Belfast Telegraph

Andrew Burns sister appeals to killers 10 years after murder

By Leona O'Neill

The sister of a Northern Ireland man murdered in a church car park has called on those responsible to "clear your conscience and hand yourselves in" - 10 years on from the brutal killing.

Andrew Burns (27) was lured from his Strabane home to a church in Donnyloop, Castlefin in Co Donegal, on February 12, 2008, where he was shot in the back and killed.

Dissident republican group Oglaigh na hEireann were blamed for the murder.

Gardai say they believe some 12 people were involved but just one man was convicted in relation to the death. Martin Kelly, also from Strabane, was jailed for life in 2012 for his part in the murder.

Andrew's sister Jacqueline says that a message from her deceased mother Dympna in a dream prompted her to call for those who murdered her brother to come forward on the anniversary of his death.

"It has been 10 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, on sacred ground within a church grounds, went against everything that is humanly decent.

"My brother Andrew was left at the side of the road to die."

Jacqueline said she felt compelled to speak out, adding: "The reason I decided to do this appeal was that I received a message from my mother who passed away.

"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 the priest 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. Four words, 'We are at peace now'."

Jacqueline said her mother and father both "died from broken hearts", and that her parents and her brother are buried together in the same grave.

She said the dream, and the words of her mother in it, prompted her to launch a fresh appeal for information about the murder.

"I am appealing directly to those individuals involved in my brother's murder to do the right thing and hand themselves in," she added.

"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 conscience will then be clear."

Jacqueline said anyone with any information can contact the Incident Room at Letterkenny Garda Station on 074 91 67100, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

Belfast Telegraph

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