Category: Archive

Killings continue despite agreement

February 15, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST – Two loyalist murders. Two young Catholic men dead. Two families shattered by grief. The peace process may be on track, but the killing goes on.

The LVF, a vicious sectarian loyalist gang that claims God supports their murders, were behind both the murders, of 29-year-old Adrian Lamph and Ciaran Heffron, 22.

Loyalists are also being blamed for a no-warning bomb attack on a Catholic bar outside Armagh city at the weekend. At least one bomb was thrown at the back door of Steptoe’s Bar, but no one was hurt and damage was minimal.

Two of the four suspects being held by police for questioning about the murder of Heffron were spotted attending a rally campaigning for a “No” vote at May 22nd’s referendum, where DVP man Sammy Wilson was the main speaker.

The first victim, Lamph, was killed on April 21 as he worked in a council cleansing depot in Portadown, Co. Armagh. Police say he was “clinically executed” at close range by a gunman who cycled toward him in the yard.

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Heffron, a student, was shot dead as he walked home from a night out in his home village of Crumlin, Co. Antrim. His mother is dying of cancer and was due to be admitted to hospital on the morning he was found dead.

Both the Lamph and Heffron families have appealed for no retaliation. The archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Sean Brady, described the Lamph’s message as “inspirational.”

Lamph had a two-year-old son, June, and had planned to move into a new house shortly with his fiancee, Nichola McKee.

“Our overwhelming grief is mingled with a sense of anger and outrage,” the family’s statement said. “We cannot begin to understand the hatred and sectarianism which could drive anyone to commit such evil against someone who hated no one.”

Heffron’s body was found four days later, and about 15 miles away, in Crumlin, which has grown in size since Catholics began moving there due to a housing shortage in Belfast.

His brother, who did not want to be named, pleaded for no revenge, saying his family was in a state of shock. The dead man’s father became worried when he did not return home. He went to look for him, coming upon the police as they cordoned off the murder scene.

Heffron was a student and part-time barman at Aldergrove Airport. He had returned home to be with his family because his mother was about to undergo surgery for stomach cancer.

The LVF has sent death threats to people at Crumlin involved in a residents’ group opposing loyalist band parades in the village. Young people in the area complain of increased RUC harassment.

There are fears that the LVF is choosing to kill people in villages and towns where local nationalists are campaigning against Orange parades.

So far, Bellaghy, Portadown and Crumlin have been hit by loyalists, and there are fears that as the traditional summer marching season reaches its peak, there may be more killings.

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