Sunday 25 March 2018

'It's a real shock' - Locals react to killing of man who suffered 'traumatic and frightening death'

PSNI and paramedics at the murder scene at Broombeg Park in Ballycastle last night
PSNI and paramedics at the murder scene at Broombeg Park in Ballycastle last night Newsdesk Newsdesk

Police have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after the body of a man was found in the seaside town of Ballycastle in Co Antrim.

The victim, named by police as 48-year-old Anthony McErlain, was found dead at a property in Broombeg Park in the Co Antrim town at around 8.30pm.

A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Senior Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Talbot said: “While we are awaiting the results of a post mortem, what is clear is that Mr McErlain suffered a traumatic and frightening death. I initially described this killing as a heinous crime and I stand by that assessment.

"We have arrested one man, a 33 year old, on suspicion of murder and he remains in custody assisting us with our enquiries.

"The investigation team is extremely keen to speak to witnesses or anyone who may have spoken to Mr McErlain over recent days.

"We would especially like to hear from anyone who was in the Broombeg area at any time between 5pm and 8.30pm yesterday and who may have witnessed or overheard an altercation or disturbance, in or around number 4 Broombeg View.

"The investigation team can be contacted on 101. Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

The area around the house was cordoned off soon after the grisly discovery and an ambulance remained at the scene late last night. There was also a heavy police presence as officers from CID began their enquiries.

Independent councillor Seamus Blaney said he was shocked to learn of Mr McErlain's violent death.

"He was well known in the town and he was a bit of a drinker but he never did anyone any harm but to himself," he said. "It's very sad to think that he has died in such a way.

"It's a real shock.

"This is a quiet town so people are going to be very upset to wake up to this news."

It is understood Mr McErlain was one of a number of people who escaped from a fire at Glentaisie Drive in the town in September. The blaze started in a one bungalow property, spread to another and also caused smoke damage to two others.

At the time, police said they were investigating the possibility the fire was started deliberately.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein MLA Daithi McKay last night said the community has been shocked by the incident.

"The exact details of the event are still unclear, but it has caused a great deal of concern in the local area," he said. "I would encourage anyone with information on this incident to bring it forward to the PSNI."

Belfast Telegraph

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