Women’s deaths were unfortunate incident: killer

A double killer has broken his silence on the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her mother, describing it as an “unfortunate incident”.

Donegal-born John Gallagher was a witness in court yesterday, accusing his brother of trying to harm him.

Donal Gallagher was charged with criminal damage when he appeared at Falcarragh District Court, accused of throwing a rock through his estranged brother John Gallagher’s windscreen in Lifford, in October, 2012.

John Gallagher had been tried but found to be insane after shooting ex-girlfriend Anne Gillespie, 18, and her mother Annie, 51, in the grounds of Sligo General Hospital in 1988.

Donal Gallagher, aged 52, from Strabane, was charged with criminal damage.

John Gallagher said he had observed his brother travelling in a car behind him.

He told Judge Paul Kelly he had been subjected to a campaign of intimidation by his brother and was in fear of him.

CCTV taken from a camera in John Gallagher’s van showed his brother picking up a rock before throwing it towards the windscreen “with brutal force”.

Answering solicitor Kieran Dillon in relation to the 1988 killings, John Gallagher said he believed that the matter was concluded and he had done nothing wrong since that “unfortunate incident”.

“It’s something I’ve to live with,” he said.

Donal Gallagher, meanwhile, said he crossed a road to find a stick to defend himself as he was in fear of his brother but could only find a stone.

The question of the administration of their late father’s will was also causing tension, the court heard.

Judge Paul Kelly noted the unfortunate history between both brothers. He bound Donal Gallagher to the peace for 12 months on his own bond of €500.


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