20 February 2006

Loyalists blamed for town killing


Mr Hollran travelled to Carrickfergus from Belfast by train

The family of a man found murdered in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, have blamed the UDA for the killing.

It is understood local man Tommy Hollran, 49, may have been attacked after loyalist paramilitaries ordered him to stay away from the town.

NI Secretary Peter Hain condemned the murder, and said those responsible were "a threat to the whole community".

Mr Hollran was found with serious head and face injuries in an alleyway at about 2200 GMT on Saturday.

He was then taken to hospital but died on Sunday afternoon. A post mortem examination is due to be carried on on Monday.

It is understood Mr Hollran, who was unemployed, was ordered to leave Carrickfergus last year following a dispute with loyalist paramilitaries.

'Two youths'

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

They think Mr Hollran travelled to Carrickfergus from Belfast by train on Saturday, arriving at the Clipperstown train station at about 2125 GMT.

It is then believed that he travelled on foot in the Woodburn area to visit a relative.

Detectives want to speak to any train passenger travelling from Belfast to Larne, who finished their journey at Clipperstown or indeed who was using that station on Saturday night.

They also want to speak to two youths in the area of Woodburn Avenue/Cherry Walk who reported the incident to a local resident.

Forensic scientists working at the murder scene

The mayor of Carrickfergus, David Hilditch of the DUP, said the town was shocked by the murder.

"I would appeal for anybody who knows anything about this despicable attack to please get in touch with the police.

"It would also save the family further pain if the perpetrators gave themselves up," Mr Hilditch said.

East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson has condemned the murder.

He said: "This is an abhorrent murder and my thoughts are with the family of Mr Hollran at this awful time for them.

Ulster Unionist assembly member Roy Beggs Jnr said that the "reports on the vicious assault which led to the death of Mr Hollran are truly shocking".

"I am very concerned that the psychopaths who did this are still at large and quite possibly walking around Carrickfergus."

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