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Keith Rogers’ murder: police make fresh appeal

July 6, 2015

Police investigating the murder of a man in Culloville more than twelve years ago have made a fresh appeal for more information.

Keith Rogers (21), from Hackballscross, Co. Louth, was shot during an incident on the forecourt of a supermarket in the centre of the village on 12th March 2003.  Three others were also injured in the altercation involving up to ten men.  Mr Rogers was later taken to hospital but died from his injuries en route.

After the shooting, the IRA said he had been a member and had died while “defending his community against armed criminals”.  The organization stated Mr Rogers was unarmed and not “on active service” at the time.

The killing marked an escalation of what was perceived to be a “feud” between rival republican factions in south Armagh and cast a sense of fear among the wider community.

Now, detectives from the PSNI’s Legacy Investigation Branch are re-examining the murder and have appealed for information.

Outlining the case, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said: “To date five people have been arrested in connection with Keith’s murder and one person has been arrested in relation to an attempted abduction linked to the incident but no-one has been charged.”

Revealing that police have carried out a review of the murder, he added: “There are people out there who know what happened that morning and we know they have information which could help us bring people before the court.

Anyone with information should contact detectives on the non-emergency number 101, directly on 02892 589140 or via mobile on 07585 228283. Alternatively, information can be given to the Crimestoppers charity anonymously by telephoning 0800 555 111.”

While welcoming the renewed investigation into the murder, Sinn Fein’s Megan Fearon is cautious about its merit.

“I’m glad to see that the brutal murder of Keith by a criminal gang has not been forgotten about by the PSNI.  Keith has certainly not been forgotten about by the people of south Armagh or north Louth and neither has his killing.  Keith was held in high esteem by the people of the area who continue to rightly honour him every year,” she said.

“However, I would have a number of concerns about this investigation.  It’s widely felt in the local community that the original investigation was a shambles, which overlooked key witnesses and evidence, leading to a sense that the PSNI were not genuine about wanting to solve the murder.

“I would hope that any new or renewed investigation would also look into the failings of the original one, which has given Keith’s killers a 12-year head start on justice.”

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