Lives were destroyed, and still no answers

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Amanda Fullerton, daughter of murdered Donegal Councillor Eddie Fullerton, said she saw her father’s death as part of the whole legacy of the Troubles.

“This is what happened,” she said. “People were absolutely devastated. Lives were destroyed. Lives are still being destroyed’, she said.

She went on: “Pensioners are dying brokenhearted for their loved ones who died,” she said.

“Hurt doesn’t go away,” she said, adding, “Resolve doesn’t go away.”

Speaking at last Thursday’s seminar, “Collusion: The Search for Truth”, Ms. Fullerton said her family was planning to bring legal action against the state for its failure to adequately investigate Cllr. Fullerton’s murder and for violation of Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

The Sinn Féin councillor was assassinated in his Buncrana home at about 2am on May 25, 1991, by loyalist paramilitaries who broke into the family home while he lay in bed. Cllr. Fullerton was shot six times.

Ms. Fullerton said the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman’s Office had concluded their investigation into the family’s complaint and said the report contained new, critical evidence.

“This police ombudsman report will constitute the first real, earnest investigation of integrity into aspects of Eddie Fullerton’s murder, and it was conducted all these years later by the Northern Ireland authorities,” she said.

In 2003, in the absence of what the family considered an adequate gardaí/RUC/PSNI cross-jurisdictional investigation, they formed the Eddie Fullerton Justice Committee and engaged a solicitor, presenting a list of concerns to the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman. The Fullerton family has campaigned for a transparent inquiry into Cllr. Fullerton’s murder.

Ms. Fullerton said while the family still believe they are entitled to an inquiry they also feel it is unlikely. Based on that understanding, coupled with the new evidence and intelligence they now have, the family have decided to pursue the legal action.

She added that as bereaved families seeking truth face obstacles in their search for answers, “your resolve becomes more steadfast and you become more determined”.“It’s not a question of going away,” she said. “It’s injustice. It’s an atrocity. It’s a crime committed by the state.”

“You just have to expose it,” she said.