Classmates of a schoolboy murdered on a railway line in Northern Ireland have provided detectives with fresh leads in the investigation.
They came forward after a senior police officer stood in front of 350 pupils at morning assembly at St Joseph’s High School in |Coleraine and appealed for help finding the killers of 14-year-old Ryan Quinn.
The teenager died when he was struck by a train outside the nearby coastal town of Portrush last Friday night.
Police believe he was chased onto the tracks by a group of males after an altercation in a nearby bar. Officers arrested four people after the incident but they were later released on bail.
Detective Chief Inspector Frankie Taylor yesterday appealed for friends who were with Ryan in McLaughlin’s bar that night to come forward.
Minutes after he finished addressing the assembly, police |received a number of calls from pupils with new information.
“Ryan can’t tell us what happened to him so we need somebody to be a witness for him,” Mr Taylor said afterwards.
“We need to speak to people in the bar and, more importantly, those who were out the back of the bar when Ryan was chased.” McLaughlin’s bar is less than 100 yards from the section of track where Ryan was killed.
Mr Taylor said that since the murder there have been a number of incidents of alleged intimidation against people who the community suspected of involvement in Ryan’s death. He urged those responsible to stop.
Meanwhile, the new owners of the bar where Ryan had been socialising before his death said last night that they were stunned by the tragedy. Roy Torrens and his son-in-law, Mark Johnston, took over just days after the murder. The bar has been renamed Inn on the Coast.
Mr Torrens said: “We were shocked by Ryan's death and we would like to express our sympathy and condolences to his family.”