Belfast Telegraph

Mother of murder victim Barry McCrory tells of relief as suspect Kieran McLaughlin arrested in Derry

BY DONNA DEENEY

The mother of the murder victim whose death sparked a massive six-day cross-border manhunt has said she got the outcome she wanted after the arrest of Kieran McLaughlin.

The search for the armed murder suspect ended in a textbook arrest when police apprehended McLaughlin without a shot being fired.

Three guns were found when police captured Mr McLaughlin  at 3am, hiding behind a car in Fern Park in the Galliagh area of Londonderry yesterday.

The two handguns and a shotgun were recovered from three separate locations in Galliagh, which remained sealed off for several hours.

Mr McLaughlin was taken to the Serious Crime Suite in Antrim for questioning about the murder of Barry McCrory in Derry seven days ago.

Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey said his mother Ann had told him it was the result she had wanted.

"She did not want any more bloodshed but a peaceful resolution and the same was true of the McLaughlin family," he said. "She said she tried not to dwell on Kieran McLaughlin but to stay strong for her own family and get through the funeral for Barry on Tuesday."

Mr McCrory's funeral took place in St Joseph's Church in Galliagh – just metres away from where Mr McLaughlin was captured.

One woman, who lives close to where Mr McLaughlin was captured, said: "I am glad it is over because you just couldn't relax. I didn't let my two children out to play because it was always in the back of your mind – what if something suddenly happened and they got caught up in a shoot-out or something like that."

Two cars – one in Moss Park and the other in Ederowen Park, also in Galliagh – were being forensically examined, although 40 people who had been evacuated from their homes were allowed back in the early afternoon.

The operation to catch Mr McLaughlin began at 9.30pm on Tuesday evening in Donegal, where the fugitive had been spotted.

Garda kept him under surveillance until he crossed the border in to Derry, when a large number of PSNI officers continued surveillance of his movements.

Police swamped the Fern Park area and swooped on Mr McLaughlin, who was safely removed from behind a car where he had been hiding.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said: "This has been a difficult week, particularly for the McCrory family, but also for the McLaughlin family and the people of this city.

"We would not have brought this operation to a successful conclusion without the assistance of the members of the public."

District Commander Martin would not be drawn on the details of the operation as Mr McLaughlin was being questioned.

Chief Superintendent Martin paid tribute to his officers, the Garda and the local community.

He added: "This has been an extensive police operation involving daily, over 100 officers from my own district, but also from right across the PSNI."

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