Trial begins for loyalists accused of mob killing


A court has heard how a group of men shouting “We’re the UDA” descended on a Coleraine street and set upon two Catholic men, leaving one dead, after Glasgow Rangers FC won the Scottish Premiership title in May 2009.

Kevin McDaid died and Damien Fleming was seriously injured after loyalists descended on the nationalist area of the County Derry town and launched a mob assault, shouting “We’re the UDA. We’re here to kick some Fenians heads in”.

The court hear how Mr McDaid tragically collapsed outside his Somerset Drive home and his wife cried “fight, fight Kevin” as attempts were made to resuscitate him.

Twelve men are charged with the manslaughter of Mr McDaid and attempted murder of Mr Fleming and other counts of assault and public order offences.

The gang had travelled to the Killowen area of Coleraine’s Heights estate to take down tricolours and Celtic flags put up as Celtic FC and Rangers FC were playing separate matches at the culmination of the Scottish league title race.

Evelyn McDaid described the men who arrived as “like a mob” and said her husband “seemed to disappear” among them.

Ryan McDaid, a son of the dead man, named the six men he said had attacked his father. He also told a court how the group was “kicking and jumping all over” Mr Fleming in the Pate’s Lane/ Somerset Drive area.

Another witness described how the father-of-four had been kicked “everywhere possible”, while one of Damien Fleming’s attackers had “used his head like a rugby ball”.

Neighbour Leona Whittaker said one loyalist, Francis Daly, had held on to a garden fence “to get himself balanced” before landing a kick on Mr Fleming, who suffered serious injuries.

She named three people she said had kicked Mr McDaid as he lay on the ground.

“A crowd of people just started attacking him, kicking at him as he lay on the ground; everywhere possible, his face, his chest, his sides, his legs,” said Ms Whittaker.

She also said Daly had assaulted her as she tried to help Mr McDaid’s injured wife Evelyn and when she told him she was pregnant, he replied “Too bad”.

The 30-year-old said Mrs McDaid was “getting punched in the face and kicked in the face” as she lay behind a car and had been pushed when she went to her husband’s aid.

Mr Fleming told the court how the mob had turned on him. He had heard someone say: “‘There’s one of the Fenian bastards there’ and after that there I was kicked around the place”.

Leona Whittaker’s sister-in-law Kelly Whittaker said the group had shouted: “We’re the UDA, we’re here to kick some Fenians’ heads in”. She said she shouted for the men to leave Mr Fleming alone, saying “he’s only an aul drunk man”, but “all I got was ‘he’s a f***king Fenian isn’t he, he’s getting what he deserves’.”

Twelve men are charged with the manslaughter of Mr McDaid, the attempted murder of Mr Fleming, and other counts of assault and public order offences.

All were released on continuing bail.

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.

© 2014 Irish Republican News