POLICE have issued a fresh appeal for information into the sectarian murder of a
Catholic lorry driver on the outskirts of Comber almost 30 years ago.

Brendan McKenna was just 29 when he was shot dead by a gunman as he drove a lorry to a quarry on the Ballystockart Road on June 2, 1993.
On what would have been his 59th birthday, detectives from the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch issued a new appeal for information about a killing believed to
have been carried out by Loyalist paramilitaries.
Mr McKenna was a married man from the Derrytrasna area near Lurgan. He had just visited the quarry and as he drove off along the Hillhead Road gunmen, dressed as
Department for the Environment workers, opened fire on
him at the junction with the Ballystockart Road. Mr McKenna staggered from the cab of the lorry and collapsed on the road. He died in hospital.
The gunmen escaped in a blue Ford Escort which was later found burned out in the Ballybeen estate in Dundonald.
In a statement admitting the killing, the UFF first named a ‘Brendan McKinley’ as their victim before changing this to the correct name, alleging he was a member of the IRA
in Lurgan.
An RUC inspector told the inquest there was absolutely no foundation to the claim. “I believe it was purely another sectarian killing,” he said.
Speaking this week, Mr McKenna’s widow Elaine said at the timeher husband was ‘cruelly murdered’ many other innocent people were also gunned down – ‘he wasn’t the
“The next target was someone else’s husband, son, brother or father,” she said. “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 the innocent victim of a ‘sickening
sectarian attack’.
“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,” he said.
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 was going about his daily work as a lorry driver when he was brutally murdered for no other reason than his religion,” said Mr Byrne.
At the time of the murder it was claimed the gunmen had been waiting in the area of the
attack for several hours.
“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,” said Mr Byrne. “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.”
Anyone with information can contact detectives in Legacy Investigation Branch on
101 or LIBEnquiries@psni.pnn.police.uk.
You can also submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via
www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/