BROTHERS DENY MURDERING PAEDOPHILE AND HIS PARTNER

Murder victim Lisa McClatchey

Murder victim Lisa McClatchey

THREE brothers have denied murdering a couple who were beaten with hammers before being doused in petrol six years ago.

The trio are accused of murdering Thomas O’Hare and Lisa McClatchey in Tassagh, near Keady, County Armagh, in 2006.

Niall Smith, 37, and Stephen Smith, 29, of Mourneview, Mowhan, County Armagh and Martin Smith, 40, with an address at Kevlin Glen, Omagh, also deny arson with intent to endanger life.

The brothers were remanded back into custody until their trial.

Lawyers for the prosecution and defence agreed at Newry Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, that further expert reports were required.

Thomas O’Hare and Lisa McClatchey died in hospital from their injuries following the attack at their home on the Foley Road on 6 November.

O’Hare died in hospital from his horrific burns days after a gang burst into his home in south Armagh.

He was was suspected locally of abusing an eight-year-old boy.

The torch bungalow in Keady attacked in November 2006

The 33-year-old was in the bungalow in Keady with his girlfriend Lisa McClatchey when four men burst in and doused the couple and their living room with petrol.

McClatchey, who knew nothing of O’Hare’s past, was described by local people as a complete innocent caught up in the apparent revenge attack. S

She too later died after suffering 80 per cent burns.

Ms McClatcheye and O’Hare were at home in his house near the village of Keady on Monday night when the four men burst in.

The torch bungalow in Keady attacked in November 2006

The torch bungalow in Keady attacked in November 2006

A struggle ensued in which the petrol was ignited, and all six were engulfed in flames.

Neighbours said they heard an explosion, then saw Miss McClatchey running from the house with her clothes and hair on fire.

One witness said she was like a fireball.

Four men were then driven off towards the border by two others.

Some hours later, four men, all brothers, were admitted to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Two of them, aged 24 and 34, were transferred to St James’s Hospital in Dublin where their conditions were initially described as serious.

All four were from Newtownhamilton in south Armagh, but two have been living in Dublin.

Thomas O’Hare had been placed on the PSNI’s sex offenders list following a conviction in 1999 relating to the sexual assault of a young boy from south Armagh.

He served a three-year jail-term, and had been living in the Craigavon area until not long before his death.

It is understood that while in Craigavon he struck up a relationship with Lisa McClatchey.

Miss McClatchey’s uncle, Harold Gracie, was the local senior Orangeman who led the Drumcree protest for several years until his death last year.

Local people said O’Hare and McClatchey had only moved into the house at Foley, outside Keady, just a few months before the attack.

It is understood that O’Hare inherited the bungalow from a relative who died earlier this year.

Locals said the couple only stayed at the house a few days a week, and that O’Hare was believed to be refurbishing the house with the intention of selling it.

 

 

 

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