Belfast Telegraph

Kevin McDaid murder: Sons desperately tried to save father after savage attack

By Rebecca Black

Father-of-four Kevin McDaid was savagely beaten to death just yards from his home in the Somerset Drive area of Coleraine in May 2009.

Despite frantic efforts to intervene and then later to revive him, he could not survive his injuries which his wife Evelyn said left him unrecognisable.

The killing took place a short time after a Rangers v Celtic match had finished.

The 49-year-old was targeted by a loyalist mob that had invaded the area.

Horrified Evelyn was also beaten as she tried to save her husband, and a pregnant woman who lived nearby also came under attack.

Their neighbour, Damien Fleming, attempted to intervene but was badly beaten and left in a coma.

The attack sparked shock and anger across Northern Ireland, but displaying two black eyes from the attack, Evelyn McDaid publicly urged no retaliation for her husband, saying Kevin, who was a community worker, would not have wanted that.

She said the couple, who were in a mixed marriage, were disliked by loyalists.

At the time Evelyn recounted how her sons tried to save their father, but she knew he was dead. "My sons tried to work on him. The ambulance was phoned, but he was dead.

"I knew he was dead. It was his colour and he couldn't breathe. The people who did this have to be punished.

"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.

"He was my life, he was a very loving father and a great man. They took my husband's life. They have just destroyed our whole family."

Evelyn claimed that the UDA were behind the attack. Police initially refuted this but then said they were investigating a sectarian motive.

Later officers told the High Court that they suspected members of the UDA were involved in the killing.

Ten people were initially arrested over the killing, while 20 people received death threats after the murder.

Mr Fleming was attacked again in the aftermath of events and in August 2009 the McDaid family home was attacked.

Two weeks ago – five years after the attack – 12 men appeared in court facing charges over the murder.

However, all 12 have now been cleared of attempted murder or manslaughter.

Beaten to death... five years on Kevin's family still wait to see his killers in court  

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