The family of a taxi driver murdered 16 years ago have issued a fresh appeal for information in a bid to bring those responsible to justice.
Brian Henry (Barney) McDonald, from Windmill Hill Road, Dungannon, was gunned down as he arrived to collect a bogus fare at a Donaghmore snooker club in April 17, 2002.
His family this week said: “We, the family of the late Barney McDonald, once again appeal for information in relation to the murder of our father, grandfather and brother.
“His absence from our lives is as immense today as it was 16 years ago when he was so brutally taken from us.
“On Wednesday the 17th April 2002, at approximately 10.50pm, local taxi man Barney McDonald was called out (on what we now know was a bogus taxi call) to a snooker club in Annaghbeg Park North, Donaghmore, Co.Tyrone to pick up a fare.
“As he arrived at the club he reversed his silver coloured Toyota Avensis car, with his Taxi sign light up on top, into the drive way of the snooker club, he blew the horn and waited. That’s when two gun men approached him and shot him at point blank range, through the front and side windows of his car. Barney died instantly.
“Sixteen years on and we are no closer to the truth about this heinous murder. At the time of Barney’s murder, there were people who said this was a sectarian killing.
“Well, we would like to dispel this rumour.
“This was not a sectarian murder.
“This was a murder set up by someone who, after the killing, was stood down by the army council of the Provisional IRA who led a mob of gangsters and thugs in Dungannon and the surrounding areas.”
They added: “This gang is still involved in criminality and other sordid deeds.
“These people are known to the PSNI.
“We are aware that there was information passed on to the PSNI in relation to the murder, which came from within the circles of those involved in the killing, and the PSNI are not acting on this information.
“Who are the PSNI protecting and why?
“There were people who knew prior to this murder that Barney was going to be killed.
“These were people well known to him.
“There are others who may have heard stories relating to this murder in casual conversation which may be of significance to our investigations.
“These are the people we are appealing to today.
“We ask you to do the right thing and give us the information we need to get justice for Barney.
“It’s never too late to tell us anything you may know about this abhorrent crime.”