Brendan McKenna murder: new appeal for information on Lurgan man’s 58th birthday

Detectives investigating the murder of Brendan McKenna near Comber in 1993 are appealing for information on what would have been the Lurgan man’s 58th birthday.

Mr McKenna, a 28-year-old married lorry driver from Bann Foot in Derrytrasna, was shot dead by a gunman as he drove to a quarry on the Ballystockart Road, Comber on June 2, 1993.

Speaking about her husband’s murder, Brendan’s widow Elaine said: “At the time my husband Brendan was cruelly murdered many other innocent people were also gunned down; he wasn’t the last. 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.”

The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Byrne from Legacy Investigation Branch, said: “Mr McKenna was on his way to a quarry on Ballystockart Road, Comber when he was shot at the junction of the Hillhead Road and Ballystockart Road outside Comber. 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. Brendan was shot a number of times and died later in hospital.

Brendan McKenna.

“Brendan was an innocent victim of this sickening sectarian attack. He was going about his daily work as a lorry driver when he was brutally murdered for no other reason than his religion.

“The terrorists made their escape in a blue coloured Ford Escort car that was found burned out in the Ballybeen Estate in Dundonald a short time after the attack.

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“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?”

Detective Chief Inspector Byrne continued: “A number of people have been arrested and questioned about this murder however, to date, nobody has been charged with Brendan’s murder. I am appealing to anyone with any knowledge of what happened that day, whether as a witness or from personal involvement, who have not spoken to police previously, or who have any new information, to do so now. It is not too late, if anyone now feels they are able to talk to us, we are ready to listen.

“A number of people were involved in Brendan’s murder. They know who they are and they are going to have to live with that for the rest of their lives. 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.”

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Anyone with information can contact detectives in Legacy Investigation Branch on 101 or [email protected]

You can also submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/

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Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/.