Monday 23 October 2017

Brothers extradited from Republic in court on double murder charge

Michael McHugh

TWO brothers have appeared in court charged with a double murder and arson in Northern Ireland six years ago.

The pair, aged 37 and 40, came before a magistrate in Armagh city today after consenting to their extradition from the Irish Republic.

Thomas O'Hare, 33, and his girlfriend Lisa McClatchey, 21, were attacked at home in Co Armagh in November 2006, petrol was poured around the house and then ignited and the couple died, a PSNI officer told the court.

Sergeant William Cross said the suspects were later identified, a direction was made to prosecute them for alleged arson and murder and a European Arrest Warrant was issued.

Martin and Niall Smith were detained by gardai in the Irish Republic three weeks ago under extradition warrants. They were brought before the High Court in Dublin and have been in custody ever since.

Martin, 40, was arrested at Cois Croinn, Saltown, Dundalk, Co Louth. He previously lived in Kevlin Glen in Omagh.

Meanwhile, 37-year-old Niall, previously of Mourneview, Armagh, was arrested at Moylaragh Avenue in Balbriggan, north Dublin.

The pair wore jeans and dark coats as they stood in the dock separated by prison officers, gesturing to identify themselves.

Sgt Cross told the court: "The suspects were identified and a file sent to the Public Prosecution Service."

He said directions were issued to prosecute for the murder of the two victims and arson of the property, in Tassagh, near Newtownhamilton.

They were arrested by police in Northern Ireland yesterday, the court heard.

A defence solicitor said the two defendants consented to their transfer to Northern Ireland.

No bail application was made as addresses for bail are still bring finalised, the court heard. One brother has a job and one is unemployed.

The pair were remanded in custody by District Judge Paul Copeland to reappear in Armagh via video-link in four weeks' time.

Press Association

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