Victim may have been followed by killers after visiting children
Published 11/02/2012 | 05:00
THE man who was shot dead by dissident terrorists in a rented house in Co Donegal may have been tailed by his killers after a visit to Derry.
Father-of-two Andy Allen had been ordered to leave Derry six months ago by the terrorists, posing as anti-drug vigilantes.
But it is understood that he had made several visits to the city since then to see his children, who still lived there with their mother.
He made his latest trip across the Border a few hours before he was gunned down in his bedroom at the rented house at Links View in Buncrana, Co Donegal.
The terrorists claimed he was involved in drugs and used that as an excuse to murder him.
At least three men were involved in the attack on Thursday night. Two of the gang jumped out of a stolen silver Vauxhall Cavalier car, registration number SJI 2117, and attempted to force their way into the house through the front door.
They then spotted Mr Allen near the window of his downstairs bedroom and opened fire with a handgun, hitting the 24-year-old victim two or three times in the body.
Gardai said last night that the gang could also have been armed with a shotgun.
The three men sped away towards Ballybone, Fahan, where they used a can of petrol to set the Cavalier on fire off the Buncrana to Derry road, and then transferred to a waiting vehicle.
Officers were last night trying to establish whether a fourth gang member had been in the waiting vehicle.
Mr Allen did not notify the PSNI or the gardai of his whereabouts when he left Derry in a hurry last August and gardai were not aware that a man under threat was living in Buncrana.
He had rented out the house with his 34-year-old girlfriend and had been keeping a low profile in the town.
But investigators said his visits back to Derry could have alerted his killers as to his whereabouts and they said the murder had been well planned.
He was from the Top of the Hill area of Waterside in Derry and last August was one of six people named in a letter from the self-styled vigilante group, Republican Action Against Drugs.
The letter was put with two bullets into an envelope, which was then placed in a post box at the Top of the Hill community association's office, near his home.
He was one of 80 people forced to flee Derry following threats from the terrorists in the past year.
Michael Doherty, director of the Peace and Reconciliation mediation group in Derry, which assists people under threat from paramilitary organisations to relocate, said he had personally dealt with 36 cases last year.
"Once they are relocated, that is normally the end of my contact with them", he added. "It is outrageous that this situation exists and as a community we must all stand up against it".
The parish priest of Buncrana, Father John Walsh, said last night that the seaside town had been traumatised and brutalised.
"There is a feeling of shock but also a growing anger that someone's life has been ended in such a brutal way," he added.
Members of the terror gang are also believed to have been involved in a bomb attack on a house in Muff last May and in an earlier attack on a head shop in Letterkenny.
A post-mortem examination on Mr Allen's body was being carried out last night at Letterkenny General Hospital by State Pathologist Marie Cassidy.