Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Serious Crime Branch said: “In May 2001 Damien, who was only 18 years old, was stabbed during an incident after leaving a bar on the Stewartstown Road, Belfast. He died in hospital in London on 4th June 2001. Thirteen other people were treated in hospital for injuries linked to the incident.

“Police launched a murder investigation during which 14 people were arrested, 22 searches were conducted and over 380 statements were recorded. One person was charged with murder and another person was charged with attempted murder. A further 12 suspects were reported to the Director of Public Prosecutions. On 25th November 2003 ten defendants pleaded guilty at Craigavon Crown Court to 17 charges. Charges of murder and attempted murder were not proceeded with.

“I recognise that Damien’s family have carried unanswered questions for the past 20 years and our thoughts are with them as we approach the 20th anniversary of Damien’s murder. A large number of witnesses came forward during the investigation, but today, I would appeal for anyone who was present or has evidence about what happened that night, to contact me at Ladas Drive Police Station, using the telephone number 101. Alternatively, I would ask those individuals who do not feel they can speak to the police directly, to contact the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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