Northern Ireland

Campaigner McCord blames UVF for Shankill Road murder

Bobby Moffett
Image caption Police said the murder of Bobby Moffett was cold-blooded and ruthless

The UVF was behind the murder of a man on Belfast's Shankill Road, according to a victims campaigner.

Bobby Moffett, 43, who was believed to have strong connections with the UVF, was shot dead on Friday afternoon by two masked gunmen.

Raymond McCord, whose son was murdered by the paramilitary group 13 years ago, said Mr Moffett's family told him they wanted the area to be free of the UVF.

"Nobody else had problems with Bobby Moffett except for the UVF," he said.

"People are well aware that Bobby Moffett's crime to the UVF was attempting to defend his family."

Two men, aged 35 and 25, are still in custody being questioned by police about the killing.

'Serious consequences'

The leader of the Progressive Unionist Party, which has links to the UVF, said she was concerned that illegal weapons were still available.

Dawn Purvis said the UVF had made clear they had destroyed all weapons under their control and the killing could have serious consequences.

"The UVF in their decommissioning statement last year had made clear that they had destroyed everything that was under their control," she said.

"Now, if individuals have held on to weapons, then they know the consequences of that because the decommissioning legislation fell in February and anyone caught with any weapons is liable to the full force of the law."

At least two masked gunmen wearing fluorescent jackets shot Mr Moffett at the corner of Conway Street and the Shankill Road, and he died in hospital.

Police do not believe the shooting was sectarian. There is speculation that Mr Moffett may have been involved in a fight with a member of the UVF in recent days - but this may have been a personal dispute rather than anything to do with the organisation.

More on this story