Gardai charge man with murder of Crossmaglen Rangers star

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Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

James was a popular player in the hugely successful Crossmaglen Rangers side

Gardai in Dundalk have revealed that a 32 year old man is expected to be charged in Dundalk District Court later today (Tuesday) with the murder of Crossmaglen man James Hughes. Hughes was shot from point blank range with what police believe was a shotgun, while sitting in a taxi in the Lis Na Dara estate, Dundalk at approximately 4:00am on Sunday morning. Hughes (35), a father of three, died shortly after the incident and a 21 year old female passenger and the 48 year old taxi driver were both reported to be injured but neither are suffering from any life threatening injuries. According to the Gardai, the 32 year old suspect handed himself into Carrickmacross Garda Station, where he was arrested and detained under section 50 of The Criminal Justice Act, 2007. It is believed Hughes was out celebrating his club’s recent Ulster Championship win on the night he died. He was an integral member of the Crossmaglen Rangers senior side since 2000 and a spokesperson from the hugely successful Gaelic side described the murder of James as a “tragic event”. On the official website for Crossmaglen Rangers the spokesperson said, “The Committee, players and members of Crossmaglen Rangers GFC are shocked and saddened by the untimely death of our friend and colleague James and along with the entire local community are devastated at this tragic event.” The statement continued, “James was a valued and committed member of our club, part of our successful senior team panel for over 10 years, he won 3 All Ireland Club medals and more recently captained our seconds team to league success in 2010. He will be sadly missed by all of his friends and colleagues within the club. We extend our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very difficult time.” Newry & Armagh MLA, Danny Kennedy also expressed his shock and sadness at the murder of James Hughes. “It really is hard to make sense of the events, which led to the tragic death of James. My thoughts are with his family during this very difficult time. It is hard to comprehend how a night out socialising with friends could end how it did. Given that the taxi was also carrying the driver of the vehicle and a female passenger we are lucky we are lucky no one else was killed.” Local SDLP councillor for Crossmaglen, Geraldine Donnelly also paid tribute to the victim, describing him as a “popular, pleasant, kind person.” She added, “There is an enormous sense of disbelief and grief in Crossmaglen at the news of James’ death and particularly that his life was taken in such a violent way. James was passionate about football with his beloved Crossmaglen Rangers. His passing is so horrific for the Hughes family and the thoughts of people here are with James’ father James, his siblings and children as they try to come to terms with this massive loss.” She added, “I have no doubt that the local community will rally around the family to give them support in the coming difficult days and months that lie ahead.”  
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