A 29-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Eugene Gillespie in Sligo last week.
Simon McGinley, Connaughton Road, Sligo appeared at a special sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon District Court on Sunday afternoon charged with murdering Mr Gillespie at Old Market Street, Sligo between September 19 and 21, 2012.
Mr McGinley, who voluntarily handed himself in at Sligo Garda Station, was subsequently remanded in custody to appear at Harristown District Court on October 5 next and Judge Kevin Kilrane ordered that he be psychiatrically assessed and placed on suicide watch if determined necessary by the assessment.
Inspector James Delaney told the court that he arrested the defendant at Pearse Road, Sligo in the early hours of last Sunday morning and that when charged with Mr Gillespie’s murder at 1:13am on September 30, Mr McGinley replied “guilty” after caution.
Counsel for the defendant, Keith O’Grady BL then indicated to the court that his client had in fact presented himself “voluntarily” at Sligo Garda Station in respect of the matter.
“Mr McGinley presented himself voluntarily in a distraught state,” Inspector Delaney replied. “He was seen by a GP on two occasions and exhibited signs of being distraught.
Mr O’Grady then made an application to have his client placed on suicide watch while in custody and the State accepted the application.
Judge Kilrane, however, said that it was his understanding that the placement of defendants’ on “suicide watch” created “its own difficulties”.
Chief Superintendent Mary Murray then pointed out that the State “has no objection to the application for suicide watch”.
In mitigation, Mr O’Grady said that his 29-year-old client had presented in a distressed state at the garda station. He also said that the defendant’s mother was “clearly of the view” that her son “was a worry in relation to self harm” while in custody. “The State has no objection to this application,” Mr O’Grady then added.
“While he has no history of self harm, there is evidence that Mr McGinley has attended with various practitioners and his family have expressed the most serious concerns for his well being.”
Mr O’Grady then made an application for Mr McGinley to be seen by a psychiatrist while in custody and requested that he be placed on suicide watch. He also requested that his client receive counselling and applied for legal aid in respect of the matter.
In determining the case before him, Judge Kilrane recommended that the defendant be psychiatrically assessed “immediately” and subsequently placed on suicide watch “pending the results” of the assessment.
No application was made for bail and Judge Kilrane pointed out that he did not have jurisdiction to grant bail in the case.
Dressed in navy jeans, grey jumper and navy jacket, Mr McGinley remained silent throughout proceedings and hugged his mother and partner as he was led away.