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Reward offered in murder case linked to alleged sheep stealing and land disputes

Patrick Devine was shot dead in Tyrone ten years ago.

Devine's mother and brother have both appealed for information.
Devine's mother and brother have both appealed for information.
Image: PSNI

A €69,000 REWARD is being offered for information on the murder of a farmer whose killing is thought to be linked to alleged sheep stealing and land disputes in Tyrone.

Patrick Devine (51) was shot dead at his home in Stranagalwilly 10 years ago tomorrow and his brother has stumped up nearly €63,000 for information that leads to the conviction of his killers.

Crimestoppers have pledged the remainder of the reward.

Despite extensive enquiries and five arrests during the course of the investigation, nobody has ever been charged with the killing which police say had paramilitary links.

Detective chief inspector Una Jennings is leading the inquiry:

It is the police view that Patrick was the victim of a contract killing carried out by an organised crime group with paramilitary links against a background of rumours of alleged sheep stealing and land disputes, although Mr Devine had a clean criminal record.

Jennings says that Devine was well-known in the area for his sheep farming and that, “it is fair to say that some people resented his success”.

A decade on from his death, Devine’s mother Katie said that it feels like it was “only yesterday”.

“Personally, it takes a lot out of me to talk about his death and I would rather not mention it,” she said. “However, you never forget and the pain is never ending. I often think about his final moments and why they had to kill him.”

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Despite this, she says that she is not angry at the people who killed him because, “I know some day they also will have to answer for what they have done. ”

Police say that they feel that people may be willing come forward now because in the decade since Devine’s murder “circumstances and allegiances may have changed”.

“If anyone now feels they are able to talk to us, we are ready to listen,” say Jennings.

Read: Man jailed for 8 years for series of terrorism charges >

Read: Man (61) arrested this morning over murder of Alec Jamison in Belfast in 1976 >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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