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Pensioner's killer spent victim's cash on fast food and bets

A killer who murdered a pensioner spent the cash he stole from him in a fast food restaurant and a bookie's.

New details have emerged about what Simon McGinley (30) did in the aftermath of the savage murder of Eugene Gillespie (67) in the course of a burglary.

Serial criminal McGinley was this week jailed for life for the murder of Mr Gillespie, who was attacked during a burglary at his home in Sligo town in September, 2012.

The Herald can reveal that McGinley, whose brother Hughie was shot dead in a gangland hit nine years ago, had served three different jail terms for serious assaults before his attack on Mr Gillespie.

After that attack, he travelled to his own nearby home and burnt his clothes.

He then waited 13 hours before making a garbled 10-second 999 call in which he gave false details to gardai. Officers then went to the address described in the call, but it was not where the victim was.

It was not until the following day that the pensioner was found lying in the hallway of his home. He died in hospital the following day.


After he made the 999 call from a pal's phone, McGinley calmly went to Sligo District Court where he heard that a number of public order and burglary charges against him were being adjourned.

CCTV gathered by the investigation team showed he then visited a fast food restaurant before going to a number of bookie's shops and placing bets on horse races.

McGinley was snared after a detailed investigation by Det Insp Jim Delaney and his team at Sligo garda station.

In an interview, he told gardai he had not expected anyone to be in the house. He had punched Mr Gillespie with closed fists and tied him up before searching the house.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis told the court the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, face and neck.

On Thursday, McGinley was was also sentenced to 10 years for false imprisonment and seven years for burglary to run concurrent with his life sentence.