The son of a father-of-four who was killed on his doorstep as he tried to save another man during sectarian clashes in Coleraine, said today he is devastated by his dad’s death.
Kevin McDaid (49), a plasterer, was kicked and beaten to death in front of his son Ryan in the Somerset Drive area of the town at around 9.30pm yesterday.
His wife Evelynn was also attacked during disturbances involving a crowd of 40 loyalists armed with homemade weapons.
Mr McDaid’s son Ryan (22) today described the people who killed his father as “thugs” |and “animals” and added that he hopes they will be brought to justice.
“My father was a well-known man. He never did anybody any harm. He was well-loved. He was a 100% father. My mum is not doing too well, but I need to stay strong and get everything organised.
“Mum was attacked too. She is badly bruised and has cuts on her head. The people that did this are just thugs and animals. I hope they are caught.”
Another man, 46-year-old Damien Flemming, was also taken to hospital last night with serious injuries after being assaulted in nearby Pates Lane during the disturbances.
Sources at the scene have claimed that a crowd of up to 70 people, many armed with home-made weapons, arrived in the area in cars and taxis after the final matches in the Scottish Premier League which meant that Rangers won the title ahead of Celtic.
They reportedly attacked a house belonging to a friend of Mr McDaid before going on the rampage. It is understood Mr McDaid went out of his house to help another man who was being attacked when he was killed.
Eyewitnesses said that Mr McDaid’s attackers kicked and jumped on his head as he lay dying on the ground.
Sinn Fein councillor Billy Leonard said the attack on Mr McDaid, a Catholic, was based on “raw sectarian hatred” and claimed that loyalists were responsible. “This is a totally devastating incident but unfortunately I have to say that I have warned that loyalists would take a life in Coleraine.”
Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, said a “sizeable group of loyalists” were responsible for the killing.
He added: “I'm dismayed at this and I think it's important that people in the community identify those responsible and co-operate with the police to bring those murderers to justice.”
DUP MP Gregory Campbell, said there has to be “total condemnation of this killing as we would do for all other killings, no matter when or where they occurred or who the victims were.”
A heavy police presence remained in the estate today. The road was sealed off and police cordon was placed around the spot where Mr McDaid was killed.
A PSNI spokeswoman said: “Police investigating both incidents would appeal to anyone with |information to contact them at Coleraine on 0845 600 8000.”