Irish Republican News · October 24, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Family of loyalist victim call for fresh inquiry

The family of a taxi driver lured to his death by a loyalist murder squad have called for an independent inquiry as they prepare to mark the 20th anniversary of his killing.

Frank Hughes, a married father-of-three from Dungannon, was killed after going to collect a bogus fare from a nearby hotel.

The 61-year-old’s body was found in his burnt-out taxi, which had been left near a derelict farmhouse about five miles away.

No one was ever charged with the murder, but leading loyalists Billy Wright and Mark ‘Swinger' Fulton, both now dead, were later implicated.

The Hughes family, who have led a campaign for justice, have been highly critical of the heavily flawed RUC police 'investigation'.

They have now called for an independent investigation into how the case was handled.

Mr Hughes’ daughter-in-law, Eileen, said: “At this stage we know there won’t be anyone brought to justice, but we want the truth to be told.

“(Frank) was an innocent Catholic, he had absolutely no political connections. He was such a quiet and inoffensive man,” she said.

Mr Hughes was killed after taking a bogus call from a woman calling herself ‘Mary Fox’ on the night of October 23 1990.

His burnt out taxi was found outside a farmhouse at Derryane Road the next morning.

Mr Hughes’ remains lay across the front seats of his cab. An inquest later heard they had been burnt almost to destruction.

The Tyrone Protestant Action Force — a cover-name for the UVF — admitted responsibility.

But while a number of suspects were arrested over the murder, all were released without charge.

The Hughes family want a review of the RUC murder probe, pointing out that some forensic opportunities were not fully explored.

“This was a flawed investigation from the start,” Eileen added.

“In the years after Frank’s murder, there has been a lot of memory loss, a lot of files have gone missing, and a lot of investigation avenues were never explored.

“After 20 years we don’t expect anyone to serve a day in jail, but we want closure.”

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