Peace worker killed for being Catholic
Peace worker killed for being Catholic

Kevin McDaid was killed for the crime of being Catholic -- but his Protestant wife Evelyn, who was also viciously attacked, has said he simply wanted peace.

“He tried to help. He didn’t want all this tension and fighting that is going on here,” she said.

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

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 four sons, she recalled her husband’s kindness.

“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.”

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.

“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.”


The mother of murdered Catholic schoolboy Michael McIlveen visited the grieving family.

Gina McIlveen spoke of her “devastation” at the murder of Mr McDaid.

She and other family members brought a huge bouquet of flowers with them as they tried to offer some comfort to Mr McDaid’s grieving wife and children.

Ms McIlveen’s son Michael was punched, kicked and beaten with a baseball bat in an alleyway by a gang of Protestant teenagers in May 2006.

He died hours later in hospital.

“I hoped this would never happen again,” Ms McIlveen said.

“Is it ever going to end? It’ll never end.

“Another woman has lost a husband through in the same way that I lost Michael.

“I am just shocked and devastated.

“Seeing all these Celtic shirts and flowers is just like Michael all over again.

“It just makes me feel sick to my stomach.

“All I could tell them was that I went through the same thing. It’s happening round here and it has been happening eleswhere.”

Ms McIlveen said she could offer no comfort that those who had carried out the murder would be punished adequately.

“There’s no justice.

“I’ve not got justice for my son even now,” she said.

“They were trying to make a big show out of us.”

Her comments came as a representative from the attorney general’s office was expected to travel from London to meet members of the McIlveen family.

The McIlveens will hand over a petition to Baroness Scotland tomorrow calling for tougher sentences to be imposed in Michael McIlveen’s murder case.

The attorney general is expected to decide later this week whether the sentences imposed on four men convicted of murdering the 15-year-old were too lenient and should be referred to the Court of Appeal.

Earlier this month four Ballymena men were given life sentences but then told they must serve only between 10 and 13 years in prison before being considered for release.

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2009 Irish Republican News