Editor's Viewpoint: Mindless thugs are a blight on society
If some people believe that the murder of Glen Quinn by UDA members in Carrickfergus at the weekend was an isolated incident, they need to think again.
On January 27 last year, Ian Ogle was brutally murdered by UVF members in east Belfast, but his family is still being tortured by intimidation and threats.
Courageously the family refuses to be silent and in an article in today’s paper Margaret Elliott — Ian’s mother — hits out at the graffiti and other threats.
She said: “These people are graffiti cowards and some of them can’t even spell.
“If they think that they are going to lower us to their level, they won’t. We will be strong and we will all stand together because we want our day in court.
“We will put our head high and they won’t intimidate us.”
Ian’s mother described the continued grieving for her son and how much he was missed at Christmas by the entire family.
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She said: “We all loved him in a different way and we all miss him in a different way.”
In April 2018 the UVF, the UDA and the Red Hand Commando made a grandiose statement in which they pledged themselves to walk away from crime.
So far they have not done so and their empty words are still there to shame them.
These despicable gangs continue to terrorise and to exploit the local communities which they hypocritically claim to protect and, despite their widely publicised claims to stop their criminality, they continue to carry out their appalling deeds.
At the moment there is no sign that the law and order authorities are making any significant headway in solving this grave social problem.
These thugs do not have the support of the vast majority of local people who loathe what they do and last year hundreds of people turned up publicly to support the Ogle family in their time of great need.
It is depressing that the police seem incapable of stopping such behaviour and the east Belfast thugs can continue to terrorise and leech their working-class Belfast communities apparently at will.
Against such a background the courage of Margaret Elliott and her family in speaking out is commendable.
Our thoughts are with them.