FOUR ARRESTED OVER UVF MURDER OF NORTH BELFAST MAN 20 YEARS AGO

Former Mount Vernon UVF leader Mark Haddock

Former Mount Vernon UVF leader Mark Haddock

DETECTIVES from the PSNI’s Terrorist Investigation Unit have arrested four loyalists over the UVF murder of a grandfather 20 years.

Sean McParland (55) was babysitting at a house in Skegoneill Avenue in north Belfast in February 1994 when he was blasted to death by a loyalist hit squad from Mount Vernon UVF.

A 55-year-old man was arrested this afternoon in Co Antrim on the word of UVF supergrass Gary Haggarty.

Haggarty is believed to have shot Mr McParland along with Mark Haddock.

At time both were members of the UVF and were also working for RUC Special Branch.

Earlier today three suspects, aged 40, 47 and 51 were arrested in the north of the city.

They are all being questioned at the Serious Crime Suite in Antrim police station.

A number of properties were also searched in north Belfast during the planned arrest operation.

The 47 year old suspect arrested this morning is also being questioned about the murders of Gary Convie and Eamon Fox in May 1994.

Mr McParland died a week after the shooting.

The murder sparked a truce between senior UVF figures and senior republicans.

Gary Convie (24) and Eamon Fox (44) were sitting in their car at a building site in North Queen Street on 17 May 1994 when a gunman opened fire with a submachine gun.

Today’s arrests are part of Operation Stafford, an investigation into a series of murders and other serious crimes by the UVF in north Belfast.

 

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