Belfast Telegraph

Inquest into father-of-one Kieran McManus murder delayed to prevent potential prejudice of trial

By Angela Rainey

Relatives of a man who was shot dead in 2013 will have to wait until next year before his inquest will be held, a Belfast coroner has confirmed.

West Belfast father-of-one Kieran McManus was gunned down outside Domino's Pizza in Kennedy Way in March four years ago.

Speaking at a preliminary hearing at Laganside Courts yesterday, Coroner Paddy McGurgan said the inquest could not proceed until "criminal proceedings" set for next April, surrounding the murder of Stephen Carson, had taken place.

A previous court has heard that Carson (28) was shot in the head in 2016 as part of a feud stretching back to 2010.

Mr McGurgan reassured Sally McManus, Kieran McManus's mother, who was present in court that "the homework will be done and we will be good to get started" and "in the absence of a jury".

Two months ago coroner McGurgan expressed his annoyance at a PSNI request to postpone the inquest, which had been scheduled for September, as it might "prejudice" the ongoing criminal investigation. He agreed that to host the inquest first could cause "potential difficulty", but described the late application by PSNI as "appalling".

Speaking at the time he told the court: "When I give dates for an inquest I don't expect them to be moved."

Mr McGurgan said the delay would be "very, very traumatic" for the McManus family.

He added that the situation now meant that if legal complications arise as a result of not delaying the inquest, it would "never get off the ground".

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