Irish Republican News · January 20, 2012
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Warnings over UVF attacks

No arrests have been made and no searches carried out, two weeks after the brutal sectarian attack on Catholic teenager James Turley.

Unionist UVF paramilitaries are believed to have been behind the savage attack in South Belfast. The 18-year-old was beaten and left for dead in a wheelie-binwhile working as an extra in a filmshoot in south Belfast.

A total of five teenagers were assaulted by the UVF mob. A car belonging to a member of the film crew was also damagedby youths who gathered near theset.

Mr Turley, a student chef, was chased, attacked, bundled into a bin and then beaten unconscious. As he came round he said he heard one of the gangsay: “That’s enough. I think he’s dead.”

Since the vicious attack, local UVF men have visited a local community centre which hosted the film crew to warn them not to bring anyone else into the area “without their permission”.

The paramilitary group also ordered community workers not to speak to the press about the attack, saying “there would be consequences” if they disobeyed.

Residents of the Village area in south Belfast, where the attack took place, said the gang members were well known. One said the UVF were “obviously upset Catholics were in the area” with another adding “they were making no money from a film being made here”. Another resident told how UVF men subsequently visited Windsor Women’s Centre and threatened staff.

“The community workers were told no-one else was to be allowed into the Village without the UVF’s permission. It shows the influence they are still trying to exert on this area.

“The staff were also told they were forbidden from going to the press about the incident or there would be consequences. It’s the same old thing down here with them trying to run things.

“There were a few local lads also involved in the film so it was helping this area out. I don’t like to see stuff like this happening because the Village gets enough bad press as it is but it’s horrible to see.”

Susan Picken of Manifesto Films, the company making the film, said she would think twice about returning to the Village for future shoots.

“Filming there was a very positive experience for most of the time and the local community were brilliant to us. It’s a shame something like this has happened and I wouldn’t want anything to reflect badly on the people we worked with.

“I have no idea about paramilitary involvement and I wouldn’t want to comment on that. All I can say is the people we dealt with were absolutely brilliant but working there again would be something we would need to look at very carefully.”

The PSNI have refused to comment on why they have made no attempt to question those believed to be responsible. They also did not speak after ameeting with community representatives last week.

Sinn Fein assembly member Alex Maskey said he wanted to “see action”.

“I raised it with police. I have spoken to them on a number of occasions since,” he said.

“I would want community support and police to take action as a matter of priority.

“I want to see action. I want to see people brought to book for it.”


The UVF were blamed for another attack last week as part of a simmering feud in the Shankill Road area of west Belfast.

The victim was a nephew of Bobby Moffett, who was murdered by the organisation in May 2010.

Victims campaigner Raymond McCord has called for action before another young person is killed by the UVF.

“We need action,” he said, echoing the words of Mr Maskey.

“Words aren’t enough for the people.

“The way it is going some young lad is going to be killed by these people and then we are going to have the unionist politicians coming out and saying ‘this is a terrible thing’.”

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© 2012 Irish Republican News