THE case against a father and son accused of murdering a relative at a wedding in Newtownbutler last year has faced another setback.
Patrick McGinley (47) and his son William (27), both of Lisfarrell, Edgesworthstown, Co Longford, are charged with murdering Patrick’s uncle, 63-year-old Bernard McGinley, who was attending a family wedding in Newtownbutler on February 11, 2015.
Due to a number of delays in the investigation into the murder, a court has yet to decide whether there is enough evidence to send the pair forward for trial.
At Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday it was explained to visiting District Judge Benita Boyd that the case had “quite a lot of history.” This included an ongoing saga over a firearm seized in the south, which took some months to be handed over to the PSNI by An Garda Siochana.
While this weapon, which is suspected to be connected to the murder, was handed over to investigators in the North several weeks ago and is currently with the Forensic Service in Carrickfergus, Judge Boyd was told on Monday there would now be a further delay as the forensic examination “was not as straight forward” as had been anticipated.
A spokesman for the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) said further tests were need on the weapon, which they described as an “improvised device.”
The court was also told “issues” with witnesses in the South had also contributed to delays.
The PPS asked for the case to be adjourned until August 1, to allow an officer from the investigation team at Maydown to come to court and explain the delay and give a timetable for the case. Defence solicitor Garry Smyth, acting on behalf of his colleague Seamus Leonard, said the defence wished for the case to be taken for one week only, for timetabling.
Judge Boyd proposed it be adjourned until July 25, when District Judge Nigel Broderick who had overseen the case so far, would be back at Enniskillen Magistrates.
However, Mr Smyth said this did not suit the defence, and added their clients were anxious for the matter, which has been before the courts since last year, to be dealt with. Previously, the large number of witnesses to be interviewed, vehicles to be examined and CCTV to be viewed had resulted in delays progressing in the case.
Judge Boyd adjourned the case for three weeks, until August 1, “given the holiday period” and to give the officer from Maydown time to attend. Both defendants, who were in court for the hearing despite being excused from attending, were visibly annoyed at the delay.
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