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Catholic Slain at Belfast Postal Office

January 13, 2002|From Times Wire Services

BELFAST, Northern Ireland — A Roman Catholic postal worker was shot and killed as he arrived for work in Belfast on Saturday, and an outlawed Protestant group claimed responsibility.

Daniel McColgan, 20, was shot several times outside a Royal Mail sorting office in northern Belfast's largely Protestant Rathcoole area just before 5 a.m., police said. He died two hours later in a hospital.

Two men with scarves pulled across their faces were seen fleeing the scene in a silver car that was later found abandoned nearby, police said.

A group called the Red Hand Defenders said it had carried out the killing. Security sources in the British province say the Red Hand Defenders is a cover name used by two Protestant groups, the Ulster Defense Assn. and the Loyalist Volunteer Force.

The killing followed a quiet night in the divided Ardoyne district of Belfast, the provincial capital, after two nights of rioting in which hundreds of Catholic and Protestant youths hurled firebombs, acid bombs and stones at police trying to keep them apart. More than 80 police officers were injured.

The violence flared near Holy Cross, a Catholic primary school at the center of clashes last fall.

Police said they would increase their presence in the district.

The Communications Workers Union said that as a mark of respect to their slain colleague, they would not collect mail today or make deliveries Monday.

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