Northern Ireland

Ian Ogle murder: Two more men released

Ian Ogle Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Ian Ogle had acted as a spokesman for the loyalist community

Two men who were being questioned about the murder of father-of-two Ian Ogle in east Belfast have been released on bail by police.

A 38-year-old man detained on Friday afternoon and a 36-year-old man arrested on Friday morning have both been released.

Mr Ogle was stabbed 11 times in the back and his skull was fractured.

In total nine people have been arrested in connection with the investigation, but none have been charged.

Six released

Meanwhile, it has been announced that Mr Ogle's funeral will take place in east Belfast on Monday morning.

His body was returned by hearse to his home in east Belfast on Friday.

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Mr Ogle's funeral will take place on Monday morning

Earlier this week, detectives investigating the murder arrested four men aged 21, 22, 31, 45 and 49 and two women aged 35 and 36.

All seven people were later released on bail pending further inquiries.

A gang of at least five men were involved in the attack, police have said.

The possible involvement of loyalist paramilitaries is being investigated.

On Thursday, Det Supt Jason Murphy told a press conference that "one line of enquiry is that Ian was murdered by individuals who were members of east Belfast UVF".

"The UVF have issued statements in relation to Ian's murder. It is too early in the investigation to establish the veracity of those," the officer added.

Beersbridge Road fight

On Wednesday, the Irish News published a statement which the paper said was issued by the east Belfast UVF.

The statement said the east Belfast UVF "wholeheartedly condemned" the murder and that "whoever did it, did not do it in the name of loyalism or the UVF".

Det Supt Murphy told reporters the 45-year-old father-of-two was "left to die on the street" and the murder had "disgusted the entire community".

BBC
Ian's murder was not just an attack on Ian - it was an attack on the fabric of the community.
Det Supt Jason Murphy
PSNI

He added that police believe the murder may be linked to a fight outside a fast food restaurant, which took place about 45 minutes before Mr Ogle was killed.

"I believe that the events leading up to Ian's murder began on the Beersbridge Road, at about 20:45 GMT on Sunday evening, when an altercation took place outside a fast food outlet.

"The exact circumstances of that incident are still developing, but I believe that Ian was there," Det Supt Murphy said.

Image caption Police carried out forensic searches in Pitt Place on the morning after the murder

CCTV footage

Officers have conducted 14 searches, visited nearly 200 premises and are viewing more than 70 hours of CCTV footage in a bid to bring the killers to justice.

Det Supt Murphy described Mr Ogle's murder as "not just an attack on Ian - it was an attack on the fabric of the community".

"Ian's killers have united the entire community in condemnation. Their fear tactics have not dissuaded the community from their resolute determination to see justice done," he said.

Image caption Floral tributes to Ian Ogle were left near the scene of his murder

The detective added: "If anything positive is to come from Ian's murder, it will be that the fear and intimidation that some people use to influence, has been starkly exposed to the community and condemned from every corner."

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