Widow in fresh appeal over husband's 'sickening' 1993 sectarian murder

Widow in fresh appeal over husband's 'sickening' 1993 sectarian murder

POLICE in Northern Ireland have joined a widow in appealing for information over the 1993 sectarian murder of lorry driver Brendan McKenna.

The 28-year-old died after being shot by a gunman posing as a road worker in Comber, Co. Down.

On what would have been Mr McKenna's 58th birthday on Friday, his widow Elaine urged anyone with information to come forward.

"At the time my husband Brendan was cruelly murdered, many other innocent people were also gunned down; he wasn't the last," she said.

"The next target was someone else's husband, son, brother or father.

"I appeal to society, to the people of Northern Ireland, if you have any information about Brendan's murder, please contact the police or the confidential Crimestoppers charity.

"If you have any conscience, please come forward."

Attackers lay in wait

Mr McKenna, from Bann Foot in Co. Armagh, was on his way to a quarry on Ballystockart Road in Comber when he was attacked on June 2, 1993.

As he reached the junction of Hillhead Road and Ballystockart Road outside Comber, he was shot a number of times and died later in hospital.

His attackers had posed as Department of Environment workers dressed in yellow coats and had been waiting in the area for several hours before the attack.

They fled the scene in a blue-coloured Ford Escort car that was found burned out in the Ballybeen Estate in Dundonald a short time later.

'Brutally murdered'

"Brendan was an innocent victim of this sickening sectarian attack," said Detective Chief Inspector Mark Byrne from the PSNI's Legacy Investigation Branch.

"He was going about his daily work as a lorry driver when he was brutally murdered for no other reason than his religion."

He added: "I am appealing for anyone who may have been in the Hillhead Road or Ballystockart Road area on the day of this attack and who may have seen a number of men dressed in yellow coats in the area.

"I believe that someone must have seen them before or after the attack or will know who these individuals were.

"Did you see them in the Ballybeen Estate where they set the car on fire after the attack?"

'Do the right thing'

A number of people have been arrested and questioned over the murder however no one has yet been charged.

DCI Byrne urged any witnesses that have not yet spoken to police to come forward and also appealed directly to those involved.

"They know who they are and they are going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives," he said.

"I would appeal directly to them to do the right thing and make a difference to Brendan's family by making themselves known to police."

Anyone with information can contact detectives at the Legacy Investigation Branch on 101 or by email on [email protected].

Information can also be provided through the non-emergency reporting form at www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/.