Sunday Life

UVF victim's pal dies of grief

By Stephen Breen
05 September 2004

A MAN who never got over the UVF murder of his brother-in-law, lost his fight for life this week.

Stephen Totton, who was devastated by the brutal killing of Michael McGoldrick, died in Craigavon Hospital after a short illness, and was buried last Tuesday.

Friends claimed the 43-year-old was left traumatised by the 1996 murder. The UVF victim, who was from Lurgan, had been working Mr Totton's shift at a local taxi depot the night he was shot dead.

Although eight years have passed since Mr McGoldrick's killing, pals said dad-of-three Stephen always believed that it should have been him who was murdered that night.

One friend told Sunday Life the Co Armagh man's health had failed shortly after the murder.

Said the pal: "Stephen was left devastated after Michael's murder, because he got it into his head it should have been him.

"His health just wasn't the same after Michael's killing. He took it really bad, just like Michael's family and other friends.

"No matter how often people told him the murder was an act of evil, and had nothing to do with him, he still blamed himself.

"He just wasn't himself after it.

"When something tragic like this happens, it can affect people's health in so many different ways.

"It may have been eight years ago, but the murder would still have been on his mind."

Mr McGoldrick's father, also called Michael, extended his sympathy to the Totton family.

He said: "Stephen was my son's brother-in-law, and I know he took it bad when we lost Michael.

"They were very good friends. It has been eight years since Michael's death, and I wouldn't know if this had anything to do with what happened to Stephen.

"Michael's death affected a lot of people in Lurgan, and I don't know what way it affected Stephen over the years.

"I was sorry to hear about his death because he was a nice lad."

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