SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat has encouraged the public to respond to a fresh appeal by the PSNI for help in solving the murder of Brian McIlhagga. Mr McIlhagga was dragged from a house in Ballymoney on 5th January last year, savagely beaten and subsequently died from gunshot wounds to both legs.
Mr Dallat said: “The PSNI have expressed disappointment that so few people have come forward to assist them with their inquiries into this horrific murder which was carried out in full view of four children and their mother. While I share the disappointment of the detectives and continue encourage the public to come forward, I understand the fear under which people in North Antrim and East Derry live with the threat of the UDA who have no intention of ending their criminality despite promises by the leadership.
“Conducting a leaflet drop in the murder area on the first anniversary hopefully will bring some hope to the family but until the PSNI make serious inroads to the activities of the UDA from Larne to the Waterside in Derry, it is highly unlikely that local people will have the confidence to engage in helping to solve this murder or any of the other criminality which loyalists are involved in.
“A few months ago the Executive was thrown into crisis after the murder of two former IRA men in Belfast with the Secretary of State issuing almost hourly bulletins and the British and Irish governments fully engaged in resolving the crisis. The unsolved murder of Brian McIlhagga calls for a concerted effort by the PSNI backed by politicians to end once and for all the activities of Loyalists who have been guilty of continuing criminality particularly in North Antrim and East Derry where this murder took place.”