Irish Republican News · January 10, 2015
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Brutal killing blamed on UDA faction


Elements of the unionist paramilitary UDA have been blamed for the murder of a father-of-five in Ballymoney in County Antrim.

Brian ‘Brick’ McIlhagga, who was 42 and from nearby Ballymena, was targeted while he visited a friend who was also attacked in the town on Monday night.

Four children were in the house as he was savagely beaten and shot once in the leg in the front garden. He died at the scene. There were suggestions that the shooting may have been a ‘punishment’-style attack gone wrong.

The attack happened on Monday when at least three armed and masked men burst into the bungalow, attacked Mr McIlhagga’s friend and forced her to lie on the floor.

Mr McIlhagga, a plasterer, was dragged from the kitchen, along the hall and through the front door.

He was then beaten and shot. Ms Craig’s four children, who are all aged under 13, were in the house at the time.

She was treated in hospital but was later discharged.

A breakaway faction of the UDA has been blamed for similar attacks in Ballymoney in recent years, but there has been no claim of responsibility for the death of Mr McIlhagga

Sinn Fein’s Daithi McKay said the community was in shock at the murder, while DUP Assembly member Mervyn Storey said he had warned that gun violence in the town could escalate.

Justice minister David Ford said those involved were “evil people” who were working against the talks process.

“As politicians begin working to deliver on the agreement reached at Stormont for the good of our entire community, evil people are still coming out of the darkness to bring death and suffering onto our streets,” he said.

“There is no excuse for violence, nor any cause to justify it. It is time those responsible realised that and accepted the will of the people that Northern Ireland should move forward in peace.”

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