Toomebridge man sentenced to 12 months for manslaughter

  • 16 February 2018

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A 26 year old Toomebridge man has today been ordered to serve 6 months in prison and 6 months suspended for killing a father-of-two in Toomebridge two years ago.

On 09 January this year Finbar McCoy from Loughbeg Road, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of James McDonagh (28) outside the Elk Bar on 10 January 2016.

Detective Chief Inspector Eamonn Corrigan, from PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, said: “James, known to everyone as Jim, had been socialising in the Elk Bar on Saturday 09 January 2016.  At around 2.25am on the Sunday morning a  disturbance involving a number of persons occurred at the bar.   The disturbance ended up spilling out onto the main road beside the bar.  During this incident Jim was punched to the face by McCoy and subsequently fell backwards hitting his head on the ground.  Jim was treated in hospital for serious head injuries which he never recovered from.”

Jim’s widow Christina said: “Jim’s death has had a huge impact on all our lives.  As a member of the travelling community you only marry the once so I will be now a widow for the rest of my life.  In the travelling community the girls and wives do not generally work, we are there to be a housewife, look after our homes and children whilst the husband works.  I have no husband now and my father is helping me and my family.  In the travelling community the husband’s role is to provide for his wife and family, the husband is there to show his sons how to work and how to make a living and how to set up a home.  The husband/father buys the sons their first van.  Jim is gone and taken from us as a family and my sons James and Patrick will never get the opportunity to have this experience and learning from their father.”

Jim’s sister Mary added: “I am so relieved that this is over and that we don’t have to go through another Trial.  We will never get over Jim’s death but as a family we will try and move forward after the sentencing on 16th February.  I am heart broken and will never get over the loss of my brother Jim.  Time doesn’t make it get easier to deal with.”

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