|Suzanne Breen |
Billy Hutchinson is talking about murder. He was just 18 years old when he drove the car used in the double killing of half-brothers Michael Loughran and Edward Morgan.
It drew up beside them as they walked down the Falls Road to work at 7.30am. The teenage UVF gunman in the passenger seat opened fire. Michael was the same age as Hutchinson, Edward was nine years older.
A court later heard it was a random sectarian shooting by assassins who had toured Belfast looking for Catholics. Does the former paramilitary turned peacemaker think much about the lads whose life he helped end in October 1974?
"I don't," he says candidly. "When you're involved in conflict you have to dehumanise the enemy. It makes things easier if you have a coping mechanism in order to survive. Otherwise, you cause yourself problems."
Hutchinson's book, My Life In Loyalism, is published today. It's not the fake, folksy narrative for which Gerry Adams has been slated, but it does gloss over the brutality of the loyalist campaign.
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