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Hundreds attended a vigil for Catholic man shot dead by loyalists 20 years ago

Mrs Christina McCusker during the vigil for her son Fergal McCusker in Maghera on Friday night. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Connla Young

Hundreds of people have attended a vigil for a Catholic man shot dead by loyalists 20 years ago.

Fergal McCusker (28) was killed by the LVF in Maghera, Co Derry, as he made his way home after a night out in January 1998.

The shooting came just weeks after the INLA's prison killing of LVF leader Billy Wright.

His family believe there was collusion in the murder.

Relatives and local people held a candlelight vigil close to the spot where he was shot on Friday night.

Several hundred people later packed into a local hall where details of the case were discussed.

Those in attendance included relatives of Sean Brown, the Bellaghy GAA official shot dead by the LVF in May 1997, Sinn Féin MLA Ian Milne and local councillors.

Mr McCusker's brother Finbarr said his family were happy with the turnout.

“The community really got behind us and it shows how much he was liked,” he said.

“We are really proud of the turnout for him.”

The McCusker family's solicitor Pádraig Ó Muirigh said: “The family were very heartened by the turn out in Maghera.

“The family and community in Maghera know Fergal was an innocent young man.

“But that is not enough, they want justice and it's imperative after 20 years this family get the truth about what happened to Fergal and the state's role in his death.”

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