Lack of police resources delays Newtown murder case

William McGinley from Co Longford when he appeared at Omagh Court House

William McGinley from Co Longford when he appeared at Omagh Court House

POLICE investigating the murder of a wedding guest in Newtownbutler earlier this year are facing a resources issue, Fermanagh court has heard. 
Bernard McGinley, a 63-year-old from Longford, was shot dead outside St Mary’s Church while he attending a wedding on February 11. 
Patrick McGinley, of Lisfarrell, Edgeworthstown, Longford, (46) and his son William, (26) have both been charged with his murder. 
William McGinley faces a further charge of attempting to murder the deceased man’s son, Bernard McGinley junior on the same date. 
The two men appeared before Enniskillen Magistrates Court for an update into their case. 
A prosecutor from the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) stated that work surrounding the case has been progressing and that a detective investigating the murder had met with members from the Gardai. 
The solicitor added that PSNI officers have been working “tirelessly” since their last court appearance. 
Explaining the current investigations into the case, the prosecution lawyer added that members from the Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) are to carry out work this week in relation to mapping and photography of the scene.
She also stated that a ballistic expert was to meet officers at the beginning of this week. 
Of the 100 people attending the wedding, 17 remain unidentified and that all but nine of the other guests have been spoken to. 
There was a total of 147 vehicles in Newtownbutler at the scene that day and of these, 54 of their owners have been spoken to with 93 still to be progressed. 
There were some 46 vehicles at the South West Acute Hospital following the shooting and work has yet to commence on speaking to these people. 
The court also heard that two other suspects in the case are outstanding and that it is not known if they are willing to make themselves available to police.
She also explained that on the last occasion it had been stated that a file had been submitted to the PPS, however witnesses have not yet been interviewed regarding a counter-allegation involving Patrick McGinley’s father who was allegedly stabbed at the scene. 
Defending solicitor Seamus Leonard said there was still an extensive amount of work to be done.
“There are some 93 other vehicles to be identified and 17 people still not identified.”
He also told the court that he has been made aware of resource issues within the PSNI. He stated that they were struggling for officers to “make this happen” in regards to the investigation of the full case, including the counter-allegations. 
Mr Leonard stated that the two defendants would be applying for bail at their next court appearance which was scheduled for September 28. 


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