Dale murder charges dropped as five plead guilty to manslaughter
The murder charges against seven Dubliners in the Dale Creighton trial have been dropped after five of the accused pleaded guilty to manslaughter and two of them admitted lesser charges.
The six men and one woman had been on trial at the Central Criminal Court charged with murdering the 20-year-old at a footbridge in Tallaght almost three years ago. All were re- arraigned.
Five of the men had their manslaughter pleas accepted by the State while their two co-accused had their pleas to lesser charges accepted.
The jury was discharged on what would have been the 15th day of the trial.
Mr Creighton was assaulted early on New Year's Day 2014 at the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between Saint Dominic's Road and Greenhills Road.
The court heard there had been an allegation that he had stolen a mobile phone.
Mr Creighton, of Tallaght, died the next day. The cause of his death was blunt force injury to his head and face.
The seven accused, who are all in their 20s and from Tallaght, had all pleaded not guilty to murder.
They are Aisling Burke (23) and David Burke (28), with an address at Beechpark, Collinstown, Co Westmeath; Graham Palmer (26), Park Ave-nue, Portarlington, Co Laois; Ross Callery (23), Gortlum Cott- ages, Brittas, Co Dublin; James Reid (26) Glen Aoibhinn, Gorey, Co Wexford; Jason Beresford (23) Coill Diarmuida, Ard a Laoi, Castledermot, Co Kildare; and Gerard Stevens (27), Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, Dublin.
Each of the accused also initially pleaded not guilty to violent disorder at the footbridge, but Beresford later changed his plea to guilty.
The prosecution had been due to call its final witnesses, but when the jury returned after the weekend the prosecutor asked for each accused to be re-arraigned.
Dressed in a red suit, Aisling Burke was the first to be called. The mother-of-one pleaded guilty to violent disorder at the bridge.
Palmer had the murder charge put to him again. Dressed in a white shirt and black tie, he pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
Father-of-one Callery also pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
Dressed in a grey suit and red tie, David Burke was next to stand to be re-arraigned. He too pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
Reid was then arraigned on a new count. He was charged with having a knife, which had a blade or which was sharply pointed, at the footbridge.
He pleaded guilty to its poss- ession.
Stevens then stood to be re-arraigned. He pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
Beresford was the final def-endant to be re-arraigned in front of the jury. He also pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Creighton but guilty to his manslaughter.
Three of the seven - Ms Burke, Stevens and Callery - have been remanded on bail.
"Even at this late stage, the court is pleased that these young people have all acknowledged their involvement," Justice Deirdre Murphy said, offering her condolences to Mr Creighton's family.