Masked UVF thugs stormed Ian Ogle’s place of work a year before murder

MURDERED loyalist Ian Ogle predicted his own death after masked UVF thugs stormed his place of work a year before he was butchered in the street.

The east Belfast thugs followed the dad-of-two (45) to his window fitting job, smashed up a car he was travelling in before ordering colleagues to force the father out on to the street.
It was after he’d refused to have is arms and legs broken on the orders of east Belfast UVF over a row involving his family.
The cowards fled after co-workers stopped Mr Ogle from facing the hurley bat wielding goons on his own.
The shocking revelation was made by Mr Ogle’s heartbroken partner Vera Johnston, who told the Sunday World: “He knew then it was only going to get worse.”
In an exclusive interview ahead of the first anniversary of his death, Vera breaks her silence on the murder that has rocked east Belfast, and how the UVF are still targeting her grieving family.
She also reveals the pain of spending her first Christmas in 30 years without the man she calls ‘the love of my life’.
“Ian was my one and only, my first love,” Vera said in an interview from her Cluan Place home. “With the kids grown up now it was just me and him.
“Every night we’d be sitting here in our home, with the dogs, he’d take them out for a walk, he’d come back in, up the stairs to watch TV, I’d be watching my soaps. Then we went to sleep.
“Now he’s gone and I am on my own. It just doesn’t feel real.
“I keep having these dreams that he’s here, and I wake up and he’s not.
“It hasn’t hit me that he’s gone, not fully. I still think he’s going to run down the stairs.
“Christmas was awful – it was Ian’s favourite time. I couldn’t even face putting up a tree up this year.”
Ian Ogle was murdered on Cluan Place in January last year, just yards from the family home.
He was attacked by a group of men, stabbed 11 times and left with a fractured skull before he died.
Police linked his murder to the east Belfast UVF, who had threatened and intimidated the Ogle family in the 18 months before his death.
In total three people have appeared before the courts accused of his murder. They all deny the charges.
The threats started after an argument involving Mr Ogle’s son Ryan (24) at a well known Belfast bar in July 2017.
Ryan’s sister Toni (28) was attacked during the same incident which saw the dad-of-two rush to his children’s aid.
It was from then Vera (46) said, that Mr Ogle became a target and she slowly watched how the intimidation and threats impacted on her “protector” partner.
“His head was away,” she said. “I remember we went to Benidorm a few months after it all started and he said to me it was the first decent sleep he had because he wasn’t having to look over his shoulder and not having to worry about who was coming to the door. “He was relaxed for the first time but when we came back it was there waiting for us.
“Ian couldn’t understand why they were doing it,” she said. “He was the type of person who got on with everyone, he kept himself to himself and passed himself with people.
“Yes he was a loyalist but he wasn’t big pals with them, he was only involved in looking after the street.
“So when it all started he just couldn’t understand how it was turning into something so nasty.
“We had someone, a go between, who went to the top of east Belfast UVF, who came back and said that the leadership said that nothing could be done as it was an internal investigation.
“Then Ian was told that he had to get a beating over the incident at the bar. He refused.
“After that he kept saying to me, ‘they are going to come for me and they will come for me at work’.
“I just said to him he was being paranoid and brushed it off. See when he phoned me that morning, ‘they’ve came for me’. I couldn’t believe it.”
In September 2017 four masked men stormed the window fitting factory where Mr Ogle had worked for almost 11 years.
“It was 7am and they were there with hurley bats.
“He’d already clocked in and the man who gave him a lift in the mornings was still sitting in the car rolling a cigarette. They put the windows in around him.
“Someone in work saw them and said to Ian, the’re out there don’t go out. Only he stopped Ian, he would have went out.
“They left then, leaving a hurley bat behind them, still with the tag on it. The police weren’t able to get anything from that, though the it’s still under investigation.”
The incident forced Ian out of his job of 11 years and left him unemployed.
“He just thought, they’ll come again”, said Vera. “Even the man who gave him a lift in the morning was warned not have him back in his car.
“And to go from a working man to not working at all, and not being that provider anymore. It hit him hard.
“After that his main concern was then that if they don’t get him, they will get Ryan. And that played on his mind a lot.
“He knew after the work attack it was going to get worse. He kept saying that he believed they would shoot him dead. In between this, all his friends were threatened and told to stay away from him. He was completely isolated.”
Around the same time Vera’s health deteriorated.
Suffering from the debilitating condition fibromyalgia, Ian became her carer.
“He was looking after me in the end,” she said.”Now I’ve lost that all now.”
“He was the protector of our family. whilst looking after me he’d be looking out for everyone else.
“When Ryan was leaving for work, he’d follow him to make sure that he wasn’t attacked or being followed.
“He’d have to sneak out after him in the mornings because Ryan said he was big enough to look after himself.
“But Ian would wait a few minutes then go out the door after him.”
Their pain has been compounded by a vile social media campaign run by the paramilitary drugs gang and its cheerleaders.
Said Vera’s daughter Toni: “Because we stood up to the people who did this, because we are co-operating with the police investigation we are now branded as touts; that our daddy would be turning in his grave and that we are a stain on the loyalist community.”
Vera added: “I am disgusted at how my children have been treated, the kids of a murdered man and the disrespect these people have shown, trying to make their pain worse.
“One of them even had the cheek to say he felt sorry for me because Toni and Ryan were ‘touts’. What world do they live in?”
Brave Vera previously asked for a meeting with the leadership of east Belfast UVF, who released a statement following Ian’s murder to deny involvement.
“I was told, no,” she said.
“All I want to ask them is, what would they do if they got a phone call at 3.30am in the morning to say their son and daughter had been beaten up? What would they have done?
“And I will still go to meet them, but I don’t think they’ll ever meet me.”
Toni added: “The (UVF) statement released after daddy’s murder was an insult then and an insult now.
“We’ve heard people on the street say, innocent until proven guilty. But the organisation was quick enough to put judgement on my daddy.”

Published by Patricia Devlin

Award winning journalist based in Ireland covering crime and investigations.

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