Belfast Telegraph

Family appeals for justice over shooting of taxi man 16 years on

By Brett Campbell

The family of a Catholic taxi driver who was gunned down in Co Tyrone on a bogus call-out are still seeking justice 16 years on.

Brian Henry McDonald, known as Barney, died instantly when he was shot at point blank range on April 17, 2002 in Donaghmore.

The Dungannon man's family have appealed for information in relation to the callous murder, which they believe was carried out by republicans.

"His absence from our lives is as immense today as it was 16 years ago when he was so brutally taken from us," they said in a statement.

"Sixteen years on and we are no closer to the truth about this heinous murder."

The 52-year-old was approached by two men who were armed with a shotgun while he reversed his silver Toyota Avensis - with an illuminated taxi sign on the roof - into the driveway of Arthur's Snooker Club.

His family do not believe the cold-blooded killing was sectarian.

They said: "This was a murder set up by someone who, after the killing, was stood down by the Army Council of the Provisional IRA and led a mob of gangsters and thugs in Dungannon and the surrounding areas. This gang is still involved in criminality."

The family claimed that police have not acted on information which came from "within the circles of those involved in the killing" and pleaded for individuals who had prior knowledge of the ambush to break their silence.

"These were people well known to him," they said.

"There are others who may have heard stories relating to this murder in casual conversation which may be of significance. "

Mr McDonald's sister Margaret said: "Justice is important to me and time is moving on - none of us are getting any younger."

Detective Superintendent Ian Harrison said the investigation was now within the caseload of Legacy Investigation Branch (LIB).

He said: "Given the extensive caseload of LIB, I am not in a position to provide any firm timescale as to when work will commence, however I can give assurance to Mr McDonald's family that we will notify them once this happens."

He went on to add: "We remain committed to bringing to justice those responsible for this murder and would appeal to anyone with any information to contact us.

"Where credible investigative lines of inquiry are identified, capable of leading to the identification and prosecution of suspects, we will follow them."

Belfast Telegraph

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