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Father stabbed to death on his daughter’s birthday, court told

A bloody family row ended in a father being stabbed to death on his daughter’s 18th birthday shortly before his son was shot in the arm with a crossbow bolt, a court has been told.

As a horrified mother and daughter tried to help him, a hijacked taxi was driven over the top of them causing both multiple injuries.

At Belfast Crown Court yesterday five men sat in the dock charged in connection with the brutal attacks in Dungannon on September 14, 2008 during which 49-year-old Eamonn Hughes was murdered, his son Kevin was injured and mother and daughter Martina and Emma Donaghy were run over by the taxi.

Dungannon men Martin Murray (23), from Windmill Drive, Liam Murray (24), from Windmill Court, Kevin Toye (24), from Windmill Court, and Ballymena man William McDonagh (25), from Kew Gardens, all deny murdering Mr Hughes.

All four also deny attempting to murder Martina Donaghy and her daughter Emma.

Kevin Murray (41) from Lisnahull Gardens, also Dungannon, denies attempting to murder Mr Hughes' son Kevin after he allegedly shot him with a crossbow bolt.

Prosecuting barrister Terence Mooney QC told the court that the attacks followed a row between the Hughes and Murray families during an 18th birthday

party for Mr Hughes’ daughter Siobhan in the Irish National Foresters’ Club in Dungannon.

The Diplock court heard that as Mr Hughes walked to his home in the Lisnahull estate from the party with family and friends his four alleged killers jumped out of a taxi and a confrontation ensued.

It was claimed that Martin Murray was armed with a knife while Liam Murray had a bottle.

“Martin Murray appeared to be making slashing movements with the knife,” said Mr Mooney. “He was heard to say variously 'com'n to f*** — come on you provie b******* — Hughes I'm gonna kill you, I'm gonna stab you'.”

He told the court that witnesses in the case would testify they saw Mr Hughes collapse to the ground after being struck in the chest by Martin Murray.

The court heard that the taxi the alleged killers arrived in had been hijacked and that Toye drove it “at speed” at the mother and daughter, who were trained first aiders, as they tried to help Mr Hughes.

“Enraged” at what had happened to his father, Kevin Hughes went to the nearby home of Kevin Murray and used a metal bar to smash the windows, but as he walked back Murray sneaked up behind him and allegedly shot him with the crossbow bolt.

The trial is due to resume on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph