Brothers in court in connection with 2006 murders in Armagh


Two brothers wanted in Northern Ireland in connection with a double murder six years ago have appeared before the High Court.

Niall (37) and Martin Smith (40) were arrested yesterday by gardaí in Balbriggan and Dundalk on foot of a European arrest warrant. The charge relates to arson and the murder of Thomas O’Hare (33) and Lisa McClatchey (21), who died from their injuries after a gang of up to six men broke into their home on Foley Road Keady, Co Armagh, on November 6th, 2006.

The couple were assaulted with hammers before petrol was poured over them and they were set alight.

Det Garda Sgt Martin O’Neill told Ronan Kennedy, for the State, that he arrested Martin Smith at Saltown, Dundalk, Co Louth, at 6.40am yesterday.

He asked him if he had previously lived at Kevlin Glen, Omagh, Co Tyrone, to which Mr Smith said he did.

Det Garda Sgt O’Neill said Mr Smith shook his head when asked if he knew anything about the murders and arson.

He said that when asked if he had any identifying marks of the sort detailed on the warrant, Mr Smith said that he had numerous scars and burns.

Balbriggan arrest

Det Garda Sgt Jim Kirwan then gave details of the arrest of Niall Smith at Moylaragh Avenue, Balbriggan, Co Dublin at 6.35am yesterday.

Det Garda Sgt Kirwan said Mr Smith agreed that he was the person depicted in a photograph included with the warrant.

He said that when asked if he knew anything about the double murder, Mr Smith replied: “I don’t want to say anything about that to gardaí until I speak to my solicitor.”

There was no application for bail on behalf of either of the brothers, who both appeared in court wearing black coats and dark trousers.

Mr Justice John Edwards remanded them in custody until December 20th, when lawyers for both men may indicate whether the extradition will be contested.