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Six held after man battered in Antrim pub attack

By Brett Campbell

Six men have been arrested following a serious assault at a Co Antrim pub.

A man aged in his 40s is being treated in hospital after he was beaten with baseball bats and hammers in McConnells pub in Doagh on Wednesday evening.

Police believe the attackers fled the Main Street pub on foot before escaping in getaway cars which were waiting nearby.

The victim was taken to hospital following the assault where he is receiving treatment for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A group of men, aged between 24 and 38, remained in police custody last night after being arrested in connection with the attack.

Suggested links with the murder of former UDA commander George 'Geordie' Gilmore (44) - who died in hospital on Tuesday after being shot at point-blank range in Carrickfergus the day before - have been dismissed by local politicians.

Police have launched a murder investigation following the shooting in Carrickfergus' Woodburn estate on Monday.

Ballyclare Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Bingham condemned the attack.

He said: "I don't think there is any link at all between this attack and the murder in Carrickfergus, although I condemn it all the same.

"It's a totally different situation.

"The attack in Doagh doesn't appear to have been planned, it was more spontaneous and came as a complete surprise.

"There was no expectation of trouble."

Local DUP councillor Tim Girvan also dismissed any notion of a link to the loyalist's murder.

"It's a very disturbing incident, especially in Doagh, which is a quiet village," he said.

"Any talk of a link between this attack and the murder in Carrickfergus is speculation."

PSNI Detective Sergeant Robinson has appealed for anyone who witnessed the assault or the group of males in the area of the bar to contact detectives in Antrim on 101 quoting reference number 982 15/03/17.

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