Wedding killing accused can’t raise £100,000 bail

Court
Court

A father and son accused of killing a relative at a family wedding will find it impossible to come up with £100,000 in cash required to secure their releases from custody, the High Court has heard.

Patrick and William McGinley remain behind bars after a judge refused a bid to vary the terms of their bail.

Rejecting an alternative offer to lodge the deeds to a £350,000 house in the Irish Republic, Mr Justice Burgess insisted the money must be lodged.

Patrick McGinley, 46, and his 27-year-old son William, are both charged with the murder of 63-year-old Bernard ‘Barney’ McGinley in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh on February 11.

The victim was shot dead in front of his wife outside St Mary’s Church where the Traveller wedding ceremony was to take place.

William McGinley is also charged with the attempted murder of the dead man’s son, Bernard McGinley Jr.

The killing is allegedly linked to a wider dispute within the family.

Last month the two defendants, both from Lisfarrell in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, were granted magistrates’ court bail.

Prosecutors mounted an unsuccessful appeal against that decision, claiming there was a risk of further offences due to the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

The High Court heard the murder weapon has not yet been recovered, although gardai are carrying out examinations on a gun in their possession.

Last week Mr Justice Burgess upheld the decision to grant bail to the pair, citing the scale and complexity of ongoing police investigations.

He predicted that it any trial may not get under way until early 2017.

Both accused were ordered to live at an address in Northern Ireland, surrender passports and report to police daily.

However, a further condition that they must each provide a £50,000 cash surety before their release has yet to be met.

Returning to court on Thursday, barrister Desmond Fahy said the wider family has reached its limit in trying to come up with the money.

“It’s impossible at this juncture to meet the figure imposed by the magistrate,” he said.

Mr Fahy suggested that the sum raised could be lodged, together with the deeds to a £350,000 home across the border in the name of Patrick McGinley’s wife.

Refusing the application to vary the terms, Mr Justice Burgess suggested seeking a loan against the property.

As the two accused listened via a prison video link, he added: “The figure has been fixed, it’s at a very high level I have to accept, but we are dealing with exceptional circumstances.”