12 men sent for trial over killing of Catholic father-of-four Kevin McDaid in Coleraine
Published 21/01/2014 | 01:30
Twelve men are to stand trial accused of the manslaughter of a Catholic community worker nearly five years ago, a judge has ruled.
Kevin McDaid, a 49-year-old father-of-four, died following an attack in Coleraine, Co Londonderry.
The 12 are all further accused of attempting to murder his friend Damien Fleming in the same incident.
District Judge Desmond Perry held that each of the defendants had a case to answer, and they will be arraigned in the Crown Court next month.
A decision has yet to be made over whether the 12 will be tried by jury or judge.
Those accused of his unlawful killing are: Aaron Beech (28), of John Street, Ballymena; David Craig Cochrane (23) and David James John Cochrane (52), both of Windyhall Park, Coleraine; Frank Daly (52), from Oakland Walk, Coleraine; Rodney Gardner (45), of Knocklynn Grange, Coleraine; Philip Kane (39), from Danes Hill Road, Coleraine; James McAfee (32), of Cloneen Drive, Ballymoney; Christopher McDowell (37), from Castle Walk Mews, Castlerock; Ivan McDowell (47), from Taggart Mews, Ballymoney; John McGrath (54), of Knock Road, Ballymoney; Paul Newman (49), of Nursery Avenue, Ballymoney, and John Thompson (34), of Knocknougher Road, Macosquin, Coleraine.
During a preliminary investigation hearing at North Antrim Magistrates Court, sitting in Belfast, lawyers for some defendants accepted a prima facie case had been established.
Mr Perry ruled: "I'm satisfied a case is made out against each and every one of the defendants."
Appearing together in the dock, all of the accused declined to give evidence or call witnesses at this stage.
The defendants were all released on continuing bail until proceedings get under way.
Kevin McDaid collapsed and died after the alleged attack close to his home in the Heights area of Coleraine in May 2009. Violence was said to have flared on the same day as the Scottish Premier League football title was decided between Celtic and Rangers, and there was tension in the area over flags.