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Woman who passed information to terror gang before murder says ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’

And today she speaks for the first time about her conviction for handing information to Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair’s notorious UDA ‘C’ Coy.

She is former Ulster Defence Regiment Greenfinch Joanne Garvin, who was convicted of passing on sensitive information to Protestant paramilitary killers.

Garvin was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years for stealing documents from the Army.

‘C’ Coy used the information to target 30-year-old Terry McDaid who was gunned to death in his own home.

This week, the Sunday World tracked down former UDR member Greenfinch Joanne Garvin to her home in north Belfast.

Now 56, she explained how her life took a sharp downturn after she was arrested by the RUC on the parade ground at Girdwood Barracks in north Belfast.

And four years ago Garvin suffered a heart attack which doctors say was caused through stress brought on by her involvement with the terrorist group.

In an incredible interview with the Sunday World, she reveals how exactly she got involved with the deadly terror gang and how it ruined her life. But she is adamant she has nothing to apologise for.

And she also reveals that as soon as she heard that Mr McDaid had been murdered, she immediately knew the killer gang had killed an innocent Catholic.

She told us: “My daddy passed away three years ago, but he never really got over it, because we were all military.

“My granddad had been in the First and Second World Wars and my daddy was a colour sergeant in the Engineers. My sister was in the UDR and I followed her into it. I joined when I was 18.

“Although I was part-time UDR, I worked with the full-timers and I had a great life in the UDR.

“What happened was my friend was going with Cameron Hastie and I used to sign other friends into Girdwood to go to the Army disco. And one night Cameron gave me an envelope and he said to me, ‘Give that to the taxi driver’ – which I did.

“There were people in the taxi depot who were connected and he must have known that.

“And then I got arrested while I was on parade in Girdwood. That’s how it all started.

“I was taken to Castlereagh and I was held for 10 days. And for the first three days, my mummy and daddy didn’t know where I was.

“When I was arrested, my mummy had brown hair and when she and daddy met me at Townhall Street Courthouse where I got bail, her hair had turned white with stress.

“It broke my heart,” she said.

But the north Belfast woman believes she got a raw deal because she was young at the time and didn’t know what the envelope contained.

“I hold my head up, because I never really did anything. It was one bit of paper which did it.

“I’m probably saying too much here, but I liked Cameron Hastie. He was good company. I don’t want to talk about the ins and outs of it, because there’s really nothing more to tell.

“At the end of the day, I don’t have anything to be ashamed of. I didn’t do anything wrong.

“I didn’t know Terry McDaid. I didn’t know his name was in the envelope. I didn’t know who he was.

“I couldn’t tell you who I gave it to. I gave it to a taxi driver. But I only did it because Cameron Hastie told me to.

“But as for knowing who the fellow was, I didn’t know. And I didn’t know who UDA was and who UVF was.

“It was all a long time ago. I no longer have anything to do with the Army and the whole thing devastated my mummy. But it’s not talked about any more.

“I never heard from Cameron Hastie ever again. And I was hoping this would never come back to haunt me, but it has,” she said.

This week the Sunday World learned that after Terry McDaid’s name was given to the UDA through Corporal Hastie and Garvin, it was then passed on to Brian Nelson, a British Military Intelligence agent operating as a UDA Intelligence Officer.

Nelson carried out a series of checks, including cross-referencing electoral rolls. And it was he who supplied the UDA with Terry McDaid’s Newington Street address.

An entry in Nelson’s diary reveals he regretted his mistake because it led to the death of an innocent man.

Terry McDaid’s wife Maura died a number of years ago after contracting cancer.

Her daughter sued the Ministry of Defence and was eventually awarded £50,000 in compensation.

On May 10, 1988, Maura McDaid had just put her children to bed.

Normally Maura said bedside prayers along with the youngsters. But on this occasion, she told them: “Say a quick Hail Mary. Then close your eyes and go to sleep. You’ve school in the morning.”

At that, she hurried back downstairs to the living room of the family’s terraced house in Newington Street.

It was a Tuesday evening. And as usual, her husband Terry’s parents had called round to see their grandchildren.

The grown-ups had just settled down to watch News at Ten when a horrendous noise filled their ears.

Maura stared at her husband Terry in disbelief. And within seconds two men dressed completely in black were standing beside them in the living room.

They were both armed and began firing immediately. Maura’s mum-in-law was wounded in the leg. In a desperate attempt to save her family, Maura lifted the pipe of her vacuum cleaner and struck one of gunmen on the arm.

He turned the gun on Maura and pulled the trigger twice. Miraculously, he missed.

But before they were finished, the gunmen – who were both from the UFF’s notorious ‘C’ Coy – shot Terry a total seven times and he died soon afterwards.

A British/Irish Rights Watch report – seen by the Sunday World– names Terry McDaid’s killers as Sam ‘Skelly’ McCrory and another well-known C ‘Coy’ member.

And this was confirmed to the Sunday Worldthis week by BBC Panorama reporter John Ware, who has written and broadcast extensively about the Northern Ireland conflict for over 50 years.

An RUC investigation into the murder of Terry McDaid revealed that Hastie of the Royal Scots Regiment had given an envelope containing personal details about the McDaid family to Garvin.

And in turn Garvin gave the envelope to a man she knew was connected to Protestant paramilitaries.

Hastie and Garvin were later arrested and charged with stealing documents from the Army. The envelope contained details which could have been of assistance to terrorists.

And after being convicted in a Diplock non-jury court, both were sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years.

Army top brass forced Garvin to resign from the UDR. And this week she told the Sunday World she never again managed to secure proper employment.

“I suffered badly as a result of all this. I was forced out of the Army and I suffered from stress,” she said.

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