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BBC NI's Conor Bradford
speaks to RUC Superintendent Richard Meek
 real 28k

Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Police renew murder appeal
floral tributes
Flowers mark the spot where Mr Cummings was killed
The police have renewed their appeal for information about the murder of a Catholic teenager in County Antrim.

Ciaran Cummings, 19, was shot at the Greystone roundabout in Antrim town just after 0700 BST on Wednesday as he waited for a lift to work.

The RUC district commander, Superintendent Richard Meek, said at this stage the investigation was concentrating on a motorcycle used in the attack.

He said there had been an excellent response from the public in relation to the motorcycle.

"We are following up a number of lines of inquiry on that, and we won't know until the middle of the day what the outcome will be," he said.

Murder victim Ciaran Cummings
Ciaran Cummings was shot on his way to work
"We are very hopeful of recovering this motorcycle and it is our belief that it hasn't travelled too far.

"But notwithstanding the excellent response we have received, we do urge anyone with information to contact the incident room at RUC Antrim."

He said the police would have to take seriously a claim from the Red Hand Defenders that it carried out the murder.

"We are keeping an open mind as to the veracity of this claim," said Superintendent Meek.

Mr Cummings was approached by two men on a black motorcycle and was shot several times. He died at the scene.

A person claiming to speak for the dissident loyalist group the Red Hand Defenders said it carried out the shooting.

Several loyalist groups, most notably the Loyalist Volunteer Force, have used the title of the Red Hand Defenders as a cover name.

'Full of dreams'

The family's parish priest, Father John Murray, said the Cummings were struggling with their pain.

Fr Murray described the 19-year-old as "full of life, full of dreams and ambitions".

"He was full of life, as we all are at 19 years of age.

"He was hoping to save up and buy a car and hoping to make a life for himself and his girlfriend."

Local nationalist and unionist political representatives have said they believe it was a sectarian murder by loyalists.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned the murder, which he said was "a tragic and terrible event".


This young man and his friends had received verbal threats from the LVF

Martin Meehan Sinn Fein
Sinn Fein councillor, Martin Meehan, said the victim had received "verbal threats from the LVF".

Speaking on Wednesday, he said: "His young sister was told a week ago by a well-known loyalist that he would be shot dead along with his friends," he said.

Ken Wilkinson, a local representative from the Progressive Unionist Party, which is linked to the loyalist paramilitary UVF, said Mr Cummings' distraught father visited him shortly after the murder to see if he could find out any information about it.

The police believe that after the shooting the attackers made their way up the Greystone Road in the direction of the M2 motorway and have appealed for information.

SDLP assembly member Donovan McClelland appealed to community representatives to try to calm tensions following the murder.

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