Monday 18 November 2019

Dad-of-two charged over alleged gun attack on farmer

PJ Friel, who was charged charged in connection with an alleged gun attack on a farmer, at Letterkenny Court. (North West Newspix)
PJ Friel, who was charged charged in connection with an alleged gun attack on a farmer, at Letterkenny Court. (North West Newspix)

Greg Harkin

A 46-year-old businessman and father-of-two has appeared in court charged in connection with an alleged gun attack on a farmer.

Patrick Joseph Friel, from Ballynakillew, Glenswilly, Co Donegal, was brought before Letterkenny District Court yesterday.

The court heard Mr Friel made no reply when charged at Milford Garda Station on Monday night.

Mr Friel was charged with a Section 3 assault under the Non Fatal Offences Against The Persons Act.

He was also charged with the discharge of a firearm, being reckless as to whether any person was injured.

The charges relate to an incident last Saturday in the townland of Ballynakillew in which 42-year-old farmer Gerard Sweeney was allegedly shot and injured.

Garda Sinead McHale told presiding Judge Paul Kelly that Mr Friel made no reply to either charge.

Garda Inspector Goretti Sheridan said gardai were not objecting to bail in the case subject to conditions.

Remanding Mr Friel on bail, Judge Kelly ordered that he surrender his passport. He also ordered that Mr Friel sign on at Milford Garda Station every Saturday.

He further ordered that he stay away from any witnesses in the case.

Mr Friel's solicitor, Patsy Gallagher, requested legal aid for the father-of-two.

He said his client's engineering business was facing challenging times.

Inspector Sheridan said the Director of Public Prosecutions had already given a verbal direction on the charges being brought.

She asked Judge Kelly to grant an adjournment of the case in order to give time for those directions to be received in writing.

Judge Kelly remanded Mr Friel on bail to appear again at Letterkenny District Court on March 9.

Mr Friel, who was wearing a black jacket and trousers, a white shirt and a dark-coloured overcoat, did not speak during the brief court appearance.

Irish Independent

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