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Loyalist bandsman in 'induced coma' after assault

Ray Laverty, a member of Dervock Young Defenders, is believed to be in an induced coma following an assault on Sunday morning.
John Monaghan

A LOYALIST band member is believed to be in an induced coma in hospital after being assaulted following a parade at the weekend.

It is understood that Ray Laverty (25) remains in a critical condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital after suffering a serious head injury.

Mr Laverty, a member of Dervock Young Defenders, was attacked during an altercation in the car park of a hotel in the Castle Street area of Ballymoney at around 1.30am on Sunday.

Around 50 bands were involved in a parade through Ballymoney on Saturday night.

The father of one is understood to have been a flag carrier during the parade.

Ulster Unionist councillor Daryl Wilson described Mr Laverty as a "happy go lucky chap dedicated to his young son and a very nice person."

A 22-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm, has been released on bail pending further enquiries.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Chris Wilkinson said there were "a large number of people in the area" at the time and appealed for anyone with information to contact officers on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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