TG4 to air documentary on homophobic murder of Dungannon man

Shaun's mother Rosemary talks about the impact of his death
Shaun's mother Rosemary talks about the impact of his death

The homophobic murder of Dungannon man, Shaun Fitzpatrick, is to feature on a new documentary examining the legacy of six tragic murders that took place in remote parts of Ireland.

Racht, which will air on TG4 on Wednesday [Oct 21] at 10pm will look at the anger, shame and fear surrounding the crimes - emotions with the “potential to ruin lives”.

The TG4 documentary series starts on Wednesday

The TG4 documentary series starts on Wednesday

Each episode will look at the motivation behind the crimes and their emotional impact on those connected to the deceased.

A spokesperson for the series said: “In recent times there has been huge progress made on the subject of gay rights and equality for the LGBT community, but unfortunately tragedies still occur.”

In Dungannon in 2008, Shaun Fitzpatrick was beaten to death as he made his way home from a night out.

It was reported that he was injured so badly paramedics at the scene initially thought he had been shot in the face.

It later emerged he had been targeted because he was an openly gay man.

His attackers were eventually charged with his murder and are currently serving 20 year prison sentences.

In the programme Shaun’s mother Rosemary shares her feelings of loss for him - the life and soul of the party - with whom she shared a special bond. Rosemary talks about how he had hidden his homosexuality for years, but had ‘come out’ and was living life to the full before his murder.

Racht, which is produced by Paper Owl Films for TG4 with support from the Irish Language Broadcast, will begin with the story of Molly Bunbury, who was murdered in Spiddal, Co Galway in 1886 before coming to the story of Stephen Lyne who was just 17 when he was killed by a single stab wound to the back in Killarney in 2009.

The series will also look at the story of two sisters who stood trial for the death of a baby girl one of them had carried, before examining a case of Patrick Devine, a nurse and sheep farmer, was shot nine times through his kitchen window as he sat eating his dinner in 2004.

Two men were jailed for Shaun’s murder

In March 2010, Ramunas Balseris, then 28, and fellow Lithuanian, Andrius Dunauskas, who was 25 at the time, were found guilty of supermarket manager Shaun Mr Fitzpatrick’s murder.

The popular 32-year-old, who lived in the Lisnahull area of the town, was kicked and stamped on during two separate assaults sustaining 52 different injuries to his head, neck, chest and body.

At the time, the trial judge recommended Balseris and Dunauskas be deported after serving at least 20 years in prison.

Lawyers for Balseris later argued during a failed appeal that his conviction was unsafe and should be quashed.

They claimed bad character evidence of his alleged aggession towards Mr Fitzpatrick several months before the murder was wrongly put before the jury.