Sean Hackett (18), who is charged with shooting dead his father Aloysius. Photo by: Ulster Herald

GAA footballer admits to killing father with friend’s gun


Sean Hackett (18), who is charged with shooting dead his father Aloysius. Photo by: Ulster Herald

A young GAA football player admitted to killing his father and told the court that he suffers from depression. He said he obtained the gun from his friend after texting him.

After initially denying the crime, 18 year old Sean Hackett admitted to killing his father. The Irish Examiner reported he said, “I did it. I shot him.” He was quiet for three days of questioning after he made his confession, according to a detective.

Hackett submitted a statement to police stating that he had been involved in an ‘incident’ which caused his father’s death and stated his father was a man he “loved very much.” He also told the police he has depression. It has recently emerged that Hackett allegedly attempted to strangle his mother three months earlier.

Aloysius Hackett, a 60 year old father of four, was found dead in the backyard of the family home near Auger in Co Tyrone last Friday night. Paramedics found the deceased Hackett lying face up in the backyard of the family home before midnight last Friday. He was clutching the keys of a nearby vehicle. The younger Hackett was at a neighbor’s house and told paramedics he had found his father in that condition after returning from a night out.

Before the shooting, Hackett had texted his friend twice about borrowing a gun. The first time was around late November or early December and Hackett later returned the gun. Hackett made the second request on New Year’s Day and texted that he would return the gun by the following Monday. Forensic tests have been done on a shotgun and a detective told the court the team believes this was the weapon used for the crime. Two spent shotgun cartridges were found in the defendant's pocket at the scene of the crime.

Judge Bernie Kelly granted Hackett compassionate bail to attend his father’s funeral on Wednesday on the condition that he attend with two chaperones, his lawyer Adrian O’Kane and Tyrone GAA manager Michael Harte. He was not allowed to speak to anyone else at the funeral, including his mother and three siblings. The Public Prosecution Service had lodged an appeal against the judge’s decision.

The police have not yet determined a motive. A defence lawyer told the Omagh Magistrates Court that Hackett, captain of the Tyrone Gaelic football minor team last season, had the full support of his mother, Eilish and his three siblings, Aileen, Ken, and Conor who were in court for the remand hearing.

The Irish Independent reported O’Kane said it was “an absolute tragedy for everyone concerned” and added, “Sean Hackett will enjoy the full support of relatives, friends, and the community.”  


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