30/07/2001

Protestant youth gunned down by loyalists

Loyalist paramilitary group the Red Hand Defenders has claimed responsibility for the murder of a Protestant teenager outside a GAA club in Glengormley.

Gavin Brett was standing with a group of his friends outside St Enda’s GAA Club on the Hightown Road on Sunday 29 July, when a gunman opened fire on the youths at around 11.30pm, seriously wounding the boy. Another youth, said to be the victim’s best friend, was hit in the leg.

Despite the best efforts of the teenager’s father - a specialist paramedic who helped treat the injured following the Omagh bombing - his son died at the scene.

Chief Constable of the RUC, Ronnie Flanagan has said he believes that the loyalists behind the shooting assumed that the young man was Catholic, while Sinn Fein councillor Martin Meehan has hit out at the attackers, describing them as “bigots” who have ended the life of a young man for purely sectarian reasons. He added: “They wear different hats, Red Hand Defenders, LVF. Does it really matter at the end of the day?”

The tragedy comes as GAA clubs throughout the province have experienced a spate of attacks ranging from pipe bombs to attempted arson, with yet another incendiary device discovered outside a clubhouse in Country Londonderry on Sunday 29 July. Meanwhile, a car abandoned outside a GAA club in Armoy, County Antrim on 7 July was found to have contained two pipe bombs, which had already exploded. British Army bomb disposal experts were called in to deal with the incident, which occurred on the Glenshesk Road, and they confirmed that two devices had gone off inside the car. A second vehicle found outside a Ballycastle GAA club was later declared a hoax, after police carried out a controlled explosion. (CL)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

25 January 2024
Man Arrested In Connection With Drug Seizure In July 2023
A man, aged in his 50s, has been arrested in connection with the seizure of a 50kg consignment of Class B drugs in July 2023.
23 May 2024
'Time To Remove The Tory Government From Power' – SDLP
"It's time to remove the Tory government from power," SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said, welcoming the news that a general election will be called for 4th July.
05 April 2024
Ulster GAA Backs NI Road Safety Campaign
Ulster GAA has announced it support for the 'Share the Road to Zero' campaign, pledging its commitment to improving road safety. The Northern Ireland Football League, PSNI, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and councils are among other organisations that have signed up to the campaign.
15 February 2024
PSNI Appeal For Information On Fatal Collision Outside Tandragee
The PSNI have named a man who died following a road traffic collision outside Tandragee, as 84-year-old Sidney McIldoon. Mr McIldoon, who was from Portadown, died following a collision between his vehicle and a tractor on Tuesday afternoon, 13th February on the Cornascriebe Road, between Tandragee and Hamiltonsbawn.
20 July 2001
CO DOWN GAA CLUB DESTROYED BY FIRE
A Gaelic Athletic Association club in Co Down has been destroyed in what is suspected to have been an arson attack. The fire service were alerted to the blaze at Attical Gaelic Football Club late on Thursday 20 July but were unable to halt the fire, which swept through the timber structured building, destroying its contents.