The killing this week by loyalists of an elderly Catholic man has been followed by a warning that Northern Ireland could be on the brink of "a new nightmare of suffering and uncertainty".
The man, 61-year-old Sean Brown, was abducted by unknown loyalists just before midnight on Monday as he locked up the Gaelic Athletic Association premises in the nationalist village of Bellaghy in County Londonderry. After a struggle he was bundled into his own car and driven away. The vehicle was later found ablaze some miles away; Mr Brown's body was lying nearby. He had been shot. The local parish priest, Father Andrew Dolan, said of Mr Brown, who was the father of six children: "He was very much a Christian gentleman." There is speculation that the loyalists responsible might belong to a new organisation which recently broke away from the Ulster Volunteer Force. One of its leading members is said to be in prison. David McKittrickReuse content