A heartbroken Derry mother has vowed to “never give up” the fight to see her son’s killers captured.
A year ago this week, Donna Smith’s son, Andrew Allen (24), was gunned down at a house in Lisfannon, Buncrana in Co. Donegal by republican vigilantes.
The father of two young children, from the Top of the Hill area of Derry, died after a number of shots were fired through a window of the property at Links View Park on February 9, 2012.
Vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD), later claimed responsibility for the shooting. Their unsubtantiated accusations were strenuously rejected by the victim’s distraught family.
Ms. Smith told the ‘Journal’ today that the past 12 months had been “a living nightmare” for her family.
“There are times when I still cannot get my head around it,” she said. “There are days when I expect to see him coming through the door and, then, all of a sudden, I realise he’s gone and the nightmare of it all is so real again.
“It’s been a terrible year. The pain of loss never goes away.”
She singled out her murdered son’s children - aged five and six - for particular mention.
“When I look into the eyes of Andrew’s children and see the sadness and heartbreak in their wee eyes, it’s just terrible.
“They know their daddy is gone but, still, it hurts. Children shouldn’t have to put up with such pain.”
Ms. Smith revealed that she was in regular contact with the detectives investigating her son’s murder.
(See tomorrow’s Derry Journal for full coverage)