Irish Republican News · July 12, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Brutal feud ‘execution’

An ongoing feud between unionist paramilitary organisations has left another man dead and another critically injured.

The ‘Ulster Volunteer Force’ was blamed for the murder of a 20-year-old Craig McCausland in north Belfast early yesterday morning while the breakaway ‘Loyalist Volunteer Force’ is thought responsible for seriously wounding a man in the same area less than two hours earlier.

Mr McCausland died after a three-man armed gang burst into his home at Dhu-Varren in north Belfast around 1.30 am yesterday. His partner and young baby were in the house when he was shot several times.

UVF gunmen have been blamed for what was described as a “ruthless execution”.

The attack was one of four shootings in less than 24 hours involving the UVF and its enemies in the breakaway Loyalist Volunteer Force.

The retaliation killing followed three earlier attacks blamed on the LVF.

In the most serious, a man in his 20s was shot several times as he walked his dogs past a unionist bonfire site on the Crumlin Road.

He was critically injured in the midnight shooting and underwent emergency surgery.

It also emerged that a mother and child escaped injury early on Sunday morning when shots were fired into a house on Silverstream Avenue and at a nearby address.

Several men on both sides have been killed as the mutual desire for supremacy and proceeds of crime sporadically erupts into all-out violence.

The latest attacks have been linked to a murder in the city earlier this month.

Jameson Lockhart was gunned down as he sat on a lorry in east Belfast on July 1.

The 25-year-old victim, who was from the north of the city and believed to have LVF connections, had been clearing rubble from the site of a demolished bar when the killers struck.

Senior UVF and LVF figures have tightened up their security as further attacks in this long-running UVF-LVF feud appeared likely.

Warning that tensions in north Belfast were at exceptional levels, Sinn Féin representative Gerry Kelly said: “History teaches us that feuds between loyalist gangs tend to end with attacks on Catholics”.

A loyalist source was reported to have said the UVF was determined to “wipe out” the LVF “once and for all” in north Belfast.

“This thing has gone on for years with various shootings on both sides, but now the LVF is down to the one family in Ballysillan,” the source said.

“The UVF has eliminated the LVF in Portadown and in east Belfast and now they are going to wipe out what’s left in Ballysillan.

“This has been coming for a very long time and there is little love lost on either side.

“I doubt if Craig McCausland will be the last fatality before this feud is over.”

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© 2005 Irish Republican News