Man charged with robbing and killing rural publican
A MAN was in custody last night after he was charged with the killing of a popular publican.
Eddie Wing (29) was charged with the manslaughter of well-known rural bar owner Matt Farrell on April 1, 2009.
The 64-year-old was found dead in his pub, the Gaelic Bar, in Daingean, Co Offaly, by his son Matthew after locking up.
He had been tied to a chair and suffered serious head injuries.
Mr Wing, with an address in Limerick Street, Roscrea, was arrested by gardai in the town on Sunday night. He was brought before Tullamore District Court yesterday where he was also charged with burglary at the bar at the same address.
Mr Wing also faces charges of theft at four other licensed premises including The Hawthorn in Ballacolla, Co Laois; The Elbow Bar in Moate, Co Westmeath; Shortall's Public House, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny; and Dan and Molly's in Ballyboy, Co Offaly.
The offences are alleged to have taken place in January and February 2009.
Mr Justice William Hamill remanded Mr Wing in custody to appear again at a sitting of the District Court in Cloverhill on October 22. Gardai objected to the granting of bail.
A 22-year-old woman was also remanded in custody, but with consent to bail, after she was charged with assisting Mr Wing.
The charge against Rachel Tobin, Lawlor's Lane, Fairgreen, Portlaoise, read that between January 29, 2009, and April 30, 2009, she had impeded the apprehension or prosecution of someone she knew or believed to have been guilty of manslaughter and burglary.
The pair were arrested following what gardai called a "substantial investigation" during which more than 1,000 statements were taken.
Several people have been arrested and questioned.
Mr Farrell, a father of five, was a well-respected businessman who ran the Gaelic Bar for more than 30 years.
Crimestoppers and Mr Farrell's family have offered a reward of €10,000 for information that will lead to a prosecution.
Members of the victim's family were in court for the hearing, which lasted more than half an hour.
The accused did not speak during the hearing, but conversed regularly with his solicitor, John Hughes, as he applied for bail.
Gardai have refused to rule out further arrests and say the investigation is ongoing.