The family of murdered Donegal county councillor Eddie Fullerton is planning to bring legal action against the Irish government later this year.
Amanda Fullerton, the daughter of the late Sinn Féin councillor, said today that the Fullerton family is planning to bring a case against the Irish state for its failure to adequately investigate Cllr. Fullerton’s murder and for violation of Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Cllr. Fullerton was assassinated in his Buncrana home in the early hours of May 25, 1991. Loyalist paramilitaries broke into the councillor’s home while he lay asleep in bed, shooting him six times in front of his wife, Diana. Amanda Fullerton is the spokesperson for the Eddie Fullerton Justice Campaign.
Ms. Fullerton was speaking Thursday morning at the seminar, “Collusion -- The Search for Truth”, that was held in Letterkenny and organised by Abhaile Aris, the Letterkenny-based republican ex-prisoner project. From the time of Cllr. Fullerton’s murder there have been allegations that the councillor’s death was the result of collusion involving British security forces and loyalist paramilitaries.
Ms. Fullerton also said the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman’s Office has concluded their investigation into the family’s complaint and said the Fullerton family are hopeful that the ombudsman’s report will be made public by October of this year. The report contains new, critical evidence, Ms. Fullerton said.
“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.
The Fullerton family has campaigned for years 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 and based on the new evidence and intelligence they now have, the family have decided to take the legal action.
Thursday’s seminar also included relatives of two of the people killed in the 1971 Ballymurphy Massacre, when 11 unarmed civilians, including a Catholic priest and a mother of eight children, were killed by members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment.
“We have the truth now, but we need everyone to know the truth out there,” said Alice Harper, whose father, Danny Teggart, was shot 14 times and killed at Ballymurphy on Aug. 9, 1971.
Sinn Féin Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, outreach worker with Abhaile Aris, said, “Unfortunately, families are still coming up against barriers and not being told the full truth”.
See Monday’s Donegal Democrat/Donegal People’s Press for more.