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Saturday 10 December 2016

Blood on jacket and shoes at the home of accused, court told

Donal Colgan denies the murder of David Sheridan. Photo: Collins
Donal Colgan denies the murder of David Sheridan. Photo: Collins

A chip-shop regular accused of stabbing a man to death told a garda he was defending himself after being attacked by two men, his trial has heard.

Donal Colgan (65), of Killarney Court, Killarney St, Dublin 1, denies murdering 45-year-old David Sheridan outside Luigi's chip shop on North Strand Road in August 2014.

Gda Sgt Chris Cahill told prosecuting counsel Paul Burns that he was present when Mr Colgan was arrested and that he sat with him in a garda car as he was taken to Mountjoy Garda Station.

He said that while in the car Mr Colgan told him: "It was self-defence. Two lads attacked me."

Knife

The trial previously heard from Gda Eoin Treacy who agreed with defending counsel Patrick Marrinan that Mr Colgan stabbed Mr Sheridan with a knife.

The trial has also heard from Mr Sheridan's friend, Gary Kinlan, who said there was a fight between himself, Mr Sheridan and Mr Colgan before the lethal knife attack.

Det Gda Kevin Keys told the court that he and other gardai interviewed Mr Colgan four times at Mountjoy Garda Station on August 19, 2014.

During those interviews Mr Colgan denied knowing Mr Sheridan or that he had anything to do with the stabbing. He also denied going to Luigi's that night.

When they asked him if gardai had the wrong man, he replied: "Of course you do."

When they asked him why he had said it was self-defence and that two lads had attacked him, he said he was in shock after gardai arrested him.

He said they had "jumped" him and thrown him over a car.

Gda Keys also agreed that Mr Colgan became emotional when a garda urged him to give his side of the story, saying that a man was dead and it looked as though he had killed him for no reason.

The court heard from Teresa Marsella, who was working in Luigi's that night. She said Mr Colgan was a regular customer who would come in about three times a week for a bag of chips.

She said the shop was busy on the night of the stabbing, so she did not pay much attention to what was being said when Mr Colgan, Mr Sheridan and Mr Kinlan and a group of three younger men gathered in the shop.

She told Mr Burns that the first thing she saw was punches being thrown between Mr Colgan and Mr Sheridan outside the shop.

When Mr Colgan left, she thought that was the end of it. Minutes later, as she stood at the door of the shop, she saw Mr Colgan return.

"He took something out of his jacket and I thought I was seeing things, but it was a knife. He stabbed him and I walked away screaming."

Det Sgt Mark Watters told Mr Burns that he searched Mr Colgan's home after the arrest and found shoes, a black jacket and a pair of jeans, all stained with blood.

He also seized a block of knives from the accused man's kitchen.

Forensic scientist Dr Edward Connolly told the court he examined the blood on the jacket, and that they matched the DNA of the deceased. He could find no trace of blood on the block of knives.

The trial will continue on Monday in front of Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of nine men and three women.

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