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16 July 1998 Edition

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Maginn grave desecrated

Loyalists have desecrated the grave of a UDA murder victim who was killed as a result of collusion between paramilitaries and crown forces.

The attack on the grave of Loughlinn Maginn is the latest in a line of sectarian attacks against his mother, who lives in predominantly loyalist Rathfriland, Co Down.

Loughlinn Maginn (28) was murdered by the UDA at his home near Rathfriland in August 1989. His death sparked major controversy as allegations of crown force collusion with loyalist paramilitaries led to the setting up of the Steven's Inquiry.

Sinn Fein assembly member Mick Murphy described the attack, in which the headstone and surrounds were smashed, as ``utterly despicable.'' And he said the act had been the final straw for Loughlinn's mother Josephine who had been ``systematically terrorised'' over the last number of years.

``During June this year the threats and abuses have taken a marked turn for the worse.... but this latest outrage is horrific even by their standards. The grave of this woman's son was desecrated.... this is not the first time but it is now the final straw. This poor woman can take no more.''
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