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Donegal County Council passes motion supporting Fullerton Family

8 June, 2005


Donegal County Council today passed a motion calling for a full public independent inquiry into the assassination of Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Eddie Fullerton by Loyalists in 1991. The motion was proposed by Sinn Féin Councillor Padraig MacLochlainn who pointed out that, "Three of the Gardaí discredited by the first report of Morris Tribunal were also heavily involved in the original fundamentally flawed investigation into the killing of Eddie Fullerton."

Speaking after today's council meeting in Donegal, Councillor MacLochlainn said, "Serious questions remain to be answered in relation to both the original investigation by the Gardaí into the killing of Eddie Fullerton and the involvement of British agents in the killing. The Fullerton family has been calling for a full public independent inquiry into the assassination and today I am delighted that call has been unanimously backed by the elected representatives of Donegal.

"It is significant and relevant that three of the Gardaí discredited by the Morris Tribunal were also heavily involved in the original fundamentally flawed investigation into the killing of Eddie Fullerton. It is unacceptable that two of these Gardaí have been allowed to retire from the force with full pensions and have never been brought to book for their actions or inactions. It is regrettable that the Morris Tribunal remit was never widened to include the Fullerton investigation. The Fullertons deserve justice and to know the full truth. This is also in the public interest. I warmly welcome the seconding of the motion for a full public inquiry by the Fianna Fáil Council Chair Francis Conaghan, and I expect the Minister for Justice to reconsider his past refusal.

With respect to the McBrearty family, Councillor MacLochlainn said. "Justice Minister Michael McDowell's promised apology for the McBreartys, McConnells, the Peoples and various others involved in this affair is not enough. Everyone involved must be held accountable -- all the way up to the Minister himself.

"The senior Donegal Gardaí that Justice Morris said 'share in various degrees the burden or fault' for the 'prejudiced, tendentious and utterly negligent' investigation into the death of Richie Barron should be sacked rather than allowed to retire.

"Ultimately, the Morris Tribunal findings reconfirm the need for root and branch Garda reform. As part of that reform there is an urgent need to go further than the Minister's proposals in the Garda Síochána Bill and establish an independent single Garda Ombudsman's office similar to the one run by Nuala O'Loan in the six counties." ENDS

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