Murder victim’s mother vows to keep fighting for justice

Sally McManus (left) with her niece Amanda McConkey at Belfast Coroners' Court
Sally McManus (left) with her niece Amanda McConkey at Belfast Coroners' Court
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The mother of a pizza delivery driver shot dead in Belfast has vowed to keep fighting for justice.

Sally McManus appealed for help convicting the “cowards” that murdered her son Kieran as an inquest verdict was delivered in Belfast.

The father of one from west Belfast was shot dead by a masked gunman outside Domino’s pizza restaurant at Kennedy Way on March 30, 2013 as he was placing a delivery in the back of his car. No-one has ever been convicted.

Outlining his findings at Belfast Coroners’ Court on Tuesday, coroner Patrick McGurgan ruled that the 26-year-old died rapidly from two shotgun blasts fired at his back from close range.

Police believe the shooting, carried out with a sawn-off shotgun, was linked to a long-running violent feud in west Belfast dating back to 2010.

A man considered a suspect in the murder refused to give evidence when called as a witness during the inquest proceedings.

Outside court after the findings were delivered, Mr McManus’s mother paid tribute to her son.

“I am just glad that the inquest is over and I would like if anybody has any information out there to come forward,” said Ms McManus.

“We will get justice for him. We’re not going to give up on him.”

She said the inquest had told the “whole truth”.

“He was always a gentleman,” she said. “He didn’t deserve to die.

“It was just a pack of cowards that done it. They couldn’t face him. That’s why they shot him in the back.”

She said Mr McManus’s 12-year-old son remained traumatised by his father’s murder, six years on.

“He’s still fretting and terrible, it’s messed his whole head up,” she said.

“He’s afraid of people trying to grab him because he belongs to Kieran.”

Three teenagers, including Mr McManus’s half-brother, were sitting in the car when the shooting happened.

The coroner, noting the impact the incident had had on them, predicted the men would be “marked and traumatised” for the rest of their lives.

He praised what he described as an “extensive” murder investigation by police and made his own appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

Mr McGurgan said he hoped the inquest had brought the family a measure of closure.