PSNI launch murder probe as James McDonagh dies after assault in Toomebridge
A 28-year-old man fighting for his life following an assault outside a bar in Toomebridge has died.
The assault happened outside the Elk Inn on the Hillhead Road in the early hours of Sunday morning.
James McDonagh from the Castledawson area died in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast this afternoon.
Detectives from Serious Crime Branch have launched a murder investigation.
Three men aged 52, 24 and 20 who were arrested late last night in the Toomebridge area remain in custody in a Belfast police station.
The officer leading the murder investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Eamonn Corrigan, said: “It was reported that at around 2am on Sunday morning an altercation took place outside the Elk Inn.
"I am appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that can assist with the investigation to contact the incident room at Magherafelt on the non-emergency number 101.
"Alternatively, anyone who does not wish to provide their personal details can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Sinn Fein MLA Ian Milne said the death was a "tragedy for his family and friends".
"The death of this man following an assault in Toome in the early hours of Sunday morning is an absolute tragedy.
"It has caused widespread shock in the local area.
"My thoughts and sympathies are with the man's friends and family at this sad time.
"I would appeal for anyone with any information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI immediately."