Man dies after ‘barbaric’ assault in east Belfast

PSNI launches murder investigation into attack at Cluan Place

Police at the scene in Belfast where a 45-year-old, named as Ian Ogle, was murdered near Cluan Place on Sunday night. Photograph: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

Police at the scene in Belfast where a 45-year-old, named as Ian Ogle, was murdered near Cluan Place on Sunday night. Photograph: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

 

The victim of a “horrific” murder in a busy street in Belfast has been named as Ian Ogle.

The 45-year-old well-known loyalist was seriously assaulted near Cluan Place on Sunday night, police said. Local representatives said he was highly regarded for his community work.

Detectives from the PSNI Serious Crime Branch began a murder investigation. The crime scene is along a main arterial road into the city centre. Police tape stretched for a considerable distance and the pavement where the attack happened was closed to pedestrians.

Ulster Unionist councillor Sonia Copeland said she “was absolutely shocked to learn of the murder”. Ms Copeland said the victim was a devoted family man and father-of-two.

“I have known him for a number of years from involvement in work in and around Cluan Place and I know just how highly regarded he was by his local community and indeed much further afield.”

Police forensics officers searched the nearby Bridge Community Garden for clues, churning the soil using specialist equipment.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna said “We are continuing in our efforts to find those responsible for this brutal murder”. He said police were “ particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a group of men running in this area and I would also ask anyone with dash-cam footage to contact us.”

The Irish News reported that the east Belfast UVF “wholeheartedly condemned” the attack, saying “whoever did it did not do it in the name of loyalism or the UVF”. The newspaper said it had received a statement from the paramilitary organisation with a recoginsed codeword.

DUP Belfast city councillor George Dorrian described the attack as “horrific”.

“Horrible to think this should happen anywhere and no reason could ever justify what has happened in east Belfast,” he said. He said Mr Ogle was well-known and popular.

“It has been barbaric and the level of violence, the level that was used, was a disgrace,” Mr Dorrian told the BBC.

He added: “The focus at the minute has just been the level of violence, the level of what has occurred here, people just could not believe the sort of violence that was used upon this man.”

Detectives appealed for anyone with information who was in the area of Cluan Place, Albertbridge Road or Templemore Avenue between 9pm and 10pm on Sunday night to make contact.–PA