Woman chased by brother and father wielding crossbows, court told

‘I’m not afraid of ye . . . I’m mad in the brain,’ father allegedly shouted at daughter

A woman was allegedly shot while being pursued by her brother and father wielding crossbows, the Belfast High Court has heard.

Prosecutors said a bolt went through her arm after she tried to flee after being knocked to the ground and stamped on outside the family’s homes in Co Fermanagh.

Charles McDonagh (46) of Coolcullen Meadow, Enniskillen, is charged with attempted murder and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place over the incident on October 14th.

Crown lawyer Kate McKay said police encountered him after being called out to disturbances in the area. She claimed Charles McDonagh was recorded telling an officer: "I meant to kill my daughter with a crossbow. "


He allegedly continued: I’m not afraid of ye or the law, I’m not leaving the estate until I kill someone – I’m mad in the brain.”

It then emerged that his 22-year-old daughter had been badly injured by a crossbow bolt. She was being treated in an ambulance claiming at the scene that her 23-year-old brother Sean McDonagh had fired the bolt at her.

Exit wounds

Entry and exit wounds were noted on her arm. Mrs McKay said police gained entry to Charles McDonagh’s house and viewed CCTV footage of the suspected attack.

She claimed it showed Sean McDonagh, who lives next door, punch his sister to the head before kicking and stamping on her while she lay on the ground.

When the woman managed to get up and run off he allegedly went into his house before emerging with a crossbow and giving chase.

The footage depicts Charles McDonagh also coming out of his home with a similar weapon and heading in the same direction, it was contended.

“[The alleged victim] is running off, her brother and father following her with a crossbow each,” Mrs McKay added.

Even though Charles McDonagh is not accused of firing the bolt, he is charged with attempted murder based on his alleged pursuit and comments captured on body-worn police recorders.

Mr Justice Gerry McAlinden was told he accepted making some remarks but insisted he didn’t mean them. It was also confirmed that the accused’s daughter has not made a formal statement of complaint.

Disputing submissions

Defence counsel argued that some of the alleged comments by his client are not clearly decipherable.

At one point the judge asked: “Why did he chase after his daughter with a crossbow, was he intending to shoot his son to protect his daughter?”

The barrister responded by disputing prosecution submissions that the weapon Charles McDonagh was allegedly carrying had been loaded at the time.

He added: “It’s also the case that he was running in the direction of both the injured party and his son with a crossbow.”

According to the defence, the incident occurred amid a wider dispute in the community which involved neither Charles McDonagh nor his daughter. Denying bail, however, Mr Justice McAlinden said: “I cannot take a chance in relation to potential risk of re-offending or the risk of pressure being applied to the injured party.”