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Teen charged with murder as hundreds attend sombre vigil

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was among the hundreds of people who attended the vigil of father-of-eight Seamus Fox to pay their last respects as an 18-year-old man was charged with his murder.

The teenager was due to appear before Laganside Magistrates Court in Belfast today.

At last night’s vigil Mr Adams said the event was a show of strength from the community.

In a statement read to hundreds of people attending the vigil close to the scene of the brutal killing, the family said they had lost a “wonderful husband, father and grandfather”.

Mr Fox, aged 58, was battered to death as he walked home from a night out at Donegal Celtic Football Club during the early hours of Thursday morning.

He suffered severe face and head injuries and was found lying on wasteground beside Woodbourne police station off the Suffolk Road, just yards from his home.

However, last night Mr Fox’s son Robert told the Belfast Telegraph the circumstances surrounding his father’s murder remained unclear.

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“We don’t know anything at all yet. We are holding up,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the family at last night’s vigil, Sinn Fein councillor Sue Ramsey told the crowd: “This has come as an enormous shock for all of us.

“We hope the ones responsible for the horrendous attack on our father are brought to justice quickly.”

Around 500 friends and neighbours attended the vigil to show their solidarity with the Mr Fox’s widow Phyllis, their five sons and three daughters.

“This vigil is for the family and is also an indication of the strength of this community. What happened goes against the grain of the core values of what this community stands for,” Mr Adams said.

Also speaking at the vigil, Sinn Fein councillor for the area Gerard O’Neill said the community would stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the Fox family at this “terrible, horrific time”.

“We would appeal again for anyone with information to bring it forward as a matter of urgency,” he said.

“People are very angry and there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered. There is a lot of anger that this happened at the back of a heavily-fortified PSNI station but not much of that evidence is being gathered.

“People are asking why this wasn’t seen and action taken?”

Colin Glen Park, the area close to where Mr Fox was beaten to death, is notorious for anti-social behaviour.

“The statutory agencies need to put their hands in their pockets and ensure that this area is properly resourced. There are open areas that should have been developed long before now,” Mr O’Neill said.

“The PSNI have been continually informed about groups of young people and anti-social behaviour in this area. They only respond in a very ad hoc way. What we have been calling for is a focussed PSNI strategy that will tackle these issues.

“But we also need other statutory agencies involved.”

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