New appeal marks tenth anniversary of Strabane man's murder

Strabane man, Andrew Burns was shot dead in Co Donegal in February 2008.
Strabane man, Andrew Burns was shot dead in Co Donegal in February 2008.

GARDAÍ have issued a new appeal for information about the dissident republican shooting of a Strabane man in Co Donegal on the tenth anniversary of his murder.

Andrew Burns (27) was a member of the then Real IRA when he was murdered in the grounds of St Columba's church in the border village of Donnyloop on February 12 2008.

Another Strabane man, bus driver, Martin Kelly (43) was subsequently convicted of his murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2012. Kelly, also a member of the Real IRA, was also sentenced to eight years in prison for possession of a firearm.

At Kelly’s trial at the Republic’s Special Criminal Court, it was revealed Mr Burns was to be brought to Donnyloop for a so-called punishment shooting. When they reached the village, the victim tried to run away. While a first shot missed Mr Burns, a second shot hit and killed him.

While four people were present on the night of the murder, Gardai believe up to 20 people were involved in the killing.

Garda inspector, Pat O’Donnell said that, while one man was convicted of the murder, a new appeal for information was being launched.

Inspector O’Donnell said: “We’re appealing on the tenth anniversary to anyone in Strabane or the Donnyloop area who has any information they can provide in relation the circumstances of what happened that day, or the run-up to it or the follow-up after the murder.”

The Donegal Garda officer urged anyone with information to “do the right thing.”

He said: “We’re asking people not to be shy in coming forward irrespective of the information they have.”