Glen Quinn murder: ‘Say something wrong and you get killed... it’s just not right’
It was a scene of horror totally at odds with the coastal beauty of Carrickfergus’s seafront.
On a cold early January day, as a breeze swept in from the water, the mood around the town was sombre.
The area where Glen Quinn was brutally killed remained closed off to the public as neighbours expressed their horror over the nature of his death.
Mr Quinn’s body was discovered by police in his flat in the Woodburn area of Ashleigh Park on Saturday after he was beaten to death with iron bars and baseball bats.
It is understood that UDA members were involved in the killing following a row with the victim.
A strong police presence remained outside Mr Quinn’s flat on Monday with the area cordoned off.
The Woodburn and the adjacent Castlemara estates in this Co Antrim seaside town have attracted the wrong headlines in recent years.
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In 2017 the South East Antrim UDA gunned down former members Geordie Gilmore and Colin Horner during an internal feud, while there was a paramilitary link to a serious assault on a doorman at Carrickfergus’s Royal Oak bar — the same pub where Mr Quinn worked in his early 20s.
Just last month, the PSNI accused the South East Antrim UDA of being behind a massive cannabis factory discovered in a disused bar.
On Monday. Ashleigh Park residents were still reeling from what had happened in this unassuming street.
One of Mr Quinn’s neighbours explained that police officers interviewed everyone living on the street on Saturday as their investigation began.
“I didn’t know the man but so many people came out of those flats all the time,” she said.
“The police have cordoned off the end of the street so you have to walk the whole way around the estate to get to the shops.”
One resident said that Ashleigh Park is a “quiet area” of the Woodburn estate but the police were “all over the place” because of the killing and you “can’t get any peace”.
Another neighbour said that Mr Quinn had only moved into the flat four weeks ago and added that the police had not left the scene since Saturday. “It’s very concerning that something like this has happened here, especially as someone with young kids,” he said.
Down by the town’s promenade, local residents continued on with their lives.
However, some spoke of their fear that there are those living in the area capable of carrying out such an attack. Many were too afraid to give their names.
A couple enjoying the sunshine said that the Woodburn and Castlemara estates hold Carrickfergus “to ransom”.
“Within those estates it’s a very small number of thugs doing this but there’s a lot of very decent people living in those estates,” they added. A mother expressed her fears that her son could accidentally be targeted for “saying the wrong thing”.
“I don’t like the idea that someone may have said the wrong thing, because that could have been my son,” she said.
“If you say something wrong and you get killed, it’s not right.”
Another Carrickfergus resident said certain areas of the town are “no-go areas”.
“I know in this town there are areas you would need to be careful of what you say,” he said.
“They’re not somewhere I would voluntarily go into, but the same can be said for any large town.”