Derry Journal

Fullerton Murder Inquiry To Be Reopened

Tuesday 20th July 2004

Chief Superintendent Noel White is to reopen the inquiry into the death of Sinn Fein Councillor Eddie Fullerton in 1991, according to reports at the weekend.

Detective Garda Noel McMahon, one of two Gardai branded "corrupt and liars" by Justice Frederick Morris, was a key figure in the original investigation.

As a result, Supt. Noel White has been asked by Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy to reopen the Fullerton files.

Clr. Fullerton was shot dead at his home on May 25th, 1991 by what was believed to be a UDA gang from Derry. However, new information provided by an eyewitness and first published in Ireland on Sunday last year, pointed to British security force involvement and a failure by the Gardai to follow up this and other leads.

The role of Det. Garda McMahon, who was involved in the removal of confidential files from Mr Fullerton's home within days of the attack and who was running an alleged informer ring believed to have vital information about the murder, will now come within the terms of the new inquiry headed by Chief Superintendent White.

According to the weekend report in Ireland on Sunday, he has also been asked to make contact with the witness, based in Northern Ireland, who claims that he saw an unmarked RUC car pick up Mr Fullerton's killers at a remote location near the Donegal-Derry border within half an hour of the shooting.

The witness, who does not want his identity revealed, claimed he saw a three man gang jumping into the police car close to where the burntout car used in the attack on Mr Fullerton was dumped in Derry.

The witness told a senior Garda officer who visited his home how he had seen the three men in khaki-type clothes. His description matched that of other witnesses who saw the men who entered Mr Fullerton's home and shot him a number of times as he came out of his bedroom.

The witness was never asked to make a signed statement by the Gardai or the RUC officer investigating the murder.

Mr Fullerton's son, Albert, has claimed that files belonging to his father were removed from the family home by Det McMahon and others.

It was also reported that pressure is mounting to reopen other cases involving Supt Lennon, including the conviction and sentencing to ten years imprisonment he helped secure against Andrew Gillespie and his son, Drew, in relation to a 1,000 lb cache of explosives found near Ballybofey in August 1993.

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