The partner of a Donegal man brutally beaten to death in Glasgow watched helplessly as the thugs fled the grisly scene, it was revealed last night.
A team of 60 Strathclyde police officers were last night involved in the murder inquiry into the death of Malin Head man William McKeeney (57) early on Sunday.
Mr McKeeney, who moved to the area five years ago, was set upon at Melville Street in Pollokshields and left unconscious as he walked from a local fish and chip shop.
He was taken by ambulance to the Victoria Infirmary but did not regain consciousness and died a short time later. His attackers were described as being of Asian appearance.
Detective Chief Inspector David Gailey, who is heading up the probe, described the killing as an “awful crime”. “Mr McKeeney suffered massive injuries to his head and body in what can only be described as a brutal and sustained attack. To speculate on a motive at this time is completely unhelpful, and indeed may hinder our investigation, however, we are keeping an open mind as to why it happened,” he said.
Mr McKeeney had been out socialising in Pollokshaws Road and had called his partner to let her know he was on his way home when he was attacked just opposite his home.
His partner watched the attack from a window of the couple’s ground floor flat.
DCI Gailey explained: “His 48-year-old partner heard a disturbance outside and when she went to look to see what was happening, she saw two men jumping up and down on the street before making off towards Darnley Street. She then went outside only to find that it was William who had been attacked.” She was left completely devastated by the incident, he said. “I am convinced that someone in the community knows who did this and I would appeal to them to contact police and help us take this investigation forward.”
The suspects were described as both in their early 20s and of Asian appearance, although there is currently “absolutely nothing” to suggest he was murdered for racial reasons, he added. He said that Mr McKeeney and his partner were “well known in the area”. William, who worked locally as a labourer, “was a popular man who was ready to help anyone he could”.
Donegal County Councillor Michael Doherty, a friend of Mr McKeeney’s, last night described him as a “true gentleman”. He said: “He was a great fella, a humourous man who loved music.
“He was also a fine mechanic.”
“He was very well known and liked by everyone he encountered. My sympathies go to his family members at this terrible time.”
Charlie O’Donnell of Malin Head Fishermen’s Co-op said the native of Keenagh was “a big gentle man” who was well known throughout the Inishowen peninsula, as he used to work as a lorry driver.
“You don’t expect something like this to come to your own door when you live in a rural place like Malin Head. Our hearts go out to William’s partner Anne-Marie, his brothers and sister.”