Northern Ireland

Newtownbutler wedding shooting: Man in 60s dies

The shooting happened in the grounds of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Newtownbutler Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption The shooting happened in the grounds of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Newtownbutler

A man in his 60s has died after being shot outside a Catholic church in County Fermanagh where a wedding was taking place.

It happened in Newtownbutler shortly after 13:00 GMT.

The man was flown to hospital in a police helicopter but died from his injuries.

Another man, who is in his 30s, was also shot. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Part of Bridge Street in the village has been closed.

The priest who was conducting the wedding described what happened. He said it had been a wedding involving two families from the travelling community.

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Media captionFather Michael King told Chris Buckler that the bride was traumatised after the shooting, but carried on with the wedding

Fr Michael King said the shooting started as the bride stood at the back of the church waiting to walk up the aisle.

"The next thing I heard was (people shouting), 'there's shots, there's shots'.

"I thought 'God what's going on here' so I went out and there was a fella lying on the road and around six fellas around him.

"I was going to go down to him, but then he was back up on his feet so I went back in to get ready for the wedding.

"Two men were shot - one was shot in the chest and the other in the leg. Another was injured with an uncouth sort of knife, in the back of the hand.

"I wasn't anywhere near to give them help - their own clan surrounded the people who were shot.

"We got the ambulance and the police, and they took it from there."

Asked what he did then, he said: "I went on ahead with the wedding - I could do nothing else, because they were anxious to get this girl married.

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Media captionThe Fermanagh Herald's Ronan McGrade filmed the aftermath of the shooting

"It was very small, there were only a few people there.

"The bride was a bit traumatised alright, so I just spoke to her and told her to take a few deep breaths to relax, and that she was safe here.

"There's a school nearby but they wouldn't have seen it - there were only a few onlookers. It happened so fast."


At the scene: Julian Fowler, BBC News NI

One eyewitness described hearing an argument and shots being fired. He said there was panic and people fled the scene.

It is believed that the wedding involved members of the travelling community and that they were not local.

The church has been cordoned off and a large number of police officers are at the scene.

St Mary's Primary School is next door to the church but a member of staff said they were not affected by the incident and they did not know what had happened. Children were being picked up as normal.


Image caption A van believed to have been involved in the incident was abandoned at Lisnaskea police station

The two men who were injured were brought in a white van to Lisnaskea police station about five miles away.

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Image caption Ambulances arrived at Lisnaskea Police Station

Ambulances were called and the police helicopter landed at a nearby school to take one of the injured men to hospital.

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Image caption One of the injured man was flown to hospital in the police helicopter but died from his injuries

The van is parked at the entrance to the police station and the area has also been cordoned off with police tape.

Bandages and dressings can be seen lying in the road at the back of the van.

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