Catholic 'peace maker' murder 'primitive premeditated evil'

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The Independent Online

The murder of a Catholic community worker beaten to death by a Protestant mob in Northern Ireland was primitive, premeditated evil, a priest told mourners at his funeral today.

Father-of-four Kevin McDaid, 49, was killed yards from his home in Coleraine, Co Londonderry eight days ago when violence flared after a 40-strong Loyalist mob stormed into the area after Rangers beat Celtic to the Scottish Premier League.



Six men have so far been charged with the murder and they, together with two more, with the attempted murder of Damien Fleming, 46, who was critically injured in the disturbances.



Mr McDaid's sons carried their father's coffin from his home followed by their tearful mother.



Hundreds joined the cortege as it made the short journey to the town's hill top St John's Church.



Leaders of Presbyterian Church of Ireland churches in the town attended the funeral as did Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, MP, SDLP leader Mark Durkan, MP and Assembly members Francie Brolly of Sinn Fein and the SDLP's John Dallat. No Unionist politicians were noticeable either inside or outside the church.



Parish priest Father Charles Keaney said Mr McDaid had been a good, modest and hard working man who always tried to do what was right and best in everything.



He said: "He worked tirelessly to build bridges in this community, especially with the young. In this area he was known as 'The Peace Maker'."



Father Keaney added: "What happened last Sunday evening really was nothing to do with religion. Indeed, it was nothing to do with football.



"It was like something that would happen in the dark ages .... It was primitive, premeditated evil.