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I won't stop hunt for Mark Robinson's IRA killers, vows brother

Councillor says IRA beat and stabbed his sibling

By Leona O'Neill

A man whose 22-year-old brother was beaten to death by an IRA gang has said he will never give up his search for justice.

Londonderry man Warren Robinson (42), who sits as an independent councillor on Derry City and Strabane District Council, said his family have been through hell and called on the IRA to admit what happened.

Mark Robinson was beaten with an iron bar and stabbed with a knife by a gang as he walked home in the Galliagh area of the city in 2001 - long after the IRA ceasefire.

He was found with catastrophic head injuries and rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where he died of his injuries three days later. Mark's heart was donated to his uncle, and the transplant saved his life.

"He was my little brother," Warren says. "

He was generous and kind and would have went out of his way to help.

"He was so good and caring towards our mum. He was just a typical young fella, trying to get on with his life. He had a young son and wanted to see him grow up.

"He was the same age as my own son is now when he was killed. I can't put myself in my mother and father's place, it is just too painful, the loss of their son just totally devastated them."

Mark encountered the IRA gang in the streets near his home as he was coming home from a friend's house at around 2am.

Warren said they had just come from burning an alleged drug dealer's car.

"Mark just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They attacked him near a tunnel at Moss Park, smashing the back of his skull in.

"They stabbed him so viciously they broke the tip of the knife off in his thigh bone. His injuries were horrific. It is so hard to take in that someone would do that to a young man of just 22-years-old."

For the next three days, Warren said the Robinson family kept a vigil at Mark's hospital bedside before doctors told them there was no hope. As they said their goodbyes, his uncle lay dying of heart disease in the City Hospital less than a mile away while waiting for a heart transplant. Mark was able to give his family that one last gift.

"Our uncle Lorney McMonagle was literally hours from death, suffering from heart disease. Two days before he died Mark signed the donor register, inspired by our uncle's plight," said Warren.

"When Mark died he perfectly matched Lorney's requirements and his heart was transplanted into his uncle. Lorney has Mark's heart beating in his chest and is doing well now."

Warren said his family's grief was compounded by intimidation, threats and a campaign to blacken Mark's name when they called for justice. Now they want the investigation reopened.

"I would like the IRA or their political representatives to acknowledge that they did this," said Warren. "Sinn Fein should, at the very least, provide any information they might have on this to the family and to the police. And I would call on the police to reopen this case and seek convictions."

Sinn Fein and the PSNI had not responded to a request for comment on the matter at the time of going to press.

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