Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 14:15 UK

Widow appeals for no retaliation

Kevin McDaid
Kevin McDaid was beaten to death

The widow of a man beaten to death by a sectarian gang in Coleraine has said her husband would not want retaliation.

Kevin Brendan McDaid, 49, a Catholic father-of-four, was attacked and beaten by a loyalist mob close to his home in the Somerset Drive area on Sunday.

Mr McDaid's widow, Evelyn, said the gang who attacked her husband claimed to be members of the UDA. The police have refuted this.

The police are continuing to question eleven men over the killing.

"I went across to help him and they beat me while they beat him," she said.

"Then my neighbour had to step in to save me and she was pregnant and they beat her too and she shouted 'I'm pregnant' and they didn't care."

"My sons tried to work on him. The ambulance was phoned. But he was dead, I knew he was dead. It was his colour and he couldn't breathe.

"The people who did this have to be punished. They took my husband's life; they have just destroyed our whole family."

"It was all to do with religion, and I'm not even a Catholic. I am a Protestant, it's a mixed marriage, but they just seem to hate us so much.

"He was my life, he was a very loving father and a great man.

Mrs McDaid suffered a head injury, two black eyes and was given a brain scan to ensure there were no other injuries.

"They took my husband's life; they have just destroyed our whole family."

Evelyn McDaid

Another man, 46-year-old Damian Fleming, was assaulted in nearby Pates Lane and is in a critical condition in hospital.

Mr Fleming's son, Brendan, said: "He is very critical in hospital. There is a 50/50 chance. You would not recognise him if you saw him with all the marks on his face," he said.

The police have said they are investigating another assault in Pates Lane several hours after the attacks on Mr McDaid and Mr Fleming.

The man's jaw was broken, and he is being treated in hospital.

It is believed that he was wearing a Rangers top when he was attacked.

The police increased patrols in Coleraine after further trouble on Monday.

They have said their main line of inquiry into Mr McDaid's murder is a "sectarian motive".



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