CATHOLIC MAN BEATEN TO DEATH
Loyalist paramilitaries were tonight suspected of bludgeoning
a Catholic man to death.
James McMahon, 21, died in hospital after being beaten with
bats by a gang close to the River Lagan in Lisburn, County
The victim and two friends were chased by three masked men
last night as they walked home after a night out in the city.
Mr McMahon, who had just started a new job, was cornered and
battered as the pair with him escaped to raise the alarm.
When police and ambulance crews arrived they found him slumped
on the ground with severe head injuries.
Mr McMahon, from the Lisburn area, had emergency treatment in
the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast but died earlier today.
Lagan Valley Sinn Fein Representative Councillor Paul Butler
has said tonight that many people in Lisburn believe that the
murder of a young man in the town last night was a sectarian
Sending his condolences to the family of this young man, he
said that there had been a marked increase in loyalist
paramilitary activity in the town.
"It seems that the PSNI have sat back and allowed these
loyalist groups to operate with impunity. People in the town
are angry at this complete lack of response by the PSNI.
"Catholics in Lisburn and across Lagan Valley feel that they
have been abandoned time and again to the violent excesses of
ATTEMPTED MURDER IN COUNTY DOWN
Earlier this week, Loyalist paramilitaries have attempted to
murder a 30-year-old man in the County Down village of
Philip Briggs, was shot a number of times by a lone gunman at
his home near Lurgan on Tuesday evening.
It is understood that the gunman, who was not masked and spoke
with an English accent, called to the victim's home shortly
after 9.30pm on Tuesday night and asked for Mr Briggs by name
before shooting him a number of times in the lower body.
The gunman then escaped in a dark coloured car which was later
found burned out on the Ballymoney Road near Banbridge.
Mr Briggs, who had lived in the house for a number of years,
managed to make his way to a neighbour's house to raise the
alarm before collapsing.
He underwent emergency surgery at Craigavon Area hospital
yesterday afternoon where his condition was last night
described as 'stable'.
Meanwhile, loyalists have also een blamed for pushing a bogus
pipe-bomb device through the letter box of a UDA-linked
spokesman in the early hours of yesterday.
But Ulster Political Research Group (UPRG) spokesman Eddie
McClean refused to speculate on who was responsible for the
attack. "I don't know who did it," he said. "I'll leave
up to the police."
Mr McClean admitted that he has been threatened by rival
loyalist groups during the feuds between loyalist
paramilitaries in north Belfast.