Posted on October 8, 2008
Filed Under Gay News Blog
Shaven-headed and tattooed all over with skinhead emblems and the symbols of Ulster loyalism, Sam ‘Skelly’ McCrory was once regarded as one of the most dangerous terrorists in Western Europe.
He was the last commander of Ulster Defence Association inmates in the Maze prison and the closest confidant of Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair, who called him his ‘top operator’. McCrory was also one of two UDA leaders chosen to meet Mo Mowlam 10 years ago in her talks in the Maze aimed at salvaging the loyalist ceasefires.
But now McCrory has become the first paramilitary to publicly out himself as a gay man. The 43-year-old has swapped a life dominated by direct involvement in UDA assassination squads in Northern Ireland for one of gay activism in Scotland.
In his first interview, McCrory has also claimed he was the unlikely inspiration for a novel written by one of his former foes – ex-Sinn Fein publicity director Danny Morrison.
‘Even before I joined the UDA, I used to pretend I was homophobic. I went along with the crowd who were then close to the National Front. I hated Catholics, blacks, Jews and gays – even though I was gay myself. I was hiding my true self.’
Speaking last week from exiled loyalist leader Adair’s flat in Troon, west Scotland, McCrory insisted that a real-life incident involving him helped inspire Danny Morrison’s novel On the Back of the Swallow. More of inetreview Gay UDA gunman: ‘I hid my true self’
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