Eight charged over Loyalist mob murder

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The Independent Online

Police charged eight men today in connection with the murder of Kevin McDaid, who was killed by a loyalist mob in Northern Ireland.

The men, aged between 18 and 50, are also charged over the attempted murder of Damien Fleming, who was critically injured in the same attack.

There has been public outrage over the deaths, which took place in Coleraine, Co Londonderry, on Sunday.



Police said that the men - aged 18, 23, 29, 33, 42, 44, 48 and 50 - are charged with murder, attempted murder and a series of assault charges.

A 47-year-old man has been charged with affray, while a 31-year-old man was released on bail pending further inquiries.

The men charged in connection with the case will appear at Ballymena Magistrates' Court today.



Mr McDaid, a community worker, was targeted by a gang of up to 40 men who entered a mainly Catholic housing estate in the Somerset Drive area after Rangers beat rivals Celtic to the Scottish Premier League title.

Mr McDaid's widow Evelyn was badly injured when the mob turned on her and a pregnant neighbour.

Mrs McDaid's son Ryan has since been issued with a death threat by loyalists.

Mr Fleming, 46, was assaulted in nearby Pates Lane.

He was critically injured in the attack and is fighting for his life in hospital in Belfast.

News of the charges in the case comes as tensions surround a loyalist parade planned for the town tomorrow night.

Organisers of the Pride of the Bann band parade have voluntarily rerouted it away from the area where the attacks took place, in a move welcomed by the Parades Commission.

The Commission said the event could have damaged community relations, not just in the Co Londonderry town but across Northern Ireland.

The commission met yesterday to consider the parade route amid the tensions raised by the brutal killing of Mr McDaid, but was saved from having to issue a rerouting order.

The Pride of the Bann said it was prepared to curtail its route "in the interests of community relations and to ease tensions".