01/08/2006

Sixth man arrested over Tobermore murder

Police investigating the murder of a man in County Londonderry in the early hours of Saturday morning have arrested a sixth man.

He was arrested last night in the Castledawson area and is currently being questioned by detectives investigating the killing.

Earlier today, a police spokesperson confirmed that a fifth man who was arrested as part of the murder investigation, had been released without charge.

The victim, who has been named as 36-year-old Ronald Mackie, from Kippen, in Stirlingshire in Scotland, is believed to have been visiting family in Northern Ireland when the incident happened.

He is understood to have been watching an Orange Parade in Maghera, before going into the Tobermore United Football Club, prior to his murder.

It was originally believed that the victim had died as a result of a hit and run incident outside the football club on the Maghera Road in Tobermore, however police have since revealed that he was beaten by a gang sometime between 1.45am and 2.15am after a row broke out at a disco inside the club, he was then left in the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Police have said that they are investigating a loyalist link to the killing, however do not believe the murder had a sectarian motive.

It is believed that the driver of the vehicle stopped for a short time after striking the man, but then drove off.

The car is thought to have been red in colour, with a passenger on board, and police have appealed for both the driver and passenger to come forward as they may have vital witness information in relation to the murder.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said that the driver of the car may be "frightened and very apprehensive," however it is essential for him to get in touch with police.

(EF)

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