Donegal County Council has unanimously passed a motion calling for a full public independent inquiry into the assassination of Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Eddie Fullerton by unionist paramilitaries in 1991.
The motion was proposed by Sinn Féin Councillor Padraig MacLochlainn who said the original investigation into the killing of Eddie Fullerton had been “fundamentally flawed”.
Three of the Gardaí police discredited by the Morris Tribunal were also heavily involved in the investigation. Last week, the Tribunal found that the policemen in question acted corruptly and deceiptfully in their attempt to frame two innocent men for murder of hit-and-run victim Ritchie Barron.
Speaking after the council meeting in Donegal, Councillor MacLochlainn said serious questions remained to be answered in relation to both the original investigation by the Gardaí into the killing of Eddie Fullerton and the involvement of British agents in the killing.
“It is regrettable that the Morris Tribunal remit was never widened to include the Fullerton investigation,” he said.
“The Fullertons deserve justice and to know the full truth. This is also in the public interest. I warmly welcome the seconding of the motion for a full public inquiry by the Fianna Fail Council Chair Francis Conaghan, and I expect the Minister for Justice to reconsider his past refusal.”
Serious questions have surrounded Mr Fullerton’s murder, including the ability of his killers to gain detailed local intelligence, as well as making safe passage to and from their base in the North.
Mr Fullerton’s family have also highlighted the nature of the original Garda investigation and the Department of Justice’s ongoing conduct as causes of major concern.
As their campaign to expose “collusion and cover-up” in relation to Mr Fullerton’s murder gathers momentum, the man’s family will travel to Dublin next week in a bid to secure cross-party backing.
“In my view, when the final truth comes out about Eddie Fullerton’s murder, it will take a generation to build the trust between the people and the Garda which has been destroyed,” Albert Fullerton said.
“The thing is that people in politics and legal circles and the general public haven’t yet come to terms with how damaging this is. The worst is yet to come.
“I was first making it public that Garda corruption and ineptitude existed in 1991 and I have now been totally vindicated.”
Mr Fullerton insisted there is now no possible excuse for failing to have a full public inquiry into his father’s murder.
“Eddie Fullerton was a fellow elected public representative of the Irish people and we are now asking all political representatives to put the need for a full, public inquiry with international oversight to the Department of Justice as a matter of urgency,” he said.
The man at the centre of the Morris Tribunal yesterday advised the Fullertons not to seek help from the inquiry.
Frank McBrearty Jnr, who received an apology this week from the Minister for Justice Michael McDowell, told the Fullertons: “Don’t go near the Morris Tribunal because it is a waste of time.”
The McBrearty family withdrew from the Morris Tribunal in a dispute over the family’s mounting legal costs.
“My heart goes out to the Fullerton family,” Mr McBrearty Jnr said
“The gardai, in the same way that they botched up the Richie Barron case, also botched up their father’s investigation.”