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Cold case: PSNI re-opens probe into murder of mother-of-two at loyalist club

Police say Lorraine McCausland was “brutally raped” and “savagely beaten”.

Exterior of Tyndale club
Exterior of Tyndale club
Image: PSNI

THE PSNI HAS re-opened an investigation into the murder of Lorraine McCausland, who died in north Belfast in 1987.

The mother-of-two had been on a night out in a loyalist club at Tyndale, before her body was found beside a stream in the Forthriver area in the early hours of 8 March 1987.

Detective Inspector, Michelle Griffin, said in a statement: “It is our assessment that Lorraine had been enjoying a night out with friends and ended up in a loyalist drinking club at Tyndale.

“We believe she was raped in the club and later savagely beaten inside and outside the premises before her partially clothed body was dumped on open ground beside a nearby river.”

The police are launching a public appeal for anyone who was in the club on the night of Saturday 7 March 1987 to come forward.

Lorraine McCausland Lorraine McCausland Source: PSNI

“This was the merciless beating of a vulnerable young woman,” Griffin stated. “It would have had a lasting impact on the people who witnessed these events 29 years ago.”

In total, 14 people were arrested in connection with the murder but no one has yet been charged.

Griffin believes that fear is the main reason that no one has yet come forward with crucial information regarding the murder.

“The shadow of loyalist paramilitarism hangs over this case. I believe people have been reluctant to tell the truth about that night, what they saw and heard, what they know, because they are frightened.”

lorraine mccausland The scene were Lorraine's body was found. Source: PSNI

Griffin said that she understood the reluctance of potential witnesses to come forward, but indicated that the PSNI would do everything in their power to provide a mechanism to enable people to come forward in safety and confidence.

She added: “Times have changed, people and personalities have changed. I would ask those people who have information to ask themselves if they are now in a position to help a victim and her family get the truth and secure justice.”

In 2005, the BBC reported that McCausland’s son, Craig, had been shot dead. Police said the killing was due to tensions within loyalist factions.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives from Serious Crime Branch on the non-emergency 101 number. Alternatively, people who do not wish to leave their personal details can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Read: ‘Object of interest’ found in exhumation of Troubles victim

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Sean Murray

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