GAA star admits killing father with friend’s gun

A young Gaelic football star accused of murdering his father, with a gun he obtained after texting a friend, claims he suffers from depression, a court has heard.

A detective told Omagh Magistrates Court that Sean Hackett, aged 18, initially denied involvement in the death of his 60-year-old father Aloysius, but later admitted: “I did it, I shot him.”

The father of four was found dead in the back yard of the family home near Auger, Co Tyrone, last Friday night.

A defence lawyer told Judge Bernie Kelly that the accused — last season’s captain of the Tyrone Gaelic football minor team — had the full support and love of his mother Eilish, sister Aileen, and two brothers Kevin and Conor, all of whom were in court for the remand hearing.

Judge Kelly granted the accused compassionate bail to attend his father’s funeral under the strict condition he was chaperoned by two volunteers, one of whom will be Tyrone GAA boss Mickey Harte.

After confessing that he shot his father, Mr Hackett remained silent for three subsequent days of questioning, the detective said.

He instead submitted a statement to police in which he admitted involvement in an “incident” which resulted in the death of his father, a man he “loved very much”, the officer said.

He also informed police he has depression.

Police have been unable to establish a motive, the detective said.

In the period before the shooting the defendant twice texted a friend asking to borrow a gun, the detective claimed. Forensic tests have been carried out on a shotgun. “Police believe that was the weapon used,” the detective told the court.

Judge Kelly refused a standard bail application but granted compassionate bail to enable the accused attend the requiem Mass today.

Mr Hackett has to be chaperoned by his lawyer Adrian O’Kane and Mr Harte and will not be allowed speak to anyone else, including family members.

Mr Hackett was remanded to Hydebank Wood Young Offender Centre in Belfast for four weeks. Mr Harte and Mr O’Kane will collect him at 10.45am today for the midday funeral.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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