Ex-partner remanded over gun attack

Published Monday, 21 May 2012
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A man has appeared in court accused of murdering teenager Lauren O'Neill and attempting to murder her sister Brenda.

Ex-partner remanded over gun attack
Phelim McNally is remanded in custody (© Pacemaker)

The two sisters were shot in a gun attack in the Co Londonderry village of Bellaghy on Saturday morning.

Phelim McNally, who is 26 and from Station Park in Toomebridge, appeared before Londonderry Magistrates' Court in connection with the shooting.

During a brief court hearing, which lasted two minutes, he only spoke to confirm he understood the nature of the charges against him.

As he entered the dock, he walked past relatives of Lauren and Brenda O'Neill.

McNally is the former partner of Brenda and the father of her two young children - a girl aged two and a 10-month-old boy.

The children were present during the shooting incident when it is alleged McNally entered a house at William Court in Bellaghy and opened fired.

Brenda, 21, was seriously injured in the attack and her 18-year-old sister was killed.

It has been suggested she was killed as she tried to protect her sister who managed to make it to a neighbour's home to raise the alarm.

A detective told the court he believed he could connect McNally to the charges.

The accused was remanded into custody.

Brenda remains in a critical condition following the attack. Preparations are underway for her sister's funeral, which will be held later this week.

© UTV News
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