Exactly a year to the day of his murder, Detectives have now arrested 2 men in connection with the murder of Thomas Devlin. UPDATE 2 people arrested in connection with the murder have been released.
Police had launched an Anniversary appeal last night, with fresh requests for people to come forward. There has always been unease about the nature of this killing with PSNI reluctant to label it sectarian. As late as yesterday, a sectarian motive was still being ‘considered’. Brian Rowan has maintained the murder was neither sectarian or planned. Thomas’s mother had these chilling words about the murder:
‘For the two people who killed him it was quite carefully planned. They had obviously taken a knife out with them and you don’t take a knife out unless you’re going to use it. Ms Holloway said no words were exchanged and the assailants did not even make an effort to start a fight as justification for what they were to do next. They just jumped on them from behind. One attacked one of his friends and the other went after Thomas. The intention was to have killed both of them.”
On a related note, I saw in the Times yesterday that the knife amnesty has had no impact, indeed recorded numbers of knife crimes have risen by 73%. Perhaps we need to focus again on the cause of crime and malcontent, while we still have time.