Son of blanketman Kieran Nugent found dead

The family of IRA blanketman Kieran Nugent has been hit by another tragedy after one of his sons died suddenly on Wednesday. Picture by Pacemaker Press
John Monaghan

THE family of IRA blanketman Kieran Nugent has been hit by another tragedy following the sudden death of one of his sons.

Aidan Nugent, a father of two in his thirties, who was living in the Oldpark area of north Belfast, died at a house on the Ormeau Road in the south of the city.

Police said they were called to the address just before 7pm on Wednesday but said the death "is not believed to be suspicious at this time."

One friend wrote on Facebook: "Oh my god I can't believe what I've just woken up to I knew Aidan from secondary school such a gentleman and funny...I will pray for your family hope they get through this together."

Mr Nugent died a short distance from a flat where his brother, Ciaran, was involved in the murder of two friends Caron Smyth and Finbar McGrillen, who were found beaten to death at Ravenhill Court in December 2013.

He received a life sentence, along with co-accused Shaun Hegarty, last year for what a judge described as a "cruel and utterly senseless" double murder.

Nugent was handed a minimum tariff of 14 years for his part in the murders.

His co-accused Hegarty, who had been jilted by Ms Smyth days before the attack, was told he will serve at least 18 years.

Kieran Nugent, who died after suffering a heart attack in 2000, was the first prisoner to be sentenced in the Maze after special category status was removed meaning prisoners could no longer wear their own clothes.

When sentenced to three years in the H Blocks in 1976 Nugent refused to wear the prison uniform in protest and reputedly said the prison guards they would have to “nail it to my back”.

Within weeks others joined the ‘blanket’ protest and eventually it escalated to the ‘dirty’ protest which culminated in the 1981 hunger strikes.

Requiem Mass for Aidan Nugent will take place at Sacred Heart Church in the Oldpark Road on Tuesday morning, before cremation at Roselawn Crematorium.

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