Northern Ireland news

Glenanne Gang member Garfield Beattie arrested on suspicion of threatening victim's daughter

UVF murder victim Denis Mullen
Connla Young

A member of the notorious loyalist Glenanne Gang has been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill the daughter of one of his victims.

Convicted killer Garfield Beattie was detained near Portadown in north Armagh on Saturday morning.

It is understood a number of electronic items were seized during a search of a property.

It emerged last night that the woman's solicitor has now written to Secretary of State Brandon Lewis asking for Beattie's licence to be revoked.

The Irish News understands the threat was received in the post early last week and police were then contacted.

Beattie was part of the Glenanne Gang, which included members of the RUC, UDR and UVF.

It was responsible for a sectarian murder campaign in the mid-1970s believed to have resulted in up to 120 deaths.

Former English police chief Jon Boutcher launched an investigation into the gang last year.

Beattie served 16 years behind bars for his part in three murders.

They included the killing of SDLP activist Denis Mullen (36) who was shot dead at his home near the Moy in September 1975.

He was also convicted for his part in the murder of Frederick McLoughlin (48) who died in June 1976 from injuries received after a gun attack at the Eagle Bar in Charlemont, near the Moy, the previous month.

The 48-year-old, from Benburb, was shot by a UVF murder squad as it made its escape following a no-warning bomb at another bar in the area, which claimed the lives of three people.

Another victim was Patrick McNeice (50) who was shot dead at his home in the Loughgall area of Co Armagh in July 1976.

It is understood Beattie, a former member of the Territorial Army Volunteer Reserve, is currently the subject of pending legal action taken by the daughter of one of his victims.

He recently wrote to the woman's legal team and days later a threat was also received in the post at her home.

It is understood the threat was signed 'East Tyrone Ulster Volunteer Force'.

The PSNI last night said that a 63-year-old man was arrested on Saturday on “suspicion of offences, including threats to kill”.

“The man was arrested in the wider Portadown area and has since been released to be reported to the Public Prosecution Service,” a spokesman said.

After his arrest in August 1976, he led police to an arms dump in north Armagh which included a sub machine gun, which had been stolen from a UDR base at Glenanne, in south Armagh, in 1971.

That gun was used in seven different gun attacks resulting in the deaths of 11 people, the first being Denis Mullen and the last Patrick McNeice.

He also led police to two other weapons and a quantity of ammunition.

Solicitor Peter Corrigan, of Phoenix Law, said his firm has written to Mr Lewis.

“We have written to the secretary of state to immediately ask for the revocation of Mr Beattie's licence,” he said.

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