Sunday 17 December 2017

'There's a man tied up in the house. Bye, bye'

Murder accused Simon McGinley
Murder accused Simon McGinley

MURDER accused Simon McGinley made a 999 call saying there was a man tied up "in a house with a brown gate opposite the barracks".

The call was made on the afternoon of Thursday, September 20th, a day before Eugene Gillespie was found lying in his hallway with severe injuries.

The anonymous 999 call which was routed to Sligo Garda Station lasted no more than 10 seconds.

Prosecuting Senior Counsel Sean Gilane said a garda was delegated to deal with it.

He went to a house and made enquiries.

"He was satisfied that there was nothing untoward," said Mr Gilane.

However, he added that this was not the home of Mr Gillespie.

Mr Gilane said the 999 call was traced to a number belonging to an acquaintance of McGinley.

The jury were played the 999 call.

Garda Sergeant Terry Coleman received the call on Thursday, September 20 at approximately 1:35pm.

The caller was heard saying, "across the road from the barracks over towards the brown gate, there's a man tied up in the house. Bye, bye."

Having received the call and made her note, Gda Sgt Coleman said she contacted her supervisor, Sergeant Phillip Maree.

Giving evidence Sgt Maree said he was subsequently informed by Garda Michael Twyford, that he was looking out a window of the garda station at brown gates and that he would check it out.

Gda Twyford said the information was so specific that the property described in the call could only be that which was visible from the garda station.

Mr Blaise O'Carroll SC asked the garda if he agreed that, when one looks at a map, the home of the late Eugene Gillespie was "up the road a little bit".

"I agree it's up the road," Gda Twyford said. "I'm not sure of the distance involved but it is up the road".

Mr O'Carroll asked the garda if it had occurred to him to go up and check that property.

It did not, the garda said, because it wasn't possible to see those gates from the Garda station.

It was not across the road from the garda station, he said.

Garda Twyford said the information was so specific "I acted on the information that was given, promptly".

"I went over to the property and there was nothing untoward happening there."

The Garda said he had been a garda for 16 years and hoax calls were "part of the job".

Sligo Champion

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