Hundreds of people turned out in support of the family of murder victim Andrew Allen at a rally at Top of the Hill on Saturday.
Shortly before 3pm the Allen family, along with the murder victim’s partner Arlene Farrelly, made their way from Top of the Hill carrying a poignant banner displaying a photo of the murdered 24-year-old with the message: ‘Stop destroying families’.
Andrew Allen’s six-year-old son Lochlann was among those at the head of the crowd.
Addressing the rally Leona Allen, a sister-in-law of the murdered Waterside man, said: “Andy was a son, a daddy. a brother, an uncle, a nephew, a grandson a boyfriend and a friend. He was well known and well loved. He was part of a big group of friends and they always had each others’ backs.
“His son Lochlann wants to know when his daddy is coming back. How do you tell a six-year-old that his daddy isn’t coming home?”
She said the family wanted no retaliation for the killing.
“Andy was a gentle giant and we are still trying to come to terms with the way he was brutally taken away.
“Andy’s mother Donna and his family don’t want any other family to have to go through this. We want these people hiding behind masks and guns to stop destroying our families, to leave our children alone and to stop these murders,” she added.
Mr. Allen’s aunt, Bridgeen Smith, spoke on behalf of his mother Donna.
“We want to express our thanks to the people of Derry and Donegal this afternoon. Both sides of the community who have shown their sympathy and disgust at this cowardly act.
“We want to mention all families who have suffered at the hands of these faceless cowards. The people of Derry must unite together against them,” she said.
Ms. Smith praised the action of people who came to the aid of Arlene Farrelly as she tried to save her partner after gunmen fired through the window of their Buncrana home.
“We especially want to thanks Arlene’s neighbours at Links View who came to help her that night,” she added.
Addressing the rally organiser Eamonn McCann said the rally was a sad and solemn occasion.
“Nothing gives anybody the right to exile, maim or murder any member of the community. How many more children have to be orphaned? Have enough mothers’ hearts not been broken to satisfy some people?
“Everybody should speak out against this absolutely wrong and unforgiveable act. This should and must be the end of it,” he said.