Dublin demands inquiry into killing

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The Independent Online
Dublin yesterday called for a high-level investigation into circumstances surrounding the beating to death of a Catholic man by loyalists in Portadown, amid allegations that police ignored pleas to come to the man's assistance.

Robert Hamill, a 25-year-old father of two, died in hospital on Thursday night, two weeks after suffering serious head injuries in an attack as he left a function at Portadown's St Patrick's Hall. Relatives claimed the loyalists called him "a Fenian bastard" and "danced on his head".

Members of Mr Hamill's family told Irish radio that police in a RUC car, parked close to the scene of the attack, had ignored pleas to come to his aid and failed to give any medical help.

Rosemary Nelson, solicitor for the Hamill family, confirmed a writ had been served on the RUC seeking damages for negligence, and said the circumstances of the attack were "very sinister".

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