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Dublin: 5 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

Man was attacked by gang of at least five, stabbed 11 times and left to die on street

Police in Belfast have arrested six people as part of the investigation into Ian Ogle’s murder.

Floral tributes left near the scene in east Belfast where Ian Ogle was murdered on Sunday night.
Floral tributes left near the scene in east Belfast where Ian Ogle was murdered on Sunday night.
Image: Rebecca Black/PA Wire/PA Images

POLICE INVESTIGATING THE murder of a 45-year-old man in Belfast last weekend have released further information about the killing.

Father-of-two Ian Ogle was killed at Cluan Place in East Belfast on Sunday.

The PSNI’s Major Investigation Team today renewed their public appeal for information.

Ogle, a community worker, was attacked just before 9.30pm on Sunday by a group of at least five men. During the incident, which police described as “brutal”, his skull was fractured and he was “savagely stabbed 11 times in the back before being left to die on the street”.

Police have arrested six people as part of their investigation. Five people – three men aged 31, 45 and 49 and two women aged 35 and 36, have been released on bail pending further enquiries. A 21-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in police custody.

The PSNI said they are “actively pursuing others”, have conducted 14 searches, visited nearly 200 premises and are viewing more than 70 hours of CCTV footage.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy extended his sympathies to Ogle’s family, calling his injuries “horrific”.

“Ian’s murder has not only disgusted the entire community, it has left his wife, two children and wider family circle completely devastated,” Murphy said.

Fight at fastfood outlet 

Police believe the events leading up to Ogle’s murder began on the Beersbridge Road at around 8.45pm on Sunday, when an altercation took place outside a fast food outlet. The exact circumstances of that incident are still unconfirmed, but police believe Ogle was present.

Shortly before 9.30pm, Ogle’s killers parked a black Seat Leon, registration number JGZ 7406, in Langtry Court, just off Templemore Avenue. They then walked the short distance to Cluan Place.

After the attack, they returned to Templemore Avenue. Police said some of the killers got into the car and others dispersed on foot from Langtry Court, through the houses. The car was driven along Templemore Avenue, into Major Street and onto the lower Newtownards Road, before being left at Pitt Place.

Murphy said he deliberately decided not to publicise descriptions of those involved.

“People’s perceptions of clothing and descriptions differ and I don’t want to lose valuable witness evidence. Instead, I am interested in events…

There has been widespread speculation about the motive for Ian’s murder. Only those who were involved know how they sought to justify a family man being brutally murdered in the street. I want to be clear – there was no justification for the murder of Ian Ogle.

Possible UVF link 

Murphy confirmed that one line of enquiry being explored is that Ogle, a prominent loyalist, was murdered by “individuals who were members of East Belfast UVF”.

He said it is too early in the investigation to establish the veracity of statements about the murder purported to be from the Ulster Volunteer Force.

In a statement to the Irish News, the UVF condemned the attack and said those who carried it out “did not do it in the name of loyalism or the UVF”. 

Murphy appealed for witnesses to contact police, saying Ogle’s murder was “an attack on the fabric of the community”.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact police via the phone number 101, referencing 1303 of 27/1/19, or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Órla Ryan

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