Police have launched a murder inquiry – in a case which is being linked to the UDA – after the discovery of a man’s body in Carrickfergus
Glen Quinn, 47, was discovered in flat in Ashleigh Park in the Woodburn area of Carrickfergus on Saturday night.
Three people arrested by the PSNI in connection with the sudden death were still being questioned by detectives last night. Forensic examinations and further investigations are currently ongoing.
Police initially said a 38-year-old man was detained on suspicion of aggravated burglary and grievous bodily harm with intent; a 39-year-old man on suspicion of aggravated burglary, and a 47-year-old woman on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent. All three have now been rearrested on suspicion on murder.
A post-mortem was due to take place yesterday to determine the cause of death but the result has not yet been made public.
Mr Quinn had phoned a close friend on Saturday and told him that he had been beaten by a gang he described as being “UDA”.
The friend, who did not wish to be identified, branded the attackers “animals,” and told UTV that Mr Quinn was suffering ill health and was already frail before the attack took place.
Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said: “I am aware that speculation is circulating that this death is in some way related to the activities of South East Antrim UDA. The investigation remains at a very early stage and it is not yet possible to be definitive about the motivation for this man’s murder but the potential for it to be linked to those associated with paramilitary organisations will form part of our investigation.
“Rumour and speculation within the community is likely to be unhelpful as we seek to establish the circumstances surrounding this man’s death and I would appeal to the community to contact us on 101 or via the Crimestoppers charity with any information they may have about the murder or anyone who may have been involved in it.
“In the coming days we will be working closely with local Neighbourhood officers to provide reassurance to the local community and to enable those who wish to speak to police to do so.”
UUP MLA John Stewart described the former barman’s death as “a tragedy”.
He said: “Everyone I spoke to refers to the victim as a lovely and kind-hearted person, someone who was not involved in anything that should lead to this.”