UDA PLOTTED TO KILL KENNEDYS
Unionist paramilitaries planned to assassinate members of
America's most famous family nearly a decade ago when they
attended a miscarriage of justice hearing at a Belfast court
UDA leader Johnny Adair plotted to kill Courtney Kennedy, the
niece of President John F. Kennedy, in a rocket attack in
north Belfast as she travelled to the High Court with her
husband, Paul Hill.
Details of the plot have emerged following a feud which
isolated Adair's gang.
The plan to kill Courtney Kennedy and her husband was
developed when Paul Hill returned from America to attend an
appeal hearing to clear his name on a murder charge.
Hill, his wife, and other members of her family - including
her mother, Ethel, and her brother, Congressman Joe Kennedy -
stayed at a retreat house owned by the Catholic Church in
North Belfast during the two-week hearing.
Unknown to the Kennedys, Johnny Adair had taken a major
interest in the clan's high profile visit to Belfast and
planned to stage a spectacular attack primarily against Hill
and his wife Courtney.
The plan was to fire a rocket propelled grenade at the
limousine containing the couple and other Kennedy family
members as it slowed down at security ramps on their way to
But, while monitoring the Kennedy couple's regular route to
the court with his closest associate, William 'Winky' Dodds,
and selecting the men to carry out the sensational attack,
Adair made a fatal mistake.
On the third day of the hearing Adair himself caused a major
security alert when he was spotted in the Royal Courts of
Justice building where the appeal was being conducted.
Additional police patrols were assigned to monitor and escort
the high profile American entourage from the Antrim Road to
the court house for the remainder of their visit.
The security move thwarted Adair's plans and a month later, in
May 1994, Adair was arrested and charged with directing