A top motorcyclist accused over a New Year’s Eve killing can compete in races in Belgium, a judge ruled yesterday.
Mark Donnelly was given permission to fly to Brussels for the event while on bail charged with the manslaughter of a teenager in Omagh.
Jason McGovern, 19, from Co Monaghan, was attacked twice after leaving a nightclub early on December 31 last year. He was found dead hours later.
Donnelly, 21, of Greencastle Road, Omagh, is also charged with affray over the incident. Other men have also been charged.
The High Court heard Mr McGovern became involved in a row with suspects when he left the nightclub with a friend. He was knocked to the ground and further assaulted before getting up to get a taxi, according to the prosecution.
It was claimed that Donnelly and two other men followed him before launching a second attack.
A prosecution barrister said an eye-witness alleged Donnelly then punched the victim. Mr McGovern hit his head on the ground, knocking him unconscious.
“Two males helped the deceased. He got in his taxi and went to Monaghan to stay at a friend’s house where he was found dead at midday,” the barrister said.
Donnelly, who has been on bail since January, was seeking to temporarily lift a condition that he must not leave Northern Ireland.
He wants to compete in an international motorbike event in Belgium next weekend.
His barrister, Adrian Colton QC, said he has taken part in the races since 2006, winning in 2008 and 2009.
“It’s an internationally recognised event,” he said.
Mr Justice Horner agreed to vary the bail terms so that Donnelly can be out of Northern Ireland from October 10 to 14.
The judge ordered the lodging in court of £11,000 in cash sureties, and banned the accused from drinking while he is away.
Donnelly’s girlfriend, Aisling McAleer, 22, of Aghaboy Road, Omagh, faces a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice over a witness statement she provided about the incident. The judge dismissed her bid to lift a bail condition that she have no contact with her partner.