Glenn Quinn’s heartbroken family have finally been allowed access to his Carrickfergus flat where he was beaten to death by UDA thugs nearly two years ago.
ovid prevented forensics from finishing a painstaking search of the flat in Ashleigh Park where Glenn was brutally murdered on January 3, 2020.
The place the 47-year-old called home has remained a crime scene ever since, until this past week when the keys were finally handed back to his family.
The shock of stepping into his flat for the first time since his death was compounded for his elderly mum Ellen (77) and sister Lesley by the fact that forensic chemical contamination meant that most of Glenn’s belongings had to be dumped.
A woolly hat he wore and a couple of baubles from his Christmas tree which was still up when he was killed were the only personal items that could be salvaged.
For his elderly mum Ellen who had helped him decorate and furnish his new home just five weeks before his death, it was devastating to find no trace of the once cosy place Glenn had called home.
She says: “Words can’t even describe how it felt. I went into that flat thinking I would get a wee bit of Glenn back but there was absolutely nothing left, even the carpets had been lifted and it was really cold.
“All the wee things that were precious to him, even his coats because he took great pride in dressing, all of them were gone.
“Glenn had also taken great pride in his home and it was really warm and cosy. I had helped him pick curtains and lamps and he was so pleased with it.
“The last time I was in it was a week before he died when I had a Chinese takeaway and a cup of tea with him.
“Going into the flat and seeing where he died in a cold place and nobody there to put their arms round him was the worst feeling I’ve had. Now it’s like my Glenn has been wiped off the face of the earth.”
Ellen says she understands that police had no choice but to dispose of her son’s belongings.
She explains: “I understand that the police have a job to do and it’s not their fault that all Glenn’s stuff had to be taken away. I blame the people who killed him.
“I see them every day driving up and down and they are laughing and getting on with their lives. To me they are nothing but gutter rats and they shouldn’t be walking the streets of Carrick.”
Glenn’s sister Lesley travelled home from Scotland to accompany her mum to the flat for the chance to say a final goodbye to her brother.
She too wasn’t prepared for the shock of seeing the once homely flat so bare and empty.
She admits: “It’s been a very tough week and it was something we were dreading.
“The tears came as soon as we got out of the car and when we went in and saw that there wasn’t even a carpet in the place it was hard.
“Every room was empty and Glenn had the place lovely.
“It had become a crime scene and we had resigned ourselves to that and hopefully it will be for the greater good and forensics will find what they need.
“Glenn’s killers took his life, the money in his pocket as he was dying and now everything that belonged to him.”
Police have said members of the South East Antrim UDA carried out the brutal murder. It is believed Glenn was beaten in his bedroom. He managed to crawl to the kitchen where he died on the floor.
For Lesley and her mum, seeing the spot where he died alone and in agony was simply shattering.
Lesley recalls: “I sunk down onto the kitchen floor on the very spot he died and I just said my goodbyes to him.
“Now for us Glenn is gone from there. No one can begin to understand what a murder does to the people left behind.
“The pain doesn’t stop and what our family is going through, no one should have to go through.”
The people who brutally beat Glenn and left him for dead had no idea he survived long enough to make a phone call and name his killers.
The gang responsible are believed to be members of the South East Antrim UDA and are still at large.
Police have branded them “UDA drug dealers”.
The family hope that the painstaking forensic examination of Glenn’s flat will have given police the evidence needed to convict the killers.
Glenn’s brother Martin, along with Lesley and Ellen have tirelessly campaigned for justice. Now Ellen and Martin are set to meet with UUP leader Doug Beattie this week to ask for support from his party.
They have already met with DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and TUV chief Jim Allister.
Ellen adds: “We will fight and we will never give up the fight for Glenn. We do ask that anyone who knows anything whatsoever to speak to the police because this will happen again and we need help to take these killers off the street for everyone’s safety.”
Glenn’s flat has now been handed back to the Housing Executive.