THE sister of murdered Strabane man Andrew Burns has called on those responsible for his death to ‘clear your conscience and hand yourselves in’, almost ten years to the day of the brutal killing.
Andrew Burns (27) was lured from his Strabane home to church grounds in Donnyloop, Castlefin in Donegal on February 12, 2008 where he was shot in the back and killed.
Dissident group Oglaigh na hEireann were blamed for the murder. Gardaí say they believe some 12 people were involved, but just one man was convicted in relation to the death. Martin Kelly, from Barrack Street in the town, was jailed for life in 2012 for his part in the murder.
Andrew’s sister Jacqueline says that her family were devastated by his loss.
“It has been ten years since Andrew died,” she said.
“It has been a journey that you learn to live with, you never forget. Andrew did not deserve what he got. It was well over the top.
“Their mindset, their way of thinking, the location of the murder, within church grounds, went against everything that is humanly decent.
“My brother Andrew was left at the side of the road to die.”
Jacqueline said that her mother and father both ‘died from broken hearts’ after the loss of their son, and that her parents and her brother are buried together in the same grave.
She said that the words of her mother in a dream prompted her to launch a fresh appeal for information on the murder.
“The reason I decided to do this appeal was that I received a message from my mother who passed away,” she said.
“About two weeks after my father’s second anniversary I had a dream. “I was sitting at a table and saw my mother walking up the floor to me. She bent and whispered in my ear ‘we are at peace now’.
“I thought afterwards of the sermon Fr Boland gave at her funeral. He said ‘Dympna was a woman of few words, but when she did speak she got to the point’. That was exactly how she was. Five words – ‘we are at peace now’.
“I am appealing directly to those individuals involved in my brother’s murder to do the right thing and hand themselves in,” she said.
“It is never too late to do the right thing. You won’t be at peace with yourselves until you do.
“I am especially appealing to those close to the individuals involved to do the right thing. Your conscious will then be clear.”
Jacqueline said that anyone with any information can contact the Incident Room at Letterkenny Garda Station on 00353 74 91 67100 or the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.