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Omagh one-punch trial: Co Tyrone man maintains he is innocent of unlawful killing of Jason McGovern

By Michael Donnelly

Published 03/06/2015

Jason McGovern died the day after a one-punch attack in Omagh
Jason McGovern died the day after a one-punch attack in Omagh
The accused, Mark Donnelly

A tearful 23-year-old Co Tyrone man today maintained he was innocent of the unlawful killing of Co Monaghan teenager Jason McGovern.

At times, an emotional Mark Donnelly, who gave his address as Greencastle, between Omagh and Cookstown, refuted any suggestion that it was he who threw the killer punch which floored the 19-year-old in an Omagh carpark in the early hours of New Years' Eve 2012.

Asked by his defence QC Sean Doran about the evidence of the alleged eyewitness who claimed to have seen him punch young Jason at the entrance of the Weigh Inn carpark, Donnelly, who denied even knowing her, declared: "I say that she is mistaken".

He went on to add: "I didn't strike anyone down at the Weigh Inn carpark".

In conclusion Mr Doran, giving Donnely "one final opportunity to comment" on the prosecution case that he was Jason's carpark attacker, Donnelly, his voice cracking with emotion replied: "It's not true".

Under cross examination from prosecution QC Liam McCollum the Tyrone man accepted his conviction for committing an affray that evening.

Asked if he was maintaining his innocence about "fighting and making an affray that evening", Donnelly repeated that "I accept the jury's verdict" ... but added later: "I raised my left arm", but denied he had fought.

Mr McCollum then put it to Donnelly, "did the jury get it wrong". There was no reply to the question.

Donnelly also said that he considered himself a law abiding citizen, but that he was someone who "minded his own business".

At hearing.

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