Belfast Telegraph

Four in court over murder of Bernard McGinley at Travellers' wedding

By Ashleigh McDonald

Four people including a father and son have appeared in court charged with murdering a relative at a Travellers' wedding in Northern Ireland

Bernard 'Barney' McGinley was shot dead outside St Mary's Church in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh, in February 2015.

The 63-year old, from Co Longford, was gunned down in front of his wife and grandchildren as they attended the ceremony.

Patrick McGinley (48), from Irvinestown, and his 29-year old son William McGinley, from Sallyswood in Irvinestown, were both charged with murdering Mr McGinley on February 11, 2015.

They both pleaded 'not guilty' to this charge, and also denied attempting to murder the victim's son Bernard McGinley Junior on the same date.

Mr McGinley was airlifted to hospital after being shot moments before the wedding was due to start, where he later died. He is understood to be Patrick McGinley's uncle, and at the time of the murder, police linked the fatal shooting to a feud within the Travellers community.

A third man, 24-year old Patrick McGinley from Lisfarrell in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, was also charged with and denied murdering Mr McGinley and attempting to murder his son Bernard McGinley Junior.

A youth, who cannot be named due to his age, faced the same two offences. When the charges were put to the 17-year old as he stood outside the dock of the court, he replied, "not guilty."

After all four defendants entered their 'not guilty' pleas, a Crown prosecutor told Mr Justice Colton that the trial is expected to last four to six weeks.

The Judge said the trial will be held at Dungannon Crown Court and is due to commence on February 5 next year.

Mr Justice Colton released all four defendants on continuing bail.

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