Northern Ireland news


Denise Mullen speaks of 'relief' as dad's UVF killer Garfield Beattie back behind bars

Former UVF man Garfield Beattie
Connla Young

The daughter of a man murdered by loyalists has spoken of her relief after her father's killer was returned to jail for sending her a threatening letter signed "East Tyrone UVF'.

Denise Mullen was speaking after ex-UVF man Garfield Beattie was sentenced to 15-months behind bars yesterday.

Her father, SDLP activist Denis Mullen (35), was shot dead by Beattie and other members of the UVF at his home near Moy, Co Tyrone in September 1976.

The killing was carried out by the Glenanne Gang, which was made up of members of the RUC, UDR and UVF.

Murdered SDLP member Denis Mullen

It is believed to have been responsible for the murders of up to 120 people mainly across Armagh and Down in the 1970s.

Beattie, who served 16 years, was also convicted for his part in the murders of Frederick McLoughlin (48) and Patrick McNeice (50) in separate gun attacks in Co Armagh in 1976.

While sentencing the judge said: “The devastating, cowardly and murderous acts impacted on Ms Mullan and continue to do so. In effect you ruined her life.

"You compounded that by your vicious, cowardly actions in sending that letter. I do not believe there is one genuine drop of remorse in your body. You pushed it to the wire. You made Ms Mullen get in the witness box.”

Speaking to The Irish News last night Ms Mullen, who was accompanied to the court by her mother Olive and and campaigner Eugene Reavey, welcomed the outcome.

"I'm just relieved it's all over, I am numb by it all," she said.

"It's a relief to get it over with, it's just been one big nightmare.

Denise Mullen

"The judge called him out for what he was, he could see he had no remorse or empathy."

Ms Mullen, who is Aontú deputy leader and a councillor in Mid Ulster, revealed she hopes to raise legacy issues during a meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Monday.

"I hope to raise the concerns of all the families affected by collusion," she said.

"I want to see what the Irish government is going to do in making sure there is no British government amnesty for Troubles killings and use it's influence to make sure this does not happen."

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