‘I just want them to face justice’

David Martin who was murdered by the IRA near Kidlress, Cookstown on April 25, 1993
David Martin who was murdered by the IRA near Kidlress, Cookstown on April 25, 1993

The brother of a former UDR soldier who was murdered by the IRA 25 years ago says he still hopes someone will be brought to justice for the killing.

David Martin, a married father-of-three from Pomeroy, died on the morning of April 25, 1993 when a booby trap bomb exploded under his car as he drove along the Flo Road at Kildress, near Cookstown.

As the 25th anniversary of David’s murder approaches, his brother Philip is still hopeful that those responsible will one day be held accountable for their crime.

“Even after all this time I still think that the men who did that to David, their conscience has to get the better of them - well I’m hoping that anyway,” he said.

“I’ve met a lot of these guys down the years and believe it or not, with some of them it does start to play on their conscience and it makes them think.

“I believe in justice. That’s something I truly believe in. So I will just keep going and hopefully someone will come forward with information about who was responsible for what happened to David.”

Recalling the awful events of 25 years ago, Philip, who also served in the UDR, said: “I remember everything about that day. I remember it all unfortunately. I got a call from the police in Cookstown on the Sunday morning and before I even answered the phone I just knew what had happened. I turned to my wife and said ‘David’s dead’.

“I went up to Flo Road and he was just lying in a pile on the road. By the time I got to him he was still warm. I put my hand on his back and he had a big hole where the device had taken half his back out. He’d been killed outright so at least I knew he didn’t suffer.”

Paying tribute to his older brother, the 56-year-old continued: “David was a real gentleman. As a brother he was brilliant and as a human being he was just fantastic.

“He was in the UDR for about 12 years, but he’d left and was just trying to get on with his life.

“David really only joined to get a few pound to buy a farm. He had the farm bought, but sadly never got the chance to enjoy it.”

The booby trap bomb exploded under David’s red Audi 80 car as he travelled along Flo Road at around 7.15am. The blast threw him from the vehicle.

David left behind a widow, Hilda, two daughters aged five and 13 and an eight-year-old son.

Making a fresh appeal for anyone with information about David’s murder to come forward, Philip added: “I’m not wanting revenge, I just want them to face justice for what they did.

“I can forgive anybody, but they have to come forward and admit what they did first.”