New Book Uncovers The History Of The UVF
Understanding the differences between paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland can be complicated, but a new book on the Ulster Volunteer Force provides an enlightening account of their particular place in the country's history.
Aaron Edwards is a senior lecturer in defence and international affairs and author of UVF: Behind The Mask, which took three years to write and saw him gain access to some of the UVF's most high-profile figures.
"In my book, I don't cover any links between a political party and the UVF," Aaron says, explaining more about the organisation's origins. "There is of course a historical connection with Ian Paisley, but I didn't find any direct links between him and the UVF."
"The UVF was a very small and secretive organisation up until the mid-1970s. People could only join it by invitation."
Aaron estimates that the UVF was responsible for about 564 deaths during the Troubles, which they always claimed were retaliation attacks. He says, "I think it was a cycle of violence where people were reacting to what they thought was an attack on them."
Does he think we are likely to see the rise of Ulster Loyalist violence again?
"I don't think there is the context there that would see the rejuvenation of these organisations, but that's not to say that circumstances won't change."