Loyalists blamed for Derry killing

 

A man who died after an assault in Co Derry was killed by a loyalist lynch mob, an Assembly member claimed today.

Kevin McDaid (49) was attacked in Coleraine after football matches involving Rangers and Celtic in Scotland. Up to 30 people were involved in the incident at Somerset Drive, SDLP Assembly member John Dallat claimed today.

“This is the second time that this kind of lynching mob has been involved in Coleraine,” he said. Another man, aged 46, was assaulted in Pates Lane and taken to hospital. Mr Dallat said: “We need to outlaw these organisations and let the good people get on with peace building.”

Rangers beat Dundee United 3-0 yesterday to take the Scottish championship from Glasgow rivals Celtic.

The attack took place on a mainly Catholic housing estate in the town.

A Celtic scarf was tied on railings close to the scene of Mr McDaid’s death. Forensics experts in white boiler suits and purple gloves carried out a search for clues.

There was a white and yellow tent where the Pates Lane incident took place and flowers were laid nearby.

Mr McDaid lived in a two-storey terrace house yards from where he was confronted. It is understood he was looking for his son at the time. The man fighting for life in hospital, Damien Fleming, also lives in the area.

Neighbour Peter Neill said of Mr McDaid: “Kevin was a family man and he was loved by everybody. He never had any bitterness in him and he was attacked by scum. He was a gentleman. He was just the best big man you could have met.” He added that Mr McDaid had four sons.

It is understood that he was unemployed and had been living on the estate for many years. Hazelbank Presbyterian Church minister Alan Johnston said: “We are truly stunned and shocked by the news.

“We condemn murder and violence of any kind. It does not belong in the society we live in.”

He added that people had been drinking in the town following the football match.

The estate is known to house mainly Catholics and might have been singled out, he said. He said community relations have improved since last summer’s violence, but several foreign workers moved in recently. “The issue seems to have been from the other side of the town rather than from within the community.

“There had been quite a bit of drinking going on in the town after the Rangers match. We had seen people out drinking. All I can presume is that it spilled over and people came across the bridge.”

PA