Northern Ireland news

Police make fresh appeal about sectarian murder of Brendan McKenna almost 30 years ago

Married lorry driver Brendan McKenna was 28 when he was shot dead by a gunman as he drove to a quarry on the Ballystockart Road in Comber on June 2, 1993
Marie Louise McConville

POLICE have made a fresh appeal for information about the sectarian murder of a Co Down man almost 30 years ago on what would have been the victim's 58th birthday.

Brendan McKenna was shot dead by a gunman as he drove to a quarry on the Ballystockart Road in Comber on June 2, 1993.

The married lorry driver was from Bann Foot in Derrytrasna near Lurgan.

Despite a number of people being arrested, no one has ever been charged in connection with the murder.

Detectives from the Legacy Investigation Branch today issued a fresh appeal.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Byrne, the Senior Investigating Officer, said: "Mr McKenna was on his way to a quarry on Ballystockart Road, Comber when he was shot at the junction of the Hillhead Road and Ballystockart Road outside Comber.

"His attackers had posed as Department of Environment workers dressed in yellow coats and had been waiting in the area for several hours before the attack," he said.

"Brendan was shot a number of times and died later in hospital."

DCI Byrne said Mr McKenna was "an innocent victim of this sickening sectarian attack".

"He was going about his daily work as a lorry driver when he was brutally murdered for no other reason than his religion," he said.

"The terrorists made their escape in a blue coloured Ford Escort car that was found burned out in the Ballybeen estate in Dundonald a short time after the attack.

"I am appealing for anyone who may have been in the Hillhead Road or Ballystockart Road area on the day of this attack and who may have seen a number of men dressed in yellow coats in the area.

"I believe that someone must have seen them before or after the attack or will know who these individuals were. Did you see them in the Ballybeen Estate where they set the car on fire after the attack?

"A number of people were involved in Brendan’s murder. They know who they are and they are going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives. I would appeal directly to them to do the right thing and make a difference to Brendan’s family by making themselves known to police".

Mr McKenna's widow, Elaine said: "At the time my husband Brendan was cruelly murdered many other innocent people were also gunned down; he wasn’t the last.

"The next target was someone else’s husband, son, brother or father," she said.

"I appeal to society, to the people of Northern Ireland, if you have any information about Brendan’s murder please contact the police or the confidential Crimestoppers charity. If you have any conscience, please come forward".

**Anyone with information can contact detectives in Legacy Investigation Branch on 101 or online at

Northern Ireland news