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Oisin McGrath death: Lawyers for student accused of manslaughter of 13-year-old boy given until Easter to find new medical expert

Lawyers for 19-year-old student Francis McDermott accused of the unlawful killing of Belcoo schoololboy Oisín McGrath have been given until after the Easter recess to find a new medical expert to report on the case.

Last month barrister Mark Reel told Dungannon Crown Court that they had asked the Republic of Ireland's State Pathologist, Prof Marie Cassidy to act for them.

However, on Thursday Mr Reel told Judge Stephen Fowler QC that Dr Cassidy had returned the case papers, saying that she felt it was "outside her field of expertise".  She has also informed lawyers that she did not think there was anyone in Ireland handling such case.

Mr Reel explained that the specific matter in question would require a neurovascular expert, and that they were currently in contact with a professional body in London.

However, he further explained that normally the association do not deal directly with outside parties, but their secretary had agreed to circulate their details and request among its members.

Mr Reel said that effectively the defence were really back "to square one", and if they failed to get a response from the members of the London association, "we are even further back".

Judge Fowler, who said he did not want matters "to be left waiting", gave the defence until May 2, to resolve their problems or report back to the court.

McDermott, who was not present during the short review hearing at which it was hoped to set a date for his trial, denies the manslaughter of 13-year-old Oisin, who died on February 9, 2015, fours days following the incident in the playground at St. Michael's College, Enniskillen.

The now university student, from Camphill Park, Newtownbutler, who was 17 at the time of Oisin's death, is currently on his own bail of £500.

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