THE heartbroken children of IRA murder victim Tom Oliver have broken their silence for the first time since his brutal killing in 1991.
The dad-of-seven was abducted from his home in Riverstown, Co. Louth on July 19, 1991 – before being tortured and killed by the IRA.
Mr Oliver’s son Eugene, who was just 13 when his dad was murdered, said the family have not spoken out about their father’s death before now as they feared for their lives.
Gardaí have now issued a fresh appeal based on a ‘new lead’ – with the Oliver children pleading for anyone with information to come forward.
Speaking to RTÉ's Crimecall programme last night, Eugene Oliver recalled learning that his father had disappeared.
"That day was mayhem,” he said. “I had to grow up overnight and take over the farm.
“There isn't a day I don't think of him. We just want to know the truth.
“If anyone has any information, please come forward.”
His sister Siobhan said the family still don’t know why their beloved dad was murdered.
"He was a loving father and husband,” she said. “He wouldn't have a bad word to say about anyone.
“We went to bed one night as a normal, ordinary family, and we woke up the next morning and our daddy was gone."
She added: "It shattered us in so many ways.”
Shortly after Mr Oliver’s murder 26 years ago, the IRA issued a statement claiming he had been killed because they believed he was a Garda informer.
But An Garda Siochana, along with Tom’s family and friends, have consistently denied the allegations.
Last night, Gardaí released new information to Crimecall in relation to a car registration.
Superintendent Fergus Trainer said: “We have a vehicle that was purchased in the Knockbridge area of the Dundalk to Ardee road a couple of weeks before that we are particularly interested in.
“Three or four males arrived at the house and one person paid cash for the vehicle without test driving that car.
“It’s UIR 919 a black Toyota Carina, 1978 model.”