Carrick man Glen Quinn murdered over brawl with UDA boss
UDA murder victim Glen Quinn was beaten to death by the terror gang as punishment for getting into a fist fight with one of its senior members.
The main line of enquiry for detectives is that he was attacked at his flat in Ashleigh Park in Carrickfergus a short time after clashing with a senior UDA figure, a convicted killer and drug dealer.
A crowd gathered on Sunday night as police searched a house in Blackthorne Park in Carrickfergus, in an operation believed to be linked to the murder.
Mr Quinn was hit with iron bars and baseball bats in what was supposed to be a “punishment beating” — but the ferocity of the blows to the head and body claimed his life.
Police discovered the popular barman’s body late on Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday night launched a murder probe after sealing off part of the Woodburn estate.
The murder of Mr Quinn, who for years worked at the Royal Oak in Carrickfergus, is the third killing carried out by the out-of-control South East Antrim UDA in the past three years. In 2017 it gunned down former members Geordie Gilmore and Colin Horner during an internal feud.
Mr Quinn was initially attacked by the leading UDA member, who was kneecapped by the terror gang last October, after being accused of bad-mouthing the organisation.
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Detectives are understood to be probing a conversation the murder victim had last Friday afternoon with a female associate of the loyalist. He is known to have complained to her about UDA attacks on a mechanic’s business in Carrickfergus owned by his friend Joe Dunlop.
It was torched on two separate occasions in 2018 because innocent Mr Dunlop’s son Joel was friends with slain Geordie Gilmore and is under a UDA death threat.
Police are investigating claims that the female who spoke to Mr Quinn relayed his criticism to the senior UDA member. Aged in her 40s, she is now at the centre of their enquiries.
Also critical to the investigation is the subsequent fist fight between the murder victim and the UDA member, who locals say instigated the public brawl which ended even.
Later that evening Mr Quinn, who mistakenly thought the row had been settled, arrived back at his flat on Ashleigh Park. A short time later it was stormed by UDA members who beat him to death.
Loyalist sources said the assault was only supposed to be a ‘punishment’ attack and Mr Quinn was still breathing while the gang left. It was only when he did not leave the property the following day that the alarm was raised.
Detectives involved in the murder probe believe that because the killing was hastily arranged those involved did not take forensic precautions.
One security source said Mr Quinn’s flat is likely to be a “treasure trove” of DNA which will help identify suspects.
The murder victim was popular in Carrickfergus and comes from a well-respected family.
His deceased father had served in the UDR, and two brothers are retired police officers.
On Sunday afternoon the leaders of the South East Antrim UDA group whose members beat Mr Quinn to death held a meeting in a social club to discuss the fallout from the killing.
They are worried that public revulsion will bring a renewed security focus on the crime gang resulting in their drugs, extortion and money lending rackets being disrupted.
UDA insiders say a decision was taken to “hang those involved in killing Glen Quinn out to dry” as the assault on him was not sanctioned.
A leading loyalist told the Belfast Telegraph: “If the cops come knocking on their doors they are on their own.”