3 August 2006 Edition
UVF behind Tobermore killing
The UVF is being accused of killing a 36 year old man in Tobermore, County Derry in the early hours of Saturday morning 29 July. Local sources told An Phoblacht that the dead man, 36 year old Ronald Mackie from Stirlingshire, Scotland, was involved in an altercation with the commander of the local UVF as he attended a disco in Tobermore United Football Club. A gang took Mackie and his two companions outside the building where they savagely beat him and forced his friends to watch.
The UVF gang threw the man onto the main Tobermore to Maghera Road in front of an oncoming car. Witnesses say the car hit the prone figure and dragged him a considerable distance before coming to a halt. However, no one alighted from the car which drove off almost immediately.
Further controversy surrounding the killing stems from the use of Tobermore United soccer club for a loyalist fundraising event. The disco was being run by the Sons of William loyalist band which had earlier organised a controversial band parade, involving 40 bands, through nearby Maghera. Mackie had travelled from Scotland to attend the band parade and it was just hours afterwards that he was killed.
Sinn Féin Chair of Magherafelt District Council Ian Milne confirmed stated to An Phoblacht that loyalist paramilitaries were involved in the killing. He criticised the PSNI who initially described Mackie's death as a hit and run incident.