Belfast Telegraph

Oisin McGrath death: Student Francis McDermott handed suspended sentence for manslaughter

By Michael Donnelly

A young university student, who as a schoolboy caused the untimely and tragic death of fellow pupil Oisin McGrath, was freed on Friday when his 18-month prison term was suspended for three years.

Judge Stephen Fowler QC told the now 20-year-old engineering student Francis McDermott, who sat in the dock his eyes cast down, that while his conviction might blight his life it paled into insignificance with the loss suffered by the McGrath family.

The Dungannon Crown Court judge said he was also "acutely aware there is no sentence I can impose that could offer any comfort to Oisin's family for their loss of such a bright, energetic and loving boy full of such potential".

McDermott, of Camphill Park, Newtownbutler, was a 17-year-old sixth-former when he caused the unlawful death of 13-year-old Oisin, from the border town of Belcoo, who died in hospital from head injury on February 11 2015.

Last week the court heard that the tragic events, three days earlier, which had such horrific consequences stemmed from an everyday schoolyard tussle over a football in the grounds of St Michael's College in Enniskillen where both had been pupils.

More to follow

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