Belfast Telegraph

PSNI 'must do more' to tackle east Belfast UVF, says Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly

Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly has called on the PSNI "to do more" to tackle the criminal activities of the east Belfast UVF following the brutal murder of Ian Ogle.

Mr Ogle (45) was viciously attacked by up to five men on Cluan Place in the east of the city at around 9pm on Sunday. He later died of his injuries.

Detectives investigating the murder arrested a 49-year-old man on Wednesday. He has been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for questioning. Two men, aged 31 and 45, and two women, aged 35 and 36, arrested in connection with the murder were released on Tuesday.

Mr Ogle's daughter Toni has said her family had been living under threat from the east Belfast UVF for 18 months. She also revealed that her brother Ryan and father had been ordered to come forward to receive a "punishment attack" following an incident at a bar in 2017.

The UVF has denied any involvement in the killing, which it has "wholeheartedly condemned".

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Ian Ogle’s daughter Toni

A Sinn Fein delegation, including the party's policing spokesman Gerry Kelly, met with senior PSNI officers including the head of the paramilitary crime task force on Wednesday and raised Mr Ogle's murder and the criminal activities of the UVF.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Kelly said: "Sinn Fein condemned unreservedly Sunday’s brutal murder of east Belfast man Ian Ogle.

“We called for appropriate arrangements to be put in place to ensure the safety of other members of this man’s family, which has been the target of intimidation over a long period of time by people linked to the UVF.

“The PSNI must do all in its power to wind up the UVF and other armed gangs, which have been involved in murder, pipe bombings, intimidation, arson, drug dealing and extortion over recent years.  I said the PSNI must do more to tackle these gangs and other armed groups."

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Victim Ian Ogle who was brutally attacked

Mr Kelly said senior officers told him tackling the criminal activities of the east Belfast UVF was one of a number of priority investigations for the paramilitary crime task force.

He added: "The murder of Ian Ogle is the latest in a line of attacks carried out by loyalist paramilitaries. That is wrong. It is unacceptable.

"There is also a huge responsibility on political leadership to challenge the very existence of these paramilitary groups more than 20 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.

“These organisations are a scourge on many communities. The violence, intimidation, extortion and drug dealing they are involved in needs to be confronted and condemned at every turn.

“The leaderships of political unionism should be unequivocal in calling for the UVF and other paramilitary groups to disband immediately.”

The PSNI has been contacted for comment.

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