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Teen charged over man’s death after card game bust-up

By Clare Weir

A teenager has been charged with the manslaughter of a Co Londonderry father at the weekend who is suspected to have been killed in a pub row over a game of cards.

The 19-year-old man is expected to appear at Londonderry Magistrate’s Court today in connection with the death of Gary Butcher (39) in the early hours of Saturday morning.

He died after a fight broke out at Bob’s Bar on the Seacoast Road in Magilligan in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The crane driver was father to five-year-old Derbhla. It is understood his remains were being brought home to his parent’s house on Limestone Road in Magilligan last night.

Sources say that a row broke out during a game of cards and that Mr Butcher fell and hit his head during a scuffle.

Distant relative Paddy Butcher, a Sinn Fein representative on Limavady Borough Council, lives beside the victim’s parents and said that the close-knit families of Magilligan have been “stunned into silence” at his murder.

“There are no words to express the tragedy of this situation, Gary was a lovely fellow,” said Paddy Butcher.

“His little girl does not understand, his parents do not understand, nobody understands.

“People are just shocked and stunned, they cannot believe it.

“This is a very close knit community, everyone knows everyone else, and everyone has been affected by this awful tragedy.”

A 51-year-old and 25-year-old-arrested in connection with Mr Butcher’s death have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Meanwhile, two people have been arrested in connection with the murder of Gerard ‘Reiko’ Reid who was found dead in west Belfast last week. A 30-year-old woman and a 43-year-old man were detained at the weekend.

Mr Reid (52), a grandfather, was found dead in a flat in Ardmonagh Parade, Turf Lodge, on Thursday morning.

A murder inquiry was launched following a post mortem examination on Friday.

He is survived by wife Teresa, daughters Maura and Danielle, and sons Conor, Gerard and Thomas.

Funeral details have not yet been announced and police have not yet revealed how Mr Reid died.

He was well known in the community and officers are trying to track his final movements. They believe he was in the Springfield Road area on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Detective Chief Inspector Garry Eaton said: “We are still trying to gather all the relevant information in relation to this incident and we are particularly keen to trace Mr Reid's movements on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening.

“We believe he was in the Springfield Road area and we are keen to speak to anyone who has any knowledge as to his movements and whereabouts at this time.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at the incident room at Antrim Road station by calling 0845 600 8000 extension 18434.”

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