A Derry woman has spoken of the ‘sadness and heartbreak’ she sees in the eyes of her grandchildren whose father was murdered by republican vigilantes a year ago.
Father-of-two Andrew Allen (24), from the Top of the Hill area of the city, was gunned down at a house in Links View Park, Lisfannon, on February 9 last year.
Three men went up to the house and fired a number of shots through a bedroom window after failing to gain entry through the front door.
Vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD), later claimed responsibility for the murder.
Last night, Mr Allen’s mother, Donna Smith, spoke of the “never-ending heartache” and “agony” her family have endured in the past 12 months.
“It’s been an absolute nightmare,” she told the ‘Journal’. “Agonising is not the word. I lost my son and my grandchildren lost their daddy - I still find it hard to get my head around it.
“When I look into the eyes of Andrew’s children - aged just five and six - and see the sadness and heartbreak in their wee eyes, it’s terrible. They know their daddy is gone but, still, it hurts. Children should not have to go through such pain.”
Ms. Smith has vowed to continue campaigning until her son’s killers are convicted in court.
“It may be a year since these cowards murdered Andrew but I will never give up the fight to see them in court,” she said.
“Andrew will not become just another statistic. He was my child and much too precious for that.”
Gardai, meanwhile, last night reissued their appeal for any information on the 24-year-old’s death.
A spokesman said: “The investigation into Andrew Allen’s death is ongoing and Gardai in Buncrana are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have information, no matter how trivial it may seem to them, to contact the Gardai in Buncrana on 074 9320540, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.”