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article imageCatholic man beaten to death by Protestant gang

By Chris V. Thangham     May 26, 2009 in World
A Catholic community worker was allegedly beaten to death by members of the Ulster Defense Association (UDA). They also attacked his Protestant wife and a pregnant neighbor when they tried to protect him.
Kevin McDaid, 49, was killed in Coleraine, Co. Londonderry on Sunday evening, allegedly by a gang of 40 members of the UDA.
This incident happened after Glasgow Rangers, a predominant Protestant football club, won the Scottish Premier League over Catholic leaning Celtic F.C. this year. Despite their religious leanings, both clubs have members from various countries and religious groups.
McDaid was trying to help Damien Fleming, 46, who was getting beaten up by the gang members. But McDaid couldn’t defend Fleming, and the gang members started to beat him also, leading to his death. Damien is at the hospital severely injured.
McDaid’s wife Evelyn, a Protestant also tried to intervene, the gang members beat her and her pregnant neighbor.
Evelyn McDaid told Times Online:
“UDA, they called themselves the UDA. I went across to help him and they beat me while they beat him...My neighbor 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.”
She said the gang beat her and her husband because of religious reasons.
“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.”
Mrs. McDaid wants the Catholic community to restrain themselves and not retaliate. She said her husband just wanted peace between the two communities.
McDaid had three sons and a foster son.
McDaid’s son Ryan McDaid told Times Online that police were present during the attacks but didn’t prevent the gang from attacking his dad and Damien.
“He died in my arms, dad was staggering up the road, he had gone out to help Damien. Damien was getting beaten and I rang the police on my mobile. Four or five times I rang 999. They said they were coming.
“When dad staggered up and he fell I was trying to bring him around again and I rang the ambulance on my mobile as he was in my arms. Police arrived in a van and ran up and gave Dad CPR but it was too little too late.”
Mourners have left Celtic scarves tied on railings and flowers at the scene of the attack.
Police said they will be launching an investigation soon.
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