‘Siege’ ends in Burnfoot area but operation continues

Kieran McLaughlin
Kieran McLaughlin

The search for the killer of Barry McCrory is continuing after a house surrounded by armed gardai near Burnfoot turned out to be unoccupied.

The operation on the Brae Road not far from Iskaheen Parish Church started at around 5.30pm. Gardai say that by 4am this morning it was clear there was no-one in the house.

However reports from the scene suggest there remains a presence of armed gardai in the area and a short stretch of the road is still cordoned off. Local people have been advised to stay in their homes. A reporter at the scene said armed gardai are still searching the area.

Barry McCrory, who was 35, was shot dead in a flat above offices in Shipquay Street at around 11am on Thursday morning.

The PSNI later released a photograph of suspect Kieran McLaughlin, who’s 58, and warned members of the public not to approach him. McLaughlin was jailed for 18 years in November 2001 for arms offences linked to the Real IRA. It’s been reported that police suspect that McLaughlin was involved in an attack on a 46-year-old man in Rathkeele Way in Creggan on Tuesday. The man suffered slash wounds to his hand.

One local man who spoke to the Journal from the Brae Road area of Burnfoot a few minutes ago said: “This is a pretty remote area, with a few houses and buildings. I heard a garda say, ‘He’s not where we thought he was’ but I suppose he could be lying in a shed or anything. The operation is still continuing at the moment..”