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BBC NI's Yvette Shapiro:
"David McIlwaine died as he had lived, a peaceful lad, his father said"
 real 28k

The BBC's Peter Hunt in Belfast
"Police keeping an open mind"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 20:47 GMT
Second murder victim's funeral held

Hundreds of people including fellow students attended the funeral
Hundreds of people including fellow students attended the funeral


Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of one of two men murdered in County Armagh at the weekend.

David McIlwaine, 18, who was a graphic design student, was found stabbed to death lying near the body of another man on a country road outside Tandragee on Saturday.

David McIlwaine was studying graphic design David McIlwaine was studying graphic design
The other victim, Andrew Robb, 19, was buried following a service at his grandmother's home in Portadown on Monday.

David McIlwaine's father Paul had asked paramilitaries and politicians to stay away from his son's funeral, which he said was private.

This was after former leader of the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Freedom Fighters Johnny Adair and Ulster Democratic Party representative John White and Portadown Orangemen attended Mr Robb's funeral.

Many of David McIlwaine's fellow students attended his funeral gathering at the family home off the Guildford Road.

Paul McIlwaine: Distraught father thanked mourners for coming Paul McIlwaine: Distraught father thanked mourners for coming
The dead man's father read verses from his son's bible and described him as a peaceful lad who he would love forever.

Pastor Harry Dowd said so much had been said about a man, "but David was just a boy".

Paul Berry, a Democratic Unionist Party assemblyman, who is a close friend of the family, also attended the funeral.

Bobby Jameson, whose brother Richard, the alleged leader of the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force in Portadown, was shot dead last month, also attended.

Fellow students and other friends came to his house Fellow students and other friends came to his house
Mr McIlwaine's remains were taken to Kernan Cemetery in Portadown.

On Monday Mr McIlwaine's father, Paul, said his son had no connection with loyalist paramilitaries following speculation that the murder of the two men could have been connected to an ongoing feud between loyalist paramilitaries the UVF and LVF.

Mr McIlwaine said David had been "in the wrong place at the wrong time".

The two young men had been "horrifically, brutally murdered," he said, appealing for information about the killings.

Victims found on road

The victims were found at the side of the Druminure Road, two miles from Tandragee on Saturday morning by a woman taking her children to dancing class.

Andrew Robb pictured with his girlfriend
Mr Robb's uncle, Robert Thornberry, denied media speculation that his nephew's murder was linked to drugs.

"I can tell them now, that Andrew had nothing to do with any drug pushers," he added.

Mr Robb had been the father of a nine-month-old daughter.

Police said the victims were fully clothed when their bodies were found several yards apart on the road. They had suffered severe injuries.

The indications were that Mr Robb, from Festival Road in Portadown, and Mr McIlwaine from The Laurels area of the town, were murdered in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Preliminary post mortem examination results following examinations carried out on the victims' bodies found the two men died from multiple stab wounds.

A number of people held in connection with the murders were released without charge on Sunday night.

Police have said they are not connecting the victims of a double murder with any terrorist organisation.

Feud speculation

The motive that the murders were linked to a loyalist paramilitary feud was not totally ruled out by police, but they are pursuing other lines of inquiry.

New graffitti indicates local suspicion about loyalist feud New graffitti indicates local suspicion about loyalist feud
Detective Inspector Alan Todd, who is involved in the murder inquiry, said Sunday's arrests were not made under anti-terrorist legislation.

"To the discerning observer, they should draw their own conclusions from that," he said.

He said a number of disturbances had occurred in the area and the victims may have been involved.

"We know the two men were alive in Tandragee at around 1.30am yesterday (Saturday) and that they had been involved, either directly or indirectly, in a number of scuffles in the town.

"Subsequent to that, we have not been able to account for their movements until the time their bodies were discovered."

Police said the men had spent part of Friday night at a nightclub in Tandragee called The Spot.

The paramilitary splinter group, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), issued a statement denying the two men had any links to its organisation.

Mr Robb was on bail in connection with a serious assault. Although he has been filmed associating with LVF members the police said he was not a member of a terrorist group.

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See also:
21 Feb 00 |  Northern Ireland
Murder victim's funeral takes place
19 Feb 00 |  Northern Ireland
Murder victims 'had no terror links'

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