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Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Man freed in murder inquiry

Laurence Flanagan was found dead at his home
One of the three people questioned about the murder of a pensioner in south Belfast has been released without charge.

The body of Laurence Flanagan, 70, was found at his home in South Parade, off the Ormeau Road, on Monday afternoon.

He is believed to have been beaten and had suffered head injuries.

On Wednesday a Belfast magistrate made an order, giving police an extra 30 hours to question the two men being held.

Laurence Flanagan had been a senior museum curator
Laurence Flanagan had been a senior museum curator
Detectives have said robbery was the motive for the killing of the retired archaeologist and former curator of the Ulster Museum.

The police said Mr Flanagan's credit cards were taken during what they described as a violent attack.

Two of the people were arrested on Monday night, and a third person was arrested on Tuesday.

'Recent burglary'

RUC detective chief inspector Alain Mains, who is leading the murder inquiry, has appealed for local people to help the police.

"We are also asking the public at large to look in their gardens and round about for any Visa cards, Access cards in the name of Mr Flanagan.

"We are also asking the public in this particular area, especially in South Parade, to come forward and tell us if people have been round the last week or two weeks, offering their services for gardening."

Local historian

Mr Flanagan, a widower with three daughters, had been on the staff at the Ulster Museum for about 40 years.

He had written several books on local history.

While at the museum, he was responsible for bringing a major exhibition on the Spanish Armada.

Mr Flanagan's house was cordoned off as forensic scientists examined the scene on Monday night.

The police also carried out house-to-house inquiries in the area.

A post-mortem examination was carried out on his body on Tuesday afternoon.

Detectives at Musgrave Street have appealed for anyone with information about the murder to contact them on 02990 650222.

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