Northern Ireland

Hundreds attend former UVF leader Gusty Spence's funeral in Belfast

Gusty Spence
Image caption Gusty Spence announced the loyalist paramilitary ceasefires in 1994

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of the former loyalist leader Gusty Spence.

A number of friends and family members spoke at the service at St Michael's Church of Ireland on the Shankill Road.

In keeping with his wishes, there were no paramilitary trappings and his coffin was draped with the regimental flag of the Royal Ulster Rifles, in which he served.

He will be buried in Bangor.

The 78-year-old died in hospital at the weekend after a long illness.

In the 1960s, he founded the modern Ulster Volunteer Force, an organisation which was responsible for hundreds of sectarian murders during the Troubles.

He was jailed for life for the murder of a Catholic barman in 1966 and served 18 years in prison.

He then became involved in politics and announced the landmark loyalist paramilitary ceasefires in 1994.

In the 1960s, he founded the Ulster Volunteer Force, which was responsible for hundreds of murders during the Troubles.

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