Irish Republican News · July 20, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Garda corruption report fuels demand for murder inquiry

The 26-County government has appointed a senior police chief to investigate new evidence into the murder of a Sinn Féin councillor in Donegal over 10 years ago.

Eddie Fullerton was shot dead at his home in Buncrana on May 25, 1991 in an attack blamed on a Derry-based UDA gang. But republicans always suspected that the attack, deep in the Irish countryside, was outside the scope of the UDA and could not have been carried out without the involvement of British forces.

Mr Fullerton’s family have never been happy with the investigation into the murder carried out by local gardai.

The late councillor’s son Albert, who set up the Eddie Fullerton Justice Campaign, handed in a dossier of evidence about the murder to the Department of Justice last June.

Within the last week he received a letter informing him that the case would be re-examined.

The files include fresh claims from a man in Derry who said he saw an unmarked RUC car pick up three men in military clothing close to the northern side of the Donegal border, half an hour after the murder and near where the burnt-out car used by the killers was abandoned.

The development comes as the Morris Tribunal into Garda corruption in Donegal, last week published a damning interim report.

The tribunal unveiled a story of delinquency, delusion and deception involving high-ranking police officers and odd local characters.

The following were the main findings of the tribunal:

* Adrienne McGlinchy, who claimed to be an IRA informer, was a mischievous ‘Walter Mitty’ character.

* McGlinchey’s falsehoods were deliberately used by Superintendent Kevin Lennon and Garda McMahon to further their careers.

* The two orchestrated bogus arms finds by planting ammunition and hoax explosives in Donegal in 1993 and 1994.

* The two officers lied in evidence to the tribunal.

* Senior gardai in Donegal failed to uncover these activities and their negligence enabled the hoaxes to continue over time.

Justice Minister Michael McDowell said the findings were “unprecedented and frightening” and vowed to fast-track reform of the force. A Garda working group has been set up to examine the recommendations in the report.

These include an urgent review of the way informers are handled and an examination of the relationship between Garda headquarters and divisions, and the appointment of senior officers.

Detective Garda Noel McMahon, who played a key role in the investigation into Eddie Fullerton’s murder, has been labelled a liar by the tribunal chairperson, Justice Frederick Morris.

Fifteen members of the force will face disciplinary action of varying severity, up to and including dismissal.

“This has profound implications in respect of our campaign,” said Albert Fullerton.

The PSNI and the Police Ombudsman for the North are also to examine the Morris report to determine if they should initiate their own inquiries relating to the bogus arms find in Strabane more than 10 years ago.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News