Man remanded over traveller wedding murder

Patrick McGinley arriving at court
Patrick McGinley arriving at court

A man has been remanded in custody accused of shooting dead his uncle outside a family wedding.

Patrick McGinley, 46, is charged with the murder of Bernard McGinley close to a church in rural Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland moments before the traveller wedding was due to start.

The aftermath of the shooting in Newtownbutler

The aftermath of the shooting in Newtownbutler

The 63-year-old grandfather, from Co Longford in the Irish Republic, was shot in the chest in front of his wife Bridget.

The accused, who appeared in Omagh Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, is the uncle of the bride who was just about to walk down the aisle when the shooting took place on the road outside St Mary’s Catholic church in the village of Newtownbutler, in the south-east of Co Fermanagh.

Wearing a grey fleece over a blue checked shirt, balding and unshaven Mr McGinley, from Lisfarrell, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, spoke only to confirm his name, address and that he understood the charge he faced during the short hearing.

A police officer told District Judge John Meehan that he could connect the accused to the crime.

Mr McGinley’s lawyer Seamus Leonard said he wanted to make clear that his client voluntarily presented himself to police in Belfast earlier this week.

“He provided a very full account of what happened in this tragic event,” he said.

The solicitor said his client did not want to apply for bail at this stage but an application would likely be made in the future.

Judge Meehan remanded the accused to custody to appear before Enniskillen Magistrates’ Court on March 16 via videolink.

Last Wednesday’s ceremony was delayed for a short period after the shooting but then went ahead.

Bernard McGinley – a father of nine who was also known as Barney – was flown to hospital from Lisnaskea in a police helicopter but did not survive his injuries.

The shooting took place on Wednesday, February 11.