herald

Wednesday 11 December 2019

'I'd just taken our baby into the house and I heard five loud bangs'

Partner of gun victim Vinnie Ryan tells trial of moment he was shot dead in car

Kelly Smyth ran out screaming when she heard the gunshots. Photo: Collins Courts
Kelly Smyth ran out screaming when she heard the gunshots. Photo: Collins Courts

A mother has told a murder trial of the moment her partner was shot dead outside her home seconds after she had taken their five-week-old daughter inside.

Kelly Smyth told the Central Criminal Court trial of two men charged with murdering her partner, Vincent 'Vinnie' Ryan, that she heard five loud bangs and then saw Mr Ryan's car windows were smashed.

Paul O'Beirne (36), of Cole-park Drive, Ballyfermot, and Jeffrey Morrow (37), of Burnell Court, Coolock, have pleaded not guilty to murdering 25-year-old Mr Ryan at McKee Road, Finglas, on February 29, 2016.

The dead man was the brother of Real IRA leader Alan Ryan, who was murdered in 2012.

Ms Smyth told prosecution counsel Paul Burns yesterday that she was with Mr Ryan at his home in Donaghmede earlier on the day of his death.

They decided to go to her house on McKee Road and travelled in his white Volkswagen Golf GTI. Their five-week old daughter was with them.

Pulse

When they arrived at Ms Smyth's home, she got out with their daughter and asked Mr Ryan to move the car

She went into the house. When the door closed, she said she heard five bangs.

She did not see anyone leaving the area. She checked Mr Ryan and her bro- ther checked for a pulse and called an ambulance.

Ms Smyth also told Mr Burns that her partner had worked as a barber but had not worked since October 2015 after he was assaulted outside the Rotunda Hospital.

Paul O'Beirne
Paul O'Beirne
Jeffrey Morrow

On the day of the shooting, she said, she had not not-iced anyone following them.

Ms Kelly's brother, Keith, told Mr Burns he was playing with the baby when he heard "screeching and then bangs".

When he looked outside, he saw broken glass and Mr Ryan's white car.

His sister ran out screaming, he said.

Mr Smyth said he saw a "grey looking car" going down the road and he knew it was the same type of car as Mr Ryan's Volkswagen. He did not get the registration number.

He tried to calm his sister, he said, but the scene was hectic.

He said: "I was panicking myself."

Mr Smyth said he cannot remember much about what happened.

He tried to help his sister and Mr Ryan and could remember being in the car with him when someone said they would take over.

Under cross-examination, Mr Smyth agreed with Mich- ael O'Higgins, for Jeffrey Morrow, that the event was "very distressing".

Dr Edmund Carton told Mr Burns he was working in the emergency department of the Mater Hospital when Mr Ryan was brought in.

He was bleeding heavily from wounds to the head and shoulder. Despite "extensive efforts", he was pronounced dead at 9.10pm.

A neighbour on McKee Road, Lorcan Buckley, told Mr Burns he was home with his wife and children at about 3pm when he heard what he thought were 12 or 13 gunshots.

Wounds

"I told the kids to get on the ground and I went to the front door. I could see the white car and people screaming," he said.

He saw Mr Ryan in the driver's seat and Mr Smyth trying to help him.

Stephen O'Reilly of Dublin Fire Brigade said he attended the scene.

He saw an injured man in the driver's seat of a car which had bullet holes in the windscreen.

Mr O'Reilly and another firefighter laid him on the ground.

They found a number of injuries, including a through-and-through wound to the hand, a wound to the right temple which they believed to be a bullet wound and another similar wound to the back.

The trial continues.

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