Camp Twaddell: Who was the man behind the name?

Mark Devenport
Political editor, Northern Ireland
@markdevenporton Twitter


The Orange Order's "Camp Twaddell" has featured regularly in the news in recent weeks from gun attacks on police patrols nearby to a surprise visit by Russell Brand.

But how many people know the man after which Twaddell Avenue was named?

Thanks to a bit of down-time during the Haass talks and a brief conversation with the Ulster Unionist negotiator, Jeffrey Dudgeon, I can now share my new found knowledge about William Twaddell.

He was a draper and a unionist MP for West Belfast, who was shot dead in 1922 by the IRA in Garfield Street off Royal Avenue.

He is said to have been one of two leaders of a paramilitary force called the "Ulster Imperial Guards" which contemporary newspaper reports claimed to have more than 20,000 members.

William Twaddell's murder is credited as leading to the introduction of internment by James Craig's government.

Whilst his name is now associated with a dispute over a parade through north Belfast, his body lies at the scene of another famous marching confrontation - the graveyard at Drumcree Church near Portadown.

His headstone records that he was "foully murdered in Belfast".