03 May 2006

Killers being shielded: detective


Thomas Hollran was murdered in Carrickfergus

A senior detective has said people in Carrickfergus are protecting loyalist paramilitary killers.

Thomas Hollran, who was beaten to death in the town in February, should be celebrating his 50th birthday.

The police said he sustained extensive and horrifying injuries during a vicious attack.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Dunwoody said local allegations of indecent exposure made against Mr Hollran were false and he was completely innocent.

He appealed to local people to stop shielding the paramilitaries they believe are responsible for the murder.

"One of the reasons we made this appeal was to make it a matter of public record that Mr Hollran was innocent, and if anybody got the feeling that he got what he deserved, to put that to bed and say 'no he didn't'.

"He did not deserve what he got - nobody deserves to die the way Mr Hollran did," he said.

Found in alleyway

Mr Hollran was found by residents in an alleyway between Woodburn Avenue and Cherry Walk at about 1000 GMT on Saturday, 18 February. He died the following afternoon in hospital.

Police believe he travelled on the Belfast to Larne train on the same day. They also believe he walked to the Woodburn area to visit a relative.

Det Supt Dunwoody, who is leading the police inquiry, said witnesses must not be frightened to come forward.

"By not coming forward, they are protecting paramilitary killers," he said.

"The trouble with this is they are denying Mr Hollran the right to justice in death - those paramilitaries denied him his right to life."

Two men have been charged with intimidation in connection with the murder of Mr Hollran.

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