Woman recalls trying to save boyfriend shot through window

Andrew Allen’s girlfriend tells inquest of man kicking door of Buncrana home in 2012

The girlfriend of a man killed when three shots were fired through their bedroom window has recalled how she tried to save his life.

Andrew Allen died within seconds after a gunman fired shots at the couple's home in Buncrana, Co Donegal, in February 2012.

Allen (24) had been in bed at about 9.30pm on February 9th with partner Arelene Farrelly when the gunman called to the house in Links View Park.

Ms Farrelly told an inquest how herself and Allen were in bed, he was on his PlayStation and she was on her phone while also watching television.


In a statement to Donegal Coroner’s Court at Buncrana Courthouse, Ms Farrelly, who was not present in court, told how she heard loud bangs at the front door of the house. She peeked out the curtains 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.

Allen told her to call the gardaí as he struggled to dress. Seconds later three shots were fired through the bedroom window and he 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 house for help and Daniel McGonagle rushed to the scene. Mr McGonagle said he could not do CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) but Ms Farrelly tried several times. However, Allen was unresponsive and she eventually stopped, realising her partner was dead.

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.

No longer on the list

However, she said his family had been telephoned later to say the threat had been lifted and he was no longer on the list. She added: “I know he [Andrew] was involved in drugs years ago but he had no involvement while he was with me.”

So-called vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs had later claimed responsibility for Allen’s death.

A postmortem report by former State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy said Allen had been shot three times – in the right shoulder, right hip and abdomen. The bullet which struck his right shoulder travelled down through his right lung and into his heart and this was the round that killed him, noted Dr Cassidy’s report. She found that Allen died from a gunshot wound to the heart.

Garda Det Insp Pat O’Donnell said hundreds of lines of enquiry have been followed and hundreds of people interviewed.“It is my professional opinion that Andrew Allen died as a result of an unlawful killing.”

The jury agreed unanimously that Allen died as a consequence of a gunshot wound to the heart and that his death wasan unlawful killing.

Coroner Dr Denis McCauley expressed his sympathy to members of the Allen family present in court.

The family declined to comment after the inquest.