Irish Republican News · August 24, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Fullerton case reopened

The Garda police in Donegal have reopened the investigation into the 1991 murder of Sinn Féin councillor Eddie Fullerton. They plan to interview a key witness who claims that the British security forces in Derry helped cover up the killing.

Detective Garda Noel McMahon, who was branded “corrupt” and a “liar” by a tribunal into police activity last month, was a central figure in the original investigation into Fullerton’s killing at the hands of a Derry-based gang of unionist paramilitaries. Fullerton was gunned down in his Buncrana home.

The Fullerton family claim that the original investigation was flawed. Fullerton’s son Albert said that Letterkenny-based chief superintendent Noel White, who wasn’t involved in the original inquiry, informed the family last week that a re-investigation was now underway.

Lawyers for the Fullerton family last year submitted a 27-page dossier detailing allegations of collusion between British forces and the paramilitary UDA.

The dossier alleges that gardai at the murder scene had wrongly removed material, some of which had still to be accounted for, and that crucial forensic material had not been examined.

A key witness claims that he saw an unmarked RUC car pick up three men in military fatigues on the Derry-Donegal border thirty minutes after the shooting. The pick-up happened close to where the UDA team’s car was abandoned.

Meanwhile, the Fullertons’ legal team has raised concerns about the justice department’s handling of moves to reopen the investigation. Lawyer Greg O’Neill said that the family had been kept in the dark until last week about government and garda plans to launch the re-investigation.

O’Neill said that the government’s handling of the case raised “serious questions” about an inquiry that was conducted without the input of the family or its legal team.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News