Representatives from across the political spectrum attended a wreath laying ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Inishowen Sinn Fein Councillor Eddie Fullerton in Buncrana in 1991 on Wednesday evening.
The event organised by Donegal County Council took place at the monument to the well-known Buncrana republican who was murdered in his own home by members of the loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Freedom Fighters.
Accusations of collision between the UFF and the British state have persisted in the quarter of a century since Mr Fullerton’s murder leading to a high profile and determined campaign by the Fullerton family to seek the truth surrounding the murder through an independent public inquiry. A TV documentary later revealed that a RUC intelligence file containing Eddie Fullerton’s picture and details were found in the possession of the Ulster Defence Association in Derry.
An investigation into the murder was launched by the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman ten years ago but stalled around 2008. In 2013 a fresh investigation by that organisation was set in motion and it is hoped that it will conclude soon. It is believed that the assassins made their way across the Foyle in dinghy’s en route to carry out the murder before escaping back to the North by car.
Sinn Fein Senator Padraig McLochlainn has been to the forefront in helping to highlight the plight of the Fullerton family in seeking the truth about the murder and ultimately bringing those responsible to justice. He praised the courage and determination of the Fullerton family in continuing to seek answers surrounding the murder of Eddie Fullerton twenty five years on from May, 1991.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ the Sinn Fein representative said: “The wreath laying ceremony was a civic event organised by Donegal County Council and the amount of political representatives from other political parties present reflects the esteem in which Eddie was held.
“It shows that he belonged to all parts of Donegal and of course Inishowen.
“The Gardai and the state have still to answer many profound questions about why he was killed. But, in the abscence of a full investigation the Fullerton family have relentlessly pursued a campaign to get to the truth. This was initially led by Albert who sadly passed away ten years ago but which is now led by Amanda Fullerton.
“The family have been led down a lot of blind alley’s but have never given up.
“The Police Ombudsman in Northern Ireland are in the process of producing a report into the assassination and there may be serious issues for the Gardai and the state to address arising from that.
“Then there is the question of British state involvement in the operation that night. It was not an isolated incident there were many similar occurences around that time in the late 80s and early 90s.
“What is sure however is that the justice campaign by the Fullerton family will not stop until the British state accepts their involvement.”
Loyalist terrorists smashed their way into the Fullerton home at around 2am on May 25, 1991 and made there way upstairs. After being confronted by Eddie Fullerton they shot him a total of six times. Journalist Sean McPhileny alleges in his book ‘The Committee’ that leading loyalists figures such as Billy Wright and the UDA figure known as ‘The Mexican’ planned the murder.