Belfast Telegraph

Paramilitary murders jumped from one to three over last two years

Journalist Lyra McKee was killed by dissidents, while the INLA was blamed for the shooting of Jim Donegan, and Loyalists killed Ian Ogle.

CCTV of a car bomb exploding outside the court house on Bishop Street in Londonderry (PSNI/PA)
CCTV of a car bomb exploding outside the court house on Bishop Street in Londonderry (PSNI/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

The number of murders carried out by terrorists in Northern Ireland has jumped from one to three across the last two years, police figures have recorded.

Dissident republicans were behind the killing of journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry in April 2019, and the INLA has been blamed for the fatal shooting of Jim Donegan outside a school in west Belfast in December 2018.

Loyalists are deemed responsible for the third murder of the last 12 months – that of community worker Ian Ogle in east Belfast in January 2019.

Journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead by dissident republican terrorists in Londonderry earlier this year (Chiho Tang/Oranga Creative/PA)

Comparatively there was just one security related death in the previous year, according to the PSNI’s Security Situation Statistics October 2018-September 2019.

It records the number of bombings between October 2018-September 2019 as remaining similar to the previous 12 months, dropping just slightly from 16 to 15.

Most of these happened either in Belfast or the Derry and Strabane area, including the bombing of Bishop Street court house in January 2019 which was claimed by the New IRA.

Dissidents were also blamed for an explosion near Wattlebridge, Co Fermanagh in August and a blast in Craigavon, Co Armagh in July – both of which the PSNI assessed as an attempt to kill police officers.

The security services have assessed that the level of threat from dissident republicans remains severe.

The latest security situation bulletin from the PSNI also records a decrease in the number of paramilitary style shootings, but notes an increase in the number of paramilitary style assaults.

Paramilitaries shot 17 people between October 2018-September 2019, down from 20 in the previous 12 months. Most of these incidents (11) happened in the Derry City and Strabane area.

There were 64 casualties following paramilitary style assaults, up from 55 in the previous 12 months. Most of these were carried out in Belfast (21) or the Antrim and Newtownabbey area (18).

Six of the victims of these attacks were aged under 18 years.

Ammunition technical officers near the scene in Tullygally Road, Craigavon, Co Armagh after an explosive device used by dissident republicans in a failed bid to kill police officers was discovered in July 2019. (Brian Lawless/PA)

Meanwhile, there were 178 arrests made under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act
2000, compared to 143 during the previous 12 months.

The number of people charged increased from 16 to 22 over the same period.



From Belfast Telegraph