McDaid family statement in full

Kevin McDaid“We would like to express our thanks to all those who have offered their support and condolences both locally and from further afield.

“This has been a source of enormous strength to the family.

“We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the staff of the Causeway Hospital for the sensitive and expert way in which they dealt with our beloved Kevin in the aftermath of the vicious and unprovoked attack which led to his death.

“This is an extremely difficult time for our family.

“We have suffered the sudden and tragic loss of a husband and father.

“The anguish of Kevin’s loss has been heightened by the brutal nature of his death; murdered on his doorstep in front of his family.

“The police investigation into Kevin’s murder is at an early stage and we do not wish to prejudice that investigation, by making any formal comment in relation to same.

“The family are grateful to members of the PSNI who attended to Kevin after this horrific assault and who attempted to administer CPR as he lay dying at our feet.

“We would appeal to all persons to assist the police investigation into this murder and the attack on Damien Fleming in whatever way possible.

“The people involved in this murderous attack and who entered Somerset Drive on Sunday night do not deserve any form of protection, nor are they friends of any community.

“The family are making a formal complaint to the Police Ombudsman.

“We are appreciative that of his own volition the Chief Constable has already referred this matter to the Police Ombudsman for investigation.

“The family wish to make it clear that they are concerned that the PSNI were involved in negotiations with a number of persons perceived to be from the Loyalist community on Sunday the 24th of May 2009.

“The family are concerned regarding the nature of these negotiations and the attendant claim that threats were made by individuals from this background to police that violence would ensue unless certain demands made by them were met.

“It is a fundamental tenet of a civilised society that individuals such as these should not dictate the terms of law and order.

“We are further concerned that given the prior knowledge of the threat, neither we and nor our neighbours were not properly protected by police.

“We want the community to support the police, but equally police must also support the community.

“In the aftermath of this heinous murder and given the fragility of Mr Fleming’s condition, tensions remain extremely high.

“A further death threat has also been made against our family.

“This should not be the legacy of Kevin’s death.

“It is not what he would have wanted.

“Kevin lived helping others.

“His short life was spent trying to bridge the divide that exists in our community.

“His death at the hands of people who have nothing to offer our community should not be allowed to undo his life’s work.

“The media and press who have attended our family home and contacted ourselves have been courteous and respectful.

“We are most grateful for their kindness.

“The family would however wish that there should be no further media contact and we be allowed to grieve quietly in peace.

“This is an enormously difficult time and we would ask kindly that those wishes should be respected.”