Murdered Rangers star’s family to boycott killer’s inquest

February 22, 2016

The family of murdered Crossmaglen footballer James Hughes are boycotting an inquest into his killer’s death until it is proven that his previous convictions should have prevented him from owning legally held firearms.

Shane Rogers blasted the three-times All-Ireland club winner, Mr Hughes, to death after firing a double-barrelled shotgun into the taxi he was travelling in with Rogers’ ex-girlfriend, 21 year old Patricia Byrne in the early hours of December 11th 2011. The killer hung himself in a holding cell at Cloverhill Courthouse in Dublin 9 days later after being held there for the murder of the Crossmaglen Rangers captain.

Mr Hughes’ sister, Rita, spoke to The Examiner last month of her family’s disgust that Rogers’ relatives had received €50,000 in damages over the murder accused’s suicide.

Rita also questioned how Rogers, whom she claims was well known to police and had previous convictions for assault and disorderly conduct, could have been allowed to own three legally-held weapons.

James’ family insist these previous convictions should have deemed him unfit to hold a gun licence and say they are determined to continue to fight for answers for the sake of James’ three sons and so the family can reach “closure and begin to grieve properly” for their brother.

His distraught relatives say they are refusing to attend the inquest into Rogers’ suicide  until someone “holds their hands up” and admits he should not have had a gun licence.  They revealed that it is the 18th time they have refused to attend the inquest and will continue to do so “until we get answers.”

“If this saves someone else having to go through what we as a family have had to go through, then it will have been worth it,” she said.

“We are digging our heels in.”