Agony of family of Andrew Burns

In his first interview, the brother of murdered Andrew Burns today breaks his silence to plead with his "ruthless killers" to look to their conscience and hand themselves in.

Larry Burns (37), spoke to the 'Journal' last night from his home in Kent and begged his brother's killer(s) to put an end to their reign of violence.

"If nobody else gets hurt by these people then my brother will not have died in vain," he said.

He continued: "Whoever is responsible must have some form of conscience and they should look to it and hand themselves in.

"They have to live with it for the rest of their lives as does my family, we are in so much pain.

"My family have no idea why these people have done this, we just can't understand who these people are or why they would do this to Andrew.

"I don't want anybody else to get hurt and if any good can come out of this, these people will not hurt any other family in the way they have hurt us."

Mr Burns will make an appeal tonight at 10.15pm on RTE One's Crime Call for information from the public about his younger brother's murder. Gardai will then discuss aspects of the investigation so far.

Mr Burns' appeal was pre-recorded last Friday and he has since returned to his home in Kent where he lives with his partner, two daughters and son.

When asked about what he hoped to achieve from the television appeal Mr Burns said: "The best outcome would be that the people or person who have done this - at the very least if they don't hand themselves in they will stop what they are doing. If they had a conscience they could not have done what they done in the first place, let alone live with it for the rest of their lives, it was cold blooded murder," he said.

"At the end of the day these boys will never get their justice in this life but maybe my brother will if they are caught and it means they can no longer carry out these crimes on other people.

"We are all in so much shock at the minute, it's still hard to take in, you are the first person I have spoke to in the media about this, many other newspapers have been filled with rumours and speculation that isn't true.

"One newspaper said they spoke to me and printed a picture but it wasn't even me. I have been reluctant to speak to the media because of all the lies, you start to go crazy after a while listening to all of the speculation," he said.

Mr Burns said that his family have chosen not to focus on the speculation surrounding his brother's death and rumours of his involvement in dissident republican activity; instead they are concentrating on the police investigation.

'Hell bent'

"We honestly don't understand why this has happened, it seems as if the country is doing so well, it's prosperous and so on, yet these people are hell bent on bringing us back in time and ruling with violence.

"In 15 minutes our family's life changed forever, we can never bring him back, no matter what, but if nobody else gets hurt as a result of his death and our appeal my brother will not have died in vain," he said.

Also speaking to the 'Journal' yesterday, Mr Burns' sister Michelle (30), said it was a "complete mystery" to her family why her brother was killed.

Asked about suggestions that he may have been involved with dissident republicans, she said that she knew nothing about it.

"You could say Andrew was a private person, he kept himself to himself, but he was sociable and enjoyed going out to watch the Liverpool matches.

"There are two sets of two in our house, my elder sister Jackie and Larry are around the same age and then me and Andrew, we were very close.

"He was a great help around the house and was very close to my mum and dad," she said.