13 January 2006

McColgan killers are ‘untouchable’

Daily Ireland

Man’s killers are agents

A priest yesterday said it was believed the loyalist killers of a 21-year-old Catholic postman have escaped justice because they are police informants. Speaking to Daily Ireland on the fourth anniversary of the murder of Daniel McColgan, Fr Dan Whyte described as ‘appalling’ reports the gunmen are being protected by elements within the PSNI.

Ciarán Barnes
13/01/2006

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A priest yesterday said it was believed the loyalist killers of a 21-year-old Catholic postman have escaped justice because they are police informants. Speaking to Daily Ireland on the fourth anniversary of the murder of Daniel McColgan, Fr Dan Whyte described as “appalling” reports the gunmen are being protected by elements within the PSNI.

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Mr McColgan was shot dead on January 12, 2002, as he went to work in a mail sorting office in the loyalist Rathcoole estate on the edge of north Belfast. The Red Hand Defenders, a cover name for the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), said it carried out the killing.Within days of the murder, the names of two senior loyalists from southeast Antrim were being linked to the murder. One of them, now the UDA’s leader in the area, is reported to be a Special Branch informant.

Fr Whyte, whose St Mary’s on the Hill parish the McColgan family live in, said the feeling in the community is that the killers are being shielded.
“The names of the people who murdered Daniel are known among this community, that’s the feeling around here,” he said.
“The other common understanding is that the police know who was involved in the killing but they have not been touched because they are in positions as informants.
“These are the genuine concerns my parishioners have. It is absolutely appalling that the guys who did this are walking the same streets. They have committed murder, yet nothing has been done.”
Fr Whyte urged the PSNI to renew their efforts to bring Mr McColgan’s killers to justice.
He said that despite the murder occurring four years ago police chiefs should plough as much resources as possible into the investigation.
A spokesman for the PSNI said 12 people have been arrested in connection with the murder but there have been no charges.
He said detectives remain resolute in their determination to bring Mr McColgan’s killers before the courts.
Danny McColgan was one of four young men murdered by loyalists in southeast Antrim during a 12-month period between July 2001-02.
The others killed were Ciaran Cummings, Gavin Brett and Gerard Lawlor. The PSNI has yet to charge anyone in connection with these deaths.

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