Strabane man convicted of border murder

A Strabane man has been found guilty by the Special Criminal Court in Dublin of the dissident republican murder of a man shot dead in a church car park in Doneyloop, along the Donegal/Tyrone border, almost four years ago.

Martin Kelly had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Andrew Burns, who was shot twice in the back by a gunman linked to the dissident republican group, Oglaigh na hEireann.

The court ruled last month that statements made by Kelly to gardai - in which he admitted driving Andrew Burns from Strabane across the border to Doneyloop, where Burns was shot dead - were admissible in evidence.

This decision followed a ‘trial within a trial’ which lasted 12 days.

Martin Kelly (37), a bus driver, of Barrack St, Strabane, was convicted of the murder of Andrew Burns (27), an unemployed man, at Donnyloop, Castlefin, Co. Donegal, on February 12th, 2008.

He was also found guilty of the unlawful possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life on the same date.

The court remanded Kelly for sentencing when a victim impact statement will be heard on January 24th next year.

(See page 3.)