Sunday 8 December 2019

Police quiz teen GAA star after father found shot dead

Aloysius 'Wishie' Hackett, who was found dead at his home in Tyrone
Aloysius 'Wishie' Hackett, who was found dead at his home in Tyrone
Aloysius Hackett's son Sean
Forensic officers at the scene

Adrian Rutherford

POLICE in the North are questioning a teenage GAA star in connection with the death of his father in a shooting incident at their rural home.

Sean Hackett, who captained Tyrone to the Ulster Minor Championship title last summer, is being held by detectives investigating the killing of Aloysius Hackett.

Detectives confirmed yesterday that they had launched a murder inquiry into Mr Hackett's death.

The 60-year-old's body was found at the family home at Aghindarragh Road near Augher, Co Tyrone, on Friday night.

It is understood he died from gunshot injuries.

Police were alerted when his son contacted a local priest. He was arrested a short time later.

Mr Hackett, also known as Wishie, was a former chairman of the Augher St Macartan's GAA club. He was also heavily involved in community work.

His son Sean (18), a full-forward for the club, had recently been selected for the Tyrone under-21 panel and is tipped as a rising star.

Last night, mystery still surrounded the full circumstances of the incident.

Police have not released any details about how Mr Hackett was killed.

However, stunned neighbours in the rural community described the incident as "a dreadful tragedy".

"Sean's brothers are all living overseas. Two of them left only recently. It is going to be an awful journey home for them," said a neighbour.

Parish priest Canon Lawrence Dawson, who is also president of Augher GAC, said the community was stunned by the incident.

"It is a terrible tragedy – a dreadful start to 2013," he said.

"Aloysius was such an asset to the parish and particularly the football club. He was a former chairman and worked hard to promote the sport.

"He was a wonderful community man who was dedicated to the GAA."

Canon Dawson said friends and relatives were "completely numbed" by the tragedy.

"The family and the community are seeking comfort in their faith," he added. "Nobody can comprehend or explain what has happened.

"They just hope some explanation will emerge in time."

A special service was held in Clogher last night, while prayers were also said at Mass yesterday.

"Parishioners prayed fervently this morning for the Hackett family and also the Daly family, which would be the mother's side of the family," Canon Dawson added.


"A prayer service has also been arranged for this evening. It is a good sign that people are still clinging to their faith in difficult times like these."

A heavy police presence remained outside the family home yesterday. Detectives spoke to neighbours while forensic officers searched the two-storey property and its grounds for clues.

The family is well known in GAA circles. Wishie Hackett was chairman of Augher GAC in 2009, while Sean is described as a rising star for the club and his county. A spokesman for the club said they would not be commenting on the matter.

"Augher St Macartan's GFC respect the request made by the Hackett family for privacy at this time of mourning," the club said.

The Tyrone County Board also declined to comment.

However, a minute's silence was observed before Tyrone's Dr McKenna Cup clash with Derry yesterday.

Irish Independent

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