Local man suffered head injuries

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A Dunmurry man who died in County Fermanagh had injuries ‘consistent with having been punched’ an inquest heard this week.

James Patrick McGauran, from Kestral Grange in Dunmurry, died as a result of pneumonia and a head injury, a day after he was found lying at Castle Archdale caravan park in Irvinestown in May 2008.

The 41-year-old,worked as a laboratory technician, was a member of the motorbiking fraternity and had gone out for the day on Saturday, May 18 with three other bikers to watch the North West 200.

After watching the races in Portstewart, the group travelled to County Fermanagh where they stayed in a caravan owned by one of the group.

An inquest hearing in Belfast into Mr McGauran’s death heard the group started drinking at around 8pm. At 5.30am the following morning - after drinking through the night - one of the group Wesley Wallace went to bed.

When he woke at around 10.30am, he was told there had been “a bit of bother” between Mr McGauran and another man, Robert Kempton.

When Mr Wallace looked out the window, he saw Mr McGauran lying on the ground outside with a sleeping bag over him.

On walking to the shop a half an hour later, Mr Wallace said he heard Mr McGauran “snoring” and so, “thought he was alright”.

The inquest heard that Robert Kempton and Robert McCracken, who owned the caravan, had left the site separately later that day, leaving Mr McGauran still lying outside.

At 10pm, after more than 16 hours outside, Mr McGauran was taken to the Erne Hospital where he died the following day.

Dr Peter Ingram, assistant state pathologist, said that Mr McGauran died from pneumonia coupled with a head injury.

He had a black eye, bruising to his lips, five fractured ribs and other bruising.