Catholic is shot dead by loyalists

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The Independent Online
A 28-YEAR-OLD Catholic man last night became the ninth person to die violently in Northern Ireland this year when he was shot dead by loyalist gunmen at his home in south Londonderry, writes David McKittrick.

He was named as Eugene Martin, an unmarried man. He apparently went outside his home at Gaussen Villas, Ballyronan, in response to a knock at the back window shortly after 8pm. Soon after, he was found shot dead.

Responsibility for the killing was claimed by the Ulster Volunteer Force, which alleged he was an active republican. This was denied by the Catholic parish priest and other local sources.

Mr Martin lived with his grandfather and two uncles. He worked as a taxidermist from a workshop beside his home.

Police sources said Mr Martin was not known to them as a member of a paramilitary organisation. Barry McElduff, a local representative of Sinn Fein - which denied Mr Martin belonged to the party - said: 'This is part of the escalating campaign of murder and intimidation being waged against the nationalist community by loyalists.'

Ballyronan is a mixed community. Mr Martin had Protestant and Catholic customers.

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