UDA Commander & Loyalist Gunrunner | #123

UDA Commander & Loyalist Gunrunner, features Frank Portinari. The former UDA commander tells his life story and eventual arrest for possession of weapons with intent to supply persons unknown.

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UDA Commander & Loyalist Gunrunner | Frank Portinari

On Bank Holiday Monday, 31st May 1993. I was arrested in Birmingham by armed police officers. I was subsequently charged with possession of weapons. There was also a second charge of possession with intent to supply persons unknown, with intent to endanger the lives of persons unknown. After pleading guilty, I was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment by Birmingham Crown Court. My sentence began as a Category A prisoner in HMP Winson Green. At the time of my arrest, I was the O/C (Officer Commanding) Ulster Defence Association London Brigade. On release from​ prison I engaged in many discussions regarding the structuring of the peace process. On Wednesday 18th May 2011. I was sitting in the National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin. I had been invited by Her Majesty the Queen. The transition had been made.

Transcript snippet from ‘UDA Commander & Loyalist Gunrunner | Frank Portinari’ podcast.

Chris and Frank

C – Hi Frank, how are you mate?

F – I’m good Chris, thanks for asking. I hope you’re well also.

C – Yeah, I mean, even when I’m not I don’t tend to complain these days.

F – Good tip that in all fairness, I do try.

C – I find dwelling on stuff only makes it worse doesn’t it?

F – My wife describes me as a bit, well very complex. Which is ok when it’s positive, it’s not too good when it’s negative.

C – I think we’re all a bit complex, especially those of us who have a story to tell.

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