Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

UVF thugs threaten friends of Bulgaria drowning victim James Kelly: 'Stay away from funeral'

James Kelly on holiday in Bulgaria.
James Kelly on holiday in Bulgaria.
James Kelly with with partner Courtney Holmes and daughter Kierson
James Kelly with his mother Lily
James Kelly with his mother Lily

UVF thugs have been warning friends of drowning victim James Kelly not to attend his funeral on Wednesday.

And the twisted ghouls continue to torment his family by leaving a rubber ring, disguised as a wreath, at the spot on the Shankill Road where his uncle Bobby Moffett was murdered by the terror gang four years ago.

The sick insult was removed by members of the Kelly family last week, the day before James' body was flown home from Bulgaria.

The 25-year-old, who drowned minutes after getting off a pedalo boat in the Black Sea at the Sunny Beach resort, is now being waked from his devastated mum Lily's Canmore Street home ahead of his funeral on Wednesday.

The Shankill Road is expected to come to a standstill with hundreds of mourners turning out to pay their last respects.

Speaking yesterday, a heartbroken Lily told Sunday Life: “James' body will be returned to the family home on Sunday, and his funeral will be on Wednesday.”

She was too upset to continue speaking, having lost her son James, mother Susan, and brother Bobby Moffett, all within the space of four years.

Family friend and victims campaigner Raymond McCord added: “The Kelly family is still being tormented by the UVF.

“A couple of sickos left a rubber ring |disguised as a wreath at the spot where Bobby Moffett was murdered, and the UVF has been threatening friends of James not to go to his funeral.

“The intimidation won't work though, because hundreds of people will turn out to pay their respects.”

Raymond revealed the Kelly family would “love” to see unionist politicians among the mourners.

He said: “The Kellys have been tortured by the UVF for the past four years.

“If unionist politicians attended James' funeral it would sent out a strong message to paramilitaries that their violence has no support.”

Tragic James Kelly, who suffered from epilepsy, had gone to Bulgaria with his partner Courtney Holmes for a much-needed holiday to escape the UVF thugs who were targeting his family.

In 2010 he was ordered out of Northern Ireland by the terror gang who also attacked his mum Lily's home.

Enraged by the cowardly intimidation of his sister and nephew, Bobby Moffett confronted two UVF leaders and warned them to leave his family alone.

A month later he was shot

dead in broad daylight on the Shankill Road in front of |horrified shoppers.

After the Moffett murder the UVF continued to attack Lily Kelly's house on Canmore Street.

In January 2012 her son James was battered mercilessly by members of the group, who left him for dead with a gaping head wound.

For the past two years the dad of one had been keeping a low profile, and his holiday to Bulgaria last month was an attempt to escape the intimidation.

But tragedy was to strike the Kelly family again when James suffered a suspected seizure while walking along the beach.

He was swept out to sea and drowned in front of his horrified girlfriend Courtney.

His mum Lily flew out to Bulgaria last week to bring her son's body back to Northern Ireland.

She was aided by the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust — a charity set up by the family of Newry man Kevin Bell, killed in a hit and run in New York last year.

His relatives give financial assistance to the families of people from Ireland, north and south, who die abroad.

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