Belfast Telegraph

Dissident murder victim Andrew Allen died from shot to chest, inquest told

Andy Allen
Andy Allen
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A man killed by dissident republicans in 2012 had been shot three times but it was a wound to his chest that proved fatal, an inquest into his death was told.

Andrew Allen (24), originally from Londonderry, died at the house he shared with his partner, Arlene Farley in Links View, Buncrana despite her efforts to resuscitate him.

The jury sitting at the inquest in Buncrana Court found that Mr Allen had been unlawfully killed by a masked man understood to be from the now defunct Republican Action Against Drugs who has never been found.

The inquest heard that eight months before his death, Mr Allen had been told his name was written in a letter containing a bullet sent to a community centre in the Waterside but two weeks later he was told he was no longer under threat.

Ms Farley was not present in court so her statements were read into evidence by a member of An Garda Siochana.

The inquest heard that Ms Farley and Mr Allen arrived at their home in Links View, Buncrana on the evening of February 9, 2012, and had watched television in their downstairs bedroom where the curtains were closed.

Around 9pm Mr Allen was playing video games while Ms Farley was on her phone when they heard someone "booting and booting at the front door".

Ms Farley moved from the bedroom into the hall, looked out a window and saw a man wearing a baseball hat and dark clothes holding a gun which he was pointing at the door.

She also saw a car reversed into their driveway that had its engine running.

Ms Farley called to Mr Allen "there's a man with a gun". He then got out of the bed and told her to call the Gardai just as she heard gunshots coming through the bedroom and saw Mr Allen fall to the floor.

Mr Allen told Ms Farley: "I cannot feel my legs." She held Mr Allen's head and rang an ambulance.

She was advised by the operator to move Mr Allen on to his side but she was unable to do so. She ran to her neighbours for help before returning and starting first aid but she said: "I knew he was dead." The inquest also heard that Ms Farley had been in a relationship with Mr Allen since 2010 and that they rarely socialised in Derry or had friends come to their home in Buncrana where Mr Allen had moved to after discovering he was under threat.

She said she "couldn't understand why this had happened". She said Mr Allen had "been involved in drugs years ago but not since I knew him".

Ms Farley told the court a community centre in Top of the Hill in Derry received a "letter with a bullet inside" and the names of eight people including Mr Allen, months prior to his death, but that two weeks later he had been told his name had been removed.

In her report to the inquest, State Pathologist Marie Cassidy, now retired, said Mr Allen had been shot three times, once in the leg, once in the abdomen and once in the chest.

The inquest also heard from Detective Inspector Pat O'Donnell who told the court in his opinion Andrew Allen had died as a result of an unlawful killing.

Coroner Dr Denis McCauley directed the jury that Mr O'Donnell's evidence was important because it would allow them to return a verdict of unlawful killing which they did.

Speaking after the inquest, Mr O'Donnell said the focus of the investigation is in Derry where Mr Allen was originally from.

He said: "We have had six arrests to date and other arrests will be made in the near future.

"We heard the gruesome details of how Andrew died, it has been difficult for the family. This is a difficult investigation given the cross border nature of it but we believe those involved in his murder are still in Derry city.

"We believe the evidence that will solve this case is in Derry city."

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