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Four people charged in connection with Traveller wedding killing

William McGinley at an earlier court hearing. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Four people including a father and son have appeared in court charged with murdering a relative at a Travellers' wedding on the Co Fermanagh border.

Bernard 'Barney' McGinley was shot dead outside St Mary's Church in Newtownbutler on February 11, 2015. The 63-year old, from Co Longford, was gunned down in front of his wife and grandchildren as they attended the ceremony.

Patrick McGinley (48), from Ardlougher Road in Irvinestown, and his 29-year old son William McGinley, from Sallyswood in Irvinestown, were both charged with murdering Bernard McGinley. They both pleaded 'not guilty' to this charge, and also denied attempting to murder the victim's son Bernard McGinley Junior on the same date.

Bernard McGinley was airlifted to hospital after being shot moments before the wedding was due to start, but later died. He is understood to be Patrick McGinley's uncle, and at the time of the murder, police linked the fatal shooting to a feud within the Travellers community.

A third man, 24-year old Patrick McGinley from Lisfarrell in Edgeworthstown, Co Longfond, was also charged with and denied murdering Bernard McGinley and attempting to murder his son Bernard McGinley Junior.

A youth, who cannot be named due to his age, faced the same two offences. When the charges were put to the 17-year old as he stook outside the dock of the court, he replied "Not guilty".

After all four defendants entered their 'not guilty' pleas at Belfast Crown Court, a prosecutor told Mr Justice Colton that the trial is expected to last four to six weeks.

The Judge said the trial will be held at Dungannon Crown Court and is due to commence on February 5 next year.

Mr Justice Colton released all four defendants on continuing bail.

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