Belfast Telegraph

Donegal farmer McCafferty charged over hit-and-run in 2014 in which brother was killed

By Staff Reporter

A man has appeared in court charged with killing his brother in a dangerous driving incident four years ago.

Francis McCafferty of Belault in Pettigo, Co Donegal, appeared at Omagh Magistrates Court on Saturday.

He was arrested in Strabane on Wednesday.

The 44-year-old is accused of killing Pat John McCafferty (49) on the Tullychurry Road near Belleek in Co Fermanagh on January 5, 2014.

In the hours after the smash, Garda discovered close to Francis McCafferty's home a Ford Focus that they suspected was involved in the incident.

He was arrested and interviewed but later released unconditionally.

Twenty-four hours later he presented himself to Garda and admitted being the driver of the vehicle.

However, he said the crash was an accident, and was subsequently released without charge.

Saturday's court sitting was told that when that account was put to him during a PSNI interview, he said: "Donegal guards are corrupt."

Mr McCafferty's solicitor said the statement taken in 2014 by An Garda Siochana "lacked key details".

Objecting to a bail application, the PSNI said it feared Mr McCafferty might abscond.

However, the judge said he would grant bail if a number of conditions were met, and required Mr McCafferty to surrender the title deeds to his Co Donegal farm ahead of the case being heard again on April 9.

Pat McCafferty's hit-and-run death in 2014 caused huge turmoil in the Belleek community, with his children maintaining that their dad was unlawfully killed.

An inquest later found he had died from a severe brain injury, three fractured ribs and injuries to his legs.

Daughter Christina McCafferty said at the inquest: "We had a very close relationship and he had a very good heart. If I fell out with him he would be in the next day as if nothing had happened, he looked after me.

"The last time I saw him alive was the Friday before and he was fine and was happy to start back to work. The police came to my door after 7am and said that he had been killed."

Pathologist Gavin Dunn, who carried out the post-mortem examination said a brain injury was the "major factor" in his death.

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