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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 February 2006, 09:21 GMT
Families' feud link to stab death
Gerard Devlin
Gerard Devlin had been attacked before
A west Belfast father-of-five has been stabbed to death as he picked up his children for the weekend.

Gerard Devlin's death is being treated as murder by police. Two other men, both related to Mr Devlin, are being treated in hospital.

The stabbing followed a row at Whitecliffe Parade, Ballymurphy, at about 1600 GMT on Friday.

The death is being linked to an ongoing feud between two families. Mr Devlin had left the area because of it.

Mr Devlin's aunt, Bernadette O'Rawe, told the BBC that he had only returned to Ballymurphy for 15 minutes to collect his children.

"He was making a new life for himself - he had moved out of the district. He came in tonight to take his kids out," he said.

Crime scene
The atmosphere remained tense in the area on Friday evening
Mr Devlin had been attacked a number of times before, including one assault when his throat was cut.

The atmosphere in the area remained tense on Friday evening, with some scuffles close to the police cordon.

A police spokesman said there was "nothing to suggest paramilitary involvement".

"The PSNI are appealing for support from the west Belfast community to help us gather the vital information we need to find the person responsible for this tragic incident," he added.

Sinn Fein assembly member Michael Ferguson said it had been a long-running feud.

"The Community Safety Network in the area, for its part, had worked with both families, and four days ago got an agreement that three people would leave," he said.

"Mr Devlin left and came back tonight to pick up his children, and he's now dead."


SEE ALSO:
Man stabbed to death in city row
03 Feb 06 |  Northern Ireland


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