11 January 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The Police Service of Northern Ireland have said that investigations are likely to continue for some time into the death on New Year’s Eve of Tydavnet teenager Jason McGovern.
The nineteen-year-old student was found dead at the home of a friend in Emyvale after being the victim of two separate assaults when earlier socialising in Omagh, Co Tyrone.
A subsequent post mortem showed that Mr McGovern had died from head injuries, and a murder investigation was launched.
Four men and a teenage boy, all from Omagh, appeared before a Magistrates Court on Saturday charged in connection with the incident.
The PSNI subsequently arrested a 23-year-old man in the Omagh area who they say is assisting them in their enquiries.
There were poignant scenes at the funeral of the young Tydavnet man, which took place on Monday morning at St Patrick’s Church in Corracrin (see separate report).
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Harkness of the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, who is leading the investigation, said at the weekend that while a number of arrests had been made, the investigation was likely to continue for some time.
D/C/I Harkness made a specific appeal to any pedestrians or motorists who were in the area of the Terrace Bar or Sally O’Brien’s night club in Omagh at approximately 1.55 am on the occasion and witnessed the assault on Mr McGovern and the people involved in it.
He was also anxious that two males come forward who were at Kevlin Road and who assisted Mr McGovern to his feet and helped him get into a taxi.
“I need these people to come forward and speak with me,” he stated. “There is some CCTV in that area. However, I need to establish what took place and what was said between the assailants and the victim.”
D/C/I Harkness said the incident was consistent with the ‘’one-punch’ fatalities that had claimed the lives of 20 people in Northern Ireland since 2004.
“This is an assault that had no apparent motive other than young men on a night out and fuelled by alcohol.”
He asked anyone who had relevant information not to delay in coming forward. Police, he said, were particularly keen to speak to a man in his mid twenties, about 5ft 4ins tall and of stocky build who was wearing a white T-shirt and was involved in the incident outside the Weigh Inn.
D/C/I Harkness acknowledged the co-operation the PSNI had received from the Gardaí, who were assisting in the investigation and were keeping the McGovern family informed.
He said that anyone with any information could contact detectives in Omagh on 0845 600 8000. If someone preferred to provide information without giving their details, they could contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Four men and a teenage boy, all from Omagh, appeared before Omagh Magistrates Court on Saturday charged in connection with Mr McGovern’s death.
All are charged with unlawfully fighting and causing an affray on New Year’s Eve
Before the court were James O’Brien from Rylagh Road, Mark Donnelly from Greencastle Road, both 21, Aaron Davis, 19, from Beattie Villas and Aaron Bradley, 18, Waterworks Road.
The youth charged cannot be identified because of his age.
Aaron Bradley is also charged with assaulting a friend of Mr McGovern.
The court was told that the deceased man left Emyvale with five friends the previous Sunday night, arriving in Omagh just before 11 pm. At 2 am, it was alleged that he was involved in an altercation outside the Terrace Bar, when he was repeatedly punched while standing and on the ground.
The court was told that he was pulled away by a woman but was then chased by three people to a nearby car park.
One of them punched Mr McGovern in the face. He fell backwards and was unconscious for a short time.
An investigating officer said there was a large amount of CCTV footage and some defendants had made admissions to being present.
He said police were objecting to bail because there were a large number of witnesses and it would take a few weeks to speak to them all.
The officer also told the court that a suspect had since gone to Australia, but that this had been a planned trip.
The district judge said it was “an appalling situation when a young man was set upon by a large number of people” but said he would agree to bail as long as suitable addresses were found at least three miles outside of Omagh and were approved by police.
Upon this condition being met, they will be released on their own bail of £500 and two sureties of £750.
They will also be ordered not to enter Omagh, except for court appearances or doctor’s appointments, to be tagged and report to police three times a week.
They will also have a curfew and will not be allowed to enter licensed premises or contact witnesses in the case.

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