Police hunting group of men over murder of community worker

Police are hunting a group of men in connection with the “brutal” murder of east Belfast community worker Ian Ogle.

Mr Ogle, 45, a father-of-two, died after being assaulted on Cluan Place, near a busy arterial route in the city on Sunday night.

Forensic officers combed a nearby city park for clues on Monday, churning the soil using specialist equipment, as police appealed for anybody who saw a group of men running in the area to come forward.

The scene in Cluan Place
The scene in Cluan Place

Detectives from the PSNI Serious Crime Branch have launched a murder investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna said: “We are continuing in our efforts to find those responsible for this brutal murder.”

He appealed for anyone with information who was in the area of Cluan Place, Albertbridge Road or Templemore Avenue between 9pm and 10pm on Sunday to make contact.

“I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen a group of men running in this area and I would also ask anyone with dash-cam footage to contact us,” he added.

Local representatives said Mr Ogle was highly regarded for his community work.

Ulster Unionist councillor Sonia Copeland said: “I was absolutely shocked to learn of the murder of Ian Ogle last night.

“I have known him for a number of years from involvement in work in and around Cluan Place and I know just how highly regarded he was by his local community and indeed much further afield.”

Ms Copeland said the victim was a devoted family man and father-of-two.

DUP Belfast city councillor George Dorrian tweeted: “Horrific attack at Cluan Place.”

He added: “Horrible to think this should happen anywhere and no reason could ever justify what has happened in east Belfast.”

Horrific attack at Cluan Place earlier tonight, vital that anyone with info contacts the police immediately. Horrible to think this should happen anywhere and no reason could ever justify what has happened in East Belfast tonight. pic.twitter.com/YeyJZXjNfv

— George Dorrian (@georgedorrian) January 28, 2019

He said Mr Ogle was well-known and popular.

Mr Dorrian told the BBC: “It has been barbaric and the level of violence, the level that was used, was a disgrace.”

He added: “The focus at the minute has just been the level of violence, the level of what has occurred here. People just could not believe the sort of violence that was used upon this man.”