Monday 22 January 2018

'Evil' scene sickens priest

George Jackson

A "REVOLTING, evil" sight is how a priest described the scene of the brutal murder of a Real IRA activist.

Fr Stephen McLaughlin, parish priest of St Mary's Church in Creggan, was speaking after seeing where Ciaran Doherty had been left stripped with his hands bound behind his back.

The priest administered the Last Rites to Mr Doherty close to a Carmelite Retreat Centre on the outskirts of Derry. The victim had been shot several times in the head and body before being dumped on Braehead Road.

"There was a palpable sense of evil when I arrived at the scene and what I saw made me sick to the pit of my stomach," he said.

"It was chilling to see a naked and bound body of a man who had been shot lying close to the rear entrance gate to the retreat centre which is a centre for people to go to pray and to receive succour," he said.

The 31-year-old victim, who lived with his partner and their two-year-old daughter, was due to be married in three months.

"It was a revolting sight and it is difficult to comprehend how an organisation or individuals could do such a thing. For the victim's family the nightmare is just beginning and the devastation of the family is mirrored by the shock and disgust of the community. This obscenity has cast a real gloom over the city," he said.

Sinn Fein MLA Martina Anderson also went to the scene shortly after Mr Doherty's body was found at 10.30pm on Wednesday. The grim discovery was first made by a passerby, who then alerted local community activists.

"It was horrifying and shocking to see the sight of a man's naked body with his hands tied behind his back and to see his blood running down the road surface ," she said.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan (SDLP), who also visited the scene, described Mr Doherty's death as both crude and brutal.

Irish Independent

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