Man due in court over Bellaghy shooting

Published Sunday, 20 May 2012
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A 26-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Lauren O'Neill and the attempted murder of her sister following a gun attack in Bellaghy, Co Londonderry.

Man due in court over Bellaghy shooting
Lauren O'Neill, aged 18, who was fatally shot on Saturday. (© Pacemaker)

The 18-year-old girl was killed in the shooting at William Court on Saturday morning.

Her 21-year-old sister, a mother of two young children, was seriously injured during the attack but managed to make it to a neighbour's house to raise the alarm.

She remains in a critical condition at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital after undergoing surgery on Saturday afternoon.

The 26-year-old man is due to appear at Londonderry Magistrates' Court on Monday.

He was arrested by police in the Toome area within an hour of the shooting.

On Sunday Parish priest Fr Andy Dolan told UTV the feeling in the community is one of "shock and horror."

He said that the siblings were always together and that if you "saw one you saw the other."

Cahir Scullion, a local cafe owner, said that the sisters were inseparable.

"They were so close, it was unbelievable. Sisters and best friends - there was nothing that separated them."

He continued: "It's a complete tragedy for the town."

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has visited the victims' family.

He said: "This family is clearly deeply shocked and traumatised by what has happened over the weekend.

"Their daughter has been murdered and another daughter seriously injured. I spent some time with the family and offered our support and that of the wider community at this time."

A man and woman, both aged 28, who were arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender were released without charge.

© UTV News
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