Thursday 21 March 2019

'I thought men in masks were kissogram', woman tells pub shooting trial

Members of the Gardai beside the scene of a shooting at the Sunset House Pub in Ballybough, Dublin
Members of the Gardai beside the scene of a shooting at the Sunset House Pub in Ballybough, Dublin

Two men wearing Freddy Krueger masks entered the Sunset House pub in Dublin before its manager was shot dead, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Eamonn Cumberton (30), of Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7, has pleaded not guilty to murdering 35-year old Michael Barr in the north inner city pub on April 25 last year.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Cumberton is "inextricably linked" to items recovered from a partially burnt-out car near the scene and that the items themselves are "inextricably linked" to the shooting.

The State says Mr Barr was hit seven times, suffering five shots to the head and one each to the shoulder and neck.


The court heard evidence yesterday from a number of people who were in the Sunset House on the night of the shooting.

Theresa Smyth told Dominic McGinn, prosecuting, that there was a raffle on and Mr Barr was there.

"It was his night off, so he was in good humour," Ms Smyth said.

She told the court that she was "messing at the bar" with Mr Barr and that he was "after saying he might be going on his holidays" when she saw two men come in wearing masks.

"I thought they were kissograms," Ms Smyth said. "I thought it was a joke. I said, 'There's two kissograms for you'."

She said they were wearing "Freddy Krueger" or "Halloween" masks.

Pub manager Michael Barr
Pub manager Michael Barr

The court was told that Ms Smyth heard someone say "get down" and that everybody got down.

"We didn't know what was going on," she said.

Ms Smyth told the court that when she looked at Mr Barr she saw "blood everywhere" and that he was "ready to fall".

"I realised there was a shooting," she said. "The glass was all over me. We were all shouting, in shock."

The men wearing the masks were gone "in seconds", the court heard.

Ms Smyth told the court that she saw Mr Barr "on the ground, all the blood coming from his head".

Eammon Cumberton denies murder
Eammon Cumberton denies murder

"I crawled over and blessed him," she said.

James Dunne told the court that he was organising the raffle that night in the pub. He was there with his daughter, the court heard.


Mr Dunne said two men dressed in black came into the bar, with one of them running past him while the other held the door.

"The one that passed me had a weapon," he said, adding that he thought it was a Glock handgun.

"The first thing I did was grab my daughter and run."

The court then heard evidence relating to the alleged getaway car.

James Fogarty said that on the night of the shooting he was on Walsh Road in Drumcondra when a car came to a "screeching" and "sudden" stop on the footpath.

The court heard that there were two people in the front of the vehicle and one in the back.

"I started panicking because there were flames in the pass-enger side of the car," Mr Fogarty said.

The court heard that he then saw the people running from the car.

Mr Fogarty told Mr McGinn that the driver was "stocky" with "not really much hair" and of "average build".

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge James Faughnan.

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