Thursday 24 April 2014

Rovers coach accused of IRA man's murder

A Shamrock Rovers youth coach was one of four men charged with the murder of a well known IRA figure.

Edward McGrath (32), of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght, appeared at the Special Criminal Court yesterday, where he was charged with murdering dissident republican Peter Butterly.

Butterly, a 35-year-old father-of-two, was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn at Gormanston, Co Meath, last March.


Also charged with Butterly's murder were Dean Evans (22), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, David Cullen (29), of Brackenwood Avenue, Balbriggan, and Sharif Kelly (43), of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

It previously emerged that Shamrock Rovers coach McGrath was a member of the fans' '400 club', who rescued Rovers from financial ruin by buying the soccer club in 2005.

State solicitor Michael O'Donovan told the non-jury court that the case had been brought before the Special Criminal Court as the Director of Public Prosecutions had certified the ordinary courts were inadequate to secure the administration of justice.

Evans and McGrath were also charged with the unlawful possession of a 9mm calibre Beretta model 9000s semi-automatic pistol and seven rounds of 9mm parabellum calibre ammunition at The Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath, on March 6, 2013.

None of the four accused men stood when requested to as the charges were read to them by the court registrar, while the court heard that Sharif Kelly was the only one of the four men to make any reply when charged.

Detective Sergeant Vincent Markey told Mr O'Donovan that he arrested Kelly at his home shortly before eight o'clock yesterday morning.

He said that at the time of the arrest he had reasonable cause to believe Sharif Kelly committed the offence of which he is charged.

Det Sgt Markey said that Kelly, who appeared before the court wearing a cream top with a dark collar, replied "no" when cautioned.

He agreed with Kelly's solicitor that the accused man had been previously arrested in relation to the investigation and had been twice released without charge.


Det Sgt Markey agreed that he "no difficulties" in finding Kelly for the purposes of making the arrest.

There was no application for bail or legal aid on behalf of any of the four men.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Paul Butler remanded Evans, McGrath and Cullen in custody to appear before the court again on July 26.

Kelly was remanded in custody until July 16.



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