Three found guilty of schoolboy killing in Ballymena

The trial into the sectarian murder of Michael McIlveen has concluded with three men, Aaron Wallace, Christopher Kerr and Jeff Lewis, being found guilty of murdering the 15 year old catholic schoolboy in the town. One man, Mervyn Moon, had already pleaded guilty to the murder and two others were convicted of different charges. Michael McIlveen had died after being targeted in a sectarian attack in Ballymena in May 2006.
In the aftermath of the killing, Ballymena’s post-primary schools formed Ballymena Learning Together, an initiative aimed at fostering closer links between the pupils of the schools. Following the murder, it emerged that teenagers in the town had been using the BEBO site to make openly sectarian comments and allegations.
In June 2008, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness (then as First Minister and Deputy First Minister) visited the town’s Braid Civic Centre to attend a Learning Together ceremony, much to the displeasure of anti-Agreement unionist elements within the town.