Irish Republican News · August 5, 2006
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
UVF gang kill Scottish man

The brutal murder of a 36-year-old Scotsman in County Derry last week has been blamed on the unionist paramilitary UVF.

Ronald Mackie from near Stirling was murdered after a dispute with the local UVF leader at a fundraising event in a bar.

He was severely beaten and dumped in the middle of the road to be run over by road traffic near the village of Tobermore. Mr Mackie was soon struck by a car travelling from Tobermore towards Maghera.

It is understood the dead man’s body was dragged a considerable distance before the vehicle came to a halt. According to the PSNI police, the red car stopped briefly before moving off again. It is not yet known if the vehicle contained anyone involved in the original assault on Mr Mackie.

A loyalist gang had followed Mr Mackie and two friends from Tobermore United Football Club early on Saturday. The dead man had earlier fallen out with a leading loyalist. It is reported that a male and a female companion of the murder victim were held back while he was beaten and killed.

The murder victim died just hours after attending a controversial loyalist parade involving almost 40 bands in nearby Maghera.

The parade was organised by the Maghera Sons of William loyalist band. A fundraising event for the organiser was held at a social club in the grounds of Tobermore United Football Club, two miles (3.2 kilometres) from the town.


A Sinn Féin councillor in County Antrim has defied a death threat and vowed to continue her work.

Ballymena councillor Monica Digney was alerted to the threat when an unmarked postcard was received by staff at Ballymena Borough Council yesterday.

The plain card bore the hand-printed words “Warning, either shut your trap or be shot.” The postcard was signed ‘Ulster Loyalist’.

In 2005 Ms Digney became the first Sinn Féin representative elected to Ballymena council. Since then she has endured a litany of abuse from fellow councillors who often refuse to remain silent when she speaks at meetings.

The Sinn Féin woman has also been to the fore in exposing equality issues at the council.

Ms Digney says she will continue to work for her constituents.

“I work for everyone who comes to me from across this community and I will not be intimidated.

“There are those within this town who think this council is here to represent one one section of the community. I am here to show that this is not the case and I will continue to highlight inequality where I find it. I thought we had seen the last of these.”

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© 2006 Irish Republican News