Sunday Life

O'Loan called in over UDA murder-bid

18 July 2004

THE Police Ombudsman is to be asked to investigate the case of a Belfast man who was shot in the legs and groin in a UDA murder-bid.

Sunday Life understands Nuala O'Loan's office is set to be presented with fresh evidence about the shooting of Ardoyne man, Jason O'Halloran.

The 31-year-old - who only received £487 compensation from the NIO for his injuries - was blasted twice in the leg, and once in the groin, by a loyalist hit-team, on July 21,2002.

The Belfast man was originally offered £1,900, but the figure was reduced because he had six previous traffic fines.

Tony Blair has also urged the NIO to review the Belfast man's case.

Mr O'Halloran was chatting to a friend at the corner of Rosapenna Street, off the Old Park Road, when the gunmen opened fire.

The same UFF gang murdered Catholic teenager, Gerard Lawlor, just 10 minutes later.

It is believed "serious" concerns about the police investigation into the shooting of Mr O'Halloran are set to be delivered to the Police Ombudsman, next month.

We understand the UDA victim's legal team have claimed that he has only had one meeting with the police since the attack.

Said a Police Ombudsman source: "We expect to receive something about this case very shortly.

"We are aware that his legal team may be planning an announcement about the police investigation into this case.

"We will then wait to see what information we receive, and then decide on what action to take."

When Sunday Life contacted Mr O'Halloran, he refused to comment on the reports, but vowed to step up his campaign to have his compensation increased.

Added Mr O'Halloran: "I can't say anything about the Police Ombudsman, because that's a decision for my legal team.

"I am still very concerned about the compensation I received, because I haven't been able to work since the shooting and I still have nightmares about it.

"It is an absolute insult to offer anyone this money for what I've been through and I intend to keep fighting until I get a fair amount of compensation.

"I would like to see the people who tried to kill me and who murdered Gerard Lawlor brought to justice for what they did."

A Compensations Agency spokesman said it did not comment on individual cases.

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