Search of Donegal property fails to locate Derry murder suspect

Gardaí had surrounded farmhouse as part of search for Kieran McLaughlin

Assistance is being sought by the PSNI in finding Kieran McLaughlin (58), who is described as being 5’7” tall, of medium build, with blue eyes and grey hair. When last seen he is believed to have been wearing dark-coloured clothing.

Assistance is being sought by the PSNI in finding Kieran McLaughlin (58), who is described as being 5’7” tall, of medium build, with blue eyes and grey hair. When last seen he is believed to have been wearing dark-coloured clothing.

Sat, Oct 12, 2013, 13:07

A Garda operation at a property in Co Donegal as part of the search for a man wanted in connection with a murder in Derry ended at 4am this morning.

Gardaí had surrounded the farmhouse between the villages of Burnfoot and Muff as part of a search for Kieran McLaughlin.

The operation, which was supported by the Army, began at about 5.30pm yesterday following a request from the PSNI in Derry, investigating the whereabouts of Mr McLaughlin.

The PSNI had taken the unusual step of releasing a photograph of the 58-year-old, who is wanted in connection with the shooting of Barry McCrory (35).

Mr McCrory died following a gun attack on Shipquay Street on Thursday.

The search for the suspect intensified yesterday evening when armed gardaí surrounded an isolated building in the Brae Road area thinking Mr McLaughlin was in the vicinity. A number of local roads off the main Derry to Buncrana Road were closed.

The security operation continued until just before 4am when it was called off. No-one was found.

The decision to stand down the operation was not announced for more than five hours.

“The operation was stood down at 4am and no arrests were made,” the Garda said.

Mr McLaughlin remains at large and the public have been warned not to approach him.

A former paramilitary who has served a series of prison sentences, Mr McLaughlin is reported to be unstable and potentially dangerous. He is not understood to be currently associated with any paramilitary grouping.

The suspect is described as 5ft 7in, of medium build and balding with short cropped grey hair and blue eyes.

Horrific attack

Mr McCrory died on Thursday morning after a gunman entered a flat on Shipquay Street inside the city walls in Derry owned by Mr McCrory’s girlfriend. She was reported to have been ordered into another room before the victim was shot dead.

The PSNI said the murder was a “horrific attack”.

Det Chief Insp Ian Harrison said: “This was a brutal execution of an individual. No person has a right to be judge, jury and executioner.”

The PSNI raided a number of homes in Galliagh on the Derry side of the Border as part of the operation.

Mr McCrory’s killing has been widely condemned. British prime minister David Cameron said : “These murders are despicable, and the people responsible should be hunted down, prosecuted and convicted - they should face justice.”

He was in Belfast to attend a major investment conference and he took time out at the end of the event to condemn the killing and that of 46-year-old Brendan Kearney in Belfast on Wednesday night.

Mr McCrory’s family, including his mother Anne, father Danny and son Shea attended a peace rally held in the Guildhall Square, Derry.

Following a two-minute silence, the crowd of several hundred were told a clear message needed to be sent from Derry that violence from all quarters was not acceptable.

A postmortem was carried and Mr McCrory’s family hope to have his body returned to them with burial expected on Monday.

Belfast murder

In Belfast, PSNI detectives investigating the murder of another man whose body was found in the north of the city on Tuesday are questioning a 39-year-old man.

The suspect was taken to the PSNI serious crime suite at Antrim station.

The body of Kevin Kearney was found in a lake at Alexandra Park on Wednesday afternoon.

The arrest of the suspect, said by the PSNI to be from west Belfast, was made yesterday.