25 March 2004 Edition

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Loyalists found guilty in Lowry killing

Two loyalists who were found guilty at Belfast Court on Tuesday 23 March of killing 49-year-old Trevor Lowry were given life sentences after judge Justice Girvan described the attack as having been "fuelled by alcohol".

Lowry, a Protestant, was found battered and bruised in a bloodsoaked alleyway in Harmin Way, Glengormley on March 31 2001. He had been savagely beaten in the mistaken belief he was a Catholic and died from head injuries two days later.

Eyewitnesses at the time said they had seen a car in the area and recognised one of the men in it as a "unionist paramilitary with links to the UDA".

Harry Speers (44) from Carntall Road in Newtownabbey and 19-year-old Ronald Craig from Richmond Avenue in Glengormley denied stamping Lowry to death.

Speers once stood for the loyalist Ulster Democratic Party, the mouthpiece for the UDA, and was a senior member of the Orange Order. He was also spokesperson, shortly before the killing, for the Ulster Protestant Movement for Justice.

Speaking to An Phoblacht, Sinn Féin Councillor for Newtownabbey Briege Meehan (pictured left) said she welcomed the fact that someone has actually been put away for this sectarian murder but people in the Glengormley area are still very fearful.

"While people are glad to see these convictions they are still fearful as the loyalist killers of 18-year-old Gavin Brett in July 2001, 20-year-old Daniel McColgan in January 2002 and 19-year-old Gerard Lawlor in July 2002 are free to roam about seemingly immune to prosecution."


An Phoblacht
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