Friday 19 January 2018

Shocked locals say death is 'a complete mystery'

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

A FESTIVE wreath still hangs from the front door of the Hackett family home.

Battered by the wind and rain of a bleak, grey, January afternoon, it is a simple but poignant reminder of normal family life.

This weekend, they should have been taking down the Christmas decorations, which are also still visible from the windows, and making plans for the year ahead.

The coming months promised good times.

Sean Hackett, described as a rising star for club and county, had recently been called up to the Tyrone under-21 squad.

An Ulster Championship-winning captain with the minors, he was one step closer to making the full team – the dream of every boy who kicks a football in this GAA-mad county.

However, the events of Friday night have turned hope to despair and changed lives forever.

The full story of what happened is not yet known.

But it has ended in tragedy, with a loving father dead and his 18-year-old son being questioned in connection with the death.

Yesterday, a team of detectives and forensic experts were searching the remote home for clues as they tried to piece together the final minutes of Aloysius Hackett's life. Four PSNI Land Rovers were stationed along the narrow country laneway that passes by the house, while armed police patrolled the grounds.

Situated in a quiet, rural community between Aughnacloy and Augher, it is the most unlikely setting for a tragedy.


As detectives confirmed they had launched a murder inquiry, people in the area spoke of their shock.

One said Mr Hackett's death was "a complete mystery".

"It is a tragedy in every sense of the word," he added.

Wishie Hackett, as he was commonly known, was a former chairman of Augher St Macartan's GFC and remained on the club's committee. Meanwhile, Sean plays full-forward and was a key member of the club's promotion-winning team last season.

The teenager's social network pages reflect his love of sport. One lists his interests as GAA, Australian rules football, boxing, golf, soccer, rugby and darts.

Many friends have posted messages of support.

One said: "Please stay strong Sean, everyone is praying for you."

It is understood Sean's three brothers are abroad.

Yesterday, they were preparing to make the most difficult of journeys back to a community left shocked and stunned by the tragedy.

Irish Independent

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