Belfast Telegraph

Father and son jailed after church shooting left man dead at Co Fermanagh Traveller wedding

By John Cassidy

A father and son have been jailed for a total of seven-and-a-half years over a shooting at a Traveller wedding in a border village.

Patrick McGinley was imprisoned for four years after he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Barney McGinley outside a church in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh over three years ago.

Mr Justice Colton told the 49-year-old, from Ardlougher Road in Irvinestown, that he would serve a further four years on supervised licence following his release from prison.

As the sentence was passed, relatives of the deceased left the public gallery, shouting: "You have to come out you know. You can stick your f***ing four years".

As McGinley was led handcuffed from the dock to the cells, the deceased's tearful widow Brigid repeatedly banged on the door of the public gallery, shouting at the defendant.

His son William McGinley (29), of Sallyswood, Irvinestown, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after he admitted wounding Barney McGinley's son, Bernard Oliver McGinley, with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

The judge told him that he would serve a further three years and nine months on supervised licence on his release from jail.

Two other sons of Patrick McGinley snr, Patrick McGinley jnr (24), of Lisfarrell, Edgesworthtown, Co Longford, and Bernard Patrick McGinley (18), of Ardlougher Road, Irvinestown, had pleaded guilty to affray over the same incident.

Patrick McGinley jnr was ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service and Bernard Patrick McGinley was given a 12 month probation order.

It was the Crown case that the shooting happened outside St Mary's Catholic Church in Newtownbutler on February 11, 2015 where the niece of Patrick McGinley snr was due to marry.

Senior prosecutor Neil Connor QC said that "there appeared to a considerable amount of bad blood between the two families which could be termed as a 'family feud'.

"As a result of this 'feud' there was bad feeling in existence before the event in question."

The court heard 63-year-old Barney McGinley turned up with his wife in a van and parked in the church car park near to his nephew, Patrick McGinley snr.

Mr Connor said that there appeared to have been "some sort of altercation and they had a heated exchange" before the victim drove out of the car park and headed up the main road where he met other family members.

Following a discussion, Barney McGinley then returned and parked outside the church where there was a further altercation and a home made 'pipe gun' or 'stick gun' was produced.

The court heard a claim the weapon was brought to the scene by a "person in the company of the deceased''.

The court heard that Patrick McGinley snr claimed he had "forcibly removed the pipe gun from the deceased" and he claimed that during a struggle it was discharged.

William McGinley picked up the "crude" weapon, reloaded it with a further shotgun cartridge and fired it into the back of the deceased's son, Bernard Oliver McGinley, from a range of six to ten feet.

During what was described as a "melee", Patrick McGinley jnr and his teenage brother Bernard Patrick McGinley then became involved by rushing forward from the church to assist their father.

Barney McGinley was put in a vehicle and taken to Lisnaskea police station, from where he was airlifted to the Erne hospital by helicopter, but later died.

Mr Justice Colton said it was clear the 'stick gun' or 'pipe gun' had "not been brought" by any of the four defendants to the wedding and had in fact been brought by an associate of the deceased.

He said there was "no question of pre-planning or premeditation" on the part of father-of-five Patrick McGinley snr.

The judge said it was clear from victim impact statements that Barney McGinley was a "much loved father of nine, grandfather of 48 and great grandfather of two" who had been married to his wife Brigid for 41 years.

Belfast Telegraph

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