Tragedy Man shot dead at gypsy wedding, another injured... but ceremony continues

Father Michael King, the parish priest who was inside the church when the shooting happened, has explained how he pleaded for the fighting to stop, while the bride was the back of the church.

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A guest was shot dead at a gypsy wedding another man was injured outside a church during a fight before the wedding.

The deceased, Barney McGinley who was said to be in his mid-60s, died in hospital from injuries after the shooting which took place yesterday, February 11, 2015, St Mary's Catholic Church in the rural village of Newtownbutler in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

One man was reportedly shot in the chest, the other in the leg, while another man had a knife injury to his hand.

According to Fermanagh Herald, one of the victims was flown by helicopter to the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen but died from his injuries.

Father Michael King, the parish priest who was inside the church when the shooting happened, has explained how he pleaded for the fighting to stop, while the bride was the back of the church.

He said: "The bride was standing at the back of the church waiting to come up the aisle and the next thing there was a bit of commotion at the back of the church - several women ran in and said 'there are shots, there are shots, there is somebody shooting'."

He added that there had also been a disturbance before the wedding.

"There was an altercation in the car park long before the bride came - they were thumping and kicking each other," Father King said.

Despite the shooting, the families asked for the wedding to go on as planned.

The priest explained: "They said 'father, we would like you to proceed with the wedding', so I proceeded with the wedding.

"They spent at least half an hour inside the church at the end taking photographs."

Father King said he was "really shocked" to hear of the injured man's death later on yesterday.

There were unconfirmed reports last night that a ‘jealous lover’ went on the shooting spree targeting a man present at the church.

Chief Inspector Michael Harvey, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said: "The victim was shot along with another man outside a chapel on Main Street in Newtownbutler at around 1pm this afternoon.

"The other man, who is in his thirties, is not believed to have sustained any life threatening injuries."

Councillor Thomas O'Reilly said people in the village - which only has a population of around 1,000 - were stunned by the violence.

"In a very small rural area and village such as Newtownbutler, it is shocking that something like this would happen."

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