Executed: man’s naked body dumped at border in Northern Ireland
A man shot in the head and dumped close to the border with Co Donegal was found stripped naked with his hands bound, it emerged today.
The man’s murder bore the brutal hallmarks of a paramilitary-style killing, politicians have said.
The unidentified victim, thought to be in his 30s, was found at the rear of a Christian |retreat centre outside Londonderry by a passerby on the Braehead Road near Killea at around 10.30 last night.
Local clergy said it was |particularly poignant that a horrific murder had been discovered near a place of prayer. While no motive has yet been established and there has been no claim of responsibility, suspicion has fallen on dissident republicans opposed to the peace process.
The murder bears all the hallmarks of a republican ‘execution’ from the darkest days of the |Troubles, according to politicians, who were united in their condemnation of the killing.
Foyle MP Mark Durkan said: “On behalf of the SDLP, I totally and absolutely condemn this brutal and crude murder, which is a throwback to the very worst of our past.”
Mr Durkan said the killing echoed the so-called “execution” murders carried out by the IRA during the Troubles.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell said: “It bears a remarkable similarity to murders by the Provisional IRA and others during the Troubles. In fact, the PIRA murdered two Protestant civilians in the early days of their violence and used this area to dump those bodies.
“Whilst there is much talk of stopping those responsible from dragging us back to the past, this can only be the case if the community gives whatever information they have to the police. It is only full cooperation between the police and the community that can bring the perpetrators before the courts.”
Fr Stephen McLaughlin from St Mary’s Church in Creggan led prayers as a white sheet was placed over the body.
He described the murder as “chilling”.
“The immediate feeling you have is one of utter revulsion, it is sickening,” he said. “We thought certainly that these sort of things were not going to be part of our future.
“It was a horrific scene, and I think anybody would find it utterly shocking that someone would be left at the side of the road like that. It is a horrific way of dealing with a human being.”
Police have appealed for help in identifying the murdered man. He was described as 6ft, with receding brown hair and aged 35 to 40.
Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson said people who discovered the body called emergency services and a sheet was placed over the murdered man when it became clear he was dead.
She said: “It was extremely shocking with blood running down the Braehead Road. Local people at the scene last night were saying they had not heard shots in the area which may mean the man was shot elsewhere and brought there but this is only speculation at this stage.
“It is wrong. There is no place for this in our society.” She said of the killers: “How dare they.”
Eamonn McCann, of the People Before Profit political group, said: “Paramilitary violence of this sort is not just wrong in terms of political morality but is a distraction from, and an obstacle to, any real remedy for our ills.
“We call on those responsible to stop.”