Mob murder widow: 'Kevin was my life'

The devastated widow of murder victim Kevin McDaid has appealed for no retaliation for his death.

The Coleraine father-of-four and volunteer community worker was savagely beaten to death by a loyalist mob outside his home in the Heights area on Sunday.

This morning police were continuing to question nine men about the fatal assault.

The victim’s Protestant wife Evelyn who was also set upon has said her husband simply wanted peace.

“He wouldn’t want retaliation because he wouldn’t want his sons to get hurt. He was trying to keep the peace.

“He didn’t like all this nonsense. He wanted peace. He tried to help. He didn’t want all this tension and fighting that is going on here.

“But those boys came across from the other side of the town and can do what they want,” she said.

Fighting back tears a heartbroken Mrs McDaid said the perpetrators had destroyed her family.

“He just loved me to bits. He was my life.

“He loving father and a great neighbour. He was a great man and I am going to miss him so much.

“I don’t know how I am going to go on without him.

“We’d been together since we were 15 – we’ve been married for 24 years and we thought we had a lot more years together.

“He was my soulmate. It’s over. I have to try and go on by he was a big part of my life and I can never replace that. Never,” she continued.

Kevin McDaid was a plasterer by trade but volunteered with a local cross community youth group. He had only recently returned from taking Catholic and Protestant children on a fishing trip and had planned to repeat the excursion over the Twelfth of July.

Speaking from her home at Somerset Drive where she was being comforted by her three sons Ryan, Lee and Marc and foster son, Ryan she recalled her husband’s kindness.

She told the BBC: “He was hard working. He would have done anything for anybody. He had time for everybody. He was great with his sons and we have a wee foster son Ryan and Kevin just loved him to bits. He called him Daddy and he calls me Mummy.

“Kevin just loved children — he played with all the neighbours' children too.”

A gang of more than 40 men descended on the mixed religion estate where Mr McDaid lived following Sunday’s Rangers and Celtic football matches. Witnesses said they were armed with pick axe handles and baseball bats and kicked and jump on Mr McDaid’s head.

Added his widow who suffered severe bruising to her face and body and has a large wound on her head had to have a brain scan: “They called themselves the UDA.

“I came across to help and they beat me where they beat him. My neighbour had to step in to save me. She was pregnant and they beat her too. She shouted ‘I am pregnant’ and they didn’t care.

“My husband walked up with my son and he was talking then all of a sudden he just dropped. My sons tried to work on him. The ambulance was phoned and in the end I knew he was dead.”

* This article is from the Belfast Telegraph