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Knife killer Francisco Notarantonio scraps with victim's son

The Falls Road brawl was caught on video.

Gerard Devlin Jnr (white vest top) fight fighting with Francisco Noterantionio (Green jumper and shorts) on the Falls Road on Friday 3rd January 2020.
Gerard Devlin Jnr (white vest top) fight fighting with Francisco Noterantionio (Green jumper and shorts) on the Falls Road on Friday 3rd January 2020.
Ciaran Barnes

By Ciaran Barnes

A KNIFE killer was involved in a daylight fistfight with the son of the man he stabbed to death.

Traffic on the Falls Road in west Belfast came to a standstill when Francisco Notarantonio, who was jailed for 11 years for the manslaughter of Gerard Devlin, attacked his son Gerard Devlin Jnr.

The pair brawled for over a minute near the City Cemetery before being pulled apart by members of the public.

A witness to the fight described Notarantonio (32) as the aggressor, describing how he got out of a van to attack Devlin (30) who was crossing the road with his girlfriend and kids.

Francisco Notarantonio Alan Lewis - Photopress Belfast 17/9/2008
Francisco Notarantonio Alan Lewis - Photopress Belfast 17/9/2008

"Franco got out of the van shouting abuse at young Devlin, the two of them then squared up and got stuck into each other," explained the witness.

"Devlin was pre-occupied with keeping his kids get safe who were walking beside him."

Onlookers pulled the men apart after they ended up brawling on the pavement. Some drivers even stopped to film the fight, the footage of which is now in the hands of the PSNI.

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Inspector Karen Hamill said: "Police received a report at approximately 12:15pm on Friday, 3rd January of an altercation involving two males on the Falls Road in west Belfast, close to the junction of Donegall Road. There were no reports of any injuries."

Despite taking place 14 years ago the killing of Gerard Devlin Snr continues to cause deep division in west Belfast.

After the fatal stabbing associates of the Notarantonios and Devlins became involved in a violent feud that forced dozens of people to leave their homes in the Ballymurphy estate.

Without a father figure, Gerard Devlin's children went off the rails with sons Gerard Jnr, Gary and Ryan all jailed at some point.

Gerard Jnr has managed to get his life back on track, settling down with his girlfriend and children.

This was after he was jailed for stealing the £5,700 life savings of an elderly woman from west Belfast.

Gerard Devlin who was stabbed to death outside his home.
Gerard Devlin who was stabbed to death outside his home.

Francisco Notarantonio, who has also been in trouble with the police since serving his jail sentence for manslaughter, now lives in an apartment block on the edge of east Belfast.

Witnesses to his recent fight with Devlin Jnr told Sunday Life that it was a totally random encounter, and not pre-planned.

"They just happened across each other," said one onlooker.

The family of fatal stab victim Gerard Devlin (above) is currently suing Notarantonio and four of his relatives who were each convicted of affray offences connected to the February 2006 killing.

A civil action in the names of his children and partner seeking damages is currently before the High Court in Belfast.

Solicitor Kevin Winters said previously in the High Court: "Unfortunately, yet again we see a family having to resort to the civil courts to seek justice for the killing of a loved one in circumstances where they feel badly let down by the criminal justice system.

"The family were deprived of a full and open judicial oversight on what happened when Gerard Devlin was killed, and that's a key reason why the case is being taken."

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