Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Thursday, 14 July 2005 17:34 UK

Family devastated by paramilitary murders

Craig McCausland
Craig McCausland died after being shot in Dhu Varren Park

A 20-year-old Protestant man shot dead this week is the second member of his family to have been murdered by loyalists, his aunt has said.

Craig McCausland died after being shot in Dhu Varren Park in north Belfast early on Monday.

The killing was blamed on tensions within loyalism by police, sparking rumours of an LVF/UVF feud.

His aunt Kathy McIlvenny denied he was in the LVF and said loyalists killed Craig's mother when he was aged two.

The LVF have said the murder victim was not known to them.

Three men burst into the home Craig shared with his partner and her children and fatally wounded him.

Earlier that night, another man, David Hanley, was shot several times as he walked two dogs on the Crumlin Road near Glenbank.

She was beaten to death in a loyalist club and he has now left a son at the same age - the loyalists have now left another child without a parent
Kathy McIlvenny

A short time after the killing of Mr McCausland, in nearby Woodvale Pass, a man escaped another apparent murder bid by jumping out the window of a house as a number of masked men were attempting to smash their way in.

"This child was brought up, the whole family, never to get involved or associate with so-called paramilitaries," Mrs McIlvenny told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme.

"He went through integrated education, had a wide span of friends and there is no way that they can even say he was associated with a paramilitary group."

The half-naked body of his 23-year-old mother, Lorraine, was found in a stream on 8 March, 1987 near a loyalist club in Tynedale where she had been drinking.

She had been beaten with a concrete block, and it was reported at the time that it was believed she had been killed by the UDA.

Murder scene
The scene around the house after the shooting

"She was beaten to death in a loyalist club and he has now left a son at the same age - the loyalists have now left another child without a parent," Mrs McIlvenny said.

No-one was ever charged with his mother's murder.

The family has blamed the UVF for murdering Craig.

"The UVF shouldn't be allowed to use the battalion's name - that was men that fought for their country.

"These are cowards that go in the middle of the night with masks over their face and shoot people in their bed," she said.

She added that when he was younger, Craig had been involved in petty crime, but that since the birth of his son he had turned his life around.

"Craig has not done anything to give them ones a reason. He wanted to live for his child," she said.

The family of David Hanley, who was shot and seriously wounded on the same night, have stressed that neither of the two men were involved in a loyalist feud.

The Hanley family said in a statement: "The PSNI spokesmen and both paramilitary groups have stated that these young men are not, and have never been members of these organisations. These statements are most welcome."

The family added: "We were unable to prevent the attempted murder and the horrendous injuries inflicted upon our son.

"But please be advised that we will not allow his good character to be attacked by anyone using either express or implied terms."

Feud killing 'ruthless execution'
12 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
Police working to counter feuding
11 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland
Loyalists blamed for city murder
11 Jul 05 |  Northern Ireland

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