A GLASGOW public house bombed by Protestant terrorists 20 years ago was hit by a fire-raising attack yesterday, almost a year after the leader of the gang involved in the bombing died.

Extensive damage was caused to the Olde Burnt Barns, Calton, after burning matter was apparently pushed into the empty lounge bar yesterday morning.

The owner, Mr John Lynch, claimed yesterday that the fire was started deliberately to mark the anniversary of the death of William Campbell.

Campbell, said to be the UVF's overseas commander, was given sentences in 1979 totalling 62 years, for a string of terrorism offences related to the bombing of the Olde Barns and another Glasgow bar, now demolished.

Newspapers carried in memoriam notices on Thursday from Bill Campbell's family and friends, one marked ''sadly missed - from all his friends in Ulster''. He died on January 8, 1997.

Mr Lynch, who claims to receive threatening telephone calls and postcards on a regular basis, said yesterday: ''It was the anniversary of Bill Campbell's death last night. This is no coincidence. I have had a few run-ins with Campbell and that fire is for him, certainly. I know it is. Just to mark the death. He was the ringleader, he was their commander.''

The blaze was noticed by a passing police car. Mr Lynch said: ''If they hadn't seen it, and they believe it was only minutes after it started, then the whole place would be gone.''

The rear of the bar was extensively damaged. Staff were yesterday trying to clear the smoke-damaged public bar area to the front of the bar, which is on London Road.

Though not convicted of taking part in the bombings in 1979, Campbell was one of nine men found guilty of a total of 109 charges linked to the UVF. Described as the gang's leader, his arrest followed the bombing of the Olde Barns and the Clelland Bar which sparked a police investigation which was said to have virtually destroyed the UVF in Scotland.

Campbell was given concurrent sentences of 15 years for conspiracy, 16 for explosives offences and 31 years for other offences, including furthering the aims of the UVF by criminal means.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police confirmed yesterday that the cause of the fire was being treated as suspicious. Strathclyde Fire Brigade said investigations into the blaze, which they believe to have been started deliberately, were continuing.