Two arrested over intimidation of Catholic families in Belfast

Two arrested over intimidation of Catholic families in Belfast

Detectives investigating the intimidation of four Catholic families in Belfast have arrested two men.

The suspects, aged 37 and 40, were detained on suspicion of being members of the paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF).

Last week, Northern Ireland's police chief blamed the East Belfast UVF for issuing threats to the families living in a cross-community housing development in the south-east of the city.

George Hamilton said the East Belfast UVF was behind the intimidation of the families in the Cantrell Close neighbourhood. He said police were not sure whether the threats were supported by the leadership of the criminal organisation, or were made by individual members.

Cantrell Close, off the Ravenhill Road, was supposed to be a flagship cross-community development as part of the Stormont Executive's Together Building United Communities programme.

On Monday morning, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Detective Chief Inspector Gary Reid said: "Detectives from Criminal Investigation Branch have today arrested two men in East Belfast under the Terrorism Act on suspicion of membership of a proscribed organisation, namely the UVF.

"The men, aged 37 and 40, have been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite (in Belfast) where they are currently helping police with their inquiries.

"Police are continuing to investigate the intimidation of families in Cantrell Close and the Chief Constable has recently said he believes the UVF are responsible for this.

"Today's arrests are part of our ongoing investigation into the UVF in East Belfast, including the intimidation of families in Cantrell Close."

Following the intimidation of the Catholic families, two Protestant community workers living nearby, both pensioners, were also threatened.

Last week, Mr Hamilton said it was too early in the investigation to say whether dissident republicans were to blame.

More in this Section

The Lotto numbers are in...The Lotto numbers are in...

Patients Association criticises €250 charge for Covid-19 testPatients Association criticises €250 charge for Covid-19 test

State has failed to honour commitment to victims of sexual abuse in primary schools, says Louise O'KeeffeState has failed to honour commitment to victims of sexual abuse in primary schools, says Louise O'Keeffe

Toddler and father missing from Co Roscommon believed to have travelled to DublinToddler and father missing from Co Roscommon believed to have travelled to Dublin


Lifestyle

From Tom Waits and Kurt Cobain, to Bertrand Russell and the Big Lebowski, singer Mick Flannery tells Richard Fitzpatrick about his cultural touchstones.Culture That Made Me: Mick Flannery

Esther N McCarthy is starry-eyed for prints, eager for elephants and jealous of a toaster this weekWe're all starry-eyed for prints, eager for elephants and jealous of a toaster this week

Cross rope bridges strung across the Atlantic or visit reimagining of time gone by; whatever you fancy doing, you’ll find it in Ulster.Staycations 2020: Take your pick from these great things to do in Ulster

I can’t eat anything without chilli flakes stuffed into itShape I'm In: Novelis Emma Murray

More From The Irish Examiner