Poppy Day parade held by UDA killer unit

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An event organised by a sectarian and criminal murder gang to mark Remembrance Sunday has been condemned by its victims.

The illegal parade in the town of Rathcoole, County Antrim was organised by the South East Antrim faction of the UDA. The gang, styling themselves as part of the British Crown Forces, paid tribute to their late members.

The UDA continues to engage in serious violence in the area, and as recently as last week issued death threats against the family of a man it brutally killed in 2020.

It’s almost three years since Glenn Quinn was beaten to death in his flat in Carrickfergus by a UDA gang armed with iron bars and bats. The killers ransacked his pockets as he struggled for breath and laughed as they left him to die.

Mr Quinn, who was terminally ill, was attacked by the gang because he had complained about arson attacks on his friend’s business. No-one has ever been charged with his murder. Amid concerns of collusion, the Police Ombudsman says it has been investigating PSNI “failures” in the case.

Mr Quinn’s family have faced reprisals and threats for campaigning for Glenn’s killers to be brought to justice. His elderly mother has now called on the British Legion, which organises Remembrance Sunday events, to condemn those behind the parade.

“Remembrance Sunday is a time to remember the people who have fallen in the wars, but for these people, it’s an excuse to go to drinking parties,” Ellen Quinn said.

“There’ll be picture of them wearing their poppies, that’s for the British Legion, honest decent people who died for Queen and country, they’re not!”.

The family have been threatened 12 times since Mr Quinn’s death. Last week Ellen was again told by the PSNI that her life is at risk for simply seeking justice for her murdered son.

“It took the wind out of my sails. I had to go in (the bedroom) and lie down, I just couldn’t think,” she said. “Every noise you hear, every car that drives by, you get up and look, but you just live with it.

“It’s ridiculous a 78-year-old woman has to have so much security, but I’m not moving.”

Asked if she fears she could be shot dead in the home that holds so many memories of her son, Ellen replied: “Yes I do. I am prepared, but it’s not going to stop me.”

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