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On February 19th 2000 the bodies of 18 year-old graphic design student David McIlwaine and 19 year-old Andrew Robb were discovered in an isolated country lane in Tandragee County Armagh. The boys had been sadistically killed in a frenzied knife attack by the UVF. Both boys were Protestants and uninvolved in any organisations.
Initially the RUC indicated that the killings were drug related stressing that they were not connected to an ongoing loyalist feud. However, they soon retracted this theory re-arresting a number of leading loyalists in the area - this time under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).
The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Alan Todd, informed the family that the principle suspect, UVF member Steven Revels, was in custody and that conclusive forensic evidence would undoubtedly secure a murder conviction. Todd also told the family that evidence was being progressed and other leading UVF suspects would soon be arrested and charged.
Todd further informed the McIlwaine family that the RUC had received prior intelligence that on the night of the killings the UVF planned to murder two LVF members in Tandragee in retaliation for the LVF killing of Portadown UVF commander Richard Jameson.
Paul McIlwaine has pieced together his son David's final hours from information he has gathered from people he has spoken to since the horrific sequence of events that took place on an isolated country road outside Tandragee on February 19, 2000.
That was the night David - a graphic design student - and an acquaintance, Andrew Robb, were brutally beaten and hacked to death by a number of killers - some of whom were later confirmed as members of the UVF.
Initial media reports claimed that both teenagers were members of the Loyalist Volunteer Force and that their murders were in retaliation for the murder a month earlier of Portadown Ulster Volunteer Force leader Richard Jameson. But while 19-year-old Andrew Robb was on the periphery of the LVF, 18-year-old David had no connections with loyalism. He'd never even been to a band parade and many of his friends were Catholics.