Knife killer denies IRA role

Forensic officers at the scene of the stabbing in October 2003

The Londonderry man jailed last week for the manslaughter of a man in the city has denied being in the IRA.

Bartholomew Fisher, 43, was sentenced to three years in prison last week for the manslaughter of James McGinley.

Mr McGinley, 23, was stabbed through the heart during a fight at Sackville Court in Derry in October, 2003.

The victim's family claim Fisher is in the IRA, and that members of the organisation intimidated them throughout his trial.

However, in a statement issued through his family, Fisher said he wanted to state in clear and precise terms that he was not in the IRA, although he was an Irish republican.

He said he wholly regretted James McGinley's tragic death, and had accepted full responsibility for his actions.

He said he had submitted himself to the legal process, and at no time during his trial had it been suggested that there had been any attempt to pervert due process.

Mr McGinley's relatives held a vigil for him at the place where he died in Derry's Bogside on Thursday night.

They called on the IRA to admit that the man responsible was one of its members.

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