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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 February 2006, 09:52 GMT
Pair questioned over stab death
Gerard Devlin
Gerard Devlin had been attacked before
Police are continuing to question two men about the killing of a father of five stabbed to death in west Belfast.

Gerard Devlin was picking up his children for the weekend in Ballymurphy when a row broke out.

He was fatally stabbed in the attack at Whitecliffe Parade at about 1600 GMT on Friday.

Two other men, both related to Mr Devlin, were treated in hospital. The death is being linked to an ongoing feud between two families.

It is understood that Mr Devlin had left the area because of this.

Mr Devlin's aunt, Bernadette O'Rawe, told the BBC 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 to take his kids out," she 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.

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

"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 said.

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."

SDLP assembly member Alex Attwood said it was a "tragic incident".

"The community very much hopes that the situation will calm and not escalate," Mr Attwood said.

"There have been tensions over a considerable period of time and there were a number of interventions in respect of the dispute. The family should be allowed now to grieve."


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


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