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Double killer Gallagher ordered to stay away from brother

John Gallagher walks from Strabane Courthouse.

John Gallagher walks from Strabane Courthouse.

DOUBLE killer John Gallagher has been ordered to stay away from his brother after a District Judge threw an application to vary his bail.

Gallagher (47) of Grange Wood, Strabane, had applied to have a bail condition that bars him from having any contact with his brother, Donal Gallagher, lifted.

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The rationale behind the application was that the condition left John Gallagher open to false allegations by his estranged spouse, allegations that could lead to him being arrested for breaching his bail.

John Gallagher gained infamy in 1988 when he blasted to death his then girlfriend, 18-year-old Anne Gillespie, and her mother Annie, in the grounds of Sligo General Hospital.

The killer resurfaced last month to answer charges of harrassing his brother and threatening to kill him. The charges arose following an incident in Strabane on May 13.

During a court hearing earlier this month it was alleged that on two consecutive days, Gallagher pulled up outside his brother’s place of work and made the shape of a gun with his hand. He then pulled the trigger.

The officer investigating the case, PSNI Constable Charlotte Church, told the court that in the wake of a period of contention with his brother, Donal Gallagher was “extremely afraid” and “fears his life is in danger”.

Yesterday (Thursday), Donal Gallagher attended Strabane Magistrates Court to hear the latest developments in the case.
Solicitor Oliver Roche, representing John Gallagher, described the case against his client as “very weak”. Mr Roche said that gardai in Lifford were carrying out investigations that appeared to support his client’s case rather than that of his brother. Mr Roche said that if necessary John Gallagher would elect for trial in the case.

Despite the representations, District Judge Liam McNally ruled that there would be no variation of bail. Mr McNally said that John Gallagher was well enough protected by policing procedures already in place.

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“If an allegation of a breach of bail is made then evidence will be heard. It will not be case where he is simply arrested.
“I am satisfied he is still protected and I refuse the application to remove the condition,” the judge added.
The case was adjourned until July 11.

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