Northern Ireland

Ian Ogle murder: Further arrests in investigation

Ian Ogle Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Ian Ogle had acted as a spokesman for the loyalist community

One man has been released after being questioned in relation to the murder of Ian Ogle.

A 49-year-old man arrested on Wednesday has been freed on bail, while a 21-year-old man remains in custody.

Mr Ogle was assaulted and killed in Cluan Place in east Belfast at about 21:00 GMT on Sunday. Two men and two women arrested earlier over the murder have been released on bail.

The 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption A large vigil was held on Wednesday at the site of Mr Ogle's murder

Meanwhile Mr Ogle's family has thanked the public for their support, including people from across the east Belfast peace line in the Short Strand.

Dozens of floral tributes have been placed at the murder scene.

"We just can't believe the support we're getting from both sides of the community. It's amazing," family friend Roberta Hart told BBC News NI.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption The family of Ian Ogle led a procession from Cluan Place to the junction with Albertbridge Road followed by bands

Mr Ogle had acted as a spokesman for the loyalist community and took part in a meeting of the loyalist Ulster People's forum in 2013.

On Thursday, the former Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and All-Ireland Primate described the murder as "vicious, savage and barbaric".

In April last year, at the request of three loyalist paramilitary organisations, Reverend Alan Harper read a joint statement to the press, in which the groups said they rejected all forms of criminality.

Expressing shock at the attack on Mr Ogle, Reverend Harper said: "No words of mine are sufficient to express the horror I feel and my deep sympathy and heartfelt prayers to God go out for Mr Ogle's family in their grief," he said.

"In my opening remarks before reading the loyalist 'Declaration of Transformation', I said transformation will not be plain sailing.

Image caption In April 2018, Reverend Alan Harper, centre, read a loyalist statement condemning violence

"There may be setbacks. Perverse individuals may act or react in perverse ways.

"The declaration laid heavy emphasis on the complete repudiation of all criminal activity. The murder of Mr Ogle is a challenge to that declaration, as are other reported criminal acts attributed to loyalists.

"The people responsible for Mr Ogle's murder must be held accountable and it is every citizen's duty to support the authorities in that task."

'Progress'

Reverend Harper added that he continued to believe that "those leaders with whom I and others have been working are sincere in their determination to achieve peaceful social transformation".

"I also believe that slow but significant progress is being made," he said.

On Wednesday, Mr Ogle's family led a procession from Cluan Place to the junction with Albertbridge Road as part of a vigil in tribute to him.

On Tuesday his daughter, Toni Johnston, said he had been subject to a campaign of intimidation.

She said her family had been "terrorised" for 18 months.

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Media captionToni Johnston said her father Ian Ogle was living in fear for 18 months

In a statement on Monday, the east Belfast Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) said it "wholeheartedly condemned" the murder.

Ms Johnston said she believed her father may have been targeted after her brother was involved in an incident in a bar with men claiming to be from the UVF 18 months ago.

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