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Co Tyrone body find now a murder investigation

Police have said they are treating the death of a man in Coalisland as a murder investigation. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
John Monaghan

POLICE are treating the death of a man whose body was found in a garage in Co Tyrone as murder.

The remains of the 32-year-old Lithuanian man - who has not yet been named - were found in a garage in the Moor Road area of Coalisland on October 15, prompting fears of a feud between eastern European crime gangs.

The death is the third violent incident involving eastern European nationals in the past month, with two Lithuanian men shot in paramilitary-style attacks in Newry in September.

It is unclear whether the incidents are connected but after the Newry shootings three men were arrested in the Clonabay area of Coalisland.

A Lithuanian man, Ramunas Macnoris, who was arrested in Dungannon following the Newry incident, was charged with two counts of attempted murder.

Police said they are investigating a link between the murder and an incident in Coalisland the day before in which another foreign national was shot in the leg.

The man who was shot and assaulted had left his home in Clonabay at around 3pm on October 13 and returned with his injuries early next day.

An ambulance was called and the man received treatment, and it is understood medical staff informed the police about the attack.

Speculation in Coalisland has centred on a drugs related feud but elected representatives said there was a "lack of information" about what had sparked recent incidents.

Sinn Féin MP Francie Molloy said: "There is concern here that there is a murder and nobody knows what's happening."

"This is the first and hopefully the last incident of this kind involving foreign nationals in Coalisland. There doesn't seem to be widespread knowledge about what has happened and that is one of the problems."

Mr Molloy said while there were many foreign nationals settled in the area they tended to keep "themselves to themselves". "The language barrier is a problem as well in that respect," he said.

SDLP councillor Malachy Quinn said the violence had been "unsettling for people in Clonabay."

He said: "There is not enough information going about but I wouldn't want to tar people with the same brush and drugs are a worldwide problem."

Detective Chief Inspector Lee McNevison meanwhile has appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

 

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