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Leading Loyalist David 'Dee' McConnell charged with burglary

The charge is in relation to an incident where a woman claimed a man had broken into her house through a kitchen window

David McConnell, 43, is facing a burglary charge

Steven Moore

Leading loyalist David 'Dee' McConnell has been charged with burglary, we can reveal.

The 43-year-old prominent east Belfast loyalist will appear in court later this month charged with a single count of burglary.

It's understood the charge relates to an incident on February 1 at a house in east Belfast.

At the time a woman had claimed a man had broken into her house through a kitchen window.

She had posted a number of photos on social media of damage she said had been caused after she claimed someone had broken into her house.

She claimed the man had arrived late at night and she alleged he had walked upstairs and she had pushed past him as she ran out onto the street.

Last night a police spokesperson told the Sunday World: "One man, aged 43, has been charged with burglary following a report of a burglary in the Dee Street area of east Belfast on Tuesday 1st February.

"He is due to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on 17th May. As is usual procedure all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS)."

McConnell, who is a former community worker, is understood to live between east Belfast and Scotland where he has a partner and two kids.

Pictures posted by his partner over the last few years reveal McConnell's happy life away from Belfast.

Photographs show McConnell sipping cocktails in Dubai and last year celebrating at a gender reveal party for his soon-to-be-born son.

And it's here it's understood he went to after he was arrested in east Belfast when cops received a 999 call from a woman claiming someone had entered her home.

McConnell's been a prominent figure in east Belfast loyalism for over a decade and formed a close friendship with a number of high-profile loyalists through their involvement with East Belfast FC. In September 2020 McConnell was in the dugout at East Belfast FC for a testimonial match in his honour.

The club took on Premiership outfit Glenavon in a curtain raiser for the coming season but which was also billed as a testimonial for the loyalist.

In a statement to this paper at the time, the club said they were "delighted" to host the match for their "esteemed" club member.

"David has provided many years' service to the club and played a key role in developing our football club and its community development section," they said.

McConnell was also prominent in supporting the union flag protests and was pictured outside Belfast Magistrates Court.

Before that he was also part of a delegation which hit the headlines in 2014 when he - along with Bryson - was invited to Stormont to by then UUP MLA Michael Copeland.

A Stormont source was quoted in the Irish News as saying both First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness raised the issue with then UUP leader Mike Nesbitt.

"Robinson and McGuinness questioned the wisdom of bringing McConnell and Bryson into Parliament Buildings," the source said.

The paper reported Mr Copeland was unavailable for comment but a statement issued by the Ulster Unionists on his behalf said: "I met with a delegation from East Belfast Football Club at their request.

"They wished to highlight the lack of football facilities in my constituency."

The Sunday World has previously revealed that McConnell was among a group of east Belfast loyalists who had undergone dental treatments.

Some of them even travelled abroad to places like Turkey where you can save thousands compared to having them done privately in the UK.

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