Northern Ireland

Hundreds attend vigil for murdered loyalist Moffett

vigil
Image caption Hundreds of people attended the vigil on Shankill Road

Hundreds of people have attended a vigil for murdered loyalist Bobby Moffett ahead of his funeral on Friday.

Mr Moffett, 43, was shot dead by masked men on the Shankill Road last Friday.

The crowd gathered on the road where he was killed. His sister, Irene Moffett, said she does not know how her family will cope.

"With the strength of our whole family we will get through it together, and with the strength of the people that've been here, we will."

On Thursday police said they were investigating whether the murder of Mr Moffett was sanctioned by the UVF leadership.

Tensions have been rising in the area since the shooting which has locally been blamed on the UVF. Mr Moffett's mother also blamed the paramilitary group.

Several people have said they have been threatened and warned not to attend the funeral.

On Wednesday evening Dawn Purvis stepped down as leader of the Progressive Unionist Party in protest at Mr Moffett's murder.

Earlier this week Ms Purvis had called for an end to intimidation on the Shankill Road.

Speaking at the time as party leader, she said the party supported people's right to attend Mr Moffett's funeral without fear.

There is speculation that Mr Moffett may have been involved in a fight with a member of the UVF, but this may have been a personal dispute.

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