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Last Updated: Friday, 12 May 2006, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
CCTV link in teenage murder probe
Michael McIlveen died after being attacked in Ballymena
Michael McIlveen died after being attacked in Ballymena
CCTV footage could provide vital clues for detectives investigating the murder of a 15-year-old boy in County Antrim, a court has heard.

Michael McIlveen died in hospital on Monday after being attacked by a gang at Garfield Place, Ballymena on Sunday.

Five Ballymena teenagers, including a 15-year-old, have already been remanded in custody charged with his murder.

On Friday, at Larne Magistrates Court, police said they were examining CCTV footage as part of the investigation.

The comments were made as police were granted an extra 36 hours in which to question two other teenagers. They were arrested on Wednesday evening.

Sectarianism is an endemic infection which affects all of us across the whole society, Catholics and Protestants, and people in different social classes
Dr John Dunlop
Former Presbyterian moderator
The court was also told that police have seized items of clothing, footwear and a baseball bat during planned searches in the Ballymena area.

The five who have already been charged in connection with the killing are due to appear in court again next month.

Presbyterian Moderator Dr Harry Uprichard visited the McIlveen family on Friday.

Dr Uprichard urged young people caught up in tensions in the town not to "allow yourself to be influenced by those who would persuade you that you are doing something macho".

"It doesn't have to be like this - there is something better for you. You live in a town which has so much to offer. You have a life which is full of so much potential," he said.

Candles lit at vigil for Michael McIlveen
Vigils have been held at Michael McIlveen's family home
"Use that life wisely - don't waste it in a way that brings no benefit to yourself and may even bring harm to others."

He was accompanied on his visit by Catholic priest Fr Sean Connolly.

A book of condolence for the McIlveen family has been opened by Ballymena Council.

The town's DUP mayor, Tommy Nicholl, and a number of other councillors, have already signed the book.

Civic leaders, teachers, Sunday School teachers of all religions should tell young people very clearly and very carefully to stay out of gangs
James Currie
Former Ballymena mayor
The former Presbyterian moderator, Dr John Dunlop, said more should be done to tackle sectarianism.

"We haven't recognised how widespread this problem is," he said.

"Some people think sectarianism is an infection that afflicts some people here and there. What I am saying is that sectarianism is an endemic infection which affects all of us across the whole society, Catholics and Protestants, and people in different social classes."

A former Ulster Unionist mayor of Ballymena has urged young people in the town not to get involved in sectarian gangs.

James Currie said on Friday that parents and teachers must get the message across about the consequences of sectarian violence.

"Civic leaders, teachers, Sunday School teachers of all religions should tell young people very clearly and very carefully to stay out of gangs and not get involved because you're destroying your whole future at 14, 15 or up to 19 or whatever it is," he said.

Michael was a pupil at St Patrick's College in Ballymena.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein cancelled planned hunger strike commemorations in Portglenone on Friday as a mark of respect for the family of the murdered teenager.


SEE ALSO:
Beaten teenager dies in hospital
08 May 06 |  Northern Ireland


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