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Suspected drugs death man Darren Taylor was son of hunter shot by SAS

By Sophie Inge

Published 23/11/2016

Darren Taylor with daughter Sheree
Darren Taylor with daughter Sheree

The sudden death of a man in Coagh yesterday in a suspected drug-related incident was the second tragedy to hit the family, it has emerged.

Darren Taylor (36) was found at his flat in the Co Tyrone village on Monday - just weeks after a young woman died after taking drugs in the same flat.

Darren was the son of Jim Taylor, a civil servant working as a water surveyor, who was shot dead by the SAS.

Jim Taylor died on a duck-shooting expedition at the Ballinderry River in 1978, at the age of 23.

The undercover soldiers said they believed him to be a terrorist.

According to reports, Jim and three companions returned to their parked car in the dark to find that the vehicle's tyres had been deflated.

Two other cars were parked nearby.

He got out of the car and shouted at the people in the other cars and was struck by three bullets.

It was claimed that Mr Taylor had got out of the car with a shotgun, but this was disputed by his companions.

The soldiers were not charged.

Mr Taylor's son Darren was the father of Sheree and had a brother, Jason.

A death notice from his family stated he "is now free from pain and mental anguish".

Funeral details have yet to be announced.

Darren's death follows that of 21-year-old Amy Reid at a house party in the village on October 28 when another person was also taken to hospital.

Ms Reid is believed to have been a friend of Mr Taylor.

Following her death, two men, aged 26 and 39, and a 32-year-old woman, were arrested in connection with drug-related enquiries.

They were later released on bail pending further enquiries.

SDLP MLA for Mid-Ulster, Patsy McGlone, called for more to be done to tackle drugs in the area.

"First of all, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the family of Darren Taylor, who died in Coagh yesterday.

"This will undoubtedly be a very difficult time for them and I know the local community will rally around them. The community is absolutely in shock.

"Two deaths linked to drugs in the same village, in the same flat, highlights how deep this issue runs in communities across the North," he said.

"There's no doubt that the police have had successes with drug seizures throughout Mid Ulster, but we need more people to come forward, bring information forward and help bring those who deal in death to justice.

"I'll be meeting with local police in relation to the insidious effect that drug dealing is having on our communities and ensuring that this is a high level priority for them."

The meeting is set to take place on Thursday.

In a message posted on Facebook yesterday, Darren Taylor's second cousin David McCollum wrote: "To say that I'm devastated is an understatement.

"RIP Darren and condolences to your brother Jason."

Detective Inspector William Tate said police in Cookstown are now investigating the man's death.

"A post mortem will take place in due course to determine the cause of death," he said.

Ω Funeral details for a young north Belfast man who died after taking ecstasy at the weekend have been announced.

Jamie Burns from the Shore Road area had been socialising at Queen's University's Student Union when he fell ill and died.

His funeral will take place on Friday from his home in York Drive at 11.45am to Roselawn Crematorium.

The 23-year-old is survived by his parents Billy and Lesley, and sisters Gemma and Courtney.

Belfast Telegraph

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