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BBC NI's Anita McVeigh reports:
"John McCormick was at home with his partner and four young children when two gunmen forced their way into the house"
 real 28k

Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK
Loyalists blamed for Coleraine murder
Locator map showing Coleraine
The police have said loyalist paramilitaries murdered a man gunned down in his County Londonderry home on Saturday night.

John Henry McCormick, who was 25, was shot by two men wearing boiler suits, who forced their way into his Loughanhill Park home in Coleraine at about 2230 BST.

His partner and four young children were also in the house on the loyalist Ballysally estate when the gunmen burst in.

Mr McCormick, believed to be a Catholic, later died in hospital.

His partner and two of their children escaped injury when the house was targeted by pipe bombers three weeks ago.

The device exploded in the hall of the house.

The gunmen who shot Mr McCormick are thought to have made their getaway in a silver Renault 11 car, registration number TIW 5692.

The vehicle was later found abandoned and on fire a short distance away in Dundooan Road.

RUC Chief Inspector Nigel Kyle said the police believed loyalist paramilitaries had carried out the murder.

However, he said a precise motive for the murder had not yet been established.

Condemnation

Earlier, Superintendent John Bustard condemned the "brutal murder" and urged the public to assist the police in their investigation.


Whatever the motive, the people behind it should be aware that everyone has a basic right to live. It is morally reprehensible that someone should act in this way as judge, jury and executioner

Mayor John Dallat
"We're anxious to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time or notice the car prior to the shooting or afterwards when it was abandoned," he said.

The nationalist Mayor of Coleraine, John Dallat of the SDLP, said the murder was "a morally reprehensible act which should be condemned widely".

Mr Dallat said: "This incident will come as terrible blow for Coleraine.

"It is not good for this town which could have done without it for all sorts of reasons and my sympathies go with the victim's family.

"Whatever the motive, the people behind it should be aware that everyone has a basic right to live.

"It is morally reprehensible that someone should act in this way as judge, jury and executioner. I hope those responsible will be caught."

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