Family call for Prosecutions in case of Tomas Devlin

The appalling sectarian murder of Thomas Devlin 3 years ago has of course still not been solved. Indeed no one has ever been charged, this despite at one stage a number of arrests. The family of the murdered teenager have now called for two men whom they believe to be responsible to be charged with murder. One has to hope that Thomas’s parents get justice but like so many others in Northern Ireland that may be a fairly faint hope.

  • willowfield

    Sadly, one fears that they may have as much chance of getting justice as the McCartney family.

  • Rory

    However if policing and justice were devolved you would at least have an authority to hold accountable for such failure. Instead we have the majority party in government shirking its responsibility for public safety and the application of justice.

    Bloody criminal if you ask me!

  • joeCanuck

    I agree, Rory.
    We badly need someone from here responsible so that they can be roasted, at least in the papers since nobody at Stormont wants to rock their badly leaking boat.
    We can remember, thankfully, that Belfast is not exactly renowned for building unsinkable ships.

  • willowfield

    The police are responsible to the Policing Board.

    The NIO is responsible to Parliament.

  • Rory

    And much good they seem to do in exercisng their respective responsibilities. At least if the responsibility is devolved citizens will have the sanction of sacking the local responsible politicians if they shirk that duty. As things stand now the people are impotent and, as the earlier thread on the 3rd attack on the home a hall caretaker illustrates, all parts of the community are affected.

    If you want justice you must demand it and will the means whereby it can be exercised. Westminster and the Policing Board act as if they do not give a shit.

  • circles

    But the police are not responsible to the policing board willowfield. But as Rory said “Instead we have the majority party in government shirking its responsibility for public safety and the application of justice.” The murderers should answer for this and the police should answer for not apprehending them – but the majority party does not want to accept their responsibility for this.

    Rory is right willowfield – or do you disagree?

  • joeCanuck

    Rory has more or less said what I was going to say, Willowfield.
    But I’ll be a bit more direct. Do you think that the present system of accountability is satisfactory?

  • willowfield

    RORY

    And much good they seem to do in exercisng their respective responsibilities. At least if the responsibility is devolved citizens will have the sanction of sacking the local responsible politicians if they shirk that duty.

    The local politicians are elected to Parliament as well as to the Assembly. None of them seems to be asking too many questions about the Devlin murder.

    Ditto the local politicians on the Policing Board.

    Have you any reason to believe they would be more energetic in pursuing these matters if there were devolution?

    I can’t quite imagine the McCartney case being pursued with much vigour with a Provo in charge (even if only jointly) of a department of justice!

    If you want justice you must demand it and will the means whereby it can be exercised. Westminster and the Policing Board act as if they do not give a shit.

    See above – the same people populate the Policing Board as are in the Assembly.

    CIRCLES

    The murderers should answer for this and the police should answer for not apprehending them – but the majority party does not want to accept their responsibility for this.

    THere’s nothing stopping any of the parties from grilling either the police or the NIO about this. But they don’t.

    JOECANUCK

    But I’ll be a bit more direct. Do you think that the present system of accountability is satisfactory?

    No, I don’t, but I don’t believe much will change when devolution happens.

  • circles

    A fair opinion Willowfeld.
    But if you ask me devolution has already put a lot of responsibility into local hands and resulted in a much clearer, much more determined discussion of issues of import to the community. From Ruane on education to Wilson on environment – we now have a head to roll when things go wrong, and parties here have a much clearer reason to formulate policy that goes beyond “Yes” or indeed “NOOOO!!”, and to actually consider the issues at hand. Only the people here really know the problems here- to believe that a remote control police force is just as good as the real thing vastly undersells the competencies of the people.
    And while we wait for the DUP to accept their responsibility, families like the Devlin’s are left with no answers and nowhere to turn to.

  • agh

    ministerial accountability my backside. Simple fact is that people vote orange or green (give or take). Fair enough a party may reshuffle it’s ministers if someone is particuarly rubbish but as for the public applying pressure? I don’t think it really makes that much difference in NI.

    I assume the police need evidence before they arrest people. Unfortunately, both our main communities tend to protect their own…

  • TAFKABO

    Unfortunately, both our main communities tend to protect their own…

    I think the bigger tragedy is that both sides are more than happy to sacrifice their own if it means saving face against themmuns.
    Witness the refusal of Republicans to help solve the murder of Robert Mccartney, and the refual of Unionist to rock the boat and demand answers about Special Branch involvement in the McCord murder.

  • Dec

    The key to this prosecution is the murderer’s partner who apparently places the stability of her home life above the interests of grieving, devastated parents. As for certain members of the PUP’s involvement in all this…

  • POL

    I wish i could honestly say that without the evidence theres no point in bringing charges, however the police in the past have simply not brought charges because they have been shown to be protecting an agent or are simply ambivalent in regards to the deaths of catholics.

  • gareth mccord

    pol, “deaths of catholics”???
    are you ambivalent to the deaths of protestants and security force personnel by protection of agents or do you just think catholics were??

  • steve

    how come we don’t see the usual cadre on here screaming cover up and branding the local citizens as cowards for not coming forward to police with evidence

  • North Belfast Resident

    How do we know that it was sectarian? I know it is what everyone has said since but I am far from convinced. I live in the street it happened and after a certain time at night you can be attacked in this part of north Belfast for just being out walking. There is a casual, recreational violence in north Belfast that is more sadistic than sectarian.

  • How do we know that it was sectarian?

    Because, we know who did it.

    Besides, the Somerton Road isn’t exactly Tiger’s Bay or Ardoyne, is it?

  • North Belfast Resident

    I do not accept this Sammy. I am not from Mount Vernon and would love the Devlins to get some closure so don’t think that I am making a knee-jerk reaction in response to the public attitude that the killers are from there. An unprovoked attack in this part of North Belfast is as likely to come from someone from the Catholic community as the Protestant (and I write as a Catholic). My point is that the assaults and serious injuries inflicted in the Fortwilliam area in the past number of years have had nothing to do with religion. There is a casual violence that is dished out for fun and its not related to the relgion of victims.

    I live just off the Somerton. You obviously havent walked down it at night.

  • gareth lee mccord

    north belfast, the topic sadly is young devlin murdered by loyalist bigots and schooled and protected by the mount vermin u.v.f.!! FACT!! if it wasnt sectarian then why dont the u.v.f. hand them over or why dont the “decent people of mount vermin speak up ” or maybe the devlin family should go into mount vermin and ask the “decent rats” to come forward to get justice. but sadly me you and the rats in the mount all know they stick together like the shit they are!!!

  • North Belfast Resident

    You stay classy Gareth Lee McCord…

    As I’ve said, I don’t necessarily buy it that it people from Mount Vernon were involved. If you and Sammy are so sure of this perhaps you can both provide the evidence that the police seem to be unable to find.

    Policing in the Fortwilliam area is a joke. Old people are scared of being alone in their own homes in the evenings and it is dangerous for anyone to walk around Salisbury, Fortwilliam, Lansdowne etc after 11. Until someone [b]proves[/b] that a sectarian bigot killed Thomas I will have my suspicions that the police just pointed to the usual suspects in an attempt at avoiding criticism for their own very poor performance.

  • gareth mccord

    n.b.r. i cannot speak for sammy but yes i do know who killed thomas and yes the mount vermin have and are still hampering the devlins from getting justice.
    A simple question for you is why wont the mount vermin “decent people” speak up??
    You should ask the devlin family or better still tell them you know more than them and it wasnt mount vermin who killed their son!
    get your head out of the sand.

  • North Belfast Resident

    As I said before – go to the police if you have proof. I would love the Devlins to get some closure on this.

    I’m not the one with my head in the sand. In a warped way it is easier to pretend that all random violence is sectarian – it suggests that its somehow connected with the troubles and therefore part of our past that is slowly on its way out. That thinking prevents us from having to address the even more warped reality that people are now attacking others for fun.

  • picador

    NBR (and I’ll have to take your word for it),

    Until someone proves that a sectarian bigot killed Thomas I will have my suspicions that the police just pointed to the usual suspects in an attempt at avoiding criticism for their own very poor performance.

    Er, just like yourself the police spent months dismissing a sectarian motive before eventually raiding houses in Mount Vernon.

    Who knows, maybe Special Branch had decided to let them in on the secret, after all they do have the local uvf on the payroll.

    Old people are scared of being alone in their own homes in the evenings and it is dangerous for anyone to walk around Salisbury, Fortwilliam, Lansdowne etc after 11.

    In general I would say you are talking poppycock but at this time of year the SB hirelings in Mount Vernon have their blood up.

    Does anyone know if we are talking about the same crew here? Or were these youngsters they were trying to ‘blood’.

    I remember a few years back there was a similar killing on the Lansdowne Road, a young lad by the name of Magee being the victim – another murder that was never solved.

  • North Belfast Resident

    Talking poppycock? Wish I was. I live in the area and have first hand experience of what I have said.

    Why would I bother posting on this thread if I didnt live where I said and have an interest? Unlike a lot on here, winning arguments on slugger is not the be-all and end-all for me.

    The fact that the police raided houses in Mount Vernon means nothing. I have a very poor opinion of the police operation on the Devlin case and I feel that they simply rounded up the usual suspects. Blaming people from Mount Vernon for hiding evidence will be accepted in middle-class Fortwilliam-Lansdowne and nicely lets the police off the hook. They came under a lot of criticism for their immediate response that was building up into a head of anger that was nicely dissapated when the cops then suddenly claimed they had a few clues after all and hit Mount Vernon.

  • picador

    Wish I was. I live in the area and have first hand experience of what I have said.

    Well I have twenty plus years experience of the immediate area you are talking of and I say poppycock!

    Blaming people from Mount Vernon for hiding evidence will be accepted in middle-class Fortwilliam-Lansdowne and nicely lets the police off the hook.

    Is there anyone in north Belfast – apart from yourself and a few unionist politicians – who is not familiar with the long and sorry tale of collusion between various elements of the police and military with loyalist murder gangs?

    Class does not come into it but sectarianism most certainly does – although as Raymond McCord has shown these low-lifes seem to be as proficient at taking out Prods as they are Catholics.

    You are trying to muddy the waters and I’m not sure what your motivation is for doing it.

  • North Belfast Resident

    I have 30 years here Picador but thats besides the point. I am not muddying the waters – my point is this: there is a casual violence that is creeping into our society that needs to be addressed. It is not based on sectarianism but rather just a penchant for alieviating boedom with violence. If you do live in the area you’ll know of the robberies of lone pensioners on the Somerton Road and of the numerous assaults at the petrol station before and after Thomas’ death. But for the grace of God there would have been another murder at the corner of the Antrim Road and Salisbury two Easters ago had the police not happened to drive by in time. The victim was left unconcious and with face destroyed by the block repeatedly dropped on it. I only raise this to illustrate that the religious background of the victim who was walking home was no different to that of those thought to have attacked him.

    And I am fully aware of collusion etc and of sectarian violence emanating from Mount Vernon (alonf with everywhere else here). My point is that Thomas’ murder didnt come as a surprise. We had plenty of incidents forwarning it.