20 February 2006

McCombs leave home in 'Murph after assault


Tragedy-hit family flees estate after father is targeted in brutal attack

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe tragedy-hit McComb family have fled their home in Ballymurphy following a brutal attack on Jim McComb and his son Wayne yesterday morning.

The two men, who were close to feud murder victim Gerard Devlin, were viciously attacked with iron bars and hammers outside their Glenalina Park home at around 11am yesterday. Both Jim and Wayne, 17, sustained extensive injuries in the assault which was carried out by two men known to the McComb family.

The family had previously moved out of the area on Saturday, following escalating violence related to the death of Gerard Devlin on February 3, but returned yesterday. Shortly after their arrival, members of a local family hurled bricks through the windows, bringing Wayne McComb running to the doorstep where he was brought to the ground with iron bars and kicked in the head. On realising his son was being attacked, Jim moved to defend him, but was also beaten across the head and viciously assaulted.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News, Jim, whose son Michael McComb committed suicide in 2004, and whose daughter Debbie was killed by death drivers in 2002, says his family have no intention of returning to the area.

“We’ve had enough. Gerard Devlin’s death has led to so much violence around here and my wife has had as much as she can take. She’s had to listen to taunts about Michael’s death and threats to wreck Debbie’s grave. Whatever their issues with us are, to bring my dead children into it is just twisted."

The anniversary of Debbie’s death is coming up on March 1.

“It’s a bad enough time for our family with the anniversary around the corner and now they have to leave their own home because of our association with Gerard Devlin. Mary looked after his kids when he was alive. Now all the kids in the area who were friendly with the Devlins have left – they’re not safe.

“We came back this morning and this is what happens. It’s out of control, but I’ve buried two children already, I’m not going to bury another. They can kill me, but they won’t kill Wayne."

Despite the Devlin family’s appeal for calm, violence has escalated in Whitecliff Parade, Divismore, Dermot Hill and Ballymurphy Parade since Gerard Devlin’s murder.

Four members of the Notarantonio family have been charged with his murder.

Two police Land Rovers were stationed on the Ballymurphy street for several hours yesterday. No one has been arrested for the attack on Jim and Wayne McComb, although a complaint has been made.

Journalist:: Staff Journalist

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