Northern Ireland news

Booklet launched to remember loyalist murder victim

Peter Gallagher was killed by loyalists in March 1993
Connla Young

THE family of a Co Antrim man who was shot dead by loyalists are set to launch a book about his life.

Peter Gallagher, who was a member of Sinn Féin, was killed in a shooting at work in west Belfast on March 24 1993.

The 26th anniversary of his death takes place on Sunday.

The 44-year-old was shot in the back and legs by a lone gunman as he opened a gate at a work site at Distillery Street.

The father-of-seven was a popular figure in the Toome area where he lived with his family.

His family believe he was murdered by sectarian killer Stephen McKeag, who was a member of the UDA/UFF’s notorious Shankill Road based ‘C Company’.

The killer is believed to have escaped on a bicycle.

It is believed the gun used to kill him was part of a consignment brought into the north with the help of British intelligence agencies in January 1988.

Mr Gallagher’s son Seamus said he believed there was collusion in his father’s murder.

He said it was important for the family to produce the book with Relatives for Justice.

“Daddy was well known,” he said.

“We want people to see the truth, what way he was murdered. For me there was collusion."

A plaque was erected to Mr Gallagher’s memory last year by residents who live near the spot where he died.

His son Seamus said the family was “very grateful” for the gesture.

His widow Bernie was left to raise her seven children, three of who were aged under 10.

“I was worried about the three young boys getting into bother,” she said.

“It was hard.”

The booklet will be launched at the O’Neill Arms Hotel at 2pm tomorrow, March 23.

Sinn Féin councillor Henry Cushinan is expected to speak at the event.

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