Belfast Telegraph

Mother's agony over dissident killing of Derry man Andy Allen

By Donna Deeney

A mother whose son was murdered by dissident republicans said she relives the horror of his death every time she hears of another paramilitary attack in Londonderry.

Donna Smith's son Andy Allen (24) was forced to flee the city under threat and was later shot dead in February 2012 at the house where he was living in Buncrana, Donegal.

Dissident republicans claimed responsibility for killing the 24-year-old father of two.

They fired shots through a front window of the house. One hit Mr Allen in the head, killing him instantly.

But nearly six years after he was murdered, no-one has been charged with his death.

Facing another Christmas without her son, Ms Smith said it was beyond time the gunmen left the streets of Derry.

She said: "Every time I turn on the radio or lift a newspaper and see that someone else has been shot it brings it all back to me, but the reality is the loss of Andy to us as a family has never gone away.

"He is missed so much by his brothers, sisters, me, his father and his kids, and we live with that every day.

"From the minute I received that phone call telling me Andy has been murdered my own life was shattered and has never been the same.

"It makes me angry that the people who murdered Andy are still able to walk the streets because they have never been brought to justice.

"We have been left to struggle on with life, spending Christmases without Andy, birthdays passing where he isn't here.

"His own children have been left to grow up without him and all the time the men who did it are able to enjoy all those special times with their families.

"They hide behind masks, deciding who is innocent and who is guilty - acting on the authority of no-one only themselves.

"It is wrong and it needs to stop.

"It should have stopped long before now.

"They won't listen to me - they don't care about our family or about anybody else whose lives they destroy and it is sad that this is still going on and that it is still being tolerated.

"It is never going to be acceptable to shoot anybody. That isn't justice, it's just wrong, and I will never understand how anyone can think it isn't wrong."

Belfast Telegraph

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