- 07 Oct 17
His encounter with the notorious UDA Company C leader is one of the most remarkable interviews ever published in Hot Press...
Once upon a time a troubled time, Johnny Adair was one of the most wanted men in Belfast. Nowadays, he’s probably one of the least wanted.
When his autobiography, Mad Dog, was published in 2007, I travelled to Scotland to interview the notorious former UDA paramilitary. Adair met myself and Hot Press photographer Graham Keogh at Glasgow Airport. He had recently lost his license for drink driving. His trusted lieutenant Ian Truesdale – former owner of the Belfast taxi firm informally known as ‘Murder Cabs’ (so named because, as Adair once quipped, the only Catholics to travel in his cabs were “dead ones”) – drove us all to the seaside town of Troon in a silver Vauxhall.
Adair bombarded me with questions throughout the drive. Where did I get a name like Olaf? Where did I live? Who was the most famous person I’d ever interviewed? Had I met Bono? What was he like? Was he a bit of a dickhead or was he alright? Had I ever met Oasis? Were they snorting coke during the interview? What countries had I travelled to?