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Legal history as NI coroner holds hearing by telephone

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A coroner made Northern Irish legal history yesterday when he held a preliminary hearing by conference call. (Chris Ison/PA)

A coroner made Northern Irish legal history yesterday when he held a preliminary hearing by conference call. (Chris Ison/PA)

A coroner made Northern Irish legal history yesterday when he held a preliminary hearing by conference call. (Chris Ison/PA)

A coroner made Northern Irish legal history yesterday when he held a preliminary hearing by conference call.

Patrick McGurgan took the step while making arrangements for an inquest into the death of 45-year-old Co Tyrone GAA coach John Dalglish Hetherington.

While criminal matters have recently been dealt with through video conferencing because of Covid-19, the hearing marked the first time legal proceedings had been conducted by phone in Northern Ireland.

Mr Hetherington was found dead at his home in Rossin View in Donaghamore.

He had been a coach for St Patrick's GAC and was also closely involved with the Bardic Theatre in the village, often working behind the scenes.

A further preliminary hearing is scheduled to be held on June 20 ahead of an inquest.

Belfast Telegraph