independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Murder charge son pays respects to dad

Tyrone footballer Sean Hackett leaves prison with GAA manager Mickey Harte and solicitor Adrian O'Kane

PRAYERS were said for a teenage GAA star who allegedly killed his father as a grief-stricken community paid its final respects to Aloysius Hackett.

The 60-year-old was buried amid emotional scenes yesterday, five days after being found shot dead at his home near Augher in Co Tyrone.

His youngest son, Sean, has been charged with his murder.

Yesterday, the teenager, who captained the Tyrone minor football team last season, was granted temporary release to attend the funeral.

Compassionate bail was granted in accordance with his family's wishes.

He was chaperoned by Tyrone boss Mickey Harte and his solicitor Adrian O'Kane throughout his brief release, and did not speak to his family, as ordered by a court.

A placard of support had been placed outside a supermarket on the main road into the village ahead of his arrival. It read: "We're all thinking of you Sean".

St Macartan's Church was packed for the midday service, with many of the mourners spilling outside.

There was silence as the coffin was carried inside the chapel by relatives, including Mr Hackett's two other sons, Kevin and Conor.

Draped on the coffin was an Augher GAA jersey.

Sean was absent from the family group which entered the church. He arrived separately and was swiftly escorted through a side entrance.

Chief celebrant Fr Michael McCaughey, a relative of the family, prayed for Mr Hackett's wife, Eilish, and four children – including Sean.

He said no-one knew why the tragedy had occurred.

Stunned

Fr McCaughey described Aloysius as a "GAA man" who made a major contribution to his local club both on and off the pitch.

He said the community had been stunned and saddened by the tragedy.

After the Mass, the family was escorted outside for the burial which was private.

After it finished, Sean was escorted back to Hydebank Young Offenders' Centre.

Mr Hackett was found dead in the back yard of his home shortly before midnight on Friday.

The teenager appeared at Omagh Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, where it emerged he suffered from depression.

Irish Independent

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