David Murphy killing: Glenwherry ‘in silent shock’ over murder
Minister says elderly parents of David Murphy are ‘distraught' after gun attack
The minister at Glenwherry Presbyterian Church has said the community has been stunned into silence following the murder of loyalist David Murphy.
The 52-year-old was blasted twice with a shotgun in his rural farmhouse on Church Road.
A post mortem found he had been shot in the head, the BBC reported last night.
Rev Noel Mulholland said his prayers and those of his congregation are now with the family of Mr Murphy left behind to deal with the horrific nature of his murder.
Mr Murphy's elderly parents, who are understood to live in Larne, are being comforted by relatives and Rev Mulholland said those who carried out the murder had no thought for the shattered lives of those left to grieve.
"This is a very Christian and a very rural community," said Rev Mulholland. "The area has been left numb by what has happened.
"David moved here from Carnlough 20 years ago and hasn't been part of my congregation in the seven years I've been minister here, but from speaking to members of the congregation they're just in shock, silent shock over what has happened," he said.
Sheep and cattle farmer Mr Murphy lived alone in the farmhouse on Church Road, but had four siblings.
"Some local farmers would have known him from around the livestock markets but he kept himself to himself. This is a quiet, remote and beautiful place that has been left shattered that this could happen on our doorstep," the clergyman said. "But it's the family who have been left behind to deal with this who need our support now.
"David's mother and father are in their late 70s or 80s and they shouldn't have to go through this. They are distraught at what their son has suffered and at what they are now suffering themselves. His family are all left to deal with the human suffering.
"A family is in mourning and whatever people think and whatever the reason for this, that's the human tragedy of it all. They have been left to grieve. As a congregation we are praying for the Murphy family."
Police believe Mr Murphy, a former member of the UVF, could have been murdered last Sunday, his body possibly lying undiscovered for two days before being found in his kitchen by a friend on Tuesday.
It is understood police are investigating reports that Mr Murphy had been badly beaten by a gang that same day, but any link to the recent murder of loyalist Ian Ogle in east Belfast has been dismissed.
A spokesman for the PUP has called on anyone with information about the murder to inform police. Ken Wilkinson, South Antrim spokesman for the UVF-linked PUP, said he "knew of" the victim, but was not well acquainted with him.
"My sympathy is to his family," said Mr Wilkinson. "I thought these days were long gone, but unfortunately we've guns on the streets again. I don't like to see anybody lose their life."
Detectives want to trace Mr Murphy's movements between last Saturday and Tuesday lunchtime and have appealed for anyone in the area of Church Road with dash cams on their vehicles or who may have noticed anything out of the ordinary to come forward.