News from Ireland - news from around the 32 counties
Police suspect that a Newry man shot dead in 2005 was murdered over a woman.
The revelation came as 35-year-old Bernard Joseph Higgins of Donagh Grove, Warrenpoint, appeared at the city's Magistrates Court last Wednesday charged with murdering Jonathan Graham as he sat in his car outside his Ardcarne Park home in April 2005. As well as murder, Higgins is accused of possession of a firearm and ammunition with intent to endanger life.
After connecting him to the charges, an investigating officer outlined the prosecution's case.
The court heard that the killing of Mr Graham was the second of four shootings that took place within minutes of each other in Newry at around 1am on April 21, 2005. It was told that Mr Graham was first shot at through the front passenger window of his car before the gunman went round to the driver's side, opened the door, and shot him again.
The 20-year-old died of his injuries in hospital at 5am. The police officer said that, at the time, a witness gave a partial registration of the car carrying the gunman and two others, which produced a match to 11 other vehicles in Northern Ireland. Police checks revealed that just one of those was in Newry on the night in question and that it had been purchased by Higgins.
He later admitted in interview to having bought the car but claimed he'd sold it to travellers a week later.
The car has never been re-registered or seen since, the court was told. The police officer said Mr Graham's murder is believed to have stemmed from a "substantial and very violent feud over a six-month period", adding that "it was to do with girlfriends and ex-girlfriends".
Higgins and two other men - Gerald Haw, 55, and James McEvoy, 33, both with addresses in Newry - were arrested but only McEvoy was charged. The charges were withdrawn a year later.
But the court heard on Wednesday that new evidence, including CCTV footage, has since come to light.
Both McEvoy and Haw were rearrested on October 26 but police were unable to track down Higgins. He remained at large for almost two weeks before handing himself into a police station.
(Source: Newry Democrat)
The screams of a woman who died after a house fire were graphically described at an inquest into the tragic deaths of two people from the house.
Margaret Sheehan (42) was dragged from the house in a ball of flame after she was heard screaming "don't leave me, don't leave me, I'm on fire".
She died 20 days later at the burns unit of St James's Hospital in Dublin. Gary Linnane (38) died at the scene of the fire in a house on Dublin's North Circular Road on December 3 last year.
Next-door neighbor Kevin Hammond told how he had been woken by a fire alarm at about 1am and could smell smoke.
He realized it was from the house next door and when he checked, the front door of the house was open and the stairway filled with flames.
A man was standing in the first-floor window, panicking and asking for a ladder.
Mr Hammond coaxed him to jump and tried to break his fall.
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