Northern Ireland

Lorraine McCausland: Sister speaks about rape and murder of sibling

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Media captionCathy McIllvenny's sister was raped and murdered by people linked to the UDA

"Remember this was not a Troubles-related murder, this was a sexual attack and beating of a 23-year-old woman."

Cathy McIllvenny talks about her sister, Lorraine McCausland, who was raped and murdered in north Belfast almost 30 years ago.

The body of the mother-of-two was found beside a stream in Forthriver in 1987.

Lorraine had been for a night out and was last seen in a loyalist club at Tyndale.

Ms McIlvenny said her murder had "devastated" the whole family.

She was speaking as police announced on Wednesday that they had reopened an investigation into her murder.

Ms McIlvenny said the family have faith that police will secure convictions.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Police believe Lorraine was raped in the club before she was "savagely beaten" inside and outside and her body dumped

"This investigation has given us hope that we haven't had for the past 29 years," said Ms McIlvenny.


"We feel like we've got a good investigation going and we're going to have results out of it.

"If I was living with something like that on my conscience and it could be something very small, and you think it's not important, but everything's important."

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Police said Lorraine McCausland's murder was not sectarian

Police believe Lorraine was raped in the club before she was "savagely beaten" and her body dumped.

Det Insp Michelle Griffin from the PSNI's serious crime branch told a press conference that at the time of Lorraine's killing, the Tyndale community centre was used and run by loyalist paramilitaries groups, namely the UDA.

Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Det Insp Michelle Griffin said those involved in Lorraine's rape and murder were members of the UDA and close associated of the UDA

"This was not a sectarian murder," she said.

"There was no evidence they directed or sanctioned the murder, but we do believe that persons who were involved in her rape and murder were members of the UDA and close associates of the UDA."


Ms McIllvenny said the family had struggled in the years following Lorraine's death.

"To be honest, we never asked any questions about Lorraine's murder until my mother passed away in 2002 and then my father started investigations because he wanted answers," she said.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Lorraine McCausland's body was found beside a stream in Forthriver on 8 March 1987

"It was something that hung over the family that nobody could talk to each other about because it started somebody off crying or children heard it and it was only really in 2004/05 that we were able to look at Lorraine's case ourselves and that's when the ball started rolling."

She appealed for people to come forward and "clear your conscience".

"I'll never stop fighting until I get it (justice) for her. We do have a lot of faith in this team in actually bringing convictions for Lorraine's murder," she added.

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