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Friday 20 September 2019

'Blood was pumping out of him' - partner tells of fatal shooting

Andrew Allen was gunned down in his bedroom
Andrew Allen was gunned down in his bedroom

The heartbroken girlfriend of a man who was shot dead at their home has told how she desperately tried to save his life.

Andrew Allen died within seconds after a gunman shot three times into the bedroom of the couple's home at Links View Park, Buncrana, Co Donegal, in 2012.

Mr Allen (24) was in bed at around 9.30pm on February 9 with his partner Arlene Farr- elly when the lone gunman attacked.

Ms Farrelly told how she and Mr Allen were tucked up in bed, saying he was on his PlayStation and she was on her phone while also watching TV.

In a statement to Donegal Coroner's Court, Ms Farrelly, who did not attend, told how she initially heard loud bangs at the front door.

She looked out of the window and saw a man dressed in a black baseball cap and dark clothing kicking at the door and holding what looked like a sawn-off shotgun in his hand.

She told Mr Allen and he told her to call the gardai as he struggled to get dressed.

Seconds later, three shots were fired through the bedroom window and Mr Allen slumped to the floor.

Ms Farrelly's statement read: "He said, 'Arlene, I can't feel my legs'. The blood was pumping out of him. It was coming out of his nose and his mouth. I tried to turn him in the bed but he was too heavy. He slid down. I rang an ambulance."

Ms Farrelly ran to a neighbour's home to get help, and Daniel McGonagle rushed to the scene.

He said he could not do CPR. Ms Farrelly tried a number of times, but Mr Allen did not respond. She eventually stopped and realised her partner was dead.

Bullet

Mr McGonagle said Mr Allen, who he did not know personally, was turning blue and his mouth was full of blood.

He remarked to another neighbour who arrived in the house: "I think he's as dead as a dodo."

He said he had heard gunshots and come out of his house to see a grey or silver-coloured car driving away.

He recalled thinking he had seen the same car on the estate a few days earlier.

In her statement, Ms Farrelly said her partner's name had been on a list of six people sent in an envelope accompanied by a bullet to the Family Centre in Gobnascale, Derry, a few weeks earlier. He stayed most of the time in Buncrana after that.

However, she said his family had been phoned later to say the threat had been lifted and he was no longer on the list.

"I know he was involved in drugs years ago, but he had no involvement while he was with me," she added.

A post-mortem performed by former State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy found Mr Allen was shot three times, in the right shoulder, the right hip and the abdomen.

The bullet that struck his shoulder travelled down through his right lung and into his heart and this was the shot that killed him.

Det Insp Pat O'Donnell told the inquest that hundreds of lines of inquiry were followed and hundreds of people interviewed.

He later appealed to anyone with information on the murder to come forward.

The jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing.

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