Murder of Catholic claimed as revenge for Wright killing

 

The Catholic father of two murdered outside a Belfast night-club at the weekend has been praised by political and community leaders on both sides of the Northern divide for his cross-community work with young people.

Mr Terry Enright (28) died after being shot twice by loyalist gunmen shortly after midnight on Saturday at the night-club where he worked as a doorman.

The Loyalist Volunteer Force yesterday claimed responsibility for the murder, saying it was in retaliation for the killing of its leader, Billy Wright.

Mr Enright, from Upper Whiterock Road in west Belfast, was married to a niece of the Sinn Fein president, Mr Gerry Adams, and the club was owned by a sister-in-law of Mr David Ervine, leader of the Progressive Unionist Party. Catholics and Protestants worked at the club.

Mr Ervine said yesterday he had "absolutely no doubt" that the LVF attacked the club because of his family's connections with it.

"A fine young man has lost his life, caused by some obscure group of headcases receiving political direction from anonymous but respectable politicians in order to damage my political philosophies and attitudes," Mr Ervine said.

Mr Enright, who was an outdoor pursuits instructor, worked full-time with the cross-community Upper Springfield Development Trust in west Belfast. He had taken on the extra work during the Christmas season in the Space night-club in Talbot Street to pay for renovations to his home. Saturday was the last night he was due to work there.

Mr Enright was the father of two daughters, aged five and two. Last night his widow, Deirdre, issued a statement saying the murder was a terrible blow to her, their children, the family and the community, Catholic and Protestant.

Mrs Enright said her husband was murdered only because he was a Catholic and a nationalist. "The gutless killers who gunned him down have killed somebody very special. Unlike them, he was working tirelessly to bring about peace, community harmony and a better life for all, especially for young people," she said.

On Saturday night two gunmen in a red Ford Sierra pulled up outside the nightclub. One gunman fired at the doorman from inside the car, while the other fired over the roof.

Mr Enright was hit in the chest and the stomach as he tried to run from his killers. He died a short time later at the Mater Hospital. The car was found abandoned in a loyalist area of east Belfast.

Yesterday friends left flowers and cleaned the pavement where the shooting had taken place. A card signed "A Protestant friend" said: "The pathetic and Godless bunch who did this have no concept of the fact that you gave 100 per cent to all who you came into contact with, whether Protestant or Catholic."

Friends were angry that media reports linked Mr Enright with Mr Adams because he was married to his niece. "It's sickening because it's almost like giving a justification for the killing. Terry was in no way political. He couldn't have worked on the Shankill Road if he was," said one.

In Gort na Mona GAA club in west Belfast, where Mr Enright played football and hurling and trained the camogie team, members said they had lost the club's "big brother". "He was just a lovely, lovely fellow. People are walking around in circles here today. They have taken the heart out of this club," said its chairman, Mr Liam Mackel.

The club later issued a statement saying Mr Enright was "a tireless cross-community worker, whose aim in life was to make sure that young deprived people did not stray to the unacceptable environments that are known to this working-class community".

Mr Billy Hutchinson, a leading member of the Progressive Unionist Party, had worked with Mr Enright, and said he was "gutted" by the attack. "Terry's job was to ensure his peers didn't get into any trouble and this is how he was rewarded. I just can't believe it," he said.

Mr Gerry Adams said the fact that Mr Enright was married to his niece should not be used as an excuse for the killing, and that he was "a valued member of the community".

A man from north Belfast in his 20s was being treated in hospital last night for gunshot wounds to both knees. He was attacked by a group of men at around 3 p.m. yesterday while he was visiting a flat in the west of the city.

The other people in the flat were held captive in another room and the man was beaten for two hours before he was shot.