Two men found shot dead in rural Antrim named

Police understood not to be looking for anyone else in connection with double shooting

Activity at the scene in Feystown Road, Glenarm, Co Antrim, where two men were found shot dead in a farmhouse. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Activity at the scene in Feystown Road, Glenarm, Co Antrim, where two men were found shot dead in a farmhouse. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 12:20

The two men who died in a shooting incident at a Co Antrim farm yesterday have been named as farmer Arthur Gibson (61), known as Art, and farm worker Michael Murphy (37).

PSNI detectives began an investigation into their deaths after they were called to the farm outside the village of Glenarm on the Antrim Coast at about 5:15pm yesterday.

Police said only that the two men had suffered “fatal wounds” in a “suspected shooting” at the farm on Feystown Road near the village, but added no further details.

A PSNI spokeswoman in Belfast confirmed the identities of the dead men but would not offer any details about lines of inquiry being followed by detectives.

She said officers were working to examine the circumstances surrounding the deaths and confirmed that postmortems are planned “over the next few days”. Specialist forensics officers are closely involved in the investigation.

“Officers are examining a number of possible scenarios and lines of inquiry,” she added, without giving any details. However, it is understood that paramilitary elements or organised criminal activity are not thought to be involved. Police are not thought to be looking for anyone else in connection with the shootings.

Ulster Farmers’ Union deputy president Ian Marshall said: “The farming community in the area is close-knit, members work with members, everyone knows everyone else.

“The community will be shocked at this, people work with each other and people help each other.”

Local Stormont Assembly member Oliver McMullan knew both the dead men.

The Sinn Féin representative said the community was stunned by what he described as a “double tragedy”.

“The community is in a state of shock as both men were well known within this tight knit community,” he said.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families at this time.”

Mr McMullan paid tribute to the response of the emergency services and hailed the neighbouring farmers who had stepped in to keep the farm running.

SDLP councillor Martin Wilson said: “The entire community will be united in their sense of grief at this shocking and disturbing occurrence.

“Both men were well-known and their untimely deaths will be met with disbelief by those living in the community.

“All our thoughts and prayers are surely with the families at this very difficult time.”

Alliance party MLA Stewart Dickson said: “This is an absolutely shocking incident, which has left the village and the surrounding community in shock.

“My thoughts are with the families and friends of the deceased and would call for anyone with any information to contact the PSNI as soon as possible.”

Additional reporting: PA